Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 23, 2012

Syria: Time For Assad To Prepare To Attack

Despite the deployment of UN ceasefire monitors in Syria the rebels seem to intensify their fighting by regularly attacking government checkpoints and logistics. Each day they kill some 15 to 20 government security personal and thereby undermine the Annan plan.

It is obviously that the rebels have used the ceasefire to rearm with the quite open help of the U.S, the Gulf countries and Turkey. Of special concern is the visible proliferation of anti-armor weapons. Their main logistic line of communication seems to run through Tripoli, Lebanon where the Saudi financed Hariri Salafists have their base. The rather few genuine Syrian rebels also get active help from international AlQaeda like terrorist groups. While this helps the narrative of the Syrian government it makes its physical fight more difficult.

The countries supporting the rebels obviously do not agree with the Annan peace plan and want it to fail. There is little hope in the near term that they will change their policies of regime change and state destruction by proxy force.

Since the introduction of the ceasefire and the UN monitors Syria has held back on offensive military moves. But without such moves the rebel problem will fester and they will continuously become better armed, trained and effective. As they and their backers are not sticking to the Annan plan and attack Syria should feel free to respond in kind.

As I had earlier suggested Syria seems to have given a more free reign to Kurdish rebels who dislike the Turkish government policies towards the Kurds. Turkey protesting about that is quite hypocritical as it houses the command of the Free Syrian Army and the now mostly defunct political arm of the rebels in the form of the Syrian National Council. There are also activities by forces friendly to the Syrian government to interrupt the rebels weapons pipeline from Lebanon.

But those moves raise the price for the supporters of the rebels only modestly. They will not end the problem. The government will have to become more active against the rebels on Syrian ground.

There is of course the concern that any offensive move by the government will be denounced as "breaking the ceasefire" by those that support the rebels. But there is little appetite for international military intervention with regular forces and therefore only little chance of further negative consequences.

Currently the Syrian government is fighting only in the defensive with both hands tight behind its back. It could go on the offense but then would still have to take care of not hurting the civilians the rebels are using for cover. That would be fighting with one hand tied behind its back.

To untie that second hand the Syrian government could ask the civilians from the rebel infested areas, mostly along rural parts of the Lebanese and Turkish borders, to evacuate and offer them shelter in safe and controlled areas. It could then use its full military might to attack and defeat the rebels in their current operational and retreat areas.

While that would likely still be a messy fight such an all out and carefully planned government offense is likely to shorten the overall conflict. The Syrian government should urgently prepare for it.

Posted by b on May 23, 2012 at 17:21 UTC | Permalink

Comments

so, damned if they do, damned if they don't. with the media firmly controlled by the same people who want Syria to implode any aggression, no matter how justified will only be used as an excuse to funnel more weapons and wet ops into the country.

in order for Assad to survive he will need to deal with the trouble makers in a very sophisticated way. the leaders need to be captured and debriefed. Syria will need to find how the weapons are coming in and interdict them. there needs to be popular resistance to the insurgents, perhaps some strategic bribes to some of the more influential people in the areas that are causing the most trouble. Just like the mafia sometimes does when there is a lot of warring among different factions, they need to have a sit down and realize there is enough for everyone and that killing each other is simply bad for business. the rogues can easily be swept up then just as they are in any other country.

but scorched earth tactics as you suggest b is doomed to failure. I doubt that anyone other than a few US Republicans and Joe Lieberman would call Falluja a resounding success.

Posted by: dan of steele | May 23 2012 18:19 utc | 1

A key thing is that the goverment is much much stronger than the rebels politically in Syria. It is much much stronger militarily as well. Thus, allowing the rebel problem fester, even get somewhat worse, in the short term is not a truly dangerous thing for the government to do from the long term view. My take on the situation is that the government is preparing to bring the fight to the rebels as 'b' suggests, but, contrary to 'b', the government does not judge this to be a matter of urgency. The government is confident that it can defeat the rebels at a later time even if the rebels are stronger at the later time. The government, in going along with the Annan plan, is consolidating its political position, especially internationally.

The government negotiated and signed itself up for the Annan plan primarily because it wanted the UN military observers to observe. The UN observers will probably be reporting that the government has been earnestly trying to carry out the Annan plan while also trying to maintain public security in the face of an armed uprising. As the situation matures under these circumstances it will undermine the sympathy the rebels have in the intenational community. It will help to dissuade the foreigners from arming the rebels, and that will be a strategic win for the government against the rebels.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 23 2012 18:29 utc | 2

Syria's immediate neighbors Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon have laws and policies that prohibit arms and armed men to pass into Syria from their jurisdiction. Those prohibitions are being enforced by Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon (without 100% success of course). I believe the same is true on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights. The Syrian navy patrols the sea along Syria's Mediterranean coast. So, looking all around Syria's borders, there is no gap whatsoever were it is legal on the other side of the border to bring weapons and ammunition into Syria. Thus anyone wishing to arm the rebels in Syria has got a difficult implementation problem.

If Saudi Arabia and Qatar follow through on their wish to give cash handouts to the rebels, it will increase the price of weapons but it can't increase the supply of weapons in a major way because of the logisitical difficulties in smuggling the weapons into Syria. You'd need at least one of the bordering countries to remove its prohibition, but the great preponderance of indications are that's NOT going to happen.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 23 2012 18:35 utc | 3

What is truly sure is that the Syrian governmnet is winning over western media for each day they suffer terror-attacks. And every day, the foreign funding is loosing legitimacy, and that must be Assads strategy, as well as Iran who are interested in weakening USA and Saudi-Arabia, and weakening the moral of the warmongers. I see Iran and Syria standing very much together on this, as both countries are part of the same target for USA.

Posted by: Alexander | May 23 2012 18:51 utc | 4

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have said they think the international community should supply weapons to the Syrian rebels. But they deny that they have actually done so themselves, so far. Supplying weapons to the rebels may contravene United Nations anti-terrorism resolutions (e.g.). Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been urged not to arm the Syrian rebels by the US, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Algeria (and probably others). I believe Saudi Arabia and Qatar are highly unlikely to try to arm the rebels for so long as the broad international community disapproves of it, and for so long as it continues to be impossible to do it legally under the laws of all of Syria's neighbors. That is, anyone who aims to arm the rebels from outside Syria is also necessarily aiming to violate the laws of Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and/or Lebanon.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 23 2012 18:57 utc | 5

And furhermore, this is an attack on the democratization-process, the rebels are doing everything they can to disrupt the chance of Syria becoming properly democratic and immune to a takeover of the government power.

Posted by: Alexander | May 23 2012 19:02 utc | 6

Parviziyi, the rebels don't need anyone's sympathy, they have the US and the Gulf Arabs on their side with NATO at the ready to start bombing as soon as Assad starts getting the upper hand. The government accepted the Annan Plan because it was that or having NATO doing a repeat of Libya. The Syrian government has to make real changes if it wants to stay and I'm hoping it does because the alternative to it is going to be very ugly.

Posted by: www | May 23 2012 19:11 utc | 7

Parviziyi @ 5

I don't believe all the weapons heading for Syria are being intercepted, and as Libyan weapons are going via Egypt, and Lebanon before being caught, more countries than openly comitting to arming the rebels are in on this.

