“Deeply Sectarian,” Joshua Landis on the Economist online

Deeply sectarian
Jun 14th 2011, 23:57
by The Economist online

The director of the Center for Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma explains why Syria faces a long struggle

[This is not my title. I wouldn’t have chosen it. The struggle in Syria has not yet become and overt sectarian struggle as happened in Lebanon or Iraq. The interview does capture my thinking about how the struggle enveloping Syria may unfold.]

Comments (173)

Mina said:

Perfect title. With this and the NYT article yesterday, it will become clear to everybody what is at stake. Erdogan Basha will fool only himself, will cancel the Gaza flotilla, and be the new best friend of Israel.
The US has shown muscles against Iran and Hizbollah, now everybody goes back to sleep. They’ll keep deploying soldiers and boats in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, until the next escalation.

June 15th, 2011, 1:25 pm


Nour said:

الرئيس الأسد سيخرج إلى شعبه قريباً جداً
الاعلان عن إصلاحات عالية السقف…قد تُخرج دستوراً جديداً إلى الاستفتاء العام

دمشق – خاص- سيرياستيبس

علمت سيرياستيبس أن الرئيس بشار الأسد سيخرج إلى شعبه خلال الساعات القادمة متحدثاً ومعلناً عن مواقف جديدة….ومطلقاً حزمة من الإصلاحات… ستطال الدستور نفسه وبحسب المعلومات فإن الرئيس الأسد قد يعلن عن تعديل العديد من المواد بما في ذلك المادة الثامنة عبر تشكيل هيئة وطنية تقوم بدراسة التعديل ومن ثم طرحه على الاستفتاء العام.

هذا ويرفع مئات الآلاف من السوريين اليوم أكبر علم سوري على امتداد اتستراد المزة انطلاقاً من نادي الجلاء باتجاه ساحة الأمويين….وقال ناشطون سوريون أن العلم والذي ساهم في خياطته العشرات…. إنما يعبر عن الولاء للوطن سورية وللقائد بشار الأسد.

June 15th, 2011, 1:31 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

Nour, can you please give a link for your report of a forthcoming Presidential announcement/speech/report?

For those English-only readers at Syria Comment, the short report suggests that the President of Syria will unveil amendments to the Constitution of Syria, including Article 8.

The article suggests the Syrian President will speak in the coming hours.

This is big news — I ask that posters please provide to readers the sources of their information.


[Added: this is likely to be the source of Nour’s note: Syria Steps]

Google machine translation:

President al-Assad will come to people very soon
The announcement of the reforms, high ceiling … could go to a new constitution referendum

Damascus – in particular – Cyriasteps

I learned Cyriasteps that President Bashar al-Assad will come to his people during the coming hours speaking and announcing the new positions …. and never a package of reforms … will reach the Constitution itself, according to information the President al-Assad has announced the amendment of several articles, including Article VIII, by forming a national body of the study Amendment and then put to a referendum.

This raises hundreds of thousands of Syrians today is the largest science along the Syrian Al Mazzah Highway evacuation from the club towards the Umayyad Square. … The activists said that science and Syrians, who helped sew dozens …. But expressed loyalty to the homeland Syria and the leader Bashar al-Assad.

June 15th, 2011, 1:41 pm


SYR.Expat said:

Great news ladies in gentlemen!

Today, the Baathists who helped Syra become one of the most corrupt countries on the face of Earth (2.5 out of 10), competing for the 127th rank with the likes of Nicaragua and Uganda, made history by creating the longest Syrian flag in history and stepping on it.

And as usual, the gangs of Salafist/Whabist/Palestininan “mundassen” gangs that have been terrorizing and killing anti-government demonstrators for almost three months did not shown up at today’s pro-government rally. They couldn’t even throw fire crackers at the hundreds of thousands (as claimed by the highly credible Baathist media) of participants.

Things are looking up.

June 15th, 2011, 1:53 pm


daleandersen said:

From the New York Times regarding the beliefs of the Alawites:

“…they believe in metempsychosis or transmigration. The souls of the wicked pass into unclean animals such as dogs and pigs, while the souls of the righteous enter human bodies more perfect than their present ones. The howls of jackals that can be heard at night are the souls of Sunni Muslims calling their misguided co-religionists to prayer…”


June 15th, 2011, 2:12 pm


why-discuss said:

On Al Jazeera english, the refugees children seem to have a lot of fun and driving the turkish police mad, while Davutoglu visits the camp. “More than 10,000 and we call the UNHCR, otherwise they are temporary guests”
It doesn’t look bleak at all. I guess they won’t like to go back.
The Al Jazeera speaks about the peasants going back and forth between Turkey and Syria to check their crops and cattle. If they do so, I guess it is not so dangerous and also she continues by saying that the syrian army have been burning the fields and killed the cattle: incredible inconsistency.

June 15th, 2011, 2:26 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Now when the regime had gained the upper hand, using an humongous flag, the Dear Leader will address his grateful subjects in a victory speech, and will offer them some peanuts. I can’t wait.

June 15th, 2011, 2:36 pm


Mina said:


Ah ah, the NYT has been watching al-‘Aroor or one of the Sectarian anti-Shii Iraqi TV? The metempsychosis belief is taken from Greek Pythagorean beliefs and other ancient Oriental religions. It is shared by many Shii sects, such as the Ismailis, the Alawites, and the Druzes. But you would prefer them to believe in a paradise with black-eyed virgins probably?

You’d be amazed at what the US students believe in: that the earth is flat, that Adam and Eve were the first creatures on earth, and that Hitler was a German football coach

June 15th, 2011, 2:42 pm


Averroes said:

So can I get away with referring to Israelis as monkeys awaiting peanuts? Can I? Promise you won’t jump at me like a ridiculous loaded jack-in-the-box, holding the humongous ANTISEMITISM banner?

June 15th, 2011, 2:58 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Apartheid State NewZ

Maybe Hakroush would prefer to live in Syria, where free speech has yet to be discovered.

I doubt it…

Hakroush began serving in the police force in 1978. He has previously served as district commander of two districts as well as the commander of three stations. “I am proud to be the first Muslim to carry the rank of deputy inspector-general in Israel Police,” he told his associates Wednesday.


June 15th, 2011, 3:22 pm


Mina said:

You seem to be begging to be part of Greater Syria again. Missing the old Roman times? I suggest you start with launching a petition and FB page to return Eilat peacefully, and then maybe your request shall be considered.

June 15th, 2011, 3:41 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

The so-called corporate media seems to have made at least some note of the large pro-Syria demonstrations in Damascus, as in the Telegraph report on the large rally in Seven Seas Square.

That report said this, which I thought tantalizing:

Mr al-Assad, who came to power in 2000, is expected to address his people in the days to come and announce a string of reforms.

His cabinet is also due to resign today, paving the way for the appointment of new ministers.

Added to rumours of constitutional decrees/committees/meetings/referendum . . . and Revlon’s mention of a national salvation congress tolerated by the Syrian government . . . what does the way forward look like?

I think SC commentariat should also strike a salvation committee.

— what was nice about the pro-Syria demonstrations was that they were innocuous and festive, with a wonderful accomplishment in organization and sewing machines. When I first saw the videos and the grinning announcers from the Syrian TV clips, I thought the whole long flag sheltered a million or more under its surface. With the disciplined lines and the free traffic lanes unimpeded on one side, with helicopter shots and cable-suspended cameras installed at key intersections, this was a very disciplined and supervised demonstration, cheerful and non-sectarian.

Then I realized that the whole long flag was empty underneath and the reality of the numbers and the organization and its script and its official coverage made it seem just that least little bit North Korean . . .

June 15th, 2011, 3:41 pm


Mina said:


This link I gave to a Telegraph article is about a demo that occured on March 29th (just check the date of the article) and remained not so much reported elsewhere.
But of course, you are not obliged to follow what I link to, it’s just like for Amina…

June 15th, 2011, 3:43 pm


SYR.Expat said:

The meaning of
ممانعة + ضبط النفس + حق الرد

June 15th, 2011, 3:51 pm


why-discuss said:

William Scott Scherk

“North Korea”…, the usual pinch of poison from western media..

June 15th, 2011, 4:05 pm


Akbar Palace said:

The beatings will continue until morale improves NewZ

You seem to be begging to be part of Greater Syria again.


How so? Wasn’t my post clear that living in Israel has numerous advantages to living in “Greater (Assad-led) Syria”?

June 15th, 2011, 4:09 pm


Syrian Knight said:

It’s amazing. 600,000 people come out to demonstrate support for the government, and how many outlets carry the story??? And what is contained in the outlets that DO report the story??? Utterly despicable.

June 15th, 2011, 4:26 pm


Nour said:

آكي نقلاً عن مصادر سورية : الرئيس الأسد يلقي غداً كلمة متلفزة حول آخر التطورات في سورية
آكي نقلاً عن مصادر سورية : الرئيس الأسد يلقي غداً كلمة متلفزة حول آخر التطورات في سورية

قالت وكالة (آكي) الإيطالية للأنباء نقلاً من مصادر سورية مطلعة إن الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد سيلقي غداً (الخميس) “كلمة متلفزة موجهة إلى الأمة”حول آخر التطورات في سورية وهي المرة الثالثة التي يلقي فيها الرئيس الأسد كلمة منذ بدء الأحداث في سورية قبل ثلاثة أشهر، وكانت المرة الأولى أمام مجلس الشعب والثانية أمام الحكومة السورية الجديدة .


June 15th, 2011, 4:46 pm


Greg said:

Since the United States has so few viable options as far as direct interventions that will not make things worse, let me pose the following question.

Are there American technical or industrial workers in Syria who are crucial in keeping key industries or banks working. I am thinking about people like the foreign oil workers in Libya who might cripple the Syrian economy if they left such key positions.

If so, what is to prevent the U.S. government from pulling their visas and, for that matter, from closing our embassy in protest?

June 15th, 2011, 4:51 pm


daleandersen said:

Memo to GREG:

RE: “Since the United States has so few viable options…”

The USA doesn’t care about Syria. Syria has NOTHING of interest to the USA. It’s not a tourist hotspot. It’s not a financial mecca. It has no oil. All it has is a lot of frightened, angry people getting ready to kill each other.

Libya, on the other hand, supplied 60% of Italy’s oil. Italy is a valued friend of the USA. So yeah, President Obama got involved there.

The only countries Syria has to worry about are these: Turkey, which has nightmares of 100,000 Syrian refugees streaming over its border. Saudi Arabia, which is trying to detach Syria from its Iran-Hizbollah alliance. And Iran, which is sending military and technical aid in an effort to prop up King Bashar’s throne.

No one else wants to get involved in the Syrian train wreck.

As for Israel, whatever happens in Syria, life will go on as always. Merchants will sell their wares, lovers will make love, poets will write poems..


June 15th, 2011, 6:10 pm


Chris W said:

Interesting. It certainly colours my perception that the large rally wasn’t covered by any of the news websites I usually visit.

Regardless of their editorial point of view, it’s an important story and reflects on the picture of the state of opinion in Syria as a whole.

More than ever I think the Western media are misinforming us about the real state of affairs in Syria. I can only assume that the much of what the Syrian state media are reporting is closer to the truth.

June 15th, 2011, 6:25 pm


Tara said:

Hello All,

Please do not be that impressed with pro-regime demonstration today or anyday. Nothing to boast about at all! People are all herded to show support. I remember many years ago when we as school kids used to be herded unwillingly to demonstrate in support of Sr. They force you into it and they call it “showing of affection”

Support demonstarations mean nothing in oppressed countries.

June 15th, 2011, 6:30 pm


why-discuss said:


What impresses you then? mass graves?

June 15th, 2011, 6:40 pm


Tara said:

Hello Why,

I actually was thinking about you for the last 19 hours or so. Really. I understand you are Lebanese. I like Lebanese . I am hoping that you are someway or other affiliated with HA. I know it is rather may be impolite to ask personal question but I am really eager to know if that is true. I do not believe you are a HA fighter and obviously I do not want you to reveal your identity for security purpose but your daily involvement here really intrigues me. Can you tell me more about yourself?

June 15th, 2011, 6:52 pm


Tara said:

Syrian Hamster,

Thank you very much for your post yesterday. Not only I smiled to my baby but also to the whole world today just remembering your brilliant summary of the dialogue that occurs at SC daily.

