Rami Makhlouf: Is He Being Sacrificed? Is the Syrian Economy the Achilles Heel of the Assad Regime? WINEP Pushes for Sanctions on Syrian Oil

Rami Makhlouf Will Not Remain a Weight on the Country or the President, al-Iqtisadi –

This article explains that the President’s cousin and owner of Syria Tel will donate his profits from Syria’s mobile phone provider to charity. He does not say he has plans to give up control of the company.

Powerful Syrian Leaves Business, in Major Concession
By THE NEW YORK TIMES, Published: June 16, 2011

One of Syria’s most powerful men announced Thursday that he was stepping down from his roles at several major businesses, including the mobile phone monolith Syriatel, a development that is a major concession to antigovernment protesters.

The businessman, Rami Makhlouf, is closely entwined with the Syrian government. His cousin is President Bashar al-Assad, his brother is Mr. Assad’s intelligence chief. Widely reviled as corrupt, Mr. Makhlouf became a focus of antigovernment protests.

“…But a news conference in Damascus on Thursday, Mr. Makhlouf said he was halting his business activities and directing profits from his 40 percent stake in Syriatel to charity.”

Ehsani gives a back-of-the-envelope estimate of Syriatel’s worth:

Syriatel has 67 million shares outstanding. The current share price is syp 915. This values the company at $1.3 Billion. From the shares outstanding, it looks like shareholders own 38%. This leaves Rami with 42%. We don’t know who owns the 38% fully. The profit per share for 201 was syp 126.41 per share. This means that the company’s profit for 2010 was $180 million. If the entire 40% of profits were taken out of the company, it will amount to $72 million a year سنخصص جزءاً من الأراضي التي نملكها لمشاريع سكنية تقدم للمواطنين بسعر التكلفة This was the other part of the statement. I am not sure whether the citizen will be getting the land at cost or will be getting what it gets to build it at cost. Either way, he does indeed own a substantial amount of land. The “percentage” of that total in either case is?

Correction by EIU: [Added next day]

Ehsani — I think your back of the envelope should give Makhlouf 62%, if private shareholders have 38%.

We were afforded a glimpse into the ownership structure of Syriatel in 2002-03 during the dispute with Orascom Telecom. Briefly, Makhlouf claimed in early 2002 that OT had breached contract, and a Damascus court in April that year ordered in favour of Makhlouf and his investment vehicle Drex Technologies, registered in the British Virgin Islands. OT hit back securing a freeze on the worldwide assets of Drex; it got a further injunction freezing Drex’s Arab Bank account in Austria. The two sides eventually settled in July 2003, with OT coming out with compensation from Drex. Meanwhile the Drex shareholdings were transferred to Ramak, a Makhlouf family holding. Orascom’s view was that Makhlouf brought them in to do the heavy lifting at the start of the operation, with capital and know-how, and then cooked up a dispute to clear the way for a takeover. Orascom managed to get out without losing too much, as I think they were aware of the risks of dealing with Makhlouf. I recall a telephone call with Rami at the time in which he claimed that “the problem with Naguib is that he doesn’t pay…”

Back to the present, both Syriatel and MTN perform important functions as one of the biggest sources of budget revenue to the state other than oil, as they are contracted to hand over 50% of turnover to the government.

Ehsani Replies to EIU:

My 38% number came from the syriatel website where Rami is quoted as saying that shareholders in the company could have made their best investment as their holdings have reached SYP 23.3 Billion. Given that the entire market capitalization of the company is SYP 61.3 billion (67 million shares times 915 pounds per share), I figured that the shareholders own 38% (23.3/61.3). This does leave 62%. Rami claimed that he will give up 40% of the profits which is his share in the company. I am not sure who owns the other 22%. It is important to note that we don’t even know who those 38% “shareholders” are in the first place.


For what it’s worth Syriatel does have a little section on its site for shareholders, apparently defined as those who subscribed to the IPO of 7m shares (10%) in 2004. Of course the IPO was not covered by any regulated capital market oversight, and Syriatel has not listed on the DSE.


Syriatel has not listed on the DSE because it still operates as a BOT (build, operate and transfer). It still does not have an official license. The idea was to wait for the third company to be approved and offered a license before Syriatel does too. Many of the companies that wanted to bid in the auction pulled out when they were unhappy with the terms. Etisalat of the U.A.E is still interested if the government modifies these terms. When and if this happens, the BOT of Syriatel can then also be transferred into an official licenced company that can list on the DSE.

There was much anticipation and confusion about Makhlouf’s announcement:

Al-Arabiya channel announced Thursday afternoon that Rami was giving away all his lands and money.
ANB reported that Rami gave a press conference denying any of this.

During the board meeting that SyriaTel held last Thursday, Rami Makhlouf was reported to sound very upbeat. He said, “I would never sell my shares as rumored.”

IDAF, who watched Makhlouf Speak on Syrian TV, wrote me:

“I am now watching the press conference on Syrian News channel. It is true. He did announce giving up his shares in the article and other “give aways.”

Rami just said: Anthony Shadid misquoted me gravely. We didn’t have an interview. It was a chat over lunch and he took my words out of context. Now watching the press conference on Syrian News channel.

“Syriatel shares I’m giving away to benefit 30,000 citizens. Other project give aways will benefit 10s of thousand more.” He also said that a specific portion of the Syriatel shares will go to Syrian martyrs. He didn’t specify if all martyrs or just the pro regime ones…. “I didn’t have to do this. And no one asked me to do it.”

“The value of the give aways are in the billions [of Syrian pounds.]” RM

He’s not bad. soft spoken. Down to earth. I’m sure many will feel sorry for him.

I asked a number of friends if they believed that the regime was “offering up one of their own” with the statement by Rami Makhlouf. This is how they responded:

Ehsani writes:

If they “confiscated” his holdings in real estate, Syriatel, Gulfsands, Duty Free and the different banks, like Byblos, maybe. But giving away profits does not strike me as “offering up one of their own.”

Another writes:

I think Rami Makhlouf is being offered up. He is the Rifaat of the regime in the 80s. It would have been more than enough a couple of months ago when people didn’t want to “bring the regime down” but wanted Rami’s head in Daraa. Let’s see the response tomorrow. Loyalists are angry that the opposition is stealing one of syria’s independence heroes (sheikh Saleh Alali) and using him in sectarian light as a name for tomorrow’s Friday. I think the tide is changing towards the regime’s liking. Now that Erdogan is free from elections, he’s more open to work with Bashar too as it seems.

This said, Rami is framing this as an initiative from himself personally. He insisted that “no one asked me to do this and I don’t have to do this”. He said that he had major satisfaction from financial success but he is feeling even more satisfaction personally from doing this. He also said that he will never allow himself to be “a burden on Syria”.

Another writes:

They are NOT offering one of their own as if this is some kind of a cult. There is a new reality on the ground.

I believe this is the new Syria. The regime is shaken up pretty badly. They are not that stupid. The status quo is unsustainable even if they win on the ground. The hardliners have lost and the reformers are winning. Established business-as-usual processes are being refitted.

Plans to divest Rami were always there, and there was never the right time to do so. Enter today. Even Rami got the message – loud and clear.

Next? I really believe his name will be eventually removed from the sanction list. Did he abuse power? Sure. Was he a ruthless killer? No. Did he employ thousands of Syrians? Sure.

Most people are fixated on Ramo as the root cause of evil. Wrong answer. He is a symptom of a chronic power abuse.

And speaking of chronic conditions, this is where Syria is today. It just overcame the acute stage of the disease called the Middle East.

Ehsani writes:

The problems of Syria are not just Rami. People think that he stole all their wealth and their incomes. Suppose Rami stole $10 BILLION. If he returned ALL that back tomorrow, each person in Syria will be entitled to $434. A family of 5 will make $2170. I guess that is a substantial sum for some people. But, remember that this is a one shot check. What then? The real issue in Syria is the lack of economic growth. Only real growth will lift living standards year in and year out. People think that if Rami goes, their fortunes will suddenly look up. Wrong.

Another writes:

I do not agree with Joshua’s assertion that Syria’s future will boil down to economics.

My cousin in Switzerland said his business (micro robotic) went down to zero for 9 months in 2008, and Lebanon always loses one or two tourist seasons hear and there but survives…

I believe Syria will bounce back stronger if proper reforms are implemented. We have a house in Yaafour that we are building and we are going ahead uninterrupted… so are many building projects in Yaafour.. illegal building is booming as well (can not find construction workers..)

Idaf writes:

Yes. My friend works in a major UAE construction business with major project in Syria. They are pushing forward with their business and it is harder to find construction workers with all the illegal business taking place.

Syria economy: Vulnerable?
June 16 (Economist Intelligence Unit) —

Is the economy the Achilles heel of the Assad regime? On balance, probably not, as long as oil exports continue to flow.

The regime of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has confronted the protest movement with brute force, mixed with relentless propaganda and promises to enact political reforms. The strategy has paid off to the extent that the opposition has failed to take control of any of the towns where protests have occurred, and the major cities of

Damascus and Aleppo have not been seriously affected. However, the costs have been considerable, both in human terms, with more than 1,500 people killed, and on the economic front. How well placed is Mr Assad to deal with the economic consequences of his crackdown?

One of the central advantages that Mr Assad enjoys is the heavy state bias to the Syrian economy. The government and public-sector enterprises account for the bulk of urban employment, and farmers are heavily dependent on state-run purchasing organisations. This means that millions of Syrians, whether they like it or not, have a considerable stake in the survival of the regime, as can be seen in the periodic displays of mass loyalty, such as the unfurling of a 2.3-km long national flag on June 15th along one of the main thoroughfares in Damascus. The private sector has made some advances under Bashar al-Assad, but remains dominated by business groups with good connections to the regime, the most prominent of which is Rami Makhlouf, a maternal cousin of the president.

All about oil

The uprising has impaired the state’s ability to perform its role as dispenser of patronage, but the regime is far from being financially crippled…..

Matters have moved further in the government’s favour since 2009 as oil production actually increased by 10,000 b/d last year to 385,000 b/d, thanks largely to the development of new fields by Gulfsands Petroleum, a UK-listed firm in which Mr Makhlouf has a minority (indirect) interest. In a further boon to the government,  natural gas production also rose significantly, by 37.3% year on year, in 2010 to 7.8bn cu metres.

As long as oil operations continue to be unaffected by the unrest and are not targeted by sanctions, the government has in the oil and gas sector a solid basis for sustainable fiscal and balance of payments operations. The government has made its task more difficult by cutting diesel prices, and thereby reversing much of the earlier subsidy cuts, but it has a reasonable chance of softening the blow through securing supplies of cut-price fuel from Iran, which has a major stake in the survival of the Assad regime.

Foreign exchange squeeze

More troubling for the government is the risk of a run on the local currency as a result of a loss of confidence in the system by private deposit-holders and the drying up of foreign exchange flows from business visitors and tourists. The latter flows have been rising rapidly in recent years, as Syria has attracted Arab visitors during the summer months and as foreign business people have recognised the potential of the country as an investment prospect. The central bank data show inflows of services income under the heading travel as reaching to US$3.76bn in 2009, equivalent 22% of total current-account receipts. These flows are likely to be much reduced in 2011. However, the impact will be mitigated by the likely fall in private-sector imports (which have risen sharply in the past few years, reaching US$11.8bn in 2009). The central bank has hiked interest rates as a means to woo back deposits, and the government claims that this has paid off, and the government also has the cushion of foreign exchange reserves that are sufficient to cover 12 months of imports. A relatively good harvest in prospect this year means that Syria will probably be self-sufficient in wheat.

Economic conditions are certainly going to get much tougher for the Syrian regime, but not to the extent that some opposition activists have claimed.

The Socio-Economic Crisis in Syria
By Paul Rivlin, Dayan Center

…..While high oil prices, substantial foreign exchange reserves, and manageable levels of domestic and external debts have helped maintain a degree of macro-economic stability, this is now breaking down. In April, the International Monetary Fund lowered its estimate of Syria’s 2011 economic growth rate from 5.5 percent to 3 percent. The International Institute of Finance forecasts that GDP could contract by as much as 3 percent in fiscal 2011. Economic growth was decelerating prior to the current conflict: GDP fell from 6 percent in 2009 to 3.2 percent in 2010 and the balance of payments current account deficit tripled to almost $2 billion in 2008. The IMF forecasts a further deterioration in its 2010 report on the Syrian economy but the outlook is now much worse.

The worsening economic situation coupled with the abandonment of liberalization will alienate the middle classes without necessarily generating support among the masses. This may prove to be as big a threat to the regime as the protestors that it has been killing.

US says It is in contact with Syrians seeking change
16 June 2011, Agency France Presse

The United States is stepping up contacts with Syrians inside and outside the country who are seeking political change, the State Department said Thursday.
Recalling that President Barack Obama had called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to lead change or “get out of the way,” spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Assad appeared to have “made this choice in the negative.” She denounced the Assad government’s “revolting” attacks on Syrian citizens and said the United States was working at the United Nations and with its allies to isolate the regime.

Damascus Still Has Gay Girls by Daniel Nassar for NPR [This is a wonderful article. Please read it.]

In Search of Leverage with Syria
By David Schenker and Andrew J. Tabler
June 14, 2011 – WINEP

The misperception that the United States lacks levers against the Asad regime may be fueling Washington’s reluctance to take further action….. To force Asad to step down or cause his regime to fragment, the United States should seek with its allies to increase the economic pressure and international isolation faced by the regime and to support domestic challenges to it. To achieve these effects, Washington has a number of unilateral and multilateral levers available, whether economic or diplomatic…..

the Obama administration should prod the chief buyers of Syrian oil — Germany, Italy, France, and Holland — to stop purchasing the regime’s heavy crude. It should also pressure multinational energy companies operating in Syria — Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Croatia’s INA Nafta, India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Canada’s Tanganyika, SUNCOR, and Petro-Canada, and China’s National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Sinochem — to exit the country….

Elite defections could play a key role in pressuring the regime to either cut a deal with the country’s Sunni majority or leave power. To date, the most effective U.S. sanction levied against Syria has been the Makhlouf designation. Along those lines, Washington should impose costs on other Syrian businesspeople who continue to back the regime.

One way to do so is to lengthen the list of U.S. Treasury Department designations aimed at businesspeople close to the regime, many of whom are the exclusive importers of a wide variety of goods on the Syrian market…..

Washington should urge Syria’s leading trade partner, Turkey, to adopt trade sanctions (excluding food and medicine, as the United States does). It should also press Persian Gulf states — particularly Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia — to curtail their business investments in Syria, which have been a lifeline for the cash-strapped Asad regime in recent years. …

Hasten the unraveling of the Syrian military. In conjunction with Turkey and Jordan, the United States should pursue incentives-based information operations in Syria, encouraging military officers to defect or, at minimum, avoid complicity in regime crimes against the people. The more quickly the military unravels, the fewer atrocities that will be perpetrated…

Align with the Syrian people. Statements by senior U.S. officials in support of the Syrian people … The broad international revulsion at Asad’s tactics, combined with the changes sweeping the region, provides new opportunities to act against the Asad regime.

