Saturday, July 23, 2005

Will America carry out Punitive Stikes against Syria?

A friend in Washington just wrote me this email:

I just spoke briefly yesterday with a fellow who has many contacts in the Pentagon, military and civilian: he says the Pentagon is 100% certain that Syria is a haven for organizers of insurgency and is likely to get whacked, not to bring about regime change, just to punish. There's no point to challenge the 100% certainty piece...this is what they believe...just like they were 100% certain about wmd's in Iraq.

This only means that the Defense Department is angry. It has accused Syria of operating several foreign-Jihadist training camps near Aleppo. It is hard to believe that State and other departments would want to open another front by punitive bombings of Syria, but one never knows.

[Addition July 25] Nur-al-Cubicle adds to this in the comments below:...
From what I read, France, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia oppose any idea of US punative strikes against Syria.

The new Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Turki al-Faisal, publically warned Washington that Iraq's border security problem must be resolved on the Iraqi side of the frontier. Lebanon's Prime Minister Siniora interrupted remarks by Condoleeza Rice when she attempted to lash out at Syria during her recent unannounced 7-hour visit to Beirut.
Daily Press Briefing
Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 21, 2005
QUESTION: Today, Syria hit back at the accusations about their borders, the militants crossing their borders, saying that so far they had detained thousands of would-be insurgents.

MR. ERELI: Syria?

QUESTION: Yes, Syria. And they speak about 1,200 foreign extremists and more than 4,000 Syrians. Do you have any comment on that?

MR. ERELI: (A) It's a number that, I guess, hard to verify but; (b) and I think this is the important point, the really important point is that there's no indication, whether or not they detained 1,400 people and whether or not those 1,400 people are really as problematic as they might suggest, there's still no indication, frankly, that the problem of support for the insurgency from Syria has ended. And that's the bottom line. The Iraqis are telling us that Syria is a problem. Other evidence indicates that Syria's a problem. So regardless of what's happened with these 1,400,
there are serious issues that remain in terms of insurgency activity in Iraq that is being conducted because of support and other facilitation from inside Syria.

And it remains an issue that we continue to press the Syrian Government about, that the Iraqis, more importantly, continue to press the Syrian Government about, and that frankly continues to undermine stability in Iraq, in which therefore is a problem not just for Iraq, but for the whole neighborhood.


At 7/23/2005 09:02:00 AM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

Please accept my condolences for the deaths and injuries of Egyptians and foreign visitors who were attacked in the new set of bombings at Sharm el Sheikh. I regret their suffering and that of their families and friends.

I am so sorry to hear about the terrorist bombings in Sharm el-Sheik. I know Egyptians are proud of this place, and I recall that our presidents have visited there on important occasions.

I am so sad for Iraqis, for Egyptians today, and for the British--and many before, the Balinese, the Turks, the children of Beslan, the Russians in the theatre, those of 9/11, and on and on.

Is this the world we have to live in ? Our president thinks freedom and democracy is the answer. But is it?


This is Egypt you dogs of hell

Terror hit the nerve of Egypt's tourism. The Sharm El Sheikh resort is literally the epicenter of the tourism industry. One of Egypt's most beautiful spots. The terrorists knew where to hit. They knew where it will hurt. Up till now we know that 4 car bombs killed 43 people. The explosions were in different places across the resort.

The attacks were very well organized and very sophisticated. We truly entered world war 3.

I have been to Sharm countless times. As I was hearing the eyewitness reports, I could feel I was standing right there. The attacks are very serious and deadly to Egypt.

I just remembered the headline of an article written by Sayed El Qimni (who stopped writing after receiving threats) right after the Taba bombings last year. The headline read: This is Egypt you dogs of hell.

May God save us and have mercy on those who perished.

Update: News reports say 49 dead and 7 car bombs.

Update: The front side of a hotel was completely destroyed. Bodies were all over the place. The dead included Egyptians, Britons, French, Spaniards, Dutch, Qataris, Kuwaitis. You can almost find any nationality in Sharm.

Update: 85 people killed. I called someone I know who owns a shop in the Sharm market. He was in Cairo on his way to Sharm when his bus was ordered to return back to Cairo. He told me that he plans to shut down his shop in Sharm and return back to his hometown of Luxor. "Tourism is over in Sharm" he told me.
A friend of mine called me and told me that one of his friends was sitting in a cafe 50 meters away from one of the explosions. He told him that he saw pieces of body parts all over the place and burned bodies that looked like charcoale.

Update: Police say that 2 cars and a possible suitcase full of explosive might be behind the attacks. Most of the dead are Egyptians.

At 7/23/2005 09:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

J. Francis Lehman said...
Good Lord! We've got quite a tempest brewing here in our teapot, don't we? Wherefor art thou, Karfan?!

"We have to realize that the self-preservation instincts of other societies will drive them to look at all of us as a potential threat and to treat us accordingly."

This is exactly correct. And I do not want to see it come to pass, nor do most Americans. We simply want an end to jihad for good. We want the Muslim world to come into the 21st Century, embrace the rule of law and discard religious government. (And a lot of us would like the Republican Party to do these things as well! We'd also love it if the Democrats would get a clue, or even a grip, but reality intrudes on this fantasy, at least as of yet.) We want to see the Muslim world rise up against the murderers, and prove that Islam is the Religion of Peace we are always told it is. I know that it is dangerous to speak out against the jihad murderers in Muslim lands, but you must, if your people are to avoid being exterminated by the West in self-defense.

And make no mistake: the next large terrorist attack to happen on American soil will unleash unimaginable violence against Muslims in retaliation. God help you if it's atomic in nature, whether nuke or dirty bomb. Our leftist appeasers will be shouted down, if not worse. Either Muslims can start dealing harshly with the jihad murderers, or us targets of jihad will do so ourselves; the problem is, we can't really tell the difference between jihad-minded Muslim and peaceful Muslim until it's too late, so we're going to have to strike pre-emptively, and a lot of good and innocent people will die.

Muslims know who are the jihad murderers and who are not. If this problem is to have a non-apocalyptic end, Muslims must be the ones to bring it to that end. The West can help, but we are alien to your societies. You must fix this yourselves, Muslim world; you're the only ones who can.

At 7/23/2005 10:08:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

With all my respect, Aphrodite, I am appalled to see you changing the subject in two threads for what happened in Egypt. Please let each subject take its course, and thank you.

I was browsing the, a Syrian (government of course) newspaper few days ago, and read a news release of a big meeting of "forces coordinating Resistance against the American occupation" in Damascus. I wish I had saved that piece of news because it was indicative to the kind of games the Syrian regime is playing. It is organizing that so called "Resistance" in Iraq in its Arabic Media, while claiming something else in its English Media Outlets to the Americans.

I was wondering when reading that news article about supporting the "Great Iraqi Resistance" if the US Embassy in Syria is not monitoring such claims that the Syrian regime appears to be proud of announcing to the Syrian people.

Mohammed (The wonderer).

At 7/23/2005 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the name of the site is

At 7/23/2005 10:27:00 AM, Anonymous Tarek said...

To the Anon 9:04

I am not sure if your commenting on Lehman's post or copying and pasting it. If the latter plz provide the link so i can send my below comment.

It’s a pitiful and sad fact of life that people like you (and there are many) have more influence on the mideast than most Arabs. As an American one should not expect you to know much about the region. So allow me to inform you of a few important notes; Syria and even that criminal Saddam Hussein's Iraq are SECULAR governments. With no affiliation to Muslim extremist (whatever the DoD tells you). Actually Muslim fundamentalist view Syrian government they way they view people like you and me, as infidels who deserve to die. A lot of people were killed to crush the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria.

Washington has continuously since September 11 lied and deceived the American public that Iraq has a direct connection to the attacks. They took a tragedy and mass murder and used it to push their own (and allies) strategic agenda in the region. It has nothing to do with freedom, democracy or fighting terrorism. But the media went along for the ride.

Can you be so kind to explain to me how can a country so adamant on spreading democracy support and praise governments like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others? Countries that deprive their citizens of basic rights such as voting, driving cars, or wearing what they please. Not to mention their stone-age way of treating women.

How can the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan all absolute monarchies, as well as Egypt and Tunisia, republics that are also ruled by dictators. Be subjected to praise by Condi Rice for their support of democratic reforms? Could it be because all of these regimes are allies and “freedom” should be only enforced on countries that defy American will???? Syria and Iran are the only countries in the region who defy the US and that’s why they get punished. Your government wants Syria to give up its occupied land and bow down to its will, that’s the only driver behind these possible “pre-emptive strikes”. But as long as Washington continues with these double standards, support fundamentalist regimes and give Israel free hand there will be more anti-American fanatics born everyday.

I wont even comment on your racist innuendoes and comments ‘cause a right-wing imbecile like yourself believes he is God’s gift to the world and trying to open up your mind just a bit is harder than Chinese algebra.

But I agree with you on one point, only the local governments of the terrorist breading countries can solve these problems completely.

At 7/23/2005 11:10:00 AM, Anonymous MAD said...


You and 99.9% of people in the Arab world keep missing the point. Keep missing the point, and a big nuke will land on your heads.

This is not about Bush, Iraq, secularist fucks in Syria, Saudi women or any of that crap.

It's very simple and primal, but apparently not simple enough for you to understand.

Society A (the West) is being attacked by murderous creeps who come from a large region called the ME/Moslem world, society B, which is either powerless, or encouraging or tolerant of these people, or even perceived as such.

How many more attacks can the West take, before even the idiot liberals shut up and stop worrying about the Gitmo menu? The next step will be people in the streets demanding massive deportations and the nuking of somebody, RIGHT OR WRONG WON"T MATTER.

It's not brain surgery, it's called human nature.

Now Tarek go back and ponder why Saudi should be number 14 on the bad guy list instead of number 15. That is so crucial.

At 7/23/2005 11:28:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

The problem of the arab world is that, it lacks free thinkers. Most people I know are passive from a political point of view, and in all cases. There is no genuine democratization movement in the islamic world. Most of the people are deeply religious (too much maybe?) but peaceful. And most of them do not really care for democracy. They are not really against it but they won't fight for it. Islam is a political system in itself and muslims are ok with this. Disappointing.

Of course, as far as minorities are concerned, federation is the only thing that matters to them.

Josh, you are american, can you tell where this text came from?

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is in the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness"

At 7/23/2005 11:38:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

About the topic...

Bachar is systematically taking the bad decisions and chosing confrontation. Maybe he thinks that the US do not point a second front in the middle east?

Josh when I saw you on CNN you were saying that it's normal for Bachar to be agressive because the USA are not giving him any carrot to change. Apart from the fact that Bachar will keep the carrot to himself, does everytime Syria do something right such as not having a blocade on a neighbour, it will get a carrot? Maybe Syria should get help if it really wants to reform its system but Syria should not get anything for not sending fighters to Irak or not blowing cars in Beirut. And seriously do you really think it's moral to help Bachar's regime? (even if there's no alternative)

Concerning this claim
"There's no point to challenge the 100% certainty piece...this is what they believe...just like they were 100% certain about wmd's in Iraq. "

Now let us be serious, we knew from the start that there were little or no WMD in Iraq. It's all about improving America's position in the middle east.

At 7/23/2005 11:43:00 AM, Anonymous Tarek said...


If it’s so simple why the hell don’t you get it? The west has attacked or supported attacks against the Arabs for a long time. They hand-picked or supported oppressive regimes in the Middle East. The rest of the Arab population can’t do anything about it because they don’t have nukes, aircraft carriers, or leaders with dignity. They are feeling oppressed by the great America and their own leaders. So after trying everything else and failing they turned to terrorism and extremism.

When you have been continuously beaten on the head with a stick for no apparent reason for generations you will eventually go crazy it’s….. "human nature". So shut your smart-ass hole and go back to the core of the problem. Which the west shares responsibility with local authorities and the general public. I do not know how many times I need to repeat the msg for you to get it?

If America can invade 2 countries (at least) for killing 3000 civilians. What then should the Vietnamese, Koreans, Palestinians do? The world has been convinced that an Anglo-Saxon life is worth 10 lives of other races and this despicable ideology must cease to exist before any form normalcy can return to this chaotic world we live in. I know no other country than can do a better job as world leader than the US but that does not change the fact that its an oppressive power when it comes to our region.

At 7/23/2005 12:08:00 PM, Anonymous Tarek said...


I totally agree with your first post. In my opinion misinterpretation of Islam and taking every word literarily has been an obstacle to the regions social & political development. But I do not blame the religion because Asian Muslim states don’t suffer the same extremist problems. I feel the answer lies in relation to our particular history and culture.

As for the second comment i would have to disagree with most of it. International politics is all about give an take. Every time a country supports an American initiative in the UN Security Council does so with behind the scene deals. Syria has not been treated in the same manner since Bashar took office and he has had it. And I do not think the example of the boarder blockade, as childish and wrong as it may, is a worthy one (no offence). Damascus is not being marginalized because of its “wrong” actions in Lebanon but rather for its anti-Israeli/American stance.

At 7/23/2005 12:16:00 PM, Anonymous MAD said...

Here's my last attempt to explain it to you Tarek Moron:

One side has nukes, the other does not.

Patience has limits, and no society will go down without using all its weapons to protect itself.

You may THINK you have the moral high ground, still it does not matter.

PS. It is morons like u and the NON-anglo-saxon side which is behaving like human life does not matter. If your lives do not matter to you, why should they matter to others? Aren't you the idiots saying biddam bil rouh..., give your life and soul to Bashar or whomever??? Yeah, yeah I know. But really, is there a difference between you and these guys?

At 7/23/2005 12:20:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

The CIA and State Dept will not let the Pentagon take punitive strikes on Syria. Syrians knows that. There are more agents on President Assad’s payroll at the CIA than American agents on CIA payroll in Syria (an estimate).

President Assad also knows that such an attack is a possibility, he calculated that an American assault on Syria will make his regime very popular in the world, especially with the illiterate and suicidal Arab youth.

He also knows that should such an attack be carried out by the American, it will kill any chance for reform and mute all calls for it, not to mention that all opposition groups now will look like traitors, his media and envoys along with the world medias will insure that.

So in away President Assad will very much welcome such an attack that will basically take this reform knife of his neck and prove to the American that this is no option to coerce him and his Baathist government. He then have a legitimate excuse to fight back and attract tens of thousands of fighters from all over the world to Syria to fight across the boarder in Iraq.

Attack on Syria is a dumb option and a non starter for Iraqi solution, rather a starter for quick American evacuation from Iraq. President Assad knows that very well.

There is only one, and only one option, for the United States, it is the one and only option that for some strange reason they will not take, or the administration is simply too dumb to know what it is. Take the option that will get the vision and goals of President Bush accomplished. You can get it on the cheap. Ghadry's estimates 10 millions, our estimates 5 millions.

Or please forever shut the fuck up. We tired of seeing grown men and women whine like 3 years old. It is obvious that this whining for years did not work. Or it is maybe working well, permitting well conceded clandestine deals and money flow to Audi bank in Lebanon that are struck in secret behind closed doors.

Disclaimer: The opinion expressed in this comment is not officially sanctioned by the Syrian Republican Party. This comment was posted by a member of the Party and express his/ her opinion only and is solely responsible for it's content.

At 7/23/2005 12:38:00 PM, Anonymous Ja'Jaa said...

We haven't tested a nuclear device on a city since Nagazaki. Is Bashar asking for one?

I would suggest emptying Syria of all non supporters of the regime, and then nuke it.

Well, I have a heart. Let's negotiate the surrender of the Baathies, and ship them to a nicer Gunatenamo. (No sexual torture please, because these guys enjoy it).


At 7/23/2005 01:05:00 PM, Anonymous Tarek said...


Just out of interest, whats the one and only option? or is it top secret!!!!

At 7/23/2005 01:10:00 PM, Anonymous danithew said...

In your headline, you might want to fix the spelling to "punitive." Thanks for the tip that something might be coming up. It will be interesting to see how this is ultimately handled.

At 7/23/2005 01:14:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Good observation, Danithew. I guess you really read everything.


At 7/23/2005 01:57:00 PM, Anonymous Tarek said...

since we are in the correction phase, there is an R missing in the word strikes in the headline. but its no biggy

At 7/23/2005 01:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be about freakin time too. Bashar has been waging a proxy war for years and he has intensified it in Lebanon and Israel without consequences. He should pay. I also hear that the Euros are mighty pissed with him, and think that he§s overplayed his hand once again. The guy doesn§t know his place.

At 7/23/2005 01:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Tarek do us all a favor and shut up.

At 7/23/2005 02:44:00 PM, Anonymous Tarek said...

Love you too baby

At 7/23/2005 02:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the horrified americans,
You are talking to the wrong audience: terrorists have their own websites and even blogs, we are here just a bunch of lunatics discussing our affairs.

At 7/23/2005 03:39:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

For some reason, I hate this name I chose to write under it. Any suggestion ?

At 7/23/2005 03:45:00 PM, Anonymous David W said...

sorry to interrupt the matters of Syria, but I feel the need to point out some things to MAD and anon 9:04:

first of all, there is no 'Terrorland' that you can bomb into extinction--if what you're suggesting is to bomb Mecca, that's just plain stupid and ignorant...

let's test out your arguments--first of all, you seem to equate 'terrorist' with 'Muslim' with 'Arab'--maybe your first step should be to acknowledge that terrorists come from all societies and all religions. What about Christian terrorists? after all, they (McVeigh and Nichols) were responsible for the biggest pre 9/11 terrorist attack in the US. What about Eric Rudolph, the perpetrator of the Olympic bombing, plus a string of others? You likely don't want to admit it, but the 'pro-life' Christian fundamentalists frequently engage in terrorism. and what's the difference between them and Al Qaeda? mainly better bomb builders!

You may say that they're only following a 'higher order,' well, that's what the terrorists claim also--after all, the 'pro-life' movement is nothing if not a jihad! Furthermore, I think that you and the rest of the Christians should put an end to this terror, by speaking out against these people, and their own Bin Laden and al-Zawhiri, which are Pat Robertson and James Dobson...and if they keep at it, well, then according to your logic, it would be appropriate to bomb the Vatican!

before you become too indignant, let me point out that I was born and raised as a Christian in the midwest, and that I personally witnessed 9/11 from a mile away, and had to flee through the dust from the explosions. you're probably from some red state in the middle of nowhere, too small to be a target for any non-christian terrorists, yet you're probably floating in Homeland Security money that's been pork-barrelled by your Repubican congressman, while New York has consistently been screwed out of the share that it rightfully deserves!

also, i'd be interested to know if you can even find Syria on a map, much less I doubt that you've ever actually set foot anywhere near the Middle East, otherwise, you'd see what a fool you are to advocate bombing entire populations, where the vast majority of people just want to live a decent life with their families, and who have never even met a terrorist...

fyi, in case you've been asleep for the past few years, the war in Iraq is based on lies, lies that people like you choose to believe. There were no WMDs, and Iraq didn't have any nuclear capabilities--furthermore, your right-wing solution to the problem, which is basically, 'bomb the sh*t out of 'em' does not work, and has never worked--from London during WWII to Palestine, the more you try to inflict punishment on people, the more they will rebel, and more, not less, terrorists will be created!

now, back to matters of Syria...

At 7/23/2005 04:01:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/23/2005 04:07:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This is from a top-quality intelligence website. It's about a meeting that took place in early June/late May.

"In addition, American intelligence discovered that followers of the Al Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Mussa Al Zarqawi -- including the "hero" of the battle of Fallujah, Omar Hadid -- held a meeting in the Syrian city of Hasaka in mid-May to coordinate operations with three leaders of the Ba'ath insurgency. The trio were highest on the Americans' wanted list in Iraq: Ezzat Ibrahim al Duri, who issued an "appeal to the Ba'athist and Islamic resistance" for the first time on May 26; Mohamed Younes al Ahmed, a former Ba'ath party leader; and Ahmed Hassan al Obeidi, ex chief of the General Intelligence Service in the Kurkuk region.

In response to the meeting, the American military issued a warning to Syrian officers at a gathering on May 17 at the border post of Al Walid which was attended by the American military attaché in Damascus and his three deputies. The Americans came away empty-handed from the meeting. Still, the Syrians have since assigned some of their troops returning from Lebanon to patrol duty along the Iraqi frontier. The U.S. has bolstered its positions at Al Qaim, Tel Affar and Husaybah. "

At 7/23/2005 04:16:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Concerning the 'war' that is coming on Syria, I think we're talking about strikes (possiby through Israel) and not a full war with regime removal. It will be mainly a political signal and I don't think it will reinforce Bachar. It could lead to a total collapse of the economy and Bachar have mouths to ffed.

MAD, I shouldn't even reply to your post but FYI, there are two main producers of terrorists in the islamic world it's Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Pakistan already owns nukes and Saudi Arabia is untouchable because of its oil. Moreover it's rumored that Saudis finances Pakistan's bomb in exchange for a Pakistani protection in case of nuclear threats.

At 7/23/2005 04:18:00 PM, Anonymous David R said...

Re: David W.

Are you afraid of something that you only list your first name? I understand the others are Syrians and they are afraid for their families, but you? I can not understand why you are hiding? Try to be more courageous. May be your opinion is so extraordinary that the press will want to talk to you, and you will be a hero. Try to open up.

Dave R.

At 7/23/2005 08:34:00 PM, Anonymous MAD said...

David W(iseass),

I could find Syria on a map when you were still peeing in your pants. That and my nationality have nothing to do with the point that you and others keep missing.

I am not advocating anything here. I am not arguing who is right or wrong, though I certainly have my views.

I am merely saying that the West's response will not remain the same forever, period.

If the Moslems/Arabs/passive/apologists/uninvolved whatever you want to call them, do not stop the current madness the next steps are deportations in the West and then nukes.

That's all, I am merely pointing the logical conclusion of current events if nothing changes.

Add: Connection to Qaeda or not won't matter. One reason, among many, Saddam was taken was to set an example.

At 7/23/2005 09:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mad is really mad. It is "human nature" to make mistakes when getting mad. I suggest that you relax and think about all possible outcomes of any of you 'mad' reactions. Terrorism is very evil and we should address in an intelligent matter.

At 7/23/2005 10:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what Tarek said made the most sence the us is not against syria because of iraq but because of syria,s pan arabic stand and it,s resistence to a shamefull peace with Israel.syria is the only secular arab country left in the midleast.

At 7/23/2005 10:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The use of just 1 nuke anywhere in the world will be the begining of the end leading to the extinction of human race.

At 7/23/2005 10:09:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

I can understand why mad is pissed off. But according to the latest figures, nearly all the deads in Sharm el Sheikh are Egyptians (it seems that the building that was bombed was used by employees).

