"Nobody Is Free In The World" - Report From Damascus by Gergő Plankó & Bence Gáspár Tamás - Syria Comment

“Nobody Is Free In The World” – Report From Damascus by Gergő Plankó & Bence Gáspár Tamás

Watch this video made by two sharp Hungarian journalists, Gergő Plankó & Bence Gáspár Tamás, who posed as tourists in order to get around Syria and make a film about the Syrian uprising. It is 9:30 minutes. It has English subtitles and wonderful footage of Damascus.

Comments (70)


Atassi said:

Syrian tanks on Damascus road, deploy near Rastan
4 May 2011
10:21
Reuters News
LBA
English
(c) 2011 Reuters Limited

AMMAN, May 4 (Reuters) – A convoy of 30 Republican Guard tanks and up to 70 trucks filled with soldiers were seen on the circular highway surrounding Damascus at 1000 GMT on Wednesday, a witness told Reuters.

“Each truck had 20 to 30 soldiers. The convoy was either heading north in the direction of Homs or south in the direction of Deraa,” said the witness, a former member of the Syrian army who did not want to be further identified.

Residents said tanks and armoured personnel carriers had been deploying at the northern edge of the restive town of Rastan, 20 km (12 miles) north of the city of Homs, and 15 km away from its southern entrance since Wednesday morning.

The deployment followed the failure of an overnight meeting between residents and a ruling Baath Party official during which the official demanded the handover of several hundred men in the town. The meeting followed pro-democracy protests on Friday during which security forces killed at least 17 demonstrators, the residents, who included a lawyer in the town, said

May 4th, 2011, 10:44 am

 

atassi said:

FACTBOX-Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle
4 May 2011
Reuters News
LBA
English
(c) 2011 Reuters Limited

BEIRUT, May 4 (Reuters) – Power in Syria is concentrated in the hands of President Bashar al-Assad, his brother and several aides who have acted as guardians of a 48-year old autocratic Baathist system under challenge by pro-democracy protesters.

Members of the pervasive security apparatus underpin the power structure and enforce decisions taken at the top.

Here are the big names who make up Assad’s inner circle:

MAHER AL-ASSAD

* Assad’s brother, who commands the Republican Guard and is the second most powerful man in the country. He also controls the Presidential Guard and the Fourth Armoured Division, units which form the state’s security backbone.

* Last week, the 4th Division stormed the southern city of Deraa, where the unrest first started, shelling the old quarter to quell protests calling for the downfall of Assad, more political freedoms and an end to corruption.

* W. Andrew Terrill, research professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Army War college and a specialist in Syrian military affairs, said of Maher:

“Some observers consider (him) to be excessively violent and emotionally volatile. It appears that President Assad views his brother as totally trustworthy.”

* Diplomats say Maher shot his brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, deputy chief of staff of the armed forces, in the stomach during an argument in 1999. Shawkat was reportedly flown to France for treatment and survived.

* He was named in a preliminary U.N. report investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri as one of the people who may have been behind the killing.

RAMI MAKHLOUF

* Assad’s influential cousin, and one of the first names protesters chanted against in demonstrations, for his reputation as being corrupt. He is owner of the country’s largest cellphone company, Syriatel, and several large firms in the construction and oil sectors.

* In 2008, the United States imposed sanctions on Makhlouf whom the U.S. Treasury department said “improperly benefits from and aids the public corruption of Syrian regime officials”. His brother, Hafez, a senior official in the General Intelligence Directorate, is also under U.S. sanctions.

* The tycoon insists his businesses are legitimate and provide professional employment for thousands of Syrians.

ASSEF SHAWKAT

* Former head of military intelligence, now deputy chief-of-staff of the armed forces. Born in the port city of Tartous and married to Assad’s sister, Bushra.

* He has been sidelined in the last several years.

* Shawkat was also named in the preliminary U.N. report which implicated him in Hariri’s killing.

* The United States imposed sanctions on him in 2006, following the Hariri assassination. At the time, Shawkat was head of military intelligence and Syria had not yet ended its 29-year military presence in Lebanon.

“Shawkat has been a key architect of Syria’s domination of Lebanon, as well as a fundamental contributor to Syria’s long-standing policy to foment terrorism against Israel,” the U.S. Treasury said, when sanctions were imposed.

ADULFATTAH QUDSIYEH

* The head of military intelligence, formerly head of air force intelligence.

* The agency’s prime perogative is to ensure the loyalty of the army and in countering foreign espionage.

JAMIL HASSAN

* Head of Air Force intelligence since 2009. He previously served as a security official in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor and was promoted to become a key figure in Syria’s security apparatus.

* Air Force intelligence, which is also in charge of securing Syria’s airports, is of particular significance since Hafez al-Assad, Bashar’s father, mounted his 1970 coup from within the air force.

ALI MAMLOUK

* Head of General Security directorate, and one of the figures whom Washington most recently imposed sanctions on following the unrest gripping the country.

* A leaked WikiLeaks cable dated Feb. 2010 showed Mamlouk had been the surprise guest at a meeting with U.S. officials during which he discussed efforts to increase joint security cooperation with the United States.

Mamlouk’s attendance at the meeting was “extraordinary and did not occur even with friendly countries like Britain and France,” Syria’s ambassador to the U.S. was quoted as saying in the cable, at a time when Washington was actively working to rehabilitate relations with Syria.

* Mamlouk said his department had been more successful at fighting terrorism in the region because “we are practical and not theoretical”, according to the cable.

ZUHAIR HAMAD

* Deputy head of General Security directorate, considered a rising star within Syria’s security organs. Human rights activists say he played a major role in a campaign of arrest of opposition and independent figures that intensified in the months leading up to the unrest.

MOHAMMED NASSIF KHEIRBEK

* Deputy vice president for security affairs and one of the most senior advisers who has the ear of Assad. He is reported to have medical problems and wears a pacemaker.

* Pointman for Syria’s relationship with Iran, its closest ally in the region, according to a leaked WikiLeaks cable.

HISHAM IKHTIAR

* Head of national security bureau of Baath party, Ikhtiar was initially charged with quelling protests in the southern city of Deraa, cradle of the uprising against Assad family rule.

* In 2007, he was included on a list of Syrians forbidden to enter U.S. soil. Washington imposed financial sanctions in 2006.

(Additional reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, writing by Yara Bayoumy)

May 4th, 2011, 10:46 am

 

Atassi said:

ANALYSIS-Assad retrenches into Alawite power base
4 May 2011
Reuters News
LBA
English
(c) 2011 Reuters Limited

* Assad uses language his father used to counter dissent

* Alawite figures among opposition leaders

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

AMMAN, May 4 (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad is increasingly relying on his Alawite power base to crush pro-democracy protests that have posed the boldest challenge to the Assad family’s 41 years of rule over Syria.

Assad, an Alawite, sent army and secret police units dominated by officers from the same minority sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, into mainly Sunni urban centres to crush demonstrations calling for his removal for the last six weeks.

Their use of tanks to shell the city of Deraa last week, storming of mosques and attacks on unarmed civilians — as reported by residents and activists — have raised the stakes.

Reports say that Sunni conscripts, Syria’s majority sect, refused to fire at their co-religionists.

The 45-year-old president, who has kept the Soviet-era political system he inherited from his father intact, has hinted repeatedly that the protesters were serving a foreign conspiracy to spread sectarian strife.

The warning was reminiscent of language his father, the late President Hafez al-Assad, used when he put down an Islamist and secular leftist challenge to his rule in the 1980s and has not found wide resonance.

Mass protests for political freedoms and an end to corruption spread after Assad made his remarks. An official media campaign was launched last month with the motto “surround the symbols of sectarian strife”.

Security forces have shot dead at least 560 civilians in attacks on protesters, human rights groups say. Hundreds more are missing, many feared killed, and thousands have been arrested, adding to thousands of political prisoners.

