The Government Draws a Line in the Sand

The Syrian government has drawn a line in the sand. Now that it has made concessions — canceled the special National Security Court, lifted the emergency law, fired governors of Banyas and Deraa governates, named a new Prime Minister and cabinet and promised a new party law — the president has stated that there is no longer reason to demonstrate. He has called the on-going uprising a rebellion. The Baath Party has stated that there will be no tolerance with “terrorists” in the Arab country.

The organizers of the revolution vowed to turn out their largest numbers yet on what protesters have begun to call “Great Friday.” Many are determined to bring down the regime and understand that this is their chance. Friday will be a day of reckoning. If the opposition can keep up its momentum in the face of what is likely to be a severe crackdown, it may be able to sweep the nation before it and topple the regime by overwhelming the security forces with sheer numbers of protesters and occupying government buildings.

The regime is moving toward defining the protesters as terrorists and mukharabiin vandals. It has drawn a stark picture for the Syrian people of a nation headed toward civil war and destruction, much like Iraq experienced. The Syrian people will have to decide whether they can put up with authoritarianism and trust that regime can modernize or put their faith in the revolution.

Syrians have little faith in the government. But do they have faith in the opposition? The great weakness of the opposition is that it does not have a leadership. It has been led by young activists in their 20s and 30s. They have been brave, disciplined and very successful at rallying the people behind the cry for freedom. To be successful they will have to produce a leadership that can reassure the Syrian people that their future can be bright without going through the horrors of civil war or the collapse of national institutions.

The remarks above are by Joshua Landis

Addendum: Lennart writes in the comment section:

Josh, you write that “The great weakness of the opposition is that it does not have a leadership.” I am surprised to see you write that because it is totally wrong. If the revolution had had a leadership, that leadership would have been arrested a very long time ago and the revolution beheaded. It is precisely because the revolution does NOT have a leadership that is has been able to survive. It was the same in Tunisia and Egypt.

Joshua replies: You are correct Lennart. Having no leadership  is a strength in getting the revolt off the ground and avoiding arrest for the activists, but in the Syrian case, I also believe it will turn out to be a weakness. Because civil war is a possible result of trying to remove this regime, Syrians want to know what comes next. If the opposition is successful, state institutions, such as the army, may dissolve, as they did in Lebanon and Iraq. Syria is not like Egypt or Tunisia, where the army can step into the void and offer authority and direction. Leadership is important. Syrians may not want to take that step into the void unless they have confidence there will be someone to lead them out of it.

New Round Up

Amid Crackdown, Big Protest Is Planned in Syria
By ANTHONY SHADID, April 20, 2011 NYTimes

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Protests erupted Wednesday in the town that unleashed Syria’s five-week uprising, and security forces detained a prominent organizer in the restive city of Homs, casting into doubt government pledges to repeal the harsh emergency laws and grant civil rights in one of the Arab world’s most repressive countries.

Though the demonstrations in Dara’a and elsewhere paled before those of past days, organizers vowed to turn out their largest numbers yet on what protesters have begun to call “Great Friday.” Some residents said security forces were already deploying in the hopes of dampening the turnout, and organizers across Syria called the day potentially decisive for the uprising’s momentum.

….“People don’t trust the regime anymore,” said Haitham Maleh, a former judge and an often imprisoned human rights activist in Damascus, Syria’s capital. “I don’t think that the Syrian people are going to stop before they bring down this regime.”

But Syria is a complicated country, with sizable minorities of Christians and heterodox Muslim sects that have looked with trepidation to the example offered by Iraq’s civil war. The prospect that Mr. Maleh raised — the government’s fall — has alarmed some, particularly among the minorities, who worry about society’s lack of independent institutions to navigate a transition and the fearsome prospect of score-settling in chaos.

“Everything is possible today,” said Michel Kilo, another government critic in Damascus. “If the regime believes that with security they can handle everything, then they will be turning Syria into a breeding ground for all kinds of extremist movements.”…..

Syria Ruling Party Official Says No Tolerance with ’Terrorists
By Inal Ersan, 2011-04-20, Bloomberg

The Syrian ruling Baath party’s Assistant Secretary-General Mohammad Saeed Bkhaitan said there will be no tolerance with “terrorists” in the Arab country, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency Reported today. “Events have proven that tolerance and forgiveness doesn’t pay off with the enemies of the nation and those lurking against the security and stability Syria enjoys,” the agency said, citing remarks by Bkhaitan to party officials. The remarks came after five weeks of violent protests across the country to demand greater freedoms.

Syrian authorities urged not to suppress ‘Great Friday’ protests
Amnesty International, 21 April 2011

The Syrian authorities must not respond with violence to mass demonstrations planned across the country tomorrow, Amnesty International urged on the eve of a Facebook-promoted “Great Friday” protest.

“It is imperative that these demonstrations are policed sensibly, sensitively and in accordance with international law to avoid further bloodshed on Syria’s streets,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa. “These ‘Great Friday’ protests could be the largest yet. If government security forces resort to the same extremely violent tactics they have used over the past month, the consequences could be exceedingly grave.”

See Qifa Nabki on my discussion with Ammar Abdulhamid. See Ammar’s site.

Syria’s government rushes in reforms
By Sami Moubayed in Asia Times

Lifting the law means security officials can no longer arrest, detain, or interrogate citizens without a proper court warrant. Any person summoned for questioning will be entitled to a fair and public trial in the presence of an attorney.

The new government also canceled the special National Security Court, which was established in 1968. That controversial court has been charged with looking into all cases referred to it by the Military Governor under Emergency Laws, known in Arabic as al-Hakem al-Urfi, and who in this case was the Minister of Interior. All cases currently registered with the now-disbanded court will immediately be referred to civil courts for a fair trial. A previous decision to replace emergency laws with a law for counter-terrorism, similar to the Patriot Act, has been canceled.

There will be neither emergency laws nor counter-terrorism laws in Syria – which is certain to please ordinary Syrians.

Additionally the new government passed a law allowing and regulating peaceful demonstrations in Syria. Although a constitutional right, demonstrating has been off-limits for decades because of the emergency laws mentioned above. Anybody wishing to stage a demonstration today needs to apply for a permit from police. He/she will obtain it provided that they specify a time for the demonstration, along with a location, duration and a guarantee that they will not resort to violence. Demonstrators will also be entitled to police protection while they are on the streets.

Finally, the government is putting the final touches on a new party law that is due for release by the end of April and which allows the establishment of parties with programs different from that of the ruling Ba’ath.

The false hope of revolution in Syria, Posted By May Akl (the press secretary of Lebanese MP Michel Aoun.) Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at Foreign Policy

…In the context of these leaderless revolutions that stemmed from rightful social, economic, and political demands, the only organized and well-structured group has been the Muslim Brotherhood. For 83 years now, the aim of this widespread movement has been to instill the Quran and Sunna as the sole reference for ordering the life of the Muslim family and state. Whether it will finally succeed in doing so by claiming to embrace the hopes and dreams of the Arab youth is not to be ruled out….

The Grand Mufti of Syria, Hassoun, gives a pro-revolution speech, declaring that the demonstrators are not terrorists or after bread, but fighting for dignity.

مفتي سوريا أحمد حسون ينضم إلى الثوار

Here is Hassoun a couple of weeks ago supporting Assad.

أكد وزير الاقتصاد والتجارة محمد نضال الشعار خلال اجتماعه برئيس وأعضاء غرفة تجارة حلب أمس أن عمله عضواً في الحكومة بمثابة «خادم» للمواطنين وللفعاليات الاقتصادية وأنه مستمع «جيد ومخلص» وأن بإمكان سورية أن تصبح «سنغافورة 2» بإمكاناتها وخبرة أبنائها

إقالة رئيس قسم الأمن السياسي في بانياس الرائد أمجد عباس بعد ظهوره في فيديو التنكيل بأهالي البيضا  reports that the head of political security (al-amn al-siyasi) in Banyas has been detained.

Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of the caretaker government, Elias al-Murr: Translation thanks to

“This is a question that is on the table nowadays, as the region is ablaze and Syria is in a state of turmoil. We, as Lebanese, must ask ourselves: Which Syria do we want? In these sensitive times, it would be easy to slide into emotional reactions and say: Let there be a regime change in Syria! But what will happen next? What new regime are we talking about? What Syria are we talking about? What type of relations between the two countries are we addressing? The answer is simple: the unknown. Can Lebanon risk heading toward the unknown? Certainly not. Can the Lebanese people handle getting to know a new regime in Syria, its nature, strategy and perception of Lebanon?

… if we were to adopt the ideas of some who are tactically wagering on transformations in Syria, what will be the result? ….  I write to say to each gambler: If these wagers were to lead Lebanon and its people toward the unknown, this unknown is in itself a catastrophe for a country like Lebanon

….This is a storm in a teacup and does not deserve having us tamper with the fate of our children and country and wager on the unknown. I say it loud and clear, and even if the circumstances were to change tomorrow. This is a conviction regardless of the transformations. Support this regime that is led by Al-Assad so that we do not regret it.”

Independent: Can President Assad do what it takes to cleanse his corrupt regime?
By Robert Fisk, 2011-04-20

“People are looking for security forces who will not treat the people like animals.” So said Daeiri el-Eiti last night, a Syrian activist, summing up the thoughts of his country. He was right. In Banias, in Latakia, in Homs, in Aleppo, in Deraa, even in Damascus itself, it is the same thing. As a friend of Bashar al-Assad, the President, said last night, “Bashar is like Fukushima. He is irradiated.”

Is this true? Can this be the end for the Ba’ath party of Syria, the very end of the “Renaissance Party” of the country which Bashar’s father Hafez supported? Is this the end of the Syrian security forces? It seems incredible, but it looks as if all Bashar’s dutiful offers of generosity – an end to the state of emergency, for example – have failed. There are those in Syria who say it is over, that there is nothing Bashar al-Assad can do to save his regime. We shall see…..

The problem lies, as Mr Eiti says, in that Syria remains a dictatorship and that Assad remains a dictator. His failure to rid his own family of the corrupt men within it (I am speaking of his uncle in particular) is the main problem for the regime. This is not a Gaddafi-corrupted government. This is not a Mubarak government. This is an Alawi regime – and essentially a Shia regime – which has been corrupted by its own family. The Assad family knows what it must do to cleanse the family name. Can Bashar do it? Does he have the power to do it? This is all that matters now if he is going to save his regime.

U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings
Published: April 14, 2011

U.S. ‘Not Working to Undermine’ Syria, State Department Says
By Nicole Gaouette

April 18 (Bloomberg) — “We are not working to undermine that government,” Toner said at a briefing. The programs in Syria are similar to those the U.S. runs in other parts of the world to build democratic
institutions, Toner said. “This is part of our support forcivil society and non-governmental organizations. What’s different is the way the Syrian government has reacted.”

Yemen Officials Consider ‘30 + 60’ Plan to End Political Crisis
2011-04-20;  Donna Abu-Nasr

April 20 (Bloomberg) — Discussions to end a political crisis in Yemen are centered around a plan that would have President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down within 30 days of it being announced and guarantee immunity for him, his family and long-time aides, a Yemeni official said. Under the so-called 30 + 60 plan, Saleh would transfer his powers to a deputy and elections would be held 60 days after that, according to Ahmed al-Soufi, secretary general for the Yemeni Institute for the Development of Democracy and a media affairs adviser in the presidential palace.

In the southern town of As Suwayda,Washington Post

protests earlier in the day were met by government supporters in cars and on foot, armed with metal and wooden sticks and belts, a witness said.

“They started to beat everyone they saw in the way,” said Alaa, 24, a protester who did not want his last name used. “They called us anti-regime, spies. They started to swear at us and say dirty words. They said that we are not from As Suwayda, that we are not sons of the mountains, that we are not Arabs.”

Mountaha al-Atrash: NYTimes

“My father led the revolution, but now we are in a police dictatorship and the government is oppressing us violently in every province,” said Mountaha al-Atrash, an elderly opposition figure whose father, Sultan Pasha al-Atrash, led an unsuccessful 1925 uprising against French rule. “The people want their rights, freedom and democracy, and these are legitimate demands.”

She spoke over the phone from her ancestral village of Quraya, where security forces dispersed demonstrators for trying to raise the Syrian flag and sing the national anthem. Her nephew, a grandson of the one-time rebel leader, was badly beaten by the police, she said. Several hundred protesters attempted to rally under a statue of Sultan Pasha al-Atrash in the central al-Shoulaa Square in the nearby town of Suwayda, a center for Syria’s Druze community, but were violently dispersed, said witnesses.

‪”We were carrying pictures of the leaders of the revolution and the flag and chanting for a free Syria and oh my God, thugs who are pro-government, aided by security, attacked us,” said a young activist in Suwayda, who asked not to be name for fear of government reprisals. “Women were hit in the street and the pictures of our leaders, or our history makers, were broken.”

Zubaida writes:

I read your blog for years. Now I have to say it is over and I can’t take it anymore. I can’t read one more word about Syria you publish. I am going to unsubscribe, just like canceling my Facebook and shutting the TV. I did the same after 9/11. I couldn’t hear anymore. This is a nightmare and it is not ending. I hope God will prove you all wrong and that after the people causing this destruction to Syria get the freedom they want, we, the people get to keep the Syria we love. A Syria that is not part of a Great Israel or greater Turkey. Not part of a Irani / Iraqi Empire or Muslim brotherhood kingdom. I don’t know if prayers are heard but I am praying to God to prove you all wrong. None of you really care about Syria the place or the Syrian people. None of you care to preserve the little we have. We want our Syria back and away from your news. May God prove you all wrong, may God save and protect Syria.

Prominent dissident writer says country is ripe for change
April 21, 2011 | LA Times

Gamlsa vänner 010Protests continue to convulse the streets of Syria, and the demonstrations that erupted last month have come to pose the greatest challenge to President Bashar Assad’s 11-year rule.

Yassin Haj Saleh, a prominent Syrian writer who spent 16 years in prison as a political dissident, has attended demonstrations in violence- and protest-stricken Syrian cities and feels that the country is absolutely “ripe” for change.

He recently left his home in fear of reprisals by the Syrian authorities and says he is ready to pay “perhaps everything” for a free Syria. So far he’s been living like a hunted man.

“I’ve left home for a fortnight now,” he told Babylon & Beyond. “I’m living here and there and trying to be more careful in my movements. But I am speaking to satellite TV and my number is known, and this is a source of anxiety but I can’t change it. Only in the streets I use my phone. TV channels will speak to me at any time. And that is why I left home — to speak freely about the situation in the country.”

The rest of the interview follows.

From where do you get information about what is happening in the country?

We have a big and trustworthy network of friends. Facebook and email. Of course TV channels. But the most important and precious information I get from my friends in the hot spots.

You’ve already paid a high price. What are you ready to do this time?

Well, I feel that I am at a crucial point of my life. The country is at a crucial point. We have either to win this battle and to face the difficulties of building a free country, and this will take a long time and be difficult. If the regime won this battle, I think we will see a new wave of fascism in the country.

What is your assessment of the mood in the country today? Is the majority saying: I would rather live with the pain that I know than plunge into the unknown?

It is very difficult to answer this question. Nobody expected what happened in the last four weeks in Syria, and week by week the protests are getting larger. So I think protests will broaden, but the problem is that there is a kind of stalemate in the country. People are afraid of what will happen.

I cannot predict what will happen, but I hope that this will lead to change, perhaps not radical change, like what happened in Egypt and Tunisia. But I hope the regime will recognize the legitimacy of the uprising and that our political system will be built on this. In Syria maybe it is dangerous to think of toppling the regime completely. I hope we can reach a … historic compromise, but the problem is that we have the most violent and brutal regime in the region. All depends on what will happen in the Intifada.

POMED writes:

Senators Condemn Use of Violence in Syria: Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) spoke on the Senate floor on Thursday urging U.S. support for the Syrian uprising. He called for sanctions to be put in place in concert with European allies and also called for a special session of the U.N. Human Rights Council as well as a referral of Assad’s regime to the International Criminal Court.Senator John Kerry (D-MA) asserted that Syria’s goals to begin modernizing and entering into relationships with the international community will be denied unless Assad’s government ceases to use violence against its own people.

