Clinton Calls Bashar al-Assad a "Reformer" -Syria Lifts Emergency Law - Syria Comment

Clinton Calls Bashar al-Assad a “Reformer” -Syria Lifts Emergency Law

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said …. members of the U.S. Congress from both parties say they believe Assad is “a reformer.

U.S. Won’t Intervene in Syria as Assad Differs From Qaddafi, Clinton Says
www.bloomberg.com

By Nicole Gaouette – Mar 27, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. won’t enter into the internal conflict in Syria the way it has in Libya.

“No,” Clinton said, when asked on the CBS “Face the Nation” program if the U.S. would intervene in Syria’s unrest. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s security forces clashed with protesters in several cities yesterday after his promises of freedoms and pay increases failed to prevent dissent from spreading across the country.

Clinton said the elements that led to international intervention in Libya — international condemnation, an Arab League call for action, a United Nations Security Council Resolution — are “not going to happen” with Syria, in part because members of the U.S. Congress from both parties say they believe Assad is “a reformer.”

My guess is that Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel have all asked the US not to push on Syria. They fear instability. This has little to do with congress.

Syria has announced that it has lifted emergency rule. What this actually means is unclear. There are many laws on the books to limit constitutional freedoms of assembly and freedom of expression.

Senate Homeland Security chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said

the U.S. should intervene to help Syrian protesters if officials there turn weapons on the public as took place in Libya on Fox News Sunday.

Lieberman told host Chris Wallace that if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad begins to slaughter his own people he could face an international coalition willing to implement a no-fly zone as they have done in Libya.

Lieberman said he would support U.S. intervention “if Assad does what Qaddafi was doing, which is to threaten to go house to house and kill anyone who’s not on his side.”

“There’s a precedent now that the world community has set in Libya and it’s the right one,” Lieberman said. “We’re not going to stand by and allow this Assad to slaughter his people like his father did years ago and in doing so we’re being consistent with our American values and we’re also on the side of the Arab people who want a better chance for a decent life.”

Steven Hadley, Bush NSC head:

The US should win in libya to send a message to Syria and Iran. He also said the US should help topple Assad. To send a message to IRAN. He also said that in Jordan and KSA we should support these gov because they have introduced reforms and are on the way to more democratic societies.

Comments (195)


Norman said:

Apparently president Assad is going to address the Syrian people, I hope he will have the guts to declare Syria as a secular state with all what this word means and that Syria will adopt the American constitution and laws as a starting point for reform, The American laws in politics and economics are what make Americans feel that they can be anything they want, The chance to succeed, get rich and be heard is what Syria lacks, The American system of government will correct that

March 27th, 2011, 11:27 am

 

Freesoldier said:

What Saudia Arabia, Jordan and Israel fail to realized is that the events in the middle east are outside anyone’s control.
Under no circumstances could the current social and economic situation sustain themselves and to believe that the current governments in the region can reform themselves is pure lunacy.
And as I stated in my previous comment, time for the Israel to wake up. The revolution will come to them unless they grant the palestinians the same right israel’s citizen have.

The best is yet to come.

March 27th, 2011, 11:30 am

 

EHSANI2 said:

Dr. Landis,

I happen to believe that all that is going on in Syria is a positive development. The so-called sectarian tensions that we are reading on this forum and on the streets was all suppressed inside all, if not most, of us. It is now in the open. To me, it is part of natural dialogue that needs to take place rather than be hidden like it does not exist.

While the issue of religion and sectarianism is important, we must not lose sight of the more critical issue at hand. I continue to believe that economics is still at the core of the recent events. My hope is that the Syrian leadership keeps this in mind as it formulates the important policy changes ahead.

The cake that is the Syrian economy is simply too small and is not growing fast enough to feed the many young men that are trying to get a piece of it.

The leadership must dedicate all its resources and energy to tackling this issue first and foremost. Unless the cake gets bigger and fast the problems that we see in Syria today will not go away. The challenge is immense. The decisions that need to be made are critical. What is required is conviction and leadership. The days of indecision when it comes to economic and domestic policy are over. While getting back the Golan is important, growing the economy, raising the standards of living and eliminating cronyism and corruption is just as important. The two cannot and must not be mutually exclusive endeavors.

March 27th, 2011, 11:38 am

 

nafdik said:

Joshua,

I agree with your analysis that the Americans want to slow down the revolution in Syria and give Bashar the chance to keep the upper hand.

The reasons in my opinion are:

– Israel does not want a populist Syria joining forces with Egypt to put real pressure on its borders.
– Arab regimes will side with any dictator at this time because they know every dictator falling is another nail in their coffin.
– US is unsure of how to handle events with a free ME so they prefer to hedge their bets with some democratic countries and some dictatorships.
– A weakened Bashar is the ideal ally for Israel and the US as he will be very easy to pressure and push in the direction they need. For example signing a peace treaty on Israel’s terms.

Having said that, if the regime escalates its massacres and Youtube videos of them keep circulating the US and Europe will have to take a stronger stance against it.

March 27th, 2011, 11:38 am

 

AIG said:

Freesoldier,

You are right, the events are outside the control of anybody but the people of Syria. Unfortunately, it seems the US, Israel and especially Jordan prefer a weaker Assad over the Islamist alternative. How long can the Jordanian king survive with Syria run by the Muslim Brotherhood? Not very long.

I agree that it would have been better to bite the bullet now instead of delaying the inevitable. But it seems the Syrian revolutionaries are on their own unless Assad commits an outrageous massacre or the Syrians can find a way to convince the West that Assad will be replaced with a real democracy.

March 27th, 2011, 11:43 am

 

SOURIYAM said:

Reading the complete article on the site of Bloomberg makes understand that “won’t intervene” means just “won’t make a real war with the regular army” like USA did actually with France and England in Libya.
It means not that they won’t tolerate or help any psyops or secret operations made by jordans, or saudis, or israelis, or themselves…
Do you remember, M. Landis, that before the actual NATO war in Libya, 150 SAS and one MI6 agent from England plus some special forces from France were in East Libya. In the language of french and english statesmen, that was not to “intervene” but that was to evacuate some national civilians from Libya. Despite the fact China had evacuate 30 000 chinese from Libya without putting a single chinese soldier on libyan territory.

The language of statesmen is often “Newspeak”. And always when it’s western statesmen.

March 27th, 2011, 11:43 am

 

jad said:

معلومات للعربية: الحكومة السورية قد تقدم استقالتها الثلاثاء في اعتراف منها بالتقصير في معالجة الهموم الخدمية
معلومات للعربية: قرار الغاء قانون الطواريء اتخذ على مستوى القيادة القطرية لحزب البعث بعد صياغة قانون مكافحة الارهاب
معلومات للعربية: سيصار إلى تعديل المادة الثامنة من الدستور السوري التي تنص على أن حزب البعث هو قائد الدولة
معلومات للعربية: إقرار قانون جديد للإعلام في سوريا يمنع سجن الصحافيين ويسمح فقط بمقاضاتهم أمام القضاء المدني

March 27th, 2011, 12:10 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Palestine isn’t the reason why the Arab World is demonstrating

And as I stated in my previous comment, time for the Israel to wake up. The revolution will come to them unless they grant the palestinians the same right israel’s citizen have.

Freesoldier,

I disagree. Palestinians in Israel HAVE the same rights Israeli citizens have. We’ve been hearing this doom and gloom for years, but the Palestinians prefer living in Israel than under the PA. Moreover, they are free to demonstrate, vote, practice their religion, write editorials, and run for political office.

If only the same could be said for Palestinians living in other countries.

http://www.alternet.org/world/128880/palestinian_woman_makes_history_in_israeli_parliament/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Arab_members_of_the_Knesset

March 27th, 2011, 12:16 pm

 

SOURI said:

#1 NORMAN

You are really funny. Do you think Assad is going to challenge and infuriate the Islamists now when he needs them most?

Assad still has not fallen because the Islamists are still with him. The Wahhabis have failed to build momentum inside the Syrian society. The battle now is between Assad and the Wahhabis.

The old times when the Syrian regime could defy and quarrel with the Islamists are over. Over the last year, the regime took many steps to reduce extremism in Islamist schools that infuriated the Islamists. The regime sent state inspectors to Islamist schools, banned some of the extremist curricula, and removed many extremist teachers from schools. These rosy days are over. The Syrian regime now has become much weaker and it will never be able again to challenge the Islamists or weaken them.

Syria is simply turning into Mubarak’s Egypt. We are going to see increasingly strong Islamist presence in the Syrian society and increasingly limited personal freedoms, especially freedom of thought and expression.

The regime will no longer be able to resist Islamist demands to limit public freedoms. We will start to see more people jailed or harassed because of their anti-Islamist opinions. Women and the minorities will gradually lose many of the freedoms they currently have. The regime will be too weak to protect anybody’s rights.

Eventually, the Islamists will overthrow the Baath and establish an Islamist state, just like what is happening now in Egypt.

March 27th, 2011, 12:29 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

I strongly support what Ehsani said,he showed intelligence and wisdom

March 27th, 2011, 12:30 pm

 

SOURI said:

Assad now must turn into a sheikh if he wants to stay longer in power. The old times when the Baath would fight with the Islamists over secularism are over.

Secularism was never popular in Syria. Every time the Baathists tried to advance secularism they were faced with gunfire and explosions (and even artillery fire) from the Islamists. There were so many bloody clashes between the Baath and the Islamists between 1963-1982, and the underlying reason behind all those clashes was always a refusal of secularism by the Islamists.

I know the Islamists in Syria very well. They despise secularism. They believe that it was forced on them by the Alawis to prevent them from “their right to rule Syria as they are the majority.”

Syrian Islamists have a deep sense of “persecution” by the Alawis. They believe that living in an Islamist state is “their right” as Muslims. They are dying to get that “right” back, and now is their chance.

There is nothing the Islamists in Syria hate more than secularism and personal freedoms. They will try very hard to take as much freedoms as they can from people.

March 27th, 2011, 12:45 pm

 

AIG said:

EHSANI2,

I think we agree that Syria needs a huge amount of foreign investment and the ability to take on debt in order to achieve its economic goals. I just cannot see how it is possible for Syria to continue being in the Iranian camp, continue funding Hamas and supporting Hezbollah and achieving those goals.

March 27th, 2011, 12:45 pm

 

FreeSoldier said:

Akbar Palace,

I never stated Palestine were the reason why the Arab World is demonstrating.
What I was alluding to was that Palestinians have the same grievences that pushed the Arab masses to the street.

Don’t kid yourself about Palestine rights in Isreal. Not long ago, White South African gave the same examples.
What right does a Palestinian family has when it looses it house or land to an Israeli settler whos orgin are from Brooklyn New York?

Good luck my friend, you are going to need a lot of it.

March 27th, 2011, 12:45 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

AIG,

I don’t agree. Sound domestic social and economic policies will allow Syrians to invest. Expatriate Syrians have Billions that could be deployed in the country if the government run a sensible economic program with a sound legal system to match. In my opinion, investments and risking capital will have to be borne by Syrians first before foreigners decide to do the same. Embrace a liberal market economy and full property rights and investors will come. Whether you support Iran, Tanzania or Nepal when it comes to foreign policy is not the determining factor when it comes to economics and investments.

March 27th, 2011, 1:02 pm

 

SOURI said:

#13 EHSANI2

The current events in Syria will make economic reform only slower, if it does not reverse it all together.

The TRUE reasons for why people hate Bashar:

1-because he’s not Islamist.
2-because he has been advancing market economy in Syria.

These are the direct reasons behind the revolution we are seeing now in Syria.

March 27th, 2011, 1:09 pm

 

AIG said:

EHSANI2,

I am baffled by your answer. Every model of quick economic growth includes exports (mainly to the West) and large foreign investment (mainly from the West). Syria needs much better relations with the West to succeed economically.

March 27th, 2011, 1:21 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

SOURI,

I fear that you are correct. I fear that the leadership will make the wrong decision and will revert to the subsidies and baathist socialist policies.

The existing market economic reform has not been sufficient to augment the economic growth rates that the country needs given its demographics. With growth at nearly half of where it should be, the rewards went to the wealthy and connected at the expense of the poor and the ill-prepared to benefit from the opening of the economy. The biggest mistake will now be to back track and reverse course.

Syria’s goal must be to grow the cake as fast as one can. Going back to the failed socialist policies of the past will exacerbate the situation and make the problem grow in the years ahead.

The advancing market economy is not to blame. It is the cronyism and corruption that was associated with the reforms that must be blamed instead.

AIG,

Of course, it is better to have good relations with the west and the U.S. But, this does not mean that the country must go down on its knees and sell out on its national rights and aspirations. The country must adopt sound economic policies and grow economically. It must argue its political case to the west alongside that. Ideally, it would be great to have both.

March 27th, 2011, 1:24 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Ehasani,

Right on the spot. That is why we need to allow people to speak up and vent their frustration. We still have people who have not forgotten the Baath party for what they did in 1963 when they implemented the Isla7 Alzira3i. Then we have a major portion of the population believes that all Alawii (no exception) benefit from the government at the expense of the rest. On the other hand, you have a major portion of the Alawii will be eliminated from the face of the earth if the government changes hand.

If we do not allow people to talk about these issues, we will never be able to move forward. People have grievances that need to be addressed.
The government abuse during the past 50 years is the main reason. Not the people who are asking for their rights.

I also agree with you on the economy.

Prof Josh,

The west didn’t side with the people in Libya because they care about them. It is the same racist mind set that made sure the Jews leave Europe and created a homeland for them in Palestine is behind this move. If North Africa remains unstable, you will have a huge amount of Muslim immigrants fleeing to Christian Europe. Most if not all of the immigrants will be heading to Italy, France and England. All of these countries have very strong anti-muslims movements. They can’t imagine adding few million muslims to their populations. As long as these countries have brutal regimes, the west can’t deny their people political and economical asylums. Today, after a couple of boats carrying Libyans reached the shores of Italy, Italy called for an immediate cease fire in Libya.

BTW, if we have free media in Syria, they would have covered the influx of Iraqi refugees into Syria and made sure the world took notice.

March 27th, 2011, 1:25 pm

 

NK said:

Jad

Where are you getting this info from ?
You are responsible to the pulsating headache I’m having right now 🙁 for watching an hour of so of state TV live coverage of the staged Aleppo demonstration, not one word was mentioned about any of these announcements.

March 27th, 2011, 1:28 pm

 

Observer said:

Ehsani is right the protests that were sparked by Mr. Bouazizi in Tunisia are at the core of the problem: a computer engineer without work for four years and trying to make a living selling vegetables on a stand and he gets the usual treatment by the “securitocracy” regime that was and is established in all of those despotic countries. The task is absolutely immense and the problems are beyond these regimes to fix for several reasons:
1. The regimes are drunk with power and are refusing to wake up to the huge hangover that they see in their societies.
2. The rise of Asia means that the poorest of the poor in Syria are competing with people that are better organized educated and connected and cheaper in labor costs than them
3. The forty years of mismanagement and outright deliberate destruction of the infrastructure and the institutions is coming to roost. Look at the destruction of the Damascus oasis and the breakdown of projects and roads and bridges. Look at the state of the Government hospitals that I visited. I could not even use the restroom in a hospital as it was flooded with human waste. However the head of the hospital had his nice big office where he smokes and sips coffee all day and works on average about 20 minutes per day.
4. The lesson of the fall of the communist system has not been learned by these people. The system of cronyism and corruption and graft and bribery is much worse than that of Egypt.
5. The regime is screaming sectarianism for one and only one reason to insure that the RG that insure the security of the regime stand firm and they are telling them that if you do not stick with us you will also fall with us.
6. This fallacy was not learned also as the troops loyal to Saddam and Ghadafi and Bin Ali and even Mubarak melted away or joined the rebellion when it became clear that the regime is finished.
7. The state of affairs presided over is finished the question is what wiggle room does the regime have now. Seeing what happened in Libya and Yemen must give them room to pause.
8. Putting Boutheina and the Mufti as spokespersons is clearly a mark of some disarray.
9. If it is true that Farouk was shot then this is bad news for the inner circle.
10. Bullies get away with bullying until confronted: look at the Green Man of Tripoli; he and his sons are all silent now.

March 27th, 2011, 1:31 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

SOURI,

I fear that you are correct. I fear that the leadership will make the wrong decision and will revert to the subsidies and baathist socialist policies.

The existing market economic reform has not been sufficient to augment the economic growth rates that the country needs given its demographics. With growth at nearly half of where it should be, the rewards went to the wealthy and connected at the expense of the poor and the ill-prepared to benefit from the opening of the economy. The biggest mistake will now be to back track and reverse course.

Syria’s goal must be to grow the cake as fast as one can. Going back to the failed socialist policies of the past will exacerbate the situation and make the problem grow in the years ahead.

The advancing market economy is not to blame. It is the cronyism and corruption that was associated with the reforms that must be blamed instead.

AIG,

Of course, it is better to have good relations with the west and the U.S. But, this does not mean that the country must go down on its knees and sell-out when it comes to its national rights and aspirations. The country must adopt sound economic policies and grow. It must argue its political case to the west alongside that. Ideally, it would be great to have both. I think it can and I am not surprised that you don’t agree with me given that you are an Israeli citizen. You would naturally advance the notion that Syria will collapse economically unless it throws its current foreign policy under the bus. I do not share your either or theory. I do see the two as largely (not fully) mutually exclusive endeavors.

March 27th, 2011, 1:32 pm

 

jad said:

NK,
I’m sorry for your headache, I’ve been having headache and no sleep for two weeks now 🙂
Stop watching any demonstrations Staged and Non staged it helps!

دبي – العربية.نت
علمت العربية اليوم الأحد 27-3-2011 من مصادر سورية مطلعة أن الحكومة السورية قد تقدم استقالتها بعد غد الثلاثاء في اعتراف منها بالتقصير في معالجة الهموم الخدمية والاقتصادية التي شكا منها أهالي درعا وباقي المحافظات السورية.
وأفادت المعلومات بأن قرار الغاء قانون الطوارئ اتخذ على مستوى القيادة القطرية لحزب البعث وأنه سيتم إعلانه هذا الاسبوع بعد صياغة قانون مكافحة الارهاب.

وعلمت العربية أيضا انه سيصار الى تعديل المادة الثامنة من الدستور السوري التي تنص على أن حزب البعث هو قائد الدولة. وسيتم أواخر الأسبوع أيضاً إقرار قانون جديد للإعلام في سوريا يمنع سجن الصحافيين ويسمح فقط بمقاضاتهم أمام القضاء المدني.

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/03/27/143196.html

March 27th, 2011, 1:44 pm

 

CC said:

Hadley supported US intervention in Syria? Why am I not surprised?

March 27th, 2011, 1:54 pm

 

Alex said:

Hadley and other wonderful Americans continue to work on regime change. He has by now six years of experience trying to overthrow President Assad, he started in 2005

As part of the learning process, this time they decided to not lead the regime change efforts directly from Washington because the last time they tried they realized the Syrian people did not want anything to do with American led regime change. So this time they decided to use Egyptian bloggers to motivate, help, support, and tutor Syrians.

Those of you who are on Twitter probably encountered the massive (massive is the right word) activity by the Egyptians who are promoting a revolution in Syria.

Yesterday CNN covered Syrian television’s interview with Mohamed Radwan, an American activist from Egyptian origin who was caught in Syria trying to take photos inside Syria. His family lives in (surprise) Washington DC … he went to Syria to take pictures and videos and post them. His last tweet the day before was “The Ummayad mosque fell” … a lie that is supposed to motivate young Syrians to go out and demonstrate in confidence.

For those who believe that Egyptians are merely helping their Syrian counterparts, you need to realize that someone financed Radwan’s trip to Syria …

Massive Disinformation is how they want to produce and sustain a revolution. Like yesterday’s news that Maher killed Farouk Sharaa … a reminder of the old days of 2005 when Kuwait’s Assyassa would tell us how Asef punched Mand Bashar had a nervous breakdown … and his family fled to London …

http://beirutobserver.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50664%3Afarouk-share3&catid=41%3A2010-10-03-20-24-15

And before some of you decide to criticize, needless to say, I am not saying that the whole thing is manufactured lies. But lies are an integral part of this, and every Washington supported rebellion…

March 27th, 2011, 2:03 pm

 

OFF THE WALL said:

Observer
securitocracy I love the term, not its meaning.

EHSANI
As usual, hats off. The question again is, are people with the attitude we have been seeing paraded on TV lately capable of doing 1/3d of the huge task ahead. I would argue that even with the emergency law lifted, unless the ubiquitous presence of security and party in every single decision is dealt with decisively and bravely by this or other leadership, we are looking at repeating Tunisia’s experience.

JAD, NK,
Try Abu-Fas, for headache and toothache.

Alex
Glad you are back. Hope that you take a short break from twitter, i thought I am ready for twitter, and it turned out that I was not.

March 27th, 2011, 2:04 pm

 

AIG said:

Ehsani,

Can Syria achieve significant growth with American sanctions in place? If yes, how?

March 27th, 2011, 2:12 pm

 

SOURI said:

EHSANI2,

If we democratically allow the people in Syria to choose now, they will choose to reverse the economic reform process, i.e. back to socialism.

They will also choose to significantly limit personal freedoms under the slogan of “respecting Islam” or “not offending Islam”.

This is what we mean when we say that Syria is not ready for democracy. People are ignorant. Education in Syria is horrible. Most people can barley read and write, and those who have higher education are not very different from the illiterates because higher education and the culture in Syria is generally very dogmatic and nonscientific.

Syrians are ignorant bigots. Everybody thinks they are always right, everybody thinks that they know everything, and everybody thinks that what they know is the unquestionable truth and they will not change their beliefs no matter how much you try with them.

Syria is doomed. There is nothing I hate more than those who talk about democracy in Syria. Syria needs 50 more years before it is ready for western style democracy. Applying democracy now will through us back to the political, economic, and social chaos of the 1940’s-1950’s. Syria will lose very very much.

