I’ve got a good interview in the pipeline which will go live tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some links to a few worthwhile bits of analysis on Syria.
Advice for the UN from a retired diplomat in Damascus, and for President al-Assad from David Lesch: Joshua Landis publishes two very interesting essays today; I recommend you read them both. The first is by an anonymous former diplomat living in Damascus, who assesses the state of the current revolt in Syria. The second is by David Lesch, an American academic who has had the most direct access to Bashar al-Assad of any other Western scholar. Lesch lays out Bashar’s options.
Sectarianism and the Syrian Uprising: A good piece by my buddy Sean, over at The Human Province.
A Regional Response to Syria: Marc Lynch (aka Abu Aardvark) explains America’s options for dealing with Syria.
From Syria With Doubt (click here for part two): As`ad AbuKhalil (aka the Angry Arab) publishes an interesting minority report from a Lebanese leftist friend of his, which comments on the sectarian backlash that will emerge in the wake of any successful revolution in Syria. The response by As`ad’s Syrian readers to this missive was apparently extremely negative. He cites two reactions (here and here).
The Black Swan of Cairo: Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Mark Blyth apply black swan theory to the Arab revolutions. (You’ll need to be a Foreign Affairs subscriber to read the whole thing, but a summary is available on the website).
Has anyone stopped to consider Salafis have feelings too.
They’ve been rejected, used as scapegoats, and waved around like some red card everytime some one cries foul.
The demonstrators in Syria are pleading with the outside world, that they are far from being Salafist and the Assad regime keep insisting that they are routing out Salafi elements in Dar’aa.
Salafi bashing is unanimous. They have feelings too you know.
here’s one article that QN didnt mention in his list.
“I know that voicing out those concerns will be received by many people as a support to the regime’s policies\corruption\dictatorship…yet it is not, it only intends to raise the question, will the total collapse of regime be beneficial to our aims and goals of a better future?”
Angry Arab has funny comrades… I always assumed, wrongly indeed, that comrade meant companion in revolution. This one sounds more like a panicked Lebanese aouni,and his reading of Syrian society seems very peculiar from a revolutionary point of view. Even if you have been in Syria once only, even if you have been only able to set foot as a tourist in souk al Hamidiya, you know that unveiled women were becoming increasingly rare in the very heart of Damascus, not to say Aleppo. I wonder why AA posted such a comment, and I wonder if AA would have thought of posting a similar comment if the events were to happen in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia (or Yemen, where no body seems particularly bothered by the niqabs).
The posts by “Angry Arab” providing opposite points of view from folks on the ground in Syria are intriguing as they offer antipodal views.
How can objective observer gain insight into what the reality and the truth are? Could it be that there is a little of both perspectives on the ground? Even in such a case, isn’t it likely that there is a preponderance of leaning towards one outcome vs. the other?
If the two outcomes, post-Assad, are (1) democracy and secularism through a rocky road but eventually triumphant and (2) oppression of the Alawites and an Sunni-Islamic dominance led by the Muslim Brotherhood, then which is the one that is more likely to prevail? What is the margin of error in predicting one vs. the other?
While neither an expert nor a speed reader, whatever common sense and objectivity I try to apply to all the readings from all sources does not lend itself (if one stays fully objective) to good insight in answering the question above.
“” While the current crackdowns in Deraa and Douma seem dire, any international response should be based on the known facts. Who is killing Syrian security personnel? “”
Those killing Syrian security personnel and peaceful demonstrators are the thugs of Asef Shawkat’s military intelligence goons. The rational of the assassin in chief Asef Shawkat is to create enough chaos which “justifies” and make believe that the crack-down is inevitable, desirable and in the “interest” of the country and stability.
Also, given Asef Shawkat’s three dimensional criminal personna…he is projecting a situation in his sick mind, whereby he thinks that by instigating such dire situations on the ground, it could justify a Coup D’etat by himself and his cronies to oust the weakling Bashar Assad.
Bushra Assad is a powerful behind the scenes actor in the Assad Family Mafia apparatus and would go along with such a scenario, which Asef Shawkat has been contemplating/preparing for years….
HK, is there evidence for the accusations you level against Assef Shawkat?
AIG, in reaction to the news about the rapprochement and agreement between Hamas and Fatah has been greeted by disapproval and negative expectations by Israeli leaders.
Based on earlier posts from you, I would have thought that, at least for you, anything that unites the voice of the Palestinians and make them speak in a representative way that they can all be held accountable for in the future is a desirable thing. Your argument at the time was that while it may be a harder line than Fatah alone, at least Israel will know who it is dealing with.
If I interpreted things correctly, then why are the Israeli leaders being negative?
If I am in error, can you please advise what is the proper way you, in particular, folks in Israel in general, and also Israeli leaders, think about all this.
Is it now likely that the STL will move faster, taking advantage of the mayhem in Syria??
Who controls how quickly the STL moves?
This is not QN’s promised frenzy-causing post, I ssume.
There is a recently shot video in this report showing civilians in Deraa tending to wounded Syrian soldiers, confirming reports of mutinies taking place among Syrian army units,
HP @ 5,
I have already corroborated such info with Syrians from USA while there, and I have in a different post alluded to this earlier.
There was also similar accounts in the press from the beginning of the uprising in Syria from multiple sources. The question asked by the Anonymous American diplomat living in Syria is not innocent I might add…, he is trying to be facetious because he knows the Shenanigans of Syria’s security apparatus and Asef Shawkat in particular….but he will never come out and say it while still living there in this Hell-Hole…
Regarding you valid question about Fatah & Hamas reconciliation in Cairo…and the negative Israeli reaction to that… I would say that the Israelis have been taken aback by this most positive development and that’s a Good thing… Israel would have liked to perpetuate the divisions between Fatah and Hamas for ever…which would have allowed Israel to keep the Status-Quo for ever, and get away with a perpetual No War, No Peace situation with the Pals… The hope of this Israeli Government is to foster a situation that would allow the formation of a permanent Palestinian state in Jordan ASAP….thus keeping the West Bank for good.
HP @ 7,
STL is a TOOL of CIA/MOSSAD and the Infamous White House Murder INC, from its inception. PERIOD. What moves STL is US/Israeli politicking and devious shenanigans to defame and attempt to destroy Hezbollah’s reputation. The Syrian “File” with STL has been settled and buried since February 2008, when Asef Shawkat agreed to eliminate Imad F. Moughnieh in Damascus on behalf of CIA/MOSSAD/DGSE… in a far reaching DEAL.
Some elements of that deal have not been delivered by the arch-criminal Asef Shawkat… 1: He has not been able to assassinate Sayyed Hassan Nasrallh… 2: He has not been able to reign-in and diminish Hezbollah…???
Is that enough grounds to turn the clock of STL back… and re-target Asef Shawkat in the Hariri indictment… I Don’t know the answer to that question!!! It remains to be seen….The situation in Syria/Lebanon is very fluid now…to say the least. Surprises are bound to happen at every turn of events from now on….and the odious White House Murder INC, could spring back into action at a moments notice….
Asaad Abu Khalil should be held for questioning the second he reaches the Beyrouth airport.
Lebanon gives everydoby theright to express themselves,though,
His anti-Lebanese stands makes me wonder to which enemy is he funded by.
Why would AA make similar remarks about Yemen/Saudi/Bahrain. Their regimes are not ostensibly “secular”.
On that note, in the UAE, veiling/niqabing was not that prevalent 30 years ago. The situation has changed quite dramatically over the last 30 years. It’s an interesting juxtaposition walking through one of the post-modern malls in Dubai.
Back to Syria, I’ve only been once, and made your exact observation. It’s what I throw back at my Syrian friends who are sympathetic to the Assad regime now. They keep telling me it’s secular.
But who should I believe? Them or my lying eyes?
This type of change in society is generational. And the Baath has been in power for a generation. So if their political platform was to secularize society, they failed. They had more than enough time to enact policies to encourage secularism. But they failed.
Fatah and Hamas reconcile. Basis being laid for UN recognition of Palestinian statehood…., how is Israel’s warmongers going to respond? A new war this summer? Or the unleashing of the Infamous White House Murder INC, again soon???
Israeli ambassasor to US Michael Oren says U.S. needs Israel now more than ever. Funny, Oren, who is from New Jersey, did not need the U.S. He gave up his US citizenship to be Israel’s ambassador to his home country. How does one spell “TRAITOR?”
Obama tells Oprah show that those who question his roots are “carnival barkers.” No, Barry, you are the trained CIA barking circus seal….
US Judge Alvin Hellerstein puts stop watch on 9/11 victim family’s lawsuit. Of course, Hellerstein is afraid of what might come out in suit. Hellerstein, Larry Silverstein, Michael Mukasey, et al: all members of the same war criminals cabal….
You give two options, but are they not likely one and the same thing?
The “Rocky Road” could be a period (perhaps prolonged) of emergence of MB or like figures.
MB will have to deliver or morph and change (if not already changed and moderated).