But why people in Egypt are not demonstrating against Al-Qaida? Is arab blodd valuable only when it's spilled by 'anglo-saxon' agression?

At 7/23/2005 10:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all understand that and we realize that any attack anywhere isn't acceptable for whatever reasons. All world leaders need to sit down and have real dicussion rather than making speeches and other kinds of bullshit. Unfortunatly, we lack such leaders these days.

At 7/23/2005 10:27:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

This is Mohammed, the anti-bloody Syrian regime. I am appalled at the Moslem Brotherhood that gave birth to all of these violent Islam, and I say again this was born in Saudi Arabia by the help of the US to fight the Left. They have created the big Frankenstein, and now the existence of those bloody Moslems are the big factor in the continuation of the regimes that helped create them in the first place. They were created and nourished by these regimes including the Assad regime, and now because of the danger and the risk of seeing them taking ove Syria for example, the bloody Assad regime survives, and will survive. The Islamists are the biggest problem standing in the way of freeing Syria of this criminal regime. Damn Islam (the one a la Wahabi Saudi way), and damn those Islamists.

Mohammed (the angry man).

At 7/23/2005 10:28:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

For the Christians, Jesus Christ(not a shred of evidence that he existed) said to his followers “ We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spirtual entities in high places". For the Syrians, if he is ever were around today he would have said to them “ you wrestle not against ignorant Baathist but against ignorant Americans” as the article hereunder offer proof of that:

The United States and Reform in Syria
By Joshua Landis
March 2004
Syria is the low-hanging fruit in the post-Saddam Middle East. Washington hawks, hoping to extend the impact of America’s victory in Iraq, are looking to Damascus as the next battlefield. The Ba`thist regime in Syria is isolated, bankrupt and divided under the leadership of its young President, Bashar al-Asad. Its very military and moral weakness make regime-change a temptation to policymakers who believe that America’s greatest enemies in the region are dictatorship and the status-quo. As David Frum and Richard Perle explained recently, “when the door [to democracy] is locked shut by a totalitarian deadbolt, American power may be the only way to open it up”.[1] The question for the hardliners is not how to apportion the carrot and the stick, but how most deftly to deliver the coup de grace. Israel’s ambassador to Washington explained how this could be done: “The way to deal with [Syria] is to de-legitimize its regime and the way to do that is by applying political pressure and to really apply economic sanctions… this is the key element to pressure [it] into regime change... So, this is the direction – a lot of psychological pressure.”[2]

The United States would be unwise to squeeze Syria to the breaking point. Regime change will present the U.S. with a number of immediate dangers and few clear advantages. The likelihood of Syria producing a fully democratic regime in the next ten to fifteen years is remote; it enjoys none of the recognized prerequisites for sustaining democracy: its elites are not committed to democracy, its population is not homogeneous, its national institutions are extremely weak and its per capita GDP is closer to $1,500 than the $5,500 commonly viewed as the democratic tipping point. Moreover, the strategy of promoting external opposition groups, such as Farid Ghadry’s Reform Party, is unlikely to succeed. Similar efforts to support exile groups to bring change to Cuba and Iraq have met with an unbroken record of failure. Should the Asad regime collapse, state institutions such as the army and police would likely disintegrate and the country would slip into chaos and inter-confessional violence. The model for intra-elite conflict would be the brother’s war of 1984. When Hafiz al-Asad fell seriously ill, his brother, Rifa`at, sent his militia onto the streets of Damascus to contest succession with the various security chiefs. Civil war was norrowly averted when Hafiz revived. Today, with no clear successor to Bashar within the Alawite community, it is quite possible that the Alawites would be pushed from power altogether. Should the Sunni majority reassert itself, it will not be the small class of liberals or old bourgeois families that take control. Experts agree that the likely alternative to the current regime is an Islamic state run by the Muslim Brotherhood.

By threatening Syria’s stability, the U.S. will illicit the opposite effect it desires. Syrians will rally around their government rather than demand change. Syrians are obsessed with maintaining stability. The notion that their country might catch the Lebanon disease and collapse into civil war or slip into lawlessness like Iraq has plagued public imagination. Stability was the major selling point of Hafiz al-Asad’s regime during its last decade. Indeed, Syria has suffered less civil strife over the last 20 years than any of its neighbors, with the possible exception of Jordan. Many Syrians put up with enduring economic stagnation and political repression as the price of stability. The United States is more likely to get the change it seeks by pursing a strategy of engagement with the government and by supporting internal reform movements.

Bashar al-Asad has consistently sought reform. Although, he has been hesitant and unsure of himself, he has demonstrated time and again that he is looking for a way out of Syria’s economic stagnation and a way into the good graces of Washington. Before becoming president, he led a steady and successful campaign to clean up the streets and local government of Latakia, the capital of the Alawite region. Latakia was traditionally known for its lawlessness and chaos. The shabbiha (young toughs and often Asad family members) had free run of the city. They regularly extorted money from local merchants, marketed smuggled Lebanese goods and openly carried automatic weapons about. They beat people up for unrecognizable slights in order to boost their profile and inspire fear. In short, they exhibited all the characteristics of a Mafia with few of its restraints. When Bashar inherited the mantle of power following his brother’s death in 1994, he waged a campaign to bring law and order to the Alawite heartland. He disciplined the Alawite ruffians and brought unruly family members to heal – in one incident, he personally had his cousin’s bodyguards thrown into jail for roughing people up. In 1996, thirteen of the nineteen Alawite professors at Tishriin Medical School were fired for corruption – a measure designed to show that the regime would neither play favorites nor protect fellow coreligionists at the expense of the law. Today, the city is a much tamer place than it was in the 1980s, which is due in large measure to Bashar.

Of course, corruption and clientelism have not disappeared; they are the backbone of the regime. No Asad can eliminate them without hastening his own demise. All the same, much reform can be achieved by the Asad regime if it is pushed in the right direction. By encouraging reform without threatening regime change, there is a good chance that, in the long run, the very process of reform will transform the system. This is the logic being pursued with great success by the U.S. in its relations with undemocratic China. It can also work in Syria.

Since Bashar al-Asad assumed national leadership, Syria has begun a process of power pluralization. Where it will lead is still unclear. Bashar’s early eagerness for reform and encouragement of the “Damascus Spring” even as he insisted he would follow the Chinese path of forbidding political liberalization while pursuing economic reform was clearly contradictory. It confused Syrians and demonstrated his lack of experience. Opposition members immediately demanded free elections and regime change, forcing Bashar to crack down on them. This played into the hands of the old guard and seemed to sign the end of reform. Nevertheless, Bashar has not eliminated the civil society groups. This permissiveness may be a cynical contrivance to placate western observers, but it also allows for a steady stream of criticism that the President uses to keep the old guard on their heals and to keep the issue of reform on the front burner.

Bashar must deliver on his early promises to bring economic growth and political liberalization to Syria. His legitimacy depends on it. Why else does he appoint reform-minded ministers and skilled technocrats? He needs change. Michel Kilo, a leading member of the civil society movement, recently explained that “Syria is no longer the same as it was under Hafiz al-Asad. The fear that was instilled in people’s bones during the old regime has disappeared. The discussions have become freer and critics more outspoken. During Hafiz al-Asad’s rule, the regime had a well-defined center of power. It was stable and unified. This is no longer the case. Power is scattered among different centers.”[3] Some Syrian reformers view the devolution of power taking place in a negative light because it has resulted in the increased independence of the pillars of the old regime – the Ba`th Party, the mukhabarat (secret police) and the army. Hakam Al-Baba, the Editor-in-Chief of the now defunct satirical weakly Al-Domari, explained, “Earlier one person ruled, now many rule. This is a dangerous chaos which leads to paralysis and the abandonment of political principles.” Other critics are hopeful that the relaxation of political principles and the pluralization of power will ultimately lead to greater liberty. They point to the emergence of new power centers espousing reform, greater openness and the participation of civil society. It is not only the old guard that benefits from Bashar’s weakness and willingness to put up with dissent, they argue. The devolution of authority creates new options in Syria. It also creates new options for the United States.

The path ahead for reform is unclear. The proliferation of economic reform plans is causing real confusion over who is in charge and what government policy really is. This past year, three separate wide-ranging economic reform plans were put forward. A draft economic reform plan (ERP) was released to the press last May and presented as a full program to reshape and liberalize the economy. No explanation was given for how this is to be linked to the five-year plan that is officially used as a framework for government work. Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Mohammad al-Hussein, announced on 20 November 2003 that his ministry had devised a three-year financial reform plan. Likewise, he made no reference to either the ERP or the five-year plan, although a major part of his plan covered financial and fiscal reform.[4] The flurry of economic reforms announced in the past several years demonstrates that many government officials are aware of the urgent need to reform and have been emboldened by the new president. The creativeness, initiative and new ideas that are being produced by the various Syrian ministries are directly attributable to Syria’s increased pluralism and the dynamism of its reforming spirit. Pluralism, however, is a double-edged sword. The lack of strong presidential leadership and the growing number of power centers can result in paralysis and chaos. However, Syria’s recent signing of the Economic Association Agreement with the E.U. and the Great Arab Free Trade Agreement with fellow Arab countries are promising signs. So is the recent inauguration of Syria’s first commercial banks.

The United States can help break the paralysis and push along the reform process by engaging with Syria. Nothing would help this more than for Washington to actively encourage a solution to the Golan issue. Bashar’s recently announced willingness to go beyond his father’s conditional commitments to pursue peace with Israel is promising. It offers Washington a chance to clear away the main impediment to improved relations with Syria.

Syria’s estrangement from the United States and radical turn towards socialism, military dictatorship and anti-Westernism began with the 1948 War and the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli conflict. By helping to end that conflict, the United States can open a new chapter in regional politics and help steer Syria back toward the path of parliamentary politics and pro-Western policies. As one of Israel’s most astute Syria observers has recently written, “Bashar apparently understands that the best way to ensure his regime’s long-term survival and extract Syria from its economic travails is to reconcile with the United States. And for Syria, the road to Washington passes through Jerusalem.”[5] Washington’s use of the cudgel with Syria has clearly frightened Bashar al-Asad. He has responded positively by asking for American help with the Golan, sharing intelligence on al-Qaida and by signing important economic agreements with Europe. By playing the bad cop to Europe’s good cop, Washington has achieved some success. There is no reason, however, why the U.S. cannot play the good cop itself and reap the rewards. With a bit of positive reinforcement, Bashar al-Asad may even find the authority to push economic reforms with renewed vigor. To get out of its economic stagnation, Syria will have to privatize industry, cut state subsidies and go through many painful changes – all of which will produce widespread domestic opposition. The US should help Syria negotiate this difficult path, not impede it.

Disclaimer: The opinion expressed in this comment is not officially sanctioned by the Syrian Republican Party. This comment was posted by a member of the Party and express his/ her opinion only and is solely responsible for it's content.

At 7/23/2005 10:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, what do you expect him to write, he is married to an Alawi woman whose father was a Baathist Army whatever in Assad's rag tag military.

At 7/23/2005 10:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus never existed, no one was able to show proof of his past existance whatsoever.

At 7/23/2005 11:08:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Well, I agree to a great extent with the analysis of Joshua.

However, one must wonder, including Joshua, as to why this regime that is threatened to be replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood, an outcome that few seem to be willing to digest, pursues a policy of extinguishing all real secular forces, the forces that Mr. Bashar Assad has squeezed and imprisonned their leaders, some of whom are very sick inside their cells with no pitty on them at all>? Why has the regime forced the people of Syria to become that much in the direction of the other mafia that presents as much or more danger to the Syrians as the regime itself?

Syrians, prior to Assad were not very impressed with the Moslem Brotherhood, nor with fanatic Islam at all. Islam in Syria was moderate, and contained a message of love and harmony among Muslims of all sects, and Christians, and even Jews. It was Assad and his corrupt regime that started to bring the extreme right wing Islam to the scene starting in 1970, and that was because of the Saudi support for for to, in the first place, to assume power against the other Baathists. It was Assad that gave the breathing air to the MBs to exist, expand, build thousands of stupid mosques instead of schools where children had to be divided in 3 shifts a day to be able to attend, and then, by the muting all other voices in Syria except the Islamic voices coming from these mosques and the few clergies that Assad bought their praise with money and freedom to organize and became the rallying circles of the right wings, he opened Syria for big troubles, all so his ego can be pumped to become the God he thought he was.

Curse Hafez Assad, his sons and family eternally. May their souls be burnt in hell for ever and ever. This man has destroyed a great country, and a great land and people. Syria was not such before him.

Mohammed (the cursor)

At 7/24/2005 02:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A marine finds he is surrounded by 1000 insurgents in Iraq. Knowing it is better to go down fighting then to be captured by these animals he yells out from the building where he is bunkered down.

"I'm in here, come and get me, there's only one of me".

One of the insurgents goes up to the terrorist leading the assault.

"Let me take 100 men and capture this infidel dog, God willing"

The leader agrees and 100 insurgents go after the marine.
Gun fire erupts for about five minutes and there is silence.

Then the marine yells again.

"is that all you got?"

Enraged the leader sends in another 400 men and gun fire erupts and dies down just like before.

"I'm still here".

The terrorist sends in his last 500 men and there is a hail of gunfire which lasts for 15 minutes. Finally one of the insurgents crawls out from behind the building, bloodied and shaking. He falls at the leaders feet.

The leader asks, "God willing, did you kill the infidel?".

The insurgent responds,

"No, the filthy American lied... There are 2 of them"."

At 7/24/2005 03:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to Mohamad the liar,

Muslim Brotherhood existed and flourished in Syria because Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Iraq all supported this movement through logistic support, training camps, weapons, finance and media. The movement was created to overthrow hafez and his regime but hafez crushed them and won his first battle against his enemies.

At 7/24/2005 03:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simply questioned:
at what point Syrians/Arabs/Muslims/....stands up????????????

I watched their march on damascus. I heard their cry against violence in Iraq/London/Egypt..............
My greatest respect to all of you Syrians, to your godlike leader.

At 7/24/2005 03:46:00 AM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

Well, now we westerners heard alot about your past. We are realizing the present. And what about the future?
I think, only MAD is thinking logical.
The west-leaders made many mistakes in the past and we can blame them. But the mood is bad in western societies, in america and also europe, what is rarely described in the media, because the law doesnt allow yet what is working already within the brains of policians: Deportation of all the muslims, muslim brotherhood who got asylum with all benefits, academics who got best education and salaries to feed relatives in ME, imams who used freedom for brainwash and so on and on. Just wait and see that they will change the laws, stop asylum and education. The boarders of the first world will be closed for arabs.
By the way, has Allah forbidden a good lifestyle? Why do you look backwards if God created the eyes in the front of the head?

To Mohammad: You are really much more intelligent and logical than most of commentators here. I would like to hear something about syrians future from your sight.
"With all my respect, Aphrodite, I am appalled to see you changing the subject in two threads for what happened in Egypt. Please let each subject take its course, and thank you." Well, the subject is one. Also the future is one. Mankind too is one. I missed your condolences, Mister Mohammed.

Aphrodite (human with pity)

At 7/24/2005 03:59:00 AM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

To 3:05 AM Anon

Why is Mohammed a liar?
Brotherhood or not. The only thought in the brain of your Kings is: "how can I stay in power". Thats it. They would sell their kids, they would kill their brothers for power.
But it is not only the King who is acting this way. Any Arab would do the same and does the same daily within his family.
As I told before: This is a collective disease.

Aphrodite (the doctor)

At 7/24/2005 05:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to aphrodite- Why don’t you ask Prof Josh to provide you with a few books on this part of the world. Once you read them, then come back and give us your thoughts.
Mohamad is just a liar with one thing in mind, to invite outsiders to destruct his country so then he can put his ass on an executive seat similar to Mohdm Chalabi in Iraq (he was the one who gave the CIA all the false information on WMD in Iraq). However, his ideas and thoughts are not shared among Syrians and are in fact despised by the majority of people here.
As for the other voices here and there who praise Mohmd, its just him again playing the old/new trick that Aljazeera network does when they have aired programs.

At 7/24/2005 05:43:00 AM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

please check: this is an amercican blog under protection of american government. People in developed country should read more.
Ask your government for your own blog and protection, then I will talk to you there. Will you?
Because I (and many other readers here) know who you are and where from you cannot insult me. Go and insult your father and your leader, thats the right address.

Aphrodite (educated american)

At 7/24/2005 05:57:00 AM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

"he can put his ass on an executive seat ".....Dear, on this seat is already one sitting with a crwon on his head, enjoying his power and money and slaves. Before a while in UK he apologized himself and asked, how he can democratize his dumb folk. No joke my Dear. And please remember, your former foreign minister called Arafat in public "the son of 99 bitches".
The truth is with Mohammed. Take your glasses Dear, read his intelligent and logical comments again and again, still there is hope that you are able to understand and learn. Welcome.

Aphrodite (female teacher)

At 7/24/2005 06:04:00 AM, Anonymous Tarek said...

I dont think Mohammed or most people here are liars. I feel that he truly believes in what he says. I think its all misled crap, but nevertheless he is sincere about it. Aphrodite, you have shown incridble ignorance and remarkable racisist feelings so your support for Mohammed is actually damaging his case. And please follow the previous advice and go "READ"

As for the possible strikes: If they do come from the American side then it will definitely boost Bashar's image since every Syrian "ignorant and intelligent" knows we are no match for the world's only superpower. But if the attacks are delegated to Israel then it can cause Damascus great credibility damage and a sense of weakness among average Syrians. If the latter option does happen (hope not) it will have to wait until after the Gaza pullout. Sharon is not willing to let anyone disturb his Gaza pullout so if such actions against Syria would materialize, the environment would be something similar to the October 2003 attacks where suicide bombings in Israel can be blamed on Syria to justify the attack. Obviously Israel wont dare to blame their partner in crime Mahmoud Abbas.

At 7/24/2005 06:14:00 AM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

"Mohamad is just a liar with one thing in mind, to invite outsiders to destruct his country"
Dear, Mohammad is peaceful and powerless, he doesnt destruct the country because he is not the owner of Syria. That is already your King Assad 2nd and you are the one, who defends him and his country, his relatives, his bank accounts and the poverty of his slaves. Am I right? If you please would respect your borders and dont bother your neighbors and mankind. What about a wall around your kingdom? I would spend some money for that.
May Allah bless your nation and also the United States of America.

Aphrodite (American)

At 7/24/2005 06:18:00 AM, Anonymous Tarek said...

Abdul Halim Khaddam called Arafat "son of 99 bitches"??? COOL.

Hope your not an English or philosophy teacher Aphro-girl, cause that would mean your students are in trouble

At 7/24/2005 06:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to aphrodite- no effence meant when i adviced you to read a few books.

At 7/24/2005 06:37:00 AM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

Dear Tarek,

its time -and we should not waste the minutes because the pot is cooking- its time for you to tell us: what do YOU do to make the world a better place? Please dont wait for american soldiers, they will not come. The only thing, you can benefit from, are sanctions as you know.
If the west sends back all Syrians (one called it deportation)we dont care what Madame Buthaina will say but it would nice to read your comment.
Will you change americas superpower? Would it be a better world then? Tell the want our president and give us yours???? HEHEHEHE


At 7/24/2005 07:37:00 AM, Anonymous Tarek said...

What is wrong with you woman? I want you soldiers to stay put in your country and everybody else's in theirs. And I definitely do not want a retarded chimp for a president so you can keep your beloved W. I am starting to doubt your even American since your English grammar is terrible. But to answer your question, I am not trying to end world hunger or create world peace in this blog. We are just a bunch of people interested in politics and discussing the matters at hand.

At 7/24/2005 08:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both Baathist regimes, the former Iraqi and the current Syrian, have proven that "Baath" is synonymous with crime. Its continued existence depends solely on terror whether the Baathists are still in power or not.

Recent events in Iraq, in Syria, and in Lebanon, and the actions of Baathist remnants together with their allied Salafi terrorists - the killings, kidnappings, and assassinations - is proof that terrorism is essential to the ideology of the Baath wherever it lives.

The Syrian regime insists on undermining democracy in both Iraq and Lebanon by drenching the people of those countries in blood baths. It is yet more evidence that human beings make use of neither rational thought nor the experiences of others to adopt the right solutions until they have depleted and discarded the wrong ones.

But the Baath’s stupidity, its ignorance, its absurd ideology, and its insistence on continuing its criminal activities will forever prevent it from finding the right solutions. It will end just as the Iraqi Baath regime ended, just as Saddam met his end - in a spider hole, terrified as a rat, wrapped in disgrace and dishonor.

The Syrian regime's continued support for terrorism in Iraq was accidentally made clear from a statement by Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq Al-Shar' at a Brussels international conference on June 22. "Syria is fully prepared to cooperate with the Iraqi government to ensure the security of the shared borders in practical methods," he said. "But American sanctions are hindering our efforts to properly protect the borders."

So the Syrians were lying when they said they controlled their borders. The Syrian Foreign Minister now acknowledged in a tongue slip that they have failed to control the borders. They blame America for this failure.

By this logic America, and not the Syrian regime, is responsible for the infiltration of terrorists into Iraq.

So the Syrians do want to control their borders and they do want to prevent the infiltration of foreign terrorists from entering Iraq? But they are unable to do so because of the American sanctions?

We all know the American sanctions against Syria are formal and symbolic. They have no real economic or security value. American aircraft are prohibited from landing at Syrian airports, for example, just as Syrian flights cannot use American airports. What impact could this sort of thing possibly have on the Syrian regime when these flights were almost non-existent in the first place?

Syria is a police state that counts people's breaths. Would it be possible for foreign infiltrators to enter Syria and travel to Iraq across its border so easily without the knowledge of the authorities?

The Syrian regime kidnapped Shakir Al-Dujaili, an innocent person, on his way to Iraq from Damascus Airport. There are no signs of his whereabouts to this day. How could they not know about infiltrators?

There are well-documented reports that Syria operates training camps for terrorists on its soil. It facilitates the entry of terrorists into Iraq and offers them financial rewards and payments for carrying out attacks against Iraqis. Many terrorists captured by Iraqi forces have confessed to this.

Syria has also offered sanctuary to the former leadership of the Iraqi Baath and allows them to coordinate terrorist activities from inside Syria.

The assassination of Lebanese politicians also continues. The latest victim was George Hawi, former Secretary General of the Lebanese Communist Party.

All the assassinated politicians - the martyrs Rafiq al-Hariri, Samir Kassir, and George Hawi - opposed the Syrian presence in Lebanon. The fingers of accusation all point to the Syrian regime and its agents and spies.

