Fuel Subsidies to be Cut April 1? Syria Eyes Western Intervention in Libya with Caution. Denies Giving Military Aid to Qaddafi - Syria Comment

Fuel Subsidies to be Cut April 1? Syria Eyes Western Intervention in Libya with Caution. Denies Giving Military Aid to Qaddafi

The head of Egypt’s military council expressed his hope to meet President Assad soon and to open a new page of Egyptian Syrian relations. Also, el-Baradei said during an interview on ON TV that Egypt’s relations with Israel were the master-slave type and he would never allow that again. For Syria, it is all about the Golan.

The Arab League unanimously called today on the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone on Libya, Secretary General Amr Moussa told a news conference in Cairo. Two countries — Syria and Algeria — had reservations about the decision because they feared that foreign influence in Libya might be open ended. Syria views the Arab revolutions largely in terms of which new governments are likely to line up with Syria to pressure Israel to give back the Golan. So far Egypt and Tunisia are distancing themselves from Israel. The prospect the Libya may fall under Western influence as the price of getting ride of its terrible leader has Syria worried.

Here’s a tweet from an influential Libyan: “To the govts of #Algeria & #Syria: the #Libyans will remember your actions against us & when your people turn against you we fight with them.”

Syria has issued this statement denying all allegations that Syria has two fighter jets in Libya and a ship on the way to help Qaddafi. The Syrian Foreign Ministry denies that Syria has any military presence in Libya and reports that allegations to the contrary are false.

بيان صحفي

للتوزيع و النشر (12/3/2011)

إشارة إلى المعلومات التي نشرتها بعض الجهات الإعلامية المغرضة و أدعت فيها وجود طيارين سوريين يقاتلون ضد أحد أطراف الصراع في ليبيا ، ووجود سفن سورية تغادر مرفأ طرطوس لتزود السلاح للحكومة الليبية أو وجود معسكرات تدريب في ليبيا فيها ضباط سوريين.

تؤكد وزارة الخارجية في الجمهورية العربية السورية أن هذه المعلومات عارية عن الصحة و لا أساس لها على الإطلاق . كما نؤكد عدم وجود أي حضور عسكري سوري على الأراضي الليبية. و سورية حريصة على وحدة و استقرار الأراضي الليبية وأمن و أمان الشعب الليبي الشقيق و إن البواخر السورية التي زارت ليبيا كانت حصراً لنقل الرعايا السوريين لسورية، و كل هذه الادعاءات عارية عن الصحة و لا تتماشى اصلاً مع المواقف السورية

السفارة السورية في لندن

Syria’s Ambassador to the US defends the Vanity Fair article in the WSJ:

Instead of targeting Vogue’s profile on Syria’s first lady, the anger and indignation emanating from Bari Weiss and David Feith’s op-ed “The Dictator’s Wife Wears Louboutins” (op-ed, March 7) should be directed toward matters of grave proportions, such as the recent killing of nine boys in Afghanistan by the U.S. military, the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis as a result of the U.S. invasion, or the “war crimes and crimes against humanity” committed by Israel in Gaza (as reported by the United Nation’s Goldstone Report).

Indeed, such vitriol on behalf of Ms. Weiss and Mr. Feith begs the larger question: Why does the Journal turn down op-ed submissions on the aforementioned momentous topics, and instead devote so much space for an op-ed that finds as a grievance the first lady’s “manicured toes”? One possible explanation: Vogue succeeds in showing a side of Syria that the editors at the Journal don’t want, or refuse, to see: “a country that’s modernizing itself, that stands for a tolerant secularism in a powder-keg region, with extremists and radicals pushing in from all sides,” as a Western ambassador observes in the article. Make no mistake, this is what angered the authors, not red soles on a first lady’s feet.

Imad Moustapha, Ph.D., Ambassador of Syria to the U.S.

Those unhappy about Western institutions engaging with Syria will also be dismayed at several other events taking place this spring.

  • Harvard’s Alumni Association is sponsoring a conference in Damascus on March 17, at the Four Seasons Hotel. The university’s vice provost for international affairs, Prof. Jorge I. Dominguez, will deliver the Harvard guest address.  I will be sorry to miss it, but the guest list is long and illustrious. A number of fellow Alumni will be there. I know that Rami Khouri will be covering it.
  • In April, the First Lady will be sponsoring the “Cultural Landscapes Forum” beginning on Sunday April 10.  Many French, British, German and Italian officials will be giving talks to celebrate Syria’s heritage, museums, and archeology. Both Frédéric Mitterrand, France’s Minister of Culture, and  Henri Loyrette, the Director of the  Musée du Louvre will be giving talks.

Aleppo Chamber of Commerce comes out swinging against cutting fuel subsidies

On April 1, the Syrian government plans to cut fuel subsidies which cost the state billions of Syria pounds every year. The subsidies encourage smuggling and overuse. Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan all pay much more for fuel products than Syria so much of the subsidies go to helping neighbors. Syrian industry is helped by the subsidies. The looming fuel price rise is about to go into effect, and the Aleppo Chamber of Commerce is fighting back. Faris Shihabi, the head of the Chamber argues that 100,000 textile workers may lose their jobs. Aleppo has always been the home of Syria’s thriving textile business. He argues against having a 3 tier pricing system that will hit the larger manufacturers hardest. Aleppo is spinning this price hike as an attack on the city’s industrial base. Two other factors are hitting Syria’s textile industry. Higher cotton prices due to the drought and lower import taxes on foreign competition due to liberalization and economic agreements with neighbors. Already several textile businesses have collapsed. The pressures on the budget will mount in the coming years…….at some stage a devaluation will become unavoidable — or the government will have to resort to printing money. Either Syria must cut cut subsidies, raise taxes, borrow,  print money or devalue its currency. )

لشهابي يبرهن رياضياً أن عجز شركة المحروقات لن يتجاوز 17% جراء رفع سعر الفيول

08-03-2011

ضمن تحقيق مطول نشرته مجلة الاقتصادي مؤخراً حول ارتفاع أسعار الفيول، ردّ رئيس غرفة صناعة حلب فارس الشهابي على مبررات الحكومة برفع أسعار الفيول، بالقول: إن العجز التجاري لشركة المحروقات والبالغ 47.7 مليار ليرة سورية هو لجميع المشتقات النفطية، وأعتقد أن دراسة موضوعية توضح أن العجز يتركز في المازوت والبنزين، حيث بلغ استهلاك القطاع الخاص الصناعي من الفيول حتى النصف الأول من العام 2010 ماقدره 250000 طن، وكان السعر العالمي للفيول بتاريخ 31/8/2010 هو 20705 ل.س للطن، والسعر المحلي لهذه المادة بتاريخ 1/9/2010 هو 9000 ل.س، وعلى هذا فإن المبلغ الإجمالي لعجز مبيعات الفيول إلى القطاع الخاص الصناعي هو 250000× (9000_ 20705)= 2.937.500 مليار ل.س، وأن نسبة هذا العجز إلى العجز الكلي لشركة محروقات البالغ 47.705 مليار ليرة، هو 2937/ 47.705 = 6.1% وأن العجز الكلي لمبيعات القطاع العام الصناعي (عام وخاص) من هذه المادة هو 700000× (20750 _ 9000)=8.225.000 مليار ليرة، وأن نسبة هذا العجز إلى العجز الكلي لشركة محروقات هو 8.225 / 47.705 = 17% من كامل العجز، والنسبتين السابقتين تعتبران حسب الشهابي نسباً ضئيلة مقارنة بمجمل العجز. مقترحاً اعتبار الخسائر التي تتكبّدها شركة محروقات جرّاء دعم سعر الفيول والبالغة 2.9 مليار ل.س جزءاً من المبلغ المخصّص من الدولة لدعم الصادرات وهو 16 مليار ل.س لعام 2010، والذي يفترض أن يكون أكبر من ذلك برأيه في العام 2011.

ويحذّر الشهابي من لجوء المنشآت الصناعية في حلب التي تستخدم مادة الفيول وتشغّل عمالة قدرها 100 ألف عامل، إلى تسريح هؤلاء جميعاً كنتيجة حتمية، متسائلاً كيف للصناعة السورية التي تعاني من أزمة كساد وارتفاع في تكاليف الإنتاج ونقص السيولة المادية أن تواجه زيادة كبيرة في أسعار الفيول تقارب 100%، وهذه الزيادة على تكاليف الإنتاج ستجعل الصناعة السورية تفتقد حتى للأسواق.

كما يلفت الشهابي إلى أن اعتماد مبدأ الشرائح في تسعير الفيول سيشجع السوق السوداء بشكل غير مباشر، فالشريحة الأولى المستهلكة لأقل من 50 طن شهرياً ستتحول من الصناعة إلى تجارة السوق السوداء لمادة الفيول، مقترحاً استبدال هذه الشرائح بشريحة واحدة هي شريحة الصناعة بغض النظر عن فروقات استهلاك المعامل.

يذكر أن وزير النفط قدّم اقتراحه لتعديل أسعار مبيع مادة الفيول، بحيث تكون ضمن ثلاث شرائح: الأولى حين يكون الاستجرار كحد أقصى 50 طناً شهرياً لكل زبون، ويباع الطن لهذه الشريحة بـ 10000 ليرة سورية، وتقدّر نسبة المستهلكين من هذه الفئة بـ 69.9%، وتستهلك 22.2% من إجمالي الاستهلاك.

الثانية حين يكون الاستجرار من 51 إلى 200 طن شهرياً لكل زبون، وضمن المخصصات الشهرية، ويباع الطن في هذه الشريحة بـ12500 ليرة سورية، وتقدّر نسبة المستهلكين من هذه الفئة بـ25.2%، وتستهلك 39.1% من إجمالي الاستهلاك.

والثالثة حين يكون الاستجرار أعلى من 201 طن شهرياً لكل زبون، ويباع الطن في هذه الشريحة وفق السعر العالمي والذي يحدد شهرياً من شركة محروقات، وتقدر نسبة المستهلكين من هذه الفئة بـ 4.6% وتستهلك 36.1% من إجمالي الاستهلاك

انتخابات بلديات 2011. .استرد حارتك وبلدتك

Population surge in Syria hampers country’s progress
Phil Sands, Mar 6, 2011, The National

With 500,000 people added to the country’s numbers every year, the huge growth rate severely hampers efforts to tackle widespread poverty and raise living standards for Syria’s more than 20 million citizens.

….The government is putting together a strategy to slow the rate of population expansion but those plans are not expected to be drawn up before the end of this year, at the earliest, and will take years to implement or take effect. In the meantime, development experts are warning Damascus can ill afford to wait if attempts to rein in a booming populace are to succeed.

Mohammad Akram Alkech, the dean of the Higher Institute for Population studies at Damascus University, said: “Until today there is still no clear or official policy to use family planning in order to contain the growth rate.” He said such a “hands off” policy towards population growth was no longer viable.

“There have been a few laws and piecemeal measures that are supposed to stop women just being seen as machines for producing babies but that is not a comprehensive policy and will not be effective,” he said. “By the time the growth rate is reduced through that method, there will be 100 million people in Syria and it’ll be too late.”

In Syria’s parched farmlands, echoes of Egyptian woes, Thu Mar 10, 2011
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

TISIA, Syria, March 10 (Reuters) – Under rainless clouds covering Syria’s strategic Hauran plateau, grave digger Khalil al-Meqdad toils for 12 hours a day to feed his eight children.

“I barely make enough money to buy bread. I keep sinking in debt,” Meqdad said, as he stuck his shovel in the volcanic soil that made Hauran a Middle East bread basket when rain was plentiful during Ottoman times.

With its faded vineyards, pomegranate tree groves and historical sites, Hauran is hundreds of miles from the political upheaval shaking the Middle East, and Syrian officials say the unrest will not spread to their country.

But Meqdad’s lot is similar to the masses who toppled Tunisia and Egypt’s presidents and who are taking to streets in Yemen and elsewhere, driven by frustration with falling living standards and perpetuation of corrupt autocratic systems they consider an affront to their dignity.

Syria, a country of 20 million people, has been ruled by the Baath Party since it took power nearly 50 years ago, imposing emergency law still in force and banning any opposition.

Since the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in the last three months, officials have insisted that the government, a self-declared champion of Arab rights and foe of what it describes as Islamic extremism, is “close to the people”.

They say gradual economic liberalisation, since President Bashar al-Assad succeeded his late father 11 years ago, has changed Syria, pointing to banks, insurance companies and private schools, in contrast to decades of nationalisation. But parallels with Egypt, which failed to translate economic reform into rising living standards, are hard to ignore…..

See this An Interview With Gary Gambill, by Qifa Nabki. At his site.

Nicholas Noe responds to it on his site, here

ElBaradei Says Israel-Egypt Relation Is That of Master-Servant, 2011-03-09 By Nadeem Hamid

March 10 (Bloomberg) — Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, who earlier said he would seek to run for president, said he favors a strong ties with Iran and that the relationship with Israel is that of master-servant. He spoke with Egypt’s ONTV channel.

Jerusalem Post: Shalom predicts collapse of Iranian, Syrian regimes, 2011-03-11

The protests in Syria and Iran, and intensified sanctions against the latter, will succeed in bringing down the regimes of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom told The Jerusalem Post

Hezbollah on Offense, March 8, 2011
Nicholas Blanford, Bilal Y. Saab in National Interest

The spate of popular uprisings in the Arab world has overshadowed all other “traditional” problems in the Middle East. That is why when Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary-general, recently called upon his fighters to be ready to invade Galilee in case Israel wages war against Lebanon, it attracted little attention.

His threat to dispatch Hezbollah units into Galilee is the first public articulation of a tactic Hezbollah fighters have privately hinted at since the end of the last conflict in August 2006. It bolsters Nasrallah’s previous carefully phrased warnings of what Israel can expect from Hezbollah in the next war. They include a vow in February 2010 to rocket Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport if Israel bombs Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International airport. And a declaration by Nasrallah three months later that Hezbollah can and will attack shipping along Israel’s entire coastline if the Israeli navy shells Lebanese infrastructure.

Now, with his vow to send fighters into Galilee if Israel invades Lebanon, Nasrallah is announcing that Israel can no longer take for granted its long-established doctrine of fighting wars solely on the soil of its neighbors.

This tit-for-tat approach is a cornerstone of Hezbollah’s military strategy. The group claims it serves as deterrence during times of peace and as a plan to be implemented in the event of war.

Hezbollah’s statements and actions since 2006, therefore, suggest that the next war with Israel is not likely to be one based on defensive “resistance” on Lebanese territory as in the past but one of offense, penetrating deep into Israel. Israel’s home front will become a front line for the first time since 1948.

إعلان دمشق: إنهاء حالة الطوارىء مهمة راهنة

بيان إلى الرأي العام :

اليوم يتم الشعب السوري عامه الثامن والأربعين أسيراً في قبضة قانون

الطوارىء سيء الذكر . تلك الحالة التي عطلت الحياة السياسية في سورية

وأدخلتها في سلسلة من الأزمات التي لا تنتهي ، وشكلت استباحة فاضحة

لكرامة السوريين وحقهم في الاجتماع والرأي والتعبير .

يصر أهل النظام على صم آذانهم عن المطالبات الدائمة للخروج من هذه الحالة

Jordan’s king accords unlimited powers to anti-corruption panel, 2011-03-07

Amman (DPA) — Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Monday told the country’s anti-corruption watchdog that it would have a free hand in ridding all the government’s institutions from corruption, including the royal court.

“There are no red lines for the panel’s work, because no corruption should be entitled to protection in this homeland,” the monarch said during a meeting with head and members of the Anti- Corruption Department.

“All the country’s institutions, including the royal court, should be subject to the scrutiny of the department, and those found guilty should be sent to the courts,” he added.

Al Akhbar, a newspaper with a ‘casual’ association with PM designate Mikati had this: “US Sources informed Lebanese officials that the new strategy towards Lebanon is based on the premise of preventing President Najib Mikati from forming his government, and to allow economic, political and diplomatic pressures to take their tolls, … rendering him unable to commit to a  joint strategy with the components of March 8. The hoped for result is to, either give March14 (13 really) a ‘blocking third’ or declare forfeit. US sources said that the Lebanese-Canadian Bank episode is but an ‘appetizer.'”

Search on for Syrian opposition activists missing in Lebanon, Mar 6, 2011

Beirut – Lebanese authorities began a search Sunday for four Syrian opposition activists who went missing shortly after passing out fliers in Beirut calling for a demonstration to oppose Syria’s government. The four brothers were taken in by Lebanese security for questioning shortly after passing out the fliers in front of the Syrian embassy, reported a Lebanese security source Sunday. It was not immediately clear when they had been detained.

Thanks to Friday lunch Club

A new Turkish satellite has Israelis eyeing the end of a U.S.-backed blackout on high-resolution commercial photography of their turf from space.The GokTurk satellite due in orbit by 2013 will sell images of objects more detailed than 2 meters across — currently the finest grain available when it comes to pictures of Israel, thanks mainly to U.S. legislation from the 1990s. Turkey’s leap into the aerospace market treads on Israeli security sensitivities given the former allies’ recently strained ties. Unlike with other nations that have fielded commercial satellites, Israel has little leverage over Ankara. “We try to ensure that we are not photographed at high resolutions, and most [countries] accommodate us,” a senior Israeli defense official said. “Should we request this of the Turks? We won’t ask for it. There is no one to talk to.” ……..Turkey, whose Islamist-rooted government froze relations with Israel after its deadly raid on a Gaza aid ship last year, has shown no interest in veiling the Jewish state from GokTurk. “We decide how to use the images taken by our satellite,” an unnamed Turkish official told the newspaper Today’s Zaman…. The Israeli official said such measures helped prevent “sensitive material falling into the hands of terrorists”. Israel also frets about its nuclear facilities and other secretive projects becoming too open to public scrutiny……”

UK Tourists on the Road to Damascus

February 20 (Press Association) — Syria is seeing a surge in interest from British holidaymakers, according to latest figures. There was a 486% rise in internet searches for hotels in the Syrian capital Damascus last month compared with January 2010, Hotels.com said. This made Syria the fastest-rising destination last month, with the Spanish island of Menorca in second place (up 466%) and Medina in Saudi Arabia third (up 457%)…

Syria: Weapons Intercepted
By REUTERS, March 11, 2011

Syria said Friday that its security forces seized a large shipment of weapons, explosives and night-vision goggles this week in a truck coming from Iraq. The official news agency SANA said the shipment, intercepted at the Tanaf border crossing on Monday, was intended “for use in actions that affect Syria’s internal security and spread unrest and chaos.” It did not say how many weapons were seized, but published pictures showed dozens of grenades and pistols as well as rifles and ammunition belts.

Comments (195)


Alex said:

Aljazeera admits it made a mistake and that it does not have any proof that Syria’s army is in anyway helping Qaddafi.

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=ar/Article/view/85268

الجزيرة تقر بالخطأ .. سورية تنفي إرسال أسلحة إلى ليبيا
دمشق..

نفى مصدر سوري رسمي في اتصال مع مدير مكتب قناة “الجزيرة” القطرية
في دمشق ما ورد على لسان مراسل المحطة في بنغازي نقلاً عن مصدر من ثورة 17 فبراير، من انطلاق سفينة مدنية من ميناء طرطوس السوري منذ يومين إلى طرابلس في ليبيا، محملة بالأسلحة والذخائر و500 سيارة دفع رباعي لتستخدم في الحرب الجارية هناك.

ونقل مدير مكتب الجزيرة بدمشق عبد الحميد توفيق عن مصدر لم يسمه أنه نفى أيضاً ما ورد على لسان المراسل في بنغازي بوجود كتيبة سورية تقاتل إلى جانب القذافي مؤكداً أن المعلومات عارية عن الصحة تماماً.
وأوضح عبد الحميد لـصحيفة الوطن أن قناة الجزيرة لم تغير سياساتها تجاه سورية، واصفاً ما تم بأنه يمثل “حالة من التسرع وعدم التروي لمراسلنا”، وقال: “كان عليه ألا ينقل إلا إذا كان بيده وثيقة أو فيلم مسجل بالصوت والصورة”.

وأضاف: “أجزم أن لا تغيير في سياسة المحطة ولا توجه لديها بخصوص ذلك، وأكثر البراهين بين يدي أنه عندما أرسل النفي إليهم حذف الخبر السابق واعتمد الخبر الجديد”.

وكانت مراسلة قناة “فرانس 2” ذكرت قبل أيام في تقرير مصور لها أن طيارين سوريين يقاتلون إلى جانب قوات القذافي دون أن تثبت ادعاءاتها بالوثائق، الأمر الذي نفاه حينها مصدر سوري رسمي.

March 13th, 2011, 3:05 am

 

FHMETKom said:

i don’t buy this
if bashar wants to clear his side, he should right now send a ship of human aids to Bengazzi.