Who gives any considerations to Asa’d Abu Khalil except as mj said some auoni sympathizer? He doesn’t even allow comments on his blog because no one takes him seriously. Or may be he knows himself he cannot be taken seriously so he disallowed commenting. Besides a woman wants to wear the niqab and covers herself up; so what is the big deal? I know women with PhD’s and chose to wear the niqab, and they can put Asa’d, Aoun and his spokeswoman Akl, the author of that ridiculous piece, to shame. Wearing the niqab (it may be called differently in Syria) is commonplace in many parts of Syria since time immemorial and is strictly a personal choice. I still remember an incident, which I do not think I’ll ever forget, when I was a little kid visiting relatives in Syria with mom and dad. As soon as my mom and I walked into a house, some women in the house immediately disappeared. I didn’t know why. I asked my mom why they left, and she said to me these women do not give audience to men. And I asked: where are the men? She said: YOU.
This is an eyewitness account of what is happening in Deraa. It seems lots of horrible things are taking place. And the witness confirms fighting between the fourth brigade and Maher’s men are breaking out. He saw four destroyed tanks with his own eyes, he said.
You’re not a man, never were and never will be. You’re a proven Liar and a despicable Sectarian Bigot. Your lies and parodies are spread all over this Blog willy-nilly. The worst part is that you know better but are totally blinded by a deep sectarian hate of the Shia since the day you were born and that will never change. You were born that way and you will die that way.
HK and Iceman: please don’t talk to each other.
If you don’t mind my asking … what do you do for a living?
This is going way overboard. I will not talk to him not just because you asked.
Reporting from China, by the way, I am shocked at how much and how fast it has changed since my last visit 3-4 years ago.
I was in New York and San Francisco 5-6 months ago and can ascertain, in comparison, that the American dream is dead and has been outsourced to China.
Gaby, you make a good point but one premised on the inevitable, eventual evolution and moderation of the MB. Can this be counted on? Are the Iran or Taliban examples a guide? Are Hamas or HA better models?
If I understood correctly the point being made by the first AA commentator is the rigidity, intransigeance, and ruthless fanaticism (religious) of the Syrian MB. That doesn’t mean he’s right.
Turkey is preparing for a surge of Syrian refugees….which is already happening in Northern Lebanon while our Government is flailing about… My guess is that Turkey’s government knows a lot more about the rapidly changing situation in Syria’s den of thugs…
Can it be counted on? I don’t know. I don’t follow politics religiously, so it’s hard for me to know what the options out there is.
However, I was so impressed with the showmanship of Issam Sultan (Egyptian) who appeared on Al-Manar, I decided to look him up.
Here’s what I gathered to date: he broke ranks with the MB to form a party called Alwasat in Egypt.
Watch the clip and his impassioned defense of freedom of expression.
Is he putting on a show? If not, how much credibility does he have? These are all interesting questions.
Here’s what I know though. Psuedo-Secularism, or Pretend-Secularism: the kind of orders that came in the Middle East, be it Turkey, Syria or Iraq. They all betrayed the central platform in one form or another, and they all failed. You can’t impose secular orders Top down. They have to be grassroots.
If the MB does not reform, they will end up leading failed societies, and if they want to remain relevant they have to moderate their message, or they risk driving people away in droves.
The only question is the interim period, or as you call it, the rocky period. Given the regional politics, despite anything Assad does or does not do, there will inevitably be temporary sectarian strife. How damaging or prolonged that will be will have to be seen.
Josh Landis, Rami Khouri, and Anthony Shadid are interviewed by Tom Ashbrook on NPR:
I was listening to the interview before I saw QN’s last comment. It is a great discussion.
I found Rami and Anthony a lot more informed than the esteemed Landis. But don’t take me wrong. I meant more informed in the sense of being objective and willing to see the writings on the wall and express it as it is.
The message they brought forward in a nutshell is that this is the end of the post colonial era in the Arab World and there is no turning back. It is the first Arab attempt for self determination driven by popular drive unlike what happened a century ago. And I have been saying this since day one.
Joshua Landis is still using the same scare tactics even though he admits there is a fundamental change. Landis is still fulfilling his role as the packager of the Syrian regimes message for local consumption here in this part of the word. He is stretching Realpolitiks to its utmost absurd limits.
His defence of the regimes strategy for reclaiming the Golan is perhaps the most laughable one can listen to. Does any still believe in that strategy or lack thereof 40 years after it has been lost?
Have a look at the ‘Ghoneims’ of the Syrian revolution,
I forgot to mention above that Landis is still promoting the only message he has in his pocket which is that of scare tactics and the fear of the unknown. Only the fools and the meeks can be made afraid and get stopped by such tactics. We have a completely different generation at play than many have gotten used to. Time to wake up.
You can only swim against the tide at you own risk.
There was an interview with Patrick Seale, Hafez biographer and most celebrated apologist of the Syrian regime who may be becoming foreshadowed by Landis now, today. I learned that he said in the interviews that he believes that Bashar made a big mistake by resorting to force. I am looking for the interview and will post it when I find it.
You really do have an amazing prejudice against Landis. How many times did he say that this regime is doomed? How many times did he say that EVEN if they survive the protests in the short term, they have not been able to solve the economic woes and that “the wheels are going to fall off”? Even Rami Khouri admitted that you can’t rule out the possibility of sectarian conflict. So why do you keep trumpeting your litany of accusations against JL that he is some kind of regime spokesman? Regime spokesmen don’t pronounce that “there is no soft landing for Bashar”, and call his regime “corrupt” as Joshua does in this interview.
Many readers of Syria Comment have criticized Josh for being too tough on the regime over the past several weeks. Meanwhile, you continue to say that he’s doing Bashar’s bidding. That’s a bit much, in my opinion.
About Landis, I also said he admits there is a fundamental change.
So, I was fair to him. Those who attacked Landis as being too tough on the regime on his blog are none but the regime bigots who popped up all of a sudden and drove every sane commentator out of that blog. It is only normal for a US Professor to admit the obvious about the regime being corrupt in order to be taken seriously by his audience in this part of the world. You do not expect him to reiterate the Baath narrative word by word and get away with it. What I said is that he is packaging the regime rhetoric into a form acceptable to the audience he is addressing using his well known skills.
The difference between JL and Rami is that even though Rami admits the possibility of sectarian conflict is real, it is not central in his presentation. For instance, he waters down that fear by also admitting the long history of the cosmopolitan heritages of most Arab cities. For Landis, it is an ominous prediction that may engulf the region in an epic sectarian war with the aim of presenting the Syrian regime as the only alternative for this so-called precious stability which the Syrians themselves are not buying anymore.
I said not long ago while arguing with Lysander that I do not have an answer to the Sunni-Shia divide and in fact few if none possess such answer. But at the same time if you ask me will there be a Sunni-Shia war in the Middle East. My immediate answer is NO THERE WILL NOT BE. There is a completely different set of forces at play that are not accessible to people such as a Professor of history and an expert on Syria who can only see the situation from a certain perspective. Those who want to make such predictions must be familiar with the fundamental precepts of both sects as well as the traditions, before they can make such rash predictions with such confidence.
Seale was interviewed yesterday night by Gisel Khoury on Al Arabia (who has been doing great reporting)
Near the end he insists Bashar is different from his father partly because of his wife and the 2 years he lived in London.
Forget about the West dreaming of “democracy” in Syria. If history would pull a magic trick – like in Bashar Assad offering to sign a peace treaty with Israel next week – the US, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, the French, the British, JL, P. Seale… and the UN, would not care one iota if the regime shocked and awed whole Syrian towns and cities to the ground killing thousands of civilians…
So it’s up to Syrian progressives now to get their act together and prove Bashar Assad the thug in Chief wrong. Because if it’s not him, it will indeed be a horrendously regressive, House of Saud-supported Salafi Wahhabi new master thug…
The Crumbling US Empire & the UNSC persist in describing Assad as a “reformer”…
The mainstream media, JL, P. Seale, etc. have shown themselves to be made up of nothing but shameless, pandering whores who bow down to the covert creeps, the corporate masters and their real agenda… The big items ( Real freedoms & Democracy & human rights across the board…, Wall Street corruption & Ponzi schemes, SEC, Rising Oil/Gas Prices, Continuation of Nuclear Energy Use, utter corruption in Governments, greed, War crimes, support for Ziocons & cruel Dictators, STL & ICC shenanigans, the Infamous White House Murder INC,….) take a back seat to the latest updates in the Royal Wedding (which is pretty much meaningless) or what’s happening with Charlie Sheen.
Maximus Americanus [ over 20 Mil. unemployed, 40 Mil. on food stamps, 15 Trillion in Debt, 200 Trillion in outlays/entitlements for SS, MediC.& Medic.A, a growing US Gestapo state and decrepit infrastructure…] is dying out and will lash out in a final death throe….
