Posted by Joshua on Friday, July 8th, 2011
Reader Comment by Abughassan:
This Friday was not very satisfying for the demonstration organizers. Most demos were small and almost none reported in Aleppo and Damascus proper. Reports about large demos in cities other than Hama and Homs were largely untrue and some were totally fake. My cousin denied seeing or hearing any demos in Latakia; another cousin in Aleppo confirmed that Friday was quiet. Security forces kept a low profile but that did not help increase the number of demos. We may be seeing some demonstration fatigue.
Associated Press= WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has fired back at President Bashar Assad’s regime for accusing an American ambassador of attempting to destabilize Syria by visiting anti-government protesters in a besieged city. State … “The presence of U.S. ambassador in Hama without previous permission is obvious proof of the implication of the United States in the ongoing events, and of their attempts to increase
tensions there, which damage Syria’s security and stability,” the foreign ministry statement said….
A Bab Touma, Damascus, Pro-Bashar Demonstration help in July 8
The person who sent me this photo writes: “They lost the plot in Hama it seems. Throwing flowers on the convoy?! Syrians sitting on the sidelines object to this. I was just passing by a huge pro demo in Bab Touma and took this photo. Thousands of people called to move the demo in front of the US embassy. They started car pooling and moving in masses. Anti-Americanism is on the rise in Syria thanks to the ambassador!”
FP Passport: Is this the anthem for the Syrian revolution? “Yalla Erhal Ya Bashar” (It’s time to leave, Bashar), seems to be the standout song of the Syrian uprising so …
Syrian Christians concerned about instability at home
July 07, 2011, By Brooke Anderson, The Daily Star
Saydnaya church, 27 kilometers north of Damascus, is second only to Jerusalem for Christian pilgrimage.
BEIRUT: As an increasing number of Syrians take to the streets to demand sweeping government reforms, many Syrian Christians are still hesitant to do so – afraid of an uncertain future as a minority that has until now been safe under the current secular government.
“To be honest, everybody’s worried,” Yohana Ibrahim, archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Aleppo told The Daily Star on a recent visit to Beirut. While he supports the demands for reform being made by the protesters, he emphasizes that he would not want the instability that potentially could come with a change in government and he hopes a national dialogue can soon be reached.
He says: “We don’t want what happened in Iraq to happen in Syria. We don’t want the country to be divided. And we don’t want Christians to leave Syria.”
This is perhaps why many of Syria’s Christians have remained largely silent since the popular uprising began just over three months ago. Most of the protests have taken place after Friday prayers in rural areas, with only minimal turnout in Damascus and Aleppo, the two largest, majority Sunni cities, where also the majority of Syria’s Christians reside.
Syria’s Christians comprise about 10 percent of the country’s population of 20 million. Most are concentrated in the country’s large cities, while there are also sizable communities on the coast and in the Hauran region, where the uprising began in March. So far, very few have been prominent in the uprising, which activists say has caused the deaths of more than 1,400 civilians as a result of a violent government crackdown.
Many people believe the community’s relative absence from protests is due to the stability they enjoy under the Alawite-run secular government, which has shown favoritism toward the country’s urban business elite – including secular Muslims and Christians – while taking a hard line against Islamist movements over the past 40 years.
“I’ve met Syrian Christians who’ve defended the regime because it’s not Islamic, but I think this could backfire on them,” says Imad Salamey, associate professor of political science at the Lebanese American University. “If they link themselves to a dictatorial regime that is largely disliked by the Syrian people, then some might think this will justify reprisals against them.”
Others are sympathetic to the idea that Syrian Christians are simply scared of chaos and persecution if the ongoing protests lead to Islamist overthrowing the secular Baath party government, similar to events in Iraq.
“It is the devil we know better than the devil we don’t know, I don’t blame them,” says Hind Aboud Kabawat, a Syrian Christian who divides her time between Toronto and Damascus, and who won the 2007 Women’s Peace Initiative award.