Nour, Louai, Kandahar, and Syrian-expat,
Thank you all too. Your comments help too. I was a bit less obssessed today.

June 15th, 2011, 7:01 pm


why-discuss said:


I am not interested in the gender, identity, nationality, political affiliation and religion of people commenting on this blog. I just read and react to the ideas they express without speculating on who they are. That’s what makes that blog interesting.

June 15th, 2011, 7:01 pm


Gus said:

Are the syrians also were hurded in The US or Europe when they showed their support for their country against this hateful and barbaric revolution?
Syrians now appreciate Syria much more, so thank you all العرعور followers, and be sure we will never forget

June 15th, 2011, 7:14 pm


Akbar Palace said:

More than ever I think the Western media are misinforming us about the real state of affairs in Syria.

Chris W.,

Do you think this Newsweek article by Norwegian author Asne Seierstad is misinforming us? Why or why not?


June 15th, 2011, 7:15 pm


Tar said:

Oh common Why. Don’t you think one’s past exposure affects his/ her outlook, discourse, and behavior? I know that you agree with the above statement. I can’t understand you out of context. It is just impossible task to accomplish.. You know so far I am a secular Sunni woman, born in Damascus, married with children, and not a housewife. Sharing little more info about you is not gonna hurt. We already know you are a Lebanese dude, probably Shiite, not sure if you are secular or not, probably not secular. I also know you have an intense sentiment towards Syria, a more intense sentiment than average ordinary Lebanese… although I closely know few Lebanese dudes with strong passion towards Syria too. They just love us… You are accused twice of wanting to kill and displace the Mamenhebaks. I am ok with all of above as long as you are not really paid to do this. You are either paid to do it or just very obsessed by it unless this is your field of study and you are writing a book about Syria in this difficult time.

June 15th, 2011, 7:23 pm


Tara said:


Common man. Don’t you think one’s past exposure affects his/ her outlook, discourse, and behavior? I know that you agree with the above statement. I can’t understand you out of context. It is just impossible task to accomplish.. You know so far I am a secular Sunni woman, born in Damascus, married with children, and not a housewife. Sharing little more info about you is not gonna hurt. We already know you are a Lebanese dude, probably Shiite, not sure if you are secular or not, probably not secular. I also know you have an intense sentiment towards Syria, a more intense sentiment than average ordinary Lebanese… although I closely know few Lebanese dudes with strong passion towards Syria too. They just love us… You are accused twice of wanting to kill and displace the Mamenhebaks. I am ok with all of above as long as you are not really paid to do this. You are either paid to do it or just very obsessed by it unless this is your field of study and you are writing a book about Syria in this difficult time.

June 15th, 2011, 7:30 pm


Shami said:

The orchestrated menhebak qardahi gathering of today was one of the last insults against history from this failed mini-sectarian family regime.
Bashar listen :ila mazbalet el tarikh inte wel khanazeer eli hawalek.

New sport in Syria:

Mrs Angela Jolie will be visiting our people in Turkey.


June 15th, 2011, 7:31 pm


Tara said:


What do you mean by “mini” when you say mini-sectarian?

June 15th, 2011, 7:34 pm


Shami said:

ya3ni it’s a minority within a minority(the family and cronies) ,in order to avoid to make the alawites as whole part of the regime.
We will build democratic syria with our alawite compatriots.

June 15th, 2011, 7:39 pm


louai said:

Dear Tara

‘Please do not be that impressed with pro-regime demonstration today or anyday. Nothing to boast about at all! People are all herded to show support’

I have to disagree with you with this one ,yes I remember being ‘invited to show support when I was a kid ‘ some times I used to go sometimes I used not I never had any problem because I didn’t show up to support demonstrations ,now I go every time I can to rally in front of the Syrian embassy to show my support .

I was online more than one month ago when one young girl posted the idea of doing something to attract the international media for the other side of the story she said we need to do something extraordinary to get on the news as supporters some one told her to have the biggest flag on the world so it can enter guinness book of records but we discovered that its reserved already , then some one said we make it longest Syrian flag ever , as I said I personally helped organising the facebook webpage for the flag to collect donations for the material then many young people joined the page with fresh ideas and more motivation then I left the page because I thought there are too many ‘chefs and its gona fail

The good news for you Tara that the international media did not give it any attention and just like you did they claimed it was organized by the government and some one here said those were Mukhabarat and shabiha , I do not care about what the international media says any more for obvious reasons ,I am proud of those guys to prove me wrong today and to be able to materialize the idea and organise it in a wonderful way .

June 15th, 2011, 8:04 pm


Shami said:

Shami and all,

I do not know what about your last statement that Alawites on this site refusing to understand. When we say Mamenhebak, we mean mamenhebak to Assad criminal enterprise including the Sunni guys within that enterprise. We do not mean mamenhebak to Jad, louai, Nour, Norman, Kandahar, Sayu, and and and.

Have any Mamenhebak ever said let’s divide Syria and make it 2 countries one for Alawites and one for Sunnis?. We are one people. Menhebak was given good advice yesterday to the mamenhebak . Jad did not want me to demonstrate so i do not get killed (or committ suiicide). Have I not said before, find us some good Alawite to lead us to free democratic Syria. What is so difficult about that?

June 15th, 2011, 8:05 pm


Tara said:


I do not doubt that some are genuine without a doubt. I give you that. I believe you, kandahar, and Syau, and… are all very genuine supporting the regime. I also believe that a lot are forced into this based on my prior own participation in pro demonstrations.

June 15th, 2011, 8:15 pm


Darryl said:

13. MINA,

President Perez already stated he would prefer the Arab League to be chopped and re-named some “middle east” League so that Israel can join at some point. I think Suria Alkubra is possibly what he wanted to say without getting into trouble with the hardliners.

Any way, all the Israelis’ and Jewish colleagues I have knew and worked with, they really like Syrians (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his 12 children were Syrians if you believe the old testament) and always say to me ” I love to visit Damascus one day”.

June 15th, 2011, 8:35 pm


syau said:


I was very impressed with the demonstration and the effort that went into the organising this event. I’m very proud of every Syrian that had a hand in organising it and those who went to show support for their country. It would have been an honour to be involved in such a show of unity, support and positivity.

I was watching the entire coverage with my children who were yet again amazed with the positivity of the even, as they were with the demonstration in March. If you actually cared for Syria, you would also be proud of the achievement and you would show your support with the people who demonstrated to highlight their love for their country, their support for their president and the rejection of any form of outside interference or destabilisation in the country. Please do not put a negative spin on this event.

As to people being paid to comment, I believe the Zionists bank accounts are growing with every comment and incitation of hate they promote. I also have my suspicions about some of the ‘revolutionists’ here, but I do not outright accuse them as you and others do.

I would like to know why you think anyone anti revolution or anyone that supports the president is either paid or mukhabarat, as I have been labelled.

June 15th, 2011, 8:35 pm


Tara said:


Great comment. I really think that you are pretty decent guy and I mean it. My problem with you though is that our country means Assad and company to you (Syria= Bashar et al) but not to me. The difference here is that in my view Bashar is not Syria and Syria is not Bashar. Syria is its history, Arab culture and its own domestic culture. Syria to me means Nour and Syrian Hamster, Revlon and Kandahar, Shami and Jad, you and me, Abu ghassan and Norman…You are diminishing Syria to Bashar and I am not. I think of Bashar like an American citizen thinks of Bush and Barak. He is just a man.. You think of him as a savior. I think of him as a murderer (he may not have ordered murders but murders being committed now are being committed under his watch). You think of him as the country.

To answer your second question, I truly initially believed that you are all Mukhabarat or PR agents being paid to perform a task either to generate files with level of danger or paid PR agents to improve the Syrian regime image to the west. I admit I was wrong. I still have some suspicion about some but I understand now that most Menhebak on this page are genuine Menhebak not paid to show love.

June 15th, 2011, 8:59 pm


Shami said:

شفان برور يغني للحرية وللسلام

From Shivan Perwer to the Arab spring and Syria’s revolution.


June 15th, 2011, 9:13 pm


Turk said:

Hi guys

I am a Turkish living in Damascus for 2 years to prepare my phd thesis. I came back from Syria a month ago. I experienced events in Syria. In my opinion international media has exaggerated and provoked what happened in Syria.

As for Turkey. Turkish govenment made a lot mistakes in its foreign policy to Syria recently. In Turkey some radical Islamist groups and pro-American media launched anti-Syria campaign.I am a Turkish, but I really dont understand what Prime Minister Erdoğan want to do. Turkish govenment is coming near US imperialist policies to the Middle East. What a pity.

I think all Syrians should protect national unity and values of Syria. We both -Syrian and Turkish- reject foreign interference to Syria

June 15th, 2011, 9:27 pm


syau said:


That’s where you are wrong. I do not think of Bashar as a saviour, I think of him as a leader. I think of him as someone who stands for his country and people against outside interference. I think of him as a man who is not a puppet in the tentacles of the US and Israel. I believe he can lead reform and do it well. I think his father Hafez Al Assad was very significant in shaping and modernising the country and preventing it from falling into the hands of the MB. With you implying I think of Bashar as a saviour, makes me think you have some form of sectarianism in you and are quite ill informed.

If you think of Bashar as a murderer, I think you are very narrow minded. I think of George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Condolezza Rice, Colin Powell, all Israeli government officials, Obama and his clan, Sarkozi and everyone involved in the bombing of Libya as murderers. I think the prize for their murders outweighs their common sense and leads them to believe, along with the Bilderberg group that they can shape the world into their own little mould.

Finally, I think you should wake up and see the conspiracy against Syria and Bashar for not being a puppet to their murderous agenda. Bashar rejected a no fly zone against Libya and rejected the war on Iraq. You can see the result of their actions with the great situation Iraq is in at the moment, and the deaths as a result of NATO’s bombing in Libya, that is only naming a couple. You can think of the rest and see who the real murderers are.

Bashar has every right to defend his country against these conspiracies and the psycho’s they have on ground creating the havoc and murders. Against the evil that is theMB and the sheikhs affiliated with them, giving fatwa’s to commit the most horrid of crimes. He has a right to defend his people.

June 15th, 2011, 9:32 pm


SYR.Expat said:

دمشق .. تتوج بعلم الوطن .. الأغلى والأطول حمله مئات آلاف الشباب

According to the Syria media, “hundreds of thousands” of people carried the biggest Syrian flag ever produced (2,300 meters long, 18 meters wide), a great accomplishment by any standard.

So let’s do some math. Let’s assume that two individuals per meter carry the flag on either side. This means that 9,200 people are needed to carry the flag, not hundreds of thousands.

However, maybe they meant that hundreds of thousands participated in the rally, so let’s do some more math. In order to get to “hundreds of thousands” or to 600,000 people as someone noted earlier, we need about 65 rows of people on each side of the flag. In other words, each person carrying the flag must have a column of 64 people behind him/her, assuming equal number of people on each side.

Packed like sardines at 3 people per meter per column (equivalent to 6 people per square meter), this means that we should see a sea of people on each side about 22 meters wide or something equivalent. This also means that the total area covered by the people carrying the flag and those behind them should be close to 100,000 square meters.

However, looking at the photos used by the Syrian media, especially the photos used by al-Baath and al-Thawra newspapers, known for their objectivity and excellence in journalism worldwide, we can’t see the hundreds of thousands of people they are talking about. Not even close.

NOTE: Please feel free to check the math in case I made a mistake.

June 15th, 2011, 9:51 pm


syau said:

Images of second mass grave site found in Jisr Alshughour.

June 15th, 2011, 9:54 pm


Darryl said:

41. SYAU,

You forgot to mention his rejection to split with Iran, who will emerge as a great economic power. While the Saudi’s are busy broadcasting sermons and fatwas and splashing cash as reform; Iran is launching satellites, developing a nuclear industry to complement their oil/gas industry, and, IT etc etc.

June 15th, 2011, 9:57 pm


Tara said:


We are really a world apart. Parallel and can never meet and this is very very sad. I am pro Palestinian too. Always been and always will. The conspiracy I see Syau is very different than the one you see. I see a conspiracy of “divide and conquer”. I see a conspiracy of humiliation and oppression under the cover up of resistance. I see real men not able to see the suffering.

I have explained myself several times so if you still think I am sectarian, all what I can do is to shrug my shoulder, and defend myself no more.

