News Round Up (27 April 2011)

The epic Arab battle reaches Syria
By Rami G. Khouri

Syria is now the critical country to watch in the Arab world, after the homegrown regime changes in Tunisia and Egypt, and the imminent changes in Yemen and Libya.

The Syrian regime headed by President Bashar Assad is now seriously challenged by a combination of strong forces within and outside the country. His current policy of using force to quell demonstrators and making minimal reform promises has lost him credibility with many of his own citizens, largely due to his inability to respond to his citizens’ reasonable demands for democratic governance. His downfall is not imminent, but is now a real possibility.
The next few weeks will be decisive for Assad, because in the other Arab revolts the third-to-sixth weeks of street protests were the critical moment that determined whether the regime would collapse or persist. Syria is now in its fourth week. Having lost ground to street demonstrators recently, the Assad-Baathist-dominated secular Arab nationalist state’s response in the weeks ahead will likely determine whether it will collapse in ruins or regroup and live on for more years.

Assad should recognize many troubling signs that add up to a threatening trend. The number and size of demonstrations have grown steadily since late March, making this a nationwide revolt. Protesters’ demands have hardened, as initial calls for political reform and anti-corruption measures now make way for open calls for the overthrow of the regime and the trial of the ruling elite. Some portraits and statues of the current and former president are being destroyed, and government buildings attacked. More protesters openly call for the security services to be curbed – an unprecedented and important sign of the widespread popular loss of fear of security agencies that always bodes ill for such centralized systems of power.

Many of the Syrian protest leaders and human rights groups are coordinating to form a unified movement that makes coherent demands of the regime, reflecting widespread indigenous citizen concerns that cannot be credibly dismissed as the work of Islamic radicals or foreign agents. Shooting the protesters has failed to stop them, and has only brought out larger crowds on subsequent days – especially when mourners in funerals for yesterday’s dead are themselves shot dead. A few public figures have resigned in protest at the use of arms against demonstrators, and the several reform concessions by Assad seem to have been widely dismissed.

Assad’s big problem is that Syrians continue to express greater populist defiance of the regime, rather than compliance with either its political promises or its hard police measures. The core elements of the regime that he and his father have managed for over 40 years are now all being challenged openly and simultaneously, including the extended Assad family, the Baath Party apparatus, the government bureaucracy, and the numerous security agencies. These form a multi-layered but integrated power system whose center of gravity and policy coordination is the president. We are unlikely to see a Tunisian or Egyptian model of the security agencies abandoning the president to drift and be thrown out of power, while they remain in place. In Syria, either the entire system asserts itself and remains in control – with or without real reforms – or it is changed in its entirety.

Here is where the Assad government and power structure play on some of their assets. The two most significant ones are that: 1) most Syrians do not want to risk internal chaos or sectarian strife (a la Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen or Somalia) and might opt to remain with the Assad-dominated system that has brought them stability without democracy; and, 2) any changes in regime incumbency or policies in Syria will have enormous impact across the entire region and beyond, given Syria’s structural links or ongoing political ties with every major conflict and actor in the region, especially Lebanon and Hizbullah, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Palestine and Hamas, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Regime overthrow in Syria will trigger significant, cumulative and long-lasting repercussions in the realms of Arab-Israeli, Arab-Iranian, inter-Arab and Arab-Western relations, with winners and losers all around.

For some, this makes the Assad regime the Middle Eastern equivalent of the banks that were too big to allow to collapse during the American economic crisis three years ago, because the spillover effect would be too horrible to contemplate. The specter of sectarian-based chaos within a post-Assad Syria that could spread to other parts of the Middle East is frightening to many people. Yet many, perhaps most, Syrians indicate with their growing public protests that they see their current reality as more frightening – especially the lack of democracy, widespread corruption, human rights abuses, one-party rule, economic and environmental stress, excessive security dominance and burgeoning youth unemployment.

The epic battle between regime security and citizen rights that has characterized the modern Arab world for three long and weary generations enters its most important phase in Syria in the coming few weeks, with current Arab regional trends suggesting that citizens who collectively and peacefully demand their human and civil rights cannot be denied.

Rami G. Khouri is published twice weekly by THE DAILY STAR.

Global condemnation, but no action, against bloody Syria crackdown

By Liz Sly, April 26, Wash Post

BEIRUT — Syrian troops sustained their bloody crackdown against anti-government protesters in the southern town of Daraa for a second day Tuesday, drawing harsh condemnations but no specific plans for action against Damascus from U.S. and European leaders.

Reports from Daraa were sketchy because telephone lines were cut, the town was surrounded and the nearby border with Jordan was closed, but residents contacted by human rights groups indicated that government opponents were holding out in a mosque in the center of the town against an onslaught by government soldiers using tanks and armored personnel carriers…..

Agonist: Inside the Obama team’s “shift” on Syria

Josh Rogin | April 26 FP [1] – The Obama administration is preparing a wide range of new actions to condemn the Syrian government’s brutal violence against protesters. However, U.S. officials still remain skeptical that they have the leverage to …

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came under criticism for her March 27 statement, “Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe [Assad]’s a reformer.”

But based on the information at the time, most inside the administration didn’t feel she had said anything wrong. Multiple administration officials told The Cable that the administration had simply concluded, incorrectly, that the Syrian crisis would never grow this serious. That judgment informed their go-slow approach in responding to the protests.

But one month later, as the protest movement has gained strength and spread to cities throughout Syria, nobody inside the Obama administration is saying that now.

“A lot of people were wrong. The general assessment [inside the administration] was that this wouldn’t happen, that Assad was too good at nipping these movements in the bud and also that he was not afraid to be brutal,” one administration official said. “All of these things combined made this more of a surprise and made it much harder to deal with.”

Tom Donilon’s Arab Spring challenge
By David Ignatius, Tuesday, April 26, 8:00 PM

Tom Donilon, President Obama’s national security adviser, has a reputation as a “process guy,” meaning that he runs an orderly decision-making system at the National Security Council, and as a “political guy” with a feel for Capitol Hill and the media.

Now, facing the rolling crisis of the Arab Spring, Donilon has had to transform into the ultimate “policy guy” — coordinating administration strategy for a revolution that will alter the foreign-policy map for decades.

U.S. strategy is still a work in progress. That’s the consensus among some leading Donilon-watchers inside and outside the government. The national security adviser has tried to shape Obama’s intuitive support for the Arab revolutionaries into a coherent line. But as the crisis has unfolded, there has been tension between American interests and values, and a communications-oriented NSC staff has sometimes seemed to oscillate between the two.

“The focus is more on how it plays than on what to do,” says one longtime friend of Donilon. He credits Donilon as “a very smart political person” who has brought order to the planning process. But he cautions: “Tom is not a strategist. He’s a pol. That’s the heart of what he is and does.”

Another member of the inner circle similarly credits Donilon as “very inclusive of all the principals in the decision-making process.” But he worries that this White House is too focused on “message management.”

The uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and now Syria all embody the tension between U.S. interests and values, and Obama has leaned different ways. With Egypt and Libya, the White House voted its values and supported rebellion and change; with Bahrain and Yemen, the administration, while sympathetic to reform, has embraced its interests in the stability of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain’s neighbor, and in a Yemen that is an ally against al-Qaeda.

The mix is pragmatic, which seems to suit both Obama and Donilon. Yet it sometimes frustrates ideologues on both sides who want a more systematic line. My instinct is that the White House is right to be pragmatic, and for that reason should avoid making so many public pronouncements: This is an evolving crisis, and each country presents a different set of issues; a one-size-fits-all policy approach would be a mistake.

The biggest test may come in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad has launched a ruthless crackdown. Here, U.S. values and interests would seem to coincide in the fall of Assad, who is Iran’s key Arab ally and maintains a repressive, anti-American regime. But there are dangers: Assad’s fall could bring a sectarian bloodbath. So far, Donilon seems to be holding a middle ground to allow maximum U.S. flexibility.

In an interview in his West Wing office last week, Donilon outlined his basic strategic framework. It begins with Obama’s intuitive feel for these issues. Back in January when the Arab revolts began, Obama admonished his NSC advisers, preoccupied with other issues: “You need to get on this!”

Donilon cites four guidelines that have shaped the administration’s response ever since: First, the Arab revolt is a “historic” event, comparable to the fall of the Ottoman Empire or the post-1945 decolonization of the Middle East; second, “no country is immune” from change; third, the revolution has “deep roots” in poor governance, demographics and new communications technology; and fourth, “these are indigenous events” that can’t be dictated by America, Iran or any other outside power.

Donilon also stresses that this process of change is just beginning. “We’re in the early chapters,” he says, warning that the United States should be careful not to take actions now that it might regret down the road, as situations change and new players emerge.

A useful reality check for Donilon was his trip this month to Saudi Arabia, which had been traumatized by Obama’s abandonment of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and America’s initial support for Bahrain’s Shiite protesters. Donilon met with Saudi King Abdullah for more than two hours and gave him a personal letter from Obama. The reassuring message, he says, was about “the bond we have in a relationship of 70 years that’s rooted in shared strategic interest.”

Donilon is preoccupied now by Syria. He doesn’t want to talk details of policy but says the administration will follow its basic principles of opposing violent repression and supporting reform. He says Assad made a disastrous mistake being “constipated” about change. As for a Libya-style intervention, Donilon seems dubious that a military option in Syria is available or advisable.

Luna Shibel, the Syrian anchor who resigned from Aljazeera talks about the bias and lack of professionalism of Aljazeera in its Syria coverage. Ayman Abdalnour points out that Luna Shibel is an Alawite.

Uprising exposes Syria’s economic weaknesses
By Abigail Fielding-Smith in Beirut and Lina Saigol in London
April 26 2011 22:30 | Financial Times

The protest movement rocking Syria for over a month, and the security forces’ brutal and increasingly militarised response to it, are already exposing vulnerabilities in the Syrian economy.

Decades of central planning under the Ba’ath party’s rule have left Syria with few competitive industries and soaring unemployment. Official estimates put the unemployment rate at about 8 per cent, but analysts say the real figure is much higher.

“(The government’s) plan was foreign investment and tourism, both of which don’t proliferate if you have a civil war,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at Oklahoma University. “Eventually things will fall apart.”

Bashar al-Assad, the president, launched Syria’s economic liberalisation in 2006 with the aim of shifting the country’s centralised economy towards a greater degree of market freedom. Some economic reforms, including the creation of a stock exchange and opening the banking sector to private banks, have been introduced.

But a rising budget deficit, water shortages, declining oil production and rising unemployment have all hampered economic growth. In eastern Syria, for example, five years of low rainfall helped plunge 800,000 people into extreme poverty, according to a 2010 United Nations report.

Mr Assad has blamed the country’s economic malaise on world food inflation, as well as the influx of Iraqi refugees in recent years, all of which have added to the strain of the economy.

But critics of the regime say economic liberalisation has benefited a group of elite businessmen, such as Rami Makhlouf, Mr Assad’s maternal first cousin who controls a significant amount of the economy, including SyriaTel, the country’s mobile network operator.

Nor has the country’s state-controlled economy been conducive to foreign investment, which has been deterred by bureaucratic red tape, inefficiency and political interference. The government has retained control of strategic industries, such as oil production and refining, telecommunications, air transport, and power generation, as well as the price of key agricultural goods.

Syria is ranked 144 out of 183 in the latest World Bank’s latest Ease of Business report, while the CIA World Factbook calculates that it requires 26 procedures to build a warehouse in the country.

In recent years, however, as Syria’s diplomatic relations with the west and regional powers such as Saudi Arabia improved, there were some grounds for hope that Mr Assad might achieve the 5 per cent growth target required to generate desperately needed new jobs each year by boosting foreign direct investment and bringing in 12m tourists annually. Tourism increased by 40 per cent last year, contributing an estimated 15 per cent of GDP and generating more than $7bn of revenues.

Now the hotels of Damascus and Aleppo stand almost empty, as images of protests and violent attacks by security forces are shown on television screens around the world. An auction for Syria’s third mobile phone licence, scheduled to take place this month, and seen as a key indicator of foreign companies’ interest in the Syrian market, was postponed indefinitely after three companies pulled out.

Cross-border trade is also said to have been hard-hit by transport delays caused by security-related road closures. “Deliveries have been delayed,” said Avo Tutunjian, a Lebanese businessman who exports electrical goods to Syria. Mr Tutunjian said he was slowing down new investments with Syrian partners, explaining, “We’re in a ‘wait and see’ phase”.

There are also widespread concerns that the populist economic measures introduced by Mr Assad earlier this year, such as salary increases for public workers, will raise the budget deficit to unmanageable levels, and the Syrian pound is said to have slipped slightly against the dollar on the black market since protests began, although stopping a greater increase is thought to have come at a high cost to the central bank.

With publicly available data scarce, it is hard to assess the exact scale of the economic impact of the uprising, but Syria’s ability to absorb it is not infinite, say analysts. “It depends on how long it lasts,” said Samir Saifan, an independent economic consultant. “If it is just a few weeks, it’s manageable. If it lasts for more time, we don’t know.”

