The Opposition Meeting in Antalya (1 June 2011) First Impressions

First impressions of the Opposition Meeting in Turkey sent by a friend”

Syrian opposition activists walk past a poster of President Bashar al-Assad with his face crossed off during the opening session of a three-day meeting in Turkey to discuss democratic change.The writing on poster reads: 'The blood of the martyrs will make this throne unbearable for you. Get out!'

1- logistics were very poor. Little if any organization. no clear written agenda.
2- they all realized that the first objective must be to push ahead and save time.
3- Kurds and Islamists made up over half of the total. Tribal leaders were also present.
4- By far the most impressive were the young activists. They were connected to the demonstration movement on the ground in Syria. They had contacts.
5- There was little infighting. Most members of the opposition were rather guarded.
6- While one can accuse the attendees of being politically immature, it would be a huge mistake to underestimate them.
7- The events in Daraa and elsewhere are not driven by Salafists as the government claims.
8- When some were asked about the possible large loss of lives should the regime fight back, the response was to point to Algeria which gave up one million people to get rid of the French. In other words, they are mentally prepared.
9- While Damascus may not take this group seriously enough, their determination is very strong. They will not go away easily.
10- To many, Bashar al-Assad’s first speech was the moment that he lost a huge number of the young activists.

Syrian Opposition Meets in Turkey
By NOUR MALAS – Wall Street Journal

ANTALYA, Turkey—Syrian opposition activists meeting here offered a glimpse of the challenges ahead, trying to pave a political future as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad relies increasingly on violence in order to cling to power. The meeting represented a first instance of cooperation among historically disparate opposition groups and personalities since Syria’s protests began in mid-March.

But common histories of exile among Syrians living in Europe, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, as well as elsewhere in the Middle East, were overwhelmed by differing visions on how to push the opposition movement forward…..

Syrian security officials also tried to disrupt the conference taking place in this Turkish city some 280 miles from the Syrian border. In Antalya, activists said a handful of pro-regime supporters flown in from Syria harassed people as they arrived at the airport. The pro-regime group tried to enter the conference hotel on Wednesday, activists said, but were held back by Turkish police.

Molham al-Drobi, a representative for Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood at the conference, said a general amnesty for political prisoners announced Tuesday that would apparently lead to the release of thousands of imprisoned Brotherhood members was meant to “intercept and overshadow” the conference.

One area of agreement among the 200 opposition members in attendance was the need to improve logistical support for street protesters—and pressure for greater international diplomatic support—which could eventually oust Mr. Assad.

But there was no consensus on a political process to start to plan for a transition away from Mr. Assad’s authoritarian rule.

Syrian opposition activists walk past a poster of President Bashar al-Assad with his face crossed off during the opening session of a three-day meeting in Turkey to discuss democratic change.The writing on poster reads: ‘The blood of the martyrs will make this throne unbearable for you. Get out!’

Several young activists said they almost pulled out of the conference late Tuesday because they weren’t consulted on the formation of a 31-person committee to eventually lead the implementation of a support strategy for the protest movement. But others said it was significant enough that so many opposition activists were meeting face-to-face for the first time in this uprising, with one activist calling it a “getting-acquainted party.”

“The platform for us is agreed upon: to bring down the regime,” said Ammar Abdulhamid, a Washington-based activist. “Every single person here is in consensus on this,” he said, sitting in the corner of a hotel lobby where men huddled, women planned a fast in solidarity with their relatives in Syria, and children ran around wearing “Free Syria” caps and pins. Chiefs of Syria’s large Bedouin tribes roamed in traditional robes. “We know it’s a logistical nightmare,” Mr. Abdulhamid said. “But there seems to be a consensus.”

Those who flew in from Syria are risking permanent exile to ensure that the catalysts of the uprising take part in the dialogue on how to break the three-month stalemate between protesters and the regime.

“There are broad parameters we have—anything [opposition groups abroad] organize in terms of support along those lines is OK, anything that violates it is not,” said Ahmad al-Raad, one of two young men at the meeting who helped to administer the Syrian Revolution group on Facebook. Those include that the demonstrations remain peaceful; a rejection of external military intervention; and rejection of any political dialogue before violence against protesters halts and tens of thousands of detainees are released.

