Saturday, January 14, 2006

Khaddam Claims Asad Will Fall Soon

Massoud Darhally points out that the al-Jazeera article about Khaddam being refused asylum in Saudi is wrong: He writes:

Al Jazeera and others have not done their homework. Why would Khaddam who has Saudi citizenship and to my understanding even carries a Saudi diplomatic passport along with his children require asylum in Saudi Arabia? Its like an American living abroad asking for asylum in the US!

The UAE is a seperate story, but I doubt this is likely to materialize for a number of reasons I wish to keep to myself. And I have not heard anything along these lines up to now.

There are preliminary reports that Riad Saif and Ma'moun Homsi have been released from prison have been posted by Idaf Another indication of the release from AFP/Al-Arabiah:

Former Syrian VP Khaddam says forming exile government
14/01/2006 (Thanks to EngChange)
By Reuters

BERLIN - Former Syrian vice president Abdel-Halim Khaddam, a fierce critic of President Bashar al-Assad, told a German magazine he was forming a government in exile and believed Assad would be forced from power this year.

Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, told the weekly Der Spiegel on Saturday that Assad was facing growing pressure from economic problems at home and the international investigation into the killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri.

"His fall has already begun. I don't think his regime will last out this year," Khaddam, who accuses Assad of ordering Hariri's murder, said.

The former vice president, for 30 years a confidant of Assad's late father, Syrian leader Hafez al-Assad, left the government in June.

He has been accused of treason and expelled from the ruling Baath Party after a series of verbal attacks on the president.

Khaddam told leading Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat earlier this month that he wanted the Syrian government toppled.

Asked by Der Spiegel whether he was seeking to form a government-in-exile, he said: "That is correct".

He said he would be ready to work with both Islamist leaders, whom he called "part of the rich Islamic mosaic that defines the basic character of our country" and the Baath Party.

"I would not rule out any political group that sticks to the basic rules of democracy," he said.

"One should not make the mistake with the Syrian Baath Party that the Americans made with the Iraqi Baath Party," he said.

"The majority of Baathists in Syria have long ago turned against the regime. They see the government's mistakes every day," he said.

Khaddam also repeated the allegation he made earlier this week that Assad had ordered the murder of Hariri.

"I'm convinced: the order came from Assad. He is an extremely impulsive man, he is always losing his cool."

Syria has denied any role in the bomb blast that killed Hariri and 22 others in Beirut last year.
Sami Moubayed has an excellent article on Khaddam - "The Fox Speaks" - in al-Ahram which fills in much of his background and highlights his political career.


At 1/14/2006 01:58:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Don't forget that the UAE is France's main ally in the Gulf and the main buyer of French weapons.

The UAE does not trust the US because of their ties with the Saudis. The small tribes in the Gulf don't like the big Saudi tribe, the way Lebanon don't like Syria imperialist policies.

At 1/14/2006 02:02:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Mubayed looks more and more like a 'liberal Baathist' or a 'loyal opponent' trying to defend the regime with his disingenuous articles.

These pseudo-liberals are the plague of Arab liberalism.

At 1/14/2006 02:07:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

JAM, remember, Secret Societies do exist and have a working plan. What seems to be coincidental events, is nothing more than a plans that were written around 1917. Now, unfolding with it's intricate details. The one thing missing in this plan of the century is someone else plan, the one wrote the bible. That dude is quietly sitting aside, watching it all unfold with a smirk on his face. He is enjoying every bit of it. He is the one that said "I will put a hook in the jaws of Gog and Magog to bring them down in that day" and he will assemble the armies of the world for that day of the lord.

At 1/14/2006 02:10:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

sorry for error, changed thought from singular to plural "plan"

At 1/14/2006 02:11:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

sorry grammer, changesd thought from singular to plural "plan"

At 1/14/2006 03:01:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

for a while khaddam comments, seem to tell us that something imminent is going to happen in Syria, all syrians are talking to each other, calling their friends , listening to T.V. looking at the internet, ,all expecting to hear Bayan # one, from the syrian radio station,they expected the regime change,and free dmocratic regime in power, Then everything collaps, no new news, people are disappointed, now they believe , there is a deal between USA and syria, and USA is no longer working to change the regime, it is frustrating, we were excited for a short time . we get up to drink tea, but id does not taste good anymore, it is nauseating, the folded fist bang on the table, and the lips utter{nothing is going to happen}, then we shut up.