Posted by: Alexander | May 23 2012 19:12 utc | 8

And indeed, Turkish harboured rebels.

Posted by: Alexander | May 23 2012 19:15 utc | 9

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-05/23/c_123175542.htm

"Observers in Syria believe that the softened tone stems from mounting fears that violence in Syria would spill over to neighboring countries, and recent fighting in Tripoli in Lebanon between pro- and anti-Assad Lebanese has further stoked those fears.

They attribute this moderate position to a set of interlocking internal and external factors, mainly the fact that Obama, before nearly five months of the presidential elections, is not ready for a new military adventure, neither in Syria nor in Iran. So the American position on Syria is characterized by a "reservation."

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in a press conference during a NATO summit in Chicago on Thursday, raised concern about the violence in Syria, but stressed that the alliance has "no intention" of any military action against the Syrian administration.

According to European media reports, there are other factors behind the decision of the alliance, including the need to take into account the attitude of Russia, Syria's close ally, in many basic files: mainly the withdrawal of troops operating in Afghanistan, and the Iranian nuclear file.

While UN's Ban Ki-moon said Monday that the process of seeking a peaceful settlement to the crisis in Syria reached a "delicate stage," expressing concerns over a potential eruption of a civil war in Syria, regional observers show optimistic view, contending that the Syrian crisis will soon come to an end as the opposition would soon realize that they would be no longer able to weather the storm alone after being abandoned by those who had at the beginning provoked it."

Posted by: somebody | May 23 2012 19:46 utc | 10

@ Alexander: Turkey welcomes refugees from Syria including rebels, but it is illegal under Turkish law for armed rebels or arms to cross from Turkey into Syria. The Syrian refugees in Turkey are being harboured in concentration camps, where they are under surveillance and supervision. The same is true in Jordan.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 23 2012 20:02 utc | 11

A major Syrian offensive will likely trigger direct Western intervention. Right now, Assad can survive the pinpricks of the guerilla attacks, even if they are bloody. He'll likely hold back for a while yet, both to avoid giving any excuse for a Western attack and also to highlight that the rebels are breaking the truce, rather than the government.

Meanwhile, WINEP is infuriated that "terrorists" are ruining a perfectly good Western "revolution":

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/22/syrias_new_jihadis

Posted by: Bill | May 23 2012 20:31 utc | 12

This one, from somebodys link, is notable:

The head of the UN observers' mission in Syria, Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, has praised the Syrian government, saying it is a " professional government ... it met you with hospitality and respect."

"I am sending back Mr. Ladsous back to New York with a different understanding of what Syria is about than what he reads in the headlines in the media," he said, noting that foreign media is giving different picture about what is really happening in Syria.

Posted by: Alexander | May 23 2012 20:31 utc | 13

Anyways, in all fairness, it's about time Assad, no actually the UN, announces that foreign powers have systematically undermined the Annan peace-plan, and a crackdown on the rebel terrorcampaign is overdue.

Posted by: Alexander | May 23 2012 20:50 utc | 14

Assad's problem is that his regime frightens nobody. If it did Jordan, for example, would not be openly training and supplying the terrorists sponsored by NATO. But it is. Just as Turkey is quite open about its role maintaining terrorist bases. And the Sauds, and their fellow tyrants in the GCC, are clearly contemptuous of the Syrian government which turns the other cheek at each new enormity and shrugs at every car bombing.
As to Israel, the only objection it has to Assad's paper tiger is that it will not openly join in the campaign against Hezbollah, which the zionists really fear, because it is based in a real popular movement.
Syria has studiously avoided giving offence to its enemies by refusing to assist those, in Yemen, Arabia, Bahrain and the Gulf countries with legitimate grievances against the kleptocratic tyrants who keep the Arabs in poverty.
The problem in the middle east is that Saudi Arabia is allowed to get away with anything, from allying with Israel to backing al qaeda. And Saudi Arabia is one large quarrelsome family perched like a thirsty vampire on the shoulders of tens of millions of Arabs.

Posted by: bevin | May 23 2012 21:30 utc | 15

The Syrians are taking a leaf outta the amerikan playbook. Cast your minds back to the 1990's when amerika seemed to pretty much ignore the increasing violence & frequency of Mid Eastern resistance to empire. It may have seemed that way on the outside but in fact there was a plan; wait until a really big attack, garner public support and then hit back really hard with a pre-arranged strategy.

Right now, tit for tat won't work for Syria because the Sunni dictators, media & the UN are likely to corrupt that spiral into "It was the government who started the mega-violence".

Better this way - keep the government response low key and wait while Syrian public anger towards the terrorists grows and then the rebels who like the Libyan mob may do the deeds assigned to em by fukusi, but don't submit to anyone's control, will be lulled into a hubristic delusion, overstep and commit some huge outrage.

Then the Syrian government will have a clear domestic mandate along with an increased foreign public sympathy to wipe the floor with these traitors.

Posted by: Debs is dead | May 23 2012 21:37 utc | 16

someone should arm rebels in saudi arabia and see how they like it!

Posted by: brian | May 23 2012 21:40 utc | 17

'The Syrian government has to make real changes if it wants to stay and I'm hoping it does because the alternative to it is going to be very ugly.'

Posted by: www | May 23, 2012 3:11:00 PM | 7

So either Syria does as the US demands or the US will bomb syria...this should he enough to send the US to the ICC

Posted by: brian | May 23 2012 21:42 utc | 18

@ Alexander: Turkey welcomes refugees from Syria including rebels, but it is illegal under Turkish law for armed rebels or arms to cross from Turkey into Syria. The Syrian refugees in Turkey are being harboured in concentration camps, where they are under surveillance and supervision. The same is true in Jordan.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 23, 2012 4:02:29 PM | 11

refugees? from what? its known the terrorists are operating out of the 'refugee' camps..and Turkey is a strong hold of the SNC...are there any refugees at all?

Posted by: brian | May 23 2012 21:44 utc | 19

Posted by: Bill | May 23, 2012 4:31:38 PM | 12

the Zelin article takes the orthodox US stance that the syriann govt is committing atrocities (none mentioned) while the jihadis: 'It is noteworthy that JN has focused solely on military targets in its insurgency against the regime. Perhaps it has learned from the experience of AQI, which found that killing civilians alienates potential supporters'!

i wonder how the US regime would respond if terrorists seeking a change of regime in the US were to merely focus on military targets IN the US..would Zelin nod his head and say this was acceptable? and the FSA ARE committing atrocities...lets not blame foreign jihadis..they are there becaus the FSA(many are NON-syrian) has launched a jihad and its not foreigners attacking christians and others but the syrian brotherhood and local salafists

Posted by: brian | May 23 2012 22:04 utc | 20

On 9/11 2001, the Pentagon bombing got very little coverage compared to the civilian targets, and that's because Pentagon was considered a semi-legitimate target. Still, I see what you're saying, the terror-attacks in Syria routinely leads to civilian deaths. And the US position on Syria will not go down well in historybooks. But I'm convinced that it's important to remember the pro-rebel coverage western media gave in the beginning, because at the end of this case, the western narrative is going to be unrecognisable compared to what it started out like.

