“Where is the Truth in Conflicting Reports? Not in the Middle but at the Extremes,” by a Foreigner in Syria

“Where is the Truth? Not in the Middle but at the Extremes,”
by a Foreigner in Syria (who has lived, studied and traveled there for years.)
For Syria Comment
June 20 2011

The stories people are hearing from their friends and family certainly give cause to question the narrative being carried by the international media.

Cartoon in Jamahir Newspaper June 12, 2001, Sent by author
“Eye Witness to al-Jazeera: ‘By God, my dear brother, they have cut off water, electricity, medicine, and milk for the kids. Oh God, help us.'”

Two sources I consider very trustworthy have related similar stories about the insecurity of the main highway south just outside of Aleppo, before the army reasserted control last week: the younger brother of a colleague who was on his way home to Aleppo on a two-day furlough from his mandatory army service received a bullet in the foot when his civilian bus was forced to stop at a impromptu nighttime checkpoint which local vigilantes had set up using farm machinery near Khan Shaykhun. The army was able to rescue them but two soldiers on the bus who were still in uniform were apparently killed.

And just before that, a group of Palestinians from the Nayrab camp who were returning from the Nakba Day march on the Golan border with the bodies of two fallen comrades were stopped by locals on the highway at Maarrat al-Nu’man. (The Nakba demonstration had been carefully planned by local organizing committees precisely with a view to avoiding casualties and was thus not merely the result of the PFLP-GC manipulating Palestinian youth, but that’s another issue…) The vigilantes demanded the caskets to be opened, then checked the names of the victims against a list of known martyrs, and finally told the Palestinians that they would allow them to proceed only because they knew they were not involved in the Syrian uprising—had these been the bodies of fallen Syrian army soldiers or security forces they would have chopped them up on the spot.

Incidents like this do occur—and are the work of pro-regime shabiha irregulars who will not hesitate to sacrifice the one or other army conscript or policeman to illustrate that the regime is under siege by armed groups, as an equally trustworthy friend has assured me. Where is the truth in all this? Probably not somewhere “in the middle” as one might think but everywhere at once, at the extremes. The regime is shooting at unarmed demonstrators with tanks and helicopters and making a mockery of its own promises to lift the state of emergency and release prisoners, but unless one subscribes to the most radical conspiracy theories, one also has to assume there are armed elements, homegrown perhaps but why not with outside help, who are bringing in or seizing weapons, attacking government buildings and killing security forces.

It is at any rate hard to believe that Jisr al-Shughur, a town of some 40,000 people and more in the surrounding villages, a key regional centre with a long history of turmoil (one easily forgets that it’s here where it all started in 1980) would speak with a single voice for or against the uprising, for or against the regime.

Those shown welcoming the army are as real as those who have fled for their lives to Turkey. These are powerful, competing images which both sides are consciously deploying; it’s when Syria army deserters (whatever their numbers) claim on camera that they were receiving orders from Iranian or Hezbollah officers and Angelina Jolie is welcomed to Altinözü with carefully written banners in English and Turkish that one must ask how much of this is being crafted for western and Gulf media consumption. (Incidentally, how often has the “Angel of Mercy” dropped by Sitt Zaynab or Jaramana this past decade?)

But all this is really of little concern to Aleppo. While many people have family ties in villages to the north and the east, few I’ve talked to seem to have any real sympathies for what is happening in the Jisr al-Shughur area or elsewhere. I’m still assured on a daily basis that the real meaning of hurriyya is when a woman can walk outside at 2 in the morning. On the other hand the mood seems to be turning more pessimistic, from “nothing will happen here and everything will be fine” to “in sha’ Allah nothing will happen here and everything will be fine.”

Aleppo continues to live in somewhat of a bubble, as an increasing number of residents themselves are cynically acknowledging. There are still isolated demonstrations in some of the more conservative neighbourhoods—last Friday there was even one dead near the Mabna al-Idhaa on the western outskirts which the authorities quickly attributed to prior health issues in an attempt to play down the potential for violence here—but these are being overshadowed by the arrival at the citadel of the famous 2-km Syrian flag previously displayed in Mezze and, after a lull of several weeks, a now almost nightly repetition of boisterous joyriding by flag-waving youths and siren-wailing municipal vehicles to show support for the regime.

