Conversation on Statehood

Introduction from OTW

While the Syrian Revolution goes on, the regime blocks communications, loses ground, and the future outlook for Syria, from political point of view keep getting fuzzier by the day, Yesterday’s vote at the UN General Assembly should not go unnoticed. After the vote, I spoke to a friend who has served few years as a UN Diplomat, and below is the essence of our conversation. I decided to write this post after the conversation, and since I was neither taping, nor taking notes, it would be hard for me to separate where my friend stands, and where I do. Overall we shared most of what is being said. I must also state that my friend, while sympathetic to Palestinians, bares no obvious hostility to Israel. Also, and beforehand, I must apologize in advance for the fact that I will not be able to respond to comments as much as I want, but I will try my best to check on frequently enough to respond when I can.

 Now you are a State, what’s next

Statehood vote UNGA

Vote count at the UNGA about Palestinian Statehood

First, it was the United Nations Scientific, Cultural and Education Organization (UNESCO) where Palestine’s statehood was recognized with full membership and now art the UN General Assembly, where Palestine’s statehood is recognized but with an observer status.

UNESCO continues to feel the financial burden due to the US refusing to pay its dues following the historic decision using a law passed from the days of Ronald Reagan as Arab States failed to fill in the budget gaps resulting from the US’s decision. It is unlikely that the US will do any such drastic act with respect to the UN despite of the identical outcome of the vote in the two organizations, which is the recognition of Palestinian statehood.  But it has not stopped some senators from introducing an amendment to the defense act in  an attempt to punish both Palestine and the UN. Republican Senators Barrasso (R-WY), Lee (R-UT), and Inhofe (R-OK) introduced an amendment that will cut 50%  of the total U.S. funds to the Palestinian Authority and  to any U.N. entity that grants the Palestinians a status change and reduces by 20%  U.S. foreign assistance to any country voting for the status change. Judging by the results of the cut of funds for UNESCO, this will not help, but will make it harder for the US to implement most of its aid program, which has historically been far more effective in spreading American values than the US army. If this amendment passes, it will further erode the US’s own capacity for diplomacy. In the end, it will perhaps be a loss for Israel more than for the US because Israel needs the world’s goodwill towards the US and the US’s ability to rightfully use its aid program to influence political decisions at the world’s stage, which is being eroded by such bills.  The world has long ago recognized the right of the Palestinians to have their own state. It is now recognizing that it is time that such happens and that the state is not threatened with the continuing expansion of settlements, which is frowned upon by most of the world including some in Israel. Time for Israel’s friends in the US to act like friends of Israel and not friends of a minority of Israelis.

What the two decisions say, especially the UNGA decision, which  passed with overwhelming majority (138 to 9), as well as a sizable abstention (41), is that the world no longer accepts excuses to delay the full independence and sovereignty of Palestine and the final status negotiation. The Israeli Ambassador at the UN was far more diplomatic and cultured than his counterpart at UNESCO, who nearly two years ago was impolite, lecturing, and arrogant. In his Yesterday’s speech, he attempted a last line of defense appeal, using an argument many countries have already sympathized with (the right of the Jewish People to their own state), but failing to present a strong argument as to how that right would be threatened by recognition of Palestinian statehood. The other argument, which states that such recognition will derail the peace process sounded insincere coming from the representative of a government that bears the primary responsibility for the painful prolonging of  a seemingly endless peace process, followed, and nearly equaled in responsibility, as we now know, by those calling themselves the resistance camp who now stand to lose a lot as the Palestinians no longer need said camp’s political support having discovered, once more that the majority of the world countries stands with their right, and that the world is far more supportive of their mature political approach to their cause. The speech by the US Ambassador was noteworthy in its attempts to show compassion with the Palestinians, and yet hinder their ability to stand as equal party in the negotiation regarding permanent status. The world disagreed with the US, and that is the end of it. However, there remains one correction to be mentioned, yesterday’s action was not a unilateral one as the US ambassador said, it was a near-global action telling the US, sorry, but we don’t see it that way. That said, the US Ambassador, once more reaffirmed the US Administration’s conviction of the right of Palestinians to have their own state, and to live secure in their state, and the intent of the US to work towards that goal, albeit from a perspective that is more beholden to Israel’s security than to the rights of the Palestinians. Anyone denying that would not be objective.

UNESCO’s charter emphasizes peace and cooperation, admitting Palestine to UNESCO means that the state adheres to these principles and that fellow member states have enough reasons to believe that the state’s application is sincere in doing so. The more significant UN charter emphasizes the rights of citizens of states to live secure within their border.  Palestine’s application to observer status affirms acceptance of that Charter, which is an important global diplomatic gain. Granted, states have violated that charter numerous times. Every car bomb that went off in Iraq, sponsored by Damascus thugs was violation, every rocket lobbed at Israel was a violation, and every air-raid on Lebanon or Gaza, bus explosion in Israeli towns, and predator assassination of Palestinian leaders, are also violations of that. But there is a difference between state and non-state actors. Now that Palestine’s statehood is no longer a question, both sides will have to deal with this issue, and attempts to sponsor non state actor in Palestine can easily be viewed by the world community as violation of Palestinian sovereignty and not as affirmation of their rights to resistance. There is a silver lining in the decision for Israel if the Israeli government was not so obsessed with the expansionist greed of a minority of the country’s citizens and the remnants of the long standing policy of denying Palestine and Palestinians. Both Israel and Palestine are now obliged to deal with each other as states, at least theoretically.

OTW’s own conclusion

Yesterday’s vote pulled the rug from under the feet of the Israeli government and the expansionist settlers. Yet, what is far more significant to me is that it did pull the rug from under the feet of those in the defunct resistance camp. The Palestinians can now tell their story, on their own, and even as observers, they may not have the right to vote, but they do have the right to make interventions, submit resolution, with the support of full member states, many of whom proved that they can be friends to both Palestine and Israel and become closer than ever to ending tyrannical regime’s cynical attempts to use them as passive tools in suppressing their own people. In that regard, the vote was victory for both Palestine and for free Syrians. Congratulation Palestine, congratulations free Syria, you are no longer burdened with attempting to use Palestinians, and now you can really support them by finishing off yet another obstacle to peace, and one of their most vicious abusers, the tyrannical Assad regime.

Posted on November 30, 2012, in Palestine, UN. Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. Sorry OTW, your read on this is incorrect. Excuse me for saying so, but the blinders you had regarding Assad, you still wear regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. International law is a worthless piece of paper. Given the fact that international law has done nothing to help Syria, why do you think it will help the Palestinians? It will also not limit any non-state actors in Palestine, especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad. As for the Palestinian state, it was already approved in 1947 and the UN recognition again changes nothing. Whether you like it or not, a resolution will only come by dialog, and not by international theatrics, just like in the case of Syria.

