Syria’s Economic Challanges: How Long Can the Government Pay the Growing Costs of the Uprising?

Demonstrators in the mainly Kurdish city of Qamishli in Syria's northwest hold a banner saying "army and people are one" in a protest on Friday.

It’s the economy stupid.

Most analysts are coming to the conclusion that the Syrian economy must collapse before the military will turn on the government or split. There are growing signs that economic pressure is mounting on the regime.

About 20 top businessmen met with the President last week. They all beseeched President Bashar al-Assad to rescind the requirement that private banks boost their capital requirement to 300 million dollars from 30 million by the end of the year. When the president heard the demand of the businessmen, most of whom are shareholders in the banks, he seemed to agree and promised that something would be done to push back the onerous new requirement.

Unfortunately for the bankers, this directive has found no echo at the Central Bank, which must happen for it to become official. As of this writing, the Central Bank has not complied with any of the decisions which were allegedly made at the palace. Indeed, reports suggest that the Central Bank director was nonplussed by the president’s desire to please Syria’s business leaders, when they are being asked to meet the runaway costs of government.

When banks were first permitted to open their doors in Syria, they were required to put up only 30 million dollars in capital requirements. Twelve banks started operating, due to these modest costs. It was not long, however, before the government instructed the banks that a significant capital increase would be required. The Central Bank wanted capital holdings boosted to 300 million.  The banks agreed to fulfill this by 2015. Not long ago, a directive was issued from the Central Bank requiring the augmented capital be met by November 2011. This was a significant challenge for the banks. The bankers have told Syria’s financial leaders that they will raise the new capital requirements with their boards, but have no assurance that permission will be granted to increase capital within Syria due the the new political uncertainties.

Large banks in Syria earn about 20 million dollars in profits a year. Recently the government raised interest rates by 3%. This means that if they do not raise their lending rates, their current yearly profits will be wiped out. They are faced with the dilemma of having to increase their capital requirements by 10 times while their profits have been wiped out. The banking system faces a double whammy of having to increase capital requirements while interest margins are being squeezed dramatically.

Considerable confusion reigns at the top of Syria’s financial community. The government needs money urgently to pay for the military costs of the continuing uprising and most importantly to pay for the salary hikes instituted at the beginning of the uprising. The most glaring development over the last week has been the restoration of the fuel subsidies which can only be funded through significant borrowing. Numbers close to 1.5 billion dollars have been cited as the cost this year.

How long the government can hold out before the country’s finances begin to give out is anyone’s guess. If the stalemate between the protestors and the government continues as it is today, senior businessmen suggest that bankruptcies will begin to cascade in about six months. This figure may be over-dramatized in order to win relief from the government demands, but business leaders are worried and feeling the pressure.


Murat writes:

Peeling away the Sunni military, while possible, is an improbably road to success. A better one is to bankrupt the country through on-going economic paralysis. This will hit the elite classes where they will feel it – their pocketbook. Once their financial security is threatened, they will quickly get rid of Bashar. This course will be protracted and therefore very bloody, but, if implemented relentlessly, will succeed. As in all matters, follow the money…

From a Christian Businessman:

Dear professor Landis, Through the years I really enjoyed your analysis and the comments you had on Syria. I am a Christian Syrian who lived abroad for the last 20 years. Three years ago I moved to Damascus, Syria with some extended investments and money borrowing, started my own company and I can say today very proudly I might have a reliable business with 27 people working for the compnay.

Till last month, I really appreciated what Syria had to offer in terms of stability and possible business opportunities. Unfortunately, with the latest problems in Syria, I was disappointed to read your continuous lopsided analysis. Yes I agree the early demonstrations were genuine, innocent and spontaneous – however it rapidly deteriorated to become very violent and devastating. Some of the people who work for me come from Doma and Suwaida; who are my reliable source of information – they were telling about so many violent incidents and how militant the demonstrators were.

The lastest mantra the demonstrators are shouting got nothing to do with democracy, freedom or reforms. It is about regime change and bringing chaos. Yes I agree, there is serious corruption in the country that the president needs to tackle – however he was and still not given a fair chance to execute. I am extremely worried about the fate of the Syrian minorities, if the country goes into turmoil. I cannot help but become think about this since most of the rhetoric is about martyrdom and going to heaven after Friday prayers. The anxiety that I have, and which is shared by so many Syrians, is exacerbated further with some isolated attacks that occurred on churches during the Good Friday (before Easter). Now, before anybody jumps and accuses that these attacks were organized by some rogue government elements, I wanted to say living in Syria and being a Syrian – it is so easy to spot an undercover agent in Syria – they are not that clever in disguising themselves.

As for many small business owners like me, we are faced with tough choices in letting some of our employees go with seriously devastating outcome to our businesses, where bankruptcy is looming on the horizon for me due to accumulated unpaid debts. I really do not want the freedom that the US brought to Iraq nor to hear Obama’s pre-election campaign rehearsals.

Furthermore, US has no moral grounds to stand as Chomsky called it “state that defies international laws and conventions, does not consider itself bound by the major treaties and conventions, World Court decisions.”

One last request, please can you pause for a moment and consider the other angle of what is happening today in Syria?

Observer writes:

I do believe that the country has entered into a low level civil war. The regime continues to point to armed elements killing security personnel. The regime is talking about a concerted effort to make it subservient to Israeli dictates. The best way for the regime to lend credence to the above is to open the country to outside observers and journalists and to allow for the UN to come in and to conduct an investigation. Meantime, the Egyptians have moved entirely away from the previous subservience to Israel by promoting a unity among the Palestinians and opening the Rafah crossing. In Jordan there are calls to rescind the Wadi Araba accord with Israel. The Arab revolts are going to bring genuine re orientation from the people towards Israel an entity that has never been and will never be accepted by the majority of the people of the ME as an exclusive home to a particular group at the expense of other groups.

I also believe that the current borders will not be permanent. It is impossible on the long run to continue to have entities like Syria and Lebanon and Iraq based on a false and weak national identity. Like Italy, there will be regions that will demand a separation first in administrative and then in financial and economic areas and eventually in political arenas.

Belgium and Northern and Southern Italy are very good examples of what will happen.

This regime is finished. When it announces that an Islamic emirate has been proclaimed in Homs and that the emir raised the Israeli flag, it clearly is sending a message to its own constituents that want to believe its propaganda and nothing else. ….

There is no such thing as a Syrian National Identity.