My critical friend (most of them are not) thinks it will get much worse, that people are seething under the surface. I myself heard my first unsolicited criticism of Rami Makhlouf and the overall economic situation in the past few days. You don’t see as many pictures of Hasan Nasrallah on cars as you used to.

But the Republic of Aleppo is still very far from a revolution; it promises to be a long spring yet.

Comments (245)

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201. syrian said:

well it seems that people don’t really exert enough effort to find facts or it is hard to swallow the truth, I met Jisr Alshougur people and they told me their stories passionately about the gunmen who attacked them ,they were heavily armed and brutal…,even taxi drivers in Damascus are talking about it, hearing stories from passengers ,the problem is that some demonstrators are attacking police and army stations provoking some disobedient officers to retaliate although there are clear orders no to…. P.Assad talked about that in his previous speech ….the west and Syrian opposition are not telling the truth that Assad still have the support of absolute majority of Syrians even if a lot of them dont like the regime created by his father … because there are foreign interferences the situation is becoming worse as the international and regional powers are competing for their share of the “syrian cake ”
and they want P.Assad to let them have it…well he wont ,he would rather give it to the Syrians protecting his own legacy and his father’s too…he is ready to give concessions but he is also ready to fight .the west has lost any morals in dealing with Arab countries and they don’t care that their actions may drive countries for destruction…Iraq and Libya are clear examples hopefully Syria will survive their actions .if not, then the human kind has a gaing destroyed a unique treasure ….. Syria

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June 21st, 2011, 11:59 am


202. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Your language is vulgar, commando. Do you really expect that I will discus democracy with a boor like you?

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June 21st, 2011, 12:03 pm


203. jad said:


The rallies on the Associated Press

And on CNN

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June 21st, 2011, 12:17 pm


204. Aboud said:

@188 Amir, notice how the sole Baathist supporter on this forum is sounding very hysterical, even if he does post under multiple names.

@186 Bullshit. Do you know what the definition of an adult is? It’s someone who takes responsibility for his actions. But apparently, the cowardly shabiha scum burn cars, and then blame their owners for doing so.

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June 21st, 2011, 12:17 pm


205. jad said:

this is on Alikhbariyet,
their Youtube website is

An a VERY LONG coverage on Addounia:

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June 21st, 2011, 12:25 pm


206. jad said:

From Les Politiques blog:

“Assad’s third speech delivered on Monday June 20th was well received in the Turkish press, contrary to the Saudi funded press like Al Sharq Al Awsat.

Al-Assad’s speech Monday was promising as he talked about concrete steps with a concrete timetable. I am sure that most of the measures he mentioned were the ones advised by the Turkish officials over the course of the last two months.

It is no coincidence that when it was clear from yesterday’s speech that Assad’s fall will not come without the fall of the entire regime (read my previous post), Turkey has suddenly understood that it is not in their inetrest to have another Iraq at their frontier. From the beginning I wrote that Turkey will come to change its attitude if there were no cracks in sight inside the Baath regime and this is what just happened. At the same time, the ill advised Syrian revolution 2011 has focused its platform on the fall of Assad. As I wrote in my earlier post, yesterday’s speech clearly demonstrated the unity of the regime, they will either survive together or go down together. This means that targeting Assad was not a smart move and still is not a smart move. But the Syrian Revolution 2011 thought that by targeting Assad, the regime will crack and let down Assad. This was the dynamic in Tunisia and Egypt, but it is clearly not the case here because while in Tunisia and Egypt the men who fell were the ones who made the regime, in Syria the man the Syrian revolution wants to topple is the face of the regime and he was made a statesman by this same regime. What we have seen from the beginning is the unity of this regime. The Syrian Revolution 2011, by scapegoating Assad, has trapped itslef in a hateful, emotionally charged, rationally limited campaign because, and it is the hate directed at Assad that made the unity of the regime stronger than ever.”


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June 21st, 2011, 12:30 pm


207. Syrian Commando said:


Perhaps my language is “vulgar” to you, but your stance on my country is what is truly vulgar. Get out of our lands, then we can discuss “de-mock-crazy”.

You speak of “democracy” but my people, to you, are worth nothing. To me a Syrian is more precious than your entire nations combined. I consider Syrians as the best people on Earth. Do you find that vulgar?

