"Interview with President Bashar al-Assad" by Alix Van Buren in La Repubblica - Syria Comment

“Interview with President Bashar al-Assad” by Alix Van Buren in La Repubblica

Van Buren

Van Buren

Interview with President Bashar al-Assad
By Alix Van Buren
La Repubblica, March 17, 2009

“America today is stronger militarily than at any other time, but politically they are much weaker. Obama will have to restore the American credibility in the Middle East. The first signs are encouraging: by  disengaging from Iraq, closing Guantanamo, and by his interest in peace, he is keeping his word. But whether we are at a historical threshold, it is too early to say. Still, one thing is clear: after the dark years of the Bush Administration, there is new hope. Regarding Iran, I am ready in principle to help in a dialogue. With Israel, we had come very close to a deal.”

President Bashar al-Assad is already at work in the early morning in his private study on the slopes of Mount Qassiun. He has a full agenda. The re-admission of Damascus to the good geopolitical society is still recent, after the arrival on March 7 of the envoys sent by Obama to resume the dialogue interrupted by four years of American sanctions. And Assad, solemn in stature, elegant in his blue flannel suit, is busy, so it seems, in renewing the threads of international diplomacy.

The isolation of Syria is virtually over. Old concepts and labels – Axis of Evil, rogue States – have all of a sudden evaporated. So it is natural to ask him: what is required, Mister President, to relaunch an understanding between America and Syria? What should be done to bring it back as it was in the beginning of the Nineties, when Hafez al-Assad and Bush father had succeeded in creating a mutual trust, with the promise kept in 1991 of the Madrid Peace Conference?

“There is a rule, first of all: States act according to their own national interests. As to how far the American and Syrian interests coincide, well I can say it is 80 per cent, leaving out a margin of 20 per cent for the rest, to be on the safe side”.

Such a positive calculation?

“Why not. If we are realistic, and take the fake labels used by Bush, who spoke without believing in it about stability in Iraq, about fighting terrorism and extremism, about a strong and independent Lebanon, about peace in the region, our interests are the same. Now we can cooperate on those dossiers: we are a regional power, America is a global one.”

Would you give us some examples?

“Examples? Here is a first one: Iraq. With the disengagement announced by president Obama, perhaps the most contentious issue dividing us from Washington has been solved. For it was indeed occupation, regardless of all resolutions and support it had. Now we can work together for the stability of Iraq, without which the disengagement can not succeed.”

So how can one guarantee that success?

“By starting a political process, with the final aim of a national reconciliation. A new Constitution must be drafted, which will in turn create new institutions. But especially one must not allow the disintegration of the Country, for there might arise like a domino effect that could have repercussions in the whole region from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.”

But America and Europe are expecting from you an important step towards Iran. Are you willing to take it?

“If we’re talking about an Iranian influence in Iraq, we must make a clear distinction: the influence, in itself, is not negative when it is based on mutual respect. Interference is something completely different. If we’re talking instead of helping to open a dialogue with Tehran, I already said we are ready. But we are waiting for specific proposals to forward to that government. Until now I’ve only been invited to play a role. That is not enough, there is need for a plan, a framework, specific rules to submit to Tehran’s evaluation.”

In your opinion, will Tehran accept?

“Only through dialogue can one hope to succeed. Containing or isolating a country does not work. In fact, in the end it strengthens that Country. And Iran is an important country, whether one likes it or not. The winning way is to cooperate: look at France, it has embarked on that road with success, even with other regional parties.”

Such as Hezbollah and Hamas? Will you cooperate also regarding them?

“Of course, we have already been engaged in the inter-Palestinian reconciliation. Now the most urgent issue is the truce with Israel, and part of it is lifting the embargo imposed on the Gaza Strip because from this issue descend all the problems, including the conflict that we saw. The embargo is like a slow death, Can that be inflicted on a people without expecting a reaction? That is why pacifying the situation is crucial in determining the final result.”

And what about Hezbollah?

“The same is true: if one wants to play a productive and positive role, one must deal with every influential party. There is need for pragmatism, realism. And whether one labels them terrorists or ‘a State within a State’, it doesn’t matter: they are influential parties in the region. But you can already see some important openings: Great Britain is sending signals to Hezbollah, and here in Damascus the delegations visiting Hamas are doing so in the open, no longer in secret.”

Do you see a renewal in the negotiations with Israel?

“In principle, I should say yes, as we Syrians do not bet on the kind of government in Israel, whether it belongs to the right or to the left. The terms of reference for peace are clear to all: they are the Madrid Conference, the United Nation Resolutions, especially 242, the formula of ‘land for peace’, which means full restoration of the Golan Heights to Syria. All that is needed is the will. If they are ready, we are ready. However…”

However, Mister President?

“I don’t see peace around the corner in the next few years. The idea of a Netanyahu government is not worrying, as much as the shift to the right by the Israeli society, mirrored by the vote for Netanyahu. That is the major obstacle to peace. Yet, we had already come very close to a deal.”

When? Before the Gaza War?

“Indeed. Olmert had told the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan that he was ready to give back the Golan Heights to Syria. We entered into negotiations. The only item left to discuss were the final details about the line of  1967. Then, we spent a night on the telephone.”

Would you tell us about it?

“Erdogan was on the telephone in Istanbul. Olmert went to Turkey, and had dinner with Erdogan. He was in another room. Erdogan wanted to call me urgently the same day. There was one last obstacle standing before direct negotiations: the acceptation by Israel of a document that defined the line of 1967 through six geographical points on the Lake of Tiberias, the Jordan River and so on.”

Then, what happened?

“We spent several hours on the phone. Olmert kept making maneuvers, we asked him, through Erdogan, a clear word. He asked to postpone the decision by a few days, to go back to Israel to consult with his government. Buth then, four days later, they started the Gaza War. It was another missed opportunity. That is when Turkey got mad: it considered that a deception.”

Is the Arab Peace Plan of 2002 still on the table?

“That will be discussed by the Arab League summit at the end of this month in Doha. The peace plan will probably be dis-activated, like when you turn off the light with a switch, until there emerges a true partner on the Israeli side.”

Yet Obama is talking about a new Middle East Order. Will the American mediation make a difference?

“America is indispensable in its role as a guarantor, as it is a superpower. In addition, Washington can influence Israel more than anyone else. America will still enjoy a leading role in the region, at least until the year 2030. But it is no longer a monopoly: in our new multipolar world there are new actors emerging, and America can no longer act alone.”

What Countries do you have in mind?

“Turkey: it has cultivated good relations with the regional countries, gaining their trust, therefore it has ensured for itself an important role in mediating for peace, where the United States and Europe have failed. But there is also Sarkozy’s France, which today plays a vital role: it has built relations with all the influential parties, it was able to see the movements in the region, and it moved at the right time catching the train that was departing.”

