Author Topic: Syria Superthread [merged]  (Read 505283 times)

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2004, 21:08:16 »
This one is really curious. Syria trying to get rid of Saddam's scientists to Iran.....

Ran today in the Telegraph

 http://www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/09/26/wiran26.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/09/26/ixportaltop.html


Quote
Syria brokers secret deal to send atomic weapons scientists to Iran
By Con Coughlin
(Filed: 26/09/2004)

Syria's President Bashir al-Asad is in secret negotiations with Iran to secure a safe haven for a group of Iraqi nuclear scientists who were sent to Damascus before last year's war to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

 
 
Western intelligence officials believe that President Asad is desperate to get the Iraqi scientists out of his country before their presence prompts America to target Syria as part of the war on terrorism.

The issue of moving the Iraqi scientists to Iran was raised when President Asad made a visit to Teheran in July. Intelligence officials understand that the Iranians have still to respond to the Syrian leader's request.

A group of about 12 middle-ranking Iraqi nuclear technicians and their families were transported to Syria before the collapse of Saddam's regime. The transfer was arranged under a combined operation by Saddam's now defunct Special Security Organisation and Syrian Military Security, which is headed by Arif Shawqat, the Syrian president's brother-in-law.

The Iraqis, who brought with them CDs crammed with research data on Saddam's nuclear programme, were given new identities, including Syrian citizenship papers and falsified birth, education and health certificates. Since then they have been hidden away at a secret Syrian military installation where they have been conducting research on behalf of their hosts.

Growing political concern in Washington about Syria's undeclared weapons of mass destruction programmes, however, has prompted President Asad to reconsider harbouring the Iraqis.

American intelligence officials are concerned that Syria is secretly working on a number of WMD programmes.

They have also uncovered evidence that Damascus has acquired a number of gas centrifuges - probably from North Korea - that can be used to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb.

Relations between Washington and Damascus have been strained since last year's war in Iraq, with American commanders accusing the Syrians of allowing foreign fighters to cross the border into Iraq, where they carry out terrorist attacks against coalition forces.

"The Syrians are playing a very dangerous game," a senior Western intelligence official told The Sunday Telegraph.

"The Americans already have them in their sights because they are doing next to nothing to stop foreign fighters entering Iraq. If Washington finds concrete evidence that Syria is engaged in an illegal WMD programme then it will quickly find itself targeted as part of the war on terror."

Under the terms of the deal President Asad offered the Iranians, the Iraqi scientists and their families would be transferred to Teheran together with a small amount of essential materials. The Iraqi team would then assist Iranian scientists to develop a nuclear weapon.

Apart from paying the relocation expenses, President Asad also wants the Iranians to agree to share the results of their atomic weapons research with Damascus.

The Syrian offer comes at a time when Iran is under close scrutiny from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which is investigating claims that Iran is maintaining a secret nuclear bomb programme.

The Iranians, who possess one of the world's largest oil reserves, insist that their nuclear programme is aimed solely at developing nuclear energy. Last week relations between Teheran and the IAEA deteriorated further after the Iranians reneged on a commitment to suspend their nuclear programme.

In a move that will raise suspicions in Washington that Iran is trying to build an atomic bomb, Teheran announced that it was to press ahead with plans to enrich 37 tons of uranium into the gas needed to turn the radioactive element into nuclear fuel. Nuclear experts estimate that when the process is complete the Iranians will have enough enriched uranium for five nuclear bombs.

The IAEA responded by passing a resolution setting a November 25 deadline for Iran to clear up suspicions over its nuclear activities or risk having the issue referred to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions. The resolution also demanded that Iran halt all activities related to uranium enrichment, a part of the nuclear fuel cycle that can be used for both energy and weapons purposes.

In a further gesture of defiance, Ali Shamkhani, the Iranian defence minister, announced that the Iranian army has taken delivery of a new "strategic missile".

