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Xandu
Feb 19, 2006


It's hard to be humble when you're as great as I am.

Robert Ford is returning to Syria

quote:

Ambassador Robert Ford returns to Damascus today with our full confidence and support. His return demonstrates our continued solidarity with the Syrian people and the value we place on Ford’s efforts to engage Syrians on their efforts to achieve a peaceful and democratic transition. We believe his presence in the country is among the most effective ways to send a message to the Syrian people that the United States stands in solidarity with them. We expect the Syrian government to uphold its obligations to protect diplomatic personnel and facilities under the Vienna Convention and allow our Foreign Service officers to conduct their work free of intimidation or obstacles.

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Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Couple of bits of Iran related Libya news:

quote:

President Ahmadinejad Invites Libya's NTC to Visit Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad invited the members and the head of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) to visit Iran.


Iran's new Ambassador to Libya Hossein Akbari submitted Ahmadinejad's invitation NTC Head Mustafa Abdul-Jalil in Tripoli on Monday.

Iran also called for the formation of a joint committee between the two countries to expand the bilateral ties and cooperation in different fields.

Last month NTC Vice-Chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga appreciated Iran for its supports and aid to his North African nation, and announced that a delegation of NTC members would visit Tehran in the near future in a bid to discuss expansion of ties and cooperation between the two Muslim states.

"We received abundant humanitarian aid from Iran and appreciate these supports and assistance," Ghoga told FNA on Monday.

He described the recent daylong visit to Tripoli by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and his accompanying delegation as positive and fruitful, and said the NTC would reciprocate Salehi's trip by sending a delegation to Tehran in the near future.

Ghoga disclosed no more details on the issue.

Salehi visited Libya earlier in November to meet the country's interim government officials on bilateral ties and the fate of Shiite Cleric Imam Musa Sadr.

Salehi's visit to Libya was widely welcomed by Tripoli's new government officials, including its chairman Abdul-Jalil.


quote:

Libya rejects US anti-ran claim

Libya: Libya has denied allegations by the US officials that Iran had supplied the toppled regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi with weapons.

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, Libya's interim leader, dismissed the recent comments by the US officials that Iran had provided the former Libyan regime with hundreds of special artillery shells for chemical weapons, IRIB reported on Monday.

Washington has so far failed to back up the claim with concrete evidence or genuine documents, Abdel Jalil stated.

The shells, filled with highly-toxic mustard agent, have been uncovered in recent weeks at two sites in central Libya. They are reportedly being kept under heavy guard and round-the-clock surveillance.

The US officials alleged that the chemical weapons had been custom-designed and -produced in Iran for Gaddafi's dictatorial regime.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi had also rejected the claim on November 30. “How could have we equipped the Gaddafi government, when we ourselves never had chemical weapons?” he had asked.

The Secretary-General of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, Mohammed Javad Larijani, has likewise denied the allegation.

“I believe such comments are being made by the US to complete their project of Iranophobia in the region and all through the world. Surely, this is another baseless story for demonizing the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Larijani has asserted.

Over 300 attacks, using more than 3,000 tons of chemical weapons, were carried out against Iran in the course of the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988.

The former regime of slain Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein imposed the hostilities on the Islamic Republic, enjoying major backing from the Western powers, including the United States. Press TV

No doubt some people will see this as a sign that Libya is turning into a Islamist state.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Something that's worth focusing on in Libya today is the movement to clear Tripoli of militia's before the end of the year. Reuters had this article

quote:

Libya's interim government, under pressure to disarm Tripoli and restore the country after months of civil war, has given regional militias lingering in the capital until late December to hand over security and go home, officials said on Tuesday.

Nearly two months after Muammar Gaddafi was killed, the new government is still unable to impose its authority on the ground, leaving security in the hands of militias who answer only to themselves and often wage turf wars with their rivals.

Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib has met officials from Tripoli's local council to discuss ways of sending home hundreds of out-of-town fighters who have taken a pseudo-police force in the capital, setting up checkpoints across the city.

"There is a schedule for this process," Abdul Razzak Buhajar, head of Tripoli local council, told a news conference.

When asked about the timeframe, he said: "In December ... We have to be patient."

Rena Netjes noted this morning:

quote:

Since yesterday afternoon military checkpoints everywhere in Tripoli.
This afternoon at 4.30 a demonstration at the Martyrs' Square against 'armed groups' in the city.

Anita McNaught of Al Jazeera also did a video report on the issue to go along with this article
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWWXevLTPUg

To me this is the first major issue that needs to be resolved before the new government can move on to resolve other issues in the country, as it'll establish their authority over militias and prove they have the strength to establish security in Tripoli. Of course, if they fail miserably then the only question will be who is really in charge?

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



The new Libyan government also appears to be making sure they get the best deals possible from their oil trading, as opposed to giving it away to the west as some people predicted:

quote:

Traders vexed by Libya's new oil chiefs

The new leaders of Libya's top oil body have delayed official tender deadlines to negotiate better deals, traders say, frustrating some of their oil partners now in talks for lucrative 2012 oil contracts.

Freshly-appointed managers of Libya's powerful National Oil Corporation (NOC) are preparing to award sought-after crude oil and fuel import contracts worth billions for next year as the OPEC member's top industry resumes business after months of war.

The NOC is expecting to announce winners within the next few weeks in a process seen as an important test of the NOC leaders' ability to manage relations with international oil firms like majors Total as well as independent traders such as Vitol and Trafigura.

Oil traders have so far shown great interest in purchasing the OPEC producer's light, sweet easy-to-refine oil as well as supplying it with fuel.

But while recent talks in Istanbul were well-attended, partners say they are frustrated with the demands of their new negotiation partners who are taking tough measures to distance themselves from the perceived cronyism of the Gaddafi era.

In an email seen by Reuters, one of the NOC's supply managers asked a client to "improve your offers as there is big competition" before announcing a delay to the tender.

Renegotiating a tender is allowed since the NOC sets the terms and is not unique to Libya.

But some traders have complained that this amounts to "back trading", a frowned upon practice whereby a party reneges on a tentative agreement.

"They are surfing the wave. Everyone is knocking on their doors," said a senior oil trading source, adding that crude oil spot tenders were frequently delayed and subject to further negotiation.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



In Syria Assad is now saying the army is beyond his control, so it's not his fault:

quote:

Assad to ABC: I'm not responsible for the violence
In an interview to ABC, Bashar elAssad defended himself claiming "he is not responsible for the violence" in Syria. In a preview of the interview with the American ABC TV network's anchorwoman Barbara Walters that will be broadcast tomorrow Assad, who is accused of having ordered the killing of at least 4000 people in the last 8 months, openly shields himself: "I'm president. I don't own the country, so they're not my forces". And he didn't stop here.
Assad also takes a distance from the forces that repressed the revolt in bloodshed: "they're not mine", he defended himself and tried to make a point: "There's a difference between having a policy to crack down and between having some mistakes committed by some officials. There is a big difference", he pointed out.

