Members of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) report that they have been told by Western officials that they believe President Bashar Assad must remain in power to prevent an al-Qaeda takeover of the country.
“Some do not even seem to mind if he runs again next year,” noted one SNC member. That’s not sitting well with the SNC, but it may not matter.Gone are the days of "Assad must step down." It's nice to see reality making a comeback in US and European diplomacy. But don't hold your breath for any permanent change because the pendulum could just as easily swing the other way again. Official statements and positions change every week. But what doesn't change is the constant stream of money and arms to Al-Qaeda and other Jihadist terrorist groups that have invaded Syria, which is overseen by Washington and London. This is a river that won't run dry anytime soon.
Western diplomats confirmed the shift, saying that the rebels have been warned that any “transitional administration” would have to include a major presence from Alawites, and that Assad could stay as president with “diminished powers.”
If the rebels reject that plan “they will lose most of the West,” one diplomat said, reflecting the dwindling confidence in the secular rebels’ ability to accomplish anything on their own.
2. An excerpt from, "In Lebanon, minority Alawites wounded in attacks in latest spillover from Syria’s civil war" by Loveday Morris, Washington Post, December 17:
The intimidation campaign is the latest spillover from neighboring Syria’s long-running civil war, which has been re-created in microcosm in this impoverished port city, Lebanon’s second-largest. Alawite residents of the Jabal Mohsen neighborhood who back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a fellow Alawite, have frequently clashed with Sunni residents of nearby Bab al-Tabbaneh, who support the Syrian rebels. The Alawites are a minority Shiite sect.The media liars and war criminals in the West and Israel want to make every political conflict in the Middle East a Sunni-Shiite thing in order to have the people in these countries constantly at each other's throats and forget the war crimes that have been committed by the US and Israel. This is a futile, stupid, criminal, and bloodthirsty plan. USrahell will fail. Sunnis and Shiites will not murder each other senselessly as long as USrahell stands in the corner of the room with a gun to both of their heads.
During the latest bout of violence, Lebanon’s government announced that Tripoli would become a “military zone” controlled by the army. But after clashes between the army and Sunni fighters, the city increasingly appears to have slipped beyond the control of the state.
“We blame the government,” Mazloum says. “The government should be responsible for our security.”
Alawite leaders say they do not expect a resolution anytime soon. They see themselves as pawns in a wider regional struggle.
“It’s not about Jabal Mohsen, it’s about two big lions who are fighting with each other,” Eid said. “And we are with Syria’s lion and Hezbollah’s lion, and they are with the Saudi lion. There is no solution now. The solution is in Syria, not here.”
The day is soon at hand when the two cousins will stop fighting each other, and concentrate their emotional energies on the USrahelli lunatic who has no respect for the room, the wallpaper, the ceiling, or the floor, and who spends all his days and nights throwing shit around with the false belief that none of it will come back to land on him. One morning that USrahelli lunatic will wake up and realize that he too is covered in shit.
3. An excerpt from, "Fate of Maaloula nuns hangs over gathering of region's Christians" by Jean Aziz, Al-Monitor, December 16:
Concerning the Syrian situation, attendees will be following up on the fate of the 12 nuns kidnapped Dec. 2 by a Sunni Muslim group from their monastery in Maaloula, northeast of Damascus. They are being held somewhere in Syria. The appearance of the abducted nuns on a video, broadcast on Al Jazeera, angered many Christians. Although the video demonstrated that the women were still alive, it was also clear that they were talking in the presence of their kidnappers. Their crosses had been removed, pointing to the kidnappers as jihadists and raising further concerns about the nuns’ ultimate fate.Do these idiots believe they can win the hearts and minds of the Syrian people by kidnapping old religious women? Come on now, have some better sense than that. These savages are not carrying out a revolution, they're just looting homes, destroying churches and mosques, kidnapping strangers, and massacring people because of their religious beliefs.
Amer al-Qalamouni, spokesman for the General Committee for the Syrian Revolution, claimed that the nuns were being "hosted" to protect them from the shelling by regime forces near the monastery. Of course, not many believe this. When the nuns were kidnapped, there were news reports that the abductors wanted to exchange them for detainees in Syrian prisons. There has since been news of negotiations with the Vatican on this matter.
One news report said that the Lebanese president had tasked the director of the Lebanese General Security Directorate, Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, to visit Doha and negotiate the nuns’ release with Qatari officials, noting that the pretext of the victims being “hosted” had also been used when 11 Lebanese were kidnapped in Azaz in May 2012. They were “hosted” for more than 15 months, before being released in late October through Qatari mediation and pressure on Turkey, in the form of the kidnapping of two Turkish citizens in Beirut.