But Assad may have struck a chord among members of the Alawite sect, who rose to prominence in the army under French rule, when the colonial administration used “divide and rule” tactics to control Syria.

Alawite officers expanded in numbers and gained control over the armed forces a few years after the Baath Party took power in 1963, especially key air squadrons, missile and armoured brigades and intelligence.

“The army is mostly Sunni in terms of numbers, but an Alawite captain has more say than a Sunni general,” said a former member of the army’s personnel division.

Alawites received preferential treatment in government and security jobs, although many Alawite villages remained poor and prominent Alawite figures led part of the secular opposition against Assad family rule.

A declaration signed last month by Aref Dalila, a leading Alawite economist who spent eight years as a political prisoner after critcising monopolies granted to an Assad cousin, denounced what he called the sectarian scare tactics used by authorities.

Assad, who allowed Islamists to exert more control over society as long as they did not interfere in politics, tried during the protests to placate conservative Sunnis by promising to open an Islamic university and easing bans on wearing the full veil.

His father used a blend of repression and the granting of privileges to ensure that the Sunni merchant class, whose influence has gradually waned as a new business generation tied to the Assad family rose, supports Syria’s minority rulers.

ARMY CONTROL KEY

Control of the army, however, has remained key to perpetuating Assad family rule over a majority Sunni population.

The Fourth Mechanised Brigade, headed by Assad’s brother Maher, bombed and machine-gunned the city of Deraa into submission last week. Republican Guards units deployed around Damascus. In Rastan north of Homs, residents said Military Intelligence agents killed 17 protesters on Friday.

Witnesses said authorities have begun to arm villages in the Alawite Mountains overlooking the mixed coastal cities of Latakia, Banias and Tartous, where Alawites who descended from there were employed in the government and security apparatus, marginalising traditional Sunni communities.

Gunmen loyal to Assad, known as ‘shabbiha’, have rampaged in Banias and Latakia to scare demonstrators, killing at least six civilians in a sectarian-driven attacks, residents said.

“I was driving with my wife and children through the Alawite Mountains over Banias and road blocks appeared in almost every Alawite village. Villagers were carrying brand new AK-47s,” said a Syrian Christian engineer, whose community has stayed on the sidelines during the unrest.

Anas al-Shughri, a protest leader in mostly Sunni Banias, said armed Alawite villagers in the hills overlooking the restive city have been loosely grouped into loyalist militias.

“I regret to say that the propaganda that Assad is spreading that the Alawites will not survive if he is toppled is receiving an audience among our Alawite neighbours,” Shughri said.

A report by the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies, which is headquartered in Doha, said sectarian “agitation has reached an advanced stage in mixed areas” but that Syrians in general have not fallen for it.

“There is no dispute that the ‘shabbiha’ are semi-criminal gangs comprosed of thugs close to the regime,” it said.

Syria’s leadership was exploring “the importance of the sectarian factor and how to use it to confront the mass demonstrations freedom and dignity,” the report said

May 4th, 2011, 11:02 am

 

dgd1944 said:

Your Video clip is obviously putting Bashar Assad like Chowcescu, and thats wrong. Bashar has the 90% silent majority behind him and every one was calling for the army to interfere. The interference of the army was necessary and even France did so in the sixties in Paris.
Syria cannot be changed because 1% of armed and violent protesters backed by western countries and tv-channels want that.
the reform will come, but by peaceful means. This was the mistake that the “opposition” made, the system cannot be changed in this way.

May 4th, 2011, 11:17 am

 

jad said:

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24591

SYRIA: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention”

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

There is evidence of gross media manipulation and falsification from the outset of the protest movement in southern Syria on March 17th.

The Western media has presented the events in Syria as part of the broader Arab pro-democracy protest movement, spreading spontaneously from Tunisia, to Egypt, and from Libya to Syria.

Media coverage has focussed on the Syrian police and armed forces, which are accused of indiscriminately shooting and killing unarmed “pro-democracy” demonstrators. While these police shootings did indeed occur, what the media failed to mention is that among the demonstrators there were armed gunmen as well as snipers who were shooting at both the security forces and the protesters.

The death figures presented in the reports are often unsubstantiated. Many of the reports are “according to witnesses”. The images and video footages aired on Al Jazeera and CNN do not always correspond to the events which are being covered by the news reports.

There is certainly cause for social unrest and mass protest in Syria: unemployment has increased in recent year, social conditions have deteriorated, particularly since the adoption in 2006 of sweeping economic reforms under IMF guidance. The IMF’s “economic medicine” includes austerity measures, a freeze on wages, the deregulation of the financial system, trade reform and privatization. (See IMF Syrian Arab Republic — IMF Article IV Consultation Mission’s Concluding Statement, http://www.imf.org/external/np/ms/2006/051406.htm, 2006)

With a government dominated by the minority Alawite (an offshoot of Shia Islam), Syria is no “model society” with regard to civil rights and freedom of expression. It nonetheless constitutes the only (remaining) independent secular state in the Arab world. Its populist, anti-Imperialist and secular base is inherited from the dominant Baath party, which integrates Muslims, Christians and Druze.

Moreover, in contrast to Egypt and Tunisia, in Syria there is considerable popular support for President Bashar Al Assad. The large rally in Damascus on March 29, “with tens of thousands of supporters” (Reuters) of President Al Assad is barely mentioned. Yet in an unusual twist, the images and video footage of several pro-government events were used by the Western media to convince international public opinion that the President was being confronted by mass anti-government rallies.

The “Epicenter” of the Protest Movement. Daraa: A Small Border Town in southern Syria

What is the nature of the protest movement? From what sectors of Syrian society does it emanate? What triggered the violence?

What is the cause of the deaths?………

May 4th, 2011, 12:09 pm

 

N.Z. said:

Why #4, because you said so ?

The majority are silent, not because they agree with the regime, but because they know the brutality of this mafia run regime.

The mistake did not come from the Syrian people, rather the stupidity of the regime in dealing with the small, vocal and brave minority.

After his first speech, the fangs behind the mask were exposed. The images of Deraa’s siege is more expressive what this regime is ready to do. Reminds me of Gaza, only a brutal occupier can do this to his own people.

May 4th, 2011, 12:14 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

NZ,

The “brutal occupier” has been Hamas for the past number of years. So when the protestors start lobbing thousands of missiles and mortars into Syrian population centers, then, perhaps, we can understand DGD1944. Otherwise, more repression from the despots who run nearly every Arab country on Earth.

May 4th, 2011, 12:29 pm

 

jad said:

الحياة الطبيعية تعود لمدينة درعا من عناصر الارهابيه
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNOkZt19nHc

From FB:
درعا عاجل جداً:مشاهدة وحدات الجيش السوري البطل تخرج من وسط المدينة وأنباء عن سحب كامل خلال ٢٤ ساعة لكافة الوحدات بعد ان تم استسلام المخربين و الإرهابين بشكل كامل
21 minutes ago ·

May 4th, 2011, 12:42 pm

 

N.Z. said:

AP you are as disconnected with humanity as every tyrant on the face of this planet.

May 4th, 2011, 12:44 pm

 

jad said:

مصدر عسكري مسؤول: مهمة وحدات الجيش في درعا شارفت على الانتهاء بعد تحقيق معظم أهدافها

04 أيار , 2011
دمشق-سانا

صرح مصدر عسكري مسؤول بما يلي.. تتابع وحدات الجيش والقوات المسلحة مهمتها التي شارفت على الانتهاء في مدينة درعا بعد تحقيق معظم الأهداف التي دخلت من أجلها حيث تمت ملاحقة ماتبقى من فلول العناصر الإرهابية المسلحة التي كانت تروع السكان الآمنين وتنشر الذعر والخراب والقتل في جميع الأحياء وتمكنت من إلقاء القبض على العشرات منهم ومصادرة كميات كبيرة من الأسلحة الحديثة والذخائر المتنوعة في أماكن مختلفة ما ساهم في إعادة الشعور والطمأنينة لسكان المدينة.

http://sana.sy/ara/336/2011/05/04/344881.htm

May 4th, 2011, 1:41 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

AP you are as disconnected with humanity as every tyrant on the face of this planet.

