Divisions within the Syrian Opposition on Eve of Turkey Meeting

Burhan Ghalioun - Leading Opposition Intellectual

The opposition meeting scheduled to take place in Turkey in four days (May 30) has brought out divisions among leaders of the Syrian uprising. A meeting of some 400 opposition members in Washington on Tuesday also brought some unity. The opposition is divided over the proper role foreign governments should play in bringing down the Syrian regime. Some believe that only foreign action – primarily sanctions as presently articulated – will destroy the Syrian government. One advocates an Israeli role in the destruction of the regime.

A growing divide between those inside the country and outside is developing as well. This is suggested by Burhan Ghalioun’s refusal to go to the Turkey meeting of the opposition. [See translation of his reasons below]

Some 400 Syrian American opposition members gathered in Washington DC on Tuesday 24 May for a first-of-its-kind day of lobbying, rallies, and planning sessions to support freedom and dignity for the people of Syria who are struggling against their government for self-determination. [see more about this meeting at Mideast Report by Tic Root]

Authors at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy propose ways they believe that Sunni soldiers can been persuaded to defect from the Syrian Army. They recognize that so long as the military remains loyal to the president and government, the opposition cannot succeed. Because they do not envisage Alawite officers turning on the regime, they list ways to convince “Sunni members of the Syrian military [to] oust the ruling family.” They advocate that “Washington should begin an active dialogue with the members of the National Initiative for Change.” The principle authors of this program are Radwan Ziadeh, Ausama Monajed, Ammar Abdalhamid, Najib Ghadbian. See more here.

Radwan Ziadeh, 35, US-based head of the Damascus Centre for Human Rights. Ziadeh is a human rights lobbyist, author of 13 books and visiting scholar at George Washington University in the US, where he fled to in 2007 after being threatened with arrest. He has been monitoring deaths and human rights abuses during the protests, including in his home town of Daraya close to Damascus. He has tried, with limited success, to bring the opposition and activists together through a new alliance, the National Initiative for Change.

Anas Al Abdeh, Chairman of the Movement for Justice & Development in Syria and Chairman of the Secretariat of the Damascus Declaration in Diaspora, said that “Europe, and France in particular, has a responsibility to apply direct and strong pressure on the Syrian regime.”

Ausama Monajed laments that Western government are not exploiting the opportunity at hand to divide Syria from Iran and Hizbullah when “protesters have increasingly adopted an anti-Iranian and anti-Hizbollah line.”

Burhan Ghalioun, a leading Syrian opposition intellectual, refuses to go to Turkey Opposition meeting, claiming it will be used by foreign interests. He wrote this on Wednesday, May 25, 2011

إلى أخواني الذين يسألوني عن أسباب عدم حضوري مؤتمر انطاليا أو يتساءلون عنها، أقول إنني أتفهم تعطش شباب الثورة إلى عنوان سياسي يشكل مرجعا لهم وذراعا سياسيا يصد عنهم ضربات سلطة العسف والعنف العاري وحامل لرسالتهم أمام الرأي العام العريي والعالمي. وجوابي أنه لو كان لدي ثقة ولو قليلة على أن هذا المؤتمر يخدم بالفعل هذه الأهداف أو بعضها لما ترددت لحظة في انضمامي إليه. لكنه ليس كذلك. هو بجمع بين الكثير ممن يريد أن يستفيد من الثورة ويستغلها لخدمة أجندات خاصة، ومنها أجنبية لسوء الحظ، وقليل جدا ممن يفكر بالفعل في خدمتها والتضحية من أجلها. هذا هو تقديري على الأقل. وكان إعلانه مفاجأة لي لأنمنظميه كانوا على اتصال بي وكنت قد وعدتهم بأننا نعمل مع الداخل لبلورة مبادرة جامعة. مع الاعتراف بأن بطء الداخل قد أساء لنا أيضا وفتح الباب أمام مثل هذه المبادرات الضعيفة والمليئة بالمفاجآت غير السارة

To my brothers who ask me about the reasons for not attending the Conference in Antalya, I say that I understand the thirst of youth to address a political revolution ……. My answer is that if I had confidence that this conference would serve these goals, I would not hesitate in joining them. But it does not. It is a collection of many of those who want to benefit from and exploit the revolution to serve private agendas, including, unfortunately, foreign agendas. Unfortunately, very few of those participating are really interested in serving the revolution or sacrificing for it. That is estimation of the meeting at least. The announcement of the meeting was a surprise to me because those who announced it were in contact with me. I had promised them that we were working to develop an initiative with those within Syria though a common initiative. We recognize that the slow pace of progress created difficulties and open the door to such initiatives such as these that are weak and full of unpleasant surprises.

Burhan Ghalioun, 65, professor of political sociology at the Sorbonne, Paris –  One of Syria’s respected intellectuals in exile, the academic Ghalioun has become a very public face of the uprising through numerous television and radio interviews. The author of 20 works, including The Arab Malaise, he is known for his strong opinions expressed in a calm, logical manner. He insists the leadership must come from the young people on the ground, but they require the outside help of people such as himself to keep media attention.