Posted by: Alexander | May 23 2012 22:18 utc | 21

The situation is getting very confusing and I doubt very much anyone is thinking of a bombing campaign a la Libya. Don't underestimate the Russians in this equation and they have the most to lose and to gain. Russia will use Syria as a bargaining tool for the missile defense system NATO is putting in Turkey and the push they re making closer to their borders. The show of force Russia did withits fleet in tartous is a clear indication that the want some major pay back to put more pressure on Assad and even then, I doubt if they will let go of one of their last ports that faces NATO in the Mediterranean.
I won't giveassad credit for this but the troubles in Tripoli must have been a message which did seem to get the Saudi attention. I wouldn't be surprised if you see more in lebanon to take the heat off Syria and possibly a more dangerous escalation to light a fire in hariri to smarten up or else.

Posted by: ana souri | May 23 2012 22:21 utc | 22


Interesting: google shows its subservience to US regime:


'Google announced Wednesday that its mapping software and other products would be available in Syria after getting export approval by the U.S. government'
http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/05/23/216056.html

notice how the US has a 'government' and not a'regime'


'“Free expression is a fundamental human right and a core value of our company -- but sometimes there are limits to where we can make our products and services available,” Google’s export compliance chief Neil Martin said in a blog post.'

in fact google is no more a believer in free expression than the US regime they seek permission from!They are a business. But they do have an appearance to maintain.

'Dissident Voice has expressed concerns about Google News' censorship. DV publisher and editor Sunil Sharma suspected that Google News was removing links because of pressure "from readers who don't want others to read the kinds of views expressed by . . . Dissident Voice generally." [2]'
...
Kim Petersen: Google is part of the corporate internet that has been criticized for censorship. What impact do you see such censorship having for users of the Internet?
http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Feb07/Petersen20.htm

Posted by: brian | May 23 2012 22:24 utc | 23

can the US regime use Google to spy on syria?

Posted by: brian | May 23 2012 22:25 utc | 24

@ Brian #19: There are around 23000 Syrians living in refugee camps in Turkey at the moment. (The Turkish government publishes updated data regularly). These people are refugees from the violent conflict in Syria and especially Idlib Province. They include men, women and children. Many of the men are rebels who are wanted for arrest in Syria. But others are poor people from Idlib province who have sought refuge in Turkey just because their local town is in a state of anarchy and violent bedlam, and the refugee camp is a relatively sane alternative for them. The Turkish government allows the refugees to freely return to Syria if they want to. But it does not allow them to carry weapons in Turkey and it does not allow any weapons to pass from Turkey into Syria. I already said that twice before. I also already said that the Syrian refugees are required to reside in concentration camps where they're under the surveillance and monitoring of Turkish security personnel, which makes it much harder for these refugees to violate the Turkish law. Okay?

One year ago about a hundred security personnel and civilians were killed by rebels in the town of Jisr Al-Shughur in Idlib province. The Syrian army responded by surrounding the town and waiting outside the town with intent to go in with guns blazing to retake control. During one week, many thousands of ordinary people from the town of Jisr Al-Shughur fled to refugee camps in Turkey. They gradually trickled back to their town over the following six months; many didn't return until well after normality had been restored to the town.

Today more than half of the Syrian refugees in Turkey entered in the early months of year 2012. I expect them to trickle back to Syria when the violence in Idlib province subsides, analogous to what happened in Jisr Al-Shughur last year. However, under the Annan plan, the Syrian government has agreed to restrain itself from strongly attacking the rebels for the time being. So we can expect a longer initial wait before the refugees start to return back in significant numbers. There are localities in Syria today that are in a state of insane anarchy. Nearly half of those localities are in Idlib. If you were living in one of those localities, you'd want to get out. To move to some other place within Syria is the natural option, but for many of the people in Idlib province it seems the Turkish option is attractive.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 23 2012 23:13 utc | 25

the decisive factor Assad has to take into account are Russia's and China's stances; Syria can't afford to lose their support at the UNSC; Assad can't be more aggressive than those two countries deem appropriate

somebody's link @10 to xinhuanet seems to indicate that the Chinese think things are going well enough; but the Iraqi iniative doesn't seem so Assad-friendly:

that Iraqi initiative would be very similar to the Gulf plan in Yemen and would call for a government of national unity that represents all components of the Syrian people, to be followed by a Security Council resolution banning interference in the internal affairs of the Syrians.

The Iraqi initiative would propose that all parties should stick to an immediate cease-fire and demand from regional and international parties to stop arming both sides, before entering into direct negotiations in Syria.

sounds ambiguous; could even be turned in a political victory for the rebels, gained on the international arena, which they couldn't obtain on the ground, neither politically nor militarily; unless the Chinese already know who these "parties" to be represented in the government would be; maybe China is beginning to play politics on the international scene

Assad will have to give something to his protectors - and Iran is certainly in the game, too, if Iraq made this move

the worse case is that Russia and China sold out Assad with a bad compromise that legitimates the Muslim Brotherhood (the chessboard they are playing over is much wider than the middle east ...)

plus there is Erdogan, who has big a face-saving problem

b's suggestion would represent a very, very bold way for Assad to break through this net many players are weaving over his head

Posted by: claudio | May 24 2012 0:20 utc | 26

parviziyi: 25

'These people are refugees from the violent conflict in Syria and especially Idlib Province. They include men, women and children.'

so they flee to...turkey???

http://rt.com/news/rebels-refugee-camp-attack-665/


'But it does not allow them to carry weapons in Turkey and it does not allow any weapons to pass from Turkey into Syria. '

somehow this is not believeable...

'I also already said that the Syrian refugees are required to reside in concentration camps where they're under the surveillance and monitoring of Turkish security personnel, which makes it much harder for these refugees to violate the Turkish law. Okay?'

not OK! A lot of what you say depends on the trustworthiness of the turkish regime.


'Last month, 49 Turkish intelligence officers have been captured by the Syrian army and that Turkey has been conducting intensive negotiations with Syria in order to secure the intelligence officers’ release. Seven of the captured Turkish officers have confessed that they were trained by Israel’s Mossad and given instructions to carry out bombings to undermine the country’s security. According to the Syrians, one of the Turkish officers said that Mossad also trains soldiers from the Free Syrian Army and that Mossad agents came to Jordan to train al-Qaeda officials to send to Syria to carry out attacks. On February 4, Nasser al-Ariqi, a Saudi Arabian spy was also arrested in Homs.'

http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/turkey-and-israel-united-against-syria/

Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey supply arms to the troops of Syrian opposition

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/351209.html

lets not forget where the SNC held its regime change meet!

Turkey is allowing this to happen ., at the very least...we know the terrorists flee to turkey and then return.

Posted by: brian | May 24 2012 1:31 utc | 27

and FYI parviziyi:

'The weekend before last I was in Hatay province, in southern Turkey, interviewing Syrian rebels and activists, who all complained of the lack of foreign assistance in toppling the Assad regime. Even the "non-lethal" aid that the Obama administration had promised hadn't seemed to make it through to these fighters, many of whom had spent as much as $6,000 of their own money to buy black-market Kalashnikovs.