Who will take on Assad? – The Economist – Jun 16th 2011 |

Outsiders cannot intervene militarily in Syria. But its rulers should not be given a free pass….

the best-placed people to make Mr Assad give ground are local—the Turks, the Gulf Co-operation Council with Saudi Arabia and Qatar to the fore, and the usually toothless but perhaps slowly stirring Arab League, which endorsed NATO’s intervention in Libya.

If he were sensible, Mr Assad would, under such neighbours’ pressure, agree to open talks with the gamut of liberals and socialists, secular-minded Syrians and Islamists, including the banned Muslim Brothers and the signatories of the admirable Damascus declaration, which united opposition calls for reform in 2005. As a precondition, all political parties and the media would be set free, and open elections promised within, say, a year. As things stand, Mr Assad will surely reject all such ideas out of hand. But the tide may be turning. If he refuses to budge, the Syrian people will bring him down in the end—on their own, and bloodily.

Still Bubbling: In Syria’s Third-biggest City People Fear for the Future
June 18 (The Economist)

…. You cannot tell how many people in Homs are fully on the protesters’ side. Many are too frightened to give an opinion. Officials of the ruling Baath party organise noisy pro-Assad rallies to match those of the protesters. Some Christians, who make up a large minority in Homs, have joined the demonstrators, while others resent the turmoil they have caused. Most of the city’s Alawites, the minority sect to which Mr Assad belongs, have remained loyal to the regime.

But the protesters seem to be gaining ground. At first a lot of people backed them because they stood against poverty and corruption. But it was the bloody brutality of the official reaction that has driven people into the opposition camp. “I saw a teenage boy shot through the eye,” says a university student who carried the boy to the mosque and prayed over him as he died.

Anti-regime committees have sprung up all over the city, with a medley of people—plumbers, students, doctors, the unemployed—working together. But almost everyone is fearful of what may come next. Some people are buying guns to protect themselves and their families. As they become more desperate, they could yet turn them on the regime.

Fleeing Syrians report rapes, killings
17 June 2011
The Australian

YAYLADAGI, TURKEY: Refugees arriving in Turkey came with new horror stories of advancing Syrian troops raping and mutilating women. Syrians who fled to the Red Crescent tent camp in Yayladagi on the Turkish border said two women in the field hospital there had been raped. One also had her face slashed and the other had her breasts cut off.

They said Syrian forces in the Mamal al-Suker area of the flashpoint city of Jisr al-Shughour had assaulted the women and thrown acid over the men. One refugee said 12 women had been brutalised with a bottle in Mamal al-Suker and four of them had later had their throats slit. “They are raping the women and torturing the families,” said a refugee in the Yayladagi camp who asked to be identified only as “K”.
“Twelve women were raped and one had her breasts slit,” she said. “I came here with my mother. I had nothing to do with what was happening. None of my family went to the protests. They were coming to our houses, raping the women and killing people. The Shabiha (government militia) can do anything.” The refugees said advancing forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad were pursuing a scorched-earth policy as they pressed towards the border: burning crops, killing livestock and shelling even half-built houses in an apparent attempt to drive the population out. The bodies of two women were dumped on the road outside the border village of Khibret al-Jooz in an apparent attempt to sow fear among the hundreds of refugees who have sought safety there…..

Allegedly threatened by Syria, Saad Hariri prefers to stay in his appartment in Paris. Le Monde,  Menacé par Damas, l’ex-premier ministre libanais Saad Hariri serait réfugié à Paris

Comments (278)

aboali said:

so, a corrupt thief who stole billions out of Syrian people’s pockets with the blessing of his Cousin Bashar wants to make amends now? What for, to improve the image of this murderous regime with the blood of thousands of Syrians on it’s hands? too little too late, the Syrian people want to see him, and the rest of the Assad clan behind bars, nothing less than their heads will do.

June 16th, 2011, 8:08 pm


Norman said:

I want to ask all of you,

Is there any way for any Syrian to get rich without being called corrupt ?.

June 16th, 2011, 8:24 pm


EX3LAWI said:

It’s a Baathi concession, there must be a catch here — there’s always a catch with Baathi concessions. The #1 thief of Syria suddenly decides to become a warm-hearted philanthropist? What’s the fine print?

June 16th, 2011, 8:25 pm


SYR.Expat said:

2. NORMAN said:

“Is there any way for any Syrian to get rich without being called corrupt ?.”

Yes, but very difficult under the Baath party.

June 16th, 2011, 8:33 pm


aboali said:

#2 in short, no. You either have to pay bribes left right and center and partner up with an official or an officer to get preferential treatment and circumvent the law to get ahead of the competition, or you struggle, lose money for years, get bogged down by bureaucracy and outdated legislation, pay exorbitant taxes and work your butt off just to eke out a living. Which is why most honest business men have packed up and left years ago. I should know, I’m one of those trying to eke out an existence in Aleppo’s business scene.

June 16th, 2011, 8:34 pm


Norman said:


It looks that is the major reason for the uprising, There is no way for an honest hard working Syrian to get rich, That what pushed many of us to move West.I hope they can change that ,

June 16th, 2011, 8:52 pm


Majhool said:


The guy is basically keeping most of his shares at SyriaTel . He is simply promising that the profit will go to his own charity ( the Bustan).

The guy will leverage this money to buy more influence especially if their are plans to open up political parties similar.. Hariri of Lebanon bought influence that way.

Plus, is this donation legally biding?I bet its not.. its his money, once situation is back to normal he could reverse it…

Alas people are not stupid, wait a day or two and the opposition will launch a counter-campaign to clarify this to the average joe.

June 16th, 2011, 9:08 pm


aboali said:

#6 yes that’s a large part of it, the deprivation many people felt especially in rural areas, added to that the indignation and abuse suffered at the hands of officials and security officers. As it stands at the moment, there’s a split along class lines, as well as sectarian lines between the pro-regime and the protesters, broadly speaking of course. In general, the more affluent urbanites of Damascus and Aleppo, who enjoy relative luxury and privilege have been either staunch supporters of the regime, or at least very reluctant to speak out and participate in protests against it, except for a handful of diehard long time activists that is. In all honestly, the majority, even among the affluent loathe the regime’s nepotism and corruption, however they fear the instability and loss of wealth and standing should it fall. Gauging by the business men I’ve spoken to in Aleppo, who are notoriously spineless and self-serving, I would say an overwhelming majority hate the regime and speak snidely of it, but at the same time want to see stability at all cost. At the moment, stability for them translates to the regime stopping the protests as soon as possible with whatever means. This could soon change however if the tumultuous uprising hits Aleppo in a major way, and the regime starts to lose it’s grip on the economy and day to day running of the country. Then I’m certain they would openly turn against it and call for it’s removal.

June 16th, 2011, 9:13 pm


CHRIS said:




June 16th, 2011, 9:19 pm


Norman said:


The president has to move on political reform fast, But he will need to do decentralisation and self governors, rule of laws on doing work and opportunity for all has to be the goal .

June 16th, 2011, 9:51 pm


Abughassan said:

I wrote about Rami’s move few weeks ago after hearing about this from a trusted source,however,I want rami and syriatel to go further.their fees are too high and the bulk of the profit goes to the treasury,assuming it is not stolen,and rami personally. Selling most of syriatel shares will signal the end of Rami’s domination in Syria.I peronally think that Rami is a very intelligent man with sharp business sense but I also know that he was very aggressive and went too far in using his family and political connections to get an unfair advantage over competition.enough said,I welcome any move that reduce tension and improve the broken relationship between Syrians and their government,

June 16th, 2011, 9:51 pm


873 said:

Mossad is saying that an apartment just blew up in Netanya, killing 3. Somehow this will be laid at Syria- or better yet- Iran’s door? “Never let a good crisis go to waste…”

Expect Congress to rush in with a few billion and a broad attack clause “in support”. Meanwhile, Joplin MO destroyed and arch AIPAC Sayan Eric Cantor declared ‘no money left in the budget for them’. We have catastrophic flooding spread over 3000 miles of river banks from Montana down to New Orleans. One nuke plant is flooded (with its exposed fuel rods in the basement leaking into the Missouri River), another also getting flooded and at least a dozen more at very near risk. Fukushima X 100. Yet what gets top billing in the jewish controlled US press?

The AIPAC-American Mista’aravim sayan traitor, Adam Gadahn (Adam Pearlman) who is from Orange Co, Calif. His Grandaddy was a big wheel on the Board of the ADL. From Cairo, Illinois to Cairo, Egypt, there is an odd pattern in resources & methods, no??



June 16th, 2011, 10:41 pm


louai said:

I don’t know for sure if Rami was as bad as his image is but it’s a fact that many Syrians thinks he is the one who stole their money , but as some of Dr.Landis said he is a symptom not the disease
Rami for many is a great symbol of corruption It’s a great move and timing and it will have great and fast effect on the people on the street off course the MB and the other ‘revolutionists’ will do their best to undermine this move but the effect will be positive and I am looking forward to see what will happen tomorrow…

June 16th, 2011, 10:51 pm


daleandersen said:

Rami takes a terrible photo. He looks like a mafia thug…

June 16th, 2011, 11:07 pm


N.Z. said:

At this point, those who had lost loved ones, Rami is not their priority, they want the killers to be brought to justice one by one. Those Who gave the orders to shoot and kill, humiliate and torture, Rami is a thief , this move will not solve the problem at this point. Too much blood has been spilled.

The moves must be as daring as the killings.

June 16th, 2011, 11:22 pm


Abughassan said:

It will be a major shift in policy if we see big names in security forces sidelined and at least few officers taken to court for firing on unarmed protestors. What Syria needs first and foremost is the rule of law. If citizens feel equal under the law and protected from the abuse of security forces they will naturally be less inclined to revolt. Economic troubles will always be a factor in the public approval of any government but we absolutely have to lay the foundation for a civil society first. judicial and political reform must be at the top of reformers list.a number of syrian expats decided to put our money where our mouth is by depositing dollars and euros in Syrian private banks. Charity money is also seeing a surge.I hope non Syrian posters here either leave us alone or say something constructive,many of them are here just to say “stuff” and throw garbage.

June 16th, 2011, 11:23 pm


Abughassan said:

The Syrian government must allow neutral parties to verify stories of rape and killing allegedly committed by regime supporters or regime agents. An internal investigation by an independent commission must be done too. I believe many of those stories are mere rumors and some were intentionally planted to spread hate and gain support,however,if the regime committed no crimes it should not fear an investigation.to be fair,those investigations must include all the crimes that targeted the army and security forces.

June 16th, 2011, 11:42 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Exactly,and this applies to MB terrorist network,or they are monks,or above the law,or protected by aljazera?

June 16th, 2011, 11:42 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

And Alaaror looks like Angelina Juli.

June 16th, 2011, 11:44 pm


mouatenshariff said:

step 1 : rami makhloouf quits business and pretend to be doing charity
step 2: Coup by Maher Assad/Rami makhlouuf to remove Bashar
step 3: rami runs for president against a wellknown Sunni candidate.
step 4: maher is the strong man in the regime
step 5: People will miss Bashar

June 17th, 2011, 12:53 am


daleandersen said:

Over on the Huffington Post, there’s a write-up on the question of whether civil war is in Syria’s future. Here’s what I wrote:


June 17th, 2011, 1:22 am



On the Flag thingy
1. Cheap symbolism is a hallmark of tyranny.
2. Anyone recall Chomsky’s title (Manufacturing Consent)

On Rami Buffet
1. I like EHSANI’s comment in the main post. Some Syrians still make sence. Others sound like Nazi propagandists

2. The snake living two holes downhill did the same last summer. We got all the bones of our pups that it ate

On SAMARA’s assuault on our ears in previous post

Daddy got Muhmmad Abdel-Wahab to compose a song that I still consider a very powerful song (يجعلها عمار) . It had nice music (off course it was done by the Master himself), beautiful lyrics , despite of the prhase about lions (we hamsters don’t like those who eat our relatives the rabbits). and the original was outstandingly performed. I still whisle the tune even after 30 years. Look who Junior got….

Your songs and their singers (except for Najwa Karam’s 2007 song, who I hope will be reluctant to sing for doc-junior now), are an insult on art. The music has the same cheap tired and old melody, despite of one song trying to have a sexy jazzy, and half decent openning, but as expected from anything baathists of today do, the creativity of the so called musician ran out within less tham 10 second and reverted back to the same tune we have been hearing for the last 50 years from syrian regime composers.

We hamsters have refine musical taste, and we like songs that lift the spirit, Somthing like this, written and performed by real artists, numdasseen who belong to the human race

** Note to Men7ebbak crowd: No you may not appropriate يجعلها عمار to basboush. It may apply to the heir of the heir (Hafez Junior), but not to the heir himself.

Back to the rathole

June 17th, 2011, 1:32 am



Out of the Rathole once more

Samara and co. BTW: we will reclaim يجعلها عمار to Syria and will remove the reference to the lion and put in phrase more consistent with the greatness of that song. I am sure it was written for Syria and Syrians, and the Lion’s ref was a simple substitution that can be reversed, quite easily.

We will also reclaim every public place, roundabout (dwwar), and wall from the cheaply painted pictures of the tyrants and from the cheaply constructed statues. We will erect status of real syrian heroes, not the cheap fake lazy ones. Our walls will, however, be clean.

Another thing we will reclaim is Euclidean geometry.

Into the rathole again

June 17th, 2011, 1:58 am


Syria no kandahar said:

Syria Hamster
This was unnecessary trip out of your rathole,we have much more complicated problems than Najwa or Faris Karam ,we are in or at the edge of civil war and your trips out of your hole should be for a better goal.
By the way in your next adventure I would love to see you getting some cheese and give your opinion about Syria’s Sectarian Engineering,Inc(Alaaroor,Alhedan,Karadawi et al)

June 17th, 2011, 2:03 am


SYR.Expat said:

The day is coming, God willing, when this dark chapter in Syria’s history will be forever closed. A big salute to the brave souls who braved the bullets with their bare chests to give us a better future.

Thank you for the link.

June 17th, 2011, 2:10 am



Qandahari obsessed guy # 22

You keep having 3ar3oori nightmares, I will keep dreaming Malek Jandali dreams.

And it is necessary, for language and tunes, such as the casual calls for murders the propagandists, including yourself have been bombarding us with for months now , are part of your false narrative construction. I will deconstruct what I can, and leave events on the ground and the heroes of the uprising to deconstruct what they can. Your beloved regime must be deconstructed brick by brick, and not blown away as its cruelty and vulgarity invaded even the concious of syrians, and language of tyranny, its hymns of idolation, and philosophy are as important, for they enable the culture of accepting oppression that you have been defending under the false pretenses.

go back to Qandahar, and I am back to my rathole

June 17th, 2011, 2:17 am


Usama said:

Just a couple of simple questions to the pro-revolution crowd:

1) Do you really believe the Syrian Arab Army is raping women and mutilating them?
2) Do you really believe the Syrian Arab Army is burning crops, killing livestock, and shelling homes?

Answer honestly please.