Human Rights Watch on Wednesday released a report on Deraa, the southern cradle of Syria’s protests, in which it condemned Syria for “crimes against humanity” and urged the United Nations Security Council to take responsibility for holding accountable people involved in the crackdown.

Activists in touch with Western diplomats here say they received assurances the U.N. Security Council will meet Thursday to pass a resolution condemning the regime’s violence and urging it to allow human-rights inspectors. They said they expect Russia to abstain from using its veto.

A more complicated scene developed overnight at the hotel as both Kurds and members of the exiled Muslim Brotherhood turned up in larger numbers than expected after an earlier decision by both groups not to join the conference. Some 65 Kurds at the meeting made Syria’s ethnic Kurdish community, the largest anti-regime constituency currently in Syria, the best-represented here. There appeared to be divisions among the Kurds on their positions, while Syria’s Brotherhood—about 40 of its members attended—deliberated all day on whether its members in attendance officially represented the party.

Syrian opposition unites in exile
By Liz Sly, Wednesday, June 1 2011 – Wash Post

ANTALYA, Turkey — …On Wednesday… about 300 Assad opponents gathered at a hotel to try to give structure and voice to a movement that has been leaderless and disparate. Because most activists in Syria were prevented from attending the conference by security concerns, and given the history of squabbling within the exiled Syrian community, it was unclear whether the effort would succeed….

“These are people who could never have met in 100 years without pulling guns and knives,” said Amr Al-Azm, a Middle Eastern history professor and Syrian exile who was among the attendees. “That they are sitting in the same room talking in a civilized way is huge. If nothing else comes of this conference, that’s an important thing.”

For several days, the staging of the conference seemed in doubt as several leading figures — including activists in Syria — questioned its goals and motives. But as a consensus emerged over the goals, organizers expressed satisfaction that a diverse array of the forces opposing the government had showed up.

Lending credibility to the proceedings were several young protest organizers — including one still limping from a bullet wound — who managed to sneak into Turkey from Syria. The cyber­activists who distribute videos of the protests to the world were there, hunched over laptops and tweeting furiously. So too were members of the older generation of exiles, an eclectic assortment of academics, businessmen, leftists and liberals who have spent most of their lives abroad.

And finally, the graying veterans of the Muslim Brotherhood — who fled Syria after the last major uprising against the government three decades ago — turned up in force. They made sure their presence was noted by arriving late for the opening ceremony, noisily chanting “God is great.”

A high priority for attendees is the creation of a committee, to be elected Thursday, that can serve as the voice of the opposition in dealings with world powers, especially the United States. Despite more than 1,000 deaths resulting from the government’s campaign to suppress the protests, no world leaders have called for Assad’s departure. Activists say they are aware that fear of the unknown may be holding leaders back in Washington and elsewhere from criticizing Assad.

President Obama has condemned the Syrian government’s use of violence and has called for Assad to embrace reforms or step aside. That stance differs from the one the United States has taken in Libya, where the U.S. military has participated in a NATO-led bombing campaign and provided critical support to rebel forces.

“We have to show the world that the Syrian opposition is organized and is ready to present an alternative,” said Molham al-Drobi, head of the Muslim Brotherhood delegation.

Not on the agenda for the conference is the formation of any kind of structure that will resemble a government in exile.

Nor do the delegates want the committee to assume leadership of the revolt on behalf of those protesting inside Syria. “This uprising is leaderless. No one can speak on behalf of the revolution,” said Radwan Ziadeh, one of the organizers and director of the Washington-based Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies.

A road map for change

One top priority for the conference is to formulate a road map for the departure of Assad, a goal everyone can agree on. Most delegates seem to pin their hopes on a split within the army, but they are vague about how to bring that about.

Activists in Syria were suspicious at first that some of the opposition exiles would advocate negotiations with Assad, something protesters long ago rejected. But after delegates jumped on chairs and chanted, “The people want to topple the regime!” during the welcoming reception, those concerns apparently dissipated.

