Thursday, November 17, 2005

Fighter Infiltration from Syria into Iraq" by Abdullah Ta'i

Fighter Infiltration via Abu Kamal, Syria into Iraq
By Abdullah al-Ta’i
November 15, 2005
Written for “Syria Comment” thanks to the Apamea Fund
Translated by Maha Kashour

When the United States declared war on Iraq on 19 March 2003, Muftis in several Arab countries announced that jihad in the defense of Iraq was a direct obligation (fard ayn) for each and every Arab Muslim. Syria was the first Arab country to declare jihad, when Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Kaftaru issued a fatwa proclaiming that “Jihad in Iraq is an fard ayn for every Muslim.” His motive was political for it coincided with the opening of the Syrian-Iraqi boarder to whoever wanted to fight in Iraq.

Fighters from all regions of Syrian and most Arab countries gathered in Abu Kamal because it has the closest and easiest access to Iraq. Some mosque preachers and religious sheikhs assumed the role of organizers, ensuring the fighters entry to Iraq and providing them with religious and practical guidance before they left. Since fighters knew little about the geography of the region this guidance was important.

A friend of mine who lives near the Syrian-Iraqi boarder in Abu Kamal told me that he once went for dawn prayer at a mosque close to his house and noticed that the mosque was full of people, which was unusual in such a small town. He wondered why there were so many worshipers. Next morning, he learned they were a group of fighters who had gathered in Abu Kamal on their way into Iraq. This situation continued until the collapse of the Iraqi regime. Since then, Abu Kamal has become infamous as the passageway to Iraq. Later on, it became the Qa’aba for fighters who found security and hospitality in it due to religious and social considerations. The closest Iraqi village is two hours walking distance from Abu Kamal, which is not the case at any other point of the Syrian-Iraqi border.

However, the situation did not continue this way much beyond the first months of the invasion. The American pressure on Syria with regard to controlling the border increased and it became a security and political burden on Syria, especially after the tension in the region resulting from the war on Iraq. This motivated the Syrian Government to intensify security surveillance at the border areas (Abu Kamal), which was noticeable to me as an inhabitant of the area.

The Syrian Authorities established two checkpoints at Shamyah and Al-Jazeera points in Abu Kamal because the Euphrates River divides it into two areas. Today, the number of security agents and employees in Abu Kamal almost equals the number of inhabitants of the town. They have frightened the people and enter into every aspect of social and political life in the border towns. It is not an exaggeration to say that they have stopped the infiltration of foreigners into the border region as well as restricting the infiltration of local Syrians across the border. Many correspondents have also been coming to the Abu Kamal over the months of October and November 2005. I have visited Abu Kamal three times since the beginning of Ramadan and each time, I have been stopped and interrogated by the mukhabarat with great care. It is impossible to make a move in the region these days without stirring up the interest and suspicion of the local police.

In the past there were corrupt government officials However, the problem is not with the Syrian Government’s measures but with the involvement of some inferior intelligence elements, who engage in corruption without the knowledge of the central authorities.

Attraction of money

Money plays an essential role in such cases. I personally have never seen corruption and the spread of bribes in Syria more than what I have seen in Albukamal, especially the intelligence elements that you can buy with only small amounts of money. These elements are bribed by illegal merchants (smugglers) between Syria and Iraq. And those smugglers export fighters to Iraq and this way the illegal trade and exporting fighters is mixed up and intelligence elements are lost in this maze without trying to differentiate between smuggling and exporting fighters.

The central problem in policing the border region during 2004 and until recently is that Abu Kamal is very far from Damascus, not only geographically, but also administratively and economically. Traditionally there has been very little central authority in the region, which has meant that resources do not reach the Jazira and there has been minimal administrative oversight. The people feel like the government ignores them and they ignore the government accordingly. Very few resources are invested in the region, which has caused disrespect for central authority. In the past many people felt closer to Iraq than to Syria. Intelligence officers in the region developed the habit of running their own show, with few controls. Before the war, there was a long history of smuggling and ignoring the border, not only by the local population, but also by the various branches of the security apparatus. The spread of corruption made it very difficult for Damascus to impose its will on the region through orders from the capital.

The government banned non-Syrian Arabs from entering Abu Kamal, without specific permission, but this did not mean that they couldn’t get through. Smugglers could often find a way to help fighters in return for large sums of money. These people can ensure the entry of fighters to Baghdad either via the Euphrates River, or via the desert far from any observation. Both ways are easy for the inhabitants since they know the geography of the area. The river route is easier as it is an unofficial point of entry and empty of any checkpoint and far from civil observation. Swimming for two hours is enough to cross the border.
Local Feelings
I would like to add a new and important thing at the end. People in Abu Kamal are Muslim Sunni and they have a tribal belonging. In addition, they are attached to Iraq and have a high sense of belonging to it, which played an important role in pushing them to fight in Iraq. Many believed sincerely that Saddam Hussein as an Arab hero, who belonged to their tribes and traditions and who championed their interests. He spoke in their dialect and took special care with their tribal concerns, which Damascus often did not. Sneaking across the boarder for a person from the area is much easier than going to a Deir El-Zur, the capital of the Governorate, which is 125 km from Abu Kamal. When you enter some of Abu Kamal shops, you see photos of people from Abu Kamal hanging on the walls. They are even posted in the streets. They are people who died in Iraq, fighting along side their cousins.

Is Syria to Blame for Suicide Bombings in Iraq
Americans and Iraqis have always accused Syria of encouraging foreign fighters to go into Iraq across the border. Last week, the Iraqi Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi claimed that Syria was providing training camps for Jihadists and helping them to cross the border with booby–trapped cars. He insisted that nine-tenths of all suicide bombers in Iraq were foreign fighters and that most came through Syria. Two days later, 6 Iraqis from his own clan of the Dulaimi confederation of Ramadi blew themselves up in three Jordanian hotels, killing and wounding 200 innocent Jordanians and Syria’s most famous movie producer, Moustapha Akkad. To Syrians it is clear that Iraqi officials are trying to blame Syria for their own failings and an internal Iraqi situation that they have no means of controlling and do not seem to understand. They cannot even control their own families.

Time Line of Syrian Cooperation
This does not mean that Syria has been totally innocent. If we are to draw a time line of Syrian cooperation on the border, we can say that during the first months of the war, Syria did actively encourage militants to go to Iraq. By May and June of 2003, this policy changed, due to American pressure and Syria's realization that it would not itself be invaded by America. During much of 2004, there was no active support by the government, but local officials did little to hurt the local smugglers and population who were sympathetic to the cause of the Iraqi resistance or involved in corrupt practices. Some local officials were also involved in this corruption, making it difficult for the government to bring it under control.

By 2005 and particularly after the murder of Hariri, when US pressure intensified, more and more security officials were sent to the Abu Kamal region to set up road blocks and to police the corrupt officials. Many people from the region who traveled to Iraq to fight during the first months of the war, and subsequently returned, have been arrested or are followed and scared by the secret police.

Over the last four or five months, the security presence in the region has been vastly increased and the local population has become too scared to even think about smuggling people into Iraq. During the spring, one still heard people in the region boast about the money they had made by helping foreigners get to Iraq. This is no longer the case. Everyone is frightened and the tribal shaykhs have warned their people to follow the law and be careful.

We cannot say that there is absolutely no infiltration across the border by foreign fighters today, but what does take place must be done very secretly and with great skill. It also must cost the fighter many thousands of dollars. The American campaign on the Iraqi side of the border during the last several months has also created much fear among the Syrians of the border towns. A number of local inhabitants have been killed by American fire across the border. People from the region are scared of the Americans and of their own secret police.

The Syrian measures have stopped many from sneaking across, but it requires cooperation and liaison at the American end. There are still almost no Iraqi or American border guards and this is two and a half years after the American invasion. America has many more resources than Syria. Many believe that if the US really believed infiltrators from Syria were a major source of the violence in Iraq, they would have found a way staff their side of the border and would cooperate with Syrians. Nothing is impossible, and these things are can be accomplish.

Today, Syrians are frightened that their country will become like Jordan, a target for Iraqi terrorists and extremists; they are also frightened that more Syrians will be killed by Americans soldiers. Even worse, they worry that their government is being targeted by America though the Security Council and this will eventually increase the instability in the region. When Americans say that Syria is not cooperating on the Iraq border, this is not true. Either the Americans do not know what is happening at the border or they refuse to admit that Syria is helping them. If there are still fighters infiltrating into Iraq through Abu Kamal, they must be very few, smart and rich.

Abdullah Al-Ta’i

Also See "Living, and dying, for one's country," by Sami Moubayed on a smiliar topic. He ends his article with this:

The fact the suicide bombers in Amman were all Iraqi citizens proves that Iraq is no longer an importer of terrorism, as Bush accused it of being under Saddam Hussein. It has now become a leading manufacturer and exporter of terrorism. As with Afghanistan under the Taliban, it is a base from which al-Qaeda can train troops, launch operations and destabilize both Iraq and its Arab neighbors.

In April 2004, a group of terrorists who had been to Iraq crossed the border into Syria and launched a terror attack at a UN building in Damascus. In June this year, Kuwait caught militants trying to smuggle explosives into the country from Iraq. After meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak this month, Iraqi National Security Advisor Mouwafaq al-Rabii accused Damascus of facilitating the influx of foreign fighters through its borders to fight the Americans in Iraq. He said, "We don't have the slightest doubt that nine out of 10 suicide bombers are Arabs that cross the border from Syria."

Yet Iraq is in a shambles because some Iraqis, Saddam's leftovers and Zarqawi's terrorists, do not want Iraq to become a pro-Western democracy. Syria happens to be located at the crossroads, and happens to share very long borders with Iraq (605 kilometers). The number of eloquent Syrians who can convincingly defend its stance and plead innocence is very limited, and given that Damascus is still ruled by the Ba'ath Party, it's even easier to accuse Syria of working with ex-Iraqi Ba'athist officials.

154 Comments:

At 11/17/2005 06:29:00 AM, Blogger Abu Arab said...

Thanks to the US occupation and the new appointed so called democratice government??, Iraq now needs no more foreign fighters. After two years and half of living in democracy, Iraq now has a flod of fighters and is now exporting them abroad.
So far the Iraqi fighters reached Jordan and who knows where else they could reach.
The US & UK and the failing Iraqi government have to blam themselves for what is happening in our region. Syria has nothing to do with it.

 
At 11/17/2005 07:02:00 AM, Blogger BP said...

READ THE TRUTH ABU ARAB!!!!!!!!!


France has been in the spotlight over the last few weeks for its apparent lack of offering opportunities to the minorities and accusations of racism. Furthermore minorities are said to be isolated and neglected. A person who does not know France better will believe these many accusations and probably sympathize with the “suffering minorities”. I have spent many of the best years of my life in Paris … the capital of history, culture, and secularism. Before I go any further let me quote a very relevant part of the constitution of France. It clearly states “France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion. It shall respect all beliefs.” During my years in Paris this part of the constitution was exercised fully by every citizen in the country. French people would welcome me into their homes, acquaint me with their rich culture and even help me master their language. This is the France I know and the France I love.


When a great civilization like this is blatantly accused of “racism” it completely shocks anyone who has experienced the freedom and racial equality of this great nation. In any country in the world there are always those who are under privileged. However, to accuse a nation of total injustice is extreme and unfair. In many cases many of those protesting the apparent discrimination in France don’t want to integrate into this great civilization, nor do they try to achieve a better life in a country of opportunity. They would rather benefit from a generous social security system that offers them a fairly acceptable life-style. When an individual decides to embark on a new life in another country they should try to accept and adapt to this new culture, values and life-style rather than impose their own on this new country that has welcomed them.


If people decide not to integrate the least they can do, out of respect for the host nation, is not try to change the culture and beliefs of the country. Rather than choosing a path of violence and destruction immigrants should benefit from some of these great countries they call home. My cherished memories of France are still fresh today. Shortly after my arrival I clearly remember being familiarized with three key words relating to everything French “Liberte, equalite, Fraternite” (Liberty, Equality and Fraternity). Inspite of what some may say, this belief stands valid today and France will stand the test of the rough times it is going through.

Vive La France!

 
At 11/17/2005 07:45:00 AM, Blogger Freedom4Syria said...

I will be making the case for the need to change the regime in Syria. And to explain why for the United States it is not an option any more but a necessity. For unless the regime in Syria is changed and the peculiar balance in the Middle East is restored, the situation will be increasingly worse in Iraq and everywhere else.
The invasion of Iraq and the ending of the Sunni minority dominance over the Shi’ia majority in that country disrupted a certain balance in the region that was keeping things under control for a long time.
One cannot ignore the fact that the anticipated Shi’ia control of a future Iraq has a tremendous risk for the West. For even though at the moment the Ayatollahs of Iraq are cooperating to some extent with the US, the future will prove that at one point after they guarantee that they have a good control over Iraq they will turn to their Shi’ia brethren in Iran and forge an alliance with them. Of course this alliance already exists but is not in the interest of both parties to make it known.
On the other hand Syria and Iran have already forged a very strong alliance since the 1980s. A Shi’ia offshoot minority that controls a country of a Sunni majority after all rules Syria. And finally there is the Hezbollah in Lebanon, another Shi’ia power that is heavily armed and has a strong alliance with both the Shi’ia in Iran and Syria.
So one can see without much difficulty that the United States has knowingly or unknowingly created a Shi’ia axis that extend from Tehran to South Lebanon. And this axis that cannot be anything but an “Axis of Evil” will turn against the US and fight every interest of the West in the Middle East. And this very axis will eventually turn its eyes on the Gulf states where there is a sizeable Shi’ia minority that could be mobilized and inspired to create its own independent state in a region that supply most of the Oil that the West and the US depend on. Finally this Axis will turn to Israel at which point a nuclear war is a very possible scenario, especially with Iran pursuing nuclear ambitions.
So how would changing the Syrian regime restore the balance? The answer is simple. Changing the Syrian regime or more specifically removing the Shi’ia Alwis from power and helping a moderate secular Sunni ascension to power in that country will essentially disrupt the Axis that is forming now. Such a change will install in Damascus a new government that is friendly to the US and at odds with the Shi’ia of Iraq and Iran, as well as ending all help and support to Hezbollah that comes from Syria.
The United States should not believe in or depend on any promises given by the current Syrian regime about any of the issues, be it the support of terrorism as embodied in entities like Hezbollah or promises about democracy.
On a recent travel to Syria it was interesting to see how many portrait of Mr. Hasan Nassrallah (the head of Hezbollah) were displayed on cars and shops, mainly where the Alawis live. For me that was a sign of how deep and important this Shi’ia alliance was for the Syrian regime. For the mere fact that the regime allowed portrait of someone other than Assad and his family to be displayed publicly is very telling.

 
At 11/17/2005 08:08:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

very deep racism ahhhh i mean analysis went into that last comment

 
At 11/17/2005 08:17:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

BP, Well done. Arabs are in denial and refuse to acknoledge that we have a lot to learn from western civilization. Regrettably, the fact that they practice a different religion could well be the main culprit. The Arab world views western civilizations with a confused sense of suspicion, envy, fear and jealousy. There will inevitably be subsequent and very quick attacks on these comments and the so-called decadance and racism of the west.

As to Dr. Landis's main story, there are good reasons to believe that the role of Iraq's foreign insurgents is exaggurated. Two months ago, a major offensive on the insugent-held city of Tal Afar, close to the Syrian Border resulted in 200 insurgent deaths, and the capture of nearly 1000 suspects. But none of them were from foreign countries, the Washington Post reported. Having said this, Bashar's initial policy of supporting the insurgency was a fatal error in judgement. Shockingly, he amplified his tragic mistakes by pushing for Lahoud's new term and the rest is history. When you lead a nation close to 20 million people and make such monumental errors in judgement, it is simply unnatural for you to be able to carry on like nothing has happened. Instead, he tries to convince his citizens and the world that his country is targeted and that this is a conspiricy against his nation. Sadly, a significant number of people are buying it.

Freedom4Syria makes an excellent point higlighting the relevence of the Iran axis. A sunni western educated technocrat backed by a professional Army General would be a dream scenario for the U.S. Administration.