A few more wars and a trillion $ US military budget ( paid for with Chinese $$ ) before it finally dies and turns into the immediate post-USSR…
انّ دبلوماسية الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية الخارجية, لجهة الشرق الأوسط خاصةً, في ظاهرها ناعمة حسنة بريئة, خلاّقة تعاونية رائعة, وفي باطنها تخفي السمّ الزعاف في حية رقطاء, وما يمكن ملاحظته ازاء دبلوماسية واشنطن التالي:- أنّها في ساحات خصومها تصعّد, وساحات حلفائها, تدفع باتجاه التهدئة والأحتواء
The utterly Corrupt US Aipac/Congress has acquiesced to Caesarism. The American people have no more control over their government than do people in countries ruled by crude dictators…
Washington’s quest for world hegemony is driving the world toward World War III. China is no less proud than was Japan in the 1930s and is unlikely to submit to being bullied and governed by what China regards as the decadent West… Russia’s resentment to its military encirclement is rising… Washington’s hubris from MENA to Africom to Eurasia…and Nato’s submissiveness to the secret “UKUSA alliance” and their ongoing Shenanigans since 2000, can lead to fatal miscalculations….
You really do have an amazing prejudice against Landis. How many times did he say that this regime is doomed?
Professor Josh and his sidekick Alex have been shills for the Assad regime since time immemorial. Alex is still raving about the protestors and Josh’s doubts ring hollow after years of unflinching support.
I wouldn’t call it “unflinching support”. Josh has built his career as a Syria analyst in a different way than most of the others, to be sure. He tries to read Syria’s actions from the regime’s perspective, and he takes the sectarian issue serious b/c of the experiences of Iraq and Lebanon. But if you go back through the SC archives, you will find plenty of critiques of the regime, dating back to 2004. You will also find praise of Bashar (mostly for his foriegn policy skills and his ability to withstand pressure). But I would not call it “unflinching support”. He’s not Sami Moubayed, for example. Also, he and Alex disagree fundamentally about the current situation, as you’ll see soon enough in the interview that is coming.
But if you go back through the SC archives, you will find plenty of critiques of the regime, dating back to 2004.
I may take you up on this “archive” challenge. Any critique of Assad by JL I would term “softball” in nature, and I’m pretty sure I can find scores of articles claiming Assad is still the best alternative for Syria considering the alternatives, etc, etc., blah, blah…
I’ve been following JL’s threads for years. He painted a picture; and we’re all staring at it. I’ll cut and paste a “collage” of articles/statement to make my case in the coming weeks to make my point.
From the AP: (associated press;)
U.S. taxpayer funds should not and must not be used to support those who threaten U.S. security, our interests and our vital ally, Israel,” she said in a written statement. “According to existing U.S. law, such a hybrid government cannot be a recipient of U.S. taxpayer funds because the law stipulates that the PA government must recognize the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist, among other things.
The Audacity of Hope
Syria’s referral to UNSC likely
Jonathan Cook’s stupid opinion nothwithstanding:
And of course our friend and peer, Professor Josh:
Comment by JL: John Bolton responds to the news now emerging that Israel’s raid turned up no proof of radiation from the Syrian site that was bombed. Bolton argued that the bombing raid was necessary to destroy nuclear cooperation between Syria and North Korea. The most important line in his defense is,
“Israel’s specific target is less important than the fact that with its objection to the raid, North Korea may have tipped its hand. Pyongyang’s interest in the raid may be evidence of secret nuclear cooperation between the regime and Syria.”
He now argues that because North Korea said it was innocent, it is guilty. Evidence from Syria is immaterial. Proof of Syria’s “evilness” can be established by North Korea’s objection to the raid. One must respect the audacity.
Syria’s Alawite minority dynasty of thugs and assassins is NOT Reformable, not now, not ever and everyone in the “international Community of creeps” know this from time immemorial. Yet, as I type these lines, the Brussels geniuses of the EU and the moronic Catherine Ashton…are still advocating talks between the Assad Mafia and the Valiant Syrian Opposition for meeting half way…Pathetic. Hillary Clinton and the decrepit US Congress consider Assad as a “reformer” and Israel is praying for Asef Shawkat’s survival in the upcoming Coup D’etat… in order to perpetuate the sordid deeds of the most Infamous White House Murder INC, in the Levant. Go Figure why the Crumbling US Empire of war criminals is becoming so meaningless in this World…since the gruesome assassination of January 24th 2002?
The Iraqi example from which JL is afraid was created by none but Assad and his ‘mukhabarat’. The same ‘mysterious’ so-called Salafists used by the ‘mukhabarat’ to stoke the fears propagated by JL were dispatched to Iraq by the same Syrian ‘mukhabarat’. They were eventually defeated in Iraq by none but the Arab Sunni tribes, the so-called ‘Awakening Councils’. The Lebanese example needs no explanation. We know who played all the factions against each other during the war and still do so even till now.
As for Alex, I find the sidekick description of AP very appropriate as he definitely cannot be on par with the Professor. One of the comments I read for him recently depicts a sick mentality and a completely lost cause. This is what he had to say in Arabic to all the commentators as soon as the army was dispatched south (my translation),
To all the traitors
Allah, Souria, Bashar wbass”
This is all he had to say after being in hiding since it all began. But he was playing with his tail from behind the scene bringing a new commentator from NY by the name of FADI, a Syrian expatriate apparently with a PhD, who spewed out the most ignorant, bigoted and hateful posts ever written.
If JL is really objective, he would have banned him for ever.
Here you can find some updates on the uprising,
provide a link to that comment by alex please.
Here, QN, comment 118,
” A commentator from NY by the name of FADI, a Syrian expatriate apparently with a PhD, who spewed out the most ignorant, bigoted and hateful posts ever written…”
That sounds very much like the Wahhabi supporter here, Anonymous Aka Iceman!
Verbal attacks have not stopped despite your last observation!!!
Hmm, is that the same ALEX of CreativeSyria.com ?? I wonder. It sure doesn’t sound like him, and the link in the Syriacomment blog comment section for the ALEX of the quote and link above is a wierd http://www.wawuk.net/
No, it’s not the same Alex.
Alex is keeping very quiet isn’t he?
I wonder what he thinks about the tanks in Dara? My guess is that he is so scared of civil war that he will accept any atrocity of the Assad regime.
Alex is not the only one in that situation, Walid Jumblatt, a CIA asset dating back to the mid-seventies is sh*tting in his pants…
Obomba made it very clear last week that he wanted $400 billion cut out of the U.S. Defense Budget. But unlike Gates who understood the military consequences of such an action and who would have been reluctant to proceed, Leon Panetta who is an Obomba “Yes Man” has no reservations and is the man who will make this happen….Likewise, Gen. Petraeus will proceed with added militarization of CIA since Mike Hayden…and will be an Obama “Yes Man” as well, until 2012…
Regional powers – primarily Iran and Turkey with the support of Russia, Pakistan and China, – see the lone superpower as totally overextended with growing popular resentment of the same GWB’s policies at home…, corrupt, weary, and nearing an utter fiscal crisis – a situation they seek to turn to their advantage and accrue substantial geopolitical goals as well… These five regional powers are in a good position to play crucial roles in a settlement and in an excellent position to benefit from one…This holds the promise of peace, stability and prosperity after a while, when things settle down in MENA, a new regime in place in Syria and the Palestinian State is officially recognized in Sep. 2011, but nothing is without pitfalls in this part of the world.
That should be weird if it is not the same Alex.
He is an admin of the site. How would he allow some one else to post under his own monikor?
Any new commentator has to go into moderation before he can post his first comment.
There is a duplicate comment under a mistyped monikor. Please ignore.
The coming interview is with Alex, so you’ll see soon enough.
iceman, it would be completely out of character for the ALEX we know to put up the kind of posts you quoted; hence my earlier comment.
I’m not sure if Syriacomment screens every new poster (?) like this blog. Even if it does, it’s not clear the ALEX we know is the one who does all these screenings.
Anyway, I’m sure the ALEX we know is very disturbed by all that is going on, even though he hasn’t voiced opinions recently.
AIG, it’s ok to wonder what ALEX might be thinking but it’s unfair to make the kind of guess you’re making (“accept any atrocity”).
I know you’ve had strong differences of opinions with ALEX in the past, etc., but nowhere in what I know and have read is there justification for such extrapolation.
Ya Qifa, kafa promising us and keeping us hanging… that interview was supposed to be posted yesterday.
Shoo? you are already an ace at the procrastination of all the academics I know.
Yalla, while it is true that “no one remembers how long it took but everyone remembers how wonderful (or fantastic, or effective, or successful) it was” in the interim period of waiting, some folks really suffer 😉
We are impatient by nature.
[Is that enough of a kick?]
Oh! wait, I know….
So, my interpretation is that “tomorrow” is relative just like time is relative (in the Special Relativity Theory); just like when the Bible says God created the world in 6 days, those days are not a fixed amount of time as understood in classical physics, but, depending on which reference frame is used and how fast it’s moving relative to the frame we are in, could even be as long as the age of the universe!
With that realization you are forgiven, Master QN.
HP, I’m waiting on Alex! 🙂
This blog IS my form of procrastination, by the way.
