Asad BBC Interview (Oct. 9, 2006): Video and Transcript

Asad’s interview conducted by John Simpson on the BBC.

Here is the complete BBC video
24:00 mins

Here is the BBC Radio version 3;00 GMT

Go to 37 minutes into the clip to hear Asad for 5 minutes.
Go to 43 minutes into the clip to hear me give a short commentary on the speech
Here is the Syrian transcript from , the Syrian news agency.

Comments (42)

Ehsani2 said:

Two interesting quotes:

“Terrorism has no borders. It is like the Internet. It flows from place to place with no restriction.”

“I have my authority by the constitution.”

Terrorism = Internet?


Is he referring to the same one that was amended in a matter of 30 minutes six years ago?

October 10th, 2006, 2:54 pm


norman said:

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Say yes to Syria

By Nehemiah Shtrasler

Israeli leaders have no vision, When you are a new and inexperienced candidate for prime minister, the plans that you present to the public soar. Out of excessive enthusiasm you promise to solve the problem of poverty, achieve quiet on the borders and make Israel into a country “where it is fun to live.”

But then you attain the office and discover that the “reality imp” is dancing on your desk. He makes it clear to you that despite your victory in the elections, your government is shaky, and it is not certain that you will even arrive safely at the next session of the Knesset. He laughs in your face when he encounters your far-reaching diplomatic plans and your proposals for containing poverty.

One morning the reality imp whispers in your ear: If you want to live, throw aside all your revolutionary plans and concentrate on only one thing: your political survival. And if you ask him, ‘Is it for this that I have arrived at this important position?’ he will reply: Look what happened to Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak, who wanted to solve fundamental problems. This is exactly what is happening now to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.


He has abandoned all his big plans and he has no agenda, apart from his political survival. To shore up his shaky government he is looking for an ally in the shape of Yisrael Beiteinu MK Avigdor Lieberman, a step that will give him the dose of oxygen needed for his continued existence. The price is clear: a freeze on diplomatic moves.

The convergence plan – the sole reason for his victory in the in the elections – has been defined by Olmert as irrelevant. The evacuation of the illegal outposts has been postponed indefinitely. And, if this were not enough, he became a staunch peace refuser when he rejected entirely all of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s attempts to open negotiations on peace in return for the Golan Heights.

Immediately after the Six-Day War, then prime minister Levi Eshkol said that the territories were only a deposit that we would be prepared to return in exchange for full peace, because peace is the only guarantee of security. But within a few weeks we “sobered up” and fell in love with the territories.

At one time we saw United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (territories in return for peace) as a major achievement. Today Assad is adopting the resolution, and Olmert is not only rejecting it, but he is also publicly scorning it and saying with typical Olmertian arrogance: “The Golan Heights will remain in our hands for all eternity.” What alternative is he leaving Assad?

Every prime minister until now understood that a peace agreement with Syria is a strategic asset. Therefore Rabin, Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu conducted secret and indirect negotiations with the Syrian president – which did not ripen into an agreement. When Barak presented his plan for a withdrawal from the Golan in return for peace to the top echelon of the Israel Defense Forces, Gabi Ashkenazi, who was GOC Northern Command at that time and is now the director general of the Defense Ministry, said that he would help him market the plan to the public.

Israel’s most dangerous enemy is Iran, which aspires to achieve nuclear capability. Syria has an alliance with Iran. Cutting it off is a definite Israeli interest. Let us not forget that Syria is ruled by a secular (Alawite) regime that is fighting the Muslim Brotherhood. From our perspective, an Islamic fundamentalist takeover of the Arab world is a possibility that is far worse than the entire Assad dynasty.

Olmert is accusing Syria of supporting Palestinian terror and providing weapons to Hezbollah. The accusations are correct, but it is clear that one of the achievements of negotiations with Syria has to be a total cessation of support for terror.

If we do nothing, the situation will only degenerate. One day Assad could conclude that force is the only thing that Israel understands and the “quiet” Golan is liable to become a new terror arena. Syria has rockets that are targeted on every corner of Israel, including Dimona. The nuclear test that has just been made by North Korea stirs the imagination to even scarier scenarios. Therefore, Olmert is not entitled to listen to the reality imp’s advice and concentrate only on his own political survival. He must at least respond to the Syrian challenge. This is crucial for us.

