‘Friday of the Children of Freedom’ – the Uprising Moves to Hama, Many Killed, Internet Cut

Hama lights on fire. The internet is cut off. Syria witnesses the biggest day of the crackdown as protests are animated by the death of Hamza Ali al-Khateeb. Many insist that no one will believe the Syrian government’s version of Hamza’s death unless there is an international investigation team allowed into the country. Syria will refuse such an idea; it will argue that to permit foreigners access will begin the country down the slippery slope of foreign investigative teams for every conflagration. But with the protest movement gathering renewed steam following the Antalya opposition meeting and gathering international outrage at brutality, the Syrian government finds itself increasingly isolate and with few options.

SYRIA: Many deaths reported as thousands march in ‘Friday of the children of freedom’ protests

June 3, 2011

Picture 2 Syrian activist accounts say dozens of people were killed in the central city of Hama on Friday when Syrian military forces and pro-regime loyalists opened fire at a large protest rally against the rule of President Bashar Assad and the Syrian regime’s continued crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

A member of the Syrian activist group the Local Coordination Committees in Syria (LCCSyria) told Babylon & Beyond that the group had names of 24 people killed in Friday’s protests in Hama. The Associated Press reported that 34 people were killed in the city on Friday. Snipers were positioned on the rooftops of buildings in various Hama neighborhoods and the death toll was expected to rise, according to activist reports.

Syria Blocks Internet Access Amid Unrest
BY CHRISTOPHER RHOADS in WSJournal

Syria shut down most of its Internet and mobile data connections early Friday, adopting a strategy used by other governments in the Middle East during critical points of the uprisings.

But the attempt to gain an advantage over the opposition groups by unplugging or partially blocking the Internet, which has played a key role in the protests, could backfire. In some cases, most notably in Egypt, the move appeared to prompt more angry protesters into the streets.

“You are reaching a point of no return when you do this kind of stuff,” said Earl Zmijewski, a vice president at Renesys …

Rights group calls for Syria sanctions

June 3 2011 Reuters

Syrian women living in Jordan adorn their faces and clothes with the national flag during a protest to demand that Syrian President Bashar Assad step down from power.

Human Rights Watch has called on the UN Security Council to impose sanction on Syria and to hold the government accountable to the International Criminal Court,

Haaretz: Assad regime will eventually succumb to protest pressure, IDF sources say
2011-06-03

The regime of Syrian leader Bashar Assad will not survive and will eventually collapse under the pressure of demonstrations in his country. This is the assessment of Israel’s military establishment – and this view is gaining strength. A senior …

Here a transcript ( edited for comprehension ) of  live Twitter messages posted by  @ProfKahf  who attended the Antalya conference (Thanks for posting in comment section)

http://twitter.com/#!/ProfKahf
Poet, Syrian American academic
http://english.uark.edu/Faculty/Mohja_Kahf.php

Start of transcript  ______________

Antalya conference is electing a 31-member working-group to continue coordination among the conference workshops.

Will the “Tribe List” or the “Kid List” win the vote – who [will] continue Antalya conference work?

Antalya conference :
List 1 includes  Ikhwan , Kurdish , Christian , Alawite , human rights organization chiefs
List 2: includes new names , emerging activists

It’s just a vote for a conference working-group, nothing more, but it was a thrill anyway.

Lists were compiled and you voted for the Whole Shebang ( one list or the other ).

total votes caste: 253
List1 :  203

List2:  50

Immediate breakdown, with color pie graphics projected on Antalya conference hall screen.

Oddly, some folks found out they were on a List just 5 minutes before the vote  (eg. me , Mariam Jalabi).
Antalya conference Sloppy process

Mariam & I were on (losing) Kid List.
Goodwill all’round . Khawla Yusef, Sondos Soleiman, Melhem Drooby, Ammar Qurabi, on winning list

Young activsts were promised 10 seats
List1 ended up with only 3 , including  @Mohammad_Syria who withdrew  to protest level of youth inclusion

AND again, it’s only a conference WORK group. The young gen’ers were saying “ we are who will end up doing the actual work anyway”

You know, people are always gonna say stuff like this when you have a conference, and If you don’t have it, you’re also damned.

Beauty vibes , solidarity (which is not the same as no diffs) predominate at this conference ,despite differences.

New blood @ Antalya #Syria conference, says
“ Regarding  List 1: Fine , let well-known “Opposition Faces” be the slap to the regime ; we will do the work.”

UN seeks probe after Syrian boy’s torture-killing
2011-05-31

The call came after a New York Times report that an online video showed a 13-year-old boy, arrested at a protest on April 29, who it said had been tortured, mutilated and killed. UN seeks probe after Syrian boy’s torture-killing Tue, 31 May 2011 19 …

Hamza Ali al-Khateeb’s death explained by to the Syrian government, which claims that damage to the body was consistent with decay of 5 weeks that it sat unidentified. Sana in English

Here is video of the government’s response to the claimed torture of 13 year old Hamza. Here and here. Both are in Arabic.

The Depravity Factor
By DAVID BROOKS June 2, 2011, Op-Ed Columnist NYTimes

By now you have probably heard about Hamza Ali al-Khateeb. He was the 13-year-old Syrian boy who tagged along at an antigovernment protest in the town of Saida on April 29. He was arrested that day, and the police returned his mutilated body to his family a month later. While in custody, he had apparently been burned, beaten, lacerated and given electroshocks. His jaw and kneecaps were shattered. He was shot in both arms. When his father saw the state of Hamza’s body, he passed out…..

All governments do bad things, and Middle East dictatorships do more than most. But the Syrian government is one of the world’s genuinely depraved regimes. Yet for all these years, Israel has been asked to negotiate with this regime, compromise with this regime and trust that this regime will someday occupy the heights over it in peace…..

That’s why it’s necessary, especially at this moment in history, to focus on the nature of regimes, not only the boundaries between them. To have a peaceful Middle East, it was necessary to get rid of Saddam’s depraved regime in Iraq. It will be necessary to try to get rid of Qaddafi’s depraved regime in Libya. It’s necessary, as everybody but the Obama administration publicly acknowledges, to see Assad toppled.  It will be necessary to marginalize Hamas. It was necessary to abandon the engagement strategy that Barack Obama campaigned on and embrace the cautious regime-change strategy that is his current doctrine.

The machinations of the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are immaterial. The Arab reform process is the peace process.

“There are already 3 armies based near the city of Dera’a. But the government didn’t use them to attack the city. Why not? Because they contain many young men from around the country, including many young Sunni men, who wouldn’t want to attack the people.Instead they brought Maher’s special army all the way from Qatana. It is the special army that is loyal to him.” (Qatana is located a short distance west of Damascus.)”

me:   So the story of the 4th and 5th Divisions ‘fighting’ is now gone. The 5th Division didn’t even enter into the city? Funny as the last I heard, the 4th and 5th divs had a major battle in Dar’a!

me:  That is what happens when people use rumors to support their own ideas. Or else the 4th Division is now responsible for Dar’a, Baniyas, Tall Kalakh, Ar Rastan, Talblisi, Al Mu’azamiyah???? Quite a stretch for a single unit.

Comments (153)


Norman said:

What is happening in Syria reminds me with the days of christ when there were city states, The way thing are going and the lack of compromise by both sides, It looks like Syria is ending up with fragmentation, I see no chance for the Christians and the Alawat and possibly the Druz to live in a state that mimic Saudi Arabia or even Egypt with Islamic state and Sharia laws as the origin of all laws, I am sure that by now the Minorities are thinking, What if , what are our options and where we are going to set our lines, knowing that the best of the army and the Air Force is controlled by the Alawat, It should not be difficult to declare a state, They still need a state sponsor,I just hope they take the Christians with them,

The other option is to move full scale ahead and fight back , surround Hama as they did with Homs and go house to house to clean it up.

The Army and the Baath party will not be defeated after what happened in Iraq, They will fight back and i I wonder if the Iraqis in Syria will join the fight to the side of the regime after what they saw that only Syria opened it’s door for them with free education and health care,

If President Assad intend to fight, he has to think of a way to gain world support and that can be done only by moving full scale for a secular state and constitution, adopting the American constitution and the bill of rights and act like an Ataturk, Full scale ahead, and let us see Syria as secular with equal rights to all,

June 3rd, 2011, 7:18 pm

 

Sophia said:

Personally I wouldn’t trust the Haaretz article since this journal is used by Israel for propaganda purposes. Propagating the news that the regime will fall is trying to influence people and policy makers in the west and the Arab world toward taking the side of the protesters. There is no substance to the article beside citing IDF sources.

I would rather give much more attention to the following article:

http://friday-lunch-club.blogspot.com/2011/06/senior-us-official-assad-probably-has.html

It is becoming clear that what is happening in Syria is a result of a ‘bras de fer’ between Obama’s engagement policy with Assad and the neocons. Nobody can predict who will win but what we can predict is that it will take time.

For the time being, the regime will hold on…

June 3rd, 2011, 7:20 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

The end of the regime is certainty,it probably will not take a year ,at most it will be six months.it is not like sudden,it is like cancer it will take a while,even with chemotherapy(fake reform)

June 3rd, 2011, 8:33 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Sophia,

The Guardian is reporting that about 100,000 Syrians protested in Hama today and 34 were killed. It seems to me a large percentage of Syrians are unhappy. With a population of 700,000, that means about 1:7 of the population was out demonstrating…

Do you think the Syrian government should have shot at protestors? What if they let them demonstrate w/o shooting anyone?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/03/syrian-forces-kill-34-protesters

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hama

June 3rd, 2011, 8:49 pm

 

Revlon said:

Antalya’s meeting has been a historic success.

The following has been demonstrated or achieved:
– A legitimate force of opposition has been created. It is backed by both traditional forces in exile, and young revolutionary forces both in exile and on the ground.
– Shoora and voting were the tools to make decisions.
– The large presence of Moslem Brother’s movement was not matched by commensurate degree of influence on its proceedings or declaration.
They had to lobby to tone down the item of the secularism of the state, not the other way around.
If anything, the proceedings and the declaration have strengthened the notion that MB will emerge as a peripheral force in the Syrian society.
They will owe their revival and re-entry in the political life in emerging free Syria to the revolution that was powered youth and other moderate consevative forces across the land

– The tribes were under-represented, the reason being that they are nearly all living under siege in Syria.
They are working on tapping their vast rescource of tribal allegiances, by improving ground networking.
They stand to play a significant role in encouraging cracks and defections within the Baath party and Army, since they make up large proportion of these insitutions.
They are in a position to both protect defectors from the current regime, and lobby on their behalf for amnesty, if prosecuted by the independant justice of emerging Free Syria.

– The youth were underrepresented for obvious reasons.
Yet their spirit, and agenda were omnipresent.
They will be courted by traditional forces to bestow legitimacy.

June 3rd, 2011, 8:58 pm

 

syau said:

Revlon,

Then I suggest the MB are deluding themselves. Neither the army personnel nor the Baath party will “crack or defect” for the likes of anyone let alone the MB.

The Syrian people will reject any movement by the MB and I think that has been made clear. “Lobbying” by the MB will be rejected.

Your sectarianism is becoming evident in your comments again, if you believe what you are writing, be ready, along with all other MB supporters for a big fall. Syria will never be an Islamist state, stop trying to convince yourself otherwise.

June 3rd, 2011, 9:14 pm

 

jad said:

#4
I hope they can keep the same spirit they showed in Antalya alive, secularism and reason, if they do, they will get the support of many.
I also noticed that the Syrian MBs representatives showed lots of tolerance and understanding toward the diverse Syrian society than the their counterpart MBs in the region, Jordan, Palestine and Egypt, however, I hope that they were genuine and not pretending as their friends did in Egypt just to take over everything later.

June 3rd, 2011, 9:16 pm

 

Abughassan said:

Hama was definitely a major embarrassment for the regime today and a major defeat for hopeful syrians who were dreaming of a relatively calm Friday. It took the regime 11 years to respond ti people’s demand and yet the response was inadequate and reactionary in nature. The truth is that less syrians today trust Bashar and the regime and more syrians want him to go. I am still against a swift regime change because of the unacceptable risks it carries including significant loss of lives and a real chance of seeing separatist movements inside Syria along sectarian lines. The risk of militant Muslims raking advantage if the situation is much higher now,and only a fool,excuse my language, will believe that the MB and its affiliates are suddenly ready to accept separation of religion and state.

June 3rd, 2011, 9:32 pm

 

daleandersen said:

Memo to Sophia:

Your problem is, you see the Jews and the Americans under every bed, girl. It blinds you to the reality of the moment.

Fact is, no one wants to interfere with Syria (except for Iran and Hizbollah). Syria is not a financial center. Syria is not a tourist destination. And it has no oil. So no one cares. You don’t see Chinese investors or German tourists beating down the doors.

Now as for what is happening on the streets of Hama, it has NOTHING to do with the USA or Israel (or al Qaeda) and EVERYTHING to do with Syrians saying “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.”

Too bad for Bashar. He’s not going to run. Mainly because he doesn’t want to live in a shit hole like Zimbabwe or Uzbekistan or Belarus. So he’s going to stay and die bloody. He gets to choose where. And maybe when. So stay tuned.

http://playwrighter.blogspot.com/2011/04/arab-news-fox-news-style.html

June 3rd, 2011, 9:33 pm

 

souri-Amreki said:

I think Syria will go through a bloody civil war before things will settle down! But I will not be surprised if people close to the regime will jump ship. Sure, Makhloofs and the Assads (Mahar, Bushra and her husband, Jameel, and the rest of first cousins) will never give up!!! But eventually the regime will fall!

Another scenario is the Makhloofs and the Assads (Mahar, Bushra and her husband, Jameel, and the rest of first cousins) will kick Bashar back to his bedroom and they will run the show. Iran and Hizballah will support them and again eventually the regime will fall but it may take longer and more people will die!

June 3rd, 2011, 10:30 pm

 

Mick said:

“Fact is, no one wants to interfere with Syria (except for Iran and Hizbollah).”