>Amir, notice how the sole Baathist supporter on this forum is sounding very hysterical, even if he does post under multiple names.

LOL! See this guys? This is the mathematical logic they used to turn a crowd of millions all over Syria into a thousand people in Damascus, all forced to be there by the government.

Desperation is a stinky colonge.

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June 21st, 2011, 12:33 pm


208. jad said:

From Hama N.N. on FB:

“الخسائر كما شاهدتها:
حرق سقف الكراج البلاستيكي التابع للمحافظه
تكسير زجاج السيارات التي كانت تقف هناك
اغلاق 90% من المحلات في السوق
حرق 25 سياره مدينه وعسكريه عند الهجره والجوازات وكتبو ورقه عليهم ان الامن هو الذي حرق تلك السيارات كي يقلبو الناس على القوى الامنيه
حرق اطارات في شارع طرابلس
تكسير معظم الافتات الطرقيه الموجوده في ساحه العاصي والمرابط
تكسير اغلب الواجهات والنوافذ الزجاجيه في ساحه العاصي
كل الشوراع في المدينه سالكه لايوجد اي شارع مقطوع
لا تواجد لاي من قوى الامن او الجيش داخل المدينه
تقوم البلديه مشكره بتنظيف وشطف الشوراع من اوساخ المخربين
لا حول ولا قوه الا بالله”

“تقرير المسيرة الصباحية في حماه
تجمع الشباب في ساحة العاصي قبل موعد المسيرة بقليل وبدأوا في الازدياد وكانت أعدادهم كبيرة وكان من الصعب احصاءهم بسبب العدد الكبير لهم
وكانت الهتافات تهز الأرض في ميدان الساحة وكلهم بصوت واحد أبو حافظ
الله سوريا بشار وبس
غير 3 ما منختار الله وسوريا وبشار
بالروح بالدم نفديك يا بشار
الله محيي الجيش الله محيي الجيش
وهذه الهتافات استفزت العراعرة ولم يستطيعوا ضبط غرائزهم الحيوانية التي هاجت بهم ودفعتهم للصراخ (الجعير) واتجهوا إلى الساحة في محاولة لشق الصف التأييدي لكن كان هناك فرق كبير في الأعداد ونتيجة لهذا الشيء لم يسمع هتافهم أبدا مما ووقفوا أمام بنك البركة وبدأوا بتكسير السيارات وقاموا بتكسير الزجاج الخاص ببنك البركة وتم تكسير كل السيارات الموجودة بقربهم
وبدأوا يضربون المسيرة بالأحجار مما اضطر بعض الشباب الشجاع للوقوف عند الأشارة التي أمام الساعة لقطع الطريق على المتظاهرين وبدأوا بهتافات هزت الشوارع وعندما انتهت كمية الحجارة لدى المتظاهرين قاموا بتكسير الأرصفة لاستعمالها كحجارة وضرب المسيرة بها وهنا أمسكوا المهندس وقاموا بضربه بحجة أنه مؤيد مما اضطر الشباب من المسيرة إلى الهجوم عليهم لتخليص المهندس فأصيب 3 من الشباب من عدا المهندس وقامت قوات حفظ النظام باطلاق عدة قنابل مسيلة للدموع عليهم وبدأت حشود المؤيدين بالانسحاب فانسحبت النساء والصبايا والكبار في العمر ولم يبقى سوى الشباب لحماية الانسحاب وعندما راى العراعرة انسحاب النساء والكبار قاموا بتكثيف الضرب على المسيرة في محاولة لاصابة اكبر عدد منهم ولكن نتيجة جبنهم وخوفهم من الهتافات التي هزت الارض كانوا يبتعدون 3 خطوات كلما اقترب المؤيدين خطوة وفي النهاية انسحبت مسيرة التأييد وأخليت الساحة مما شجع العراعرة على دخولها ظناً منهم انهم انتصروا بينما الحقيقة ان الأمن وحفظ النظام طالبوا باخلاء الساحة من المؤيدين خوفا على سلامتهم”

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June 21st, 2011, 12:37 pm


209. jad said:

This is the link of the draft of the political party for discussion with Syrians:


A new amnesty creed

“أكاديميون وقضاة ومحامون: المرسوم 72 خطوة جديدة في برنامج الإصلاح الشامل والحقيقي وهو أوسع قانون عفو صدر حتى تاريخه”

المرسوم التشريعي رقم 72

رئيس الجمهورية

بناء على أحكام الدستور

يرسم ما يلي:

المادة 1 يمنح عفو عام عن الجرائم المرتكبة قبل تاريخ 20- 6- 2011 وفقا لما يلي:

أ/ عن كامل العقوبة للمحكوم المصاب بتاريخ صدور هذا المرسوم التشريعي بمرض عضال غير قابل للشفاء.