Discussion on U.S. Policy Toward Syria: David Schenker argued that a policy of maintaining stability in Damascus is not in America’s vested interest. Along with Andrew J. Tabler, Schenker also called for a suspension of U.S. investment in Syria, increases in multilateral sanctions, and for the White House to target specific members of the regime. Human Rights Watch issued a report demanding that the Syrian government end its inhumane treatment of protesters. Former Canadian Ambassador to Syria, Brian J. Davis, stated that Assad’s eventual downfall has already been determined.

POMED also reports on this document:

A three-page document allegedly obtained from Syrian security services detailed government counter-measures to protests. The document provides specific and often brutal directives for handling different levels of unrest and even proposed policy measures.

Scott Macleod, who used to write for Time, has started a new review: He writes:

The new publication I’ve been working on, called the Cairo Review of Global Affairs (produced by American University in Cairo), is launching this week. The first issue has a special report on “Arab Revolution” and includes articles by Ahmed Zewail, William B. Quandt, Princeton Lyman, Shibley Telhami and Shadi Hamid, and interviews with Amr Khaled, Nabil Fahmy, Essam El-Erian, Alaa Al Aswany and Amr Hamzawy among others: or on Twitter: We have a Huffpo-style blog called Tahrir Forum on the website.
Best regards, scott

Comments (72)

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The wind of change will blow away the line in the sand. This regime is over. Have no doubts about it.

Tomorrow is again Friday. A great Friday A huge Friday an incredible Friday it will be. The Syrian youth will tell Bashar tomorrow, what they think about his reforms.
Oh man.. how I want to be in Syria tomorrow !

April 21st, 2011, 5:23 pm


Shami said:

Hassoun is the most despicable hypocrite that could exist.

April 21st, 2011, 5:38 pm


Fadi said:

The situation will be under control tomorrow. The army, security, and Amn are extremely strong, and will easily handle the demonstration. They will allow peaceful ones yet they will draw the line in the sand for any terrorists. The majority of the Syrians do not want to move the country that direction. Tomorrow is going to be a normal day, normal Jumaa. God bless Syria, the president of Syria, the people of Syria, and the security/army.

April 21st, 2011, 5:44 pm


SURI-Amreki said:

People want freedom!!! Lifting the emergency law and implementing one worse is not the solution. Shabbiha are all over the country, stop it and take the responsible people to court. If he (Asad Jr.) wants to prove that he is a President, he must prevent the Shabbiha from killing people. People want Freedom! What did the President accomplish after 11 years? More unemployment, more poverty, no Golan, more corruption, economy is controlled by Makhlouf’s and Assads. Israel hit a nuclear plant that cost Syrian more than a billion dollar and our PPresident did nothing! Israeli airplans went above his palace for hours and did nothing. Maghneigh was assasinated in Syria and the president did not stop it or punish the people who are responsible! Please guys, tell me what did Bashar accomplish in the last 11 years!!!

April 21st, 2011, 5:54 pm


Fadi said:


Do not worry. Tomorrow is your good great Friday which you have been waiting for. You will get your freedom and all you mentioned. Relax.

April 21st, 2011, 6:06 pm


souri-amreki said:

Are you serious?

Are you saying that Bashar will accomplish by tomorrow what he did not do in the last 11 years?

Are you saying that will be no unemployment?
Are you saying that will be no corruption?
Are you saying that Makhloufs and Assads will not control the economy?
Are you saying that the Shabbiha will be arrested?
Are you saying that Syria will defend its air space?
Are you saying that who is responsible for assassinating Maghneih will be punished?
Are you saying that there will be political parties other than Baath Party?

Great! Now I can relax!!!

April 21st, 2011, 6:22 pm


AIG said:


Is your beloved Bashar willing to explain in concrete terms how he plans to create jobs instead of all the time trying to find excuses? Is he willing to put his record of 11 years on the line and go to free elections? Of course not. All he can say is that maybe without him things will be worse because he can start a civil war. Is that really a platform or is he just blackmailing the Syrian people?

April 21st, 2011, 6:22 pm


fadi said:

Till now no leader had stepped out to negotiate. All your leaders are leaving it to the people in the street to bring you freedom and the rest. If you are not expecting all these things to happen tomorrow why have you been pressing Assad to make all these laws happen in a second. I am just saying relax and your revolution will make that happen in few hours for you.

Souri Amerki: “Great! Now I can relax!!!”

I am glad you can relax and enjoy tonight, will meet you tomorrow and get the news

April 21st, 2011, 6:31 pm


AIG said:


You must believe the Syrian people are really stupid. The moment a leader identifies himself, he will be put in prison or worse. After all, that is what the Assads have been doing for 40 years. What is there to negotiate? You claim Bashar is loved by the people. Well then, why are you afraid of free multi party elections?

April 21st, 2011, 6:38 pm


jad said:

Dear Dr. Landis,
Couple small correction to your post:

-“fired governors of Banyas and Deraa governates”
They fired and detained the governors of Daraa and Homs.
They fired and detained the security head of Daraa
They fired and detained the security head of Banyas

-“The Grand Mufti of Syria, Hassoun, gives a pro-revolution speech, declaring that the demonstrators are not terrorists or after bread, but fighting for dignity.”

He denied that and he claimed that this was just one part of a longer speech he gave in Sanameen:

مفتي سورية…لم ولن أنضم إلى ما يسمى
الثورة السورية
نفى مفتي سورية العام الشيخ أحمد بدر الدين حسون نبأ كاذباً بثته قناة «العربية» عن انضمام المفتي إلى ما دعته القناة /الثورة/

واصفاً الخبر بـ«المفبرك» بهدف إحداث شرخ بين الشخصيات الاعتبارية وأبناء الوطن. وفي بيان خاص عبر المفتي حسون عن حزنه «على فقدان المصداقية والصدق في إعلامنا العربي الذي كنا نتوقع منه أن يكون إعلاماً لحفظ الدماء العربية، وليكون موحداً للأمة لا مفرقاً، وملغياً للتقسيم العرقي والطائفي والمذهبي الذي أصبح هذا الإعلام بوقاً مسخراً لخدمته».

وأضاف حسون: إن ما بثته «العربية» كان «حديثاً مجتزأ لكلمة طويلة ألقيتها في بلد الصنمين حينما ذهبت معزياً لأبنائها بشهدائهم ومنبهاً لهم أن دماءكم هي دماء أبناء الوطن، وأن أعراضكم هي أعراض أبناء الوطن، وأن الرئيس بشار الأسد متألم لكل قطرة دم تسيل على أرض وطننا الطاهر، ونقلت لهم في هذه الكلمة تحيات القيادة، وأن مطالبهم ستكون مكاناً للتحقيق وكان على أثر هذه الكلمة فك الاعتصام وعودة الحياة الهادئة حينما أحس أبناء الصنمين الطيبون أنهم في قلب الوطن، ومحط اهتمام قائد سورية وأبنائها».

وأكد حسون: إن «شعب سورية بأجمعه اليوم في يقظة جديدة لبناء وطنه وعودة التلاحم بين القيادة والشعب بكل مكوناته، وخصوصاً بعد الكلمة التي ألقاها الرئيس الأسد في مجلس الوزراء»، مشدداً على أن /الوطن لا يبنى إلا بالتواضع والعمل والتكامل بين كل أبنائه/

وأضاف: /إن الغاية من مثل هذا الخبر المفبرك إيجاد نوع من الشرخ بين الشخصيات الاعتبارية وأبناء الوطن، وقد ظنوا أنهم بمثل هذه الأخبار يمكن أن يحققوا ما عجزوا عنه مواجهة/

وبثت قناة العربية الاثنين في نشرة أخبارها أن المفتي حسون انضم إلى الثورة في سورية، مقتطعة جزءاً من حديث سماحته لأهل الصنمين عندما قال: «الأمر يتعلق بالحرية»، وقد أثار هذا الاقتطاع ردود أفعال كثيرة، وتناقلته وكالات الأنباء.