At 1/14/2006 03:40:00 PM, Blogger Pascal said...

I keep laughing how Dr. Landis keeps searching for any news item, any article, or anything that he can use to defend the assad family. I am truly surprised, and thought that Dr. landis would be more fair.

Mr. Mubayd's article is trash, and truly grabge. He said nothing we don't alreay know, but tried to switch facts. I agree with what Vox said above.

At 1/14/2006 03:57:00 PM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

The reports abotu Seif and Homsi are false, and have been denied by Seif's daughter earlier today. In fact, she added, some of her father's "privileges" have been stripped. Same for Homsi.

At 1/14/2006 08:31:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

The moubeyed article is not even an opinion piece (let alone a defence of the regime) and it is certainly not is a good article that provides background and a small history lesson on Khaddam which I appreciate. (since I am not too well versed on Khaddam's background).

If it is true that seif and homsi have not been released--what a shame and missed opportunity. What is Assad thinking?

At 1/15/2006 02:48:00 AM, Blogger abu youssef said...

Well, one things for sure - the "opposition" that frequents this blog is no breath of fresh air.

How can one tell? As soon as anything critical of opposition to the regime is posted, it is derided as garbage and offensive. Never is it factually debunked, rationally debated or cogent analysis applied to support a point.

Bashar has been pushing the likes Khaddam aside since Khaddam signed the Presidency over to him, in his characteristically (too) slow and quiet modus operandi. He must have finally hit a major pressure point to make Khaddam go public with his "grievances" (many of which he himself did nothing but support if not outright engineer himself - pot, meet kettle). It smells of, and looks like, a blatant power play with nobody but his own interests at heart. Khaddam will fail.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

At 1/15/2006 03:15:00 AM, Blogger abu youssef said...

Pascal, and the rest of you who know little of Moubayed, shold visit his website: [URL]

Here's an article he published that shows in no uncertain terms that he's heavily critical of the regime: [URL]

At 1/15/2006 07:09:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/15/2006 07:13:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

“Democracy has to come from within and cannot be superimposed from the outside is something that everybody, government and public alike believes in Syria.

The only side authorized to grant it is the Syrian government, parliament and president. Those who accept protection from outside will have to practice obedience to the outside, and they will be sunned and hated by the majority of Syria’s 18 million people”.

Sami Moubayed makes these safe and very politically correct statements about rejecting help from outside while he yearns for Democracy at home. He is not alone. The vast majority of commentators on this site say the same over and over. As noble as the idea is, one question begs to be asked:

How? If Syrians reject help from outside, how do they expect to achieve their dreams? Saddam brutalized Iraqis for close to 30 years. They also yearned for democracy. Were they able to get rid of him on their own? They never did till outside help arrived. They also hoped and talked about changes from within. People also rejected outside help. But in the end, a rationale person knows that it is impossible to dislodge regimes like this or get them to change and become more democratic if you reject outside help and go it all alone. This is a utopia that gets repeated on this site and others with abundance. Yet no one bothers to spell out precisely how the so-called forces from within will be able to change those regimes and somehow make them more democratic. The Damascus spring started and ended when the regime felt the calls for democracy were going too far. Does anyone really think that this regime will change when it is left to its own devices? Does anyone think that unarmed, unsupported and non-internationally sponsored internal opposition can do anything to pressure this regime? I say dream on. I know the immediate reaction by many: EHSANI2 is a Zionist CIA agent who wants the Americans to help topple this regime and install a puppet government that answers to America and Israel. While regrettable, it will not be surprising. This has always been the way our governments wanted us to think. It is precisely why our people find themselves in this ugly predicament. Next time anyone mentions words like helping and pressuring from within, please enlighten us with exactly what you mean by that. Words that sound good and which can make us feel warm and fuzzy may end up having no meaning.

At 1/15/2006 07:32:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/15/2006 07:34:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...


You are full of contradictions. while what you say now is all good and right, you more often agree with Engineering Change whose writings I have followed from the begining as definitely some one very pro regime and against real change in Syria, and more than that, you praise him when he is saying exactly the opposite of what you have just said. People like you are here to confuse the readers and help the regime, and that is in trurn helping Israel. So, you are definitely an Israeli (figure of speech)

At 1/15/2006 07:47:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/15/2006 08:49:00 AM, Blogger Pascal said...