A lot's changed in a week.

Rebel sources in Hatay told me last night that not only is Turkey supplying light arms to select battalion commanders, it is also training Syrians in Istanbul. Men from the unit I was embedded with were vetted and called up by Turkish intelligence in the last few days and large consignments of AK-47s are being delivered by the Turkish military to the Syrian-Turkish border. No one knows where the guns came from originally, but no one much cares.
etc
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/michaelweiss/100159613/syrian-rebels-say-turkey-is-arming-and-training-them/

this is likely

Posted by: brian | May 24 2012 1:32 utc | 28

Brian #19, they are not concentration camps and they are not populated mostly by armed fighters. The people that fled Syria are mostly civilians and of course, there are terrorists hiding among them but these are few. It's worth mentioning that the first orderly tent city in Turkey was erected on the border with Syria before the fighting actually started and there were any refugees. Great foresight and planning by Turkey.

Posted by: www | May 24 2012 4:50 utc | 29

how long have you been a nazi, b?

you're advocating the fallujah option (as if the regime hasn't been doing this already.) but instead of it being ethnic cleansing, this would be sectarian cleansing. it's wrong when the u.s. military commits war crimes but it's a-okay when your heartthrob bashar does it?

this regime doesn't give a shit about civilians.

why are you advocating this now? smacks of desperation. starting to get worried?

Posted by: omen | May 24 2012 5:14 utc | 30

>>> Turkey is allowing this to happen ., at the very least...we know the terrorists flee to turkey and then return.>>>


Turkey is actually letting it happen. The first meeting of the opposition was held in Paris last July was attended by reps from the Muslim Brotherhood and by French and Israeli Zionists. Interestingly from that meeting:

"This “Zionist” atmosphere did not bother the attendees, which Muslim brotherhood representative in Paris, Moulhem Droubi, was among. One young Syrian girl “Souraya” interposed saying: “In this hall there is not one Syrian. In this hall, I only see Zionists.” However, she was immediately interrupted and dragged out by the French security under the eyes of the police.

According to the Lebanese daily As-Safir reporter in France Mohammad Ballout, Frederick Ansel responded to the young girl saying: “Unfortunately, some Arabs still regard Zionism as an insult, although it is a source of pride and honor.”

http://hamsayeh.net/society/921-zionists-chair-syrian-opposition-meeting-in-france-.html

Posted by: www | May 24 2012 5:20 utc | 31

I agree with #1 and #2.
This is primarily an intel operation - not a military one. This battle will be won by infiltration, arrests, and feeding the 'rebels' false information to encourage them to walk into traps and ambushes.
Some of the things I'm reading suggest that the 'rebels' are neither well-coordinated nor terribly bright.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 24 2012 5:35 utc | 32

The head of the SNC, Burhan Ghalioun resigned last week and only a few days after having been reelected as the President of the SNC. Some members of the coalition wanted the presidency to be a rotation of 3 months, so Ghalioun quit.

Posted by: www | May 24 2012 6:16 utc | 33

You're right about the "not bright" part, HP, abducting Lebanese pilgrims to swap them for prisoners held by the Syrian army proves it. Asking NATO to bomb Syria had already proven it, and announcing that they are willing to make peace with Israel proved it even more. Syria is better off with a despostic ruler.

Posted by: www | May 24 2012 6:26 utc | 34

Asking NATO to bomb Syria had already proven it, and announcing that they are willing to make peace with Israel proved it even more. Syria is better off with a despostic ruler.
Posted by: www | May 24, 2012 2:26:22 AM | 34

syria for syrians, www. it's not up to you to decide.

anyways, who is the collaborator here?

Israel has decided to search for oil on the Golan Heights after 20 years of delay due to objections from Syria, according to Globes, which quoted the Hebrew daily Yediot Aharanoth.

[...]
Assad has occasionally offered to sign a peace treaty and resume diplomatic ties with Israel in return for a total surrender of the area, used by Syria to bombard Jewish communities on the eastern side of Lake Kinneret, known as the Sea of Galilee, before 1967.

Posted by: omen | May 24 2012 6:42 utc | 35

It's worth mentioning that the first orderly tent city in Turkey was erected on the border with Syria before the fighting actually started and there were any refugees. Great foresight and planning by Turkey.
'Posted by: www | May 24, 2012 12:50:33 AM | 29'

why would syrians fleeing turkey based terrorists flee to turkey? Normally refugees are sent packing...look at australia!

its as if Turkey had the operation planned all along.

Posted by: brian | May 24 2012 7:37 utc | 36

'this regime doesn't give a shit about civilians.

why are you advocating this now? smacks of desperation. starting to get worried?

Posted by: omen | May 24, 2012 1:14:26 AM | 30

the civilians disagree with omen:
http://lizzie-phelan.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/citizens-of-homs-if-army-leaves-homs-we.html
http://lizzie-phelan.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/students-from-homs-thank-syrian.html

Posted by: brian | May 24 2012 7:55 utc | 37

don't be so naive, brian. people interviewed for regime media are given scripts to read and are watched over by regime thugs aka "minders" who make sure people don't stray off the script.

the regime are fascists. i swear to god, does the word "dictator" or the phrase "authoritarian rule" mean anything to you? y'all sound like you'd defend hitler if we were able to go back in time.

Posted by: omen | May 24 2012 8:11 utc | 38

@ Brian #27, #28: There is no evidence of any covert activity by Turkey to arm or train the Syrian rebels except for testimonies from highly unreliable sources who don't even establish their own credentials reliably, never mind the reliability of what they're saying. If the Turkish government was covertly aiding the Syrian rebels, while overtly disavowing it, it would never be possible to keep it a secret, because too many people would be involved, and too many of the Turks involved would see the policy as immoral as well as illegal. I can trust the Turkish government to comply with Turkish law for more than one reason, one of which is that they'd get clobbered in the next parliamentary election in Turkey if they got caught.

Covert or overt material support by Turkey to the Syrian rebels would also be in contradiction with what the top government officials of Turkey have been saying, when you listen closely to them. I'm confident that what they say is pretty much what they think. In an interview on Iranian State TV in Iran on 29 Mar 2012 Erdogan said: "The Syrian regime should be receptive to the will of its people, who want elections and democracy.... If Assad wins the elections, Turkey will not have any problems with him." http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2012/March/middleeast_March646.xml&section=middleeast&col= . This is consistent with Assad's own view; and it is contrary to the view of the Syrian rebels who seek unconstitutional overthrow and who refuse to compete in elections against Assad's party.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 24 2012 8:31 utc | 39

Omen, you're stuck in the former impression western media portrayed, like following Libya, it was our duty to do the same for the Syrians. Only problem was, the Syrians doesn't want it. They got their democratic reform - it's underway - but there is no democratically founded demand for a regime-change. It's Hillary Clinton saying we have to bring democracy and freedom to Syria, except, her partners in crime have no interest in democracy or freedom, they want a new totalitarian powerbase on Sharia rules.