The struggle against Israel has been in many respects effective. The strategy of subjugating the region to the will of Zionism has failed with the final death of the project occurring in Iraq and in Lebanon with the help of Syria. Yet the regime has maintained a fine balance between defiance to Israel and helping regional stability that includes Israel to maintain its grip on power. The state of emergency was justified repeatedly as a necessary tool to fight Israel and yet it was used mainly to have a family with the support of some in the country based on sect and interests to control the entire country.

The deal between the people and the regime is broken and it was based on a desire for stability and hope for a better future in return for allowing the current regime to stay. This deal has been repeatedly broken by the graft and corruption and mismanagement and hateful policies enshrined by the regime through the late President. After 10 years of stalling on reforms the current President is either a willing partner in the repression or a figure head. I do not know the answer to this dilemma.

The timid reforms with the introduction of banking and some free trade that happened after 2005 were forced on the regime after the Lebanon debacle and were designed to allow for the few to enrich themselves further and to advance their own agenda at the expense of the huge number of disenfranchised Syrians. The permission given to have satellite dishes was also forced on the regime as the world opened up to new realities and a globalized world. Likewise the introduction of the internet was an absolute necessity for the regime to remain in contact with the world. Yet all of those openings have permitted ever more increase in hope for a better future and the example of Tunisia showed that these regimes have accumulated power for one reason: power over the people. Bernard Lewis noted that many of the regimes in the ME after Sykes Picot were a threat to their own populations only. Syria has been a punching bag for Israel for some time now. It is only after HA showed how to deal!

with Israel that the Syrian armed forces changed tactics and organization. Israel also has lost a great deal and will continue to do so as the myth of invincibility is shattered and the myth of carrying the battle to the opponent’s land is also shattered.

when I offer partition of the country I do so as a challenge to the status quo. If the people cannot live together under a unified national identity then either partition or autonomy is the answer. Forcing them to stay together when there is now so much hatred and violence will not work. I fear for the Alawite sect for they have been taken hostage by the Assad and Makhloof families who bound their fate to that of this community. After all, 10% of the population cannot hope to control the rest of the country without consent from the people. It is only a matter of time before this aberration is destroyed. It will happen either as internal rotting of the system or another much more violent explosion or both.

As I said reform IN the system is no longer possible as the people have moved to reform OF the system including its departure or a profound change of its nature.

In any case, Egypt is reaffirming itself at the center of Arab politics with Sudan and Palestine and shortly with Libya and Tunisia. This if it continues spells the doom of Iranian influence as an Arab identity appeals to Arabs before a Persian one and if the MB and Islamists have a place in the next elections, even the Islam card will not be exclusive to Iran.

Syria is bound to have the Egyptian influence affect its outcome.

On a global scale this is just a harbinger of things to come as we face a food and energy shortage. Wheat production peaked and is in decline, consumption of oil is outpacing new discoveries and many oil rich countries have to use a significant amount for their domestic use.

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

There are also suspicions that the kingdom is secretly providing money to extremist groups to hold back changes. Saudi officials deny that, although they concede private money may flow…..

“We are back to the 1950s and early 1960s, when the Saudis led the opposition to the revolutions at that time, the revolutions of Arabism,” said Mohammad F. al-Qahtani, a political activist in Riyadh.


This Friday saw a number of demonstrations and at least 8 killed. Most talk is of the Turkey opposition meeting. One organizer, Ausama Monajed, puts the best face on the opposition’s lack of leaders. He argues that leaderslessness is a good thing because it reverses the Middle Eastern penchant to place the man above the party and to focus on the leader and not the platform. He writes, “This is the dawn of a new age in Syrian politics, it’s not only the regime that’s being rejected, but traditional politics based on personalities and ideologies rather than issues and platforms.” One can only pray that we are witnessing a new dawn and not more Arab divisiveness and backbiting.

Eight reported killed on ‘Homeland Protector Friday’, LATimes, May 27, 2011

Picture 4 Syrian security forces opened fire on anti- government protesters in several cities and arrested demonstrators on “Homeland Protector Friday,” a day on which activists had called on the Syrian army to stand with the people, according to activist accounts…..

The human rights lawyer said security forces had used live ammunition at demonstrations on Friday in the Sunni stronghold city of Homs in central Syria, in the area of Marqeb in the coastal city of Baniyas, and in Zabadani.

An eyewitness in Homs told The Times there was a heavy security presence there and that security forces in civilian clothes had fired at demonstrators. More than 2,000 people were protesting, he said.

On the Antalya meeting, Ausama Mounajed writes:

This will be a major test for the Syrian opposition groups and their ability to remain relevant to the current goings-on in the country. Success will be premised on their ability to court the support of protest leaders and committees acting inside the country. This is the dawn of a new age in Syrian politics, it’s not only the regime that’s being rejected, but traditional politics based on personalities and ideologies rather than issues and platforms. The Regime that the protesters want to topple is not only made of the Assads, the army and security generals and the Baath Party, there is an entire style, mentality and approach that is being rejected here. Opposition groups and figures have a chance now to reinvent themselves, while the Assads and their establishment do not. The activists understand that, but let’s see if the traditional opposition figures have managed to do so as well.

As such, the conference comes as referendum on the opposition’s ability to rejuvenate itself and rise to the challenges at hand, it’s not an indicator of where the revolution is going. The revolution has only one way to go: forward until the Regime is toppled. Its ability to do so might be hampered somewhat by the inability of the opposition to play a positive role, but the overall progress made and the course itself will not be reversed.

2011-05-27 ITAR-TASS (EN): URGENT – Syrian president must hold reforms – Medvedev.

27/5 Tass 532 DEAUVILLE, May 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia does not favor sanctions against Syria but Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must ensure democratic transformations, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday. “I had a telephone …

A draft statement by G8 leaders on Friday said “we will consider action in the United Nations Security Council” if Syria does not stop using force against protesters.

WSJ [Reg]: Shell Faces NGO Pressure To Withdraw From Syria, 2011-05-27

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) is coming under pressure in the Netherlands to withdraw from Syria because of the Syrian government’s violent reprisals against pro-democracy demonstrators. Dutch non-governmental organization IKV …


“In a shift in strategy,” Syrian protesters have “moved their daily demonstrations…to the evening, in the expectation that security forces will be more reluctant to shoot at them and have a more difficult time identifying them for arrest, activists and organizers said.” Activists say that demonstrations “occur every evening in cities and towns across the country,” but they are attracting “far fewer participants than those held after Friday Prayer.” The new tactics, says the Times, “underline the evolution of the nine-week uprising, which has shown growing signs of resilience as it has weathered a ferocious crackdown.”

