Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Bashar Assad

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 245

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page of backlog opinions and events is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

The more I observe the “real” world, the more I force myself to live in a parallel world to have more control over it: I call this process “cornering myself”, trying to get detached

Is there a major difference between la theorie du complot and celle du piege? Quand on piege une personne Haut Place’ on connait ses tentations passionelles. On doit etre dans une trame complotiste. Fake news is another means to bring the person into the trap.

Those in high positions (regardless of public or private institutions) invest far more time and energy on preserving their position than on performing their assigned function. No surprise that there are no smooth and predictable good functioning in any department. The higher up are frequently setting traps to potential good candidates in order to retain or get promoted.

Until we figure out an alternative to the hierarchical system in the administration of any institute, like putting on trial the one in a total position of Control, meaning the highest in the pyramid of control, basically, he has to be decommissioned.

The alternative system for a more performing administration, people focusing more on their Function (task) than on investing time and energy on maintaining their power status, then the higher up must have less control than the one next below in the hierarchy.

Obviously it is Not reasonable to give a new comer to a system vast control before he gets acquainted with the process and procedures. Thus, the critical problem is to assign the level in the hierarchy where “the higher up the less control” kicks in.

In my mind, when I read “investing in the Future” for higher profit, it means accessing government and military “loans guarantees” for the “private” investors. No matter what is the result of the balance sheet, investors cannot lose.

Something is wrong with the Western colonial power multinational media. They will cover the car accident in Germany that crushed into a crowd (20 injured and 3 killed) for weeks. But the 1,100 Palestinians injured in one day by Israel snipers live bullets is covered Once for a few minutes, if ever mentioned.

The current Demi-Gods wrapped in old ropes. The likes of billionaires bosses Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google), Peter Thief (Paypal), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook),  Elon Musk (SpaceX and Tesla), Besos (Amazon )… are seen by common people as demi-gods when they express their opinions on ethics and moral values.

Sort of comparing the culture of these bosses with the old ropes in philosophy and acquired myths and traditions. Fact is, these bosses are more concerned with discovering schemes to avoid fiscal laws and taxes. They are frequently worried how to restrain the frequency and costly liabilities and litigation

Are the terms “depressed” linked to the past, “anxious” to the future and “at peace” to the present? How can anyone be in the present when the past and the future are starring us in the eyes?

Chewing gum provides a brief brain boost for 20 min? Due to “mastication-induced arousal,”

Is it a dilemma when many factors come into play? Since 2009, the once-$4 billion gum industry has seen steadily declining sales: Between 2012 and 2017, retail volume sales of gum in the US fell by 13%, and are expected to continue to decline, according to market research provider Euromonitor International. Who’s to blame?

The culprits are many: we know that sugar is bad for our teeth, but we also don’t trust artificial sweeteners; we don’t smoke as much; and the occasion of bored impulse buys in the checkout line has been all but erased by the tech trifecta of e-commerce, the self-serve kiosk, and the smartphone.

Before 2013, crimes against humanity in Syria could be attributed to the regime in Damascus: Bashar Assad was tacitly in full control in the power structure. How many States and leaders joined in the rank and files for crimes against humanity in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan…

After 2013, the colonial powers were linked to the infiltration of the extremist terrorist Islamic factions. When a leader is “cornered” and besieged by an international coalition to depose him, he cannot be blamed for activities that set him back in control. Consequently, the colonial leaders, the Saudi Kingdom and Gulf Emirate who funded these terrorist factions, and Turkey of Erdogan who controlled the main accesses inside Syria…are also culprits in these crimes and must stand trial alongside Al Assad.

In the Syria US citizens Don’t Know

A young woman in Damascus produced a smart phone from her handbag and asked, “May I show you something?”

The phone’s screen displayed a sequence of images. The first was a family photograph of a sparsely bearded young man in his twenties. Beside him were two boys, who appeared to be five and six, in T-shirts. The young man and his sons were smiling. Pointing at the father, the woman said, “This is my cousin.”

The next picture, unlike the first, came from the Internet. It was the same young man, but his head was severed. Beside him lay five other men in their twenties whose bloody heads were similarly stacked on their chests. I looked away.

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Contact Press Images. Supporters of Bashar al-Assad at a demonstration in Homs, May 2012

Her finger skimmed the screen, revealing another photo of her cousin that she insisted I see. His once happy face had been impaled on a metal spike. The spike was one of many in a fence enclosing a public park in Raqqa, a remote provincial capital on the Euphrates River in central Syria. Along the fence were other decapitated heads that children had to pass on their way to the playground.

The woman’s cousin and his five comrades were soldiers in the Syrian army’s 17th Reserve Division.

The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS or Daesh) had captured them when it overran the Tabqa military airfield, about twenty-five miles from ISIS headquarters in Raqqa, on August 24.

The family’s sole hope was that the young man was already dead when they cut off his head. There was no question of returning the body or holding a funeral.

Only a few weeks later ISIS savagery touched the United States and Britain, as it already had Syria and Iraq, with the beheadings of the journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and the aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.

The woman explained that her cousin had recently turned down a chance to leave his unit for a safer post near his home. It would not be right, he reasoned, for him, as a member of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s minority Alawite sect, to desert his Sunni comrades. He stayed with them, and he died with them.

The Syrian government does not publish casualty figures by sect, but martyrs’ notices pasted on the walls in Jabal Alawia, the Alawite heartland in the hills east of the port of Latakia, indicate that the Alawites have suffered a disproportionate share of deaths in the war to preserve the Alawite president.

A myth promulgated by the Sunni Islamist opposition is that the Alawites have been the main beneficiaries of 44 years of Assad family rule over Syria, but evidence of Alawite wealth outside the presidential clan and entourage is hard to find.

The meager peasant landholdings that marked the pre-Assad era are still the rule in Jabal Alawia, where most families live on the fruits of a few acres. Some Alawite merchants have done better in the seaside cities of Latakia and Tartous, but so have Sunni, Druze, and Christian businessmen.

This may explain in part why, from my own observations, a considerable proportion of Syrian Sunnis, who comprise about 75 percent of the population, have not taken up arms against the regime. If they had, the regime would not have survived.

The rising number of Alawite young men killed or severely wounded while serving in the army and in regime-backed militias has led to resentment among people who have no choice other than to fight for President Assad and to keep their state’s institutions intact.

Their survival, as long as Sunni jihadists kill them wherever they find them, requires them to support a regime that many of them oppose and blame for forcing them into this predicament.

After my friend’s cousin and his comrades were decapitated at Tabqa and their corpses left on the streets of Raqqa, ISIS publicly executed another two hundred captured soldiers. It was then that someone, said to be an Alawite dissident, declared on Facebook, “Assad is in his palace and our sons are in their graves.”

Alawite frustration is matched by that of the now-marginalized nonviolent opponents of Assad’s rule.

The Damascus cafés where I met young anti-Assad activists early in the uprising are now mostly empty, and their original enthusiasm has dissipated. Some organizers are in prison, others have gone into exile, and the rest have given up, as disillusioned with the rebellion as many Alawites are with the regime.

But like the Alawites who grumble off the record, they are powerless. One former protester told me, “I spent three days in jail, three days of hell. I’ve gone back to my job and stay out of politics.” He fears ISIS more than the security forces who arrested him, and he tries to avoid them both.

It took less than a year for the armed militias that coalesced into the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Islamic Front to displace the pro-democracy demonstrators. The FSA predicated the success of its rebellion on a repetition of the Western air campaign that deposed Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. “When that failed to materialize,” Patrick Cockburn writes in his enlightening The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising, “they had no plan B.”* Without the air support they demanded, the FSA–Islamic Front offensive ground to a stalemate.

ISIS came along to supersede the FSA, as the FSA had replaced the protesters.

ISIS was more combative, more ruthless, better financed, and more effective, using mobility across the desert in Syria and Iraq to launch surprise attacks. It used suicide teams in bomb-laden trucks to open the way into regime strongholds that its rebel adversaries had merely besieged.

Moreover, it has achieved the one objective that eluded the FSA: it brought American airpower into the war, but not in the way the FSA wanted. Instead, the Syria war has produced an opposition to Assad so repellent and so antagonistic to Western allies in the region that when the air intervention came, it arrived in the guise of the regime’s ally in all but name.

The prospect of America reversing its policy from threatening to bomb the regime in August 2013 to actually bombing the regime’s enemies this year gave the regime hope. It saw that not only would it survive, but that it would become, however covertly, a partner of the nations that had worked most assiduously to remove it.

Although I left Syria just before the United States bombed ISIS-held towns, with the predictable civilian casualties and targets that turned out to be grain silos and private houses, Syrian officials were anticipating American involvement with satisfaction.

Contacts with the US had been underway at least since June 20, when Syrian presidential adviser Bouthaina Shaaban met former US President Jimmy Carter and former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman in Oslo. Feltman was attending a conference as a newly appointed UN official, but he still had his State Department connections.

Officials present at his meeting with Dr. Shaaban recounted a conversation in which Feltman told her, “We know President Assad is going to stay, but you know what President Obama said. So, how can we solve the problem?” Having said for three years that Assad must go, Obama has yet to explain why Assad can, for the time being, stay.

This change would not be unusual for an American president, since the recurring theme in US–Syria relations throughout the Assad era has been one of hostility followed by cooperation—that is, cooperation when both sides needed it.

During the early years of Hafez al-Assad’s rule, which began in 1970, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger refused all dealings with the ostensibly pro-Soviet ruler. The October 1973 war, launched by Egypt and Syria to regain territories Israel occupied in 1967, put an end to that. Kissinger flew to Damascus in December 1973 and wrote later:

Withal, I developed a high regard for Assad. In the Syrian context he was moderate indeed. He leaned toward the Soviets as the source of his military equipment. But he was far from being a Soviet stooge. He had a first-class mind allied to a wicked sense of humor.

The US opened an embassy in Damascus in 1974 and enjoyed a brief honeymoon with Assad père, until his meddling in Lebanon made him persona non grata again in Washington.