The conference does not aim to offer prescriptions for what a post-Assad Syria would look like.

Many secular activists expressed concerns at the strong showing of the Muslim Brotherhood, even though Brotherhood leaders said they would not seek a prominent role on the committee.

Some Kurdish groups boycotted, and a scuffle in the hallway between an Arab and a Kurdish delegate highlighted the tensions that could erupt among Syria’s diverse religious and ethnic constituencies if the minority Allawite-led government falls. Some delegates pointed fingers and whispered that others were beholden to the government, or perhaps affiliated with the loathed former vice president Abdul Halim Khaddam, who fell out with Assad in 2005 but was not invited to attend.

With expectations set low, some were declaring the event a success. Osama al-Samman, 25, a cyberactivist who runs an operation set up to disseminate protest videos, said he originally attended only to send reports on the conference back to the activist network inside Syria. But he ultimately decided to join as a delegate.

“My two criteria for success are that the conference supports the revolutionaries inside Syria and that it calls for the fall of Assad,” he said. “That has been achieved. Anything else is a bonus.”

Russia asked NATO countries not to promise military intervention to Syrian activists: “It is not in the interests of anyone to send messages to the opposition in Syria or elsewhere that if you reject all reasonable offers we will come and help you as we did in Libya,” Lavrov, 61, said yesterday during an interview in Moscow. “It’s a very dangerous position.” Bloomberg

Time: Syria’s Embattled Dissidents Grapple with Government Hackers, Wiretappers and Imposters
2011-06-02

The protesters declare that they will not be cowed but as the regime tightens is repressive policies, there is often no other choice but to shrink into the shadows  Syria’s Embattled Dissidents Grapple with Government Hackers, Wiretappers and …

Eight people were shot dead in Hirak, a city in the south which is under siege, including an 11-year-old girl. Rights groups estimate the death toll from Syria’s uprising at near 1,000.

Here is video of the government’s response to the claimed torture of the 13 year old boy. Here and here. Both are in Arabic and have not been translated or subtitled.

Comments (93)


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51. why-discuss said:

Sophia

I just want to see if there will be a ‘flotilla’ like to help cities under siege in Syria and if the egyptians lead by Wael Ghonim will walk to the Arab league headquarter to demand the deligitimization of Bahsar Al Assad!!

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June 2nd, 2011, 12:57 pm

 

52. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Surprise. The arch reactionaries here (Angry Sopfia Tribal and Alex) begin to attack Mr. Landis. This is getting interesting by the day. Please, keep it coming.
.

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June 2nd, 2011, 12:58 pm

 

53. norman said:

look how stupid people can be

((مؤتمر المعارضة السورية يطالب الاسد بـ”الاستقالة الفورية” ))

I feel sad for the Syrian people , they are going to replace dumb with dumber.

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:02 pm

 

54. majedkhaldoon said:

” they are going to replace dumb with dumber.”

I like this one.

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:06 pm

 

55. Akbar Palace said:

You want Arabs to negotiate with Israel to resolve their issues but you want Syrians to resolve their issues by killing each other!

Sophia,

Where did I say that? Bashar Assad should have invited representatives to his office to discuss reforms. That should have happened long ago, before 1000 Syrians were killed.

Now the anger is so great, no reformer will talk to him unless it about which jail or court will try Assad for crimes.

At least Mubarak stepped down in order stop the crisis.

You make it sound as a border issues. What about the millions of Palestinians displaced? They did not leave in their free will, did they? They would certainly go back with their free will.

WD,

The Palestinians can (and have) brought up any issue they want. Most observers realize that a “Two State Solution” means the Palestinians would return to Palestine. Unfortunately, not just the Palestinians have been forced to leave left their homes (although many Palestinians were NOT forced). MILLIONS of people ravaged by war this past century forced people to leave their homes to live in unfamiliar locations. Nevertheless, it is time to move forward. A independent Palestinian state at peace with her neighbors is the best solution.

