While the regime of Bashar Assad kills Syrians across Syria, these people have tried to justify the Assad crimes by using "political analysis." These people are unethical. When history is written, it should note that the people below have Syrian blood on their hands.
32- The New York Times
I never though I'd be lecturing the New York Times on issues of journalism stadards and professional practice, but here's a thought that America's most prominent newspaper might find useful: Next time Buthaina Shaaban contacts NYT reporter in Beirut Anthony Shadid, through Michel Samaha, and invites him to visit Syria only to interview her so that she can put out regime propaganda, the New York Times better insist that it would only send its reporter if it is given full access to both the regime's Buthaina Shaaban and the Syrian cities that are reportedly under siege. Any other arrangement means that the Times gave the Syrian regime a front page story, and kept the Syrian people who are being repressed unheard. This is not objective reporting. Shadid has been an apologetic for the Syrian regime for a while. His entry will be posted here soon.
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1- Michel Aoun, Lebanese lawmaker
Says "we cannot describe the regime in Syria as tyrannical because tyranny is when you kill collectively, but when you call people in rally, when there is unrest, repression is limited."
2- Joshua Landis, American Academic
Argues that the Assad crimes are mere inter-sectarian violence:
3- The Government of Turkey
While Turkey styles itself as the defender of the oppressed Muslims around the world, its behavior on Syria shows that Recep Tayib Erdogan and his crew are hypocrites. To Israel they send Flotillas to break the siege on Gaza and raise hell. On Syria, they suddenly fear sectarian tension and say they advised Assad to reform. Turkey is also supporting Libya's beast Moammar Gadhafi by obstructing an agreement inside NATO to take command of military operations against Libya. From an Arab peoples' perspective, Turkey is by far the best friend of all Arab dictators. Perhaps Arabs now need a World War III to rid themselves of the oppression of the Turks.
4- Reinoud Leenders, Academic at UK's SOAS
He worked as Beirut Bureau Chief for the International Crisis Group (ICG), the most apologetic Western group of Assad. ICG's Middle East's Chief is Robert Malley, one of Assad's best friends. In a panel at Stimson Center after the breakout of clashes in Daraa, Leenders said that Assad still enjoyed legitimacy because of his stance in support of Hezbollah and Hamas and standing up to Israel (yeah right!) Leenders argument on Assad's legitimacy was the same that Assad made in his interview with The Wall Street Journal.
5- Jean Aziz, Lebanese mercenary for the Syrian regime
He wrote an article in Al-Akhbar daily, which interestingly enough endorses revolutions across the Middle East except in Iran and Syria, comparing the rebellion in Daraa, Syria to Hafez Assad's surgery in the 1980s during which he removed his appendix. Aziz is too unethical to make it to any list. But for his special ties with his boss, Assad's advisor Buthaina Shaaban, we include this pro-Michel Aoun operative on the list.
6- As'ad AbuKhalil, Blogger Angry Arab
This guy is angry over everything but Syria. Check out his most recent gem. Syrians demonstrate against their regime in Dubai, so he attacks Dubai for not allowing a demonstration for Bahrain. Good logic. AbuKhalil posts dozens of articles, but mentions the Daraa massacre (the number is more than 100 in mainstream media now) only in passing. I was reading this post of his complaining of Al-Jazeera's coverage. I thought like -- most other Arabs (since he claims to be Arab too) -- that he was angry at Al-Jazeera for not giving Syria enough coverage. Instead, I read this: "It seems that Aljazeera now operates according to the Western standards by which Israeli victims are more precious than Palestinian victims." He wrote this on March 23, the day Syrian regime operatives were shooting dozens of Syrians in Daraa streets (so I guess AbuKhalil's rule is that Palestinian victims are more precious than Syrian victims). Alas, like many others, AbuKhalil is no angry Arab. He is a mere populist Arab, and one that is not very smart.
7- Yaakov Katz, The Jeruslaem Post
In his article For all his faults, Assad is the devil we know, while Syrians were falling dead by the scores, this was what came to Katz's mind: "A new regime, led by a new actor, would likely be unpredictable and when considering the large arsenal of long-range Scud missiles Syria has stockpiled over the years and the accompanying chemical warheads, Israel needs to be considered." Yes, Syria's Scud missiles! The Syrians are dying for their freedom, and all what Katz cares for is for Assad to stay to make sure Scud missiles are safe, while at the same time Assad ships loads of missiles from Iran to Hezbollah, that in turn throws them at Israel. Yaakov Katz not only has Syrian blood on his hand, he is not even intelligent enough to write a coherent analysis.
