Friday, January 13, 2006

Khaddam Looks for a New Home

t_desco brought this article to our attention about Khaddam's attempt to find a new home. Khaddam has now openly said he believes Bashar al-Asad ordered Hariri's killing. Khaddam told Britain's Sky News on Thursday: "In my belief, yes, my personal belief is that he ordered it." Khaddam had implied this in earlier interviews, but had claimed he ultimately didn't know. It is worth noting that France and Saudi are reluctant to give him asylum.

France seeks Gulf asylum for Khaddam
Friday 13 January 2006,

The former Syrian Baath Party stalwart moved to Paris in June

Aljazeera's correspondent in Paris has learned that an official French delegation traveled to Saudi Arabia to discuss the possibility of Abdul Halim Khaddam, the former Syrian vice president, obtaining asylum in the kingdom.

Khaddam, who moved to Paris after resigning in June, has said in interviews since December that Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, had threatened al-Hariri shortly before he was killed in a car bombing on 14 February. Al-Assad has denied the allegation.

Sources told Aljazeera on Friday the Saudis rejected the idea of hosting Khaddam, upon which the French delegation left for the United Arab Emirates to discuss the asylum issue with government officials there.

The French team has yet to get a final word from the UAE, the sources said.

In December, Khaddam told Al Arabiya television that the killing of al-Hariri could not have been carried out by Syrian agents without al-Assad's involvement.

Asked if he thought that the Syrian president was directly responsible for al-Hariri's killing in Beirut last February, Khaddam told Britain's Sky News on Thursday: "In my belief, yes, my personal belief is that he ordered it. But at the end of the day there is an investigation. They must give the final decision."

Popular uprising

Khaddam has said he wants a popular uprising to overthrow the Syrian government, and Syrian officials call him a traitor. Asked if he would use the same word to describe al-Assad, he said: "Yes, I call him a traitor.

"Corruption in Syria is so widespread within the closed circle around the president. He's practiced corruption so much that you see that his cousins control everything. And as far as foreign policy is concerned, his policy is causing humiliation to Syria." (read more)
On the arrest of Jarjoura by Lebanese authorities for misleading the Hariri probe.

Lebanon nabs 11 Al-Qaida militants planning attacks
(Thanks T_desco)
A Lebanese newspaper reported Friday that Lebanese authorities arrested 11 Al-Qaida militants suspected of intentions to carry out terror attacks. ...

According to the reports, the continuing investigation will look into a possible connection between the suspects and a man named Khaled Tahak, whose name has been dropped in the ongoing probe into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Tahak is also suspected of enlisting Lebanese residents into Iraq-based terror organizations.

Are they referring to Khaled Midhat Taha, the friend of Abu Adass? Does this mean that there is an al-Qaeda link, after all?

MEMRI has a long and good report on the Syrian economy by Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli who paints a rather bleak picture of Syria's prospects under the present system. Fixing the economy will be the ultimate challenge for the Asad regime, which seems completely incapable of combating the mafia underpinnings of the state, as Khaddam has insisted. Although Bashar has taken some stabs at repairing the basic structures of the economy, he has become ever more beholden to the interest groups that profit from corruption, such as the security agencies and crony capitalists. Labor, as represented by the Baath Party, also stands in the way of reform. It is hard to see how Bashar can move against these interests without jeopardizing his remaining supporters within the country.

Asad is wavering over whether he will be interviewed by the investigators into the Hariri killing.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt work hard to soothe Syria in the Daily Star by Walid Choucair
Both Egypt and Saudi Arabia have tried to convince Assad that, if he cooperates with the committee, they will try to protect him from prosecution should he be found to have been involved in Hariri's murder.

The meetings were also aimed at convincing Damascus that Egypt and Saudi Arabia were not working in cooperation with the international pressure to destabilize the Syrian regime.

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia will ask all Saudi media institutions to refrain from broadcasting Khaddam interviews or statements in a bid to reassure Damascus of Riyadh's innocent intentions.
Egypt and Saudi seem to be helping Syria navigate the shoals of the investigation as they did in November when they helped Bashar dodge sactions by sending his 5 generals to Vienna.


At 1/13/2006 05:19:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

I am laughing again today. I can just imagine how this news item has made Joshua landis so happy!

Khadam, a servant for the regime for at least 35 years has benefitted from his services and given some legitimacy to Assad, and therefore he is hated, especially by people like myself, however what Khadam said is totattly true, and he may have to pay a price because he may have been used. Again, it seems that no modern leader has the kind of courage, DGaul, Kennedy, krotcheve, Nasser, Ghandi, or any of those who used to have dignity and honour 5 before this generation of money loving leaders came to power in almsot every country as if this has been pushed by the "secret scoicety" we all hear about.

I am not surprised that France, or countries like France may be willing to kiss some bots for Assad, and I remember well enough how their newspapers in France welcomed with great publicity at the time the assumption of power by the then Minister of Defense of Syria, Hafez Assad speaking about him with grand talks from day one of his coup.

France is not after applying priciples, neither is it after knowing who killed Hariri or the thousands upon thousands that the Syrian regime has killed throughout 35 years while supporting it, but I pitty some Lebanese who still believe in France.


