Assad Speech II – (16 April 2011)

The president’s speech yesterday was about a good as Bashar al-Assad could have done. If Assad’s first speech did him no favors, this one served him well. I was apprehensive at first when I saw him speaking without a written script, as he does not seem to have a professional speech writing staff that he trusts. But ultimately he was well served to show his personality, which can be appealing. He was straight forward, serious and showed a studied understanding of the country’s problems and his regime’s short comings. He began by recognizing the “fajwa” or gap that separates the people from the regime. This may have been the single most important line of his talk. The rest was to explain why that gap existed and what he would do to close it. He spoke about the “karama” or dignity of the people – also very important.

We had all been watching the video of the hateful way that the men of al-Bayda near Banyas had been treated by the security agents from the neighboring town. They were laid face down in the central square of the town and trampled on by the security forces who accused them of being “khowna” or traitors.

President Assad apologized for the blood that had been spilled. He said that all the fallen – both security and protesters – were martyrs.

He then went on to outline the many serious  problems the country faces – poverty, joblessness, corruption, state institutions that are unresponsive to peoples needs, etc. He showed a keen understanding of the problems he faces.

Many will brush this speech off as being simply “more of the same.” There was no promise of regime-change or of political reforms that could be tantamount to regime change, such as deleting article 8 of the constitution that would eliminate the Baath party’s monopoly on power. It will not be enough to head off new protests, which activists said reached their biggest numbers just the day before when a column of tens of thousands marched from the Damascus suburbs in a bold effort to occupy one of the capital’s central squares. They were beaten back by security forces on Friday night, witnesses said.

“He is repeating an old speech, this is nothing new,” said Razan Zeitouneh, an activist with the Syrian Human Rights Information Link. “He mentioned dignity several times, but he didn’t mention who it is violating the people’s dignity.”

For those who continue to believe in the possibility of reform and not regime-change, this speech was reassuring. It may keep the silent majority from joining the protesters – at least for the time being.

Here are the views given by a number of commentators directly following the President’s speech:

Majed: I liked the speech but I simply do not trust the regime, we have to wait and see. No violence and no sectarian slogans please. We are all Syrians .

Rami: I will be happy when all political prisoners are released and other measures promised becoming the law of the land. People want maher acting as the brother of the president ,not as a military commander,and asef serving as a brother in law,and not as a spy chief,and rami focusing on spending his money instead of making more at the expense of syrians. Bashar is probably the least violent and the least corrupt but his family needs to leave us alone.things may finally be on the right track but it is too early to celebrate .

Fadi: The speech today may have returned the regime close to the place it was at before the first speech in terns of popularity but the work start now. People are watching closely. They felt their power and will not tolerate the old 1-step-forward 2-steps-back approach anymore.

Nadik: Today is a historic day. The president was perfect. Abous chawarbak ya bashar. If he actually follow through with the polictical reforms and allow press and demonstration we can say this is the beginning of a real baath. Thank you the heros of Daraa. again, you gave your blood for the freedom of syria. I want to point to 2 very positive signals in the speech.

  1. He mentioned the mouamara but then dismiseed focusing on it and said the right thing is to focus on people demand and that will combat the mouamara.
  2. He used the word karama many time and this is a key demand.  Recognising this is the beginning of dialog.

Majhool: The people will not stop protesting until

  1. All political prisoners are out
  2. Illegal Security forces dismantled.
  3. Syriatel stripped away from Makhlouf
  4. Atef Najeeb punished, preferably a capital punishment.
  5. Allowing all exiled syrians to come back.
  6. No More Baath.

Assad hinted that demonstrations will be considered sabotage once reforms are enacted. People will not accept that threat, until the average joe is 1000% convinced that the government is sincere they will continue on.

Naji: good coverage of ALL the key points that needed to be addressed and answered almost all the demands of the protests (except article 8 of the constitution)in a serious measurable way…! Chapeau…for now! At least he indicated that he knew the actual problems and what’s needed to immediately address them… Now whether it is realistically possible to accomplish this with the current power structure, even with the best of intentions, is something we will have to wait and see! Still, hopefully whatever reforms they manage to accomplish will enable a more civilized dialogue and better chances for the next step…

Jad: it’s much better than the first one:

  1. Declaring all the Syrians who died as martyrs
  2. -Emergency law to be removed next week
  3. -Engage the public as Ehsani’s suggested
  4. -New media law is under work
  5. -Explain the economic challenges without unrealistic expectation
  6. -Transparency between citizens and ministers on all decisions
  7. -More strict monitoring over government contract
  8. -Monitor of the senior position personnels’ wealth before and after being in the government as a way to fight corruption
  9. -E government to fight lower level corruption
  10. -DOMESTIC issues are number one priorities for all ministers.

No mention for article 8, but as NK wrote, that will be the next step

Michel Kilo: نعم، لا بد من حل سياسي! This is an important article by Michel Kilo – one of the most articulate reformers who led the “Damascus Declaration” movement of 2005 and spent 5 years in jail for his courageous leadership. He advocates reform rather than regime-change and separates himself from the more radical element of the opposition.

هيثم مناع – هيثم مناع في حوار مفتوح حول: انتفاضة الكرامة والتغير الديمقراطي في سوريا. – Haytham Mana`a on al-Jazeera talking about the “karama” revolution and democracy.

Ehsani2 reports:

Banks in Syria paying as high as 8 percent for one year Syrian pound deposits. There is no liquidity, People are pulling syp deposits from banks. They are stuffing them in mattresses or changing them into dollars. The withdrawl of deposits from banks is causing the banks to have to pay up to entice peole to bring back their money. before the events, banks were paying around 5% for syp deposits as they had lots of it. Now that its leaving the banking system, they are having to pay 7-8% to make sure their assets (loans) and covered by enough deposits. Another way to look at it is that the 3% jump in deposit rates, is to make up for a 3% devaluation expectation. people are rationale. they feel changing syp into $ makes sense for now.

Two days ago was the first session in past 4 where the syrian stocks finally stabilized. At least they stopped falling today.

Al-Jazeera report on the demonstrations in Syria this Friday.

Syrian security forces have dispersed thousands of protesters marching towards central Damascus from the suburb of Douma, witnesses say.

Haitham al-Maleh, an activist and lawyer, told Al Jazeera on Friday that protesters were close to Abasyeen Square when the intelligence services brought several buses carrying men with “pistols and sticks” who attacked protesters. He said those injured were taken away by medics.

Other sources said security forces used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

“I counted 15 mukhabarat [secret police] busloads. They went into the alleyways just north of the square chasing protesters and yelling ‘You pimps, you infiltrators, you want freedom? We will give it to you!’,” a witness told Reuters news agency.

Elsewhere in the capital, violence reportedly erupted when dozens of armed men in plainclothes surrounded about 250 protesters rallying in front of the Salam mosque in Barzeh district.

Thousands were also demonstrating in the southern city of Daraa. Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin said security forces were not visible in the city, and that the protesters were being allowed to hold their demonstration.

“It’s a completely different scene from last Friday when more than 26 people were killed during protests and clashes with the security forces and protesters here. People went out after Friday prayers … in thousands. They were marching carrying olive branches saying ‘Peaceful’ [and] ‘Freedom’. Some were demanding the toppling of the regime, others were saying they just want reforms,” she reported from Daraa.

“It comes one day after a delegation from Daraa met with President Bashar al-Assad in an attempt by the government to calm the situation … In Daraa, these measures seem to have calmed the situation a little bit. People say the president promised them very specific reforms that will be announced very soon, maybe as early as next week.”

Authorities Seize Huge Weapons Consignment Bound for Syria,  Apr 17, 2011 SANA

Averroes writes in the comment section:

I tried posting a couple of entries on the “Syrian Revolution against Bashar 2011” on Facebook. I was polite, and just asked why not give reforms a chance, and that kind of thing.

It took 6 minutes, and I was thrown out and my entries deleted.

Very democratic, and a great indication of what’s to come if these guys take over.

Omran writes:

i agree with others, when we Syrians who are for president Bashar and his reform efforts comment on Syrian so call revolution page LOL our comments are deleted as soon as they realize that we support Syria and Bashar al-Asad. why?? if they are calling for freedom and want all Syrians to engage in this freedom shouldn’t they listen to the millions of Syrians who support Bashar???

From Damascus, a friend writes that my post about the Nine Soldiers killed in Banyas got”front page coverage in today’s copy of Tishreen (Sat. 16 April) under the headline:

الصحافة الغربية استخدمت روايات بقدر كبير من انعدام المسؤولية والمهنة

And the surtitle:

خبير أميركي يؤكد أنها تعرضت للتضليل في تغطية أحداث بانياس

WikiLeaks: Hariri Urged Ending Assad Regime, Khaddam and Muslim Brotherhood to fill Void

Caretaker PM Saad Hariri believed that the Syrian and Iranian regimes are the obstacles behind the deteriorating peace process in the Middle East, revealed a WikiLeakes cable published in al-Akhbar newspaper on Friday.

Hariri stated that Israel is “protecting” the Syrian regime because it fears the unknown.

The leaked U.S. Embassy cable dated August 24, 2006, reported that he believed “weakening Syria will force Iran to work on its own.”

Hariri said during a meeting with a U.S. foreign ministry official and another diplomat in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, that isolating Syria and imposing a siege on it would cut Iran’s link to Lebanon and Palestine “where it is creating problems.”

He stressed: “Saudi Arabia and other Arabian countries have gotten fed up with Bashar… and are not interested in getting engaged in a dialogue with Damascus.”

“We need to put an end to the Syrian regime… All conflicts will end when this regime is abolished,” he continued.

When asked about who can fill the void if the regime falls, he stated that “collaboration between the Muslim Brotherhood and some of the officials that were part of the old regime, such as former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam and former Syrian Chief of Staff Hikmat al-Shihabi” could assume control in Syria.

Hariri stressed that the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria is similar to the moderate Islamists in Turkey, explaining: “They will allow a Christian or a woman to become president. They even support a peace agreement with Israel.”

He expressed fears over Iranian intervention in the region, saying: “Syria is only part of a bigger problem which is Iran, which supports Islamist groups like Hizbullah and Hamas.”

The Mustaqbal Movement leader said that Iran and Syria are smuggling arms to Hizbullah through land borders not by sea or air.

Hariri questioned the usefulness of providing the Lebanese army with weapons to serve as an obstacle to Hizbullah when “its ammunition won’t last more than four hours.”

He added that he will cut all ties with Hizbullah, saying: “We want it to change its behavior and hand over its weapons, or it will have a problem with me.”

In another leaked cable dated September 27, 2006, Hariri noted that Lebanon only requires “light weapons and some helicopters to impose its sovereignty over all its territory.”

He believed that the residents of the South will turn against Hizbullah once the Lebanese army is deployed in the area as they will realize that the Lebanese authorities can help resolve their problems, not Hizbullah, which is only “an Iranian infiltrator.”

Syrians Renew Protests Despite Concessions
By LIAM STACK and KATHERINE ZOEPF – April 15, 2011

CAIRO — Protesters turned out again in large numbers in cities across Syria on Friday to demand reforms, defying a nationwide crackdown in which dozens of demonstrators have been killed by security forces. The marches on Friday were met with tear gas, beatings and reports of gunfire. Seeking to tamp down the unrest, the government of President Bashar al-Assad had announced several measures on Thursday that were meant to mollify demonstrators.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched into Damascus from its restive suburbs on Friday afternoon, said Razan Zeitouneh, a human rights activist. It was the first time that a protest that large had been seen in the capital, which the government had managed to hold in a tense calm for weeks. The protesters chanted “Freedom! Freedom!” and “The people want to overthrow the regime!” as they moved along. Ms. Zeitouneh estimated that the march began with 20,000 people in Doumathe, the site of large protests each of the last two weekends, and passed through a string of suburbs including Harasta and Arbeen.

Security forces responded with live ammunition and tear gas, she said, but it was unclear how effective those measures were. At midday, the march was continuing to push toward Abasseyeen Square in the heart of Damascus. By the time it reached the city limits, it had snowballed into a potentially serious challenge for the government of Mr. Assad, whose 11-year rule has been badly shaken by weeks of unrest. The security forces’ seeming inability to keep groups of protesters in different suburbs from joining into a large demonstration was ominous for the government, activists said.

Beyond the capital, there were reports of sizable protests in Homs and other cities and in the besieged southern town of Dara’a, which has been isolated behind a tight security cordon since the early days of unrest in mid-March.

A friend who lives in Aleppo is traveling through the Grab. He writes:

Hi Joshua,  Aljazeera is reporting largely peaceful anti-regime demonstrations in several cities today. We were driving down the Ghab plain today and were surprised to run across a small moped-borne protest, calling for “hurriya”, and kids chanting anti-regime slogans in another town (before being shushed by their elders). First time we’ve come across something like this in such a rural area; maybe it is spreading. (we’re going to check out the mountains the next few days).

