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What Kerry Didn’t Tell the Senate About #Syria - The New Yorker

What Kerry Didn’t Tell the Senate About #Syria - The New Yorker | News in english | Scoop.it
If Tuesday’s testimony was a piece of theatre, it was one clearly still in workshop, with only the roughest notion of how the last act would end.
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What Kerry Didn’t Tell the Senate About #Syria - The New Yorker

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As U.S. Pushes For #Syria Strike, Questions Loom Over Obama Claims in Chemical Attack (Part 1 of 2)

http://www.democracynow.org - During Tuesday's Senate hearing on Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted the administration has irrefutable evidence sh...
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 During Tuesday's Senate hearing on Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted the administration has irrefutable evidence showing the Assad regime was responsible for the deadly chemical attack in late August. But questions remain over key parts of the administration's case for military action. To explore these issues, we speak with journalist Mark Seibel of McClatchy, co-author of the article, "To Some, U.S. Case For Syrian Gas Attack, Strike Has Too Many Holes." 

Watch Part 2 of this interview: http://youtu.be/3usjusL-F8M

"When it came to questions of the efficacy of a U.N. investigation, or the number of people killed in the conflict, or even the U.S. rendition of what happened in what order, there are contradictions," Seibel says. The United States has claimed it had "collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence" that showed the Assad government preparing for an attack three days before the event. "That claim raises two questions," Seibel writes. "Why didn't the U.S. warn rebels about the impending attack and save hundreds of lives? And why did the administration keep mum about the suspicious activity when on at least one previous occasion U.S. officials have raised an international fuss when they observed similar actions?"

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Obama Hints He Might Launch a Bigger Attack in #Syria in Effort to Win Over Republican Votes - The Guardian

Obama Hints He Might Launch a Bigger Attack in #Syria in Effort to Win Over Republican Votes - The Guardian | News in english | Scoop.it
President suggests strikes could lead to longer-term mission as tough White House rhetoric begins to win over Republicans.
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Obama Hints He Might Launch a Bigger Attack in #Syria in Effort to Win Over Republican Votes - The Guardian

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Terror App: Warning system for #Syria spillover introduced to Lebanese phones #lebanon

An SOS button in your pocket. Smartphone developers in Lebanon have launched their own early warning system for mobile devices - software that allows users t...
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Juan Carlos Hernandez's curator insight, September 4, 2013 10:36 AM

Terror App: Warning system for #Syria spillover introduced to Lebanese phones #lebanon

Poppen Report's curator insight, September 4, 2013 5:32 PM

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1031273

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#censure The NY Times @nytimes deletes references to AIPAC 's ( #Israel #lobby ) role in pushing strike on #Syria #medias

Last night MJ Rosenberg posted an excerpt from a New York Times article published yesterday about the White House’s efforts to convince Congress of the wisdom of a strike on Syria. The excerpt said...
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#censure The NY Times @nytimes deletes references to AIPAC 's ( #Israel #lobby ) role in pushing strike on #Syria #medias 

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Juan Carlos Hernandez's curator insight, September 4, 2013 9:00 AM

Le @NYTimes censure 1 passage sur le rôle de AIPAC ( #lobby #Israel ) pr frappes en #Syrie

Juan Carlos Hernandez's curator insight, September 4, 2013 9:01 AM

@NYtimes censura pasaje sobre protagonismo AIPAC ( #Israel #lobby) para atacar #Siria

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Mainstream press openly addresses #Israel lobby's role in US policy re #Syria

The Israel and lobby angle in the Syrian attack is getting more and more mainstream attention. This is great news, as it suggests that Americans will one day get to debate openly whether supporting...
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Mainstream press openly addresses #Israel lobby's role in US policy re #Syria

The Israel and lobby angle in the Syrian attack is getting more and more mainstream attention. This is great news, as it suggests that Americans will one day get to debate openly whether supporting a militaristic Jim Crow state is worth American “blood and treasure,” and whether Americans want to talk to Iran under its new leadership or threaten it.

First Jodi Rudoren in the New York Times speaks openly of the lobby’s influence:

At the same time, Israel has a powerful American lobby with bipartisan strength that could be uniquely positioned to help the White House shore up support in Congress.