Hefty Leftist
Jun 26, 2011

"You know how vodka or whiskey are distilled multiple times to taste good? It's the same with shit. After being digested for the third time shit starts to taste reeeeeeaaaally yummy."



Brown Moses posted:

In Syria Assad is now saying the army is beyond his control, so it's not his fault:

Did Assad really just disown his own loyalist backers? Jesus, Assad really is a complete moron.

farraday
Jan 10, 2007

Lower those eyebrows, young man. And the other one.

ThePutty posted:

Did Assad really just disown his own loyalist backers? Jesus, Assad really is a complete moron.

In his next move, Assad will renounce his position and his heir, Jesus Assad, will be put into power.


Is anyone else having a hard time feeling sorry for the poor little oil companies having the big ole NTC being mean to them? I would wait on taking it as a sign of independence until we see how transparent the deals finally agreed to are and how much corruption is visible.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



farraday posted:

Is anyone else having a hard time feeling sorry for the poor little oil companies having the big ole NTC being mean to them? I would wait on taking it as a sign of independence until we see how transparent the deals finally agreed to are and how much corruption is visible.

The NTC made a big thing about transparency and reviewing old contracts for anything dodgy, and they've kept some other previous big promises, so it'll be a good sign if they stick to this promise as well.

Pajser
Jan 28, 2006


Brown Moses posted:

The NTC made a big thing about transparency and reviewing old contracts for anything dodgy, and they've kept some other previous big promises, so it'll be a good sign if they stick to this promise as well.

So how long is it until certain companies influence politicians to throw a hissy fit about Libya not returning the favor(NATO intervention) by giving everyone cheap oil?

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



quote:

Bashar al-Assad has denied that the Syrian army has been under orders to kill protesters.

"There was no command to kill or be brutal," he told ABC News. "We don't kill our people… no government in the world kills its people," he insisted.

The interview appears more defiant than preview quotes suggested.

In its write up of the interview, ABC said Assad also:

• Claimed most of the people killed in the uprising have been government supporters, including 1,100 members of the security forces.

• Acknowledged "some mistakes" in the "brute reaction" of some individuals

• Doubted the credibility of a UN estimate that 4,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March.

• Denied that 13-year old Hamza al-Khateeb had not been tortured before being found dead with his penis cut off.

• Denied responsibility for the killing. He said: "I cannot feel guilty when you do your best. You feel sorry for the lives that have been lost. But you don't feel guilty when you don't kill people. So it's not about guilty."

This was his face during the interview :

THE AWESOME GHOST
Oct 21, 2005



Benzoyl Peroxide posted:

The FOURTH time since 2006? That's incredible.
He did it almost right after becoming emir in 2006, march 2008, march 2009 exactly a year later, and now December 2011

I was out of the country for '06 and '08. I didn't bother voting in '09 because I assumed that they'd just dissolve it again. I don't know if it's worth voting this time.

Worth mentioning that the current emir came to power in 2006, from the 1992 to 2006 it was dissolved once.

farraday
Jan 10, 2007

Lower those eyebrows, young man. And the other one.

Brown Moses posted:

This was his face during the interview :

He sounds like a reasonable gent. Why don't all these people just go back to their homes and await progress/death? You know, whichever.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Can anyone see a possible realistic outcome in Syria that isn't amazingly lovely? A Libya style intervention would just be a disaster for everyone involved, and draw Israel and Iran towards direct conflict and probably end up with Turkey being attacked. Covertly supporting the conflict might make the civil war shorter, but I still imagine it'll be months, maybe even years, of fighting, and Iran would increase their support of the Syrian regime. Any peace process seems unimaginable without months of further bloodshed. Even if Assad suddenly dies his lovely family are still in command of the army, so it won't make much of a difference.

The X-man cometh
Nov 1, 2009


I have no idea what the current geographical situation is, but they might be able to split the country like Korea or Germany. The Free Syrian Republic (maybe along the Turkish border or) and Assadastan. The problems from internal migration would be horrendous, but it's somewhat less lovely than your other options

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



At this point it seems that there's no significant geographical areas that are under the control of the Syria opposition, so a division of the country would be months away, and probably after a long civil war. The other problem is if you start splitting up the country then I'm sure the Kurds will want their own piece carved out as well.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Saadi Gaddafi clearly isn't planning to run any counter-revolutions against Libya:

quote:

Gadhafi son tried to go secretly to Mexico

Saadi Gadhafi, a son of the deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, tried to travel secretly to Mexico with false documents, Mexico's interior minister said Wednesday.

Three people have been implicated in the plot -- a Canadian, a Dane and a Mexican, said the minister, Alejandro Poire.

Saadi Gadhafi had offered to negotiate an end to the war with the rebels in Libya months ago, after his father's troops lost control of Tripoli, but he later seemed to change his mind.

He was last known to be in Niger, the landlocked West African nation bordering Libya.

Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou had reaffirmed his country's decision to grant asylum to Saadi Gadhafi, saying the son of Libya's long-time ruler should be allowed to stay and be treated just like other "Libyan refugees." Libya's National Transitional Council has blasted that stance.

A businessman, Saadi ran the Libyan Football Federation before the unrest began. He played soccer for Perugia in Italy for one season. Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables posted on WikiLeaks claim that he had "scuffles" with police in Europe.

Moammar Gadhafi was killed in Libya on Oct. 20.

Another of his sons, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, was captured after a gunbattle in the Libyan desert. Senior Libyan military officials said they believe the potential Gadhafi successor was trying to make his way to neighboring Niger.

Saif al-Islam had been on the run since shortly after the fall of his father's Bab al-Aziziya compound in the capital in August.

The International Criminal Court in the Netherlands wants Saif al-Islam for alleged crimes against humanity, including murder, committed during the uprising this year.

Brown Moses fucked around with this message at 14:58 on Dec 7, 2011

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003



I'll admit the NTC versus the Zetas would be pretty cool in a hypothetical sort of way.

