Pressure valve off in al-Assad's Syria
July 13th, 2012
07:34 AM ET

Pressure valve off in al-Assad's Syria

By Fareed Zakaria

Over the past sixteen months of bloody conflict in Syria, observers have been waiting for one key development: top-level defections from within President Bashar al-Assad's inner circle. Suddenly, it seems a pressure valve has gone off. Pilots, ambassadors, and even one general have defected. What does it mean?

The general is Manaf Tlas, a childhood friend of Assad, and an officer in the elite Republican Guard.

Tlas’s father was chief of staff and then minister of defense, for 30 years, under Bashar’s father Hafez al-Assad. This is as close to the top of the Syrian regime as you might get. That’s why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took special note of Tlas.

“If people like him, and like the generals and colonels and others who have recently defected to Turkey are any indication, regime insiders and the military establishment are starting to vote with their feet,” she said.

But there are some crucial caveats. Tlas hadn’t been a member of al-Assad’s inner circle for a while – he had actually been under house arrest for more than a year.

Also, he was high ranking, but he wasn’t an Alawite. While Alawites make up only 12% of Syria’s population, they hold more than 80% of the positions in the powerful Republican Guard. They are the inner circle. According to some reports, when Sunnis are put on guard duty, there’s always an Alawite soldier assigned to monitor the Sunni soldiers.

Related: Reports of new massacre

But if the increasing number of top-level defections is a signal that the Sunni elite, which is comprised of generals, businessmen, bureaucrats and which has so far stuck with al-Assad, is now moving away from him, that’s a huge shift – and one that will ultimately bring down the regime.

There’s mounting evidence that the Sunnis are weakening in their support for the al-Assad regime. We’ve spoken with a former U.S. Marine Austin Tice. He’s now a law student and spending the summer reporting from Syria. On a recent embed with a rebel group, he said he found that the government’s helicopters flew so high that they couldn’t really aim their  missiles; he also said he saw first-hand how hostile fire from al-Assad’s tanks and troops were poorly aimed and seemingly random. The suspicion among many rebels at the time, Tice says, was that the predominantly Sunni pilots and soldiers were deliberately missing their targets.

Related: A deluded elite in Syria?

Another telling indicator of dissent is the number of silent objectors in the army. According to the New York Times, a growing number of Syrian soldiers – many of whom lack the means to flee – are staying home. But to ensure their continued silence and neutrality, these officers continue to draw salaries and pensions.

Money is the main reason to believe that al-Assad's regime cannot last. Inflation is said to be as high as 30%. According to some reports, al-Assad and his cronies are freely printing money; the Syrian pound has depreciated against the dollar by more than half on the black market. Meanwhile, the regime is running out of cash. Ninety percent of Syria’s oil used to go to the European Union, but sanctions have put a stop to that. Tourism and trade have of course plummeted. And monetary support from Iran cannot be counted on indefinitely – Tehran itself is buckling under unprecedented sanctions.

And there was a report last week that Iran is weakening in its support for al-Assad. An Iranian ambassador gave an interview in a Tehran paper criticizing his government’s support for the Syrian regime and saying that al-Assad’s days were obviously numbered.

But there's one more piece to the puzzle – the growing strength of Syria’s opposition. The Free Syria Army is getting stronger. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are now openly arming the rebels, channeling through routes from Turkey, Lebanon, and now even Iraq. Rebel attacks have become more focused, running deeper into the two main cities Damascus and Aleppo. The various opposition groups are coming together to plan for a post-Assad Syria.

The question then is, what would such a Syria look like?