Action Urged To Thwart Iran’s Support For Assad Regime. Michael Singh of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy writes in the Wall Street Journal (5/27)

that Iran is backing Syria in its crackdown against protestors because it is a key ally in the region. If the Assad regime were to fall, he argues Iran would have to find other ways to support Hezbollah and it could inspire Iranian dissidents to resume their own protests. Therefore, Singh urges the international community to take tough actions against Tehran to thwart its influence in the region.

Bush Not Surprised By Middle East Uprisings, Says It Takes a While for Freedom to ‘take Root’
2011-05-26 23:47:25.186 GMT

DALLAS – Former President George W. Bush said Thursday that he wasn’t surprised by the recent uprisings in the Middle East, but warned that patience will be needed as it takes time for freedom to “take root.”

“I think we live in exciting times and I’m not surprised that freedom continues to march forward,” Bush said. “And the reason I’m not surprised, is because I believe and many in this room believe, deep in the soul of every man, woman and child on the face of the earth is the desire to be free.”

Bush made brief remarks while introducing former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a one-day conference hosted by the George W. Bush Institute.

“It is clear that it takes time for freedom to take root,” Bush said. “So while these are exiting times, these times also require a degree of patience.”…

Rice told the audience of about 300 — including professors, activists and officials from pro-democracy organizations — that fledging reforms in the Mideast need to be nurtured, adding, “This is no time for the United States of America to lose its nerve.”

“The message should be freedom is always worth it. It’s hard. You’ve begun your journey. We will be with you,” Rice said.

…..She said that fledgling democracies in the Mideast — Iraq, Lebanon and the West Bank of Palestine — need to be strengthened, as do healthy political forces in places like Egypt and Tunisia. Monarchies like Jordan and Morocco, should be pushed toward constitutional power, she said.

She said that “even in troubled Bahrain and conservative Saudi Arabia, there are seeds of reform.”

Some governments, she said, like Syria and Iran, won’t make the transition to democracy on their own. “The world will be better off without Bashar Assad and the mullahs in Iran,” she said to applause.

Bitter Lemons: Edition 15 Volume 9 – May 26, 2011

Turkey and the Arab revolutionary wave
• Young Turks and the Syrian spring – Rime Allaf
The high-level diplomatic hand that Turkey extended to Syria had no effect.

• Syria and the zero conflict policy – Murhaf Jouejati
Turkey stands to lose a lot should Syria falter.

…The popular unrest in Syria and the Assad regime’s bloody clampdown on pro-democracy protestors could lead to the unraveling of Turkey’s “zero conflict” policy with its neighbors, as Syria is the linchpin of that policy.

After decades of animosity, Turkish-Syrian ties thawed in 1998, when Turkish threats of military action forced Syria to expel PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan from his safe haven in Damascus. Since then, Turkey has transformed the relationship from one of military confrontation to its closest economic partnership today. Bilateral trade has more than tripled, reaching $2.5 billion in 2010, and the two countries have introduced a visa-free travel regime for their citizens. In February, they began the construction of a joint dam at their frontier and announced projects to set up a joint bank, inaugurate a cross-border express rail route and link their natural gas networks. In northern Syria, Aleppo–Syria’s second largest city–has been connected to Turkey’s southeastern Gaziantep province through new border, rail, and road connections, leading to an economic boom, with Turkish tourists and trade pouring in.

Turkey stands to lose a lot should Syria falter. Syria represents a strategic land route to the rest of the Middle East and its markets. Should anything obstruct that route, Turkey’s trade with Jordan and with Lebanon and access to oil in the Gulf would be compromised. Turkey also fears the potential influx of Syrian refugees, to say nothing of the challenge that Syria’s PKK-friendly Kurds may pose. Over and above that, the greatest challenge Turkey faces is the damage to its international reputation and growing influence in the region…..

What this says about Turkey’s “zero conflict” policy is that, although lofty in its goals, it has limited utility with authoritarian regimes when under fire. In light of this, the Turkish leadership is said to be optimistic about a new, open, democratic Syria, however messy that transition might be….


Comments (60)

Georges said:

The gap between the lending rates and the borrowing rates for banks will be compensated by other emergency measures of the Central Bank. I read this in SANA.

May 27th, 2011, 5:04 pm


abughassan said:

those who are demonstrating are the first who will be affected by the economic downturn. Yes, people want freedom and democracy but they also need jobs and food. citizens with money to spend and regular jobs are unlikely to take part in any street demonstrations. It is a waiting game between the regime and some in the opposition, and every Friday is a challenge for both. in my case, I am sick and tired of both sides, we had enough.I am particularly annoyed by the new trend of some media outlets that have taken an oath not to let their first page be published without some reference to Syria even if it was an old video / article or an irrelevant picture. Aljazeera seems to be upset that the regime in Syria has not been toppled yet and lasted more than the ones in Egypt and Tunisia, this is why there is no shortage of old material on Syria taking space on the first page !!
enough is enough :Fatteh, Tea , Falafel wbas…

May 27th, 2011, 5:19 pm


Alex said:

Today in Qatar?

Dounya TV imitating Aljazeera

May 27th, 2011, 6:02 pm


why-discuss said:

Murat said: …better one is to bankrupt the country through on-going economic paralysis. This will hit the elite classes where they will feel it – their pocketbook. Once their financial security is threatened, they will quickly get rid of Bashari

I disagree with that ‘stategy’ and in general on the described dangers of bankruptcy of the Syrian government.

This is the assumption Israel has for Gaza: We squeeze then economically and they will turn against their leaders.
The same assumption they had in 2006 : We harass them until they turn against Hezbollah.
Unfortunately this may work in western democracies, but in the middle east it can be the exact opposite!
None of the Arab leaders who fell were under any sanctions. In the contrary they were pampered by the Western countries, not for their democratic achievements, but because they has submitted to Number One Rule of the western countries: DO NOT THREATEN ISRAEL.
In Syria, this rule has been rejected by the Assad and the country has been burdened by sanctions for decades.

My view is that if more economical hardship is felt in Syria because of new sanctions, the Syrians will spontaneously regroup around their president and put the blame on the opposition and on the western countries.
So in the long run, these sanctions will have the exact opposite effect.
In addition, it will allow countries like Russia, China and Iran to find a open ground for more economical influence and sustained presence.
So the bankruptcy and isolation of Syria may reinforce Bashar Al Assad control of the country.
He still have at least one strong ally: Russia that is now courted by the western countries to save them from the Libya quagmire.

Contrary to the US, Russia does not dump its long term allies when they are in trouble.