March 27th, 2011, 2:13 pm

 

NK said:

This now on Facebook

الثورة السورية || مطالبنا واضحة || – إلغاء قانون الطوارئ – السماح بإنشاء الأحزاب – حل مجلس الشعب والحكومة – تعديل الدستور ليواكب الديمقراطية والمدنية – تحديد فترة بقاء الرئيس في السلطة وعددها – انتخابات رئاسية وتشريعية فورية – رفع الرواتب ووضع حد أدنى للاجور – إيجاد فرص عمل فورية – القضاء على الفساد والرشاوي وتسليم المفسدين للمحاكمة …- تخفيض الضرائب والرسوم – إلغاء التمييز المذهبي والطائفي الممنهج في السلطة -مهام الجيش والقوات المسلحة حماية حدود الوطن – تسليم كل من شارك بقتل أو أمر بإطلاق النار على المتظاهرين في ثورة 15 آذار للمحاكمة – إطلاق سراح معتقلي الرأي والسياسيين وكل من اعتقل في المظاهرات السلمية – عودة المهجرين إلى سورية – حرية الرأي والتعبير وإنشاء المنتديات – حرية الإعلام والإنترنت – حق المواطنة للجميع – ثروات البلد ريعها للمواطن ويتم توزيعها بشكل عادل – منح السلطة القضائية استقلالية تامة
مطالبنا كاملة غير قابلة للتجزئة أو المماطلة .. لن ننتظر وعوداً ولا جيلاً لتطبيقها .. لن نرضى بتطبيق جزء منها وجزء يبقى قيد الدراسة والتجاهل .. سنبقى منتفضين حتى ننتزع حريتنا بإيدينا .. ثورتنا سلمية .. شعب واحد .. وطن واحد

Syrian Revolution | | Our demands are clear | |
1- cancel the emergency law
2- to allow the establishment of political parties
3- to dissolve parliament and government
4- to amend the constitution to keep pace with democracy and civil society
5- Set a duration to presidential term and how many terms he can serve
6- presidential and legislative elections Instantly
7- raise salaries and to set a minimum wage
8- Immediate job creation
9- the elimination of corruption, bribery and present the corrupt to trial …
10- lowering taxes and fees
11- elimination of systematic religious and sectarian discrimination in power
12- the functions of the army and the armed forces to protect national borders
13- Delivery of all who participated, killed or ordered to fire on demonstrators in the revolution of March 15 for trial
14- the release of prisoners of conscience, politicians and all those arrested in peaceful demonstrations
15- the return of the displaced to Syria
16- the freedom of opinion and expression and the establishment of forums
17- freedom of the media and the Internet
18- the right of citizenship for all
19- the country’s wealth proceeds for the citizens and to be distributed fairly
20- the judiciary to full independence
Demands are complete, indivisible and not a subject of procrastination .. We will not accept promises or wait a generation to apply them .. Will not accept the application of some while the rest remains under study and be ignored .. We will keep demonstrating until we regain our freedom .. A peaceful revolution .. One people .. One Nation

What do you think is reasonable and what isn’t ?

March 27th, 2011, 2:20 pm

 

jad said:

“Syrians are ignorant bigots. Everybody thinks they are always right, everybody thinks that they know everything, and everybody thinks that what they know is the unquestionable truth and they will not change their beliefs no matter how much you try with them.”

AGREE!

March 27th, 2011, 2:21 pm

 

Sophia said:

I agree with Alex.

I find it very suspicious that Clinton is saying the US won’t intervene. Of course they will and they are already intervening indirectly.

As for Egyptian bloggers I noticed the same thing, they are calling for the overthrow of the Assad regime. It is one thing to stand with your fellow protesters like Tunisian bloggers did during the Egypt revolution, and another to call for the overthrow of a regime, especially when protesters are an undefined entity with an undefined agenda, unlike those of Tunisia and Egypt.
Angry Arab states that the Arab counter revolution started the day Mubarak was overthrown and I agree with him. The muslim brotherhood has shown that it will do whatever SA will ask them to do. For the US and SA, the brotherhood is a safe bet and I think the Egyptian bloggers’ activities should be interpreted in this way. Canadian Maher Arar, who was rendered by the US to Syria where he was tortured on the basis of having connections with Al Qaida, and later won a compensation form the Canadian government, entered the fray today with a piece in The Guardian by calling the Deraa’s events ‘the spark that Syria needed’.
I don’t buy into the arguments that Jordan and Israel and Egypt are fearful of an Islamist takeover in Syria. Radical islamists have shown in the past that they can skip reforms as long as their social agenda is satisfied and it is their only agenda, it has never been about governance but about how to control people’s lives and for this they can acquiesce to any collaboration and demands from tyrannical regimes and the west. They are the best proxy to prolong the west’s interests and colonial hegemony in the region.

I think Syria needs reforms but I don’t think sectarian strife is a good ingredient for reforms. I am afraid SA will do whatever it can to stop the revolution at its door. I am not sure it will succeed but in doing so it will bring strife to the entire Arab world. This is what I call the Lebanonization of the entire Arab world.

March 27th, 2011, 2:30 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

AIG,

The sanctions have hurt Syria. I happen to disagree with the policy. The U.S. must be a champion of free markets. If Syria embraces such, I would drop the sanctions. America must not be in the business of forcing foreign policy behavior through economic sanctions.

SOURI,

This is where leadership is needed. The public must be informed as to where we have gone wrong over the past 48 years when it comes to economics and where we must go in the future. The message thus far has been confusing and unsure. The lack of education in these matters is the fault of the government as much as it the people themselves. The average Syrian student costs the government close to $300 a year. In my local district, the average public schooling of a child adds up to $22,000 a year. It is inconceivable that you can have the education that you aspire to when the Aleppo city council is busy tearing down Foreign-sounding names of store fronts and fining them till they put them up in Arabic. What the country needs is more foreign language skills. The Arabic proficiency of the public is not a national priority right now. As to your repeated commentary on religious and sectarian issues, I am in favor of speaking out and not suppressing our collective feelings on this insanely hot topic. My advice to the President tonight (if and when he speaks) would be to actually talk about this very issue and address it head on. I am aware that this has been a taboo but I am also convinced that dissuading people from talking about certain subjects does not make them go away. If anything, they gather more steam on the inside.

March 27th, 2011, 2:31 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

While one can applaud and or boo from afar one must admit that the ongoing “awakening” in the Arab speaking nations in North Africa, and the ME are imitative of falling dominoes and to say the least seem to follow a scenario.

Having said the above it looks like a grander redesign of policies is in the making notwithstanding what ever Joe Lieverman and fellow zionists have in mind.

Like his name sake Israel’s FM Avigdor single purpose statements of “doing what the Israeli zionists” order “bomb Syria…get rid of its President indicates “kids playing at cowboys and Indians”.

The US and the socalled “West” [Europe et al] actions/inactions suggest a major change in their overall foreign policies with the prime objective of containing China’s rise as the future sole major power.

The only plausible way to accomplish the “Western” objectives to is entice the Arab/Muslim world in Africa, the Middle East and Asia to be on their side.

The only way to impress the Arabs/Muslims to join the crusade is to assist in their becoming free from US stooges.

In a way then the Arab/Muslim world is becoming much, much more important than it used to be in world political calculations.

March 27th, 2011, 2:37 pm

 

Shai said:

Ehsani said: “America must not be in the business of forcing foreign policy behavior through economic sanctions.”

I fully agree. Where has this policy worked? Iran? Iraq? Cuba? North Korea?

Engagement is the ONLY useful means of changing foreign policy, quite often, of both sides!

March 27th, 2011, 2:41 pm

 

jad said:

NK
They published these requests just couple days ago. They are the same issues all of Syrians were calling for way before the internet existed.
All other requests but the economics ones can be delivered with time, however, I think all the economic changes they are calling for are difficult to deliver when you don’t have the budget and policies that support the economy, there is no way to immediate deliver for those requests, not even the US or EU can deliver that. I would like to see those revolutionists’ CV of running a country and implementing policies and how successful where they doing that before.

7- raise salaries and to set a minimum wage
8- Immediate job creation
10- lowering taxes and fees
11- elimination of systematic religious and sectarian discrimination in power
19- the country’s wealth proceeds for the citizens and to be distributed fairly

Ehsani can give us his opinion about those requests.

March 27th, 2011, 2:55 pm

 

SOURI said:

EHSANI2

Talking and discussion can work with civilized people, but not with Wahhabis.

Why hasn’t the US solved its problems with Al-Qaeda by discussion and speaking out?

What you say is theoretical and does not work in reality. I have had discussions with so many Islamists and Wahhabis inside Syria and I know what I am talking about. The culture of discussion does not work with someone who believes that everything he says is God’s word and that if you disagree with him, you are a heretical kafir. There is no discussion or speaking out here. This is a war between people who believe in discussion and those who don’t believe in it.

What you say goes against Islamist and Wahhabi creeds. In Islamist ideology, people are not allowed to discuss what the Islamists say because it is God’s word and God’s word can’t be discussed.

Syria is doomed.

March 27th, 2011, 2:57 pm

 

NK said:

I’ll just discuss those I find a bit extreme

3- to dissolve parliament and government
We all now the parliament and government are totally powerless, so dissolving them will really do very little good if any. we need to see the party law first otherwise having a new parliament or government will have no effects whatsoever.

6- presidential and legislative elections Instantly
This is too extreme, in the absence of any opposition or competing political parties the result would be chaotic, it’s a lot more reasonable to postpone the parliamentary elections for a few months after the party law goes into effect, then after amending the constitution a presidential election would be the right next step, letting Bashar complete this term is the responsible thing to do IMO

7- raise salaries and to set a minimum wage
While I’m all for increasing wages, it’s not like the government can snap its fingers and get an endless satchel of gold.

8- Immediate job creation
Same as above, even if the government act today, it’ll be several years before we see any decrease in unemployment.

10- lowering taxes and fees
The government needs billions of dollars to upgrade and add to the Syrian infrastructure in order to meet the demands of the population and create a better environment for foreign investors, asking them to limit their funds in anyway at this stage is irresponsible.

12- the functions of the army and the armed forces to protect national borders
Its job is to defend the country regardless of the source of threat, it also have the responsibility to defend the constitution.

15- the return of the displaced to Syria
Some of the displaced are traitors and/or criminals, so those who are proven to be guilty should still be held accountable for their crimes

19- the country’s wealth proceeds for the citizens and to be distributed fairly
I’m not sure what this means exactly, the proceeds should be included in the budget and God knows we need every penny to achieve the level of economic growth that we need to get out of the hole we’re in.

March 27th, 2011, 3:09 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

JAD,

1- Raise salaries and to set a minimum wage:
How does the government finance this? Which Peter does it have to rob to pay this Paul? I am for getting rid of the insanely expensive public sector that has thrown so many of the country’s resources down the drain. This issue must be put on the table.

2- Immediate job creation:
I don’t want the government to create jobs. Syrians must ask for the private sector to create jobs instead.

3- Lowering income taxes and fees
Agree. The wealthy, however, must pay the 20% top income bracket and not get away with paying 4-5%. They must also pay a real estate tax on homes in the millions. This revenue will go to improve local infrastructure.

4- Elimination of systematic religious and sectarian discrimination in power
Sure. More importantly, I would also call for an immediate modern family law and ahwal madaniye law at the expense of Sharia law. Christians also must marry and divorce using civil contracts and not be hostage to church leaders. Th challenge to the writers of this declaration is to do away with Sharia and Church power over society and to support a modern civil law instead.

5- The country’s wealth proceeds for the citizens and to be
distributed fairly
This is the job of tax policy. I would argue that raising economic growth and increasing the size of the pie that will be distributed to the public is also of utmost importance. Cronyism and corruption must be eradicated at all levels and especially from the top down. Basic Corporate Governance procedures must be embraced at all levels.

March 27th, 2011, 3:10 pm

 

jad said:

Where is the President?

March 27th, 2011, 3:25 pm

 

jad said:

NK,
More news for you :), it’s old but I just read it

مراسل المحليات: كلنا شركاء/ كشفت مصادر مطلعة إنه وبعد خروج المواطنين في حمص وبعشرات الآلاف ومناداتهم بإسقاط المحافظ إياد غزال الذي يسمى من الأهالي بوالي حمص بسبب جبروته على المحافظة.

وقد أكد المصدر أن السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد قد أصدر اليوم مرسوماً بإعفاء محافظ حمص محمد إياد غزال من كافة مهامه في المحافظة.

March 27th, 2011, 3:36 pm

 
 

NK said:

That’s excellent news. I know him personally, he’s a really corrupt man.

March 27th, 2011, 3:42 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Soury, Jad

I disagree with your analysis. Syrians are not ignorant bigots. First you are generalizing. This is what the white people used to say about the blacks in America first and South Africa second.
Second, the Syrian people in general are not allowed to do any critical thinking. They are forced to follow and obey. When was the last time students were allowed to question anything? Again as Ehsani the system and the government are at fault here. When people question the system they are thrown in Jail for crimes against the country.

Third, the behavior you are describing is the behavior of our government for the last 50 years. And as you know people emulate the behavior of their rule models, the powerful and the wealthy.

Finally, the way we solve this overhauling the system. Education plays a major role in the process. You might ask how we can pay for that. My answer will be is to eliminate the Mukhabarat and spend that money on education. I am sure Syria will be a much stronger country as a result.

March 27th, 2011, 3:59 pm

 

NK said:

كتائب عمالية مسلحة حفاظاً على أمن الوطن خلال يومين

علمت «كلنا شركاء» من مصادر مطلعة في القيادة أن قيادة الحزب اتخذت قراراً بتشكيل كتائب عمالية بعثية مسلحة لحماية المواطنين، وأضاف المصدر أن مهمة هذه الكتائب بالإضافة إلى مهمتها الأساسية الوجود في الشارع عند الطلب ورفع شعار واحد فقط«لا للطائفية، لا للفتنة نعم للوحدة الوطنية، ورفع العلم الوطني السوري.

وأكد المصدر لـ«كلنا شركاء» أن هذه «الكتائب لن تأخذ توجهاته إلى من القيادة حصرا، وستكون متواجدة في الاتحادات في الأوقات كافة، وبالتالي ستكون بديلة عن بعض العناصر التي تتصرف بشكل خاطئ ومن تلقاء ذاتها وبتعليمات مغايرة لتوجهات القيادة السياسية».

وقال المصدر أن «وجود هذه الكتائب العمالية أفضل من الوجود الأمني الذي يحدث أحياناً خوفاً عند المواطنين».

ومن المتوقع أن تبدأ هذه الكتائب عملها من باب التجربة بعد غداً الثلاثاء على أرض الواقع في معظم المدن السورية،

Ok, this is not good by any measure, instead of security forces now we have organized militias (thugs) all over Syria ? كتائب القذافي anyone ? are they turning Baath party into another Hizb Allah ?

March 27th, 2011, 4:04 pm

 

Jihad said:

To describe a whole people as “ignorant” is ignorance in itself, especially when a rabid Zionist enters the fray and suggests that defending the Arabic language by the city of Aleppo and across Syria is not an important issue.

As usual, the recepies of the World Bank and the IMF are put forward as a magic solution to Syria’s economic ills, while time after time these recepies have proven to be a disaster for the countries they were forced to put them in practice.

We continue to return to the courageous act of the late Mohamad Bouazizi in Tunisia. Contrary what’s being alleged, the Tunisian people continue to call for better representation and participation in the public sphere. The former Tunisian dictator thought that by creating a so-called middle class and by selling Tunisia under the banner of attracting foreign investment, he will be able to stay in power for ever. His solution, the same one advocated by the admirers of the World Bank and the IMF on this site, is to become monkeys to Western and Gulf tourists who came to Tunisia (and they are doing the same in Lebanon and Morocco).

According to the logic being applauded on this site, this is a good way because it is not up to the State to create jobs. The lie along with other propaganda being dissimentaed in the Wahhabi and US-Zionist media has to stop. There is no State in the world, especially in the West, that does not intervene to prop up local industries, fend off foreign investors in strategic sectors and put billions to keep alive the agriculture sector. Not to mention the banking and the military sectors.

There cannot be any meaningful job creations in Syria or elsewhere in the Arab world before ending Western military presence and facing up to American and European policies in the region. The negotiations that began in Barcelona in 1993 under the slogan of creating a free market with the European Union have demonstrated that the objectives pursued by the West have nothing to do with getting more investments to the Arab world and creating productive industries (and not just bars and hotels to entertain aging Western tourists). The objectives were to integrate even more the Zionist entity in the Arab world and make it even more receptive to European goods and services. The only country that tried to stop this is Syria. For all its faults, the Syrian regime saw the dangers of one-sided free trade with Europe and saw the “benefits” of the bilateral agreements signed with the United States by Egypt and Jordan, which benefited more the Zionist entity and its factories that employ foreign workers more than Egyptian and Jordanian workers. Syria knows very well that political and economic independence cannot come but from within. But with the Zionist-Wahhabi parasite states in the Gulf bent on transforming the Arab world into a Western-Zionist open bar for those who have money, how can we have meaningful policies?

Bashar Assad likes to be presented as open and close to the people. In ordrer to defeat the Zionist-Wahhabi strategy inside Syria, he sould have visited the Der’a region and met its residents instead of surveying the damages from Damascus. And the gloves should be off once again in Lebanon and elsewhere, especially with the return of Bandar Bin Bribe to his former glory in the Wahhabi kingdom.

March 27th, 2011, 4:15 pm

 

AIG said:

Ehsani,

How do you get the US to stop its sanctions? What kind of deal do you think the US will agree with?

March 27th, 2011, 4:19 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

“a rabid Zionist enters the fray and suggests that defending the Arabic language by the city of Aleppo and across Syria is not an important issue.”

JIHAD,

Are you referring to me as a “rabid Zionist”?

LOL

AIG,

It seems that we are close buddies and I did not know it

March 27th, 2011, 4:46 pm

 

jad said:

I found this old story that a Syrian friend wrote on his elegant and very rich blog, مدونة مداد, you can check his latest story too, He is a brilliant writer.

جمهورية الحمير أم جمهورية الخراف؟!!
سبتمبر 6th, 2007
(قصة من التراث السوري الحديث)..

كان يا ما كان في حديث الزمان.. في بلاد ما وراء القاع، كان هناك (جمهورية) تُدعى بـ(جمهورية الحمير)..

كان يعيش في هذه (الجمهورية) خراف وحمير وذئاب.. فكانت الخراف عامة والحمير حراس القصر أما الذئاب فكانوا قادة الجمهورية.. ولأن الحمير أكثر عدداً من الجميع فلذلك دُعيت تلك الجمهورية بـ(جمهورية الحمير).

شيئاً فشيئاً قلّ عدد الحمير وزاد عدد الخراف.. وفي يوم من الأيام قررت الخراف أن تثور لإحداث (تغيير) في البلاد.. فهاجت وماجت ولم تسكن حتى خرج (كبير الذئاب) من شرفة القصر مستمعاً إلى مطالبهم.. فكان الحوار التالي:

كبير الذئاب: ماذا تريدون؟!!

كبير الخراف: نريد (تغييراً) في البلاد؟!! وإلا سنثور ونحطم كل شيء.. فعددنا أصبح أكثر من الحمير..!

خاف كبير الذئاب من هذا (الانقلاب) وأمهلهم سبعة ليال حتى يحدث تغييراً.. وبعد سبعة ليال عادت الخراف إلى القصر، فاستقبلهم كبير الذئاب بقوله:- لقد فكرت في قضيتكم كثيراً.. ولا أخفيكم فأنتم مهمون جداً بالنسبة لي..

(تلا كبير الذئاب خطاباً طويلاً جداً.. ثم قال في نهايته):

– لذا.. قررت تغيير اسم البلاد من (جمهورية الحمير) إلى (جمهورية الخراف!!)..

عند ذلك فرحت الخراف بـ(التغيير) فرحاً قل نظيره.. وأصبحت تقول لبعضها: (لقد صار لنا كلمة مسموعة الآن وأصبحت البلاد باسمنا..).

ومنذ ذلك اليوم والذئاب مستمرة في نهش الخراف، والخراف فخورة بأن (الجمهورية) أصبحت باسمها، وبذلك أحدثت (تغييراً!!).

..

وبعد تعاقب سبعة فصول عجاف التقى حمار كهل من (الحرس القديم) بخروف شاب على الجسر قرب النهر، فرفع الخروف رأسه بزهوّ وسأل الحمار:

– لماذا لَم تعترضوا حين قامت الخراف بتغيير اسم البلاد من (جمهورية الحمير) إلى (جمهورية الخراف)!! هل اعتراكم الضعف والجبن.. أم ماذا؟!!

وضحك الخروف الصغير باستهزاء.. في حين أخذ الحمار يسعل هو الآخر من الضحك، ثم استجمع أنفاسه قائلاً:

– أي بني.. لن أجيب على سؤالك لكن هل تعرف ما هو الفرق بين الحمار والخروف؟!!

أجابه الخروف: قل أنت ما هو الفرق؟!

قال الحمار بحكمة الحيوان العجوز ودراية الكهل بعواقب الأمور وبلهجة عامية: (يا ابني الخروف بيتخورف.. بس الحمار ما بيتحمرن!!)..

ومنذ ذلك اليوم أصبحت الخراف (تتخورف).. إلى يومنا هذا..

His latest creation is this master piece, ضيعة ضايعة.., Enjoy it.

بدأ الأمر ونحن نشاهد قنوات التلفاز في المقهى وهي تنقل صوراً حية عن الثورة في القرى المجاورة، وتساءل الجميع أنه لطالما عندنا تلك الظروف المشابهة لماذا لا يكون عندنا ثورة نحن أيضاً.. وتشجع البعض الآخر أيضاً للفكرة من مبدأ “ما حدا أحسن من حدا”، آخرون رؤوا في التغيير وسيلة لتحسين أوضاعهم المعيشية، السواد الأعظم من العاطلين عن الفعل أعجبتهم الفكرة للقيام بشيء بدل الجلوس في البيت.. وانتقل الحديث من شخص إلى شخص حتى عمّ أرجاء القرية بأكملها.. ولأننا شعب نحب النسخ واللصق فقد قررنا أنه سيكون عندنا ثورة يوم الجمعة القادم حتى لا تسبقنا بقية القرى في هذا المجال.

http://nj180degree.com/2011/02/23/rev/

March 27th, 2011, 5:03 pm

 

AIG said:

Ehsani,

The “Zionist” tent in the mid-east is quite big. As you can learn from this blog, the people against Assad think he is a Zionist tool while those who support him thing the Zionist tools are the people against Assad. It all gets confusing quickly. Or perhaps there is a deep truth hidden there? Whatever happens in Syria is good for Zionism.

March 27th, 2011, 5:07 pm

 

NK said:

You defend the Arabic language by prohibiting people from naming THEIR stores using foreign names ? next you might ask people to change their names into Arabic ones, or maybe we should stop teaching foreign languages to our students to force them to use the Arabic language and enforce their “sense of national affiliation” !!! This mindset of the 1950 has no place in the 21th century.

The recipes of the World Bank and the IMF in Tunisia and Egypt didn’t fail because they were bad recipes, they failed because like some Syrians, (fill in the blank), the corrupt regimes in those countries used those recipes to steal billions upon billions, if they had transparent governments and those billions were invested into the economy like they should’ve been, the people in those countries would have been in a much better shape today.

