Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 05, 2013

The Syrian Army Takes Qusayr

From Naharnet Breaking News:
05 June 2013, 06:25 The Syrian rebel fighters announced their withdrawal from al-Qusayr.
05 June 2013, 05:28 Free Syrian Army Command denied to al-Jazeera that the Syrian Army forces controlled al-Qusayr.
05 June 2013, 04:20 Activists denied that the Syrian regime forces controlled the town of Qusayr.

The Syrian army launched a surprizing night attack and overran the insurgency positions in Qusayr. Some of the insurgents managed to flee north but will have trouble to break through the wide cordon that the Syrian army set up.

The insurgency's supply line from Lebanon to Homs is severed. Insurgency positions in Homs city and Homs governate will soon fall to the Syrian army. To free the insurgcy held parts of Aleppo further north will be the next big target.

Posted by b on June 5, 2013 at 03:10 AM | Permalink

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As a (non-practicing) Sunni I say Subhana Allah! And God bless the SAA.

Posted by: Lysander | Jun 5, 2013 3:20:17 AM | 1

Fasten your seatbelts...and here's one for the road!

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Jun 5, 2013 3:48:02 AM | 2

Congratulations are in order! After silence the last few days I was afraid army will take it slow to free the last 20%, but surprise nightly attack worked like a charm, again :)

Posted by: Harry | Jun 5, 2013 4:10:56 AM | 3

When Aleppo is completely liberated, you will see 2 million residents in the streets celebrating.

Posted by: hilmi hakim | Jun 5, 2013 4:15:20 AM | 4

good news and good riddance...let them flee back to turkey where the turks have a score to settle

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2013 4:17:02 AM | 5

Another "tactical withdrawal" by the fsa/nusra gang..I guess they'll now resort to car bombings and mortar shelling from now on..

Next stop, ALEPPO!!!

Posted by: Zico | Jun 5, 2013 5:04:31 AM | 6

For all the doubters about his excellency Hassan Nassarllah, he promised victory, he delivered. Hezb are now on the outskirts of Allepo, the battle will be won. Will Syria make the same mistake as Iraq, I don't think so. Well done Iran for steadfastly standing by Syria.

Posted by: hans | Jun 5, 2013 5:18:11 AM | 7

A military victory that sidelines the chemical weapons propaganda coming out of France yesterday. A double whammy.

I wasn't entirely convinced of the strategic importance of Qusair, but it was built up as something huge by the opposition and the media - thereby setting themselves up for a "significant strategic defeat".

What struck me most was that their calls for help were largely ignored. It would appear that rebel loyalties extend no further than the area they themselves occupy - suggesting their descent into tribal factions motivated by the pursuit of power in their local community. This is how infighting starts.

On the other hand, you have a national army and command structure, accompanied by volunteers and external partners - but united goals nevertheless.

You should now have these united forces sweeping north and south unimpeded, picking off rebel groups as they go. But will Hezbollah extend beyond Qusair?

Insurgency positions in Homs are already scarce. A Sky News report from the area confirmed that the vast majority was Government controlled.
Recent attempts by insurgents to retake Babr Amr was put down within a week.

Increased external support for the opposition will now be ramped up no doubt.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Jun 5, 2013 5:52:09 AM | 8

What struck me most was that their calls for help were largely ignored.

The win was due to SAA with Hez and Iran had better infantry tactics. The have been Special forces from many countries fighting against the Syria government.

Posted by: hans | Jun 5, 2013 6:24:10 AM | 9

I just caught tail end of segment on Qusair, with NPR host and reporter wondering how the Syrian government could take back the "rebel held" city. It sounded as if they were mystified that a national government could possibly overcome the vast superiority, of some sort, of these so-called rebels. No note that most of the "rebels" wee foreign fighters funded by Qatar and/or Saudia Arabia and the US along with France (and why is Hollande doing this, btw?) and Britain.

Okaaay. By fighting for it? Relentlessly? By using blood and treasure to preserve the nation? By, well, governing?

As if it were unusual for a government to do so.... So, when a rising power of some sort funds foreign fighters and internal dissidents to try to take parts of the US or France or Britain or any other usual Wetern ally of the US, there will be no surprise, right? /snark

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 5, 2013 6:38:15 AM | 10

Well, Homs is now toast, and if the rebels have any brains at all (I know, I know....) then they'll be hightailing it outta there as quick as they can run.

The only question now is how far Hezbollah go.

Do they go all the way to Aleppo, or do they garrison the south of Syria to free up the Syrian troops that Assad needs to send north?


Posted by: Johnboy | Jun 5, 2013 6:52:16 AM | 11

Great victory, will take another while to secure the area. Syrian Journalist Alaa Ebrahim says the fighting has moved to the fields around the city. But fighting the rebels in open fields will be a lot easier for the SAA than urban warfare through tunnels and booby trapped houses. Still a few villages in the area that the rebels hold too. But as everyone mentioned, the main impact is that supply lines to the rebels in Homs have now been cut. You can't fight a war if you run out of bullets.

As Pat Bateman mentions the question now is how far Hezbollah will move into Syria. Qusayr was 6 miles from the Lebanon border and its generally thought that Hezbollah are only involved to the extent of securing the Syrian side of the Lebanese border. An unsafe border is a direct threat to Hezbollah and disrupts there own supply lines. But I doubt we will see them moving to Aleppo or Homs. Better for them to remain in the Qusayr and the surronding towns to make sure it doesn't get retaken.

Its been mentioned that after Qusayr the SAA was planning to move there forces up to Aleppo to break the stalemate there. Wouldn't be surprised if Homs and Aleppo both fall fully under Syrian government control within the month. Also the city of Al Rastan, half held by the rebels, have also lost there supply lines because of this.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jun 5, 2013 7:13:16 AM | 12

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3728/germany-new-ottoman-empire

every US humanitarian military intervention has been in a country that is formerly part of the ottoman empire and resulted in the replacement of a secular government by an islamic government

Posted by: clubofrome | Jun 5, 2013 7:53:27 AM | 13

This is a huge demoralizing blow to the rebels, it's another notch in the list of victories Hizballah has continued to rack up. This continues to cement their reputation as although not being unbeatable however, it makes any foe think twice before confronting them in the open. It does make them a number one target for vendettas on the part of USA, Israel, Gulf states, etc. Poor Lebanon will definitely be seeing more turmoil in the future. Who knows how it will be manipulated. Now Syria, it will also be going from victory to victory. Unless, unless the Israelis launch another cocamamie strike or the US/HATO tries to throw their soldiers in. Do not discount such a remote possibility. However, as it were, hooray for Qusayr!!!

Posted by: Fernando | Jun 5, 2013 9:50:26 AM | 14

Any teacher looking for course material on "Modern Propaganda-How To Do It" should check out The Guardian website's coverage.

It has everything: the victory is attributed entirely to a Lebanese Militia, poison gas is mentioned and, of course, the civilians, or those who haven't had their heads cut off and vitals consumed during the rule of Bandar bin Sultan and his merry men, are suffering greatly.
There ought to be an annual award, the Goebbels-Guardian Prize, perhaps, for this sort of propaganda.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 5, 2013 9:53:08 AM | 15

The imperialist nations and their puppets now have the joy of receiving their returning "freedom fighter" terrorists and discovering the true meaning of the term "blow-black". Enjoy.

Posted by: Gareth | Jun 5, 2013 9:55:40 AM | 16

Qusair, a Syria city of 30,000, has been occupied by the Free Syrian Army al-Farouk brigade, out of Homs, for eighteen months. While the Syria Arab Army has cleared the nearby north-south highway, and travel hes been possible on it for six months, the Qusair rebel occupation was allowed to persist. There have been battles in Homs to the north, but the Qusair pocket with its easy access by Route 4 to nearby Lebanon's Bekaa Valley and Ballbeck were allowed by Damascus.

Qusair has been a focal point for arms supplies coming into Syria for the rebels from Lebanon coming up through Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

That all changed this Spring with a new government offensive. Qusair was encircled by government forces, and in April Hezbollah was called upon for assistance from Lebanon to the south. Hezbollah had been involved previously against rebel fighters to the north, but this would be on a grander scale. Most of the citizens of Qusair fled to Lebanon or Jordan, knowing a battle for the city was coming.

Then the Syria opposition made a fatal error. Out-gunned insurgents should never make a stand in a city against a better-armed government siege force equipped with artillery, tanks and airplanes. Nevertheless, on May 22 the Syrian National Coalition urged disparate groups of fighters to head to city. Forces from outside Syria aim to destroy Qusair and rebels should join the fight to rescue the city, George Sabra, acting head of the SNC, said.

The al-Tawhid brigade in Aleppo, Syria's second city to the north, responded. An amateur video released by the Aleppo Media Centre showed what it said were dozens of members of al-Tawhid Brigade from the northern city heading to Qusair to help. The rebels were driving pickup trucks, cars and trucks, some of them mounted with anti-aircraft guns. There were approximately a thousand fighters involved. Would all these people and their weapons be allowed by Syria to just drive down the highway through Homs and somehow pass through the ring of tanks and soldiers of the SAA besieging Qusair?

Yes. The SAA allowed the enemy from Aleppo through their lines and into the Qusair killing field. "Hundreds" of rebels have broken through army lines near the village of Shamsinn, northeast of Al-Qusayr, after losing 11 fighters, according to Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Tawhid Brigade had been coaxed out of Aleppo and would face destrustion along with much of the al-Farouk brigade, two of the FSA's premier fighting units.

At the end of May the U.S. and its Gulf allies realized the error. The US puppet U.N. Secretary-General was enlisted. Ban Ki-moon said he was monitoring the battle for Qusair "with the gravest concern" and called on both sides to allow civilians to escape the town, a ploy to allow the fighters to exit the killing field. The U.N. Human Rights Council approved a resolution condemning Assad's government for using "foreign fighters" in Qusair. A U.N. diplomat said Russia had blocked a Security Council declaration that would have criticized the Syrian regime's offensive against the rebel-held town of Qusair. The western International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement it was "alarmed" by reports of civilians trapped in Qusair and was prepared to enter the town immediately to deliver aid. Syria said the ICRC could enter after the battle was over, as would be the expected course in any battle.

On June 5 Syria announced that the three-week offensive to retake the city had been successful. Syria's army had regained full control of the strategic city of Qusair and vowed to "crush" the rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. It said the development is a "clear message" to all those opposing Syria. The rebels said they withdrew from Qusair, which they had held for more than a year.

Qusair is a great victory for Syria and a turning point. There have been Hezbollah celebrations in Beirut, and Iran, the main patron of both groups, released a statement on Wednesday morning "congratulating the Syrian people for their victory". The extent of the enemy destruction is unclear at this point. Also not known is the circumstances of two key enemy individuals from Aleppo who were reportedly in Qusair Colonel Abduljabbar Akidi, head of the Aleppo Military Council and Abdulqader Saleh, military commander of the Al Tawhid Brigade.

