Advice For UN from a Retired Diplomat and for Pres. Assad from David Lesch

Italy, France urge EU sanctions as Syria violence escalates

France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain summoned on Wednesday respective Syrian ambassadors to condemn the use of violence against protesters by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Inhabitant of Damascus (A retired diplomat living in Damascus who prefers to remain anonymous)

This is a sad time in Syria. The local version of the ‘Arab Uprising’ is now 5 weeks old, and entering a new phase.  Human rights organisations estimate 453 have been killed. The expulsion of foreign media (with the exception of Al Jazeera, coralled in central Damascus); the one sided propagandist coverage of state media; and the limitations of protester YouTube clips, severely limits local and international understanding of what is going on.

What is clear is that the pro-democracy movement has failed to get significant numbers on the streets.  Their biggest demonstration appears to have been in Homs at 20,000.  So how many have protested in the country?  I estimate 400,000 max.  That is less than 2% of Syria’s 22 million.  98% of the population have stayed home and while yearning for more freedoms, participation in the running of the country, and a relaxation of the police state, do not wish to face the likely chaos that an overthrow of the Batthi regime would entail.  The Iraq and Lebanon situations are ongoing reminders of what might occur. There has been very little enthusiasm in Damascus (except in the outlying suburb of Douma), or in Aleppo.  Nearly half Syria’s population lives in these two cities. The pro-democracy movement has failed to organise effectively, and lacks cohesion. The fact remains that while Assad’s reputation has been severely dented by the government’s ineptitude and brutality in dealing with the protesters and the so-called reform agenda, most Syrians respect Assad enough to see him as a hope for meaningful reform.  While they will not give him the benefit of the doubt forever, the fear of chaos, including secular conflict, is very real. In this respect they see the pro-democracy movement as naive and out of touch with reality.

State TV has run detailed footage of the funerals of security force personnel for around 3 weeks.  25 were buried yesterday (26 April), names read, families interviewed, and another 21 today. They were apparently killed in Deraa.  This coverage in my view presents hard evidence that there are indeed groups shooting soldiers and police, and shooting at firemen and ambulance drivers. I estimate that around 60 service personnel have died.  The regime claims that there are ‘armed gangs/terrorists’ shooting at security forces and civilians. The regime claims that some have been arrested, and have confessed to being paid and armed (through mosque contacts).  The ‘gang members’ have appeared on TV with caches of weapons. These claims cannot be independently verified.

Who killed these security personnel?  The regime does not accuse the pro-democracy movement. This is significant. Who might these armed gangs be? There are plenty of likely suspects.  Syria has many enemies. Lebanese sunnis? Lebanese phalangist Christians; sunni Muslim radicals, including the Muslim Brotherhood; the Kurdish minority; Israel’s mossad; disaffected Alawi insiders including ex-VP Kaddam; fringe elements of the security forces?  All are possible. The region is awash with weapons and the desert and mountain borders are porous. If armed gangs are responsible, which seems highly likely, this is a complication that sets Syria apart from Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. This dilemma should be recognised as states rush to get on the condemn Assad bandwagon.

It is also difficult to obtain verifiable information on who is responsible for the estimated 453 civilian deaths. With no independent media on the ground, and state media not providing this coverage, international media must rely on YouTube. And power cuts to Daraa and Douma severely limit internet access. (The regime clearly has something to hide.) Many of the YouTube clips show unarmed protesters coming under fire and being killed and wounded.  For the most part they do not show who is doing the shooting.  Some clips however do strongly indicate that security forces are responsible.  It is clear that there have been orders to fire on unarmed civilians. Assad admitted as much when he gave orders, since amended after armed attacks, for security forces not to carry live ammunition. Most of the civilian deaths probably have been caused by the security forces.  However some armed groups may be causing havoc by also shooting civilians. The fact that some units of the regime’s security apparatus do not wear uniforms (we see them around Damascus with their AKs every day) adds to confusion.

As the UN Security Council considers a response to the tragic and worsening Syrian situation, it is important to UNSC credibility that the circumstances facing the Assad regime are accurately considered. While the current crackdowns in Deraa and Douma seem dire, any international response should be based on the known facts. Who is killing Syrian security personnel?

More than 230 ruling Baath members resign in Syria
April 27, 2001

Another 203 members of Syria’s ruling Baath party announced their resignation Wednesday in protest of the deadly crackdown on protesters, raising the number to 233, according to lists seen by AFP.

The latest group to step down were members from the Houran region, which covers the flashpoint town of Daraa in the south of the country. Earlier 30 members resigned from the restive city of Banias in northwest Syria.

“The security services have demolished the values with which [it] grew up. We denounce and condemn everything that has taken place and announce with regret our resignation from the party,” they said in a signed statement.

“Practices of the security services against our unarmed citizens … are against all human values and the slogans of the party,” they wrote.

The Baath party signatories from the Banias region condemned “the house raids and the indiscriminate use of live fire against people, homes, mosques and churches.”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has been rocked by unprecedented protests since March 15 demanding reform and an end to a draconian emergency law.

Shock in Syria: the Messy and Unlikely Alternatives for Bashar
by David W. Lesch
For Syria Comment

Early this year, Syrian President Bashar al-Asad portrayed his country as being different, almost immune from the uprisings that had beset Tunisia and Egypt.  The mouthpieces of the Syrian regime consistently echoed this arrogance, even to the point of siding with the protestors in their Arab brethren countries.  They pointed out that the septuagenarian and octogenarian leaders of these states were out of touch with their populations. They were also corrupt lackeys of the United States.  The implication, of course, was that Asad, a relatively young 45, was in touch with the Arab youth. He also confronted the United States and Israel in the region and supported the resistance forces of Hamas and Hizbullah, thus brandishing credentials that played well in the Arab street.

This may have bought him some time, but it was a misreading of the situation—or denial of it.  Having met with Asad a number of times over the past 7 years, I can almost guarantee that he was absolutely shocked when the uprisings in the Arab world started to seep into his own country.  I believe he truly thought he was safe and secure…and popular beyond condemnation.  But not in today’s new Middle East, where the stream of information cannot be controlled as it has been in the past. The perfect storm of higher commodity prices, Wikileaks, and the youth bulge—and their weapon of mass destruction, the social media—have bared for all to see widespread socio-economic problems, corruption, and restricted political space, and authoritarian regimes can no longer shape or contain this information.  In this Syria was no different.

One might recognize the stages of shock in Asad, similar to the five stages of grief. Following his denial, Asad displayed incredulity, even anger that fueled a blatant triumphalism, apparent in his initial speech of March 30 that incorrectly placed the bulk of the blame for the uprisings in Syria on conspirators and foreign enemies, thus ignoring the very real domestic problems that lay at the root of public frustration and despair.

Asad then reached the bargaining stage, where one attempts to do anything possible to postpone one’s fate.  There is recognition of problems and attempts to address them, apparent in Asad’s speech to his new cabinet on April 16, when he announced the lifting of the almost 50-year state of emergency law, among other proposed reforms.  But the protests and associated violence continued. The most dangerous phase could be if Asad withdraws into seclusion, trying to come to grips with the reality of the situation.  This is dangerous because Bashar might cede his leadership role to others, and filling the void could be hardliners who advocate an even harsher crackdown.  This may be what is happening now. One hopes that Asad passes through this stage very quickly and reasserts himself toward the final one, that of acceptance.