The missile, unnamed for security reasons, was successfully tested last week, Shamkhani was quoted as saying by state television. It was unclear if the weapon in question was the Shahab-3 medium-range missile, acquired by the Revolutionary Guards in July last year. An improved version was successfully tested in August.

The Shahab-3 is based on a North Korean design and is thought to be capable of carrying a one-ton warhead at least 800 miles, which puts Israel well within its range.

The Iranians yesterday also accused America of "lawless militarism" in Iraq and called Israel the biggest threat to peace in the Middle East. "The attack against Iraq was illegal," Kamal Kharrazi, Iran's foreign minister told the UN General Assembly. He thanked Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, for stating the same in a television interview last week.
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

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Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2004, 11:19:01 »
Kind of curious juxtaposing these to articles.

http://washingtontimes.com/world/20040926-103904-7454r.htm

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,1-1281064,00.html

On the one hand Assad is surprising diplomats by being conciliatory to the US, according to one newspaper with a right wing slant.  While another right wing newspaper claims that the Mossad is assassinating Hamas leaders in Syria. (Unofficially confirmed in Ha'aretz).
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline Acorn

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2004, 20:47:03 »
I could spend quite a bit of time replying, but I simply can't afford too much, so the "cole's notes" below will have to do for now. Anyway, looking at the articles Kirkhill posted:

First, Ba'ath Party reform has been in the works for a few years now. What it usually boils down to is re-distribution of wealth in the guise of reform. The intent is to mollify internal forces (more below.)

Regarding contacts with Iraq and Iran on a CBW front, most of what get's published is of very questionable providence. There are the Syrian equivalents of Ahmad Chalabi and his party, firing off "reports" of buried Iraqi chemical weapons in Eastern Syria, Iraqi scientists and senior regime figures hiding in Syria (as an example one early report was that Saddam himself was ensconced the the "luxurious Cham Palace Cote d'Azure hotel" in Lattakia. Said hotel is "luxurious" by no standard I've ever encountered.) Look at such stuff with a jaundiced eye.

The bottom line on many reports from "sources in Syria" is that they are highly suspect. Given recent history I'd also be suspicious of "US intelligence sources" (which obviously sounds better than "Bob, the messenger boy for the Middle East desk at some lower-level CIA office").

Bashar al Assad, Syria's young president, has a tight rope to walk. On the one hand he tries to be as conciliatory as possible to the West (particularly the US) but on the other hand he has a restive population with high unemployment - mostly in the critical 18-30 year old male group. He must be seen to be taking a "principled stance" (to use the Ba'ath Party terminology) against Israel and the occupation of the Golan Heights. He must be seen to support the Palestinians, an issue which has become the central cause for most Arabs - even non-Muslims.

He is also faced with an entrenched establishment which has clear "rice bowl" interests. He doesn't have the power base of his father, so he is forced to allow some forces (sometimes called "old guard" though this is a misnomer) a freer hand than the old man would have put up with. This allows some other powerful individuals to expand their own power bases; men like Bashar's brother-in-law, Asef Shawkat, deputy head of military intelligence (some say he is the de-facto head, with MGen Hassan Khalil serving as the "front man") or MGen Ghazi Kanaan, head of political security and former number one in Lebanon.

Is young Assad a reformer? Of a sort, I would think. Certainly he would like to reform the obviously broken economy. I'm not sure he'd be so keen to political reform.

As a final observation: the impression I get from many commentators with a certain political bent is that Syria is an oppressive police state, much like the former Soviet Union. In fact this is not so. Yes, it is something of a police state, but most of her citizens accept that as the price for personal safety. There is also a fairly free economy - taxation is generally ignored - though there is some indication that one wouldn't want to be too successful, lest a "partner" appear.

Maybe more another time.

Acorn
« Last Edit: September 27, 2004, 23:30:44 by Acorn »
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2004, 19:57:28 »
A couple of interesting articles here on Syria and Syrians. 