Nckdictator
Sep 8, 2006
Just..someone

Mexico? If any Latin American country would accept him I'd assume it would be Nicaragua or Venezuela.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Here's today's anti-militia protest in Tripoli
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xDZCJayyJU

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Misrata has quite a few guns left over:

quote:

City's huge arsenal a test for new Libyan rulers

Militias outside the control of Libya's central government are holding vast stores of tanks, rockets and small arms in the city of Misrata, an arsenal that will test the ability of the country's new rulers to assert their authority.

A Reuters team gained rare access to militia warehouses in Misrata and counted thousands of boxes of arms and ammunition, most of it seized from forces loyal to ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi and hauled back to the city in trucks.

The militias, which were formed to fight Gaddafi's rule and profess loyalty to the interim leaders of the National Transitional Council (NTC), say they will hand over the weapons once a new national army is created.

But there is no timetable for that and in the meantime the weapons give Misrata more military might than the fragile government in Tripoli, an advantage the Misrata militias are likely to try to convert into political power.

"The government does not have a monopoly on force in the country," said Geoff Porter, a north Africa expert who has testified on Libya in the U.S. Congress "Without it, the state's ability to function is jeopardized."

"All of the militias are amply armed and the government has no recourse but to urge and cajole them to give up their weapons," he said.

Over two days, Reuters reporters visited four weapons stores operated by three of the city's militia brigades.

This offered a cross-section of the weapons in the city but represented only a fraction of the total: Misrata has six brigades, with between them more than 200 units. Most brigades have several weapons stores in different locations.

The weapons that could be seen included, according to a Reuters count, 38 tanks, nine self-propelled guns, 16 field guns, 536 Russian-made Grad rockets and 13 truck-mounted Grad launchers, 2480 mortar rounds and 202 artillery shells.

Among the other items were 21 missile pods cannibalized from helicopters, and about 10 boxes of what appeared to be French-made warheads for helicopter-fired anti-tank missiles.

In addition, Reuters reporters saw 18 shipping containers which local commanders said contained ammunition. It was not possible to examine what was inside.

The arsenals were dotted around the outskirts of Misrata, a city that lies on the Mediterranean coast about 200 km (130 miles) east of Tripoli.

Heavy artillery was kept at a site that used to be a supply base for oil company Petro-Canada. Another unit stored ammunition in a former Pepsi soft drink warehouse. One brigade parked dozens of tanks next to its commander's beach house.

International concern about the proliferation of weapons in Libya has focused on the risk that arms could find there way into the hands of groups such as al Qaeda's north Africa branch.

The chances of this happening in Misrata seem small: the city's militias have little sympathy with Islamists, they are tightly disciplined, and all the arsenals visited by Reuters were well guarded.

GUNS FOR INFLUENCE

The significance of Misrata's huge stock of weapons lies instead in the leverage it gives the city in the contest -- so far largely peaceful -- for power and influence in the new Libya.

Misrata, Libya's third-biggest city, was the scene of the biggest and bloodiest battle in the seven-month war against Gaddafi. Its forces are among the most powerful of the dozens of militias across Libya that emerged out of the fighting.

"The brigades' loyalties appear to lie first and foremost with their towns and cities, rather than the NTC," wrote Wolfram Lacher, a North Africa expert.

"Whether and how quickly they will demobilize and refrain from using their military power as a means of gaining political influence remains to be seen," he wrote in the Middle East Policy Council journal.

Misrata's arsenal is the product of a systematic operation, carried out in the final weeks of the conflict against Gaddafi's rule, to sweep up weapons from stores elsewhere and bring them back to the city.

Mahmoud Askutri, a businessman who organized Misrata's Marsa brigade, said 430 tanks were recovered intact when the city's fighters fought their way into the town of Zlitan, to the west of Misrata.

Fighters from the city then pushed further West, stripping weapons from captured Gaddafi bases between their city and Tripoli.

"The Misrata fighters came through here and took all the weapons," a local militia member at a checkpoint about 50 km east of the capital said, days after Gaddafi's forces fled Tripoli.

Misrata also seized weapons from Tripoli itself. Askutri said his men took the arms to stop them being used by Gaddafi loyalists or what he described as extremists.

"We had to be careful," he said. "There were mines and anti-amour missiles and this (leaving them in Tripoli) would have been a great danger to the stability of Libya."

Soon after, Misrata brigades switched their focus to the east, towards the pro-Gaddafi stronghold of Sirte.

Reuters journalists in Wadi Garif, at the start of September, saw Misrata brigades clear out a vast arsenal at a military compound abandoned by Gaddafi's forces.

The militias loaded the weapons into pick-up trucks, took them back to their forward bases, and transferred them into larger trucks to be transported back to Misrata. One unit filled a furniture truck up to the roof with weapons.

The haul included mortars, 106mm artillery guns, Belgian-designed FN rifles, ammunition, and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. Much of it was still wrapped in the greaseproof paper in which it was shipped from the factory.

WAITING FOR AN ARMY

A military spokesman for the NTC in Tripoli said he believed the Misrata brigades would honor their pledge to hand over their weapons to the central government.

"Up to now we don't have a chief of staff," said the spokesman, Ahmed Bani. "Once we have an chief of staff for our army, then they will transfer (their weapons)."

"I know my people well. They are optimistic. They will obey the orders of the NTC because all of us love Libya. We paid a lot for our freedom."

In Misrata, the brigade commanders who spoke to Reuters say they will amalgamate their units into the national army, and hand over their weapons, as soon as that army is created.

Misrata brigades showed their willingness by giving 500 light arms to the interior ministry in October, according to a United Nations report.

But no one seems to know for sure when the national army will start functioning. In Misrata, there is no evidence yet that the defense ministry has drawn up any plans for the handover.

Even once inside the national army, it is clear that the Misrata brigades expect to retain a degree of autonomy.

In the absence of instructions from Tripoli, they have drawn up a plan to form three Misrata divisions with the national army and they have already started to appoint commanders.

Mohammed El-Zein, leader of Misrata's Thobactis brigade, which oversees field guns and Grad rocket launchers at the converted oil company base, said he would command one of the three divisions.

He said preparations had already started to transfer the weapons to national army warehouses. But they will not go far. Asked where the warehouses would be, he said: "In the suburbs of Misrata."

Scaramouche
Mar 26, 2001

SPACE FACE! SPACE FACE!



Nckdictator posted:

Mexico? If any Latin American country would accept him I'd assume it would be Nicaragua or Venezuela.

Saadi likes to party; he's probably not going to be happy unless it's somewhere like PV or Ibiza.