March 13th, 2011, 2:52 pm

 

Alex said:

Fhemtkon

Because Syria is not taking sides in Libya. Despite what we see on Aljazeera, Qaddafi is still popular among some Libyans. Even if his popularity is not more than 25%, and even if he is a filthy crook then Syria still should not interfere in that conflict.

Why?

Because then why not support the Bahrain uprising too? and the one in Saudi Arabia next …

Also, it was only 3 years ago when Qaddafi was one of the very few Arab leaders who tried hard to make the Damascus Arab summit a success. Mubarak and his friends boycotted the first and only Arab summit to be held in Damascus. I am sure it takes time for the Syrians to flip.

Just like the United States did not properly support the uprising in Bahrain and Yemen, Syria is not really supporting demonstrators in Libya.

By the way … Syria did enough for Iraqi, Lebanese, and Palestinian refugees in the past … let’s not forget the millions that (economically poor) Syria helped and continue to help.

March 13th, 2011, 3:07 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Alex
Is sending human aids,Is it taking sides ?,No this is not ,Human aids should be sent even to your enemy,food medicine,etc.

March 13th, 2011, 3:45 pm

 

Alex said:

Majed

Is Libya a poor nation? … poorer than the hundreds of thousands of Syrian Aljazeerah region inhabitants who suffered from the effect of a number of consecutive years of drought?

It is not enough that Syria is providing medical care, educating and feeding (somehow) over a million Iraqi refugees?

How many other countries are sending supplies to the opposition side in Libya?

Do you want Syria to also support the Shia rebels who are fighting the minority (sunni) King of Bahrain? Do you want Syria to send them supplies?

Yemen?

Japan?

I think Syria has done enough for its neighbors.

March 13th, 2011, 4:01 pm

 

Norman said:

Alex,
Good job, you hit it on the nail, the interference of the Arab league is going only to justify the destruction of Libya, and make it a slave to the West .The Arab leaders stupidity is astonishing .

March 13th, 2011, 4:31 pm

 

Jad said:

Kamal Shekho is out of the prison 🙂

March 13th, 2011, 5:07 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Alex you did not mention that I am talking about humatarian aid,as a doctor I do not ask if this patient is a jew or Bush or prisoner who killed many people , when he needs medical help I would help him

March 13th, 2011, 5:17 pm

 

Norman said:

Majid,

As a humanitarian you and others can go but the Syrian government should interfere officially ,

March 13th, 2011, 5:24 pm

 

Alex said:

Thanks Norman.

Majed, I do remember that you are an MD (Like uncle Norman) and my last comment was an attempt to explain why Syria can be excused for not being extra eager to send humanitarian supplies to the anti Qaddafi camp.

But I think that the ideal position that Syria can take would be to be active in trying to setup an Arab mediating group of qualified diplomats who would travel to Libya and meet with both sides and try to find a compromise between them. Syria is known for its diplomacy. That’s how Syria can help.

March 13th, 2011, 5:48 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

I would support that ,to stop bloodshed,and serve freedom and liberty.

March 13th, 2011, 5:56 pm

 

Shami said:

Alex ,there is no hope with Ghadafi ,he is as stubborn dictator than Asad.

March 13th, 2011, 7:22 pm

 

Norman said:

I hope that you all are going to like this one,, i do ,

News Analysis: The Powerful Nation in the Arab World Today: Syria
David O’Connor | Mar 13, 2011 | Comments 0

Iason Athanasiadis, a foreign journalist, at a “My Life As…” on Wednesday, March 2. Athanasiadis recently returned from Egypt where he spent time photographing the revolts. Photo Credit: Samantha Aldenton
If there’s anything about the Middle East that has more people worried than its current state, it’s what might come next. They would certainly have reason; the region has seldom delivered good news. Now things are more chaotic than they’ve been since the birth of the modern Israeli state. Who’s going to come out on top of the Arab world when this is all over? Well, here’s an answer: Syria.

This might seem perplexing. Syria has, for the most part, not been at the forefront of news the past few months. People have seen Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, etc., but Syria has remained comparatively quiet. However, given the current state of affairs, that might not be such a bad thing.

Bashar Al-Assad has been the president of Syria since July of 2000. Al-Assad has taken Syria on an interesting course of action: one that echoes its recent past yet takes a new path as to how to achieve its goals. One of these goals is undermining Israel. Syria has been Israel’s enemy since the birth of Israel as a nation.

In 1948, when the small Jewish state just came into existence, several Arab states under the watchful eye of King Saud of Saudi Arabia attacked. The Arabs were defeated soundly. However, in less than 20 years, President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt pushed the Arab nations into attacking Israel again. The Israelis won in six days

But now Israel has a new enemy that has become quite powerful in the past decade: the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran has become the default leader of the unofficial “anti-Israel league,” for the Jordanians and Egyptians previously signed peace agreements with Israel. Iran and Syria have become good friends over the past decade and have begun to create their own sphere of influence in the region.

Given the current events, this will only become more prevalent. Greek correspondent Iason Athanasiadis pointed out during and after his lecture for the Stony Brook School of Journalism’s “My Life As…” that many of the previously powerful Arab states, such as Egypt, will lose their dominant positions in the region while they try to re-create their respective countries.

One interesting thing that Athanasiadis said was that Saudi Arabia will lose its position as the boss of the Arab world. This shouldn’t be shocking. The Saudi royal family was close allies with Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, etc. Even their next door neighbor Bahrain is beginning to slip from their grasp. Yemen is also tumbling into chaos, which would create a nightmare on the Saudi southern border.

So, if the Saudis lose their grip on the region, what nation will fill their shoes? It’s not going to be Iraq; they’re still getting their act together after the fall of Saddam Hussein. It’s Syria. Somewhat by token of survival, Syria will have the best positioning in the region. They have a powerful neighbor to the east in Iran, and they’ve got Hezbollah in Lebanon to be their friend as well, whether or not they deny it.

The point is that Syria has it made right now. Any rival powers in the Middle East have either crumbled already or will soon, and the ever-present Saudis have their own security to deal with. So what does this mean?

Unfortunately, it may mean even more violence in the region. Israel has done nothing with the allies it had for the past couple of decades and is now running short on friends in the region. The Syrian-Iranian bloc will become more powerful, and it’ll be up to cooler heads from anywhere to sort out things before they get even uglier.

March 13th, 2011, 7:53 pm

 

Nafdik said:

Yes, by resisting change and sticking to their guns the valiant assad family can bring Syria to become the leader of the region just like north korea is the leader in hers.

March 13th, 2011, 9:37 pm

 

Jad said:

Alex
Regarding Libya I think the moment the opposition took arms and fought the army they become vulnerable and the society split, today they have no chance to stand against a well equipped army with crazy criminal leader as Qaddafi, big part of Tunisian, Egyptian and Yemeni revolutions is the arm free peaceful protesters.
For the surprise of many including me, it did work in Syria too as Mr, Kamal Shekho proved today by his protest against his unjust held in prison.

To all who are calling for a short sighted no real goal changes and ‘rage’ what’s wrong of Syria stay out of trouble and be the winner? It’s not the personal gain for President Assad it’s the gain for all of Syrians.
Some Syrians are short sighted, they don’t recognize the real danger of not having a unite and strong government in this rough neighbourhood we exist in, do you guys really think that any country surround us from Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, the Kurds separatists and the lovely fair west and the other lovely communist Chinese will let you, with your change and protests trend mood you are calling for, form any version of Syria you fantasies about:
Strong, Free, Democratic
Get real!! They will never let you do a thing and Syria will become another failure banana republic like its neighbours under your no head rules. I don’t want that Syria and I refuse to keep silent listening to all that nonsense you are calling for.

March 14th, 2011, 12:20 am

 

NK said:

Jad

Please define the strength of the Syrian government.

March 14th, 2011, 1:18 am

 

Alex said:

Jad

Disinformation campaign products will obviously be showing up here and there on a regular basis.

Here is another one …

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/dark-secrets_554097.html?nopager=1

This one, by the ضرات Lee Smith, is exceptionally revealing … of his bankrupt anti Syria crusade.

If you don’t feel like reading the whole thing:

Summary: destroyed Libyan intelligence documents probably had information that Syria had something to do with the “disappearance” of Moussa al-Sadr!

Proof? … no need.

Translation: “Great idea … maybe we (the neocons) can try to get the Shia-Syrian camp in trouble”

As if they did not try those stories for years (2005-2008)

I wouldn’t be surprised if Syria cooperated with Libya over the past four decades in a number of ways. Just like NATO members cooperate, Arab league members cooperate. If the neocons + M14 + “Syrian opposition in exile” think they will hit a Goldmine by actively promoting (and mostly inventing) these creative news stories … yawn.

March 14th, 2011, 1:27 am

 

Alex said:

Noam Chomsky says Libya is different … it is “a civil war” and the west should not interfere on anyone’s side there

March 14th, 2011, 3:05 am

 

Revlon said:

Alex, #3
I have no idea where you got the 25% approval rate of Qaddafi. I hope it is not the staged demos! If so, Asad jr. can and does boast 99%!

Majedkhaldoon #4
I make distinction between Syria the people and the regime. You and I, like the rest of Syrians would donate if allowed to. Under Emergency laws we would be dealt with as trouble makers. However, neither of us really expects Asad jr. to aid the enemies of his colleague dictator, Qaddafi.

Norman /Athanasiadis #13
It is very premature to map out the emerging, new, geopolitical landscape of the region. The projected negative prospects for the future of the emerging democracies are simplistic at best.

What prices glory?
The oppressed population, the jobless, and the victims of savagery of the Syrian regime care much less about regional alliances and international glories than they do about regaining their freedom, rights, peace and dignity.

The glorious pyramids of Egypt were built by enslaved human beings. You can marvel all you want at the Pharaoh and engineers for their vision and know how.
But, have you ever given a thought to the pain, misery, and lost lives incurred in the process?
I always wanted to go to Egypt, not to see the ancient Pyramids, but to experience the Egyptian people and their exceptional lifestyle. Now I can also see their greatest pyramid. It is that of democracy.

March 14th, 2011, 7:31 am

 

norman said:

Alex,
Chomsky is reading what i write ,

Revlon, about Egypt and Tunisia being better , I say (( Will See )) .

March 14th, 2011, 8:33 am

 

nafdik said:

Jad,

You are asking “To all who are calling for a short sighted no real goal ..”

The goal is very simple: freedom.

Do you think this needs further explanation as to why we want freedom? If so I can elaborate.

You want to avoid Syria becoming a banana republic.

Becoming a banana republic is a step up from being a banana monarchy.
Have you forgotten how our constitution was changed in a few hours to fit the needs of the son of the dead president, as if it were an article in Tishreen?

I understand that we Syrians have developed a defense mechanism that has helped us survive the humiliation of living as serfs by pretending that we are well kept serfs. The first step towards freedom is recognizing that we are living in prison.

March 14th, 2011, 8:40 am

 

Parenht said:

#3 Alex,
“Despite what we see on Aljazeera, Qaddafi is still popular among some Libyans. Even if his popularity is not more than 25%”

A lunacy rate of 25% is highly unlikely in any population. The claim is very disrespectful of Libyan people.

March 14th, 2011, 9:30 am

 

norman said:

Turkey is against the intervention of NATO in Libya ,

March 14th, 2011, 10:21 am

 

Ziad said:

Alex #3
I usually like what you write and agree with most of it, but I am not with you on this one. Historically the bilateral relationship between Syria and Libya was inconsequential, low trade volume, absence of joint projects, investments, or cultural exchanges. Prior to the revolution it was good that Syria had good relations with Gaddafi, but after the revolution Syria will pay dearly if she is actively supporting the neurotic leader, or if she remains “verbally” neutral. All is required is a clear statement that Syria stands on the side of the Libyan people. No one yet is actively supporting the rebels, so this is not required now from Syria. If Gadhafi, wins he will remain an outcast threatened with prosecution. If the rebels win they will remember who their friends were. Syria will stand on the wrong side, and her enemies will never stop reminding us.

Coming out on the side of the people is consistent with Syria’s position to be against the leaders who sold out their countries to the West and Israel, and oppressed their people in the process. Among all the Arab countries Libya is unique, with a large land area, low population, and significant oil revenues. It should have become the Singapore of MENA.

Rumors were circulating that Gadhafi was ready to quit if he could find a place of exile. One idea for debate: In the interest of saving Arab blood, should Syria offer Gadhafi a quarter?

March 14th, 2011, 11:14 am

 

jad said:

Dear Nafdik,
“The goal is very simple: freedom.”
What does ‘Freedom’ mean to you?
Freedom of what, from whom and in what form?
How are you going to deliver ‘freedom’ to the average Syrian (who apparently is waiting for our precious words) and help the revolution you are calling for when you live thousands of miles away?
How are you going to achieve Syria’s political decision ‘freedom’?
Are you going to go back to Syria with your family the moment the ‘revolution’ start and work with the new ‘revolutionists’ on ground for 1/10th of what you are making today and how long are you willing to give the ‘revolutionists’ of your time before you give up?
If you were 1% serious of what you are calling for you would’ve been in Syria by now preparing for the move you are calling for since it’s called for tomorrow as your ‘facebook’ rebels ‘gods’ are calling for, so please do me a favour and don’t give me any unrealistic lecture about freedom when you are doing nothing, words are very cheap on SC aren’t they?
“The first step towards freedom is recognizing that we are living in prison.”
Could you please explain to me the ‘Prison’ you in the west are feeling on behalf of all Syrians that is urging you to call the ‘Syrians’ to fight against?
Why would any poor /average Syrian in the streets of Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Latakia and any other Syrian city listen to the call of a high middle class, probably rich class I’m not sure, Syrian living in the west ?
The revolution won’t happen, some guys may show up tomorrow out of being ideal in their thinking but they won’t get what they want, simply because they don’t have any plan and they don’t know what they want or how to achieve anything they are calling for and if anything will come out of any revolution in Syria, it will be chaos.
Sorry to disappoint you and other Lebanese guys on here but I’m not buying your ‘freedom’ / ‘prison’ argument, too loose.

March 14th, 2011, 1:13 pm

 

gk said:

Alex,
“I think Syria has done enough for its neighbors.”

If so, why is it still interfering in its neighbors’ business? It aided in the chaos in Iraq and it is trying to create one in Lebanon!

March 14th, 2011, 1:56 pm

 

Nour said:

GK:

So the US invades Iraq, topples the regime, dismantles all security, military, and police apparatuses, effectively divides the country on sectarian and ethnic grounds, builds separation walls between the sects, etc., but it’s Syria that “aided chaos” in Iraq? As far as Lebanon is concerned, could you please explain to me how Syria is trying to create chaos in Lebanon?

March 14th, 2011, 2:14 pm

 

jad said:

Dear Nour,
It’s all Syria’s fault, it is the reason of all evil in this world NOBODY ELSE!
Lebanese politicians were very civilized to each other until Syria came along and destroy their peaceful lifestyle.
Iraqis and their rulers were the most diplomatic people of the area since ever. I even heard that they received the Americans with flowers but the evil Syria ‘aided in the chaos’ to destroy their lovely affair.
Palestinians, well, Syria should be responsible for everything wrong Israel, PA and Hamas are doing.
Even Libya!!! Syria must be responsible.
If we have any Japanese on this site I’m sure that he/she will tell us about Syria responsibility of the earthquake too.

March 14th, 2011, 2:41 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Saudia Arabia has sent troops to aid Bahrain king against his people,and Emarat decided to send troops to do the same.this I heard on AlJazeera T.V.
These actions is to be strongly condemned.I hope no blood is spilled because of this,if any foreign intereferance is warranted,it should help the people not the rulers.
Erdogan said Gaddafi must leave,I hope Turkey stands on the right side of history.
AlJazeera said that a ship full of military hardware arrived in Tripoli and supplied Gaddafi with arms ,it has Greek flags,we do not know where it came from.

March 14th, 2011, 3:15 pm

 

nafdik said:

Jad,

Your amusing babble about my character is quite intriguing.

Since you do not know me and so unable to do the usual character assassination that is favored by those who have no solid argument; you constructed an imaginary Nafdik and started to rant against his character.

As for your question of what am I doing for the revolution, I would like to ask you the same question: what are you doing for the regime?

Once you provide your answer I will readily tell you my rank and responsibilities in the revolutionary movement.

In the meantime I will stick to discussing ideas and topics rather than our personal lives.

March 14th, 2011, 3:52 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

GK. Your statements can be interpreted to be an attempt at “sarcasm” or completely un-factual given the facts of who promoted the invasion of Iraq and who is the principal agitator in creating problems in the Arab states. Or you aspire to be as the French would say “an agent provocateur”. Or you do not recall that Madeleine Allbright the Secretary fo State of the US stating to a CBS reporter that the killing of 500,000 Iraqi children was worth it to remove Saddam Hussein.

26. GK said:

Alex,
“I think Syria has done enough for its neighbors.”

If so, why is it still interfering in its neighbors’ business? It aided in the chaos in Iraq and it is trying to create one in Lebanon!

The reason to invade Iraq was part of a report of a Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000, for Bibi Nethanyahu. Former United States Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle was the “Study Group Leader”, but the final report included ideas from James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Robert Loewenberg, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser. (ALL AMERICANS)

The plan proposed new policies:
1. Rather than pursuing a “comprehensive peace” with the entire Arab world, Israel should work to “contain, destabilize, and roll-back” those entities that are threats.

“SYRIA challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which Americans can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon, (GK. READ THIS MORE THAN ONCE)

“That Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan comprehensive peace and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction programs, and rejecting land for peace deals on the Golan Heights.

That Israel can shape its strategic environment, by focusing on removing Saddam Hussein from power in IRAQ.— an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.

The plan was prepared before GWB got elected and all those involved worked for Rumsfeld at the US Department of Defense at one time.

March 14th, 2011, 4:04 pm

 

Jad said:

Ya sayed Nafdik,
شو هلعلاك المصدي
Do you really think I care of who you are, what you do or how you think? I don’t,
It’s hilarious that you think I was trying to assassinate your so highly important anonymous persona on SC, get real dude! 🙂 you definitely think too much about yourself, FYI, I don’t give a cent of who you are, I was merely trying to show you how empty your comment is, and they are.
Besides I didn’t ask for your rank, ‘General’!? Or your family, as if Nafdik is so important figer to think of 😉

Back to your empty reply, I’m one of the million average Syrians you keep talk about and whenever we ask you any question you run and hide behind the usual crap of we are from the regime, baathist and all other ready to write accusations, be a man for once in your life and face the people who you are talking on their behalf and prove to us that you deserve our trust because until now you suck in all what you tell us.

No need to reply and brag about your achievement or who you are that wasn’t the purpose of my comment to you.

March 14th, 2011, 4:30 pm

 

MONTAGNARD said:

Given the Nuclear Reactors critical situation faced in Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake, it is time for the US, the IAEA, and the countries of the region, to demand that Israel comes clean about its clandestine Nuclear program, its reactors, its processing and enrichment facilities, its weapons, its underground silos, storage and any related facilities.
From what is taking place in Japan, we still don’t have the final assessment, as several meltdowns, leeks and explosions have taken place and more are expected.
The Japanese nuclear facilities are strictly civilian power generating reactors under a fully transparent program and in strict conformity to the highest safety standards, complying with periodic third party inspections. The Israeli program has none of the Japanese safeguards.
Experts in the US are looking at US facilities that are in areas classified as fault zones, with geological seismic activity, to prevent a Japan like Nuclear disaster from happening in case of an earthquake.
It is known to geologists that the ME is an active seismic zone, with several geological faults, and active tectonic plates.
Israel/Palestine is overdue for a major earthquake, and if it happens at a scale equivalent to the Japanese one, Nuclear disasters will take place.
It is time for the US to pull the cover off Israel’s clandestine nuclear program and make sure that the people of the region are not living with a time bomb, as the magnitude of any disaster can not be predictable, and will affect all countries of the region.

March 14th, 2011, 8:25 pm

 

nafdik said:

Thanks Jad for your thoughtful reply and giving us some insights into the mind of dictator supporters.

March 14th, 2011, 8:39 pm

 

jad said:

You are welcome Nafdik البطل المقداد!

March 14th, 2011, 8:47 pm

 

Parent said:

Jad, Nafdik, Ziad, everyone, including me

Order!

“Wa Jadilhom Billati Heya A7san”.
We are brothers.
Let’s stick to the issues of discussion and remain respectful of each other.
We all have good motives and intentions.
Our divergent opinions are not our making. They are God’s. We are diverse by design. Our collective opinion is superior to anyone’s.
I apologize on behalf on all of us.
Let’s open a new page.
Peace!