Posted by: Alexander | May 24 2012 8:37 utc | 40

Like modelled on Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Alexander | May 24 2012 8:40 utc | 41

@ Brian. For your consideration:

HEADLINE: Jordan allows US to train Syrian rebels on Jordanian soil. Story: Informed sources say Jordanian ruler King Abdullah II has allowed the US troops to train hundreds of members of the so-called Free Syrian Army along with Jordanian forces in order to prepare them for participation in an international military drill in the country.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/05/23/242713/syria-jordan-us-free-syrian-army/

Here's how I can know that's a bogus story. The Syrian refugees (some of them are rebels) that are being housed in Jordan are required to stay in compounds (or "concentration camps"). If they leave the compound they get arrested. They are not allowed to be at large, as they say in English. If armed rebels are found on Jordanian soil, they are immediately arrested and their weapons are taken from them. Jordanian border agents at the border with Saudi Arabia are under orders to search incoming vehicles for weapons and ammo that could be headed to Syria.
Footnote: "The Jordanian Customs foiled an attempt to smuggle 5.3 million Saudi Riyals (about 1 million Euros) that were being transported while hidden in a secret compartment by a Syrian man coming from Saudi Arabia into Jordan." (ref)

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 24 2012 9:11 utc | 42

I should point out, I don't have anything against Sharia, most western judicial systems are based on the ancient arab form of justice, and adhere quite closely to the Sharia form, but what I'm against is laws formulated on some arcane interpretation of arkane writings, with no possibility for democratic popular influence on law formulation. Laws need adjusting as societies mature and develop.

Posted by: Alexander | May 24 2012 10:23 utc | 43

alexander, do you talk to any syrians?

but there is no democratically founded demand for a regime-change.

how can you say that?

this from an independent journalist who spent time in syria
(he's covering afghanistan now and is critical the war) :

ANAND GOPAL: Well, on the ground, the revolutionaries have actually set up pretty robust alternative governments. I mean, they’ve overthrown Assad. They’ve set up these systems of participatory government councils, where people are elected and they have the right to instant recall. I mean, it’s really something that I’ve never seen. And I was in Egypt, I was in Libya. I’ve never anything like it. And even after the Syrian army offensive over the last three weeks, which went in and flattened a whole bunch of towns and villages, they’re still intact, and they’re still running the show in a lot of these towns.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about how you got in, what you expected to see, and then what you saw.

ANAND GOPAL: Well, I had a lot of questions about the nature of the insurgency in Syria. And, you know, of course, the U.S. and the West are supporting, at least in word supporting, the insurgency. So I was coming at it with a very skeptical and critical mind. We went over the border, basically crawling under a barbed-wire fence and hiking over mountains for a long period. But when I got into Syria, what I found was completely different from what I expected, in that in every town and village, it was essentially the entire population was mobilized in support of the revolution. I mean, you had from little children to old people. Really, I’ve never seen anything like that before. And it showed to me the extent to which the revolution had a—has a mass, democratic popular base, and Assad doesn’t.

link

Posted by: omen | May 24 2012 10:32 utc | 44

Nothing bogus about training being given in Jordan. There's a 5 sq km training camp there for that purpose that was initially used to train the PA police force for the Palestinians. It has since been used to train the Iraqi and other ME forces such as the Lebanese Sunni militia in 2008. Another major training center is in Iran. The Jordanian facility is currently training the Libyans and since some are already experienced in terrorist activities, it's only natural to see some of those ending up in Syria, as we have been reading:


>>> Jordan starts training Libya police

Jordan has started training 10,000 Libyan policemen as part of a program aimed at boosting ties between the two countries and reintegrating former Libyan rebels into society.
Luke BrowneApril 25, 2012 08:29


Jordan has started training Libyan policemen as part of a program aimed at boosting ties between the two countries.

The 10,000 recruits – who are all members of the rebel forces that helped topple long-time Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi last year – will take part in a three-month course in security, public order and investigative work at the international police academy outside Jordan’s capital, Amman, the BBC reports.

A government statement issued Wednesday also said that 550 Libyan officers are to receive special forces training in counter-terrorism, according to the Associated Press

The deal, signed by Tripoli and Amman in December, forms part of a wider effort to reintegrate more than 200,000 former rebels into Libyan society and halt clashes between disparate and ill-disciplined groups who are continuing to float around the country, the Agence France Presse reports.

On Tuesday Libya’s deputy interior minister, Omar al-Khadrawi, announced that 70,000 ex-rebels had been employed by the country’s new security services.

Jordan’s international police academy has trained more than 53,000 Iraqi policemen and 8,000 police from other nations since it launched in 2003.>>>

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120425/jordan-starts-training-libya-police

Posted by: www | May 24 2012 10:39 utc | 45

" why would syrians fleeing turkey based terrorists flee to turkey?" Brian asked in #36

Here's a description of what awaited the poor Syrian villagers:

>>> The Apaydin camp offer as much comfort as possible to the refugees: toilets, showers, cinemas, playgrounds for children, a small mosque, a field hospital, recreation areas and even a wedding hall. The piping system is almost ready and running water is to come soon to the tent city, equipped with floodlights for illumination.>>>

With such comforts, many refugees won't be returning to their villages whether Assads goes or stays.

Posted by: www | May 24 2012 11:17 utc | 46

With such comforts, many refugees won't be returning to their villages whether Assads goes or stays.
Posted by: www | May 24, 2012 7:17:42 AM | 46


with any luck, one day you'll wind up a refugee and realize how mistaken you've been to make such assumptions.

Posted by: omen | May 24 2012 12:58 utc | 47

parviziyi...

Jordan ought to be ashamed at aiding Great Satan/Israel to attack a fellow arab country using stupid arab jihadis..who in the end can expect to be killed by us troops WHEN they go back to their role of evil islamic terrorists!

Posted by: brian | May 24 2012 13:16 utc | 48

Parviziyi...

Turkey hosted the Friends of syria war meet! and yes the evidence does satisfy me that they are aiding NATO/US in its war on syria.

'Erdogan said: "The Syrian regime should be receptive to the will of its people, who want elections and democracy.... If Assad wins the elections, Turkey will not have any problems with him."'

a public declaration? if Obama said publically he was brining freedom and democracy does that mean he is? such declarations by this sort of character means nothing.

Posted by: brian | May 24 2012 13:20 utc | 49

don't be so naive, brian. people interviewed for regime media are given scripts to read and are watched over by regime thugs aka "minders" who make sure people don't stray off the script.

the regime are fascists. i swear to god, does the word "dictator" or the phrase "authoritarian rule" mean anything to you? y'all sound like you'd defend hitler if we were able to go back in time.

Posted by: omen | May 24, 2012 4:11:25 AM | 38

speaking of scripts...Omens would make a good fiction movie....
Omen serving Great Satan...not one ounce of evidence to embellish his farcical narrative...so far the people of syria see their govt as legitimate and far more honest than the FSA /SNC thugs backed as they are by those stalwarts of honesty and intergrity : USrael...and saudi arabia...would you by a 'democracy' from these guys?