ب/ عن كامل العقوبة بالنسبة للجرائم المنصوص عليها في المرسوم التشريعي رقم / 13/ لعام 1974 لمن يسدد الغرامة ويجري التسوية مع الادارة العامة للجمارك ومكتب القطع والمؤسسة العامة للتبغ والتنباك باستثناء جرائم تهريب الأسلحة والمخدرات.

ج/ عن كامل العقوبة بالنسبة للجرائم المنصوص عليها في المادة /43/ من القانون رقم / 2/ لعام /1993/.

د/ عن كامل العقوبة في الجنح المنصوص عليها في القانون رقم /2/ لعام /1993/.

هـ/ عن كامل العقوبة في الجنح المنصوص عليها في المواد التالية من قانون العقوبات رقم/ 148/ لعام /1949/ وتعديلاته /628/ الى / 636/ 642/ 643/ 644/ 652/ 653/ 658/ والجنحة المنصوص عليها في المادة /17/ من المرسوم التشريعي رقم /1/ لعام /2011/.

المادة 2 يشترط للاستفادة من أحكام الفقرة /هـ/ من المادة الأولى من هذا المرسوم التشريعي عدم وجود ادعاء شخصي أو شكوى شخصية أو أن يتم اسقاط هذا الادعاء حتى وإن تم الاسقاط بعد اكتساب الحكم الدرجة القطعية ويأخذ مفعول اسقاط الحق الشخصي تسديد المحكوم عليه بحكم قطعي كافة المبالغ والنفقات المحكوم بها في صندوق المحكمة.

المادة 3 /أ / يشكل وزير العدل بالتنسيق مع وزير الدفاع اللجان الطبية اللازمة لفحص المستفيدين من احكام الفقرة /أ / من المادة الأولى من هذا المرسوم التشريعي بناء على طلب يتقدم به المستفيد خلال مدة اقصاها سبعة ايام من تاريخ صدوره.

ب/ تصدر تقارير اللجان الطبية بقرار من وزير العدل او وزير الدفاع كل فيما يخصه.

المادة 4 ينشر هذا المرسوم التشريعي في الجريدة الرسمية ويعتبر نافذا من تاريخ صدوره.

دمشق في 19-7-1432 هجري الموافق لـ 20-6-2011 ميلادي.

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June 21st, 2011, 12:42 pm


210. 5 dancing shlomos said:

possibly millions of syrians are in the streets to support their government.

this is an explicit vote for the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

if an election were held now, the government would receive no less than 75% of the legitimate votes.

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June 21st, 2011, 12:52 pm


211. Syrian Knight said:

Jad, the AP Youtube video says thousands. Clearly, there were more people then just thousands.

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June 21st, 2011, 12:59 pm


212. Syrian Commando said:


Don’t expect the enemy’s media to hand us any kind of victory. They’re an absolute disgrace, a joke, no one should pay attention to them.

Russia Today said it was millions, by the way.

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June 21st, 2011, 1:01 pm


213. Nour said:


And then they tell us that they are peaceful and support freedom and democracy. These people who cannot tolerate opposing viewpoints expect Syrians to support them. They should all be arrested, tried, and given the maximum possible sentence.

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June 21st, 2011, 1:05 pm


214. 5 dancing shlomos said:

the media of syria’s enemies is one of their many weapons in all their wars.

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June 21st, 2011, 1:16 pm


215. SANDRO LOEWE said:

أعلن وزير الخارجية الإيطالى فرانكو فراتينى أن حكومة بلاده ترغب فى التوصل إلى قرار من الأمم المتحدة ضد السلطات السورية .
وقال فراتينى – فى حديث تلفزيونى اليوم الثلاثاء – إن خطاب الرئيس السورى بشار الأسد أمس الاثنين جاء مخيبا للآمال وبشكل كبير, فكنت آمل الكثير من الرئيس السورى , واصفا إياه بالرجل الذى فقد الإحساس بالواقع .