Yet there were no outward signs on Sunday that Israel would attempt to influence the outcome, and numerous experts on the Israel-American relationship said it would be deeply dangerous to try…

Ari Shavit, a columnist for the left-leaning daily newspaper Haaretz, said that Israel and others in the Middle East were being left with a “feeling of orphans,” wondering “if there is still a reliable parent in Washington who is really committed, who understands what’s going on and who is willing to act.”

“It was not long ago that Jodi Rudoren could not write most of this,” says Ira Glunts. “Times ha

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AIPAC ( #Israel #lobby )comes out for strike on #Syria-- and mentions #Iran more often than Syria

As NJ Senator Robert Menendez said at the Kerry hearing today in the Senate, Syria is about Iran. And it is for AIPAC too. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee broke its silence today, urgi...
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AIPAC ( #Israel #lobby )comes out for strike on #Syria-- and mentions #Iran more often than Syria

As NJ Senator Robert Menendez said at the Kerry hearing today in the Senate, Syria is about Iran. And it is for AIPAC too. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee broke its silence today, urging a vote for the Syrian strike.

AIPAC was lying low. That was what everyone said. So: Who called AIPAC? And: why does Obama need AIPAC? Could it be because AIPAC can get 70 Senators’ signatures on a napkin in 24 hours?

From the modest lobby, without any reference to Israel:

AIPAC urges Congress to grant the President the authority he has requested to protect America’s national security interests and dissuade the Syrian regime’s further use of unconventional weapons. The civilized world cannot tolerate the use of these barbaric weapons, particularly against an innocent civilian population including hundreds of children.

Simply put, barbarism on a mass scale must not be given a free pass.

This is a critical moment when America must also send a forceful message of resolve to Iran and Hezbollah — both of whom have provided direct and extensive military support to Assad.  The Syrian regime and it...

 

 

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#Syria (very interesting and rich) Should We Fall Again for ‘Trust Me’? | Consortiumnews

#Syria (very interesting and rich) Should We Fall Again for ‘Trust Me’? | Consortiumnews | News in english | Scoop.it
Exclusive: Forgetting lessons from the Tonkin Gulf to the Iraq War, the U.S. news media has mostly elbowed past doubts about whether the Syrian government ...
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#Syria (very interesting and rich) Should We Fall Again for ‘Trust Me’? | Consortiumnews

 

Exclusive: Forgetting lessons from the Tonkin Gulf to the Iraq War, the U.S. news media has mostly elbowed past doubts about whether the Syrian government launched the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack and now is focused on the political drama of congressional approval for war, a big mistake says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

 

By Ray McGovern

In a dazzling display of chutzpah, the White House is demanding that Congress demonstrate blind trust in a U.S. intelligence establishment headed by James Clapper, a self-confessed perjurer.

That’s a lot to ask in seeking approval for a military attack on Syria, ....

 

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Which Syrian Chemical Attack Account Is More Credible?

Which Syrian Chemical Attack Account Is More Credible? | News in english | Scoop.it
Which account of the mass deaths in Syria should be given more credence: the U.S. government version introduced by Secretary of State John Kerry, or the article published by the Minnesota-based new...
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"...

Of course, independent media accounts are not necessarily more credible than official reports–or vice versa. As with the government white paper, there are gaps in the Mint account; while Abdel-Moneim cites his late son's account of carrying chemical weapons, the rebels quoted do not indicate how they came to know what they say they know about the origin of the weapons. But unlike the government, Mint is honest about the limits of its knowledge: "Some information in this article could not be independently verified," the story admits. "Mint Press News will continue to provide further information and updates."

This humility about the difficulty of reporting on a covert, invisible attack in the midst of a chaotic civil war actually adds to the credibility of the Mint account. It's those who are most certain about matters of which they clearly lack firsthand knowledge who should make us most skeptical...."