Frankly, I think the parties are satisfied with where they are. Israel is satisfied having control of the Old CIty and settlements in the West Bank, and the Palestinians are satisfied to continue their struggle and not sign a peace agreement.

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:07 pm

 

56. Sophia said:

# 51 WD,

The Egyptians should watch what is hapening to their revolution…

There is a likeable quality about Wael Ghonim but the guy is naive. I watched when he was interviewed on TV in Egypt during the revolution after his release from interrogations by security forces. He is a very impressionable man.

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:09 pm

 

57. Sophia said:

# 52 Amir,

I am not attacking anybody. So don’t expect anything that goes this way.

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:11 pm

 

58. jad said:

Ya Prince,
I’m not attacking Dr. Landis, I never attacked him, unless you consider asking questions an attack.
I’m making a comment because I think it wasn’t right of Dr. Landis not to be frank with us and use ‘friend’ instead of his own self in his post, knowing that his name will be out sooner or later.

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:11 pm

 

59. Nour said:

This “opposition” in Turkey doesn’t seem very bright. After they engaged in fistfights with each other, they came up with a closing statement that demanded the toppling of the regime and the “immediate resignation of Bashar al Assad”. I don’t know if they think before they write, or whether they think everyone is as dumb as they are, but what’s the point of asking for the resignation of the president if they are calling for the toppling of the entire regime? So should Bashar al Assad resign after they topple the regime or before? Just so we know and are prepared.

This so-called “opposition” is proving day by day that they are bankrupt and have nothing to offer other than asking for the regime to be toppled. And then what? What can we expect from Ponytail who has absolutely no following on the ground in Syria. What is he going to do? Does he have a plan on how to build a state? What about the MB? They were opposed to the idea of separation of religion from state. So what’s their solution? An Islamic state? And just what is an “Islamic” state? This is something I’d really like to know. What are the bases and foundations of such a state? I agree with Jad in that these characters proclaiming themselves to be representatives of the Syrian people are an insult to Syria.

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:18 pm

 

60. why-discuss said:

AP

“and the Palestinians are satisfied to continue their struggle ”

Sorry they are not satisfied in being in a area under siege, their lands expropriated, their houses destroyed, lacking basic commodities or living in camps.
Israel is certainly very happy with the status quo.. more california-like settlements in occupied land, more money from the US and an Iron dome paid by the US as a roof.
Please there is no comparison possible!
Yet, Israel is now worried that the happy days where Egypt was a friend are over. Now come the moment of truth: The statu quo may not be a good deal for Israel anymore.

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:23 pm

 

61. L’Honduras e l’indipendenza dell’America Latina - rivista italiana di geopolitica - Limes said:

[…] residenti all'estero, curdi e islamisti) al regime siriano è riunita in Turchia: per ora non è emersa un'agenda politica chiara per avviare la transizione. Mentre nel paese le […]

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:26 pm

 

62. Aboud said:

Since we are now quoting Angry Arab on this section

“The story of Hamzah Al-Khatib: story of brutality of the Syrian regime”

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/06/story-of-hamzah-al-khatib-story-of.html

Killed, tortured and mutilated because he was trying to do the humane thing and bring food to Der’a. In any other country, he could have been a civil rights lawyer when he grew up. He could have worked for a humanitarian society. But in Assad’s Baathist land, his life was ended in the most brutal fashion imaginable. Those that did these deeds were scum. Their leaders are scum. And their supporters are unconscionable SCUM. To call Baathists barbarians is an insult to Ghenghis Khan and all decent barbarians.

In just three months, Baathism is fast becoming the 21st century’s dirty and despicable ideology, just as Fascism became a dirty word in the 20th century. And yet Baathists continue to clutch at straws any which way they can.

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:27 pm

 

63. Sophia said:

# 61 Aboud,

The account was sent to Angry Arab by someone in Syria. So be honest and put the account inside quote marks as you did for the title.