 
At 11/17/2005 08:39:00 AM, Blogger Abu Arab said...

BP,

Thank you for your polite response.

I can not just accept your personal expereince and ignor the expierence of 3 million living in france. Equality, Freedom is something that has proved to be applicable only on the white French and not others.

It also depends on how far the minorities can adapt. Freedom should mean freedom of faith. Can you please tell me what the Muslim head cover (Hijab) has to do with the French freedom? Can we ask the Christians in Syria to hide their cross, because this hurts others' feelings?

Immigrants in france are no longer guests, they are French. They also want France and the French to integrarte some of their values and culture or at least accept it. It's impossible to get rid of your skin just because you live in Paris.

Moving on to Syria. When you compare what's happening to the minorities in other third world countries especially Africa, we will soon realize that minorities in Syria are living in Heaven. At least the Syrian President belong to a minority Alawet, but he is an Arab. that's what's important here.

Look at the Kurds in Iraq, they behave in a way that Iraq means nothing to them, their only concern is Kurdistan and oil. Syrian leaders should not allow this example to be repeated in Syria, otherwise the intrests of the Majority and other minorities will be wasted.

If you apply what you've mentioned in your comment about the what immigrants in France in terms of integration and accepting the host country's rules, then Kurds, Christians and other minorities in Syria, should integrate and respect the majorities rules. Why can't the Kurds accept to speak Arabic in schools. or do they expect us to speak Kurdy rather than Arabic, and likewise the French speak Arabic rather than French.

The TRUTH IS that we need to go back to the history of th region during the Islamic Empire period where non-muslim minorities had to pay tax for living in the Muslim's land?

End

 
At 11/17/2005 09:03:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Freedom for syria said:
"I will be making the case for the need to change the regime in Syria. And to explain why for the United States it is not an option any more but a necessity"

We known that for some time (few decades), we tried hard and harder. No one listening. The sad part is nothing will be changed, so we stoped the effort.

So if you have time, keep on trying, thanks for the effort and new energy.

 
At 11/17/2005 10:15:00 AM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

Just a short comment on the notion "Is Syria to Blame for the Sucied bombings in Iraq"....

Who is fooling who????

1- Zaarqawi operates in Iraq with strong connections in Jordan, right? That is if he is not infliterated or encouraged by we can guess who.
2- You have millions of members of the "cleverly" dispanded Iraqi Army with tons of munitions at thier desposal. Right?
3- Iraq has a long long border with Iran and many Iraqies are very close to Tehran.Right?
4- Saudi also has the same long boarder with Iraq, and if terrorsists can operate with a certain degree of freedom in Riyadh, they can also manage inflitrations into Iraq. One can assume so. Right?
5- The Mossad is documented to be operating in Iraq (actually it would stupid for the Mossad NOT to operate in Iraq given Israel's self interest) and is hence capable of organizing violent attacks, either directely and oppenly in collaberation withy many, or of carrying out "false-flage" operations where the sucide bombers think they are acting for some one else. If the Brits were caught red handed in duopious military acts,the Mossad should not be expected to be less enterprising. Right?
6- Bush has an agenda against Syria and Syria's roll in the region that needs to be legetimized to the US and the World's public opinion at any cost. He and his administration have repeatedly "miss-represented" the facts on many issues be it Iraq, Afghanistan, Al Qaida, Guantanamo, the US budget, and the list is endless. So, a little more "miss representationtan" would not be too much to expect. Right?
7- Syria is a very good ally of Iran, if Iran has thought that Syria was behind such suicide attacks the victims of which are mostly civilian shee'ats, one would expect Iran to express its displeasure to Syria. Right?


Does the above give a resemblance of a realistic answer to the question wether Syria is behind such atacks???

The problem is that a lot of people have turned off either thier brains or thier concience? Why would any one expect us all to do the same, we are " stupid Arabs", but not that stupid really..!! the majority any way are not regardless of how it appears on the surface...

 
At 11/17/2005 10:30:00 AM, Blogger Nafdik said...

Abu Arab,

Your comment that minrities in Syria should integrate like immigrants do in France omits one important fact.

These minorities have lived in Syria for a long time, some earlier than the majority Sunnis. They have no duty to integrate into a host country, since they are in THEIR country.

The government should respect and protect all segments of its society. Otherwise the unprotected will rightly want to seperate from the majority.

Of course this not only a Syrian problem, Catholics in Irland, Basques in Spain, Francophones in Canada and Tchechen in Russia are examples of this problem.

A successful nation has to reach a political compromise between the desire for coherence and the rights of minorities.

 
At 11/17/2005 10:38:00 AM, Blogger Nafdik said...

Freedom4Syria makes a very compelling analysis on the Shia axis.

It is interesting and telling that the most secular government in the middle east will have as its only ally the most theocratic.

Suppose Syria was controlled by a conservative sunni muslim movement, some sort of Ikhwan 2.0, would that it have less or more affinity with a conservative Shia movement in Iraq?

 
At 11/17/2005 10:51:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Nafdik, good question. My view? Nice and dandy while the Americans (Kuffar) are around, and all hell will break loose after they are gone.

 
At 11/17/2005 10:52:00 AM, Blogger Abu Arab said...

Ausamaa,

I strongly agree with you, you have touched the point that many can't see.

part of these suspicious attacks especially on Shia'ts were not just to inflame the divisions, which already exist now between Iraqies.

This will strongly support the Israeli agenda in the region, by dividing Iraq and later on Syria and maybe Saudi Arabia into contradicted tiny states where Israel is the largest and the strongest among them.

 
At 11/17/2005 11:23:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Here we go again, to the favourite past time sport of blaming Israel for everything. The Mossad is in Iraq bombing Shias and Americans so that Syria can be undermined. Cut it out, please. You use circular logic. We have inept leaders constantly making idiotic mistakes. Isreal will of course benefit as a result. Because they benefit, our brains immediately rush to the conclusion that, aha, the Mossad must be behind it.

 
At 11/17/2005 11:49:00 AM, Blogger Nafdik said...

What I find most amusing is that we are so sure of the incompetence of Arab leaders and groups, that whenever something works it is Mossad.

eg Only the mossad posseses the means to kill Hariri or blow up the Trade Center.

I suspect that the reason we love to blame Israel, the US, etc for our woes is that it makes us feel powerless and sice we are powerless we are not responsible.

Let us admit that we are 95% responsible for having such inept leaders, for our civil wars, for wasting our natural resources, etc, and the we might have a chance to improve our lot.

 
At 11/17/2005 12:02:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Presumably, the only reason the recent Amman bombing did not get blamed on the Mossad is because one of them did not work?

 
At 11/17/2005 12:39:00 PM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

Ok Gentelemen, thank you for enlightening all of us and bringing us to the following conclusions:

1- The US administration is doing all this in the interest of Democracy, Freedom and for the love of the people of the middle east, the Greater one, that is.
2-Israel and the Mossad are not medling in the affairs of the region. If they are medling, then it is only to take advantage of the "Grave" mistakes of Syria.
3- The Middle East is not a 'prize' that many powers are after. And those powers have always had the interests of the Arabs very close to thier hearts.
4- The western powers are also keen on having us do good things to ourselves such as Progress, Freedome, Democracy, civilized societies, .. you know..., all the good things that you can hear our good friend President Bush advocate whenever a TV camera is around.
5- Syria is a sectarian, oppresive, backward, and a country on the edg of "imploding" after it so shamelessly killed Al Hariri and robbed poor inocent Lebanon of its verginity and the $40 billion General Aoun is "really" worried about.
6- Syria did not commit mistakes which any country defiant to the west can make under the pressures it was continuously subjected to, no, no,no, Syria is a rouge country since the Baath took over in 1963. No actually, it is a bad apple since independence.
7- Syria has not been in the cross hairs of the US, France and Britan since the first coupe in the fiftees. Maybe Bashar al Assad also helped organize that coupe then!
8-Sykes Picot, the Balfour Declaration, the Baghdad Pact, Clean Break and the agenda of the new cons, are all creations of the usual suspicious and conspiratorial mind. And, ahhh, finally, Mr. Mehlis is a clean and unbiased German judge who has not issued issued a childish speculative incomplete report which can be used to blackmail Syria into obedience, and he is definitly unlike that Australian guy who sowre by his mother that Saddam had Chemical, Biological and Nuclear weapons in Iraq which provided the "iron-clade" justification for invading and democratizing Iraq.

Now that I admit to "seeing the light" and while thanking the "unbiased" and "enlighted" soles who object to my previous stand, observations and remarks, I take the chance to congratulate all those "smart", "history-reading", openminded EXPERTS on thier success in convincing me of all the above and I humbly admit to my ignorance. To them I again extend my thanks for making me see the light with thier balanced, informative, and good intentioned posts.


P.S., Only problem you guys have got is that you have managed to convert me, but you still have twenty million Syrians to work on, not to say the whole Arab people, and not to mention the US public opinion even.... Mabrook and good luck with converting them....

 
At 11/17/2005 12:44:00 PM, Blogger Abu Arab said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/17/2005 12:49:00 PM, Blogger Ghassan said...

I agree with you Nafdek. EVERYTHING is being blamed on someone else because we feel inferior and we are willing to take responsibility! If Syria did not kill Hariri, why it is not cooperating? Why didn't it start its own investigation while it was controlling Lebanon?

The government officials care about their positions and thrones more than about the people whom it governs. Why the Syrians are losing their life saving (the Syrian Lira lost more than 15% since Hariri was assassinatd) and later will be subjected to sanctions just because of the mistake of the rulers?

When officials admit mistakes then the country will move forward, otherwise it will go backward!

 
At 11/17/2005 02:45:00 PM, Blogger RM said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/17/2005 03:00:00 PM, Blogger RM said...

Since the Omayade times, the sunni have held power in the land of Syria.

The current Syrian regime has been using Arabism to give itself much needed -- but no where to be found -- legitimacy.

Please, can anyone answer me why the Syrian regime -- this great arab regime -- is not resisting in the Golan heights?????

 
At 11/17/2005 03:17:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/17/2005 03:20:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

Ehsani2

In contrast with your usually informed comments, I find your analysis of the Sunni-Shia tensions in Iraq to be very misinformed.

You claim that we Arabs are basically conspiracy-theorists, and that such conflicts are the doings of our inept leaders.

Probably I should remind you that it's in the US and Israel's SUPREME advantage that a civil war breaks out in Iraq, based on the "Divide & Conquer" strategy.

Also, I will remind you of the British MI6 agents who where caught shooting at Iraqi police in a Shia area, while dressed as Arabs. This is just a tiny bit of the iceberg of US and UK terrorist activities against Shia and Sunnis to inflame the civil war.

The paper "A Clean Break" provides some pointers as to what these bastards have in store for the region: they want Hashemite control of Iraq after removing Saddam (this was in '96). Also, they wanted to roll-back Syria, which they for the most part have succeeded in doing (out of Lebanon, isolated).

Aiding and abetting such behavior by Arabs only makes them partners in the crime being hatched. It's funny that even Israel doesn't want Bashar to go down, whereas Bolton wants to 'kick his ass'.
I personally think that 99% of the pressure on Syria is to reveal all their files on Hizbullah and leave it on its own. Lebanon is indeed becoming a US/France client state and is going to deal with Hizbullah confrontationally sooner or later.

Frankly, I would much rather have a 'Shia Axis' that is strong and pro-Arab, than an extremist and violent Ikhwan rule in Syria, and a drug-addicted sex-ring-cabal rulers in Lebanon (led by Hariri Jr.).

 
At 11/17/2005 03:26:00 PM, Blogger RM said...

DBlood:

The Alouite regime clean? The Alaouite regime strong? Maybe this is why Israel is ignoring you so much and Sharon the other said the Golan will never be returned.

A regime that is more violent than the Alaouite one? That his hard to find. The sunni of Syria are the least violent because historically they have occupied the cities and been close to the christians.

the Alalouites form an Ibn Khaldunian `assabyia and they are the one who have shown the greatest propensity to violence (Does Hama ring a bell???)

Anyway, this Syrian regime has messed up the land of Lebanon for too long a time and this is the first things you guys must recognize. The truth will soon come out anyway.

 
At 11/17/2005 03:35:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

BP

I am curious about your experience in France and am wondering if you can shed some light....

The French people that welcomed you and showed no racism--do you think that welcome unconditional? If at some get-together, instead of say toasting a glass of champagne with the group, what if you had declined and asked to pray the evening prayer in a different room--in your experience, do you think there would still be no racism??

Its my theory that maybe there is a welcome and no racism as long as the immigrant will concede his or her own culture or religious beliefs from the home country to that of the new country.

This isn't always the case. In America, Italian-Americans retain much of their culture, the same can be said for Mexican-Americans, Jews, and even Arab-Americans carving great communities in Michigan, NY and California.

But I only have theories about Europe in general, where if current projections hold, the 12.5 million Muslims may be the majority in 50? years or so. So its a very relavent and critical issue that Europe is facing and America will eventually face as well.

Concerning the riots, I think the youths in France are not willing to make that religious/cultural concession and hence are discriminated against. And I wonder what you can tell me about these famed suburbs in France. Are these the equivalents of American 'projects'? And do you have personal experience there or otherwise?

 
At 11/17/2005 03:56:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Freedom4Syria's astute case for regime change in Syria may very well be the main part of neocon argument for regime change!! Maybe that is why they are hell-bent on regime change.

The fact is that the Shiites in Iraw have been very much passivated by Aytoallah Sistani. If it wasn't for his non-violent views, we could easily have more bloodshed. And it is just a matter of time before the elderly Sistani will pass away giving more radical shiites free to make alliances with Iran and rail against America and Israel!

Yes the future looks quite bleak with nuclear Israel and potential nuclear 'Shi'aa axis' extending to Lebanon!

Insightful comments Freedom4Syria and I would agree with you that Bashar should be removed for this point, but I think the same effect would be achieved if the US just let up on him and would not force him into the arms of Iran. I think Bashar's alliance with Iran is one of neccessity and reality on the ground rather than ideology or common Shia background.

And yes Ehsani2, wouldn't America love it if a Syrian General Pervez Musharaff took over power in Syria? (I think they would prefer having the professional army general directly in power) It is interesting to note how Musharraf took power from former prime minister nawar sharif:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/475195.stm

It is also interesting to note how unstable Pakistan still is, and how most of Musharraf's countrymen can not stand their leader for his support of American foreign policy.

 
At 11/17/2005 03:58:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Every leader has the responsibilty to execute policies that advance the interests of his people and country at large. G.W.Bush has two broad prime objectives. He and every US president takes the oath to protect the American people and to improve and protect their standards of living. Note the word, "their" which refers to the American people. One of the major long term risks for the U.S. economy is the security and continued availability of crude oil and gas. It will be naive to think that the U.S. is not and will not have major influence in our region for years to come. Once you concur with this, one will have to ask what strategies and alliances would the U.S. make in this region. To simplify things, let us assume that you are the U.S. president. Would you rely and trust a nation that implicitly and explicitly undermines your policies and interests in the area? Or, would you instead rely and trust a nation that has done nothing but befirended your country since its creation?

Sir, It would fly in the face of sense and common logic for the U.S. not to support Israel and to instead advance the interests of people that publicly declare a jihad against it. I know what you are thinking; it is the U.S. policies towards Israel that make the Arabs angry. I would argue that the Arab world needs to accept the indisputable fact that America is there and will be there to protect its own interests and that it is time for us to work with it rather than against it. The problem is that the vast majority of our people think with their hearts (awatef) rather then with their heads. If I were Bashar, I would say the following:

1- The U.S. is now on my door step. They have built a $600 million embassy on a 99-year leased land in Baghdad. They are not therefore going away anytime soon.
2- I am the leader of a poor country with crumbling infrastructure and a broken economic system. I am surrounded by Israel from the south, turkey from the North and the American Army from the west. I am from a minority who is only able to stay in power because of draconian security measures and emergency laws.
3- Based on 1 and 2 above, it is time for me to take my nation into a new and uncharted territory. From now on, I will start betting on the winning horse just like my enemy Israel has done since 1948.