At 1/13/2006 05:23:00 PM, Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Read the Wikipedia entry on comrade Khaddam:

Edifying in many ways on the corruption of the decrepit Chirac regime and the Franco-Islamist cynical friendship of circumstance “lubricated” by faux sheikh Saad al-Hariri’s Saudi petrodollars…

As the French say, one can’t simply live off friendship and fresh water…

Dr Victor de la Vega
Thomas More Center for Middle-East Studies

At 1/13/2006 05:46:00 PM, Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

PS. Don't hesitate to EDIT that Wiki entry

At 1/13/2006 07:11:00 PM, Blogger zobahhan said...

Let him return to lebanon. Im sure his hariri buddy would love to host him and would enjoy his company...

Is hariri bailing out on his friend right now? How bout the americans take his ass aswell? Isnt he doing them a favor

At 1/13/2006 09:50:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

For anyone to think that Israel and its supporters have not or will not use their enormous resources to change and shape public opinion is ignorant, if not foolish. Whether it is Abramoff, MEMRI, AEI or people with high positions in the white house, there is no question that a well organized machinery is at work to advance the security and economic interests of the State of Israel. This is not new and is unlikely to ever go away.

Freedom of Expression attached an article for us on the Syrian economy. As many of you know, this is an issue that I have spent a lot of time discussing on this forum. When I read the above piece, I was incredibly impressed with its contents, which I found to be very factual and persuasive. I have been repeating the same facts for months but not nearly as eloquently as this author. But who is this author and how does he know so much about Syria? Nimrod Raphaeli is a 73 years old Iraqi born Jew who forfeited his citizenship in 1951 as he left the country for good. He earned his PhD from Michigan University. As others have commented, he works for the elusive MEMRI, which was started by an ex-IDF intelligence officer. Basically, bad sounding stuff.

Today, the influential Wall Street Journal editorial piece carried a devastating editorial piece entitled “The Bashar Connection”. For those of you who cannot read it, let me summarize it for you:

Paul Bremer is claiming in his new book that Don Rumsfeld ignored his request for more troops. During a visit to the newspaper’s office, Bremer told them how in 2003 he was told about a secret attempt by Bashar to incite Ali Sistani against Americans (a poster already mentioned this story). The WSJ took people like Everett to task for suggesting a carrots policy when it comes to Bashar (Dr, Landis was not mentioned). It goes on to argue that now we know why the Administration was so averse to Mr. Leverett’s prescription. Far from being cooperative, the Syrian regime was attempting to open a second-front rebellion that would have killed thousands of Americans and Iraqis”.

If this story is true, it goes to show the dangers that Bashar has placed his regime and country under by making such foolish and dangerous decisions. Israelis control MEMRI. Nimrod is a Jew. I am sure a number of people will also argue that Jews control the Wall Street Journal, and that Bremer is nothing by a Neocon. These people mean Syria harm because they want to strengthen Israel’s security at the expense of weakening Syria. But because Jews and the so-called Neocon supporters of Israel are organized and influential, does it follow that we should ignore our President’s mistakes and give him a pass?

Let me remind everyone that the Syrian constitution restricts leadership to the Baath party. Were Thomas Jefferson or George Washington to come back to life as Syrian citizens, they would have to join the Baath party before they have a shot at becoming Presidents. A future Syria has to start by re-writing its constitution. Reforms do not mean anything so long non-baathists are excluded from reaching leadership positions. I am astounded to read and see that seemingly intelligent people continue to find excuses for this regime and President. Invoking the word Israel and Neocons has been the easiest and cheapest of shots to explain away our strikingly obvious failures of judgment. The long-term trend of our economy is extremely dire. Our civil institutions are non-existent. Our educations system is non-functioning. 68.3 of our people have elementary studies certificates in spite of free education. Our health care system is in shambles. Corruption is rampant. Our international standing is severely damaged. A helpless and embarrassing people’s assembly shamelessly shoved our new leader down our throats. How anyone with a brain and conscience can accept or condone this state of affairs is beyond comprehension. As bad as the Pre Israelis are, let us look at ourselves in the mirror before we blame others. A whole Generation of our youth has been wasted and lied to. They have been let down by one of the worst political parties of modern history. They have been lied to not by MEMRI, Nimrod, Bush or the Wall Street Journal. They have been used and abused by their very own. This is a historic opportunity to take back this proud country. This cannot happen by the powerless and defenseless 20 million subjects of this regime. Help is going to be needed from outside as it is always the case. When this happens, please spare us the cries of Neocons, Jews, Bush, Chirac, Hariri, foreigners and imperialists. This is what the regime wants you to believe because it knows that without help from outside, there is no chance in hell they will relinquish their extremely powerful and lucrative seats.

I know that I will be attacked as an Israeli agent and the like. This is due to 40 years of genetic programming and brain engineering of the Baath apparatus that has inflicted enormous damage to the Syrian brain. I have the feeling though that the curtains are coming down on this sad chapter of our modern history.

At 1/13/2006 10:36:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

Ehsani2,few points,yes the constitution in Syria require the president to be fromm the Baath party but anybody in Syria even you can join the Baath party that is not the case about our relign or ethnec background as you we are born in Syria christian muslems jews kurds anf if the oposition that faver winn power not only sunni can be president but the whole country will be Islamic state like Saudi Arabia Egypt Jordan Iran Iraq Syrians deserve better even if it is not of America,s and Israel,s interest Syria needs Amereca,s help to evolve rappidly without destroying the country evolution not revolution or inteligent design.

At 1/13/2006 10:38:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

ONe more thing ,how come all this brain washing affected all of us except you ,that is if you were Syrian.?.

