Civil War in Iraq and as-Sham
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Mustapaita
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Post: #61
RE: Civil war in Syria
(2012 Jul 04 15:40)Peasant Wrote:  It sounds like there was opposition infighting in a meeting in Cairo. I wonder if it could lead to fighting amongst the militias in Syria before they topple the Ba'athists.

Well, its not hard to imagine there is some infighting. Kurds, Arabs, Sunnis, Shias, Communists, Secularists, Islamists...

"Devil, I am devil." ― Pekka Siitoin
2012 Jul 04 17:28
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Peasant
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Post: #62
RE: Civil war in Syria
Well yes, but this is well before Assad is gone, if he is to be toppled. What I meant is far more than the opposition sides did in other Arab Spring countries... and if this will translate into actual attacks on each other prematurely.
2012 Jul 04 17:46
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Dussander (05-07-2012)
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Post: #63
RE: Civil war in Syria
Wikileaks has started publishing leaked Syrian government emails.
http://www.wikileaks.org/Syria-Files.html
2012 Jul 05 22:07
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Dussander
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RE: Civil war in Syria
Quote:Analysis: Syria crisis shows limits of rising Turkish power

Ask the Syrians, who shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet on June 22 and got away with it.

Turkish leaders shrilled up their rhetoric. They sent anti-aircraft missiles to the border and repeatedly scrambled F-16 fighters when Syrian helicopters flew too close. Ankara won supportive noises from its NATO allies. But that was it.

Ask the Israelis, who killed nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara aid ship in 2010, and got away with it. Turkey threatened to send its navy to protect future flotillas to Gaza, but never followed through.

The danger for Turkey is that its truculence, whether over the Mavi Marmara ship incident with Israel or over the loss of its F-4 off the Syrian coast, begins to look toothless.

...

For much of its modern history, Turkey has avoided foreign entanglements, intervening unilaterally only in Cyprus in 1974, while standing ready to join U.N.-backed peacekeeping missions in troublespots around the world, from Somalia to Afghanistan.

Turkey remains widely admired in the Middle East, but the excitement at Erdogan's tough talk against Israel that made him so popular in the Arab world a couple of years ago has cooled.

And for all their military might and economic muscle, the Turks now find themselves with almost no leverage in Damascus.

"They can sell stuff. Lots of Middle Eastern people have Turkish goods in their homes," said International Crisis Group analyst Hugh Pope. "But their ability to project power into those dysfunctional states in the Middle East is very small."

source

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2012 Jul 09 10:51
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RE: Civil war in Syria
Two IMO necessary moves by Russia:

Should those opposed to Assad prevail against the Syrian military armed with the latest Russian arms, Russia would look weak and defeated. Western media would have a field day. On the other hand, the powers that are aiding the opposition are doing that covertly, so if aiding Assad really means defending Russia's interests, Russians would do well if they took the same approach.

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2012 Jul 11 13:41
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Peasant (11-07-2012)
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RE: Civil war in Syria
[Image: 5y68bd.jpg]

???
2012 Jul 12 09:52
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Post: #67
RE: Civil war in Syria
Wikileaks outs Syria's real friends: the Western Connection
Quote:Just days after the first Syria Leaks are trickling through, since the 5th of July, 2012, Al Bawaba brings you up to speed with the most salient files so far. Wikileaks' latest dispatch of emails, dated from August 2006 til March 2012, have been allocated the unique label "Syrian Files" by the notorious champions of electronic transparency.

The trusty Wikileaks website promises to release their treasure trove of emails over the next couple of months, which include more than 2 million sent emails, belonging to Syrian officials from private and public sector. The files come in many languages, among them 400,000 emails are Arabic and 68,000 emails are Russian.

While masses more are still due, and we might eventually end up swimming in Syria leaks, we launch this latest 'dump' in bite-sizes, bringing you the first batch of incisive findings in one user-friendly picture-slide panel. See above.

Revelations and findings

Beyond mystery ladies, cousins and Shabiha torture-mongers, there are tales of friendly commerce between outward enemies and 'Voguing' or wife-promotion.