“It is not pleasant to see the Iraqi Christian refugees leaving Iraq after thousands of years of living in Iraq, or seeing Iran after the toppling of the Shah to have the Mullah.”
Historically, in a region of unrest, Syria has been a place of stability and sanctuary for Christians. Tens of thousands fled there to safety following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. And Christian holidays are nationally recognized in Syria.
Still, Kabawat seems to see it as being in Syrian Christians’ long-term interest to support the protesters. “Remember, if you are a real good Christian you have to side with the oppressed and not with the oppressors,” she says….
صحيفة السفير اللبنانية داخل مطبخ قانون الإعلام الجديد … معركة سوريا لفك الحصار عن الكلام
نشرت صحيفة السفير في عددها الصادر اليوم الجمعة للزميلة غدي فرنسيس التقرير الآتي ..
بينما تنشر هذه الكلمات عن الحرية المقبلة، ثمة رقيب إعلامي يقرر ما إذا كانت ” السفير “، او غيرها من الصحف، ستدخل اليوم دمشق أم لا…سيقرأ ويحكم، وقد يحجبها عن “السوق”. بموجب “اللاقانون “، له أن يمنع ما يشاء ويسمح بما يشاء. ثمة إعلامي سوري من حاشية النظام، يحاول أن يفكك المؤامرة في المقال ليكتشف: أهذا قلم ” لنا ” أم ” علينا “؟. تستمر الأجهزة الأمنية والإعلامية السورية بمؤامراتها المزدوجة على حرية التعبير… ويحكى في كفرسوسة عن التغيير! بينما يعيش جهاز الاستخبارات داخل عقل الصحافي السوري، تصرخ له لجنة إعداد قانون الإعلام: أنا سأنتزعه من عقلك… وها قد جهزت المسودة الأولى من القانون… للعبور إلى الحرية، فيجيب الصحافي: حين يعتقلني الأمن، أين ستكون أنت؟
The U.S. Treasury on Friday warned financial institutions to monitor for suspicious transactions involving Syrian officials–in particular, President Bashar al-Assad’s cousin, Rami Makhlouf, who is allegedly trying to hide his businesses ties and …
Zionists Chair Syrian Opposition Meeting in France
Local Editor, Manar (Thanks to The Passionate Attachment)
Key Zionist philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy; former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and major advocate of the war against Iraq Bernard Kouchner; member of the youth movement in the Israeli right wing Likud party Frederick Ansel; and former Knesset member and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s advisor Alex Goldfarb who was not questioned by anyone for claiming to be a Syrian opposition member and spokesman of “Democratic change in Syria” assembly; were basic participants in the Syrian opposition conference in Saint-Germain in France.
This “Zionist” atmosphere did not bother the attendees, which Muslim brotherhood representative in Paris, Moulhem Droubi, was among. One young Syrian girl “Souraya” interposed saying: “In this hall there is not one Syrian. In this hall, I only see Zionists.” However, she was immediately interrupted and dragged out by the French security under the eyes of the police.
According to the Lebanese daily As-Safir reporter in France Mohammad Ballout, Frederick Ansel responded to the young girl saying: “Unfortunately, some Arabs still regard Zionism as an insult, although it is a source of pride and honor.”
The Syrian opposition conference on Monday included speeches that called for toppling down the regime, and attacked Iran and Hezbollah, while completely ignoring occupied Palestine and the occupied Golan Heights.
Some speakers condemned “Iran and Hezbollah’s interference in Syria.”
Abughassan writes in the comment section:
The nature of political Islam and the history of MB added to the fact that Syria is a third world country with a diverse population all make it critical that a collapse of law and order is not permitted. The lesser of two evils is accepting a peaceful and gradual change of regime. Those who want another Iraq in Syria will be the first to blame “others” if things deteriorate into a status of total chaos and bloodshed. Cool heads,not hot blood,is what Syria needs today.