And Finally, to ask the U.S to stop looking after its interests in the region is beyond silly, like Syria every other nation have the right to push for what is best for its own people in the area, waiting for others to stop having interests means we’ll stand still forever, we’re far better off recognizing those interests and negotiating with them to get what serves both our and their interests. You can’t have anything unless you give something else in return.

March 27th, 2011, 5:49 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Nk @47

Thank you. Let me add this:

I bet Ehsani is well educated and respected person in his profession. Just because you don’t like his ideas, you can attack him personally. Labeling Ehsani as Zionist is a cheap shot. I don’t know Ehsani but I felt his pain. We need to be above that and be able to debate the issues. We have monumental tasks ahead of us. Worrying about store names is like doing busy work. You look and sound like you are doing something and being productive but in actuality you are just wasting everyone time and effort. Can you imagine the US government being concerned about business names? What a waste of time, money and resources?

March 27th, 2011, 6:30 pm

 

Jihad said:

For your info, the rabid Zionist I am talking about, when I mentioned the Arabic language issue, is “AIG.”

If you have a problem in reading the different texts, that’s your problem not mine.

March 27th, 2011, 6:39 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

The “Zionist” tent in the mid-east is quite big. As you can learn from this blog, the people against Assad think he is a Zionist tool while those who support him thing the Zionist tools are the people against Assad. It all gets confusing quickly.

AIG,

Which only goes to show you how intolerance is so deep-seeded in much of the Middle East. QN’s website offers a few participants who don’t hold this mindset, so I guess they’re “weird”.

Accepting Jewish independence in the ME, I think, is a great barometer for how well the Arab states move toward democracy. At one time, Israel had no relations with Arab states, and over time, things have changed quite a lot.

Don’t kid yourself about Palestine rights in Isreal. Not long ago, White South African gave the same examples.

Freesolider,

Well, what “examples” are you talking about exactly? Here are a number of South African Aparheid laws, ranging from laws forbiding intermarriage and forced separation.

Moreover, if Israel were such a terrible “apartheid state”, why aren’t Palestinians demonstrating? It is LEGAL to demonstrate in “apartheid” Israel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_citizens_of_Israel

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_were_the_laws_of_the_Apartheid_system_in_South_Africa

What right does a Palestinian family has when it looses it house or land to an Israeli settler whos orgin are from Brooklyn New York?

I don’t know what you’re talking about. Post a link and I’ll be happy to comment. Which Palestinian or Israeli Arab family lost his land due to Israeli settlers? Were they compensated? Was the Arab or Palestinian in question a squatter? Did the Palestinian Arab have legal counsel?

The “settlers” I’m familiar with in Efrat built communities without forcing anyone out Jew, Arab, palestinian or Martian.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efrat

Good luck my friend, you are going to need a lot of it.

Judging from recent events, the Arabs may need a tiny bit more, but, who knows really.;)

March 27th, 2011, 7:00 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

And now at this opportune moment, since we’re on the subject:

The Grand Marching Song of the Crusaders against Israeli Apartheid

By Steven Plaut

We are fighters against Israeli apartheid. We support BDS (boycotts,
divestment, and sanctions) against Israel. We are progressive,
caring, socially advanced, egalitarian and freedom-loving
Anti-Zionists. Here we present to you our Grand Marching Song. Set to
John Philip Sousa music.

All together now:

We despise apartheid.
And that is why we demand that the only state in the Middle East that
is NOT an apartheid regime be boycotted and destroyed!!

We believe in enlightened government and progress.
And that is why we support Arab fascism.

We believe in peace.
And that is why we support all military aggression against Israel.

We believe in democracy.
And that is why we believe that the only country in the Middle East
that has elections, a free press, free courts, and freedom of speech
must be destroyed.

We believe in freedom.
And that is why we support Iran, Syria, the Taliban and the Hamas.

We believe in the freedom of speech and of the press.
And that is why we support the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas.

We believe in self-determination and self-definition for all.
But not for Jews.

We oppose violence.
And that is why we support Palestinian terror.

We believe in human dignity.
And that is why we applaud when Arabs blow up Jewish women and children.

We believe in human rights.
And for this reason we support Arab atrocities.

We believe in fraternity and the brotherhood of nations.
Except when it involves Jews.

We favor equality.
But the kind to be found in Turkey, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

We favor minority rights.
But not for Jews, Kurds, Southern Sudanese, Bahais, Iranian Sunnis,
Egyptian Copts, or any other politically incorrect groups.

We believe in freedom.
But do not mind that slavery still exists in Sudan, Saudi Arabia and
elsewhere among Arab states.

We believe in a free press.
And so we support censorship by the Hamas and the PLO.

We believe in freedom to practice religion.
But only for Moslems.

We believe in affirmative action preferences for those who suffered
from past discrimination.
But not for Jews.

We believe in progress and enlightenment.
And so we support Islamofascism, Jihad and pogroms.

We believe in egalitarianism.
And so we support demands for ethnic cleansing of the Middle East to
drive out the Jews.

We love children and living things.
And this is why we applaud suicide bombers.

We hate it when people blame the victims.
Which is why all terrorism is always the Jews’ fault.

We believe in education.
As long as we never have to read any books.

We believe in multiculturalism.
As long as no one ever has to learn respect for the Jews or for the
West or for Amerika.

We believe in prosperity.
And that is why we support Arab feudalism and kleptocratic regimes.

We believe in equal citizenship.
Just as long as Israel never conscripts its Arabs or makes them obey the law.

We believe in freedom of expression.
Which is why people who do not agree with us must be censored and shouted down!
.
We believe the human rights of Arabs must be protected.
But not in Arab countries.

We are upset by illiteracy.
And that is why we practice it.

We believe in women’s dignity and equality.
But not among Arabs.

March 27th, 2011, 7:06 pm

 

nafdik said:

Montagnard,

You suggest that we now that the revolution has reached some objectives it is in the interest of Syria to keep the regime alive to avoid civil war.

I respect your sentiment and share your fear of civil war.

Where we might (or might not) diverge is that I think the source of civil war will be regime forces who will refuse a democratic syria.

Just to use clear language to avoid talking in euphemisms.

It is clear that Ikhwan style islamists do not want to engage in civil war as they can win at the voting booths. Those who will want to use violence are those whose military strength exceeds their popular support: ie Assad supporters.

The other point is why are we afraid of civil war if the army is still intact?

March 27th, 2011, 8:37 pm

 

Jihad said:

The rabid Zionist finally uncovered his ugly and twisted face and mind. It seems that it is a snake with two heads that types the same message word by word.

March 27th, 2011, 8:39 pm

 

nafdik said:

Alex,

I am puzzled by your comment.

On one side:
Syria has found an egyptian who sent a few tweets and who confessed that somebody offered him to pay for photos 16$ per picture. Plus a lebanese site wrote a rumor that Sharaa was shot.

On the other side:
10s of Syrians are killed by the government while participating in peaceful protests.

Which is the urgent problem for Syria?

March 27th, 2011, 8:51 pm

 

Dr. Guy said:

It’s been a while since I wrote here. I know little of Syria, but can give an Israeli perspective.

We are witnessing historical times, the Arab spring is a s big as 1848 and 1989. I wonder how many of the revolutions will end up like China or Byelorussia, and how many like the Check republic and Hungary.

It is interesting to see how prominently Israel appears in your discussion. To an Israeli, it seems like the uprising in Syria is a purely internal affair, yet pro-Baathists, Islamists, pro-democrats and social-nationalists alike all invoke Zionists interests everywhere. Consipracy theories are rife, this to me is indication of some deep-rooted insecurity.

Although we undoubtedly have agents in Syria, (though probably not American-Egyptians bloggers) Israel has very little influence, and would not instigate an uprising which might end up detrimental to its interests in the long run. The west as a whole has little to do. It is very unlikely to intervene directly like it has in Libya. It doesn’t have the economic leverage that it had in Egypt. Inadvertently, it is the advent of the internet that was the west’s greatest contribution to the Arab Spring.
Some of you see Western instigators behind the entire upheaval in the Arab world. In fact, most of the rulers that lost or are about to lose their thrones were pro-western and participated in fighting al-Qaeda on the one hand and blocking Iranian interests on the other.
We’re used to seeing things through ideological glasses, but this seems to be a genuine old-fashioned popular revolt. The common denominator for revolts has been poverty and under-representations. The most corrupt regimes in the poorest nations, where the populace is least represented (Shiites in Bahrain, Sunnis in Syria) are most prone to revolution.
As for Israeli interests: Assad has been a pain for Israel in some ways – notably supporting Jamas, the Jihadic Islam and Hizbualla and furthering Iran’s regional interests. In other ways he has been useful to Israel. The Golan front has been Israel’s quietest front since 1973. Assad senior did not fire a single shot there when his air-force has been routed in the Baqaa in 1982. His son didn’t respond when we attacked the reactor near Deir ez Zor, the training camp Ain Saheb, used sonic booms above his palace in Latakia and disposed of Imad Mughniyah and Mohammed Suleiman.
If what eventually emerges is a pro-western, Saudi-backed, democratic sunny regime, akin to Harriri’s in Lebanon, Israel would be elated. If the Muslim-brotherhood takes over, much less so. Considering Syria’s large chemical and biological missile arsenal, Israel is understandably jittery about the prospects of regime change in Damascus. In any case, most Israeli analysts seem to believe that on the long run Assad is doomed.
Iran (as well as some of you, it seems) doesn’t like the fact that Israel has been an island of calm has so far. They would like to drag us into the conflict and have us respond heavy-handedly.This is how many interpret the latest rocket attacks by Islamic Jihad and the bus bombing in Jerusalem last week.
Some in Israel say that it is going to be a long war, that the Alawites fear that they would be massacred, no less, if they lose grips on power.

Some questions:

What is the percentage of Sunnies, Kurds and Druze in the Syrian army? What would happen if rank and file soldiers they are ordered to shoot their own people? Are there elite military units that are purely Alawite?

Under what conditions would the Kurds join the revolt? Would the Peshmerga from Iraq intervene to help Kursidh Syrians if they revolt and are attacked?

In Israel and Lebanon the Druze are considered a well-defined group with their own interest and politics. Jabal-al-Druze (rebranded Jabal-al-Arab I believe) is just next to the Khoran, it enjoyed a brief period of independence in the 1920’s. How well-integrated are the Druze into syria, will they stake their own claim, or is it unlikely?

March 27th, 2011, 8:52 pm

 

trustquest said:

The video below show what Today happened in Homs.
Two guys burning the huge poster of the Assad.
The protest still building up and many youths are distributing videos on facebook encouraging others and passing the wall of fear.
Today the Syrian media went into chaos, they contradict each other media, they denied existence of political prisoners while they are releasing political prisoners and they denied releasing them. All Syrian media outlet is business as usual like nothing happened or happening. The Latakia drama which could have started civil war, never happened and no one want to point to the real perpetrators in name, they all know them but never mention their name as it is a taboo.
There is a build up for the large protest and the Kurds is going to participate this time as one interviewer pointed out.

March 27th, 2011, 9:00 pm

 

jad said:

#55
“All Syrian media outlet is business as usual like nothing happened or happening.”

I checked all major news paper in Syria, Government and pro-government and all of them have at least 3 articles about Lattakia.
Alwatan, Sana, Syria News, Tishreen, Albaath, Althawra, Aks Alseer, Champress, All4Syria you name it and you will read about Lattakia.
Go check

http://alwatan.sy/

March 27th, 2011, 9:42 pm

 

Norman said:

Nafdik,
Now you have the chance to eat the cake, Why do you want to burn the house, Eat the cake then make a bigger cake and share it,

March 27th, 2011, 9:44 pm

 

Norman said:

last week, The opposition was mentioning that more than 200 went dead in Sammin near Daraa, 15 or 20 .

March 27th, 2011, 10:00 pm

 

nafdik said:

Norman,

1st I have to say that Syrians have already achieved a lot:

– Broken some of the fear
– Government promised end of emergency laws
– Government feels it has to give more

So even if the protests stop we would be in a better place and the martyrs would not have died in vain.

However, the only reason these things are good is because they are steps towards freedom.

The demands of the Syrians are very simple. We want to choose our leaders and have a solid state that will not be hijacked again.

If Bashar comes with a plan for that then we can start eating cake.

In addition Syrians have to keep the pressure up:

– To force the government to follow through on promises
– To cease the moment as circumntances might change and the window of opportunity could close

March 27th, 2011, 10:57 pm

 

Norman said:

Nafdik,
Don’t you think that the Syrians should digest what they got then move forward, Too much pressure can explode the house, then there will be no house for anybody,

March 27th, 2011, 11:04 pm

 

Revlon said:

B Assad handing of this crisis has been characterized by lack of foresight, stubbornness, and indecisiveness.

He has yet to acknowledge the presence of a rising public.
He has yet to acknowledge the legitimacy of their uprising
He has yet to acknowledge the legitimacy of their demands.
He has yet to submit to all of their legitimate demands!
He is still reluctant to look the nation in the eye.

B Asad has only two options left:
To leave office, like Mubarak did, with least losses of people’s lives and damage to his reputation and future.

To be uprooted like Qiddafi will, after long confrontation, risking unpredictable number of casualties, and terminal damage to his reputation and future as a Syrian citizen.

I repeat my earlier plea to B Asad:

Please!
Step down, now!
Save lives!
Save the nation.

March 27th, 2011, 11:13 pm

 

nafdik said:

Norman,

When trying to remove a cancer you do not open the patient up and then close him so that he can digest the 1st step of the surgery.

March 27th, 2011, 11:37 pm

 

Revlon said:

#7 Dear JAD,
Syrian regime’s concept of Anti-terrorist law, is bound to be a 21st century edition of its 20th century Emergency laws.

“ معلومات للعربية: قرار الغاء قانون الطواريء اتخذ على مستوى القيادة القطرية لحزب البعث بعد صياغة قانون مكافحة الارهاب

It is being written by the same Baath party and sponsored by the heir of the same president..

Emergency laws should be annulled, completely
Civil laws should be activated and operative in its place.

Long term, national security interests, can be addressed by the newly elected parliament and president.
The people have neither the trust, nor confidence in this leadership or its Baath party.

March 27th, 2011, 11:48 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Norman,

“last week, The opposition was mentioning that more than 200 went dead in Sammin near Daraa, 15 or 20 .”

What if one on these people was your brother or son? He is out there asking for his rights peacefully. Please do not repeat the government line about thugs. Killing 20 people in a 30,000 town is like killing 3,000- 4,000 people in Damascus. The regime has done nothing so but promises. They released prisoners but at the same time they arrested hundreds in their place. Tunis started 3 months ago and still not a single reform has been done. After killing over 100 people they are promising changes. They are playing for time and think time on their side.

It is not about which sides wins or eats cake. It is about dignity and freedom for all. Please do not equate the US’s patriot act to the emergency law in Syria. Over the last 10 years I have been to almost every demonstration against the war in Iraq, Israel, Mubbarak,…

The police escorted and protected us and we were loud and against the sitting US president. Not shot at us.

I know change is hard but Syria is overdue for one. Remember it is about dignity and hunger.

March 27th, 2011, 11:54 pm

 

NK said:

http://bit.ly/dJY2kh

طريق الساحل السوري
صبحي حديدي

انضمت اللاذقية إلى حوران في تعميد الإنتفاضة السورية بدم الشهداء، ولاح على الفور أنّ الفاجعة هنا تتجاوز خسران الدم الزكيّ الغالي، إلى اتضاح ما يُحاك لهذه المحافظة من شدائد، إذ قرّرت السلطة الإنتقال إلى خطّ دفاع جديد يلوّح، بعد الإنهيار السريع لسيناريو ‘المندسّين’، بـ’مخطط فتنة طائفية’، بدأت أبواق النظام تُنذر به فور شيوع الأنباء عن سقوط شهداء في المدينة. المجتمع السوري، اللاذقيّ، في شرائحه المتديّنة خاصة، قدّم ردّاً سريعاً، قاطعاً وبليغاً: مسجد بساتين الريحان، الذي يستقبل المصلّين السنّة غالباً، أمّ الصلاة فيه إمام من الطائفة العلوية؛ ومسجد الحسن العسكري، وأغلبية مصلّيه من أبناء الطائفة العلوية، استقبل إمام المسجد السنّي ليؤمّ الصلاة.
وفي وقائع التاريخ المعاصر، وعلى امتداد العقود الأربعة من نظام ‘الحركة التصحيحية’، بين الأسد الأب والأسد الوريث، ثمة حقيقة ذات مغزى وطني كبير، ظلّت تترسخ سنة بعد أخرى، وتتأكد أكثر فأكثر كلما نفّذت السلطة حملة اعتقالات جديدة: أنّ المعارضين من بنات وأبناء الطائفة العلوية لم يكونوا في صدارة معتقلي، وشهداء، مختلف التيارات اليسارية والقومية التي طوّرت الحراك الديمقراطي السوري، فحسب؛ بل كانت السلطة توفّر لهم عقاباً إضافياً، أو مضاعفاً أحياناً، جرّاء خيار سياسي تعتبره ‘خيانة’… عظمى، أحياناً! وأمّا تاريخ سورية الحديث، خلال سنوات الإنتداب الفرنسي تحديداً، فقد سجّل صفحات وطنية لجبال الساحل السوري، تحت قيادة المناضل الوطني الكبير الشيخ صالح العلي؛ وأسقط، في المهد، مؤامرة سلطات الإنتداب في إنشاء دولة للعلويين، سنة 1920، إسوة بدول دمشق وحلب والدروز، قبيل التمهيد لسلخ لواء الإسكندرون، وتلك إجراءات استهدفت تفتيت الوحدة الوطنية السورية مرّة وإلى الأبد، كما توهّم الفرنسيون.
وهكذا، في تحية جبال الساحل السوري ومدنه وبلداته وضِيَعه، الفاتنة المنفتحة الكريمة، أجدني أفتقد صديقاً عزيزاً، وأخاً كبيراً، وأستاذاً لامعاً من أبناء محافظة اللاذقية، هو الروائي الكبير هاني الراهب (1939ـ 2000)، كان ـ إسوة بالعشرات من أبناء المحافظة الكبار، الغائبين ـ في طليعة مستحقّي الوقوف على مشهد الساحل إذْ ينتفض أبناؤه اليوم، على اختلاف انتماءاتهم، في سبيل الحرّية والحقّ والكرامة والديمقراطية. أستعيده، وأعود بذكراه إلى العام 1985، حين شارك في مؤتمر إتحاد الكتّاب، فاعتبر المكتب التنفيذي ‘مجرّد عناصر شرطة عند الحكومة’؛ وأطلق على علي عقلة عرسان، رئيس الإتحاد آنذاك، صفة ‘الرقيب علي، رئيس مخفر إتحاد الكتّاب’، وفقاً للرواية التي يعرفها معظم المثقفين السوريين، وأعاد تفصيلها ‘المجلس الوطني للحقيقة والعدالة والمصالحة في سورية’، ضمن تقرير موسع حول بنية السلطة.
وبالطبع، بعد أيّام معدودات اعتُقل الراهب في مطار دمشق وهو في طريقه إلى اليمن، حيث كان يعمل مدرّساً بالإعارة، وسُحب جواز سفره، وظلّ طيلة سنتين ممنوعاً من السفر. المحرّض على هذه الإجراءات الزجرية كان أحمد درغام، عميد كلية الآداب آنذاك، إلى جانب موقعه القيادي في حزب البعث، والذي استحقّ لقب ‘جدانوف البعث’ بسبب هوسه بممارسة الرقابة الثقافية والفكرية. الأسد الوريث، للمقارنة، استكثر هذه الصلاحية الجدانوفية على أكاديميين أو أعضاء قياديين في الحزب، فنقلها إلى اللواء علي مملوك، مدير إدارة المخابرات العامة، الذي منع سفر العشرات من المثقفين والناشطين، وصار إلغاء المنع يتطلّب إرسال ‘واسطة ثقيلة’ إلى سيادته، من عيار… دريد لحام!
وليس مفاجئاً أنّ تكون الهزيمة الشاملة هي الموضوعة المركزية الطاغية على نتاج الراهب، خصوصاً في روايته الأولى ‘المهزومون’، التي نالت جائزة مجلة ‘الآداب’ مطلع الستينيات، وكان مؤلفها في الثانية والعشرين من العمر. كذلك تلمّس الراهب، مبكّراً، معنى ارتباط الإحتجاج بالحرّية، ومدى الحاجة إلى الديمقراطية على صعيد المجتمع العريض بأسره أوّلاً؛ ثم على صعيد المبدع بعدئذ، واستطراداً. وليس من المبالغة التذكير بأنّ الحديث عن الديمقراطية بدون صفات لاحقة (مثل ‘الديمقراطية الشعبية’، على سبيل المثال) كان، في مطلع الستينيات، أقرب إلى السُبّة؛ لأنّ التبشير العقائدي صنّف المفردة في المعجم الإمبريالي وحده، وبالتالي كان القائل بها يُزجّ في عداد الطابور الخامس.
وهكذا، بعد أن وضعه أمثال درغام وعرسان في صفّ ‘عملاء كامب دافيد’، مُنع الراهب من الكتابة في الصحف السورية (مراراً، بقرارات رسمية كانت تصدر عن وزراء الإعلام المتعاقبين)؛ ثم فُصل من جامعة دمشق، وخُيّر بين التقاعد المبكّر، أو تدريس اللغة الإنكليزية في المدارس الثانوية (وهو الحائز على الدكتوراة في الأدب الإنكليزي، عن أطروحة متميّزة تناولت الشخصية الصهيونية في الرواية الإنكليزية). ولقد اضطرّ الراحل إلى الإستقالة، ومغادرة سورية للتدريس في جامعة الكويت، ثمّ صنعاء.
استذكار هاني الراهب اليوم هو مسير على طريق الشطر الساحلي من انتفاضة سورية، حيث يلحّ محمود درويش على البال: ‘أنا ابن الساحل السوري/ أسكنه رحيلاً أو مقاما/ بين أهل البحر/ لكنّ السراب يشدّني شرقاً/ إلى البدو القدامى/ أورد الخيل الجميلة ماءها/ وأجس نبض الأبجدية في الصدى/ وأعود نافذة على جهتين/ أنسى مَنْ أكون لكي أكون/ جماعة في واحدٍ…’. والاستذكار، كذلك، مسير على واحد من دروب سورية المستقبل، حيث الجهات لا تنغلق على صفة أحادية أو متفردة، ولا تتعدد الصفات إلا لكي تغتني، ولكي تتحد.

March 28th, 2011, 12:28 am

 

SOURI said:

I was reading some Western and Wahhabi articles, and almost everybody was talking as if Syria is already over and Assad is gone.