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Heads must roll
If a leader does not take responsibility, he must be forced

October 10th, 2006, 3:37 pm


Philip I said:

Strategically, we all know that the best option for Syria and the region is a lasting peace with Israel. However, no peace can last without a fair resolution of the Palestinian problem. All the parties involved know this but Israel is not willing to pay the price and the US simply does not want to reward Assad. Both Israel and the US can see that, by bidding for peace, Assad saves his regime from an impending economic disaster, extricates himself from the clutches of Iran and, as Ihsani2 said, avoids international isolation or sanctions as a result of the Hariri investigation. He knows Israel cannot deliver, so he has nothing to lose by pleading for peace. He in fact gains if he can at least divide Israeli and international opinion, which might ease his isolation. It is a win win situation for the REGION if Isreal does respond positively to his peace offer AND changes its atittude toward the Palestinians (a very low probability). It is a win win situation for HIS REGIME if Isreal calls his bluff and talks peace without involving the Palestinians (a reasonably high probability). By refusing to go it alone, he improves his standing in the Arab world.

So, all in all, it is a smart move which, I suspect will only buy him more time in office. In the meantime Syria continues to go downhill for lack of serious reforms.

October 10th, 2006, 7:53 pm


norman said:

Philip,Good analysis.

October 11th, 2006, 2:30 am


Joe M. said:

Here is your idiotic “creative destruction” EHSANI2. you should tell each family how their losses will build a better iraq:

And i noticed you kept quiet during the thread about economic reforms a few days back. That was not a surprise. Basically, as I have said before, you are wrong on everything.

For those others of you who love war and are so excited to destroy Syria, think again. I wonder what you would think if your families were the ones mourning.

October 11th, 2006, 7:39 am


t_desco said:

I’m not quite sure what to make of this new report/scoop by Al-Akhbar. A new witness? Mossad??

I’m still waiting for the publication of the latest Brammertz report. It seemed by far the most interesting of his reports and I don’t understand why it has not been published yet (or did I miss it?).

October 11th, 2006, 10:40 am


Ehsani2 said:

Joe M,

The link that you attached in your comment has nothing to do with the economic term “creative destruction”. Clearly, you need to educate yourself on Joseph Schumpeter who coined the phrase. Perhaps when you do that, you could come back to this forum with few more intelligent things to say.

October 11th, 2006, 12:15 pm


Innocent_Criminal said:


I found the report for you on the UN website. go here click on the your language of choice and voila! (i think)

October 11th, 2006, 12:55 pm


t_desco said:

Thanks, Tarek!

Finally, I will find out what on earth “un lâcher aérien” is… 😉

October 11th, 2006, 1:40 pm


Alex said:

I think the most significant part of the interview for me was the presidnet’s telling the Israelis “you can’t read between the lines”

That’s as far as he will go … if they are expecting that he will eventualoy volunteer in advance of actual negotiations:

1) I regognize the state of ISrael
2) I will stop supporting Hamas after peace

He won’t say it.

He feels that the logic implied between the lines of what he repeated many times so far should be more than obvious.

October 11th, 2006, 5:30 pm


norman said:

Perez asked president Asad to follow what Sadat did ,the last time they asked Hafez Asad that he said (it is not an emmotional conflict) but there are real diffrences need solutions.I do not think Bashar will go to Israel without an agreement actualy The Israeli leaders are better suted to come to Syria as Syria wellcoms everybody.

October 12th, 2006, 12:37 am


Fares said:

I am interested in your opinion on the baath party of syria

Norman, you are welcome to defend your favorite party!!! The party of cultural and political death!

October 12th, 2006, 1:19 am


Guess Who said:

I will rather live under Assad’s dictatorship in Syria, than live under a democratic elected terrorist in America. Specially after the Lancet report, stating that this latter and since his awe and shock campaign have killed 650 000 innocent Iraqis in the name of liberation . Between Bush the son and his father almoost two million Iraqi ghosts have vanished. One in every fourty. Now this is Facism.

And dare they criticise our way of living. Dare they criticise our religious intolorance, but most importantly they dare not critisize Islam and our way of life.

October 12th, 2006, 1:19 am


Dubai Jazz said:

I wonder what is the secret behinde this fierce attack on Ehsani.
Ehsani, you are the best person to answer this: why do you think you are being slated by lot of people in this forum?

October 12th, 2006, 4:48 am


t_desco said:

Some comments on the Al-Akhbar story. Had it been published by Addiyar I would just have ignored it, but Al-Akhbar is new and untainted, and I have to say that so far I did like the general quality of the articles. And they ran it as a front page story (!).

Having said that, this new story is so odd (e.g., the “new witness” being secretly married to singer Nada Rizk in Israel (!)) that while reading it I had doubts if it wasn’t satire or some sort of practical joke. It reminded me very much of a Siddiq interview…

And, at least judging from the details given so far, one should also note that the story doesn’t add up. It simply doesn’t sound plausible. How should a refugee (and a refugee in transit to another country) be in a position to know details about a conspiracy among some of the country’s highest generals?

October 12th, 2006, 10:13 am


simohurtta said:

Rightly or wrongly the term from Josef Schumpeter’s ”creative destruction” is attached by US neoconservatives to US foreign policy. Creative destruction is also mentioned often in the context what happens now in Iraq. Certainly it is a destruction what happens now in Iraq. How “creative” that destruction is questionable. Destroying is easy, building is much more difficult.