March 14th, 2011, 9:47 pm

 

Norman said:

To all of you,It looks like the Egyptian and the Tunisian revolutionary are siding with Syria’s position to be against any Western intervention,

http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=latest/data/2011-03-14-13-27-53.htm

March 14th, 2011, 10:05 pm

 

MONTAGNARD said:

To illustrate the gravity of the risk in #33 above.
Here is a 3D rendering of the Dimona nuclear complex, one of Israel’s nuclear facilities, in the Negev desert.
It is not the only Nuclear facility in Israel, but it is the oldest and most vulnerable to an earthquake.

March 14th, 2011, 10:39 pm

 

Alex said:

22. Parenht

“A lunacy rate of 25% is highly unlikely in any population. The claim is very disrespectful of Libyan people.”

It is not politically correct perhaps, since we should all be supporting the revolution. But honestly … what can we say about the large numbers of Lebanese people who still love and support their old warlords? … The Saudis and other gulf states governed sometimes by very mediocre rulers … yet popular enough to continue governing.

Qaddafi has the support of some of the tribes and he has the support of the many Libyans who enjoyed a good life under his rule … no matter how screwed up in the head he is, his country is quite rich … he purchased Loyalti.

Noam Chomsky agreed it was a civil war and that no one should interfere on any side. Erdogan also said no one should interfere.

Ziad, I agree .. especially about the need to fine-tune Syria’s official position but you might want to read what Jihad Makdissi (spokesman for Syrian embassy in London) wrote today.

Syria should not host Qaddafi (if he agrees to leave). He should retire in Qatar and watch Aljazweera for the rest of his life!

Incidentally, I really don’t like that mad man and would love to see him kicked out. I hope my comments do not give a different impression.

March 15th, 2011, 6:11 am

 

gk said:

To whoever replied to me,
The facts are clear, Syria aided the US in torturing suspects (3arar, the Canadian Syrian who was arrested in the US and then sent to Syria to be tortured for months) and when the relation with the US changed, the Syrian regime let him go where he filed lawsuits and won!!! Syria let people gather and train in Syria and then go to Iraq to create chaos. The same thing Syria did when it was supporting both groups during the war in Lebanon in 1970s. And when both parties gor exhausted, the Syrian regime got the ok from the US (sure with Israeli approval) to take over Lebanon! Do you recall the red lines that were given to the Syrian regime?
Now, Syria is supplying weapons to Hizballah and other allies to create a country within a country. Irony, that what the Syrian did in the 1970s in Lebanon!
With all the problem in Lebanon, people can still speak out. Look at the freedom of speech in Syria!

March 15th, 2011, 7:48 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

A Saudi soldier has been shot dead in Bahrain

March 15th, 2011, 9:07 am

 

nafdik said:

Dear Parent,

Some brotherly mnaghacha is always expected 🙂

But seriously, Jad, I am sorry if I escalated our comments.

And sorry dear SC readers for polluting the waves.

March 15th, 2011, 9:31 am

 

Parent said:

#25 Jad,
Reading your response to Nafdik, please allow me to make the following comment.

You are not denying that Syrians want freedom. You are merely stating that their fear of chaos is holding them back.
I agree with this assessment.
Change of any sort carries risks and is fraught with uncertainties.

Three weeks ago, I overheard a shisha time conversation between three young Egyptians friends. They were debating the merits and risks of their ongoing revolution. It was the same debate that you guys were having.
All agreed on the need for change. One questioned whether it was worth losing lives for? The other two thought it was worth taking risk. I bet the same debate went on all over Egypt.

Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans and Yemenis were and are still aware of the risks to human lives and the potential chaos, involved in an uprising. Yet when they felt it was time to rise, they did.

Syrians shall not fail to do the same, if, and when they choose to.
Peace!

March 15th, 2011, 9:31 am

 
 

Parent said:

FHEMTKOM,
What is going on? Please tell me what is this all about. Is it staged or real?

March 15th, 2011, 10:09 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

There seems to be several demonstrations in Syria, one in Damascus, in Souk Alhamidieh where several people has been arrested by security forces according to Suhair Atassie,,,she said that on Aljazeerah TV(she was interviewd) . Also there are reports that security forces are surrounding demonstrators in Alepo. and in Daraa.
These will break the FEAR feeling that was pervasive among Syrians

March 15th, 2011, 11:30 am

 

Nour said:

GK,

So the facts are clear, huh? I suppose you gave clear and convincing evidence that Syria is allowing people to “gather and train” before they are sent to Iraq. If you do please hand them to the US military because even they haven’t been able to provide any evidence that “jihadists” in Iraq are being trained in Syria. As far as supporting resistance goes Syria has always supported resistance to occupation in our nation, whether in Lebanon, Palestine, or Iraq, and it has every right, and indeed the duty to do so. But I suppose you don’t believe that the occupation has anything to do with the rise of resistance movements. I guess Syria just one day decided to fabricate a resistance in Lebanon against a phantom occupation only in order to undermine the model Lebanese state. It must have clearly staged the presence of “Israeli” soldiers on Lebanese land. After all Syria has always envied Lebanon’s idealistic political system which had been working to perfection before the evil Syrian decided to step in and mess things up. And God forbid we should find the US at all responsible for what transpired in Iraq. It was definitely all Syria. Syria forced the US to occupy Iraq and must have somehow compelled them to dismantle all security, police, and military apparatuses in order to ensure maximum possible chaos. And all because they so desperately wanted to torture Maker Arar.

March 15th, 2011, 11:55 am

 

atassi said:

Syria pledges political reform amid protests
15 March 2011
11:54
Agence France Presse
AFPR

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Tuesday that political reforms would be implemented this year, as opposition websites reported protests in the capital’s Old City.

“We will take steps towards introducing political reforms this year,” Muallem said at a news conference with his Spanish counterpart Trinidad Jimenez.

He cited a recent interview President Bashar al-Assad gave to The Wall Street Journal in which he outlined “a programme of reforms that will begin with (amendments to) laws on municipal and legislative elections.”

Dozens of Syrians demonstrated in Damascus on Tuesday calling for freedom, political reforms and an end to corruption, according to opposition websites.

“God, Syria, freedom,” and “Syrians, where are you?” chanted men and women in a protest that filled Hariqa souk in the heart of the Old City, according to videos posted online.

A Facebook page entitled “The Syrian revolution against Bashar al-Assad 2011,” which amassed 40,000 fans, promoted anti-regime demonstrations “in all Syrian towns” on March 15.

The organisers, who say they are human rights activists from Syria and Europe with no political affiliation, called for a “revolution for liberty, justice and a diverse state.”

Hariqa souk was the site in mid-February of a spontaneous protest which drew hundreds of people angered by police who allegedly assaulted a young man in the Old City, the Dubai-based all4Syria.info reported.

A Facebook group also issued a largely unanswered call for “a day of rage” on February 4 to protest against “monocracy, corruption and tyranny.”

March 15th, 2011, 12:08 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

GK. Speaking about, “all the problem in Lebanon, people can still speak out.” When do you think will the people of Lebanon speak out about a resolution of what many believe is a major problem for Lebanon and brought about by Lebanon’s next door neighbor Israel?.

Its been some 60 odd years that close to 500,000 Palestinian men, women and children have resided in camp sites in Lebanon. Add to that the daily flights by Israeli planes over Lebanon which if you think about is indicative of what Israelis think of the Lebanese in general and their contempt for Lebanon’s integrity as a fellow member of the UN.

But then it may be that you are one of the infamous hasbara group doing whats expected.

March 15th, 2011, 12:34 pm

 

jad said:

Did anybody watch Orient TV, now?
What a circus!
Someone said that we don’t have ‘bread’ in Syria!!!!
The calm announcer keep repeating that if her amazing channel is in Syria now, they will do miracles!!! then she said that they got AN ’email’ from Aleppo about lots of gun shots (apparently nobody heard the gun fires in Aleppo itself)
and the Facebook page of the ‘revolution’ is saying that the Syrian ambassador in London Mr. Khiyami announce that he is with the revolution, seriously! Mr. Khiyami will announce that? where?

March 15th, 2011, 1:55 pm

 

Alex said:

GK … if you want to rely on rumors and “analysis” and “opinion” and hand picked cases then you will be able to prove anything .. Hey, you can prove that the United Sates is a communist country… try it, it is easy.

Instead of being obsessed with Syrian intervention in Lebanon, take another look at mini-Hariri’s speech on the 13th calling for no foreign intervention in Lebanon … in the background he put a huge printed photo of … Kind Abdullah!

March 15th, 2011, 2:47 pm

 

nafdik said:

From the Daily Beast:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-03-15/syrians-turn-out-for-scattered-protests-against-regime

A Tuesday protest had been scheduled by an anonymous Facebook page with more than 40,000 fans. But Ahmad and other well-connected Syrian activists had no idea who was behind the call, or whether the page’s administrators or the bulk of its supporters were even based inside the country. And with Syria’s infamous Muhabarat—or secret police—instilling as much fear as ever among the local population, it seemed unlikely that anyone would turn out to agitate for political and civil rights (which are abysmal in Syria, according to the U.S.-based advocacy group Freedom House). After all, during a similar call last month, no one took to the streets.
At about 1 p.m., however, Ahmad received a call from a friend, who advised him to head to Damascus’s historic Hamidia Street. He arrived to see about 200 people, mostly young men, gathering in a throng. According to Ahmad and a YouTube video of the scene, protesters shouted “Allah, Syria, freedom and peaceful”—along with “Where are you, Syrian people?”
The group marched to nearby Harika Square. Shortly thereafter, Ahmad and others said, busloads of secret police arrived, where they beat protesters and quickly dispersed the demonstration. “In a few seconds it happened,” Ahmad said. “They got out of the bus, and they started beating everyone. They started pushing people and dispersing them. In a few minutes the whole thing was over.”
Though the demonstration was small and short-lived, it gave some Syrians hope that things were beginning to change. “It’s the first in decades,” said another prominent activist. “We never could walk in streets and shout for freedom.”
“In Syria it’s a big deal,” added a well-known Syrian cyberactivist who goes by the pseudonym Malath Aumran. “It never happens in this way. People organized the protest, and went to the street. No one in Syria raises his voice to say, ‘We are against this regime, we need freedom.’” It’s rumored that people might protest Tuesday night. And another, more sophisticated demonstration in support of the country’s political prisoners has been scheduled for Wednesday, and publicly endorsed by leading activists, intellectuals, and family members of the imprisoned.
Mike Giglio is a reporter at Newsweek.

March 15th, 2011, 3:35 pm

 

gk said:

It looks like the Syrians are finally started their revolution! I wish them luck to get rid of their dictator! The Asad family has been in power (with no election) for 40 years! It is enough!!!

March 15th, 2011, 3:49 pm

 

Alex said:

Nafdik, here are my observations today, and they could change with time.

Instead of a massive revolution and the raging fire that the organizers on Facebook promised and expected, tens showed up. They are now calling it a “Sharara” or a spark … hoping it will ignite the real fire later.

Those who demonstrated were peaceful and positive. The 42,000 fans on Facebook of the rage page are, judging by their comments, the reason no minorities will join them (or very few, to be more correct). They are your typical “we will not forget Hama insha2allah and we will punish all those who were behind it”. A very large number of comments on that page are by religious Egyptians and other non-Syrians supporting an uprising in Syria.

3) The regime, like most politicians, lie. Those in “the opposition” and their supporters are much bigger liars. Again, not impressive at all. I will take the reformed regime anytime over these people (but the regime must reform).

And I’m not including the very very few decent ones in opposition.

Here is a comment on facebook from someone who read in the news that there were demonstrations in his town:

قرأت خبر وجود مظاهرات و صدامات بين الشرطة و المتظاهرين في بلدي و حين قرأت العنوان فوجئت أنها في مدينتي و حين ورد ذكر الشارع و الحي فوجئت أنها في نفس المكان الذي أنا جالس فيه قرأت بعض الأسماء ففوجئت بإسمي من بين المتظاهرين ثم صعقت لخبر أني قتلت برصاصة ! تلمست نفسي فلم أجد دماء نظرت من النافذة فلم أجد شيء نظرت إلى السماء و كانت الشمس تس……طع …
لعنة الله على وسائل الإعلام و على كل من يستخدمونها لبث الفتنة

“I read in the news that there were demonstrations and confrontations between the police and demonstrators in my country. Then I read it was in my town, then when they mentioned the district and street, I realized they are talking about where I am now. I read names and was surprised that I am among the demonstrators. Then I was shocked to read that I was killed with a bullet. I inspected myself but found no blood. I looked out of my window at the sky … the sun was shining. God damn the media and all those who are relying on it to promote unrest”

March 15th, 2011, 4:39 pm

 

jad said:

The news of the demonstration are on syria news!!!! WOW!!!!! That’s impressive to read such thing on local news site.

http://syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=130131

خرج عشرات المواطنين في منطقة سوق الحميدية يهتفون بهتافات باسم سورية كما اظهرت مقاطع فيديو بثت على اليوتيوب وتناقلتها وسائل الاعلام ، قيل انها صورت يوم الثلاثاء.

وشوهد في مقاطع الفيديو عشرات الاشخاص يسيرون في المنطقة المزدحمة كونها سوق مركزي في دمشق ، تجمعوا في جماعات صغيرة ويردد البعض منهم هتافات تحيّ سوريا ، دون ان تتضمن هتافاتهم اي مطالب واضحة.

وارسلت سيريانيوز مراسلها الى المكان ليؤكد بان “المنطقة كانت هادئة وان الجموع قد انفضت” ، وبقيت الحركة فيها اعتيادية ولم ير فيها أي جموع خارج المألوف وذلك حتى ساعة متأخرة من مساء الثلاثاء.

فيما لم تؤكد او تنفي اية مصادر رسمية هذه الحادثة الى تاريخ صياغة هذا الخبر.

سيريانيوز

All4syria is down, is Mr. Abdalnour in trouble? I guess he crossed a thick red line that he will pay dearly for.

Alex,
That Facebook site of ‘revolution’ wont let you write anything unless you include certain words in your comment of cursing the regime and you must end your comments with ‘Allah Akbar’ other wise you are band! Seriously that is the democracy they are promoting?
They are planning to become the new dictator!
You are right, most of the comments are coming from Egyptians.

March 15th, 2011, 6:43 pm

 

Norman said:

My dear friends Jad,Mont

Ask Shami, he can give you the password ,

Do you still think that the minorities have nothing to worry about.

Hm mm, I doubt it ,

March 15th, 2011, 6:55 pm

 

Majhool said:

Dear Jad,

What’s wrong with any demonstration given that is peacefull. That’s a god given right to speak up.

March 15th, 2011, 7:31 pm

 

jad said:

Dear Norman,
To be very honest with you, I have an allergy of the word ‘minority’ and ‘majority’, we are all Syrians we are all Humans, we are all living and sharing the same air, the same land, the same language, the same education, the same food, the same destiny and even our religions/beliefs share exactly the same morals and values with some differences in the practicing manners.
‘Minority’ and ‘Majority’ for me is a state of mind exactly like poverty; (you are not poor when you don’t have money you are poor when you don’t have brain) the fear from others is only exists in the minds of the weak and the radicals and I’m positive that most of the Syrians doesn’t agree with those sick radicals and they will never let them to take over, so in short and to answer your question, I don’t feel afraid of the Syrian differences it’s our strength if we use it right. Syrians share the same destiny and as long as we have people refusing radicalism things should be ok.

Saying all that and from previous historical events that doesn’t mean that many people from different sects and different ethnic groups in Syria should stop asking for their rights, no there is a constant need to keep trying to get full protection and full respect from the whole the society and to enforce it by law. However, it’s for the best interested of the whole society all our Syrian groups need to relax a little bit and be part of the solution not the problem, after all Syria has never been for one group, Syria will always be for every one of us.

Signed by
Brutus 😉 (since we are in the ‘Ides of March’)

March 15th, 2011, 7:34 pm

 

jad said:

Dear Majhool,
I’m not surprised by the demonstration itself, I’m surprised of reporting about it immediately on a semi-government news paper, aren’t you?

Doesn’t that give you a hint that things might be going in the right direction sooner than expected? I found it as a good sign by the government, my only fear is that things may get ugly if people don’t get those little signs as a peace offering by the government to start a meaningful negotiation for specific goals instead of full blow headless revolution that nobody can predict of its results.

March 15th, 2011, 7:47 pm

 

nafdik said:

Alex,

I agree that there is a difference in tone and let us hope demontrations will continue and will remain with the same peace message.

However, I would be very cautious before we draw fast conclusions. The demonstrators are fearful so we do not know the extent of their rage. They might have adopted the most peaceful message to make sure the odds of arrest are reduced.

Your comment “And I’m not including the very very few decent ones in opposition.” is very interesting.

Are you saying that opposition is generally indecent and the decent ones are the exception?

That looks counter-intuitive to me as somebody who is ready to risk their well-being for the future of their country usually has a better moral standing than average.

Unless you think that the opposition is Khaddam and Rifaat.

March 15th, 2011, 8:07 pm

 

Majhool said:

Dear Jad,

I am not as surprised as you are. The government is trying to smartly navigate it way out of this crisis, and by this i mean, dodge the bullet without effectively doing any reforms.

As for considering this as a hint, well, there were many things that some considered as hints, examples are plenty, allowing political forums in 2000, promising new electoral law and new political party laws in 2004, etc..

All these hints proved to be maneuverers..

As for negotiating, well you said it your self, this activity is headless. There is no organized opposition ( thanks to government oppression). I have been arguing in the past that the real opposition in syria is silent but very large.

Instead of negotiating, what’s needed is actual reform like ending emergency law.

It’s unrealistic to expect people to buy into hints and wishful thinking.

March 15th, 2011, 8:31 pm

 

nafdik said:

Alex I just checked one of the FB pages for the demonstrations and I did not find any of the hateful messages you suggested. I am sure I will find if I dig deeper but it is clearly not the dominant tone.

Is this the page you are talking about?

http://www.facebook.com/pages/%D9%86%D8%AD%D9%88-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%83-%D8%B4%D8%B9%D8%A8%D9%8A-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%8A%D9%88%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%BA%D8%B6%D8%A8-5-%D8%B4%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B7-2011/175027102541306

March 15th, 2011, 8:35 pm

 

Norman said:

Jad,
That was very inspirational but unfortunately some in Syria do not think that president Assad belong and deserve the chance to be president, People should get their rights , but they should give others their rights first,

March 15th, 2011, 9:57 pm

 

NK said:

Alex, Jad

I’ve been following that Facebook page for a bit over a month now, I know for a fact that whoever created the page is not living in Syria (the page is the same on that called for demonstration on Feb 5th), the guy posted asking if anything happened that day, lol. So yeah I wouldn’t make much of what he or other people post as “breaking news” unless they provide photos or videos.

As for the comments, well if you pay close attention, you’ll notice that regime loyalists are posting pretty harsh stuff too, and no Jad, you don’t have to say certain things to post on there, I’ve read a lot of people having lengthy discussions about why the regime should be maintained and how loved Bashar was/is/will ever be. It looked as if your comment won’t be deleted as long as you remain respectful, but I could be wrong since I haven’t tried posting anything myself.

Alex, why did you post, “we will not forget Hama insha2allah and we will punish all those who were behind it”, as if it was a bad thing to be said ?. Don’t you agree that those who lost family members in Hama, and Syrians in general, deserve some closure ?.

Anyways, regardless of who is posting on Facebook, or who is saying what on the internet, the fact is, a few very brave souls actually took to the streets to ask for their rights. I thought it would be a few more years before we see demonstrations in Damas, I guess I was pretty wrong.