Assad still controls 100% of Syria. It is true that the count down for his regime and for Syria as a united country has begun, but can’t Assad reemerge from this crisis and unite Syria by force as his father did in 1982?

Everybody seems to assume the following: the Alawis will run away and the “Sunnis” will take over.

Are the Sunnis a united block? I’ve been reading and following news, and it looks to me that many Sunnis are against this Islamist insurgency. Even the Islamists seem to be seriously divided over what is happening.

Damascus, Aleppo, Hama and the eastern region are still calm despite the intense sectarian incitement.

Sectarian incitement does not seem to be effective for a big portion of the Sunnis, even for some of the Islamists.

I can’t make any judgments, but I have serious doubts over the depiction of Sunnis as a united block. I am Sunni myself and I am feeling very scared from the possibility that the Syrian regime may collapse. Aren’t there some Sunnis who feel like me and believe that Bashar’s regime must not be allowed to fall?

The Islamists in Syria are no joke; they are definitely the largest group (I think they are at least 50% of the total population). But like I said before several times, if the minorities (including secular Sunnis like myself) all unite and form a firm front against the Islamists, we can prevent them from taking over the country. I still believe that the Baath regime can defeat the Islamists if it forms a united secular front against them. We must fight them. We can’t let them take over the country and destroy it.

The approach of “sharing power” with the Islamists and granting them concessions will not work. This approach will make Syria a very weak and shaky country, and eventually it will lead to its demise. To share power with somebody in a democratic way, they must accept first the principles of democracy and secularism. The Islamists in Syria don’t accept neither democracy nor secularism.

My hope is that what the regime is doing now is somehow similar to what Hafez Assad did in the 1970’s, which is to try to isolate the most extreme elements among the Islamists in preparation for attacking them.

Hafez Assad managed to isolate the radical Ikhwan from the rest of the Sunnis before he decisively attacked and defeated them. That was a successful approach. The regime now must try to do the same, but it must NOT grant any serious political concessions to the Islamists, even the non-radical ones.

The Syrian regime is not that weak. It can fight now and win if it knows how to act right. Until now, they seem to be acting right and they seem to have already managed to divide the Islamists into extremists and less extreme factions. At least this is what I hope.

March 28th, 2011, 12:38 am

 

jad said:

If the president doesn’t show up today then there is defiantly something wrong, it’s been way too long for him not to face the Syrians.

March 28th, 2011, 12:56 am

 

Alia said:

NK,

Thank you so much for this article. I found it touching in the love and respect that infused it, intelligent in showing us the depth of evil behind what has become every day occurences in our country and challenged us to shed the naivete that is still shrouding our vision about what is happening. The Asad family has done evil to this country, Mukhabarat are vicious and relentless in their destruction of lives- those are things we should never forget when we analyze what is happening now and what will happen- Bashar is a dictator who has inherited an awful legacy and has been enjoying it- if he had any reservations about what has been going on in the past 11 years, he could have taken his family and gone to England to practice his profession.

Observer,

The Tunisian revolt did not start because of hunger, it started because of humiliation- the jobless educated man was trying to make a living selling vegetables when a policewoman pushed him and slapped him on the face…the Tunisians had economic troubles no doubt but it was the humiliation of the reign of Layla al-Hajjama the coiffeuse and her family that was destroying them from inside.

Souri,

The Islamists are 50% of the population?! where is this number from ?

March 28th, 2011, 1:04 am

 

sam said:

Does anyone other than me, think that G.W.Bush invasions, are leading the people to rise up and get tough? Not because of his doctrine, but for our military pressure, along with our allies, and most of all, the promise of freedom?

March 28th, 2011, 3:16 am

 

Alex said:

Jad, no, it has nothing to do with things going wrong, quite the contrary.

But he should indeed talk soon.

March 28th, 2011, 3:43 am

 

Revlon said:

Syrians are a proud nation. They were insulted by B Asad claim that they were not ready for democracy.

The claim was uttered in an interview with foreign, not even local media!
It was not debated in the parliament!
It was not subjected to a referendum!

Syrians themselves learnt about it later.

That meant two things:
First, He does not think that Syrians have the desire, determination, heritage or the mental capacity to embrace democracy!
Second, He did not feel obliged to ask the people, for they really did not matter to his ascent to power.

The Syrian Peoples revolutions have proven him wrong.
They have showed the desire and determination to achieve freedom and democracy.
They confronted the “enlightened president’s” heavily armed guards, with their bare chests.
Their chants transcended ethnicity and religion and brought to life a genuine national unity.
The youth have shown a mature address and organization and brightly applied their IT savvy to their cause.
The tribes are now weighing in heavily with their strong traditions of pride and respect for human lives.

Syrian people have been all along yearning to regain freedom and resume their thousands of years of tradition of collective counsel (Shoora).

It is now time for the ruling clan to be ready and submit to democracy!

March 28th, 2011, 5:26 am

 

gk said:

Would people in Syria (or outside who may have information) let us know if the rumor that Maher did a coup and Bashar is under home arrest is true! Also, where is the vice president Al-Shar3?

March 28th, 2011, 7:16 am

 

Syrian said:

Democrats are cowards!

March 28th, 2011, 7:39 am

 

Alex said:

GK,

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en%2FArticle%2Fview%2F86474

Damascus- President Bashar al-Assad on Monday received a phone call from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz expressing the Saudi Arabia’s support to Syria in the face of conspiracy which targets its security and stability.

His Majesty, King Abdullah, expressed Saudi Arabia’s stand by the Syrian leadership and people to foil this conspiracy.

On Sunday, President Bashar al-Assad received phone calls from King of Bahrain Hamad bin Issa al- Khalifa, the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, President Jalal al-Talabani of Iraq , Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

King of Bahrain, Emirs of Kuwait and Qatar, Iraq’s President expressed their countries’ standing by Syria in the face of conspiracy to which it is exposed, targeting its security and stability.

They underlined confidence in Syria’s capability, as leadership and people, to foil that conspiracy.

March 28th, 2011, 7:43 am

 

trustquest said:

Jad, I think you meant my comment on #58 regarding the Syrian Media ignorance and you are saying they are mentioning it. I meant to say that they are showing the event like they are showing the events like it is a car accident, while what happened and what is happening everyday since is a Full Scale Revolution against the system. The regime showing chaos and contradictions no one expected that from this very iron control system. Even Joshua did not expected or at least gave the regime a hint of such tsunami is coming. Shaaban lost it and if you see how most foreign media making fun of her and her credibility which she claimed to the BBC and asked the reporters to come and go to Daraa, and when they went there they did not let them, you will realize that such person should be out and regime should move fast make painful changes, bring new people at least not like Hasson and Buthaina, take officers who violated the code of ethic of not to kill your people to court, and save what you can save from being doomed. I say that because first after all those are all brothers and their monies should not be in the way of the safety of their country, not to mention I hope not for Libya style.
Here what the pathetic parliament talked about yesterday:
وقف أعضاء مجلس الشعب، يوم الأحد، في بداية جلستهم، دقيقة صمت على أرواح الضحايا الذين سقطوا خلال الأحداث الأخيرة من مواطنين وقوى الأمن الداخلي، كما طالبوا بمعالجة القضايا الخدمية والمعيشية، التي تلامس الحياة اليومية للمواطنين، وإعداد البرامج والخطط الكفيلة بتسهيل معاملاتهم، ومكافحة الفساد والبيروقراطية، ومراقبة عمل الحكومة في تنفيذ برامجه

Here is a song reflects the mode of the country:

March 28th, 2011, 7:53 am

 

trustquest said:

From yesterday protest in Ghoto Damascus, Daraya:
The new demand from protesters is remove the blockade against Daraa, and the slogan of God, Syria, liberty and only is gradually getting into the conscious of the deprived people for decades from such:

March 28th, 2011, 8:07 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Alex
what you said in #77
Is this a positive thing for Bashar or negative?
to be supported by KSA king,a repressive ,and american stooge, I would consider that A SHAME,
Bird of the feather flock togather,they all corrupt ,and I hope we get rid of them all.

No Maher did not stage a coup,and Bashar is not under house arrest.
Why Bashar has not showed up yet?it is because the rising has not ended yet,he either has(1) to promise reform,and people got tired of promises, or(2) he has to issue reform plans,he is trying to avoid it,even that he promised the american ambassedor in Damascus that he will call for reform.
We all know that he is extremely slow,and usually gives nothing,he is not a strong leader,he is surrounded by obstinant corrupt oligarchs,they will take Syria to hell rather than do the right thing,but loose their privilages.

March 28th, 2011, 8:51 am

 

Ziad said:

Majed

That Assad received support phone calls from Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, & KSA attest to the shrewdness of Assad/Mouallem. Against his feelings, and the desire of most Syrians and Syria’s close ally Iran, Moullem came out in support of the king of Bahrain. In time of war you do not increase the number of your enemies.

Refusing to be entangled in squabbles with other Arab nations like KSA, Egypt, Iraq & KSA has been the pattern of Syrian foreign policy. One exception was the half men slip.

March 28th, 2011, 9:34 am

 

Atassi said:

SYRIA: Repression will not be enough to halt protests
Oxford Analytica 2011

Friday, March 25 2011

EVENT: Protestors in Dera’a have rejected yesterday’s government promises of wage increases and political concessions.
SIGNIFICANCE: The apparent concessions follow the deaths of up to 44 demonstrators in Dera’a. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ call on the Syrian army to “stand aside” like that of Egypt implies that he wants to see a change in the regime.
ANALYSIS: The demonstrations in Dera’a started after security forces over-reacted to graffiti painted on walls by a few students copying what they had seen happening elsewhere on Al-Jazeera television
• The initial mishandling by an unpopular governor in a small city and tribal area close to the Jordanian border in arresting 15 students quickly escalated into demonstrations of growing size as extended families and tribes protested about the arrests and then deaths of family members.
• The typically violent tactics used by security forces helped turn a minor incident into a potentially major event which has rattled the regime.
• The regime finally realised its errors and sacked the governor and announced that there would be no further shootings at demonstrators. It offered condolences to the families of those killed.
Protest roots. The government has portrayed events in Dera’a as atypical and influenced by Muslim Brotherhood (MB) or fundamentalist groups from Jordan. It is true that a local mosque has been at the centre of protest but Dera’a suffers in an acute form from many of the problems of poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunity for the young found elsewhere in Syria ().
There have been demonstrations in Banias, Homs and other Syrian towns but these have been small and organised by local groups using Facebook and social networking. They have mostly focused on economic and social grievances. There have been more muted demands for political reform. There have been as yet no major demonstrations in Damascus or Aleppo — there has been a small protest in Damascus by people demanding the release of activists arrested under earlier crackdowns, and about 200 marched today in solidarity with the people of Dara’a.
Regime ‘concessions’. Details of the measures promised by the government will be given next week:
• They include an immediate wage increase of 30% and moves to create new jobs.
• President Bashar al-Assad is to “consider” ending the State of Emergency, which has existed since 1963, and a series of moves to give greater political freedom to the media and opposition political parties and to give greater rights to the courts.
The Syrian public will welcome the economic concessions but will want to see the fine detail of the political promises.
These concessions are similar to those offered by other Arab regimes in the face of popular protest but it is extraordinary that the repressive Syrian regime reacted in this way to demonstrations in a provincial district. It shows that the regime fears that it cannot isolate Syria from the revolution sweeping the Arab world and thus has to act pre-emptively to try to limit the impact. It is more vulnerable that it wishes to show.
Limited reforms. Since Assad inherited the presidency from his father in 2000, he has pursued polices of gradual and piecemeal economic reform and has had some success in persuading Syrian businessmen at home and abroad (many went into exile in the 1960s and 1970s) and an increasing number of Gulf Arabs to invest in Syria, mostly in real estate and tourism:
• As elsewhere, such policies have benefited the privileged in the wealthy new suburbs around Damascus and there has not been much trickle down even in this supposedly socialist state.
• The rapidly growing youth segment of the population has been hit particularly hard by Syria’s economic problems.
• The regime has avoided the sort of drastic reforms seen in Eastern Europe and Turkey. It argues that the dismantling of the large state bureaucracies and industries would provoke even more unemployment and social unrest at a time when the strategic aim of the state is to take back the Golan Heights from Israel and work towards a Middle East settlement on terms favouring Syria.
• Such polices also justify the creation of large security and armed forces, whose officer corps have disproportionate numbers from the Alawi and other minority communities.
• The regime also stresses the need for social stability in a state with so many minorities, pointing to events in Lebanon and Iraq as examples of what could go wrong .
Assad in his first months in office appeared to signal that he was interested in greater political dialogue, leading to what some called the Damascus Spring of 2001. However, he changed his mind when he was persuaded that it could get out of hand and has since then cracked down hard on the few who have dared to speak out and call for political reform. There is almost no freedom of expression and the media is muzzled, though, as elsewhere, satellite television can at least ensure that Syrians are aware of what is happening in other parts of the region.
Regime base. Assad has at his disposal powerful security agencies led by people close to him and the Republican Guard under the command of his brother:
• He has reduced the influence of the wider Alawi community but continues to rely heavily on a few Alawi clans. He has also opened out space within the security agencies and political institutions to the Christian and Druze minorities and increasingly those Sunnis, mostly from outside the main cities, that have benefited from his patronage in exchange for their loyalty.
• He has also reformed the Ba’ath Party to attract into to its leading positions and parliamentary candidates people of his own generation (he is 45), many of them businessmen, who broadly support his cautious political reform but have no interest in political reforms that would end their privileges.
• This has been accompanied by tolerance of the corrupt activities and abuses of businessmen that are related or close to him. Rami Makhlouf, a cousin, had been a particular target of criticism both from the opposition and, in private, from within the regime.
Outlook. Syrians with a long memory will recall that at least 20,000 people were killed in an uprising inspired by the MB in Hama in 1982, as well as the problems in Kurdish areas in the mid-2000s. The regime clearly wants to blame the MB, which has fed this government line through statements calling for protest.
However, the new sites that have appeared on the internet suggest a different story: the dissidents have the same secular outlook and calls for both economic and political reform seen elsewhere in the region. They are not yet as numerous or organised as those in Cairo and Tunis, and much will now depend on whether they show the same courage as those protesters and in doing so generate unstoppable momentum. They have been careful not to call for the downfall of the regime but for its reform.
CONCLUSION: The regime has clearly been shaken by the way in which events in Dera’a escalated and now recognises it needs to act quickly to prevent the Arab revolution entering the heart of Syria. Potential protesters may see the regime’s apparent concessions as a sign of weakness and the comments by Gates as a signal of external support. The regime is probably strong enough at the moment to get through the immediate crisis but it is now clear that in order to survive it will have to rely less on repression than its instincts would have until recently pointed to.

March 28th, 2011, 9:36 am

 

Syria1 said:

GK – Sharaa appeared today…he is not dead and was not shot by Maher. And Bashar is to speak on Wednesday (per Sharaa’s interview with Al-Manar TV). http://links.visibli.com/links/480444

Delay delay delay…buy some time for the regime to put its thoughts together because as of right now they are schizophrenic. They say one thing and then do something completely different. Also, the Ministry of the Interior is sending out mass text messages asking the people not to open their doors to people they don’t know…nothing like fear as a motivator.

As for Civil War, who would fight who? The country is 80% Sunni when you get down to it and the Alawite and Christian community will fall into line as long as they are treated fairly and with respect. The Army apparatus is strong and as of now has not split with the Regime but if that day comes…they could run the country and put down the Security apparatus quickly and quietly.

March 28th, 2011, 10:01 am

 

nafdik said:

Syria1 I agree with your assessment of the exaggerated fear of civil war.

However there is a civil war possibility if the Assad regime refuses to stand down AND the Syrian people refuse to go back to be Assad’s serfs.

Basically the Libya scenario.

March 28th, 2011, 10:25 am

 

Shami said:

SYRIA1,this is a fabrication of the deeply sectarian regime of Bashar which is scared from the repercussion of what they have themselves done to the syrian people ,but fortunately our people can not behave like these cowards and the weak minds that could exist who are dreaming to attack our alawite sisters and brothers must be stopped ,i believe that the syrian people are aware that this community is as much innocent than the other syrian communities.

Accountabily must be minimalist and only the small number of criminals who ordered killings will have to face it.

Alex,arab conservative regimes fear to see liberal democracies flourishing in Egypt and Syria but in the same time ,they are more pragmatic than dogmatic ,they will not be able to resist the logic of history in march ,so,they will have to adapt themselves and to make deep reforms towards parliementary systems.
Turkey has understood better because it knows that a liberal democracy in Syria will be good for her.

March 28th, 2011, 11:06 am

 

Jihad said:

Mr. Atassi, is Oxford Analytica some sort of a “god”?! In many of the analysis they put forward on the region, they parrot the lines of the Zionist entity. Here’s an example of the “objective” analysis of the folks at Oxford Analytica that was published on Egypt a few weeks ago:

“However, Israeli security analysts believe that any new Egyptian government will have little choice but to focus on domestic issues in the short term. Moreover, they know that a formal break with Israel could have significant economic consequences for Egypt:

• Egypt originally sought peace because the cost of maintaining a massive army was a huge drain ….
• Gas sales to Israel are a major earner of foreign exchange….
• Tens of thousands of Egyptian jobs are now dependent on the Qualified Investment Zones. Under a 2004 agreement, Egyptian exports from these zones enter the United States customs-free if they have a certain percentage of Israeli inputs.”

Oh yeah, Mr. and Mrs Oxford Analytica. Nothing about the cheap price paid for Egyptian gaz on the backs of the Egyptian people, nothing about the fact that the money the US gives to Egypt goes in large part to buy old US weapons and the rest to buy the loyalty of the Egyptian army’s high ranking officers and, finally, nothing about the fact that the so-called free-trade agreements that Egypt (and Jordan) signed with the US benefit the Zionist entity more than Egypt and its workers.

March 28th, 2011, 11:52 am

 

Jihad said:

Here is a sample (in French) of the political and economic thinking in the new Tunisia:

“Dorénavant, la Tunisie devrait se débarrasser de cette tutelle économique étouffante. Au moment où les pays émergents d’Asie et d’Amérique latine enregistrent des taux de croissance élevés, tirés en cela par la Chine et l’Inde, nous sommes à la traîne. Il est temps de se «dégager». Des relations économiques privilégiées avec l’UE sont parfaitement normales mais pas à ce point”.

http://www.lapresse.tn/27032011/25615/la-domination-economique-europeenne-de-la-tunisie.html

March 28th, 2011, 11:54 am

 

Jihad said:

The objective people of Oxford Analytica write: “The apparent concessions follow the deaths of up to 44 demonstrators in Dera’a.”

The real number of people that died during the clashed in Der’a is actually 15.

March 28th, 2011, 11:59 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

What’s in a Name?

Jihad,

Amnesty International says “at least 55”:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/syria-2011-03-25

March 28th, 2011, 12:20 pm

 

Atassi said:

This funny old regime strategy “staging process” …
– annnouncement form the rubberstamped parliament for the president to come and speak
-The Vice president announce the president will speak very soon…
-More staged pro-regime demonstrations will appear in the started prior to his appearances
-the Baath party leadership asking all its cells and members to join the pro-regime demonstrations
https://www.facebook.com/AlkhabarAlyaqen

March 28th, 2011, 12:26 pm

 

atassi said:

Jihad
check your sources for the number…the number is much higher than the 15… Even the fifteen is a VERY HIGH number in my book. Sir

March 28th, 2011, 12:30 pm

 

Nour said:

بيان رئاسة الحزب بعنوان” الآن الآن” طباعة البريد الإلكترونى
الرئاسة
الإثنين, 28 مارس/آذار 2011

تلبية لمطالب شعبنا في الشام، أصدر السيد رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية الدكتور بشار الأسد عددًا من المراسيم الإصلاحية لتحسين مستوى حياة الشعب، أفضت إلى رفع الحدّ الأدنى للأجور، وزيادة رواتب العاملين في الدولة، وتعديل المرسوم رقم 49 حول المناطق الحدودية، بما يخدم تسهيلات معاملات المواطنين وإزالة أسباب الشكوى من تطبيقه.

وفي مؤتمر صحفي تحدثت فيه السيدة بثينة شعبان المستشارة السياسية والإعلامية لرئاسة الجمهورية، وأعلنت بأن القيادة القطرية لحزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي ـ الحزب الحاكم في الشام ـ قد اتخذت عددًا من القرارات، منها أمنية تتعلق بإجراء تحقيقات في الأحداث الجارية، وقرارات أخرى لإحداث إصلاحات سياسية منها:

ـ وضع آلية جديدة وفعّالة لمحاربة الفساد.

ـ دراسة إنهاء العمل بقانون الطوارئ.

ـ إعداد مشروع لقانون الأحزاب في “سورية”.

ـ إصدار قانون جديد للإعلام .

ـ تعزيز سلطة القضاء ومنع التوقيف العشوائي.

نحن السوريين القوميين الاجتماعيين، ومعنا معظم أبناء شعبنا، تلقّينا بارتياح الخطوة الأولى التي خطتها الدولة على طريق الإصلاح، بتحسين أجور العاملين في الدولة، فهو مطلب أساسيّ مُلِحّ. كما أننا نبارك الشروع بالإصلاحات السياسية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية التي تم الإعلان عنها، مؤكِّدين أنّ الآجال لم تعد تحتمل، وأن الـ “سين” والـ “سوف” لم تعد صالحتين. ولن نكفّ عن مطالبة من بيده القرار، السيد رئيس الجمهورية الدكتور بشار الأسد لتسريع وتيرة العمل على إجراء الإصلاحات والتغييرات التي سبق وأن طالبنا، ومعنا الشعب بها، وهي:

1 ـ تشكيل لجنة مهمتها إعادة دراسة مواد الدستور تكون متخصِّصة بالقانون والسياسة والاجتماع… مشهود لأعضائها بالنزاهة بما يلبّي حاجات الشعب السياسية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية.

2 ـ رفع حالة الطوارئ وإلغاء الأحكام العرفية.

3ـ إصدار قانون عصري للأحزاب، بحيث تصبح كافة الأحزاب متساوية في الحقوق والواجبات، ويقرّر صندوق الاقتراع وزنها السياسي.

4 ـ إعادة الدعم الحكومي للمحروقات والمواد الاستهلاكية الرئيسية وعدم تحرير أسعارها.

5ـ إصدار قانون جديد للمطبوعات بما يفسح المجال لبروز منابر إعلامية وطنية حقيقية تقوم بواجبها في كشف الأخطاء والعيوب، وفضح بؤر الفساد ومخاطبة الشعب خدمة لقضاياه الكبرى.

6ـ استقلالية القضاء وإرساء مبدأ سيادة القانون، وفصل الملفات السياسية عن الملفات الأمنية.

