Meet Syria's wealthiest and most elusive man
Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of the Syrian president, is also by all accounts the country's richest man.
March 7th, 2012
01:00 AM ET

Meet Syria's wealthiest and most elusive man

By Tim Lister and Jamie Crawford

Imagine controlling Syria's equivalent of Verizon, its duty-free stores, a chunk of its oil industry, a TV network and its choicest property developments. Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of President Bashar al Assad, did - and maybe still does. He is by all accounts the richest man in Syria, worth some $5 billion before the Syrian economy entered what U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford calls its "sharp downward spiral."

The Makhlouf family is one of a business elite that has done exceptionally well during the Assad dynasty. And its spectacular enrichment has fed resentment among ordinary Syrians.

"It's not a question right now of Alawites versus Sunnis," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman told a Senate hearing Thursday. "It's a question of the Assad-Makhlouf mafia that has basically hijacked the entire state of Syria for four decades in order to enrich itself and protect itself against the Syrian people."

At a tearful news conference in June, Makhlouf announced he was giving up his business interests and investing the proceeds in charities to help victims of the unrest. He said then the gesture was because he was "so keen on preserving the nation, its land, its people and its leadership."

Few believed him. One Syrian critic blogged: "As for Santa Claus Makhlouf, who is showering us with his deeds, could he explain to us where did he bring his first millions from?"

In a rare interview the previous month, Makhlouf had told The New York Times that the regime would "fight until the end." Of its opponents, he said: "They should know when we suffer, we will not suffer alone."

The evidence of Makhlouf's promised philanthropy is yet to materialize - and to the Syrian opposition, he is still part of the "Assad-Makhlouf mafia." Protesters have attacked offices of Syria's mobile phone company, Syriatel, of which Makhlouf held at least 40% via a company he owned in the British Virgin Islands.

Some analysts believe he is helping prop up the Syrian Central Bank, whose foreign exchange reserves have withered under the impact of sanctions and the sharp devaluation of the Syrian pound.

"The rumor is that the Makhlouf family has been aiding the Assad regime through its financial resources to weather some of the negative effects of the uprising," says Aram Nerguizian, a Syria specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

But of the man himself, there has been no sign since that June news conference.

The Makhloufs, an Alawite family as are the Assads, rose to prominence through the marriage of Anisa Makhlouf to the current president's father, Hafez Assad. She is still alive and regarded as an influential figure within the ruling elite. One of Makhlouf's brothers, Hafez, is prominent in the State Security Service.

Other families close to the regime have also profited from the Assad dynasty, often being called "abna al-sulta," Arabic for "sons of power." They have been awarded licenses as import agents and the lion's share of government contracts.

"They took on key parts of the economy as points of entry," says Nerguizian. "They don't really have a productive capability, they don't really re-inject capital. ... They are better known for hoarding their capital gains and not redistributing them."

Nerguizian says Bashar al-Assad's father had always ensured wealth was distributed from the merchant class to ordinary rural Syrians, but the son had made a crucial mistake in favoring the elites of Damascus and Aleppo. "And it's coming back to haunt them because it's one of the main points of contention that led to the cycle of uprisings in 2011," says Nerguizian.

Rami Makhlouf has long attracted the interest of the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. In 2008, he was designated by the Treasury "for improperly benefiting from and aiding the public corruption of Syrian regime officials."

That move came 10 days after Saad Hariri, now leader of Lebanon's opposition Future Bloc, met U.S. diplomats in Beirut and alleged that Makhlouf had assisted al-Assad in moving funds to Dubai, according to U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks.

The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control subsequently designated Syriatel and another company, Ramak, in which he had a controlling interest. The effect of designation is to ban any U.S. entity from doing business with the sanctioned companies.

Last year, it designated three more companies linked to Makhlouf, saying it had "reason to believe that Rami Makhlouf is dissociating himself (in name only) from his businesses and looking to safely store his wealth outside of Syria." The European Union has taken similar measures.

One of those companies, Cham Holding, held 65% of a joint venture with the British oil exploration company Gulfsands Petroleum. And through a company called al-Mashrek, Makhlouf owns nearly 6% of Gulfsands' shares. Gulfsands disclosed in August that it had suspended all payments to Makhlouf interests and suspended their voting rights.

Nerguizian says that unless al-Assad manages to suppress the unrest, the future for Makhlouf looks gloomy. The opposition, inside and outside Syria, "have made it very clear they are not looking to negotiate," he says.

"They're not looking for the kinds of political concessions that would allow elements like the Makhloufs to remain - let alone dominate in a political structure," he says.

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Filed under: Assad • Sanctions • State Department • Syria
soundoff (1,128 Responses)
  1. k0sr4qc718

    January 22, 2016 at 2:47 am | Reply
  2. J

    haunt, hunt, convict, and hang him

    March 10, 2012 at 7:51 am | Reply
  3. OrchiSucks

    OMG! Who are you people any way? What is wrong with you guys (and gals)? Did anyone do their homework before going in to religious arguments about the establishment and sovereignty of nations in the Middle East or philosophical queries about human nature? Or whether or not there are conspiracies running amok about special interests pulling the strings of various government, economic, and social institutions and establishments here at home, if not overseas? Bashar al-Assad is British and French educated eye doctor who wanted nothing to do with politics, only to pull a Kim-Jung Un when his elder brother, the heir apparent, died. While the previous President al-Assad and the current one have tried to bring some change and reform in to Syria after decades of empire rule by several decades of foreign rule, dating back from the Roman Conquest, to the Ottoman Empire, and most recently, French Imperialist (they called it the French Mandate), you have a parliamentary style government that is runned by the Alawites, a Shiite breakaway sect and minority running a backward, secular government for the last thirty or so years with the support of Druzes (who are involved in Syria's Lebanese power play), the Christians (who have bad memories of Sunni Muslim rule and religious intolerance, which is ironic since out of the three major Abrahamic religious traditions, Christians tend to have the worst track record, while Jews and Muslims are more fairly religiously tolerant since a good majority are actually moderates, and not those religious extremists like the really sad, desperate morons who willing join Al-Quaeda, or the domestic Zionists terrorists who attack their fellow Israelis to stick it to the government for not being orthodox enough and to protect "illegal" land holdings) and the cooperation of the Sunni Business community, while the majority the population, which pretty much includes everyone who isn't getting a piece of the pie (the Sunni majority, the Kurds, everyone else who are part of the minorities that support the current regime but have yet to benefit, if not at all, and the youth) have to deal with high illiteracy, high unemployment, higher-than-normal-in-the-third-world poverty, high birthrates, and deplorable womens rights issues (trust me, you don't want me to go on a 1,000 word plus rant about Maktar Mai, and the obvious failings of the patriarchal tribal system, with gang rapes of women and children, honor killings and disfiguration of women via chucking acid, beatings, and physical torture and mutilation.