# 59 Nour,

I agree with your assessment. They quarrel and then they demand the end of the regime. I think this meeting is just a show of muscle and nothing else…

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:42 pm

 

64. jad said:

Nour,
Philosophy is the origin of any advancement, be it in math, physics, science or literatures and when a society looses logic and stops producing philosophy, it stops and can no longer move but backward and this is what is happening to our nation. we are running backward to the moment in history where we killed our philosophers and burned their books.
Without philosophers, thinkers and theories to build our nation upon, their will be no tomorrow and that is exactly what all sides are missing and why all sides are lost.

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:42 pm

 

65. Akbar Palace said:

Anger Management

WD,

I understand your anger at the Palestinian situation. I haven’t met a pro-Palestinian who ISN’T angry to some extent.

But from my vantage point, you overly exaggerate the situation.

What is going on today in the West Bank, PALES in comparision to how Arabs are treated in Arab countries, especially today when we have numerous Arab countries falling apart and dying in the streets as they vie for human rights.

Meanwhile the Palestinian economy in the West Bank is improving greatly. Here are some pictures of Palestine, 2 cities completely off limits to Israelis and completely governed by the PA:

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Belen_palestina.jpg

Would you rather live here or in Cairo?

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:48 pm

 

66. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The Antalya meeting is a huge success!
For the first time in Syrian history, there’s an organized Syrian opposition. Please do correct me if I’m mistaken. Their goals were modest to begin with, so there’s no disappointment. And I respect them for leaving the main stage to the Syrian people, by not attempting to establish some kind of representation. Notice that the old generation, Haddam, Rifaat and Ribal al Assad, did not attend. So a new and fresh body of opposition is born. And no, they don’t have to agree on every thing. This is how democracy works. Disagreements are been resolved by compromises and Consensus. Like with all beginnings, they will have to learn to walk. I’m optimistic.
.

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June 2nd, 2011, 1:59 pm

 

67. daleandersen said:

To JAD:

Re: “Without philosophers, thinkers and theories to build our nation upon, there will be no tomorrow…”

Exactly. You need their fine words and uplifting message to energize, enrich and enhance the movement.

By contrast, Bashar, Asma and the Baathist thugs wouldn’t recognize philosophy if it bit them on the ass…

http://playwrighter.blogspot.com/2011/05/hitler-and-arabs-nazis-in-middle-east.html

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June 2nd, 2011, 2:11 pm

 

68. Juha said:

The first war of the new neoliberal colonialism was Malvinas ( not Falkland !) war? why go so far to the South Atlantic ocean? Let us look near home. At the begining of the revival of the Ottoman Empire Turkey got back north Cyprus by occupying an existing state, a member of the UN + a total complete ethnic cleaning. Next they ended the story of Hatai province which Ass Head, the greatest Arab of them all, signed Hatai away to Turkey just like that. The Syria-Turkey border was marked to the cm, but the Syrian Lebanese border is toally unmaked, interesting, isnt it?. Now they are sticking their Turkish nose in Gaza. And as you can see in this blog they are becomming the king makers in Syria. As in 1915-8 when Turkey will be making peace in Syria-lebanon-Palestine you will all call back the British & the French. By the way, when you are there in Antaliya, frolicking under the Turkish flag, could you ask about the Greeks and Armenians who used to live in Antalya not so long ago?. Taking about imperialism, also Lebanon is in many ways an Iranian colony, it is the Iranians not Arabs who will decide when the Lebanese will start killing Israelies and when the Israelis will start to respond by killing Lebanese. Why did you go to the Malvinas

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June 2nd, 2011, 2:12 pm

 

69. daleandersen said:

Memo to Amir

Re: “…a fresh body of opposition is born. And no, they don’t have to agree on every thing. This is how democracy works…”

Like Donald Rumsfeld said, “Democracy is messy.”

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

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June 2nd, 2011, 2:15 pm

 

70. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Akbar #64,

This argument is exhausted. Better economy cannot replace the wish for freedom. And if we want to be honest, and not hypocritical like the US foreign policy, we have to admit that the west bank and Gaza Arabs deserve freedom and democracy, just as their Arabs brothers and sisters. The question is how to do it, without endangering Israel.
.