A near victory by Palestinian commandos in Lebanon’s civil war in 1976 prompted Kissinger to ask Assad to send his army into Lebanon to control the Palestine Liberation Organization and save Lebanon’s Christians.

By 1982, the US was again fed up with Assad for giving aid to Yasser Arafat.

That turned out to be disastrous for Arafat. Syrian tolerance of his actions only worsened his situation and that of his people as Palestinian commandos had a part in dividing and ruining Lebanon.

Ronald Reagan let the Israelis drive Assad’s army out of most of Lebanon. A few years later, when Hezbollah was making life unbearable in West Beirut and Westerners were easy pickings for kidnappers, the first Bush administration invited Syria back into the region that its army had evacuated in 1982.

This was followed by another freeze in relations that ended when Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker, asked Syria to take part in the war to expel Iraq from Kuwait. Assad obliged, making him a temporary hero at the White House if something of a pariah to those of his citizens who were Arab nationalists.

After September 11, the US rendered terrorism suspects to Syria for torture.

That relationship ended with the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in 2005 and Syria’s humiliating withdrawal from Lebanon after it was accused of conspiring against Hariri. If his father survived the ups and downs of that seesaw, young Bashar, who succeeded him in 2000, has a good chance of riding out a rebellion that has become, as he had prematurely claimed at its inception, an uprising of fanatics and terrorists who want to take Syria into a dark age.

As Bashar’s prospects improve with each American sortie against his enemies in the east of the country, Damascus and the populous towns to the north have been enjoying a respite of sorts from war.

The Syrian Ministry of Education reported that, of the 22,000 schools in the country, more than 17,000 of them reopened on time in the middle of September.

Needless to say, almost all of the functioning schools are in government-held areas. The souks in the old city of Damascus, unlike their more extensive and now destroyed counterparts in Aleppo, are open. Shops selling meat, vegetables, spices, and other basic items to the local population are doing well, although the tourist boutiques in and around the famous Souk Hamadieh have no customers apart from UN workers and a few remaining diplomats.

At night, restaurants in most neighborhoods are, if not full, nearly so. Everything from wine to grilled chicken is plentiful, albeit at prices higher than before the war. Traffic remains heavy, although somewhat less obstructed since June when the government felt confident enough to remove many of its checkpoints.

Electricity is intermittent, and those who can afford private generators use them in the off-hours.

Syria-Glass-MAP-110614
Mike King

In the old city of Damascus, where I stayed in an Ottoman palace converted into a hotel, I heard each morning at eight the roar of Syrian warplanes. They ran bombing missions on the suburb of Jobar, not more than a few hundred yards from the old city’s walls.

Most of Jobar’s inhabitants fled long ago, and its buildings have dissolved to rubble under relentless shelling. The rebels are said to be safe underground in tunnels that they or their prisoners have dug over the past two years. They fire the occasional mortar, which the Damascenes ignore.

People in the city refuse to see and hear the violence in their suburbs, much as Beverly Hills ignored riots in Watts in 1965 and 1992.

It becomes easy to pretend there is no war, unless a bomb falls too close or kills someone you know. One morning as I was driving through the upscale Abu Rummaneh quarter, a rebel mortar shell whistled overhead, hit a fuel storage tank, and sent black smoke soaring into the sky. Yet the shoppers around the corner went on as if nothing happened.

Jobar is not the only outlying area of the capital in rebel hands, but the government has dealt more successfully with the others. It has recaptured some, like Mleiha on August 14. In others, a UN official said, the strategy has been subtler.

Commanders from the warring sides make local agreements not to fight one another. “Local agreements for them are just stages of their military strategy,” said a United Nations official involved in talks between the two sides. “Fragment areas. Isolate them. Besiege them, until the people understand that they are not going to win the war and are going to negotiate. The opposition calls this a policy of kneel or starve…. The government uses the term ‘reconciliation.’ We call it ‘surrender.’”

A young Druze friend, who like the rest of his community has struggled not to take sides, said, “People are exhausted. Even those who fought the regime are moving toward reconciliation.” It is hard to blame them, when 200,000 Syrians have died and another 9 million have become refugees inside and outside their country in a war that has, to date, achieved nothing except death and destruction.

t’s a lot quieter in Damascus,” admitted a UN aid worker, “but there are other places that are on fire.”

Yet the fire is burning far to the north and east of Damascus, many miles from the heartland of populated Syria. The roads west to Lebanon and north from Damascus to Homs look as if central Damascus has become contiguous with the regions the regime considers vital to its survival.

The first sight as I drove on the highway north out of the capital was the district of Harasta, destroyed and mostly deserted. Then came Adra, an industrial town that was brutally captured last year by Islamists who massacred its Alawite inhabitants. Shortly after I drove past, the government took it back and invited its industrial workers to return.

Further north, the highway crosses open land of farms and peasant hamlets. A year ago, the route there was not safe. Bandits and rebels alike set up flying checkpoints to demand money or cars and to kidnap those who looked prosperous enough to afford ransom. It was a no-go zone for minority sects like the Alawites, Ismailis, and Christians, as well as for visiting Westerners. A year later, the atmosphere has changed.

The rebels in Homs, said in 2011 to be the cradle of the revolution, surrendered their positions to the government and left with their light weapons last May. Only the district of Al Wa’er, about a mile from the old city, remains in rebel hands and under regime siege.

There is a tense and regularly violated truce, but the city is mostly quiet. Some civilians are returning home, even to houses that must be rebuilt after three years of fighting.

Christians fleeing from areas taken by ISIS and the Islamic Front groups have found temporary refuge in an Armenian church in the city, and the local aid organizations help people of all sects.

From Homs, the road north to Aleppo remains as precarious as the road west to the sea is secure. Aleppo, which like Damascus claims to be the biggest city in Syria, is the major zone of battle between the regime and the rival opposition forces, who fight one another as much as they do the army. A Human Rights Watch report this summer identified hundreds of sites in Aleppo that had been attacked, often with “barrel bombs” by government forces.

The road west toward the sea, however, is safe for anyone not allied to the rebels. The famed Krak des Chevaliers Crusader fortress, from which rebels were able to shell the highway and nearby villages, is again in government hands. So are the towns of Qosair and Qalamoun, which the rebels had used to keep their lines of supply open to Lebanon.

The road runs through fields where the apple harvest has begun and the olives will soon be collected. The coastal city of Tartous is buzzing with life, as if there had never been a war. The ferry to Arwad Island, where families go for lunch, runs every twenty minutes.

Further north, the port of Latakia has suffered shelling only on the rare occasions that rebels took positions in the Alawite hills above it until the army quickly pushed them back.

It may sound odd to anyone outside Syria who has followed the conflict, but the beach in front of my hotel in Latakia was filled with families swimming and not a few women in bikinis.

There is fear, however, that a major onslaught by ISIS and similar jihadist groups would put an end to these pockets of ordinary life.

It is hard for Syrians to accept that the countries in the Gulf and elsewhere that supported ISIS with arms, financing, and fighters are now signing up to an American coalition to bring it down.

Yet ISIS may have gone too far, even for its backers. The caliphate that it declared in parts of Syria and Iraq struck a strong chord with Islamist fanatics in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and other states that had facilitated the group’s rapid and rabid expansion.

These states must fear that the movement they brought to Syria will come to haunt them. “It’s like the lion tamer,” an Arab diplomat in Damascus told me. “He feeds and trains the lion, but the lion might kill him at the right moment.”

—Damascus, October 8, 2014

 

 

US Senator Richard H. Black of Virginia: Thanks the brave Syrian army for wiping out terrorists factions

May al Awar (A3war) shared this article on FB this May 27, 2014

 