I will immediately send an army battalian to Iraq's Sunni Triangle to help restore law and order. Just like my father crushed the Ikhwan here, I will do the same there. I will even pick Asef to do it (he was leader of Mudahame division). America will be ecstatic. My next step would be to tell my people that our struggle with Israel is over. Even the palestinians themselves have thrown the towel. Why should I continue this facade?
I am now ready to ask the U.S. for a massive and credible amount of Fiancial Aid to help my nation. My country is the closest Arab nation to Europe. My second city, Aleppo, is a 30 minute drive from what could be an EU border in 10 years. Once they see their standards of living rise appreciably, my nation's facination with the slogans and empty promises of Arabism will soon dissapear as the old souqs are back to the old days of bustling business. My Tourism will skyrocket. My nation's GDP (both in PPP and nominal measure) will jump.

Abu Arab, I think our country has seen and heard enough nonsense. It is time to call the old games off! I have had enough

 
At 11/17/2005 04:00:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Israel's agenda does play many tricks in the middle east you must admit Ehsani2.

However I know where you are coming from, I hate the endless blame on Israel for our own problems and the lack of effort to actually do something about it. Some good friends of mine still believe the Mossad did 9/11 and the holocoust never happened etc etc A disgrace!

But Israel is an agressor and you better believe they are tending to what they believe their interests are in Iraq. And Syria and Lebanon. We are in a state of war after-all.

 
At 11/17/2005 04:30:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/17/2005 04:33:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Ehsani2--wow talk about throwing the towel!!

First of all it does not fly in the face of common logic for the US to support Israel. As an American, I am insulted by such a statement.

Befriending Israel and giving unlimited support to its policies has been the single most DISASTEROUS policy my nation's leaders have ever undertaken. Not only does it hurt us economically to give $2 billion/year to Israel--but this support has spawned the jihadis as we know them!! Now they are past Israel/Palestine and cannot be easily stopped. But it is America who lit the fuse. American has already paid with 9/11 and my citizens have to pay with animosity from the entire world--from Brazil to the Middle East to Europe.

But you say forget the past and don't argue with reality and protect our own interests. Well to refute each of your points:

1. Embassies don't mean a single thing. Ask Jimmy Carter about his experience with the Tehren Embassy and the results. (Carter not re-elected and Iran becomes theocracy) It would not take much to kick the Americans out of Baghdad too and i'll bet the insurgents are already promising and planning to do so.

2. I have cultivated friendly relations with Turkey, who has a strongly anti-American people. Let us remember the Turks refused American troops in their land due to popular will. Once the American Army leaves (which today the most Hawkish Democrat has called for exactly that in 1 year time) I will have a friendly government in Iraq to my east.

3. Based on 1 and 2 above, I will stick with my policies and wait out the Bush neo-con fiasco. They may very well be gone in large part from the region is 3 years. What remains are a people ever-stridently Anti-American.

You will immediatly send a battallion to Iraq---what? huh? Lets come back to reality where such would never ever happen. If it did, America would conisder it an invasion and proceed to attack and occupy Syria.

The palestinians have not thrown any towel--ask Hamas and ask Zaharia Zubeideh of Al-Aqsa Brigades. Ask Marwan Barghouti. They will never do such a thing. And any patriotic Syrian would never give up the Golan, yet Israel isn't giving it back so you have a conflict there. So the struggle is not over until Israel given back OCCUPIED territory.

Aleppo is a 1 hour 30 min from an EU border unless you are driving some kind of a Ferrari on steroids. Thats no problem, we had good relations with Europe before the Harirri affair and we will have good relations again.

And if you are relying on Americans to give massive help to Syria you are mistaken. It would take years to undue the hostility to Syria by American Senators. They would expect Syria give up the Golan for one--which Syrians will not do.

Basically, they would expect Syria to get down on all four legs and bark like a dog when American ordered--which it seems you are more than willing to do.

I love your economic analyisis, but where is your Syrian patriotism?? Under your leadership our country would be occupied by America or begging for its help--all for the mere promise of economic relief. It is a promise, a hope and absolutely no certainty and I see no reason why economic relief cannot take place more easily under our pre-Harirri path. Yes I realize the Harriri affair is a major monkey wrench, but not insurmountable.

 
At 11/17/2005 05:01:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

You keep on the Patriotism going. You keep on the false dreams of defeating Israel and taking back the Golan. You keep on resisting doing business with the world's economic and military superower. You keep the Unemployment rate of your country heading higher into uncharted territories. You keep dreaming of Carter and the insurgents defeating America. As for me I will look in the mirror and admit that it "A'int working" the way it is now. I "offer" the Americans help in Iraq, not "invade". I live once. I want my people to enjoy a high standard of living during their only visit to planet earth. Am I less honorable and patriotic than you because I "threw the towel". I believe in cutting my losses. I have had enough of lying to my people that we will somehow prevail. You stay patriotic and best of luck with your Jihad

 
At 11/17/2005 05:27:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Ehsani, you're right to point out that the foreigners are numerically insignificant, but they are politically significant. Most of the suicide bombers are foreigners. And it these those suicide bombers who are pushing for civil war.

Abu Arab, before commenting on a country where you never lived, I would like to point out that there are one million people from Asian background in France, and they don't burn cars and shout 'buddha akbar'. Second of all, the main problem of the Arabs is that they refuse to learn the French culture. I've seen so many third generation Arab in France who can barely speak the French language. Under these conditions, it is normal that they don't find a job and are excluded from the society. Racisim exist but is not very important in France. The exclusion from the Arabs comes from them and their mixed feelings of hatred and jealousy against everything that's not Arab. And from what I read, you're as jingoistic as them.

 
At 11/17/2005 05:30:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

By 'integrate', Abu Arab means 'ethnically or culturally cleansed', something that is very consistend with his fascist ideology also known as 'Arab nationalism'.

 
At 11/17/2005 05:36:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Ausama, you got it right,


Abu Arab you say that "Israel security is on the top of the wolrd agenda, including the UN.
"

It's also on top of the agenda of Hezbollah and most Arab countries. They must be part of the zionist conspiracy.

 
At 11/17/2005 05:43:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Ehsani2

Don't go implying I am on some kind of "Jihad".

Just because you could not respond to my arguments with anything but your own personal inclinations with no substance gives you no right to throw in that cheap shot in the end. Really I expected better from you.

For the record:

The golan will be taken back. It was nearly back with the elder Assad just a few years ago. Are you blind to that? Are you blind that there are UN resolutions demanding Israel give back our land? And we know how the US suddenly loves UN resolutions so its just a matter of time. You go ski on the Israeli side of Golan because it is in your best interests, while I will endure for a while yet I am sure in my lifetime I will be snowboarding down Syrian mountains in the Syrian Golan.

I fear the insurgents will defeat American everyday and have nightmares not dreams about it. Yet I think I am astute enough to realize America created these same insurgents we are fighting and it is only a matter of time before America pulls out of Iraq and the insurgents will claim victory. Don't turn me into an insurgent-supporter because of that. Thats Bush/Cheney level thinking.

Your offer of "help" in Iraq would be refused and interpreted as a straight invasion by the US. Thats exactly my point and what you just don't seem to get: America will not interpret anything in Syria's favor--they would say its an invasion just because they can. They will not help you and thats why I say you simply don't live in reality. I fear you just don't understand American politics.

Are you less patriotic for throwing the towel? For not realizing we are in a struggle against Israel? Well thats a matter of opinion, but let me give you a hint to mine:

Was Petain less patriotic for "throwing the towel" and helping create Vichy France because obviously Nazi Germany was entrenched in France and its in France's best interest to collaberate with them.

Or maybe some guy named Nelson Mandela was a fool for resisting and struggling until the injustice called Arpatheid was undone. Just like Syrians struggle to get back the Golan. Just like Palestinians struggle to have their own state.

Our struggle against Israel injustly taking our land is a righteous struggle just like the struggle against Apartheid and the struggle against Nazism. Yes not in magnitude of course, but it is an injustice nonetheless and therefore in principle I will compare them.

But I am glad to note public opnion is firmly on my side as you are the first Syrian I have met online or in the 'real world' that wants to give up on the Golan and lay down for Israel.

Well there is Farid Ghadry, but I have not had the 'honor' of meeting him just yet.

 
At 11/17/2005 05:57:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

The U.S. Has a strategic long term plan for the region.
The U.S. is biased towards Israel
The U.S. will undermine and nation that stands against its interests.
The U.S. policy makers are controlled by a powerful Jewish Lobby.
The U.S is not fair in the way it treats Arabs.
The U.S. is only interested in itself and the state of Israel.
The U.S. invaded Iraq to secure the oil field and not to promote democracy.
The U.S. controls the U.N. and is pushing Mehlis's agenda.
The U.S. is targetting Syria because it wants it carry out its program in the region.
The U.S wants to divide the Arabs into Sunnis, Shias and Kurds.
The U.S. and Israel's Mossad acoordinate on all security and military matters.
The U.S. is EVIL.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? WHAT IS YOUR CONCRETE PLAN BESIDES REPEATING THE SAME LIST OVER AND OVER?

You want to fight with what? Do you a counter plan to theirs? Is it working? Are you better off now than since 1948 when you declared war against the creation of Israel? Are you better off now since Nasser and the Baathists offered their brand of resistence and patriotism? Are you better off since the brilliant jihadists decided to go after the Devil on their own turf? Are you better off with Sharia and Islam as the next alternative brand of resistence? Are you financially capable of even delivering food to the vast majority of your people before you go on a scud and Mig shopping spree?

FOR GODSAKE, CUT IT OUT! STOP THE BLAME GAME! Of course everything listed above is right. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN BESIDES EMPTY SLOGANS AND UNREALISTIC PLANS AND LIES. I offered you my plan. Struggles are won with people who believe in the cause and who are capable of delivering to the cause.
My interest is the economic well being of my nation. This is it. The past mistakes of Palestinians and Arab politians are not to be paid for by our current population and citizens . We owe them a better education, a better standard of living. They will soon leave planet earth having heard nothing but the same calls for sacrifice, honor and patriotism. You are no Jihadi! Enjoyed the Discussion

 
At 11/17/2005 06:11:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

EHSANI2 said:
"You keep on the false dreams of defeating Israel and taking back the Golan".

This is not about, and should not be about defeating Israel or other states in the region. This is about restoring property rights. It is hard for you to understand that. You may have not owned land for generation and lost it. Jews did, so as Golani's. I tell you from my own experience, that land lost and taken away from you is like your child lost or taken away from you. And it hurts to see those aggressors using it and making a living of it and never pay you anything ever. Machiavelli, understood how important this is. Although he advocated just about anything evil is permissible and possible against opponents, the one thing he stated that should not be done to your opponent, is to take his land. Shah Pahlavi did not heed this, and the Mullah got after and rid of him. Assad and his Alawites did not heed this either and despite repeated requests to correct this, they ignored Machiavellian rule number one.

As to Israel being a supper power and a dream to fight it. Some news for you, I have better technologies and more potent than the Israeli or American got. if fact Israeli stole through sophisticated espionage all my technologies. I learned about Israeli espionage activities in America long before the CIA and other learned about it and discovered means and methods of Mossad. Stole it, no problem, got newer and better one and so as the Iranians. Check my site www.orontes.net

Plans developed by SSPRS estimates, it will take 3 hours to liberate the Golan Heights from the Israeli and the front army is hot-pants (pink and Black) Tuxedos wearing girls, holding trays of Crystals. Please, don’t tell me they will use Nukes, I know the answer for that, but would not tell it to you, will just refer you to the Christian Book of Revelation and say, they probably will, and Two Third of this planet will suffer, according to the Holy Book, one of the very few if not the only book that is in fact inspired and not faked by Amen-Marduk. (notably it’s writer is also the only one we have evidence on his existence )

Now you know why the world’s is in desperate attempt to keep Bashar and his Baath in power for another 40 years. But I know something the moron’s of the world don’t. I know for a fact that Assad’s and his Alawites are devout Syrian Nationalists (forget about that Arab Nationalism crap, that is just for domestic consumption). They will never sell out Syria and Syria’s interests to no one. Morons that have hopped and are hopping to get them to do just that are banging their empty head on a solid wall made up of steel and concrete.

It pays to be a strategist. You just watch dummies do your work, inch by inch.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. AND PEACE IS THE BEST PLAN. LIVING WITHOUT WALLS IS SSPRS PREFERRED PLAN FOR THE MIDDLE EAST FUTURE.

 
At 11/17/2005 06:15:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Forgot to sign the above comment

Metaz K.M. Aldendeshe
Syrian Republican Party
www.ssprs.com
web-media@ssprs.com

www.orontes.net

Watch in the near future for the re-launch of American Art Publisher website at:

www.americanartpublisher.us

 
At 11/17/2005 07:28:00 PM, Blogger Nafdik said...

Note that the Ehsani plan of helping the US in Iraq was the plan of our Eternal Leader in the last Iraqi war.

For that we got control over Lebanon Alshaqiq.

 
At 11/17/2005 08:23:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

That is exactly right. Had junior done the same as senior.......oh well

 
At 11/17/2005 08:28:00 PM, Blogger Yabroud said...

The US should do something about the reactionary regime in Saudi Arabia before anything else. It is the Saudi Regime that is the real Evil of the world. Just read this recent story that took place in Saudi Arabia. This is one tiny story that gives an example of the US allies in the region.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/world/20051114-015138-3548r.htm

 
At 11/17/2005 09:58:00 PM, Blogger Hadad said...

Rise up, o people of Syria, to reclaim your right to live in dignity and freedom.

Long live Syria!

 
At 11/17/2005 11:16:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

I do not know where some writers are living ,is,nt the US who was calling after the fall of Baghdad for (GO LEFT POLICY)to invade Syria and if that is the case does,nt Syria have the right to defend itself by making the American buisy in Iraq,about the Golan ther is a treaty between Syria and Israel and Syria houners it,s obligation thinking that with a treaty well hounerd by Syria Israel will recognise that a peace treaty with Syria will be in it,s interest,but i think Syria is proven wrong ,the only languege Israel understand is force ,that was proven in south Lebanon which Israel leftunder fire as they did from Gazza so Syria should ignite the Golan Hights and le us remember that Israel is still there because the arab /Israeli wars were never long enough to affect the Israeli economy and that should change ,some people asked Bashar to his father,s deeds and help the American ,ther is a dfference ,when syria sided with the US to liberate Kuwait it was to liberate not to occupy an arab country ,If the US and president Bush want to win in Iraq they should change their policy and promise Syria economic assistant and the return of the full Golan Hights ,in reurn Syria will withdrow it,s troops from the Golan and help the American in Iraq especialy that people in congress are asking to leave Iraq and about 57% of american are weary of thee president leadership,i know that Syria does not have a majer rule in Iraq,s insurgency but i hope Syria will get the credit when the Americans leave.

 
At 11/18/2005 01:21:00 AM, Blogger Nafdik said...

I agree with Norman that Israel only understands the language of force.

Too bad that our beloved leaders have focused their military strategy on protecting their palaces against us. So we are left helpless when Israeli planes fly over our country.

 
At 11/18/2005 04:46:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Vox,

Small correction, Mount Lebanon had some "sort" of autonomy during the Ottoman Empire, not today's geographical Lebanon. I am not here to argue whether Lebanon should or shouldn’t be part of Syria. Because the simple fact is: Lebanon is an independent country!!! Sure it was part of greater Syria but so was half or Iraq, quarter of Turkey etc. etc. i don’t see too many sane Syrians calling for Mosul to return to Syria. I also don’t believe Hafez Al Assad wanted to make Lebanon part of Syria. Control for as long as possible yes, annex NO.

Now back to your earlier argument.

“I partially agree with Shamee27. A devout Muslim and a Lebanese Christian (secular or not) have nothing in common, but there's little difference between a really secular Syrian and a secular Lebanese. The only thing is that there's not a lot of secular Syrians and Lebanese, which means that there's a lot of differences between Syria and Lebanon.”

You seem to be over looking a glaring contradiction here. If what you say is correct then a Muslim Lebanese has more in common with a Syrian Muslim than his Christian countryman and vice-versa, so in a strange way your argument supports the notion that the citizens of both countries share the same ideology and hence the same…well a lot. Your attempt to be fair and bias is noted but you don’t have to read too deep between the lines to see that you view things through Christians vs. Muslims eyes, where you feel Christians are better (secular or not). Which puts you on the “fundamentalist” camp, whether you view yourself as secular or not.