For the procrastinators…a little distraction:
Susan Rice claims Qaddafi forces raping women after taking Viagra. Rice, like the idiotic Bolton putting out the same worn-out Neocon/Ziocon lies we’ve all seen before: Iraqi troops smashing Kuwaiti babies on the floor after yanking them from incubators, Saddam buying yellow cake uranium from Niger, Saddam being involved with 9/11, STL Shenanigans and the odious actions of the Infamous White House Murder INC, etc. Rice has experience with African men on Viagra but it comes from her hours spent in statehouse bedrooms from Kampala and Kigali to Kinshasa and Juba….
Of course if you asked Alex if Bashar should kill 10,000 people to stay in power, he would say no. However, if Bashar did kill 10,000 people in Dar’a, Alex would not then say it was time to replace the regime. Whatever Bashar does, Alex sees the alternative to Bashar as worse and past atrocities are a “sunk cost” in the sense that Alex looks at what could happen in the future to minorities in Syria. For example, despite Hama, Alex wrote several times that he believes Hafez was a great leader.
Regarding the interview, I am sure many of his answers will include at least one reference to KSA or Israel.
How about you post the questions you asked him and we guess what his answers were? This way we can see if we really understand him.
The protests today were even more widespread despite the crackdown which shows very clearly the deep grass roots origins, as well as conveying a clear signal that the barrier of fear has been broken once and and for all. 7Hamma finally joined today.
Damascus Maydan once again was the scene of massive turn outs and the security used all its resources for that area. They know full well where the achilles heel is.
The question is how long will the regime keep deluding itself hoping to regain the initiative and turn the tide through the use of force and scare tactics?
Deraa and 7Hawran will go in history books as the hub of Syrian liberation and national consciousness, a feat they claimed twice in less than a century. They fullfiled their oath to the Syrian people and are still generously shedding their blood for the goals they set themselves up for since they ignited the uprising.
New post at Syriacomment.
This is also an interesting link from the comment section courtesy of AIG
Watch the new bab el-7hara with Lebanese flavour added,
Using Quotes as a Weapon
For example, despite Hama, Alex wrote several times that he believes Hafez was a great leader.
Quite telling indeed.
That’s a brutally honest way of putting it. But isn’t that just the order of doing business in the Middle East?
The middle east is a tough neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean that if you live in it you should beat your kids and your wife. That is what Assad is doing. Yes, you should keep a gun in the house and be wary of your neighbors, but why is that an excuse to abuse your own family? The Israeli government is accountable to its people, the Syrian government isn’t.
It seems that the apologists for the Assad dictatorship are numerous and the “rationale’ scandalous.
I wonder how long will the civilized world wait to see the Bashar the “reformer” systematically brutalize and kill his own people. What’s the number? …Or tanks do not carry much weight in the new theorem of protecting people from massacres. See daddy; no planes!!! So no need for no fly zone.
QN…Still waiting for the fantastic post you promised. The Royal Wedding is over lol…you have our undivided attention!
It all depends on how one defines “kids and wife”.
Some of the most vociferous opponents of Bashar are quite comfortable seeing Saudi tanks rolling into Bahrain to help the ruling elite there mow down their “kids and wife”.
And in Israel, they do their utmost to ensure that the populations of the Occupied Territories never become their wives and kids.
Of course, if you rephrase the question in sectarian terms, one needs no longer make reference to wives and kids.
The Middle East really is just, plainly and simply: Sunni, Shia, Christian, Jew, Alawi, Durzi, etc.
Each group thinks only of their wives and children.
The way I see it, it is Europe that holds the ace here. The US has already sanctioned Syria quite heavily so any additional sanctions won’t do much. Europe is Assad’s life line. If they start sanctioning him, it will just be a matter of time till the regime falls or Syria declines into economic turmoil. They have begun the process. Let’s see where it leads.
Again, one word of caution. Do not dismiss a Zimbabwe scenario. Like Mugabe, Assad could remain in power while Syria disintegrates around him.
Danny seems to be itching for the “Civilized” World to intevene in Syria.
Not sure who is intended by “Civilized world” here. The US? extreme secularist France? Britain?
Here’s a novel idea. Perhaps the extremely civilized Saudi Arabia can move its army out of Bahrain and into Syria.
We’ll kill two birds in one stone. The democratic aspirations of two peoples can be fulfilled concurrently.
It is true that what group makes up you “wife and kids” is a little fuzzy. But isn’t it clear that Syrian citizens are Assad’s “wife and kids”? Israel treats Israeli Arabs differently than it treats other Arabs because they are citizens of the state. Isn’t that how all countries behave?
You’re describing the ideal and righteous position. Not the reality that is on the ground.
The people of Syria did not cease to be the children of the “regime” yesterday, or last month, or three months ago. Or even 10 years ago, or 40 years ago!
And to what extent are they not just a product of this reality. Baathi, Nasserist, Syrian Socialist, etc. But a source of it in the first place.
Norman recently, shaken up by the new reality, bemoaned the fact that Syria had an “Open” policy towards all Arabs.
The nationalists are still living in their dream palaces.
They tried to negate “Zionism” and its core philosophy by providing an alternative model: religious/multi-ethnic co-existence. But they never did really build that alternative.
And all the Utopians, Dreamers, etc that went along with that dream are equally responsible for this reality.
Aside from sanctions and diplomatic pressure on the Syrian regime, I am totally against any military intervention whatsoever in Syria from Europe or the US.
Jordan or Turkey are differnt ballgame, and they can make a difference when such interventions become warranted. Actually, I would like to see the Jordanian army crossing the border to Deraa right now.
The Syrians will do it themselves and are in no need for any NFZ’s or similar actions from the ‘civilized’ world.
Isn’t that tantamount to declaring war on Syria? Invading a sovereign country?
Don’t drift into your countryman’s warped logic… 😀
Nice article by Hisham Melhem, it’s good to see Lebanese Journalists with such integrity and objectivity far cry from the Bashar ass kissing we hear coming out from Lebanon every day. The comatose Lebanese President called Bashar and wanted to visit Damascus to show solidarity! How cute, can the Lebanese sink any lower? Where is the freedom democracy camp in Lebanon? Are they so terrified still?
What warped logic are you talking about?
Jordan has more right to protect its next of kin than the UN security council which has proven useless BOTH in Lybia and again in Syria as it couldn’t even pass a very simple and toothless resolution.
So, enough of this hypocricy called UNSC.
Guys, I’m waiting for Alex. As soon as he sends me his text, I will post it, and you can take turns debating him. 🙂
Does Alex really want to get into a debate here at QN, at this difficult time for Syria?
He is a courageous man.
If you guys think so highly of Alex, then may be he wants to debate here because he couldn’t take it any longer at SC. But I could be wrong.
I’ve clearly hyped this interview way too much. 🙂
It should be a fun time. No nastiness, please.
Alex might go in as Filet Mignon…but he definitely will come out as minced meat… 😀
Ice I think you should chill a bit. With your impeccable logic; Syria can interfere in Lebanese affairs at will…Would you support that?
Give me a break dan and compare apples to apples.
You do not have a Lebanese army beseiging 1 million inhabitants without water, without electricity, without supplies, without hospitals and bodies strewn out on streets that cannot be burried.
Sure man when and if a Lebanese army will engage in such atrocities then we can talk about a ‘Syria’ army’s ‘role’ but definitely not under a regime like the one you have now in Damas.
It’s all in the interpretation of events on the ground. Syria used the “civil war” which it created to stay in Lebanon for 30 years. I don’t think any country should be able to interject unless there is an international or regional consensus. Otherwise you will see Israel busting in everywhere buddy! Do you want that?
Azmi Bishara just concluded an interview on Al Jazeera (arabic) in which for more than 20 minutes he harshely condemned the action of the Syrian regime against its people. Still, he argued that it was not too late for the regime to start “authentic” reform and national reconciliation.
I dunno what they fear the most, the MB, civil war or the unknown? and some just use them as excuses to keep their sick twisted ideologies and beliefs intact, like the permanent squatters in Syriacomment who have reached an all time low. It is no longer a debate but a verbal fight of insults attacking anyone with even a thought of an alternative. They are meant to be the educated among the population.
These people are not driven by logical arguments and principles but a recognizable fear that the whole edifice of their belief system since birth will come crashing down if change were to take place.
“Otherwise you will see Israel busting in everywhere buddy!…
Yeah dan, the best means to give a dictator in the ME a life line is for Israel to intrefere on the side of the revolution. As if you do no not know that already!
Let’s not re-write history. Syria did not cause the Lebanese civil war!
The Lebanese did that to themselves, starting with the Cairo accord, and followed by the blind hatred of anything Western as part of the blind faith in what is clearly a non-existent pan-Arabism and pan-Islamism, tightly coupled with the ignorant disdain by some Christians to their Muslim brethren. These Christians had o compunction about siding with those brethren to kick the French out, those French who built roads, built schools, raised the standard of education and living, and brought forth Lebanon in leaps and bounds into the emerging democracies (until the Lebanese pulled the rug from under such progress).