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003



We should just sell the new government a few billion dollars of Abrams and sweet IFVs with rocket launchers and machine guns and tell the militias they can have a free upgrade (and still play soldier!) if they join the national army.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Hamas is abandoning Syria

quote:

Hamas Removing Staff From Syria

Hamas ordered the departure of nearly all its staff at its Damascus headquarters by next week following pressure from Turkey and Qatar, two regional allies trying to isolate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad amid an eight-month crackdown on antiregime protests, according to a Hamas official.

The Islamic militant group's parting of ways with Mr. Assad marks the latest blow to his regime. Damascus has hosted Hamas since the Palestinian group was forced out of Jordan in the late 1990s.

Leaving Syria also distances Hamas from Iran, an ally of President Assad that has provided the Palestinian militants with money, training and military hardware. Over recent months, Tehran has urged Hamas not to relocate, the official said.

Hamas will establish new headquarters in Cairo and Qatar to replace its operations in Syria, the official added. At the same time, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal is scheduled to meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan to discuss upgrading its presence in the kingdom.

The shift from Syria to Egypt is expected to moderate Hamas's behavior while reducing Tehran's ability to threaten clashes with Israel, said Meir Javedanfar, an Iran expert based in Israel, who called the move "a major strategic setback'' for Iran.

Hamas officials have for months sought to portray the organization as neutral in the Syrian conflict. But recent progress in Hamas's rapprochement with Egypt and Jordan has emboldened the militants to accelerate their departure after months of quiet preparations—an operation dubbed by members as "soft exit."

The Hamas security official said that 90% of the staff will be dispersed to cities around the region, leaving behind a nominal presence in Damascus.

Over recent months, Hamas has been divesting itself of Syrian assets, including business investments, real estate and bank deposits, the Hamas official said.

After the Arab League decision to impose sanctions on Damascus last month, Hamas leaders were admonished by Ankara and Doha.

"Qatar and Turkey urged us to leave Syria immediately," said a senior Hamas security official who has relocated to Gaza from Damascus. "They said, 'Have you no shame? It's enough. You have to get out.' "

Meanwhile, dozens of bodies were dumped in the streets of Homs, Syria, at the heart of the uprising, in a sign that sectarian bloodshed is escalating.

Up to 50 people were killed on Monday, but details came to light Tuesday on reports of retaliatory attacks pitting the Alawite sect against Sunnis.

The discovery in Homs came as the U.S. stepped up pressure Tuesday on the Assad regime to end its crackdown on the anti-government protests. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met in Geneva with Syrian opposition figures, and Washington said it was sending its ambassador back to Damascus.

Mark Toner, U.S. State Department spokesman, said U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford was returning to Syria to "continue the work he was doing previously—namely, delivering the United States' message to the people of Syria, providing reliable reporting on the situation on the ground, and engaging with the full spectrum of Syrian society on how to end the bloodshed and achieve a peaceful political transition," Mr. Toner said.

Turkish criticism of its Syrian neighbor's conduct has been increasingly harsh, with Prime Minister Recep Erdogan calling for Mr. Assad to step down. Qatar, meanwhile, has led efforts by the Arab League to punish Syria. While Turkey has lobbied for an end to Israel's blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza, Qatar has provided financial support.

Hamas officials were unavailable for official comment. One Hamas official, Salah al-Arouri, quoted in Israel's Haaretz newspaper, denied reports there of a decision to leave Damascus and called group ties with the government "excellent."

Arab observers have linked Hamas's consent to an October prisoner swap with Israel and to a November summit meeting with rival, President Mahmoud Abbas, with a desire to improve its credentials with Egypt's government in anticipation of a departure from Syria.

Hamas is considered by analysts to be more welcome in Cairo after the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and in anticipation of a Parliament dominated by parties of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In addition to the external pressure, Hamas's presence in Damascus put the organization at odds with its own grass roots in the Palestinian territories, well as with Islamist affiliates within Syria, where the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood is leading one of the main groups opposing the regime.

Moreover, Hamas-affiliated clerics regularly deliver sermons in Gaza mosques blaming the Syrian government for the death toll of 4,000 in the uprising and predicting the eventual collapse of the regime.

When newly released Hamas prisoners arrived in Damascus in November after being deported from the Palestinian territories as part of a swap with Israel, they thanked the Syrian people rather than mentioning the government. The omission was telling, said Mkhaimar Abusada, a professor of political science at Al Azhar University in Gaza City,

"That is a sign [Hamas] is unhappy," he said. "It seems to me that Hamas is in a very bad position by keeping its headquarters in Damascus."

Meanwhile, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal has made repeated trips to Cairo, and a deputy, Moussa Abu Marzook, is expected to head up the operation there, said Gershon Baskin, an Israeli peace activist who passed messages with Hamas during the negotiations leading to the prisoner swap of Gilad Shalit.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Brown Moses posted:

Hamas is abandoning Syria

When Hamas drops an Arab neighbor, you know something is wrong.

Chortles
Dec 29, 2008


Young Freud posted:

When Hamas drops an Arab neighbor, you know something is wrong.
At the behest of another Arab neighbor who is in return letting them relocate...

The X-man cometh
Nov 1, 2009


And Qatar...

Xandu
Feb 19, 2006


It's hard to be humble when you're as great as I am.

Chortles posted:

At the behest of another Arab neighbor who is in return letting them relocate...

Still, Hamas leadership has been based in Syria for a long time and has gotten a lot of support from the Syrian government. For them to leave, it's a pretty clear sign that Hamas doesn't think the Syrian government is going to last.

farraday
Jan 10, 2007

Lower those eyebrows, young man. And the other one.

el samayo grande posted:

And Qatar...

Motherfucking Qatar, god drat.

I'm trying to find a proper historical or even fictional parallel but I'm having trouble. The emir is making a play for the most interesting man in the world.

This will add fuel to the complaint of secularists that Qatar is the funding source for Islamists everywhere, but frankly I'm not sure Hamas has te same reputation for Arabs, even Secularists, that it carriers in the US.

Motherfucking Qatar... never would have picked them a year ago as one of the most interesting stories coming out of a year where 4 different Arab regimes have collapsed.

Golbez
Oct 9, 2002

1 2 3!
If you want to take a shot at me get in line, line
1 2 3!
Baby, I've had all my shots and I'm fine

Is it possible Assad really believes his own bullshit? Just as Gaddafi seemed, I think, genuinely surprised that his people were actually rising up against him and about to kill him, I think Assad truly believes everything's okay and it's just the military killing people, but the country is still made of his image.