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS" Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET


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soundoff (744 Responses)
  1. larry5

    Right now he's doing a lot better than just hanging on. Even if he is deposed there will be no peace because there will be too many different groups trying to claim power.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply
  2. Guest

    You're an idiot.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:21 am | Reply
    • madmax949

      Your right, saeed is a idiot... He doesn't know what's going on, thou , we all "really" don't know what is going on, except for live footage from the Syrian people using any means of taken pic's and video's.. People of Assad inner Circle are leaving and or getting ready to leave, AND It's not because of the US/Brit only people putting pressure on him, it's his own people he is goveren, that he is killing and the people that been killing know it's out of targets and its wrong.. POS

      July 13, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
    • QQ

      I dont agree with Saeed at all, but cmon @guest. If you want to win a debate, dig deeper. Winner Saeed.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:51 am | Reply
    • clearick

      No I agree with Guest, what else did he have to say? It's obvious that Saeed is an idiot, he says that countries are lying with no evidence to support it and advocates taking flame throwers to Children. Nothing he said was on-topic and it's not clear what he's for besides killing innocents. This article is about Syria, where an uprising occurred without any assistance or prodding from anyone else. A country that is now killing its own citizens, a country where high-ranking soldiers are refusing orders to shoot at civilians and are defecting. A country where Iran is helping the regime be brutal towards it's people, showing their Shia values! Still Saeed manages to blame it all on Britain and the USA, a perfect example of a Muslim idiot!

      July 13, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • KATIE

      QQ – when someone has the intelligence of a rock, there is nothing to say.
      Dig deeper indeed.
      Saeed is stupid.

      July 13, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      The whole issue is how long can Assad hang on to power? The cross-sectarian alliances of regime sees cracks after defections of high-profile members.Towards the end it's just the Alawites left who will fight to the bitter end.
      Another problem is there's dissent in the negotiation for a political endgame. The opposition wants Assad's immediate departure. Russia – an influential player – has vowed not to send more arms to Syria and could envision a "Yemen option". Assad's vice-president, Farouk al-Sharaa touted as a potential transitional leader, is a Sunni and the interior minister and the head of the General Security Directorate could play a role by reaching out to their Sunni brothers in the opposition and getting them on board. Then there might be a peaceful transition of power.

      July 13, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • jim

      @QQ There IS no debate! Look at Saeed's statement! By ANY reasonable standard he's an IDlOT!

      July 13, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
    • QQ

      How about this: Saeed, how can you condone and almost cheer killing kids and expect anyone to take you or your comments seriously? Stay off this post with comments like that. I hope you see that your caustic rhetoric has made it beyond reason to defend you. Dear CNN: Please block Saeed. Reason: he is talking about killing innocent children.

      July 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Reply
    • QQ

      Cards on the table, I think Saeed should be castrated with a credit card, but that rhetoric won’t win me any civil debates…

      July 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Reply
    • Slater

      Wow, you guys got trolled with ease by the most obvious troll possible. Congratulations.

      July 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • Humble American

      For more reading on politics and to see the President's foreign policy graded visit http://thehumbleamerican.blogspot.com/.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • Mohamed

      I am shocked how naive we have become. The proof is in the pudding. If the Syrian regime has been so innocent, fighting terrorists, why so many army commanders and soldiers have defected????? if that was the case, no one would defect. They would all be fighting for their country. However, they are defecting since they cannot stand the innocent massacres any longer. Additionally, all that is happening in Syria is not new. The whole middle east region is very familiar with the Assad massacres that have been going on for years. It is a Saddam Hussein deja vue (the same Baath system).

      July 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Reply
    • John2cb

      reply to guest re Saeed, you have no right to call anyone stupid. Remember Forest Gump's saying!
      The light in which Saeed sees this situation is very different to USA and or British persons point of view.
      UN has had no impact on the slaughtering of the Syrian people.
      Russia and China don't care thus the UN fails as they are in it for oil and selling arms.
      How would you solve the problem in Syria dear guest?
      Calling someone stupid does not help.

      July 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Reply
    • endlesssaga

      Yes he is an idiot, but hey, so are a lot of people. The whole situation in Syria is a mess in my opinion. We have Russia and China blocking any major UN action against the regime, the US and Britain don't want direct involvement and the defections, while increasing, are not coming from the inner circle but from the oppressed majority. What we are seeing though is that finally other powers in the region are stepping up to take down a dictator. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are standing up to Assad and the rebels are becoming more and more organized. Soldiers are staying home and bleeding the already financially hemoraging government further. If Iran stops sending money, Assad is finished. If China or Russia finally decides to get off the sidelines, Assad is done. The question now is how much more damage will be done before he leaves and how can the world help to minimize the destruction Assad will leave in his wake?

