Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

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Voices From the Region: Turkey, Egypt, Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Yemen

by Robert M. Danin
December 31, 2012

General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal, the head of Syria's military police, speaks in a video uploaded on a social media website on December 26, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters).


“He’s contaminated from top to bottom…Tomorrow he will be a hero.” – Captain Adnan Dayoub, a Syrian rebel commander in Hama, on the defection of General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal, head of the military police

“I have reached a clear conclusion that a lot of the policies and efforts contradict with my personal beliefs and I don’t see them as representative of our people’s aspirations.” – Egyptian communications minister Hani Mahmoud in a resignation letter published on his Wasat Party’s Facebook page

“It is out of question for us to take a step backward…Furthermore, we have not been asked to take such a step.” – Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz on Turkey continuing to import gas from Iran

“The country’s going to the pits. Everything is a mess…It’s worse than ever. Mubarak was better than now. People were living and there was security.” – Hamdy Hussein, a 61-year-old building janitor reflecting on Egypt’s economic instability

“Shalal did defect but he was due to retire in a month and he only defected to play hero.” – a Syrian security source said of the defection of General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal, head of the military police

“Our entire village is angry at the government and the Americans…If the Americans are responsible, I would have no choice but to sympathize with al-Qaeda because al-Qaeda is fighting America.” – Ahmed Mohammed, a 27-year old Yemeni survivor of an American drone strike

“Injustice, marginalization, discrimination and double standards, as well as the politicization of the judiciary system and a lack of respect for partnership, law and constitution … have all turned our neighborhoods in Baghdad into huge prisons surrounded by concrete blocks.” – Iraqi finance minister Rafia al-Issawi at a Sunni demonstration protesting Iraqi prime minister al-Maliki

“It’s the first time since 2007. It’s part of the dialogue, the conversation that we have with the Egyptian side and because of the calm…If the calm will continue, then more eases will go through. We’re also working on improving the electricity system in the north of Gaza in order to promote and to improve the electricity in that area.” – Guy Inbar, a spokesman for the Israeli defense ministry body that coordinates with the Palestinians confirmed the new policy of easing its blockade on Gaza to allow the import of construction materials

“There have been mistakes in the past period that I take responsibility for…I have had to take many tough decisions, but now a new dawn shines and the goals of the people will be achieved.” – Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi in a televised address last Wednesday

Post a Comment 3 Comments

  • Posted by Matt

    I was watching the 10 Commandants same thing. If they want 50,000 rockets that can hit Tel Aviv so be it. They want 150,000 to 200,000 from the Hizbullah. Lieberman but there are elections, no war, war chooses you, not the other way around the enemy votes, Barak the brains trust, that the PM has to run and hide from during an offensive. Iran is is Iran and it is what it is. We are talking about pain. I don’t care. Tell someone who does.

  • Posted by Matt

    What can Hagel do that you have not already done to yourselves. It is easy to blame the US, blame the US for Gaza. It has nothing to do with the US, even if they were opposed.

  • Posted by Matt

    Such is Life. The world is a mess and if you can find a friend in Russia, we all might live. Things are changing but, the world. Make the call.

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