NZ,

This is what happens after years of participating on this forum.;)

May 4th, 2011, 1:58 pm

 

jad said:

بيان المخرج السوري نجدت اسماعيل انزور
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 10:44am

مرة أخرى أجد لزاماً عليّ ومعه كثيرون الإعلان عن موقف واضح مما يجري في وطننا الحبيب ” سورية ” معلناً منه أن الخلاف في الرأي حق بديهي للجميع ، لكن لا يحق لأحد أن ينصب نفسه قاضياً أخلاقياً يوزع الألقاب والاتهامات والتوصيفات .. فالحياة تتسع للآراء المختلفة كما أنها تليق بأولئك الذين لا يهابون الإعلان عن موقفهم بدون مواربة بصرف النظر عن الإرهاب الفكري الذي يرتدي بعض الأحيان طابع التهديد .
إن ما جرى وما يجري في بلادنا يستدعي التفكير العميق والنظر الواعي لمواقف القوى الخارجية التي لا يمكن عزلها عما يجري وهنا لابد من توضيح أن الانسياق خلف بعض الفضائيات التي بلغ تدخلها في الشأن السوري الداخلي حداً وصل إلى الاعتداء العنيف في تحريض لم يسبق له مثيل وفظاظة تجاوزت كل الحدود ..
لكأنها تريد أن تقنعنا أنها أكثر حرصاً منا على وطننا وشعبنا .. وهذا كذب فج وامتهان للوطنية والوطن مؤسسات وافراداً ، معارضة وموالاة حكومة وشعباً .. لا بل كان من واجب المعارضة قبل غيرها رفع الصوت عالياً بوجه تلك التدخلات الخارجية والإعلامية والسياسية في قضايا تهم الشعب السوري وحده .. ولن يقنعنا أحد أن دولاً أوتوقراطية وفضائيات مشبوهة نشأة وسلوكاً ودولاً استعمارية أرتكبت أشنع الفظائع بحق شعوبنا قديماً وحديثاً وما تزال .
لن يقنعنا أحد أن تلك التوليفة الغريبة حريصة على الحرية والتعددية ومكافحة الفساد في بلادنا لنكن واضحين .. إننا لا نوافق على سحب خيط واحد من الثوب فإن كنا نقر بحق أبناء شعبنا في التعبير عن رأيهم في إعلام حر وأحزاب حرة وتظاهرات حضارية حدودها القانون ..
فإننا نرفض أن تتحول تلك المظاهرات إلى أداة ضغط على الوطن والشــعب والدولة .. كما نرفض رفضاً قاطعاً أن تكون غطاء لقتلة روعوا الشعب واعتدوا على الجيش وقوى الأمن وقطعوا الطرقات وأحرقوا المؤسسات الوطنية … لا بل وصل الأمر حداً من الفظاعة إلى درجة القتل على الهوية الطائفية .. إننا نرفض أن تراق قطرة دم واحدة غالية من أي سوري نرفض بذات الشدة والتسامح مع قتلة يتغطون تحت عباءة الحركة الشعبية المطلبية .. التي رفعت شعاراتها ومطالبها العادلة وإنه لمن الظلم الفادح الانكار أن الرئيس الدكتور بشار الأسد قد استجاب بسرعة لافتة لمطالب الشعب في إعلان صريح .. فرفع قانون الطوارئ وألغيت محكمة أمن الدولة العليا وأعلن عن برنامج لإصلاح القضاء ومحاربة الفساد ومكافحة البطالة كما وأعلن عن برنامج واضح للحريات السياسية والإعلامية وتمت زيادة الرواتب لمحدودي الدخل وأعطيت الجنسية لمئات الآلاف من أبناء شعبنا .. وهكذا فإننا أمام برنامج إصلاحي حقيقي … من المفترض من الحركة المطلبية قبل سواها أن تبادر إلى احتضانه ودفعه ليتحول إلى حقائق وطنية لا عودة عنها .
إننا نسأل بوضوح .. بأي معنى الصمت المطلق عن شهداء أبرياء سقطوا ومثل بأجسادهم الطاهرة وهم عزّل في حمص وبانياس وتلبيسة وحوران … كيف يمكن أن نوافق على متطرفين يحملون السلاح ويرفعون شعارات مخيفة ويتحركون تحت راية فتاوى تكفير وقتل جماعي كان أبلغها فتوى الشيخ السعودي صالح الهيدان عضو هيئة كبار العلماء في المملكة السعودية والتي أهدر فيها دم ثلث الشعب السوري ولم نسمع من المعارضة السورية وأنصارها كلمة واحدة تشجبها أو تستنكرها … ولا ندري هنا .. هل ننتظر فتوى بالإبادة الجماعية حتى نسمع صوتاً يستنكر .. وإننا اذ نعلن تضامننا التام مع أهلنا في حوران .. ولو كنا متأكدين أنهم بحاجة الدواء والحليب لحملناه على ظهورنا لأطفالهم دون منة توقيع رفع عتب على بيان هنا أو هناك .. لكننا نعرف أن احتياطات مؤننا تكتفي بنفسها لأشهر وليس لأيام إننا اذ نشجب أي ارتكاب بحق أبناء شعبنا من أية جهة أتت في حوران أو سواها .. لكننا بذات الوقت لا يمكن أن نغفل أن الكثير من الكلام والغضبات المضرية التي تبدو محقة في الشكل إنما يراد بها الباطل كله ,,, لقد خرج الآلاف من أبناء الشعب يهتفون للحرية والاصلاح وقلنا هم على حق ..
ثم خرج الملايين من أبناء شعبنا في الثلاثاء الشهير يهتفون للحرية والاصلاح الوطني معلنين ثقتهم الكاملة بالرئيس بشار الأسد لقيادة الاصلاح الوطني والعبور ببلادنا إلى شاطئ الأمان وقد كنا نأمل بإخلاص أن يلتقي الالاف بالملايين لإنجاز برنامج اصلاحي شامل ينتظره السوريون جميعاً لكن المفاجأة أن الحراك المطلبي أو بعضه انتقل في الأسبوع الثالث إلى رفع سقف المطالب إلى حد المجاهرة علناً باسقاط النظام .. وأطلق البعض شعارات مذهبية تهدد النسيج الوطني بالتخريب ثم تصاعد المشهد إلى حد القتل بل الفجور في القتل وبلغ الأمر حداً صار معه التنقل بين المدن السورية يمثل خطراً حقيقياً على أبناء الشعب وهنا نسأل بصراحة هل من يقوم بذلك يريد اصلاحاً وحرية وتعددية أم يدفع البلاد إلى هاوية حرب أهلية مروعة ويستبطن تفتيت الوطن تحقيقاً لأجندات معادية ، منها ما عرف ومنها ما خفي وهو أعظم وأشد هولاً .
لنكن واضحين وفي اللحظات المصيرية …..
لا مجال للتقية والتردد والمواربة وتبويس اللحى .. إننا ندعم وبكل قوة البرنامج الوطني للاصلاح الشامل القائم على نشر الحريات الإعلامية والسياسية والمتحرك باتجاه وطن يكون فيه المواطن أولاً وقبل كل شيئ تحت سقف قانون هو الفيصل في علاقة المواطن بالدولة .
برنامج يحارب الفساد والبطالة والتهميش ويؤكد على الاستقلال الوطني والثوابت التي أجمع عليها الشعب السوري في الدعم الأصيل لقوى المقاومة العربية ومواجهة الصهيونية وتحالفاتها العربية والأجنبية ، ويدفع جميع أبناء الشعب للمشاركة الفاعلة في إنجاز إصلاح اقتصادي وسياسي وثقافي شامل كمدخل هادئ وموضوعي للإنتقال ببلادنا الحبيبة إلى مستقبل آمن في وطن موحد منيع ديمقراطي أصيل .
إننا في هذه اللحظة التاريخية … نعلن بوضوح إننا مع الأكثرية الساحقة من أبناء شعبنا الذي أوضح أنه يرفض المغامرات و التدخلات المشبوهة ، كما يرفض العنف المتطرف الذي يهدد وحدة شعبنا ووطننا من أي جهة أتى .
اننا مع شعبنا الذي قبل بالمضي في طريق الإصلاح الشامل المتدرج وصولاً إلى دولة عصرية ديمقراطية حد العلاقة فيها هي المواطنة وشكلها يقرره الشعب في صناديق الإقتراع وليس عبر السواطير والحرائق وفوهات الرشاشات وتقطيع أوصال البلاد ..
اننا مع الأكثرية الساحقة من شعبنا الذي قرر الانتقال إلى مستقبله رافضاً للعنف .. رافضاً للدم رافضاً للتكفير والقتل والتهديد وفتاوى الإبادة وتمزيق اللحمة الوطنية … رافضاً للتبعية بكل أشكالها مصراً على دحر الفساد والتوزيع العادل للثروة … شعب علم الحرية والبطولة لكل شعوب العالم ليس بحاجة لمن يعلمه كيف ينتزع حريته ويمضي بوطنه إلى الإزدهار والديمقراطية والعدالة الاجتماعية في دولة عصرية له وحده الحق في تحديد مواصفاتها وأشكال الوصول إليها بأساليب حضارية .. وهو يدرك تماماً إن الغربان التي تنعب في منابر سياسية وإعلامية مهما ارتدت من عباءات إنما تتربص بسورية الشعب والوطن والتاريخ والمستقبل … فالعار للناعبين بخراب سورية الغالية وليفهم أولئك المندسين في جراح سورية إنها جوزة فولاذ لا سبيل لكسرها
عاشت سورية الأبية
عاش شعبها العظيم
والمجد لشهدائها البررة