The Real Struggle for the Regime Comes After the Crack Down
CNN – “Global Public Square”
Editor’s Note: The following is an edited portion of an interview by Amar C. Bakshi with Joshua Landis, author of the blog Syria Comment and the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Assad moves from promising reform to unleashing violence

In his speech to parliament on April 16, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad drew a line in the sand. He said ‘I’ve given you all these concessions’ and he enumerated them – a new government, lifting emergency rules and the end of the security courts – ‘so there should now be no more demonstrations.’ But the movement didn’t stop. In fact, it transcended the demand for reform and became a call for regime change.

So Assad redefined the protestors. He and the Baath Party began to call the protests a ‘rebellion’ and the protestors ‘terrorists’.

In the subsequent days, Bashar al-Assad sought to ‘shock and awe’ the protestors through violence. He took a page right out of any standard military handbook, which is that if you go fast and strong you have better luck at stopping protests before bloodshed gets out of hand.

But Assad cannot win over the long-term

But even if Bashar al-Assad wins in the short-term and the opposition can’t mount the sort of operation necessary to overturn him and take on the military, the opposition is not going to give up. It’s going to continue to demonstrate. And we’re probably going to see the arming of the opposition groups.

All of this is going to undermine the economic footing of the regime. Syria’s economy is already extraordinarily weak. We’re seeing massive unemployment. 32% of Syrians live on $2.00 a day or less. The young people are the ones who are turning out in big numbers for these demonstrations.

The country is midway on its move away from socialism toward an open market system. Syria has instituted a stock market, a bond market, a private banking system and insurance companies – the whole gamut of free-market reforms.

These were supposed to stimulate the economy and place Syria on a new footing that would create jobs and begin to mop up some of its large unemployment problem created by the youth bulge and by an economy that’s been anemic for decades.

Attracting foreign investment and growing tourism and transit trade were key to that economic growth plan. But none of those things are going to materialize now. That means that the regime is going to be able to provide less and less of the things that it needs to provide to stay in power. There is going to be a grinding disintegration of the state’s ability to provide services for its people.

The middle class will abandon Assad as the economy weakens

Currently, the broad middle class in Syria is still sticking with the regime. But the broad middle class, particularly the urban middle class in places like Damascus, has stayed home. They have not come out and joined the movement. There has been no Tahrir Square moment in this uprising. That’s because the middle class fears a civil war and because some of them have vested interests in the state.

Over time, that middle class will begin to abandon the government once it begins failing economically. If there’s no foreign investment and there’s no tourism and nobody’s bills are being paid, the whole economy will begin to freeze up.

That’s what all my businessmen friends are saying: they’re not getting any checks in the door because everybody is holding their cash and because they don’t know what’s going to happen. You can’t run a country like that.

American sanctions will hurt Assad

The U.S. is going to be driven by ideology on this – to support the Arab Spring and freedom and democracy. That means placing sanctions, withdrawing embassy staff and trying to isolate Syria and undermine the regime diplomatically.

But this doesn’t mean democracy in Syria. It means a collapse of the state and probably a civil war.

America is not going to be willing to send in any military. So this puts America in a rather bad position of kicking out the supports of the present state without being willing to build up any alternative.

A sectarian civil war could start

Over time the opposition groups will begin to go to arms. There are arms in Syria. There are also arms in Iraq and Lebanon, along with smuggling rings that have been operating in Syria for decades.

We saw how porous the Iraqi border with Syria was during America’s invasion of Iraq. Al Qaeda and others were streaming across that border. Arms will go the other direction, undoubtedly, as well. All this will fuel a civil war that will be largely sect against sect – majority Sunnis against ruling minority Alawites.

Drawing on the diffused opposition

The great strength of the opposition today is it has no leadership, which means that the regime cannot arrest its leaders and stop it. The real leadership of the opposition are lots of young activists who are in their 20s and early 30s who are working the computers and also organizing on the ground, getting out these demonstrations. But there is no unified leadership that has common goals.

So far they’ve been able to stick with the notion of democracy and freedom as the major demands, which everybody can subscribe to whether they’re from the Muslim Brotherhood or they’re secular, Europeanized university graduates.

But if the state cracks down, as it’s doing now, it’s going to make it very hard to carry out demonstrations and the opposition is going to have to figure out what their next move is. Some will choose to go for a military option because that’s what they’re being met with.

The government is now trying to arrest leadership and it will go after networks and so forth but it will be hard because a lot of new networks have been established. This young generation has become organized.

The Syrian intelligence knows very little about this young generation. It never had to contend with the young generation, which was completely depoliticized a month ago.

Syrian intelligence dealt with the older generations – the old Communists and others – who they kept on throwing in the clink and then letting out every few years. They played rope-a-dope with those guys. They knew where they lived and they were listening to their phones and they you knew they could roll them up easily.

This is a whole new world. The opposition just blew up. Facebook, Twitter and the video effect have been monstrous. It’s mobilized this generation. In three months that this Arab Spring has been going on, the Syrian younger generation has turned from being a rather apathetic crowd that were materialistic, uninterested in politics and atomized, to being deeply mobilized and galvanized around this movement.

Great consequences for the region

Syria is the cockpit of the Middle East. It has borders with most of America’s major allies in the region: Israel, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and it might as well have one with Saudi Arabia because the Jordanian border is small in between those two. And it will be Saudis that undoubtedly fund much of the opposition as they did in Iraq.

Saudi Arabia will be sucked into this and it’ll be very torn because the monarchy does not want revolution in Syria by any means. It wants stability. But there will be many Saudis who see this as an opportunity to get rid of the Shiite regime that’s pro-Iranian and anti-Sunni. They see the current regime as deeply heterodox and non-Muslim. So all the Wahabi instincts will be to bring down this regime. The monarchical instincts will be to support it.

There aren’t good outcomes for Assad because even if Assad manages to terrify the opposition to stop in the short-term, over the long-term it’s going to kill the economy, which was key to Assad’s plans because his mantra was that he was going to be like China and follow China’s model. He was going to keep one-party rule and he was going to liberalize the economy. But he was too little, too late. He didn’t create jobs. He didn’t get growth up beyond five-percent. That’s what he needed to do.


The performance of the stock market is a complicated story. Many of the stocks do not trade given the maximum allowable 3% daily move. One has to be careful when looking at the “index”. Individual stock performances tell a better one. Since the end of January, the overall index is down 28%. If you look at the stock of Qatar National Bank for example (QNBS) which traded today, it is down close to 38% since the end of January.

The Syria Lobby Why Washington keeps giving a pass to the Assad regime.
Wall Street Journal Opinion

How does a small, energy-poor and serially misbehaving Middle Eastern regime always seem to get a Beltway pass? Conspiracy nuts and other tenured faculty would have us believe that country is Israel, though the Jewish state shares America’s enemies and our democratic values. But the question really applies to Syria, where the Assad regime is now showing its true nature.

Washington’s Syria Lobby is a bipartisan mindset. “The road to Damascus is a road to peace,” said Nancy Pelosi on a 2007 visit to Syria as House Speaker. Former Secretary of State James Baker is a longtime advocate of engagement …

When Dictators Fall, Who Rises? ^ | April 26, 2011 | Pat Buchanan
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One month before the invasion of Iraq, Riah Abu el-Assal, a Palestinian and the Anglican bishop of Jerusalem at the time, warned Tony Blair, “You will be responsible for emptying Iraq, the homeland of Abraham, of Christians.”

The bishop proved a prophet. “After almost 2,000 years,” writes the Financial Times, “Iraqi Christians now openly contemplate extinction. Some of their prelates even counsel flight.”

The secular despot Saddam Hussein protected the Christians. But the U.S. liberation brought on their greatest calamity since the time of Christ. Scores of thousands of those Iraqi Christians fleeing terrorism and persecution after 2003 made their way to Syria, where they received sanctuary from President Bashar Assad.

Now, as the FT and Washington Post report, the Christians of Syria, whose forebears have lived there since the time of Christ, are facing a pogrom should the Damascus regime fall.

Christians are 10 percent of Syria’s population, successful and closely allied to the minority Alawite regime of the Assad family. Said one Beirut observer, “Their fear is that if the regime falls to the Sunni majority, they will be put up against the same wall as the Alawites.”

For decades, notes the Post, the Assad regime “has protected Christian interests by enforcing its strictly secular program and by curbing the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Syria Tries to Defend Its Record to United Nations

UNITED NATIONS — Syria, facing mounting global pressure over its decisions to move tanks into cities against its own citizens and to shoot unarmed demonstrators, tried to defend its record against blunt denunciations from the United States and others on Tuesday at the United Nations, where the Security Council is struggling to forge a collective response.

Ambassador Bashar Jaafari, the Syrian envoy, repeated the government’s claim that the unrest at home was the work of as yet unidentified foreign agitators trying to undermine Syria’s stability and that armed infiltrators were responsible for the shooting of protesters.

“This unrest and riots in some of their aspects have hidden agendas,” Mr. Jaafari told reporters. “Some armed groups take advantage of the demonstrations; they get within the demonstrators and start shooting on the military men and the security forces. This is why there are many casualties.”

Mr. Jaafari also defended President Bashar Assad’s record, saying that more political reforms were coming on the heels of Mr. Assad’s decision to lift the emergency law.

“President Assad is a reformer himself, and he should be given the chance to fulfill his mission in reforming the political life in the country,” he said.

Government opponents openly mock both assertions. Syrians, not foreign agitators, are demanding basic freedoms that have been denied them for the 40 years in which the Assad family has run the country, they say. Although Mr. Assad, 45, promised reform when he inherited the presidency from his father 11 years ago, he has put none in place — instead, they say, the government has strangled any nascent reform movement by jailing its leaders for years.

But efforts by the Security Council to issue the mildest of statements criticizing Syria was postponed until at least Wednesday afternoon. Several member states — Russia, China and Lebanon — seemed firmly opposed, diplomats said, although the ambassadors of China and Lebanon would only note that further discussion was scheduled.

Al-Diyar has a story about al-Qaida’s plans for Syria based on Jamestown reports and those of Musaab al-Suri and other al-Qaida leaders. [in Arabic]

The English-language version of the official news website of the Syrian government is currently reporting that on Tuesday 26 April, fifteen members of the government’s security forces were buried. It names the 15 names, and each’s date of birth, place of birth, and marriage status at the time of death; and it says each was “killed by armed criminal groups” and each body was “escorted in solemn procession”…..

The Arab League backs the protestors against al-Assad

William Hague has chimed in on the situation in Syria, unsurprisingly condemning the horror and bloodshed being perpetrated by al-Assad’s regime. But considerably more significant is the statement that has today been released by the Arab League. Although the text doesn’t mention al-Assad by name, it clearly has the Syrian autocrat in mind when it calls on “Arab regimes and governments to commit to and speed up reforms, [and to] immediately stop using force against demonstrators and spare their citizens bloodshed.” And it goes further, too, in defending the political — and moral — legitimacy of the protests, saying that the unrest blazing across the Middle East heralds “a new Arab era … led by youths seeking a better present and a brighter future.”

The Syrian governemnt has invited a UN mission to Syria to evaluate the real situation independently. Human right commission is ‘impatient’ to see what is going on. Le Monde 26 april

New poll finds that Egyptians are full of hope about their future, and free and fair elections this fall.

US Urges Americans to Leave Syria Amid Violence, Draws Down Diplomatic Presence

Comments (100)

Mohommed said:

In response to Rami G Khouri,
The daily star? what a joke the most anti-syrian/pan arab paper out there today, what i find remarkable today is that many media outlets write as if they’re so sure of themselfs that “many” syrians have had enough and seek a different regime and so on….Yet no one is able or seems wants to write and report the facts, The syrian government as we all know has corruption issues, so does lebanon, saudi arabia, the gulf states etc….western countries have corruption problems, US=ENRON etc….get over it!! Bashar Al Assad enjoys milions of supporters inside and outside syria=fact. The truth is syria issues make for hot topic and because many media organisations are biased and serve certain countries political agenda’s syria will remain a battle of wits. Daily Star lol lebanese biased paper serves the march 14 alliance and for one we don’t take it seriously. People are calling for free press within syria yet those who call for it are themselves slaves to their masters …whether it be al jazeera-qatar, LBC=lebanese forces, orange=Aoun movement, get me i can go on and on. Why should we syrians allow outsiders to destroy our country when where happy with the status quo we enjoy today. Reforms come maybe slowly but atleast our kids get education and medical treatment when needed. Please this site needs to be in touch with real syrians in syria not outside syrians or so called lebanese with agendas calling themselves syrian and posting articles from known anti-syrian papers. Long live syria long live the Baath…i wasn’t a Baath member til last week when i finally decided that by joning maybe i can have a say in the politcal reform in the near future after my university studies, also adding i believe in the pan arab baath movement for its virtues and stance for pan arabism. To all lebanese fanctions ? what do your groups stand for other than sectarian divide??? lol don’t you dare try to teach us about freedom we very well know what we want. Allah Syria and Bashar. (loyal Syrian Servant)

April 27th, 2011, 5:44 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Commenting on “Agonist: Inside the Obama team’s “shift” on Syria”:

This article shows that the Americans do not understand Syria. It is really weird how some people keep repeating a lie until they believe it.

The Americans apparently believe that Assad is an unpopular dictator who enjoys support only from his clan that represents no more than 10% of the population. How stupid is that? Who is giving those people information about Syria?