      July 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Reply
    • Saeed

      I am a Masonic Zionist.

      July 13, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Reply
    • jo_smith

      you're dumber than you think...

      July 14, 2012 at 8:48 am | Reply
    • Stuart

      Sorry QQ, but Guest is right Saeed is obvioulsy a homicidal maniac.

      July 14, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply
    • Fearless Freep

      Correction.
      saeed is a moron.

      July 14, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • guest2

      i second saeed is 2 idiots

      July 15, 2012 at 2:15 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      Another ruthless dictator in an Arab country taking advantage of the people and causing cowardice act of brutality. - His time is coming. Just a matter of time. All those who abuse their power through fear, brutality and oppression, will reap what they harvest!

      July 16, 2012 at 1:07 am | Reply
    • finman1960

      To @John2cb. To quote Forrest Gump in a debate is more idiotic than this guys arguments, so your point is moot and does not matter; just like mine..

      July 16, 2012 at 2:26 am | Reply
    • ash

      I think another thing being left out here is what regime will come into power. Look at Libya and Egypt, the new powers there hate western thought more than anyone. They are all extremest muslims( look it up i dont have time or just go to bestgore.com). Before you hippies jump on the "kill asaad" band wagon remember why the innocent died in the first place. Al asaad did kill innocent people but he does not have the individual ideals we as Americans have(and rightfully so). He has the hive mentality and quite frankly its a rational way of thought(cut and dry). He is fighting terrorist look up the party that is trying to over throw him. They aren't down with kardashians or sports. Mock (if you please) my words if he gets over thrown it will become another Libya Egypt ordeal where innocent non muslims will die. Americans also killed innocent people no one is trying to over throw the government here.

      July 16, 2012 at 6:07 am | Reply
    • Edict

      Ash – you are all over the place, Assad kills, Hippies, Egypt, American ideals stink and they kill, Kardashians, Sports and non-Muslims. Through it all, as painful as it was, your Jihadist mentality is evident. You see no problem in people being killed because of the alternatives—which you do not mention. Way to post intelligently!

      July 16, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply
  3. bzcoolness

    Mass genocide doesn't ever work. Have you looked at Nazi Germany or Khmer Rouge Cambodia?

    July 13, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
    • eric

      Have you ever looked at Native Americans?

      July 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • TiredOfPaying

      Or the Aztecs? It certainly DOES work, if you're ruthless enough – and allowed – to complete it.

      July 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • jim

      Yes, they're ugly!

      July 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • Steadfast Muslim Jihadist

      The massacre of Christians at Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral in Baghdad on October 31 2010 gained extensive world-wide media attention. This Assyrian Catholic church was taken over by jihadis, and during the course of the several hours during which they controlled the church, the insurgents killed many of the worshippers, until the Iraqi army forces finally stormed the building.
      I have been viewing reports from survivors of the massacre, posted on YouTube (here, here and here). From these, and earlier published reports (e.g. here), a picture emerges of the jihadis as religiously motivated people who engaged their victims in theological conversations about Islam, and justified their actions based on the Islamic sharia.
      It is good to note well the testimony of these survivors, because there is a view, widespread among the secular professional terrorism analysts of Western nations, that contemporary terrorism is not essentially religious in nature, but is a political movement which exploits the religion of Islam to serve what are in reality political goals.
      One of the dangers of this rhetoric is that it causes the Western media to overlook or 'filter out' incidents of terrorists attacking indigenous Christians (and other religious minorities), because these attacks cannot be accommodated in the category of 'political violence'.
      However there was no political advantage to be gained by killing unarmed Christian worshippers in Baghdad. It was a purely religious act. Thus, according to the survivors, their attackers:
      1.Cried out Allahu Akbar 'Allah is greater' each time they shot Christians.
      2.Called the Christians kafir 'infidel'.
      3.Witnessed to the Christians that Allah is one.
      4.Said it was halal (religiously permitted in Islam) to kill them, because they were Christians.
      5.Rebuked their victims for 'worshipping' the cross and Christ and told them not to do so, e.g. they said, 'Don't worship the cross'.
      6.Selectively targeted young men for killing: one of the attackers said 'Don't leave a young man alive.' This is in accordance with the laws of jihad, which stipulate that male captives can be killed. Authentic hadiths (traditions) of Muhammad report that when he eliminated the Jews from Medina, he had the men executed. (A Jewish boy called Atiyyah later reported that when an examination revealed he had not yet begun to grow pubic hair, he was allowed to live).
      7.Declared that they themselves would go to paradise but their Christian victims would go to hell. They seemed to presume that they would be killed as an outcome of the seizure.
      8.Refused to put a wounded victim out of her misery, by ending her life, although she was begging for this, on the grounds that it was fitting for her to suffer in this life because she was on her way to hell anyway.
      9.Deliberately targeted Christian symbols for destruction, e.g. destroying crosses and a statue of Christ. (It was a tradition reported by Waqidi that Muhammad would destroy anything he saw which had a cross on it: W. Muir, The life of Muhammad. Volume 3, p.61, note 47.)