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June 2nd, 2011, 2:22 pm

 

71. Aboud said:

Of course the opposition conference in Turkey was a success. Three months ago, such a conference would have been unthinkable. How many years did it take Michele Aflaq and that-other-dude (Salah Bitar) to come up with the ideology that would become Baathism (an ideology so bankrupt and dead that they couldn’t even bring themselves to support fellow Baathists in Iraq). How long did it take Adam Smith and Marx to refine their views of the world? By contrast, things are moving in Syria at breakneck speed.

And yet we still hear the pathetic squeaks of the Baathists, who think they still have a hope in hell because the revolution hasn’t decided yet on who is going to replace Papa Assad on the thousand lira notes. It is heartening to see that the Syrian opposition is united in their view that Bashar is irredeemable, and his legitimacy has long since come to an end.

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June 2nd, 2011, 2:27 pm

 

72. mjabali said:

Amir in Tel Aviv:

You are funny I see. Should I take your words and flip them around thinking you meant the total opposite to make any sense of it.

You said “their goals were modest”, how come? They asked for the immediate resignation of al-Assad, is that modest? You must be out of touch with reality: al-Assad and his tanks and men is going to listen and leave today. Where did you learn politics and the agency of power?

A “modest” and very logical ending for this fiasco would have been asking al-Assad how he is going to meet with the their demands and free the country from al-Baath and when is the next election? This is a modest and logical and reasonable request.

Instead they fought and came in the end with an emotional plea more than a logical road map for what to come?

It is obvious that these participants are not up to the task. The Muslim Brothers should not play around and come with its representatives and the rest should go home then talk to al-Assad. Turkey appeared as a bastion for future Sunni collective as obvious, and Erdugan showed his true ideology.

This is the truth. The participants could not come with anything with value. Just words like al-Baath, and on the streets the tanks rule. This self appointed Syrian “opposition” has no connection with reality, and they seem to be taken by Vendetta.

This is not how you save a nation.

If they cared about Syria they would have called for a halt for all types of violence ASAP and the start of the REAL NATIONAL DIALOGUE that will take into consideration all Syrians and not a bunch of Muslim Brothers and their cronies who appeared to have a regional agenda that do not take into consideration what is Syrian.

As for the new faces: i say who appointed them and what is their agenda for Syria because so far what we have seen is immaturity and emotions instead of reason and experience. Who are these new faces: what is their credentials? how many followers do they have?

In my book a small Sheikh in a small Syrian town has more pull and followers that all of these new faces. The realities on the street prove this.

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June 2nd, 2011, 2:32 pm

 

73. jad said:

Dale,
Philosophy is not a “fine words and uplifting message….”
It is a web of theories, laws, rules and visions discussed and debated where logic and reason has the upper hand over emotions, religions and slogans, your interpretation of the ‘Philosopher’ doesn’t fit the ‘Philosopher’ I’m calling for.

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June 2nd, 2011, 2:32 pm

 

74. Akbar Palace said:

And if we want to be honest, and not hypocritical like the US foreign policy, we have to admit that the west bank and Gaza Arabs deserve freedom and democracy, just as their Arabs brothers and sisters.

Amir in Tel Aviv,

What is hypocritical about US foreign policy?

West Bank and Gaza Arabs deserve freedom and democracy like Syrians, Libyans, Chinese, and North Koreans. As ma?

Just because they don’t have freedom and democracy doesn’t mean it is your fault, my fault, or the fault of the US. If a country doesn’t have freedom, it is usually the fault of the government. Israel doesn’t govern the PA or Hamas.

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June 2nd, 2011, 3:20 pm

 

75. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Just saw Dr. Radwan Ziadeh speaking. He is a funny little man with a funny voice, plus tons of charm, and I like him a lot. He reminds me of Ben Gurion (funny little man with a funny voice). I expect him to be someone important in the New-Syria. President? PM?

Akbar,

“What is hypocritical about US foreign policy?” Libya vs. Bahrain/SA. That’s what hypocritical.
.