Assad has huge popular support in Syria. This is the reason for why he didn’t act decisively from the beginning. If Assad had acted like Qaddafi, he would have lost the support of most of his people. Instead Assad did the right thing by listening to his people and agreeing to all their demands. Assad could not act brutally from the first day because he does not only depend on his security forces– he depends on the support of his people, and he needs their support for anything he does. Assad could NOT have used force against the insurgents if he did not have the support from the people. Assad proved to his people that he is not a dictator and that he is a reformer by listening to the people in Deraa and agreeing to all their demands that they presented in the first week.

Most Syrians support what is going on against the insurgents in Deraa. If some people have legitimate demands, they must present them through the state institutions. Calling for the overthrow of the state is not a legitimate demand, it is an insurgency. Those people are radical Islamist rebels and they don’t have any legitimate demands. They are a very little minority that controls the people in Deraa because of the tribal system.

April 27th, 2011, 6:04 am


Chris W said:

I honestly don’t get what the yanks have against Stria and President Assad.

I know America dances to the tune of the Jews, but Assad has kept peace with Israel for 40 years. He’s supported Hezbollah, but only minimally. This idea that he is an enemy of Israel and needs to be punished is insane. He is the epitome of moderation in that region.

Likewise with terrorism. Syria has been scrupulously responsible in this respect. It hasn’t supported terrorism. It has made some moves to acquiring a nuclear deterrent, but that is hardly new these days.

The Americans and the Jews seem to become enraged with any state that isn’t utterly weak and compliant with respect to Israel; but this is a completely unrealistic position.

It was bad enough that the West is bombing Libya after Gadaffi repudiated terrorism and has tried hard to behave responsibly (and who was benign to his people, as well); but Syria – a country that has come a long way in 10 years in human rights terms, that is a responsible international citizen, that keeps peace with its neighbours, that stayed out of the battle between America and Iraq.

What state can be sure it won’t be next on the list if these are the rules of the game?

April 27th, 2011, 6:17 am


From Damascus said:

This is a big conversation and difficult to keep up with. I’m not sure when to stop posting on a previous entry and start posting on a new entry. I suppose it’s better to post on the current entry, even if responding to posts in previous entries.

MAJED97 (#35) of the entry before last (“Deraa Encircled”) and others made comments about the general support for the president among Syrians, and those comments are continuing on this current entry. I’d like to comment on that issue.

To those who consider the week of pro-regime demonstrations in Damascus evidence for widespread love of the current system, I, too, was similarly affected when witnessing everyday such an outpouring of affection. The excessive display of leader-worship reached a nauseating level that one could only expect to find in a cult. Still, it did influence me toward believing that all the protests would soon die down because Syrians were 95% with the regime, until I began to notice a few things…

One day as I was trying to carry out simple errands typical of anyone hoping to complete the mundane business of an ordinary day, I was caught in the path of one of these lavish displays of president-affection. I hadn’t anticipated that the need to express a statement regarding the distinguished quality of Syrian leadership would require shutting down the city for a week [not literally, but partially true—business and office closed, streets blocked off, etc.]. While trying to cross the street I was suddenly faced with a towering procession careening toward me like the imposing parade in Dr. Suess’ “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.” But as I found a nook of refuge on the sidelines and began to watch, my sense of what I beheld suddenly changed.

The first thing I noticed was that the procession was being led by two giant silver hummers. I’m sure that these vehicles are owned only by the very rich here, or (since hummers are also symbols of war, intimidation, and power), by people of position within the ranks of the security services. Other places I’ve seen these hummers around town have confirmed this association. The fact that these vehicles were leading the procession was no coincidence, but a telling indication that people with something to lose by an attack on the regime were most certainly propelling these demonstrations. Everyone was saying the demonstrations were a spontaneous, honest display of emotion, but as soon as I saw those hummers, I knew there was more to the story.

Second, many of those following the leaders of the demonstration were excitement-starved adolescents, 12-19 years old, hanging out of the windows of a friend’s car, screaming and whistling. Kids here are bored, and this is an excuse to go outside and yell. It’s pretty much the same as Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, etc. (Or the weddings people celebrate by putting flowers on the hood of a car, then speeding dangerously through narrow streets while honking horns in the middle of the night, with the new wife in the back seat, or maybe not in the car at all.)
(This need for excitement, by the way, is also a factor in the opposition protests [not at the current stage, but certainly to a degree at the beginning]. I would bet that the majority of young men and boys demonstrating in Dera’a had never heard of “emergency law” before two months ago. But when the smell of excitement is floating down the street, who can resist its scent?)

Finally, any sense I had that these pro-regime demonstrations were of the people was shattered when the schools and government offices were closed, and an official holiday to serve the demonstrations was declared. Did that mean a day off school for kids? No, they were still required to show up to school, where administrators were handing out photos, signs, banners, and placards to the kids who were then required to march in the demonstrations. Only a doctor’s note could exempt one from this. One of my friends stood next to a school principle who was overseeing the organization of the young people for such a demonstration. My friend asked the principle, “Is participation in this march mandatory or optional for the children?” The principle responded that it was required. My friend then said, “Then it doesn’t really mean anything, does it? They’re not really doing it from their hearts.” “Oh no,” the principle replied, “they are doing this from their hearts!” My friend said, “But… it’s mandatory, it’s not an option. How can it be a statement from the heart if it’s mandatory?” The principle looked nervous and didn’t have much to say.

What we’re looking at contains all of the elements of cult-like groupthink. I remember doing a study years ago under a psychology professor that examined the similar patterns of influence embedded in the techniques employed by street gangs, religious cults (like Jim Jones’ People’s Temple), and Hitler’s Germany. Much of how Ba’ath Party-run Syrian society functions similarly. Consider that membership in the Ba’ath Party means belonging to small dissent-resistant “cells” that don’t interact with each other but answer to the next level above in the hierarchy, and to which one can gain promotion, similar to the structure and process of the degrees of Freemasonry. Many advantages in society here, including being able to qualify for decent university scholarships, require membership and participation in the Ba’ath Party and its functions.

The Ba’ath party operates like a religion. Cults mandate the adoration of the figure they are organized around, and the excessive expression of affection for that figure often bewilders those outside the group. During one of the days of the pro-regime demonstrations, the radio stations were all reserved for pro-regime material: nationalistic songs and talk show hosts exclusively taking calls from people wanting to praise the president. I heard a young man call in, mid-day, and say “I just want to talk about how much I love the president.” The woman hosting the show acted like it was the first call of the day on that topic. “Oh yes, that is an important thing to talk about. What would you like to say on that?” she responded. The young man blathered on for a while about the president’s superhuman traits before declaring, “I think that Bashar al-Assad shouldn’t be the president of just Syria, he must become the president of the whole world!”

The expression of “love” for the president witnessed during the week of demonstrations is something that surfaces every time people here feel insecure or threatened. The devil they know is better than the one they don’t. As a matter of fact, Syrian people have been told what to love their entire lives. It’s almost robotic the way people express their support of the president. Consider the fact that the president is elected by 98% of votes, and everyone turns out. Is that normal? Or a manifestation of cult-like groupthink? As one of my friends here said, “You couldn’t imagine voting against the president.” So I countered, “If you know he will be elected, why do you even bother going to the polls?” And he responded, “Oh, you wouldn’t dare not vote!”

There’s a #1 hit tune on the top-40 charts of Syria, and if I continue to hear it, I might just jump off the Jesr Ra’is to permanently silence its irritating refrain. It goes something like this:
“I really love the president. He’s so good. It’s the people around him who are the problem.”
It’s a robotic, conditioned phrase that Syrians use to express their loathing for their government while simultaneously aligning themselves with it, out of their own fear and the lack of freedom to openly oppose the regime. The internal disconnect, or cognitive dissonance that Syrians experience as they simultaneously love and hate their regime is something hard to fathom.

AMIR in post #43 of the entry before last (“Deraa Encircled”) brought up the irony of how Syria supports two Islamist movements, even hosting one of them—a Sunni Muslim Brotherhood movement—while currently engaging in its own battle for survival against a possibly reemerging homegrown Islamism. AMIR reflects that if the love of the regime is about its resistance to Israel, wouldn’t a greater Islamist presence generate more resistance to Israel, especially considering how quiet the border has been for decades?
This is another aspect of how cults operate. The outward focusing of fear toward an external threat creates internal cohesion. A diverse society with groups that would otherwise be at each other’s throats finds unity in exporting their tensions. This is one way Israel maintains internal integrity—they are a high polarized society full of ethnic and religious rifts (their ultra-orthodox who sometimes attack shop owners for not closing on the Sabbath parallel the Islamists we’re worried about in Syria. Both are examples of zealous anti-secularism). The Palestinians become the scapegoat that Israel desperately needs in order to focus its internal turmoil outward. Israel serves as the same convenient scapegoat for Syria: a threat that justifies a state of emergency, a unifying struggle that unites the nation, a rallying cry that the Ba’ath party can champion.

SOLITARIUS in post #26 of the entry before last (“Deraa Encircled”) said that he was just in Syria and that it is safe. Syria is not safe now. Safety is a relative term also, and one who doesn’t spend a lot of time in a place may not recognize the changes from the norm that indicate a rise in danger. Until now, there is a rhythm of protest activity that heightens on the weekends and subsides midweek. So on some days people are living life as normal, but others, certainly not. Also, if you happen to be in a location where protests are not happening, it will feel like nothing is happening in the country. The activity feels far away. Damascenes seem to think that Dera’a is another planet. That does not mean that Syria is safe. The protest activity is inches from the center of Damascus. People died last Friday in a large number of neighborhood circling Damascus: Barzeh, Harasta, Duma, Qabuun, Hajar al-Aswad, and more. Demonstrations also happened in Midan, without casualties. I would not say it is safe here.
SOLITARIUS also mentions speaking with Syrians of all backgrounds and finding them supporting the president. If you believe that Syria is with the president, just step out of Damascus. I have no trouble finding people who are willing to speak against him these days, even with a stranger.

An older Druze man spoke to me of “the hypocrisy of the Shwaam” (Damascenes). “They make this noise today [the pro-regime demonstrations], and tomorrow they’ll renounce him. When the president approaches their faces they do this [he salutes] and as he walks away they do this behind his back [gestures obscenely with middle finger].”

Even in Damascus, one can find the occasional gutsy individual willing to speak his mind. An older, seasoned Damascene educator once told me, “We have a very evil and selfish government that robs the very people trying to improve the nation. They serve only themselves.” I responded, “But what about the development here? What about the improvements we see in recent years?” He replied, “Any benefits you observe here are the result of private individuals who believe in something and have worked to better society. Trust me, our government has never done anything good for this country.”

April 27th, 2011, 6:29 am


Chris W said:

From Damascus #3

I know people who fled Syria under the old regime who have returned in recent years. There are still things they don’t like, but they’re pretty impressed with how much things have improved, and for that they credit Bashar al-Assad.

These are intelligent, educated people. I don’t think President Assad’s popularity is simply ‘part Beatlemania part Nuremberg’ (to paraphrase your comment). I trust their judgment, I think President Assad deserves some credit. He certainly doesn’t deserve meddlesome mischief-making from the international community.

Syria didn’t meddle in Iraq, I think he deserves the same respect from America; and, for that matter, from Israel.

April 27th, 2011, 6:51 am


Akbar Palace said:

Dancing with the Joos

I honestly don’t get what the yanks have against Stria and President Assad.

Chris W.,

Ask the relatives of the 400+ protestors killed by the Assad regime what THEY have against President Assad. What a foolish question. And not just the yanks, but also the European Union and the Arab League.

I know America dances to the tune of the Jews, but Assad has kept peace with Israel for 40 years. He’s supported Hezbollah, but only minimally.

The US is allied with many countries including the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, etc. Does the US “dance to the tune” of these countries as well? I resent your comment about “Jews”, and although you may think Syria supports Hezbollah “minimally”, I wonder what the US would do if over 4000 rockets fell inside her borders. Considering how the US responds to countries half-way around the world like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, I’m willing to bet more than 1200 civilians would be lost.

April 27th, 2011, 6:52 am


محمود said:

لا بأس ان نشرتم حول برنامج امريكا و اسرائيل و أوروباخلال العامين الجاريين تجاه سوريا و ايران لكي ببساطة يتفهم القاريء من يكون من !!!
تقود ألمانيا و انكلترا و فرنسا حملة ضد الكيان السوري , بينما تحمل الغواصات الالمانية بضع مئات من الصواريخ النووية الاسرائيلية على متنها ! تتصورون ان العالم يتكون منكم و من ارادتكم فقط ! لن نخضع الا لارادة الله! و العبرة في النهايات ! لقد بات العالم لايحتمل المغامرات ! و قنابل بونكر بوستر سيرد عليها خدوا حدركم جيدا !

April 27th, 2011, 6:52 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Nobody in Syria likes the regime, but most Syrians support Assad because he is the only possible option for reform. Those rats in the streets are not after reform. They know that the political reform process will exclude them and they want to topple the regime and establish an Islamist state.

April 27th, 2011, 6:58 am


Chris W said:

Akbar Palace, #5,

Buddy, let’s not get started with what your people did to the Lebanese. 4000 rockets is nothing in comparison.