Sure, Syria took advantage of some openings and manipulated things but, at the same time, many Syrian soldiers died on Lebanese soil. These soldiers have families and their families don’t look at their loss as part of Syrian hegemony. They look at them as personal tragedies. Regardless of mistakes, also, the Syrian intervention of 1976 did prevent massacres of Christians which otherwise would have taken place.
Anyway, that’s for history to judge after the wounds are definitively cold and long forgotten.
For now, let’s stick to the topic at hand.
You are right. Syria never moved a finger. From using the PLO and splinter factions of habash and Zuhair Mohsen to agitate the situation further. Sure Sa3ika never lifted a finger. I guess when Lebanese were trying to find a way out; they did not kill Kamal Jumblat and pin it on the Christians. Bashir Gemayel must have combusted out of thin air. Same with Mufti Khaled and Rene Mou3awad.
HP, I can go on and on and on…about the lovely Syrians who did not help bomb Zahleh for a month non stop…and off course allow the massacres in the mountains.
Sure …”Sure, Syria took advantage of some openings and manipulated things”.. Is that what it is called? When Arafat was parading and inspecting PALESTINIAN troops in West Beirut and declaring the correct route to Jerusalem (they did not have GPS then)…
Yes Syria was the innocent bystander and were there to help out…
“These Christians had o compunction about siding with those brethren to kick the French out those French who built roads, built schools, raised the standard of education and living”
This is lost currency and belongs to colonialist era. Forget it. It smacks of neo-colonialism and not a single Arab would listen to it in this time and age.
Pan Arabism as we have experienced was a product of colonialism and orientalism. For the record the Arab League was not created by the Arabs but by the British. Arab nationalism itself was started at the AUB by orientalists in the late 19th century.
Dr. Landis gets the merit for recognizing in the latest discussion that the current Arab regimes are in fact the left- over from the colonialist era and in fact were put in place by the colonialists themselves before they left.
It is Arab nationalism as formulated by the orientalists and the colonialist that failed. That does not negate the fact the Arabs have all the cultural and historical prerequisites for nationhood.
Cracks in so-called ‘MUQAWAMA’:
Hamas leadership left Damascus and is now hosted by Qatar.
This is the regime which ‘saved’ Lebanon and is now ‘saving’ its own people. It all depends on past experience. A real massacre – while on their way to 7hims from Telbisa
Do you knwo how much Hafez used to get paid each time, in order to stop shelling residential areas? He would only accept payment in cash. I know of at least two incidnets involving Zahle and Ashrafiyye. Where have you been all this time?
In the case of Za7hle he got paid 2 billion dollars flown in cash on board a private jet. Same amount was paid for Ashrafiyye and same means of delivery
you guys seem to be taking on that massive responsibility in writing Lebanon’s history during the civil war….which according to the latest news, keeps getting swept under the rug for later generations hoping that one day, when Lebanon reaches its zenith and everybody will be able to finally ski in the mountains in the morning, and then ski on the Med. later in the afternoon, the civil war would be forgotten about like a bad dream.
Part of the problem is that too many commentators were not THERE. And if they were, what side were they on, and if they were on a side, what side of the sand bags were they on, and more importantly, what were they on?
So how bout avoiding generalizations, we will leave that to the Orientalists. We’d much rather wait for the Berris, Gaegaes and the Joumblatts to have an epiphany of some sort and write down an honest biographical account in detail of what really happened. 🙂
Here’s the news about Hamas,
If this is true it is very significant. If you read carefully, Qatar has only agreed to accept the Hamas political leaders. It seems the military leaders (the vast majority) will have to return to Gaza. I would not recommend selling them life insurance policies at this point in time. Let’s see Mesh’al using his cell phone in Gaza.
From a Syrian point of view, they are letting the last leverage they have on the Palestinian issue get away. Also, Iran cannot be very happy about this either as it makes coordination with Hamas much more difficult for them.
How will Hamas quitting Syria for Qatar affect the Syria supports terrists bogeymen narrative? Will it morph into Syria supports Shia terrist bogeymen, now that the Sunni terrists have decamped?
Will the US congress pass resolutions sanctioning Qatar for sponsoring the Hamas terrists?
Will John McCain still heart al_Jazeera?
It’s all quite odd.
You have to look at it from the perspective of what happened in Egypt with regards to Palestinian reconciliation.
Many Arab media sympathetic to so-called ‘muqawama’ portrayed that reconciliation in the usual dream-like middle of the day sort of thing victory while the sun is up in the middle of the sky. They maintained that this was a win for the ‘muqawama’ in the sense that they got Egypt on their side and not Egypt having its way with them. Of course, everything happening in the Arab world is a win for the ‘muqawama’ axis as they continue to insist until things blow up and then they come up with another spin that fits the usual formula. Believe it or not Khamenei created a webpage for himself, just for that purpose, addressed to the revolutionaries telling them they are on the same path as the 1979 revolution. Conveniently he left Syria out of that page as an apparent anomaly which, for some unknown reasons, does not fit in the grand scheme of things.
The fact that Egypt did not want Mesha’al on its teritory is also significant.
Also things between Damascus and Do7ha are going downhill at a very fast pace and that is not just because of this development. Qatar seems to have moved far away from its previous stance viz-a-viz ‘Mumana’a’ Square in favor of ‘ta7hrir’ Square.
“Policy involves a tremendous amount of reverse engineering” — figure out a policy, and then line up the facts to fit in….White House on Friday announced sanctions against three senior members of the Syrian regime, including a brother and a cousin of Bashar Assad….but no sanctions against the thug in Chief Asef Shawkat and no sanctions against the assassin in Chief, Bashar Assad himself….There is still a long way to go before the Ziocons forfeit their allegiance to the most infamous White House Murder INC, anchored in Damascus since January 24th 2002…
There is a real cost to “engaging” with tyrants: you send a message of acceptance to the regime and of indifference to the plight of the citizen. That price is sometimes worth paying, or at least unavoidable (think: Thuggish Wahhabi Crazies of the utterly Sectarian Saudi Arabia)…Qatar & UAE rulers made the pilgrimage to Washington DC to get their orders, after feeling the heat recently. Period. Hence the shuffling of the deck…
Promises include immunity from NED shenanigans and an official declaration of Palestinian Statehood in Sep. 2011 at the UN. The nutty, hesitant and cowardly Netanyahu has his work cut-out for him on his upcoming trip to DC, addressing both houses of the utterly corrupt Congress. Is he swimming against the Tide? Time will tell whether the crumbling Empire can pull some surprises from its dirty bag of tricks!
Do you understand French? I recommend this book, for what it is worth, which discusses how Syria actively orchestrated her “invasion” of Lebanon.
One of the interesting thesis they suggest is that the so-called “invitation” to enter Lebanon and save the christians was sent after they entered/invaded Lebanon.
Not all of what Basbous and Laurent say is convincing but some of the quotes they refer to are quite unbelievable, especially from Araft who is quoted saying he will let the Lebanese swim in their own blood at the time.
Guerres Secrètes au Liban by Annie Laurent and Antoine Basbous.
Ya jame3a, I was addressing specifically the statement about who started the Lebanese civil war. First, for those who asked, I was there until 1981. I was (and still am) a completely neutral civilian, lucky to survive those first five years, and lucky to have had an out when I did, finally leaving behind the nights spent sleeping in the bathroom to reduce the probability of injury from mortar shells by being under a double ceiling. I was not addressing later events. There was plenty of guilt to go around.
I have no love lost for Syrian foreign policies or the later years of military presence in Lebanon and meddling in its politics, just as I know many Syrians feel the same.
I stand by my earlier post in the context of the START of the war, as well as the guilt of the Lebanese themselves.
They all and we all paid the price.
The French mandate in Lebanon was NOT colonialism. History will judge.
Lining up against the Fench and the Edde’s was the stupidest and most damaging thing Pierre Gemayel (the late elder) did. We have all paid the price.
Again, I am not insisting on persuasion, just expressing an opinion and I agree that History will judge.
All this in reaction to whoever wanted to extrapolate to say Syria STARTED the Lebanese civil war. It did NOT.
rm, yes I do and I dont quibble with any analysis of later years. The START, however, is a different story.
Maverick, there is a very good historical series of videos along the lines of what you describe. Look for “the Lebanon war” on youtube. I agree that adding “confessions” by Berri, Geagea, Junblatt would be good.
You are quite right in your assessment of the origin and causes of the Leb. war dating back to the 60s…
History will be the Judge, but there are serious attempts at re-writing history to suit devious ZIOCON agendas…
Antoine Basbous is not a neutral observer at all. He is totally biased, partisan and is one of those attempting to re-write History. He is totally aligned with the despicable Samir Geagea, the Uber-Criminal and their skewed politics and criminal behavior since 1986…
The only person who had the most access to ALL the secrets and the inns and outs of the Lebanese War from its inception was Mr. Elie HOBEIKA, who was in the process of writing a “tell-all” book about that era with a renown publisher in Beirut, and who was ready to come and testify in a “hypothetical court” in Brussels…when he was savagely eliminated by a fiery CIA/MOSSAD car bomb in Hazmieh, January 24th 2002, courtesy of the arch-criminal Asef Shawkat and Leb. military intelligence thugs of the Odious White House Murder INC, of GWB. He was to be silenced on all counts, because he knew way too much…, like who gave every bullet, rocket, tank, and rifle to whom, and who paid what to whom and when and what for… from day one until Taef and much much more…., hence he had to be silenced for GOOD. No one wants to disclose all the secrets of the Lebanese war not now and not ever, a dirty war with Proxy CIA Militias wall to wall a la Geagea thugs, and PLO thugs roaming the streets of Beirut and Jounieh to get to Palestine and Syrian/American/Israeli double-dealings for decades….
