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I have not talked much about Syria, but this seems to be a positive statement:

Nawaf al-Fares is one of the highest-profile defectors from the Syrian regime. Formerly he was Bashar al-Assad‘s ambassador in Baghdad, Iraq.

He has been a very prominent figure in Syria for years and has held senior Baath party posts since the time of the late president Hafez al-Assad.

Fares is a Sunni who is said to have close ties to Syrian security.  Heis the second senior diplomat to quit the embattled government since the beginning of the Syrian uprising. The first was Bassam Imadi, the Syrian ambassador to Sweden.

Western diplomats have hailed recent defections as a sign that the Bashar-al-Assad government is slowly beginning to crumble from within.

He stated this in an interview:

“The regime and Bashar al-Assad himself gave us illusions about reforms. We are now convinced that this regime will never do anything for the sake of the people. Lies are going on, the head of the regime is lying, it’s mirage, it’s illusion, killings everywhere, destruction everywhere and oppression everywhere …. He [Bashar-al-Assad] carries the genes of a dictator. His father killed people 30 years ago. Those who deal with him know that he is a liar …

The Russian support, the Iranian support and the hesitation or the inability of the international community to protect the Syrian people are the main reasons why the regime is buying time and why the regime is staying for a longer period of time. But from inside, the regime is dead. Economically, socially, in all domains …

Reforms could have given some fruits if applied at the very beginning of the revolution. But after waves of blood it’s impossible for the Syrians to trust Bashar al-Assad again, to accept his existence in Syria even …. This regime is dead, it’s just a matter of time.”

– Nawaf Fares, the former Syrian ambassador to Iraq

Nearby Neigbors in PA: A Colossal Fracking Mess

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marce...

Drill Apparatus in PA for Marcellus Shale

This is a long and detailed article from Vanity Fair by Christopher Bateman (with Photographs), and it should be read by everyone in the Marcellus Shale area (like West Virginians). 

This a very partial fragment… go into Vanity Fair on the link below and read it all.

clipped from www.vanityfair.com
Sixty miles west of Damascus, the town of Dimock, population 1,400, makes all too clear the dangers posed by hydraulic fracturing.
Although there is a moratorium on drilling new wells for the time being, you can still see the occasional active drill site, manned by figures in hazmat suits and surrounded by klieg lights, trailers, and pits of toxic wastewater, the derricks towering over barns, horses, and cows in their shadows.
Dimock is now known as the place where, over the past two years, people’s water started turning brown and making them sick, one woman’s water well spontaneously combusted, and horses and pets mysteriously began to lose their hair.
“It was so bad sometimes that my daughter would be in the shower in the morning, and she’d have to get out of the shower and lay on the floor” because of the dizzying effect the chemicals in the water had on her, recalls Craig Sautner, who has worked as a cable splicer for Frontier Communications his whole life.
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