Here is something JAM will like:

At 1/15/2006 09:10:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

I will let Eng. Chg speak for himself but as far as i recallhe has dissagreed with me more often than not on this forum. I have praised his tone and his articulate writing but I always insisted that he is wrong with respect to his cahneg from within vews as well as his Iraq views. I think yesterday's thread was a case in point. You may want me to attack people who dissagree with me more forecfully. I guess we have different styles. Does this make me full of contradictions? Your opinion seems to be in the affirmative.

At 1/15/2006 09:25:00 AM, Blogger ForFreedomOfExpression said...

London and MI6 have hold of General Ali Dubah of the Syrian Air Force, who defected last week to give up the secrets of the al-Assads and to pose a deal for the regime change in Damascus. Ali Dubah offers Rifaat al-Assad, exiled brother of the dead king Hafez al-Assad. London favors this choice because it would team a restored Alawite regime with elements of the Sunni urban elite and also with the Druze of Lebanon and Syria -- the one constituency that London trusts in the region.

Paris and Saudi elements (ancient Crown Prince Sultan and his lean, hungry son Bandar) have a sharply different approach to regime change. They want Khaddim, the Paris-defected vice president who now routinely goes on French TV and rats out the al-Assads as the Macbeths of Damascus. Khaddim wants the crown for himself, and this would ally him with the Moslem Brothers (slaughtered by Rifaat al-Assad in 1982) and with the tribals of the Iraq border region. Khaddim would also continue the insurgency in Iraq in order to maintain the loyalty of the black marketeering tribals. The Saudi elements like this solution because it would keep Iraq in turmoil. Any stable democratic Iraq threatens the Arabian plutocrats.

Doomed, penniless Egypt likes a Sunni urban elite, tribals, Moslem Brother solution as well, but not with the regicidal traitor Khaddim. Hosni Mubarak wants to maintain the clumsy Bahsar al-Assad in power in order to demonstrate that a weakling son can succeed a bullying father, establishing an Ummah precedent for Hosni passing his throne to half-pint Jamal Mubarak without civil war on the Nile.

Iran has gory appetitites too, to maintain the insurgency and keep Iraq bootless; but Iran also worries about losing its access to Damascus and the HizbAllah Shiites of southern Lebanon, so Iran must make a deal with whoever wins in the Damascus daggerfest.

London versus Paris. MI6 versus Deuxieme Bureau. Cairo versus Riyadh. Iran vs. London, Paris, Riyadh. Cairo vs. Cairo. And the United States is completely beside the point, a non respected player, a muscle boy with might and fight but no harem spy cunning. These are the days of the secret war for Syria. Expect daggers, bombs, demarches, betrayals, and a fight to the finish of the brothers al-Assads.

At 1/15/2006 09:40:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

Freedom of Exp., what is the source of this information about Ali Douba? (just a small note, he was the head of SMI -- Syrian Military Intel. and not an airforce officer)

At 1/15/2006 09:57:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...


The sons of Khaddam answer on the nuclear waste. Wow.

At 1/15/2006 01:16:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

JAM I don't know why I even reply to you anymore, but for the record:

I have been consistently anti-civil war and anti american invasion of Syria.

I have always been very critical of the regime and its failures in domestic and foreign policy.

Until a viable alternative emerges, I am counting on foreign pressure to force change from within to accelerate. What do I mean? Well, first this hariri affair needs to end soon because it is thwarting any progress now. I think the regime wants to send the word out that pressure on the regime does not equate with internal change.

JAM, people like Ehsani get a concept that you have no idea about. That you can be cordial with somebody you don't agree with. Based on your comments you insult and ridicule anyone that disagrees with you. Just because you swear a lot does not mean you are getting your points across better. It is just the opposite actually. Ehsani's method of never insulting people and only attacking their arguments is ideal and I think you could learn a lot from it.

Ehsani I think there is a huge difference between Saddam Hussein and Bashar Al-Assad. Nowhere near as brutal and showing reformist tendencies (appointing non-baathist dardari, reforming banking system etc), Bashar is a different story. He has also shown incredible incompetence at times which you readily admit correct? Well if you admitted that Bashar is showing incompetence that means you inmplicitly are saying that Bashar was trying to do good things but just failing miserably. Unless you think Bashar is meaning to mess up. Well, so it can be reasoned that in Bashar's second five years in office he may have learned a few things from his mistakes. And as a result he will do a better job. I think evidence points more that Bashar is just an inexperienced and even somewhat feeble leader rather than a dictator hell-bent at staying in power forever.