If Bashar al Assad's image is beyond damage-control now, it's not to say he didn't recruit assistance earlier on in his struggle against his people and the media. Assad has been quite assiduous about his image in the past and has not let him self go completely, without calling upon his spin-doctor and friend in the United States. As the Assads continued to maintain trade agreements with Western outfits, they didn't want to let sanctions come between business pacts. International sanctions to them spelt just a problem with the supply chain at times. Contrary to western official lines, which preach the need to isolate the regime, there is an evident lack of will to end profitable commercial bonds.
From the latest breached files, it would seem that the axis of friends for the Assads lies more in Italy, Britain and the US, less Hezbollah, Iran, Russia. These Syria files heavily implicate the Syrian regime as being happily ensconced with their Western buddies for image cosultation, communication infiltration, and even for building the 'house beautiful'.

What emerges is more than foreign citizenship in the Syrian establishment. It would seem the relationship between the Syrian Regime and the West is not limited to Syria's First Lady's British nationality and upbringing. Wikileaks shows up a more established set of relations between the Assads and certain outwardly disapproving nations than the beleaguered President would want known.

These are the inner workings of the President and his shady associates behind- the-scenes of explicit regional politics, liaisons the West and Syria would rather stayed under-wraps. But nowadays the truth will out - especially when any shades of truth lie in email leakable form (take the Assad email leaks from the Guardian which revealed lives of luxury lived, while Syrian people increasingly suffered and feared for their safety).
Source - Al Bawaba

US Firm Encourages 'Fist and Open Hand' in Syria
Quote:On 19 May 2011, a memorandum entitled “Crisis Communications Analysis” was forwarded by sam@alshahba.com, an account which is most likely used by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to Syrian minister of presidential affairs Mansour Azzam. The memo was authored by Brown Lloyd James (BJL), a powerful global strategic communications firm hired by the regime to improve its image. (doc-id 2089956)

The communications firm had initially sent the memo to Fares Kallas, the Director of Projects and Initiatives of the Office of the First Lady, Asma al-Assad. It detailed an assessment of the situation in Syria and gave recommendations on how to handle the uprising from a communications standpoint. BJL was founded by Peter Brown, currently the chief executive officer, and Sir Nicholas Lloyd, currently the chairman, in 1997 in New York and London. Mike Holtzman is the current president of the company.

BJL has three “flagship offices” based in New York, London and Doha, with “strategic hubs” in Washington DC, Ho Chi Minh City, Rome, Frankfurt, Paris, Moscow, and Madrid. The “About BJL” page on the website proclaims: “Brown Lloyd James is managed by an elite group of distinguished former news executives, top-level White House and Downing Street political advisers, high-profile entertainment industry executives and experts in international affairs. Our staff have been at the right hand of presidents, prime ministers, media barons – and yes, even The Beatles.”

A number of highly prominent international clients have been represented by BJL, including the Kingdom of Morocco, Muammar Gaddafi, The Qatar Foundation, The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the City of London, and the Iraqi Ministry of Interior. It was involved in a number of successful campaigns including Qatar’s winning bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the launch of al-Jazeera English in the United States. Last year, the firm was involved in beautifying the image of the Assad regime in the West through various projects, beginning with Vogue’s fawning portrayal of Asma al-Assad published in February 2011. Vogue deleted the article from its archives after the criticism it received.

The May 2011 BJL memorandum offers a guide for members of the Syrian political clique in the regime to rework their image and refine their message, as the military attempts to stamp out the uprising. More so, the memo includes advice on possible branding campaigns and social actions that can reinvigorate the regime’s image throughout this process. It began by noting that “the Obama Administration wants the leadership in Syria to survive” but acknowledges that the American government’s position has been changing over time.

A brief assessment of the Syrian political leadership’s handling of the uprising followed, based solely on its communication skills: “Syria has had an imbalance in its communications approach since the beginning of the crisis,” it reads. “If hard power is necessary to quell rebellion, soft power is needed to reassure the Syrian people and outside audiences that reform is proceeding apace, legitimate grievances are being addressed and taken seriously, and that Syria’s actions are ultimately aimed at creating an environment in which change and progress can take place.”

BJL warned that the leadership’s reform agenda was widely viewed as lacking ownership and seemed to have “taken a back seat to the immediate political crisis”. Thus the result would most likely continue to be “a recipe for restiveness and instability going forward” within the domestic sphere, while “emboldening critics and reinforcing those who don’t believe reform is sincere” outside of Syria.

Hence, the BJL memo recommended a balance between the “two hands” of the regime: “Rule of law is a fist. Reform is an open hand. Right now the fist appears to the outside, and probably to many Syrians, as though it is ten times bigger than the outstretched palm. They must be brought into better balance.”