Can't create (or in Bashar's case, inherit) a cult of personality without succumbing to it yourself.

az jan jananam
Sep 6, 2011
HI, I'M HARDCORE SAX HERE TO DROP A NICE JUICY TURD OF A POST FROM UP ON HIGH


Hamas divesting from their assets in Syria also suggests that the move is more than temporary. The fact that Turkey and Qatar were the actors that pushed them is also interesting; if in a theoretical world, Turkey or Qatar were to step in and replace the rejectionist countries as backers of Hamas they would be compelled to act entirely differently.

Also, it's interesting that there has been very little in the way of global complaints about Iran cutting off funding to Hamas (which basically supports the Gazan economy) while the West caught a ton of flack for suspension of aid in 2006.

az jan jananam
Sep 6, 2011
HI, I'M HARDCORE SAX HERE TO DROP A NICE JUICY TURD OF A POST FROM UP ON HIGH


Golbez posted:

Is it possible Assad really believes his own bullshit?

Well...do we know that he's lying about the chain of command in Syria? Nobody really knows much about the inner workings of the Baath circle, and it's entirely likely that the orders to kill are coming from Maher. I mean he's obviously lying through his teeth throughout the interview, but it's also possible he's in the dark w/r/t many of the decisions come from the top.

az jan jananam fucked around with this message at 01:31 on Dec 8, 2011

az jan jananam
Sep 6, 2011
HI, I'M HARDCORE SAX HERE TO DROP A NICE JUICY TURD OF A POST FROM UP ON HIGH


Brown Moses posted:

At this point it seems that there's no significant geographical areas that are under the control of the Syria opposition, so a division of the country would be months away, and probably after a long civil war. The other problem is if you start splitting up the country then I'm sure the Kurds will want their own piece carved out as well.

The Kurdish issue would probably get worse under a Syria without Assad. Under the Baath, there is a distinct national entity called "Syria" that people are supposed to respect, regardless of religious or ethnic affiliation. The Muslim Brotherhood does not respect national entities and expect everyone to be subservient to will of the Muslim majority. The guy being interviewed is a spokesman for the SMB: http://kurdwatch.org/html/en/interview8.html


quote:

KurdWatch: In Syria, a Kurdish citizen's identity card states that he is a Syrian-Arab citizen, even though he is a Kurd and not an Arab. Will this also be the case in the new Syrian state?
Zuhayr Salim: A counter question: What is the status of a Turkmen living in Iraqi-Kurdistan?

KurdWatch: He is an Iraqi-Turkmen. He is not designated as a Kurd.
Zuhayr Salim: In Syria, a Kurd is also a Syrian.

KurdWatch: Yes, but not an Arab as it is written on the identity card.
Zuhayr Salim: Do only Kurds live in Iraqi-Kurdistan? Or do Arabs, Turkmen, Armenians, and Assyrians also live there? The general identity is that of the majority. With one condition: The identity of a group that defines itself as a minority must not be negated. We are not talking about minorities. Nevertheless, there are people who say that they do not belong to the majority. The identity of the majority is the identity of the state. The minorities have the right to enjoy their own rights. I don't see a contradiction here. If an Arab lives in Zakho or Erbil in Iraqi-Kurdistan, then he is called an Iraqi-Kurdistani. That just isn't a problem. Why shouldn't we grant to others that which we want for ourselves?

KurdWatch: Kurdistani isn't an ethnic term, but rather refers to the Kurdistan region. In contrast, Arab is an ethnic term and applies to members of the Arab nation. And the Kurds are definitely not Arabs.
Zuhayr Salim: To be Arab is not an expression of citizenship, but rather an expression of identity.

KurdWatch: Why don't we forgo the label »Arab« and speak only of Syrian identity?
Zuhayr Salim: No, no. To hell with Syrian [identity]! We do not recognize Syria. Who created Syria? Sykes-Picot. Is that true or not?

KurdWatch: Yes, that's true.
Zuhayr Salim: You and I do not recognize Sykes-Picot. You [Kurds] feel that you have been treated unjustly by Sykes-Picot. We also feel that we have been treated unjustly by Sykes-Picot. Syria is a temporary phenomenon, a state that exists only temporarily. Our goal is the creation of a state for the entire umma. A Kurd will be ruler in this state, for he will be supported by a people that numbers anywhere from thirty-five to forty million.

KurdWatch: Are you talking now about an independent Kurdish state?
Zuhayr Salim: No, about an Islamic state for everyone. Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Circassians, and all others will live there.

KurdWatch: Do you believe that you can find a majority in Syria that will support this?
Zuhayr Salim: We aren't forcing anyone. If the majority doesn't accept this idea, then it doesn't accept it. Your question about the Syrian identity of tomorrow will also be decided in a referendum. We are not forcing anyone into something that he doesn't want.

Golbez
Oct 9, 2002

1 2 3!
If you want to take a shot at me get in line, line
1 2 3!
Baby, I've had all my shots and I'm fine

quote:

KurdWatch: Why don't we forgo the label »Arab« and speak only of Syrian identity?
Zuhayr Salim: No, no. To hell with Syrian [identity]! We do not recognize Syria. Who created Syria? Sykes-Picot. Is that true or not?

KurdWatch: Yes, that's true.
Zuhayr Salim: You and I do not recognize Sykes-Picot. You [Kurds] feel that you have been treated unjustly by Sykes-Picot. We also feel that we have been treated unjustly by Sykes-Picot. Syria is a temporary phenomenon, a state that exists only temporarily. Our goal is the creation of a state for the entire umma. A Kurd will be ruler in this state, for he will be supported by a people that numbers anywhere from thirty-five to forty million.

This part sounds pretty good to me. The borders of Syria are more artificial than most, I see no reason to give them more respect than they're due. Syria is quite possibly a temporary entity created by the will of Assad, and without him it will splinter. The question will be, will anyone care? Will they fight to keep it one, fake piece, or allow the splinters to disperse? (Due to the fact that all countries jerk off the notion of the nation-state above all else, you know they will all be calling to maintain the 'territorial integrity' of Syria, as if that means anything. Unless, of course, it's politically expedient, like Kosovo or South Ossetia, or a foregone conclusion like South Sudan.)

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



I don't think Turkey will be thrilled to have a Kurdish state appear on it's border if Syria falls apart, and it might start giving the Iraqi Kurds ideas as well, which will worry them even more.

If you've lost track of what Gaddafi's children are up to Reuters has this useful piece:

quote:

FACTBOX-Gaddafi's children

Muammar Gaddafi's eight children led lives ranging from security chief and U.N. goodwill ambassador to playboy and professional footballer, often earning reputations for extravagance and violence to rival their father's.