Michael Ledeen, one of the US’s leading rightwing ideologues, explained:

“We should have no misgivings about our ability to destroy tyrannies. It is what we do best.”

“It comes naturally to us, for we are the one truly revolutionary country in the world, as we have been for more than 200 years. Creative destruction is our middle name. We do it automatically, and that is precisely why the tyrants hate us and are driven to attack us.”

Actually when we look at the 200 years of “democratization and economical creative destruction”, who are the tyrants USA has overthrown? And more interestingly how many of the tyrants have attacked USA? Well Japanese tyrant (Hitler did not attack USA). Some tyrants have hurt US interests by nationalizing US property. But the rate in creating tyrants and destroying tyrants is 100 to 1. Some curriculum vitae in foreign policy and economical development efforts.

Still Ehsani2 has not answered my question how many countries in Latin America the 200 years of Monroe doctrine US domination (economical, political and military) did make prosperous economically and democratic. Nobody can argue that USA did not have change for that democratization and decent wealth distribution among the population in those countries. What do we see in our history books? A row of US backed military coups and a steady flow of cheap (for USA) raw materials and products produced with underpaid workforce to USA. The greatest dangers to USA seem to have been more or less democratic leaders who demand a fairer price for their natural resources.

Ehsani2’s oversimplified theories (presented in previous posts) that free markets and free flow of foreign capital is the “miracle” which lifts Syria among developed countries is still unproven. It has not happened so anywhere in the world. First any nation needs stability and security, only then economical development is possible. Neoconservative “economists” learn that lesson now in Iraq.

By the way, Milton Friedman the great “free market” economist gave instructions to Augusto Pinochet (we all remember how this tyrant got in power). “Our ability to destroy tyrants” indeed.

October 12th, 2006, 12:27 pm


norman said:

The whole Hareri investigation is a scam to presure Syria into submition and has nothing to do with justice it is a way to pay back the Saudi for their support of the American in Iraq and for losing Iraq to Sheia it is a way to istablish a Christian seremonial presidency in Lebanon while making the sunni led GOV the real power in Lebanon to appease the Islamic fundimentalist ,It is ammazing how wrong the American policy in the mideast.

October 12th, 2006, 1:13 pm


Ehsani2 said:

Dubai Jazz,

I hope that our Scandinavian friend Simohurtta partially helped answer your question.

Never mind that his Swedish Neighbors decided to award the Nobel prize in Economics to a U.S. economist who believes that differences in “dynamism” explains the relative success of the American economic system when compared to its European counterpart. Perhaps, he ought to call the committee and complain that a Socialist economist like himself was a more worthy winner.

Dubai Jazz,

Syria comment is one of the forums, which allow Syrians to vent out against the U.S., Israel, certain Lebanese politicians and the majority of Gulf Monarchs.

Thanks to a number of strategic blunders by their leader, Syrians find themselves unfairly targeted. They cannot fathom how Lebanese politicians who had traditionally behaved like mice when addressing their leader suddenly have the courage and audacity to attack him so vociferously and publicly.

As for America, hating the top dog is human nature. American foreign policy has undergone a massive transformation under this Administration. Not surprisingly, this is not taken well in the region. While on topic, it is worth mentioning this fact:

As I was growing up in Syria, the consensus had always been that people like Saddam and the Assads are only in power because the Americans wanted them there. The conventional thinking has always been that they were agents of the west, hand picked to control their societies. Once the U.S. decided to remove a person like Saddam from power, such widespread predictions of a secret deal between America and Arab dictators were quickly forgotten. Traditional conspiracy theories of such deals have given way to more conventional theories. The same people who criticized America for supporting people like Saddam and Assad quickly turned into thinking that rather than being agents supported by the West, these were great national heroes who are brave enough to stand up to the new crusaders dressed as American marines.

Let us now move to the issue of Israel. The Syrian President has recently embarked on an unprecedented wave of interviews with different world media outlets. The main theme of his interviews is that he is ready to sign a peace treaty with the state of Israel. Had a Lebanese politician or a Gulf Monarch uttered the same words, treason and selling out would have been the charge. The Syrian leader can host Khaled Mashaal in his capital. He can sign a binding military treaty with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has publicly called for wiping out the State of Israel. He can deride every Arab leader who dares suggest a peace treaty with Israel. Yet, and just like that, he can call a BBC reporter and announce that Damascus and Tel Aviv can live side by side without any problems. Were any other Arab leader to have said this, he would have been branded a “Khayen” and a U.S. agent. Apparently, We are expected to hold this Syrian President to a different standard.