The first one describes the Conveyor belt for moving Mujahedeen from Syria to Iraq (border doesn't look to tight) and speculates on Iraqi activities in Syria.  Suggests as Acorn noted that the authorities may not have a particularly tight grip on the place.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/12/02/wirq102.xml

The second one concerns a Syrian that stowed away on a truck in France that was carrying missiles into one of the Royal Navy's dockyards.  When captured he declared he was an asylum seeker.
 
Anyone want to buy some swampland?

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2004560515,00.html


Asylum scandal at
Navy war HQ 
 
 
 
Security scare ... carrier Invincible
 
 
 
 
  FULL NEWS INDEX
   
 

 
By TOM NEWTON DUNN
and VIRGINIA WHEELER

AN ASYLUM seeker sneaked into a top Navy base in a lorry carrying secret MISSILE PARTS.

The stowaway sparked a massive alert by riding undetected beside a crate holding the new weapons system.

The man, a Syrian believed to have crept into the truck in France, managed to pass two armed checkpoints at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth and get within yards of warships including the aircraft carrier Invincible.

As red-faced top brass ordered a probe into the fiasco, a source said: â Å“If he did it so easily, imagine what an al-Qaeda terrorist could do.â ?
 
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2005, 08:56:43 »
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2005/04/26/1013365-ap.html

April 26, 2005 
Syrian troops end 29-year military presence in Lebanon in farewell ceremony
   
MASNAA, Lebanon (AP) - The last Syrian soldiers crossed into Syria on Tuesday, waving and flashing victory signs, surrendering to international and Lebanese popular demands and ending its 29-year military presence in its smaller neighbour. Syrians across the border danced and waved flags welcoming them home.
At a farewell ceremony near their shared border, a Syrian commander told Lebanese troops: "Brothers in arms, so long." The soldiers responded, "So long."
A commander of Lebanese soldiers then addressed his words to the Syrians, saying: "Brothers in arms, thank you for your sacrifices." His soldiers repeated, "Thank you for your sacrifices."

After the hour-long ceremony, the Syrian intelligence chief in Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Rustom Ghazali and 10 carloads of intelligence agents crossed into Syria at the border point of Masnaa. The last 250 Syrian troops in Lebanon, who'd participated in the ceremony at the nearby army air base at Rayak, weren't far behind.
At the crossing, about 25 Lebanese civilians saluted Ghazali, who got out of his car and accepted a poster from a Lebanese man that said: "Thank you Syria." On the Syrian side, hundreds of Syrians waved flags and danced in the streets of Jedeidit Yabous, waiting for the soldiers to emerge.

The Syrians entered Lebanon in 1976, ostensibly as peacekeepers in the year-old civil war. After the war ended in 1990, about 40,000 Syrian troops remained, giving Damascus the decisive say in Lebanese politics.
Anger over the Feb. 14 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri helped turn the tide against Syria's longtime presence in Lebanon. Unconvinced by Syrian and Lebanese government denials of involvement, pressure to leave snowballed. Huge "Syria Out" demonstrations in Beirut brought down the pro-Syrian government, and UN and U.S. pressure intensified on Damascus until it withdrew its army.

Shaaban al-Ajami, the mayor of nearby Lebanese border village of Majdal Anjar, said he was happy to see the Syrians leave: "I feel like someone who was suffocated and jailed and has finally emerged from jail."
In the capital, Beirut, meanwhile, relatives of Lebanese prisoners held in Syrian jails scuffled with the army and beat legislators' cars with the Lebanese flag during a demonstration Tuesday outside parliament demanding the release of their loved ones. Two protesters were seen being loaded into a Civil Defence ambulance while two others received first aid at the scene of the demonstration in downtown Beirut.