May 27th, 2011, 6:17 pm


atassi said:

Vald and Jad
I am Syrian to the bone you like it or not; I will keep on exposing this cult regime and do my best to prevented from destroying my fellow Syrians. This regime is sectarian war regime.. Nothing more, its Boss leaders are a warlord, this may help you understand the stage this regime stand….!/home.php?sk=group_155785641136010&ap=1


May 27th, 2011, 6:20 pm


Atassi said:

Regulatory watch: Syria

1 June 2011

Economist Intelligence Unit – Business Middle East

Business Middle East


(C) 2011 The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd.

EU suspends aid. The Council of the EU on May 23rd announced that it has decided to suspend aid programmes for Syria in light of the ongoing repression of peaceful protests. This could potentially inflict serious damage on Syria’s economic prospects, as the EU has been one of the most important sources of finance for development projects for a number of years, even though the two sides have yet to sign an Association Agreement, the standard framework for economic co-operation between the EU and Mediterranean Basin states. The EU stated that it had decided to suspend all preparations in relation to new co-operation programmes and to suspend ongoing programmes under the Euroepan Neighbourhood Initiative and Mésures d’Accompagnement (Meda) instruments. EU members states would be reviewing their own bilateral aid programmes, and the EU Council asked the European Investment Bank (EIB) “to not approve new EIB financing operations in Syria for the time being”.

The statement said that the EU will consider the suspension of further assistance to Syria “in light of developments”. It also stated that signing of the Association Agreement is now not on the agenda. The agreement had been initialled in 2004, but plans to sign it the following year were scrapped owing to a worsening in relations over Syrian actions in Lebanon. As relations improved from mid-2008, the EU sought to revive the Association Agreement, whose principal feature is the lifting of trade barriers. However, the Syrian government objected to the insertion of fresh clauses about human rights, and a plan to sign the agreement in late 2009 was cancelled. There has been little progress since.

The lack of an Association Agreement has not been a bar to EU development assistance. The EU has provided more than €1.1bn in finance to Syria, with most of this being disbursed over the past decade. Energy has been a major beneficiary, with €615m of loans provided by the EIB for the construction of power stations and transmission and distribution systems. It is not clear what impact the EU’s latest action will have on Syria’s largest new power station project, involving the construction of a 724-mw combined cycle plant near Deir al-Zor by a consortium of Italy’s Ansaldo Energia and Metka of Greece. A signing ceremony was held in early February for loans provided by the Saudi Fund for Development and the Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, which together are financing about one-third of the estimated US$950m costs. The EIB has also been listed by the government as a major source of finance for the project, but the proposed loan from the bank could come into question as a result of the EU Council’s decision.

The EU is an important trading partner of Syria and a significant source of economic aid. In 2009 the EU accounted for 30% of Syria’s exports (mainly oil bought by Germany, Italy and France) and 23.5% of Syria’s imports. However, Iraq has recently emerged as the largest buyer of Syrian goods, accounting for 26% of total exports in 2009, and Turkey’s share of the Syrian import market has grown rapidly on the back of a free-trade agreement, reaching 7.6% in 2009. There is a risk that the unrest will hamper trade with these two countries.

Business Middle East 01 Jun 2011, Part 26 of 28

The Economist Intelligence Unit, N.A., Inc.

May 27th, 2011, 6:22 pm


jad said:

#4 Atassi,
Don’t you ever address me anymore, you proved to be the lowest person on SC.

May 27th, 2011, 6:34 pm


K Aleyk said:

Are we back to spreading disinformation? The letter written by the businessman above follows the same script I have read over and over now, it’s getting tired, old, and non credible.

Move on please.

May 27th, 2011, 6:49 pm


Syrian Knight said:

[comment deleted by admin]

May 27th, 2011, 7:04 pm


Naji said:

I always enjoy Observer’s erudite analysis, but shouldn’t he have given credit to the NYT for the last 3 paragraphs…unless it was he who wrote that editorial?!;)
Anyway, I always enjoy Neil MacFarquhar too!:)

May 27th, 2011, 7:06 pm


Alex said:

We have to thank observer for providing our dear friend Naji (assuming the same Naji) with an incentive to post a comment here again : )

Atassi, Jad, and Vlad (in alphabetical order) … I also think it is best if all of you would refrain from addressing each other for a while.

May 27th, 2011, 7:12 pm


Atassi said:

[ … ]

May 27th, 2011, 7:28 pm


Abughassan said:

Stupidity is often defined as doing the same thing again and again expecting different results. I do not know how the sanctions can hurt the regime,it was tried in the 70s,80s,90s and in the last few years and it failed to change the behavior of any middle eastern government. The reality is that those sanctioning regimes do not understand the region and they do not care about average citizens. It is obvious that western governments only get aggressive when they sense weakness but as soon as the targeted regime overcomes its current challenge and emerge as a victor,envoys from those countries start coming back to “improve” relations. The west is witnessing its own decline while emerging economies are gaining grounds. If the Syrian regime starts accepting the need for change and opens up to its citizens they will manage to bring willing partners like china, brazil ,India and turkey. The expected decline in real estate value and cost of labor will actually provide an opportunity to new investors and help adjust inflated RE prices that were fueled by Iraqis and buyers from the gulf countries. I am not too worried about those sanctions,I am more worried about a possible retraction by hardliners who may see this as an opportunity to strengthen their position.

May 27th, 2011, 7:28 pm


Norman said:

I am so happy that you are back and looking at what you did in the last few weeks, disappearing from Syria comment during the crises indicate and I hope that I am right that the crises in Syria ended.

May 27th, 2011, 7:29 pm


Syrian Knight said:

[ … ]

May 27th, 2011, 7:31 pm


AIG said:


The crisis in Syria is just beginning. It will take years to achieve a stable and successful democracy. There is no free lunch and transitions are difficult, but Syria has no other choice except the Zimbabwe model.

May 27th, 2011, 7:39 pm


jad said:

[ … ]

May 27th, 2011, 7:40 pm


Norman said:

Syrian knight , atassi,

Do not wish to others what you do not want for yourselves, it is a good rule.,

May 27th, 2011, 7:50 pm


Norman said:


Syria is not like Tunisia and Egypt , it is more like Algeria an ideological army and a population who is standing behind the government for fear of the radicals getting to power ,right or wrong, there is fear in Syria of the opposition.

May 27th, 2011, 7:55 pm


Atassi said:

[ … ]

May 27th, 2011, 7:58 pm


NAJIB said:

nonsense, Why should Assad obey Bankers, or else it is is a sign of trouble ? Assad is not Obama. where were you Dr Landis in 2008 and the financial crisis ? on another planet ?

Syria is not ruled by a Federal reserve and bankers class like the US. Syria has no debts, it has a real not a fictive economy with an over-leveraged banking sector.

