On to Algeria now
From the opposition daily, Le Matin, in Algiers. The opposition to Algerian President Bouteflika, including the aarchs - local government councils in Kabylia - have gone all out. The photo of Bouteflika is captioned "The dictator spoke." Furtherdown, below the photo, is a reference to how the opposition condemned Bouteflika's "fascist discourse." It seems as if one of the last bastions of 1950s-style Arab "nationalism" is under rhetoric assault! One would not be surprised to see a replay of the Tizi Ouzou Spring of 1980 when ethnic Kabyles rebelled against the Arabist authoritarianism of the regime. Perhaps what we are seeing in Syria these days should be termed the Qamilshli Spring!
What happens if major Syrian city--Aleppo ( pop. 1,857,000) --falls to the rebels ?
French language Beirut daily L'Orient Le Jour states that the Kurdish uprising against the Syrian forces has spread into the region in and around Aleppo and quotes anonymous Kurdish sources as saying at least 1 Kurd has been killed in Aleppo and two others killed in Efrine.
Les affrontements qui ont opposé Kurdes et forces de l’ordre ces derniers jours dans le nord-est de la Syrie près de la frontière turque ont gagné hier la région d’Alep faisant trois morts parmi les Kurdes, ont indiqué des responsables de mouvements kurdes. Un Kurde a été tué à Alep et deux autres ont été tués dans la localité d’Ifrine (à 40 km au nord-ouest d’Alep), ont indiqué deux responsables kurdes sous le couvert de l’anonymat.
Why Bashar Assad must go (cont.)
Testifying before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on February 24, CIA Director George Tenet warned that Hezbollah has cultivated an extensive network of operatives on American soil and an "ongoing capability to launch terrorist attacks within the United States." In recent months, moreover, it has infiltrated the Iraqi Shiite community to prepare the groundwork for a terror campaign against American-led coalition forces. Nasrallah is today viewed in American government circles as a greater threat than Osama bin Laden...... more
And where does Hizbullah's leader Nasrallah recieve the bulk of his logistical and military aid ? Ba'athist regime in Syria
Why Bashar Assad must go
The old guard concept continues to inform Western thinking in part because of Assad's habitual claims of ignorance regarding his regime's involvement in illicit activities ranging from terrorism to arms trafficking - the idea that he is unaware of or powerless to prevent wrongdoing that draws American criticism is a self-serving lie. But it is an illusion that the Syrian leader is having more and more difficulty maintaining. Mounting evidence compiled by US authorities in Iraq indicates that Assad almost certainly approved Syrian military assistance to Saddam Hussein prior to the US-led invasion. ... more
"We demand a just solution for the Kurds and the release of the detainees"
From Halab (Alleppo) in solidarity
Never never never never give in
From Kurdish village of Efrin in northern Syria on Turkish Border
A reader makes an interesting point regarding Kurdish rebellion in northern Syria
I remember in 1989 the overthrow of Ceausescu started with an uprising of Hungarians in Transylvania following a massacre of protesters in Timisoara.
I really believe that the Kurds are going to be the key that will open up the deluge of mass dissatisfaction of Syrian civil society against the corrupt and brutal Ba'athist regime. So here's hoping that Great Leader Assad goes the same way as Ceausescu
Who Hates You Baby
Many might look at this poll and focus on the negative European, Muslim, and Arab popular opinion against US foreign policy and the US in general. However, I see something positive that can be extrapolated from these polling results, specifically the fact that polls show that majority of Turkish citizens oppose suicide bombings and what can be learned from this fact when developing a viable strategy to reform the Arab world.
Perhaps forced secularization is not as bad as an idea as some would make it out to be. The polling results do indeed show that most Turks still harbor negative feelings towards Jews and Christians but this is not the salient point, what is important is that the overwhelming majority of Turks think suicide bombings are wrong and morally unjustified. Now compare this to the fact that Muslim and Arab countries such as Jordan and Pakistan have produced a long line of Islamist terrorists and in such countries we also find both strong feelings against Christians and Jews are harbored along with strong sympathies for suicide bombers. Turkey’s population for the most part lives culturally and economically on the same plane with most Arab and Asian Muslim countries; it is a country—while having a much larger population than say Jordan or Saudi Arabia or Yemen—that proven to be thesource of considerably less terrorists. We don’t see Turkish suicide bombers trying to cross the border in Iraq to kill innocent Iraqi and Kurdish civilians.
So what is the significance of this finding? To me this data presents strong support for the idea that perhaps an Ataturk-like revolution in developed Arab countries is an option that ought to be seriously explored. The polling results show that many Turks—certainly not as many as Jordanians or Morrocans or Pakistanis, but still a good sum nonetheless—harbor some sort of negative opinions to some degree against the US, Christians, and Jews; yet a significantly less number of them are willing to resort to religiously inspired violent acts of terror. This is no doubt the product of the secularization campaign instigated by Ataturk and in my opinion probably the best option we have to sterilize popular sentiment of hate that has been drummed up in countries like Syria by Ba’athists and Islamists alike—at least until a new generation of Arabs grow up in democratic societies with textbooks that espouse tolerance and liberty as virtues to emulate.
"They are rounding us up"
I have just received news from a friend in northern Kurdistan who has
family in Syrian Kurdistan:
In the Zorava neighborhood, Kurdish men between the ages of 14 and 50
are being arrested. Approximately 2,000 have been arrested in these