With the Syrians leaving, its Lebanese allies in the security services also were collapsing. Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed - often described as the enforcer of Damascus' policy - announced his resignation Monday, and another top security commander left the country with his family. Lebanon's new Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Najib Mikati, went to Parliament on Tuesday to seek a vote of confidence that will allow preparations for May elections.
Gen. Ali Habib, Syria's chief of staff, said in a speech during the departure ceremony, that President Bashar Assad had decided to pull out his troops after the Lebanese army was "rebuilt on sound national foundations and became capable of protecting the state."
Habib said Syria had no "ambitions in Lebanon, except to protect it."

By withdrawing, Habib, said that Syria will have "fulfilled all its obligations toward" UN Resolution 1559, which called on it to pull out.
UN secretary general Kofi Annan has dispatched a team led by Senegalese Brig. Gen. Mouhamadou Kandji to verify the withdrawal.
Habib stressed that the withdrawal does mean an end to Syrian-Lebanese ties.
"The relations do not emanate from (Syria's) military presence. The relations will continue and become stronger at present and in the future," he said, then took a swipe at the United States, saying, "anyone who thinks that the history of people can be eliminated by statements made by this or that state is mistaken."

Lebanese army commander Michel Suleiman lauded the role of Syria's army in Lebanon, crediting it with rebuilding the army, maintaining peace among the country's 17 sects and ending the 1975-90 civil war.
He pledged continued co-operation between the two countries in several fields, including the fight on terror.
"Together we shall always remain brothers in arms in the face of the Israeli enemy," said Suleiman.

The farewell ceremony opened with Lebanese and Syrian military commanders placing a wreath of flowers at a cornerstone they laid for a monument to commemorate the Syrian military presence in Lebanon. As military honours were read out, troops punctuated the ceremony with chants supportive of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The 250 Syrian soldiers in red berets and camouflage, the last Syrian troops remaining in Lebanon, shouted "we sacrifice our blood and our souls for you, oh Bashar!" during the ceremony at Rayak, a few kilometres from the Syrian border.
Recipients of medals exchanged as a sign of appreciation included Ghazali, the Syrian intelligence chief in Lebanon, and Brig. Gen. Asef Shawkat, Assad's brother-in-law whom he had recently appointed as Syria's chief of military intelligence.

On the Lebanese side, Suleiman received a medal from the Syrian government.

Shortly before the ceremony began, Brig. Gen. Elias Farhat, director of the Lebanese Army Orientation Department said, "Those are the ones left," referring to Syrian soldiers who marched in Rayak, holding their AK-47 rifles to their chests.
He said the Syrian withdrawal does not mean an end to Lebanese-Syrian relationship. "The military deployment of the Syrian army is part of this relationship which links the two countries," he said.

Farhat pointed to the 1991 Lebanese-Syrian Brotherhood, Co-operation and Co-ordination Treaty, which calls, among other things, for the two countries to closely co-ordinate on security and defence matters and jointly work to fight sabotage, espionage and prevent any hostile activity against any country.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2005, 13:47:13 »
The Lebanese I encountered in Cyprus and even here always struck me as being energetic and commercial people. IF the American "Commercial Cowboys" reffered to in an erlier post move in fast, I think the Syrians will find themselves outmanoeuvred, since they have little capacity to respond to that kind of challenge
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2006, 20:26:21 »
From the August 5 2006 edition of the Los Angeles Times:

 
Quote
    5:19 PM PDT, August 5, 2006   
 
Syria Wants to Talk, But Bush Won't Answer the Phone
Damascus has effectively cooperated with Washington on terrorism, says Syria's ambassador.
By Imad Moustapha, IMAD MOUSTAPHA is the Syrian ambassador to the United States.
August 4, 2006


LATE LAST MONTH, a number of congressmen called me and asked for an urgent, unscheduled meeting. There, at the Rayburn House Office Building, we spent a couple of hours discussing in-depth the crisis in the Middle East. The paramount concern of these legislators was not the typical Capitol Hill rhetoric (offering unconditional support for Israel, or delivering the routine condemnation and demonization of Syria). Instead, they simply wanted to know what they could do to stop the ongoing massacre in Lebanon.

