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Raised on power, Assad risks all ^ | June 30, 2012

Posted on 06/30/2012 8:44:05 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe

His father had a face of stone and a hard glare. He has a mild gaze and a weak chin. But there the dissimilarity ends.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has proved himself as uncompromising as the late Hafez, who ran the Arab republic with an iron fist for 29 years and bequeathed a formidable, police-state dynasty to his son in 2000.

Bashar was only 16 when Assad senior ordered one of the bloodiest atrocities in modern Arab history: the 1982 massacre of at least 10,000 Syrians in Hama to crush a revolt by Sunni Muslims.

The repression worked. The lesson may have been learned.

Assad's opponents accuse his forces of killing at least 13,000 people since March 2011, when Sunnis once again challenged the family's ruling Alawite minority. He describes his foes as foreign-backed terrorists who have killed thousands of people.

A world that had once seen Assad as a hope for change in Syria watched with shock as this ophthalmologist with a London fashionista wife proved to be one of the toughest rulers in the Middle East.

But Assad sees himself as a surgeon who must spill blood to save the life of a patient threatened by a foreign cancer.

"Our age, like any other, is the age of the powerful only; and there is no place in it for the weak," he told Damascus university students this month. A week later, he told his cabinet: "When one is in a state of war, all our policies and capabilities must be used to secure victory." ....

As the uprising has intensified, there are signs the pressure is taking a personal toll.

Hacked emails to and from his wife's iPad show interest in the anti-ballistic Bullet Blocker barn coat, a casual jacket that can stop a .357 Magnum slug.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs

1 posted on 06/30/2012 8:44:09 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Maybe it can stop a .357, but is it available to match her handbag and shoes?

2 posted on 06/30/2012 9:00:54 PM PDT by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: Tailgunner Joe

The West should not make the same mistake it made when it allowed the Iran-Iraq war to end.

Contrary to recent pronouncements made by Obama and Clinton we should encourage Putin to support Assad with arms while the US remains neutral.

This is a Middle East problem, a Sunni-Shia issue, the same one that they’ve been fighting for hundreds of years. Neither party is an ally of the US. The best strategy for the West? Let them fight.

3 posted on 06/30/2012 9:10:45 PM PDT by O6ret
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Would you have a cataract removed by this guy? After he gets tossed out, he might wind up over here practicing Obamacare/sarcasm;)

4 posted on 06/30/2012 9:38:49 PM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: Frank_2001

I thought Francois Kerry had a special relationship with Assad, because he spoke French..along with a being a Vietnam vet. I thought the Obama administration had a real reform deal going with Assad. Guess it didn’t work out.

5 posted on 06/30/2012 9:47:00 PM PDT by Oldexpat
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To: Tailgunner Joe
This story below certainly is interesting. Should be considered a rumor until confirmed by another source.

Russian specialists involved in Syria intercepting Turkish jet, sources say

Russian technicians were involved in the taking down of the Turkish fighter jet by the Syrian military last week the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.

Sourcing Middle Eastern diplomatic sources the Times reported that the decision to down the Turkish jet was intended to signal a warning to NATO to stay out of the conflict raging in Syria for over a year.

6 posted on 06/30/2012 10:50:29 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Oh, boy. Just like Barry’d do it.

7 posted on 06/30/2012 11:50:18 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: justa-hairyape
Additional info from another Israeli source about the Times article coming out.

Report: Russia involved in downing of Turkish jet

“It definitely has Russian fingerprints on it,” a diplomat told the Sunday Times. He summarized the Russian message: “Syria is not Libya and any attempt to impose a ‘no fly zone’ over Syria will face one of the most formidable air defenses on Earth and will cost any attacker dearly.”

Three years ago Russia supplied Syria with the advanced Pantsir-S1 (SA 22 Greyhound), with 36 launchers, according to the report. Russian specialists are believed to have trained the Syrians and diplomats say some are still stationed at the missile battery control centers.

That time frame would be about two years after Operation Orchard (Israel's Destruction of a Syrian Nuclear Reactor).

8 posted on 07/01/2012 1:44:46 AM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: justa-hairyape
For your Sunday reading pleasure. The Russian Pantsyr-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound) is reported to be capable of targeting the Raptor and the Nighthawk.

Pantsyr-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound)

9 posted on 07/01/2012 1:52:31 AM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Must admit that when the current Assad came to power, I had hopes he wouldn’t be such an a-hole. Especially given his background as a physician. father, like son.

10 posted on 07/01/2012 3:13:11 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: justa-hairyape

It’s not even a good rumor. Again, the Israeli PR machine is fabricating stories from un-named “mid-east diplomats”.

It is completely false. Here is how the shoot down happened, no missiles involved, from my previous post:

After action report:

June 22, 1140 hours, Syrian coastal radar detected two unidentified aircraft 6 km. west of the coast, inbound due east towards the coastal village of Ra’es al-Baseet. Aircraft speed was about 800 kmh, altitude was about 100 meters.

The aircraft were automatically radar locked on by a ZSU-23-4 Shilka, a 4 barrel, 23 mm auto-cannon, self-propelled, radar guided anti-aircraft vehicle.

At lock on, both aircraft turned northeast and descended off radar. At 2 kilometers downrange they ascended to 100 meters and were reacquired and locked on.

The ZSU-23-4 automatically engaged fire, striking one of the aircraft in the tail. The disabled aircraft then banked hard left and crashed about 6 km out, offshore the coastal city of Latakia.

At that low altitude it is unlikely that the pilots survived. Wreckage has been recovered and delivered to Turkey.

The Turks have been probing Syrian airspace for some time, the AA system is automatic and would have shot down a Syrian jet doing the same thing.

Yes, Russians trained the Syrians to use the 400 of these AA systems that Syria bought.

BTW, the Turkish jets were visual to many on the beach that day.

11 posted on 07/01/2012 8:11:17 AM PDT by gandalftb (The art of diplomacy says "nice doggie", until you find a bigger rock.)
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To: gandalftb

Yes, that is the explanation from Syria. It conflicted with the explanation from Turkey. Turkey claims it was shot down much further off shore. This new story from the Israeli’s was actually from the Times in London. The Israelis just got the story information before it was printed. They sourced the Times. You do know the Israelis just named a street after Putin in Bethlehem, right ?

12 posted on 07/01/2012 3:50:39 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: justa-hairyape

Times and Reuters both ran the Turkey version, CYA.

Turkey is now admitting that the F-4s were surveillance variants. Not much good if you don’t fly over.

Turkish helo’s and Syrian Navy vessels are working together on the search and recovery, all visible from shore. The Turks have been given wreckage.

The Israelis flew right over this location in 2007 when they bombed Syria’s nuke plant, that’s why Syria beefed up that part of the coast and are pretty jumpy.

Putin street, what a hoot.

13 posted on 07/01/2012 7:57:01 PM PDT by gandalftb (The art of diplomacy says "nice doggie", until you find a bigger rock.)
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