      July 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  4. bzcoolness

    This guy isn't going to come out easily, but he has to. Back when this was just peaceful protesting, he ordered the mass murders of protestors. He's gotta go. For Syria's sake and for the world's sake.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:37 am | Reply
    • alumette

      It's just a matter of time. The longer he stays, the more people die so his karmic debt goes way up. Instead of gracefully leaving ( last year ) , he has managed to hold on and likely will until all of his close friends desert him. He will then have no place to go. I easily see that guy putting a gun to his head instead of leaving. He will be found in a designer suit on a silk covered couch. Fate of his family ? unknown.

      July 14, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
      • bzcoolness

        The other option is send in CIA.... erm, excuse me... NATO snipers to take him out.

        July 14, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
      • AlexandertheGreat

        bzcoolness
        I love it that it really sticks in your craw that our police forces work together.
        You made me smile. Thanks.

        July 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  5. Quigley

    What I want to know here is just much these bozoes were paid by the West to "defect"? Will somebody here give me a clue? Evidently not! The right-wing thugs in Washington evidently don't mind throwing our hard earned money away!

    July 13, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
    • Nina

      Muslims! anything for a buck.

      July 13, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
    • Learn to Fish

      Still complaining about the "right-wing thugs"... brilliant!

      July 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
    • ralph petrillo

      Don't be disrespectful Qaddafi fell and this moron will fall.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  6. Dave

    Bye, bye, Assad.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
    • FHTEX

      I don't think so. Have you noticed that the rebels are now willing to negotiate with Assad, whereas they weren't before. The rebels are no match for Assad ... all they can hope for is that NATO gets involved. However, a decision has been made that nothing will happen before election day in the U.S. - too risky politically. So, Assad has a reprieve at least until then. BTW, everything to me sounds like Austin TIce is a member of the Special Activities Division of the CIA ... so you can't really believe anything he says.

      July 13, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
      • Star bucks

        Your Shiaa and your last day and your president Alassad is coming soon moron.
        More than 1500 child has been killed by Alassad and his supporters since last year.

        July 13, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Walter Garbe

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      THANKS
      DWG

      July 13, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
  7. Smitty

    Why don't you pack up your stupid family and go to Syria. Then hopefully the Syrian army tortures you while raping your wife and kids. I'm guess you finally "understand" this, being that it appears you have the education of a 6 year old.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • ClarkRutger786

      His family would be with the Assad Forces...doing the mutilating and pillaging...What a disgrace this guy Saeed is to any sort of logic...ashamed to call him a Muslim...Ya Saeed what are you Alawite or Shia???

      July 13, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • saeedTheTowelHead

      Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, Baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaddy?

      July 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • Saeedo

      Saeed pretends like if he is a Muslim and he wants to make troubles between people.
      Please! Don't read his comments because he is only depicts himself.