June 17th, 2011, 2:26 am



1. Hard to believe, and that is why it should be investigated. It could have been done by sick individuals (which is what rapists are), but i can not believe that it is a policy.

2. Did it before, can do it again…

June 17th, 2011, 2:33 am


Yazan said:

Dear Ehsani,
Such a simplistic approach to the damage done by Rami Makhlouf (as representative of the neo-oligarchs) is very disappointing, especially from a distinguished economist like yourself.

Do correct me if I’m wrong, though. It is not the mere amount of money that he siphoned through the system, it is the amount of lost opportunity for economic growth had there been real competition, the amount lost on the treasury from the cell phone concessions alone (if my memory serves me right, Riad Seif and Aref Dalila estimated that at 800 million a year, in 2001). And many others. Having a Mr. 10% is not the best practice for a country that is in dire need of foreign investment, is it now?

He’s obviously not being offered up, and I think this regime is still falling into the trap of half-assed measures.

Yesterday, I called up a dear friend of mine, who’s very pro and “menhebbak”, the first thing he said on the phone was “regardless of where we stand, there’s one thing all Syrians agree on, Rami Harami (Rami is a thief)”. Half-assed measures, at best.

June 17th, 2011, 2:38 am


Yazan said:

Dear Ehsani,
Such a simplistic approach to the damage done by Rami Makhlouf (as representative of the neo-oligarchs) is very disappointing, especially from a distinguished economist like yourself.

Do correct me if I\’m wrong, though. It is not the mere amount of money that he siphoned through the system, it is the amount of lost opportunity for economic growth had there been real competition, the amount lost on the treasury from the cell phone concessions alone (if my memory serves me right, Riad Seif and Aref Dalila estimated that at 800 million a year, in 2001). And many others. Having a Mr. 10% is not the best practice for a country that is in dire need of foreign investment, is it now?

He\’s obviously not being offered up, and I think this regime is still falling into the trap of half-assed measures.

Yesterday, I called up a dear friend of mine, who\’s very pro and \”menhebbak\”, the first thing he said on the phone was \”regardless of where we stand, there\’s one thing all Syrians agree on, Rami Harami (Rami is a thief)\”. Half-assed measures, at best.

June 17th, 2011, 2:39 am


Usama said:

Dr. Landis,

Just to let you know, the “wonderful” NPR article you featured by pseudonym Daniel Nassar is also a fake. It is so easy to see. How convenient this person comes out now to say Amina was obviously fake. Every real Syrian, who grew up in Syria, knew it. Unless this new person decides to start a blog, it will probably be harder to prove, but come on… it is just so obvious. Why do they keep doing this? It could be because the gay lobby in the west is only second to the Zionist lobby.

The article you featured “In Search of Leverage with Syria” angered me so much. The authors literally suggest ways in which to destroy Syria’s economy. They search for ways to destroy the livelihood of Syrians and everything they have worked for. The way I see it, this new gay bubble is just another way to mobilize certain groups to lobby for pressure (ie. intervention).

June 17th, 2011, 2:47 am


Usama said:

Syrian Hamster

1) Enough of the bullshit. You know damn well who it was that raped those women and mutilated them.

2) They burned crops, killed livestock, and shelled homes before? Why? It doesn’t make sense. Don’t tell me because the regime is not rational, because that is just more bullshit. I saw some videos before of “evidence” of soldiers shelling homes and it was so ridiculous. Those people don’t understand the meaning of a home being shelled. Do you happen to have better evidence that they have done this kind of stuff before?

I think it’s disgusting how our army’s reputation is being dragged through the mud. It makes me so angry down to the core. It’s very clear who has the main interest in demoralizing and belittling our armed forces.

June 17th, 2011, 3:02 am


Syria no kandahar said:

MB rat
As a typical MB response you avoid discussing Alaaroor and Wisal TV.God created you free,and as a free rat,you should’t feel a shame of denouncing a sectarian wild gay cat(Alaaroor).it is my simple test to any one:As soon as they run away from the answer I know definitely that this is an MB rat,you can simply proof me wrong by denouncing those sectarian wild cats,you can’t ,it is nature and deep history between MB rats and wahabi wild cats.I am free,I object to a lot of the stuff I see wrong.I denounce and hate Atif Najeeb,I hate Mokabarat,I hate and denounce killing any Syrian,I think any regime member who is definitely responsible for any crime should be accountable for it ,even Bashar or Maher .Now show me you are not a rat and denounce Alaaroor,denounce his statements,his teaching his ethics and his destruction of our society,be a free rat,don’t chicken out,get out of the hole.
As far as destruction and dismantling,I give MB a credit they are doing it well,but it is destruction of a nation more than a regime.you stated that you are doing your part and the heroes are doing there part on the ground:are these Nidal Janoud killers heroes?or officer Tallawi and his kids killers ?or the handsome beard terrorists shown in the Turkish media today in jest alshoghor with swords and guns drinking tea?or the you rats friends doing the public hanging on the pole in Hama,based on the wild gay cat with red beard teaching?
So I am going to give a chance to proof me wrong,I will tell your master wild cat to stay away while you come out of the hole,don’t be scared.

June 17th, 2011, 3:14 am


Samara said:

Lets hope that all the MB members get annihilated. So soon, people will be saying, ‘The Muslim Brotherwho?’ there will be no members left, they will be forgotten.

June 17th, 2011, 3:17 am


louai said:

Another webpage where this murderous reporting people who stand against the revolution, some of people were added and accused of organizing pro regime rallies or for simply joining pro-goverment rallies i don’t understand how the facebook allow such pages that promote hatred and crimes, another image from the future to tell us how would be Syria if this hysteria wins.


June 17th, 2011, 3:18 am


daleandersen said:

Ahhhhh! Friday already. So soon. The week went by like a blur.

And the faithful are going to pray for peace and justice and health and good will to all men, yes?


June 17th, 2011, 3:21 am


Usama said:

With today’s Saleh al-`Ali Friday clearly trying to “connect” with `Alawi communities in Syria, which is sure to be another chapter of the revolutionaries’ failures to attract supporters, it is appropriate to bring up Dr. Landis’ recent blog entry about his doubts about Mohja Kahf’s article proclaiming that 4 (of 7) major `Alawi clans dissociating themselves from the Asads, with this being interpreted as a pro-revolution stance. To be fair, most of Dr. Landis’ doubt is about the strength of `Alawi clan representation in modern times.


Mohja Kahf was so nice as to post a comment on that blog entry explaining her sources, so in case anyone missed it, I just wanted to bring it up here.


Her sources are:
1) A declaration on Facebook, which you need to dig through to find (maybe Syrian Hamster can use his hole digging skills to help us find it)
2) A YouTube video of some dude in London who declares the content of this declaration to a well-receiving crowd. This video is dated March 19!!!!
3) A Barada TV program. Barada TV is the London-based anti-government MB-linked satellite TV channel that has been exposed by Wikileaks as a recipient of large US government funds. The MB had a good time assassinating `Alawi academia and butchering others in the late 70’s to early 80’s.
4) A sentence in ponytail Abdel-7ameer’s blog that claims `Alawis were forced into buses to show support for the regime. As ridiculous as that claim is, I’m not sure how this proves that 4 major `Alawi clans became anti-Asad, but it is important to note that ponytail Abdel-7ameer is another recipient of US government funds through its cover MEPI (Middle East Peace Initiative) program.

Does anyone know how I can get an editorial published in the Guardian? Clearly it can’t be that hard to qualify! (Serious question, by the way)

June 17th, 2011, 3:37 am


Badr said:

A hardly significant concession on the economic front, in a further attempt to placate the protestors and avoid implementing genuine political reforms.

I believe ABOALI’s comment #8 is an accurate description.

June 17th, 2011, 3:37 am


syau said:

Chossudovsky: Bahrain killings approved in the White House


As usual,the US is selective with its condemnations.

June 17th, 2011, 3:41 am


Da Bab el Hara alla Primavera : invisiblearabs said:

[…] (ricordo serissimi problemi in Libano poco prima dell’assassinio di Rafiq Hariri…). Rami Makhlouf, il cugino di Bashar el Assad, uno dei bersagli del movimento 15 marzo, avrebbe ceduto i profitti […]

June 17th, 2011, 3:44 am


John khouri said:

The economist tells us Christians I’n Homs have joined the demonstrations??? Hahahah are they being serious. Not a single Christian has joined the protest all over Syria, especially I’n Homs . Who is protesting I’m Homs – khaldieh, bab omr( thugs and criminals). Their are full time army personnel surroudinh the churches I’n Homs so that the protesters don’t firebomb them . Were does the economist get it’s facts from

June 17th, 2011, 3:50 am


haz said:

Usama #30

1. I don’t know! Do you know?! Maybe you should tell the police if you’ve witnessed a crime (hearing about it on the internet doesn’t count).

2. Hama. 1982.

June 17th, 2011, 3:50 am


samara said:

Abuali’s desperate claim that he has spoken to businessmen is a clear indication of the means anti- regimists go to, in order to self justify their deluded imaginations. If, he actually has spoken to some, if he is not living up the revolutionaries reputation as liying scum bags, if he is not himself an avid supporter of the MB, then his comments still prove nothing. Buddy. Mate. Love. Wake the hell up. If those business men are against the regime yet fear going against it publically, so they do not lose their riches, then they are greedy, money hungry, low life morons. Who, unless they are all that i have described, would support something they despise, even it means losing everything?? I wouldnt. So the opinion of unreliable businessmen means nothing.

Proud to be Syrian. Proud to be an Assadian. Proud to be a Bushroupie. Proud of it all. Allah yehmeek ya Bashar.

June 17th, 2011, 3:57 am


Shami said:

We are all aware that our alawite brothers are not likely to join in mass because they could face harsh punishment if they dare to leave the sectarian logic imposed by this regime,nobody can deny that the non paranoid among them ,many alawite communists and alawite intellectuals understand that their future is with all Syria and they are part of the arab world ,when we meet them ,they like to explain that the community as whole doesnt support asad mafia crimes.
But it’s a positive and patriotic step towards the community ,we should make sure to those who are victim of asad scare scenario that they have nothing to fear and will not pay for the crimes of a regime.

Listen to this guenine syrian alawite lady :

June 17th, 2011, 3:58 am


Usama said:


1) I don’t need to report the criminals. Most of them have already been caught and confessed. The question was simply if you believe the claims of “refugees” that Syrian Arab Army soldiers raped women and cut off their breasts and slashed their faces. Would you care to answer that?

2) Oh ok, so what you’re saying is, if we ignore the different circumstances, and the 30-year timeframe in between, that Hama 1982 proves that the Syrian Arab Army is shelling homes, burning crops, and killing livestock in Jisr ash-Shughour today. Brilliant! Where did you get your education?! Clearly the Syrian education system cannot produce such brilliant minds as yours!

June 17th, 2011, 3:59 am


EIU said:

Ehsani — I think your back of the envelope should give Makhlouf 62%, if private shareholders have 38%.

We were afforded a glimpse into the ownership structure of Syriatel in 2002-03 during the dispute with Orascom Telecom. Briefly, Makhlouf claimed in early 2002 that OT had breached contract, and a Damascus court in April that year ordered in favour of Makhlouf and his investment vehicle Drex Technologies, registered in the British Virgin Islands. OT hit back securing a freeze on the worldwide assets of Drex; it got a further injunction freezing Drex’s Arab Bank account in Austria. The two sides eventually settled in July 2003, with OT coming out with compensation from Drex. Meanwhile the Drex shareholdings were transferred to Ramak, a Makhlouf family holding. Orascom’s view was that Makhlouf brought them in to do the heavy lifting at the start of the operation, with capital and know-how, and then cooked up a dispute to clear the way for a takeover. Orascom managed to get out without losing too much, as I think they were aware of the risks of dealing with Makhlouf. I recall a telephone call with Rami at the time in which he claimed that “the problem with Naguib is that he doesn’t pay…”

Back to the present, both Syriatel and MTN perform important functions as one of the biggest sources of budget revenue to the state other than oil, as they are contracted to hand over 50% of turnover to the government.

June 17th, 2011, 4:27 am


syau said:

Shami, #41,

Thanks for the laugh.

You’re delving into comedy it seems.

June 17th, 2011, 4:37 am


Samara said:


“We are all aware that our alawite brothers are not likely to join in mass because they could face harsh punishment if they dare to leave the sectarian logic imposed by this regime”

What the hell do you know? Any Alawi, Sunni, Shias, Druz, Christian… who does not go against something they do not believe in has issues. Seriously, if I hated something, and if going against it meant losing my head, I wouldn’t care. The point is that you make a statement. You don’t be a wuss. You stand up for what you believe in. Those so called Alawis who you are ‘aware’ of are just in your head. You have some serious problems. If they REALLY were against the regime, they wouldn’t care; they would go to any means to show their content. Unlike you, who just sits at his pretty little computer, typing crap.

You say that the Syrian regime is sectarian? You’re joking right? At least consider the fact that Christians, Sunnis, Druz, Shias, Catholics, and so on, love Bashar and the Assad family? I have a Catholic lecturer at Uni who was expressing his love for the Assads, and showing how irritated he is with the violence of the revolution. And he is Macedonian. What more do you want? Why are Christian singers singing for Bashar? Why are Sunni singers singing for him?

Next you will say that the Muslim Brotherhood are totally open and love all religions, nationalities and they are anything but sectarian. If so, how come you have the main leaders and members who are affiliated with the revolution being outspoken about how Alawis should convert to Sunni-ism or they will suffer? How come you have many MBs and revolutionaries targeting and murdering predominantly Alawi soldiers? Why are there revolutionaries saying ‘let’s go against the Alawi leader’? Why must they, or you, see him as such? Why can you not see him a leader and that is all? We have an Atheist as our Prime Minister in Australia. No one cares. But, we do have a Islamic extremist, who has spoken of his content for the Syrian regime, who is going on national television saying that ‘if you do not convert to Islam, you go to hell”. An Australian reporter asked him, ‘where do you see me in the future’. The MB affiliated bloke said, “If you do not convert to Islam, you will be in hell” Who say that? Have you ever heard Bashar al Assad tell people that Islam is the only religion? Have you ever heard him say, convert to Alawi or you die? Please answer. Why, has Bashar al Assad built churches in Syria if he is sectarian? Why does he continue to build churches for them? Look at Saudi Arabia. Will you find a church there? Travel from the beginning of Saudi to the end, you will not find a church. That is sectarian. That is discrimination. That is King 3aduAllah for you.

That women in the clip. Please. She only represents about less than 10% of the Alawi population. Not even that.

You and those like you SHAMI are turning this into a sectarian war. The government is not. The thing that pisses you all off is that an Alawi, an educated Alawi, is the leader of Syria. And a great one. So don’t claim anything you can’t justify mate. King 3aduAllah, Bush, Obama, Israeli dude, Turkish bloke and so on, they are the sectarians. They are the evil SOBs.