Syria’s future economic prospects are far better in relatives terms than even the US economy for example that have yet to de-leveraged from the state of a giant Ponzi scheme , or explode sooner or later.

if i have to invest and save today for my retirement in 15 or 20 or 25 years, being a Syrian , Syria is my best value for money over the long term rather than investing in ageing and dwindling populations.

May 27th, 2011, 8:06 pm


Thanks said:

It’s astonishing how things are escalating in Syria, many people see no future for this regime, besides hard days for Syrian people.

In the mean while, Syrian people will stick to minimum spending, further deteriorating the economy, the number of people in the streets will increase but not to a turning mass, many of protestors are already facing their hardest days, others in Damascus or Aleppo will keep silent, demonstrate expressing their opinion or fleet out the country.

The regime will continue its hold until they are no longer able to pay salaries and other benefits, has used all reserve and debt available, Syria will end up without government, people are in the streets, a lot of stealing and armed robbery by ex-shabehha and ex-security forces, at that time some high ranks in military will be able to see the way and lead a coup and announce a new transitional state.

In that time American and EU will have a role in choosing the next (transitional) ruler or council but they need initiatives from high ranks in military and opposition figures, they are unlikely to intervene on ground in Syria, and will not aid the Assad regime, and control China and Russia those who will not go in an unrewarding battle.

Perhaps, Young activists inside who are in contact with activists outside form contacts with their young fellows doing their military service, to work on persuading high ranks to implement a coup and come up with proposals with activists politicians who have the appeal of both Syrians and World governments.

In that time, Business people will look for ways to support activists, they may find Turkey meeting memebers with a modern and promising economic agenda appealing to them, they may work to make deals with military people to execute the coup and announce a new state.

Possible scenario!

May 27th, 2011, 9:04 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


I mostly agree with your point regarding the irrelevance of the post WW1 ME borders. Then you say that partitions and/or autonomies could be proper tools of policy, in order to achieve (and this is my interpretation of what you wrote), self determination for peoples who cannot live together with the same leadership. Then you bash Israel for doing exactly what you propose: Partition itself in order to self determine Jewish political life. You argue that it’s “at the expense of other groups”. Every partition or autonomy will leave some unhappy and bitter. Why is it that what you suggest for Arabs, you want to prevent from Jews?
And if the ME is going to partition, in your eyes, how do you see the Jewish political life arranged, if at all?

May 27th, 2011, 9:19 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

We trust Ehsani to tell us about the outlook for the economy in Syria

May 27th, 2011, 9:30 pm


AIG said:

Another article on the Syrian economy:,8599,2074471,00.html

As the crisis in Syria continues, many observers are beginning to say that if the protesters cannot overthrow the regime, the economy will. With political uncertainty at a suffocating level, the Syrian pound has fallen against the U.S. dollar. As a result, Syrians are feverishly hauling their money out of banks — about 8% of all banks deposits have been withdrawn — and shifting it into more stable foreign currencies. GDP was predicted to grow at a steady 6% this year. Now, predictions are closer to a negative 3% contraction. “I think the crackdown on protesters will succeed in the next two months,” a senior western diplomat in Syria says. “But in six months time, the economy will have taken such a battering that [President Bashar al-]Assad will have lost the support of the majority of Syrians.”
The economy had been key to Assad’s popular standing before the uprising. Portraying himself as a political and economic reformer, Syria’s President spent the last five years moving away from the socialist, centrally planned economy that has failed Syrians. With a team of economic liberalizers, Assad began to open up the economy to the private sector, encourage free trade and reduce subsidies. Tourism started to boom and foreign investment began flooding in. Suddenly, middle-class Syrians were able to afford new cars and houses. Consumerism developed as cheap foreign products, like Chinese TVs and heaters, entered the market. The espresso-drinking urban business class grew.
(See photos of the protests in Syria.)
Now, however, the pillars of the new Syria are collapsing. Today, people are not buying cars. Actually, nobody is spending at all in Syria. People are working fewer hours and there are widespread layoffs — some companies have stopped paying salaries. In three months, Syria’s economy has gone from growth to slump even as the government is desperately trying to pay off its disobedient citizens with subsidies — money it does not have.
Tourism, which possibly accounted for up to 18% of the entire economy, was the first to go. A year ago, sandal-clad and camera-wielding hordes of European tourists would shuffle through the cobble-stoned souk of Old Damascus, who patronized the businesses of cocky young Syrians, many of whom speak five languages to cater to the flow of foreigners. Now the tourist touts sit on small plastic stools and drink sweet tea in their shops full of dusty carpets and silver trinkets. “The Old City is still safe, but it’s empty,” one shopkeeper said as he tried to sell a box of old coins from Syria’s eastern deserts, a once-popular souvenir here.
Most travel insurance companies have blacklisted the country; and Middle East tour groups are now avoiding Syria altogether, even choosing to fly from Turkey to Jordan, rather than busing through the country as they used to do. The shopkeepers of Damascus say many tourist companies have closed and the boutique hotels of the capital and Aleppo, the country’s largest city, are empty. “We will have to close soon,” one said.
(See “Fear and Trembling in Damascus: A Pretense of Calm in Syria’s Capital.)
The next economic support to go will be foreign investment. With dwindling oil reserves, the Syrian government has been betting on foreign investment to pay for more than half of all government spending over the coming years. Would-be investors are now waiting to see if the situation stabilizes or, increasingly, are simply taking their money elsewhere. A Qatar-based company recently scrapped plans for a $900 million project to build power plants here. “The prospects do not look good at all,” a leading Damascus economist said on condition of anonymity. “There is a deep sense that the crisis is ongoing and business is at a standstill.”
Worst of all, according to many in the Syrian business community, the government has backtracked on its liberalizing reforms in a last-ditch attempt to mollify the protesters, who complain of unemployment, corruption, low wages and high prices. On Tuesday, the Treasury announced it would further subsidize gas oil by 25%, the latest in a string of government measures, including generous salary increases for public-sector workers and reintroducing subsidies on food and fuel prices. “It is not feasible for the government to adopt a socialist economy again. They simply don’t have the money,” the Damascus economist said. “All economic moves have been short term emergency measures, there has been no strategy.”
Panicked by the protests, President Assad sacked his government in April in a move that one dissident in Damascus described as “a pretense to democracy.” The dismissals included Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Abdullah al Dardari, the architect of the economic liberalization. Although Dardari’s longer-term policies were not always popular among the poor, the English-speaking minister opened the economy to foreign trade and private banks brought credit into the country.
(See Syria’s brutal tactics.)
A European business analyst working in Syria says that while the unrest has hurt the economy, the government backtracking on economic policy could cripple Syria. “There is now an uncertainty over future policy. People want to know if they invest now they can be sure for 20 years,” he says. Assad’s emergency measures mean oil prices and inflation rates are now unpredictable. “When investors don’t have certainty, because you just sacked all the economic reformers, they won’t invest,” he adds. The analyst says that it is possible there could be rolling blackouts in Syria as the government is unable to attract foreign investment for new electricity plants.
Unlike in Egypt, where the educated middle class used their knowledge of the Internet and the media to help oust President Hosni Mubarak, in Syria it is the poverty-stricken masses that have led the protests while the growing business classes have sat tight. Soon, however, many of Syria’s business class — who are generally undecided on the anti-Assad demonstrations — will start to feel the pinch when they can’t afford to send their kids to schools or pay for hospital bills. The Damascus economist says that would be the beginning of the end for Assad. He says: “The business community does business with [Assad] cronies in government. They are willing to take some losses, but at one point they will demand reforms.

