“The Street Will Wash Them Away,” Amb. Ford – Biggest Demonstrations So Far: Friday 15 July 2011

“I have seen no evidence yet in terms of hard changes on the ground that the Syrian government is willing to reform at anything like the speed demanded by the street protestors. If it doesn’t start moving with far greater alacrity, the street will wash them away.” That was the blunt verdict offered by U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford in a wide-ranging telephone interview with Foreign Policy today.

Ambassador Ford

Syrians mount biggest protests so far, 20 killed – By Khaled Oweis | Reuters

“These are the biggest demonstrations so far. It is a clear challenge to the authorities, especially when we see all these numbers coming out from Damascus for the first time,” said Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights….

At least 350,000 people demonstrated in the eastern province of Deir al Zor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Syrian forces shot dead two pro-democracy protesters there on Thursday, residents said. …

Syria’s main ally, Iran, is considering offering $5.8 billion (3.6 billion pounds) in financial help, including a three-month loan worth $1.5 billion to be made available immediately, French business newspaper Les Echos said, citing a report by a Tehran think-tank linked to Iran’s leadership. …

“We have said Syria can’t go back to the way it was before, that Assad has lost his legitimacy in the eyes of his own people,” U.S. Secretary of States Hillary Clinton told a news conference in Istanbul.
“We, along with many others in the region and beyond, have said we strongly support a democratic transition,” she said. “The ultimate destiny of the Syrian regime and Syrian people lies with the people themselves.”… Emboldened by the spreading protests, prominent opposition figures and activists are to hold a conference in Istanbul on Saturday that will be closely coordinated with another conference in Damascus to form a shadow government of “independent, non-political technocrats” to prepare for when Assad loses authority.

These are the reports of the Syrian TV and Addounia about today:

Jad writes: “Every Friday for the last 3 weeks I read the exact same sentence and the problem is that every Friday I see less peaceful people go out in the street with more younger kids joining the same youth stone throwers of the week before, and there numbers are not ‘more’ than the week before, they are steady and in many places less.”

Unfolding the Syrian paradox
By Alastair Crooke in Asia Times

Can Syria properly be understood as an example of a “pure” Arab popular revolution, an uprising of non-violent, liberal protest against tyranny that has been met only by repression? I believe this narrative to be a complete misreading, deliberately contrived to serve quite separate ambitions. The consequences of turning a blind eye to the reality of what is happening in Syria entails huge risk: the potential of sectarian conflict that would not be confined to Syria alone.

One of the problems with unfolding the Syria paradox is that there is indeed a genuine, domestic demand for change. A huge majority of Syrians want reform. They feel the claustrophobia of the state’s inert heavy-handedness and of the bureaucracy’s haughty indifference toward their daily trials and tribulations. Syrians resent the pervasive corruption, and the arbitrary tentacles of the security authorities intruding into most areas of daily life. But is the widespread demand for reform itself the explanation for the violence in Syria, as many claim?

There is this mass demand for reform. But paradoxically – and contrary to the “awakening” narrative – most Syrians also believe that President Bashar al-Assad shares their conviction for reform. The populations of Damascus, Aleppo, the middle class, the merchant class, and non-Sunni minorities (who amount to one quarter of the population), among others, including the leadership of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, fall into this category. They also believe there is no credible “other” that could bring reform.

What then is going on? Why has the conflict become so polarized and bitter, if there is indeed such broad consensus?

I believe the roots of the bitterness lie in Iraq, rather than in Syria, in two distinct ways. Firstly, they extend back into the thinking of the Sunni jihadi trend, as advanced by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which evolved in Iraq, surfaced violently in Lebanon, and was transposed into Syria with the return of many Syrian Salafist veterans at the “end” of the Iraq conflict.

Secondly, and separately, the bitterness in Syria is also linked to a profound sense of Sunni grievance felt by certain Arab states at Sunni political disempowerment following Prime Minister Nuri al-Malaki’s rise to power in Iraq, for which they hold Assad responsible…….

Yet the Salafists understand that the exiles are using them to provoke incidents, and then to corroborate a media narrative of repression by the external opposition; this might actually serve Salafist interests, too.