June 17th, 2011, 4:53 am


Mina said:


The best way to get published in a Western newspaper is first to write a long letter to the “Readers section.” I am ready to translate anything you want in French and to look for a visible place to publish it if you want. Another possibility is to publish it in the comment section of a widely read blog, or to write directly to the owner of the blog or website (such as Hufpo, Znet…) to ask if it could be taken as an “invited contribution.”
The second thing to do, if one day the Arabs want to get organized, is to systematically write protest letters to big newspapers when they give biased and unverified reports with threats of cutting subscriptions and to call them names on FB and everywhere on the internet.

June 17th, 2011, 5:19 am


HS said:

Dear Aboali
You wrote in #5 :
You either have to pay bribes left right and center and partner up with an official or an officer to get preferential treatment and circumvent the law to get ahead of the competition,
or you struggle, lose money for years, get bogged down by bureaucracy and outdated legislation, pay exorbitant taxes and work your butt off just to eke out a living.
Which is why most honest business men have packed up and left years ago.
I should know, I’m one of those trying to eke out an existence in Aleppo’s business scene.
Here is my answer for you to think about :

Even In the “best” countries
1. Corruption is difficult to find : Carlisle and Cheney …

2. New business have a high failure rate over their first 5 years

A Small Business Administration study earlier this year found that 24 percent of new businesses never make it to their second anniversary. Another 23 percent fail in the next two years.


3. Very successful businessmen are not always “thieves” :

Jeff Bezos, Amazon ; Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway ; Larry Ellison, Oracle ; Richard Kinder, Kinder ; Morgan Energy Partners ; Ralph Lauren, Polo Ralph Lauren ; John Mackey, Whole Foods Market Rupert Murdoch, News Corp.

4. First in the Forbes list of billionaires (2011)
is owner of telecommunications companies Telmex and América Móvil with an interesting Lebanese background

Have a good day

June 17th, 2011, 6:46 am


ali alves said:


June 17th, 2011, 6:51 am


Syria no kandahar said:

MB Hamster
You are still in the hole, I won.

June 17th, 2011, 7:01 am


Aboud said:

“The pro-Assad demonstration along Mezzeh Autostrad in Damascus underlines that the majority of Syrians seem to be sticking by the government’s side”

And professor Landis came to that conclusion from watching an orchestrated demo in the only one of two cities left to the government? Have we all forgotten the cliche that “Yes only has meaning when No is a realistic alternative”?

Also professor, remember the orchestrated pro-regime demo in Homs during the early day? School children and civil servants were ordered into the streets to wave junior’s photo. Today, no one in their right mind would call Homs pro-regime.

Anyway, bones must of course be thrown to the Baathists on this website to keep them coming back.

Regarding the flag in Mazzi, a nice feat of tailoring. Too bad the only thing in the world longer is the regime’s list of wanted persons and prisoners of conscience.

And apparently junior had run out of fake concessions, he now has to turn to his cousin to make some up for him. It is illuminating that throughout all this, Rami has given more interviews and been on TV more times than el-presidento

June 17th, 2011, 7:09 am


Tara said:

Aboud, # 49

Well said!

June 17th, 2011, 7:52 am


aboali said:

burning the flags of Hezbollah, Iran and Russia in Lattakia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbrcLw6IvSo

protesters in Hama unfurl a Syrian flag 2.4 km long:


June 17th, 2011, 8:26 am


aboali said:

people of Homs also hold up a massive Syrian flag. There’s a clear message being sent here guys.

June 17th, 2011, 8:33 am


aboali said:

“smoking gun” video in Homs 27-5. Officer takes careful aim with pistol and fires at protesters

can any of you pro-regime idiots justify this now? can you refute it? Of course you can’t, keep lying and being idiots then.

June 17th, 2011, 9:02 am


samara said:

shit said.

Allah yehme Iran and Hezballah. God protect Russia.

Bahar all the way!! Ramy we love you!! Maher ya habib!!

June 17th, 2011, 9:04 am


democracynow said:

Yes. Rami Makhlouf is being offered. (or ‘offed’, if you will). The great question now is whether it will be enough to pacify the people. I imagine if you’re a resident of Binesh or Baniyas or Areeha or Da’el or Nawa or Ibta’ or Jasem or Daraa or Baba Amr or Bukmal or Douma or Mo’adamiya and the security forces are all over your town, shooting haphazardly and arresting arbitrarily*; the last thing on your mind if you’re in that position is whether Rami Makhlouf’s wealth and earnings are properly audited or not.

It also seems that this move is meant for those who haven’t made up their minds yet. Those who are struggling with fear and the multiple frightening scenarios being peddled by Josh Landis (and others) about a future Assad-less Syria. A person who’s helpless in the face of a brutal regime does need a few tranquilizing justifications for his/her inaction. It’s like believing in an imaginary god because you can’t face up to the idea of no life after death. “Bashar is good” (the poor credulous citizen here is struggling with images of brutality he/she sees on TV and the number of martyrs so far) “And Rami doesn’t seem like a bad fellow. He’s soft spoken he’s almost pathetic. He just gave up his self-made fortune to rescue Syria…. I’m not sure why people were against him from the beginning…”

One shouldn’t not be fooled, though. This gambit by the regime is nothing more than a few millions dispersed to the people, a one time investment for the regime’s stability and, given the reference made to the martyrs, the regime’s idea of blood money, perhaps. There’s absolutely no guarantee that another Rami Makhlouf will not surface and rake in the millions in the absence of checks and balances. One does indeed wonder if the regime is naive enough to believe that chants against Rami Makhlouf were chants against his singular figure, and not against the whole phenomenon of profiteering, racketeering, embezzlement and gangbangerism that have flourished under their auspicious rule.

* It turned out the lists get old and are never updated, and so the security people have to improvise and use discretion.

June 17th, 2011, 9:05 am


Aboud said:

Nicely put Democracynow.

For the past 8 days, Internet access has been cut off from Homs and Hama, and only yesterday did subscribers to the post office lines get their connections back.

It hasn’t stopped the videos and images from getting out to the world, nor has it diminished in any way the size and frequency of the protests in those two cities. Just another hopeless move by a regime that’s flailing its arms, completely clueless as to what each Friday may bring.

June 17th, 2011, 9:16 am


Mohamed Kanj said:

Homs has a population of 1,000,000+++++. So why at the peak of protests has Homs only been able to gather maximum 20,000???????

Hmmmm interesting fact isn’t it ABOUD and ABO ALI :-)))) can u stil conclude that Homs is pro revolution????


June 17th, 2011, 9:21 am


Mohamed kanj said:

Shami, abo ali , Aboud –

I just watched the 10,000 people protesting I’n Hama . Why are the women I’n the corners away from the men???? Hmmmm very secular Isnt it. Why don’t these women have freedom to stand beside their fathers,brothers, sons???

June 17th, 2011, 9:29 am


aboali said:

#61 no, but I can conclude that you’re a great big idiot. 20 thousand coming out to protest, when they’ve seen hundreds massacred and mowed down in the streets for protesting before, means that there are hundreds of thousands who want to protest but are too terrified, only the most brave and courageous are risking it to get their voice heard, so 20,000 is very impressive by those standards. Get your thugs and murderous mukhabart off the streets, and you’ll see millions protesting, I guarantee you that you great big troll.

June 17th, 2011, 9:31 am


EHSANI2 said:

Dear Yazan,

I cannot disagree with a word of what you wrote. I knew that readers were going to take issue with my comment and conclude that I somehow do not think that Rami’s actions over the years had a negative impact. The main purpose of my comment was to highlight that the main task ahead is to turn this economy around. Getting rid of corruption of course will help. But it is not the only magic formula that would solve the country’s problems. So much more is needed. Egypt is an example. I will repeat:

Syria needs to grow at a real (net of inflation) 7-8% to absorb the loads of young men and women ready to enter its labor force. Almost half of all Syrians (48%) are under the age of 19 (still in high school) and 58% are under the age of 24. It is a frightening challenge when it comes to the number of jobs that need to be created. Think of the numbers of affordable homes that need to be supplied.

My concerns about Rami’s practices were raised on this forum on numerous occasions in the past. It was back in 2008 when I wrote the following note on Rami’s duty free business:


I hope that this serves as a clarification to the excellent comment that you made.


My 38% number came from the syriatel website where Rami is quoted as saying that shareholders in the company could have made their best investment as their holdings have reached SYP 23.3 Billion. Given that the entire market capitalization of the company is SYP 61.3 billion (67 million shares times 915 pounds per share), I figured that the shareholders own 38% (23.3/61.3). This does leave 62%. Rami claimed that he will give up 40% of the profits which is his share in the company. I am not sure who owns the other 22%. It is important to note that we don’t even know who those 38% “shareholders” are in the first place.

June 17th, 2011, 9:34 am


873 said:

Rami can step down or not; its irrelevant. This fight is not about Rami, its not even about Assad, though they make very useful lightning rods for the opposition to fasten onto.

The Arab Revolt was a Western product, spawned in neocon think tanks and implemented by jewish controlled media and govt Sayanim.

Download before these sites evaporate. The umbrella org of US media, corporations and govt to train, fund and organize these indigenous elements, that would then do the West’s regime changes at the ‘grass roots’ level in targeted nations. Effort began under Bush and spearheaded by the Carnegie Endowment for Peace and other Color Revolution manufacturers like Soros groups.




June 17th, 2011, 9:36 am


Pas Cool said:


Anyone who comes with any other answer than the one you wish to hear regarding the Syrian Arab Army is immediately disqualified. Why even bother asking the question if you will not tolerate dissenting opinion?

Throughout history (ancient, medieval and modern) soldiers have looted and raped. It is not their default setting, but war and warlike situations promote this kind of behavior. Now, I’m not suggesting that the Syrian Arab Army did or did not do either 1 or 2, but I believe you should give an answer as to why the Syrian Arab Army would be immune to this kind of behavior? Is it their training? Syrian generosity? Their love for and belief in everything Syrian? Please enlighten me as to why the Syrian Arab Army did not and never would do these kind of things.

June 17th, 2011, 9:44 am


Revlon said:

Turkmani’s visit to Turkey, The call for “listening session” with the ground opposition via Syrian Salvation Congress , Asad-Makhloof Syndicate philanthropy, and the Jr’s planned speach are not random activities.
They have a unifying theme: Work on improving image, and buy time!

– Turkmani’s visit probably carried a deal or a blackmail, for support of the regime in return for some regional military/security concession.
– The planned congress will serve to buy time, decode the network of activists in preparation for its liquidation, and improve the political image in front of the western world.
– Asad-Makhloof Syndicate philanthropic gesture, aka CHARITY, is intended to shore up with the government the rising costs of the crackdown (pay paramilitary and army and security overtime), improve the image of a corrupt greedy buiness mafioso attached to R Makhloof, and reduce the public pressure on Jr to take action against him.
– Jr’s planned speech will be typical: Indulgence in pedantics and more promises of perfunctory reforms.

June 17th, 2011, 9:45 am


Pas Cool said:

873 post nr 65

Yes, we’re getting revenge for France 1789, Russia 1917, Germany 1921 and Greece 2010-2011. You stay out of our business & we stay out of yours, capiche?

Get real. This is colonial thinking if anything, saying that Arab people need a western push to fight for democracy. Western countries might empower a certain number of people with the tools to get around media scrutiny and censorships, but the will is their own, and the fight for more democracy in the Arab world very necessary. You do not see the democratic deficit in the Arab world?

June 17th, 2011, 9:54 am


873 said:

Pas Cool,

If you think the US/Israel has not had the trigger focused on Syria and the toppling of various govts in the region for years, you’re ignorant. I have file 6″ high of documentation of Western “democracy movements”- going back decades and around the world. Starting the with The Shah.

My whole point, which you didnt seem able to grasp, is that these covert ops are part of old colonial thinking and tactics. Get educated.

ME countries have been under oppression, poverty and frustration for decades. What changed now, suddenly, to unleash such a torrent of “spontaneous regime topplings” out of nowhere? The entire region uprising due to one food vendor? Wake up and do some research. And why arent US allied dictatorships like the Saudis, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan “uprising”? Think.

June 17th, 2011, 10:05 am


aboali said:

# 65 Sure retard, millions of Arabs in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria revolted because Zionists and Neo Cons told them to, not because of decades of poverty and humiliation living under brutal police states.

June 17th, 2011, 10:09 am


Revlon said:

R. Makhloof, in my estimation, has not been and can not be sacrificed without risking the collapse of the regime.
Syria is ruled by Makhloof-Asad syndicate

Jr inherited its presidency; He provides the constitutional and judicial cover. As such, he owns the exclusive rights to approve any major or minor business in Syria, through his appointed ministers.

R. Makhloof inherited the position of COE of its Business and Revenues; He is family, trusted, and Business inclined.
Securing monopoly on large / corporate business is strategically vital for maintaining a firm grip on power. Such prevents the rise of powerful business that could evolve into a competitive political force.
The revenues, of course are divided according to seniority. Jr gets the lion’s share!
Such keep him above suspicions of corruption.
Government records would show that he earns just around SP30,000 (USD800) a month; It has probably has changes after the recent salary increments!

June 17th, 2011, 10:13 am


why-discuss said:

Pas cool, Usama

The arabs may have been pushed into the sea of democracy by the West but they don’t know how to swim. Some will drown, some are learning the hard way.
Anyway, these events are triggering the emergence of self observation, analysis and self-criticism that have always lacked in countries that have been crippled by centuries of colonialism and oppression

June 17th, 2011, 10:19 am


EIU said:


For what it’s worth Syriatel does have a little section on its site for shareholders, apparently defined as those who subscribed to the IPO of 7m shares (10%) in 2004.


Of course the IPO was not covered by any regulated capital market oversight, and Syriatel has not listed on the DSE.

June 17th, 2011, 10:23 am


Akbar Palace said:

The Perfect Definition of “Retard”

#70 Aboali,

It’s nice to see someone on this website who isn’t afraid to think and not blame others.

Good Luck on Syria Comment!

June 17th, 2011, 10:23 am


873 said:

If you live in such a police state, then how are these uprisings possible? And if its so bad why dont you leave?

The people want to overthrow their govt let them do it. But know ALL the factors involved and not just the propaganda. Its a BIG game being played here and it goes far beyond just Syria. You want democracy? Hamas was democratically elected as was Mossedegh. See what happened after those two true and fair elections. Outside colonial forces intervened to fix things. They will again, if ME democracy gets ‘out of hand’. LOL

I see you’ve even gotten the stamp of approval of the Mossad at SC. LOLOL

You’re a dunce, maybe you deserve a dictatorship, democratically speaking.

June 17th, 2011, 10:24 am


Pas Cool said:


Thanks for your reply.

You say these demonstrations come out of nowhere, yet you say they have been suffering for decades. That is not “out of nowhere”.

As for other countries no revolting: as far as I know Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen were allies to the USA, in various ways. So for your theory to hold, you would need to explain why these countries did revolt. As for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and even Jordan, my response would be that these countries offer a better life for many, unlike Syria and Egypt. But this response does not cover it all, as I believe that to explain why one society/country faces a revolution whilst another does not one would have to resort to various fields of academia, like demography, sociology, economics, politics etc (Tunisia baffles me in this regard, but I am definitely not an expert on Tunisia, nor on the Gulf). If you ask me whether or not there is a political stance taken by various western countries I would say of course there is. Of course the US and other countries (like China) would hate to see the oil stop flowing from the Gulf, so they aquiesce to the will of the Sauds and others, unfortunately. Hypocrisy? Yes. But also realpolitik.