Really? And the U.S. calling for regime change for years? Hariri wanting to develop a plan to bring down the regime? These are not theories. They are real facts. And how does Hizballah change the government of Syria? Or Iran?

Have you watched Al Jazeera? It is nothing but a NATO propaganda tool.

Maybe America will come and show you how to have a military economy. You buy arms, congress gives you billions, you bribe congress. …like Saudi and Israel. You know how much freedoms they have in Saudi? We in America don’t care. They spend billions on buying F-15s and tanks that sit in warehouses. And you know how Israel treated the peaceful, unarmed flotilla into Gaza. And while America DEMANDS the rights of Syrians to protest, it is doing its upmost to make sure Palestinian aren’t able to protest anywhere near their homeland on Sunday.

So put your trust in those great freedom leaders.

June 3rd, 2011, 10:41 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

Al Queda’s kid from Orange California is urging that the revolutions in the ME move to the US.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1394113/What-waiting-U-S-born-Al-Qaeda-spokesman-Americans-buy-guns-start-shooting-people.html

June 3rd, 2011, 10:48 pm

 

Revlon said:

All neighbourhoods and cities that are logical candidates for a rise against, and were most affected by tyranny and corruption are in a state of revolution.

What happened in Al3asi Square in7ama yesterday is a copycat of what happened over a month ago in Alta7rir squatre in 7oms.

The 7amwi’s will switch into fleeting, small group, neighborhood protests in order to avoid heavy casualties.

The kickback will be the promotopn of closer, ground organisation as happened in 7oms.

As for the city of Damascus, I do not expect the well-to-do of such neighbourhoods of Al Malki, Abu-Rummaneh, Al-Mhajreen, Sal7iyeh, Sah3lan, Alqassa3, or Mazzeh Villat to rally for the revolution.
They are doing well with, or without the regime.
They would rather celebrate with, and support the victorious.
Neighbourhoods peripheral to this center, populated by middle class have all witnessed demonstrations.

I have no first hand knowledge of the socio-economical structure of the city proper of Aleppo. Someone elso could enlighten this blog with their insights.

June 3rd, 2011, 10:59 pm

 

nafdik said:

Can anybody explain to me the strategy of the regime.

Since we are all wlad elhara no need to explain me why they are amazing or that they are murderers.

But what are they thinking? What is their plan?

June 3rd, 2011, 11:09 pm

 

why-discuss said:

NAFDIK
It is very clear now that Bashar al Assad has the support of the major Sunni countries in the area, Saudi Arabia, the GCC and Turkey. They do not want such a thing to happen to them, i.e a small group of people creating a spiral of violence where the government would be paralyzed by Human rights activists reporting to international media. The Human rights activists have been waiting for the moment to attack Saudi Arabia.

My view is that Saudi Arabia, the GCC and Turkey are putting pressure on Obama not to give up Bashar al Assad as he did it for Mubarak and in a way betrayed them. Obama will not move, he needs Saudi Arabia and Egypt where Saudi Arabia is the only country who can afford pouring money to prevent a collapse of the country.
Iran, supporting Bashar Al Assad, have been asked by the GCC to temper the anger about Bahrain and calm down the Saudi Shias. This explain the news warming between the GCC and Iran after a period of tension.
They all agree that Bashar al Assad should stay.

Bashar Al Assad knows he has the full support of the GCC and the Arab monarchies ( Morocco included), Turkey and Iran, this is why he is not budging despite the fury of the human right activists, the threat of the ICC and the hysterical critics of the media.

On the ground, the opposition having failed to gather more demonstrators is resorted to dirty tricks. The story of unproven torture of the little boy is significant of the opposition’s new strategy on building up small cases that are horrifiying for the international community and cannot be verified since Syria, rightly refuses to let biased media and UN inspectors to enter and never leave.
As long as the major sunni countries Saudi Arabia and the GCC, and Turkey support Bashar Al Assad by pressuring the US not to intervene against him, the flurry of news, alleged murders will lead to nothing and will not stop Bashar Al Assad in the systematic elimination of all the hardline opposition whose aim is to create a political vacuum that no country in the region wants.

The problem is it will be very hard to rebuild a unity in the country in the aftermath of such violence.

I am confident that Bashar will stay and lead the reforms to its completion.

June 3rd, 2011, 11:26 pm

 

Revlon said:

#6 “I also noticed that the Syrian MBs representatives showed lots of tolerance and understanding toward the diverse Syrian society than the their counterpart MBs in the region, Jordan, Palestine and Egypt, however, I hope that they were genuine and not pretending as their friends did in Egypt just to take over everything later”

I agree!
The consitution, once approved by the nation, shall be protected by a freely elected, truly representative members of the society.

The basic human, and civil rights of the people shall not be left to the mercy of of Good or Bad Intentions of successive governments or parties.
They will make the core of the mutually agreed consitution, refereed by an independent and able justice system.

Competition between the various movements and parties shall be for the running of the business of the government.
The free people of Syria will take care of the rebulding of their nation and country.
The government and parties shall be the paid employees of the people, not the other way around.

The newly born spirit of peaceful activism shall live on!
It will provide a dearly treasured means for the peaceful resolution of future, naturally inevitable conflicts of interests!

June 3rd, 2011, 11:26 pm

 

Mick said:

The regime strategy morphs, but they are not the evil that activists like to display.

First, an experiment. I want a bunch of Americans to instantly amass in front of a federal court building or any other government building and starting lobbing rocks and and molotov cocktails at the security officials. Let say you are mad at how the government treats the Palestinians and won’t let them demonstrate to demand their homeland. Now add on to that you have invited a foreign media to watch as you are throwing the molotov cocktails.

Let me know how that works out.

The government is acting like any other government. Rioters who attack institutions are not the same as peaceful protesters. Any government that doesn’t react strongly to these actions would lose support.

Had this been a solely peaceful protest movement from day one, I could see your concern. But since there is no doubt there is an armed element to the protests movement, it allowed the government to react harshly. It was stupid and naive of the youth movement to mock the government as there is now solid evidence that there are armed elements involved. And given the timing between Syria, Libya, and Bahrain, it is obvious to anyone that there is an overarching political plan to attack the Syrian and Libyan governments while fully supporting the Bahrain minority government.

The government, which still has the military and a large segment of society, will continue.

June 3rd, 2011, 11:43 pm

 

Abughassan said:

Despite the events in Hama,the regime is still able to stay in power pending a major change in Aleppo and Damascus. There are talks about a worse case senario if things go south: resignation if Bashar and a transfer of power to a military council sympathetic to minorities which will supervise a transitional period that ends with parliamentary elections and then presidential elections. A civil war is possible but still unlikely.

June 3rd, 2011, 11:56 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Mick

I agree with you and what you wrote about the government right to defending its institutions. Yet, I have a remark about what you said.
You said :” And given the timing between Syria, Libya, and Bahrain, it is obvious to anyone that there is an overarching political plan to attack the Syrian and Libyan governments while fully supporting the Bahrain minority government.”

I think the uprising in Syria tool everyone by surprise. There was probably a moment when the international community thought that it may turn out like Tunisia and Egypt. But gradually, it became clear that the syrian governnemnt had the support of the army and the majority of syrians as the demonstratiosn become more violent ad stagnated in the number of protesters.
The international community realized that , in the absence of an alternative, the country would fall into a political void.
In addition the Libya situation that was expected to be settled in a few weesk is dragging its feet.
I guess now that the international community wants to stop the spiral of violence in Syria that has been entertained by humans rights activists and exiled opponents to the regime.
The difficulty is how to stop.
In my view if Bashar al Assad announces the reforms requested by the International community, they will offer him full support and the voices of the human activists and exiled opponents will be gradually be shut off.

June 4th, 2011, 12:04 am

 

Moe said:

Revlon,

You seem to be an outspoken opposition figure, can you please summarize to us who the opposition are, who they represent in Syria and what are their political, social, and economical programs.

Thank you.

AP,
Not only was Mr. Clinton and his administration responsible for the death of half a million Iraqi children, they also think it’s ok:

June 4th, 2011, 12:06 am

 

why-discuss said:

Syrian opposition members agree on a road map
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=syrian-opposition-agree-on-a-road-map-2011-06-03

“The demands of the Syrian people were brought onto the agenda. We demand that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad resign. According to Syrian laws, the vice-president must assume the powers of al-Assad. Once the vice-president assumes the office, a new parliament must be established within 15 days. Parliamentary elections must take place within a year. If this basic demand is not met, the revolution will continue until the existing order is demolished,” the Antalya document said.

June 4th, 2011, 12:20 am

 

Mick said:

Why-discuss

No. Once the movement is set in motion. It doesn’t stop. There is no logical reason behind it. America, France and England have decided that Bashar should go.

Bush and Blair (and BP) decided Saddam had to go. They demanded the UN go in to find WMD. The UN didn’t find anything. Bush and Blair didn’t give a shit because they were above the UN and had more power behind than any stupid international body. They had the billions that big oil provides. They killed hundreds of thousands. They are living high on the hog.

We spend billions in Afghanistan and wind up killing civilians right and left. We have for years. Afghanistan is still is still worse than when we first became involved in the ’70/’80s. The UN says nothing.

And people want the UN in Syria? Like it will solve things?

What happens in this world is done by people with lots of money and power. And they have the audacity to say they are for democracy.

And the Syrians are complaining about Rami Makhluf?

They have no idea.

June 4th, 2011, 12:23 am

 

MOHAMED KANJ said:

I see in idleb and hama the protestors were holding up banners with christian and muslim emblems together. The protestors in Hama also intentionally walked past a christian neighbourhood in Hama chanting “christians and muslims are one”. Is this meant to say, join us or else? The women in Hama and Idlib protesting alongside their men are all wearing the full veil niqab. Do they really expect the christians to support them? The muslim brotherhood calls for the adoption of a religous islamic state adhering to sharia law. Do they still expect christians and the minorities to support them? It is obvious now, that without the full support of the christians,druze,allawites and kurds ( 35% of the population ), this revolution is doomed to fail. The only outcome for these protestors will be more killings every friday and more chants and accusations. The burning of the Chinese and Russian flags in Deraa will being anger from both these countries. I have just watched the english version of the chinese state news and russian english news, and these videos were broadcast. The only real outcome will be death. They need to come along and sit on the negotiating table with the current government. They have no choice. City by city these protests will be quashed. First it was deraa, than banias+jabla,talkalekh, talbiseh + rastan and now its Hama’s turn. The syrian security forces and army will fight till the last man standing.

June 4th, 2011, 12:25 am

 

Abughassan said:

I still thing the regime was wrong when it banned journalist from entering Syria. Another problem is the silence of the president when syrians need to hear his views and plans at least for some psychological relief. People who believed he ordered security forces not to fire on unarmed protectors may now think he is not in charge,and those who never believed him are saying that this another proof that he can not be trusted.

June 4th, 2011, 12:30 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

the Arab revolution is going forward,Syria will be liberated from the Assad family,after that it will be the turn of the monarchies,Jordan and Saudia Arabia next.
Why Discuss:
Turkey is not afraid to face revolution like the one in Syria,Turkey is a democracy,Turkey concern is the Kurdish population and their demand for seperation.
Bashar is forming a group to negotiate, most of them are around seventy year old, does he know that the revolution is made mostly from young people?
The crack down on opposition has been in cities less than 100,000,Homs and Hama are much larger cities, it will be more trouble for Bashar to put down,
Damscus and Aleppo will rise once the economy get worse,US and europe must freeze the assets of sunni busenessmenand their wives,including Asma Akhrass.

June 4th, 2011, 12:33 am

 

why-discuss said:

Abughassan

I see no reason why the business community will change camps. The Army is more united that ever:

“Much of the recent riots focused on Rastan, the native village of former Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass. This town has more than one hundred officers in the army and, apparently, they have not defected. Quite the contrary, they have asked the company to intervene to quell the protesters who would want to cause trouble within the village.” ( reported by Lebanese l’orient le jour)

I believe that most Syrians in Damascus and Aleppo are fed up with these riots in small towns that are hindering the country’s economy.
The road map proposed by the Antalya opposition has convinced nobody. They just can’t see why Farouk Sharaa will be better then Bashar al Assad in organizing elections! They will not encourage an opposition that has no serious plans, just threats!
So the government of Bashar al Assad with the discreet support of Saudi arabia, the GCC country and Turkey is proceeding with the announcement of the reforms at its own pace

June 4th, 2011, 12:33 am

 

why-discuss said:

Majedalkhaldoon

“after that it will be the turn of the monarchies,Jordan and Saudia Arabia next.”

That is exactly why the US does not want the revolution in Syria to succeed, and because of that it will not succeed the way you hope for. Bashar al Assad will stay and will lead the reforms with the support of Saudi arabia, the GCC and Turkey.

I really doubt that the US will take major new sanctions on Syria just small symbolic ones to show they are doing something.
In Europe, only France is pressuring Bashar but I guess with the fiasco of Libya, France will lower its voice.

The only loud voices are the Human rights organization. Without a political willingness and financial support they will not affect much the outcome.

June 4th, 2011, 12:41 am

 

louai said:

WHY DISCUS
I agree with that no one wants Bashar to leave including Saudi Arabia, the GCC but what I find difficult to understand is why the GCC and Saudi Arabia don’t control their media which is responsible of the hysterical media you talked about? the Saudi king and the Qatari prince called basher and supported him against the conspiracy yet their media are slashing Syrian government as if it was the source of all evil, do you have an explanation for that?

Majedalkhaldoon
‘The crack down on opposition has been in cities less than 100,000,Homs and Hama are much larger cities, it will be more trouble for Bashar to put down,’
Today in Homs were only hundreds who took to the street they were relatively peaceful, it’s the same Homs the opposition said that 50000 protested in AL Sa3a square or( Ta7rir square as Revlon likes to name it)

June 4th, 2011, 1:03 am

 

why-discuss said:

Mick

“No. Once the movement is set in motion. It doesn’t stop. There is no logical reason behind it. America, France and England have decided that Bashar should go.