Comment on this video of security forces mistreating protesters at al-Bayda شام – قرية البيضه – تعامل قوات الأمن مع الأهالي 12-4-2011
This video is monumental now. ALL satellite TVs are showing nonstop today, given that there is no major events in other capitals today. Today has been dedicated to Syria.

Such a video removed any goodwill that yesterday’s decisions and efforts have created. I’m more convinced than ever that this is a war going on within the regime. These guys should be brought to justice immediately and swiftly. This should be made public today or it will be fuel for recruitment for weeks to come.

If bashar takes other good steps today or tomorrow then I think April 17 will be decisive. I think there would be massive pro demonstrations if cards are played right.

Another comment:

I think it indicates two things:

1. It purposely released to tell the opposition leaders, or whoever sent these young people, that see what happens to your boys? It is a strong message to those future recruits. The relese of this video is no accident.

2. It is also an internal message to those on top in Syria. It’s a message that the security forces (Maher’s clans) that we will do whatever we have to do. Im sure Bashar is not going to be happy seeing it, but Maher would be elated. This is going to be a video of great importance.

Syria’s young cyber activists keep protests in view – Guardian.

One commentator: If you put yourself in the shoes of your average young Arab or anyone anywhere, who wouldn’t sympathize with these activists, regardless if you think they know what they’re doing or not. regardless where this leads to! The war for public opinion is almost impossible to win by the regime. their only hope are the people who still support them genuinely inside Syria. They need to keep winning their hearts and minds by quick and meaningful reforms coupled with a charm offensive.

Maybe this is the reason: Cal Perry, Aljazeera English corespondent in Syria just tweeted:

“The meeting between the Pres. and the delegation from #Deraa has concluded. The delegation tells us they are “happy with the outcome” #Syria

100 prisoners released the town #Bayda near #Banias after yesterday’s sit in. #Syria

Assad Approves Syrian Cabinet in Wake of Protests
By Massoud A. Derhally and Alaa Shahine, Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 14 (Bloomberg) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad approved the formation of a new government under Adel Safar almost two weeks after the prime minister was named to replace an administration that resigned after deadly protests.

In addition, Assad ordered the release of people detained during political protests that started about a month ago and who did not “commit criminal acts,” the state-run SANA news agency reported. The government agency didn’t say how many would be released or indicate how many people were detained by the authorities.

In the cabinet shake-up, Mohammad al-Jalilati replaced Finance Minister Mohammad al-Hussein, while Foreign Minister Walid Al-Muallem and Energy Minister Sufian Alao retained their positions in the new government, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported today. Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Abdallah Dardari, who isn’t from the ruling Baath party, was removed. Mohammad Ibrahim Shaar was named interior minister, overseeing the country’s security.

Safar, who will be joined in the cabinet by a total of 30 lawmakers, was agriculture minister in the cabinet of Muhammad Naji Otri. Otri quit March 29 following demonstrations that have been the strongest challenge to Assad’s rule since he inherited power from his father in 2000. In a March 30 speech, Assad told parliament that political changes are under way and that Syria won’t be rushed. He also said the protests were a conspiracy….

The Syrian counter-revolution has an anthem now… “ضد البلد”!

Best chants today were in Reef Dimashq villages:

بدنا نحكي عالمكشوف. لا ذو الهمة ولا مخلوف

بدنا نحكي عالمكشوف. حرامية ما بدنا نشوف

‘U.S. Says Iran Helps Crackdown in Syria
By Adam Entous And Matthew Rosenberg 14 April 2011, The Wall Street Journal

Iran is secretly helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad put down pro-democracy demonstrations, according to U.S. officials, who say Tehran is providing gear to suppress crowds and assistance blocking and monitoring protesters’ use of the Internet, cellphones and text-messaging.

At the same time, communications intercepted by U.S. spy agencies show Tehran is actively exploring ways to aid some Shiite hardliners in Bahrain and Yemen and destabilize longstanding U.S. allies there, say U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence. Such moves could challenge interests of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and inflame sectarian tensions across the Middle East, they say.

“We believe that Iran is materially assisting the Syrian government in its efforts to suppress their own people,” said an Obama administration official.

U.S. officials say they don’t see Iran as the driving force behind popular revolts against longtime U.S. allies in the Mideast, and caution they have no concrete evidence that Iran is providing or preparing large-scale financial or military support to opposition elements in Bahrain or Yemen.

Rather, the White House has worried that protracted political turmoil could provide an opening for additional influence by Tehran, whose nuclear ambitions are a concern to the U.S. and its allies in Europe and the Middle East.

So far, an administration official said, Iranian “aspirations far outpace their ability to project their influence into these places.”

By disclosing intelligence about Iranian involvement, the U.S. appears to be trying to put Tehran on notice that it is under close surveillance in Washington. “We’re keeping an eye on these activities,” another Obama administration official said……

Strong report of the Deraa violence of Friday by Human Rights Watch Asserts that government authorities prevented medical care from reaching wounded and other for committing other human rights violations in Deraa.

The Syrian Government has denied that its troops prevented ambulances from reaching wounded.

The student that “Syrian revolution” page on Facebook claimed was killed in the demonstration at the Univ of  Damascus – speaks out, explaining that he is in good health.

Associated Press news agency said the Damascus Declaration, Syria’s leading pro-democracy group, had urged leaders of the Arab League to impose sanctions on al-Assad’s government, and put the death toll from the unrest at more than 200.

Easter celebrations in Syria are canceled by “the heads of Syria’s Churches” due to the turmoil and deaths

بيان صادر عن رؤساء الكنائس المسيحية في دمشق

نظراً للظروف الاستثنائية العصيبة التي يمر بها الوطن الحبيب سورية، وإكراماً لأرواح الشهداء الأطهار والضحايا الأبرار الذين سقطوا في الأحداث الأليمة مؤخراً، وتعبيراً عن وحدة أبناء الشعب السوري الأبي، وترسيخاً للحمة الوطنية، ستقتصر احتفالاتنا في أعياد الفصح المجيد على الصلوات والطقوس الدينية في الكنائس فقط، مصلين إلى السيد المسيح القائم من بين الأموات، أن يمنَّ على وطننا العزيز بالأمن والسلام، وأن يُعيد هذا العيد المبارك على سورية قيادةً وشعباً بالخير واليُمن والبركات.

Understanding Syria’s unrest
By a correspondent in Damascus, who wishes not to have his/her named used.

Asad’s Lost Chances by Carsten Wieland | published April 13, 2011. Middle East Report

…Just after the US invasion of Iraq, in May 2003, many observers pricked up their ears in surprise when a central regime figure commended the Syrian opposition for its prudence. Bahjat Sulayman, the powerful former head of Syrian intelligence, wrote in the Lebanese newspaper al-Safir, “In Syria, the regime does not have enemies but ‘opponents’ whose demands do not go beyond certain political and economic reforms such as the end of the state of emergency and martial law; the adoption of a law on political parties; and the equitable redistribution of national wealth.” [1] Forcible regime change, Sulayman knew, was only on the agenda of select exiles and US politicians. But President Asad treated the Civil Society Movement intellectuals, with their debating clubs and talk of a soft landing for Syria’s transition away from authoritarianism, like a gang of criminals…..

Antoun Issa, Democracy’s price may be too high for Syria, 14 April 2011 – Australia’s ABC.

Christopher Phillips comments on President’s Assad’s perceived weakness.

Whither Syria • Bitter Lemons

. At the point of no return Nizar Abdel-Kader
The Assad regime does not have effective means to find a long-term solution.

A twist in Syria’s sobriety Rime Allaf
Syrians have already achieved phenomenal changes, despite paying a heavy price.

Paying lip service to resistance does not provide immunityKarim Emile Bitar
Foreign powers may allow the Syrian regime to survive or at least gain time.

Weathering the storm Elias Samo
With prompt reforms, Assad will survive the domestic challenge.

Syria’s national tire factory closes Story here in al-Iqtisad – One readers comments below:


Statement from President Obama on the Violence in Syria – April 8, 2011

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.

Syrian Central Bank Says Bank Lending Grows 16.5% in 2010
2011-04-12 By Lina Ibrahim

April 12 (Bloomberg) — Syrian bank lending grew by 16.5 percent in 2010 to 1.2 trillion pounds ($25.3 billion), mainly by state-owned lenders, the Central Bank of Syria said in a report posted on its website today. Loans by six state-owned banks accounted for 78 percent of total loans compared with 83 percent a year earlier, it said. Syrian banks held deposits totalling 1.4 trillion pounds by the end of 2010, a 16.7 percent increase, according to the report.

Le régime syrien cherche à entraîner la population dans une guerre civile
Ignace Leverrier, ancien diplomate, chercheur arabisant
LEMONDE.FR | 06.04.11 |

Pendant qu’il en est encore temps, l’opinion publique internationale doit ouvrir les yeux sur la situation en Syrie. Ce qui s’y prépare en silence loin des regards est d’une extrême gravité. Il s’agit ni plus ni moins, de la part d’un régime à bout de ressources politiques et dont le seul argument réside dans l’emploi de la force, que de pousser les Syriens à bout. Il veut les contraindre, soit à renoncer à leurs aspirations à la liberté, soit à recourir à la violence. Il lui sera alors facile de travestir la demande de démocratie de la jeunesse syrienne en un “soulèvement confessionnel”. Et il justifiera par la “protection de l’unité nationale” l’emploi contre les manifestants d’une violence d’autant plus grande que sa peur aura été intense…..

The Syria peace myth
Op-ed: Latest developments in Syria prove that talk of peace with Assad family was baseless
Guy Bechor, 04.10.11, 14:13 / Israel Opinion – Ynet

A terrible thing happened to an entire sector in Israel – the politicians, former military men and experts who for dozens of years kept on talking about making peace with the Assad family. The option of such agreement with Syria is off the agenda now, and moreover, it turns out that it was a false alternative that would have damaged Israel greatly had it been realized.

For some 40 years they told us that peace with the Alawite family ruling Syria will bring us peace with the entire Arab world. Later they told us that such peace deal would restrain Lebanon and Hezbollah. After that they said that a deal would sever the ties between Syria and Iran. And after all that we were told that we didn’t make enough effort to appease Damascus.

All of this was accompanied with a certain degree of romanticism and admiration for the Assad family; the father, the son and the holy spirit. Yet all of these stories were baseless…..

Jerusalem Post: ‘Wikileaks’: Syria aimed chemical weapons at Israel, 2011-04-16

Syria placed long-range chemical weapons on its border with Israel in 2007 in response to Israeli destruction of one of their nuclear reactors, ‘Wikileaks’ documents reveal. The existence of the missiles was discussed in a March 2008 meeting with …

Comments (118)

trustquest said:

What ever some would say and what ever some analyse, the people of Syria have broken 50% of the symbols of the regime and they are going on different path of what some might wish. Resisting the earthquake is useless. Here is this video today, independence day of Syria calling for the second dependence from the regime, I believe them and I support them full heartily.

April 17th, 2011, 8:49 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Again, the Khoranies are taking the lead in the Muqawama against this regime. The Khoranies of all Syrians !!! who would believe!!!
The Khoranies, unlike the rest of the half-men of Syria, are making their way into the new history books, that will be written after this regime ceases to exist. Sooner than later, I believe.

April 17th, 2011, 9:00 am


trustquest said:

Amir, they called Horanies because they are from Horan which is southern Syria basin.

April 17th, 2011, 9:50 am


Shami said:

Trust,he is correct according the hebraic dialect ,they say Khamas for Hamas ,so Horani is Khorani in hebraic dialect.

April 17th, 2011, 10:18 am


trustquest said:

Thanks Shami, nice to know.
Amir, I hope your prediction will come true, we hope for less bloodshed.

April 17th, 2011, 10:26 am


Aboud said:

Delivery, excellent. Content, excellent. Empathy, excellent. If the next few weeks see real and concrete changes, then no one would be happier.

A massive gesture would be to deal with the perpetrators of the abuses at Biyada, where civilians were lashed and stomped on by government militiamen. A high level delegation, similar to those sent to Dar’a, would do wonders to keep the more radical elements in line. It costs the regime nothing, but they have everything to lose if these matters aren’t dealt with.

April 17th, 2011, 10:41 am


Fadi said:

Reviewing history one finds a lot of similarity between Muslim Brotherhood and AlQaeda. Muslim Brotherhood comitted crimes against civilians in Egypt, Syria, and Algeria. AlQaeda took the life of thousands of innocent people in Sept 11 for their evil cause. I cannot say that all the unrest in Syria is related to Muslim Brotherhood, actually Almale7 (one of the opposition leaders) stated that Khadam, and Rifaat Assad are commiting crimes now and groups belong to them are behind the unrest in Syria. He did not name Muslim Brotherhood.