My best guess on this is a combination of demography (huge hords of young that can not see a better future for themselves) combined with economic inequality and poverty combined with rising levels of education and a dose of lack for basic human rights. In some regards, like Daraa in Syria, throw in clumsiness by the ruling regime (a spark of sorts).

As for western “democracy movements”. Definitely (western) countries have meddled where they should not have. But this I see as somewhat removed from current events. Do you really believe that all those people who took to the streets in Egypt and Tunisia did not do this out of their own conviction, trying to secure a better future for themselves, their family and their country? Do you believe that their free will was altered so that their thinking was aligned with that of the governments of the West?

June 17th, 2011, 10:34 am


Tara said:

Talking about Angelina Jolie and the Syrian refugees. I wonder if she too gonna wear a pair of Louboutins?

I already know what Asma is wearing. See below:

What Should Asma al-Assad Wear to the Syrian Revolution?

June 17th, 2011, 10:38 am


William Scott Scherk said:

Revlon — any more solid news about the national congress / listening session approved by the government?

Seems the government information system is broken if it cannot get official news about this proposed event out. No president, no cabinet, no parliament, no media advisor taking interviews, no speeches, no press releases, no decrees, no press conferences, no advisory bulletins . . . who is managing the flow of this government’s official policy and proposals? — what exactly does Bouthaina do for her salary?

To my far away eyes, it seems like a government operating behind the scenes, incommunicado and fumbling.

Revlon’s earlier report on regime-approved national congress here.

June 17th, 2011, 10:45 am


Aboud said:

” but I believe you should give an answer as to why the Syrian Arab Army would be immune to this kind of behavior”

What you describe is the actions of a foreign conquering force, who think that the women and property of a foreign enemy are the spoils of war. One does not have such a mentality if one is supposedly going into a town inhabited by one’s own people to liberate it from Salafis.

But such behavior makes perfect sense if the invading force are shabiha scum who view anyone who doesn’t kneel at junior’s picture as foreign agents who deserve the worst retribution imaginable. Just remember how the Baathists turned on professor Landis for expressing an opinion they didn’t like. Now imagine what they do to civilians away from the world’s news cameras.

June 17th, 2011, 10:47 am


EHSANI2 said:


Syriatel has not listed on the DSE because it still operates as a BOT (build, operate and transfer). It still does not have an official licence. The idea was to wait for the third company to be approved and offered a licence before Syriatel does too. Many of the companies that wanted to bid in the auction pulled out when they were unhappy with the terms. Etisalat of the U.A.E is still interested if the government modifies these terms. When and if this happens, the BOT of Syriatel can then also be transfered into an official licenced company that can list on the DSE.

June 17th, 2011, 10:54 am


Syria no kandahar said:

Did any one see Syrian Hamster coming out of the hole today,I was trying to do Alaaroor Test and see if he will denounce him?if you see him tell him so far he is failing.thanks

June 17th, 2011, 10:57 am


Pas Cool said:

Aboud post nr 79

“One does not have such a mentality if one is supposedly going into a town inhabited by one’s own people to liberate it from Salafis.”

I beg to differ. Former Yoguslavia, Rwanda and perhaps Libya are but three modern examples. I’m not saying that the situation is similar to what it was/is in these three mentioned countries (not that it is a precondition for soldiers to start acting brutally). I’m saying that one can’t say that it is a given that soldiers would NOT act brutish because of this and that. I also believe in the mantra “innocent until proven guilty”, but unfortunately this saying is not very valid in the fog of war. So Usama still needs to explaing his rationale for why Syrian soldiers are immune to misbehavior. (Although, saying that they are not immune to misbehavior is not the same as saying that they are in fact guilty of 1 and 2.)

June 17th, 2011, 10:59 am


samara said:

It’s amazing what people write out of envy. Green is not a nice colour. Not on anyone. Asma is beautiful, intellectual, and much more.

June 17th, 2011, 11:04 am


samara said:

You are always writing ” shabiha scum”. Can i redirect … Edited for insults

June 17th, 2011, 11:14 am


Tara said:


I crossed path with Asma few times before her marriage. I had then nothing but admiration. I defended her Vogue PR campaign to non-Syrian audience. At that time, I was still not tuned in..

I now feel that she have somehow to try to earn that again.

June 17th, 2011, 11:18 am


Syria no kandahar said:

Samara is the best thing which happened to MB rats on this siteالفيوزات محروقه علا عل اخر

June 17th, 2011, 11:22 am


why-discuss said:

al Jazeera claims 150,000 peacefully demonstrating carrying a large syrian flag and praising Turkey in Hama. This is the largest I ever heard of. Any confirmation from Hamawis?

June 17th, 2011, 11:29 am


mjabali said:

Syria no Kandahar

ASk them about Ibn Taymiyah please and see how they still see that Criminal as a saint, so we have no hope talking to these stone aged salafi fanatics.

ASk them, as many had suggested, to have a FRIDAY of BURNING FATAWI IBN TAYHIMYAH instead of this fiasco when they had a Saleh al-Ali Friday, whom are they fooling? Whom are they fooling when they call for a Saleh al-Ali friday while they still believe the Fatawi ibn Taymiyah? Can some sane person explain this to me? It is funny when someone see the lies of the Muslim Brothers behind this? Do you want to tell me that the one calling for Saleh al-Ali’s Friday do not believe in the bottom of his heart that the Alawis are infidels and should be killed?

al-3ar3ur is a big fan and dispenser of Ibn Taymiyah’s ideas and this current criminal should be put in the Loony Bin (العصفورية) along with those who are trying to fool us to believe that they want a plural Syria that includes all Sects and religions.

Do you think you can live in a country with those who still believe in Ibn Taymiyah and his current student al-3ar3ur?

جمعة حرق فتاوى ابن تيمية

June 17th, 2011, 11:33 am


Mina said:

When it come to the self interests of the West, no problem for Bush or Berlusconi to say that Putin is one of their best friends, and everybody swallows it.

So I wonder what is wrong with the Syrian regime? Political prisoners? Corruption? Harsh methods? As if it didn’t exist in Saudi Arabia and many other places.

If democracy and elections are the magic to solve it all, what is the difference between the Iraqi regime and the Syrian regime? That they don’t have political prisoners? You mean, the guys are free to say whatever they want and not be thrown into jail, sure. They just get a bullet instead.

Yesterday Saif al Islam Qaddafi begged for international elections with monitors from ANY country. Refused by the US. Any coverage in your local newspapers? (Because it is your local taxes that is paying for the ammunition and building up hatred.)

June 17th, 2011, 11:42 am


Revlon said:

78. Dear William Scott Scherk, The announcement flyer of the Syria Salavation Congress indicated that the organising committee was allowing a week time for the interested to send their letter of interest of attendance and a copy of their presentation.
So, theoretically, we should know some more by end of next week.

Th event is yet to appear in official media or to gather significant interest on the facebook revolution’s website.

In my opinion, the only pro of attending such a forum is to appear as proactive in persuing a peaceful settelment.

The down sides of engaging in such Listening activities are many.
They include:
– Exposing ground leaders to the watchful eyes of security forces.
– Showing that the regime listens to the people
– Providing the regime with needed time to continue with their crackdown in the hope of finishing the uprising

June 17th, 2011, 11:42 am


Revlon said:

#86 Here is the link to today’s Hama demonstration

June 17th, 2011, 11:49 am


Syrian Knight said:


A good rule of thumb is to take Al Jazeera’s numbers and divide it by at least 2. I saw videos of this violent protest. It did not look like 150,000 at all. Al Jazeera is just trying to gradually exaggerate numbers in order to ratchet up the stupidity in people who support the violent Islamist protesters to scream louder.

In other news, sectarian tensions flared in Lebanon today as Sunni Muslim Brotherhood scumbags attacked Alawite people in a different village. 2 people were killed. I hope the Alawites slaughter them.

June 17th, 2011, 11:49 am


N.Z. said:

It is human nature to be fearful, especially, when change and uncertainty are compounded with our love for Syria and her people.

We are united in our love- pro and anti camps- however, we are divided in what the best approach will be out of this calamity.

We all agree we want a united Syria, free from foreign intervention. The way this government’s is trying to solve its problems with its own people is not working, to the contrary. Foreign intervention is increasing and the protests are widening, the pool of blood is getting deeper.

Change is inevitable, thanks to the brave protesters, if you deny their courage, you are contradicting yourselves. Rami is their first victory. Most, if not all commentators agree that his ousting was long overdue.

Uniting, will not only serve us( the people), but will benefit the government also, that the pro camp are defending. We were all culprits in giving the father, son and their cronies a carte blanche out of self interest or fear. The honeymoon is disrupted. We want to reclaim our dignity and freedom for future generations. We will all be winners including the expatriates.

It is incumbent on us not to play in the hands of a few, that see themselves as the only option Syrians have. With or without them, drastic change is a reality. Their recycled lies that they and other Arab leaders adopted from the West is no longer viable.

Criticizing their governance will not hasten their fall, rather will insure us all(including them) a safe landing.

We have a common aspiration, a better Syria, united and free from tyranny and corruption, were all Syrians have equal rights, living in dignity under one roof.

June 17th, 2011, 11:52 am


why-discuss said:

Syria refugees in Turkey: Two different camps, two different treatment, what is going on?

One in Altinozu offer 3 meals a day, 24h hot water, washing machines and TV, animator for entertaining the children, psychologists and imams.

In the other one in Yaladagi refugees are going on hunger strike after the prayer to protest about their isolation..
Who is kept in Yaladagi camp?

L’Orient Le Jour Lebanese newspaper:

“Altinözü accueille un des cinq villages de tentes qui abritent au total 9.700 réfugiés syriens en Turquie.
Les autorités ont annoncé que les réfugiés bénéficient de trois repas par jour, de l’eau chaude 24 heures sur 24, et d’installations telles que machines à laver et télévisions. Des animateurs sont chargés de distraire les enfants, et des psychologues arabophones et des imams sont à pied d’oeuvre, selon la même source.
Mais des réfugiés d’un autre camp, situé à Yayladagi, ont entamé une grève de la faim pour protester contre l’isolement auquel les soumettent les autorités turques, a affirmé une source militante syrienne.
“Les réfugiés du camp ont entamé une grève de la faim après la prière du vendredi”, a déclaré cette source, un dissident syrien installé en Turquie, parlant sous le couvert de l’anonymat.”

June 17th, 2011, 11:54 am


AIG said:

The noose is slowly but surely tightening around the neck of the Assad regime:

If the EU as expected targets the oil sector, Assad will feel the pain rather quickly.

June 17th, 2011, 11:54 am


why-discuss said:


As long as they are peaceful and do not carry Turkish flags on display that’s all right. Let them express their syrian nationalism and unity, it is healthy.

June 17th, 2011, 11:59 am


Tara said:

Why, #94& 97

Why do you think this is happening?

June 17th, 2011, 12:19 pm


Nour said:

I am happy to see peaceful protests by Syrians expressing their views, regardless of what they are, so long as they are not sectarian or racist. Seeing people gathering peacefully in Hama is a great sight, whether the numbers are 25,000 or 150,000. This is an extremely healthy development, and it’s wonderful to see that no one was hurt. However, in areas where people resort to de struction and violence such manifestations should be utterly condemned. I personally believe that peaceful demonstrations demanding change should continue in order to maintain pressure on the regime to follow through with the promised changes. I believe change is coming, and Syria will be stronger after these events.

June 17th, 2011, 12:19 pm


Aboud said:

Samara, I’m afraid I didn’t understand what you meant.

Pas Cool, in Bosnia and Rwanda, you mentioned supposed exceptions. But those two conflicts were between groups of different ethnicities. Bosnian Serbs did not rape Bosnian Serb Villages that had been liberated from Croat forces, they brutalized “others”, people who were different from them and therefore not one of them.

For the shabiha scum, a person turns into an “other” just for having an opinion that doesn’t involve putting junior and his family at the center of universe and creation.

Some societies are very tolerant; individuals may be of different religions, races and creeds, but they are still considered as “one of us”, and not “others”. Baathists have such an appallingly low tolerance for diversity and dissent , that they think nothing of sending in armed goons to brutalize entire villages and towns. To them, people who don’t follow their way of thinking might as well be alien invaders, not even human deserving of humane treatment.

June 17th, 2011, 12:32 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Questions we’ll never be able to Answer

Now that the number of dead has surpassed that of the Gaza War (“Operation Cast Lead”), I wonder why there aren’t any international demonstrations against Syria:


June 17th, 2011, 12:32 pm


why-discuss said:


Frankly I don’t know, I am intrigued.
I suspect that some of the refugees are militants who want to make inflammatory declarations to the international press and they are prevented by the Turks.
The refugees are reportedly shouting: “No Hezbollah, No Iran, we want someone who believes in God”. It won’t sound very good for Turkish-Iran relation.
In any case, I think that if this refugee situation lasts there will clashes with the turkish police, there was already a case like that reported. Many don’t want to go back thus presenting a serious problem for the Turks.

June 17th, 2011, 12:36 pm


why-discuss said:


I agree, peaceful demonstrations must go on until people are satisfied at least 60% by the reforms.

June 17th, 2011, 12:39 pm


Syrian Knight said:

To all the self-righteous shit-for-brains who want to cite problems about Syria while touting the ‘honesty’ of the West, put a cork it in. There is no such thing. You think there is no freedom in Syria? There is a lot more freedom there then there is in many other parts of the world. The West is not a haven for freedom. The most corrupt people on Earth are Western businesses and governments. Money is always being stolen, without a trace, followed by a phony investigation that leads to nowhere just to shut up the very few people who actually care about such things.

People here are brain dead. They are lazy, stupid people with no knowledge of the outside world, or even about the countries they live in. All they care about collecting their pay checks and blowing it all on alcohol on the weekend. Many people can’t even name the PM of Canada. Many Americans can’t even find Canada, the largest country in the world, on a map! These people don’t know about or care for politics. The only ones that do are the ones in government who try with great ease to steer the public into any direction they want via the media. People here riot over hockey games, but don’t give a flying rat’s ass about the billions of dollars that go to waste on useless programs or money that is stolen directly from the tax payers.

The mindset of people here is very different then that of the people in the Middle East. People here are so filthy, selfish and uneducated, that they honestly don’t care about anything then their own desires. Did you know that as we speak, there are people in Canada now lobbying for a new law that is likely to pass, to legalize PROSTITUTION!? That’s right! They will throw me in jail for donating money to starving Palestinian children, but soon, I will be allowed to freely give money to a crack whore who will dump her unwanted baby in a public toilet inside a mall. Score one for democracy! Democracy is supposed to be good, right??? The freedom for people to choose? Is prostitution good??? Are drugs good??? Are guns good??? This is what happens in democracy. People don’t care about the well-being of their country, they care about disgusting and selfish desires! Do you let mechanics conduct surgery on a patient in a hospital??? No??? Then why on Earth would you let drug addicts, prostitutes, and other self-interest groups direct domestic and foreign government policy???