  2. “International law is a worthless piece of paper”

    That sounded like something Bashar would’ve said.

  3. I really do miss reading your thoughts on things OTW, thank you for taking the time to share it with us.

    This last line is one of the best things I’ve read in a long time:

    Congratulations Palestine, congratulations free Syria, you are no longer burdened with attempting to use Palestinians, and now you can really support them by finishing off yet another obstacle to peace, and one of their most vicious abusers, the tyrannical Assad regime.

  4. “That sounded like something Bashar would’ve said.”

    The truth is sometimes not comfortable. International law as a concept sounds nice but in practice it is worthless. How has international law helped solve the situation in Syria?

    How has international law helped the Palestinians or the Israelis as a matter of fact? The Arab states did not accept the UN Partition Resolution of 1947. The partition did not lead to two states but to a civil war and then an all out war when the Arab countries joined in May 15 1948. The only reason Israel exists is that it won that war, not because of international law or the useless UN.

  5. الدكتور عزمي بشارة

    ليس صحيحا ان مشروع الدستور الحالي أسوء من الدساتير السابقة، بل هو دستور ديمقراطي يتضمن أخطاء ونواقص هامة. أورد عليها بعض الأمثلة فقط لأن العديد طلبوا أمثلة. هذه امثلة فقط، وهذا ليس مقالا ولا بحثا دستوريا، بل قائمة من الأمثلة عن بنود دستورية تعيق الديمقراطية، لمساعدة القراء على النقاش. ويجب تجنب العصبيات الحزبية في نقاش وطني ديمقراطي مصيري كهذا:
    المادة (4)
    الأزهر الشريف هيئة إسلامية مستقلة جامعة، يختص دون غيره بالقيام على كافة شئونه، ويتولى نشر الدعوة الإسلامية وعلوم الدين واللغة العربية فى مصر والعالم. ويؤخذ رأى هيئة كبار العلماء بالأزهر الشريف فى الشئون المتعلقة بالشريعة الإسلامية. (لا مكان لمادة كهذه في دستور ديمقراطي. فيكفي ان الشريعة اعتبرة مصدرا للتشريع. وهذا بحد ذاته موضوع نقاش. ولكن من يسن القوانين هو نواب الشعب، أنا استشارة هيئة كبار علماء الأزهر فيعني إدخال المؤسسة الدينية في شوؤن التشريع والقضاء… لا مكان لهذا في دولة ديمقراطية)

    المادة (10)
    الأسرة أساس المجتمع، قوامها الدين والأخلاق والوطنية.
    وتحرص الدولة والمجتمع على الالتزام بالطابع الأصيل للأسرة المصرية، وعلى تماسكها واستقرارها، وترسيخ قيمها الأخلاقية وحمايتها؛ وذلك على النحو الذى ينظمه القانون. (هذه ليست وظيفة الدولة أطلاقا، فليست وظيفة الدولة الحرض على أخلاق المجتمع بالقانون…)
    المادة (11)
    ترعى الدولة الأخلاق والآداب والنظام العام، والمستوى الرفيع للتربية والقيم الدينية والوطنية، (ليست هذه وظيفة الدولة وهذا مدخل لتشريعات تمس بحرية الناس . الدولة لا تربي الناس دينيا ولا أخلاقيا ولا هذه وظيفتها، كانت هذه دائما مداخل الدول الشمولية)

    المادة (32)
    الجنسية المصرية حق، وينظمه القانون. (حق ينظمه القانون، ولا يجوز انتزاعه او مصادرته… هذا غير قائم في النص).

    المادة (63)
    العمل حق وواجب وشرف لكل مواطن، تكفله الدولة على أساس مبادئ المساواة والعدالة وتكافؤ الفرص.
    ولا يجوز فرض أى عمل جبرا إلا بمقتضى قانون. (لا يجوز فرض عمل لا بقانون ولا بغيره… فقد يفتح هذا المجال لعمل السخرة بسن قانون مثلا.)
    المادة (104)
    يبلغ مجلس النواب رئيس الجمهورية بكل قانون أقر؛ ليصدره خلال خمسة عشر يوما من تاريخ إرساله؛ فإذا اعترض عليه رده إلى المجلس خلال ثلاثين يوما من ذلك التاريخ.
    وإذا لم يرد القانون فى هذا الميعاد، أو أقره مجلس النواب ثانية بأغلبية ثلثى عدد الأعضاء، استقر قانونا وأصدر.
    فإذا لم يقره المجلس لا يجوز تقديمه فى دور الانعقاد نفسه قبل مضى أربعة أشهر من تاريخ صدور القرار. (لا يجوز ان يلغي رئيس الجمهورية قوانين سنها مجلس النواب. ليصبح التصويت عليها واجبا بالثلثين ضد إرادته. فهو ليس سلطة تشريعية).
    المادة (127)
    لا يجوز لرئيس الجمهورية حل مجلس النواب إلا بقرار مسبب، وبعد استفتاء الشعب.
    ولا يجوز حل المجلس خلال دور انعقاده السنوى الأول، ولا للسبب الذى حل من أجله المجلس السابق.
    ويصدر رئيس الجمهورية قراراً بوقف جلسات المجلس وإجراء الاستفتاء على الحل خلال عشرين يوما على الأكثر، فإذا وافق المشاركون فى الاستفتاء بأغلبية الأصوات الصحيحة على الحل أصدر رئيس الجمهورية قرار الحل، ودعا إلى انتخابات مبكرة خلال ثلاثين يوما على الأكثر من تاريخ صدور القرار، ويجتمع المجلس الجديد خلال الأيام العشرة التالية لإعلان النتيجة النهائية.
    وإذا لم توافق هذه الأغلبية على الحل، يتعين على رئيس الجمهورية أن يستقيل من منصبه.
    وإذا لم يتم إجراء الاستفتاء أو الانتخابات فى الميعاد المحدد، يعود المجلس إلى الانعقاد من تلقاء نفسه فى اليوم التالى لانقضاء الميعاد. (وعموما فكرة الاستفتاء تتكرر عدة مرات في هذا الدستور. وبرأينا فإن حق الرئيس بالدعوة للاستفتاء هي فكرة سيئة، وشعبوية من شأنها أن تعق عمل مجلس النواب، بل وأن تقوض الديمقراطية بين انتخابات وأخرى. فكرة دعوة الرئيس لاستفتاء برمتها هي فكرة موروثة من الديكتاتوريات ولا تتبع بالديمقراطيات الا كاستثناء. وهي شكل حكم موروث في سويسرا، في الكانتونات. وتشكل هناك نقيضا للنظام الرئاسي).
    الفرع الأول: رئيس الجمهورية
    المادة (132)
    رئيس الجمهورية هو رئيس الدولة، ورئيس السلطة التنفيذية؛ يرعى مصالح الشعب، ويحافظ على استقلال الوطن وسلامة أراضيه، ويراعى الحدود بين السلطات.
    ويباشر اختصاصاته على النحو المبين فى الدستور. (رئيس الجمهورية ليس حكما بين السلطات، بل المحكمة الدستورية، هذه وظيفتها).
    المادة (150)
    لرئيس الجمهورية أن يدعو الناخبين للاستفتاء فى المسائل المهمة التى تتصل بمصالح الدولة العليا.
    ونتيجة الاستفتاء ملزمة لجميع سلطات الدولة وللكافة فى جميع الأحوال. (هذه فكرة شعبية خطيرة مناقضة للديمقراطية وللسلطة التشريعية المنتخبة).
    373