April 21st, 2011, 6:43 pm


Nour said:

I don’t understand why there is a picture of a protest from Yemen attached to this article. And the post mischaracterizes the position of President Bashar al-Assad, who never claimed that the protesters are terrorists. He said there are conspiracies against Syria, and that this was normal, but that we cannot claim that all demonstrators are conspirators because that would be inaccurate. He stated that many of the demonstrators had legitimate demands. Moreover, a new law was passed governing the process of demonstrations, which is a law similar to most western countries, requiring the granting of a license for protesting. It is highly destructive and dangerous to frame the issue in this manner, basically daring people to go out and confront the security forces.

April 21st, 2011, 7:02 pm


Louai said:

very pleasd with the goverment new moves ,lets pray that the people are really asking for reform not using nice word to cover ugly goals.

April 21st, 2011, 7:46 pm


George said:

where did you get this pictuer from? its not even the Syrian flag !!! shame.

April 21st, 2011, 7:52 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

there is no longer reason to demonstrate;
Are you kidding, not till the regime get rid of opression forces, that some call them falsly AMN,release political prisoners, ,and get serious about free election.

April 21st, 2011, 7:59 pm


Real Syrian said:

This What Happened in Homs….By a resident doctor in Homs Hospital
كان أخي وهو طبيب مقيم في المشفى الوطني مناوياً يوم الأحد ونقل لي
مايلي:في حوالي الساعة الخامسة والنصف مساء وبعد يوم هادئ تماماً نقل إليهم مجموعة من عناصر الأمن المركزي أي مكافحة الشغب (أي أشد مافعلوه سابقاً كان فض مشاكل الجمهور بعد مباراة حساسة)كان وضعهم كالتالي:أحمد الأحمد متوفى بثلاث طلقات خردق كبير الحجم في الرقبة وعشر إصابات في الأطراف وإصابة خطيرة واحدة فقط كانت لعنصر دخلت الرصاصة -يرجى الانتباه لمسار الطلقة-من فوق عظم العانة وخرجت من الصفن واستقرت في الفخذ.بعد إجراء العملية الجراحية لهذا العنصر وبعد تحسن حالته سأله مستغرباً كيف أصبت بهذا الشكل فقال له وصلتنا أوامر بالتوجه إلى باب السباع حيث توجد تظاهرة ويمنع إطلاق النار ولكن امنعوا الحرق والتخريب وذهبنا إلى هناك وكانت التظاهرة سلمية جداً جداً وكانوا حوالي 50 رجل وأخذوا يتراجعون رويداً رويداً لنأخذ محلهم وبعد حوالي ربع ساعة هربوا فجأة ليبدأ إطلاق النار من بعض الأسطح وليسقط العديد منا جرحى فقمنا بالرد فوراً وعندما حاولنا دخول البنايات التي تطلق النار منها كانت الأبواب مغلقة ولم يفتح أحد الباب لنا فحاولنا الاحتماء في الشارع وطلبنا النجدة والتعزيزات ..أي ببساطة كان الكمين محضراً…العنصر كان يتحدث إلى الطبيب الذي أنقذه وليس للفضائية السورية أو سواها وتحدث قبل أن تأتي أي جهة وتملي عليه مايقول والسؤال هل يتحمل الأمن شرارة الأحداث …وهل يتحمل كل أهل باب السباع مسؤولية هذا الكمين….بعض الأطباء المناوبين مع أخي دافعوا بالقول إن هذا من عمل البدو فسألهم هل أهل باب السباع بدو فقالوا أكيد من خارج الحي فسألهم من أين لهم مفاتيح الأبواب؟

April 21st, 2011, 8:15 pm


Lennart said:

Josh, you write that “The great weakness of the opposition is that it does not have a leadership.” I am surprised to see you write that because it is totally wrong. If the revolution had had a leadership, that leadership would have been arrested a very long time ago and the revolution beheaded.

It is precisely because the revolution does NOT have a leadership that is has been able to survive. It was the same in Tunisia and Egypt.

April 21st, 2011, 8:21 pm


jad said:

Yemen,’s all SYRIA lately.
تلفزيون الدنيا – التضليل المشبوه

There is a report about Mr. Nidal Janoud killing on the hands of the ‘peaceful’ ones in Banias, it’s so graphics, I wont link it but please go check Addounia’s Youtube site….be ready to feel horrible!

April 21st, 2011, 8:39 pm


syau said:

Amir in Tel Aviv,
If you want so much to be in Syria on Friday, well then go. Otherwise stop yapping away. This Friday is known worldwide to be Good Friday. A day of peace and reflection; not a day that should be turned into a call for further demonstrations. Positive reforms have been put forward and implemented. It is time that people should see that and be positive. Stop inciting further negativity. The Assad government of Syria delivered. The Syrian revolution is still calling for demonstrations, they obviously do not want peace in Syria, their organisation does not stand for peace, only destruction, violence, mutilation and downright evil. That is what they stand for.

I don’t think Hassoun holds you in high regard either.

Just look at the country of Syria and you will see what Bashar has accomplished. Open your eyes and stop living in fairytale land. In fairytale land, do all sentences start with: Are you saying that?

Have the government of Israel give the Palestinians their rightful concession. Has your government given them their basic human rights to begin with, then discuss what there is to negotiate.

No, there is no longer need to demonstrate. Try to be positive, it won’t hurt you, on the contrary, you might find it uplifting.

Wishes to everyone for a safe and healthy Good Friday. May it be a day of peace and harmony.

April 21st, 2011, 8:47 pm


Souri said:

People must stop criticizing Joshua Landis for what he writes. His perspective changes radically every few days, so it is obvious that his main concern is public relations and what he writes does not necessarily reflect all that he knows. You should not try to classify him as pro or anti-regime because it is obvious that he controls what he writes so that his perspective remains similar to that of the mainstream media.

April 21st, 2011, 9:14 pm


Souri said:

متظاهرون في بانياس يقتلون بائع خضار بطريقة وحشية
متظاهران قتلا بائع الخضار نضال جنود بالسكاكين والعصي ومثلا بجثته بطريقة وحشية بسبب انتمائه المذهبي ، دون أن يجد من فيه شهامة وطنية يدافع عنه ويحميه من القتل والتمثيل

Killings against the Alawis are rampant before even the regime falls. This is a very strong message to all the minorities, not just the Alawis. What makes the message even stronger is that the Islamists still idiotically accuse the regime itself of the killings! This is very similar to the 1970’s-1980’s events. Until today, the MB won’t take responsibility for the crimes they did and they still accuse the regime of doing them! And they expect people to follow them!

April 21st, 2011, 10:01 pm


Umer said:

No Wonder What So Called Old Guards Resisted Reforms ,in My Country We Export Everything Even Revolutions !!

All What We Need Hungry Media And A Lot Of Lies ….how Many People On He Streets Asking For Freedom? And More Important Question What Is Freedom For Them? We All Know Who Is On The Street And Who Is Abroad ….in My City Homs For Example People Are Scared To Death To Go To The Streets Because Of The ‘Mujahdeen’ And What Is On The News?? The City Of Homes Is Mourning Its Deaths!!!!!

The So Called Demonstrators Are Covering What They Have Lack in Numbers By All The Killing To Show That A Big Movement Is Taking Place ,,,to Prove It Watch What Happened After Last Friday Where No Incident Was Recorded So What They Did The Other Day?? They Massacred My City’s Peace.

finally forgive my poor English

April 21st, 2011, 10:15 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Suddenly, and without Warning, Syria has a “Terrorist” Problem

The regime is moving toward defining the protesters as terrorists and mukharabiin vandals.

Professor Josh,

Thank you for translating for us the intentions of the Syrian Government.

You serve an important role here. Don’t forget that!

As a biased observer and fellow semite, I must say, this whole “terrorist” thing is, IMHO, “poetic justice”.

I guess a few million dirt poor and forgotten Syrians now have a “name”.

April 21st, 2011, 11:51 pm



Dear Jad
Thank you for your post @#18 where you show the unequivocal staging, fabrication, manipulation and grotesque insults to our intelligence by these fake clips.

To Revlon, N.K. and others who have been linking all these fake clips. You come across as highly educated, smart, eloquent who should be able to defend your position with winning arguments within the framework of intellectual debate, but yet you stoop to the lowest level by linking fake sensational clips that diminish your position and cater to the primal instinct and the lowest common denominator of barbaric reaction of a wounded animal.