‎السيناتور الأمريكي ريتشارد هـ. بلاك –سيناتور فرجينيا- يرسل رسالة للرئيس الأسد يشكر فيها الجيش العربي السوري على بطولاته، مشيداً ببسالته ومهارته، واصفاً الإرهابيين بـ"مجرمو حرب متوحشون مرتبطون بالقاعدة"، ومرتزقة يدخلون سورية لقتل الشعب، مؤكداً أن قلّة من الأمريكيين يدركون أنهم يدعمون نفس الجهة التي قامت بأحداث 11 أيلول، وأن هؤلاء هم أنفسهم من يذبحون المدنيين ويستخدمون التفجيرات الانتحارية في سورية ليقتلوا النساء والأطفال..<br /><br /><br />
وشكر السيناتور الرئيس الأسد على تعامله "المتّسم بالاحترام مع جميع الطوائف" بينما سلك "المتمردون" سلوك "اللصوص والمجرمين والمخربين"، متمنياً استمرار انتصارات الجيش العربي السوري في وجه الإرهابيين، محمّلاً سيادته شكراً شخصياً للجنود السوريين الذين يحمون المدنيين..<br /><br /><br />
السيناتور الأمريكي ريتشارد هـ. بلاك –سيناتور فرجينيا- يرسل رسالة للرئيس الأسد يشكر فيها الجيش العربي السوري على بطولاته، مشيداً ببسالته ومهارته، واصفاً الإرهابيين بـ"مجرمو حرب متوحشون مرتبطون بالقاعدة"، ومرتزقة يدخلون سورية لقتل الشعب، مؤكداً أن قلّة من الأمريكيين يدركون أنهم يدعمون نفس الجهة التي قامت بأحداث 11 أيلول، وأن هؤلاء هم أنفسهم من يذبحون المدنيين ويستخدمون التفجيرات الانتحارية في سورية ليقتلوا النساء والأطفال..<br /><br /><br />
وشكر السيناتور الرئيس الأسد على تعامله "المتّسم بالاحترام مع جميع الطوائف" بينما سلك "المتمردون" سلوك "اللصوص والمجرمين والمخربين"، متمنياً استمرار انتصارات الجيش العربي السوري في وجه الإرهابيين، محمّلاً سيادته شكراً شخصياً للجنود السوريين الذين يحمون المدنيين..</p><br /><br />
<p>رئاســة الجمهوريــة العربيــة السوريــة</p><br /><br />
<p>ترجمة رسالة السيناتور ريتشارد هـ. بلاك:</p><br /><br />
<p>بشار الأسد<br /><br /><br />
رئيس سورية<br /><br /><br />
دمشق، سورية</p><br /><br />
<p>عزيري الرئيس الأسد<br /><br /><br />
إني أكتب لكم للتعبير عن شكري للجيش العربي السوري للبطولات التي أبداها في سلسلة جبال القلمون والتي أدت إلى إنقاذ أرواح المسيحيين هناك. وأشعر بامتنان خاص لنصركم الرائع في يبرود حيث قام الجيش العربي السوري وسلاح الجو بتحرير المسيحيين وغيرهم من السوريين الذين وقعوا في قبضة الإرهابيين طيلة سنوات عدة. إننا نشعر بامتنان عميق لمهارة وبسالة القوات السورية التي أنقذت ثلاث عشرة راهبة كان الجهاديون الجبناء قد اختطفوهن واستخدموهن دروعاً بشرية في يبرود.<br /><br /><br />
من الواضح أن الحرب في سورية يخوضها إلى درجة كبيرة مجرمو حرب متوحشون مرتبطون بالقاعدة. إن هذه الجماعات، على غرار النصرة والدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام ترتكب جرائم حرب بشكل روتيني وكجزء من سياستها المعتمدة. وهم يقومون بكل فخر ببث مقاطع فيديو على "يوتيوب" تبين إعدامات جماعية لأسرى الحرب، وقطع رؤوس الرهبان وغيرهم من المدنيين، بل وحتى أكل لحوم البشر. وفي حزيران الماضي في حلب، تباهت النصرة بأنها أجبرت أُمّاً على مشاهدة عملية قتلهم لابنها البالغ من العمر أربعة عشر عاماً عبر إطلاقهم النار على فمه ورقبته. إنه من الصعب أن نفهم كيف تقوم أي أمة متحضرة بالدفاع عن أعمال أولئك المجرمين المتعطشين للدماء.<br /><br /><br />
ومن الواضح أن الشعب السوري قد تعب من مشاهدة المرتزقة الأجانب يدخلون بلادهم للقتال ضدهم، لقد عانى شعبك من الأعمال الإجرامية التي ارتكبها هؤلاء الجهاديون الذين جاؤوا لاغتصاب وقتل السوريين الأبرياء.<br /><br /><br />
وللأسف، فحتى يومنا هذا، تدرك قلّة من الأميركيين أن المتمردين في سورية إنما تسيطر عليهم القاعدة – عدوك الألد. إنهم لا يعرفون أن أعداءك قد أقسموا يمين الولاء للمنظمة نفسها التي قامت في 11 أيلول 2001 بتنفيذ عملية ارتطام الطائرات ببرجي مركز التجارة العالمي ومبنى البنتاغون، فقتلوا ما يزيد عن 3000 من الأميركيين الأبرياء. واليوم يقوم المقاتلون المرتبطون بالقاعدة باستخدام التفجيرات الانتحارية ليقتلوا نساءً وأطفالاً لا حول لهم في بلدك، تماماً كما ذبحوا المدنيين الذين لا حول لهم في بلدي.</p><br /><br />
<p>إني لا أستطيع أن أفسر كيف أن الأميركيين الذين عانوا ضرراً عظيماً على يد القاعدة قد خدعوا بحيث يساندون الجهاديين. إلا أني أعلم أن عدة مسؤولين في الولايات المتحدة لا يوافقون على سياسة تسليح وتدريب الإرهابيين الذين يعبرون حدودكم قادمين من المملكة الأردنية ومن تركيا.<br /><br /><br />
إن أسوأ ما يمكن أن يحدث هو أن يسيطر المتمردون على العاصمة ويرفعوا علم القاعدة الأسود الشنيع فوقها. ولهذا السبب فقد مُنع المتمردون من الحصول على الأسلحة المتطورة. إن المخططين العسكريين يعلمون أن الإرهابيين مخادعون ولا يمكن الثقة بهم. ولا شيء سيمنعهم من تصويب الصواريخ المضادة للطائرات على طائرات الركاب المدنية. ولو أنهم تمكنوا من السيطرة على الصواريخ السورية المضادة للطائرات والتي تشير التقارير إلى أن عددها يناهز الأربعة آلاف صاروخ، فإن الإرهابيين سيحولون الطائرات في مطارات واشنطن ونيويورك ولندن إلى كرات لهب مشتعل، ويصيبوا الطيران المدني التجاري عبر العالم بالشلل. إن مساعدتهم على تحقيق ذلك الهدف هو ضرب من الجنون المطبق.<br /><br /><br />
لقد واصلت نهج والدك بالتعامل المتسم بالاحترام مع جميع المسيحيين ومع الطائفة اليهودية الصغيرة في دمشق. لقد دافعت عن كنائسهم المسيحية وكنسهم اليهودية، وسمحت لهم بأن يتعبدوا بحرية وفق معتقداتهم. إنني ممتن لذلك.<br /><br /><br />
وبالمقابل فحيثما سيطر المتمردون، سلكوا سلوك اللصوص والمجرمين والمخربين. فمارسوا أعمال الاغتصاب والتعذيب والخطف، وقطعوا رؤوس الأبرياء. كما أنهم دنّسوا حرمات الكنائس. لقد فرض الإرهابيون ضريبة "الذمّة" البغيضة على المسيحيين واليهود وعاملوهم كبشر من الدرجة الثانية. إني أصلي لكي يطرد جيشك الجهاديين من سورية ليتمكن السوريون من جميع الأديان والطوائف من استئناف حياتهم المشتركة بسلام.<br /><br /><br />
وإلى أن يتحقق ذلك، فإنني أصلي لكي يتابع جنود القوات المسلحة السورية إظهار جسارة استثنائية في القتال ضد الإرهابيين. أرجو منك أن تنقل شكري الشخصي لرجال الجيش وسلاح الجو السوريين لقيامهم بحماية الوطنيين السوريين، بما في ذلك الأقليات الدينية، الذين يواجهون الموت على أيدي الجماعات الإرهابية.</p><br /><br />
<p>المخلص<br /><br /><br />
ريتشارد هـ. بلاك<br /><br /><br />
سيناتور ولاية فرجينيا، المقاطعة الثالثة عشر‎ Translation of text in Arabci

السيناتور الأمريكي ريتشارد هـ. بلاك –سيناتور فرجينيا- يرسل رسالة للرئيس الأس

يشكر فيها الجيش العربي السوري على بطولاته، مشيداً ببسالته ومهارته، واصفاً الإرهابيين بـ”مجرمو حرب متوحشون مرتبطون بالقاعدة”، ومرتزقة يدخلون سورية لقتل الشعب، مؤكداً أن قلّة من الأمريكيين يدركون أنهم يدعمون نفس الجهة التي قامت بأحداث 11 أيلول، وأن هؤلاء هم أنفسهم من يذبحون المدنيين ويستخدمون التفجيرات الانتحارية في سورية ليقتلوا النساء والأطفال..
وشكر السيناتور الرئيس الأسد على تعامله “المتّسم بالاحترام مع جميع الطوائف” بينما سلك “المتمردون” سلوك “اللصوص والمجرمين والمخربين”، متمنياً استمرار انتصارات الجيش العربي السوري في وجه الإرهابيين، محمّلاً سيادته شكراً شخصياً للجنود السوريين الذين يحمون المدنيين..
السيناتور الأمريكي ريتشارد هـ. بلاك –سيناتور فرجينيا- يرسل رسالة للرئيس الأسد يشكر فيها الجيش العربي السوري على بطولاته، مشيداً ببسالته ومهارته، واصفاً الإرهابيين بـ”مجرمو حرب متوحشون مرتبطون بالقاعدة”، ومرتزقة يدخلون سورية لقتل الشعب، مؤكداً أن قلّة من الأمريكيين يدركون أنهم يدعمون نفس الجهة التي قامت بأحداث 11 أيلول، وأن هؤلاء هم أنفسهم من يذبحون المدنيين ويستخدمون التفجيرات الانتحارية في سورية ليقتلوا النساء والأطفال..
وشكر السيناتور الرئيس الأسد على تعامله “المتّسم بالاحترام مع جميع الطوائف” بينما سلك “المتمردون” سلوك “اللصوص والمجرمين والمخربين”، متمنياً استمرار انتصارات الجيش العربي السوري في وجه الإرهابيين، محمّلاً سيادته شكراً شخصياً للجنود السوريين الذين يحمون المدنيين..