  6. International law is a worthless piece of paper only to countries that treat it that way. That is why Israel is on par with countries such as Iran and Baathist Syria when it comes to respecting them…

  7. Btw if the UN was so useless why does Israel lobby the US so hard to side with it on nearly ever resolution at the Security Council?

  8. AIG
    It is in the interest of everyone that international law becomes more than a piece of paper. That would have resulted in international action against the thug of Syria from the moment he started carpet bombing Syrian cities. Also, the more Palestine resembles a state, the less interference in the Palestinian affairs from Arab dictators will be possible, and few of them will be able to do harm to their own citizens as well as to Palestinians in the name of the Palestinian cause.

    I do fully agree with you that dialog is a way out, but dialog for the sake of dialog is useless to Palestinians. Negotiations, with timeline, actionable items, and with guarantees that no further illegal changing of the fact on ground would have been far more productive than a seat at UNESCO or the UN. The difference between us is that I, and most of the world see the continuing settlements in the west bank as the most significant obstacle. It is not the only obstacle, but the most significant one, with the presence of two Palestinian entities being another obstacle. I am all the happier that Palestinians are celebrating what they and many others perceive as political victory instead of attempting a suicidal military one. And I am OK with seeing things differently from you.

  9. “The truth is sometimes not comfortable. International law as a concept sounds nice but in practice it is worthless. How has international law helped solve the situation in Syria?”

    Surely it is not comfortable to you if I say International Law has been circumvented in the Middle East to accommodate Israel. International Law has worked more often in other parts of the world than it has in the Middle East. What you said is really not surprising coming from someone whose country has the Middle East foreign policy of the most powerful country in its pocket. Realistically, You don’t expect justice all the time, but you expect it some of the time. In the Middle East, you never expect it.
    No one is naive enough not to know that money and power influences justice. That’s life. All you have to do is review the long list of the rich and powerful that received presidential pardons in the US.

    I know OTW wants to keep this blog focused on Syrian issues.
    International Law has been circumvented again in the Middle East, and this time in Syria because the US and the west who claim to be the defenders of human rights around the globe stood idle while massacres were being committed. Most Syrians believe because it is in the Israel’s best interest for the Syrian revolution to drag on. It hasn’t cost Israel one single bullet. In fact most believe that Israel doesn’t want to see ASSad go. Personally, i agree with what most Syrians believe, but I don’t blame Israel. I blame us. I always believed we should look inward. Those who blame the outside are, in my mind, a bunch of losers. They act like It’s always somebody else’s fault (the zionists, imperialists, etc..)

    But since you always accuse Syrians of turning a blind eye in the past to Assad’s viciousness and brutality, and…… How come you never saw or failed to see or denied the crystal clear similarities between the methods of the Zionists and the Assads? By the way, that was a statement not a question. Please leave the answer to another time.

  10. “How come you never saw or failed to see or denied the crystal clear similarities between the methods of the Zionists and the Assads?”

    Yeah, right. Bibi is bombing Tel-Aviv and Haifa while neglecting the economy and supressing freedom of speech. How could I have missed the similarities between the Zionists and Assad? If Assad would have treated Syrians one tenth as well as Israel treats its Arab citizens (20% of the country) and gave them the same freedoms and economic opportunities, there would be no revolution. Just check out the conditions of the Syrian Druze in the Golan for example and compare their situation to anyone in Syria.

  11. OTW and Son of Damascus,

    Don’t confuse what ought to be and what actually is. International law is a bunch of nonsense. First and foremost because it cannot be applied to any permanent UNSC member. For example, Russia could flatten Chechnya without any problem. Second, because there are 22 Arab countries that have never implemented the very basic tenants of international law inside their own countries but are always widely represented on the UN Human Rights Council where 25% of all resolutions concern Israel. A laughable travesty if there ever was one. Third, because no one is willing to enforce international resolutions. No American is willing to die for Syria and of course no Israeli. Just as no one sent forces to help Israel in its wars with the Arabs. And I can go on.

    When I see 22 Arab countries treating their own citizens in accordance with the declaration of human rights which is at the basis of international law, come talk to me about Israel. International law was never implemented in the Middle East because no Arab country ever took it seriously. Why do you expect Israel to accept the joke that is international law when the demand comes from countries that do not adhere to it and treat their citizens like shit?

    Yes, yes, Sweden follows international law. The last wars they took part in were the Napoleonic ones. Now that you have some first hand perspective about how goddam awful wars are based on what is happening in Syria and you see the atrocities committed by both sides in Syria, why are you still talking about international law? It is a meaningless exercise. Given how your countrymen are behaving, are you really going to complain about international law and Israel? Perhaps now you will judge Israel not relative to some impossible ideal but relative to how you yourself are acting.

    As for the settlements they are not the main problem at all. Was there peace before 1967 when Israel took the West Bank and Gaza? The issue is not the settlements but the very existence of Israel. I am not saying that the settlements are helping the peace process. They are not. But they are not the main problem. The main problem is that Israelis like me that were happy to let go of the West Bank 2 decades ago, are pretty sure that if Israel does so now it will turn like Gaza and Egypt and Tunisia and alas Syria, into an Islamist state hostile to Israel or a very weak secular state (like Lebanon) in which Iran will find some client like Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad to fund.