Bush and Blair (and BP) decided Saddam had to go. They demanded the UN go in to find WMD”

Time has changed, neither the US nor the UK want to get involved in a costly war like Iraq. They may have thought that Bashar al Assad will go as easily as Mobaraka and ben Ali now they realize that this is not true. They are already stuck in Libya and maybe obliged to intervene militarily in Yemen if Saudi Arabia asks for it. Contrary to what it appears, they have now a strong interest that Syria calms down. The difficulty is how…. I believe they count on Bashar to continue the crackdown on ‘rioters’ and parallely implement the reforms. Only lately some media are mentioning that protesters in Syria were armed. In my view it is a trend to justify the crackdown. Let see if it will continue in the next weeks

June 4th, 2011, 1:04 am

 

why-discuss said:

LOUAI

The support of Saudi Arabia and the GCC has nothing to do with what the media publishes, usually copying foreign media. They are tolerated because they act as a smoke screen to what is happening in the background. Saudi Arabia has had an complex relation with Syria as well as Iran. They do not want Iran to stir the Saudi Shia population and also they want Iran to be less critical of Saudi Intervention in Bahrain. I think that after a period of tensions, very recently they have agreed on that and this happened thanks to Syria’s intervention with Iran.
So we may see now a softening of the stances on Syria but more than that we may see a more active pressure on the US to let go on Bashar once he will announce the reforms.
It is in the interest of Saudi Arabia to protect Syria from a too close relationship with Iran. This is why I think the GCC countries, except Qatar ( mostly because of jazeera) will help Syria’s economy.

June 4th, 2011, 1:19 am

 

Louai said:

why-discuss,thank for your answer.
in my opinion the main challenge now is the media ,the opposition has no other strength,they are winning the media war big time !
i don’t know what the Syrian government can do to overcome that, the Syrian media is working its 1000% power to expose the fabrications but what the use when you are talking to people who only listen to Aroor alikes.

June 4th, 2011, 2:28 am

 

democracynow said:

It’s hilarious when Why-Discuss flaunts the Saudi support of the regime as some sort of an awesome achievement and a guarantor of regime survival.

Three years ago people like Why-Discuss and Alex and other regime apologists were probably lashing out constantly at Saudi Arabia for its support of the March 14 bloc in Lebanon. They were probably calling Saudi Arabia all kinds of names (kingdom of darkness, fiefdom of evil, etc).

In fact, the Syrian regime propaganda still talks about an imaginary personality, a cross between Superman and Jack Ryan, one that can topple regimes and assassinates Imad Meghniyas with impunity (investigation still ongoing), and that is none other than Prince Bandar. The eldest son of the Saudi Crown prince. The Bandar fictional persona has been presented and repeated so many times to the Syrian people that the regime itself now believes it, to the point where many young men who were arrested for protesting and brutally tortured in Assad hospitable facilities were also asked about their connections to Bandar.

Bashar Al Assad keeps repeating in his speeches that his is a regime that is popular because it is in touch with people’s demands and needs. He brags about how all of his visions and predictions for the region were spot on because they reflected the hopes and aspirations of the people. His sycophants will not miss a chance to remind you how right he was about everything regarding the middle east. So it is mightily amusing when regime apologists drop the pretense of principles-driven ideology and start talking realpolitik. “So what! Saudi Arabia, the most repressive and reactionary state in the region, is supporting the regime! screw the protesters demanding freedom”

Alas though that realpolitik can only serve the regime so much. The once friendly relationship with Turkey is quickly deteriorating. Saudi Arabia’s strategies are mostly short-termed and short-breathed, and, furthermore, Saudi Arabia never stood by any popular movement in the region for the fear of it spreading to its own population.

Realpolitik can only be your fickle friend. Bashar knows this and it’s probably why he doesn’t talk to the Syrian people anymore. He doesn’t need to, won’t do him good anyway, since he realized how he doesn’t reflect people’s aspirations anymore.

June 4th, 2011, 2:34 am

 

DamasGuy said:

The apparent & possible change of Jumblat position is something to take note of. He was a factor in the sway of balance in favor of the opposition of Lebanon, something France disapproved and indirectly blamed on Syria. Will France be happy with such possible development and leave Syria alone to sort out its troubles?

June 4th, 2011, 3:24 am

 

Maghreb said:

Has somebody a video link from 100000 demonstrators in Hama?

June 4th, 2011, 3:32 am

 
 

louai said:

إعتراف شاهد عيان مفبرك في سورية
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g575jE6dCqE

an eye witness admit getting paid for false and exhilarated testimonies from Homs he had record on his mobile phone a call from his’ employer’ ,enjoy

June 4th, 2011, 6:10 am

 

Usama said:

Since Louai shared with us that video, compare that material with what I posted before.

“The definition of farce: http://blogs.aljazeera.net/liveblog/syria-jun-3-2011-1552

I know a couple of people on here said they only believe al-Jazeera because apparently state TV lies a lot, and al-Jazeera doesn’t. You might have heard of Ghassan Bin Jeddo who is the ex-director of al-Jazeera’s Beirut office. He resigned because of his realisation of what al-Jazeera was doing against Syria. Addounia interviewed him, and since you guys trust al-Jazeera so much, here is the interview: http://www.youtube.com/addounia#p/u/45/ayr3myWCaRU

The actual interview was actually about 5 hours long!! Addounia only has that 1.5-hour-long video uploaded. If that is still too long for the haters who follow the accuse-and-judge-before-seeing-facts ideology (you know who you are), here is a state TV clip that features a few seconds of the interview, that should get the main point across: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z24vWZyopgI

I would also like to bring up 3 interesting things I observed:

1) Some news outlets said this past Friday featured the “biggest protests yet” although 6-7 weeks ago they were bigger. What, they forgot about the 100,000-150,000 they reported in Dar`a?

2) Some news outlets said this past Friday was the “bloodiest” to date although, once again, about 6-7 weeks ago they reported 120 deaths, and on the second Friday (in March), al-Jazeera even went as far as saying 100.

3) The internet outage was such a HUGE thing, although they have been saying almost every week that internet access was being cut off, by the government, along with land lines, mobile, water, electricity, boys’ penises, etc etc etc bla bla bla

This is just like when al-Jazeera about 5-6 weeks ago said “these are the first reported protests in Aleppo since the beginning of the unrest” although they have reported FROM THE BEGINNING that protests were taking place all over Syria INCLUDING the city of Aleppo. I love how in the end, with just a little observation, these lies fall apart.

Conspiracy? What conspiracy?

June 4th, 2011, 7:16 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Moe,

We all know that Clinton is personally responsible for killing 1/2 million Iraqis due to the inhumane and UN-sanctioned “Oil for Food” program.

BTW, tell us how many Arab deaths are Saddam Hussein and the Assad’s responsible for.

June 4th, 2011, 7:17 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

death toll in Syria for friday ,june 3,reached 73,53 of them in Hama,Internet was cut.
The note that most Syrian support Bashar,is not true at all,the majority are quiet,but that does not mean they support Bashar.
The decision not to arm the revolution is waiting for the west and UN to aggressively support the syrian revolution,things most likely will change after the middle of june.

June 4th, 2011, 7:18 am

 

Moe said:

I was hoping that someone will post something about the opposition groups, who they represent in Syria and their political, economical and social programs. This whole opposition discussion is irrelevant without such information

All Opposition commenters here:

Can anyone post this information please

Thanks,
Moe

June 4th, 2011, 7:45 am

 

Amnesia said:

Louai, it’s either sad how naive you are in believing the Syrian press, or a shame that you support them. It’s a good thing most people aren’t that naive or shameless.

It is still a mystery whether Bashar Assad is behind the violent attacks on protests, or if he just doesn’t have the power to control them and therefore doesn’t try. What is clear though is with the arrests, beatings, shootings, and the resultant fear, Aleppo and Damascus will have difficulty rising up. No one should mistake the quiet in Damascus for full support for the regime. The majority of those that would protest are simply scared of the consequences. The streets are swarming with informants. It’s a police state, folks.

This is not to say that the regime will win. On the contrary, people will not easily forget the government’s actions over the past months. What is happening now is unsustainable, and the country has a long and difficult road ahead of it.

The best way to move to a stable democracy from the where the country stands is for a strongman from the current regime (Bashar or someone else), who has complete control of the government’s supporters, to dictate a complete change of power through elections and the curbing of military power. The youth energized from the current protests would be needed to keep the streets safe during the transition. The Muslim Brotherhood must be pardoned and allowed to return to normal lives after decades of repression. All other prisoners arrested and jailed for political reasons should also be released. Without these reforms, the stability of before may never come back.

If those in attendance in Antalya and others end up creating a government some time in the future, Syria could use the unique talents of the different groups to restore order. The liberals can ensure that the Syrian constitution and laws protect all Syrians. The Muslim Brotherhood can tackle the issue of corruption (the MB’s greatest strength and one of Syria’s biggest problems). The scientists and businessmen can focus on modernizing education and on developing and building new industries. The diplomats will find the world (East and West) very willing to assist and provide the necessary knowledge and capital.

Not yet asked, nor answered:

What would a modern Syria look like? What industries would Syrians excel in? What assistance would they require? When will Halab and Ladhiyi be connected to Amman and Istanbul by bullet train? I would hope these projects could start in two, five, and ten years years.

There are tons of computer engineers who now run clothing shops in Syria. Sad waste of what little education there is.

Dr. Landis, what do you think? Can we have commentary on Syria’s future assuming stability?

June 4th, 2011, 8:08 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Moe:
The opposition represent the syrian people ,especially the youth.
Their political and economical and social program,is freedom,democracy that leads to real free election,elimination of corruption,independent judicial system not dictated by the those who hold power and authority,free media,access to independent investigation.all segments of syrian society must have equal share in discussion and decision making ,and not limited to small segment,like assad family.No for sectarianism that the regime is guilty of.
We have said these things several time, I do not see a need to keep repeating,

June 4th, 2011, 8:31 am

 

HS said:

Dear Joshua,
I am deeply honored that you copied my transcript
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10053#comments #102
“Here a transcript ( edited for comprehension ) of live Twitter messages posted by @ProfKahf who attended the Antalya conference (Thanks for posting in comment section)”
in your today’s blog
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10050
In the process , you forgot my own comments as you intended to post only selected facts .
However you edited my transcript
“total votes 253: List1 : 203; List 50 .”
into
“total votes caste: 253
List1 : 203
List2: 50

which is even clearer but introduced a spelling error “caste” (instead of cast ).
I am not sure how you will interpret your freudian slip :-))
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Freudian_slip

Best wishes for you and homo sapiens in Syria
PS: ( I am not sure that I can any longer use homines sapientes these days ).

June 4th, 2011, 8:33 am

 

Revlon said:

19. Dear Moe, Your question is very relevant, yet very difficult to answer, with reasonable authority.
You posed the question before and I was hoping that someone with relevant resources would step in to enlighten all of us.
My input hereunder, is a further elaboration on majedkhalddons.

“Revlon, You seem to be an outspoken opposition figure, can you please summarize to us who the opposition are, who they represent in Syria and what are their political, social, and economical programs”

I am not an opposition figure, as my comments might suggest.
My views reflect readings of ongoing events and posted statements, with the aid of my experience from growing up, living and working in Syria.
Events, have some times proven them right, but more often wrong.

The current opposition in Syria are all of those, whose lives have been disrupted by the oppression, injustice and discrimination against, by the regime, for more than 40 years..

How are they organised?

OPPOSITION ON THE GROUND
1. Independent parties: None
2. Oppositional figures:
They are independent, outspoken tink tanks or heads/members of outlawed/made extinct political parties.
Their current role is limited to compulsory participation in staged dialogues with the regime, or help vent regime frustrations by availing themselves to unabated cycle of intrusive questioning, arrest and imprisonment by mukhabarat.
They fall into one of the following groups:
– Members /Heads of outlawed/made extinct parties: A handful
– Declaration of Damascus: a few dozens of outlawed/made extinct parties and independent activists
– Human rights activists
– Independent tink-tanks.
3. Non-partisan, Mass forces:
They are the movers on the ground.
– The youth, including demonstrators, their coordinating committees, and facebook bloggers.
– The tribes, in addition to participating in demonstrations, they hold significant levarge in the army and Baath party establishments.

OPPOSITION IN EXILE
1. Facebook Syrian revolution administrators
2. Moslem Brotherhood Movement
3. Human rights activists
4. Tink tanks

ANTALIA WORKGROUP: will be working to further the goals and objectives of the opposition.

These are mere outlines.
Alliances will take time to take shape and root.
Thank you for your question!
Cheers

June 4th, 2011, 9:01 am

 

why-discuss said:

Democracy now

What is more “hilarious” than the US supporting Mobarak and Kadafi less than few months ago? You didn’t laugh when they changed their mind!
The other “hilarious” issue is your narrow view of the regional variations of alliances. Obviously you naively see relation between countries are fixed. They are far from that, especially when there is a real common threat.
You admit:
“Saudi Arabia’s strategies are mostly short-termed and short-breathed, and, furthermore, Saudi Arabia never stood by any popular movement in the region for the fear of it spreading to its own population.”
You are then contradicting yourself. Do you deny that Saudi Arabia is supporting Bashar in his ‘crackdown’ on ‘popular movement’ and are pressuring the US to keep Bashar in power?
Are the GCC in the same frame of mind? ( Moallem is visiting the UAE very soon)
I don’t know where you are reading that the relation with Turkey is ‘quickly deteriorating’ That is really “hilarious”! Turkey is repeating everyday that they support Bashar Al Assad and after the 12 june elections where the AKP is going to be reelected we will see a more decisive intervention of Turkey in favoring the national dialog in Syria. You believed the powder in the eyes of the Antalya meeting!
So temper your gloomy forecasts. The dice are not yet thrown.

June 4th, 2011, 9:17 am

 

Usama said:

Is there an educated person among the anti-regime people on here? Majed either doesn’t understand Moe’s question or is just simply too embarrassed to say “I don’t know”.

