The Expert’s Lense

The Expert’s Lens

Many “Syria Experts” in the US academia portray the Syrian Revolution through what Elias Muhanna recently termed as the “sectarian lens”. In a guest comment on Elias Muhanna blog about Lebanon (Qifa Nabki) Joshua Landis, President of the Syrian Studies Association and the publisher of Syria Comment blog, presented a “theory” which makes analogy between the events in Syria and surrounding countries and the events associated with recent Ethnic Cleansing in Europe, which have taken place subsequent to world wars and resulted in more “ethnically pure” composition supporting the post WWI framework of nation states.  Landis argument is best summarized by his concluding words:

In sum, we are witnessing the rearrangement of populations in the region to better fit the nation states that were fixed after WWI. Some new borders are being drawn, such as those around the Kurdish regions of Iraq and perhaps Syria, but mostly, what we are seeing is the ethnic cleansing of much of the region to fit the borders.

The validity of a theory depends on its ability to explain as much as possible of the facts on the ground. While outliers may eventually come up and result in refining theories, the fundamental structure should still be able to connect actions to forces and motivation. The simpler the connection, the more elegant is the theory and the more likely it is to receive recognition and acceptance.  The process is easier in physical sciences than in social and political science. But at the fundamental level, it remains the same.

The situation in Syria is very fluid and highly complex. But we can try to test the “ethnic cleansing” by wearing the “sectarian lens”, through which the primary motive for each actor would then become the creating of the largest possible “sectarian” homogeneous region that would provide the sect/ethnicity with security, safety, and increase its chances of survival. This of course assumes also that these sects/ethnic groups are acting as coherent units with well-defined criteria for survival, even if such assumption is furthest from the truth, which is the case especially for the Sunni Arab population of Syria.

Please note that much of the discussion below relies on news, interacting with activists who have been to Syria as well as with activists who have strong connections to internal opposition groups in Syria. I remain appalled by sectarianism, but I am finding it increasingly hard to discuss Syrian affairs without addressing sectarian issues after the “Syria Experts” have successfully forced the regime’s narrative as the only salient analysis framework.

Assad regime, backed by Iran has inflicted more than 500 civilian casualties in its recent campaign of terror by crude explosive barrels against Aleppo.
Assad regime, backed by Iran has inflicted more than 500 civilian casualties in its recent campaign of terror by crude explosive barrels against Aleppo.

This is very important in the way it serves the regime’s propaganda campaign. For most in the west, especially those who take the “Syria Experts” seriously, thinking of ethnic cleansing brings a flood of false images of Syria’s minorities being massacred and/or expelled from their homeland on massive scale.  The Assad regime and its backers welcome such narrative because it assists the regime in presenting the Syrian Revolution as nothing less than a crime against the minorities of Syria. In that framework, the Entire Sunni Arab population of Syria would become the aggressors, who deserve international condemnation. The regime and its backers would then be eligible for international support to prevent those “Sunni Terrorist’s” from accomplishing their horrific goal even at the cost of raising to dust cities large and small and causing the worst humanitarian crisis we have known in decades.

I will try, from within this distorted framework, to investigate how fraudulent it is. This is in hope of returning the discussion to to its appropriate framework and that is the historical crime against humanity being contemplated by actively supporting the prolonging of the Assad regime’s miserable and misery causing despicable life. I will start by highlighting that when talking about ethnic cleansing, one should look at both sides as potential agents and not only by the real victims of the regime, who are being fraudulently portrayed as the aggressors. 

An Irrational Regime?

For the Assad regime, the most rational and cost-effective choices would have been to solidify its gains after its sectarian-motivated destruction of large parts of Homs and promptly move to establish said state by transferring manpower and weapons for the protection of the “homogeneous proto-statelet” in the Alawite heartlands in the Coastal mountains. As rational decision makers, acting in fear of being expelled,  the regime and its backers should have embarked on a wide scale cleansing, not only through horrific localized massacres as it happens in Banyas and Baida, but through large-scale forcible removal of Sunnis from the entire coastal zone. This would also mean that the regime and its allies in Iran, Russia and the plethora of sectarian gangs of thugs in Iraq and Lebanon would have had to recognize that: (a) there is no realistic condition under which they could entertain the possibility of sectarian cleansing of the entirety Syria of its Sunnis, or (b) the error of endlessly maintaining their forces in a bleeding war-zone.

Assad-forces-in-homs aftert destruction
Assad regime forces enter Al-Khaldyya district in Homs after destroying it through arial bombardment and artillery shelling. Many analysts argued then that the Assad regime was trying to increase the size of its potential Alawite statelet . Similar images of brutality emerged later during Hizbulla thugs assault on Qasir.

The Assad regime and its supporters have been successful, through a sustained terror campaign to cause a massive and horrific humanitarian disaster as manifested by the scale of the refugee crisis in much of the country side of Syria and in rebellious areas in cities like Homs and Aleppo. With unmatched brutality and criminality, they have emptied many villages, fully destroyed entire neighborhoods and small towns and villages, and flooded both the countryside and neighboring countries with refugees. However, carrying out these series of war crimes to their ultimate conclusions requires committing  an additional war crime, which is the colonizing of these areas by regime’s sect and/or its allied groups on a massive scale required to establish permanent “absolute sectarian majority”.

No sane person would argue that the regime and its Russian, Iranian, Lebanese and Iraqi backers are above such depravity. But it is highly improbable, and they know it, that those allies can execute such undertaking. Ethics have nothing to do with this but logistical and political reasons beyond their control that remain insurmountable. First, rebel groups remain active in these areas, and second none of the neighboring countries including Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon, would tolerate permanent Syrian Refugee communities, with the latter two being least likely to allow a second community of refugees to establish a permanent presence.

Short of annihilation, a massive scale conversion of Syria’s Sunni Arabs into Shia faith, remains the other theoretical option to establish Syria as a more pure and homogeneous Alawite-Shia state, but Iran’s very active decades long campaign to convert Syria’s Sunni and Alawite population into Shia faith has miserably failed. One must not ignore also the ultimate devastation of the Alawite community itself being viewed by hardline Shias as an apostate، if they continue to play into Iran’s hand.

The regime and its Iran controlled backers know well that they cannot establish a homogeneous or even a minority-soup state over the entire land mass of Syria.  But they are still executing a policy of atrocious and murderous genocide against the largely Sunni population in Syria’s countryside and in rebellious cities. The genocide against Sunni Arabs in these areas would therefore seem a pointless crime with only hateful punitive “Assad or we burn the country” campaign being a much more likely and far simpler explanation.

Unable to establish a homogeneous sectarian state through sectarian-cleansing of predominantly Sunni Arab areas, the only option left for the regime and its Iran controlled backers under the “ethnic cleansing” theory would have been to cut their losses and retreat into areas they can defend over the long-term.  The current situation, despite of the much hyped “military success” of the regime and its Iran controlled sectarian militias backers, has proven catastrophic not only to the Alawite community of Syria, but increasingly so to Hizbulla and to the sectarian gangs of Iraq. Both allies have received substantial beatings in many parts of Syria with Hizbullah risking weakening both the cohesion of its own base and its political clout in the Lebanon.  Any further erosion of that clout would mean that Nasrallah (in reality Iran) would need to use brute militia force to sustain a veto over Lebanese sovereignty at the least opportune time.

It would have appeared more rational, once more assuming one is wearing “sectarian lens”, for the regime’s allies to halt their bleeding, and to force the regime to retreat to its base without additional losses. Yet they persist in their indulgence in Syrian blood, and continue to risk the highly probable of horrific consequences including the potential expansion of the war into their own bases in Iraq and Lebanon.

Ethnic cleansing usually requires rapid waves of forcible “disengagement” of warring ethnic groups through expulsion, which would subsequently allow for more stable conditions in cleansed areas. This has not been the case so far in Syria, despite of the massive refugee crisis and it seems that even as the regime and its backers continue to suffer losses, they continue to appear as irrational actors when primacy is given to the “sectarian lens”

It is hard to argue against “ethnic cleansing” when 7 million Syrians are now refugees. But to use this tragedy to present a justification for the real criminal whose barrels of death, missiles, and hoards of imported terrorists backed by Iran have caused this tragedy appears to many, including this writer as sinister. The main consequence of accepting this theory, in its presentation context, is to rationalize the actions of this brutal gang as being defensive, by presenting the Syrian Revolution as an “ethnic cleansing” operation.

Rhetoric and Realities

On the rebels’ side, we also see no serious undertaking aiming to cleanse Syria of its minorities. I am sure that the old “secular-sectarian” group of Assad propagandists are by now howling in anger at me, but I would argue that the real anti Assad forces have not yet taken any concerted action in the direction of rearranging the populations to suite their vision. True, the presence of Islamists has amplified the sectarian aspects of the militant side of the conflict. But that is due to several reasons, among which are the simplicity of their mobilizing message (see Yassin Al-Haj Saleh, 27/12/2013), and its appeal in the marginalized rural areas, which have suffered significantly from the regime’s brutality. Yet, an earlier attempt in the summer of 2013 by the highly suspect ISIS to spread its actions into the coastal mountains, seems to have faded and ended with the murder by ISIS of one of the key FSA commanders in the region.

It is now obvious that the actions in the coastal mountains, even with the highly publicized instances of ugly sectarian murders, were primarily aimed at boosting ISIS and Al-Nusra sectarian credentials and secondly to decimate and/or absorb FSA forces, who were starting to build up their presence in the region in anticipation of future large-scale attack on regime forces and fortifications as well as to defend villages that may get out of the regime’s control.

In essence, and despite of their increasingly rabid sectarian rhetoric, sectarian actions by ISIS and similar groups have aimed primarily to boost the credibility of these groups as avengers for Sunni victims of regime massacres and as defenders of the Sunni population at large and not to cleanse Syria of its Christians or Alawites. These are both recruiting campaigns and campaigns to establish hegemony of sinister radical Islamists over the rebellion for their own agendas in the already “liberated” areas and not concerted campaign to “ethnically cleanse” Alawites or Christians.

Peddling regime's propaganda, Agnes de la Croix continue to spread lies about the victims of the chemical weapons massacre in Ghouta. She continues to argue that these are fake photos.  Notably, even some of the most fearsome antiwar activists are starting to recognize her for the propagandist she is. Several activists an politicians threatened to  pull out of a British Stop the War conference if she shows up next to them.
Peddling regime’s propaganda, Agnes de la Croix continue to spread lies about the victims of the chemical weapons massacre in Ghouta. She continues to argue that these are fake photos. Notably, even some of the most fearsome antiwar activists are starting to recognize her for the propagandist she is. Several activists an politicians threatened to pull out of a British Stop the War conference if she shows up next to them.

Even when some ”Syria Experts” give credence to regime’s spokespersons such as the despicable Agens de la Croix, they know well that Syrian Christians, well-known as conflict-averse communities, are leaving their homes in Syria more because of the conflict in the areas they reside in, which is destroying all of Syria (largely through regime actions) and  causing a massive scale deterioration of personal security to everyone, than because of specific actions targeting them directly. Many members of the Christian community of Homs, for example, who now reside in Christian and mixed villages in the mountains, such as Mashta El Heleu, fled their homes as a direct result of the regime’s vengeful bombardment of their district including historical churches in the city. It is noteworthy that the bleeding of Syria’s Christian community has continued to occur with acceleration under the forty years of the Assad brutal regime.

Furthermore, also based on actions and results to-date, targeting few predominantly Christian towns by various units of rebels has mostly been a response to abusive regime forces and Shabeeha militia in the area. These were tactical operations aiming to demonstrate force and weaken the regime and its forces. On the other hand,  One could argue that the recent kidnapping of nuns by rebels is part and parcel of an ethnic cleansing operation, but from the chatter going around concerning attempts to release the nearly 60 thousand female detainees in regime torture dungeons, the kidnapping seems to be a part of a “prisoners’ swap” game with the rebels having been given the impression, by the west and by regime allies such as Russia, that a dozen Syrian Christians would be far more valuable to the west than the hundreds of thousands of other Syrians, including women and children, who are threatened by eminent death in regime torture dungeons every day. The chatter indicates that the rebels hope that a higher level of pressure would be exerted on the Assad regime to free the thousands of female hostages it holds under the threat of torture, rape, and death when they hold a few valuable hostages.

Agnes de la Croix continues to peddle regime's propaganda arguing, like Iran controlled press TV , Manar, and Mayadin that photos of the victims of the chemical massacre in Ghouta are fake.
Agnes de la Croix continues to peddle regime’s propaganda arguing, like Iran controlled press TV , Manar, and Mayadin that photos of the victims of the chemical massacre in Ghouta are fake.

In summary, there is yet to emerge the outlines of large scale concerted “ethnic cleansing” campaign by the rebels on the scale seen in central European countries Joshua Landis cites as examples bolstering his hypothesis. These are facts, no matter what Agnes de la Croix  and her followers in Canada, France, UK, and the US try to spin it otherwise.

Serving the Regime’s Narrative

In no way should the above be taken as an attempt to whitewash the sectarian context of the message of the regime and its Iran controlled allies, or of ISIS, Al-Nusra and/or other rising groups with constantly shifting alliances and names. As indicated above, these groups do need the sectarian message for recruitment and mobilization. But the context of “cleansing” remains less applicable in the rebels’ case than in the light of the numerous “massacres” conducted by the regime and recently by its Iran controlled backers.

After withdrawal frin Tal Hasel, activists accused ISIS (Da'esh) of collusion with the regime to hand back the city to Assad and Hizbulla militias. Activist showed photos of ISIS headquarters in Tal Hasel, unscathed by what the regime claimed as major battle with Terrorists.
After withdrawal from Tal Hasel, activists accused ISIS (Da’esh) of collusion with the regime to hand back the city to Assad and Hizbulla militias. Activist showed photos of ISIS headquarters in Tal Hasel, unscathed by what the regime claimed as major battle with Terrorists.