Hitler like the US used lies to justify aggressive invasion: of Poland...I dont see Syria invading anyone...do you?

you can swear all you like..the people of syria see 'dictator' and 'authoitian rule' in the saudis and americans who buttress the FSA terrorists.

here is what the free syrian people think:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=357591010962732&set=a.166558333399335.59751.165918890129946&type=1&theater

http://lizzie-phelan.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/students-from-homs-thank-syrian.html

alleppo uni rally:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMKmPTCS1JY&feature=share

The FSA and SNC seem to attack the terrorists and lying psychos...Omen is a good example of that sort of riff raff

Posted by: brian | May 24 2012 13:39 utc | 50

The following is somewhat of a tangent in this thread though it's still on the subject of Syria.

From what I've been told from more than one source, the result of Syria's parliamentary elections on 7 May was that out of the 250 seats in the parliament about 160 went to the Baath Party, 180 went to the Baath-dominated National Unity List, and the bulk of the remainder went to independent individuals who went on record supporting national unity under the leadership of the Assad executive. I'm still not 100% sure the numbers 160|180 are precisely correct but in any case it was a free and fair election with 51% turnout and it was a big win for the Baath.

Here's Bashar Assad in an interview with Barbara Walters of ABC TV News dated 7 Dec 2011:
Assad: I am talking now about these next elections. We are going to have the parliamentary elections.
Walters: And?
Assad: I belong to the Baath Party. We will see what the position of our party is. Because this is an indication. It's important. It's not only the person [of president]. You [the president] are part of another party, of another identity.
Walters: Yeah but your party is not going to want to give up power?
Assad: Why give up if the party has the right like any other party to compete and win the elections. But through the election we will find out do we still have support as a party.
Walters: And your parliamentary elections, they will be open enough so that people can vote against the party?
Assad: Of course. Anyone.
Walters: And that would be the end of the Baath Party and you in terms of leadership?
Assad: If the people said no to the Baath Party, if they [the Baath] lost, you can say this is the end.
Walters: Is there an opposition that they can go to?
Assad: We have opposition. But it takes time to have strong opposition. You have so many figures now if they unified themselves and go to the election, you can have one strong election. That depends on the tactic that they are going to adopt. I cannot tell you they are going to be strong or not. I don't know. And I don't know about how much support among the people they have. How much support they have among the people I cannot tell you. http://abcnews.go.com/International/transcript-abcs-barbara-walters-interview-syrian-president-bashar/story?id=15099152&singlePage=true#.T3-RyVHDVws

Now here's Bashar Assad in an interview with Russia 24 TV dated 17 May 2012: "I don’t think that they [the opposition] have any kind of weight or significance within Syria.... The polling stations show the opinion of the people. The results show that the Syrian people support the course toward the reforms which were announced about a year ago. It is a serious message for everyone both inside the country and beyond its borders." http://www.english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=19935&cid=274

PS @ Brian: IMO, you are believing a foreign conspiracy theory upon insufficient evidence. I'll say no more.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 24 2012 14:34 utc | 51

>>> with any luck, one day you'll wind up a refugee >>>


Omen #47, don't hold your breath. I was answering Brian about the incentives provided by Turkey to lure refugees and saying that those border camps are like Club Med in comparison to what the refugees were leaving behind in Syria.

Your SNC is starting to fall apart with the resignation of Ghalioun; this afternoon, the former president of this illustrious group said that the SNC was not worthy of the Syrian people.

Posted by: www | May 24 2012 15:58 utc | 52

Your SNC is starting to fall apart with the resignation of Ghalioun;
Posted by: www | May 24, 2012 11:58:16 AM | 52

it's the local committees on the ground who are doing the heavy work that i have respect for.

I'll say no more.
Posted by: Parviziyi | May 24, 2012 10:34:18 AM | 51

why not say more?

Posted by: omen | May 24 2012 17:21 utc | 53

Hitler like the US used lies to justify aggressive invasion: of Poland...I dont see Syria invading anyone...do you?
Posted by: brian | May 24, 2012 9:39:14 AM | 50

sorry, brian, i let frustration get the better of me.
btw, syria invaded and occupied lebanon.

the former president of this illustrious group said that the SNC was not worthy of the Syrian people.
Posted by: www | May 24, 2012 11:58:16 AM | 52

from the gaddafi wiretaps story aljazeera has been running: (still don't know who put in wiretaps. cia? mi6? mossad?)

Other conversations caught Gaddafi's government staging funerals for the international media. One phone call, from gravedigger Faraj Al Ghyriani, recalled instructions from El Safi to bury the bodies of civilians and dead mercenaries in ceremonies that would make them appear to be NATO soldiers killed by Libyan loyalist troops. Another call Al Jazeera obtained appears to implicate numerous members of the National Transitional Council (NTC), the de facto interim government, as informers for Gaddafi.

link

if the snc is anything like the ntc, then the snc is full of assad regime moles.


Posted by: omen | May 24 2012 17:35 utc | 54

>>> btw, syria invaded and occupied lebanon.>>>

>>> it's the local committees on the ground who are doing the heavy work that i have respect for.>>>


Omen,
Occupied Lebanon? Yes.
Invaded Lebanon? No. It was actually asked by the Christians to come in, intervene and help put a stop to the civil war. Ir only came in and stayed and ran the country with an iron fist for over 20 years with the approval of the US.

Now you're saying you have respect for suicide bombers that kill civilians???

Posted by: www | May 24 2012 18:07 utc | 55

LINK for quote in #46, from the Daily Times (Pakistan), 6/25/11.

A gentle request: When commenters quote actual material it helps the readers if a source is provided.

I understand that in the speed of wishing to reply it might not be done. But it's only fair to bernard that quoted material be attributed to its source. Otherwise this site can be given a hard time. AFAIK.

Posted by: jawbone | May 24 2012 18:08 utc | 56

LINK for Ergogan quote in #49, from Antara/AFP, 3/30/12.

Well, possible link as there were several possible sources of what Erdogan said while visiting Tehran.

The beauty of the internet is that people can see that bloggers and commenters, other wiriters, have sources for quotes they use. It's one of its advantages over newspapers where we have to take much on faith. Supposedly knowing the newspaper or other MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) sources can lead the reader to trust --or not, as we're learning to our dismay-- those sources.

Puh-leeeeze use links!

And one more request: b has blockquote enabled for this site -- it really helps make quoted material readily discernable from the commenters own writing.

And now I'm sending my inner editor for a nap.

Posted by: jawbone | May 24 2012 18:23 utc | 57

Like THIS hasn't been ongoing....

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014128222

Posted by: ben | May 24 2012 18:27 utc | 58

Now you're saying you have respect for suicide bombers that kill civilians??? Posted by: www | May 24, 2012 2:07:20 PM | 55

the lcc. the local coordination committee. fsa is the armed wing of the opposition. the lcc is the opposite unarmed political wing of that opposition. they're doing this kind of organization. i posted this earlier:

ANAND GOPAL: Well, on the ground, the revolutionaries have actually set up pretty robust alternative governments. I mean, they’ve overthrown Assad. They’ve set up these systems of participatory government councils, where people are elected and they have the right to instant recall. I mean, it’s really something that I’ve never seen. And I was in Egypt, I was in Libya. I’ve never anything like it. And even after the Syrian army offensive over the last three weeks, which went in and flattened a whole bunch of towns and villages, they’re still intact, and they’re still running the show in a lot of these towns.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about how you got in, what you expected to see, and then what you saw.

