Assad Responds to Clerics’ Demands

I leave for Paris today and will not be blogging until I return Sunday. Here is my latest Foreign Policy article: As quiet returns, Syrians ponder the future. It covers the ground of my last post, but I have changed a number of elements in response to reader criticisms on SC, some of which I have posted below. Here are some thoughts on the reform process that is now taking shape.

President Assad has swung into action meeting with important leaders from different sectors of the Syrian population in an effort to hear their concerns and shore up support for the Baath Party and his presidency.

Sheikh Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Bouti

Most important have been his meetings with the Imams of Syria’s leading cities. These will be the key figures who can help repair his relations with the observant Muslim inhabitants of the cities. Most of the protests have been scheduled for Fridays because that is the day Syrians are allowed to assemble in large numbers. The sermons that are given and the level of criticism that is heard from the minbar can influence the mood of the public. Thus, it is little wonder that President Assad has been fulfilling the principal demands of Syria’s clerics.

Sheikh Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Bouti, Syria’s most respected cleric, stated that the President responded to the suggestions of the religious leaders

to grant freedoms and reform, fight corruption and end one-party rule.” He said during his weekly lesson aired by Syrian Television last night, that the Syrian command responded to many demands presented by a group of clerics, namely the re-employment of women wearing the niqab and the engineers who were distanced from the provinces, the issuance of a decree to found the Sham Higher Institute for Religious Studies and the delivery of instructions to open religious satellite channels that would sponsor “the real Islam that is neither inclined toward the east nor the west.” He added that President Bashar al-Assad told him he would address another speech to the Syrians, after the message of reform appeared to be vague.

President Assad has also accepted to close the country’s only casino and reversed a ban on teachers wearing the Islamic veil – moves seen as an attempt to reach out to conservative Muslims ahead of calls for pro-democracy demonstrations. Syrian activists have urged protesters to take to the streets on Wednesday and the following two days to honor more than 80 people who were killed in a crackdown on demonstrations that erupted nearly three weeks ago.

A number of Kurdish leaders have refused to meet with President Bashar al-Assad because he has refused to address their political concerns, although, he has sent out orders to treat the Kurds who have been refused Syrian nationality as if they were Syrians.

The naming of a Prime Minister who was a past Minister of Agriculture and is from the Southeast of Syria is widely viewed as a move to placate the demands of people from the region of Daraa who have been the worst affected by the protest movement that has swept Syria.

There is some question whether the President will strengthen the presence of the Baath Party in the next government in order to keep his party close as well. One reader worries that this article in al-Watan means that Dardari and the free market liberals in the last government will lose authority to the Regional Command of the Baath Party. The Party hawks believe that cutting socialism and subsidies is a cause of the unrest in Syria.

How these measures will be accepted by the public will depend to a large extent on whether demands for greater civil rights are met by the lifting of the Emergency Law and the new “Anti-Terrorism” law that will be passed by Parliament. If political reforms are given short shrift in favor of concessions to clerics and the Baath Party, many young Syrians will take the view that the country’s leadership is moving backwards and not forwards.

Bouti: President Assad ordered opening of religious channel…” [Thanks to]
Al-Watan, April 6, 2011

Scholar Sheikh Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Bouti stated that the Syrian command responded to the suggestions of the religious leaders to grant freedoms and reform, fight corruption and end one-party rule. He said during his weekly lesson aired by Syrian Television last night, that the Syrian command responded to many demands presented by a group of clerics, namely the re-employment of women wearing the niqab and the engineers who were distanced from the provinces, the issuance of a decree to found the Sham Higher Institute for Religious Studies and the delivery of instructions to open religious satellite channels that would sponsor “the real Islam that is neither inclined toward the east nor the west.” He added that President Bashar al-Assad told him he would address another speech to the Syrians, after the message of reform appeared to be vague.

“He continued: “The issue is not about decrees. The decrees are coming out but are awaiting implementation by the committees due to legal considerations,” explaining that the country will witness additional freedoms, the ending of the state of emergency and the discontinuation of the rule of one party…, that many steps have already been implemented and that they will soon be announced…

Ziad haidar in as-Safir, Tuesday, April 05, 2011

مشيرا إلى أن الوفد تقدم باقتراحات وأن القيادة وعدت بتلبيتها. وفي هذا السياق، صدر أمس الأول مرسوم بتأسيس معهد الشام العالي للتدريس الشرعي والبحوث الدينية، كما أعيدت مجموعة من المعلمات المنقبات إلى العمل بموجب توجيه رئاسي وفق ما ذكر وزير التربية في حكومة تصريف الأعمال علي سعد أمس. وقدر عدد اللواتي أعدن لعملهن بـ 1200 معلمة. وقد شكل هذا المطلب أحد مطالب المحتجين في غالبية انحاء البلاد

Friends had the following to say about this sermon by the Imam of the al-Hassan Mosque in the Midan quarter, which is the heart of Damascus.

I watched this sermon three times. This shaikh is brilliant. I have never agreed with a religious man in my life. But this is absolutely superb. The talk about the economic hardship, the mukhabarat, the simple and poor people and the use of his minbar plus his love for Syria is very moving. Is this the same Kuraim family of Aleppo?

His accent is very Shami. He is from Damascus. He is the Imam of the al-Hassan Mosque in Midan in the heart of Damascus.

I loved it how he held the approved paper they gave him for his sermon and kept looking at it disgustedly while ignoring it. Freedom of speech is creeping in everywhere in Syria. Even the Syrian state TV has been transformed. I hope people upstairs all understand the changes, otherwise if they will decide to be stubborn then it’s going to be ugly. People will snap if they feel that they are being tricked and their intelligence is being insulted.

Kurdish leaders refuse to meet with Assad envoys…” []
Al-Sarq al-Awsat , April 6, 2011
by Irbil Shirzad Shikhani

A number of prominent Kurdish leaders active on the Syrian political scene decided to boycott the meeting that was held between representatives of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a number of tribal and political Kurdish leaders. This decision to boycott the meeting came after the Kurdish political council that includes nine different Kurdish parties and organizations announced that it refused to take part in the gathering. In this respect, a prominent Syrian official source was quoted by Asharq al-Awsat as saying: “Both Abdul Rahman Darwish, the secretary general of the Kurdish Democratic Party, and Saleh Kado, the deputy Secretary General of the Leftist Kurdish Party have boycotted the meeting.”

“For his part, Saleh Kado who is present in Syria was quoted by Asharq al-Awsat as saying: “The Kurdish movement has always affirmed its attachment to and its support of dialogue. And although we are not opposed to such a dialogue with the regime, we have decided to boycott the last session that was held with representatives from the regime. We took this decision because we do not want to allow them to claim that the Kurdish cause or demands only have to deal with small services. The governmental delegation came to listen to the Kurdish social and economic demands and not to the Kurdish political demands.”

“Kado added:….. Currently, the Kurdish street is very upset and angry and everybody is carefully watching the developments on the ground. A number of Kurdish movements have called for protests this Friday and I believe that it is time for the regime to talk to us in regard to our national demands. They must cancel the emergency laws, amend the constitution and recognize our presence as an independent entity…””

Ankara: Leaders should be more courageous than their people…”
On April 6,  Asharq al-Awsat, Beirut Thaer Abbas

“Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is expected to arrive to Damascus today. This would be the first visit made by the Turkish foreign minister to the Syrian capital since the incidents that erupted in Syria last month. In this respect, Turkish sources described this visit as being very important. The sources considered that the Turkish leadership decided to deal with the Syrian crisis without any reservations and that this constituted an important development, especially since bilateral relations had improved drastically since the Justice and Equality Party came to power in Turkey.

“Davutoglu’s visit to Damascus comes after days of dispute and accusations in the Turkish media over the best ways to deal with these events. Many media reports had called on the government to keep its distance from the current Syrian regime and to show a willingness to cooperate with any new regime that might be instated in Damascus. Turkish official sources considered that Davutoglu’s visit to Syria signaled the importance that Ankara gave to President Assad, but also reflected its attachment to the strengthening of bilateral relations between the two countries. However, other sources said that Davutoglu was carrying with him a clear message to President Assad, considering that Ankara was very disappointed with the Syrian president following the speech he had delivered before in parliament. The sources added: “Davutoglu will be carrying with him many pieces of advice regarding the best way to deal with the current crisis in Syria.”

Sana: Davutoglu met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Wednesday, following visits to Qatar and Bahrain. Davutoglu expressed his country’s support for the reform package adopted by the Syrian authorities,” the official SANA news agency reported, citing a statement from the Syrian presidency.

Samir Aita has a very smart article: “Follow the money” in Le Monde Diplomatique

Those Arab states that have erupted this year – and others that may follow – want freedom and democracy, but also to end the way their countries have been run for the financial benefit of rulers and their friends……

Nabil, a medical doctor in Michigan, sent the following critique of my recent analysis:

I am an Arab-American who has been, like you, following the opposition movements sprouting up throughout the Arab World. I have read your blogs over the years and have been impressed by your intimate knowledge and intelligent analysis of Syria and the broader Middle East.

I would like to comment, however, that a modified analysis of the current situation needs to be applied. That is, instead of looking at things from the traditional perspective of the millet system, I urge that you look at changes from the perspective of human and civil rights.

Recent events in the Arab World are re-calibrating the relationship of peoples with their governments. For the first time, Arabs are looking to their governments are SERVING the people rather than RULING the people. Government is being expected to provide schools, healthcare, roads, security, etc. Government is no longer being permitted to imprison, torture, abuse, steal. The Arabs are demanding- as I see it- the rule of law. They finally are coming to see that they have the right to live like citizens of every other region in the world- with law above all, and with transparency and due process in all aspects of life.

…..A courageous leader would have needed to take on those who control the levers of power. It is NOT an Alawite thing, it is a matter of interests of the “murtaziqa” or the beneficiaries of the regime.

When the Assad regime starts to eliminate abuses of the government, cancels emergency laws, releases all political prisoners, develops a parliamentary system with presidential term limits, then I am sure that Syria will become a far more stable and happy place.

All Arab leaders need to realize that their strength comes from their alignment with their people- not with Iran, the US, Turkey. The people provide legitimacy and stability for government. When Syria’s regime represents all Syrians equally, the sectarianism that is currently prominent will fade, and Syria will become a far more successful and prosperous country.

So, I respectfully disagree with your take on Assad’s speech. Syrians, like all people, NEED a fair, just, and transparent governmental system that will provide a level playing field for all. This is a critical phase of nation-building. The rich and mighty will certainly lose some of their privileges, but in the long run, everyone will be that much better off.

A Commentator’s view:

If the opposition turns sectarian or use violence they will be rejected by most Syrians. The regime has no choice but to change and rebuild alliances,they have lost a lot of support due to corruption and oppression. You will see gradual but steady reform measures that target the poor, the Kurds and the moderate low-middle class religious groups.albaath will have to share power and people should not be arrested for writing an article. By the end of April,a third choice for cellular services may be available to Syrians ,I hope rami stays out of it and keep a low profile,he is a liability now. I was disappointed by the lack of discussion about alawites and other minorities that oppose the regime.

Another Commentator proposes class over sect is at root of protest movement:

Wahabis, Islamists, MB…..That’s all what I read in the comments here.. Seriously people have you checked the state of economy in Syria?

How about the extreme poverty that millions of Syrians suffer from as a result of the Baath ruling…what about repression and maltreatment by police/security? Is that not enough to mobilize many after seeing Egypt and Tunisia?

I’m really surprised to read these comments as in the past couple of weeks, I didn’t talk to any of my Sunni upper-middle class friends in Syria who did not clearly show support for a major change in Syria, especially after the president’s speech. Though they are all worried about the unknown but what is holding them from taking an active role in the demos is simply the fear… If the barrier breaks down completely, we would see huge movements in the streets of Damascus….

Also, nobody seems to note that many Damascene families, who used to be middle class one day, have moved to live in the mentioned suburbs. I know many people who sold their houses in prime locations in Damascus so they can afford to buy two or three houses in Artouz or Harasta and the like so that their boys would be able to get married….

You guys are ignoring the economical side of the whole movement and focusing on Wahabis. Deraa did not rise up because of a Wahabis’ agenda… Teens were arrested and the issue was poorly dealt with by those in charge of security in Deraa!

I have lived in Syria most of life and have been forced to take part in many pro-Assad demonstrations. Everyone in Damascus knows that, except for you guys! I know plenty of people who took part in the pro-Assad demo last week, but none of them participated willingly! So you can’t really use that demo as an evidence of Assad’s popularity! I’m sure many do support and like Assad, less after the speech though, but many more do not but are silent for now!

It’s about class and poverty and not sectarian! The regime and its supporters are the ones focusing on the sectarian aspect in order to curb people’s ambition of a change that Syria dearly needs!

Olaf Andersen writes:

Dear Joshua, We proceeded with our recent trip to Syria (March 25 – April 3) and had a wonderful time. There was no sign of any protest wherever we went (Bosra, Damascus, Homs, Hama, Crak de Chevaliers, Sergilla, Aleppo and Palmyra) and people were extremely friendly. The State Department’s advisory for all Americans to consider leaving Syria seemed paranoid – perhaps a Washington-Damascus power play.

Best regards, Olaf Andersen

Syrian Parliament to Repeal Emergency Law in May, AFP Says
By Gregory Viscusi

April 6 (Bloomberg) — Syria’s parliament will repeal the country’s five-decade-old emergency law during a special session in early May, Agence France-Presse reported, citing an unidentified official close to President Bashar al-Assad. The special session will sit from May 2 to 6, AFP said.

Hugh Macleod -explores the Shabiha of Latakia. The Al Jazeera feature is here
The ghosts of Syria

….Syrians claim that roaming gangs of thugs have turned peaceful pro-democracy protests into violent chaos.

They are known to the locals of Lattakia as the ghosts – al-Shabeha – but when these phantoms dress up it is in black and their terror is tangible.

In a port city dominated by Sunni Muslims, who comprise three quarters of the Syrian population, and surrounded by mountain villages that are home to Alawites, a minority that has ruled over the country for 40 years, these roaming gangs of black-clothed thugs have turned peaceful protests calling for freedom into deadly chaos.

Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s president, warned in a speech this week that such gangs are part of a foreign plot to drive a wedge between Syria’s different religious and ethnic communities. But in interviews with residents, journalists and eyewitnesses in Lattakia almost all say the same thing: Shabeha are almost exclusively Alawites from the region, described by one reliable source as the private militia of the Assad family itself……

Who is shooting at Syrians? A poll circulating on twitter among Syrians:

Saudi ittisalat will probably be licensed to operate a third cell company in Syria. It may bring lower call charges. Syria has among the highest price structure for its cell phones.

Syria Goes to War
April 4, 2011 Bilal Y. Saab in The National Interest

IT WAS only a matter of time before the revolutionary wave hit Syria. After all, the factors that have brought about dissent and rebellion in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain and to lesser extent in Jordan and Saudi Arabia are equally if not more salient in Syria: failed economics, undemocratic politics, and societal discontent…..

T IS dishonest to deny that US (and Israeli) strategic interests would be better served if Bashar the president, not his regime, stayed in power. Better the devil you know. The United States and Israel simply cannot afford to wait and see which new leadership may soon emerge in Damascus. Washington knows Bashar well and it knows how rational and predictable he is in foreign affairs. If he wants to survive politically and save his legacy, Washington should have this deal ready for him—US political support for his effort to stay in power and rescue his presidency in return for the following: he split with the regime, implement all the necessary reforms he proposed, allow for free and fair national elections, and gradually join the pro-Western camp like his father did prior to the 1991 Gulf War.

Some analysts have argued that it is naive to expect Bashar to be able or willing to reform, noting that his March 30 speech is yet another indicator of his resistance to change. That may be true, but if things escalate and demonstrators regain the momentum and encircle him, Bashar, the pragmatic leader he is, might have no choice but to comply. If he accepts Washington’s deal, the United States would get the best out of an imperfect situation: leverage with a future government in Damascus, something the Assads have succeeded in denying Washington for a long time.

Many Syrians may feel betrayed and offended by even the thought of the United States providing Bashar with political support. But many others (hopefully the majority), anxious about the potential partition of their country, sectarian conflict, and political instability, could tolerate such an arrangement. After all, large numbers of Syrian youth love him and many still believe that he has reformist intentions. If Bashar succeeds in dismantling his regime and stays in power, Washington would be both supporting the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people and protecting its own security interests.

Democracy Is Messy
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, March 30, 2011
CAIRO: The New York Times

Egypt is a mess….. (read)

Washington Quietly Halts Arms Delivery To Lebanon
By Adam Entous

WASHINGTON—The U.S. has quietly frozen weapon shipments to Lebanon’s armed forces following the collapse of the country’s pro-Western government in January, underlining growing concerns about Hezbollah’s role there. The suspension, part of a broader review of U.S. security assistance to Lebanon, offers a cautionary tale about the uncertain course of secular revolts sweeping the Middle East, and Washington’s limited ability to influence them. Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution of 2005 started with a wave of popular protests that stirred pro-democracy hopes in the West, much like the revolts now sweeping the region. But, to the chagrin of the U.S. and its allies, Hezbollah has emerged stronger rather than chastened.

The arms freeze was recently approved by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, but the decision hasn’t been publicly announced because of concerns the disclosure could interfere with delicate internal negotiations in Lebanon over a new government’s makeup and policies. Defense officials said the U.S. is continuing to provide training and nonlethal assistance to the Lebanese military, describing the ties that are active as “robust.” Since 2006, the U.S. has provided more than $720 million in support to the Lebanese military, including equipment and advanced training.

Comment: region’s rulers practise delusion
By Roula Khalaf, Published: April 4 2011

Comments (352)

Nour said:

This is what happens in a country like Syria, where there is no national consciousness and society is divided along religious, sectarian, and ethnic lines, when people are asked to voice their concerns and demands. This should be a clear signal that different people calling for “Freedom” in their protests have different ideas of freedom. The Islamists believe that “Freedom” is to allow the Islamization of Syrian society. The Kurds believe “Freedom” is for them to be allowed to have an independent ethic entity in Syria. The Secularists believe that “Freedom” is to completely secularize society and eliminate the fundamentalists. How do you suppose all these varying, competing ideas would be reconciled in a “Free-for-all?”

I think that the regime should stop attempting to appease one group here and another there. The regime should simply implement general reforms that would lead to a more politically mature and healthy society. This means that initially there needs to be the immediate removal of the Emergency Law, the introduction of a new party law allowing the free operation of different political parties that can present different platforms to the people, the introduction of a new media law, freeing the press and allowing it to give honest, accurate coverage of the happenings within the Syrian social and political spheres, and the strengthening of the judiciary such that it becomes an independent body able to exercise true justice in Syria.

April 6th, 2011, 1:10 pm


AIG said:

For 40 years you allow only the mosque to be a place where people can congregate legally and you are surprised that clerics are powerful?

April 6th, 2011, 1:11 pm


jad said:

Mr. Halabi,
‘I was disappointed by the lack of discussion about alawites and other minorities that oppose the regime.’
I agree with you, I did write about the same issue couple days ago; putting every non-Sunni Syrian on the regime side is incorrect and unfair for all Syrians, there are many Alawites, Druz, Christians, Shia and Ismailis who are against this government/regime and many of them are in fact on the streets with their Syrian brothers and sisters who are calling for some ‘form’ of freedom and fighting corruption. Not out of ideological or sectarian believes but out of realization that the situation in Syria hits alarming level of corruption, brutality and poverty.
Syrians and regardless of their sects have no choice but to support freedom, equality, dignity and above all to call for a true national unity under the state for all, these are the basics of any nation, the situation as is today is unsustainable and it is unacceptable for using sectarian language by all sides to spread fear and destroy national identification.
There are clear requests by almost everybody to bring justice to those innocent young souls who were killed for no reason and many of us are still waiting to see some actions on this front. The President’s speech fall too short on this point and now I recognize why some/many (not sure) Syrians were offended by the President cracking jokes in this situation. And for the national TV to use Moundasin and armed gangs as the ones killing all these people is too stupid to believe, they might be some criminals who are using the chaos but to generalize this few incident as the norm in this movement is a rude lie.
Another request was to truly fight corruption starting from the top all the way down not the other way around, again no action was taken yet, and to make things worse they kept the same useless ministers in the new government, how is that going to help Syrians believe in any change when they are seeing the same faces over and over as if time stopped at those people’s generation.
The emergency law, the political party law and free media rules are already overdue, and we still waiting.
If the government/regime doesn’t do any fundamental changes regarding those points, the movement may in fact grow and reach the full scale revolution point.
I still have some hope that things will improve if the government/regime put SYRIA’s best interest as their goal not their own. The coming days will tell.

Dear Nour,
I just read your comment after posting mine, regarding Freedom and National consciousness, you put them way way better than what I intended in my comment, I agree with what you wrote.

April 6th, 2011, 1:25 pm


Majhool said:

aseel ya Jad

April 6th, 2011, 1:31 pm


SOURI said:

Comments on Syria News show that many are unhappy with the Islamization decisions:

One commenter on this page says بشار صاير اخونجي اكثر من الاخوان :

April 6th, 2011, 1:32 pm


jad said:

Hi Majhool,
Thank you very much for you kind words.

April 6th, 2011, 1:36 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

I fully agree to what Nour and Jad said, and want to add one thing, the regime must release all political prisoners.

April 6th, 2011, 1:59 pm


Atassi said:

Thanks to both you and Nour, I agree with you both, I strongly support your call to bring justice to those innocent young souls who were killed for no reason other than exercising their right for FREE and peaceful demonstrations, for some reason landis failed to explain your notion that NOT every non-Sunni Syrian on the regime side….I personally know many Alwaits that on the other side and strongly agree

April 6th, 2011, 2:00 pm


SOURI said:

Even if Assad keeps Dardari in the government, economic reform will be very hard to carry on.

Assad is talking about involving the opposition in decision making. What is the opposition in Syria? Is there anybody in the (real) opposition inside Syria who supports economic reform?

If Assad allows demonstrations and strikes, will the government ever be able to lift subsidies? If the government decides to raise the prices of heating oil and the people go out on general strike, what will happen? We have seen examples in other Arab countries before.

The Syrians are educated on socialism in schools since grade 1 until the last year in college. Most university teachers, most economic experts, ans most journalists in Syria do NOT understand economic reform and they oppose it.

I can’t see or imagine how economic reform will be carried on in Syria. Smart article writers like Samir Aita oppose privatization and they believe that the government should keep owning factories and banks. They even believe that the government should set up new public sector investments, and perhaps even nationalize some private investments like Syriatel. They believe that the government shouldn’t remove protective trade tariffs and shouldn’t remove good subsidies, and don’t ask me where the government is going to get the money from.

If Assad is serious about opening up politically, then we must expect very hard times economically because Syria will never be able to reach the goals of its current five-year plan. Investors will NOT invest in Syria if they see that the government is backing up on reform.

Few months ago we were talking about secularism and economic reform as the titles of the next stage. Sadly, now we are talking about Islamization and socialism. Needless to say, Syria won’t be politically stable at all if Assad really opens up, and we should expect the country to have serious social divisions that can easily escalate into violence. This is another reason why many people won’t be inclined to invest in Syria.

No investment = no jobs, no growth, more poverty, more political instability, i.e. Syria becoming another Lebanon/Iraq.

April 6th, 2011, 2:42 pm


Solitarius said:

I can’t believe that one of the first “reforms” to be implemented is to return full nikab teachers to schools and to shut down the Casino.. now I might not agree with the Casino to begin with or I might do, but the signal they are sending is clear.. they are appeasing the Islamists… Is this the kind of reforms they want to implement? They just manage to piss off the general population more and more with their stupid reforms..

As Nour said very elegantly above.. we need REAL reforms that will allow us to build a healthy society.. but you are asking a dictatorship to allow you to have democracy and to disintegrate itself.. we are either extremely optimistic or we have become delusional due to our sad sad reality so we grab onto any little idea no matter how silly and improbable is its actual implementation

the future of Syria is glim.. I can’t possible imagine myself being stopped by one of those idiot Lijan Sha3biyyeh.. yet he might have the power to kill me.. kel wa7ed bikon carrying a ton of psychological problems and then they are assigned the job of our “protection”

sorry to mix a few ideas together.. but this is a time when we need community leaders to stand up and really voice their concerns. All eyes are now on Syria.. the regime cannot arrest and silence many people especially if they are well respected. If the elite and community leaders of Syria don’t speak up now then it’s gonna be over.. we will either get an Islamatized state to further scare the people about any prospect of revolution and change.. or we will get a heavy police state in a couple of months when everything dies down and media moves on to more interesting regions.. Probably we will get both

April 6th, 2011, 3:06 pm


SOURI said:

I am still hoping that this Islamization trend is tactical until the regime defeats the Wahhabis.

The Syrian regime is not known to be stupid. They must understand that Islamization will lead eventually to violence and chaos.

This news made me optimistic:

وذكر بيان رئاسي أن “الرئيس الأسد أعرب عن تقديره لحرص تركيا على أمن واستقرار سورية، وشدد على انفتاح سورية للاستفادة من تجارب الدول الأخرى وخصوصا تركيا، وذلك لإغناء مشاريع القوانين التي وضعتها الجهات المختصة في مجال الإصلاح”

If Assad is truly willing to adopt the Turkish example, then this means that he is on the right track and he is not planning to surrender power to the Islamists. My fear was that Assad may follow the ill-fated Egyptian example. If he follows the Turkish example, then we are probably going to be fine. Assad now has to get rid of the Wahhabis by force, and after that we will have plenty of political methods to defeat Islamism without resorting to violence.

April 6th, 2011, 3:39 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:

A number of recent comments read as if the events in the Arab states in the Middle East are trending towards “Islamism” and that denotes a certain negativism.

From a purely questioning posit. One is hard put to be judgmental either pro or con. The reality created in the Middle East in the late 1940s by the UN is a state whose “raison d’etre” as the French would say is its demands that it be based specifically on “its own sole religious beliefs”, and be comprised exclusively by people of that “specific and sole religious belief”.

Is it irrational for others of different ‘religious’ to tend to do the same in their own backyard so to speak?

April 6th, 2011, 4:12 pm


SOURI said:

If Bashar wants to do reform, then he must address seriously the issue of freedom of speech. ALL people must have the freedom to talk, not just the Islamists.

-Al-Bouti has no right to demand banning any TV show. All TV shows must be allowed except those promoting sectarianism and terrorism.

-Al-Bouti has no right to preach on national TV. His opinions represent only himself and he should not be allowed to promote Islamism and ignorance in a weekly show on national TV. Are Bouti’s opinions the opinions of the Baath or the Syrian state? Why does he have a weekly show on the state TV? What about the people who disagree with him? Why do not they have a weekly show too?

-People must be allowed to establish their own TV channels, newspapers, and magazines, and they must be allowed to freely criticize Islamism and Al-Bouti.

-People must be allowed to use the internet freely and no websites should be blocked except those promoting sectarianism and terrorism.

These are the real basic rights that we need (not the false rights that the protesters are demanding). Right now, you can very hardly criticize Islamism in Syria. Even the private news websites won’t allow you to criticize Islamism in anyway (the only exception is perhaps which allows some limited freedom of speech in matters related to Islamism).

We want the real freedom in Syria, not the Islamist false freedom.

April 6th, 2011, 5:20 pm


SOURI said:

Many Syrian (and Arabic) websites deliberately manage readers comments to sway public opinion. The most notorious Syrian website that I know which does this is this site:

The editors of this site systematically manipulate readers comments so that the majority opinion always looks as if it is against Dardari and the economic reform, and as if it is always pro-Islamist. Syrian (and Arabic) journalism extremely lacks professionalism. The only Syrian website that has some limited traces of professionalism is

In such environment where journalists are inclined to push forward their own opinions and interests, we must allow as many journalists as possible to work freely. This is not a Syrian thing only. If you visit Al-Jazeera website, you will find that most of the comments they allow reflect Al-Jazeera opinions. The same is true for Al-Arabiyya, al-quds al-Arabi, al-sharq al-awsat, etc. Arabic journalism does not tolerate the opposite opinion, and this is one major reason for why Arabic culutre has so much deteriotated.

Al-Jazzera and Al-Quds al-Arabi are pro-Ikhwan. Al-Arabiyya and Al-sharq al-Awsat are pro-Wahhabi. Is it surprising that most Arabs have become Ikhwan and Wahhabis?

We need a different kind of media. We need media that promotes freedom of speech, not Ikhwan speeach or Wahhabi speech. The things I have been writing on this blog can never ever appear in any Arabic website. Why is that? Why can’t I say what I want in Arabic? And why can’t Arabic readers read it?

Even the economic articles that Joshua Landis used to publish on this blog can never appear in any Syrian website, because most of these articles were pro-reform.

April 6th, 2011, 5:42 pm


Off the Wall said:

There is always a first for everything. And after more than two years of bickering with you, which will probably continue for a while, I have to appreciate the conciseness and simplicity of the truth in your comment # 2.

Dearest Jad
While not easily predictable, You are one consistent fellow. You have never failed to stand by your values. I am proud to share these pages with you. No matter what, i think we can count on you to be a good voice of our humanist side. It is not necessary to take a political position on any matter. In your case, you have already taken a position that supports the inalienable rights of people. Keep at it there should be a place for every one.

My Rant (to be historically corrected by anyone who knows better):

It seems to me that the government/regime (to borrow from Jad’s neutral approach) or the Gegime, if you allow me to invent a new word, is giving concession to a side whose real popularity in the streets is not even well known. Other than a single incident in Banyas, in which a Sufi imam, who, similar to the Syrian president, may have inherited the pulpit from his father, asked for the return of Munaqqabat and the re-opening of the Shari’a section in the local high-school (where he probably taught), there were very few religious demands made by other demonstrations. Using religious phrases such as Allahu-Akbar does not mean much, and does not say much about the level of rigid islamism of the shouters. It is simply a very common rallying cry. The most persistent cry was in fact the counter-menhebbak shouts of Allah-Suryya-Hurria wbass, and Alsha3b Alsuri Ma Beynthall, and to my ears, the two sounded better than Beethoven’s fifth and Ave-Maria played in sequence.

My own observations, at least when from I lived in Syria, were that an anti-religious regime only existed in the first 7 years of the Baath rule when the hard-core socialists were in power. Hafez Assad restored much of the religious freedoms from day one. I still recall the large number of fancy mosques built in Aleppo during the mid to late seventies and even right after the clash with the MB in the early 80s. During Hafez Assad’s life-term in office, only political religion was oppressed, be it sectarian, or liberal, same as all other political inclinations that threatened, or even mildly challenged his regime. Even when his elder brother, Jamil, attempted to establish a new group (Murtada Society) capitalizing on his brothers’ power, it was clamped on the moment some of its members attempted to challenge mukhabarat hand-picked candidates for local and national public office. It was never meant to enjoy power beyond collection of petty protection money and influence peddling. Judging by the relative number of new churches, one may even argue that it was the religious freedom of the minority which was more at risk than that of the majority sect. Bashar’s Gegime continued the trend and even tolerated groups his father would have never tolerated. The spread of Qubaisyyat among the high society of Damascus, including amongst the families of some of his senior officials’ did not even register on the radar. A huge growth of Shari’a schools was not only sanctioned, but also encouraged. The only measured action against excessive religiosity was the recent transfer of Munaqqabat from teaching jobs, and some restrictions on Niqab taken by the minister of education, probably taken to appease the French president. The tribal/clannish nature of the regime, commonly misrepresented as purely sectarian, continued unabated, with more of the country’s wealth being transferred to a select few and their partners across the spectrum of Syrian society. The only way the privileged could retain their money siphon was to create selective fear through the implementation of frequently shifting red-lines, along with a thick wall of fear regarding the ruling family and the ruler himself and about sectarian strife an chaos in case the unimaginable happened. The initial naive steps towards granting some liberties yielded to a new era in the republic of silence, albeit with kangaroo courts, and insultingly dumb charges that were reserved for secular civil liberties advocates who managed to attract some western interest, and withheld from political-islamists, who represented a common enemy with the audience the regime was trying to appease. But overall, religious freedom expanded further, even to a point where it occasionally threatened civil society, art, and some of th gains Syrians have accomplished over the years, such as we witnessed, and argued, during the attempts to pass the shameful reactionary civil law slightly more than a year a go.

In a previous post, i argued that there are two key problems facing the Kurds in Syria. The first, which is the issue of stateless or Kurds, is a humanitarian problem that has procedural solutions. I had indicated that I was stunned at the stubbornness of successive Syrian government regarding this problem that was inherited from Nazem Kudsi’s government and not even from the Baathists themselves. The second problem, which I argued as being more a political problem, was more related to the absence of civil liberties, including the right to ones own ethnic heritage, and to a say in their governance. As such, the latter can only be resolved if political freedom are granted not only to one group, but to the entire nation.