My question to you guys, especially to those who are supporting bringing Assad down: Do you agree with me that Muslim Brotherhood is the same as AlQaeda or not???????I really need your honest answer.

Do you think that we should crack down and creat an anti terrorism act (as in USA) to follow the terrorist???

Where are these groups AlQaeda and MB bringing there teachings from??Where is it in Qoran that says okay to kill civilians for a cause, did it say that???

I am having hard time interpreting the word Jihad. Being Christian I have to be careful of using my words and I do not want to offend anyone but I really need some one to educate me and explain to me these things. We have three now in this forume and perhaps they would help: Trustquest, Amir, and Shami.

FYI: Lost 2 of my uncles to BM back in 1982 and thats why I am supporter of Assads staying in power.

April 17th, 2011, 10:42 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


Khoran, or Horan or חורן or חרן, is of course a biblical word. Here:
Yehezkel (Ezekiel) 47:16

In Israeli slang, the term ‘Khorani’ means someone who is untidy, not very clean and not particularly smart .. 🙂
Present day Khoranies prove that they are brave, determined and obstinate, as well.

I wish Syria a peaceful toppling of this incompetent regime, with no bloodshed.

April 17th, 2011, 10:56 am


Aboud said:

Fadi, your entire line of discussion is irrelevant. So far the MB have not figured prominently in these protests. They organize nothing, they mobilize no one. Almost all the chants you hear in the streets are calls for freedom and support for the besieged people of Dar’a and Baniyas.

Contrary to the paranoid hysterics of the regime apologists, there are no calls for a Sharia state. In fact, Bashar has taken steps to placate the religious conservatives by closing down Syria’s only Casino and lifting the ban on full-face veils. Guess what, no one was out in the streets protesting for those things. So if it’s a Sharia state you are afraid of, you might have a word with the people advising President Bashar on the kinds of concessions he is making.

When we see evidence of the MB becoming a prominent force in these demonstrations, then we can discuss the pros and cons of their ideology. But so far, the only role they seem to have is as an invention of the state media, as an ever-present bogy-man.

The demonstrators are doing their hardest not to turn events into a sectarian conflict. If that’s what you are afraid of, you then need to discuss it with the Shabiha that abused the inhabitants of Biyada.

April 17th, 2011, 10:58 am


Fadi said:


On April 10: Nine members of a Syrian army patrol were shot to death and twenty five were wounded—the single bloodiest incident in the Syrian uprising to date.

On April 15: Islamist protesters armed with swords, daggers and bats have attacked police in the Jordanian city of Zarqa, wounding 51 of them, and 32 other police suffered from tear-gas inhalation

I hope what you are saying is right and no involvement of MB in what is going on.

Yes I am afraid of Sharia state.
I hope the west would not make the mistake it made in Iran. Many Iranians are not happy with the transfomation of their country from a country like Syria now with open minded and respect to minorities, to a country where Sharia law is applied. I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of Iranians who are moarning the Shah days

Aboud you did not even reply me: Is MB the same as AlQaeda? you seem to be intelegent person and I like your explanations. You reply to this question would help me believe or not believe what you are stating.

April 17th, 2011, 11:15 am


Shami said:

Fadi ,the syrian muslim brotherhood supporters and potential supporters can mostly be found in the big cities(Aleppo,Hama,Homs,Damascus) and are in general from the middle class.The syrian version of the brotherhood happen to be a special case in which we can find many sufis and most of the supporters were not salafis.(unlike those of Palestine and Jordan)
As for Algeria ,the Muslim Brotherhood (led by Mahfoud al Nahnah )were against violence and joined the algerian government during the algerian civil war in the 1990’s.
It’s true that many radical islamists were close to the brotherhood in their youth and the violent takfiri path can be found in the writtings of Qotb but these people broke away from the traditional trend since the end of the 70’s-80’s.
This asadian mukhabarati attempt to link this revolution which is non ideological revolution to foreigner parties will fail.The regime in Syria is extremly corrupt and criminal,so the syrian people as any other people who live under the same conditions have many reasons to protest against this wrong rule.
These protesters are all products of the system imposed by asad and they were forced to endure asadian propaganda since their childhood.

April 17th, 2011, 11:36 am


jad said:

Happy 65 Syrian Independence day
April 17 1946-2011

April 17th, 2011, 11:57 am


why-discuss said:

“Why would people in other countries [as Syrians officials have publically claimed] want to sow strife in Syria?” Not one managed a response.”

as reported by the anonymous

I guess all Syrians and all arabs know why other countries want to saw strife in Syria! The writer seems to imply that Syrians are dumb!

This anomymous writer is probably deaf or a zionist or both.

April 17th, 2011, 12:03 pm


N.Z. said:


You answer me now, is Hamas related to MB or to the so called Al qaeda? is it supported by Syria ruling party?

Give me a break and stop inciting fear. We are a Muslim majority country. And we are entitled of having any group of people who chose to have a political party, The last word is for the masses to vote. Turks are happier than they’ve ever been, they have a clear identity, not a fake one. And, Yes, it is a Muslim majority country with an Islamic culture, and a party that derives its policies from Islam. If you and the west have a problem, it is yours alone.

The people of Dera’ took back to the streets because their demands were not met. The female prisoners were not released, and the head responsible for starting the mess, the cousin, is left astray. A broken promise equals status quo. The ruling party either enforce justice on all, or the ship sinks with its captain and thousands of innocent Syrians. The honeymoon is over. And fear has no place in the mind of the thousands of protesters. Thanks to the gangs of AlBaida the protests are soaring. They also have to be brought to justice.

I hope justice will prevail. Only then we will all embark safely.

April 17th, 2011, 12:13 pm


Shami said:

What a contrast between the paranoid mini sectarian pro shabiha and moukhabarat people who happened to exist on this forum lately and the highly civilized syrian people:

On Brahima Hanano grave in aleppo today .

The achievement of independance is coming dear Jad.

Karama is coming ….

April 17th, 2011, 12:18 pm


Averroes said:


You prove yet again that you nothing but a racist, self-centered bigot.

April 17th, 2011, 12:23 pm


Sophia said:

I am very pessimistic. I think this is the most honest package of reforms enacted yet in the Arab world, including Egypt and Tunisia, but I am afraid that it won’t be enough.

We have to stop being innocents or faking innocence. There will be many acts of revenge perpetrated by sunnis, ousted form Iraq, and weakened in Lebanon. This is human nature and this is the nature of politics in the region. My impression is that the counter revolution in the Arab world has won the moment the US decided that it cannot do with its alliance with Saudi Arabia.
I deeply empathize with the plight of those who want change in Syria, but I think their revolution will be hijacked.

The US implemented democracy in Iraq with more than 150000 troops on the ground and because of the continuing sectarian divide democracy means nothing in Iraq today.

April 17th, 2011, 12:24 pm


Fadi said:

N.Z. said:
“is Hamas related to MB or to the so called Al qaeda? is it supported by Syria ruling party?”

Well in this one you win: I personally hate Hamas. But I would not say that Hamas had used force against my people. I agree that the current Syrian goverment has been harburing Hamas and used them as a pressure card against Israel.

I would say that MB had blood in their hands. I want you to answer my question that no one except Shami had answered my question (Although some one like him may make Alqaeda looks peaceful 30 years in the future), but at least he gave a decent explanation.

Do you believe that MB is the same as AlQaeda?????
Why every one is just running around and not direct in answering a simple question. I would take Yes, No as an answe

April 17th, 2011, 12:24 pm


Tamim arnous said:

Allowing parties with a religious platform or exclusive membership is a bad idea and should not be legal. Religious people can apply their rules on themselves and their families but not the public. Having said that,I fully accept the reality that most of us are Muslims and we do not want our country to lose its identity and heritage. This means that a public display of nudity and alcoholic intoxication,for example, should be punishable by law,which is the case in many non-Muslim countries. Bloggers who claim that the MB and its supporters have nothing to do with this uprising are fooling nobody,however, I believe that many protestors were young people who want freedom and jobs and were not particularly MB recruits.locals in more than one Syrian city confirmed that sectarian slogans and sectarian behavior took place and led to the fleeing of many Syrians to safer places,now that is unacceptable and denying it is outrageous.
Daraa will be remembered by Syrians as the city that challenged us to change and a city that gave independence a wider and more noble meaning. Freedom from internal oppression is as valuable as freedom from outside invaders. All the glory and credit go to the honest freedom fighters who truly transformed our country.

April 17th, 2011, 12:42 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Amir is a piece of [Edited for insults]

April 17th, 2011, 12:42 pm


AIG said:

Syria Almighty and Averroes,

As far as I can see the only occasion the protesters mention Israel or the Golan is when they point out that the “lion son of a lion” is actually a rabbit in the Golan.

Try as you may to bring Israel into this, this is not about Israel. It is about dignity and freedom for the Syrian people. And as Amir says, one cannot but look with great awe and respect at the people risking their lives protesting against a ruthless regime for a better future for their children.

April 17th, 2011, 12:54 pm


Syria Almighty said:

AIG must be deaf. The protesters have been demanding that the army attack the Golan Heights. Don’t think for one second that these Muslim Brotherhood terrorists want peace with Israel.

April 17th, 2011, 12:58 pm


jad said:


April 17th, 2011, 1:01 pm


AIG said:


Now, now. How stupid do you think people are? The protesters have been taunting the regime to attack Israel instead of them in order to highlight the hypocrisy of the regime.

The MB do not like Israel, neither do 99% of Syrians. I do not expect peace after Syria is free. But there will not be war either as Syrians will devote decades to building their country after the mess the Assads created. They will not have the resources nor the inclination to go to war.

April 17th, 2011, 1:03 pm


Syria Almighty said:

I also love how you call it a ‘ruthless regime.’ A total of 200 people have been killed in a month of violent protests, many of them policemen, security forces and soldiers. They are killed because ‘peaceful protesters’ carry weapons and kill people, they burn buildings, destroy cars, attack hospitals, and ruin shops. In ANY country, these people would be shot on sight. But in Syria, enacting basic law is ‘ruthlessness.’ Meanwhile, in Israel, their ‘peace-loving angel government’ slaughters Palestinians daily, and have been doing so since 1947, simply because they want dignity, and their own nation. But no, THOSE people, who were robbed of their country and properties, are TERRORISTS, and DESERVE to be killed. The US, with its phony excuses, invades countries left and right. They killed 1.5 million innocent people in Iraq. And the US is considered a “Beacon of democracy, human rights, and peace.” Tell that to the innocent families who were killed by American bullets, bombs and planes. Tell that to the 4 million Vietnamese who were slaughtered wholesale by the Americans. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of Japanese who were met with 2 nuclear weapons, courtesy of Uncle Sam. Those people don’t matter. No, what matters are the 200 terrorists that were killed in Syria for their violent protests. THAT’S where the ruthlessness and human rights violations are!

April 17th, 2011, 1:07 pm


Syria Almighty said:

I suppose the ‘peaceful protesters’ who were advocating the genocide of non-Sunnis are also only just ‘taunting the regime to show its hypocrisy.’

April 17th, 2011, 1:10 pm


Syria Almighty said:

CLEARLY, the Syrian president imposed economic sanctions on his own country, and not the Zionist-controlled nations like the US. Please, AIG, how stupid do you think WE are?

April 17th, 2011, 1:12 pm


AIG said:


You are first and foremost judged by how you treat your family members. Assad claims to be the “father” of the Syrians. When a father kills his own children, people view this at a different level completely. The two hundred people killed in the last month are the tip of the iceberg. What about the thousands if not tens of thousands of Syrians killed by the Assads during their years of rule?

April 17th, 2011, 1:15 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Yet again, we see Zionist ..[Syria almighty – too many insults and slurs. You will be shut out of SC for a week.]

April 17th, 2011, 1:19 pm


Majhool said:


package of reforms !!! you must be kidding.

What reform? it is merely a speech from a CEO to his employees…

Reform is when the president GIVE away some of his power. He controls everything.

April 17th, 2011, 1:22 pm


AIG said:


If a few people were shouting irresponsible slogans, you cannot generalize about the millions of others that just want a better future for their kids.

For decades the Assads have said that the sanctions were not hurting Syria at all. Suddenly they changed their mind. Why? Because they need a scapegoat for their dismal economic policies and the catastrophic results. The truth is that the economic sanctions are part of the failed Asad foreign policy. If Asad knew that his foreign policy will lead to such economic catastrophe, why did he choose it?

April 17th, 2011, 1:22 pm


Majhool said:

I have a question to the Alwaites and Christians here.

Could you please list all repression acts committed by sunni controlled governments against Alwaites and Christians,,,say since 1900.

I am trying to understand the panic.