To serve their main purpose of deceptively framing a victory of the Syrian Revolution as a victory of Sunni terrorism, ISIS and similar groups are mainly concerned about establishing bases for training and recruitment. These will also serve in launching regime-narrative supporting media coverage through specific “horrific” actions such as decapitation and torture.  To do so, they do not need full control of Syria, but only a small part, which seems to be what ISIS is actively doing by solidifying its presence in Northern Syria. The “Syria Experts” never mentioned that ISIS is doing so unmolested by a regime, who has thrown its most recent campaign of terror bombardment through barrels of death against civilians and not against the well-known headquarters and camps of ISIS and its cronies. The meticulous and seemingly deliberate avoidance of real confrontations between the regime’s Iran funded and backed alliance with ISIS is beyond suspicious. None of the esteemed “Syria Experts” have tried to analyze this ominous fact. To the contrary, they seem to jump on the regime’s bandwagon and preach its deceptive slogan (me or terrorism). When confronted with the reality of collusion of interest and actions between regime and ISIS and by the clearly regime-favorable outcomes of ISIS’s actions, these experts try very hard to dismiss that by insinuating that ISIS is merely preparing to launch attacks on “Alawites” at later point. These detached and aloof “intellectuals” seem to have blinders on when reading the infamous threat “Assad or we burn the country”. A phrase that rarely, if ever, shows up on their radar or prophesies.

Despite of the evidence implicating the regime and its Iran controlled backers in numerous massacres, proponents of the “Ethnic Cleansing” theory have repeatedly failed to highlight the regime “sectarian” actions and its cleansing, for whatever reason, of 7 million Syrians from their homes. Their assertions, as seen from their obsessive focus only on “Islamists” rebel groups and figures, apply only to the revolution’s side (although most supporters of the revolution do not consider ISIS as part of the revolution) as the only side motivated by their theory. There is no coincidence in this, and it is consistent with the context of presenting, as the ultimate prediction of the theory, the current situation in Syria in a bipolar mode consisting of two, they claim, mutually exclusive options: that is Assad (the so called secular regime) or Terrorism (all who are against this  abominable regime). However, to Syrians, who are suffering the brutality of the Assad regime and the iran controlled militias, and perhaps to many in the region, who recognize Assad’s and Iran’s hand in their own national tragedies, the mere distinction between Assad and terrorism is a historical dishonesty. Characterizing such regime as a “secular-regime”, notwithstanding anemic attempts to sound “objective” by attaching to it the characteristics of being “brutal, but tolerant and protective of minorities”, is fraudulent,  deceptive, deluding, and to the families of the countless victims of nearly half a century of brutal and criminal regime, is outright sinister.

Vindictive and Delusional

The slogan Assad or we burn the country provides a simple, yet clear explanation of the regime and its Iran controlled militia backers crimes against humanity in Syria, It remains the single most operative phrase in their campaign of murder against Syrians.
The slogan Assad or we burn the country provides a simple, yet clear explanation of the regime and its Iran controlled militia backers crimes against humanity in Syria, It remains the single most operative phrase in their campaign of murder against Syrians.

Behavior on the ground, especially by the Assad regime and its imported thugs clearly indicate a highly vindictive motive against anyone daring to oppose it, despite of the increasingly evident sectarian tone of Iran’s clients. Actions, including political statements, also indicate a delusional conviction of the regime’s long-term survival and return to the pre 2011 conditions, intact, to rule over all of Syria.  Brutal vindictiveness are well-known and documented characteristic of more than four decades of thuggish ruling mafia clan and their goons. The delusional conviction is a necessity for a regime, which, despite of its reliance on a particular sect, knows well that it cannot rule a homogeneous (sectarian/ethnic pure) society for reasons intrinsic to its thuggish and conspiratorial nature and to the formative and normative structure of its deployment of sectarianism. The political utility of the regime’s deep rooted sectarianism disappears in such societies, which endangers the primary core value of the regime’s strength as argued rather flawlessly by Hani El Sayed a year ago in a well thought and highly informed study. It also robs Iran, the main culprit in prolonging the suffering of Syrians of its primary medium of regional malfeasance, which is exercised by taking countries in the region as hostages to groups of well-armed terrorist gangs acting on directly on its behalf, or indirectly for its benefit, towards the realization of a Persian, religiously-masked empire of hegemony.

313 Comments

  1. At the begining, the syrian demonstrations were part of the Arab spring, it was for freedom and justice,there was no sectarian revolt, even after the the formation of Free Syrian Army ,there was no sectarian movement, The slogans were : One One One,The syrian people are One, but later as Assad invited HA and Iraqi militias,and Iran soldiers, these were severely sectarian forces, that stoked the fire of sectarianism, later the Nusra and Daesh which are the creation of the regime they came as a response, Da-esh now is working hard against the FSA,to the chagrin of the Assad regime.
    The regime followed a genocidal policy, no one dreamt of,The use of Chemical weapons,in addition to the severely explosive barrels thrown by aircrafts, something that are clearly aimed at civilians and not armed forces, added to the sectarian nature that the regime is to blame of.
    Some Christians sided with Assad, like Agnes, and some Christians sided with the Rebels like Paolo.
    The ethnic cleansing in Syria, caused a million of Syrians to move to Lebanon , disrupting the make up of the Lebanese ethnic percentages,that is sure to cause trouble to Lebanon down the road
    Saying all of that it is now hard to believe a political solution is possible in Syria, and division of Syria further is the only future I imagine,
    Syria was a divided country hundreds of years ago, and then reunited by foreign countries plans.
    Division of Syria is a temporary solution that will protect the Alawite community,but short of FAIR division the fight will continue.
    With division of Syria ,Assad control over part of Syria will shrink considerably, Aleppo will not be under his control, and the fighting will not subside till Damascus and up to Homs and Hama are liberated

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  2. Always wondered about this ethnic cleansing thing. Just received the stats for 2013 and this is only in Aleppo

    قتلت قوات النظام خلال عام 2013 ( 8281 ) مواطن من حلب أي بمعدل 23 شهيد في اليوم الواحد و شهيد كل 62 دقيقة .

    بين الشهداء (716 سيدة , 958 طفل , 460 طفلة , 20 إعلامي , 12 طبيب , 3 مسعفين) .

    كما تم توثيق 61 مجزرة نفذتها القوات الحكومية على محافظة حلب مدينةً و ريفاً تنوعت بين قصف و حرق و إعدام و خنق (أربعة مجازر قضى ضحاياها إعداما بالرصاص , مجزرتان قضى ضحاياها حرقا و هم أحياء , مجزرة قضى ضحاياها حرقا بالنابالم , مجرتان قضى ضحاياها رميا بالبئر , مجزرة قضى ضحاياها خنقا بالكيماوي ).

    الفترة التي يغطيها التقرير : 1-1-2013 لغاية 31-12-2013
    الجهة التي قامت بالتوثيق : #موقع_شهداء_حلب

    Regime forces murdered 8281 citizens in Aleppo at the rate of 23 Martyrs every day and one martyr every 62 minutes. Among the martyrs 716 women, 958 male children, 460 female children, 20 press personnel, 12 doctors, and 3 emergency worked.

    In addition 61 massacres committed nby the regime’s forces within Aleppo governorate incluing the city and the country side. These varied from shelling, burning, execution, and suffocation (regime used execution in 4 massacres , burning alive in 2 massacres, one massacres using napalm, in two cases, victims were thrown live in water well, and in one massacre the victims suffocated using chehmical weapons). The duration of this report is from 01-01-2013 through 31-12-2013.

    Full statistics are available at موقع شهداء حلب .

    i am sure the numbers in Damascus country side are as large, as well as those in other areas with nus-lira sectarian cockroaches have infested the areas.

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  3. Majed, Sami, and NZ
    i have followed your earlier discussion from the previous post. Here is a site you may be interested in concerning the origins of Da’esh and the extent at which it is now controlled by Saddam brutal bathists, who were recruited by the Iran-Syria intelligence axis of thuggery,

    http://justpaste.it/wikibaghdady

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  4. Does anyone here find any of the minorities in Syria ,except for the Kurds, capable of sustaining an independent state?. The Alwites? The Christians? The Turkmen? The Circassians? The Ismailis? The Druz? Even if Dr. Landis’s assertion is true and we are in the middle of moving people around to create “pure” areas?. Does anyone see the Alawites happy with inheriting the Assads? Does anyone see the Assads happy with narrowing their grounds of exploitation so much? Do the Alwites even have enough men to sustain any such state after their enormous losses?

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  5. Dear Sheila
    Iran will take over

    BTW: the number of Alawites in Syria always includes the Alawites in Iskandarone province, they are considered Syrians even that they belong to Turkey.

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  6. Syria Sectarian Comment has consistently and from almost day one painted this revolution as a “Sunni Uprising”, while ignoring the ever so evident hand of the regime in sewing sectarian contempt in Syria.

    While Daesh and its various tentacles might not be controlled by the regime, their existence wouldn’t be if not for the regime and its direct actions which regime whitewashers seem adept at either ignoring it or are willfully retarded not to see it.

    OTW,

    Thanks for the link, will read it and spread it around. Also you might be interested by this piece from The National written by Mohammad Habash a former MP and Scholar:

    It seemed clear they would be kept there for decades, as Hafez Al Assad had done to the first group of rebels in the 1980s. (This was particularly true after the outbreak of the first demonstrations after the tsunami of the Arab uprisings in 2011 in the country.) But that is not what happened. Early in the revolution, on May 31, 2011, a general pardon was issued by Mr Al Assad, much to the surprise of all those prisoners who found themselves released unconditionally.

    Those polarised militants joined the armed rebellion against the regime. Although there is no evidence that it was part of the regime’s plan, it is certain that the authorities knew it would happen. I did not know people like Zahran Aloush, Hassan Abboud, Ahmad Issa Al Sheikh, Abu Mohammed Al Joulani and Abu Huzaifa Al Daeshi – now leaders of Syria’s major rebel groups – but I was told that they were among those we talked to in the prison.

    During the ongoing uprising, the regime has successfully used such figures to its advantage – again. Mr Al Assad has been happy with the stances of Russia and China that opposed any international action against him at the UN Security Council. But its greatest triumph came after the rise of extremist groups, when Mr Al Assad seems to have persuaded the world that he is the least worst option. Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Bashar Al Jaafari, summed it up in one sentence: “Gentlemen, we are fighting on behalf of the world.”</blockquote

    http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/radicals-are-assads-best-friends#page2#ixzz2pDSxaNtD

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  7. Dear Jonathan
    Many thanks for your friendship and happy new year to you too.

    Dear Sheila
    Wonderful to see you around. I strongly encourage you to read the study by Hani El Sayed, to which i linked in the last paragraph of the “long” post. The regime, if it wants to establish a statelet, will introduce it not only as Alawite statelet but as a statelet where all minorities can find a “secular” minded “rulers”. The aim of this would not be to really have a diverse state, but to maintain sectarian divisions so that it can play these divisions and continue to “define” sectarianism and play it as it has done for nearly half a century.

    That would have been possible early on when the regime only needed Iran’s financial support. But it is increasingly visible now that if such a statelet is to be created, the Alawite community will be fully decimated as a unique community because Iran’s religious mask will require the conversion of Aalawites into the “normal shia” faith as one poster on the infamous Iran Military Forum has posted recently,.

    I find myself inclined to agree with Majed’s brief words “Iran will take over” In fact Iran has taken over. The funerals of Nasrallah goons in Lebanon carry the picture of Khamenei before the picture of Nasrallah.

    Dear SAMI
    I like the quote from Dr. Habash. I have interacted with him on his facebook page and found him to be a very thoughtful person. He has written an outstanding article for مجلة كش ملك , which is a sarcastic magazine run by writer Khatib Badleh.

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  8. Here you go, what a whore

    George Galloway paid £80k for joining ‘pro-Syria’ TV channel

    Galloway, who once described President Assad’s regime as “the last bastion of Arab dignity”, has started presenting a fortnightly show, A Free Word, for the Beirut-based broadcaster al-Mayadeen.

    According to the Register of Members’ Interests, Galloway will earn £3,000 an episode – or a yearly income of £78,000 – on top of his MP’s salary. The TV station will also cover the cost of regular trips to Lebanon to pre-record the programme.

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  9. terrorisms is getting more frequent in Lebanon, violence is flaring in Iraq, fighting in Syria is worsening, there is one conclusion, 2014 will be more bloody than 2013.

    there are two hands we see ,they are involved in all three areas, Daesh(ISIL) and Iran.

    recently HA supporters are blaming Saudia, we can not forget that Saudia decided to improve the military prowess by supplying the Lebanese army with weapons worth 3 billions Dollar , bought from France,(US and Israel can not object to) which will strengthen the lebanese army ability to control things in Lebanon, this is scaring HA, who has full control in Lebanon now. This arms deal will deliver weapons to Lebanon soon, will include tanks artillaries and Helicopters,and surveilance equipments, this deal will change things in Lebanon, the stronger the army the stronger the president of Lebanon, specially that the president usually comes from the army, and this requires that the army recruits more soldiers, and more likely the Lebanes borders will be more protected.

    Three billion Dollar is huge amount to Lebanon, Syria military budget before 2011 was 3 billion, but Syrian army was 400,000 soldier, Lebanese army is 40,000 soldier.
    Saudia aid to the rebels in Syria in the last three years is less than one billion. Iran aid to HA is one billion annually.

    This deal could mean that France interest in the Syrian conflict will increase.

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  10. Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true, even if the whole world agreed. It is called by its name, simply, “PROPAGANDA”, and it is generally carried through media outlets to reach a large amount of people.
    Those who repeat a lie are called “PROPAGANDIST(S)”.

    Dear OTW, you said:

    “I remain appalled by sectarianism, but I am finding it increasingly hard to discuss Syrian affairs without addressing sectarian issues after the “Syria Experts” have successfully forced the regime’s narrative as the only salient analysis framework.

    This is very important in the way it serves the regime’s propaganda campaign.”