As for Syria news, I have very little faith in that website, it’s very strongly controlled, it never checks its stories, and unless you say long live Assad in your comment it will never make it into their comments section regardless of its content. Have you read the comments in there ? I was about ready to throw up, 6 comments in.

nafdik

Pretty sure Alex was talking about this Facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/Syrian.Revolution

March 15th, 2011, 10:36 pm

 

Alex said:

Nafdik, this is the main group that is calling for and orchestrating the demonstrations (to the best of their ability). They have 1100% the membership of the other site you found:

http://www.facebook.com/Syrian.Revolution?ref=ts

Here is a collection of their comments … fanatics and Egyptians:

#
محمد الشربيني انا مصري وبدعمكم بكل ما اوتيت وصفحاتي اللي بديرها بحط اخباركوا اول باول شدوا حيلم ياشباب سوريا لن نشعر بطعم الحرية الكامل بدون سوريا الحبيبه
33 minutes ago · 2 peopleLoading…
#
النسر السوري يا بن العرصة يا محمود ابو خرية في راسك وراس بشار اساليب المخابرات هي مكشوفة يا مهييف يا وسخة يا صرصور بدنا ندعس على راسك وراس معلمك هالجحش
33 minutes ago · 2 people

#
الخزي والعار الى هذا النظام يرسل مرتزقته الى قتل الشعب الليبي
32 minutes ago · 3 peopleLoading…
#
Laith Qerbaa ابو جمعة شكله سوري من القرداحة كمان
غباااااااااااااااااااااااء
32 minutes ago · 3 people

نور الدين :ربنا يوفقكم
محمود أبو جمعة :بطل تكسر في عزيمة الناس دول مش عايشين انت لو تعر حكومة سوريا الفاسدة بتعاملهم ازاي ولا الشرطة مكنتش قولت كدة

طلحة شيخ-البساتنة
كلنا يعلم أن الفاسد بشار لن يصلح أبدا ، ولا حل إلا بإسقاطه ، لكن على مهل ، نتعامل بالحكمة حتى نجمع حولنا كل السوريين وكل أحرار العالم
ننادي : الله .. سوريا .. حرية ،، وبس

إذا طالبنا الآن بالإسقاط وقف كثير من السوريين ضدنا وكان للنظام حجة بالع…نف معنا
أما إذا طالبنا بالحرية والإصلاح وقف معنا السوريوون كلهم ، من يكره بشار ومن يحبه ، والعالم كله معنا
لذا لا ننادي الآن بالإسقاط أبدا
ثم يعاملنا النظام بالعنف ، فنغير ندائنا فورا :

الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام

وسيكون السوريون والعالم كله معنا
كما حدث في مصر

#
يقول الصادق المصدوق صلى الله عليه وسلم كما تكونوا يولى عليكم
فإدا أردتم أيها ىالشباب السوري سرعة الفرج وإزالة هدا النظام فعلينا إصلاح العلاقة مع الله والتعرف على الله في الخاء حتى يعرفنا في الشدة وكل شاب أو شابة يصطلح مع ربه في هده الأيام ال…مباركة يعجل الفرج علينا جميعا بل ربما يكون هو أو هي سببا في أن يستجيب الله دعواتنا وخير بداية للصلح مع الله الصلاة الصلاة الصلاة جعلني الله وأياكم من المحافظين عليهاSee More
29 minutes ago
#
Ahmed Abdulraheemalrahman الله يحفظكم يا أخ علي محمود والأخت سوزي
26 minutes ago · 1 person2 people like this.
#
Osamah Syria يا بشار يا جحش بدنا نغير هدا الفرش

يا بشار يا صرماية بدنا نعمل منك حكاية
يا بشار يا شحاطة زلمك كلن فراطة

#
رسالة من مصرى مجرب ازاى يمنع الامن من القبض على احد من الثوار الاحرار
يجب اولا ان تتشابكو الايادى على الاقل 5 اشخاص فى كل مجموعة
ويجب ايضاً التأكد انك ماشى فى مسيره كبيره لا تقل عن 200 شخص
وحاول بقدر الآمكان عدم التخلف عن المسيره لاى سبب كان
وا…حذرو من الاشخاص الغير معلومه لكم لان يوجد عناصر من قوات امن النظام بتكون لبسه ملابس عاديه وبتندس بين الثوار
مصرى عاشق لسوريا
ربنا معاكوSee More
11 hours ago · 2 peopleLoading…
#
Gagel Maldodi إن ينصركم الله فلا غالب لكم… الله أكبر على كل من ظلم
11 hours ago · 1 personLoading…
#
Islami Abed
أيها الإخوة من الضباط في الجيش السوري

إن النظام الحاكم بكل شرائحه غريب عن الأمة الإسلامية، عدو لأهلكم، يجعلكم أدوات قمع في يده الظالمة، وحق الله عليكم أن تكونوا أنصاره بنصرة دينه، نحن نعلم أن منكم مؤمنين مخلصين، يتحرقون من هذه الأوضاع، ويتشو…قون للتغيير، يضيرهم ما يضير أهلهم، ويسوؤهم ما يقوم به النظام من جرائم بحق شعبه، ويريدون التخلص منه… فإلى هؤلاء نتوجه بالقول: أجمعوا أمركم ثم ائتوا صفاً، وأزيلوا الحاكم من الحكم، وسلموا الحكم إلى المخلصين من أهلكم الواعين الذين يستطيعون أن يقيموا الحكم بما أنزل الله، ويقيموا الخلافة الراشدة التي لها يعملون منذ أن قاموا من غير أن يحيدوا عن أمر الله في طلبها قيد شعرة

#
صح عن النبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم- أنه قال:” عليكم بالشام .. فإن الله -عز وجل- قد تكفَّل لي بالشام وأهله “. أي تكفَّل اللهُ لنبيه -صلى الله عليه وسلم- بنصرة دينه ودعوته .. والذود عن بيضة الإسلام وحرماته .. بالشام وأهل الشام .. ومن تكفَّل الله… به ـ فهو محفوظ ـ فلن يضيع ولا خوف عليه.
وعن زيد بن ثابت الأنصاري -رضي الله عنه- ، قال: سمعتُ رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- يقول:” يا طوبى للشام! يا طوبى للشام! يا طوبى للشام! “، قالوا يا رسول الله وبمَ ذلك؟ قال:” تلك ملائكةُ الله باسطوا أجنحتها على الشام “.See More
11 hours ago
#
Yassin Al Hariri الله اكبر على الضالم
11 hours ago
#
Ahmad Thawra يا شباب بمصر توجه سكان المدن الى العاصمة او انتقوا مدينة واحدة ليتكتلوا بها ارجو التجمع في المدن الكبرى

الله انت ربي لا اله الا انت خلقتني وانا عبدك وانا على عهدك ووعدك ما استطعت .. اعوذ بك من شر ما صنعت . ابوء لك بنعمتك علي . وابوء لك بذنبي فاغفر لي ذنبي فانه لا يغفر الذنوب الا انت

دعاء الحاجة .. ما سال مؤمن الله بهذا الدعاء الا اجابه ..
توكي…نا على الله وهو ارحم الراحمين ….

انها آخر ليلة ينام فيها الشعب السوري بلا كرامة ثوروا أيها الأبطال والزهرات.
حذاري من المارد السوري ومن غضبه. انها سوريا الأبية أيها الصعاليك وليست مزرعة الأسد.جيشنا الباسل معكم أيها الأحرار أثبتوا ولا تخافوا
حي على الثورة

اللهم انصر اهلنا في سوريا, اللهم انهم مظلومون فانصرهم, هؤلاء جنودك راجين رحمتك, اللهم سدد رميهم و دمر أعدائهم, اللم انهم أسرفو في الطغيان و أنشرو في الأرض الفساد, اللهم أنزل على الطاغين عظائم غضبك و أرنا فيهم عجائب مقدرتك. اللهم انا نسألن باسمك الأعظم أن تحقن دماء عبادك, اللهم أحقن دماء أهلنا في سوريا, و في ليبيا و اليمن و سائر بلاد العرب يا أرحم الراحمين برحمتك نستغيث و صللي اللهم و سلم و بارك على سيدنا و نبيينا محمد ص و على آله و صحبه أجمعين . آمين اللهم آمين و الحمد لله رب العالمين

الله يحميكم وينصركم ويأخذ بأيديكم ويوفقكم لما يحب ويرضى اللهم آمين
والله اكبر والعزة لله ولرسوله فلا تنسوا ان هذه الامة التي هي خير امة اخرجت للناس عاشت وستعيش وستنتصر باذن الله وترث الارض ببركة رسول الانام خاتم المرسلين فلنحافظ على امتنا… شرفا وكرامة وعزا … ونقول لا للظلم والمهانة بعد اليوم نصر نصر باذن الله

And a You Tube clip

March 15th, 2011, 10:43 pm

 

LeoLeoni said:

Norman,
Assad inherited the throne in an autocratic manner in a supposedly republican system of governance. Assad did not have a right to the presidency because he was 34 years old in 2000 while the constitution restricted the president to be at least 40 years old. The constitution was amended in few hours to fit his size. There were no elections but a referendum and he was the sole candidate. In addition to his crack down on political dissent and liberties, the people in Syria have a problem with the president and his regime because of the above and NOT because of his religion or faith.

Does it ever occur to you to ask while being 40 years in power and while continuously playing the sectarian card, why hasn’t the Assads removed the article in the constitution that calls for the President to be Muslim? It’s ridiculous that you blame the people while the Assads are the ones who hold absolute power.

March 15th, 2011, 10:54 pm

 

Norman said:

Alex,
What kind of people are these, they sound deranged, Thank God they are not Syrians

March 15th, 2011, 10:55 pm

 

Jad said:

NK
No, I’m correct, you can go and check yourself, any comment that say anything other than what they are calling for get deleted immediatlty. And all of them start attacking you.
One more thing, if somone declair his support of the President on Syria news is disgusting but it’s ok to write sectarian language? What kind of message is that?

March 15th, 2011, 11:19 pm

 

Norman said:

Leoleoni,

Yes the president was 34years old and was able to be president without amending the Syrian constitution, but still went through amending the constitution and now 34 year old Syrians can be presidents, about being the only candidate , that is the System in Syria for the time being, probably should change but until then he played by the rule, about the opposition not liking the president for the above reasons, I disagree, can you tell me the platform of the opposition that you admire, What is the plan for the economy, education, defence, relations with Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and where do they stand on the Palestinian problem and how do they plan to repatriate the Golan, I have yet to see a plan for the opposition, It looks to me being in the opposition is a goal by itself,

About the Assads not changing the requirement for the president to be Muslim, I do not think that you know the story behind that, In 1973 few months before the war of October 6 , The Syrian constitution was being written, there was nothing in the constitution about the president being Muslim but the opposition as you call them at that time wanted the Islam to be the state religion , President Hafiz Assad refused and was faced with uprising in Syria’s major cities few months from the most important war that Syria initiated, so he had to make a choice, standing his ground and risk a major conflict in Syria jeopardizing the war effort so he decided to give in on the religion of the president being Islam after the consultation withe christian religious leaders who felt that the safety of Syria out-way their rights to be equal citizens and for that they proved that Syria is the more important than having a christian president.

March 15th, 2011, 11:23 pm

 

NK said:

well, after reading all these comments, Other than that one guy from “Hizb Al Tahrir”, I’m not sure why you’re calling them fanatics/deranged !!! and what about that video ?

There are a couple Egyptians in there, they’re not hiding it, they’re saying we’re Egyptians and we support you, nothing wrong with that!

There’s a guy from “Hizb Al Tahrir”, they keep posting their crap about their aim to re establish the “Khilafa”, not just on this page, all over the internet … a lot of people told guys like him time and time again that no one is interested in establishing an Islamic republic, look through the 1000s of comments on that page and you’ll find that out for yourself.

March 15th, 2011, 11:38 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Looks like Al-CIADA managed to keep on the payroll all the fake Islamist websites publishers Al-Zarqawi & Company, a new job assignment, now that they are no longer needed in Iraq and Afghani don’t speak Arabic, way to go. When bin Laden and Zawahiri will be publishing videos in support of the Syrian Revolutionary. Or is it the Mukhabrat leaving all these comments to scare Syrians away from Revolutionary! They sure scared me even though I hardly understand their strange Arabic, but then again relieved it is the same Al-CIADA cookie cutter, and no one has Assad 30k wild shooter Alawites ready to eat snakes and kill dogs at sight. What a relief.

March 15th, 2011, 11:48 pm

 

NK said:

Jad

Of course it’s not acceptable to use sectarian language, no matter what, there’s no excuse and it should never be tolerated. I’m not defending those who use it on Facebook or elsewhere period.

As for the Syria news comments, I’m not disgusted by those who declare their love for the president, however I can’t stand people who say things like
بقيادة حبيب الأمة الدكتور المفدى بشار حافظ الأسد “أفديك بروحي”

لا تنجروا وراء اليهود و اعداء الوطن الله سوريا و بشار و بس

سورية شعبك شعب الصوت الواحد اختار القائد بشارك بالأمل الواعد حارس أحلامك يا شام

لا للموساد لا للصهاينة لا للخطط المدروسه الشعب السوري ليش من السهل ان تلعبوا بعقله الله يخلينا الدكتور بشار ويحمي سوريا الاسد ايها الشعب العظيم سوف نقف كلنا في وجه المخططات الاستعمارية ولسوريا النصر والدكتور بشار الاسد اعظم انسان في التاريخ

Just count the times you see سوريا الاسد in there. How many comments discuss what is going on in there ?, how many people praised those who asked for freedom in Syria ?, people commenting there are only doing so for the sole purpose of praising the president, that’s what I’m disgusted about, elevating a man to God status then painting everyone who criticize him as an agent of Mossad, the US, Khaddam etc…

March 16th, 2011, 12:02 am

 

Leo said:

Norman,

You said: “Yes the president was 34years old and was able to be president without amending the Syrian constitution, but still went through amending the constitution and now 34 year old Syrians can be presidents, about being the only candidate , that is the System in Syria for the time being, probably should change but until then he played by the rule”

Are we suppose to be grateful that Bashar amended the constitution to fit his size instead of just becoming president despite his unconstitutional age? Do you not see that it was a ridiculous to amend the constitution in few hours to make it fit his size? The presidency was handed to him by his father’s cliques in less than few hours!

Are you seriously asking about the opposition’s platform while this bankrupt regime has jailed or silenced every single political dissent in the country for the past 5 decades? Are you not ashamed that there is not a single opposition parliamentarian in parliament?

Regarding the constitutional article that states the president shall be Muslim, Hafez Assad had 27 years to change that clause and could have done so if he really wanted to. Bashar Assad had 10 additional years and still whines about Syria’s botched secularism being threatened yet he hasn’t done anything to change that. Bashar talks about how important it is to secularize the country and instead of implementing a civil personal status law, he was very close on implementing an ultra conservative personal status law if it wasn’t for the great enlightened people who refused it. It is the regime that plays the sectarian card and not the people.

March 16th, 2011, 1:23 am

 

Revlon said:

Nafdik, GK,
“Allah, Syria, freedom and peaceful”—along with “Where are you, Syrian people?”
The snow ball has formed and is starting to roll.

There are so many positive meanings in this March 15th evanescent march.
Ground networking and grouping is taking place.
This is the first, spontaneous/non-reactionary demonstration. It will instill more courage on its participants to persist and in other groups follow their lead.

The revolution has found its unifying theme.
It is the also its mission statement.
It represents an ideological departure from that of the ruling Baath party. Wa7da, 7urrya Ishatirakliya.
God symbolizes their unity with all nations.
Syria, for embracing all Syrians.
Freedom for breaking the shackles of oppression.
Peaceful, for declaring its peaceful means to achieve its mission.

Alex,
I agree with your positive assessment of the demonstration.
I think the low turnout is not unexpected. This is how it started also in Tunisia and Egypt. The public is gathering courage.

The improper comments you copied from youtube are not surprising. People are venting their long suppressed frustrations. Similar and worse language is commonly and unnecessarily used by the establishment’s security.

SNP,
Al Qaida threat is a scarecrow.
Bush used it to destroy Iraq.
Qiddafi is using it while destroying Libya.
Do not use it. It destroys your credibility!

March 16th, 2011, 3:12 am

 

Dunes said:

Where are Joshua’s two cents on the protests?

March 16th, 2011, 5:31 am

 

Norman said:

Leo,
For the opposition to seek support they need to tell the people where they plan to lead them, apparently with all the blogs, they do not seem to be able to express themselves, you might be able to help on this forum, as you can see , you can,
Let me put in another way,
What policies you do not like about president Assad,

There is no demand by the public to change the requirement for the president to be Muslim , when that happen Assad will move on it until then, there is no need to stir trouble.

March 16th, 2011, 7:44 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

There is difference between huge mass demonstrations and small one,huge crowd will attract followers,people who see it will be charged with emotion,and increase their zealousness,it has encouraging effect,small crowd has no attractiveness,the crowd we saw in Damascus was small crowd,and did not last long,it will have effect if repeated,as persistance will convince, we will watch and see if these demonstrations continue .
Bashar made three mistakes in the last 2 months
1)it has been two months since Tunis and Egypt revolutions start,he did not do any reform at all,,he did not release prisoners of politics,abolish emergency rule,it. is till in effect,has not made any public speech to tell the people what he plan,his only shows, he touchs and talks to kids while surrounded by huge security forces.
2) He assisted and defended Gaddafi, who is hated by his people who see the atrocities commited by this mad man.
3)he arrested young people who demonstrated,put more people in jail,his military court continues to sentence innocent people.

He is not even slow(eleven years in power) he does not move forward at all,the promisses of reform are nothing but lies,as a dictator ,I never expect him to do any reform.
Those who prefer the regime over his oppositions,claiming that good oppostion are very very few,those people will loose credibility,those oppositions are in jail, they count more than thousand,their only crime is that they spoke against corruption.
Syrian depend on the army to stage a coup. revolutions are new to syrian,except in 1925,the army is controled by the regime.

March 16th, 2011, 7:47 am

 

Joshua said:

Dunes, I am in DC about to give a talk at the Middle East Institute at 12. It is Tuesday March 16. I have just arrived from Maine where I have given two talks.

I have just read about the demonstration in the Washington Post, which claims that some 40 people demonstrated in Hamidiya. My comment from this small article is that it is a sign that Syria is not immune from the tensions and demands that have been expressed by the people of other Arab countries – jobs, freedom, dignity. The police in Syria frighten people or it would be larger.

At the same time, none of the protests we have seen so far in Syria have grown very large or have overwhelmed police which they did in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Bahrain. Nevertheless, the signs are there that the young could become mobilized against the state in the future.

March 16th, 2011, 8:38 am

 

nafdik said:

Norman,

You are asking what policy does the opposition have.

Clearly they have no single policy as the opposition is not a party but a movement.

The movement is united in demanding:

– Remove emergency laws
– End of regime nepotism and corruption
– End of sectarian rule
– Release political prisoners
– Free elections
– Free speech
– Free press

Do you not agree with these demands?

The movement is composed of parties that have various detailed agendas. This includes: islamists, communists, syrian nationalists, libertarians, socialists, anti-regime baathists.

If you find that these parties are antiquated you are right and this because political life in Syria has been frozen for 40 years.

Asking what are the policies of the parties is like saying that we do not need freedom of press because we have no good journalists. I trust the Syrian people to create vibrant political parties once political life is restored.

Once all the demands above are met there is nothing preventing Bashar, Asma, Tlas, Makhlouf, or any others to convince people that they have great policies and to get elected on that platform.

If you think Bashar policies are good; don’t you think Syria would be better off by having these policies approved by the people and at same time giving Makhlouf less preferential treatment and having a free press?

March 16th, 2011, 8:39 am

 

nafdik said:

What is the latest news?

March 16th, 2011, 8:45 am

 

newname said:

Norman,

You are asking what policy does the opposition have.

Clearly they have no single policy as the opposition is not a party but a movement.

The movement is united in demanding:

– Remove emergency laws
– End of regime nepotism and corruption
– End of sectarian rule
– Release political prisoners
– Free elections
– Free speech
– Free press

Do you not agree with these demands?

The movement is composed of parties that have various detailed agendas. This includes: islamists, communists, syrian nationalists, libertarians, socialists, anti-regime baathists.

If you find that these parties are antiquated you are right and this because political life in Syria has been frozen for 40 years.

Asking what are the policies of the parties is like saying that we do not need freedom of press because we have no good journalists. I trust the Syrian people to create vibrant political parties once political life is restored.

Once all the demands above are met there is nothing preventing Bashar, Asma, Tlas, Makhlouf, or any others to convince people that they have great policies and to get elected on that platform.

If you think Bashar policies are good don’t you think Syria would be better off by having these policies approved by the people and at same time giving Makhlouf less preferential treatment and having a free press?

March 16th, 2011, 8:51 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Suhair Atassie has been arrested today.

March 16th, 2011, 8:51 am

 

Alex said:

Revlon,

It is not about “improper comments” … but I went through hundreds of their comments and they are mostly Allah this and Allah that … Poor Japan had to pay the price for this “Syrian Revolution” facebook page … 45,000 members kept God busy full time for the past few weeks.

They are free to be ultra religious, but I am not interested in supporting their “progress” towards Saudi standards.

This is a typical thing you would read there:

اللهم أنزل على الطاغين عظائم غضبك و أرنا فيهم عجائب مقدرتك

Translation: Help us spill their blood … the more the better.

It is bad when state security beats detainees who oppose their regime … but if these lovely young revolutionaries succeed, they will much worse.

NK,

I agree … very silly old tactics of portraying every opponent as an Israeli agent. And idolizing leaders through that old Baathist language is also beyond silly.

March 16th, 2011, 10:25 am

 

Ziad said:

Huge efforts expended, third or fourth call on Facebook with 30000 Likes.