Now look at the West! You give people the right to do what ever they want, and the region turns into a dump! As it stands now, people in Canada can’t send mail through the Post Office because they are on strike! Their demands? The same as usual! Higher pay, less work, more benefits! Last year, the garbagemen went on strike. Trash was not being picked up, and it was piling on everyones’ lawns! Their demands? Higher pay, less work, more benefits! Where does all of these nice things come from??? From MY pocket, the tax payers! Then you have the automotive workers. They go on strike almost on a yearly basis. Their demands? Higher pay, less work, more benefits! These people make CRAZY money as it is, yet they are not satisfied. These people are now making $35-$40 per hour, plus all the benefits, which ultimately totals up to about $100 per hour, if not more, while ‘working (And I use that term VERY loosely) 14 hour shifts,’ but they are never satisfied. What ends up happening? Cars that used to cost $20,000, now cost $40,000. Corrupt CEOs line their pockets with hundreds of millions of dollars, everything in the country becomes more expensive, and us ‘stupid people’ who don’t work in the auto industry suffer, because our own wages don’t go up, but the cost of everything else does! There is almost no point now in going to school, because it’s so expensive, and then when the students graduate, they can’t even find a job in their field that pays well enough so that they can pay off their student loans, meanwhile grade school drop-outs who have worked at Ford, Chrysler, and GM for 30 years are millionaires and own multiple homes, just to hang on to them so that their values go up and some sucker buys it for more then twice what it is actually worth.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Canada have lost their jobs and homes. Millions of people in the US have lost their jobs and homes. Where are the protests? Where are the revolutions??? Crime has skyrocketed. The cost of living has skyrocketed. No one here has a soul. No one here has any moral values. But hey, as long as they have their freedom, everything is alright, right? Can I eat freedom? Can I live in democracy? Where are the people protesting the high cost of living, high crimes rates, and the infinitely high corruption in government that goes uncared for??? They are out in the streets rioting because their favorite hockey team lost! It doesn’t matter that people can’t even live in a decent home anymore, or have a decent job, or know that they are safe from crime! I’m going to go burn someone’s car and rob someones’ store because my hockey team lost!!! DEMOCRACY!!! FREEDOM!!!

June 17th, 2011, 12:45 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

تمخض الجمل فولد فارا
That is it for today,just an ugly mouse?the clip you showed from Hama,I have few question about:
-يلي بيقتل شعبو خاين do think they also were talking about the MB terrorists in jisr alshoghor which through soldiers alive in the river then burned them and cut them into pieces and through them in the carbage.
-I will pay you if you can have them next Friday chantكس أختك يا عرعور,I will pay you less if they chant يلعن روحك يا عرعور
-Are these your tool to build the new Syria ,if it is كس اخت هيك سوريا
-Sorry for going as low as your gangsters ,I will tell my kids that I was born in chille.

June 17th, 2011, 12:46 pm


Pas Cool said:

Aboud post nr 100

“Pas Cool, in Bosnia and Rwanda, you mentioned supposed exceptions. But those two conflicts were between groups of different ethnicities.”

In something akin to civil war soldiers or irregular militia will always find ways to excuse their actions, which of course implies labelling the victims as “them” or “other” or “different”. This is of course just the same as in wars between nations.

And, unfortunately, ethnicity and/or religion has the potential to play that part in Syria just like in Iraq or Rwanda or anywhere else where you see armed conflict. War brings out the worst in us.

Note that I am not commenting on the magnitude, just on the fact that this can transpire anywhere, even in Syria, which Usama more or less claims not to be true.

Like Axl Rose sang(said): What’s so civil about war anyway?

June 17th, 2011, 12:48 pm


Usama said:

Pas Cool

I agree, I can get overexcited when I see stupid responses. I will try to tone it down. I envisioned my questions would be answered with a simple yes/no with an eloquent explanation. Clearly I was wrong. As for insulting that certain person’s education, it is because so many pro-revolution people on here insult our education system in Syria, and I’m just simply pointing out they’re stupid, and that’s not the fault of our free and STRONG public education system.

For your second point, the Syrian Arab Army would not cut off breasts and slash faces. Why are they immune to this behavior? Because their leaders are not Qaradawi and 3ar3our approving captured women as “sabaya”. Because if they were to do such a thing, eyewitnesses would be dead. Because soldiers would be moving in groups and not individually, making such an act increasingly difficult to get away with. Because they are the Syrian Arab Army on Syrian Arab Republic soil.

I also have a very hard time believing the shelling stories because, despite all the videos claiming to show “tanks shelling homes”, none of them actually show tanks shelling anything. You want to make poor angry people even more poor and angry? Shelling their homes seems like a good start. The same article, featured on this blog posting, also claims they uprooted olive trees. Do I need to point out the implied contrast to the Zionist war machine? Do I need to point out they’re trying to completely demoralize our army and make Syrians hate it?

Our army is not the enemy of the people and revolutionaries are targeting it head-on because they know the army has popular support among Syrians. If they can get people to believe the stories of soldiers defecting and talking about crimes they witnessed, it would likely decrease that support and cause cracks within army ranks. It is all a very dirty game and I hope you can see the real goal of the string masters is not just to topple the regime, but to tear Syrians apart along sectarian and ethnic lines. All this because they do not have real support on the ground. If they had real support, Bahrain’s population wouldn’t have been able to gather daily protests larger than Friday protests in Syria. Anti-regime does not equate to pro-revolution.

PS: Life in Jordan is much worse than life in Syria. Food in Jordan is around 4x more expensive on average and the country itself is severely underdeveloped.

Syrian Knight,

Can you please stop calling for people to slaughter others? What’s happening in northern Lebanon is not a good thing and a flare-up there is only to the Zionists’ advantage.

June 17th, 2011, 12:54 pm


Tara said:


I want to understand you more. Why then do you live in Canada? Are you banned from entering Syria?

June 17th, 2011, 12:56 pm


Tara said:


I agree with your comment about the education system in Syria. I do believe it is strong(and free). I am also proud of you for your comment to Syrian Knight… I want to ask you a question:

Did you see the footage on the TV of the Syrian soldiers beating up and kicking an older man and saying this one for freedom and this one for democracy. Was that a fabrication too?

June 17th, 2011, 1:07 pm


Aboud said:

Good point Tara. People who think that junior has created such a paradise should back up their words with actions and move back here, and not display such contempt for the societies they do *choose* to live in.

Pas Cool, the Syrian Army wouldn’t treat Syrian civilians this way. The shabiha scum on the other hand are proud of behaving in such a fashion. Every video of their atrocities that have come to light, was shot by themselves and proudly circulated among themselves.

June 17th, 2011, 1:11 pm


Pas Cool said:

Syrian Knight post nr 105

As Churchill said, democracy is the least worst of the current political systems.

That would maybe suffice as an answer. But I’ll continue.

Everything you said exists in unfree societies and then some. Stupid laws, stupid people, stupid reactions. But the democracy actually lets us do something about it. It doesn’t let us change the system in a deeper profound kind of way, but it lets us argue and protest, write petitions and debate, go on strike etc without fear of persecution. If your comment would have been anti regime bashing against the Syrian regime and you’d be in Syria, you would’ve been questioned (today but even more so 6 months ago, not to mention 6 years ago). The fact that you can go out on the street in Canada and say that the PM (what is his name;) ) is a retard and should resign but not end up in jail is somethin worth fighting for.

As for your issues with prostitution and the like – in a democracy you can debate these sensitive issues openly and come to some kind of conclusion. If you don’t like it, and it’s important enough, the politician might be ousted from government next election. For the record, I can see the benefit of legalizing prostitution. First of all, prostitution will exist whether it is legal or not. Second, if it illegal, that implies criminal activity, which means insecure working environments for the women and the men behind the women. If you legalize it, the women who work as prostitutes can actually collect unemployment benefits, health care and a pension, not to mention protecting women from aggressors. It doesn’t entirely solve the problem of human trafficking, but it helps. There are pros and cons, and some countries in the world (like Germany) have decided that their fight against prostitution was in vain and endangered the lives of many people, so they legalized it. Imagine if California would legalize certain drugs, what kind of impact that would have??

As for the economic and social issues. Do you see many countries in the world with a higher quality of life than Canada? No, so obviously Canada is doing something right. The problems you mentioned exist everywhere and there are hardly any economic solutions to these dilemmas (my master thesis in economics dealt partly with this issue). The reason behind it is the increase in productivity, which essentially is a good thing, but has some bad side effects. And increases in productivity is more or less the same as technological advances, especially in the private sector.

There are no revolutions in Canada and the US because so many people have it so good. Besides, the right to strike gives people the freedom to express their anger in controlled ways. Just like French farmers when they release pigs on the streets…

June 17th, 2011, 1:14 pm


Pas Cool said:

Aboud post nr 111

“the Syrian Army wouldn’t treat Syrian civilians this way”

You forgot the essential word “probably”. I’m inclined to agree with you, but that does not refute the arguments I made about soldiers being brutal in war or warlike situations. It is very conceivable that soldiers in the Syrian army react brutally if they meet resistance in a village, for instance. Again, I’m not saying it happened, just that it could and there is no solid argument other than sheer patriotism and the love for your contry to think otherwise.

June 17th, 2011, 1:19 pm


Usama said:

Tara, I don’t know. If it’s real, I doubt they were soldiers. Security forces often wear similar uniforms and can be confused for soldiers. I have seen hundreds of fabrications and exaggerations and the way I see it, if the uprising had actual popular support, they would not be resorting to such tactics. We did not see fabrications in videos coming out of Egypt. We did not hear about satellite communications (internet in a bag) being smuggled into Egypt, and yet, Internet access is still widely available in Syria. We also did not see large foreign-based YouTube networks spontaneously appear right at the beginning of Egyptian protests. Egypt invented the Mukhabarat system and never softened it. So why do you see all of the above in Syria, but not in Egypt?

June 17th, 2011, 1:21 pm


Pas Cool said:


I second your criticism of Syrian Knight’s outrageous remark.

Back to the Syrian army.

The first casualty in war is the truth. Definitely there are people making up stories in order to turn the populace against the other. It is sad to see. But this is normal. I just hope that people understand what they might lead Syria into, no matter if you’re a pro regime person or with the opposition or in-between (the in-betweeners have also a responsibility to assess the information they gather and spread).

I also have a hard time believing the shelling stories. However, that does not rule out that it might’ve happened. Youtube is not all-knowing. There are surely events taking place that don’t make it to the glorified youtube, and for certain there are events that have made it to that sacred newssite that are forged. It’s easy for me to be more neutral, as I’m not Syrian (but I do live in Syria). But I think we understand each other. May god protect Syria and its beautifil heritage and people (and I’m the secular type).

June 17th, 2011, 1:29 pm


why-discuss said:


I think democracy are gradually making people more selfish and insensitive. I believe that the quality and warmth of human relation in the undemocratic Arab countries is inexistant in the western world. Old age people are parked in centers where their children never visit. There is an increase of divorce rate, more single parents, increase of suicides, street attacks, murders, drug addiction, loneliness.
There is freedom but it is an illusion as the mass is manipulated by the media that encourages consumption of goods and ‘independence’ that leads to isolation.
Indeed democracy in the West comes with a very dark side.

June 17th, 2011, 1:40 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Important development
I have been trying to guard the hole where Syrian hamster is staying trying to keep Alaaror away, while I was on SC Alaaroor came ,he is now doing no2 in the hole.this is very urgent,please tell the Syrian hamster to stay in the hole as deep as possible and not to come out for a while.it is reported that Alaaroor hast had no 2 in 10 days and syrian hamster might be lost forever.Ammar Abdulhameed will definitely blame maher allasad with his disappearane.
NB:Syrian Hamster if you just came out of the hole and denounced Alaaroor you would have saved your life,there is nothing I can do for you nose.even Saddam did’t die this way.I dont even that you will be counted as shaheed,the virgins don’t like hamsters any way,they only like Aroors.

June 17th, 2011, 1:40 pm


Mawal95 said:

USAMA said: “The article… [from WINEP] “In Search of Leverage with Syria” angered me so much. The authors literally suggest ways in which to destroy Syria’s economy.” I too found it deeply disgusting.

Joshua Landis said yesterday: “The pro-Assad demonstration along Mezzeh Autostrad in Damascus underlines that the majority of Syrians seem to be sticking by the government’s side…. Of course, no one knows what the true percentages of support for either side are.”

The Opposition needs active support. Notional passive support that’s empirically indistinguishable from indifference is of no practical value to the Opposition and is therefore not support. The meaningful percentage for the Opposition is the percentage who give active support. We have a pretty good idea of what that is. It is the percentage who participate in Friday demonstrations. Meanwhile under today’s circumstances, the Establishment only needs passive support. Most of the people who won’t be joining in the upcoming pro-establishment giant flag demo which is planned to move through all Syrian cities, will still be behaving day-by-day in ways that support the Establishment. An individual who doesn’t actively support the revolutionary opposition can be classified as effectively rejecting the revolutionary opposition. The individual’s more complex political opinion can be disregarded as impotent. (If the establishment’s support were slipping, the details the individual’s more complex political opinion would be pertinent, but in the current circumstances the establishment’s support is not slipping.)

June 17th, 2011, 1:42 pm


Aboud said:

“Internet access is still widely available in Syria”

Wrong.Very very wrong. Since last Thursday the Internet was cut from Homs, Hama, Idlib, and the countryside around Damascus (ie all the places the government likes the least). Yesterday it came back in a very limited way. Just how much do you really know about Syria and events there when you don’t even know that much?

Oh right, the Internet cut was a “forgery”. How amazing, all of a sudden Syria has an abundance of talented directors highly skilled in the art of instant forgeries. Hollywood would love to have such a skilled workforce.

June 17th, 2011, 1:46 pm


daleandersen said:


RE: “virgins don’t like hamsters”

Exactly how many virgins did you interview? Inquiring minds need to know…


June 17th, 2011, 1:50 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

a bad economy can be the cause for removal for any govt.

ghw bush losing to corrupt clinton. obama will have concerns in 12 because of the dead american economy.

how can syria have even a fighting chance at a viable economy with sanctions, sanctions, sanctions, war ops, black ops, psy ops, drought, close to 3mill refugees.

speaking of corruption and let’s add violence, aggression, killing, only the hyperventilating state of thievery, israel, comes close to the united states of aggression. per size, the fake hebrew is no 1.

June 17th, 2011, 1:55 pm


Pas Cool said:

W-D post nr 116

“Indeed democracy in the West comes with a very dark side.”

So which one would you opt for? In one, you can attempt tp change the ways by voting, debating, joining a political party, starting a new political party. In the other one…you can’t.

In any case, I strongly believe that statistics are strongly schewed to the detriment of democracies, and even when the statistics are correct, there are other underlying conditions that one must take into considerations.