“Reform-oriented outreach must be dramatically improved, at home and abroad, or else the credibility of these efforts – and a key part of the President’s appeal and popularity among the people – will be diminished. Refocusing the perception of outsiders and Syrians on reform will provide political cover to the generally sympathetic US Government, and will de-legitimize critics at home and abroad.” For this to happen, the firm made five key strategic recommendations to overcome the regime’s PR failure. These include exploiting Bashar and Asma’s image through actions such as unannounced tours and tightly-planned publicized gatherings with families and young people, as well as utilizing the promise of reform on the condition of stability, and placing a strong emphasis on the future.

Moreover, it recommended that the administration hold the army and security forces accountable, making “a very public, visible show of punishing/firing/indicting troops that violate [Assad’s] orders” not to fire on civilians, to portray a sense of fairness and indicate its serious intentions to reform. Additionally, it recommended establishing a 24-hour media monitoring system that can combat negative narratives against the regime.

Finally, the firm stressed that “efforts should be made to convey ‘normalcy’ to contrast current news depicting Syria as being on the verge of chaos.” The memorandum ended by advising the political leadership “to continue to express confidence in the future and that the crisis is waning.” Essentially, the memo called for the Assad regime to revamp its messaging in order to convince the international community and the Syrian people that ‘mistakes’ were made and that the regime is trying to change if it were given the chance.

This was not the last time BJL and the Assad regime interacted. According to one of the Assad email caches received by The Guardian earlier this year, Mike Holtzman was in contact with an aide to the Syrian leadership in January 2012, in which he expressed his pride regarding a successful PR event that involved a surprise visit by Assad and his wife to a pro-regime demonstration.
Source - Al Akhbar

Oh so bad and nasty regimes, but don't even think about turning down a way to profit from them. And why on earth did Assad turn to some Western PR company? Surely they will be used as an intel sources for the Western governments and also used to tell Assad what they want him to hear. Or maybe I am being a bit paranoid. Guess it will take some research.

Here is another article on the leaks, on what is believed to be Assad's emails. It shows how much the media can influence the leaders of nations.
2012 Jul 12 10:32
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Sans Nom
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Post: #68
RE: Civil war in Syria
(2012 Jul 12 10:32)Peasant Wrote:  Oh so bad and nasty regimes, but don't even think about turning down a way to profit from them. And why on earth did Assad turn to some Western PR company? Surely they will be used as an intel sources for the Western governments and also used to tell Assad what they want him to hear. Or maybe I am being a bit paranoid. Guess it will take some research.

Hm, and why not? Putin's also using Western PR managers. They're best in teh field and know how to impress Western audience. How do you think they came up with the whole Russia Today thing? I've seen enough of internal propaganda in Russia and I can say it would have zero effect as it is too culturally ingraned in Russian reality and relies on government's total domination in media outlets (though there are some interesting pr stunts by Russian officials just not very common).
Asad never wanted to become a Qaddafi or Chavez. He's dream was to become a sort of medical professor/doctor/hospital owner. He had to assume the job and he lacked the crazy drive for power. It's only natural that he wanted to "play by the rules" and integrate into Western elite.
2012 Jul 12 10:56
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Post: #69
RE: Civil war in Syria
GENEVA (AP) — The International Committee of the Red Cross said Sunday it now considers the conflict in Syria to be a full-blown civil war, meaning international humanitarian law applies throughout the country.

Also known as the rules of war, international humanitarian law grants parties to a conflict the right to use appropriate force to achieve their aims, and the Geneva-based group's assessment is an important reference for those parties to determine how much and what type of force they can use. The assessment also can form the basis for war crimes prosecutions, especially if civilians are attacked or detained enemies are abused or killed.

"We are now talking about a non-international armed conflict in the country," ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan said.

Previously, the ICRC had restricted its assessment of the scope of the conflict to the hotspots of Idlib, Homs and Hama, but Hassan said the organization had determined the violence has spread beyond those areas.

"Hostilities have spread to other areas of the country," Hassan told The Associated Press. "International humanitarian law applies to all areas where hostilities are taking place."

source

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2012 Jul 15 14:34
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Dussander
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RE: Civil war in Syria
They said the same about Libya last year.

http://www.dw-akademie.de/dw/article/0,,6466261,00.html

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2012 Jul 15 14:39
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