      July 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  8. Chris

    you are filth! The planet needs less of your kind – and by Your kind i mean A SS H OLES!

    July 13, 2012 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • Mohamad

      Well said, and enough said.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • moorhamed

      But, for allah's sake, there are so many more superlatives to be used.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • Saeedo

      Saeed is a fake character don't even look at his comments.

      July 13, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  9. Leo

    Welcome to the International terrorist watch list! Enjoy your free cavity search next time you fly anywhere! Oh and by the way... Too* bankrupt* countries* their* who's stupid now?

    July 13, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • Saeed

      I am a Masonic Zionist!

      July 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  10. Derek

    Libyan's had Free and High Quality Healthcare , Free Tertiary Education, Bonus when they married. Now they have broken lives all around. Every day brings new fear as the Rebel Groups dictate there lives.

    July 13, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
    • bczu

      Just because they said they had it, doesn't mean they received it.

      July 13, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
      • Les Too

        They did have it and now they don't. That is the truth. The only reason that Libya had to fall was because American oil and natural gas complexes were horizontally digging underneath the Libyan border from a neighboring country to steal those resources. Qaddafi was PO'd about this and sought to put a stop to it. He failed and was toppled. Talisman Energy was the biggest player in this drama and it is rumored but not confirmed that they actually armed rebels to protect corporate interest.

        July 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
      • EatYouAlive

        LOL @ an oil company invading libya. ROFL

        July 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      and hitler made the trains on time.......your point?

      July 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  11. Nameworld peace *

    He's gone, next up will be green party in Iran .

    July 13, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply
  12. wipe

    Al-Assad is a dentist, not a despot. When his figure head regime fails, I hope he and his ignorant cronies have a good supply of Novacaine!!!

    July 13, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Actually Bashar was trained as an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) in the UK after getting a medical degree in Syria. As an MD and the President, I think he could get more powerful pain killers than novacaine. Given what will happen to him if he doesn't make it out of the country, I'd stock up now.

      July 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
      • alumette

        my guess is he has. Bullets are even quicker but it takes guts to blow your head off.....best not to make a mistake and blow half your head off instead of the whole head. Takes longer to die that way. He could do like some Nazis did when Hitler capitulated. They poisoned everybody ; wives, kids, dogs. I think Hitler shot his dog before he shot himself. Easy way out.

        July 14, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  13. bczu

    Looks like a 5 year old typed that comment. And way to "rise above", America is evil...solution? Murder!! I'd give the same response to you (kill all of your type) But you guys are doing such a good job of killing your own....

    July 13, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
  14. bczu

    Hopefully he'll be hanging from a rope soon. And they can that lazy eyed wife of his right next to him in her pretty shoes.

    July 13, 2012 at 9:30 am | Reply
    • bczu

      *and they can hang that lazy...

      July 13, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
  15. JAL

    I was excited to hear of progress of the opposition in Syria, but doesn’t the recent massacre show that the regime was just taking a break?

    July 13, 2012 at 9:33 am | Reply
    • KATIE

      Probably that the "regime" has not done anything wrong.
      Probably it is the oppositions doing anything and everything to entice the free world to help them.
      Then, and only then, they could have a caliphate.

      July 13, 2012 at 10:00 am | Reply
  16. tony

    Syria is basically occupied by Alawite backing ASSAD regime. Basically this little Hitler with his schizophrenic back ground is attacking unarmed civilian in towns and villiges at random by tanks, morter shells and helicopters. This idiot Assad thinks with his little brain that he can burn syria into ashes. The whole civilized world watching and doing nothing to save innocent people. Especially president Obama the first impotent black president. He is no better than Condi Rice, Colin Powel, Opra Winfrey ..All are clawns dressed to do their ammusement. Stupid Alawites had lost their crediability and respect in syria forever. Iran and Hezbullah also lost the arab world support Israel basically like Assad regime but unfortunately they back on murderors and Dictators to do the bad job. The biggest loser from all this game is Israel. They have not learn their lessons yet...you cannot built your security in that region by resorting to bad guys.