If I could visit with Bashar al-Asad today I would tell him that he has three choices.  First, he could continue to unleash the hounds and brutally repress the uprising.  He would stay in power, but then he would become an international pariah and join the ranks of the Saddam Hussein’s and Pol Pot’s of this world, and he would eventually most likely meet the same fate.  I know Asad fairly well.  He is at base a likable guy, a good family man. Believe me he does not want this legacy. On the other hand, he has been isolated before by the United States and the international community, especially following the assassination of Rafiq Hariri in 2005…and survived, even prospered. There is less international leverage against Syria than was the case with Egypt, Tunisia and others. Perhaps he believes he can survive again. It is currently a dangerous phase for both sides.  The regime’s crackdown is playing right into the hands of opposition elements.  With every death more Syrians will coalesce around the idea that Bashar must go…and nothing short of this will suffice; however, this could be dangerous for the opposition because if the regime thinks its only choices are elimination or survival, it will obviously choose the latter and do what is necessary.

Second, he could try to muddle through as he has, with a mix of reforms and crackdowns. The latest escalation by the regime, sanctioning a more prominent role for the military, does not necessarily indicate an abandonment of this approach.  The regime could be engaging in a show of force to deter others from joining the uprising and creating the critical mass necessary to upend the regime, as happened in Egypt. He could also be demonstrating military support for the regime, and any hopes of separating the two, similar to what happened in Egypt, are superfluous. The regime also does not want to look weak, and it could very well be that the government might announce another set of reforms soon…and wanting to do so from a position of strength rather than being seen to be giving into the demands of the protesters.  But the opposition is not going away, the demands are getting stiffer, the protestors bolder.  This could lead to a long-term cycle of spasmodic protests and associated violence. If this back and forth continues, Bashar will be incrementally de-legitimized, especially if the economic effects of political instability exacerbate an already stressed Syrian economy and undermine critical support for the regime. Sooner or later, one of three things will happen: Bashar, his wife, and his children will be hauled away in chains like Mubarak and his family; they will be murdered either by masses storming the gates or elements close to him who, seeing the writing on the wall, switch sides; or they could escape to join the growing dictator-in-exile club, living a life of anonymity and regret in a strange land.

Third, he could accept the inevitable (and the reality of these other less desirable alternatives) and do what is in the long-term best interests of himself and his country before it is too late (and it may already be):  establish a new precedent in the Arab world as well as a positive legacy for himself by announcing real political reform, including new party and election laws, the elimination of article 8 of the Syrian constitution that secures the rule of the Baath party, and, most importantly perhaps, setting presidential terms limits.  The days of individuals—or father and son tag teams—ruling 20, 30, or 40 years are over.  People want to choose their own leaders and want governments responsive to their demands and changing circumstances, not ossified, corrupt regimes.  Bashar needs to address the people directly, not indirectly via a sycophantic parliament and cabinet.  He made his mark in Syria because he seemed different.  He mingled with everyday Syrians and was not the aloof, secluded tyrant. His wife has been quite visible and civically active.  He needs to look into the camera and address his people, admitting the mistakes, redressing them, and mapping out a way forward. If Asad does this, who knows, maybe he could still be president for one of these new presidential terms, riding a new wave of popularity with the silent majority and an organizational lead over others. After that, however, spending more time with your family and being an elder statesman who is respected for doing what was thought to be impossible is not such a bad outcome.

David W. Lesch is Professor of Middle East history at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.  Among his books are: The New Lion of Damascus: Bashar al-Asad and Modern Syria; The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History; The Middle East and the United States: A Historical and Political Reassessment; and 1979: The Year That Shaped the Middle East.

Comments (67)

N.Z. said:

I liked the article and what the author had to say about Bashar’s choices. And he has many.

“Shock in Syria: the Messy and Unlikely Alternatives for Bashar
by David W. Lesch”

David Lesch, seems to be someone who truly liked Bashar, as the majority of Syrian did. He painted him in a picture that is how, we, majority of Syrians viewed him before March 30th speech.

Listening to Joshua’s interview and contrasting it with what David had to say is like day and night.

Joshua, seems to have one scenario that he keeps bringing up, civil war, minorities…..Christians, Alawites, Druze, this scenario is what this junta wants us to believe, either us or a civil war, either Baath with Bashar at its helm, or chaos and civil strife.

If this autocratic president really like his country and as David points out there is a way out, “establish a new precedent in the Arab world as well as a positive legacy for himself by announcing real political reform, including new party and election laws, the elimination of article 8 of the Syrian constitution that secures the rule of the Baath party, and, most importantly perhaps, setting presidential terms limits.”

This will save the country and the people of Syria, a planned or unplanned civil war. It is a win win solution. The Assads’ will enter history as “The Syrian Reformers of Syria”. The Alawites legacy will be second to the Umayyads.

If they really care about minorities, this is the only solution, but the unfolding events, till this day, proof that they only care for the Assads, Makhloofs and a new addition the Akhrass.

April 27th, 2011, 4:56 pm


surprised said:

is the retired diplomat Syrian or foreigner?

April 27th, 2011, 4:58 pm


surprised said:

one more comment:
If the security forces are shooting on people then the security apparatus is committing a crime and should me dismantled.

If a gang is causing this havoc in Syria despite 1,000,000 security personnel, then the security apparatus has failed to protect Syrians, and should be dismantled.

In all cases, Syrians do not deserve and do not need this 16+ branches security apparatus.

This argument does not take into account the horrors and injustice committed by the security apparatus over the last decade.


April 27th, 2011, 5:12 pm


Sophia said:

Western countries are not interested by accuracy and truth about what is going on in Syria. They never were anyway in recent history, otherwise we would not see the lies and the gap between assessments on the ground and foreign policy as shown by Wikileaks.

In the middle east uprisings which caught western powers by surprise, they are only interested in opportunities and in what might these opportunities bring for their influence in the region.

This is a short term view. As for the long term, it will be up to the people of Syria, and eventually Lebanon and Iraq and Jordan and Palestine, to live with the long term consequences of a very disorganized revolution that is either monitored by the Muslim brotherhood or will be anyway up for grab by these racists fanatics.

Thanks for the ambassador analysis, I wish more people can think like him.

April 27th, 2011, 5:23 pm


Majed97 said:

Unless Syria is willing to establish a completely secular constitution to be vigorously protected by a completely secular military, any talks of democracy and freedom are just short term slogans to allow a different group to gain and monopolize power. Turkey’s democratic model has been fairly successful, and could be used as a guideline for Syria.

I think in the long run Syrians will adopt progress and abandon those who refuse to step into the real world, namely the MB. I also think Bashar will win Syria’s first free presidential election. At least, He’s got my vote…

April 27th, 2011, 5:26 pm


jad said:

مندوب روسيا في مجلس الامن:
“العنف ليس من طرف واحد هناك ضحايا من الجيش والامن”

مندوب الصين في مجلس الامن :
“الحكومة السورية تقوم باصلاحات وهي تجري تحقيق في الاحداث الاخيرة”

أوردت صحيفة الأخبار اللبنانية اليوم (الأربعاء 27/4/2011) أن المواقف الدولية طغت أمس على الأحداث في الأراضي السورية، التي انخفضت وتيرة الأنباء الخاصة بها. وقالت الصحيفة إن الحدث الأبرز أمس على مستوى الحراك الدولي في هذا الشأن، هو إحباط محاولة لنقل ملف سورية إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي.