March 15 came and only 100-200 showed up. They gathered in a normally crowded shopping area for a better impact on YouTube. The police showed up, the demonstration fizzled and was over in minutes. The shouting was intermittent. The Syrian police is proverbially brutal, however no tear gas or rubber bullets on the one side and no call for “fight till the last drop”, or stone throwing on the other side.

My take on this is that only the Facebook crowd showed up. Those are middle class youths, not really hurting. Compare that with Jan 14 Tahrir Square 300000, which definitely was more than a Facebook crowed.

I infer from this event:

1 – Great effort is made by Syria haters from the outside to spark a Syrian revolution. The guy who was talking in the video (44. FHMETKom) was clearly Lebanese. This video was posted on “Lebanon Now”, an Anti-Syrian site, and was for the first half of the day the only Google hit for “Demonstrations in Syria”.

2 – Only a tiny minority inside Syria is in a mood for a revolution.

3 – It is a wishful thinking that this is just the beginning of something much bigger.

To have a real revolution the poor masses must join in. This might still happen as the subsidies are phased out, and/or if food prices increase.

Whenever I meet a Syrian or a visitor to Syria I ask about her/his opinion and the mood inside. Within this small and unrepresentative sample, the positives far outweigh the negatives. I only hope there will be an objective scientific poll inside Syria to assess the approval ratings of the current government broken by location, creed, age, income.

March 16th, 2011, 10:28 am

 

norman said:

Do you have to get a permit, like in the US, to go out on a demonstration in Syria ?.

March 16th, 2011, 10:49 am

 

Alex said:

I hope this will somehow help enforce the anti smoking law

عاصي تقرع جرس الإنذار .. لا تدخين بعد اليوم وضابطة عدلية للمخالفين

دمشق ..
بعد مرور فترة ليست بالقصيرة على صدور المرسوم التشريعي رقم 62 لعام 2009 والخاص بمكافحة التدخين قامت وزيرة الاقتصاد والتجارة لمياء مرعي عاصي بإصدار القرار رقم 642 القاضي بأن يقوم آمر الصرف في كل جهة عامة بإصدار قرار بتسمية احد العاملين في هذه الجهة أو أكثر كضابطة عدلية مكلفة بمتابعة تنفيذ أحكام المادة 2 من المرسوم التشريعي رقم 62 لعام 2009 وضبط المخالفات وتنظيم الضبوط بحق المخالفين بعد تأديتهم اليمين القانونية أمام المحكمة المختصة.
ويزود كل شخص مخول ببطاقة مميزة غير قابلة للتزوير تحمل صورته الشخصية .

March 16th, 2011, 10:58 am

 

trustquest said:

From today peaceful protest for the release prisoners of conscious on twitter, which I hope no one would like to support the government brutal action:
They jump on protestors like ficous dogs, …it is strange this hate in their eyes…. They did not leave old lady or child they did not hit with their stakes. They arrested the ten years old ( the son of Raghda Hassan) to the age of sixty…
انقضوا كالمسعورين..عجيب الكراهية الي كانت بعيونهم…ماخلوا سيدة كبيرة او طفل صغير ما ضربوه بالهراوات، اعتقلوا من ابن العشر سنوات (ابن رغدة الحسن) لجيل الستينات

March 16th, 2011, 11:01 am

 

GK said:

Ziad,
“Whenever I meet a Syrian or a visitor to Syria I ask about her/his opinion and the mood inside. Within this small and unrepresentative sample, the positives far outweigh the negatives. I only hope there will be an objective scientific poll inside Syria to assess the approval ratings of the current government broken by location, creed, age, income.”

I don’t know whom do you talk to and where?

I always ask people after their visit to Syria about their impresssion of what is the mood in Syria (I am carfeul not to ask in front of other people especially if they are Syrian too!) and the response has been alway: “the same! people are afraid to talk, they rather focus on getting food to the family! But people are not happy!”

March 16th, 2011, 11:13 am

 

norman said:

Alex,
I just hope that will not just have more people who can get bribes to turn their head away.
The more the government get involved the more corruption we see .

March 16th, 2011, 11:15 am

 

Alex said:

Norman,

You mean they would bribe the person in charge of enforcing the lawy so that he/she would allow them to smoke inside the building?

: )

They have cameras now in many government and public buildings. Let’s hope more people will take the anti-smoking law a bit more seriously.

Dear GK,

From my experience discussing Syria with you I have no doubt that severe “selective attention/selective retention” is guaranteed.

You simply are not able to hear/understand/register positive information about Syria that might challenge your strong convictions that the regime in Damascus could possibly run the country successfully in any area or domain.

You only hear what fits your convictions.

March 16th, 2011, 11:26 am

 

norman said:

Alex,
Yes , i believe that shaming people for inflicting harm on others by smoking is more effective.
besides, prevention and Education of the young is more effective, it has to be a full program, not bits and pieces .

March 16th, 2011, 11:30 am

 

Ziad said:

I am an ex-smoker and happy to see smoking prohibited in public areas, however this law will have a negative impact on tourism.

Most Arab visitors come from countries without any limitations on smoking and will feel constrained in Syria. A better approach would be to prohibit smoking in enclosed areas only.

March 16th, 2011, 11:35 am

 

Alex said:

Norman, yes there are efforts towards prevention… education .. billboards …

Ziad,

I think they are indeed limiting it to smoking in enclosed areas.

March 16th, 2011, 11:41 am

 

Ziad said:

An Iranian cargo plane flying to Syria was ordered to land in south-eastern Turkey amid reports it may have been carrying military material.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12761472

March 16th, 2011, 11:55 am

 

Atassi said:

Check this Baath propaganda…
Do you recall the Iraqi dude Al Sahaff!! Wow..
Got milk ….

صرح مدير إدارة التوجيه المعنوي في وزارة الداخلية العميد محمد حسن العلي أنه ولدى مراجعة بعض الأهالي لتقديم طلبات خطية بشأن ذويهم الموقوفين بجرائم مختلفة حاول بعض الأشخاص المدسوسين استغلال الموقف والدعوة للتظاهر من خلال إطلاقهم بعض الشعارات التحريضية في منطقة المرجة بدمشق التي تزدحم بشكل طبيعي بالمواطنين حيث تصدى لهم أصحاب المحلات التجارية الموجودة بالمنطقة والمواطنون بشكل عفوي ورددوا شعارات وطنية معبرين عن رفضهم محاولات بث الفوضى والعبث بأمن الوطن.

وقال العلي في تصريح للصحفيين.. إن ما حصل اليوم هو أن عدداً من الأشخاص حاولوا إطلاق شعارات للتظاهر مستغلين دعوة بعض وسائل الإعلام المغرضة وذلك خلال عملية استقبال المواطنين وتلقي طلباتهم ومعالجة شكاويهم التي تتم بشكل دوري انطلاقاً من اهتمام الوزارة بالمواطنين والاستماع لشكاويهم وتلقي طلباتهم واستفساراتهم حول مختلف الموضوعات المتعلقة بطبيعة عمل الوزارة ومعالجتها.

وأضاف العلي.. أنه تم استقبال كل المواطنين المراجعين للوزارة بشأن ذويهم الموقوفين بأحكام متنوعة بشكل طبيعي وتلقي طلباتهم الخطية التي دونت عليها أرقام هواتفهم تمهيداً للاتصال بهم والإجابة عليها مؤكداً أن أبواب وزارة الداخلية دائماً مفتوحة أمام المواطنين الراغبين في تقديم شكاويهم وطلباتهم.

سانا

=======================================

March 16th, 2011, 12:28 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Atassi

This is very embarrassing, and the denigration of our intelligence is strikingly reminiscent of Mr. Adli’s capacity for denial and not far from more recent denials coming from other deranged people in the region. All is brought to you by the same intellectual school that orchestrated slogans such as “men7abbak” and other blood-soul sacrificial promises.

However, what is becoming even more embarrassing is the arrest of 78 years old Prof. Tayyeb Tizini, along with other human rights activists. Tizini is a well known Syrian philosopher, who in fact opposed the Damascus declaration for several reasons. I googled references to his name using the ability to check for items within the last 24 hours, and I got more than 68 newspaper articles about his arrest in English, Spanish, French, and German. He is obviously a “mundass mustaghill lilmauqef”. It is becoming pathetic. I wonder who is the PR firm …

March 16th, 2011, 12:49 pm

 

Averroes said:

Atassi,

Here’s a clip from the “Al-Hakikah” site, which certainly not an official site (it’s against the regime across the board). The report confirms that merchants at Hamiddiyeh market did indeed shout down the few dozen protectors that went out yesterday. Al-Hakikah labels those merchants as “Economic Mafia”.

The same report says that the few Syrians who demonstrated at the Syrian embassy in Cairo are loyal to Khaddam.

http://www.syriatruth.info/content/view/1663/36/

March 16th, 2011, 12:49 pm

 

norman said:

Atassi,
That was fun reminded me with the reason why we never read the Baath Newspaper .

March 16th, 2011, 12:50 pm

 

gk said:

The purpose of the blog is to exchange ideas and to express opinions freely! Let’s continue that regardless of our points of view! I hope that all people including Syrians sooner and not later will be able to express their opinion freely not just on blogs but in their own country!

March 16th, 2011, 12:50 pm

 

Averroes said:

OTW,

I agree. The arrests today were unfortunate and unnecessary. I hope they will be all released very soon.

March 16th, 2011, 12:56 pm

 

Nour said:

Atassi:

We have been used to bombastic and silly Baathist propaganda in Syria for decades now. But what should also be pointed out is that the propaganda coming from the so-called “opposition” is just as bombastic and just as silly. I have reviewed the facebook pages of the “Syrian revolution” supporters and it is filled with exaggerations, misstatements of facts, and emotional outbursts. First, the whole claim that a revolution in Syria is starting cannot be categorized as anything but nonsense when nothing of the sort is actually happening. Second, their continued peddling of the outlandish propaganda that the regime in Syria is sending arms to Qaddhafi seriously diminishes their credibility. And third, their attitude seems to be antithetical to the values of freedom and democracy (aside from the fact that they have no clear understanding or conception of freedom), as anyone who opposes them or questions their platform is immediately bashed and labeled as regime supporters.

March 16th, 2011, 1:13 pm

 

Ziad said:

From AngryArab

Syrian opposition called for a demonstration in Amman in front of the Syrian embassy there. Al-Arabiyyah showed up and covered the event although it had to admit that only one demonstrator showed up. And he was even interviewed.

March 16th, 2011, 1:16 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

AVERROES
I am waiting for the next news item from SANA’s geniuses describing how the citizens of Hums thanked the Interior ministry for saving their famous son Dr. Tizini from the infiltrating mob.

Nour
facebook “revolutionists” are not even amateurs. SANA is supposed to be a professional news organization.

March 16th, 2011, 1:20 pm

 

Nour said:

OTW:

The facebook “revolutionists” are peddling many of the claims made by official “opposition” sites, including supposed news sources like All4Syria. So I wouldn’t give them a free pass.

March 16th, 2011, 1:43 pm

 

norman said:

Do you know how many parties in Syria and what are their platforms, what do they want to do ,can anybody help ?.

March 16th, 2011, 2:03 pm

 

jad said:

Nour,
‘So I wouldn’t give them a free pass.’
Nobody deserve a free pass, especially the government, and when someone asking the government for his/her/our rights to be fully restored but the government keep pushing them away and keep postponing changes and doing nothing of a true value on respecting the human rights, well, the newspaper, news website, facebook and any social network is the start point and that right should be guaranteed, even with people that we are not fully clear about, they have the full right to ask for freedom, for better treatment, for better future and for their parents, friends and relatives to be freed of jail especially when they are doing that in peaceful manners, it’s very wrong from the ‘amn’ side to treat them roughly in anyway and we all should condemn such reaction, it’s wrong.

March 16th, 2011, 3:11 pm

 

jad said:

From Facebook:

رسالة من أهالي المعتقلين لتبيين حقيقة الأمر، الرسالة كما وصلتنا

****

الأستاذ عمر ناصف المحترم
……
قمنا اليوم بصفتنا أهالي بعض المعتقلين السوريين، بالتجمع امام وزارة الداخلية بعد أن حصلنا على موعد من وزير الداخلية لمقابلته، لكن بعض المندسين الذين لا نعرفهم، اندسوا بيننا، لاستغلال هذا الحدث ورفع شعارات معادية للنظام في سوريا

فما كان منا إلا ان طلبنا منهم الانصراف وعدم تشويه هدفنا المحق والإنساني، ثم حاولنا ابعادهم فقاومونا وضربونا، وحاولنا الرد عليهم حتى ان ان رجلا مسنا من بيننا قام بضرب احد هؤلاء المتظاهرين

أستاذ عمر: مراسل المنار صديقنا الغالي انس ازرق كان هناك وهو شاهد على كل كلمة اقولها، ونحن بالفعل نخاف من الأثار السلبية التي يمكن أن تترتب جراء أفعال هؤلاء الحمقى فندفع نحن الثمن

اتمنى ان تطلب من الأستاذ أنس الصور التي التقطها والتسجيلات التي أجراها، وأن تنشرها عندك وطبعا نتمنى ان تبث قناة المنار ما حدث بالتفصيل وتبين حقيقة الموقف

.. وإذا كان ذلك متعذرا عليك استاذ عمر فانا اتفهم ذلك

ولك الشك

March 16th, 2011, 3:20 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Nour

That is precisely why I had the quotation mark. I have been following these sites only very recently, and while they are one step, they leave much to be desired when compared to the work of the Egyptian youths, whose sympathetic representatives to Syrian forums were left dumbfounded and confused as the posts of many degenerated into meaningless venting and, as you said, bombastic statements, claims, and threats of execution and punishment from both the “men7ebbak and no so men7ebbak” groups. It is rather unfortunate that both the loyalists and opposition continue to use the bully language of Mukhabarat rather frequently. Yet, there were some wise souls who tried their best to rehabilitate (more on the opposition than the loyalists side), and they have made some headways occasionally.

That said, anyone dismissing the youths would be a fool. With every 15 minute small demonstration, and with every failing, they will get hardened, more experienced, and leaders will emerge who will know how to focus and draw attention to legitimate demands and aspirations and who will learn the required leadership, agitation, and even managerial, marketing, and conspiratorial (in the good sense) skills. I am not giving them a free pass, but I am not willing to discount them as some are already talking of forming offshoots that will be much more harder to ignore. They are learning political skills my generation abdicated. I have a feeling that the textbooks of their children will have little or no good things to say about my generation and a lot of good things to say about theirs.

March 16th, 2011, 3:25 pm

 

norman said:

The Red Cross leaves Benghazi, apparently Qaddafi is ready for the final assault ,

March 16th, 2011, 3:30 pm

 

Atassi said:

Dear Nour and Alex,

when you have time to waste, you can read some of the comments @ syria-news.com ” this is a known news website with link to the Mokhbart”…. with Pure regime Propaganda agenda …

http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=130179

Bilal2011-03-16 19:49:29
سوريا بلد المحبة والتأخي
مجموعة من صغار النفوس قبضت او غرر بها نرجوا من اهلهم توعيتهم حفاظا على وطن الجميع سوريابلد السلم والامان والمحبة والتاخي نرجو الله ان يهديكم قاطعو محطة اورينت العميلة
سورياابن سوريا2011-03-16 19:36:38
الله حاميك يا شام
سوريا الله حاميها وشعبها رالروح بيفديها الله ينصرنا على هل الخونة ولاوغاد الي عم يحاولو يهز امن هل البلد ونحن منفتخر بقيادة الاسد ابن الاسد
سوريامحمود يحيى2011-03-16 19:30:58
ايصال صوتي للمسؤالين
اناشد المسؤلين في سوريا بخصوص قناة اورينت التي تتخذ دبي موقع لها والتي تحرض الشعب السوري علي المظاهرات ودعمهم ارجو من سيادتكم توصيل صوتنا للمسؤالين واتخاذ الاجرائات الازمة مع حكومة دبي لأغلاق هذه القناة العملية للكيان الصهيوني وشكرا
الإماراتإياد حسن2011-03-16 19:36:52
سوريا الله حاميها
سوريا الله حاميها ولاتهزها بعض **الضالة. الشعب السوري واعي دمنا فداك ياسيادة الرئيس وروحنا فداك ياسوريا
سورياwassem2011-03-16 19:33:34
للابد يابشار الاسد
لن نسمح للحثالة والخونة ان يتحكمو بنا … الشعب السوري فدا الرئيس بشار الاسد
-سورياosama2011-03-16 19:31:04
3ASHEK SWRYIA
نحنا فدى تراب سوريا نفديك بدمنا يا بشار الأسد
-إيطالياياسمين دمشقي2011-03-16 19:29:05
الوحدة الوطنية
لازم نتسلح بهالفترة بوحدتنا الوطنيةونوثق التلاحم مع القيادة الحكيمة للرئيس بشار الاسد لكي نفوت على المندسين واعداء سوريا مخططاتهم الغادرة التي لا تريد الا الشر والفوضى…اله يحمي سوريا و قائدها الاسد…
-سوريامهندس – غيور على الوطن2011-03-16 19:31:18
الحكمة والتروي وضبط النفس ..
مطلوبة بمثل هذه المواقف , فخروج السيد وزير الداخلية فيما مضى وحكمته استوعبت الموقف و ضحدت الفتنة , فلا تحل الأمور بالعصبية كي لا نترك مجالاً لأعدائنا بالنيل منا ومن وحدتنا الوطنية , فما يهدف إليه البعض هو خلق الشرارة , وعلينا إطفاء منبع الشرارة , فمن كان له مظلمة فليتفضل ليكتب مظلمته ومن كان لا يعلم لماذا يصرخ فليذهب من حيث أتى , ومن كان من غير السوريين فلا بد من عقابه أو ترحيله بعد معرفة أصوله الدفينة .. تحية للسيد وزير الداخلية وقوى الأمن الداخلي .. حمانا الله وإياكم من الفتن ..
-سوريايسلمي رب اللي خلق رئيسنا بشار2011-03-16 19:09:10
فاسدون و يا ريت كنت هونيك حتى رد عليهم الرد اللاز
الله حامي بلدنا و رئيسنا الحبيب العزيز بشار و من كل القلب الله لا يوفقهن و لا يحققلهن أمنياتهن المخربون المحرضون
-سورياسوري بالمغترب2011-03-16 19:07:19
احب سوريا
الله يحمي سوريا وقائدها الدكتور بشار وشعبها الواعي
-سورياOssama2011-03-16 19:05:05
تحية للإعلام السوري
ارجو من الاعلام السوري الاستمرار بكشف هذه الحقائق لكي لا نسمح للمغرضين باستغلال هذه الاخبار …..عاشت سوريا حره ابيه في ظل الاسد بشار حافظ الاسد
-سوريامحمد 2011-03-16 19:06:51
سوريا الله حاميها
بارك الله بأهل الشام الكرام وبكل شعب سورية وبكل من قال انا سوري لأن هالكلمة غالية وعزيزة ولازم نحميها وبنكون سند للسيد الرئيس بشار الاسد
سورياجوزيف2011-03-16 19:06:53
لن تركع امة قائدها الأسد
الله يحميكي يا شام يا بلدي ويحمي قائدنا المفدى بشار الاسد وهدول المندسين لازم ينحرقو حرق ليكونو عبرة لغيرون والله يعطيع العافيه للشرطة ووزارة الداخلية وانشالله هيك امور ما تتكرر ابدا لانها بتحول تزعزع امن البلد وتجره نحو الهاية لازم الكل يكون واعي لهذه المؤامرات سورياالله حاميا
-سوريافجر الاقصى2011-03-16 19:01:50
فلسطيني ودمي فدا سوريا
عيوني الك يا سيادة الرئيس بشار الاسد
سورياmohammad hassan2011-03-16 18:40:59
تحية للشباب الواعي
من يومين خبروني اصدقائي انن مسكو واحد بالحميدية اندس بين الزحام طلع من جنسية عربية غير سوري وعم يهتف الشباب مسحو فيه الارض
سوريانادر الحسن2011-03-16 18:29:39
من حماه
سوريا الله حاميها والله انكون بترفعو الراس يا اصحاب المحلات الي قامو بطرد هؤلاء الخونه المدسوسين لازم الكل يواجهين ويدعس على رقابون لاانهم خونه مدسوسين جايين يخربو الامن والامان في بلدنا الحبيب الله يديم عزك يابشار الاسد
سوريامحمد2011-03-16 18:30:08
اكيد يلي عم يصطاد بالماء العكر رح تطلع براسو
الشعب السوري اثبت انه شعب واعي ولاينجر وراء هذه الخدع المكشوفة
سورياخلدون2011-03-16 18:29:19
الوعي ثم الوعي
وزير الداخلية يثبت كل يوم انه انسان واع وحضاري ومثال لعنصر الشرطة الأخلاقي والمتفهم..نتمنى دائما التعامل مع مطالب وشكاوى المواطنين بتفهم واحترام في كل المؤسسات الحكومية لان التجاهل والاهمال سيقود لحالة اليأس والسخط والاستغلال من قبل المدسوسين…مشكلتنا ادارية وتربوية..تحيا سورية
-سورياجملو2011-03-16 18:26:19
الله يحميك يا بشار
الله يلعن خدام و تابعينه و قناة المشرق العميلة و البيانوني و تابعينه اللهم احمي هذا البلد و قائده بشار الاسد
-سورياسالم محفوض2011-03-16 18:19:54
لا يا أصحاب المحال
كان المطلوب أكثر من هيك .. كان المطلوب أن تنهالوا عليهم ضرباً بأحذيتكم التي هي أشرف من راياتهم ودوافعهم /ويا رتني موجود / مع الشكر
سورياSafi2011-03-16 18:20:11
Syria
God bless you syria

So what do you think !!!