Aleppo will probably be next.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5, 2013 10:13:38 AM | 17

@15. Hezbullah gets all the credit. I counted the name 11 times in the Guardian article.

The BBC is having a little trouble with the news too. They've started referring to the 'Syrian government'.

Posted by: dh | Jun 5, 2013 10:48:21 AM | 18

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/64531000/gif/_64531431_syria_insurg464x595_nov.gif

I don't have any idea of the accuracy of this map but if even generally accurate, the capture of Qusayr finishes the FSA in the Damascus area.

Posted by: heath | Jun 5, 2013 11:35:37 AM | 19

Despite Susan Rice as new National Security Advisor and Samanta Powell as new UNSC ambassador I do not expect any change in U.S. police. Everything the U.S. could (openly) do has been discussed and found to be bad. Even the secret stuff seems to have mostly stopped.

Turkey is in disarray and will likely soon stop any support for the insurgency.

The winds are changing. The core of Hamas is revolting against its leadership that cowardly left Damascus to live in five star hotels in Qatar:

On Monday, the al-Qassam Brigades confirmed in a letter to Khaled Meshaal and Hamas’s polite bureau, its adherence to the existing alliance with Hezbollah and stated that “the liberation of Palestine can be achieved by using weapons not by receiving money.”

The al-Qassam letter Demanded of Meshaal and Hamas’s polite bureau ” to avoid reaching the stage in which Hamas have to make a choice between Qatar and Iran, since the choice will be in favour of the resistance”, in a clear and direct statement they asserted to their leadership that to Iran will be chosen at the end as a backer and supporter of the resistance.

Qassam message stressed that the resistance steadfastness and the ability it possess and displayed in firing rockets into the depth of “Israel” in the most recent war waged on the Gaza Strip was “due to the strategic alliance between the Palestinian resistance, Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah, and not because of Arab’s money”.

In Palestine It is a well-known fact that some of Hamas’s top leadership, who command grate influence within Hamas ranks and file such as Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar, supports the position taken by the military leadership of Hamas of favouring and reinforcement the movement’s alliance with Hezbollah and Iran.

Meanwhile, an informed Arab media network, close to Hamas’s leadership in Gaza, leaked information today confirming that high ranking delegation from Hamas currently is visiting Iran, the delegation includes among its ranks Marwan Issa, the commander of the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas; the visit aiming at strengthening the alliance between Hamas movement and Iran.

The resistance is intact and when the Syria affair is over, hopefully by the end of this year, will be stronger than ever.

Posted by: b | Jun 5, 2013 11:36:04 AM | 20

It's a strategic defeat for the US/UK anti-Iran crowd.

Bloomberg
Iran Outmaneuvers U.S. in the Syrian Proxy War
By Vali Nasr

Syria’s uprising offered the possibility of a strategic defeat of Iran. In this scenario, Iran would be weakened by the collapse of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, its single Arab ally and a vital link to Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia. Isolated, Iran would become more vulnerable to international pressure to limit its nuclear program. And as Iran’s regional influence faded, those of its rivals -- U.S. allies Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia -- would expand.

Instead, events in Syria are spinning in Iran’s favor. Assad’s regime is winning ground, the war has made Iran more comfortable in its nuclear pursuits, and Iran’s gains have embarrassed U.S. allies that support the Syrian uprising. What’s more, Iran has strengthened its relationship with Russia, which may prove to be the most important strategic consequence of the Syrian conflict, should the U.S. continue to sit it out.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5, 2013 11:52:53 AM | 21

And Iran is piling on.

Iran Defeats Qatar in World Cup Qualifying

Iran’s national football (soccer) team defeated Qatar 1-0 in Doha. Reza Qoochannejad scored the winning goal in the second half of the match played at Al Sadd Stadium.

Iran now is in the third position in its division with 10 points out of six matches. Iran has two other matches to qualify for the next World Cup, against Lebanon in Tehran next Tuesday and the last match against South Korea in Seoul in two weeks.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5, 2013 11:55:39 AM | 22

There was a preparation meeting today between the U.S. and Russia for the Geneva II talks. The Russians just said that not all has been agreed on so the substantial issues are likely to be still open (Who, when where, to what aim...). The next preparation meeting is only to be in 20 days or so which means that the Geneva II talks, should they happen at all, will only be somewhere in July or even later. That is good for the Syrian government.

Posted by: b | Jun 5, 2013 12:28:25 PM | 23

All the propaganda talk of endangered "civilians" in Qusayr in recent days was of course nonsense.

The BBC's Lyse Doucet is there

Saw very few civilians #Qusayr - a few farmers on tractors , one family loading a pickup. #Syria
The town was empty except for the rats.

Posted by: b | Jun 5, 2013 1:04:54 PM | 24

Re: b #24: very few civilians in #Qusayr

The SAA and shabiha must have massacred all the missing civilians just before the Free Syrian Army withdrew from the town.

Al Arabiya English ‏@AlArabiya_Eng – 10h ago:
#BreakingNews: Free Syrian Army fighters say they retreated from #Qusayr following a massacre which took place in the town
Retweeted 40 times

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 5, 2013 1:26:34 PM | 25

now the SAA and HA will have direct experience in taking over territory and urban centers -- for the big war to come...

Posted by: anon | Jun 5, 2013 2:09:44 PM | 26

The angry warmonger susan rice is back.

http://presstv.com/detail/2013/06/05/307356/obama-natl-security-advisor-resigns/

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 5, 2013 2:16:02 PM | 27

Well if there is another model for a proxy war I don’t what it is (contemporary.)

We have Saudi and Quatar (supporting the Muslim brotherhood and more radical.) The US, its poodle the EU but very particularly France, plus of course all the human interventionists everywhere (i.e. white and affluent and set on destruction covered up with hypocrisy) pitted against Russia, Iran, China milder, and now the Hezb after it changes it’s mind several times...Israel ...fill it in.

(The Syrians are expected to make the sacrifice. Almost 100 K dead....)

This means that all external parties step back - somewhat. They hold a wait and see attitude, all of them know that intervention on the ground is dicey, no clear outcome can be predicted, championed or engineered.

Assad was and is powerful with control of the military, from a dynastic family, but mostly enmeshed with a neo-liberal biz axis, banking for ex., not to mention the privileges that he accrued for his team. I realise that ppl think no demos against Assad existed, I still believe they did. He let the countryside drop by changing subsidies for oil, as one example, yes, that was a signal of being thrown into poverty, misery, and thus country ripping apart. (At the same time as destroying local agri he subsidized imports heavily, I have posted about this several times before, so now will shut up.) Assad is not a savior though his fight against the ‘rebels’ or ‘jihadists’ or ‘foreign forces’ or whatever is absolutely legitimate (imho.)

Why support demonstrators in Turkey who are against the one man show Erdogan, his authoritarian creeping escalating madness after 10 years or so in power, and his PO-lice, in a typical Twitter demo-revolution type thing? But not to do the same against Assad? Forgetting to mention that Assad had exactly the same neo-lib policy. Erdogan got piles of investment, and money, as a US-NATO- plus EU aspirant - Isr ally. He played the religious card - possibly because of pressure - but certainly for control. As Saddam did. But not Assad or Kadafi, afaik. So there is that. (And Erdogan has been immediately punished by the ‘markets’ and banks worldwide for letting demos get out of hand ...)

What I am asking, what is the yardstick to judge?

OK sock it to me.

The W’s problem right now it to figure out who can hold Syria together or will be a partner for some small pieces of it, and pursue yet harsher neo-lib and predatory economic policies in favor of outsiders. (Mostly for Big Corps.) At latest news, the “Opposition” will not join the Geneva 2 Conference, which means, of course, for them, the end of W support down the line. So maybe that will change. To get their piece of the pie they have to bow down.


Posted by: Noirette | Jun 5, 2013 2:38:45 PM | 28

@27 it is a very difficult and interesting question, especially for people on the ledt who want to see all the aughoritarians brought down.

My short answer is the following: divide and conquer. It does no one any good to defeat an autocrat like alAssad if a bigger power just benefits - like the US.

So i pick battles. In another situation with a genuine revolt - like turkey appears to be - i might not think well of Assad. But in this case, knowing about the al qaeda and the western games i feel sympathy for the syrian people who have to turn to assad.

Its never about the leaders, it has to be about the people.

I cant type much, i am on my phone. But that is basically how i see it.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 5, 2013 3:18:49 PM | 29

@Noirette #27 "Why support demonstrators in Turkey who are against the one man show Erdogan, his authoritarian creeping escalating madness after 10 years or so in power, and his PO-lice, in a typical Twitter demo-revolution type thing? But not to do the same against Assad?"

I dont think anyone here has any issue with peaceful protesters, anywhere - Syria, Turkey, US or w/e.

Two things to consider for you why any sane and civilized person supports Assad:

1. Vast majority of Syrians support Assad, more so than Obama or Erdogan. Speaking of demonstrations, lets compare tiny ones in Syria (generally it were 100-1000, just one up to 20,000) and massive ones in Turkey (up to million so far) or US (OWS, etc). Its up to Syrians to decide whom they they want as a leader, yet West wants to deny that right.

2. Armed terror was unleashed on Syria by West/arabs, and small staged demonstrations was just a cover for violent government change to puppets regime. While in the West or Turkey massive demonstrations expresses legitimate people's concerns.

If tables are turned and 3rd parties would send to Turkey thousands tons of arms, billions of dollars and tens of thousands jihadists from around the World, then we could talk about Syria-Turkey comparison. Right now situations are so incomparable, that even apples to oranges are more alike.

Posted by: Harry | Jun 5, 2013 3:20:02 PM | 30

I think, in the wake of Qusayr, that it is possible that the revolt may collapse in some way. That is that the local Syrian rebels may go home, and cease to fight, leaving the foreign jihadis alone to fight.

The situation is comparable with Iraq, where the local Sunnis got so disgusted with the jihadis that they gave up the fight. At that time, the US claimed that it was the Surge that won, but it wasn't really that. There was such a level of disgust with the jihadis that many changed sides. The same could happen in Syria, where many have complained about the actions of the jihadis.

Something similar could happen in Syria. A lot depends on the attitude of the Damascus government. If they are willing to be gentle, many would stop fighting. If they insist on a hard reaction, no doubt it will be a fight to the end, beyond the capacity of Damascus to master.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 5, 2013 3:42:37 PM | 31

27,

It's a matter of degree. There are many things wrong with Russia and China, but they aren't aggressively trying to create the nasty system that the West is. As for Assad's policies when compared to Erdoghan's, well, the issue of the war is over control of resources, with Central Asia being the target. The West is fighting prevent a Russia/China/Central Asian sphere of development from arising, and smashing Syria is part of this, as Syria was seen as Iran's weak point.