There were 2 lists, each containing 31 names. We don’t know if the 2 lists have overlapping names. We know the second list, which supposedly featured more youth, had people added onto it who didn’t even know they were on this list. In other words, it was already decided ahead of time that the “non-youth” list was going to win. It was already decided ahead of time who this 31-member “committee” will be composed of. We don’t even know who the 31 people on this list are.

WHO ARE THEY? You don’t know! How can you even begin to try to explain who they represent? How can you try to explain their political, social, and economic programs? Get an education first, Majed, before you trying selling those irrelevant foreigners to us. It feels like we’re discussing with high school kids here.

Who do they represent?
– Kurd groups represent Kurds? How about the majority of Kurds who boycotted the event?
– Muslim Brotherhood? بالصرماية
– Alawi? Who is it? Where was he/she living? Who is funding him/her? What following does he/she have?
– Christian? same as above
– Druze? same as above
– non-MB Sunni? same as above
– Miscellaneous? same as above

What are their political programs?
– Do they want to be western puppets or are they going to continue the tradition of resistance? (You CANNOT be both)
– Do they want to make concessions for the Golan? (such as not having access to Tiberias and/or allowing land swaps for the Jewish settlements)
– Palestine? Palestinian refugees? Do they want to give them citizenship (to take their right of return away)? Do they want to kick Hamas and other Palestinian resistance movements out?
– What about Hizballah?

What are their social programs?
– Are they going to keep subsidies? Or are they going to decide that Syrians should spend 4x as much on food and fuel like Jordanians and Lebanese do?
– Are they going to keep the various and social medical programs the rural communities enjoy today?

What are their economic goals?
– Whore out all the public companies to private hands? Foreign hands?
– Allow Israeli companies to conduct business?
– Free-reign capitalism?

They say they refuse foreign interference, but as Nour Mallas said in WSJ (article posted by Dr. Landis): “Activists in touch with Western diplomats here say they received assurances the U.N. Security Council will meet Thursday to pass a resolution condemning the regime’s violence and urging it to allow human-rights inspectors. They said they expect Russia to abstain from using its veto.” Why are they in touch with western diplomats if they don’t want foreign interference?

Don’t take the above as any interest on my part. I already know the answers to all the loaded questions above and I’m not interested in having those clowns anywhere close to Syria.

June 4th, 2011, 9:19 am

 

why-discuss said:

REVLON

“Alliances will take time to take shape and root.”

How long? will they root or rot?

June 4th, 2011, 9:22 am

 

syau said:

Majedkhaldoon #36,

“The decision not to arm the revolution is waiting for the west and UN to aggressively support the syrian revolution,things most likely will change after the middle of june”

Are you suggesting the revolutionists aren’t armed? If so, where have you been since the beginning of the uprisings not to have noticed armed elements within them?

Lately even the foreign press have been admitting to the inclusion of armed gangs and violence within the protests. There is no point in your continual denial, everyone knows they exist.

June 4th, 2011, 9:25 am

 

Usama said:

WD

I don’t know where you got this funny idea of KSA and GCC supporting Syria. KSA doesn’t give a shit about human rights groups and no one is going to lift a finger against it, not even the UNHRC, as the Bahrain example has clearly shown. The reasons you presented in previous comments are not convincing at all.

Mu`allem visiting UAE is not about getting UAE support. Certain cards have been exposed, and now it’s time to collect. He will be doing the same thing in his upcoming visits to other regional countries.

June 4th, 2011, 9:25 am

 

why-discuss said:

Usama

If Bashar did not have the support of the regional Sunni countries in the area, do you think he will feel strong in continuing his strategy of confrontation with the protesters?
Do you think that the support of Iran and Lebanon will be enough to give the consistency we are seeing in the Syrian governemnt strategy of sticks and carrots.

Arab monarchies have seen how Ben Ali and Mobarak were dumped by the Western countries after their reactions to the protests were weak and inconsistent. Bahrain and Syria are not making it as easy for the protesters. They are ignoring western protests and they a using force together with announcing reforms.
My view is that these countries dread a common enemy: Anarchy. They agree to an orderly change and will use all the forces they can to bring order before changes.
Therefore, against all odds, they are supporting each other.
Why do you mean by ‘exposed cards’, Moallem is obviously going there to get support, both economical and discreetly political. I expect Moallem to visit KSA soon.

June 4th, 2011, 9:52 am

 

N.Z. said:

When you overstay your welcome.

Adieu Saleh. He had to be unplugged from his chair, his voice was trembling, yet, he is worried who will serve Yemenis after him?

We are awaiting Gaddafi, the grand finale is nearing.

Assad is on his way, he still has the option to exit, either, honourably or violently. Seems that none of them though will leave voluntarily, and that is mind bugling!

One of the enlightened commentators said “So the government of Bashar al Assad …..is proceeding with the announcement of the reforms at its own pace”. Perhaps an ostrich pace, they are the fastest runners, unfortunately they tend to run in circles.

June 4th, 2011, 9:54 am

 

aboali said:

regime as the abusive husband, the people as the battred wife:

http://www.kabobfest.com/2011/06/the-syrian-slut.html

June 4th, 2011, 9:55 am

 

Revlon said:

#19, Dear Moe: It is too early to speak of opposition’s social, political and economical programs.

Formulation of programs require presence on the ground, safe environmen, and freedom of gathering and speach.
They are comming up!

However, priotity number one is to down the system.
It has become a survival issue for the hundreds of thousands that have been participaing or supporting the revolution. The opposition on the ground has burnt the ships.
There is no turning back.
Their moto is to die with honour, or to deserve to live in honour.

In the meanwhile, the goals and objectives of the opposition have been crystalized in the declaration of Antalia Meeting, afew days ago.

Cheers

June 4th, 2011, 9:55 am

 

Syria no kandahar said:

News is that Syria handed over 3 PKK prisoners released to Turkey,conclusions:
-what Erfoghan is doing is just a show.
-democracy is not an option for terrorists if there was a possibility that they may hurt Turkey,even if they were syrians.
-Erdoghan is advocating for democracy for Syrian terrorists that don’t bother him(ie MB)
-Under the table thinks are in harmony between Taeb and Bashar.

June 4th, 2011, 10:05 am

 

Syria no kandahar said:

Dear Moe
You don’t ask Revlun such a question because you will bet a biased answer ,you don’t ask the pro-regime for the same reason.you have to ask that to non-biased person,which is not existing these days.

June 4th, 2011, 10:14 am

 

Norman said:

Moe,

The opposition program is , We are Sunni Muslims and because of that we are the majority, we are entitled to take the country any direction we want, Sharia law, Islamic state all others are minorities and do not have the same rights, There is nothing that we do not agree with in regards to the policies of President Assad, in foreign policy, The Palestinians, the economy , Iraq, We just do not like him because he is an Alawat(Shia),

WD,

The support of others is not enough, He still needs the most important support and that is of his own people, He can do that by moving fast on multiparty system and free elections.He should also announce that he will not be running for president the next time around, If the people want him they will force him, he has to seek a real secular constitution and stop building Mosques and churches .

June 4th, 2011, 10:26 am

 

Observer said:

It does not matter whether the GCC and KSA support or do not support Bashar, he needs the Syrian people and he is losing more of them by the hour.

For David Brooks to call Jordan and KSA as “normal” countries is truly incredible, they are variations on the same bad theme of family and clan medieval dictatorships. As a matter of fact the most abnormal state in the region is the theocracy in Israel based on an exclusive racist ideology of colonization of the land and dispossession of the locals even denying them their very history and existence.

I see the beginning of retreat on the part of the regime as it tries to dialogue with the opposition one at a time starting with the Kurds. Then they will talk to the tribes one on one, then they will talk to the Druzes, in the meantime the majority of Syrians are in the urban areas and they are Sunnis who have been crushed economically lately. They hold the key for without empowering them again, the regime cannot hope to survive. With the economy at a standstill and businesses failing and money fleeing, Bashar is having less room to wiggle. Muallem is in the Gulf asking for help. The message he will get is clear, all the countries in the region and the US and the EU and Turkey are willing to give Bashar one more chance but he has to deliver real reforms. He can only do that by putting his closest family members in jail. If Maher and Asef and Jamil and this and that thug continue to have free reign there will be no reform. The regime never had any strategy it had one modus operandi: kill torture terrorize.
For those on this blog that continue to bring the geostrategic picture as an explanation to what is happening and the struggle between the neocons and the realists this is pure fantasy.
No one gives a hoot about Syria, after the collapse of the regime, Syria will not pose a threat to Israel immediately, and the population will not make peace with Israel without the Golan heights and the Palestinian right of return.

Israel will have a brief reprieve but the Arab Spring is a nightmare for it has lost all of the major supporters and the vast majority of the Arab people will never accept this anomaly amongst their midst.

June 4th, 2011, 10:40 am

 

why-discuss said:

Observer

I agree globally with your analysis. Yet the economy can easily rebound if KSA and GCC promise to pour money as it is doing in Egypt now after.
This would reassure the Sunni business community that since Bashar has the financial support of KSA and the GCC, the economy will rebound. While, in the case Bashar is removed, the political void will certainly create an economical disaster where they will be the first to suffer.
I also believe that establishing a dialog with the different factions will require trial and errors as it has never been done.
The drastic “shock therapy” issues you mentioned are the fate of the close family of Bashar al Assad, even though I am not sure KSA will ask for the head of Maher, since within the Saudi royal family there are black sheeps too and they are not eliminated, they are just made temporarily more discreet.
I still believe KSA’s future intervention on helping Syria’s economy (in exchange for a slight decrease in Iran’s influence) and Turkey’s influence of the political reforms are the two most important keys to a internal solution.

June 4th, 2011, 11:02 am

 

Sophia said:

# 34 Usama,

I totally agree with you on this one.

# 45 Usama,

WD is mistaken, it is delusional to think that KSA and GCC are supportive of Syria. However, I think that their hostility or support for Assad rests for now on two factors:

-The first factor is a regional one: The longer Assad will hang on, the lesser they will be able to maintain their hostility. I did explain this in another post. KSA and GCC know they are playing with fire in watching Hariri and the neo cons inflame sectarian tensions in Syria. They are ready to get rid of Assad at a mimimum cost in terms of instability but they will try to shift strategy if Assad stays strong with the army and the majority of the Syrian people with him. If that’s the case, they cannot afford to sit and watch a new sectarian war in Syria because it will spread to Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and will open wide the cold war between KSA and Iran and come knocking on ther door. My view is that if Assad stays, alliances may shift and Hariri and Hezbollah will pay the price. Hariri will never be back as prime minister and Hezbollah will have to make concessions on its current position. Hezbollah is used to concessions because his goal is never to rule Lebanon but to maintain ist status a a resistance movement. At some point, the Al-Jazeera coverage will change and this is when you will realise that KSA and GCC are becoming reasonable.

Hariri and KSA are not one entity and where the kingdom’s interests are at stake, Hariri has to obey. Their relations are normal now but there were moments in the past and there will be time in the future when their interests will diverge.

http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/13938

-2. The second factor is international and I already posted on this in this comment section (comment number 2). We are witnessing in Syria the results of tensions between Obama’s engagement policy with Assad (a policy that went far) and the neocon policy (creative chaos in the ME at the cost of hundred thousand and million lives in order to maintain Israel’s upper hand on everything that is decided in the region) which is constraining Obama’s goals and plans in te middle east.

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10050&cp=1#comment-253817

The neocons are aided by Bibi who likes to humiliate Obama. It is a struggle between two visions and we don’t know the results yet. Obama may gain an upper hand and things may be reversed at some point. For the time being he lost, momentarily, to the neocons. But should Assad stay, there is room for change and Assad may come out from the cold again. I know many people don’t like Obama and I am among them because he didn’t deliver on his promises and he appears to be weak, but one has to recognize that in matters of foreign policy he is not as crazy as the neocons and he is someone who doesn’t see the US’s interests only through Israel’s. There are also tensions inside Israel, Bibi’s last outing to the US congress was a success in terms of internal support for him: Israelis like to tell other countries what to do and how to behave, they like to think that they are the masters of the world but there is a cost to this: no peace, dwindling of international support and increase of symapthy for palestinians. Some people inside Israel think that Bibi’s moves lately are just crazy and are not playing in the national interest.

Again, should Assad be able to stay, things will change and alliances will change. So Assad has no other choice than fighting the insurgency, restraining his police in terms of crackdown on civilians, while initiating dialogue, advancing reforms and hoping for a better time. Syrians should support this road instead of creative chaos…

June 4th, 2011, 11:11 am

 

why-discuss said:

Norman

Why makes you think that he has lost the support of the majority of the Syrians?
If Damascus and Aleppo have not moved, isn’t it that these cities are more worried about the negative impact of a political void on the economy than about churches and mosques?
I don’t want to be cynical, but people with full pocket don’t make a revolution. The slogans of ‘dignity’, ‘freedom’ we hear from the protesters in the poor towns in Syria hide the real demand: a better life with financial security. So it all boils down to money.
Whatever reforms are announced, if they don’t tackle this problem, they will be quickly dismissed.
We have heard many times that if the opposition does not unseat the government, the falling economy will.
This is why the highest priority of the governemnt today is not to announce political changes that will immediately interpreted by the opposition as a sign of weakness but to ensure the continuous financial support of the GCC as the Europeans have withdraw their contribution.
That will bring more confidence from the sunni business community in the key cities of Syria.

June 4th, 2011, 11:30 am

 

why-discuss said:

SOPHIA

I am not delusional.
In your analysis, you are saying:
“they will try to shift strategy if Assad stays strong with the army and the majority of the Syrian people with him. If that’s the case, they cannot afford to sit and watch a new sectarian war in Syria because it will spread to Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and will open wide the cold war between KSA and Iran and come knocking on ther door”

This is happening now, KSA and the GCC are shifting! The proof is Lebanon is very close to have a government without Hariri.