The final topic worthy of a discussion involved reforms and economic policy. In every country in the world, six years is an eternity for a politician. Not in Syria. Six years in this country are like six days in other places. Promises of reforms “need time” before they become reality. Why? The country is targeted we are constantly told. We don’t have the Golan yet we are led to believe. Only when Israel gives the Golan back, should Syrians expect prosperity and sane economic policies. In the meantime, when a certain economic reform program is announced, the populace is expected to rise and clap to the wise and progressive leader. A case in point is the recent decision to start a stock market exchange. Never mind that the country’s accounting and oversight system is woefully ill prepared for such an endeavor. One needs to ask why the delay? If Syria can start a stock market now (while being most targeted), why didn’t this project start earlier? It is now countries like tiny Bahrain who have the expertise and experience to advice Syrians how to proceed. Even African nations had long established their own equity market exchanges. Now that our leader has given the green light to start our own “soon”, Syrians are expected to clap and celebrate the incredible progress and economic prosperity.

Dubai Jazz,

EHSANI2 does not follow the above script. He thinks that the vast majority of his country’s ills are self-inflicted. He blames the Shias and Sunnis of Iraq for slaughtering each other based on their identity cards as much as he blames the Americans who miserably failed to understand our culture. Sending 150,000 soldiers to tame a country like Iraq was a monumental error in judgment. The sectarian hate that is in our genes has convinced people that only tyrants and dictators can hold our societies together. The removal of such characters will only give way to anarchy and chaos has become our collective thinking. Rather than blaming our leaders and ourselves, we take the easy option. We turn on the infamous hate America and Israel CD and convince ourselves that our way is the right way. Syrians in particular are intoxicated with the Golan and the dream of getting it back. Somehow, we think that once we do get it back, our country will become the next Japan. What will likely happen instead of course is that the usual suspects will quickly erect their five star hotel chains on the heights while the public soon resorts to their daily struggle to put food on their tables.


I do not hale the leader. I fault him and the ruling party for our country’s predicament.

The vast majority of others choose to shift the blame on America, Israel, certain Lebanese politicians and most Arab monarchs. They see the six years thus far as not enough time to deliver on promises of progress and reforms. They plead with us to wait for 7-14 more years instead. They also plead with us to wait till this evil U.S. Administration is gone before the tide turns in our country’s favor. We are on the correct course they believe.

EHSANI2 does not share this consensus opinion. He does not let his nationalistic genes take over reason and a sense of self-blame. For that he expects to be “slate by a lot of people in this forum” as you phrased it.

October 12th, 2006, 3:04 pm


Fares said:

Ehsani excellent comment, I should make it a post. You really know how to present simple arguments that are very logical, it is amazing how people don’t want to see the obvious truth.

Norman, you never cease to amaze me with your baathist bullshit. So now Syria is defending Lebanon to keep a strong Christian president there as opposed to those bastards in Saudi Arabia who would like to see a strong Sunni government. This whole theory smells so bad…I can’t believe that you fall for and spread this garbage. Syria wants to dominate Lebanon even if it made a contract with the devil to do it: got it so stop insulting our intelligence and tell me what do you get from being a baathist pawn. How hard was it to brainwash you???

October 12th, 2006, 5:27 pm


t_desco said:

This is just too funny:

Jumblatt: Assad has split personality

You can’t make this stuff up. Jumblatt certainly knows a thing (or two…? 😀 ) about these matters.

The Daily Star comes close to stating the obvious in its latest editorial regarding Shimon Peres’ “invitation” to the Syrian president:

If Peres truly wants peace with Syria, let him make a genuine overture

Or he may have been trying to maneuver Assad into looking intransigent by making him an offer he couldn’t accept.
October 13, 2006


October 13th, 2006, 9:07 am


norman said:

This is why we love Syria and it,s goverment ,yes because they are for Arab nationalism and the protection of arab minorities, Christians arriving in Syria in 2004 was 20,000.

By 2006, it had 35,000 and it was likely to further increase, he said.

Violence in Iraq has forced a quarter of Iraq’s 1.2 million Christians to flee to neighbouring countries.

Bassam Najjari, 29, who has been living with his parents and brothers at Jaramana camp near Damascus, came to Syria last month.

His life was threatened 40 days previously by unidentified militants who came to his shop and asked him who he was.

‘When I tried to run away, they shot me trice and I spent 17 days in the hospital.’

The incident was reported to the police, but nothing was done, he said. This prompted him to leave for Syria.

‘I would like to start my own business in Syria, because there is no hope of going back home as the security situation is very bad and there are no indications that it will get better soon,’ his brother Wissam said.

His three children are now going to a nearby school. ‘I was surprised to see one Syrian student to three Iraqis in this school,’ he said.

Khoshba said the extremists were intimidating Christians and forcing them to leave Iraq,

The security situation was bad in Iraq and there was ‘unannounced civil war,’ he said.