Maybe Mr. Assad has lost its touch with reality, or maybe he was never ever in touch with reality.

In the past he maybe had more chances to be in touch with realitites but now I am sure that all suckers around him have no interest in let him now reality as it is. This is the only explanation I find that he is acting as if he lived in another world. This is the absolute contrary of what his father had done.

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June 21st, 2011, 1:26 pm


216. Syrian Knight said:

2,100,000 in Damascus
950,000 in Lattakia
1,100,000 in Tartous
1,900,000 in Aleppo
1,300,000 in Homs
150,000 in Hama
65,000 in Dara’a
600,000 in Hasaka
200,000 in Der Al Zor
450,000 in Raqa
550,000 in Swaydah
According to preliminary statistics for the Lebanese TV (LBC), 9,365,000 Syrian citizens were in the marches today to support the President and the reform process.
Were they all forced to go on the streets??
Do they all work at Syriatel??
Are they all employees in the government??? Are these people all security force men and soldiers?
Since the demonstrations have started in Syria every friday we see protest and the largest one was 160,000. So do the math and tell me what you think?
Take into consideration that university and baccalaureate students could not participate as they are still having exams.

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June 21st, 2011, 1:29 pm


217. Syrian Knight said:

Radical Islamic garbage terrorists caught on camera. May they suffer torturous deaths:

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June 21st, 2011, 1:40 pm


218. jad said:

I think there is one things that is fundamentally wrong in the way the organizers of the uprising and their supporters works, they have this disgusting techniques of denying absolutely every wrong doing and every incident and blame it immediately on the regime even when evidences are showing that the things they are denying is actually happened under their names with their own hands.
I was reading an article today and the writer still deny that a massacre of military men did happen in Jis Asshghour and noway that 120 personnels can be killed! yet we still reading about mass graves discovered and some video clips of the ‘armed’ gangs stocking the dead solders’ bodies in a pickup along pictures of the presidents to throw them in Al3asi river, ‘peacefully’.

Even today’s incident in Hama, it showed the exact same behaviors we saw month ago in the same location by the protesters yet they blame it on the regime ‘shabiha’ and went out and spread flyers saying that the regime did that.

They still don’t understand the basic of ethical rules, that to convince people of your message you have to be more moral, more honest and smarter alternative of what they already have.
Instead they Keep lying and denying their supporters’ acts forgetting that these attitude wont get them any support.
They don’t have neither the honesty nor the bravery or the long term vision needed to achieve what they want and I think that they will keep doing the same mistakes over and over.

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June 21st, 2011, 1:56 pm


219. Nour said:


The problem is that they have no ideas and no clear program that we can educate ourselves on in order to determine whether or not we should support them. Their basic position is the regime should fall and then we’ll see what happens. Well this is nonsense. No one is willing to move toward the unknown with all the serious risks that it carries. Moreover, it is totally irresponsible for so-called “opposition” figures living in foreign countries, living in lavish homes and receiving money from certain sides, to say that they will accept nothing less than the collapse of the regime, when they are not the ones who will pay for the consequences of such an occurrence. They are essentially throwing their people into the fire without them having to be accountable for anything. President Bashar al Assad is calling for a national dialogue with no red lines and no limits as to the topics of discussion and inviting all those willing to participate with no exceptions. Yet, instead of taking advantage of this measure and participating in this national dialogue, bringing with them their own ideas for how Syria should move forward, they stubbornly refuse and declare that they won’t accept anything other than total regime collapse. Only the most irresponsible, careless, shallow, and treacherous people would take such a position from afar, while living in comfort and luxury. They are total hypocrites.