7ـ تعديل وتطوير قوانين الانتخاب الخاصة بمجلس الشعب والإدارة المحلية.

8ـ منح الهوية السورية لكلّ من تتوفّر فيهم شروط المواطنة الحقة، بغضّ النظر عن انتماءاتهم الدينية أو “العرقية”.

9ـ جعل الإصلاح ومحاربة الفساد والإفساد والهدر والفوضى منهجًا وتربية تلتزم بها كافة مؤسسات المجتمع.

يا أبناء شعبنا السوري ونحن منكم

إن مطالب الإصلاح والتغيير السياسية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية … التي دأبنا على المطالبة بها منذ سنوات عديدة ونؤكِّد عليها اليوم، هي على طرف نقيض من أعمال الدسّ والفوضى والتخريب… التي شاهدنا وعاينا وعانينا منها في الأيام الأخيرة، والتي أراقت دماءَ وزهقت أرواح مواطنين أعزاء علينا، وخربت ممتلكات شعبنا، وهزّت أمنَ المواطن بفعل مؤامرة تُحاك خيوطها لتعطيل أية محاولة لأخذ الإصلاح مداه الحقيقي، ولسحب المبادرة من أصحاب المشروع الإصلاحي الوطني الذي بدأت بوادره تلوح في الأفق، مراهنين على أن التخريب وبثّ الفوضى أسرع من الإصلاح… هذا المخطط الهادف إلى تدمير الشام على غرار ما حدث في العراق، مستغلاً حاجات شعبنا ومطالب الإصلاح والتغيير، التي ما انفككنا نطالب بها، محافظين على وحدة مجتمعنا وسلامة وطننا، مشكلين سدًّا منيعًا لصدّ ومواجهة كلّ القوى الفئوية الظلامية والخارجية المستهدفة مصالحنا ووجودنا في الحياة.

سيادة رئيس الجمهورية

الظرف عصيب… وبيدكم القرار والشعب ينتظر منكم قيادة مشاريع الإصلاحات بشجاعة المؤمن بشعبه ووطنه. وأمامكم صفحة التاريخ لتكتبوا قرار الانقاذ ناصعًا لتحقيق مصلحة الشعب وسلامة الوطن.

في 26 آذار 2011 رئيس الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي

الدكتور علي حيدر

March 28th, 2011, 12:41 pm

 

jad said:

Oh please, the regime is the only sectarian element in all this and nobody else! neither the ‘peaceful’ Qaradawi, nor the innocent Alarabiya, and defiantly not the revolutionists’ facebook supporters and nobody on SC?
Just read this piece of a news by Alarabiya and you will see how full of sectarian hints in it and how it’s trying to push people toward sectarian views, WAKE UP PEOPLE, it’s time to see reality and stop being dishonest to yourselves and to all of us:

دبي – العربية
بانتظار الخطاب المتوقع للرئيس السوري بشار الأسد لإعلان قرارات “مهمة”، تحدث شاهد عيان عن فتح قوات الأمن النار لتفريق مئات من المتظاهرين الذين كانوا يهتفون ضد قانون الطوارئ في مدينة درعا الجنوبية، الاثنين 28-3-2011.

وأضاف الشاهد أن المتظاهرين تدفقوا على ميدان رئيسي في المدينة وهم يرددون هتافات تطالب بالحرية وترفض قانون الطوارئ. وقال إن قوات الأمن أطلقت النيران في الهواء لدقائق معدودة لكن المتظاهرين عادوا بعد توقف إطلاق النيران.

و”كانت قوات الأمن قد خفّضت وجودها بالمدينة الفقيرة ذات الأغلبية السنية” في الأيام الأخيرة، لكن سكاناً قالوا إن القوات عادت بكثافة.
وقال أحد التجار في إشارة إلى المسجد العمري الذي كانت نقطة محورية في المظاهرات التي تشهدها المدينة قوات الأمن تصوب بنادقها على أي تجمّع بالقرب من المسجد.

وقال أبوتمام، وهو من سكان درعا ويطل منزله على المسجد، إن الجنود وقوات الأمن المركزي موجودون في كل متر تقريباً. وأضاف مواطن آخر ينتمي لقبيلة الجوابرة إن قناصة أعادوا التمركز فوق كثير من المباني المهمة.

من جهة أخرى، نقلت الوكالة العربية السورية للأنباء عن نائب الرئيس فاروق الشرع قوله إن الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد سيعلن قرارات مهمة خلال اليومين القادمين “تطمئن كل أبناء الشعب”.

ويواجه الأسد مطالب متنامية بإلغاء قانون الطوارئ الذي فرضه حزب البعث منذ توليه السلطة عام 1963، والإفراج عن آلاف السجناء السياسيين والسماح بحرية الرأي والتجمع وتقليص صلاحيات أجهزة الأمن في البلاد التي فيها 22 مليون نسمة.

وقال دبلوماسي رفيع – لم يكشف اسمه – لوكالة “رويترز” في دمشق: “أعتقد أنه لم يقرر ما إذا كان سيظهر على التلفزيون ليحاول نزع فتيل الموقف أو اختيار نهج قمعي أكثر وحشية”. وأضاف الدبلوماسي “لا أتوقع أن يلغي الأسد قانون الطوارئ دون أن يضع بديلاً بنفس السوء”.

ويقول محامون إن السلطات استخدمت قانون الطوارئ لمنع الاحتجاجات وتبرير الاعتقالات التعسفية والمحاكمات السرية وإطلاق يد الشرطة السرية.

وأظهر التلفزيون الرسمي أمس الأحد شوارع خالية في اللاذقية تناثرت فيها الحجارة والزجاج المهشم وهيكلان محطمان لحافلتين محترقتين. “ويسكن اللاذقية مزيج من السنة والمسيحيين والعلويين الذين يمثلون أقلية لكنهم يشكلون الجزء الأكبر من التأييد للرئيس السوري.”

وقطع الأسد تعهداً علنياً بأن ينظر في توسيع نطاق الحريات السياسية والإعلامية لكن ذلك لم يوقف الاحتجاجات التي دخلت يومها الحادي عشر.

وفي تحرك آخر لتهدئة المحتجين أفرجت السلطات السورية عن 260 شخصاً أغلبهم من الإسلاميين. كما أطلقوا سراح الناشطة السياسية ديانا الجوابرة إلى جانب 15 آخرين كانوا اعتقلوا لمشاركتهم في مسيرة صامتة.

March 28th, 2011, 12:50 pm

 

democracynow said:

March 28th, 2011, 1:04 pm

 

Averroes said:

A new Era for Syria

The revolutionists in Egypt sustained two million people on the streets calling for Mubarak’s ousting, while the pro-Mubarak forces could not even closely match those figures. It was a true and genuine message from a clear majority of the people of Egypt. That is very different than what is happening in Syria today.

Unless the “opposition” (which is hugely scattered and have deep divides amongst themselves) is able to mount demonstrations in the hundreds of thousands, there will be no meaningful comparison between the stages that led to the toppling of Ben Ali and Mubarak, and between what’s happening now in Syria. Until now, no anti demonstration has been able to put more than a few dozen people at any one location, while support demonstrations of the president are in the tens of thousands all over the country.

The regime, and the president in particular, has considerable credit in the eyes of the average Joe on the Syria street. That is not to say that this credit is infinite by any measure of size and endurance. The president has to act quickly and decisively.

There has been a huge campaign of disinformation about what’s happening in Syria over the last two weeks, and I say this after talking to many people inside the country. The situation on the ground is far from the picture that these shameless media outlets would have us believe. Again, that is not to say that it is not very serious.

My own view is that Bashar is now burning through stages that would have taken him years to burn through with the old power bases within the regime. He will use his credit, and the pressure of the street to force real reforms. He will use the pressure to push back at them, and he will be successful.

In a way, the latest events will have helped him become an extremely popular president of Syria. Only time will truly tell, though, that’s just my assessment.

March 28th, 2011, 1:15 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

The regime in Syria is strongly sectarian,and denying that is wrong,their sect control almost every thing in Syria

March 28th, 2011, 1:17 pm

 

nafdik said:

Jad,

There is a small difference between the regime and quardawi, AlArabya, FB revolutionists (as you like to call those who are asking for freedom and dignity).

Only one of the above killed 55 unarmed protesters in the past week.

March 28th, 2011, 1:19 pm

 

NK said:

Here’s another video of “عصابة المخربين” thugs from Daraa on 23rd

People are saying security forces attacked Daraa again today !!! Also there’s a call for a mandatory demonstration tomorrow in support of the president among government employees and students.

March 28th, 2011, 1:20 pm

 

Shami said:

Jad ,
It’s the regime who persist to portray the things as if the syrian people are sectarian thugs that are waiting the first opportunity to kill eachothers and that Asad mukhabarati ‘s system like Maher’s sectarian militia is preventing them to go on war.
This sectarian paranoia is chiefly cultivated by the regime and the sectarian structure of this regime built by Hafez Asad 40 years ago is in itself a sectarian issue ,the wrong answers that could follow are reactions to this reality.

March 28th, 2011, 1:36 pm

 

Averroes said:

Majed, Nafdik et al,

the death of every individual is tragic, no matter what the circumstances are. Unfortunately, no regime, no matter how good willed, can guarantee there will be absolutely no blood spilled. We know from augmenting sources that there has been strict and clear orders NOT to shoot on peaceful demonstrators, but we also know that many of those demonstrators in Dar3a and Sanamain were not entirely “peaceful”.

Several dozen security personnel have been injured or killed. They did not die from the the shock of hearing hostile chanting, nor from being struck with roses. They were faced with non-peaceful crowds that attacked them and in some cases tried to break into police quarters to take weapons. In ANY demonstration worldwide, once demonstrators start setting up fires, vandalizing property, attacking their state police with knives and bullets, those forces will fire back, and unfortunately, people will die. Some people will be innocent bystanders as well.

There may be idealists out there that believe that everything should run flawlessly otherwise it should be immediately scrapped. However, the world really does not operate like that. In the grand scale of things, no one can accuse the regime of committing “massacrers” based on last week’s events.

Let’s hope it remains this way.

March 28th, 2011, 1:40 pm

 

aatssi said:

“Allah, Souria,Freedom” لا تزايدونا على حبنا وحرصنا على وطننا

WE all know the fact that Assad regime is based on pure sectarian entities, and currently being supported by other Christians.
Stop all the BS please..
لا تزايدونا على حبنا وحرصنا على وطننا

March 28th, 2011, 1:55 pm

 

Edward said:

So tell me , are these the reforms and changes Assad promised? massacring his own people via this just leaked video from Haraka a town near Daraa on March 23?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlrHNI67wTc

for more leaks and documented evidence pertaining to the Syrian uprising, you can visit http://syrialeaks.com/ for updates.

March 28th, 2011, 1:56 pm

 

Shami said:

Averroes ,yes your confirmation proves that Hama ,Aleppo ,Damascus…have gueninly elected Bashar with 98%(a little less popular than his 99% father) of their vote and thus he is more popular in Syria than Allah .

Your Menhebak divine dictator will not overcome the logic of history.

All what he is trying is to win some time.

Averroes you must remain an ideological asadist even after the dismissal of asad regime,in order to preserve your dignity.

March 28th, 2011, 1:58 pm

 

jad said:

Majed, Nafidk, Shami,
Denying the fact that we live in a sectarian world, and insisting that only the Syrian regime is the sectarian element in all this while everybody else including but not limited to;
crazy religious people who insist on spreading hearted between religions,
many news outlets and television that spread hatred and ugly sectarian language day and night
and every person who write a comment of how much he/she despise and hate other sects,
are INNOCENTS and they need you to defend them is the most dishonesty of it all, even you guys have sectarian views that you already share it with us on SC at one point or another, why to deny that and keep insisting on blaming others for the same sickness you all have in common.

My point wasn’t about the brutality of the regime, the crimes committed, the corruption, the lack of freedom, the inexistent of human rights or the backward rules and mismanagement of the Syrian regime/government, it was about the idea you all share and exchange as if it is the ultimate truth, that only one part is sectarian and everybody is innocent.
GOT IT?

March 28th, 2011, 2:03 pm

 

NK said:

The only one claiming police officers died in Daraa, or a police station was attacked in Sunamayn is the regime, excuse me if after decades of falsifying facts I’m having a problem believing any of their unbelievable stories.

Firing a couple warning shots in the air will disperse any mob, we’ve seen it in Egypt, Yemen and pretty much anywhere they aired such events, Shabaan’s story where a mob attacked a police station stole weapons then attacked a security building and stole weapons then moved to attack an army base is ridiculous.

Now everyone is talking about the new laws which will replace the emergency law, and everyone expects them to be far worse than the emergency law itself.

By the way, they refused to release Suhair Attasi and a couple more activists, yet they “RELEASED ALL ACTIVISTS”.

March 28th, 2011, 2:06 pm

 

jad said:

“and currently being supported by other Christians.”
Stop all the BS please..
لا تزايدونا على حبنا وحرصنا على وطننا

Attasi,
Are you saying that only the Syrian Christians are supporting the regime now and nobody else?
I thought that you are smarter than taking this cheap road of blaming the Syrian Christians fellows for our own mistakes as a whole society.

I REST MY CASE, THANK YOU ATTASI FOR PROVING MY POINT.

March 28th, 2011, 2:13 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Jad
I never said that sectarianism present only is Syria,please correct your statement.
Sectarianism is wrong,not just,and not acceptable,and it seems that you do agree that this regime is sectarian.

I still believe that a dictator can not lead reform, we all will wait and see what Bashar will say on thursday.I like to see transparency in investigations of the crimes that committed last week,witnesses said that a security officer shot a wounded lad in the head in a cold blooded way,this guy must face trial and soon.

Averroes
To say demonstrations in Syria against the regime is in dozen ,this is not true , as we saw videos showed thousands

March 28th, 2011, 2:29 pm

 

Alia said:

Averroes,

You are whistling real loud in the darkest darkness…

Sounds like your sources are the official version plus a mega dose of wishful thinking. This regime is unable to reform itself, it has created its own monsters where do you want them to disappear?

KSA supports Bashar …Hmm it has supported Hariri too. You never know-

There will be no sectarian violence unless one sect supports one side and the other sect wants that side out- How is that for political logic? Is that still called a sectarian war ?

Ben Ali told the Tunisians for years that if he should leave them they will disintegrate…well they did not. We also need our murderous babysitter to leave us we will be fine without him.

March 28th, 2011, 2:33 pm

 

Atassi said:

Jad,
Are you serious!!, Where have you been!! It’s a known fact reported by every news outlet, including Landis&company Wakeup please..

March 28th, 2011, 2:39 pm

 

Aatssi said:

Jad,
Are you serious!!, Where have you been!! It’s a known fact reported by every news outlet, including Landis&company Wakeup please..

March 28th, 2011, 2:39 pm

 

nafdik said:

Jad,

I am not saying nobody has sectarian feelings in Syria.

Here is my detailed position:

– The regime is most sectarian regime in the region
– The people have increased their sectarian feelings as a reaction to the regime
– The regime and pro-regime supporters encourage sectarian fear in the people as it is a way to keep the support of the minorities

Sectarian feelings have existed in Syria before and will exist after this regime but to present a regime whose essence is sectarian and tribal as the saviour of Syria against sectarianism is like saying that a strong mafia is a best way to control organized crime.

If you care about sectarian violence and I am sure you do. The most logical demand is to ask the regime to keep the army clean and leave the government with the least amount of bloodshed.

Our army if it does not point its rifles at its people will protect us from civil war as happened in Lebanon and Iraq. Both of which are in a situation where militias are as strong as the army.

If the regime clings to power to protect the thiefs and murderers and to continue their policy of the theft and murder. And if they drag the army into this then the people will have to fight and dismantle the army as is the case in Libya.

March 28th, 2011, 3:12 pm

 

jad said:

Attassi,
I’m very serious; this is no joke matters when you point the finger to portion of your society without thinking about your words.
You wrote this:
“WE all know the fact that Assad regime is based on pure sectarian entities,” “and currently being supported by other Christians.”
I agreed in my earlier comment that the regime is sectarian along everybody else and I do agree with your first sentence to certain point.
Your second sentence is the problem, “CURRENTLY” which means during this period where people are killed by the regime ‘SUPPORTED BY OTHER CHRISTIANS”
OTHER? What do you mean other?
Christians? What is the political weight/power of our Syrian Christian community in Syria today? How much are they and what do they represent and where did they ever do any change to the system/regime, the Government of Syria or the Syrian society? Was there ever any Syrian Christian that attacks the unity of the Syrian society and harm any community since Syria exist?
Where are the Christian representatives in this government and do you hear anything from them?
How many members in the Syrian Parliament are Christians and are their numbers reflect the percentage of the Christian Syrians in Syria? Where are the Syrian Christians that are standing in the face of this revolution/protest/movement?
Do you know before you write that sentence that many Syrian Christians are attending the protests in Damascus, Homs and everywhere all over Syria?
Why to choose Syrian Christians in your sentence and no other sects/religions, we have more than 20 sects and religion in Syria?
See Attassi, every word in the sentence you wrote need explanation and has hundreds of meaning and it’s an insult to every Syrian when you choose to put one community under the spot of your critic. Choose your words wisely.

March 28th, 2011, 3:13 pm

 

Averroes said:

Shami, Majed, AAtassi, Alia, et al,

Rage and utter bitterness are evident in your writings. Please calm down. You are not defeated in what will come out of this. We all will have won a much better Syria, unless we manage to screw it up.

All I’m saying is that if the “opposition” in Syria manages to place two million people on the streets of Damascus, all demanding the dismantle of the regime and the depart of Assad, and almost nobody shows up in support for him, then I will gladly listen to the will of a clear majority, even though I would feel very sorry for what would come next. Before you can achieve that, please have some respect for the real numbers in the real world, not the virtual one.

Everyone is prone to wishful thinking. The real test is on the ground as stated above.

Shami, I am not an ideological Asadist, and you don’t know the course that history is going to take. History is what we make of it.

If what I’m expecting turns out to be correct, then I would hope that your dignity has not been scarred, my fellow Syrian brother. Believe me, Syria has a good chance of emerging a much better place after these events unfold. Let’s hope it does.

بدك العنب؟ و لا بس بدك تقتل الناطور؟

March 28th, 2011, 3:26 pm

 

SOURI said:

Those Wahhabis are pathetic. They have totally failed to mobilize the Syrians, even those of their own kind. There are so many Wahhabi regions in Syria that have not moved (Deir az-Zor, Raqqa, Manbij, al-Bab, etc.)

I’ve been to al-Bab city near Aleppo and I know that this city is almost pure Wahhabi, and it hates the regime very much. Why haven’t they moved? It looks that many of the Wahhabis are afraid to move. This shows that the Syrian regime still enjoys a strong iron grip. The situation in Syria is not collapsing like many people are claiming. What is happening is that the Wahhabis have failed to influence other Syrian Islamists, so they now fear to continue with their movement because they don’t want to be left alone against the regime.

If things continue the way they are now, Wahhabis must be very scared of the regime’s retaliation after everything calms down again.

March 28th, 2011, 3:40 pm

 

Syria1 said:

Christians in Syria are in the same boat as the rest of Syrians but they have been able to hold onto land as the prices have boomed. That is the only reason they are able to survive selling off their heritage a duloum at a time. Some are taking part of the protests because they cannot take it anymore and some are choosing to follow the regime because they are terrified of the alternatives.

Its unfair to point your finger ya atassi at Christians as the source of the problem…the problem is that Syrians have had enough of torture and poverty. This attempt at inciting sectarian violence is shameful. I admit there are new tensions in the past 10 years but this should be attributed to the external situation ie Iraq, US invasion, Qaeda, the Saudi Wahabis, etc.

We are Souriean first and everything else second. That should be something that we would do well to remember.

March 28th, 2011, 4:10 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Souri

Why do you assume the government will retaliate against the wahhabi sunnis? Wouldn’t this cause more harm than good to the country. I guess Bashar would want reconciliation not more tensions!
He may well use Saudi Arabia’s help to tamper the wahhabi excitation instead.

March 28th, 2011, 4:16 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Syrian presidents old friend appeals for reform – CNN
http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-27/world/syria.assad.friend_1_bashar-al-assad-ayman-abdel-nour-syrian-people?_s=PM%253AWORLD
March 28, 2011

As a presidential confidant turned voice of dissent, Abdel Nour fears for his life.

“We are the most targeted,” he said.

Amid news of violent anti-government protests and the state’s ruthless crackdown in Syria in recent days, Abdel Nour says his fellow countrymen are suffering the consequences of Assad’s decision to expand the power of security forces.

“Under the law, they are immune,” he said of the security forces. “This was decreed by the president in 2008.”

In 2000, Assad succeeded his late father, who ruled Syria with an iron fist for nearly three decades. When he first took office, Assad loosened some state restrictions on the Syrian people, but observers say that he has since slowed — even reversed — that move toward political reform.

Abdel Nour says many Westerners held unrealistic expectations of Assad because of his personal background. The 45-year-old Assad studied to be an ophthalmologist in London, but became Syria’s heir apparent after the death of his older brother.

“This is a problem of the Western media that portray him as a Westerner using iPad, married to a British national and speaks English,” he said. “But as he said many times, it doesn’t mean I am a Westerner in my thinking — for sure I’m Syrian!”

Despite their shattered friendship, Abdel Nour remains somewhat torn about Bashar the man — “he was great, really” — and Assad the president.

“It depends on the room he is in and who he is with,” he said. “If he is the president, he has no heart.”

Recent clashes in Syria only reinforced Abdel Nour’s notion that Assad squandered an opportunity to launch political reform. He says most protesters — including the dozens killed by security forces — likely voted for the president’s re-election only four years ago.

Abdel Nour says Assad has been receiving wrong advice from his inner circle to blame the protests on foreign interference, instead of addressing root causes like social injustice.

Reminiscing about their college days when the two constantly talked about Syria’s future — “politics was our drug” — Abdel Nour has a simple suggestion for Assad.

“Listen to the people,” he said, “And you will enter history.”

March 28th, 2011, 4:19 pm

 

nafdik said:

Averros,

What I fail to understand in your logic is that if the majority of people are for the president why are you against dismantling the dictatorship and installing democracy?

You will have the best of both worlds then.

March 28th, 2011, 4:34 pm

 

Aatssi said:

Syria1,
I totaly agree with you that we are Souriean first and everything else second ..
“Allah, Souria and Freedom” لا تزايدونا على حبنا وحرصنا على وطننا
لا تزايدونا على حبنا وحرصنا على وطننا
لا تزايدونا على حبنا وحرصنا على وطننا
لا تزايدونا على حبنا وحرصنا على وطننا
لا تزايدونا على حبنا وحرصنا على وطننا
لا تزايدونا على حبنا وحرصنا على وطننا

March 28th, 2011, 4:37 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

“This is a problem of the Western media that portray him as a Westerner using iPad, married to a British national and speaks English,” he said. “But as he said many times, it doesn’t mean I am a Westerner in my thinking — for sure I’m Syrian!”