Syria pulled out its troops from Lebanon in response to UN Security Council Resolution 1559 and under pressure from the US and France. But its network of agents and spies continue to operate inside Lebanon, spreading fear and murder, threatening the Lebanese with civil war, just to tell the Lebanese people: "You are unable to protect yourselves without us."

The remnants of the Baath in Iraq are doing exactly the same thing. They spread fear and violence in Iraq in order to tell Iraqis that they cannot live in peace or enjoy stability and security without the Baath Party as ruler.

This is the true face of the Baath Party and its destructive suicidal policy.

No doubt the Syrian leadership believes that, with its superior intelligence and cleverness, it can undermine the American plan of democratizing the region.

The Syrian regime is a concoction of foolishness, nomadic stubborness, and insistence on wrongdoing. Its leadership thinks it can bring about another Vietnam. But they and the other Arab governments that support it are living inside an illusion. They have learned nothing from their defeats and the bitter lessons of history.

The histories of Arab governments are full of defeats and disasters brought upon the people who have sadly become addicted to the deification of autocrats and enmity toward democracy.

They oppose the newborn democracies in Iraq and Lebanon and they do whatever they can in their power to resist, even if it means slaughtering the people of those two countries and depriving them of security and stability.

The result is clear to all. America is a superpower in a state of war with international terrorism. The war began following the disaster of 9/11 by first crushing the medieval rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan, then the fascist Baath regime in Iraq.

Those who wager on the defeat of America because of the casualties they are suffering are living inside another illusion. America sustains a similar number of casualties during peacetime training its soldiers on its own soil. Statistical reports show that approximately 34 people are killed by criminals every day in America. Losing 2 or 3 American soldiers in Iraq will not force the US to withdraw.

Arabs who oppose democracy should also not wager on the stance of certain European countries, especially France, in its sympathy for Baathists and its desire to see the US fail in Iraq.

Western governments are now starting to realize that no country in the world is immune from the evils of Islamist-Baathist terrorism and that the battle of America is their battle as well. American failure in Iraq would be disastrous for the whole world. It would be a defeat for civilization and modernity, and a triumph for terrorism and savagery.

If the Syrian regime does not abandon its bloody policy in terrorizing the people of Lebanon and Iraq it will end up like the Iraqi Baathist regime. In the dustbin of history. In a filthy hole.

The democratization of the region, the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the ending of terrorism in the Middle East will not be achieved until the Baathist regime in Syria is destroyed.

At 7/24/2005 08:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For anyone who is not Lebanese, trying to understand what is happening in a nation long regarded as an example of how Christians and Muslims could work together to govern and prosper remains a confusing matrix of competing religious factions.

Lebanon , i.e. Beirut , was the Paris of the Middle East . It was modern and cosmopolitan. It was a financial hub. It was a place where a Muslim could go and enjoy its secular pleasures. Osama bin Laden reportedly sowed a few wild oats there in his youth.

That was, of course, prior to its fifteen year civil war from 1975 to 1990. It was triggered by an influx of heavily armed Palestinian refugees, many of whom arrived after being driven out of Jordan followed a failed attempt to overthrow the Hashemite monarchy. Today, Lebanon is the misbegotten child of French colonialism and its present troubles are usually dated to its independence in 1943. Prior to that it was a French protectorate, “carved out of the Ottoman province of Syria in the 19th century,” notes Gwynne Dyer, a London-based journalist.

In modern terms Lebanon has been a sovereign nation only since the last century, but its nationhood goes back thousands of years, having been mentioned at least sixty-six times in the Torah, Judaism’s holy book.

“Nobody alive today is to blame for the fact that every Lebanese is defined politically by his or her religion” “not just as Muslim or Christian, but as a Shia, Sunni, or Druze Muslim or a Maronite, Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox Christian,” says Dyer. This was a practice of the Ottoman Empire which the French adapted in order to impose a government in which half the seats in its parliament would permanently be reserved for Christians and the Lebanese president would always be a Maronite Christian while its prime minister would always be a Sunni Muslim.

It seemed to work but it is also the reason there hasn’t been a census in Lebanon for more than seventy years. Much of the former Christian population has either been killed or emigrated to North America, Europe, and Australia . As a result, the vast bulk of the population is Muslim. In a recent election held in southern Lebanon , the Shia Muslim parties, Hezbollah and Amal, won all 23 seats. A previous election in the north gave all 19 Beirut seats to an alliance headed by Saad al-Hariri, son of the assassinated former Prime Minister, Rafik al Hariri.

It was that assassination in February of this year that led to the forced withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon after massive demonstrations in the streets of Beirut . The real problem Lebanon faces can be summed up in one word, Syria . A close observer of events, Ziad Abdelnour, founder of the United States Committee for a Free Lebanon, says bluntly, “Nothing is really going to change in Lebanon until the current President Emile Lahoud, a total Syrian puppet, is evicted.”

The Bush administration agrees. In mid-July, National Security Council spokesman, Frederick L. Jones II, charged that Lahoud, a Syrian ally whose term was extended by three years under pressure from Damascus, was “preventing the will of the Lebanese people from being carried out.”

Syria has also been busy undermining Lebanon’s economy, blocking its exports so that millions of dollars of produce rot at the Lebanese-Syrian border. Trucks that would normally carry agricultural and other goods imported through Beirut’s port on the Mediterranean to Syria, Iraq, and Gulf countries have been stopped. The closure, noted Robin Wright of the Washington Post, threatens “50,000 jobs in Lebanon” and had cost Lebanon $1.5 million by mid-July, an estimated $300,000 a day. In a nation of some 3.5 million people, everyone is affected.

Abdelnour, along with countless other Lebanese knows that, so long as Bashar Assad runs Syria’s Baath regime is there, Lebanon’s progress toward true independence will be blocked. A pragmatist, he notes that, “Lebanon has got to sign a peace treaty with Israel.” The likelihood of that is unlikely due to the grip Hezbollah holds on much of the nation. Designated a terrorist organization by the US, it has not ceased from its attacks on Israel. In an effort to defend itself, Israel had occupied southern Lebanon for twenty-two years, ending it in May 2000.

A United Nations Security Council Resolution, 1559, sponsored by the United States and France, and adopted in September 2004, calls for all of the militias in Lebanon to disband and disarm. Hezbollah has made it clear it has no intention of doing that. It’s worth noting that Hezbollah is funded by Iran. As such, it poses a threat to the stability of Lebanon, though a significant portion of its population sees it primarily as a political organization. As we have seen in the past, fifteen years of similar UN resolutions regarding Iraq were finally enforced by the US invasion and the subsequent efforts to reform that beleaguered nation.

To understand Lebanon’s dilemma, one needs to stand back and look at the entire Middle East which is still in the grip of despots like Syria’s Assad, Muslim revolutionaries like the Iranian mullahs, or monarchies like the Saudis. The larger, strategic US goal of changing the Middle East will only be achieved when democracy is imposed and protected by the armed might of the United States.

In Lebanon, the old ways of governance must give way to the reality of a Muslim majority population. If they can demonstrate tolerance for Lebanon’s Christian population; if they can establish the rule of secular law; if they can make peace with Israel, tiny Lebanon has a chance to become a real nation again. As things stand now, the prospects are not good, but the Lebanese people may yet surprise everyone.

At 7/24/2005 08:27:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

It was tlass who insulted arafat (who cares about these clowns anyway).

A lot of people in the world were mistreated by american policies. Most of these nations adopted constructive oppositions and di not send any citizen to blow himself up in the UK. Terrorism is not about american policy. Terrorism is about a conlict between Islam or the West, or to be more exact, radical Islam and the west.

If Ben Laden or its alike is not representative of muslims, his ideology is still derived from Islam. Palestinian terrorism in the 70's was due to the West policies. The current terrorism has nothing to do with the west policies - it's due to a retrogade interpretation of Islam that is becoming increasingly common in the arab world.

A few days ago, Josh published an article quoting a knowledgeable Koweit who basically said 'people says that democracy should not come from the west. But everything in this region came from the west. Modern life came from the west. Oil technology and oil money came from the west, along with science and all the products we consume every day. Democracy will come from the west like everything else'.

an interesting article

At 7/24/2005 08:28:00 AM, Anonymous Ibrahim said...


At 7/24/2005 08:43:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Yes, Aphrodite got it right in all of her points. Tarek mock what she said about the "son of 99..", but yes, it was Tlas who said so about Arafat (by the way, Arafat was another thug like all Arabs who were Socialists at first wanting to have equality among their people, but when they got power, their most imporatnt role became to get rich at all expense, and to "DESPISE THE POOR". This is what the Socialist Revolutionaries like Assad, Saddam, Khadafi, Arafat, and some others did. They all wanted not only to govern not only all of their life time, but also to make their Republic, a heridtary Republic.

2- Tarek proudly and without the shadow of a shame said this:
" I want your soldiers to stay put in your country and everybody else's in theirs. And I definitely do not want a retarded chimp for a president so you can keep your beloved W";

Are you not also an American, Mr. Tarek? You have been living in the US for 25 years sending lots of money to Syria from the US as you yourself said, aren't you ashamed to say what you said above? No wonder, Arabs will be subjects to deporation.
When they live in the West, enjoy everything in it, and know in their hearts that the West has the Best , absolutely the Best political system that humanity has evolved to, yet, they see no wrong with the the political system that their countries of origin have, and nothing wrong in the oppression that the few families subject the majority of their population to, getting rich, not by innovations such as what Bill Gates did, but by force and without reinvesting the money in the economy of their people, but to put it safely outside of the countries. look , each Saudi Emir is a billionaire, each Kuwaiti emir is a billionaire (By birth alone). Each member of the Saddam family is a billionaire, as well as each member of the Assad family. What did these people do for humanity before to deserve that money, or afterward, after they became billionaire? Their only interest is to accumlulate money in foreign banks as did Markos of the Phillipines, the Shah of Iran, Mobouto of Kongo/Zair, DuValier of Haiti...and the kind of people like Tarek defend these thugs with no shame. This can only be if he is related to them, or he is getting something.

Tarek: If you don't feel American, then leave America. America does not need people who live in it, and hate it.

As to Aphrodite's English, I was, from the begining wondering about your English after 25 years in the US.

I will write long articles about how Assad nourished the Muslim Brotherhood, and Aphrodite said, "He would do anything to be in power". Assad did not fight and crush the Brotherhood. He found himself fighting them at the end of the 70's. For more than 2 years, the brotherhood were assassinating ordinary Alawis (thinking wrongly that assassinating those Alawis, among them, there were doctors, judges, and also garbage men, and ordinary soldiers), they thought that by assassinating them Assad might be moved, and the Allawis would exert pression on Assad to do something. They thought wrong. Assad, though he has many Allawis in the Mukhabarat and the military does not care a bit about any Alawi. He was (truly he was) enjoying those assassinations. He once told one of the doctors, joking: When will your turn come?). The Brotherhood calculated so wrong, and what they did were crimes against humanity, killing people who had nothing to do with the regime, but calculating wrongly that this is something that will force Assad to change his policies, or for the Alawis to get him out. They did not know that the Assad family are the Mafia Thugs against Alawis firstly, and that Alawis are dominated by the Assad who exploit their kids to the maximum, and that Alawis needed some one to liberate them from this thug and his family. Surely, His brother only hires Alawis in his special forces, and Sectarianism has been a way the Assad family concentrated power and dominated Syria with, but to do that, the Assad family had to subjugate the Alawis first, and among Alawis, they found the least educated and the very poor (So many), and made them with criminal mentality to act like the Mafia among Alawis first. Alawis had to bow to Assad, and the punishment for any Alawi who oppose him is twice harsher than a Sunni or a Christian. Anyway, Assad was enjoying the killings by the Brotherhood of the ordinary and most educated Alawis. He did not do a thing during those assassinations, until a bomb exploded around him personally. That was when he got mad, and ordered his brother to massacre the Brotherhood. He did so by committing war crimes. It was way beyond a normal response. then, he rallied more Alawis around him because of the stupidity of the Brotherhood, and their continued stupidity by attacking even now verbally, all Alawis, and forcing them to be on the opposite side of where they are. Sectarianism was created by Assad, misunderstood by the Brotherhood, and perhaps exploited by them to try to come to power among Sunnis (Sunnis were not sectrianists prior to 1963), then exploited again by Assad to rally more Alawis around protecting himself.

But who, from 1970 imprisonned, impoverished, assassinated the cream of the society who were secular people and leaders? It was Assad. At the same time, he encouraged and financed the buildings of thousands of mosques across Syria. He allocated monthly salries to stupid destructive so called Islamic clergies, and gave them power more than they could have ever have dreamed of under the parlimantary system that Syria experienced before and where Islamists had very little popularity. He, Assad, built hundreds of special schools to "memorize the Quran" by kids. A thing which does not make sense. These schools that turn kids into memorizers of a book make of these kids dummies in the bad sense of the word. The Quran , if it is a great book, it is understanding it, not memorizing it. Assad turned a generation of kids into a lost generation. Those who did not attend the dummy Quran schools, attnded the Public schools where kids repeated every single morning the slogans to worship Assad himself. This is how Syria was screwed up. The West was happy that Assad was in good terms with Saudi Arabia at the time this cold war was taking place, and anything to stop communists was good for the West, but now we are all paying the price of this wrong Wahabi Muslim ideology and doctrine.

God bless you all.

Mohammed (the historian)

At 7/24/2005 08:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anon 8:14,

Donno where to start but here we go:

"Recent events in Iraq, in Syria, and in Lebanon, and the actions of Baathist remnants together with their allied Salafi terrorists - the killings, kidnappings, and assassinations - is proof that terrorism is essential to the ideology of the Baath wherever it lives"

There is no proof what so ever that Syria has supported Iraqi Baathists or Salafists.
Ten days ago a Syrian security delegate visited Iraq seeking any evidence on this so called support but the Iraqis failed to provide them with anything.

"The Syrian regime's continued support for terrorism in Iraq was accidentally made clear from a statement by Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq Al-Shar' at a Brussels international conference on June 22. "Syria is fully prepared to cooperate with the Iraqi government to ensure the security of the shared borders in practical methods," he said. "But American sanctions are hindering our efforts to properly protect the borders"

He was referring to the military sanctions. Syria cant buy the night vision equipment without a permission from the United States.

"There are well-documented reports that Syria operates training camps for terrorists on its soil. It facilitates the entry of terrorists into Iraq and offers them financial rewards and payments for carrying out attacks against Iraqis"

Please provide us with your source of information and the well-documented reports.

Can't reply back to your rhetoric speach (which is good BTW) because I have work to do.

At 7/24/2005 08:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to be able to edit the posts. It is hard to see the errors in this small windows where we write the reply.

At 7/24/2005 09:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opinion poll, conducted for the Asian radio station Sunrise, 98% of London Muslims under 45 said they would not fight for Britain, while 48% said they would take up arms for Bin Laden.

In protest of this Western barbarity, I suggest that all Muslims leave the kafir world immediately and return to Mecca where they can register a mass-protest through the U.N. office in Riyahd.

It is clearly too dangerous for terrorists and their Islamic sympathizers to live among infidel dogs any more, especially those who are arrogant enough to defend themselves against bombing campaigns by honest jihadists.

But all Western governments should give them free one-way passage as a method of saying "We understand your worries and don't wish to inconvenience your exit.".

Bye, now.

At 7/24/2005 09:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inayat Bunglawala, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain.

His email address is:

At 7/24/2005 09:05:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...


Bashar Assad is shooting himself in the foot. His regime can survive exactly by the opposite steps he has been taking. He must open up the Syrian society, and open his prisons. Kanaan just denied the existence of any political prisonner. Three months ago, the Assad regime ambassoador to Washington, Mr. Imad Mustafa said that there would be not even a single political prisonner coming July. They have not released a single prisonner, instead they took few more. So what does Kannan mean? Did they also kill the prisonners and there is really no more prisonners? I call for an International "enquette" on this latest war/civil crime.


At 7/24/2005 09:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to mohamad the liar,

"the brotherhood were assassinating ordinary Alawis (thinking wrongly that assassinating those Alawis, among them, there were doctors, judges, and also garbage men, and ordinary soldiers), they thought that by assassinating them Assad might be moved, and the Allawis would exert pression on Assad to do something. "

What do you mean do something? you mean like step down from power and handle it to the Muslim Brotherhood?

"He was (truly he was) enjoying those assassinations."

I wont ask you how you reached that conclusion because I know your answer "i Know because I was his best friend who" but hafez's regime was threatened not only by Muslim Brotherhood but by all the surrounding countries who were supporting this terrorist movement so there is nothing to enjoy.

"He did not do a thing during those assassinations, until a bomb exploded around him personally"

He did a lot to fight muslim brotherhood but he couldn’t match the huge support this movement received from the surrounding countries. Ofcourse he will get mad when they bomb him personally, he was the president!!

At 7/24/2005 09:21:00 AM, Anonymous Tarek said...

To Mohammed (the blind)

I am NOT american and NOT living in the states and never have. I live as i said before in The Netherlands and i am still young and never send money to Syria. so check your facts first. I really like the American ppl some of my best friends are american and went to an american highschool and university i just have a problem with the governments foreign policy moron. Life is not how your beloved George Bush sees it, its not black and white or your either with us or against us. All countries have their flawes

At 7/24/2005 09:22:00 AM, Anonymous Orontes Corporation said... Orontes Corporation, Orontes Corporation, Orontes Corporation, Oronted Defense technology Corporation, Orontes Defense Technology Corporation. ARAM, Missile guided by the target motion, Orontes Hybrid Electric Power Generator. Orontes Compressed air generators, Oorntes Continuous rotation electric power drive. Generator. Electric Generator.Hybrid electric car.

At 7/24/2005 09:24:00 AM, Anonymous Orontes Corporation said...

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At 7/24/2005 09:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck you all.

At 7/24/2005 09:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dumb Arabs......Coward scum. You have no honer and no dignity all of ya. Long Live France. VIVA FRANCE.

At 7/24/2005 09:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aha, Mister Tarek from Netherlands.
What about the mood in hollandias society?

At 7/24/2005 10:11:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...


That is not what you said in a previous post addressed to me a couple of weeks ago. You were proud that you had graduated from the faculty of medicine in Damascus, and that you came to the US afterward to specialize, and has been living in the US for 25 years sending tons of money to your family every month. This was addressed to me to state your accomplishments.

At 7/24/2005 10:15:00 AM, Anonymous Tarek said...


Please fish out that post cause either ur mistaking me for someone else or that was another Tarek. I have said more than once that i love in Holland

At 7/24/2005 10:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone of you here work at Medical center / hospital in Virginia, South Carolina or at software company in Virginia / Ohio?

Just say yes.

At 7/24/2005 10:37:00 AM, Anonymous Tarek said...

We should start a chat site here, there is so much to say and posting comments every couple of hours just does not cut it sometimes.

At 7/24/2005 10:38:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...


My apologies. It was so called Naiem. I absolutely believed that you and two other names posting, including Naeim are the same person. Though I can see that so called Naim , with 25 years in the US as a doctor sending thousands of dollars to his mother as he said has not been able to learn basic English, but I believed it was you.


At 7/24/2005 10:44:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Yes Anon, but medical law, not medicine.

At 7/24/2005 10:53:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Disgusting news:

"إنذار بوجود قنبلة بوزارة العدل السورية
GMT 12:15:00 2005 الأحد 24 يوليو
بهية مارديني


بهية مارديني من دمشق: ارتفع مستوى الاستنفار الأمني في المدن السورية، وعلى الأخص دمشق، بعد ورود عدة مؤشرات عن مخاوف من تنفيذ عمليات إرهابية ضد أهداف في سورية على صلة بتسليم دمشق لإرهابيين قبضت عليهم في أراضيها مؤخرا . و اليوم تلقت وزارة الداخلية السورية إنذارا بوجود قنبلة في وزارة العدل في اوتستراد المزة بدمشق، و هي التي كانت هدفا لجماعة تكفيرية القي القبض عليها مؤخرا الأمر الذي أحبط العملية ، وانتقلت ايلاف فور سماع النبأ من أحد الموظفين إلى وزارة العدل وكانت حركة التوافد عادية إلا أن إجراءات التفتيش على باب الدخول باتت اكثر تعقيدا. وقال مصدر سوري لـ"ايلاف" ان الإنذار الذي تلقيناه كان كاذبا والحمد لله ، وانتقل فريق من الخبراء على الفور، واتضح عدم وجود اية متفجرات او قنابل في الطابق الأول من الوزارة التي تتواجد فيها محكمة النقض وديوانها ، ونفى ان تكون هذه هي المرة الاولى وذّكر بمجموعة الارهابيين الذي تم القاء القبض عليهم مؤخرا وكانوا يخططون لعمل ارهابي في قصر العدل بدمشق وكانوا سيستخدمون طفلة في تنفيذ العملية ، وأكد المصدر أن لهذه الأسباب كانت التشديدات الأمنية على كافة المنافذ الحدودية مع الدول المجاورة .
وكانت دمشق القت القبض مؤخرا على 34 متطرفا من دول عربية مختلفة بعد اشتباك مع الجيش السوري على الحدود اللبنانية .

Islamists and Assadists are one. Both are heartless, and criminals.

Mohammed (The Disgusted)

At 7/24/2005 11:05:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

I am wondering now about this so called "peaceful", "loving" etc.. religion. Is the Islamic religion itself to blame, or is it the people who "highjacked" Islam, and "misinterpreted" it?

The genius of Mohammad (not me for sure, and I don't want to be him) was to give his people at the time , a book that gave exactly two and opposite views about any subject. He satisfied both the pro(s) and the Anti(s) of any matter. So Islamists can find -In the Quran itself- what they need to support their terrorist dogma. The so called Loving peaceful Muslims who want to defend their religion use the other side of the same Quran, the part that speaks of love, forgiveness, and peace!

That was good for Mohammad 1500 years ago. Is it still good for a world that has established norms, human rights issues, and progressed so much scientifically, and no longer lives in the heat of the desert of that time?

It is time for Muslims to discuss the truthfulness of this Quran. I love many parts of it, but then, I see the other part, and I stop, and say to my self: This can't be. The contradiction is evident. It is either some class of people changed the Quran, or--- Mohammed was so politically acute that his aim justified his means in a very deep and lasting way.

God bless us all!

At 7/24/2005 11:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone here works for Sentara Medical System.