So I think your comparison is more like comparing a local corrupt politician with a mass murdering one like Hitler. Politics is inherently corrupt, so Assad had to offer those opportunities to power brokers. But he was not trying to kill millions to achieve some megalomaniac goal of a Clean Break to restructure the Middle East.

Posted by: Ozawa | Jun 5, 2013 3:59:23 PM | 32

27) There must have been genuine protest in Syria. The question, and that is my yardstick, is if there was genuine democratic protest in Syria.
And I limit my support for democracy: I do not support free speech for Fascists and I do not support the breech of every taboo. So no freedom for the enemies of freedom and no porn for child molesters.
And there the problem starts - where do you draw the line for tolerance. Is it ok to joke about religion .... ?
So maybe an eye for an eye and an insult for an insult and not death for an insult actually would be an improvement.
Basically people have to learn how to live with a different world view next door - it will take a while.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 5, 2013 4:03:38 PM | 33

@ Noirette

Why support demonstrators in Turkey who are against the one man show Erdogan... But not to do the same against Assad? Forgetting to mention that Assad had exactly the same neo-lib policy.

This is something I've been thinking about today in light of MK Bradrakumar's article that B linked to on the previous post. The Turkish protests seemed (to me anyway) to come out of nowhere and my first impulse was to laugh at the hole Erdogan had dug himself into. Now a few days later, after the initial emotions have passed we have to look more carefully at whats going on.

On Syria its important to have objective thinking. I support Assad and the Syrian Army in its fight against NATO-Israel-GCC regime change but that doesn't mean I think Assad is anything other than a scumbag. He took a moderately socialist state and privatised all the state industries to his buddy's. He claimed to be part of the Resistance Axis but never served as more than a conduit for Iranian arms. In the 11 years before the civil war he never did anything against Israel even when it bombed Syria. But just because of his woeful record doesn't mean I side with the US attempts to destroy Syria in the name of having a Pro-Western puppet state.

Alot of it I think is based on Principle. Do you think the US has a right to meddle in other nations affairs? Or get to say who should or shouldn't be Syria's President? Are you for or against Imperialism? These larger principles shape my views on the Syrian war more than anything.

On Turkey it has been fun to watch someone who egged on others to step down in the face of unrest now placed in the same position. It exposed Erdogan's hypocrisy. He has enacted similar free market policies and enriched his own cronies and it is good to see him face pushback for it by the people. But I am beginning to sense that there is an undercurrent of US involvement in this. The US was previously linked to the Ergenekon organisation it now seems to have ties with a lot of Erdogan's enemies. Still haven't sorted out what's at play in this or who to back. If the US is moving against Erdogan and its harsh statements seem to lend credence it is likely he will move closer to the Resistance Axis himself. As MK Bradrakumar wrote:

Equally, Tehran has counseled Erdogan to show "prudence", virtually waving the red flag, despite all the differences with him, that powerful forces could be arrayed against him.

If the US shoots at Erdogan it better make sure it hits him otherwise he will fall into the arms of the Resistance Axis. He already dislikes Israel and membership to the EU isn't looking as attractive as it once did. Maybe he will decide to "move East" in search of allies?

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jun 5, 2013 4:04:46 PM | 34


US Patriot Missiles and F-16s to Deploy to Jordan

Posted by: J. Bradley | Jun 5, 2013 4:21:34 PM | 35

Assad is fighting against an external threat, when this whole Syria thing started I was all for the people bringing down Assad. I didn't like the man or the idea of a dictator being in power not one bit. However I analyzed the way Gaddafi was ousted and mudered. I looked into it and after a trip to see Libya for myself I was disgusted by what I saw on the part if my govt. So even though I don't like Assad, he symbolizes a resistance to the powers that be that would makes us their slaves.
The Turkish situation now that is real it's beautiful, it's like the occupy movement. Besides, Erdogan is just so easy to dislike.
If any of you watch RT's crosstalk today, you'll see the participation of Mike Dickinson, a Palestinian activist, artist and writer commenting on what's happening in Syria folks.

Posted by: Fernando | Jun 5, 2013 4:40:34 PM | 36

Listening to NPR, Kelly McEvers, is reporting safely from Beirut. She is giving a lopsided report concerning the aftermath of the battle for Qusair. She interviews rebels fleeing Qusayr, "our fate is death", the rebel says. Plus get this, they're "protecting" civilians fleeing from the destruction caused by the Govt. The govt troops are flying flags over the bldgs of Qusayr, these flags have the picture of Bashar Al Assad on them, oh my the sky is falling now!
Then they interview a former leader of Hezbollah instead of a current Hezbollah leader, some guy called al-Zubi. The Hezbollah fighters are there to protect YaZaynab shrine, but it's in Damascus not Qusayr. Evil, wicked, silly Hizbollah how dare you get your cities confused & then get lost?

Posted by: Fernando | Jun 5, 2013 5:17:50 PM | 37

@Noirette #27

Your message is long and with most of it I agree. So I will restrict my message to the parts I differ from you:

"...in a typical Twitter demo-revolution type thing..."

Twitter has been used in genuinely democratic protests in US, and it also has been used to provoke the idiotic green rabble in Iran (2009) to try to steal an election they had clearly lost. So the use of social media in a protest movement does not make it "typical". What matters is, what is being protested, who are the protesters, what are their demands and their principles and who are they protesting against, and who is supporting those protesters. For example, are the protesters exercising their democratic right to bring public awareness to how the 1% is robbing the 99%? Or are they demanding the annulment of an election they have clearly lost, on behalf of the geopolitical interests of their patrons (ie. US/EU/Israel)??

Now, although some confused people -probably just out of their despise for western policies- go as far as becoming fanatical worshipers of Islamic Republic and Baath party, I doubt that majority of people here has any love for either Mr. Khamenei or Mr. Asad.
If the demonstrators in Syria had just expressed a series of legitimate demands (say for example the dispossesion of the rural Syrians by a corrupt elite through the neo-liberal policies by the Asad givernment), if they had distanced themselves from US/EU/Israel and took an anti-imperialist stance, if instead of becoming bloodthirsty mercenaries on the payroll of US, doing the bidding for the US geopolitic interests, I would have supported them even if they had took up guns. Cuban revolutionaries in the 50's and anti-nazi partisans in WWII as well as Libyan/Syrian rebels (in 2011-2013) all took up guns; are they all the same? If we go by that then since we should beat the Syrian rebels and the Yugoslavian partisans (in WWII) by the same stick!
In the absence of a viable democratic opposition (I am not talking about some dissident intellectual or journalist or a bunch of brave university students, who despite their bravery and progressive ideas do not have much of a social base), what must be asked is this:
Whom do you find less harmful, an Asad independent of the Western imperialism with a bunch of rusty MIG-23s, or the Sultan of Qatar with the support of the US navy and marines, which one? Which one do you think is weaker and therefore more likely to make concessions to any possible democratic movement in future, Asad or the US 6th fleet?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Jun 5, 2013 5:31:34 PM | 38

The question will be: what do Syrians think, in the wake of al-Qusayr? For the moment they will be in doubt. Should they give up? given that the jihadis are not representing their point of view. Or should they continue to resist? It's a big question. They may decide to continue the war for fear of the consequences.

By the way, my Syrian student succeeded in escaping and having political asylum in France. He was very lucky, only a little due to my efforts.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 5, 2013 5:47:49 PM | 39

@ 38 and that of course depends on how the Syrian Government handles its victory. Gloating and taking revenge would probably not go down well.

Posted by: dh | Jun 5, 2013 5:57:15 PM | 40

Secret israeli military compound sites, leaked by the US.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/secret-israeli-missile-system-shockingly-revealed-by-us/story-fnb64oi6-1226656758654

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 5, 2013 5:59:56 PM | 41

Noirette

I'll tell you about my yardstick: Assad has been elected by a clear majority of the Syrian people.

Simple as that.

somebody here loves to paint himself as harshly anti-faschist. Those guys, however, seem to have no qualms about belittling, painting in dark colours and being ignorant up to almost acting in faschist ways concerning Syria and the simple fact that is the *only relevant yardstick*, namely, that Assad has been elected by a clear majority. Period.

Sure, one can criticize Assad or, for that matter, everyone on this planet. As far as Syria is concerned, though, it's the Syrian people - and the Syrian people alone - to decide who should be their president and to judge whether he did or did not a good job.

Anyone having difficulties with this simple fact should refrain from considering himself a democrat or, for that matter, an anti-faschist.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jun 5, 2013 6:09:07 PM | 42

@40
'Details of the facility that will house a new Israeli defensive ballistic missile, the Arrow 3, specified the depth of the underground complex and building materials to be used.'

'defensive'? and these are ballistic missiles..carying what?

the article is behind a wall can you please post it all?

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2013 6:10:39 PM | 43

The question will be: what do Syrians think, in the wake of al-Qusayr? For the moment they will be in doubt. Should they give up? given that the jihadis are not representing their point of view. Or should they continue to resist? It's a big question. They may decide to continue the war for fear of the consequences.

By the way, my Syrian student succeeded in escaping and having political asylum in France. He was very lucky, only a little due to my efforts.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 5, 2013 5:47:49 PM | 38

what 'syrians' r u reffering to? political asylum in a state thats waging war in africa as well as syria? Fear or what consquences?

fer if any syrians support a USreali saudi-qatar war on their country.

the big question Alex is who are u and who do you represent? itis sure not the syrian people

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2013 6:14:25 PM | 44

42

Heres another link on the leakage of israeli military sites, google information in that to find out more.

http://presstv.com/detail/2013/06/05/307258/israel-doomsday-nuke-base-revealed-by-us/

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 5, 2013 6:14:44 PM | 45

Al Arabiya English ‏@AlArabiya_Eng – 10h ago:
#BreakingNews: Free Syrian Army fighters say they retreated from #Qusayr following a massacre which took place in the town
Retweeted 40 times

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 5, 2013 1:26:34 PM | 25

'Free Syria Army': NOT Free NOT Syrian and NOT a army
Nor is Alarabiya free and integrous journalism

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2013 6:16:11 PM | 46

@ Noirette

'Why support demonstrators in Turkey who are against the one man show Erdogan... But not to do the same against Assad? Forgetting to mention that Assad had exactly the same neo-lib policy. '

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 5, 2013 2:38:45 PM | 27

what are u smoking? and so 'socking it' to you....
Assad is a friend of the late Hugo Chavez. AND FYI on Assads 'neolib policy'