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June 2nd, 2011, 3:44 pm

 

76. democracynow said:

Regime reforms in Talbiseh (Homs):

http://youtu.be/BvonrmDzm1g

You can see a dead man and a fallen motorcycle next to a tank. A little further up, civilian cars have swerved off the road, one of them is (purportedly) the van that was transporting little children to school. The one recording the video says it’d been shot at. (a little girl was reported dead on the same day.)

You can also hear sporadic shooting… It doesn’t look like the gunner on the tank tower is exchanging fire with anyone. He’s probably just shooting haphazardly or targeting civilians who dared to challenge the presence of the army and ventured out of their homes.

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June 2nd, 2011, 3:48 pm

 

77. democracynow said:

Ehsani2,

Baath party membership doesn’t really mean that much. I was intimidated into joining the party at high school by a fat stuttering headmaster with a long stick. Most do it for the Riyadeh in baccalaureate and the couple of marks advantage during college admissions that it gives them.

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June 2nd, 2011, 3:53 pm

 

78. democracynow said:

The story of Hamzah Al-Khatib: story of brutality of the Syrian regime

I will not reveal the name of the person in Syria who sent this: “Hello guys: I went two days ago (on Monday) to Hamza’s home and heard the entire story from his father. The martyr went on the Friday 29th to break the siege on dar3a the father (65 year) said: ” he wore wonderful clothes… he looked amazing and he took some stuff to dar3a nd went with the rest of the families.. I heard the shooting later on and so then the dead and injured people.. I asked about him the people told me he was wounded and arrested.. he was taken by the bus.. we asked about him everywhere and nobody had an answer.. until somebody called his cousin who is his his teacher too, to say that there is a body for a kid in the morgue in Dar3a, the cousin went there and after staring in the body for 45 minutes he could be sure that this was 7amze (I don’t know how the Dunia TV recognized him immediately when they have no names) the doctor checked the body and wrote his report (the report is genuine) the doctor tried to find his penis inside the body coz he did not believe his eyes!! the body was then taken and buried and the police called the father and asked him to make an interview with the Syrian TV and he did but saying the entire story as it happened but they did not broadcast it!! the mother has now a nerval breakdown and I could not see her”.

From the AngryArab blog.

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June 2nd, 2011, 3:58 pm

 

79. Sophia said:

# 68, Amir,

“And if we want to be honest, and not hypocritical like the US foreign policy, we have to admit that the west bank and Gaza Arabs deserve freedom and democracy, just as their Arabs brothers and sisters. The question is how to do it, without endangering Israel.”

How generous and magnanimous are you. The West bank and Gaza will be the last to take advice on demcoracy from you! Keep advising the Syrian revolution 2011. Those among them who are listening to Israel and the neocons are useful idiots…

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June 2nd, 2011, 4:20 pm

 
 

81. Akbar Palace said:

Getting too Accustomed to American Help NewZ

Amir in Tel Aviv,

If there are 15 hot spots in world where people are suffering, and the US picks one or two to help, I don’t consider this “hypocritical”, especially when no one else is helping in ANY of the 15 locations.

But if you want Israel to help Bahrain, that’s fine with me.

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June 2nd, 2011, 4:28 pm

 

82. why-discuss said:

AP

The economy in the West Bank will not help the palestinians living in refugees camps, unless your government allows all the refugees in Lebanon and Syria to go back to benefit from this wonderful life instead of being fed by the UNRWA . Are you ready to accept that?

The question should ask to yourself would be: You rather live here or in a refugee camp?

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June 2nd, 2011, 5:48 pm

 

83. Akbar Palace said:

Free Palestine! (and the other 300 million Arabs)

WD,

I disagree. The economy in the West Bank is a major factor to help improve the lives of Palestinians. Jobs and work are a major issue for any people including Palestinians.

The refugee camps have basically been kept over the years as a political statement. Of the 700,000 or so refugees listed (of all the refugees in the world, only offspring of Palestinian refugees are considered refugees as well), only about 25% still live in the refugee camps.

http://www.unrwa.org/etemplate.php?id=103

WD,

Like I keep saying, the Palestinian issue is clearly not the most pressing issue for arabs. Al-Queda, Hamas and Nejad may want you to think it is, but it isn’t.