I tend to believe that a devout Syrian Christian shares more with a devout Lebanese Muslim than you would like to believe. They share a lot of the same habits, language, food, they even hate each other’s religion with the same passion. And I truly believe that Lebanon and Syria are as close as any two countries can come. We only need to remind some of the Syrian nationalists that they are really TWO countries.

Even though the reality on the ground dictates that religion is a great divider, internally and externally. We need to govern the two countries, by force if needed, on the basis of equality.

 
At 11/18/2005 05:28:00 AM, Blogger Abu Arab said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/18/2005 06:20:00 AM, Blogger Abu Arab said...

Aussama,
Thank you again, many people need to read our history carefully.

At least syrians read alot of the region's history at school.

I would like to point out that Mr. Fouad Saniora, while replying to Assad's speech, he said, (Long live French Culture, Long live French Civilization) ??

In return, we should expect some French officials to say long live Arab culture???

 
At 11/18/2005 08:30:00 AM, Blogger Karfun said...

--> Abu Arab

In return they would say correctly:
Long Live Lebanese Culture.

By the way, Sanioras style was fine and polite, so he deserve and will get an answer from civilisated president.

God bless Lebanon and its people.

 
At 11/18/2005 10:12:00 AM, Blogger Nafdik said...

In response to Abu Arab, you seem to be saying that there are 2 camps:

- Jihadis
- Pro West

You forgot that there are 2 more camps:

- Nationalist:
Which itself can be devided into:
a) Arabist
b) Regionalist (Souria Alkoubra)
c) Statist (for lack of a better term)
- Humanist
Meaning less emphasis on ideology of groups and more on the well being of individual citizens

The Nationalist has been tested and tarnished by our history in the last 30 years, so we seem now split between Jihadist which is a recepie for a lot of pain for a long time and the liberal humanists.

Unfortunately the Jihadists (and I include in those christain groups like the Lebanese Forces) are winning today.

 
At 11/18/2005 10:21:00 AM, Blogger Abu Arab said...

NAFDIK,

please don't make assumptions, i did not say anything like that,

I mean, those who have influance and power now are Jihadists & the Wests.

 
At 11/18/2005 11:48:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Where the hell did all of these new posters come from?

As for Karfun, at one time, you sounded like me, but then, you changed!

I do not discuss the Assad Regime any more. It seems to me that the US is going to save it. I need to go back to do more important things than to worry about the stupid Syrian people, their ugly regime, and their stupid so called opposition!

Oppositions still want to live in the past so called Arab "glory", and want to fight the "bad" imperilaism and Zionism. Stupid people deserve stupid and retarded regimes such as the Assad's one.

JAM

 
At 11/18/2005 11:57:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/18/2005 12:01:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

JAM,
You can not give up at this crucial time. Because read the next comment to
Abu Arab:
He said: "I mean, those who have influence and power now are Jihadists & the West’s".

That is crappy and superficial statement. Neither are in control and both at loggerhead at each others. Already signs of despaire is showing on both, not to mention failure. They are exhausted and both have no place to go except go home. They are both dead ender.

The only way one of them can progress is to take the Nationalists and the oppositions agenda and platform. Otherwise they will soon go home to the West and Arabia.

 
At 11/18/2005 12:07:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

"Those who have influence and power now are jihadists and the west".

What are you talking about?

Jihadists have power?
Power to do what? Live underground and bomb? Send men and women to heaven through martydom? Power to terrorize their population unless everyone follows their agenda?

Jihadists have influence?
Their only influence was to make it easier for America to do whatever it wishes under the banner of "war on terror". The brilliant Jihadi strategists made sure their attacks on the great satan was the easiest way for America to come into the region.

When an entity has power and influence, one has to examine its financial and economic resources. One has to examine its ability to execute its agenda effectively.

Jihadists have the poewer and influence?

CUT IT OUT

 
At 11/18/2005 12:39:00 PM, Blogger Abu Arab said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/18/2005 12:49:00 PM, Blogger BP said...

Abu Arab.............your name tells who you are.............
a wishful thinker.

What about the rumors that Asef already is the number one, his hands in the kings neck? This would explain the speech better.

I agree with JAM, we waste our time here at least for the benefit of Mister Landis. As long as I live very good in the west why should I care about people like "Abu Arab", may all your glorious wishes come true.

VIVE LA FRANCE!!!!!

 
At 11/18/2005 12:56:00 PM, Blogger BP said...

The bloodthirsty jehadis killed more innocent Arabs than the United States of America and the United Kingdom. All this in the name of Allah. Well done.

 
At 11/18/2005 12:57:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

No wonder your 200,000,000 people are in the predicement they are in.

 
At 11/18/2005 01:03:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Abu Arab. You did not comment on my observation on the effect of Jihad aganist the Satan. Did you support or agree with their strike against the Evil Americans?

 
At 11/18/2005 01:09:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Come to think of it, if they have been so effective and influential, why don't you join them? Why don't you help the cause of this "umma" ? You seem to think it is the only way to our salvation. A person with your conviction is doing his people and cause a disservice by not becoming more involved than merely promoting the cause on a computer screen. What a fraud!

 
At 11/18/2005 01:25:00 PM, Blogger ForFreedomOfExpression said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/18/2005 01:27:00 PM, Blogger ForFreedomOfExpression said...

Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims.

 
At 11/18/2005 01:42:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

ForFreedomOfExpression said...

Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims.


Oh please. First, what is your definition of terrorism??? is it the same nebulous definition that the US-Israel use to describe any activity they don't like? such as resistance against occupation?

Second, shouldn't bombing innoncent civilians be considered terrorism? what about US bombings in Iraq, or Israeli bombings of Palestinians homes, daily...

 
At 11/18/2005 01:50:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Forfreedomofexpression,

If you believe in what you said, please explain why yu think that is. Why do you think almost all terrorists are muslims?

 
At 11/18/2005 02:02:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

- The dominant role of the Baath party needs to be reduced to allow the real oppositions groups to participate in a program of transition to a democratic and free society to facilitate a free and fair election “even to the presidency itself”.

2- Syria now is in uncharted territory, Mr. Assad needs to show the county that he is on the helm of the job at this difficult time. He needs to act and remove any elements opposing the needs for institutional reform.

3- Abolishing Decree No. 51 “state of emergency”, in which Mr Assad himself admitted that mistake and abuse were made with Decree No.51. He must reinforce the independence of the judiciary system maybe by removing the office of the president form the higher council of the judiciary.

4- Syria in needs of justice system to fight corruptions and enforce transparency in the county public entities for fair and allow a fair and transparent biddings process.

 
At 11/18/2005 02:27:00 PM, Blogger Nafdik said...

I have to agree with Abu Arab about the power of the Jihadis.

Today they are the only ones with an attractive coherent program that is relevant to Arab youth.

They do own a lot of the mindspace of the poeple and they seem to be dictating the agenda of the most powerful nation on earth.

Please do not bombard me with insults, I am not a jihadi. However, I think that the rest of us have not come with a program we can present to our poeple.

 
At 11/18/2005 02:33:00 PM, Blogger Nafdik said...

Freedom of (stupid) expression.

your comment " Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims." is true if you think history started in 2000.

But in prehistoric times the picture was different:

IRA, Red Brigades, Basque seperatists, La Resistance Francaise (if there was one), Jewish groups in Palestine, ....

All of the above used terror to reach political goals. Some had goals we agree with and some did not but they were all terrorist in the narrow sense of the word.

 
At 11/18/2005 02:40:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

The reason why they are popular,is because Arab youth are fed up and care less about nicessities of politics and rules. They need real solutions, not another Western scam. They see the Jihadist as the only KOOUAA DARIBA that can make a real effect. They will succseed because no one offering or advancing an alternative. They just think they eventually will beat em up, jail and torture all to submission. Keep on dreeming, you will see the consquence of this inaction in couple more years. Or, get to work, to develop an alternative or similar agenda, for real, not slogans shouted from the podium of the National Endowment for Humanity. Need real agenda that can be accepted by the youth, one that offer a light at the end of the tunnel.

I am wasting my time, what the hell I am talking about. This world is lead by airheads and smart crooks with own agenda
to accomplish.

JAM is fed up with Syrians. Stay as long as me and you will be fed up with human period. You will loose all sence of respect or care about them.

Metaz

 
At 11/18/2005 02:52:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

I meant N E for Democracy. not NEA. What a crappy org.Both of them.

 
At 11/18/2005 02:57:00 PM, Blogger LebaneseGeeks.com said...

YOU CAN NOT ACHIEVE POLITICAL GOALS WITHOUT BEING KOUAA DARIBA. ANYONE THAT TELLS YOU THAT THEY CAN CHANGE THE WORLD OR REMOVE A KING BY PEACEFUL AND DEMOCRATIC MEAN IS A CROOCK AND BIGGER FRAUD THAN JESUS AND HARRY KRISHNA.

 
At 11/18/2005 02:59:00 PM, Blogger Nafdik said...

I am shocked to find a comment from SRP that makes sense.

Sorry Metaz, I had to say it ;)

 
At 11/18/2005 03:03:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Lebanese geek above has a good point. Even in Christianity if you read the Bible it says that Jesus will return to earth in the latter time and from his mouth will come out a sword,
With it he shall rule the nations with an iron fist. He shall use his sword and the blood will flow to the bridal of the horses. That is a lot of blood shedding man, no flower power for sure.

 
At 11/18/2005 03:21:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

I hate to spoil the seemingly nationalitic evening, but what I suspect our youth and for that matter their moms and dads may really want is:

A job and a respecteble wage.

With all due respect, we are sitting on our good looking lap/desk tops demanding Jihad/qoouaa dariba against the evil doers who need to be taught a lesson with the only language that they understand. Most of us write well, have a good command of the English language and are seemingly intelligent and economically comfortable (I know too many assumptions were made). I am afraid that the best analogy here is the "saloon communists" who love and preach the virtues of communism to the masses while they sit in the comfort of their saloons sipping cognac.

Gentlemen, what our youth need is the prospect of a good education and a job that can give them and their families a chance. People come to this planet earth to enjoy their 60-80 years before they are gone. Our region and people seem to be asked to eb an exception. Struggle, fight, agree to subhuman wages, disasterous education and a bleak future all in the name of "Kifh" against the Evil Americans and Zionists.

 
At 11/18/2005 03:28:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...

In 1982, Oded Yinon, an official from the Israeli Foreign Affairs office, wrote: "To dissolve Iraq is even more important for us than dissolving Syria. In the short term, it's Iraqi power that constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. The Iran-Iraq war tore Iraq apart and provoked its downfall. All manner of inter-Arab conflict help us and accelerate our goal of breaking up Iraq into small, diverse pieces."

 
At 11/18/2005 03:50:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Yes Ehsani2, you are right.
But the majority of youth in the region blames the West for giving them these regimes that they are oppressed under and the west for maintaining these same regimes and the status quo of inequity and whatever crap you said they need. I say crao because so many now before a job they care about getting some food and not be blown up, shot at or or arrested by the bvarious security forces of these western backed countries.

I think you maybe the Salon Maoist-Communist. Since you are refusing to admit that the main hindrence to this progress you say it is needed is these Western backed regimes that steal the wealth of the nations in the region and ship it by plain load to western banks.

 
At 11/18/2005 03:51:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

plane load that is

 
At 11/18/2005 03:52:00 PM, Blogger Nafdik said...

Ehsani I agree with you that food, shelter, health, jobs and eduction are the priorities.

The question is how do we better get these?

- Do we open our economy?
- Do we try to protect local industry?
- Do we spend on education, infrastructure or health?

How do we deal with:
- Religion
- Lost land
- National identity
- Regional and world alliances

We need a program to answer these questions.

It has to be simple like the Baath or the Ikhwan program otherwise it can not compete.

Another comment is that even though standard of living is important to poeple, you have to admit that they do value as well their religious and tribal allegiances. If it is important to them you can not just dismiss those concerns offhand.

 
At 11/18/2005 04:19:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

First, SRP's point. Since I was born, I had heard the same line. Namely, we are in this predicement because the west supports corrput regimes which are imepding our progress and destroying our standards of living. I also heard that both Saddam and Assad were the most relevant examples. Fast forward to 2003. The U.S. gets rid of Saddam and would like to do the same with Assad. Rather than be rejoice that the supposed nightmare has ended, the very same people now conviently forget the first line. Now, it is a different one.

Second to Nafdik's. Sir, you provided the short answer. "Open our economy". I submit to you that unless we do this yesterday, our nation will continue falling into the abyss. When the size of cake is bigger and when the boat rises, it lifts al boats. Our people are instinctively free marketers. They feel choked by socialist Baathist economic policies. When you start making money and jobs are plentiful religion (at least political one) takes a back seat. Let me leave you with this fact. today we grow at 1.0%. Thi means that approximately 240,000 new people who are looking for a job will not find one. This is 240,000 every single year. In 10 years of jihad/Baathism/hating America, we would have close to 2.5 million "additional" people to the already staggering number. To merely stop the bleeding, our economy needs 4-5% growth in the economy. Only an open market economy can deliver this. With the Baath party around, this will not happen. No one should be fooled. Without this, Religion will be on the rise. Without this, more people will lose their land. Without this, you will have a national identity that has poverty and dispair written all over it

 
At 11/18/2005 04:29:00 PM, Blogger Nafdik said...

Ehsani, you might be right.

The program that we should seek is: Freedom.

Poeple are sick of being rsitrected in what they do and I the concept of freedom will make sense to them.

Freedom to buy what you want
Freedom to go where you want
Freedom to work at what you want
Freedom to pray to who you want
Freedom to talk the language you want

Of course this is a rehash of old ideas but an old idea could be a very good idea.

 
At 11/18/2005 04:31:00 PM, Blogger Nafdik said...

Now here is the crucial question:

Will the Freedom party win a free election in Syria?

 
At 11/18/2005 04:41:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

A very revealing article can be found at CounterPunch.org regarding the conspiracies against Syria by the Arab 'neo-cons' (ie. Maronite Lebanese)

Here

Man that guy is an arrogant SOB.

 
At 11/18/2005 04:48:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

EHSANI2

We are complaining that in the first instance you mentioned, they removed Saddam and replaced it with an occupation authority that is by far more corrupt and brutal than Saddam. All we see is promises, death and destruction. No rebuilding of infrastructure, no economy and no jobs. Most importantly we don't see a political institutional system that can stand on it's feet. Four years from Mission Accomplished and Iraq could not stand on it's feet. I can assure you that 20 years from now Iraq, still can not stand on it's feet. And that is by design and not sheer ignorance.

In the second instance. Syria, the West again repeating the very same mistakes (supposedly called) more appropriately should be called (plans)in Syria as those made for / in Iraq.

If the West is serious about removing the Baathist dictator regime, as you said, then where is the planning for that. Why I never heard of One Syrian involved in this planning. Is it Ghadry only or Labyani? common. give me a break. You plan on bringing down a 40+years old regime without having a strong institution to take over systematically, who the hell you are kidding. Maybe they have another dictator on stand by, like Riffat, he is good at hiding stolen and illicit cash.

When I see the West calling for Democracy in Syria, when I see the United Nations barking at Syria's Baathist regime human right abuses, when I see all the cards that are available being leveraged to help the process of making a soft landing for Syria. I will believe what are you saying. Right now, we seen so many false starters that turned out to be a scam, will be hard to believe a genuine one so easily.

Metaz K.M. Aldendeshe
Syrian Republican Party
www.ssprs.com
web-media@ssprs.com

update your knowledge of new military system by visiting the Agha technology website at: www.orontes.net

 
At 11/18/2005 05:15:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

First, Baghdad real estate prices are up by over 10 times since Saddam was removed. Second, the number of factories and manufacturing lines that have opened up or are in the process of opening up is truly incredible (i know you dont't believe it). Third, it was not America that has bombed the infrastructure of bridges and oil pipelines. It is the people who have the most to lose from 40 years of looting in a system which made them very rich and powerful. In the history of nations, 3 years of chaos is not long or surprising. Yes, jihadists and Baathists are blowing up Americans and fellow Iraqis (more of the latter). But, I would argue that Iraq is and will be better off without the Baathists of Saddam and his thugs. It Ain't easy to kick thugs who have enriched themsleves greatly. You even admitted it.