نجدة اسماعيل أنزور
دمشق في : 3/5/2011

May 4th, 2011, 1:58 pm

 

jad said:

Aljadeed TV Report from Syria.
الأوضاع في سوريا – مالك شريف

May 4th, 2011, 2:08 pm

 

محمود said:

مرحبا ! ها ها ها ها
شحنوا معارضة فشلت أدخلوا أسلحة عاثت فسادا و فشلت ألبوا الرأي العام الغربي مستنسخا عن الامريكي و فشلوا في نهاية المطاف أرسلوا موفدا خليجيا لرشوتنا !!!! مسرح عرائس فاشل ! نتيجته دماء سورية غالية ستصلب من عود السوريين

May 4th, 2011, 3:08 pm

 

atassi said:

Hundreds face jail over unrest
by Khaled Yacoub Oweis in Amman
5 May 2011
The New Zealand Herald
SYRIA: Protesters charged with `degrading prestige of state’ in effort to stamp out uprising

Hundreds of Syrians have been charged with “degrading the prestige of the state”, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, in President Bashar al-Assad’s drive to crush protests against his autocratic rule.

The charge, which carries a three-year prison sentence, was lodged yesterday against hundreds of ordinary people detained in the last few days, particularly in the run-up to Friday prayers which have seen increasingly large pro-democracy demonstrations.

“Mass arrests are continuing across Syria in another violation of human rights and international conventions,” said Observatory director Rami Abdelrahman.

Other rights organisations said many male detainees had been beaten severely in a campaign of arrests that included women, teenagers and the elderly but failed to deter protesters’ appetite for reforms. Syria already has thousands of political prisoners.

The campaign intensified after a tank-backed army unit, headed by Assad’s feared brother Maher, last week shelled and machine-gunned the old quarter of Deraa, cradle of the 6-week-old uprising.

The demonstrations began with demands for political freedom and an end to corruption and now seek the overthrow of Assad, a member of the minority Alawite Shia sect whose family has ruled majority Sunni Muslim Syria for 41 years. Security forces have killed at least 560 civilians in attacks on demonstrators since the protests erupted in Deraa on March 18, according to human rights groups.

Residents of Damascus suburbs, where many were arrested, said roadblocks and arrests had intensified this week in areas around the capital. One resident said she saw plainclothes security forces putting up sandbags and a machine-gun on a road near the town of Kfar Batna yesterday.

An Arab official said the security campaign appeared designed to prevent protests after Friday prayers, the only time Syrians are allowed to assemble en masse – though security forces prevented thousands from reaching mosques last Friday.

“They are putting up roadblocks everywhere to prevent movement … Assad has decided to use violence. He has not learned from the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions,” the official said

May 4th, 2011, 3:25 pm

 

NAJIB said:

Even Mother AGNÈS-MARIAM DE LA CROIX felt obliged to speak out and condemn this unprecedented media campaign and spin against Syria .

allow her to dis-intoxicate you by reading her testimony here:

UN TÉMOIGNAGE DE MÈRE AGNÈS-MARIAM DE LA CROIX
Au crible des informations tendancieuses, la situation en Syrie
http://www.silviacattori.net/article1586.html

as for the video of the teenage Punks.
their video include nothing significant that they filmed themselves, other than scenes they copied and pasted from other clips they found on youtube. Their main focus and preoccupation is evidently their COOL appearance and haircuts , and hats and glasses, etc, and whatever they seem to find funny.

May 4th, 2011, 4:19 pm

 

AIG said:

If you want accurate reporting, let the media freely report. Who is not letting them? Assad and the regime. Why? Because they need to hide what they are doing.

May 4th, 2011, 4:48 pm

 

jad said:

تلفزيون الدنيا – فضائيات الفتنة

May 4th, 2011, 5:07 pm

 

Shami said:

Jad,i have better ,look at the public listening to this intellectual icon,he must be the favorite philosopher of souri333 and alikes.

May 4th, 2011, 5:21 pm

 

Sophia said:

Nice video. Reminds me of my visit to Syria few years ago, it was my first and only. I loved the country and the people.

I visited Syria in the summer 2005 when the tensions were high between Lebanon and Syria at the time. I was on a tour to introduce the region to my husband and children. My brother in Canada was very anxious for us because of the political situation at the time, but while Syrians were being harassed by March 14th people in Lebanon, as a Lebanese, I felt welcome everywhere in Syria.

Syria is a great country and Syrians are welcoming and generous people. I think they should be left alone to decide for their own future in peace.

May 4th, 2011, 5:26 pm

 

jad said:

Shami,
At least he is not talking the same language as other thugs like 3r3our, Wisal TV and Safa Tv. Right?

May 4th, 2011, 5:32 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

SOPHIA,

I read with much surprise that you have been only once in Syria. How can you then read the so complicated political situation inside Syria? Specially when there is a monopoly on information that defends one part (that results to be a dictatorship) and journalists from Reuters and all other non-regime sources have been expelled from the country?

I can understand that you loved your trip to Syria since syrians give their best face to visitors (and hide the worst) and in general Syria is a wonderfull country for visitros. But aren´t you sure that you are taking side with a lack of touch on reality and letting you go by your personal feelings?

The problem is that reality is much more complicated in the daily life. For example, do you speak everyday by phone with different syrian people from different cities and social conditions so that you can really test the real feelings of the people?. Or do you just want to defend Syria Regime because you liked your trip to Syria. I guess you travelled to Syria and not to the Presidential Palace. So please explain to me your causes and state of information that lets you say what you say when dozens and dozens of people have been shot in the middle of the head.

May 4th, 2011, 6:04 pm

 

Sophia said:

A interesting analysis of the Arab uprisings from Bassam Haddad in Jadaliya:

http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/1344/the-arab-uprisings-and-us-policy-(panel-video)

”The most significant difference between the Syrian regime on the one hand and the Egyptian and Tunisian regimes on the other hand is that the kind of possibilities that — the lack of an organic structure for the other regimes, in Egypt and Tunisia, does not basically hold in Syria. In other words, the Syrian regime is far more organic internally at least at the middle, above middle and top levels. And the higher you go, the more you’ll find an organic type of regime that is not likely to lend itself to the kind of outcomes that we saw in Tunisia and Egypt, whereby some sort of authority other than the top leadership of the regime can step in and resolve the conflict or transit into something else by basically removing the head or symbol of power. This is simply not possible in Syria. It’s a ship that will either sink or float, however badly.