May 27th, 2011, 9:33 pm


why-discuss said:

11th Friday.
The protests have not gathered more people and have left the two important cities largely untouched. So what is the opposition new steps to ‘end the regime’?
Last week the strategy was to call for a general strike, it failed. ( fear factor?)
This friday it was a call for the army to join the protests, it failed. ( fear factor?)
So there is still a fear factor? I read everywhere that the wall of fear fell, maybe there are more than one wall.
Now we are reading a flurry of predictions that “its the economy stupid” that will end the regime, but not now, in 6 months, a year, who knows… The lira will collapse versus the collapsing dollar, the jobless number among youth will reach Spain’s number (25%), the country debt will grow to become like Lebanon’s ( 42 billions $) etc….
Many things can happen in that period.
We’ll find out what the opposition has under its sleeves in Antalya, we’ll get the elections in Tunisia and Egypt, maybe the collapse of Libya, the vote in the UN for Palestine… A heavy summer.
How these would reflect in Syria, no one can tell. So in the meantime, Bashar al Assad may start the reforms or leave his seat to someone else, who?

May 27th, 2011, 10:08 pm


Jad said:

The EU layoff hundreds of Syrians! If they sanction the corrupted figures why to hurt average Syrians.

أنهى الاتحاد الأوربي عقود مئات العاملين معه في مشاريعه في سورية وذلك بعد قرار تعليق جميع برامج التعاون مع سورية على خلفية استمرار “عمليات القمع” على حد ادعاءاتهم “ضد السكان المدنيين”.متناسين أن من يقتل هم المخربين وحملة السلاح المتأمر

 وشكل مجموعة من الذين أنهى الاتحاد عقودهم صفحة على الفيس بوك يطالبون فيها بتعويضاتهم المالية وحقوقهم المنصوص عليها في عقود التوظيف، وأكدوا استمرارهم في المطالبة حتى الحصول على حقوقهم.

 وتشير إحدى الموظفات في إحدى برامج الاتحاد انه وبدون سابق إنذار اخبرنا مدير البرنامج وهو أوربي الجنسية ان نغادر المكاتب وننهي العمل في يوم الخميس 26/5/2011، وتقول ان المدير ذاته كان يرفض مغادرة سورية لكنه غير رايه بشكل مفاجئ .

وضمت المجموعة على الفيس بوك في ايامها الاولى أكثر من 300 ناشط. وتحمل الصفحة اسم

EU throws the staff without compensation in Syria موظفين EU بدون تعويض

 وكان  قرر الاتحاد الأوروبي وقف جميع التحضيرات لبرامج جديدة للتعاون الثنائي  وتعليق البرامج الثنائية الحالية  في إطار الآلية الأوروبية للجوار والشراكة وآلية ميدا، في حين أعربت الدول الأعضاء عن استعدادها لإعادة النظر في التعاون الثنائي.ودعا المجلس أيضا بنك الاستثمار الأوروبي إلى عدم الموافقة في الوقت الحاضر على عمليات تمويل جديدة في سوريا، وأوضحت توصيات المجلس “أن الاتحاد الأوروبي سوف ينظر في تعليق تقديم مساعدات إضافية  لسوريا في ضوء التطورات الجارية”.

May 27th, 2011, 10:14 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Erdogan called Bashar ,encouraging hime to start true reform,
Medvedev called Bashar telling not to oppress his people, and start reform.
When is he going to stop his oppression forces, and start reform?

May 27th, 2011, 10:18 pm


Revlon said:

Photo of the boy named 7maza AlKhateeb.
One of the victims of Jr’s operation Wa2dulfitnah (Wa2d in Arabic means: to bury an infant alive)
A collateral damage to Jr’s, recent dialogue initative!
AlJeeza, 7oran

Al Fati7a upon his soul,
May God bless his family with solace and empoer them with patience.

حمزة الخطيب من الجيزة حوران!/photo.php?fbid=10150652393060727&set=pu.420796315726&type=1&theater

May 27th, 2011, 11:18 pm


NAJIB said:

The Syrian economy is doomed , because Assad won’t take the advice of or follow the recipes of the likes of Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the IMF or the World Bank, and won’t provide them with docile hotel maids while in town maybe 🙂

The Syrian economy is doomed because people are not spending . spend spend spend. otherwise you are doomed.

you can basically imagine any scenario and believe it , if it helps the morale , why not . but in the end it is most probably a black swan that will decide the turn of events. ,
the analysts and experts and blablablahers are just …. ambient noise..

May 27th, 2011, 11:21 pm


syau said:


Here is the link you were looking for, showing the ‘dead’ protesters miraculously comming back to life after prayers upon their bodies were conducted, (after they thought the camera stopped filming).

May 27th, 2011, 11:38 pm


Norman said:

can anybody tells me how many Syrians died in the last 3 months from car accidents.

May 27th, 2011, 11:47 pm


Alex said:


I wish the end of the crisis was somehow correlated to my appearance or disappearance from SC!

Happy to be here.

It takes two sides to end the crisis …
«لا إصلاح بلا أمن. لا أمن بلا إصلاح»

May 27th, 2011, 11:48 pm


Norman said:


You are so right my friend, you are so right, i hope they walk toward each other and meet and greet.

May 27th, 2011, 11:53 pm


Jad said:

Dear WD
Tunisian government just announced a postponed of their election!

May 27th, 2011, 11:54 pm


S.A. said:

To Joshua,
I have noticed indeed that many people are looking at one side of the story. The people I talk to who live in Syria have confirmed exactly what the Syrian Christian businessman wrote and that is that there are people who are organised and trying to overthrow the government. It is not about seeking peaceful reform anymore, but it’s about hate towards a certain minority groups,and taking revenge in the name of Islam.