March 16th, 2011, 3:34 pm

 

LeoLeoni said:

There is a voice/text discussion on the Syrian situation and demonstrations in Arabic on PALTALK. Paltalk can be downloaded from paltalk.com.

If anyone is interested, download the program and register a username/nickname and log in.

To find the chatroom, click on view all chatrooms, and on the top select ALL LANGUAGES, and then on the left hand side select middle-east/Syria, and you will find two rooms. I recommend ‘Syrian Uprising’ Room as it gives more freedom for discussion and debate between different sides. The other room named ‘Syria Justice and Freedom’ has more users but more chanting and less freedom for opposing points of view.

If anyone is interested in joining and chatting with fellow Syrians on the discussion please join and let me know if you have any problems logging in.

*It is recommended to have Arabic language and keyboard installed on the computer but it’s not necessary.

March 16th, 2011, 4:34 pm

 

jad said:

Now it’s getting violent image and sectarian language:

Why the message is changing to a war and military outfit instead of being peaceful and civil! and what the hell with making hints of the Alawite accent!
They are failing to keep it clean:

يكفي أن أغير لهجتي أمام الفرن لأقول أفيني ولله استنا حتى احصل على خبزي أول الناس أن أقود سيارتي بشارع مزدحم بأقصى سرعة ولما لا فأنا مخابرات من يستطيع مسائلتي الله |أكبر ماذا أرى قالها والدك قبل عشرين سنة والآن نقولها

March 16th, 2011, 5:29 pm

 

trustquest said:

Another eye witness from today’s event, people went to the interior minister to ask for the release of their son and relatives, prisoners of conscious, they got beaten and insulted. Later they brought the ready made group of girls to shout for the president and a high ranking police officer making interview claiming that was a protest in support of the president. What a country, it is a la la land.

here the eye witness:

The modest act of fascism back away in the face of the savage actions which enacted on people those who went today to the ministry of interior to ask for the release of their loved ones in prison. The heartfelt pictures for today are plentiful starting with the insulting and hitting the protesters in imaginable savage way, and the ending of the arrest of many. The one scene which is not designated to be forgotten is when those government warriors snatched the picture of the shaking hands of the mom who was carrying her son picture, they did not content in pulling her from her head scarf and her hair, but also step on her glasses as she was on the ground, the scenery of her on the ground is the eternal dishonorable act of the new Syrian time.

تواضع (الفاشية) أمام (الوحشية) التي قوبل بها السائلين عن أحبابهم في سجون الوطن؟الصورالمؤلمة في هذا اليوم لا تحصى بدءا بإهانة وضرب المحتجين بعدائية تفوق التصور وليس انتهاءا باعتقال بعضهم،لكن ثمة مشهدغير مرشح للنسيان،حين قرر الأشاوس،نزع صورة من يد أم مرتجفة تحمل صورةابنها الشاب،لم يحترموا شيبها،لم يكتفوا بجز شعرها وحجابها،بل داسوا على نظارتها وهي ملقاة على الأرض،منظرها وهي ملقاة على الأرض عار على الزمن السوري الجديد؟

March 16th, 2011, 6:11 pm

 

Revlon said:

#103 Norman,
The political landscape in Syria is as follows:
Ruling: Baath party and a few collaborating parties with handful of members.

“Opposition” within Syria: Elite, handful of members represented by “Damascus Declaration” They call for reforms and abolition of Emergency laws.

“Opposition” outside Syria: Several parties ranging from right to left. Aside from the Muslim Brothers, their names are formed by one or a more of the following words: Syrian, Socialist, National, Communist, and Reformist….. I am sure I have forgotten some. You can figure out for yourself what their programs would be about. All have no practical existence on the ground.

Silent majority: Yet to be heard.

Should the current regime fall, none of the existing parties, within or outside Syria, stands a chance in having a major say in shaping the political future.

The vacuum will be filled by representatives of the ground popular movements that participate in the uprising, much like what is happening in Egypt now. The silent majority is moderate conservative. It embraces Islamic and Christian teachings and local culture and values. All layers of the economic spectrum are represented in this group.

For various reasons, the Muslim Brothers Party in Syria will have much less influence than counterpart in Egypt. Parties and political groups will take time to take shape, besides most people currently have aversion to the word “party”.

March 16th, 2011, 6:47 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

الحراك السوري.. الى أين؟
عبد الباري عطوان

March 16th, 2011, 7:00 pm

 

Revlon said:

Hi Joshua,
I uploaded a comment about an hour ago and I still do not see it listed. I tried several times to re-upload, but failed to. I get a message that a duplicate comment already existed! A program hickup!
Have anice day.

March 16th, 2011, 8:03 pm

 

Alex said:

Atassi,

7aram … I wish they would take them offline, teach them English and teach them how to use Microsoft office so that they can be employable in a real job, not in their current hidden-unemployment “job”. We have way too many of them. Some doing great job (they are) keeping Syria safe, many others are sadly wasting their lives “working” there. We probably have 3 to 5 times more “security” than we need…

And by the way, many of the messages you suspect are from them are in fact from genuine supporters of the President. I have younger friends who do post “we love you Bashar” messages online.

OTW,

With all the learning those young people will benefit from, their mentality is sick. Will they learn to stop being interested in revenge and focus on the positive? … NOT in their pretend-we-are-positive-so-that-we-won’t-scare-people (they already learned that if you read the comments on their page) but inside them … Did they learn that you can’t govern Syria with religion?

The answer is NO, and I can’t see what can teach them that.

They just learned how to pretend they are open minded, peaceful and tolerant.

Then you have the endless pathetic lies … not only them but the Khaddam and Rifaat and MB-type opposition sites … if they read anywhere that Bashar kills and eats children for lunch, they believe it, post it, quote each other and then get more angry at his savagery.

I am not impressed by their learning that you seem to find impressive. they are learning how to deceive.

March 16th, 2011, 8:07 pm

 

Nour said:

Jad,

I am definitely not giving the government or the regime a free pass; nobody is. But there are people supposedly calling for a revolution in Syria and want us to subscribe to it. Well, on what basis should I support them? Just because they are against the regime does not automatically give them any credibility or legitimacy. And we are not talking here of a mass movement amongst the Syrians attempting to effect real change. Nor is it an organized, credible opposition with a clear platform and a clear program explaining how and what changes should be implemented in Syria, in addition to giving a clear position regarding all issues affecting Syria and how they would handle matters differently in addressing those issues. I am not interested in someone who merely curses Bashar al-Assad. Moreover, I am definitely not interested in someone who bashes me and calls me a regime stooge for merely disagreeing with him/her.

Jad,

We all know the problems with the regime. But thine so-called revolutionaries are supposed to be offering something better. Why should I stand with them when I see them spew nonsense? Moreover, there are positive things that Bashar al-Assad has been doing, but most of those people supporting the “revolution” absolutely cannot recognize any of these positive steps because they are blinded by their hatred for Bashar. Most Syrians do not share their emotions.

March 16th, 2011, 8:21 pm

 

nafdik said:

Revlon, Joshua, Alex,

I had similar problems this morning when trying to post messages.

1) Message did not show up
2) When I reposted it said I was repeating myself 🙂

So either you have Watson running your server or there is a bug.

March 16th, 2011, 8:58 pm

 

jad said:

Dear Nour,
I agree with you that bashing the President and use him as the holder of everything wrong done in Syria from even before he was born is the most ridiculous cause to support or even take seriously and I totally and absolutely refuse to do that, I do respect the President position and I don’t think that he should be blamed for every negative behaviour by any Syrian, it’s unrealistic.
I agree that those vague background ‘revolutionists’ stuck to their views and they are being acting like dictatorship in debating on their site and ready to call you names and curse you if you dare to ask any question
I also agree with you regarding the unclear direction, the no solutions or alternatives offered by any of these groups that can be attractive to any Syrian with rational brain.
And I totally agree with you that they won’t get my support with the way they are running this ‘revolution’.
However, we can’t deny that the call for more freedom, call for cancelling the emergency state, free the innocent political prisoners, changing the way amn is treating people, acting effectively against the corruption of many government figures and not the 100 lera janitors is fair requests and it’s overdue by the government and the government must react for that and must deliver before it’s too late.
As the government have the right to tell us to be peaceful and understanding they have the duty to deliver what we are asking for, they can’t push people toward hopelessness like that it’s absolutely wrong and won’t solve a thing, they have to be brave enough to face us Syrians and deliver to us what we deserve, the Syrians have been generous to everybody in need even their government and it’s time for paying that back, we deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, it’s the government duty and not a request.

March 16th, 2011, 8:58 pm

 

nafdik said:

Nour, Norman,

You do not need to agree with the protesters about everything.

The Syrian opposition is a movement not a party. The movement encompasses people of various views. You could be a communist, syrian nationalist, baathi, liberal, muslim brother, or have no political affiliation.

The demands of the movement are:

– Remove emergency law
– Release of political prisoners
– Free speech
– Free press
– Fair elections
– Independent judiciary and rule of law
– End of nepotism and corruption emanating from the presidency
– End of sectarian rule

Do you think these demands in themselves are unreasonable?

March 16th, 2011, 9:08 pm

 

nafdik said:

My latest comment was marked as spam??

Watson?

March 16th, 2011, 9:13 pm

 

Revlon said:

Those of us who are criticizing improper Facebook comments against the regime

These people are our brethren.
They have a much higher level of discontent than we claim we have.
They have every right to vent their frustration the way they wish to.
Do not ask an oppressed to use a saloon proper language.
Their imperfect English does not make them less worthy of speaking up their mind, listened to with respect, and be heard!.
The brash language they use is admired by many of us, when heard in some of our favorite rap music and Hollywood shows and movies.
We should not look down on them.
Let’s descend from our individual ivory towers and shake their wet hands, virtually that is.

March 16th, 2011, 9:14 pm

 

Jad said:

‘These people are our brethren’
I’m not fully sure of who those people are so I won’t go and declare my unlimited brotherly love to them.
‘They have every right to vent their frustration the way they wish to.’
No they don’t, Military and Sectarian ways are not accepted and shall not be supported or tolerated.
‘We should not look down on them.’
Nobody is looking down at anybody, what are you lecturing us about?
I personally won’t support nonsense emotional calls, sorry!

March 16th, 2011, 9:39 pm

 

Leo said:

There is no justification for arresting Suheir Attasi and having her hair pulled by the security forces.

In addition, few family members of Kamal Labwani were also arrested for no reason.

Syrian professor of philosopher Tayeb Tizini was arrested and current word is that he’s been released. He was probably threatened not to dissent again or next time he wont be released so soon.

More people from yesterdays demonstration calling for the release of political prisoners are still under arrest.

Shame on those who support this police government.

March 16th, 2011, 9:50 pm

 

Revlon said:

Jad,
I am sorry if you did not understand my comment.
By “Improper Comments” I meant the improper language.
I was not asking any one to condone or support any specific means for change.
I personally associate myself with all of those who are calling for a peaceful change.

March 16th, 2011, 9:53 pm

 

nafdik said:

Suhair Atassi was the real hero of the last demonstration.

I hope she is safe and if she is arrested to be released soon.

March 16th, 2011, 9:59 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Nafdik
out of all the things you said,releasing political prisoners is the most urgent, this will secure bashar his job and no one will join the demonstrations

March 16th, 2011, 10:19 pm

 

Jad said:

Dear Revlon,
my bad I missumderstood your comment 🙂

March 16th, 2011, 10:21 pm

 

NK said:

a list of people who were arrested on 3-16, provided by Mazen Darwish

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=140951252637229

majedkhaldoon

Actually, releasing political prisoners on its own might make things worse for the regime. Emergency law has to be canceled and the judicial branch must be freed. Otherwise any changes won’t be meaningful or have any real impact.

March 16th, 2011, 10:29 pm

 

Nour said:

Jad,

I absolutely agree that the regime must take concrete steps to alleviate the situation or they will have nobody but themselves to blame for the consequences, as the situation as it is is not forever sustainable. There are three very important steps that must be taken sooner than later.

1. Elimination of the Emergency Law
2. Creation of a strong, independent judiciary.
3. Immediate release of all political prisoners.

Should those steps be taken, most Syrians would feel a great sense of relief, and this would then pave the way for further political reforms including the preparation for free elections. But if the regime continues to delay these reforms it is going to blow up in their face.

March 16th, 2011, 11:38 pm

 

Majhool said:

Check this video, Notice the picture on the wall behind the officer.

At a minimum stick the normal protocol and place a picture of the president.

March 16th, 2011, 11:46 pm

 

Jad said:

Dear Nour,
I totaly agree with you and I ask the government to take action now, today, we are getting closer and closer into the red zone that nobody can predict the concequences of any delay in taking those steps you wrote.
first off they must relase all those were detained and abused yesterday with a proper apology from the interior minister. It’s the right time to do that.

March 16th, 2011, 11:59 pm

 

Majhool said:

I would like to say that I appreciate the basic stance that Nour and Jad are taking. Supporting these basic rights is the corner stone in demonstrating respect among Syrians.

I respect those who support the president when they support the right of others to express their opinion.

The proposed Principality elections does not offer any checks and balances. After all its going to create an executive body that will be riddled with corruption.

What we need is
ending the emergency law
party law
freedom of press

These offer real checks and balances that will make a real difference.

Thank you Jad and thank you Nour

March 17th, 2011, 12:13 am

 

Nafdik said:

Nour, jad,

While i admire your sentiment i think that the regime has no choice but to keep the reign of terror.

Being a dictatorship is like being pregnant either you are or you are not.

The regime cannot afford to free political prisoners because then all those against the regime will take to the street if they know there is no danger.

Same for having free juidiciary, etc.

This is why the demands in syria are the same as egypt, libya, etc. These are essential components of dictatorship. Of course these rules can be slightly relaxed when the population is quiet but at the first sign of popular movement they have to come back up to protect the regime.

March 17th, 2011, 1:36 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Dear Alex

You sound upset, and i suspected that my comment will make you so. First, i am not impressed by every FB poster, but I am optimistic, and confusing my optimism with admiration is simply confusing apples with olives. The reason for my optimism is more rooted in history than it is in the nature, language, or even action of the current active FB posters.

Second, since my comment alluded to demonstrations and clearly indicated that learning happens with every failing demonstration, it should be clear that I am referring to real demonstrators and more importantly activists on the ground, not to facebook and keyboard revolutionists as some of participants on these sites are, or desktop/laptop/ipad pundits (AKA Bloggers), as many of us here are. I am referring to people who will learn not merely to change slogans, but to identify, measure, and reflect the real public sentiment and only through their actions they will learn. If they don’t, they will fizzle and others will pick up at a later point in time. The problem for me at this point in time is that much of what have now are distorted impressions of the general outlines of public sentiment with each side doing all they can to convince themselves that it is on their side (There are more than two sides). However, in terms of specifics, i guess key demands are less fuzzy, and their minimum level can no longer be delayed for yet another generation. The only certainties i can relate to include that of the inevitability of free societies and that of my own irrelevance to what will happen on the ground for I am having hard time leaving the protection of the ivory tower.

Dear Jad and Nour

While many who continue to blame the president for everything are motivated by personal hate, one can not discount the fact that it was the security apparatus, along with the co opted media, who created the image, and who encouraged, for over 40 years now, the concept of the beloved Father-Leader, thereby framing the discussion and bounding it to the person who personifies everything including the good in the eyes of the loyalists, and the bad in the eye of the opposition. Many intellectuals were aware of this risk even during the mid-seventies, when advises were given but summarily dismissed by those propagating the personality cult.

March 17th, 2011, 6:07 am

 

Revlon said:

#133 Nafdik, Jad, Nour,
The regime is in a quandary.
Your prescribed fix for the system, so nicely outlined, has become incompatible with the regime’s survival. There is now, an irrevocable, mutual lack of trust between the people and the regime.

Syrians, forgiving humans as they are, provided Bachar, Son of Hafez al Asad, several years worth of opportunity. They had high hopes for his potential to heal the wounds of the past, and embark on reforms that would engage Syrians in making a prosperous future.

He has miscued his people’s overture and failed to seize the opportunity.
He took the positive public reception of his ascension to power as an invitation to continue his father’s policies.
His philosophies, and the means to its application, were soon realized to be copy-cat of his father’s.
His medical professional background, took the back seat to his military nurture.

Syrians have found hope in the success of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. They take heart from the courage of their brothers in Libya and Yemen, and now, their brave March 15 demonstration.
The 24 hour Al Jazeera coverage and the prospect of international tribunal for crimes against civilians have shifted the balance of power in favor of the people.

Postponing the uprising would only serve to prolong the regimes misery.
We write our comments and sleep to dream of a brighter tomorrow.
They read our comments and dare not close their eyes.

March 17th, 2011, 6:10 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

“Hope & Change” NewZ

Nafdik states:

The demands of the movement are:

– Remove emergency law
– Release of political prisoners
– Free speech
– Free press
– Fair elections
– Independent judiciary and rule of law
– End of nepotism and corruption emanating from the presidency
– End of sectarian rule

Do you think these demands in themselves are unreasonable?

My answer:

No.

March 17th, 2011, 6:46 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

People always go to the edge,they are blinded by their pleasant past, they can not see the steep fall ahead of them.
No one can say that Bashar was nor warned.
Bashar,release political prisoners,before you become one of them.

March 17th, 2011, 6:55 am

 

Nafdik said:

Revlon,

Agree with your analysis that the regime is in quandry. However this is not due to any action they did or they did not. It is the nature of free choice that when people are given they will not stick to any government for 40 years.

Bashar is one of two things a dictator or a politician. As a dictator he should definitly go. As a politician, well if you like his program, others will offer similar program to the nation so i do not understand this visceral clinking that my co-commentators are experiencing.

Unless of course you see the leader as a saintly father figure that is necessary to the survival of the nation as revlon nicely reminded us.

March 17th, 2011, 7:29 am

 

Revlon said:

#134
Dear OFF THE WALL
“The only certainties I can relate to include:
That of the inevitability of free societies,
And that of my own irrelevance to what will happen on the ground for I am having hard time leaving the protection of the ivory tower”
I like the optimistic and confident tone of your first statement.

I also think that, what you, I and others write does matter.
We are part of the Syrian silenced and legitimate majority.
What we write on this site and many others is closely monitored by the higher political and security commands.
Their helplessness in silencing our minds is wrecking havoc on their moral.
Our strong arguments are weakening their resolve.

You are right! Some of us are forced to stay in their ivory towers.
But we are not staying put.
Our free writing is a kin to a psychological warfare.
They are in a state of siege.
Cheer up buddy!
Be happy!

March 17th, 2011, 8:47 am

 

norman said:

Doesn’t REV Sharpton get arrested in the US when he goes out in a demonstration
I expect changes in Syria in the next 2 to 3 months , President Assad always wanted that but was alarmed by the other people in the Syrian government , what happened in the last few days will give him the justification to move faster , We should help him by showing the way , not by attacking the regime that we need to implement the change .

March 17th, 2011, 9:58 am

 

Ziad said:

Due to the bad relationship between the US and Syria, Syrian police lacks the armored cars, the water throwers, tear gas, and other crowd control tools. What are the revolutionaries fearful of?

March 17th, 2011, 10:22 am

 

atassi said:

Amnesty condemns Syrian crackdown on protest
17 March 2011
05:42
Reuters News
English
(c) 2011 Reuters Limited

* Witnesses say at least 30 people arrested in protest

* Protests are most serious challenge to Assad’s rule

BEIRUT, March 17 (Reuters) – Human rights group Amnesty International condemned a violent crackdown by Syrian security forces against a peaceful protest held in Damascus by people calling for the release of political prisoners.

Wednesday’s silent protest in which about 150 people had raised pictures of their missing friends and relatives had barely started before plainclothes security forces charged the demonstrators with batons and beat them.