Incapable of true reforms, the regime must be given credits for attempts at shrewdness. The combination of recent declarations by Al-Bouti that the regime will be initiating a dialog with religious leaders, and decisions to return Munaqqabats, re-open some Shari’a schools, which probably closed more for lack of enrollment, and to close a casino, clearly show that the regime has given the demonstrators, not only what they did not ask for, but something they already have. Basically, giving religious freedoms, without yielding any political freedoms is the cheapest and most desired card that would allow the regime to look like it is embarking on reforms, that the Baathists power is on the decline, and that the regime is giving in to the demands of legitimate demonstrators. An added advantage is the placation of hot-blooded wahabis in the gulf, who can now turn back and believe that Shari’a is in good shape in Syria and that they have helped, even by participating in FB discussions, earn victory for Islam against the godless baathists.

Similarly, the urgency by which the regime is addressing only the minor part of the Kurdish problem, and its reliance on procedural solutions, in addressing the stateless Kurds issue, which in fact was rejected as a cause by the Krudish demonstrators who shouted we are not “citizenship seekers” must also be understood in the same light of giving nothing real on the civil liberties front.

The regime has chosen to continue to ignore the real problem, while attempting to compartmentalize the opposition and give the Neutrals, or the silent majority, the impression that demonstrators, from now on, are not seeking the just cause of freedom, but are without a doubt, mere agents of the great conspiracy.

I do not expect much from the next speech. One can easily see how the Syrian press has been trying to frantically frame the ongoing struggle as local demands relying on the fact that no major demonstrations have occurred in large urban centers, especially Aleppo. In the next speech, we may see a new classification of demonstrators. Ze3ran, or conspirators.

April 6th, 2011, 6:06 pm


SOURI said:

Bashar must be very careful during the next stage because if he continues with this Islamist trend and pushes it too much, he will become useless to everybody and nobody will support him.

The Islamists are the biggest social group, but they are not the only group. He must give something to the other groups or they will turn against him. We are waiting to see what he will give us.

April 6th, 2011, 6:29 pm


SOURI said:

Can Assad launch a war to liberate the Golan?

If things get out of control, then the war option will probably become attractive. The Syrian economy is going to lose anyway, so instead of fighting each other why don’t we all go and fight to liberate the Golan? If things go well we may even continue and liberate Palestine. It is not a bad idea.

April 6th, 2011, 7:27 pm


SOURI said:

Imagine the next war: missiles from Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Iran. Land advancement from the Golan, Lebanon, and Gaza. New Intifada in the West Bank. Iranian Revolutionary Guards fighting from Syria and Lebanon. Also Egypt might join if things drag for a long time. We can make use of all those Wahhabis. We can load them with explosives and send them into the enemy lines. Also perhaps chemical weapons, biological weapons, dirty bombs.

It won’t be a bad war at all. If the Iranians agree to participate, Bashar must seriously consider this option. This war can save Syria a civil war and turn a national crisis into a historic national accomplishment.

April 6th, 2011, 7:55 pm


Norman said:

The tide is too high for president Assad to ignore the Islamist trend, when swimming in a river as may dad did in the AAsi river you have to swim with the current until you reach the river’s bank.

When Syria become stable then discussion on what kind of Syria the people living there want, should take place, My feeling is that to let people live as they want as long as they do not impose their way of life on others .

Can anybody explain to me the reason that the Kurds who came into Syria illegally running away from Turkey should get Syrian citizenship that they do not want to swear loyalty to, only to use that citizenship to demand recognition for their independent identity, people who are born in Japan do not get citizenship and in the US we are struggling with giving citizenship to illegal immigrant who have been here for 30 years and the is made of immigrants.

I can not believe the arrogance that the leaders of some of the Kurdish party showed by no accepting the invitation of the president of Syria, that is by itself a reason to deny them citizenship,
Can you see that here if president Obama asked to meet with a group to hear their views

April 6th, 2011, 8:47 pm


Syria Almighty said:

I like SOURI’s idea of strapping bombs to Wahabi slime and unleashing them against the enemy.

April 6th, 2011, 9:35 pm


SOURI said:

Very good development:

في السياق نفسه، كشف المصدر التركي لـ”الحقيقة” عن أن الرئيس السوري استجاب لطلب تركيا بالسماح بإنشاء حزب إسلامي شبيه بـ”حزب العدالة والتنمية التركي” الذي يحكم تركيا. وقال المصدر إن الحزب العتيد” سيرخص له بموجب قانون الأحزاب المزمع صدوره قريبا ، ومن المرجح أن يكون واجهة لجماعة الأخوان المسلمين السورية”. وبحسب المصدر، فإن المراقب العام للجماعة رياض شقفة ” أبلغ المسؤولين الأنراك يوم الخميس الماضي استعداد جماعته لتغيير اسمها ، أو تأسيس حزب جديد يكون واجهة للجماعة ويحمل أفكار حزب العدالة والتنمية التركي ويقبل باللعبة الديمقراطية. وقد حمل أوغلو هذا الأمر إلى الرئيس السوري الذي أبدى استعداد نظامه لترخيص حزب من هذا القبيل”

It looks as if Assad is doing everything I am expecting him to do. He is a smart guy. Syria is probably going to be fine and I don’t think we are going to go war soon.

April 6th, 2011, 10:11 pm


SOURI said:

These are the correct steps:

-Isolate the Wahhabis (he did it).
-Get rid of the Wahhabis (he is going to do it).
-Follow the Turkish example and license secular Islamic parties.
-Use the skills you learned in Lebanon and weaken these Islamic parties by dividing them and not allowing any of them to gain wide national support.

This the blueprint for a good future.

April 6th, 2011, 10:18 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Apartheid State NewZ

Can anybody explain to me the reason that the Kurds who came into Syria illegally running away from Turkey should get Syrian citizenship that they do not want to swear loyalty to, only to use that citizenship to demand recognition for their independent identity…


Why the double-standard? One set of rules for Syria and another for Israel? That’s convenient…

April 6th, 2011, 10:24 pm


Norman said:


It looks like the Turkish module is the way to go and the system that most of us agree on, any supporters beside Souri and i ?,

April 6th, 2011, 10:26 pm


Norman said:


I agree with you , Jews who came and immigrated from the EU and the soviet union shouldnt be given Israeli citizenship and that citizenship should be given to the Palestinians and their descendants ,who were the original citizens,

April 6th, 2011, 10:30 pm


SOURI said:

From now on we are going to have to do seat calculations of the Syrian parliament to see how many seats the Islamists can win. One good idea for Assad to do is to create a senate based on regional representation. This will weaken the Islamists. Al-Souida governorate (mostly Druze) has a million inhabitants. Aleppo governorate (mostly Islamist) has 5 million. If both governorates have an equal number of representatives in the senate, this would be like flushing 4 million Islamist votes down the toilet. This is a guaranteed loss for the Islamists and Bashar shouldn’t miss this chance. It won’t cost him anything.

Another way to weaken the Islamists would be by changing administrative divisions. The southern part of rural Damascus governorate (mostly Islamist-Wahhabi) must be separated and made a separate governorate, and the northern part of rural Damascus must be united with the city of Damascus in a single governorate. This way, the new Damascus governorate would have more sizable Christian, Druze, Shia, and Alawi populations.

April 6th, 2011, 11:02 pm


Norman said:

I always thought that it would be a good idea to have a senate with two senators from each county ( Muhafaza) to give equal vote for small and large counties, beside the parliament that is population dependent,

April 6th, 2011, 11:09 pm


abbas said:

Any way we can limit how many times souri can post comments on this blog, why doesn’t he start his own blog and see if someone wants to read his stupid comments

April 6th, 2011, 11:46 pm


Revlon said:

#1 Dear Nour,
You Said:

“The regime should simply implement general reforms that would lead to a more politically mature and healthy society.
This means that initially there needs to be the immediate removal of the Emergency Law, the introduction of a new party law allowing the free operation of different political parties that can present different platforms to the people, the introduction of a new media law, freeing the press and allowing it to give honest, accurate coverage of the happenings within the Syrian social and political spheres, and the strengthening of the judiciary such that it becomes an independent body able to exercise true justice in Syria”

I say: Most, if not all Syrians have been calling for such reforms.

This list makes up most of the itmes proposed by the declaration of Damasdcus over 10 years ago!

They were similarly proposed by activists as recent as the start of the Syrian uprising!

As I, and many others see it, this regime is incompatible with reforms that will, in their estimation, bring an end to their reign!

April 7th, 2011, 6:46 am


Jad said:

The Kurds got their Syrian citizenship.

Dearest OTW,
Thank you!
I was merely stating my opinion.

April 7th, 2011, 6:57 am


Revlon said:

Operation Wa2dulfitnah in Duma, claimed the life of the boy, 3orfan AL DURRAH and his friends!

Familiar name, to similar enemies!
Enemies of freedom!

April 7th, 2011, 7:00 am


Akbar Palace said:

Kurds & Whey: Sad Hypocrisy Identified in Baathist Syria

I agree with you , Jews who came and immigrated from the EU and the soviet union shouldnt be given Israeli citizenship and that citizenship should be given to the Palestinians and their descendants ,who were the original citizens…


NO we don’t agree. You stated:

Can anybody explain to me the reason that the Kurds who came into Syria illegally running away from Turkey should get Syrian citizenship that they do not want to swear loyalty to, only to use that citizenship to demand recognition for their independent identity, people who are born in Japan do not get citizenship and in the US we are struggling with giving citizenship to illegal immigrant who have been here for 30 years and the is made of immigrants.

Your statement is LOADED with several hypocritical comments:

1.) Most Kurds came to Syria before Syria became independent. There is nothing illegal about it. If a Syrian has lived in Syria since Syria’s inception, that person has a right to be Syrian.

2.) You want Kurds to “swear loyalty”.

3.) You want to strip them of their citizenship.

Now, if you want to compare them to the Jews and Arabs living in Israel, that’s fine with me:

1.) Arabic is one of 3 official languages in Israel, apparently Kurdish is considered “illegal”. All Arabs living in Israel are citizens of Israel.

2.) Arab citizens in Israel do not have to “swear loyalty” and their acceptance into the army is voluntary.

3.) All Arabs in Israel have citizenship and full rights as Jews, unlike Kurds in Syria.

That is why Israelis laugh when Arabs talk about “Human Rights”.

April 7th, 2011, 7:42 am


Revlon said:

#12: Dear ATASSI, Thank you for the link.

“I guess we are starting to see Baath’s defections”

I believe this is a very, very important development!

You said it could signal a defection from retired Baath party members!

I have difficulty believing they would desert their leader, and son of their own sect in times of duress!
I believe it might be staged. It may neither be random nor spontaneous.

Here is how I see it.

This might be a face saving plan for Jr. out of his predicament.
It was obvious that he was in need for “some words of wisdom” after his last fiasco speech, which in turn came on the heal of the short sighted management of the crisis.

The first four of names of the signatories to this declaration are old guards of Baath party. Inactive as their titles would imply, they were the most suitable and trusted, relatively neutral figures to start mediation with ground opposition.

They were probable asked to approach activists on the ground and sign a declaration for reforms.

Being signed by credible Baathi’s,
Jr would be saved the blushes of backing out from his initial rigid stance and negotiating with the opposition. He would be negotiating instead with Baathis
Jr will not appear as a traitor to the active members of his Baath Party!

I am not familiar with the other names.
Signatories of this list might play a significant role in the coming few weeks in bridging the gap between the regime and the opposition!
Some are retired elements of the regime while the others are agreeable.
Who are the other non-regime, non-progressive front members?
Does any one know them?

April 7th, 2011, 8:01 am


Revlon said:

This little boy from Dar3a was jailed, tortured and his nail pulled by the brave MEN of Asad and his “enlightened secular system”

April 7th, 2011, 8:36 am


norman said:


I never expected you to understand,

My mother was born in Nazareth, can she get an Israeli Citizenship, I doubt it.

April 7th, 2011, 8:41 am


Revlon said:

Day 24th of Syrian People’s Revolution
Day 9th of the regime’s operation “Wa2dulfitnah”

Al Fati7a upon the souls of all Martyrs
May God bestow solace upon their families and empower them with patience.

Tomorrow Friday shall witness bigger, more robust and more determined demonstrations across the nation.

The peaceful demeanour of demonstrators have withstood the tests of time and regime’s belligerence and violence.

We are witnessing the renaissance of the free self-assured, Syrian nation at he hands of its youths.

April 7th, 2011, 9:34 am


why-discuss said:

Just came back from a 2 days trip to Damascus from Lebanon. Borders were quiet and there is additional security in checking luggages, especially from foreigners. Otherwise, it looked normal.
Most hotels are empty as I think there are less arab tourists but Hamidied and streets around are busiest than. There is no police bothering the increased numbers of peddlers showing their merchandises on the street under Salah eddine statue.
I saw lots of europeans tourists ( old and young) in Bab Tuma and, Qamarieh and everything looked normal. Late at night, I hear loud shouting in the area of Suk Saruja: It was cheers for the football games on TV!
The worry focuses on possible demonstrations on friday. Another test of the impact of the reform announcements

April 7th, 2011, 9:56 am


why-discuss said:

Maybe Bashar is trying to please the Saudis who backed him?

Response To Arab Uprisings Causes U.S.-Saudi Rift
by Deborah Amos

Defense Secretary Robert Gates spent a few hours in Riyadh on Wednesday, to thaw deeply damaged relations Gates is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Saudi Arabia since the wave of uprisings began in the Arab world.

…..The contagion, as the Saudis see it, has led to a policy that appears designed to keep embattled Arab leaders in place. In Syria, the Saudis backed Bashar al-Assad against an uprising from the street, according to Arab and Western analysts. Saudi Arabia sent troops to Bahrain, where a Shiite majority is challenging a Sunni king closely tied to the Saudi royal family. The Saudis saw Tehran’s hand in stirring Bahrain’s Shiite population to revolt.

April 7th, 2011, 10:04 am


Akbar Palace said:

Glenn Beck figured you Out NewZ

I never expected you to understand


I understand exactly. It is crystal clear.

One set of rules for Arabs, another for Israelis.

It can’t be hidden any more. The world has caught on. The dirt poor Arabs want the same opportunities that Israeli-Arabs have.

April 7th, 2011, 10:17 am


norman said:


We agree, Apparently there are two different rules , one for Israel and one for Syria and the Arabs.

See at the end of the day i can make you agree with me .

April 7th, 2011, 10:58 am


Nour said:


The SSNP has been calling for these reforms since long before the Damascus Declaration and has actually been working on multiple levels to try to achieve these reforms. We have now reached a point where these reforms are about to be implemented and political life in Syria is about to change dramatically. Yet that is not sufficient for you because you are not interested in reforms. You seem to be more interested in satisfying grudges and settling scores even if that means destroying the country and eliminating any possibility of reform. Your goal is not what is best for Syria, but rather what is worst for the regime. If you are truly interested in reform then you should be open enough to welcome these important changes, but unfortunately the hatred that has filled your heart has clouded your judgment.

As for that video you posted, these so-called revolutionists peddling this propaganda should be absolutely ashamed of themselves and they receive absolutely no respect from me. This child does not look like someone who was tortured but rather someone who was injured. To use his injury and exploit it for the sake of inciting people is totally shameful and an insult to all Syrians, especially those who truly did suffer at the hands of the regime and paid with their lives for the betterment of Syria. What makes such people better than the regime and why should any Syrian accept their calls for chaos in order to hijack the reform process? We should start moving beyond such disgraceful nonsense and prepare ourselves for the responsibility that comes with accepting these reforms.

April 7th, 2011, 11:45 am


Syria Almighty said:

Nour, you said it better then anyone. These people do not have reforms on their agenda, but rather a different, foreign agenda altogether. Most of these people are Islamists loyal to Saudi Arabia. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who is provoking these protests, especially when we know for certain that Saad al-Hariri is funding them.

The ‘protesters’ have been caught too many times with their pants down. Many of their videos faked, either by staging fake situations of violence, of stealing videos of protests from other countries and claiming it to be Syria.

Anyone want an advanced copy of TOMORROW’S protest???

April 7th, 2011, 12:52 pm


SOURI said:

Syrians now dare to say things they couldn’t frankly say few weeks ago:

كما أكد حذيفة أهمية إعادة تفعيل القطاع العام المنتج كمعامل العرق والأحذية والسجاد حيث إنها قطاعات منتجة يمكن توسيعها لاستقطاب 200 عامل جديد وإحداث قطاعات عامة منتجة جديدة.

He means that we should set up more public-sector factories that produce wine, shoes, carpets, etc. Very brilliant.

April 7th, 2011, 2:03 pm


Nour said:

يا أبناء شعبنا في الشام
بكل أسف وأسى واستهجان طالعنا بيانًا بصيغة العاجل، صادر بتاريخ 1 نيسان 2011 عمّا يُسمّى بـ «الأمانة العامة لإعلان دمشق في المهجر» ورد في المقطع الأخير منه القوaltل التالي:
“إننا نناشد جامعة الدول العربية وأمينها العام، وكذلك المجتمع الدولي ممثلاً بهيئة الأمم المتحدة باتخاذ الإجراءات الضرورية والعاجلة من أجل وقف استهداف المدنيين من قبل الأجهزة الأمنية السورية التي تنتهك جميع الأعرف والقوانين والمواثيق الدولية.”
نحن، في الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي، نعلن أمام أهلنا في الشام شجبنا وإدانتنا ورفضنا لكلّ الدعوات المطالبة بأي تدخّلات خارجية في شؤون حياة شعبنا، أيًّا كانت هذه التدخلات، عربية أم دولية، ولأي سبب كان. ونخصّ بالذكر تلك الدعوة الصادرة عمّا يُسمى بـ «الأمانة العامة لإعلان دمشق في المهجر» لما لها من مساس بأمن وسيادة الوطن، وعلى شعبنا أن يعي خطورتها. كما ننصح أصحاب هذه الدعوات المقيمين في قصور أوربا وأمريكا أن يكفّوا عن دعواتهم المخزية. ونسألهم ماذا فعلت الجامعة العربية للعراقيين والفلسطينيين و … ؟ وماذا فعلت الأمم المتحدة لشعوب في العالم العربي؟! ومن انتهك سيادة بلادنا وحرمة وحياة شعبنا غير الدول الدائمة العضوية في مجلس الأمن؟!
ومع تحذيرنا لكلِّ أصحاب الدعوات المشبوهة والداعية إلى الفتنة، نعلن، نحن المتجذّرين داخل وطننا مع أهلنا في الشام، أننا نعرف طريقنا الوطني إلى التغيير والإصلاح، وهذه مهمة الجميع من أبناء شعبنا، وكلّ مواطن من موقعه. وسنبقى جميعًا سدًّا منيعًا تتحطم عليه كلّ الدعوات الفئوية والظلامية والقوى الخارجية وسيظلّ نشيدنا دائمًا:
سوريا لك السلام سوريا نحن الفدى

في 4 نيسان 2011 عمدة الإذاعة

April 7th, 2011, 3:50 pm


AIG said:

Souri and Norman,

If you want a war with Israel, you better start it soon. In a couple of years your rockets will be almost useless. Iron Dome worked perfectly today and shot down a Grad aimed at Ashkelon.,7340,L-4053837,00.html

April 7th, 2011, 4:05 pm


Mr.Presdient said:

Technology works both ways. it is time for Israelis to be part of our neighborhood. it is not healthy or human living as a stranger in the hood where you will not talk to your neighbor, share a dinner with him, have your kids play with his kids, do business with him, intermarry,….
After Moubarak is gone just imagine that Internet based groups decided to encourage dying INDIVIDUALS (AIDS, Hepatitis, Cancer…) to load themselves with guns/bullets/…purchase scuba and propeller gear. Jump in the water and head to Israeli shores. Technology now is cheap and easily available for such crazy thinking by Al-Qaeda like. It is time for Israelis to join the new economically and politically powerful Middle East.

April 7th, 2011, 4:42 pm


Shai said:


Do you honestly believe Israel could ever develop a near-perfect system, that could down even most missiles that are launched at Israel in a future war? Even the PM doesn’t believe that, as he clearly said these past few days (Barak said so a few days ago as well.) Don’t count too much on “Iron Dome”.

But there’s one Palestinian weapon no Israeli system could ever successfully destroy – Time. It is almost amusing to see and hear more Israelis (including politicians) beginning to contemplate a One State solution. It’s as if “suddenly”, some rude awakening is taking place, where Israelis are realizing that we actually might find ourselves unable to force a Two State solution upon the other side.

Your liberal-leftist, Barak, brought Israel to a One State solution faster than any fanatic settler ever could. While the Likud was busying itself with freezing or slowing or deceiving the Americans about settlement buildup, Barak was blatantly approving like there was no tomorrow. Heck, even Lieberman didn’t build in the West Bank like Barak did.

The real question is – will Netanyahu encourage his children to learn Arabic? Looks like we’re not going to be the mostly-Jewish state we always dreamed about, and were promised by our one-and-only, God.

I wonder if anyone even remembers that that-terrorist, Khaled Mashaal, publicly accepted the 67 borders as the permanent solution, twice! What difference does it make anymore, eh?

April 7th, 2011, 4:53 pm


SOURI said:


Iron Dome?

These all are psychological weapons. What will the Iron Dome do when 3 or 4 countries start shooting loads of missiles at you everyday?

More importantly, what will the Iron Dome do when the regional balance of power changes and when American influence and authority fades in the region?

The Arabs have never fought Israel yet. The 1948 war wasn’t really a war since that the Arabs entered it without preparation because they didn’t want to fight. They thought that if they massed their armies around Palestine the Zionists will get scared and abandon the division plan. They were deceived by the Zionist/Western propaganda and they underestimated the Zionists and their real intentions.

The 1967 war? It wasn’t a war since that Nasser and the Baath never wanted to fight a war against Israel. They just wanted to keep those limited cross-border attacks and they were surprised by the Israeli attack because they never imagined that Israel would launch a large-scale expansionist war against them. Remember that we live in the post-WW2 era and expansionist wars and territorial annexations are not practiced anymore except by Israel.

The 1973 war? It was an attack by only two couturiers out of many others that could have participated. The Egyptians fought only during the first few days and after that it became a Syrian-Israeli war. During the first few days when both Egypt and Syria were fighting, Israel was badly defeated.

The Arabs never launched a real big war at Israel because they feared the international consequences. They feared the US, Europe, and even the Soviet Union. They knew that no one of the superpowers that dominate the Middle East would side with them if they launched a real massive war to liberate Palestine, so they never did it.

These conditions are going to change, and they have started to change already. America cannot protect you forever. The world is changing. American influence in the Middle East is receding. There is going to be a war someday when all the Arab countries (Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, etc.) and perhaps also Islamic countries (Iran and Turkey) fight against you. You have no chance of winning such a war. The Zionist scheme is illogical and cannot be sustained. You cannot do something against the will of all those who surround you and expect it to last. The Americans know that (at least George Marshall knew it). The fact that the Americans have been using Israel as an American base in the region does not mean that they believe Israel is going to last forever. American influence in the region cannot last forever. These are the laws of nature.

Israel is a manifestation of the American hegemony over the Middle East. Once America is out of the Middle East, Israel will be out too. This is definite. When Israel realizes that America is leaving the region, they will start approaching the new dominating powers for acceptance and support, but it will probably be too late, and I don’t think that any regional (or even non-regional) power can support a state with such a bad record as Israel.

Israel was implanted in this region against the will of all of its inhabitants. It was created by the colonialist powers to weaken the region and harm its people. It is very natural that we hate it and resist it until we get rid of it.

April 7th, 2011, 5:13 pm


AIG said:


Yes, I actually believe Israel can develop a very good system (not perfect) that will intercept 95% of missiles. It will take time, that is why Norman and Souri should start the war soon if they want.

The one state solution is just BS. Nobody will be able to force it on Israel. Keep dreaming. In the worst case scenario, we will just unilaterally withdraw to the security fence. Problem solved.

Khaled Meshaal in Arabic recently said he believes only in the gun, so I don’t know where you get your facts.

April 7th, 2011, 5:22 pm


SOURI said:

Of course, it is probable that Israel is going to collapse before any war happens because of its internal contradictions. We have in Palestine two nations, one of them enslaving the other. This is unnatural situation and it can’t last forever, especially that the Palestinians are more than the Zionists.

April 7th, 2011, 5:23 pm


AIG said:


I am glad you admit that:
“It is very natural that we hate it and resist it until we get rid of it”

This means you are not seeking peace. It is only a ruse to get the Golan back and once the Americans leave you will attack us. I hope you understand that given your attitude, we have the right to attack you preemptively. If you choose war, it is your country that may disappear. So don’t complain if it is you that doesn’t survive.

April 7th, 2011, 5:30 pm


AIG said:


Chances are Syria will collapse way before Israel. We at least are trying to solve our water problems and developing world leading desalinization technology. But keep dreaming.

April 7th, 2011, 5:34 pm


Shai said:


Here’s some information about the cost of our Missile Defense (Iron Dome, for instance, is $100,000 per shot…) Not a very effective means of battling rockets that cost a few tens of dollars.

The One State solution, if you haven’t noticed, is already here. It has always been here, since 1967. What do you call a State that occupies a territory, builds on it, and moves more of its citizens into it with each day that passes?

You’re still focusing (hoping) on the term “solution”, while pretending the “One State” doesn’t exist. The problem with that, is that is assumes there are two sides that can come to a “solution”. But there aren’t.

If you’re suggesting that we’ll suddenly pull out of the WB unilaterally, then you’ve really gone liberal-leftist all of a sudden. Isn’t that the silly stuff of Barak (Lebanon) and Sharon (Gaza), you so much condemned?

And if the Palestinian side never wants to play ball, how could we ever pull out of the WB? Won’t we be complete idiots for endangering the entire country, the most populated parts of the country, by exposing it to endless threats just a few kilometers away? What PM could ever do such a thing? Not even a Meretz-borne PM.

Hence the most-efficient weapon the Palestinians are finally discovering (and unfortunately also us Israelis) – Time. While we’ve been so comfortably dismissing its advantages for our rival, they’ve inadvertently discovered its magic. And now, some of us are wondering whether Israel could still exist without being mostly-Jewish. It seems like we already are.

April 7th, 2011, 5:35 pm


AIG said:


You lack imagination. By the way, I was for the Gaza withdrawal.
We will withdraw from certain parts of the West Bank and if the Palestinians will shoot missiles at us we will shoot back and have the right to occupy them again. We may also leave behind settlers that would be more than willing to fight a civil war with the Palestinians once we leave. So, yes, let the Palestinians play for time. Unlike you they understand that without good relations and trade with Israel, their state will be a horrible one.

April 7th, 2011, 5:41 pm


Shai said:


Spoken like the last true member of Meretz…

Btw, in retrospect, don’t you regret supporting the Gaza withdrawal? I mean, we left with our tail between our legs, only to enable a terrorist-state in Gaza. Even Bibi warned us against that. (Even Beilin was against the withdrawal).

Does Akbar know that you supported the Gaza withdrawal? 🙂

Your last two statements are somewhat contradictory: “So, yes, let the Palestinians play for time. Unlike you they understand that without good relations and trade with Israel, their state will be a horrible one.”

If the Palestinians understand, then why are they playing for time?

April 7th, 2011, 5:49 pm


AIG said:


I am somewhat conflicted about the Gaza withdrawal now. On the one hand, it did lead to a terrorist state. On the other hand, it wrecked havoc with the Palestinians and led to their disunity. The Palestinians are not playing for time, it was you that suggested that it would be a good idea for them. They are just befuddled and don’t know what to do. Their leadership is weak and divided and it seems very unpopular. Fayyad understands that his economic miracle can only survive if relations with Israel remain good. That is why your scaremongering is just ridiculous.

April 7th, 2011, 6:00 pm


SOURI said:

Syria never offered a comprehensive peace with Israel without solving the Palestinian issue fairly. Syria is never going to naturalize its relations with Israel while the Palestinians continue to suffer. We are not Egypt. If we were going to do like Egypt, we would have done so in the 1970’s.

Syria can never have normal relations with Israel in its current status. The maximum we can have is a very cold peace similar to a truce.

“Wanting peace” does not mean being friends with a racist apartheid state. This is the opposite of peace. Countries who support Israel (like the US) do not want peace. Those who truly want peace should start by finding a just solution for the Palestinian refugees. Those people have the right to return to their homes. Neither the US nor Israel can take that right away from them. Your racist excuses do not mean anything to us. We don’t care if Israel remains a majorly Jewish state or not. Who said that Israel was a Jewish state in the first place? Israel was never a Jewish state. Israel became only majorly Jewish after the Palestinian refugees were denied their right of return per UN resolutions. The fact that a “country” did not allow half of its population to return to it is very much similar to ethnic cleansing. This ethnic cleansing in Palestine cannot last forever.

April 7th, 2011, 6:25 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Tomorrow’s revolution, today!

April 7th, 2011, 6:25 pm


NK said:

Regardless whether this video is legit or not, this was uploaded last Saturday
“Uploaded by horanson1 on Apr 2, 2011”,
and I don’t see anywhere anyone claiming it was 4/8/2011 !!!!

On the other hand, here’s a demonstration today

It’ll probably do you some good if you read this
هل هناك حدود لغباء الاعلام الرسمي السوري
ابواقه من لبنان تصيح: امريكا ضحّت بمصر لتستهدف سورية!
محمد منصور

تقول لنا شاشات المحطات الفضائية والأرضية المشتعلة بالخبر السوري الراهن، أن شباب سورية قد كبروا سنوات في أسابيع قليلة، وأن هتاف الحرية جعل منهم رجالا آخرين، تطل من عيونهم وكلماتهم الرغبة في الحياة الحرة الكريمة، وذلك الإصرار العميق على أن يكونوا بشراً لا يرتهنون لهتافات الولاء المطلق بمناسبة ومن غير مناسبة، ولا يضطرون لأن يكونوا دائماً مع الرأي الواحد والزي الواحد خلف قائد المسيرة وإلى الأبد.
ليست مشكلة شباب سورية مع شخص السيد الرئيس، ولا مع أي رئيس جمهورية يمثل رمزاً من رموز السيادة، ومن الطبيعي أن يكون له معجبون وأنصار، مشكلتهم هي مع تأميم الحياة السياسية والحزبية والنقابية والجامعية والإعلامية والشعبية، وتحويلها إلى حالة قطيع، تتباهى أجهزة الأمن أن بإمكانهم دوسها بالصرامي والأحذية لو (شي عرص) فتح تمه!
شباب سورية يكبرون بالحرية، فهذا محمد العبدالله ابن المعتقل السياسي علي العبد الله، يظهر على (الحرة) ليقدم تحليلاً دقيقاً عن واقع وطني يعرف تفاصيله وأزماته، وعندما يقول له السيد أحمد الحاج علي (عيب عليكم… لنتحاور تحت سقف الوطن وقائد الوطن) في غضبة مفتعلة كان سببها مطالبته أن يذكر كلمة واحدة عن رامي مخلوف، يوضح له محمد العبد الله أن هذه الرغبة في الحوار عندما كان في الوطن قادته لأن يسجن في غرفة تكاد تكون أصغر من جسده، وأن يضرب ويعلق من يديه في السقف لأيام… عرف فيها أن سقف الوطن صار تحت سقف أقبية التعذيب في فروع المخابرات المنتشرة، أكثر من انتشار دور المسرح والسينما في بلدي!
شباب سورية يكبرون بالحرية، وها هو الزميل الصحافي عامر مطر، الذي لم يتخرج من كلية الإعلام بعد، يرمى في المعتقل منذ مطلع الشهر الحالي، لا لشيء إلا لأن هذه الحرية الملعونة والمحرضة، فكت عقدة لسانه، وكسرت نظرة الخوف في عينيه، وملأت أحلامه بوطن لا يجد أبناؤه في أجهزة السلطة الحاكمة مجموعة من الجلادين، الذين يصادرون حق التعبير، وحق الحياة، وحق المشاركة في الشأن العام والتواصل مع الرأي العام، في بلد قطع كل سبل التواصل الحر بين البشر، حين داست أجهزة أمنه حرية الصحافة بنعالها، وأجهز وزير إعلامها محسن بلال على كل ذرة شرف مهني في وسائل إعلامها، وحين أخرست أصوات ممثلي الشعب في برلمان، أكد للسوريين أخيراً وليس آخراً أنه ينافس مداجن طلائع البعث في مواهب الفصاحة والخطابة، وفي إطلاق تصفيقه الطلائعي في مهرجان حضر فيه كل شيء وغاب عنه دم شهداء سورية، وأنين جرحاها، وظلام ليل معتقليها!
لكن عامر مطر الذي يحلم، والذي يسكنه الإيمان والإصرار بحلم الوطن الحر، لجأ إلى الفيسبوك… وهناك أنشأ بحسه الصحافي الصادق صفحته التي واكبت الأحداث، وفجرت الآلام، وأحصت عدد الشهداء، ونقلت الصور الحقيقية لكثير مما يجري، فأزهر ربيع الوطن على صفحة عامر، وتنفس الشهداء سلاماً وقد رأوا القضية التي استشهدوا من أجلها في أيد أمينة، لم تزحزح قناعاتها الراسخة ماكينة التضليل الإعلامي الرسمي، وسيناريوهات بثينة شعبان عن العصابة المسلحة، وافتراءات الكثير من المثقفين والفنانين في حديثهم عن الأجندة الخارجية لدى هؤلاء الشباب.
واليوم يغيب عامر مطر في سجن احد الفروع الأمنية، ويُمنع أهله وأصدقاؤه حتى تاريخ كتابة هذه الكلمات من زيارته والتواصل معه، أو حتى إرسال بعض الحاجيات له، وفيما هو معتقل… يقتحم رجال الأمن بيته، ويقلبون عاليه سافله (من دون أن يحتاجوا لإذن نيابة طبعاً) ويصادرون جهاز الكومبيوتر الخاص به… ويعدنا من يسعى مشكورا لإطلاق سراحه أنه إذا لم يثبت عليه شيء فسيطلق سراحه! فما الذي سيثبت على عامر وهو يمارس شكلا من أشكال التواصل الاجتماعي على الفيسبوك، أو يكتب مقالا هنا أو هناك، أو حتى وهو يشارك في تظاهرات سلمية… قالت عنها مستشارة الرئيس بثينة شعبان انه (لا أحد ضد التظاهر السلمي).
يتضامن الكثير من الشباب السوري على الفيسبوك مع عامر مطر ابن الخامسة والعشرين عاماً، ويرفعون اسمه وصورته شعاراً في صفحاتهم، مطالبين بالحرية له… فقد مضى الزمن الذي كان الأخ فيه يخاف أن يمشي مع أخيه إذا استدعي لمراجعة فرع أمن، والصديق ينكر صديقه إذا كان مغضوباً عليه أمنياً… أغلب الظن أن ذلك الزمن الأسود مضى، وأن عامر مطر الآن ليس وحيداً، وأننا نستطيع أن نرفع أصواتنا بفخر واعتزاز لنقول: نعم إننا نعرف هذا الرجل… إنه زميلنا وأخونا، كنا نقرأ كتاباته، وكنا نتحاور معه، ونتبادل معه تحية الصباح وحزن المساء، وكنا معه في تواصل يومي افتراضي، لا ندري إذا كان ذلك شكلا من أشكال التجمع التي يجرمها قانون الطوارئ الذي لم يرفع العمل به بعد، وإذا ما صادفنا عامر في الشارع فنحن لم نكن نسلم عليه سلاماً عابراً، بل كنا نمشي معا، وكنا نتعمد أن نأخذه معنا أو يأخذنا معه، لأن الطريق التي يسلكها عامر ستوصلنا إلى الحرية!