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June 21st, 2011, 2:07 pm


220. jad said:

This is another clip of today’s rallies:

راياتك بالعالي يا سورية……….سورية

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June 21st, 2011, 2:12 pm


221. jad said:

Even in Tunisia and Egypt the regime is still there, it takes generations to remove any regime.
Even in Germany after 20 years of unification, east Germany still not fully transformed to west Germany and that under democracy, richness and peace with the support of the whole universe, so how stupid for anybody to even think that removing a regime in the Levant with all it’s cultural, religious and political conflicts still at it’s high in one day, it’s madness.
I think the only way to change the regime is to work on updating it and get fully involved as opposition in the dialougue and the process offered to you, otherwise, you are gambling high on the destruction of everything.

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June 21st, 2011, 2:20 pm


222. Damascene said:

Syrian Knight, what is your Youtube page?

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June 21st, 2011, 2:23 pm


223. N.Z. said:

This is not about one man, one family,rather, it is about a nation a people and in the midst we have a cancerous entity that wants to hinder any positive movement of 400 million people.

It is incumbent on this family who hindered the advancement of its nation all in the name of Zionism, imperialism annd the West, to insure us a safe transition. They till this moment are acting as they always did, for the past 40years as if they own the country and its people.

My conviction is, they will serve those who installed them in the first place till the last minute, intentionally or not. We the people deserve a ruler whose first and last interest is the country, not he and his entourage. They are there to serve and not to be glorified. Especially when all we were granted for decades is an iron fist against us all. Syria, free from tyranny, corruption and treason.

We are hand tight, in a waiting mode and under their merciless decisions when it comes to our national interest. No one knows were they will take us from here. This is were unity rather than finger pointing will serve us. All of the commentators are living faraway in a safe haven and trying to distract by adopting the regime propaganda. Wisdom is sound.

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June 21st, 2011, 2:34 pm


224. Nour said:


I totally agree. Here is a post from Ghassan Ben Jeddo.

معارضة تواصلت معي بإلحاح…”نريدك أن تشاركنا مشهد الشارع.. السوريون نزلوا بصدق بعد خطاب الرئيس وقالوا كلمتهم للاصلاح وضد التخريب، ونحن معارضون للسلطة لكن خيبة أملنا في بعض الخارج والاعلام كبيرة لتحريضه وتجاهل الحقائق “.هكذا قالت. وأنا أضيف للرأي العام العربي بمحبة: نحن مع حرية السوريين بلا تردد،، لكننا لن نكون ما حيينا أدوات لغرب متآمر وأعراب جاهليين بما يستهدف المقاومة ويؤدي الى تقسيم وفتنة حتى ولو من دون قصد.

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June 21st, 2011, 2:35 pm


225. Gus said:

Today the Syrian People said their word, and if somebody does not understand there is nothing else to say.

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June 21st, 2011, 2:48 pm


226. AIG said:

This the truth:

Until the Syrian government allows in the free press, every word they say is a lie. What are they hiding? What are they so afraid of?

If the Syrian people support Bashar, why is he afraid of multi-party elections?

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June 21st, 2011, 2:52 pm


227. SANDRO LOEWE said:

The regime is playing the confussion card. Now people who support the regime are pro reforms but those who wanted refomrs first are now terrorist clans. People peacefully asking for reforms were today massively sent to the streets happy about reforms promised by president and defending the country from those who asked reforms before the president was forced to accept he (one day and maybe) will make some reform. But only when those who ask for reforms stop asking reforms. He, the president, control the facts. And he will decided when, how, why and where there will be a reform, if there is. So now there is a confrontation between people who ask reforms and people who ask reforms too. Now everybody needs reforms. Maybe after one year there will have been no reform. But the most important thing here is that everybody wants the same and nobody knows what they want.

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June 21st, 2011, 2:54 pm


228. Mina said:

The regime is playing confusion?
If you have watched the 3 “activists” interviewed by Joshua Landis : Ammar Abdulhamid, Fidaaldin Al-Sayed Issa, Usama Monajed, wouldn’t you say that they were also confused, from the start?

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June 21st, 2011, 3:04 pm


230. SANDRO LOEWE said:


Yes, the regime is playing confussion. And these 3 are too very confused. The regime loves people like these 3 persons that have no clear objectives. The real oppositors have been in prison for long years. I guess you know their names perfectly and the unexisting crimes for which they are in prison. Or maybe they are fake … as everything in this forum, according to president supporters ?

This regime and many others love to play confussion in order to divide the people and to avoid any real revolution to take place. But it is only a question of time until people is more and more concious of their situation.