At 7/24/2005 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Here is an article for those of you who understand french. It really explains in depth what Assad did to bring the Islamist dogma and Islamists to become such "important" in Syria:

الفقيه والسلطان (الشيخ البوطي نموذجاً)

Friday, November 19

محمد علي الأتاسي

الشيخ محمد سعيد رمضان البوطي واحد من أهم الشخصيات الدينية الفاعلة في سورية، هذا إذا لم يكن أهمها وأكثرها نفوذاً وتأثيراً على الإطلاق لجهة

امتداد شبكة أتباعه ومريديه ورفعة موقعه في الحقل الديني الدمشقي وعمق العلاقة التي تجمعه بالسلطة السياسية القائمة في هذا البلد. وإذا كانت بعض الأدبيات الصحفية تعمد متسرعة إلى تفسير مكانة الشيخ ونفوذه في سورية بقربه من الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد وموقفه المناهض لتحرك "الإخوان المسلمين" المسلح في مواجهة السلطة، أوائل الثمانينات من القرن المنصرم، فإن من يتتبع للمكانة التي يتمتع بها هذا الشيخ لدى جمهور واسع من المؤمنين، بل ولدى جمهور التيارات الإسلامية المعادية لسلطة البعث بشكل خاص، يدرك أن المعادلة أكثر تعقيداً، وأن الشيخ هو أبعد بكثير عن فقدان نفوذه وهيبته بسبب موقفه المؤيد لسلطة سياسية قمعت بشدة تيارات الإسلام السياسي في بلدها. تريد هذه المقالة من خلال أخذها الشيخ البوطي نموذجاً أن تعرض لجوانب من علاقة رجل الدين برجل الدولة ولطبيعة المصالح والمبادلات الرمزية القائمة بين الطرفين. وستعرج على استعراض بعض سمات هذا الفكر الذي نما وازدهر في أحضان دولة تسلطية ترفع عالياً الشعارات العلمانية!

بحسب موجز السيرة الذاتية الذي يتصدر كتب البوطي فإنه ولد في العام 1929 في قرية جيلكا الواقعة في منطقة كردستان التركية، ووالده هو الملا رمضان البوطي أحد شيوخ المتصوفة. وصل البوطي إلى دمشق في العام 1933 برفقة والده وكان له من العمر أربع سنوات. أنهى دراسته الثانوية في معهد التوجيه الإسلامي بدمشق والتحق في العام 1953 بكلية الشريعة في جامعة الأزهر، وعيّن لدى عودته إلى سورية معيداً في كلية الشريعة في جامعة دمشق التي أوفدته للحصول على دكتوراه في أصول الشريعة الإسلامية من جماعة الأزهر. عيّن البوطي مدرساً في كلية الشريعة بجامعة دمشق في العام 1965 وتدرج في المناصب وكيلاً في الكلية، ثم عميداً لها وهو الآن يحتل منصب رئيس قسم العقائد والأديان في جامعة دمشق. نال البوطي حديثاً لقب شخصية العالم الإسلامي في الدورة الـ 18 لجائزة دبي الدولية للقرآن الكريم، وهو بحسب ما تروج بعض المصادر الصحفية على رأس قائمة المرشحين لمنصب المفتي الأعلى للجمهورية السورية خلفاً للشيخ أحمد كفتارو المتوفي حديثاً

ينتمي البوطي إلى فئة من رجال الدين الدمشقيين الذين يعودون في نسبهم إلى أصول كردية وإلى عائلات دينية عرف عنها تأثرها بالصوف، ومن هؤلاء نجد أيضا مفتي سورية على مدى ما يزيد على الأربعين عاما الشيخ كفتارو. وقد حافظت هذه الفئة من رجال الدين على علاقة طيبة (حتى لا نقول أكثر!) مع السلطة الحاكمة وأبقت على مسافة واضحة من الإسلام السياسي وعلى رأسه حركة "الأخوان المسلمين"، لا سيما خلال فترة الصراع الدامي الذي تفجر بين السلطة والإخوان.

وخلال عقود ظل الإسلام الرسمي السوري ممثلا بوزارة الأوقاف ومجلس الإفتاء الأعلى وكلية الشريعة مخلصاً لمنهجه الذي يمكن تلخيصه بالحديث النبوي الذي طالما ردده مفتي الجمهورية الراحل الشيخ كفتارو عن الرسول، والقائل بأن "الإسلام والسلطان أخوان توأمان لا يصلح أحدهما بدون الآخر، فالإسلام أسّ والسلطان حارس، وما لا أس له ينهدم، وما لا حارس له يضيع" (رواه الديلمي عن ابن عباس). وإذا كانت هذه الفئة من رجال الدين الرسميين عملت جاهدة على منع احتكار تيارات الإسلام السياسي لمشروعية النطق باسم الدين، وظلت على رفضها المحق للعنف المسلح، وأبقت على الدوام شيئاً من المشروعية الدينية إلى جانب السلطة السياسية، فإنها في المقابل نالت من جانب هذه السلطة الكثير من التسهيلات التي سمحت لها بممارسة دورها الدعوي في المجتمع بدون عوائق أو ضغوط. ففي وقت جرى فيه التضييق على الكثير من المساجد وحلقات العبادة في سورية أبان أزمة الثمانينات الدامية، فإن مسجد أبو النور التابع للشيخ أحمد كفتارو في مدينة دمشق تحول من مسجد صغير وبسيط إلى مجمع ضخم من تسع طوابق يضم ثلاث كليات إسلامية ومعهدين ويستقبل ما يزيد عن 6 آلاف طالب من السوريين والأجانب. وعملاً بمنطق الوراثة (!) وتنفيذاً لوصية المفتي فإن الإشراف على هذا المجمع أنتقل من بعد وفاته إلى ابنه صلاح الدين كفتارو. أما الشيخ البوطي فوجد في كلية الشريعة في جامعة دمشق واجهة مؤسساتية رسمية تسمح له بممارسة دوره في الدعوة والتدريس، يضاف إليها دروسه الدينية وخطب الجمعة في العديد من جوامع دمشق والتي يحضرها الآلاف من أتباعه ومريديه. وقد سمح مرض كفتارو وتقدمه الطاعن في السن خلال السنوات الأخيرة، للبوطي بلعب دور مفتي الظل في الجمهورية السورية. فإليه مثلا كانت توكل مهمة إلقاء كلمة رجال الدين في حضرة الرئيس السوري الراحل في العديد من المناسبات الدينية والوطنية. وهو الذي أقام صلاة الجنازة على روحه وألقى كلمة رجال الدين في حفل تأبينه.

طبعاً يجب أن لا يفهم من كلامنا هذا أن نفوذ البوطي وتأثيره، قائمان فقط على دعم السلطة وتشجيعها له، فالشيخ سبق له أن بنى مكانة دينية ودنيوية داخل حقل علماء الدين الدمشقيين وبين جمهور المؤمنين، بفضل كتبه وأبحاثه ودروسه الدينية. ويعتبر كتابه "كبرى اليقينيات الكونية" الصادر في دمشق بعد أقل من عامين على هزيمة الـ 1967 والبوطي له من العمر أربعين عاماً فقط، واحد من أكثر الكتب نجاحاً ومبيعاً. هذا على الرغم، وربما بسبب، طابعه الغيبي المحافظ وفكره النكوصي المعادي لمجمل أطروحات الإصلاح الديني الذي أسس لها جمال الدين الأفغاني ومحمد عبده في نهاية القرن التاسع عشر. وكأن في هذا الكتاب لحظة تأسيسية هامة لمنهج الردة على حركة الإصلاح الديني والتنوير، والذي انتشر وازدهر في أصقاع العالم العربي بعد هزيمة حزيران وفشل مشروع التحديث السلطوي.

بالإضافة إلى هذا الكتاب برز البوطي في بداية مشواره الفكري والدعوي من خلال عدة كتب سجالية مبسطة موجهة للجمهور الواسع حاول فيها الرد على بعض طروحات التيارين الماركسي والقومي، من مثل كتابيه "نقض أوهام المادية الجدلية" و "حقائق عن نشأة القومية". وإذا كان البوطي قد ساجل تيارات سياسية وفكرية كثيرة، ابتداء من اليسار والليبرالية وانتهاء بالوهابية وبعض حركات الإسلام السياسي، فإنه ظل مع ذلك مخلصاً لتلك المدرسة في الإسلام السني الدمشقي التي تركز على الجانب الدعوي والتربوي وتأبى الدخول في متاهات العمل السياسي المباشر مع أنها تفتي وتنّظر وتبدي الرأي في كل أمور الدين والدنيا، وفي مقدمها السياسية.

لا يستقيم الحديث عن تأثير البوطي على عامة الناس في سورية والعالم العربي والإسلامي من دون الإشارة إلى الدور الهائل الذي يضطلع به التلفزيون في إيصال خطابه إلى عدد كبير من الناس. وتعود إطلالة البوطي الأولى على الجمهور من خلال التلفزيون السوري في برنامج حواري جمعه مع الكاتب الماركسي الطيب تيزيني وذلك في نهاية الثمانيات من القرن المنصرم، في زمن لم تكن فيه الفضائيات العربية قد غزت المنازل. وبسبب البراعة والتفوق اللذين ميزا البوطي عن خصمه التيزيني والنجاح الكبير الذي لاقته الحلقة في سورية فقد خصص التلفزيون السوري في مرحلة لاحقة وبأمر من الرئيس السوري الراحل حافظ الأسد برنامجاً أسبوعياً للشيخ البوطي يطل من خلاله على جمهور القناة الأرضية السورية. وللبوطي اليوم، بالإضافة لبرنامجه هذا، سلسلة أحاديث تلفزيونية متنوعة تبثها قناة "إقرأ" وفضائيتي "الشارقة" و"الكويت".

وللبوطي كذلك، موقع شخصي على الانترنيت ( يديره ناشره السوري "دار الفكر"، ويضم أرشيفاً موسعاً وغنياً لمقالاته ومحاضراته وخطب الجمعة التي يلقيها. وفيه قسم مخصص للإجابة عن أسئلة الناس وتصدير الفتاوي، وهناك كلمة يوجهها البوطي في نهاية كل شهر لزائري الموقع المتوفر أيضا للناطقين باللغات الإنكليزية والألمانية والفرنسية والتركية والفارسية والبشتونية.

البوطي والسلطة

إن علاقة التبادل الرمزي التي تجمع بين السلطة الدينية والسلطة السياسية أعقد بكثير من أن تفسر وفق منطق العلاقة القسرية في اتجاه واحد التي تجبر رجل الدين على تنفيذ وقول كل ما تطلبه منه السلطة السياسية. المعادلة أكثر تركيباً ولنقل أن السلطة في معركتها مع تيارات الإسلام السياسي في حاجة إلى دعم يأتيها من سلطة دينية تتمتع بحد أدنى من الصدقية وتكون قادرة على منازعة التيارات النضالية محاولة احتكارها المرجعية الدينية. في المقابل، لكي تتمتع السلطة الدينية بصدقية حقيقية لدى جمهور المؤمنين تمكنها من ممارسة هذا الدور، يجب عليها أن لا تمضي بعيدا في دعم وتأييد السلطة السياسية، لأن في هذا تأثيراً سلبياً على الصدقية التي تتمتع بها. لكنها في الآن نفسه في حاجة إلى تقديم شيء من فروض الطاعة والولاء لكي تنال ثقة السلطة السياسية، التي بدورها ستغض الطرف وتعطي التسهيلات حتى تمارس السلطة الدينية دورها وتصل إلى جمهورها. لكن لكي تستطيع السلطة الدينية أن تمارس فعلياً دورها هذا على جمهور المؤمنين، فإنها في حاجة إلى اعتراف الجمهور وإيمانه بها كسلطة دينية، وهنا موطن قوتها وضعفها في الآن ذاته.

في المحصلة فإن اختلاف طبيعة وآلية عمل كلا من السلطة السياسية والسلطة الدينية، يسمح للأولى بأن تحتكر العنف المشرعن وفقا لتعبير ماكس فيبر، في حين تحتكر الثانية السيطرة المشرعنة على الإدارة الدنيوية للنجاة الأبدية أو الما ورائية.

بناء على هذه التوازنات الدقيقة والمتأرجحة، يمكننا قراءة العلاقة التي جمعت الشيخ البوطي مع السلطة السياسية في سورية. فالبوطي كان السبّاق في كيل آيات المديح والإطراء، بل والإسراف فيها، لكنه حافظ على الدوام في ثنايا عباراته وجمله الإنشائية الرنانة على خيط رفيع من الالتباس والغموض، يتيح له احتواء تهجم المشككين في صدقيته والاستناد إلى هذا الالتباس المقصود، لإعادة تأويل كلماته وفق منظور إسداء النصح للسلطة بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة. وسينتظر البوطي وفاة الرئيس حافظ الأسد وبرهة "ربيع دمشق" لينشر كتابه المعنون بـ "هذا ما قلته أمام بعض الملوك والرؤساء العرب" الذي يضم نصوص معظم الكلمات التي ألقاها أمام الرئيس حافظ الأسد والملك حسين بن طلال والحسن الثاني ملك المغرب، مضافاً إليها مقدمة يحاول فيها البوطي للمرة الأولى أن يرد عنه التهم بخصوص ممالأة السلطة، مدعياً أن همه في ما قاله لم يكن لا مداهنة الحكام ولا مداهنة الناس بل ابتغاء مرضاة الله. وسنجد في هذا الكتاب عبارات يصف فيها البوطي الحكام بأوصاف نورد منها على سبيل المثال: القائد الفذ والعبقري والمعين الذي لا ينضب والنهر الدافق وصاحب المواقف التي انبعثت عن إلهام رباني. لكننا نجد كذلك أن البوطي يسدي النصح للحكام سواء لجهة الرأفة بالناس والإفراج عن المعتقلين أو لجهة التشدد والصمود في مواجهة الضغوط الخارجية التي تستهدف في رأيه الإسلام والمسلمين.

لكن لا شيء يعبر بدقة عن تذاكي البوطي في علاقته المركبة مع الحكام سوى جوابه عما يسميه أغرب سؤال استنكاري واجهه في حياته ومفاده وفقاً للبوطي: لماذا انتابك الخشوع والبكاء وأنت تصلي صلاة الجنازة على فلان من الناس؟

وبالرغم من أن البوطي يمارس التقية ويعدل في كلام السائل مستخدماً تعبير "فلان من الناس"، فإن في جواب الشيخ المتشاطر الكثير من المستور ليس فقط بخصوص هوية المتوفي، ولكن بخصوص منهج تفكير البوطي وبنية خطابه المزدوج والمراوغ. ولتبين ذلك نقتبس من جواب البوطي الفقرة الآتية: "أنا، كأي مسلم صادق مع الله في إسلامه، قلما صليت على جنازة، إلا وخيّل إليّ أنني أنا الممتد في أكفاني داخل الصندوق الذي أمامي وأنتابتني من ذلك حال لا يعلمها إلا الله سواء عرفت الميت أم لم أعرفه. فكيف إذا كان هذا الميت من ذوي السلطة والمكانة الباسقة في حياته، يأمر فيطاع وينهي ويحذّر فينقاد له الجميع، وأنظر إليه، فإذا هو مجرد من سابق أبهته وسلطانه، عار من كل قدراته، قد ارتحل إلى الله ذليلاً صاغراً مجرداً إلا من أكفان عبوديته" (كتاب "كلمات في مناسبات"، 2004، ص34)

من الرابح؟

في ظل هذه العلاقة المركبة بين رجل السلطة ورجل الدين، قد يرد سؤال عمن هو الرابح الأكبر بين الطرفين؟

الأكيد أن رجل السلطة لا يمكن إلا أن يكون مرتاحاً لولاء وتأييد رجل دين بمكانة البوطي وأهميته، وهذا ليس فقط لما يملكه البوطي من شعبية تجيّر في النهاية لصالح السلطة السياسية، ولكن أيضاً لما يمارسه البوطي من نفوذ قادر على تحييد شرائح واسعة من الناس هي في طبيعة تكوينها الديني والاجتماعي حساسة لأطروحات الإسلام السياسي الطامح إلى السلطة.

أما البوطي فعدا زيادة نفوذه بفضل هامش الحرية الواسع الذي يملكه مقارنة بغيره، فإنه لا يمكن إلا أن ينظر بعين الرضا لتوسع المد الإسلامي, وإن كان هذا المد بقي محصوراً في جانبه الاجتماعي والثقافي، في ظل المنع المطلق الذي تمارسه الدولة السورية على كل أشكال التعبير السياسي للتيار الإسلامي.

لا بل أن الكثير من رموز "الإخوان المسلمين"، باتوا هم أيضا يغفرون للبوطي موقفه المناهض لهم والمؤيد للنظام خلال أزمة الثمانينات، ما دام الشيخ قد ساهم لاحقاً في تقوية المد الإسلامي داخل المجتمع السوري، والذي في المحصلة لا بد أن يصب في صالحهم، بحسب ما يعتقد الكثير من أعضاء هذه الجماعة.

ولتدليل على هذه الفكرة يكفي أن نقرأ ما كتبه أحمد بسام ساعي الأستاذ الجامعي في إنكلترا وأحد المقربين من جماعة الإخوان المسلمين السورية، وذلك في تقديمه للطبعة الثانية لكتاب البوطي "هذا ما قلته..". يقول الساعي:

"لقد تركت سورية والمساجد تبحث عن مصلين، وعدت إليها بعد أكثر من عشرين عاماً والمساجد تبحث عن أماكن لاستيعاب جماهير المصلين الجدد، تركتها والشباب في المساجد هم القلة، وعدت لأراهم فيها الكثرة الكاثرة، تركتها وهي شبه خالية من الحجاب، وعدت لأراها شبه خالية من السفور. كيف كان لكل هذا أن يتحقق لولا فضل الله ونماذج إسلامية خيرة كالشيخ، آثرت الكلمة على الرصاصة ولغة الحكمة على الشتيمة ولين الخطاب على عنفه.. ". و يؤكد الساعي أن هذا الكتاب هو بمثابة براءة للشيخ البوطي، ويلتفت صوب أصدقائه في تيار الإسلام السياسي مخاطبا إياهم بالآتي: "لقد ظللتم عشرين عاماً تشتمون وتحتجون، وظل هؤلاء على مدى العشرين، يبنون ويعلون، وهاهو البناء وقد أوشك أن يكتمل، ولعل الله يكتب لكم أجر المشاركة في وضع اللبنات الأخيرة فيه". (هذا ما قلته، 2002، ص 15)

لا نملك نحن اليوم أن نحدد بدقة طبيعة هذا البناء الذي بحسب الساعي أوشك أن يكتمل في سورية! لكننا سنعمد في السطور اللاحقة إلى تبيان البعض من ملامح هذا البناء كما يقدمها الشيخ البوطي من خلال كتاباته. وبعدها فقط سندرك كيف أن الخاسر الأكبر وسط هؤلاء الرابحين الكبار من دينيين وسلطويين هو الفكر النهضوي المتنور وحركة الإصلاح الديني والتيارات السياسية والفكرية المؤمنة حقا بالديموقراطية.

حاكمية الله

منذ بداية مشواره الفكري لم يخف البوطي انحيازه إلى المبدأ السلفي القائل بأن لا حاكمية في الدنيا إلا لله وفي هذا كتب الآتي: "إذا فالحاكمية إنما هي لله وحده، هو المشرع لعباده في شتى شؤونهم المتعلقة بدنياهم وآخرتهم وهو المرجع في كل مشكلة من مشاكلهم وإقامة تنظيم ودستور لحياتهم. ومن جحد ذلك فهو كافر بالله ورسوله وان ادعى بلسانه الإيمان بالله ورسوله وصلى وحج وصام"(كبرى اليقينات الكونية، 1970، ص 372). أما الفرق بين البوطي وكبار دعاة الحاكمية من أمثال أبو الأعلى المودودي وسيد قطب، فهو أن هؤلاء يكفرون المجتمعات بأكملها ويصفونها بالجاهلية، في حين أن البوطي يكفر الفرد الذي يجحد بمبدأ الحاكمية، لكنه لا يكفر مجتمعا ولا سلطة ولا يدعو للخروج عليهما، بل يصر في معظم كتبه على ضرورة البدء من الفرد في سبيل الوصول إلى المجتمع. وفي هذا يكتب "لما كان المجتمع هو الفرد المتكرر، فقد كانت صلاحية المجتمع وفقاً على صلاحية أفراده، قبل أن تكون وفقاً على صلاحية القوانين السارية في أنحائه" (الإسلام وتحديات العصر،1998، ص26).

لكن عدم تكفير الشيخ البوطي للمجتمع ككل، لا يعني أبدأ أن الشيخ ليس بقادر على تكفير طوائف بأكملها من هذا المجتمع. فمن غدا في ظل دولة البعث رئيساً لقسم الأديان والعقائد في جامعة دمشق لا يجد غضاضة في بداية مشواره الفكري في أن يحذر قارئه بالآتي: "حاذر أن تطوف بذهنك تلك اللوثة التي يعاني منها بعض الجهال المنافقين، ممن يزعمون أن أهل الكتاب مؤمنون، وأنهم فئة أخرى غير الكفار، فلا يعاقبون عقابهم ولا يخلدون في النار خلودهم. فإن هذا الزعم تحد صارخ لقول الله تعالى: إن الذين كفروا من أهل الكتاب والمشركين في نار جهنم خالدين فيها أولئك هم شر البرية. فقد قسمت الآية الكفار إلى أهل كتاب ومشركين، ثم شملتهم جميعاً بهذا الوعيد العظيم." (كبرى..، مصدر سابق، ص 366). والغريب أن الشيخ الضليع يتجاهل كلياً بديهية ورود حرف "من" بمعنى التحديد والتخصيص قبل أهل الكتاب والمشركين، حتى لا يفهم من الآية أن جميع أهل الكتاب هم المقصودين!

شتم شيوخ الأزهر

رغم أن الشيخ البوطي أزهري في تعليمه ونشأته، إلا أنه لم يتورع عن إنزال أقذع الشتائم في حق شيخ الأزهر الإمام الطنطاوي بسبب مواقفه المثيرة للجدل التي اتخذها من حول مواضيع إشكالية من مثل فوائد البنوك والعمليات الاستشهادية ومنع الحجاب في فرنسا. كان يمكن للبوطي أن يحفظ مقام شيخ الأزهر وأن يناقشه بالتي هي أحسن من حول المواضيع المختلف عليها كما أتقن أن يفعل ذلك مع الحكام وأصحاب النفوذ، لكن البوطي خرج عن طوره وراح يكيل الشتائم ويخون شيخ الأزهر، وكمثال على هذا نورد ما قاله في خطبة الجمعة بتاريخ 212004 : "ينصب في هذه المؤسسة من قد عاهد الشيطان أن يكون ولياً له لا ولياً لله عز وجل، ومِنْ ثَمَّ عاهد أعداء الله سرّاً ثم علانية أن يمزق كل ما يمكن أن يمزقه من مبادئ دين الله في كل مناسبة، أجل ذلكم هو الشيخ الذي نُصِّب للأزهر، نصب من قِبَلِ من بايع أعداء الله، بدلاً من أن يبايع الله سبحانه وتعالى".