مدد استخباراتي إعلامي!
يكبر شباب سورية بشجاعتهم ووعيهم وتضحياتهم من أجل وطنهم، ويصغر المحللون السياسيون اللبنانيون الذين يظهرون على قنوات التلفزيون السوري، باستزلامهم ونفاقهم وانبطاحهم، ومتاجرتهم بشعارات المقاومة للتغطية على دم الشهداء من أخوانهم السوريين، في سبيل مكاسب رخيصة قد تسكت جوعهم الذي لا يشبع للأعطيات والهبات، لكنها لن تسكت ضمائر السوريين وهي تصنفهم في المكان اللائق في زمن الفرز هذا!
يتحدث المحللون اللبنانيون عن مؤمرات وفتن حيكت بليل (حسب فصاحة بعضهم)، وعن غرف سرية سوداء وعن معلومات لديهم بالأسماء يفبركونها في مراكز دراساتهم من دون أي براهين أو أدلة، لأن مراكز أبحاثهم لا أحد يشيلها من أرضها، ويقول الأخوان قنديل إن المستهدف من كل ما حدث كان هو سورية، وأن المخطط الأمريكي كي لا ينكشف بدأ بتونس ثم ضحى بنظام مبارك في مصر (يا للعقل والمنطق)، ثم جاء ليجهز على سورية المقاومة والممانعة، المحتضنة للمقاومة والواقفة في وجه العدو الإسرائيلي والمخطط الأمريكي الإمبريالي!
ما هذا الفجور في استغباء عقول الناس، وفي تزوير آلام شعب خرج يطالب بالحرية، وما هذه الثقة العمياء في القدرة على تغطية الشمس بغربال، وبيع الأكاذيب بالأطنان؟!
إن كثيرا من السوريين يشعرون بالاشمئزاز والغضب من هذا الإمداد الاستخباراتي الإعلامي الذي يشوش على أزمة وطنية تستلزم علاجاً شجاعاً، بدل استيراد الأبواق والمناظير الليلية لاستيضاح الرؤية حول هذه المؤامرة الخارجية (التي حيكت بليل)، هذا الإمداد الذي يعتدي على حرمة دم السوريين المراق من أجل الحرية، وكأنه لا يكفينا عار عشرات المطبلين والمزورين والمنافقين من الداخل، كي يستوردوا لنا من لبنان دفعة أخرى (بضم الألف طبعاً).

إعلام رسمي يفتح حدود الغباء!
خصص برنامج (أصوات الشبكة) على قناة (فرانس 24) حلقة للحديث عن التضليل والكذب الذي يمارسه الإعلام اليمني الموالي للرئيس علي عبد الله صالح، من خلال متابعة مدون كشف عن استخدام تقنية الفوتوشوب لمضاعفة أعداد المتظاهرين المؤيدين للرئيس صالح، في الصورة التي نشرت على الصفحة الأولى من جريدة ‘الجمهورية’ الحكومية!
الأدلة البصرية كانت واضحة للغاية، لكن ما إن نشر المدون ذلك، حتى بادرت صحيفة ‘الجمهورية’ لحذف صفحة جريدتها من على الإنترنت، فقام المدون بنشر صورة عن النسخة الورقية لتثبيت الفضيحة.
البرنامج التلفزيوني كشف أن وكالة رويترز نشرت خبراً يفيد بدفع مبالغ مالية (250 – 300 دولار أمريكي) لكل عائلة تخرج في مظاهرة تأييد للرئيس صالح… لكن وكالة الأنباء اليمنية ادعت أن رويترز سحبت هذا الخبر وتراجعت عنه، لأنها اكتشفت أن لا أساس له من الصحة، إلا أن موقع رويتزر أثبت أن الوكالة لم تسحب الخبر وأنه ليس عارياً من الصحة… طبعاً هذا يذكرنا بما نسبته بعض المواقع الإلكترونية السورية للسيد خالد مشعل من أنه انتقد الشيخ القرضاوي قائلا له (اتق الله) لكن حماس كذبت الخبر، ونفت أن يكون السيد مشعل قد تطرق إلى هذا الأمر… والتضليل الإعلامي اليمني أيضاً يذكرنا بما تقوم به قناة (الدنيا) السورية، من فبركة فيديوهات، أو الادعاء بأن المتظاهرين يستخدمون الطلاء الأحمر كي يدعوا أنهم أصيبوا برصاص الأمن، أو نشر فيديوهات على صفحتها لمتظاهرين يحرقون العلم السوري… في محاولة يائسة لتشويه صورة المتظاهرين… فمن هو العميل الأهبل الذي يمكن أن يحرق العلم السوري كي يقول: انظروا كم أنا عميل وكم أنا مدسوس… وكم شعاراتي الوطنية كاذبة… أنا أريد فقط أن أسيء لأمن الوطن واستقراره ممثلاً بحرق أغلى رموزه: العلم الوطني… فهيا صوروني كي أنكشف!
إن أصدق ما ينطبق على الإعلام الرسمي في البلدان التي تواجه ثورات وحركات احتجاج ما قاله لي أحد الأصدقاء: ليس للغباء حدود!
ناقد فني من سورية

April 7th, 2011, 6:48 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Peace Now in the Not too Distant Future

Does Akbar know that you supported the Gaza withdrawal?


Yes I know, but I think you should know that it never really mattered if one was for or against the withdrawal from Gaza.

The hardline™ PM Ariel Sharon, made the decision, IMHO, because it was a win/win politically. That is why not too many idiots, anti-Zionists, Leftists, and Yafeh Nefesh are pressuring anyone to withdraw from the Golan.

Gaza is the “poster-child” for ceding land unilaterally without a good peace agreement (aka “Oslo”). The West Bank is another sister poster-child, not quite as ugly as the first.

Ford Foundation is out…

April 7th, 2011, 7:08 pm


SOURI said:

I just want to clarify something, even though it is not related to the topic of the main post.

Hating Israel does not mean hating the Jews. Many Arabs in the 1940’s were willing to accept some kind of Jewish autonomy or even independence. Remember that all the Arabs eventually accepted Lebanon, which was created initially as a Christian Maronite state, that is, a sectarian state very much similar to the idea of the Jewish state as was proposed then.

The Hashemites accepted the idea of Jewish autonomy in Palestine. When Nouri al-Said of Iraq proposed in the 1940’s a plan for unifying the Fertile Crescent, he accepted both Jewish and Maronite autonomy. Also when king Abdallah of Jordan proposed a plan for unifying “Greater Syria” in the 1940’s, he accpted the idea of Jewish and Maronite autonomy.

Many Arab and Syrian nationalists were also willing to tolerate Jewish independence. The nationalists understood that our region was still far from being secular, so they understood the fears of the minorities and they did not take sharp positions against the independence of Lebanon, for example. Arab and Syrian nationalists accepted the independence of Lebanon in the 1940’s and they still accept it. Nobody expects the Christians of Lebanon to abandon their independence when we see that the Arabs are still far from being secular and tolerant.

The problem with the Zionists was their excessive racism, violence, and their complete loyalty to the West and animosity to the Arabs. The Maronites in Lebanon abandoned the notion of a “Maronite” or “Christian” state in the 1930’s and started talking instead about a multi-confessional state. They also abandoned their strict loyalty to France in the 1940’s and chose instead to cooperate with the Arabs. They joined the Arab League and they tried to keep good relations with the Arab countries, even though many of them did not consider themselves Arabs.

Unlike the Maronites, the Zionists chose the model of ethnic cleansing and division. When the Zionists accepted the division of Palestine in 1947, many Arabs hoped that they would retract and accept a binational state similar to the Lebanese model. The Arabs amassed their armies around Palestine to pressure the Zionists, but they had no real intention of fighting them. After the 1948 war, however, the Arab public opinion sharply and decisively changed regarding Zionism. People no longer understood Zionsim as a Jewish sectarian movement, instead it became clear that Zionsim was meant to eradicate the Arabs from their lands to establish a completely alien, expansionist state that carries a crazy and extreme Jewish nationalist agenda that serves only the interests of the Western colonial powers.

The Maronites in Lebanon suffered because of Israel and the Palestinain refugees (in addition to the shortcomings of their sectarianist political system), but they did not snuffer because of their good relations with the Arabs. To the contrary, the Maronites have benefited greatly from Arab investments, tourism, and trade relations. Most importantly, the Maronites are accepted as a true component of this region, unlike the Zionists who are seen as alien invaders.

The Zionists still have a little chance to reconcile with the Arabs, but I don’t think they will take it.

April 7th, 2011, 7:44 pm


Norman said:

Tomorrow, we are going to see if the opposition is honest about reform or just using it as an excuse, If things calm down then Syria is on the right track but if it is not then the goal of the opposition is the destruction of Syria not a better life for the Syrians,

April 7th, 2011, 8:15 pm


NK said:


Why are you saying so ? the state of emergency is yet to be lifted, we still have political prisoners, we’re yet to see party law or press law, mukhabarat is still omnipotent, the figures of corruption are not dealt with, and most importantly, those responsible for the killing of fellow Syrians have not been brought to justice yet.
What exactly happened that requires Syrians to stop demonstrating ? Did I miss something ?

April 7th, 2011, 8:28 pm


Samer abbadi said:

I am amused at how the discussion was shifted to focus more on Israel. Israel has the most to lose if Arab nations reform their corrupt governments,that is why many Israelis can only hope for more disorder and violence. If your home is ailing you naturally look at other houses and hope that they have a similar fate. Do not be fooled by Israel’s democracy,what sustains a nation is national
unity,not democracy,that is why Israelis have to solve the nagging question of Palestinians outside Palestine,who were mostly forced to run for their lives,and those who amazingly managed to stay. Our Israeli friends want the world to
believe that it is ok to annex land and practice ethnic cleansing in the name of
democracy and national identity. My own humble opinion is that a two state
solution is a fantasy,instead we need a peace agreement that allows integration
of the two nations and provide both people the freedom to live where they
choose and elect whoever they want.
A Jewish state is an idea that will slowly die and be replaced with a confederate
state,I just hope that we get to that point without losing hundred of thousand of
innocent civilians on both sides. In reality,Hamas and the extreme right in Israel
are on the same page,they both use religion to justify violence and they both can
not be trusted to build peace.the only difference is that Hamas has legitimate
grievances while the Israeli right has none.

April 7th, 2011, 8:51 pm


Norman said:


The last time we talked we agreed on evolution not a revolution, Erdogan has faith that Syria has good intention and is moving in the right direction, why should more people die who will miss the change that is coming, I see nothing wrong by giving them as you said previously a(( Couple)) of months , Don’t you think?.

April 7th, 2011, 9:54 pm


Majhool said:

جماعة بندر بن سلطان تقتل و تندس

April 7th, 2011, 10:49 pm


Majhool said:

regrettably the regime passed on its last chance to break with the past.

So far it tried: killing people, Scaring people, Lying to people
& Arresting people

Whoever is calling the shots does not seem to understand that the people have grown smarter and wiser.

The mondasseen story is firing back , the loyalty show ( the speech and pro-demonstration) is also firing back

April 7th, 2011, 10:58 pm


Yossi said:

Mr. President,

It’s Jack Bauer on the line… No just joking, it’s just Yossi, the Israeli dude.

I wanted to express my heart-felt appreciation for your invitation to the ‘hood’, I saw that AIG didn’t pay much attention to it, I guess he wanted to see the fine print first, which is understandable, but I would like to express my appreciation before I see the fine-print… It takes a lot of courage to extend a branch of olive to your enemy, like you just did.

April 7th, 2011, 11:14 pm


Ziad said:


This video confirms the government’s claim that majooleen are shooting at protesters. The video was taken from the rooftop by the sniper or by someone standing next to him. I can see from the position of the wound that the bullet was fired from the same direction as the video. If you listen carefully you can hear the first two security officers asking the wounded if he is OK. They did not know how to help him. You can also hear them calling for help when more guys came and dragged the wounded out of the firing line.

Suhair Atassi posted it to prove the government’s claims.

April 8th, 2011, 12:01 am


NK said:


Seriously ?!!!!! you did read her video description didn’t you ?
هل هناك وحشية أكثر من ذلك؟؟!!!! حرّ من أحرار دوما يُصاب برصاصتين ثم يضربوه ويشحطوه بعد إصابته…
And that guy on the roof had his family there with him, you can see the 2 women when he changes positions and you also can see from his shadow that there is no weapon shadows around. But who knows, maybe he was sniping people with his wife cheering at him !!!

“If you listen carefully you can hear the first two security officers asking the wounded if he is OK”
Did you mean the people yelling شحطو or the two guys who kicked him to see if he’s still alive or not ?


I did agree to give the regime more time, still your opinion and mine does not matter, only the opinions of those living in Syria matters and so far the regime gave them nothing other than promises, so for those protesting the reasons they took to the streets are still there, odds are they will keep demonstrating.
The reforms implemented so far are nothing more than bribes with the aim to keep the demonstrations from growing. Three days ago we saw an article saying the state of emergency will be lifted within hours, I thought for sure by Thursday we will see something, but nope. I thought more political prisoners will be released, nope. Meanwhile the charade in official state media continues and it’s really pissing everyone off. A few hours and we’ll see if people are happy with this pace or not.

April 8th, 2011, 1:15 am


Syria Almighty said:

More embarrassment for the revolution. If lies and fake videos and images weren’t enough, the driving force behind the revolution, a radical Islamic cleric, turns out to be a supporter of Ghaddafi.

So much for “Pro-democracy and reform” protests.

April 8th, 2011, 1:44 am


NK said:

When did Qaradawi become the driving force behind the revolution ? how detached from reality are you exactly ?

April 8th, 2011, 1:53 am


Syria Almighty said:

Sunni clerics and politicians are behind it. You are the one detached from reality if you believe otherwise.

April 8th, 2011, 2:44 am


Shami said:

al moghty,so prepare yourself ,mukhabarat and torturers for a long war with the syrian people.
qaradawi was wrong for praising bashar in the past.

April 8th, 2011, 5:17 am


Akb ar Palace said:


This BBC news article is saying Assad has granted Kurds with Syrian citizenship. This is good news for Syrians. Hopefully Assad is beginning to understand what he needs to do to save his hold on power, but as NK mentioned, there is a long way to go.

Just my observation.

April 8th, 2011, 6:44 am


Revlon said:

Dr3a martyrs festival. Listen to this song: Sa7at 7oran

Dr3a is free!

April 8th, 2011, 7:03 am


Revlon said:

Sa7at 7oran ma bidha malama
Faz3a faz3a yaouladi nnashama
Willi biddo l 7ourriyeh byeddeeha!
w amnizzu3ran 3alaina stbasshou
Ba3ou l Jolan w gattalou wlaid ilna
W nahabou l aoutan w 3al a3rad t3addou

The most invigorating song of the revolution I have heard!

Unfortunately the sound track is not clear and I could not catch part of the song!
Does any one know where else on the web to find it?

April 8th, 2011, 7:54 am


norman said:

المسلحون في درعا يطلقون النار على مركز التلفزيون الرسمي والجيش

نقلت قناة الإخبارية السورية عن مدير مكتب التلفزيون الرسمي في درعا قوله إن المسلحين يطلقون النار على مركز التلفزيون الرسمي لأنه يصورهم، كما يطلقون النار على الجيش ما أدى إلى إصابة عشرات الجنود.

April 8th, 2011, 8:28 am


Akbar Palace said:

Heroes of the Left

Zenobia, et al,

More notes on the liberal beatification of Juliano Mer Khasin and some commentary from Kalman Liebskind of Maariv:

April 8th, 2011, 8:39 am


Syrian said:

Why the Syrian regime & TV does not respect the people`s intelligence. Killing your own people, playing the sectarian game, and threatening the people with the armed groups, is so stupid and everybody know that they are Mukhabarat. Also this bigot Mr. Bouti ” Shaikh Al Dictator” and the other clown Hasson are nothing but full of trash. I have no respect for them. They are scared from Assad and dnt not care about what GOD said about standing up and saying the right thing!!

April 8th, 2011, 9:22 am


Shai said:


“The Palestinians are not playing for time, it was you that suggested that it would be a good idea for them. They are just befuddled and don’t know what to do.”

Oh I see, that’s the explanation you’d give Netanyahu. It’s not a conscious decision to play for time, it’s “they don’t know what to do…” (poor them). But if Netanyahu asked you the silly question: “Ok, Mr. AIG, so what should Israel do, when these Palestinians don’t-know-what-to-do?”, what would you tell him?

Don’t worry about me scaremongering, Netanyahu is already s#@t-scared even without me, as is anyone else in charge of our future.

Akbar my wise friend,

Of course no anti-Zionist, Leftist, Liberal, Yefe Nefesh, is pushing Israel to withdraw from the Golan. There aren’t any left in Israel! You got rid of them all… you succeeded! Well, not really… So if they’re NOT advocating a return of the Golan, NOW you’re suddenly listening to them? 🙂

But you know, it wasn’t a Leftist that withdrew from Sinai, and gave back the only strategic depth (over 200 kms) Israel has ever had and truly needed, to a military dictator – Sadat. I suppose you think Menachem Begin was wrong to give back the Sinai to a non-Democracy. And it wasn’t a Leftist that gave back Gaza to the Terrorists Hamas. I suppose you think Ariel Sharon was wrong. Two super-hawks wrong! What’s the matter with y’all? And another ex-hawk Olmert was talking to Erdogan and Assad about returning the Golan!

With this record, you Likudnicks should put Leftists into power. They at least BUILD in Gaza and the West Bank (not FREEZE buildup), and at most withdraw from a few kilometers in Lebanon, not GIVE BACK strategically-crucial stretches of land to dictators and terrorists.

Tell me, what would you tell Netanyahu, if he asked you “What should Israel do, if the Palestinians do nothing?…” Since time is on our side (it always is, isn’t it), what would you suggest we do?

April 8th, 2011, 9:26 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


“…The Arabs have never fought Israel yet. The 1948 war wasn’t really a war since that…”

When I read your suggestion, to sent the wahhabis to blow on the border with Israel, and to launch war against Israel in order to avoid Syrian civil war, I thought you were sarcastic, and I liked your humor. Now I realize you were serious..

“The Arabs never fought Israel yet”? That’s an interesting revisionism of history. And quite an amusing one, I would add.

What kind of a war do you expect, that afterwards you will able to say that, “the Arabs fought Israel” ???
You want a Salah-ad-din kind of war? But Saladin war is possible only if and when the Wahhabis are in power. I understand you’re not a fond of the Wahhabis. Or do you see the Arabs going to war with Israel, without the Islamists leading them? I don’t..

April 8th, 2011, 9:38 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Looks like a pattern is emerging here: bloody Fridays.

Asad is following the footsteps of Mubarak and Ben-Ali. Offering concessions when under pressure. In his WSJ, he predicted the outcome of such concessions.

April 8th, 2011, 9:48 am


Ziad said:


This video shows violence, gun shots, and a wounded person somewhere that looks like in Syria. Anything else is conjectural and not believable, even if a celebrity like Suhair says it.

The Syrian government’s enemies have been caught several times with their hands in their pants, placing fake or manufactured videos. These videos are pornographic, sadistic and only someone who is naive to the limit of stupidity would believe them.

NK, Majhool, Revlon and others

It is not about how much you hate Bashar. That much we figured out. It is about telling us your opinion what makes Syria better. Placing links to unvetted and unverifiable videos or other materials only weaken any argument you make. It is time to stop using the right side of your brain and start using the left side a little more.

Syria is a poor country with limited resources and has been thrown back several years through this uprising. The tourists are gone, the economy in shamble, subsidies will continue for years to drain the budget, and Syria’s enemies are having a field day.

I really hate the emergency laws, the rampant corruption, the stupid arrogant heavy handed security apparatus, and the Baa’th, as much as you do. I have no emotional attachment to Bashar or anyone else. I support a genuine internal revolution that results in real reform, I do not support a revolution solely intended to distance Syria from Iran, Hizb and turn it to another member of the club of states that are totally under the hegemony of the Zionist US.

There has been as of late strong indications that reforms on all fronts are coming fast. I think we should wait and see the results first. Any agitation or incitement now tells me that the doer’s intention is not for the best of the country.

April 8th, 2011, 9:49 am


AIG said:


A new middle east is forming and there is not much we can do about it. It is a sweeping historical process in which Israel is a mere spectator in the sidelines. In Tunisia, Syria, Lybia and Egypt Israel is a very minor issue if at all. Who knows what the result will be like in 5 years? Who expected what is happening in Syria to happen so soon? We cannot predict the outcomes but we do know that change is being accelerated. So basically my advice to Netanyahu is to keep strengthening our army and to wait patiently for things to clear up. In the meantime, keep the economy going and make sure the gas fields are developed quickly and become an exporter to Europe. In short, focus on the things we can control and that may help us long term.

April 8th, 2011, 10:14 am


Ziad said:


There are many more happy Israelis than Palestinians for the death of Juliano. Que bueno kiwi.

April 8th, 2011, 10:17 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Eyewitnesses said security forces had opened fire on crowds chanting pro-democracy slogans, the BBC’s Lina Sinjab reports.
It is mentioned that 13 people died
We see contradictions,promise of reform, but the action is more opression and killing,this undoubtedly is not encouraging, it sure looks that these promises are empty.
Bashar looked shaken and scared during his speech last week, I like to see him addressing the people one more time,there may be a split in his family rule, he may be on the side of responding positively to the demand of reform, but his criminal brother , Maher is for violent opression,could we see him forced out?
Giving concessions to the kurds will not satisfy people in Deraa.
There is a need for urgency,otherwise the demonstrations will continue,promises stand empty if they are to take place in two months or later,Syria is going through crisis,and financialy Syria can not wait two or more months, tourism is at standstill,shops are suffering from lack of business,economy can play major factor.More death biget resentments,and depression, Bashar is notorious for being slow,this is his major handicap, this is not an atribute of a leader,I too expect him to resign within two months,as more trouble will fall upon him. people will test you, to see how much they can push you,once weakness can be detected ,he will go in no time.
Again,Urgency is of utmost importance.

April 8th, 2011, 10:52 am


Revlon said:

Dear Ziad, I do not respond to counter-statements addressing ones that I did not make I mean, hate and stuff!

Please allow me to debate some of your statements, one by one!

You said “Syria is a poor country, with limited resources, and has been thrown back several years through this uprising”

First, I say Syria was not poor before the Baath party took power by force in the sixties.
Syria has been impoverished by a 40 year reign of tyranny and mismanagement across all components of government!
I have no time to give you statistics about how much a teachers income buying power was worth then compared to now!’

Limited resources!
The most valuable rescource, any nation prides itself in having, is its citizens! God given gift to this universe!
Human being is the most valuable commodity in a nation.
We have 20 million.
The regime and supporters want us to believe that only one counts! Asad Jr, and in 20 years his offspring!
Check out Singapore, Japan, Korea, and Netherlands.
Why go far? Check out Lebanon! Name one resource other than human creativity that Lebanon has more than Syria!
Decent bread for human consumption used to be smuggled from Lebanon during tits civil war, in H Asad days of famine!
Asad clan spent 40 years building loyal Baath party, loyal army, loyal unions, and loyal Mukhabarat, and loyal human beings.
Blind loyalty stifled creativity of their followers and forced dissenters to leave and create elsewhere. Brain drain!

You said: “Economy has been thrown back several years by the uprising!”
Gosh I hope you are right! Our economy would fare much better, going backward!

More to follow!

April 8th, 2011, 11:04 am


Jad said:

This is the video they show on TV:

April 8th, 2011, 11:08 am


Akbar Palace said:

A Not-so-Dying Breed

There aren’t any left in Israel! You got rid of them all… you succeeded!


You keep saying that, but the hebrew media along with the number of leftist seats in the knesset (50 of 120) proves you’re incorrect:

Kadima: 28
Labor: 8
Hadash: 4
United Arab: 4
Meretz: 3
Balad: 3

To put it simply, the hebrew media (like the US MSM) is over-run by leftists.

April 8th, 2011, 11:09 am


Nour said:

majedkhaldoon said:

Eyewitnesses said security forces had opened fire on crowds chanting pro-democracy slogans, the BBC’s Lina Sinjab reports

Who are these “eyewitnesses” that seem to see everything everywhere? These news stations have become non-credible propaganda outlets who are not interested in verifying sources as much as they are in spreading propaganda to serve a particular agenda. Why don’t they ever report about security men and police being killed? Or do these people not count? Are they not Syrian? Do they not have families who care about them? And does anyone in their right mind seriously believe that the moukhabarat are shooting at their own security men and police?

The people doing this are criminals, plain and simple, and the propaganda outlets giving them cover are accessories to their crimes. Syria is on a path to reform today that is going to change the political landscape there and bring us to an era of more freedom and liberties. But we have these debased characters who are only interested in destruction and chaos, and have reforms as the last thing on their minds. Fortunately, they are a very small minority in Syria as it has become increasingly clear that most Syrians have rejected them and their destructive behavior. Peaceful protesters with genuine intentions do not burn buildings and destroy properties. And they certainly do not shelter criminal gunmen and give them cover. These so-called “revolutionists” are being exposed by the day and it’s only a matter of time until they are completely rooted out.

April 8th, 2011, 11:15 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Are you sure that those ,who are shooting at the demonstrators are from the demonstrators?the general feeling they are part of the AMN,Security forces, what you failed to do is to come with a proof, and that where you are wrong.

April 8th, 2011, 11:32 am


Jad said:

This is a flash news by the admin on the ‘revolutionests’ FB site:

عاجل || تم مصادرة  قاذفات صغيرة للأمن المركزي من قبل المتظاهرين في درعا.

Is that supposed to make Syrians feel safer after armes are in the hands of those guys?!
It actually prove that they are collecting guns for propanly using it for something but the organizers are definatly not looking to reform.

April 8th, 2011, 11:42 am


Revlon said:

#83 Dear Ziad, I do not hate anybody in this world, not even Asad or his family.
Having said that, I can now move to debating another of your statements.

Part II
You said “It is not about how much you hate Bashar. That much we figured out. It is about telling us your opinion what makes Syria better. Placing links to unvetted and unverifiable videos or other materials only weaken any argument you make. It is time to stop using the right side of your brain and start using the left side a little more”

I believe in God! I love my parents, my wife, my children, my brothers and sisters. (There is no place for love for either Asad or anybody else here!)

I like my friends and neighbours. (Asad is neither! He does not fit here either).

As to other human beings whom I do not know, I wish them health and wealth (Asad fits here! I wish him health and Wealth).

B Asad’s the politician is something else. I disagree completely with everything he is about.
The way he came to power
The way he is managing the country
The way he is handling the revolution.

When you go to a doctor and you are not satisfied with his approach to your illness! You do not hate him! You just do not trust him and you want some one else to care for you!
Enough for love and hate! Please!

Telling my opinion how to make Syria better!
I have been doing that since the start of this revolution.
I do that my way! You do it your way! Let’s complement each other!

“Unvetted videos and links”
Dear Ziad, each one on Syria comment, including you, is a grown up dude. They are smarter than you think. They can judge for themselves. If they do not like a link they can just pass on to the next!
As far as I know, there are rules for infringement on “national sentiment” on this blog!

And by the way, I am left handed,
I use my right brain!


April 8th, 2011, 11:47 am


Nour said:


These assertions do not make any sense. To believe that the amn would shoot at their own personnel is totally insane. Moreover why would the amn only choose specific demonstrations to shoot at people? There were demonstrations in multiple locations in Syria with no incidents. If the amn had a policy of shooting at demonstrators would they not do so in all locations? Further, I didn’t imply that all demonstrators are shooting at the amn. I said there are armed gunmen shooting and some of those demonstrators are giving them shelter and cover. These people should be arrested and prosecuted because what they are doing is a crime and has nothing to do with rightful demands for reform and individual liberties.

April 8th, 2011, 11:51 am


NK said:


Don’t you find it strange that the State TV will video those shooting at demonstrations and no Army, Amn, or Police are trying to stop them ? in Syria, really ? doesn’t the army have a few units stationed near Daraa since the events started ?

They aired the names of 22 confirmed dead in Daraa and 2 in Homs.

April 8th, 2011, 12:00 pm


Revlon said:

#92, Dear Jad, I am flabergasted by your reaction to this bit of news “عاجل || تم مصادرة قاذفات صغيرة للأمن المركزي من قبل المتظاهرين في درعا
My first reaction is : Why the hell should security forces in dar3a city be in pocession of weaponry like that. Whatm kind of target would they use it to fire at? Cars, houses, human beings?

Judging by events on the ground, over the last few weeks, The governments forces have been the agressors. The demonstrators have been the decent and peaceful counterpart.

These weapons are better confiscated in the hands of the people. They will not be used against them!

April 8th, 2011, 12:02 pm


Ziad said:

Dear Revlon

I totally agree with what you said #87. Syria was in a state of arrested development for 50 years, even before the Baath’s take over. It also went through a catastrophic failed experiment with socialism.
It is indisputable that Syria’s resources are limited, and it is being subjected to external economic pressures.

I respect your point of view and have a higher opinion of you when you express them rationally than when you try to prove how evil the Syrian government is by placing links to unvetted videos.

Even if we disagree on certain issues, we should be united by what is good for our country.

April 8th, 2011, 12:09 pm


atassi said:

From Homs.. Without LOVE

April 8th, 2011, 12:12 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Again you are making assumptions ,but no proof,
please , please ,verify.

BTW you are asking us to believe one side and belie the other side, why should I believe a dictator news agency,who has interest in lying?
Things in Syria are exploding, more and more demonstrations,Urgency in action dictates that we need quick release of ALL political prisoners today,and annul emergency law should not take months.

April 8th, 2011, 12:15 pm


Revlon said:

#88. Dear Jad
“This is the video they show on TV:

This video was shot with a high quality camera.
It was fixed on a tripod; there was not the slightest of vibration.
The angle it had on the scene was just perfect.
The people were shooting at trees!

As the sayign goes: If it looks to good to be true, you can bet it is not true!

April 8th, 2011, 12:17 pm


SOURI said:

It looks that the idea of Baath militias inside the mosques did not work. I am really surprised. Is it that hard to control the mosques? Why don’t they trap the prayers inside the mosques and don’t allow them to leave in large masses?

Anyway, today was still a success for Bashar because the demonstrators were unable to add any new city to the uprising. Demonstrations were still restricted to Daraa, Homs, Latakia, and some Kurdish areas.

This means that Bashar’s effort of isolating the demonstrators is effective. Moreover, the people in Syria are becoming sick of these demonstrations and some of them are willing to tolerate some use of force to end them. Today’s comments on show that people are becoming angry at the demonstrators and some of them were demanding the use of force against them.

This means that things are going well for Bashar and that he has a solid majority on his side. This is similar to the situation before the clash with the Ikhwan in 1982.

April 8th, 2011, 12:26 pm


Nour said:


Many of the videos posted by the “revolutionists” have proven to be fakes and fabrications. This has already been established. So why should I believe anything they say. Moreover, we’ve seen pictures and footages of injured security officers. Obviously, someone is shooting at them, and it is illogical to believe that the moukhabarat are shooting at their own officers. In addition, there is no doubt that public and private properties have been attacked. Protesters with rightful demands do not do that. What’s the point of burning a building or destroying property other than to create chaos.