At 1/13/2006 10:49:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

The WSJ article that Ehsani has cited above ends with this sentence:

"Even now, Syrian political opponents in Lebanon regularly turn up dead, while the regime in Damascus takes only cosmetic steps to stem the flow of terrorists into Iraq. Tell us again why the U.S. hasn't struck hard at a country causing mayhem on both its eastern and western fronts?"

This article is clearly hinting that America attack Syria with its military might. I do not agree with that conclusion. While all that Ehsani has said about our dire situation in Syria is true (, I still do not believe that means I should support America to attack Syria. The way to defeat this regime is from within without war and chaos.

I fear this article may be the beginning of preparing and giving justification to Americans for another invasion of an Arab country. I fear this because Iraq is slowly stablizing---and as a result--now America can afford to shift its military gaze to Syria or Iran.

So to recap, I worry about an American invasion when American troops are not bogged down in Iraq. Let us assume for a minute this intelligence about Bashar trying to incite Sistani against the Americans is true--which is a big assumption in our world of misinformation provided by the the American Beacon of Freedom.

Do I blame Bashar for this 'mistake'? I blame Bashar for many things--corruption, education in shambles, Lebanon, the Kurdish issue, political prisinors, and lack of meritocracy. But I do not blame Bashar for this so called mistake. I would have done the same. To protect Syria's interests against an American invasion requires that America be kept busy in Iraq. Otherwise if the troops are there and fiddling with their thumbs, why not go next door and invade Syria? Bashar's gamble did not pay off since Sistani did not listen to him. But let us not forget America invaded a country illegally. Bashar merely tried to make America's illegal stay as bloody as possible to save his country from a similiar fate. (or it could be argued to save himself and his regime). Whatever his reasons, I appreciate the effort to teach American neo-cons that this kind of behavior does not work.

Lets imagine that Iraq was a complete cakewalk for Americans. Flower petals and cheers and all that. What would happen next? Neo-cons in America would be emboldened that their policies work well. They would continue to lead American foreign policy--a foreign policy based on brute strength and overwhelming force--for years to come. Syria would have been attacked next. Any other country that dared stand up to America would be fit for a pre-emptive invasion.

Gone would be the image of America as a benelovent peacekeeper. Does anyone remember to the days when America was viewed with such admiration by the world? Never has my country been viewed in a lower place as America is now all around the world--not just the Muslim world. If the neo-cons succeeded in Iraq things would be a hundred times worse.

Or in the words of Congressman Paul Byrd:

"What is happening to this country? When did we become a nation which ignores and berates our friends? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might? How can we abandon diplomatic efforts when the turmoil in the world cries out for diplomacy?"

At 1/13/2006 11:10:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalism Eternally said...


How would you like it if after living in America for 34 years, receiving Billions of American Taxpayers hard earned Dollars, I start setting up an organized spy rings and equip it with the latest espionage hardware, software and tools. Establish a sophisticated spying program to spy on American enterprises, U.S. based companies, especially the Jewish owned one, on the U.S. Government, U.S. Officials and American Citizens?

I don't think you would like it a bit. You would require that at the least maintains my aliegance to the United States and protect all the interests of Americans, wouldn’t that be fair and ethical thing to do. You would expect me to shelf my Syrian Nationalism aside and respect American laws for as long as my kids pledge allegiance to the flag every morning at school. You would expect me to shelf my Syrian Nationalism on the shelf and not help Iraqi’s kill Americans, and you would expect me to refrain from giving any aid to America’s enemy, and I did exactly as such, you expected and so as members of the party did for 4 decades.

But we are Syrians, WE ARE A NOBLE NATION AND A NOBLE PEOPLE. We understand those noble principals. Other persons from other cultures and nations including Russians also understand and abide by those basic principals. BUT NOT JEWS AND FOR SURE NOT ZIONISTS, AS THESE LINKS AT THE BOTTOM PROVIDES AMPLE PROOF TO HOW LOW LIFE MEMEBRS OF THE ZIONIST ORGS. AND ISRAELI IN FACT ARE. THE MOST TRAITOROUS PEOPLE TO EVER WALK EARTH

Throughout history, for millennia, these Jews people were hated and ousted from every country on the planet. In the near future they will be ousted totally from Russia and U.S. and their fate is sealed on the hand of Iran and the Moslem hordes, there will be no refuge for them and the arsenal of -A-bombs will not help them at all, soon they will have to hand it to European armies for fear of Moslem getting hold of it.

They spied on me personally and on the Corporation that I founded, stole all the technologies and were not bashful about using texts of secret patent application that were stolen from our computer in the Israeli companies marketing literature, repeating some phrases per verb Edom in brochures and other sales aid tools. They sold the technologies to India, China, Brazil.

If you think I am bitter, yes. They caused me serious financial problems and I pray thousand time a day for evil deed on them and there demonic leaders and cuss the hell out of their god YEHWE 8 times per awaking hour. But most importantly, I am making sure that they will be the weakest and poorest of countries in the region until their final demise at ARMAGEDON.

ZIONIST JEWS are racist demonic beasts who will stop at nothing, will do any evil needed to get to their plan including spying and steeling from Americans. Hundreds of Israeli are in U.S. Prisons on espionage charges. Not one Syrians, Lebanese, Iranian or Iraqi ever charged with spying on America.
Here are the links. Copy and paste in the address bar. Change from a Zionist Jews to a Crocodile race and you will be much more respected among the human race,

Few Thousands other links, do your own search.