    Totally disagree with you on this one. I WILL NEVER EVER GIVE IN. Thousands died, thousands missing, thousands of refugees, thousands of orphaned children, raped, tortured, Millions of Syrians stood up for their BASIC RIGHTS, NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE SECTARIAN, BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE FED UP!

    You named a few of those -who consider themselves- ‘Syria Eggsperts’, in particular those who see through THEIR own sectarian lenses, and who refuse to recognize
    THE SYRIAN POPULAR UPRISING, as it is, A JUST UPRISING AGAINST A DESPOTIC TYRANNICAL FAMILY.

    Joshua Landis, was adamant on tainting the Popular Syrian Uprising as a sectarian uprising, all the time dissecting my people, throwing words, who is sunni, shiite, alawite, druze, blah blah blah. In my books, he is either a sectarian or a racist.. If he is neither, then he is nothing but a ‘syrian eggspert’ , or, an agitator, to put mildly.

    Western leaders are content. They have useful enemies, asshead, al bashir, al saud, to name just a few, in the Arab world. Recently, after Sudan was divided into two, South Sudan, rich in natural resources, is going through a ‘civil war’? The west is so keen on bringing the two warring factions together. In the interim, thousands of Christian Sudanese, that the west was trying to protect have been turned into refugees, and the merciful western powers are providing aid. What the heck!

    Egypt after the Revolution: the country is divided into two camps by a propaganda machine. Pro-Morsi or Pro Sissy. Lebanon: 2 camps…

    In Syria, we cannot allow ourselves to drift, we owe it to the noblest and bravest amongst us, to their children and families..they paid with their lives, for a Free Syria.

    We will not allow this to happen.

    Ahl al-Salamiyah, no one talks about their involvement, at the forefront from day one, in the Syrian revolution, why? They are Syrian Ismailis -in the books of “Syria’s Experts” they are a minority..zipped lipped, why?

    Syria will remain for all Syrians. Her history is filled with sacrifices. Her people have witnessed many come and go, but she will remain a dear mother for all her children.

    ISIS, ISIL, and all the rubbish is a fabricated ideology prepared and nurtured for Muslim countries, only.

    A

    Like

  11. Daesh took advantage of the good rebels, they occupied the areas liberated by FSA and moderate islamist fronts, Daesh behavior is criminal, they serve the regime,they don’t believe in freedom and justice, they are criminal extremists

    As for NSC refusal to go to Geneve I believe it is a mistake, the purpose of Geneve 2 is to stop violence and provide humanitarian aids to the Syrians and release the prisoners, this is the first step, and they owe it to the Syrians to give that a chance, people are suffering and I realize the rest of objectives will fail, but if we can stop the violence this will be a great success

    Like

  12. Stop the violence in Syria means international force as president Carter said it, this will spark other changes that will force Assad to leave
    Assad implied in one speach that Russia does not guaranttee him to stay president after july.

    Like

  13. Majedkhaldoun,

    Do you agree, that Lebanon and the whole Arab world, including Iranians, are much better off, without Iranian and Saudi theocracies?

    Both, Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been the foremost promoters of extremism and Islamic fundamentalism. From the beginning of the Islamic revolution, the ruling clerics in Iran appointed themselves as the leaders of the Islamic revolution, they became the Shiite brand of fundamentalism. While Al-Saud advanced its own version of Wahabbi fundamentalism in order to compete with Shiite Iran.

    It led to millions of people dying on both side, starting with the Iran-Iraq war. The US and its allies, including the French were cheering..

    Like

  14. A Syrian artist reflects on war

    Tammam Azzam is one of Syria’s rising young talents.

    His work ‘Freedom Graffiti’ has made his a household name on the global art scene after it went viral. It is a representation of Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’ superimposed over the bullet-ridden walls of a building in Damascus.

    “I think that right now art doesn’t make sense for people there, because death steals every moment in Syria. But as an artist, I am not a soldier, this is how I can fight,” he says.

    http://www.euronews.com/2013/12/17/a-syrian-artist-reflects-on-war/

    Like

  15. NZ
    The political system in both countries are far from Islam, they both hijacked Islam, The way I understand Islam is the religion of freedom and Justice, neither are present in both countries, I always called for re interpretation of Quraan, there are many errors in its interpretations.what the Sheikhs tell us is different from what I read in Quraan,Islam is the religion of believe in God and do good deeds, the goverment has to be the CHOICE of People, inheritence of the rule is against Islamic principles, Women rights are equal to men rights except in inheritance, women has been deprived of their rights in Iran and KSA, Fatwas are extremely mis-used, any sheikh who issues fatwa by himself is hurting Islam and acting against it.
    My opposition to Assad rule is that this regime has no respect for freedom and justice, and favor one family(Assad family),and one sect over the majority of Syrians ,I believe in equality, and personal achievements,
    Some ,and I may say majority,stands against Islam simply because they read the sheikhs opinions,which frequently are not what Quraan says
    لا إكراه في الدين,و ما ارسلناك عليهم حفيظا( ديكتاتور تجبرهم على شيء), فرعون طغى فاكثر فيها الفساد, و لا تعتدوا, الله حرم الظلم على نفسه
    امرهم شورى بينهم, حرم الرشوة, الدين المعاملة,الله منعنا عن ان نكون فظّين,و شجعنا على الرحمة و التسامح, امرنا بالعدل و لو على انفسنا او الوالدين, علاقة الزوج مع زوجته هي علاقة ثقة و ود و رحمة
    Now tell me which one you are against? and why are you against religion
    The truth is that religious sheikhs distorted the religion, both christians and Moslem worship the same God

    Like

  16. Dear N.Z
    Expression may have failed me, but please note that I was referring to the attempt to look from the same framework the “experts” have shoved down the thoughts of western policy makers in order to analyze its fallacy, it does not mean that I do accept the framework. Once you do that, one can find the fallacy of the framework and all of its arguments, This was the essence of the article and I thought it was articulated in the conclusion.

    I would love to have carried this conversation much longer today. But you may have guessed, I am following up, to the minute, the events unfolding in Aleppo Countryside. for the past few days. I will try to catch up later.

    Like

  17. Dear OTW, you need not to carry on with the conversation, you have much more important work to do, you are a gentle caring soul, bless you and your loved ones.

    Is it not your expression, OTW, but my shortcomings in effective communication, a major barrier to effective communication is language..

    Majed, it is apparent through my exchanges with you we are not having effective communication.

    Religion has nothing to do with our discussion, never will.

    Confusing politics with religion, as well, confusing internal divisions with religious differences will not serve our cause. We need to take a stand based on principals. Islam is based on the traditions of universal equality. Constructive criticism based on justice, combined with wisdom and courage will lead us all to higher grounds.

    Majedkhaldoun, so true, the majority of religious figures has failed us, cannot agree with you more. Thank God, in Islam there is no intermediaries between man and his creator. As much as we have to learn from them, as much as they have to learn from us.

    Like

  18. NZ
    I answered your question, and you said
    We need to take a stand based on principals
    My principles are freedom and justice combined with personal achievement in a society that respect equality.
    Further: politics and religions are connected , in reality we can not seperate politics from religion, we can seperate state from discrimination against religions, by issuing laws, but no one in his honest opinion can say that religion does not play role in conducting politics, any social system that does not respect religion is bound to fail, communism is an example, religion is stronger than any other system

    Like

  19. US and Iran will help Maliki to fight in Fallujeh and Ramadi, that may include arms,
    US stopped helping the Syrian rebels,even that they are fighting Qa-eda(Daesh)
    It is clear that US is supporting Iran and its puppet Maliki and by that helping Assad.
    Maliki let Daesh prisoners in Iraq escape to scare US,
    Is US so NAIVE? NO , they are working against Erdogan and they are opposing the syrian revolution because Erdogan is the benificiary of syrian revolution success

    Like

  20. المالكي سيقاتل السنة في الأنبار بحجة داعش, و سيفشل, ثم سيدعو ايران للمساعدة, و بمباركة امريكا, لا بل بمشاركة باسلحة امريكية, امريكا تصبح حليف لإيران, و ايران ضحت بالسلاح النووي, على اهميته, لحفظ رأس الأسد , و التحالف الأمريكي الإيراني لا بد سيمتد ليماري سياسة ايران الهادفة لحفظ رأس الأسد, اصبحت لا أثق بأقوال كيري و لا بأقوال فورد او اوباما

    Like

  21. The best thing the United States can do for Syrians, by far, is to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.

    Iran has good reason to want the carnage in Syria to stop. Propping up Bashar al-Assad is costing Tehran’s sanctions-ravaged regime financially. Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces are dying on Syrian soil. Most importantly, the war has devastated Iran’s reputation. As a Persian, Shia power, Iran’s Islamic regime has traditionally looked for causes—like the Palestinians—that give it credibility in the Sunni-dominated Arab and Muslim world. Tehran’s support for Assad’s murderous repression of Syria’s Sunnis has done the exact opposite. Iran’s approval rating in 20 Muslim-majority countries, according to Zogby Research Services, has plunged from 75 percent in 2006 to 25 percent today.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/01/the-moral-case-for-ending-americas-cold-war-with-iran/282857/

    Like

  22. Iran behaviour and statements indicate that they are burning,angry, they are begging to get to Geneve2, yet they in Iran the Mullas refused to accept and approve Geneve 1, a pre-requisite to go to Geneve2. US must inssist that approving Geneve 1 is necessary to get Iran to Geneve2.

    Information minister Zo3by said any agreement in Geneve is not acceptable till approved by the Syrians in phlebicite, we tell him certainly, all Syrians must have the right to vote in a FREE,,,,,,internationally monitored phlebicite, you will have no right to rig the voting as you did up till now.
    Zo3by also said Geneve2 goal is to fight terrorism, The regime Zo3by belong to is the most terrorist regime as he is bombing Aleppo indiscreminately, committing massacre after massacre, bombing Ghouta with chemical weapons, laying seige on towns and withholding all food and medicine causing death from hunger, all these are terrorism and we will fight against terrorism, and Zo3by and his boss will be sent to international court for their terroristic acts.

    Like

  23. مفهوم الديموقراطية لا يزال غير مفهوم بين الناس, للديموقراطية آلية, و هي الانتخابات و من فاز بنسبة ٥٠% زائد واحد, فهو الفائز,و سلطته مؤقّتة و على من لم يفز ان يحترم نتائج الإنتخابات, و على الفائز ان لا يقصي الخاسر كلياً, و الفوز مؤقت, الفوز ليس هيمنة و إنما ترجيح فكر مؤقّت فإنّ الفائز هو رئيس كل الشعب, و عليه أن يخدم من أيّده و من لم يؤيّده , و ما فاز إلّا ليخدم الشعب كافة و ليس جزء منه, و لا يحق له إقصاء الآخر او استعباده أو إتهامه بالإرهاب و حرمانه حقوقه.

    Like

  24. Excellent article, thank you OTW. I left Tartous in September 2013, when it became obvious that Assad was going to get away with the chemical weapons attacks. There was nothing after that from stopping him from massacring as many people as he wanted to, and we’ve seen Aleppo bear the brunt of the consequences.

    The people of Tartous are not sectarian. In 18 months, I did not hear a single word or suffered a single act to make me feel uncomfortable or in fear for my safety. This despite the fact that I came from Telkelakh, a village well known as being in opposition to the regime. And I guarantee you that the people of Tartous are utterly sick of Assad. If there was a viable alternative among the opposition, a Tartousian would gladly provide the rope that will be used to hang him in Baba Amr.

    Like

  25. بعض المحللين يعيرون اهتمام لما يقوله الزعبي,و هو شخص لا أهمية له مطلقاً, و أول ما سيجابه به وليد المعلم هو وقف العنف كما أقره جنيف١ , و سيناقش فوراً آلية تنفيذه, و هو ما يتطلب قوات أممية من الأمم المتحدة, ثم سيؤجل الإجتماع لشهر

    Like

  26. HA is clearly an instrument of Iran, and HA fighting in Syria is practicaly Iran fight in Syria, HA is no longer a resistance force,resistance is fighting against Israel, HA fighting in Syria and killing Syrians is a treason, HA is helping Israel, not resisting Israel, Israel benefit from the losses of Syrian life,including the death of so many soldiers who could be spared to fight Israel, and the destruction of a country that was a resistance country before,so HA is committing treason.
    The history will judge HA in the future,for being loyal to foreign country, it could be an enemy of Arabs, and for helping Israel the enemy of Arabs
    Kebanese who belong to HA has to think about what their leader Hassan Nasrallah is doing and where he is leading them to.

    Like

  27. The Arab spring started for freedom against tyrants,it is turning to a proxy fight between Iran and KSA, Iran got involved too much in the traditionally Sunni countries, and the Arab spring is working against what Iran has accomplished in the last 40 years, The Arab spring UNCOVERED what Iran has done and what IRan intention is, it is a Sunni awakening,the middle East is no longer like a Salad, it is a polarized region,Iran is realizing that , and it is finding itself surrounded by Sunni ring so huge,and afraid that they will swallow her,Iran decided to drop their huge ambition,and important strategic weapon, the development of nuclear bomb, and Iran is no longer think of Israel as its enemy,and now Iran thinks the Arabs are its enemy, the new middle east is Sunni versus Iran.

    Like

  28. Senator John McCain said

    “It is very disturbing to learn that the Russian government has rejected another U.N. Security Council statement condemning the Syrian government’s attacks on schools, markets, and hospitals in the city of Aleppo with Scud missiles and crude cluster munitions, which have caused the deaths of more than 700 people in the past few weeks. This is the second time in less than a month that the Russia government has stymied efforts in the U.N. Security Council to condemn the Syrian government’s indiscriminate air attacks against innocent men, women and children. Incredibly, the Russian government continues to aid the Assad regime by providing the equipment and conventional weapons that are being used to commit acts such as these against the Syrian people, including innocent civilians.

    “Such actions clearly indicate that Russia shares responsibility for the perpetuation of violence in Syria, and is certainly not a reliable partner in efforts to peacefully resolve the Syrian conflict. Today’s vote in the Security Council is ample evidence of Russia’s commitment to maintaining President Bashar al-Assad in power.”