June 4th, 2011, 11:36 am

 

Sophia said:

# 57 WD,

I probably did not state my point properly and I probably did not understand your point enough but I agree that we agree on something here.

I never intended to mean that you are delusional. It is thinking that GCC and KSA support for Assad is a given that is delusional. And one can think sometimes in a delusional way without being delusional.

I also intended to disprove Usama’s point by agreeing with you to a certain extent about KSA and GCC support for Assad. My point is that GCC and KSA support is neither a given nor stable over time, it depends on the situation inside Syria, as well as regional and international circumstances.

And yes, Hariri is done in my opinion and this is why he is becoming dangerous. KSA has probably coopted Mikati and Hariri will never be PM again except if he joins the Kataeb in a coup against the state.

Please accept my sincere apologies.

June 4th, 2011, 12:00 pm

 

Leo said:

Why-Discuss, now you are want to beg the GCC for financial support after your regime puppets have been attacking the GCC for years? Go beg Iran and lets see what they are capable of doing for your soon to be fallen regime. Your regime’s stupidity left you with no ally. Now you and Sophia can start fighting the windmills.

Norman, Majority of Sunnis do not want an Islamic state nor do they support MB. What you say about the opposition is nonsense. First of all opposition consists of all Syrians from all backgrounds, including allawites. In Antalya the opposition forced the MB NOT to reject the secularism and to accept a future civil state where everyone is equal. Any other talk about generalizations coming from you as a Christian will only backfire and I hope you change your tone because Sunni Seculars and those atheists from Sunni background are trying really hard to marginalize the extremists (who do not constitute much anyhow), but if you and your fellow sectarians and fear mongers will continue to trash talk then you can only blame your selves.

June 4th, 2011, 12:16 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Sophia

no need to apologize 🙂 It is a question of words.
yes, the support of KSA is unstable as they have only one strategy: protect their oil, their style of life and prevent Shia Iran to move deep into the arab world. No long term vision.
For the rest they shift with the circumstances. They probably did not support Bashar at start because he has been too close to Iran. Now they realize that they are the next target for an uprising, so they suddenly get closer to countries threatened the same way: Syria and Bahrain. As for Iran they have recently passed the message through Kuweit ( remember the recent tension over spies) that they should refrain from encouraging Shias in Bahrain and Kuwait and south of KSA. They have now a quiet front with Iran. They are becoming more understanding with Syria. Remember that Syria was the only country that did not critisize the saudi intervention in Bahrain.

For now, the wind is flowing in favour of the Syrian goverment in its political alliances in the region. It may change of course!
I think the US is to busy with much bigger problems like Egypt, Yemen, the Palestinians and Israel to give a serious attention to Syria or Bahrain.

June 4th, 2011, 12:30 pm

 

Sophia said:

# 59 Leo,

I want to know something. Was there any Alawi or Christian among the delegates in Antalya? And do they represent their communities. And the sunnis who were present, do they represent their communities?

I have not seen any analysis about the representative role of delegates in this summit. Dr. Landis is not posting analysis anymore, he is just aggregating news and personal accounts.

June 4th, 2011, 12:30 pm

 

Sophia said:

# 60 WD

Thanks. I understand your point. Bashar has to hang on. He is still the best option for Syria right now.

June 4th, 2011, 12:33 pm

 

Usama said:

WD

Saudi Arabia loves anarchy. Just look at Lebanon. It can easily shoot any protesters dead on the spot and no one would lift a finger against it. What they are scared of is Iranian influence, on behalf of the Americans. Al Saud is a puppet regime, always has been, always will be, from Mordechai to `Abdel-`Aziz. Bashar’s real strength on the inside is the people, and I don’t buy the argument that the business class will switch if the economy sucks. If Bashar steps down today, is the economy going to be better? Look at Egypt and Tunisia. Stay realistic. The economy has a much better chance of getting better with Bashar remaining in power.

Syria’s real strength in the region is its relationships with Hizbullah and Iran because of the threat they pose on Israel. People on blogs, like this one, tend to underestimate this threat, but believe me, Israel doesn’t. Any real conflict on Israeli soil will make most of the non-Arab dual citizenship Israelis flee. They came to Israel for financial luxury, and very few came for religious beliefs. This is why Israel takes its security so seriously and stubbornly. It must because most of its Jewish population WILL leave in the event of real war all over “its territory”. Why do you think the Zionists on this blog are cheering so hard for Bashar to fall? You think they care about us and our future? Again, stay realistic. Just by chance, I came across this last night: http://www.counterpunch.org/lamb06032011.html Check it out!

June 4th, 2011, 12:34 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Leo

You have a very naive view of alliances in the ME. Friends of today are the enemies of yesterday. Each one seeks its national interests of the moment. If today the national interest of the GCC is to support Syria, they’ll do it.
I have explained before why I think it is today the interests of KSA and other sunni countries to support Syria’s government and not the hardline opposition.

June 4th, 2011, 12:38 pm

 

Usama said:

Sophia

I don’t agree with the theory of Obama-neocon struggle. At the end of the day, they have common goals and I think Bibi just wanted to give him a slap in the face to wake up and make sure Egypt remains Mubarak-style. Look now Rafah crossing is closed again. But you hit the nail right on the head by talking about the status in Lebanon. You cannot talk about Syria without talking about Lebanon and vice versa. This was a genius design of Sykes-Picot, I must admit. The Lebanese government formation is important because of the Hariri-Salafi axis in Lebanon and the pressure the STL will apply on Syria (apparently in July), which can be completely shutdown by the new government.

Did you notice how the Salafi Hizb at-Tahrir came out of nowhere after Rafiq Hariri’s assassination? Look at Egypt now how Salafis are appearing all over causing problems, and even formed a political party yesterday or the day before. You can’t ignore the Salafis and the Saudi role in their appearance.

The Christians are facing a real threat in Lebanon today. Did you see how Nahhas, Suleiman, and Baroud were all humiliated this past week? They were all humiliated by a worthless ISF officer under orders from Rifi (ie Hariri). Christians have been losing power the whole time and this last event cannot be ignored. In the meeting of Christians with Rahi last week (http://bit.ly/lqwySt), I am sure Rahi discussed this with Aoun at least. With reports coming out about “optimism” for government formation before June 8, I think Rahi convinced Aoun to make concessions to allow the government to be formed. Miqati has been blaming Aoun the whole time for the impasse, and now the ball is in his court. However, there is a good chance he doesn’t want to form it because he’s trying his best to avoid a parliamentary session on June 8 where he could lose confidence and be replaced (you can’t get much worse than Miqati). He wants to avoid being exposed as the true reason for the impasse, especially after the couple of words Feltman passed on to him recently.

I think Rahi helped Aoun (and possibly even Ga`Ga` and Gemayel) see that the government MUST be formed NOW to take back control of Hariri ISF militia and deal with the Salafis, even if it means some concessions need to be made. As it stands right now, Hariri and the Salafis are causing a lot of problems in Syria, and if something is to happen to Syria, you will see Salafis popping up all over the place in Syria (just like in Egypt). Saudi Arabia will ship them in by the thousands via Jordan and Lebanon. With Salafis getting so powerful and the prospect of a bloody sectarian war both in Syria and Lebanon, Christians will have no choice but to make concessions over their powers in government (ie Maronite president restriction) because Hizbullah will lose its line of supply and will not be able to defend them or even themselves. What is going on is very serious, but I strongly believe Bashar will remain in power. It will be quite unprecedented for a president to be toppled by less than 0.5% of the population being in the streets, and mostly on Fridays, which is already a day off.

June 4th, 2011, 12:41 pm

 

why-discuss said:

La Syrie recherche à l’extérieur une échappatoire à ses difficultés intérieures

http://syrie.blog.lemonde.fr/2011/06/04/la-syrie-recherche-a-l%E2%80%99exterieur-une-echappatoire-a-ses-difficultes-interieures/

une stupidité entre autres:

“Le 31 mai, toute honte bue, le même Walid Al Moallem a effectué à Bagdad une visite inattendue, au cours de laquelle .il a supplié les autorités irakiennes de « servir d’intermédiaires avec les Américains dans la recherche d’une solution à la crise en Syrie »

June 4th, 2011, 12:45 pm

 

Syria no kandahar said:

Does any on have explanation for the 0%mortality and 0%morbidity of the demonstrslations run by the kurds(although every one knows that they are the most politically organized and the most armed-when needed -group?

June 4th, 2011, 12:54 pm

 

Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

“animated by the death of Hamza Ali al-Khateeb”

????

Where did you get this from?

Do you even watch Wahhabi or Syrian channles? I don’t think you do.

Adnan Arour has a daily show on Wissal TV. If you watched this show you would have known why they came out strongly. I put a link to this channel long time ago.

June 4th, 2011, 12:58 pm

 

Usama said:

WD

Sorry my post was made while your last post before was not there. I just want to point out that Iran speaks out about Bahrain every day, whether through its media (al-`Alam, Press TV) or through its religious leaders. Syria did not criticize Saudi intervention in Bahrain because it would be very stupid to. Syria always stays neutral in Arab affairs outside of Lebanon, except when Saddam proved to be a complete dumb ass. Look at Tunisia and Egypt. Syrian state TV said nothing until both presidents resigned. It’s no secret they were not upset about seeing Egyptians on the streets, but it would just not make sense to say anything. Same with Bahrain.

The Le Monde article is interesting, but it’s not convincing. The US embassy in Damascus is still open for business. Like I said before, some cards have been exposed. When al-Maliki, after years of accusing Syria of allowing al-Qaeda insurgents into Iraq, admits that terrorists and weapons have entered Syria from Iraq and that he would work harder to stop that, this tells you someone’s nuts are in a vice, but not that tight yet!

June 4th, 2011, 1:00 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

The visit of Muallem is clear indication that the regime is worried about the economy,that the economy is reaching a very serious state,How long it will take to collapse? I believe three months,that if the west do not take further measures and apply more sanctions,the stockmarket in Syria is at all time low.Syria now, needs help from GCC to support the LIRA,the cost of three months of putting down the opposition is staggering.the regime knows that the economy is serious,they sent Muallem begging.
Bashar can not survive with the reform that is demanded from him,true Dialogue,or brutal oppression, he can not have both.

June 4th, 2011, 1:08 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Usama

I agree, but the tensions between Iran and Bahrai is decreasing:

Iran welcomes end of Bahrain emergency rule Friday, 03 June 2011
TEHRAN: Iran yesterday welcomed Bahrain’s decision to lift a state of emergency but said its problems will remain until foreign forces are withdrawn from the Gulf state.

“We consider the lifting (of emergency law) to be a positive step forward and in line with fulfilling the demands of Bahrain’s people,” said Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, quoted by official Irna news agency.
“The problems Bahrain has faced are its internal affair and they should be resolved domestically and after the withdrawal of foreign forces from that country,” Salehi said.

“The problems Bahrain has faced are its internal affair and they should be resolved domestically and after the withdrawal of foreign forces from that country,” Salehi said. B

June 4th, 2011, 1:17 pm

 

syria no kandahar said:

Majed
your post with the wishfull thinking of the economy collapsing make you sound worse than Amir in telaviv,Are you going to rescue tha economy after that collapse,would the tourism industry burst after MB takes over and all the europians flood damascus and aleppo to see the way the sharia is being applied,are you going to allow them to drnik?are you going to make Alaroor a national Icon to visit?
did you ever heard somebody telling you:Befor you throgh away an old pant get a new one, the opposition wats to take syria’s pants and uderwear off and they have no new pants not even underwear!!!

June 4th, 2011, 1:25 pm

 

Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

عدنان العرعور لوطي بشهادة زملائه

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbdvH0KZOsA

عدنان العرعور لوطي بالوثائق

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp8b19GwiwQ&feature=related

I thought it was an Islamic revolution. It turned out to be a gay revolution.

June 4th, 2011, 1:29 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Turkish Poll Could Result In All-Powerful ‘President’ Erdogan

http://www.rferl.org/content/turkish_poll_could_result_in_all_powerful_president_erdogan/24214528.html

June 4th, 2011, 1:46 pm

 

Sunny said:

There is a huge gathering in Allentown, PA tomorrow supporting Syria, and the Syrian president :0) It is organized by Syrian American women :0) They are asking that the US to stay out of Syria’s business :0) and stop the hegemony and bullying policy :0) They are also asking for the US government to solve the Americans’ problems first here in the US….which most Americans are asking for the same…our taxes must be invested in building our communities :0) and not invested in wars and destruction of families around the world :0(

June 4th, 2011, 2:02 pm

 

Usama said:

WD

It does sound like very diplomatic language, but I think they’re teasing Saudi troops to leave. Al Khalifa was going to lose control without the UK-trained Saudi intervention. Nevertheless, I can now see what you’re saying and I agree it could be valid.

June 4th, 2011, 2:12 pm

 
 

Tara said:

To all,

I apologize for shwoing this link as it is extremely graphic and it is not for the weak of hearts.

Pay attention to one thug leaving ammunition on top of a dead body to deceive the investigation committee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYKUZFL5qVA&feature=player_embedded#at=78

I do not have a word in my vocabulary to describe this. Are those soldiers Syrians? Did we go to same schools they went to? Did we have same teachers? Did we share history with them? Did we travel same roads, ride same buses, eat same food, watched same TV shows like them? Where did this extreme hatred come from?

The regime fate is sealed. I have no doubt in my mind!!!

June 4th, 2011, 2:47 pm

 

Observer said:

WD you talk as if the events on the ground are in some other planet.
There is no guarantee that KSA or anyone else will pour money to any one in this regime any time soon. Why should they when the personal fortunes of some in the inner circle are estimated to be in the 20 billion or so?
The regime talks as if they are having a nice dinner in one of the old restaurant in old Damascus and that they are just finishing the first course and are discussing what to have for the second one and then to have dessert.
This president is turning to be a dumb ass and his inner circle a group of medieval brutal monsters. You are hoping against hope that there is still time for reform IN the regime. The people are FED UP and more than FED UP. People do not seem to get it the message: look what happened to Saleh in Yemen as he is clinging to power and what is happening to Ghadafi as well. The use of force is NOT working and will never work. The regime is FINISHED and has no credibility or political capital.
My sources tell me that there is a divorce from reality that is truly incredible in the minds of some in the regime and there seems to be the same on this blog.
Business community my foot, they have shipped their money out the country and will wait it out unless the regime forces them to cough it up.
By the way, if anyone of those still hoping for regime rehabilitation or are regurgitating the conspiracy theories of the stupid propaganda, if any of you wins the Lotto today which one of you is willing to invest it in Syria now or in the next five years? That is the question.