    Add the fact that their implementation and transition from state-owned businesses to the free market in order to expand the Syrian economy and bring up Syria's national GDP absolutely failed, due to the mechanisms of Makhlouf and others like him, who have personal ties and connections to the ruling family through blood, religion, community, politics or etc, then yeah, the economic policies that are suppose to eliminate extreme poverty and uplift the Syrian citizendry by improving the standards of living at all levels absolutely failed. Syria, like any other developing world nation has to bring up their national GDP in order to get help from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, while on the other hand, try to foster through moves like introducing internet and mobile telecommunications technology to the public, which worked to some extent, and other stuff like the non-existent political and economic reforms President al-Assad had promised when he took the oath of office, and was one of the primary reasons for the Damascus Spring back in the early 2000s and the current ongoing fighting and unrest happening now in Syria. Add the fact that not only is Rami the major business player and go between for domestic/foreign corporations and the al-Assad regime, that Bashar younger brother Mahar is a trigger-happy psycho who controls the Syrian Armed forces, the Presidential Guard, and is the head honcho of the security agencies who have been in charge of shooting, torturing, and imprisoning activists, protesters, and the members of the three main opposition groups, which are the Syrian Free Amy, the Syrian National council (the coalition of various opposition groups of various political, social, economic, and religious flavors, including the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood), and the Syrian Youth, while having to deal with their own economic issues like the fact that they are running out of water (needed for agriculture), running out of oil (which Rami gets a 6% cut from holding a joint corporation with Gulfsands Petroleum, a British-based energy company), tourism is down due to the unrest, and really crappy political and economic policies which made it so easy for 60% of the economy to end up in Makhlouf's hands, among others. All which are now issues that are tied in the pseudo-civil war between the al-Assad Regime versus the Syrian human rights activiists, protesters, political opposition, and the everyday citizen.

    March 10, 2012 at 2:56 am | Reply
    • OrchiSucks


      1. The Syrian government has a national obligation to "foster" development, which I missed when I posted the first posting.

      2. I'm not insulting Christians. I know people from various Christian denominations and many Christians in the U.S. and around the world are good people, just like there are good Muslims and good Jews who, just like their Christian counterparts don't like it when people point fingers at the tragedies instigated through power-hungry morons who use religion and religious values to get what they want, when its clearly their own ambitions, ideologies, politics, and greed that fuel these tragic events. And yes, there are such things as Christian terrorists, most who like their Muslim and Jewish counterparts come from developing, third-world countries. Good examples would be Kosovo, Bosnia, and Chechyna, all which are located in Eastern Europe, although other factors like ethnicity also play a big factor as well in these types of conflicts. Could also happen in Latin America, Africa and Asia too, but I think Latin America is more along the lines of leftist and right wing guerrilla insurgency and organized criminal activity, where both tend to go hand in hand in places like Columbia. Africa is more along the lines of ethnic or racial lines, but I think Sudan and Southern Sudan were more along religious lines, while in Asia, it depends on where really. If its Central Asia, then its going to be either tribal or against the U.S. and their allies in places like Afghanistan, while India has to deal with sectarian violence between Hindus and Muslims while dealing with Kasmere seperatists, who want a united, independent Kasmere state rather than being split into two by India and Pakistan, and the rest have to deal with Maoist rebels who are still gung-ho about instigating a World-wide revolution against "capitalist pigs".

      3.There nothing wrong with monetarist, neo-liberal policy, nor Keysian economic policy. What's wrong is the way al-Assad's government is implementing the privatization. The fact that Rami and other insiders are well, insiders gives them an advantage/edge over the competition, whether they be domestic or foreign. Sort of like insider trading, only there is no SEC to persecute the offenders buying and selling stocks prior to announcement. Plus, we can't ignore the possibility that the assets can be sold Makhlouf, other insiders, and their foreign partners at possibly discounted prices or with special concessions or rights either, can we?

      4. Bashar's brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, who's married to his sister Bushra is a ex-spy master (the appropriate term is intelligence chief) and is current the deputy minister of defense.

      5. Okay, for all you al-Assad supporters out there, look while the President and members of his family might be decent people (if your defending the current regime, either you benefitted, support them, or probably know better than I do) when politics are not on the line, the main area of contention is that the Regime is not fulfilling the obligations to the Syrian people, as a society. Remember that its a primarily one party system, with the government being a Ba'athe's one, meaning:

      i. They have a mishmash of elements from various political systems:
      -they have parliamentary system, meaning they have to vote in representatives into office
      -the Syrian government goals, objective, and agenda sound like a mix of facism and communism, with a strong appeal to nationalism, a prolific military build-up, a secret police state runned by several branches of the armed and security forces, and anti-western rhetoric, even though they love Nutella and BMW Mercedes.

      ii. President Hafez al-Assad participated in several coup de'ats before kicking out the last President the Ba'athe party placed in to power, gathered his air force buddies and troops and seized control of the government himself, in which he then pulled rank, cleaned house, filled his party and government leadership with people he trust would not stab him in the back and then had to play chicken with other dictator wannabes, which included his own brother after he nearly kicked the bucket in the late 1980s to early 1990s, along with quelling civil unrest which included the Massacre in Homs, which the news media kept bring up when the Uprisng began.

      iv. Too much power can corrupt without checks and balances, accountability, and transparency.
      -once again, its primarily a one party system
      – they depend heavily on the social circles and communities they belong in to get cushy jobs, to network, and gain contracts, like with what Rami did.
      – blatant nepotism, with family members strategically controlling and operating the primary elements needed to keep the country under family control.
      -secret police and militias to capture, imprision, torture, and kill protesters, activists, and Political prisoners.

      March 10, 2012 at 4:18 am | Reply
      • OrchiSucks

        Sorry, it was the Massacre of Hama in 1982.