    Open your eyes and look around. Don’t tell me what ought to be, address what is. Show me one stable democratic Arab neighbor with decent freedom for its citizens and no Islamic militias funded by either the Wahabis or Iranians. When there is one such example, I may be optimistic enough to take a chance on a Palestinian state. And till then, I am really not interested in hearing about international law. Talk to me about it, after you have implemented it in your own countries.

  12. AIG
    LOL, you seem to be confusing 7ee6an with Syria Comment and occasional resistance bursts over at the smart and wonderful QN’s blog. Herein, you are preaching to the choir when you talk about stable democracies and observance of human rights in 22 Arab countries and beyond.

    Like in the US, Israel, or any other country, religious parties, as expected, are trying to shape the countries’ present and future in manners that are suitable to them in Egypt and Tunisia. But unlike established and stable democracies, there are no constitutional guarantees and institutions that can for now limit their ability to place undemocratic practices, particularly, populist leaning articles in the constitution such as those allowing the president to place everything on referendum, including matters related courts, which is far more dangerous than the Islamic leaning proclamations in the constitution. This is precisely what the demi-dictators now at the helm in a few Bolivarian states in Latin America are doing in the name of the poor.

    You seem to be intentionally confusing two critical issues. Israel’s security and Israel expansion and theft of Palestinian lands. The talk about the west bank becoming like Gaza may have had merit if the Israeli presence within the 1967 borders of the west bank was purely a military presence, even if harsh. But it is not, it is settlers which are the biggest problem, which is why I find it surprising that someone as focused as you keep diverting the issue to functional and dysfunctional democracies in Arab countries. I find that now to be an excuse, as you keep extending your own fanatic settlers yet one more apologist lifeline to continue their theft of more land. Simple as it is, and yet it seems very hard for you to accept and understand.

    No one on this blog will defend any dictators, including the leaders of Hamas who are now siding with the Syrian revolution, especially after it took a militant Islamist turn. And most will go even further to realize and call Hamas for what it is, a totalitarian-minded organization that has been accomplice in abusing the civil and human rights of Palestinians under its jurisdiction.

    At the same time, here is how the situation looks now. Syrians, have already paid more than 40,000 lives in order to get rid of the dictator, Egyptians are undergoing continuous transformation and struggle to define the shape of their future state, with some but not most being cognizant of the threat to their civil rights that can be posed by the ascendance to power of the populist Islamist, but they have also paid heavy price to get rid of the dictator, so did Libyans, and Tunisians. They will continue to struggle, with Syrians poised to pay far more in blood and treasures in order to get rid of the dictator, despite of the apparent apathy to their pain and suffering. What do Israelis do, extend further the reach of the most fanatical part of their society and continue to build settlements, funded by Israeli tax payers money, not to mention the interest on the Palestinians tax money being held by Israel and released to the PA only long time wasted in “dialog” for each single dollar.

    The devil is in the details, and this is what Israel has been working hard to change, the details of the land, pushing the real peace ever further. Israelis like you also need to wake up and do what Syrians like me did, throw your own thugs under the bus and take a stand instead of continuing to be their apologists. They may not be bombing you like Assad does, but they are also holding your future hostage to their religious and/or nationalistic fanaticism. You may really want to try it, and I would not have said that if I didn’t respect you. It is liberating, and it has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative politically. It is all about rational view of the future.

  13. Dear NZ
    Thank you for posting Azmi’s fast notes about the new constitution of Egypt. It was very timely.

    Dear SOD
    Again, I will try my best, things have been a little tough with work not to mention real engagement in the revolution especially after the dangerous turns in Aleppo.

    Dear NK,
    It is very gratifying to see that you are still visiting 7ee6an, I must thank all of those who are keeping this blog alive and interesting with their comments.

    Dear مندس
    Good to see you around, I have had a chance to know what and how much the US and other countries have tried to do to help the revolution short of military intervention, which was off the table from day one given the current political situation in the US and the geopolitical situation in Syria and surrounding countries. Much of the problem of lack of support has to do not only with the failure of the SNC due to the attempts by the MB to control it and use it to gain more legitimacy than they numerically deserve, but also with the regime’s constantly eliminating the ranks of the true leaders of the revolution, through murder, jail, or exile, leaving the local leadership ranks in the hand of the less aware, more militant ranks including opening opportunities for criminals and gangs of Assad thugs to continue terrorizing the population, this time under different banner.

  14. Thanks OTW for responding to him because I’m really not in the mood to argue the Arab/Israeli conflict. I guess Assad has been able to become the worst of all evils. But I believe evil is evil no matter in what shape or form or to what degree it comes. AIG’s talk of democracy and freedom the Palastinians are enjoying under Israeli rule sounds so much like the regime’s talk. Assad and his cronies, too, talk about how good we’ve had it too. 😃

  15. Thanks NZ for the welcome.
    I agree with you on some points, but I disagree on others.
    I agree the opposition’s performance has been subpar. But all the west has done was give lip service to Syrians, not that i expected anything else. I’ve been telling everyone I know since the beginning that the west would not interfere militarily. It would’ve been nice, if they did. The opposition should’ve known that and acted accordingly. Ten smart bombs on the main Mukhabart Headquarters in Damascus would’ve taken out the sick minds behind the atrocities, and the FSA would’ve taken care of it from there. Now, it’s going to cost more lives to achieve that goal.
    The west had a golden opportunity to come across as the good guys to the Average Arab. They talked for years about separating or peeling the Assad gang from Iran (I hope we peel him off the streets’ pavement one day). But when the opportunity came, they accomplished Israel’s goals by doing nothing. If Assad crushes the revolution, Israel wins. At least because Syria will be isolated for years with a president accused of war crimes that no country talks to. If the revolution succeeds, after dragging for so long, Israel wins in this case too, because the country will be so weak, if not worse.
    Personally, I expected the west not to interfere. What upsets me is that the west claims to represent the ideals I hold dearly. Those ideals get damaged in the eyes of the average Syrian giving way to ideologies I consider sick. The irony is that the US’s Middle East policy, which is under the influence, is self-Destructing and done to preserve another form of dictatorship.

  16. مندس,

    I think you are confusing having an ideal and willing to fight for it. Take the Scandinavians. I am sure you cannot blame them for not being liberal and humanist. Most of them probably share your ideals. But they would not fight to uphold them overseas. Are they also working to “achieve Israel’s goals”? Of course not. They are not working for Israel. They are just not willing to go to war for someone else.

    Though I agree with your analysis that what is happening benefits Israel (though of course this benefit is hardly worth the suffering and destruction), I totally disagree that the West’s actions are because of Israel. Even if Israel did not exist, they would not have intervened. Are you willing to fight in Sudan to get rid of its ICC indicted leaders? Of course not, so why are you disappointed others do not want to fight in Syria?