At 1/14/2006 12:30:00 AM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

Engineeringchange, I always enjoy reading you. You are one of my favorite posters. Ehsani2 packed a powerful punch with his statement and I agree with every word.

But I cannot readily agree with your response to Ehsani2 and reasoning about America.

Bashar has made a very stupid mistake with Iraq and brought pointless threats and troubles to Syria. It makes anyone sick with stress to reflect on it. I am sorry that you have echoed this disastrous rationale by suggesting that creating civil mayhem in Iraq would keep America preoccupied and away from Syria.

I ask you, would it not have made much more sense for Bashar to instead just mind his own business and focus on cleaning up and repairing and building Syria, making it economically comfortable and safe for Syrian people? Doing what is best and good for Syrians? After all, that is what should matter and be his number one priority. Instead of risking the house on things that are not really relevant to his job and beyond his power except to be a "spoiler"

Look at how far he has now crept and staggered down various mine-filled dead-end roads, dragging innocent Syrians with him. Please, tell me where are the benefits to Syrian people in any of this? His next fatal blockhead blunder will be a dirty little affair with extremists in Iran, again bringing more pointless danger and losses for Syrians.

It is too easy to airily justify such things by casting America in a sinister, predatory and aggressive light. The truth is far more complicated than that.

Many who dislike America will admit, if they think about it, that if there has to be a superpower in the world (and it seems there always is, any time in history) praise be we are living in an era when it is America and not the other alternatives. Some perspective, please. Where is Syria's Paul Byrd, someone in power who can publicly and safely call on his country to do better?

Bashar Asad's inept and irrational toying with fireworks with his neighbours' affairs demonstrates how shockingly indifferent if not hostile he is to the welfare of Syrians, making a mockery of his title and job description. And to ordinary Iraqis, and Lebanese too if anyone wants to spare them a thought.

What is his role model, Saddam Hussein?

At 1/14/2006 01:36:00 AM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Thanks for the insight activelistener, as always your words are wisdom.

Bashar's foreign policy is is a joke and filled with mistakes you are right. Of course it would make more sense for Bashar to clean up Syria sure. I don't know why he doesn't do just that. (of course though it is easily said and much harder to do in practice.) But he just isn't. So if America comes next door with a huge army and everybody thinks Syria is next on the list if Iraq goes smooth, well I expect my President to protect the country by making that invasion less likely. In fact I expect him to do both of the above: fix the economy and internal issues and prevent America from attacking.

So in my comment I meant to just highlight that Bashar was already on America's 'naughty' list when the invasion occurred. Long the sole resistance to Israeli domination in the levant, no matter what Bashar did short of giving up to Israel would make him innocent in the Bush admin's head. The Bush admin 'knew' Bashar was bad no matter what. So it was a calculated risk in opposing America in Iraq to prevent Syria from being invaded. Yes that is shameful that the Iraqi people are sacrificial pawns as far as Bashar is concerned, but that is the real world for you (and America illegally invaded in the first place). (and a slipperly slope to play with, since you don't want Iraqi violence to spill over to Syria)

It saddens me that Syria is isolated. That an irrational and backwards state like Iran is our only friend left. Syrian people do not benifit one bit you are right. We deserve better.

And I don't mean to make America look too sinister either, they would have attacked Syria under the pretext of spreading freedom. But inadvertedly they would only spread war and chaos and put Syria in a far worse place than we are today. Our people worry about food today, if America invades they will also have to worry about bullets. And I won't get to visit much anymore for many years. That is my own personal conviction which of course could be incorrect.

Interesting you mention it, but there are many people who are yearning for a Superpower that is not America but instead.....China! I'm not ready to go there yet, but it would make a better world in regards to the Israel/Palestine conflict--the importance of which in my mind cannot be overemphasized since if this confict is not justly solved, I think will be the doom of us all eventually.

So I still respectfully disagree. I will bash Bashar on the economy, human rights, education, Hariri etc etc but I still believe Bashar was right in "creating civil mayhem in Iraq (that) would keep America preoccupied and away from Syria"

At 1/14/2006 03:32:00 AM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

Thanks for the response Engineeringchange. Fair enough what you say, Bashar was already categorized.

But supposing - and I don't expect it - America did invade Syria, wouldn't the idea mainly be to push the Asad regime out and hold an election? It would be a senseless tragedy for any Syrians to die resisting that opportunity. (I admit, the variables and dynamics make all possible likely outcomes alarming, regardless of what 90% of Syrians really want).

Even America's keenest critics do not describe them as colonizers like the Europeans and Turks were in the past or like the Chinese are in Tibet today.

Iraq is daily full of terrifying and heartbreaking lessons, and stupid Asad and co should not play with any deadly virus unless they have a vaccine to protect their own territory.

On the need to resolve Palestine/Israel, I naturally agree, but do not expect anything of China - they don't have any fixed loyalties or interest there. Palestinians must have been dealt one of the worst hands in history and still they suffer from bad fortune. I have it in my head (and in old news articles filed somewhere) that America was about to formally recognize the Palestinian nation when September 11 blew all that away. A thoughtful Palestinian explained to me recently how Arafat's death came too late to bring the big opportunities his absence would have a few years ago. People like Bashar Asad and Iran's leader have nothing to offer there.