June 4th, 2011, 3:12 pm

 

Usama said:

Tara,

Syrian Arab Army soldiers don’t wear running shoes. There have already been cases with people wearing camouflage fabric (not too difficult to attain) to appear like they are soldiers who defected, but they’re so stupid they forget that soldiers don’t wear running shoes.

June 4th, 2011, 3:15 pm

 

syria no kandahar said:

Tara
you seem to be in love with graphic you tubes.

1-what is the regime gaining from any event which leads to such results?
2-The syrian army is dragged into this by events initiated by people who are very aware of the risks of what they are doing.
3-The demonstrations and all the events in the northeast have been completely peacefull without even one scracth,simply because the WAHABI SALAFI AND MB DEVILS are not part of the process there.
4-if you are so pro-graphic seens person:link to Aljanood and Tallawi’s seens,they will win the ISLAMIC REVOLUTION BEST GRAPHIC SEEN AWARD 2011
5-Those monsters meeting in Antalyia had SELECTED GRAPHIC SEENS on the wall during there meeting.they could have had Janoud and Tallawa’s pictures you know,but they are TOO SECTARIAN to do that.
6-Remember soldiers in the army are brothers,fathers,neighbors,husbands and uncles…stop talking about them as if they were cowards,they are doing ther best to keep the country united and to protect syria from the cowards you are supporting.

June 4th, 2011, 3:23 pm

 

Usama said:

Observer,

If I win the lottery, I’d be honored to deposit the full amount into a savings account in a Syrian bank. I’d get 9% interest, which is better than the 2% here. It’s a good deal! The regime is doing just fine. My “sources” confirm this, lol.

June 4th, 2011, 3:26 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Observer

So you hope for what?

June 4th, 2011, 3:31 pm

 

Sophia said:

Angry Arab:

“The Muslim Brotherhood ran the conference in Antalya.” And no we won’t be fooled by their statement about inclusiveness.

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/06/antalia-conference.html?spref=bl

It reminds me of Iraq which was supposed to be the beacon of US made democracy.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iraq-detainees-20110603,0,5098126.story

June 4th, 2011, 3:42 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Usama

I think I like your “sources” better than the one of Observer. His seem to be in deep depression.
By the way I have dumped some worthless US dollars and put them in a 9% interest account in syrian pounds. Just waiting for the lottery to increase it!

June 4th, 2011, 3:44 pm

 

Tara said:

Dr. Kandahar,

I strongly deplore loss of any life whether it is Aljanood, those poor guys on the link above who were trying to smuggle food to Daraa or anyone else for that matter. The army/security forces or whoever those thugs are really just carrying their orders: shoot to kill and have no mercy.

It amazez me that people only see what they want to see. Assuming that you are not on Mukhabarat payroll ( and I doubt you are), defendeing the undefensible is not really gonna help your cause. I will explain further:

If your cause is Assad forever, then I expect you will continue with the same old same old…defending the undefensible. The truth is this is gonna get you no where.

If your cause is not to bring our contry down, then you may need to consider a diferrent strategy… where all are equal.

I addressed you as a doctor based on your vocabulary. I am sorry if I made a mistake.

June 4th, 2011, 3:50 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Sophia

Thanks for the link, I liked that parts:

“because US representatives in Antalia (yes they were there) pressed for an inclusive statement”
..The branches of the Muslim Brotherhood are all bad: but the Syrian branch is one of the worst, by far. It is the most opportunist of them all.

I think the Turks knew what they were doing when they allowed this conference in Turkey: They wanted to verify if this noisy opposition has a spine or not.
I guess they got the answer.

June 4th, 2011, 3:51 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Tara

“The army/security forces or whoever those thugs are really just carrying their orders: shoot to kill and have no mercy.

Are you part of the soldiers ‘thugs’ to know what are the orders?

And if the orders were “Shoot to protect yourself and other civilians?

June 4th, 2011, 3:55 pm

 

why-discuss said:

http://www.npr.org/2011/06/04/136953933/syrian-tanks-at-restive-city-more-die-in-new-protest?ft=1&f=1001

“….The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said authorities released a leading opposition figure Saturday. Ali Abdullah of the Damascus Declaration Group had been jailed since 2007 and was among hundreds of political prisoners freed this week after Assad issued a general amnesty.wh

Assad also created a committee that he said would pave the way for a national dialogue, hoping the concessions would satisfy the revolt, which is posing the most serious challenge to the Assad family’s 40-year rule. What began as a disparate movement demanding reforms has grown into a resilient uprising seeking Assad’s ouster.

Assad has invited officials from 12 outlawed Kurdish parties to meet him, said Mohammed Moussa of the Kurdish Leftist Party, whose group was invited. He said the meeting is expected in the coming days….

June 4th, 2011, 4:00 pm

 

Usama said:

Wow Tara, you really have skill with ignoring things that refute your claims. Just think about it: if a soldier/security officer is in uniform with military equipment, why would they be wearing running shoes like the people in the video you shared? Even the dude with the armored cap on his head is wearing running shoes. There are literally hundreds of other fabricated videos circulating YouTube and reputable news organizations. However, the video Nour shared showing a guy who was hanged, then his body humiliated, by your humane peaceful revolutionaries, why don’t you discuss that video?

June 4th, 2011, 4:04 pm

 

Tara said:

Why,

I am not. I have no problem with shoot to protect yourself and others. I wish that was true but it is not. Many many links proved it was not.

Now this is my issue with blind supporters of the regime. They are looking but not seeing. Security forces are shooting on unarmed civilians. I am not denying the presence of armed gangs. I am not denying the presence of sectarian hatred within some elements. But again, the army is shooting unarmed civillians. There is absolutely no doubt about that.

June 4th, 2011, 4:07 pm

 

Tara said:

Usama,

I have not watched Nour’ link yet. I am just trying to gather my strength to watch yet another graphic link. Watching horror movies is not something I usually do. I will comment when I see it.

June 4th, 2011, 4:13 pm

 

syria no kandahar said:

Tara
Any one who is against Syria’s destruction these days is being called pro-Assad.Just because i hate seeing Syria as an islamic state,and just becuse i have a brain and i see all the opposition as power-hungry,revenge-filled,hatefull,stupid,sectarian,extremist..it dos’t meani i am pro_assad,I -and 90%-of syrians are against destrucion done by islamists.look at my comment befor:don’t through away an old pant befor you get a new pant.the opposition the way i see it not only they dont have a new pant for syria,they dont have pants themselves,they actually are willing to give up there undrewear if that will lead them to power.
by the wat i keep using the name Tara for you because i want to keep the discussion positive and because i assume that you have good intentions for your country.

June 4th, 2011, 4:13 pm

 

ziadsoury said:

Dear Tara,

Yes security forces wear sneakers in Syria. They are thugs. Look at this clip and 35 seconds into it you see a crime against humanity. A military thug telling another plain cloths thug with SNEAKERS where to direct his shots at. He aims at head level and shoots. Sad. Very sad. However, master bashar followers tell us this self defense.

June 4th, 2011, 4:24 pm

 

jad said:

Nour,
Here is another picture of the horrific incident clip you linked of killing a soldier in Hama:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=215764501788941&set=a.202886739743384.57944.200624223302969&type=1&ref=nf
—————-

I seems that the regime toke the decision, it’s going toward a full scale confrontation, next Friday will be extremely bloody toward any kind of violence when and if it happened even more than last Friday.
The regime is saying that they gave the oppositions lots of what they called for without any calming sign, the regime won’t give them anything more, until they show some restrain, period.

من يوم الأربعاء الماضي 1 حزيران 2011 صدرت تعليمات لقوات الأمن وعناصر الجيش كالتالي:
“يسمح استخدام السلاح دفاعا عن النفس والمنشآت العامة والخاصة , وتم تسليم جميع العناصر الأسلحة والذخيرة المطلوبة لتنفيذ هذه التعليمات”

June 4th, 2011, 4:43 pm

 

Tara said:

Kandahar,

Ok I believe you but please believe me too. We have a dilemma here:

I am supporting the fall of the regime. I think the regime as it stands now lost its legitimacy. I am Sunni by birth. I am not a practicing Muslim. I believe in god as a supreme entity but I believe that the way people relate to god is no one’ business. I want a secular state without sharia law. I do not want an Islamic state. I want a complete separation of religion and state. I am not power hungry and I do not love or hate people based on their sect. I have for many many years LOVED Nasrallah for what he stood for. I do not like him anymore because he in my opinion betrayed the Syrian people. Many of my friends are Iranian Shiite, Christian and Jewish. My small wedding was attended by Christian couple and a Jewish friend along with few family members. A lot of my first female cousins are married to Alawites who are in very very prominent positions in Syria. All my persion freinds call me few days a wk to express solidarity with the Syrian people. Believe me when I say I do not have a drop of sectarianism in my blood. Furthermore, I do not want Syria destruction. With 1200 dead and more wounded, Bashar has lost his legitimacy to rule and his fate is sealed. So where do we go from here?

June 4th, 2011, 4:44 pm

 

jad said:

Actually you don’t have to be master Bashar’s follower to see that it’s scary when you have hundreds of angry guys throwing stones at you as in frame 1:18 in this video, does anybody have doubts of what they will do to him is they catch him?
http://youtu.be/sztIb-As7Jo?t=1m18s

For a change of the horrific graphics we are seeing today:
يا بشار الاسد
http://youtu.be/CN_7Sp2gklU

June 4th, 2011, 5:03 pm

 

Tara said:

Jad,

No that was hilarious!

June 4th, 2011, 5:12 pm

 

jad said:

From FB:

ادلب – جسر الشغور: المرافق العامة في المدينة تحترق و الشرطة تم خطفها و ميليشات مسلحة تقيم الحواجز و تقطع الطرقات وحتى طريق حلب اللاذقية الدولي مقطوع و نزوح ثلاث ضيع بعد تهديدات بذبح النساء و الأطفال لأسباب طائفية و الأهالي يناجون……
3 minutes ago

June 4th, 2011, 5:20 pm

 

Tara said:

Jad,

The regime must allow foreign press so we can all believe and condemn above atocities.

Assad has already lost the media war (as one reader put it) and therefore can not lose anything more but potentialy gain if above reports were verified by an an international press.

June 4th, 2011, 5:27 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Tara

Allowing the western foreign press, in the state of hysteria they are now, will be fatal.
Note that Bashar has not done any of what Mobarak, Ben Ali and Kadafi have done: Immediate concessions, allowing foreign press, curfew. These measures brought the fast demise of these people.
Bashar has taken the lesson. He is giving the impression of someone who is following his own strategy in active mode not reactive.
Any reactive mode is immediately interpreted as weakness and makes the opposition more aggressive. Just remember what followed the cancellation of the emergency rule: worse demonstrations.
It is a psychological war going on and a confrontation of will power.
As long as Bashar al Assad is able to stand the pressure, look strong and continue with the planned dialogs and quiet reforms, he is a winner.
I am sure that if there is a referendum today, more than 75% of the Syrians will give him the credit and the leadership of the reforms. Serious leadership has not emerged from the Antalya meetings, just threats. For the best and the worse, there is no one else than Bashar, you have to accept that.

June 4th, 2011, 5:51 pm

 

Nour said:

Jad,

Here is a video of the infamous Mohammad Zuhair Al Siddiq on the criminal Arour’s al Wisal calling for the killing of Alawis.

June 4th, 2011, 6:13 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Yesterday’s scenes start to resemble civil wars. People against the military, the military against the people, people against people, and soon to come, army units against other army units.
I blame the junta for this. The responsibility is exclusively theirs.

They could have been as wise ans as patriotic as Tunisia’s Ben Ali, and leave, before the atrocities begin. But they choose to drag Syria into a civil war.

As a soldier (a reservist in the IDF) I can tell you that I wouldn’t like to see my comrades hanging naked from electricity towers. And I again don’t blame the people for those contemptible behaviors. The junta is responsible for all. They are in charge.

Fear is gone and is replaced by anger. Typical in civil wars.
.

June 4th, 2011, 6:14 pm

 

Moe said:

@ Majdk 38
I travel tomorrow again so my access and time will be limited and unfortunately will only be able to view snapshots of the posts hence the repetition in my question.

@ SNK 51
Non-political or non-biased Syrians are nonexistent- We start talking politics from the childhood 

@ Revlon 40/49, Usama 42, Norman 52
Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. This is my understanding from your posts in relation to my question only:

•Little is known about the Syrian opposition groups and/or who they represent in Syria
•Opposition groups are either internal (in Syria) or External (outside Syria)
•Opposition groups have not announced or formulated their programs.
•Political Islam for the Sunni majority in Syria is represented by Muslim Brotherhood and seems to be the only known form of opposition with actual representation in Syria (though not known how much it represents)
•Syrians have clear opinions about Syrian MB as they do about Bashar AlAssad (polarized one way or another)
•Syrian Minorities are suspicious of the MB and fear the current events in Syria will change one form of dictatorship to another that is not in favor of their co-existence and fair practice of citizenship.

June 4th, 2011, 6:19 pm

 

Tara said:

Moe

“Syrians have clear opinions about Syrian MB as they do about Bashar AlAssad (polarized one way or another)”

You got that wrong!

Most Syrian revolutionists are against both!!

June 4th, 2011, 6:39 pm

 

Sophia said:

# 104 Moe,

You are right all the way.