ولكنّ أهم ما أوردته الأخبار، هو الحديث عن معلومات تحدثت عن ضغوط عربية لتدويل الأحداث في سورية عبر جعلها بنداً أساسياً على جدول أعمال هذا مجلس الأمن. وقالت إنه “كان يُفترض أن تبدأ هذه المسيرة ببيان رئاسي يدين العنف الذي تمارسه السلطات السورية بحق المتظاهرين، على أن تليه سلسلة من الخطوات على رأسها استصدار قرار دولي”. وكان الموقف الروسي أمس حاسماً لجهة منع صدور البيان الرئاسي.

أما مَن هي الأطراف العربية، وما غاياتها، فيكشف داود رمال في صحيفة السفير اليوم ونقلا عن مصادر دبلوماسية عربية «ان دولة قطر رصدت موازنة ضخمة لإسقاط النظام السوري ووزعت جزءا من هذا المبلغ على وسائل إعلامية عربية ولبنانية، إضافة الى احتضان المعارضة السورية، وخاصة «الأخوان المسلمين» بالتنسيق مع الأتراك، وتزويدها بكل ما تحتاجه من دعم مالي وإعلامي وسياسي».

مصدر رسمي : الحكومة الاردنية اصدرت تعليمات صارمة لشركات الاتصالات العاملة على أراضيها بالحجب الكلي لتغطية شبكاتهم في درعا و المناطق المحيطة.

April 27th, 2011, 5:38 pm


why-discuss said:

I agree with the third option but I think it has to be done in a position of force, otherwise it could be interpreted as a concession and may trigger more violence from opposition hardliners.

He must forcefully remove all the weapons hidden in the caches in Deraa and other places and disloge armed criminals.
He should authorize peaceful demonstrations only in specific places protected by police forces to prevent any introduction of weapons (that was done in tahreer square). This will allow the syrians who were afraid to demonstrate to show their demands clearly.
After that he make start a dialog to announce progessive major changes to the system.

April 27th, 2011, 5:56 pm


jad said:

Aljadid TV, U-Turn

بالامكانِ تسميتُها تغييراً في الرأي ..إنقلاباً أو بالمصطلحِ اللبنانيّ تكويعة، لكنَّ دماءَ سوريا أغلى من أيِّ إصلاحات .
عندما يسقُطُ الجنودُ قتلى، وعندما يجري تبادلُ إطلاقِ النار فهذا يَعني أنَّ الجهاتِ التي تتربّصُ بإسقاطِ نظامِ الممانعة ليست محليةً وحسب، وإنما لها امداداتٌ خارجية وَجدت أن في الفلتانِ فرصةً للضربِ بيدٍ مِن فتنة ، ولعزلِ سوريا بقيادتِها هذه المرةَ وتركِها ساحةً للعِبِ بيدِ الأصوليةِ السلَفية وباقي الخدّامِ الطامحينَ للعودةِ الى دمشق من بابِ قصرِها.
ما تُثبِتهُ الايام وصورُ المعارك أنَّ هناكَ فئاتٍ مسلحةً ومنظمة تضرِبُ وتشكو الظلمَ ،تتحدّثُ عن مئةِ قتيل ولا تشيعُ منهم إلا القليل، تُصوّبُ السلاحَ باتجاهِ الجنودِ وتدَّعِي التظاهراتِ السلمية ، تسمعُ وتتلمَّسُ طلائعَ الاصلاحاتِ فتضرِبُها بالنار، وهناك تَسقطُ أيُّ مطالبةٍ بالإصلاحِ أمامَ أولويةِ امنِ الناس ودِفءِ قُراهم والحِفاظِ على استقرارٍ نَعِموا بظله أربعةَ عقود.
لم يُعطَ الرئيسُ الفُرصةَ لتطبيقِ ما وعدَ به وأُطلقت النيرانُ على قراراتِه ما حتّمَ فرضيةَ التدخّلِ العسكريِّ الذي بدأَ مِن دَرعا ويتّجهُ نحوَ بانياس بإعادةِ السيطرةِ على قرىً يَعتقد النظامُ أنها ملجأٌ للمسلحين العابثين بالامن. في المقابل أعدّتِ الدولُ الغربيةُ مشروعاً لادانةِ سوريا في مجلسِ الأمنِ الذي يَنعقدُ اليوم وسْطَ تعليماتٍ زُودَ بها المندوبُ اللبنانيُّ بعدمِ الموافقةِ على القرار.
موقفُ لبنانَ أطلقه الرئيسُ نبيه بري من الاونسكو عندما رأى أنَّ على جميع اللبنانين ان يكونوا أكثرَ حِرصاً على أمنِ سوريا واستقرارِها من السوريين أنفسِهم لأنَّ النظامَ في سوريا يشكلُ ضرورةً شرقْ أوسطية، وأنَّ محاولةَ ضخِ الفوضى والفتنةِ إلى دمشق أو أي خطأٍ عابرٍ لحدود الامن القومي السوري هو لعِبٌ بالنار.
بري أيّد تحركاً قانونياً لا سياسياً في إمكانِ التورّطِ اللبنانيّ في أحداث سوريا وقال إنَّ تأخيرَ التأليف وإن لم يكن مقصوداً فهو يشكّلُ جُزءاً من المؤامرةِ على سوريا .
وقياساً على تقويمِ الأستاذ فإنَّ المؤامرة مستمرة، والبلادَ لا تزال في حال الشللِ والتنازلَ أصبح مطلوباً من كلِّ القيادات المقرّرةِ والفاعلةِ على خطِ التأليف، ومِن غيرِ المنطقيّ أن يعلّقَ مصيرُ الحكومةِ بوزارةٍ سيادية، وبصراعِ الجنرالين واستعمالِ الدستور للاحتماء وراءَه.

April 27th, 2011, 5:59 pm


why-discuss said:

The Safir article

While we have seen clearly with Al Jazeera that Qatar is promoting a change of regime in Syria at all costs, do yo think that Turkey is playing a double game, with the MB and Bashar Al Assad?

April 27th, 2011, 6:05 pm


Jihad said:

It is funny that the Lebanese-Wahhabi site “Now Lebanon” (also known as “Miaw Hariri”) is cited as a credible source on what’s going on in Syria!
The truth of what’s happening in Syria lies between the two pictures drawn by the retired diplomat in Damascus. The Syrian people want to change things in the country but not at any cost. The Assad regime has decided to take the gloves off while Saudi-Wahhabi funded gangs are active in the Deraa area.
The problem from the beginning is that Syria and its allies did not capitalize on the gains made in the last few years in the face of the US-Zionist onslaught. They were more reactive than active in the face of the US-led Wahhabi-Zionist coalition. Instead of giving a more profound push to the relation that was under constraction with Iran and Turkey, photo ops were preferred.
I still do believe that Syria gave Turkey more than it got back. The drought that has ravaged the agricultural sector in Syria and pushed people to the big cities is not only due the lack of sustained rainfall. It is caused in a big way by the dams that Trukey built and continues to build on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers that also impact Iraq in a very negative way.Such behaviour might lead in the near future to more instability if not to wars.
Too much precious time was wasted while the creator of the Wahhabi terrorists, Bandar Bin Sultan was preparing his triumphant return to Riyad.
May God protect Syria and its people.

April 27th, 2011, 6:07 pm


why-discuss said:

The 15-nation UN Security Council failed on Wednesday to agree on a statement to condemn the killing of Syrian protesters, diplomats said.