April 17th, 2011, 1:28 pm


AIG said:


Try as you may making this about Israel it isn’t. It is about Syrians fighting for dignity and freedom. It is not about one tribe fighting another. It is about a “father” killing his children. I hope you understand the profound difference and understand why this “father” has to be replaced, hopefully in a peaceful manner. The MB should be given a chance to become like the Turkish AKP. If not, the Syrian people will reject them also.

April 17th, 2011, 1:29 pm


Syria Almighty said:

AIG, unlike most of the world, Syria has not sold its soul or its dignity for money. Syria’s foreign policy is just. It also does not look like you understand what rhetoric is.

Syria has been growing, WITHOUT the help of the US. I went to Syria in 2007, and stayed for 3 months. When I came back to Canada, and told my family, and showed them pictures and videos of the places I went to, they were astonished. They could not believe that what they were looking at was Syria. My step mother, who came to Canada just 3 years earlier before I went, said that NONE of the things I showed her even existed in Syria when she was there. Clearly, the economic policies of the government are working. The US tried to hinder that progress where ever it can.

When Syria tried to buy 50 planes from France, the US FORBADE them from selling Syria the planes. They were just passenger airplanes. Then we saw Israel BLACKMAIL Germany into not allowing them to sell cars to Syria. Israel explicitly told them “How would Germany feel if it knew that the vehicles it sold to Syria and Iran were being used for terrorism against the Jewish state?” in a CLEAR nod to the holocaust, and how Germany should feel guilty about it. Don’t tell me that other countries are not responsible for Syria’s economic problems. Unlike Israel and Egypt, Syria is not a welfare state. Israel and Egypt receive BILLIONS every year from the US. Israel spends it on military, and Mubarak put it in his pocket. Egypt’s economy, despite its annual handouts, is 10 times worse then Syria’s, a country that does not receive billions of dollars every year from ANYONE, and is instead, embargoed at every corner imaginable. Suffice to say, Syria managing to be better then most regional nations economically despite all foreign hindrances is indicative of SMART economic policy.

April 17th, 2011, 1:40 pm


Syria Almighty said:

AIG, the only thing that needs to be replaced in the region is Israel. FUCK YOU for meddling in our internal affairs, and even suggesting that the president needs to be replaced. Give the Muslim Brotherhood a chance??? HAHAHA, FUCK YOU. They share the same place in hell with the Zionists.

April 17th, 2011, 1:45 pm


AIG said:


What you do not understand is that Syria’s growth has been restricted to a few areas and a limited number of people. Are you unaware that hundreds of thousands, probably over a million people, have been driven off their land recently because of droughts and have become internally displaced? Are you unaware of the very limited ability of Asad to get foreign investment? Yes, you can bring anecdotal evidence of additional buildings here and there, but what does that mean in a country of 20 million people? Is the average Syrian better off than 5 years ago? The answer is no. Because of the inability of Assad to create jobs, the future for many is quite grim. But keep believing the tall tales Assad is selling you. The average Syrian knows the truth because she has to cope with the daily reality of what the Assads have made of Syria.

April 17th, 2011, 1:51 pm


jad said:

I agree with your pessimist.
I think Syrians themselves are the one who are going to distroy any hope of any possible improvement. The Arab bedouin culture will always reveal, we build a tent around an oasis, make it grow and one day we dismantle our tent and start from scratch again.
Syrians are delusional in everything they do, you can tell from people’s comments on here where almost all of them are well educated and living abroad and regardless that they know very well that any law in the west needs at least 3 reading and years to be adopted without the need of any demonstration and killing and they themselves accept to wait, but with their delusional minds they want Syria to become Sweden in one hour.
If we, the well educated Syrians, are that much delusional as we read on here can you imagine what the average uneducated Syrians demonstration in the streets think?!
Delusional people like us Syrians will always be like that until the moment we adopt logic.

April 17th, 2011, 1:51 pm


Fadi said:

AIG said:

“Try as you may making this about Israel it isn’t. It is about Syrians fighting for dignity and freedom”

“The MB should be given a chance to become like the Turkish AKP”.

“The MB do not like Israel, neither do 99% of Syrians”

Israel is part of the map. The bloody MB; if they killed their own people, and now you say they hate Israel, I wonder what they will do with the state of Israel and the peace process in general in case they were accoding to your words “Given a chance”.

Anyway, you may say what you want. I am sure the west will be careful about who might choose. Assad is the perfect one for the time being. If peace will ever happen then it will be under the hand of moderate goverments whether moderate sunni, shiite, or christians. Notice I mentioned moderate Sunni: When it comes to Sunni there is moderate and wahabi. Other minorities do not have this problem. Alqaeda and MB I believe are sunni extremists and will never be partners with Israel, they are not partners with their own people. If anyone believe that the US will allow instability in Syria then they are mistaken. Will see guys where your revolution is leading you. Mada Secreteray already announced that “Changing Arab leaders not enough to bring reform‎”, and the US has not so far with the except of some words of pressure did anything to the Syrian regime. The political game is bigger than your shallow interpretation::::few people wants Hurria, Karama, and yes Syria Almighty you are right when you said ”
A total of 200 people have been killed in a month of violent protests, many of them policemen, security forces and soldiers. They are killed because ‘peaceful protesters’ carry weapons and kill people, they burn buildings, destroy cars, attack hospitals, and ruin shops. In ANY country, these people would be shot on sight”.

April 17th, 2011, 1:56 pm


Shami said:

Jad,what i’m is not important but let me say that you inaccurately labeled me an Islamist son of islamists some years ago while never was i a fully practising muslim (nor my father who only began praying this year ) ,also i hate the idea of the religious state then i became an aristocratic elitist ,Averroes alluded that i must be from one of the former ottoman families who ruled once Aleppo ,this is also not accurate at all.

April 17th, 2011, 1:56 pm


AIG said:


Once Assad started backing Hamas, any excuse for Israelis not to meddle with Syrian affairs is gone. What is good for the goose, is good for the gander. Nevertheless, Israel does not meddle with your affairs. Writing my opinion is not meddling. How brittle is your “loved” regime if it cannot handle a little criticism?

April 17th, 2011, 1:57 pm


Majhool said:


Possible improvements? Had it not been to the “Bedouins”, the “package” would never have seen the light.

Jad, lets be frank, you guys loved the status-quo..

April 17th, 2011, 1:59 pm


Syria Almighty said:

AIG, you are delusional and void of intelligence. You are the one bringing anecdotal evidence into the equation. Droughts happen. They are not government-controlled. You don’t know the first thing about Syria, its people or its economy. I’m sure you haven’t been to Syria, as Zionist garbage is not allowed to enter the country (Good policy, IMO), yet you insist on telling US SYRIANS what should and should not be done with our country??? Go to hell. Stay out of our business. Isn’t there some land in the West Bank you should be stealing, or some Jewish people you should be beating up for peacefully protesting?

April 17th, 2011, 2:00 pm


jad said:

I’m not sure why you get so defensive, we are Bedouin (in our changing culture) and we are Delusional (when we don’t see reality), that’s us.

April 17th, 2011, 2:08 pm


AIG said:


Yes droughts happen, but governments need to prepare for them and take care of their citizens when they happen. And the Syrian government failed miserably on both accounts.

My message is simple. Syria should be a democracy. I respect and admire the brave Syrians standing up to the ruthless regime. Hopefully, very soon Syrians will be able to forge their own future in a democratic manner and not be oppressed by the Assads.

April 17th, 2011, 2:08 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Enough with this MB paranoia !!! Bas !

Islamism is in sharp decline across Arabia. Just read opinion polls from across the region, Tunisia Egypt Lebanon Iraq, The Palestinian territories.
Arabs don’t want them to lead. The Islamists get maximum of 20% anywhere in the region. Could you say honestly that the Egyptian uprise, is Islamist in nature? Did the Masri MB play any role in this uprising? NO !!! In Tunisia ?? No !!

Islamism is so two thousand. It’s 2011 now. The Arabs saw what the Islamists are capable of, and they don’t want them in power. I’m not talking out of a ‘wishful thinking’. I read opinion polls.

What I find out is that, the Arabs want to live according to Islamic traditions, Muslin values, Muslim ways of life, etc.
But they don’t want the hardcore Islam to be the law of the land. What Arabs mostly wish for, is Democracy. Most of Arabs realize that Islamism and Democracy can’t come together.

The Islamists are in a state of mental shock. All of this is happening across Arabia, and none of it has to do with them.

Where is Osama and Zawahri ?? They used to sent us audio tape every 2 months or so. Why are they silent ?? The Arab uprising is their wet dreams came true .. This is what they wished for. Removing the Arab Tyrants. So why Osama and Zawahri don’t talk to us.?? Because they know they’ve lost the game.

So enough with the MB scare tactic. It ceased to impress.

April 17th, 2011, 2:26 pm


Alhurr said:

for majhool why you hide you name ?
1. to release the political prisoners they should not be weapons
trader & drug smuggles like Haytham Manna’a & Haytham Al-Malih
they should be at least patriotically
2. agree with you
3. whom you’ll nominate .
4. good if there are no one else need punishment just Atif najeeb
what bout mosque Imam who was involved terrify civilian with
gun in his hand not holy Quraan .
5. it is your invitation for Khaddam & the others who is bloody
hand brotherhood figures who refuse to apologize for syrian

April 17th, 2011, 2:46 pm


N.Z. said:


You are also a victim of Zionist oppression. An ideology that has turned those whom adhere to it to a blood thirsty entity. Before giving opinions on a Syrian blog, you better give advice to one of the most right wing government, to end one the longest and most brutal occupation, as well, to end apartheid in a state that you call Israel. A democracy treats its citizens equally and justly.

Hamas and Hizbullah are part and parcel of our national fabric and national security.

I hope our lovely Syria is on her way to a smooth democratic transition, and hopefully, your society will rise sooner rather than later to emancipate the 5 million of its subject from the victim hood mentality that is embedded in psyche. Moving in the right direction will set us all free.

We are all equals as human beings, regardless.

April 17th, 2011, 2:50 pm


aqoul said:

All commentators agree that reform in Syria under current regime is MOST DIFFICULT.

I also agree.

Therefore, toppling the regime is the easier option.

Conclusion: The revolution will win and Syria wins.

You see how simple the problem is?

So, hurry and join the winners.

April 17th, 2011, 3:07 pm


Sophia said:


Yes there is reason for pessimism and you are right about expectations.

Majhool’s comments number 29 and 31 demonstrate how much he is out of touch, especially in number 31 where he seems to forgot what is happening in Bahrain before our eyes!

And Amir in Tel Aviv who is diminishing the MB’s nuisance while Israel has been trumpeting the Muslim threat since 9/11!

Actually, it will be much better for Israel to have Sunni Ben Ladenite Islamist regimes across the Arab world because it can regain some legitimacy in prolonging its wars on Palestinians and Arabs…

I am also tired of commenting here (not reading the blog of course) because 99% of commenters since the Der’aa events are just doing propaganda and nothing else!

April 17th, 2011, 3:20 pm


Fadi said:

Sophia said “And Amir in Tel Aviv who is diminishing the MB’s nuisance while Israel has been trumpeting the Muslim threat since 9/11! Actually, it will be much better for Israel to have Sunni Ben Ladenite Islamist regimes across the Arab world because it can regain some legitimacy in prolonging its wars on Palestinians and Arabs”

I do not think Amir represents Israel opioin. Their major news papers stated “An enemy you know is much better than the one you dont know”

Even at times of war deals are made. Remember the recent war between Israel and HA in south Lebanon. Despite the war, the two side surprised us with the prisoners exchange deal. Amir is saying that he would welcome MB to his borders and enough with the Islamic phobia. Certainly he is hailing the fall of Assad but I do not believe Israel would. Plus Assad is just a part of the chain that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, and HA. If the pressure mounts, other players would not be silent and perhaps Iran would play poker in Tel Aviv without the need to sit on a table. Iran can easily throw the Ace thousands miles away. That is not in the interest of Israel. Plus Iran would not allow Syria to fall, and if it feels that this would happen believe me the Iranian influence in Iraq would bring the country back to unrest. Does USA want that, of course not.

Those people who are shouting that we support bloody regime and we have bloody remarks is all garbage including comments (44, 45, 43, and many more). Look this is politics, when Sept 11 happened Bush declared war. Thousands of innocents were killed. This is a defense mechanisms to threats even animals use. If Assad will feel that his days are going to be over, although he is very very far away from that, then he would play his cards. No one in the region wants to escalate the trouble. US would love to see the rest and stability come to Syria because for many reasons, Syria is just hard to swallow.


April 17th, 2011, 3:40 pm


Fadi said:

April 3, 2011.
المراقب العام للأخوان المسلمين في سوريا يؤكد ادعاءات النظام السوري حول وقوف”الجماعة”وراء التظاهرات!؟
رياض الشقفة : نحن من يدير المظاهرات في سوريا ونشارك فيها بفعالية ولن نوقفها حتى إسقاط النظام ، والخارجية التركية تحذره من الإضرار بالإصلاحات المنوي إجراؤها في سوريا

April 17th, 2011, 3:47 pm


NK said:


“Do you agree with me that Muslim Brotherhood is the same as AlQaeda or not???????I really need your honest answer.”