So that informs the strategies of top leadership within the regime. And the kind of zero-sum game that you see unfolding on Syrian streets between the regime and the opposition is very much a posture that is reflective of that reality. I could be wrong; I would be extremely surprised if we see cracks at the top. There might be cracks at the top but they will reserved internally and then the ship will keep on moving in whatever direction that the victor decides. But we will not see a split whereby an institutional component is part of the split; say, the top security services or the top army officials.

Second, the opposition and the protesters. There are a number of things we can say about the opposition and protesters in Syria, but perhaps the most significant starting point is the fact that in the past 20 or 30 years the kind of connectedness among individuals in Syria is very different from, say, the case of Egypt. Whereby in Egypt, civil society expansion and various measures of civil and political rights were extended, in Syria this has not been the case. In fact, the atomization of Syrian society into individuals that actually stay away from politics for rational reasons having to do with the threat of getting involved in politics still colors the Syrian polity today.

Therefore, we see that there is a lot of commonality in terms of how the protesters or the opposition is united against something, but there is very little indication that they are united for something. And that creates — that has strategic implication for how things unfold on the ground. As a result, the opposition is somewhat fragmented. It does not have a clear systematic strategy. Also, now, because of a lack of communications which is evident by the siege of Daraa and soon to be followed perhaps by other cities, because this is becoming a model.

And you know things are getting really nasty when these tactics — when these regimes begin to emulate Israel, in its siege of Gaza for instance. And that is likely to continue if other factors, like international or regional interference, does not bear fruit.

So as a result the protesters are likely to be more and more fragmented and attempts at connecting actually might not even be feasible within the opposition. The other issue with the opposition is that it has not yet resorted to violence, which is something that is a good idea because resorting to violence is going to justify and legitimize responses that are — that will make what we have seen recently look like a picnic.

One other, and that is the opposition in Syria, to the extent that the United States tries to support it or other regimes or countries or states or governments try to support it, I think it might actually backfire depending on the source of the support because of the nature of the Syrian polity. The organic Syrian opposition, for instance, vehemently refuses support from factors or states like the United States because it will delegitimize them. It’s a bit of a different situation than in the other cases.

In terms of the society at large and divisions within it, of course this does not explain the — or does not prevent a coup d’état or a change in regime. But it makes it very complex that the Syrian society is made up of a variety of groups. We can call them sects, we can call them communities, we can call them what we will. I try to avoid calling them sects because that lends itself to the sectarian argument that I reject. But Syrian society is quite heterogeneous and in the natural state it’s very difficult for them to come together to define, in this condition, to define what they want. It’s much easier to come together to define what they do not want.

Which is one of the reasons why, despite the thousands and tens of thousands of people we saw on the streets, this is the reason why millions of Syrians who are not in love with the regime, and many of them actually do not like and perhaps detest the regime, are not going to the streets; not because of support for the regime but because of the fear of an unknown unfolding in Syria that would produce the kind of chaos that Syrians still remember from what happened next door in Iraq or what is happening today in Libya.

So the regime has opportunities to drive a wedge in, basically, in the situation today, between protesters and to reduce the flow of this reservoir of Syrians that have not yet taken to the streets. Of course, the continuing violence by the regime is likely to spin all these variables I discussed out of control and bring even more and more people to the streets despite all of these seeming impediments. So there is a threshold of violence that is at play here. I don’t know — I do not know what the threshold is. But I do know that if it’s crossed a lot of these cautionary statements will dissipate.”

May 4th, 2011, 6:08 pm

 

vlad-the-syrian said:

syrian people is strong and will crush those zombies and will become even stronger

to AIG (A racist IG) , AKBAR PALACE, AMIR etc… take that in the teeth and piss off



how much are you payed “after years of participating on this forum” ?

May 4th, 2011, 6:13 pm

 

Shami said:

Jad ,i dont watch such tvs.

May 4th, 2011, 6:18 pm

 

Shami said:

Also Jad ,it’s a state sponsored propagandist,who appear on the national state TV.

May 4th, 2011, 6:22 pm

 

Shami said:

How this regime is going to struggle with history with such allies like Aoun and Wahhab in Lebanon ,Rami Makhlouf and Maher Asad in Syria.

May 4th, 2011, 6:36 pm

 

jad said:

Shami,
I’m sure that you don’t watch those crappy channels, you are way more honest and civilized than that, I’m merely answering your question about We2am Wahab, but again, he didn’t use any sectarian language against any Syrian sect, did he? therefore I respect his propaganda.
I’m criticizing the sectarian and full of hatred language those channels and some people in the street are using that you still don’t see how harmful and criminal they are by doing that.
About calling Addouina Propagandist, please name me one channel you don’t consider a propagandist nowadays, JUST ONE!!
Don’t worry too much about the regime, try to worry about the average Syrians who are the real victims of every side of this tension.

May 4th, 2011, 6:38 pm

 

trustquest said:

When we have seen using tanks against unarmed civilians…I don’t remember I have seen such thing before

Here is a video prove the lies of uttered by the Syrian’s spokesman in the previous video showing the tanks and tank machine guns shooting people.

شاهد كيف تصدت مدرعات الجيش لأهالي تلبيسة بالرصاص الثقيل في مجزرة جمعة الغضب
http://bit.ly/lGCdZM

شام – تلبيسة – مجزرة جمعة الغضب 29-4 و حقيقة ما حصل
bit.ly

May 4th, 2011, 6:43 pm

 

nafdik said:

Here is a question for regime supporters and detractors.

Can somebody explain to me why they are using tanks? I mean as opposed to trucking soldiers in?

Is there any practical value to the tanks or is it for psychological show of strength?

May 4th, 2011, 7:08 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Al Jazeera reported demonstrations today 4th May: none

May 4th, 2011, 7:16 pm

 

Louai said:

JAD

thank you ones again for all the links you provide us ,i will thank you this time specially for the global research article ,its good to see that the outside world is started to see what is really happening in Syria.

i personally used not to believe a word about the conspiracy theories and how is all the world is against us till now , its tragic how much powerful enemies immoral opposition we have that is praying the world will interfere at any price .

i am not saying the system in Syria is perfect its not even good however now after the ‘revolution’ i know how low some people can get just to get on power in the name of freedom and democracy whilst they are committing all kind of terrorism .

May 4th, 2011, 7:17 pm

 

why-discuss said:

NAFDIK

Tanks are for the protection of the soldiers: The soldiers don’t wear strong helmets and bullet proof flaks like all anti-riots police in rich countries that are used to control riots. Riots are a new phenomenon in Syria.

It also has stronger psychological than a bunch of soldiers in rudimentary uniforms

May 4th, 2011, 7:24 pm

 

Louai said:

nafdik

the answer to your question is impossible because they are not using Tanks ,yes they entered tanks but no one reported using them .

i hope by now that you know its not a peaceful uprising and there are armed groups amongst the demonstrators .the Tanks is just a power show off and not for the use ,i am not a military expert but i don’t need to be one to know that Tanks is powerless against demonstrators and even armed groups .

May 4th, 2011, 7:26 pm

 

why-discuss said:

NAJIB

#16

Thank you for the testimony of an insider, Mère Agnès-Mariam de la Croix, Mother Superior of Saint Jacques l’Intercis convent, Syrie.

It is a fascinating and illuminating testimony from a peaceloving christian nun shocked by the turn of the events.

It speaks much better than any of these so-called expert from International crisis group or Brookings or Chatham house, or SC.