Here are details on Gaddafi's children and their current status:

* IN EXILE:

* SAADI:


- Saadi fled to Niger. Niger said last month he would remain in the West African country until a United Nations travel ban on him was lifted, despite Tripoli's request for his return.

- On Wednesday, Mexico announced it had prevented Saadi's entry into the country and several people had been arrested after intelligence authorities got a tip on Sept. 6, a spokeswoman said.

- Interpol has issued a "red notice" requesting member states arrest Saadi with a view to extradition if they find him on their territory.

- Saadi had attempted to negotiate with Libya's National Transitional Council in late August after its fighters swept through Tripoli.

- He had a brief career as a professional in Italy's Serie A soccer league between 2003 and 2007, though he had little time on the field. He also had business dealings with Juventus, a club in which one of Libya's sovereign wealth funds owned a stake. He played for the Libyan national team. Libya's former Italian coach, Francesco Scoglio, was quoted as saying he was fired for not picking Saadi to play.

- A Libyan prosecutor said the NTC had approved a request for an investigation to be opened into Saadi's role in the murder of a Libyan soccer player in 2005.

* HANNIBAL

- Hannibal fled with Gaddafi's wife and daughter, along with another son, Mohammed, to Algeria in August.

- An incident involving Hannibal in a Geneva hotel caused a diplomatic row with Switzerland. In 2008 Swiss police arrested Hannibal and his pregnant wife on charges of mistreating two domestic employees. They were soon released and the charges dropped. Within days, Libya withdrew millions of dollars from Swiss bank accounts and halted oil exports to Switzerland.

- In Libya, two Swiss expatriates were not allowed to leave the country for two years. Libyan officials said their case had nothing to do with Hannibal's arrest but supporters of the businessmen said they were innocent victims of a Libyan vendetta against Switzerland.

- Hannibal had a consulting role in the General National Maritime Transport Company (GNMTC) but often made decisions that had a direct impact on its daily operations before the revolution.

* MOHAMMED

- Gaddafi's son from his first marriage, Mohammed was in the family group that fled to Algeria in August. A president of the Libyan Olympic Committee, he was also effectively in charge of the country's telephone network, which was used to eavesdrop on anti-Gaddafi activists and put them in jail.

* AISHA

- A lawyer by training, Aisha also fled to Algeria in August. She largely stayed out of politics but appeared at pro-Gaddafi rallies in Libya after the uprising began.

- Gaddafi's daughter, in her mid-30s, ran a charitable foundation and in 2004 joined a team of lawyers defending former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. She said in an interview last year with a British newspaper: "I would say that now the future of Libya is very promising, bright and optimistic. It is taking its rightful place in the international community and everyone is seeking good ties with us."

- Her glamorous image led some to describe her as the Claudia Schiffer of North Africa. Her role as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations did not survive the onset of the popular uprising in Libya in February.

- Algerian sources said she gave birth to a daughter shortly after arriving in the country.

- A tanker belonging to the GNMTC, formerly named Aisha, has been renamed February 17.

* BELIEVED DEAD:

* MO'TASSIM:


- Once national security adviser, Mo'tassim was killed on Oct. 20 near Gaddafi's last stronghold of Sirte. Mo'tassim's body was put on display, naked from the waist up, and a doctor who examined it said he had apparently died after his father.

- Both Mo'tassim and Muammar were killed in unclear circumstances that led U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay and others to call for a full investigation.

- Two trusted NTC officials are handed the bodies of Gaddafi senior and Mo'tassim and they were buried deep in the Sahara desert in a secret place on October 25.

- During the uprising against Gaddafi senior, Mo'tassim kept out of the public eye and was not believed to have had a formal role, although there were reports he was involved in efforts to put down the rebellion.

* KHAMIS:

- Khamis was reported killed at least three times during the conflict. However, a Syrian-based television station that supported Gaddafi confirmed last month that he had been killed in fighting southeast of Tripoli on Aug. 29.

- Khamis was wounded in a 1986 U.S. bombing of Tripoli, but he still became commander of the 32nd Brigade, one of Libya's best equipped units, which played a leading role in Gaddafi's effort to crush the revolt.

- Around the time of his death, the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court said Khamis might be put on the wanted list after the brigade he commanded was accused of killing dozens of detainees in Tripoli.

* SAIF AL-ARAB:

- Saif al-Arab was killed in a NATO bombing raid on Tripoli. As a four-year-old, he was wounded in the 1986 air strike on his father's compound ordered by U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

- The spoilt son of an indulgent father, he studied in Germany and was reported to have been involved in a scuffle at a Munich nightclub. In U.S. diplomatic cables, Saif al-Arab was said to have spent "much time partying".

* DETAINED:

* SAIF AL-ISLAM


- Saif al-Islam and several bodyguards, but no other senior figures from the ousted administration, was taken near the town of Obari on Nov. 19 by fighters based in the western mountain town of Zintan, the interim justice minister and other officials said.

- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had visited Saif in detention in Zintan on November 22. He appeared to be in good health.

- Once seen as the acceptable face of the Libyan regime, Saif al-Islam, like his father, was wanted by the International Criminal Court at The Hague for crimes against humanity.

- English-speaking Saif al-Islam, who studied at the London School of Economics, had been considered a possible heir-apparent. His bellicose rhetoric during the rebellion forced Libyan analysts to rethink views that he was a reformer.

So all the ones who are any real threat to Libya are either dead or in NTC custody.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Here's another video of anti-militia protests:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trJ086Q3GPY

Reuters also has a report

quote:

Protesters back Tripoli militia expulsion

Around 2,000 protesters called on Wednesday for militias to leave the streets of Tripoli, in a show of support for the new government which is trying to end months of lawlessness that have followed this year's civil war.

The various militias came together to oust Muammar Gaddafi and have filled the vacuum left by the collapse of his 42-year rule three months ago. Some are headed by strongmen jostling for position before elections planned for the middle of next year.

The interim government is pressuring militiamen to go home and leave the job of keeping order to the police and a new army it plans to create. Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib and the city council have given militias until Dec. 20 to leave.

"We want security. No to weapons, yes to national unity," Aisha Hassan, 43, said at the protest on Martyrs' Square shortly before sunset, denouncing the proliferation of arms ranging from pistols to heavy artillery, often fired just for fun.

"Someone won a weightlifting tournament in Africa and they celebrated by firing anti-aircraft guns," Hassan said, adding that she hears shooting in her neighbourhood every night.

The city council announced the protest a day in advance, in the same statement in which it issued the ultimatum to militias. Turnout was modest compared with previous mass demonstrations.