        March 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Ofori Mensah

      Good Day Sir/Madam,
      How are you and your family? How is your health? I do sincerely hope all is well with you. I was born in Philippine Mati, did my high college at Davao Oriental Comph,Caraga, due to my parents were into polities moved down to father land. Federal Republic Of Ghana to study more, I have In Business Administration 2003/2004, then i received letter from the minister, If you could still remember. The Late Ghana's minister for Finance and Economic planning, Hon. Kwadwo Baah-Wired who died on the 24th of September, 2008 in South Africa . I'm his chef cook when he was alive. My late boss bequeathed a very large fortune in a neighboring country( Republic Du Benin Cotonue) I need a reliable partner in oversea who can invests the huge amount of the money for me in a reasonable manners.I will be most grateful if you could assist me bank or invests the total amount of $25 millions US dollars of his inheritance money in your country. I wish the best of consideration of my plight. I sincerely counts on your cooperation. For direct contact kindly call or email me via details listed below.
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      April 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  4. Gawd

    I support the Assad regime in its holy war against the ungrateful peasant pigs that call themselves "freedom fighters"! The opposition is funded solely by Zionist interlopers and the western media dog fuckers!

    March 9, 2012 at 6:06 am | Reply
    • T

      Thanks for your comment. Now go kiss your camel goodnight and enjoy your goat meat cooked over a camel dung fire.

      March 9, 2012 at 7:31 am | Reply
    • jossef

      you support who... if less than 10% of people in a country control over the rest (that mean those people are occupied by those intruders ... it doesn't mean that in l those 4 decades because of there silence they had to be in that tragedy any more, and i hope you pass through like what they passing too.

      March 10, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
    • william

      Goatfucker, the west not Israel has any interest in your poxy country, as long as you don't support terrorists, which you do, build nuclear bombs, which you tried, and don't kill your own people, which you are doing. This regime will fall, democracy is nothing for the Arab world but a more human dictator is the best you can hope for.

      March 10, 2012 at 8:50 am | Reply
      • jossef

        that what you hope triple asshole

        March 10, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  5. not anti-semantic

    doesn't this guy look jewish? Not because he's rich, I'm talking about his facial features.

    March 9, 2012 at 1:07 am | Reply
    • Youguys R. Killinme

      Anti-semantic, huh? I'll bet you lead a "sedimentary" life style, too, right?

      Looks Jewish? Tell me, can one "look" (say) Presbyterian?

      The "look" you refer to is that of "semitic" people. Semites. Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians, Iraqis, etc. One finds people who "look like" "them" here and there in the Middle Freaking East, bonehead.

      March 9, 2012 at 7:13 am | Reply
      • not anti-semantic

        Reading it over I suppose it might be a little politically incorrect of me to write it that way. Don't get me wrong. I'm jewish. There is a jewish look out there that is different from semites. It's been proven genetically. I don't feel like sending you the links.

        March 9, 2012 at 8:27 am |
      • jossef

        he was right in what he said he looks like a Jewish not in only having money but also elusive

        March 10, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Maine

      I hate to admit it, but darn he's cute!!

      March 10, 2012 at 6:13 am | Reply
      • jossef

        because he is rich 🙂

        March 10, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  6. dd

    I find it strange that the President of the United States accepts the mass murder of people in Syria. Obama should be given the Nobel Genocide Prize. The only thing he does well is assassinate Americans overseas.

    March 8, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  7. Attila, The Hun

    The eternal story of the human race...the haves and the have not's.

    March 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  8. G.W.

    Oh No. they were doing what me and my compadres have done. oh no!!!

    March 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Dick C.

      G.W> keep your mouth shup!

      March 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  9. FedFraud

    Rami Makhlouf is RELATED and HAS amassed his ORIGINAL assets from the PEOPLE of Syria. With that said, he is no good luck charm nor is he any philanthropist – he is a thief who stole from the people (of Syria). That man can be compared to any Dictator, who steals from the people for self gain.

    When the truth comes out, his assets and profits belong back to the Syrian people, not his family's wallet.

    They should have no safe haven.

    Their conscience should be conflicted with the ravages of war they so thrust and direct at their own people.

    And if it was left to us, they would all rot in prison to their end days.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  10. Raoul

    I think he looks like Matthew Fox from LOST

    March 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  11. Tony

    To dorothy why don't you openly says that you are a criminal Alawite or a mercenary christian or muslim serving the alawite for money. Mr. Makloof never supported any charity.. infact he ripped and hijacked busnisses in syria and lebanon. He also threaten israel of loosing their secure border with syria has the alawite regime falls. Thanks to his greedy personality and his greedy family who destriod the tolerent fabric of syrian society over thousands of years. If syrian are secterians alawite and other minorities will vanished thousands of year ago like IN spain. Syrian people are ready to forgive alawites if Bashar Al Assad leave pacefully WITH HIS FAMILY.

    March 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  12. Letalis Metal

    ARE YOu AN IDIOT? We held accountable? You want to start WWIII and cause more chaos and destruction? You really trying to blame the president of the U.S. for this? Yes lets start another war! Let's intervene eh? It's not my fault they have not decided to rebel now. They can kiss the queens feet and I still won't feel accountable. Make the U.S. more poor and go broke with another war. I mean are you thinking properly? So what if the western world did fuel the fire you think that blaming others is going to help your situation? Assuming your American you voted fools into your parliment, it's not anyone's fault but ours.

    March 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  13. Tony

    The genocide in syria is a crime against humanity. The western world has to be accountable for not taking action. It is not just 9000- 10000 person killed but there are 100 thousands missing in jails and detention with unknown fate.
    George Bush claimed that the islamist are attacking our western values. It seem to be one of those value is to keep a blind eyes on attrocities happening for other nation. What a double standard. The western countries and USA are accountable since they supprted all those dictators in the middle east and opens their banks to protect the stolen money from those poor people. Those poor people when they protest they are labeled terrorists.. Shame on you Obama and on your western value of hypocrasy.

    March 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • neluroman

      How to do that, when Russia and China are there to stop any intervention? Without a clear mandate from ONU any intervention is illegal and no one want to risk another Iraq. Besides arming the opposition is probable to arm some islamic militia as well as, and that is like a nightmare for America and the West.So, the blood is flowing freely over there and it is no much someone can do to stop this madness.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:55 am | Reply
    • william

      Pally, if it was up to the developed world all Arab countries would have been glassed over long time ago. Unfortunately we can't do that anymore, well maybe with Iran we can but that's not an Arab country. Take your beef to the other Arab countries, the developed world has enough of helping idiots and have them again ruled by; idiots ! So good luck with your crusade against the west, you got what you were asking for. Solve your own problems!!