The Lebanese have a right to defend themselves, and to deter your aggression to prevent such a catastrophe happening again. Hezbollah provide that deterrent, and those who supply them are not doing anything any reasonable Western country would not do in similar circumstances. In that respect, ‘minimal’ is the right word.

Of course you don’t get it. If people aren’t under your boot, they don’t know their right place, isn’t that how it works with Israel?

April 27th, 2011, 6:59 am


Mina said:

1- Comparison with the so-called Turkish model of democracy: would it have been possible without the millions sent by the Turks of Germany?
2- Comparison with Egypt: 80 millions versus 20 millions, cultural capital of Eastern and North Africa; number of tourists in the world top ten.
3- Can freedom be imposed by the 5 percent English speaking elite towards the rest of the society? What B. al Assad meant I guess in his Wall Street Journal interview (unfortunate, as his first speech and in part his) is that unless this freedom starts to be implemented within families, there is no way this protest will lead to more “freedom”.
Just an anecdote: I lived in Syria in a hotel with Christian Iraqi refugees.The kitchen was shared. The 60 year-old wife of a surgeon was spending most of her time cooking, starting around 4:30 AM. As I complained once after having been woken up too early for several days, she looked very surprised and told me: “but… I thought in the West you were used to democracy?”

April 27th, 2011, 7:01 am


Akbar Palace said:

Chris W.: a welcomed addition to Syria Comment

The Lebanese have a right to defend themselves…

Chris W.,

Believe it or not, “My people” also have the right to defend themselves. Not just from Hezbollah, but also from Hamas and any other country or organization at war with Israel. If the US can attack Iraq and Afghanistan, certainly Israel can defend herself against these terrorist organizations on her border.

If people aren’t under your boot, they don’t know their right place, isn’t that how it works with Israel?

No, actually that’s NOT how it works with Israel. Israel’s Arab population (which is about 25% of the population) is freer in Israel than any other country in the Middle East. I hope this isn’t news to you.

Chris W., thanks for the reply. Make sure you ask Professor Josh for a Syria Comment membership card, and considering your responses, ask him to upgrade your membership to “author status”.

April 27th, 2011, 7:09 am


Off the Wall said:

From Damascus
You dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s superbly well. Thank you very much.

April 27th, 2011, 7:34 am


haz said:

Very nice piece @From Damascus #3.

Chris W – you state that Syria has come a long way in human rights terms in the past ten years. Can you name one single measure of improvement? I’m sure Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International would be fascinated to know about it – their research would indicate that there has been no progress whatsoever.

People might have mobile phones now, but the things you say on them will still get you imprisoned, tortured, or just plain disappeared, just like before Bashar.

I know returned Syrians too. They come back with a sense of patriotic and familial obligation, and even so, it is the ability to leave regularly that keeps them sane. They live with the knowledge that everything they are working for can be taken away in an instant, on the whim of an offended government official, or a well-connected shark who wants your success for himself. I have seen with my own eyes grown adult business people hiding behind furniture to avoid a bribe-seeking government officer.

At least Souri admits that no-one in Syria likes the regime – to think otherwise is foolish ignorance. Souri should also see that the MB and so on have nothing like the support they would need to run the country. Souri’s (and others) fear of these elements should really be seen as fear of being called upon, finally, to stand up and do the right thing – it’s much safer to hang back in the crowd and heckle those who step forward. Souri’s command of the English language shows that he/she has had more opportunities, is freer, and is probably richer than 99% of Syrians. Souri chooses to use ths power to keep fellow Syrians in darkness.

The criminal gangs in chrge of Syria have stripped themselves and their people of dignity for too long, I am so happy that they are starting to stand up. If left to Assad, nothing would ever have changed and the world would continue to pass Syria by. Maybe things will get worse before they get better, but Syrians should make their own future, for good or ill.

April 27th, 2011, 8:05 am


Akbar Palace said:

Chris W – you state that Syria has come a long way in human rights terms in the past ten years. Can you name one single measure of improvement? I’m sure Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International would be fascinated to know about it – their research would indicate that there has been no progress whatsoever.


Chris W. hasn’t a clue. A product of the Ron Paul Nation;)

April 27th, 2011, 8:12 am


S.S said:

قلل وزيرا الدفاع الأميركي روبرت غيتس والبريطاني وليام فوكس أمس الثلاثاء من احتمال تدخل عسكري في سوريا على غرار ما جرى في ليبيا.

وقال فوكس “هناك حدود عملية للقوة العسكرية الغربية” مشيرا إلى أنه ليس بوسع الجيشين الأميركي والبريطاني، المستنفديْن بالفعل في حروب تمتد من أفغانستان إلى ليبيا، القيام بالكثير.

وقال الوزير البريطاني للصحفيين عندما سئل بخصوص عدم التدخل الغربي في سوريا “لا يمكن أن نفعل كل شيء طوال الوقت، وعلينا أن ندرك أن هناك حدودا عملية لما يمكن لدولنا أن تقوم به”.

April 27th, 2011, 8:16 am


suri-Amreki said:

It is really funny how the Syrian regime was all praise to Aljazeerah and now he is labeling it as full of lies!

The Asad Jr. inherited Syria from his father 11 years ago and I don’t know what he has accomplished in the last 11 years!

1. Golan is still occupied!
2. Much higher unemployment.
3. Increase in the poverty rate.

Please help me guys by pointing out the accomplishment of Asad in the last 11 years!!!

April 27th, 2011, 8:16 am


qunfuz said:

I wonder if the administrators of syria comment know the accusations agianst Ayman abdulnur – of the israel trip – are definitely true? To me, the story of Dahlan organisaing the trip seems wildly improbable. In fact, the whole story seems wildly improbable. There are regime smears going on at the moment. On facebook there’sw a page calling for the execution of Suheir Attasi on the grounds that she’s ‘a mossad agent.’

In today’s post too there’s a line that Ayman Abdalnur says someone is an alawi. That’s it. Just to make Ayman Abdulnur look like a sectarian?

It’s very clear which ugly position SC is taking in this whole thing. IT’s a shame, but it’s still a useful website for hearing one side. But you really really should think very carefully about allowing the hate speech (the incitement to murder at a time when people are actually being murdered) in the commnets, and about repeating smears against political figures which may put lives in danger.

April 27th, 2011, 8:23 am


syau said:

The media is a powerful tool. The power of Al Jazerra is another tool altogether. They seem to be so engrossed in their fabrications, they have missed a flying coffin in their news reports on a funeral of martyrs is Daara and Douma.

These ‘revolutionists’ have no shame. They begin with fake blood and seem to end it with fake funerals.

April 27th, 2011, 8:24 am


Mina said:

Sorry Haz, the Syrian government is definitely too low-tech to be able to spy on phone conversations. Even the internet. As a matter of fact, the demonstrations started 2 weeks after Facebook and Youtube finally worked without using a proxy anonymizer, which was the common and public practice until then. The first call for demonstration turned out in a dozen of people
A question is: to whom are these calls on Twitter and Facebook addressed? Very little people in Syria use the internet and even more so would have Twitter on their cell phone and a phone with an internet connection. To give the place of a demo on Twitter means to give it openly to the police as well. So to whose eyes are these calls for?

Since the Tunisian revolt, freedom of speech and talking about politics have finally reached even the circles outside the rich and expats. People are eager to learn from what is going on in Tunis and Egypt, but they know it takes time. Many support the regime because they can compare what poverty meant 50 years ago and now (but the loud “intellectuals” we hear these days mainly come from some upper class layers and they have no contact with either the poors or the Salafists.)

April 27th, 2011, 8:25 am


Mina said:


Didn’t you notice that poverty is on the increase in the US and Europe too in the last ten years?

April 27th, 2011, 8:28 am


haz said:


My point was that there may be visible signs of ‘progress’ but the fundamental horror underpinning the regime is exactlty the same.

I think that generally the FB and twitter (both for and against the regime) are there for people outside the country to feel like they are doing something.

I believe that the power of twitter and fb within Syria is vastly over estimated, but that mobile phones have huge potential for communication – no more waiting three years for an easily-tapped landline – and filming what the government is actually up to.

For the very first time, some people can at least see and hear versions of the truth other than those on the government run tv and newspapers.

As for the slow build to these protests, I have to ask myself whether, for all my idealism, I would actually be willing to be first on the streets against a regime that shown that it has no mercy whatsoever – amazing anyone goes out at all.

People may be just starting to talk about these things in the nicer parts of Damascus and Aleppo, but the appear to be a spark to action among the truly poor – 50 years ago is a long time if a cop can take with impunity the 300 lira you earnt today.

April 27th, 2011, 8:46 am


mjolnir said:

“Ayman Abdalnour points out that Luna Shibel is an Alawite”

Umm… excuse me Mr. Landis, but that is relevant to the discussion how? What possible reason would you have for mentioning Luna’s religion if not to discredit her any political discourse on the basis that she happens to be born in a certain time and place from a given set of parents? This non-phrase put there oh-so-nonchallantly is the very essence of everything that is wrong in modern-day middle-eastern discourse. Do you even know whether she is a practicing, or non-praciticing person or- and here is a radical thought- whether that has any bearing on her political position? Would you like people to judge your opinions on the basis of what they suppose your religion is (whatever that might be, I really don’t give a hoot). Before you claim that you were merely reporting, and while you’re at it, why don’t you also mention Mr AbdelNour’s religion as well to drive home your point?

By the way, as you can tell from my name, I am a follower of Wotan, Donner, Froh and Freya. You see? I believe in both the Aesir and the Vanir equally.

April 27th, 2011, 8:50 am


Revlon said:

“Syria Tries to Defend Its Record to United Nations
Ambassador Bashar Jaafari, the Syrian envoy, repeated the government’s claim that the unrest at home was the work of as yet unidentified foreign agitators trying to undermine Syria’s stability and that armed infiltrators were responsible for the shooting of protesters”.

The above quoted, Jaafari’s account contradicts the Syrian government and media reports.
The Syrian government and media have been promoting a story of infiltrators, with links to specified Arab and non-Arab names.

It follows that the Syrian regime is promoting two fables
One for loco-regional consumption, with fabricated evidence
And one for international consumption, pending evidence.

April 27th, 2011, 9:01 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

#12 HAZ

Souri read the history of the Western nations and he understands that in order to have a democratic nation, we must have a nation first. Applying “democracy” in a pre-national society means dividing the country into its sectarian and tribal components. When I was younger I used to be like those half-educated parrots who know nothing but singing the word “democracy” and other slogans they learned from Hollywood movies. You need to be really educated to understand that the Western colonialist powers use the slogans of “democracy” and “freedom” as means of destroying countries to control them.

Calling for immediate “democracy” in Syria is equal to calling for the division of Syria. If you really want democracy in Syria, you must educate the people first to be citizens. The Baath party has been tying for half a century to educate people to be equal citizens rather members of different sects and tribes. The regime has done a good job as these events show. The last time there was a Sunni revolt in Syria, many more people participated than now. In the 1980’s there was no media or facebook, yet the people who took part in the uprising were much more than now. This proves that sectarianism now is much less than it used to be. So many people were expecting that the Syrian army would divide if it was used to quell the current insurgency, but the army has not divided. Most Sunnis in Syria have resisted the intense media incitement and they are still loyal to the NATIONAL STATE.

“Democracy” is a horrible thing if it is applied without a national state that includes everybody as equal citizens. Look at the “democracy” in Palestine: a sect enslaving another sect; a “Jewish” state that automatically excludes all non-Jews. Is this the democracy you want to apply in Syria? Look at the “democracy” in Lebanon and Iraq: sects and tribes battling each other. Is this the democracy you want?

If you want to get to real democracy, you can start by educating your people on nationalism and religious tolerance. Syria still has a very long way to go in education reform. Political reform can only happen in a gradual fashion. Destroying the national state and installing an Islamist or sectarianist state in Syria will throw us 50 years back.

April 27th, 2011, 9:07 am


Mina said:

Haz, cops take only 100 liras (and this exists in Russia too). Against the Western media comments of “oh my God this person talks to me even if she knows she may be tortured” just follow Seleucid and Atoraia on twitter, who are there and express very open views and participate.

April 27th, 2011, 9:07 am


qunfuz said:

Here’s another one of those scary salafis who deserve to die explaining his motivations

April 27th, 2011, 9:19 am


qunfuz said:

“The Baath party has been tying for half a century to educate people to be equal citizens”

Thank you, Souri. I needed a laugh today.

April 27th, 2011, 9:21 am


Akbar Palace said:

Syria Comment’s “Salafi Watch” NewZ


Yes, I also noticed all the arms and destructuion these “salafis” were employing.

April 27th, 2011, 9:25 am


Sophia said:

Rami Khoury seems to be contradicting himself here: ”His downfall is not imminent, but is now a real possibility.
The next few weeks will be decisive for Assad, because in the other Arab revolts the third-to-sixth weeks of street protests were the critical moment that determined whether the regime would collapse or persist.”