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June 2nd, 2011, 7:27 pm

 

84. Tara said:

Amir # 68

“we have to admit that the west bank and Gaza Arabs deserve freedom and democracy, just as their Arabs brothers and sisters.”

Can you elaborate?

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June 2nd, 2011, 7:36 pm

 

85. why-discuss said:

AP

“the Palestinian issue is clearly not the most pressing issue for arabs.”

It is almost like the population of Israel and it is not a pressing issue!! It is so hypocritical: because it is not convenient for you to face this problem, you try to convince us that it is false problem! You prefer to throw to us the problem of free speech in arab countries instead!!!

“Palestine refugees are persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.”

UNRWA recognizes facilities in 59 designated refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
“The number of registered Palestine refugees (RPR) has subsequently grown from 914,000 in 1950 to more than 4.3 million in 2005.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine_refugee_camps

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June 2nd, 2011, 8:29 pm

 

86. KR said:

I am impressed. The participants in the conference in Antalya are prepared to scarifies one million martyr to further their aim. And their contribution to the revolution is a vacation in a 5 starts hotel on the beach in Antalya and going on hunger strike for one day.

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June 2nd, 2011, 11:13 pm

 

87. KR said:

For those who think that the suffering of Palestinians in the West Bank pales in comparison to what other Arabs endure in their own countries. Why don’t you try to subject yourself to the same humiliation that Palestinians endure on daily basis at checkpoints? Why not try to live under the same daily fear of having your land or your identiand confiscated because you stood for what you believed in? Why not talk to your grandparents about how life was in ghetos in under Natzi Germany? Maybe then you can start to appreciate the suffering of most Palestinians in the west bank.

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June 2nd, 2011, 11:26 pm

 

88. why-discuss said:

KR

Who paid for the 5 star hotel? Why was is not mentioned? Ashamed to admit who are the sponsors?
I guess they ate so much that they needed a day without food, they decide to call it a hunger strike, not diet, it is much more media friendly.
Did you ever hear about a single day hunger strike? It must be added to the Guiness book of record

A million martyrs is just a number on a Facebook screen back in Sweden, US or Australia.

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June 2nd, 2011, 11:27 pm

 

89. daleandersen said:

Hama II. It is starting. All you Bashir Boys (and girls), enjoy the show…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/syrian-troops-open-fire-on-protesters-many-feared-dead/2011/06/03/AGFgp3HH_story.html

Security forces unleashed “intense gunfire” against a crowd of more than 50,000 people in Hama, Abdel Rahman said, reached by telephone from Nicosia. He said the rally was biggest in the city since the mid-March outbreak of a revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s autocratic rule.

Of course, it’s all lies, yes? Foreign propaganda. Nothing is happening in Hama. Everybody’s minding his own affairs. Businessmen are businessing. Students are studenting. Housewives are housewifing. Just a normal day in Hama. LOL!

http://playwrighter.blogspot.com/2011/05/hitler-and-arabs-nazis-in-middle-east.html

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June 3rd, 2011, 2:31 pm

 

90. daleandersen said:

Memo to Sophia:

Re: “Useful idiots”

How cool! That was Lenin’s term. Just be careful how you use it. It could be turned around and used on you, girl…

http://www.seraphicpress.com/archives/2011/03/vogue_magazine.php

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June 3rd, 2011, 2:37 pm

 

91. Game On; The Opposition is Back | Syria said:

[…] out the Syria Comment page for good coverage of the meeting here and here; also try here and […]

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June 3rd, 2011, 9:01 pm

 

92. Opposition Speaks | Syria said:

[…] sure until the last minute that Kurdish representatives would even attend the conference and then, according to some, they made up as much as one quarter of all participants. The Kurds could really swing this thing […]

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June 6th, 2011, 7:12 pm

 

93. Syria Freedom Runners said:

[…] no confidence or trust in the protesters or the fledgling opposition, whose activists have shown little political maturity and are perceived – despite the efforts of a few emerging leaders to say all the right things […]

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July 5th, 2011, 5:42 pm

 

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