    So yes, like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, or Nelson Mandela you can be for ideals that I imagine are close to yours, without being willing to fight overseas for them. If this damages these ideals in your eyes or that of Syrians, then you have not understood these ideals.

  17. OTW,

    My “thugs” are democratically elected in the most fair democratic process of all, true proportional representation. I have complete freedom of speech and access to a free and independent legal system that has no problem prosecuting people at the highest level.

    Discussing the settlements is like discussing the acne of a cancer patient. When Hamas were blowing up buses and restaurants and hotels killing 1000 Israelis in the second intifada, it was not about the settlements. You know very well that what you were taught in Syria was not that Syria and Israel would be BFFs once the settlements are gone. What you were taught and what most Syrians believe is that “Israel” (all of it), is a colonial enterprise that has to disappear and that there is no difference between Tel-Aviv and any settlement. Both have to go as well as the evil Zionists.

    If you and Son of Damascus actually represented the views of the majority of Arabs, I would certainly be more active about curtailing the extent of the settlements and the Israeli peace camp would be ascending. When you say that settlements are the real issue for you, I believe you. But they are not the issue for Hamas, Hezbollah the MB and even many so called leftists. They are not the issue for the majority of Arabs. They are just a side show in a larger scheme of things. I am not going to be bothered by Israel building houses when you guys are busy killing each other and ratifying Sharia based constitutions. My future is not endangered by houses in the West Bank. It is endangered by radical ideologies that despite your best efforts are gaining in the Arab world.

  18. AIG
    Both of our futures are threatened by radicals. I can assure you that many of the thugs in the next few years in several countries in the neighborhood including Israel will be democratically elected. But to be honest with your, I am not sure we have done our best efforts to stem the tide of radicalism, we have far more to go and there is much more to do.

    Resolving the situation with the Palestinians is your best guarantee for a safer future to both. As for the standard phrase, :”you are killing each others”, I will let it pass for now recognizing that this is what you see, but are incapable of fully understanding not due to lack of ability, but due to the different conditions you live in.

  19. OTW,

    When you say “Resolving the situation with the Palestinians is your best guarantee for a safer future ” it is like me telling you that resolving the situation with Assad and the islamists is your best guarantee for a safer future. Nice words, but quite banal and not very helpful.

    Though each Arab society is distinct, they suffer from many of the same ills, including the Palestinian one (of course Israeli society has its own problems also). If Arabs are not doing a good job of living in peace among themselves, why do yo think Jews and Arabs have a better chance? Why shouldn’t Israelis expect the convulsions that are taking place in the Arab world to take place in the Palestinian society especially given the disunity between Hamas and Fatah? Thank you very much, I am not going to support this experiment 15 minutes from Israel’s major population areas (I am not exaggerating, look at the map the distance from the center of Tel-Aviv to the West Bank is 20 Km, from my house in Ramat-Hasharon, a suburb of Tel-Aviv it is 16 km or 10 miles).

    I of course acknowledge that I am incapable of understanding fully the situation in Syria. It is a very complex situation and I am sure I am missing many of the finer details. Perhaps you will one day realize that your view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict suffers from the same problems.

  20. AIG,

    First of all, when I said I didn’t want to get into debating the Arab/Israeli, I didn’t say it to be rude and cut you off. I’m truly stressed out and what’s happening in Syria is my priority. I’ve always read and agreed with your writings 90% of the time except how you don’t see the similarities between Zionism and Assadisim/Bathism. Yes, this regime has been able to achieve the title of the “Worst of all Evils”. But I’m not going to settle for the “lesser of the two evils”. Evil is evil.
    Like I said I live in Syria and I don’t post often, so you’re being presumptuous and you stereotype me when you say “I think you are confusing having an ideal and willing to fight for it.” I was raised anti Ba’ath. I have been anti Ba’ath all my life. What I gave to the revolution financially in addition to regime has burned could safely buy you a mansion in Beverly Hills. We’ve been visited numerous times by security agents that I expected to be taken and I felt the need to shave my body and cut my nails to make it more difficult for them to torture me. So many people around me have been either captured, killed, or on the run.

    “Are you willing to fight in Sudan to get rid of its ICC indicted leaders?” ”
    “so why are you disappointed others do not want to fight in Syria?”
    Like I said I agree with you most of the time. I, myself, asked people if they would send their kids to fight in some African country they never heard of. But, in the Middle East, the west seems to be only concerned with the well being of their “baby”. Again, I understand the game, but I’m upset because it makes my argument weaker and discredited in the average syrian’s eyes.

    “So yes, like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, or Nelson Mandela you can be for ideals”
    Believe me I’m no Ghandi, I just hope they catch him alive, I have so many ideas on what to do with him.

    On another hand, you seem like an intelligent person, I never could understand how you don’t see or fail to see, and deny the injustice being dealt to the Palestinians. We knew that Assad has done Israel a huge favor by being so vicious and the Israelis’ best argument would be “hey, we’re the lesser of the two evils”. I believe and so should you that evil is evil, injustice is injustice no matter what form and what degree it comes. With all due respect, you are a prime example of why the Arab/Israeli conflict will continue and, one day, will be as bloody as the situation in Syria. Your country’s calls for dialogue sound so much like the regime’s calls.

  21. مندس,

    I did not mean to belittle in any way your brave struggle against Assad.

    “evil is evil, injustice is injustice no matter what form and what degree it comes”

    I guess this the bone of our contention. When you cause a child pain when you take out a splinter from her finger, you can focus on the pain or you can focus on the long term benefit to the child. Sometimes you do evil things for a greater good and it just does not help to categorize all actions as equally evil. Most violent acts by any government have evil consequences. If you want to designate all NATO countries as evil because civilians are sometimes killed by them unintentionally, what are you left with? Who is not evil?

    Take perhaps the single Israeli act that you would consider most evil or unjust, which is denying the return home of the Palestinian refugees of the 1947-48 war. The fact is that this act was the only thing that could guarantee a stable state for the Jews. Was it an evil act? Yes. But it would have been more evil to put in danger the Jews of Israel by allowing the Palestinians to return and reignite the civil war. After all, the reasons for the war did not abate and there was no more acceptance of a Jewish state after the war than before it.

    The stock leftist/Arab answer to this is that the Zionists should have thought of this in the first place and not have created a state in mandatory Palestine. As you can imagine, 99% of Jews find this answer completely irrelevant. No one controls their own fate completely and often you are left with bad options to choose from, even what you would call evil options.