رئاســة الجمهوريــة العربيــة السوريــة

ترجمة رسالة السيناتور ريتشارد هـ. بلاك:

بشار الأسد
رئيس سورية
دمشق، سورية

عزيري الرئيس الأسد
إني أكتب لكم للتعبير عن شكري للجيش العربي السوري للبطولات التي أبداها في سلسلة جبال القلمون والتي أدت إلى إنقاذ أرواح المسيحيين هناك. وأشعر بامتنان خاص لنصركم الرائع في يبرود حيث قام الجيش العربي السوري وسلاح الجو بتحرير المسيحيين وغيرهم من السوريين الذين وقعوا في قبضة الإرهابيين طيلة سنوات عدة. إننا نشعر بامتنان عميق لمهارة وبسالة القوات السورية التي أنقذت ثلاث عشرة راهبة كان الجهاديون الجبناء قد اختطفوهن واستخدموهن دروعاً بشرية في يبرود.
من الواضح أن الحرب في سورية يخوضها إلى درجة كبيرة مجرمو حرب متوحشون مرتبطون بالقاعدة. إن هذه الجماعات، على غرار النصرة والدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام ترتكب جرائم حرب بشكل روتيني وكجزء من سياستها المعتمدة. وهم يقومون بكل فخر ببث مقاطع فيديو على “يوتيوب” تبين إعدامات جماعية لأسرى الحرب، وقطع رؤوس الرهبان وغيرهم من المدنيين، بل وحتى أكل لحوم البشر. وفي حزيران الماضي في حلب، تباهت النصرة بأنها أجبرت أُمّاً على مشاهدة عملية قتلهم لابنها البالغ من العمر أربعة عشر عاماً عبر إطلاقهم النار على فمه ورقبته. إنه من الصعب أن نفهم كيف تقوم أي أمة متحضرة بالدفاع عن أعمال أولئك المجرمين المتعطشين للدماء.
ومن الواضح أن الشعب السوري قد تعب من مشاهدة المرتزقة الأجانب يدخلون بلادهم للقتال ضدهم، لقد عانى شعبك من الأعمال الإجرامية التي ارتكبها هؤلاء الجهاديون الذين جاؤوا لاغتصاب وقتل السوريين الأبرياء.
وللأسف، فحتى يومنا هذا، تدرك قلّة من الأميركيين أن المتمردين في سورية إنما تسيطر عليهم القاعدة – عدوك الألد. إنهم لا يعرفون أن أعداءك قد أقسموا يمين الولاء للمنظمة نفسها التي قامت في 11 أيلول 2001 بتنفيذ عملية ارتطام الطائرات ببرجي مركز التجارة العالمي ومبنى البنتاغون، فقتلوا ما يزيد عن 3000 من الأميركيين الأبرياء. واليوم يقوم المقاتلون المرتبطون بالقاعدة باستخدام التفجيرات الانتحارية ليقتلوا نساءً وأطفالاً لا حول لهم في بلدك، تماماً كما ذبحوا المدنيين الذين لا حول لهم في بلدي.

إني لا أستطيع أن أفسر كيف أن الأميركيين الذين عانوا ضرراً عظيماً على يد القاعدة قد خدعوا بحيث يساندون الجهاديين. إلا أني أعلم أن عدة مسؤولين في الولايات المتحدة لا يوافقون على سياسة تسليح وتدريب الإرهابيين الذين يعبرون حدودكم قادمين من المملكة الأردنية ومن تركيا.
إن أسوأ ما يمكن أن يحدث هو أن يسيطر المتمردون على العاصمة ويرفعوا علم القاعدة الأسود الشنيع فوقها. ولهذا السبب فقد مُنع المتمردون من الحصول على الأسلحة المتطورة. إن المخططين العسكريين يعلمون أن الإرهابيين مخادعون ولا يمكن الثقة بهم. ولا شيء سيمنعهم من تصويب الصواريخ المضادة للطائرات على طائرات الركاب المدنية. ولو أنهم تمكنوا من السيطرة على الصواريخ السورية المضادة للطائرات والتي تشير التقارير إلى أن عددها يناهز الأربعة آلاف صاروخ، فإن الإرهابيين سيحولون الطائرات في مطارات واشنطن ونيويورك ولندن إلى كرات لهب مشتعل، ويصيبوا الطيران المدني التجاري عبر العالم بالشلل. إن مساعدتهم على تحقيق ذلك الهدف هو ضرب من الجنون المطبق.
لقد واصلت نهج والدك بالتعامل المتسم بالاحترام مع جميع المسيحيين ومع الطائفة اليهودية الصغيرة في دمشق. لقد دافعت عن كنائسهم المسيحية وكنسهم اليهودية، وسمحت لهم بأن يتعبدوا بحرية وفق معتقداتهم. إنني ممتن لذلك.
وبالمقابل فحيثما سيطر المتمردون، سلكوا سلوك اللصوص والمجرمين والمخربين. فمارسوا أعمال الاغتصاب والتعذيب والخطف، وقطعوا رؤوس الأبرياء. كما أنهم دنّسوا حرمات الكنائس. لقد فرض الإرهابيون ضريبة “الذمّة” البغيضة على المسيحيين واليهود وعاملوهم كبشر من الدرجة الثانية. إني أصلي لكي يطرد جيشك الجهاديين من سورية ليتمكن السوريون من جميع الأديان والطوائف من استئناف حياتهم المشتركة بسلام.
وإلى أن يتحقق ذلك، فإنني أصلي لكي يتابع جنود القوات المسلحة السورية إظهار جسارة استثنائية في القتال ضد الإرهابيين. أرجو منك أن تنقل شكري الشخصي لرجال الجيش وسلاح الجو السوريين لقيامهم بحماية الوطنيين السوريين، بما في ذلك الأقليات الدينية، الذين يواجهون الموت على أيدي الجماعات الإرهابية.

المخلص
ريتشارد هـ. بلاك
سيناتور ولاية فرجينيا، المقاطعة الثالثة عشر

What do I think of Syrian and the Syrians

Syria has a new refurbished army, liked and supported by the Syrians.

Since 1974, the Syrian soldiers and lower ranked officers were trampled, humiliated, and abused by the Assad regime.

The soldiers were used as slaves to the high ranking officers, working to increase the wealth of the officers and the political structure of the Baath and Assad oligarchy.

The brave and steadfast Syrian soldiers were dispatched to fight outside their borders, in Lebanon and Iraq, without any good reasons and without the modicum of dignity.

The Syrian soldiers were left uncovered beside their tanks and air missiles, and harvested by Israeli fighter jets like sitting ducks.

The Syrian soldiers were assigned in freezing mountain tops, wearing sandals and thread bare blankets.

This is history. The new Syrian army has its own patriotic structure, honored and respected by the citizens and enjoying the confidence and support of the people who experienced unimaginable horrors and miseries.

All the recent victories against the terrorist armed factions have nothing to do with the standing power of Bashar Assad.

Bashar is just a figure head, a symbol of continuity for the State against the belligerent hateful neighbors and western powers.

The Syrian people suffered since 1974 from multiple indignities.

They were shackled, intimidated from expressing their opinion, denied the right to demonstrate their individual private entrepreneurship, to open up to foreign experiences… A people under the close surveillance of the Mukhabarat (secret services agents) and cowed into silence.

There were over 200,000 Kurds, born in Syria, who were denied even an Identity Cards.  They were the “invisible” Syrians who could not secure a passport to leave, living in “No State” recognized by the UN.  They were afraid of taking a bus to another city in order to avoid being checked by a security or a police man.

These Kurds have since secured “full citizenship” since the revolution started, as many minorities left incognito because no one dared to demand his rights.

These same Kurds are now fighting the extremist factions in the Kameshly and Hasakeh provinces by the Iraqi and Turkish borders. The terrorist factions want to secure an outlet for the stolen oil extracted in the region and sold to Turkey.

The brave Syrians lived in silence, in exchange of free primary and secondary schooling and for a national health care, low cost of medication and affordable basic foodstuff and clothing.

This armed civil war that was concocted and planned years ahead on Syria was never to fight and bring down the Assad regime: It was to ruin and humiliate the Syrians and the nation of Syria.

This nation that remained self-sufficient, even in the darkest periods in history. This people who was among the wealthiest among people throughout history.

What we have now is a “guerrilla State” so that the foreign States that hate the Syrian people stay in the dark of plans and objectives of the war in progress.

A guerrilla State intent on wiping out all the external extremist terrorist Islamic factions, particularly the Al Qaeda Nusra Front that pay allegiance to Zawahiri.

The Syrian people got the message clear and loud: they know exactly who are their nemesis and why they hate the Syrians as a people.

Syria is “The Arab”, the Arab culture, language, resistance, soul and spirit.

Without Syria there is no Arabic roots, culture and civilization.

Bashar will be re-elected, and not because he is loved, but in defiance as a symbol of continuity of the institutions.

Bashar will ultimately bow down to the determination of the Syrians to start a new beginning, and he will graciously fade away once a political settlement is achieved.

And the negotiations will be carried out with the new refurbished “Free Syrian Army” opposition, after it let go of and discard all its leaders who closely cooperated with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and France.

The Syrian people have pinpointed their nemesis:

1. Israel who has known from its inception that Syria is the sole danger for its existence and that the Syrians will never acknowledge this foreign implanted State in the Near East.

2. Monarchic Wahhabi Saudi Arabia that knows that Syria is the main obstacle to the widespread of its obscurantist sect in the Near East. Actually, the main ally to Israel is Saudi Arabia.

3. Turkey and regardless of who is in power: the military of the current Moslem Brotherhood. Turkey has made it a strategy to regularly humiliate, threaten, blackmail and antagonize the Syrian people.

Turkey wants to cut-off the water supply of the Euphrates River to Syria by building more and more dams without any serious negotiation with Syria. And Turkey has occupied the north-western province of Alexandretta during the French mandate in 1936.

4. The previous mandated power of France has been the arch traitor to Syria’s interests since it vacated its troops in 1936 and has been trying to destabilize this State at every opportunity.

The French political system actually hate the Syrian people and totally and unconditionally support the Zionist State of Israel. since its inception in 1948. France was the main weapon provider to Israel for 2 decades and built Israel nuclear power plant and aided in its atomic bombs.

5. Germany is another State that staunchly aided Israel in all kinds of financial aids and nuclear submarines. Germany was the main supplier of weapons to the armed Syrian factions and reeked plenty of money from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the Gulf Emirates in order for the civil war to linger.

There are about 1, 25 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon and will reach 1.5 million by the end of this year: A third of Lebanon’s population and they are constituting a huge burden on the capability of this tiny State that is suffering from economic downturn for 2 successive years and struggling with internal and external political pressures and conflicts.

The able Syrians have demonstrated entrepreneur talents and are opening side businesses and getting involved in the civil work construction. It is the Syrian kids, women, the elderly and the handicapped who are not receiving the proper care and facilities for education and health care. And only 17% of the promised $1.7 billion have been forthcoming.

The Syrian refugees have started their journey back home.

The regions of 16 million Syrians  have been liberated from the extremist factions, and only the second city of Aleppo (the industrial hub) is still not fully secured.

This extended calamity has toughen the Syrians up to resist any other kinds of oligarchy to sneak in the cracks of intimidation and political maneuvering.

Syria will regain a glory that was denied her and will keep resisting any foreign meddling in its business of extending dignity to all its citizens.