    July 13, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • jackola

      Basically you could be completely wrong and the whole thing is the other way around.

      July 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
      • AlexandertheGreat

        And, do you provide anything, anything at all to counter. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

        July 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  17. wipe

    Send money to "bpopkeesq@gmail.com". This will make a huge difference in world peace. Thank you.

    July 13, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
  18. Eliana Luza

    People like you most be burned.

    July 13, 2012 at 9:45 am | Reply
    • Walter Garbe

      maybe Asad will be !

      July 13, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
  19. wipe

    By the way... Please use PayPal...

    July 13, 2012 at 9:49 am | Reply
  20. wipe

    burned? Really!!

    July 13, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
  21. tony

    The father ;Hafiz Al Assad of this stupid little Hitler of syria came to rule syria by a covert coup after he betrayed the individuals who braught him back to the army 1963 after he was expelled from the syrian air forces. Hafez has caused a fighter jets to explode by not following orders. His father betrayed his best friends and individuals who trusted him. He was supported behind the closed doors by USA,Israel and UK. Hafez Assad handed the most immune syrian front to Israel in 1967 on a silver plate. Basically Al Assad family are proxy to Israel. The whole western world is giving Assad time after time to survive but unfortunately the USA/Israel do not read the history...which you cannot suppress the will of the oppressed people. Syrian people are not against jews or israeli if they want to live in peace together. The history of the region never showed a big scale holocast to christians and arab jews. Millions of christians live in the middle east and many ancient jewish minorities lived in a very prosperous condition before the establishment of Israel in 1948.

    July 13, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • jackola

      If, as you say, his regime is a proxy to Israel, then the Al-Assad's must be good people.

      July 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • nina

      Here we go" its Israels fault."
      Its always Israel's fault.
      If Israel was so busy then it would not have the time to do all the wonderful ingenious things it does
      Look elsewhere bigot.

      July 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  22. Andrey

    US wants to avoid direct involvement into the conflict and just to keep both sides struggling and weakening each other: because obviously neither could be considered US friend. So it will do anything to make it to continue without any side winning: including switching the sides it supports: helping the weaker side to stay in the battle. So I believe that Assad side is losing when I see CNN denouncing rebels as terrorists and talking every day how they are linked to al-Qaeda and how they kill Syrian people! No signs of that so far....

    July 13, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • alumette

      I have never seen anywhere in CNN reports that rebels are terrorists. They have sent reporters to cover the situation and have been very respectful towards the opposition. It is obvious these people want their freedom and restore the peace. It is heartbreaking to see innocent people die because they cannot go to hospitals. They are getting slaughtered simply because they are there. No one was ever blamed but the current regime of Assad. He still gives the orders. Terrorists ? Al Qaeda ? rumors from Assad regime and not reporters. Maybe the rebels are fighting terrorists. That is possible, mercenaries as such paid by Assad.

      July 14, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
  23. Nameworld peace *

    The question. Remains how many people must die before one man leaves or is hanged as crimes. Against. Humanity.

    July 13, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • Amadea

      How many people died in the US Civil War (oxymoron, btw). By your logic, both Lincoln and Lee committed atrocities against humanity. The question is begged: after all these 'dictators' are deposed, how really free will the mideast be when it's governed by the Muslim Brotherhood and Shari'a Law? World peace ... yeah.

      July 13, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
      • Norm

        But once that finally happens we won't have to pick and choose anymore.
        We can safely drop the nukes without having to worry about fallout.

        July 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
      • TiredOfPaying

        Norm, I agree! I say let nations choose their sides: support enemies of the US, embrace Western reforms, pick their religion, etc. That way you've got an ACTUAL TARGET instead of 'terrorists' hiding among a population. Then when the US is forced to react to actions of these nations we can roll in there and TAKE their damm country and KEEP it!

        July 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
      • alumette

        We are supposed to move on, progress as the human race. Seems like we have not learned from our past. We keep on repeating it, in one form or another. We kill each other, destroy the earth ....have peace for a while then fight again. We are a very volatile race. Lot of learning to do.