Let it be known I say this not because I love Bashar or am brainwashed. There is just no viable alternative right now. If Khaddam presents a viable alternative that promises democracy and can be slipped into office without too much bloodshed (perhaps using a security council resolution), well I could very well support that. I wouldn't care if Khaddam was supported by the outside. My main concern is avoiding a war or invasion. I also will not support anyone who accepts help from American Lukudites and neo-conservatives. I love the pressure Khaddam is putting on Bashar because thats how it should be--competition is always best. Finally Bashar may have some competition.

Basically I don't believe in change for change's sake. Something better does not automatically come up. Something worse could very well arise.

At 1/15/2006 01:24:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

"EHSANI2 is a Zionist CIA agent who wants the Americans to help topple this regime and install a puppet government that answers to America and Israel."

You got it man, who you are fooling with all those other user names. You left out JEW WATCHING AND DECEIVING.

EHSANI2, you dumb deceiving Jew, you ask HOW? without outside help? You obviousley mean Israeli and American help. First of all, they both declared their alliance to President Assad. Jews made a fit in Washington over regime change and American stated unquivocally that there are no alternative to President Assad, Therefore they provided no aid to Syrian oppostions whatsoever.

So who the fuck you are suggesting that the alternative is for American and Jews in Damascus? Another dumb Jews like you named Bremmer? another Zionist perhaps or one that rent space from one.

You, just type all those nonesence bullshit without any sence or factual realities to it. Stop writting this trash. Stick what you seems to know about ECONOMY, go ahead and point out some of your bosses at Mossad papers on Syrian Baathist Economy.

At 1/15/2006 01:27:00 PM, Blogger zobahhan said...

Slight correction. Khaddam himself does not have saudi citizenship. Only his sons and their wives do which would still require him to obtain a residence permit. Based on his age, the "official" rules of saudi arabia ban him from doing so.

But this is politics...

At 1/15/2006 01:58:00 PM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

I suggest you correct the false report about the release of Homsi and Seif. Their lawyer, Anwar Bunni, has come out and denied it:

نفى المحامي أنور البني تقارير صحافية عن إطلاق السلطات السورية موكليه النائبين المعتقلين رياض سيف ومأمون الحمصي.

وأكد أنه "على العكس تماماً لا توجد أي إشارات لإفراج قريب عنهما، فبعد زيارتي لهما خلال فترة عيد الأضحى تعرضا لمضايقات من سلطات سجن عدرا التي صادرت منهما بعض الأغراض الخاصة وأجهزة التلفزيون". واعتبر أن الشائعات المتكررة عن إطلاقهما مجرد "مراوغة تقف وراءها السلطات الأمنية"، موضحاً أنه "لو كان هناك نية حقيقية في الإفراج عنهما لكانت السلطات فعلت ذلك قبل ثمانية أشهر حينما انقضت ثلاثة أرباع مدة الحكم".

وأضاف: "يرفض موكلاي أن يتقدما بطلب عفو خاص لأنهما سجينا رأي وليسا مجرمين. ولكن إذا كانت هناك نية للافراج عنهما، فلن يتم ذلك إلا من خلال عفو شامل عن التهمة الموجهة اليهما، وإن تم ذلك فسيخرج جميع معتقلي ربيع دمشق".

وأكد أن "المطلوب من السلطات السورية قرار واضح بإغلاق ملف الاعتقال وانهاء المحاكم الاستثنائية وازالة الآثار المترتبة عليها، أما المراوغة فلا تفيد شيئاً".

وكانت السلطات السورية حكمت على النائبين سيف والحمصي بالسجن خمس سنوات بعد اعتقالهما في خريف عام 2001 في سياق ما عرف بفترة "ربيع دمشق" بتهمة محاولة تعديل الدستور بطريقة غير دستورية.

At 1/15/2006 02:30:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

I also came on to make a note about Khaddam's citizenship. he does NOT have the saudi nationality so Al Jazeera did do their homework. And as mentioned by Zobahhan only his sons have the nationality.

At 1/15/2006 04:13:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Someone here posted some link or article about a guy who used to be Khaddam's right hand man/driver anyone here knows how i can find that article? thanks

At 1/15/2006 05:23:00 PM, Blogger ghassan said...