ANAND GOPAL: Well, I had a lot of questions about the nature of the insurgency in Syria. And, you know, of course, the U.S. and the West are supporting, at least in word supporting, the insurgency. So I was coming at it with a very skeptical and critical mind. We went over the border, basically crawling under a barbed-wire fence and hiking over mountains for a long period. But when I got into Syria, what I found was completely different from what I expected, in that in every town and village, it was essentially the entire population was mobilized in support of the revolution. I mean, you had from little children to old people. Really, I’ve never seen anything like that before. And it showed to me the extent to which the revolution had a—has a mass, democratic popular base, and Assad doesn’t.

Posted by: omen | May 24 2012 18:38 utc | 59

@brian #49 (and thanks to jawbone #57 for the first link!):

Erdogan March 30th, "on a visit to Tehran":

"If Assad wins the elections, Turkey will not have any problems with him"

Erdogan April 1st, "addressing a meeting of ... the Friends of the Syrian People":

The Turkish prime minister urged the participating nations to speak with one voice and send a clear message to Syria that no plan that paves the way for Assad to stay in power will be supported

this guy has problems, health aside

Posted by: claudio | May 24 2012 19:04 utc | 60

Omen #59, don't hide behind the fact that the opposition is made up of half a dozen different groups; they speak with one voice when they ask for the end of the regime.

Posted by: www | May 24 2012 20:18 utc | 61

The Syrian government tried to apply this scenario and evacuate the civilians of BabaAmro but they were kept hostages by the armed gangs. Another problem is that there are already internally displaced people in Syria and if you include the Iraqi refugees, I assume the task can be complicated but I am not sure how many civilians are concerned by such an approach...

Posted by: Sophia | May 24 2012 20:37 utc | 62

Joshua Blakeney was interviewed by Vancouver Coop Radio to explain his conclusions about Syria based on a series of interviews he conducted with Canadian Syrians. Blakeney brings into question Canada's support for sectarian groups in Syria. Interview conducted on May 21, 2012

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LHELC9PPP7I

Posted by: brian | May 25 2012 9:38 utc | 63

Your SNC is starting to fall apart with the resignation of Ghalioun; this afternoon, the former president of this illustrious group said that the SNC was not worthy of the Syrian people.

Posted by: www | May 24, 2012 11:58:16 AM | 52


very interesting! anyone got a link to the former presidents comment!

Posted by: brian | May 25 2012 9:40 utc | 64

'ANAND GOPAL: Well, on the ground, the revolutionaries have actually set up pretty robust alternative governments. I mean, they’ve overthrown Assad. They’ve set up these systems of participatory government councils, where people are elected and they have the right to instant recall. I mean, it’s really something that I’ve never seen. And I was in Egypt, I was in Libya. I’ve never anything like it. And even after the Syrian army offensive over the last three weeks, which went in and flattened a whole bunch of towns and villages, they’re still intact, and they’re still running the show in a lot of these towns

omen 59"

WHAT EVER is this guy smoking? Theyve NOT 'overthrown Assad...they HAVE killed thousands of syrians, civilians and security...they are backed by the dictatorship of saudi arabia, supported by the US and neither of these would tolerate peoples coucils...look what US .NATO did to LIBYA!... the same libhyan insurgents are now at work in Syria...as for Democracynow...ive yet to see AMy interview Cythia Mckinney on her visits to Libya....DN is now history...having joined the likes of the BBC NYT Aljazeera and alarabia inn terms of credibility

Posted by: brian | May 25 2012 9:46 utc | 65

ANAND GOPAL:
' But when I got into Syria, what I found was completely different from what I expected, in that in every town and village, it was essentially the entire population was mobilized in support of the revolution'

oh really? EVERY town and village??
lets see:
Allepo University may 19 2012:

alleppo pro assad rally
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMKmPTCS1JY&feature=share
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=357590664296100&set=a.166558333399335.59751.165918890129946&type=1&theater

Damascus:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=344686445586522&set=a.166558333399335.59751.165918890129946&type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=353022241419609&set=a.166558333399335.59751.165918890129946&type=3&theater

Idlib:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=344688075586359&set=a.166558333399335.59751.165918890129946&type=3&theater

Raqqa:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=344678538920646&set=a.166558333399335.59751.165918890129946&type=3&theater


So he must mean some other towns and villages!
Gopal is lying and doing it on Democracynow...just as DN lied about Libya

Posted by: brian | May 25 2012 9:54 utc | 66


cocking the snook at US saudis and Democracynow:

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Sufian Allaw, stressed on Wednesday that a Venezuelan oil tanker loaded with 35000 tons of diesel arrived on Monday, adding that Venezuela is preparing another tanker to head to Syria.

Concerning gas, Allaw said during a press conference that Syria's gas production covers 50% of demand, pointing out that negotiations are underway to import gas from Iran and Algeria to compensate for gas shortage.
http://www.scoop.it/t/from-tahrir-square/p/1833222774/venezuela-oil-tanker-loaded-with-35000-tons-of-diesel-arrived-in-syria?hash=3f5417da-8e30-4adb-ab24-5a5d5d5c1d62

Posted by: brian | May 25 2012 10:22 utc | 67

germany and SNC make plans:
Kevin Hester 25 May 06:44
Syria: National Council Presents Economic Restructuring Plan
May 24, 2012 | 1925 GMT
The Syrian National Council (SNC) presented an economic restructuring plan at a Friends of Syria meeting in the United Arab Emirates, Reuters reported May 24. Reconstruction for the first six months after the regime collapse would be about $11.5 billion, an SNC representative said. This funding will be used primarily to support the nation's currency. The United Arab Emirates and Germany announced that they partnered to establish a reconstruction initiative in Syria and they pledged to provide $755,000 each, a German Foreign Ministry official said.

Comments? Send them to responses@stratfor.com

=================

notice how the SNC ignores the syrian people and works with a foreign power with a dodgy history

Posted by: brian | May 25 2012 10:39 utc | 68

The abducted Lebanese Shia pilgrims have been released and are already in Turkey. It seems Erdogan was involved. It's a double treat for Lebanon today since today is a holiday to celebrate Hezbollah having kicked Israel's ass out of Lebanon on May 25, 2000.

Posted by: www | May 25 2012 13:57 utc | 69

Now Israel is using islamic terrorists to kick Syrias ass...aided by useful idiot Turkey

Posted by: brian | May 25 2012 14:11 utc | 70

USraeli game plan: setting stupid sunni against sh'ia
http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/us-poised-to-supply-arms-to-syrian.html

Posted by: brian | May 25 2012 14:36 utc | 71

Brian, why are you saying the Sunni are stupid?

Posted by: www | May 25 2012 16:40 utc | 72

Isn't he saying that USraeli are trying to persuade the stupid of the Sunni up against Shia? Hes not saying that all sunni are stupoid.