'The US State Department complains that Syria has “failed to join an increasingly interconnected global economy,” which is to say, has failed to turn over its state-owned enterprises to private investors, among them Wall Street financial interests. The State Department is aggrieved that “ideological reasons” continue to prevent the Assad government from liberalizing Syria’s economy. As a result of the Ba’athists’ ideological fixation on socialism, “privatization of government enterprises is still not widespread.” The economy “remains highly controlled by the government.” [14]
The Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation are equally displeased. “Hafez al-Assad’s son Bashar, who succeeded him in 2000, has failed to deliver on promises to reform Syria’s socialist economy.”
Moreover,
The state dominates many areas of economic activity, and a generally repressive environment marginalizes the private sector and prevents the sustainable development of new enterprises or industries. Monetary freedom has been gravely marred by state price controls and interference.
[...]
The repressive business environment, burdened by heavy state intervention, continues to retard entrepreneurial activity and prolong economic stagnation. Labor regulations are rigid, and the labor market suffers from state interference and control.
…systemic non-tariff barriers severely constrain freedom to trade. Private investment is deterred by heavy bureaucracy, direct state interference, and political instability. Although the number of private banks has increased steadily since they were first permitted in 2004, government influence in the financial sector remains extensive. [15]
The US Library of Congress country study on Syria refers to “the socialist structure of the government and economy,” points out that “the government continues to control strategic industries,” mentions that “many citizens have access to subsidized public housing and many basic commodities are heavily subsidized,” and that “senior regime members” have “hampered” the liberalization of the economy. [16]
All in all, Syria remains too much like the socialist state the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party founders envisaged for it, and too little like a platform for increasing the profits of overseas banks, investors and corporations. Accordingly, its regime of self-directed, independent, economic development must be changed. The militant Islamist uprising, helped along by US money, propaganda and diplomatic support, has set the stage for Washington to realize its regime-change ambitions. Washington has framed the conflict as one between peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators and a murderous tyrant whose thirst for power has driven him to the extremes of killing his own people. Assad has, by this reckoning, “lost legitimacy” and must step aside.'
http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-s-uprising-in-context/29221

Were Assad areal neoliberal he'd be a friend of the US empire and not be siding with Venezuela.

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2013 6:26:38 PM | 47

@17
'At the end of May the U.S. and its Gulf allies realized the error. The US puppet U.N. Secretary-General was enlisted. Ban Ki-moon said he was monitoring the battle for Qusair "with the gravest concern" and called on both sides to allow civilians to escape the town, a ploy to allow the fighters to exit the killing field. The U.N. Human Rights Council approved a resolution condemning Assad's government for using "foreign fighters" in Qusair. A U.N. diplomat said Russia had blocked a Security Council declaration that would have criticized the Syrian regime's offensive against the rebel-held town of Qusair. The western International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement it was "alarmed" by reports of civilians trapped in Qusair and was prepared to enter the town immediately to deliver aid. Syria said the ICRC could enter after the battle was over, as would be the expected course in any battle'

whats interesting here is we have the UN (no surprise) but also the ICRC aiding invading foreign terrorist forces as if they were civilians or a regular syria army. What should be alarming is the ICRCs policy

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2013 6:34:19 PM | 48

Assad is fighting against an external threat, when this whole Syria thing started I was all for the people bringing down Assad. I didn't like the man or the idea of a dictator being in power not one bit. However I analyzed the way Gaddafi was ousted and mudered. I looked into it and after a trip to see Libya for myself I was disgusted by what I saw on the part if my govt. So even though I don't like Assad, he symbolizes a resistance to the powers that be that would makes us their slaves.
The Turkish situation now that is real it's beautiful, it's like the occupy movement. Besides, Erdogan is just so easy to dislike.
If any of you watch RT's crosstalk today, you'll see the participation of Mike Dickinson, a Palestinian activist, artist and writer commenting on what's happening in Syria folks.

Posted by: Fernando | Jun 5, 2013 4:40:34 PM | 35

a little enlightenment is a marveluous thing...but you need to ask yourself why you had this view of Assad at all. The Meme 'ASSAD as DICTATOR' has no basis outside of the spin doctors at Langley. If you hate dictators in power youd not be impressed with Bush Obama Blair Cameron Sarcozy Hollande etc etc. All of whom are dictators in states that are only 'democracies' in name. None of the people in these states has any sa in govt policy esp foreign policy

'So even though I don't like Assad'

you dont like a man you dont know at all. Thats a sample of politiacl thinking of the masses.

FYI to people:
read this
http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-s-uprising-in-context/29221

please get informed

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2013 6:40:53 PM | 49

@Noriette

There is a lot of truth in your comment.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Jun 5, 2013 7:03:32 PM | 50

"I doubt that majority of people here has any love for either Mr. Khamenei or Mr. Asad."

Pirouz, IMHO, standing up to the empire is very nasty business. I admire anyone, and there aren't many, willing to do it, warts and all. Just as I admire a geeky kid who stands up to a schoolyard bully. Even if the geek is socially inept, picks his nose, etc.

Posted by: Lysander | Jun 5, 2013 7:07:31 PM | 51

As a practising Sunni, I say Alhamdulilah and Allahu Akbar at the victory of the Syrian army against these Western backed mindless drones! Viva Syria!

Also, USA is sending F16s and Patriot missles to Jordan, why does Russia not fulfill its contract and just supply the S300 SAM system to Syria and ignore the opposition from Western and Isreali regimes? To me it seems, USA can swiftly deliver/deploy whatever one of its lackey regime needs/wants, but With Russia its like getting water out of a rock!!! Look $30billion worth of US weapons been sold to the gulf autocracies BUT Russia cannot fulfill a simple contract to supply S300 sams to Iran. It then sanctioned itself out of the only market (except Syria) in the Middle East by supporting so called UN sanctions forbidding aale of weapons to Iran!

Come on Russia man up and grow a pair!!!

Posted by: Irshad | Jun 5, 2013 7:13:00 PM | 52

The point of Qusair being empty of supposedly threatened civilians --

--Ban Ki-moon said he was monitoring the battle for Qusair "with the gravest concern" and called on both sides to allow civilians to escape the town
-- U.N. Human Rights Council approved a resolution condemning Assad's government for using "foreign fighters" in Qusair
--International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement it was "alarmed" by reports of civilians trapped in Qusair

--came up today at State, with more evidence that the U.S. is floundering out of control. This, after SecState Kerry said "We came late to the peace process."

State, today:

QUESTION: And a quick follow-up on Qusayr: There were reports that it is virtually a ghost town. Do you have anything that you can confirm or deny or refute, that it is not a ghost town, that there is – there are people there? It seems that --
MS. PSAKI: Again, I don’t have anything for you beyond --
QUESTION: -- that lived in --
MS. PSAKI: -- what I --
QUESTION: Could you find out?
MS. PSAKI: -- highlighted at the top about conflicting reports about what is happening on the ground. As that develops, as we know more, we’re of course happy to provide that to all of you.
QUESTION: Because this is big news. I mean, they say that the whole population actually went to the surrounding villages and so on. Could you find out for us, please?
MS. PSAKI: Sure.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MS. PSAKI: And let me just reiterate that this is a place where there are thousands of civilians, innocent civilians, who have been blocked. I don’t have any update on the status of that or if there’s been humanitarian aid let in for them, but that remains a great concern of ours.

Now we have (subject to confirmation) Samantha Power, an Irish American academic and writer, famous (with several others) as the R2P blabbermouth driving the Libya fiasco, as the next U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Amateur hour again! As Mike Clancy, the iconic Irish radio sidekick of Mr. Keen tracer of lost persons, was given to saying: ”Saints preserve us, boss, you don’t mean….” [That was in the forties -- you do remember, don't you?]

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5, 2013 7:27:26 PM | 53

I, for one, do admire Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. I like what he says in his speeches, which show great insight and understanding of the real issues dividing the U.S. and Iran, as here, here and here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5, 2013 7:37:15 PM | 54

Irshad (49)

Also, USA is sending F16s and Patriot missles to Jordan, why does Russia not fulfill its contract and just supply the S300 SAM system to Syria and ignore the opposition from Western and Isreali regimes? To me it seems, USA can swiftly deliver/deploy whatever one of its lackey regime needs/wants, but With Russia its like getting water out of a rock!!! Look $30billion worth of US weapons been sold to the gulf autocracies BUT Russia cannot fulfill a simple contract to supply S300 sams to Iran. It then sanctioned itself out of the only market (except Syria) in the Middle East by supporting so called UN sanctions forbidding aale of weapons to Iran!

Come on Russia man up and grow a pair!!!

And what tells you that Russia did not deliver? western media? The - intentionally - vague and at times contradictory statements of the Russians and Assad?

As I have already explained at least until now the physical missile systems aren't even needed; the mere fact that Russia might deliver them worked well enough.

Furthermore, and also already explained, the term "contract not yet fulfilled" can mean lots of things, 90% of which do *not* come down to the systems not yet having been delivered.

Besides political and propaganda noises the facts on the ground have strongly changed in favour of Syria.

As for jordania it should be noted that their regime, led by a king, has shown again and again *wanting* to be or seeming to be be rather neutral while actually, they are, quite possiblly due to factual weakness, cheap whores who bend over readily when asked by zusa.
The maneuvers there are quite certainly hardly more than masturbating because the internally split fractions of gcc and the zusa will do nothing (more than they did until now, that is, cowardly - and failingly - directing their payed for terrorists).

So, doubting Russias seriousness or even attacking it basically comes down to attacking Russia for not acting as loud but ridiculous a zusa/gcc.

I'd rather prefer it the current way, with zusa/gcc looking like idiots and failing and Assad/Russia/Iran taking care of the facts on the ground in their - and Syrias peoples - favour.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jun 5, 2013 7:51:17 PM | 55

Lysander;
Under Stalin's leadership Red army fought heroically against the invading hordes of Nazi "bullies" and no one with the least of humanity would withhold his/her support of the red army (led by Stalin) against the invading Nazi forces. That does not mean that Stalin was a humane and democratic leader worthy of glorification or even admiration.
Incidentally, if a person fights against a bully, you should ask yourself does he have any other choice? Does he fight against the bully based on a principle or was it that he tried to befriend the bully (and become his ally in bullying others), but it was the bully who refused him and left him with no choice but to fight back?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Jun 5, 2013 7:58:19 PM | 56

I go with Mr. P. -- what is Jordan going to do with F16s and Patriots? What good did Patriots do in Turkey?

Russia, like Iran, considers all aspects, including political and propaganda, as well as military aspects. Russia has provided many missiles to Syria already -- and decided the S-300s could wait. Syria has:
--S-200 SAM, 150 mile range, 240 missiles could be fired in minutes
--Pantsyr-S, short-range, 7 mile
--plus over a thousand air-defense guns and between 4,000 and 8,000 Strela portable shoulder-fired missiles.

This is why General Dempsey doesn't like no-fly zone in Syria.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5, 2013 8:09:13 PM | 57

"I doubt that majority of people here has any love for either Mr. Khamenei or Mr. Asad."