    Like

  29. “I don’t want you to see what I see” – An Imaginary Conversation Between a Syrian girl & her doll #Syria #Assad pic.twitter.com/5ShQTGlZyI

    Like

  30. HA in Lebanon is placed in the corner ,
    The demand is that HA must leave Syria.before a goverment is formed..HA more likely will object to a neutral goverment, HA in the past arranged for sit in in Beirut, and HA in july 7 get to the street with its weapons and caused the death of 70 person,can HA do that again?, President Suleiman may have a chance to declare HA a terrorist organization if HA repeat that, Suleiman is not a puppet to Syria, he is leaving in may, and not looking for another term.
    I think if HA behave the same Suleiman will declare HA a terrorist organiztion.
    As I said before HA is committing treason as he directed his troops against the Syrians instead of Israel
    I think HA has extendd himself too thin.

    Like

  31. Dear Aboud
    Good to hear from you and I hope that you remain safe.

    I have heard many similar testimonials like the one you gave on Tartous. This is part of the problem for Assad Jr. Who realized early on that he is not going to be able to create, for various reasons, logistical and otherwise, a statelete.

    The news about the 63 martyrs was a devastating blow last night. Syria has paid such a heavy price for us not to end up completely demolishing this regime and its appendages,

    Like

  32. So nice of you OTW to share with us, indirectly, that Aboud is doing well and his whereabouts…always always great to hear about Aboud, to know he is safe.

    Like

  33. The working group demands the following:

    a binding resolution from the United Nations Security Council to require unhampered access, across borders and military lines, for international humanitarian agencies to bring food and medicine to besieged populations in Syria, with neither preconditions nor discrimination based on sect, ethnicity, gender, or political views, with a monitoring provision to ensure compliance
    the lifting of the starvation sieges in Syria as a trust-building prelude to the Geneva Conference on Syria scheduled to convene on January 22

    An estimated million and a half Syrian civilians are dying of malnutrition and treatable diseases in an entirely preventable humanitarian crisis. Children have died in malnutrition and starvation around Damascus in the same areas that were hit with chemical weapons attacks. Military forces blockade dozens of Syrian towns, barring entry of food and medicine, while chemical weapons inspectors are allowed unfettered access by UNSC mandate. The siege violates international laws prohibiting the use of starvation as a war weapon.

    http://sams-usa.net/site/syriahungerday-call-for-immediate-aid-to-syrians-dying-of-starvation-due-to-siege/

    Like

  34. Divert
    Distort
    Defame

    The international community used the three D’s effectively to hijack the Arab Spring and the Syrian popular uprising.

    No one was able to use it better than the infamous Assad family.

    Sad, heartbreaking to see children in the besieged camp of Yarmouk in Damascus dying from hunger, chemical weapon inspectors were given a mandate by the UNSC to enter freely wherever, while medical aid and food distributors are prevented from reaching the most vulnerable.

    The onus lies in the hands of the powerful.

    Humanity knows no borders, no color and no religion.

    I have never witnessed such lowly level in international politics. The silence is so loud..

    Like

  35. From Twitter:

    @EnasN_

    Syrians didnt flee Syria and take refuge in bordering Arab countries because they want to but because they were forced to. Comprehend it.

    My relatives in Lebanon live on a 100 dollars per month through mh aunt who works at home as a private tutor because #Syrians shouldn’t work

    I still don’t understand this bias against #Syrians specially in aiport.What law allows bias against specific nationality holders?#Jordan

    Abdulbaset Saruut lost his 4 brothers in rev,to of them yesterday along with most of his comrades trying to break #Homs siege.الهي صبره…

    ‏@AliAbunimah

    “What we need now is humanitarian access … for this siege to end” on Yarmouk camp http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK4vzSMc8hE

    @Elizrael

    Protests in solidarity with only the Palestinians starving in Yarmouk really annoy me. Over 1m Syrians are being starved by Assad too.

    ‏@MajdArar

    I’ve been looking for someone/somehow to sneak food/money to friend’s family in Yarmouk Camp; only reply I’ve got: It’s IMPOSSIBLE #Damascus

    @d_sights

    So much of monitoring.. so much of censoring, torturing and killing. Yet the people still have the power & faith to revolt. So amazing #Syria

    Like

  36. Ariel Sharon’s burial plot set to displace 15,000 Palestinians

    According to arrangements made by the Israeli government, Sharon’s burial plot is set to displace over 15,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank. The plot, located on the outskirts of Hebron, will take over land lived and farmed by Arabs for at least four centuries and will be surrounded by a five-metre tall concrete wall with armed sentry posts on each corner. It will also be connected to Israel by a four-lane commemorative highway.

    “It’s what he would have wanted,” said a source.

    Like

  37. ” Sharon’s parents came from Belarus. My great-great-great-great grandfather came from Jaffa. But I’m the stateless one.” Iyad El-Baghdadi

    Like

  38. قلت سابقاً ان لرئيس لبنان سليمان إمكانية إعلان حزب الله فئة ارهابية, و لهذا سارع حزب الله لإعطاء تنازلين اولهما القبول ب٨,٨,٨ حكومة و بهذا تنازل عن الثلث المعطل, و هو تنازل كبير, كما تنازل حزب الله حين قبل بميثاق بعبدا المطالب بالخروج من سورية, كما تنازل عن الإعلان الوزاري بأن يتضمن جملة تقول بثلاثية الجيش و الحكومة و المقاومة
    هذه التنازلات جاءت بعد اجتماعين هامين بين سليمان و نائب وزير الدفاع الأمريكي سبينز و الفرنسي باول و بعد الصفقة السعودية بتسليح الجيش اللبناني
    ما قلته عن اعلان سليمان حزب الله فئة ارهابية ليس مني و لكن نقلته عن مسؤولين لبنانيين مثل محمد عبد الحميد بيضون

    Like

  39. HA is in trouble, he lost his character as a resisitant party, it is now a hostile anti Syrian party,and it is a party loyal to Iran only and has no LEBANESE patriotic party, HA is an instument of Iran in Syria, and HA will be marginalized in case Geneve 2 reached an agreement, further HA losses in Syria where he lost 1000 soldier in addition to the wounded,is a point of contention among HA members, they started to complain.The international court accusing HA in killing Rafiq Hariri will weaken HA.

    Like

  40. من أكبر الكذبات يلي سمعتها بحياتي الدم مابصير مي.. وبعمرو ماحدا مات من الجوع…. والرجال ما بيبكي
    علي فرزات

    Like

  41. Murdering Palestinians by starvation

    Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk are being starved to death by the Syrian regime. Does anyone care?

    There isn’t much the Palestinian people haven’t suffered. But the use of enforced starvation against them by the Syrian dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad at the Yarmouk refugee camp breaks new ground in cruelty. Hundreds are said to be facing imminent death by starvation, lack of water and medical care, and the loss, for almost a year now, of all heat and electricity.

    The crucial thing is not simply that Assad and his allies – Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia – must be held fully and completely responsible for this outrage. It must also be noted that the international community and the Arab world are not doing enough to respond to it, practically or politically. They have done virtually nothing as Yarmouk’s pre-war population of 250,000 has shrunk in the past three years to 18,000 famished, cowering, and shivering souls.

    The Palestinians are, predictably, among the most vulnerable of victims in a merciless conflict in which Syrians, especially their own government, have turned on each other with breathtaking viciousness. If little is being done to help the Syrians, how, then, could Palestinians hope to be spared?

    More than merely apathy and indifference – or in the case of some actors, a real focus on trying to deal with both Assad and al-Qaeda but not helping the Palestinians in Yarmouk – there is a deep sickness in some Arab political discourse and in a part of the Arab soul. To be fair, most Arabs are appalled at the Syrian war and feel deeply for the suffering of the Yarmouk refugees. But not all, by any means.

    Those who still worship at the altar of the false idol of “resistance” and see Assad, Iran, Hezbollah, and their allies as the embodiment of the Arab cause are not simply disingenuous or delusional propagandists. Their thinking – not even, but especially, if it is sincere – is profoundly sick.

    This demented attitude has been put on full display by the Lebanese shill for Hezbollah and Iran, Ibrahim al-Amin, editor of the Al-Akhbar newspaper that is wholly devoted to those two faithful paymasters. With absolutely no sense of decency or shame, Amin writes, “the unfolding events [in Yarmouk] are 100 percent a Palestinian responsibility.”

    https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentaryanalysis/530276-murdering-palestinians-by-starvation

    Like

  42. The media ignores their heroism, governments deny their humanity.

    REFUGEES: are often people with no place. No passports, protection, or pull. They don’t fit into neat boxes. To the state, it would be better if they didn’t exist.

    View at Medium.com

    Like

  43. من الصعب الموافقة على حكومة انتقالية في دمشق كاملة الصلاحية, فالاسد لن يوافق, و لكن الأكثر احتمال هو وقف القتال في منطقة حلب, و هو ما ستوافق عليه روسيا, و هذا يعني تقسيم سورية, ثم يقوم الجيش الحر بالتخلص من داعش, و هي مرحلة انتقالية, ستفصل تركيا عن الاسد, المعارك ستستمر في الجنوب,

    Like

  44. وليد مصطفى ‏@waleedmostafa

    مع تقديرنا لكل من يدعم قضية اللاجئين السوريين في دول الشتات .. إلا أننا لا نريد تحويل القضية السورية إلى مجرد إنسانية*

    من قال أن النظام السوري لم يرد على إسرائيل وعنجهيتها تجاهه.. ألا يعتبر معركته مع الشعب السوري إمتداد لمعركته معها*

    أمة عربية واحدة .. ذات رسالة إيرانية/ روسية .. خالدة… خَرا شو*

    وقوف الجيش إلى جانب قائد أو زعيم لا يمنحه الشرعية فقد وقف جيش فرعون إلى جانبه مع أنه كان طاغوتاً*

    إتضح أن السيسي من سلالة الحسين رضي الله عنه … يعني من الأسياد الهاشميين كل الزعامات العربية تتمتع بالنسب الرفيع .. إلا*
    الشعب المسكين

    إذا لم يعد للشعوب المستضعفة ما تخسره حينها يجب أن يكون للأنظمة المستبدة ما تخسره*

    أنصار النظام السوري من جميع الأطياف والألوان والأعراق… مجرد لصوص ومنتفعين أعرفهم جيداً*

    من يدمر مخيم اليرموك الفلسطيني على رؤوس ساكنيه . بل ويقتلهم جوعاً كيف يمكن له أن يحرر فلسطين يا كلاب النظام لسوري*
    يكفي جرائم حركة أمل ضد المخيمات الفلسطينية بين عامي 1986/1988 رغم أنها تأسست على يد فتح عرفات
    وفي تلك الحرب حوصر أهل المخيمات ومنعوا حتى من الطعام..تماماً كما يحدث الآن لمخيم اليرموك الفلسطيني
    هل تعلم.. مقاتلي أحمد جبريل شاركوا في حصار المخيمات الفلسطينية في لبنان بين عامي 1986/1988إلى جانب حركة أمل..
    تحرير فلسطين .. من الفلسطينيين شعار محور المقاومة والممانعة الجديد

    كانت اللغة الفرنسية هي اللغة الثانية في سوريا بسبب الإحتلال الفرنسي, والآن الروسية وبعدها الفارسية*
    .سوريا العروبة تتكلم أربع لغات

    إذا كانت حماية الأقليات مقياساً للتقدم والرقي والديمقراطية .. فماذا عن ظلم الأكثرية الساحقة*

    في سوريا يتمخض الشرق كله وتتألم هي*

    في الأزمة السورية إجتمعت كل تناقضات دول العالم وكذلك مؤامراتهم*

    سوريا تحترق ثم يأتيك كلب من كلاب أثر النظام السوري ليحدثك عن النصر*

    سأقولها بصراحة..لم أكن أخشى على المجاهدين في سوريا من بطش النظام ولا من تخاذل العرب ولا تآمر النظام الدولي لكني بِتُّ أخشى من الفتنة بينهم

    وأنا الآن قلق جداً على مستقبل الثورة السورية

    Like

  45. Like

  46. it is impossible for Assad to agree to transitional goverment with full authority as long as he has the full support of Russia, the best scenario is ceasefire,in stages, to trim his power gradually
    The failure of the military solution is due to the lack of adequate support from Arabs and US, while Assad has huge support from Iran and HA and Maliki militias, and from Russia, I feel that the US betrayed the syrian people.
    Geneve2 will most likely will fail,because of Russia, but Geneve has to end with some positive thing, at least to prevent the violence from reaching neighbouring countries, Geneva2 will be a test of the resolve of US and Russia in implementing their decissions, I do feel such resolve is lacking,
    Assad is afraid of Geneva2,the opposition has no trust in it,which is justified,

    Like

  47. Muallem in his letter to Ban Ki Moon said
    “certain points” in the United Nations’ official invitation were “in conflict with the legal and political position of the State of Syria” and did not “meet the supreme interests of the Syrian people.”
    There is nothing in his letter about forming a goverment with full authority

    Mr Kerry said this is revisionism,which means changing the words of the UN in a malicious way
    Clearly Muallem is for a surprise, he is trying to deceive himself by revising the UN invitation

    It is still not clear what Russia strategy is going to be, certainly they will depend on the naivety of the Coalition

    Like

  48. مظاهرة لأهالي اليرموك بعد سقوط البرميل المتفجر بدقائق

    “فليحيا ابن اليرموك، فلتسقط كل القيادات”
    “بالتار بناخد بالتار، من جبريل ومن بشار”

    Like

  49. لا يمكن للطرفين الإستهتار بقرارات جنيف٢, و حظر الطيران هو امر وارد بعد التخلص من الأسلحة الكيماوية. المعلّم اصبح يوافق بل يتبنى مايقوله لافروف بدون متاقشة و لا جدل, المعارضة لن تذهب لمحاورة النظام, بل لإنشاء حكومة انتقالية , و إذا كاة هناك حوار فسيكون مع روسيا, اختلافهم في الإئتلاف يضر بالشعب السوري,و لهذا هو خيانة, و عدم الشعور بالمسؤولية, و قوتهم في وحدتهم, افلا يعقلون, إنهم لا يمثلون الشعب, الشعب الذي حرم ممن يمثله بوحشية هذا النظام المجرم, النظام الذي قتل و سجن و اقصى كل معارضيه, من اراد من الإئتلاف ان ينسحب فلا يضر الإئتلاف شيئاً, هي قضية شعب, و هم يتصرّفون كالاطفال,,و انسحابهم هو انسحاب من خدمة الشعب, اي انهم لا يستحقون ما نصبو انفسهم عليه, الإختلاف بالكتمان و الولاء بالجهر,

    Like

  50. While you were neutral about Yarmouk

    Yarmouk had transformed into Gaza. But this time, it was our side that was rationalizing the blockage, entertaining and validating the motives offered for collective punishment, instead of flatly rejecting it as a cruel practice.