These two components may be relatively small in numbers, but the emotional pull from the heightened voice of Sunni grievance – and its need for redress has a much wider and more significant constituency. It is easily fanned into action, both in Syria and in the region as a whole.

Saudi Arabia and Gulf states explicitly trade on fears of Shi’ite “expansionism” to justify Gulf Cooperation Council repression in Bahrain and intervention in Yemen, and the “voice” of assertive sectarianism is being megaphoned into Syria too.

Sunni clerical voices are touting the Arab “awakening” as the “Sunni revolution” in riposte to the Shi’ite revolution of Iran. In March, al-Jazeera broadcast a sermon by Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, which raised the banner of the restoration of Sunni ascendency in Syria. Qaradawi, who is based in Qatar, was joined by Saudi cleric Saleh Al-Luhaidan who urged, “Kill a third of Syrians so the other two-thirds may live.”

Clearly many of the protesters in traditional centers of Sunni irredentism, such as Homs and Hama in Syria, comprise of aggrieved Sunnis seeking the Alawites ouster, and a return to Sunni ascendency. These are not Salafists, but mainstream Syrians for whom the elements of Sunni ascendency, irredentism and reformism have conflated into a sole demand. This is a very frightening prospect for the quarter of the Syrians that form the non-Sunni minorities….

Economic facts about Syria for the year 2008 (source statistics office)

  • The entire hotel industry in Syria employed just 11,224 people.
  • Total salaries and wages paid to them was syp 1.97 billion, which comes to syp 14,668 ($ 312) a month per person.
  • All the hotels combined had a revenue of $279 million.
  • The 5 star hotels had 55% of that at $154 million
  • The four star and under combined had revenues of $125 million.
  • The Phoenicia hotel in Beirut alone had a revenue of $88 million last year (31% of all the hotels in Syria combined).
  • It employes 2000 people (18% of the entire workforce employed in the Syrian hotel industry)
  • latest survey is that spending by an average Syrian family living in an urban area (higher than rural) is syp 33,483 a month. This is close to $700 a month for say a family of 5 (23 dollars a day for them combined or $4.7 a day per person on all requirements)

Guardian (GB): Syrian protesters take aim at economy, 2011-07-14

ZEINA KARAM Associated Press= BEIRUT (AP) — Syrians held general strikes in cities and towns across the country Thursday, part of a strategy to squeeze the economy as President Bashar Assad tries to crush a four-month-old revolt against his …

From Middle East Channel – Thursday

Activists say 8 more Syrians killed in the last 24 hours Syrian activists say that security forces have killed an additional eight people, and arrested dozens of others — including artists and intellectuals — during military operations in the last 24 hours. The military sweeps have been in Damascus, the northern Idlib province and a restive area near the Turkish border in the northwest. Rights groups estimate that some 1,600 people have been killed since demonstrations broke out in March. Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is calling for an increase in sanctions against Syria as the regime continues its crackdown. “The attitude of the Syrian president is unacceptable,” he said in a television interview. “We must strengthen sanctions against the regime which is applying the most brutal methods against its population.”

Arab League to U.S.: Stop interfering in Syria
Jul. 13, 2011, Associated Press

BEIRUT – The Arab League said Wednesday that Washington overstepped its bounds by saying Syrian President Bashar Assad had lost the legitimacy to lead his country. Speaking to reporters in Damascus, Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby said Assad assured him that “Syria has entered a new era and is now moving on the road of a genuine reform.”….

حبش لـ”دي برس”: أنا ضد دخول الجيش لحماة.. وننتظر صدور مراسيم تفعل مقررات “اللقاء التشاوري”
( Thursday, July 14, 2011دي برس – خاص)
أعرب رئيس مركز الدراسات الإسلامية في دمشق محمد حبش الخميس 14/7/2011 عن رضاه التام بما خرج به البيان الختامي للقاء التشاوري الممهد للحوار وطني في سورية، داعياً إلى عدم الخروج بتظاهرات “فلم يعد هناك داعٍ للغضب” على حد قوله.