I listened to a Canadian radio program this morning (CBC/The Current) about Syria. The anchor interviewed Georges Jabbour (former Syrian MP) and a UN envoy:
Robert Fisk, and Maher Arrar (a Syrian Canadian rendered by the US to Syria for suspicion of Al-Qaida ties and cleared later only by Canada)

Jabbour kept saying that Syria needs national reconciliation and the host couldn’t understand this because she approached the subject with the western mind (dictatorship, blood on the streets, peaceful protesters), she kept saying ”how could you do that?” , so he ended up asking her what is her solution to the problem.

Fisk says the situation is very critical and on the brink of civil war and he said the west should keep out of Syria.

Arrar was asking for outside intervention in Syria but the host told him that it does not seem a solution right now for western countries so he ended up asking for a UN intervention…Arrar was one of the first to write about the events in Deraa as the ‘spark’ that Syria needed:
Arrar hasn’t been cleared by the US

About Arrar:

You can listen to a podcast of the program only tomorrow at this address:

April 27th, 2011, 9:26 am



The Moslem Brotherhood organization’s pivotal role behind the destabilization activities of Syria

April 27th, 2011, 9:26 am


syau said:


Most Sunni have resisted the intense media incitement because most Sunni are not Islamists. The Islamists are a minority. Regardless whether conservative or not, Most Sunni do not follow the radical beliefs of the Islamists/MB.

like other religions or sects in Syria, Sunni residents abhore the current violent uprisings and attempted destabalisation of their country which has robbed them of the peace they have known for so long.

Christians and Muslims alike have requested the Syrian government put and end to this nightmare ‘revolution’ and the violence by ‘peaceful protesters’, which has cost them so much. They fear the MB and their extremism and have spoken out at their discust in the violence, destruction, cold blooded murder and mutilation of fellow Syrians. The Syrian people can see the conspiracy against their government, the lies and downright fabrications by the media and the radical religious leaders the rebels follow.

April 27th, 2011, 9:36 am


Mina said:

#Qunfuz 26
Salafists do not deserve to die, but they deserve to be given a brain, as any human being. Someone who can contemplate as “normal” or “halal” the possibility of cutting the throat of a six-month baby (remember Algeria?) to help his cause puts himself outside of humanity, and lacks a brain.

Have you seen this film, Four Lions?

Full of interesting insights.

April 27th, 2011, 9:45 am


syau said:

#27, Maybe he needs to look within the actual protests to get his answer. There are some legitimate demonstrators, and, their demands for reform were implemented. Others, don’t want reform, they want violence, arnarchy, death and destruction to acheive their agenda. The MB are a bloodthirsty group and will use any means possible to try to reach their goal. They can try, but will never reach it.

If you see it fit to move your narrow minded views a little to the right, you can watch the videos of the radical ‘imams’ and see for yourself which direction they advise their followers to take.

With your constant defence of these ‘peaceful protesters’ I can only come to the conclusion that you also endorse the radicals ideas of uprises, murder and mutilation they are looking to be committed.

Reforms were implemented. Actual peaceful demonstrators, not the ones being paid to demonstrate have embraced the reforms, all that is needed now is the radicals to be captured in order for the reforms to be effective.

April 27th, 2011, 10:10 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Souri, every thing you wrote here and before is utter BS rubbish and garbage. Your attitude stinks. You’re contemptible and a disgrace. Your mentality sucks. Your ignorance is pathetic (What “Palestinian sect”?). You patronize your own people, which is outrageous and wrong. You bring nothing but shame and dirt. And you should stop inciting hate. You are much worse than the people you so passionately hate and fear. You are most probably a regime bot, and should be ignored.

April 27th, 2011, 10:11 am


Revlon said:

شام | فضائيات | العربية | ميليشيات النظام البعثي ( الشبيحة ) تقوم بنهب المحلات التجارية في درعا تحت أنظار القوات الأمنية و الجيش …

7 minutes ago

April 27th, 2011, 10:22 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

The fact that Israelis like Amir in Tel Aviv hate me so much while they are in love with the Wahhabi insurgents means something, right?

April 27th, 2011, 10:32 am


syau said:


It sounds like desparation is talking.

Amir in tel aviv,

Please go over your past comments and look to who is inciting hate. To me, it looks like its the one who wanted so much to go to Syria on ‘great Friday’ to witness the escalated violence, and, adds fuel to the fire of any possible uprising.

April 27th, 2011, 10:34 am


eddie said:

video reportedly showing injured troops which had defected in Daraa being treated

April 27th, 2011, 10:41 am


why said:

Anything happening in Homs and Banyas? no more videos? Are the protests “spreading in many cities” as the media like to put it?

April 27th, 2011, 10:50 am


why-discuss said:

Syrian opposition ask Bashar to be a leader of a transition!!! What a flip!

“:Syrian opposition figures have said their “massive grassroots revolution” will break the regime unless Bashar al-Assad, the president, leads a transition to democracy.

The statement on Wednesday from an umbrella group of opposition activists in Syria and abroad, called the National Initiative for Change, said a democratic transition will “safeguard the nation from falling into a period of violence, chaos and civil war.”

“If the Syrian president does not wish to be recorded in history as a leader of this transition period, there is no alternative left for Syrians except to move forward along the same path as did the Tunisians, Egyptians
and Libyans before them,” the statement said.

April 27th, 2011, 10:53 am


haz said:

Yes, European countries took centuries to develop into what they are today. But none of that was given freely by those in power. At every step of the way people had to take it from them – from the Magna Carta to votes for women, violence or threats of violence were required. At best, lobbying from enlightened elites achieved things like the abolition of slavery peacefully, but through institutions (like parliament) that thousands had fought and died to bring about.

There are still religious and ethnic fault lines all across Europe that people are more than willing to die for. If you waited for those fault lines to go away before making political reforms, Europeans would still be governed by kings by divine right.

I don’t think the western colonialist powers much care about democracy or lack of – sometimes it helps them, sometimes it doesn’t. The strength of the state matters more. Syria has the illusion of strength – the Assads have played their limited international hand very well – but as you will see, if not now, then within the next few years it is incapable of change without trauma. To be strong, a state must be able to change itself to improve the lives of its people, otherwise it will collapse.

The fact is that progress will be slow, and at times very painful. But for a couple of decades now the Syrian government has shown itself unwilling or unable to offer large sections of its population basic human dignities – how long would you suggest people accept the situation before becoming impatient?

If the Syrian government was serious about reform, they could have done so much – imagine if they had started ten years ago with free elections in the mohafezaat, or even local village elections. It would have gotten people used to the idea of elections, and the responsibility of providing services etc.

I think it’s almost too late now. I think people have the right to try to force change through peaceful protest, and to defend themselves when attacked.

Of course I would not want Syria to go through the same as Lebanon or Iraq, but this will only happen if its people make it so. Change is inevitable, the Syrian state cannot provide it in its current form, demanding that the boot be jammed down harder will not help now or in the future.

April 27th, 2011, 11:05 am


sean said:

I asked this before in the last thread before seeing this one, so I’ll ask it again here.

To those who support the regime and creating reforms, why do you think the regime is likely to reform now or in the future given how it reacted to calls for reforms in 2000 and 2001?

April 27th, 2011, 11:07 am


majedkhaldoon said:

A good man from Denver,will become the next secretery of Defense.Frederico Pena,Intelligent,hardworking,and loved and known by us.

April 27th, 2011, 11:09 am


Nour said:

This whole idea that Bashar al Assad is facing a serious challenge or is in danger of being toppled is downright nonsense. The Syrian regime us nowhere near being toppled. The unrest is limited to very localized trouble spots where the armed criminals have taken a base for their operations. There are no large and widespread demonstrations across the country and the two largest cities have seen virtually no activity. In fact, the vast majority of Syrians have rejected the actions of these terrorists, but of course the democracy-loving west has completely ignored the wishes of the majority of Syrians and insist on supporting the criminal activity of terrorist thugs. Moreovrr, the whole contention that the US all of a sudden cares about the plight of Syrians is a farce. The US found it completely acceptable for “Israel” to launch a destructive war against Lebanon killing over 1200 civilians, but now sees the Syrian government’s response to terrorists threatening the stability of the country as unacceptable.

The fact is that this is a surgical operation to uproot these criminal gangs and return the country to security and stability. In the process many soldiers and security personnel have been killed. Obviously someone is shooting at them as they are not dying as a result of peaceful protesters blowing their bullets back at them. In any case, this battle will soon be over and Syria will return to normalcy. And the countries supporting these thugs are soon to be exposed.

April 27th, 2011, 11:10 am


Inhabitant of Damascus said:

Inhabitant of Damascus

This is a sad time in Syria. The local version of the ‘Arab Uprising’ is now 5 weeks old, and entering a new phase. Human rights organisations estimate 453 have been killed. The expulsion of foreign media (with the exception of Al Jazeera, coralled in central Damascus); the one sided propagandist coverage of state media; and the limitations of protester YouTube clips, severely limits local and international understanding of what is going on.

What is clear is that the pro-democracy movement has failed to get significant numbers on the streets. Their biggest demonstration appears to have been in Homs at 20,000. So how many have protested in the country? I estimate 400,000 max. That is less than 2% of Syria’s 22 million. 98% of the population have stayed home and while yearning for more freedoms, participation in the running of the country, and a relaxation of the police state, do not wish to face the likely chaos that an overthrow of the Batthi regime would entail. The Iraq and Lebanon situations are ongoing reminders of what might occur. There has been very little enthusiasm in Damascus (except in the outlying suburb of Douma), or in Aleppo. Nearly half Syria’s population lives in these two centres. The pro-democracy movement has failed to organise effectively, and lacks cohesion. The fact remains that while Assad’s reputation has been severely dented by the government’s ineptitude and brutality in dealing with the protesters and the so-called reform agenda, most Syrians respect Assad enough to see him as a hope for meaningful reform. While they will not give him the benefit of the doubt forever, the fear of chaos, including secular conflict, is very real. In this respect they see the pro-democracy movement as naive and out of touch with reality.

State TV has run detailed footage of the funerals of security force personnel for around 3 weeks. 25 were buried yesterday (26 April), names read, families interviewed, and another 21 today. They were apparently killed in Deraa. This coverage in my view presents hard evidence that there are indeed groups shooting soldiers and police, and shooting at firemen and ambulance drivers. I estimate that around 60 service personnel have died. The regime claims that there are ‘armed gangs/terrorists’ shooting at security forces and civilians. The regime claims that some have been arrested, and have confessed to being paid and armed (through mosque contacts). The ‘gang members’ have appeared on TV with caches of weapons. These claims cannot be independently verified.

Who killed these security personnel? The regime does not accuse the pro-democracy movement. This is significant. Who might these armed gangs be? There are plenty of likely suspects. Syria has many enemies. Lebanese sunnis? Lebanese phalangist Christians; sunni Muslim radicals, including the Muslim Brotherhood; the Kurdish minority; Israel’s mossad; disaffected Alawi insiders including ex-VP Kaddam; fringe elements of the security forces? All are possible. The region is awash with weapons and the desert and mountain borders are porous. If armed gangs are responsible, which seems highly likely, this is a complication that sets Syria apart from Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. This dilemma should be recognised as states rush to get on the condemn Assad bandwagon.

It is also difficult to obtain verifiable information on who is responsible for the estimated 453 civilian deaths. With no independent media on the ground, and state media not providing this coverage, international media must rely on YouTube. And power cuts to Daraa and Douma severely limit internet access. (The regime clearly has something to hide.) Many of the YouTube clips show unarmed protesters coming under fire and being killed and wounded. For the most part they do not show who is doing the shooting. Some clips however do strongly indicate that security forces are responsible. It is clear that there have been orders to fire on unarmed civilians. Assad admitted as much when he gave orders, since amended after armed attacks, for security forces not to carry live ammunition. Most of the civilian deaths probably have been caused by the security forces. However some armed groups may be causing havoc by also shooting civilians. The fact that some units of the regime’s security apparatus do not wear uniforms (we see them around Damascus with their AKs every day) adds to confusion.

As the UN Security Council considers a response to the tragic and worsening Syrian situation, it is important to UNSC credibility that the circumstances facing the Assad regime are accurately considered. While the current crackdowns in Deraa and Douma seem dire, any international response should be based on the known facts. Who is killing Syrian security personnel?

April 27th, 2011, 11:11 am


hans said:

@ Damascus # 4

Kids here are bored, and this is an excuse to go outside and yell.

Kid are bored everywhere in the world i should know I have 3 teenagers! Syrians to decide not Wahhabi’s who have more money then sense.

April 27th, 2011, 11:21 am


aqoul said:

Many here think that the inciters of hate and sectarian bigotry are the worst idiots who comment here.

You’re mistaken.

By far WHY-DISCUSS wins this ‘honor’. The proof is in his last comment when he interprets a supposed statemsnt the way he likes.

That statement simply means that Bashar has already been given the chance and failed, and therefore he should be toppled. That is all it means.

Rest assured that the revolution will continue until he and his regime are toppled.

The next in line to claim the above ‘honor’ is a self professed ‘intellectual’ that calls himself (herself) Nour.

As for the others who come in and spew their hate and regime-bigotry, in fact I am beginning to appreciate their ‘transparent’ hate as many have become accustomed to. They are simply exposing the rotten nature of their psych and the real and ugly face of the regime; and therefore they should be thanked for their valuable disclosures to the public.