This is how Tara and I believe millions similar to Tara see this revolution:

June 15th, 2011, 10:01 pm


Revlon said:

299. from last post louai,
I said: “Hey! How come the hundreds/thousands of armed salfis, wahhabi’s, saudis, Zionists, and traitors did not disrupt the pro-regime demonstration?”

You said: “If they appear and they attack someone they would prove it that they are the one doing the killings , the idea of the killing is to accuse the regime and create a cycle of blood ,they gain nothing by attacking pro-regime demonstrations

I say: But that has been amply proven and beyond reasonable doubt by the endless number of Syrian TV and AlDunia reports on confessions of these groups!
Why should one more confession, by another arrested traitor make any difference!
Unless you think the Syrian public is not buying the regime story!

You said: “ if shabiha are doing the killing then they can kill someone today just to clear their name”

I say: If shabbi7 do shoot in a pro-regime demonstration, such would backfire
– It would weaken the claim that a permission to demonstrate was for the safety of the demonstrators, and paint a negative image of impotent security.
– It would also make it very difficult to convince genuine civilians who might have participated in this pro-regime demonstration, to demonstrate again.

June 15th, 2011, 10:07 pm


daleandersen said:

Memo to SYAU

RE: “I think of George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Condolezza Rice, Colin Powell, all Israeli government officials, Obama and his clan, Sarkozi and everyone involved in the bombing of Libya as murderers…”

You’re being much too niggardly in your casting of blame, little man. It’s not just Bush, Rummy, Rice, Powell, etc. I’d include all the voters who elected them to office. That’s 62 million people. The voters are to blame, right? They put them in office, yes? Additionally, I’d include the 60 million who voted for the other parties for not trying hard enough to defeat the Republicans. I mean, Jesuus H. Christ, a little more effort and SYAU wouldn’t have to pee in his pants every time he sees the name, Bush…


June 15th, 2011, 10:12 pm


syau said:


You’re right, thanks for mentioning it. I’m sure if cut ties with Iran, this whole mess would have gone away in an instant and the west would have hailed him for clearing the country of insurgency.

President Bashar Assad has been put through so much over the past 11 years by the international community, and I dont think they’re about to call and end to it anytime soon.

I heard former French president Jaques Chirac finally admitted to unjustly implicating Syria in the Hariri assasination without any proof of any involvement, I think other plots will also start to unravel soon, such as the current situation which is trying to prevent Syria from being a powerhouse in the region.

June 15th, 2011, 10:18 pm


Darryl said:


You forgot to take into account the many many people underneath the flag who were doing the “raising” part.

June 15th, 2011, 10:19 pm


Mohamed Kanj said:

What a lovely day yesterday was in damascus. The sun was out, people from all religion sects were present. They were all smiling and joyous as one. No sectarian slogans or words of hate and insults. THIS IS THE REAL SYRIA.


June 15th, 2011, 10:22 pm


Mohamed Kanj said:


those thousands out in damascus yesterday really shook u and ur jihadist friends didnt it :-)))). It really made u wake up to urself and realise that u and ur islamic extremist are getting isolated day by day. HAVE A NICE DAY 🙂

June 15th, 2011, 10:26 pm


syau said:


Funny you should mention ‘divide and conquer’, that is exactly the strategy they ‘revolutionists’ are aiming for. I think you’re right, we are worlds apart, I’m pro unity and you it seems are pro division.


I say you are delusional.

I think you need to crawl into a hole and disappear. Have a great day.

June 15th, 2011, 10:30 pm


Mohamed Kanj said:

This friday the “islamic extremist revolutionist” will carry crosses and pictures of saleh al ali to claim that christians and allawites are with them in their protests.

June 15th, 2011, 10:33 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

I think that the syrian-Iranian marriage is behind all the disasters happening and will happen in syria.it is زواج متعه and has no bases,secular to religious,Arabic to Persian.Assad should give up nonsense mokawama,he should stop saying what Arafat was saying:ياجبل مايهزك ريح,look at him,he became ريح.
It is time to know how to survive,his dad did it very well.look at MB and there policies,they are applying سياسة الانبطاح الكامل.He dos’t have to do that,but he has to see the picture:MB are completely flat and they have sold Syria علمخطط.
If he is going to plays with national interests of giants to please malnourished Ahmadnajad,he will lose syria’s national interest.

The point is Divorce Ahmad,Divorce Hassan,Sign peace…all the dogs will stop barking and biting.

June 15th, 2011, 10:39 pm


Akbar Palace said:


I would also include the House and Senate who debated the Intel, Hillary who also reached the same conclusion to attack Saddam, as well as the UNSC and the Baathist govt of Syria for voting in favor of UNSC 1441.

Syria no kandahar, if only these despots cared about their people, what you say would be best.
Alas, the make-believe external enemy is Assad’s only ally.

June 15th, 2011, 10:43 pm


syau said:

Mohamed Kanj,

Their desparation is showing. No one will fall for it. Propaganda machines such as Al Jazeera, Alarabia, bbc Arabic and so on will jump on the story and try to convince people that their strategy is not to divide. But Syrians are aware of the ‘revolutionists’ strategy and no amount of carrying crosses or pictures of Sheikh Saleh Al Ali will dupe people into trusting or following them.

I laughed at their ridiculous attempts when I heard about their newest name for this Friday.

June 15th, 2011, 10:44 pm


Averroes said:


إلى مزبلة الجاهلية و الأحقاد و المؤامرات و الطائفية، كل هالزبالات يللي حاولت تكسر سوريا،
إلى هالمزبلة انت و يللي من موديلك

موتوا بغيظكم

Eat your heart out.

June 15th, 2011, 10:53 pm


SYR.Expat said:


As far as I can tell, there were no people under the flag. If you look at he first photo in the referenced article, you’ll see people walking on the flag (a great way of showing respect). In the second photo, you see the people holding the flag just above waist level.

However, let’s assume that people were doing the raising part under the flag. Assuming one person per square meter, we’re talking about 41,400 additional people. So we’re still short big time.

June 15th, 2011, 10:54 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

First The demonstration in Damascus was impressive,if it is really reflect the people feeling,then Bashar should not be afraid of free election, should not be afraid of democracy.
This demonstration remind me of HA demonstration.

Second The visit of Mr.Hasan Turkemani to Turkey is very important,I am sure next week we will see a visit by Davutoglu to Damascus, it will be the last visit,before Turkey make a decisive action,Turkemani visit will determine the content of the speech we are promised that Bashar will make thursday.

Third Bashar Speech must have serious things in it, Circumventing demands and procrastination will no longer help.he has to release all political prisoners,send his brother Maher and his cousins out of Syria, and stop the oppression forces.

Bashar is not the Messiah,and Hafez is not God.

June 15th, 2011, 11:01 pm


Darryl said:


The live broadcast I saw, showed many many people underneath, I cannot tell you how many people were there in general, but I do not believe there were more 200k in total.

June 15th, 2011, 11:08 pm


syau said:


“Bashar is not the Messiah,and Hafez is not God.”

Nobody has said that nor believes in what you are stating.
Only someone with deep seeded sectarian hatred of everything not extremest muslim will make that statement.

June 15th, 2011, 11:08 pm


louai said:


Sorry with my Homsi brain I didn’t ge your point  but I will repeat mine

My opinion that the armed elements gain nothing of killing pro-government demonstrators ,the only profit for them is scare some people of going to demonstrate in support of the government
They gain a lot of killing some one of the opposition as people automatically will accuse the government of doing that and anger will grow more and more .
That’s why the armed gangs did not show up today

June 15th, 2011, 11:13 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

And you are not عمر بن الخطاب
You are مسيلمه الكذاب
NB:this is very mild one,if you Cont your insults expect stones,your house is not even made of glass.feel free to insult Assad as much as you want,don’t expect people here will take you shate and treat you like your rat friends treat your master monster Alaroor.

Briefly:keep religious figures out of insults or every one on this blog should spit at you.you and your Alaroor Hitler know nothing about Islam.

June 15th, 2011, 11:15 pm


SYR.Expat said:


Not at all. All I was trying to do is point the lies of the Syrian media, which you can’t defend.

As for people people showing their love and affection for the president, I have no problem with that as long as people who want to end authoritarianism and corruption can do the same for their cause without being brutalized and murdered by security thugs.

One thing for sure, the house of cards that the Baath party has built will eventually collapse. Tyranny and oppression don’t last.

So you and your Baathist friends better learn the lessons of history and start meaningful change before its too late.


June 15th, 2011, 11:30 pm


SYR.Expat said:


I would accept 200,000. However, you would agree that it’s far less than 600,000 or hundreds of thousands. Pro-government people on this blog complain about foreign media, but turn a blind eye when the Syrian media is concerned. This is not how they’ll win the media war.

I am no fan of al-Jazeera, al-Arabyia, CNN, Foc News, and so on. They’re all agenda-driven.

In this day and age, truth is elusive and one must do his/her homework to find it.

June 16th, 2011, 12:05 am


Shami said:

Ave ,if you hate so much ta2ifiyeh ,so why do you love a regime that use a purely sectarian selection in security apparatuses and the military of a country ? those who killed 30 000 hamwis ,thousands of children and women included ,many said that i is most likely result of a sectarian historian hatred and then so big is your love for the theocrats of qom who are the most ta2ifiyin and the most hypocrite rejectionists.

You are no coherent,you are a addict lover of asad-makhlouf family who like to hide all the obvious dirty things inherent to them and satisfy yourself with false and hypocrite rejectionism , a propagandist of a brutal regime,who love the theocratic khomainists and hates ikhwan al muslimin.

And when you say long live Syria ,it’s a tautology ,the people who constitute the nation will last for ever,there is no problem with it, but the menhebak addict you are ,you meant asad-makhlouf regime ,but this one as any other dictatorial regime will face its fate one day.
As big menhebak you are ,you must be aware ,that the statues of your eternal leader hafez asad will be all toppled soon.What are you going to say after the end of makhlouf-asad masquarade ?
I hope that you will not disappear at that time,we need you in order to understand the psychology of menhebak addict.

June 16th, 2011, 12:20 am


Darryl said:


You make good points, Assad said many times that I have seen and heard, he is willing to make peace and he should. However, he does not see a solid peace treaty unless the Palestinians have their own state and Golan returned and this is not about to happen when the Israelis continue to convert people from Thailand, India, South america, Ethiopia etc etc to Judaism, kick Palestinians out into the street and settle these foreigners in their land and Syrian Golan land.

I have seen these South Americans who were living in total poverty, converted to Judaism, slaving Palestinians to build homes for them on confiscated land. If Arabs and Muslims, can tolerate this situation, it is then more honorable for these governments to fall on their swords and make room for someone who is willing stand up.

I will tell a discussion I had with and older Jewish gentleman with whom I shared an office for two years. We were debating this issue in the early 90s. In the USA, the media always portray that Arabs and Muslims want to destroy Israel, they are savages, don’t want peace etc etc. When the crunch came, he admitted that the hardliners do not want peace; as that will start to blur what it means to be Jewish. He was sure that Israeli, Palestinian, Syrian, Lebanese young people will start marrying each other and there will be lots of new Israeli in-betweens. As long as there is no peace, there is a wall around the hardliners.

Ironically, I see the Saudi’s are attempting to build a wall around them too using Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen and pointing to Iran as the bad guy which is exactly what Israel does to Syria. Most Syrians I believe are humane and ethical, that they cannot give-in to deny Palestinians a homeland on their great grand fathers land. Unfortunately, most Arabs and Muslims have given-up, for how long Syria can and should fight on is determined by the will of Syrians

June 16th, 2011, 12:22 am


Darryl said:


My expertise is not in counting people on television, going by my estimation watching football games, I would put it a far stretch of 600K. But even 200K is a lot of supporters. Recently, here in Australia, an organised a demonstration against the government for introducing a carbon dioxide which 70% of Australians do not want, and they could only get about 2000 demonstrators.

June 16th, 2011, 12:37 am


Pas Cool said:

Would’ve been funny if international media had reported on the long flag demonstration on Mezzeh Autostrade with:

“We can’t indepently verify the following video uploaded to youtube, but allegedly a mass demonstration took place in Damascus today”

Regarding coverage, u don’t allow journalists in, don’t cry wolf when you’re not getting the mediaspace you think you deserve. In any case, this demonstration was a step in the right direction. 2300 m flag representing 23 million people. A show of unity at its core, even if many showed up with pics of the man of the hour. And yes, there were people under the flag, loads

June 16th, 2011, 12:48 am


SYR.Expat said:


My point was about media lies/exaggerations. That’s all.