After talks ended in deadlock, western nations called for an immediate open meeting of the Security Council so that international anger over the crackdown by the Syrian government could be highlighted.

Russia and China blocked a statement proposed by Britain, France, Germany and Portugal that would have condemned the violence, which has led to hundreds of dead, and backed calls for an independent investigation.

“It quickly became clear that there would be no consensus on a statement,” a diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said of the talks.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

Russia on Wednesday warned western powers on the UN Security Council against “outside interference” in Syria’s strife saying it could spark civil war in the key Middle East Nation.

The Syrian government’s crackdown on opposition demonstrators “does not represent a threat to international peace and security,” Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Alexander Pankin told the 15-nation council.

“A real threat to regional security could come from outside interference,” Pankin added. “Such approaches lead to a never ending circle of violence” and could spark civil war.

The Security Council held a special meeting on Syria after failing to agree a joint statement condemning the violence in which hundreds have died.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

April 27th, 2011, 6:18 pm


Mawal95 said:

The anonymous retiree in Damascus says “Syrian State TV has run detailed footage of the funerals of security force personnel for around 3 weeks. 25 were buried yesterday (26 April), names read, families interviewed, and another 21 today. They were apparently killed in Deraa.” The English-language version of the Syrian government’s news website has similar material and today’s report begins: “Six members of the military and security forces on Wednesday were laid to rest escorted in a solemn procession from Tishreen Military Hospital after they were targeted on Tuesday by extremist terrorist groups.” To fully appreciate that those deaths are for real, you have to read the full report, which is at

The anonymous retiree in Damascus says he really does not know who is killing Syrian security personnel. But he agrees most security deaths occured in Deraa. We know the killers were intermixed with the Deraa protesters, and we know no foreigners were captured (and no Kurdish, if they’re not foreign). Therefore the culprits can only be sunni Muslim radicals native to southern Syria, including natives to Deraa, as I see it.

Today at the official news website of the government of Egypt ( there’s a story dated 27 April headlined: “Who is killing Syrians?” Their answer to the question consists solely in repeating one of the most scurrilous, delusionary allegations I’ve heard yet about anything in my whole life: “It is noteworthy that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has announced several times the killing of officers and soldiers during the uprising, accusing what he called “armed gangs” for these deaths. In contrast to Al-Assad’s allegations, Syrian activist and dissident Maan Hasbani says that “most of those were killed by the regime due to their refusal to fire on protesters.”” The fact that this Egyptian news agency could report such a ghoulish dream as an actual possibility goes to show that the Assad regime has got major public relations problems and it shows that the regime’s attempt to suppress independent journalism is counterproductive for all concerned.

April 27th, 2011, 6:21 pm


jad said:

Dear WD,
Turkey’s best interest is with stable Syria, I think Turkey will do all it could to keep things stable in Syria even if the regime fall. I also believe that Turkey is more than willing to invade Syria if things went really ugly.

We can see the result in Aleppo. I think that Aleppo and all its conservative suburbs stability during all this period come from the Turkish financial and religious influence in the city and has nothing to do with how people see or think of the regime.

I’m also convinced that what’s happening in Syria has nothing to do with Freedom, Equality or Democracy, the issue is way bigger than that.

April 27th, 2011, 6:23 pm


Sophia said:

#8 JAD,
Thanks for the Aljadid TV video. A very eloquent piece. Expresses exactly what I think and feel.

April 27th, 2011, 6:30 pm


why-discuss said:


Turkey is close to the MB and the MB visited Turkey during the uprisings leading many syrians to think that Turkey was supporting the uprising as mentionned in the Safir.
It is very possible that seeing the failure of the protesters to bring more people at demonstrations, Turkey realized that a replacement of Bashar by a sunni lead governemnt was premature. Then they changed their tune and invited a moderate Opposition to Istambul that seems to be ready to give Bashar another chance.
In addition the failure of the UNSC to condemn Syria is making many to switch their tune and talk about Bashar leading democratic reforms
I guess the wind is turning …

April 27th, 2011, 6:46 pm


News roundup — April 27 — War in Context said:

[…] Shock in Syria: the messy and unlikely alternatives for Bashar […]

April 27th, 2011, 6:46 pm


Rami said:

‘More than 230 ruling Baath members resign in Syria’

if Syria get back on its feet soon ,and it will . those people will be regreting big time ,reason is they are gambling that the Baath party is finishing soon however its not .

this kind of people who resign and acuse the government of all the killing where more that 60 police officers and military men died whilst this ‘peaceful ‘demonstrators are demonstrating .wouldn’t you ask your self how all those people dyed ?who shoot at them if its only a peaceful demonstrations?

i am a member of the Baath Party and as many others i have joined the party to get some privilege (was too young that time and i thought every one is in the party whilst they are 18 any way) but the party has nothing to do with all what is happening ,its the state fighting against terrorism so if they want to take action against the state let them abandon their citizenship and make us all happy without them

April 27th, 2011, 6:53 pm


Mawal95 said:

“But there is only one thing which gathers people into seditious commotion, and that is oppression.” — so said the philosopher John Locke in his “Letter Concerning Toleration” first published in year 1689.

One thing I never forget about the Syrian government is that it bans conservative Islamic theology books. That is, it bans Salafi | Wahabi theology books, which goes beyond banning anti-regime political books, and does deny freedom of religion to conservative Muslims. I remembered that when reading the above quote. The conservative Muslims are the generators of the commotion in Syria. They are very much in the minority in Syria, however. Therefore, the commotion will be staunched. It is only a question of how quickly that will happen, as I see it. Professor Josh entertains a possibility of an interminable, or indefinitely long, low-grade violent commotion that wrecks the economy over time. For that to be a realistic scenario the conservative Muslims would need to be more numerous among Syrian Muslims than they actually are, I say. But the regime must remove the oppressions currently imposed on conservative Muslims — they’re entitled to more respect and more freedom, and they know it. The desire in some quarters (example SOURI on this board) to keep on oppressing them is the wrong attitude in this day and age.

April 27th, 2011, 7:50 pm


why-discuss said:


If conservative moslems in Syria are aiming at creating a country ruled by Sharia law like Saudi Arabia and intolerant to other religions, I say no way! No way!

If they accept to denounce at the highest level that and accept that all religions have the right to exist and practice and that the law of the country is not the Sharia, then it is allright.
We have yet to hear then denouncing that…

April 27th, 2011, 8:24 pm


Norman said:

President Assad needs to lead the protesters as i said many times and lead the reform, doing that will save Syria and his presidency, If the opposition do not jump at the opportunity of new party law, cancelling article 8 and free supervised election, which i believe will get the support of all nations especially Turkey that will push the opposition to accept< if they do not play with plan then everybody will know that they do not have good intentions, let us hope that they want equal right not the only right, It is inportant to have a clear secular constitution that protect personal liberty and minority rights,

April 27th, 2011, 9:26 pm


Revlon said:

Day 45: Scenarios for the next phase of the Syrian revolution.

Thank you Mr. David W. Lesch for sharing your views and analysis on the Syrian crisis. I find it as close to touching realities on the ground as one can ” virtually” get.

I would like to share with you my own take, on the probable case scenarios, for the next phase of the Syrian crisis.