وأضاف حبش في تصريح خاص لـ”دي برس”: “لقد وصلنا في اللقاء التشاوري للأهداف المبتغاة المتمثلة برفع القبضة الأمنية وإخراج المعتقلين والأهم تأسيس مجلس أعلى لحقوق الإنسان في سورية.. لذلك طالبت الشارع بوقف التظاهر حتى تعطى فرصة للإصلاح”.

وقال رئيس مركز الدراسات الإسلامية في دمشق “إن مدة 10 أيام كافية لإصدار مراسيم تحقق ما تم إقراره في اللقاء التشاوري، وفي حال عدم إقرارها سنعود ونطالب مجدداً وبصوت مرتفع لتحقيقها.”
حبش: يجب وقف التظاهر وإعطاء الفرصة للإصلاحات
حبش: “الحوار الوطني” هو الذي ينقذ سورية
محمد حبش: أتمنى سورية جديدة خالية من الاعتقالات
حبش: بعض الفتاوى تحركها الأموال والغايات التخريبية

Syria: The Opposition and the Church: A Slap in the Face for the Pro-Democracy Movement – Qantara by Claudia Mende

While church leaders pledge their support for the Assad regime, Christians in Syria are backing the protest movement for democratic change. The endorsement of the regime’s propaganda slogans by the representatives of the churches puts them in an increasingly precarious position, as Claudia Mende rep…

It appears that not all Christians are following the leaders of their churches in their assessment of the situation. …Christians are definitely taking part in the popular protests, and in doing so are risking their lives alongside their Muslim fellow citizens. For them, the bishops’ comments are a slap in the face.

Johnny West, “sectarianism among Alawis and Sunnis in Tripoli Lebanon and the death of Ali the Muscle
in Granta

‘Look, you need to understand something. We Alawis were nothing in Lebanon until the Syrians came in 1977,’ he said, referring to the entry of the Syrian army, under the command of Bashar’s father Hafez, at the start of the Lebanese civil war. ‘My father went to America in 1960. He saw Martin Luther King and Malcolm X speak and he got a degree in chemistry. Then he did another degree at the American University in Beirut. Look, there’s his certificate on the wall. And when he’d finished, the only job he could get was as a garbage man or customs clerk. They just wanted us to clean their shoes.

‘He came back home to Tripoli and spent two years thinking about politics. Then he founded the Arab Youth Movement. Then the war started and the Syrians came and they showed us how to fight, how to mobilize. And we learned to defend ourselves. Even when they withdrew, we got two seats in the Lebanese parliament.

‘So I am with them, right or wrong. They are my guys and I am theirs. Right or wrong. Because they are our only hope,’ he said.

I could understand that kind of loyalty, I said. But wasn’t that a personal position rather than a political one? As a leader, didn’t he bear a responsibility to his community to at least try and leave other paths open a fraction? Otherwise, where would they be if the Assads did go down in Syria?

Rifaat just shrugged. Right or wrong, there is no other hope, he kept repeating. A thunderstorm had broken outside and rain crashed against the roof and windows. Rifaat was courteous as he walked me to the door. Ali the Muscle saw me to my car and signalled to his guys to open the checkpoints.


The next day, in Tripoli, Lebanon, I ran into some young bloods by the clock tower in the centre of town. …

A young man called Amr was sitting near me on a plastic chair, getting a shoulder rub from his friend. When he learned who I was and where I had been, he spat on the ground.

‘The Alawi are dogs. In fact, that’s an insult to dogs,’ he said. ‘We are going to deal with them. Soon.’

His massaging friend told me he’d just come home from a long stretch living in Sydney. I wondered whether he suffered any cognitive dissonance as he looked out on the street with its chaotic bustle, bullet-pocked buildings and the tide of plastic bags swept by the early morning breeze across the square like urban tumbleweed. Amr was clearly a boss of some kind. He ‘worked’ in the shop we were outside and people came up and asked his opinion on various things, which he issued curtly. As we chatted, a big man, like all of them in his mid-twenties, solidly built and wearing a barrio string vest turned up. They are nothing. Worse than animals. We will cut their throats like sheep, he said.Amr introduced me and his friend stood there, all six foot four of him, and blew me a kiss, po-faced. I’ve always appreciated the potential to demonstrate virility through camp. My grandfather Billy, a decorated career soldier and prize-winning boxer with more than a touch of Errol Flynn to him, had loved cross-dressing for vaudeville. But here it took on a sinister air, a promise, somehow, of blood. What are we going to do to the Alawi dogs? Amr asked. Big Man drew his finger across his throat. The parking attendant turned up on a moped and Amr made to intimidate him into not collecting the fine. I insisted on paying up. The guy, after all, was just doing his job.