What would be interesting is to see how many people from the opposition show up if it has the opportunity to stage a similar rally at the same place and for the same duration.

The Syrian government has support, but not enough for it to hold power. If the government dissolves parliament and allows free and fair elections, the picture will change drastically.

June 16th, 2011, 1:00 am


Abughassan said:

Bashar still has the support of many Syrians and the silent approval of many others who fear the alternative,but this support needs to be tested by free elections especially that Bashar was not able to prevent the loss of lives and the destruction we witnessed since March18th despite “giving orders” ,according to his own cabinet,not to fire on unarmed protestors. The regime overall is not very popular in Syria,and most people believe it is time for a change which must include abolishing article 8 in the constitution and putting an end to the era of brutality practiced by many in the security forces which received immunity from the rule of the law.the next few days will be curial for all: make it or break it.
Calm and dialogue coupled with serious reconciliation measures can finally put an end to this dark chapter of Syria’s history,but game-playing and violence will take us all to the unknown. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have not yet decided to break completely with the regime,and that is more important than France and England. As for the US,Obama is not willing to go all the way but he also likes to keep his image as a supporter of freedom and democracy,he will eventually side with the victor but may demand certain face-saving measures from the regime. Without a major disaster in the next few weeks,Bashar’s job is safe for the near term.

June 16th, 2011, 1:08 am


Mohamed Kanj said:


Can u find me a country in the middle east with a flourishing democracy and without corruption?? Lebanon or Iraq ??? The Gulf Nations??? Turkey???

The fact is that no country in the middle east has democracy without sectarian strife. No country has democracy in the middle east without corruption. Does Turkey stand for Democracy?? Why does it imprison and torture journalist or activists who speak out against the massacres and atrocity they carried out against the armenians and kurds. Why doesnt the EU allow Turkey membership??


June 16th, 2011, 1:12 am


Darryl said:


All media and politicians lie exaggerate, sell their message and Syria’s politicians and media will be no different. And if an opposition group take power, they will blame the previous government for not doing their job. Here in Australia, we had a government that blamed the previous government for 10 years why it did not perform well and voters accepted it largely because of media lies and spin doctoring.

June 16th, 2011, 1:19 am


Mohamed Kanj said:


angelina jollie to visit turkey. wow thats great. Make sure u put the full veil niqab on ms jolie. And shes not allowed to stand near any of the men remember. Maybe Angelina Jolie can become a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood?? What u think SHAMI

June 16th, 2011, 1:54 am


SYR.Expat said:


I don’t think I, part of Syria’s silent majority, or the brave people who went out to protest against tyranny expect a perfect society.

We just had enough of the corrupt Baath party and want a better future. The Baath party has failed and it’s time for its members to bow out with full humility and allow someone else to take the lead. They have nothing more to offer.

What the Baath party can do if it really cares about the people is guarantee a peaceful transfer of power to a new united Syria where people choose their representatives freely and fairly and can express their views without fear of prosecution or harassment. A new Syria with an independent and honest judiciary that can help Syria achieve its great potential. A new Syria where are not afraid.

As for Turkey, it’s definitely doing a lot better than Syria and several EU countries and has made great progress under the leadership of Erdogan and his party. Erdogan and his party are a success story.

NOTE: The EU will never accept Turkey and you know what the real reason is.

June 16th, 2011, 2:08 am


Syria no kandahar said:

Very good idea,Actually I think that she should divorce brad and get married to one of the criminals who killed dozens of police officers and is being protected by kawaja Erdogan Arsa.MB then will give here Syrian citizenship and نعمةالاسلام.her Moslem name will be:خديجه خولي.MB will also push here for presidency.

June 16th, 2011, 2:10 am


Shami said:

Kanj.The Syrian MB are mostly old men who live outside the country.They are the most moderate islamists in the world , when they meet a woman journalist they dont request from her to wear a veil in front of them.
An overwhelming majority of syrian women wear the islamic veil ,that’s why you see the MBs everywhere.

June 16th, 2011, 2:14 am


SYR.Expat said:


Okay. Let’s do this. You take the Baath party and give us in return your political system. Fair?

June 16th, 2011, 2:16 am


SYR.Expat said:


I hope they kick Angelina Jolie out. We don’t need her or her sympathy. We need God’s mercy.

June 16th, 2011, 2:21 am


Mohamed kanj said:

Syr-expat. –

U just want the Ba’ath party to Relenquish power? Go and ask the Egyptians and Iraqis which government they would prefer , Mubarak and saddam or the new Islamic hardliner governments . Go and ask the young activists and youth I’n Egypt how much influence and power they have now over the Muslim brotherhood. Go and ask every single christian and Sunni I’n Iraq and Shiite how much freedom they have I’n Iraq . Ask them if they are Able to walk I’n the streets alone at night . Why don’t u go and ask the American journalist who was raped I’n tahrir square by Islamic fanatics on heat

June 16th, 2011, 2:23 am


Mohamd kanj said:

Shami –

You say the Muslim extremist brotherhood is moderate ?? Who are u kidding. Does being moderate force women to stand I’n corners away from men during protests I’n Syria ??? Does being moderate mean that all other religions but sunnah are infidels ??? If the Muslim brotherhood is moderate than why haven’t myself and the other 70% of Sunni’s I’n Syria joined their cause??? It’s not fear of our present government. It’s the fear of the backwardness and savagery that the Muslim brotherhood stand for.

Shami and syr-expat – did you happen to see how Many fellow Sunni sisters were I’n the pro Assad demonstration yesterday ? 50%++ of the women were Sunni . Watch the videos and u will see for urself . The majority of Syrian Sunnis are secular and have lived side by side with our allawites and Christian neighbours. It is better if all these islamic nuts packed up and moved to Saudi Arabia or jordAn

June 16th, 2011, 2:32 am


Shami said:

Kanj,Iraq is not Syria ,our political culture and history is very different since the begining of history.
Iraq often was a buffer zone.
In the future ,Turkey,Syria and Egypt will have an increase influence in Iraq and the country will regain its place.
Syr expat,i disagree ,she must be welcomed.
We should leave God where he is,he created us free in order that humans interact with others.

June 16th, 2011, 2:49 am


Syria no kandahar said:

Syria Expat
Trashing out all the recent Syrian history I think is completely unfair.we all grew up in Syria,and it is true you could’t go out and curse the prs,but for practical reasons you could have done almost any thing else short of real politics.I studied in the univ of Aleppo,tuition was 2 dollars a year! to have my kinds study in the west I need to pay 30000 a year and work until I get dementia.education was very good and most of the syrians I know in the west who graduated from Syrian universities are superior to western graduates,that is just an example.I was registered in the Ba’ath party without me knowing when I was 12 ,and I refused to attend any meeting and I was expelled 2 years later.so there was so many stupid things they have done,but there also was some good things.you have to put all these in historical prospective and not use today’s standards.you are talking about the days of USSR and Socialism and global corruption back then.I remember my dad telling me a story of a friend of him who migrated to Armeinia in the 70s and they have decided to have the friend take a picture on stairs and send it back to my dad in Syria,and if the situation there was good he will stand on the top of the stairs-they were reading mail there also.he send him the picture on the bottom stair.In Syria you grow loving your nation ,you don’t grew and become a Hijacker .in Syrian school you will have your kids have religious education,you don’t get it in the west.security and safety was another gift which was great,you could walk at the middle of the night in any city in Syria with hundreds of thousands in your pocket without any worry.
So now that you live in the west,what do you do with the democracy ,where do you cash it?who cares if it is Obama or Bush?who cares if the senat is democra or republican?.The corruption here is very legal and very clean:All Americans have been practically been pushed into loosing most of there assets:home values,401k etc.
The point is there has been a lot of bad things in Syria,but there has been some good things.it all is to be put in historical prospective.but we have to remember that:Iraq,Jordan,Egypt,Lebanon…has been almost the same.Turkey is economical success,but so is singapor,malezia..etc.

June 16th, 2011, 2:52 am


Chris W said:

20,000 is a lot of people. It does seem the Syrian government has the support of the majority – at least as regards the desire to overthrow the state. No doubt most people would like to see liberalisation, but revolution is an unlikely path to freedom.

June 16th, 2011, 2:55 am


Chris W said:

ooops, I meant 200,000 people…

June 16th, 2011, 2:59 am


Usama said:


There’s a huge difference between state TV saying “hundreds of thousands” to describe a gathering of max. 200,000 people, and al-Jazeera + western media insisting that security forces kidnapped a 13-year-old boy (who wanted to topple the regime, apparently), beat him, tortured him, shot him multiple times, cut off his penis, and handed him back to his family a month later… HUGE difference. One of those two claims led to the deaths of tens of people the next day. Guess which one!

Fact still remains that Bahrain, with 1.2 million people, many of which are not Bahraini, have managed to produce DAILY protests larger than the Friday protests in Syria, a country with 23 million people.

Regarding economic woes, I wonder how Syria’s economic success would have been if it hadn’t been under economic sanctions since the late 70’s. I wonder how Syria’s economic situation would have been had Saddam not been such a moron from since 1980. I wonder how Syria’s economic situation would have been had Saudi Arabia (with US and Zionist entity coordination) not been screwing around with Lebanon, which is Syria’s waist and its greatest weakness. Did you know US companies cannot sell spare parts for civilian aircraft to Syria? Did you know US companies cannot sell medical equipment to Syrian hospitals that are trying to improve medical services for Syrians? I can go on and on and on.

67. Darryl

The policy for Syria is peace for land, ie peace for ALL the Golan with direct access to Tiberias. That is strictly just peace and does not include normalisation, so there would be no embassies, no trade, no cooperation, no investments, etc etc. Normalisation cannot come without just and comprehensive peace for all Arabs (Palestinians), but as Bashar has said, if the Zionist entity is willing to give Syrian land back for peace, he cannot deny that to Syrians, especially for those ultra-nationalist and ultra-loyal Syrians living under occupation today.

June 16th, 2011, 3:07 am


MNA said:

Dear All,

My office overlooks the Mazzeh highway where the demonstration took place and i can tell you the following:
– There were people indeed underneith the flag
– There were many people on the roofs of the buildings overlooking
– At some point there were small gathering of maybe 100 people or so in batches marching on the other side toward the omayaad square
– People and gov employees were not forced to join
– All schools are already in recess for the summer
– 600,000 people, not likely, but well over 150,000 people

June 16th, 2011, 3:09 am


SYR.Expat said:

I want the Baath party and the president to do the honorable thing and relinquish power in a smooth and orderly fashion, with the army protecting the country from slipping to civil war.

Here’s what they can do to get the process started:

1. Release ALL political prisoners.

2. Release ALL demonstrators that were not involved in acts of violence.

3. Allow freedom of press.

4. Stop the practice of abuse and torture by the security forces.

5. Form a committee that represents the people to write a new constitution that guarantees the rights and freedom of worship for all Syrians and that a majority of Syrians approve of.

6. Start national reconciliation to heal the sectarian and political wounds.

This should show the seriousness of the government and will steer the country in the right direction. It can be done, but there must be a will.

June 16th, 2011, 3:18 am


873 said:

US-Israeli Mossad Delivered Speechs at Al-Azhar Mosque

“Grapel also gave a speech at the Al-Azhar mosque in Egypt, in which he demanded that the Egyptian worshipers should target the military and to resist against them at Al-Tahrir Square and generally incited the audience to engage in violence. He gave other “Islamic” speeches in the Hussein area and at Tahrir Square and in front of Maspero. He recorded the events, his speeches and the audience in video and he even managed to recruit some young people and convince them to attack the armed forces who were at al-Tahrir Square securing the demonstrators.”

The investigation of Ilan Chaim Grapel / Grappelli, (אילן גרפל), an American-Israeli citizen being held in Egypt on espionage charges purportedly, revealed that he had entered the country on 28 January, the “Day of Anger”, with a US passport and a tourist visa and that mossad had tasked him with collecting information about the Muslim Brotherhood, Coptic Christians, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the revolutionary youth. Grapel then left Egypt and entered again on last February 11 2011 on a direct flight from Frankfurt, he then left Egypt on February 15 2011 and entered again on last May 10 2011 through the airport of Cairo, using US passport. He resided in a hotel in downtown Cairo.