      March 10, 2012 at 8:57 am | Reply
  14. Skorpio

    Islam grants Muslim monarchs and leaders divine powers to confiscate their entire countries' oil, natural resources and wealth for themselves, without equally sharing it with their people. Any Muslim monarch is richer than Bill Gates, even Gaddafi had more than 60 billion dollars in his personal account. In addition, these guys have hundreds of concubines and all the sexual pleasures, they have the power to free or incarcerate anyone and always have the last word on any kind of decision. No wonder, they must impose their satanic religion: Islam on their countries and eventually the entire world otherwise they risk losing all their wealth, sexual pleasures and power.

    March 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • Nabil

      And Skorpio is our winner of The Moron of CNN News Awards!

      Just because you know how to spell Islam, you should at least not make comments like this because otherwise the whole world will know how stupid you are. Idiot!

      March 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  15. Dorothy

    Unbelievable!!! Now Rami Makhlouf is a criminal too!!! After everything, I shouldn't be surprised... but you always manage to surprise me!!! He is rich!!! SO?!?! Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is rich too, why don't you write about that? Did your article mention that MR. Makhlouf is very respectful person among Syrian citizens?!?! Or that he is benefactor, that he build schools, hospitals, kindergartens... Or maybe your article said that he take care for thousands of poor young people for their education, people who didn't have any chance to finish school without his help. Did you wrote how many Syrian people he helped? Did you wrote that?!?! No?!!! I didn't think so!!! Bashar, Maher, now Rami!!! Who is newt? Bushra?!?!

    March 8, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • Daniel

      Rami Makhlouf,just like your beloved leader Bashar Assad and his wife will look good in a Guantanamo prison jumpsuit

      March 9, 2012 at 12:24 am | Reply
  16. Zellies

    What the hell is going on here?????
    You are all human beings for godsake, stop pointing fingers and wanting to commit suicide.
    Y dont you just all giv a positive mind that this world can become a better place, free from war and all the shit in it that is making it go down like it's going apart now.
    I feel sorry for all the innocent people in Syria being killed. May god be wth you all...

    March 8, 2012 at 8:50 am | Reply
    • bspurloc

      The world will never have peace as long as there is religion. Amen

      March 8, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
      • macs

        Do you really think that without religion the world would live in peaceful harmony?? Seriously? Religion or not, people in general are hateful of anything or anyone that is different or thinks different than their own kind. Period. It doesn't really matter what they believe in.

        March 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  17. Henk G L

    "When will they ever learn", That: "ALL faiths do harm", "because their FIGMENTS defy intellectual self-consciousness".(Marlene Dietrich, Bertrand Russell, myself).

    March 8, 2012 at 5:59 am | Reply
    • satinder

      and me. 🙂

      March 8, 2012 at 8:45 am | Reply
  18. Andreas

    J, you are not necessarily wrong. But you are not the best spokesperson for jews either. Your too easily triggered.

    March 8, 2012 at 5:02 am | Reply
  19. Letalis Metal

    The comments are indeed halarious! I pity those who don't understand how life works! There is no God no religion just a "belief" which can be called an illusion. Have open minds you say eh? Oh bloddy hell have you not seen where that has led us? When I was a young lad it was the same! Be a critic! For so long we have tried the peaceful way, yet when you try you get shunned! You see the U.S. eh? Just by looking at their policies I can tell they have become nothing but a wanker! You want a democracy but it never prevails. Money will always come and ruin everything. People will kill others for just a pound, it's the same for the whole bloddy world. Don't matter, sooner or later we will suffer. This world must not go unpunished for it's atrocities. We are all to blame, its not about me looking for blame I'm a damn cog in the system too. You want to change the world? Go get your hands dirty and become powerful its the only way! Become whom you so hate much. I hope Syria can get through this without much sacrifice.

    March 8, 2012 at 4:22 am | Reply
    • Spent

      You are a myth, no one believes in you, and you are filled with anger. Yes that is a judgement

      March 8, 2012 at 5:19 am | Reply
  20. Proud Jew

    Patrick has a very small dick so he has to take his frustration out on someone ,

    Thank you, seriously the comments on CNN are so enjoyable and relaxing

    Patrick go take a trip to Israel , boy your going to be so so pissed,

    A country of 7 million with no oil, and is one of the most sophisticated country's in the world.

    It mus really get to you

    March 8, 2012 at 3:26 am | Reply
    • bspurloc

      attacking dick size is just another way of saying u want it

      March 8, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
  21. vet2640

    Next target.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
  22. aurelius

    By now, he has stashed his money away in every large bank in the world, starting with Switzerland.

    March 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  23. grandpapa

    are we talking only 5billion? thats it !? somebody are joking !

    March 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

      That's a lot when you consider that many Syrians make probably less than $10 a day.

      March 8, 2012 at 1:50 am | Reply
  24. shepard

    never trusted the elusive man anyway... >.>

    March 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Reply
    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, B.A., J.D., S.P.J.

      He is a nice fellow, just like John Gotti was a "nice fellow!

      March 7, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  25. Tariq

    Long live Bashar al-Assad the savior of Syria!!!

    March 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Reply
    • JustTheFacts

      And the murderer of children....

      March 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Reply
    • emad

      bashar al assad and his thugs will answer for every crime against the Syrian one will escape Justice.the Syrian revolution happened for a good reason..good syrian are the one who will save Syria not your rotten bashar the killer of women and children.

      March 8, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  26. Loveleen Harris

    Once again CNN has goofed up, The picture shown on this article is of Award Winning Comedian Paul Rudd, who has been in such awesome flicks as Knocked up, Our Idiot Brother blaah blaahhaaaaahhah

    March 7, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • martin

      put the pipe down, you are wrong

      March 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Reply
    • zoonib

      When corruption happens in Syria it is called the mafia. When it happens in the US it is called good business.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  27. PATRICK A.

    Honestly all I can do is just shake my head,for the amount of corruption we have in this country,and we have the audacity to even talk about a man who is running a company in his native land.The government and the Jewish owned media truly think they can manipulate all Americans with garbage.