As I got into the car, Amr drew me aside, conspiratorially, which was odd since we were already alone. They are nothing. Worse than animals. We will cut their throats like sheep, he said….

Ali the Muscle was dead…..

Meir Javedanfar, “Iran’s domestic concerns vis a vis the Syrian uprising.” in the National

‘The rise and fall of Iran’s Ahmadinejad’ (Karim Sadjadpour, The Washington Post)

“Khamenei’s desire to project a unified front to the world is likely to keep Ahmadinejad in office until his term expires in 2013. Khamenei seeks to wield power without accountability; this requires a president who has accountability without power. A disgraced Ahmadinejad can conveniently absorb blame for the country’s endemic economic, political and social disaffection. For Washington, the best outcome of Iran’s conservative fratricide is only that the fight continues. Authoritarian collapses tend to have three prerequisites: grass-roots protests, fissures among the elite and a regime’s loss of will to use sustained brutality to retain power. While Iran has the first two, the regime remains quite willing to rule by terror….By accentuating the country’s internal rifts and breaking previously sacred taboos – such as challenging the supreme leader – Ahmadinejad has become an unlikely, unwitting ally of Iran’s democracy movement. Once thought to be leading the Islamic Republic’s rise, he is more likely to be remembered by historians as the man who hastened its decay.”

U.S. Standing Plunges Across Arab World
By: Naseema Noor and Jim Lobe | Inter Press Service

Comments (235)

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 [5] Show All

201. why-discuss said:


If this conference represents the future of Syria, then the numerous Syrian women active in the present government may find themselves scarce, covered and in the back seat.
It is obvious that the x-opposition has a strong color of islamic conservatism.
Anyway, what an you expect when you see who is behind the Facebook Syria revolution?

By the way, how do you explain that there are more women in the current Syrian government (including ambassadors) than in the Lebanese one?

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July 16th, 2011, 2:40 pm


202. abughassan said:

just want to remind you that Syrian political groups and parties were never united even when their political enemy was the same.
Clashes between MB and Baathists were common in the 1950s and early 60s and tension between progressive secular students and traditional Islamists was always high. In a new and open society,many of those memories will come back (older people told me those stories, I am not that old 🙂 )..

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July 16th, 2011, 2:43 pm


203. Revlon said:

193. Dear Aboud, thank you for the link.
Fantastic news; more defections means less fire power on civilians and more saving of lives.

Istanbul meeting participants, probably including commander harmoush are mindful of this development.

It might weigh in the hands of those favouring the formation of a transitional government.

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July 16th, 2011, 2:45 pm


204. Afram said:

coming soon to syria,,3ar3oor SUSHI Safari food

sharia law is almost practiced actively in all arab world.under the term of honor killing
sudan was partioned recently coz of sharia law fsacim so is east timor in indonesia

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July 16th, 2011, 2:46 pm


205. Tara said:

Nour@ 198

I can’t agree more.

Why@ 192

Sound assessment.

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July 16th, 2011, 2:54 pm


206. Revlon said:

What is going on in Homs Abboud?

أوغاريت || حمص : قامت قوى الأمن بتكسير كل محل صاحبه سني في شارع الحضارة و دخلت حي الميدان وسط اطلاق نار و أهل الميدان يكبرون من على سطوح و شرف منازلهم الله أكبر

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July 16th, 2011, 3:02 pm


207. ss said:

186 Majedkhaldoon,

“Secrecy…….Unite the demonstration….Iran will fall for paying 6 billion dollar to Syria…..will contact officials in the army…”

It looks like physicians make a great leaders….Sure you can do all of that and I would elect you immediately the Amir of Lazekia Dr. Khaldoon.