Investigators say that he went to the Virgin Mary church in Imbaba a day before the sectarian violence took place there. He met with a number of Salafis in the area, who told him what they were planning to do the next day in response to the disappearance of a Coptic girl after she converted to Islam.

Grapel gave himself the alias “Illanhu Akbar” in Egypt. He speaks Arabic well and was able to establish friendly relations with a group of young Egyptians and Arabs. He took advantage of his mastery of the Arabic language to conceal his identity and access information about the revolution for the Israeli mossad, of which he had become a member since joining the Israel army.

Mossad agent Ilan Chaim Grapel while sleeping at Al-Azhar mosque.
It must be said that all Israelis who speaks Arabic are engaged by the Israeli intelligence services, Shabak, Shin Beit, Aman, or have served as interrogators, or at police or army units serving as occupational forces in the occupied territories and perpetrated war crimes in my homeland Palestine. Of all the israelis I have met, I do not know or remember that even one israeli had learned Arabic out of his own interest, for innocent reasons.
Grapel also gave a speech at the Al-Azhar mosque in Egypt, in which he demanded that the Egyptian worshipers should target the military and to resist against them at Al-Tahrir Square and generally incited the audience to engage in violence. He gave other “Islamic” speeches in the Hussein area and at Tahrir Square and in front of Maspero. He recorded the events, his speeches and the audience in video and he even managed to recruit some young people and convince them to attack the armed forces who were at al-Tahrir Square securing the demonstrators.

June 16th, 2011, 3:18 am


daleandersen said:


RE: “The EU will never accept Turkey and you know what the real reason is…”

Wrong. They will accept Turkey.

First and foremost, Turkey has the 17th largest economy in the world. With Turkey in the “club,” the EU will have greater access to the Middle East and central Asia. And Turkey will have access to the richest market in the world. It’s win-win.

Turkey is working hard to overcome the main EU objections, which are (1) the power of the Turkish military, (2) the Armenia thing and (3) the Kurdish issue.

Some of you think the rise of Islamic politics in Turkey will put a damper on the deal. Sorry. The EU will overlook that. You know the saying, “money talks, bullshit walks.”

The EU wants to expand. Turkey wants to expand. Religion will take a back seat. So will Turkish nationalism and the inconvenient fact of some imprisoned Turkish journalists.


June 16th, 2011, 3:22 am


Chris W said:

For the record, 200,000 people *is* “hundreds of thousands of people”. English language: two is a plural…

June 16th, 2011, 3:26 am


SYR.Expat said:

90. CHRIS W said:

“For the record, 200,000 people *is* “hundreds of thousands of people”. English language: two is a plural…”

Not in the Arabic language.

June 16th, 2011, 3:29 am


SYR.Expat said:


– The Syrian government bears most of the responsibility for the vicious killings of unarmed Syrian protestors. Any objective observer will come to this conclusion.

– The Syrian media is a bad joke.

– Aljazeera is a tool in the hands of the Emir of Qatar.

– The Syrian government has been the most vicious of all Arab governments in cracking down on protests.

– If you want to see how many people will come out to demonstrate against the government, allow them to stage a rally similar to the one staged yesterday. A peaceful protest with no sectarian slogans under the protection of police. Let’s see how many people show up.

– Syria is ruled by a mafia. Imagine what would have happened to the Syrian economy had the money that Rifaat (one of the many thieves that we’ve been afflicted with) stole been invested in the Syrian economy. I can go on and on, but I don’t have time.

– The Syrian people don’t want to hear excuses. The Baath party had close to 50 years to do something and they failed. Time for someone else.

– It is not all bad. People have access to free education (saw great deterioration) and free health care (ranked 108 in the world, just behind Cook Islands), but overall, the Baath has failed. For almost fifty years it couldn’t give us Hurriyah, which is part of the Baathy slogan!

– We need people with a new vision to lead Syria into the 21st century.

– The Syrian people have been patient for a very long time, but patience has its limits.

June 16th, 2011, 4:32 am


Mohamed Kanj said:


Unfortunately you and ur fellow jihadist’ dont speak for the syrians living inside syria. You have ur version of freedom living in ur western country and the majority of syrians living inside syria have their version of freedom. This is the problem. Syrians living outside of syria think they speak on behalf of the majority of syrians living inside the country.
Get off your jihadist ass and come and join these islamic extremist in protesting against the Assad government. If you are really patriotic and love your country SYRIA , than you should book the next ticket and join your fellow revolutionist in Douma and Darra. Rather than sitting and posting on the internet about your grievances you should contribute financially to your revolution brothers.

June 16th, 2011, 5:07 am


Mohamed Kanj said:



June 16th, 2011, 5:30 am


Mawal95 said:

Joshua Landis says the following in his interview with the Economist yesterday. I remember he was saying the same thing back in late March or early April.

“In some ways, the Opposition if it’s going to be successful will probably have to exploit the sectarian divisons that exist in Syria and try to get Sunnis to abandon the Alawites [interpret: abandon the Assad regime]. They haven’t done it so far. They [Sunnis] haven’t flooded the centers of the big cities, like what happened in Cairo, and Tunis. And that’s what the Opposition will need [in Damascus and Aleppo] in order to move toward success…. The majority Sunnis could abandon the regime, which they haven’t done so far. But if that does happen, things could get terribly sectarian and descend into civil war.”

The above was a valid thing to say on 30 March. But since then we’ve had 10 weeks worth of experience that shows us now definitively and unequivocally that the Sunni majority refuses the invitation to join this Opposition, and will not be changing their minds about it, ever. If you’re not sure you can agree with me about that, ask yourself what could change their minds today after 10 weeks of very high public profile for the Opposition, and consistent non-acceptance of the Opposition’s proposition by the Sunni majority, and no possibility now of a distinctively different proposition from the Opposition?

The Sunni majority might hypothetically join some new and different political opposition to the regime at some distant date. But today’s revolutionary Opposition has been irrecoverably rejected, and overwhelmingly so. Syrian politics can proceed with that as a foundational fact in June 2011.

June 16th, 2011, 6:32 am


ss said:


Look at this video, you will see that those asking to bring the regime down are mainly radical islamists. Look at the women with Neqab; no one wants another Taliban in any part of the world including Syria. On the other hand look at the people holding the Syrian flag, you hardly see any radical signs.

To conclude, we simply do not want Neqab driven revolution to run Syria. These revolution people are simply radical islamist who suppress women, and suppress freedom, they would hijack all the free minds under their radical agenda. To them and to those on SC who support radicals I say go to hell….We will not accept radicals to rule us

June 16th, 2011, 6:34 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Suhail Kiwan,who belong to the Baath party,just said he supports the fall of regime,several Baath members support the fall of the regime.The gap between Baath as principals,and Baath as practice,is so wide,more members of Baath party will switch and support the demonstrators against the regime,that certainly will apply to the army members of Bath party.The courage of the demonstrators,is so admirable,and their persistance will hurt the regime.

June 16th, 2011, 7:14 am


Darryl said:

78. SYR.Expat

Deal, you take Australian Labour party and we take Baath. That way Liberal party can get back in power quickly before with a carbon dioxide tax that will tax you for breathing air. (Smile)

June 16th, 2011, 7:45 am


syau said:


The game is up and you know it, stop clutching at straws.
The regime is strong, the army is strong, and most importantly the Syrian people support President Bashar Assad. Real Syrians have pride in their country and stand united.

In the words of the Eternal President Hafez Al Assad,

الوطن غالٍ , والوطن عزيز , والوطن شامخ , والوطن صامد , لأن الوطن هو ذاتُنا , فلندرك هذه الحقيقة , ولنحبَ وطنُنا بأقصى ما نستطيعُ من الحب , وليكن وطنُنا هو المعشوق الأول , الذي لا يُساويه ولا يُدانيه معشوقٌ آخر , فلا حياةَ إنسانيةً بدون وطن , ولا وجود إنسانياً بدون وطن

June 16th, 2011, 8:36 am


Mohamed Kanj said:

News just I’n :-

Russia is flatly against outside forces artificially heightening the political crisis in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the anniversary summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana.

The minister said that there are “too many armed instigators” in Syria today. The main thing now is not to make it seem that the Syrian security forces and the army always repress peaceful protesters, the diplomat stressed. Lavrov is convinced that the situation in the country is not as simple as it may be portrayed and this is why the international community should not take hasty decisions, while the Syrian opposition, on its part, should start a dialogue with the government.

Russia and China oppose outside interference in the unrest in the Arab world, the two presidents said Thursday in a declaration, as the West seeks their support in increasing pressure on Syria.

“The sides believe that the search for settling the situation in the countries of Middle East and North Africa should take place in the legal field and through political means,” said the declaration signed by Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Hu Jintao.

June 16th, 2011, 9:09 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Stay in your delusion, and keep reading you God words

June 16th, 2011, 9:09 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Any new details about the Dear Leader’s divine victory speech ?

June 16th, 2011, 9:18 am


Revlon said:

Hama demonstrations have become almost a daily feature.
This one took place in central square, last night!

June 16th, 2011, 9:25 am


Curious said:

I just have some questions (please don’t be offended):

I’ve actually read that the whole Assad family converted to sunni islam just to gain power. Also that the regime tried hard to destroy the nusayri belief and forced alawis in Syria to become “real” muslims (conversely, some nusayris in south Turkey seem to have maintained their old religion til these days).

So why are the Syrian royal family (i.e regime) called “Alawi”?
…And WHY is the Ba’ath party called “secular”?

June 16th, 2011, 9:27 am


Revlon said:

Announcement by a group of residents of the town of Misyaf
This announcement reflects the opinion of its signatories

– Glory to Syrian martyrs.
– The security forces has embarked on spreading funny rumors including militant infiltrators and spoiled foods, as well as inciting sectarian feelings since the begining of public uprising.
– Misyaf have been suffering for long time from neglect and opressive practices by the regime.
– We urge officers in the army and security forces not shoot at civilians.

هذا البيان لا يمثل جميع اهالي منطقة مصياف بل يمثل من يوقع عليه
فقط . فيرجى ممن لا يعنيه هذا البيان عدم التعليق .

بيان من أهالي منطقة مصياف

بدايةً المجد لشهداء الوطن من المدنيين ومن قوات الأمن والجيش ,
لطالما كانت مصياف وستبقى منبعاً للوطنيين والمثقفين والأحرار وطالما كانت مثالاً للتنوع الفكري والثقافي والسياسي وبهذه الظروف العصيبة التي يمر بها الوطن لابد لأهل هذه المنطقة قول كلمة حق تسجل للتاريخ ولنصرة المظلوم .

منذ بداية الحراك الشعبي في سوريا بدأت أجهزة أمن الدولة والأمن العسكري في مصياف بث الإشاعات و حملات التخوين والتفرقة بين المدينة وريفها , وقامت بصناعة مسرحيات هزلية لترهيب الأهالي و بث شائعات وأكاذيب كثيرة وسخيفة ويذكر منها للتوثيق :
إشاعة وجود أغذية فاسدة دخلت الى سوق مصياف وتبعتها “مسرحية بحث الأمن عن الأغذية الفاسدة ” وإلقاء القبض على بائع “غزل البنات” تبين انه عنصر أمن , و إشاعة وجود عصابات مسلحة تداهم رياض الأطفال , شائعة حول نية البعض القيام بمظاهرات تخرج من جامع ” الرضوان” المحسوب على طائفة معينة وتهديدهم مسبقاً بقدوم مسلحين لقتلهم و كلام المدعو “بسام ابوعبد الله” للإعلام عن وجود السلفيين والمسلحين في مصياف , وأيضا بث الشائعات في قرى مصياف عن وجود مندسين في المدينة وتجييش وتشكيل “لجان شعبية”من أبناء القرى للنيل منهم , والكثير الكثير من الأكاذيب والشائعات التي لا هدف لها إلا تخويف الأهالي وتقسيمهم وزرع بذور التخوين ورفض الآخر بينهم .