ويبدو أن للبوطي مشكلة مستعصية مع مشيخة الأزهر منذ أن حاول الأمام محمد عبده إصلاح المؤسسة الأزهرية، فهذه المحاولة يسميها البوطي "الوباء الإصلاحي" وهي في رأيه مؤامرة من الاستعمار الإنكليزي على الإسلام والمسلمين، ولهذا السبب و "في سبيل هذا الإصلاح جيء بالشيخ محمد عبده وأعطيت له مقاليد الأمر ليقوم بإصلاح شامل في ميدان الأزهر متبعاً الأساس الذي أوضحناه" (كبرى..، مصدر سابق، ص237). ولا ينسى البوطي أن يتهم الأمام محمد عبده بأنه "يكتب في أبحاث العقيدة على طريقة غريبة عجيبة يخرج فيها على إجماع المسلمين وبدهيات العقيدة الإسلامية الصحيحة" (كبرى..، ص237) وكل هذا بسبب قوله أن طير أبابيل وحجارة سجيل في سورة الفيل هي وباء الجدري، وتعريفه للنبي والرسول، بشكل مغاير لما أعتاد عليه البوطي. وفي ذات الكتاب يعرج البوطي بالنقد على عدة وجوه إصلاحية تبوأت سدة الأزهر من مثل الشيخ مصطفى المراغي والشيخ محمود شلتوت.

لا بل أن البوطي في كتاب آخر يتهم الإمام الأكبر محمد عبده بكتابة رسائل إلى جمال الدين الأفغاني "تحمل في طيها الكفر البواح الذي لا يحتمل أي ريب أو تأويل" (شخصيات استوقفتني، 1999، ص187). وطبعا فإن الأفغاني ينال بدوره من البوطي قسطا وافراً من التشكيك لكونه، بحسب البوطي، شيعياً إيرانيًا وليس كما يوهم أفغانيا سنياً وأنه ربما بهائي المذهب وأنه منتسب إلى أحد المحافل الماسونية في مصر وأن السلطان عبد الحميد الذي ينسب إليه البوطي إخلاصه لدينه وأمته وقضايا الإسلام في عهده، تحول عن الأفغاني عندما أدرك كل ذلك.

الأسلوب ذاته يتبعه البوطي أيضاً في التشكيك في معاصريه من الكتاب المسلمين المجتهدين، وإن كان لا يتنازل ويذكرهم بالاسم الصريح. فمثلا في مواجهة محمد شحرور ومؤلفه "الكتاب والقرآن، قراءة معاصرة"، لم يجد البوطي سوى إلصاق تهمة "الخلفية اليهودية" وتنفيذ "بروتوكولات حكماء صهيون" بمن يقول بشعار "قراءة معاصرة". بل أن البوطي يلمح نقلا عن أستاذ جامعي ليبي أن هناك "إحدى الجمعيات الصهيونية في النمسا فرغت مؤخراً من وضع تفسير حديث للقرآن ثم أخذت تبحث عن دار نشر عربية تنهض بمسؤولية نشره، وعن اسم عربي مسلم يتبناه مؤلفاً له ودافعاً عنه" (هذه مشكلاتهم، 1999، ص247).

ويصل الأمر بالبوطي إلى الوشاية بشعار "قراءة معاصرة" وبصاحبه أمام الرئيس السوري حافظ الأسد خلال إحدى الموائد الرمضانية. فيخاطب الرئيس بالآتي: "كلنا ندعو إلى الاجتهاد، ولكن ما الموقف عندما تكون بوابة الاجتهاد مدخلاً إلى العبث بحقائق الإسلام وأحكامه، عن طريق ما يسمى اليوم بالقراءة المعاصرة! إننا نعلم يقيناً عندئذ أنها رياح تهديمية آتية إلينا من الغرب، ويجند لذلك أناس من أبناء جلدتنا هنا" (هذا ما قلته، ص99).

صعاليك الأدب

ودائما في إطار الوشاية، يعتبر البوطي أن المثقفين والأدباء السوريين الذين كتبوا بيانا ضد فتوى القتل بحق سلمان رشدي ما هم إلا من صعاليك الأدب، ويعمد متذاكياً إلى تحريض النظام عليهم والتشكيك في وطنيتهم ويقول في هذا المجال: "إن السيد الرئيس أعلن منذ أشهر، جواباً عن سؤال، أن رواية سلمان رشدي مجموعة شتائم وسباب، ولا تحوي شيئاً أسمه فكر أو علم، وأعلن قائلاً: إن سلمان رشدي لو كان عندنا لحاكمناه. ولكن فئة من صعاليك الأدب عندنا، أعلنوا نقيض ذلك! فقد كتبوا بياناً جماعيا ضمنوه تقريظاً للرواية وإعجابا بها، ودفاعاً عن سلمان رشدي. والسؤال هو: ها نحن قد تجاوزنا الولاء للمنطق والعقيدة والحضارة والتراث. فأين هو الولاء لهذا القطر ونظامه ورئيسه؟!" (هذه مشكلاتهم، ص235).

وفي سياق آخر فإن البوطي يوجه رسالة احتجاجية إلى وزير الثقافة المصري بسبب سماحه بإعادة طباعة رواية "وليمة لأعشاب البحر" للروائي السوري حيدر حيدر في مصر ويقول في هذا المجال: "إن رواية حيدر حيدر كانت مدفونة منذ ثمانية عشر عاما في قبر مظلم من القرف والاشمئزاز في سورية، تسامى فوق الالتفات إليها والاكتراث بها وعي الشارع السوري وحسه الثقافي، الذي كان ولا يزال يفرق ما بين الأدب الذي يجب أن تروّج سوقه، والبذاءة اللسانية التي تعبر عن مخبوءات الجزء السفلي من جسم الإنسان والتي تجب حماية الأدب وصالوناته منها، وحماية ساحة الحرية المقدسة من أن تقذرها أو أن تنتقص شيئا من أطرافها"(كلمات في مناسبات، ص30).

ومن تكن هذه حاله مع أدب وأدباء عصره فليس غريباً أن يرى بعدها في عميد الأدب العربي طه حسين شخصاً ذا ثقافة أدبية محدودة! يقول البوطي جازماً: "لا يجهل عالم باللغة والأدب تفوق مصطفى صادق الرافعي على طه حسين تفوقاً كبيراً في القوة البيانية والملكة البلاغية وعمق المعرفة بتاريخ الأدب العربي. ومع ذلك فإن سلم الشهرة العلمية نصب أمام طه حسين دون الرافعي. لأن الأول سخر ثقافته الأدبية المحدودة للأفكار الغربية الغريبة عن الإسلام، بينما سخر الثاني ثقافته الأدبية المعمقة الواسعة لما اقتنع به من الحقائق والمبادئ الإسلامية الغريبة عن الأفكار الأجنبية الوافدة" (هذه مشكلاتهم، ص234).

الإيمان بالجن

يعتبر البوطي أن وجود الجن أمرها معلوم بالضرورة من الإخبارات الإلهية ، وأن المسلمين أجمعوا على "أن الإيمان بوجود الجن من المستلزمات الأساسية للإيمان بالله عز وجل وأن إنكارهم أو الشك بوجودهم يستلزم الردة والخروج عن الإسلام" (كبرى..، ص280) ويعتقد البوطي أن المادة أو العنصر الذي وجد منه الجن هو اللهب الصافي الذي لا دخان فيه ويستند في ذلك إلى قوله تعالى: "وخلق الجن من مارج من نار". والمارج هنا هو اللهب الصافي بحسب البوطي.

ويعتقد البوطي أن لا مناص للمؤمن من تصديق جلسات تحضير الأرواح إذا ثبت له ذلك بالحس والتجربة المشاهدة. لكن ما يقلق البوطي هو ادعاء هذه الأرواح أنها لفلان من الناس أو الأنبياء، فهذا الخبر يحتمل برأي البوطي الصدق والكذب، فكما "أن في الناس أشراراً دأبهم الكذب والتلاعب بعقول الناس، فإن في الجن أيضا كذلك، فمن أين لك أن الذي يناجيك أو يكتب لك جواب أسئلتك من قعر السلة، ليس شيطاناً مريداً جاء يلبّس عليك دينك ويلهو بمخادعتك ويلتذ بالكذب عليك" (كبرى، ص285)

وبالمناسبة فإن البوطي يعتقد بوجود أن "السحر موجود, والذين يلجأون إليه لإيذاء الناس كثيرون"، ولكنه يطمئن الجميع بأنه "لا يؤثر على الإنسان الملتزم بأوامر الله والمتجنب للمحرمات" (انظر موقع البوطي على الأنترنت)

في الختام

كان بودنا في إطار هذا العرض لأفكار وآراء الشيخ البوطي أن نتوقف قليلاً عند فهم الشيخ لحرية المرأة ودورها في المجتمع وللمساواة بينها وبين الرجل، لأن في آرائه من الغرابة ما يبز رأيه بخصوص الجن. سواء تعلق الأمر بالتسري بالنساء أو بـ "ضربهم ضربا غير مبرح" أو برفض أن تزيل المرأة الشعر من جسمها إلا إذا طلب زوجها منها ذلك أو تكاثر الشعر بشكل يتجاوز حدود العرف، وضرورة أن تتنقب الزوجة وتغطي وجهها إذا طلب منها زوجها ذلك لأن رغبته هذه هي رغبة شرعية لا يجوز مخالفته فيها. لكننا سنترك هذا لمقالات أخرى.

يبقى أن الغاية من هذا العرض لم يكن التجريح بالشيخ البوطي، ولكن تبيان أيّ شخصيات وأفكار تمخضت عنها الدولة القمعية بعد هذه السنين الطويلة من التبشير بالحداثة والتحديث السلطويين.


At 7/24/2005 11:35:00 AM, Anonymous Aiman Husseini said...

Hello, I am Syrian Doctor, just relocated and working now at Sentara Health System in Virginia and North carolina. There are a lot of Syrian and Lebanese working here at this Medical center. Anyone here working at Sentara?

At 7/24/2005 12:12:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

"I missed your condolences, Mister Mohammed", Aphrodites

I am one of the victims, because I feel in my heart and soul, every day, what the criminals are doing to all humanity. The Islamists did not come from the sky to shoot on the innocents on Earth. They are the product of a well crafted design by long term planning powers who still remain secretcive, and the recruits kill, and do the Evil thing of some one who is much more Evil than the recruits. The recruits are convinced some how, some how convinced in the heart of their hearts that their cause deserves thir death as well as the death of other innocents to make a point, to fight for their god, etc... Truly brainwashed, and truly the product of a very Evil design. It is a design that has not just come to exist. The product has been in the making for at least 50 years. It finally showed up in the way we are seeing it, but there is may be worse to come. No condolensces can ever express my anger at what is happening to this humanity, a humanity that we, well, I personally thought was coming of age when I was little, and that past slavery practised by the Romans or The Encas, could never happen again in the 20th century, and now the 21st century. Man has proved once again that it is capable of being primitive all of the time, and that narrow interests are always the conquerers of civilizations. It is greed. Greed is the thing that few people have more than others, and due to that greed, humanity is always driven to its savage and uncivilised face.

Reading again what Prof. Landis wrote in teh article that "Syrian Republican Party" pasted above, I can see clearly a profound affection by Josh to Bashar Assad. Taking that affection out of the reality of what he was talking about, I must disagree with him in many points. Firstly, I do not understand where this faith in the son of the destroyer of Syria and the false god of Syria, Hafez Assad, has come from to the heart of josh. Why does he have such a faith in the one who, himself, not his father put in jails people who accessed sites on the Internet, some young people are still in jails because they browsed Internet sites forbidden to Syrians, sites that speak about Assad not being God, and that God is some one else. I do not understand how he can have affection to the same Bashar who feels nothing, neither does his Western wife about the suffering of the innocent most educated Syrians who he put in prisons because they spoke, such as Aref Dalilah. He brings an example of 13 Alawis fired, but he fails to see that all of those accused of corruption are very low in the scale of corruption, and corruption starts with his family and all those that he and his father surrounded themselves with. He punishes some Alawis , many times, innocent Alawis to show as Joshh said the Sunnis that he is impartial. This is a crime that Josh can not see.

I can not understand why the world wanted to give Bashar all of the good descrition even before he assumed power in Syria, going back to what Madeleine Albright said at the funeral of the evil father Hafez Assad. She said: " I am reassured and happy that Bashar can lead Syria". That was even before he was even nominated by any body,a nd before the comedy in teh so called Parilament to change the constitution and tailor it to suit this young kid, as was the constitution tailored before him to suit his father. How can Prof. Josh not see that he is oppressing the majority of the Syrian people by pumping this son of the evil dictator, a new dictator himself, and giving him all of those positive traits? Now, mr. Josh, Bashar has no more old guard so you can blame things on them. What stopps this good bashar from releasing the secular people from prisons (those who are in jails for their opinions, and did not participate in what the Brotherhood did in terms of violence? What is toppoing him even for a day from seeing those great people return to their families? I am really disappointed in you, Mr. Ladis.

Mohammed (the disappointed).

At 7/24/2005 01:30:00 PM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

Welcome doctor husseini. Many people here are sick but anonym. Who knows their names and even they choose an identity you cannot trust them.
May we ask you why you left the beloved syria? And where in syria are you from?
Hope you will spend a pleasant time in this blog, tell us more please.


At 7/24/2005 01:43:00 PM, Anonymous Aiman Hsseini said...

To Aphrodite,
I am from Homs. Left 10 years ago to specialize here. Married to American, my wife wants to stay here so I have no plans to go back, just for visits. There are more than 150 Syrians and Lebanese working in the staff here, I wonder if anyone from Sentara Medical System on this Blog.

At 7/24/2005 01:45:00 PM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

Honestly thanks to Mister Mohammad for excellent informations. Mostly we agree, you exposed history and situation very good. Do you live in syria? I heard about the biography written by King Leo 1st, did you read it? Is it published in english?

Aphrodite (with thanks)

At 7/24/2005 01:58:00 PM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

Very good advertisment for your medical center. So many syrian doctors in usa? I heard people in homs are specially funny, so they dont need doctors there, am I right? clearly the comments here shows, homs is from the first addresses in syria. Again welcome.
Hope you came here to discuss a bit about the future of syria and how you see it.

Aphrodite (the american)

At 7/24/2005 02:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Accused by the United States of aiding the insurgents in Iraq - and facing a real danger of attack - Syria has not enhanced its international reputation by clamping down on its citizens. Last week, nine members of a political discussion group, named after its founder the late Jamal Atasi, a psychiatrist and critic of the Assad regime, were rounded up in the middle of the night and jailed.

The Atasi political salon was the last remnant of the so-called "Damascus spring," that brief political thaw which followed the taking of power in 2000 of President Bashar Assad, only to be snuffed out shortly afterwards. The "crime" which the Atasi salon committed was to ask one of its invited guests, Ali Abdullah, to read out a letter the group had received from Ali Sadreddine Bayanuni, head of the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, who for more than two decades has been in exile in Jordan and London. Abdullah, a leftist not a Muslim Brother, was arrested before the others and has been referred to the State Supreme Security Court.

Membership of the Muslim Brotherhood has been a capital offense in Syria ever since an armed uprising against the regime by Muslim militants in the late 1970s and early 1980s was finally crushed in a bloodbath at Hama in 1982, when all other dissent was silenced too.

The harsh response by the authorities is regrettable and counterproductive. Bayanuni himself had long since persuaded his branch of the Muslim Brotherhood to renounce violence and extremism. He has repeatedly called for national reconciliation and the healing of wounds. He has even won the support of Syria's "Mandela," the veteran Communist Riad Turk, who spent 20 years in jail. Turk, whose new party name is the People's Democratic Party of Syria, advocates cooperation with a range of political groups, including Baathists and reformed Muslim Brothers.

Before her arrest last week, Suhair Atasi, daughter of the founder of the Atasi salon, was also campaigning for a national dialogue involving Baathists, communists, Kurds, Muslim Brothers and civil rights activists, to thrash out a reform program helping Syria protect itself against foreign pressures. What distinguishes the strands of the Syrian opposition is that they are all resolutely "patriotic," refusing any collaboration with the United States, or any outside power, against their own country.

In this, they differ sharply from the U.S.-based Farid Ghadry, an "opposition" figure of little local credibility, who has been taken up by Washington and by some European officials in Brussels. The Damascus opposition derides him as the Syrian Ahmad Chalabi.

The Atasi group is not, however, the only victim of Syria's security services. There have been several arrests at Damascus airport and elsewhere, as well as reports of political kidnappings. Armed robberies have also taken place by criminal gangs, some of them linked, or so it would appear, to disorderly cousins of the president, or even to his brother Maher Assad, a commander of the Presidential Guard.

Mohammad Raadun, president of the Arab Human Rights organization in Syria, was seized from his office in Latakia on May 22 for advising Syrian exiles not to return home for fear of arrest or worse. Meanwhile, the former head of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon, Rustom Ghazaleh, and his three siblings, have been accused by the Medina Bank of Lebanon of defrauding it of tens of millions of dollars. The general impression is one of racketeering, lawlessness, and of unchecked security services, which Assad seems unable or unwilling to bring under control. The French daily Liberation described Syria as a "dictatorship without a dictator."

Defenders of the regime argue that, because of its tight security, Syria remains an island of stability compared to most of its neighbors. It is a fact of life, however, that when a small country is in danger of being overrun by an aggressive superpower, it would be wise for it to clean up its act in order to win some protection from the international community - and more importantly from its own nationals. For whom in the country today, apart from those profiteering from the regime, would rise in its defense?

Next month, Syria's ruling Baath Party is to hold a national congress, its first in five years. But any expectations of real reform are likely to be disappointed. Will the party give up its "leading role in the state and society" and make way for other parties to emerge? This would require scrapping Article 8 of Syria's Constitution. Party stalwarts will oppose any such change because their supremacy and legitimacy stem precisely from this article. Changing the Constitution, they believe, would deal a death blow to the Baath.

Will the congress decide to rein in the security services? This is most unlikely. Security, the Baath will argue, is a national obligation, indeed the only way to defend the country against its enemies.

Will the party recommend political reforms as well as economic ones, as the opposition is demanding? Reports from Damascus suggest that, on the contrary, the ruling organs of the party will stick to the so-called "Chinese model" of development, in which moves towards a market economy - such as privatization of state enterprises and the creation of a stock exchange - are not matched by any political liberalization.

Will the Congress tackle the endemic problem of corruption by an extremely rich and politically powerful few, coupled with the increasing economic misery of the masses? This would require breaking the monopoly over the economy of a handful of barons of the regime and relatives of the president. No one expects change in this area.

Assisted by a number of non-party intellectuals, co-opted for the purpose, party ideologues have in recent weeks been debating how to breathe fresh life into the Baath's three ancient, but now threadbare, slogans of "Unity, Independence and Socialism." The results of their head-scratching have not yet been revealed, but are not expected to set the sea on fire.

The U.S. appears bent on regime change in Damascus, on the grounds that Syria is providing a rear base to the Iraqi insurrection. France, in contrast, has no wish to overthrow Assad, but it does want him to commit himself to substantial political as well as economic reforms. It would welcome a tough statement from the president that if any Syrian were found to be implicated in the murder of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, he would be put on trial and punished.

The American strategy is all stick and no carrot, on the argument that a weak country can expect no favors. France's position is more subtle, as it wants to protect its own interests in both Syria and Lebanon from the American juggernaut. What neither the U.S. nor the European Union has said - at least not recently - is that Syria's claim to the Golan Heights is legitimate and must be addressed. That might be the best way to catch Syria's attention and bring it in from the cold.

At 7/24/2005 02:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck off Aphroshit, what a human scum. Your brain makes good rat poison.

At 7/24/2005 02:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In every discussion board on this wonderful Internet that America has given the world, there are few like this guy who said this:

"At 2:15 PM, Anonymous said...
Fuck off Aphroshit, what a human scum. Your brain makes good rat poison."

who come to pollute the discussion, and show us that no matter what, there are human beings that still prefer to stay as diseased as the person above.

This is a discussion board. If you disagree with some one, simply reply with your opinion. Is there a need to use such improper language to pollute the sight of our eyes, including that of, possibly a sister of you? Do you think you reflect anything about the one you are insulting? Or don't you know that it is yourself you are hurting?

I hope you will understand. Perhaps, there is no hopr for you, but I sincerely do hope there is hope.


At 7/24/2005 03:18:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

I do not undertsnad why this anonymous person pasted an old piece of news above? Is it to say that the regime is against the MBs to counter my arguments about how the regime created the golden times for Muslim Brotherhoods? This person, most likely refuses to understand and refuses to think about the real meaning of what I was saying. I ask him to please read what the writer Mohammad ALi Atassi stated in his article which I have pasted in the Arabic language and try to understand using his brain, not his loyalty to Assad to find out the truth that is well stated and explained.

The Regime has been even encouraging certain segments of the Syrian society, including Shias and Sunnis to veil their women so it can show the world the danger of its being overthrown. The regime continues to state as does Mr. Josh in his article (Who might have fallen in the Regime's trap) that Syrians are looking to replace the regime with Muslim Fundamentalists. We Syrians are now are unable to get world support for our freedom, because the regime succeeded (with the help of the ignorants among some Sunnis through their empty rhteorics against Alawis) to make believe that the choice is "Either Assad", or " Muslim Brotherhoods".

The choice should be neither, and it is neither. Syrians will overcome the diseases this regime has so far implanted among the various parties of the Syrian people, and Syrians have very educated and sophisticated people that will not permit fanaticism to take over Syria. However, the regime (with the help of people like Josh) is succeeding in sending its message to the world.

In fact, if this regime manages to survive few more years as Josh has advocated, it is then that the real danger will begin to show .

Freedom must be cherished even for your enemies. It is through the freedom to think and discuss (Which Syrians are prevented from doing), that the democratic minds will be developped, and that Fanaticism will die.

Long live Freedom for all mankind.

Mohammed (The freedom worshipper).

At 7/24/2005 03:50:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian said...


At 7/25/2005 01:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to aphrodite,
your really need to read anything about syria from a serious book (ask josh for references). Your comments just show how ignorant you are.