        July 14, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Andrey

      It is never about one man. There are always plenty of people and money behind: and they are usually much more important than the man himself. Look at US president for example!

      July 13, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
  24. sdha

    your obviosly a Muslim who needs to go. your not welcomed in the USA anyways. LONG LIVE THE USA!!!!!!!

    July 13, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • ClarkRutger786

      Thats not needed...lets be civil...I am also a Muslim and very American. I resent your statement.

      July 13, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • Americantraveler

      @sdha..... You are on Saeeds level by saying that, really sounded ignorant and stupid. I'm from San Diego, I'm American born and raised. I'm baptized Christian, I practice no faith and enjoy all walks of life as well as the good of each religion and belief.

      When you travel abroad frequently such as myself, you see the ignorance of many people as well as Americans, and you sir/ma'am are a prime example of one. Ignorance, especially about the good ol' USA....

      July 13, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • islamics and violence against everyone

      ClarkRutger786
      A muslim is true to islam only.
      Who do you thing you are fooling a s s w i p e?

      July 13, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
    • Spikeman

      Being a Muslim doesn't make Saeed a bad guy, but being ignorant does. So let's slam his stupidity not his religious beliefs because not all Muslims are bad nor are all Christians good, look at our Catholic Priests, or the Waco whackos to name a few.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • moorhamed

      But Spike, we are not talking about anything other than MUSLIMS.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • havok

      really? also, its "you're"

      July 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • DisplacedMic

      i knew the second i saw this article that the comment section would be a mess of trolling, name calling and improper uses of the word "your."

      July 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • Saeedo

      What evidence do have to prove that he is a Muslim? Such people like the fake Saeed wants only to start WW3. Don't look at his comments please. I bet if his name is Saeed or even if he is a Muslim.

      July 13, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Reply
    • stateschool

      Leave comments like that to the other side, please.

      July 14, 2012 at 10:56 am | Reply
  25. wipe

    Donations of 500 or more will be of most use.

    July 13, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
  26. ray gibbs

    War Bondsman's Double-Cross .

    July 13, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
  27. ClarkRutger786

    Ya Saeen are you really a Muslim....only a weak minded Muslim Bashar supporting Alawite or shia would say that comment...ya all the youtube videos of Bashars forces killing women and children and mutilating civilians...its all rubbish right...what an idiot...change your name to Blabbering Idiot instead of Saeed. Salam Walaykum.

    July 13, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • Mohamad

      This person doesn't deserve a reply. It's already unfortunate that so many replies we're made (this included), that one loses sight of the main topic. Clearly Saeed is a sore Alawite or Shia, who lost it.

      May Allah bless the USA (where I chose to immigrate and live), Britain, and all countries of the world, Aameen.
      Peace.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • moorhamed

      Mohammad, you are so laughable.
      Change your moniker and all of a sudden you are wise and talking about peace and reconcialiation.
      For all we know, you are SAEED.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • Martina

      Mohamad. Pls ignore stupid haters.

      July 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  28. Walter Garbe

    XXI CENTURY

    DEMOCRACY , DEMOCRACY, DEMOCRACY,
    DEMOCRACY , DEMOCRACY, DEMOCRACY,
    DEMOCRACY , DEMOCRACY, DEMOCRACY,
    DEMOCRACY , DEMOCRACY, DEMOCRACY,
    DEMOCRACY , DEMOCRACY, DEMOCRACY,
    DEMOCRACY , DEMOCRACY, DEMOCRACY,
    DEMOCRACY , DEMOCRACY, DEMOCRACY,
    DEMOCRACY , DEMOCRACY, DEMOCRACY,
    DEMOCRACY , DEMOCRACY, DEMOCRACY,
    DEMOCRACY , DEMOCRACY, DEMOCRACY,
    DEMOCRACY , DEMOCRACY, DEMOCRACY,
    DEMOCRACY , DEMOCRACY, DEMOCRACY,

    THANKS
    DWG

    July 13, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
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