If he means “western media” like the BBC, European outlets, the old US media (CBS, NBC, ABC and NPR), the liberals and academics, he’s exactly right. They were duped.

If he means the hebrew media (sans ha’aretz), the WSJ and Fox, no.

We conservatives knew what “Asad” meant, and we had him pegged: a selfish, billionaire despot who needed EXTERNAL confrontation to hold his population at bay.

What was once good for Daddy, no longer works habibi.

March 28th, 2011, 4:55 pm

 

Mr.President said:

People should know something about Daraa. That small city if it is not the capital of female Honor killing in Syria it is indeed famous for Female Honor face slapping, Female Honor beating, Female Honor controlling, racism, sectarianism… All of the sudden these Daraa guys became experts in democracy (LOL). They refuse to respect and honor very basic democratic principles in their own social institutions (family, work place, mosques,…). Now they are demanding them from Syria’s government. President Assad should not just give them their cake and allow them to eat it too. He should start an entire debate on all economic, social, religous and political reforms. The reform should be an entire package that includes all aspects and not only political.

Syrians should know that constitutional democracy means that Sharia Law, social rules, sectarianism will no longer be accepted or tolerated. Equality and human laws are above all including God and the laws of his/her self declared representatives (Islamists). Businesses will no longer be in the hands of the Sunni monopolies. Anyone who commit or entice his son to perform Honor killing should be severely punished for violating the civil rights of his own daughter (Sharia Law or not). Anyone who refuse to hire a 40 year old woman or a young educated Alawite could have his business confiscated or could be severely punished for discrimination. Any Abu-lafeh (sheik) who preaches hatred or challenges the value system of other sects, publicly or not, should be prosecuted for violating civil rights of others,…Are Syrians ready for that? The public debate will tell us.

As for Emergency Law, even though I am against it, it allowed millions of Syrians to scam the system and unfairly get rich. My understanding is that all this illegal housing built on stolen public land ( about 40% of Syrian houses) were protected by Emergency Law. No eviction could take place even though there were clear constitutional law violations. Emergency laws allowed all tenants of rented properties to demand 40% ownership upon eviction,… Most public work (schools, roads, hospitals,…) are built on privately owned land valued and purchased by government for millions less than the real value. What constitutional democracy and a citizens Bill of Rights fairly allow you to do all that?
The debate should include such discussions indeed. Only then Syrians are ready for true democracy.

March 28th, 2011, 5:30 pm

 

Shami said:

Ave rroes:you don’t know the course that history is going to take.

Of course but we (you too) are sure that Bashar,Rami,Maher,Asef ,Shaleesh,Cha3ban,Hassoun will finish in the dustbin of history.

Yalla Ave rroes you are told by the regime media,Hassoun and Bouti to demonstrate your love for your narcissistic divinely protected dictator tommorow ,in order to make his appareance possible after tommorow.

March 28th, 2011, 5:33 pm

 

NK said:

Souri

Al Bad you mentioned as purely Wahhabi is almost exclusively Shiite, I know because I have a lot of friends from Al Bab who are Shiites, plus I spent more than 2 years there myself. Actually the majority of rural Aleppo is Shiite, kinda surprising you claim you’re from Aleppo and yet you don’t know this fact!.

Averroes

I’m really worried the regime is just stalling and we’re heading into a far worse repressive state through a “bundle” or laws far worse than any emergency law, we already have a LAW that gives security personnel immunity from persecution regarding any CRIMES they might commit, where else in the history of laws do you find a law defining an action as a crime then grants the criminal full immunity ?. Yesterday, Haitham Al Maleh talked about the legal issues that need to be resolved immediately, I can’t find the video but I’ll keep looking for now what he said on Al Jazeera mentioned a few of these issues

March 28th, 2011, 5:43 pm

 

Averroes said:

Shami,

Did I say that I “knew” anything, sir? Please read my post again. I said it was my assessment, and that I would be obliged to change it if the facts on the ground prove it wrong.

Prove that a majority of the Syrians want what you want by putting a million people on the streets shouting angrily against the regime, AND, let us all see that no significant opposition will take to the streets in his support. Then you can start talking history and philosophy.

I know people like you, Shami. No matter what the man does, you will not be capable of overcoming your hatred of him. You are hard core exclusionists that have no tolerance for any other points of view.

March 28th, 2011, 5:49 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Mr. President
A good start and I support the essence of what you wrote wholeheartedly.

However, in several places, you are advocating automatic punishment, albeit for major infractions. I am for severe punishment, but not without due process. Furthermore, you do not confiscate a business for discrimination, what you do is to make running it in discriminatory manner very unprofitable. Continuing infractions will lead to bankruptcy, which is basically a slow confiscation. A combination of fines and civil damages can do major damage to businesses. That is if it is proven that there was a discrimination. In a fair legal system, the burden of proof is on the accuser not on the defense.

In the US, an administrative review is conducted before allowing an employment discrimination case to proceed. I like that because it reduces the cost of frivolous cases.

Review of state acquisition of properties is appropriate, with due care also being paid to the notion of public benefit. A procedure must be established were public hearing is used throughout the process of acquiring private land for public use. With or without emergency status, there are laws everywhere that allows the state/county/federal government to acquire land for public benefit, even if the major beneficiary is a private firm providing public service (Rail Road, Transportation Corridors, and Water-ways, utilities).

March 28th, 2011, 5:53 pm

 

Nafdik said:

Mr president,

Some of tHe founding fathers of the united states were slave owners. This did not mean that they should not be praised for their work to free their country and to build democratic institutions.

It is better to have democracy and honour killing than dictatorship and honor killing.

Assuming of course that your description of Daraa is correct.

March 28th, 2011, 6:00 pm

 

SOURI said:

#116

Ayman Abdel Nour is the biggest hypocrite I know in Syria. He is too opportunistic. Although I’ve been following him for years I still can’t tell what he’s exactly. Is he Baathist? Islamist? secular? pro-regime? anti-regime? He keeps changing his colors like a chameleon and he has shown little adherence to principles as opposed to personal interests and gain. He is a bad person, like most of the so-called secular opposition. The vast majority of the secular opposition are opportunistic thugs. They have no principles nor the minimum required base knowledge to discuss public affairs. Anybody can call themselves “opposition.” They just need to learn few Western slogans on democracy and freedom and start chanting them like a parrot to attract attention to themselves, it is not hard at all, especially if you get subsidy from the US to run a TV station.

Those opposition parasites have 0% support inside Syria. The only real opposition inside Syria is the Islamist opposition. Most of the Islamists inside Syria are currently not organized and they don’t have a clear political plan. This is a big difference between Syria and Mubarak’s Egypt. In Egypt, the Islamists were very organized and influential.

March 28th, 2011, 6:03 pm

 

Spunk said:

So you say sectarianism in Syria all came from the outside? So all this Christian vitriol on syria-news.com that has been going on for years now, is mere reaction?

March 28th, 2011, 6:06 pm

 

Nafdik said:

Avorres,

Why are surprised that there is hate for a person who started his reign by insulting all syrians by treating our constitution as if it were a an article in tishreen.

Then followed by enriching his cousin and family to an obsene degreee through blatant protection jizya on our economy.

And finally allowed his security forces to commit the massacres we know of.

Hate is the natural human response to such a behaviour by any person who loves syria. What is unnatural is apologetics, adoration and desire for more of the same.

As to asking syrians to go to the streets, your experiment will have some value if there is no prison and death involved.

And your reading of love of regime because of pro regime demonstrations would lead us to believe that quaddafi and mubarak are more popular than lady gaga.

March 28th, 2011, 6:08 pm

 

Averroes said:

Mr. President,

Enlightening. I was actually looking for any arguments that would not be so obvious regarding the Emergency Law. I am against it myself to be sure.

NK,

In two weeks, Syria has been jet-propelled forward a great distance. The distance travelled so far woud have taken her years at the earlier pace. The speed has been so fast that it left some bruises, but the country has not crashed. I am happy for both those facts.

In the new place that we find ourselves in, there is no more place for cosmetic measures. No one would buy them, and they could back fire. The president would lose his credibility and things could then go ugly pretty quick.

My assessment again (it’s just an assessment, Shami, no real knowledge claimed) is that Bashar is a good man that is genuinely trying to make the best decisions for the country, given a number of very complex factors that he created none of. If we are really fair, there are no easy, risk-free options. I won’t go into details as that would take pages.

In my opinion, the public debate that Mr. President is talking about is an essential step to get the people engaged and on board. The method of communications has to be boosted to a totally new level, allowing people to put forward their demands and to learn about the consequences of having those very demands met.

Mr. Haytham Maleh stated while criticizing Dr. Sha3ba’s statement that the 30% wage increase offered to civil servants was “tafiha” (pathetically insignificant). That is an irresponsible statement by someone who claims such a high moral ground.

The anticipated speech is going to be a defining moment for Dr. Assad, and for the history of the country. The people are looking for real leadership. Only a genuine and brave approach will cut it, to borrow your words, OTW.

My assessment is that he’s got what it takes, and that he will deliver an optimum path.

March 28th, 2011, 6:32 pm

 

NK said:

Mr.President

“Syrians should know that constitutional democracy means that Sharia Law, social rules, sectarianism will no longer be accepted or tolerated.”
You’re actually very wrong, The U.S was a constitutional democracy even though it allowed slavery and denied women’s rights, it had to be amended to fix those constitutional flaws/injustices but that didn’t change the fact that the US was a constitutional democracy before and after those amendments.

“Equality and human laws are above all including God and the laws of his/her self declared representatives (Islamists).”
You’re somehow hinting that “God’s laws” do somehow call for inequality and we can enter a lengthy debate about how wrong you are. It’s not the time or the place for such debate, so all I’m going to say is
“إن الله يأمر (((بالعدل))) والإحسان وإيتاء ذي القربى وينهى عن الفحشاء والمنكر والبغي يعظكم لعلكم تذكرون ) سورة النحل آية 90”

“Businesses will no longer be in the hands of the Sunni monopolies”
Last I checked it wasn’t the Sunni’s running the monopolies …

“Anyone who commit or entice his son to perform Honor killing should be severely punished for violating the civil rights of his own daughter (Sharia Law or not)”
Don’t confuse Sharia Law with habits and customs, Islam never endorsed Honor killing …

“Anyone who refuse to hire a 40 year old woman or a young educated Alawite could have his business confiscated or could be severely punished for discrimination.”
I didn’t know this was common practice in Syria, please share your sources and present evidence !.

“Any Abu-lafeh (sheik) who preaches hatred or challenges the value system of other sects, publicly or not, should be prosecuted for violating civil rights of others.”
Not long ago some preacher wanted to torch Qur’an publicly, there is a law suit right now challenging the definition of Islam as a religion and people hold rallies all over the US chanting the most hateful things you can imagine, I’m not sure why you want to apply things to Syrian that most western democracies don’t have yet!.

“My understanding is that all this illegal housing built on stolen public land ( about 40% of Syrian houses) were protected by Emergency Law. No eviction could take place even though there were clear constitutional law violations. Emergency laws allowed all tenants of rented properties to demand 40% ownership upon eviction”
Nope, we had a bad law that allowed it, it had nothing to do with emergency law.

“Most public work (schools, roads, hospitals,…) are built on privately owned land valued and purchased by government for millions less than the real value.”
The government abused the law not the citizens, no one scammed the system and unfairly got rich.

Finally, you should know that Sharia law is whatever a Muslim community makes of it, to prove my point, a lot of countries around the world practice Sharia law and yet each country has it’s very unique Sharia law, what’s “correct” in Afghanistan is not “correct” in Saudi Arabia or Iran. I’m all for secularism and building an impenetrable wall between religion and the state. I’m just tired of ignorant remarks saying Sharia law this and Sharia law that, I highly recommend reading more than a couple articles about Islam/Sharia law before starting your crusades!!!.

March 28th, 2011, 6:34 pm

 

Averroes said:

Nafdik,

Thanks for admitting to hate. Hate can be blinding, though.

I have no tolerance to corruption by anyone. I would like to see Rami (and the four dozen Shwam partners that he’s in bed with) abiding by the law. I just hope those mega business families don’t start crying about “trade restrictions imposed by the regime”.

As for the pro demonstrations, you can keep thinking that they were all ordered out under gun point.

March 28th, 2011, 6:41 pm

 

Love said:

All you need is “LOVE”!!!!!!!!!!!
The whole world will be a perfect place if everyone starts by putting himself in the place of the other. All religions means to correct the bad side of the people to make them “good people”….that means: respect each others; respect others believes even if you don’t share them; to be tolerant…. and so on…….
How would a country be well if their own citizens are not good one to the other? Each person should start by himself first, before asking the other to change!!!!!
All the best….and LOVE to Syria

March 28th, 2011, 6:51 pm

 

Nafdik said:

Avorres,

I did not say that the pros were dragged at gunpoint. Some are true supporters, some have been pressured for a number of reasons to join, sort of like peer pressure at school or in social circles. If you lived in syria you would know how these things happen.

But clearly many cons stayed at home because of fear.

As a thought eperiment, how many of syrian people you think are against makhlouf? How many are in the streets calling for his trial? Would you go in the street with a anti makhlouf banner? I know i would not.

March 28th, 2011, 7:12 pm

 

NK said:

Averroes

The pay increase was “tafiha” in the sense that it didn’t address the issues at hand, it was a bribe ! we also have to remember that Mr. Maleh suffered a lot under this regime, he spent most of the last decade in prison, so I understand if he’s too skeptical about anything this regime offers.

Anyways I agree that the president have to deliver a lot in this speech, everyone is expecting him to deliver on a lot of promises, the question is what will happen when he doesn’t ?

As for the pro demonstrations, I remember demonstrating back in high school, I was always the first to march and the loudest to yell “الى الابد الى الابد”, and looking back, I know for a fact I had no clue why I was marching or why I was yelling so loud, (sheep following sheep)!.

March 28th, 2011, 7:13 pm

 

NK said:

This is Latakia earlier today according to this Facebook video

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150189400118745

March 28th, 2011, 7:24 pm

 

Nafdik said:

The pay increase is an illustration of the pleasures of life under dictatorship.

One would hope that salary levels are set in a way to optimize economic outcomes for the country.

So now bashar is using our own money to increase his chances of staying in power.

How would he raise the funds? By reducing education and health budget? Or by reducing the skimming his gang was collecting?

Of course the question is never asked and we have the information minister announcing economic policy without even the pretense of consulting parliment.

March 28th, 2011, 7:29 pm

 

jad said:

“The pro demonstrations”!
That is the most stupid decision I read today! For what? What did we the Syrian people really get in the last week to be so very thankful for?
All what Syrians are asking for is THEIR rights and nobody else deserve to say thank you to except those young innocent Syrian guys who were killed, only them deserve to say ‘Thank you’ to at the moment.
A nation in a mourning and they want to drag people to the street to say ‘Thank you’
Seriously, those MONAFIQEEN who come with such ideas need to be locked in jail for life or be put in mental institution..

March 28th, 2011, 7:31 pm

 

NK said:

Thank you Jad

I’ve said a few days ago that Syrians should be mourning the death of at least a couple dozen Syrians and yet the State TV was airing the “Celebrations” all over Syria.
Any of you remember U.S TV around 9/11 ? I can’t recall anyone celebrating president Bush.
3000 Americans died and Americans still mourn the victims to this very day, comparing the size of U.S population to that of Syria, and taking the Syrian regime’s official story into account (Terrorist Mondaseen) we just had an attack the size of 9/11’s. Syrians should be outraged not out on the street celebrating.

Now just to rub it in, they want a “Menhibak” demonstration tomorrow … what a joke.

March 28th, 2011, 7:46 pm

 

Shami said:

Aver roes :I know people like you, Shami. No matter what the man does, you will not be capable of overcoming your hatred of him

ok ok ,what is he going to do after these 11 years of dictatorial rule ?becoming a Mahatir Mohamad or Turgut Ozal ? in my opinion he is going to resume his shia khomeinist style cult of personality.
Yes i hate Bashar as i hate Hassoun,it’s my right.
And it’s your right,Aver roes to hate me ,but my answer to your hatred towards me will not be to put you in jail but to struggle for your right to oppose me and to defeat me in a democratical way.

Aver roes:Prove that a majority of the Syrians want what you want by putting a million people on the streets

I’m sure that the majority of the syrian people hate bashar’s regime ,the moukhabarat ,maher asad ,rami makhlouf,sha3ban and hassoun.
and i dont think that they drank the old slogan that Bashar is good and the people arround him are bad .
And i’m sure that there is an higher percentage of anti-regime people in Aleppo,Hama and Damascus,Qamishli Hassakeh than in Homs,Latakkia,Jable,Banyas,Horan…….

March 28th, 2011, 7:55 pm

 

jad said:

NK,
“Now just to rub it in, they want a “Menhibak” demonstration”
Stupidity has no limit in he Syrian regime book.

About the video you linked, why ‘AL DAKTOR’ said before they cut recording ‘we have to empty our pockets from knives’?

Unfortunately, until today I didn’t see/hear any Syrian speaking to the media or to the crowds in the street in smart/political/diplomatic way that attract you to listen, except Dr. Aref Dalila in his quiet and relaxed tone talking to Orient TV the other day, other than him everybody I listen to is either shouting, preaching as if we are in mosque, cursing, begging or using emotionality pathetic language.
Is Syria that drained of any charismatic figure to use as spokesperson in those protests? Any thought?

P.S. How is your headache, any better? I still have it 🙂

March 28th, 2011, 8:12 pm

 

NK said:

Jad

I have no clue what he meant by that, he said from (our hands), he could have been holding a knife for some reason (cutting something), it could be rhetoric, or it could be they had knives as weapons, you can’t really tell from that video but I doubt it was the latter.

As for the opposition leaders, I think you’ll find many of those Syrians inside Syrian prisons, a lot of prominent opposition figures have been abducted and no one knows where they are exactly. Aref Dalila was great in that interview, I think Haitham Al Maleh was ok ( you have to remember he’s really old, Syrian elders are moody :p ) His Son Eyas talked as well, he was calm and did pretty good IMO, I imagine people like Riad Sief will have good things to add to the dialog if they had the chance to talk, I don’t know, people from Damascus deceleration would have a lot to say I’m sure. But in general, after 40 years of no political life, it’ll take more than a couple weeks and a few demonstrations for real politicians to emerge from the crowd.
I’d give it another week or two, given the demonstrations keep momentum, what Bashar has to say in a couple days will play a role as well.

P.S haha, Salamet Rasak, I stayed away from TV today so I’m all better now, and ready for another dose of propaganda later tonight :p

March 28th, 2011, 8:40 pm

 

SALAH ADDIN said:

SHAMI
(he is going to resume his shia khomeinist style cult of personality).

As much as I abhor your beliefs and what you represent ideologically and stand for fanatically, I respect your honesty and character. You are a worthy intellectual opponent. I fail to understand how could someone with your intelligence and knowledge, describe President Bashar Asad as “shia khomeinist”. Can you help me understand how you came up with that characterization?

March 28th, 2011, 8:47 pm

 

Jad said:

NK
They are making it sound as if the presedent will give us some sort of WA7I ILAHI which will fill our hearts with joy, grace and LOVE.
Coming soon! ‘THE SPEACH’ 😉

March 28th, 2011, 8:53 pm

 

Norman said:

NK,
Do you want Syria to follow the democracy of the US 200 years ago or today’s laws,

I think it is a waste of time to try to reinvent the wheel, Just adopt the American constitution and bill of rights and laws including anti discrimination laws in Housing and employment, call on American university to help set up districts, Divide the cities into towns and let them vote for their Meyers and city councils, let each County vote for it’s county executive and have rules as they have in the US to impeach them so the president does not have to intervene in whom to fire,let people rule themselves and blame themselves when thy do stupid things, with people ruling themselves new leaders will show up and prove themselves,

March 28th, 2011, 8:59 pm

 

SOURI said:

Democracy champion Ali al-Ahmad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbZyhaX7X2Q&feature=player_embedded

Ali al-Ahmad, Haitham al-Malih, Tall al-Malohi, Mamoun al-Homsi, etc. should all be put in a cell and locked forever. We don’t need this sectarian garbage in Syria.

March 28th, 2011, 8:59 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Jad,

Thank you.

March 28th, 2011, 9:18 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Jad, NK

It is not that stupid. They are using psychology rather well. It is a combination of Herd mentality, which was well described by NK being the first and loudest, with a phenomenon anyone who worked with women in abusive relationship knows rather well. The cycle of abuse is always fueled by reciprocal dependency, with both sides confusing love with dependency. Please do not underestimate the expertise of the regime.

At the same time, they have put themselves in a very awkward position. The long suspense, which was used to contemplate whether they can still resort to an all out slaughter or to give some concessions, as well as to create theatrics, and to work the crescendo towards movement 2 (the huge support rally), hoping for hysteric shouting march (it will be very good to buy some throat medicine and have a chain of “bastat” along the march-line), they have raised expectation so high. If they do not deliver as big as the expectation they have created, you can count on many people coming back with confused long-faces with a look of what the f…..

The plan is not that stupid though, it is a little smarter than that of Mubarak and Zein-Alabdin, but the media campaign is really really bad. please remember, the cycle of abuse has been on-going for very long, there are two generations now with severe sustained trauma. We were the lucky ones to get out.

Does anyone suspect that the fake videos were implanted by the regime to discredit the opposition, at least in the eye of the loyalists, and those on the sideline. If someone had already posted that, I am really sorry for not reading carefully.

Lastly, I apologize for the lower intellectual quality of my posts over the past two days. I have been haggling with some of the shallowest young people with President-Flag-Men7abbo combo profiles on FB. The smart ones inside are no way to be seen on their FB over the past 10 days.

With my own traumatic exposure, I now need a solid book to read to recover some of my intelligence. Anyone has a suggestion?….

March 28th, 2011, 9:35 pm

 

Revlon said:

Clinton called Asad Jr. on behalf of US Homeland national security.
“ Clinton Calls Bashar al-Assad a “Reformer” -Syria Lifts Emergency Law”

US, initial spontaneous welcoming statements to preceding revolutions, quickly shifted to that of neutrality and reservation.

The Syrian case lagged in time. By now, US strategists have had time to digest events and formulate a draft position.

There is no love loss between US and Asad jr. But, faced with unknown alternative, they were quick to capitalize on Jr., deepening vulnerabilities.