Off The Wall
How many malicious fake clips does it take? I would guess for someone with your intellect and integrity, one should be too many.

April 22nd, 2011, 12:58 am


Revlon said:

The new “demonstration laws” a priori consider unauthorised demonstrators as terrosists. Replace the word demonstrations with terrorism and you get a de facto anti-terrorism laws; a wolf, in sheep clothing.

People can be arrested, even while sleeping at home, and charged with terrorism for :
Participating in, inciting, planning or pondering demonstrations.
Associating with, befriending, borne to, married to, aquainted with, twinned to, or named after a demonstrator.
Tweeting, facebooking, Youtubing, and blogging, including Syriacommenting, or any social-media browsing in support of demonstrations.

It takes years to build an inkling of trust
It takes one lie to loose it for good!
The regime has built nothing but mountains of mistrust.

Take your new laws …….

April 22nd, 2011, 1:08 am


Suri Amreki said:

It looks like Suri and other pro-Syrian regime can not even list one accomplishment of the regime in the last 11 years!!!

April 22nd, 2011, 1:16 am


Revlon said:

Dear Joshua, you posted an excerpt from Sami Moubayed article in Asia Times
“A previous decision to replace emergency laws with a law for counter-terrorism, similar to the Patriot Act, has been cancelled”

I say, such decision has not been cancelled. The replacement was given a deceitful, yet more convenient name.

Having gone through the motion of arrest and charge, the poor demonstrator would have to go through the nightmarish proceedings.

The proceedings can take years, “Courts are not equipped yet to handle thousands of cases, we shall be told”.
People could be indefinitely arrested or their life becomes indefinitely disrupted, while on bail, by legal procedural entanglements.

My knowledge in civil law in Syria is second to nothing.
Notwithstanding, I bet it has no such charge as “terrorism”.

Therefore, the new anti-demonstrations / terrorism act has to provide a legal platform for trial, conviction and imprisonment, outside the boundaries of civil courts of justice.

The regime plans to continue its violent crackdown, using the same pretext, under a different name.

April 22nd, 2011, 1:39 am


nafdik said:

What I find amusing about regime sympathizers is expecting demonstrations to stop because the president allowed demonstrations or lifted emergency law.

The reason the 1st demand was to allow freedom of expression is to exercise that freedom.

That freedom will be exercised to demand what most people want, basically the end of this illegitimate regime.

April 22nd, 2011, 2:24 am


Revlon said:

Dear Joshua, Leaders of, or who are agreeable to the revolution, to guide the nation through a transition period abound.

You said “You are correct Lennart. Having no leadership is a strength in getting the revolt off the ground and avoiding arrest for the activists, but in the Syrian case, I also believe it will turn out to be a weakness. Because civil war is a possible result of trying to remove this regime, Syrians want to know what comes next”

Syrian people know where their potential leaders are.

As for you Joshua, you may ask 3asef Showkat for a list of names of
– Regime’s Most hated prisnors of Ra2y
– Regime’s Most hated, not-imprisoned yet, ground activists
– Regime’s Most wanted, in-exile activists,
– Members of declaration of Damascus, etc….

After having the list of these names, do a random number generator and select any number of them. He/she, or they would be agreeable leaders for the revolution.

The revolution is still counting on time, for bringing the wise elements in the regime to the fore, to negotiate and form a transitional, coalition government.

The time for announcing an independant governing council by the revolution and declaring the regime’s government illegitimate, has not arrived yet.

Time is on the side of peaceful transition to freedom.

April 22nd, 2011, 2:36 am


Off the Wall said:

Thank you for your interest in what is going on in my country or Origin. Revlon gave you an answer, albeit a partial one to your questions. You had asked if there exists an official record (repository) of all laws and decrees. The answer is YES. Most Arab countries do have something called (Aljareeda Alrasmyyah), or The Official Paper. All high-level (Cabinat and up) decrees and laws are concluded wit the following phrase:
This (law, decree, order) is to be transmitted to those responsible for its implementation and is to be published in the official paper

Jourdan has successfully ported many years of their official paper on line, So did Algeria, as for Syria, I went yesterday on the Ministry of Justice and I found that there was a decent search Engine, but all my attempts to search came back empty handed. This could be because of the fact that I was doing blind search (no law name or subject). The funny thing is that the date choices in that search engine go all the way to 2020. :). I have done chronological data base search forms and every year, on December 22, we add the new year to the search form.

Needless to say, the official paper is not something new, it was initially established by the Ottomans. I hope that our fellow poster Shami, who has encyclopedic knowledge of Ottoman times can shed light on that topic.

I know that printed copies of the paper are transmitted to many state offices and usually kept in the office of the highest administrative official in the agency who usually is not the director, but someone with a a capacity of general secretary, or at the office of the chief documentarian (rais aldeewan).

In his speech in front of the new cabinet, the president highlighted the need to automate (computerize) the Ministry of Justice. May be such efforts will result in getting a data base and search engine that works.

I hope this answers your question.

JOSH: Keep up the good work. I know you have little or no time to comment on the pages of SC, but your interviews are getting better by the day. Syria needs someone here in the US to explain what is happening who is not encumbered with political agendas. I, and few other old timers believe that you are fitting that role quite nicely. We are very polarized now, and we are still far from being inclusive in our political culture (due to lack of politics in the country and decades of despotism and single party rule). You are bound to be accused by both (all) sides. Best wishes, and best regards to the family.

I still am keeping my pebbles close to me (a few left after losing the last game). But to Jad, Riad, and ZIADSOURY, a sincere thanks from the heart. I think I owe my buddies on SC, and myself, to keep trying and to persevere. Come to think of it, the rougher the surface, the more challenging pebbles are.

April 22nd, 2011, 3:56 am


Off the Wall said:


You are giving me much credit for intellect I do not have.

Clips do not matter anymore. The regime has gained ground in framing the narrative by excluding professional journalists from the ground. So if someone on the other side think they are smart and go on manipulating clips, which already indicate that there was a demonstration, it does not mean much to me anymore. I will look beyond the sign. I am first a skeptic, and second a biased skeptic in the sense that I DO NOT trust anything from the Syrian Media Machine. In fact, I find them to be the more desperate party lately resorting to stupidities beyond comprehension. You see a fake sign, and ignore the massive (by Banyas’s standards) group of people gathering. Again, It is no longer about narrative, just as Bassam Haddad said.

One day, and not in the distant future, all who are facilitating the regimes propagation of siege mentality, which seems to be working especially among the semi-intellectual brats of the upper middle class and some merchants in big cities will come to recognize how criminal and selfish is this strategy of making Syrians more paranoid than they already are. Off course that is only if the regime gets to survive this crises without further concessions, which is what it has to do to protect its key beneficiaries.

One of the interesting observations a friend of mine had was how surprising was it to find Palestinians in the west bank, who suffer daily results of Israel’s greed and the impacts of multi-scale conspiracies to steel yet one more square inch of their land,one more gallon of their water, and squeeze one more dollar of their hard earned money in form of fees and taxes, talking much less about conspiracies than upper middle class Syrians, who seem to be having fun. I guess it is because they are busy resisting real conspiracies not inventing ones out of dark sinister shadows.

Another friend of mine, whom I hold much respect for was seriously concerned about the future mental health of Syria as a nation. I share these concerns, but given the posts I have been reading here, no one seems to pick up of the catastrophic impacts of the hysteria being drilled into the minds of unsuspecting Syrians. This Hysteria if allowed to take hold, will result in a state worse than many call the bad eighties. And if anyone here think that those living outside Syria are going to be safe from it, well think again before you act selfishly and propagate a mental disease on your fellow Syrians.

The current dormancy of critical thinking is also something to reckon with. We have posters arguing that Syria is confronting a conspiracy made in the US, and those same posters in a matter of days now are convincing those who are seeking a normal human condition to exist in the country after 50 years if abnormality to give up the quest because the US supports the Syrian regime. I am surprised that someone with your intellect ignores such contradictions. The reality is that the regime, the mightier side by all measures, is the one shaking in fear and committing political blunders notwithstanding atrocities, and trying to drag the entire Syrian nation into its fear and siege mentality. They started the violence thinking that they can calibrate it to create the necessary type of fear. Violence can never be calibrated, you can start it, but you never know how it will end.