8- Assafir Newspaper, Lebanon
Lebanon's Assafir newspaper calls itself "the voice of the voiceless." For years, the newspaper's editor Talal Salman enjoyed funds from Libya's Moammar Gadhafi. He later blackmailed late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri for a few years. Today, Assafir receives funds mainly from Hezbollah. For all of its bravado in supporting ongoing Arab revolutions, Assafir has been reluctant in covering the March 15 Syrian revolution. On March 24, its report on the regime's crimes in Daraa came from Ziad Haidar, an operative of the Assad regime. Haidar's report copied most of Syrian official SANA report about the activity of a "criminal gang" in Dawra. On March 25, 2011, the day almost every newspaper around the world reported on the massacre of the Assad regime that led to the murder of more than 100 Syrians in Daraa, Assafir published only "Decisions of the Baath Party" that the regime's Buthaina Shaaban voiced a day earlier. Oh also on March 25, when Assafir ignored the murder of more than 100 Syrians, it cheered for "the missile ability of the resistance" in Gaza, whose missiles hit close to Tel Aviv.
9- Amr Moussa, Arab League
Amr Moussa objects to the Arab loss of life only when Arabs are killed by Westerners. When Bashar Assad kills his people, Moussa is nowhere to be seen or heard.
Amr Moussa resigned his position as Secretary General of the Arab League, not because he is as democratic as he claims and wants to see someone succeed him, but because he wants to run for Egypt's president. Moussa is the worst kind of Arab politicians. He served as Egypt's Foreign Minister and is as corrupt as the Mubarak establishment. He hand links with Saddam Hussein and was probably on his payroll. He recently spoke against the Western strikes on Gadhafi's targets even though people in Benghazi were celebrating these strikes, that have changed the tide of war in Libya in favor of the rebels. Amr Moussa has Syrian blood on his hands. The Egyptians should not elect him, and should rather force him to retire.
10- Dina Ezzat, Ahram Online Writer
Dina Ezzat is defending the Assad regime despite all the crimes this regime has committed since March 15 against Syrians. In an article on Ahram online, she quoted Arab League sources that Syria was a "different" Arab country because it lives under three decades of Israeli occupation (even though like with Mubarak, some Israeli writers are expressing concern over the downfall of Assad who is keeping the Golan quite since 1974). Ezzat even suggested that either Israel or Iraqi forces were behind the unrest in Syria. This Ezzat apologetic line to the Syrian regime is old style Arab reporting. Shame on you Dina Ezzat!
11- Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State
When Egyptians blamed Clinton and the US for supporting Mubarak for 30 years, she stuttered and said Washington was trying to influence him to reform (yeah right, by cutting US budget to democracy activists). On Syria, after couple of hundred people have been killed by the Assad regime, this is what Clinton had to say about Assad and the ongoing Syria Revolution: "There is a different leader in Syria now, many of the members of Congress (read John Kerry, Wanna be US Secretary of State) of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he's a reformer." Hillary Clinton is now making of America a partner with Bashar Assad and his regime in killing Syrians. Shame on you Hillary Clinton!
12- Ibrahim Al-Amin, Hezbollah Propagandist at Al-Akhbar newspaper
UPDATE: Ibrahim Al-Amin has always presented himself as Mr. Logic. Now check out his latest reasoning. He argues, in an article, that over the past seven weeks, it has been proven that the Syrian demonstrators do not amount to a clear Syrian majority. Therefore, Assad should stay. See, Al-Amin makes it sound as if Syrians can freely protest without risking being killed or arrested. Since the protesting Syrians are not a majority, then Assad still commands the support of his people. Yes, and Assad was elected by more than 90 percent of Syria's vote! How dumb does Ibrahim Al-Amin think his readers are?
Ibrahim Al-Amin claims to know all the details of the American and Israeli conspiracies in the region, especially Lebanon. His newspaper publishes wikileaks documents and often claims to quote US officials talking in private about Lebanon. With all his knowledge about the United States policies in Lebanon and Syria, Al-Amin wrote a long article in his Hezbollah propaganda paper, but somehow missed Clinton's statement defending Assad above. "There is a different leader in Syria now, many of the members of Congress (read John Kerry, Wanna be US Secretary of State) of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he's a reformer." Al-Amin also never seemed to have read the articles in the Israeli press expressing fear over a possible Assad downfall and calling Assad the "devil we know." After ignoring all the US and Israeli praise of Assad, Al-Amin came up with the theory that those who want to see the demise of the Assad regime want it to happen because of Assad's support of "resistance" in the region. He certainly deserves to be placed on Syria's Wall of Shame for trying to twist facts and make Assad look like an Arab hero.