At 1/14/2006 05:21:00 AM, Blogger Pascal said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/14/2006 05:22:00 AM, Blogger Pascal said...

Khadam-Hariri commercial establishments sold Asian Poultry in Lebanon, and as a result few people have died now in Lebanon from the Asian Flu.

At 1/14/2006 08:19:00 AM, Blogger Idaf said...

AFP: Homsy and Seif released today!

اوردت وكالة الأنباء الفرنسية بان السلطات السورية أطلقت اليوم السبت سراح النائبين المعارضين مأمون الحمصي ورياض سيف، بحسب ما أفاد به ناشطون في مجال حقوق الإنسان للوكالة ، بينما لم يتسنى لسيريانيوز حتى الان التأكد من الخبر من مصدر اخر
هذا وقد حكم على الحمصي بالسجن خمس سنوات بعد اعتقاله عام 2001 مع رياض سيف. . وفي نيسان 2002 حكم على النائب ورجل الاعمال السوري رياض سيف بالسجن خمس سنوات مع النفاذ بتهمة محاولة تعديل الدستور بصورة غير شرعية.

Can anybody confirm?

At 1/14/2006 08:25:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Active Listener is a superb communicator. His eloquent response to Eng. Change above is a perfect example. Engineering Change is just as articulate. The exchange between the two above is similar to the one EC and I had for months on the subject of Bashar’s Iraq policy. I am well aware that EC dos not agree with me. He even admits that he would have done the same. To me, if I see the world’s largest army next door, I would be on my best behavior. I would reduce or eliminate any excuses they may look to use against me. I would not let them blame their failures on me. I would close the border and ensure that my country does not get falsely blamed for future suicide bombers. I am already occupying another country. I am already accused of supporting Islamic Jihad and Hamas allowing their offices in Damascus. I am already the head of a Baath party that is on everyone’s radar screen. I am at a state of war with Israel. As if this is not enough, I decide to help the insurgency, cause more mayhem and death so that the Americans will leave quicker. Does this make any sense? Once the Americans find out, as they seem to have done, is it not obvious that I will be a marked man? Bashar thought this American venture is similar to their entry in Lebanon back in the 1980’s. He thought that he would copy that formula when the killing of the marines forced them out. Little that he knew, this was a different America, different time, different targets and a much more serious adventure than this young man was able to comprehend.

At 1/14/2006 08:57:00 AM, Blogger Idaf said...

Another indication of the release from AFP/Al-Arabiah:

أفاد ناشطون في مجال حقوق الإنسان أن السلطات السورية أطلقت اليوم السبت 14-1-2006م اثنين من أبرز المعارضين وهما النائبان البرلمانيان مأمون الحمصي ورياض سيف, اللذين كانا يطالبان بإجراء إصلاحات في البلاد، وهو ما نفته ابنة أحدهما.

وقالت جمانة سيف ابنة النائب رياض سيف لوكالة الأنباء الفرنسية "انني خرجت من زيارة والدي الساعة الواحدة
والنصف من ظهر اليوم ولم يطلق سراحه" من سجن عدرا (30 كم شرق دمشق). لكنها اوضحت ان سلطات السجن "قامت بسحب التلفزيون والهاتف والمسجلة والاجهزة الكهربائية التي كان يستعملها في غرفة السجن" مشيرة الى ان الامر نفسه حصل مع مأمون الحمصي، واعتبرت ان ذلك قد يكون مؤشرا لاطلاق سراحهما.

وكان ناشطون في مجال حقوق الانسان اعلنوا لوكالة الأنباء الفرنسية اطلاق سراح الرجلين. وحكم على الحمصي بالسجن خمس سنوات بعد اعتقاله عام 2001 مع رياض سيف، وفي ابريل/ نيسان 2002 حكم على النائب ورجل الاعمال السوري رياض سيف بالسجن خمس سنوات مع النفاذ بتهمة محاولة تعديل الدستور بصورة غير شرعية. وكان الحمصي وسيف يدعوان الى ادخال اصلاحات في سوريا.

At 1/14/2006 09:06:00 AM, Blogger Pascal said...

Idaf, you have a mission here, and the mission is to defend the regime with all you have. You have used information given to you by the Syrian Secret Services (Mukhabarat) about their old time member and ally who defected, Khadam, extensive information that is under your command, and your post now is a further proof that you are not "neutral' as you have pretended before, but you work for the Mukhabarat.

if Bashar is serious he would release all of them right now, not choose 2 to appease to a certain Syrians according to his calculations on how to survive.

You, and many of those posting here, some as "opposition" are working for the Syrian Mukhabarat.

At 1/14/2006 09:14:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

What is so surprising and impressive about releasing opposition figures when your regime needs some good publicity or some goodwill with your people?

When things ever stabilize, these very same released people will be right back in.

At 1/14/2006 09:50:00 AM, Blogger ugarit said...

Let's face it even if Assad were only cleaning up Syria and ignored the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, the US would still come after him, unless he had sided with Bush completely. Actually that would have been a very strategic move. Syria would still be in Lebanon and the US would be supporting its occupation of Lebanon!!!

Nevertheless, there is very little evidence that Syria is really that involved. Just because Bremer claims it does'nt make it so.

At 1/14/2006 10:11:00 AM, Blogger ugarit said...

Also the US' unhealthy relationship with Israel is a huge liability. Israel ceased a long time ago from being an asset.