Their frustration and exasperation about the total nonchalance of the U.S. administration was overwhelming. The very first question they had for me was to clarify the confusion about whether the White House is talking to Syria or not. Although the media have reported that no contacts have been made between the two countries over the last three weeks, administration officials have sent vague signals that this might be happening through back channels.

But no communication whatsoever has taken place. U.S. policy remains to ignore the Syrian government. And it remains fundamentally wrong.

It hasn't always been this way. When President George H.W. Bush faced Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, he realized the strategic need for Syria and knew how to lure us into the American-led alliance: by inviting Syria to the Madrid peace conference.

As a result, and within a short period of time, the Clinton administration engaged Syria and Israel in serious peace talks that, had they succeeded, would have created a very different paradigm in this troubled area.

In Syria, we consider the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as the fatal blow that felled the peace efforts, and since that tragic event, Israel has had no leader with the courage or vision required to accept the inevitable "land for peace" compromise enshrined in U.N. Security Council resolutions 224 and 338.

In sharp contrast, the current U.S. administration has publicly dissuaded Israel from responding to the repeated Syrian invitations to revive the peace process. Syria still hopes that this position might change, as there exists a growing alienation against the U.S. and its policies in the Arab and Islamic world, which is undoubtedly creating fertile breeding conditions for terrorism.

Syria thought that the atrocious events of Sept. 11, 2001, would be a much-needed wake-up call for the Bush administration.

After Sept. 11, we cooperated with the U.S. in fighting terrorism. Syria had been fighting extreme fundamentalist movements in the region for the previous three decades, so we promptly initiated intelligence and security cooperation with the U.S., providing a wealth of information about Al Qaeda, some of which was described in a letter to Congress by former Secretary of State Colin Powell as "actionable information" that led to "saving American lives." Consequently, bilateral relations improved dramatically at the time, much to the chagrin of the neoconservative cabal that doggedly opposed any engagement with Syria, no matter how productive.

This effective cooperation ended when Syria and the U.S. found themselves at odds over how to address the Iraqi problem. Syria fiercely opposed the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and continues to do so. The fact that Hussein was Syria's archenemy did not blind our eyes to the grave consequences such an occupation would bear on our region: bloodshed, destruction, instability, extremism and the ugly face of sectarianism.

The Bush administration never forgave Syria for its opposition to the war. Despite the fact that Syrian-U.S. intelligence and security cooperation continued, even after the fallout on Iraq, well up to January 2005, heavyweights in the White House continued to engage in a rhetorical campaign against Syria. Members of Congress, influenced by the powerful pro-Israel lobby, overwhelmingly passed the Syria Accountability Act in November 2003, enacting trade sanctions on Damascus without serious debate or reference to the crucial intelligence support provided by Syria.

Concurrently, administration officials devised a new "policy" toward my country: Don't talk to Syria at all, and maybe its regime will collapse.

That is why the U.S. decided to change its 20-year position toward Syrian involvement in Lebanon. Suddenly, Syria's "stabilizing and necessary presence" in Lebanon became, overnight and without any change in Syria's behavior, "an evil occupation that should immediately be ended."

The underlying idea behind demanding Syrian withdrawal was simple: It would precipitate the fall of the Syrian regime, and the U.S. would end up with a new government in Damascus that is both Israel-friendly and an ally of the U.S. Does that have any resemblance to the neoconservative justification for the war on Iraq?

To the dismay of U.S. policymakers, this belligerent attitude only rallied Syrians behind their own government.

Ultimately, the Bush administration has to realize that by trying to isolate Syria politically and diplomatically, the U.S. continues to lose ability to influence a major player in the Middle East. In the wake of the ongoing instability in Iraq and violence in Palestine and Lebanon, it begs the larger question: Has isolating Syria made the region more secure?