Here is a question from a reporter that underscores the divisions among Syrian opposition leaders

Who is the core of the Syrian opposition? I noticed that there are some divergence inside them. For example, Anas Al Abdeh, president of the London-based Movement for Justice and Development said that “Europe, and France in particular, has a responsibility to apply a direct and strong pressure on the Syrian regime so that it will halt the killing of innocents” . At his side were two other opposition leaders, Sarkis Sarkis of the Arab Socialist Movement, and Abdulhamid Alatassi of the Syrian Democratic People’s Party.

At the same time, Farid Ghadry, leader of the opposition Reform Party of Syria said that “The Syrians are waiting to see who is on their side…This is an opportunity for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, to do something.”He also said that Israelis should remain in the Golan even though it must return to Syria. How do you assess these different proposals? It seems that the oppositions are seeking for more foreign supports than winning over the domestic merchant and middle class.

Sarkis Sarkis Arab Socialist Movement, member of the Damascus Declaration and member of the National Democratic Rally in Syria

Abdulhamid Alatassi Representative of the Syrian Democratic People’s Party in France and member of the Secretariat-General of the Damascus Declaration in Diaspora

Anas Alabdeh Chairman of the Movement for Justice & Development in Syria and Chairman of the Secretariat of the Damascus Declaration in Diaspora

Ausama Monajed writes in his : “Syrian Revolution News Round-up” Day 71: Tuesday, 24 May 2011

“Could the U.S. waste another historic opportunity in the Middle East! Over the last few weeks, protesters have increasingly adopted an anti-Iranian and anti-Hizbollah line, the question is why western leaders are ignoring the opportunity at hand?”

Ghassan al-Muflih on the Antalya meeting – He is another leader of the opposition

Profiles of five people who are emerging as possible leaders of the Syrian rebellion

Raikhlina Sasha
25.05.2011, 14:01
Interview with Joshua Landis, Director of the Centre for Middle East Studies and Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Reports mention financial sanctions, and, as far as I understand, these would come in the form of asset freezes and travel bans on the government figures, am I correct?
Source: Voice of Russia.

Ammar Abdalhamid and Helena Cobban at the Middle East Institute.

Syria opposition battles rising frustration and internal divisions: Disorganisation and splits within activists’ ranks said to deter others from joining movement.
Nidaa Hassan in Damascus, guardian.co.uk, Monday 23 May 2011

Syria’s anti-government protesters are battling against internal divisions and growing frustration as the movement against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, now in its third month, appears to have reached a stalemate…..

There is disagreement about whether or not to negotiate with the government, what tactics to adopt for the street protests, and even whether the demonstrations began too soon.

“Maybe we should have waited and got better organised before we took to the streets,” said one protester in his 20s in the central city of Homs. A middle-aged woman whose son is out protesting said she offered to send him to Egypt to learn from activists but “he and his friends were so enthused by the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia they couldn’t wait”.

But others said they had to take the opportunity presented by the initial victories of the Arab spring.

Many in urban centres are disconnected from a mainly rural uprising, and tribal groups have their own specific codes, requiring revenge for bloodshed, said a diplomat in Damascus.

When on 13 May the government said it would open a national dialogue – a pledge that looks increasingly insincere – opposition figures took different stances.

Older veteran figures such as Louay Hussein, an Alawite writer who met presidential emissaries, advocated negotiations.

But others, such as Razan Zeitouneh, a 35-year-old lawyer and activist, rejected any form of contact.

“I am adamantly opposed to dialogue before all violence is stopped and all political prisoners are released,” she said.

This disorganisation has alienated some of those who would have joined the protest movement. Two months of action have polarised Syrians.

…Those advocating change encompass all ages, levels of education and religions but predominantly young men are taking to the streets. “I fear people see young men in tracksuits or look at people coming out in rural areas and don’t see it as a movement that they relate to,” said the middle-aged woman….

In Syria, the revolution is uncertain.
Video by Grant Slater

KPCC Video and Photo, Southern California Public Radio – Interviews with Syrians on both sides of the revolutionary divide in California. This film should be seen in tandem with reading this article about the same people.

American sanctions against Syria 25.05.2011

LA Times:

“You can’t ignore the timing,” said Albright. “Syria is politically weaker than it was six months ago, and it might be easier to muster the votes at the [IAEA] board to refer this to the Security Council.”

Albright is a weapon inspector who now heads the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington arms control watchdog. “This is laying down the gauntlet against Syria.”

James Fallows: Under Pressure, Syria Ends Economic Liberalization, Worsening Outlook


One of President Assad’s rare progressive initiatives, an effort to open Syria’s economy has come to a halt under domestic protests and international sanctions, threatening to add to the country’s political woes DAMASCUS, Syria — Syrian President …

Chatham House: Envisioning Syria’s Political Future – Obstacles and Options


Envisioning Syria’s Political Future – Obstacles and Options Tuesday 14 June 2011 18:00 to 19:00 Location Chatham House, London Participants Ammar Abdulhamid, Syrian Human Rights activist, author, dissident and founder of The Tharwa Foundation …

CFR: The New Yorker: The Syrian Problem


The New Yorker’s Steve Coll looks at the past decade of oppressive rule by the Assad regime and argues that the time for Washington to negotiate has passed. The Damascus Spring of 2001 was so called because Syrian democrats hoped that President …

Witness: Shattered humanity inside Syria’s security apparatus
By Suleiman al-Khalidi – Thu May 26, Reuters

AMMAN (Reuters) – The young man was dangling upside down, white, foaming saliva dripping from his mouth. His groans sounded more bestial than human…..