Who is leading the diplomatic effort, Washington or Paris?

“Both, one might say: the Obama Administration is at its first steps, it is still discovering the horizon, therefore it discusses the issues with Paris. As to Sarkozy, you know he showed a strong will to be engaged.”

Mister President, you say you are available in the efforts for peace, in mediating for a dialogue with Iran, but what is the price requested by Syria?

“That is a question I’ve heard many times. But it is the wrong question. This is not about political bribes. I heard talk about Syria requesting the end of sanctions, or the return of an American ambassador to Damascus. But all this does not concern us, it concerns America. The isolation has not weakened us, in fact it strengthened us. What I await in return is the result of the cooperation: the stability that brings prosperity, that defuses terrorism and extremism. I await peace, but that is an end result, I do not have it from America, but from the region, including me, Israel and other concerned parties. In conclusion, what was true in the past, remains true today. I will explain it to you through an anecdote>.”

Which anecdote?

“My Father, president Hafez al-Assad, in 1990 in Geneva told Bush: “Mister President, non one can face up to your military strength. Yet, if with one hand you hold a gun, with the other one you must hold an olive branch. Only thus do superpowers survive”. So here is the point: for eight years America has made mistakes, it hasn’t used the olive branch, only the gun, achieving nothing positive: rather, it has inflamed the region, spreading extremism and terrorism.”

And now, how to repair that?

“Now we must put out those fires by using the correct instruments, which are complex: first of all it is about development, especially in the economic and cultural field, and political solutions to every hot spot that any extremist or terrorist wants to use as a mantle to cover their political agenda. And lastly it is about exchanging information with the Intelligence, which we will resume with the United States.”

What do you expect from president Obama’s announced speech to the Muslim world?

“There are great expectations regarding a new language that signals respect towards other cultures, that helps to release the tensions in our region, especially from the religious aspect, unleashed by the previous Administration when Bush talked about the crusades. And politics, as we all know, starts also with words, terms and statements that can lead towards a  positive or negative direction.”

In this season of openings in the international diplomatic field, how will Syria reposition itself in the arena of democracies? Will it follow through on its promises of civil liberties made at the Congress of 2005?

“We never stopped the reforms. The pace was much slower, that is true. But now that we are less affected by the difficult international circumstances, the pace will pick up. For example by expanding the political participation, having another Chamber in addition to the Parliament, like a Senate, with a legislative role and freely elected, to give more space to the opposition; then, liberalizing more the political media and the Internet to promote dialogue, and finally a law for the political parties. But all that will come about gradually, at or own pace.”

Summing everything up, Mister President, might there appear a brighter horizon?

“Listen, in the beginning there are hopes, signals. Yet, we can…”

That sounds like Obama’s “we can”?

“Well, when Obama said ‘we can’ he was emphasizing ‘we can do’, while those same words in this region mean ‘possibly’. That is conditional. We can ‘if we guard ourselves from the mistakes of the past’, if Europe has learned from the lesson of being absent from the political arena, of being divided because of the Iraq war, if America learns that the army can’t make you a great power, while your credibility and your responsibility can. Only then I can say yes, we are at a historical threshold. But right now it would be exaggerated, we are still at the stage of signs.”

Would you like to meet President Obama?

“Yes, in principle, it would be a very positive sign. But I am not interested in a photo opportunity. We would like to meet, to talk – about what is our plan, about how to find and reach solutions.”

Comments (51)


Observer said:

I did not wish to comment on the previous post as it was becoming too specific/
Here are my points:
1. France re integrates NATO because France can no longer project power as it used to do in the past and it wished to do it through Europe but the Europeans do not want to have anything to do with military adventures, so we go with Uncle Sam
2. Uncle Sam is in deep trouble with the next bubble that may burst sooner rather than later being the US Treasury bills that people are buying because the dollar is the de facto commerce currency and reserve currency of the world. This is the only instance where a money printing machine can make money without any economic or precious metal backbone behind it. The Chinese as stuck as the value of what they lent to the US will dwindle if the dollar goes down and it will go down. So I would predict that they will quietly start to buy Gold and other precious commodoties. When this bubble bursts the dollar will lose its value and will be dethroned as a reserve currency and a new global financial order will emerge after huge disruptions. Just watch Eastern Europe go bankrupt.
3. The G7 is now the G 20 and the money will come from Asia therefore the new IMF and the World Bank will have to have different rules to accomodate the desires and interests of the donors. I would predict an accomodation of Chinese interests fully in the next few years.
4. In the ME, the only salvation is an EU like integration of the divided countries to accomodate the incredible demand of the population explosion and it necessitates solving the Israeli Palestinian problem. KSA is trying to do the later to defuse the salafist appeal and to find a new modus videndi with rising Shia Islam.
5. The problem in number 4 is that
a) The memories of the people of the region to the dismemberment of the Ottoman empire, the humiliations of 48, 67 and now Iraq are reviving acutely
b) The calculated hatred of Zionism by HA and Hamas and Iran and to a lesser extent Syria is slowly replacing the emotional and irrational hatred of the Salafists and will be much more sustained and effective and bring about change than all the suicide bombings and the spectacular attacks because it mobilizes the various layers of the society and uses a form of warfare that aims to neutralize the modern war machine
c) Israeli extreme politics will lead to the suicide of the Zionist project as the two state solution is no longer possible in my opinion. More important the idea of Israel enslaving the population of the ME has come to an end in the ruins of the US disaster that is called Iraq.
6. KSA and Egypt and Jordan have sensed waited unitl the US elections showed that they will not have continuity with McCain and now have to contend with Obama. They are trying to chart a course that would allow them to rebuild alliances within the Arab LEvant but I am afraid it is too late and will not bear fruit for the following
a) If it is Sunni revival the only one that is still breathing fire and life is the Salafi discourse. There are no leading thinkers or true reformers and zero pragamtism. The debate still centers on what abolishes the ablutions before a prayer
b) the allies of the KSA have proven to be unreliable with dismal intelligence and poor planning this is due mainly to the disease that afflicts the majority of the Sunnis: extreme individuaism combined with zero sence of civic duty. THis means that any money or effort to organize any alternative to the Shia or Salafist groups will be met by theft, nepotism, corruption, and complete disorganisation. The best example of this is the Palestinian Authority.
8. The war on Gaza was a double failure for it did not achieve any aims but more importantly and for the first time has shown that the war was illegitimate whereas in the past the so called “right of self defense” had allowed Israel to be tolerated by the West with regard to its aggression. Now we see not only a genocide like policy and a war on an entire population but even the ability to take refure has been abrogated. This the first step in the strategic defeat as numerous individuals and organizations and even countries like Spain are talking about war crimes an crimes against humanity and Israel deploying its legal experts to protect army commanders from prosecution should they leave Israel. The paradox is the the more Israel uses force the less legitimate it becomes: this is a new barrier that has been breached by the resistance to Israeli Zionist extremism. Remember that France and the US won almost every battle in Algeria and Vietnam respectively and lost the war because they lost the legitimacy of it the first shot they fired and more weapons and force only make things worse.