I am posting just a couple of hours or so before a much anticipated hopefully peaceful event. Personally, i think the opposition has raised expectation for today, and they may not be able to deliver today. I will wait and see.

April 22nd, 2011, 4:50 am


syau said:

Jad, #18,

I saw both those particular clips yesterday on the news, thankyou for highlighting them on SC. Isn’t it amazing how modern day miracles work, these days banners just float in mid air, no need for anyone to be holding them, and, it also amazes me how much Bahrain resembles Syria, even the shops are mirror images!

Aljazeera and their mirror images have lost so much credibility, one would think they would save face and not continue on their downward spiral, but they just keep descending with lie after lie and fake video upon fake video.

Hopefully some would think twice before believing these videos and be so ready to attack their country of origin and its leader without making sure they are credible

April 22nd, 2011, 4:54 am


Australian -Syrian said:

That article just proves that Syria needs Bashar as the leader.
I will also ad that the Americans and the Israelies will be over the moon to see Syria torn appart. Lets hope that they do not get satisfaction, and Syria will emerge from this debacle a stronger and even more united country than before.

May the Arab world finally open its eyes and see who the real enemies are, and unite as one to overthrow them. Unite as one and not give the enemies an opportunity to destroy their mateship. May the arabs finally realise that the only way to overcome adversity and to protect itself from enemies is to unite. We arabs should be one. We will be stronger. All the arab countries in the world will be indisputable. Enshallah. But the sad thing is, is that fellow arabs, such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan would rather shake hands with the outsiders, rather than with its brothers.

May people who are against Dr. Bashar al Assad finally realise that he is the only hope for Syria to remain a united country. And that he is the hope for all arabs to unite.

April 22nd, 2011, 5:06 am


Australian -Syrian said:


April 22nd, 2011, 5:11 am


syau said:

Off the wall – #31,

Obviously you took quite a while writing your long, long essay.
Mine wont be that long. You seem to be under the notion that the Syrian government started the violence. It was not.

The Syrian revolution, it’s co conspirators and the foolish people who were so ready to betray their country for money, are the ones sanctioning and instigating the violence. Do not get that wrong.

The opposition definately has a raised expectation for today, whether they see the fruits of their expectations will probably depend on how much they are willing to pay. But then again, if they are looking for a turnout to the magnitude the expect, they will have to think again because there are only a small amount of people in Syria who will betray their country and its leader.

April 22nd, 2011, 5:41 am



Dear Off The Wall
I appreciate your humility, but I have read many of your comments over time, to know that you possess the intellect and the integrity I am crediting you with.

I share with you your concern about critical thinking and sanity away from paranoia. The fake clips with both their content and the idea of passing them as legitimate, taint a lot the credibility of the cause, and can be a major turn off from an otherwise a noble aspiration for a better future and positive change.
We all know the deficiencies of the Syrian regime/government/society and I am not surprised when they blunder.
But when proponents of change, who are held at a higher standard as they are expected to do better than the status quo, fall short by resorting to unscrupulous actions, the disappointment is enormous.

April 22nd, 2011, 6:01 am


Revlon said:

زخ الحــــناجر .. سلمية سلمية …. سلاحنا ضد الحكومة القمعيه

Another poem, dedicated to the Syrian revolution and its Martyrs

April 22nd, 2011, 6:02 am


Revlon said:

حركة سوريا شباب من أجل الحرية Youth Syria For Freedom
شام : حمص : استشهد يوم أمس الشهيد البطل نادر سويدان من بني خالد الرطوب
وذلك بإطلاق النار المباشر عليه عند أحد الحواجز الأمنية في حمص وإصابة كل من أخته وعمه وابن أخيه والمحتجزين حالياً لدى قوى الأمن …
9 minutes ago

AlFati7a upon his soul. May God bless his family with solace and empower them with patientce.

April 22nd, 2011, 6:34 am


Australian -Syrian said:

You and your videos disgust me.

look at these: (this one is a couple of years old…but still the best song)

This is what people should be listeming to. Not that crap that you put up.

Just as much as there are people out there who hate 3umna Dr. Bashar al Assad, there are millions more who love him.

You, as well as everyone else knows that people make videos like that to suit their possitions on the issue. Well, may those who died rest in peace, but what happened was thanks to the outside entities who encouraged violent actions by ant-government people. Not thanks to Bashar.

Allah Yehmik Ya 3umna Dr.Bashar al Assad.

April 22nd, 2011, 6:38 am


Revlon said:

Great Friday’s Country-wide demionstrations Kick-off!

Qamishlo, April 22nd,

Al Bu-Kamal

April 22nd, 2011, 6:58 am


Off the Wall said:


Again, many thanks for the kind word. I could not agree more regarding the potential for tainted credibility of the media presentation of whatever coalition is participating in the opposition actions (please note that so far I have not dubbed it revolution, but off course my assigning labels does not matter as it only reflects my attempts to claiming intellectual honesty). But again, one must also think a little beyond the individual manipulation of tapes, which reflects an open, seemingly expanding composition of the opposition, and its moderate ability to control the message, its fragmentation, lack of headquarters, and the fact that its coordinators on the inside are operating under constant threat of a very brutal and well known for efficiency oppression machine. In such environment, which no one can deny is imposed by the regime, one can hardly ask for absolute purity of every single tape. Needless to say, there will always be some who think they are bolstering their cause by spicing up a little tape. But the background remains there, and the regime has been caught with its pants down in much more serious incidents than the demonstrators.

I find the persistent focus by some intellectuals on parroting every claim by the Syrian media under the pretense that one should ask the demonstrators for purity because so that their methods are 110% consistent with the message of freedom and peace to be both hypocritical, duplicitous, and foolish. Hypocritical because most of the advocate of such purity never challenge the Syrian Media, and when it gets caught with pants down, they never even acknowledge that and issue an apology for being passive tools. It is also duplicitous because it implicitly recognizes the legitimacy of the causes of the demonstrators, but refuses to acknowledges such recognition because those demonstrators are not as highly educated, sophisticated, or principled as one would like peaceful protesters to be. And I find it foolish, because by doing so, intellectuals who are the first victims of tyranny and despotism It me of old Arabic stories about the foolish Syntactic scientist enjoining the commoner who tried to save him from thugs because he was cussing at the thugs using bad grammar.

Off course I am disappointed every time a blunder or bad grammar is used, but I am willing to give a latitude to inexperienced phone-camera citizen journalists operating under extreme pressure. I hope that I can filter out their zeal. Now, does using these footage affect the credibility of satellite networks who have no means to verify events, were deprived in sinister way from seeing the truth first hand. I have to say that there are many more serious problems with their credibility of any Arab media outlet. But most of all, the ones who are operating within the hereditary republic of fear. More than a month a go I have argued that the young activist in Syria will learn from their mistakes, will eventually identify a coherent message that will slowly but surely resonate. I still believe that, and to a large extent, I do not feel that I was wrong in that prediction.

April 22nd, 2011, 7:25 am


S.S said:

Comment 33

US and the Israel might like what is going on in Syria but not to the extent you imagine. If this remains an internal problem within Syria then of course they would love to keep it. The fear if this gets out of control. Israel and US will regret it. You may be able to eventually divide the country, but that wont be without a cost and the cost will be devastating to Israel. Look at Lybia, the coalition forces are in a mess.

I hope that the Arabs would open their eyes to the fact that there unity is important. Well guess what, I think the Arabs ,you named few, will be thrilled to join any coalition army in the future (if that is even possible), finance it, and give all the support to bring the regime down.

having said all of that, I think Bashar Assad is listening to his people. I think the majority of the people in the streets have legitimate concerns, and rights that needs to be addressed which is is addressing on a daily basis now. I believe he is working very hard to advance the laws and regulations, fight corrupt. The majority of Syrians wants positive changes, and support a reform, but do not want blood shed. They do not want to see another Iraq. Demonstrations are healthy, and the Syrian government signed a law allowing such healthy demonstration out. Through this demonstrations the leader will listen to his people’s need. Any criminal acts will be punished and the law will be applied regardless; that happens in all countries even US

April 22nd, 2011, 7:33 am


Revlon said:

Having heard so much about his honesty and leadership qualities, God-all-mighty may seriously consider taking Bachar to heavens to name him; Angel-In-Chief.
Therefore, I have asked myself the question; What would become of:

First, his supporters on this blog?
Are they going to apply to follow him to heavens?
Can they love, or at least live with another president?