April 27th, 2011, 11:25 am


why-discuss said:


The country was under severe political and economical pressure from the international community because of its opposition to Israel. wars, sanctions, attacks .. Just read the history of the region from 2001 and its priority was to support the resistance to israel.
This new uprising is changing the priority and if the syrians prefer Bashar to focus on internal reforms then the resistance support will become lower priority then there is a chance of peace with Israel more easily accepted by the syrians.

In my above comment #40 , it looks like the opposition is coming to its sense and giving another chance to Bashar al Assad

April 27th, 2011, 11:25 am


why-discuss said:


I had a lot of insults for you but then I realized that no one curses monkeys who can’t read.

April 27th, 2011, 11:31 am


norman said:

This might explain the shift, as i said , the opposition should ride president Assad co tail for reform,

2011-04-27 12:52:22

الرئيس الاسد واردوغان يبحثان في اتصال هاتفي تطورات الأحداث في سورية

تلقى الرئيس بشار الأسد، يوم الثلاثاء، اتصالاً هاتفياً من رئيس الوزراء التركي رجب طيب أردوغان، تم خلاله بحث التطورات الأخيرة التي شهدتها الأحداث في سورية.

وذكرت وكالة أنباء الأناضول أن ” الرئيس بشار الأسد تلقى اتصالاً هاتفياً من رئيس الوزراء التركي رجب طيب أردوغان، تم خلاله بحث التطورات الأخيرة التي شهدتها الأحداث في سورية”.

وتشهد عدة مدن سورية تظاهرات مجموعات من المواطنين، منذ أكثر من شهر، تتركز في أيام الجمعة، يرفعون خلالها بعض المطالب المعاشية ومطالب تتعلق بالحريات العامة وتنادي للحرية والإصلاح، فيما تزامن خروج بعض المظاهرات بحوادث إطلاق نار من قبل مجهولين راح ضحيتها العشرات، ونسبت هذه الأعمال إلى “عصابات مسلحة وقوى خارجية تريد زعزعة استقرار سوريا”، بحسب المصادر الرسمية.

وكان أردوغان أجرى نهاية الشهر الماضي اتصالا هاتفيا مع الرئيس الأسد، أشاد فيه بالقرارات الإصلاحية التي اتخذتها القيادة السورية، موضحا وقوف تركيا إلى جانب سورية ومتانة العلاقات السورية التركية.

كما عبرت تركيا، في وقت سابق، عبر وزير خارجيتها أحمد داود أوغلو خلال زيارته إلى سورية، عن دعمها لجملة الإصلاحات التي بدأتها القيادة السورية، مبديا استعداد تركيا لتقديم كل مساعدة ممكنة من خبرات وإمكانيات لتسريع هذه الإصلاحات، بما يساهم في ازدهار الشعب السوري وتعزيز أمنه واستقراره.

وكان الرئيس بشار الأسد أصدر مؤخراً مراسيم تتعلق برفع الرواتب والأجور للعامين بالدولة, وتشميل المتقاعدين بالتامين الصحي, ورفع حالة الطوارئ وإلغاء محكمة أمن الدولة، وتنظيم التظاهر السلمي, إضافة إلى تشكيل لجنة للتحقيق بالأحداث التي شهدتها عدة مدن سورية بينها درعا واللاذقية ودوما.

وتسير العلاقات السورية التركية بوتائر متنامية وخاصة على الصعيد السياسي الذي يتميز بالتنسيق المستمر بين قيادتي البلدين، إضافة إلى الجانب الاقتصادي إذ ألغى البلدان سمات الدخول بين مواطنيهما وجرى تطبيقه منذ أيلول 2009، تلاه الإعلان عن تأسيس مجلس تعاون استراتيجي عالي المستوى بين سورية وتركيا.

يذكر أن الرئيس الأسد تلقى مؤخراً اتصالات هاتفية من قادة عرب عبروا خلالها عن دعم بلادهم لسورية في وجه ما تتعرض له من محاولات لزعزعة أمنها واستقرارها.


اقرأ أيضاً:

الرئيس الأسد يتسلم رسالة من رئيس الإمارات يعرب فيها عن وقوف بلاده إلى جانب سورية

copy rights © syria-news 2010

April 27th, 2011, 11:33 am


why-discuss said:

– Turkey to submit a plan for reforms to Bashar Al Assad
– The largest meeting of opposition leaders meet for the first time in Turkey and ask the international community to “convince” Bashar al Assad to stop the violence ‘against civilians’

Le Monde 27 april

La Turquie, qui a rappelé son ambassadeur pour consultations, a annoncé l’envoi prochain d’une délégation à Damas, chargée de remettre un plan de réformes au leader syrien. Le premier ministre turc, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, s’est entretenu par téléphone avec Bachar Al-Assad, pour la 3e fois depuis le début des manifestations, pour l’inciter à avancer sur la voie d’une démocratisation . “J’ai dit en des termes très clairs au cours de mon entretien avec M. Al-Assad notre inquiétude, nos craintes, notre inconfort face aux récents événements”, a déclaré M. Erdogan, cité par l’agence Anatolie, pendant une conférence de presse commune avec son homologue kirghize, Almazbek Atambïev.

Le journal Zaman note qu’Erdogan s’était entretenu au téléphone avec Barack Obama lundi. Selon Cumhuriyet Washington a demandé à Ankara d’intervenir auprès de Bachar -al-Assad. En coulisses, Ahmet Davutoglu tente de peser sur le déroulement des événements en Syrie. Sans succès pour le moment.

Devant l’escalade de la violence, des membres de l’opposition syrienne, réunis mardi 26 avril à Istanbul, ont demandé à la communauté internationale de les aider à convaincre le président Al-Assad de mettre fin à la répression. “S’ils veulent nous aider, nos amis en Occident, en Turquie, dans le monde arabe peuvent le faire en exerçant un maximum de pression sur le régime syrien afin qu’il cesse de s’en prendre aux civils”, a dit Anas Abdah, président du Mouvement pour la justice et le développement, situé en Grande-Bretagne. C’est le premier rassemblement d’opposants syriens d’une telle ampleur. Les dirigeants des frères muslmans syriens s’étaient déjà rendus plusieurs fois à Istanbul, à l’invitation de l’IHH .

Ankara s’inquiète d’un possible afflux de réfugiés syriens à sa frontière méridionale. Les régions limitrophes se préparent à cette éventualité. La Turquie craint des infiltrations de militants du PKK retranchés en Syrie. De nombreux Kurdes syriens sont engagés dans la guérilla.

April 27th, 2011, 11:45 am


Mina said:

It’s like asking the Lebanese millionaires why they don’t invest in their country’s economy and why some areas still have electricity and water shortages.
Some people prefer to invest money where they know it produces interests: the Gulf, Europe, the US.
Syrian economy has ben at a standstill for a year with tourists but not enough hostels, with too many shops for too little visitors. It is also a structural problem. Have you ever visited the Hamidiyye and the old Damascus and Aleppo markets? If you know how many people are supposed to be fed from each person in each shop, you would suggest them they study the meaning of business concentration in economy.
Something I heard a lot in the last twelve months was that with the Iraq unrest and Netanyahu in Israel no one was ready to invest a penny in any project. Housing was a little bit moving but that was another bubble. You cannot read the events in the Middle East (and understand why the “Empire goes at war”) if you disconnect it from the financial crisis.

April 27th, 2011, 12:09 pm


why-discuss said:

Anas Abdah, president of the Movement for justice and development,


April 27th, 2011, 12:17 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

#41. haz

Developing a common national identity does not mean erasing the religious and ethnic fault lines. A national identity and a religious/ethnic identity are not mutually exclusive like you seem to think. In your description of the European historical development you totally ignored the issue of national identity. This is the problem I was describing for the half-educated parrots– they have no clue what a nation-state is and they do not understand how the Western countries became the way they are.

A national identity requires me to accept that I am equal to my fellow citizens in the way we belong to a country, that is, there must not be different categories of citizens whereby some subjects are seen as more national than others. The Islamists refuse this notion and insist on the feudal pre-national model, whereby every subject of the state identifies by religion rather by nationality. The Islamists cannot accept a Christian as a totally equal partner of a Muslim in citizenship. They believe such a model of nationality to be blasphemous. They insist on the model of a “Muslim state” rather than a national state, just like how the Zionists have their “Jewish state” in Palestine. The difference between us and the Islamists is not a political difference that can be resolved in a political process—it is a “national” conflict. The Islamists refuse to identify as a single nation with us. They alienate us and want to enslave us. They want us to be subjects in THEIR state instead of us all being equal subjects in a common national state. This is a national struggle. Those who call for the Islamists to be allowed into a “democratic political process” do not understand anything in democracy or politics.

What everybody believes and does at home does not matter for a national identity, what matters is the way we identify as subjects of a state.

April 27th, 2011, 12:22 pm


AIG said:

For the one thousandth time let me explain. The Jews are a nation, not only a religion. The word Jew means someone from the tribe of Judah. I am an atheist Jew and there are many like me in Israel and all over the world. Israel is a nation state not a religious state. The analogy for non-Jews in Israel would be Kurds in Syria, not Christians. Stop your propaganda and sorry excuses not to grant freedom and dignity to the population.

I cannot believe that the excuses of the regime supporters are so racist. You are basically saying that Syrians are backward people and not ready for democracy. That is clearly false.

April 27th, 2011, 12:34 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

The way Turkey has been treating Syria during this crisis is extremely offensive. I don’t know for how long we are going to take this brazen middling in our internal affairs. If Erdogan wants to help, he can start by returning the Syrian territory that his country occupies since 1939. This is much more useful than his advice on how to solve our internal political problems. We already have the US unwarrantedly interfering in our internal affairs. We don’t need other countries interfering.

April 27th, 2011, 12:36 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

54. AIG,

This is what all sectarianist racists say. The Maronites in Lebanon consider themselves a nation and they link themselves to the ancient Phoenicians. Also the Syriac Christians in Syria consider themselves a nation and they identify with the ancient Arameans and Assyrians. During the French mandate, France tried also to convince the Alawis and Druze that they were separate nations.

This is a very typical racist sectarianist way of thinking. It justifies for you enslaving the other people who live with you. The Maronites massacred the Palestinians during the Lebanese civil war because they viewed them as an invading alien nation. They were looking at the Zionists as their example.

April 27th, 2011, 12:54 pm


why-discuss said:


To solve this crisis you need an external ‘impartial’ intermediate. While Turkey is ideologicaly more sympathetic to the MB, they have invested a lot in Syria and removed visa. They also worry of the influx of syrians refugees going north.
Turkey is concerned by the trading with Iran also and they know that if they take a stand against Bashar and in favour of a MB lead governemnt, their relation with Iran will break.
Therefore they are trying to find a peaceful solution which would consist at letting Bashar stay in power at the conditions he makes the necessary democratic reforms. If Bahar agrees (and I guess he had in mind these reforms anyway) then Turkey would offer a guarantee to the opposition that it will be done,as most are claiming that Baahar cannot deliver.
If Deraa and Banyas are neutralized quickly enough, I believe Bashar will accept that deal.

April 27th, 2011, 12:56 pm


Sophia said:

I don’t understand why people seem to be willing to underestimate the role of the Syrian brotherhood in the protests when they (the same people) were overestimating this role in the Egypt uprising, while the reality is the exact contrary to these estimations.

Again on the Syrian brotherhood:

April 27th, 2011, 12:58 pm


why-discuss said:


You are claiming that being Jew is not only a religion. You are right, it is also an ethnicity, therefore rejecting people of another ethnicity is also racism. (black/white)

April 27th, 2011, 1:01 pm


why-discuss said:


“But politcal columnist Soli Ozel of the Turkish daily Haberturk
points out the islamic roots of the ruling AK party makes it more ideologically in tune with opponents of the Syrian regime like the Muslim brotherhood, than the staunchly secular Syrian leadership.

“Ideologically it has far more in sympathy with the brotherhood which is properly the backbone of the opposition, but it has heavily invested in the Assad regime. And like everyone else, they fear a violent destruction of the regime will create untold calamities for everyone around. The government
is caught between a rock and hard place,” Ozel said.

April 27th, 2011, 1:04 pm


sean said:


I was hoping for something a little more substantive than “international pressure” and Israel, but let’s assume that you’re right about everything.

If you are correct that the regime was unable to reform before but that “This new uprising is changing the priority,” then assuming that you’re actually interested in reform, shouldn’t you be thanking the protesters? Because after all, apparently civil society forums and the reasonable demands of people like Michel Kilo or Sadiq Jalal al-Azm haven’t been enough to change the regime’s priorities over the last decade, but these protests have in a month.

And a follow-up: Let’s assume for the sake of argument (even though I don’t believe it) that you’re right and the protesters are violent salafi murderers. What does it say about a regime that only responds to a violent uprising but not to peaceful requests for reform?

April 27th, 2011, 1:09 pm



I am surprised with the kind of syrian patriotic that defens dictatorship, war against imperialism between Iran and Israel in south Lebanon, selective killings of arab thinkers, etc. while for being able to keep this politics outside they need to kill and destroy any kind of interior peacefull and democratic movement.
Keeping dictatorship allows them to steal and abuse population to an unprecedented level.
Do you think that being a patriot is defending your country´s regime whatever it does?