Judging by Jr’s self-image as the beloved leader, and by his paranoid assessment of the crisis, it would seem very unlikely that he would volunteer any meaningful concessions.
Any further concessions could only result from extreme pressure on him and the system.
This will be the result of the following complex set of , daily fluctuating, and steadily and exponentially mounting forces of pressure:

First: weakening of the system by defections, as a result of the system’s moral bankruptcy. It has already started and accelerating amongst Baath party, government, and military personnel. Given time, these factors would guarantee the self-undoing of the System .

Second the revolution is growing in strength and maturity.
Even without a visible leadership, it has shown a high level of intellectual as well as behavioral peaceful discipline that matched organized protests in free countries.
Ground and virtual networks are growing in scope and strength.
The birth of visible circles of Syrian revolution’s leadership is around the corner.
The rise of such leadership will enable the revolution to draw the road map to freedom.

Third, the revolution is winning the hearts and minds of the international and regional communities. Such will serve to both, bolster their resolve, and deprive the system of their only left legitimacy; their international recognition.

The X factor may precipitate a quick-end-scenario to the crisis, and collapse of the system by implosion.

April 27th, 2011, 9:31 pm


haz said:

Here is a clip from Syria local TV. They are showing what they claim to be an intercepted drug haul. The packets of pills have al-Jazeera logos on them. The idea being that al-Jazeera is importing the drugs to distribute in Syria.

It is this kind of insult to the intelligence of Syrians that those in power continue to deliver with a straight face. You Syrians living outside Syria, remember – this is the kind of information your friends and family are being fed. The stories about salfi/MB attacks on the armed forces have the same level of credibility.

April 27th, 2011, 9:52 pm


Mawal95 said:

I think WHY-DISCUSS has the attitude that conservative Islamists are not entitled to respect and toleration unless they’d be willing in turn to tolerate liberals living their lives in the liberal way. That’s an attitude I disagree with. Everybody is the captain of their own soul (or at least ought to be). Every soul adopts values and beliefs with all good intentions, which they sincerely believe to be all for the best, both for them and for their society as a whole. The Islamists are entitled to be respected on that basis. If you can’t extend good decent respect, you should at least be able to extend toleration.

Granted, it would be a catastrophe for the more progressive Syrians if the upholders of conservative Islamic values were to take the reins of power of the State. But that does not justify oppressing them. Especially since they don’t have a realistic chance of taking power. When you oppress them they’ll give you back sedition. When you genuinely respect them and treat them fairly they’ll quieten down. You have to rule with fairness or you will have commotion.

April 27th, 2011, 9:53 pm


Revlon said:

Dear Mr. Lesch, thank you for alluding to grief, that Jr is in all probability experiencing. Your asessment resonates with my earlier one, that I posted on this blog.

It is difficult to say whether Jr is still in the bargaining stage, or is already in the depression / withdrawal stage,

The absence of released rumours of further reforms, and the violent events of Black Friday would argue, as you did, for a state of withdrawal and depression.

These are relevent, adjusted excerpts from wikipedia rearding the stages of grief (DABDA).
“The harder a person fights the inevitable, the more likely they will be to stay in the denial stage. If this is the case, it is possible that such person will have more difficulty accepting, in a dignified way”
Those who experience problems working through the stages should consider professional grief counseling or support groups”

Hypothetically, and at the risk of sounding sarcastic, a group support therapy for the gone-by Mubarak and Bin3ali and the on-the-way-out Sale7 and Jr would be ideal.

I have intentionally left out Qiddafi; He is a hopless case of end-stage mania.

April 27th, 2011, 9:59 pm


Yasersham said:

Who is this retired Diplomat? My guess is that he is either Russian or Chinese. He is so concerned about the claimed death of the tens of security personnels but not really much about the hundreds of civilians killed by the the security forces. The Syrian TV didn’t show any meaningful report on the demonstrations but routinely aired the funerals of the security personnels, why? nothing aired about the Syrians tanks attacking Daraa? No independent committee or media outlet is allowed to practice freely in Syria to give the real pictue, why? if there is nothing to hide from the gvmnt side then why don’t they allow them to get it?
I don’t know why the percentage of demonstrators to the general population did not impress the Diplomat; that proved to me that he doesn’t know Syria well enough although he claimed he is a Diplomat there. Ten Syrians to go on a demonstration is big number for people who know Syria. Syria, North Korea and Cuba are in a class of their own.
The majority of Syrians are silent b/c they have been in a state of fear for about 50 years. I don’t expect them to change overnight.
The big two cities which has more the half the population of Syria can’t do much b/c the gvmnt deployed more than half of the security/army personnels there.

It’s a disappointing analysis from a “Diplomat”

April 27th, 2011, 10:07 pm


Norman said:

Everybody should believe in what they want and what they believe in is between God and themselves, but nobody has the right to impose what they believe in on others no matter how much they think it the right way, so the bottom line is that if the conservative reach power they should not impose their belief on others, so the constitution should be secular and resemble the American constitution and the bill of rights and not easy to change.

April 27th, 2011, 10:14 pm


why-discuss said:


You hit the jackpot! the name of the diplomat is Hu Hang Chai, he was cultural attache at the Chinese embassy.

April 27th, 2011, 10:15 pm


ziadsoury said:

From Damascus:
Great reporting. Please keep it coming. This is the real picture and it is painted beautifully by you.

As usual, beautiful.

You sound more and more like Benjamin Netanyahu. You place all these conditions on these poor souls so you can allow them to breath. We need to let them be themselves and respect their believes. I do not agree with their mind set and thinking but I will not pass a judgement on them or anyone else. God does.

I am still waiting for an answer.

100% right. These people who think they are above others are the problem in our socity.

Where are you? Miss your writings.

April 27th, 2011, 10:16 pm


why-discuss said:

Thanks for rescuing me…

April 27th, 2011, 10:17 pm


why-discuss said:


Which conditions? That they will not impose the Sharia law to Syria? Hellow… are you reading what I write? You prefer a drawing?

April 27th, 2011, 10:20 pm


Norman said:


What is the question.?

WD, You are welcome. protect my back and protect yours,

I wonder if Syria can have two different laws one( Sharia law )) for the Sunni Muslims and one for everybody else,

One of the most important laws that Syria should have is the right to change religion and that the religion that you are born into is not imposed on you, I wonder how far a law like that will go,

April 27th, 2011, 10:41 pm


Norman said:

Apparently, the opportunists Baathists are jumping ship thinking that the ship is sinking, Good ridden, It is time to know who are the real Baathists that stand for secular Syria and who are the profiteers that joined the Baath party for monetary and political gains,

April 27th, 2011, 10:51 pm


NK said:


The Baathists leaving the party in protest to what the security forces are doing are the opportunists !!! that’s a good one.

You’re wondering if Syria can have Sharia law for Sunnis and another law for everyone else. That’s an odd question coming from you, isn’t that what Syria has right now ? doesn’t every sect has its own courts and own set of rules ?. You know someone reading your comments and WD’s will think the current Syrian constitution is secular to begin with, is it ?

April 27th, 2011, 11:00 pm


Norman said:

If they were true to the Baath party they would have stood their ground and fought for changing what is going on not run a way and deny the party,

Sharia law is applied to everybody in inheritance, Isn’t it.?

Women do not have the same say in courts.

I have not read the Syrian constitution but an American one would be OK with me, It seems to be compatible with diversity that the US has and could be good for Syria.