All along, Jr. had portrayed himself to the Americans as the enlightened, secular, beloved leader. He worked hard to prove his genuine partnership in their “war on terror”. His Wiki-leaked overture to visiting US officials, in availing the regime’s experience in such filed (7ama massacre), is on record.

Talk of impending annulment, of the infamous emergency laws is what prompted Clinton to call Bashar and describe him as the reformist!
She was saying: Go around and do your own business.
Do not act stupid like Qiddafi!
Be discrete in your actions.
we will look the other way.
We want you to instate “THE US-Syrian Laws of antiterrorism”.

March 28th, 2011, 9:48 pm

 

AIG said:

OTW,

If you haven’t read it yet, I think this will interest you.

http://www.amazon.com/Palestine-Betrayed-Efraim-Karsh/dp/0300127278/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1301363012&sr=8-4

It presents interesting new research. The complexity of the Arab reaction to Zionism is nicely portrayed.

March 28th, 2011, 9:50 pm

 

OFF THE WALL said:

Dearest Jad,
So let us think what could be this WA7I Elahi

1. I will not run for a third term
2. I am dissolving the Baath Party and its affiliated junior’s baath
3. I am dissolving the National Progressive Front, time for real parties
4. Starting tomorrow, no Mukhabarat, I will only focus security agencies on external enemies and on real terrorists, and by the way, you.. my man, … yup, the one with the leather jacket and dark sunglasses, you are fired, .,,,, you too, and you too.
5. No one will be called for coffee any longer, and no one will be asked to write their life story in a dark room at the airport
6. If we call you, you are free to reject our invitation or to ask for a letter with questions or phone interview.

Anyone care to add more creative wa7i to the list, i told you I am running low on brain today 🙂

March 28th, 2011, 9:58 pm

 

Jad said:

Dear OTW,
Have you read ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’ ? It’s old but excellent story to read.
I’m not sure why I remembered this book in the middle of all this grim days, probably because of my schizophrenia between being peaceful and promoting the collaboration approach in conflicts, trying to be objective toward everything I read/hear/see without letting my emotion out and my strong wish to see a stable democratic system in Syria without the need for anybody to die, it’s very very hard to do that and I’m struggling seeing all this unjust, brutality and manipulation and stupidity by all sides.
Are you having any problem similar to mine OTW?
I love the Wa7i you are talking about, that would be something, but I’m not holding my breath for anything.

March 28th, 2011, 10:01 pm

 

NK said:

Norman

Of course I don’t want Syrians to re invent the wheel, although you probably want to pass that message to Dr. Bashar who wants re invent democracy so it’s Syrian and refuses to adapt “western democracy”.

what I was trying to say earlier, when you have true constitutional democracy you’ll be able to achieve social justice, take honor killing for instance, I myself signed more than five petitions asking to treat those killers as murderers instead of giving them reduced sentences, if we had constitutional democracy we would’ve been able to also hold rallies to promote our cause and present it to the public, instead 10 years passed and we still made no progress. It wasn’t because of Islamists and Sharia law.

Anyways, if Bashar goes on TV tomorrow and adapts the current U.S constitution/laws I would put the biggest “menhebak” poster in the middle of my front yard for an entire month 😉

SOURI

You shouldn’t lock anyone up for what he said, says or might say, that’s democracy 101.

OTW

Hats off, the regime is indeed have a lot of experience and maybe their experience is playing against them now, hence the contradicting statements and the semi-chaotic actions.

March 28th, 2011, 10:17 pm

 

SOURI said:

صعود التيار السلفي والأصولي في مصر بعد سقوط مبارك

http://www.aawsat.com/details.asp?section=4&article=614741&issueno=11809

March 28th, 2011, 10:18 pm

 

NK said:

http://bit.ly/ierK20

سقط جدار الخوف
الياس خوري

منذ ثلاثة أشهر والعالم العربي من مغربه الى مشرقه يعيش عصفاً ثورياً لا سابق له. فجأة بدأت الأنظمة الديكتاتورية تتهاوى. انطلقت صيحة الحرية من جسد يحترق في سيدي بو زيد في تونس، لتشتعل القارة العربية بأسرها. سقط بن علي وتهاوى مبارك، القذافي يترنّح، وعلي عبد الله الصالح يبحث عن مخرج. البحرين اشتعلت ودخلتها جيوش القمع السعودية، وفي الجزائر والمغرب بدأت نار التغيير. الملكيات مذعورة، من عماّن التي تتظاهر، الى الرياض التي يعتقد مليكها انه يستطيع بالرشوة ان يعبر كأس التغيير!
فجأة تهاوى نظام عربي كامل أخذ العرب الى هاوية الخمول والضِعة، واسس لتقاليد قمعية متمادية، من قوانين الطوارىء الى خطف الناس واعتقالهم، ومن كمّ الأفواه وابادة الحريات العامة، الى الغاء النقابات والأحزاب السياسية، بحيث صارت المجتمعات العربية مسوّرة بالصمت، وفقد الناس كراماتهم الفردية والجماعية.
النظام السوري لا يشذّ عن هذه القاعدة العامة، بل ربما كان الأكثر فتكاً وترويعاً، يلعب مع شعبه لعبة الخوف والتخويف، ويحتمي من التغيير عبر تحالفات معقّدة تبدأ بدعم المقاومة وتنتهي بالالتزام الدقيق بالاتفاقات مع اسرائيل. بحيث يخال المراقب ان لا وجود لأرض سورية محتلة، وان النظام السوري لا همّ له سوى دعم تحرير لبنان وفلسطين!
لعبة بالغة التعقيد تبني اسواراً من الحمايات من حول النظام، من التحالف السوري- السعودي الى التحالف السوري- الايراني، وصولا الى علاقة ممتازة مع تركيا.
تركيبة معقّدة، اسست لنظام راسخ استطاع تمرير قطوع التوريث بأقل الخسائر الممكنة، ونجح في الامساك دائماً بالعصا الاقليمية من وسطها.
لكن ما فات العائلة الحاكمة السورية تبصّره هو ان الزمن انقلب. الزمن الذي كان فيه النظام يجتاح حماة، بالقوات الخاصة التي صنعت واحدة من اكثر مذابح زمننا هولاً، بينما يتابع خطابه القومي الذي صعد على الدم الفلسطيني واللبناني المسفوك في تل الزعتر، هذا الزمن انطوى الى الأبد.
ما لم تستوعبه الآلة الأمنية الحاكمة ان زمن الخوف قد ولّى، لقد سقط جدار الصمت عندما اطلق المناضل الكبير رياض الترك صيحته من اعماق سجنه المديد، معلناً سقوط مملكة الخوف. الشعب السوري يريد الحرية والكرامة والعدالة، وضاق ذرعا بالمفسدين والفاسدين، وزمن هيمنة الرعب يجب ان يزول.
غريب امر حكّام هذه اللحظة العربية، يقلّدون بعضهم البعض، يوزعون المال ويعدون بالاصلاح، معتقدين ان الشعب يصدّقهم، وانهم يستطيعون بَلْف الناس مرة جديدة.
عندما وقف بن علي في الليلة الأخيرة من حكمه، ليخاطب التونسيين بأنه فهمهم، فهمنا ان الرجل لم يفهم شيئاً. وهذا ما فعله حسني مبارك. اما القذافي فانه لم يكن يريد ان يفهم، ولم يدعِّ انه فهم. بدأ المجزرة منذ اليوم الأول، لأنه تعوّد على احتقار الشعب.
لا ادري ماذا ستكون خيارات الرئيس السوري بشّار الأسد، هل سيفهم على طريقة بن علي، ام سيطلق النار على طريقة السفّاح الليبي.
اغلب الظن انه سيلجأ الى التكتيكين معاً، وهذا ما شهدته درعا، التي كان لها شرف اطلاق شرارة الثورة السورية. اطلاق نار وقتل من جهة ووعود من جهة ثانية.
لقد اثبت الشعب السوري انه شعب حكيم، فالشعب يعرف فداحة الجريمة التي قد تكون في انتظاره، لذا افسح للنظام فترة ثلاثة اشهر كي يتعظ بما يجري من ثورات في العالم العربي، ويبدأ في فك القيود عن الشعب. لكن احدى خصائص الأنظمة الديكتاتورية انها تصاب بالعماء والطرش حين يتعلق الأمر بها. فالديكتاتور ليس محاطاً سوى بالمرايا التي تعكس صورته، ولا يستمع الا الى اصوات المتزلفين والمستفيدين. لذا يفقد قدرته على فهم رياح الزمن.
ميزة الديكتاتوريات انها لا تعترف بوجود الزمن. كلنا يذكر تلك اليافطات التي كانت ترتفع كي تقول ‘رئيسنا الى الأبد حافظ الأسد’. تكشف هذه العبارة معنى العلاقة بالزمن، ولا يمكن فهمها الا في سياق رفض الاعتراف بالتاريخ، والدخول في ابدية الجمود. لكن ما استعصى على ادراكي هو تلك اليافطة التي ارتفعت على احد مداخل طرابلس في الشمال اللبناني والتي تقول ‘الى الأبد والى ما بعد الأبد’، وكان ذلك بالطبع زمن الوصاية السورية على لبنان. اعترف انني لحظة قراءتي لهذه اليافطة شعرت بأنني لم اعد أفهم، وبأن الهذيان استولى على الكلام.
فالاستبداد لا يكتفي بعدم الاعتراف بوجود الزمن، بل يحتقره ويدّعي انه يستطيع البقاء الى ما بعده!
الشعب السوري الذي جعل من عاصمته دمشق-الشام، قلب العرب ونبضهم، صبر واحتمل كثيراً. وكان صبره جزءاً من زمن الركود الذي عاشه العالم العربي خلال العقود الأربعة الماضية.
لكن حين ينتفض العرب في كل مكان، وحين تؤسس مصر ميدان تحريرها، وحين تهب رياح الحرية، فلا يعقل ان تبقى سورية مملكة الصمت والحزب الواحد وقانون الطوارىء وسحق الحريات العامة والخاصة.
لذا ‘طلعت من صوب سورية الجنوب’، كما غنت فيروز يوماً. من الجنوب، من حوران، من خصوبة الأرض بالقمح والحرية، من بلاد الثورة السورية الكبرى، من درعا، بدأت رحلة الشعب السوري الى الحرية.
لا ليست فتنة طائفية ولن تكون، مثلما ادّعت السيدة بثينة شعبان، فإذا كانت الاشارة الى الطائفية على لسان المستشارة هي شكل من اشكال التهديد بها، فان الشعب السوري، يعرف من تجربته ان اللعبة الطائفية هي وسيلة النظام من اجل سحق جميع الطوائف، وان الكلام عن هيمنة العلويين ليس سوى وسيلة لتغطية حكم المافيا العائلية. الشعب السوري بمختلف اطيافه، من عرب وكرد، وبمختلف طوائفه من مسلمين ومسيحيين وعلويين ودروز هو الضحية، ولعبة التحريض الطائفي قد تطيل في عمر النظام قليلاً لكنها لا تستطيع ان تنقذه من عصف الحرية الذي يجتاح سورية من جنوبها الى شمالها.
في دمشق، سوف يزهر ياسمين ربيع العرب، وعلى ذرى قاسيون سوف يستعيد الشعب السوري حريته.
قلب العروبة النابض هي اليوم في قلوب كل العرب. فإذا كانت مصر هي مركز المشرق العربي، فان الشام هي روحه.
وحين تنتفض الروح تبدأ الحرية.

March 28th, 2011, 10:23 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Now that we no longer have dictator in Egypt,and possibly we have democracy, don’t we all dream of new democratic regime in Syria that work on reuniting Syria and Egypt again.Dictatorship in Syria must ends to achieve this dream.

March 28th, 2011, 10:27 pm

 

SOURI said:

Bashar spends more money on “houses of worship”:

http://www.alwatan.sy/dindex.php?idn=98521

Bashar will try now to buy the loyalty of the Islamists, which means undoing many of the secularization measures (many of them were already undone before the crisis, which proved now to have been a wise decision) and wasting more of Syria’s limited money on supporting Islamization instead of secularization.

This is what I’ve been saying. Syria is becoming now another Egypt. This is the worst scenario ever. The civil war scenario is far less destructive than this scenario.

March 28th, 2011, 10:29 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Dearest Jad

Yes, I am having problems big time?. remember my post a couple of days when I asked why isn’t anyone in the internal opposition or at least civil rights advocates (which are the true opposition on the inside) consulted.. So it is not you, me,Mrs Attassi, Mr. Maleh, Dalila, Kilo, or others who refused collaboration. The regime is doing everything solo again..

We are peaceful men Jad, we are so peaceful that both you and I sometime blind ourselves to real ills. But over the past 18+ months, both of us have been transformed to look the truth in the face, and we do not like what we see.

I am not holding much hopes either. But as long as Alex is optimistic 🙂 , I will continue to convince myself into having a shred of optimism. May be it is self delusion, but in two days, we will know what shape Syria will take…. It can not remain the same.. Everyone knows that.. It can not also be cosmetic, and everyone knows that. Whether the regime would be a risk taker and bet on the history or foolish and bet against history, I really do not know, only time will tell. I am afraid it is now a zero sum game. It was not a year or two ago, but indecision made it so now.

I will check the book.

March 28th, 2011, 10:30 pm

 

Norman said:

Nk,

I hope he can see your promise, That might make him adopt my plan so he can get your support, he will sure like it,

The reason that president Assad did not call for equal treatment to women in inheritance and civil laws is because of the culture that we have in Syria and i supported that as i felt if women want more rights then they should ask for them and be ahead of the government but what you said about emergency law not allowing the free expression of the people hit me, it seems true that because of that law we do not know where people stand on many issues and i am glad that it will be out so heated debate on where Syria is going will take place,

March 28th, 2011, 10:32 pm

 

trustquest said:

Call for protest from Germany,

Thanks for #25
Thanks for regime defenders who at least respect our intelligent since me too having hard time with the regime supporters on FB and their limited intelligence. They are using the worst foul language ever, they want to proof that all videos are fake; their propaganda came late and trashy. The lady in a video after the Omayad protest would shout and say that they have freedom in Syria since they can walk at 12 at night.
NK, #136 correction, it is not couples of dozens it is in the hundreds now.
The theme the regime built the country on in the last 10 years, God, Souria, Bashar Wbuss, is going to generate massacres never thought of. The army supporters, special troops, the closed eye on Shabeeha militia, the way the loyalty built, now going to be solved unfortunately by a lot of unnecessary blood. The regime repulsive sectarian face has been uncovered in one historical moment and I hope from my heart to pass these terrible moments without bloodshed.
Our heart is bleeding seeing those videos and pictures where machine guns harvest young kids in the streets. Comparing with the same stage of Libyan revolution, they surpassed it. Did they leave anything for Israel as the eternal villain as they built support for themselves on it during Gaza war, I don’t think so. The old can of warm now opened, with each another person killed now, Hama is back alive and demanding justice. God bless Syria and save the Syrians.
This video just came, they still can not say the name of the killers:

March 28th, 2011, 10:44 pm

 

Norman said:

مجلس الشعب يناقش قانون تملك غير السوريين.. وأعضائه يؤكدون ألا يكون على حساب الطبقة الوسطى والفقيرة

With no real taxation on real estate more money available to buy real Estate will only push the prices higher and higher , The condo in Damascus is more than in Manhattan, I am all for free market but Syria should be careful not to sell the country to people who have money while Syrians can not compete .

March 28th, 2011, 10:46 pm

 

Shami said:

Dear OTW ,what kind of book would you like to read in this moment?

March 28th, 2011, 10:56 pm

 

Nafdik said:

Off the wall,

My prediction for bashar speach:

– he will remove emergency law
– he will free all the prisoners from daraa and recent events
– he will promise press freedom
– he will promise free parties
– we will investigate errors commited by security forces

However:

– new anti terrorism law
– only parties that are wataniee and non sectarian (ie baath stooges)
– no to foreigners so aljazeera, reuters, cnn are out, free press is teshreen and thawra
– they will allow few token reform demonstrators led by so called converted baathis

The people will spit in his face and the he will move to stage 2 where unkowns will create chaos and the army will move in to secure the citizens and we are back to saying the regime is better than civil war.

March 28th, 2011, 10:59 pm

 

OFF THE WALL said:

Nafdik
I think you are right.

however, the following is very intriguing
they will allow few token reform demonstrators led by so called converted baathis.

I do not know if anyone is aware that LAW 49, which punishes MB members with death also exacts the same punishment on Baathists who have membership in any other party, including the stooges….. This may require exodus or repealing 49….

Also, split parties are very dangerous to their mother party, This is especially the case since there are always those idealists who joined the Baath party because it is the only legally available political group. These may split in droves leaving the baath to be similar to the Watani in Egypt…. I do not know if this is the impression he wants to give to the workers and peasants at least at the base. The leadership does not matter herein, it is always known to be corrupt and rich. The base, however, is full of poor and middle class folks.

As for stage 2, some people on FB have argued that it is not as successful in Latakia as it is being claimed, any verification… either way.

March 28th, 2011, 11:23 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

OTW,

Read “Empy Sky” and “A Civil Action”

March 28th, 2011, 11:29 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Dear Shami, thanks for asking.

I re-read Alkawakibi Taba23 Al Istibdad again this evening to quote from. But I am really looking for something on democracy, its practices, and its future. I have read Zakarya, but I am looking for something a bit different.

March 28th, 2011, 11:34 pm

 

Nafdik said:

Intriguing reading list otw. I should check these authors.

March 29th, 2011, 12:14 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

There has to be connection between Hilary Clinton saying that Bashar is reformer,and they do not need to do,in Syria, the same thing they did in Libya,and what Buthaina Shaaban saying that some of the trouble in Syria is due to the palastinians,may be there is a deal,may be that Syria is planing to get rid of pro Hamas from Syria.

March 29th, 2011, 12:17 am

 

Nafdik said:

I just listened to urdugan talk about syria:
– turkey chief of security is in damascus
– urdugan spoke to assad 3 times
– he urged him to act on reforms
– he wants to avoid a situation like libya

I am not sure exactly how to read his position but one interpretation is that he is telling assad there will be no hama this time.

The other is that he is helping him stay in power to avoid problems with the kurds.

Possibly both.

March 29th, 2011, 12:45 am

 

Averroes said:

Shami,

Thank you too for admitting you raging hate. I promise you that I do not hate you, sir. You are so “sure” of so much about what most people feel in Syria. I wonder if any facts on the ground might challenge your assertions.

Shami, the pressure that you and others have exerted in the last couple of weeks has propelled Syria forward. We are all winning because of that. I reiterate that the regime needed a good shake and that it got it. Unless you were hoping for a kill, there is really no need for you to feel so bitter today. The fear barrier has been irreversibly shattered and there is no going back. Syria has moved forward at a great speed.

P.S. Try drinking some water after reading my posts. For some reason, you keep getting these hiccups every time you type my alias.

March 29th, 2011, 1:34 am

 

Averroes said:

OTW,

Over the top exaggerations and melodramatic figures of speech are signature facets of the Arab psyche, unfortunately. It used to be much worse two generations ago, but it’s not completely gone yet. Far from it.

Some statements of adoration used by supporters are just despicable:
مطرح ما بتمشي منركع
and similar slogans. I am really interested in studying the formula that leads to such extreme feelings and expressions.

We seem to also exhibit equally extreme feelings of hate, conviction, and rejection.

I think it may have to do with the ideological and absolutist models we were taught as children.

I always say:
لسه بدنا فت خبز كتير

March 29th, 2011, 1:50 am

 

NK said:

Averroes

“I am really interested in studying the formula that leads to such extreme feelings and expressions.”

After rewarding such expressions for a few times an intermittent reinforcement pattern develops, the desired behavior then becomes very easy to maintain and very hard to eliminate.

http://www.psywww.com/intropsych/ch05_conditioning/intermittent_reinforcement.html

As for the extreme nature of the expressions, I highly doubt people who write such things comprehend the meaning of what they’re writing.

March 29th, 2011, 2:16 am

 

Alia said:

Averroes,

You state:

[I reiterate that the regime needed a good shake and that it got it]

you are making 2 assertions here that are difficult to prove/disprove: 1) that the regime needed a shake ??!! Is that all the regime needed ?, 2) AND that it got it- How do you know that? what evidence do you have to prove that it got the shake that you claim it needed ? Seems to me you are also indulging in vague statements.

They are going to come out unscathed and nothing is going to change, not because of anything that they have learnt but because no one outside will allow this and “the barrier of fear” contrary to your benign assertions is not down- the Syrians have been traumatized for decades and will need substantial outside help and it is not going to come. The defile of support started from all and sundry, the answer to the Syrian people is NO- and they will not need to change one bit.

OTW,

If you have not read it already, I recommend Frantz Fannon “the wretched of the earth” Les damnes de la terre” although a classic of anicolonialist struggle, its descriptions of the abuse of power dynamics are unsurpassed.

March 29th, 2011, 3:32 am

 

Shami said:

Aver roes,
I can only despise the people with few dignity.

Dear OTW ,
If not already read ,i advice you the famous book of John Rawls :

A Theory of Justice (and critics).

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rawls/

March 29th, 2011, 6:09 am

 

trustquest said:

OTW, The book that will always comes to mind that reminds us what we have been missing and what was at work in the last 40 years, and if the Alice in wonderland can stay there for ever in her dream, is Ambiguity of Domination, for the great Lisa Wedeen.http://www.amazon.com/Ambiguities-Domination-Politics-Rhetoric-Contemporary/dp/0226877884
The heart breaking stories inside for a nation stolen its soul and a criminal too strong and too powerful that he caught the sun in one hand and squashed it, turn the whole universe to darkness, then he open his hand and lighten the whole universe (from the book).

March 29th, 2011, 7:27 am

 

Averroes said:

NK, Shami,

You are making a personal attack. That’s fine. All I’m saying is that we are today in a better position and are moving forward. But it seems that’s not what you really want. You want the kill, and are now bitter because you did not get it.

I can understand. I am not shamtaan. I just invite you to take another look.

As for my statements on the methods of communications we use in Syria, they stem from an interest in sociology that I have, and I wanted to throw some thoughts across. Thanks, NK, for your encouragement.

Alia,

So we are calling for outside help now, are we.

March 29th, 2011, 11:13 am

 

Ziadsoury said:

Just looking at these pro gov demos made me wonder…. How come these thugs only fire on the protestors demanding their rights? They have thousands and thousands of people to shoot at cramped into one square. They are much easier targets than people walking along main streets? Right? Or is it 7amya 7aramya?

March 29th, 2011, 11:22 am

 

jad said:

Shami,
Define ‘Dignity’ to me so I understand why you are attacking Averroes?
I thought that we agreed on calling for liberal and democratic society where everybody can express their views without harassment or personal attacks.