    In every country all rich people are politically connected,so the point of this article is all garbage.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply
    • bspurloc

      so u missed the part that family members have high ranking govt jobs?
      closest thing to that in the USA is the George,George Jeb thing

      March 8, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
  28. reality

    What about Saudi Mafia ? Why there is no word about them ? Maybe its because US is not threatened by them and they are giving huge kickbacks in the form of arms purchase and investment in US economy.

    March 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Reply
    • Bull

      I think Iran was better off with the US in 1953 as opposed to Stalin.
      Stalin had his tanks ready to occupy Iran right after Ww2.
      It was a shame about Mossadaq, but a Russian-style Shah would have been catastrophe .
      Saudis are protecting from the Iranian regime's grasp on the middle east.
      The middle east is Sunni majority and Iran wants to control Sunnis. They control Hamas, while hating Sunnis
      Iran hates Palestinian Sunni practitioners

      March 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Reply
      • PATRICK A.

        Idiot,the Saudi pigs are minority in their country so your point is mute.

        March 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
      • Chut Pata

        You are an Idiot. The Saudi Royal family are the followers of wahhabism which is not considered sunni by the sunni majority. They came into power by massacres with the help of British, and they are in power thru massacres with the help of the Americans. However US media does not report one death in Saudi Arabia.

        March 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
      • Chut Pata

        The other stupid thing is calling Hammas as shia. They are sunni turned wahhabies. The only shias are hizbollah in that region, the only force that drove Israel out of their land, breaking the myth of the "chosen ones" being undefeatable.

        March 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • martin

      well since this articel is NOT about the Saudi mafia it wont mention it, smart guy. Go smoke some pole.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Reply
    • bspurloc

      they have the most oil and are not threatening anyone so their EVIL DOER status is nollied.... like DUH!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
  29. Letalis Metal

    You people are insane. Complaining how the U.S. has not intervened? This is just like the korean war all over again! Have you all not realized, the U.S. only intervenes if they gain from it! (or think they will) Yes lets get the war machine working again! People like Tony don't know the politics, people who think Isreal is the bad wolf are idiots. This world is the bad wolf. We will forever kill each other. If the U.S. had a rival like that would we not hesitate to kill em in the name of justice.This is not bout justice its about winning all spoils which is not limited to the manipulation of the public. Warmongers eh? WE ALL ARE WARMONGERS, will you kill to defend yourself? Then your a warmonger. Want to help your friend with dealing with another country? Want revenge for the killing of those closest to you WARMONGER. The citizens of the U.S. needs to understand their living off stolen land full of blood and that if you want to live in peace you need to kill. Iguitur qui desiderat pacem praparet bellum.

    March 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
    • umm

      yes, blame everyone for your problems. Then call on the US to help you when you are being killed or attacked. Then repaet the same actions over and over again. Middle east is covered in blood over a thousand years now still going on over beliefs. lol. Syria if google past history that they chatted US to die and now days they want help. Would you really want to help someone that wants to kill you? Read, learn, and open your mind. You have to become more than just animal use your brian. What you wrote you mgiht need some help.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  30. Cmd Shepard

    So we finally figure out the secret background of the Illusive Man, and how he funds Cerberus.

    March 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  31. Cheeseburger

    Ah,the beat of the class warfare drums are getting louder and louder. The US is no Syria but we have our own "cousins" in this country. Not billions, but contracts, favors, etc. go to those close to those in power here too. Well, maybe billions. Look at Obama's pals in Chicago. And other presidents before him. Now that would be a story.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  32. James

    If you kill enough people you can be rich in Syria–

    March 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  33. Ducks

    He's cute, I need a suger daddy. txt me Rami

    March 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      You are aware he is Syrian.....thus only interested in small boys and close female if you are one of the family or a boyscout you might be his type..

      March 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
      • Smith

        That's beyond retarded. But doen't really surprise me coming from a stupid AmeriFat like your self...

        March 7, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
      • Ignorance Hater

        Wow...your statement just makes you look like the most ignorant man in the world (and hey you just might be). You know absolutely nothing about Syria or its people. If you wanna talk bad about a country and its people, at least know something about it. Syrians are NOT barbarians. They don't molest little boys and they don't marry their close relatives. They are the most hospitable and peaceful people you will ever know, but the media portrays them as these evil people ruled by a devilish dictator which is the sooo false. Syria's leader is a man who tries to do great things for his country. Sure he makes mistakes, but what leader doesn't? I challenge you to go to Syria and see the beauty of it and its people.

        March 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
      • par

        Dont forget the church child molesters

        March 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  34. dutspup

    we need a plague, we are due for one. Where's that new bird flu thingy. Time to thin the herds.

    March 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  35. Ashraf

    It is the job of the hague criminal law court to defend humanity.

    March 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  36. dinak

    If you hypocrite liberals would let us drill, we could have the same chance to be wealthy as this Syrian dude.

    March 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • gottabekiddingme

      its not like you can just drill and then get rich off oil... there has to be oil there first... jack@ss

      March 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • c

      If liberals are such hypocrits- why didn't George Bush; the TYexas oil man do more drilling- the answer- they were busy making money off MIddle Eastern oil dictators- you know Gaddaffi, Assad, the Saudi'd, Kuwait etc. We aren't the only hypocrits

      March 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
      • Brian32

        If you had at least half a brain and knew how to research you would find and see that right now there is more oil drilling and oil rig leases under Obama then Bush Jr.s and Clinton's administrations. Oil rigging is bigger now then it's ever been in the US because Obama. In the Gulf there is hundreds of new rigs that were never there because of this current administration. Obama also tapped into a small part of the reserves which lowered gas prices temporarily but slightly a few months back proving it is in fact oil companies rigging prices. The party who said drill baby drill ended up being the party who refuses to drill.

        March 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  37. This_blank

    @J sorry i responded to you it was before i realized you were full of hate a racist & paint with an extremly broad stereotypical brush from now on i will skip over your comments

    March 7, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  38. This_blank

    @J LOL this isnt a spelling bee if i was that worried about it i would enable spell checker to many people get caught up on NOTHING! Tell you what when i talk about naggers & put an i instead of an a then you go ahead & worry about my spelling

    March 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  39. Mohammie

    Its no great accomplishment to achieve wealth derived from neoptism. I am going to hold my dirty sandal in the air to show his the disrespect.

    Sometimes when do my prayers I make the wind come out my bottom

    March 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • god

      it's ok I don't mind

      March 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  40. ari

    All that wealth will crush down on them. Too bad..................Just look around histories of Dictator's wealth.