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New York Times 03.09.2013 #AIPAC #Israel - McCain Urges Lawmakers to Back Obama’s Plan for #Syria

New York Times 03.09.2013 #AIPAC #Israel -  McCain Urges Lawmakers to Back Obama’s Plan for #Syria | News in english | Scoop.it
The White House pushed forward for Congressional approval of an attack on Syria as President Obama got qualified support from a hawkish Republican critic, Senator John McCain.
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New York Times 03.09.2013 #AIPAC #Israel -  McCain Urges Lawmakers to Back Obama’s Plan for #Syria 

"...

Administration officials said the influential pro-Israel lobby group Aipac was already at work pressing for military action against the government of Mr. Assad, fearing that if Syria escapes American retribution for its use of chemical weapons, Iran might be emboldened in the future to attack Israel. In the House, the majority leader, Eric Cantor of Virginia, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, has long worked to challenge Democrats’ traditional base among Jews.

One administration official, who, like others, declined to be identified discussing White House strategy, called Aipac “the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” and said its allies in Congress had to be saying, “If the White House is not capable of enforcing this red line” against the catastrophic use of chemical weapons, “we’re in trouble.

...”

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| Photogallery – A silent epic in the north of #Syria

| Photogallery – A silent epic in the north of #Syria | News in english | Scoop.it
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 | Photogallery – A silent epic in the north of #Syria

Reporting on war to those who have never seen is not easy. Words can explain the idealistic reasoning, shifting alliances, geopolitical issues, and foreign interventions. But how to describe the worried face of a child during his escape towards an unknown country? How to communicate the clamour of a crowd in line for a ration of bread, or the suffocating boredom of a camp for displaced persons where, day after day, life goes on inexorably in the same way?

 Lorenzo Meloni shares with us his impressions about the conflict in Syria through his photos. In this overview of Syrian civilians during their escape through the north of Syria, there are no photos of the sensational or spectacular kind. These are scenes of daily life in a surreal context, fragments of normality in abnormal situations.

 The abstract idea of war incarnates and takes shape in the silent epic of ordinary people, among the debris of bombed neighbourhoods, under the temporary shelter of tents and trees, in front of a vast, unknown border, which for some remains unreachable.

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Iraqi Government Rejects US Strike on #Syria, Fears Civil War #Irak by Juan Cole

Juan Cole | Uncategorized
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Iraqi Government Rejects US Strike on #Syria, Fears Civil War #Irak by Juan Cole

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The long war: #Syria is at the crux of 'pipeline geopolitics'

A number of folks have sent me this, so I pass it along. Nafeez Ahmed argues in the Guardian that "Syrian intervention plans fuelled by oil interest, not chemical weapons concerns". And it is falli...
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The long war: #Syria is at the crux of 'pipeline geopolitics' 

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#USA Gun Fanatics Score Big Victory in North Carolina

#USA Gun Fanatics Score Big Victory in North Carolina | News in english | Scoop.it
North Carolina Republicans have banned police departments from destroying confiscated guns.
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#USA Gun Fanatics Score Big Victory in North Carolina

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With Focus on U.S.-Led Strikes, Global Failure to Meet #Syria 's Humanitarian Crisis Goes Unnoticed

http://www.democracynow.org - While Washington debates the use of military force in Syria, the United Nations has revealed the number of refugees who have fl...
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With Focus on U.S.-Led Strikes, Global Failure to Meet #Syria 's Humanitarian Crisis Goes Unnoticed

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How #Israel Is driving the US to War in #Syria

How #Israel Is driving the US to War in #Syria | News in english | Scoop.it
The threat of a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran if the US does not act on Syria is slowly seeping into American media.
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How #Israel Is driving the US to War in #Syria

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Report links US-backed Syrian opposition to Ghouta gas attack - World Socialist Web Site

News reports link the Ghouta chemical attack to US-backed opposition forces, not to the Syrian regime as alleged by US war propaganda.
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More Crony Media? – This is a real headline from the New York Times: Bomb #Syria, Even if It Is Illegal

More Crony Media? – This is a real headline from the New York Times: Bomb #Syria, Even if It Is Illegal | News in english | Scoop.it
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More Crony Media? – This is a real headline from the New York Times: Bomb #Syria, Even if It Is Illegal

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Egyptians overwhemingly oppose strike on #Syria; US only has support of Arab dictators -- PBS