At 7/25/2005 01:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous above: You tried to act as if you are intelligent and cool, but could not help it and so you ended your words with the real you.

Take care. The world is not as stupid as you imagine. Try to look within not without to find a cure.

At 7/25/2005 02:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to aphrodite again- I'm just trying to involve you in a serious discussion, no offence but you are damaging your cause by your ignorance and making a fool of yourself.

At 7/25/2005 05:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Khaleej Times Online >> News >> MIDDLE EAST
'Lebanese should apologise to Syria'

25 July 2005

DAMASCUS — Lebanese politicians who insulted Syria and the Syrian people following the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Al Hariri in February should apologise to Damascus before it could deal with them, the Damascus leadership’s mouthpiece newspaper said yesterday.

Al Baath newspaper said in an editorial that the “feeling of Syrian citizens calls for refusal to deal with, or receive, any Lebanese who incited against or insulted Syria, its people and its leadership”. Such politicians “are not acceptable for us”.

The newspaper added that “an apology may not be enough”, but as political necessity requires dealing with those politicians, they should at least “apologise for Syria and the Syrian people” who had paid blood and money to secure the unity of Lebanon. Lebanese opposition groups and politicians conducted a major anti-Syrian campaign following the assassination of Hariri, accusing Damascus of responsibility.

Syrian workers in Lebanon were also subjected to harassment, and 37 Syrian workers were killed, according to Syrian figures.

Al Baath acknowledged the existence of “difficulties” on the Syrian-Lebanese border but justified increased security as a “way to avoid the acts of killing and attacks” seen in some neighbouring countries.

“Which is more difficult — waiting for hours or days (on the border line) or the scenes of killing and explosions?” the paper asked.

Lebanese truck drivers have been complaining for a month of new Syrian measures on the border that made trucks wait for days before they could cross through Syria to other Arab countries. Some Lebanese see the move as a Syrian punitive measure for the withdrawal of its forces from the country, but Damascus said the measures were for security reasons only, after tips of weapons and explosives being brought into the country using transit trucks.

Syria withdrew its forces and security personnel from Lebanon last April under US-led pressure to implement UN resolution 1559, which calls for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon and the disarming of militias — a reference to the Lebanese Hezbollah group.

At 7/25/2005 05:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SYRIA: Education reform urged to support development
24 Jul 2005 13:56:10 GMT

Source: IRIN

DAMASCUS, 24 July (IRIN) - Major reform is needed within the Syrian educational system to support human and economic development, according to the National Human Development Report released last week.

The report, co-published by the Syrian State Planning Commission and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), noted a deterioration in general education standards in Syria with grave consequences for the country's level of development.

Educational reform, it said, was a key strategic initiative for equipping Syrian society with the skills needed to prosper in a knowledge-based society, characterised by a market economy, good governance, gender equality, human rights and the rule of law.

While noting the government's commitment to education, the report criticised certain educational policies and institutional inefficiencies which, it said, were creating unnecessary and avoidable setbacks to development.

These obstacles, according to the new report, include wide discrepancies between educational priorities and the needs of the labour market, weak incentives for scientific and academic research, and weak investment in information technology networks.

The report also expressed the need to address outdated university admission policies, gender and urban/rural gaps in education, authoritarian teaching methods and inadequate spending on education.

"One of the most striking aspects of the report was the level of constructive self-criticism it contained, which was to be greatly admired," British Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, said at the report's launch.

"The adoption of the principle of transparency and constructive criticism is a Syrian vision," said Deputy Prime Minister of Economic Affairs Abdullah al-Dardari, stressing the importance of human capital as a top priority in the development process.

The report noted a number of disturbing trends in Syrian education. The rate of illiteracy rose from 17 percent in 2003 to 19 percent in 2005, with literacy rates showing an increased bias towards urban and suburban areas, and male students, according to the report.

Also, an estimated 25 percent of students leave school before finishing their primary level education, while 67 percent of students do not finish secondary education, according to the report.

The authors of the report, described at the launch as "the elite of Syria's academics and thinkers", are calling for the reform of primary education and the incorporation of national education principles, human rights and social participation in school curricula.

Meanwhile, the rate of university enrolment in Syria, at less than 17 percent in 2004-05, is low and declining - another impediment to economic growth, according to the report.

The report quotes Minister of Education Hani Murtada as saying that there is a great loss of university professors due to the "brain drain" of those seeking employment abroad.

"It should be a great concern to us that only 20 percent of those with PhD scholarships obtained in western countries returns to Syria," he said.

Ali al-Zaatari, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Syria, said at the launch that the report was aimed at promoting comprehensive scientific and educational development in the country. "It will be followed by holding transparent discussions to enhance education progress and strengthen the country's human assets," he said.

Syria's new vision for education was conceptually, politically and economically realistic, said Darim al-Bassam of UNDP.

"Reality shows that the country lacks many things... transparency, clarity and accountability. Decision-makers are not shying away from this reality... transformation should be gradual and that's exactly what is happening in Syria."

He said Syria had plans to make progress towards the UN's Millennium Development Goals, and there were targets to achieve full enrolment in basic education as well as to tackle poverty, by addressing good governance and the quality of education among other means.

At 7/25/2005 05:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why Syria needs the US
By Sami Moubayed
Monday July 25, 2005, DAMASCUS: Syria has set off a border skirmish with the Americans and Iraqis, but words are flying, not bullets.
Syrian President Bashar Assad recently told an American newspaper a vastly different story about who is guarding his 605-kilometer border with Iraq than what is coming out of the other side.

"Who to cooperate with?" he asked when questioned about Syria's joint participation in minding the border. "If you go to the border, there are only Syrian guards on our side. But if you look at the Iraqi side, there is nobody. No Iraqi guards, no American guards. Nobody."

The Americans and the Iraqis were angered by his remarks because they contradicted everything they have been saying since 2003. Soon after Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr fueled the diplomatic row by charging that Syria is supporting the infiltration of terrorists into Iraq.

Many in the Middle East are confused about whether to believe the Syrians or the Americans and Iraqis.

The Arabs have generally believed over the past two years that Syria was supporting the insurgency in Iraq out of conviction that so long as Iraq remains ablaze, the Americans will not be able to interfere with the behavior of the Syrians. The thinking goes they will have too much on their plate to criticize Syria for meddling in Palestinian and Lebanese affairs or interfere in Syrian domestics. The Syrians will play this game, everybody believes, until President George W Bush leaves the White House in another three-and-a-half years.

The counter-argument, however, suggests that if the Islamic insurgency continues in Iraq, it might spill over into Syria and create problems and chaos for the Syrians. This is the Syrian argument: if chaos prevails in Iraq, then it will also prevail in Syria. The Syrians were unable to bear a civil war in Lebanon in the 1970s and 1980s, fearing for their own stability and safety. Likewise, they will be unable to bear civil war in Iraq.

The Syrians believe they have done their share in combating Islamic terrorism. On July 12, Syria's ambassador to Great Britain, Sami al-Khiyyami, pledged that his country would help the United Kingdom track down those involved in the terrorist attacks in London on July 7. He said: "Anything that the UK asks for, we will respond to positively. Syria is fully ready to cooperate against terrorism."

Assad even contacted British Prime Minister Tony Blair, offering his condolences and pledging his support to punish the London terrorists. Other indicators showing that Syria is cooperating with the US in the "war on terrorism" is that Damascus arrested, in the past few months alone, more than 1,300 Arabs trying to cross the border into Iraq. In his recent newspaper interview, Assad said that the number was 1,500.

Syria on a recent day arrested 11 suspects trying to cross the border into Iraq. Syria is saying aloud that its cooperation is not only out of a desire to cooperate with the Americans but because it also feels threatened by Islamic fundamentalism. True, it did turn a blind eye to the fighters who crossed the border to fight in Iraq in 2003, but Syria soon realized the folly of such an action. When the fighters were defeated or deported back to Syria, a combination of frustration, anger and despair took over. Unable to strike at the Americans or the next-door Israelis, they unleashed their anger on their fellow Syrians.

Syria has repeatedly said since 2003 that chaos in Iraq does not serve its interests, since disenchanted warriors can leave Iraq where weapons are in abundance, return to Syria and create a nightmare for Syria's secular regime. In April 2004, that happened when several terrorists attacked a UN building in the Mezzeh neighborhood of Damascus, killed a young teacher and police officer. Also in 2004, Syria foiled a planned attack by an armed man on the US Embassy in Damascus. Several other attacks have taken place since then, and more recently, a group of terrorists was apprehended, after much shooting, on Mount Qassiun overlooking the Syrian capital.

Earlier this summer, Syria announced that it had arrested one man and killed another who had been planning an attack in Damascus on the behalf of a terrorist organization called Jund al-Sham. This group had planned to send a three-year-old girl with explosives into the crowded Palace of Justice in Damascus. The Syrians say the weapons and money for these terrorist networks is coming from Iraq and Lebanon. This should give the Syrians enough ammunition to monitor its border with Iraq and more reason to keep close tabs on everything coming in from Lebanon. True, intimidation and revenge are the real reasons Syria has kept Lebanese cargo trucks on the Syrian-Lebanese border for weeks, but part of the Syrian strategy is security. This month two cargo trucks found carrying explosives tried to cross the border into Syria. One was coming from the Bekka Valley, carrying 100 kilograms of TNT, the other from the northern border with weapons hidden in cement containers.

Thought control
Part of Syria's ploy to contain fundamentalism is to control the thought of potential terrorists through mosques and religious networks that are closely monitored by the state. This is being done by promoting reform-minded and moderate clerics within the Muslim establishments, such as the regime-friendly Islamic deputy Mohammad Habash, and more recently through the appointment of Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun, a moderate cleric, as Grand Mufti of the republic.

His predecessor, Ahmad Kaftaro, had been at the post for four decades and encouraged Muslims to go to Iraq in 2003 and wage a holy war against the Americans, whereas Hassoun has voiced his rejection of all forms of violence. Yet Syria has specifically said that it will not allow Islamic political parties to operate once a multi-party law is issued, as decided by the Ba'ath Party Conference of June 2005. By turning a blind eye to the Islamists and banning them from political activity, the regime would actually be forcing them to become more aggressive, and go underground as they had done in the 1980s. Denying them political existence will not make them go away. Syria should, in order to contain them, permit the creation of moderate Islamic parties and keep tabs on all of their members. Having them operate under the watchful eye of the state is better than having them work in secret.

Syria does have a lot to fear from fundamentalism. Hundreds of fundamentalists roam the Middle East, and once disguised, it would be difficult to distinguish them from any other Arab. Syrian authorities have always welcomed all Arabs into Syria with no visas, to promote Arab brotherhood and unity. This has backfired since, with no visa record and no proper database of Arabs entering Syria, practically any person can enter. Using bribes, anyone can pay his way through the Iraqi border, through tribes and smuggling, and end up as a suicide bomber in Baghdad. Even worse, he might stay behind and become a suicide bomber in Syria.

And with time, it is becoming clear that many members of al-Qaeda, especially those stationed in Europe, are Syrians. Prime on the list is Abu Musaab al-Souri, whose real name is Mustapha Setmariam Nassar. He is a former member of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. An opponent of the Ba'athist regime, especially after its clash with the Brotherhood in the 1980s, Abu Musaab al-Souri became a fundamentalist and wrote a book about Syria called The Syria Experiment. He became a Spanish citizen by marriage and joined al-Qaeda, directing and teaching camps in Afghanistan in the 1990s where he met Osama bin Laden. Abu Musaab al-Souri was an expert on chemicals and poisons. In 1995, he moved to the UK and tried to create his own terrorist networks, but so impressed was he by the September 11 that he pledged to support and blindly adhere to bin Laden after that. He worked with dormant terrorists cells in Spain, Italy and France and is a potential suspect in both the March 11 attacks in Madrid and the July 7 bombings in London.

Adding insult to injury is a general belief in Syria that the Americans are not doing their share in combating terrorism, neither on the Iraqi border or elsewhere. In September 2002, German police raided the Syrian textile company Tatex near Hamburg, accusing some of its staff of having ties to al-Qaeda. One person was close to bin Laden's secretary and the other employee was Mohammad Haydar Zammar, the infamous Syrian who had recruited into al-Qaeda Mohammad Atta, the principal highjacker on September 11. The US should have frozen the assets of Tatex, due to its al-Qaeda connection, as they did with many companies and individuals after September 11, but they did not and German authorities took no legal action against the company. According to a January report in Newsweek magazine, this was done so as not to antagonize the Syrian government, which had infiltrated the company with informers to spy on Syrian members of the Hamburg cell of al-Qaeda.

Meanwhile, religious involvement is increasing in Syria. Mosque attendance, head scarves and blind adherence to Islam is spreading throughout Syrian society. The reasons are many, but chief among them is that Arab nationalism has failed and the disgruntled masses have searched for an outlet to explain their suffering and find salvation. This has been topped by the continued atrocities in Palestine as well as the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

And Muslim activists are seeing that political Islam works. In Palestine, Islamic parties like Hamas and Islamic Jihad have succeeded in inflicting heavy damage on Israel. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has done the same and was the only party in modern Arab history to force the Israelis to withdraw from occupied Arab land (the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon in 2000).

In Iran, the theocracy created in 1979 is strong, confident, and has managed to impose itself on the regional and international community. In Iraq, the Muslim fighters have also caused havoc for the Americans. They appear to be scoring more victories in post-Saddam Iraq than Bush. This is a threat the Syrians must combat immediately. To do that, they require US cooperation in as much as the Syrians need the US because the Americans and Syrians, along with the entire civilized world, have a common enemy in radical and political Islam.

At 7/25/2005 05:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Syria detains court chief, deputy for ‘corruption’

25 July 2005

DAMASCUS — Arab Association for Human Rights (AAHR) announced that the Syrian authorities have detained Judge Mahmoud Solaiman (president of the cassation court) and his deputy Aly Agha on “corruption and blackmail” charges.

Human Rights association considered the detention as illegal, “as it was carried out by political security agencies and not relevant judicial agencies”.

“Criminal branch of police should have carried out the arrest, after obtaining the relevant permission from the supreme judicial council to enable them to get a fair trial before a judicial council as stipulated by the law,” the association emphasised.

Meanwhile, a spokesman of the Syrian committee for human rights has expressed doubt over statements made by the Minister of Interior Ghazi Kanan. The minister had assured the public in statements that there are no more political prisoners in Syria. The spokesman said on Friday that hundreds of prisoners are still in Syrian jails for political reasons, in addition to more than 17,000 prisoners who disappeared in these jails while their families are still waiting for their return for more than 25 years.

At 7/25/2005 05:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

U.S. Takes Steps to Freeze Assets of Hussein Nephews
Treasury accuses the former Iraqi dictator's relatives of providing support for insurgents and gives Syrian addresses for them.

Lynbrook Smile Design Studio

Master Spas and Leisure

Nicholas James Bistro

Grover Home Headquarters

Sleep City

Koban Japanese Restaurant

Skydive Long Island

Pool Mart

Sleep City

Sleepy Hollow Stove and Fireplace

By Leslie Hoffecker
Times Staff Writer

July 22, 2005

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government has identified four nephews of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as providing financial support, weapons and explosives to insurgents in Iraq, and has moved to freeze any assets they might have in the United States, the Treasury Department said Thursday.

The four, all in their 30s, are sons of Hussein's half-brother Sabawi Ibrahim Hassan Tikriti, who headed the feared General Security Directorate under the old regime. The Treasury Department announcement listed addresses in Syria for the four men and their two younger brothers, ages 21 and 16.

The Bush administration has warned Iraq's neighbors, including Syria, against providing support for the insurgency or harboring anyone who does so. When Hussein's regime fell, the former chief of the secret police fled to Syria and was suspected of helping to organize the insurgency from there. In February, Syrian forces — in what U.S. and Iraqi officials suggested was a goodwill gesture — arrested him and turned him over to Iraqi custody.

Stuart Levey, Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, said in a statement that Thursday's action "targets the money flow of former regime elements actively supporting attacks against coalition forces and the Iraqi people."

The government's order gave no indication of how much the men's assets might be worth or what form they might take. It also did not say whether their actions supporting the insurgents were continuing.

In its announcement, the Treasury Department said the oldest son, Yasir, had transferred "a large sum of money" to Hussein's wife, Sajida Khairallah Telfah, on her husband's behalf. The government described Yasir as a financier and a bodyguard for his uncle before Hussein was captured by U.S. troops in December 2003.

Omar, the second son, provided financial and operational support to anti-coalition forces in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the department said, and the third son, Ayman, helped to finance attacks by the Fedayeen Saddam, a paramilitary force formerly headed by Hussein's son Uday. Ayman also encouraged attacks on Iraq's infrastructure, including oil pipelines and water and power facilities, it said.

Bashar, the fourth son, aided his brothers in communicating with insurgent groups throughout northern and central Iraq, the department said.

Although the Treasury announcement gave no indication that the two youngest, Ibrahim and Saad, had been involved in any anti-coalition activities, any assets they had in the U.S. were frozen as well. News reports in April said Ibrahim had been captured in Iraq and had been involved with financing insurgents.

The names of all six are being turned over to the United Nations with a request that member nations take similar action against the assets. Any recovered assets are to be transferred to the U.N.'s Development Fund for Iraq.

At 7/25/2005 06:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whenever I come here I see bad news and I see people using these news to demonstrate their intellectual superiority or political experience. Today is a real gem, since we are talking of punitive strikes. With the "precision" the americans are known for, civilian lives are surely at stake. And people here think this is an occasion to take their rethorical revenge on the regime or to show us why america is the light and the saviour and we are all barbaric hords or to preach some halfbrained islamist leader totally sold out to whoever pays him, etc. Things are going on, on the ground, why is making your point and winning a silly rethorical victory all you care about...this really means you don't take this seriously and don't attribute any value to human life, none of you.

The logic of power over moral considerations advanced by americans is barbaric and shamefull, the logic of defiance and confrontation of the regime is irresponsible. These two blind and uggly rats are facing off, no matter who wins the syrian people loose.

At 7/25/2005 06:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the US really don't understand the fears of people in our region. Does the US administration think that by promising us democracy it will rally us to its cause.

First of all we do not know what democracy is. We have never lived it for 5 years in a row. So we can not be sensible to such promises.

Then, our idea of the American promised democracy is Iraq. Iraqis have no jobs, no services or almost none, no security and no future. Of course the country has a future. But I mean an iraqi individual is going nowhere, since they will never be able to go to a good school nor to get a good degree nor a good job not even human respect. Finally iraqi people can die at any moment and for no reason at all.

This is how arabs and above all syrians view iraq. So do they want to be the same, NO. So do they fear the US and probably think of it as the greatest threat to their happiness and life, I am sure they do.

At 7/25/2005 08:27:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...


I think the Anonymous voice above is Bashar assad himself. Perhaps his British educated wife helped him formulate his English sentences.

Bashar: Since you are here on the Board, I want to tell you in short sentences the following:

- You will not succeed to pass Syria to your son Hafez. I so often wondered how your so called Bristish wife can even accept to be the mother of Hafez Assad. How Awful !

- Anything is preferrable to the idea that you will be reigning on Syria for even a few years.

Occupation, and destruction do not take the dignity of the people, and if they do, it is understandable, but your father and you did take the Syrians dignity, and transferred Syria to the great prison in two distinct ways: your prisons and torturres, and the so called moderate Islamism that you both have promotted for 35 years and bringing back to Syria the Veils in every corner, and 5 mosques to surround any Church that exists in Syria, so their uncivilised mornings shouts through huge speakers can scare Christians away, and insure that Christians understood the message that :"Syria is a Mulsim nation".

- If you care about the points you have listed above, you would certainly empty your prisons, especially from Secularist, peaceful opponents who did nothing but advise you on what you were doing to Syria and Syrians, precisely so Syria does not turn to become the Fundementalist nation you are using as an argument to the world and America to spare your regime from being overthrown.

- If you care about what you are saying, then you would stop taking more prisonners, and stop your most criminal elements such as Kanaan from lieing and denying the obvious that there are plenty of political prisonners in Syria. What did you do to them if as he is saying that there are no prisonners? Probably an International court should look at what happened to them.

Welcome America. I hope it will come. You will never understand any other language but the language of force. It is only Power that you respect. YOu have no honour when you torture the weak, and the most educated among Syria's society.

- Bashar: for long, you were able to declare your innocense, that you were only a face that the Old Guard governed behind your back. Now, you are openly without that cover, and you are responsible directly for every day you delay the release of those wonderful human beings that you hate so much; they are your night mares.

Mohammed (The Justice Minister).

At 7/25/2005 09:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mohammed, the justice minister,

Do you seriously not understand that civilians need to be protected if military action is taken. This is not political its just human rights. That was all I was trying to say.

My message was to all political actors:

pursue your activity if you are convinced with it. Just think of everyday people that might get hurt *ALL I WAS SAYING*

If you understood something else, you have my sincere apologies.

If you still think that attaining some political goal -whatever it is- is more important than the lives, physical and economical security of the Syrian people, then I really think of you as a monster.

A friendly goodbye to you..

At 7/25/2005 09:40:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Part of your message should be addressed to the regime itself. You have concentrated your message on the oppositions, the oppressed that have been taking the beatings, and are powerless. The power is all in the hands of those who are taking Syria toward destruction, it is in the hands of the men of the regime. It is the regime's responsibility not to leave people without any other choice but to welcome an intervention from the Outside.

Bashar needs to talk to the secular oppositions. He needs to open a new page, and to forget his dreams of making Syria the Assad Kingdom or to wanting pass it as a Republic or a Kingdom to his son Hafez. This man had the greatest chance that I have ever heard of or witnessed when he inherited the Republic. People gave him the benefit of the doubt, and believed in him. People still liked his face, and believed he was a good man though his father was definitely Evil. He could have been elected in a free elections if he exploited the faith people put in him to change Syria, and promote repsonsibilty, and start fighting corruption at his family's level, and his associate families. He did not need to imprison the cream of Syria's society in 2001, neither did he need to close the Internet he was so proud to promote himself as a great enthusiast for it before he came to power, and then jail young people who accessed opposition sites. These same people and their families would have voted for Bashar and his regime had he dealt with them with understanding, love, and care instead of prison terms where they are treated in an even less than animal like inside them.

For 5 years now, people have been waiting for him to move and liberate Syria, liberate it from corruption, fear, and the Islamists as well whom he protects secretly and promotes as a way to scare the outside so he can keep his regime and his corrupt men intact.

The problem is that your message should be addressed to us here, and also to the ones holding power and mainly to them, because they could do something before it is too late. Saddam believed that he would delay doing anything until they knocked at his door, and he released prisonners exactly when he feared that they were really serious, but he was too late, and a great percentage of the Iraqi people wanted him dead at any price.