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June 21st, 2011, 3:38 pm


231. Yazan said:


You do realize that this “amnesty”, only concerns drug dealers, drug addicts, petty thieves and people convicted of taking briberies and corruption?

I am not asking you to join the revolution, all I am asking is a little bit of perspective. This is a very reactionary move, and to paint it otherwise is completely hypocritical (I’m talking about the article you posted, ofcourse). This wasn’t an amnesty for political prisoners, or those arrested and (are probably being tortured as we speak) at demonstrations. Don’t you agree that this is probably not the best message of “reform” to send, one day after what was heralded as a “historic speech” and a new era?

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June 21st, 2011, 3:46 pm


233. why-discuss said:


#203, #205

Thanks, this is the Syria we love!
If Aljazeera and BBC arr not convinced, at least the friends of Syria are convinced that they are right to keep this friendship.
The enemies will always try to find explanations to an event that negates all they have been trying to push of misinformation in the media.

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June 21st, 2011, 5:14 pm


234. Tara said:

Jad & Why,

Please read Badr above link.

I like the term “deliberate scaremongering… They want to use Islam as the big bogeyman… it is nonsense. We just want freedom, …, we want to get rid of a dictatorship and the security forces.”

Isn’t that what many of the regime supporters do? Any one who voices a different opinion here on SC, gets automatically labeled as Aroori and gets fiercely attacked? And suddenly we find ourselves learning about some guy (ibn Taymiah) born in the 11th century who we are allegedly strictly following his fatwas to kill you all. Isn’t that exactly what institutionalized scaremongering means?

Jad, I followed your conversation with Nour and it really sounds pretty logic. I especially like your conclusion “…I think the only way to change the regime is to work on updating it and get fully involved as opposition in the dialogue…” I can’t agree more. And I agree also with Why comment that the current opposition is disorganized and has no real leadership and if Bashar disappears, we may find Syria transforming into a US puppet…

The problem here is that you can not have your cake and eat it too. Imprisonment and torture is the probable fate of anyone who dares to publicly call himself the opposition? You can’t call for national dialogue and Ali Abbas and cousin Atef waiting for you at the corner to do what they do best. So what national dialogue is possible here?

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June 21st, 2011, 5:21 pm


235. why-discuss said:

Tara, Jad

The local opposition first must accept that the only person who can lead the transformation is Bashar Al Assad. As long as they keep asking for his overthrown, only violence will prevail because Bashar will want to protect the country from civil war and total collapse and he won’t have any other way then violent repression.
Once the local opposition accepts that Bashar is the only choice and they show their genuine willingness to cooperate, then they can get organized into committees to dialog, keeping peaceful pressure from the street if necessary. A referendum on the proposed reforms will be submitted to the population. Then we’re talking among responsible adults to transform Syria completely.
That’s my view on the way to get out of the vicious circle that serves only Syria’s enemies

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June 21st, 2011, 6:36 pm


236. sheila said:

I am completely shocked at most of these comments. I am sure that you people have never lived in Syria. There is no one in Syria that supports the regime other than members of the regime and those whose livelihood is directly connected to the regime. There are lots of people however who are affraid of the alternative, and rightly so. What did this thugocracy offer the country for people to like it? the list is very long. It starts with corruption, lack of institutions, no dignity and ends with a bleak economic outlook. Please people. If you had spent a day in Syria, you would know that no one goes out on a so called “masira” by choice. I would like to refer to the father of Hamza, who had to go on TV and praise the president after his 13 year old died from torture. I rest my case.

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June 21st, 2011, 10:07 pm


237. Mariam said:

I agree with you, Sheila, most of the people talking here don’t even know where is Syria, less they are going to know how people think there.

Of course there is a lot of people afraid of speaking in front of their own sons and daughters, people who were living most of their lives in fear, a fierce fear grabbing them, not letting them even think, trying to convince themselves that if you deny it, it’s not happening. Only when you have their confidence, they tell you that 30 years ago a brother, 13 years old, was in the street doing mockery of the regime, you know how children are, it had no meaning for him, but mukhabarat got him, took him to prison for 20 years, and one fine joking boy became a frightened man, surrounded by all the frightened people of his family. And this story you can hear again and again, children taken away from their families, raised in prisons under torture, or may be young men who were in the wrong place at the wrong time… they, their families, their neighbours, their friends, learnt to be afraid always, except if you were one of the “lucky ones” who were torturing, killing, and getting enormously rich from the poverty of the rest of the country. These lucky ones, of course, have an only fear: to see one day the regime falling down, down, down…

Wait and see…

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June 22nd, 2011, 6:25 pm


238. Syrian Commando said:

Two comments above me are completely clueless.