Not exactly, maybe they had similar agendas in the 1980s, but according to all the Syrian MB members they renounced these sick thoughts and are now committed to a peaceful path that respects all others, there’s really no way of knowing whether they’re honest or not as they have no representation in Syria at all, and the vast majority of Syrians don’t trust them. For me those who were involved in crimes and murders are criminals, those who were sentenced to death just by association without being involved in any crimes don’t deserve the harsh death penalty.

“Do you think that we should crack down and creat an anti terrorism act (as in USA) to follow the terrorist???”

Crack down on who ? the demonstrators in the streets ? Bashar himself regarded those who died as martyrs, to kill more will be counter productive. Does Syria need an anti terrorism act ? why does Syria need one, when was the last time Syria was targetted by a terrorist organization ? also when we talk about the patriot acy (American Anti-terrorism law) we conveniently don’t mention that the act has an expiration date, so at some point when there’s no more threat to the U.S the act will be canceled on it’s own. Either way we’ll have to wait and see what this law will look like and then we’ll be able to decide if the aim is fighting terrorism or keeping the police state intact.

“Where are these groups AlQaeda and MB bringing there teachings from??Where is it in Qoran that says okay to kill civilians for a cause, did it say that???

I am having hard time interpreting the word Jihad. Being Christian I have to be careful of using my words and I do not want to offend anyone but I really need some one to educate me and explain to me these things.”

I’m a Sunni Muslim myself and I lost several family members in the 80s, some to Ikhwan and some to Baath militias, we only hear the story as Baath tells it, but you can take a walk down Aleppo streets and ask any random person about the atrocities H.Assad and Baath committed in the late 70s and early 80s. One of my cousins “a doctor” was assassinated in his clinic, everyone in the neighborhood said Baath militias stormed his office and shot him, but the regime regarded him a martyr and a victim of the MBs. There has never been a transparent investigation regarding what really happened in Syria at that period of time, so no one really knows who killed whom, the only thing we know for sure is that both sides were involved in countless murders and a lot of innocent civilians died. I assure you no one in Syria want to go back to that era, or see similar events repeated ever again.

I appreciate your polite way of asking about Jihad and Islamic extremism rather than blindly attacking Islam and smearing fellow Syrians as radicals based on mere assumptions. I’ll try to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge.

Jihad means “to strive or struggle”, In the West, Jihad is often understood as “Holy War”, but that is in actuality a misinterpretation of the concept of Holy War. Jihad has a broader meaning in Islamic theology. It’s distinguished into Minor and Major.
Major Jihad means striving to lead a good Muslim life, praying and fasting regularly, being an attentive and faithful spouse and parent or working hard to spread the message of Islam, basically struggle to resist vice and sin.
Minor Jihad has a combative aspect, all sane Muslim scholars will adhere to the basic principles of war laid down by Abu Bakr, the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad’s death, when he addressed his army

“أوصيكم بتقوى، ولا تعصوا ولا تغلوا ولا تجبنوا، ولا تهدموا بيعة، ولا تغرقوا نخلا ولا تحرقوا زرعا، ولا تجسدوا بهيمة، ولا تقطعوا شجرة مثمرة، ولا تقتلوا شيخا كبيرا ولا صبيا ولا صغيرا ولا امرأة، وستجدون أقواما قد حبسوا أنفسهم في الصوامع فدعوهم وما حبسوا أنفسهم له، وستجدون أقواما قد اتخذت الشياطين من أوساط رؤسهم أفحاصا فاضربوا أعناقهم، وستردون بلدا تغدو وتروح عليهم فيه ألوان الطعام فلا يأتينكم لون إلا ذكرتم اسم الله عليه، ولا يرفع لون إلا حمدتم الله عليه‏.”

basically telling them I advise you piety, don’t commit sins, be excessive, or be cowards. Do not demolish allegiance, burn seeds, kill an animal, cut down fruit trees, kill an old man, a child, or a woman. You will find people who locked themselves in their silos, leave them to their business, and you’ll find people who want to fight, those you fight and kill.

In today’s language, all Islamic scholars will tell you, Muslims are only allowed to fight against armies/militias who are abusing Muslims and invading Muslim countries, and they should never attack innocent civilians”

Sadly as in all other religions we have kookoos who only read “kill the infidels” and ignore all text before and after these 3 words, they also conveniently ignore what the word (infidels) means and instead apply it to everyone who doesn’t agree 100% with them be it other Sunni Muslims or otherwise.

You said you’re afraid of Sharia law taking hold in Syria, Syria already have Sharia law, in the Syrian constitution Quran is the source of legislation, also there’s a misconception of what Sharia law is, there’s no universal Sharia law, Iran and Saudi for instance both have Sharia law, their interpretations are not the same, same could be said about Afghanistan which has it’s own version of Sharia, it’s really a few Islamic interpretations with a LOT in cultural habits/preferences, which in a lot of cases results in laws that are, well for a lack of a better word, stupid. Like not allowing women to drive in Saudi, or pardoning honor killing in Syria, sadly this backward culture thrives under dictatorships.

April 17th, 2011, 3:58 pm


Mina said:

Amir, your information about the MB is wrong. They even started to gain more ground at the referendum in Egypt a month ago, forbidding people who intended to vote “no” to cast their ballots (read the article in the New York Review of Books this week.
But they have such a good public relation office now (Google and AlJazeera), that it passed unnoticed in the media.

About the Syria i know, and that i hope will stay forever, it is the only Arab country (with North Africa) where one can find in a bookshop Arabic translations on Judaism, Christianity, the Sumerians, Atheists, Zoroaster etc. These are reliable and scientific, in most cases, but it is not to say that there is no garbage to be found as well (just like on Google books, for example).

This freedom of thought, the veneration of Abu al-Ala al-Ma’arri, belongs to Syria in particular, and has been preserved by the Alawite regime.

Having said that, I really hope we’ll see soon some big elections there in the near future, but within a peaceful democratic transition and not after another civil war. People are exhausted. Palestinians, Iraqis, Kurds, no one wants a war, I believe.

But from what I read on Twitter, i can see some groups calling for the killing of the shias, some calling for a third intifada because the west is busy elsewhere, some calling for the liberation of the Golan now in the hour, etc. Aren’t these blood-thirsty people never tired ? Considering the twitter users are often youngsters, is this generation fed with violent movies on TV able only to call for more violence ?

April 17th, 2011, 4:03 pm


Fadi said:

MINA Said “About the Syria i know, and that i hope will stay forever, it is the only Arab country (with North Africa) where one can find in a bookshop Arabic translations on Judaism, Christianity, the Sumerians, Atheists, Zoroaster etc”

Mina your sentence is beautiful. You are absolutely right. In Syria you can even drink Alcohol, and eat Ham…well for the ones who wants it…..In Syria you can pray or not pray, you really have relative freedom, even you can criticize the government; more now than when H Assad was the president. I hope we will not lose that when Islamics come to rule. Mina “your information about the MB is wrong. They even started to gain more ground at the referendum in Egypt a month ago, forbidding people who intended to vote “no” to cast their ballots (read the article in the New York Review of Books this week”…….Its scary. How we should believe that. Yes there are many negative things going on in Syria, and even the president himself finally stated t out and clear in his second speech, yet I cannot forget the peaceful nights we entertained when one can go walking at 2 AM to grab a SHAWARMA SANDWISH. We really had a peaceful time but it seems not anymore.

MINA you nailed it. Good point


April 17th, 2011, 4:19 pm


NK said:

Jad and all other Syrians on this Blog

Happy independence day. Long live free and independent Syria and it’s proud citizens.

April 17th, 2011, 4:21 pm


Fadi said:

For N.K.

Thank you for your detailed email and the thoughts you put in this article. I did not know that there are two types of Jihad….It turns that there are two, Minor and major….well said. I am sure that there are other people who are more intelligent than me in this regard and may either agree or disagree with what you said. But I really thank you for putting the effort to explain your point of view and you did it well,,,,,I will be looking forward to see what people might take on what you wrote and perhaps will learn more.

I still think that you tried to be careful regarding mixing MB as Alqaeda at the beginning, yet you admitted that they have done wrong, but later on you clearly stated that you lost many of your family members to them so I am sorry for your lost as I feel sick till now for mine. Good intellect article pending review by other people in the forum cuz I cannot judge what you say

April 17th, 2011, 4:25 pm


Norman said:

Yesterday, tears filled my eyes after i read what, NK, Majid, Majhool and Nafdik said about the president’s speech,i felt that there is agood chance for peaceful reform that transfer the Baath party from the leading party to one of many, only to wake up today and see that what they said has changed dramatically and apparently they do not want to give a chance for Syria to change,peacefully,
If the opposition continue in their blind move to destroy Syria in the name of changing the Regime structure, They will be responsible for the destruction of Syria as we know it,

April 17th, 2011, 4:50 pm


N.Z. said:

If what Habash stated is true on AlJazeera, then there seemed to be a division within the ruling family. Those that are given order to shoot and the president is calling for peaceful protests. Here is where the situation will really get ugly. The first rays of a coup d’etat?

Staged or real. The future will tell. I hope I am wrong.

April 17th, 2011, 4:58 pm


Syria Almighty said:

How shameful these revolution animals are…

May they be slaughtered, and their useless bodies desecrated. They are all collectively not worth half a hair on Hafez al-Assad’s head. May god burn their black souls.

April 17th, 2011, 5:04 pm


Vedat The Turk said:

Bravo Eshani!

As usual Eshani’s article on the money flight happening in Syria’s
banking system is the most informative. I have spoken with relatives in Aleppo & Quamish and they tell me that Dollars, Euros, Turk Lira and Saudi Riyal have become VERY hard to find.

As someone who worked in the oil industry in Latin America and Central Asia in the 1980’s & 90’s, I can tell you from first hand experience that this is the best indicator of the governments stability.

A bank money run is a very real danger (this is when everyone tries to withdraw there money at once and the banks do not have the money to give to people. This is especially concerning when one considers Syria’s endemic corruption and poor financial regulations. If the net economic wealth of Syrians continues to deteriorate at such an excelerated pace it will not matter what reforms the government implements! People will be too angry at the government for having lost there life savings. Even current government supports will feel this way and demand a change at the top.

BTW’s this is where Syria really needs the help of it’s immediate neighbors (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait etc). If the central banks in these countries (and through them common money lenders) begin to refuse to accept Syrian currency (or at greatly diminished rates) it will have a serious effect on the Syria economy. If Assad could get these countries to prop up the currency outside of Syria it would be a significant show of confidence in the Syrian Pound. However Assad has alienated / insulted so many of these countries, its doubtful that they would be willing to expend such capitol on his survival. If anything they probably would prefer to manipulate the Syria Pound exchange rate in the opposite direction to further destabilize the Baathists in Damascus.

April 17th, 2011, 5:19 pm


Vedat The Turk said:


Thanks for pointing out what Syria Almighty has posted about us. He displays real immaturity with his vitriolic rants and references to violence probably because he feels secure in the false believe that the net provides him with anonymity to show his true side. What he does not appreciate is that there is no such thing as anonymity online. Everyone can easily be identified and outted.

Thanks again.

April 17th, 2011, 5:26 pm


Majhool said:

Dear Norman,

The speach was an indication. It did not enact permanant change.

Once the change is permanent then things will calm.

So keep your optisim even though homs (your city) is boiling, 12 dead.

April 17th, 2011, 5:41 pm


Fadi said:

Norman said “If the opposition continue in their blind move to destroy Syria in the name of changing the Regime structure, They will be responsible for the destruction of Syria as we know it”. Good one Norman. Educate them, open their eyes and their black hearts, blind eyes and heart. Blind souls.

It will never happen. Syria will not change. We are happy with the peace we had. The president is open minded and honest, and he is direct. People “ASABAHA FOGOOOR”. They want a change regarding the consequences. How you are going to do a change without sectarian war and getting the country to be worse than Afganestan. Fear god guys, we still have families, brothers, sisters, fear god. Work with this president, give him a chance.

You guys are ignorant of the fact that the army is build up soldier by soldier with careful selection. I do not want to sound Sectarian but I am afraid of days to come. The army here is not going to be peaceful like they were in Egypt. Why you are ignorant of this fact. With your unjust claims you are driving the country to hell.

The president was firm and clear yesterday that he will not allow further chaos once the emergency law is lifted. You are taking Syria to bloody streets. 200 killed so far is nothing per sectarian math. This could be 200.000 if people do not come to the table and if the intelligent people you are are writing such aggravating comments.