Democracy and civil laws will prevail in Syria: The true revolution in the Arab world.

Note: What they said of the Syrian soldier https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/leaders-said-on-the-bravery-of-syrian-people/

Resilient stubborn fatalism in rebel held enclaves? Or inability to leave?

Syrians in rebel-held areas have borne near-daily attacks, enduring President Bashar Assad’s military might with a resilience bordering on stubborn fatalism.

The family members stood shivering on a balcony in Aleppo’s Anadan suburb as midnight approached, their sleep interrupted by the nightly duty of a government helicopter pilot somewhere above them.

They followed the sound of the helicopter’s whirring blades as well as scratchy updates coming over a walkie-talkie from rebels spread throughout the area.

News came in that the helicopter had dropped two barrel bombs — oil drums filled with TNT that can level buildings — on nearby towns.

In Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, a kebab vendor works in the midst of a destroyed building. As Syria’s war rages on, Aleppo is a city under gradual demolition, with a shrinking civilian population struggling to survive . More photos

They knew that the helicopters can carry up to four of the bombs. They waited for the last two.

Below them, lights came on in basement bunkers as others sought a small measure of protection.

Khansa Laila walked out onto the balcony cloaked in several layers but still shaking in the nighttime chill.

“I woke up from the sound of the alarm, so I’m still cold,” she said referring to the warning system the town’s residents installed. “Also, fear makes you cold.”

Against a starry sky, a series of red streaks from a 14.5-millimeter machine gun shot upward. But the streaks rose and fell without striking their target, their reach far less than the height of the aircraft.

Eventually the sound of the helicopter grew faint and was replaced by that of a warplane.

“We don’t take the warplanes seriously anymore,” Laila said. “They launch rockets that are precise, but helicopters drop barrel bombs that can destroy dozens of homes with one barrel.”

The family went to sleep that night to the sound of machine-gun fire and the occasional rocket.

For more than 3 months, Aleppo’s opposition-held neighborhoods and surrounding suburbs have been terrorized nearly daily by barrel bombs unleashed from helicopters. The bombs, TNT-filled oil drums that can level buildings, have killed more than 2,000 people, activists estimate.  More photos

Three years into Syria’s conflict, the cacophony of war has become a familiar companion to daily life here in the country’s largest city, the sad soundtrack to its gradual demolition and a shrinking civilian population struggling to survive.

Those still in the city have adjusted to enduring the brunt of President Bashar Assad‘s military might with a resilience that borders on stubborn fatalism.

In a shoe store, a woman tries on a pair of wedge heels and deems them not comfortable enough “to flee” in. A 1-year-old with curly hair and big brown eyes speaks mostly in mumbles, but one word she knows clearly: tabit — it fell.

“A barrel falls and 10 minutes later people return to what they were doing,” said Muhammad, a young man working at a makeshift gas station: 12 oil drums resting on their sides serving six varieties of gasoline.

Hours earlier, a barrel bomb had struck the Sakhour roundabout, hitting three vehicles and killing eight people. With the blood fresh on the pavement, motorists stopped and peered at the carnage.

The next day people walked by without a glance; the destroyed vehicles had become one more addition to the city’s apocalyptic backdrop.

“Every day we see the names of the dead scrolling across the TV screen; they’ve just become numbers,” one man said. “When I was a kid and someone died we mourned for 40 days, the TV could not be turned on. Now someone dies on one side and you turn around and watch a soap opera.”

Since the government’s barrel bomb offensive began in late December, the city and suburbs have traded off bearing the burden of the attacks.

On a recent day in an Aleppo vegetable market, a warplane’s low rumble halted all transactions and conversation.

Unripe almonds and lettuce were momentarily forgotten as everyone turned their faces upward to track the plane by its sound. Drivers slowed down and stuck their heads out the window to look up.

Not until the rumble had faded, leaving only a billowy white trail across the sky, did the people return their attention to the mundane particulars of life. The plane was now the concern of another Aleppo neighborhood.

As he drove away from the market, Saleh Laila said, “If it had been a helicopter, they would watch it till it dropped the barrel, then pandemonium would break out and cars would start driving into each other and people would run, trying to get away.”

A couple of charred and stripped vehicles mark the entrance of rebel-held Aleppo, a fitting welcome to a city that in some parts is a barren urban landscape.

The helicopter attacks day and night, coupled with poundings by warplanes and artillery as well as regular clashes between government and rebel forces, have transformed the once-vibrant commercial hub into one with entire neighborhoods deserted.

More than two-thirds of the city’s population is estimated to have fled north either to Turkey or, for those not allowed passage into the country, along its border in ramshackle refugee tents. Certain suburbs have also seen a large exodus.

A makeshift gas station provides different varieties of fuel.  More photos

As one Aleppo resident said of the city, “There are fighters, activists and shop owners. No one else is left.

Some neighborhoods of Aleppo have only one or two families left.

At the roundabout in one such neighborhood, Muhammad Khair and his father sat in the grassy center and watched as their two dozen goats grazed. They heard rumors that a sniper was shooting people at the field where the goats customarily graze, so when the animals began bleating from hunger they came here.

Two months earlier in this district of dense, unregulated housing, the goats wouldn’t have been able to safely cross the road to get to the grass. Now, Khair said, in the span of 15 minutes, two cars had passed by.

At the scene of twin barrel bombings at a busy market, bodies, or what was left of them, were laid out along a sidewalk, covered with whatever was on hand: a green curtain, a plastic tarp and a banner for Dar al Shifa hospital, which had closed after repeated attacks.

A man, his shirt bloodied and neck bandaged, smoked a cigarette as those around him congratulated him on sustaining only a minor injury: “Thank God for your safety.”

“Don’t gather, don’t gather!” yelled one rebel with a Kalashnikov rifle, warning people that a crowd could invite another attack.

“A plane is coming, a plane is coming!” another rebel shouted while standing atop a traffic barrier, trying a more direct tactic to get the crowd to scatter. People ran away and then a few minutes later drifted back.

When local citizen journalists arrived and began filming, residents breathlessly screamed through a familiar script, praising God and cursing Assad.

Hours later, the broken glass and concrete had been swept and the blood washed away.

Children gathered around an ice cream stand, standing on tip-toes to peer at the available flavors, and men bought produce from a fruit vendor, the color of the oranges bright against the gray of fallen concrete.

Note: The Syrian army and its supporting militias of patriots have reconquered areas containing 16 million of citizens. All the main strategic roads for supplies and linking the main cities have been liberated.

The US trained “rebels” in Jordan are trying to re-enter Jordan, but they are stopped by the Jordanian forces because they don’t want to do with any of these extremist terrorists.

http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-c1-syria-aleppo-mood-20140411-dto,0,3916136.htmlstory#ixzz2ygh6CeeQ

 

Confessions Of A Syrian Activist: “I Want Assad To Win”

To one prominent activist, Syria’s revolution is already lost.

“If we keep going down this line, I think this will be known in history as the Islamic revolution in Syria.”

This Syrian activist got engaged into Syria’s revolution from its early days. He organized protests, documented the deadly crackdowns and disseminated the news, risking his life. And this interview was conducted in ANTAKYA, Turkey.

When the opposition took up arms, he worked closely with rebel groups, helping to spread their message of resistance and taking toll of the war’s carnage in places journalists couldn’t reach.

He has won widespread recognition for his work, and he remains deeply involved in the struggle today — though he no longer calls it a revolution. In fact, he thinks it needs to end.

BuzzFeed Staff Mike Giglio posted this Nov. 12, 2013

The activist works under his real name, but he requested anonymity to give the candid assessment of the conflict laid out in these remarks, which are compiled from a recent in-depth interview.

Asked to speak on the record, he deliberated with friends and colleagues and ultimately declined. He says he fears a backlash: His words could be used to undermine his work, or he could be misunderstood. He also cites safety concerns. But he believes that his message, unpopular among his revolutionary colleagues, is one they need to hear that:

1. Their revolution has ended;

2. A dangerous wave of Islamic extremism has welled up in its place; that

3. The insurgents should work to stop the fighting now; and that

4. If they can’t, they should hope it’s Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who wins.

“To simply say I want Assad to win would be a disaster if anyone heard it. But we’ve created a monster. For too long on the ground, there was too much focus on the crimes the regime was committing and not enough on our own problems. And addressing these problems was always being delayed.

“So we knew there was some sort of Islamism in the fighting, even when it was starting back in 2012 and we would ignore this, because we would say it would all end soon — Assad is going to fall in two weeks; Assad is going to fall in a month; Assad’s going to fall in Aleppo.

At each moment, we thought it was going to end very soon, and that meant we were neglecting the mistakes that we have been making [among the revolution]. We were thinking, OK, the regime’s going to fall, and we can solve this later. We just need to get rid of Assad. This was a big mistake.

“To that extent, we’ve created ISIS [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a powerful al-Qaeda affiliate that is gaining ground in the rebellion]. And we’ve created Jabhat al-Nusra [another Qaeda-linked group].”

The activist has little hope for a political solution — a peace conference expected in Geneva this month was delayed again this week. Even if talks moved ahead, he adds, the moderate opposition wouldn’t have much say.

“We’ve reached this point where we have two powers that are recognized by the international community — the Syrian regime and the extremist groups on the ground. The third group [the moderate opposition] is very weak, even though it’s the majority in Syria. We don’t have anyone to defend the group. We don’t have weapons. We don’t have finances. We don’t have media.

“So yes, if I’m going to choose which side I wish would win at this stage, I would choose the side that’s already in power rather than seeing the extremist side jump into power and destroy everyone else.

The extremist groups do not seek a revolution in Syria — or at least, not a democratic one. They seek an Islamic one. And it’s something that’s not accepted by the majority of the country, whether you support Assad or you don’t. I would prefer that Assad wins at a stage like this for one reason: all of the other alternatives are totally unacceptable.