    The same goes for the current situation. Most Israelis would be happy to see a prosperous Palestinian state living in peace beside Israel. We just don’t think it is possible at the current moment and frankly we have no idea it it will ever be possible in the foreseeable future.

    The Arab-Israeli conflict has already been bloody, and it will probably be bloody in the future. Every Israeli knows that. It was bloody whatever the attitudes of Israelis were so saying that our attitudes bring bloodshed is just not correct. The fact that we are here is the problem, not our attitude. Both sides believe that the other is not negotiating in good faith. I understand that. But since the alternative to dialog is bloodshed, I do not see what is wrong with calling for dialog. If you don’t want to dialog, don’t. No one is forcing you.

    And please, the threats about what will happen if Israel does not change its attitude are not original. We have been hearing them for over 60 years now and as you can tell, we are not impressed.

  22. AIG
    I am not here to argue or change Israeli’s point of view regarding whether it is time to establish a Palestinian state or not. This was not my argument. My argument is about what you are doing in the mean time as a state and as a society with respect to threatening the viability of a prosperous state, independent of when it happens by the constant and hardly reversible land grab. Arguing that only when there are more people like me would be a condition for you to start taking a stand against settlers is as banal as my argument that resolving the issue with the Palestinians is your guarantee. As we need a major effort, monumental I may say to counter the decades long anti-enlightenment and anti-rationalism campaign that has been and continue to be waged throughout Arab region by its own ruling class, in complicity with many so called intellectuals, there is a need for Israel to also confront the irrational hypothesis that the Palestinians would go away if they are squeezed ever harder out of their land in the west bank, which permeates the settler minded community and I am afraid to say is being tolerated and seemingly encourage by Israeli society. Until you are able to confront this issue, and put a stop to it, or at least limiting its reach instead of feeding it, you are doing what many of us who thought that Assad was guaranteeing the security, and perhaps a hope for progress for Syrians did for years. Linking your stance from the settlers with the situation in Arab neighboring states is no different from linking tolerance to Assad crimes with the Palestinian cause. Both are signs of escapism and are standard apologist strategies.

  23. OTW,

    Let me start with this:
    “there is a need for Israel to also confront the irrational hypothesis that the Palestinians would go away if they are squeezed ever harder out of their land in the west bank”

    This is just not true. Very few if people in Israel believe that the Palestinians are going away. What people on the right are saying ranges from annexing the West Bank with its Arabs to swapping land in the West Bank for land in Israel. Nowhere is anyone except some fringe elements counting on Arabs leaving. And in fact their numbers are growing, there is no denying that.

    The analogy with Syria does not hold for the simple reason that we are constantly having a completely free and open discussion about this issue. We have free elections every few years in which this issue is one of the main subjects. About 70% of Israeli Jews are for the two state solution in which the major settlement blocks remain in Israel and the Palestinians are compensated with land elsewhere. I cannot be bothered if there is building in the main settlement blocks. They will be part of Israel under any future agreement. The US has also acknowledged this fact.

    It is true that Israeli society could do more to confront the extreme settlers that are attempting to settle in isolated places and are also harassing Palestinians. But comparing the acts of a small minority to agreeing to have a whole country under a brutal and inept dictatorship for decades because of some false belief, is something else altogether. People have a limited amount of energy and time and I am not going to waste mine on this issue unless I felt the payoff was worthwhile. There is no escapism. I acknowledge the problem and do not apologize for it.

    What I told you for many years on Syria Comment was that if your position is correct, why are the Syrians afraid to have a free and open discussion about it? Why is Assad scared of a free press? We know the answer now. There is no guarantee of course that an open and free discussion will lead to the correct answer. But, it has a much better chance and it also allows opinions to change as the circumstances and facts change.

  24. Hi All,

    Just read on a couple of sites that Jihad Al-Makdisi has “resigned” and has left for London. Ahmad Haj-Ali, the old regime defender and “commentator” in an interview with AJA said that Makdisi was relieved of his duties for mistakes and transgressions. He then went on to give this gem: Makdidsi had been caught stealing money while working in London several years ago (!?), that he’d been imprisoned and then repatriated to Syria!!! So here we go, the mud slinging has started already. The response from Ghada 3weis was just brilliant, and not surprising as any of us here would have immediately retorted the same: how in the world could someone who had been convicted of a crime like that end up being promoted to the position of official spokesperson of the Syrian Foreign Ministry!

  25. A moving Amal Hanano : http://alpha.syriadeeply.org/syrian-stories/

    She mentions an Aboud, where is ours ?

  26. Palestinian Authority have acted as security subcontractors for the Israeli occupation, trained by US military officials to round up Palestinian resistance fighters and political dissidents. Hamas is rapidly deteriorating in the eyes of many..the Arab Awakening will sooner rather than later sweep occupied Palestine. The vote might delay the uprising, but not for very long.

    Palestinians have suffered much more from their internal division than from all the Arab dictators combined. It is time for Palestinians to rely fully on themselves. The third Intifada will be against the authoritarian ruling parties in occupied Palestine. Nothing will force the Israelis to return what belongs to the Palestinians but a united people. The world citizens are fully disgusted by the new bull called “Israel’s Security”. Statistics and the recent vote at the UN all point in that direction.

  27. Resolving the situation with the Palestinians is your best guarantee for a safer future to both.

    Enjoying the thread (of course).

    I have nothing much to add except, that I think Obama could be doing a lot more to oust Assad. Making alliances between the west and the FSA doesn’t look to be that successful, unless someone here knows otherwise.

    I would have employed a no-fly zone over Syria and help to target government military sites by air. Just as we did in Libya. I realize our help would not have done much to make appreciative friends, but just for humanitarian purposes, the US and the west should have intervened.

    The calls against using Chemical weapons, well, it rings hollow after +40k dead.

    With respect to the italicized comment above, as AIG mentioned, this is the same facade Assad created when he was threatening Israel on the Golan or threatening to “release” Hezbollah in the north. Always making himself to be more important than he actually was. A real Wizard of Oz/”Man behind the Curtain”. The other comparison was the beautiful girl sitting on the fence all these years, later to be found crippled and covered in cheap make-up.

    Camp David 2000 and Taba bridged most of the important differences, so peace is possible through dialogue. And yes, it only can be accomplished directly if there is a desire. Threats only work on desperate people.

    AP

  28. AIG
    Syrians are no longer afraid to debate the issues, they are paying heavy price to do just that. However, the argument of limited energy could also be extended to those who even while not agreeing with the Syrian regime, opted not to act on their disagreement. The number of people who all of a sudden showed in the early day of the revolution that they are really opposition (mostly inside the country people) is stunning, but most of them had little energy to spend opposing the regime for 30 or 40 years.