 
At 11/18/2005 05:52:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

Ehsani2

What is this Iraq you speak of? Mark my words, in a year's time, we're gonna have Kurdistan, Northern and Southern Iraq. Three competing nations racing to kiss America's ass.

As for Syria, the neo-cons and their Satanic allies are working very diligently to turn it into another Iraq. I pray that they will fail miserably and I pray that this will spell their doom.

Don't believe me, think I'm a conspiracy theorist, you better read the article I linked above.

 
At 11/18/2005 06:15:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

EHSANI2, common man, you sound like a State Department or Pentagon sanitized official. No one arguing about the prudent decision to remove Saddam and his regime, not even AL Qaida is, they were offering the Saudi deals to remove him.

We are complaining about the lack of planning in Iraq, and at this point I will not even call it that. It was planned this way in fact.

If the West realize the obsolescence of the other Baathist regime in Damascus. Then they should start to have planning that involves the Syrians and not use plans handed out from Tel Aviv or designed to satisfy the Zionists appetite. If they, because of Israeli needs and interest decided to stick with Assad, then have a plan to work with him on resolving those outstanding issues that is important to Syrians and not the West as they a have been trying to do for the past four+ years.

 
At 11/18/2005 09:38:00 PM, Blogger adonis syria said...

LEBANON: SYRIAN PRESIDENT ASKS MEHLIS COMMISSION FOR PROTECTION

Beirut, 18 Nov. (AKI) - Syrian president Basher al-Assad has told a UN comission of inquiry into the murder of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri that he is willing to collaborate with it on condition that he and his family receive protection, an investigator working for the commission revealed on Friday. The investigator who works for the UN probe headed by German judge, Detlev Mehlis, made the revelation in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI). He spoke on condition of anonymity.



"The Syrian president asked if the commission is in a position to set up a (witness) protection programme for himself and his family," the investigator told AKI, without indicating when Assad made the request.

"He was told that the commission has not been granted such powers and only a national state or the United Nations can take such a measure," the investigator said.

Assad's name appears on a list of people the commission is seeking to question in connection with Hariri's murder, he added.

According to the investigator, the commission has granted Assad the possibility to choose the venue in which he would eventually be questioned - unlike six other top Syrian officials who Mehlis wants to interrogate at the commission's Beirut headquarters.

 
At 11/18/2005 09:58:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

I look at Syria nice country like the US good people like the US multiethnic like the US multireligous like the US in the US we are all American and In Syria we are all Syrians many of us who write on this web live in the west and propably most in the US propably all of us did well and it is not because the US has an islamic or christian system but because of the economic and legal system that are present in the US , the politecal system is important and depends on local elections,which makes it easier for people to know their representativs ,with all these simelarities between Syria and the US and our abelity to succeed make me think that if the US cares realy about the Syrian people it will help Syria adopt the american laws and legal system in addition to the economic and politecal system all this could be done peacefully Ehsani2 if you are realy in the state department that is our best route to the hearts and minds of the Syrians and arabs ,that is of course with the return of the Golan Hights and a peace treaty with Israel.one more thing the Baath party started as a cocial democrat party not a comunist one,the people who joined the Baath changed it,s direction not the princebles of the Baaath party that took Syria in the wrong direction .

 
At 11/18/2005 11:41:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Dam.Blood, I have read the article. No offense, but the source (whole site) is questionable.

Let us go back to the main issue at hand. Syria has an internal problem called the Baath party and its diasterous record spanning 40 years. Two weeks ago, the majority of opinions agreed that they were the bad guys and people wished to see the back of them. Bashar gives a speech accusing Israel and the west of conspiricy. Suddenly, the mood changes. Now the argument and comments shifted to how bad America is and how this is all a plan to pressure Syria. In effect, any time an Arab leader gets into trouble, all he has to do is mention the two magic words of USA and Israel. Everyone falls for it and all sins are forgotton. Since the speech and over time, we have been led to believe that Mehlis is an agent of the west and is out to destroy Syria.

 
At 11/19/2005 01:03:00 AM, Blogger ForFreedomOfExpression said...

THIS IS REAL POLICY, like it or not.

""""
Schuh: What is the future of Syria, of President Bashar Al Assad's situation?

Nour: Both the Syrian and Lebanese regimes will be changed- whether they like it or not- whether it's going to be a military coup or something else... and we are working on it. We know already exactly who's going to be the replacements. We're working on it with the Bush administration. This is a Nazi regime of 30 years, killing ministers, presidents and stuff like that. They must be removed. These guys who came to power, who rule by power, can only be removed by power. This is Machiavelli's power game. That's how it is. This is how geopolitics -- the war games, power games -- work. I know inside out how it works, because I come from a family of politicians for the last 60 years. Look, I have access to the top classified information from the CIA from all over the world. They call me, I advise them. I know exactly what's going on. And this will happen.

Q: So would they remove the entire Assad family?

A: Why not? Who is Bashar Al Assad?

Q: I didn't see forensic proof in the Mehlis report that would legally convict Assad of Hariri's death in a court of law.

A: I don't give a damn. I don't give a damn, frankly. This Bashar Al Assad-Emil Lahoud regime is going to go whether it's true or not. When we went to Iraq whether there were weapons of mass destruction or not, the key is -- we won. And Saddam is out! Whatever we want, will happen. Iran? We will not let Iran become a nuclear power. We'll find a way, we'll find an excuse- to get rid of Iran. And I don't care what the excuse is. There is no room for rogue states in the world. Whether we lie about it, or invent something, or we don't... I don't care. The end justifies the means. What's right? Might is right, might is right. That's it. Might is right.

Q: You sound just like Saddam. Those were his rules too.

A: So Saddam wanted to prove to the whole world he was strong? Well, we're stronger- he's out! He's finished. And Iran's going to be finished and every single Arab regime that's like this will be finished. Because there is no room for us capitalists and multinationalists in the world to operate with regimes like this. Its all about money. And power. And wealth... and democracy has to be spread around the world. Those who want to espouse globalization are going to make a lot of money, be happy, their families will be happy. And those who aren't going to play this game are going to be crushed, whether they like it or not! This is how we rule. And this is how it's going to be as long as you have people who think like me.

Q: When will this regime change take place?

A: Within 6 months, in both Lebanon and Syria.

Q: Some names of replacements?

A: It is classified. There are going to be replacements and we know who they are, but I cannot mention the names.

Q: Will this be done peacefully?

A: It doesn't matter. The end justifies the means. I don't care about how it's done. The important thing is that it is done. I don't rule out force. I'm not against force. If it's an option, it will be an option.

Q: But if it's just trading Syrian control for American or Israeli control?

A: I have -- we have -- absolutely no problem with heavy US involvement in Lebanon. On an economic level, military level, political level, security level... whatever it is. Israel is the 51st state of the United States. Let Lebanon be the 52nd state. And if the Arabs don't like it, tough luck.

US-Israeli intervention in Lebanon has a long history. In 1950's Beirut, The U.S. oil companies and the CIA paid bribes to Maronite Catholic President Camille Chamoun to buy allegiance against Lebanese Muslims, and the pan-Arab threat of Nasser. In his book Ropes of Sand, CIA case officer William Crane Eveland revealed, "Throughout the elections, I traveled regularly to the presidential palace with a briefcase full of Lebanese pounds, then returned late at night to the embassy with an empty twin case" to be refilled again with more CIA funds. Journalist Said Aburish recalled, "The convergence of interest between the Camille Chamoun government and CIA agents produced a bizarre atmosphere which altered Beirut's character. It became a CIA city..." frequented by such covert operatives as Kermit Roosevelt (who organized the Iranian coup against Mohammed Mossadeq). Soon the Israelis joined in, supplying weapons to Chamoun's son Dany, an arms trader. Dany's weapons sales to Maronite gangs created a precedent for the country's civil war militias. ( See Aburish's A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite, 1997)

A more recent US-Israeli role commenced in mid-November, 2004. A demonstration was called by former Christian General Michel Aoun. (Aoun testified to the US Congress in 2003, and Congress favors him as a post-Assad Lebanese president). US diplomats coached a vanguard of unwitting Lebanese youth in CIA "Triple U" techniques (uncontrollable urban unrest). Opposition sources revealed that a downtown rally of 3000 mostly Christian student activists protesting "Syrians Out!" had been organized by the US Embassy in Beirut. The Associated Press reported on November 19, 2004, "One demonstrator appealed to the US president, holding a placard that read: 'Bush help us save Lebanon.' Another dressed up as Osama bin Laden but with the words "Syrian Terror" on his chest. He held a toy gun to the head of a protester who was wrapped in the Lebanese flag..."

Lebanese riot police allowed this unprecedented pre-Cedar rehearsal without arrests because of a deal worked out beforehand with US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman. Feltman, closely linked to Ariel Sharon and Karl Rove, is an associate of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans that created the false evidence and "mushroom cloud" intelligence used to justify attacks on Iraq. This 2004 rehearsal demonstration was answered by a counter protest of 300,000 on November 30 against UN Resolution 1559.

When the stage show opened for real after Rafiq Hariri's death, America's Wag the Flag performance was camera-ready. Janes.com exposed that the flashy demonstrations and rallies were being engineered by one of Lebanon's top advertising agencies and the London-based Saatchi & Saatchi. Michael Nakfour of the corporate events management company, Independence 05 - Civil Society, helped manage the Freedom Square tent city by distributing food, flags, supplies and theatrical effects, prompting American Enterprise Institute scholar Hedieh Mirahmadi to marvel; "Who would imagine one could find posters, in downtown Beirut, with the picture of President Bush in between American and Lebanese flags?" (NY Sun, 3/18/05)

Reporter Mary Wakefield, of The Spectator was also surprised. "Only 1,000 or so people? ..it felt less like a national protest than a pop concert. Bouncers in black bomber jackets wore laminated Independence '05 cards round their necks, screens to the left and right of the platform reflected the crowd... To the left of the main speaker, a man in a black flying suit with blonde highlights, mirrored Oakley sunglasses and an earpiece seemed to be conducting the crowd. Sometimes he'd wave his arms to increase the shouting, sometimes, with a gesture he'd silence them... 'Out Syria! Out Syria! Out Syria!' Production assistants with clipboards busied themselves around trucks full of monitors and amplifiers.... The truth is that the Cedar Revolution has been presented and planned in just the same way as Ukraine's Orange revolution and, before it, the Rose revolution in Georgia. But just because it is in American interests doesn't mean it's an American production." ("A Revolution Made for TV" 3/12/05)

Why not? The New York Post: "US intelligence sources told The Post that the CIA and European intelligence services are quietly giving money and logistical support to organizers of the anti-Syrian protests to ramp up pressure on Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to completely quit Lebanon. Sources said the secret program is similar to previous support of pro-democracy movements in Georgia and Ukraine, which also led to peaceful demonstrations." (3/8/05).

On the streets of Beirut, one 'grassroots' project, "Pulse of Freedom," inadvertently exposed its U.S. origins by utilizing uniquely American street theater tactics. Then in a slip, reminiscent of Baghdad's Firdos Square when US troops covered Saddam's statue with the Stars and Stripes, or when the Republic of Georgia's military band played the US national anthem instead of its own during the Rose Revolution, "Pulse of Freedom" portrayed Lebanon's national Monument of Sovereignty as the Statue of Liberty.

Spirit of America, the NGO that created "Pulse of Freedom" provided protesters with a billboard-sized electronic 'Freedom Clock' for 'Freedom Square' to "countdown to freedom." Spirit of America's tax deductible donations helped maintain the tent city's food, shelter and other basic necessities "so that the demonstrators can keep pressure on for political change and world attention on the struggle for Lebanese independence". Spirit of America also spawned a plethora of revolution bloggers, foremost among them Tech Central Station columnist Michael Totten whose boss was Spirit of America's founder Jim Hake.

A registered charity, Spirit of America exemplifies the regime change industry. Advised by US Ambassador Mark Palmer, Vice Chairman of the Board of Freedom House, and co-founder of the National Endowment for Democracy, Palmer served as speech-writer to three US Presidents and six Secretaries of State. He also helped the US government destabilize Slobodan Milosevic and Muammar Qaddafi. Capitalizing on his color revolution skills, Palmer wrote "Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World's Last Dictators Without Firing a Shot."

Another Spirit of America governor is Lt General Mike DeLong, Deputy Commander, US Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. DeLong manages a budget of $8.2 billion and "conceived and implemented the Global War on Terrorism, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom." As top Deputy to former General Tommy Franks, DeLong's listed expertise at places such as the Army War College, the Department of Defense and the Amphibious Warfare School included Artillery, military intelligence, coup d?tats, supporting democracy. DeLong in his autobiography Inside Centcom alleged "Syria had been shipping military supplies, including night vision goggles to Iraq." The New York Times and Washington Post later revealed that these data had been fabricated "smoking gun" evidence. Charles Duelfer of the UN Iraq Survey Group also confirmed that WMD charges had been "exaggerated" by now-US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, when he was Under-Secretary for Arms Control in 2002.

Lebanese history professor Habib Malik, affiliated with the Middle East Forum, defended the anti-Syria protesters to journalist-in-residence Claudia Rosett of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies as being "utterly spontaneous and coercion-free." (NY Sun, 3/11/05)

But an American Hezbollah expert in Beirut, Dr. Judith Harik, informed this writer that the pro-Syria crowds were misrepresented in the media. "As you are hearing, the Bush administration is labeling the opposition "the people" and everyone else as Hezbollah terrorists. Tomorrow's [March 8, 2005] demonstration will include Sunnis, Druze of the Arslan faction, Christians of all the leftist nationalist parties and the entire south and Bekaa, along with Orthodox Christian areas of Mt. Lebanon. Again the Bush administration is misleading the public by 'mistakenly' lauding a loud minority that supports its middle east policy."

Each side eventually held a mass demonstration numbered in the hundreds of thousands, prompting a truce. But the US-Israeli machine declared war. Using language formerly reserved for Yasser Arafat, Bush parroted Ariel Sharon. "Syria is an obstacle to peace" and an "obstacle to change". Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) advised, "Syria -- put two nukes on 'em"; Jerusalem Post: "Israel hails Bush's Islamist attacks"; Jewish Forward; "US promises Israel to tackle Hezbollah."

A deck of 'Most Wanted' playing cards appeared, a technique used by the Israeli newspaper Maariv to target Palestinians, and later used against the Iraqi Baath Party. Likud MK Yuval Steinetz, head of the Knesset's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee crystallized the priorities: "It's a clear Israeli interest to end the Assad dynasty and replace Bashar Assad." Evoking the "absurd Arabs with their Arab conspiracy theories" slur, Geostrategy-Direct headlined: "Is Bashar Assad paranoid or is the US really plotting to undermine him?"

When Israel's commandeering of US middle east policy became too overt, defter tongues moved to quell the uproar. "Bush Administration Advises Israel to be Quiet on Lebanese Politics," said the New York Times. It wasn't the first reprimand to Israel by some of its own. In November, 2003 Israel's former head of military intelligence, Major-General Shlomo Gazit publicly warned Sharon against threatening Syria and the Israeli "jab, jab policy orchestrated to incite and humiliate Damascus. It is only going to be a matter of time until the Syrians are unable to hold back and then the big blaze will begin." But that was Sharon's intent and he spoke of Iraq as a justification to attack Hezbollah; "it will give us a great pretext. But we'll hit them in any case." (Daily Times, 3/4/03)

The Jerusalem Post wrote; "Rumsfeld considers striking Hizbullah to provoke Syria," and the Pentagon assessed that "the time is coming to oust Assad and the ruling generals by targeting Syria via Lebanon..." Former National Security Council/CIA analyst Flynt Leverett confirmed Rumsfeld's belief that by instigating the right crisis in Lebanon, regime change could be executed in Syria. One Rumsfeld project, P20G, or the Proactive Pre-emptive Operations Group, existed specifically to provoke terrorist attacks that would then justify "counter-attacks". Neocons such as Douglas Feith and David Wurmser envisioned this graduated destablization as the "constructive instability" of "total war".