I believe that the current leadership of Egypt and KSA are obsolete and we should not expect any change any time soon.

March 18th, 2009, 10:10 pm

 

ehsani2 said:

Do You think bashar wants a weak army while you look for a mighty one?

Assembling an army that can fight a battle with israel needs tremendous financial resources that a country like syria simply does not have.

Bravado from a keyboard is not sufficient.

March 18th, 2009, 11:53 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

Oh okay….Will leave you two together then….

I am sure that the President will be thrilled to know that he is $50 million away from parity.

Come to think of it, I keep wondering what has made him wait this long to pick up the phone.

March 19th, 2009, 12:07 am

 

jad said:

Seriously Ehsani!
Could you please stop interrupting, we are waiting for the president’s reply.

March 19th, 2009, 12:27 am

 

qunfuz said:

Excellent points, Observer.

Now, Joshua, Alex, Ehsani, QN, Shai – anybody (except perhaps the Syrian Nationalist Party): what would you say is the best history of syria from the mandate to the rise of the Baath (or later)?

and of Lebanon?

and on the Alawis?

please help

March 19th, 2009, 12:36 am

 

ausamaa said:

The highlight of Syrian History and Syrian Nationalisem is that it has managed to creat a STATE and not a Political Farm like Lebanon, and not a helpless foriegn-funded Protectorate like Jordan, and not a great 80 million plus nation like Egypt that can not open its mouth for fear of upsetting the US aid donners. And it forced others to respect its point perhaps rather than becaming a puppet state or blood wasteland like its more “rescourful” and “enlightened” other neighbours.

In other words, it has kept the home fires burning in the face of ugly winds and has marvelously survived. At a cost yes, but with pride, purpose and dignity.

March 19th, 2009, 3:58 am

 
 

Akbar Palace said:

Thank you for posting such an informative interview with President Bashar al-Assad.

Once again, we stand in awe of the President’s grasp of ambiguity.

Syria’s unflinching foundation in foreign policy.

Hot moist air at best.

March 19th, 2009, 10:42 am

 

idaf said:

It seems that Bashar has “unclenched his fist”. Will Obama keep his promise and “extend his hand”?

Joshua,

Excellent analysis on Saudi in the previous post. A couple of years ago, Alex asked many of us to write something on Syria’s foreign policy regarding 8 countries including Saudi. This was what I wrote on Saudi back then:

“The US-Saudi relationships interchangeably influence both countries’ policies towards Syria. Saudi’s policies towards Syria are primarily dependant on the US attitude towards Syria. If a more neutral attitude is to be followed by the next US administration, then Saudi’s relationship with Syria will improve, regardless of how much influence Iran will still possess in the region and regardless of any developments on the Lebanese arena.”

Saudi is very much integrated in the US sphere of influence. Saudi’s policies towards Syria will obediently follow the US administration’s route regardless of any other factors. As the US is now following a more “neutral” policy towards Syria, Saudi is obediently (but probably grudgingly) following a similar policy with Syria. Historically this has been proven true during the last 60 years (with few exceptions).

The Saudi regime and media only wave the Arabism flag as a legitimacy-seeking approach when the US direct involvement in the region deteriorates. When the US is directly involved on the ground in the Arab World (through wars and occupations) the Saudi regime (and its media empire) has repeatedly damned Arabism venomously.

I would argue that now with the Obama administration planning to get closer to the only true secular democracy in the Muslim World (Turkey) by granting it the title of leadership in the Muslim World (when Obama addresses the Muslim world from Istanbul probably), the Saudi regime will not fight for leadership, like Egypt might do, but will obediently follow orders and improve relations with Turkey:

Bashar and Obama will probably meet for the first time on April 7 in Ankara or hopefully in the more symbolic Istanbul:

Obama to visit Turkey on April 6-7: Turkish PM

ANKARA (AFP) — US President Barack Obama will visit Turkey on April 6-7, following an invitation from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to attend a forum aimed at fostering dialogue between the West and the Muslim world.

Erdogan said late Wednesday he had invited Obama to attend a meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative in Istanbul on April 7 and expressed surprise that the US president responded with a proposal also for an official visit to Ankara the day before.

“I didn’t expect (an official visit) that soon,” Erdogan said in an interview with TGRT television, adding that Obama was expected to attend the Istanbul forum as well.

“The official visit will be probably combined with the Alliance of Civilizations meeting… That is very meaningful for us,” he said.

Predominantly Muslim, secular Turkey is a NATO member and a close ally of the United States in a troubled region.

The UN-backed Alliance of Civilizations initiative was launched in 2005 in a bid to help overcome prejudices and misunderstandings between different cultures and religions. It is co-chaired by Turkey and Spain.

Obama has voiced determination to improve ties with the Islamic world and said he would give a major speech from a Muslim country during his first year in office.

US national security advisor Jim Jones has informed Ankara that Turkey is among several venues the White House is considering for the speech, Anatolia news agency quoted Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan as saying Thursday.

Obama’s programme in Turkey has not yet been finalised and it is not known whether he would make any speech during his visit, Babacan added.

Erdogan said the agenda of bilateral talks with Obama would include the Middle East conflict, efforts to end the division of Cyprus and Turkey’s bid to join the European Union.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Turkey earlier this month, saying that it was time to buttress relations between the two NATO allies, which went through a chilly period over the US invasion of Iraq.

March 19th, 2009, 2:36 pm

 

idaf said:

.. and Turkey is already started planning its leadership role in the region on the cultural level: PM Erdogan says Turkey’s state TV to launch Arabic-language channel

Few doubt that the TV shows that will run on this station will be Turkish production with Syrian dialect Arabic voiceovers. Over the past year, the ubiquitous Syrian media productions have successfully paved the way culturally for Turkey to become the leader in the Arab World.. to the discontent of Saudi and Egypt who were fighting Syria for leadership:

PM Erdogan says Turkey’s state TV to launch Arabic-language channel
Turkey’s state-run TV will launch a channel to air in the Arabic-language in the near future, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said late on Wednesday.

Preparations for a TV channel in Arabic are about to be completed, and the TV channel, under the auspices of the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), could start broadcasting at any time, Erdogan told broadcaster TGRT Haber.

He also told the news channel that TRT would launch a radio station broadcasting in Kurdish.

Turkey recently took steps to boost the cultural and democratic rights of Kurds with the Jan. 1 launch of TRT-6, a TV channel that airs in Kurdish 24 hours a day.