    March 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  41. US citizen

    OOPS – did they say he own a company in Britain Virgin Islands? It is better than WIKILEAKs. So, Britains supported the mafia? OR, it was not mafia at that time.....because people did not protest. Money rules over Britain

    March 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • Joe Rust

      I suppose if i preach that math is irrelevant, and then balance my checkbook, balancing my checkbook is irresponsible because it contradicts what i said. Ooops, your post has no merit but to shoot spit wads at the kid you've got a beef with. 🙂

      March 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  42. This_blank

    @ MOOSE the only place isreal is digging their own grave is in the court of american popular oppinion if isreal wants it back THEY need to man up say THEY are going to take control in THEIR & our interests(because it is mostly theirs) & earn our respect!

    March 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • J

      This blank...please learn how to spell countries correctly and learn how to write.....thanks....

      March 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • learn to spell the country you hate

      it's spelled ISRAEL.

      and this article has nothing to do with Israel. It has to do with yet another brutal Arab dictatorship. Stop trying to deflect this thread onto Israel. There are plenty of appropriate places to do that if you're embarrassed about all the dictatorships in the mideast getting overthrown.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
      • fairsquare2

        good catch lear-how-to-spell. Those idiots always going off topics

        March 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  43. This_blank

    Im sure that makhlouf translated into english is trump. I wonder if this guy has bad hair too? So hes just another ruthless bussiness man who would stomp on your neck to pick up a dime! See we arent that diffrent after all!

    March 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  44. Panties

    I have been screwing Makhlouf's daughter for many years. And, she is very good.

    March 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  45. This_blank

    Change the names to bush or kennedy & this could be a domestic piece

    March 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  46. Snap

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace

    March 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • Lola

      It's a beautiful song, but that's all it is. Will never happen

      March 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Reply
      • reply

        just because it has never happened doesn't mean it never will

        March 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Common sense

      There is something in humans that always want to control the weak and the less fortunite..

      March 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • Tony

      Lennon didn't quite understand Islaaam when he wrote that song. They can't imagine it, because they love death and honor... its like singing Kumbaya to Klingons.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  47. Sheepest

    Anybody know the arrogance of Main Stream Media?, they lucky so far, let us see how ends their crime against individuals, communities and nations particularly USA, their first victim

    March 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Reply
    • aaron

      Yep, Fox News does nothing but lie or withhold information to benefit the rich.

      March 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
      • J

        Yep, CNN News does nothing but lie or withhold information to benefit the rich and the left wing losers...

        March 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
      • Correction

        Hey we won the white house! That sort of makes us winners, doesn't it?

        March 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
      • reply

        left right, they are all controled by the corp and rich

        March 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  48. Steve

    Sounds like the Cheney oil people or Lyndon Johnsons cohorts.

    March 7, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      I was thinking the same thing.

      March 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  49. Andrey

    One day they say: that is because Syrian people want more democracy!
    Then they say: that is because they kill innocents civilians!
    Later they say: that is because Syrian people do not want to see country riches being ripped away by a few...
    So siriously? Do you want to go to war on every country where any of this happens? Can you name a country where there is none of this?
    So they have got rich people there. And these people have happened to be quite close to the ruling elite. What a surprise indeed! Now lets go through the rest 180 countries – to check the number of wars to start...

    March 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Reply
    • lucianne

      Maybe we could start with returning our own oligarchy to a democracy, and reorganize incentives so the ordinary people don't have to subsidize the super-rich who contribute nothing to the economy here, and then we could get rid of the tea party wing-nuts who think women should ""obey"' their husbands and give birth endlessly and then maybe, and only then maybe, we should consider throwing stones at other peoples' houses...

      March 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • jet

      Andrey it is a big deal if the only ones getting rich are from the same clan and the same people are in the leading jobs

      March 9, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  50. Mike Johnson

    It doesn't matter who is in power in a country like Syris ... if the opposition gains power , they will be just as brutal. Tune into a football game and just let 'em go at it ....

    March 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • God-Zilla


      you cant beat this

      **"They should know when we suffer, we will not suffer alone."**

      do you have any idea what he means. what sort of weapons stockpile assad has. he may be more insane than gadafi after all.

      and you are not mike johnson. you are from beijing. how much did you make in arms sales to iran.

      March 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  51. Yoda

    Kinda like what the Bush's did and are still doing to the U.S....alomg with Rumsfield, Cheney!!!!

    March 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
    • LostinSLC

      Man, get over it! Bush has been out of office three years and is rarely seen like bigfoot.....just a myth

      March 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • J


      March 7, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • God-Zilla

      the bush's .... really ...

      I had no problem with the father, bush sr. saddam had to be stopped in the gulf war. just look at the environmental disaster saddam caused by setting fire to all the kuwaiti oil well. Was that an action acceptable according to the Koran. Obviously not. That s because saddam was never Muslim, neither were gadafi or assad. they only think of themselves.

      a for the second bush, I can understand after such a direct attack any american president would have been enraged. however my problem with him is that he could have read the report on his desk and prevented the whole drama. instad he went to play golf. but then, it was his forst presidency, and it s not like he knew what was on that report.

      but yes, from guantanamo to other bad cals, I think those were poor decisions

      But now, how can you compare this with assad family. verizon size controlled by a single family, that s massive. not at all the same scope.

      the bush made their money long before they first had a president. not saying they are anything like bill gates, steve jobs or edison, but they re your average succesfull business family. And I respect that for what it is, honnest work. (except thepart on the iraq subcontracting – anyway – I just think that part is a bad call).

      but the assad, they got blood on their hands, blood in their own countries, many times over, and secret police and what not. no comparison whatsoever. it s like soprano * emc2

      March 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Reply
      • Common sense

        And the Bushes don't have blood on their hands..oh who the first director of the CIA?

        March 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • reply

        of course the US has never had a civil war so we have no blood on our hands...The fact that 4 wealthy peolpe are paying 40% of the campain bills is worriesum, how capitolism is fighting against democracy and winning is worriesum, how every congrossman has become wealthier since 2008 is worriesum...the people of syria have had enough...wwhen wil we have enough?

        March 7, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
      • lucianne

        W was just foolish and let himself be led by Cheney. Let's start looking at the Murdochs for people who are really causing the disasters to our country – Assad wanna-be's, and we are letting them.