Last night PBS aired a stellar report by Margaret Warner in Cairo, saying Egyptians overwhelmingly oppose a US military strike on Syria because they watched how the US destroyed Iraq on the basis o...
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Egyptians overwhemingly oppose strike on #Syria; US only has support of Arab dictators -- PBS

Last night PBS aired a stellar report by Margaret Warner in Cairo, saying Egyptians overwhelmingly oppose a US military strike on Syria because they watched how the US destroyed Iraq on the basis of false claims, and a strike will only cause greater instability in the Middle East. Also note the Jordanian statesman’s assertion that the U.S. only has the support of Arab dictators, not the public, and that in the era of the Arab Spring, that model doesn’t work. Excerpts:

MARGARET WARNER: I have only been here 24 hours, and I have to say, I have been surprised at the unanimity with which people here are opposed to the idea of a U.S. military strike on Syria, despite the fact that some people here believe Assad probably did use chemical weapons.

People here say it will just cause more instability in the region. And they mention everything from more refugees to strengthening jihadi forces inside the rebel forces in Syria. And there’s really — at the root of it, there’s really great distrust of the United States, both its past actions in the Middle East and its motives for even considering this.

JEFF

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House Leaders Express Their Support for #Syria Strike - The New York Times

House Leaders Express Their Support for #Syria Strike - The New York Times | News in english | Scoop.it
President Obama won the support of Republican and Democratic leaders in the House for an attack on Syria, as a Senate panel agreed on the wording for a measure to permit military action.
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House Leaders Express Their Support for #Syria Strike - The New York Times

President Obama won the support of Republican and Democratic leaders in the House for an attack on Syria, as a Senate panel agreed on the wording for a measure to permit military action.

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US Citizens : Flood the White House call center with calls opposing #Syria military strike 202-456-1111

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for US Citizens : Flood the White House call center with calls opposing Syrian military strike. 202-456-1111. Share the number with everyone you know. Call your Senators and Congressmen. The President is completely wrong here. Tell him No, no, no!!!

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Syrians want rid of President Assad, but without US bombs #Syria - The Guardian

Syrians want rid of President Assad, but without US bombs #Syria - The Guardian | News in english | Scoop.it
Wadah Khanfar: There's little trust in America's motives, and an airstrike would not stop the brutal slaughter of civilians. Far better to help the rebels directly
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Syrians want rid of President Assad, but without US bombs

There's little trust in America's motives, and an airstrike would not stop the brutal slaughter of civilians. Far better to help the rebels directly

 

Wadah KhanfarThe Guardian, Monday 2 September 2013 18.49 BST

The Arab world has longed to get rid of the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad for years. In their minds it represents absolute evil. Future generations will remember the savage massacres perpetrated by the Syrian regime and the images of women and children who were slaughtered. But this strong desire to eradicate the regime will, for the most part, never be translated into support for American military intervention. That is because of misgivings and mistrust concerning US motives.

President Obama's address last Saturday was loaded with emotions. He used the phrase "moral responsibility" to justify punishing the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons against civilians. That, however, did little to convince many Arabs. Few have felt this moral responsibility in their dealings with the US, which has been losing credibility with the Arab public for decades. An entrenched image of American double standards and political bias against Arab interests has taken root; especially with regard to US bias towards Israel and America's longstanding support for tyrannical Arab regimes. This image was reinforced even more strongly after Washington's "war on terror" and its invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

While Obama's election initially seemed appealing, with his promises of new policies in the Middle East, he missed the opportunity in his very first test in dealing with the Palestine question. He retreated from his demands for an end to Israeli settlement of Palestinian land – a demand he had personally made – and backtracked on a promise to close Guantánamo detention facility. And under Obama the US continued to cause heavy civilian casualties through its use of drones against targets in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, quashing Arab hopes of any serious change in policy.

And there are other reasons why Arab doubts over US air strikes on Syria are justified. First, the US "red line" policy over chemical attacks came very late; long after the Arab red lines. The expected US attack is therefore related to its desire to end a long run of setbacks to its international prestige. Obama knows that any silence over the crossing of his red line would expose the US before the world as weak and incapable; America needs to carry out this attack. For the Arab world, Syria crossed all red lines over two years ago. Between the two lines, more than 100,000 people were killed; more than a million were turned into refugees; and residential districts were destroyed. Every kind of weaponry was used against civilians, including jets and Scud missiles.