13- Cal Perry, Al-Jazeera English Correspondent in Damascus
Cal Perry has been a Hezbollah apologist for a long time. Before joining Al-Jazeera English, he produced TV reports from Beirut for CNN showing his friend Nicholas Noe sponsoring trips for young Western students to meet with Hamas and Hezbollah officials. Cal is the son of Mark Perry, Washington-based author of Talking to Terrorists and a strong advocate (like his son and Noe) of the West droping their current current allies in the Middle East and starting new alliances, instead, with the Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran. Why do we put Cal Perry on Syria's Wall of Shame? The reason is because Perry is reporting Syrian regime propaganda from Damascus. He produced a report that will air tonight (Monday, March 28) on Al-Jazeera English presumably showing that Syrian police in Daraa were shot in their heads, proving that there were actually trained shooters among the Daraa demonstrators. On his twitter page, he writes that the world should expect major pro-Assad rallies in Syria tomorrow (but has nothing to say about any possible regime coercion, or why the outsider saboteurs only choose to join anti-Assad rallies but never pro-Assad demonstrations). When the Syrians will be free from their tyrant, Perry will be remembered as the friend and supporter of their oppressor Bashar Assad and his gang.
14 - Ghassan Saoud, Al-Akhbar newspaper
If you read Ghassan Saoud in Al-Akhbar on Tuesday March 29, you would think that the person who stands behind all the protests in Syria is none other than Bashar Assad himself. Saoud argues that now that the Syrian people has taken to the streets en masse (and thankfully not accusing them of being foreign saboteurs), Assad is now finally able to run the reform program that he has been planning to run since he became president in 2000, but could not due to a cast of corrupt network around him. What Saoud does not explain, however, is that if Bashar Assad has been unable to implement his reforms for the past 11 years, how can such a weak president implement any reforms.
Assad apologists like Saoud try to defend Assad by blaming his autocracy and corruption on his team. Saoud and his ilk do not notice, however, that by doing so they depict Assad as a weak president casting doubt on his ability to reform. Either Assad is strong enough, in charge of Syria and responsible for the corruption and the crimes committed since March 15, which means now he should step down, or Assad has been so weak since 2000 that he now needs to step down so that someone who is stronger can replace him to lead reform. Saoud, the apologist, does not care. Anything to spare Assad the popular rage!
15- Daoud Rammal, Assafir newspaper
In his column, Rammal argues that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri leads, arms and funds a radical Sunni network that he is now employing to stir unrest in Syria. Coincidentally, this same Hariri network stands behind embarrassing his own government by kidnapping seven Estonian nationals and detonating a bomb in the Eastern Lebanon town of Zahle. Before you start trying to understand this silly conspiracy scheme, you should understand that these talking points, used by the Syrian regime and its proteges in Lebanon, are not new at all. Since 2005, Buthaina Shabban's assistant in Lebanon, Michel Samaha, has instructed the pro-Syrian Lebanese media to circulate stories reporting, always without evidence, that Hariri commands a radical Sunni network, and that Hezbollah's (Shiite) arms and the Syrian regime are needed to counter Hariri's Sunni radicalism. Samaha even planted these invented schemes in The New Yorker, through Seymour Hersh, whose article was repeatedly cited by pro-Syrian Lebanese politicians. Today, Smaha apparently found it useful to revive this fabricated story of the Hariri-Sunni sabotage network being active in Syria since March 15 to echo stories from his master, Buthaina Shaaban, who promised to produce "evidence" that the popular uprising in Syria was in fact an act of terrorism by the Hariri network. Rammal's story in Assafir is a mere Syrian intelligence memorandum circulated to pro-Syrian writers in Lebanon. Shame on Assafir and Rammal.
UPDATE To Rammal: Kidnappers of the Estonians and the bombers of the Zahle Church turned out to be a ring of two Syrians and three Lebanese, led by Syrian Darwish Khanjar, according to AFP and other news reports. Looks more like Syrian intelligence is behind the Lebanon sabotage than a Hariri network. Surprise!