Hizbullah leader, Hasan Nasrallah talking about Syria: خطاب السيد حسن نصر الله الجزء الثالث سوريا

DC Circuit upholds default damages judgment against Syria

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Friday unanimously ruled [opinion, PDF] to uphold a $413 million judgment against Syria for assisting in the the murders of two US contractors. In 2004, two …

Obama’s Push-Pull Strategy: How Washington Should Plan for a Post-Assad Syria
By Andrew J. Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Mara Karlin ForeignAffairs.com, May 25, 2011

Washington can take several concrete steps to help bring the Syrian crisis and the Asad regime to a peaceful end.

Assad is now caught in a dilemma: He can continue relying on his fellow Alawite security chiefs and the minority system they dominate to persecute the predominately Sunni protesters, or he can enact deep political reforms that could convince the protesters to return home but would end the Alawite-led system on which he so heavily relies. Either way, the Assad regime as it has existed for more than four decades is disintegrating.

Now, to follow through on his bold declaration last week, Obama and his advisers must plan for a Syria without the Assad regime as it currently exists. To do so, Washington should try to push Assad from power while pulling in a new leadership.

…..Obama must go even further than he did in his speech last week and publicly state that Assad must go. ……

Sanctions are another way to weaken Assad’s already loosening grip on power. ….

The United States could also exploit the vulnerability of Syria’s oil sector, …. Washington should press EU member states to …ban …. the Commercial Bank of Syria,…..The bank is known to keep a portion of its approximately $20 billion in hard currency reserves in short-term accounts at European banks. ……

Furthermore, the United States could invoke some combination of the remaining tenets of the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act. (The act was first enacted by Congress in 2003 to sanction Syria for its pernicious meddling in Iraq and Lebanon, support for terror groups, and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.) Those tenets include a ban on U.S. investment in Syria, a ban on the travel of Syrian diplomats beyond a 25-mile radius of Washington and New York, and a downgrading of diplomatic relations.

…a united front would show Arab allies, most notably Saudi Arabia and Egypt (both of which have no love for Assad), that Washington is serious about its “push” strategy and could entice them to actively join the anti-Assad bandwagon. Also, a concerted, multilateral effort against the Assad regime would help strip away Russian and Chinese objections to a UN Security Council resolution …

…. Syrian military officers (some of whom are Sunni) as well as the army’s enlisted rank and file (which is largely Sunni) could be convinced to question seriously Assad’s ability to survive. This would help raise the possibility of Sunni members of the Syrian military stepping in to save the country by ousting the ruling family.

As the United States works to push Assad from power, it should also be looking to pull in new political forces to replace him. Above all else, Syrians themselves must be at the forefront of any regime change in Damascus. Washington should, therefore, begin an active dialogue with the members of the National Initiative for Change,…

Washington should focus on bringing about a government led by the country’s Sunni majority, which would naturally create considerable tension with or a break in Syria’s alliance with Shiite-dominated Iran…

Michael Young

The Obama administration could fashion an Arab consensus by portraying a change in Syria as fatal for Iranian interests in the Levant. Despite Saudi-American tensions in recent months, there would be much sympathy with this approach in Riyadh, helping to unlock Gulf skepticism. What bothers the Saudis is that they see an Obama administration without any discernible strategy to contain Iranian power. An American initiative to use the Syrian crisis as a means of countering the influence of Iran and Hezbollah could reverse this sentiment. It would likely also earn considerable support from Egypt, which views Iran as a major spoiler on the Palestinian front.

Unrest chills investment in Syria, economy falters
Thu May 26, 2011, By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

* Qatar real estate firm halts large project in Damascus
* UAE engineering company pulls out of protest hotspot Homs* Economy seen shrinking 3 pct after 4 pct growth in 2010
* Capital flight detected since street turmoil began

AMMAN, May 26 (Reuters) – Political unrest has stymied three major Gulf investment projects in Syria and harmed efforts to attract capital needed to boost the economy after decades of Soviet-style controls, business figures say.

Syrian Decree on Adding Additional Marks to Exam Results of University Students, 2011-05-26

Decree on Adding Additional Marks to Exam Results of University Students May 26, 2011 http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2011/05/26/349006.htm DAMASCUS, (SANA)- President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday issued Decree No. 203 for 2011 which provides for …

Comments (181)

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51. Shami said:

Ghadri and Rifaat ,are not part of the syrian opposition.

As for the divisions within the syrian opposition ,it’s a healthy thing ,why should they form one block ?

The opposition should be led by the young faces like Ridwan Ziyadeh.

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May 27th, 2011, 7:00 am


52. vlad-the-syrian said:


people like you shouldnt speak about Karameh because they have none and deserve none and they dont even understand what it is .