    ..a Palestinian-Syrian, who asked not to be named, explains, “we can’t reconcile the fascism of Assad with being anti-colonial. Palestinians in Yarmouk are Palestine. An attack on them is an attack on Palestine.”

    The divide among Palestinians, and our cause, grows deeper. He continues, “Palestinian Syrians feel as though we are becoming separate. In other Palestinian camp in Syria, people couldn’t sleep because they knew Yarmouk was suffering. Solidarity with Palestinian Syrians against the war crimes of Assad is an act of resistance against Israeli colonialism. The health of the next revolutionary cycle and third intifada in Palestine is contingent on whether the liberation struggle in Syria is embraced.“

    “The Palestinian Syrians are going nowhere. We know who is committing the siege. We know it is collective punishment. We know he (Assad) is war criminal. Denialism is not revolutionary. We may be at a loss now,” he reflects, ”but we will not forget those who didn’t point out who is starving us and they will be called out. They attacked us with a refusal to call out Assad.”

    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/neutral-about-yarmouk.html

    Like

  51. There will be surprises in Geneve2, it is not at the begining, the regime is scared of such surprises
    the most important surprise is the emergence of strong resolve by both US and Russia to end the meeting with strong support for its decisions, I believe both Russia and US want to end this conflict in Syria, I believe that the regime will be forced to make concessions,these concessions are not consistant with Assad survival

    Like

  52. الخط الأحمر وضعه كيري, قال ليس للأسد مستقبل في سورية,هو يعني بعد قتل الأسد لمئات الألوف من السوريين, سمعة كيري هي على المحك, هو خط احمر واضح, قد تأخذ المحادثات أشهر, و لكن سيُذَكّرْ كيري بهذا الخط الأحمر

    Like

  53. استراتيجية النظام في جنيف ستكون شراء الوقت والمراوغة

    Like

  54. I do not know who Dawood Al-Shiryan is, but his message to العرعور والعريفي وقناة وصال is simple: “lead the way to paradise with yourselves and your children and we’ll follow!”

    داود الشريان يفتح النار على من يصفهم “شيوخ الفتنة” ويطالبهم وابنائهم بالذهاب قبل الجميع الى الجنة

    Like

  55. The Saudis can no longer remain quiet. Al Saud take note with your masters.
    The Saudi street is boiling, literally boiling.
    The man above said it, very clearly, we ignored you in Afghanistan, Iraq, but we will NOT in Syria! Who is Al Arour, what brings him to Saudi Arabia? What is this channel Wisal? We can no longer tolerate you, eluding to the Saudi government, taking our children, phew..

    Like

  56. Ban Ki Moon invite Iran to Geneve 2, The opposition must not go, because of that

    Like

  57. Majedkhaldoun, is dealing with Russia okay? Is it any different?

    They have a responsibility to represent the voices of the Syrian martyrs and revolutionaries.

    In less than three years, they lost their moral compass. They have no excuse.

    From day one, the SNC leader then, Ghalyoun, had Iran and Hizbullah inserted unnecessarily in the Syrian uprising that called for justice and dignity, first and foremost.

    Syrians lost so much to free themselves from tyranny, NOT to solve American/Saudi vis a vis Iran’s nuclear issues..

    From that first article he wrote..the rest was clear, they are either stupid or acting stupidly, the outcome is the same.

    Like

  58. هذه المرّة بان كي مون نسف جنيف , لا يمكن قبول ايران في مؤتمر جنيف إلّا بعد إعلان رسمي, واضح و صريح بقبول ايران بالموافقة على قرارات جنيف١ , ففي اعناق الإئتلاف آلاف الشهداء الذين ساهمت إيران بقتلهم ,

    NZ
    Russia is part of UNSC,, Russia did not send soldiers to kill Syrian, yes they are evil, and sent weapons, so far the weapons Assad used against the Syrians are weapons he has before the revolution.
    Assad was about to be defeated Iran and its HA and Maliki Shiaa are the soldiers who prolonged Assad life, Russia agreed to a goverment with full authority.Russia agreed to Geneve1 which we accepted.

    NZ
    Do I sense that it is O.K. for you to invite Iran? without accepting Geneve1?

    Like

  59. NZ
    Can you be more clear when you say
    “From day one, the SNC leader then, Ghalyoun, had Iran and Hizbullah inserted unnecessarily in the Syrian uprising that called for justice and dignity, first and foremost”.

    Like

  60. Great,, Ban Ki Moon withdrew and rescinded his invitation to Iran, this is great victory to the coallition

    Like

  61. Majedkhaldoun, to answer your first question, NO, I really do not care whether Iran attends or not. I’ll tell you why.

    .. because the most powerful nation on earth has zero credibility, when Obama said this isn’t about his credibility but the world’s, he assured us, that he like his counterpart has none!

    What matters is the outcome.

    Like

  62. NZ
    Iran did not endorse Geneve1, it means they want G2 for renogotiation, not for implementation of G1, buying more time for the regime.

    The Outcome is important, delaying the outcome is Iran strategy,and Russia strategy.

    Obama has no credibilty.

    Like

  63. قيصر قرر منذ آذار 2011 أن يحتفظ بنسخة أخرى من الصور قبل أن يسربها إلى من يثق به. إنها عودة مرة أخرى إلى ضرورة الصحافي المواطن، فحين يحجب نظام البطش كل وسيلة إعلامية، كل عين، أو كاميرا، لا بد أن تظهر وسائل أخرى، ومن سوء حظ النظام أن هؤلاء “المواطنين” تعلموا كيف يصورون الجريمة بأشكال ووثائق لا تُردّ.

    كذلك فإن الصور لم تظهر إلى النور إلا بعدما خضعت للتدقيق من لجنة ذات مصداقية وخبرة. هذا ما أصاب وسائل إعلام النظام وحلفائه بالخرس، ولعلها حتى الساعة لم تتمكن من استيعاب الصدمة وتوليف روايتها الخاصة للصور. لا بد هنا من الإشارة إلى أن لجنة التحقيق عمدت إلى طمس الأرقام التي حملتها الجثث كي لا تتيح للنظام التلاعب بالجثث كأدلة دامغة

    almodon.com/Media/Articles/

    Like

  64. The report by Kaisar may be only part of Assad crimes, the true number is much higher

    Like

  65. The regime sent a team to Geneve but this team does not have power to give concessions.
    Assad will not relinquish power.
    Iran is ready to abandon the nuclear power and ready to give up part of Iran but is not ready to abandon Assad and will fight with all its power to defend Assad.
    Russia will support Assad but to a limit.
    US needs time to get rid of the chemical weapons.
    US refused to allow weapons to reach the rebels,because US wants Geneve to succeed.Obama wants to prove that he can win and succeed without sending troops.
    US concern is Israel, and worried about revenge against Alawis
    US is afraid of the rise of Erdogan and wants to trim his power..
    Pressures will mount on US if the violence reached Lebanon ,and Iraq
    US put pressure on Hariri to form a goverment with HA trying to stop the violence from reaching Lebanon.
    AlMaliki is increasingly in trouble,US sent him helicopters and tanks to stop the violence from escalating.
    US following policy of attrition against Iran.
    US feels confident that some Alawi officers will abandon Assad
    At the end it is clear that only foreign power can root out Assad,whether it is political or military one.

    Assad will accept an Allawi state, and will pull out of Damascus

    Like

  66. Dr. Faisal Kasim, send Assad an advice:

    رسالة قصيرة إلى سيادة الرئيس بشار الأسد:

    سيادة الرئيس:
    لا يستطيع أحد أن ينكر أنك وحلفاءك وأجهزة مخابراتك استطعتم منذ سنوات الخروج سالمين من الكثير من المآزق والمطبات، بدءاً بمقتل الحريري، مروراً بالمجازر السورية وانتهاء بجريمة الكيماوي. وقد نجحتم في النجاة منها بأثمان مكلفة، لكن المهم أنكم نجوتم. لكنني، لو كنت مكانك الآن وأنت وأجهزة أمنك وضباطك تواجهون قضية الصور المسربة لعمليات القتل والتعذيب في السجون السورية، لو كنت مكانك لشعرت بقلق كبير جداً جداً جداً. لا تدع أحداً يخدعك ويقول إن الأمر سيمر كما مر غيره من قبل. لا أبداً. لن يمر. لقد اصبحت عشرات الألوف من صور القتلى والمعذبين في سجونكم في كل وسائل الإعلام العالمية، وبجانبها صورتك الشخصية. وأنت تعلم سيادة الرئيس، مثل هذه الأمور لا تأتي بشكل عابر، بل وراءها ما وراءها. لا أريد أن أثقل كاهلك أكثر مما هو مثقل، لكن صدقني هذه المرة من حقك أن تخشى أنت ومخابراتك كثيراً. ولا داعي للإسهاب.

    In his next tweet, Kasim said:

    من يعتقد أن مؤتمر جنيف جاء لإعادة تأهيل نظام الأسد فهو يفهم بالسياسة كما أفهم أنا بعلم الجيولوجيا الارستوقشقشيشي.

    Like

  67. سعود الفيصل في كلمته أمام مؤتمر “جنيف-2” خاطب رئيس “الائتلاف السوري لقوى الثورة والمعارضة السورية” أحمد الجربا بلقب “فخامة الرئيس”، ووصف الائتلاف بأنه الممثل الشرعي للشعب السوري”
    وقد خرج وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم من القاعة لدى إلقائه كلمته

    Like

  68. More than a third of Syrians have been turned into refugees, half of Syria’s population are in need of food and medication donations. One third of the infrastructure is destroyed.

    The majority of Syrians wants Assad, his family and regime to disappear one way or another!

    Majority rules.

    If God Forgives are his creature capable of forgiveness?

    Like

  69. سهل ان تنتصر المعارضة سياسياً , و لكن كيف تزيح الاسد سياسيا , فلن يتنحى إلا إذا أجبر عسكرياً , فلا بد من الحل العسكري , و هذا مستحيل في الظروف الحالية حيث التخاذل الأمريكي الأوربي , و العناد الروسي, إلا بحدوث شيء مهم جداً و كبير , عالمي أو في المنطقة

    Like

  70. @RadioSouriaLi

    صباح الخير لكل سوري ولكل اعلامي بيحب سوريا وبيوقف مع الحق وبيوقف مع الناس وما بيرضى بالظلم وما بيقبل يبيع ضميره مشان حدا

    Like

  71. Would Assad team accept Geneve1 , or refuse it? I think they will accept it WITH RESERVATIONS, to make it void, next it will go back to the security council to explain Geneve1 and to remove the reservations and no addition to it, Assad is trapped

    Like

  72. By June the opposition will win the political battle, and Assad will run out of arrows in his quiver, and will be more vulnerable.

    Like

  73. واضح أن عدم وجود ايران في افتتاحية المؤتمر جعله ناجحاً ,
    واضح أن استراتيجية النظام هو المراوغة و شراء الوقت و الكذب ,
    بثينة شعبان تكذب و لا تستحي , عمران الزعبي لن يجيب مباشرة على أي سؤال ,

    Like

  74. Before the meeting I said there will be surprises, now the surprise is the opposition went to Geneve, and the Assad team may withdraw, the surprise is Russia , they may be dropping the Assad

    Like

  75. الاجتماعات الجانبية و ما يجري في هذا المؤتمر بشان سوريا والمنطقة .. اهم بكثير مما يجري في جنييف

    Like

  76. UN team to get rid of chemical weapons in Syria is complaining that Syria is slowing in transporting the CW, and almost stopped, such behaviour should be reported to the security council, and Obama must warn Russia and Syria, Assad is trying to delay the transfer, he knows the weapons are completely destroyed ,he has no weapons anymore

    Like

  77. So far it seems that Assad strategy is buy time, no concessions, he sent a team that is lying and not ashamed to lie ,
    The problem US is not going to do anything till Assad gives up ALL his CW, he knows it, and that is why he is getting very slow in sending his CW to Latakia

    Like

  78. النظام مطمئن , فامريكا لن تفعل شيء في الاشهر الخمسة القادمة إلا إذا توقف عن إرسال الاسلحة الكيماوية للخارج , عمر النظام مرتبط بتسليم الاسلحة , حين ينتهي تسليمها , فَقَد اطمئنانه واقتربت نهايته

    Like

  79. Syrian documentary “Return to Homs” gets film critics buzzing after Sundance win!!!

    The film won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary against a large number of American and international films in the category.

    Return to Homs, by Syrian director Talal Derki, was filmed over two years, between August 2011 and August 2013. The film follows the lives of two young men: Basset, national football team goalkeeper, and his friend Osama, citizen journalist and activist. While the two friends pursue their revolutionary dreams the viewer is presented with shocking images and the realities of Syria’s revolution and the deplorable state of Homs as it awaits help from a stagnant international arena.

    “This is Homs, but I don’t know where I am,” says Basset in the film.

    http://m.albawaba.com/editorchoice/syria-homs-550199

    Like

  80. President Barack Obama failed to address key foreign policy challenges in his annual State of the Union address, he did not acknowledge the deteriorating security situation in Iraq or the realities on the ground in Syria.