“Jr, the destroyer”. I like that. Hopefully he will destroy all the criminals who call themselves the MB, and the so called peaceful protesters who are killing and destroying our country.
Lieutenant; Amjad Mohammad Al hameed, recent defector, provides account of war crimes commited in Rastan, last months:
– He is a tribe member
– Water, power and telephone lines disconnected.- Shelling of civilian neighbourhoods for three days.
– House searches, looting, and killing of civilians, including a baby girl.
– Piling up bodies and seriously wounded in containers.
This is the real dialogue that junior is conducting on the ground with Syrians people.
From the Turkish Press:
Iran’s role in Syria? Zaman
Ron Paul condemns U.S. regime change promotion in Belarus or in “any other sovereign nation”
Statement on H.R. 515, the Belarus Democracy Reauthorization Act of 2011
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the “Belarus Democracy Act” reauthorization. This title of this bill would have amused George Orwell, as it is in fact a US regime-change bill. Where does the United States Congress derive the moral or legal authority to determine which political parties or organizations in Belarus — or anywhere else — are to be US-funded and which are to be destabilized? How can anyone argue that US support for regime-change in Belarus is somehow “promoting democracy”? We pick the parties who are to be supported and funded and somehow this is supposed to reflect the will of the Belarusian people? How would Americans feel if the tables were turned and a powerful foreign country demanded that only a political party it selected and funded could legitimately reflect the will of the American people?
However, representative of the so called “Salvation Front” headed by former Syrian vice-president Abdul Halim Khaddam, Ashraf Al-Moqdad called for “urgent assistance of Western countries,” and defended the participation of racist Zionist figures saying: “We are ready to meet with anyone in order to stop the bloodshed in Syria. The Syrian regime had conducted negotiations with Israel directly and indirectly. Then why can’t we meet with French officials who want to help the Syrian people? ”
For his part, Zionist Journalist Bernard Henri-Levy called in a statement the Security Council to refer the Syrian regime to the international tribunal. While Bernard Kouchner went further by saying that the international community should intervene militarily in Syria.
“We went to Libya, and we feel great injustice for leaving the Syrians alone,” he said, calling on “Arab spring” countries to end diplomatic relations with Syria.
Iran grooms Iraq to replace Syria? The National
Why Iraq may become Iran’s new best friend. There is a debate at the highest levels about how far Iran may go to spare its ally, Syria, from a free fall, Tareq Alhomayed, of the , wrote in a leader article. “I asked an analystwell-versed in Syrian issues about the Iranian role and he said that there are indications that Tehran is preparing Iraq to replace Syria as its closest ally in the region, in case the regime in Damascus falls.” This is seen in an increase in violent operations undertaken by militias backed by Iran in Iraq, especially in Sunni areas, with the approach of the US withdrawal.
Syria’s angel of death gives insight into terror
Jonathan Jones, 9 Juli 2011, Guardian
Jonathan Jones: Framing the debate: The footage showing a lone gunman shooting randomly before turning his fire on the cameraman is too raw not to be real
The angel of death has been caught on camera. That is what a gunman randomly shooting from a dark doorway looks like in raw and terrifying video footage that has surfaced this week on YouTube. Wearing military-looking khaki and firing quite randomly at people in a Syrian city, “without any reason and no demonstrations”, the figure embodies the stories of ruthless state violence emerging from a country where conventional reporting is all but impossible.
You look at death, and death looks at you. The cameraman – apparently using a mobile phone to grab these images in the heat of the moment – nervously and jerkily photographs a vertiginous collage of building facades, balconies and a fleeing crowd on the street below before homing in on the sinister military figure who is shooting from a doorway on a balcony just below his elevated viewpoint. But no sooner does the camera see the assassin than the assassin sees the photographer: and shoots. The last part of the video is a brown abstract mist as we hear moans against continuing shots and yells.