“I would not cheer the idea of Assad winning. I would not help in any way. But I will accept it. Adding that he’d keep up his fight against the government

“I have no guarantees to offer in government-controlled areas that if those areas are ‘liberated,’ we can keep you safe. That it will not be ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra in charge, and that you won’t live under their laws. If I could make that guarantee, then I would support the idea of bringing down the regime without a political solution.”

The Islamic extremists threatening to overtake the rebellion pose more of a threat than Assad. “There is no language between civil society and Islamic authority in Syria right now. There’s no dialogue. It’s unacceptable”.

“In the same way,  if you say anything about Assad you’re doomed, if you say anything about God, you’re also doomed. It’s the same way of reacting, but the Islamic system is a much more lethal system, because it depends on an ideology that says, ‘God, who is the creator of the universe, says that we’re in charge. And if you stand against that, then you stand against the creator of the universe. And we will chop your heads off, chop your hands off. We will whip you. We will prevent you from speaking out.’ I think the ability of this Islamic authority and these extremist groups to abuse the citizens of Syria is much higher than that of the Syrian regime.

“A lot of people would argue that, if the regime wins, there would be no space whatsoever for another revolution, because the regime would come back 10 times stronger. The majority of people say that. I think that’s total nonsense.

The activist says that the moderate opposition is much more capable of resisting Assad than it was before the revolution, when political life was stifled and activists worked in the shadows, often unknown even to each other.

What we have in Syria now is local councils,” the activist says, referring to the civilian administrative groups that have sprouted up in rebel-held territory across the country, “and political and activist groups, whereas before March 2011 we had nothing. It was just a few people that were anonymous online.

“We have groups now. We have experience. We know how to perform demonstrations now. We know how to have contact with the media. We know how to provide aid and how to set up field hospitals. It’s a totally different situation now. And we learned from our mistakes.

“I think it’s definitely possible to see a revolution in the future. But if we don’t accept that we have lost now—that our revolution has stopped, or been put on pause, and that is a big dispute among activists—then that means that everything that’s happening now, and all the crimes that are being committed by Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS, will be written in history as part of the Syrian revolution.

Do you see what I mean? If we can differentiate between this period that was the Syrian revolution, and this period now that is a messy situation that came as a result of a dictator standing against a revolution, then I think we can keep our revolution clean and our aspirations clean and our ideals in place. But if we keep going down this line, then we will turn our revolution into an Islamic revolution, and I think this will be known in history as the Islamic revolution in Syria.

“I’m not going to be able to say things like this publicly—because it would be misunderstood and misinterpreted, in a very messy situation in Syria where now it’s easy for you to be accused of being an agent for the West or an agent for the government. It’s very easy for people to point fingers and accuse you of working against the Syrian revolution. I worry about being misinterpreted or misunderstood and not being able to remain a player on Syria. I’m involved, and I have some sort of effect. I want to continue to be able to do that.

“It’s really about being responsible and saying, ‘OK, 100,000 people have been killed. Do we want another 100,000 to be killed?’ Maybe another 100,000 would be killed anyway. But do we want them to die for the exact reason that we were stubborn? And that’s the question.

Note 1: Chapeau bas. I agree with this lucid reasoning. I think that many wanted the regime to step aside in the beginning, and the turn of events gave the regime a breath of political validity.  That Bashar Assad is in a better position to deliver on meaningful reforms, as long as the moderate opposition keeps the pressures, internally and externally.

Note 2: Behind Geneva 2 https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/behind-the-frantic-activities-for-a-syrian-peaceful-transition-in-geneva-2-conference-this-human-disastrous-calamity-and/

Revolted Syrian actress Fadwa Suleiman: Where are you?
Syrian Alawite actress Fadwa Suleiman joined protests last year against President Bashar al-Assad: She took the stage at demonstrations in the city of Homs, center of resistance to his family’s four-decade rule, and in Damascus and other cities after the regime slaughtered peaceful demonstrators in the southern city of Dar3a.
Fadwa Suleiman
Actress Fadwa Suleiman after she cut her hair short to protest her family members disclaimer of behaving properly. Picture taken Dec. 14, 2011. REUTERS

Fadwa Suleiman, Syrian actress and a high-profile Alawite member of the Syrian revolution led by an opposition dominated by Sunni Muslims against the government controlled by Alawites, is saddened that the revolution is not going in the right direction.

Disillusioned at the level of state control over theater and films, Suleiman joined the popular protests last year, to become one of the most recognized faces of the violent uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

She expressed resentment over her country’s peaceful demonstrations having turned into an armed conflict that was heading toward a sectarian war.

One of Fadwa’s friends told her: “Be very careful of how you behave: You are already a symbol of the Alawi actress revolutionaries…”

Fadwa replied: “I am not an idol. I am not Sunni or Alawit. The Syrian people is crushing all the idols in his country. I do fast and pray in my own way, and I may drink a cup of wine of what my granddad concocted… and from his wine, I’ll be drinking for victory and freedom…”

When the Assad regime pressured one of Fadwa’s brothers to disclaim her political attitudes and protest against Fadwa’s behaviors, which don’t match tradition and customs, She retorted:

I have cut my long hair and everyone should be informed that, if I recant on the Syrian “World” channel, this should be your signal that I have been tortured to say what is contrary to my belief. Do not believe a word, do not believe what my family members might say that I’m a traitor. This is Bashar Assad system for coercion…”

Amrutha Gayathri published:

In an interview with the AFP, Suleiman said she was saddened to see that the revolution is not going in the right direction, that it is becoming armed, that the opposition which wanted to resist peacefully is playing the game of the regime and that the country is heading for sectarian war.

I didn’t want to leave Syria but I didn’t have the choice. I was being threatened and I was becoming a threat for the activists who were helping me, she said.

Before she joined the protests, Suleiman was well-known for her roles in movies, theater, radio and television. She was drawn to the movement as part of the mobilization of the cultural elite of the country after the revolution erupted in March last year.

She is considered an anomaly in the revolution, largely attributed to being a woman belonging to Syria’s ruling Alawite minority taking part in a male-dominated Sunni rebellion, a Reuters report said.

Fadwa’s position has led to many influential Alawites disavowing her, including her brother Mahmoud, who declared on state-run television channel that Syria’s unity was more important for him than his sister.

Suleiman — who became a well-recognized representative of the Syrian rebels when she appeared in footage shot in the Sunni dominated rebel city of Homs that was broadcast on the Al-Jazeera television news network — said she wanted to stop the revolution, which was eventually sliding into a sectarian war, by being a part of the protests.

Everyone was saying that Salafist Sunnis were going to attack the Alawites, she said. So, in Homs last November, I, an Alawite woman, got up on the stage and declared that we were all united against the regime.

Suleiman is widely seen as the product of westernized and secular Syria, while her opponents are largely religious fanatics sponsored by Syrian supporters in the rest of the Arab world.

The actress, whose Alawite identity plays a major role in determining her place in the revolution rejects her own sectarian labeling.

On her Facebook page in December, Fadwa wrote: “I am not Alawite, and not an artist.  I have actually been a rebel against all the obsolete values in our society since the day I was born.. .A rebel for freedom, and for people to be free to think, believe and love as they want, so long as that comforts them, even worshiping trees…So, down with the Alawites and long live their humanity…Down with the Sunnis, Druze, Ismailis, Muslims, Jews and Christians, and long live their humanity…Long live humanity in dignity everywhere, of whatever religion or affiliation.

Amrutha Gayathri
Note 2: You may read ” Death of the Eternal Syria: Eye-witness accounts of the generations of Silence and Revolution” by Mohammad Abi Samra
Note 3:  Razan Zeitouni, another revolutionary, wrote describing a night demonstration in Zamlaka quarter (Damascus): “The few steps separating the silent and closed streets from the place of the gathering was like a crossing using a time machine. I recall this bus trip in secondary school to Lataquieh, and my eyes were riveted on windows, trying hard to locate this blue horizon of the sea…”

For over 30 years: Generations of Syrians endured prison terms, torture, and isolation…

The Assad regime, from father Hafez to Bashar, conducted systematic genocide and perpetual and extended prison terms and tortures of “potential” political opponents. After the 1982 mass killing in the city of Hama, every Syrian suspected of being a member of the Moslem Brotherhood was detained and assassinated in the prisons.

The members of the suspected opponents were detained, interrogated and tortured. Many of them endured extended prison terms and frequent torture sessions.

For over 30 years, recruits and soldiers suffered terrible humiliation and indignities: Treated like human farms, cursed, mishandled, sent to work in officers homes and farms to save on expenses…

The skilled recruits were sent home to generate money and a cut taken from them every month. Recruits left alone in remote area to fend for themselves, wearing thongs (shahhata) and tattered “army” clothes, in harsh cold weather and desolate regions.

The Syrian army was not meant to fight Israel: Just to take the youth out of the streets and use them to enrich the officers and the officials.

For over 30 years, the occupied Golan Heights by Israel were a haven for peace and tranquility, like Gaza was during Egypt Muhammad Morsi one year Presidency.

The Syrian army was not meant to fight Israel: Just humiliate the occupied Lebanese, torture them and rob them dry and tell the occupied Lebanese: “you cannot curse Syria, Hafez, Bassel, Bashar…”

And the UN, the Western “democratic” States and major news media knew all about these practices and refused to condemn or expose the Syrian regime. They even gave this regime “carte blanche” to exterminate opponents and spread humiliation on the society, as long as no pictures or gruesome news seep out of Syria.

Until the interests of the Western States and the USA were at stake, and Syria was to be devastated, weakened and submitted. And the Syrian people had to suffer another round of mass slaughter on the hands of the regime and the Takfir Islamic, Nusra Front, and Da3esh.

On April 16, 2011, a large peaceful demonstration in Homs was disbanded by live ammunition and 7 people died. By noon, over 500,000 gathered at the Clock Square and accompanied the martyrs to their graves shouting “The people want to overturn the regime

The demonstrators kept their ground till 8 pm. The security officials warned the demonstrators to disperse by midnight. Over 50,000 youth refused to go home, and by 10 pm, live bullets were targeting the youth.