    Like

  81. الإرهاب هو العنف ضد الشعب غير المسلح , يعتقلون من بيوتهم , يعذبون , يُجَوَّعون , و يقتلون , ثم يتهمون انهم انتحرو او اصيبو بجلطة قلبية.
    الإرهاب هو إلقاء براميل متفجرة على السكان بدون تمييز حيث يُقتل اطفال ,و نساء و رجال غير مسلحين .
    الإرهاب هو مجازر ضدالمدنيين , هو استعمال اسلحة كيماوية قُتِلَ فيها ١٤٠٠ طفل و امراة و هم نائمون.
    الإرهاب هو عدم العدل و حرمان الناس من حقوقهم و نشر الفساد و الرشاوى و عدم مساعدة الضعفاء.
    كلنا يجب ان نكون ضد الإرهاب

    Like

  82. The syrian goverment has to assess its team performance in Geneve,most likely they are disappointed, the team did not commit to return for the second round,
    Mr. Jarba is visiting Moscow on the fourth of february,Mr. Lavrov invited him,He was impressed with his performance in Geneve, Moscow can not put pressure on Jarba, they can promise him, or they can put pressure on Assad, no one expects Russia to change its policy, however Assad must be worried about this visit.
    Mr Jarba must assure Russia that the FSA will fight Da-esh, and that Syria after Assad will continue to have good relations with Russia, where Syria will be neutral state, non aligned country,, and that minorities in Syria will be free and will participate in future goverment, and will be protected, this will alleviate Russian worries.

    Like

  83. Lavrov said today that Russia can not solve the Syrian crisis alone.
    He was not refering to small power countries like Iran or Saudia, he was refering to US and Europe, what did he mean?
    He meant there is no military solution to this Syrian crisis.
    Russia will not send troops.
    Applying pressure on the regime by Russia will not suffice, US must apply pressure on the opposition.

    Walid Moallem may not return to Geneve, I expect him to be ousted,(they will claim he is sick) , rumors are that Bashar Jaafari will be appointed as foreign minister.

    Like

  84. the regime army is exhausted, they are calling for ceasefire, the number of Alawis in his army are dwindling, most of what he depends on are HA and Maliki fighters, this will threatening him in the future, money is drying up

    Like

  85. Wasseem Fayez Sarah is dead. He was held for two months in Syria’s Assadism dungeons, he came out lifeless. Wasseem was 26 year old. May he rest in peace, and may his parents find solace in a Syria free of tyranny.

    Like

  86. There are points I want to remind you of
    The leaders of ISIS in Syria were released from Assad prisons.
    In Raqqa Isis took over practically without a fight.
    Assad regime is buying oil from ISIS , providing them with money, while Assad can get oil free from Iran.
    Assad is NOT bombing ISIS
    The conclusion has to be that Assad HELPED creating Daesh, strengthening them, financing them , protecting them,cooperating with them.
    Any thinking otherwise is NAIVE and wrong

    Like

  87. The presence of jihadis in Syria is mainly due to the sectarian nature of the regime, when in trouble it turned to Iran for help,, and the influx of jihadis to Syria was caused by the disintegration of the central goverment and the chaos that followed, and to the fact that the regime resorted to brutal oppression, using snipers , security forces to face peacefull demonstrations, it was not accepted by soldiers to kill their fellow citizens some were their friends and relative, they had to defect, and then they had to protect themselves and their people, so the regime was behind turning this conflict to armed one, I knew from the begining that the regime does not understand and afford reform, and will respond by force only, so arming the opposition was a natural and expected response.
    The brutality of the regime reached maximal point as he used chemical weapons, it was an embarassement to Obama, since he put it as red line, the appropriate response should not have been, accepting to abandon CW, it should have included punishment.
    Obama wants to end this conflict by diplomacy, to avoid committing soldiers, he is finding that this is impossible, as Iran is helping Assad financially and with troops from HA, Obama is saying there is no military solution to this conflict, the truth is that there is no diplomatic solution to this conflict, and only arming the rebels will force Assad to compromise, as this will produce balance on ground, I hope that Obama visit to KSA in March, would include the crisis in Syria.

    Like

  88. معهد الدراسات الحربية في واشنطن قال إن القوة الحربية للاسد ازدادت كثيرا و لكنه لا زال غير قادر على النصر في ٢٠١٤

    Like

  89. كل الجهود يجب ان تنصب على حماية حلب من الحصار

    Like

  90. America, a beacon of DARKNESS?

    The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has received a lot of attention in recent months, after various American academic organizations, including the American Studies Association, instituted an academic boycott of Israeli universities and institutions. New legislation introduced in Congress today would prohibit any institution that participates in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions or scholars from receiving federal funds under the Higher Education Act

    YEP..

    Like

  91. SUN, sea and palm trees provide a welcome break from cold, snow-covered Moscow but an odd setting for winter sports….the most expensive games in history, with an estimated price tag of $51 billion. Most of the money came from Russian taxpayers..The Olympic park, with its futuristic metal-and-glass structure, is a testimony to oil money, the capriciousness of Russia’s rulers and the exclusion of her citizens.

    One does not need to be an accountant or an investigator to sense that much of the state money has been stolen. The unfinished hotels, small piles of rubble, choked roads and faulty sewerage provide the evidence.

    Those who live around the Olympic park do not seem happy. “These are Putin’s games—not ours,” say Vladimir and Elena, a young couple who live on the outskirts of the park.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2014/02/sochi-diary?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/icywelcome

    Like

  92. Truly, a heart warmer. Thanks Annie..
    The children and the volunteers are angels. A ray of hope in a Syria free of tyranny.
    We missed your inputs Annie!

    Like

  93. Artists unlike politicians are heroic people. They have the dignity to spell out the suffering of humanity. Their uncompromising nature to human suffering makes them the true civil servants. They mirror people aspirations.

    Annie, thanks again. Will share it with all my francophone friends.

    Like

  94. How could someone like Feisal Miqdad lie and garble like this, he said bombs are thrown to protect the people.

    Like

  95. لا بد ان روسيا أيقنت الآن ان النظام غير قادر على النصر عسكرياً , و تعرف روسيا جيدا أن الإنتصارات التي يفتخر بها النظام ممكن و بسهولة تراجعها كلياً خلال أقل من شهر إذا تسلح الثوار باسلحة نوعية مضادة للطيران و المدرعات , و هذا يمكن ايصاله للجيش الحر خلال فترة قصيرة , و بعد تسليم كافة السلاح الكيماوي لن يبقى للنظام اي ورقة تنازل,
    امريكا و روسيا يريدان تحطيم داعش , و إضعاف حزب الله , و حماية الأقليات ,
    مفاوضات جنيف لا يمكن أن تستمر إلى ما لا نهاية , لا بد من يوم تتدخل فيه الدول الكبرى , و تقتنع دول المنطقة بأن تكف يدها , و تنتهي الحرب , فقد استنفذت كثير من الموارد

    Like

  96. Would Russia veto the humanitarian aid, a resolution that co-erse aid, is necessary, threat of military action is needed, this is humanitarian issue, China seems to split from Russia, it should be issued from one side outside security council, if Russia veto the resolution.

    Yabrood fighting is heavy, , the area around Yabrood to the west, is difficult for the regime to fight in it,

    Like

  97. The fight about Jarjir is heavy, yesterday Assad troops and HA took it , there are reports today that the rebel took it back
    How long Assad can fight, 1/2 billion dollar from Iran monthly, previously 12 billion were given to him, HA has to send more troops

    Like

  98. The news about KSA arming the rebels with specific weapons must be bad news to the regime lovers, watch them fire up and show their anger and irrational madness, they fear this news,
    the goal is not to take over Damascus, rather it is to force Assad to realize he can not win , and better opt for exit,

    Like

  99. Never heard of this book. Mind you, it was published a couple of months after the Syrian Popular Revolution, (15 Nov 2011), it offers an insight into the country.
    Written by, Mary Russell:
    My Home is Your Home A Journey Round Syria offers

    One of the book reviews, by Mary Mulvihill

    Even if you’re not particularly interested in Syria, I’d highly recommend this book as a most enjoyable and fascinating read. It’s not a country I know much about, but having read this book, I’d love to visit it.

    Mary Russell seems to have spent quite a bit of time there on several occasions, traveling on her own, mostly by bicycle and public transport. She meets with tremendous hospitality and a warm welcome wherever she goes, perhaps because she is an older woman traveling alone, but mostly perhaps because she set out to visit and understand Syria’s past. It helps that she speaks some Arabic, although some of the many funny incidents happen because her Arabic isn’t fluent.

    This is not just a travel book: she includes a lot of history and background information, much of it setting the context for the current conflict. The book seems well researched, yet the information doesn’t get in the way of her story. Here’s hoping peace returns soon to this historic country and its people.

    Like

  100. I salute the Ukrainians in reclaiming their country from ALL foreign powers. What a powerful message, from a skier and her father, in Sochi..
    A Ukrainian skier has left the Olympics in response to the violence in her country, with her father saying she did so in ‘solidarity with the fighters’.

    The International Olympic Committee confirmed the withdrawal of Bogdana Matsotska on Thursday, and the Alpine skier’s father said he and his daughter are ‘extremely angry at President Viktor Yanukovych’.

    Oleg Matsotskyy, who also coaches his daughter, posted a message in Ukrainian on his Facebook page in which he assailed Yanukovych’s latest actions.

    “Instead of resolving the conflict through negotiations (which we had hoped he would when we left for Sochi), has drenched the last hopes of the nation in blood,” the message read.

    “In solidarity with the fighters on the barricades … and as a protest against the criminal actions made towards the protesters, the irresponsibility of the president and his lackey government, we refuse further performance at the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014.”

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  101. Rightly put Mr. Obama! Speaking to reporters during his visit to Mexico, Obama commented on Putin’s vicious policies in Syria and Ukraine. Both people “have a very different view and vision for their country.”

    He added: “The common thread in both the three-year-old civil war in Syria and the more recent strife in Ukraine, Obama said, is a desire by people there for free speech, the right peacefully to assemble, and have their political views reflected in free and fair elections.”

    The resemblance between the two monsters (Asshead & Yanukovych) and their Devil, in quelling the protesters is appalling!

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  102. Rightly put Mr. Obama! Speaking to reporters during his visit to Mexico, Obama commented on Putin’s vicious policies in Syria and Ukraine. Both people “have a very different view and vision for their country.”

    He added: “The common thread in both the three-year-old civil war in Syria and the more recent strife in Ukraine, Obama said, is a desire by people there for free speech, the right peacefully to assemble, and have their political views reflected in free and fair elections.”

    The resemblance between the two monsters (Asshead & Yanukovych) and their Devil, in quelling the protesters is appalling!

    Dead bodies in hotel in Kiev at Euromaidan

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  103. Ukranian president was ousted, he left .
    UNSC agreed on resolution to stop bombs cities, and allow humanitarian aids, I doubt Assad will comply, he has 0 credibility

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  104. A first class international correspondent, Lyse Doucet. One of the few journalists that are left in the field -free of prejudice, guided by her humanity, to tell the stories of pain and suffering of her mankind.

    She is one of the few respected journalists who is transmitting to the rest of the world, what every being living in Syria is enduring.

    “Syria crisis: A Palestinian plea from Yarmouk refugee camp”

    So many were in tears – old men bent over in wheelchairs, exhausted women with vacant stares, distraught children of every age. Many show signs of malnutrition.

    “We had to eat local herbs boiled with spices,” one mother told me. One of her daughters in a pink pushchair was inconsolable. Her little scuffed black patent shoes and a fraying tweed coat may have been the last remnants of a better life lived long ago.

    Emotion was so raw it was as if disaster had just struck.

    http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-26333533

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  105. It has been two weeks since Assad and HA began the Qalamoun battle, so far only heavy losses to Assad and HA, today there are reports that his troops are retreating.
    Assad used aircrafts to destroy Aleppo, throwing many bombs, destroying the city, if there is going to be a battle for Damascus the rebels has to obtain stinger like missles, to protect Damascus from Assad aircrafts

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  106. No body is talking about Geneve2,round 3 anymore, the enthusiasm about it is waning.
    between 100-150 rebels were killed by Assad troops, we should expect a response.
    HA admitted a day late that Israel striked in Lebanon, there is no explanation for the one day delay.

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  107. الهجوم الإسرائيلي على موقع لحزب الله قد يكون استفزازاً للحزب , إسرائيل تعرف أن معظم عناصر الحزب يقاتلون في سورية, و دفاعهم في جنوب لبنان قد ضعف لانشغالهم في سوريا , و هي فرصة لمحاربة الحزب و هزيمته , فالحزب أوقع نفسه في الفخ , و هو في موقع انتقاد شديد لانغماسه في سورية , هناك استنفار للحزب في الجنوب اللبناني , و أي جواب للحزب ضد إسرائيل سيبرر هجوم مضاد اسرائيلي

    Like

  108. جعجع : اريد التذكير بأن آخر مجموعة اصولية اتت الى لبنان كانت في نهر البارد حيث رفض حزب الله مهاجمتها

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  109. Here is the address of the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Community, The Agha Khan to both Houses of the Parliament of Canada in the House of Commons Chamber, Ottawa.
    What struck me most in his address -beside the overall his emphasis on ‘civil society’.

    You can read it in its entirety

    Clearly, the voices playing a major role in Tunisia were the voices of “Civil Society.”

    By Civil Society I mean an array of institutions which operate on a private, voluntary basis, but are motivated by high public purposes. They include institutions devoted to education, culture, science and research; to commercial, labor, ethnic and religious concerns; as well as professional societies in law, accounting, banking, engineering and medicine. Civil Society encompasses groups that work on health and safety and environmental matters, organisations that are engaged in humanitarian service, or in the arts or the media.

    There is sometimes a tendency in the search for progress to focus solely on politics and government, or on the private, profit-making sector. And surely they both have roles to play.