His office provides services to Iraqis ranging from delivering assistance from international organizations and Syrian churches to helping them access free surgery at Syrian hospitals.

Saddallah Mardini, 43, an Assyrian, said he had come to Syria to study the situation before bringing his family to live in the country. He had lost all his property in Baghdad.

‘We want to live safely … We are life-lovers and want noting but security and stability,’ he said.

Rana Raed, 25, Wissam’s wife, said life in Iraq was ‘unbearable’ with no water, no electricity and no security.

However, she said her children ‘now go to school, which they would have been deprived of had they stayed in Iraq.’

Arkan Hana Hakim, a 40-year-old priest from Mosul, who was appointed two months ago to supervise the Iraqi Assyrian sect in Damascus, said more than 2,000 Iraqi Christian families were now in Jarammana alone.

Many of the Christians had received warnings to leave Iraq or face death.

He said that the threats had increased following the Pope’s recent controversial remarks deemed insulting to the Islamic faith.

© 2006 dpa – Deutsche Presse-Agentur

October 13th, 2006, 12:38 pm


ausamaa said:

President Assad Bashar Al Assad is now -encouraged, invited or expected- to FLY TO Israel, so as “to embarrass Israel and the US”, and so as to prove to the “realists” of the world that he is a peacemaker!!!!

And there, at the Israeli Knesset, the State of Israel will be “so embarrassed”, and enthusiastically encouraged by the equally shy and peace loving Bush, that it will return to Syria the annexed/occupied Syrian Golan Heights, withdraw from Gaza and the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem,leave Lebanon alone, and shed up for forever its expansionist, racist and colonial skin. And peace shall reign forever over the Promised Land.

Or maybe the purpose of the visit will be to get over the personality clash, or expand communicatioons channels, sort of a problem. Or?? Maybe to “sell the rest of Syria” to Israel, declare that he is abandoning Hezbollah, the Palestinians and Arabism, and that he will be the good boy in the neighborhood.

Fine, except for two decimal facts:

1) Assad believes -and rightly so in my thinking- that the US, Israel and their camp have suffered multiple defeats (tactical and strategic), and are confused, disoriented, and in a precariously week position, with promises of more of the same to follow. So “they”, not “him” are the ones who can be expected to make the “peace offerings” if any are in the cards.

2)Was it not Tlass who once said that the Syrian Command discussed the idea of shooting down his plane, or of arresting Sadat when he visited Damascus prior to his “historic” visit to Israel to prevent him from completing such a visit thirty years ago? I mean the so-called “mentality-barrier” breaking visit which has “proved” to be the Nobel Award Winning idea as it was marketed then, and which has brought “all this peace” we live in now to the whole region!!! Has Syria’s ideology changed so much during the past years? I doubt it!

So its a no-go. But life is nothing without hope. For losers at least. So it is always nice to read such superb political analysis and moving thoughts and rosey expectations.

By the way, and since Assad is now “criticized for giving many interviews”, is it the presidential palace operator in Damascuse who rings up BBC and AL Anba’a or whoever and say: would you please come over the President wants to be interviewed by you, or does it usually work the other way round.

And what exactly is bothering some people? The fact that interviews are taking place and Syria is out of its marketed/publicized Solitary Confinement, or the fact that Assad is repeating Syria’s thirty year-old basic position, or the fact that he is still around, en force????

You guessed right! The last of course.

October 13th, 2006, 1:07 pm


Fares said:

Norman, Baby, how many Syrian Christians and other Syrians are leaving Syria every year because of the horrendus economic and social situations in Syria. Many of my relatives have left Syria the last 10 years because of your love to Assad.

How many Christians have left Lebanon or did not come back because of the Syrian policies in Lebanon.

How many Christians have left Palestine as a result of the second Intifada and the support of Syria to radical Hamas and other elements

I am not sure that the violence against Christians in Iraq is not organized by Baathist elements and probably Syria is behind it as well.

It takes a naive Norman to enjoy reading articles like that about the generosity of Syria which is in fact benefiting from hosting these better off refugees, just like Jordan has benefited in the 90s.

It is like you burn someone’s house and are so eager to receive and benefit from the people who used to live in that house.

Are you sure Norman that you are not a disguised Imad Mustapha???

October 13th, 2006, 4:35 pm


Innocent_Criminal said:


Norman has some very weird views I fully agree. But yours are just as excessive and one-sided. They just happen to be coming from the extreme opposite.

October 13th, 2006, 7:05 pm


Fares said:

TY criminal, you might be not as innocent as you claim haha.

The difference is that I follow logic and I am ready to change my position and attitude if I see benefit for my country and people in it.