If I were the US I would embrace Syria and Lebanon and befriend them and prop up their relative secularism against Saudi Wahhabism. This while remaining a friend of Israel, on a sane level.
Ah but here's the problem Syria's and Lebanon's oil reserves are irrelevant relative to Saudi Arabia. Oh well so it won't do it. So I guess oil is more important than a secular, rational democracy.

We talk about how irattional the Syrian leadership is while the US' actions are way beyond the absurd. It truely acts as a lunatic.

At 1/14/2006 10:29:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

Great reading, thanks everyone for making this thread an interesting one. And now, of course, here come my comments:

First off, have no mistake about it, Ma'moun al-Homsi is an ex-thug, and a partner in crime with Rifaat al-Asad. He managed a lot of Rif3at's smuggling activites and made out like the bandit that he is. Mr. Saif on the other hand, is about one of the most honorable businessman Damascus has known. As most of you know, he crossed the State's redline when he critisized the cell phone contract which gave tremendous advantages to the contractor (Makhlouf et al), not to mention the millions of free dollars, which according to him, are taken away from the Syrian economy and thusly from the Syrian individual.

Secondly, someone has mentioned that Iraq is now moving towards the planned calm and the US military power will be free soon. I agree with the latter part, but not because of the former cause. If you're closely following what's going on Iraq (and I don't mean following it through the media as we all know who is behind every single newspaper/TV Channel polluting our airwaves), you'd know that Iraq is moving towards a new dawn indeed. But it aint the dawn of Sistani/Talabani/Bush/Allawee. Large, and I do mean large, segments of Iraq are under the control of the resistance so much so that they're re-grouping in a way which has led the US to believe that they will never get out of Iraq in one-piece and they're better off scramming. One can argue about the relative calm in the North and in the South. Yeah true, this calm is protected by Charlies and their agents. Let's see how many of these leaders/traitors will stick around after the US has left. To recap, do not count Iraq out just yet. In fact, I would argue to the contrary. What happens in Iraq, will indeed bring about changes in the region, and it won't be to America's liking. Just think of what is going to happen when the resistance prevails ushering in a time of reckoning. Iraq has been occupied 42 times throughout history. None of the occupiers lasted, and they always were kicked out in a bang (so to speak). The US is new at this imperialist game, and frankly they suck at it. Their military doctorine has never panned out beyond subduing the enemy. I can see their overweight, beer-bellyed military Generals thinking to themselves: ummmmm, now what? I got it, let's kick ass. But sir, we've already kicked ass allover. Ummmm, well, find us more asses to kick then. What?? Stevie is shot? Dammit, let's get the hell outta here.

Basically what I am saying is, this time around, the occupation will not even last as long as others have because the US cannot stomach long confronations, as elections approach, and HUMVEEs continue to fly on videotapes. The time of reckoning is indeed coming. Now, Syrians need to decide what (if any) role they should play in the upcoming events.

At 1/14/2006 10:30:00 AM, Blogger Pascal said...

[[If I were the US I would embrace Syria and Lebanon and befriend them and prop up their relative secularism against Saudi Wahhabism. This while remaining a friend of Israel, on a sane level.

I can not but laugh!

are you serious?

Is assad's problem Israel? Is he even thinking about it in any way?

His problem as his father's has always been how his regime can last at any expense and what ever the slogans are. His problem is to ensure the enrichment of his family far beyond the end of the world. He called himself the "ETERNAL" leader, did you forget?

Israel is nothing but an excuse for those retadred Arabs. While Saudi Arabia is the richest oil country in the world, and Israel is poor in natural resources, the Israeli budget is three times bigger than the Saudi's. Arabs still live in the Slave/Master relationship inheritted from their Islamic so called Empires, mainly the Otman's.

Who, in their right mind would equate israel to retarded regimes such has the Assad's? be serious, please.

Live Israel for it is the beacon of freedom and democracy in the Middle East. get angry at me, for that is what Arabs are good at.

At 1/14/2006 10:43:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Khaddam was intervied by Spiegel news magazine. He confirmed that he is forming a Government-in-exile. He also mentioned that Bashar's downfall has already started. He expects the regime to fall before the end of the year.

At 1/14/2006 11:00:00 AM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Alterion I agree with your comments, make no mistake, Iraq will be a divided nation once the Americans leave. The Kurds are anxiously waiting for the right opportunity. It is a historic opportunity to establish a free Kurdish state and will not be wasted. So the role Syria needs to play is that Syria really needs to make sure our Kurds are happy long before Kurdistan is established. This is not only a human rights issue, but it is a national security issue.

Activelistener, while America, if they invaded, would invade for democratic elections, it would be hard for anyone in Syria getting that message. There would be so much propaganda out there. Syrians would automatically take up arms by reflex. And Islamists all around would flock to Syria saying another Muslim country is under attack. So America's actual goal really does not matter in comparison to the actual invasion.

Ehsani and activelistener I respect both your positions. They key difference may be that you assume America would be friendly if Syria was on its best behavior, while I (like ugarit) assume (neocon) America would be just as hostile to Syria in spite of her best behavior.