It is a fact that no one will bring Assad down except death. All the Syrian coast are around him in a scary way. The youth in the villages are armed now, but the army is keeping under control to prevent the sectarian war. I ask the president as a Syrian citizen that he must crack down every one trying to create corrupt in the streets. People wants to get back to business, students wants to go to school, and we want peace…..Enough is enough. You have a great president and a wonderful first lady that many people have told me how impressive and how lucky we are to have such people represents us, represents the modern Syria, the variety Syria, the diversity Syria.

We do not want Jihad Akbar or Jihad Asgar, as mentioned in NK (comment 53). We want peace back and we as minorities are very satisfied and happy with the rule of a decent man. God bless you Assad, I love you as I loved the great lion god bless his soul. His enemies are with second round with you. Punish them. I am fed up with people stating look at TVs, see youtube….Handful of people in Syria are being moved by few outside of Syria sitting behind their PC…What a pitty. The majority of Syrian people with all sectors, religions, colors, are behind him…..Again those revolutionary people go to the corners of Deraa, and here and there to just find a clip, and makes it a movie. You are sick and psychopathic.

Moreover, I ask him after this is over to shake hands and immediately with Israeli Representative and move the peace process forward. No wars, just peace. i want to have a meal in Tel Aviv,,,,why not……Let us bring peace…..Israel has done nothing to us worse than you revolution are doing. I work with Jewish people and I am so amazed by how professional and intelligent they are. I was not bothered by any of them. I have been treated with full respec by them,,,,yet I see bunch of terrorist in my home land killing my loved once.

April 17th, 2011, 5:43 pm


NK said:


Speaking for myself I’m still for the reforms, Syria have a better chance of becoming a true democracy if it’s done gradually in an stable atmosphere, and I still think Bashar’s speech yesterday was an excellent one.

However a few things has to happen right away to calm the streets, and those are things Bashar didn’t mention in the speech
1- Political prisoners released, at least those arrested recently, and announcing that those detained/convicted for bogus charges under emergency law will be released when it’s finally lifted.

2- The security forces who appeared in the Bayda videos be exposed to the public and tried for their crimes, along with the other criminals who committed crimes against the people of Daraa, Homs, Latakia, and Douma.

These things have to be officially announced. How do you expect the streets to calm when people are still missing family members and those humiliated and robbed by govt thugs know the criminals are still free and might not be punished ?

April 17th, 2011, 5:52 pm


Fadi said:

NK said ” The security forces who appeared in the Bayda videos be exposed to the public and tried for their crimes”.

What about the people harboring the weapons in ALMARKAB castle. Isnt it a crime.

Tunneled vision!
Even the criminals you want them out. This is a government and it will deal with it in a timely manner. Whatever is done for you you will say; more, more, more

April 17th, 2011, 5:56 pm


NK said:


Those are claims the State TV made, they have 0 credibility, and even if they were true, I assume the government arrested them by now, or at least know who they are an are going to arrest them, either way those are criminals and have nothing to do with what I said.

The criminals I want out are people like Fayez Sara, whose only crime was writing an article criticizing the government. “وهن نفسية الأمة و أضعاف هيبة الدولة” are bogus charges …

The promises the President made mean nothing if they’re not implemented, he talked about the importance of time tables, he also talked about transparency and filling the gab between the citizens and the government and gaining the trust of citizens which the government lost a long time ago, let’s hear from the new minister of interior and minister of justice and see what kind of time tables they have in mind regarding these urgent matters. I’m not sure why you’re opposed to matters the president deemed as legitimate and urgent.

April 17th, 2011, 6:13 pm


jad said:

Do you really believe of what you wrote on #65? If the President give them those two requests, you honestly think that everything will be ok? You promise? 🙂

Come on, we both know that nothing rational will stop this riot, the sad thing is that some people are shamelessly showing happiness of Syrian being dead, (today there were victims from both sides), because blood is their fuel and blood is what they are looking for, 2 weren’t enough for them last Friday so they wanted to get more today.
The president already gave them almost everything they asked for and yet they keep going out and protesting. Today the protests were for nothing at all but to be in the street, closing highways, terrorizing people and proving that they are truly thugs not protesters.
It’s getting out of hand and it’s taking Syria’s security with it, Syrians are thinking hundred times before traveling between cities because buses are stopped by thugs, students are thinking not to go to their schools or even take the high school exams this year since they can’t study.
Those guys who are pushing for more violence are not looking for solutions they are only looking for conflicts and chaos, the more blood spelled the better for them.
The innocent movement that happened at the beginning has been used by too many elements and is already lost even when it wins destroying the country.

April 17th, 2011, 6:50 pm


majhool said:


the president has not given them anything yet.

April 17th, 2011, 6:56 pm


majhool said:


the fact that the alwaite youth (as you said)is armed and waiting is what could destroy syria.

syria is for all its citizens. better to live with it. it is a done deal

April 17th, 2011, 7:15 pm


Akbar Palace said:

The Spin

Professor Josh continues the pro-Assad commentary we’ve all been accustomed to:

The president’s speech yesterday was about a good as Bashar al-Assad could have done. If Assad’s first speech did him no favors, this one served him well. I was apprehensive at first when I saw him speaking without a written script, as he does not seem to have a professional speech writing staff that he trusts. But ultimately he was well served to show his personality, which is appealing. He was straight forward, serious and showed a studied understanding of the countries problems and his regimes short comings.

Professor Josh,

Maybe actions sbeak louder than words?

Just a thought…

April 17th, 2011, 7:25 pm


Norman said:

NK, I expect the emergency law to be lifted this week and a call by the Syrian government for opposition leaders who are imprisoned or out of the country because of emergency law to be release and come back to sit together and put together a party law that is satisfactory to everybody, that is the only way for the law to be national and not a deed of the Baath party ,

Syria is going to go inti political reform but it should not destroy the country in the process, What is happening in Syria if continue, many more will die and many more will be unemployed, Investment will go away and many people mostly the people with money that Syria needs to produce jobs and revenue will be moving out, what happened in the eighties and what is happening now will indicate to most Syrians that there is no future for Syria and will do what i did, move to the US and stay here.

April 17th, 2011, 7:26 pm


Syria Almighty said:

I love how Youtube instantly rejected one of my videos showing Israeli authorities beating peaceful Jewish protesters, but allow videos of Syrians being killed and violent protests. Doesn’t look like they caught my other 2 videos, though:

Unfortunately, the third video was rejected.

These are old videos, and I have seen many of this type over the years. I’m just showing that it does happen in ‘Israel.’

April 17th, 2011, 7:41 pm


Syria Almighty said:

More weapons bound for Syrian Revolution terrorists found coming from Iraq:

You might remember that a similar incident took place before the terrorist revolution even began:

Also, Wikileaks revealed that Hariri is in fact training a terrorist group:

April 17th, 2011, 7:57 pm


jad said:

You keep coming back with the same negativity over and over, that nothing did change since yesterday, things are grim, the revolution must continue and the whole world will fall down if nothing change in two hours from now, the american civil rights movement took 13 years to achieve small changes in the american society culture, nobody is asking for 13 years, give it some time for all those things to be adopted for the police culture to change for the political grow to happen, nobody in the whole world will change the Syrian culture to what you fantasize about, even God/Allah Himself.
I respect your negativity, no joke, I do, however that is what you want to believe, not me.
Using logic and rational not voodoo and yelling nonsense is what I believe in, when we as a society have any conflict, we weight our gains and looses, we list all what make us happy to those who we have problem with and we start negotiation on premises that both of us will respect our promises, and see the result before we get back and negotiate again if we are not satisfied that what wise society do, on the other hand the unwise society will reject anything that is offered to them and at the end they loose because from the beginning their goals wasn’t to settle anything they just wanted to turn the table upside down.
In your reply to Fadi, you again choose to see one side of reality, you only see the Alawites as the one with guns and you choose not to see that Sunnis have guns too. Be balance and acknowledge that this conflict has two sides.

April 17th, 2011, 7:57 pm


Fadi said:

Jad said “The president already gave them almost everything they asked for and yet they keep going out and protesting. Today the protests were for nothing at all but to be in the street, closing highways, terrorizing people and proving that they are truly thugs not protesters”. Cant’ agree more……….

What is happening now is the revolution with its thousand or so people wants to get the country intoi sectarian war………I am not sure if I am dellusional or perhaps hallucinating in my fearful thoughts that Syria may end up in…….

Guys in the opposition side: If Assad was not able to fullfil your endless needs, then you want to bring him down. Fair enough….let us say he stepped down (which will not happen. and why to step down), but let us play this Senarion. Who will take over the country……Tell me…..Who will take over the country….You reformers…..Its the Army,,,,,its the Almokhabarat with its hundred branches…..Am I rite????…What reforme will you be talking about then…..Answer me.,….educate me big intillegent…..What reform will happen then….Can you tell me what the army are made off…. and who ALmokhabarat represents….
I do not get it
Work with him…..bring Syria to peace….With this mentality there is only one path that every one will regret…..Avoid that path….

Majhool said “the fact that the alwaite youth (as you said)is armed and waiting is what could destroy syria”.

Majhool would you please make the math….add these youth to the army, to the police, to the Mokhabarat….All armed and you give me your conclusion…

Your only bit you revolutionary guards is that the west attack Syria the way they did in Lybia. I DONT SEE THAT HAPPENING.

April 17th, 2011, 8:11 pm


trustquest said:

Army of Bashar showing their force in the square of the Baida village during arresting over 300 men, laughing and shouting, Bashar we are your men who drink blood.
Sorry but the blood they are talking about is the baida citizens blood. This show of savagery for the Shabiha (the regime thugs) is sickening, and there is new generations who are not afraid and this is the new dilemma.. now I wonder who is spilling oil on fire?

April 17th, 2011, 8:44 pm


syau said:


#53 – I thought your interpretation of Jihad was excellent.
There are some though, unfortunate as it is, interpret Jihad in a different way and to their benifit, thus committing evil acts under the word Jihad.

Although Syria has not eradicated honour killings as yet, I believe it is being looked at as there is a growing amount of murders committed with the excuse of “honour killing” being used.
That is not acceptable.

I would also like to point out that Syria is not the only country to still excuse honour killings, I believe it is in place throughout most of the middle east. In Lebanon for example, I know of a man who falsely accused his wife of adultry, he divorced her and proceeded to advise her father about the situation – knowing that he will not be reasonable and investigate the situation or even ask his daughter if she did indeed commit the act of adultry. When his daughter went to her fathers house, he greeted her with a gun shot to the head. As it turned out, she was innocent and her husband wanted to divorce her to marry his girlfriend and needed an easy way out. Her father was able to get away with 4 months jail, under the umberella of “honour killing”

Things take time, laws take time to be implemented and Act’s take even longer. Every Law and Act has to be “fine tuned” to be effective. The President put forward the reforms people were demanding, and delegated to his ministers. Unfortunately, that seems not enough for some, still calling for uprisings – example Quardawi, who is a totally negative force in this situation, fueling hatred amongst the Syrian people. The funny thing is that he is not Syrian.

April 17th, 2011, 8:46 pm


Majhool said:

Dear Jad,

Unfortunately you are letting your emotions take the best of your judgement.

People that know me well will tell you that i am an optimist. but i am also a realist. No one leaves the negotiating table before he/she can take what was given to the bank. I keep saying the president has not given anything to the protesters yet because its a fact.

Go back to the archive and see what you were saying from day one, had the public took your point view this very speech would not have happened.

As for Fadi’s comment, it’s utterly sad that you decided to be blinded to what he had to say and choose to criticizes my criticism of his threat.

Fadi is not shy about it, he continued to say
“Majhool would you please make the math….add these youth to the army, to the police, to the Mokhabarat….All armed and you give me your conclusion…”

My point of view is simple, the protest should continue until the change is irreversible i.e. all prisoners are out, the Constitution is changed, and the illegal security militias are dismantled.

I personally would rather Bashar carry the above. because the alternative is what Fadi alluded to, which is possible, but fatal to the regime and those supporting it.

April 17th, 2011, 8:48 pm


NK said:


I totally agree, toppling the regime will do much harm to Syrian economy, and if there’s a 1% chance Bashar is sincere about his promises yesterday the revolutionaries should give him some time to show his true intentions.

But again, you and I live in relative luxury to be patient, and see things from different angles. We also have the freedom to discuss our points of view (as we do on this blog), so in general we’re more tolerant of people who don’t agree with us. The Avg Syrian doesn’t have this luxury and sadly those are the people demonstrating in the streets. Maybe if the regime allowed the intellectuals of the opposition to talk freely (on State TV) they can relate to the public and convince them to calm down and give the government sometime to act, of course those have to be released from jails first. LOL

P.S Mr. Michel Kilo’s article was excellent.

April 17th, 2011, 8:49 pm


jad said:

Can anybody explain to me why Albaida to get this much heat and this much humiliation?
As far as I know, they didn’t even protest….so why to treat them with this savage way?