Great and well excuted MB plan………cheers

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July 16th, 2011, 3:06 pm


208. ss said:

204 Revlon:

What I heard and it is all romurs that three or four Alawi were found dead with their bodies mutilated, and cut to peices…..What I heard is that some young Alawi are writing openly on facebook that they are against Assad handling the situation. It looks that those people are angry armed alawite that are fed up with the soft hearted Assad and they are retaliating. Again the coming hours will reveal what is going on. I smell sectarian war on the horizon

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July 16th, 2011, 3:12 pm


209. OFF THE WALL said:


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July 16th, 2011, 3:15 pm


210. N.Z. said:

Ssssssssss, I hear a hissing sound from you SSSSSSSSSSSSS, it is becoming louder by the hour. Not in Syria, Sssssssss Sectarianism have no place in our midst.

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July 16th, 2011, 3:16 pm


211. Revlon said:

Philanthropist Makhloof Media’s attempt to fake a video of armed infiltrators raising an Israeli flag was foiled, for it was caught on tape, by the demonstrators!

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد
حمص ::تنويه هام جدا من أهالي حمص :
– يحاول النظام الفاشل للمرة الألف ان يجد المبررات لإقتحام مدينة حمص بالرغم من التضييق والحواجز الموجودة فيها …. لقد حاول أول الأمر أن ينشر وقائع بأن الجماعات السلفية قد انتشرت في حمص .. وعندها نشر جماعات من الشبيحة بلباس أفغاني وذقون طويلة ولم تنجح معه الخطة بسبب وعي اهل حمص ….. وحاول في المرة الث…انية ان ينشر أكذوبة رفع العلم الإسرائيلي في حي باب السباع … وأيضا باءت محاولته بالفشل الذريع بعد أن فضح أمر قناة الدنيا وهي تحاول تصوير علم اسرائيلي أتى به طاقمها إلى حي باب السباع وحاولوا وضعه هناك وتصويره … ولكن الأهالي كشفوهم وهذا الأمر مثبت بفيديو كان قد نشره أهالي باب السباع لطاقم قناة الدنيا ….. والآن يحاولون نشر أكذوبة الجماعات المسلحة التي تجوب شوارع المدينة حاليا وتعيث فيها خرابا وفي اهلها تقتيلا (((( وهذه الجماعات هي من الشبيحة بلباس مدني ومحمية من الأمن )))) ونحن نقول لهذا النظام الفاشل أن يلعب غير هذه اللعبة , ونقول له أن اهالي حمص اوعى من أن يقعوا في مثل هذه المطبات … وكالعادة فإن هذه اللعبة سوف تنقلب على كل من خطط لها …… التوقيع : أهالي مددينة حمص

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July 16th, 2011, 3:20 pm


212. abughassan said:

So,Revoln, are we supposed to waste time here hearing your rumors? you want us to believe that security forces are on a campaign targeting Sunni merchants in Homs at a time when the regime is trying to calm the streets and win support?
Similar rumors were spread about attacks on Alawi-owned businesses and individuals. These rumors,and those acts if true, strengthen thugs on both sides and hurt the average Syrian,Mr Al-Maleh asked his supporters to focus on the future and lay foundation for a new Syria,not to say or do anything that deepens division and actually helps the regime !!
In Homs,there is a mix of armed thugs,unarmed protesters and people in between. There is a movement in Homs to create another Hama and kick the government out(refer to my previous posts if you want),it does not look it gonna work in Homs. Even Hamwis are now talking to mediators to end the strike with conditions,which I totally support.We all know that the last thing Syria needs is a sectarian conflict that will eat everybody including you and me,my friend !!