May 4th, 2011, 7:45 pm

 

AboALi said:

Syrian Isp’s are now forging the security certificates of websites like Facebook, in order to intercept communication and possibly steal passwords and obtain incriminating evidence. This screen-shot provides a comparison between the original Facebook certificate and the faked one:

http://bit.ly/jAk6A9

May 4th, 2011, 7:58 pm

 

nafdik said:

Najib #16, Why-discuss #35

I read some of the long article by Mère Agnès-Mariam.

It is clear that such proclamations are to be discounted, as are the proclamations of pro-regime imams.

I know that you will say that by default I refuse all opinions that are different than mine. But by simply using common sense, if you are living in a regime where going to a demo can land you 3 years in prison if you are lucky to be alive, then all statements coming from inside are simply useless.

Mère Agnès-Mariam, could be a true supporter of the regime but unfortunately we will never know.

A good measure of this is to compare Twitter and Youtube comments to Facebook’s.

Since Facebook is a place where your name is known, majority of voices are silent or pro-regime. On Twitter and Youtube you have anonymity and the inverse picture appears.

How many Moubarak supporters are there in Egypt today? Before the revolution the head of the Coptic church was singing his praises.

May 4th, 2011, 8:30 pm

 

Revlon said:

#30 Dear Nafdik,You have asked a very good question. The answer is: Sunni soldiers have refused to shoot while 3alawi officers can only control shooting action from tanks.

” Can somebody explain to me why they are using tanks? I mean as opposed to trucking soldiers in”

Snipers are only effective in stationary protests.

Al Mushat are nearly 100% Sunni.
The regime has been inundated by Sunni mutiny when asked to fire at civilians.
Even when depolyed, commanding officers can not guarantee that they will aim at civilians and not fire in the air.

Commanding officers, in the brigade/s that are actively participating in the frining at demonstrators are 100% 3alawi.

They prefer armored vehicle for three reasons:
– As protection from potential angry dissenting soldiers
– As discretion, to avoid being recognised by the ubiqitous cameras, and prosection in the future.
– They can control the gunner and direct him and verify where he is shooting at.
Cheers

May 4th, 2011, 9:03 pm

 

Norman said:

Nafdik,

You seem to be thoughtful enough to wonder about the reason that the Syrian minorities and i do not mean Alawat, Christians, Armenians but others support the president and the Baath party,

May 4th, 2011, 9:30 pm

 

Mick said:

Revlon

Sorry you think as you do.

You really think soldiers are just shooting at fellow Syrians? It is that simple? Your simplistic notion would probably follow the the military would be in a major crisis. Which it isn’t.

The reality is soldiers from all walks of life have been killed by armed rebels that want to cause hatred between people. Which has made it easy for the military to maintain ranks.

That, and despite the rhetoric, the military has been doing the best it can to confront an armed threat that is hell-bent in destroying the nation.

Notice the lack of sniper-fire deaths AFTER the Omari mosque was siezed in Dar’a?

May 4th, 2011, 9:32 pm

 

Jad said:

‘Sunni soldiers have refused to shoot while 3alawi officers can only control shooting action from tanks’
WOW!
Why those freaking alawis in this tank didn’t shoot on the Sunnis in this video then? I guess your equation is missing something, or maybe those Alawis inside that tank were Sunni or Shia or Druz or Ismaili or Christians, I’m sure you have an answer for such treason by the soldiers in this specific tank, I can’t wait to read it.

May 4th, 2011, 9:39 pm

 

why-discuss said:

NAFDIK

Despite you apologies, you are brushing off a very detailed testimony from a real person who is close to the people and you prefer to believe the anonymity of US made twitter, facebook and youtube hysteria fed by Syrians and other expatriates living in a law-abiding place where they have good reasons to torture and lynch people without trial, in front of their children…when they are not on their soil. It just show that you can’t really deal with the harsh and confusing realities of the world.

The killing of Osama bin Laden: how the White House changed its story
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/04/osama-bin-laden-killing-us-story-change

May 4th, 2011, 9:50 pm

 

aqoul said:

Above video is from Rasten near 7hims and not Dera’a.

Stop lying.

May 4th, 2011, 9:52 pm

 

Louai said:

we are lucky to have Revlon in here ,he has such resourceful field reports .

how can you make such a statement ? what is your source?

‘Sunni soldiers have refused to shoot while 3alawi officers can only control shooting action from tanks’

you are wrong as you can be in one phrase ! where did you get your information from? i really want to know

if the Army is as you described it you would have had Libya long time by now . why no Tanks were used to kill people in my City Homs ? were the Mushat there bad Sunni who didn’t mind to shoot at protesters?

i am so sorry you see life as such ,you must be a very sad man

May 4th, 2011, 9:53 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Mick’s “Reality” to be Revealed Shortly

The reality is soldiers from all walks of life have been killed by armed rebels that want to cause hatred between people.

Mick,

How do you know this is “reality”? What information do you have?

Please post some links showing/discussing these “armed rebels”. And why can’t reporters freely travel within Syria to report on these proported rebels?

May 4th, 2011, 9:56 pm

 

Jad said:

It seems that this Friday is to attack Aleppo and make trouble there, a terrorist start shooting at the army residence somewhere in Al7amadaniye killing a soldier.
I wonder what the dead soldier’s sect so we can either read Alfatiha upon his soul or ignor his soul!

Aqoul the idiot, you missed the point and I didn’t even write where this video from because it’s irrelevant.

May 4th, 2011, 9:57 pm

 

Jad said:

Fortunatly for the soldier’s soul, nobody died in Aleppo incident! Thank God!

May 4th, 2011, 10:10 pm

 

Abughassan said:

What was most troubling to me is getting reminded that many Syrians fully deserve the label of being third world citizens. Outrageous acts were committed by both sides,especially armed thugs motivated by sectarian hatred. Syria gained independence in 1946 but failed to get where it is supposed to be because of its governments and its citizens.blaming Israel and the west may be comforting to some but it does not explain our misery and poverty. We already know Syria is targeted,it has been targeted for 3,000 years,but we made it possible to keep the title of a third world country. The brutal security forces,the corruption and the violence by common thugs speak volume.there is a reason why there are millions of Syrians living abroad.

May 4th, 2011, 10:10 pm

 

Mick said:

Reporters?

Like the ones we had in America before we launched the illegal war in Iraq?

You have anything, other than rumors, that show the military is not a cohesive unit?

Or do we have Fisk’s reporting of the 4th Brigade…I mean Division…that is everywhere..killing everyone….

Wait….I feel in the zone…..

Bashar’s brother Maher is leading the 4th Division to attack a girl scout meeting in Idlib. He was met with strong resistance from the regular forces there (Sunni), but he was able to overun them and wipe out the girl scout movement..

Ahhh. I love facts.

May 4th, 2011, 10:17 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Al Jazeera reports that Iran has asked Syria about the whereabouts of Dorothy Parvaz. As this Al Jazeera journalist has also an US and Canadian citizenship, how happen that Canada and US government are not asking about her whereabouts?
It is very probable that Dorothy Parvaz entered Syria 6 days ago using her iranian passport to avoid been refused a visa as an american or canadian journalist. Did she declared she was a journalist for Al Jazeera or wanted to pass as tourist?

Iranians don’t need a visa to get into Syria

May 4th, 2011, 10:27 pm

 

Sophia said:

# 47 Jad,

I hope the Syrian regime will act with restraint. The only thing that can escalate the situation is the violence on the streets. It is like children, the bully is never the one who is blamed but he is the one who provokes the violence of the other and poses as the victim. He is able to do so because his violence is controlled, it is not a reaction

There are also other provocations in my opinion. Just read the last post on my blog.

May 4th, 2011, 10:50 pm

 

syau said:

Revlon, 38,

The Sectarian poison you are constantly spreading is clouding your vision and affecting your thought process.

The Syrian army is united. It is so because the Syrian people are united, and, the minority that is trying to promote sectarianism wont succeed because every Syrian citizen can see them for what they are and what they stand for, terrorism, destruction, murder, treason and destabalisation.