As for your demands, I agree 100%, and I have absolutely no problem with Syrians demonstrating for those demands. That is their right. And many indeed have demonstrated and nothing happened to them. But to start shooting at security or to destroy property is not appropriate behavior and is not linked with any rightful demands.

April 8th, 2011, 12:32 pm


Revlon said:

#83, #98 Dear Ziad, United we are in our quest for a better place for us and our loved ones!

“There has been as of late strong indications that reforms on all fronts are coming fast. I think we should wait and see the results first. Any agitation or incitement now tells me that the doer’s intention is not for the best of the country”

keeping peaceful pressue on the government pays off.
It has sprung the government ito action.
It has created a sense of urgency and provided a needed deadline, for the procrastinators!
By the way, some people work much better under time pressure and deadlines!
I speak from experience!

The government should act more responsibly!
They should not succumb to or spread paranoias of conspiracy!
They should revise their tolrence limits for crowds, pending the annulment of the infamous Emergency laws.

In substance, the government need to stop taking half measures.
For example, replacing the Emergency laws by another, under whatever name is bound to be rejected by the people.
Civil laws need to be supreme.

April 8th, 2011, 12:45 pm


SOURI said:

#81 Amir

There is no kidding about war. Israel attacked us in 1948 and 1967 and we lost territory because we were not taking war seriously. The problem with us Arabs is that we never took war with Israel seriously, unlike Israel itself which prepares itself for expansionist war everyday and every hour.

Israeli commenters on this blog talk about Israel-Syria relations as if we are talking about US-Canada relations. You guys are used to attacking us and launching bloody wars against us (the last war you launched was in 2008 against Gaza, and the previous one was in 2006 which could have involved Syria) that you no longer feel these wars as something unusual that could disturb your relationship with your neighbors! You got angry at Erdogan because of his stance on Gaza, because to you the Gaza war wasn’t a big deal and it was nothing to be angry about. You want everybody to be as hostile to Arabs as the US. Well Syria can never be like the US.

Israel is a very hostile and aggressive country. It is also a racist oppressive country. We can’t close our eyes and pretend that you are just a normal neighboring country.

I don’t think Syria or any Arab country should launch a war at Israel, because Israel is an unsustainable country and it will collapse on its own in a few decades. Israel has no future, neither on the regional geopolitical level nor on the internal sociopolitical level. Fighting Israel now is a stupid decision for anybody to make, and I don’t think anybody is considering an offensive war against Israel. The only country in the region that is well-known to be planning wars against other countries is Israel.

When I was talking about the total Arab-Islamic war against Israel, I was just trying to make readers remember the real geopolitical size of Israel in the region.

April 8th, 2011, 12:52 pm


norman said:

An eye witness from Daraa on AL Jazeera , seems to have Jordanian accent,

April 8th, 2011, 1:25 pm


Jad said:

I post what is on YouTube like anybody else.
those photoge were taken not by a bystandard it’s from cameras on the roof of the Syrian TV building in Daraa, this is why they are in HD. You can see that one guy did try to shoot at the camera before they left.
Reality exist in the middle, I won’t take anybody’s story forgranted.
No arms should be in the hands of anybody but the national army/police.
Freedom or no freedom arms belong not to citizens and definatly not in these times.

April 8th, 2011, 1:51 pm


Vedat The Turk said:


Funny you should raise US / Canada relations in regards to Israel and Syria. FYI During the 1800’s Canada and the USA fought 2 vicous wars. The US also employed an irregular Irish paramilitary group known as the Finians to attack British administered Canada — not dissimilar to the proxies Syria uses to attack Israel (Hezbollah, Hammas, PRC etc). The Finians were characterized by the Canadians as religious fundamentalists who could not be negotiated with because of there extreme views. Within 40 years the two countries became the closest of allies!

My point is that if the USA and Canada can make peace after so much hatred and war then so can Syria and Israel. One day in the not too distant future the two countries will make peace.

April 8th, 2011, 1:52 pm


Vedat The Turk said:


Funny you should raise US / Canada relations in regards to Israel and Syria. FYI During the 1800’s Canada and the USA fought 2 vicous wars. The US also employed an irregular Irish paramilitary group known as the Finians to attack British administered Canada — not dissimilar to the proxies Syria uses to attack Israel (Hezbollah, Hammas, PRC etc). The Finians were characterized by the Canadians as religious fundamentalists who could not be negotiated with because of there extreme views.

Within 40 years the two countries became the closest of allies!

My point is that if the USA and Canada can make peace after so much hatred and war then so can Syria and Israel. One day in the not too distant future the two countries will make peace.

April 8th, 2011, 1:53 pm


NK said:


I just saw the report on State TV, how come this camera didn’t turn around to show Daraa or who those thugs are shooting at ? when the camera zooms out all you can see is two rows of trees in front of them, doesn’t it make sense that the cameraman would take a glance at who those guys are firing at ? also when the camera zooms out you can see that the camera is 300-400 meters away if not more ? how did those thugs know the camera was there ? plus it still doesn’t make any sense that such thugs are still lurking around when there’s a pretty heavy security presence in and around the city for at least 2 weeks now.
According to one witness on Al Jazeera, SWAT teams “قوات المداهمة” under the command of brigadier-general Omar who’s under the direct command of major-general Ali Mamlouk opened fire on demonstrators killing at least 20 before retreating towards the political security directorate building.

Regardless, I’m not sure which story is more disturbing, the security forces killing innocent Syrians, or the thugs roaming freely around the country and killing people at will. Either way Syrians died and are dying, and either way Bashar eff’ed up big time.


You have too many security forces in Syria, plus you have the thugs sponsored by the regime, shooting a few policemen to sell their story is not something the won’t consider. Why are those thugs only attack on Fridays ? why only use the pro-reform/anti-regime/pro-democracy/whatever-you-want-to-call-them demonstrations ?, what do they do during the week, R&R ?

Anyways, demonstration grew yet again, some in Latakia even chanted “زنقة زنقة دار دار بدنا نشيلك يا بشار”
We said a few weeks ago that Bashar has a small window to act and that window is closing fast, is it too late ?

April 8th, 2011, 3:04 pm


SecularLB said:

Nour, these are for your eyes only.

April 8th, 2011, 3:32 pm


Riad said:


Thank you very much. The song rocks indeed despite some sectarian allusions.

April 8th, 2011, 3:53 pm


Nour said:


What are you trying to prove exactly with these videos? That there were casualties in Deraa? We already know that. You still can’t avoid the fact that there are armed people shooting at security. And you still haven’t explained why this happened only in Deraa today. Why is it that shootings are only happening in select places and not in all demonstrations? Let’s stop with the nonsense and admit there are armed thugs shooting at security and police, and no security or police in the world would just sit and allow criminal thugs to shoot at them.


Please, let’s stop the reaching and exaggeration. Now the Syrian security are willing to kill some of their own just to prove a point. That isn’t logical. Why do you think it’s impossible that there are armed men shooting at people? Is it because it’s never happened? Is it because no armed thugs have ever existed in Syria? Let’s be a little realistic here and reject things that should be rejected. There are many legitimate grievances against the Syrian regime, but to start defending armed gangsters or pretending that they don’t exist while turning a blind eye to the chaos they are causing in Syria takes away from the credibility of the so-called “revolutionists”.

April 8th, 2011, 3:56 pm


SecularLB said:

Tell me Nour …

Do you think the Baath regime will allow you to form a political party and compete against it in democratic elections one day?

April 8th, 2011, 4:05 pm


Nour said:


What does that have to do with shooting at people and creating chaos? Will those people shooting and chanting Islamist, sectarian slogans allow me to form a political party and compete with them in an election? And if there is chaos in the country does any of that matter?

Moreover, yes, there is about to be a change in Syria and a new party law is about to be introduced. But those “revolutionists” are against reform. They don’t want to see any of that happen because the rug will be pulled from under them. Besides, who are they to put the fate of Syria in their hands? The Syrian people have rejected them. The majority of the people do not support this behavior, so what gives them the right to create chaos and instability in this way?

April 8th, 2011, 4:12 pm


secularLB said:

So Nour … When I form my political party and compete against the Baath party in a democratic environment I will be able to denounce the Baath regime for the historic widespread corruption, intimidation, jailing of political reformists, free speech … and the list goes.

Dream a little dream … of me 🙂

Tahrir Square today:

April 8th, 2011, 4:18 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Where’s Ban Ki-Moon and Judge Goldstone?

The AP reports 32 Syrians killed today and 170 killed since the demonstrations began:

April 8th, 2011, 4:27 pm


Nour said:


If you had a political party would that be your only goal? To denounce the Baath? Why don’t you try providing a platform that can persuade people to support you? And again, I still don’t understand what this has to do with armed thugs shooting at people? Are you implying that you support armed attacks? If you do, then why don’t you say it clearly so we can discuss it. Otherwise, you are being disingenuous.

April 8th, 2011, 4:32 pm


secularLB said:

Why would I want to support armed thugs shooting at my brothers, Nour?

What would I gain by blood?

April 8th, 2011, 4:41 pm


SOURI said:

Unlike what many people think, Hawran is not a deprived province. Hawran is one of the most developed provinces in Syria and one that is traditionally considered a power base of the regime.

Joshua Landis repeatedly brought up the issue of the drought. Well, Hawran uses modern irrigation systems in 100% of its lands, whereas in Aleppo and the eastern regions the lands that are irrigated by modern irrigation are less than 10%. Hawran was not hit by the drought nearly as hard as were Aleppo and the eastern region.

Damascus, Rural Damascus, and Latakia are also privileged provinces. Damascus and its rural areas have always been privileged in Syria and they get unfairly high government spending. Most tourism and foreign investment takes place in this region. People in this region have a higher average income than elsewhere in Syria.

Latakia and Tartous provinces are where most Alawites live. These provinces also get unfairly high government spending, but not as much as Damascus and its surroundings.

Homs is where Mrs. Assad comes from. This province has been seeing unprecedented government attention and care over the last years.

Those provinces are the privileged provinces of Syria. The deprived provinces of Syria are Aleppo, Idlib, Hama (these three provinces were the main power bases of the Muslim Brothers), the eastern region, and Souida.

It is strange now that the privileged provinces are seeing uprisings, while the traditionally deprived provinces are quiet calm. I have no clear explanation for this, but what I have been seeing during the last few years is that Bashar was trying hard to improve the situation in these deprived provinces (except Souida), and he has made many reforms whose effects were felt by people. Bashar issued a new law just weeks ago that increased government spending on the eastern region and Aleppo (later also Souida was included).

Souida started to see similar attention just few days before the uprising when Bashar personally visited the province.

My guess is that people in the deprived provinces did not revolt because they have just started to see their situation improving, unlike people in the privileged provinces. People in Aleppo and Deir az-Zor have lower standard of living than people in Rural Dmascus, and they probably don’t have the luxury to revolt for a political cause. For those deprived regions, economy comes first, and they have started to see their econmy improving.

Of course, there are other reasons for why those people did not revolt. There is the historical experience. Aleppo, Idlib, and Hama learned their lesson from the last time they revolted. The cause of ousting the Alawites from power is an old song for people in those provinces and its not stimulating anymore. People in these regions rose “against the Alawites” before and they were left alone to pay the heavy price. They are not going to do it again.

The tribes in the eastern region play a major role. Most tribal leaders are loyal to the regime because they get great benefits from it.

Homs now seems to be another version of Hama in the 1960’s. The Alawi population has been growing in Homs due to migration from the rural areas, and this has been angering the Islamists in the city. Also many people in Homs hate the governor who has been applying a strict policy of reform and development.

Sunnis in Latakia hate the Alawis since 500 BC, so there is nothing new, although it was stupid of the Islamists to act in that city.

Deraa is a different story. The economic situation in Deraa is not worse than in other provinces. To make it brief, people in Deraa rose because of Wahhabism. That province has a very high migration rate to the Gulf, and it is very close to Jordan. This is why Wahhabism gained a strong hold there. The uprising in Deraa was predetermined by the Wahhabis weeks ahead and it was for merely political-religious reasons (Wahhabism). The same is true for Rural Damascus.

April 8th, 2011, 4:59 pm


secularLB said:

Why would I want to shoot at my own poor fellow man that is trying to provide for his family in any way he can … even if that means the only way he can is working for this corrupt regime that has stifled the country to benefit only a few (of the obvious likes of you) … and has ignored the real plight of the rest of Syrians?

Nour, there are Syrians living in mud huts in Syria while a giggling Bashar drives his own BMW back home to his lovely Asma, in their air conditioned home.

Syria doesn’t have $96 Billion to throw around to its people the way the Saudi King has … and thinks that will appease the masses for freedom and the right to an opinion and free speech.

Kifaya! You dig?

April 8th, 2011, 5:02 pm


NK said:


When was the last time we saw armed gangs roaming around freely in Syria ? so far only the regime claimed such thugs do exist, they provided no proof whatsoever that they actually do. Didn’t they catch/kill a couple of them over 2 weeks ago in Latakia ? where are they, we haven’t seen a thing, the Syrian regime is yet to say clearly who is behind those thugs. Didn’t they interrogate them ?. And now this video where you only see people with guns shooting at trees, no way to verify where this video was shot, no land marks, nothing is clear, it’s just that. “6-7 guys shooting at trees in the middle of nowhere” !!!

Personally, I don’t believe there’s a gang roaming around freely in Syria, killing and terrorizing citizens all around the country for 3 weeks now and yet the Syrian security forces are yet to identify who they are or who’s behind them, believing this story doesn’t make any sense.

Now people commenting on site’s like Syria-news (in other words, mukhabarat) are trying to sell the story that Syrians had enough of this chaos and that the army should “eradicate” everyone who protests from this point out as they are clearly terrorists and Daraa should be crushed under patriotic Syrian tanks. Just reading these lines proves to me that our security forces are full of criminals ready to do anything to subdue the public, I’m not going to keep quiet now then come up with excuses later why they needed to commit massacres against fellow Syrians.

April 8th, 2011, 5:05 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Forty person died today, people must defend themself, and they have the right to achieve this by all means,those who defend the regime are accomplice, this regime is worse than Hitler, worse than Gaddafi,security council must intervene,from now on you either with me or against me,we reached a point there is no return

April 8th, 2011, 5:14 pm


secularLB said:


You’re obviously panicking. Why?

You should be cool as a cucumber, unless you stand to loose a lot if the Assads and their Baath “party” (cause that’s what it is … a “party”) end up in jail for their crimes against “humanity”.

Even 3amna Hafez sent Bashar to the UK to become a “Doctor”. Why didn’t he send him to Iran which we adhere to and believe in so much, for some obscure reason?

April 8th, 2011, 5:35 pm


SOURI said:

I am still reading in foreign media that the demonstrations represent a serious challenge to Assad. Well, this may have been true two weeks ago but it is not true anymore.

The demonstrations today helped Assad more than they harmed him. Like I explained before, Assad is going to apply his father’s strategy in dealing with the uprising. He first needs to isolate the dissidents and guarantee the loyalty of the other segments of society. This is the reason why Assad has been so generous with the Kurds and the Islamists.

The next stage is to attack the dissidents, and in order to do that he has to antagonize the people against them first. This is the reason why the regime has been dealing so softly with them and has been allowing them to cause chaos and shoot and kill security personnel. The Syrian TV broadcasted today that 19 police members were shot dead by the demonstrators. This is meant to antagonize the people against the demonstrators.

People are growing impatient. Once the regime feels that the people are ready to accept a forceful action against the demonstrators, it will do it. It is just a matter of time. The regime is waiting for the right moment internally and perhaps also internationally, but I have no doubt that the regime is planning to take a forceful and perhaps brutal action against the Wahhabis. The regime has not been giving all those concessions for nothing. He is going to get the payback from the Wahhabis, sooner or later.

April 8th, 2011, 6:11 pm


Solitarius said:

most people seem to be rallying for increased security and to hit the “vandalizers” with an iron fist.. how does this work? oppressed people asking for more oppression? what goes on in their minds? did anything especially outrageous happen today that fueled this?

I read the numbers regarding 19 dead security officers in Daraa.. but was the evidence presented? I mean.. surely the police force should have been able to film at least one incident.

April 8th, 2011, 6:26 pm


SOURI said:

Wahhabi TV channels frankly call on demonstrators to kill the kafir Alwites and clean Syria from the Shia:

وتزامنت هذه التطورات اليوم بسابقة لم تحصل حتى الآن ، وهي انضمام قناتي ” وصل” و “صفا” ، المدارتين من قبل المخابرات السعودية والأردنية ، إلى موجهة التحريض والتكفير الواضحين ، حيث أطلقت فتاوى صريحة تدعو المتظاهرين إلى” قتل العلويين الكفرة وتنظيف سوريا من الشيعة”.

Wahhabis in Homs chant against Hizbullah and Iran:

The Syrian regime may tolerate everything except these chants against the Shia and the Alawis. The Wahhabis are making a very grave mistake.

April 8th, 2011, 6:27 pm


SOURI said:

After Bashar gets rid of the Wahhabis, he must review his father’s legacy and ask himself why did he have to face the same situation that his father faced in the 1970’s-1980’s?!

Bashar Assad made many mistakes during his 10 years in power, but his most grave mistake was his underestimation of the Islamist threat, especially the Wahhabi threat. Since Bashar came to power, he has been only giving concessions to the Islamists and allowing them to spread their power and influence. He lifted the ban on the headscarf in schools, he allowed Islamist schools and Islamist social organizations to mushroom, he did many stupid things that only made the Islamists stronger. Why was he doing that? One reason that is commonly given is that he wanted to “reconcile with the Sunnis.” This is a really stupid things to say. The Islamist Sunnis will never be faithfully loyal to a Baathist Alawi. Bashar should have instead supported the secular Sunnis, because those are the ones who can truly be loyal to him.

Perhaps the regional developments did not help Bashar much, so he felt he needed to guarantee the loyalty of the Islamists, especially after the Iraq invasion and after he was forced out of Lebanon. One evidence to support this belief is that Bashar started his “secularization” campaign right after he felt that his regional standing was good. Perhaps Bashar wanted his secularization campaign to be an introduction to the political reforms he had promised. This was a good plan. Unfortunately however, the regional situation changed again and Bashar now is forced to give concessions to the Islamists again. More dangerously, Bashar now is forced to do political reform when we all know that this reform at this stage will only be beneficial to the Islamists and socialists.

April 8th, 2011, 6:51 pm


NK said:

Are those “thugs” the State TV presented, security forces ?

Also Souri, that video is at least 2 weeks old, and it was uploaded by this user on Thursday 4/7/2011 …

April 8th, 2011, 6:52 pm


secularLB said:


What does a Hajjeh have to do in this life to deserve her 40 stallions in the after life?

April 8th, 2011, 7:19 pm


SOURI said:

Time to move to the next stage:

قالت وزارة الداخلية إنه “لم يعد هناك مجال للتهاون أو التسامح لتطبيق القانون والحفاظ على أمن الوطن والمواطن وحماية النظام العام تحت ذريعة التظاهر”، مضيفة أنه “لن نسمح بالخلط المتعمد بين التظاهر السلمي وبين التخريب وزرع الفتنة وزعزعة الوحدة الوطنية”.

قالت وزارة الداخلية في بيان لها إنه “سيتم استخدام الرصاص الحي ضد كل من يسعى لتخريب وتدمير الممتلكات الخاصةوالعامة بموجب القانون والدستور، بموجب القانون و الدستور الذي يفرض حماية أمن الوطن و المواطن”

They are frankly saying that they are going to use live ammunition. This is a strongly-worded statement indeed.

April 8th, 2011, 7:52 pm


why-discuss said:

I don’t believe any Youtube or eye witnesses anymore. They are polluted, unreliable and misleading

April 8th, 2011, 8:39 pm


Nour said:


Why don’t you stick to the topic and stop attempting to analyze people’s psyches?

April 8th, 2011, 8:55 pm


Revlon said:

117. Dear Riad,
Thank you very much for providing the link.

121. Dear secularLB
A picture is worth a milion words! Thank you very much for the link.

April 8th, 2011, 9:06 pm


why-discuss said:

As Protests Grow, Will Syrians See Reforms or More Bloodshed?

JUDY WOODRUFF: Two views now on the unrest in Syria. And for that, we turn to Flynt Leverett. He’s a professor of international affairs at Penn State and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. He’s the author of “Inheriting Syria: Bashar’s Trial by Fire” has and served at the National Security Council. And Andrew Tabler, he’s a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He worked as a journalist in Syria and is the author of the forthcoming book “In the Lion’s Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington’s Battle With Syria.”

Gentlemen, thank you both for being with us.
Andrew Tabler, to you first. How strong is this protest movement, this movement against President Assad?

ANDREW TABLER, Washington Institute for Near East Policy: Well, they’re gaining strength.

Today, we had 32 killed, 25 in Daraa, which has been the epicenter of the protests to date. But it’s not just in terms of scale that these protests have grown. Now they’re starting to spread outside of Daraa to other areas, to Kurdish areas, which are traditionally against the Assad regime, as well as to the Homs, to the Syrian coast, other areas which are traditionally loyal to the regime.

So this is cracking away at a lot of the Sunni veneer around Bashar Assad’s Alawite-dominated regime. And it is obviously — the measures he’s taken so far haven’t — haven’t stopped the protests.

JUDY WOODRUFF: You are describing the Sunnis, an ethnic group, in Syria.

ANDREW TABLER: The majority in Syria.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The majority.

ANDREW TABLER: That’s correct.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Flynt Leverett, how do you see the strengths of this protest movement?

FLYNT LEVERETT, New America Foundation: I don’t think it’s yet gained any kind of strategically determinative influence in Syrian society.

I think that the big difference between Syria and a place like Egypt, say, is that in Egypt you don’t really have a society with a lot of ethnic or sectarian divisions. Pretty much everyone thinks of himself, herself, as an Egyptian. There may be class differences, political differences, but they’re not really fundamental differences of identity.

Syria is a real mosaic in terms of its society. And I think that President Assad can probably marshal at least 50 percent of the society, which would prefer him and the present regime to any plausible alternative.

JUDY WOODRUFF: You are saying he still holds popularity there.

FLYNT LEVERETT: I think he does still hold significant reserves popular support; that’s right.

JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you square that, Andrew Tabler, with what you are saying?

ANDREW TABLER: Well, I think — well, I think that the — it ultimately gets down to the way the regime is structured.

The Assad regime is controlled by Alawites and other minorities which gather around the Assad family. And those networks overlap in the military and the security bodies. The problem now is that it is unlikely that the Assad regime is going to split or that the military would break away, as they did in Tunis and in Egypt, and oust the ruling family.

So their backs are really against the wall. And with protests increasing in number, and — it’s no surprise that the number of killed are going up. And I expect that, if the protests continue, that the death toll will go higher and higher.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So you’re saying that — that, even though the protests are building, that there are these factors that are going to keep it from overturning the regime any time soon?

ANDREW TABLER: Most definitely. I think that there’s a — that what these networks do is, they galvanize the regime against the kind of splitting we saw in Egypt and Tunis.

But, of course, it depends on what the breaking point of the regime is. We are clearly not at that point yet. But it’s clear that the protests are moving in that general direction.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Flynt Leverett, how do you size up the response of the regime so far? I mean, they have been very tough. President Assad made the speech last — gave no ground whatsoever. Does this say anything about how he’s like or different from his father?

FLYNT LEVERETT: I think the strategic problem is, in broad terms, the same for his father and now for Bashar al-Assad.

The strategic problem is to hold this society together. The biggest concern for, I think, still a majority of Syrians is that they have seen next door in Lebanon, they have seen next door in Iraq what happens when a multiethnic, multiconfessional society comes apart in the Middle East.

There are more than a million Iraqi refugees living in Syria right now as daily testament to that. And I think that most Syrians, certainly the constituencies that Bashar al-Assad is counting on to support him, are not looking to him primarily at this point for bold reform initiatives.

I think they’re looking to him primarily to demonstrate that he can hold this together and keep it from turning into post-Saddam Iraq or civil war Lebanon.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Is that how you see it?

ANDREW TABLER: Well, there definitely are fears among the population about sectarian strife and the possibility of it.

But it’s very clear from the — because the protests are growing, that that fear factor is dissipating. And this is the first time that that has happened since the Hama massacre of 1982.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And how do you account for that? Why is that?

ANDREW TABLER: It’s for several reasons.

First, Bashar has promised reform for 11 years and has not delivered. He’s made some economic changes, but the political reforms haven’t come. People are extremely frustrated. So, it would be very much like what is happening in Egypt and — and in Tunis.

But, also, people are increasingly accessing each other online via the Internet, which has spread in Syria. They are living online. They are living on Facebook and Twitter. And they are — and they are very clearly organizing in that way. And this is capturing the youth of Syria.

Remember, Syria had one of the highest population growth rates in the world in the ’80s and the early ’90s. And now those people are hitting the job market, and they’re organizing online.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Flynt Leverett, who at this point is Bashar al-Assad listening to? What are the forces that have the most influence on him? And is he hearing any voices of reform, urging him toward reform?

FLYNT LEVERETT: I think that Bashar understands that as part of his long-term strategy for Syria, that Syria has to modernize — and I think I would prefer that word to — to reform — that Syria has to modernize if it’s going to have a long-term future.

And I think he is genuinely committed to that. But he is — overall, I think he’s concerned with the strategic challenge of holding this place together and keeping it as a genuinely independent actor in regional politics. Those are his first priorities.

And promoting modernization in the economy, which I think he believes has to proceed really Syria’s political reform, that comes in the context of these larger strategic objectives.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But what does that say in terms of how he is going to respond, how you see him moving ahead to respond or not respond to these growing protests?

ANDREW TABLER: Well, the most important response — and you saw that in Bashar’s speech — is that he talks about reform, but he never gets around to actually implementing it or to putting it on paper. That’s because Bashar rules through ambiguity.

That is how a tyrannical regime opens up to the international community, because by keeping the reforms without any kind of legal basis or any — under people’s feet, while at the same time raising their expectations, allows — it keeps people from moving in the country. And they look elsewhere to other Arab countries next door that the Syrians now visit, because they come and go from the country. And they’re changing their minds and they’re taking their fury out on the regime.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, where do you see these protests going? Where do you see…

FLYNT LEVERETT: I think the protests will continue for a while. I think Andrew is correct that the security force response is likely to get more severe over time. And I think that President Assad is going to count on, essentially, as I said, a majoritarian support within the country to support him in doing what he needs to do to restore order.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But if you continue to have the deaths like today’s 32 deaths reported, does that mean the protests — or what? I mean, what does that say to you about what’s — what we have to look forward to?

ANDREW TABLER: The protesters know that Bashar is not a reformer. And they know that, as soon as they leave the street, the necessity to actually reform and follow through, politically or economically or otherwise, will have gone, and Bashar will do nothing.

So, they’re staying out there. They’re demanding their rights, and they’re going to push this forward. Now, where it’s all going to end, I don’t know. I anticipate that this could get very bloody in the weeks ahead, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to settle down, because now, with the number of killed today, we’re going to have that many more funerals. And then there will be perhaps another cycle the following week.

We will have to watch very closely what President Assad does in the coming week, what kind of announcement he makes, and what he is actually willing to put into writing.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we will continue to watch it.

And we appreciate the insights from both of you. Andrew Tabler, Flynt Leverett, thank you, gentlemen.


ANDREW TABLER: Thanks very much.

April 8th, 2011, 9:44 pm


why-discuss said:

Political turmoil in Syria resonates in Golan

Posted on Fri, Apr. 8, 2011
The Associated Press

BUKATA, Golan Heights – Druse in the Israeli-held Golan Heights have been turning out in thousands in shows of support for Syria’s president as he faces anti-government protests. But the pro-reform wave stirs mixed feelings for the 20,000 Druse, who never stopped seeing themselves as Syrian but have grown up used to freedoms under Israeli rule.

Few members of the Druse, members of a tight-knit community who belong to a secretive offshoot of Islam, will speak out against Syrian President Bashar Assad , possibly fearing for family members on the other side of the frontier.

The community has gone out of its way to show public support. A rally in the Golan last weekend drew thousands of Assad backers to the village of Majdal Shams, where the main square is dominated by a sculpture featuring Sultan Pasha Atrash, a legendary Druse warrior who led Syria’s battle for independence from France and other powers in the last century. There have been no protests backing Assad’s opponents.

Still, even if residents hold emotional and family ties to Syria and no love for Israeli occupation, there’s little sign of eagerness to live under Assad’s regime, 43 years after Israel seized the strategic Golan from Syria.

One prominent figure in the Golan community acknowledged that reverting to authoritarian Syrian rule is problematic. Many, he said, like their lifestyle under Israeli rule.

Yet “they still feel a sense of belonging to Syria,” he said. Like many residents, he spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing trouble with authorities.

The strategic plateau, which overlooks northern Israel, has remained quiet in an otherwise volatile region since the 1973 Mideast war. Its pleasant weather, rugged scenery, ski resort, farms and wineries make it a popular tourist destination for Israelis.

The Druse have had peaceful and profitable interactions with Israelis. They speak Hebrew and sell Israeli goods in their stores. The overwhelming majority of Golan Druse were born after the Israeli takeover, and fellow Druse in Israel proper are so well integrated that , unlike most of Israel’s Arab minority , they often serve in the Israeli army.

Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War, annexing it 14 years later in a move that has never been internationally recognized. Syria demands the Golan’s return as part of any peace agreement, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is unwilling to go that far.

In public, at least, the community has rallied behind Assad, whose regime has been shaken by weeks of unprecedented anti-government protests. Human rights groups say at least 100 people have been killed in a government crackdown.

Assad’s supporters here insist the reports of unrest in Syria and a brutal government crackdown are overblown.

“What we are hearing (from people in Syria) is everything is as usual there, nothing serious is going on,” said Ata Farkhat, a 39-year-old reporter from the Golan who works for state-run Syrian TV and Syria’s Al-Watan newspaper. He said he spent three years in an Israeli prison over his ties with Syria.

A large stone replica of Syria’s coat of arms , a hawk holding a shield of the national flag , dominates the outer wall of Farkat’s home in Bukata. A book by Assad’s predecessor and father, Hafez Assad, sits in the bookcase. A photo of the younger Assad hangs on the wall.

Some here will gingerly address Syria’s problems , while carefully attributing them to the people who surround Assad and not the Syrian leader himself. They’ll even speak favorably of reform, albeit only under Assad’s rule.

Not all downplay the repressiveness of one of the most authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.

“I’m in favor of democracy,” said one 30-year-old man. “I can say here, ‘Bibi Netanyahu is no good.’ Can I say that about Assad?”

But opinions like this, stated openly, are fairly rare.

Israeli listening stations capping local mountaintops are a stark reminder that this plateau, verdant and bursting with flowers in the springtime, has been occupied territory for nearly 44 years. The Syrian town of Quneitra is easily visible from a road leading to the Golan Druse communities on the foothills of Mount Hermon.

Some previous Israeli governments have been willing in principle to cede the Golan to Syria in exchange for normalized relations and control of a vital water source, but several rounds of talks have failed to clinch a deal , whether over details or cold feet on either side. The most recent round of talks broke down in late 2008.

Netanyahu, who took power the following year, has said he is ready to talk peace with Syria, but opposes a full withdrawal from the Golan. He has much popular support for that among Israel’s Jewish majority, which views the plateau as a bulwark against potential Syrian aggression.

Unlike the far more numerous Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Druse Arabs of the Golan have had peaceful relations with Israeli authorities and the 18,000 Jewish settlers who also live on the plateau.

The good ties have prompted small Israeli concessions.

Since 1988, Druse clerics have been allowed to make religious pilgrimages to Syria. Hundreds of Druse students are allowed to attend university in Damascus on the Syrian government’s tab.

For the past seven years, Israel has also allowed the Druse to export apples to Syria. This year, a record 12,000 tons went out, according to Said Farkhat, who coordinates the transfers from eight apple-packing operations on the Golan. In another concession, brides and grooms living on opposite sides of the border are allowed to marry. Druse brides, however, are not permitted to visit families back home.

Such gestures do little to change the sentiments of the many Syrian loyalists here.

Imad Meri, who named his 1-year-old daughter Damascus and draped a Syrian flag scarf printed with Assad’s picture around his neck, said his relatives in Syria are living better now than they did in the past.

And he predicted the Syrian people would not topple their leader, as happened in Egypt and Tunisia.

Golan Druse rallied for Assad last week because he supported the violently anti-Israel Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, he said.

“Democracy is important to the Arab people, but it’s secondary,” Meri said.

Read more:

April 8th, 2011, 9:48 pm


why-discuss said:

Andrew Tabler…works for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy – one of the most pro-Israel think tanks in the US.

Tabler, however, is no impartial view. He works for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy – one of the most pro-Israel think tanks in the US. Indeed, it was founded by members of Aipac and any quick glance over their website demonstrates that it frames all its coverage of Syria through an Israeli lens. Though Tabler can claim some expertise on Syria, he spent several years living in Syria founding Syria Today magazine, it cannot be denied that his current employers have a clear political agenda. This sudden escalation in anti-Syrian news is clearly timed to coincide with the approval of a new US ambassador to Damascus in Congress and the WINEP and Tabler have been amongst the most vocal in opposing this reengagement.