The second reason to question America's seriousness is that an attack would be limited in terms of targets and duration. It will not aim to topple the regime. Syrians and Arabs are asking: what happens after this attack? Yes, the regime may hesitate to use chemical weapons in future; but it would not hesitate to kill by other means. In other words, it would continue to kill according to the American criteria, and the Syrian people would continue to pay a heavy price.

Most important of all, there are fears that American air strikes will open the way for future US meddling in Syrian affairs. Intervention may be extended to include the use of unmanned aircraft to attack "suspects" in Syria, or to try to impose a new political outcome on both sides of the conflict, which would risk causing disarray.

Already, many Arabs question the credibility of any US role in building a stable democratic Syria. The military coup in Egypt was a major cause for concern, calling into question America's position towards political Islam, and democracy itself. The US has refused to describe the enforced removal and detention of President Morsi as a coup, despite the killing and wounding of thousands of civilian protesters by Egyptian security forces. Given the continuing revolutionary fervour in the region, in which the Islamists play a leading role, America has shown complicity in Egypt's coup by continuing to fund its army. Hence a wide section of Islamic-linked Syrian revolutionaries will never welcome any major role for the US in the country's future.

It was clear from the very beginning, when the Syrian regime first drenched itself with the blood of civilians, that its swift departure would prevent, not inflame, sectarian polarisation in the country, and would move Syria towards democratic change. At the time, none of the al-Qaida-aligned jihadist groups were present. Yet American policy was uncertain, based on doubts over the rights of religious and ethnic minorities in Syria; the future of the country after the fall of Assad; and guarantees of no threats to Israel's security. Parallel to the west's overly cautious approach was the support given by Russia and Iran to the regime, which allowed it to continue its massacres, confident that it would not be held accountable.

Throughout the two-year terror in Syria, American intervention has been mostly negative. The US pressured Arab states in the region to prevent the delivery of advanced weaponry, especially anti-aircraft missiles, to the Free Syrian Army (FSA). This was on the pretext that such weapons could fall into the hands of extremists, despite attempts by the FSA to reassure the Americans. Indeed the US demanded that the FSA fight the jihadist factions, which would have inflicted huge damage on the revolution and risked its total disintegration.

Yes, the international community needs to take a strong stand over the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons against its people. It must be said though that a strong moral stand should be taken against all killing of civilians, whatever the means.

What is now required is that the US and western countries allow Syrians to accomplish their revolutionary objectives by themselves – to eradicate the regime with their own hands. The west should not prevent them acquiring the means to decide the struggle militarily, and should encourage them to continue trying to build Syria according to the rules of real democracy, without excluding or marginalising any party or group. The Syrian people have proven their remarkable bravery in the struggle against tyranny; given the chance, I'm convinced they will demonstrate a similar level of responsibility in building a new democratic nation.

 

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Focus on #Syria | Living as women refugees is a second war

Focus on #Syria | Living as women refugees is a second war | News in english | Scoop.it
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Focus on #Syria | Living as women refugees is a second war

In the camps there is no clean water. Ten people sleep in the same tent. The summer heat is intense, and when the sun beats down on the tents there is no escape. In El Faida, a few kilometres from Chtoura, the tents are arranged in lines, one after another, in the countryside. Here, in the centre of the Bekaa Valley, the biggest camps of Syrian refugees in Lebanon can be found.

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Notre reporter (Le Figaro) Georges Malbrunot raconte les coulisses de sa rencontre avec Assad #Syrie

Notre reporter (Le Figaro) Georges Malbrunot raconte les coulisses de sa rencontre avec Assad #Syrie | News in english | Scoop.it
Le chef de l'État syrien a accordé lundi matin un entretien exclusif à notre envoyé spécial dans une maison proche de Damas.
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Notre reporter (Le Figaro) Georges Malbrunot raconte les coulisses de sa rencontre avec Assad #Syrie

L'interview pour l'instant n'est accessible qu'aux abonnés du Figaro 

 

Le chef de l'État syrien a accordé lundi matin un entretien exclusif à notre envoyé spécial dans une maison proche de Damas.