March 19th, 2009, 2:51 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

It seems that Bashar has “unclenched his fist”.

IDAF –

That’s your perception. Not mine.

I see you’re easy to impress.

March 19th, 2009, 3:24 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Sorry to break up the party, but here’s an opposing POV:

The Syria Temptation – and why Obama must resist it:

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/the-syria-temptation-and-why-obama-must-resist-it-15081

PS – For those wondering, the above article was not written by Professor Josh

March 19th, 2009, 3:53 pm

 

norman said:

OTW,

Thank you , I will tell you when i find out more,

President Assad seems to make good points, i hope Obama is listening.

Gunfuz,

In my opinion , two things that the Baath party did and had a great impact on me are .

Free Education to medical school and other university subjects for all , no matter what their ability to pay.

Teaching religion at school and taking that from the Churches and mosques.
So religion is taught as it is supposed to , a way to live with others.

March 19th, 2009, 4:13 pm

 

jad said:

Dear Norman,
There is another good thing they did which is support and encourage women rights on many fronts; still they need to do more regarding that.
What they didn’t do and failed miserably doing until now, is to support democracy as a Syrian political lifestyle and to implement the state of law instead of the state of emergency.
They didn’t look after quality control regarding anything, especially industry and agriculture which is a major issue since it affects everything around us from exporting to environmental quality when you let ignorant people to manage those sectors. Some individual are trying to do a better job lately but there must be a national awareness, support and encouragement to do more.
To top all the above they didn’t/don’t encourage Syrians to be creative in whatever they do, there are too many bureaucracy, obstacles and social taboos that must be lifted to let people give their best.
Those are a few thought came to mind reading your comment, and that is my take! (Where is your signature Norman)

March 19th, 2009, 5:08 pm

 

majid said:

Thanks AP for the excellent article that you linked in your comment # 12. Bret Stephens has masterfully articulated the futility of any policy of engaging the Syrians. In addition, he pointed out the crux of the Syrian problem in the following passage:
“Syria is a dictatorship, and dictatorships typically need external enemies to furnish a gloss of domestic legitimacy to their rule. As a result, modern Syria has been a scourge of all of its neighbors, not just Israel but also Turkey, with which it nearly went to war in 1998; Jordan, which it invaded in 1970; Iraq, against which it supplied troops in the 1991 Gulf war; and Lebanon, which it has sought to dominate, either directly or indirectly, for many decades.
Assad’s sense of himself as the anti-Sadat, the natural leader of the “rejectionist” front that would never come to terms with the legitimacy of Israel’s existence, cannot be understood without reference to the peculiarities of Syria’s domestic politics. His secular, Arabist Baath Party was naturally in competition with, and threatened by, Syria’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood. Even if Assad had been so inclined, he could hardly allow himself to make concessions to Israel that the Brotherhood could credibly trumpet as a sellout of both Islamic and Syrian interests. That consideration was powerfully reinforced by Assad’s religious identity as an Alawite, a group that makes up about 12 percent of Syria’s population, is theologically closer to Shiism than to the country’s predominant Sunnism, and is often considered heretical by orthodox Sunni clerics. Peace with Israel, in this calculus, risked the security not only of Assad’s regime, but also, conceivably, of his own sect.
No wonder, then, that when Bashar, Assad’s son and successor, was asked in March 2003 by a Lebanese newspaper whether Israel would ever be granted any kind of genuine recognition by Syria, his answer was categorical. “It is inconceivable,” he said, “that Israel will become a legitimate state even if the peace process is implemented.”
And then he offered this:
It should be known that Israel is based on treachery. This is a point to be considered thoroughly. We are dealing with treachery and threats, which accompanied the establishment of Israel…. It is the Israeli nature, and for that Israel was established.4”

This is not a recipe for peace-making. I really don’t understand what happened to the American and Israeli policy makers who, through their contradictory approaches, have allowed the Syrian government to extend its head above the ground like a poisonous serpent. I suggest that these policy-makers seek to educate themselves in bazaar market dynamics and rug merchant psychology before embarking on a process of engaging the Syrians and/or the Iranians. You are basically dealing with bazaar merchants who are trying to negotiate some kind of political arrangement for a region in a way that suits their bazaars. In addition, the thought of distancing Syria from Iran is not achievable for the simple reason: This relationship is based on sectarian ideological grounds and not just some kind of accidental coincidence of interests between the two countries. In fact, the basis for this relationship was established by the senior dead Assad and the junior Assad is simply carrying over the will of his father. The modus operandi for the Syro/Iranian axis is simply a survival of a minority Alawite rule in Damascus that has more in common with another sectarian regime – the Shiite regime of Iran which is seeking to re-invent history, particularly the Islamic history in a way that suits its agenda. The biggest threat to the alawite rule of Syria – according to the alawite rulers – is the sea of Sunnis around them and not the Jewish State. Therefore an alliance with Shiite Iran makes a lot of sense, and when you take into consideration this Alawite fear, you would begin to understand the unexplained frustrations of all those naïve American and Israeli peace seekers with the Assad senior and the forthcoming disappointments with the current junior. The well known truth among ordinary Syrians and most Arabs is that the alawite rulers of Damascus have no real interest whatsoever in obtaining the Golan back because the resolution of the conflict with the Jewish State will lead to the demise of their rule. Bret Stephens has touched on this subject in his article when he alluded to the Muslim Brotherhood, but he did not elaborate on the issue. Assad’s priorities are the survival of the Alawite rule even if it will cost him the loss of the greater part of Syria and simply keeps in power in an enclave in the coastal region of the so-called Alawite Mountains of Syria. It is based on this realization that I made the suggestion in a previous thread that it is in Syria’s people best interests to be ruled by a country like Israel similar to the way Israel rules its Arab citizens rather than being occupied by such minority Alawite rule. Perhaps a direct rule by Israel is an overstatement. However, considering the predicament of the people of Syria it is still in their best interests.

I would suggest that any Israel or American administration to establish a coherent policy that would require a public recognition of the State of Israel a pre-condition for any engagement with any regime that happens to be ruling in Damascus. Engagement here should mean any form of diplomatic, commercial, economic, cultural or other exchanges by the US and its allies with the Damascus regime. The policy be strictly enforced regardless of which party or parties happen to be the Governments in the US or Israel. You realize that you’re dealing with a dictatorial regime that uses time to its advantage with the hope that a new administration will emerge every few years in democratic states like the US, Israel or Europe. This is how dictators survive by knowing how to exploit this gap in Democratic regimes. I also suggest that Israel and the US spend great deal of money and effort to reach to the Syrian people directly and prove to them the benefits to their own well being of befriending the Americans and the Israelis. The case you made in your brief of your recent visit would a good approach to this end. In addition, there should be a strict ban on back room deals with such regimes.