Rumsfeld's team had already begun discussions with Israeli intelligence about assassinating Lebanese officials -- particularly "Hezbollah and their supporters" in 2002, and intelligence operatives were dispatched to Lebanon. (This writer was introduced to at least one Israeli 'student' studying Arabic at AUB in Beirut. He travelled with an American passport, coming to Lebanon "to study 'the enemy' to find out how they think.") The Sunday Times (6/5/05) revealed that Mossad had been using Trojan Horse email surveillance on President Assad's wife Asma, labelling her family correspondence a "legitimate soft target".

By January 2005, the Pentagon were preparing for military operations in Lebanon to destroy "insurgency strongholds along the Lebanese-Syrian border". Simultaneously, Israeli approval for a military operation in Lebanon was given after Hezbollah killed an IDF officer. Political-security cabinet members comprised of PM Sharon, Deputy PM Ehud Olmert, Vice Premier Shimon Peres, and FM Silvan Shalom had authorized the action. (Haaretz, 5/3/05). But then Rafiq Hariri was killed, and the door to Syria swung open.

Syria may become America's 53rd state, if Farid Ghadry's NGO, the Reform Party of Syria rushes through that opened door. Ghadry is a Syrian Christian who worked for EG & G, a Department of Defense contractor. EG & G assisted in the development and testing of nuclear weapons and in many of the US military's top secret atomic projects. Ghadry's Reform Party coordinates with the Syrian National Council, and transmits Radio Free Syria from Cyprus and Germany to destabilize Syria. The CIA and Mossad have long used Kurds to target nations in the region. Journalist Jack Anderson wrote in 1972 about Israeli envoys delivering $50,000 a month to Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani to destabilize Iraq.

In March 2004, this writer was approached in Damascus by Kurds from Qamishli and Hasaka (one whose brother was arrested in the riots) wanting to "thank Bush for helping us get rid of Assad". News accounts later verified that the chaos up north had been orchestrated by the US and Israel, using Turkish and Iraqi Kurds. 'Protesters' at the height of the melee even waved posters of President Bush and American flags. The ringleaders were sponsored by the Department of Defense and the US State Department. "Let the Damascus spring flower, and let its flowers bloom," said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. So sprouted another color catastrophe -- Syria's "Jasmine Revolution".

Reform Party of Syria's Farid Ghadry has been a featured speaker at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and is himself a member of AIPAC. When repeated calls to his organization went unanswered, I visited the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the RFP. Reform Party of Syria is the office of "super-Zionist" lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Middle Gate Ventures, Abramoff's 'political advisory company' partners with RFP. Abramoff is a top Beltway lobbyist now under intensive FBI investigation concerning, among other things, his proposed $9 million fee to get Gabon's president an Oval Office session with Bush.

As a College Republican in the 1980s, Abramoff founded the International Freedom Foundation, a project linked to the South African Defence Forces. The International Freedom Foundation was the PR branch of sister NGO Strategic Communications, a covert organization charged by former spy Craig Williamson in the Weekly Mail and Guardian for 2/24/95 with being involved with frame-ups, extreme violence and dirty tricks campaigns.

According to the Weekly Standard (12/20/04), one Abramoff venture was his organization of a 1985 global "summit" of underworld thugs. With Citizens for America sponsorship, Contra leaders, guerilla rebels and right wing 'freedom fighters' from around the world convened in the African hinterlands to strategize. During this period, Abramoff's membership/financial transactions with the secretive Council for National Policy, which included Oliver North and Richard Secord, became a template for how to mask money that still remains partially hidden. (Nizkor Project)

Recently Abramoff's interventionism has focused on the Middle East. Tomflocco.com reveals that Abramoff's long-time employer, Greenberg Traurig, partially financed a Homeland Security Government Contract Team trip to Israel for the US House/Senate Armed Services Committee and defense contractor CACI (accused of Abu Ghraib torture). The delegation reviewed IDF "resistance to interrogation techniques" used in Palestine, Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. The Lebanon Daily Star reported that the group visited Beit Horon "the central training camp for the anti-terrorist forces of the Israeli police and border police" and were able to "witness exercises related to anti-terror warfare." Legislators' names were not disclosed.

Abramoff also works with the World Zionist Organization and the Christian Coalition to bankroll illegal Israeli settlement activities. According to Israeli prosecutor Talia Sasson they are part of a larger international problem. Some $60 billion worldwide has been illicitly funnelled to Israeli settlements via different foreign donors, quasi-NGOs and secret military accounts.

In one such case, according to Senate testimony and news reports in Newsweek and The New Republic, an Abramoff charity, Capital Athletic Fund, underwrote sniper scopes, camouflage suits, thermal imagers, night vision goggles, hydration tactical tubes, shooting mats and other paramilitary equipment through Greenberg Traurig to right wing settler Shmuel Ben-Zvi. Abramoff wanted to help ultraorthodox settlement Beitar Illit "neutralize terrorists" and wrote to Ben-Zvi; "Thanks brother. If only there were another dozen of you the dirty rats would be finished." Apparently angling for cover and a tax deduction, Beitar Illit seminar director Ben-Zvi suggested invoicing the weaponry to the Israeli Defence Forces on 'Sniper Workshop' stationery with a sniper logo and letterhead to qualify it as an educational entity. Payments were partially run through "Kollel Ohel Tiferet," an entity not publicly listed or traceable. Beitar Illit Mayor Yitzhak Pindrus claims never to have heard of it. (Newsweek, 5/2/05)

Abramoff dollars may also have found their way to the Israeli Defense Forces' Lebanon Border Unit, the civilian SF troops that patrol the Israel-Lebanon border. Yaagal, supposedly disbanded after Israel's 2000 pullout from south Lebanon, still conducts clandestine reconnaissance, plans ambushes and carries out cross-border incursions into Hezbollah-held areas of south Lebanon. As so often with lobbyist Abramoff's entities, the tools and trails remain murky.

Indicted AIPAC lobbyist Steven Rosen told the New Yorker; "A lobby is like a night flower: it thrives in the dark and dies in the sun." But Abramoff's own words to Ralph Reed in 1983 are even more apropos; "It is not our job to seek peaceful coexistance" with opponents. "Our job is to remove them permanently." Flowery language for forged freedoms, an "Arab Spring" Machiavelli-style.

"""""

 
At 11/19/2005 01:07:00 AM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Yabroud you're right--something needs to be done about Saudi--the regime rulers are greedy, hypocritical (Bandar Bush sipping champagne in the White House love it!) and their rule has given the worst image of Islam next to Iran.

But its so much more complicated simply because of Mecca and Medina. The US just cannot touch it so the regime needs to be changed from the inside....are there any non-fanatic Saudi opposition??

Norman you're right about Israel--I think they do pretty much only understand force. Thats the problem with the Golan, they see no reason to give it back (obviously International law just doesn't matter because they rationalize everyone is out to get them)

But igniting the Golan plays with fire. It is risky. If I had any confidence in my Syrian leadership I would say leave the decision to them and I will trust them. But after the whole Hariri affair (and really before) I have no confidence in Syrian foreign policy decion making)

And I think Abu Arab has got it right on when he reminds us about Al-Qaida and Jihadists in general being dangerous forces that Syrians need to pay special attention to. While they may not have real power, they are nonetheless very dangerous to Syria and the region for their global world-wide ambition and despicable means. These are people that care nothing of the real world or of economics and welfare of its people. They just say its all a prelude to the Glorious Afterlife so toughen up whether you like it or not.

I worry they will become emboldened when the Americans leave Iraq, which I think is just a matter of time.

And Ehsani2, why are you surprised the mood changes--its called "rally around the flag" and Bush used the same concept to get re-elected. It is definitely not limited to arab leaders. Doesn't make it right--but it is nonetheless a common political tactic.

 
At 11/19/2005 02:17:00 AM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/19/2005 02:27:00 AM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

So i have been asked for a counter-plan to the huge leap of faith into the unknown abyss of regime change that Ehsani2 advocates...

Here's some ideas:

Note the largest plus of my plan is the zero probability of war, death, suicide-bombers running amuck etc etc. Infrastructure stays intact and there is no need for Iraq style choas to achieve the exact same result of internal prosperity. I admit that a regime change might give us a fresh start and remove regime thugs quickly. But you cannot deny that chaos could just as easily prevail and throw our country backwards. In other words, a regime change does not automatically mean that the economy will bloom and things will go according to plan. War and internal strife should be avoided at all costs, quoting Churchill:

"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events."

Foreign Policy:

- First thing is first--Syria needs to survive the Mehlis Report without sanctions. That means somehow Bashar has to either prove Syria didn't do it or else if Syria did do it, Bashar needs to give someone up. I would love if Bashar could find a way to use this incident to get rid of Assef or some other regime thug. We do not need thug leaders in Syria. And no, I do not consider Bashar a thug leader. So this is large 'if statement' that needs to be satisfied to get where we want to go....

- With respect to Israel, we will wait out Sharon. He will never give up the Golan and has admitted so. We will wait until the tide shifts back to Labor Party and negotiate with Peretz or a similiar figure. In the end, we probaly will not be able to get back every single inch of the Golan like we should, but will have to leave some Israeli access to the water. Note Israel gets around 30% of their drinking water from the Golan. When this happens, we will be rewarded by the gulf countries with investment and America (meagerly).

And yes while the conflict with Israel has been killing chances at economic and political reform for years. Migs and Scuds are costing us money. I agree--but it is a real conflict that we have the bad luck of being in. Simply giving up is not an option in my book. We will struggle and hopefully reach a peace soon.

**Aside for Ehsani2:
While your singular goal of economic well-being is galliant, most people simply are not like that. Honor and justice play large roles in people's lives. A poor Syrian farmer is nonetheless happy if he has honor and justice and respect--if you take his honor away--that is when he is truly unhappy.**

This of course will go hand-in-hand with a Deomocrat not named Hillary being elected in the White House in 2008. They will have a completely new foreign policy team without the Wolfowitzes, Perles, Boltons and will pressure Israel to making a settlement. And they will pull out of Iraq is large numbers to the relief of the American people. Heck they may even work with the Syrians as a change. America is not evil--it is simply one large group of neo-con thinking people that have power now. Once they lose power we are fine. Even if a republican is re-elected, it is not too bad because there is no way they will be as neo-con in foreign policy. America is sick of it--the isolationist feeling that is very strong. We are sick of the world hating us.

There are rational and peace loving policy makers in America. AIPAC and the Jewish foreign policy lobby is not inviscible as once believed. A couple of their top officials were just indicted on spying charges against the US. Meanwhile, my fellow Arab-Americans are gaining strength with counterlobbys such as the ADC. Presidents would refuse to talk to us 15 years ago on the campaign trail--now each one must talk to us and understand our issues. Any President who wants to win a key battleground state like Michigan must court the Arab-American vote and we are making gains in the pivitol state of Ohio as well. American foreign policy will shift against Israel and this will be crucial to gaining back the Golan.

- In the meantime, Syria will need to survive the Bush admin another 3 years. We will very soon give the Kurds their rights and allow them to be taught their language similiar to the Armenians. Arabs must put aside their fears of Kurdish separtism aside and trust the Kurds. Otherwise the Kurds will be used against the regime.

Internal Syrian Affairs:

We will continue the reforms that were already underway before the Mehlis affair. Again, we may not move at an incredible pace, but will still move at a deliberate pace to keep internal security. There is also the added complication that if we move to quickly, America will get the idea that Syria only responds to force and will then threaten us with force anytime they want something. It is the same dilemna Israel faced with pulling out of Lebanon--you should not appear to be giving into pressure.

So reformers like Dardari will continue to gain power in Damascus and liberalize laws and cut red tape. This will create jobs and raise standards of living. I am not an economist, but the Syrian policy team led by Dardari are and they should be able to come up with more reforms that will provide jobs and better living for Syrians. But the economy is a tricky thing--it needs to be given time to work. Basically all your ideas can just as easily be represented by competent technocrats like Dardari.

Political reforms will come at a slower rate in my plan. I will free political dissidents like Riad Seif--but not everyone. Jordan is paying a heavy price in releasing one Abu-Musab Al-Zarqawi in a general amnesty. We will not make the same mistake. The people want jobs first and foremost. As an example we may look to China, which is having an economic boon without much political change. China's leaders are smart and pragmatic and China should be a model for Syrian growth. (And some blatant self-promotion of engineers--every single one of China's nine elite Politburo Standing Committee members from Chinese President Jintao on down are engineers by training!) And as living conditions improve, corruption will automatically be reduced. Unfortunately, Rami Makhlouf stays as a neccasary evil in the short-run. Egypt, Russia, etc etc all have their own versions. In my view, the costs of completely breaking the system outweigh the baggage that Rami Makhlouf brings with him.

We will continue to build relations with Turkey and will go back to signing the associative aggreement with Europe. Iraq will be ridding itself of the Americans, and the Shiites will be controling things more in Iraq. And if our Kurds are happy, we will have a big ally in the Kurds of Iraq as well. This will be a huge boon for the Syrian economy as a whole country needs to be rebuilt and needs to trade. The shiites and kurds are sympathetic to Syria as long America isn't over their shoulder with 100,000 troops. That is why it is essential to solve the Kurdish issue and really bite down and give them everything they want. It should be viewed as a long-term political move.

With the Americans gone, Syria will work with the Iraqi leaders to absolutely CRUSH Zarqawi and friends. It will be difficult because while the Americans will 'declare victory' and leave, the insurgents are going to claim victory too. So they will be emboldened. But they will be defeated because they have no plan and are simply too violent and will have no America to point the finger at and say "America is Invading Islam".

Syria stays secular and yet also religous. Education improves. The freedoms of religion and taking a walk at 2 AM in the streets of Halab or Damascus will not be taken away. I like the way things are. Let the religous people be religous in peace and let the more secular Syrians and Christians enjoy some clubs and bars that is not in the face of Islamists.

I've written too much already....but without going into more lengthy details--that is my hand-wavy plan for Syria.

 
At 11/19/2005 02:37:00 AM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

No one is saying that the Syrian regime is forgiven for its criminal/incompetent behavior.

But, sadly in our case, it represents the lesser of two evils:

1) stable society with slightly acceptable living standards. Running water, electricity, transportation, ample food and drink, entertainment, and religious freedom. OK education.

vs.

2) Iraq-like quagmire. Starvation. Radioactive water from DU shells. No running water or electricity. Scarce gasoline resources and total insecurity. Daily bombings. Random searches and checkpoints. Ethnic and religious tensions. Rampant unemployments. Oh, and 'freedom' and 'democracy'.

I don't know about you, but the American scenario is not exactly my cup of tea. Some people just want change because they see a window of opportunity. I think we need to create change from within, but I don't even think that's possible at this stage, given how lame the opposition is.

 
At 11/19/2005 02:46:00 AM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

EngineeringChange

I like your plan. Get on it immediately. I want results by the end of the week ;)

No seriously, that's the ideal path for Syria to prod. How far we'll stray from it is anyone's guess (I'd say by about 10000 miles, but that's just me being somewhat pessimistic).

 
At 11/19/2005 06:09:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

Strategy 101: Think outside the box. Almost all (with the exception of a few) the thoughts I have read in this thread are nothing but variations of a tired reactionary pseudo intellect (no offense). Your opponent (whoever it might be for you), forces you to react in a predetermined manner, and that's what you guys are doing. Most of you think: "I found it.. I found it", but in reality you've found nothing but the boundaries within which you were supposed to explore. I realize this is a limited medium to express complex notions, and maybe there is more than what meets the eye in your posts, but you need to re-examine your premise. I apologize for my seemingly patronizing post, but it is frustrating to see what I presume to be the Syrian intellectual elite to be so analytically under-developed. Abu Arab came closest to think outside the box, presenting an ideology that fits him as he opted not to simply work with the vague ideological crumbs thrown your way as you struggle to make a sensible presentation out of it, to which what most of the "solutions" proposed here amount.

 
At 11/19/2005 08:42:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

For all of you who are hoping/expecting/assuming that America will soon pull out of Iraq, please explain to me first why you think America first went in into Iraq in the first place

 
At 11/19/2005 08:45:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

While you think of your response, try then to weigh the probability of them leaving now that you think you know why they came in the first place.