Pirouz, IMHO, standing up to the empire is very nasty business. I admire anyone, and there aren't many, willing to do it, warts and all. Just as I admire a geeky kid who stands up to a schoolyard bully. Even if the geek is socially inept, picks his nose, etc.

Posted by: Lysander | Jun 5, 2013 7:07:31 PM | 48

the majority of people used to believe the world was flat: they did so because they were told so by authorities

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2013 8:21:15 PM | 58

Lysander;
Under Stalin's leadership Red army fought heroically against the invading hordes of Nazi "bullies" and no one with the least of humanity would withhold his/her support of the red army (led by Stalin) against the invading Nazi forces. That does not mean that Stalin was a humane and democratic leader worthy of glorification or even admiration.
Incidentally, if a person fights against a bully, you should ask yourself does he have any other choice? Does he fight against the bully based on a principle or was it that he tried to befriend the bully (and become his ally in bullying others), but it was the bully who refused him and left him with no choice but to fight back?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Jun 5, 2013 7:58:19 PM | 53

is Pirouetting Pirouz comparing Assad to Stalin?

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2013 8:22:13 PM | 59

@51, Khamenei is wrong about the "failure of communism". Practice makes perfect. Capitalism had a long head start since benches, ie banks, were allowed in some early Renaissance towns to hawk investments to the hoi polloi. Khamenei also seems overly confident on what the Almighty has on His mind, which is absurd.

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 5, 2013 9:05:30 PM | 60

In July, when the U.S. assumes the presidency of the Security Council, Samantha Power, a former senior member of the White House national security team, which has worsened national and world security in various amateurish ineffective ways, will replace Susan Rice at the U.N., Obama has announced.

We can expect more boring baseless bureaucratic blather about Horrific Atrocities in Syria.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5, 2013 9:05:51 PM | 61

@ ruralito #57
Again, I like what Khamenei says in his speeches about the real issues dividing the U.S. and Iran.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5, 2013 9:10:40 PM | 62

@58. I'm not so sure. I bet Ms. Powers is totally outraged about events in Istanbul. Especially the harmless protester in the red dress.

Posted by: dh | Jun 5, 2013 9:13:32 PM | 63

Second thoughts events in Istanbul will probably only get deep concern.

Posted by: dh | Jun 5, 2013 9:45:20 PM | 64

Why indeed support Assad & not Erdogan? Erdogan has a clear mandate from Turkey's citizens and as much as those who hold these two conflicting positions may like to deny it, there is little doubt that the moves against Erdogan are being 'lubricated' from overseas.
Without overseas involvement Erdogan will almost certainly stay in power. With it he may go but Turkey will be a mess worse than Libya.
Foreign intervention and support is always wrong because it perverts the will of the people.
Erdogan hasn't been around that long & become sufficiently ossified for a domestically generated opposition powerful enough to depose him.
So why have so many in here chosen to ignore the foreign interference in his attempted ouster?
Because he enabled the strife in Syria? Yeah that makes him a bad egg alright but why is it that the Turks should suffer the misery that Syrians have endured?
On the other hand it is great to see the gangs of mercenaries and self interested tribalists in Syria are getting their comeuppance, but that must be tempered by a sobering reality -that is those who had genuine grievances against the Assad administration have copped a setback, cause any peaceful domestically driven change in Syria is now several decades further away than it was before everyone grabbed guns.

You know I've always considered Bashar Assad to not be too bad a sort of a bloke. He was never meant to be the Assad in charge - that gig was promised to his brother, so Bashar studied hard and became a very competent eye surgeon - not that he ever did a Fred Hollows - no Harley Street was Bashir's stomping ground but still after Bassel was killed Bashar fought hard against taking up the heir apparent gig which he allegedly had no taste for.
He was cajoled (some say blackmailed) into agreeing not so much by his dad Hafez who was pretty much on his last legs by then but by the clique around his father who couldn't agree on any other replacement.
The western media has been eager to paint him as being a bad sort but weak would be a better descriptor. I can't help but wonder if the failed insurrection won't throw up a replacement from within the SAA. In other words old Bashar is prolly fucked no matter what happens now. If the thugs had won they were gonna bugger n butcher him a la Muammar, but now the Alawites have repelled the forces of darkness Bashar can look forward to a quick bullet to the base of his skull during a palace revolt.
I hope I'm wrong but that's the way power usually plays out.

Posted by: debs is dead | Jun 5, 2013 9:49:18 PM | 65

There is no proof of foreign interference in Turkey; there is plenty in Syria which is a proxy war against Iran. Big difference.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5, 2013 10:04:49 PM | 66

Well look, this is no time to attack Assad, whose shown himself to be a brave fighter in the face of the onslaught of a combination of the world's highest end military and economic machines and the lowest inhuman cannibals - anymore than the day of the victory at Stalingrad (to carry Pirouz analogy further) would have been a day to talk shit on Stalin; but I DO think an indication that there might be something amiss in Syria's political system would be the direct transfer of power from father to son (something we are seeing more and more in the West now).

But I hate to say even that. Now's the time to congratulate the brave Syrian people who have overcome incredible horrors inflicted upon them in our name - horrors I can't even imagine. And all the Syrian people deserve praise today: Bashar Assad included.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 5, 2013 10:04:58 PM | 67

debs makes a solid poiunt in that the original sin of this whole mess was the foreign interference. Who knows what the initial protests may have led to. We'll never know now of course, as the west saw fit to introduce the cannibal corps...

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 5, 2013 10:11:23 PM | 68

It's hard to find any fault with this guy. He's in favor of security and human rights. The White House says so!

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama has met with the crown prince of Bahrain to discuss security issues and ties between the U.S. and the Persian Gulf nation.

The White House says Obama dropped in on a meeting between Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Tony Blinken. The crown prince is also a deputy prime minister of Bahrain.

Obama told the Bahraini leader that the U.S. supports stability and security in Bahrain and that respecting universal human rights is the best way for the nation to achieve peace and security.


Bahrain is thumb-sized home to the headquarters of the US 5th Fleet, "maintaining security" in the "Arabian" Gulf, and is characterized by Horrific Atrocities against its citizens. Bahrain's record on human rights has been described by Human Rights Watch as "dismal." Dismal! Like Obama.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5, 2013 10:14:52 PM | 69

Horrors come with any war. Syria, thanks to the Coventry clothier, is just better reported.

What debs is struggling with is really pretty simple. Countries should solve their own internal problems without outside interference. Differences between countries should receive a different sort of attention according to the UN Charter which some people worked on after WWII -- by peaceful means.

UN Charter: To maintain international peace and security,

# All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
# All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Countries (GCC, US, UK) are in violation of the UN Charter respecting Syria; not with Turkey.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5, 2013 10:25:36 PM | 70

@66 Haha.

"respecting universal human rights" oh yes...

I don't think the West's cannibals took "right to food" quite how it was originally intended.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 5, 2013 10:34:46 PM | 71

@62 "...but weak would be a better descriptor" Have you seen his interviews? That is not a weakling.

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 5, 2013 10:35:02 PM | 72

@Don#67.

Has the UN's history even succeded or played by the rules? cheeky little book to read: http://www.amazon.com/The-Gang-Incompetence-Anti-Semitism-Secretariat/dp/0385513194 - A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage,etc;

BTW: French President Francois Hollande has been awarded a U.N.-sponsored peace prize for Mali! No need to for me to expand I guess...

Posted by: kev | Jun 5, 2013 10:59:01 PM | 73

BTW: French President Francois Hollande has been awarded a U.N.-sponsored peace prize for Mali! No need to for me to expand I guess...

Posted by: kev | Jun 5, 2013 10:59:01 PM | 70

Peaceprizes favor war mongers...just ask Obomber

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2013 11:00:31 PM | 74

Why indeed support Assad & not Erdogan? Erdogan has a clear mandate from Turkey's citizens ...
Posted by: debs is dead | Jun 5, 2013 9:49:18 PM | 62
No debs:
'Erdogan has a clear mandate from Turkey's citizens '
Erdogan has no mandate to arm jihadis and send them into Syria...the turks have made that clear. Erdogan has no mandate to jail generals or journalists.

He has no 'mandate' at all. Thats the excuse of 'representative democracy': you vote for us we represent you....only most parties put in power by this system then ignore their electorate.

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2013 11:08:36 PM | 75

I note that Anshel Pfeffer over at Haaretz is repeating the nonsense that Assad needed to take Qusayr because it controlled the main road between Damascus and Assad's strongholds on the coast i.e. so he can abandon Damascus and "retreat" to the coast if the war continues to go against him.

Apparently Pfeffer doesn't have access to that map above, which clearly shows that the main Damascas-to-Tartus route goes through Homs i.e. well to the north of Qusayr.

Mind you, he appears to be an "analyst" so clueless that he thinks that Aleppo is Syria's "second-largest city", so his command of basic facts is, ahem, shit.

Still, if he remains wilfully ignorant of basic facts then it's only a short step to pretending that the fight for Qusayr is all about setting up Assad's escape route instead of, you know, being all about Assad... winning.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jun 5, 2013 11:27:17 PM | 76

'Posted by: Johnboy | Jun 5, 2013 11:27:17 PM | 73
Netanyahu memo to FSA:
'israel thanks the FSA jihadis for their efforts to remove an obstacle to israels Greater Middle East project...without your efforts we'd have no hope of succeeding to our objective
Many thanks'

signed
Bibi

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2013 11:50:21 PM | 77

@kev #70
I'm not fond of the U.N. either, particularly the Security Council which is a US pro-war puppet, but it has even now many good people trying to make it work, with peacekeeping missions etc. Unfortunately the West is not in that category.

When I was young, long before most of you were born, we had blue U.N. flags in our elementary schools and the U.N. was the hope of the future. No more war! It was a major teaching point back then. Alas, it was not to be. The U.N. Charter is in the dumpster.

People debate now about whether there should be a war here or there, and about "just" war concepts, and wars to protect people from 'horrific atrocities,' and forget the UN Charter, that there shouldn't be an international war anywhere.
# All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
# All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5, 2013 11:54:31 PM | 78

Erdogan has a clear mandate from Turkey's citizens and as much as those who hold these two conflicting positions may like to deny it, there is little doubt that the moves against Erdogan are being 'lubricated' from overseas.

But what mandate? And why?

Does he have the mandate to instigate a civile war and support terrorism against a neighbouring country? I doubt that and polls in turkey strongly support that doubt.

Does he have the mandate to shift/push the moderately islamic country from saecular to islamism? I doubt that. And I guess that, considering the rather unpleasant education situation, most turks would strongly favour better and more schools rather than more mosques.

Does he, considering the still considerable differences in income, have the mandate to enrich friends and loyal party and erdogan servants to the tune of billions and rather illegaly so? I doubt that.

Does he have the mandate to consider - and label - any peaceful opposition "vermin" and to hunt, hurt, and put them in prisons? I doubt that.