April 17th, 2011, 8:57 pm


Majhool said:


Yes laws take time to be implemented. I agree. But laws don’t take a long time to be enacted. changing the constitution does not take a long time. freeing prisoners should not take a long time either.

SAYU, your idea of reform is limited. people want structural changes, meaning that you enable the society through institutions ( Political parties, judiciary, parliament, and media ) to monitor and challenge the government)

April 17th, 2011, 8:59 pm


syau said:


You are right, peaceful protesters are beaten up in many parts of the world. Peaceful protesters in Israel too. Not all Israelies have the same opinions as Amir, most of them believe in the greater good and when protesting that, they are quashed.

As a result of the protests in Libya, the US, France, etc, decided it would be fun to jump in and remove Ghadaffi, being the wonderful person he is, he did not look to his people as did Bashar and he did not look to implement changes. He is out of touch. But that does not excuse invading the country and using the excuse of mounting protests to achieve their end agenda. They also state that no innocent civilian will be harmed, I beg to differ, innocent people are dying as a result of their bombings and attacks in Libya.

April 17th, 2011, 9:07 pm


jad said:

Dear Majhool,
I didn’t use my emotion writing about your comment, and my intent wasn’t in anyway judging your personality, I don’t even know you in person to judge. I’m sure that you like any Syrian on this site is very well educated, smart and wise person.

My point was about your comments, you just wrote this:
“No one leaves the negotiating table before he/she can take what was given to the bank.”
Those organizers don’t want to sit on any table instead they are still outside in the street collecting kids to make noise and letting thugs to hijack their cause, apparently they are not smart enough to know how to negotiate, they are busy giving young Syrians ‘akfan’.
Regarding Fadi comment, I didn’t even read his, I read your reply and it wasn’t criticism to ask you to be balanced.

I’m fine with your point that pressure should stay on, smartly though not by letting thugs allover the street scaring fellow Syrians, sabotage security and force conflict to escalate and take innocent lives in its way that cheap.

NK, has a very valid point that wise opposition leaders needed at these times to explain to the average Syrian through national tv channels only, the rules and the culture of protesting and what is that they are asking for from the government/regime in straightforward constructive and civilized ways than what some people are doing on the ground.

April 17th, 2011, 9:29 pm


Vedat The Turk said:

@ Akbar Palace

Pro Assad Commentary of Landis
I agree with you about the pro-Assad commentary but you have to give the Joshua Landis a break. This is his blog and he takes the time to put together the features, articles, interviews etc. Many of them can only be found here. Sure he has a bias but so do we all. Besides he has spent his life studying the country and people so a particular fondness for the country dynastic rulers comes with the territory. Besides he is not so pro-regime that he over looks all of their mis-steps. If you come on the blog enough you would see that sometimes he is critical of the regime as well. I think that right now, like so many Syrians, he is hoping for a solution to the problems of the country with no further bloodhsed – ishallah. I would concur… though I did not agree with Josh the Assads speech was really that good. Assad has promised so much so often that his words have begun to have no meaning…

April 17th, 2011, 9:35 pm


sufian Kardahi said:

why are we complicating the matter so much? this is a dictatorship where the dictator and the one close too him get rich and own the country. Meanwhile the poor get poorer. How could Makhlouf and zou alhema keep rich if there is a minimum accountability. The discussion about what Bashar would do is distraction.

April 17th, 2011, 9:49 pm


why-discuss said:


Why should we believe activists or supposed eye witnesses reports? Standing as an activist or a eye witness does not make you a saint, I guess many of them have private agendas and some are simply spies. It is becoming increasingly difficult to know the truth about what is happening, and these Youtube are not enough. It is well known that Youtube is equally partial and filters the videos that don’t fit with their agenda ( see the above comment)
I guess only time will tell if the country will collapse and regress 20 years or will come out renewed out of these dramatic events.

April 17th, 2011, 9:56 pm


jad said:

Thugs are only looking for more blood, as I wrote earlier they didn’t get enough blood Friday this is why today they went full scale criminals, this need to be stopped, no country in the west will accept this situation.

D.N.N شبكة دمشق الاخبارية
حمص: تفاصيل عملية اغتيال الشهيد العميد عبدو تلاوي……تم ايقاف سيارتو قريبا من حي الخالدية وانزالو منها هوي وابنو عمرو 14 سنة وابن اخو عمرو 17 سنة وتم قتلن من قبل جماعة وهابية مسلحة ……وسرقة السيارة……بس للأمانة كانوا عم يهتفوا سلمية وقت نفذوا العملية
مرسلة من صديق للشبكة
about an hour ago

D.N.N شبكة دمشق الاخبارية
حمص: تفاصيل استشهاد الرائد اياد حرفوش (وهو ابن عم احد المتطوعين في شبكة دمشق الاخبارية)
دخلت سيارتين سوزوكي و جي ام سي و ثلاث دراجات نارية الى حي كرم اللوز شارع طليطلة بدأت تطلق النار على البيوت و الاهالي ومن ثم اعترضتها اللجان الشعبية وقامت بقلب احدها و قتلوا عدد منهم و تم قنص الرائد بطلق ناري بالرأس وجرح اثنين اخرين من خلال تبادل لاطلاق النار و تمت السيطرة على الوضع و القبض على المسلحين من قبل القوات الامنية
about an hour ago

شبكة أخبار حمص H.N.N
الزهراء حتى الان استشهاد شابين من حي الزهراء برصاص مجموعات مسلحة تقوم باطلاق النار بشكل عشوائي والكثير من الاصابات من اللجان الشعبية في الحي وايضا استشهاد ضابط برتبة عميد مع اولاده الثلاثة في استهداف لسيارتهم من قبل المجموعات المسلحة و تواجد حفيف لقوى الامن في المنطقة
المصدر اخونا احمد عاقل مراسل قناة الدنيا من مشفى الاهلي في حي الزهراء
2 hours ago

April 17th, 2011, 10:02 pm


Shami said:

It appears that the family doesnt trust the Syrian army,excluding some top officers of course,it could explain the use of the shabiha militia who seem protected by the presidential guard .(according to the videos)

April 17th, 2011, 10:04 pm


Fadi said:

Majhool said “Fadi is not shy about it’. Perhaps I am bold in making statements, perhaps emotional but I stated facts. I am not making threats to anyone here but perhaps my clarifications of the real facts could be felt as a threat. I am not even defending the regime by clarifying that it is a police run regime, state whatever you call it. It is unfortunate, but it is true. Giving all that, I really find the president speech optimistic and he truly is opening doors for reforms, for advancing the country, but it is reasonable to ask the street to just give what he promised a chance, and give time for what he said to be implemented. Making chaos will not solve the issue. I hope this ends soon and to the good of all of us. Syria is lovely place and as Syrians we really deserve the best.

April 17th, 2011, 10:05 pm


jad said:

مراسل الدنيا من حمص : استشهاد العميد عاطف تلاوي وولديه 14 سنة 17 سنة .. عدد الشهداء 14 شهيد .. 6 مدنيين و الباقون من ابطال قوات الأمن و الجيش و جميعهم استشهدوا برصاص قناصين وبنادق صيد .. الشهداء من كل مناطق حمص
3 hours ago

April 17th, 2011, 10:15 pm


Joshua said:

Due to the use of insults repeatedly, I have asked Syria Almighty not to comment for a week.

I have been unable to moderate the comment section because I am too busy, but a number of regular readers have complained about the rise in abusive language and aggressiveness in general from a number of commenters.

I do not want to micro-manage the comment section – especially at time when everyone’s emotions are on edge, but it is important not to chase away those who take offense at repeated aggressiveness.

We want to keep this a space that every feels comfortable commenting in.
Best, Joshua

April 17th, 2011, 10:15 pm


Fadi said:

Regarding Jad thread (88). What do you say about that guys. This is really sad. What is going on. I am expecting any minute that the phone will ring and I will be informed about the death of some family member. I visited Syria just last year and I had the best vacation there. Oh my God…

Some of you will say: This is made up by Shabiha, they are killing the people……there is no get out of that except the law be applied by force. I hold the president accountable for all the killing that is happening by these thugs, militins, ghosts, god knows who the hell they are and he should restore security everywhere. There should be no mercy.Our people are being hunted. He must do something….I am asking him about security…not reform…I want security, peace, restore the order and then will talk reform. This is insane

April 17th, 2011, 10:15 pm


Ed said:

The revolt in Sweida yesterday represents a turning point in the struggle for a free Syria. The desecration of Sultan Pasha Al-Atrash, Saleh Al-Ali and ibrahim Hannanou pictures by Al-Assads goons and thugs will awaken all Syrians who stayed on the sude line so far.
Mr. Bashar Al-Assad needs to start counting his time before falling from his chair.

April 17th, 2011, 10:34 pm


Equus said:

Does president Bashar have any loyalist within the Assads family?
It seems Maher & Kassef and Maklouf family are allying against Bashar. In other words, they don’t share the same view of how to manage the situation at stake. One brother is extremely ruthless the other is moderately civil.
Is history repeating itself? Rifat vs Hafez? Hafez at that era had loyalist who notified him of the plot. I know Bashar has a lot of supporters but with no weapons. All the arms are with this group (Shabiha)and the military who are obviously mobilized by Maher. The question is what are Bashar’s tools to be able to execute his speech without Maher ruining his plans? I think Bashar is the one who needs NATO support not the rebels in Libya.

April 17th, 2011, 10:51 pm


NK said:

Mr Assad needs to give all the Mukhabarat police uniforms and give orders to shoot on site anyone with any weapons that is not wearing official police or army uniforms, this plain cloth security and “Lijan Shabiya” has gone far enough. Is there a chance this poor brigadier-general stopped his car thinking it’s one of these committees ? What kind of a monster kills a father in front of his kids or a 14 years old kid in front of his father.

The protesters clearly will never stop protesting until their demands are met (whatever that means to them), shooting at them and killing a few of them proved to be ineffective regardless of who’s doing the shooting, so I’m not sure where does that leave us, the Amn is still attacking peaceful demonstrators all over the country, after a month of failing to quell this movement. Didn’t it get through to their thick heads that this will not work this time around ? maybe if they focused more on catching armed thugs and less on chasing demonstrators less people will be shot.

Sorry if I’m ranting, I’m pissed that more innocent people had to die.

April 17th, 2011, 10:58 pm


jad said:

Why would the Syrians get so offended now by the ‘desecration’ of those pictures that wasn’t intentional in the first place since it happed during a scuffle in Sweida between the pro and anti and not to get offended by intentionally destroying the late Hafez Asad status and pictures and the burning and destroying many of the president billboards allover the country?
As much as it hurts your feeling to see an attack of the pictures of people you respect it also hurts the feeling of the other side, besides, braking a picture can be easily fixed, killing a human is not. Nice try though!

It’s interesting the amount of new ‘shabiha’ alias that show up on SC out of no where and start giving lectures…

April 17th, 2011, 11:01 pm


Majhool said:


in the contrary, your boldness is appreciated.

April 17th, 2011, 11:15 pm


Norman said:

It looks to me that the Mukhabarat, Amin, are as confused as all of us on who is killing whom and who is supplying weapons,but the facts are that there are armed people who are killing both sides ti instigate a civil war, If everybody stays at home for few days while the army fights the illegal holders of arms might be the only way to save lives and proceed with reform,

April 17th, 2011, 11:21 pm


why-discuss said:


Anyone who wants to trigger a fratricide war just does that:
They provoke one group by desecrating its symbols and they provoke the other one the same way and they just watch the blood spilling.
Keeping the head cool in such circumstances when fear and hysteria are around, is almost impossible except if some influential local leader intervenes, as they did in Deraa.
The immediate way is to impose a strict curfew in the cities who are under tensions. Then anyone who wants to defy the curfew will do it at its own responsibility. Anyone carrying weapons will be arrested. Family should keep their children safe and peaceful demonstrations will be allowed when the spirits cool off.

April 17th, 2011, 11:23 pm


jad said:

It’s puzzling that this killing is moving around the country and never stayed in one area more than 2 days.
On week is Daraa, the next is Douma, then Banyas, then Jableh yesterday Lattakia, today is Homs, why not the killing happen in every city with protests equally?
I mean if the police is as mean as the propaganda machine want us to think why do they stop killing people in Damascus but do it in Homs?
There were demonstration almost allover Syria yesterday, why only Homs and Lattakia had lethal incidents?

From the news I read Homs incident started when bunch of people (not locals) came to one neighborhood to vandalize Hafez Asad statue and things went ugly when locals tried to stop them and escalate to be lethal when police came and when the outsides start using guns against the security that retaliate,
In lattakia it starts after the demonstrators went around in different neighborhoods of the city and it happened in one specific neighborhood.
Escalation doesn’t happen out of the blue, there is a big peace of the puzzle is missing in all these stories and nobody seems to know what’s happening before and after all those youtube clips.