    As for information regarding what people in Israel think about Palestinians going away, I have no reason or sufficient evidence to challenge your argument on that so I will not.

    VIABLE is the operative word. Crisscrossed with walls (no pun intended) is not a viable state unless Palestinians grow wings or the walls become channels for gondolas. A state with no control of its borders with neighboring countries is not a viable state. It is already very bad due to the “little energy” Israeli society had and the continuing expansion of these large blocks and making smaller ones large is more than counterproductive. It is not only me saying that, it is by now many of Israel’s staunchest friends.

    AP

    I miss talking about elections to a fellow American. I really do.

  29. Asthma and Bashar apparently are looking to move their residence. Good idea. Unfortunately, this may take time away from the good work they’ve done on behalf of the Palestinian people.

    http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/12/05/253495.html

    OK, enough sarcasm.

    OTW,

    Greetings! I’d be happy to chat about the elections. I’m, of course, disappointed. But we always have another chance of something better 4 years later. Interestingly, the lastest elections are showing America is really split between “Rural” and “Urban”, and I do believe that this is also reflected by “tax payers”, and “entitlement takers”. So when more people take from the government than pay into it, you don’t need to be a scientist to know who will vote for who. The democrats are more than happy to bring in the poor from the world, even illegally. The dems know who they’ll vote for.

  30. @KenRoth

    Focus on Syria’s chemical weapons makes it easier for world to do nothing if Assad doesn’t use them but keeps killing. http://trib.al

  31. Rime Allaf is a Syrian writer.

    In August, when President Obama first stated that Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons would be a “red line,” the message to Assad was loud and clear: Everything else was permissible.

    Whether by design or by mistake, the Obama administration’s hedging has diminished U.S. influence over Syrians.

    Far from being indecisive on Syria, the U.S. has demonstrated that it is consistent, albeit with a questionable rationale, when it comes to letting Syrians fight it out among themselves before deciding to swoop in, perhaps, when the country is at a breaking point. With most cities destroyed beyond recognition, with some five million refugees and displaced Syrians, with hundreds of thousands disappeared in Assad’s jails and well over 40,000 killed by the regime, and with extremist factions fighting their own battles to boot, it seems that we are now close to such a breaking point.

    Could this explain the sudden buzz about chemical weapons? It is peculiar that the U.S. would still rely on the “weapons of mass destruction” line, à la Iraq, to justify intervention of some kind after having lost the moral high ground and allowed the bloodshed to continue unhindered. If the U.S. were counting on eventually playing a leading role at this late stage, it should have factored in Syrians’ current reactions. Whether by design or by mistake, the Obama administration has diminished any influence over Syrians it once had.

    Russia and Iran have actively supported the Assad regime, but the U.S. allowed the massacre to go on. On Monday, Obama said: “Today I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command: The world is watching.” Indeed, as Syrians fight for survival, the world is watching — and forming its own opinions.

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/12/05/recognizig-the-opposition-in-syria/the-us-is-offering-too-little-too-late-on-syria

  32. International Press Freedom Award to: Rami Jarrah, alias AlexanderPageSY,

    CJFE awards International Press Freedom Award to Rami Jarrah, pseudonym Alexander Page. While Rami was not in person to receive his award, his “acceptance speech moved audience members to tears. We stand with you, and your fallen colleagues.” His Dad accepted the award on his behalf with a moving poem. Congratulations!

    Rami Jarrah is a Cyprus-born, U.K.-raised Syrian citizen journalist who often operates under the alias Alexander Page. Jarrah’s work in journalism began in early 2011 when he began attending and often filming Syrian demonstrations inspired by the early Arab Spring protests in Tunisia and Egypt. After being arrested at a Damascus protest in March 2011, Jarrah was detained and tortured by intelligence officers for three days. After his release, Jarrah quit his job at a technology distribution company and committed his time to exposing the dire political situation in Syria.

    Using the pseudonym Alexander Page, Jarrah quickly became well known for his daring, on-the-ground footage and the frequent testimonies he provided to international media outlets barred from entering the country. This ability to report honestly and safely was compromised however, when his identity was leaked to Syrian government officials. Threats to personal safety forced Jarrah and family to flee to Egypt in October 2011. Jarrah is currently based in Cairo, where he co-produces ANA News Media Association, an independent citizen press group that offers training and support to a network of journalists in Syria.
    2012

    International Press Freedom Award

    https://cjfe.org/cjfe_gala/award_winners/rami-jarrah-syria

  33. ‏@AlexanderPageSY
    And you thought the large demonstrations would stop in Damascus?

  34. An essay about Aleppo by Charles Glass in the NY Review of Books. OTW , SOD, or anyone, are there responses to his analysis?

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/dec/20/aleppo-how-syria-being-destroyed/?pagination=false

  35. Our little stone to the cause : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMkmjrU2b8s&feature=youtu.be

    Pour la Syrie, ce mardi 4 décembre de 19h30 à 20h30 devant BOZAR, à l’occasion de l’évènement “Debout l’Europe!”.
    http://www.bozar.be/b3/mgt/mailings/view4.php?id=7672

    Nous avons sensibilisé le public présent au drame vécu par le peuple syrien, avec pancartes et distribution de tracts. N’hésitez pas à partager l’information !

    Organisateurs : ActionSyrie http://www.facebook.com/Actionsyrie
    Plus d’infos : actionsyrie@gmail.com

  36. Rami Jarrah, here is his acceptance speech.

  37. Assad and his generals can go to hell. The Mediterranean coast is not their safe heaven.

    Orientalists with or without an agenda -at the beginning of the uprising- painted Syrians as a sectarian people. Insisting that what started on March 15, 2011, is an uprising with a sectarian undertone against the ruling Alawite family. Their prediction did not materialize.

    Today their tone is more polished, “Sectarian hatred has been driven to a high pitch by the brutality of the regime”. Why do these racist, despicable, disgusting experts keep on playing the sectarian card. Syrian revolutionists care not about the sect of Assad and his generals, they are being killed and tortured because they want an end to tyranny. They care not about the monsters’ religion, but ending his dictatorial rule. Does that make the revolutionists sectarian because the monster belongs to the Syrian Alawites that happened to be from “a minority”?

    “The Alawite community of 2.5 million that lives in the coastal region of Syria is counting on his army to protect them from possible retribution from the rebel militias. Sectarian hatred has been driven to a high pitch by the brutality of the regime. Syrians have been putting hate in their hearts over the last two years, making the likelihood of some sort of retribution ever more likely and the ETHNIC CLEANSING A POSSIBILITY, even if a small one at this time. Assad and his generals will want to protect their families who live along the Mediterranean coast.”