Currently, the White House doesn't talk to the democratically elected government of Palestine. It does not talk to Hezbollah, which has democratically elected members in the Lebanese parliament and is a member of the Lebanese coalition government. It does not talk to Iran, and it certainly does not talk to Syria.

Gone are the days when U.S. special envoys to the Middle East would spend hours, if not days, with Syrian officials brainstorming, discussing, negotiating and looking for creative solutions leading to a compromise or settlement. Instead, this administration follows the Bolton Doctrine: There is no need to talk to Syria, because Syria knows what it needs to do. End of the matter.

When the United States realizes that it is high time to reconsider its policies toward Syria, Syria will be more than willing to engage. However, the rules of the game should be clear. As President Bashar Assad has said, Syria is not a charity. If the U.S. wants something from Syria, then Syria requires something in return from the U.S.: Let us address the root cause of instability in the Middle East.

The current crisis in Lebanon needs an urgent solution because of the disastrous human toll. Moreover, the whole Middle East deserves a comprehensive deal that would put an end to occupation and allow all countries to equally prosper and live in dignity and peace.
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Interesting POV....
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
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Offline Tiamo

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2006, 23:59:34 »
Well written article. Syria has been on and off with Washington for decades, yet, the relations between Syria and the US never reached this level of isolation before. I believe the current US administration has put itself at a great disadvantage by distancing Syria in a time where the US is bogged down in Iraq, and possibly facing Iran, been dismissed by Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinians and most of the Arab world as a player that can effectively bring solutions to the table. This is one of the many reasons why groups like Hezbollah and Hamas are now going about their way to achieve what they need, instead of relying on US mediation.

Syria is and remain the other major player in the ME (aside from Israel), so shunning out the Syrians demonstrates the US administration is planning to go pro-Israel instead of attempting to mediate between all the parties in bringing about a peace.

Also, interesting thing about this article the mention of US attempt to encourage the Syrians to rise against their government. Instead, (and mostly due to what happened in Iraq), the general population (thought oppressed by the current regime) choose to stand by its government, something the US administration didn't expect.

Great article and thx for sharing...
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2006, 01:16:24 »
Syria could do a lot by condeming Hezbollah and their attacks on Israel as well might make the current administration take a second look.
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
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Offline Tiamo

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2006, 07:45:17 »
Syria could do a lot by condeming Hezbollah and their attacks on Israel as well might make the current administration take a second look.

It will be baseless since Syria had already made more important things like fighting terrorism, sharing intelligence. Still the current US administration is unable to envision Syria as a major player in the ME. They thought they could by pass Syria, work with Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, yet we've seen the results so far!!

You'll also need to look at the pressure from within Syria itself. The Golan heights were lost during the 1967 war (When Hafaz Al-Assad was Minister of Defense), the Syrian people until today dream of freeing the Golan. The government is under pressure to reach a solution to that problem. So when a small group like Hezbollah fights the Israelis, many Syrians will view the current position the government is taken as "weak", so imagine if Syria goes against Hezbollah and in support of Israel. There will be no reason for the people of Syria nor the Syrian army to stand behind its government, hence, there will likely follow either : a) revolution   b)  military coup.
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Offline rmacqueen

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #35 on: August 06, 2006, 08:57:12 »
Unfortunately, this does seem to be a recurring theme within the Bush government.  If you do anything to upset them they cut you out with little regard for the downstream consequences.

Syria could be a dominate player in the region and a foil to any Iranian expansionism if the US would involve them.  Their military is fairly strong but they do have to walk a very fine line given the prevailing feelings towards Israel in the region.  Excluding them will only ensure that any peace plan will fail as politically Syria will have no choice but to oppose it.  The current US administration seems to have a very myopic view that ignores realities to their own peril.
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #36 on: August 06, 2006, 10:25:40 »
Syria sponsors the worst terrorists out there, sponsors a raging insurgency in a foreign nation, sponsors a puppet tyranny in another foreign nation, is run by a dictatorship, shields war criminals, and launches missiles by proxy into yet another nation whenver they want to make a point, and WE'RE supposed to feel sympathy for THEM?