From all the people I talked to in different parts of Syria, it has been the same story. Why is it that people are just repeating the same one sided story then? The truth is probably in between. So why is it that you are calling it a revolution and addressing the situation like it’s only that the government is shooting at demonstrators? I think it is unfair and it is one sided. The conflict is definitely from both sides. The so-called opposition had obviously decided to try and overthrow the goventment. It is not really because of the burning desire for reform, but mostly because of hate and yes, with the aid of all Syria’s enemies. We certainly cannot rely on Obama or the American govenment since their policies like we have even seen only recently, are dictated by the likes of Natanyahu. I realy wish that we could read a more balanced view on this website like we used to previously.

May 28th, 2011, 12:05 am


Jad said:

A call from the doctor who admit the body of 7amze in the hospital in April 29th
اتصال الدكتور أكرم الشعار لتوضيح سبب وفاة الطفل

May 28th, 2011, 12:11 am


abughassan said:

So many graphic images are sent to youtube about Syria, and this was done by both pro and anti regime people. some of those images are authentic but some are fabricated. In the past, many insisted that every army officer and policeman who lost his life was killed by the regime or Alshabiha,others claim that only armed protest was faced with deadly force, we know that these claims are simply lies.the truth is that much of what is being circulated is to win public support inside and outside Syria. the violence from all sides, especially the security forces, need to stop,and all political prisoners must be released. shooting at the army or the police is a heinous crime and can not be justified,and treating unarmed Syrian civilians like enemies is a despicable behavior and must be punishable by law.we will not see calm if nobody is held accountable for using brutality or violence. the rule of law ,or the lack of it, is what makes the difference between a civilized society and a pariah state.

May 28th, 2011, 12:15 am


syau said:


In that case, I will be expecting to see many more videos of people ‘arrested’ while healthy and returned as this child.

It is easy to see that this latest video would not be the work of security personnel but that of the Islamists who have previously conducted such acts. I wonder how many other bodies they will do that to to further their cause.

The monsters of this revolution have no shame.

May 28th, 2011, 12:29 am


Norman said:


How can Syria release the people you call political prisoners when the take thier time to go on AL Jazeera and spread lies about Syria and how the army is shelling and killing thier own members and people .I saw Haitham AL Mal eh and he was despicable, and he is a judge , no wonder that Syria’s legal system is in shamble ,

We all know that Law school requirement in Syria is one of the lowest grades in high school, They are not the best of Syria.

May 28th, 2011, 12:35 am


abughassan said:

Did the authorities wait a month to give the body of Hamza to his family? We know he was shot, I am not sure if he was tortured,however, we all have the right to know how he died and who shot him (many blame the regime).Hamza’s case,aside from the publicity it received, is an example of why the rule of law must be supreme and above all.As a father, I am alarmed by the fact that some Syrian parents have allowed their kids to get out and be in the midst of a dangerous environment where shooting is taking place, and I am not talking about this particular case because I simply do not know the during times of unrest must be kept at home and not in harm’s way. Syria lost a number of children since the beginning of this uprising.I know a case in Homs where two kids were murdered by an armed gang that also killed their relative, a police officer,who was driving them to safety.

May 28th, 2011, 12:39 am


abughassan said:

the problem with political prisoners and prisoners of opinion is complex. the biggest issue is the lack of clarity about what is a crime and how much freedom the government must have to punish people who did not steal, sell drugs or use violence,for example. since the 1960s thousands of Syrians spent years in prison, and some died in prison, without being charged or given the chance to defend themselves. Syria can not move forward if we face arrest, or worse,for stating our opinion, even if we are lying. lying is a crime in certain conditions,like lying to a judge in a criminal case,but I am not ready to accept the idea that the state can send somebody to prison because he lied on TV, and ,as always, I mean no disrespect to those who disagree.

May 28th, 2011, 12:51 am


Revlon said:

#36, Wa shahida Shahidon Min Ahhleh!
This testimony is by a doctor who works for the regime.
It is aired by a station owned by the regime.
Its credebility is as good as the regime itself; worthlesss!

The boy died in Mukabarat’s custody!
His body was handed to his family one months later!
This is glaring example of state sponsored terrorism.

In the pre-revolution days, this kid would have vanished and the regime denied any knowledge of his whereabouts.

This case brings up the plight of Syrians and Arabs who disappeared in Syria and lebanon, and whom the regime has all along denied his knowledge of ther whereabouts.

The release of the long incarcerated political prisoners shall make available more information to shed light on these incommunicados

May 28th, 2011, 1:12 am


Syria no kandahar said:

One thing I see in common between thr electronic internet revolutionists,especially on this site,is there lack of sorrow when they see the country ,and the average lay Syrian going down,socially,financially,and far the achievments of this (Allah Akbar)Mania are:
1-total destruction of tourism industry(9million expected this year)
2-cancelled most of the arabic and Forign investment projects.
3-US and EU and even Canadian sort of embargo threats
4-pre-civil war situation
5-Turkey playing and cashing the Syrian card,and behaving as if syria is ottoman coloni.
6-1000 Syrians lost
7-Threat for turning Syria from a country with one of the lowest crime rates in the world,into a zoo.
8-Gloring Israel as a model state and washing out all the blood and crimes from it’s page.
9-destroying the confidence Syrian have in there own self and implanting doubt in there hearts about there identity and unity by opening a box of sectarian scorpions and a jar of ethnicty and tribal snakes in between them.
10-Now Syria can go out and shout and say الشعب يريد إسقاط النظامwho cares?where can you cash that?what the hell gon be the next nizam?
11-And one of the worst results of this free fall is that it exposed our weakness as a society, it showed that we syrians are very volatile and that although we are the people who gave human being the alphabet and every human being should consider our country his second nation,I found very sad to say that alot of us has regretfully made Syria there third country:there first being there religion ,there second being there sectarian narsestic hell.we don’t deserve the glorious name of Syria with what we are doing,Syria is shame of us.

May 28th, 2011, 1:19 am


syau said:

Revlon #42,

Murder and mutilation is not endorsed by government or conducted by the Syrian armed forces. It is 100%, without a doubt, the work of the psycho’s endorsed by this revolution and its Islamists.

The fabrications and disgusting lies have gone far enough.

May 28th, 2011, 4:19 am


MNA said:


“In the pre-revolution days, this kid would have vanished and the regime denied any knowledge of his whereabouts.”

So are you saying that the regime now is less brutal and more consciences??? I don’t get it.
What prevented the security agencies from doing the same now, specially, after mutalating this poor kid’s body, if it s true?

May 28th, 2011, 5:15 am


MNA said:

So if what Dr. Sha3ar is saying is true about the condition of the murdered kid upon admittance, why not release the photos. They have done that on Syrian TV before, many times.