June 4th, 2011, 6:43 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

W.D
Where did Gaddafi gave concessions
Tara: you are a good person.
Bashar fate will be the same as Gaddafi and Saleh,

June 4th, 2011, 6:43 pm

 

Tara said:

Moe

“• ……..fair practice of citizenship.”

You got that statement wrong too. There is currently no fair practice of citizenship to the vast majority of Syrians in Syria except for Assad and company.

June 4th, 2011, 6:50 pm

 

Leo said:

Majority of opposition figures who are speaking in the media at the moment are leftists and liberals. Those who are saying that the MB are controlling everything are hallucinating and using this as a fear mongering tactic to tarnish the reputation of the opposition. Islamists are against the regime but they are not a major force. Once the regime is down the majority of Syrians, even those who used to kiss Bashar’s ass, will stand together for Syria’s secularism and separation of religion and state against the minority who want to hijack the revolution. Let’s stand firm in deposing this dictatorship and build a new Syria for everyone instead of fighting and killing each other for an authoritarian regime.

June 4th, 2011, 6:51 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Majed al khaldoon

Kadafi let the foreign press in Tripoli

June 4th, 2011, 7:03 pm

 

Sophia said:

# 109 Leo,

“Majority of opposition figures who are speaking in the media at the moment are leftists and liberals.”

That’s the problem. Those who are sepaking to foreign media are not all the opposition or are you trying to convince us that all opposition figures are leftists and liberals?

If not why we are not seeing the others?

“Let’s stand firm in deposing this dictatorship and build a new Syria for everyone instead of fighting and killing each other for an authoritarian regime.” This statement is pure propaganda and disingenuous. Syrians are not killing each other for an authoritarian regime. What is at stake is the future of the country and the future of its minorities.

June 4th, 2011, 7:12 pm

 

louai said:

شريط جديد يظهر “مجزرة” في جامع الكرك بدرعا ، لكن مؤذن الجامع له روايته الخاصة عما جرى مؤذن الجامع يؤكد أن الضحايا الذين يظهرون على سطح الجامع اعتلوا المئذنة بأسلجتهم ، وأن ابنه أطلق عليه النار التحذيرية عندما حاول إقناعه بمغادرة المئذنة مع أقربائه المسلحين الآخرين!؟

Article and links about alleged al kark mosque killings in Darra with NEW youtube links

http://www.syriatruth.info/content/view/2433/36/

June 4th, 2011, 7:43 pm

 

Alex said:

http://www.syrianembassy.us/index.html

Ambassador’s Message to the Syrian American Community

Syria is presently facing unprecedented challenges and at the same time, opportunities for democracy, peace, prosperity and hope. Both the people and government of Syria find themselves at a critical crossroads. The events in Syria underway since March remain far more complex than what the international media has portrayed, and it is imperative that a more truthful account emerge in order for justice and reason to prevail.

Unfortunately, while the overwhelming majority of Syrians have adopted dialogue as the way forward, a minority view armed uprising as the preferred route. No government in the world, including the United States, would tolerate an armed insurrection, regardless of the motive. A clear distinction must be made between citizens demanding their legitimate rights versus militants pursuing the bleak path towards destruction and insecurity. Under no terms will Syria tolerate the latter. Our pursuit of far-reaching reforms to realize our vision of a more democratic, just and thriving Syria will continue, regardless of those who would seek to interfere with, or derail, this much-needed course of action.

Indeed, no Syrian is satisfied with the status quo—including the Syrian government, which has made this clear by issuing a series of important reforms in progress, including but not limited to the lifting of the decades-old Emergency Law, establishing a Demonstrations Act that regulates and protects the peaceful demonstrations of citizens, and abolishing the State Security Court. Other reforms include a new act regarding political parties and their participation in the government, a new elections law, and a new media law, just to list a few.

The government remains steadfast in its commitment to overhaul its entire political, economic, judicial and social structures. It has further initiated a national dialogue with Syrians of all political stripes, to listen, and respond, to all legitimate grievances and suggestions for moving the country forward.

Ultimately, we are all in this together. While you reside in the US, you are part and parcel of Syria, and your opinions and input are as essential as any citizen residing in the country. We need to have a dialogue that is honest and open, but also respectful.

I need your ideas and contributions to guarantee that this intended dialogue will be constructive and fruitful. I will engage the community in intensive consultations and ask you to proactively engage me in return. We need to meet in person, exchange e-mails or correspond over the phone. All options are available. To initiate this process, please send me your thoughts and recommendations by e-mailing me at theambassador@syrembassy.net

Through our engagement and open dialogue we can create a common ground on the major issues in Syria. This can help set our nation on a trajectory towards progress, justice and the realization of dignity for all.

Sincerely,

Imad Moustapha, Ph.D.

Ambassador of Syria to the U.S.

June 4th, 2011, 8:22 pm

 

Sophia said:

# 107 Amir,

“Fear is gone and is replaced by anger. Typical in civil wars.”

For sure you know how to initiate civil wars as you did in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, and as you are trying to do in Syria. You know only how to terrorise an underarmed Palestinian and Arab population.

However, I don’t think fear is gone in civil wars, it is gone only among those who fight but not among those who endure. We now know what is your perspective, you don’t give a damn about civilians and how they will have to endure a civil war. I did, not on the fighter side, on the endurer side, and I can tell you fear is not only present but it is the essence of everyday life in a civil war.

If Israel keep initiating civil wars in the ME, fitna will come and haunt you in your own real estate bubble.

June 4th, 2011, 8:33 pm

 

trustquest said:

Nour on #81,

this video is the hanging of a dead man couples of years ago in Lebanon. After they killed the Egyptian guy who married their daughter and killed her parent they hanged him after killing him. This is nothing to do with Hama or the current events.

June 4th, 2011, 8:46 pm

 

Alex said:

Trustquest,

The Egyptian is this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvKVYg8KWOM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

He is not the same in the other clip. Check the Egyptians underwear

June 4th, 2011, 8:53 pm

 

louai said:

Syria no Kandahar 71.
There are no death between the Kurds demonstrations because they are a complete different uprising ,those people have been discriminated against by us all this years and now they found a good opportunity to demand their rights ,their demonstrations are the most civilized ones ,no burnings no killings no High roads closing ,I think they have nothing to do with this plot .however I will not be surprised if the killing of the Kurds demonstrators started soon because your question is exposing the real nature of the uprising and many people are asking the same question now ,I wont be surprised if they start next Friday .

June 4th, 2011, 8:59 pm

 

louai said:

119. trustquest
no its not in Lebanon its in Hama , here are both links compare please

http://www.syriatruth.info/content/view/2435/36/

June 4th, 2011, 9:09 pm

 

louai said:

Usama @37

indeed.
Do you remember Maher Nakrour? The Christian who was killed on the 5th of May? They claimed he was killed by the Syrian security forces in few hourse the Syrian revolution2011 honered him on their facebook page in his funeral and outside the church 6 people start to chant and called him a martyr those 6 no one of his family or ALhamidia’s people recognised them the priest had to ban any one to ‘use his blood for any cause ‘
The next day some one from Rajoob family (respectful Sunni family) the same thing happened and the elders of the rajoob family banded any one to chant any sectarian or anti regime slogans to avoid Fitna
These tow true and important stories are happening all over Syria specially in Lataky where is a lot of meetings between sects leaders (all sects) to avoid Fitna however this news do not find its way to the media the only thing you hear is ,a Christian and a Muslim martyrs killed by security forces.

June 4th, 2011, 9:27 pm

 

louai said:

Leo @63

Io don’t think Antalya opposition represent the Syrian people nor the people who are protesting or the armed groups but lets say they do then what Norman said about the Sunnis totally true and you said it yourself

‘In Antalya the opposition forced the MB NOT to reject the secularism and to accept a future civil state where everyone is equal’

We all know that the majority of Sunnis in Syria are very liberal comparing to any liberal Sunni in the ME (including Turkey) that’s why they are not joining the uprising who is represented by the hard line of Sunnis (MB)
In Antalya’s conf the MB and MB followers were 70% and they were ‘forced not to reject the secularism’
Do you want them to refuse the secularism of the state in the very first conf of the so called opposition? no they will not risk to loose kill any hope to gain more support .
Organisations are not that naive to declare its real goals when they are still weak and in the defence position ,an example for that is you ,you didn’t take you so lomg time to show your real face by threatening the Christians to change their tone ,be with us or you can only blame yourselves !! you reminded me of people who defend honour killing and stoning and blame the victim because ‘she knew what is waiting for her so its her mistake) same concept .

June 4th, 2011, 9:35 pm

 

Shami said:

Jad,this regime will never reform ,it will end as it’s now and baath(the cover) will remain the ruler untill their end.

Louai ,the syrian muslims are liberal but i disagree with you most of arabs are liberal and open minded,the country in which you find the highest percentage of veiled women in the arab world is Syria and Yemen.Of course it’s not a sign of extremism but as i always said ,arab muslims are liberal in politics and conservative in the same time ,this is the reason religious parties are now evolving towards the AKP liberal model.
And you have nothing to fear for the syrian people ,those who will pay are only the mukhabarat and those very close to the regime.
Baath members are baathis by opportunism less than by choise ,inwardly they hate asad.

June 4th, 2011, 9:51 pm

 

syau said:

Shami,

I’m just wondering how you came to your conclusion that Baath members “inwardly hate Assad”, did you interview each and every Baath party member, or do you have the amazing ability to read minds?

June 4th, 2011, 10:09 pm

 

Shami said:

SYAU,mark this ,you will see by yourself !!!
I would add :
Even the hypocrites who are very close to the regime hate him.

June 4th, 2011, 10:17 pm

 

syau said:

Shami,

The opposition are in a state of delusion. They are inexperienced and have nothing to offer Syrians other than violence.

As you saw, the swift demise of Mubarak was due to the lack of support he had. There is a vast difference between him and Assad.

Think what you like but Assad is strong and has the support of his party, the military and most importantly the Syrian people, barr the extremist of the revolution (those who are conducting the murders and instigating the violence inside Syria).

Fida Alsayed, the rest of the MB clan and their likes do not represent Syrians.

June 4th, 2011, 10:33 pm

 

Shami said:

SYAU,you would agree with me that asad is not eternal and not divine at all as the media and apologist of the regime portrays him.
You would also agree with me that conservative Islam and muslim parties will remain in Syria after the end of this regime and only democracy can rationalize the political life in Syria.
You would also agree with me that people like Hassoun are more hated than the pro MB clerics.
So you can not avoid change ,it’s coming ,the oppositions can lose 100 battles ,they will remain present and come back to Syria, but one battle lost by the regime is enough to send him into the dustbin of history for ever.

June 4th, 2011, 11:26 pm

 

syau said:

Shami,

Interesting…. Is your idea of the MB as divine? Because everyone other than the extremists will agree that they, and everything they stand for is the opposite of divinity. I dont think there is anyone who is more hated than the MB clerics. They do not represent Islam or peace in anyway.

I do not agree with you, and time will tell you, after the violent revolutionists are eradicated from Syria that Assad will still be standing and will emerge more popular and powerful than ever.

I do not doubt that they will try again and again, but the outcome will be the same, they will not get anywhere with their attempts at toppling him or dividing Syria, just remember what Bashar has endured in past years and survived.

June 4th, 2011, 11:45 pm

 

Shami said:

SYAU,where did i say that the MB are eternal,i only said and you would agree with me that the conservative muslim parties will remain in Syria after the end of this regime which is not eternal,only the people are ,and this people belong to the islamic civilization.(eastern christians included)
Our next civilizational achievement ,will be the integration of democracy in Islam as the less bad model of political regime ,islamic ideologies as they were are being abondoned,there is an evolution towards liberalism within the islamic conservative trend.The MB and alikes are evolving towards the liberal conservatism of the AKP.
AKP is very liked in Syria

June 4th, 2011, 11:52 pm

 

Shami said:

SYAU,we will not allow Syria to be divided and these alawites who live in Damascus,Homs ,Hama,Latakia,Aleppo will be obliged to remain among us and integrated into the syrian social body ,there will be no return in the mountain.
The mountain will be occupied by the villas and palaces of rich arab gulf brothers and rich syrians , as place of tourism and vaccation.

June 5th, 2011, 12:05 am

 

syau said:

Shami,

“these alawites” and “will be obliged to remain among us and integrated into the syrian social body ,there will be no return in the mountain”

Do you view the Alawi as second class citizens? Becuase thats what sounds like from your words.

You were asking me if I agree with you that Assad is not eternal and divine… I was wondering if you view the MB as divine, I didnt say you made that statement.

The MB in any country will never accept a secular state, if they are saying they will stand for it now, that is only stated as a smoke screen to hide what their real intentions are.

June 5th, 2011, 12:23 am

 

Shami said:

SYAU,
Nobody is second class ,that’s why there will be no return in isolation ,in order to break this mentality of being in danger.
Nobody is divine and MB is a party name ,they are known under other names in palestinian ,jordan,tunisia,algeria and lebanon .
The MB took part to the political process when Syria was a secular liberal democracy and they even had ministers.
btw,they still exist in Syria as social trend ,it’s obvious for all,that’s why you have recenty islamophobic christians and alawites who came here to dump the hatred they have in their heart because they feel surrounded by this trend in Syria.
Many would agre that this trend is today stronger than 40 years ago.(as obvious social reality)

June 5th, 2011, 1:04 am

 
 

Leo said:

Louai, the demonstrations are happening in more than 200 points in Syria, in every city in Syria. It’s ridiculous that you believe the only people going out are MB and Sunni hardliners.

Yes I am demanding sectarians from Christians and Alawites to change their tone just like I demand Sectarians from Sunni background to change theirs.

June 5th, 2011, 5:47 am

 

Usama said:

Wow, Shami, even while being anonymous behind a keyboard, you still can’t hide your beard (figurative, not literal). I have been to the mountains and met the most genuinely kind-hearted people I know there. Why would Syria want to take away the stunningly beautiful real estate from simple honest Syrians and reserve it for “rich arab gulf brothers and rich syrians , as place of tourism and vaccation”? (your words, not mine)

To stay away from profanity, screw you and screw the rich Arab gulf “brothers”.