 
At 11/19/2005 09:26:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

EHSANI2,
Your question implies a common fallacy. Military pullout is different than a political pullout. The US army will pull out to a large degree. As for the degree of the political pullout, it remains to be seen. Also, contrary to the other fallacy in the implication of your question, pullouts take place when one achieves his goals, or when one fails to achieve his goals. That's to say in wars, situations are fluid, which often forces re-strategizing.

 
At 11/19/2005 09:28:00 AM, Blogger Yabroud said...

Syria and Lebanon are (one) country. Then explain this news item, please:

سورية توقف خمسة صيادين لبنانيين
GMT 10:30:00 2005 الجمعة 18 نوفمبر
أ. ف. ب.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

طرابلس (لبنان): اوقفت البحرية السورية اليوم الجمعة خمسة صيادين لبنانيين كانوا موجودين في المياه الاقليمية السورية، كما افادت مصادر قوى الامن اللبنانية. وصرح مصدر في الشرطة اللبنانية لوكالة فرانس برس ان "دوريات من خفر السواحل السورية أوقفت اليوم (الجمعة) خمسة صيادين لبنانيين كانوا موجودين داخل المياه الاقليمية السورية".
والصيادون الخمسة ينتمون الى عائلة خميس وهم من بلدة العريضة الساحلية القريبة من الحدود اللبنانية-السورية.
وكانت السلطات السورية اعتقلت في تموز/يوليو الماضي صيادين لبنانيين لبضعة ايام.
وسحبت دمشق قواتها العسكرية من لبنان في نيسان/ابريل بعد وجود استمر نحو ثلاثين عاما تحت وطأة الضغط الدولي والمعارضة اللبنانية، ومذاك اتخذت سورية اجراءات ثأرية في حق لبنان.
فاضافة الى اعتقالها صيادين في البحر، اقفلت سوريا حدودها البرية مع لبنان في بداية الصيف لاكثر من شهر ومنعت مئات الشاحنات من العبور.
وتسببت هذه الازمة بشل حركة نقل البضائع بين لبنان والدول العربية وتسببت بخسائر يومية للبنان ناهزت 300 الف دولار يوميا.
وشهدت العلاقات بين البلدين تدهورا في المرحلة الاخيرة لان لجنة التحقيق الدولية في اغتيال رئيس الوزراء اللبناني السابق رفيق الحريري في بيروت في 14 شباط/فبراير اشتبهت في ضلوع مسؤولين امنيين سوريين ولبنانيين في الاغتيال.

 
At 11/19/2005 09:35:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Here is the answear for IHSANI2

دبي: قال مسؤول امني عراقي سابق رفيع المستوى في تصريحات بثتها اليوم قناة العربية التي تتخذ من دبي مقرا، ان وزير الداخلية العراقي بيان جبر صولاغ يشرف على "جهاز امن سري" يتولى تعذيب وتصفية المعارضين، مؤكدا انه قام بـ "تصفية" 11 طيارا خلال شهر رمضان الفائت فقط.

واوضح منتظر السامرائي المشرف السابق على القوات الخاصة في وزارة الداخلية العراقية "هناك سلطة سرية بوزارة الداخلية (العراقية) لها من الصلاحيات ومن المعدات ما تداهم فوج من الجيش" في اشارة الى مستوى تسليحها العالي. واضاف ان هذه السلطة "تطلع وتجيب ناس واشخاص من اماكن معينة منتخبة (مختارة) وتأتي بهم ويروحون الى مقرات واهلهم يبحثون عنهم في كل مكان ومعتقل ولا يجدونهم ويتفاجئون (..) بعد فترة" بالعثور عليهم "مقتولين في الشارع".

واكد ان "جهاز الامن الخاص (هو) عبارة عن جهاز تحقيق يحقق مع الاشخاص دون الرجوع الى قاض ويأخذ اوامره من وزير الداخلية مباشرة، والمسؤول عن التحقيق في جهاز الامن الخاص اسمه احمد سلمان مثل ما يدعي".

واوضح ردا على سؤال من هو احمد سلمان "العراقيون يعرفون من هو احمد سلمان وهو عقيد بالمخابرات الايرانية". واشار الى ان هناك "اكثر من ستة سجون" يتم فيها تعذيب المعارضين وتصفيتهم بينها ملجأ الجادرية الذي كشف مؤخرا عن عمليات تعذيب لمعتقلين سنة فيه

 
At 11/19/2005 09:38:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Buenos Dias
Just wants to post the 100th. commnet

Metaz

 
At 11/19/2005 09:49:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Iraq and Syria were given exactly the same form of dictatorship 35-37 years ago. In both countries, it was a one man dictatorship with a party that that man can hide behind, and each of these men belonged to a minority oppressing the majority. Both dictators used the exact exact arguments and slogans in governing these countries. While Assad survived longer, and was given so called Regional Cards to claim that he held and can use against America and Israel, which in fact helped to crush the real Palestinian and Leftist resistance in Syria, and Lebanon, cards that have been taken from the regime when the mission was accomplished to the best of possible way, Syria under Assad had the biggest role in accomplishing the aim given to it, and now its turn to be under the final objectives has arrived.

Putting Assad and Saddam 35-37 years ago in charge, both from opposite minorities governing opposite majorities in their countries had from the begining the aim of creating the fertile conditions to self destroy and be in a civil war much later on. You say that the Americans now are trying to accomplish a Zionist plan against Syria, and therefore, one must stand with Assad to defend Syria is really stupid, for without Assad, that plan that some describe it to be worse than the Seikes Piko conspiracy against Syria would not have been possible to achieve without having had Assad (from a minority) governing Syria for that long while inflicting on it all kinds of sicknesses and social destructions, and preparing it to what is coming. That took place already in Iraq, and the USA did not invade Iraq for WMD, nor for Human Rights, or Democracy, or even Oil, but to really destroy Iraq, and such is the plan for Syria as well. The USA will or will not leave Iraq, but their mission is accomplished with a great success, far from what appears to the common man of a great "failure".

The mission is: destroy. It has succeeded and is on its way to be exercised against Syria as well. But without Assad or Saddam in place (those Anti Zionism and Imperialism gods), the destruction wouldn't have been possible.

Have a great day!

JAM

 
At 11/19/2005 09:55:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Alterion, answer the question please. Why do you think America went into Iraq?
At least JAM offered his view. If I understood it correctly, it is to destroy Iraq (syria next). I presume the motive here is Israel? JAM, you did not explain, destroy for what motive?

 
At 11/19/2005 09:58:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Of course, the final aim is: Greater Israel; Bible Prophecies as believed by those running the world!

 
At 11/19/2005 10:02:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

In 1967, the Book "khenger Israel", خنجر إسرائيل was published, just after that war. I read it when some one passed it to me, and found it ridiculous at the time. Yet, the whole plan that it described was detailed in it exactly as we have seen since that war ended. Exactly what the book said, and its predictions came true.

 
At 11/19/2005 10:05:00 AM, Blogger RM said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/19/2005 10:06:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Ok. So now that the mission is accomplished, they are done with Iraq.
They will not, however, leave till doing the same in Syria, and then they can say their goodbyes to the region?

 
At 11/19/2005 10:09:00 AM, Blogger RM said...

engineering change:

I habe not read the word Lebanon in your policy model.

Can you elaborate?

 
At 11/19/2005 10:09:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

They will leave Iraq when they will be 100% sure that nothing will extinguish its civil war, but not before. As for Syria, they are not forgetting it, and I am sure civil war is the aim.

 
At 11/19/2005 10:15:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Ramzi, Lebanon in my opinion has already won the protection of America for all practical purposes. The Assad and Harrri camps have reached a point of no return. Lebanon has HizbAllah to address. I think this will be the next stage once the Syrian question is resolved.

 
At 11/19/2005 10:16:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

It is funny how the world is crying over 2000 US casualties in Iraq, or 60 in Jordan while 2 millions at least have perished in Iraq so far since 1979, and no one sees anything wrong in what is going on there!

Is what is going on in Iraq now can be called "Resistance", and where did this Zarquawi with one leg get all of his power so suddenly from? Can he be every where all of the times? It is inconceivable to me that this is possible without some real develish plan behind this. If killing Hariri in Lebanon was described as impossible without the knowledge and facilitations of the Syrian presence there, then how can these people not spread their same logic to Iraq and what is going on there? The whole world sympathised with the London's bombings that took place only once and killed few dozens, but the daily "resistance" that only kill Iraqis is not even regretted by any one!

 
At 11/19/2005 10:17:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

JAM,
And when the so-called majority in Iraq finally have gotten back their God-given right to govern the country, we've all witnessed the wonderful job they have done! This may come as a shocker to many, but the Shiite in Iraq are not a majority. The Sunnis are. If you want to divide the nation ethincally, then Arabs are the majority. If you want to divide the nation based on sects, then the Sunnis are the majority. But you cannot somehow isolate the Sunni Arabs (note the use of both the sect and ethnic background together), then ignore this double division when classifying others. The Shiite could be Arabs, Kurds, or Ajam (Iranians). The Sunnis could be Arabs, Kurds, Turkmans, etc. So Arab-Sunnis is also the largest sect if you want to divide the Shiite to their own ethnic backgrounds. But along with WMD, the concept of majority has also disappeared from Iraq.

EHSANI2: obviously you have a couple of ideas you want to throw regarding the topic you're proposing for discussion. I suggest you go right ahead and type them instead of formulating them as an argument against other posters, this would be a good form.

 
At 11/19/2005 10:24:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Atrion?

Your statistics are false, pure and simple.

But you speak out of so much jealousy for Sunnis, rights, etc...

I do not care about these lables. That did not even exist before Saddam and Assad came to power, at least not to that extent that we know now.

I do not care about Sunnis or Shiites or Alawis. I thought Syria was truly secular for a long long time, that is until Assad divided it the way that allowed him to govern it (based on that Kenger Israel's book).

Saddam was a god. He was even God himself in Iraq, and so was Assad. The people in Syria and Iraq went back to man worship, and statues. To defend Saddam is truly ugly!

 
At 11/19/2005 10:24:00 AM, Blogger Nimrod-Akhnaten after teh Beast Amen-Marduk said...

Oh Amen / Marduk. So many now knows your end-time plan of deception. But like your daddy Enki first fight with Nimrod and his confusion of man’s tongue, and like your fight with Akhnaten, this third and last defeat will be your last since your humiliating defeat after the first and second Pyramid war.


Suggested reading:
Middle East Ancient History
from 12000 B.C. (before the fucker Amen/ Marduk rain) to the Rise of Christian Rome (A.D.) During the fucker start rain of terror, first period before the 1000 years incarceration on the moon.

Sitchin
The Wars of Gods and Men : Book III of the Earth Chronicles

 
At 11/19/2005 10:30:00 AM, Blogger norman said...

Ehsani2 ,the US should take a clue from that and cchange it,s policy in the middle east.Asad is Syria,s president and if Syrians have any faith in the US and the UN who did nothing to get Israel out of south lebanon ,the Golan Hights and to solve the palestinian problem the they will not have been pursueded that easily.I hope the US will learn somthing and change it,s policy to work with Syria on reginal stability and justice as without justice ther is no stabelity.

 
At 11/19/2005 10:34:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

JAM, please point out the error(s) in the statistics I have posted so I can answer you. Not sure what you meant by referring to a "jealousy for sunnis, rights" (perhaps a typo? Or a literal translation from Arabic?) could you re-ask the question? Because frankly, I am not jealous of anyone at this point... (not counting my neigbor with the red Modena!)

 
At 11/19/2005 10:35:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

The crazy Norman posts above and speaks of the Golan Heights as if the Golan is or was ever of any concerns to the dictatorship of both Assad the Father, Assad the Son, or their holy spirit that died in 1994!

They will be so glad to just survive and stay on the chests of the Syrian people. Their only aim is to stay in power and they will sell anything. They already sold Iskandarun to Turkey.

You Baathists, I will bve so happy when time will change for your ugly faces. I hope to see all of you dumped in the cells you have used against the people of Syria. One day.


JAM

 
At 11/19/2005 10:36:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Syria's president? What a fool to describe this thug as a president!

 
At 11/19/2005 10:39:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Atrion: No, not translated from Arabic.

I said jealous for Sunnis, not of Sunnis.

You care so much about Sunnis.

I do not care about a particular label or sect , etc...


Your aim is to show that Iraq is a Sunni majority, and therefore, I think you wanted to defend Saddam in a way..

Sunnis, or any religious affiliations do not mean a thing to me. These are means to control people, and the Middle Eatserners are so easy manipulated by these divisions.

 
At 11/19/2005 10:40:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

My friend ENG.Chg. offered us an extensive plan going forward. One of the major tenets of his plan is that America will leave soon and all Syria has to do is wait for this Administration to change. JAM's views seem to be at odds with that conclusion and so are mine.

America will be in the region for a lot longer than many think. Betting that the so-called insurgency will succeed in making it retreat is naive at best. The U.S. house voted on a largely symbolic resolution last night calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. The result of the vote?
The resolution was defeated 403-3. Republican leaders were the ones who pushed the measure to vote following the recent calls by prominent democrats for a pull out. The top leading democrat calling for a withdrawl in 6 months alternative plan? Pull out in 6 months after the creation of a "quick-reaction force" in or near Iraq as well as an "over-the-horizon presence of Marines". This is the alternative plan of the number one opponent of this administration's policy in Iraq. Bashar, are you listening? 403-3 ; Quick-reaction force ; over-the-horizon presense of marines.

 
At 11/19/2005 10:43:00 AM, Blogger RM said...

Way to go JAM! Thumbs up!

 
At 11/19/2005 10:53:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

JAM: Yeah, I care about all the people of the M.E., and not just one sect. However, I must say, it is VERY unfortunate for you to equate showing that the Sunnis are the majority in Iraq to defending Saddam. That's exactly what the enemies of Iraq are advocating. Somehow equating the Sunnis to Saddam or vice versa, therefore an action against the Sunnis is simply a payback against Saddam. You know, for someone who claims to be liberated of all these labels, that was quite a sectarian statement for you to make, demonstrating with a Freudian slip that you do not care about the Sunnis (since you equated them with a person whom you vehemently hate). Perhaps you need to re-examine your own prejudices before pointing your finger at others.

 
At 11/19/2005 11:05:00 AM, Blogger The Rise of The Beast Amen / Marduk said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/19/2005 11:09:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Alterion:

How far can you misread some one's words and intentions?

You obviously read with a deep sectarianist views inside you, or else you would have understood that I did not equate Sunnis with Saddam in any way!

First I stated that Saddam and Assad were chosen to be from minorities in both Syria and Iraq. The aim was a long term aim. Accomplished 40 years after that choice!. Their existence prepared the two peoples for the destructional forces we see today!

When you jumped to say that that was not the case for Iraq, and stated dubious statistics to affirm your claim, this was evident that you wanted to defend Saddam. I never attacked Sunnis, Iraqis, or Syrians. I am in fact saying that a minority man in Syria, chosen to oppress Syria, and included in my statement, the Sunni majority, and that is something that shows you that I am just using logic and facts, not trying to defend Sunnis, or attack them, as I am not defending Alawis or attacking them. Saddam and Assad were the good choice to accomplish the greater evil in both Syria and Iraq.


JAM.

 
At 11/19/2005 11:11:00 AM, Blogger The Rise of The Beast Amen / Marduk said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/19/2005 11:11:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

EHSANI2:
Historically, occupation by foreign powers last much longer than two and a half years. So if your point is to demonstrate that the American resolve (albeit at the official level) has not weaken vis-a-vis Iraq's policies YET, then you're mostly right. But those who argue about an eventual pullout (including yours truly), have a longer term in mind. Like I had answered you once before, a military pullout is forthcoming. A political pullout, on the other hand, depends largely on regional and global circumstances.

 
At 11/19/2005 11:13:00 AM, Blogger World Humanist Organization said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/19/2005 11:14:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

But whether the US military pulls out or not, I say: Mission accomplished with a great success!