And why did he get his mandate whatever that happens to be en detail?

Is it really because the majority of voters wanted him to do whatever - and however - he pleased to do and because they liked him and his plans?

Or is it rather as so often in other democracies, too, that his pre-election propaganda as well as his parties line merely seemd to be the least apalling option?

Just look at western elections. The vast majority voted for obama, hollande, or merkel *not* because they loved their and/or their parties program but for a variety of (sometimes rather irrational) reasons such as
- whoever B happens to be and whatever B happens to propagate, I will vote for him so as to vote against A (you can, for instance, confidently bet that a major part of the the obama as well as the romney voters didn't vote *for* their but rather *against* the other candidate ...)
- family, regional or class tradition as in "We here/we simple workers/we pious people etc. just have to vote for party A/ just cannot allow party B to come to power".
- incumbent (party) A just has to leave! So I'll vote for the other party.
- and so on

Looking closely it usually turns out that the beloved wisdom "(s)he has/I have the mandate of the people" is plain and simple bull*it and far from reality.

In that regards it can be reasonably supposed that for Assad that wisdom is actually quite true; not because people love him, not because he Alawite, not even because he is (as has been shown meanwhile) quite smart and loyal to his country - no, simply because he was/is the best compromise and quite probably really has - and follows - a major mandate, namely, to somehow keep his complicated country together, stable, and running.

Without overseas involvement Erdogan will almost certainly stay in power. With it he may go but Turkey will be a mess worse than Libya.

Why? I doubt that.

To name just two reasons:

- summarizing the situation I think it can be fairly said that erdogan has become a rather extreme player of a major party. Politics is first and foremost about power; for some time erdogan was a useful figure for his party to gain/regain/keep power. If they find him rather a burden than an asset he will be shown the exit. If he complies it will be a nice and lucrative exit, if not it will be a painful one. erdogan like any politician in power needs a strong basis and supporters; without that he is dead meat. Most of those supporters again are loyal to their party, greedy themselves and whores. Simple as that.

- turkey has a strong foundation and guiding principles like Kemal Attaturk, the wish for a saecular state to coexist with a moderate islamic culture, and a military that is trusted and has proven to soldily play along established lines.
Syria without Assad would be in deep trouble; turkey without erdogan would continue to exist without any major shift and with one out of some well known and generally acceptable candidates as new PM.

In other words old Bashar is prolly fucked no matter what happens now. If the thugs had won they were gonna bugger n butcher him a la Muammar, but now the Alawites have repelled the forces of darkness Bashar can look forward to a quick bullet to the base of his skull during a palace revolt.

Why? I doubt that.

From what I see on the ground I tend to think that he will not have less but rather more support in Syrias people. After all, he is the leading figure and, as things look so far, he will have succeeded to free his country and throw the wests payed terrorists out of the country. Sure, some of the major parties in Syria will try to deal a little but that will be very limited because everybody there understands that what is given from one party is taken from another and in the end all parties want stability. I think it will turn out to something like "everything like before but with some less power for the president and some more direct power to the people".

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jun 6, 2013 12:09:06 AM | 79

I don't have to like anybody, I think Assad is doing a very good job. Therefore he does earn my respect, he has t shrunk from this duty imposed on him. He's Michael Corleone.

Posted by: Fernando | Jun 6, 2013 12:16:03 AM | 80

who here has given their govts a mandate (permission) to attack other countries?

by coincicence, 'permission' is the meaning of islamic 'halal'. To make an act 'halal' all you have to do is 'takbeer' : say 'Allah akbar' over it.

Posted by: brian | Jun 6, 2013 1:08:01 AM | 81

I don't usually come back into a thread I've posted in lest I get caught in a silly assertion/contradiction spiral which is as pointless as it biased by initial opinion. Nobody ever changed their point of view because someone argued better than they, the reverse in fact; peeps tend to become more entrenched as they feel their P.O.V. threatened.
Even so I would like to point out that nowhere did I write that I supported Erdogan's involvement in Syria, nor did I try & support his policies on anything else.
The fact may be unpalatable, but the last time the people of Turkey were asked who should govern them, they chose Erdogan's administration by a considerable margin. In 2002 the AKP won nearly two thirds of the seats in Parliament becoming the first party in Turkey to win a large enough mandate to govern on their own without requiring a coalition partner. In 2007 the AKP was the first a party in power to increase its votes for a second term in more than 50 years.
Yep the only direction from there is down, the party cannot keep on growing its vote but, historically, a party which rises so high does take at least two or three more terms to die.

A coupla things to consider:

amerikans liberals are forever criticising themselves for electing administrations whose foreign policies don't represent the desires of the voters - this is a foolish stance and has recently been replaced by a more utilitarian line which is that by voting for corporation controlled crypto-fascists, ordinary amerikans are voting against their own best interests. The sad fact is that however much we humans may claim to care about our neighbours, when it comes down to it we pick self interest ahead of noble intent.
The citizens of Istanbul are not rioting because Turkey stuck its nose in Syria, they are rioting because Erdogan & his cobbers want to build over one of the last parks in the city.
In other words when Turks vote next time the party they select will be the one that voters believe will do the most for Turks, if the destruction of the park & the construction of the barracks is over by then, it is tough to see many voters making their vote solely on the basis of that decision.

If their choice next elections emulates the choices that other electors betrayed by closet neo-liberals in other countries have made, the AKP is likely still a few betrayals short of rejection.
Turkey's rather unique political system will make a voter rebellion tougher than it is in other states which are also fortunate & have proportional representation.
IMO Turkey's 10% rule -a party must gain at least 10% of national vote to be represented in the Grand Assembly or parliament, makes replacing the AKP with a more honest, less neo-liberal political movement to represent the 'average Turk' not less than two elections away. Such a political force will need at least one election to garner more than 10% and so have a visible national presence.
Get the stage first, develop credibility with the population, then one more election to win a majority.

Posted by: debs is dead | Jun 6, 2013 1:36:40 AM | 82

'The fact may be unpalatable, but the last time the people of Turkey were asked who should govern them, they chose Erdogan's administration by a considerable margin. '

who should govern them = 'dictators'

'democracy' = rule BY the people

Posted by: brian | Jun 6, 2013 1:44:15 AM | 83

'The citizens of Istanbul are not rioting because Turkey stuck its nose in Syria, they are rioting because Erdogan & his cobbers want to build over one of the last parks in the city.'

theyre not 'rioting' but 'demonstrating/protesting' and doing it not just in Istanbul where the park is, but all over turkey.
This has ceased to be about a parkl and is all about Erdogan and his brutal policies the people never mandated.

Posted by: brian | Jun 6, 2013 1:46:41 AM | 84

65) How do you define foreign interference? Are Berlin's, London's, New York's Turkish communities interference? Is a Dutch footballer working in Istanbul foreign interference?

But the significant difference is that in Syria weapons were used right from the start. When a movement uses that to fight a government, it means civil war. And that is not really an option, if you have real popular support without foreign intervention the military and the police will crumble.

I would subscribe to this analysis from Teheran except one point

A probe into the root causes of the latest events in Syria show that the revolt is mainly supported by Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The revolt began in the city of Daraa, 120 kilometers south of the capital Damascus and near the border with Jordan.

Daraa is the birthplace of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, which has close ties to the people in the Syrian city.

Undoubtedly, the Syrians, like other nations in the region, have some legitimate demands which have prompted the government to plan fundamental reforms. However, the protests have come with unjustifiable violence by some suspicious elements.

Similar protests were seen in 1982 against the government of late Syrian president Hafez al-Assad in the cities of Hama and Daraa.

Hafez al-Assad -- the late father of current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- was president between 1970 and 2000 and was considered one of the powerful leaders in the Arab world.

Former Jordan King Hussein, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and the then Saudi King Khalid incited Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood against Syria, when Hafez al-Assad backed Iran during the eight-year Iraqi-imposed war on Iran in the 1980s.

The fighting, which took place from 1982 to 1984, left more than 30,000 people dead, but the late Syrian president finally managed to end the crisis.

Saudi Arabia and Jordan continued their attempts to cause unrest in Syria after the death of Hafez al-Assad and his succession by his son.

Saudi Arabia, which often bows to US and Israel's policies in the region, tried to destabilize Bashar al-Assad's government by undermining his rule.

To this end, Saudi Arabia paid 30 million dollars to former vice president Abdul Halim Khaddam to quit Assad's government.

Khaddam sought asylum in France in 2005 with the aid of Saudi Arabia and began to plot against the Syrian government with the exiled leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Khaddam, who is a relative of Saudi King Abdullah and former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri, used his great wealth to form a political group with the aim of toppling Bashar al-Assad.

The triangle of Khaddam-Abdullah-Hariri is well-known in the region as their wives are sisters.

Khaddam's entire family enjoys Saudi citizenship and the value investment by his sons, Jamal and Jihad, in Saudi Arabia is estimated at more than USD 3 billion.

Therefore, with the start of popular protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain, the Saudi regime saw an opportunity to drive a wedge between Tehran, Damascus and Beirut axis.

Due to the direct influence of the Saudi Wahhabis on Syria's Muslim Brotherhood, the people of the cities of Daraa and Homs, following Saudi incitement and using popular demands as an excuse began resorting to violence.

It is reported that the United States, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia formed joint operational headquarters in the Saudi Embassy in Belgium to direct the riots in southern Syria. Abdul Halim Khaddam, who held the highest political, executive and information posts in the Syrian government for more than 30 years, is said to have been transferred from Paris to Belgium to direct the unrest.

The reason for this was that based on French law, political asylum seekers cannot work against their countries of origin in France and therefore Khaddam was transferred to Brussels to guide the riots.

Jordan equipped the Muslim Brotherhood in the two cities with logistical facilities and personal weapons.

Although, Bashar al-Assad promised implementation of fundamental changes and reforms after the bloody riot in the country, the Brotherhood followed continued to incite protesters against him.

The Syrian state television recently broadcast footage of armed activity in the border city of Daraa by a guerilla group, which opened fire on the people and government forces. It is said that the group, which is affiliated to Salafi movements, obtained its weapons from Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Because Syria's ruling party is from the Alevi tribes associated with the Shias, the Brotherhood, due to its anti-Shia ideas, has tried for three decades to topple the Alevi establishment of the country.

Hence, the recent riots in Syria are not just rooted in popular demands and harbor a tribal aspect and Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the US are directing the unrest for their future purposes.

In the eyes of these three, the removal of Syria's Alevi government would cause the Tehran-Damascus-Beirut axis to collapse and would be followed by the gradual weakening and elimination of Lebanon's resistance.

Therefore saudi and US efforts to topple Assad's government are taking place with the aim of eliminating the last anti-Zionism resistance front.

This is while, considering the Syrian government's experience in resolving difficult crises, it is unlikely that Saudi Arabia and Jordan will succeed in weakening or toppling the Syrian ruling system.