إن منطقة مصياف ريفاً ومدينة عانت وتعاني من ممارسات السلطة منذ زمن طويل من الإهمال الإداري والتنظيمي والمحسوبيات والفساد إلى تفشي الفقر والبطالة بين أبنائها إلى التضييق الأمني على جمعيات ومنظمات المجتمع المدني والأهلي ,
” إن منطقة مصياف ليست إلا جزء من الوطن , فما يسري على كل أنحاء الوطن يسري عليها ”

ومن هنا نقول :
إن أهالي منطقة مصياف جزء من الشعب السوري وإن ما يحصل للمتظاهرين من قتل مباشر وقمع وتعذيب في المعتقلات او تشويه صورتهم وذلك بتحويل حراكهم السلمي الى مجازر أو الى أعمال شغب من قبل قوى الأمن . هو جرائم بحق الشعب السوري الذي نحن جزء منه , وهذه الجرائم لن تجلب للساكت عنها إلا العار ,
كما يهيبون بأبناء المنطقة من ضباط وعناصر الجيش والأمن أن يمتنعوا عن قتل الأبرياء من المتظاهرين السلميين اللذين هم أبناء الوطن ,
ويطالبون النظام السوري بالكف عن التحريض الطائفي والمذهبي في مصياف وكامل سوريا عبر أجهزة المخابرات و وسائل إعلامه المعروفة , والبدء بالتغيير والانتقال السلمي للسلطة وذلك حقناً للدماء وكسباً للوقت وحفاظاً على الاقتصاد الوطني و درئاً للتدخل الخارجي الذي بات وشيكاً .
وأخيراً نقول :
إن الانصياع لمطالب الشعب ماهو إلا مدعاة فخرٍ وعزة , كما أن تجاهل الشعب مدعاة للخزي والعار , والتاريخ لا يرحم أحداً .

مجموعة من أهالي منطقة مصياف

June 16th, 2011, 9:37 am


syau said:


Anti government demonstration, I dont think so.

Firstly, it looks nothing like the previous anti government demonstrations.

Secondly, it looked festive, all the anti government demonstrations have been all doom and gloom.

Thirdly, I didn’t hear any anti government slogans that have previously been chanted,

And last but not least, I heard there was a pro government rally yesterday in Aleppo and the same in many other provinces around Syria, with the people of Syria pledging to demonstrate daily in support of the President and against outside intervention in Syria. Your link looked just like one of the pro government rallies.

Are you taking a leaf out of Al Jazeera’s book?

June 16th, 2011, 9:43 am


Revlon said:

Al Arabiya has just reported the entry of a Syrian officer along with 10 soldiers into Turkey.

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد
الثورة السورية || مراسل العربية في تركيا يؤكد دخول ضابط سوري مع عشرة من جنوده كلاجئين بعد فرارهم من الجيش
الله الله يا جيشنا العربي السوري .. لم ولن يخيب الظن بكم
Wall Photos
41 minutes ago

June 16th, 2011, 9:51 am


Revlon said:

105, Here is a video shot from closer range; Now you can hear better!

– Asha3b Yurid Isqat AlNizam
– Ma Min7ibbak…Ma Min7ibbak…Ir7al 3anna Inta w 7izback.

This one was also in 7ama, the night before, Sabouniyeh neighbourhood.

June 16th, 2011, 9:59 am


syau said:

Al Watan newspaper in Hama yesterday reported store owners in Hama, with the exception of clinics and pharmacies were forced to close their stores in response to an order from Arour on Wisal tv, Tuesday.

Store owners received fliers stating that their stores will be burned down if they don’t comply with the order and close. Many stores closed, some re opened in the afternoon after gaining assurances from security personnel that their stores will be safe.

Fliers were also delivered to service transport vehicles with the same threat.

Peaceful movement isn’t it Revlon.

June 16th, 2011, 10:03 am


Curious said:

I just have some questions (please don’t be offended):

I’ve actually read that the whole Assad family converted to sunni islam long time ago just to gain power. Also that the regime tried hard to destroy the nusayri belief and forced alawis in Syria to become “real” muslims (conversely, some nusayris in south Turkey seem to have maintained their old religion til these days).

So why are the Syrian royal family (i.e regime) called “Alawi”?
…And WHY is the Ba’ath party called “secular”?

June 16th, 2011, 10:11 am


norman said:

who is this arour guy .

June 16th, 2011, 10:20 am


syau said:


Just in case you get any ideas and add your negative spin, I just thought I’d let you know that there is a rally in SUPPORT of President Assad underway in Tartous now.


Arour is an Islamist sheikh, affiliated with the revolution, inciting sectarian hate and division. the name 3arour fits him well.

June 16th, 2011, 10:25 am


Syrian Knight said:

Well, it is the day after yesterday. Guess what? No Western coverage of the mass pro-government rally yesterday at all!

In other news, last night, the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup. this led to 100,000 people in Vancouver RIOTING, destroying public property and shops, burning cars, vandalism, etc. The police and the riots squads were deployed to quash this ‘peaceful protest.’ People were sent to hospitals due to police brutality. Where is the international condemnation? If the international community wants to piss all over Syria for taking action against terrorists who burn buildings, cars, shops, hospitals, kill people, etc, then why not piss on Canada as well for yesterday’s display of ‘repressing a peaceful protest?’

June 16th, 2011, 10:38 am


aboali said:

Analysis: Syria’s Assad loses his grip to hardliners


“Our assessment is that the regime will fall,” predicted the Damascus-based diplomat. “They have three to six months of actual military capabilities to sustain this, but they cannot keep a prolonged operation going indefinitely.”

June 16th, 2011, 10:50 am


Syrian Knight said:

Here is Tartous today:

June 16th, 2011, 10:52 am


norman said:


Thanks to you we are going to be wost off if he loses to the hardliners, don’t you think, you are shooting yourselves in the foot

June 16th, 2011, 10:55 am


aboali said:

#114 why me? Was I the one who told him to let loose his idiotic mukhabarat in Daraa and let a localized issue explode into a national revolution? I mean how stupid do you have to be really to do that? In the midst of Arab revolutions sweeping all over the place, a stupid mukhabarat officer, who happens to be Bashar’s cousin, arrests and tortures school kids, then humiliates the city’s tribal elders when they attempt to negotiate their release. Then, instead of calming the situation down, he is given a free hand to shoot and kill the protesters that came out on the streets of Daraa.

A regime that does that is simply too stupid to survive, it’s finished, the people have lost their fear of it, and they simply won;t take it any longer.

June 16th, 2011, 11:05 am


William Scott Scherk said:

The great Syrian flag parade got plenty of coverage in the west — even on my local rag, the Vancouver Sun. As one of our other Canucki-residents Syrian Almighty Knight will attest, the flag even got coverage in Quebec — even on the dreadful CBC which was so unkind to Mr Almighty Knight in the past.

Speaking of Canadian hockey riots, yes, a sad tradition in Vancouver who had a major hockey riot in 1994 (following on the riot in Montreal the year before). No one died in Vancouver’s hockey riots, and as is usual in these cases, many charges and convictions follow. Most of us here feel ashamed for our city, for the hooligans who did damage yesterday — but we do not send tanks to the suburbs or lock down the city in response . . . we investigate, try, and jail those responsible for destruction and mayhem.

I wish the resident-Syrians here could be more critical of these anonymous Syrians abroad who call for slaughter and accuse regime-doubters as Islamist rats. This is ugly and unnecessary. Resident Syrians are in the thick of things and should be accorded respect and empathy for their opinions, I think — these are the folks who will make the peace that installs reform. If these folks cannot figure it out despite the kooky canucki knights and off-shore warrior Ockers, then Syria has hard times ahead indeed. If the Knights and Ockers gain ascendancy inside Syrian minds, innocent blood will continue to flow.

Please, Almighty Knight, tone down your violent rhetoric! stop using the language of hate and war and exclusion against your countrymen.

June 16th, 2011, 11:10 am


why-discuss said:


“You are accused twice of wanting to kill and displace the Mamenhebaks.”

I have been attacked and accused of many things by some because I disagree with their incitations to hate, revenge and sectarian insults. I never said or even thought about anything like that. I believe in peaceful dialog and acceptance of the others. I just get upset when I see hatred and hysteria blurring the mind of some here, in both groups.
As far as the Israelis on this blog, I have stopped reacting to their provocation because they are totally brainwashed and it is a waste of time to try to even discuss with them. There was a very open minded Israeli blogger here a long time ago but he stopped commenting.
I hope your baby sees you always smiling.

June 16th, 2011, 11:14 am


Observer said:

I heard the commentary by Dr. Landis.

My points are as follows:
1. It is clear that the regime relies on a sect and a sectarian agenda to remain in power.

2. The urban sunni merchant class is on the fence and has always been on the fence in many a previous situation and some can ride the wave of economic down turn and others cannot at all.

3. In the 80’s the cushion that separated middle from lower class economically was wider and now we have significant number of middle class people who are impovrished and others who aspire to a middle class status seeing the dream fade away. With near massive bankruptcies I do not agree with Dr. Landis that the Sunni majority is still embracing the regime. I believe that the majority has decided that the regime is not redeemable.

4. The sectarian nature of the society will be exacerbated with the concentration of power in a few inner members of the familia.
This will lead to more corruption and to more mistakes and to more
“fuite en avant” as we are witnessing. An example similar to that of Syria is Libya where the mantra in both countries is: either I govern you or I kill you. Now there is a rear guard action by Ghadafi to preserve what he has and he is declaring free elections in three months. This is coming from a brutal regime that has money in contrast to the Syrian one that does not have money.

5. I do not agree with Dr. Landis that Syria holds the PKK card. The Kurds do not trust the regime and they will not be anyone’s card to play with. Just as Syria used the Palestinian refugees to stage border protests and it backfired on it with the UN clearly indicating that this is a staged action, the same will be the fate of any PKK-like action against Turkey.

6. The only hope is now for Iran to lend it money but this is not going to be easy as there are fissues in the Iranian regime as well. They may not have the money to help on the long run anyway. There is a difference between a few millions a year for HA and several billions for many years for Syria.

7. WD notes early on that the children refugees seem to be running around and having fun. I suggest that he sends his/her children there for a summer camp. Now I use this comment to show the utter foolishness of the regime and the regime supporters. The regime is finished for it cannot go back to status ante even if it suppresses the uprising successfully.


June 16th, 2011, 11:17 am


Mina said:

(al-)Arour has a Twitter page and a show on Wisal TV, an extremist channel based in Saudi Arabia. He is the Syrian equivalent of Qardawi for the Egyptians except that since he has his channel al Jazeera didn’t need to invite him everyday to comment live the events of Syria.
He has called for the fall of the Asad family in February, at the same time when the Turks allowed a conference from Turkey with some Syrian Muslim Brothers in exile to call for the head of al Asad. The same week, Qardawi, an Egyptian MB who lives in Qatar since 20 years (and has not decided to go back to Egypt, except one day for a big preach on Tahrir square after Mubarak’s fall where he said next time he ‘ll give a speech in free Jerusalem) also asked for the head of al Asad live on TV and during his preach in Qatar.

June 16th, 2011, 11:22 am


Revlon said:

108 Dear SYAU, here is a clip of the same demonstration that you questioned earler in my post 105.
This one is shot by a closer camera.
Listen to the chants!

حماه – ساحة العاصي – 15-6-2011 سوريا الله حاميها

June 16th, 2011, 11:26 am


Mawal95 said:

My thanks to SYAU #108 for that bad news from Hama, which I assume is true news.

Here is some good news. Russia and China today 16 June issued a joint declaration that
“Outside forces should not interfere in internal processes in the countries of the [Arabic-speaking] region.” (source)

If you haven’t yet had more than your bellyful of bogus news, here is some bogus news.
Headline: “Arab League issues first condemnation of Syria violence”. (e.g.), (e.g.)
First paragaraph of news report: “The Arab League has publicly criticised the violence in Syria for the first time, saying Arab states are “angry and actively monitoring” the crisis.”
The truth: The condemnation or criticism was not by the Arab League itself. Instead, one individual named Amr Moussa, who is shortly to retire from the post of Secretary General of the Arab League organization, said: “Though their views differ, Arab states are all worried, angry and actively monitoring the current crisis in Syria…. Continuation of the status quo could lead to what may not be desired.” He didn’t elaborate.