Syrian people dont want ZOMBIES like you in Syria . Find another place . Go to KSA there is plenty of space there and 72 virgins waiting for you. Hurry then and join your history … in hell 🙂

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May 27th, 2011, 7:01 am


53. Shami said:

Your stance is that of asad-makhlouf,stay with them till the end.
You are aware that change is inescapable ,arrogance is sign of weakness and your hezbollahi ideal has no place in our culture ,as we refuse the moukhabarati culture,this is for sure ,our people will elect their politicians.

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May 27th, 2011, 7:08 am


54. vlad-the-syrian said:

your likes are not syrian if ever they were

Mark this : Syria and all syrians vomit you.

Now you are laughing and mocking like a coward. But your end are gonna be very ugly i tell you.

Remember that : you are a zombie and you will remain a zombie. There shall be no mercy

I fart on your face 🙂

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May 27th, 2011, 7:19 am


55. mjabali said:

The Syrian opposition figures are the reasons why they could not topple the rule of al-Assad yet. This opposition is weak and fragmented. Each has a group and the only thing that unify them is the hatred of al-Assad’s family, and of course a sectarian hatred towards the Alawis.

It is obvious that most of these opposition figures think they will be presidents, or ministers. That is why each one of them is trying to outdo the other to the delight of al-Assad of course.

It is funny how the Guardian chose five leaders only.

A friend of mine always said: all of them worth nothing if they do not have soldiers and tanks in a place like Syria with its current complex calculations.

The real leaders are the ones on the ground with some street pull and some weapons. We are talking Syria here.

Among the five, the man from Dara sounds as a reasonable candidate, but as we know, Sheikh al-Siasneh the Imam of al-Umari Mosque would have more pull and had played a major role already. Same goes to Baniyas, where عيروط plays a major role. The real leaders that emerged so far are from the Sunni Mosque structure or the religious figures on TV inciting things.
Here, al-3Ar3ur العرعور, comes to be of more importance than all of the so called opposition leaders combined, since his call for the Allahu Akbar screams had created some drama here and there.

The real leader of what goes on is the mosque regardless to the many opposition figures sitting behind the internet doing the propaganda. There is no other place than the mosque and the mosque’s ideology will sooner or later become the most obvious one with the days to come. This mosque in these days has struck an alliance with internet to run what goes on.

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May 27th, 2011, 7:31 am


56. Louai said:


are you Syrian? if you were could you please tell me why you are so angry of Hizbuallah? please dont give me the Al Manar coverage answer.

thank you

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May 27th, 2011, 7:38 am


57. vlad-the-syrian said:


“No other president would have survived what this president has had to go through since 2000 with scheme after scheme after scheme”

this is 100% true. I think that most average syrian citizens are aware of this.

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May 27th, 2011, 7:39 am


58. atassi said:

landis @ alex
can you please control the comments.. what’s going on with frekean shar….t vlad-the-syrian !!!

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May 27th, 2011, 7:42 am


59. vlad-the-syrian said:


you zombie coward you are angry because it is the truth

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May 27th, 2011, 7:46 am


60. why-discuss said:



“Today Davidoglo said Bashar needs an electric shock”

Excuse to correct you. You misread or misinterpreted the declaration of Davutoglu. It is not Bashar who needs a ‘shock therapy’, it is Syria and it is Bashar who should administer it! Please read what al Jazeera wrote:

“Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, meanwhile, called on Thursday for Syria to institute reform “shock therapy” in order to restore stability to the country. He said President al-Assad must implement a package of economic, security, judicial and political reforms”


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May 27th, 2011, 7:48 am


61. Louai said:

the average Syrian NEVER heard of any name of the so called oppositions ,that dose not make them not an opposition but they are no more than individuals who are against the way Syria is ruled , no wonder the average Syrian dose not care about politics he has two chooses either support totalitarian state or support individuals with personal and moral problems who were controlled of revenge desire and ready to commit any crime to achieve their destructive goal .

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May 27th, 2011, 7:54 am


62. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Desperately looking for Bouthaina! Did any one see Bouthaina lately? Please contact the lost & found. I miss her. Especially I miss the “s” and “sh”. I would like to ask her if she still thinks the “regime has the upper hand”.

Desperately looking for the president, the head of this junta. For god sake, where is he? Playing Badminton all day with his Vogue top model? in times like this? Don’t leaders supposed to talk to their peoples? guide them? explain to them their policies? Something?

Playing Badminton all day, and issuing strange decrees about additional marks for students? Is this what presidents do? Do you see Obama or PM Netanyahu issuing a decree like this? The press would eat them alive, while their hand is still holding the pen.

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May 27th, 2011, 7:55 am


63. why-discuss said:


Is the call for the Army to join the protesters after the friday prayers as successful as the recent call for a general strike?

What’s in the menu for next Friday, which by the way will be day after the meeting in Turkey closes?

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May 27th, 2011, 7:56 am


64. vlad-the-syrian said:

WD 59

and who is this turkish Davutoglu to say that Syria need a “shock therapy” ?

Does he know better than syrians what reforms are needed for Syria ?

Please tell me on behalf on what he is speaking ? on behalf of the Antalya meeting so-called opposition or rather on that of the ex-Ottoman empire ? Dont you see the arrogance of this kind of declaration. Are you syrian ?