The only book that comes close to disclosing valuable facts about that war is Alain Menargue’s; titled: Les Secrets de la Guerre du Liban. His account is the most accurate in many areas and one of the best I have read.
I do not believe it is constructive to act as if there is a single true history.
Even if we may know X did Y at time t, the writing of history is itself a social (and historical) activity. History is therefore both constructed and discovered.
This does not mean all narratives will be equally valid and true.
Instead, it means that objective analysis obtains fom the intersection of various distinct points of view, what some scholars have called positional objectivity.
Here at AUB we had an interesting presentation this week by Dr Charles Ingrao titled Bridging Conflicting Narratives: the Balkans and Beyond:
Abstract: Over the past decade a consortium of 300+ scholars from 29 countries crafted a common narrative of the recent Balkan wars for presentation to media and government leaders across the former Yugoslavia. By discrediting outrageous myths and replacing them with “inconvenient facts” this Scholars’ Initiative challenged politicians to accept a single narrative that had been written and accepted by their own historians and social scientists. The talk will describe the project’s design and implementation in the Balkans, then invite audience participation in enumerating the reasons why such a strategy may be less appropriate for the Middle East, before offering an alternative approach.
The Dominoes theory of the Cold War revisited…:
U.S. Expects to Rebuild Georgian Army…
The United States expects to help Georgia rebuild its military, a top U.S. general said Thursday…., prior to Leon Panetta taking over the Pentagon to slash 400 Billion USD from the defense budget….LOL
Rebuild Georgia with what? The US is totally broke. As for Lieberman, let him(and Israel) fight their own wars… And Joe, the “domino theory” won’t sell like it did in Vietnam. You weren’t there, but a lot of good Americans were, and they are not falling anymore for your dirty tricks, or for re-writing History, from Pearl Harbor, to Vietnam, to the Middle East or the Balkans…!!!
The utterly corrupt Empire is Naked for all to see, and AUB is becoming part and parcel of its Fabrications, Pathetic.
It’s alright man. There were several triggers to the start of the civil war…but my assertion was it was managed and guided by the nice neighbors who wanted to save the Lebanese from themselves.
It just didn’t happen one morning when people decided ok…let’s do it!
Egypt must feed > 80 mil. souls, that number is growing daily. It has to give jobs to people, preferably productive jobs. Egypt is an agricultural land that can not feed it self. The price of food is going up all over the world. Egypt need grants & investments. For example: it need zillions to re-structure the agriculture and the water supply systems. Presently almost all the available water is already used. Up river, in the South, there is also need for water. The salaries of textile workers and similar industries in Egypt is fixed in South East Asia. The workers in Egypt are demanding unions, salaries, nationalization. Will China and/or India invest? Can USA & Europe invest ? can they or will they give grants? The Econ. revolution in South America was also based on bringing back money that was sent abroad. Will money from abroad come back to Egypt ? Will the oil countries invest heavily in Egypt? Up to now the new rullers in Egypt have done nothing to bring investments or create jobs. Re-entering with much noise the Gaza strip will not bring to Egypt food & invetements and will not create more jobs.
Don’t worry, the Naked Empire of the utterly corrupt Ziocons will launch a Marshall Plan for Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Somalia soonest, right after Leon Panetta takes hold at the Pentagon, slashing military budgets in order to foster Peace and tranquility in the World… The military Industrial complex, the Oil Lobby, CIA/MOSSAD and AIPAC be damned…
But given that the Crumbling Empire is too busy re-writing the History of its previous Covert Wars in the area and beyond, and still “consulting” with the likes of Antoine Basbous and Samir Geagea…the days ahead are going to be very bleak indeed, and the Infamous White House Murder INC, still has room to maneuver in the Levant…
In some way, John Kerry, among others, who defended the idea that B. Assad is a reformer is responsible for what is happenin and has blood on his hands as well …
Is it conceivable that they could be justly prosecuted by an international court? The idea is not that carzy. The prosecution would argue that his irresponsible statements and actions facilitated (and still facilitate) the killing of innocent civilians. The court’s decision may then set a precedent to the likes of Kerry that their acts have a price and that they will be held accountable for the ideas they propagate.
“Senator John Kerry was one of those convinced of Mr Assad’s desire for change and repeatedly encouraged engagement with Damascus under the Obama administration.
Mr Kerry travelled to Syria a number of times, had dinner with Mr Assad and his wife Asma and attempted to get talks going between Syria and Israel.”
“Last week, Gen. Abdo Khodr Tellawi from Homs was killed with his two sons and a nephew. The Syrian state-run SANA news agency claimed that “armed criminal gangs … killed them in cold blood.” But opposition activists say that the Syrian intelligence services executed them because they were showing signs of sympathy for the protesters, reports the Christian Science Monitor!
The concept of “armed criminal gangs” operating in Syria is very hard to believe, Syria has one of the most powerful intelligence service in the world, nothing can happen in the country without the regime knowing it…and it’s obvious that Asef Shawkat’s military intelligence goons are stirring the pot, setting the stage for their next move…
Other officers killed in the past two weeks include two Christian colonels, Samir Kashour and Whaib Issa, and Gen. Ayad Harfoush, who, like Tellawi, was an Alawite.”
In fact, Syrian security & Military forces are badly flawed in their inner divisions along regional and ethno-sectarian lines. If they are stressed long enough and hard enough they will come apart…. The process has already begun and Asef Shawkat & Bushra will not sit idly by, a Coup D’état is bound to happen…
What will happen then? Will Israel stand by and watch, or is it that Asef Shawkat is still coordinating his every move with CIA/MOSSAD and the infamous White House Murder INC, ?
No one said Syria started the Lebanese civil war. But they did send armed Palestinians who are directly under their command as well as lots of arms well before 1975.
The French presence in the Levant was colonialist in the full sense of the word. No Arab whether from the Levantine or elsewhere would look at the Sykes-Pico agreement except as colonialism and the worst form duplicitousness. So please.
Kerry may be stupid but he doesn’t have blood on his hands. He cannot be sued for any crimes committed by the Assads.
Iceman, I don’t quibble with the later Syrian policy. I was reacting to an earlier post that “Syria created the civil war in Lebanon.” Also wanted to clearly separate Syrian people and Syrian government.
For the French mandate I was only talking about Lebanon. To many Lebanese, obviously no longer the majority, France us still the mother country. The question there is whether things would be different if the transition to Lebanese independence (and it was un the works) had not been done by fiat as it was. I submit that civil war would not had happened and certainly not the Cairo agreement. But I concefe this is old hat and speculation.
Sorry for typos – on mobile. Substitute
is for us
concede for concefe
We Jihadists are never at Fault
What are the “Marshall Plans” for Iran, Syria, Gaza, and Lebanon? Do you concur with these plans?
So now Michel Aoun and the FPM are willing to give up the interior ministry in exchange for the release of the spy general Karam.
Wow! Just when I thought these guys couldn’t sink any lower in the depths of hypocrisy!
I guess even traitors and spies are now bargaining chips.
I’m just completely speechless.
And this coming from the camp that talks about resistance as being some kind of sacred and holy affair. I guess it ain’t so sacred when it comes to one of yours, eh?
I don’t think the destabilizing effects of new technology, and especially the Internet, factor in military nanotechnology as well a connectedness, have yet been fully understood, especially by conservative authoritarian regimes…
The only people who believe that the conflict with Jews and Arabs is insolvable basically do not want a solution… George Will pontificated on the “eternal” Troubles in Ulster a while back. How did that turn out?
Oslo has been great for Israel: Merely by allowing the Palestinians the illusion of local “governance”; the Israelis off-loaded the cost of the occupation onto the EU/USA.
” Interim Foreign Minister, Nabil al-Arabi, said the Gaza blockade would be eased over the next few days…He described the support of the previous Egyptian government for the blockade as disgraceful”. I think current events were what ‘Securing the Realm’ was supposed to prevent… Unfortunately for the Israeli nutty right-wingers, and the corrupt US Government, history is outstripping their hypocritical Ziocon strategies. Even funnier, they have burned down their diplomatic channels, and Lieberman is as likely to reach rapport with the Palestinians or other MENA states as John Bolton or Herman Cain would be.
I’m looking forward to the Bibi show on the Hill, wherein he attempts to slap a new coat of paint on the old colonial project. One could only hope that he ends up next to Tony Blair, GWB, Rumsfeld & others soon, fighting the good fight… against malaria…
The selective quotation of history going here is pure entertainment. More later.