Yes I might be stubborn and very radical but that is only a reaction to all kind of bad noises and fucked up behaviour coming up from the region. I have no problem with people with different opinions, I am all for free speech, but I am against manufactured propaganda suitable only to the regime and their entourage intesrests. I am an extreme moderate may be and I am proud of it.

Instead of Syria helping Iraqi refugees, I would like to see them stopping the support of all kind of ignorant jihadists, or the Sadr militias or any people responsible for aggravating the situation in Iraq.

read this great article by abu Kareem

also read this great article by Reem (palestinian leaving in Egypt) and you’ll see what I am talking about

October 13th, 2006, 7:29 pm


ausamaa said:

Sorry FARES, but I could not let it pass this time without comment…

You say:”I am an extreme moderate may be and I am proud of it”. Well, from the way you write, the “may be” included in your senence is the KEY word. From what you write, be sure that you do not come across as an extreme moderate. You come across as someone with a BIG AXE to grind against the region as a whole. And you use it, the AXE, vehemently when opinions expressed are not up to your “extremly immoderate” views.

It is your own business of course, but I just could not resist making this comment which I am sure that you will accept in your usual open mindedness and acceptance of free speach.

October 13th, 2006, 10:42 pm


Fares said:

Ausamma of course I accept what you say. Allah Ykaterlna min amasalak. The region won’t survive with people like yourself defending the rotten system.

Your idead system would be plenty of people in Jail, Syria and the neighbors in wars all the time and plenty of Iranian money pumping into the bank account of our beloved leaders.

Yes we need to stand up to imperialism and Zionism and freedom. anything else would be a disastor.

I can’t figure out someone like you who lived in the US and is living currently in the Gulf is still holding baathist ideas in his head. Have not you seen the WORLD and how people live???

October 13th, 2006, 11:10 pm


ausamaa said:

I have seen it indeed, and so did ,and do, 300 million other Arabs who stand -at least with their hearts- by Syria, if only because Syria, Hizbollah, Hamas, Jihad and even Iran, have the courage to say NO to destructive US policies which seek to break our will, support the enemy which occupies our lands, and further its own interests in our area with total disregard to our own wishes, sufferings and intersts.

And I assure you that I am not a Ba’athist, although sometimes I wish I was so as to have been able to play a roll rather than watch and criticize only, and I am not a Muslim fanatic, and I do watch Friends, Opera, the Movie Channel, Animal Planet, CBS and ABC news whenever I get a chance, same as I used to watch WKRP, MASH, the Tonight Show, and the Price Is Right when I was in the states.

So there you have it. A profile of an average Arab who knows the west and admires a lot of what he sees there, but still belives in the things tought to us in history class at school, and still remember the lerics of Mawteni, Humat Al Diyar, and Watani Habibi Watani El Akbar. I am just an Arab who thinks it is stupid to roll over and play dead just so that some people who though the clock stopped with the fall of the Soviet Union, will pin the badge of “realist” on my thoughts, or label me a moderate or whatever it is that became fashionable after the Great Anwar Al Sadat screwed us all up in a single two-houre trip to Israel. Followed by the US/Gulf States encouraged Sddam’s war on Iran, followed by the CIA/Saudi Jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan (which even came with a Rambo movie to make things sink in solidly) to …. and on and on we can go forever. Remember!!! And then, all of a sudden, we Arabs, led by mutinous and subversive Syria became the source of all evil, and we became a pariah state, and we destroyed God’s flourishing heavens on earth (i.e., Lebanon) and we incited the terrorsist and savage Palestinans against the peacefull Israelies, and we infiltrated the Iraqi population repellious to US occupation into Iraq, and we supported Al Qaida. And we are so dumb, brainwashed and rigid in our thinking, that if ONLY we stop supporting Bashar Al Assad, things will be fine “once again”. Complicated people… right? And stubborn ones as well.

Please do not tell me that I have become a bigger “riddle” to you now. I hope that one day, you and the US ploicy makers, will figure out guys like me, and another three hundred million Arabs who happen to think like me and like Bashar Al Assad, and find a proper way of dealing with us. Lots of figuring out, is it not??? Until then, I am afraid you have to put up with us and our likes.

October 14th, 2006, 3:49 pm


Alex said:

Ausamaa and Fares

Although I am closer to Ausamaa’s position than Fares’s, there are some simple old, boring, facts that you both ignore to various degrees:

Nobody’s perfect. Politics is not about spirituality. Most decisions are based on self interests (personal and the country’s). The more powerful one side is the more selfish are hispositions, decisions and actions.

Another point: one of the reasons you both see things differently is that you do not have the same set of values and hopes for “Syria”. Fares you want a Syria that stays within its borders, minimize its political role in the region, and concentrate on economic developement while learning how to become more western-like in everything (or “modern”). Ausamaa wants a proud and strong Syria that continues to play its historical role in the region.