May 28th, 2011, 6:37 am


Sophia said:


I think Al-Jazeera should hire you as their correspondent in Syria, or maybe they already did.

May 28th, 2011, 8:22 am


Louai said:

Regarding the boy who was killed ,if we hear the link JAD provided then you can hear that the doctor who called said that they have the original photos after the death ,i don’t think the returned the body after one month ,why would they?

‘the Syrian revolution’ page changed its profile picture to this boy photo and they called today 7amza’s Saturday .

there are tow bullets went throw the arms to the belly ,what dose it mean? is that how you execute some one?

this’ revolution’ is going too far in using an incent boy death to their ugly goal ,they did it in the 80s and they are doing it again now

اتصال الدكتور أكرم الشعار لتوضيح سبب وفاة الطفل

May 28th, 2011, 9:10 am


Louai said:

46. MNA

Al Jazeera broadcasted the video only yesterday noon time , i agree with you about the photos they should releas them ASAP ,i expect more fabricated stories ..i wonder how many people they killed so far just for propaganda purposes

May 28th, 2011, 9:17 am


Weekly Roundup 5/28 | Mideast Reports said:

[…] This Atlantic article, as well as a post on Syria comment, explores the economic implications of the uprising, and how long the country can continue in the […]

May 28th, 2011, 10:46 am


Usama said:

SYAU, #30
Thank you, I appreciate that. 🙂

SNK, #43

I think you’re looking at this the wrong way. Society is bound to have friction between people of different ethnicities and sects. What you see as proving weakness in our society, I see as proving the strength of our society. The fact the people on the ground causing the problems have such small numbers. Syria, I think, is the most diverse Arab country, even more than Lebanon. If our society is as weak as you think it is, we would have been in all out civil war right now instead of a limited armed revolt. I know directly from my family in Lattakia that they tried to provoke two large neighbourhoods against each other, and they called each other (because of friendships) and found out it was a game to provoke them to fight. Then when the saboteurs saw they failed, they started doing drive-by shootings and using gunmen on rooftops. Then they (media, “activits”, “lawyers”, “eyewitnesses”) blamed the killings on security and “shabbiha”, and they still failed to make people fight. The army went in right away to kill and arrest the terrorists and, as you can see today, things are quite calm in Lattakia. Ya7ya al-jaish!

I wasn’t born during the late 70s/early 80s events with the MB, but my parents tell me sectarianism was a lot worse back then! This is why I said before, and I still say it today, MB has no place in Syrian society. If Erdogan wants to keep harbouring MB terrorists, then the relationship with Turkey is just not worth it, in my opinion.

About 7amza

I hope they do release the photos of 7amza, but I think they need parents’ permission for that first? And unless the corpse of the child was kidnapped, then I’m sorry to say there might be a chance the parents were a part of this crime….!?

May 28th, 2011, 12:25 pm


Tara said:


You said “I hope they do release the photos of Hamza, but I think they need parents’ permission for that first?”

This is the most retarded comment I’ve ever heard in my enyire life.
The thugs did not need parent’s permission to kill him

Get a grip!

May 28th, 2011, 4:31 pm



Josh, is there any particular reason why “Syriacomment” reproduced my recent article “Syria and the zero conflict policy” (it appears in the latest issue of “”) but chose to censor half of it — without my permission?

May 28th, 2011, 4:51 pm


Joshua said:

Dear Murhaf, Would you like me not to copy your articles or copy it in its entirety? I will be happy to oblige. I am sorry to have ofended you and to have harmed your intellectual production. Syria Comment reproduces parts of as many articles on Syria as I think are interesting or believe add content and value. I try to do this as quickly as possible so often miss important sentences. I encourage all readers to go to the complete article and read the entire thing. I hope that by publishing part of your article and advertising it, I am drawing more people to read your entire article.

Let me know how you would like me to deal with your articles in the future. I can not reproduce or only reproduce in the entirety. Just let me know.

Sorry to have offended you or done harm to your argument. I know how sensitive everything is now and by only copying part I may be doing you harm or doing injustice to the complexity of your thoughts during this most difficult time for Syria. Best, Joshua

May 28th, 2011, 10:09 pm


syau said:

Tara #51,

I’ve read many of you hate filled comments, and in almost all of them you label people as retarded. Is that the extent of you vocabulary?

You seem too look at the world as if its black and white. Open your eyes and look around. If you believe the Syrian forces are the ones who are responsible for all the killings, then your vocabulary fits you.

The Security forces did not kill the child and that will be proven as were many other fabrications by the Syrian revolution. I think there is definately more behind the state this child was in once filmed.

I believe it was the work of the psycho’s of this revolution, They have done this before and can do it again to one of their own in order to further their cause.

There are also reports that his genitals were cut off, as we saw in the past few weeks (I’m not sure if it was widely reported, I know because 3 of them were aquaintences) the victims of the horrific murders and mutilations had their genitials cut off.

This is the work of the Islamists of the revolution, the same ones who are listening to the calls for jihad against the government and are willing to do anything until their agenda is met.

I find myself remembering the situation with the bodies in the fridge that went missing. I think those bodies are are being held by the ‘revolutionists’ for the use of mass graves and such acts as to mutilate corpses and blame it on the Syrian security forces. This is not the work of the Syrian security forces.

May 28th, 2011, 6:58 pm


Tara said:


Next time I will use “inferior intelligence”. Do you like this term better?

I posted a comment to Jad in reply to the forensic interview. Please feel free to answer.

May 28th, 2011, 8:40 pm


Murhaf Jouejati said:

Dear Josh,

I am not offended. I just thought it odd that my article would be cut in its juiciest part: the behavior of the Assad regime (which I believe, rightly or wrongly, is absolutely and totally outrageous).

Having read your explanation, I am fully satisfied that your intentions are good.

Best wishes,

May 28th, 2011, 10:52 pm


aboali said:

#58 You wouldn’t be too surprised if you’d been following this blog for any length of time. It’s a sort of half-attempt at a “discussion” forum, but the actual aim is for assorted trolls and moral-trash to attempt to dress up the turd that is the Syrian regime, before force feeding it down people’s throats, all under the pretense of a “rational debate”. You can gauge the caliber of the Bashar groupies by the sort of language they use, and the threats they make. The ones with an I.Q above 2 digits and an education past secondary school will attempt to use “grown up” language while basically spouting the same apologist verbal diarrhea at every given opportunity, summed up as follows “Bashar is good, no really he’s good, so what if he’s killed some people? he’s better than those bearded Moslems”.

May 29th, 2011, 6:51 am


Post a comment