June 5th, 2011, 6:58 am

 

louai said:

AMNESIA @41
‘Louai, it’s either sad how naive you are in believing the Syrian press, or a shame that you support them’
i only started to believe them after this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1XyT39_6TI&feature=related
its evil that you do believe the fabrications of those who you support ,for your information Nidal Janood’s story found its way to the public after being uploaded by your people as if it was Shabiha killing peaceful demonstrator.

June 5th, 2011, 7:23 am

 

Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Let me brief you on what is really happening in Syria. It looks that many people in the West do not understand the situation.

The Syrian regime has decided to pursue the 10 million vs. 10 million scenario that I advocated. This is a very responsible and patriotic decision. They will fight to preserve the country united. This is not different from Lincoln’s decision to wage a bloody war against the other half of his nation in 1861.

Thousands of people are being armed. The regime is creating huge militias (perhaps up to 500,000 loyal fighters will be available).

The regime is setting now the political ground for the war. Last week, they issued a pardon for MB members, and they agreed to return properties that were confiscated from MB members in the 1980’s. As expected, the MB responded with a huge escalation in Hama on Friday. Some factions of the MB may be willing to compromise with the regime, but it is obvious that the radical Hamwi branch that is currently leading the MB (Shaqfe, Arour, etc.) do not want to compromise. They are not hiding their intentions. Just watch Arour on Wissal TV.

Therefore, it is obvious that the regime will not reach a political compromise with the Islamist rebels. They already gave all the political concessions they could give. This is what the Russian foreign minister meant when he said that the West was making it impossible for a political solution to be reached in Syria.

The regime is now working to create a united front against the Islamists. They already have the Kurds closer to their side (the Kurds are not fans of the Islamists), but the alliance with the Kurds still needs further negotiation. I believe the regime will eventually strike a deal with the Kurds. It is not hard to please them. If the regime licenses Kurdish parties and allows them to compete in elections, the Kurds will support the regime. I am sure of that.

Some Syrian tribes are loyal to Saudi Arabia (these are the tribes that are currently making trouble in Deir Az-Zor). I am not expert on tribes, but I think the regime can keep some tribes on its side by manipulating tribal feuds and competition. There are tribes that will definitely remain loyal to the regime, like the tribes that are currently subduing the Islamists in Aleppo. These are very effective and loyal tribes.

The regime can please 50% of the nation. The other 50% will never be pleased, like Hama events showed. Arour was frank– they will never accept to even talk to the regime. We knew this from day 1, but the regime had to convince its Russian allies with it. In my opinion, the MB pardon was only meant to convince Russia that there was no possibility for a political solution.

Like we foresaw weeks ago, the rebellion will keep growing until all the Islamists join (50% of the nation). The regime and its supporters will fight and subdue the Islamists by force. The regime was unable so far to subdue the rebels, but as more armed people join the security forces, the Islamists should eventually be subdued.

As long as Russia understands the Syrian situation, Syria will probably survive, and the West will lose. (Russia understands the situation as their comments show. They blame the West and the rebels for what is happening, not the regime. This is very significant. If Russia and China do not buy the Western story, then there will not be global sanctions on Syria, and the regime will survive).

June 5th, 2011, 9:57 am

 

Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

The economic danger is exaggerated. Syria was never an open economy anyway. They are adapted to isolation. Iraq in the 1990’s had a horrible economy, yet Saddam survived. The way some people present the economic danger to Syria is just part of the propaganda campaign.

June 5th, 2011, 10:03 am

 

Abughassan said:

I do not know why my posts did not get published !,
I now believe that the uprising is controlled by the new Syrian Taliban .expats and educated people in the opposition are not as influential as we thought. Hardliners in the government and violent elements in the opposition are now calling the shots. This is bad news for Syria but even worse for the opposition which is losing more support by the day since most Syrians actually dislike the regime but genuiely hate what this uprising is doing to Syria now.

June 5th, 2011, 10:52 pm

 

darryl said:

Dear Shami,

What is the advantage of an Islamic democratic system as you seem to be advocating?

June 6th, 2011, 12:34 am

 

Shami said:

Darryl ,there should be no such thing called islamic democratic system ,what i meant is that the muslims have agreed that democracy is the most acceptable rule.
It’s obvious for all that these young people from Maghreb to Mashreq are not protesting for an islamic theocracy but for universal values,it’s true even in Yemen.

June 6th, 2011, 12:54 am

 

Shami said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ENHzcpjGWs&feature=player_embedded

For the first time i’m proud to say that i’m syrian to my arab and foreigner friends , thanks to the brave syrian youth

June 6th, 2011, 1:05 am

 

syau said:

Shami,

If this is the first time you are proud to say you are Syrian, because of some youths singing in the shops, than you have lost the plot. You should be proud to say you are Syrian full stop.

June 6th, 2011, 1:09 am

 

Darryl said:

Thanks Shami, but democracy is not based on direct religious doctrine and if Muslims, have decided they want democracy, how do you maintain such a system when you have religious zealots and hardliners who pick and choose what ever verses they find in the Quraan to suite their agenda?

June 6th, 2011, 1:12 am

 

Amnesia said:

Louai said: “i only started to believe them after this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1XyT39_6TI&feature=related
its evil that you do believe the fabrications of those who you support ,for your information Nidal Janood’s story found its way to the public after being uploaded by your people as if it was Shabiha killing peaceful demonstrator.”

That’s really lame you know, your excuse that is. That made you trust the Syrian press? “My people” uploaded lies? Naive, period. You are comparing a disparate movement of individuals with no leadership (thanks to Assad) to a regime that is supposed to publish the truth and protect people’s rights.

Oh, that’s right. That’s the reason for the protests in the first place. The regime has never properly protected people’s rights.

You took the time to read my post, and only responded to the first 5%. Did the constructive part of my post mean nothing to you? Are you here on this board only to make things worse? Do you not care about the future of the country and people we are speaking of? If you do, I hope that you will show it from now on.

June 7th, 2011, 12:53 pm

 

Amnesia said:

Darryl said: “Thanks Shami, but democracy is not based on direct religious doctrine and if Muslims, have decided they want democracy, how do you maintain such a system when you have religious zealots and hardliners who pick and choose what ever verses they find in the Quraan to suite their agenda?”

This is a good topic, and ultimately whether what you say above matters is whether people believe it or not.

I disagree though. The idea of democracy fits Islamic principles of just representation. Whether leaders are elected directly by people, or selected by a council of representatives of the people, a solid argument can be made that the system of democracy follows Islamic principles well.

Will my opinion be held by everyone? No. Is everyone in the US of the same opinion about their government and how it should work? Also no. What matters is that most people accept that democracy of some form is best for their people.

Let’s not forget that Syria has a history of embracing democracy. Hashim Al-Atassi was widely respected for insisting on the rule of law as the “first modern President of Syria” as many describe him. He enjoyed tremendous popularity over the years as a leader of the people. If not for military coups and meddling by the French at that time, a democratic republic could have been established permanently.

Speaking of military coups, the first coup that the people could not succeed in reversing is that of Bashar’s father, Hafez. Hafez Assad succeeded in ruling for decades after stealing power, during which Syrian society grew accustomed to no longer having proper elections. Elections took place sure, with one name on the ballot for President. Would you be brave enough to mark your disapproval of the leader in that type of election?

Syria has democracy in its history. I just hope the people will learn to value it again.

June 7th, 2011, 1:16 pm

 

p. ali alves said:

look at this and tell me there arent conspiracies in regards to syria… SYRIAWATCH-(CONSPIRACY OR NOT?)(NEOCON THINK TANK) http://thenakedfacts.blogspot.com/2011/06/conspiracy-or-notneocon-think.html Meeting in Brussels on March 17, exiled Syrian opposition leaders announced the creation of a united front to form a transitional government to bring about regime change in Syria. Participants in the National Salvation Front include former Syrian vice president Abdel Halim Khaddam [NOW,WHO IS KHADDAM?BESIDES BEING A WESTERN PUPPET…Relative of Saudi King Abdullah and former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri http://uprootedpalestinians.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-post_23.html

(FRANCE24)Ammar Abdulhamid, Syrian human rights activist http://www.france24.com/en/20110323-interview-ammar-abdulhamid-syria-protest-revolt-political-oppression-democracy-freedom-violence#
Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian human rights activist, speaks to Marc Perelman about the recent protests against political repression and lack of freedom in Syria.

(And who is Ammar Abdulhamid?) Ammar Abdul Hamid, a Syrian intellectual who works at ”Brookings Institute” http://www.brookings.edu/scholars/fellows/aabdulhamid.htm (WHO IS BROOKINGS?ZIONIST THINK TANK,HEADED BY STROBE TALBOTT ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT ADVOCATE AND PARTNER WITH SABAN CENTER(ZIONIST ISRAELI THINK TANK)…

He runs the office for the National Salvation Front…wich is ran by vice president Abdel Halim Khaddam Head of Syrian Muslim Brotherhood(see above)..

He also had… “Previous Position(s): Visiting Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy (2004) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Ammar_Abdulhamid (who is saban center? ZIONIST PRO ISRAELI THINK TANK AND FRONT) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Saban_Center_for_Middle_East_Policy

In August 2005 he talked at a conference titled Solidarity Twenty-Five Years On: Lessons in the Struggle for Freedom which was “Cosponsored by Freedom House http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Freedom_House (SOROS THINK TANK) Freedom House’s work is linked to the “democracy promotion” efforts of the National Endowment for Democracy.

Iran-Syria Operations Group – SourceWatch http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Iran-Syria_Operations_Group Iran Policy Committee – SourceWatch http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Iran_Policy_Committee Iran Syria Policy and Operations Group http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Syria_Policy_and_Operations_Group

here is an indepth list proving the conspiracy by many parties,from future movement,mb,aljazeera,alarabya,statesepartment(us) neocn& zionist think tanks,aspen institute,chatta,m house,even rothschild financial interests..see…Syria’s crimes against humanity will be presented to the United Nations next week by ”ROTHSCHILD PUPPET”(IISS IMPERIAL BRITTISH MILITARY THINK TANK(SAME ONE WHO RECENTLY CAME UP WITH FAKE RAUL REYES FARC FILES-WICH HAS BEEN DEBUNKED) ”Radwan Ziadeh’ http://thenakedfacts.blogspot.com/2011/05/syria-proof-of-conspiracy.html theres no conspiracy? getreal..there are more conspiracy plots against syria,then even venezuela!!!

June 8th, 2011, 2:18 pm

 

Friend in America said:

SOPHIA @ 2
What is happening in Syria is not the result of U.S. policy but the result of the Arab Spring spreading to Syria, sparked by the clumsy response to the demonstrations in Dar’aa.
There is no “bras de fer” between Osama and the neocons. Incidently, Senator McCain is no neocon. The “bras de fer,” if there is one, is between the content of Obama’s speach in Cairo in 2009 and the resistance within the administration, mostly in the State Department, to supporting the Arab Spring. It is the same arm wrestle that occurred over the demonstrations in Egypt. But one more large killing of civilians and Obama will take a position that will end this “bras de fer.”

June 8th, 2011, 8:15 pm

 

Friend in America said:

SOURI333@139
After thinking about your summary of the government’s strategy, I have some worries. Let me share them with you.

1. 500,000 is a high number to recruit into a militia. I think it would be a tremendous undertaking to recruit this many in 3 months. Few if any, except army retirees, have a familiarity with pistols and rifles, so they are unreliable unless trained. That and maneuver training will take several more months. Would you take them away from their work? Would you draft males between the age of 18 and 50? To do so runs the risk if desertion, with the rifles and bullets. After all this is done, how much mobility to move the militia around to hot spots would the command have? Militias usually stay close to home.
Maybe Hiz fighters could be hired, but there goes the argument of 10 million vs 10 million.

2. Are 500,000 rifles available to the central government? Uniforms? Food? Compensation? I doubt Syria has the resources for this. Who will finance this? Iran? Don’t count on the Saudis.

3. Are these “recruits” reliable? A recruit who sees his neighbor’s son or cousin’s son in the demonstration is likely to shoot over the heads of the demonstrators or not shoot at all.

4. In the previous post there is a link to a YouTube of infantrymen and tanks advancing on the outskirts of Dar’aa. After playing it three times I concluded the soldiers deployed disorderly with the sergeants not knowing what to do with officers shouting from a distance. An observer could question their military effectiveness in this very easy maneuver.

5. My information is the Syrian Kurds so far are sitting this one out.
Their influence is regional and limited but there is a gain to having them sit this one out. To get their agreement the administration will have to be offer more than a couple of seats in parliament. Would the government agree to permitting the Syrian Kurds to ally themselves with the Iraqi Kurds to form a Kurdistan? The Kurdish area is economically negative for the central government, so there might be an advantage here?

June 8th, 2011, 9:43 pm

 

pedro ali alves said:

LOOK AT WHOS LEADING SYRIAN OPPOSITION…ZIONIST AND WESTERN PUPPETS,CONSPIRACY PROVEN AND EXPOSED…SYRIA FALSE FLAG ,FACTS HIDDEN AND LEFTOUT BY MSM MEDIA… http://syriafalseflag.blogspot.com/ SCROLL DOWN AND SEE ALJAZEERA EXPOSED AS WELL…

June 9th, 2011, 12:16 pm

 

Ammar said:

i want to say something about the (martyer) Hamza Al-Khateeb, he was rushed with hundreds of people to the hostile of the offecer’s families. the armored (terrorists) hid among them, they had FATWA from a religion man (shiekh) that they should rape the women of the officers, as those women are their hostages (called in arabic Sabaya), Hamza and many other teenagers rushed to do this, the guards shot the crowed to defend the families who were going to be killed and raped, so Hamza and 12 others were killed, can we call those (martyers), they are martyers of their sexual religious rash only. i can confirm this from a wife of an officer that i know there. and i’m ready to give this wetness to any court under the oath

June 12th, 2011, 7:53 pm

 

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