April 8th, 2011, 9:58 pm


SOURI said:

Well I have read several Western and Wahhabi articles today claiming that the situation in Syria is escalating and becoming more dangerous etc. Look at this Wahhabi headline which reads “Syria explodes”:

Let them say what they want. If the situation in Syria was really deteriorating, the government would not have issued a statement tonight saying that it would shoot further protests with live ammunition. Many of those writers either don’t understand at all what is going on inside Syria or are simply haters who are trying to take shots at Assad and make some political gain out of this crisis (like the quoted Wahhabi newspaper for example.) After all, they know that this media propaganda is all what they are going to get in the end.

Today was a positive development. I never expected (neither did Assad) that the Wahhabis would stop and not come out today. The Wahhabis won’t stop at all, and Assad knows that since day one. The concessions he made were directed at other segments of the society, not the protesters. The events today paved the way for the government statement which said that the government was going to shoot the Wahhabis to death. We need the Wahhabis to come out again so we can have the chance to shoot them and get rid of them forever.

April 8th, 2011, 10:11 pm


trustquest said:

NK 127, they can not hide the sun, although the logic is lost on this blog but it is great to see someone like you can hold up. Those thugs everyone talking about people in Syria know them well, they have lived with them for 48 years. They are the security services from different branches; even they are from some army units. In Syria, securities do not wear uniform, they do not drive government tag cars, and they are everywhere. The most important fact about this issue is the people on the ground who are in all the videos, including Daraa representative and source of information is the victims themselves, including the representative in the parliament, all confirming those gangs are Syrian security on government pay role. The government, if there is one, has only one source to ask which are, the people because government media is not present. Who are they fooling, but still they rely on many who still watch Syrian TV, because of the conspiracy with other large media, but for how long, it can not last for long, the smell is coming out and very heavy.

April 8th, 2011, 10:49 pm


SOURI said:

This man came in Syria to invest, and according to what I heard he had a good TV channel:\201144-088qpt980.htm

I don’t know what the real reason behind closing his channel was, but I really hope that this is not true:

لم يمر شهران ونصف الشهر على إطلاق تلفزيون قناة (أورينت) حتى طلب مني السيد رامي مخلوف أن أقابله في دمشق، طبعا أنا سوري وأعلم من هو رامي مخلوف، ولم أقل اني لم أصب بالذعر لأني أعرف سياسة هذا الرجل كيف. ذهبت الى سورية وقابلته في مكتبه، دام اللقاء حوالي ساعتين ونصف الساعة، ولم أدخل الاجتماع إلا ومعي رئيس التحرير والمدير الإداري العام أيضا حتى لا يكون لقاء مغلقا، خلال الساعتين ونصف الساعة سمعت كلاما من منطلق ‘أنا ربكم الأعلى’ إن أردت أن تحيا فستحيا معي، وإن لم تكن معي فأنت تعرف العاقبة! حتى إنه استخدم مصطلح: ‘أنا زعلان على (أورينت) لأنها ستموت، يعني واضح انك أنت عنيد’!. طبعا في البداية، أنا أعرف ما كان يريد، وهو أن يكون شريكا بنسبة تزيد عن نسبتي ليتحكم في المحطة! طبعا أنا عندي وثائق، عندما يتطلب الأمر سأعرضها. بكل بساطة، عرض علي أيضا أن أكون شريكا معه في شركة إعلامية يريد أن ينشئها سماها (نينار) وهذه الشركة سوف تحتكر كل ما له علاقة بالعمل الإعلامي والتلفزيوني في سورية وأن ننشئها معا. قلت له: أنا رجل لا أعيش حاليا في سورية، أنا لي عشرين سنة في دولة الإمارات، أنا تاجر ولست محتكرا، أفكر بعقلية التاجر ولا أعرف عقلية الاحتكار. المهم وصلنا إلى طريق مسدود. بعدها بدأت الأصوات تظهر في نهاية أيار/مايو 2009، بدأت مواقع كثيرة تقذفني بالشتائم على أني قادم لأبتز الحكومة السورية، وأن لي غايات! ‘كان قد أراني العسل، الآن سوف يفرجيني إذا لم أكن معه ماذا سيحدث’.

That least thing I expect in the new era is a direct response to these allegations from Rami Makhlouf himself. We need this case to be investigated in a transparent way so that we can know the truth.

I also hope that Assad forgives this man because he is obviously motivated by a bad personal experience that he had in Syria. He is not a politician and I don’t think he’s looking for any personal gain. He is just angry about what happened to him in Syria. These stories must end. We need the law to rule in Syria, not Rami Makhlouf, Bashar Assad, or any body of this clan. We are really sick of this.

April 8th, 2011, 11:11 pm


WHY said:


Everyone knows that the thugs who are shooting at the demonstrators and the police are the shabee7a who are trying to stir trouble and provoking both sides so a massacre occurs and the military commits genocide. Everyone in Syria knows who the shabee7a are and who they represent. But you are Lebanese and u dont know these stuff and you keep interfering in Syrian business and telling us that the majority don’t support getting rid of this dictatorship. Inte makhasak oo roo7 sef 3ala janb because if you guys in lebanon, SSNP and Hizbollah will keep interfering in our business I promise you that this won’t end very nicely.

April 8th, 2011, 11:14 pm


NK said:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
April 08, 2011
Statement from the President on the Violence in Syria

I strongly condemn the abhorrent violence committed against peaceful protesters by the Syrian government today and over the past few weeks. I also condemn any use of violence by protesters. The United States extends our condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims. I call upon the Syrian authorities to refrain from any further violence against peaceful protestors. Furthermore, the arbitrary arrests, detention, and torture of prisoners that has been reported must end now, and the free flow of information must be permitted so that there can be independent verification of events on the ground.

Throughout this time of upheaval, the American people have heard the voices of the Syrian people, who have demonstrated extraordinary courage and dignity, and who deserve a government that is responsive to their aspirations. Syrians have called for the freedoms that individuals around the world should enjoy: freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; and a government that is transparent and free of corruption. These rights are universal, and they must be respected in Syria.

Until now, the Syrian government has not addressed the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. Violence and detention are not the answer to the grievances of the Syrian people. It is time for the Syrian government to stop repressing its citizens and to listen to the voices of the Syrian people calling for meaningful political and economic reforms.

April 8th, 2011, 11:51 pm


why-discuss said:

The usual self-righteous advices of Obama who has failed to all his promises to the Arab world.

April 9th, 2011, 12:03 am


NK said:

Lattakia Friday night

In the mean while the regime is trying to stop people from joining in by fear mongering it looks like

اللاذقية الى الأهالي الرجاء التزام المنازل و عدم الخروج الى الشرفات ولا افتحوا الأبواب، عناصرالأمن لن يطلبوا منكم ذلك والأرقام ١١٢-١١٥ للتبليغ عن اي خبر أكيد تجنبوا الاتصال المتكرر حتى لا تنضغط الخطوط و نحن معكم ٠٩٣٣٨٥٥٧٧٧ للإبلاغ عن المخربين فقط

April 9th, 2011, 12:12 am


ED said:

Mr. Assad….it is time for you to leave the country. You started to stink like a rotten slime mold.
Leave Syria NOW.
AUSLANDER RAUS….leave…get out. Leave Syria alone….out….out….out.

April 9th, 2011, 12:21 am


SOURI said:

Obama’s statement is pure political blackmail. The Syrians in Damascus, Aleppo, and everywhere else should go out to the streets in millions and protest Obama’s speech. This will be the best political answer to him.

Anyway, I think it is still too early for such an act. When the time comes and Obama pushes it too much, he will be surprised by the response from the Syrian people. Syria is not Libya. As soon as Obama tries to intervene in Syria in the name of the “Syrian people,” millions will go out to the streets to condemn him. People in Syria are really scared from a Libyan style scenario repeated in their country. Obama must be careful because what he’s trying to do may turn back on him. He’s trying to score points against Assad, but this statement is inappropriate and comes at a time when most Syrians are getting angry at the protesters. His statement may even be helpful to Assad.

April 9th, 2011, 12:28 am


NK said:

94. Jad said:

This is a flash news by the admin on the ‘revolutionests’ FB site:

عاجل || تم مصادرة قاذفات صغيرة للأمن المركزي من قبل المتظاهرين في درعا.

Is that supposed to make Syrians feel safer after armes are in the hands of those guys?!
It actually prove that they are collecting guns for propanly using it for something but the organizers are definatly not looking to reform.

April 8th, 2011, 11:42 am

Dear Jad, according to Haytham Manna the people in Daraa took the weapons the Amn left behind them and threw them in front of the Baath headquarter, he also claimed one of the Amn tried to provoke the demonstrators to fight back, but the people in Daraa refused to fall into this trap

April 9th, 2011, 12:42 am


Syria Almighty said:

Peaceful protesters are regularly armed with weapons and fire them off into crowds of people:

April 9th, 2011, 1:01 am


abbas said:

Those armed gangs have very good organization and communication system equal to that of the security forces, they know where the demonstrations are going to happen and they manage to infiltrate the security cordon and mingle with the crowds before they start shooting at protesters and the poor regular police !!! WHO ARE THEY KIDDING

April 9th, 2011, 1:12 am


nomorebisho said:

I guess bisho will no longer be able to drive his car solo through the streets of damascus like before claiming that the people love him so much that he doesn’t need bodyguards… See mr. president, things have already changed and you don’t even know it!!

April 9th, 2011, 1:16 am


NK said:

Nice, another video shot by State TV cameras in the middle of nowhere at an unknown time, all we can see is a few “Cowboys” jumping into a car then race away while shooting into the air, yeah, that definitely proves they are shooting at police and protesters.
May I ask why was the state TV camera in that location to begin with ? and where is the security forces ? Why didn’t the camera crew call the police ? I mean it’s clear the camera crew had a good 5-10 minutes to position themselves in that location then shoot this beautiful action movie, while a few “thugs” ran back and forth in front of the camera before the two guys with guns jumped into the car. And did the two guys start shooting at the people who escorted them to the car ? yeah this makes sense.

P.S did you see the guy waving at the camera in the middle of the movie ? Also, the camera man should duck next time, or pretend to be hiding or something, since he was “getting shot at” LOL

Article of the year !!!

April 9th, 2011, 2:22 am


Shami said:

Souri,al moghty ,you have your sectarian or cultural reasons to hate the majority of the syrian people but you are aware that all the statues of hafez,basel and giant posters of bashar will be part of the past.
Why are you insisting to struggle against the inevitable change over ?
It’s like your own live depends on asad existence ,do you have an alternative within your system ? No!
Cowards like you are worse than the zionists.
I only want from you that you remain asadists for ever and dont hide it after asad regime death.

April 9th, 2011, 3:56 am


Australian -Syrian said:

Not to insult you, but may i start by asking, what does the ED stand for? I assume it is ‘Extremely Dumb’?
Yes, Yes it is.

If there is anyone who smells like a rotten slime mold, it is you and all those who have the audacity to be as rude and disgraceful as you. Belive what you belive, but for you to be as flagrant and insulting, proves your immaturity and child- like thoughts. Your rotten and foul comments are a product of what you have been listening to, and prove that you have no mind to think on your own. Rather you need to be lied to, because that’s all you are capable of believing. LIES.

You want Bashar out of the country? Ok. That’s fine. But apparantly, he has the authority and the RIGHT to live there as much as the next person does. :p

April 9th, 2011, 6:36 am


Australian -Syrian said:

Sorry, did i say that he has the right to live there as much as the next person? What i meant was he has the right to live there MORE than people who belive what YOU belive.

April 9th, 2011, 6:50 am


syau said:


As for me, I have no problem in insulting someone that so much resembles and asghan hound – this type of breed is obviously not known for their intelligence and from what I can see in your comments, well, we can say you certainly will never lead a country….which got me thinking, maybe that is what is ticking you off about Bashar – He is a leader and your not. Grow up and put forward some valid comments, not ridiculous ones.

April 9th, 2011, 6:59 am


Revlon said:

Day 28th of the Syrian people’s Revolution; The Status Quo

Many more precious souls fell, victims to the regime’s violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.
Al fati7a upon their souls.
My God bestow solace upon their families and empower them with patience.

The revolution has taken command of its destiny and of the Syrian nation’s.
They are moving from strength, to more strength!
They have shown high discipline, by adhering to peaceful activism, in spite of the heavy casualties.
Calls for bringing down the System are becoming louder.
The revolution now has a beautiful song. It speaks of their grievances and dreams and embraces values of chivalry and national unity! The link was kindly provided earlier by Riad.

The regime is functioning at a sub-cortical level
Their actions are driven by instincts of survival.
Their announcement of impending introduction of refurbished versions of existing laws and rules amount to no more than whistling in the dark.

They are in catch22.
Too little reforms would both, make them look loosing, while also failing to stem the tide of the revolution!
Too radical reforms are bound to bring them down!

Asad Jr., his family members and all of those suspected of participating in killing civilians, regardless of their ethnicity, shall be investigated by the future People’s Civil Courts of Justice.
Those convicted shall have no future in Syrian politics.
No body have the right or the authority to grant forgiveness on atrocities on behalf of the bereft families!

Members and supporters of the regime, including Baath party, Armed forces and other government institutions can still play a positive role in bringing a quick end to people’s suffering.
They can start negotiating on behalf of the majority of the regime, with the opposition to form an interim government and provide a plan for the rebirth of Free Syria.
The declaration, published on Al Jazeera website, a couple of days ago, offers a glimpse of hope! The link was kindly posted earlier, by ATASSI

بيان ناشطين سوريين

محمود جيوش/ قيادي سابق في حزب البعث ووزير سوري أسبق
مروان حبش/ عضو قيادة قطرية ووزير سوري أسبق
مصطفى رستم/ عضو القيادتين القومية والقطرية الأسبق في حزب البعث
سليمان العلي/ عضو قيادة قطرية ووزير سوري أسبق
ميشيل كيلو/ كاتب وناشط سياسي
عز ا

لدين دياب/ قيادي سابق في حزب البعث وأستاذ جامعي
محمود يونس/ قيادي سابق في حزب البعث ومحافظ أسبق
علي سليمان/ رئيس تحرير جريدة الثورة ومعاون وزير الثقافة الأسبق
حسين العودات/ كاتب وصحافي وناشط سياسي
وفيق عرنوس/ أمين فرع جامعة دمشق الأسبق لحزب البعث
أحمد الأحمر/ محام
سليمان عبد ربه/ طبيب
محمد حجازي/ مهندس
محي الدين جاموس/ طبيب
أشرف حجازي/ طبيب
جهاد منصور/ مهندس
رضا حجازي/ طبيب
عبد الكريم أبا زيد/ كاتب وصحفي
كمال الأسود/ دبلوماسي سابق
لمى قنوت/ عضو المكتب السياسي لحركة الاشتراكيين العرب

Egyptian support for their brethren in Syria last week was heartening.
An earlier link to a tweet captured one the most beautiful scenes of solidarity I have seen! Link kindly provided earlier by secularLB

Turkey has learned from the Libyan lesson. They now realise that their interests lay in the hands of the emerging power in Syria, The Syrian people.
They hosted the Moslem Brothers party chief. They plan to help in forging a modern Syrian Islamic party.

Office of the press secretary of the white house has issued a stern condemnation of the use of force by the Syrian Authorities and asked for listening to Syrian people’s calls for meaningful reforms.

April 9th, 2011, 7:02 am


Steve said:

Interesting points made by Dr Phillips:

“…Yet why has so much been expected of Assad? He way well be the jovial, approachable character that his image-makers promote, but does that qualify him to lead the way out of crisis? He is a second-generation autocrat who became president because of his family not because of his ability, and even then he was second choice behind Basil. To be fair, his record as president has shown an ability to survive threats from abroad…Yet even with foreign policy, the majority of Bashar’s approach has been a continuation of his fathers and has not required a great deal of imagination. The same can be said for domestic policy. There have been moves to liberalise the economy – another extension of Hafez’s own intifah in the 1990s – but these have been stymied by an unwillingness to target the crony capitalism of Assad’s inner circle, particularly Makhlouf. Moreover, having promised political reform in 2000 and 2005, very little has changed and the same elites hold power. After a decade of waiting with no returns, who could be blame Syrians for doubting that Assad will dare to really change anything now?”

April 9th, 2011, 7:14 am


why-discuss said:

Egypt, a successful revolution , saluted by Obama?
9 April 2011 Last updated at 06:44 ET

Egypt: ‘Two killed’ in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and at least 15 wounded

Many copts I know are emigrating to Canada, they don’t believe in the outcome of this headless revolution

April 9th, 2011, 7:48 am


Syrian Hamster said:

Krusty and Sideshow bob, funny how they always show up together.

April 9th, 2011, 9:33 am


Syria Almighty said:

Shami, the only thing that is inevitable is the justified, brutal slaughter of ALL violent protests and extremists. I can’t wait to see on the news how thousands of you Wahabis are butchered in one day. Syria belongs to the Syrians, and not scum trash like you.

April 9th, 2011, 9:43 am


Jad said:

السفير المصري شوقي اسماعيل 
مقتل مواطن مصري في احداث درعا بالأمس   

What is an Egyptian doing in Daraa yesterday? 

April 9th, 2011, 9:58 am


why-discuss said:

A friend in Damascus informed me that in his area, during the night, the inhabitants intercepted cars containing weapons planned to be distributed to the people to ‘defend’ themselves against the ‘other’ religions.
The people in the car were Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians. They were handed over to the police.
I believe there are armed groups mixing with peaceful demonstrators, shooting indiscriminately to give the appearance that police is attacking with real ammunitions. I hope they are caught, interrogated and seriously punished.
The people of Douma have shown the way to go: they are checking identities and searching demonstrators before allowing them to demonstrate peacefully. They did that in Al Tahrir square in Egypt.
The people in Daraa are probably manipulated not to implement such precautions. I wish they take the example of the Douma inhabitants and open their eyes to what is really happening in their city.
Al Jazira show today clearly men with kefieh on the heights of Deraa shooting, who are they???

April 9th, 2011, 10:07 am


Shami said:

al moghty ,you and alikes are a dying specie extempore,there are no need for us to answer the coward asadian massacres by a massacre .As for the extremists,whether they exist in your paranoid imagination or are product of the system,in post-asad Syria,children will get modern education ,there will be no place for extremism,be it religious or of political nature.
Our Syria is that of the great civilization that brought enlightement and rationalism to the western world.
Your Syria is that of menhebak cult,tortures,treachery and humiliation tell us what are the cultural ,scientifical,artistic achievements of your mukhabarati scum since 1963-1970?
yalla go dance dabke in your frenetic way and enjoy your unsophisticated music for now.

April 9th, 2011, 10:09 am


Syria Almighty said:

Civilian people have been capturing people like since the beginning of the protests, W-D. they don’t mention a damn thing about it on the news, here in the West. ALL news about Syria starts with “Syrian security forces fired at pro-democracy protesters”

April 9th, 2011, 10:12 am


Syria Almighty said:

Shami, you are the fanatic living in imagination land. Millions of people demonstrated support inside and outside of Syria, and your main concern is the anti-government minority of extremists? It’s a good thing that people like you don’t matter, and even better that people like you are becoming casualties. From the looks of it, violent ‘protesters’ are the dying breed 😉

April 9th, 2011, 10:15 am


Rami dabbour said:

Anti regime people should isolate those who committ violence and carry arms. It is obvious that some protestors are thugs and criminals who are actually indirectly serving the regime.pretending that all protestors are peaceful is not going to help the cause of freedom. I am afraid that Syrians may eventually rise against chaos instead of rising against the government.give absolute freedom and weapons to uneducated unemployed people who are in their late teens or early twenties and see what happens.

April 9th, 2011, 10:21 am


Shami said:

al moghty ,these regions that you labeled wahhabi were considered as friendly regions by the regime ,it’s a matter of time to see damascus city, aleppo,hama ,deir,bab,manmbej to follow in which the hatred against asad family regime is huge,so guess what will be the fate of asad statues and posters in Aleppo,Hama and Damascus,Deir…it’s only a matter of time.

asad family and their statues can not struggle with history for ever ,do you have an other alternative ? your answer is no,mine is yes .All these statues of asad and posters will be destroyed.
delude yourself if you like but you are aware that even inside your majless of cha3b ,the majority of these hypocrites,and other baathists who applauded bashar like a single automaton ,despise him inwardly.

April 9th, 2011, 10:50 am


why-discuss said:

Syria Almighty

The media are just looking for easy scoops. Accusing government forces of killing ‘innocent’ people is a better scoop than admitting that there are terrorists in Syria killing and stirring the hatred and the resentments. In addition most western countries are obsessed by ‘human rights’ issues they can attribute to Arabs as they want to hide the continuous human rights abuses perpetrated by their friend Israel or by themselves (Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya..).
Yet, Al Jazira showed clearly men with no uniforms wearing keffieh who did look like an unorganized gang shooting from a hill in Deraa… I guess Al Jazira may start to realize that there is truth in what the government is saying

Bashar Al Assad is an easy target, he belongs to a minority, his goverment has many flaws and he is a strong Arab ( if the only) opponent to Israel and the US hegemony in the region.
At the time of Hariri murder, in 2005, there was a similar relentness and distorted media campaign…

April 9th, 2011, 10:50 am


why-discuss said:


A US reporter attributed the inertia of the Damascus syrians to the lack of a square similar to Al Tahrir square where masses of demonstrator may gather.
I guess he does not know Damascus and the large Omawiye square.
Why your supposed mass of demonstrators have not yet occupy the Omawiye Square to make it a new Al Tahrir square?
Maybe you should join in and give them the idea…

April 9th, 2011, 10:58 am


Syria Almighty said:

Shami, I have no doubt in my mind that you are an extremist. I look forward to seeing all extremists as casualties.
Extremists can live anywhere, even in so-called ‘friendly’ places to the government. You know as well as I do that these protesters are religiously motivated. Protesters who only want reform would not be chanting anti-Shi’ite, anti-Alawite, Anti-Christian, Anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah slogans. They would not be attacking hospitals and burning buildings, importing weapons and killing people. You are an idiot by ignoring all of this. But then again, ALL extremists are idiots. I hope the government and the Syrian people come down HARD on people like you very soon. Syria will not become a home for religious zealots, it will be a tombstone for them.

April 9th, 2011, 11:04 am


Shami said:

WHY Discuss,
Al Jazeera showed the syrian regime version ,it was taken from the syrian tv.

April 9th, 2011, 11:09 am


NK said:

أكدت الإعلامية سميرة المسالمة لسيريانيوز صدور قرار يقضي بإنهاء تكليفها من رئاسة تحرير صحيفة تشرين السورية، مشيرة إلى أن حديثها يوم أمس الجمعة لقناة الجزيرة الفضائية هو السبب وراء القرار

Syria Almighty

You do realize religious extremists are those who call for killing others right ? …
Also those who died yesterday were regarded as martyrs even by the regime’s account, so I’m kindly asking you to stop all these disrespectful sarcastic remarks, the blood of Syrians is sacred and it’s being spilled, you’re mockery is disturbing …

April 9th, 2011, 11:09 am


Shami said:

Al moghty,
Being anti Iranian theocracy and its tool Hezbollah ,it’s being against extremism.
Michel Kilo,Anwar Buni are christians, and Dalila is an alawite.
Give me the names of your renowned non mini sectarian and liberal “asadian” thinkers ?

April 9th, 2011, 11:18 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Syria almighty said to Shami
and even better that people like you are becoming casualties.
This is evil and criminal statement.

April 9th, 2011, 12:22 pm


Unbiased Syrian said:

I agree that the Syrian TV videos were not convincing enough, I have a question to the opposition though:

Isn’t it strange that there is not a single video showing the security forces or army shooting at protesters? Not a single video! We only see crowds and hear gunfire, so by the same argument you use to denounce the state TV, how can we be sure that it has not been edited? Why nobody seems to be able to take a proper incriminating video on either side?

April 9th, 2011, 12:24 pm


Revlon said:

Dear Joshua, I took the liberty of borrowing your first subtital in this comment: “President Asad has swung into action”

I could not find a more fitting introduction to this footage of “Operation Wa2dulfitnah”

April 9th, 2011, 12:49 pm


Revlon said:

I apologise! Here is the link to my preceding comment on Wa2dulfitnah

Killing and then kicking the body of a Martyr in Dar3a by republican guards and Mukhabarat!

Closing a mosque does not deter people from gathering and praying anywhere! Homs

April 9th, 2011, 1:17 pm


Norman said:

As long as religion is an essential part of the Syrian people who are asking for reform and that religion seems to define the Majority and the minority, I see no chance for reform and a modern style democracy in Syria, I think that they even do not deserve it .

April 9th, 2011, 1:26 pm


Revlon said:

Al Jazeera website has changed the revolution color code of Syria and Jordan to Orange!

News on facebook page of the Syrian Revolution has it that chief editor 7usam shwayki, a Syrian, is to blame for muting Al jazeera coverage of the Syrian Revolution!

الثورة السورية – شبه مؤكد || حسب ما وردنا من مصادر شبه مؤكدة من مصادر ذات صلة أن الذي يعيق التغطية الصادقة مع الثورة السورية ويبعدها عن الحيادية والنزاهة في قناة الجزيرة الإخبارية ذات الشعبية والمصداقية المعهودة هو رئيس التحرير المدعو حسام الشويكي وهو من أذناب النظام السوري العاملين في قناة الجزيرة وهو المسؤول بشكل مباشر عن التغطية ال…سلبية وإخفاء جرائم النظام ، وبدورنا سنتابع الموضوع ونعرف أبعاده ونحن نطالب قناة الجزيرة بطرد هذا الخائن الذي يقف في وجه الثورة ووجه الحق والحقيقة ، إذا ثبت ذلك ولا نطالبه هو والساكتين عليه في إدارة الجزيرة سوى بالصدق في نقل
الخبر ونقله بموضوعية ونزاهة ، وأن يستضيفوا رجالا من أحرار سوريا وشرفائها ليعبروا عن مراد الشعب السوري الحر ولا يكتفوا بأبواق وكذبة النظام .

April 9th, 2011, 1:34 pm


Revlon said:

Fury in Dar3a today: Martyr’s funeral

Women of all ages are out on the street, demonstrating in Dar3a

April 9th, 2011, 1:47 pm



Dr. Haytham Mannaa accusing outsiders and some nonpatriotic Syrians of providing arms and support to foment chaos and the breakup of Syria through violence and anarchy.

April 9th, 2011, 2:16 pm


Shami said:

Salah al Din ,
Take the words coming directly from Dr Manaa and not through the media of parties whose political existence depends on bashar’s ,like this khomainist party and co.

It’s quite clear :

Rifaat and Hafez are not different from Bashar,Maher
And Ghadry is the equivalent of Iran’s allies in Iraq.

April 9th, 2011, 2:38 pm


trustquest said:

شام:من أين أتى هذا الحقد على الشعب المنطقة : درعا أمام مبنى الكهرباء الجيش والأمن بلباس مدني كلهم مع بعض

Where this hate coming from…are they human to kick the dead. for sure those are army, mokhabarat and others working together..

April 9th, 2011, 2:54 pm


NK said:

People in Banias today according to this video

April 9th, 2011, 2:56 pm


Norman said:

with people going out on demonstration and destroying public and private properties, if Syria does not have emergency law, she should, I see no chance to lift emergency law under the present circumstances ,

By the way, If there are outsiders interfering and shooting, why doesn’t the government show them up on TV , That will be worth a million words

April 9th, 2011, 4:03 pm


NK said:


Because there isn’t any thugs, those comic clips they aired yesterday won’t fool anyone.
Reports say security forces opened fire to disperse demonstrators in Lattakia last night, they heard gun fires for a good two hours, they also fired at the people attending the funerals of those who were killed yesterday in Daraa.
Now it looks like communications have been severed in Banias and no one knows what’s going on in there.

May God watch over our friends and families and protect our fellow Syrians.

April 9th, 2011, 4:19 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Wait, so an idiot thinks that chanting anti-Hezbollah and Iran slogans in SYRIA is called ‘anti-extremism’… meanwhile, he ignores the fact that the ones chanting those slogans are SUNNI extremists! What morons these ‘revolutionists’ are.

April 9th, 2011, 5:36 pm


why-discuss said:

Libya, Syria and the Road to World War III – Paul Craig Roberts


Your reports are baseless, just rumors and ‘reports say’. Where do you get these reports? You know very well that there are thugs among these peaceful demonstrators, otherwise who is burning the Baath party building .. a peaceful demonstrator? Stop overdramatizing any single line you read or any youtube clip you watch. Calm down… and btw thank you for you emotional plea to God.. It is touching!

April 9th, 2011, 5:41 pm


NK said:

Is this one of the “thugs” ?


Let’s agree that for each statement the regime makes about “thugs” there’s a statement by the demonstrators about “Amn”, you can’t trust everything you see on youtube, you can’t trust anything the State TV says. So where does that leave us ? The only constant among these statements is the fact that innocent Syrians are dying, while whoever is shooting is still roaming around freely. Those clips the State TV played yesterday showed gangs standing all by themselves, why didn’t anyone try to stop them ?

April 9th, 2011, 5:45 pm


Syria Almighty said:

All Wahabis in Syria are thugs, and Syria is long overdue for a cleansing of radical Islamist filth.

April 9th, 2011, 5:51 pm


Syria Almighty said:

WD, Nk is an idiot, a spiteful little weasel. Is it any wonder why logic and evidence fall on his deaf ears? If millions of government supporters did not convince him that they outweigh the garbage of Syrian society that is the radical protesting minority, nothing will convince him. I think he should put his ass where his mouth is and join the protesters himself, and see just what kind of people they are.

April 9th, 2011, 5:56 pm


NK said:


Also, do you remember the pro-Bashar demonstrations ? they had cameras everywhere, they even had a chopper filming. Is it too much to cover those pro-democracy demonstrations, they’ve been demonstrating in Daraa for 3 weeks, no one covered a single one of these demonstrations. I’m really pissed that we have to wait for an “eye witness” or some blurry youtube video to see what’s going on. If they shot the demonstration from the air yesterday we would’ve seen who was shooting, and would have been able to ID them instead of having to play the blame game, the media blackout supports the notion that the regime doesn’t want the truth to come out.

April 9th, 2011, 6:04 pm


why-discuss said:


That’s the problem with state media, they are not yet savvy enough to shoot convincing images and to distribute them on Internet medias. They have never had the opportunity to learn how to counter attack these smart Facebookers, twitters and Youtube experts who are disguising and manipulating the information and who have planned that a long time ago under the guidance of Egyptians, Tunisians and probably CIA operatives.
The state media is learning on the spot. With time that whole cardboard sinister theatre will collapse, like the Lebanese initiated Hariri’s death medial campaign against Syria collapsed.
For me, I base myself exclusively on people I know who have or have not witnessed what the untrustworthy anonymous eye witnesses or biased ‘human rights defensors’ are reporting, gloating in more and more deaths…And on reliable, impartial journalists (a rarity)
What I hear is very far from these melodramatic reports you mentions. The western media are overblowing the events and numbers with catastrophic titles as if the whole Syria is on fire! It is a campaign of disinformation, very similar to the one the US used in Iraq. The principle is once you label something and you keep repeating it, it sticks in the mind of the people for a long time. The Israeli and the US use that technique to create a mental association between Hezbollah and terrorism as well as Hamas and terrorism, Syria and terrorism. Most readers buy that and have hard time getting rid of that association.
No one can deny that Bashar is loved by most of the Syrians, yet the media keep using words like ‘brutal ruling’, dictator, repressive regime etc.. in order to influence people and to put doubt in their minds. With a few exceptions ‘free’ western media is crap over crap.

April 9th, 2011, 6:41 pm


Syria Almighty said:

WD, Westerners are stupid enough to believe literally ANYTHING their media tells them.

April 9th, 2011, 7:09 pm


SOURI said:

The most dramatic news since all these events started:

وذكَّر الدندل بأن المطالب التي دونها الوجهاء إنما تأتي في سياق المعقول ولاسيما النظر في أسعار المازوت حيث ألمح العرنوس في رده إلى أن هذا المطلب بات عاماً على مستوى المحافظات السورية وهناك مؤشرات تؤكد أن أسعار المازوت في طريقها للانخفاض وفي وقت قريب جداً.

The governor of Deir az-Zor says the prices of heating oil will be lowered “very soon.”

This verifies our suspicion that Bashar is going to turn back on economic reform. Syria is moving back towards more mismanagement of its financial resources.

It is clear that Bashar has made a decision to spend all the money he has on salary raises, health insurance coverage, unemployment benefits, and good subsidies. This means that he has abandoned the 5-year plan and the economic reform policy. I am almost sure that Dardari won’t be in the new government.

What does that mean for Syria? Like his father, Bashar is trying to make his rule easier and he is throwing the burden of reform and development on the next generations. This means more lost decades for Syria that are not going see substantial development and growth.

I am getting a bad feeling that Bashar won’t reform anything after he quells the uprising. He might do just like his father and rule an oppressive, corrupt, and festering state.