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May 27th, 2011, 7:58 am


65. vlad-the-syrian said:


“either support totalitarian state”

we had “dictatorship” now we have “totalitarian state” !

go tell that to real syrians not coward zombies and appointed isrealis contributors, watch their reactions and give back your report

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May 27th, 2011, 8:05 am


66. why-discuss said:

Saudis worry about the MB and ambivalent towards Syria.

“The Saudis worry that an empowered Muslim Brotherhood could damage Saudi legitimacy by presenting a model of Islamic law different from the Wahhabi tradition of an absolute monarch.”

…On Syria, an initial statement of support by King Abdullah for President Bashar al-Assad has been followed by silence, along with occasional calls at Friday Prayer for God to support the protesters. That silence reflects a deep ambivalence, analysts said. The ruling Saudi family personally dislikes Mr. Assad — resenting his close ties with Iran and seeing Syria’s hand in the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri, a Saudi ally. But they fear his overthrow will unleash sectarian violence without guaranteeing that Iranian influence will be diminished.

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May 27th, 2011, 8:12 am


67. atassi said:

vlad-the- Kourdahi

you are worthless,@#%^%$&^*(((

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May 27th, 2011, 8:13 am


68. atassi said:

NO amnesty for the terrorists that killed, tortured our fellow Syrians.. NEVER will be forgiven, all their names are known.. You can’t hid ..

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May 27th, 2011, 8:20 am


69. Shami said:

Mjabali,the mosque and the shouyoukhs are absent,they are factor of decadence,they lost their appeal ,the arab young people are dying for liberal values …the dictatorial arab regimes based their policy on an alliance with the “men of religion” and the new rich corrupt merchants but this order is being shocked nowadays.
As most of these men of religion and merchants are corrupts and hypocrites ,when the road turns for good ,they will be the first to curse Asad and call to war against them.

Louai, i’m an aleppine ,for hezbollah ,unlike aboali,i did not wait these last events in order to begin to hate him,nasrollah is a puppet of the extremist shia theocracy which cultivate a culture of hatred and revenge towards Sunnism in general(90 % of arabs and muslims are Sunnis)they tried to export this culture through the syrian mukhabarat and nasrollah ,it’s an act of agression.This is regardless of the situation inside Iran and the totalitarian nature of the regime,philosophically i’m against clericalism and for liberal democracy which must be the modern form and a logical evolution of al shura, and this is for what the young iranians are struggling for,also i dont like demagogia ,especialy from those hypocrites who exploit the palestinian cause for selfish political/sectarian aim.

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May 27th, 2011, 8:25 am


70. syau said:

Amir in Tel Aviv,

“Desperately looking for Bouthaina! Did any one see Bouthaina lately? Please contact the lost & found. I miss her. Especially I miss the “s” and “sh”.

Also “Desparately looking for the president”.

It sounds to me like you’r desparately looking for a life.

No, Netanyahu is too busy denying the Palestinians their rights to their own land. Obama on the other hand is too busy handing over 3 billion dollars for military aid to help Israel in their continual denial of rights to the Palestinians.

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May 27th, 2011, 8:30 am


71. why-discuss said:


Erdogan is a friend of Bashar Al Assad and a political and regional partner to Syria. Despite a few awkward declarations (mentionning Hama and Halabja) he is the only regional leader who has consistently opposed any call to remove Bashar. In the contrary he has expressed publicly that he believes Bashar Al Assad can lead the reforms. In my view this last declaration of Davutglu should be taken in this context. I agree that it could be perceived as a condescending statement but I see it also as warning to the opposition that the ‘shock therapy’ may be addressed to them too.
I am not defending what he says, just reporting it and correcting MajedAlKhaldoon’s reporting.

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May 27th, 2011, 8:31 am


72. Sophia said:

The US has no plan for Syria except for pushing for an accelerated collapse (with all what it means for the people inside Syria. The blood sucking vampires are cheering)

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May 27th, 2011, 8:33 am


73. Louai said:

Dear vlad-the-syrian

i am a real Syrian i hope 🙂

do we have democracy?

the point is there is no democracy in the general meaning of the word in Syria however that is not the main problem , corruption is the main problem, when you read the name of the so called opposition you hardly know any of their names before the last three months and that alone a pity .

there are no ‘real Syrians’ and fake ones ..people should not speak the same idea to be ‘real Syrian’ deference is healthy .
i know you are angry and fourouse as any Syrians now days and you have all the reasons to be but most people you attack in this blog ‘apart of the Israelis’ are people who believe the Media stories about hte killing and they buy the opposition story that says the shabiha is killing the army and the amy is killing the protesters and the protestors are peaceful so no need to attack them in person and use nasty words with them ,

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May 27th, 2011, 8:34 am


74. Shami said:

Louai,what’s your problem with Ridwan Ziyadeh ,Samir Aita or Burhan Ghalioun ?
When the democratic process will be launched in Syria ,hundreds of young figures will appear ,Syria is not in lack of capacities.
It’s not difficult to have less corrupt and less criminal more capable than Maher ,Bashar,Shaleesh ,Rami.