April 27th, 2011, 1:09 pm


SuzukiOfTokyo said:

It is ridiculous that oppressive regimes of the Arab Gulf countries preaches democracy to Syria.

April 27th, 2011, 1:13 pm


محمود said:

توقفوا عن هدا الهراء ان الحالة السورية هي مواجهة بين الكيان السوري الحالي بمكوناته شعب حضارة قيم اقتصاد اديان الخ و مخطط الظلام الغربي ! و لعل أكثر الامور سخرية أن يقوم مجلس الأمن و السلم الدولي بالمشاركة في تقويض الأمن و السلم بعينه ! عالم هراء يقوده أشرار ويلكم من عواقب أفعالكم ! عاشت سورية بلدي الحبيب عزيزة كريمة

April 27th, 2011, 1:15 pm


AIG said:


What are you talking about? Ethnicity in many cases is one of the bases of nationality. So what? Are Italy and Japan racist because the Italian and Japanese nations are based on ethnicity?

April 27th, 2011, 1:16 pm


Arnie from NYC said:

The news that Hamas and the PA (under Egyptian auspices) have reconciled has pushed Syria off the front page (for the moment). As I understand it, Abbas had been ready to agree for months but Hamas was holding back, asking for more upfront concessions. Could it be that Hamas has seen the writing on the wall and has basicly accepted that Bashar is on the way out, and therefore they better start to cozy up to Egypt? I throw that out for discussion.

April 27th, 2011, 1:21 pm



عاجل : الشبيحة والأمن يهاجمون اللاذقية

According to regime security services are storming some parts of the city of Latakia at this moment.

April 27th, 2011, 1:44 pm


why-discuss said:


I thought the same. It does look to me that Hamas is concerned that Bashar al Assad, if he survives, would focus on internal reforms and would distance himself from the resistance as he’d want to lessen the criticisms coming from everywhere about his neglect of the Syrians denands for reforms. Shifting his priorities may leave Hamas and Hezbollah in the cold.
If Bashar does not survive, the country will fall in a chaos that won’t be of any help to the resistance. They made the right move. Egypt may find itself taking over the support of the resistance off the shoulder of Syria, with all the political and economical consequences and responsibilities.

I guess we may see the Hezbollah adopting a milder attitude in Lebanon’s new governmnt for fear of loosing a faithful ally.

April 27th, 2011, 1:48 pm


why-discuss said:


Most countries in the world are mixed ethnicity and they accept emigrants and refugees from different ethnicity. Israel only accept Jews, this is racism.

April 27th, 2011, 1:53 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

to #1 Mohommed

and couldnt there be just simply a syrian baath limited to Syria i mean not pan-arabist ? From independance day till now, nothing good ever ever came from the arab nations. This body is utterly sick, should we stay wirhin ??

April 27th, 2011, 1:56 pm


AIG said:


You just do not know what you are talking about. Israel has accepted many non-Jews into Israel over the years including for example refugees from Vietnam. Jews can more easily immigrate to Israel. What is racist about that? Israel is after all the nation state of the Jews.

April 27th, 2011, 2:04 pm


AIG said:


Speaking of racist citizenship laws, the Syria one is ultra racist. If your mother is Syrian and your father is not, you are not considered a Syrian citizen. Have you no shame criticizing others?

April 27th, 2011, 2:09 pm


NK said:

Have no fear, Daraa will be liberated tonight God willing …

April 27th, 2011, 2:12 pm


why-discuss said:


I agree that the protests have served to shift the priority of the government. It thought for long that standing against Israel, helping 1.5 million iraqis refugees that poured into the country, was enough to make Syrians forget about the economical hardships and the bad management by the government of the country.
These protests are a wake up call. But within the protesters there are many people with a different agenda, who only use the demands to destroy the present system just to create a void, others who want to start from scratch by reinventing Syria. In these protests, surprisingly, I have never seen any sign that the Syrians give an importance to protecting the resistance.
Bashar got the message, he is now ready to renounce to the full support of the resistance and concentrate on reforms, but before that, he has to eliminate the elements who are not ready to negotiate and who wants his fall and chaos by using violence.
Like in any war there are collaterals, legitimate protesters who are killed and excesses in all sides.
There is visibly a shift in the opposition as the meeting in Istambul ( the first and largest of the opposition ever) fell short on requesting Bashar to step down. It many also mean that the opposition is divided. I just hope that the hardliners will not have the upper hand.

April 27th, 2011, 2:28 pm


AIG said:

I counted 27 T-72 tanks in that video. That is probably a full battalion.
Why are the tanks being sent to Dar’a and not the Golan? What a bunch of cowards. Assad is only good at killing his own people.

April 27th, 2011, 2:28 pm


why-discuss said:


“The number of Vietnamese people in Israel is estimated as 200. Most of them came to Israel in between 1976-1979, after prime minister Menachem Begin authorized their admission to Israel, granted them political asylum, and it granted them immediate citizenship, as if they were Jews immigrating under the Law of Return”

A Jew is only Jew from his mother. In mixed marriages, if the mother is non jewish, the chidren are not either.

April 27th, 2011, 2:30 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

to AIG

why are you here since you and your governement dont want peace with Syria, at any price even with keeping the Golan ?

This is a fact, you cannot evade that you don’t konow it. Israel is playing the DESERT STRATEGY with its neighbours, especially Syria. You are creating a desert around you. Why for instance 30% of Israelis are religious and that this trend is even spreading in the army ?

The answer is that these people are fake religious. It’s just a cover, a disguise. And they are paied for doing so. This fact has no religious meaning, israelis are not growing more believers or more spiritual. The goal rather is to make islamism grow in the neighbouring countries, because YOU know that islamism brings regression and that islamism therefore weaken these countries. Islamists are boldened by your premeditate strategy. Hence you encouraged Hamas in order to weaken PLO and secular palestinians far more dangerous for you.

A secular country with a 5% annnual growth economy (at least the double for the parallel economy) at your northern border is something just unbearable for you in respect with this strategy. You have to destroy or weaken it by all means. You better have a no mans land around you populated by beduins. That was your attempt with Lebanon. You threw millions of fragmentation bombs in south Lebanon that until cause death and injuries. Making desert.

Come on now Mr AIG ! Stop your shit and get out of here.

April 27th, 2011, 2:36 pm


AIG said:


So? If your father is Israeli and your mother isn’t, you still get an Israeli citizenship. Of course if your mother is Israeli and your father isn’t you also get an Israeli citizenship (unlike the racist Syrian law). So how does what you wrote matter at all?

April 27th, 2011, 2:36 pm


why-discuss said:


The law about citizenship is the same in most arab countries. You get the citizenship from the father. There are many organizations of women trying to change that, Syria is not the only one, Lebanon and others. I know that Morocco has changed that law.

April 27th, 2011, 2:44 pm


AIG said:


Stop your stupid conspiracy theories. Israel does not hold the future of its neighbors in its own hands. Only the Syrians matter regarding the future of Syria. Furthermore, what Israel wants is to see real democracies on its borders. Yes, some Israelis are wary of the transition process.

I agree that Islamism will weaken Arab states if the Islamists do not play by democratic rules. But the notion that Israel fosters Islamism in Arab states is crazy.

April 27th, 2011, 2:49 pm


NK said:

More people step away from the criminal organization

And LOL @ Addonia TV

أكدت هذه القناة العار اليوم بأن أحد معارضيي بشار الأسد وهو السيد أيمن عبد النور قام بزيارة إسرائيل في الأسبوع الماضي وعرضت صورة زعمت بأنها صورة الجواز المزور للسيد أيمن وهو جواز فرنسي بأسم سام راينسي .
ولكن لشدة غبائهم استخدمو في هذه الكذبة أول صورة تظهر في غوغل عند البحث عن كلمة : french passport
وهي صورة لجواز شخص كمبودي يحمل الجنسية الفرنسية .
القائمون على قناة عار الدنيا يستغبون شعب سوريا بأكمله ويعتقدون بأنهم الأذكياء الوحيدين في سوريا .

قناة عار الدنيا أنتم ومقدميكم ومحرريكم أغبى من الغباء , لا بل أنتم الغباء بعينه , لقد سبقتم تلفزيون الجماهيرية السورية .
قريبا سيأتي يوم الحساب .
هذا هو مقطع التقرير المنافق

April 27th, 2011, 2:50 pm


AIG said:


So? Is the fact that many Arab states have racist laws an excuse for Syria to have a racist law? How is what you wrote even relevant? The fact is that the Syrian citizenship law is racist and the Israeli one isn’t.

April 27th, 2011, 2:52 pm


why-discuss said:


In Israel you have many laws that are much more advanced than the Arab countries, I do not deny that. Most of your founding fathers came from highly socially and politically developed countries. In the arab world, the process of social and political development is at its infancy after centuries of colonialization. You could compare arab countries with some south american countries but not to Europe or North America.

April 27th, 2011, 3:00 pm


why-discuss said:


Thanks, I did not know that Ayman Abdel nour, ex baath party adviser to Bashar al Assad visited Israel recently

April 27th, 2011, 3:05 pm


Akbar Palace said:

What’s the Big Deal?

Why Discuss,

The Arab man who spoke in the video in Post #28 was reasonable. The protestors around him were peaceful.

All we are saying is why doesn’t Bashar Assad come down from the clouds and do something smart for himself and Syria?

April 27th, 2011, 3:07 pm


NK said:


He actually didn’t, it’s just one more lie that Addonia TV ( Makhlouf TV is more like it) tried to spread to smear yet one more Syrian dissenter as a traitor.

Personally I don’t care much for Mr. Abdul Nour and whether he visited Israel or not, I just wanted to prove yet again how much credibility Syrian TV channels have, and how far they’ll go to deceive the public. Just google french passport and the first picture you’ll find is the one they used to fabricate and accuse this guy of visiting Isreal, how stupid is that !!!

Also remember how much we laughed at Gaddafi when he used the “hallucinogenic tablets” excuse, well Addonia TV apparently thinks that lie was not that bad after all …

I say it again, LOL @ Addonia TV

April 27th, 2011, 3:14 pm


SimoHurtta said:

You just do not know what you are talking about. Israel has accepted many non-Jews into Israel over the years including for example refugees from Vietnam. Jews can more easily immigrate to Israel. What is racist about that? Israel is after all the nation state of the Jews.

Well AIG if you see Israel as the nation for Jews as a right thing then you do not have anything against that we Christians define all nations where we are the majority as the nation states of Christians and we kick out all non Christians or at least put them as second class citizens using same rules than Israel uses.

By the way AIG in Finland there are a little over 1000 Jewish citizens and today a Jew was elected as the speaker of the parliament. Second highest position in our system. So AIG operate modern democracies. Religion is a personal matter. Do not say it is in Israel. 😀

By the way AIG where are the nation state of Mormons or Scientology followers?

Could you ultra extreme Jewish racists stop wasting bits in this blog’s comment section. What does your childish comical schadenfreude “help” in the current political situation. When Israeli Jews have to leave the West Bank and East Jerusalem in near future, 67 borders you know, I suppose we will see real tragedies when extreme Jewish terrorists blow up Jews and Palestinians in masses and hundreds of Israeli tanks surround Jewish evacuation centres. It can be that after half a year you have to tolerate hundreds of ironical comments of events in the modern third Reich. Evacuating all/most Jewish settlements will create a situation compared to which the recent events in Arab countries are a relative peaceful political “picnic”.

April 27th, 2011, 3:25 pm


AIG said:


As usual you miss the point that unlike Christians, Jews are a nation, not only a religion. Israel is a nation state, not a religious state.

How is wishing for freedom and dignity for Syrians “schadenfreude”?
Only in your mind is any Israeli happy about the violence the brave Syrians need to endure to get their freedom. You on the other hand would rather see the Syrian people continue suffering under Bashar because he “resists” Israel. Your views are cynical and cruel.

April 27th, 2011, 3:56 pm


MK JCNJ said:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has announced his support for the Syrian government in its struggle against destabilization efforts from outside the country. He is very representative of the thoughts of millions of anti-imperialists in the Americas.

The Venezuelan people – as the result of a failed coup in 2002 – have a post-graduate school education with regards to the political and financial collaboration of corporate media and internet activists with various U.S. government agencies.

We don’t know what the U.S./NATO plan is for Syria. Is it regime change like in Libya and Ivory Coast? Is it breaking up the country into pieces like Sudan? Is it occupation like Iraq? Whatever the plan is – you can be sure that internal unity and Pan-Arabism are not part of it.

The Syrian people can and will work things out among themselves – but only if they are allowed to do so without outside interference from the U.S., NATO and its Middle East allies. Interference from these forces can only lead to an expanded occupation beyond Golan and/or a protracted civil war fueled by an unlimited supply of weapons and ammunition.

April 27th, 2011, 4:07 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Little Sim is “Mum” on Syria NewZ

Ben Zyskowicz is the first Jew to be elected to the Finnish parliament? Boy it sure took enough time.

Israel has had several arab/muslim ministers since 1965.

I suppose we will see real tragedies when extreme Jewish terrorists blow up Jews and Palestinians in masses and hundreds of Israeli tanks surround Jewish evacuation centres.