April 9th, 2011, 8:01 pm


why-discuss said:


For a while I have observed that the speed of the reforms was far too fast and it was benefiting only a minority of rich businessmen. Increased price of houses, the mass rushing on taking loan from banks to buy a car without thinking about all the costs that will fall on their head with gazoline increase and other, increased cost of living, massive importations of goods from Turkey hampering the local industries etc…
I tend to agree with Bashar that this move to free market has to slowdown and that the normal syrian must see benefits in this move , which is not the case now.
Elite syrians will not like that but I believe it is best for teh country.

April 9th, 2011, 8:42 pm


AIG said:


Dream on. The truth is that Iron Dome worked beyond anyone’s expectations. The system is supposed not to try to intercept missiles that will land in open areas. The Palestinians fired 120 projectiles and didn’t even injure ONE person. They did seriously injure a teenager when they fired an anti-tank missile at a school bus travelling on a civilian road near the Gaza strip, the cowards. With so many Israeli tanks there, they choose to target a school bus.,7340,L-4054360,00.html

April 9th, 2011, 10:09 pm


Revlon said:

Religeous Scholars Association of Homs, issue a statement:
من جهتها أصدرت جمعية علماء حمص بيانا يتعلق بما سموها “المطالب المحقة للشعب السوري” ووجهوا البيان إلى الرئيس بشار الأسد، وجاء فيه أن المواطنة أساسُ الحقوق والواجبات وتحقيق مبدأ تكافؤ الفرص ونبذ العنف والطائفية والتمسك بالوحدة الوطنية.
وطالب البيان برفع حالة الطوارئ وكف أيدي الأجهزة الأمنية عن الاحتكاك بالناس وإهانتهم واستفزازهم والإفراج عن جميع المعتقلين. ودعا إلى توسيع سقف حريات المواطنين وضمان حق ممارستهم الشعائر الدينية واعتبار التظاهر حقا مشروعا للتعبير عن آرائهم.
كما دعا إلى تفعيل الحوار لاحتواء المشكلات والسماح للمبعدين بالعودة إلى الوطن دون الرجوع إلى الجهات الأمنية، وطالب بتعديل المادة الثامنة من الدستور وأن تكون جميع الانتخابات لجميع المجالس الممثلة للشعب حرة ونزيهة، وأكد ضرورة محاربة مظاهر الفساد والتسيب وإعادة القوانين الرادعة للمفسدين, ومحاسبة من أراقوا دماء الناس
The EU join the US in condemning the regime’s crimes, and demanding compliance with Peoples just demands.
وعلى صعيد الردود, نددت الممثلة العليا للسياسة الخارجية في الاتحاد الأوروبي السبت بشدة بتواصل العنف والوفيات في سوريا. وعبّرت عن أسفها لوقوع خسائر بشرية وخاصة في مدينة درعا الجنوبية، وقدمت تعازيها لعائلات الضحايا.
وحثت أشتون “بأشد العبارات” السلطات السورية على أن تضع حداً فورياً للعنف، وشددت على مسؤولية الدولة في حماية كل المواطنين واحترام حق الاحتجاج السلمي وحرية التعبير.
وأضافت يجب أن تدعم الإعلانات التي صدرت عن السلطات السورية بشأن إطلاق إصلاحات بعمل ذي

April 9th, 2011, 10:09 pm


Revlon said:

Bashar has indeed swung into action!
Wa2dulfitnah goes on!
A sworm of security forces overtake a Mosque and isolate and kill a demonstrator!
They beat his body, hoping he comes back to life, in order to enjoy killing him again!

An injured demonstrater being attacked by security Hyenas!

April 9th, 2011, 10:16 pm


SOURI said:

Every lira souriyya wasted on nonproductive sectors is a loss for Syria and its future generations.

Economic development is a race. You can’t sit still and say I am going to take it slow while other countries are racing at light speed. Do you know how backward the Syrian economy is compared to other regional economies?

Real economic growth comes from private investment. Private investment requires adequate infrastructure, qualified labor force, and high technology. We must have these things now, not tomorrow. The more time we waste without having these things, the more our losses are.

Our spending priority should be infrastructure, education, and scientific research. The sad thing about Syria is that the government neither spends enough money on these sectors nor it allows the private sector to spend enough money on them.

I don’t want to overlook the reforms that happened in the last years. The last government was doing good job (compared to the previous governments). However, it looks now that we are back to square one.

Mazout subsidies are a bad idea. They must be lifted completely ASAP; not just because they are expensive, but because they encourage smuggling and over-consumption of this substance by the Syrians.

Instead of raising public sector salaries, increasing health insurance coverage for public sector employees, granting unemployment benefits, and increasing subsidies– instead of all these wasteful and useless measures, the government should have started a massive program for hiring people in new infrastructure projects, or it could have granted loans at low interest rate for investors.

I am becoming closer to believing that the Baath regime is irreformable and that it must be uprooted if we want things to improve in this country.

April 9th, 2011, 10:28 pm


SOURI said:

Eventually Syria will have no choice but to reform its economic policies drastically, whether under Bashar or somebody else, because I am not sure he can last for long if he is going to let Baathist cavemen run the economy.

The sad thing is that we are going to lose another decade that we can use to build solid bases for our future economy.

April 9th, 2011, 10:39 pm


Revlon said:

A badly injured Dumani , survivor of Wa2dulftinah tells his story with the Security forces

A martyr’s funeral in Hmos, April 8th
Chants: Ya Bashar w ya Jaban
Khod Klabak 3al Jolan!

April 9th, 2011, 10:45 pm


Revlon said:

عاجل حمص:: الفرقة الثامنة عشر تحاصر مدينة تيلدو في الحولة في حمص الجريحة وتستعد لإقتحام البلدة هذه الليلة عدد القتلى فيها يزيد عن 12 والجرحى لايسعفون
3 hours ago
بانياس : عاجل و مؤكد : قطع الاتصالات والامن والجيش يحيطون بالمدينة من كل المداخل والاهالي يخرجون الى الشوارع ويقيمون المتاريس لأن النظام يتأهب لاختلراق المدينه لفض الاعتصام
4 hours ago

April 9th, 2011, 10:52 pm


Revlon said:

A wa2dulfitnah committee in action!
A pack of security thugs track an activist to his home and arrest Him.
Kafr Sooseh, Damascus.

A scene in Dar3a, not unlike the Palestinian Intifadah in the occupied territories,
Stone throwers against armed forces of tyrany!

April 9th, 2011, 11:05 pm


Syria Almighty said:

lol, there is no such thing as ‘activists’ among these Islamist barbarians.

April 9th, 2011, 11:08 pm


Norman said:


Raising the salaries of government employees are long overdue as it is essential to fight corruption on the small level, (( Bribery)), providing for a living wage for government employees is not a waste, about the free market and the speed of it, What the Syrian government should is what you said and basic, Provide and do the things that individual can not do, so the government should provide for a road system that connect Turkey to Jordon, Through Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Damascus, connect Latakia With Aleppo, Dear Alzoor, abu kamal and Iraq, , Latakia, Tartous, Homs, Palmyra, Abu Kamal and Iraq, Rail road system for people and frights withe same goal of connecting Lebanon and Iraq, Turkey and Jordon and Iraq, the position Syria is very important for transportation, That will employ hundreds of Thousands of Syrians paid by Syrian money and spent in Syria and stimulating the economy .

What i would do about the economy is to lift the subsidies to the products and replace that with support and subsidies for the needy people, People who travel outside the country for vacation should pay what they pay in other countries,
The problem with the way Syria implemented the free market economy is that it did not associate it with taxation and redistribution of wealth which led to hatred by the poor toward the people who benefited from the reform,so a fair taxation System can be helpful, about government companies , I feel that if the government stops starting new companies except if needed for national security and not thought after by the private sector , at the same time the government should open it’s companies to competition by the private sector,so better products and better benefits for the employees.

April 9th, 2011, 11:21 pm


Revlon said:

Here is the last glimpse, that Martyr Nayef Al 3omar had of us, watchers, at time of his fatal injury! Homs April 8the,

A Dar3a martyr died defending freedom for all of us!
Perpetrators shall be tracked down and brought to Justice, sooner than later!

Their crimes are on record!

April 9th, 2011, 11:38 pm


Syria Almighty said:

An extremist dies, revlon cries.

April 10th, 2011, 12:22 am


Syria Almighty said:

Just for the record, it pains me greatly when I see Syrians die. I hate seeing things like this. But these people are being used by foreigners, and when they take up arms against the government, they can expect retaliation. Death looks the same on BOTH sides. The only difference is that sensationalist media doesn’t report the deaths of government supporters and police at the hands of extremists. Stop pretending like this is a one-sided situation where unarmed people are dying. It’s nothing like that at all.

April 10th, 2011, 12:29 am


Ziad said:


You are a vile and despicable woman, more so than Sham TV who airs these videos.

April 10th, 2011, 12:32 am


why-discuss said:

Norman, Souri

I agree , a comprehensive road/train network is of prime necessity and a taxation system is badly needed. People who drive around with latest Mercedes or expensive BMW which I consider an insult to the poor, should be taxed tough. In the last 3 years , there is an incredible display of wealth, exactly like in Lebanon. Large inequalities are becoming obvious. The governement must be tough on any external sign of wealth and use this money to improve Housing which is dramatic in large cities. Education and health care come next.
I don’t think it is late. The speed of the “open market” in the last 3 years has created enormous class differences, it is time to slow down and make an assessment. The crisis Syria is going through now is partly due this imbalance. It is time to look for alternative.
I don’t blame the Baath party for that. Lebanon , Jordan and Egyot fell into the same trap and are paying the price now. With the money easily pouring from the Gulf, Lebanon has become a mini-Dubai with empty emigrate-owned apartment towers, banks, shops and casinos while the brains are gone to Canada, France and the US and the local industry is almost dead. Syria is not yet there, thank God.
There is no successful model in the Arab countries. The eyes turn to Turkey and Iran for their industrial development. Time is running out and discontent may increase if nothing drastic is done.
Bashar is under pressure and I hope he adjust his priorities as soon as possible.

April 10th, 2011, 12:37 am


Leo said:


There is no need to attack the messenger. While I do somewhat agree that those videos are gross, but that reflects the regime which resorts to these brutal executions in order to silence dissenters. Sometimes it takes extraordinary efforts to get the attention of those amoral individuals who stick unto the fence and refuse to take a clear side. Now you accused Revlon of being vile and despicable for showing these videos, I wonder how you would describe the security forces of the regime which perpetrated such crimes?

April 10th, 2011, 12:57 am


NK said:

well apparently every news agency out there is an agent to foreign agendas …


All these video are “fake”, didn’t you know that.
One more “fake” video, this medic obviously got shot by “thugs”

April 10th, 2011, 1:04 am


SOURI said:

The economic challenge for Syria is clear and simple– if investment does not increase significantly, there will not be enough jobs and unemployment will increase.

This is what Bashar should be focusing on now– investment, and by investment we of course mean private investment, unless Bashar wants also to open new state-owned factories to produce shoes and carpets, in which case he must really be deposed ASAP along with his fossilized Baath party.

How is Bashar going to increase investment? This is what we want to know from his new government. Dardari was doing a relatively good job– under him the FDI rose to about $1.5 billion in 2010 from $583 million in 2005.

April 10th, 2011, 1:13 am


Revlon said:

The people’s of Syria are deeply concerned with the savage response of the regime and the hundreds of lives that have been lost!

I pose this question to those concerned with the loss of human lives:
Has the time come for us, as human beings and responsible citizens, to write a petition to the UN secretery general, for protection and investigation of atrocities, under provisions of its signed agreements on human rights?

April 10th, 2011, 1:29 am


SOURI said:


Wahhabis are going to become extinct in Syria soon, so perhaps you want to contact the list of endangered species to put them on the list:

April 10th, 2011, 1:42 am


Ziad said:


There is a red line beyond which decency ceases. Those videos could be equally posted on Syrian TV claiming that this guy is a police officer, to prove how evil the rebels are. I am convinced of the brutality of the security forces. I do not need pornographic videos to prove it. I am also convinced beyond the shred of the doubt that behind the rebels are forces that do not have the best of the country on their minds. Those videos are the proof of their deeply unethical attitude.
We ought to be able to debate and express our divergent points of view without descending to this low level.

April 10th, 2011, 1:46 am


Revlon said:

Dears, Ziad, Syria-Allfighty, and Souri
Thank you for your naughty comments, sons!

The regime can kill peaceful civilians
They can not kill the spirit of the rising, Free Syrian nation.

Listen to this! sons!

April 10th, 2011, 2:05 am


Syria Almighty said:

Revlon likes to conveniently ignore the fact that the VAST majority of Syrians support the government. What an idiot. What a whore.

April 10th, 2011, 2:45 am


syau said:

For all you that are anti Bashar – Those who weren’t satisfied with his address to the nation and commenting about his theory that there is a conspiracy by outside entities trying to destabalise the great nation of Syria and it’s GREAT President….. Take a look at the below link just released on the Press TV website and think again. Those of you who do not have faith in Bashar, I say to you he is a sophisticated brilliant leader with far greater leadership capabilities than you.

April 10th, 2011, 3:06 am


R said:

Syria Almighty is a disgruntled verbal terrorist. The more abusive he gets the more heart we take knowing the happy outcome is close at hand 🙂

April 10th, 2011, 3:07 am


SYAU said:


Next time post a site that is more credible than the mouthpiece of the Iranian government.

April 10th, 2011, 3:15 am


Revlon said:

#214, 215, 216,222,
I Said
“Here is the last glimpse, that Martyr Nayef Al 3omar had of us, watchers, at time of his fatal injury! Homs April 8the,”

I add:
Nayef was a son, like all of those who paid their life hoping they will live to see a free day!

I wanted every one to see how helpless he felt, watching life fading in front of his eyes!
I wanted those who believe in freedom, like he did, to look him in the eye and to promise his soul, that his sacrifice will never be in vein.

Al Fati7a upon Nayef’s soul,
My condolences to Nayef’s family
May God bestow upon them solace and empower them with solace!

April 10th, 2011, 5:15 am


Australian -Syrian said:

I read the article! All i can say is Go Figure!! Those blood traitors! They will just about do anything for the support of the Americans and the Jews. They will go against their own kind just for recognition among those who are blood thirsty and…if i was to go on will offend manny people, so ill stop here.

Syria Almighty,
Mate, i couldnt have put it better myself!!!!! Well done:)Revlon’s just a bit to the dumb side. Actually, on the really dumb side.

April 10th, 2011, 5:31 am


Revlon said:

جنازة الشهيد ( ابراهيم محي الدين خرسان
This has been the largest crowd so far in Homs, April 9th

Al Fat7a upon his soul
May God bestow solace upon his family, and empower them with patience.

April 10th, 2011, 6:00 am


Revlon said:

قوات الجيش و الأمن تنتشر بكثافة في المنطقة وتمنع الدخول و الخروج إلاّ بالهوية …
للتنويه الحولة هي عبارة عن منطقة غربي حمص مؤلفة من اربع تجمعات سكنية
(مدينة تلدو – مدينة كفرلاها- قرية تلذهب – قرية الطيبة ) و الشباب و الأهالي
في حالة استنفار و غضب عارمين بسبب عدد الشهداء و الجرحى الكبير …

1 hour ago

April 10th, 2011, 6:28 am


Revlon said:

Funeral prayer of two martyrs in Homs.

Alfati7a upon their souls!
May God bestow solace upon their families and empower them with patience.

April 10th, 2011, 6:35 am


Shami said:

only the scared people from change know this word :wahhabis
they are mostly extremist sectarians from the isolated minorities ,like lebanese hezbollahi theocrats,alawite extremists and anti muslim christians.
most of the muslims in Syria ignore what wahhabism is.
now ,the women in deraa did demonstrate too ,they did not appear very wahhabis.
only these scared people from change over hold such evil hatred ,the other syrians have no complexes towards their history,their civilziation and the future and they are sure of their rights and proud people ,so let these isolated extremists bark as they like.
they are asadian because they believe that he is the one who is able to kill,to humiliate and torture their hated neighbours.
As for the economy ,we will see what kind of economy is most adapted for Syria after Asad family’s adventure.
In my opinion ,my ideal is the social-democrat welfare state,the riches must be imposed to pay taxes ,equivalent to 40 %-50% of their additional profits.

April 10th, 2011, 6:41 am


Revlon said:

This comment is not for the faint hearted, or the fearful for the national sentiment!
It is not useful to those who prefer to discuss the “real issues”

Operation Wa2dulfitnah, Al Sanamein, April 9th.

Many more martyrs fell victims to Asad family brutality

April 10th, 2011, 6:52 am


syau said:


This shows a bunch of people being carried off to who knows where. The first few didnt seem to have any injuries – the soldier didnt know what was happening. What are you trying to prove here? This does not prove anything – If it was taken in Syria at all. It may have been from a car accident. if they were attacked, it would have been by someone who is behind and provoking the unrest in Syria. Not The Assad government. Just the “brutality” of the liars and conspiritors behind this acting.

April 10th, 2011, 7:54 am


Revlon said:

Asad clan and their supporters, including some on this page, are going through the grieving stages of DABDA
Grieving was precipitated by the sudden national political disaster, the Syrian revolution.

Denial — The first two weeks of the uprising. “I feel fine.”; “This can’t be happening, not to me.”
Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual.

Anger — Around the time of Jr’s speech: “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?” IT IS A CONSPIRACY
Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.

Bargaining – May start soon if not already underway! “Just let me stay on for one more term! “I’ll do anything for a few more years.”
The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay the loss. Usually, the negotiation for an extended term is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, “I understand I am done with, but if I could just have more time…”

Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to loose! What’s the point?”
During the fourth stage, the grieving person begins to understand the certainty of loss. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving.

Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”

Mubarak and Ben Ali already went through it!
Quidaffi and Sale7 are in its last stages!

April 10th, 2011, 8:29 am


Revlon said:

الشعب والجيش ايد وحدة في اسقاط صورة الصنم

April 10th, 2011, 9:10 am


trustquest said:

People on this blog who wasted tons of times talking about who are the gangs and the thugs in Syria behind the killing of Innocent peaceful protesters, they can get rest now with this eye witness account and see the truth and know future acts of the Syrian security services and its branches which works separate and in tandem for one thing, with vengeance and hate to people beyond imagination, to incite sectarian hat, kill to scare and keep the status quot. This is happening after the resigning of the government and the regime is the responsible party here.
this is what is happening now in all Syria

April 10th, 2011, 9:11 am


Revlon said:

#238, Thank you Trustquest for the link to this eyewtness statement to Syrian TV!

April 10th, 2011, 9:33 am


Jihad said:

Of all the nicknames out there, a commentator with a “big heart” uses as a nickname the name of a Zionist company (Revlon) that works night and day with controlled Jewish and Christian Zionist companies to dispossess the Palestinian people of their land.

To the Wahhabi Shami: do you really think that Hizbullah cares about your lunatics Wahhabis or is scared by cowards like them whose only success is slaughtering Muslim civilians and who are nothing but shameful allies of the Zionists?

On May 2008, even your Wahhabi brother in Lebanon, the former Saudi Ambassador (who is now the Minister of “Culture” in Riyad – what a culture!) fled Beirut to Cyprus by sea. And your mini-Wahhabi brother, Saad (who dropped Eddine from his name after meeting a dick in the White House named Cheney) Hariri was literally under house arrest scared like a frightened cat.

April 10th, 2011, 9:50 am


Averroes said:


Well put!! Thanks.

April 10th, 2011, 11:06 am


Syrian Hamster said:

To all the clowns, including the two tasmanian devils, and the one advocating wholesale slaughter of Syrians under the disguize of secularism. Secularism is innocent of you, what you are advocating is nothing short of backward mruderuous fascism. In a modern secular country, you would be charged with inciting murder as you should.

Two relatives of mine were murdered by security forces in Syria in the past 48 hours. And I will not honor you by mentioning their names, or the place of their martydom in your sick presence. But others should know that one of them was so inspired by Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah and has had bits of Nasrallah’s speeches as ring-tones on his mobile phone, he saved his criticism for Hamas’s fundementalism and for its adoption of brutality against other Palestinians. This man was more sophisticated then the brillinant laughing doctor of yours and his puppet clapping clowns. I never hated the doctor, i liked him, and i still do not hate him. But I will do what ever I can so that he does not get to play with the fate of Syria one additional moment. It was you who tipped the scale for me because of your pompousity and arrogance and your lack of empathy. When a group of fascistic gangsters supports a leader, you can count on free poeple to oppose him.

Ethically, i hold every one of you justifying murder, and lauding the brutal laughing doctor responsible for every senseless murder a peaceful protestor or a member of the syrian police and security forces. I do not expect your concious to realize the gravity of my accusation since i believe you have none. May god bless every moment of your sleep with the nightmares you are planning for the waking moments of the real lives of others.

April 10th, 2011, 11:07 am


Syria Almighty said:

Cry me a river, Syrian Rat. The violent protesters, Wahabis and foreign weasels started this. If it wasn’t for them, nobody would be dying. They have no right to complain about being targeted when they take up arms against the Syrian nation. You can’t engage in a battle and then ask that you do not get hit. It’s like the US whining that Iraqis took up arms against their army when they invaded Iraq, or when Israel complains of legitimate retaliation after they robbed an entire people of their country. If you can’t handle the fire, then don’t play with it. Provoking violence just so you can complain to the international community is one of the slimiest political moves ever, and these ‘peaceful protesters,’ who destroy public and private property, including hospitals, who kill people, and who make FAKE VIDEOS AND IMAGES for propaganda, are covered in slime.

April 10th, 2011, 11:44 am


Norman said:

Apparently in France people can not demonstrate without a permit,Why should be able to do that in Syria,It is time for France to release the prisoners,


اعتقال 61 شخصا خلال تظاهرة احتجاج على منع البرقع في البلاد
إعداد أ ف ب بتاريخ 09/04/2011 – 21:37

أعلنت الشرطة الفرنسية أنها اعتقلت 61 شخصا السبت من بينهم 19 منقبة شاركوا في تظاهرة غير مرخصة في باريس احتجاجا على حظر النقاب في فرنسا.
اعلنت الشرطة الفرنسية انها اعتقلت 61 شخصا السبت كانوا يشاركون في تظاهرة غير مرخصة في باريس احتجاجا على القانون الذي يحظر ارتداء النقاب في فرنسا.

وقالت الشرطة ان 59 شخصا بينهم 19 امراة منقبة اعتقلوا في مكان التجمع شرق باريس، كما اعتقل شخصان كانا قادمين من بريطانيا وبلجيكا للمشاركة في هذا التجمع.

وافاد مصدر مقرب من ملف هذه القضية ان احد هذين الشخصين هو انجم شوداري المعروف في الاوساط الاسلامية الراديكالية البريطانية، والذي دعاه منظمو هذا التجمع للمشاركة فيه.

وجاءت الدعوة الى هذا التجمع قبل يومين من دخول قانون منع ارتداء النقاب موضع التنفيذ الاثنين في فرنسا.

وشوداري (43 عاما) هو المسؤول السابق عن مجموعة “اسلام من اجل بريطانيا” التي حلتها السلطات البريطانية عام 2010، وهو مقرب من الشيخ عمر بكري الممنوع من الاقامة في بريطانيا.

ومن المتوقع ان يعاد شوداري الى بريطانيا.

وافاد مصدر قضائي ان الشخص الثاني هو الاسلامي البلجيكي فؤاد بلقاسم المعروف ب”ابو عمران” وقد اعتقل لان هناك مذكرة توقيف دولية صادرة بحقه بطلب من القضاء المغربي الذي حكم عليه بالسجن عشر سنوات غيابيا بعد ادانته بتهريب مخدرات.

كما فتح تحقيق مع بلقاسم في فرنسا على خلفية تصريحات ادلى بها ونقلت على موقع يوتيوب على الانترنت، وهو ايضا متحدث باسم مجموعة سلفية صغيرة تطلق على نفسها اسم “شريعة من اجل بلجيكا” التي حاولت تنظيم تظاهرات ضد منع النقاب في بلجيكا ايضا.

وسيعود الى القضاء الفرنسي تقرير ما اذا كانت ستسلم بلقاسم الى السلطات المغربية.

وافاد مراسل فرانس برس ان غالبية المشاركين في التجمع كانوا من الشبان الذين تتراوح اعمارهم بين 20 و30 سنة وهم ملتحون ويرتدون الزي الاسلامي الطويل الذي يرتديه عادة السلفيون.

ومنعت السلطات الفرنسية هذا التجمع بحجة انه يمكن ان يتسبب باضطرابات تخل بالامن العام.

وقامت الشرطة باعتقال 59 شخصا رفضوا مغادرة المكان “للتدقيق في هوياتهم”.


Source URL:

April 10th, 2011, 12:26 pm


Norman said:

Apparently the Syrian military is so incompetence that they are shooting themselves,

وفاة ضابط برتبة مقدم وارتفاع عدد جرحى إطلاق النار ببانياس إلى 31 شخصا

أفاد مراسلنا في بانياس، نقلا عن مصادر في المشفى الوطني بالمدينة، إلى أن “ضابطا برتبة مقدم توفي في إطلاق نار، فيما ارتفع عدد اصابات رجال الامن الى 31 جريح” .


April 10th, 2011, 12:30 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Norman, in ANY country, it is illegal to protest without a permit, including in the US. And last year in Canada, police arrested more then 1,100 PEACEFUL protesters who weren’t burning building and hospitals, and weren’t carrying weapons and shooting them off into crowds. Had this been the case, you would have seen many dead Canadians. But when it happens in Syria, the government is somehow not allowed to protect the country. It is hypocrisy.

April 10th, 2011, 12:34 pm


AIG said:

In the US and Canada and Israel if you ask for a permit for a demonstration, you usually get it, just like in Syria. Right?

April 10th, 2011, 1:00 pm


Ziad said:


You should stop bragging about your country. When it comes to the suppression of peaceful demonstrations Israel leads the pack in brutality and barbarism.

April 10th, 2011, 1:12 pm


AIG said:

Dear Ziad,

There are regularly NGO’s and foreigners in the demonstrations against the separation fence. They are free to film and report. When you have that situation in Syria, let me know. 4000 Druze demonstrated in the Golan, no one was hurt. Meanwhile, the brutality and barbarism evidenced in Syria plus the calls of Syrians to kill one another that we read on this blog is at a completely unprecedented level.

April 10th, 2011, 1:21 pm


Jad said:

Syrian Hamster,
I’m very very sorry for your lost, please accept my deepest sympathy.
Al3mr Ilak, inshallah khatemet ala7zan.

April 10th, 2011, 1:29 pm


Nidal mahfood said:

I think the regime needs to go but not Libya-style and not overnight. After 48 years of albaath rule,political life in Syria came to an almost total arrest. I agree with one thing Bashar said when he suggested that the country needs to improve its educational,economic and judicial system before we can expect a western style democracy,assuming that this is acceptable to islamists,the problem is that albaath is responsible for much of Syria’s problems today and can not be trusted to initiate reform.
The moment of truth is coming when elections start at the local and then national level.if independents are allowed to run and if the 8th article of the institution is removed,then we can start to believe that Bashar is finally fulfilling his promises. Until things changed on the ground,no Syrian should trust this regime. As for those who claim that nobody is shooting or burning except the government militias,I say this is true in many cases but it is not true in places where the locals witnessed the killing of security officers and the destruction of property done by “freedom seekers”. The opposition has too much to lose if they allow thugs to infiltrate their ranks. Finally, do not underestimate the power of the MB and its sympathizers in Syria, they are everywhere,and they are willing to install a regime similar to Hamas in Gaza if Syrians allow them to,I still think there is a way out of this but the pressure on the regime,through peaceful protest,should not stop.
(I did not have time to edit my post,excuse any typing errors)

April 10th, 2011, 1:39 pm


Averroes said:


I am really sorry for your loss. May Allah bless all those who have fallen. There is no doubt in my mind at least, that there are two distinct elements here: peaceful demonstrators who have legitimate demands, and people who stand to benefit from chaos and blood. This element really cannot be the regime (because the turmoil is hurting it) nor the citizens like your relatives, because turmoil will also harm heir cause. There is a third and very violent element.

Small details of the picture don’t always agree with the big picture, and often times they can seem contradictory, but we need to remain rational even during these difficult times. Especially during these difficult times.

In any crime, one always looks for the beneficiary. Just think about that.

As you can see, Fitna will drive people to get entrenched in their inner beliefs and instincts. These can really be irrational and can cause huge damage if allowed to run rampage. We see that from the Wahabis and Salafis, and we see it from the other side as well. Both are wrong.

Many demonstrations are taking place in Syria with no one getting hurt. It’s only when some people start smashing cars and burning buildings, or shooting at police, that the security forces start shooting back. Someone is benefiting from the confusion and is thriving on blood like the vampires they are.

19 security personnel were killed on Friday. This is major violence and cannot be claimed to be selmiyeh by any means. I hope that despite your loss, you would not fail to see this.

Bashar’s speech was a PR disaster. I don’t know who advised him to put on that face. I hope he will correct it with his next speech.

April 10th, 2011, 1:52 pm


trustquest said:

Averroes, the story of the 19 security personnel killed starts to surface up, and I’m inclined to believe it. The story surfaced said that there is one of them who did not want to shoot at his people and he shot the 19 person before he got killed. The story for me is believable because the media government story did not bring how and why those people killed, like there is a cover up or a shy attitude to cover the above story. Still, in general we are seeing not excessive use of force but elements from the Mokhabarat, security personnel and Shabeeha, which people have known about them for long time, those element are working in harmony and bring the havoc on the live of the peaceful protesters. On the other hand, there are group on the side of the regime, government, or what ever, they still in denial to believe that someone from Syria, will see a dead person in the street, he goes and kill him again and kick him in his foot, its may be going to take more lives before those group to believe what they are seeing.

April 10th, 2011, 2:04 pm


Averroes said:


So an officer who did not want to kill his fellow countrymen, shot and killed 19 of his countrymen to prevent them from shooting at his countrymen.

Your story cannot be true, because all security are armed, and even if someone went off shooting his colleagues, he would be whacked very quickly. It takes a long time to shoot down 19 people (and injure 75). Story does not stand, sorry.

You’re going for this long shot story just to avoid accepting the counter argument that there are outside elements that are armed and operative inside the country.

April 10th, 2011, 2:17 pm


SOURI said:

A good report (at least the title is good, Syria: a sleeping giant):

Bad news:

قال الدكتور محمد الحسين عضو القيادة القطرية ووزير المالية في حكومة تصريف الأعمال أنه من أنصار تخفيض أسعار المازوت آملاً أن يكون ذلك من أول القرارات التي ستأخذها الحكومة الجديدة.

April 10th, 2011, 2:19 pm


SOURI said:

The decision to lower Mazout prices is extremely stupid and irresponsible.

April 10th, 2011, 2:22 pm


Syrian Hamster said:

How smart, you insult me by calling me a Rat, DUH, think a bit, but don’t hurt yourself thinking.

So tell me, who is shooting now, you do not recognize the contradiction in your statements or in the pathetic lies of the Syrian so called media.

How can you with a straight face talk about Iraq. Your man had a representative on the security council who gave Bush and Blair the unanimity they desperately desired. Don’t go crying honor when your guy agreed that rape is OK but later decided to protest the method and the timing. People have longer memory than you think. Everyone on the security council knew what Bush wanted and that he will go to war using the security council resolution. But everyone including resistance Syria-Al-Asad yielded.

I will not cry or pee you a river, but let me now assume some validity to your claim that Wahabi fighters are behind what is going on in Syria. In that case, cheerleaders like you are the last who can talk with straight face about Wahabi threat. Where were you, when honest free thinking Syrians were warning about the ongoing destruction of Syria’s social fabric because of the massive dose of oppression, corruption, poverty, clientelism, and mismanagement and despotism. These free thinkers were jailed, exiled, or intimidated into silence. For generations, that unique Syrian social fabric was what protected Syria from extremism, and for the past 50 years, it was deliberately destroyed. I shed no tears for the disappearance of the old nobility, but it has been displaced by a much more malign and evil class of money-security mafia. So don’t blame Syrians for turning to the drug of religion to find solace when their mouths were clamped shut and for decades the only entity they could complain to without Mukhabarat hearing them was their god in their silent prayers. Why did so many Syrians have to leave Syria and live and work in the hotbed of Wahabiesm? Many who went became more religious and some also became influenced by one or more strands of extremism. But as long as their money was flowing and hiding the devastating effect of the economic catastrophe, it was OK . So spare us your talk of fighting wahabiesm, it was your mate for years and extremism in Syria is the illegitimate child of this relationship.

Do you care to kindly tell us when was the last demonstration other than pro rallies permitted in Syria, and to whom was the request for permit sent to. I am sure the demonstrators would like some protection from the thugs

Jad and Averroes
Thank you very much for your sincerity. I will transmit your condolences to the extended family.

Trustquest and Averroes
I read the story but did not want to relay it because I am not yet sure how accurate it is. We can all agree that there is a lot of misinformation going on. And we can all agree that there is a lot of cover-up and claims on several sides.