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July 16th, 2011, 3:25 pm


213. Revlon said:

Martyr AbdulMuhaymen AlSuyoofi fell victim to Jr’s forces.
Khaldiya, Homs, this evening.
Al Fati7a upon his soul,
May God bless his family with solace and empower them with patience.
أوغاريت || حمص :: استشهاد البطل عبد المهيمن ابن عبدالله السيوفي في حي الخالدية

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July 16th, 2011, 3:26 pm


214. jad said:

I guess someone forgot to read alfatiha for those four Syrians too, just reminding you of your religious duty in case you forget:
‘أستشهاد 4 أشخاص من منطقة الزهراء اليوم
الشهيد : محمد العبد لله
الشهيد : تمام محمود
الشهيد : محمد فهد عرب ( الذي أطلق فكرة أكبر هوية سورية في حمص)
حيث عثر على جثثهم في منطقة الوعر بعد التمثيل بجثثهم
بعد اختفائهم منذ ثلاثة أيام
هذا بالاضافة إلى العثور على جثة مساعد أول في الكلية الحربية
الشهيد : أحمد حسن العجي
بالقرب من طريق زيدل بعد أن مثلوا بجثته أيضاً’

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July 16th, 2011, 3:35 pm


215. Aboud said:

Abughassan, you are the worst type of arm chair analyst, your feeble analysis is always way behind events. Your shabiha scum thought they could run riot in Homs. It’s not turning out the way they wanted.

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July 16th, 2011, 3:36 pm


216. Revlon said:

210 Dear Abughassan,
You said:
“you want us to believe that security forces are on a campaign targeting Sunni merchants in Homs at a time when the regime is trying to calm the streets and win support?”

Are u OK?
Do u really mean that?
Could u please support your claim by showing me how and when have the regime started to calm down the street!

You are against posting rumours, but you took the opportunity to analyse your piece of rumour to draw conclusions.

I urge you to stop dilly dally and make up ur mind, like Nour has done.

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July 16th, 2011, 3:37 pm


217. why-discuss said:

Security Forces Open Fire on Syrian Protesters

Published: July 15, 2011


….While the protests seem overwhelmingly peaceful, signs have emerged of more violence lately, underscoring a familiar theme of conflicts in Algeria and Iraq. In the absence of a genuine political process, opponents resort to arms to press their demands. Residents speak of more people buying weapons, in places like Homs, and the prices of guns rising.

A banner hung two weeks ago in a Damascus neighborhood listed names of government informers and threatened revenge. Human rights activists say they have reports of nearly a dozen informers killed and many more wounded, often gravely.

Diplomats say they believe a gas pipeline that exploded in the east this week was probably an act of sabotage and not, as Syrian officials have portrayed it, an accident….

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July 16th, 2011, 3:42 pm


218. why-discuss said:


And your analysis are brilliant as usual! Not only humor but also humility.

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July 16th, 2011, 3:46 pm


219. N.Z. said:

A massacre is taking place in Homs. At this point we need neither humility, nor, humour. We want humanity to prevail.

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July 16th, 2011, 3:52 pm


220. Revlon said:

Seven martyrs have fallen victims to Jr’s bruital forces today, Saturday.
Such included 7 month old baby boy Mohammad Sabbouri from Qatana
قطنا الشهيد محمد صبوري العمر7 أشهر السبت 16-7

Video Not for the faint hearted.

Al Fati7a upon their souls,
May God bless their families with solace and empower them with patience.

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July 16th, 2011, 3:58 pm


221. Revlon said:

A statement from the “Union of Homs Neighbourhoods”has been posted on the Syrian revolution’s FB website.


It refutes the regime’s claim of murdering three shabbeehas and urges the 3alawi brothers to remain vigilent and not fall for these rumours

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July 16th, 2011, 4:06 pm


222. OFF THE WALL said:

It is now nine victims.

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July 16th, 2011, 4:15 pm


223. SALAH ADDIN said:

You may think that you are more intelligent that most of your opponents as you stated above, but in fact you are not. You are nothing but a loud mouthpiece representing no one but yourself, patting yourself on the back, with an occasinal cheer from an Israeli who admires your style.
In one of your posts a while back, you had bragged about you being good at your craft. In another post you listed your prerequisites for a peace agreement with Israel to include a date with an Israeli celebrity and joining another Israeli actress/model and some other silly crap that only you and your Israeli admirer finds funny.
I am curious what is your craft that you bragged at being so good at? Are you a professional (paid) agent to Syria’s enemies? You sure come across as a hard working agent. Your intimate knowledge of some Israeli celebrities and their culture couldn’t have been acquired in Homs.
Was that bragging about being good at your craft and flaunting it in your post, knowing that your handlers will be monitoring it, part of your plan to ask for a raise?