Second, the regime itself?
Is there a plan B?
Can anyone name a leader / cameo, who may be acceptable to the establishment!

Just thinking aloud!

April 22nd, 2011, 7:36 am


Australian -Syrian said:

Your thinking aloud is quite stupid really.

God-Almighty will think of taking Bashar to Heaven, after many, many, many healthy years of living. After 3umna Bashar has lived a full and health life, he will be greeted most lovingly by God-Almighty in Heaven.

His supporters on this blog will either be hopefully supporting someone who resembles our current leader or on their path to heaven also, after many healthy years of living, unlike people like you who will be…well, lets not go there.

We can live with and love another President. One who is just like Bashar. One who truly loves his people. One who truly wants unity. One who does not separate between people and their religion. Not someone that you and others like you have been promoting.

There are your answers. Consume them, then go and cry, because you are a loser and have nothing better to do than think stupidly aloud.

April 22nd, 2011, 7:50 am


Australian -Syrian said:

Oh, i forgt to mention…From now till then, we will enjoy being ruled, led and loved by our father, our brother, our beautiful 3um, Dr. Bashar al Assad!!!!!!!!!!!

April 22nd, 2011, 7:52 am


Revlon said:

Homs demonstrators today chant:

We are neither Moslem Brothers nor Salifies,
Our goal is freedom!
People want to down the System!

April 22nd, 2011, 7:53 am


S.S said:

Comment 44

We are neither Moslem Brothers nor Salifies,
Our goal is freedom!

Sure, they have the right to demonstrate, but is it really healthy. My take to this clip is that:

1. there no poster
2. Define freedom????They have been repeating this word forever. They have needs let us address them in a civilized way
3. There is no women in this demonstration again I ????? their intention, do they want it peaceful one, or they are gangs going to make trouble

As you can see from the clip, the government will allow them to demonstrate and express themselves in a healthy way which is by itself a huge step the government has taken into freedom of speech and expression. This is all healthy and I am sure our current government will do more in the future. Freedom comes from addressing the concerns not just by shouting freedom, we want freedom. We want to address their concerns, sit on the table, and have healthy constructive, not destructive debates

April 22nd, 2011, 8:03 am


JFJ said:

الشعب سوف يسقط النظام

April 22nd, 2011, 8:12 am


syau said:


I also find myself thinking aloud, and find myself wondering who you would find acceptable as a leader. I have a few ideas as to who you would endorse.
1- The leader of the muslim brotherhood.
2- The Saudi king Abdullah
3- The Jordanian King Abdullah
4- Your leading activist and current face of the SR -A. Abdulhamid
5- Saad Harriri
6- I find myself going back to #1, the leader of MB.

None of the above will certainly be looked upon by the Almighty Allah with any favour. They all sanctioned the violence and evil mutilation of their victims by your ‘peaceful protesters’. The malicious and pre meditated murders along with the violence and destabalisation of the peaceful nation of Syria.

As George Galloway said “The reason Syria is facing this crisis, is not because of any bad thing which Syria has done, or any weaknesses within it’s democracy, or within it’s economy, or within its human rights record, the reason why Syria is being threatened is not because of anything bad she is doing, but because of the GOOD which she is doing”.

Make no mistake, this is definately a conspiracy against Syria. People need to open their eyes to the agenda of the conspirators. No amount of fake videos, old, archived or dubbed footage should blindfold anyone to this agenda.

April 22nd, 2011, 8:27 am


S.S said:

القرضاوي: وزير الأوقاف السوري أبله والأسد سيذهب
الجمعة، 22 نيسان/ابريل 2011، آخر تحديث 16:01 (GMT+0400)
القرضاوي أحد رموز تيار الإخوان المسلمين
دبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة (CNN) — شن الداعية الإسلامي، يوسف القرضاوي، هجوماً قاسية على النظام السوري للجمعة الثالثة، وخص المؤسسة الدينية في دمشق بانتقادات عنيفة، خاصة بعد بيان “كبار العلماء” الموجه ضده، فوصف وزير الأوقاف السوري بـ”الأبله،” وندد بـ”العائلات الجمهورية” في سوريا واليمن وليبيا، وقال إنهم جميعاً “سيذهبون.”

April 22nd, 2011, 8:29 am


why-discuss said:


I appreciate your eloquence and your subtle critique of the regime’s handling of the situation and your apology of the awkward ways of the opposition. I agreed that trying to make any change under a tough and ruthless hand is a daunting task that requires imagination and courage.
I just regret that the opposition response is showing lack of imagination. Most videos, fake or true, show men walking with scarce written posters, that make you wonder if they are prevented from doing so by shadowy or virtual leaders for fear of showing the real demands of the demonstrators or where they are geographically. Aren’t they aware that written messages are more real and powerful that chants? I just can’t understand that. Egypt and Tunisia have used posters extensively in arabic in english knowing that TV and Internet will carry the message internationnally and they never used faked videos.

This makes me very suspicious not only of who is really behind these protests but also put doubts in my mind of the ability of this opposition to conduct the country in phase 2 if ever.
In addition I have not seen any of the ‘opposition’ respected and known supporters showing up in any of these demonstrations or even making public declaration about their intentions for the future of the country. I reject the argument that they could be killed. Firstly I think the regime will not openly kill a known opposition leader, secondly a revolution is about risks and courage.
This leaves too many unknown in the mind.
For many Syrians “One evil you know (and have shaken) is better than the one you don’t”

April 22nd, 2011, 8:40 am


George said:

Comment #49

الشعب سوف ينقذ النظام

April 22nd, 2011, 8:44 am


syau said:


The Evil that is Quaradawi can talk his empty talk until he runs out of breath. No one but he who is just as evil as Quaradawi will listen to anything he has to say. Evil is a minority.

April 22nd, 2011, 8:48 am


Revlon said:

Not for the finicky, video clip.

Martyr in Qaboon, Damascus today
a minute ago

AlFati7a upon his soul,
May God bless his family with solace and empower them with patience.

April 22nd, 2011, 8:51 am


why-discuss said:


Any proof of the authenticy of this video, it could be anywhere, anyday? The title seems to imply there will be more..

April 22nd, 2011, 8:57 am


majedkhaldoon said:

In 2005,,and after Hariri assasination, ,Bashar encountered huge demonstrations in Lebanon,followed by severe pressure on Bashar by the west and then came ultimatum,security council issued an order that he must withdraw from Lebanon, He acquiesced.
Today,huge demonsrations in Syria, foreign countries are putting pressure on him, we have not seen an order from security council yet,if we see one ,would he quit?
As I said before ,Bashar is not a leader,nor he is strong.I like to think of him as a reform supporter,but behind him ,there are several criminals,pushing him to support oppression.
Today we see many demonstrations all over Syria,except Allepo,so far,there are reports of four death,in Muaddamyeh area,and Homs,but the demonstrations are larger than last week,killing however is less.

April 22nd, 2011, 9:01 am


S.S said:

Aljazeera had contacted one of its presumed agents in Syria to get some news. Well it did not go the way Aljazeera wanted. Syrians do not use these words to debate but I guess Aljazeera deserves it at the end. Well done.

April 22nd, 2011, 9:05 am


majedkhaldoon said:

SS #58
I listened to the interview with Ammar Al Qurbi, I am sorry to say that your video is not correct, you are saying a lie.,you definitely played with the video,and alterd it

April 22nd, 2011, 9:15 am


syau said:


Huge demonstrations? Delusion.
If you are getting your numbers from Al Jazeera, well they multiply the actual numbers by 50, to make it simplier for you, when the demonstrators are 200, they say it is 10,000.

Demonstrations ALL over Syria? Again, another delusion.