JAM

 
At 11/19/2005 11:21:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

JAM: My request still stands. Please point out the error(s) in the numbers I have posted. To present a statistical fact is not being sectarian. To see it as such, is definitely sectarian (ya3ni yalli fee shokeh, btenkhazo). I will not be drawn to a mud slinging contest with you. So either post something you could back up with numbers, or I am done with you.

 
At 11/19/2005 11:24:00 AM, Blogger LebaneseGeeks.com said...

I understand your frustration JAM. But don't worry. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. Someone will wake up one day and he got a "bad hair day" and give orders to switch the fan on. Shit hit the fan at such a velocity, it will spread it all over the planet. Neve the less I feel your frustration. Don't worry, good men like you, will inhirit the country. The evil one will wish they never born. It is coming.

 
At 11/19/2005 11:31:00 AM, Blogger RM said...

Religions in Iraq: Islam 97% (Shiite 60%–65%, Sunni 32%–37%), Christian or other 3%

Who is the majority again?

(Source: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107644.html)

 
At 11/19/2005 11:45:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

Now that's a credible source of information. Just to show you how credible it is, under the subtitle "ethnicity/race" it lists:
Arab 75%–80%, Kurdish 15%–20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, or other 5%

Hmmm, I guess for the millions who speak Farsi in the South they do not exist as a race (Iranians), people with last names like: Sistani, Dashti, Soulagh, Haydari, mash-hadani etc. etc. Iraq is not their country. This is a deliberate deception as not to divide the Shiite into more than one ethnicity, thus maintaining the false claim of a majority status. No surprise since this info comes to us from the same people who occupy Iraq.

 
At 11/19/2005 11:54:00 AM, Blogger RM said...

So Mr Statistics -- what is YOUR famous source of data on which you base you claims????

 
At 11/19/2005 12:01:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Mr. Alterion:

-What are your statistics anyway, and where is your source?

-You are also assuming that all Kurdish are Sunnis. This is not true.

- Why are we arguing about this anyway? What is your point?

Unfortunately, I will be away from the Internet for quite a while, and this is my last post for a long time to come.

Salam to all good posters here. They know who they are!

JAM

 
At 11/19/2005 12:06:00 PM, Blogger Alterion said...

ramzi mabsout: man, you sound pissed. Why are you taking it so personally? Cheering for JAM, then volunteering data to prove me wrong, jumping in the middle of the discussion pissing into the wind, what is it exactly? I can take a guess of why you're so offended, but then JAM would accuse me of being sectarian! Funny how the Arabic brand of secularism stops at one's own religion/sect. Ya3ni as long as secularism means the other guy cannot talk religion, then I am secular. As for the source of (MY -- as you put it) data, then it is the Iraqi Embassy. Meanwhile, may God keep you mabsout for a long time.

 
At 11/19/2005 12:07:00 PM, Blogger World Humanist Organization said...

What most of you that are posting here don’t understand is that Israel, as mentioned in Biblical texts is not the Israel of today. Before you can understand today’s events, you will need to understand what is today conflict is really all about and who are the actual combatants.

Today re-established Israel is nothing more than the re-established house of Judah, the most traitorous and evil tribe, if not the only evil tribe of all the Jewish tribes. It is not the Biblical reference Israel, that is composed of the Northern Kingdom tribes that are lead by the most noble Jewish tribe DAN.

The house of Judah (or the tribe of Judah) is pure evil. This is the tribe that was lead by David, the courage’s king of Judah who sent his favorite general to the front line, with instruction to be killed so he can fuck his pretty wife. This is the Character that best show the Character of the tribe of Judah and the current Jewish descendant. The tribe of Judah is what the house of Rothschild and Rockefeller decanted from. The majority of the Israeli tribes are still missing. But evidence now point out to the Russian Jews as being the majority of the descendant of true Israel of the Bible.

The beast Amen-Marduk, the EL, Elohim, used the tribe of Judah to achieve his plans for control of the region. He empowered David and when Amen-Marduk rivals had it with his shenanigan they sent army’s to destroy his follower. Amen had no merci on his people the Judah’s. When he rained in Egypt, he dragged the whole tribe into Egypt to be his slaves. When he ruled in Babylon he dragged them to build and govern in his gateway of the gods (Babylon). When the majority of the Annunakis left earth and Amen went into hiding among the Essene (descendant of Judah) he started the new scam called Christianity and promo gated the Jesus Myth among the tribe of Judah. The Israeli tribes never followed that beast and where cursed by him and his CHOOSEN tribe of Judah.

The story goes into Emperor Constantine and so on and so forth…… Michael Angelo understood who Jesus is, he probably knows what the Holy Grail is…and the word Mystery written on the pope hat (Amen/Marduk Babylon Fish God)…The crusaders war, the house of Rothschild and American Jewries, the finance, and so on and so forth… I am just dropping clues for you…

This Israel is not Israel of the Bible. This is nothing more than the house of Judah, enslaver and usurper of power from the rest of Israel and servant of the beast Amen/Marduk, chosen by him for world control and his coming to save mankind in the end time after he and his house of Judah made it so hellish for everyone so he can appear all the sudden out of nowhere as the savior.

You are so ignorant. Go learn first and know how this fucking plan is all about.

 
At 11/19/2005 12:22:00 PM, Blogger Alterion said...

JAM: While I disagree with some of what you write, I don't look for the lowest common denominator among people, and I don't take differences personally. So I would like to read more of what you write when you come back. Bon voyage!

 
At 11/19/2005 12:25:00 PM, Blogger RM said...

Alterion: I just hope it is not the Iraqi embassy in the US ;)

 
At 11/19/2005 12:37:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Landis.
Why don't you use your stay in Syria for something positive. Why don't you try to have access to Bashar and laiason with him.

 
At 11/19/2005 12:37:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Ramzi, Lebanon relations really depends on surviving the Mehlis Report. This is something I cannot predict. But I think the Lebanese need to get some kind of vindication that a) Syria didn't do it or b) Justice is done and someone takes the fall.

Our Syrian leaders need to get it that they can't plunder a nation of its wealth or use it as a vacation home and not expect an eventual backlash. I remember being in Lebanon and the checkpoints and total lack of respect of Lebanon that many Syrians would display.

But there is no reason not to have warm and friendly relations. Things have not reached a breakpoint. Many Syrians still study in AUB and LAU, intermarriage as brought together the two countries, business is the best matchmaker as well.

But in turn I think us Syrians expect some acknowledgement that we did sacrifice for Lebanon. Thousands of our troops died. So some respect from the Lebanese is needed as well.

So thats my plan with Lebanon--we just need to start treating it with respect and honor, open up an embassy and politics will take care of itself. Hizballah has our backs there as long as it is not suicide to support us. All the lebanese I have spoken to do not want peace with Israel so we should be fine there as well--since if they made peace without us it would not be good for relations.

Thats some musings....not sure if thats what u were looking for Ramzi. And correct me if I am misguided...i don't have that much experience with Lebanon and am no expert by any means.

 
At 11/19/2005 12:39:00 PM, Blogger Alterion said...

Ramzi: This is just in, in an unprecedented move, the Americans have just openned an Iraqi embassay in Iraq. It is all a part of the global war on terrorism, so who knows. Just remember, you heard it hear first.. at Joshua's infamous blog. Man, these word verification phrases are getting more criptic to read, not sure if I will get this one right. It reads like assgrabbing or something like that.

 
At 11/19/2005 12:43:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Before I leave, I want to just say a word in response to this genius calling himself, Engineering Fucking Change. He said this:

"But in turn I think us Syrians expect some acknowledgement that we did sacrifice for Lebanon. Thousands of our troops died. So some respect from the Lebanese is needed as well.
"


No, Mr. The Syrians under the leadership of the biggest criminal of all times, Hafez Assad did not sacrifice for Lebanon, but they were the ones who lit Lebanon, and accomplished Kissinger Plan. They were in servitude for Kissinger, nothing else.

Get your Baathy views out of here, and I hope to see you hanged with all of your Baathy Friends, some day soon.

JAM

 
At 11/19/2005 12:46:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

And Syrians are not in any way, shape or fashion those Baatists or Assadists that EFC is speaking about. Syrians and Lebanese have no problem between each other. It is the F. Assadists who are the enemies of both.

JAM

 
At 11/19/2005 12:52:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/19/2005 12:54:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Ehsani2 to refute your 403-3 vote as less meaningful as you implied:

"Democrats said it was a sham and quickly decided to vote against the resolution in an attempt to drain it of significance."
"You guys are pathetic! Pathetic!" yelled Rep. Marty Meehan

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051119/ap_on_go_co/congress_iraq

The vote you mentioned was nothing more than a political stunt--American politics is abound with such stunts. Do not take it to mean 3/403 = 0.75% of them don't want to leave.

The illuminating thing about the "top leading Democrat" you mention is that he is the leading HAWKISH democrat. More plans will emerge from other democrats that are not as hawkish and will call for even more troops to leave.

More democrats will emerge in the mould of Senator Robert Byrd--Here is an portion of his speech to the senate directly before the Iraq invasion:

"Today I weep for my country. I have watched the events of recent months with a heavy, heavy heart. No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. The image of America has changed. Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned.

We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance....After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe."

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0319-04.htm

 
At 11/19/2005 01:13:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Did you read the word "symbolic" when i talked about the resolution?

Ok, please answer my question. Why do yiu think America came to Iraq and as you answer that enlighten us with your reasoning that they are about to leave soon

 
At 11/19/2005 01:21:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

So Ehsani2 asks why American went to Iraq in to the first place.

That question is one that is debated in public circles all the time in the US and nobody really knows why--that is why people are unhappy. My own personal opinion:

After 9/11, the neo-con foreign policy team assembled by Bush saw a historic opportunity. They had a nation ready to follow their President, believe their President and trust their President no matter what. Patriotism dictated exactly that. So the neo-cons decided on an already well-known enemy to Americans (Saddam has been tossed around in American pop culture--He has appeared in movie Hot Shots!!) And they decided to take him out no matter what. Why?

I think because 1) Iraq could still pose a threat to Israel (Remember everyone thought Iraq had WMD and Israel is in Iraq's range) 2) It was the most easiest and most convenient target 3. It would be economically prudent to have a friendly nation with oil. Iran enemy. Venezuala enemy. Saudi--idiots and instable--not to be trusted. Neo-cons don't like Saudis anyway.

Those are the top 3 reasons. Some added bonuses were having a friend in the region to act as a general buffer and the slight chance that Iraq did pose a risk to the US.

Now you want me to weigh the probability of them leaving now that I have analyzed why they they came. But please you must realize a couple of things:
1. Timing is everything and public opinion rules in America. The neo-cons had a once in a lifetime chance and took it. Unless another 9/11 takes place, there will be no more opportunities like that.

2. It was just blind luck that the most aggressive, hawkish people were in charge my country's foreign policy all at once when 9/11 took place. If Cheney wasn't VP--there may not even have been a war at all. And all these people have since lost all credibility. No WMD. No rose petals for our troops in Baghdad. No credibility.

So now times have changed. Now the people are sick of war. They are sick of being hated by the world. The Democrats are bumbling campaigners but maybe they will take advantage of all this and Libby's indictment and Lott's indictment to take back the White House.

But it doesn't even matter. Whatever foreign policy team is assembled in 2008 will not include the neo-cons in large numbers. They had their moment in the sun. Public opinion dictates we find an excuse to declare victory and leave. It may take 4 years. Some marines may be left behind. But those marines will be harrassed by emboldened insurgents until they leave too.

You just cannot say "They will not, however, leave till doing the same in Syria" because the neccessary public and political conditions are not the same as they were with Iraq. And 'they' is nothing more than a group of strategists--a minority group who happens to be in power. It is not a majority of American people or even a majority of American lawmakers.

 
At 11/19/2005 01:25:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Ehsani I read symbolic. I am saying it is not even symbolic. It means nothing.

It only show that political ploys exist. Thats it. Cannot be introduced as evidence to the chances of withdrawal of American troops

 
At 11/19/2005 02:07:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/19/2005 02:13:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Alterion welcome to the discussion!

Thinking outside the box is something that we should all strive for. Its what creates innovation in engineering. But it is difficult nonetheless. (or else it would be inside the box)

Get us started if you can. Just remember to stay within the constrainsts of reality. Any suggestions to what you mean by thinking outside the box with regards to Syria?

 
At 11/19/2005 02:22:00 PM, Blogger moveon said...

Lets see if we agree on this:

Given: Syria is in shamble due to corruption & ineffectiveness of the regime.
Given: Regime keeps making very slow cosmetic changes that wouldn’t result in any meaningful positive outcomes
Given: Regime wouldn’t make significant changes if left to its own desire
Given: Regime wouldn’t make a significant change unless forced to do so
Given: Force is not going to be internal (MB in 70s, recent arrests, etc)

So what are the solutions?

Solution 1: stay with decrepit regime, the result of which will be slow death.
Solution 2: Allow external power to apply pressure for change

Problem is external power wants to control the world and destroy Syria & ME as we know it.

So what to do?

Given that no change is unacceptable, internal change is not possible- why shouldn’t we plan to benefit from an outside change?
Some say- it will destroy Syria and reshape ME.

Well, current ME is not ideal anyway- it is a fake structure created by colonial powers. So why can’t we strategize to try to benefit from a new structure.

If you agree- then lets try to discuss how we do so.

 
At 11/19/2005 02:22:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/19/2005 02:23:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

JAMs post:

"Before I leave, I want to just say a word in response to this genius calling himself, Engineering Fucking Change....

No, Mr. The Syrians under the leadership of the biggest criminal of all times, Hafez Assad did not sacrifice for Lebanon, but they were the ones who lit Lebanon, and accomplished Kissinger Plan. They were in servitude for Kissinger, nothing else.

Get your Baathy views out of here, and I hope to see you hanged with all of your Baathy Friends, some day soon."

Thank you for your intelligent response. Your eloquence is stunning. I was beginning to hope you had changed your ways, but you have just showed the entire blog your true colors. This will be the last time I will lower myself to respond to such filth.

So just tell me this: (I will make it a T/F question--real simple for you)

True or False: Large numbers of Syrian troops died in Lebanon over the period of 1980-2000.

Regardless of whatever reason they were there doesn't make them any less dead. And if you don't think Death is a sacrifice for them and their families I suggest you seek some professional help.

And as long as the Syrian population knows about these deaths, they will want respect from Lebanese--regardless of whatever reason they were there. Again truth in this case takes a backseat to the perception of truth. The Syrian population perception is that these troops died trying to keep peace in Lebanon.

And the funny thing is I thought someone would might pull a JAM and even wrote:
"correct me if I am misguided...i don't have that much experience with Lebanon and am no expert by any means."

Everyone lets try to keep JAMing to a minimum. Don't insult or call for a hanging because somebody aired their opinion. And shun and ostracize anyone who does. Just my opinion.

 
At 11/19/2005 02:27:00 PM, Blogger moveon said...

Lets see if we agree on this:

Given: Syria is in shamble due to corruption & ineffectiveness of the regime.
Given: Regime keeps making very slow cosmetic changes that wouldn’t result in any meaningful positive outcomes
Given: Regime wouldn’t make significant changes if left to its own desire
Given: Regime wouldn’t make a significant change unless forced to do so
Given: Force is not going to be internal (MB in 70s, recent arrests, etc)

So what are the solutions?

Solution 1: stay with decrepit regime, the result of which will be slow death.
Solution 2: Allow external power to apply pressure for change

Problem is external power wants to control the world and destroy Syria & ME as we know it.

So what to do?

Given that no change is unacceptable, internal change is not possible- why shouldn’t we plan to benefit from an outside change?
Some say- it will destroy Syria and reshape ME.

Well, current ME is not ideal anyway- it is a fake structure created by colonial powers. So why can’t we strategize to try to benefit from a new structure.

If you agree- then lets try to discuss how we do so.

 
At 11/19/2005 03:01:00 PM, Blogger RM said...

Egineering change:

This is what should be done:

The first page of Tishreen reads:

´´The Baath of Syria recognizes that all the Syrians soldiers who died in Lebanon died, regretablly to us all, for the interest of the ruling elite in Damascus and nobody else.´´ [Read more on page 2]

 

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