Yeah.  ::)
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #37 on: August 06, 2006, 10:56:57 »

............. the Syrian people until today dream of freeing the Golan.

They also until today dream of "freeing" "Palestine", just like they did in 1948, 1967 and 1973.

But as many children, and those who knowingly choose to wage war sometimes realize, dreams don't always come true.

I  think Israel just got a little sick of being awoken in the middle of the night by Syria's bad dreams.


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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #38 on: August 06, 2006, 11:09:50 »
Syria sponsors the worst terrorists out there, sponsors a raging insurgency in a foreign nation, sponsors a puppet tyranny in another foreign nation, is run by a dictatorship, shields war criminals, and launches missiles by proxy into yet another nation whenver they want to make a point, and WE'RE supposed to feel sympathy for THEM?

Yeah.  ::)

There's the public Syria, and then, there's the real Syria. The US has been seen to be dealing with the Public Syria, and have now, probably for good reason, decided not to. You are right, there is nothing that Syria offers, that it does not take away by it's support for Terrorist Organizations. They are not a friend of the US, but up until now it served the purpose of the US to deal with them.
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2006, 11:25:49 »
Regime change in Syria that involves the replacement of the Baath Party would really transform that region and yank out the props under Hizbollah. It would also strengthen Lebanon. Right now Hizbollah is very close to usurping the leadership of Lebanon from the elected government. This would be a very dangerous pattern for future countries that host powerful terror groups.

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2006, 11:58:06 »
Regime change in Syria that involves the replacement of the Baath Party would really transform that region and yank out the props under Hizbollah. It would also strengthen Lebanon. Right now Hizbollah is very close to usurping the leadership of Lebanon from the elected government. This would be a very dangerous pattern for future countries that host powerful terror groups.
that's not acurate, as the "elected" government was put in place by Syria.
...time to cull the herd.

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2006, 13:17:27 »
Here is another Syrian view. However, it is not the familiar soft spoken ambassador noted above who is often a guest on CNN to provide uniformed North Americans with the warm & fuzzy view of his government.

It is the Syrian Deputy Minister of Religious Endowment, Dr. Muhammad Al-Sattar calling for Jihad and likening Jews to the descendants of Apes and Pigs.

It aired July 21st  on Syrian TV.   

http://www.memritv.org/view.asp?P1=1206

I can only imagine what kind of reaction there would have been if a member of the US Congress or a member of any western parliament had made a remark likening Muslims to the descendants of Apes and Pigs?

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Offline Tiamo

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2006, 17:57:05 »
Quote
Regime change in Syria that involves the replacement of the Baath Party would really transform that region and yank out the props under Hizbollah. It would also strengthen Lebanon. Right now Hizbollah is very close to usurping the leadership of Lebanon from the elected government. This would be a very dangerous pattern for future countries that host powerful terror groups.

Any regime change in ANY Arab government ANY where in the ME will produce (if democratic) an Islamist government. If a puppet regime is installed that does not abide to the people's and armed forces well, it will be toppled in few years. This had happened before during the colonial wars of 1920s and will happen in the future. Latest examples:

Algeria 1994 produced democratic Islamic party as majority
Turkey 2000, Islamic party...
Iran, Islamic party....
Iraq, Islamic party (Sheaa).....
Palestine, Islamic party.....
Jordan (Islamist are majority)......
Egypt (The Muslim Brotherhood on the rise again)......
Lebanon (mark my word, the next democratic government will be mostly Islamists).
Mauritania (keep an eye there as Islamist gain popularity)...
Saudi Arabia (local elections produced a sweeping win for conservative officials)
Kuwait ...... conservatives holding power in the parliament.

I don't know what change the U.S. is seeking, but any change happens after now will produce an Islamic majority. As I said it before, Israel and the US has the best chance to make peace now with the current Arab regimes.