For example, you note the high divorce rate in western societies. Could it not be that this higher rate is partly a result of the increased freedom granted women? You know very well what pressure women find themselves under NOT to divorce in Arab countries, or even their rights to a divorce even if they wanted to. Under islam, it is very difficult for a woman to file for divorce. Under christianity it is very much a taboo. I know of women in Syria who instead of filing for divorce stay in the marriage due to the negative image they would receive were they to be divorcees.

I can however agree with some other points you made. But still, I argue that it is better to be free and work for a difference than not to be free and not be able to change your surroundings.

June 17th, 2011, 1:59 pm


Tara said:


Common man. I am disappointed. You do not believe in democracy and freedom?. Don’t you think there is a connection between lack of democracy and being a third world country. Does not oppression kill creativity? if your answer is no, Why then are we third world country? inferior intelligence?

June 17th, 2011, 2:02 pm


why-discuss said:

Pas cool

In western countries couple don’t even bother to marry, so you should rather count the number of single mothers, a phenomenon very rare in Arab countries. Fatherless children are not equipped for a balanced life and the economical situation and the isolation of single mothers are more factors for emotional unbalanced children who end up in drugs and violence.
The rate of dysfunctional families is much higher in western countries that it is in Arab countries. Alcohol, drugs, loss of religious morality, play a large role in the desintegration of families in the West. Families are limited to the couple, no presence of aunts, uncle etc..
‘Self realization’, a legitimate need of human being has been hijacked by the capitalistic society and used as a pressure to succeed and consume selfishly. The ones who can’t follow the trend are marginalized. How many homeless do you find in Arab cities? How many alcoholic and drug addicts you find? How many streets gangs do you see? How many suicides? Murders?
Democracy western style is not a model for Arabs.

June 17th, 2011, 2:20 pm


Syrian Knight said:

Usama, what other way is there to get rid of these Islamic extremists? We know that they do not care about human lives, their own lives, opinions of their opposition, democracy, or anything of the sort. They care only for regional domination by their sects, and they don’t care how many people have to die. They don’t even care if they, themselves, die. They don’t care about the country, its economy, its people, or anything at all besides their own radical brand of Islam. How are you going to deal with people who are not afraid to die, not afraid to destroy nations, refuse to be reasoned with, are irrational, dismiss public opinion that is more then 90% against them, and refuse to stop rioting violently until they get their way? Do you think that if elections were held tomorrow, and Bashar al-Assad was elected again with more then 90% of the vote in an election that was monitored, that they would quiet down and accept the result as the will of the Syrian people? Are you honestly suggesting this? These people KNOW that they are a minority. They KNOW that the majority of the country supports the president. They KNOW that they have no chance in any election on any given day. They KNOW all of this. This is why they rely on lies, deceit, fabrications and trickery. This is why they rely on an international community that does not represent Syria or the Syrian people, and have no right to make demands to a country where such demands are unpopular with the people. They can’t rely on the Syrian people, because the Syrian people are NOT with them.

So now what? Everything that would give the Islamists legitimacy if they had popular support does not exist. They reject public opinion. They reject EVERYTHING that EXPLICITLY tells them “You have no support.” They keep rioting, they keep killing, they keep destroying. What do you do? They don’t have the well-being of anyone in mind. We have heard their declarations about dominating the entire region, and that they will not stop until they succeed. We saw how every time their fake demands were met, they moved the goal posts and made new demands, just to keep riots going while pretending to look innocent in the eyes of the international community.

Tell me, were the Nazis not obliterated for their unrelenting and radical beliefs? Were the Romans not sacked for their desire to conquer a world that did not want to be conquered? Why do the opinions and beliefs of the literally MILLIONS of Syrians who hate the Islamists, and showed it by pouring out to demonstrate in the millions, not matter? Why is it that the country should bend to the will of a few thousand people that make up no more then 0.5% of the population? Is that how democracy works? Would not any other country on the face of the planet deal with such extremists the same way? We are seeing with our own eyes today, American APPROVAL of the slaughter in Bahrain. We saw how with American APPROVAL, Hosni Mubarak, for 30 years, stole from his people, jail tens of thousands of prisoners, and kill others all the way up until his departure. The Americans never even criticized Mubarak when he was killing people in their revolution, but suddenly, they care about Libya and Syria? What about Bahrain and Morocco? Did we not see the Americans kill 1.5 million Iraqis? Did we not see the Americans kill 4,000,000 Vietnamese? Did we not see the Americans nuke Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and carpet bomb Dresden, killing untold hundreds of thousands? Did we not see how France and Britain, over the past 100 years, kill untold scores of people? How did France deal with violent rioters in their own country a couple years back if not with brute force? Did Canada just 2 days ago not deal with a violent riot over a HOCKEY GAME, which burned cars, destroyed public and private property, and looted stores, with force that ended up sending more then 150 people to the hospital, some in critical condition, just in one day? Force is not an option for Syria under any circumstance, but Americans killing anything they want is called Monday?

Criminals, in ANY country, are dealt with by any means necessary. If it means you have to put a thief in jail, then that is what’s done. If it means a murderer or a rapist must be executed, then this is what must be done. We saw America go into Afghanistan to get rid of a government that was run by the same exact type of people who are rioting on the streets in Syria. If the people in Afghanistan suddenly start rioting the same way the people in Syria are, because they want an Islamist government, will the US say “We don’t want to kill 100,000 people, so have what ever government you want?” I don’t think the US spent 10 years and billions of dollars in Afghanistan just to have it revert back to its old self. No, the US would say, “100,000? We will kill 200,000 just to be safe!”

I guarantee that if the US was occupying Syria right now, they would not put up with the same rioting people that they are defending right now. I GUARANTEE it. It’s all politics. No amount of democracy or freedom will satisfy the Islamists. Look at Lebanon. They killed each other for 15 years. 250,000 people died. Now they have a ‘democracy’ where literally the will if the minority rules, according to their laws. The Shi’ites are half of Lebanon, yet they hold the least amount of power. The Christians are 30% if not less, and they retain the presidency. And the Sunnis, who make up one of the smallest sects in the country, get to control it. A funny little democracy they have their in Lebanon, but of course, not without the approval of the Americans. But then what happened when the Lebanese rose up and CORRECTED the results of a rigged election and lousy electoral laws??? The US condemned SYRIA! It has Syria’s fingerprints all over it, they said. Suddenly, the Syria supporters of Lebanon, who make up the majority of the country, don’t matter, and have no right to conduct the policies of their country that reflect the will of the majority.

Don’t blind yourself. There is no democracy. Not in the Middle East, not even in Canada and the US. The democracy we have in the West is purely cosmetic. “Freedom” and “Democracy” are just buzzwords. They have no meaning. They are only meant to resonate in the minds of the naive who only like to think that they control the future of their country. Do you actually believe that there is a democratic government out there that would actually let the uninformed and uneducated, tell them how to govern? As I mentioned before, it’s like giving a mechanic the opportunity to conduct surgery on a patient. He would not know where to start, and neither would ‘voters’ who think they actually govern themselves through democracy.

June 17th, 2011, 2:28 pm


why-discuss said:


Creativity is not linked to political freedom.
In our region, the most creative country in terms of arts, paintings, cinema, technical inventions and achievements, cultural richness is……. Iran.

June 17th, 2011, 2:28 pm


Shami said:

That women in the clip. Please. She only represents about less than 10% of the Alawi population. Not even that.

But that doesnt mean that the alawites like will be marginal, ,there is no other choice ,they can not isolate themselves from the syrian social body ,cultivate a secretive hatred towards their environment ,they have to be integrated in the social syrian body ,not as military people, spies,torturers ,intermediate for corruption, …but as good citizens.

In post asad Syria only those who committed crimes will be punished whatever they are muslims orthodox before the alawites.
you are enjoying your divinization of a mini sectarian family regime but we have the right to believe that the statues of asad and baath party are not eternal

June 17th, 2011, 2:34 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

let’s keep in mind the brits and french carved the arab/muslim countries to make/keep them weak.

constant interference by the west along with the state of the jews creates many problems. doesnt allow for proper development.

consider the prosperous state that could’ve been: greater syria.

June 17th, 2011, 2:39 pm


HS said:

I previously mentioned this page
As we got closed to the junction of ‘Khan Shayhoun’ …
As the bus arrived to the barrier, we saw that there were about twenty children and teenagers …..

But their hands were never empty!! Because there were bags of ammunition on the chest of everyone and four of them were holding automatic sprinklers (Kalashnikov, Russian), and other three were holding grenades, and the others were waving guns and long reach knives.

NOW a welcome development as reported by SANA


Army units and security forces took positions near Khan Sheikhoun and Maaret al-Numan to prevent the organized armed terrorist groups from blocking the international highway between Aleppo and Hama, ….

“Khan Sheikhoun and Maaret al-Numan families received the Army forces with cheers, ….

… the Army and Armed forces’ leadership urges all families, that left their houses into surrounding farms and villages fleeing the crimes of the armed organizations, to return to their towns and homes and practice their normal life.”


June 17th, 2011, 2:40 pm


873 said:

76. Pas Cool said:
Thanks for your reply.

You say these demonstrations come out of nowhere, yet you say they have been suffering for decades. That is not “out of nowhere”.

I agree. Glad we agree on sertain points. But why now? And why one after another in perfect domino fashion as outlined and even quoted verbatim years ago in the neocon think tank policies? It all just spread wild fire like copy cat outbursts of liberty? LOLOL

Telegraph delivered it very succinctly:


June 17th, 2011, 2:41 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

When Hafez subdued Hama 1982,syrian population were 6 million,now Syria is 23 million,it is hard to oppress.

WHY SAID DEMOCRACY MAKES PEOPLE SELFISH AND INSENSITIVE. No Why Discuss,you are wrong,it is the opposite.

June 17th, 2011, 2:45 pm


Syrian Knight said:

Terrorists, er, sorry, I mean, ‘peaceful protesters,’ use fireworks on a stick to simulate gunshot sounds, to terrorize people into thinking the army is attacking them:

June 17th, 2011, 2:48 pm


873 said:

Agree. Its not democracy that make citizens selfish, but corruption, materialism, greed and untempered consumerism. These appear in any political system where you have fallible humans. As democracy has these symptoms in abundance, it gets a bad rap. Its confusing the theology of the secular religion with its bad practice.

June 17th, 2011, 2:53 pm


why-discuss said:

873, pas cool, Majedalkahaldoonl

When I hear the Israelis boasting about THEIR democracy, THEIR freedom of expression and THEIR economical successes , it makes me wonder where I would prefer to live.

June 17th, 2011, 3:03 pm


Tara said:

Why, #126

I am so intrigued by your response. I can’t answer now.

…To be continued

June 17th, 2011, 3:04 pm


Pas Cool said:

Why Discuss

“Democracy western style is not a model for Arabs.”

Nor is oppression a model for any self respecting society.

I agree that consumerism has gone too far in our western society. Anti-capitalists are free to raom the streets and spread their word about how Christmas has turned into a shopping nightmare. Regimes in the Arab world can not tolerate dissent. The Arab world needs to develop, but by god you are free thinking individuals, and if you do not want western style consumerism than make sure that does not happen. Just let people speak their mind, let a muslim woman marry a christian man without him needing to convert, let women drive, let people say what they want in media and elsewhere, let homosexuals openly confess their preferences and so on and so on.

June 17th, 2011, 3:08 pm


Sami Walid from Lattakian said:

To Majedkhaldoon
When Syrian people were 6 million you were in your primary school…now as a mature activist how do you see the future?????

June 17th, 2011, 3:14 pm


Observer said:

This is important new post and I like very much the quotes presented forthwith in it.

Strategically the regime is running out of options:
1. Knowldge of the brutality is spreading without causing fear and silence

2. Dissentions will only grow as the regime’s discourse and refrain is no longer believable or sustainable.

3. Friends and allies are abandoning the regime’s current stance on dissention. The silence in Iran is telling; as they cannot criticize Bahrain with a Sunni ruling minority and support Syria with an Alawite ruling minority. They also see any support with a hated or contested regime as potential liability for them on the long run.

4. As for the Makhlouf story I see several possible explanations and they are not mutually exclusive
a) the guy is losing money and is ready to call it quits.
b) the guy’s money is needed to fund the operations
c) the guy’s visibility will shield Maher the brother from being in the spotlight and allow him more time to operate
d) a smoke screen of reforms to buy time for more meaningful reforms; ( hopefully).
f) Avoidance of coming economic sanctions on any dealings with businesses associated with the “family”.

5. The real news today is the fact that demonstrations are still the norm. I thought after what happened that the situation is under “control” again at least in Deraa and here we are with thousands in the streets of Deraa again. 100 000 in Hama means more than likely that if there were no repression a million may be in the streets.

6. Clearly the Syrian regime has fewer and fewer cards to play. The latest news of 6 killed in sectarian clashes in Tripoli is interesting to say the least: is it spill over; is it staged to demonstrate instability in Lebanon as it did not happen in Turkey as WD and the regime had delusions of doing; is it score settling; is it to rally the sect even further around the “family”?????

8. It is the economy stupid: hotels in Damscus and Aleppo have laid off workers on a massive scale. This is spilling now to all small and medium size industries and there is no end in sight for the regime.

9. Finally, the eye witness accounts of brutality to the people of Jisr up north after their return to the homeland even if not true or exagerrated are going to inflame the passions even further.
This is a regime that has lost its mind.

June 17th, 2011, 3:14 pm


BobSaget said:

Post 105 Syrian Knight

You know what would have made your post worthwhile and credible? If you posted it living in Syria after living in the west. Its really simple. Despite your belief that you’ve observed something that most other people don’t or haven’t vis a vis western societies, you still take advantage of the rights and services given to Canadians/Americans that most Syrians living in some village can’t even fathom or knew even existed and most definitely don’t have.

Stay comfortable behind a computer and argue on the internet as if what you have to say is going to make a difference in some way or another, little boy. You’re a coward and the amazing thing is, that you know it. Which is why this blog is your only outlet.

June 17th, 2011, 3:23 pm


Usama said:

Aboud, #119

What about the coast? What about Aleppo? What about the east? What about the south? What about , what you yourself said, the government expanding internet access to rural communities?

I especially like how you talk about “since last Thursday” and completely ignore the 3 months before. If the internet is cut off today, it means it was cut off the last year, right?

June 17th, 2011, 3:24 pm


Averroes said:

Syrian Knight,

I disagree with your message up there about Canada and the Canadian people. Look, no country or people are perfect, but I have to say that Canada is one of the best countries in the world. Almost all Canadians I know are good, honest, and warm hearted people.

What we can learn from the riots in Vancouver is that no country is immune to civil unrest, with all the baggage that comes with that. So I would hope that Canadians and Americans learn to look beyond the surface when they consider events in the Middle East. The West is not immune to diseases that hit Syria, for instance, but that does not mean that Western people are bad, no.

Democracy can’t function properly without a well respected Bill of Rights, ensuring rights of all citizens. When you have religious clerics broadcasting 24/7 from Saudi Arabia, calling for the “killing for a third of the Syrian population, so that the other two thirds can live in happiness,” then the situation deserves a more profound look. These clerics are inciting sectarian hatred with impunity. This is what Syria is facing now. It’s not “peaceful demonstrators that want freedom”. It’s armed gangs of crazed fanatics that know no limits in the hatred they carry.