June 16th, 2011, 11:33 am


Syrian Knight said:

William, don’t be an idiot. I saw NOTHING on ANY news channel in Canada about the large demonstration. IF there was coverage, then it was very minimal, and surely spun. I remember when millions of people came out nation-wide. CBC said they were only thousands, and that they were forced. I’m sure this supposed coverage was no different. I never saw any coverage. Not even in the news bar at the bottom of the screen, where they always put lies about “Hundreds of thousands of Syrians protested against the government blah blah blah.” I wont forget when CBC reported ‘hundreds of thousands of people’, with NO PICTURES OR VIDEO, in MY HOME AREA IN DAMASCUS. There was NO ONE THERE! I also wont forget the many times they played pro-government demonstrations and labeled them anti-government protests, or how they said that anti-government protesters swarmed the president’s car and attacked him. Everything was a pure lie.

In other news, the images coming out of Tartous are amazing. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating support for the president! Where is the media?

June 16th, 2011, 11:34 am


Syrian Knight said:

William, I just read your Vancouver Crap source. You call THAT coverage??? Are you stupid??? Here, I will post the entire article for all to see:


“UN rights council piles pressure on Syria for access

GENEVA – The UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday piled pressure on Damascus to allow its investigators in to examine the situation in Syria, where 1,297 civilians have reportedly been killed in a bloody crackdown.

Speaking on behalf of 54 countries, Canada said: “We reiterate our call on the Syrian Arab Republic to immediately allow the mission of the High Commissioner unfettered access to investigate and establish the facts and circumstances surrounding all violations and abuses of international human rights law.”

The UN Human Rights Council had ordered a probe into the bloodshed in Syria during its April 29 special session on the country.

Since then, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay had repeatedly sought access to Syria, to no avail.

On Wednesday, she told the council: “I regret to report that, despite several official communications requesting the government of Syria to grant access to the fact-finding mission, I have received no response from the government.”

Meanwhile, UN investigators are collecting information from outside Syria, with a team currently in southern Turkey where thousands of Syrians have sought refuge in the past week.

The joint statement read by Canada pointed out that “credible observers provide daily reports of killings, arbitrary detention, and torture of men, women, and children.”

“These reports must be independently verified,” said the statement, which urged Damascus to “launch a credible and impartial investigation and bring those responsible for unlawful attacks against civilians to justice”.

The UN rights chief also reiterated her call on Damascus to “halt this assault on its own people.”

“I remind the Syrian authorities that violations of international law are serious crimes for whch perpetrators can be held accountable,” Pillay said.

The crackdown in Syria is continuing in the north of the country, with more civilian deaths reported.

On Tuesday, the United States accused Iran of backing Damascus’ assault on pro-democracy protesters.

According to a toll released Tuesday by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the violence has claimed the lives of 1,297 civilians and 340 security force members in Syria since the unrest erupted mid-March.”

Tell me, where is the coverage in this paper about the pro-government rally? The small caption under a photograph that makes the rally look small? Even the caption describing the rally is trash:

“Syrians hold up a giant Syrian flag during a pro-regime demonstration in the western residential Damascus suburb of Mezze on June 15, 2011, as embattled President Bashar al-Assad came under intense world pressure to halt a crackdown on democracy protests.”

Oh wow! A whole, obscured sentence dedicated to the huge rally, and half of it talks about international pressure to halt a crackdown on what they call DEMOCRACY PROTESTS!

How honest of the Vancouver Sun!

June 16th, 2011, 11:44 am


Syrian Knight said:

“but we do not send tanks to the suburbs or lock down the city in response . . . we investigate, try, and jail those responsible for destruction and mayhem.”

Funny. Canada sent all sorts of nice weapons to Afghanistan to fight the same people that Syria is being condemned for, for fighting. The rioting in Vancouver is NOTHING compared to what is happening in Syria. Let me know when terrorists in Canada start rioting en mass, burning down government buildings, attacking hospitals, using assaults rifles, explosives, RPGs, start killing and raping people and dumping their headless bodies into mass graves, and THEN tell me that Canada would not send tanks into these cities and lock it down. I would be more worried if Canada DIDN’T do those things, and it would show how ineffective our useless government really is at protecting the innocent and punishing the criminals. But then again, what criminal in Canada would have to riot that badly when the legal system protects them and punishes victims? All you have to do is break into someone’s home and injure yourself. Then the criminal can sue the home owner! Everything in this country is a joke.

June 16th, 2011, 12:00 pm


SYR.Expat said:


I said we take your political system, not a specific party, and you take the Baath party, which is our political system.

By the way, the Syrian people don’t like taxes, especially those imposed by the NWO. (Smile)

June 16th, 2011, 12:04 pm


Syrian Knight said:


DAMASCUS– Fadi Rashid from Lattakia related the story of how he was beaten up by members of armed terrorist groups and forced to make false testimonies about the situation in Jisr al-Shughour.

In an interview with Syrian TV on Wednesday evening, Rashid said that he was driving from Lattakia towards Jisr al-Shughour to pick up his mother and daughter when he was halted by a group of 200 to 300 armed men.

He said that one of the armed men climbed into the car and asked him where he was heading and Rashid said he was going to al-Qadiriya village. The armed man said he will show him the way and climbed into the backseat with a pump-action shotgun in hand.

Upon reaching the Shaturiya village junction, they met another armed group that halted them. He noticed that one of them had a camera and a microphone.

One of the armed men approached Rashid and asked him where he came from, while two others approached him and whispered to him to say that he came from Jisr al-Shughour. Fearing for his life, he did as he was told.

They asked him about what was happening in Jisr al-Shughour, and one of the armed men whispered to him that he should say that there is bombardment and destruction and that the army is destroying buildings and terrorizing people.

Rashid said that he said what they wanted him due because he was threatened, and that he was certain that the armed men will kill him after they’re done recording. Instead, they just filmed the camera and its license plate then beat him up.

Thursday 16-06-2011

June 16th, 2011, 12:04 pm


William Scott Scherk said:


I saw NOTHING on ANY news channel in Canada about the large demonstration. IF there was coverage, then it was very minimal, and surely spun.

Certainly, if you wanted the giddy state TV wall-to-wall celebration, you will not find that leading the news at CBC. I cannot chain you to your television, or make you watch the 24 hour channels in English and in French from the great white north, but you can find the great flag shown in images across the Canucki media. I will agree that the flag parade itself was not the spine of the story — the Canucki-version of Syria on Wednesday centred on those in refuges at the northern border.

Incidentally, why don’t you tell us how long you have been in Canada, and when you next expect to be in Syria, Knightalmighty? I assume you are a fellow canuckistani citizen like me, and I do not care your origins or religion, but it would be interesting for readers to understand your personal stake in this behind your screen name and multiple identities. Some here are quite willing to at least signal their interests and locations and citizenships (Tara, NK, Revlon, Aboali, etc) though they may not feel confident or trusting enough to dare reveal their real names and other identifiers, since we know that agents of Syria monitor these comments.

So, seriously, no one expects you to reveal your name or identifiers, especially if you have family across the divide in Syria. But why not reveal your interests besides your home town? Are you still a citizen of Syria, or are you solely Canadian now? Will you invest your millions back in Syria once peace returns? Do you or anyone you know face the mukhabarat knock or invitation to chat?

In other news, the images coming out of Tartous are amazing. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating support for the president! Where is the media?

Where is the Syrian media? Where is the President? Where is the Prime Minister? Where is the cabinet? Where is the crisis desk? Where is Bouthaina? Are these people all afraid of the cameras and the microphones and the questions?

Even Gaddafi’s Libya rump in its distress still manages a public profile, however fantastic and pathetic. In Syria the government seems to be in hiding.

What matters videos of Tartous if the President of the nation does not speak to his country? Where is the government of Syria? Don’t you think they should pause in their committee work and their meetings and their draftings and put some kind of state representative to face the nation’s questions and concerns?

“Syrians hold up a giant Syrian flag during a pro-regime demonstration in the western residential Damascus suburb of Mezze on June 15, 2011, as embattled President Bashar al-Assad came under intense world pressure to halt a crackdown on democracy protests.”

Oh wow! A whole, obscured sentence dedicated to the huge rally, and half of it talks about international pressure to halt a crackdown on what they call DEMOCRACY PROTESTS!

Like I said, brother, the flag event was notable in Canada. Of course a Canadian story will give the Canadian line and the Canadian/UN/human rights information/policy since that is actual Canadian political news. That some folks went Rah Rah Syria Bashar is noted but not first rank news, dude. If you don’t like it, move back to the media wonderland that is Syria . . .

June 16th, 2011, 12:19 pm


why-discuss said:


The media in the west are so biased and insincere that it’ll soon be the subject of many university thesis of how misinformation may carry sinister political agenda and how human rights has become the Trojan horse to accomplish political agendas of the big oil-hungry big power.

I still believe that ultimately the truth will emerge, I just wory about the prices innocent civilians and government security forces doing their job will pay with their life and exile.
Starting a revolution may be an easy thing these days, but ending it and building a new order is a much more risky task.
Some, usually expats, are ready to have 5 or more years of chaos, blood and pain in Syria to invent that elusive middle east democracy. They forget that when religion and ethnicity have such an important role, it is even more difficult to reach a consensus.. i.e North Ireland, Belgium, Spain, Turley etc..

In my view , like Spain after the dictatorship of Franco, a gradual move to a more democratic system with dialog and concessions on both side is the only sane solution. The prerequisite is the willingness to make compromises, one of them is to accept that practically Bashar al Assad is the only leader who have sufficient support, despite his dramatic mistakes, who can do that.

June 16th, 2011, 12:40 pm


why-discuss said:

William Scott Scherck

People in the West are much more interested to see on their TV Angelina Jolie kissing Syrian refugees kids in Turkey and maybe shedding a tear than a demonstration in a place they never heard about, Tartous.
I guess the human activists in the camp are already selecting some kids for the visit to make it the most dramatic possible for CNN and other Western TV news.

June 16th, 2011, 12:48 pm


why-discuss said:

Hatay hotels fully-booked ahead of Jolie’s arrival


“..Dozens of local and international journalists have arrived in Hatay to cover the story of Jolie’s visit to the Syrians refugee camps.

Turkish police in Hatay are taking special security measures with the expectation that the province will be filled with hundreds of Jolie fans on Friday.”

June 16th, 2011, 12:53 pm


Nour said:

There are reports that Rami Makhlouf is retiring from all business activity and surrendering his assets to the state. Anyone else heard anything?

June 16th, 2011, 1:05 pm


why-discuss said:

Human rights Trojan horse is attacking Saudi Arabia after the declaration of the foreign minister that KSA will support with all its might the september declaration of a palestinian state.
Expect more of that as september approaches.

Campaign Protests Saudi Arabia’s Ban On Women Behind The Wheel


June 16th, 2011, 1:09 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

some here forget the zionized, terrorized u. s. of a and zionized harpercanada are vengeance seeking terrorist govts with terrorist citizenry.

sometimes comments, statements disliked will cost one a career or freedom.

sami al arian above is one of many thousands of examples of a destroyed life.

applies to academicians, media/entertainment employees, politicians, business people.

most in the west are self censoring and walk with bowed heads to be able to survive.

June 16th, 2011, 1:11 pm


SYR.Expat said:

ثقافة البلدوزرات!!!!!!!!!!!!؟
لو ان احد ما قتل احباؤك و دفنهم في مقبرة جماعية حين كانوا يهتفون لك و يسبحون باسمك ليلا نهارا ..
فيا ترى هل يهون عليك جرفهم بالبلدوزرات و اخراجهم من المقابر الجماعية اكواما من الارجل و الايدي و الرؤوس ..!!!!؟
لكن الامر يبدو غير ذلك
و الله ان قطعة من الفخار لمبولة اثرية كنتم تعاملونها بكل احترام و رقة اثناء استخراجها من الارض بالمباضع الجراحية و الادوات الطبية و فراشي الرسم الناعمة
ان من يملك ثقافة البلدوزرات في جرف من كان يهتف للوطن فقط لابد ان يكون هو الجاني
بقلم : فيصل الرهونجي


June 16th, 2011, 1:19 pm


Syrian Knight said:

William, I refuse to divulge any personal information.

“Where is the Syrian media?”

The Syrian media was there, covering the demonstration.

“Like I said, brother, the flag event was notable in Canada. Of course a Canadian story will give the Canadian line and the Canadian/UN/human rights information/policy since that is actual Canadian political news. That some folks went Rah Rah Syria Bashar is noted but not first rank news, dude. If you don’t like it, move back to the media wonderland that is Syria . . .”