I think Assad is incapable of reforming the system. But it is foreign intervention and the civil war option that make reforms impossible.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 6, 2013 1:47:02 AM | 85


'Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists he promotes democracy - he has won the last three elections, with increasing majorities. In the most recent, his party polled ALMOST 50% of the vote'
http://news.sky.com/story/1098267/turkey-protests-are-about-more-than-park-life

not only is it nor just about parks,,,Erdogan has > 50 of the people against him

Posted by: brian | Jun 6, 2013 1:52:15 AM | 86

I think Assad is incapable of reforming the system. But it is foreign intervention and the civil war option that make reforms impossible.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 6, 2013 1:47:02 AM | 85

reform the system to what? something like FUKUSrael?

'A probe into the root causes of the latest events in Syria show that the revolt is mainly supported by Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
The revolt began in the city of Daraa, 120 kilometers south of the capital Damascus and near the border with Jordan.
'

yes not like Egypts..which tok place in Cairo, or Turkeys now in Istanbul . Near the border means the work of infiltraitors from Jordan

Posted by: brian | Jun 6, 2013 1:55:52 AM | 87

and syria is part of the cause for unrest:

'It gave a list of demands to the country’s deputy prime minister as the police expanded security operations and detained several dozen people accused of provoking illegal acts on social media networks.

The demands included the dismissal of the governors of Istanbul; the capital, Ankara; and the city of Hatay; as well as the heads of the security forces in those three cities. The list also included the release of detained protesters; an end to the use of tear gas by the police; and the cancellation of the project that started the protests: the construction of an Ottoman-era replica that would destroy a park in Taksim Square in Istanbul. ;
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/06/world/europe/turkey-protests.html

Hatay is on border with syria, where the people are unhappy with the FAS presence

Posted by: brian | Jun 6, 2013 2:00:22 AM | 88

Elections will take place next year in Syria. The Syrian people and only the Syrian people will decide if President Assad will continue as President. It is that simple.

Posted by: Hilmihakim | Jun 6, 2013 2:09:02 AM | 89

@Don#78, the UN has morphed its mission mandates, outside the humanitarian mission, and like you mentioned it undertakes 'Peacekeeping' (UNDP), then recently it moved into 'Economic' missions, AKA 'Integrated Peacebuilding' and new name by without any adjustment to a already failed template; the Office in Sierra Leone the model 'UNIPSIL' headed initially by a German 'Graff' Michael von der Schulenburg (A Prince, thus obviously a Political appointee), who played plenty of tennis, later ripped out by BKM with a very sanitized reason, and not a string of events that are never mentioned, like punching his security officer (A much smaller East Timor UN security officer), just because he could, the overall outcome, irrelevant of 'Personalities' - an utter failure.

However it does prove the UN is chasing the money, rather than aiding, and at the same time mixing War & Peace under one umbrella; in my eyes, if you can’t reach your goal, use force. Here is a link to the framework/Ideology, the Graff was one of 3 authors; http://www.esdp-course.ethz.ch/content/pubkms/detail.cfm?lng=en&id=23751

The mission - Apart from having a party to drive Femdoms (Female condoms that are suited for midget trampolines),and hanging out on Lumley Beach; it was tainted by dubious HQ dealings, pay off of a Mr. Sam King (Business man and Hotel owner), odd liaisons with some Lebanese connections, including midnight meetings alone, and a very doddgy 2IC from Ethiopia.

As for Peacebuilding - The district of Kono had a UN office in that area, generally unmanned, and being the hub of diamonds, Gold, and lot’s of it, did not have any infrastructure, street lighting for example. The majority of changes (For the better) were ironically made by the Chinese, then again they were open about 'Business'.

It did push RoL, but all façade, a huge Chinese fishing off-shore factory stretching Km’s, one that you could not hide and was simply ignored, as if it did not exist; then again it was all going into the EU (Wink, wink). Oh yeah, it has ‘Oil’, and some large investments of Gaddafi monies in property and other that I am sure ware never ‘brought up’ post Libya’s conflict. In turn, also a part of the AFRICOM dealings and network, with a very large US Embassy.

In that, if the UN ever get to go to Syria (Via intervention) and it becomes a 'Mission', then just expect the cost of living to double, as that is what they do best.

Posted by: kev | Jun 6, 2013 2:09:29 AM | 90

MSM comes to Erdogans rescue:

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/06/syria-experiments-absurdity-issues-turkey-travel-warning/65802/

Atlantic wire has no need to 'experiment with absurdity'...thats its editorial policy, along with lying, deception, hypocrisy.

EG No mention of this:

'CHP member of parliament Aytug Atici revealed that electricity was cut off just five minutes before the bombing attacks. [39] In fact, according to activist Hamide Yigit, cutting off the electricity was a strategy used by Turkey’s authorities in smuggling international mercenaries into Syria:
“Electricity is cut off along the [Harbiye-Yayladagi] itinerary; everywhere, including streets and roads, becomes totally dark. Meanwhile, vehicles carrying military ammunition and armed groups to the border pass by. Once their passage is over, the electricity resumes. The local residents, who are prevented from witnessing this transport, are feeling deeply restless about it.” [40]
On the day of the bombing attacks, the militants who wanted to cross from Syria into Turkey were guided towards the Cilvegozu border gate instead of their habitual point of entry in Reyhanli. [41'
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-role-of-turkey-in-the-us-nato-israeli-war-on-syria/5336827

Posted by: brian | Jun 6, 2013 2:10:56 AM | 91


Friends of syria to have as member: African Union (one of founders was Gaddafi) would have been called on to aid Usrael war on Syria?
http://english.sabah.com.tr/National/2012/02/09/erdogan-initiates-plan-to-liberate-syria


excerpts from: Erdogan initiates plan to liberate Syria

Sabah English, 9 February 2012

Turkey is getting ready to seek out legitimacy for international intervention, should the U.N. Security Council not reach a ruling, in an alternative arena in order to halt the bloodshed in Syria. The first step towards forming the ‘Friends of Syria’ Group will be taken at the February 13th meeting of the Arab League. [...]

The three main stages of the plan [Turkey’s] Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has referred to as the "new roadmap" is as follows:

1- First and foremost all efforts will be made to secure a U.N. ruling. For this purpose, Prime Minister Erdogan called Russian State Leader Medvedev to deliver the message, "Assad stalled us, and he stalled the Arab League. This time don't let him gain more time by stalling you as well." Should Russia maintain their current stance against U.N. intervention then the legitimacy to establish the infrastructure for a potential operation in Syria will be sought from an alternative arena.

2- Should a U.N. ruling not be reached or should it not be enough to stop Assad then the international community will come together in order to intervene and establish sanctions just like what happened in 1999 against Kosovo and in 2003 against Iraq. The initial stages will involve isolating Assad by withdrawing international diplomats and closing all political doors.

Davutoglu held a series of meetings in Munich for this very purpose. In addition to obtaining Germany's support, Davutoglu also spoke with his counterparts in Iran, Qatar and Italy. While Turkey is preparing to host the meeting of the 'East' and the 'West', the first step to establish the Syrian Friends Group will be taken at the February 13th Arab League meeting.

3- The first objective of the ‘Friends of Syria’ Group, which will consist of the Arab League, the African Union, the EU and the United States, will be to stop Assad and to help the Syrian public by setting up a buffer zone in order to open a border crossing to provide food and humanitarian aid and later, if necessary, to save civilian lives.

http://istanbul.indymedia.org/en/news/turkish-daily-turkey%E2%80%99s-plan-finish-assad

Erdogan claimed he wanted to help the syrian public….and was Africa Union to aid the FUKUSrael war on syria?

Posted by: brian | Jun 6, 2013 2:19:02 AM | 92

debsisdead (82)

Even so I would like to point out that nowhere did I write that I supported Erdogan's involvement in Syria, nor did I try & support his policies on anything else.

From what I see so far nobody (and certainly not myself) understood you to endorse erdogan, don't worry.

The fact may be unpalatable, but the last time the people of Turkey were asked who should govern them, they chose Erdogan's administration by a considerable margin. In 2002 the AKP won nearly two thirds of the seats in Parliament becoming the first party in Turkey to win a large enough mandate to govern on their own without requiring a coalition partner. In 2007 the AKP was the first a party in power to increase its votes for a second term in more than 50 years.

I did and do not dispute the fact that erdogans party won elections.

I do, however, assert that
- winning an election is not neccessarily, and actually not usually, indicating that a majority likes ones politics, even less so over the full term. Furthermore there can be, and often is, a diverse set of other reasons for votes.
To cite just one example: One major and possibly the decisive reason for hollande to win the elections was the fact that very many french wanted to be sure to get rid of sarkozy.
Another often overlooked fact is that often elections are critically influenced or even won by non-voters (as in "I'll never vote left but I damn sure don't want sarkozy again neither. So I'll not vote at all although I voted for the conservatives for 25 years")

The citizens of Istanbul are not rioting because Turkey stuck its nose in Syria, they are rioting because Erdogan & his cobbers want to build over one of the last parks in the city.

That statement invites strong doubts. As shown by e.g. brian (84) that statement actually shows untenable.
Quite probably both reasons (and some more) added up and cumulated reached critical mass.

In other words when Turks vote next time the party they select will be the one that voters believe will do the most for Turks ...

Again, I strongly doubt that although it basically follows the basic credo - and propaganda - for democracy.
Reality shows otherwise again and again. Actually, polls show that the majority in most countries tend to believe that *no party* will do what they promise and that *no party* will do what's best for the country (which btw. isn't even possible for the simple fact that "the best for the country" is naturally defined very diversely).

If people vote at all *for* a party based on political programs, they usually do that focussed on 1 or 2 issues they consider as strategically important.
An example that comes to mind is the classical "the conservatives value economie higher, and so do I" - vs. - "the socialists value social issues and improvement for the needy higher, and so do I", complemented by the more recent "the green party values the environment and, to a degree social issues higher, and so do I".

Furthermore there are "holy issues" in every culture such as the protection of children and, immanently coming with democracy, more or less equality. Based on that there are absolute killer events, "crimes" that are, of course comitted to varying degree by most politician (e.g. nepotism, corruption) which, however, must stay discrete and low level.
Research shows that those issues even trump party association, that is, even (most) conservative voters strongly detest corruption of a high degree such as the billions shifted by erdogan toward favourites, supporters etc.

On a more personal note I think that simply not making untenable statements (or at least reacting constructively when found in flagranti) is wiser than remarks associating others with terms like "silly".

Last but not least let's quickly have a look at another "standard wisdom":

Nobody ever changed their point of view because someone argued better than they

Often said/written this is actually evidently false.