    But my view is that the world needs to pay more attention — much, much more attention — to the potential role of Civil Society.

    We see it expanding in many places, from Sub-Saharan Africa to Tunisia and Egypt, from Iran to Bangladesh. At a time of extreme danger in Kenya a few years ago — the beginnings of a civil war — the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, led the way to a peaceful solution which rested heavily on the strength of Kenya’s Civil Society.

    Increasingly, I believe, the voices of Civil Society are voices for change, where change has been overdue. They have been voices of hope for people living in fear.

    They are voices that can help transform countries of crisis into countries of opportunity. There are too many societies where too many people live in a culture of fear, condemned to a life of poverty. Addressing that fear, and replacing it with hope, will be a major step to the elimination of poverty. And often the call for hope to replace fear will come from the voices of Civil Society.

    An active Civil Society can open the door for an enormous variety of energies and talentsfrom a broad spectrum of organisations and individuals. It means opening the way for diversity. It means welcoming plurality. I believe that Canada is uniquely able to articulate and exemplify three critical underpinnings of a quality Civil Society — a commitment to pluralism, to meritocracy, and to a cosmopolitan ethic.

    A cosmopolitan ethic is one that welcomes the complexity of human society. It balances rights and duties, freedom and responsibility. It is an ethic for all peoples, the familiar and the Other, whether they live across the street or across the planet.

    The Aga Khan Development Network has worked over five decades to assist in the enhancement of Civil Society. And as we look to its future, we are honoured that Canada views us as a valued partner. Thank you Prime Minister. One key to Canada’s success in building a meritocratic Civil Society is your recognition that democratic societies require more than democratic governments.

    I have been impressed by recent studies showing the activity of voluntary institutions and not-for-profit organisations in Canada to be among the highest in the world. This Canadian spirit resonates with a cherished principle in Shia Ismaili culture — the importance of contributing one’s individual energies on a voluntary basis to improving the lives of others.

    This is not a matter of philanthropy, but rather of self-fulfillment — “enlightened self-fulfillment.”

    During my Golden Jubilee — and this is important — six years ago Ismailis from around the world volunteered their gifts, not only of wealth, but most notably of time and knowledge, in support of our work. We established a Time and Knowledge framework, a structured process for engaging an immense pool of expertise involving tens of thousands of volunteers. Many of them traveled to developing countries as part of this outpouring of service — one third of those were Canadians. Their impact has been enormous in helping us to achieve best practice standards in our institutions and programmes, making us we hope an even better partner for Canada!

    Such efforts thrive when multiple inputs can be matched to multiple needs, which is why Canada’s immense economic diversity is such a valuable global resource.

    One of the foundational qualities of Canada’s Civil Society is its educational emphasis. Studies show that Canadian students — whether native or foreign born — perform in the very top tier of students internationally, and indeed, that more than 45 per cent of the foreign born population in Canada has a tertiary degree.

    This record of educational opportunity resonates strongly with the Shia Ismaili belief in the transformative power of the human intellect, a conviction that underscores AKDN’s massive commitment to education wherever we are present — not only education for our faith, but also of education for our world. To do this we are engaged in all levels of education.

    The Aga Khan University in Karachi and East Africa are expanding to create a new Liberal Arts faculty, and to establish eight new post-graduate schools in collaboration with several Canadian universities.

    We also share with Canada a deep appreciation for the potential of early childhood education. It is the period of the greatest development of the brain. This education is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the quality of life for rural as well as urban populations. Congratulations, Prime Minister, for your initiative on this.

    In this regard, let me take a moment to salute the late Dr Fraser Mustard, whose work in Early Childhood Development will impact millions of people around the world. The AKDN has been fortunate to have been inspired and counselled by this great Canadian scientist and humanist.

    Quality education is fundamental to the development of a meritocratic Civil Society, and thus to the development of pluralistic attitudes.

    The history of Canada has a great deal to teach us in this regard, including the long, incremental processes through which quality civil societies and committed cultures of pluralism are built. One of the watchwords of our new Global Centre for Pluralism is that “Pluralism is a Process and not a Product.” I know that many Canadians would describe their own pluralism as a “work in progress,” but it is also an asset of enormous global quality.

    What more will a quality Civil Society now require of us? Sadly, the world is becoming more pluralist in fact, but not necessarily in spirit. “Cosmopolitan” social patterns have not yet been matched by “a cosmopolitan ethic.” In fact, one harsh reality is that religious hostility and intolerance seems to be on the rise in many places — from the Central African Republic, to South Sudan, to Nigeria, to Myanmar, the Philippines and other countries — both between major religious groups and within them.

    Again, Canada has responded in notable ways, including the establishment — just one year ago — of the Office of Religious Freedom. Its challenges, like those facing the Centre for Global Pluralism, are enormous and its contributions will be warmly welcomed. And surely it will also serve as a worthy model for other countries.

    In sum, I believe that Civil Society is one of the most powerful forces in our time, one that will become an increasingly universal influence, engulfing more countries, influencing, reshaping and sometimes even replacing ineffective regimes. And I also believe that Civil Society around the world should be vigorously encouraged and wisely nurtured by those who have made it work most successfully — Canada first amongst all.

    I am most grateful to the Prime Minister and to you who have given me this opportunity to share — from a faith perspective — some of the issues that preoccupy me when looking ahead. I hope I have explained why I am convinced about the global validity of our partnership for human development.

    Let me end with a personal thought. As you build your lives, for yourselves and others, you will come to rest upon certain principles. Central to my life has been a verse in the Holy Quran which addresses itself to the whole of humanity. It says: “Oh Mankind, fear your Lord, who created you of a single soul, and from it created its mate, and from the pair of them scattered abroad many men and women…”

    I know of no more beautiful expression about the unity of our human race — born indeed from a single soul.

    Thank you.

    http://www.akdn.org/Content/1253/Address-of-His-Highness-the-Aga-Khan-to-both-Houses-of-the-Parliament-of-Canada-in-the-House-of-Commons-Chamber-Ottawa

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  110. who do we believe ; Rebels media or Regime media in Yarmouk? the battle is going on for 18 days

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  111. Huge campaign for Muaz Khatib to run for president of Syria already has over 100,000 signature,in two days

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  112. Putin blinked first, while the house of russian representative voted unanimous to support Putin, a survey among Russians showed 73% of Russians are against his action, the stock market monday dropped 18 billion dollar. his friends China was unhappy, Khazakeistan denounced it, so Putin ordered his troops to return, the price he would have paid would be too high, it will be a catastrophy to Russia, .
    This means that Russia will not rush to help Assad if things get tough,this is bad news for Assad

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  113. Listening to U.S. President Barack Obama bang on this week about the importance of world opinion and obeying international law and respecting sovereignty and being on the right side of history, you had to wonder whether he didn’t have a little voice in his head whispering: “Really? Seriously? I’m actually saying this stuff?”

    This is the commander-in-chief of a military that operates a prison camp on Cuban soil, against the explicit wishes of the Cuban government, and which regularly fires drone missiles into other countries, often killing innocent bystanders.

    He is a president who ordered that CIA torturers would go unprosecuted, and leads a nation that has invaded other countries whenever it wished, regardless of what the rest of the world might think.

    Disclaimer here: Vladimir Putin’s proclaimed justification for invading Ukraine — protecting Russian-speaking “compatriots” in that country from some imagined violence — stinks of tribalism.

    His rationale is essentially ethnic nationalism, something responsible for so much of the evil done throughout human history.

    Stated motivation aside, though, what Putin is doing is really no different from what other world powers do: protecting what they regard as national self-interest.

    And so far, he’s done it without bloodletting.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/the-ukraine-crisis-through-the-whimsy-of-international-law-1.2559980

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  114. Obama threat to Russia is sanction, sanction will not hurt Russia, and war is not an option, Crimea is for Russia, however Putin is hurting as he lost Ukraine.

    Today the Coalition members were fighting, fist fighting, Turkish police was called

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  115. Syrian national stabbed to death in Lebanon.
    Lebanese army shoot at two syrian jets

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  116. A Tribute to Ali Mustafa,

    by Justin Podur on Sun, 03/09/2014

    I met Ali Mustafa a long time ago, when he was one of the younger activists in Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA). I was not so old as I am now but Ali’s energy and anger made me feel my age then.

    Ali was no single-issue activist. He spent a summer working (as an intern I think) with the Movimento Sem Terra (MST) in Brazil, a movement of landless peasants. That was how he did things. He wanted to go, be in it.

    He was no hotel journalist. When he went to Palestine and Egypt and to Syria, he lived with the people, shared their risks, faced whatever they faced.

    I didn’t always get to meet him after his tours when he’d come back to Toronto, but I did quite a few times. We would talk and argue over details, facts, doctrine (“Is what’s happening in Egypt really a *revolution*?” – Ali thought yes, and so did I, for the record).

    He was a journalist in the sense that he went there, wherever there was, and wrote and documented, and photographed. But he was not a journalist in any of the bad ways. There was nothing careerist about him. He never pretended at any false objectivity – he was a people’s journalist and he believed in their struggles. Pretty much everything I ever saw him do, he did with this motivation. He never put himself above the people he was writing about. He put himself with them, instead.

    When I was Ali’s age, I think I had a lot more help and support doing the kinds of things I did than he had doing what he did. I really wish more people could have seen his work, and I wish he could have been around some more decades to do more of it.

    Ali Mustafa (twitter handle @_fbtm blog http://frombeyondthemargins.blogspot.com) was a Canadian freelance journalist and activist. He died with 9 Syrians in an airstrike by the Assad government in the Hadariya neighbourhood of Aleppo on March 9, 2014.

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  117. if we have to choose between two evils, do we choose the less evil, or refuse to choose

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  118. In less than 10 days Obama will visit KSA, I doubt there will be changes, Am I right?

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  119. Many things hurt the Syrian revolution, but the worst would be if Erdogan lose the election, which I doubt

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  120. When I was asked to attend a conference in Abu Dhabi on “Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies” this week, I was reluctant. How many more times will we Muslims reiterate Islam is peace, I thought. The invitation, however, came from a man who has no contemporary rival. From Bill Gates to Barack Obama’s White House to millions of ordinary Muslims around the world have sought his advice: when Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah calls, 250 renowned Muslim scholars and thinkers from across the globe respond.

    Al Qaeda is a direct result of misinterpreting Muslim scripture and exploiting contemporary Muslim politics. It is not enough to say mainstream Muslims are against extremism – where is the orthodox Islamic correction of radicals’ writings? They exist in complex, scholarly language from Libya to Egypt to Pakistan.

    This was the first time an Arab and Muslim country had hosted so many Muslim influencers and, more importantly, intellectually demolished the ideology and theology of Al Qaeda and like-minded groups. The underlying ideas of takfir, jihad, governing by Sharia, wala wa al bara (loyalty to Muslims and disavowal of others), religious classification of non-Muslim countries and war were all scrutinized. Still, orthodox Islam’s millennium-old, weighty arguments need a much larger platform.

    This conference illustrated that mainstream Muslim scholars have the networks, outreach, ideas, arguments and energetic drive to eradicate the cancer of hate and intolerance in the name of Islam…

    “The light of Islamic knowledge can extinguish the darkness of extremism.”

    http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/one-clerics-war-on-radicals-is-the-hope-for-moderate-islam

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  121. majedkhaldoun! it’s me, omen. hope you are well. please don’t be mad no more. m. barber is new. he didn’t know what he was doing. he didn’t know all of your contributions. he tried to write to you to apologize but to no avail. i’m sure prof. landis would restore posting privileges. just send him a note. i had to do the same after not posting for a while. revere & other instigators are gone now. everybody misses you. wont you come back to syriacomment.com? at least drop by once in a while. the board is not the same without you. we need your analysis.

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  122. اكثم نعيسة

    هل اعجب الطاغية القابع في دمشق ، بمنظر المخطوفين من النساء والاطفال ، حيث تم عرضهم البارحة على قناة الجزيرة ..
    هل فرح لنظراتهم الحزينة ..الخائفة والقلقة والذليلة …ام لثيابهم الرثة ..وحالهم البائس ..؟؟؟
    هل تفاجئ بهم..؟؟؟ وبأن هناك العشرات من العلويين جلهم من اﻷطفال والنساء ..هم قيد الخطف منذ اشهر مضت ..؟؟؟
    وهل مازال يرى ..أن هؤلاء هم عبيده الذين اورثهم له و…لعائلته .. ابوه ..وان لديه ..الكثير منهم ..ذكورا واناث يكفوه ..في حربه المجرمة .. عاما اخر او عامين في احسن تقدير ..
    ويرى ان ﻻ بأس ..بطائفته ..ان تحعله يستمر على كرسيه ..سنة او اثنتين ..؟؟
    مرشح كرسيك ورئاستك:
    هل تفكر بشئ اخر ..سو ى ذلك ..؟؟
    هل تفرح لانك حولت قسما كبيرا من طائفة الى وحوش فتاكة،مستغلا فقرهم وجوعهم وعواطفهم ابشع استغلال ، طائفة عرفت بتسامحها وانفتاحها ..وطيبة اهلها صبرت على كل المحن ،واشدها ، ظلمك وظلم ابيك من قبلك ،وسفالة سلالة عائلتك ،
    وجعلت من خيرة شبابها ..حطبا ..لحربك ..الشنيعة ضد شعبك ..ليحصدهم الموت …واحدا اثر الاخر ..!!!؟؟
    وهل تدرك انكم مارستم كعائلة ، كل انواع القذارات بحقها والشناعات والتجويع والاذلال والمهانة ،ومع ذلك صبرت الطائفة وتصابرت .
    الاتذكر…كيف اشعتم .حكمتكم.القذرة…وحولتموموها الى شعار ..لكم ..”جوع كلبك يتبعك” .!!!
    يا مرشح كرسيك ورئاستك:
    هؤلاء ليسوا عبيدا ..ولا وقودا ..ولا اشياء تباع وتشترى ..
    هؤلاء بشر من لحم ودم …ونخوة ومرؤة وشجاعة ..ولا يرتضون الذل او الظلم لنفسهم او لغيرهم.
    وخداعك وقناعك ..يتهاوى يوما اثر..يوم.
    .ولهم عليكم ..يوم مشهود ، ليس ببعيد.