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May 27th, 2011, 8:35 am


75. vlad-the-syrian said:


“Erdogan is a friend of Bashar Al Assad”

This is naive. The turkish stance is pure diplomacy (*) and we are actually in a state of war.

(*) war in other terms

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May 27th, 2011, 8:38 am


76. Tara said:


Yours was the first unretarded response I heard so far. I must say I agree with you. I do not believe in guilt-by-association or in stereotyping and it was indeed an inappropriate initial comment. I was raised with Alawites. They are my family and friend. They were my mentors and teachers. Some of them are indeed Syrian heroes. I however believe the regime kidnapped Alawitehood from them in a very similar manner of how Islam was kidnapped by 9/11 terrorists.

MNA: Like any average Syria citizen, I watch daily on you-tube the savage crimes committed against the Syrian people by the regime thugs and get angry, very very angry. Like any average Syrian citizen, I feel hopeless and helpless as I see Hama unfolding all over again. Like average Syrian citizen, I am held back by an intense fear. Like average Syrian citizen, I worried about what would happen to the Palestinian cause if Al-Assad falls. Like average Syrian citizen, I am losing my long-held infatuation of Hizbullah.

And, like average Syrian citizen as I heard Rami Makhlouf and many others regime propagandists, I came to realize that the regime is not salvageable.

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May 27th, 2011, 8:39 am


77. majedkhaldoon said:

13 year old , was arrested healthy, brough back to his family,clear evidence of torture, evidence of bullets in his body, and his genital were cut,this happened in Syria,and the proregime defend the regime ,how awefull.

Syrian state is controlled by assad alawite 100%,to deny that is denying the truth.
syrian soldiers were killed , but who killed them ?the protesters are not armed, the innuendo that protesters killed them lack proof,we need investigations,deceiving statements,and innuendo are absurd,and prove that whoever saying this,is biased,and criminal,and has no credibilty,their comments are pure nonsense.


you said it , davutoglu said syria needs shock therapy,and I say this is true.

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May 27th, 2011, 8:43 am


78. vlad-the-syrian said:


ok thank you

you say “corruption is the main problem”

this is also true. But could you please develop ? At what level lies the corruption in Syria ? Please dont tell me about Makhlouf etc… i already know that. Can you assert that a 23 millions state is as much corrupted as you appear to think ? who really are the corrupted in Syria ? I mean do you have a deep analysis of this phenomenon ?

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May 27th, 2011, 8:47 am


79. syau said:


As we have seen in past videos, people that are tortured, their bodies sprayed with bullets and their corpses mutilated, including genitals being cut off, is the work of the Islamists of the revolution.

There have been many, including the executed general, his 2 sons and nephew, the 3 farmers, Nidal Jannoud, and many alike who were all slain and mutilated and bodies sprayed with bullets. The 3 farmers I know first hand all had their genitals cut off and bodies mutilated. These people are some in many that along with the other pro revolutionists here, you do not seem to acknowledge.

When I saw the video of this child, it reminded me the clips I’ve seen of others murdered and mutilated purely because of their sect. Murder and mutilation is the stamp of the muslim brotherhood not of the Syrian army. Syrians are aware of that.

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May 27th, 2011, 8:55 am


80. majedkhaldoon said:

the child was arrested by syrian mukhabarat,was picked healthy, and surprising you accuse the musslem brotherhood of doing that!
that is weired

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May 27th, 2011, 8:59 am


81. Louai said:


i had no problem with them i actually never heard of them before and that is the problem ,what i wanted to say is they do not represent the Syrians who are on the streets neither any one else ,we have been introduced to many figures who call themselves opposition and they speak on behalf of the Syrians whilst they live outside Syria and spread lies about what happening in Syria and get financial support to ‘promote democracy’ in Syria and beg the west to intervene and invade their countries and kill their own families and friends ,those are no opposition those are traitors .
i think the Media hunger to interview someone created many of them who were no one before . i wonder if the so called opposition meeting in Antalia have any power on the people protesting on the street! would they stop if they ask them to do so? i doubt it ,in my opinion the protestors will listen only to their Imams and no one eles .

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May 27th, 2011, 8:59 am


82. Louai said:


the boy was killed by monsters no doubt
if the Mukhabarat did all this ,why would they do that and then give the body to his family as a clear evedince on the tortuer?

he was dies because of two bulits ! so why touruer him? please ask yourself those questions !

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May 27th, 2011, 9:09 am


83. syau said:


Which network reported he was arrested and returned in that state?

If he was actually arrested by security forces, he would be detained full stop. They would not kill him or mutilate his body and any sane person would see that.

I repeat myself, murder and mutilation especially in this ‘revolution’ is the work of the Islamists of the revolution. No other person would have that much deep seeded evil that would enable them to murder and mutilate, especially a child.

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May 27th, 2011, 9:14 am


84. Louai said:


the boy was killed by monsters no doubt i saw it on Al Jazeera ,it says he was arrested but dose not say by whom ,
if the Mukhabarat did all this ,why would they do that and then give the body to his family as a clear evidence on the torture??

he was died because of two bullets ! so why torture him? Please ask yourself those questions!