Itit may be a mixture of the two. It is possible that the event described by Trustquest has happenned, but with a smaller number of fatalities and that there were other murders of Security officers as well.

April 10th, 2011, 2:34 pm


Shami said:

Aver and al moghty,
Your call for killing anyone who do not mimic menhebak cult will not solve your problems.
Palestine is Syria and Syria is Palestine,the Palestinian and Syrian people are one people,what will last is the common memory and the family,religious and cultural ties that unite us and this an eternal fact unlike the political figures that you cited.

April 10th, 2011, 2:39 pm


Averroes said:


If you’re lying to me, in my face, about what I said, how can I trust anything you say. When did I ever call for killing anyone?

April 10th, 2011, 3:22 pm


SOURI said:

The website of Ayman Abdelnour (a prominent opportunistic hypocrite) has clearly changed its tone. After days of publishing sharp and direct attacks at the Syrian regime, including clear sectarian incitement, the site now is slowly returning to its old tone.

This means that the regime is in good standing. One way to know who is winning and who is losing is by looking at the positions of the opportunists. The opportunists will always lean to the winning side.

April 10th, 2011, 3:23 pm


norman said:

Syrian Hamster ,

I am also sorry about your family, they did not have to die,
The way i see it is to ask for a permit from the city hall, and ask for protection, the road to be taken can be defined and the police will protect the demonstrators and the properties .

for a long time Syria did not know how to let the people express themselves, Now is the time and a new Demonstration law is coming soon, be patient, a little.

April 10th, 2011, 3:25 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Body count 200 and counting..

April 10th, 2011, 3:25 pm


Averroes said:

Amir, AIG, and others who are dancing over victims dead bodies: Only one thing to say to you: do your worst, a time will come soon where you will not be laughing so much anymore.

April 10th, 2011, 3:33 pm


SOURI said:

Speaking of the opportunists, one prominent feature of the Baathist regime in Syria that has always aroused people’s disdain and disgust is that the regime promotes state employees based primarily on their loyalty to the regime rather than their competence and qualification. This system has played a major role in destroying Syria’s culture and economy, and it has led so many people to believe that this regime can’t reform itself.

Is Bashar going to do anything about this?

Promotion that is based on mere loyalty made qualified and competent people leave the country, while those who took lead of things were mostly unqualified hypocrites who were only good at sucking up to their superiors. Ayman Abdelnour, for example, was a Baathist leader before he cut his direct ties with the regime.

I think Bashar has to instruct his secret police to stop making reports on the loyalty of employees. Unless an employee does something suspicious, there is no need for the secret police to be following them and assessing their loyalty. This system must be stopped because it encourages hypocrisy and opportunism.

Promotion for state positions must be made without interference from the secret police and the criteria for promotion must be solely academic and professional criteria.

Will this happen? If it happens, it will be a major change in the work and structure of the Baath regime, but I am not very optimistic.

April 10th, 2011, 3:46 pm


AIG said:


No one is dancing over victim’s dead bodies and nobody is laughing. We have nothing to gain from the death of brave Syrians facing a barbaric and ruthless regime. These Syrians are 1000 times braver than the Assad regime which funds suicide bombers and calls this “smart foreign policy”.

This is not about Israel. This is about a regime that for 40 years has killed the hopes of the Syrian people. And the people that are standing up to this regime, knowing how ruthless and barbaric it is, can only be admired.

April 10th, 2011, 3:50 pm


Shami said:

Aver,it appeared to me that you did commend the criminal al moghty ,i’m sorry ,i see now that it was for Jihad.
Ayman Abdel Nour ,is christian if i’m not wrong???,you labeled him wahhabi if i remember well,how is that possible ?.

April 10th, 2011, 3:53 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Those who support the violent protests are the criminals. Don’t be stupid.

April 10th, 2011, 4:07 pm


NK said:

People died on the 18th and you didn’t believe it was security forces
An MP from Daraa said it was the security forces and you didn’t believe it
We saw tens of videos shot by protesters showing security forces transgressions and you didn’t believe it
Interviews conducted by Syrian state TV in Douma (and never aired) said it was security forces and you didn’t believe it
Interviews with injured people said it was security forces and you didn’t believe it
More Syrians died on Friday and you refused to believe it
The editor-in-chief of Teshreen said security forces are to blame and you didn’t believe it (a security officer fired her).
Another MP said it was security forces and you didn’t believe it.
Every news agency out there has been denied entry to Syria or been prohibited from covering the events then when they reported the massacres you refused to believe it (Apparently the only reliable news agencies are State TV, Hizb Allah channel, Iranian Channels/newspapers, and Makhlouf’s channel/newspaper).
Every human rights agency reported the massacres and you refused to believe it.
Every eyewitness reported the massacres and you refused to believe it.
And now security forces are killing people in Homs and Banias as we speak and you still don’t want to believe anything other than the lame propaganda of the regime.

Yeah, let’s wait for more proof, let’s wait for more evidence before we jump into any conclusions.

P.S Did anyone confirm the number of dead/injured among security forces ? Oh no, why would the regime lie about this …..

Syrian Hamster

Sorry for your loss.

April 10th, 2011, 4:14 pm


Shami said:

this is what Bashar is dreaming for :violent protests !

April 10th, 2011, 4:14 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Oh, look! Peaceful demonstrators carrying weapons and shouting sectarian insults against Shi’ites! But these people are not extremists! They are just peaceful protests who simply want to kill all the people who believe in Shi’ite Islam!

April 10th, 2011, 4:15 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

I am sorry for all those who lost their lives,and have deep sympathy to their families, God Help Them.
For those who think that Syria may divide after this crisis;
Lebanon went through worse crisis, than Syria is going through,Lebanon did not divide,I do not think that dividing Syria is inevitable.democracy will bring it togather.there is strong desire and will to stick with each other.
I dont believe at all, that there is third party playing sedition, those thugs are the regime thugs,no one should be deceived .

April 10th, 2011, 4:36 pm


NK said:

Syria Almighty

Last time I checked

– Sticks don’t shoot bullets !!!!
– They were shouting “لا للتخريب” and “ما بدنا تخريب”, yeah they obviously wanted to destroy the city
– Hizb Allah and Iran are not Syrians, so they have no business interfering with Syria, their channels are supporting the Syrian regime who is killing Syrians all over the country, and are spreading lies about the Syrian uprising so they deserve to be chanted against, and so does the prisedent who failed to protect his people.

Also to remind you, last week those same people demonstrated all night the Friday before the last chanting “لا للطائفية” and “واحد واحد واحد الشعب السوري واحد”, right after the regime thugs tried to start a sectarian war in Lattakia.

And by the way, all those buildings State TV reported as burned the last couple of days in Daraa were not burned, the demonstrators just went in and brought down all the pictures of the royal family, guess in Syrian media standards that’s the same as burning the building down, there are videos of this on youtube, maybe you should spend more time watching the videos and less time spamming sectarian comments.

April 10th, 2011, 4:54 pm


Shami said:

Al moghty,this is an answer to asad who gave a free hand to extremist rafidi theocrats to build propaganda centers in Syria in which are insulted Omar,Osman,Abu Bakr ,Aisha ,99 % of the sahaba ,but also Salahadin al Ayyoubi ,Nur Al Din Zangi….the regime has been warned.
Thanks to this awarness ,Syria will never be like Iraq (and Lebanon),a play ground for the iranian theocracy.
It’s now clear that you are not against this kind of marginal extremism but your problem is mainstream Islam in general.

April 10th, 2011, 5:00 pm


Souri said:

It seems that the regime now is eradicating Wahhabis from Banias, though I am not sure what is exactly happening there. This war is far from being over. I think it is going to be long and it may last for months, just like the war with the Muslim Brothers.

Wahhabis are not found only in Banias and Deraa. There are other Wahhabi bases that are still calm but will activate sooner or later (Al-Bab, ar-Raqqa, etc.). I expected all the Wahhabi bases to act simultaneously, but this has not happened, which proves the Wahhabis to be stupid or just too weak.

April 10th, 2011, 5:08 pm


Shai said:

Assad needs to immediately remove security forces out of the cities, and replace them with ordinary Police units. Reports of dissent within the Army could quickly spin things out of control, and spell the end of the Assad regime.,7340,L-4055052,00.html

April 10th, 2011, 5:23 pm


Solitarius said:

First and foremost, my deep condolences to Syrian Hamster..

I’m really sorry for your loss. Maybe one day the Syrian people will write the names of those who fell in stone for the new generations to remember.

Second, who killed the army officers in Banyas?? Would the regime target expendable units in the army just to scare people off further??? Getting a little bit hard to swallow! An easier story to believe would be violent Khaddam followers.

then we have this:

حسب متصل بقناة الحوار أن مقدم بالجيش نزار قطاش قد تم إعدامه مع عشرة من رفاقة لرفضه إطلاق النار في بانياس

this is off twitter…

this is a new level of serious

April 10th, 2011, 5:49 pm


Shami said:

Souri,if it happens that your own ,cousin,sister,brother,son or daughter are conservative muslims ,would you beg bashar’s militia to eradicate them too?

April 10th, 2011, 6:02 pm


Souri said:

Allegations about dissent within the army have no truth to them. Such allegations have been propagated by the opposition for two weeks. They are meant to divide the army, but this is a long shot and it is not going to work. I can’t imagine an officer in the Syrian army refusing to shoot at Wahhabi gangs calling for jihad from mosque minarets. This is ridiculous. It is the kind of wishful thinking that Wahhabis and Islamists usually practice.

The Syrian regime is not amateur and they know what they are doing. If somebody in the army were really shot, then the reason must have been something else.

April 10th, 2011, 6:08 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

The more this crisis in Syria last, the more likely the syrian economy will deteriorate.stock market in Syria is going down,business is at standstill, dollar is low all over the world, in Syria it is up to 50 lira
there are people who believe that syrian do not deserve freedom and democracy,nor they deserve can we then trust this regime to do reform?
Did SNP changed his name to Souri?

April 10th, 2011, 6:08 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Why am I not surprised to see the same anti-government weasels defending those who call for destroying Shi’ite Islam?

April 10th, 2011, 6:12 pm


Syria Almighty said:

No burned building??? You are truly an idiot. I saw the building burn with my own eyes, you sectarian twit.

April 10th, 2011, 6:15 pm


Souri said:

#277 SHAMI

I am Sunni from Aleppo, which means that there are many in my family who had to stay outside Syria during the 1980’s-1990’s because they were suspected of being MB. Almost every family in Aleppo, Hama, and Idlib had some of its members involved in the MB events. Some were imprisoned, some were exiled, etc.

I have Wahhabi relatives. Some of my cousins spent all their lives in Saudi Arabia and they are strict Wahhabis, but they are not violent as far as I know.

As for your question, if my extremist relatives tried to overthrow the regime by violence and they were hurt because of that, then I would not be able to hold the government responsible for that. If my Wahhabi cousin climbed on a minaret and called for jihad, it would be his fault if he gets hurt.

April 10th, 2011, 6:23 pm


Off the Wall said:

I have not stopped reading SC, but every-time I come to write something I find events racing, and find myself wordless.

First, my heart goes to Syrian Hamster and to the families of every Martyr, all, without exception.

I agree with Shai that if, and it is a big if, news of descent in the ranks are true, the situation is more volatile than being let on. The regime has a small slit of opportunity, but it seems to be closing. With every attempt to single out and/or isolate a town, and with the now too familiar appearance of thugs in besieged towns, that slit is getting narrower by the day.

Granted, the numbers are not as large as those in Yemen and Egypt, but it is only a matter of time before the many of those who went out marching in support as they were told, will be marching in protest, and sorry my dear Norman, without proper permit.

I am very disturbed by the calls for blood i have been reading over the past few days. Where did all this hate come from, and where was it hidden.

Have you been to Banias, Daraa, or any of the places you seem to know as being Wahabi havens, if so, how long did you stay, which mosques did you visit? These are mid size to small cities and the influence of individual mosques and imams is rather important. Also, I would like to know how do you measure Wahabism, and when a Wahabi is a good target for killing and elimination and when is it good to be gleeful and congratulatory about that.

Second, do you really believe for a second that if things become stable for the president he will, or would be capable of eliminating the loyalty requirement. Far from it, as its value would have been demonstrated, its price will likely become too high and may include more privileges and far more impunities, especially after a period of calm, when people start talking about what really happened and who are those mysterious thugs.

On economy, how dreamy are you or anyone else to think for a second that any Syrian government under the same regime will ever have a chance in attracting investment again. To begin with, the facade of stability has been shattered irreparably. The regime had to give up any shred of economic liberalization in order to bribe the people, who seem to have rejected these bribes. But the more serious issue would be the emergence of two potential giants, relatively free countries (it will take long for Egypt and Tunisia to build their democracies), one with greater intellectual capital than Syria due to sustain expenditure on education (Tunisia), the other with far bigger, more diverse economy and a wide range of labor skills as well as a huge intellectual capital by virtue of population size. More importantly, the two countries are assured to be now free of grafts and of cousins, in-laws, friends, and relatives of powerful people demanding, under threat of physical harm, shares reaching 92% of the enterprise to allow the company access, not counting kickbacks. Where do you thing the precious little capital available would go, where it would be taxed and where bribes are demanded, or where it can really capitalize on lawful economies. Heck, one may even expect a flight of Syrian capital to these two countries.

A third problem facing revival of the already precarious investment economy in Syria is the eminent emergence of a new Qaddafies free Libya. A very wealthy country with huge infrastructural, education, medical, engineering, and labor needs. Unfortunately, Syrians are likely to be excluded from the pie because of the rumors about helping Qaddafi, whether these rumors were true or not.

Syria may have paid heavy price in the past for resistance. The Syrians took that well as brave Arab nationalists and I am proud of them for that. As long as it was American sanctions that blocked access, the government has been able to go around these sanctions and gain some European friends. But given the recent problems, the honeymoon with Europe seems to be ending. Turkey will soon realize that there is no intent on real reform and that the promised moderate Islamic party will be toothless like all other parties in the progressive national front. I hope that the Syrians will learn from Israel’s lesson, you don’t cross Erdogan. Simple and clear, you do not cross Erdogan or lie to him.

Please note that I am not gleeful or happy about any of the above. It is just my way of thinking loud as I am getting more concerned by the day, first for the casual attitude to death and destruction I have been witnessing on these pages, and second for the mismanagement of a very critical situation. In fact, I am fearful for Syria.

April 10th, 2011, 6:54 pm


Shami said:

But asad people taken by their sectarian paranoia(see al moghty ) would easily target your conservative relatives that are not inclined to protest.Asad’s militias are not reputed for their chirurgical attacks.
And what shall follow the inescapable political change over according to your own logic ? reprisal ?

April 10th, 2011, 6:57 pm


Hassan jaber said:

Banias is a clear example of why demonstrations need to stay peaceful. Thugs in that city burned many private and public buildings, kept the city markets closed for 10 days, hunted and killed army officers and terrorized civilians.some Mosques in that city are being used to call for violence and sectarian uprising. Those who are unable to see this can only complain after the government does what it needs to do: protect the city and bring armed thugs to justice. Syrians may have to suffer from both a corrupt regime and armed criminals who use religion as a weapon.

April 10th, 2011, 7:28 pm


SOURI said:


Many of the points you raised sound right, but I have some questions. How did you possibly know that Egypt is going to be like you are describing? The image I have of Egypt is apparently very different from yours.

The Egypt I know teams with Islamists and Wahhabis, at least the recent referendum’s results show that the Islamists represent a clear majority in Egypt. The secular opposition called on Egyptians to vote no to the referendum question, but the result came 77% saying yes. A clear majority of Egyptians preferred an Islamist sectarian state over a secular state.

Egypt is going to be more and more Islamized, until the point when Sharia will be the law of the land. This is not me who is saying this but this is literally what the Muslim Brothers say. They clearly say that they are going to apply sharia in Egypt.

Do you think that a country whose law is sharia will be a successful country? I have serious doubts about that. Look at Iran’s example. Is it an attractive example?

Egypt is going to lose very much because of this Islamization trend. I don’t see a bright future for Egypt. The Islamists will gradually enforce a very repressive culture in Egypt and Egypt will fall into a black hole.

Qaddafi does not seem to be losing in Libya. He is just an idiot who defeated himself and did not know how to act. He is insane. BTW do you know that eastern Libya teams with Wahhabis? Do you know that Libya is a tribal Islamist society? Do you expect “democracy” to work in such a society?

These assumptions about automatic democracy in the Arab countries sound too naive to me.

As for Wahhabism in Syria, of course it can’t be eliminated by killing every Wahhabi. The violent Wahhabis must be imprisoned and sent to correction facilities. As for the nonviolent Wahhabis, those must be monitored and they must not be allowed to spread Wahhabism. Wahhabi books must continue to be banned.

The only way that Islamism can be defeated is through education. Religious restrictions on science and on freedom of speech must be lifted. Education quality must be improved. This is the only way to effectively defeat Islamism.

As for the the future of reform in Syria and the economy, I am not optimistic either. The picture is gloomy. I don’t think Bashar will seriously reform anything. Before the uprising there was economic reform and some secularization effort. Now we have lost both of these, so there is nothing left.

April 10th, 2011, 7:36 pm


NK said:

Here’s the “sectarian Wahhabi extremist” Facebook page

الثورة السورية :: سيتم إيقاف أي شخص يطالب بحمل السلاح في هذه الصفحة فوراً ومن دون اي إنذار ثورتنا ثورة سلمية والبعض عن حسن أو سوء نية يطالب بحمل السلاح كي يعين النظام على قتل الشباب !!!!! لا تهاون ابداً مع أي شخص يطالب بهذه الاشياء
دماء السوريين محرمة بلا استثناء ولو كانوا من الجيش أو الأمن نريد دولة حرة مدنية …
والقضاء الحر هو من سيحاسب المجرمين لا نحن

Those “Wahhabis” are far more respectable than some of those commenting on this Blog.

April 10th, 2011, 7:50 pm


SOURI said:

I never said I expected Bashar to remain long in power. It depends very much on how he manages things. If he manages to create some sort of democracy similar to the Turkish model (which is not a very true democracy, BTW), then he may be able to change Syria’s international image and gain the West’s confidence, especially if he manages to keep the secular peel that covers his regime in an increasingly Islamized Arab World.

He will also have to solve his problems with the US ASAP. The problem with the US is that they will never have good relations with you unless you totally submit to Israel, so perhaps Bashar will be forced to give some concessions here?? I don’t know really how is he going to fix his relations with the US because this a chronic and semi-impossible task. The Americans won’t leave you in peace until you concede the Golan and forget the Palestinians, which is very difficult for Bashar to do.

April 10th, 2011, 7:52 pm


jad said:

تسعة قضوا بينهم ضابطان.. وترفعوا إلى منزلة شهيد، و46 جريحاً من الجيش والشرطة والمدنيين جروح بعضهم خطرة.
هذه حصيلة المعركة الحقيقية التي شهدتها مدينة بانياس أمس التي تحصن فيها عدد كبير من المسلحين رافعين شعار «الجهاد»، ومستخدمين المتفجرات والقنابل اليدوية والأسلحة الرشاشة، راغبين في جعل بانياس ساحة للفوضى والقتل تحت غطاء الحرية وتحت تغطية مالية تم القبض على من يديرها ليتضح أنه الذراع المالية لعبد الحليم خدام واسمه محمد علي بياسي ويشاركه المدعو أحمد موسى، أما أبرز أعماله على الأرض فهو توليه مسؤولية تأمين الأسلحة عبر الزوارق البحرية القادمة من لبنان وتوزيعها «للثوار» الذين أكد أغلبية أبناء بانياس أنهم من أرباب السوابق، وهذا ما أكده أهالي بانياس في شهاداتهم واتصالاتهم مع مختلف وسائل الإعلام ومنها «الوطن».
وفي السياق ذاته فقد شهدت دمشق عملاً دنيئاً لأحد الشبان في منطقة البرامكة أمام الجامعة حيث أقدم هذا الشاب على مهاجمة عدد من الطالبات المحجبات لنزع حجابهن في حين يقوم شخص آخر بتصوير هذه المشاهد لتسويقها في المواقع الإلكترونية ووسائل الإعلام على أن رجال الأمن هم من يقومون بذلك في إطار المحاولات المغرضة لتشويه صورة الأمن في سورية وافتعال الفتنة عبر حملات تزوير وتشويه إعلامية مبرمجة.
ولكن أهالي البرامكة وطلاب الجامعة قاموا بإلقاء القبض عليه قبل أن يكمل مسرحيته وسلموه للجهات الأمنية في حين تمكن صديقه المصور من الفرار، وتجدر الإشارة إلى أن بعض الأشخاص في سورية يقومون بدفع مبالغ مالية لمن يقوم بعمليات التصوير هذه، وكان بياسي الذي تم القبض عليه في بانياس واحداً من الممولين لهؤلاء الأشخاص.
وتجدر الإشارة إلى أن بعض من تم إلقاء القبض عليهم اعترف بأنه يحصل على 100 دولار مقابل الصورة الفوتوغرافية، و500 دولار مقابل مقطع الفيديو، و5000 دولار مقابل حرق صورة الرئيس الأسد.
وكانت الفضائيات السورية قد نشرت بعض مقاطع الفيديو المفبركة التي تهدف إلى تشويه صورة سورية عبر وسائل الإعلام.
الرئيس الأسد يستقبل ذوي شهداء دوما ويوجه بالإفراج عن 191 من أبنائها

ظل هاجس الأحداث والتظاهرات التي يشهدها بعض من المدن السورية الحدث الأبرز الذي سيطر على أجواء البلاد أمس، وفي حين منح الرئيس بشار الأسد مرتبة الشهادة للاثني عشر الذين سقطوا في دوما الأسبوع الماضي، وذلك خلال استقباله 17 من ذوي الشهداء أمس، شهدت بعض المدن السورية تشييع عدد من شهداء الشرطة والأمن الذين سقطوا بنيران مجموعات مسلحة خلال تظاهرات مدينتي درعا واللاذقية يوم الجمعة الماضي.
تتوالى موجات الهجوم الإعلامي على سورية، أحياناً تهدأ وأحياناً تزداد سرعتها ووتيرتها وتبدو منظمة بالتوقيت والإيقاع ونوع الضيوف الذين تختارهم وما سيقولونه.
موجة جديدة، علينا أن نتوقعها نهاية كل أسبوع من الآن فصاعداً، بدأت منذ يوم أمس من الفضائيات العربية والأجنبية وذلك في محاولة لممارسة الضغوط على الدولة والشعب في آن واحد من خلال تحريض المجتمع الدولي على اتخاذ قرارات وفرض عقوبات على السوريين.
وأمس عادت نغمة الحرس الثوري الإيراني وعناصر حزب اللـه خصوصاً على «بي.بي.سي» والضيف أستاذ في جامعة «سواس» البريطانية وهارب من سورية منذ عام 1982 ومنتم لجماعة الأخوان المسلمين. ووفقا لمعلومات البروفيسور المبجل وقبول المحطة (الأستاذة في المهنية العالية) بمعلوماته فإن المجموعة من 2300 عنصر وضابط إيراني وصلت إلى سورية ومهمتها قتل أكبر عدد ممكن من الأبرياء. جيد إذا أردنا التهكم، فالأمن السوري بريء إذاً من التهمة.
وصباح أمس تراجعت وكالة الأنباء الفرنسية عن خبر بثته قبل ساعات يتحدث عن حصيلة 26 قتيلاً يوم السبت (يوم تشييع شهداء الجمعة) وأكدت أن الحصيلة تتعلق بيوم الجمعة وليس السبت وأن الخطأ ناتج عن منظمات حقوقية سورية (مصدر الخبر) واعتذرت عن خبرها.
لكن الذي حصل أن كل الفضائيات التي تنتظر خبراً كهذا اعتمدت عليه طوال صباح أمس لبث السموم على سورية وترويج قصة فتح النار على المشيعين، في حين كان أهالي درعا قد نفوا نفياً قاطعاً قيام الأمن بفتح النار وعلى العكس أكدوا أن مجموعات مسلحة على دراجات نارية هي من قام بفتح النار العشوائي وهاجمت حاجزاً للأمن وعلى إثر الاشتباك جرح أربعة منهم قبل أن يفروا.
ألقت السلطات الأمنية المختصة بحماة القبض على مجموعة من سبعة عناصر، جميعهم من عائلة واحدة، حاولت حرق القصر العدلي بالمدينة إضافة إلى تفجير سيارات عدد من ضباط الجيش المقيمين بإحدى ضواحي حماة بقذائف «مولوتوف» أعدّوها خصيصاً لهذا الغرض، لترويع الآمنين وإثارة الفوضى في المجتمع الحموي.
وفي التفاصيل، رصدت دورية أمنية، شابين على دراجة نارية، يهمّان بحرق صورة ضوئية كبيرة للرئيس بشار الأسد، مرفوعة بمدخل حماة الجنوبي، فطاردتهما باتجاه المدينة التي اختفيا فيها.
وبعد المتابعة الحثيثة تمكنت الجهة الأمنية من تحديد هوية الشابين، وألقت القبض عليهما، وبالتحقيق معهما اعترفا بإلقاء زجاجة مولوتوف حارقة على مرآب القصر العدلي بحماة، لحرق سياراته وآلياته، بالاشتراك والتنسيق مع بقية أفراد المجموعة، لكن القذيفة سقطت بعيدة عن السيارات، كما اعترفا بتخطيط المجموعة، لتفجير سيارات عدد من ضباط الجيش المقيمين في ضاحية أبي الفداء السكنية.
وقبض على جميع عناصر المجموعة التي تتراوح أعمارهم بين مواليد عامي 1964 و1993، ولهم خلفية دينية متشددة وقرروا القيام بتلك الجرائم تأثراً بتحريض القنوات الفضائية التي تشن حملة ضد سورية.

April 10th, 2011, 8:35 pm


Wondering said:

Hoping that someone can explain why there is unrest in Latakia and Baniyas where I understand there are significant Alawite populations?

Yes, it will be difficult for Bashar to forget about the Golan but its seems as though he has managed to forget about Hatay and Lebanon.

April 10th, 2011, 8:35 pm


NK said:


The population in Syria and Egypt will always be Islamist, just like the population in Europe and the U.S will always be Christian.
At the end of the day the population doesn’t dictate policy, the government does, that’s why despite the idiots who want to ban Islam, destroy mosques and kill Muslims in the U.S, the constitution protects Muslims and guarantee their rights.

In Egypt the Fundamentalists will never be able to overtake the People’s Assembly and Shura Council then implement Sharia law (which already is implemented) in Egypt, they will win many seats sure, they might even win the majority in the upcoming election, but they won’t be able to impose Islamic rule over the 88 million Egyptian population, and if they by any chance they implement repressive laws against minorities, they will find themselves cast out the next election, and the newly elected MPs will implement better laws, that’s how democracy works. It most likely won’t be perfect the very first time, but this is not the last election in the history of Egypt, the millions who poured down into Tahreer square proved they’re not out for blood, they want a truly democratic government, I believe they will get one soon.

The same concept applies to Syria, you will not see those simple people protesting in the streets in the Parliament or as Presidents, they are just the voters, the intellectuals are the ones who will be elected into those offices, do you think we have Wahhabi Politicians in Syria, and do we have enough of them to overtake a Parliament in a free election ?

As for the referendum in Egypt, Amr Khaled (who’s a Salafi I believe) wanted people to vote NO as well, the argument people had was the need for a totally new constitution, what they failed to notice is article 89, pertaining to mechanisms to amend the constitution, which was modified to ensure that the next elected parliament would form a 100-member elected commission to draft a new constitution within the first six months after its election. The choice was never between an Islamist state and a Secular state.

A few more questions

Do you honestly believe you can impose a secular state on a religious society through dictatorship ? Wouldn’t you agree that the number of religious conservatives (both Muslim and Christian) in Syria increased in the past 40 years ?

Wahhabi books are banned in Syria, aren’t they ? They are still getting smuggled in and instead of having the extremists express their views in the open, the regime forced them into forming cults. which of the two do you think is more dangerous and has more potential of brainwashing youths and promoting more fanaticism and intolerance ?

As for the economy I kinda agree with the points OTW made, although I think it’s kinda pointless to talk about the economy or the reform in general at the moment, if all those reports are true then Syria already reached the tipping point.

I’m shocked all officials stayed quiet in the past two days, after the bloody events on Friday shouldn’t Syrian officials be addressing the nation, Bashar will probably wait it out just like last time, what about the others…

April 10th, 2011, 8:45 pm


Off the Wall said:

You also bring very viable and good points. Albeit, i am a little too worried about you labeling any Islamist movement as Wahabi.

I am a little more optimistic about Egypt than you are. The seculars lost in Egypt’s recently because of the fact that the previous regime has presented itself as a secular regime, and people associated secular demands with the previous regime as a matter of learned reflex. You are also discounting the fact that after deposing Mubarak and his despotic and corrupt party, Egyptians needed a closure, with respect to the presidency and they wanted to Military Council to get back to the Barracks as soon as possible. Shrewed and opportunists as they are, the MBs capitalized on the need for closure and managed to convince most of the public that a NO means unnecessary delays and further entrenchment of the existing military council.

However, Egypt has a tradition of free press, liberal thinking, and secular thinkers. Egypt also had/has? a reasonable labor movement, and with that, the long-term of the Islamists is much less likely to materialize in the form and shape they are hoping to. Please consider other possible scenarios.

I do tend to agree that countries with repressive Sharia laws are less likely to prosper economically and to develop. I do believe the distinction made by Farid Zakarya between liberal and illiberal democracies is valid, and that repressive laws, no matter what their origins are, would stunt development, especially if they oppress half of the society. But, I do not believe that this is possible in Egypt for several reasons. First, Egypt is not Iran (how tired this sounds nowadays). The army will not allow the emergence of Religious Militia (Baseij) as is the case in Iran, nor would the state for this would be both a return to the days of Mubarak’s state within the state, and a violation of what the people have revolted against. The lessons of Iran are out there and even if Egyptians now seem to be going with the Inertia of the most credible opposition to the former regime, the situation is not like Iran 1979 where Khumaini presented a unifying figure around whom even the communists joined only to be booted out later once he consolidated power Qaradawi, charismatic as he is, is in no position to be a Khumaini, and he in fact has rejected the Takfiries and presented them with problems with some of his less than rigid proclamations. So we are left with a mixed case where the Islamists may make some gains initially, but there is a ceiling on what they can achieve in terms of monopoly on violence, which I believe should and must always be reserved for the state. Absent a monopoly on violence, no oppressive laws can last long and the clash between the civil and religious state will eventually lead to much of the public treating Islamist parties with disdain. This is why I argued that It will take sometime for Egypt to develop a liberal democracy. Blocks of liberal parties will form and a flux of nationalist parties will also appear and they will eventually balance the Islamists. The MB have no more than 20%-to-30% of the Egyptian street as voter block, they may join forces with other parties, but a majority of them will eventually realize that their only future would be the Turkish model, not the Iranian model. They have already spoken about that, and they have already started splintering now that the pressure of oppression is gone. Other differences with Iran are due to religious differences between Sunni and Shia branches of Islam. I am not qualified enough to discuss these differences, nor do i have a taste for such sectarian discussion, especially when it can be misused.

Qaddafi is not losing in Libya, I also agree with that. But soon enough his cash reserve will dry out, and as I said, the price of loyalty is getting higher by the day. The rag-tag of opposition will eventually solidify their position and Qaddafi clan is finished, it is only a matter of mopping up. Expect more daring Nato attacks, even if the result is hitting the opposition with friendly fire in order to further thin down Qaddafi forces. However, I would not really like to continue talking about this in such abstract form, because in the end, casualties are mounting and the human tragedy of Libyans and workers stuck in Libya is far from abstract military strategy to me. So please excuse me for not going into details.

Now, you are asking too much of a government and party whose head excused the inability of implementing the minor reforms that were discussed in the last regional party conference by saying, may be it was laziness, may be tardiness (Ehmal). I was both insulted and angry for the casual way he mentioned that. No one touched on this, but do you expect this tardy group to be able to move with the dynamism required to reform education (which is a very expensive), build the research infrastructure you have argued for in a previous post, or consider sharing power with those who may expose this tardiness on constant basis. The president in his recent speech talked about a new way of electing party leadership, well, I went on a couple of websites of major branches of the party who have finished their elections. In both cases, 80% of the branch old fossilized leadership was retained by these election, and we all know why. It was the security rulers of Syria who decided to do so. If that, then they have made the presidents’ promises empty. How long can he tolerate that, and with the fact that if things stabilized, it would be the same security apparatus that saved and protected his seat, can he do the fundamental structural reforms proposed by the brilliant Azmi Bishara, which will require him to dismantle the base of power. You can see why I am pessimistic. Unfortunately, even if I give him the benefit of the doubt, he does not have the freedom to act in the manner that reduces the threat of Islamization of Syria in the manner that you are concerned about for doing so, really requires the dismantling of the way of thinking that fostered its rise in the first place. I am a proud secular humanist, and I do not believe that this regime is capable of maintaining or creating a secular, progressive, liberal Syria.

As for the economic outlook, I am really sad that we agree not because I do not like to agree with you, but because i do not like what we are agreeing on.