16- Leila Fadel, The Washington Post
In her article in the Post on Thursday, March 30, Fadel went out of her way to prove that the Assad regime should stay, because its demise might result in a sectarian conflict with unpredictable results, meaning she is asking the world to choose between Assad's stability -- even after more than 100 Syrians were killed last week -- and possible post-Assad instability (familiar argument?).
Throughout her coverage of Iraqi elections, Fadel's reports where always biased in favor of Ayad Allawi. But this is history now. on Syria, Fadel is now coming to the rescue of Assad (which suggests that she is simply a pro-Baath reporter). But regardless of her political preferences, Fadel has always quoted "experts" who are mostly close to Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. In her Thursday article on Syria, she quoted three pro-regime people, and one opposition (talk about balanced reporting). Why does the Post assign Fadel (reporting from Cairo) to write about Syria? Presumably because foreign journalists are not getting Syrian visas, but with Fadel's bias,she would certainly receive an instant stamp.
At any rate, while reporting from Cairo, Fadel quotes Assad regime apologist Joshua Landis, from Oklahoma (see number 2 on this list). She then quotes a Christian resident (this gets so silly as the Christian resident who wants the Assad regime to stay does not give his name, why exactly staying anonymous and fearing whose retribution?)Finally, Fadel quotes Syrian opposition figure Yassin Hajj Saleh (most probably using his words out of context) who tries to argue that the Assad regime uses sectarianism as a scare tactic. But wait, she rebuttals Saleh with Ghimar Deeb, a lawyer in Damascus (who telling by the fact that he gave his name suggests he must be some regime crony). Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Assad supporter at the Washington Post Leila Fadel.
17 - New TV, Lebanon
This TV is unprofessional with clear pro-Syrian bias. But this report it aired on Friday April 1, 2011 shows that pro-Syrian Lebanese media people have sunk to new lows.
18 - John Kerry, US Senator
Senator John Kerry succeeded former Senator Arlen Specter in being Bashar Assad's boy in Washington. For over four years, Kerry has been visiting Damascus on a regular basis and praising Assad, arguing that Assad was a man of peace and that under Assad, peace between Syria and Israel was possible. Expert Lee Smith had the following to say about Kerry: "Maybe it’s because Sen. John Kerry is a likely replacement for Clinton as secretary of State that he veered in the other direction and criticized Assad last week. Or maybe it’s just because he’s finally come to realize that he’s been made to look like a fool over the last few years by hawking a pro-Syria line. Even as recently as March 16, Kerry praised the Syrian president for the generosity he personally extended to the former Democratic presidential candidate during his half-dozen visits to Damascus over the last half-decade. And at the State Department, there’s Syria hand Fred Hof who, according to former Washington policymakers, doesn’t like hearing ill spoken of this murderous regime lest it shatter his dreams for an Israeli-Syrian peace deal—and his pet project, a 'peace park' in the Golan Heights."
To be fair, Kerry tried to distance himself from Assad by the end of March, seeing a surge in the number of Syrians killed by Assad's security forces. Kerry talked to the Washington Post's Jackson Diehl, who reported the following: Now Kerry, like people across Syria, is waiting to hear a speech that Assad’s aides have promised he will deliver outlining a political liberalization in response to demonstrations across the country. “It’s a significant test,” Kerry said. “It’s a seminal moment.” The senator has heard promises of reform from the regime in the past. “I’ve always said, ‘put it to the test, don’t take it at face value,’ Kerry said. “You have to find out what people are prepared to do.”
According to Diehl: Kerry indicated that he thinks Assad could still redeem himself with his people and with the United States. ”If he responds, if he moves to lift the emergency law, to provide a schedule for a precise set of reforms and a precise set of actions....we might begin to question whether something different is happening,” Kerry said.
Diehl concluded: In the meantime, the senator said he doesn’t favor aggressive action by the United States to bring the violence in Syria before the UN Security Council or seek sanctions, as was done when Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi began attacking his people last month. “I think it’s premature,” Kerry said. “You have to see what develops in the next hours. It could reach that point. I don’t think that with this fact pattern that is the choice to make.”
So now that Assad's speech is over, and now that Assad has failed his "test" of reform, what is John Kerry waiting for? Why is he silent while the Syrians are being killed by the Assad thugs everyday?
John Kerry is a friend of Assad, and he unfortunately seems to be an enemy of the Syrian people.
19- Foreign Policy, Magazine
For giving Alastair Crooke the space to spew pro-Assad propaganda.
