Syria Quotes

Israel's demonstration of its military prowess in 1967 confirmed its status as a 'strategic asset,' as did its moves to prevent Syrian intervention in Jordan in 1970 in support of the PLO. Under the Nixon doctrine, Israel and Iran were to be 'the guardians of the Gulf,' and after the fall of the Shah, Israel's perceived role was enhanced. Meanwhile, Israel has provided subsidiary services elsewhere, including Latin America, where direct US support for the most murderous regimes has been impeded by Congress. While there has been internal debate and some fluctuation in US policy, much exaggerated in discussion here, it has been generally true that US support for Israel's militarization and expansion reflected the estimate of its power in the region.
The effect has been to turn Israel into a militarized state completely dependent on US aid, willing to undertake tasks that few can endure, such as participation in Guatemalan genocide. For Israel, this is a moral disaster and will eventually become a physical disaster as well. For the Palestinians and many others, it has been a catastrophe, as it may sooner or later be for the entire world, with the growing danger of superpower confrontation.

Yemen produces coffee, Egypt cotton, Iraq dates, Palestine oranges, and Syria trouble.

It's when the 'international community' expresses 'concern' about your 'situation' that your situation is well and truly fucked.

First Afghanistan, now Iraq. So who's next? Syria? North Korea? Iran? Where will it all end?' If these illegal interventions are permitted to continue, the implication seems to be, pretty soon, horror of horrors, no murderously repressive regimes might remain.

The fervor and single-mindedness of this deification probably have no precedent in history. It's not like Duvalier or Assad passing the torch to the son and heir. It surpasses anything I have read about the Roman or Babylonian or even Pharaonic excesses. An estimated $2.68
was spent on ceremonies and monuments in the aftermath of Kim Il Sung's death. The concept is not that his son is his successor, but that his son is his
. North Korea has an equivalent of Mount Fuji—a mountain sacred to all Koreans. It's called Mount Paekdu, a beautiful peak with a deep blue lake, on the Chinese border. Here, according to the new mythology, Kim Jong Il was born on February 16, 1942. His birth was attended by a double rainbow and by songs of praise (in human voice) uttered by the local birds. In fact, in February 1942 his father and mother were hiding under Stalin's protection in the dank Russian city of Khabarovsk, but as with all miraculous births it's considered best not to allow the facts to get in the way of a good story.

ﻗﺎﻟﺖ ﻟﻲ ﺑﻌﺘﺐ ﻭ ﻟﻮﻡ :
ﻫﺎ ﻗﺪ ﺻﺎﺭﺕ ﺩﻣﺸﻖ ﻣﺜﻞ ﺑﻐﺪﺍﺩ… ﻓﻬﻞ ﺳﺘﻜﺘﺐ ﻟﻴﻠﺔ ﺳﻘﻮﻁ ﺩﻣﺸﻖ ﻛﻤﺎ ﻛﺘﺒﺖ ﻟﻴﻠﺔ ﺳﻘﻮﻁ ﺑﻐﺪﺍﺩ؟
ﻟﻴﻠﺔ ﺳﻘﻮﻁ ﺍﻟﻨﻈام ﺳﺘﻜﻮﻥ ﻓﺠﺮ ﺩﻣﺸﻖ.
.ﻭﻟﻴﺲ ﺳﻘﻮﻃﻬﺎ.ﻻﻥ ﻃﺎﻏﻴﺘﻬﺎ ﺳﻴﺴﻘﻂ ﺑﺎﻳﺪﻱ ﺃﺑﻨﺎﺋﻬﺎ..
ﻭﻫﺬﻩ ﻫﻲ ﺍﻟﻌﻼﻣﺔ ﺍﻟﻔﺎﺭﻗﺔ ﺑﻴﻦ ﺍﻟﺴﻘﻮﻁ ﻭﺍﻟﺼﻌﻮﺩ.
ﻳﺆﺳﻔﻨﻲ ﻃﺒﻌﺎ ﺃﻧﻲ ﻟﻦ ﺃﻧﺎﻝ ﺷﺮﻑ ﺗﺴﻄﻴﺮ ﺫﻟﻚ.ﻓﺬﻟﻚ ﺷﺮﻑ ﺣﺼﺮﻱ ﺑﺄﺑﻨﺎﺋﻬﺎ ﺍﻟﻤﺒﺎﺷﺮﻳﻦ ﺍﻟﺬﻳﻦ ﻋﺎﺻﺮﻭﺍ ﺍﻟﺤﺪﺙ ﺍﻟﻤﻠﺤﻤﺔ ﻭﺍﻋﺘﺼﺮﻫﻢ،.
ﺣﺘﻰ ﻗﺪﻣﻮﺍ ﻋﺼﺎﺭﺓ ﺍﺑﺪﺍﻋﻬﻢ.
ﻃﻮﺑﻰ ﻟﻬﻢ.
ﻭﻃﻮﺑﻰ ﻟﻜﻞ ﻣﻦ ﻳﻤﻬﺪ ﻟﻬﻢ ﺩﺭﺑﻬﻢ

Before the thunderous clamor of political debate or war set loose in the world, love insisted on its promise for the possibility of human unity: between men and women, between blacks and whites, northerners and southerners, haves and have-have-nots, self and self.