You can’t FORCE 10 million people to demonstrate on the street. If they all hated the government, that’s an instant-revolution.

Complete retardation, right in front of us.

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June 23rd, 2011, 4:17 am


239. Mariam said:

Syrian commando: yes, they can force them to go to the streets… once in the school they tried to take my son to one of this “spontaneous” demonstrations pro-regime, but I didn’t let him go to the school that day. Most of his companions were in the demonstrations only because the were in the school.

All the teachers were forced by the school directors.

In many companies, they forced the workers to go, providing them with buses, and passing lists.

In many public offices there were official papers forcing them to attend the demonstrations.

You simply deny it because you are one of them, one of the regime!! You fill your mouth with Syria, talking about patriotism, but you are forgetting that syrian people are real, and suffer!!

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June 23rd, 2011, 7:14 am


240. Talal said:

It seems this is becoming something of the English version of Alddounia. You can’t force people to take to the streets? Have you ever been in Syria? I have been forced to go on demonstrations/masirat from primary school to college, to work. And someone has the temerity to say the people have spoken? What planet are you from? And who on earth said they’re 10 million? The Syrian population is around 20 millions, and so if exclude infants, old people, most women, the army, the police, the ill, etc, everybody was there. I like the guy who posted all those numbers, exact counts down to single individuals. Yes I’m very convinced because you didn’t use round numbers.

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June 23rd, 2011, 11:28 am


241. Talal said:

I especially enjoyed post 201 by “Syrian”. “I talked to people from Jisr Alshughour”. The oldest trick in the book! Of course nobody knows who you are, where you are from, who you talked to, or if you talked to any damn person, but still there is no way to question what you say, just because you said it. I’ll take your word for it. But I would like to know about the taxi drivers in Damascus? Did they talk to “people from Jisr Alshughour” too? Those Jisr Alshughourian seem to be everywhere, don’t they? I guess they’re going on tours all over the country, telling people “passionately” about those invisible gunmen. By the way, the next time you express an opinion please speak for yourself: don’t pontificate about what the Syrians want or the “only” god/leader who can make any change in Syria. Just asserting something, no matter how forcefully you do it, does not make it right, except of course if you’re on Addounia. And finally, Syria will not be lost for humankind if your god is overthrown (what kind of “Syrian” would say a thing like that?), and the US and Israel as worried about the fall of the regime as you are.

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June 23rd, 2011, 11:44 am


242. 5 dancing shlomos said:

#’s 236, 237 are probably commenting from outside d.c. where all good patriotic syrians, libyans, iraqis live and from where they support zionist-american wars of violent aggression, greed, destruction, misery, against their innocent countrymen today and for the long future.

millions of syrians were in the streets by their own volition because they have seen the freedoms given to iraq, afganistan, jordan, s. arabia, the lebanon of hariri. they see the democracy with its attendant freedoms trying to be established in libya.

syrians have decided in mass numbers that the current government is their government and they will fight for it and will defeat the lying, murdering aggressors along with their day dreaming or self serving fools.

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June 23rd, 2011, 11:53 am


243. Tan Mann said:

Dancing Shlomos,

Where are commenting from? Downtown Hama? We do not need to be lectured on patriotism by (edited for insult) like you. Your masters in Kherdahaa are calling you, they need you to pack their stuff right away, better hurry up or the plane to Tehran may be delayed…

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July 24th, 2011, 5:47 am


244. abc said:

For anyone who loves Aleppo.

Here’s a beautiful tribute to the city by writer Nihad Sirees, who puts his memories of growing up there against the violence and horror of the present.

Geography of Secrets:


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January 19th, 2013, 5:03 pm


245. zoo said:

عودة الحياة إلى شوارع وأحياء وأسواق ومدارس تلكلخ في حمص

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January 19th, 2013, 5:05 pm


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