First, it's not about p.o.v. but about learning and growing. A p.o.v. after all is a means and not a goal.
Second, we all (O.K. except americans, maybe *g) again and again changed our beliefs and or extended our knowledge because someone argued better (I take that to mean "knew better" or "proposed a better/advanced/more informed view" or similar).
We are humans and as such we are bound to err, to have limited or even wrong views and beliefs. Happily, though, we are also almost bound to refine, extend or even change our views and beliefs.

So, let me suggest to be more generous with others and more stringent with ourselves.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jun 6, 2013 2:41:26 AM | 93

haha US condemn syria for making moves against US backed terrorists, and urge iran and hezbollah to stop helping assad, hilarious hubris!

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 6, 2013 2:46:49 AM | 94

87) It is a dictatorship, maybe you would prefer to live in one, most people don't. If you find Western democracies repressive, it is plain stupid to expect a better life in Syria.

This here is a probably accurate description how it started:

Damascus // Protests in Syria escalated yesterday when demonstrators openly calling for a "revolution" in the southern city of Deraa clashed with security forces.

Tear gas was fired into the crowd, which had gathered for the funerals of two protesters who were shot dead by security units on Friday, civil-rights campaigners and opposition groups said.

As many as 10,000 people were estimated to have turned out for yesterday's funeral procession, defying a heavy security presence that had been reinforced since the killings.

Some of the demonstrators chanted "revolution, revolution" as they followed the coffins of Wissam Ayyash and Mahmoud al Jawabra through the town. Two other protesters died from gunshot wounds inflicted on Friday, bringing the total number of dead to four.

Reuters, one of the few independent news agencies at the scene, quoted mourners shouting "God, Syria, Freedom. Whoever kills his own people is a traitor". Dozens of protesters were arrested, opposition groups said.

By the afternoon, Deraa had reportedly been sealed off by police as helicopters patrolled overhead, with people allowed to leave but no one from the surrounding tribal region allowed into the city.

In contrast to Friday's smaller protest, however, security forces did not use live ammunition on the crowd yesterday, relying instead on tear gas and batons.

The authorities in Damascus also announced an investigation into Friday's killings, with unconfirmed reports that senior security officials from Deraa had been ordered back to the capital as part of the inquiry.

SANA, the official news agency, cited a ministry of interior source as saying a committee would investigate the use of lethal force. It said "the necessary measures will be taken" and any member of the security forces found to have committed abuse would be "held to account".

That measure was welcomed by human-rights monitors in Syria. "It is an important and essential step to have taken. There needs to be a quick and serious investigation into this incident, otherwise I fear the situation could deteriorate," said Abdul Karim Rehawe, head of the Syrian Human Rights League.

Until a week ago Syria had been quiet, an apparent oasis of calm in a region gripped by popular revolts. But a series of small-scale, isolated protests, some involving fewer than a dozen people and lasting only a matter of minutes, appears to have snowballed.

On Wednesday, more than 100 people staged a rare demonstration outside the interior ministry in central Damascus, demanding the release of political prisoners. Met by baton-wielding police, more than 30 were arrested and on Thursday were charged with defaming the state, a crime under emergency laws that carries a lengthy prison term.

The following day, protests erupted in Damascus, Homs, Banias and Deraa, with the security forces in each place responding differently.

In Banias there was no violence as protesters read out a list of demands, including calls for an end of corruption, a reduction in the price of electricity and the reinstating of school teachers sacked for wearing a full Islamic veil.

In Damascus, suspected protesters were arrested after calls for "freedom" were made following prayers at the historic Umayyad mosque, but without use of lethal violence.

In Deraa, however, security units quickly shifted from using water cannons to firing live ammunition, according to witnesses. Notably, it is the same city that yesterday saw a large-scale follow-up protest, while the others remained quiet.

The Syrian authorities, including the official media, have portrayed the protesters as rioters acting on the instigation of foreign powers, with the security forces responding only in self-defence. State television implied that the US, a longtime foe of the Syrian government, was behind the protests.

The speed with which protests met with deadly force has unnerved civil-rights activists who were hoping to usher in peaceful reforms through public demonstrations.

"I'm afraid, it's shocking to have unarmed demonstrators shot," said one campaigner, an advocate of non-violent action, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of his remarks.

"It's a dangerous time, it's hard to step back once people have been killed - things quickly pass the point of no return," he said.

"You can't imagine how angry people are [about the shooting]. If there is no effort to remedy this [by the authorities], it will be a disaster."

Another Syrian supporting the protesters said the country was approaching a crossroads.

"There are two paths open to us, one is to be like Egypt, with peaceful change, the other is to go the way of Libya where it has been too violent," he said. "I hope for the first, but I'm worried that the wrong path may already have been chosen."

and yes, it was manufactured

This from February 2011

Civil society activists in Syria have been mulling over why the protest fizzled. While all agree the pervasive security apparatus played a key role, there are also widespread complaints that, unlike the demonstrations in Cairo and Tunis, the one planned for Syria had no domestic roots.

"This call for a day of anger came from outside of the country, from people with no track record and that no one had heard of," said Mazen Darwich, a leading civil liberties campaigner. "It was a disaster, the organisers were less democratic than the security services."

He said those behind the Facebook campaign were overseas armchair revolutionaries, safely away from any repercussions of a failed revolt.

"They have no understanding of what happened in Egypt or Tunisia and they don't understand Syria," he said. "They think you can just say, 'Tomorrow will be the revolution' and it will happen."

The failure also laid bare the limitations of online organising in Syria. High-speed internet is available in the country, and many users bypass the clumsy censorship imposed on sites such as Facebook. But most Syrians are not online, especially the poor majority who would presumably form the core of any demonstrations.

And this is how it escalated - from May 2011

Tribal justice blamed for deaths of 120 Syrian police and soldiers

In the two months since an anti-government uprising began in Syria, more than 120 members Syrian police and soldiers have been killed, authorities say. Related

If that number is correct, the Syrian government has lost as many security forces since March as the US military has in Afghanistan since the start of the year - 127 killed in action - and more than the British army has lost in any single year during the decade-long Afghan war.

Officials say that scale of violence is clear evidence that Syria is facing an insurgency by Islamist terrorists.

Civil rights activists in Syria acknowledge religious militants are likely to have been involved in some killings. They cite a handful of well-publicised atrocities in which the bodies of soldiers were mutilated. There have also been claims of mosques calling for jihad as security units face off against demonstrators.

But residents say the reality is typically far more mundane, especially in the tribal regions where many of the attacks against government forces appear to have occurred.

Rather than a conspiracy of Islamic fundamentalists, supplied with weapons and cash by Syria's enemies, local inhabitants and tribe members say many of those shooting at the security services are motivated by traditions of tribal justice and dignity, self-defence, a sense of powerlessness and years of pent up anger and frustration.

For all its hallmarks as a modern secular state, Syria remains a complex mosaic of tribes, sects and powerful extended families. Loyalty to clan often supersedes allegiance to country and tribal justice regularly supplants civil law.

Rural Syria, where this hierarchy of loyalties is most prevalent, is home to a majority of the country's 22 million people. Nevertheless, large scale migration means tribal influences have reached into the teeming working-class suburbs of Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and other major cities.

This clash of tribal identity with state authority is woven into the violence that has swept the country since protests began two months ago this week. The absence of any credible prosecution of those responsible for excessive violence against unarmed protesters has given way to more traditional ways of holding people to account.

"If you kill someone from a tribe and the government doesn't deliver justice, then the tribe will see justice is done in its own way, which means blood-for-blood," a member of one of Syria's major clans said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of his remarks. "My people believe in revenge," he continued. "If one of the tribe is shot by a member of the security services and the killer is not properly punished by the government, then another security man will be killed to settle the score. It's simple: an eye-for-an-eye. ...

That reaction to what many saw as official impunity took root on March 18 during the first rally in Deraa, the crucible of the uprising, when four people were gunned down as they demanded the release of 15 local schoolchildren who had been arrested and abused by the security forces for writing political graffiti on a wall

The powerful tribal families in the southern Houran region, which has its capital Deraa, asked the authorities to discipline security personnel involved in killings, particularly the senior officers who gave orders to open fire on unarmed protesters during the first demonstration.

Despite promises of justice and the sacking of local officials, lawyers say no legal action has been taken against any security force suspects, in stark contrast to the rapid arrests and referral to the courts of political dissidents and those suspected of anti-government violence."..

"There is no independent judiciary in Syria, no trustworthy legal process that will punish anyone working for the government for their crimes," said one man, who refused even to identify his tribe.

The government's inaction led influential figures in Deraa's strongest clans to conclude both that justice would not be done and that they would be shown no mercy for their public dissent, he said. Similar calculations appear to have fuelled violence elsewhere in the country, some of which has targeted security forces."

Posted by: somebody | Jun 6, 2013 3:52:16 AM | 95

It is getting very funny now actually

Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt on Tuesday accused Turkish protesters of receiving foreign funds from entities which they claim “want to make the highly successful Islamic project fail,” according to local Egyptian media reports. Hussein Ibrahim, secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), blamed “foreign groups” who wish to “manipulate internal issues to serve international interests.” He did not clarify. Ibrahim said the protests serve a purpose of fighting everything Islamic, even if Turkey “has made unprecedented strides with regards to developments rates and the improvement of citizens’ incomes,” Egypt Independent reported. Meanwhile, Mourad Aly, the FJP’s media adviser, said: “Some parties intentionally want to make its seem that what is going on in Turkey is a revolution,” adding that those assessments “are exaggerated and have nothing to do with what is happening on the ground.”

Posted by: somebody | Jun 6, 2013 4:02:33 AM | 96

Turks are coming up with some good stuff

Posted by: somebody | Jun 6, 2013 4:25:39 AM | 97

wow, have u heard this, the ever so reluctant hero, uncle sham, is in a quagmire [sic]
why so , coz its two *assertive* allies , uk n france, want uncle sham to ride into syria pronto, hell, the *red line* of using chemical weapons has been crossed [sic]

sob sob
once again, the muricuns are gonna be dragged kicking n screaming to another r2p mission !
which is a shame u know, all our hero want is to mind his own biz , hehehehe ;-)

Posted by: denk | Jun 6, 2013 4:36:11 AM | 98

@ #81 ...
who put this nonsense about "hallal" to your mind !?

Hallal and Haram can't be changed by a simple words like " Allah Akabar " ... at least in traditional sunni and Shia ( well , wahhabi have their own religion !!! )

for example , you can't turning Haram ( forbidden ) things to Hallal by saying some words ...

don't repeat childish things ...

Posted by: A Person | Jun 6, 2013 4:39:03 AM | 99

Oh just great, Hollande humanitarian views are so good that he recieve a prize by UNESCO.

http://www.thedailybell.com/28741/Frances-Hollande-Invades-Mali-Wins-UNESCO-Peace-Prize

What does UNESCO say about the religious destruction in Syria, commited by the terrorists aided by Hollande?

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 6, 2013 5:10:13 AM | 100

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