- Release all Syrian prisonners.
-Change the policy of open Arabism so these dirts coming from other Arab countries to pollute Syria with more Fundementalist pollution can not enter Syria any more. You ahve made Syria the brothel for dirty Rich Arabs who come to visit it so they can enjoy poor Syrian women, and now Iraqis.

Syria is the Saudi and Arab Gulf brothel since Hafez took power in 1970.


At 7/25/2005 09:42:00 AM, Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

From what I read, France, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia oppose any idea of US punative strikes against Syria.

The new Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Turki al-Faisal, publically warned Washington that Iraq's border security problem must be resolved on the Iraqi side of the frontier. Lebanon's Prime Minister Siniora interrupted remarks by Condoleeza Rice when she attempted to lash out at Syria during her recent unannounced 7-hour visit to Beirut.

I don't know who Josh's friend is talking to--likely some wishful thinkers.

At 7/25/2005 10:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...







Damascus, 25 July (AKI) - Syrian police have ordered members of a newly-formed support group made up of relatives of political prisoners not to meet, without first obtaining official permission to do so. The Commission of Relatives of Prisoners of Opinion and of Conscience (CRPOC) was holding its inaugural meeting on Monday when police surrounded the building where the launch was being held, in the town of Dariya near the capital Damascus. The police then peacefully broke up the meeting, but first warned one of the group's leaders, Abu Haytham al-Hamawi, not to organise another one without the authorities' consent.

Syria's interior minister, Ghazi Kanaan, recently stated that there are no political prisoners held in Syrian jails, a claim disputed by the CRPOC, which says its members represent more than 500 such detainees.

According to the support group, some 600 political prisoners are held in Syria. Of these, 200 were arrested this year alone, "only for having exercised their basic rights, such as freedom of opinion and expression," the group said in a statement, in which authorities are accused of "preventing relatives from visiting the detainees, denying them access to lawyers and even refusing to disclose where they are being jailed."

At its launch, the CRPOC released a list containing the names of 533 people it says are political prisoners.

At 7/25/2005 10:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let us hope Prof Landis is a hero and will send a copy of the comments directly to the palace.

In the name of God, in the interest of mankind may his royal days be counted. Amen.

At 7/25/2005 10:37:00 AM, Anonymous Ibrahim said...

Wishfull thinking isn't gonna cut it.... What will happen if you would go to the streets and demonstrate against the regime?

Oh... Wait a bit, you guys are not allowed to do that.

At 7/25/2005 11:37:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Re: Ibrahim's post

Please do not mock Syrians. The price this people has paid has been very heavy, and since 1970, tens of thousands of people perished, many in jails, or shortly after leaving jails because they stood firm and refused to cooperate with this regime. Many more do cooperate, of course, and many benefitted from the regime and enriched themselves with a lot of corruptions. But, please, try to understand that the regime created a genius method called fear. This fear is basically to fear your brother, your sister, your neighbour, or people like you who may claim they are against the regime, but who would tell the Mukhabarat about people who agreed with them. I am not saying this about you, but just stating a fact. People do not trust other people. In fact, they fear courageous people who speak their minds without fears. It is often that courageous people are accused of being themselves, "Mukhabarat", because other wise, how can they voice such a courageous opinion?, so people accepted to think for 35 years now.

So, do not mock Syrians. It only took a percentage of the people , say 20% to accept corruption, and accept to be bad, to spread fear across all of Syria, and to make no one trust any one else. Even the Mukhabarat spy on each other, and they have their rewards.

God Bless the world.


At 7/25/2005 12:17:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

Bastard Arab Bedouins, pay off day is coming to them.

At 7/25/2005 12:22:00 PM, Anonymous Orontes Corporation said...

When you Syrian bloggers gonna stop barking and start acting.
The power is in your hand, use it.

At 7/25/2005 12:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jews should have the right to pray on the Temple Mount. It is Israel Holy and worship site. That pissing post called Mosque of whatever shit, needs to be removed and relocated to that unholly Islam land, near some harim room (French and British Whores) in Arabia.

At 7/25/2005 12:50:00 PM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Today, good men can do something, and that's a start.

Aphrodite (Arab)

At 7/25/2005 12:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

. I went back to Damascus after 15 yeas living in USA and tell you the truth I was ashamed of being from that land and I watched the degree of chaos, backwardness and expenses families have to endures where average family can not eat a descent meal with 5000 sp/ monthly. And if you answer me please answer with respect, not like your people in the air port treeting us like a dirt. And you should know, because of me and other Syrian immigrants the whole country still standing on its feet and I wish your government kept a data to show that. I looked around to see one single monument or work of improvement that could represent what a regime have done in the past 40 years, somehing make them proud they accomplished, there was nothing. I saw how they have stolen everything’s of value in our history and put Hafez or his son on it. I saw those stupid ugly statuses of Hafez and his pictures on the back of cars windsheilds. I’m glad there is a forum that we can express our view so you can hear it. All you have to do is visit Teshreen newspaper, internet site, and see how all the news goes around one young man who has no experience, have nothing so far to be proud of, filling the news like there are no one else exist or deserve to be mentioned in that country except him. Give us a break and listen to the people. Do not talk about baathesem or arabesem, the regime did not defend the baatheis brothers in Iraq, actually he captured them and gave them to USA military. And you can fool only yourself if you believe that people love him, they have no choice.

At 7/25/2005 12:59:00 PM, Anonymous Tarek said...

I tend to agree with Nur. That the countries mentioned won't "publicly" support hostility against Syria. But I wouldn't read too much into Saudi Ambassadors comments since his government is notorious for publicly claiming one thing and doing the opposite clandestinely. If Saudi is truly opposed to these attacks it would be only to postpone its position in the “you’re next to be invaded” line.

Syria’s true allies in warding off such attacks will be (ironically) Lebanon and its northern neighbor Turkey. As well as the certainty that if the US air force would perform the attacks on its own (instead of delegating it to Israel) the action would backfire against it and its objectives.

Syria’s own actions are inconsequential. There is no bending backwards or juggling act good enough to please the Americans. This explains the frustrations Damascus is feeling and decision to “cease” its cooperation on the Iraqi border. You can clearly see the frustration in their frequent comments. One day they are ending cooperation, another they are accusing the US forces of shooting on Syrian boarder guards etc. So in my opinion playing its few cards right and wait is the best strategy. The second two options are less than likely; Either Syria get lucky or pull one hell of a magic trick to break loose from this short leash.

At 7/25/2005 01:02:00 PM, Anonymous kingcrane said...

The short answer to your question is NO. The only winners would be those interested in short term gains, the Christian Zionists and the Bible Belt Militarists. The Wahhabo-Salafists will also be delighted to extend their field of action to Syria.

At 7/25/2005 01:09:00 PM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

The Arab states suffer from the fact that their young populations are growing at a dizzying pace, but without the prospect of employment. In most of the countries, the economy is stagnant and education is inadequate.

In the second half of the twentieth century the population of the Arab world quadrupled from 75 million in 1950 to 300 million in 2000, and there is no end to this development in sight. Prince Hassan of Jordan warns that the population could double once more in the next 25 years.

Six hundred million people without adequate income or education make up an extremely dangerous time bomb—dangerous not just for their various regimes. (Damage to them, bearing in mind their lack of democratic legitimacy, would not be a cause of great regret.)

Such a mass of discontent is also dangerous for other regions of the world. It provides a huge and inexhaustible reservoir for demagogues and terrorists, who, like Osama bin Laden, can turn frustration and discontent into enmity and hate against the West.

The rest of the world has little chance of preventing such a development on its own. But Europe and the West should work harder to push for an improvement in the economic development of the countries of the Middle East, so that more jobs can be created.

They should also push for an improvement in educational opportunities in the region, especially for women. The more education women have, the more they are prepared to do to slow down the population explosion. In Yemen, for example, only 20% of women use contraception. In Egypt the figure is 56% and in Iran it is as high as 73%.

The situation can only begin to improve slowly when these fundamental preconditions have been fulfilled. But it will remain a difficult process which will only come about in conjunction with a democratisation of the region.

Democracy on its own will be of as little use to the people as education or employment on their own. It has to be a combination of all three. And it is clear that the people of the region cannot reach these targets on their own. Nor can the governments, nor for that matter can the rest of the world. All three have to work together. The problem of the growing population affects them all.

Aphrodite (worried)

At 7/25/2005 01:27:00 PM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

Their sights set on the elections planned for January 30th, militant groups in Iraq are stirring up more violence than ever. Radical Islamists in particular intend to do their best to hinder free and peaceful elections. Now witnessing the waning of the political influence they enjoyed under Saddam Hussein, they fear that the new government will almost certainly be dominated by Shiites.

Murderous attacks like those carried out in the Shiite cities of Najaf and Kerbala on December 20 are a continuation of the series of intraconfessional bloodbaths that threaten to drive Iraq toward civil war.

Chaos – the favored strategy of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Presumably that is just what Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most-sought Islamist terrorist in the world after Bin Laden, would like to see happen. The more anarchic the conditions in Iraq become, the greater the chaos – and chaos is the elixir of life for militant Islamists, who take advantage of the resulting power vacuum to assert their fanatical interests.

The Bush administration has placed a 25-million-dollar bounty on the head of the feared Jordanian. The US alleges that he is behind the terrorist attacks in Madrid, Paris, and Istanbul and accuses him of beheading two US citizens and a British hostage, along with various other crimes that probably are not all his doing. There is evidence implicating al-Zarqawi as the wirepuller behind a group in Germany that planned attacks on Jewish institutions.

We actually know very little about al-Zarqawi – so little in fact that some experts even doubt the existence of the radical Islamist or believe that he has long since lost his life in one of the battles in Iraq. The information we do have about him is in some cases not well backed up and frequently more of a speculative nature.

"A thug rather than a thinker"

| Bild:
Undated photo of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi released by the US Department of State | All we seem to know for sure is that al-Zarqawi was born in 1966 in the Jordanian town of Zarqa under the name al-Khalaila and grew up in an underprivileged, arch-conservative milieu, with minimal schooling. He is supposed to have already shown criminal tendencies in youth: "a thug rather than a thinker" (The Guardian).

How the father of four children found his way to radical Islamism can only be explained today with the usual mix of psychological, social, and political causes. At any rate, he eventually traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to fight against the Soviets, and spent several years in a Jordanian prison, accused of subversive activities. In 2000 he fled once again to Afghanistan and, driven away by the US military intervention there, finally ended up in Iraq.

There, according to Guido Steinberg, Islamic scholar and terrorism expert, al-Zarqawi made himself into something of a "terrorist trendsetter" with the group he founded in 2004, Jama'at at-tawhid wa-l-Jihad (Community for Monotheism and Holy War). With his shocking video recordings of decapitations, the professionally operating radical Islamist soon made headlines all over the world.

Strategies against the West

Al-Zarqawi wants to be seen as the backbone between the Iraqi and Arab resistance against the allied and Israeli occupiers. The militants should follow his lead and put at his disposal all of their financial donations toward the common cause. He intends to achieve this leadership position by committing the most spectacular and horrific acts possible, as a kind of proof of performance.

In a letter attributed to Zarqawi that was published by the US authorities in February 2004, whose origins are however still questioned by the experts, he explained: "All that we hope is that we will be the spearhead, the enabling vanguard, and the bridge on which the Islamic nation crosses over to the victory that is promised and the tomorrow to which we aspire."

It is alleged that Zarqawi's main enemy is the USA and all of those allied with that country. Thus, an alleged comrade of al-Zarqawi stated on September 10, 2004 in the Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat, published in London: "There is absolutely no question that anyone who collaborates with the occupiers is a traitor and must be killed, no matter whether Sunni, Shiite, or Turk."

While in his purported letter al-Zarqawi describes in detail who it is that he views as the enemy, he does not provide any visions of a political or social order to be installed after the hoped-for triumph.

Guerilla group as a social movement

His propaganda seems to have met with some success: supposedly, many radicals in Iraq have joined forces with him. University of Michigan historian Juan Cole even claims that al-Zarqawi has been able to set up his foreign guerilla group as a social movement in Iraq.

In the meantime, most Iraqis are now at pains to oust these foreign militants, reports the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram, since they hold them responsible for the anarchic conditions in their country. Their rejection, however, might also be based on the fact that, with his radical religious acts and obviously self-interested motives, al-Zarqawi discredits what is regarded as the legitimate Iraqi resistance against the American occupation.

The rampant violence he has set loose could therefore at some point end up directed back against him – similar to what happened when the Algerians had their fill of the massacres perpetrated by the GIA, or when the Egyptians withdrew their support from the radical Islamists after the bloodbath in Luxor.

Connections to Bin Laden

Al-Zarqawi is usually cited in connection with the international terror network al-Qaida. With this supposed connection, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell attempted to prove that the Iraqi leadership was involved in international terrorism – as one of the main justifications for the US invasion of Iraq.

But today experts still know very little about how much Zarqawi and Bin Laden really have to do with each other. In October 2004 Zarqawi declared himself a follower of Bin Laden and re-christened his group Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad ar-Rafidain (Mesopotamia). This seemed to indicate a commitment not only to al-Qaida, but also to the battle in Iraq.

But it is more complicated than that, says terrorism expert Steinberg, characterizing the relationship between the two networks as one of "competition and cooperation." As he will demonstrate in an upcoming article, there is definitely some ideological common ground, in particular the goals of driving the Americans and Israelis out of the region and toppling the corrupt Arab rulers.

Exploiting anti-Shiite sentiment

But Steinberg also notes some strategic differences: al-Zarqawi wants primarily to liberate Palestine and has focused on a hate-filled, anti-Shiite line with which he perhaps intends to "appeal to financiers from the gulf states, where anti-Shiite sentiment is widespread." The expert views Bin Laden as being much more interested in overthrowing the ruling Saudi dynasty, while avoiding direct attacks on Shiites.

Al-Qaida is "a network of militants and only exists as long as it is actively attacking," says sociologist and Islam specialist Olivier Roy (Le Monde Diplomatique). That is why Roy deems it to be in Bin Laden's own best interests when scattered militant groups proudly display the Qaida logo. This serves to keep the network alive and make it seem much more imposing and better organized on an international scale than it actually is.

Since the same can be said of al-Zarqawi, both wind up profiting from their loose ties, which are part of the general ideological network of "Salafis."

In one of his messages aired via Al-Jazeera on 27 December 2004, Bin Laden "officially" appointed al-Zarqawi as "al-Qaida's commander in Iraq".

Salafi networks and ideological patterns

"Salafism" feeds on the fanatical claim that only the prophet Mohammed and his comrades represent the true Islam. For the Salafis, everything that deviates from these ostensibly pure teachings, every innovation or reform, is an offence against the "religious truth" and must be combated. This reason is the reason why they regard Shiites as heretics, enemies just like Christians and Jews.

An American specialist on radical Islamist groups, Quintan Wiktorowicz of Rhodes College, has tried to depict the bewildering network of Salafis: they are grouped around various scholars with widely divergent political approaches and goals, depending on their regional and local situation.

"As an ideological network," says Wiktorowicz, "the Salafis are fragmented along often competing lines of sacred authority and conclusions about divine duties to promote and protect Islam, even though they share a common methodological approach to religious interpretation. This implies a tendency toward fragmentation and diversity, rather than centralization and unification.

Intra-Salafi struggle

There are certainly clusters within the network that organize around particular scholars and beliefs about politics and opposition in Islam, but even within these clusters there is competition and variety. This indicates an ongoing intra-Salafi struggle over identity and religious meaning."

We can assume that al-Zarqawi is interested in taking the helm within the Salafi movement as well, and even outstripping Bin Laden. Although he is usually in a position to carry out the deeds he announces according to plan, indicating a high degree of professionalism, no one really knows what his ultimate intentions are.

His actions can probably be attributed on the simplest level to a nasty brew of fanatical religious, political, and criminal motives, with no founding in a long-term, logical strategy with practical plans for the future.

Islamist terror – regional or global ambitions?

The fact is that many experts are against laying all the events in Iraq and the deeds of internationally operating Islamist terrorism at the door of a few individual evildoers. This is not only because of our lack of knowledge about group leaders such as al-Zarqawi, but also because focusing on one person or group tends to blur our capacity to see the big picture and delve into root causes.

In the view of the Islam experts, it is important to understand al-Qaida and al-Zarqawi's Qaidat al-Jihad not as unique organizations, but instead as components of an ideological network operating all over the world, made up of discrete groups who usually do not work in concert.

At the same time, scholars warn against seeing Islamist terrorism exclusively as a global phenomenon, because it has its origins in widely divergent regional conflicts. Al-Zarqawi as well pursues primarily regional objectives:

Iraq as staging ground for future attacks against Israel

"Given his alleged origins and ethnic ties, he may view Iraq as a possible staging ground for future attacks against Israel and the liberation of Palestinian territories," remarks Wiktorowicz. Of course, as a Jordanian from an impoverished background, he is also out to overthrow the monarchy in his country of birth.

The fact that the "war against terror" only creates more terror is no longer merely a gloomy prophecy put forth by critics of neo-conservative American foreign policy, but has become a terrible reality.

One of the disquieting aspects of the situation is that no one seems capable anymore of capturing a clear and complete picture of globally active Islamist terrorism.

Aphrodite (worried)

At 7/25/2005 01:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Media in Syria

Restricted Scope

Despite the announcement of reforms at the Baath Party conference in Damascus in early June, hopes of liberalisation in Syrian media policy received a clear setback when the prime minister decided to withdraw the licence of the weekly paper al-Mubki. Götz Nordbruch reports

photo: AP It was exactly such references to the danger of foreign powers using the media to manipulate youth which were used in the past to justify restrictions of the press and the repression of journalists

A spokesman for the information ministry justified the decision in a statement which said that there had been a breach of the conditions under which al-Mubki's licence had been awarded. He said the licence restricted the paper to covering social and not political topics, and that an article about the accusations of corruption being made against the governor of Homs broke that restriction. Al-Mubki was required to close after its sixteenth appearance. Only shortly before the satirical paper al-Dumari had been closed down.

The timing of the decision threw up various questions, not just for those directly affected. The move went against the cautious recommendations of reform which had been decided on during the Baath Party conference. They included, as well as a new formulation of the law on political parties, a proposal to set up a media council and to revise the 2001 press law.

Increases in the fines and prison sentences

In spite of the relaxation of state control which was evident during the first months after Bashar al-Assad came to power in summer 2000, the press law of 2001 did not come up to journalists' expectations. In the light of increases in the fines and prison sentences which can be imposed, one interpretation which is shared by many is that the new law is now almost a press criminalisation law.

Danny al-Baaj, coordinator of the leading Syrian internet newspaper Syria News, says the recommendations of the party congress have given him some confidence. The setting up of a media council, which would have to be independent of the government and could offer a forum for dialogue with non-state media, would in his view be highly welcome. He has the same hopes of a new press law, and he'd like to see representatives of private media involved in its formulation.

"A clear rule on where the red lines are is in the interests of both sides," says al-Baaj, and points to a problem which many journalists currently have: "Journalism is a permanent game about the limits of what can be said, and we on our paper are still playing that game." From time to time, Syria News has had to be careful following more or less disguised threats from the authorities, only then to try once more to see where those limits are.

Baath party member website blocked

Strictly speaking, internet newspapers work in an unregulated environment. The current press law applies only to printed publications. Nevertheless internet pages have been repeatedly blocked by the authorities. Ironically, one of the most recent victims of this attempt to silence sources of information which are unpopular with the authorities is the website of a member of the governing Baath Party.

All4Syria, a website belonging to the reformist party member Ayman Abdelnour, was blocked in spring this year, although the flow of information from the site could not be entirely stopped.

Abdelnour continues to send out an email newsletter and was able to create enough public pressure with a petition he included in his newsletter ahead of the party conference that a considerable number of reform-oriented party members were named as delegates.

Al-Baaj hopes that the forthcoming regulation of the internet will at least set formal limits on the despotic behaviour of the authorities towards publishers and authors.

Authorities' disrespect for current laws

But there's no guarantee that this will happen, as the case of the weekly paper al-Mubki shows. The withdrawal of its licence is hard to justify under current law. The law allows for fines in cases of breaches of the conditions of a licence, but it does not impose the immediate withdrawal of a licence. The publishers are therefore planning to appeal against the prime minister's decision.

The journalist Bahia Mardini, who reports regularly from Damascus for the internet newspaper Elaph, considers that the appeal gives her grounds for optimism, or perhaps she's optimistic in spite of the appeal. She believes that the courts must not be left alone with the case and she's issued a call via Syria4All which has been taken up by other websites for declarations of solidarity with al-Mubki, with a view to getting the authorities to revise their decision. But she too declares that "the recommendations of the Baath Party conference are going in the right direction, even if it's very slow progress."

It has not yet been possible to get an idea from official sources as to the direction in which that progress is going. Assad's brief comments in his opening speech at the conference on the increasing significance of global communication and new media show where the limits of the reforms might be. He referred to there being what he called a "power" behind these new technical opportunities, and he said that "power" was using foreign values to make young Arabs insecure and to rob them of their cultural identity.

The task of future reforms of Syrian society, he said, would have to be to prevent the "cultural, political and spiritual decline of the Arab people" which this power promotes. It was exactly such references to the danger of foreign powers using the media to manipulate youth which were used in the past to justify restrictions of the press and the repression of journalists.

At 7/25/2005 01:33:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...


Tarek said this: "Syria’s own actions are inconsequential. There is no bending backwards or juggling act good enough to please the Americans. This explains the frustrations Damascus is feeling and decision to “cease” its cooperation on the Iraqi border."

Of course, the Syrian kingorepublic regime, the heridatery regime of Assaad will do anything the Americans or any supperior power asks it to do, so it can stay in power. It is power that is the only important issue to this regime. This is how Saddam felt between 1991-2003. He was confused, mad, sad, and as Tarek put it, "frustrated" that no matter what he gave in to "Them", they wanted more, but dare they ask him to improve his relationship with his people, and release the political prisonners for example! He was finally scrweed in his ass, and so will be the fate of Bashar Assad soon.

Yes, mr. Tarek, this regime gave in to any foreign demand so it can stay in power. At the same time, it started to imprison not only dissidents as it used to, but also ordinary people, some of whom are members of its own faked political party called Baath when they were discussing a TV program they were watching at Al Jazeera TV regarding Syria. There have been a return in the past 3-4 weeks to the crude atmosphere of fear that dominated Syria at the height of the evil man's reign who was the father of the actual so called "young", and "Western" educated Jenkiz Khan.