April 27th, 2011, 11:14 pm


Norman said:


I hate to say that, But what kind of stupid question is that , do you really think that i care what the political or the religous association of my patients, Shame on you to even think that, I am very disappointed,

April 27th, 2011, 11:17 pm


Moe said:

A few comments:

” Their biggest demonstration appears to have been in Homs at 20,000. So how many have protested in the country? I estimate 400,000 max. That is less than 2% of Syria’s 22 million. 98% of the population have stayed home and while yearning for more freedoms”

Irrelative of the figures mentioned above but I believe that Syrians can take down the ” regime ” or Bashar if they want to. This probably was the golden the opportunity to achieve it but they decided not to take him down and give him a chance. Call it popularity or fear of the alternative but they gave him a chance.

Syria must reconsider the open door policy with all the neighboring countries. As commenter (3) mentioned the security failed miserably in prevention. We are not qualified to have an open door policy

Opposition groups including MB should wake up and start developing national programs and solutions to the economical, social, and security challenges. Clearly people don’t care for “ Bashar is a dictator” and want to see real solutions. They should talk about all issues in detail for example they should challenge raising the fuel price if they think it’s wrong and provide alternative solutions etc. They should address the concerns of all Syrians and not only their core base.


April 27th, 2011, 11:47 pm


ziadsoury said:


I was not expecting any other answer than the one you provided. I am very sure you would even go out of your way to make sure everyone is taken care of.

Now, how do you feel about the way the regime and its agents are behaving? Arresting doctors for treating the injured (even if they are from the Mundaseen).
Can you join me in condeming the behaviour by the security forces?
How could they touch doctors doing their ethical duties?

April 28th, 2011, 12:01 am


NK said:


“Sharia law is applied to everybody in inheritance, Isn’t it.?”

Absolutely not, it only applies to Muslims, as I said Syria has different courts for different sect, they were established for this reason (inheritance) among others (marriage, divorce, …)

and here’s article 3 from the current Syrian constitution
المادة الثالثة
1- دين رئيس الجمهورية الإسلام.
2- الفقه الإسلامي مصدر رئيسي للتشريع

I agree the U.S constitution will be very good for Syria, but how do you expect this regime to adopt such a constitution ? you’re basically hoping the regime will bring itself down, that doesn’t make any sense. Unless you mean adopting it but keep the security forces above the law, in that case it really doesn’t matter what the constitution says, does it ?

Take a look at the Syrian constitution, it’s not a bad one by any means, it protects the rights of minorities and all religions, our main problem is that security forces are above the law.

April 28th, 2011, 12:03 am


ziadsoury said:

Does this sound familiar?

April 28th, 2011, 12:21 am


S.A. said:

David W. Lesch’s “Shock in Syria” is one of the best analyses I have read so far. It really highlights the human side of Bashar; a good person who is perhaps making the wrong decisions at the wrong time. He is probably in desperate need for good advice at a time like this. I really hope that he will make the right decisions and will always be remembered in history as the reformer that he really is.

April 28th, 2011, 12:27 am


Mina said:

These books are everywhere for free on the internet. No wonder why this uprising was made by people who know a good deal about “social network websites” and I-Phones.
About Turkey I have heard from people there who claimed to be Sufis that Syria was far too secular (!) and that the interference of the security in the mosques and religious gatherings was unacceptable. Probably the result of the same brainwashing that we find in the Gulf and Yemen against anything close to “socialism”, plus a way to criticize indirectly their own government. Maybe Bashar could start to put posters of Ataturk everywhere and that should do the trick?

April 28th, 2011, 12:32 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

The EU is considering sanctions on Syria. What is the purpose of these sanctions? European sanctions would destroy the Syrian economy and make the people miserable. What does the EU exactly want? Do they want to turn us into another Somalia?

The response to any EU sanction must be setting up an extensive network to smuggle Syrian emigrants to the EU.

April 28th, 2011, 12:53 am


jad said:

Someone is thinking right in Syria:

التحضير لوفود شعبية لزيارة درعا ودوما وغيرها من المناطق التي شهدت سقوط شهداء
أخبار حلب

تعتزم شخصيات وطنية وعشائرية في محافظة حلب تنظيم زيارات إلى درعا وحمص ودوما وغيرها من المناطق التي شهدت سقوط شهداء وذلك بهدف لم الشمل وتعزيز الوحدة الوطنية ومواساة ذوي الشهداء .

وقال الحاج عمر عاشور وهو من وجهاء قبيلة البكارة ومنظم الزيارات لسيريانيوز ” لقد استقبلنا السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد يوم الاثنين لسماع مطالب أهالي حلب وعرضنا عليه فكرة قيام وجهاء وفعاليات من مختلف أنحاء سورية تذهب إلى درعا ودوما وحمص وغيرها لكي تلتقي بالأهالي وتسعى للمصالحة ، الأمر الذي شجع عليه سيادة الرئيس بما يحفظ وحدتنا الوطنية ويفشل المخططات المعادية لشعبنا “.

و أضاف عاشور ” أصدرنا بياناً ضمناه أرقام هاتف وفاكس وبريد إلكتروني من أجل تنظيم الزيارات التي نريد القيام بها بأسرع وقت لأن هذا واجب وطني، فما يمر به وطننا الحبيب سورية يستدعي جهود المصلحين لرأب الصدع ووقف نزيف الدماء و إعادة اللحمة إلى أبناء وطننا الذي يتعرض لخطر الفتنة ويتربص به الأعداء”.

وتنتشر قبيلة البكارة في معظم المحافظات السورية وبالأخص في دير الزور وحلب وتوجد عشيرة منها في جاسم التابعة لمحافظة درعا.

وكان وفد من عشائر حلب التقى الرئيس الأسد يوم الاثنين حيث عرض مطالب أهالي المحافظة .

Their FB site

April 28th, 2011, 12:54 am


sam said:

It’s scary to think for a second, that bin ladens plans for a caliphate from spain to indonesia can happen! Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghansitan…..he is almost halfway there!!!

April 28th, 2011, 1:13 am


Matt said:

This whole “only 2% of the population” argument is ridiculous. That’s actually a HUGE percentage of the population. What percentage of the population went out into the streets in France in 1789? in Russia in 1917? Even in a modern revolution like Iran’s, maybe 10% actually were in the streets. Let’s take Egypt – 80 million people, and at most 8 million were in the streets (that’s being generous and adding the people taking part in neighborhood watches and other non-marching activities). You have to consider that a large percentage of any population is elderly, infirm, very young, rural, works hand-to-mouth for hourly or daily wages, etc. and that these people will not be marching in urban protests. Then you have family members, primarily women, who stay at home to watch kids and the neighborhood while dad and the older brothers go out. So 2% of the population ain’t all that small in the grand context of revolutionary histories.

April 28th, 2011, 1:16 am


democracynow said:

Since state TV is a joke and the regime won’t allow foreign media into the crisis zones, we only have political and human rights activists, who have contact within Daraa, Homs, and Banias, to rely on for info.

Guys, let’s stop with the ‘armed gangs’ BS, what’s happening in Daraa is a form of collective punishment and intimidation for the people who protested. Otherwise why put the city under siege and cut off water and electricity and shoot at domestic water tanks? why prevent medial supplies and baby milk from reaching those who need them? as a Palestinian living in Gaza said today: “the situation in Daraa reminds me of the bleakest days of the siege imposed by Israel on Gaza.”

