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Posted by Fred 2012-07-12 00:00||
Front Page|| [224 views ]
File under: Govt of Syria
#1 Glad OBL is gone but some things should not be forgotten. Some old articles came to mind while reading this. From a 2001 Chicago Tribune re: Osama's Syrian mother and first wife:
The Ghanem family has a double-sided bond to bin Laden. Najwa Ghanem and her siblings also are her husband's first cousins--a common phenomenon in the clannish world that exists both in Saudi Arabia and among the extended families of this part of western Syria....(Osama) bin Laden's maternal line has been comparatively ignored. His mother, Alia, comes from a working-class family that is largely secular. Najwa Ghanem, bin Laden's No. 1 wife, is the daughter of Alia's brother. They married when she was 14 and he was about 18.
The bin Laden connection to Latakia began in 1956, when Mohammed bin Oud bin Laden came to what was then a small seaside port surrounded by poor villages. The Ghanems said he already had married a local woman before taking Alia as his fourth and final wife. Together they had only one child, the relatives said. His name was Osama.
This city of 320,000 is a stronghold of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Islam that controls Syria's government and security forces. Historically, there has been tension between the conservative Sunni arm of Islam and the Alawites. Though there has been widespread speculation that bin Laden's mother was an Alawite--which could have complicated his early life in Sunni-controlled Saudi Arabia--the Ghanems insist the family is Sunni. (Another source stated Osama was considered inferior by many of his siblings and taunted because his mother was Alawite, considered an outcast or half-breed among strict Wahhabists, and bullying contributing to his pursuit to prove himself in a warped way)
When Alia moved to Saudi Arabia with her husband, she left behind her two brothers, a sister and their growing families. Every summer, from the time Osama was 1 until last August, Alia summered in Latakia, sharing a house with her nephew Naji, 43, and his family. Naji said Osama accompanied his mother to Latakia every year until he was 17.
In 1974, when the family said bin Laden was about 18, he sent for his intended bride, 14-year-old Najwa. The family dispatched the girl from her home, where women did not wear veils and were free to live secular lives, to the restrictive world of Saudi Arabia. Since then, bin Laden has taken three more wives, as permitted in Islam.
Ghanem had 11 children with bin Laden.
Help me understand this mess. Sunni Baathists in league with Iraq's Baathists, Saddam's ruling party and thugs, as they have been all along and probably know where the WMD's are, Assad and the Alawites in league with the Shiite Iranians, Hezbollah and Hamas working together, and clans loyal to Bin Laden working the ports and leading rebels in the hills. Is the Alawite core dissolving or in league with AQ-affiliated rebels and Iranian? The rebels are being armed from probably the Saudis, Turks, Jordan, and it is assumed the US, but who are they??? Did we learn anything from arming our enemies in both Afghanistan and Iraq? Track and hunt...give democracy a chance. Assad should defect before he is strung up from a lightpole...and dead men tell no tales. Still think he's a puppet--a cowardly dastardly one--but he could cut a deal and talk till his wife comes home from shopping.
Posted by OmuluqueHapsburg5085 2012-07-12 17:40||
#2 Arab Nationalism, which theoretically united Arabic-speakers of all religions and ethnicities, appears to be on its deathbed, at least in Syria. I don't think there's any question that absent NATO intervention, Assad will win. Even Gaddafi's shambolic military was on the verge of finishing off the rebels when NATO forces jumped in.
The question is what Assad will do with a sullen, rebellious Sunni Arab majority after he wipes out the rebel resistance. If he's lucky, large numbers of them will have left for Turkey, much as the Palestinian Arabs left the Palestine Mandate during the course of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Unless he's prepared to slaughter large numbers of them, it's not clear that Assad has an alternative to Arab Nationalism as an ideology to keep the Sunni Arabs somewhat mollified at being ruled by Alawite heretics/apostates. This means he will continue to mount token efforts at being a thorn in Israel's side to satisfy Sunni Arab wishes, but not so much of a thorn as to invite a devastating Israeli attack. Still, for Israel, this is preferable to a Muslim Brotherhood regime that doesn't have to worry about internal opposition (after having slaughtered it to the last man, woman and child) and whose mission on earth is to erase Israel from the planet.
Arab Nationalism is dead! Long live Arab Nationalism!
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-12 18:21||