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  123. Past, present and future: we are neither a minority, nor a majority; we are NOT sectarian, never were, never will become sectarian. We were, still are, held hostage by an imperious family in our homeland -a product of the “West’s deep colonial involvement in organising this corrupt, dictatorial and sectarian state” -not only in Syria.

    Excerpts from a -Alawite-Syrian citizen- post..

    منذ القرت الثالث الهجري ولغاية الساعة لم يتعرض العلويون إلى هكذا إبادة, وممن؟ من دولة رئيسها علوي

    نحن أغبياء وفكرنا أنه حامينا وعم نقله منحبك! ولك عشو بدي حبك؟

    النظام الذي “يحمي الأقليات”، عاجز عن حماية أبناء طائفته. “صدقني نحن كالجميع”، ألا تذكّر العبارة هذه بالجملة الشهيرة التي أطلقها أحد المتظاهرين بداية الثورة: “أنا إنسان مو حيوان، وهالعالم كلها مثلي”؟

    هل لديكم طابو أخضر (ورقة ملكية) بنا كعلويين؟ نحن من دفع ويدفع الثمن فخامة الرئيس! اعذرني, إلا أن سياستكم باتت تشكل خطراً وجودياً حقيقياً على العلويين! نحن بشر سيادتكم! لدينا أحاسيس ونبكي أيضاً! صدقني نحن كالجميع

    في أي قاموس بالدنيا، تموت طائفة كاملة مشان عائلة واحدة؟ رح تقلي خطفوا وقطعوا رؤوسنا، رح قلك هذه المقاطع المسرّبة عن تعذيب المعتقلين بتخلي الواحد يقوم من قبره ويصير متطرفاً

    أين علويو عدرا؟ أين علويات الساحل سيادتكم، هم أكثر من 176 امرأة وطفلة

    http://www.all4syria.info/Archive/136717

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  124. In my dream children sing a song of love for every boy and girl
    The sky is blue and fields are green and laughter is the language of the world
    Then I wake and all I see is a world full of people in need

    Tell me why (why) does it have to be like this?
    Tell me why (why) is there something I have missed?
    Tell me why (why) cos I don’t understand.
    When so many need somebody we don’t give a helping hand.
    Tell me why?

    Everyday I ask myself what will I have to do to be a man?
    Do I have to stand and fight to prove to everybody who I am?
    Is that what my life is for to waste in a world full of war?

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  125. Now the regime took over Yabroud, they have to maintain their power there with thousands of troops, so the rebels will not come back

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  126. the coastal battle is more promising than Yabroud, behind it there is Turkey, who is more supportive than HA controled lebanon, it is more mountainous area, and wooded area is protective.. Turkish airforce will prevent syrian airforce from attack behind the lines, and Da-esh is not there to back stab the rebels.
    Further coastal control north of Latakia, will provide the rebels with sea Access where weapons can reach the rebels by sea without objection from neghbouring country like Jordan and Turkey,
    Coastal access will be a base to attack Latakia, a very important strategic city and will threaten the Assad base directly
    Russian base is not in Latakia, it is in Tartous ,
    The regime is more concerned about the southern front than the north coastal area.
    Finally to control the coastal area will seperate the turkish Alawis from Syrian Alawis, and will protect Turkey from terrorist attacks from Assad shabbiha , they will not be able to cross to turkey and cause terrorism.
    Finally it is attrition war so far

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  127. Turkey F16 downed Mig 29, this indicates that No Fly Zone would not be costly, and proves that F16 is superior to Mig29, Erdogan was bragging about his airforce infront of million supporters
    FSA joined the Rebels at the coastal area, the target is Al Samra town

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  128. Turkey action ,downing Syrian jet Mig 29, is so significant, that it actually sent a message that the 5 Km zone is re established and this means no fly zone over 5 Km.

    Sending thousand of HA to help Assad forces up in the coastal battle is suicidal, there is no aerial protection, it is unlikely that they will succeed as they did in Qalamoun,that area will be a cemetry for HA

    US hands are tied now waiting for CW to be destroyed in Syria, after that there has to be a test for Assad to make sure that he gave up all his CW, taking his word is not enough

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  129. I found it hard to believe the news that Hilal Assad died in battle, more weird news that Ali and Kifah and Ziaa Assad they all died in such a short period, something must explain such coincidenceI will not be surprised to hear Suleiman Assad is in trouble

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  130. Jabal 45 and the town of Al Samra is under the control of FSA
    It is clear that the regime is powerless without controling the sky, and Turkey has established NFZ for 3-5 Km

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  131. إذا مات القلب: ذهبت الرحمة، وإذا مات العقل: ذهبت الحكمة، وإذا مات الضمير: ذهب كل شيء

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  132. What is your take on Laïcité and the concept of secularism in France?

    Laïcité isn’t the separation of church and state. Laïcité is the forceful removal of religion in everyday life. That is something quite different from what the US has in terms of separate of church and state, which in and of itself is not what people might think, because certainly there is no separation between religion and public life in the United State. Quite the contrary, we actually promote religion in public life, encourage religion in public life. What we mean by the separate of church and state is that no citizen will be forced to pay taxes to a church that they don’t actually believe in. Which of course is different from the UK which sees itself as far more secular than the U.S., correctly so. And yet forces every citizen to pay taxes to a church whether they believe in it or not. Which reminds us how sticky this whole thing is about religion and society can be in practice.

    But to me, the worst handling of that tension is the way France does it. Well actually the worst way of handling it is the way Iran does it, the opposite end of the spectrum, where religion is forced upon society, or forced upon the public realm, instead of encouraged. I think the French model is really not a model that can sustain itself in the 21st century. It’s predicated on this notion that assimilation means the stripping of one’s self, of one’s distinctive identity markers, be it their ethnicity or their religion, or for that matter their culture. And the acceptance of a identity formulated by the state. And that kind of notion may be could work in the 20th century, but there is simply no way that that idea can function successfully in the age of globalization, in the age of mass migration..

    It’s funny because it’s not as though America is any less racist or intolerant or xenophobic than France is, because we are. But we have a system in place, a machinery if you will, that continues to chug on and absorb every wave of immigrants as they come into our shores. And as it does so, it transforms America itself in a way that is uncomfortable to a lot of Americans, but in a way it’s unstoppable. There’s not much that could be done about it. I think that’s the difference..

    https://americanlibraryinparis.org/component/k2/item/630-reza-aslan-on-religion-and-society.html

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  133. .. so called ‘jihadists’ groups, like the ones in Syria, are infiltrated, controlled and their movements predicted. No wonder they call them “sleeper cells”! They are all over the world, and unfortunately, innocent bystanders are paying with their lives for such schemes. We live in a world were fear is manufactured, to control the masses.
    I find Peter R. Neumann essay, Suspects into Collaborators, fascinating! A history of jihadist groups in Syria and how Assad created his “jihadist enemies”.

    Given the history and genesis of groups like ISIS, many Syrian opposition figures now claim that the jihadist groups in Syria are puppets of Assad, and that they continue to be used and manipulated by Syrian intelligence in its efforts to discredit the revolution, divide the opposition and deter the West from intervening on their behalf. Indeed, there can be little doubt that many of the older and more senior figures in groups like ISIS will have records with Syrian intelligence, and that some are likely to be collaborating with the regime. Nor is there any question that the Syrian government, which is fighting large numbers of secular defectors from its own forces, has an interest in portraying the opposition as crazy fanatics, or that some of its actions – such as releasing more Islamists from Sednaya prison, or sparing ISIS-controlled areas from attack – have been designed to strengthen the jihadists vis-à-vis their rivals. There still is no solid evidence, however, that the jihadists as a whole are controlled by the regime, despite repeated announcements by opposition figures that such evidence would be forthcoming. No one doubts that jihadist groups in Syria draw on external support and international networks, including foreign fighters from across the Middle East and even Europe. But the reason they were able to mobilise them – and mobilise them quickly – is that Assad’s government had helped to set them up.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n07/peter-neumann/suspects-into-collaborators

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  134. The west ,now, is looking for Turkey to help in the conflict in Ukraine, they need Turkey more than ever, so for those who expect the west to get mad of Turkey assistance to the syrian rebels are just dreaming and hoping, the west tried to undermine Erdogan, but now, they can not afford to have problem in Turkey and they need Erdogan, even if Turkey fire against Syrian jets several time , the west will support Turkey

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  135. Erdogan party is expected to win 46-50% of the vote in Turkey , The leak from the meeting between Dawood Uglu and the intelligent chief is significant, but it is common thing, Israel used this trick several times.
    It has been a week since the battle for the coast has started, the lack of military aircraft will prevent Assad Army from regaining the lost territories.
    Erdogan now, can claim that the weapons are reaching the rebels through their access to the sea, and not through Turkey.

    Obama visit to KSA has been unsuccessful, Obama is still against delivering advanced weapons to FSA,claiming that US has limited power, and he is afraid the weapons will reach other groups, both claims are very weak

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  136. Two important news today
    Qatar king(prince) is in Jordan to meet with King Abdullah2, and the important election in Turkey, If Erdogan party gets 50% of the votes it will be great capital to him

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  137. “Rituals of Signs and Transformations is arguably the most important stage play written in the Arab world in over a century, and perhaps in the history of drama in Arabic,”

    “Although written in 1994 after its author, Saadallah Wannous, was diagnosed with a terminal illness, it continues to resonate with audiences throughout the Arab world.”

    Saadallah Wannous (1941-1997) is the most significant Syrian playwright of the 20th century and, along with Tawfiq Al-Hakim and Alfred Farag, one of the most important playwrights from the Arab world during this period. His plays include Evening Party for the Fifth of June, The Adventure of Mamluk Jaber’s Head, The King is the King, The Rape, and The Drunken Days. He is recognized especially for having used theatre—like Brecht, Boal, Fugard, Soyinka and others—to address charged social and political questions. In 1996, the year before his death, he was chosen by UNESCO as the first playwright from the Arab world to give the address for World Theatre Day.

    According to Wannous’s prologue, the play takes as its point of departure the historian Fakhri al-Barudi’s account of an incident in the 1880s in Damascus in which two clerics were involved in a feud that split the city into two factions. One was the Mufti, the chief religious legal authority, also referred to in the play as Sheik Qassim, and the Naqib-Al Ashraf, also referred to as Sir Abdallah, the leader of the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad. When the chief of police arrested the Naqib while he was engaged in lovemaking with his mistress in his semi-private garden, the Mufti concocted a scheme to save the Naqib’s reputation.

    https://www.aub.edu.lb/news/2013/Pages/rituals-wannous.aspx

    More interesting reads

    “A Night at the Theater with Saadallah Wannous” by Ali Khan, when the latter attended the play in Damascus in 2009, ” I talked to a few people who are familiar with the works of Wannous and all of them were surprised by the fact that one crucial dimension of the play had been deliberately left out by the directors. The play we saw successfully depicted Wannous’ cautious approach to religious authorities but neglected to portray his critique of an unjust government! I also found that many key scenes that portrayed the struggle between the Ottoman Wali and the Mufti had been removed from the play.”

    http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/a-night-at-the-theater-with-saadallah-wannous-by-ali-khan/

    Most recent articles:

    A commentary by Rami Khouri, after attending an “excerpted readings of the first English translation of the late Syrian writer Saadallah Wannous’ play Rituals of Signs and Transformations..I watched with fascination the 45-minute performance, followed by a discussion..I was struck by the tremendous power that cultural performances can have in creating appreciation and respect among Americans and Arabs who otherwise spend much time mocking, abusing and killing each other…The result was a powerful reminder of the deep and textured humanity that defines the Arab world that I know, love and encounter every day. Only art and culture can reflect this reality to other societies. They remind us again of the importance of both translation and theater arts as potentially immense forces in the transmission of culture and human values across continents.”

    The full article can be read here

    http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/23982/unparalleled_magic_of_city_and_stage.html

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  138. Erdogan party won 47% of the vote, after discarding those who got less than 10% this will up the victory for Erdogan to over 50%, it is a huge victory for Erdogan, Obama will be disappointed, he did every thing to prevent Erdogan from achieving victory,
    Since Erdogan came to power, he consoldated his position, and his enemies tried everything to discredit him, but to no avail, he is in a position to change the Middle East political map,Erdogan is a natural leader as he will become the president of Turkey, after july election,the problem is that he is surrounded by enemies on all sides, however Bashar is the bigest loser,
    From now on Erdogan is ascending to a position that will force Russia and US to recognize him as a formidable political leader in the Middle East

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  139. In the New York Times, a moving reminder that “Where there’s life there’s hope” and once again the power of art takes center stage..

    ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan — On a rocky patch of earth in this sprawling city of tents and prefab trailers, the king, dressed in dirty jeans and a homemade cape, raised his wooden scepter and announced his intention to divide his kingdom. His elder daughters, wearing paper crowns and plastic jewelry, showered him with false praise, while the youngest spoke truthfully and lost her inheritance.

    So began a recent adaptation here of “King Lear.” For the 100 children in the cast, it was their first brush with Shakespeare, although they were already deeply acquainted with tragedy.

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  140. Rana Kabbani ‏@RanaKabbani54

    #PatrickSeale, hagiographer to #Assad mafia, is dying. Even so, he managed to disinherit me + our son 2 punish me for siding with Revolution

    Last of the #Orientalists, #PatrickSeale knew no Arabic, was racist, and preferred #Arab dictators to their people #WesternShabbihaOfThePen

    That’s a bedrock of #Orientalism: ignorant we know more about you than you know about yourselves!

    Would they themselves like to live in countries or survive 1 hour in dungeons of dictators they praise?

    Like

  141. In Lebanon Samir JaaJaa is a candidate for presidency, he is supported by March 14 , on the opposite side there is General Michael Aoun

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