At 1/14/2006 11:18:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

Human rights are not about giving every Tom, Dick, and Harry a State of their own, just because they feel like it (which is how the West explains human rights to us). But I realize that calls of secession exist among Kurds and possibly among other minorities, but that's one of the symptoms of a weak and a miserable State. The last thing we need is more division, that's not the way to achieve human rights. Also, like I once said, let's worry about the rights of the majority of Syrians before we worry about the rights of minorities (not that the issue is separate). So Syrians need a State of their own, first. We need to install human rights, then we need the strenght to protect these rights, not more States. Iraq may get divided during the battle of liberation, but it will be reunited under one ruler eventually, some descendant of al-Hajjaj probably.

At 1/14/2006 11:24:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Ugarit & EC

Let us assume that you are both right that the U.S. had already decided to be hostile against Syria no matter what it did in Iraq. Your job as a President is to reduce the odds against your nation being targeted not increase them. If America was coming after the regime regardless, Basher’s actions gave them an easier pretext to do so. He gave them an easy target to blame and attack to explain their failure post the invasion. Khaddam correctly advised Bashar to change his policies in Iraq but he refused. In one of interviews, Bashar implied that Khaddam was part of a conspiracy against his country as he always been in favor of “Seyaset Al-Inbitah”. Khaddam was able to read the changing Geopolitical landscape in the world. He knew that it was foolish to continue on with the old policies whose time has passed. You can all attack Khaddam for the thug and corrupt that he is. But fool this man is not. Him and Hafez would have acted differently. Regrettably, the country did not have the right man to lead it in these trying times.

At 1/14/2006 11:32:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

Just how long one can navigate the choppy waters with a sinking vessel? Yeah, sure, a more skilled captain can buy a few more hours staying afloat, but sinking he will be eventually for what he is steering is not a seaworthy vessel.

At 1/14/2006 12:00:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...


Very true.

I suggest that people read and re-read the article on the Syrian economy posted earlier.

As I have said in the past, if you handed Syria to its worst enemies 40 years ago, I do not believe that they would have ruined and destroyed it like this Baath party and this regime have done since they took over. Damascus is the oldest capital in civilization. I find it hard to believe that anyone could have done it more harm during its proud history.

At 1/14/2006 12:11:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...


Lets depart from the hypothetical situation we were talking about and come back to what what actually happened. The way I see it (and it is up for debate for sure) is that after an initial couple months of supporting the insurgency, Bashar did exactly what you wanted him to do. He tried to shut down the borders and stopped supporting the insurgents. (And how humiliating that is anyway, America invades a country illegaly and then expects Iraq's neighbors to defend America from a lot of angry Muslim insurgents? If you ever invade a country, you make sure you have enough troops on the borders and not expect Syria to have spend her resources and with limited technology to defend a long porous border.)

He let the Iraqis in Syria have democracy and vote. Did America appreciate Syria's efforts? No not at all. America was just as hostile because it was angry about past Syrian actions. America was convinced Bashar was evil and would ignore anything to the contrary of that conclusion. Again, like the Kurds declaring Kurdistan, it is a matter of a historic opportunity. America does not often have 100,000+ troops massed in the heart of the middle east, a costly thing to assemble. So while they are here, the neocon thinking goes, we might as well take out anyone we percieve as an enemy (to Israel). Iraq--check. Iran--too difficult. Syria--next.

So you may say well Syria should have cooperated with the US from the start. Maybe. But there is just no way of ever knowing for sure what would have happened in that case.

Here is a Haaretz story talking about the Der Speigal article Ehsani mentioned. Does he have any credibility when he says "His fall has already begun. I don't think his regime will last out this year,"? I think he just trying to talk big, but actually full of hot air.

At 1/14/2006 12:34:00 PM, Blogger Alawites for Syria said...

واشنطن: إسرائيل ستبقى أقوى دولة في الشرق الأوسط

الشرق الأوسط – 14/1/2006 :

أبلغت الادارة الأميركية اسرائيل انها لن تتراجع عن موقفها الاستراتيجي ازاء مكانة اسرائيل في الشرق الأوسط وستبقيها متفوقة على الدول العربية مجتمعة عسكريا. جاء ذلك في جلسة الحوار الاستراتيجي التي عقدت بين البلدين في واشنطن، أول من أمس، وحضرها من الجانب الأميركي، مساعد وزيرة الخارجية للشؤون السياسية والأمنية جون هيلن، ومساعد وزير الدفاع بيتر رودمن، وحضره من الجانب الاسرائيلي مدير وزارة الدفاع يعقوب تورن.

That is not what the Bible said. If it supposedely predicted the re-establishmnet of Israel in the latter days, and you believe this shit, then you should believe the end of that same Biblical chapter too that said Israel will flee to the wildrness and Jacob trouble days like never seen before.

That is what is funny about Christian and Zionists. they take the parts that suit thiewr plan out of the Bible and ignore those that don't fit the plan. Looks like theya re arogantly thinking they can cheat the Chiristian god.

At 1/14/2006 12:34:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"Let's face it even if Assad were only cleaning up Syria and ignored the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, the US would still come after him, unless he had sided with Bush completely. Actually that would have been a very strategic move. Syria would still be in Lebanon and the US would be supporting its occupation of Lebanon!!!

Nevertheless, there is very little evidence that Syria is really that involved. Just because Bremer claims it does'nt make it so."

I doubt it, the US hostility to Lebanon's occupation existed before the Iraqi war. Remember the Syria accountability act.

At 1/14/2006 12:35:00 PM, Blogger Alterion said...