Still, by midnight, more than 5,000 youth stayed and defied the authorities. Around 4:30 am, the square was emptied but for hundreds of corpses. The authorities loaded the dead people in trash trucks to unknown destination or mass graves. It was estimated that 500 Syrian citizens lost their lives. Only 35 bodies were returned to their families.

Syrian Alawite actress Fadwa Suleiman joined protests last year against President Bashar al-Assad: She took the stage at demonstrations in the city of Homs, center of resistance to his family’s four-decade rule, and in Damascus and other cities after the regime slaughtered peaceful demonstrators in the southern city of Dar3a.
Fadwa Suleiman
Actress Fadwa Suleiman after she cut her hair short to protest her family members disclaimer of behaving properly. Picture taken Dec. 14, 2011. REUTERS

In Douma, a new revolutionary song caught fire:

“Hi, hi, my prison guard

Hi, hi the obscurity of my prison cell

Your darkness is gone

Your Baath is disintegrating

Your cruelty vanquished

My sun is waiting to shine on me tomorrow

Syria wants freedom, freedom…

Syria, freedom, freedom “wa bass” (only)…”

It is to be noted that many angry demonstrations have roots in the mixed schools that the regime enforced after the Hama killing in 1982.

The regime even pressured the girls to unveil as they entered the school premises. All these regulations were meant to humiliate the traditional Sunnis, suspected of supporting the Moslem Brotherhood, and exercising vengeful practices.

The irony was that the high officials in Damascus, highly secluded and isolated from the rest of the communities, were not aware that schools in Banias (town of 50,000)  were mixed, as if living in another planet. The system was in place and immutable, even after the succession of Bashar Assad to power, and no one dared revisit or suggest to review the rules and regulations of 20 years ago.

The demand of the town to separate genders were understood as separating Sunni from Alawi communities.

The isolated authorities in Damascus were unaware that the rules imposed 20 years ago were still alive and kicking and nothing had changed.

The authorities agreed for separation of genders in schools and for permitting the girls to enter classrooms veiled.

But the people in Banias were scared as the security forces amassed their forces in order to resume their old tactics, and the demonstrations got larger and more frequent, and the crackdown more brutal…

The Syrian regime had about one thousand extreme Islamists in prison before the uprising in 2011, and 43 of their leaders. Those radical Takfir Islamists were Syrians and Iraqis, until foreign mercenaries were dispatched to Syria from Somalia, Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and the Caucasus region.  The Assad power used these Islamists during the Iraq war with the USA and in Lebanon, and manipulated them in situations that matched their destabilization policies.

When the Syrian uprising began after the fall of Egypt Mubarak, mass demonstrations swept the Syrian cities in Dar3a, Homs, Banias, and even in Damascus. The uprising was peaceful because people had no arms or the courage to overcome 30 years of silence and humiliation and fear.

And the regime decided to let the extreme Islamists out of prison without any conditions or further crackdown: The regime decided to turn the uprising into an armed confrontation for an excuse to resume armed squashing of the opponents.

The US ordered Qatar and Saudi Arabia to untie their purses and finance the uprising in money, arms and communication tools.

And the Nusra Front took over the armed confrontation against the regime, and the civil war has been going on for two years now.

The main cities of Aleppo, Homs and many parts of Damascus have been demolished, devastated and ransacked.

And over 100,000 perished, and 4 million Syrian refugees have been displaced within Syria and 3 million took refuge in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

Note: You may read the Arabic book “Death of the Eternal Syria: Eye witnmess accounts of the generation of Silence and Revolution” by Mohammad Abi Samra

Any difference between a Statesman and a Leader? For example, comparing Bashar with Hafez Assad of Syria…

In context:

President Bashar Assad of Syria is the second son of Hafez. The eldest son of the dictator Hafez, Bassel, died of supposedly a car accident, driving his fast Porsche. The youngest brother of Bashar died of cancer.

Hafez Assad ruled as a dictator for 30 years from 1971 to 2000.

During Hafez Assad, Syria had to contend with much more powerful enemies on its borders.

1. Saddam Hussein of Iraq was the prime nemesis to Hafez because they led the same party Al Baath in two adjacent States, and Iraq was far richer, more populous and its military hardware was diversified, including French weapons.

2. Israel still occupied the Golan Heights, and a third of Lebanon territory.

3. Turkey was not engaged in the Middle-East problems: Turkey of the Moslem Brotherhood will come to power in 2002 and has been in power for an entire decade…

4, Iran Islamic Republic was entirely focused on the long protracted war with Iraq (8 years of brutal and all-out terror).

5. Hezbollah in Lebanon was in its infancy (created in 1983).

6. Oil was not yet produced in Syria, and Syria relied completely on the Soviet Union for armement…

During Bashar, Iraq was totally impotent of doing much harm to its neighboring State because of the No-Fly-Zone and international embargo… The US invaded Iraq in 2003 , and Saddam was “ousted” and then hanged.

Israel still occupies the Golan Heights, but had to withdraw all its troops from Lebanon without any preconditions.

Turkey is getting engaged in the Middle East region and lately has been virulent and supporting the insurgents (sort of recalling its former Ottoman Empire status…)

Iran is more powerful than ever, more stable from within, and acquiring strategic interests in the region.

Hezbollah has grown and developed as a mighty structured and well-trained military machine.

Syria troops occupying Lebanon as a de facto mandated power withdrew in 2005 after the assassination of Rafik Hariri PM.

Bashar inherited a Syria with established institutions, an oil producing country, weaker States on its borders, and firmer control on many levers for negotiating better deals…

Hafez Al Assad had great patience:

1. He would never engage in any operation that might get foreign superpowers concerned before securing total support of the winning party of the moment in the region.  For example, Hafez knew that there existed a Red Line between the US and the Soviet Union in the Middle-East. Russia was not to expand beyond Turkey and Iran, these two States were to be within US sphere of influence, including Syria, Iraq… Consequently, any operation that would anger the US in the Middle-East had to be negotiated at length, whatever time it took to reach an agreement…

2. Hafez made it a point of honor to “deliver” on any promise or agreement. Thus, unless Hafez secured internal cohesion and alliance to his agreement, he would refrain from any promises that he might not be able to demonstrate his power to deliver…

This reminds me of the story of Tsar Paul I of Russia when Napoleon was only First Consul of Revolutionary France. It was not conceivable at the time for absolute monarchs to negotiate with a common person, even if he grabbed power. Paul I wrote to Napoleon: “I am ready to deal with you: You are a person who demonstrated he can deliver on agreements…”

This position angered the British Empire and they made sure for Tsar Paul I to be assassinated…

What follows are examples of how Hafez Assad operated to achieve his goals:

1. In 1970, King Hussein of Jordan was militarily annihilating the Palestinian resistance movement in Jordan: Over 70% of the Jordanians have origin in Palestine.  The Syrian defense minister dispatched tanks toward Jordan to pressure Hussein in stopping the carnage. Israel sent a couple of jets to over fly the frenzied speeding Syrian tanks.

Hafez was the chief of the air force at the time and got the message right: He refrained from engaging the Syrian air-force or to give aerial support to the tanks.  The advancing tanks stopped and returned… What was the price?

1. Hafez received “foreign” support when he waged a successful military coup in 1971.

2. The PLO was cornered to deal directly with Hafez who nibbled on the Palestinian Organization to get full hold on its internal decisions… The civil war in Lebanon was a tag of war on how much the PLO can secure self-autonomy from direct Syria interventions

In September 1973, The small Syrian army of barely 100,000 soldiers in total managed to recaptured the Golan Heights, only to retreat from the conquered part after the US established the largest airlift in its history to supply Israel with all the military hardware, satellite intelligence, and even pilots…

In 1981, Syria Moslem Brotherhood, mostly concentrated in Homs, was very virulent and had been attacking Syria institutions and targeting Hafez Assad elite people for a couple of years now. Hafez was very patient and trying to negotiate a deal with the Brotherhood. Why?

Sadat of Egypt had rallied Egypt Brotherhood around him and Hafez was dissatisfied with Sadat unilateral peace with Israel… but Syria Moslem Brotherhood kept backing Sadat of Egypt and giving serious trouble to Hafez…

Hafez negotiated with the US at length and receive the green light to put down the Brotherhood uprising. The action was irreversible, brutal, unconditional…and thousands of Brotherhood members and supporters were persecuted for years.  Hundreds in jails (mainly in Palmira , Tadmor) were executed on a weekly basis…

And the invasion of Lebanon, starting in 1976, at the instigation of the Christian leaders as the PLO and Lebanese left opposition alliance advanced into the “Christian” region…Hafez waited until the PLO got heavily engaged in Lebanon’s morass…

And the support of Desert Storm and sending a contingent to fight alongside the US troops as Saddam’s troops invaded Kuwait. And what was the price in return? A mandated power over Lebanon that lasted 15 years til 2005…

And what of his second son Bashar Assad who replaced Hafez in 2000?

The eldest son,  Bassel, had died from a car accident, driving a fast car. He was an extrovert person and was liked among the military…

And Bashar, studying ophthalmology (eye doctor for corrective lenses…) was summoned from England to return and get initiated and educated to the labyrinth of power…

Hafez had cancer for many years (since 1983?) and was being treated in Russia, and his days were counted and he was accelerating the position of responsibilities assigned to Bashar… But Bashar is an introvert…

Bashar public speeches are a pain in the ass… He cannot differentiate between political speeches and official lecturing on what is rational, logical, and should be done (logically and rationally). I had watched many Arab leaders snoozing during Bashar’s lengthy speeches…

Syria “Constitution” was modified in order to permit young Basher (33 instead of 40 in age) to become President in 2000.

In that year, Israel was forced to withdraw unilaterally from south Lebanon, and Bashar was barely in power and trying to affirm his hold, and missed a golden opportunity to withdraw his troops from Lebanon…

Those  leaders who hate Bashar or Syria, blame him for failing to deliver on agreements and promises….

Mind you that time had changed: Bush Jr invaded Iraq and didn’t ask for Bashar’s input on the decision.