Quote
that's not accurate, as the "elected" government was put in place by Syria.

Incorrect, the current Lebanese government is 100% democratic with no intervention at all from Syria. The pro-Syrian members in the parliament are smaller than the Saad Hariri coalition (the majority party).

The events occurring in Lebanon now would never have never happened should Syria had remained in Lebanon. It is an irony! Obviously, when the Syrians were in Lebanon, they'd interfere in all aspects of people lives, but for the very least people had a life!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2006, 18:01:07 by tamouh »
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2006, 22:30:18 »
"Democracy" is only a method.

Perhaps many of the cultures in the Arab middle east need to go through a constitutional monarchy or a total social rebuild similar to Japan post 1945 in order to create the social and political organizations which are needed to create a stable society and prevent (or at least limit the possibility of) takovers by radical elements.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #44 on: August 08, 2006, 14:43:25 »
Quote
Perhaps many of the cultures in the Arab middle east need to go through a constitutional monarchy or a total social rebuild similar to Japan post 1945 in order to create the social and political organizations which are needed to create a stable society and prevent (or at least limit the possibility of) takovers by radical elements.

This is what Britain and France have been doing in the region from 1920-1940 and look where it ended up !!! They used to shuffle things around Arab-Style ( We'll help you do this if you help us do that, then we'll help someone else against you so they help us achieve some other thing in another region....... )
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #45 on: August 16, 2006, 10:43:33 »
From the Memri TV Project,

Here is Syrian cleric Muhammad Al-Bouti on Al Manar (aka Hezbollah TV) saying it is perfectly OK to bomb and destroy American, Israeli, & other groups "hostile to Islam" around the world.

http://www.memritv.org/view.asp?P1=1230
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2006, 13:12:17 »
Quote
Here is Syrian cleric Muhammad Al-Bouti on Al Manar (aka Hezbollah TV) saying it is perfectly OK to bomb and destroy American, Israeli, & other groups "hostile to Islam" around the world.

Wasn't there a post on these forums that talked about a radical Israeli Rabbi who claimed Arabs should be eliminated and killed. Everyone jumped on board that this is the opinion of one radical should not be taken as the opinion of the whole nation , or am I wrong here ?
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #47 on: August 16, 2006, 13:29:39 »
or am I wrong here ?
yes, you are, and you know it. There are no huge rallies in Israel calling for the deaths of all Muslims. There are no enormous outpourings of hatred amongst Jews aimed at any race or religion. In the rabbi's (we'll continue to call him that, although he's hardly a man of God) case, it IS a single oddity, whereas amongst the Muslim community, it's virtually the status quo.

You're trolling again.
...time to cull the herd.

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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2006, 13:36:17 »
Quote
yes, you are, and you know it. There are no huge rallies in Israel calling for the deaths of all Muslims. There are no enormous outpourings of hatred amongst Jews aimed at any race or religion. In the rabbi's (we'll continue to call him that, although he's hardly a man of God) case, it IS a single oddity, whereas amongst the Muslim community, it's virtually the status quo.

Does Syria occupy ANY Israeli land ? Is Syria in violation of ANY UN resolutions ?  NO!

While on the other hand, Israel occupies illegally lands since 1967 in a legal war which Israel started against its Arabs neighbours, AND Israel is in complete violation of UN resolutions since 1967 until our nowday.

p.s. Jews live in Syria too and the Syrian constitution guarantees their safety. Syrians nor any Arabs have any problems with Jews, but they have issues with settlers occupying their land and that happens to be extremist Jews, so they simply are mixing the two together. Same with the war on Terror, we all respect the Muslim community, yet it seems most Terrorists nowadays are belonging to extrimist Muslim ideology.
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Re: Syria Superthread [merged]
« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2006, 13:39:37 »
United Nations Holds Canada In Continuing Violation of Lubicon Human Rights
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...I guess we don't have the same good friends in high places like Syria does.
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