April 28th, 2011, 1:22 am


jad said:

لبنان وروسيا والصين تحبط بيان مجلس الأمن … ودمشق تتعهّد بإصلاحات إضافية خلال أيام
سوريا تحارب على جبهتين: الاضطراب الداخلي … والتدخل الغربي

واجهت سوريا امس تحديا مزدوجا بين متابعة مساعيها لاحتواء أسوأ أزمة سياسية وأمنية تتعرض لها منذ عقود، وبين مكافحة جهود أميركية وأوروبية غربية مريبة للتدخل في شؤونها الداخلية، سواء في مجلس الأمن الدولي الذي عقد جلسة علنية انتهت نتيجة موقف لبنان وروسيا والصين، إلى فشل في إصدار بيان رئاسي يدين قمع المحتجين، او في عدد من العواصم الاوروبية التي اتخذت مواقف استعراضية باستدعاء السفراء السوريين لديها، في الوقت الذي ترددت أنباء عن ان دمشق تتجه الى اصدار حزمة جديدة من الاصلاحات السياسية في الايام القليلة المقبلة، متحدية المجموعات المتطرفة التي تعمل على إشعال الفتنة في اكثر من منطقة سورية.
وقال دبلوماسيون في الامم المتحدة ان الدول الـ15 في مجلس الامن لم تتوصل الى توافق بشأن اصدار بيان مشترك «يدين القمع الدامي» في سوريا. وأضافوا ان روسيا والصين ولبنان رفضوا مشروع بيان تقدمت به بريطانيا وفرنسا وألمانيا والبرتغال «يدين تدخل الجيش وإطلاق الرصاص الحي على المتظاهرين في سوريا». ومعلوم أنه يجب الحصول على موافقة جميع الدول الأعضاء في مجلس الامن من أجل إصدار بيان رئاسي.
وقال المندوب السوري لدى الأمم المتحدة بشار الجعفري، في جلسة علنية للمجلس، إنّ «الاحتجاجات في سوريا ترافقت مع تحريض إعلامي إقليمي، وفتاوى دينية من خارج الحدود تدعو إلى ضرب الدولة»، مشيرا إلى أن بلاده «اتخذت إجراءات إصلاحية عديدة، كما ستتخذ إجراءات حكومية أخرى في الأيام المقبلة».
وأعلن الجعفري أن «الجمارك السورية ضبطت الكثير من الأسلحة المهرّبة إلى داخل البلاد من مجموعات دينية متطرفة في الخارج». وشدد على أنّ «التظاهرات التي جرت في سوريا لم تكن سلمية وإلاّ لما سقط كلّ هذا العدد من المواطنين السوريين العسكريين والمدنيين»، موضحا أن «المجموعات المتطرفة استهدفت قوى الأمن والجيش»، عارضا لجدول يضمّ 51 اسما لعسكريين قتلوا في الاحتجاجات.

وقال نائب المندوب الروسي لدى الأمم المتحدة الكسندر بانكين إن ما يجري في سوريا «لا يشكل تهديدا للأمن والسلام الدوليين». وأضاف ان «التهديد الفعلي للأمن الاقليمي قد ينبع من التدخل الخارجي»، معتبرا ان «نهجا كهذا يؤدي الى دورة عنف لا تنتهي» وقد يفضي الى حرب أهلية، فيما أكد مندوب الهند أن «لكلّ دولة من الدول أن تقرر بنفسها طريقة حفظ النظام على أراضيها».

وفد خبراء تركي يصل إلى سورية اليوم في إطار عملية الإصلاح…الجيش: نبأ الانشقاق عار عن الصحة ويعبر عن الإفلاس

وفي موازاة الجهود الأمنية لاستعادة الاستقرار في البلاد، تتواصل جهود الحكومة السورية لتعميق العملية الإصلاحية في البلاد واستقصاء أفضل وأسرع الآليات لتنفيذ حزمة التشريعات التي وضعتها القيادة السورية لتحقيق الإصلاحات عبر الاستفادة من خبرات الدول التي لها باع في هذا المجال.
وفي السياق ذاته، يصل إلى سورية اليوم وفد من الخبراء الأتراك لتقديم المساعدة للحكومة السورية في وضع الآليات الأفضل لتطبيق الإصلاحات السياسية والاقتصادية في البلاد.
ويأتي وصول الوفد التركي بعد أيام فقط من استقبال رئيس الوزراء عادل سفر للسفير التركي في دمشق عمر أونهون حيث أكد سفر على أهمية الاستفادة من الخبرات التركية في مجال الإصلاحات، مرحباً بالخبرة التركية في مجال تعزيز عملية الإصلاح الاقتصادي والسياسي والتطوير الإداري، لافتاً إلى أهمية الاستفادة من التجربة التركية في وضع آلية ملائمة لترجمة عملية الإصلاح على أرض الواقع بالسرعة الممكنة.
يأتي ذلك في حين شهدت دمشق يوماً هادئاً، وكذلك بقية المدن السورية ماعدا درعا ودوما اللتين تشهدان إجراءات أمنية مشددة بعد استغاثات من الأهالي للقيادة السورية للتدخل وضبط الأمن بعد ما شهدته هذه المناطق من عمليات لجماعات إرهابية مسلحة وصلت حد القتل والتمثيل بالجثث، في حين استعادت مدينة المعضمية هدوءها وتم رفع الحواجز الأمنية بعد استتباب الأمن في البلدة.

April 28th, 2011, 1:34 am


democracynow said:

From someone I trust:

The security and costumes personnel at airports and border crossings are inspecting all mobile phones and laptops of Syrian expatriates. In case of laptops, they’re forcing people to log in with their screen names and passwords to facebook, and then they’re registering all the info they could about the political leanings and choice of wall postings of the person and his friends. Probably even judging by their profile pictures where their political loyalties lay…etc…

Lifting emergency law my a**….

April 28th, 2011, 1:42 am


syau said:


If such inspections are acutally being conducted, I dont see why not. It should be expected in a time of crisis. It was trust and a lack of inspections that laptops, mobile phones and weapons were smuggled in by the ‘revolutionists’.

Inspections need to be conducted in order for security services to confirm that no further insurgents or ringleaders arrive into the country undetected. The situation needs to be brought under control and peace and stability gained and maintained. If an excessive amount of inspections is a way to do it, then so be it.

April 28th, 2011, 2:31 am


Jad said:

The note of searching computers is taken from the revolution FB site.

April 28th, 2011, 2:35 am


Mina said:

Confiscation of laptops (including the search and theft from expat appartments) was conducted in the last days of the Egyptian uprising.
I wonder when the UN is going to call for an enquiry in the abuses on civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine?
It’s wonderful all these people supporting on Twitter and Facebook another Western war in Syria: i am sure next time they’ll join protests against the Israeli occupation.

April 28th, 2011, 4:09 am


Shami said:

Bashar’s symphony

April 28th, 2011, 4:26 am


محمود said:

ألم تتوقعوا خروج روسيا و الصين على الخط ! هل هو غباء سياسي الى حد تظن فيه أوروبا أن العالم يتكون فقط من جزءه الغربى !! ها ها ها ! ازا ما تمادى أي طرف خارجي فستعمل روسيا على بتر أصابعه !!! و قد شاهدتم سلوكها عندما لعبتم معها في جيورجيا ! ورطتم حليفتكم جيورجيا ! هده مقدمة فقط ! و في أمكنة أخرى ستقلب الطاولة في وجهكم ! عاشت سورية برئاسة السيد الدكتور بشار الأسد !

April 28th, 2011, 6:04 am


Akbar Palace said:


What are they doing in the video? It looks to me they’re firing in the air. What for?