20- Alastair Crooke, Hezbollah Propagandist
He formerly worked for MI6 and is now the Director of the Beirut-based Conflicts Forum. Through Lebanese links, he published in the past at the Center for Strategic International Studies arguing that Washington should drop its current allies in the Middle East, and instead link up with a new emerging alliance that includes Syria, Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon. In Foreign Policy, he unashamedly authored a piece that tried, unsuccessfully, to improve Assad's image. Crooke argued that Assad had not only not given orders to open fire at demonstrators, but had forbidden it. So Assad is not guilty. If this is true, Assad would be guilty of being a president who does not actually run Syria, and therefore he should step down on this count.
Notwithstanding Crooke's less than average arguments, he presents "evidence" that demonstrations in Syria were actually a conspiracy stirred by the United States and its allies like Saudi Arabia. His evidence: An article posted on the regime-owned Champress. Convinced? Well, this Crooke guy is the same guy who years ago, told Seymour Hersh, of the New Yorker, that he "was told" that radical militants in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon, who battled the Lebanese army for months, were offered arms and funds by Lebanon's Fouad Siniora government. Hersh published Crooke's "evidence" in the New Yorker, and the Hezbollah and Syria propaganda repeatedly used it as concrete "evidence." Talk about media laundering...
Now Crooke is back to defend Assad, at the expense of Syrians who are being shot dead in the streets. Shame on Crooke. He has Syrian and Lebanese blood on his hands.
21- Rashad Salameh, Former VP of Lebanese Phalange Party
The pro-Assad Lebanese are so pitiful that they are behind the curve when it comes to debating domestic Syrian politics. For over a week now, Syrian TV has been hosting Syrian guests who argue in support of "reform," but say that any reform should not be a ticket to violence. Rashad Salameh, however, has not received his new talking points memorandum from Damascus (through Michel Samaha), so he went on Syrian TV and praised the Assad regime like there is no tomorrow. He also dismissed whatever is going on in Syria as a mere Zionist and American conspiracy. In the video, also note how the anchor of the Syrian state TV argues that America is the source of all evil in the Middle East (while Assad, day after day, announces that he seeks peace with Israel and better relations with the United States).
22- Michel Samaha, Assad's Representative in Lebanon
Courtesy of NOW Lebanon: Samaha, who has been running Assad’s media campaign in Paris and the US, was successful as long as the West was still ready to be open to the Syrian regime. However, there comes a time when these people will have to withdraw to a corner in the Lebanese political scene, as their services won’t be needed anymore.
Their role has been to deliver messages and threats, and in Samaha’s case, create mediation channels between Assad and Christian leaders in Lebanon, and between him and the former head of General Security, Jamil Sayyed. Even Assad advisor Buthaina Shaaban might not be enough to safeguard Samaha’s position.
Editor's note: Samaha is the handler of a host of Syrian puppets in Lebanon and journalists around the world. Alastair Crooke (who recently published in Marc Lynch's Foreign Policy Magazine) is one (Samaha's daughter works at Crooke's "forum" in Beirut). Rashad Salameh (see number 21) is another. Michel Aoun (see number 1) is also under Samaha's supervision. New Yorker's Sey Hersh and Der Spiegel's Eric Follath also have Samaha as their handler on behalf of Assad.
23 - Al-Jazeera Channel
Courtesy of Michael Young, The Daily Star:The hypocrisy of Al-Jazeera, the most popular Arab satellite station, is especially worthy of mention. In Egypt, Libya or Yemen, for instance, the station devotes, or has devoted, long segments allowing viewers to call in and express disapproval of their leaders alongside their high hopes for the success of the revolution. In Syria, nothing.
The reality is that the political allegiances and the self-image of Al-Jazeera make this thorny. Syria is part of the “resistance axis,” and the downfall of its regime would only harm Hezbollah and Hamas. The same lack of enthusiasm characterized the station’s coverage of Lebanon’s Independence Intifada against Syria in 2005. It is easy to undermine Ali Abdullah Saleh, Moammar Gadhafi, and Hosni Mubarak, each of whom in his own way is or was a renegade to the Arabs. But to go after Bashar Assad means reversing years of Al-Jazeera coverage sympathetic to the Syrian leader. Rather conveniently, refusing to do so dovetails with the consensus in the Arab political leadership.