Witnesses told the rights group at least 30 people were arrested, some of whom included family members of political prisoners and human rights activists, and taken to unknown locations. They said security forces beat children, women and the elderly.

“The Syrian authorities must immediately release all those arrested in the last two days for merely attending peaceful protests, and stop these attacks on freedom of expression and assembly,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Amnesty said several people were also arrested in protests on Tuesday in Damascus and Aleppo, adding at least two people had apparently been released.

Wednesday’s protest was the most serious demonstration against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s rule since revolts in the Arab world toppled the Tunisian and Egyptian leaders and led to protracted bloody confrontations in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen.

Syrian authorities, which Human Rights Watch says were among the worst violators of human rights in 2010, have intensified a long-running campaign of arrests of dissidents, independent writers and opposition figures since the Arab mass uprisings.

Assad’s Baath Party took power in 1963, banning all opposition and imposing emergency law still in force. There are an estimated 3,000-4,000 political prisoners in Syria, mostly held without trial.

March 17th, 2011, 10:38 am

 

Leo said:

Norman,

Al Sharpton gets arrested in the US whenever he goes out on a demonstration? Are you joking?

What you actually said in the rest of your last post proves that these demonstrators are NOT only legitimate, but need to be expanded and frequented because you implied that no reform would occur if demonstrations did not happen because your poor beloved Bashar wants reform but he’s surrounded by corrupt cronies, whatever that means.

March 17th, 2011, 10:50 am

 

Jad said:

Something fishy:
1-why Egyptian citizens (not Syrians) are attacking our embassy in Cairo? Shouldn’t they be busy helping Libyans?
2- why the Egyptians are the most obvious commentators on a Syrian facebook page and they are involved in something very local to Syria?

March 17th, 2011, 11:06 am

 

Revlon said:

#140 Dear Norman,

If Asad Jr. could not deliver on reforms to the people (HIS EMPLOYER), in over 10 years, he sure should step down.

Should he choose to implicate his brothers, wife, in-laws, cousins, the clan, the Baath party and the half-buttoned Shirts (Mukhabarat) in his failure, the people (HIS EMPLOYER) are then justified to fire all of them.

I, like other professional employees, have only 3 months to deliver on the promises in my CV. Else, I will be handed my walking papers.

No hard feelings intended!

March 17th, 2011, 11:16 am

 

norman said:

Leo, Revlon,
This is for you , ((( For more details on this topic, see Navy-Vieques protests.

Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn, where Sharpton was imprisonedIn 2001, Sharpton was jailed for 90 days for protesting against U.S. military target practice exercises in Puerto Rico near a United States Navy bombing site.[56] Sharpton, held in a Puerto Rican lockup for two days and then imprisoned at Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn on May 25, 2001,[57] has the Federal Bureau of Prisons ID# 21458-069. He was released on August 17, 2001.[58]))

Give president Assad and the Baath Party a space to maneuver or nothing will change, the Syrian army is ideological Army and the fear of the people from civil war will out way any opposition goals, or screams .

March 17th, 2011, 11:34 am

 

Jad said:

Dear Norman
Ba’ath party is in power for too long and it didn’t deliver a thing but making Syria a one party, mukhabarat state with no real economy or physical development on ground and with the most corrupted members in the history of Syria.
it won’t deliver any of the 21st basic lifestyle and it’s time to give up trying to revive the dead.
Do you seriously still believe in it?

March 17th, 2011, 11:51 am

 

norman said:

Dear Jad,

I differentiate between a political party and it’s principles and the behavior of it’s members , Yes , I still like the principles of the Baath party, most not all but more than 50%, as i like some of the principles of the US Democratic and the Republican parties, are there thieves and corrupt members in the Baath party , off course and should they be prosecuted , YES YES , as there are corrupt members in the Democratic and the Republican parties , do we blame the D and R parties for the deeds of their members, do we blame the president of the US, no we do not, we blame the individual as he is responsible for his deeds and he is alone , it is not a tribe that is called the Baath party , should they be more prosecution , yes and should the local prosecutors take the lead , yes,
The one party system that Syria has had for the last 40 years was devastating to the Baath party as opportunists and thieves joined for economic gains not to serve the people , the reason that the Bath party stayed all that long is because it has a big tent mentality and accepted everybody .

So yes, a multiparty system will be better for Syria and the Baath party in my opinion, with that only believers will join and good ones will stay .

By the way , The baath party did a lot for Syria, with improving Education and electricity and other improvement mostly in the countryside which were neglected for decades ,

March 17th, 2011, 12:31 pm

 

Revlon said:

# 148
Norman,
“Give president Assad and the Baath Party a space to maneuver or nothing will change, the Syrian army is ideological Army and the fear of the people from civil war will out way any opposition goals, or screams”.

What space are you talking about?
The guy has said it bluntly, just a couple of weeks ago:
The people of Syria are not ready for democracy.
Syrians must wait for the next generation to see if they are fit for that mission.
What on earth has he based his conclusion on?

Freedom of expression and collective counsel are ancient Arabic traditions. They go back in time to thousands of years. Islam embraced them. Collective counsel was called “Shoora” in the Quran.
Bedouian tribes, without the enlightenment of the “modern liberal” education of the “Lycee Francais”, are practicing this basic form of democracy on Syrian soil.
In the cities, family clans have their own counsels.
A heritage and a structure for democracy have existed long before jr, his father, and Baath party founders were borne.

Syrian independence in 1945 ushered in a new form of modern democracy. There were dozens of news papers, several parties, and elected parliament and president. It was not unusual to down a government by demonstrations.
Military coups, partly succeeded in slowing its progression. It was finally terminated by the currently ruling Baathist party military coup.

Finally,
The threat of civil war is a scare craw.
Both H and B Asad used it to justify their indefinite military presence in Lebanon. Twenty years later, they were finally kicked out. The threat of civil war, much to their dismay, turned out to be a false alarm!

March 17th, 2011, 1:02 pm

 

NK said:

Norman

A federal judge sentenced Sharpton to 90 days in jail. for trespassing on U.S. Navy property as part of a May 1 protest against bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

He was not Court martial-ed, he was not held without trail, he was not beaten or insulted, oh and get this, he was not sentenced to 7 years for “وهن نفسية الأمة”.

Revlon, Nafdik

While there’s no way the regime or the police state will survive (not for long anyways), I truly believe Bashar might be able to turn things around for himself if he played the right cards. And while him being president-for-life is not going to happen, with the right reforms he has a real shot at a clean exit.

Personally I’d rather see genuine reform implemented gradually, leading to free elections come 2014, than face the uncertainty and chaos of a revolution. However the time to implement change is right now, and this window is closing fast.

March 17th, 2011, 1:15 pm

 

jad said:

Norman,
When a political party take power and stay in it for 40 years and stop implementing its core political principles the good 50% that you and many like, is prove that this political party is not doing good job and at that point it has three options to choose from if it really want to lead the country and do the improvement:
-Improve and update its political core and reflect that in its work on ground
-Or work with other true political parties to deliver its message
-Or if it fails in any of those two it have no choice but to Step down and let others to lead.

The Baath party didn’t choose any of those three options, it turns into a dictatorship with no room for improvement and now it stuck in its own trap, it can’t improve, nobody really want to work with it and it can’t leave, which leave us the Syrian citizens in huge ethical conflict and keeping us hostage of this political party lethal narcissus.
The majority of the Syrians don’t want revolution out of fear of the unknown and because they don;t have any clear vision of who will lead them after any revolution (the Baa’th is to blame for that because it kills any meaningful opposition or civil society or organizations to grow healthy),
The majority of the Syrians want to move forward and build the true beautiful face of Syria that reflect our true potentials but the way works is done there is overloaded with corruption
The majority of Syrians are tiered of trying to communicate with the system when they are always let down and humiliated which is pushing many of them to the dangerous zone of crimes and the back door of doing things.
The existing status-quo wont let any of the changes to happen at the same speed we want it and this is the problem.
I like many of the Syrians wont live on words and political ideas, I’m bored of all political parties, all of them proved to be failing in understanding what we want and how smart we are to be treated like kids. We want actions, we want to see changes delivered to us now, it’s our rights and we want to feel the same way we think of Syria, PROUD of what we are and where we are coming from and above all proud of what we can achieve in Syria, of what our university publish in all fields of science and literature world wide, and what our Doctors can do in our hospitals and our engineers on our landscape.
Norman, it’s getting tiering and sad to see Syria living in the 70s when the whole world is in 2010..enough of the same mentality we grow up on, it doesn’t fit any more.

March 17th, 2011, 1:37 pm

 

norman said:

NK Said,

(( Personally I’d rather see genuine reform implemented gradually, leading to free elections come 2014, than face the uncertainty and chaos of a revolution. However the time to implement change is right now, and this window is closing fast.))

I agree ,

When my opponent is moving toward my position, i try to let him move freely so the gap can be bridged easily ,
President Assad is moving ,

March 17th, 2011, 1:43 pm

 

jad said:

تل أبيب وواشنطن وراء الحملة الشرسة التي تشنها وسائل اعلام عربية .. ” سوق الجمعة ” لم يشهد أية تحركات و دعوات التخريب تواجه بوعي المواطنين

دمشق .. شام برس من نديم رشيدي
لم تلق دعوات للتظاهر والتخريب بثت يوم أمس على موقع التواصل الاجتماعي ” فيس بوك ” صدى لدى الشباب السوري ، حيث بدت منطقة سوق الجمعة في الشيخ محي الدين ” وهو المكان المفترض للتظاهر” خالية من أية تجمعات غير اعتيادية وكانت حركة المواطنين فيها طبيعية جدا ً ، وأدى الأهالي صلاة الظهر في مسجد الشيخ محي دين وسط السوق كالمعتاد ثم عادوا لأعمالهم.
ولدى وصولنا إلى المنطقة لاستكشاف الوضع اقترب منا بعض البائعين من أهالي المنطقة مستفسرين عن هويتنا والغرض من وجودنا ، حيث أكدوا أنهم سمعوا أن هناك نية للتظاهراليوم في السوق من قبل مجهولين يريدون استغلال الازدحام في السوق مع فترة خروج المصلين من المسجد لترديد شعارات مرفوضة من قبل أغلبية الشعب السوري.
وقال الأهالي لن نسمح لهم ببث فتنهم في هذا المكان الطاهر وسنتصدى لهم فوراً في حال ملاحظتهم او ترديدهم لأية شعارات فوراً ، مؤكدين أنهم سيبقون يداً واحدة ولن يسمحوا للمعارضين من خارج البلاد بزعزعة الاستقرار والأمن الذي ينعم به الجميع في سوريا بقيادة الرئيس بشار الأسد .
وأشار احد الشباب الموجودين إلى أنه وبعض اصدقائه قرروا عدم الذهاب لاشغالهم اليوم والبقاء في السوق (بالقرب من منطقة سكنهم) للتصدي لأي غرباء يحاولون نشر الفوضى و الفتنة بين أبناء الشعب ، مؤكداً أنه على اقتناع تام بأن الدعوات للتظاهر هي من مخربين لايريدون الخير لسوريا وشعبها.
إلى ذلك فإن جميع المحافظات حسب اتصالاتنا تشهد حياة طبيعية واعتيادية ولاوجود لأية تظاهرات.

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=ar/Article/view/85685

March 17th, 2011, 2:14 pm

 

norman said:

Jad,
I understand your frustration and agree with all of it and on the need to change the way things are run, now , we need to know how to get there .

March 17th, 2011, 2:15 pm

 

nafdik said:

Norman,

You suggest that:
“I expect changes in Syria in the next 2 to 3 months , President Assad always wanted that but was alarmed by the other people in the Syrian government , what happened in the last few days will give him the justification to move faster , We should help him by showing the way , not by attacking the regime that we need to implement the change .”

Since Assad wanted to reform but was blocked by other regime forces we should help him put pressure on them by promoting the protesters message not by giving him space.

He has enough people around him pulling into the status-quo what he needs is to show those who benefit from the status-quo that unless radical changes are done urgently the house will collapse on their head.

So those who want to help Assad should join the protests.

March 17th, 2011, 2:20 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

I am glad the discussion is civilized in the last couple of days.

OTW, please keep writing because the pen is mightier the sword.

Norman, the Baath party does not believe in the Baath party.

Alex, how long are you willing to give Bashar and his gang to turn around? The country’s morale is corrupt. People are sick and tired of corruption and lack of freedom. A 15 year old is accused of being a spy; an 80 year old man is jailed for speaking his mind; and everyone in between is either jailed without trial or missing for just saying enough is enough.

You want the Syrian to forget and forgive about Hama? How about the president coming clean on that? He could come out and apologies to the people. There is no reason to kill one innocent person just to capture the MB. How many of these 20,000 people were innocent? I bet most of them. My friend disappeared when he was 17 in 1980 and has not been seen to this day. He had no relation to the MB. We used to drink and chase girls together. His main fault, he did not shave for few days. They took him from the street.

I believe the window is either about to be or already closed shut. The regime, including Bashar, believes they can rule the country forever. Their mantra has been Souria Alsad for forty years now. Let me tell you Souria does not belong to anyone. It belongs to the people.

Latest news report that Republican Guards tanks have are surrounding Dimashq. What a shame? 200 people scared them? Why? Because they know the real pulse of the Syrian people.

This proves to all that Arab armies are made to kill and control their people. We are all, not just Palestinians, under military occupation. Look at what is happening in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen,…

All the scare tactics are the same. We need this god like figure to protect us from ourselves. What a sham? Enough is enough. Time for a change

Time for a change. Like I said before, this is a Tsunami; you either ride it, get out of its way or get destroyed.

March 17th, 2011, 2:57 pm

 

norman said:

Nafdik,
He and they can see what is happening, you need to leave an out for your opponent, otherwise he will fight back, nudge him without threatening him or the Baath party, after what happened in Iraq, any violent move for change will be fought back severely for the fear that the end of the Baath party in Syria will be the same as in Iraq.

March 17th, 2011, 3:15 pm

 

nafdik said:

Norman,

Agree with you that somebody has to create a vision for Syria that will be inclusive of all those who are associated with the regime.

I believe that change in Syria will only happen if at least 20% of army officers buy into it.

Unfortunately I do not see anybody credible with such a message.

March 17th, 2011, 3:54 pm

 

LeoLeoni said:

Jad,

Actually it was the employees of the Syrian embassy in Cairo who attacked the protesters who were standing OUTSIDE of the embassy and holding placards peacefully.

March 17th, 2011, 5:28 pm

 

jad said:

Leo,
Where are the Egyptian police to protect the Syrian embassy?
There are 4-5 Syrians in that video and the rest are all Egyptians with not enough police to protect the embassy, isn’t that unusual?
The other video I saw showed many Egyptians attacking and kicking the Syrian embassy gates and the guy who was taken inside the embassy was Egyptian too, what the business of Egyptians to do with Syrians protesting and why they attack our embassy, we didn’t attack theirs or anybody in their embassies in Damascus.
Besides, the peaceful protester of today are the same ones of yesterday who attacked the embassy with rocks and bottles, why didn’t you raise any issue of that?
There is something fishy and not right there.

March 17th, 2011, 5:49 pm

 

Alex said:

Leoleoni, ZiadSouri

Not only do we have to suffer from the antiquated parts in the Syrian system of government and security, but we have to go through a multi-stage chaotic system that starts with a daily set of lies and exaggerations and always negative interpretations about Syria that come out of

1) The loud propagandists in “The opposition” … which include, Khaddam’s, Rifaat’s, Ikhwan’s and US funded individuals and parties. Not to be confused with the decent critics like Haytham Maleh, Michel Kilo, Aref Dalilah who are much more selective in what they criticize.
2) The right wing in the US (and their many many analysts and opinion wirters)
3) The idealists (nothing but perfect democracy is acceptable)
4) Lebanese M14 losers
5) Islamists from all over the Arab world
6) Arabs competing with Syria … Saudi Arabia, Mubarak’s Egypt …

After these daily rumors are introduced by one of the above, the rest of the lovely group rush to copy them on their sites … their supporters copy them in comments all over the net … and everyone gets outraged at the savagery of the Syrian regime as justified again by each of those daily rumors.

Then you have Egyptians demonstrating in front of the Syrian embassy and other Egyptians filling up the comments on the “Syrian revolution” facebook page ….

I’m sure some Egyptians are genuine … but others are not.

Want to understand a bit more what is going on? here is an example:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks?CMP=twt_gu%3FCMP%3DNECNETTXT766

And

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article693911.ece

Many of these online soldiers have multiple personalities … for example on Syria Comment you get some called Ahmed elmasri and Samir El-souri who are American and Israeli propagandists.

I had enough of the massive disinformation campaign that all of you love to believe. Believe what you want … some of it is true, most is not, but you WANT to believe it anyway.

March 17th, 2011, 6:08 pm

 

Nour said:

Ziadsoury,

I agree with a lot of what you said. Syria definitely needs to move down the path of reform a lot faster or else there are going to be consequences that the regime will have no one to blame for but themselves. The type of governance that existed as a result of over 40 years of Baathist rule is inexcusable and must be redressed if we are to move forward. However, there are three points I always like to emphasize.

1. I think it is dishonest of us not to admit that there has been a palpable change in Syria in the last 10 years. Syria of today is not the same Syria of the 1980’s and 1990’s where people were too afraid to criticize even minimal things that the government was doing. Today we see public denouncements and criticisms of government policies and programs in the media, of course as long as they do not directly touch the regime or the president. Is this ideal? Of course not, but it’s definitely a step forward from the Syria of the previous two decades.

2. Fighting corruption is a prolonged process that cannot be achieved overnight. There is no light switch to turn off on corruption, as corruption has to do with a lot of various factors that will take years and years to be completely addressed. There is now a battle against corruption in Syria. Many here ridicule this war against corruption as people claim to not have seen any real reduction in corruption since this campaign began. First, it is naive to think that we are going to witness the elimination of corruption in a matter of a couple years. Second, there has indeed been a reduction in corruption in Syria, even if it’s not to the degree that we would all like to see. But to think that the situation can be completely turned around overnight is not reasonable to say the least. And even if there was a complete change of regime today, the culture of corruption which is prevalent today and which has been present in Syria since before the Baath even took over will not disappear, but will take many years to be significantly reduced.

3. Let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that anything actually takes place in a vacuum. If a “revolution” were to take place in Syria, don’t think for one minute that foreign forces will not step in to attempt to move it in the direction that best serves their interests. Once that door opens, there will no doubt be a flood of foreign influence from, among other countries, the US, Saudi Arabia, and “Israel”, attempting to install a government that best suits their collective agendas.

Now, having said all that, I will state again that should things spin out of control, the regime will be largely to blame for the resulting consequences for their failure to release the pressure off the Syrian people.

March 17th, 2011, 6:24 pm

 

Nour said:

Jad:

I had the same questions when I saw the different videos. Where were the Egyptian police to protect the embassy and the protesters? It is common practice that police are placed in front of embassies to protect them from possible mob attacks, but that seems to be completely absent here. I also did see the other video where the protesters were attacking the embassy. I don’t understand why Egyptians feel compelled to attack the Syrian embassy.

March 17th, 2011, 6:30 pm

 

LeoLeoni said:

Jad,

Egyptians have a right to peacefully protest with their Syrian brothers in front of the Syrian embassy the same way that Syrians protested in front of the Egyptian embassy last month.

I just saw several videos on youtube on what was happening in front of the Syrian embassy:

– One video showed both Syrians and Egyptians standing chanting against the regime.
– Another video video showed bunch of employees from the embassy as well as Syrian students in Egypt attack peaceful demonstrators outside the embassy.
– Another video showed a bunch of Syrians and Egyptians confronting a bunch of pro-regime Syrians who were standing in front of the Syrian embassy. The pro-regime Syrians were telling the demonstrators they had no business standing there. Few arguments along with some shoving ad pushing going on from both sides.

There was also news that an Egyptian was taken inside the embassy and claims that he was beaten inside. A video showed him being released, walking outside the embassy with a fellow Egyptian officer. There were a bunch of Egyptians standing outside demanding his release.

In some of the videos I saw the police standing, and in others I didn’t see any police, but so far I have not seen videos of the embassy being “attacked”. If you have a video please share. If this happened, then this is not accepted and the Egyptian authorities are to be blamed along with the perpetrators. The Egyptian police need to put a barrier in between the protesters and the gate. (One video shows a barrier being implemented). In any case, whatever happens to the embassy does not justify the beating of peaceful demonstrators holding placards by embassy personnel thugs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFS1Lby2IYE

Cheers

March 17th, 2011, 7:20 pm

 

Nour said:

Leo:

Of course the behavior of the Syrian embassy personnel was shameful to say the least, and I don’t think anyone would disagree with that. After all embassy employees are supposed to represent their country’s diplomatic corps, and behaving in such a way is definitely inexcusable. The question is, however, why was there no barrier placed between the embassy and the protesters by Egyptian police. I don’t believe that there were orders from the Syrian government for those embassy employees to behave in this way, but many times people let their emotions get the better of them, and that’s why barriers are set up to protect different sides from each other, especially in the case of foreign embassies. I know here in the US if you want to demonstrate in front of a foreign embassy or consulate, you must first obtain a permit and then you must confine yourself to the barrier set up by the police. Anyone crossing those barriers is immediately arrested and detained.