Tanks are there for the simple reason that they are required.

May 4th, 2011, 10:54 pm

 

Revlon said:

#52 Dear syau,
Al Mushat soldiers are 100% sunni
High ranking officers of the army are nearly all 3alawi
Commanding officers of the 4th briagades are 100% 3alawi.
These are facts.
Wittness accounts of mutiny within the republican Guards have been substantiated

If you have evidence to refute them, please present it.

You find discussing about these facts to be poisonous, yet you are unrestrained in cheering for its deadly consequences

May 5th, 2011, 12:08 am

 

Susan Dirgham said:

Hi Joshua,
It is certainly a slickly made video, and there is some wonderful footage of Damascus and the people, but it is no substitute for quality investigative journalism (I don\’t know that the West is providing any of that in regard to Syria at the moment.).
I was in Damascus I guess at about the same time as these \’journalists\’, but my conclusions are very,very different. For example, I spoke to someone who had been at a demonstration in a suburb on the outskirts, and he said two people were killed but no one saw who shot them. And that was the story for many shootings of civilians – people weren\’t sure who did the shooting. But many soldiers have been deliberately targeted, too. So most Syrians are very careful about drawing conclusions, unlike the Western and mainstream Arab media. If there is one general conclusion I can make about what people think in Damascus it is that they want the demonstrations to stop and the new reforms given a chance to kick in. For the country to get back on its feet again, not for it to descend into sectarian fighting, manipulated by people outside Syria – they say. That is truly a nightmare scenario for them. I think it is fair to say that Syrians are cynical about democracy because the US went into Iraq claiming that it was taking democracy there, and Israel is presented by in the West as a democratic country.
Syrian people are strong and astute was my observation.

Cheers,
Susan

May 5th, 2011, 12:41 am

 

syau said:

Revlon,

Al mushat soldiers are from all types of sects and religions in Syria. They are not 100% Sunni, and that is fact. It may be that the larger majority is, but that is because it is so in Syria.

Whether or not commanding officers are Alawi or Sunni or Druz or Christian, you do not need to continue down the ugly path of sectarianism and spark that debate up again because you feel that the Syrian revolution is losing grip and their true colors have shown.

The army is not shooting at innocent civilians, they are shooting at the armed gangs behind the violence. The army is being shot at by these armed gangs. Many of the armed gangs behind the unrest in Syria have been apprehended. They are all admitting to having arms and been given orders to shoot at civilians and officers. A large amount of weapons have been seized, many hidden in fields and mosques. Snipers are shooting at people and officers from mosques. This is a subsatiated fact.

The Syrian army with its diverse range of religions, is one that is united together along with the government to fight terrorism and the attempted destabalisation in Syria. They are there by the request of the Syrian people. They are there to preserve the safety of the Syrian people. That is a substantiated fact.
What I am cheering on is an end to the violence and the capture of all the terrorist cells which are causing so much destabalisation and death in Syria. I am cheering on the return of peace in Syria, which up until a few weeks ago was fact.

May 5th, 2011, 12:57 am

 

nafdik said:

Norman, you asked what I think is the key question to the whole situation in Syria:

“the reason that the Syrian minorities and i do not mean Alawat, Christians, Armenians but others support the president and the Baath party,”

I agree with you that this is a real issue unlike stories of mundassin and ziono-salafist alliance against the Syria al-samida.

I think that minorities are afraid for a good reason:

– Iranian revolution
– Iraq chaos
– Rise of extremist Islamist movements
– Lebanon civil war

All these experiences have made Syrians weary of letting go of the perceived stability and protection afforded by the regime.

Their modus-operandi is “khara bta3rfo …”

This support for Assads have increased with the opening of the economy so people felt that there were more freedoms in the last 10 years. Bashar looked to them as a modern president who did not carry the heavy handed approach of his father.

My view is that all these reasons are valid if one’s life is limited to eating sleeping and being safe.

Using the same logic one should have supported colonial powers as they offered the same protections to minorities as well as being a modernizing force.

Using the same logic Palestinians can claim that their life before the intifada was much better than now.

On the other hand I think that from the side of the majority sunni there has been little effort extended to remove these fears. What is required is for credible sunni leaders to take a stand and demand a non-sectarian constitution and build the protection of minorities as part of their message for a better Syria.

In particular, the idea of Takfir should be abandoned completely. A return to “aldinu lillah wal watanu liljami3”.

I see the beginning of such ideas, but not fast enough.

In the meantime I think Syrians should take the Grand Risque that they will be able to sort out their problems and live together and not rely on a murderous and increasingly closed mafia to protect them from each other.

Note that I do not say this out of pure ideological principle but from an analysis of the possible future outcomes that I will not bore you with.

May 5th, 2011, 1:20 am

 

jad said:

Sophia,
Very good article! I hope no harm will happen to Dorothy Parvaz.
I agree with you about the regime, we already know how brutal it is and we know that nothing will stop it from turning Syria to hell if it feels that its end is close and at the same time the other sides of this conflict specifically the organizers of the mighty ‘revolution’ also lost logic or probably it doesn’t have any to start with because of its ideology and immaturity as well as the missing of any attractive plan for the future and the nonexistent of any attractive trustworthy figures that Syrians can warm-up to (Shyoukh are the worst figures to listen to, I have no idea why an educated man will listen to an uneducated sectarian and obviously stupid Sheikh and agree with whatever that sheikh say?, it’s amazing how people become so brainless when you use God’s spell on them)
To make things worst the uprising is obviously has been hijacked by too many elements that leading it to nowhere but pool of blood where it’s taking its energy from, blinded by hatred and revenge, nothing more.
I personaly think that we are stuck between two sides who are willing to die than surrender and both of them are unethical in what they do.
From what I read I think we are heading for a long and life costly fight that nobody can be declared a winner, it also seems that if we wont hit the Iraqi example we will hit the Algerian one, where the criminal element of the ‘revolution’ will start killing the military (they are already doing that) and where the military/security will retaliate indiscriminately against the whole society to show who is the boss (it’s doing that too).
My only hope is that we don’t have to see another Hama.

May 5th, 2011, 1:28 am

 

Mina said:

#37 Nafdik
Don’t you live in a country that is making business with China, Russia, or Saudi Arabia?
So where are your moral standards when it come to the way you are fed at the end of the month?

May 5th, 2011, 4:12 am

 

Sophia said:

# 57 Jad,

I agree with you. I hope that people on both sides will abandon the logic of violence. But if the protesters are determined to ruin the country in order to get rid of Assad then the prospects aren’t good because one doesn’t expect the other side not to react.
The only thing that might stop the violence is that known opposition figures rally publicly against it. It is a position that takes a lot of courage, it means to be magnanimous. They can afford to be magnanimous, not the regime. No matter what, when the regime is cornered, it will defend itself, and this is exactly the logic of the actual protests.

May 5th, 2011, 5:49 am

 

nafdik said:

Mina #58, yes I do. I lived in Syria too and dealt with the assad regime. It does not prevent me from saying that they are murderous thugs. Not to their face of course 🙂

May 5th, 2011, 8:39 am

 

norman said:

Nafdik,
Thank you and I agree with you, peaceful transformation will give the minorities the confidence they need,

May 5th, 2011, 9:29 am

 

AIG said:

Sophia,

You write:
“They can afford to be magnanimous, not the regime. No matter what, when the regime is cornered, it will defend itself, and this is exactly the logic of the actual protests.”

How can this be true. The regime have all the power and it is the protesters that have to be magnanimous? It doesn’t make sense. Why doesn’t the regime have a responsibility to compromise?

May 5th, 2011, 9:55 am

 

Sophia said:

AIG,

They already did. However the protesters are not going for a compromise, they want the regime down.

I think the protesters have already won in a sense by weakening the regime and the economy but they are not satisfied with their current victory, they want the whole thing down.