God Bless you all. Freedom to the oppressed Syrians.

Mohammed (The factual).

At 7/25/2005 01:37:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

I see the bankrupt Bathies have no power to discuss the situation themselves and defend with their own words the indefensible, so they started to bring articles from the outside and pasted them here accomplishing two main reasons:

1- Confuse the discussion
2- Appear to be educated, when their education is very supperficial.

I can also flood this place with articles from the outside, but, were blogs created for that purpose?


At 7/25/2005 01:45:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Mohammed, you’re such a drama queen. It great to be passionate about something but can't you just discuss the matter at hand objectively for once?

Love and a big kiss on the lips,

At 7/25/2005 01:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Damascus, 25 July (AKI) - Syria has started deporting Islamic militants - including 12 Saudi citizens - arrested for allegedly plotting and carrying out attacks along the country's border with Lebanon, according to a government source in Damascus. In one of the incidents, a Tunisian man, Majdi al-Zuraybi, was shot dead. Al-Zuraybi is suspected of wanting to establish a militant training camp in Lebanon, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The first group of suspects deported included the 12 Saudis who were handed over to the Kingdom's authorities.

Last month, Syrian officials announced they had killed a "Tunisian extremist" after he opened fire on a Syrian millitary patrol while he and others were attempting to smuggle across the border into Lebanon.

Two soldiers died in the gunfight while two of the suspects were arrested, the officials said.

In separate operations, Syrian security forces have arrested some 34 alleged extremists and seized a haul of documents in the home of one of these, the source said.

Syria's deputy foreign minister, Walid al-Muallim, announced recently in a statement that "1,240 extremists of various nationalities were deported to their countries of origin through embassies and security channels and that another 60 are still being investigated."

"In addition, 4,000 Syrian citizens who travelled to Iraq or who attempted to do so with the intention to fight in that country are under investigation," the statement said.

At 7/25/2005 02:08:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

To the fag Baathy, Tarek who said this:
"Love and a big kiss on the lips,
Tarek ".

There is nothing strange about your behaviour as you are one of the disrespectful Assadists who are known for their disrespect for other human beings.

It is evident that you are influenced only in the homosexuality issue , living as you claimed, in the Netherland.

But, did you learn from the Netherland anything else? Evidently, your type and ilks can not learn. At least you should see the difference between a great nation you claim to be living in, and Syria, the garbage can that Assad has tranfered it to.

But, obviously, as most Arabs, especially those who think they are much better than any other people on Earth with their so called "Rich" history of deceipt and terror, you can only be influenced by supperficial things, and can never see the greatness in the West you claim that you live in.

Respect yourself, or you will degrade this discussion to something that , I don't think Josh will accept. I am warning you.

Mohammed (The Terminator)

At 7/25/2005 02:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a history of deceit.

At 7/25/2005 02:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's how my evening of talking with young "South Park"-watching Syrians ended as I leave this country after a brief stay.

There was obviously no illusion about Syria being a police state -– at least one of those at the table had been in jail -- but these Syrians are hardly asking for help from the U.S. government. Said one: "We will change things here, one step at a time, from the bottom up."

One despised the Asad regime; another didn't care who was president -- "let Asad be president, we will change the society."

They spoke fondly of the courage, though not the intelligence, of Syrians who went to Iraq to take up arms against the U.S. occupation.

But even as someone who works on media issues, I was taken aback by their focusing on the U.S. media. Said
one: "We hate the U.S. not so much for your government as much as for your media -– your lying, shitty, racist media. Fix the media and the government will follow."

This is a city where the skyline is brimming with satellite dishes, each receiving a plethora of channels from around the world.

I asked them how they felt about "people-to-people" contact, like setting up sister-city projects between Arab and U.S. cities. Isn't that a way to do an end-run around the governments?

The reply was instantaneous: "We need sister media projects. People-to-people contact might be good, but it takes too long, it's one-at-a-time."

A young woman at the table from the U.S. studying Arabic for a year looked pensive. Her mother had cried when she first found that her daughter was going to stay in Syria for a year, but her mom ended up visiting Syria for a few weeks and enjoyed it.

Part of the dialogue with these Syrians for me was hearing from someone I'm typically not sympathetic with: a factory owner. One of those at the table was a burly fellow who runs a small textile plant and apparently keeps getting shakendown by government officials. "We don't have a government, we have a mafia." His stories almost make Haliburton's crony capitalism seem like an upstanding example of corporate behavior. (I heard him out -– then gave him an earful about what his workers might think of him.)

Even on my short stay in Syria, I got a taste of the state corruption here. On entering the country from the Jordanian boarder, my dad and I were given the run around by the Syrian bureaucracy. Each clerk would stamp our passports then pass us on to another clerk who would stamp it again or send us back to a previous one who allegedly didn't stamp it quite right. Each one demanded an under-the-table payment. Not just a payment, they would ask for "100 dinars" -– not "100 lira" -– the Jordanian dinar is worth much more than the Syrian lira. They were pretending to "unintentionally" ask for the wrong currency in hopes that an ignorant traveler, not familiar with the local currencies, who would give them the far more valuable 100 dinars.

My dad proceeded to pull off his own form of "dialogue" -- yelling and raising hell at the corrupt apparatchiks. But of course each of the clerks would be lucky to make in a year what I make in a month.

Part of what would be needed to talk to others in a serious fashion is an appreciation of what you have: We in the U.S. -- even most Arab Americans like me -- have basic free speech rights like virtually nowhere else. If we don't use them, that's our fault. No amount of whining about John Ashcroft or Alberto Gonzales snooping around library records should distract from that. That's especially true after you look in the eye people who really do live in a one-party dictatorship.

We need for people in the U.S. to do an end-run around their government -– indeed for everyone to do an end-run around their governments and corporate or government media which are controlled in one way or another -– and find ways to meaningfully communicate with one another.

Doing this will alter our perceptions of the world. The background image on this computer screen that I'm typing on features a globe with the Eastern Hemisphere, something you rarely see in the United States. (Yes, there is internet censorship here, but I had to look to find it -- you can find what pages are censored, try to go to them and get a "forbidden" message.)

Doing this will involved talking to poor people around the world and uncomfortably questioning premises -- like the notion that people in the U.S. have a right to a better standard of living better than that of people from the rest of the planet.

I think I got a taste of what kind of dialogue might be possible in a discussion I had in Jordan with a relative.

We were sitting down to watch a video of a baby cousin of mine's birthday party. My mom noted that that all the mothers shown in the video brought their "Shankias" -– their maids from Sri Lanka -- to the birthday party.

An incredible number of upper-middle class households in Jordan have a maid from Sri Lanka.

So I turned to the relative seated next to me, Faris, a fellow of about 30 and asked why all the maids are from Sri Lanka. Why not hire people from Jordan? -- though perhaps I should have asked why they had maids at all.

He explained that "Even if you could hire a Jordanian from east Amman [the poorer part of town] for the same price -- she has a brother, a father, a husband maybe. They may make trouble." With a wink he added, "If it's a Sri Lankan, you have her passport." Meaning the employer thus had incredible power over the maid and could even kick her out of the country if they wanted. (A female friend later suggested that what he meant was that Sri Lankan maids are regularly raped.)

"Sri Lankans don't speak Arabic. What about language?" I asked. He patiently explained: "Orders are easy to understand -– do this, do that -– there's really no need for dialogue."

I let it sit.

We started flipping around the news channels and he started railing about the U.S. media: "With Al Jazeera, I don't agree with everything they do, but they give you different sides -- the left, the right, different countries, secular, Islamic, everything -- and then you can make up your own mind. With the U.S. media, they come from a particular place –- they want you to think a certain way. So they really don't want a dialogue."

There was that word again -– dialogue.

My relative wasn't too interested in a dialogue with the Sri Lankan maids, but he wants the U.S. media to have a dialogue.

To start a real dialogue of our own, I challenged him on this.

He laughed.

He knew he'd been caught. He varied between being defensive, "I’m not a racist" -- most Sri Lankans have skin color darker than most Jordanians -- to explaining things away: "you don't want a dialogue right away, but if she stays with the family, then you begin to know her." There was probably some legitimacy to these "clarifications," but they didn't change the very different way he came at the two subjects.

I challenged him on something while agreeing with him on something else. This happens too rarely. Perhaps it was easier here because there was no power dynamics between us -– I didn't want a thing from him and he didn't seem to want a thing from me except to talk.

The only limitation on the conversation was to maintain a level of civility which was all to the good I suppose.

Most conversations are so cluttered with negative dynamics that they can't really be called conversations. One or more parties frequently want a pre-determined outcome, meaning they have already made up their minds and are not really open to "dialogue" worthy of the word. There are countless obstacles to real dialogue: There are power relationships, often unstated; there's fright of "burning a bridge," the need to "maintain access."

Many "dialogues" are actually based more on deal-making, or turning a blind eye to each others' shenanigans at some third party's expense, than actually trying to determine what's truly for the greater good.

That's perhaps clearest when corrupt governments talk. Witness the recent meeting between Saudi Crowned Prince Abduallah and President Bush. The Bush administration claims it is pressuring Saudi Arabia to democratized; the Saudis claim they are pressing the U.S. to help achieve a bit of justice for the Palestinians. But neither are really doing what they claim. They are working to maximize their own illegitimate power and cutting their deals behind closed doors for those ends.

And they will succeed in that -– unless. Unless we find other ways to relate to each other, to communicate with each other as inhabitants of this planet who are willing to question not just our governments but each other and ourselves in brutally honest ways.

At 7/25/2005 02:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The terror in Iraq seems to be getting worse by the day. Now, a new guide has appeared on the Internet advising would-be terrorists on the best way into the country. It isn't easy, but a disguise of jeans and a Walkman may be just the ticket.

The cover of the terrorist travel guide recently found on the Internet.
Warning that entering Iraq is a journey fraught with peril, the author of the four-page pamphlet tells his readers, "It's a long and difficult route. It's no bed of roses." But by taking certain precautions, the chances of the dangerous tour ending in success are tremendous. Best of all, by following the author's tips, martyrdom, honor and paradise await.

Found recently on the Internet, the brochure is a travel guide for the jihad, a how-to for the mujahedeen. Entitled "This is the Way to Iraq: To All Who Want to Join the Mujahedeen in the Land of Two Rivers," the pamphlet was written by "The Islam Doctor." It's goal: to help would-be terrorists overcome the difficult task of sneaking into the country. It was posted on a Web site affiliated with al-Qaida.

At this point, experts and analysts have little reason to dispute its authenticity, especially since it confirms many of the assumptions about how foreign terrorists sneak into Iraq. In other words, it is another piece in the puzzle of the strategy followed by terrorists in their mission to turn the country into a living hell for the United States military, its allies and, above all, for Iraqi civilians. Indeed, dozens of the suicide bombers have been identified as having come from foreign countries -- most of them from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria -- and the number of foreign fighters in Iraq may number in the thousands. How they got there, despite all the attempts to prevent their entry, is at least partially explained by the new "travel guide."

The introduction, for example, explains that jihad wannabes -- following the appropriate physical and spiritual preparation, of course -- should turn to the middlemen who are present "in many Arabic countries" and who have "good connections to the jihad groups" in Iraq. Who those people are is also explained: preachers and prayer leaders in radical mosques -- or, in terrorist-speak, "Muslims who follow the example of our ancestors." The document, however, urges caution and the utmost secrecy when approaching the travel agents of terror. But it is also encouraging: "hundreds, even thousands" have followed this route into Iraq.

On Sunday, yet another violent attack killed dozens in Iraq.
Another option for contacting potential go-betweens is the Internet, the guide explains further. "I impart to thee, brother: many of them can be found on the Internet!" Generally they aren't the "stars of the forums," preferring to stay in the background, because they are being pursued by the authorities and are very busy, the author continues. For that reason, the faithful need to be especially careful of impostors who claim to be collecting money for the jihad. One should only hand over money when absolute trust has been established.

Only after the soon-to-be-terrorist is in possession of the name and address of a contact person should the journey begin. And the document is clear about where to start: Syria. "Enter the country through Turkey," the recruits are advised -- the need for medical treatment is a possible excuse. A disguise as a tradesman also works. The author imparts important advice to ease the border crossing: "bring jeans and a Walkman ... playing whatever music." In other words, pop instead of prayers -- jazz before jihad jingles.

It is important to remain inconspicuous, the recruits are told, because the Syrian border guards are paying closer attention now than ever before to who travels in and out of the country. For this reason, it's better not to try traveling on to Iraq on one's own. After all, it is almost exclusively the lone wolfs that get caught, the document claims, while groups are often ignored.

From Syria, the journey leads into Iraq. Intermediaries escort in only "small groups of fighters" at a time, meaning it could take awhile before one's turn comes. And once in Iraq, obedience is paramount. "Don't ever say 'I will never carry out a suicide attack' or 'due to special circumstances I can only undertake this work' ... !" From the get go, recruits must be prepared for anything.

Most mujahedeens are assimilated by the al-Qaida cells operating in Iraq, the guide explains further. They have connections to other al-Qaida groups "in Arab countries and in non-Arab countries abroad." Other groups, however, expect terrorists to find their own path to the front.

It's unclear who is hiding behind the pseudonym "The Islam Doctor," although he doesn't conceal his extensive experience in the jihad business. He also makes it clear that one doesn't necessarily have to travel to Iraq to become a mujahedeen. It doesn't matter whether one heads to "Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq or your own country, which may be ruled by unjust tyrants." Such an internationalist viewpoint seems to point towards an author with connections to al-Qaida, as does a reference to a speech by Osama bin Laden. In contrast, the Iraqi resistance, made up of former Baathists and ex-Saddam soldiers, is focused more on Iraq itself. While the author avoided mentioning Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the al-Qaida man in Iraq, his missive appears to be a how to guide for the jihad.

Many foreign terrorists have been able to find their way into Iraq via Syria.
Interestingly, the paper confirms two conflicting assumptions about the role played by Syria. On the one hand, it warns that the Syrian authorities are attempting to chase down potential terrorists as they travel into Iraq, but on the other, it says the border guards look away on occasion. Indeed, Syrian president Bashar Assad, has come under pressure from the United States recently for allegedly not working hard enough to tighten up the country's border with Iraq.

But whatever the importance of the document, it probably isn't the only one of its kind. It is, however, an explosive find. After all, one of the most often-asked questions in Islamist discussion forums is how to get to the "battlefield of the jihad." Now, there is an easy-to-find answer to that question.

At 7/25/2005 02:39:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Incredible story. Thanks for bringing it up here. Yesterday, Gulf Arabs were celebrating a great triumph. An inventor (probably American, of course) has come up with an idea to replace the boys, Arab Sheiks steal from East Asia and smuggle to the Gulf Region to ride camels in their most "honourable hobby", a camel race. Boys as young as 4 years old, bought or stolen from their parents, brought to Arabia are used to ride these camels, and the Arabs keep these boys starved to keep their weight little so the camel may be faster. Anyway, an American inventor has come up with the Kid Robot weighing 15 kg to ride the camel instead, and this was shown to work. Now Arabs will be buying 2000 such robots.

This is what the Arabs are. Jordanians, or Saudis..., or from the Gulf. I guess the Arabs have infiltrated Syria as well and made the higher class of thieves among Syrians resemblant to them, for so many of these families now own maids from East Asia, and they pride themselves with them. It is even a subject of discussion between first ladies to speak about their maids , as owning a maid has become a matter of pride in some circles in Syria.

Excuse my French, but Fuck Arabs.

Mohammed (the Just).

At 7/25/2005 03:23:00 PM, Anonymous Metaz K.M.Aldendeshe said...

Fuck their Islam and Koran too. I am not even hiding behind anonn.

At 7/25/2005 03:28:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Here is a continuation of the story about Arabs and their Sri Lankans Maids. This is in Arabic. The Bahraein Family that owns this little Sri Lankan girl have forced her to work in prostitution.

عائلة بحرينية تجبر خادمتها على البغاء

أدى اغتصاب خادمة إندونيسية عمرها 15 عاما في البحرين على الدعارة إلى ثورة الخادمات في مملكة البحرين تضامنا مع زميلتهن المغتصبة، كما تضامنت فعاليات بحرينية مهتمة بحقوق الإنسان وعائلات كثيرة مع الفتاة وطالبوا بتوقيع أقصى العقوبة على كفيلها وزوجته اللذين أجبر

أدى اغتصاب خادمة إندونيسية عمرها 15 عاما في البحرين وإجبارها على الدعارة إلى ثورة الخادمات في مملكة البحرين تضامنا مع زميلتهن المغتصبة، كما تضامنت فعاليات بحرينية مهتمة بحقوق الإنسان وعائلات كثيرة مع الفتاة وطالبوا بتوقيع أقصى العقوبة على كفيلها وزوجته اللذين أجبراها على الدعارة للكسب من ورائها . وكانت مأساة الفتاة بدأت تتكشف عقب ورود معلومات إلى الشرطة تفيد بتعرض الفتاة وتدعى "ب.ج" 15 عاما وجنسيتها إندونيسية للاغتصاب القسري والمتاجرة بعرضها من قبل الأسرة التي تعمل لديها. وكشفت تقارير الشرطة أن الفتاة كانت تتعرض للاغتصاب منذ 24 يونيو/حزيران الماضي إلى حين اكتشاف الأمر في 15 أكتوبر/تشرين الأول الماضي. وطوال هذه الفترة أجبرت هذه الأسرة "ب.ج" على البغاء من دون علم المكتب الذي استقدمها، وذلك بمشاركة متهمين آخرين قاما أيضا باغتصابها في إحدى ورش النجارة البعيدة عن العمران في العاصمة البحرينية المنامة.

وأشارت مصادر صحفية إلى أن التقرير الصادر عن المختبر الجنائي أشار إلى حصول اعتداءات كثيرة وفي أماكن عدة على الفتاة، كما أكد تعرض صحتها للخطر بسبب العقاقير التي كانت تتعاطاها لكن لم يثبت حدوث حمل، وعلمت "العربية.نت" أن العائلة البحرينية أجبرتها على تناول أنواع عدة من حبوب منع الحمل والتهييج الجنسي ، وحولتها إلى "عبدة ج ن س ي ة" بعد فض بكارتها واغتصابها مرات كثيرة من قبل الزوج وأصحابه. وعلمت "العربية.نت" أن عائلة بحرينية تقوم برعاية الفتاة حتى انتهاء التحقيقات ووصول أقاربها من إندونيسيا.

وأفادت مصادر بحرينية مطلعة أن بعض المتهمين مازالوا أحرارا فيما عدا الزوج الذي تم القبض عليه تمهيدا لتقديمه للمحاكمة في 4 ديسمبر/كانون الأول المقبل، كما لم تزل الزوجة التي ساهمت في الاعتداء على الضحية طليقة بعد توقيفها لفترة وجيزة ثم الإفراج عنها بكفالة قدرها 300 دينار تمهيدها لتحويلها هي الأخرى للمحكمة الصغرى الجنائية.

وكانت الشرطة نفذت قبل يومين عملية "مباغتة" على الورشة التي اغتصبت فيها الخادمة الصغيرة واعتقلت 3 أشخاص متهمين بالاشتراك في اغتصابها أدلوا باعترافات تفيد بأن العائلة البحرينية كانت تضع "قائمة أسعار" مختلفة تتراوح بين 5 و20 دينارا مقابل كل عملية اغتصاب للفتاة، وأن الفتاة حصلت على نحو 30 دينارا فقط عن الفترة الممتدة من 24 يونيو حتى 15 أكتوبر، وهو مجموع ما تم تحويله إلى أهلها في إندونيسيا، بينما كان اتفاق الخدمة المنزلية ينص على أن تحصل على 40 دينارا شهريا.

وطالبت العضو المؤسس لجمعية الدفاع عن حقوق الوافدين "تحت التأسيس" مارياتا دايس بسرعة توقيف المتهمين ومحاكمتهم بصورة سريعة ورادعة لبشاعة هذه القضية التي لم تحدث من قبل في المجتمع البحريني المحافظ.

كما أبدى كل من المحامي محمد أحمد ومحامي الجمعية البحرينية لحقوق الإنسان محمد المطوع استعدادهما للدفاع عن الفتاة لأن القضية "أساءت لكل بحريني وأظهرت ما يحدث للخادمات في كثير من البيوت".

وعلى صعيد ذي صلة طلبت السفارة الإندونيسية في البحرين رعاياها وخاصة الخادمات بضبط النفس وعدم القيام بأي تظاهرات حتى تنتهي التحقيقات ويصدر الحكم.

يذكر أن البحرين بها 30 ألف خادمة، وكانت دراسة خليجية رسمية أكدت أن ما يربو على مليونين من خادمات المنازل في دول الخليج العربية يمارسون أعمالهم بدون غطاء قانوني ويواجهون مشكلات متعددة في مقدمتها سوء المعاملة والانتهاكات الجنسية إضافة إلى عدم دفع الرواتب أو التأخر في دفعها.

At 7/25/2005 03:36:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

The above news in the Arabic language spoke about a young Indonesian girl working in Bahrein for an Arab family (of course dirty Arabs), and what these girls are faced with . This is not any different than the slaves the Saudis own, and refuse to pay their salarioes (INDIAN, PAKISTANIS< INDONISIANS< and so on). They can do this only to the poor and weak nations (Especially the Mulsim ones), but can never do it against a powerful nation such as Britain or the US. That is the Arabs are cowards and completly void of any sense of honour by their nature.

(I am wondering if the religion that they have been hiding behind since the "profit", is not the real cause of their retarded minds and their sense of worth.

At 7/25/2005 04:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with Mohammad, rename yourself to(MAXIMUS SYRIANUS).

The Profit (Prohet) Mohammad was a smart businessman. Fuck, he make Walt Disney envious when he developed this Mohammad's Disneyland called the Pilgrimage to Mecca for all Moslems. Running around ALAT Shrine (Ishtar) renamed Allah's Kabba and kissing a black stone. Hey, what did you expect on this ride other than that. They did not have rollercoasters back then. He came up with alternative, even now is more profitable than Disney.

Yeaap, I should have listned to my dog Lulu, she said to me once ( yes dogs talks and have more developed brains than Arabs: You will be better off starting a religion for the Arabs.

I magine

At 7/25/2005 07:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He did Disney like dreams. For example: Die for Allah, and you will meet 40 beautiful vrigins you can screw all times, and they stay virgins.

At 7/26/2005 10:12:00 AM, Anonymous Ibrahim said...

Listen ass holes.

Stop dissing Islam like that because many good people believe in it, regardless of which religion is true or not, bla bla.

So pick up your language and know that there are some red lines that one shold not cross.


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