Dear WD,
I’m very surprised that the regime/government didn’t impose curfew until today, what are they waiting for, Tunisia and Egypt imposed it from the first week of the demonstrations.

April 17th, 2011, 11:25 pm


trustquest said:

Why discuss, for me it is matter of seeing a video from the heart of action and seeing prepared video and I think of myself that I can distinguish between those especially if I follow up on the daily stream of videos coming from Twitter. The state version never showed any protest till now and they accuse the big media of lying or attack them when they show these videos. They would not allow for their media or other media to be there, it is very clear issue here. Their version of events and their prepared reporting is silly and sectarian and they keep invoking the issue of religion and sect. There thugs are doing great job in exposing themselves and now everyone knows what gang the state TV is talking about. The Syrian security who are numbered in millions and who for 41 years did not allow for a fly to pass without passport and who knew the student who trash and made a jock of president and used bad words of their president and kept him 14 years in prison without trial, Mostafa Khalifa, a film director and they could know that he spoke of Hafez Assad one sentence in a party in Paris. He later went out of prison because his relative was a minister and told his story. This legendary security services now presented by you and others as a poor helpless organization that can not stop those foreigner from keep inciting havoc in the country, as the following video which full of sectarian venom and religious hate. So all I can say thank you for let me know that the videos from the street are partial and they have agenda, I know that, there agenda is Freedom as I see it.

April 17th, 2011, 11:31 pm


jad said:

I guess TQ missed this peaceful non sectarian demonstration in Jableh.

Or this one in Banias

Or the way they treat security forces in Lattakia, peacefully!

April 17th, 2011, 11:43 pm


why-discuss said:


The million security
Do you mean a “million” security is not able to control a few thousands peaceful demonstrators? Maybe these peaceful demonstrators happened to be armed and that would explain that the security apparatus is not able to control them. Then you would agree with me that there are people distributing weapons to peaceful protesters to ‘defend’ themselves against what you call the state thugs.
Having any citizens carrying weapons is a recipe for a lebanese-like civil war that destroyed the country for 15 years. We have seen armed civilians using weapons for personal vendettas, kidnapping, armed robbery etc.. I wonder if this is what you call ‘freedom’.
Peaceful demonstrations should be peaceful, otherwise they can provoke uncontrollable violence.
‘Regime-changers’ number
From what I have see on your videos, the protesters don’t seem unanimous in asking for a regime change, the number is in the thousands, very far from the unanimity we have seen in Egypt and Tunisia. That may explain these burst of violence we see on the ground and geographically distributed. It can be interpreted in 2 ways depending on your beliefs:
1)The governement wants this number down by creating fear to discourage more demonstrators or by dealing with influential locals as they did in Daraa with some success.
2) The ‘regime-changers’ wants this number up by making use of the cycle of deaths and more numbers attending funerals and enraged .

Until we see a real growing number of ‘regime-changers’ nothing is said about the fate of the country. The ‘regime-changers’ propaganda would try to make it look like the number is growing. Any funeral or any demonstration would be reported to the media or on Youtube, dubbed, and presented as ‘regime-changers’ demonstrators. The governement propaganda will try to minimize the numbers.

At the end of the day, it is the real number that count and it is yet to see if this number would increase significantly or in the contrary and which strategy would be more effective, the government’s or the ‘regime-changers’.

April 18th, 2011, 12:10 am


why-discuss said:

How is China preventing demonstrations
….China, for example, is a model of despotic efficiency: its internal-security system extends from state-of-the-art surveillance and extralegal detention centres to an army of paid informants and neighbourhood patrols that looks out for troublemakers.

In response to calls by some overseas Chinese for people to gather on Sundays at specific sites in Shanghai and Beijing to help launch a mo li hua (jasmine) revolution, China has revealed a new strategy: preemptively flood the protest-designated squares with police to leave no room for protesters.

More importantly, as the world’s leader in stringent, real-time censorship of electronic communications, China is strongly placed to block any Arab contagion from reaching its shores….

April 18th, 2011, 12:22 am


syau said:

Jad, – #89

That’s just great, now they are on phase 3 of there operation, execution style murders.

Norman – #100, Excellent suggestion, lets hope it’s taken on board

April 18th, 2011, 1:19 am


jad said:

How many freaking faces are we going to go through and how many innocent lives are they planning to sacrifice before they stop?

April 18th, 2011, 1:27 am


syau said:


One can only hope that all this violence and bloodshed will end soon. Positive reforms have been put forward for the people of Syria, emergency law has been eradicated, and an anti terror law to be implemented to protect the people of Syria. Hopefully soon this will all come to an end and any further outside interference to destabilise Syria will be put of an abrupt stop.

The military are carrying out measures to prevent any further illegal weapons from being smuggled into Syria. It will be an intense operation, but hopefully, corruption will cease and, illegal weaponry prevented, therefore reducing the amount of weapons falling into the wrong hands and preventing any further executions of innocent people. We can only stay positive and hope for the best outcome.

April 18th, 2011, 3:31 am


syau said:


Also as shown in the youtube links, although the protest in Banias and Latakia are not on a large scale, as we can see, it does not take too many “peaceful protesters” to terrorise people, destroy vehicles or infastructure. It’s sad to see and needs to stop asap

April 18th, 2011, 3:43 am


syau said:

The violence has reached the the residential area of Tartous(Shareh Al3areed). There were 3 cars full of terrorists shooting randomly at 1am – shooting at pleople and shopfronts.

Security forces apprehended these terrorists, a large amount illegal weapons were seized. One car was stopped by the citizens trying to get away while the other cars were being apprehended by the amn.

Their tentacles are spreading. It looks like it is no longer safe for anyone to go out in public after dark, in saying that, there have been previous armed gangs shooting randomly in broad daylight.

Enough is enough, the Syrian revolution needs make a start by putting a stop to inciting these uprisings, people need to wake up and see how far these people are willing to go until their agenda is met.

April 18th, 2011, 4:10 am


Australian -Syrian said:

Are you serious?!! Have those psychotic idiots started in Tartous now?

Yeh, that’s to all you people who feel sorry for those anti-Government people. Look at them now. They are supporting their cause really well…

April 18th, 2011, 5:29 am


viktor said:

Swedish journalist Cecilia Udén has traveled around in southern Syria, in villages near Daraa and calls the area “liberated territory”, according to her “there is no presence at all of Syrian security forces”.

April 18th, 2011, 5:50 am


why-discuss said:

Damascus returned to calm but remain skeptical according to “Le Monde” today.
In my view as long as Damascus stays calm, the opposition still scattered, has not gathered enough mass to create any decisive turning point. The game of murderous confrontations is still playing.

LEMONDE pour Le | 18.04.11 13h16
Syrie : après les manifestations, Damas entre soulagement et scepticisme

Après les manifestations de vendredi qui ont gagné, pour la première fois depuis le début du mouvement contestataire syrien, les portes de la capitale, Damas a retrouvé, dimanche 17 avril, son visage tranquille.

En fin d’après-midi, les forces de sécurité, massées autour de la place des Abassides que les manifestants avaient tenté d’approcher sans succès, avaient disparu. Seule la présence d’hommes en civils, perchés sur les gradins du stade adjacent (fermé depuis un mois), laissait supposer une surveillance de ces lieux devenus “chauds” de Damas.

Ailleurs les discussions ont tourné autour du discours de la veille du président Bachar Al-Assad. L’annonce qui a focalisé l’attention est celle de la levée de l’état d’urgence, promise d’ici la fin de la semaine, et qui constitue l’une des revendications majeures des manifestants.

M. Assad a exprimé sa “peine” pour ceux, “civils ou forces armées”, qui sont morts au cours des émeutes débutées le 15 mars à Deraa et qui ont gagné l’ensemble du territoire. Près de 200 manifestants ont été victimes de la répression, d’après le décompte établi par les associations des droits de l’homme, tandis qu’au moins 43 policiers sont morts dans des attaques de “gangs armés”, selon les autorités. Tous sont des “martyrs”, a assuré M. Assad.


Resté silencieux au début de la révolte, le raïs s’était d’abord exprimé le 30 mars, dans un discours qui avait déçu jusque dans les rangs de ses supporters. L’absence d’annonce concrète et la dénonciation d’un “grand complot” avaient été interprétées par les contestataires comme le signe d’un

“Le complot existe”, a répété M. Assad, samedi, ajoutant cependant que “ce qui est important, c’est l’immunité intérieure qui est liée aux réformes et aux besoins des citoyens.” Ses rencontres, les jours précédents, avec les délégations de plusieurs villes, lui ont permis de “constater qu’un fossé s’est creusé entre le peuple et les institutions de l’Etat”.

Loin de la mise en scène du premier discours, prononcé devant des députés exprimant bruyamment leur fidélité, cette intervention s’est tenue à la table des ministres, pour la plupart nommés l’avant-veille, dans une ambiance de travail. “Chaque responsable doit être modeste, a mis en garde le président, car l’arrogance est le début de la chute de chaque personne, de chaque Etat et de chaque peuple”.

M. Assad a également promis de lutter contre le chômage et la corruption qualifiée de “fléau des fléaux”, enjoignant les responsables syriens à “présenter des justificatifs pour leurs propriétés privées afin de répondre à toute accusation”.


Malgré ce ton plus conciliant, la question se pose de savoir si, à l’image des annonces faites en Tunisie et en Egypte dont les révolutions ont inspiré le mouvement syrien, celles de Bachar Al-Assad n’interviennent pas trop tard et si elles seront suffisantes pour apaiser une colère attisée par le nombre croissant de “martyrs”.

“Le raïs a appelé son nouveau cabinet à écouter le peuple, ce qu’il n’a pas su faire pendant les onze ans [de sa présidence], estime Wissam Tarif, directeur d’Insan, une ONG syrienne. Il n’a pas mentionné les prisonniers de conscience, dont la plupart sont des activistes des droits de l’homme. Pour la première fois, il a parlé de dialogue national. C’est un bon début, sauf que ces prisonniers ne sont pas en mesure de dialoguer. La première mesure à prendre est de les libérer.”

Si, à Damas, les réactions sont partagées, exprimant le soulagement ou le scepticisme, les échos en provenance des villes fortement mobilisées tendent à montrer que la pression de la rue ne va pas faiblir de sitôt. Basel, un activiste de la première heure, explique que la confiance est brisée : “Ce ne sont que d’autres paroles, personne n’y croit”.

Dimanche, les appels à manifester ont été suivis dans plusieurs villes. A Homs et dans sa voisine Talbisa, où se tenaient des funérailles, les manifestants déploraient, dans la soirée, la mort de plusieurs “martyrs tués par les forces de sécurité”, tandis que les autorités annonçaient la mort d’un policier.
Cécile Hennion

April 18th, 2011, 7:33 am


Mahmoud said:

مرحبا ! السيد المحترم Joshua Landis
أرى من اللائق أن تشيروا بكتاباتكم و تعرفوا الأخوة القراء ببعض المعلومات عن فنون التكنولوجيا السياسية و استخداماتها خصوصا في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية عند الحملات الانتخابية لمرشحي منصب الرئاسة و كيف تقوم تلك التكنولوجيا بتأليب الرأي العام لمرشح ضد اخر !!!
ادا ما أضفنا على دلك شحن أسلحة و زرع عصابات و زج قدرات ميدانية لتقوم بتأليب جهة على أخرى فسينتج عن دلك حرب من نوعية القرن الواحد و العشرين ! أشكر لكم نشر تعليقي !

April 18th, 2011, 11:57 am


Inhabitant of Damascus said:

I agree that Assad’s Speech II touched all the right elements. My only gripe is that he did not take personal ownership of the reform programme – delegating to his ministers. This weakened the impact of the speech.

The speech has however been seriously undermined by the ongoing civilian deaths, particularly those in Homs. Assad seems unable to protect his citizens from either his own security forces or from the so-called ‘foreign armed gangs’. This is a major weakness. If Assad cannot bring the perpetrators to heel (in a police state with huge intelligence and security resources), then how can he be trusted to follow through on a package of meaningful reform? Indeed the mukhabarat are Assad’s biggest liability, and a big part of the reason why so many Syrians are prepared to risk their lives in the streets.

April 19th, 2011, 7:23 am


Syria1 said:

1 – Syria announces lifting emergency law.
2 – Syria approves of a draft legislative decree to cancel Syria’s Supreme State Security Court.
3 – Syrian cabinet has approved a bill allowing peaceful protests in the country. ala USA

Is this enough?

April 19th, 2011, 10:12 am


Blood Is the Rose of Mysterious Union « firezemissile said:

[…] has vacillated between violence and promise of reform and between blaming foreign conspirators and recognizing the legitimate grievances of the Syrian people.  Will the impending Syrian bloodbath be similar to the horrific massacre […]

April 25th, 2011, 11:28 am


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