March 19th, 2009, 10:35 pm

 

norman said:

Dear Jad ,

Most mistakes that were made in Syria , they were made for lack of expertise not lack of good intentions , About Democracy , I agree with you and from what president Assad said , He seems to be moving to a very good Idea , i felt will help a lot , that is having a senate composed of elected officials , and i say they should be 2 senators from each county (( Muhafaza )).

teaching Democracy at school is very important , as you know in the US our children are vaccinated against humiliation from defeat , we have children elected to have lunch with the principle of the school , they rotate the kids but they make it clear that it is for good behavior and not a given , they have elections for best dressed, most likely to succeed , and other elections including student governments , I believe that all these are there to make the future generation able to accept defeat and live with it and try more later as politicians should do and not try to get what they want with force as our people are raised to do ,
Things will take time but Syria is moving in the right direction ,

Recently Dardary the economic man of Syria said something made me think that he is in the US , He said that most jobs are created by small bussiness , That indicate that Syria will have more opportunities for small entrepreneurs.

one more thing , few years ago during the problem between Syria and Lebanon , there was shortage of people with MBA in Syria and that is confirm the lack of expertise in Syria not lack of good intention , lack of expertise can be fixed , not caring people is harder to fix.

So Syria is on the right track , you are young , just have some patients , you will get there , better late than never .

And that is my take.

March 20th, 2009, 12:13 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

I would suggest that any Israel or American administration to establish a coherent policy that would require a public recognition of the State of Israel a pre-condition for any engagement with any regime that happens to be ruling in Damascus.

Majid,

Your suggestion is a bit too logical for the liberal Israeli crowd. I didn’t detect enough self-doubt, hand-wringing and whining about racism.

Can you rethink your suggestion and come up with something more suitable for the audience here?;)

Best,

AP

PS – Glad you liked the article. It’s always good, once in a while, to be reminded of your sanity.

March 20th, 2009, 3:03 am

 

majid said:

AP said, “Can you rethink your suggestion and come up with something more suitable for the audience here?;)”

AP, knowing that I’m dealing with bazaar merchants, I’d say that’s a bit over my capacity.

Cheers.

March 20th, 2009, 3:21 am

 

jad said:

(It’s always good, once in a while, to be reminded of your sanity.)
AP, Did the mental hospital you visited couple weeks ago test too many drugs on you? Your IQ is lower since you came back from “the spaceship” I suggest you stand on a chair when you want to write the next comment, it might help raise your IQ and make you taller.

Majed, don’t get insulted, but you are spreading lots of ignorance and nonsense, why don’t you get AP’s mental hospital address for treatment..It might help to get you out of your tent, lose some weight and have some fresh air so it’s all win win.

No need to thank me both of you guys. It was my pleasure!

March 20th, 2009, 4:57 am

 

MAJID said:

JAD said “Majed, don’t get insulted, but you are spreading lots of ignorance and nonsense, why don’t you get AP’s mental hospital address for treatment..It might help to get you out of your tent, lose some weight and have some fresh air so it’s all win win.”

Obviously Jad is suffering from the alawite survival syndrome. So he has to do anything to avoid the spread of “ignorance and nonsense” of exposing his deep fears. By the way, you can always go back and hide in the mountains above Latakia as your farming ancestors used to do. But the spreading of “ignorance and nonsense” will continue nevertheless. You’re just too obvious to cause any one an insult. So don’t flatter you ego that you have actually achieved anything.

March 20th, 2009, 5:20 am

 

jad said:

You are such a smartass I bet you could sit on a carton of ice cream and tell what flavour it is.

Alawite survival syndrome! your stupidity, is obviously incurable.
you are making fun of me and my ancestor being farmers? that is the funniest jock I ever heard..hahaha…how dump.
you also advise me to go back in the mountain to hide, from who? your KSA religious police? Or from you? Fat guys like you can’t even walk, how are you going to climb any mountain? hahah…that is pure insanity, Ya 7aram shou mas6oul.
You are so cute Majed, especially when you wag your tail, but for now listen to your master:
Sit and Stop barking.

March 20th, 2009, 6:16 am

 

Nour said:

Jad,

I don’t think it’s worth it to engage in any argument with Majid. He obviously carries with him deep-seeded hatred and severe sectarianism, such that discussions with him are futile. And just remember this saying: “Never wrestle with a pig because you’ll both get dirty and the pig likes it.” Cheers.

March 20th, 2009, 10:29 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

And just remember this saying: “Never wrestle with a pig because you’ll both get dirty and the pig likes it.” Cheers.

Nour, JAD,

You’ll have to forgive Majid, his articles haven’t been appearing in the Syrian news media for a long time now.

Obviously Jad is suffering from the alawite survival syndrome.

Majid,

President-for-Life. Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein would be proud.

March 20th, 2009, 11:01 am

 

jad said:

Thanks Nour,
You are absolutely right, I liked the saying, very true.
Honestly though, where all those sectarian people come from? there must be a farm or something where someone give them an intensive course in hate and segregation “how to hate in three days”. I just feel sorry for them when they let the sectarian hatred to take over their minds and souls. Ya 7aram.

March 20th, 2009, 2:18 pm

 

majid said:

JAD, NOUR,
You both gave me a very good laugh. Especially, JAD who continues to think I’m Saudi. Go on JAD believe what you like. Ignorance is a bliss sometimes.

NOUR, I wouldn’t care about the opinion of an SSNP who continues to dream of Cyprus as part of so-called greater Syria. You too go on and dream. Sometimes a dream is better than an ugly reality – that is the present condition of your Syrian backyard under ex-farmer president for life.

March 20th, 2009, 2:19 pm

 

jad said:

Ignorance can be cured. Stupid is forever.

March 20th, 2009, 2:41 pm

 

majid said:

JAD said, “Ignorance can be cured. Stupid is forever.”

You’re absolutely right. So if I’m not a fat Saudi living in a tent you have to do something about your hideouts in the mountains. Fat Saudis may not be able to climb mountains (at least according to your stupidity) but you never know what others can do. Hope that helps you to cure your incurable lack of brain.

March 20th, 2009, 2:57 pm

 

jad said:

How many times do I have to flush before you go away?
I’m so scared from you Majed, did you get my address here and in the mountain of Latakia yet? I’d better tell my people to be careful that you have some plan for them.

March 20th, 2009, 3:20 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Jad and Nour,
Majid is not stupid, is is very very scared, and he can not cope with his fears, which imoobilize him. To understand Majid and poeple like him, one has to look into a common psychological response to trauama. No doubt the inability of Arab states to do anything to curb Israel’s repeated aggressions have caused long lasting traumas, and some have different reactions to trauma. Among these reaction is identifying with the aggressor. Here is a snippet about this type of response, from a website that supports police officers

Identification with Aggressors

By identifying with their aggressors, assuming their attributes, and imitating their aggression, crime victims cognitively transform them-selves from the people threatened into those making the threat. This mental transformation allows the victim to achieve some feeling of strength in an otherwise humiliating situation. In short, when an aggressor sticks a gun in a person’s face or kidnaps someone at knifepoint, often the victim’s only chance for survival is to join the aggressor emotionally, as well as physically. Anything short of total cooperation likely will result in death.