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May 27th, 2011, 9:14 am


85. sophia said:


“MNA: Like any average Syria citizen, I watch daily on you-tube the savage crimes committed against the Syrian people by the regime thugs and get angry, very very angry.”
How come you rely on youtube videos to become angry if you already live in Syria? I don’t think Syrians in Syria spend their time watching youtube. The youtube videos are for external use, they are not for Syrians. Slogans are written in English.
You better check these youtube videos, they are meant to make you angry, if you are living outsided Syria, this is their primal (and primary) goal.

Tara, for what you said and for all the reasons stated above, I don’t believe for a second you are Syrian living inside Syria and I don’t believe for a second that you have Alawi friends or whatsoever.

Mina, you are wasting your time.

The comment section of this blog is litterally occupied Zionist territory. As Syria Comment is where people go for info on Syria, this is where the zionist propaganda hopes to influence yet more young Syrians…

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May 27th, 2011, 9:31 am


86. Observer said:

I posted before that once the Ghadafi regime is tackled the screws will turn on Bashar.
Russia essentially changed its position today at the G8 summit and will allow for a regime change in Libya. The question is how much is the EU/US willing to pay Russia to mute its support and change its position.

I believe that there is a lot more internal flight of money than what is reported. Not everyone has the ability to transfer to Lebanon or some other place and therefore they put it in mattresses and what have you.

WD says that I tend to paint a dark picture and that I do not have faith in the young educated generation. Well when the regime by decree changes the grading of the exams and gives the students extra points that tells you that this education system is rotten to the core like the rest of the country.

We are being outperformed and outclassed and outeducated and outsmarted by at least 2 billion Asians and more coming and all of them want to have KFC and eat beef and this spells doom for our ability to feed our population and to subsidies food and fuel.

The apologists for the regime keep saying that the change to come has to be orderly and slow paced, well we have been waiting for that for at least 10 years and the latest decrees have not changed the mentality of brutality and torture and force and mass killings.

In the arm chair of the distance from the day to day suffering of the people, one can pontificate about necessary and slow and orderly change while in the streets barbaric elements are wrecking havoc.

Finally, the regime is sectarian and there is no denying this aspect of the reality. It is even as sectarian as the most fanatic of Salafis when it comes to its grip on power.

This regime is a disaster to the people of Syria and cares about one thing only staying in power even if it means over the ruins of the country and the mass graves of the people.

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May 27th, 2011, 9:41 am


87. Tara said:


First jihadist then zionist?

Your belief system is retarded and not even worth a reply.

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May 27th, 2011, 9:43 am


89. why-discuss said:


“I posted before that once the Ghadafi regime is tackled the screws will turn on Bashar.

I think Yemen has a highest priority on short term, no?
When do you think Libya will be free of Ghadafi? The after Ghadafi may be as long and difficult for the alliance of European countries as the after Saddam for the US, no?


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May 27th, 2011, 9:59 am


90. syau said:


Al Jazeera is the only network thus far to air the clip. It seems as though the network is still working on air first and if not varified, not to worry, just air it again.

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May 27th, 2011, 10:06 am


91. Sophia said:

# 85 Tara,

I did not mention jihadists in my comment, that’s your invention. But you are right, jihadists and zionists are very much the same.

And as an example, one can clearly see how they agree with each other in the comments on this blog.

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May 27th, 2011, 10:10 am


92. abughassan said:

the group of 8 moderated its stance towards the Syrian regime due to pressure from Russia and the advice given by Turkey. It seems that most people want to see what Bashar and the regime as a whole will respond before they make another move. the time is ripe to get started with serious dialogue following the release of political prisoners, a demand that tops the wish list of most people.
I saw the interview of Sheikh Siasneh on government TV, he was uncomfortable but not frightened. Much of what went through was prepped and sounded like recitation. At the end, Siasneh prayed for the safety of Syria and its people but did not mention Asad.when he was done, I felt like I am not in love with neither he nor the interviewer. He obviously realized that he is going nowhere and decided to bite his wounds and go with the flow (he met Bashar)and wait like most Syrians for better days. the guy,in my opinion, was not sincere but he had limited options. there were reports, I could not verify, that his own children were involved in the uprising. Did one of his sons die ?

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May 27th, 2011, 10:10 am


93. why-discuss said:


The draft of the G8. I doubt the threat will remain in the final text. The western countries need too much Russia (for Libya) to displease it now.


27 May 2011, 12:20 PM
DEAUVILLE — A draft statement by G8 leaders on Friday said “we will consider action in the United Nations Security Council” if Syria does not stop using force against protesters.

G8 talks were ongoing in the French resort of Deauville and it was not clear whether the draft’s strong language would be kept in the final declaration, with Russia in particular wary of threatening a Middle East ally.

“We call on the Syrian leadership immediately to stop using force and intimidation against the Syrian people and to respond to the legitimate expression of the demands of the Syrian people,” the draft said.

“We also call for the release of all political prisoners in Syria… Should the Syrian authorities not heed this call, we will consider action in the United Nations Security Council,” it warned.

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May 27th, 2011, 10:20 am


94. Akbar Palace said:


I appreciate your thoughts and feelings as a Syrian. Apparently the regime wants to you to shut up and accept their leadership for as long as the Assad family survives father-to-son, to-grandson, until time ends. So don’t make too much noise or risk personal injury. I understand your fear.