Your Great Friday turned out to be a Great flop.

Have a great day.

April 22nd, 2011, 9:20 am


why-discuss said:


Thanks, that’s really funny. I agree that al Jazira needs to loose their attitude of “we are the best in promoting revolutions”, except in Bahrein, Saudi Arabia and Qatar!

April 22nd, 2011, 9:22 am


S.S said:

Comment 57#

We were leaving Lebanon back then and if you recall Syria already was withdrawing. We were doing regardless of Harriri death

In regard to pressure from the UN back then; well as I said, it was in our own interest to get out and we were doing that. UN perhaps accelerated that withdrawal.

You call it huge demonstrations all over Syria. I call it hundreds in some places perhaps thousands in other areas. This is good if it remains peaceful. The president supports peaceful demonstration and signed a law where every Syrian can obtain the right for peaceful organized demonstrations as a way of communication between people and government. What we are seeing now is gatherings where conspirators may find it a good time and place to attack and cause chaos. This is not acceptable.

UN and the rest of the world will condemn and only condemn to put some pressure on us. There is no reason for the UN to intervene now the wold knows that the government has taken the required steps that all the world has been asking for. I do not find any reason for intervention. The army as we can see is out there to protect the people as we all know that their are outsiders trying to take advantage of mass gatherings and try to kill people.

This Friday is the same as previous Fridays I see nothing good or huge about it. There has been no violence, thanks for the army and security.

April 22nd, 2011, 9:24 am


Revlon said:

For those asking for more creativity in banners!
Here is some light humour from Dar3a
7orani asli from 7oms
7orani asli from Latakia

April 22nd, 2011, 9:30 am


why-discuss said:


Demonstrations in Damascus

French newspaper “Le Monde: according to witnesses:

-A demonstrations in Damascus of 2000 in Midan, Damascus.
Slogans were “Freedom Freedom” “We will sacrifice for our martyrs”. I was dispersed with strength.

-in Qamishli 5000-6000 carrying syrian flags. Slogans: Arabs, Syriac and Kurds against corruption”.
Others slogans in kurdish:”Freedom, Brotherhood”,

-In Douma some wounded, no reported numbers of demonstrators
-Scarce demonstrations in other cities like Deraa

They do not report any call for the removal of Bashar al Assad.

Aljazeera reports:

Security forces have fired tear gas to disperse protesters in Damascus calling for the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Damascus for rallies on what activists have dubbed “Great Friday”, in what they say could become the biggest protests against the government to date.

Indeed, Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin reported from Damascus that the level of tension in the city on Friday marked a new high.

It wasn’t a big protest, and it was dispersed very quickly , but the security presence was very heavy,” she said.

I guess the opposition will argue that people are afraid to go out as with the new law demonstrations without previous permission are illegal.

April 22nd, 2011, 9:47 am


Revlon said:

More martyrs are falling.
The “all new anti-demonstration laws” have proven their effectivity as a replacement for out-dated Emergency laws.

الثورة السورية :: ا ف ب : 10 قتلى برصاص الأمن السوري في مظاهرات اليوم

AlFati7a upon their souls,
May God bless their parents with solace and empower them with patience

April 22nd, 2011, 9:56 am


Off the Wall said:

@ 58

Thuggery, foul mouth, and mafioso style political discourse have been characteristics of right wing and reactionary servants throughout our modern history. It is the same language of those who murdered communists and labor leaders in Italy after WW2, it is the same of those who early in the 20th century were hired to suppress labor movement in the US, and it is now the mark of the supporters of the right-wing reactionary group ruling Syria. I hope progressives worldwide recognize how the Baath party has been transformed from a progressive party into a reactionary group that relies on profanities to score political victories and to maintain their dominance of a beautiful country.

Everyday it emerges that profanity is the first choice of political language of regime supporters nowadays. This alone should be embarrassing enough. And thanks to Mr. Geometric shapes Abboud, who shortly announced to Aljazeera that 90% of Syrians is as profane as the caller.

I can imagine brats laughing and clapping hands saluting the little mafioso and thinking that he has scored a victory against Aljazeera. I have seen that behavior from members of dumb fraternities around the US. Way to go, supporters.

April 22nd, 2011, 10:34 am


why-discuss said:

Syria protests: Is there a peaceful path to democracy?
By Helena Cobban / April 22, 2011

Can Syria make a transition to democracy without facing the deadly battles now seen in Libya, or the repression in Bahrain? Yes, if enough leaders within Syria show vision and restraint, and if they are open to some outside mediation from South Africa, Turkey, and the US.

April 22nd, 2011, 11:14 am


why-discuss said:

Price to save the system.

It seems that the price asked by the US and the anti-Iran Arab countries to save the system in Syria and prevent a bloodbath is for Bashar al Assad to renounce to the support of the resistance, to downgrade the relation with Iran and submit to a US peace plan with Israel and optionally promise to make democratic changes.
I believe that if cornered, the regime will just do that.

This way the protesters will get what they want but as a client of the Western countries. Everybody will be happy but goodbye Arab nationalism! Welcome the US!
Later we’ll probably see a gradual switch of roles between Syria and Egypt. Egypt would take over the resistance support role and open up to Iran, Syria will move in the US camp.

April 22nd, 2011, 11:32 am


why-discuss said:

Daily Star

“….Despite differences with Bashar, most if not all of the regional powers support his stability. And this probably will make the difference.

If so, it would constitute a bitter irony and the ultimate paradox: Syria’s foreign policy, while appreciated by the public, is not enough to assuage the protestors. At the same time, foreign powers, who resent Syrian foreign policy, may end up saving the Syrian regime in the name of realpolitik, in this case the “devil we know” or the dubious theory of a “lesser evil.”

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

April 22nd, 2011, 11:44 am


Revlon said:

حركة سوريا شباب من أجل الحرية Youth Syria For Freedom
الثورة السورية || على الجميع التوجه الان الى كبرى الميادين في جميع المحافظات …… انباء عن سقوط اكثر من 50 شهيد اليوم برصاص قوى الامن المرتزقة … يا شباب سوريّا اليوم النظام ارتكب مجزرة على مستوى الجمهورية!! … الفزعة لحمص ودرعا والمعضمية ودوما والحجر الاسود

4 minutes ago

AlFati7a upon thrir souls,
May God bless their families with solace and empower them with patience

April 22nd, 2011, 12:03 pm


Cholo Adventures 14 “Revenge of the Guero” | youtube said:

[…] Syria Comment » Archives » The Government Draws a Line in the Sand […]

April 22nd, 2011, 4:18 pm


syria4ever said:

Joshua???? LOL why do you and others resort to sectarian divide when trying to establish who supports the government and who doesn’t?? I would like to make a few comments and wish for you to publish them please. As a syrian, born outside Syria i strongly support Bashar AL Assad and the stability in syria for many reasons. one i have not seen you or anyone else for that matter discuss the most likely outcome of syria if he were to go?? why are we all in denial, yes Bashar Al Assad is muslim Alawite but a syrian most importantly, like a druze is, or a christian is, or sunni is. in the west people don’t ask the leader if he is an anglican or catholic…religion in the middle east is always brought up by the west to divide arab nations to try and eliminate the pan arab movement or idealogy. Syria is a target today for its stance re rsistance and iran. One can’t deny it….homos has close ties to families in tripoli lebanon who support sSaad Hariri and money is being used to creat chaos. Money for a poor man in the middle east can make him turn against his mother and father let alone his Country. I am sick and tired of hearing the word FREEDOM cause its an illusion thrown out there but in fact hidden meaning is behind it. Freedom to these so called protestors means riots bloodshed taking videos of these events and selling them to their agents. Saudi Arabia is key their fear of iran has convinced them to attack Syria in every way possible. But people don’t realise how many supporters Bashar has inside and outside syria. by god i know of thousands who live outside who are prepared to leave the money behind and if need be go and support the Bashar in his fight against Saudi funded groups wanting to destroy our beloved Syrian unity. WAKE UP PEOPLE THIS IS A FIGHT OF GOOD VS EVIL….and we all should note either u support Saudi arabia or syria full stop.

April 23rd, 2011, 9:57 pm


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