In addition to its cognitive utility, identification with the aggressor serves an important, external function. With this defense mechanism, victims make an intuitive prediction regarding their aggressors’ reactions to the bond. Instinctively, victims know that if they appease their aggressors, their chances of survival increase. Aggressors assured that they are “right” or whose controlling ideations are bolstered by the companionship of submissive victims will less likely dispose of this “positive” reinforcement. In this way, the victim’s identification has somewhat of a controlling effect on the aggressor. Intuitively, the victim has outsmarted the aggressor.

From a causal perspective, some theorize that identification with the aggressor results from the victim’s appreciation for being allowed to live. When abductors threaten to kill victims, they establish intense fear in their captives. However, when abductors change their minds and begin to show compassion, their victims feel gratitude toward them.

March 20th, 2009, 3:24 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Norman
While I agree with you regarding the fact that we do very well here in preparing our children to accept defeat gracefully, most of the types of elections you have described in schools also serve to over emphasize the meritocractic system we have here. Be it scientific, athletic, or artistic abilities. The problem is, when you combine this with the winners take all mentality, and with the entrenched suspition of authority and insecurity about knwoledge, we convert the democratic induction into a divisive process. Joks and bueatiful girls have all the fun, while hard working kids are called nerds and austercised. Something has to be done about that, so many talents are lost during junior high due to this type of peer pressure, especially those whose parents are working two jobs each and can hardly follow up on their kids. I still believe that our K-12 educational system here in the us is in need of major reform, but I do not know where to start.

March 20th, 2009, 3:51 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Jad and Nour
I posted this few minutes ago, but it got lost in moderation, let us hope it does not this time over.

Majid is not stupid, He suffers a well known syndrom called identifying with the aggressor. This is a response to trauama caused by the victim’s own feeling of inability to do anything to stop aggression. There is no doubt that many of us feel victimized by the inability of Arab states over 60 years to put up any meaningful and effective stop to Israel’s continuing aggression against our lands and our poeple. Given the dominance of Israel’s Army against organized armies or our own states, the feeling of humiliation is serious and can not be discounted, out of that humiliation rise many possible responses including identifying with the aggressor. This response belong to a class of psychological responses to traumas known as “ego defenses” . Below is a little description i cut from a website, among many others, describing this particular psychological response to traume. The dynamics of the reinforcements between Majid and AP are stunningly conformative to the symptoms desribed below.
Identifying with the aggressor is credited for substantial portion of gang memberships. It can even be observed in the work place. In common slang it is a variation of if you cant beat them, join them.

Identification Process
The process of identification occurs when one person forms an emotional bond with another. Introjection then takes place, whereby identifying parties modify their own personalities and physical characteristics in an attempt to imitate the person they are identifying with. Typically motivated by unconscious forces, identifying parties may not recognize the effects that identification has on their actions.

Identification with Aggressors
By identifying with their aggressors, assuming their attributes, and imitating their aggression, crime victims cognitively transform them-selves from the people threatened into those making the threat. This mental transformation allows the victim to achieve some feeling of strength in an otherwise humiliating situation. In short, when an aggressor sticks a gun in a person’s face or kidnaps someone at knifepoint, often the victim’s only chance for survival is to join the aggressor emotionally, as well as physically. Anything short of total cooperation likely will result in death.

In addition to its cognitive utility, identification with the aggressor serves an important, external function. With this defense mechanism, victims make an intuitive prediction regarding their aggressors’ reactions to the bond. Instinctively, victims know that if they appease their aggressors, their chances of survival increase. Aggressors assured that they are “right” or whose controlling ideations are bolstered by the companionship of submissive victims will less likely dispose of this “positive” reinforcement. In this way, the victim’s identification has somewhat of a controlling effect on the aggressor.
Intuitively, the victim has outsmarted the aggressor.

From a causal perspective, some theorize that identification with the aggressor results from the victim’s appreciation for being allowed to live. When abductors threaten to kill victims, they establish intense fear in their captives. However, when abductors change their minds and begin to show compassion, their victims feel gratitude toward them.

March 20th, 2009, 4:06 pm

 

MAJID said:

It seems OTW has formulated a theory. Of course it remains to be tested in practice. Otherwise, it is only buzzing in an empty box hanging above your shoulder which you call a head.

Nice try Off The Wall – but in reality it is Off Your Head.

March 20th, 2009, 4:27 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Majid
Seems that I hit the spot!, anything substantial to say other than nonsensical phrases?

The theory is not only tested in practice, it has been used in court to reduce sentences, and to a lesser extent to exonerate. Sometimes it succeeds when the trauma is severe and identifying with aggressor reaches a level that is legally comparable to insanity plea (i.e., dentifying parties may not recognize the effects that identification has on their actions). Sometimes it fails, when the Jury decides that one continues to be responsible for ones action. In the latter case, the presence of other victims who did not opt for the same psychological survival mechanism play a major role in persuading the jury that the identifier had other options, but chose to not to pursue any of them. It exists. And it is not my theory.

I have been following the conversation on SC, and the dynamics through which you and others (Chris, AP, for example) reinforce each others points illustrates my point very strongly. I am making no judgment about your character and the only thing I am attributing to you is a sense of survival. Anything wrong with that?

March 20th, 2009, 5:08 pm

 

majid said:

OTW Said “Majid
Seems that I hit the spot!, anything substantial to say other than nonsensical phrases?”

Really?? What spot it hit besides your empty head? Come on guy, you’re over flattering yourself!!! You do give me some credit by admitting that you’ve been watching my conversation. But honestly, I never read any of your comments until you addressed me directly. You also give me credit by using my own argument about the sense of survival which I already attributed to your alawite comrades.

If you found my last comment phraselike non-sensical and brief it is because I found yours not worthy of consideration – another reason I usually don’t read you comments. I hope it now makes sense to you.

March 20th, 2009, 5:35 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Majid
My box is not empty, it has a couple of walnuts that keep making noises. (like a couple of walnuts in a saddle). 🙂

or as those of us who know the Syrian coast and mountains (with their farmers) know well of the phrase, it could be جوزتين بخرج. 🙂

March 20th, 2009, 5:48 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

There is no doubt that many of us feel victimized by the inability of Arab states over 60 years to put up any meaningful and effective stop to Israel’s continuing aggression against our lands and our poeple. Given the dominance of Israel’s Army against organized armies or our own states, the feeling of humiliation is serious and can not be discounted, out of that humiliation rise many possible responses including identifying with the aggressor.