I got hold of a copy of the video that showed how Saddam Hussein had actually confirmed himself in power. This snuff-movie opens with a plenary session of the Ba'ath Party central committee: perhaps a hundred men. Suddenly the doors are locked and Saddam, in the chair, announces a special session. Into the room is dragged an obviously broken man, who begins to emit a robotic confession of treason and subversion, that he sobs has been instigated by Syrian and other agents. As the (literally) extorted confession unfolds, names begin to be named. Once a fellow-conspirator is identified, guards come to his seat and haul him from the room. The reclining Saddam, meanwhile, lights a large cigar and contentedly scans his dossiers. The sickness of fear in the room is such that men begin to crack up and weep, rising to their feet to shout hysterical praise, even love, for the leader. Inexorably, though, the cull continues, and faces and bodies go slack as their owners are pinioned and led away. When it is over, about half the committee members are left, moaning with relief and heaving with ardent love for the boss. (In an accompanying sequel, which I have not seen, they were apparently required to go into the yard outside and shoot the other half, thus sealing the pact with Saddam. I am not sure that even Beria or Himmler would have had the nerve and ingenuity and cruelty to come up with that.)

Moreover, it is not just that the early documents are silent about so much of Jesus that came to be recorded in the gospels, but that they view him in a substantially different way -- as a basically supernatural personage only obscurely on Earth as a man at some unspecified period in the past, 'emptied' then of all his supernatural attributes (Phil.2:7), and certainly not a worker of prodigious miracles which made him famous throughout 'all Syria' (Mt.4:24). I have argued that there is good reason to believe that the Jesus of Paul was constructed largely from musing and reflecting on a supernatural 'Wisdom' figure, amply documented in the earlier Jewish literature, who sought an abode on Earth, but was there rejected, rather than from information concerning a recently deceased historical individual. The influence of the Wisdom literature is undeniable; only assessment of what it amounted to still divides opinion.

But the bending of my knees belongs to my lord

Rolf Ekeus came round to my apartment one day and showed me the name of the Iraqi diplomat who had visited the little West African country of Niger: a statelet famous only for its production of yellowcake uranium. The name was Wissam Zahawi. He was the brother of my louche gay part-Kurdish friend, the by-now late Mazen. He was also, or had been at the time of his trip to Niger, Saddam Hussein's ambassador to the Vatican. I expressed incomprehension. What was an envoy to the Holy See doing in Niger? Obviously he was not taking a vacation. Rolf then explained two things to me. The first was that Wissam Zahawi had, when Rolf was at the United Nations, been one of Saddam Hussein's chief envoys for discussions on nuclear matters (this at a time when the Iraqis had functioning reactors). The second was that, during the period of sanctions that followed the Kuwait war, no Western European country had full diplomatic relations with Baghdad. TheVatican was the sole exception, so it was sent a very senior Iraqi envoy to act as a listening post. And this man, a specialist in nuclear matters, had made a discreet side trip to Niger. This was to suggest exactly what most right-thinking people were convinced was
the case: namely that British intelligence was on to something when it said that Saddam had not ceased seeking nuclear materials in Africa.
I published a few columns on this, drawing at one point an angry email from Ambassador Zahawi that very satisfyingly blustered and bluffed on what he'd really been up to. I also received—this is what sometimes makes journalism worthwhile—a letter from a BBC correspondent named Gordon Correa who had been writing a book about A.Q. Khan. This was the Pakistani proprietor of the nuclear black market that had supplied fissile material to Libya, North Korea, very probably to Syria, and was open for business with any member of the 'rogue states' club. (Saddam's people, we already knew for sure, had been meeting North Korean missile salesmen in Damascus until just before the invasion, when Kim Jong Il's mercenary bargainers took fright and went home.) It turned out, said the highly interested Mr. Correa, that his man Khan had
been in Niger, and at about the same time that Zahawi had. The likelihood of the senior Iraqi diplomat in Europe and the senior Pakistani nuclear black-marketeer both choosing an off-season holiday in
little uranium-rich Niger… well, you have to admit that it makes an affecting picture. But you must be ready to credit something as ridiculous as that if your touching belief is that Saddam Hussein was already 'contained,' and that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair were acting on panic reports, fabricated in turn by self-interested provocateurs.

Sovereignty cannot be a shield for tyrants to commit wanton murder, or an excuse for the international community to turn a blind eye to slaughter.

Hezbollah is not a mammoth force, there is only so much they can do in Syria. Iranian role more critical for the regime.

Hezbollah    Iran    Syria

Assad's failure to meet deadline on destroying chemical weapons is just the latest example of Obama's failed Syria policy.

A student of Syrian affairs soon becomes used to paradox. A comparatively small country, narrowly chauvinistic and jealous of its national sovereignty, Syria is nevertheless the repository, and has often been the origin, of oecumenical and transcendental ideas about Arab unity. Its society is one of the most heterogeneous in the Middle East and yet its leaders have been the proponents of a radical integrative political movement: Arab Nationalism. It has kindly and hospitable inhabitants, but it is also a police state where a man can be locked up indefinitely without a trial. Your Syrian friends are your friends for life, but a curious current of xenophobia runs through the country. Syrians love culture and natural beauty, but the ugliness of many Syrians towns and their architecture has to be seen to be believed.

لقمة في بطن جائع
أفضل من بناء جامع



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