BV. Has Karam been found guilty in a court of law?
Where is Ahmedinejjad these days?
Once again, I do not believe the collapse of the Assad regime will result in civil war or a Salafist regime. But I can’t say the chance is zero. During the time between the collapse of the current government and the stabilization of a new one, Syria will be vulnerable. It is not without external enemies who would take advantage of that time (Yes, I do mean Israel/KSA) And so I can’t blame anyone for being concerned about what will happen after the fall of Assad (assuming he does fall)
But while it’s fine to worry about what comes next, it does not mean one must tolerate what is present now. I believe Syria can overcome the challenges and create a representative government of some kind appropriate to Syrian culture, customs and needs. Such a government, joining other representative Arab governments would create a moral and political force that the Arab world has long been missing. It will create an environment for economic growth and reduced corruption. Yes there will always be corruption. But the mega corruption that exists in Egypt and Syria and elsewhere cannot thrive in an environment of a free press and activist citizens.
So while I fear the worst, I believe the best is within reach. This is the best chance Syria has ever had for a participatory government of some kind. I hope it will succeed. If it does, it may be the last we see the crocodile tears shedding over Hama and Deraa.
# 102. In joining the blockade of Gaza, Egypt was co-conspirator in a crime. It has announced it will no longer participate in such crime. It can do that while at the same time moving to address its domestic problems.
And what about this? Is As’ad abu Khalil joining the Syrian revolution? And notice the note at the end of the article about al-Akhbar newspaper refusing to publish this week for the Angry Arab,
Lysander, There will be lots of tears shed on Syria before you see the end of it. What you had in Egypt pales and is not even comparable to what the Syrians have.
There won’t be a “salafist” regime in Syria. Nor will there be a civil war.
What might happen is low level attrition attacks sponsored and supported by outside players.
And democracy in Syria will bring is, as it will in Egypt, conservative Islamic governments.
The “Arabs” are quite spectacular.
First it was blame the Turks. Then it was blame the french and the British. Then when all the royalties were left hanging dead from poles, it was blame the Israelis and the Americans.
Now it seems that the story has morphed once again to blame the “orientalists”, a curious turn of events as that insult has been to date the darling insult of the Muqawama camp.
Just when you think they’ve exhausted the list of people to blame, another one pops up…..
…. Just as long as they don’t blame themselves!
What is currently happening in the bankrupted USA, with almost a shutdown on free speech…and a growing Gestapo state, is a déjà vu on another front, in the smoldering remnants of Yugoslavia in the early 90s and during the 1991-1996 war years. We watched especially the Soros/CIA/OSI groups under names of Helsinki Committee and others, socially engineer and melt down the country… Soros tackles things on the economic currency destruction front but also runs elaborate psy-ops under his humanitarian organizations, progressive groups, etc. and they are pure psy-ops. Inside of Soros offices in Zagreb and other places everywhere…, we were well familiar with their social engineering work in the Balkans…then it spread to Eurasia and now MENA in a spectacular way… vacillating between Hard & Soft power schemes!
Re-writing history with Ziopedia, Web-bots & Susstein and other cacophonies does not fly with people who experienced first hand the fog of Nato’s wars dating back to the 70s.
As we all wait for Godot,
iceman: no explanation was given by As’ad abu Khalil? or the newspaper? shopuld he not boycot the newspaper now? i mean this is blatant in your face censorship.
HK, I find it quite difficult to follow your arguments… you jump from x to y to z back to a without providing references or evidence I can rely on. If everyting is a conspiracy on everyting nothing can ever be known. thanks.
You can’t provide “references” and “evidence” about something you lived, and there are things that can be told up to a point.
We are not in a court of law, and those events described are notoriously controversial. You have alluded to that yourself.
So, it’s very easy to brush aside the issue and say that everything is a conspiracy, hence we will never know anything. That’s the easy way out to drown-out any issue.
The point I am making is that what we are witnessing today, especially since 2000 , has its roots in the 70s with Kissinger, then Brzezinski, the collapse of the Berlin wall, the Balkan wars, the color revolutions, PNAC fallacies etc, then today’s events in MENA and beyond. Those things do not happen in a vacuum and are all inter-related & intertwined. Obviously there are hidden hands and a driving force behind all this, tweaking and turning along the way, and loads has been written about all of these Geopolitical affairs. What I found intriguing is that there are always people pushing for a certain narrative to be adopted universally, in an effort to re-write history surrounding controversial events.
About Obama Sr. at Harvard, can you confirm this?
Harvard administrators, the memo stated, “were having difficulty with his financial arrangements and couldn’t seem to figure out how many wives he had….”
Can you confirm the Assad, ‘nejad, Nasrallah alliance?
I have no access to the Harvard archives. 🙂
Any inside info on your buddy “Superman” Baroud and his latest maneuver? Taking one for the team? 🙂
Why is Netanyahoo so upset about Palestinian reconciliation and urging everybody to be upset about it?
Well you know QN, may be his real name was abou 3amama and the ‘wives’ thing is the ‘proof. That’s why few people have access to those archives. It’s all part of the ‘cover up’.
QN, see HK @ 13, you might find some answers…
Here is a righteous man.
As a Holocaust Survivor, AIPAC Does Not Speak For Me: Israel, of course, would not be able to carry out its gruesome assassinations through the Infamous White House Murder INC, and war crimes against civilians in Lebanon and Gaza without the United States – and our $3 billion in military aid – permitting it to do so…The vicious discrimination brought to bear against Palestinians in the occupied territories deserves no applause this week from members of Congress attending the AIPAC conference.
No, Karam has not been found guilty in a court of law. But that does not diminish the hypocrisy of the FPM.
As long as Karam is being held legally as a potential spy, he should be within the confines of the lebanese justice system. And the justice system ALONE should determine his fate (ie. a trial), NOT POLITICAL horsetrading.
Yet another example of the actors in Lebanon completely ignoring due process, the rule of law and everything else and going about things their own way. Isn’t it ironic that the FPM is demanding the ministry of the interior, supposedly to “fight corruption”, yet they are horsetrading on the fate of a suspect spy? How is that not corruption?
Why is this Republican Guard soldier not so afraid to speak?
He is accusing the ‘mukhabarat’ of firing indiscriminately on peaceful civilians. He also explains the method of transferring him and other soldiers from the same army unit to a security unit in civilian clothes. And by the way it seems that the black shirts ‘syndrome’ has spread outside Lebanon into Syria.
Don’t disagree with you. Its a strange place and a strange moral compass that they have.
Still the word ‘traitor’ is thrown around so loosely in the middle east, its lost its potency. Either way, the chap should be given the benefit of the doubt till he goes through due process.
Ziad Baroud has been avidly following this blog and has heeded my advice to resign from government to form a new political party, hopefully with a realistic socio-economic agenda for this country’s future 🙂
Bin Ladin is Dead !
Nassrallah the sewers won’t help you.
Bad news for Sarah Palin’s campaign.
3 Cheers to “Murder Inc.”!
Another Arab “freedom fighter” gets early retirement…
Palin never had a chance, but this will give Barry a much needed (short term) boost.
It will be fun to hear all the conspiracy theories that will circulate now in Beirut and the rest of the Arab World. where is HK when we need him.
So you are one of the few who have access to the archives and you found out the real name: Barry?
And you think it is only a short lived boost? It wouldn’t give him another term?
If Sarah, who seems to be the front runner, has no chance, then who has?
But what about Netanyahoo? Why is he so unhappy with Palestinian reconciliation and wants everyone to be unhappy for that?
Hooray! The Osama the wicked witch is dead!… Just click your heals and say…, there’s no place like home…. Quick – Someone grab Bin Laden’s broom…. Now you can get a certificate for a diploma…
Well done Obushma. Now you have a certificate and relevance.
Waldo = 1
Osama = 0
Reprint the History Books.
GOP must be boiling mad. Obama laid claim to their favorite wars and their favorite bogeyman, too.
9/11 was an inside Job Wall to Wall, with 19 Patsies, OBL & Al-CIAda. Every intelligence agency in the World, worthy of that name, knows it perfectly well since 2001.
The Courageous President of Italy, Cossiga said it out loud, as well as some Japanese Parliamentarians, Ahmadinejad and many others. The 9/11 truth movement, filled with Architects, Engineers, US officers from NORAD, DIA etc., US Pilots, NYC Firefighters and Policemen, demolition experts, scholars & more, is alive and kicking. The American people deserve better than this utter monstrosity of sheer propaganda, ever since the advent of the PNAC/Ziocon Killers/assassins of the most infamous White House Murder INC, in 1995, and the American people will reclaim their Government and Congress soon enough. Encouraging signs appear all over the great US Campuses. They are the only ones capable of changing this Cabal of war criminals for good.