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July 16th, 2011, 4:48 pm


224. Tara said:

I find Abboud and Abughassan too to be smart and funny. I find Abughassan has a very high class.

Abboud, I got a bonus too per Mina from my alleged job. I really did not need the bonus but oh well. I am planning a second vacation to Tehran. I have few close Iranian friends who offered to show me around. I will be looking for a chic apartment for Bashar in Tehran. If you got your raise too and interested in visiting Iran, I would provide you names of trendy neighborhoods in Tehran so you can also look around in case I don’t find a suitable apartment.

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July 16th, 2011, 5:01 pm


225. Norman said:

Did anybody hear about sectarian and dismemberment killing in Homs, i saw that on BBC World.

That might ignite Syria as id did Lebanon.in the seventies.

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July 16th, 2011, 5:31 pm


226. Abughassan said:

I just can not allow myself to participate in a match of “he said,she said”. Security forces did not destroy Sunni merchants stores but kept intact other stores that belong to merchants from other sects,that is just not true,however,you can count on some security officers for acting violently and stupidly,their actions do not distinguish between citizens,this is why Syrian prisons were filled with alawi political prisoners and some of the harshest critics are alawi and Christians . I maintain my position,which coming days will tell if it was rightful,that the only exit from this mess is a gradual change of regime lead by secular opposition that is non violent and not allied with foreigners. I do not have to make up my mind,I already did: this president must go,and there is no place in Syrian politics for islamists(using a clear definition of Islamist as those who mix religion and politics and have no problem using violent means to force their views on others).
As for Nour,who I think is another secular,I can not speak on her behalf,she is articulate enough to do the job.

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July 16th, 2011, 6:15 pm


227. why-discuss said:


Homs is considered, even by Ambassador Ford as a place where opposition uses violence. Shadid reported in the NYT that more guns are been sold in Homs. It has become an city in the hands of outlaws.
Which media mentions anymore the successful cleanup of armed elements in Jisr al Shorough and Deraa that are now peacefully demonstrating on friday? Same should be done with Homs.
I think more strength has to be applied anywhere the opposition is armed and uses violence. Peaceful protesters should stay home so they are not targeted.

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July 16th, 2011, 6:27 pm


228. why-discuss said:

Anyone has the full list of the participants to the Istambul meeting with their titles??

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July 16th, 2011, 6:31 pm


229. why-discuss said:


Do you think Farouk Sharaa should replace the president during the reform phase? if not who else? Someone of the Baath party or a member of the opposition, Kilo or Al Maleh.. or?

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July 16th, 2011, 6:34 pm


230. Abughassan said:

I have close friends from Homs from all sects and I have relatives in Homs too. I know what is going on in Homs and I do not rely on you tube as my main source of info. Homs will follow Hama’s example if things continue to deteriorate,and the next target will be Dair Al-zour especially albukamal ,and certain areas in Greater Damascus. When people use guns to talk to each other,their brains migrate to their testicles and they lose focus. I firmly believe that an escalation of violence will only serve thugs in the regime and those hateful Islamist criminals. Do not expect me to blame either the regime or the opposition for every drop of blood that is spilled in Syria,I know better,and I also put most of the blame on the regime figures because they had the upper hand for 41 years and they failed to immunize Syria against domestic unrest and made Syria a disaster zone. The army is the secret word,not those who blog or give Speeches,,we are here to talk to each other not to distribute certificates of approval and patriotism.

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July 16th, 2011, 6:48 pm


231. Abughassan said:

Farouk al-sharaa’s name was circulated as an acceptable name by the opposition,but they may have changed their mind now because they keep coming with new ideas. The opposition must give Syrians specific names and reasonable demands and deliver those demands to the person they choose to start a negotiation process that ends with Bashar’s resignation and the formation of a transitional government,but the army has to be consulted and their approval must be obtained . The army is ready to talk,just watch and see,most army officers are underpaid and did not gain much from the process of corruption and stealing,and they will do their job as long as those thugs are arrested and their arms are collected. Do not forget the regime thugs,this is an EO process ..
I have to confess that I do not have a candidate,that is why we need parties and elections. Do not be surprised if the army takes over for a period of time,I trust the army because we need a period of relative calm and order,a collapse of the state must not be allowed even if we have to start a curfew.however,I want to see Bashar leave his post, he is not qualified to lead and he is a divisive figure now.