And Fares wants “democracy” more urgently that Ausamaa. But Fares again, I am not sure that you are ready for democracy. You do not accept the fact that president Assad is genuinely popular in Syria (see BBC’s comments) and that most Syrians seem to be closer to Ausamaa’s position that you redicule. You get quickly frustrated in discussions and you start accusing the other side of all kinds of things (like “Are you sure Norman that you are not a disguised Imad Mustapha???”) and all the other personal attacks on those you disagreed with in this and other discussion forums.

October 14th, 2006, 4:49 pm


Atassi said:

We may all wanted to be in Aussam side, but with credible leadership to lead the country and chart Syria to safety with minimum damage, We all know, and some of us agree that Syria currently is in uncharted territory state. Let’s admit the fact; the blind can’t lead the blinds. At one point, we must stop, cut our losses and start all over again. WE ALL NEED TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND DEEP THOUGHT.
Is the current regime staring Syria head-on with a full speed toward the WALL?
Is it too late for this regime to amend itself?
Will Bashar finally rebel against his associates and declare new era? Or is he too mingled and involved with the current status quote, NO Way-out for him.
The Baath has failed us miserably for sure. But….Any taker!!

October 14th, 2006, 6:04 pm


Innocent_Criminal said:

I again fully agree with Alex. I think Fares has been consistent in pushing his narrow view of what is right. But as i have said several times before people need to quit with this good vs. evil discourse because reality is a big shade of grey; With both sides playing for their own self interest and trying to reach it at WHATEVER cost.

Alex said “Politics is not about spirituality. Most decisions are based on self interests (personal and the country’s). The more powerful one side is the more selfish are hispositions, decisions and actions.”

I would like to add that the weaker side also tends to lower their moral standards othewise it would be impossible to compete with bigger players on their own court and according to their rules. The west is just as prone to human rights abuses if only they were to be pushed in a corner slightly.

Fares, IMO democracy as you envision is far from probable and the alternative to the current situation is far from rosy. While aussama’s views are a bit too idealistic/unrealistic compare to the unfortunate reality. A reality of human rights abuses and romantic lies from both sides.

October 14th, 2006, 6:11 pm


Ehsani2 said:


You clearly possess urges that you need to satisfy. During the latest war in Lebanon, I recall that you had the urge to go down and join the fight with your brothers and sisters instead of just supporting from afar. When you were asked why don’t you do it, your reply was:

I couldn’t at the moment.

It is good to see that the flame is still alive. Today, we learn that you have the new (or may be old) urge to be a Ba’athist. You seem to miss playing a roll (I assume you mean a role) rather than “watch and criticize only”.

The fiery and revolutionary urges in you seem to be utterly unsatisfied.

Writing on SC is clearly not doing it for you.

I think that it is high time for you to take it to the next level.

Your “wish” to join the Baath is arguably an easy first step. I am sure that the party would love to have such intellects join its ranks of comrades who can now play an active role in saying NO to the great Satan.

October 14th, 2006, 6:12 pm


Alex said:

Tarek you are right .. the strong as well as the cornered leaders (and nations) both behave more selfishly.

Ehsani, the same argument can apply to you and Fares and Ammar and … if you love reform and democracy that much, go to Syria and take a risk.

We are all here because there is a limit to how far we are willing to go in our love for Syria (or Leabanon)… we care, and we have ideas. That’s all.

Ausamaa has an urge to join the Baath or fight, you have an urge to be the next minister of finance.

October 14th, 2006, 9:18 pm


Ehsani2 said:


Who gave you that idea? I don’t think I can afford the pay cut.

I do love and advocate economic reform indeed, but I don’t think by enough to take the risk that you have in mind. Venting out from afar does it for me.

May be if and when Ausamaa does join the Baath, he could remind them that their current economic policies suck.

October 14th, 2006, 9:52 pm


ausamaa said:

Gentlemen, I am glad to be getting such free-of- charge psychometric evaluation. And I thank you for it. Especially Ehsani2 (and yes I actually did mean a “role”, as in CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE, not a “roll” as in ROLL OVER AND PLAY DEAD.

The crux of my arguments and fiery urges (firy compared to Khaddam and Baynoni’s urges of riding to the Muhajereen palace atop a US tank to achieve the “sought regime change” for example??)usually center around three points:

1) When your country is under attack, my stand simply is that all else should be put aside until the imminent crisis passes. A simple matter of prioritizing tasks versus what is, or what can be interpreted as an opportunistic attitude to join hands with the opposing force to strengthen certain political positions regardless of how noble or ideal the callings are. As it happened, mine was the stand similar to the stand taken by the majority of the Syrian people, out of an understanding of the situation, rather than out of fear of an oppressive regime. They united behind their President. They understood what is at stake and made their choice. Should we fault them and discard them and reduce all 20 million of them to ignorant and frightened soles, or should we encourage, admire and support them?