"It is anticipated that the demonstration will escalate day by day until 20th December," the statement, issued on Tuesday evening, said. Local groups have since set up night-time checkpoints in the capital to increase pressure on militias.

GANGS

Protesters, who chanted 'We don't want weapons' and 'The people want the national army', complained of feeling unsafe on the streets and of militiamen behaving like common criminals.

"To me they are not revolutionaries anymore, they are gangs," said 38 year-old Abdurrauf bin Suleiman.

Militias from the coastal city of Misrata and the mountain town of Zintan are among the most powerful armed groups inside the Libyan capital. They man roadblocks, roam the city in pick-up trucks, and have set up bases in government buildings.

Militiamen spoken to by Reuters said they agreed in principle with the deadline but they were awaiting further information or official orders before complying.

"If the government asks us to go back to Misrata, we will go back," said Mustafa Ahmed Dabshoun, who heads a Misrata brigade stationed on the eastern edge of Tripoli, adding: "I am against the presence of arms inside the city."

A militia commander from Zintan, whose men control Tripoli International Airport, said his men would hand over to security forces as soon as the government issued the order.

"Whenever they ask us to hand over, we will hand over as required. This is what we agreed upon," said Ali Ejda, deputy airport commander. "We are supporting people in Tripoli to call for the removal of weapons from the streets." he added.

"We look forward to being relieved of this extraordinary duty and going back to our civilian lives."

The provisional government, which was sworn in less than two weeks ago, has said security is a top priority. Ridding the capital of militias would boost its credibility significantly as it seeks to assert its authority after an eight-month civil war.

YES, BUT

Some of the most powerful militia leaders, who many people believe are trying to convert their military muscle into political clout for the elections, are based in Tripoli. One of them said he would comply but he wanted more information first.

"We accept the decision to disarm the militias but we would like to know how the weapons will be handed over," Abdullah Naker, head of the Tripoli Revolutionary Council, told Reuters.

"We need to know whether security in the city will be protected," he added.

Wednesday's protest followed a smaller one earlier in the day by judges and lawyers, who took to the streets after what they said was a militia raid on the prosecutor general's offices on Tuesday.

The crowd of about 250, carrying placards reading "No to weapons; Yes to justice!" gathered outside Tripoli's courthouse before marching to Martyrs' Square.

"These are people who spent time in prisons. They left prison, put on the uniform of revolutionaries and have started to steal in the streets and attack police stations," Adel M'salati, a chief judge at the Tripoli court, told protesters.

"Now we ask the military to take its place and the police to take their place to provide justice and security for the country and the people," M'salati said.

FreeBenghazi also tweeted the following a few hours ago

quote:

Misrata ordered ALL its fighters to leave Tripoli, including those assigned to critical security tasks by NTC govt.
In future, NTC must make formal request to Misrata Council for fighters from Misrata, even in cases of emergency

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Here's a tragic story from CJ Chivers, well worth a read:

quote:

Libyan Civilians Hold on to a Deadly Legacy

On the night that he was to die, Hassan Nahassi should have been safe.

It was Oct. 20. A middle-age man turned Libyan rebel commander, Mr. Nahassi had returned home in the evening, leaving behind the front lines of Surt for a reprieve from the fighting. He wanted to rest with his wife and children.

Then came the news. Muatassim el-Qaddafi, a son of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, had been captured on the front that Mr. Nahassi had left only hours before.

Muatassim was loathed and feared. Word of his capture sent elation coursing through his enemy’s ranks. Around Misurata, rebels began firing into the night sky, celebrating a milestone in the slow, inevitable dismembering of the Qaddafi clan.

At Mr. Nahassi’s home, Sadiq, his 14-year-old son, asked if he might fire a burst. “Please father,” the boy recalled asking. “I need the rifle, the Kalash.”

Mr. Nahassi, his family said, had spent his career working in the city’s sprawling steel works. Caution had been ingrained in his being. But on this night, sensing victory near, he relented.

He retrieved a rifle, took the boy to the front courtyard, inserted a magazine, chambered a round and set the weapon’s selector lever on automatic. He handed the weapon to his son. “And I shot it into the air,” Sadiq said.

Sadiq’s brother, Ali, 12, had been asleep inside. The gunfire woke him and drew him out. He asked if he might have a turn, too.

In the swift run of seconds that followed, the Nahassi family forever changed.

Ali was unfamiliar with a rifle’s roar, or the way its muzzle, when as it fires, wants to rise. He gripped the weapon too lightly as he pulled its trigger back.

“With the first shot the barrel jolted and hit him behind his left ear,” Sadiq said. “He was dizzy and falling and my father stepped toward him.”

As Mr. Nahassi lunged, Ali spun. The rifle kept firing. Its muzzle swung through air, discharging bullets as it moved. One bullet passed through Sadiq’s shoulder. Several more hit Mr. Nahassi in his abdomen and chest.

Shot by the son, the father fell. Within a half-hour, Hassan Nahassi was pronounced dead.

Libya this year has provided an unending stream of sorrowful tales. But what befell the Nahassi family served as more than another dreary vignette of a revolution’s bloody toll. It framed the enduring perils and elusive solutions for a population that toppled its former ruler and took possession of his military arms, but now is unsure how to create security or order, or what to do with the guns.

Several weeks into its mourning, the Nahassi’s family’s reaction to the accident captures the widespread ambivalence in Libya about how to loosen weapons from the public’s not-always-responsible grip.

Guns, many Libyans say, set them free. And with the future uncertain and memories of persecution fresh, almost no one is yet sure how to give the guns up, even as they acknowledge that much of their former ruler’s arsenal would be better not loose.

Sadiq’s cousin, Abdullah Kamal bin Hameda, 22, who through an accident of patricide has become one of the caretakers of the Nahassi home, put it this way: The adults have put the weapons out of the children’s reach. They otherwise intend to keep them.

“It is difficult to put down the guns right now, because I do not know who is my enemy and who is my friend,” Mr. Hameda said. “When we will have a new government, and it is strong and we trust it, then we will give them the guns. But not now, not to the N.T.C.”

The N.T.C., or Transitional National Council, is Libya’s interim government, which many Libyans have accepted as only the temporary authorities.

Mr. Hameda had been a microbiology student. He said he was eager to return to civilian life, and leave war behind. He also said he intended to maintain a small armory at his home, where he has five automatic rifles claimed from the defeated Qaddafi forces, until he sees what comes next.

“My house is like an army base,” he said.