Your explanation for the lack of coverage is a thinly-veiled attempt at controlling the damage that may lay on such news organizations that lack integrity. Canada seems to have no problems reporting over-exaggerated, anti-government protests. It doesn’t even seem to have an qualms about completely making up news to fill the void of bad publicity for the Syrian government. Why is it that every day, I have to hear on CBC that “20 peaceful pro-democracy protesters in Syria were killed today by the brutal Assad regime,” but I hear nothing about these so-called ‘peaceful pro-democracy protesters’ killing children and raping women on the same day? Why do I get to hear about “Mass graves of peaceful protesters killed by the government,” but I hear nothing about the mass graves filled with headless, mutilated bodies courtesy of these ‘peaceful protesters?’

Sorry, but I’m not buying your lame explanation. The flag demonstration is not ‘noted.’ It’s fine print, if it is even mentioned at all. I have been watching Western ‘coverage’ of this since day 1 of these protests. In the first weeks of the protests, there were hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating support for the government, and they were not mentioned even once. What I got was “Hundreds of anti-government protesters in Syria today called for the downfall of the regime” when no such thing actually happened. The VERY FIRST TIME I saw CBC ever cite a pro-government demonstration, it was a quick blurb of about 5 seconds, mentioning “Thousands of Syrians were forced to demonstrate support for the government,” when it was actually millions, and they were not forced. I have seen CBC air video footage of anti-government JORDANIANS, with thousands of people holding JORDANIAN FLAGS, while calling it a ‘peaceful Syrian anti-government protest.’ I have seen CBC air footage of pro-government demonstration with people holding portraits of the Syrian president, while calling it an anti-government protest. I have seen Canada report on world wide anti-government Syrian protesters, but never on the much larger, world wide pro-government demonstrators. There is an obvious bias in the media, and this cannot be denied, no matter how stupid someone is.

June 16th, 2011, 1:25 pm


Syrian Knight said:

دمشق شركة راماك: رامي مخلوف يعلن في مؤتمر صحفي لوكالات الانباء %40 من أسهمه في سيريتل ستخصص أرباحها للأعمال الخيرية
و يقول اعلن عدم ممارستي لاي اعمال جديدة ذات مربح شخصي بل كل اعمالي ستكون لخدمة المجتمع و المواطن السوري وسنخصص جزءاً من الأراضي التي نملكها لمشاريع سكنية تقدم للمواطنين بسعر التكلفة أدعو رجال الأعمال السوريين الكبار للتمثل بهذا التصرف لأن وطننا بحاجة لهذه العطاءات.. والوقت حان للعطاء وليس الأخذ

June 16th, 2011, 1:28 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

lies as numerous as flies around a squat. israelamerica is a lie factory.

taken from angry arab site:

Israeli intelligence leaked a fake Syrian document (which was later circulated in news site of the Syrian Muslim Brothers)
“A former high ranking Israeli government source revealed to me that Israeli intelligence leaked to a pro-Israel British tabloid blogger an alleged Syrian government document claiming that the Syrian government organized the bus convoys which brought demonstrators to the Syria-Israel armistice line on Nakba Day. Demonstrations on that day were met with murderous IDF fire killing 14 individuals.
Michael Weiss, the Telegraph’s pro-Israel blogger known for his neocon views, apparently lied when he claimed the government document was “leaked by the governor of al-Quneitra.” Any government official who leaked such a document would be jobless in a heartbeat, if not dead. In truth, my source says Weiss received the document from Israeli intelligence, which has been spreading rumors through the online hasbara community that the government organized the protests in order to distract from the severe instability it faced from democracy protests. Why did Weiss engage in such a prevarication? Clearly to conceal his true source. Though it’s conceivable that Israeli intelligence stole or otherwise secured the alleged memo from the governor of the province.”

June 16th, 2011, 1:40 pm


why-discuss said:

Dale andersen

“The Armenia thing”?

Have some respect to the millions of Armenians who lost their lives and crippled by the brutality of the Turks.

Maybe you claim the exclusivity of the ‘jewish thing’ to justify the existence of your racist state.

June 16th, 2011, 1:43 pm


why-discuss said:

Syria’s opposition faces uphill struggle


…Like others in the opposition, Mr Ghadbian says there is no magic solution for Syria: the regime will go only if it fractures from within. Cracks have appeared in the lower ranks of the military but not yet reached a senior military or diplomatic figure. …
“…We go in circles, the Russians say they need an Arab League condemnation before they sign up to a UN resolution and the Arab League says we should go to the UN first,” said Radwan Ziadeh, another opposition activist.

June 16th, 2011, 1:49 pm


syria no kandahar said:

Ali Farazat has become a carecator himself,all his ideas has been destrucive cretesizm,i have not seen any constructive one for him.we used to all like him.He has not had the morals to wast one mlm from his ink to critisize armed terrorism,he automatically is responsible for life losts from moral prospective for standing with the evil.with all respect to his anti-dictotarship stands,by not denouncing terrorism most of syrians lost respect for him.
Exaples for some ideas he missed on:
Alaroor public hanging on poles in Hama.
Alaroor calls for allah akbar inside your home.

June 16th, 2011, 1:51 pm


SYR.Expat said:

When the Syrian media becomes fair and balanced and shows both sides of the story, then I am sure Ferzat will follow suit. However, because the Syrian media and its allies in Iran, Russia, China, and Lebanon are showing one side of the story, Ferzat provides balance by showing the other side of the story.

He had a posting about Alaroor that you may have missed, not to mention that anyone with an average IQ or higher knows that Ferzat is no fan or supporter of Alaroor.

June 16th, 2011, 2:10 pm


Averroes said:


Again, you shamelessly (and wrongly) explain what I feel and believe. I’ve never ever mentioned Qum, yet you shamelessly slap that accusation.

You are a sectarian bigot, full of hate and racism, and void of substance. I just hope you never recover from those negative and destructive emotions.

June 16th, 2011, 2:24 pm


why-discuss said:


Shami has been throwing repeated false accusations and attributed violent comments to many commenters, including me. I guess he believes that by repeating them over and over, it will become accepted as the truth . That is usually the approach used by religious extremists including Israelis..
I think this revolution has accelerated his mental dementia

June 16th, 2011, 2:42 pm


Shami said:

Ave,when i said Qom it meant what it means :you love bashar and love the iranian theocracy (who never stopped to deal with Israel under the table since the time khomaini got israeli weapons in a hidden deal).
When you criticize ta2ifiyeh ,it seems that the regimes and militias you support are extremist ta2ifiyin and they are main parts of sectarian killings in Iraq )

So ave,are you sure that i was wrong ?

Why ,i hate lies ,hypocrisy and corruption,that’s why i criticize you ,it’s your favorites such as the hezbollahi medias which portray rami makhlouf as an icon of the resistance against israel not me.

Ave and all the menhebak here ,our problem with you is that you are extremist supporters of a dying regime and we are all sure that asad statues will be toppled ,so if you are aware the change is inescapable ,it seems that you hate democracy because you hate the fact that the syrian people became mostly conservative muslims during the last decades.(despite asad dictature)

I have nothing to win to be sectarian ,because i belong to a civilziation and i feel at home in all parts of this Umma.
And i feel i’m Moroccan,Algerian,Tunisian,Turkish ,as much i’m Syrian.
All this sectarian hatred we see here ,was built during the last decades ,because you are afraid from the social change that happened in Syria.
We are not stupid ,their Attack against the MB (who dont exist in Syria)means an attack against their muslim neighbors.

For those i say ,No one forced you to leave Syria !
And for those who remained they are aware that regimes die and only the people remain !

June 16th, 2011, 4:08 pm


Shami said:

Mr Landis,
Did you noticed that the syrian people are more politized than you thought they were?
Bouti ,Hassoun are considered as hypocrites ,their use as propaganda tool by the regime is a fact that goes against asad regime.
Every time ,the people see them on the TVs ,they curse them.
Ask any damascene or aleppine you know! on hassoun ,shami or bouti.
The most respected sheikhs in Syria today are those who took an other stance like Nabulsi,Salqini or the wise Midani sheikh.

June 16th, 2011, 4:56 pm


Averroes said:


Yes, Shame’s tactics are classic and feeble. He will tell you what you love and what you feel even. How ridiculous is that as a means of debate. When he starts making asserting statements about feelings, let alone being my own feelings, you know there is just no substance. Void and loud like a tabl.

If he can outright LIE about things that I know for certain are incorrect and inaccurate, how can I trust anything he says?

June 16th, 2011, 4:58 pm


Shami said:

Ok let your accuracy be known here ,so we could answer according to it.

June 16th, 2011, 5:00 pm


Shami said:

Ave,this is a gift from el mahboub to you:


Be proud of it !

June 16th, 2011, 5:38 pm


syau said:

Why Discuss, #135,

Indeed the media is a powerful tool. We are flooded with selective information over and over again until the average person believes what is reported without researching.

Angelina Jolie’s visit to Turkey is another media stint. As she is a famous actress and ambassador for the UN, she will bring a huge amount of media coverage into our lounge rooms to further highlight a one sided version events in Syria. Media outlets will be talking about the visit for weeks.

June 17th, 2011, 12:45 am


why-discuss said:


On Al Jazeera TV 2 days ago they showed the 4,000 kids in the turkish camp. They were running around, driving the turkish soldiers crazy. They seemed to have fun and lack nothing but of course when Angelina Jolie will come they will pick some who are ill and show them. Typical mise en scene to make people shed tears and curse the ‘brutal’ repression.
I wish they show the children of the dead men they found in the mass graves, of course they won’t even mention these men had families.

June 17th, 2011, 7:51 am


Tara said:


I would rather see Angelina Jolie than Ali Abbas.

At least one beautiful face amidst all this ugliness

June 17th, 2011, 8:05 am


why-discuss said:

Photos of armed Moslem Brotherhood in Jir Shoghour taken by AFP

First images of armed rebels in Jisr al-Choughour


June 17th, 2011, 8:10 am


Tara said:

And I just hope I do not have to defend her as sectarian stupid MB rat married to undercover Zionist conspiring against the regime

June 17th, 2011, 8:10 am


why-discuss said:

The ugliness is inside Syria. The camps set by the Turks look tidy in the middle of forests. I think the families stranded at the border, hesitant to cross, are the ones who really need help, food and support.

June 17th, 2011, 8:17 am


syau said:

Why Discuss,

You’re right, there is no way they will mention children or family members of the murdered security personnel, any of martyred army personnels families or images of the murdered & mutilated civilians. It’s all about publicity and what images they portray to serve their purpose.

#160, there was an error message when opening up the link.

June 17th, 2011, 8:26 am


why-discuss said:


I didn’t hear about her plan to divorce Brad Pitt and marry an MB activist or a Israeli right wing settler 🙂

June 17th, 2011, 8:31 am


why-discuss said:

Images of MB armed men in Jisr Shoughour, correction



June 17th, 2011, 8:33 am


Tara said:


Yes but I doubt she can enter Syria and show humanity inside the borders. She may end up killed by an unidentified arm gangs or interrogated in the notorious Damascus kafir Susu security branch by one of the cousins.

The ugliness is taking over everywhere. I see it every time I close my eyes.

June 17th, 2011, 8:35 am


why-discuss said:


It is a depressing and worrying time for all who care about Syria.

June 17th, 2011, 8:40 am


Tara said:


I can’t stop myself from asking you again.

Why do you care about Syria?

What’s in it for you?

June 17th, 2011, 8:57 am


why-discuss said:


Sorry, I do not get into personal questions, I have already told you that.

June 17th, 2011, 9:09 am


Tara said:

Why# 164

Brad Pitt.

I wouldn’t divorce him either…

June 17th, 2011, 9:41 am


why-discuss said:


I guess so, who would? The MB nerd in Sweden doesn’t stand a chance to convince Angelina of his hidden charms 🙂

June 17th, 2011, 9:59 am


Tara said:


I absolutely agree with you. However,

One might need to see below the surface. The guy from Sweden may have dignity, humanity, sweetness, and intelligence that Mr. Assad lacks handling their crisis.

In term of looks, I must also agree with you. Bashar and the Sweeden guy do not stand a chance.

June 17th, 2011, 10:18 am


why-discuss said:


He maybe a wonderful person, but I won’t travel to gloomy Sweden to learn more about his inner qualities. I’ll stick to his thrilling Youtube interviews. If I travel I would rather go to Antakya 🙂

June 17th, 2011, 10:26 am


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