OTW,

When do you suppose this feeling of “victimization” and “humiliation” will dissipate? Maybe those who feel this way can come to terms with it somehow.

Like I said last week, in 50 years Jews will be a minority in Israel, Arabs will control Palestine and Jews will be a minority. Be optimistic. AIPAC won’t control Arabia for long…

March 20th, 2009, 5:53 pm

 

jad said:

Dear OTW It’s always a treat read your comments and I thank you for elevating SC comments level to higher standards, as I said before it makes me proud to see and read for people like you.

There is one point I’m worry about which is when people abuse their ‘syndrome’ and take advantage of the free system and society they live in to justify every racist, sectarian and hate ideas they spread, knowing very well that they can always use their sickness or even their ‘mental illness’ as reason for their behaviours and words.

Every ‘Human’ knows right from wrong even if he doesn’t believe in God, he/she knows that judging others according to their believes, their skin color, their race, anything that is different from him/her is a wrong thing to do and even to think about.

What’s wrong of being a proud Alawite, what is wrong of being a farmer, a fisherman or even mopping the floor? I don’t see any kind of insult in all the mentioned point and I’m not sure why anybody should.
Religion taught us to judge stealing, killing even adultery but it didn’t tell us to judge and prosecute believes and faith, God didn’t, only Radicals and Racist people does that.
Killing someone because of a lunatic radical told me so is not justify nor can letting that lunatic talk should be considered as freedom of speech.
A racist should be treated as a racist, so is a sectarian, both need to be put away from society and not let them allowed to get out of their cages, the world is a much better place to live in when we quarantine those people or at least treat them till they become a better member of the society.

OTW, my dearest friend, I think we should stick to Nour saying
“Never wrestle with a pig because you’ll both get dirty and the pig likes it.” and we have couple of them on here enjoying the their bath.

March 20th, 2009, 5:58 pm

 

majid said:

AP said “OTW,

When do you suppose this feeling of “victimization” and “humiliation” will dissipate? Maybe those who feel this way can come to terms with it somehow.”

AP, I hope you didn’t fall into the trap of believing that such feeling of humiliation and victimization is actually common in the Arab world. I can tell you from fact that this is an imaginary hypothesis in general and the Arabs have no such shortcoming whatsoever. Some, and I emphasize some in the sense of low percentage, like the Palestinians may have this feeling. Perhaps also some Syrians fall into this category because they feel helpless due to their alienation from a band which occupies their government despite their will. On the whole, the Arabs feel very good about themselves and they are easy to make friends with. I mention here the Jordanians, the Egyptians, the Lebanese, the North Africans as few examples of people with normal lives and social skills. Syrians on the hand are plagued by a succession of regimes that rely on empty slogans and futile ideologies to keep the people in a state of discontent and I would say abject poverty for the only reason of holding on to power (you know the Idi Amin, Saddam, President for life mantra). The Syrians, on the whole, are in fact a good natured people but they need a different government in order to help dissipate this invented imaginary sense of humiliation and victimization.

Now, I’m forced to go back a little bit to the comment of OTW in which he invented his ‘brilliant’ theory about identifying with the aggressor as a result of being humiliated and victimized by that same aggressor. The mere invention of such theory to explain OTW’s perceived association between people like yourself, myself, Chris and perhaps others tells you a lot about the state of the Syrian mind as it is brainwashed by the government which uses these techniques to maintain power. In this case the subject of this government (OTW) is using the same techniques of his government to formulate his critiques of others. It also shows you how much the state of narrow-mindedness of a people (Syrians) has reached whereas the same people were known to be creative and resourceful before being occupied by the current rulers.

I don’t understand why a person wouldn’t come up with a different interpretation than this stupidity to explain his perception of an alleged association. For example, one possible explanation (assuming this association really exists) would be something like some people with like minded opinions are teaming up against an orchestra (SC orchestra) which is trying to create a blog on the same line as one party state/one party rule/one party media. Or simply, an explanation like people with similar views engage in a dialog in order to present a point of view which is completely lacking (and even sought to be muted) on this mouthpiece of a dictatorship!!!

March 20th, 2009, 6:27 pm

 

majid said:

JAD said, “what is wrong of being a farmer, a fisherman or even mopping the floor?”

Very good questions and sa7h el-nom!

Could you ask yourself and OTW the question:”What’s wrong with a fat Saudi living in a tent?”

March 20th, 2009, 6:42 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Jad
There is nothing wrong in being proud Alawite,but one must also understand the motives of others in order to appropriately confront hate. As for what Majid’s thought that he was insulting you by calling you an Alawite farmer, well, I am proud of my ancestors closeness to the land, they are the salt of the earth, just tell him that you appreciate the complement. Remember that he also called all Syrian’s bazaar merchants. He is being childish and antagonistic not out of his mental condition, but out of lack of capacity to think of any substantive thing to say. When he called my an empty head, I answered with nothing more than self deprecation. Him calling me an empty head does not add or take anything from who I am, it only adds to his own confusion in a rather comical way. Just give him an unpredictable response. It will throw him off and make him even more confused than he already is.

I admire your courage and you dedication to a Syria for all of its citizens, a prosperous industrious Syria, in which people like yourself can and will contribute the incredible talents they have. May be it is a little late for me, but never too late. Keep your eyes on the prize, it is an incredibly fascinating prize and no Majid should make you lose that focus.

Syria may have some who would attempt to drag us into internal sectarian conflicts. I have trust and confidence that this will not be the case, but no one can guarantee that some sick people will not act sick or criminal. Let us hope and work so that they will not succeed.

So far, all signs indicate that they will not succeed. And that gives me a reason for guarded optimism.

As for fighting, I do not fight, I simply state my opinion in manners similar to our wise Norman when he says, and that is my take on things, or something to that effect.

AP.
You ask a question that demands more time than my short break allows for. I will try to respond hopefully soon, but I am making no promises.

Kunfuz

You also have asked a very serious question, whose answer is rather complex. And the answer depends on where you stood (mostly economically, and to a lesser extent, educational wise, during each of the time periods). I will try to give my worthless answer, but I can not guarantee that I will have time soon to do so.

Majid
I have never seen your photo to judge whether you are fat or not. Furthermore, with my recent wait gain, I would be very reluctant calling anyone fat.

Finally, when did I ever use the term fat Saudi?

March 20th, 2009, 7:00 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Majid

Your attempt to destroy what you call my theory has so many words, but very little substance. Your hate of Syrians is rather evident, but i think it hides fear of some lost prestige. It makes anything you say suspect. Are you seriously saying that of all Arabs, Syrians have no social skills. Your verbal tantrums are strong indications of your superb social skills, which consists of nothing more than deep intellectual surrender to a power you fail to understand. At least AP has some reasonable motivations to defend the sometimes defensible other times indefensible.