April 10th, 2011, 8:57 pm


Off the Wall said:

As posts have been coming so fast, and I am known for my slow writing, i had not noticed your post #287. I would like to focus on the second point in that post.

The new Egypt in fact presents the most critical threat to the status quo in Syria and the resistance camp. The new Egypt, Islamist or secular is less likely to appear as subservient to the US and Israel. Its national pride and leadership on issues related to the rights of Palestinians will return, albeit with a stronger moral positioning being an aspiring democracy. A Turkish-Egyptian Axis will present a very challenging alternative to that of Iran-Syria. Especially if the Egyptians manage to do something really tangible about Ghaza such as brokering a national reconciliation between Hamas and PLO or forcing a more transparent leadership in Palestine. Their tougher stance on Israel’s violation of the rights of Palestinians will be much less easier to dismiss as it is neither grandstanding, nor associated, in western thinking with terrorism. Think about the challenge a principled, yet moderate Egypt-Turkey alliance can pose to the image of current resistance camp. As much as I hate to acknowledge that, it is likely to bring less popularity to the Syrian-Iranian position, especially of the Israelies become smart and capitalize on that, which I do not expect given the current situation in Israel.

I believe that the Syrian leadership, after the initial Euphoria of seeing Tyrants who were friendly with the US and subservient to Israel deposed, will have hard time claiming leadership of Arab causes. This is very very hard to swallow as a Syrian, but we should think of the possibility of Egypt reclaiming its leadership, albeit in much more mature way than the demagogic days of Nasser.

April 10th, 2011, 9:38 pm


Norman said:


I think that what you think come out of Egypt is more optimistic than realistic, Egypt is committed to the peace treaty with Israel and all it’s obligations, Egypt gets 3 billion dollars from the US so i would not think that Egypt is taking the place of Syria as defender of Arab rights any time soon, The fear is that if the regime of Syria’s president Assad falls it will be the end to any Arab resistance to the complete surrender to Israel cont role over the Mideast.


Thinking that Egypt is going the secular way is so wrong, during the Iranian revolution everybody thought that the new regime will be secular and there were many more secularise in Iran at that time than in Egypt today and nobody can argue with the way Iran turned up to be ,

Sorry NK, Egypt is following the same road plan,

April 10th, 2011, 10:13 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

I said before that turkish egyptian relationshio is expected to improve,but to talk about Turkish egypt AXIS is too early,and it may take a year at least,Egypt do not have a leader yet,and egyptian revolution has not ended yet,the military commanders are strongly pro USA.
Turkey is looking for an axis that include Turkey,Egypt,Iran and Syria and Iraq

April 10th, 2011, 10:36 pm


Adel hammoud said:

Like it or not,when protestors use violence and kill people,including security officers,they will be seen as criminals not freedom fighters,and this may actually strengthen the regime hardliners position. There will be a point,already coming in Banias,where people will choose security over freedom,and that will be a tragedy. Damascus and Aleppo are watching,and the more violent protests
become the less likely they will receive support from these two large cities. The official media has performed poorly so far and most people today get their information from other sources especially that we have not seen any of those
alleged thugs on tv after,reportedly,they were captured committing violent acts.
If I was a civil right advocate calling for a regime change I will be praying every

day that the senario in Banias is never repeated again.most popular media
outlets never bothered to report what really happened in reason for

this is the idiotic decision of the security chiefs to ban journalists from going
where the demonstrations are.
If I was Bashar,I would make it clear that I would not be running for a third term but give a timetable for old promises to be implemented including free elections and the revocation of title 8 in the Syrian constitution ASAP.yes he may look weak in the eyes of some but he will be seen by most as a man who chose Syria over a group of corrupt officials and business elite.

April 10th, 2011, 10:52 pm


NK said:

The “terrorist Wahhabis” of Daraa

April 10th, 2011, 11:01 pm


Revlon said:

253. Dear trustquest, Thank your for your posted comment. I am interested in reading more about this tragic event! Would you know of any related link!

April 10th, 2011, 11:02 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Oh, look! No one is being shot at in NK’s video! Looks like the security forces really are only shooting at violent protesters and armed gangs.

April 10th, 2011, 11:19 pm


Revlon said:

#276. Dear Solitarius,
The story you reported is possible.
The only way to proove it is to examine the bodies.
Wouds of excution can be easily distinguished from the random ones!

May God bestow solace upon their families and empower them with patience.

April 10th, 2011, 11:22 pm


Jamal fattal said:

Public opinion may already be shifting in support of securing the streets of troubled spots and halting demonstration until the new laws are passed and more facts about armed criminals become public. The downside of this is giving a green light to some in the regime to play games again,however, Syria today is not like Syria on march 14th. Bashar does not have too much time and we still have a chance to clean the streets and the corrupt government at the same time,but no more games,and no more Baathist slogans.

April 10th, 2011, 11:37 pm


Leo said:

Why didn’t Syrian TV show this ha? Mondasyeen ha? Wahabiyeh ha? bel fe3l nas mabteste7i

April 11th, 2011, 1:00 am


SOURI said:

Mazout costs the treasury 51.50 SP per liter. It is sold for 20 SO per liter. This means that the treasury is losing 31.50 SP for every liter sold, and they still want to lower the price even more. Is there anything more stupid than that? The liter in Turkey is sold for 95.50 SP.

Wahhabis in Hama:

April 11th, 2011, 1:05 am


NK said:

Anyone else find it extremely inappropriate that state TV has been playing celebratory and menhebak songs when so many Syrians died and has not been buried yet ?.


Did they show these people on TV ? or at least announce their names to the public ? Al-watan is Makhlouf’s news paper.

April 11th, 2011, 1:08 am


NK said:

And what we were afraid of happened

بــ ” الخطأ ” مقتل ثلاثة أشخاص في حمص برصاص لجنة شعبية لحفظ الأمن

قتل ثلاثة أشخاص فجر أمس السبت كانوا يستقلون شاحنة صغيرة في مدينة حمص محملة بالخضار على يد مسلحين بلباس مدني وذلك بعد متابعتها السير دون الوقوف على حاجز لهم في حي الزهراء .

وقال مصدر مطلع لسيريانيوز ” إن ثلاثة أشخاص قتلوا في مدينة حمص خلال عبورهم الشاحنة التي كانت تقلهم إلى سوق الهال لإيصال حمولة خضار بعد الاشتباه بوجود أسلحة و إطلاق نار على المحال في المنطقة “.

وحسب المصدر فإن الشاحنة وهي من نوع كيا بيضاء اللون كانت محملة بالبصل والفول ” تعرضت لإطلاق نار عند دوار العباسية بعد رفض سائقها الوقوف لحاجز أقامته لجنة شعبية لحفظ الأمن حيث انقلبت الشاحنة بعد إصابة سائقها بطلق نافذ في الصدر ووفاته فوراً وقام هؤلاء بالضرب المبرح لراكبيها الآخرين مما أدى إلى وفاتهما لاحقاً”.

وقال الصدر إنه ” لم يعثر على أية أسلحة في حوزة الضحايا أو مخبأة في السيارة بعد تفتيش جهات أمنية لها حضرت فوراً إلى المكان ، ويبدو أن السائق لم يتوقف وتابع سيره بداعي الخوف حيث سمع دوي إطلاق نار في المنطقة أثناء ذلك ” وذلك دون أن يشير إلى توقيف أحد من مطلقي النار .

والضحايا هم محمود سليمان المحمد 32 سنة و يحيى محسن صالح 35 سنة و أحمد صالح الكليب 25 سنة وهم من محافظة دير الزور .

سيريانيوز – حمص

Bravo Baath party and their stupid irresponsible popular committees (thugs), 3 innocent people died a most horrible death, one shot in the chest and two BEATEN to death.

April 11th, 2011, 1:26 am


Leo said:

Let us get this straight. It takes less than a day to amend the constitution, changing the minimum age of the president to be from 40 to 34 years to perfectly fit for Bashar, but it takes weeks? months? years? to implement a law that would allow opposition parties to exist? It takes studies and god knows how long to remove the state of emergency? You have to be kidding if you still have faith in this regime.

April 11th, 2011, 1:28 am


Australian -Syrian said:

I personally do not find it inappropriate. Why? Well because it is tru. People DO love Bashar. They want to express that. May all those people who died rest in peace. I do not disregard them. But when they are fighting against their own leader, who is a great man and a fantastic President, in order to satisfy the conspiring morons who have the audacity to enter a great country and attempt to ruin it, then no, i do not feel that celebratory songs are inappropriate. Yes! Men Hebak Ys Bashar!

NK. You said in an earlier comment that Hezballah and Iran should not intevene in Syria because they are not Syrian. Can i just say, that is very American of you!

Loook at the Saudi and Jordanian intervention. They are the ones behind all that is going on, if you have not yet realised. And the President which you so highly idolise. Obama. After he said that the Americans will enter Syria if there are more deaths, did you not realise all the shootings that occurred? Did you not realise how many people got injured? You should ask yourself, why your fantastic zionist of a President would have said such a thing, had he not known that it was going to happen? Obviously he and the other big shot arses have planned all this. Open yourself up to the truth. Just because you live in America it doesnt mean that you should succumb to their way of thinking.

Or actually, i dont want to offend the American public, so i will say don’t succumb to OBAMA’S way of thinking. His lies and deceit are outrageous. All that bull shit that came out of his mouth when he said he will help the arab world was a twist on what he really meant. He wants to destroy it. In order to satisfy his higher authority…the zionist and masonic bumbs he pledged a legions to at his inauguration!

April 11th, 2011, 1:30 am


NK said:

Australian -Syrian

Did I type anywhere that I idolize Obama ? no, When Obama suggests he will intervene in Syria I will be the first to protest in the streets, we don’t want anyone interfering in our affairs, not Iran, not Hizb Allah, not the Palestinians, not Turkey, not anyone.
Even if the Saudis and the Jordanians are trying to instigate things in Syria that does not give the government a free pass to kill it’s citizens.

I also would like to remind you that policemen, soldiers and innocent bystanders died the last couple days, the nation should be mourning!

Also Bashar is directly responsible for the death of the three guys I mentioned in my previous post, his irresponsible policy of arming thugs who are mostly teenagers to harass and kill ordinary citizens led to this tragic event, their blood is on his hands. Although I’m pretty sure he won’t lose any sleep over it.

April 11th, 2011, 1:49 am


Syria Almighty said:

It doesn’t look like you know what the word “Directly” means, not that I’m surprised.

April 11th, 2011, 2:02 am


Australian -Syrian said:

You are right. Bashar wont lose any sleep over what has happened. Why? Well any one can see that he is not to blame. Those armed people…why are you so readily able to accept that it is Bashar who is arming them? Why dont you consider that they are arming themselves? Or outside parasites are the ones who are arming them? Why are you so boldly able to accuse Bashar for these murders? I, along with other rational thinkers and open minded people, will accuse the outsiders. The Americans, the Israelies, the Jordanians and the Saudis. They should be the ones who bury their heads in the dirt, as they are to blame for all those horrific deaths. Not Bashar!

If you belive that the nation should be mourning, why dont you start them off? Why not be an example? Or call people you know over there and tell them to mourn? lol.

Yes, i laugh because i find it stupid. You may not think that Bashar and the people of Syria regret these deaths, but god, what do you know? Yes they are celebrating Bashar on t.v, what do you expect them to do? They have already spoken of and respected those who died. What more do you want? Someone to write a song for them? Cool. Ill start one now.

If people though the way you did, there would have been no a new leader by now. But considering Bashar is still the President, that justifies their love and support for him.

And i do repect the fact that you said you will be the first to protest if Obama was to intervene in Syria. It shows that you are not the puppy i thought you were.

April 11th, 2011, 2:24 am


Syria Almighty said:

It’s so obvious that others are arming the criminals in Syria. This happened a few days before the protests:

Why were there weapons being smuggled into Syria from Iraq, a territory that is occupied by American forces? Obviously, the Syrian government is smuggling weapons into Syria from Iraq, right??? At least, that is the logic that comes from people like NK and that idiot, revlon.

April 11th, 2011, 2:29 am


Revlon said:

#300. Dear NK:
Do I find the Syrian TV celebratory coverage of events inapproriate?
It depends!

Inappropriate for the sentiment of people? absoutely! It is indecent, insensitive and inconsiderate.

Inappropriate for the “National Sentiment” of the regime: No! It is quite appropriate for them. This is how they operate. Jr said it himself in his last “Temper Tantrum Speach”. To them, Syria is them and them is Syria. Others are either with them or, non-Syrians / traitors, Zionists / etc…

The regime’s media has provided us with many stories about militant groups vandalising here and killing there!

At the end of the day, we have:
The word of arrsested, badly tortured youngsters on the one hand, and
The word of Jr, his serial killer brother, and cousin media moghul Makhloof!
Is it difficult to choose whom not to believe?
Not to me!

Let us not waist time trying to disprove the regime’s fables!
Let us invest our precious time and energy in serving a higher purpose: Promoting the cause of freedom and the great Syrian revolution.


April 11th, 2011, 2:35 am


NK said:

Australian -Syrian

It seems like you didn’t read the article that was published by a semi-regime highly controlled news website

Can you read Arabic ? Do you know who those popular committees are ?

OK let me explain, two weeks ago, the Baath party (led by the president) decided to deploy armed popular committees of young baathists to help protect government buildings, then last week they decided to expand the responsibilities of those committees to include securing cities/streets/neighborhoods/mosques/churches/public areas and authorized them to use live ammunition to quell any dissent -All of this was published by official government news outlets – and those committees ( teenagers in plain clothes and automatic weapons ) have been setting road blocks and stopping citizens and checking IDs “for security reasons” and people have been complaining about the way those committees have been treating them and the humiliation they’re suffering because of them, not to mention the terror one would feel when he gets stopped by an armed mob who look nothing like police.

So today a mini truck driver got terrified by these thugs and didn’t stop, so they shot him then started beating the two guys who were riding the truck with him until all three were dead, the police arrived and searched the truck and the three guys and didn’t find any weapons or anything suspicious, it was a truck carrying onions and beans.

The fact that Bashar authorized this is outrages, Syria has enough police and security forces, not to mention a sizable army, why would anyone give automatic weapons to teenagers and allow them to terrorize the public and shoot as they please.

April 11th, 2011, 2:48 am


Off The Wall said:

I agree with your point. It may even take more than a year. Despite of all what happened, I am optimistic, on the political front, and independent of the outcomes of the current cricis in Syria, I can not imagine the next presidential election in 2014 to be carried out in the same laughable manners we are used to. Taboos have been broken, and there is no turning back. Iran is going through another election around the same time. And things will be really different than before.That off course assuming the Syrian regime manages to enact some of the reforms required for it’s survival, a questionable proposition, so far.

April 11th, 2011, 2:52 am


Australian -Syrian said:

Fair enough, i get your point.
But IF bashar REALLY gave them that power to carry weapons, he is not responsible for how they abuse that authority. If i was to give you a knife and told you protect yourself from psychotic people and murderers who are out to get you, and then you wind up killing innocent people, is that my problem or yours? Should i be held responsible for your actions, or should you be accountable for what you do? Ill let you think on that for a minute.

Those people who killed those innocent men are no friends of Bashar, or the Syrian people. They are negliget and should be locked up. But for you to say that Bashar is responsible, well i though as an educted person, you would have acutally seen that one is held responsible for their own actions, not the actions of others. If Bashar really gave them weapons, he gave them in order to protect the country. Who goes in and out of Syria is a problem now, for we dont know, anyone could be an outsider, attempting to ruin the country. What those thugs do with the weapons is obviously without Bashar’s consent. He will never willingly / knowingly allow the killing of his own people. And dont say that he will, because both you and i know that it is a lie. Those murders have nothing to do with him.

If you will excuse me now, i am going to beat someone up so you can blame the Austrlian Prime Minister for giving me freedom to do anything!

April 11th, 2011, 3:15 am


Syria Almighty said:

It’s amazing how some people believe that violent protesters should be exempt from the law. God forbid any of them live in the US, they would all be on death row.

April 11th, 2011, 3:30 am


Revlon said:

309. Dear NK, those government sponsored, armed groups, irrespective of their official titles are considered para-militias!
Would you have links to official published material on the issue?

If this were to be true, it would mean that the regime has authorised its paramilitias, to wage a civil-war, by proxy, on civilians!

It would mean that the government has realised that its regular security forces and the republican guards are unable to cope with the rising tide of demonstrations.

Large scale involvement of the army would risk mutiny and international intervention.


April 11th, 2011, 6:04 am


Revlon said:

مجزرة من قبل عناصر وعصابات الحرس الجمهوري السوري للمعتصمين في الحولة مفرق مريمين
سورية حرة || في الساعة الواحدة ليلا من ليلة يوم الأحد 10 نيسان 2011 قامت عصابات الحرس الجمهوري
بمداهمة المعتصمين من أهالي مدينة كفرلاها في الحولة – حمص وأطلقت نيران المدافع الرشاشة عليهم وأردت أكثر من خمسة قتلى وعشرا ت الجرحى واختطفتهم بسيارة الحرس الجمهوري إلى جهات غير معلومة ولم يبق من أثارهم إلا أحذيتهم واحد الشهداء الذي على مايبدو حاول التهرب منهم ولكنه عاجلته منيته في مكان منزوي وجد مصوبا ومستشهدا

April 11th, 2011, 7:12 am


Revlon said:

Have a break! Listen to this beautiful song
I7na Ahlirrayeh

April 11th, 2011, 7:23 am


Revlon said:

Fidaa Assayed interview, Arabic BBC
الناطق الإعلامي بإسم صفحة الثوره السورية

April 11th, 2011, 7:35 am


majedkhaldoon said:

YES there will be mutiny in the army

The responsibility of those thugs belong to who provided them with weapons,and send them to the street

The situation in Syria is getting much worse, not since independence we saw similar things,next week will be worse,urgency and leadership are needed,otherwise rowbands will appear on the streets,they will take power to their hands ,it will be more difficult to control,chaos will ensue.
Bashar was warned,he is notoriously slow and incompetant,he must leave, if he can not correct the situation.

April 11th, 2011, 7:37 am


syau said:


Dont get ahead of yourself here, I ask you, what is the age Syrian men are drafted to the army – 18years old….. eighteen…. a teen age which is also regarded as reaching adulthood. Once you have reached an age in which you can join the army you are obviously trained, therefore, you would be a trained soldier. To spell it out to you, once you are a trained soldier, not only in Syria, but in any country you are trained to shoot especially if the country is under threat of being destabalised by power hungry phsycho’s out for there own agenda. If they ask someone to stop, they need to stop. if not, they shoot as they can be terrorists. Imagine a truck- something that could have been concealing illegal weapons not stopping. Now that’s considering Bashar did authorise them carrying weapons. I’m sure that regardless, they will have to live with themselves killing people for the rest of there lives. Australian Syrian is right, people are accountable for there own actions. The innocent Syrians and the Syrian police officers that are dying as a result of the thugs paid by the poeple intent on trying to destabalising Syria- well I suppose their blood is on those outside entities hands and I hope they cant sleep at night due to the loss of lives they are causing, but being uncaring and evil, I dont think they care.

April 11th, 2011, 7:39 am


syau said:


I forgot to mention – nothing from BBC is legitimate, just a bunch of lies from a network that is backed by those against Bashar producing lie after lie. Just wondering – as well as being actively on the Syrian revolution page, are you also on the BBC payroll list?

April 11th, 2011, 7:43 am


syau said:


Being a leader is not about clicking your fingers and saying Presto, everthing is done, its about taking time to ponder and assess the situation at hand, looking into, and finding the best way possible to handle the situation. So, what Im saying is it takes time to “correct the situation” as you put it. Bashar is a great leader, not notoriously slow- he is known for figuring the problem out and putting it right. And if you havn’t heard the Syrian people are getting angrier with the rising violence of the “protesters”. It’s time for them to stop or get out!

April 11th, 2011, 7:53 am


Revlon said:

Demonstration at the college of sciences, University of Damascus, today!

April 11th, 2011, 7:54 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Bashar has had 3 weeks, how long we should wait? blood is spilled
things are much worse, people are not going out of their homes at dark,instead your thugs are roaming the streets shooting,this will lead to the creation of rowbands.

April 11th, 2011, 8:18 am


syau said:


Firstly, they are not my thugs. Secondly, Bashar Assad spoke about reforms, these reforms are comming. He didnt say they will be implemented imediately after my speech. Thirdly, if people are not going out of there homes at night it would be out of fear from the thugs being paid to creat kaos in the streets to undermine the peaceful protesters and create divison. They would not be the affilliated with the Syrian government. Maybe you should put a stop to your thugs.

April 11th, 2011, 8:31 am


Revlon said:

Dear Majedkhaldoon,
BLRR: Innaka lan tahdi man a7babat, walakinnalllaha yahdi man yashaa. SL3

April 11th, 2011, 8:37 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Those thugs are sent by The regime,they are not confronted by the security forces,they appear to scare the people.
the situations is not something we can wait weeks for, this requires immidiate action,this is flagrant incompetency.

April 11th, 2011, 8:37 am


Raid shammout said:

Banias is a game changer. The truth is out now including how mosques were used as HQ for thugs and the names of 9 officers and soldiers who were killed by terrorists. Most Of those who were murdered are from Latakia and Tartous areas,and not from aljazeera as some idiot claimed and suggested they were killed by the regime.
There is a lot of pressure on Bashar to respond forcefully and if he does not ,we think he should resign.

April 11th, 2011, 8:47 am


Revlon said:

نقلاً عن صفحة الحرّة سهير الأتاسي : استُشهد الآن في مظاهرات كلية العلوم
بدمشق على يد الأمن السوري الشاب فادي العاسمي

The University of Damascus has made history today by breaking the wall of silence and fear.
Al Fati7a upon Fadi’s soul,
May God bestow solace upon his family and friends and empower them with patience.

April 11th, 2011, 8:56 am


syau said:


I agree that the situation requires attention and action…. ACTION, not REACTION. I believe the government is taking action, and again I say to you the situation cannot be fixed by snapping your fingers. The government is trying to control the situation in a positive manner. They can always and totally within there right put a complete immediate stop to the violent “protesters”, but wouldnt that be playing right into the hands of the outside entities that are trying to destabalise and divide the nation with there nonsence. Just remember, any government can at any time use force to stop violent protests. The Assad government is humane and taking action as they should, not in the way there enemies want, so they can try to infiltrate the country.

April 11th, 2011, 9:10 am


syau said:


Videos are also emerging of protesters in Daara carrying swords and clubs…. are these the peaceful protesters you talk about?

April 11th, 2011, 9:26 am


Ramez al-soufi said:

Yes,riad,the list of officers and soldiers who were murdered in Banias by the terrorist thugs was published, it is clear that they came from all religions and sects,and at least one of them is Christian.الرحمه لكل من مات مظلوما
لعن الله الظالمين

April 11th, 2011, 9:28 am


Najeeb salloum said:

I always opposed the regime,and some relatives of mine went to prison for political reasons,but after seeing what happened in Banias I got to rethink whether Syrians are able to handle a western type democracy. I firmly believe that the MB and its allies are heavily engaged in both peaceful and violent protests. What I want now is peace and order,then we can talk about policies. Syria is too precious to become another Iraq.
Many people on this board are sincere about their desire for freedom and democracy but some are not,I suspect. Sadly,Syria has some difficult times ahead but the government now realizes that Syrians will not go back to the pre-march 15 era.من أخذ بالسيف بالسيف يوءخذ. Violence from all sides is unacceptable.

April 11th, 2011, 9:40 am


Australian- Syrian said:

Those thugs are neither yours nor syau’s. They are mine. You mate, are pathetic.

If you say that thugs are out at night killing people, why then was it broadcasted on the news that a man with his wife and children were having a picnic in the park at night? They spoke to the man, and he said that the weather is perfect and the mood is still. He has a 1 year old son with him. Why would he risk the lives of his wife and children if there were thugs out there killing the people?

You say that the thugs are the regimes thugs. Why are you so easily able to belive that? Those thugs are sent by Pestilence. The devils mate. Im talking about Saudi, Jordan, America and Israel. They are behind all this violece. And i will continue to stress that for all those who are dumb enough to belive that the amazing Syrian President that is Bashar al Assad, will ever condone the killings of his people.

You think that reform can come in a second dont you? Even the greatest and the most powerful and the most modern countries took years to rebuild and reform. Syau is right. Change doesnt come with the blink of an eye.

BTW, an old man lost his son in the shooting. He said that he has 6 more children, and he and they will gladly and proudly sacrifice their lives for Bashar. What did he say again?….”B Rou7 b Dum, bnefdeek Ya Bashar!!” A victim of the shooting said that he will go out to the field again when he recovers in order to protect the government and its leader. People who lost their loved ones cariied their coffins around the streets, along with banners and pictures of their beloved President, chanting their love and support. They say they will die for him, and anyone who has died for him, died with honour and pride!!

April 11th, 2011, 10:14 am


Atassi said:

Syrian students rally for slain protesters
11 April 2011
Agence France Presse
Syrian students rallied in Damascus on Monday to express solidarity with protesters killed over the weekend, as the army moved in on the flashpoint town of Banias.

France and Germany, meanwhile, slammed the deadly assaults by security forces on anti-regime protesters and called on President Bashar al-Assad to make good on his promises of reform.

“Students rallied in solidarity with the victims of Daraa and Banias, chanting ‘We will sacrifice our soul and blood for you martyrs’,” a human rights activist told AFP.

He was referring to the southern town of Daraa, a protest hub where rights groups say 26 people were killed on Friday, and the northern coastal town of Banias, where a bloody weekend crackdown left four civilians dead, according to witnesses.

A YouTube video of the Damascus rally showed students chanting “Allah, Freedom and Syria, only!”, a recurring slogan of anti-regime protests demanding political reforms and more freedom.

They also chanted “One, one one… the Syrian people are one!”, in an apparent bid to exorcise the ghost of sectarian strife raised by authorities as the protests death toll rises.

Abdel-Karim Rihawi, president of the Syrian League for the Defence of Human Rights, told AFP some demonstrators chanted pro-regime slogans before security forces intervened and made arrests.

Political unrest erupted in Syria in mid-March, but anti-government demonstrations, challenging Assad to introduce major reforms, have been largely confined to the provinces.

Syrian troops surrounded Banias with up to 30 tanks on Monday as residents buried their dead and as electricity in the town was cut off, witnesses, activists and residents told AFP.

“The army is shooting sporadically to provoke people, but not a single demonstrator has fired,” an activist said, adding that calls were made from minarets of the mosque urging the army to hold fire.

“Bashar al-Assad is sending us a message: punish those who dare demand freedom with death,” a university professor told AFP by telephone.

Government forces on Sunday killed at least four civilians and wounded 17 when they strafed a residential area of Banias with gunfire for hours, witnesses said.

Nine soldiers, including two officers, were later killed and several wounded when their patrol was ambushed outside the town, the official SANA news agency said.

Anas al-Shuhri, one of the leaders of the protest movement, said three of the civilian casualties were “killed by sniper fire” and blamed “regime henchmen” for the violence.

He said they “had fired on the army to push them to respond” against peaceful demonstrators and accused them of “seeking to stir sectarian unrest.”

Residents of Banias on Monday buried the four civilians killed over the weekend, Rihawi said.

He said there were several arrests in Banias overnight, including associates of former vice president Abdel-Halim Khaddam, a dissident living in exile in Paris since 2006.

Meanwhile, Syrian human rights organisations demanded an investigation into the Sunday clashes in Banias.

They called for the creation of a “neutral, transparent and independent investigative committee” in order to “sanction the perpetrators of the violence” which they wanted to end immediately.

Meanwhile, France on Monday condemned deadly assaults by Syrian security forces against anti-government protesters and urged Damascus not to resort to deadly force.

“Reform and repression are not compatible,” a foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

Germany also slammed the “shocking” violence against peaceful demonstrators in Syria, and called on Damascus to stop “grave human rights violations” and hold perpetrators accountable.

Assad, a German government spokesman said, had repeatedly announced “political reforms and greater freedom,” adding that “now would be a truly good time to turn those words into action.”

April 11th, 2011, 10:19 am


why-discuss said:


The university demonstration Youtube you presented shows absolutely nothing, just people moving around like they do in any university. A friend of mine who was there reported that they were less to 80 people shouting slogans, some pro-Bashar, some against. The soundtrack of the video has nothing to do with what we see. Either the video shooter is a dummy who does not know how to use a camera or he is very good in selecting and dubbing a strong sound on inept images. In any case all these Youtube stuff are good for the dummies!
I guess there a need for a crash course in how to shoot a video, not people.

April 11th, 2011, 11:14 am


Jad said:

امير مؤمني الذبح والارهاب ابو مصعب السويدي مصاب بالاحباط من الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد………. يا حرام شو الحل ؟؟

مكتوب على الصفحة السورية لامير المؤمنين ابو مصعب السويدي اسماء اربع قرى سلفية متعصبة قريبة من حمص هي التي تقوم بكل المنيكة في تلك المنطقة ويناشد ابو مصعب السويدي في تلك الصفحة اتباع القرضاوي وبندر بن سلطان المتعصبين والراغبين في ذبح كل من يخالفهم بالعقيدة حتى ولو كان سنيا يطالبون بعدم الاصابة بالاحباط لان لا احد ناصر تلك القرى الاربع للقيام بتظاهرات اكبر

يعاني ثوار سورية من الاحباط الشديد فبدلا من يؤدي سقوط القتلى الكثيف نهار الجمعة الماضي إلى ثورة عارمة انتقاما للضحايا
المدنيين الذين حاول البندريون الاسرائيليون السعوديون الاخاونجيون القرضاويون تحميل وزر قتلهم للشرطة السورية تبين للثوار ابو لحية طويلة ودشداشة نص كم تبين لهم بان الشعب السوري مسكر راسو ومأيرة معو وبطل حتى بدو رفع القانون المسمى قانون الطواريء وقد تنزل في اي وقت ملايين السوريين الى الشارع مطالبين بالابقاء على ذاك القانون لتحقيق امرين
الاول استعادة يوم الجمعة من من الهم والغم إلى الشم والضم والسيران يعني الضهرات على البرية والافراح الملاح في المدن السورية والامر الثاني منع سمر يزبك من الركوب على ظهر السحاقيات السوريات وهي منهن للوصول إلى منصب قيادة الثورة من حمام بيت صاحبتها وادعاء البطولات الفارغة على حساب المعتقلين والضحايا

April 11th, 2011, 11:17 am


jad said:

It’s interesting that some of those who are taking the side of either the destructive/chaotic movement called ‘revolution’ or the regime/brutal side has no dignity at all regarding human lives;

If the killed ‘human’ Syrian is from the chaotic movement he must be named and Alfatiha must be read upon his soul and everybody will cry for him and start showing the most horrific videos just to be loud and vulgar but if another innocent ‘human’ Syrian from the army killed, he will be ignored and he shouldn’t be mentioned and no call for Alfatiha to be read upon his soul.
On the other side of this extreme hypocrisy, the regime/brutality supporters, when an innocent ‘human’ Syrian killed by the police/amn/thugs is defiantly a thug/islamist/wahabbi and he doesn’t deserve to be mentioned and he deserve to be killed.

One answer to both sides: YOU who does that are the real ‘thugs’ between the Syrians, you have no respect for any human lives whatsoever and everything you write about your sadness, madness or happiness is a rude fake reality with an agenda that reflect the decay in your conscious.

HUMAN are the same, VICTIMS of violence are the same on both sides and the moment you recognize one side and on purpose ignore the other is a reflect of who you really are , a “HUMAN THUG”.

April 11th, 2011, 12:15 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Students ‘protest against the government’ at Damascus University. Oh, wait, “Allah, Souria, Bashar ou bas” means they SUPPORT the government!

April 11th, 2011, 1:07 pm


NK said:

Here’s a video of the demonstration in Damas University

Why did people die there ? Did they have weapons too ?!!!!

April 11th, 2011, 1:32 pm


Jad said:

Here’s a video of what the students are saying about the demonstration in Damascus University , the truth is always in the middle, there is no confirm about any fatal injury or using guns in this incident.

April 11th, 2011, 3:52 pm


syau said:

Firstly I want to offer my condolences to Joshua Landis as his wifes cousin was murdered by the anti Bashar Thugs alonside other Syrian soldiers. I have relatives in Syria and worry about their safety every day.


I am not condoning the violence, but those who automatically assume that any bloodshed is he cause of the Syrian government are wrong and need to look outside the box. There is a conspiracy by multiple countries to divide Syria and Khaddam is sitting right in the executive position. He is instigating the violence in the protests and the thugs killing innocent people.

SANA news has just reported that some men have been caught going up behind scaved women and pulling there hijab off – there was another person behind him filming it and there intention was to make it look like the Syrian security officers were behind it. I think it sad that those evil conspiratiors behind such acts are trying to start a war based on religion at an attempt to divide the nation that way as no other part of there pathetic plan seems to be heading in there favour. Syrians are resiliant. The Bashar government is resiliant and will put a stop to the killings and the conspirators behind them and calm will return to the beautiful coutry of Syria.

April 11th, 2011, 6:32 pm


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