May 5th, 2011, 10:11 am

 

jad said:

Sophia,
I agree with you again, on your two points:
– The regime will react when it’s attacked and cornered
– Your solution is the one that will work, other that that things will stay the same, the opposition should have some courage and logic to save the country and sit with the regime on the negotiation table after asking people in the street to stay home so logic can take over emotion and to spare people’s lives.

May 5th, 2011, 10:15 am

 

Sophia said:

Jad,

I think if the opposition does nothing and still call for the end of the regime* and doesn’t want a dialogue with the regime, if I were in the position of the regime I would take the initiative of identifying and inviting opposition leaders to sit at the table and offer them real concessions, like multiparty system and so on.

The problem with concessions offered in these Arab uprisings (Egypt and Tunisia) at the last minute is that they weren’t credible because they were offered in from of TV cameras and not in front of real persons.

The Syrian opposition is already divided and if Bashar can find some to sit with him at the table and offer them real concessions, he and they can save the country and discredit thuggish and ill intentioned elements in the protests.

The regime must give Bashar free hands to negotiate with some elements in the opposition. Otherwise the prospects are bleak, Iraq or Algeria as you said, and this is what enemies of Syria want.

* I hate to use this term because the Baath party in Syria is diverse and there must be silent dissent about how to handle things but it is a short cut.

May 5th, 2011, 11:17 am

 

Jad said:

Sophia,
You are right, there is a need for a roundtable to bring oppositions and the regime together to discuss the future of Syria.
I read before that the regime did try to contact and invite some opposition figures to meet but they refused, like Mr. Ghalyoun, I also read that the regime is trying again by sending Mm. Bouthaina Shaaban to talk to them individually to organize such event but no news of that yet.
Hopefully some oppositions can put Syria best interest over their egos and save the country.

May 5th, 2011, 11:51 am

 

William Scott Scherk said:

Regarding Jad and Sophia’s discussion of ‘negotiating table’ where opposition and government notables can have a dialogue, I thought the question of identifying the opposition forces should be rather easy.

Jad seeks an opposition that will sit with the regime at the table. Sophia suggests that the ‘regime’ should take initiative, identify the opposition leaders and invite them to the table.

These suggestions seem to be forthright and thoughtful on the surface, yet is it not true that the government has already identified particular members of ‘the opposition’? Reports from a variety of sources indicate that opposition members are well-known to the ‘regime’ and are currently in detention. At least some of the folks detained by the state may turn out to be ‘opposition’ and not ‘terrorists.’

For example, the hundreds if not thousands invited by the state for ‘discussions’ or to ‘come for talks’ with the regime seem to be ‘opposition’ members. Perhaps a deal can be made: instead of charges of “maligning the prestige of the state,” and the perfunctory sentences of 3 years in prison, the detained opposition can be charged with the task of preparing a detailed plan for reform — and sentenced to three years of ‘dialogue.’

Similarly, there are at least one hundred opposition leaders who signed the Damascus Declaration. Those who are not in jail or in exile for that attempt at ‘dialogue’ can be reinvited by the state for ‘talks.’ And those who currently are guests of the state in Syria’s progressive detention facilities can be invited to the table, in shackles if necessary. They can be issued paper and pencil and perhaps write down the names of other opposition members who are currently hesitant to ‘talk.’ Those people can then be escorted to the kind of dialogue that Jad and Sophia have in mind.

This is surely a good start to the necessary dialogue — identify the opposition and usher them into facilities designed to help them express themselves and their opposition to certain government policies, to lay out for the state their plans for ‘reform.’

As it seems to me, if the state is having difficulties starting the ‘dialogue,’ they can use the subtle pressures of the Syrian Silent Majority — those whom we are assured by Syria experts like Jad and Sophia do exist in large numbers. Perhaps Sophia and Jad could circulate a petition to collect names, numbers and phone numbers of these Silent Majority Syrians.

Now, there must be criteria for inclusion of course. I think it is clear that the experts on Syria like Jad, Souri, Alex, and WD can offer that criteria. The sad fact they point out is that the delegation of supposed ‘opposition’ from Dera’a are actually mostly, if not entirely armed thugs, terrorists, sectarian monsters and so on. The careful and efficient investigations by the proper state authorities currently underway in the shield will likely lead to the release of those few opposition members who are not guilty of being monsters. The speed with which the monsters have received three year sentences suggest a similar efficiency for identifying those who simply want ‘reform’ and ‘dialogue.’ These people are no doubt being prepared for release, that they may join the Silent Majority.

Another option is to develop the states ‘intelligence’ apparatus — giving it a subsidiary task of identifying ‘courageous and logical’ opposition members to be summoned to a future negotiation table.

“Come for talks” with the regime seems to be a constructive call by Jad and Sophia.

May 5th, 2011, 12:46 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Jad, William

I think most experienced opposition leaders worry that they may look like traitors to hardliners if they collaborate with the current government and they are afraid to be killed. While the current regime has rarely killed opposition leaders and preferred to jail them, I am not sure the opposition hardliners will hesitate to kill an opposition leader they consider as a traitor. They can then conveniently put the blame on the government.
Therefore I think that these willing opposition leaders are waiting that their security and the country security is assured, then they will appear.

May 5th, 2011, 6:32 pm

 

Usama said:

I’m beginning to get the urge to make a website showing the hundreds of fake videos that have been posted claiming violence by our security forces and army. It bothers me that those Hungarian journalists came to Syria with the pretext of videos they saw online, and are clearly reflecting about Syria today through those same videos. Al-Jazeera English, today, still has tens of videos that I pointed out to them to be fake. For example, the video of security forces trampling on cuffed civilians, that actually happened in Iraq, but with audio editing to suggest the perpetrators are Alawi militias, is still on their website. They also have many videos from Yemen, and it is so clear too that the flags they carry are Yemeni. I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t worry and that everything will become clear to everyone later, but then I remember how all the media ignores mutilated corpses of police and soldiers and accuses them of shooting at peaceful protesters. Has anyone else here noticed that more than 150 satellite channels have magically appeared with the Syria events? They’re mostly based in either Europe of the Gulf. The Gulf based ones are the clearest in showing a strong desire to wipe out anything non-Sunni in Syria.

I strongly believe those fatwa-throwing sheikhs in the Gulf are paid for a certain agenda. They preach to their followers that only Sunnis are true Muslims and that Bashar al-Asad is a kafir Alawi with a kafir regime that suppresses Islam in Syria. The reason I think those shiekhs are paid and don’t really believe what they preach is because Morocco has had an Alawaite dynasty for a few hundred years to this day, but they have all been supportive of that regime. I’m not sure what Ben Ali is, but he’s also not Sunni, and the Gulf also supported him before he fleed into their arms.

I feel disgusted talking about sectarian strife in Syria. Sectarian differences have been manipulated by hundreds of years of occupation and I never thought I would see sectarian language in Syria like I am seeing today. Enough of this bs about Israel wanting Bashar to stay. There will be huge celebrations there if the regime were to fall. Hezbollah would collapse and Hariri would sign that peace deal in heart beat. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt already said they would want to keep friendly relations with Israel, and as we’ve seen videos by their leadership of their support of the Syrian MB movement, the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria wouldn’t hesitate to sign a biased “peace” treaty. There was even a Wikileaks diplomatic cable published by al-Akhbar last month where Hariri was urging the US to embrace and support the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria to overthrow Asad and sign that treaty right away.

I am very confused by Dr. Landis posting about fake videos and shady media reporting, and surrounding such blog material with Western propaganda fed by all the “Syrian” “human rights” “committees” that have proven time and time again to be pumping fraudulent report upon fraudulent report.

May 9th, 2011, 1:54 pm

 

Shami said:

What you say is what the syrian tv and puppets said and and it was swallowed by the supporters of the regime :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh9fPa9k_zY

The king of Morocco is an alawite which means ,whose ancestor is the caliph Ali,we say a Hashimi,Hassani or Hussayni in Orient ,there is no relation with the nusayri sect of Syria.

May 9th, 2011, 3:05 pm

 

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