Please read the following quote carefully:

"The only side authorized to grant it (democracy is the Syrian government"

One does not need to have an IQ above room temperature (70 degrees Fahreneit) in order to recognize the above statemnt as giberish and not to dignify it by an answer. Only an infantile, childish, naieve neophyte could think of democracy as something to be granted by government. It really is a sad day when a political leader, and one who claims to be fighting for democracy, make such inane statements to reveal total ignorance of what the true meaning of the idea that he claims to be fighting for.

Liberty, freedom, democracy, dignity... are not to be offered and/or authorised they are inherent rights. If you dont share this belief, and you have therigt to, then please do not misuse the terms that are vital for a free society.

At 1/15/2006 06:11:00 PM, Blogger Idaf said...

Further on Seif and Homsy from AFP.. Bunni claims that the news about their release is a stunt by the regime! Can't think of anything good coming out of that for the regime! According to Syria-News they probably will keep them jailed until Aug/Sep 2006 (while Dalila will be imprisoned until 2011). If so then the regime has again scored high in the golden-opportunities wasting game!

IC here's the article about Khaddam's "right hand man". It's entertaining but obviously its as factual as Al-Siyassah's "sources"!

By the way, Bashar has stated 2 days ago that the Political Parties Law would be issued next month. Let's see if he would not change his mind again.

At 1/15/2006 07:10:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

More details on Khaled Taha/the al-Qaeda arrests:

"The latest arrests in Lebanon are also linked to the murder of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri. Khaled Taha, one of the ring members who remains at large, is believed to have recruited Ahmed Abu Adas, the militant who made a dubious taped confession about his involvement in the Hariri murder.

An Nahar quoted a source as saying police was close to arresting Taha but his capture was impeded by Friday's report in as Safir about the arrest of the remaining members of his cell."
Lebanon Cracks Qaida Cell Coming from Syria/Naharnet

"Reports on Friday said some of the 13 suspects claimed to belong to the Jund al-Sham, the previously unheard of organization that claimed responsibility for the Hariri attack."
Does Lebanon really face an Al-Qaeda threat?/Daily Star

One should point out that Abu Adas' taped confession is no longer "dubious" if Khaled Taha is indeed linked to al-Qaeda.

At 1/15/2006 07:20:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Isn't it time for Dr. Joshua Landis to feel awkward if not ashamed of defending the indefnsible, and to start to stand up for human rights?

How can Dr. Landis not see that "president" Bashar Assad is either truly "retarded", or a thug like his dad was?

Just few days ago, the parliament of "president" Bashar Assad claimed openly and every body heard it that it was Khadam that imprisonned those people in the so called Damascus Spring, and that was while they opened the dirty laundry of their old boss and friend they were defending just few days earlier>.

Is this "presidnet" capable of differentiating between what is good and what is bad? what is wrong and what is right? What is a a lie and what is not? Can he think for himself and realize that he has lost all credibility not only in Syria, but throughout the world?

How can this "president" sleep while imprisoning people like Seif, and Dalilah subjecting them to the worst conditions for opinions they pronounced which he was encouraging them to open their mouths about? How can this "human being" accept the sufferings of other human beings and their children and families for something he now is saying it was "khadam", the traitor that was responsible for, and while he is capable of being happy, smiling, and enjoying his food and drinks and sleeping well?

What is worst is that an American "history" professor defends this thug, and tries his best to find any article anywhere that may give those thinkingg of supporting freedom for Syrians to change their minds and keep this thug on.

It is a mind puzzling. I bet this would not have been the opinion of Martin Luther King, nor President Kennedy.

At 1/15/2006 07:35:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Just a reminder:

You may remember that few days ago, and just at the "defection" of Khadam, I tried to believe that Bashar's problem was that his vice president was standing against him, and forcing him to be "retarded" and a thug.

I wanted to wait and see the next steps of bashar to judge for myself whether bashar's shortcomings, and the oppression against his people was truly not his own making, but because he was involved in a struggle with the so called "old guard".

Now, it is evident that the policies he has been pursuing in Syria since 2000, and the imprisonment of the people of the "Damascus Spring" were all of his own, not any one else's.

At 1/15/2006 08:00:00 PM, Blogger zobahhan said...

JAM you irritate me with your multiple postings of repeted complaints.

Please limit your anger buddy.

At 1/15/2006 08:09:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

LOL, the regime uses you too? I knew that.

At 1/15/2006 11:49:00 PM, Blogger zobahhan said...

If they're hiring, please let me know.


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