Mina said:

I wonder when the UN is going to call for an enquiry in the abuses on civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine?

In the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq, the UN actually permitted foreign interference in these countries due to the violent regimes of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, respectively. With regard to Palestine, the UN has been overly active. Remember the Goldstone Report? There have been many.

It’s wonderful all these people supporting on Twitter and Facebook another Western war in Syria: i am sure next time they’ll join protests against the Israeli occupation.

The UN deals with the Israeli occupation every year, and frankly, spends way too much of their time with it. One day, the Palestinians will sit with the Israelis and figure out a solution.

There is no “western war in Syria”. No Zionist, American, or any other foreign organization has killed the nearly 500 Syrian protestors. Most of these deaths were perpetrated by Syrian police/army.

April 28th, 2011, 7:42 am


democracynow said:

Jad (comment #50):

Re: the laptops inspection: Not really taken from anywhere. It was relayed to me by someone who’d been through Damascus airport recently. Anyway, feel free to heed the warning or not. I’m not mentioning it to tarnish the regime, but rather for people to be aware of what’s going on and avoid getting in trouble if they can. I don’t wish anybody harm, pro-regime or otherwise. Snooping into people’s computers without a court order is an infringement of human liberties in civilized countries. As things stand at the moment, the security personnel are not taking any prisoners and many innocent people could get hurt.

Syau (comment #49):

In a different circumstances I’d have enjoyed an Orwellian exchange with you. But not now….

…spare me.

April 28th, 2011, 8:13 am


Shami said:

AP,in order to scare the latakkians,a kind of warning.

April 28th, 2011, 8:20 am


syau said:

Democracy now,

If it is in actual fact true that there are laptop inspections, it would be in order to preseve the safety of the Syrian people. Measures need to be taken in order to achieve this.

Save your Orwellian exchange for the US government and the measures they have taken at their airports. If anything was to challenge George Orwell’s idea of personal freedom it would be that invasion of privacy.

In a situation where laptops were smuggled in for the sole reason of fabrication and destabalisation of a country, then I think that would warrant at least laptop inspections, and furthermore, If there is nothing to hide, then nobody should be worried about bearing the contents of their hardware to the customs officers.

April 28th, 2011, 9:06 am


Syria Comment » Archives » Advice For UN from a Retired Diplomat … | Latest Search said:

[…] from: Syria Comment » Archives » Advice For UN from a Retired Diplomat … This entry was posted in Techies and tagged entertainment, hot news. Bookmark the permalink. […]

April 28th, 2011, 9:26 am


why-discuss said:

Laptop check or body X-ray or fingerprints?
How can they know if they have a facebook id???? They can always deny hey have one!
It may be to prevent bringing in subsersive videos or documents.
I guess the X-Ray boxes in US airports and the body searching is far more humiliating. Infrigement on what?
Entering the US now can be a very humiliating experience, fingerprinting, lots of questions, luggage checked, abrupt attitude. And the US is NOT under violent unrests.. Imagine if they were. Patriot act and company and the US has the technology, Syria doesn’t

April 28th, 2011, 9:55 am


NK said:


“Entering the US now can be a very humiliating experience, fingerprinting, lots of questions, luggage checked, abrupt attitude. And the US is NOT under violent unrests.. Imagine if they were.”

Let’s not confuse what NON US CITIZENS go through while entering the U.S with what U.S citizens go through.


دستور الجمهورية العربية السورية و تعديلاته

الفصل الرابع: الحريات والحقوق والواجبات العامة

المادة الخامسة والعشرون

1- الحرية حق مقدس وتكفل الدولة للمواطنين حريتهم الشخصية وتحافظ على كرامتهم وأمنهم.
2- سيادة القانون مبدأ أساسي في المجتمع والدولة.
3- المواطنون متساوون أمام القانون في الحقوق والواجبات .
4- تكفل الدولة مبدأ تكافؤ الفرص بين المواطنين.

المادة الثامنة والعشرون

1- كل متهم بريء حتى يدان بحكم قضائي مبرم.
2- لا يجوز تحري أحد أو توقيفه إلا وفقاً للقانون.
3- لا يجوز تعذيب أحد جسدياً أو معنوياً أو معاملته معاملة مهينة ويحدد القانون عقاب من يفعل ذلك.
4- حق التقاضي وسلوك سبل الطعن والدفاع أمام القضاء مصون بالقانون.

المادة الحادية والثلاثون

المساكن مصونة لا يجوز دخولها أو تفتيشها إلا في الأحوال المبينة في القانون.

المادة الثانية والثلاثون

سرية المراسلات البريدية والاتصالات السلكية مكفولة وفق الأحكام المبينة في القانون.

المادة الثامنة والثلاثون

لكل مواطن الحق في أن يعرب عن رأيه بحرية وعلنية بالقول والكتابة وكافة وسائل التعبير الأخرى وأن يسهم في الرقابة والنقد البناء بما يضمن سلامة البناء الوطني والقومي ويدعم النظام الاشتراكي وتكفل الدولة حرية الصحافة والطباعة والنشر وفقاً للقانون.

I’ll leave it to you to count how many constitutional violations the regime/security forces committed so far, but you probably think the government have the right to ignore the constitution whenever it feels like it!.

April 28th, 2011, 3:57 pm


Tidligere, syrisk diplomat: Det er ikke kun løgne, når regimet hævder, at væbnede elementer blander sig i demoer. Forfatter til bog om Bashar: Han ønsker ikke at fremstå voldelig » Ferie hele Verden said:

[…] Tidligere, syrisk diplomat: Det er ikke kun løgne, når regimet hævder, at væbnede elementer blan… Category: Destinations nyheder You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site. « Fund af sort boks fra Air France-katastrofe Interview: Tibets nye leder » […]

April 28th, 2011, 4:17 pm


ziadsoury said:

ابن عضو مجلس شعب يبكي على الهواء عأهله بدرعا

Anyone willing to defend this one?

April 28th, 2011, 5:09 pm


N.Z. said:


Yes a Zionist will identify with this. You know why. Because there lies are exposed, and they will call it self defence.

The similarities between the two “ist” Baathist=Zionist is shocking.

The siege on Gaza and the siege on Deraa.

Is their any humanity left.

April 28th, 2011, 5:42 pm


Nicolas said:

The retired diplomat living in Syria seems very naive to me (with all due respects). He is accusing christian phalangists from Lebanon for the shooting of the syrian troops?? The christian phalangist have no more milicia and do not have the power to execute such a military venture in Syria….
How about that those syrian troops are just simply sunni and druze who refused to shoot on syrian people and got killed by their allawi officers for the mutinery??? that is the most probable explanation for all those soldiers killed…….
i am relieved that this diplomat is currently retired since he has no clue how the Assad regime has been functioning for the last 40 years

April 29th, 2011, 3:45 pm


Wither the Uprising? | Syria said:

[…] Syria Comment blog ran analysis by an anonymous poster, identified only as a retired diplomat, who placed the number of protesters at a maximum of 400,000. This diplomat essentially argued that the vast majority of the Syrian population was unwilling to […]

May 4th, 2011, 6:17 pm


Events in Syria: Assad’s Fate Hangs in Balance – Prabir Purkayastha, Newsclick said:

[…] Jordan, Palestine and Syria and Syria still exercises a great deal of influence in this region (, particularly after Egypt abdicating its leadership post Camp David agreement with Israel. Syria […]

May 7th, 2011, 9:20 am


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