2)Why should we “not” believe that our president and the leadership, are really trying to do their best for the good of Syria and the area? With the means available to them. Why do we not give them the benefit of the doubt? Why portray the whole leadership as a corrupt, unpopular, monstrous bunch that their only aim is to suppress the people and milk the country. And it is not the case. Even if it was, and I repeat it is not, are we worse off than what is happening in our neighboring countries who are under much less pressure than we are. We can obviously see that Bashar Al Assad, and the government, are trying. New laws are being passed every week, things are moving forward, not as fast and not as perfectly as we, and they, wish them to be. But the will and intention are evidently there. Why can we not accept the fact that Syria has been the most consistent of all players in the area in its ideological and political positions and stands? Why can we not excuse the leadership for certain imperfections when Syria and the whole area are facing the mightiest and most disruptive strategic onslaught the world has witnessed in modern history? Especially when the aim of this onslaught is to fragment us, not to unify and benefit us. Why should we accept the word of our opponent at face value and discredit every step, deed, and stand taken by our leadership.

3) The last and maybe the most important point is: What other SATSIFACTORY and PRACTICAL options does Syria and its camp have? And if it does, are we allowed to PERSUE them? Does Syria exist and move in a friendly vacuum? I hate to repeat myself again, but is what is happening planned and carried out to benefit us, or is it planned to achieve the precise opposite. In that case, is saying a big NO such a mistake? Is my urge to fight it wrong when the whole “vision and concept” is to take us out as a cohesive force, country and nation?

Ehsani2, I am flattered that you have correctly noted that “The fiery and revolutionary urges in you(i.e. me)seem to be utterly unsatisfied”. You are right, and the urges you refer to are strengthened by the day, inside me, and inside a whole nation of 300 million sloes who continue to share them with me despite hectic attempts to cure us. And hell, why sholdnt we be allowed to have some simple unsatisfied urges when Bolton, Faith, Ledeen, Cheney, Zakhim, Olmert, and POTUS, to mention a few, have more dangerous ones. Could “their” unsatisfied urges be the root cause of ours?

October 14th, 2006, 11:11 pm


ausamaa said:

And gentelmen, can we please change the subject and get out of this endless pointless match.

Such as who exactly is “authorizing” the Lebanese Army leader to take such tough and admirable stands?

Or, would Jumblat and Harriri show up at Aoun’s rally tomorrow?

Or, what surprise was Berri hinting at?

Or, since when has Germany taken such a leading role and demonstrated such a keen interest in Lebanon? It is even so much in-the-know so as to spread the news that Hizbolla’s strength is now greater than it was before July 12.

Or, why would the US allow and publicize the sale of airplane spare parts to Iran now?

And finally, why is the Spanish gentelman visiting Damascuse so unexpectedly, and why is Egypt’s Omar Sulieman taking the trouble to visit Mishaal in Damascuse not vice versa? I do not trust that Mubarak move. When he pocks his innocent nose into things, it arouses my suspicions.

October 14th, 2006, 11:56 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Guess Who stated matter-of-factly:

“I will rather live under Assad’s dictatorship in Syria, than live under a democratic elected terrorist in America. Specially after the Lancet report, stating that this latter and since his awe and shock campaign have killed 650 000 innocent Iraqis in the name of liberation . Between Bush the son and his father almoost two million Iraqi ghosts have vanished. One in every fourty. Now this is Facism.

And dare they criticise our way of living. Dare they criticise our religious intolorance, but most importantly they dare not critisize Islam and our way of life.”

And I would rather live under Hamas’s dictatorship in Palestine than live under a democratic elected terrorist in America.

Who needs freedom?

I love living in oppressed societies where there is no rule of law, no economy to speak of, no limits on poverty, government intervention, and constant hostility and war.

As long as my government fights the onslaught of Zionism and American imperialism, I’m a happy camper!

BTW – The 665,000 deaths, besides being totally erroneous, were mostly caused by non-American “freedom fighers”.

October 16th, 2006, 4:32 pm


Fares said:

Here is my response to people who view me as an extremist or unrealistic. Not that I care about these people opinion. Enjoy

5 months of Kilo in Jail

October 17th, 2006, 5:20 pm


ausamaa said:


Apples-to-Apples, Kilo should be thankfull he lives in Syria. Five months in jail is a bargain compared to five years in a secret Guantanamo Bay cell without a charge -and then they send you home without an appology even-, or an unknown whereabout of hundreds in Jordan, or a two-year scentence in Egypt for MB leaders, or a twelve months of “Tawqeef Ehterazi” in Lebanon for the four security generals who have not been charged with anything yet..or Palestinan babies sharing thier “terrorist” mothers’ scentences in Israeli jails…

October 18th, 2006, 3:14 pm


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