EHSANI2 wrote:
"I find it hard to believe that anyone could have done it more harm during its proud history"

This should be the premise of any credible opposition. 'nough already with lame excuses about the so-called achievements of stability and safety, as if Syria was a jungle of beasts prior to this regime, and they made it into a peaceful heaven. If anything, it is now a jungle of unscrupulous beasts having learned from the masters of the regime by example. Everyone has become a little Assad in his own domain. From the janitor, to the Prime Minister, they all follow by example what they've seen and have become destructive little dictators with as little or as much power as they can exert within their office/company/school/neighborhood/or even home.

At 1/14/2006 12:45:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Looks like Zionist Jews and American Zionists took over the Posting deguised as syrians. It is way too obvious.
Let them talk to themselves. We already know Bashar top secret plan.


At 1/14/2006 12:50:00 PM, Blogger Pascal said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/14/2006 12:52:00 PM, Blogger Pascal said...

'Ehsani, activelistener, IDAf, Engineering change' are one person congratulating itself under its many names.

Anyway, for you, this news item may interest your so called "palestine branch" in Damascus, one of the ugliest Mukahabart torturing place:

At 1/14/2006 12:54:00 PM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

Alawites for Syria. Thanks for this interesting post. I am afraid both Israel and America are not facing the reality of the New Middle East of 2006. They are reverting to the nostalgic security blanket of the 60's.

Worse yet, is that they are not facing up to the Middle East realities of 2012 and 2025. This post shows the insucirities Israeli feels and rather than tackeling the issues facing them with a reliable progressive plan that will insure the regional and economic security of teh are including Israel, they are only insuring that of Israel. A model that was introduced in the 50's and has proven to be a desaster for Israel and the region.

At 1/14/2006 12:58:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Time will tell if Bremer's accusations are truthful. If Sistani ever confirms what has been mentioned, it will have far reaching implications for Bashar. Just when you think things could not get any worse for him, a new revelation come out.

At 1/14/2006 12:59:00 PM, Blogger Pascal said...

Then, "Alawites for Syria, Metaz Dandashy, and SRRPS" are all one poster too.

At 1/14/2006 01:08:00 PM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

Joseph Stalin used say about the Pope "How many military units he got"

Can anyone count the Military units Khaddam has? or forget units, any individuals!!! How can he make the claims that Bashar is already sinking and will not last a year?

At 1/14/2006 01:13:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Well Pascal, Metaz does have the password for SSPRS and may have in the past posted under this title, but I can assure you that he is a devout, staunch athiest humanist, much more than Marx and Lenin, he will never present himself with any religious epiphets.

At 1/14/2006 01:27:00 PM, Blogger Pascal said...

This news item may bring heart attack to some, and "sadness" to Dr. Joshua landis:

At 1/14/2006 02:05:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Yeah well in the end Stalin lost and the pope won.

At 1/14/2006 05:55:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...

Pascal said: "Is assad's problem Israel? Is he even thinking about it in any way?"

Not really but the US' problem is Israel.

At 1/14/2006 10:43:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

When Iraq fell the plan in the US was to go after Syria in what they called it go left means sfter Syria so if Bashar tried to cause mahum for the US it was only in self deffence ,about Syria thinking that the US will ask for their support in Iraq ,that is the logical thinking but did not take into account that the American goverment wuld rather have our kids die in Iraq than cooperate with Syria and reach a resolution in the middle east,Syria is being attacked for it,s support of Hizballa ,Hamas and Islamic Jihad and no matter what America wants she will find nobody who will sell Arab nationalism in Syria .

At 1/15/2006 05:54:00 AM, Blogger qunfuz said...

It is true that we have been led into a mess by Bashaar, and that blaming Israel or America for mistakes won't help. It's true that nations can only be victimised by outsiders when their own backwardness has led them to be weak in the first place. It is true that, in Syria in particular, sectarianism, class consciousness (snobbery worse than in any country I know)and ignorance from the people themselves as well as corruption and barbarism from the regime have made the country weak. If the regime killed Hariri (and it really does look like it did)then they were criminally wrong, as they are for perpetuating the police state. Backing Wahhabi terrorists in Iraq, if they have ever done it, is also criminally wrong, and against the interests of all Arabs and Muslims. But supporting a national resistance in Iraq, and supporting Hizbullah, and supporting the resistance in Palestine, and opposing US/ zionist plans for the region, is morally right, in the interests of Syria in the long term if not the short, and is what the overwhelming majority of the Syrian people want and expect. This is not the result of Baathist brainwashing. Syrians were nationalists long before the Baath came to power. If anything, the mukhabarat state has diminished nationalism by making people despair.
Mr Pascal: Jews are the cousins of the Arabs, and many of us (Arabs) will be happy to live with Jews in this region when they behave like our Semitic cousins and not like colonists. It is true that Israel is more economically successful than Arab states. It is also true that they are guilty of ethnic cleansing, occupation, massacres, theft of resources, and that they threaten us all with their nuclear weapons.

At 1/15/2006 05:13:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...

Once Israel abandons Zionism (i.e. having a goal of predominance of power to Jews and the "Right" to return to only Jews) it will become a beacon in the Middle East. This would be equivelant to the USSR dropping Communism. Arab nations will quickly embrace it. Yes there will be Jihadists and Zionists who will clash severely.

Arabs forgive and forget quickly.

At 1/15/2006 05:27:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...


Israel is doing much better than the Arab world because it's a Western colony, pure and simple. Its capabilities are not native to the area. Of course, the Arab regimes are incompetant and much of the Arab culture.


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