    Seems that now a days you are immune if you are a minority. Should there be no retribution for torturers and mass murderers if they are from “a minority”? Are they above the law because they are “a minority”?

    Retributive justice is considered to be morally right and fully deserved for these mass murderers.

    Still waiting for an orientalist pundit to describe what Assad is doing to Syrians!
    For once, without labelling Syrians as sectarians. He quotes Tony Karon’s article, by saying, “It reflects my understanding of what the regime’s thinking may become”:

    “Assad’s regime is not so much a personality-cult dictatorship as it is a system of Alawite minority rule and privilege, and its core remains a cohesive, heavily armed and highly motivated Alawite-dominated army that believes it is fighting for the survival of its community.”

    Is it not ethnic cleansing what is happening in Syria by this ASS and his generals? How many families perished in the past 20 months and the 80s, how many families were forced to leave into neighbouring countries? What took place in Baba Amr? ETHNIC CLEANSING!

  38. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.
    Thomas Jefferson

    pic.twitter.com/0SkBppYv

  39. ‏@abuhatem

    MB wants democracy like Israel wants democracy.

    @abuhatem

    Israel is a Jewish democracy MB wants a Muslim democracy.

  40. Campaign to aid Syrian refugees — blankets, mattresses, warm clothing

    Campagne contre le froid : Aidons les réfugiés syriens !

    ===

    L’hiver se durcit en Syrie. Des milliers de familles fuyant les zones de bombardements et de combats se retrouvent dans une situation très précaire et doivent, en plus des traumatismes et pertes subies, faire face au froid. Leurs besoins en couvertures et en matelas, en vêtements et en médicaments explosent.

    Différentes organisations humanitaires et associations (dont l’Unicef) tirent la sonnette d’alarme. Elles travaillent sur cette question depuis plusieurs mois. Néanmoins, les besoins sont immenses et l’insécurité complique l’accès à beaucoup de régions. D’où la nécessité d’une chaîne de solidarité appuyée sur les activistes civils syriens sur place, qui connaissent le terrain et les besoins, et qui travaillent directement avec les réfugiés en dépit des risques énormes.

    En collaboration avec le Comité de Solidarité civile de Homs, le Cercle Syrie Moderne et l’Association Revivre (Association installée en France, régie par la loi 1901, déclarée d’intérêt général), nous avons décidé de couvrir les besoins de 2000 personnes vivant dans la région de Homs, particulièrement touchées.

    À raison de 22 €/la couverture et 15€/le matelas environ, nous pensons, grâce à cette collecte, les aider à affronter le froid et diminuer un peu leurs souffrances.

    Pour faire un don, merci d’imprimer ce formulaire et de l’envoyer, accompagné de votre chèque avec la mention “Campagne Froid & couvertures”, à l’adresse :

    Association REVIVRE
    “Campagne Froid & couvertures”
    32 rue Auguste Renoir
    95520 OSNY

    (Les donateurs pourront bénéficier d’une déduction fiscale)

    ===

    Contacts :

    Cercle Syrie Moderne & Association Revivre

    Contact@association-revivre.fr
    http://association-revivre.fr/index.htm
    SyriaMDL@free.fr

    Page de la campagne sur Facebook :
    http://www.facebook.com/events/231969306933895/

    Tél. 06.64.30.92.70 ou 06.13.58.7242

  41. Syria Forever!

    Jabhat al-Nusra? In Print & on you-tube only! Not through personal contact. Not one Syrian know them. Makes them a suspicious entity in the minds of the vast majority of revolutionists and anti-regime members.

    Suddenly, they are labeled as a terror organization, RIGHTLY SO!

    They are nothing but a regime fabrication. This is not the first time, but it will be their last.

    Who are they and what makes their name spread like fire..what makes them different than ASSES thugs?

    I remember meeting a Halabi young woman, educated and from the middle class. She flee the city with her parents. The regime then was in full control of the city. She insists that there are fanatic groups, alien to the country fighting with the revolutionaries. I asked her, what makes you so sure? She said we hear about them, everybody knows about them. I said did you see in your own eyes? She said, of course.
    As they were leaving Aleppo going to the airport, a group of men, with their faces covered and holding black placards with Islamic writings. I asked, how come the regime allow them, in daylight, to be there, weren’t they afraid? Nope she said, but that is a good question.
    At that point I asked her, did you ever ask yourself why? Could they be the regime henchmen in disguise?

  42. http://syrianfacts.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/situation-globale-sur-le-territoire-syrien-et-historique-des-evenements-apres-plus-dun-an-de-lutte-armee/
    up to date with respective positions of Assadi army and SLA etc.

    N.Z. I practically always agree with your comments.

    Jabhat al-Nusra; Pierre Piccinin, a Belgian professor spent some time with them. They do exist.

  43. This is a terrific link, Annie, shukran laki

  44. My French is not that great Annie. My point is, this regime is far worse than our wildest imagination. This so called Jabhat al-nusra is a spit image of the regime. It is no less no more. It is not part of the revolution. It is part of asses regime. Anyone can claim he is a member of the FSA. The same applies to this despicable group. They claim they are anti ass, while in reality they are shabihat el-assad.
    Who killed asef Shawkat and the other ministers? Non other than the regime. Only his henchmen has the capability of commiting such atrocities. They will do anything.
    This group is no different than jr.
    For 12 years he promised Syrians reform. For 12 years he kept on deceiving us, his aim is reform but those surrounding him are resisting. We will not be fooled twice.
    Al- nusra and Ass are one.

    He is a mass murderer, like his bloody father, uncle and the whole family. They killed the best Syrians, Alawites, Muslims, Christians all in the name of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Same murderous family, same tactics.

    How many young boys 16 and 17 year old perished in the 80s? Criminal liars.
    One of Hama’s murderer is still enjoying the pain and suffering he caused thousands of mothers. Many of these mom’s are still hopeful to see their sons every time the door bell rings, or to hear their son’s voice every time the phone rings.

  45. People here in the U.S live in their own perfect little Worlds, The Majority are even afraid to amend the second Amendment that allows for most kinds of Weapons. Even know it was set up for the militia a long time ago. As in nature, the process of change takes place with evolution. As far as help from most countries go seem to be a matter of economics. I personally, would like to see all the Tyrants meet their demise. And only then can the World move on in peace. I believe in Science, Not some deity that has caused all the Havoc.

  46. jcoleman35, who is deity you are referring to? Materialism? A very condensed comment.

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