Averroes,
“So we are calling for outside help now, are we.”
The revolution FB page organizers were calling for outside help since the first days and they repeat that call in the last statement after Hillary Clinton slap them in the face with her statement, which make you question their goal, is it freedom or calling for chaos and new ‘Ist3mar’! For me that is the biggest and unforgivable mistake they did and it’s interesting how Ammar is tunning it down knowing that nobody with ‘Dignity’ will support such call.

March 29th, 2011, 11:30 am

 

Averroes said:

Ziad,

The answer to your question is simple, if you want to hear it. Most of the energy the “Revolution” has gained has been drawn from events with bloodshed. They feed on blood, of course where blood can be blamed on the regime, or where it can ignite hysteria.

Look at this smiling, pios, Salafi sheikh here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RAvYmHpzlw
Forget the ridiculous claim that he make that 200,000 demonstrators have shown up in Dar3a. Concentrate on his advice about facing bullets. Please look carefully at his facial expressions when he says that the blood they spill will actually serve us.

Here’s a typical Islamist sheikh: Overweight, opportunist, and just can’t hide what’s really inside him. Living outside, receiving Petrodollar salaries, and lusting to have the misguided youth inside Syria to go and receive bullets with their bare chests so that their blood “will help us”.

How much dignity do you think this sheikh can claim, Shami?

So, blood is needed where it can be attributed to the regime. Shooting on PRO demonstrators could in no way be attributed to the regime, and thus it is not an option for those forces of darkness.

March 29th, 2011, 12:35 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Averroes, All

All these conspiracy theories can be rebutted very easily. Some forensic work needs to be done. Independent (third party) experts can tell us if the bullets that killed the innocent protestors came from authority forces or the supposed thugs. Do you think the regime would allow that?
This is a scientific finding which I am all for.

I am also sure that tear gas came from the authority forces and not from protestors.

March 29th, 2011, 1:08 pm

 

Alia said:

Averroes and Jad,

The regime spent the last few days receiving payback support from its allies and former and future enemies as the wind may blow…in addition to the fact that it controls the hundredS of thousands / millions/ of Mukhabarat and Bath members…the army and all resources, you think it would be undignified to ask for all the help in the world?

Did you go to the University in Syria? Were you forced to show up to every Maseera that the party organized? Were you “talked to” by the shabab if you decided you were having a headache on that day and rather stayed in the library…

The word dignity is just a word in Syria, you glimpse its meaning only when you get out. Rare are the people who have any dignity left in Syria.

March 29th, 2011, 1:14 pm

 

Averroes said:

Alia,

Stop living in the past. What you say is true about the past. It was extremely crude, stupid, and counter productive. Times have changed.

Syrians have always been a people of dignity and no one can take that away.

March 29th, 2011, 1:23 pm

 

Alia said:

Averroes,

The past I am talking about was not so long ago believe me!!…:)

The pro-regime demonstrators are motivated by anything but the dignity that you are speaking of.

March 29th, 2011, 1:31 pm

 

jad said:

Dear Alia,
How are you? Long time we didn’t read your excellent opinion on SC 🙂

“you think it would be undignified to ask for all the help in the world?”
From my side the answer is defiantly, absolutely and loud YES it is undignified and treason to even think of that.
I’m not more patriot than anybody but this is a principle of mine, I lived long enough in the western world to know how things work and how the same democratic western regimes in dealing with their subjects work with two heads and hypocrisy when it comes to the international level.
The way their administrations think and react toward Muslims, Arabs, Africans, Indians, Asians and anybody that doesn’t surrender to their rules.
Besides I refuse to put the west on higher level over us when it comes to human dignity and principles, Syrians with all and every bad habits we’ve got we still have the human heart, some wisdom and optimism that tomorrow is better and with people like that I can never ever loose hope of we become better one day otherwise I’m a man with no heart.
Finlay I know very well from our rosy history and experience with the west that the price I’ll pay for such treason will be high, so high that I’ll pay my soul for it and I refuse to even think of that.

“Did you go to the University in Syria?”

Yes I did go to school and university in Damascus, Syria and I never ever went to any demonstration whatsoever and nobody ever forced me or even pushed me to go, I guess I was lucky enough in my school not to be pushed for that, however, from what friends are telling me it sounds as if many people REALLY wanted to go out, they feel that they are threatened not the regime but them personally and they feel that they’ve been pushed aside, lied to and misrepresented by every newspaper and TV channels, you can’t insult people’s intelligence and attack them with fabricated and exaggerated news in the way we saw on the media and expect them not to react.

“The word dignity is just a word in Syria, you glimpse its meaning only when you get out. Rare are the people who have any dignity left in Syria.”
I strongly disagree, couple days ago I agreed with Souri that “Everybody thinks they are always right, everybody thinks that they know everything, and everybody thinks that what they know is the unquestionable truth and they will not change their beliefs no matter how much you try with them.”

But we, Syrians, and every human on this planet have lots of dignity that must be respected by everyone, and calling all of the Syrians as people with no dignity is an insult.

March 29th, 2011, 1:56 pm

 

Alia said:

Hi Jad,

Thanks for the nice welcome !

I must be missing something with this dignity business, I mean you can be dignified in your private sphere but when ultimately, as you say, you have been lied to, taken advantage of, taken for a fool all your life what dignity are we speaking of? You think it is dignified to stand in the middle of the road waving flags and swearing eternal allegiance to Bashar ? but OK whatever, we can call it anything you all like. Nelson Mandela was dignified for 25 years in jail but his eyes were always open.

As for outside help, well it is just a pragmatic issue, we cannot do it alone. I don’t disagree with your views on the Western views of the Other but who else is there to help?

March 29th, 2011, 2:18 pm

 

Atassi said:

Bashar al-Assad’s day of reckoning
Simon Tisdall
guardian.co.uk
30 March 2011
Guardian Unlimited
GRULTD
English

Simon Tisdall: The Syrian president’s televised address to the nation could be a moment of opportunity or a fatal step in his fall from grace

Bashar al-Assad’s address to the nation is easily the biggest moment of his young political life. Syria has faced multiple crises during the president’s 11-year rule, including a massive refugee influx after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the 2004 Kurdish uprising, a rift with Lebanon after the Hariri assassination in 2005 and Israel’s bombing of a supposed nuclear reactor in 2007. But none seriously threatened the 45-year-old Assad’s grip on power, nor the survival of the regime. This is different.

The protests that have shaken Syrian towns and cities in recent days are unprecedented in both scale and character. In many ways, they resemble the Egyptian and other Arab revolts – a roar of rage against lack of economic opportunity, a youthful population’s limited life chances, the lack of personal and social freedoms and the dead weight of official corruption. But there are differences, too. Syria’s regime, more than most, has relied on absolute obedience, enforced by a terrifying security apparatus. Dissent was not tolerated. The change now is that dissent has become open, pervasive and unquenchable. Dissent is a firestorm, burning up all Syria’s old certainties in its path.

“What we have in Syria is not yet a revolution. It is unrest in pursuit of legitimate reform,” a Syrian official said. “Assad is a popular president. If there was a vote tomorrow, I think he would win 60% or maybe more. We have the problem of economic corruption but not political corruption. Assad has a lot of credit in the bank. He needs to cash it in or else we are heading for the unknown … Whatever happens, Syria has changed. The wall of fear for expressing your views has collapsed.”

It’s certainly true Assad is no Hosni Mubarak, the octogenarian Egyptian president who came to symbolise a nation’s ossification. He has often spoken of reform and, briefly, during the so-called Damascus spring of 2000-01 following the death of his ultra-authoritarian father, Hafez, Syrian society seemed ready to break free from its historical and geographical shackles. The fact it did not was attributable in part to the baleful influence of the old guard inherited from his father.

All the same, Assad’s failure to bring about change was ultimately his own, raising doubts about his political courage and judgment. His apparent inability to modernise Syria’s economy, his continued reliance on emergency laws enacted by the Ba’ath party after the 1963 coup and the ongoing lack of political pluralism and media freedom poses the question: why should anyone believe him now when, back to the wall, he once again promises reforms? Has he left it too late?

Assad’s decision to sack his cabinet, even as pro-regime protesters filled the streets of many cities, may help answer these doubts – and help him achieve a clean break with Assad Sr’s era. But in his televised speech he will need to go further. His task is to convince the majority of Syrians who, if officials are to be believed, want reform rather than regime change, that the country can make a new beginning, that a new order is finally replacing the old.

“The security forces made great mistakes in Deraa [the southern city where the unrest began and more than 60 protesters were killed]. Instead of trying to find a solution, they were shooting in the square. For that reason, the president has ordered a halt to all violence by the security forces,” said Sami Khiyami, Syria’s ambassador in London. “The president intends to rectify these mistakes.”

His speech would include repeal of the emergency law, a stepped-up campaign against corruption and orders to the security forces “not to harm people freely expressing their views”, he said. Other reports suggest curbs on opposition political parties and media will be relaxed and political prisoners freed.

Khiyami insisted there was substance to regime claims that small groups of agitators, mostly foreign-backed, were responsible for provoking the most serious clashes. These groups included Islamist extremists from the indigenous Sunni majority, Syrian Kurds, and Iraqi, Lebanese and Algerian immigrants whose “agenda” was stirring up sectarian tension, he said. Their activities lay behind the recent violence in Latakia where 10 police were killed and 300 people arrested. Khiyami added that Syria remained the most secular, multi-ethnic and religiously tolerant country in the Middle East – and that outside powers were intent on undermining it.

Assad’s failure so far to pursue a reform agenda, and the crisis confronting him now, could be laid in part at the door of the US, Israel and European countries that were hostile to Syria and had weakened it through economic sanctions and trade embargoes, Khiyami said. Syria was a proud, dignified country that was “difficult to tame”. Despite what they claimed, the great powers would actually prefer the Middle East to remain a “buffer zone” between the west and Asia, an excluded, unrepresented, under-performing, second-class region with no real say in international affairs, he said.

Whatever the reasons, and they are many, Assad faces a great reckoning when he steps up to speak. It could be a moment of unparalleled opportunity. Or it could prove to be a fatal next phase in his inexorable fall from grace.

March 29th, 2011, 2:23 pm

 

atassi said:

Syrian cabinet dissolved as thousands demonstrate; Region in Revolt
BY THE NEW YORK TIMES
30 March 2011
International Herald Tribune
INHT
7
English
President Bashar al-Assad accepted the resignation of his cabinet Tuesday as thousands of government supporters took to the streets of Damascus, the capital, in an effort to counter a rising tide of democracy protests in several cities, news agencies reported.
The cabinet resignation, announced on state television, appeared to be a concession to protesters and came as the political crisis in Syria deepened, with the armed forces in the restive southern city of Dara’a on Monday firing live ammunition in the air to disperse hundreds of demonstrators.
The unrest poses a serious challenge to Mr. Assad and his Baath Party. Mr. Assad had been expected to announce as early as Tuesday the repeal of the country’s emergency law, in place since 1963, which effectively allows the security forces to detain citizens without charges. Whether the repeal — or the cabinet resignations — would quell the protests remains unclear. Other laws restrict freedoms and give immunity to the secret police.
The mixed signals sent by the government — promises of reforms that would have been unthinkable months ago, coupled with heavy-handed repression — may be indicative of deeper tensions, analysts said. Mr. Assad, 45, a British-educated eye doctor who was often described as a reformer early in his 11-year rule, relies on a largely Alawite state apparatus that has been resistant to reform and whose survival depends on the Assad family.
‘‘There must be a very harsh debate going on’’ around the president, said Elizabeth Picard, a political science professor and expert on Syria who is based in based in Aix-en-Provence, France. ‘‘We’re nearing a zero-sum game. Once you let go a little, you take the risk of losing everything. Some people are going to cling to power.
On Monday, marchers gathered in the city’s main square, chanting ‘‘Not Sunnis, not Alawis, we all want freedom’’ and ‘‘God, Syria and freedom only.’’ By late afternoon, hundreds of people had staged a sit-in, uncertain whether the army would try to disperse them during the night. More than 60 people have been killed since March 18, human rights groups say. It was unclear if there were any casualties Monday.
‘‘They were marching peacefully, asking for their rights, when the army opened fire at them,’’ said one witness who declined to be identified for fear of reprisals. ‘‘But this is not the end.’’
The armed forces had retreated from the city’s main arteries over the past few days, giving residents an uneasy sense of being in a standoff. The Associated Press reported that security forces were surrounding the city on Monday afternoon. The army also was still deployed in the northwestern city of Latakia, which had seen several days of violence.
The situation in Latakia is symbolic of the challenge facing the government. A traditionally Christian and Sunni coastal area north of Damascus, the town has seen an increase in its population of Alawites, a religious sect, since the 1960s, and resentment between the groups runs deep.
Latakia itself still has a Sunni and Christian majority, but the villages surrounding it are mostly Alawite and are considered a government stronghold. It was no accident that the offices of SyriaTel, a telephone company owned by an Assad cousin, Rami Makhlouf, who is widely perceived by demonstrators as a symbol of corruption, were burned down during protests Saturday, when 12 people were killed.
Latakia was calm Monday, but despite the army’s presence in and around the city, a resident who declined to be identified said he witnessed sporadic violence overnight.
He described civilians carrying rifles or knives, creating their own makeshift checkpoints. ‘‘Pro- and anti-government groups’’ fought, the witness said, ‘‘and tension was fueled by reports of foreigners bringing instability to the city.’’
The state news media have largely blamed foreigners and residents of a Palestinian camp near the city for the unrest in Latakia.
On Sunday, state radio reported multiple sightings of foreigners in the coastal town, including ‘‘a group of Lebanese women who said they wanted to rent an apartment but ran away when asked for identification.’’

March 29th, 2011, 2:35 pm

 

jad said:

Alia,
“You think it is dignified to stand in the middle of the road waving flags and swearing eternal allegiance to Bashar ?”
NO! However, what if that person do that in conviction like many over there, does that make them without dignity? aren’t we all calling for freedom of choice and respect the differences between us, then why not to accept the other side showing their views in the way they want.
Many of the banners I saw today are calling for unity, for refusing sectarianism, for equality, for freedom, and for a better future, is it fair to ignore all of those when seeing another banner thanking the President, (which is a bit stupid since we didn’t get anything yet) but regardless, I have no choice but to look, get a headache, disagree, take lots of Tylenol as NK suggested and move on.

I agree with you though, that Dignity is very difficult word to define especially when we start looking at all of it’s layers, Social and Political etc..but for me labeling anybody as a person without dignity because of his country’s regime or his political and social views is not sound.

March 29th, 2011, 2:43 pm

 

Atassi said:

British dictatorship’ in Damascus the next diplomatic crisis for London
MICHAEL BINYON, DAVID BROWN, GRAHAM KEELEY
THE TIMES
30 March 2011
The Australian

Unrest in Syria adds to Britain’s Middle Eastern problems

WHEN Bashar Assad was joined by his glamorous British bride in Syria’s presidential palace, there were hopes they would bring a breath of freedom for a country long oppressed by the rule of his father.

After a decade of power, during which the couple were wooed by Tony Blair and received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace, their very British dictatorship is becoming Westminster’s next diplomatic crisis.

Syrian security forces fired teargas on protesters yesterday; by coincidence, Asma Assad, the London schoolgirl who became Damascus’s first lady, appears in this month’s US edition of Vogue extolling the virtues of “empowerment in civil society”.

Britain had attempted to exert its influence over the new Assad regime within months of the President’s marriage. In November 2001, Tony Blair became the first British prime minister to visit Damascus. The following year, Mr Assad, who trained to be an eye surgeon in London, became the first Syrian leader to meet the Queen and was later accompanied by his wife for a visit to Prince Charles at St James’s Palace.

London has also been at the heart of Syria’s attempts to shed its reputation as a pariah state linked to international terrorism.

Mrs Assad’s father, Fawaz Akhras, 64, a consultant cardiologist, last year founded a British charity to promote his daughter’s vision of preserving Syria’s heritage for future generations. She is president of the Syria Heritage Foundation. Its trustees include her father, Wafic Said, the Syrian-born billionaire arms dealer, and Lord Powell of Bayswater, a foreign policy adviser to Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

Mrs Assad was born in London, the first child of Fawaz and his wife Sahar, a diplomat at the Syrian embassy. The family still live in the terrace house in Acton, West London, where she grew up. She called herself Emma while a pupil at Twyford Church of England High School in Acton.

She met her future husband during childhood holidays in Syria but became better acquainted when he moved to London to train as an ophthalmologist.

Mr Assad was suddenly recalled to Syria after the death of his elder brother, Basil, in a car crash in 1994. When Hafez al-Assad died in June 2000, the dictatorship duly passed to the son.

Most voters seemed ready to forgive the nepotism and the lack of the son’s political experience — even if the margin of support, at 97 per cent, pointed to a rigged ballot.

The new President promised so much: an opening-up of the economy, press freedom, political reform, warmer relations with the West, an end to the repression of his father’s one-party Baathist state.

When the Assads married on New Year’s Day 2001, the relationship was seen as further portent of a more tolerant regime. The President hails from the Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shia Islam, and his wife is a Sunni. She soon threw herself into a her role as an international stateswoman, travelling the world to promote women’s rights and literacy as well as raising three children.

Hollywood couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were guests in Damascus in 2009 and in December Mrs Assad attended a lunch in Paris with Carla Bruni.

As recently as two months ago, her husband felt confident enough to boast that while Egypt and Tunisia were convulsed by popular revolts, Syria was stable and would bring in reform. Instead, protest is sweeping the country and the regime is adopting the Gaddafi response to the Arab Spring.

The Vogue issue featuring Mrs Assad already appears historic. It describes the first lady as “a desert rose” and a “long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind”.

Her husband has floundered as the political initiative has slipped away. King Abdullah of Jordan, a former friend, once told The Times: “He is a prisoner in his father’s own prison.”

March 29th, 2011, 2:43 pm

 

il Cubo di Rubik di Siria e Arabia Saudita « Gignosco's Blog said:

[…] molto interessante che la Clinton abbia dichiarato che in nessun caso gli Stati Uniti interverranno in Siria, paese il cui presidente Assad differisce enormemente da Gheddafi. Assad equilibrato e riformatore. […]

March 30th, 2011, 8:28 am

 

Syria: the boldness of Bashar al-Assad | Brian Whitaker «ScrollPost said:

[…] day describing Assad as “Israel’s favourite Arab dictator”? Or Hillary Clinton praising him as a “reformer”?Contrary to the impression given in some of the news reports, Assad did talk about reform, and […]

March 31st, 2011, 7:02 am

 

Allyy said:

I find it hard to belive how people are soo and completely burning with envy. Bashar is the best thing that has ever happened to Syria. His father, bless be his name, was the one who made Syria what it is. Without him, Syria would be a backward country, full of discrimination and hatred.

If you dont remember, Hafez al Assad too the place of a dictator, and changed the whole system of government, and in turn, changed the whole country. It used to be that on the people’s passports, it was sprcifically stated which sector of the Muslim religion they are. This created hatred and hostility in airports as the guards would be aware of the others’sects and thus treat them badly. When Hafez came into power, he changed that to crate equality. Now on passports, it only stated ‘Muslim’ or ‘Christian’ and not what specific muslim you are. This made millions of people love him. Not to mention that he was the one to intrroduce the internet. He gave freedon to the media. He loved his people and they loved, and still love, him!! Bashar is just the same. Loved by the people for his connections with them, and his understandings of the people.

How dare some people call him a dictator? He is democratically elected by the people of Syria. If they did not trust and love him, they would not be constantly voting him in. And no! The ballots are not rigged!! The oly people who think that are the ones who are in denial of the fact that Bashar IS LOVED!!! He has done so much for Syria, and everyone should be grateful!!

BASHAR WE LOVE YOU!!!!!! BASHAR WE WILL SUPPORT YOU TILL THE END!!!!!!!!!!!

April 1st, 2011, 1:33 am

 

Syria: the boldness of Bashar al-Assad said:

[…]  It was when Assad came to the now-obligatory section of his speech where embattled presidents blame foreign conspiracies for the demonstrations that I started to feel confused. Surely he had got it the wrong way round. Others have been saying that the aim of the "foreign conspiracy", if such it is, is to keep Assad in power, not to remove him. What about that article in Haaretz the other day describing Assad as "Israel's favourite Arab dictator"? Or Hillary Clinton praising him as a "reformer"? […]

April 1st, 2011, 4:15 am

 

Allyy: Supporter of BASHAR said:

I think the fact that by calling Bashar a dictator, it only makes you seem really pathetic. Mate, as everyone knows, maybe not you in this case, that a dictator imposes himself on the people, and doesnt give them a choice to elect. Bashar is democratically elected by his people and the fact that they love him and will go to extremes to show their support for him, is infuriating people like you. His speech was heared by billions of people, and he still has their support. The majority want him, it’s the conspiring idiots who are threatened by him, that they want to get rid of him. We love you Bashar. And may Syria be ruled by Bashar al Assad for another hundred years!!!!!:)

April 1st, 2011, 4:33 am

 

alexander said:

Bashar al Assad is the best thing that has ever happened to Syria. His father, bless be his name, was in the army when he got rid of the racist dictator controlling the Syrian people. Hafez al Assad was the one who turned Syria around, and made it the country it is today. Under the old President, people were publically known of what religious sector they belong to. This was very probelmatc for milliuons of people. On passports, it was forced that you have your religion stated, so the guards will know who you are. Hatred was publically displayed, and if you belonged to the minority sect, you were treated badly. Hafez changed this, thus creating equality. If you were muslim, on your passport it said ‘Muslim’ and if you were Christian, it said ‘Christian’. It did not specify your sect. Millions of people loved him for that, and continue to love him for that. Hafez, may he rest in peace, also introduced the internet to Syria, gave independance to the media, he built and created Syria!! He gave women rights! He allowed women to do what they were never able to do. They entered the army, the navy, the police force, government. He educated them, by building more schools and giving them the freedom to study. Hafez al Assad sponsored millions of children, feeding them and educating them. And the people are, and should be greatful. Bashar is a man like his father. an honerable and kind, loving man, who would do anything for his country and his people. Bashar is an educated man, who understands his people, and their needs. As like in other other countries, especially ones who are so backward, it takes years, and years for reform to actually begin, or to make progress. He has promissed something to his people, and he will follow through. All good things come to those who wait. You can’t expect Syria to become like New York, LA, or even Australia in just a few years. He even said that his main priority are his people, education and health. He wil follow through. He WILL. His speech was true. There are conspiritors trying to destroy Syria. That will never happen. NEVER.
ALLAH, SYRIA, BASHAR W BASS!!!

April 1st, 2011, 4:56 am

 

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