Anyway you stated:

Like average Syrian citizen, I worried about what would happen to the Palestinian cause if Al-Assad falls.

What happened to the Palestinian cause the 14 years Jr. wasn’t so beseiged by protesters. Same question about the Golan? Same question about the resistance heroes of Hizbullah.

The Arab-Israeli conflict will have to negotiated along the Syrian and Palestinian borders.

I assume these aren’t the most pressing issues for the “average Syrian” right now, but perhaps I’m wrong.

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May 27th, 2011, 10:54 am


95. Sophia said:

# 90 and # 91 Abughassan and WD,

Another factor that might not be dismissed are the tensions between Obama on one hand and KSA. The kingdom hysterical diplomatic and military entanglements in yemen, Bahrain and Lybia (and the GCC), accompanying the death of one of their sons, Bin Laden, and the fall of their closest ally Mubarak, are signs that KSA and the US are not playing exactly the same game. At the end of the day, Obama will act in USrael’s inetrests, even though he is trying to reassure Saudi Arabia.

There is growing internal dissent in Saudi Arabia and the kingdom is afraid and does not trust the US anymore. So even though Saudi Arabia might seem behind some elements of the Syrian revolution, at the end of the day, all what it looks for is internal stability, and it can easily silence its clientele who are agitating the revolution in Syria. This might still a possibility…

Just think for one second if you are a Saudi ruler, you know that the US is not a sure ally, you know that Iran has become powerful and you know that your rule might come to an end. On the other hand, Iran is in the same situation. So the two countries might come to an agreement in order to stiffle internal dissent. One cannot fight on the inetrnal and the external levels at the same time and what is important for Iran and Saudi Arabia is the survival of their theocracies. At the same time, both theocracies might not like an open sectarian war in countries that have communities who are their traditional allies. Because a sectarian war is chaos and it might make things more uncontrollable for them.

Saudis went the neocon way up to now because they felt helpless after 9/11. Now things are different, they feel threatened internally and their anxiety at loosing their grip on power can either lead to secatrian wars which will benefit USrael and the neocons only or to a restructuring of the middle east. If Saudis want to keep some kind of control their interests is to avoid sectarian wars. One sign Hariri is agitating his thugs in lebanon is that he doesn’t feel backed by SA all the way, otherwise why doesn’t he just sit and watch?

The coming days and weeks wil tell which direction SA will take but I bet on a rapprochement with Iran. Mark my word.

I I were Assad, I will present the two regional powers in the ME with this choice. Syria can effect such a restructuring and it will do so. I have lived the civil war in Lebanon and saw alliances change over night. The US, Israel and the necons still don’t understand the ME.

If you want any sign for a major shift just watch Al-jazeera. Actually I don’t watch the channel, let me know when it will change its coverage of Syria.

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May 27th, 2011, 10:57 am


96. Tara said:

Akbar Palace,

for many years, I believed the regime stand in regard to the palestinian cause. To state it simply:I no longer believe it!

You are unlikely to achieve any progress on that front except with free democratic Syria.

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May 27th, 2011, 11:14 am


97. Sophia said:

# 92 AP,

“The Arab-Israeli conflict will have to negotiated along the Syrian and Palestinian borders.” Which ones ?

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May 27th, 2011, 11:16 am


98. why-discuss said:


You are right…

Saudi Arabia Scrambles to Limit Region’s Upheaval


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May 27th, 2011, 11:18 am


99. mjabali said:


You are wrong when you said that al-Mashayeikh and the Mosque are absent. You are not seeing the truth. You are also wrong when you said that Arab Youth across the board want liberal ideas. They want freedom of a sort from the dictators that rule the middle east, but do they want LIBERAL ideas: I doubt that. You want to convince me that the ones demonstrating and screaming Allahu Akbar want LIBERAL ideas? please do not generalize, and look at what do these want. They said it loud and clear: :They want some one who fear Allah. Is that a Liberal theory? Is there any Liberty under any Ismalic rule? Do you think that establishing a Religious State is a step toward Liberalism?

As for the MEN of RELIGION: it is obvious that there are two types: those with the Assad’s government and those opposing it, and in my opinion they all will follow their sectarian minds when the time is right.

Remember mr Shami that the Sunni religious establishment in Syria is a joke and the ones that count and control the streets are not those in positions appointed by al-Assad and his government.

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May 27th, 2011, 11:29 am


100. why-discuss said:


My observation is that the majority or Arabs reject Israel and that 40 years peace with Egypt was possible only because it was ruled by a corrupted and authoritarian leader. Let’s see how a democratic Egypt will deal with Israel under the pressure of its people.
Israel, if it wants to survive, will now have to do a lot of effort to get the heart and minds of the Egyptians (and the other Arab emerging democracies). Money will not be enough anymore as there’ll nobody to buy out anymore. After 40 years of taking it easy on the Egyptian front, Israel has to show a sweet face, can it?
Syria has been consistent in its antagonism to Israel, I doubt a more democratic Syria will change anything, in fact it could be even worse.

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May 27th, 2011, 11:30 am


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