Bashar was delivered ultimatum to fully side with the US forces… and to outdo the US capabilities in preventing infiltrated Iraqi nationalists from entering Iraq and engaging the US occupation troops….

And Saudi Arabia was not pleased with Bashar blocking any Wahhabi sect doctrine and activities to overwhelm the Syrians with free Wahhabi tailor-made Korans, and appointing Wahhabi sheikhs to Mosques…

And Turkey Moslem Brotherhood in power wanted to believe that opening up to Syria will ultimately encourage Bashar to extend a hand to the Syria Moslem Brotherhood and include them in the government and institutions… Mind you that Turkey Moslem Brotherhood have been in power for a decade…

Time has changed.

Bashar had to juggle with Iran strategic interests in the region: Iran during Bashar is not the same Iran during Hafez, trying to defend itself from Saddam invasion of its lands and waging a war that lasted 8 years…

Time has changed. Bashar has no longer troops in Lebanon in order to find himself in any solid position to “deliver” on agreements…

Time has changed. Bashar has reorganized the army and expanded it in order to confront eventual Israeli preemptive wars with the total support of the US.  The Syrian army is no longer a force to maintain Hafez in power, but to safeguard Syria from demanding foreign and regional powers…

Time has changed: Syria is currently floating on gas, the largest reserve in the world, and every potential country wants to have a piece of the pie and laying pipeline through Syria…

And Syria was engulfed in a “civil war” two years after the Arab Spring in 2011.

And Syria infrastructure are disturbed and its main cities (Aleppo and Homs…) are in ruin…

And the Syrians are fleeing in droves to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan (over one million refugees are relying on the UN to survive in make-shift tents…) as is the case of the Palestinians when they were forced to leave their towns and villages in 1948 and in 1967…

Is Hafez Assad a stateman, a leader, both or neither?

Is Bashar Assad a stateman, a leader, both or neither?

Hafez was ruthless, and he established a dynasty. He gave Syria 3 decades of relative stability and continuity. He invested in the infrastructure of remote regions, spread public schools and health care. Hafez demonstrated the saying that:

“If war against Israel is tenuous without Egypt, a comprehensive peace cannot be reached without Syria…”

Hafez was considered a key player by all regional powers in Middle-East dynamics and his opinion was taken seriously…

Hafez initiated two decades of terror against the Syrian Moslem Brotherhood members and tortured and detained for extended prison terms to their family members and  “potential” opponents.

Bashar started a young president and did all the mistakes a young leader can do, and failed to grab the many opportunities opened to him.

He started arrogant, coy, and behaved as a son spoon-fed in silver utensils. Most probably, he has no patience for other people opinions and love to listen to his own talks, and tends to see the world more on the black and white aspect…

The current problems in Syria are the last opportunity to salvage his reign: Either he lose or prevails over the new wave of Moslem Brotherhood cultist dictatorship sweeping in the Middle-East.

If Bashar vanquishes, on the rubble of Syria, he will be remembered as the main leader who saved this region from this monster storm that is in total cohort with the US strategic plan for the Greater Middle East domination.

Time changes: Do you think potential political leaders are harder to locate?

Time changes: Do you think potential statemen are harder to form and discover?

Syria. Robert Fisk’s alternative piece of intelligence: It is all oil and gas…

Robert Fisk claims in a piece published in the British daily The Independent that Bashar Assad of Syria is to finish his presidential term in 2014, two years from now. Why?

The USA, France, Germany…and other European States are fine-tuning a deal with Russia and China to permit the construction of oil and gas pipelines originating in Saudi Arabia and Qatar to cross Jordan and Syria…

Actually, what started the anger of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey against the Syrian regime was the preference of Syria to giving priority to the Iranian and Iraqi pipeline project that would cross Iraq and Syria…

Fisk would like us to believe that the European States, dependent on 60% of its energy needs on Russia (the first exporter of oil and gas in the world of about 11 million barrel a day...) is planning to cut down on this unilateral energy dependence and facilitate the export of cheaper oil and gas from Saudi Arabia and Qatar…

Fisk wrote (with slight editing of a few extracts):

“President Bashar al-Assad of Syria may last far longer than his opponents believe – and with the tacit acceptance of Western leaders anxious to secure new oil routes to Europe via Syria before the fall of the regime.

According to a source intimately involved in the possible transition from Baath party power, the Americans, Russians and Europeans are also putting together an agreement that would permit Assad to remain leader of Syria for at least another two years in return for political concessions to Iran and Saudi Arabia in both Lebanon and Iraq.

For its part, Russia would be assured of its continued military base at Tartous in Syria and a relationship with whatever government in Damascus eventually emerges with the support of Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Russia’s recent concession – that Assad may not be essential in any future Syrian power structure – is part of a new understanding in the West which may accept Assad’s presidency in return for an agreement that prevents a further decline into civil war.

Information from Syria suggests that Assad’s army is now “taking a beating” from armed rebels, who include Islamist as well as nationalist forces; at least 6,000 soldiers are now believed to have been murdered or killed in action since the rebellion against Assad began 17 months ago.

There are even unconfirmed reports that during any one week, up to 1,000 Syrian fighters are under training by mercenaries in Jordan at a base used by Western authorities for personnel seeking ‘anti-terrorist’ security exercises.

The US-Russian negotiations – easy to deny, and somewhat cynically hidden behind the current mutual accusations of Hillary Clinton and her Russian opposite number, Sergei Lavrov – would mean that the superpowers would acknowledge Iran’s influence over Iraq and its relationship with its Hezbollah allies in Lebanon… while Saudi Arabia and Qatar would be encouraged to guarantee Sunni Muslim rights in Lebanon and in Iraq.

Baghdad’s emergence as a centre of Shia power has caused much anguish in Saudi Arabia whose support for the Sunni minority in Iraq has hitherto led only to political division.

But the real object of talks between the world powers revolves around the West’s determination to secure oil and particularly gas from the Gulf States without relying upon supplies from Moscow.

A US source says: “Russia can turn off the spigot to Europe whenever it wants – and this gives it tremendous political power. We are talking about two fundamental oil routes to the West – one from Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Jordan and Syria and the Mediterranean to Europe, another from Iran via Shiaa southern Iraq and Syria to the Mediterranean and on to Europe. This is what matters. This is why they will be prepared to let Assad last for another two years, if necessary. They would be perfectly content with that. And Russia will have a place in the new Syria.”

Diplomats who are still discussing these plans should, of course, be treated with some skepticism. It is one thing to hear political leaders excoriating the Syrian regime for its abuse of human rights and massacres – quite another to realize that Western diplomats are quite prepared to put this to one side for the proverbial ‘bigger picture’ which, as usual in the Middle East, means oil and gas supplies.

They are prepared to tolerate Assad’s presence until the end of the crisis, rather than insisting his departure is the start of the end. The Americans apparently say the same. Now Russia believes that stability is more important than Assad himself.

What Assad is still hoping for, according to Arab military veterans, is a solution a-l’Algerie.

After the cancellation of democratic elections in Algeria, its army and generals – ‘le pouvoir’ to Algerians – fought a merciless war against rebels and Islamist guerrillas across the country throughout the 1990s, using torture and massacre to retain government power but leaving an estimated 200,000 dead among their own people.

Amid this crisis, the Algerian military actually sent a delegation to Damascus to learn from Hafez el-Assad’s Syrian army how it destroyed the Islamist rebellion in the city of Hama – at a cost of up to 20,000 dead – in 1982. The Algerian civil war – remarkably similar to that now afflicting Assad’s regime – displayed many of the characteristics of the current tragedy in Syria: babies with their throats cut, families slaughtered by mysterious semi-military ‘armed groups’, whole towns shelled by government forces.

And, much more interesting to Assad’s men, the West continued to support the Algerian regime with weapons and political encouragement throughout the 1990s while huffing and puffing about human rights. Algeria’s oil and gas reserves proved more important than civilian deaths – just as the Damascus regime now hopes to rely upon the West’s desire for via-Syria oil and gas to tolerate further killings.

Syrians say that Jamil Hassan, the head of Air Force intelligence in Syria is now the ‘killer’ leader for the regime – not so much Bashar’s brother Maher whose 4th Division is perhaps being given too much credit for suppressing the revolt. It has certainly failed to crush it.

The West, meanwhile has to deal with Syria’s contact man, Mohamed Nassif, perhaps Assad’s closest political adviser. The question remains, however, as to whether Bashar al-Assad really grasps the epic political importance of what is going on in his country.

Prior to the rebellion, European and Turkish leaders were astonished to hear from him that Sunni forces in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli were trying “to create a radical Moslem Sunni Salafist State” that would threaten Syria. How this extraordinary assertion – based, presumably on the tittle-tattle of an intelligence agent – could have formulated itself in Assad’s mind, remained a mystery.” End of article

It might sound pretty logical that oil and gas is the main reason for this upheaval in Syria: This established cause has been valid and demonstrated over and over in the last century…but things are different now. There are questions:

1. It is how to maintain the US dollar as the main exchange currency for oil and gas import/export that has been the main strategic goal of the US since 1973.

2. Why Russia would easily surrender its strategic energy hold on Europe by allowing Saudi oil to circumvent the hard work done in monopolizing export of oil and gas to Europe?

3. Why would Iran permit Saudi Arabia to bypass the Hormuz Straight bottle neck (50% of all world oil shipment passing through and can be easily controlled by Iran) before a comprehensive understanding on its nuclear rights and finishing the construction of its pipeline through Iraq and Syria?

4. How China can be satisfied? China has its own space station…and more than 200 million Chinese are middle class and wanting the same luxuries as the US and European standard of living…

5. What about the Syrian people urge and determination to changing the political system? As if all revolts in the Arab World cannot be successful without Saudi petro-dollar...

Note: In this June 2013, the US is operating military maneuvers in Jordan, and will leave the F16, and Patriot missile launchers in Jordan after the exercises are over… The idea is to secure a de-facto no-fly-zone on Syria southern borders


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2020
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