You continue to attribute a single dogmatic view to every SC commentator who dare to expose the shallowness of your assertions and you seem to fail, times and again to recognize the diversity of opinions around here.

March 20th, 2009, 7:24 pm

 

majid said:

OTW said, “Remember that he also called all Syrian’s bazaar merchants”

When did I say that? Did you not understand that the bazaar merchant phrase refers to the Syrian and Iranian rulers?

OTW said, “Majid
I have never seen your photo to judge whether you are fat or not. Furthermore, with my recent wait gain, I would be very reluctant calling anyone fat.”

Of course you didn’t say that. Jad said it before I referred to him as famer. These are the words of your so-called gifted salt of the earth idol: “you also advise me to go back in the mountain to hide, from who? your KSA religious police? Or from you? Fat guys like you can’t even walk, how are you going to climb any mountain? hahah…that is pure insanity, Ya 7aram shou mas6oul.”

And these are also his words when I wasn’t even addressing him:”Majed, don’t get insulted, but you are spreading lots of ignorance and nonsense, why don’t you get AP’s mental hospital address for treatment..It might help to get you out of your tent, lose some weight and have some fresh air so it’s all win win. ”

I wonder does he have a needle under his arm pit that keeps pricking him? (Or even pricking you as well who appeared off the blues with such theories that “shine with dictator mouth-piece brilliance”?)

March 20th, 2009, 7:32 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

AP, I hope you didn’t fall into the trap of believing that such feeling of humiliation and victimization is actually common in the Arab world.

Majid,

I guess I must have. I’m a bit naive in these matters.

The Main Stream Media, Hanan Ashwari and Ed Said have basically told me all these years that it is my people’s fault for making the Arabs feel this way.

In any case, feel free to send me an email: palace.akbar@gmail.com

I’d like to learn more about your interest in the forum.

March 20th, 2009, 7:56 pm

 

jad said:

Leish za3lan? If you are not Saudi and you are not fat and you are neither stupid nor mentally sick and you don’t write nonsense or ignorant comments why to get that offended?
Unless you are all the above you wouldn’t even write back, but here you are barking on everybody….so AGAIN Sit and Stop barking you are going no where without a leash.

March 20th, 2009, 8:03 pm

 

majid said:

Jad said, “so AGAIN Sit and Stop barking you are going no where without a leash”

Are you saying that when you go back to the mountains you still need to be leashed while doing your farming? You see a farmer is a farmer no matter how long he lives in a city and even if you make him a president. He still longs for his good old day attachement to the leash. I also bet you have a natural talent for barking. Otherwise, who would use such language except a born-barker.

OTW, I also find your arguments very shallow. So you find me shallow and I find you even shallower. At least we agree on that.
I wasn’t attempting to destroy your so-called theory. I was just trying to advise AP on a trap you were trying to set up.

March 20th, 2009, 10:15 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Majid
what you said about farmers is hateful and speaks volumes of the level of self delusion of grandeur you have. Even a most vile Egyptian pasha would have thought twice before uttering such contemptuous and contemptible words. It seems to me that you hail from a long tradition of submission to occupiers and abuse of your own countrymen. And with such contempt for the majority of people in the middle east, which are our rural population, you still have the audacity to lecture us about democracy and authoritarianism.

I guess AP should be a little concerned now to associate with someone who is willing to display such contempt for farmers and peasants. For he is smart enough and well educated enough about the history of his people to recognize that the early builders of his beloved Israel were as much peasants as they were city dwellers. They were the ones who guarded much of the romantic allure of Zionism.

March 20th, 2009, 10:38 pm

 

majid said:

OTW said, “I guess AP should be a little concerned now to associate with someone who is willing to display such contempt for farmers and peasants. For he is smart enough and well educated enough about the history of his people to recognize that the early builders of his beloved Israel were as much peasants as they were city dwellers. They were the ones who guarded much of the romantic allure of Zionism.”

It seems that your problem OTW is your fear of some kind of association between AP and me and not your so-called respect for farmers. I think AP is still smart enough to realize that I’m just reminding an ignorant alawite (JAD) of his ancestry in order to shut up a smartass who thinks that by spending couple years in a city he can call himself civilized.

If you don’t have any other subject to discuss why don’t you find someone else to play with.

March 20th, 2009, 11:05 pm

 

jad said:

LOL, you are so crazy Majed, keep barking until you get tiered and sleep…
I’m horned to be called an Alawite and to be a Farmer, most Alawite doesn’t have the small sectarian brain you have (I doubt you even have a brain though)We all are Syrians and we all are very proud of our religions, our backgrounds, our farming ancestors and our lands, which is obviously above your understanding.
Your barking won’t change anything or even bother me or any other Syrian or Alawite in anyway, the opposite, you are showing who you truly are; Pathetic.
It’s fun to watch your solo freak show on SC. Keep writing until you let all your hatred out so you might feel human again…one day you will, keep dreaming Pinocchio…Good Boy!

March 21st, 2009, 12:04 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Majid
The shallow person (me) speaketh:

Go ahead, you can even associate with Netanyahu or Liberman if you want what do I care. But when you act as a provocateur inciting hatred between us Syrians, and when you start throwing slur it becomes my obligation to expose you and remind you, not of your ancestry, for it is very irrelevant, but of what you have become. You are in no way like minded with AP. He has never spoken the way you do, even in the most heated discussions. He is smarter than I, for sure, for he is not interfering in your defense. Not on this issue. He knows that people like you, would throw a racial slur at a Jewish person with the same ease they throw a racial slur at an Alawite, a Shia, or at anyone who is not like themselves. Your association with him does not scare me. Heck, I associate with him, I agree with him on some issues and disagree with him on many others. Like every one, I have my insecurities, but I promise you, an online blog association between someone I never met and another person I never met doesn’t even register on my insecurimeter (linguists on board, can I claim this absurd word?).

March 21st, 2009, 1:16 am

 

Syria Comment » Archives » President Assad Interview with La Repubblica Translated in Full said:

[…] See previous interviews with President Assad by Alix Van Buren: March 2005, Dec. 2006, March 2009, […]

May 25th, 2010, 12:39 am

 

Joe said:

bashar alassad is the most despicable creature on the earth hi is a cold blood killer,
Killing his own people, just because they ask for basic human rights.
And what is despicable that he blame it on outsiders (he and his brother maher
Employed them for so many years to do there dirty work,
If need to know more about these dirty family,
Jus go to facebook (Syrian revolution against basher alassad)
Or jus serch maher alassad on utupe
And you find what is behind this gentleman
Sincerely Joe The FREE MAN

May 22nd, 2011, 11:14 pm

 

Post a comment