So the Syrians find themselves largely abandoned today, their struggle not enjoying the customary Al-Jazeera treatment – high in emotion and electric in the slogans of mobilization. The televised Arab narrative of liberty has not quite avoided Syria, but nor has it integrated the Syrians’ cause. As the Arab stations weigh what to do next, they may still hope that the Syrian story will disappear soon, and their duplicity with it. Shame on them.
24 - Bassma Kodmani, Arab Reform Initiative
She wrote this lousy piece in which she tried to defend Bashar Assad by not blaming him for the murders in Daraa and elsewhere. She wrote: "It has become apparent from the events of Deraa that the mechanism upon which the political regime depends for regulating society, in order to maintain stability via the security apparatus, has unlimited powers. Therefore this same apparatus is responsible for the current destabilisation and the rage of the people of Deraa." Who employs this security apparatus? Who pays them? Who orders them? Who is responsible for their work? Either Assad is in charge of these security people, and therefore bears responsibility for the crimes in Daraa, Latakia, Homs, Banyas and elsewhere and should be brought to justice, or Assad is not in charge and should step down.
Kodmani also perceives of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon as a mere "tool" that can be used " to cause embarrassment to some Syrian officials," again not to Assad himself as if these officials are autonomous and the tribunal as a mere tool that can be used here and there. Shame on Kodmani.
25- Patrick Seale, Assad Propagandist
Patrick Seale is a gun for hire. He praises people in biographies he writes about them (either for good relations or for money). In the past, he praised Hafez Assad. Today, he's one of Bashar Assad's most ardent apologists. The problem is that Seale does not even present smart arguments. He merely reiterates talking points, and even those, he often gets them mixed up. In his last article in The Guardian, he wrote: "The last few days have seen a renewed surge of demonstrations that, with their swelling numbers, fury and anti-regime slogans, are beginning to seem like an insurrection. The regime has replied with live fire, curfews, massive arrests and cordons thrown around towns and villages."
What do demonstrations that "seem like an insurrection" mean? The Syrian protests can either be peaceful rallies, or violent guerrilla wars. But Seale wants to justify a wholesale Assad massacre beforehand, so he maliciously tries to blur the line. He writes that the regime "replied" in "the last few days," whereas the regime has been killing Syrians since mid March.
To complete his lame conspiracy theory, Seale adds Lebanon to the mix: "Nor is the crisis likely to reduce Syria's influence in Lebanon. No Syrian regime of any colour can tolerate a hostile government in Beirut. Its security – especially vis-a-vis Israel – is intimately tied to that of its Lebanese neighbour. The wave of protest engulfing the Arab world has pushed the Arab-Israeli conflict into second place. But that can only be temporary. Until it is resolved, the region will know no stability and little peace."
Says who the Assad regime will be replaced by another "regime?" If Assad falls, the world and the Syrians will expect nothing less than an elected government, not a "regime." Also, in their "joint fight" against Israel, Syria has been the weaker party when compared to Lebanon. Imad Mughniyah was assassinated in Damascus. Hassan Nasrallah is safe in Beirut. When talking about "security – especially vis-a-vis Israel," it is Hezbollah that might want to see a regime change in Damascus to protect its flank. But anyway, the talk is not about Lebanon or Israel, it is about the Assad regime killing its citizens and trying to hide its crimes behind regional affairs and imagined terrorist schemes.
Patrick Seale, once a mercenary, always a mercenary. Now, he also has Syrian blood on his hands. Shame on you Seale!
26- Elias Murr, Lebanon's Flip-Flopper
There is nothing worse for the Syrian revolution than Israelis and Lebanese cheering for the Assad regime to stay, which they believe is in their best interests.
In this article, Murr argues that Assad staying is the best strategic option for Lebanon, especially that his regime has promised change. Like the Israelis, Murr believes that betting on post-Assad unknown in Syria is not the best bet for the Lebanese. As for the Syrians who are fighting for their freedom and who might want to see democracy, Murr simply does not care. For a person who has been in power for more than two decades now, Murr perfectly understands Assad. Change? What change? All of the Middle East's politicians, whether Lebanese ministers or Syrian presidents, should remain in power until forever. And to think that this Murr was part of Lebanon's "pro-democracy" movement? How can someone like Murrm who apparently knows nothing about democracy, lead Lebanon's democratic movement? How could Washington receive him with 21 howitzer shots (or some military ceremony) and discuss with him ways to help the Lebanese Armed Forces protect the Lebanese state and democracy?
At any rate, if Murr does not want democracy in Lebanon, he should zip it on Syria. The future of Syria belongs to the Syrians.