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July 16th, 2011, 7:04 pm


232. Nour said:

Just to clarify, I do not support the sudden collapse of the regime, given all the consequences it entails. In fact, it is exactly what I want to avoid. I support a peaceful transition into a SECULAR democratic civil state. However, I am seeing that the way the regime is proceeding, they are unwilling to go except through a sudden collapse and it seems they are willing to take the entire country with them. That the regime needs to go is not in question, it is the way in which it should go that is important at this point. I am still hoping that something will happen in the next few days (and the sooner the better) that will avert a disaster, but with each passing day I am becoming less and less hopeful.

Oh and Abughassan,

I am he not a she :-).

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July 16th, 2011, 7:34 pm


233. Abughassan said:

Here is a truthful description of what some claimed to be an attack by government forces on Sunni-owned businesses. This is taken directly from Homsi residents,sorry to disappoint some on this blog,there is now a pattern of lying and misinformation,and I am not pointing fingers here,many Syrians were victims or participants of this uncivilized behavior,I will do my best not to copy that behavior,and if I erred,please correct me.
3 alawi civilians were kidnapped and found dead and a forth was captured by thugs and killed. Angry alawi thugs,not army or security officers,attacked stores and destroyed properties that belong to sunni merchants,this was followed by the influx of security forces. Some people automatically classify angry or violent alawi mob as security officers to make their story “spicier”. The destruction did occur but the deatails were conveniently hidden. My comment is only applicable to that particular incident(s), I am not speaking in general terms.
A number of Syrians have been killed after being accused of being informers for the regime,and some were killed as a retaliatory measure. Welcome to the Third World…

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July 16th, 2011, 7:57 pm


234. daleandersen said:


RE: “…I trust the army…”

Trusting the army and trusting Bashar are two sides of the same coin. The Syrian Army does not have the same character as the Egyptian Army. While the Egyptian Army is perceived as being “above the fray,” the same cannot be said of the Syrian Army.

If the Army is allowed to step in to “sort things out,” it will be to protect its own interests, which are different from those of the nation at large.

The Army is not to be trusted because, for the past forty years, it has been an instrument of the Assad Mafia…


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July 16th, 2011, 8:03 pm


235. Majed97 said:

Let’s not kid ourselves into believing that appeasing Islamists will bring calm back to Syria. Like it or not, the uprising has by now been completely hijacked by the Islamists. They will stop at nothing until their Khalifat is established. I have completely lost faith in the opposition, now that their Islamist color is exposed. Who are we kidding; their chants are purely religious; and their starting gate is always the Mosque. Secular revolutions come out of universities, factories, offices, and military; not out of places of worships yelling Allah Akbar. Until they change their chants to Souria Akbar, count me out. Like the title of the movie said: Start this revolution without me; I’ll wait for the next one…

Do you really believe Bashar’s departure will pacify the Islamists?! Think again; it will only embolden them and weaken the seculars by dividing them further. I don’t think anyone doubts the need for reform and change, but be careful what you wish for, and with whom you trust your future.

I suspect most posters on this blog are Syrian expatriates, like me, who have been away from Syria for a long time. We may have forgotten how tough that neighborhood is and how uncompromising people are in that part of the world. We are wishing for a western system of democracy in the Middle East, as those of us who live in the west saw how inclusive and progressive that system is. The only problem is tolerance and equal rights for ALL are key ingredients for such a democracy. Honestly, how many of you really believe the masses are capable of embracing such principles?

The only way to keep Syria from collapsing at this late stage of chaos is to temporarily restore the emergency law until order is restored. Only then can gradual SECULAR reforms be gradually implemented.

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July 16th, 2011, 9:50 pm


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