        March 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  52. nk

    is it any different in the United States? NO.

    March 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  53. Darek

    Isn't it the same everywhere. If corporate money is allowed to flow uncontrollably into politics than the gap betwee the super wealthy and regular workers begins to widen.

    March 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • Barry G.

      Well said.

      March 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • Barry G.


      The only people who could implement such reforms are our legislators, and that would be like asking the fox to guard the henhouse.

      Out congressional leaders (both parties) have sold out to the lobbyists.

      How do you think they amass so much more money than they receive as their annual salary of $175,000?

      Both parties are filled with thieves, robbers, liars and cowards. That’s why this country is in trouble.

      March 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
      • fiskenmann

        The congressional 'spawn' of South Dakota is one fine example.

        March 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • gary

      what about union money?

      March 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
    • Kris

      Wherever there's power...

      March 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  54. AlCourts

    March 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  55. J R Brown

    The Treasury has a "Financial Crimes Enforcement Network"...??? Is this a joke?

    March 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • Hasher Iva

      Apparently it does not apply to any US entity...

      March 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • jk

      If they had chosen the Bush family like the bin ladens they would be rolling in gold right now and ASSad being declared the American saint. I am sure Bush is not too happy that Obama killed his business partners son whom he had gotten protection from the Pakistani army

      March 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
      • jet

        I am not all convinced Bush did not let Bin Laden get away in bora bora. If they would of captured him Bush would of never have gotten support to go to Iraq

        March 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  56. larry5

    More examples of why peace is not the goal here, it's victory and nothing less. Unfortunately many of these citizens are just in the way. If they won't knuckle under they'll just have to be dealt with. For a Muslim society the rule is last man standing is the winner. What can the west do, pick a side? Flip a coin. Obama's going to help with this problem? Give me a break. Obama can't even sort out his own problems and besides, it's campaign time. The only chance for the citizens is to get help, raise up and wipe out the current Syrian leadership. Not only will they have to take on the leadership of their own country but they'll have to face Iran, too. The future for the average Syrian citizen does not look good.

    March 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
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    March 7, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • fiskenmann

      Suck it!

      March 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  58. Tony

    To James PDX, with my respect to you the world need to be policed by some form of regularity body such as UN. Your excuse about wasting US budget is a valid point, but your passive veiw had allowed 6-7 millions jews to perrish in the holocast that should not be repeated again. United states has medeled and supported many dictators and this is the price to pay when you have one sided blind policy. In fact USA is a big playyer. Stopping attrocities doesnot mean to bome the infrastructure of other nation or committing same scale killing. In the history of man kind there were many ways of preventing and stopping further adversities. You think this is a muslim problems.. my answer to you.. That USA is not giving green light to Saudi, Turkey or any other to intervene. Then in reality you are part of that and you need to bear the consequences.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • sue sabra

      When shall we meet the gulf oil kings,princes, and princesses that hoard the most wealth on earth....and learn from their democracies????? and how they oppress and murder the minorities in their kingdoms......

      March 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • leelanau

      Perhaps you missed the history lesson that would reveal that a good deal of Syria's internal problems now were caused by the meddling of the League of Nations.

      March 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • PATRICK A.

      6 million pigs you mean.
      I wonder if you were there to count those crooked nose pigs.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  59. angel611

    You mean Syria's wealthiest man is not of the Republican candidates for President?
    Well that sux.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:28 am | Reply
    • Peten

      I think he may also be related to the great Democrat, Soros and they run on the democrat ticket,

      March 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • leelanau

      Stupid is as stupid types....

      March 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  60. Jackson

    Nerguizian says Bashar al-Assad's father had always ensured wealth was distributed from the merchant class to ordinary rural Syrians, but the son had made a crucial mistake in favoring the elites of Damascus and Aleppo. "And it's coming back to haunt them because it's one of the main points of contention that led to the cycle of uprisings in 2011," says Nerguizian............................... eerily similar to what the Republicans are wanting.. hoarding the wealth amongst the wealthiest 1%. Probably like Assad too who thought it may trickle down to the common citizen except it doesn't!
    Only a very very tiny portion of the wealthy are like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. Most hoard their $$$$.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • Mike Sterling

      Except those evit 1% (Gates/Buffett) have pledged and are giving all their wealth away to charities. So whats your point?

      March 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
      • Barry G.

        Didn’t the American Robber Barons of the nineteenth century begin giving away large sums of the money they stole and obtained by immoral means, when they reached the end of their lives?

        I don’t know whether they did this out of the realization that they didn’t have long to live and were staring at eternity in Hell, for what they did, or whether they had a genuine crisis of conscience.

        Perhaps the simply began to fear the people they had robbed, fearing that the people would turn against them, as the people of Russia did to the Tsar.

        March 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
      • Snap

        In the case of Gates and Buffet I believe they realized there was nothing to do with the money because they both decided not to give it to their children.

        March 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  61. HelpingHand

    "It's not a question right now of Alawites versus Sunnis"

    Bullshit it isn't. Since when has it EVER been a different story? Iraq? Bahrain? Seriously? The western media can't get more stupid.

    March 7, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • Bill

      You missed the emphasis on "right now".

      Tomorrow is another day.

      March 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  62. Thomas Henley

    It's a dual edged sword when you begin to go after the oligarchs. The US of course has more than it's fair share of those holding our own economy and government hostage. Funny how the 99% matter in Syria but don't here in the United States?

    March 7, 2012 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • Esp20

      I must agree even in the U.S. some government officials do not represent the best interest for the American people, for example Super Packs!

      March 7, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply
      • leelanau

        Ask Bill Maher why he'd give Obama a million bucks in super pac, rather than feed a 100,000 starving bellies....

        March 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • fiskenmann

        Again, the congressional 'spawn' of South Dakota is one fine example.

        March 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Bill

      Its because the working class do not indentify with either the 1% or the so called "99%". The latter does not exist.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
  63. Xavier.a


    March 7, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
  64. Esp20

    Akhlouf is a money holder and front man for Assad. He alone is not wealthy.

    March 7, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
  65. Nadia

    Hey president bashar assad is richer than him he is worth 60 billion. All cause his family has sucked the blood of the syrian people for 40 yrs

    March 7, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
    • Jeremie

      Can you provide facts such as documents, solid information so we can believe you? and how do we know u r not mossad...!