Posted by: Alexander | May 25 2012 16:53 utc | 73

Three links on Syria:


My bet is that this is already happening.
U.S. considering plan that arms Syrian rebels

s one diplomatic effort after another fails to end more than a year of brutal violence in Syria, the Obama administration is preparing a plan that would essentially give U.S. nods of approval to arms transfers from Arab nations to some Syrian opposition fighters.

The effort, U.S. officials told The Associated Press, would vet members of the Free Syrian Army and other groups to determine whether they are suitable recipients of munitions to fight the Assad government and to ensure that weapons don’t wind up in the hands of al-Qaida-linked terrorists or other extremist groups such as Hezbollah that could target Israel.

The U.S. is really really good at distinguishing between "glorious" Muslim Brotherhood fighters and Salafis?

AlQaeda in Syria Propaganda and recruiting video
6 minutes and very slick made. Uses Al Qaeda groups as well as FSA footage.

BBC report shows that the rebels broke the ceasefire in Rastan, attacked a military checkpoint, hit a tank and are now daily fighting the military.

Posted by: b | May 25 2012 16:53 utc | 74

Syrian snipers outsiders trained by the US navy! News from James Corbett
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1R3JvBwcLA&feature=youtu.be

Posted by: brian | May 26 2012 0:54 utc | 75

WWW 72
for allying with Israel and US

Posted by: brian | May 26 2012 0:55 utc | 76

Brian, most of the footsoldiers in the South Lebanese Army on Israel's payroll during the many years of Israel's occupation were Shia. Most of the spies caught spying for Israel in the last few years were also Shia, so religion has nothing to do with being stupid.

Posted by: www | May 26 2012 4:49 utc | 77

www 77

evidence please

Posted by: brian | May 26 2012 6:29 utc | 78

heheh, oh my god

Posted by: Alexander | May 26 2012 7:34 utc | 79

heheh to you too; from Al-Jazeera:

>>> The SLA were pejoratively described by most Lebanese as the 'sand bags of Israel' - they manned the zone's most dangerous and exposed outposts and suffered far higher losses than the Israelis over the years.

The SLA also ran the notorious al-Khiam prison, where hundreds of Lebanese prisoners were held in terrible conditions, mostly without charge or trial.

Although Lahd was a Maronite Christian, the militia he commanded was made up mostly of Shia Muslims.

Enrolment in the militia was often mandatory for residents in the area. >>>


http://www.aljazeera.com/focus/2010/05/201051992011673189.html

There are others; look them up.

Posted by: www | May 26 2012 8:53 utc | 80

I live in a country where members of some of the indigenous tribes were recruited by the englander colonisers to fight for them against other indigenous tribes. It is too easy to dismiss such people as stupid, often they are very smart some would say sociopathically smart although that is another untrue generalisation in many cases.
These motivations are complex, access to power or the promise of access to power is a major component and so are tribal rivalries which frequently precede the arrival of the coloniser by several centuries and can seem more important, with a much bigger payoff in tribal morale, than the newer conflicts with an imperial power.
englander invaders used to take advantage of the losers in long running tribal disputes feeding into their resentment.
amerikan & european imperialists are well versed in all the ways and means of playing people using the cliched 'divide & rule' technique. There is every reason to believe that the english taught the zionists a few of these plays when england betrayed the Palestinian people after part one of the 20th century whitefella war.
By the same token here where I live there are some tribes who have never agreed to the invasion of Aotearoa by whitefellas and who resist it to this day.


The issue of israeli arabs in the idf/border guard service is equally complicated and from what I can recall of reading up on this a while back, when after a typically racist zionist move, when israel military authorities tried to say that it was 'arabs' who committed all the atrocities when the concentration wall went up, the indigenous people that the invaders had recruited into a 'compliance' section of the IDF were one such grouping of indigenous people who had been on the losing side of a perennial dispute with their fellow Palestinians.

This stuff should never be construed as some 'evidence' of an imperialists good intentions. It is like the even more egregious sexual colonisation that goes hand in glove with most imperialism, the opposite of moral, it is evidence of the total lack of ethics that drives a mob of people to invade, slaughter & rape another group who have committed the crime of owning something the invaders want for themselves.

Posted by: Debs is dead | May 26 2012 9:27 utc | 81

Things have to be put into context. The Lebanese Shia or the Sunni did not join the Israelis out of love but out of necessity or were forced into it. Some who joined the collaborating South Lebanese Army were drafted against their will while others did it for the money the Israelis were paying.

Posted by: www | May 26 2012 9:40 utc | 82

The word "horrific" is overused, but here's a truly horrific video of the bodies of a large number of murdered children, massacred by unknown perpetrators, said to be recorded in Houla (الحولة) in Homs Province on 25 May 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTD-9mR_0q0

More footage of the same scene, though not quite as graphic, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F5zCw6WTTs AND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CivgtFUfyGI

I know this depraved massacre wasn't done by people on my side in Syria's conflict, but I find it hard to imagine how or why people on the other side would've done it either. If you have a suggestion about what could motivate it, I'd like to hear it.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 26 2012 10:05 utc | 83

Parviziyi

Could it be victims of a IED-factory mishap in a civilian area, bodies repositioned to look like some deliberate massacre? BTW, BBC's TV segment on the story had the heading "Massacre" in quotes.

Posted by: Alexander | May 26 2012 10:16 utc | 84

Alexander, the news reported that these people were slaughtered. As much as I'm not a fan of the army, I don't believe it's capable of this. Same with the double bombings in Damascus that killed 55 people and injured 500 a few weeks back.

For those following the story of the abducted Shia pilgrims in Syria, the story took a wrong turn. With their relatives and friends awaiting their arrival at the airport last night, they never showed up. Now 24 hours later, Turkey is saying it has no clue what happened with the pilgrims and that it never notified Lebanon it had them. Rumors are going around that the abductors are asking to have the Luftallah arms ship released by Lebanon in exchange for the pilgrims. Other rumors are claiming that they have been killed. A lot of rumors going around and Reuters seems to be having a hand in spreading and then denying them. A big drama is developing around this story but with no happy ending in sight. It could ultimately kick off the Sunni-Shia thing that Israel and the West have been rooting for. At risk if something happens to the pilgrims are many of the about 200,000 Syrian labourers in Lebanon.

Yesterday's bogus news about the release:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18205413

Posted by: www | May 26 2012 14:10 utc | 85

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 24, 2012 4:31:43 AM | 39

What evidence that the west and 'moderate' arabs are arming opposition?? are you serious? start by acknowledging THEIR OWN repeated statments to media and from official govt chiefs that they intend to do so. Such are not allegations and suspicions but OPEN CONFESSIONS! what more do you need for gods sake?

If Assad takes the bait/provocation and really hit hard? he's finished- and justifies western 'humanitarian' intervention. He lost the war when he didnt have the good judgment to plaster the photos of western troops and merc caught red-handed in Homs all over world media. wasting that op to salvage his side is completely unexplainable and suicidal.

Posted by: JJ rou | May 28 2012 2:49 utc | 86

Indeed Assad should have documented the foreign mercinaries.

Posted by: Alexander | May 28 2012 5:24 utc | 87

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