Instead of projecting another imagined Israeli crime, why don’t you chime in about the crimes going on now in Syria and all over the Middle East?

Or is that too difficult for you?

April 27th, 2011, 4:29 pm


Samir said:

The former diplomat agrees that Assad Regime has something to hide but he ends his article asking who’s shooting the security personnel? While he/she appeared to consider all possibilities, much has been written about security personnel shooting other soldiers who refuse to shoot unarmed civilians. Why did the former diplomat not mention this? Assad can theoratically reform but what is the probability of that in a regime so set in its ways and a regime that has used so much fear (which has so far worked) to stay in power and will probably continue to use much fear?

April 27th, 2011, 4:32 pm


NK said:

Ayman Abdel Nour’s official response to the allegations of Addounia TV about him visiting Israel

رد على اكاذيب سليمان معروف وقناته الدنيا وفبركة زيارة ايمن عبد النور لاسرائيل

مراسل المحليات : كلنا شركاء
بعد ان فضحنا تاجر السلاح الذي يدعي ان السيد الرئيس صديقه ويزوره في منزله بحلب سليمان معروف
رابط الخبر
وبعد تكذيبنا لاختراعات الموقع المملوك من قبله شوكوماكو بخصوص زيارة الاستاذ ايمن عبد النور الى لندن
رابط الخبر

طلع علينا الفاسد سليمان معروف ومن خلال ملكيته لاسهم كبيرة في قناة الدنيا الفضائية بالتقرير المفبرك اعلاه والمضحك لسخافته .
1-اذا كان الاستاذ ايمن عبد النور قد استخدم جواز سفر فرنسي مزور ولدى الفاسد سليمان معروف صورة عنه وليست فوتوشوب كالتي يتم بثها عبر فضائيته فضائية التزوير الدنيا …… فليرسلها مباشرة للمخابرات الفرنسية او ينشرها بدقة عالية في اي موقع ليتبين رقم الجواز ؟…..لان الاستاذ ايمن كان قد دعي لتقديم محاضرة في اهم كلية للعلوم السياسية في باريس منذ عامين science-poوسيدعى قريبا للمشاركة بندوة هامة لمركز للدراسات الاستراتيجية وبذلك يتم سجنه في فرنسا ويرتاح منه ؟؟ .
2-هل يريدنا ان نصدق ان جواز سفر فرنسي مزور يمر على موظف الهجرة الفرنسية ولا يكتشفه و في قلب باريس ؟.
3-قبل يومين خرج علينا مبيض الاموال سليمان معروف بقصة ان الاستاذ ايمن عبد النور لديه جواز اماراتي واليوم فرنسي وغدا ……هل يعقل ان يصدق انسان هذه التخاريف , ولماذا يحتاج اموال اسرائيلية اذا كانت اموال بندر بن سلطان تحت تصرفه كما ذكرتم في مقال سابق عن الاجتماع بلندن ؟.
4-المضحك بالخبر ان الاعلام الاسرائيلي يسرب فقط لوسيلة اعلامية سورية ….فكيف هي صلة التسريب ومن هي هذه الوسيلة اصلا ؟….ولماذا لم تنقلها وسائل الاعلام العالمية كلها ؟.
5-المسخرة ان قناة دنيا وضعت صورة لجواز سفر فرنسي قالت انه للاستاذ ايمن واستخدمت فيه صورته الموجودة على الفيس بوك ؟…المضحك ان الصورة التقطت عام 1994 بمناسبة وضعها ضمن قائمة الجبهة الوطنية لانتخابات مجلس محافظة دمشق فهل يعقل ان يستخدم انسان صورة عمرها 17 عام لجواز سفر جديد وهي نفسها التي على الفيس بوك ؟.
6-لماذا لم يرد تاجر السلاح سليمان معروف حتى الان ويكذب خبر شراؤه للقناصات التي تقتل المتظاهرين ؟.
7-انظر شخصيا للموضوع على انه في سياق التخبط الاعلامي السوري … ونشر انباء غير دقيقة.. وتكذيبها في اليوم التالي: مثل خبر نفق بين جامع والفرن بالمعضمية.. أو خبر اعتقال عقاب صقر ووووو…ويمكن هنا مشاهدة رد على هذه الافتراءات عبر قناة الحوار .
8-اخيرا هل يستطيع التافه معد التقرير ان يذكر ما الصلة بين صورة هذا البسبور والصورة التي عرضوها في فضائية الدنيا المزورة ؟؟؟؟.

ايمن عبد النور
ساركز فقط على نقطتين
1-لم اغادر دبي منذ اكثر من شهرين وصوري موجودة على عشرات الكاميرات بشكل يومي سواء في بناية المكتب او مدينة الاعلام بدبي حيث كنت اجري بشكل يومي مقابلات مع الفضائيات ..اضافة لانه كل يوم كنت التقي كثيرا من الاشخاص وفي الفترة منذ يوم الخميس الماضي في 21 الشهر كنت بشكل يومي يعني ( خميس الغسول – الجمعة العظيمة – سبت النور – احد القيامة ) مع عدد كبير من الاشخاص نحضر لعيد الفصح يوم الاحد في كنيسة السريان بالشارقة فكيف يقول الخبر اني سافرت وعدت البارحة الاثنين ؟؟؟؟؟؟؟.
اتحدى قناة الدنيا ان تحدد اي يوم ولو مدى اسبوع او اسبوعين لنبرز ادلة تواجدي بدبي التي تكذب كل ادعاءاتهم المريضة .
2-سيتم مقاضاة وملاحقة صاحب القناة ومدير التحرير فيها امام القضاء السوري واتذكر هنا الحادثة اللي نشرت فيها صحيفة الوطن اسماء كتاب سوريين ادعت بعمالتهم لاسرائيل وكيف خسرت الدعوى لعدم المهنية .
وقد تم تكليف محام لمتابعة القضية اذا لم تعتذر قناة الدنيا واستمرت بغيها وكذبها .

April 27th, 2011, 4:50 pm


Riad said:


Thank you really so for that news on Addounia TV. I’ve had my heartiest laugh in a week.

ميداني .. كفك محنى!
نقلاً عن وسائل الإعلام السورية الرسمية وشبه الرسمية, الفضائية والأرضية, المرئية والمسموعة .. ونقلاً عن أبناء عمومتي, وإخواني, وأصدقائي, وأحبابي, وأبناء حيي, حي الميدان العريق الحبيب .. تظاهرات حاشدة تنطلق من جامع ال…حسن .. فقد خرج المصلون أمس الجمعة بعد الصلاة, يحمدون الله على نعمة هطول الأمطار .. بدؤوا هتافاتهم بعد الصلاة مباشرة, وانطلقوا من حرم المسجد إلى الشارع بصوت واحد .. الله الله يا جبار.. نزل علينا الأمطار! واحد واحد واحد .. المطر والثلج واحد! يا الله ويا قهار .. الشعب السوري بدو أمطار! يا الله ويا عظيم .. حقق مطالبنا يا كريم! مطر, مطر .. بكل الساحات .. تقضي على هالوسخات! مطر, مطر .. شي غزير .. يقضي على كل الصراصير! مطر , مطر .. بالميدان .. يقضي على كل الخوّان! مطر وثلج .. جمعية .. ياخذ كل الحرامية! الشعب .. يريد .. إسقاط الأمطار! ولكن الهتاف الأخير .. فيما يظهر قد أغضب الرب, فارتعدت السماء, وأطّت .. وحُق لها أن تئط, ثم زمجرت وأرعدت, فأرسلت على المتظاهرين كتائب من أمن الملائكة! بأجنحتهم وجبروتهم .. نفخوا فيهم نفخات, فخرج من أفواههم الغاز السام, وألقوا على رؤوس المحتجين حجارة من سجيل, ضاربين منهم بهراوات الجحيم! واليوم شيع الميدان أول شهدائه من جامع الدقاق .. شهيد الأمطار .. شهيد الثلوج .. شهيد العواصف .. الحمد لله أن تمت تغطية التظاهرة على الإخبارية السورية, حتى لا يدعي أولئك المغرضون, أولئك المتآمرون, أولئك القابضون, ويحولوا التظاهرة عن حقيقتها كما عادتهم .. ليدعوا أن هذه التظاهرة هي تظاهرة عواصف رملية .. لقد حفظنا كذبكم, ولن يمر علينا هذه المرة, ولن تستغبونا أيها الكاذبون! تظاهرة أمطار!! حقاً وصدقاً .. مهما شوهها المشوهون! ها أنا قد بلغت .. اللهم فاشهد .. اللهم ارحم شهيد الأمطار .. وتقبله! اللهم ألهم أهله وخلانه الصبر والسلوان! اللهم وسائر شهداء الوطن ياعظيم!

And there are people here who sedately quote Addounia, SANA, and other propaganda outlet. LOL 🙂

April 27th, 2011, 5:12 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

to AIG #83

you say “if the Islamists do not play by democratic rules”

COME ON ! YOU know very well they won’t . You’re always lying in the same manner you’re lying for the palestinian solution. you’re playing this game now on this stage because you are sure there would be never be a palestinian solution. A solution for a lie ?

Do you really care about democracy in Syria ? Your only care is to weaken Syria. In your way of thinking, a safe secular dynamic and prosperous neighbour (Syria in the last 2 years) is of no interest for you. You’ve proven it in Lebanon by your disproporntionate reaction to “un fait d’armes” (because it was not an act of terrorism) destryoing half the country and leaving your deadly shit. You’re not intesrested in peace with real partners. Your only peace is with the DESERT. And you are acting so that the DESERT grows around you.

Besides Mr AIG, since you contribute to SC, everybody here has noticed your ARROGANCE and i guess many have requested your removal. Sorry to tell you, i may be wrong but I have the feeling that most syrians wouldnt want you for a guest. You have something very deep in common with the MB and wahhabi islamists, i say this because i’m sure that i can bee understood by some if not many of the respectable readers of SC : i mean the DESERT way of thinking, that same nihilism.

April 27th, 2011, 6:12 pm


Alescander said:

Please remember that who is behind the “revolution ” on line is Fidaa al Sayed , the MB chapter chief in Sweden , who was on video clip earlier here lashing out after his Facebook page was brought down last Saturday .

Please remember that most , if not all of the minorities do not trust these angry people on the streets, they have no qualms in believing that the blood of the alawite, Druze , Ismaili , Assyrians , Shia , will be running down the rivers is Assad falls. To believe this just look around

As posted before , but no comments from ” syriacomment ” why the day after Bashar confirmed the repeal of the emergency law he’ll broke loose, I have only one explanation , the opposition smelled fear , and wanted to invest , they they pushed the gas pedal to the max

Unfortunately , of fortunately may be , the backbone of the demonstrations was young , uneducated, unemployed … it is quite hard to communicate with the mass public of this level.

If opposition took up arms I believe it will be much easier to crush them, with more civilian loss of live ,

Joshua you must have some new feedback , but please try to be the way you were before , balanced and objective, it looks like you are panicking.
Syria is destined to have these crises , hundreds of years ago till now, it looked at the bones of invader armies which tried to conquer her

Bashar will pull out of this crises , he will apply all of the reforms he promised , only not in te rabid rate the opposition is requesting , which they know is impossible.

Bashar is fully aware of the resentment of syrians of alawites monopoly of power , he was trying to phase out the main power centers under alawaites to sunnies.
This is a very platonic way, but the only other way means another alawites and other minorities cleansing.

I could here the heavy breathing of panicking friends who are christians, Armenians etc. they don’t want Assad to fall.

Another sad fact is the miserable performance of the official Syrian media, while they had the means to be more effective they shot their feet, one example is airing the interview with the Egyptian engineer earlier. That’s what you get when you assign morans who you want them to be loyal tothe regime

April 28th, 2011, 1:09 am



On 9th Dec 2006 I wrote this below. I think I can still defend the same perspective. Only thing that changes is that maybe we are not at the maturity point yet. Maybe tomorrow we will see.


What Gadry says makes as much sense as what Assad offers. It is exactly the other side of the same coin. Assad says “the only solution is my regime, otherwise I guarantee (in an active way) disorder, unrest and chaos”. Gadry says “OK, since there is no alternative let’s accept the bet, let’s play chaos and disorder because I do not accept the regime”. It seems to me that this is a suicidal position and very much simple.

Well we all know that, for the moment at least, Israel is not going to allow Gadry to be satisfied, since they prefer a poor and weakened Syria under Assads than chaos.

Gadry election is from my point of view stupid since opposition will be crashed by the regime anyway. For US and allies it is better to keep a potential opposition without being used but also without being destroyed.

It is written, Syria must be weak and stable, for the good of the Jewish state. When the weakness gets the maturity point then changes will come accerelated, but until then Syria is designated to remain poorer and weaker as a regime.
.December 9th, 2006, 8:08 pm

April 28th, 2011, 3:17 pm



If we have got to the maturity point then it is time for history to be rewriten by the people. If we are not yet at this point then people and opposition movements will be crashed and forgotten for a long time if they are not forced to disappear under earth and forgotten for ever more until a new generation dares to challenge the status quo after 20 years more.

April 28th, 2011, 3:24 pm


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