27- Walid Jumblatt, Mr. No Principles
Over the past few centuries, Lebanon's Druze religion/tribe has followed the Jumblatt leadership in times of war and distress. One of Jumblatt's many tasks has been to "preserve the Druze existence" (whatever that means). So Walid Jumblatt been a warlord at times, and a coward at most other times (he dismissed the case against his father's assassins, believed to be ordered by the Hafez Assad regime). This warlord-coward dichotomy has pushed Jumblatt to swing between opposite political stances, always at the expense of principles. So after behaving like an inspiring hero starting 2005 during the outbreak of the Independence Intifada (please no Cedar Revolution because Intifada 05 was the slogan on the big red banners Lebanese demonstrators held at the time), Jumblatt reversed course starting 2009. He surrendered his position to Hezbollah and begged Bashar Assad for mercy.
But while defeated generals either commit suicide or lock themselves at home, the principle-less Jumblatt turned into an outspoken critique of his former Independence Intifada comrades. Since the outbreak of the Syrian Revolution on March 15, Jumblatt has repeatedly expressed his unwavering support to Assad and his dictatorial regime.
Jumblatt believes that, as a Druze leader, Assad expects him (as part of the Jumblatt surrender deal) to urge his fellow Druze of Syria to stay out of the Syrian revolution. But the Syrian Druze have shown courage. Against all odds, Muntaha Al-Atrash, the daughter of Sultan Pasha Al-Atrash the hero of the 1920s Syrian revolution against the French, has been one of the most outspoken figures against Bashar Assad and his regime. Her nephew, Hassan Al-Atrash, joined demonstrations on Sunday April 17 and was severely beaten by Assad's thugs.
In his last statement in support of Bashar Assad, Jumblatt proved to be irrelevant.
28- Craig Whitlock, The Washington Post Writer
Craig Whitlock wants to emulate the Post's Bob Woodward (who breaks stories like Watergate), so he might have seen an opportunity in Wikileaks. Even though there has been no chemistry between Wikileaks's founder Jacque Assange and the Post, in that the newspaper likened him to former Iraqi Media Minister Mohamed Sahhaf while Assange kept the paper out of his document-dumping destinations, it seems that Whitlock has recently succeeded in mending ties between the paper and Wikileaks.
The problem is that the information Wikileaks offer is sometimes outdated, and at other times does not prove the point the matches the provocative title. Using six documents, Whitlock tried to prove – amidst an ongoing Syrian revolution – that America was secretly backing the Syrian opposition against Bashar Assad. Between 2005 and 2010, Washington funneled $12 million (yes, twelve, that probably won't buy you an apartment in downtown Damascus) to Democracy promotion programs (the likes of MEPI, IRI, NDI that run similar programs around the world). But Whitlock wanted to make it intriguing. While the documents show that part of the money went to a certain London-based opposition TV, Barada TV, and showed that the opposition group Damascus Declaration refused to accept any American assistance Whitlock made it sound as if Washington was using the Syrian opposition as a tool to depose Assad. While Syrians are being shot in the streets, Whitlock is looking for hot stories. When he doesn't find one, he invents one. Shame on Whitlock!
29- May Akl, Anti-Democracy Activist
In an article in Foreign Policy, the Press Secretary of Lebanese lawmaker Michel Aoun (number one on this list), tried to argue that Syria was "different" and therefore democracy-proof compared to Tunisia or Egypt. Akl called on the United States to "try to understand the subtleties of situations in different contexts," given of course that Akl understands these subtleties.
In Syria, this is what is happening, according to Akl. "Turmoil in Syria" broke out a few days after April 1 (not since March 15 as is actually the case), mainly encouraged by the Syrian Muslim brotherhood, whose boss Riad Shaqfeh called for more protests in a press conference in Ankara. Further proof that the "turmoil" in Syria is Islamist can be found in the anti-Assad statements from the Qatar-based Egyptian cleric Youssef Qaradawi. These statements, coupled with Damascus locking international media out of Syria (which Akl did not mention), are proof that the Syrian "turmoil" is Islamist. When the "turmoil" failed to topple Assad, Akl said, the Islamists reverted to ambushing "a Syrian army patrol in the coastal town of Banias," which to Akl "is proof that a Jihad-like approach is a force behind the movement." So Akl's proof is based exclusively on reports from Syria's state-owned media.