Military firearms — the assault rifles and machine guns — are only part of it. In Misurata, as across Libya, many other devices of modern warfare have been spirited away into countless caches: hand grenades, mortar tubes, antiaircraft machine guns, heat-seeking missiles, antitank rockets and conventional munitions beyond measure, of almost every sort.

The last months of Mr. Nahassi’s life provide a portrait of an entire class of Libyan men who were transformed by war.

Until the uprising changed his trajectory, he was a neat and balding technocrat, a factory supervisor by training and experience. He was given to clean shaves and red ties.

As the city’s population rose against the Qaddafi rule in February, he joined a local fighting cell and began to help reclaiming Misurata from his nation’s own army.

And as the Qaddafi forces were pushed backward, splinter groups broke off and formed their own groups. Mr. Nahassi, accustomed to responsibility, became a commander, leading a militia of his own.

That brigade claimed more than 100 fighting men and a small fleet of armored pickup trucks. They pursued the Qaddafi forces to the east, west and south.

By then people could be forgiven if they did not quite recognize Mr. Nahassi’s new look. Gone were the red ties and freshly shaved cheeks. He wore a bush hat, camouflage, and a long, gray beard. He had become, as Misurata called its fighters, one of the city’s lions.

When he died in the last hours of the war, he left behind a life he had spent decades building, including Ali, his younger son, a pre-teen who, on a recent day, sat quietly in the corner of the front room of their home.

At the entrance to the courtyard, the marks of the bullets the boy had fired showed as cracks and divots on the door and cement walls.

Inside, Ali sat, wordless, bright-eyed but in grief, holding a cellphone with a screen that displayed an image of his father not long before he died.

Mr. Hameda led him away and then served green tea.

From what happened in this home, he said, he hoped Misurata, and Libya, had learned. Libya needed its guns, but it did not need this.

“The people now are more cautious,” he offered. “They do not shoot in the air like before. They learned from their mistakes.”

Asked when the weapons might go back into the armories, he could only exhale loudly, and shrug.

“Not soon,” he said. “We are waiting to see what our government will be.”

A Buttery Pastry
Sep 4, 2011

Delicious and Informative!


Golbez posted:

This part sounds pretty good to me. The borders of Syria are more artificial than most, I see no reason to give them more respect than they're due. Syria is quite possibly a temporary entity created by the will of Assad, and without him it will splinter. The question will be, will anyone care? Will they fight to keep it one, fake piece, or allow the splinters to disperse? (Due to the fact that all countries jerk off the notion of the nation-state above all else, you know they will all be calling to maintain the 'territorial integrity' of Syria, as if that means anything. Unless, of course, it's politically expedient, like Kosovo or South Ossetia, or a foregone conclusion like South Sudan.)
If people are jerking off to the notion of the nation state, wouldn't they support an independent Kurdistan? Syria contains around 90% Arabs and 9% Kurds. Without the Kurds, Syria would be nearly all Arab, much closer to the "ideal" nation state than one with 10% disaffected minorities. Combine those Kurds with the ones in Iraq and make a new nation state, which should be a plus if people were really jerking it to nation states. To me it seems more like people are jerking off to the concept of 'territorial integrity', which you have as the effect of their jerking of to the concept of the nation state.

Brown Moses posted:

I don't think Turkey will be thrilled to have a Kurdish state appear on it's border if Syria falls apart, and it might start giving the Iraqi Kurds ideas as well, which will worry them even more.
Yeah, until Turkey is on board, Kurdistan is a long shot.

Ham
Apr 30, 2009

You're BALD!


Final results for the first stage of the Egyptian elections are in:

Freedom and Justice Party (Muslim Brotherhood): 80 Seats (48.2%)
Al-Noor Party (Salafist): 34 Seats (20.5%)
Egyptian Bloc (Liberal): 18 Seats (10.8%)
Al-Wafd Party (Liberal): 12 Seats (7.5%)
Revolution is Ongoing Party (Liberal): 7 Seats (4.2%)
Al-Wasat Party (Liberal Islamic): 4 Seats (2.4%)
Reform and Development Party (Liberal): 2 Seats (1.2%)
Freedom Party (Liberal, Former NDP): 2 Seats (1.2%)
National Egyptian Party (Liberal, Former NDP): 2 Seats (1.2%)
Egyptian Citizen Party (Liberal, Former NDP): 2 Seats (1.2%)
Al-Adl Party (Liberal): 1 Seat (0.6%)
Independents: 2 Seats


So, in total, out of 166 seats:

Islamist = FJP + Al-Noor = 114 Seats (68.7%)
Liberal = Other parties = 50 Seats (30.1%)

There will be reruns for one of the districts in Cairo on 10/11 January.

Second stage of the elections will begin on 14/15 December and will take place in 9 governorates (including mine, Giza.)

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Javier Espinosa of El Mundo has snuck into Syria and has started tweeting about it

quote:

since some days ago inside #Syria following Free Syrian Army I will be posting some information and pics in the next few days
I cannot say yet where I'm in #Syria but quiet complicated to arrive here
1 rebel in #Syria said he obtained his AK-47 from #Iraq and he said it was part of Saddam's bodyguards (pic)
surprising discovery, former police station now control by rebels, guess where has finished Bashar's portrait? (pic)

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El Anansi
Jan 27, 2008


Ham posted:

Final results for the first stage of the Egyptian elections are in:

Freedom and Justice Party (Muslim Brotherhood): 80 Seats (48.2%)
Al-Noor Party (Salafist): 34 Seats (20.5%)
Egyptian Bloc (Liberal): 18 Seats (10.8%)
Al-Wafd Party (Liberal): 12 Seats (7.5%)
Revolution is Ongoing Party (Liberal): 7 Seats (4.2%)
Al-Wasat Party (Liberal Islamic): 4 Seats (2.4%)
Reform and Development Party (Liberal): 2 Seats (1.2%)
Freedom Party (Liberal, Former NDP): 2 Seats (1.2%)
National Egyptian Party (Liberal, Former NDP): 2 Seats (1.2%)
Egyptian Citizen Party (Liberal, Former NDP): 2 Seats (1.2%)
Al-Adl Party (Liberal): 1 Seat (0.6%)
Independents: 2 Seats


So, in total, out of 166 seats:

Islamist = FJP + Al-Noor = 114 Seats (68.7%)
Liberal = Other parties = 50 Seats (30.1%)

There will be reruns for one of the districts in Cairo on 10/11 January.

Second stage of the elections will begin on 14/15 December and will take place in 9 governorates (including mine, Giza.)

Sorry if you've covered this before, Ham, but who're you voting for?

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