      March 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
      • Robert Biley

        Blaming the Mossad is an easy way out for the Alawites of Syria. In 1930's they were looking for help from a Jewish President of France one Bloom to get their won country by claiming just like Jews, the Alawites will suffer under Sunni Arabs. Well they may have a point, the Sunnis will finnish anybody who is not a Sunni in Arab and Muslim counry. But exagerated Arabism and Islamism is a front for the minority Alawites real control of Syria who are neither Arab (they are Pre Arab peole) or Muslims (they belive in reincarnation like the Hindus). Anyway this a fight to the death and i feel the Alawites had overextended themselves. It is a question of time

        March 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
      • J

        You are such a think they would waste their time trying to influence welfare cases like you??? You dumb conspiracy theorist retard...

        March 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  66. Tony

    The daily killings of innocents people is unprecedented in the history of syria since the crusades and the magools; Holako. The whole world is watching and doing nothing..what a shame... President Obama the same way he dropped his reverand wrights; his former mentor he is distancing himself from the daily masacre that is going in syria. Mr. Uncle Tom enjoy the time in the white house. The history will prove the impotency of people like you.

    March 7, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • James PDX

      YES! Let's police the world, start more wars, create WWIII, and destroy our country because Tony says so. Or we could leave Syria and its Muslims to be dealt with by other Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, so we don't go bankrupt. What am I saying. Let's go bomb Iran. It's the US way (according to Tony).

      March 7, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
      • J

        And a lot of people agree with Tony...

        March 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • leelanau

      Actually, the bloodshed spilt in Syria pales by comparison to that of the old man Haffez, and particularly to more recent genocides in Africa.

      March 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  67. Tony

    Most of the syrian opposition are from the poor and disfranchised element of the society who are watching syria resources ripped by the Al Assad FAMILY INCLUDING THIS BORN peasant FROM THE ALAWITE MOUNTAIN WHO HAS NO SINGLE PENNY TO INHERIT. This dump looking idiot who hijachekd the syrian economy helped by the international thugs including some jews whoes god is money and nothing else. The syrian people have to struggle hard because this mafia is connected with the international mafia including Israel. The Assad fall is considered a big set back to israel and the zionist movement in the world.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply

      You chose this type of Government and the false God you worship. Deal with it

      March 7, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
      • god

        I am not false are

        March 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • James PDX

      Anti-Zionist conspiracy theorists are really working overtime today.

      March 7, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
      • George Washington Warned Us To Avoid Getting Into Foreign Entanglements

        I'm so happy to see more Americans opening their eyes to the evil of zionism.

        zionism is the root of all the world's problems plain and simple

        Everything bad in the world can be traced to the Rothchild's devil baby israel.

        Real Jews hate zionism.
        zionism is the 21st century version of Nazism.

        Death to the Rothchilds devil baby israel.

        March 7, 2012 at 11:10 am |
      • J

        Ya since muslim and muslim countries are the stain on humanity, and Israel is the light onto humanity, since the muslims are in all kinds of disarray, involved in all conflicts in terror in the world, being condemned by almost every country, they have nothing left to do but their favorite past time, deflect the blame onto Israel....only problem is, its too late, everyone really now knows it is the muslims that are the cause of all evil in the world....they even slaughter their own people, they kill babies and old ladies, hate America and the nothing to contribute anything postive to humanity...while Israel has the most nobel prizes per capita in the world.......even though there are wayy more muslims, they are only good for killing and destroying, not living and building.......besides, this article has absolutely nothing to do with Israel, just like Israel has nothing to do with the 80 conflicts in the world that ALL include muslims.....the world now truly knows who the common denominator is........

        March 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • David

      You do know Israel is officially at war with Syria right?

      March 7, 2012 at 10:54 am | Reply
      • George Washington Warned Us To Avoid Getting Into Foreign Entanglements

        So who cares davie? Real Americans don't give one flip for syria or israel.

        So go blow your brains out davie – your passing will surely brighten up the world.

        Death to all zionists.

        Come on WW3 Baby!!

        March 7, 2012 at 11:12 am |
      • DJS

        yeah...this here 'merica. Israel being a wh@re has got nothing to do with us.

        March 7, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • J

      Tony, I agreed with you earlier but I jumped the are an idiot.....Bashar assad and his thugs falling would help Israel.....not be to their detriment...

      March 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • jet

      Why is it every time I read an article that has nothing to do with Israel the comment section is full of blame for Israel?

      March 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  68. Pete

    I see an ignominious death in that dude's future.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • George Washington Warned Us To Avoid Getting Into Foreign Entanglements

      israel is digging it own grave.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
      • Moose

        Isreal has defended itself throughout history without any problems. They have fought against multiple countries on multiple fronts and succeeded. I do not think they are digging their own graves.

        March 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
      • J

        hey washington or whatever you call yourself...death to you loser...and no, real Jews do not denounce "zionism" do you even know what it means or has the dumb muslim propaganda penetrated your weak mind you better watch your mouth you lying scum.....p.s, it is the muslims that are the root of all evil in the world and the stain on go tell your imam that he lied to you and to take his rod out of your dirty pathetic welfare case loser.....

        March 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  69. david

    The name Feltman suggest an ethnicity that is not Arab friendly,oh another one! remember those in Bush Admin.leading up to the Iraq war?

    March 7, 2012 at 8:38 am | Reply
  70. Even Stevens

    At least his name isn't Jonathan Pollard, the American born zionist spy traitor. What would you expect from him? Do you zionist rag heads want him to betray his country? Hey CNN let's see a story on the rich zionists in the U.S. and how they betray America by supporting the zionists in tel-aviv.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:17 am | Reply
    • J

      Hey even stevens....why would Jews supporting zionism (you obviously) dont know what it means) be betraying America? Jews are some of the smartest, most loyal hard working dumb liar....weak minded muslim propaganda repeating loser.......Israel/Jews have the most nobel prizes per muslims have nothing excep knowing how to kill women and babies and kill yourselves.....p.s, this article is about that cesspool syria, stop trying to doesnt work here with smart people...

      March 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
      • PATRICK A.

        Shut the hell up you dirty Jew pig,where is Hitler when you need him

        March 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
      • Andreas

        Surprise surprise. Nothing but gangsters.

        March 8, 2012 at 4:58 am |
  71. Queef

    For a moment there I thought it was former Penguins great, Mario Lemieux.

    March 7, 2012 at 3:09 am | Reply
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