L'entretien s'est tenu exactement à l'heure prévue, lundi à 10 heures, dans une maison située dans une pinède sur une colline de Damas, en dehors du palais présidentiel. Nous avons franchi un seul barrage avant d'y arriver. La sécurité alentour paraissait minimale. Je n'ai pas été fouillé. On m'a simplement pris mon téléphone portable et mon enregistreur.Bachar el-Assad est venu m'accueillir sous le porche à l'entrée. Nous avons pénétré dans un grand bureau orné de tableaux. Nous avons échangé quelques mots sur mes séjours en Syrie depuis vingt ans, puis l'entretien, traduit par la ministre de la Culture, a démarré. Son entourage m'avait donné trente à quarante minutes environ. Il a duré finalement trois quarts d'heure. J'ai posé les questions que je souhaitais poser. Je l'interrompais quand je le jugeais utile.

Dimanche soir, son entourage m'avait demandé d'envoyer cinq questions écrites. J'ai répondu que c'était un peu court. J'ai alors regroupé mes questions par thèmes. On m'a répondu: mais vous en avez envoyé dix-neuf! Finalement, j'en ai posé trente-deux, sans aucun problème. Bachar el-Assad est resté très calme tout au long de l'interview. À la fin, il m'a raccompagné sur le perron, après m'avoir demandé quand l'entretien serait publié. Il ne montrait pas de signes visibles d'inquiétude, mais il paraissait très concerné par son bras de fer avec Barack Obama. En s'affichant sans sécurité visible autour de lui, le chef de l'État syrien voulait montrer qu'il ne se cache pas dans un bunker. On me dit qu'il en fut ainsi au cours des interviews qu'il a données ces derniers mois.

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Juan Carlos Hernandez's curator insight, September 2, 2013 5:11 PM

Notre reporter (Le Figaro) Georges Malbrunot raconte les coulisses de sa rencontre avec Assad #Syrie

L'interview pour l'instant n'est accessible qu'aux abonnés du Figaro 

 

Le chef de l'État syrien a accordé lundi matin un entretien exclusif à notre envoyé spécial dans une maison proche de Damas.

L'entretien s'est tenu exactement à l'heure prévue, lundi à 10 heures, dans une maison située dans une pinède sur une colline de Damas, en dehors du palais présidentiel. Nous avons franchi un seul barrage avant d'y arriver. La sécurité alentour paraissait minimale. Je n'ai pas été fouillé. On m'a simplement pris mon téléphone portable et mon enregistreur.Bachar el-Assad est venu m'accueillir sous le porche à l'entrée. Nous avons pénétré dans un grand bureau orné de tableaux. Nous avons échangé quelques mots sur mes séjours en Syrie depuis vingt ans, puis l'entretien, traduit par la ministre de la Culture, a démarré. Son entourage m'avait donné trente à quarante minutes environ. Il a duré finalement trois quarts d'heure. J'ai posé les questions que je souhaitais poser. Je l'interrompais quand je le jugeais utile.

Dimanche soir, son entourage m'avait demandé d'envoyer cinq questions écrites. J'ai répondu que c'était un peu court. J'ai alors regroupé mes questions par thèmes. On m'a répondu: mais vous en avez envoyé dix-neuf! Finalement, j'en ai posé trente-deux, sans aucun problème. Bachar el-Assad est resté très calme tout au long de l'interview. À la fin, il m'a raccompagné sur le perron, après m'avoir demandé quand l'entretien serait publié. Il ne montrait pas de signes visibles d'inquiétude, mais il paraissait très concerné par son bras de fer avec Barack Obama. En s'affichant sans sécurité visible autour de lui, le chef de l'État syrien voulait montrer qu'il ne se cache pas dans un bunker. On me dit qu'il en fut ainsi au cours des interviews qu'il a données ces derniers mois.

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Illegal. Immoral. Dangerous. Why Congress needs to say No! #Syria - Mondoweiss

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Illegal. Immoral. Dangerous. Why Congress needs to say No! #Syria - Mondoweiss

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