USA has become a Banana Republic since 2000, on par with the old Soviet Politburo, North Korea, Eric Honecker’s East Germany, Pravda, Tishreen, the 3rd Reich and Zimbabwe, to name a few. The crumbling Empire is too desperate and pulling all the Stops from its dirty bag of Tricks, and much more is in the Pipeline. The worst part is that ALL the Western world, the MSM, the UKUSA alliance of evils, the UN, NATO,EU, the Arab stooges & puppets, etc. are singing the same ZIOCON tunes, babbling, blathering, and regurgitating the same fallacies about 9/11, Al-CIAda and the bogus war on “terror”.
You think CIA/MOSSAD/MI6/BND/DGSE… False Flag attacks are rare and far between, think
again, 9/11 was only their latest savage and barbaric attack, and
a prelude to the most Infamous White House Murder INC, in the
Levant and Worldwide. They still have no shame and continue their
charade of OBL, Al-CIAda and utter FDDC Propaganda, reminiscent of the 3rd Reich.
Les attentats commis en Belgique (“Les tueurs fous du Brabant”),
en Allemagne (bombe à la Fête de la bière à München), en Italie
(la bombe à la gare de Bologne, par exemple), commis par des
groupes militaires ou paramilitaires d’extrême-droite, sous-traitants
de Gladio, branche secrète et terroriste de l’OTAN, dirigée de fait
par la C.I.A.
La Belgique, la Suisse et l’Italie sont les seuls pays qui aient soumis
Gladio sur leur sol à une enquête parlementaire, lesquelles ont subi
tous les obstacles possibles pour protéger les coupables et
commanditaires au plus haut niveau…
Alors que l’Europe est progressivement scindée en deux blocs à la fin
de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, les Américains et les Britanniques
mettent en place des armées secrètes, des réseaux appelés «Stay
Behind», destinés à réagir en cas d’invasion soviétique. Mais alors
même qu’une attaque russe devient improbable, ces réseaux ne seront
jamais démantelés. Avec l’appui et l’instigation de la CIA, Ils sont même
à l’origine d’actes de terrorisme et responsables de la mort d’innocents
civils. A chaque fois que la gauche menaçait d’accéder au pouvoir, ils
ont usé de la force et sont intervenus dans les processus démocratiques
nationaux. Parfois, ils ont été protégés par les forces de police et les
services de sécurité pour préserver leur capacité de nuisance et de
Terreur, Made in CIA, NATO & USA.
En France, on sait que le coup du 13 mai 1958 a été favorisé
par le Département d’Etat et son instrument Gladio, tout frétillants
d’aise de voir arriver un dictateur militaire en France. Plus tard,
réalisant leur erreur, ils ont aidé et armé l’OAS, chargée notamment
d’assassiner Charles De Gaulle…
Après plusieurs étapes, De Gaulle a finalement expulsé l’OTAN en 1966,
qui doit déménager de Marly-le-Roi à Mons et Casteau, en Belgique, et
qui déplace son siège de Paris à Bruxelles.
Citation de: http://www.ena.lu
Extraits de l’enquête de Daniele Ganser :
Quand le juge Felice Casson a dévoilé le Gladio…
Quand le Gladio fut découvert dans les États européens…
Gladio : Pourquoi l’OTAN, la CIA et le MI6 continuent de nier…
Les égouts de Sa Majesté
La guerre secrète, activité centrale de la politique étrangère de
La guerre secrète en Italie
(L’assassinat d’Aldo Moro, attribué au Brigades rouges, était dû en
réalité au Gladio…)
La guerre secrète en France
La guerre secrète en Espagne
What gives? Why’s the Iceman so hard on Palin these days. I would have thought they’d get along just fine.
She doesn’t like elites. He doesn’t either.
She likes good ols fashioned American values. He likes good old fashioned Saudi values.
What went wrong?
Obushma Claims US Special Forces Killed Osama Bin Laden In Abbottabad, Evidence/Body Dumped at Sea, just like the arch-criminal Samir Geagea did with hundreds of innocent civilians between 86-89, as the head of a CIA Proxy Militia of thugs, resuscitated in 2005, courtesy of CIA/MOSSAD shenanigans.
The American sheeple go wild with renewed chants of “USA, USA, WE’RE NUMBER ONE!” And the evidence of whoever was killed in the deep penetration inside Pakistani territory was quietly dumped into the sea, much like the steel from the Twin Towers which was quickly melted down before it could be examined. Pakistan has now completely lost control of its territory to the American invaders, proving that they are a base for all world terrorism, opening the door for the big invasion, yet to come. If this was really Osama bin Laden, then Pakistan had to have known that he was living well in Abbatabod, few miles from Pakistan’s military academy and ISI’s Headquarters…, thus justifying the bad things that Obama is sure to send their way next. God help them…
It must be exhausting to be you. 🙂
رائحة الفاتيكان تفوح من موقف موارنة لبنان
موارنة لبنان! لا مسيحييه
انا كمسيحي ارفض مساندة اي نظام مجرم قاتل
خصوصاً اذا كان هذا النظام يرئسه سفاح ابن
سفاح٠ فأنا لن انسى ابداً ما فعله السفاح حافظ
الاسد عندما حاصر المناطق المسيحية سنة ١٩٧٨
خصوصاً الاشرفية قصفها و حاصرها لمدة ٩٠ يوم
و رفض اسقبال رئيس الجمهورية انذاك الياس
اذاً انا و عائلتي المؤلفة من 300شخص
نكره بشار و كل عائلته و نتمنى له الاعدام و
نؤيد الشعب السوري بتحرير وطنه من الرجس
الآسدي٠ في هذا الموضوع اغلب المسيحيين ضد
النظام السوري و مع الشعب السوري و نرفض ان
ينوب عنا اي زعيم مسيحي يخالف توجهاتنا
لماذا لم تتحرك المجنزرات والدبابات والمدرعات لضرب إسرائيل عندما حلّقت طائراتها فوق قصر الرئاسة في اللاذقية؟ لماذا لم يتحرك الجيش باتجاه إسرائيل عندما دمّرت طائراتها مواقع عسكرية قرب دير الزور؟ كيف يمكن توصيف هذا التناقض «المريب»؟
كيف يمكن تصديق من يتهيّب تحرير جبهة الجولان المحتلة منذ خمسين عاماً، ولا يطلق على إسرائيل رصاصة واحدة؟ هل يمكن الدفاع عن ممارسات هكذا نظام أو تبرير سوء أفعاله إلا من أبواق مأجورة ومأمورة؟
من عدّل الدستور السوري في أقل من ربع ساعة واحدة، لتوريث الحكم؟ لماذا تأخر النظام عشر سنين عن رفع قانون الطوارئ، ورفع الظلم عن المظلومين، ثم لا يزال يستخدم أسطوانة «المؤامرة» و»المندسّين»، ليبرّر أفعاله ضد شعبه، ثم يخرج الشبيحة والقناصة لقمع الشعب وقتله علناً؟
محمد ناصيف علي مملوك رامي مخلوف حافظ مخلوف
اصف شوكت منذر الاسد هارون الاسد عدنان الاسد
جميل الاسد عاطف نجيب رستم غزالة…و القائمة
تطول…سيقوم الشعب باعدامكم شنقاً و بالعلن
Thanks for caring!
I have been at it since 82, because I saw it coming, all the lies, the propaganda against Elie, the assassination in 02, etc. and I will not tire from repeating for the whole world that those despicable ZIOCON fallacies, especially since PNAC/96 should not stand…
From the BBC:
Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas administration in Gaza Strip
We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood.
For those who think al-Queda was only blamed for 9-11, do a Google search: al-Queda, list,terrorism to see their full range of murderous deeds…
Hamas’ support of al-Queda is just another of many examples why the PA/Hamas agreement did not go over well in foreign capitals.
John Paul II, We Love You, pray for you daily and miss your radiant holy smile.
You are so naive. Don’t you know that John Paul II was a central part of the utterly monstrous Ziocon conspiracies of White House Murder INC., a key cog in the vast and bloody CIA/MOSSAD/MI6/BND/DGSE intelligence machine that has spread its murderous tentacles across every square mile of the globe?!?!?!?
Behind that “radiant holy smile” lurked the hideous snarl of a cold-blooded killer, a false prophet who collected tithes from his unsuspecting flock only to spend them cynically on mayhem, sabotage, cases of Cristal, and Polish prostitutes.
It seems that he was able to pull the wool over your eyes, ya HK. Tsk tsk tsk…
Polish prostitutes? Or was it young Polish altarboys.
QN. I think you should censor yourself lest you offended some Catholics.
I have utmost respect, love, admiration, adulation of John Paul II, and more. I think that he was one of the greatest inspirations of our time, and your sarcasm is misplaced with this most Holy man.
I am fully aware of his central role with Solidarność in the 80s, together with CIA, and I fully approve of that role in the Polish context, the Cold War etc, You see QN, not everything is black or white.
I’m just teasing you HK.
I knew it my friend, but John Paul II is too emblematic, Holy and unique for me. I had to jump in in his defense… Not sure that I would do it with others…
Here’s a twist to the conspiracy theorists. AFP contends that OBL’s assassination picture was fabricated,