Despite the Islamist calls and the ambushes, the Assad regime will not fall, according to Akl, because "most Syrians simply think that there is no better alternative to the current regime." Another factor, Akl wrote, "is that the Syrian people are generally proud of, and have high hopes for, their president." When reading "most Syrians" and the "Syrian people," once cannot but wonder who died and made Akl Syria's King. Where are the independent survey's to prove Akl's allegations, and how does Foreign Policy run such an unsubstantiated article?
Now that Akl has "objectively" established that the Syrian "turmoil" is Islamist, and that the majority of Syrians want their regime to stay, the question becomes whether the world "want(s) to see Syria fall into the hands of the Brotherhood." After all, "democracy and people power can actually be used as a cover for extreme groups to access power," Akl argued. So now, even democracy is not good enough for this Lebanese writer and therefore, the world better stick with Assad, the Syrian autocrat.
Defending Assad is one thing. Arguing against democracy is another. Such an article could have been a blow for the Syrian Revolution and democracy at large, had it come from someone known for their smart arguments. But coming from Akl, misinformation and fallacies are expected.
30- Barack Obama, United States President
While the toll of Syrian deaths stood at more than 88 on Good Friday (April 22, 2011), this is what Barack Obama had to say in a statement: "We call on President Assad to change course now, and heed the calls of his own people." That's it. Heed the calls of his own people. No "now means yesterday" that Egypt's Hosni Mubarak got to step down. No US calls, like on Ali Abdullah Saleh, to supervise transition of power. No US or NATO jets to protect Syrian civilians like the jets that were scrambled to defend Libyan civilians.
Even worse, from an American perspective, Mubarak and Saleh were Washington's allies. Assad, for his part, facilitated the killing of American troops in Iraq and passed on arms to Hezbollah. Thus, America's friends got the boot while Assad got the "please behave" routine.
Personally, I always knew (and wrote) that Barack Obama is America's worst president when it comes to foreign policy. Just look at the half war he signed on in Libya that has cost America more than half a trillion, but without any clear goal.
Barack Obama can be a novice all he wants on foreign policy, but when 88 Syrians are dead on a single day, he should either remain silent or ask Assad to step down. "Heed the calls of the people" is the worst sentence any US president could print in a statement in such circumstances. For not siding with Syria's dead and still making nice with Assad, shame on you Mr. President!
31- Liz Sly, The Washington Post
Liz Sly may think she is smart. Change in Tunisia and Egypt is possible, but in Syria, it wreaks havoc on the region. So this Bashar Assad apologist implicitly suggests in an article in The Washington Post that maybe the world should keep Assad to avoid a "doomsday scenario."
How did Sly arrive at this conclusion? Check out her expert lineup for the story and you will realize why her story was a one-sided piece. Hilal Khashan, a professor at the American University of Beirut (AUB) who, sometime in the past, used to publish with Daniel Pipes but now seems to have changed course. The second expert she quoted is Rami Khoury, Chair of the Issam Fares Center at AUB. For those who don't follow on Lebanese politics, Fares served as deputy prime minister in the Lebanese cabinet only when Syrian forces used to occupy Lebanon until 2005. Not only Fares is a Syrian puppet in Lebanon, his son Nijad runs the Washington-based American Task Force for Lebanon (ATFL), a tool at the disposal of Syrian Ambassador to the US Imad Mustafa.
The third expert is Joshua Landis, who is quoted in every article on Syria in the Post, every day. Married to a Syrian Alawite (from the minority sect of Assad), Landis is a protégé of Imad Mustafa. This wall has already shamed him.
Liz Sly either thinks she is smart by producing a presumably "out of the box" article arguing for Assad to stay or she was manipulated by the experts on Syria to believe Assad is actually good and should stay. Either way, while Syrians are being killed by the scores, daily, and hundreds of them are being arrested, beaten and tortured, Sly wants Assad to remain in power to save the region chaos, a scare tactic that Mubarak used and that Bashar is trying also to exploit that has no connection to reality whatsoever.
While at it, Sly might want to answer this question: Since Assad is Mr. Middle East Stability, how come a civil war broke out in Iraq, a devastating war between Syrian-armed Hezbollah and Israel took place, and dozen other conflicts erupted on Assad's watch? What regional stability are we talking about at a time after more than an Assad decade in power, the region looks all but stable. Think Ms. Sly, think!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
While the regime of Bashar Assad kills Syrians across Syria, these people have tried to justify the Assad crimes by using "political analysis." These people are unethical. When history is written, it should note that the people below have Syrian blood on their hands.