March 17th, 2011, 7:27 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

I am sure if the regime in Syria lasts ,it will take very very long time to change corruption,why? becAUSE THE REGIME IS CORRUPT
to say that if the regime changed corruption will last, this is pure assumption, it may not be true.
I am sure you heared the saying;
Power corrupt,too much power ,too much corruption

March 17th, 2011, 8:02 pm

 

NK said:

I think people are promoting the rumors that Syria is helping Ghadafi, add to that the shameful videos of how the Syrian security forces are treating their own people and the Facebook pages asking Egyptians to support the Syrian revolution and you get yourself a pretty hyped up demonstrators who are ready to go the extra mile … Still if you look closely, you’ll notice some demonstrators rushed towards the guy who kicked the embassy door to stop him, so it’s hard to tell what was going on in there really, maybe he was kicking the door after the embassy guards attacked the demonstrators. That video doesn’t tell the whole story.

As for the Egyptian police, it’s my understanding that the police hasn’t been back in full force yet, and they’re still getting attacked by people for the way they used to treat people before the revolution, notice that they didn’t allow the police officer to take the guy who was held inside the embassy, and later the officer said that he only wanted to take his statement. Hopefully, some trustworthy news outlet will publish the full story soon.

Alex

I think whenever you deal with internet news, there’s really no way to tell what is true and what is not, I watched a program awhile back where journalists were talking about the online news outlets and how they’re deceiving the public opinion by spreading misleading info, this is not exclusive to Syria or the Middle east, it really affects everyone, so I think it’s your responsibility aswell as mine to check the sources when we read something online rather than being that of the poster. and while its impossible to control what people say on the world wide web, in a tight community, just like the SC one, this job is much more manageable.

Norman

I think the main difference between you and me is that you think the President is moving while I think he isn’t. He is very charismatic but like the Egyptians say “أسمع كلامك يعجبني .. أشوف أمورك أستعجب”.

Nour

Bashar said in his WSJ interview, and this is a direct quote “we have to wait for the next generation to bring this reform”, do you think people in Syria will wait 30 more years ?. Same goes to fighting corruption, the campaign started 11 years ago, and yet corruption in Syria is more rampant than ever!. Scapegoating low level government employees stopped being effective a long time ago.

March 17th, 2011, 8:10 pm

 

Norman said:

It is obvious from the heading of the video that the producer is Egyptian , and i do not know why you expect the Embassy security that is protecting basically a Syrian land to get upset and fight back, Yes God bless them, they even fought back wearing suites, nobody should expect the Syrian embassy not to fight back.

These Egyptian are better off marching to the border with Gaza to demand the lifting of the shameful blockade that Egypt is part of.
After what Sadat then Mubarak did to Syria we will not trust the Egyptians,until we see new deeds ,that can convince us that Egypt has changed.

March 17th, 2011, 8:19 pm

 

Norman said:

To all of you,

Can we define corruption, is it MR abu Ahmad putting his hand out when you want a new ID card or a driver licence, is is MR Policeman forgetting the ticket for 500 Syrian pounds, or is it MR minster getting a commision for giving away no bid contracts or the army officer letting smugglers through with a truck load of Marlborough and Winston cigarettes, can you participate, after we define what we think corruption is then we can put some solution together.

March 17th, 2011, 8:30 pm

 

Nour said:

Majed,

Yes, the regime is corrupt, but the regime did not come from outer space. They are from among the people. Moreover, not every government employee, every civil servant, or even every member of the military is part of the regime, yet people in all those fields practice corruption. And this has been the case since before this regime came to power. It’s going to take a long time to terminate this culture of corruption in our nation. And it is not only present in Syria, but also in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq, as well as other countries in the Arab World. Moreover this corruption has transcended different regimes. You cannot just turn off a switch and eliminate it.

March 17th, 2011, 8:30 pm

 

Nour said:

NK,

Bashar is actually correct. It is going to take a generation for reforms to really go into effect, especially with respect to corruption, as you have to raise an entire generation on anti-corruption values. Moreover, you have to improve the economy so that wages are high enough to where employees no longer feel compelled to take bribes.

As for the anti-corruption campaign, it hasn’t actually been going on for 11 years. In fact it was just in the last couple years when it really went into effect. It is also factually incorrect to say that corruption is now worse than it has ever been. Government ministers are actually today less corrupt than before and officials on various levels have been either relieved of their duties or arrested for their corrupt activities, including Hassan Makhlouf.

March 17th, 2011, 8:41 pm

 

NK said:

Norman

I wonder if you would have the same view, if say the American embassy employees in Syria attacked Syrian demonstrators.

As for corruption, I agree we need a definition,
“is it MR abu Ahmad putting his hand out when you want a new ID card or a driver licence, is is MR Policeman forgetting the ticket for 500 Syrian pounds” while this is bad, abu Ahmad in most cases is not ending up with millions, with the joke that is the Salary that he takes, I’m not sure how else someone like him would survive.
The real issue is “Mr minster”, “Mr army officer” and a lot of times “Mr I can make a phone call and have the prime minister fired!”. Some of the ministers (current and previous) are well known to have made millions if not billions while in office, while before their office were well below average.

I guess it comes down to one simple question, is the president himself corrupt or not ?. And if he’s truly not, why are those officials who are bankrupting the state getting a free pass, or just being let ago ? again, we’re talking big fish here, not Abu-Ahmad and Abu-Abdo.

March 17th, 2011, 8:59 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Completely out of touch.

Norman
definition of corruption

impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle : improper or unlawful means (as bribery)

March 17th, 2011, 9:03 pm

 

Norman said:

NK,

I agree that abu Abdo, Mr Policeman and Abu Ahmad are not the problem, the question is how to solve that, I do not see that this is a major problem, As you said that these people are trying to survive, so to solve that which effect every Syrian trying to get his papers , Id Card an application for business, all government employees should have a living wage including policemen and military officers and civil workers, then empower county district attorneys and police to investigate small level corruption and complains, few prosecutions can teach the rest manors and morals,

About MR minster playing salesman and getting commissions for no bid contracts, that is not difficult to solve either, just forget about the past and if you should not start by stopping future corruption in contracts and that can be done by NO No bid contracts , make all contracts subjects to bids from qualified contractors, then open the bids at the same time by a committee of about 13 members of highly qualified individuals who are familiar with all matters of these contracts , The lowest bid will win and will be announced in the public newspapers giving one month for challenges from the losing contractors and challenges in court , having a committee to open the bids will make it impossible to bribe everybody, there are still honest people in Syria,there is always going to be corruption but will not be organized.
and violators will be prosecuted .

March 17th, 2011, 9:31 pm

 

Revlon said:

#160
Nafdik,
“I believe that change in Syria will only happen if at least 20% of army officers buy into it”.

The Special Forces, the higher and most of the lower officers of the armed forces are an integral part of the regime. They feel they would have no future should it fall.

The ranks and files of the armed forces are part of the great, silenced majority of Syria.
They are subject to same sorts of abuse by their commanders and the security forces
They are underpaid.
They experience the discrimination and corruption that compatriot civilians do.

Should and when an uprising picks up steam, their allegiance to their abusive system shall crumble, and with it the tools that the higher officers need to effect their aggression.

Time is on the side of the people. The pressure is piling up on the intransigent regime.
The forcefully imposed 40 year long political and socioeconomic stagnation is drawing to end.
The regime has one of two options: Change or you will be changed.

Bashar is in “a situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently illogical rules or conditions”, to quote the definition of catch-22 situation.

March 17th, 2011, 9:42 pm

 

NK said:

Nour

I wouldn’t accept bribes, I certainly wasn’t born in outer space or raised by aliens and I’m most certain I not the only honest Syrian among 22 million. Describing the entire Syrian population as morally bankrupt is untrue and unacceptable.

The government have the responsibility to pick and choose the best man for the job, ideally a government employee progresses upward and laterally, so when someone corrupt end up as a high ranking government official something went very very wrong and an investigation on how and why he ascended to his position should be closely looked at as to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again, and if he was a part of a bigger corruption ring then everyone should be held accountable.

Norman

Pretty good solutions that are easy to implement and don’t require a generation for Syrians for see the results. In my opinion, a better solution for the corruption when it comes to big contracts, is to have a committee for such contracts in the Parliament, one that looks at and studies these type of contracts where a lot of money is involved.

March 17th, 2011, 10:07 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

The security council impose no fly zone on libya
from now on the people will be stronger,let Gaddafi try to violate it,let those pilots (whoever they are ,and wherever they came from) let them dare fly.
The world will not accept a dictator to kill his people,let this be a lesson to other dictators.
The days of dictators are getting short,we will see positive changes in Libya ,from now on.

March 17th, 2011, 10:16 pm

 

Nour said:

NK,

I certainly wasn’t saying that most Syrians are morally bankrupt, as you alleged. I said that there is a prevalent culture of corruption in our society right now which rewards those who are corrupt. This is not unique to the Syrian regime, or even to governments, but is actually present in our private companies and other organizations. My father, for example worked for such a private company. He always worked hard, was extremely professional, and never stole a penny from the company. He was never awarded a high position, yet those who stole and embezzled money from the company, costing the company millions of dollars, were always project managers, VP’s, etc. which allowed them to continue to steal. They have built fortunes. Another example is Lebanon. People there can vote whomever they want into office. Guess who always wins? The most corrupt figures and most debased characters, partly because of the sectarian nature of Lebanon, but partly also because people think that corrupt figures can get things done.

March 17th, 2011, 11:04 pm

 

Jad said:

شو هلثورة يللي بلزور، شو هلدعوات يللي عمتستخدم البلبلة و تخويف العالم و اختراع احداث ما صارت، ليش استخدام الجوامع و الدين كمنطلق، ليش لتدعو الابناء ما يردو على أهاليهم و ليش نشر منشورات بلشوارع و ليش استثنوا الساحلً؟؟
كل شي من هدول النقاط بدو مليون تفسير و مانو نظيف

March 17th, 2011, 11:57 pm

 

NK said:

Dear Jad a link to the things you’re seeing and commenting on will help a lot :p

I’m gonna take a wild guess here and assume people are calling for demonstrations after Friday prayers tomorrow, the why is pretty easy, 90% of the population is Muslim, and most if not all Muslims attend Friday prayers. As for the rest, I’m clueless to what you’re talking about.

I just watched this, looks like the embassy employees attacked the demonstrators, and started what later turned into a big mess, shame on them

March 18th, 2011, 12:15 am

 

Jad said:

Dear NK,
Regarding using religious gathering place for protests never been a good idea in a mixed religious-ethnic society, it would work in Egypt, Tunisia but not a good idea in Syria, it’s a touchy subject to use religious in your protest.
Please go read what those guys are writing on their site to understand my other points.

March 18th, 2011, 12:38 am

 

NK said:

Jad

I asked for the link to the website you’re talking about. I just googled الثورة السورية and there’s about 14 million hits, please don’t make me search every single one of them 🙂

Not sure why you’re assuming what worked in Egypt wouldn’t work in Syria, Egypt religion-wise have pretty close numbers to that of Syria, 85-90% Muslims 10-15% Christians, but that’s beside the point. The calls for demonstrations to start from mosques have nothing to do with religion itself, it’s just that there will be thousands of people at each mosque, which will make it easier for a demonstration to pick up momentum.

March 18th, 2011, 12:50 am

 

Jad said:

NK
The link is in one of Alex comments above.

March 18th, 2011, 1:01 am

 

Jad said:

NK,
here you go a sample of the chat and comments going there now, please notice that 3people LIKED the first comment شي بيرفع الرأس!!!!!!

Kinda Khalill سريان القامشلي يا مسيحين -للاسف هم معه لانهم يخافون من القادم على أنفسهم و انت تفهم قصدي سيد مالك
about an hour ago ·  3 people

Nour Douchi ولك واحد عم بيطول لسانه عالمسيحيين ينضب و يقص لسانو. اللعمى شو كلاب. ولك أنا مسيحي و حارقين دمنا على شو؟ اللعمى بضميركون صحيح. قال حياديين و مانهون ضد حدا و لا مع حدا. يعني نسيتو العامل العددي؟ في كل حي صار يوجد مسيحي واحد. كانوا المسيحيين 40 بالمئة و صاروا عشرة بالمئة. عمي حارب بحرب تشرين و خالي التاني كان بالفدائيين و لكن عليكم ألا تنسوا بأن الفئة الضخمة عدداً و نسبةً في المجتمع عادةً يقع على عاتقها عبء التغيير بسبب العمق الاجتماعي فهي تستطيع امتصاص الاختراق من كل النواحي أكثر من غيرها. هذا حال الثورات في كل الدول و في كل الأزمنة. و لكن للأسف ما تتكلمون عنه لا ينجم عن منطق و لكن عن انطباعات طائفية خاطئة من أساسها. يا ريت لو كان سمع جول جمّال هالحكي قبل ما كان يقرر ينتحر من شان مصر. يمكن كان قرف و ضل يعيش و يتهنى بعيشته

Ziad Malki يا أخ نور ..ما حدا غلط على المسيحيين على هي الصفحة يا حبيبي.هي صفحة كل السوريين. يلي بيسمعك بيفكرك عم تفطر فوارغ على الصبح !! بدك تطول بالك
27 minutes ago

Syria MyCountry يا شباب عيب الحكي عن الدين كلنا سوريين و كلنا عايشين بنفس الظلم و اصلا هاد الي مأخرنا و مخلي هالطاغية يتحكم فينا هو بيخلق هالنعرات بشان نلتهي و ما بنفكر بحقوقنا يا اخ او اخت نور انا كمان مسيحي بس انا سوري قبل ما كون مسيحي باعبد سوريا بعد الله و عندي ديني هو سوريا
26 minutes ago

March 18th, 2011, 2:13 am

 

OFF THE BAT said:

Guys!
Check out this link and watch the video of this young man advising president Asad and his wife on what to be done to get the country out of trouble. It is a cracker!
http://thawrtalsoryienalahrar.blogspot.com/

March 18th, 2011, 2:31 am

 
 

Badr said:

Syria and Algeria were in opposition to the Arab League’s backing of a no-fly zone in Libya. Isn’t it clear what outcome of the Libyan revolution, the repressive authoritarian Syrian regime would like to see!

March 18th, 2011, 4:40 am

 

MONTAGNARD said:

Who will replace Muaammar as the chief entertainer at Arab summits? A tough act to follow?

March 18th, 2011, 6:05 am

 

Nafdik said:

Finally the security coincil does something useful.

Hopefully ben ghazi has been spared the destiny of Hama.

Hopoefully his will give hope to the syrians that the world has changed and this time a massacre will not be allowed to happen.

March 18th, 2011, 6:09 am

 

Norman said:

NK,
Parliamentary committee is a good idea, I understand what Nour is saying as there is the impression in Syria that the people who do not use the system to their advantage are stupid and that will change gradually with few prosecutions and shaming in the media .

Majid ,
What i see taking place in Libya is the same that took place in Iraq and that is to use a civil strive backed by the Stupid Arab league and the US behind the sean through it’s stooges in KSA, Egypt and others to have an excuse to occupy Libya, destroy it and take it’s oil, he issue is not the freedom of the Libyan people the goal is to occupy Libya.as they did Iraq.do we really want that , i do not .

March 18th, 2011, 7:40 am

 

Alex said:

Off the beat, again … here is a sample from the account in the link you posted (and it is probably full of lies as usual):

بعدها نزلت مجموعة من البنات الي أقسم بالله نموذجهن من نموذج نانسي عجرم وهيفاء وهبي وحاملين بإيديهن صور لبشار كانوا بالأول واقفين عم يتفرجوا نزلوا بناء على طلب من قوات الأمن للعاملين بمبنى المراقبة المالية الي كان مطل على ساحة المظاهرة وكان بيرأس هالبنات زلمة كبير وشب بال30 سنة وبتذكرهن وحدة وحدة وواحد واحد وما رح يفلتوا من إيدنا بعد النصر بإذن الله..

1) Girls who are not dressed conservatively enough are prostitutes class

2) Revenge, God blessed revenge … وما رح يفلتوا من إيدنا بعد النصر بإذن الله

No thank you.

March 18th, 2011, 7:42 am

 

Atassi said:

هذا بيان من عائلة الاتاسي لإعلان تضامنهم مع ابنتهم الناشطة الحرة السيدة/ سهير جمال الأتاسي

https://www.facebook.com/pages/%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AA%D8%B6%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%86%D9%8A-%D9%85%D8%B9-%D9%83%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%85%D8%AA%D9%86%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%B3%D9%87%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%8A/106786486069665?sk=wall

بيان تضامني مع كريمتنا الحرة السيدة سهير جمال الأتاسي

صادر عن عموم آل الأتاسي في سوريا و بلاد المهجر

ينظر عموم آل الأتاسي في سوريا و بلاد المهجر ببالغ الأسى لما أقدمت عليه أجهزة الأمن السورية من اعتقال لكريمتنا الناشطة السيدة سهير الأتاسي، وذلك عندما كانت تقوم بواجبها الوطني مُشارِكة ً في الاعتصام السلمي الذي دعى إليه أهالي معتقلي الرأي في مدينة دمشق يوم ١٦ آذار للقاء وزيد الداخلية السوري وطرح قضية أبنائهم من معتقلي الرأي و الضمير.

و حيث أن السيدة سهير الأتاسي لم ترتكب جُرماَ يعاقب عليه القانون السوري، بل مارست حقها الدستوري و القانوني بالتعبير عن رأيها حين استجابت للدعوة السلمية من منطلق احساسها الوطني الخالص و ضمن ايمانها بالواجب الانساني و بحقها في المشاركة البناءة و كل هذا بأسلوب سلمي و حضاري ، فإننا نعلن تضامننا الكامل مع السيدة سهير الأتاسي وعائلتها الصغيرة في محنتهم و نطالب بالافراج الفوري عنها فهي لا تشكل خطرا أو تهديدا على أحد و لا يعقل أن تبقى حبيسة سجون الوطن الذي أحبته و دافعت عنه. و إذ ندعوا أيضا المؤسسات الحقوقية المختصة للإطلاع بدورها في ضرورة العمل الجاد بغية الافراج الفوري عن كريمتنا السيدة سهير الأتاسي و ابنائنا و بناتنا الأحرار و الذين اعتقلوا أيضا في الاعتصام السلمي آنف الذكر.

ونحب أن ننوه إلى تاريخ السيدة سهير الأتاسي – سليلة الكرام من آل الأتاسي و حفيدة بيت من بيوت العلم و أقطاب الدين و السياسة و الأدب و الشعر و الذين كانت لهم دائما مواقف وطنية شجاعة في مواجهة الاستعمار ضد بلدنا الحبيب سوريا- وهي المعروفة بوطنيتها و مواقفها الشريفة و من قبلها والدها الراحل الدكتور و الوزير السابق جمال الأتاسي، و الذي شهد له القاصي و الداني بوطنيته و اخلاصه و تاريخه القومي العربي و النضالي.

حفظ الله بلادنا من كل شر و مكروه و فرج أسر حرائرنا وأحرارنا .. و الله ولي التوفيق

الموقعون: عموم آل الأتاسي في سوريا و بلاد المهجر

18/3/2011

March 18th, 2011, 9:52 am

 

Revlon said:

The past week marks the birth of the ground, Syrian People’s Revolution.
Friday prayer appears to be its rhythmic beat.

Street savvy, young revolutionists, have come out of their hiding, and appeared on video (YouTube Syrpres).
They are presenting their own arguments for the need for change
They have declared their determination to take on, and resist the system’s police

Women are taking the driving seat in the protests. It says a lot. For one thing, it is a proof that the regimes stone age philosophies and practices and not the people’s traditions that are the impediment to women progress.
The public is starting to rally behind the courageous, young uprisers, along traditional family allegiances.
Demonstrations have taken place in several cities: Damascus, Homs, Daraa, and Banyas.
Some demonstrators, beaten up by regime forces have dared to write their actual names on Al Jazeera comments.

The UNSC has passed its resolution of a no-fly-zone over Libya.
The message from the UNSC “Police”, to Asad is:

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you …..

The few drops of rain, are rousing the nation’s sleeping pride
Tomorrow’s rush of rain, shall wash away, the tyrant reign.

I bow to my brothers and sons of the Syrian revolution.

March 18th, 2011, 11:48 pm

 

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