Would Canada or the US agree to 50 FTA Saudi TV channels, inciting Muslims in North America to kill Christians or Jews? or to attack the Irish or the Italians because of who they are? Would Canada stand quiet if Saudis (or others) used 50 TV channels to incite the Natives to take up arms and kill “those filthy Whites” and topple the regime? Would Canadians tolerate such hate media to target its population day in and day out for years and years? Let alone providing weapons, guns, explosives to inside the country?

Please consider that the above is just a metaphor, so don’t try to map it one-to-one, but try to get my message: no country is immune to civil unrest, and no country is without seams that can be exploited if the will and the means are made available.

So instead of being extremely superficial with the coverage (CBC for instance), I would encourage Westerners to demand better analysis, better media coverage, and certainly better politicians.

June 17th, 2011, 3:30 pm


Usama said:

Syrian Knight, #125

My problem with your previous statement was that it seemed to call for sectarian conflict in northern Lebanon. I am in complete agreement with you about all the contents of your comment #125. All of it!

But for the problem of the Salafi infestation in northern Lebanon, I am hoping that the current Lebanese government can assert some control over them because it should not be turned into an Alawi vs Sunni issue.

June 17th, 2011, 3:46 pm


louai said:

ثلاثة قتلى في طرابلس وميقاتي يحذر من «الفتنة والتوقيت المريب»

من التظاهرة المتضامنة مع المحتجين السوريين في طرابلس اليوم (أ ب )آخر تحديث 07:57PM بتوقيت بيروت | خاص بالموقع
سقط ثلاثة قتلى وحوالي 20 جريحاً في اشتباكات مسلحة دارت اليوم في مدينة طرابلس في شمال لبنان بين منطقة باب التبانة ومنطقة جبل محسن، كما أفادت مصادر أمنية. ودارت الاشتباكات في محيط شارع سوريا الفاصل بين المنطقتين، وذلك عقب تظاهرة مناهضة للرئيس السوري بشار الأسد خرجت في شوارع المدينة بعد صلاة الجمعة قابلتها تظاهرة أخرى مؤيدة للنظام.

وأدّت هذه الاشتباكات إلى استشهاد جندي في الجيش اللبناني ومقتل مسؤول أمني في الحزب العربي الديموقراطي ومسؤول ميداني في منطقة التبانة اضافة الى عشرات الجرحى.
وقد ألغى رئيس الحكومة اللبنانية نجيب ميقاتي مهرجاناً كان مقرراً اليوم لاستقبال المهنئين بتأليف الحكومة الجديدة، جراء هذه الأحداث. ورغم انتشار الجيش اللبناني في المكان ظل التوتر مخيماً على المنطقة مع استمرار انتشار عناصر مسلحة من الطرفين وإطلاق نار متفرق.

باب التبانة وجبل محسن الى الواجهة من جديد (أ ب )وأعلن رئيس مجس الوزراء نجيب ميقاتي في المؤتمر الصحافي الذي عقده مساء اليوم في دارته في طرابلس، أنّ «السلم الأهلي خط أحمر ولا مساومة إطلاقاً على الأمن». وأضاف: «نقول لأهلنا في طرابلس جئنا اليوم لنشارك معكم في التمثيل الوازن في الحكومة، ونبشركم بالإنماء المتوازن، لكن فوجئنا بأيدي الفتنة والتوقيت المريب، وأمن المواطن من مسؤوليتنا، لذلك نؤكد أن السلم الأهلي خط أحمر ولا تراجع عن الإنماء».
وتابع: «نحن نفهم المعارضة السلمية، وقد أعطيت التعيلمات للجيش والقوى الأمنية للضرب بيد من حديد، ومخطىء من يعتبر نفسه أقوى من الدولة، ولقد كلفت الأجهزة المعنية التحقيق في الأحداث التي حصلت اليوم، وندعو أهلنا في طرابلس الى وعي الأهداف الخبيثة للأحداث».

(أ ف ب، وطنية)


June 17th, 2011, 3:51 pm


why-discuss said:

Pas cool

Are you saying that arabs have to invent a democracy that will stay human and avoid falling in the consumerism trap?
Do you think it is possible to fight the capitalistic insidious propaganda that promise happiness by buying the latest refrigerator or the latest car. Moral teachings and the praise of humility have disappeared in Western countries. Religions and families have been rejected as hampering ‘freedom’ and ‘self-realization’ and have been replaced by the religion of consumerism and the lonely pursuit of happiness.
I have no illusion about the limits of democracy in bringing happiness.
Therefore I find it so illusory when I see people calling for democracy as a panacea to their ailments.

June 17th, 2011, 3:53 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Why Discuss
If you are jew ,I bet you like to live in Palastine,under jew occupation.

I left Syria in 1970 ,it was only four million,the future for Syria,is more crowded, more fight among syrians,if we are to stay under dictatorship,but in a free society, where women are free,and have equal rights,they will have less children,in a society where women are not free,they stay home and have only two function, have children and cook and clean the house,lack of women freedom contributed to the increase of population.

June 17th, 2011, 3:54 pm


Usama said:


Just to add to your comment, you know about the “troubles” in Canada in 1970 (I think) with the FLQ, right? When armed sleeper cells of peaceful protesters kidnapped people and peacefully made things blow up with peaceful bombs, and then tanks were deployed in cities, and then the government imposed martial law and loads of people were arrested for simply walking on the street and were not released until the end of the troubles. How did Canada get away with such repression of peaceful protesters? I wonder, if the current global media attack against Syria was pointed against Canada in the 80’s, would Canada still be a single country today?

June 17th, 2011, 3:59 pm


Usama said:

correction: I meant to say if the global media attack was pointed against Canada in 1970.

June 17th, 2011, 4:09 pm


Norman said:

Avereos, Usama,WD

Do you know the reason to why the US did not attack Saudi Arabia after 9/11 and stopped all media attacks on Saudi Arabia soon after 9/11/11 after they blamed them for inciting violence at their schools,that was felt in the US to be the reason for having 17/19 hijackers from Saudi Arabia,and do you think that what we see is really and attack on Syria to cut the Arm supply line to Hezbollah ?.

June 17th, 2011, 4:14 pm


Pas Cool said:


“Are you saying that arabs have to invent a democracy that will stay human and avoid falling in the consumerism trap?”

Why not? Another way to see my point is that it implies that granting this freedom to people will eventually lead to the decadent western lifestyle. I believe this is where it hurts. Many in this region believe if people will be given the same freedoms as people in the west, a decadent lifestyle will follow. This includes also how you treat women. Of course, here one would say that women are treated with the utmost respect, unlike in the west.

The difference herein are two things I presume, the definition of democracy is one, the other which term should be in the forefront in society, the individual or the family/tribe?

For me democracy means that, amongst others, women would be granted much more freedom than they are currently being granted in the Arab world. As you are against a decadent lifestyle, I suppose you are against this. I say this because I believe that what I wrote above is quite right, freedom leads to what you and many others would call a decadent culture. I don’t call it decadent, I call it freedom with faults on the side. But it is up to us to work for something better, to take care of the homeless and reverse the trend of consumerism (all of which is already visible). And don’t go thinking too much that the Arab way of life is so much superior. Closer family ties, yes, but as you refer to drunk people, lonely people and such, I can easily refer to similar faults in the Arab society (lack of freedom, corruption, religious morals that belong in a medieval society and so on.

But what it might boil down to is who comes first. The individual or the collective? You would probably say the collective, no? I wouldn’t. I would also say that focusing on the rights of the individual does not necessarily imply disregarding the collective.

I fear we would also disagree on universal human rights.

June 17th, 2011, 4:19 pm


Pas Cool said:

Usama post nr 146

I know little of what went on in Canada in the 80s. The virtue of a democracy is that if you do not approve of the current government, you can elect another at the next election.

However, another thing. I assume philosophers are still busy discussing universal values and which ones we should adhere to. I believe a democracy has a stronger legitimacy than a dictatorship, that in itself a reason for democracies to criticize dictatorships, as dictatorships by definition do not represent their people’s will.

But of course there are politics involved in this Syrian crisis. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just plain wrong. Also, I would argue that the world’s threshold for tolerating deaths has decreased, essentially a good thing but which also, especially when combined with politics, leads to accusations of hypocrisy.

June 17th, 2011, 4:29 pm


Mina said:

Pas cool
As long as these deaths are in Africa the world remains very cool about it.

It’s ALL about the STL. Either HA or Syria or both. The Iranians have taken a safe mode: clerics are throwing out Ahmadinajad.

June 17th, 2011, 4:39 pm


Pas Cool said:

I think you’re quite right about that. What do you want to do about that? Wait until the casualties in Syria reach that of a war torn African country? Or would you rather want that the world takes notice of the problems in Africa at an earlier stage? I hope the latter. Why does it differ? Politics of course, and maybe some other factors are to be included in any explanation as well. But don’t fault someone for focusing on the number of deaths in one country just because he/she doesn’t focus on a higher number of deaths in another country.

June 17th, 2011, 4:48 pm


Averroes said:


Exactly. Thank you for that note. Very true.


The US has long in bed with the Al-Saud family in Saudi Arabia. It was not Al-Saud that orchestrated 9/11, but it was a side effect of the hate culture that that family has been boasting all over the world. The services that Al-Saud provide to the US outweigh the damage done by their methods, or so US administrations believe. I.e. it’s OK if that hate culture has caused the death of 3000 Americans, as long as the same hate culture can be used to destroy Iraq, Syria, and Egypt.

June 17th, 2011, 4:50 pm


syau said:


“civil disobedience drive in Syria, inspired by the residents of Duma. Stop paying utility bills to hasten the collapse of the regime economically.”

How about they use the western model and cut off the use of utilities to the houses that aren’t paying their bills until common sense prevails and they pay their outstanding amount.

If they do not pay their outstanding amounts, they can be referred to debt collectors, be harassed with countless telephone calls and receive a massive amount of mail regarding their outstanding bill be contacted at their workplace and searches conducted for possible relitives and have messages left with them, just to add to the embarrassment.

They will then have their credit rating affected for many years, preventing them from obtaining further credit of any sort, and, if they still listen to your calls not to pay their bills, they can be subjected to court hearings and judgements applied, with interest applied ofcourse, which will affect their credit rating for many more years than a default would, and, if instalments are arranged to pay the increasing debt and they default on payments, they can look forward to their assets being seized and sold at auction to cover the debt. Otherwise they can be embarrassed by the creditor and a garnishee of wages requested, where their employer will be summonsed to court to sign the order and the process can begin.

Sounds good to me.

June 17th, 2011, 4:55 pm


Mina said:

Pas cool
This simply points to the fact newspapers have no ethics, and no credibility anymore. Blogs and free websites are replacing them advantageously. The global conversation is opening up towards a new world were the big media networks are becoming less powerful, and therefore the states messages they passed too.

But what can you do about Wisal TV spreading hatred and calling its people to take the streets? Did Qardawi go back to Egypt now that Mubarak is gone? No. Theologians are public dangers who brainwash masses. At least in the Middle Ages they used to say “Wa Allahu a’lam”, but today they can deliver you a fatwa 24/7.
I know Syria well, have friends there for whom I am worried. The standard of living was far better than in many other places in the Middle East. The opposition has not been offering any sort of dialogue and had a plain agenda, using exactly the same phrases and pushing events to imitate what has been going on in Egypt. There was nothing spontaneous here. I don’t see anything brave in letting 10 years old kids in Banyas, Maarat, Hama, attack the public buildings. I have no illusion as to the ferocity of SOME people in the army (and the clumsiness of others, the panick of others, the cowardness of others), but we are talking of an apparatus which has fought during the Lebanese war and has Iraq for neighbour. So don’t expect them to behave like the non-armed UK bobbies. You probably know that people in the French army who fought in Algeria are still hailing torture and murders as the best tools they had, and closer to us we have Guantanamo, Abu Graib ,Israel.
I think Bashar al Asad will stay until he gets the country into a transition and some elections. Remember when UK politicians were telling us about Qaddafi that a political vacuum would be very dangerous? They quickly changed their mind. But in the case of Syria, if indeed the fall of the regime would help weakening HA in Lebanon, it would also have consequences such as a massive exodus of Christians and seculars, and not so many countries around are ready for that.

June 17th, 2011, 5:16 pm


Darryl said:

105. Syrian Knight

I think the biggest mistake Pres. Assad has made in his 11 years, is not introducing free media and press early in his years. I believe most Syrians would have been happy with that, at least as a way to vent steam and secondly it is the biggest weapon against corruption to shame those who take advantage of the dis-advantaged class.

Some will say, Israel, will have easy time to spy etc. They have many ways to spy without needing free press.

June 17th, 2011, 5:16 pm


Norman said:

Democracy gives the government to be brutal with its enemies as we saw in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya and Israel for the last 60 years, If President Assad was elected with western style way then he could do all what wants without any problem, he probably would have benefited significantly if he ran in an open election the last time around, people loved him and they probably still love him at least more than 50% of the now, free election and multiparty system is the best way to save Syria and the Baath and the Syrian army, He has to do that before Damascus and Aleppo starts as any attack on demonstration even from armed group can be seen as either a failure of the government or a brutality of the regime and at that time it will look clearly that it is done under pressure, The Baath party has to lose power the next time if it wants to have a future in Syria and as long as the Army is healthy and secular and can see through the transfere of power back and forth, He just need to move like a rabbit not like a turtle, The turtle days are gone,

June 17th, 2011, 5:39 pm


Tara said:


“Indeed democracy in the West comes with a very dark side.”

What is your alternative to democracy? Theocracy? Oppression? One party that is the leader of the state and society? What is the alternative?

Also, I am surprised that you are linking societal diseases with freedom of expression and other democratic values. How is it when I protest and express my opinion whatever that opinion might be, I end up parking my parents in a nursing home, increasing my likelihood of getting divorce, committing murders, becoming drug addict or suicidal?

Also I do not agree with this generalization of the lack of family ties in the west. Having been raised in Damascus, I was always told to feel so lucky about how family values in the Arab ME compared to the west. This was the biggest myth I have ever heard. I sew stronger family ties in the west than I ever imagined can exist. Look at western children soccer practices, kindergarten graduation, swim meets, etc… All kids’ activities get attended by parents, grandparents, available aunts and uncles. I can cite many many examples of very very strong family ties in the west based on a first hand experience. Was I exposed to a different west than anyone else?

Yes drugs, suicide, murders, etc.. exist but you are so mistaken to link them to freedom and democracy.

June 17th, 2011, 5:45 pm


Tara said:


“In our region, the most creative country in terms of arts, paintings, cinema, technical inventions and achievements, cultural richness is……. Iran.”

How is that? By what criteria? While you are entitled to your opinion, I would like to see an objective rather than subjective assessment.

Now I agree that the civilization was born in old Mesopotamia which is probably part of current Syria, Iraq, and Iran and while I agree that Persia has had significant contribution to the Islamic culture during the rule of the Islamic “empire”, I find it difficult to agree to a subjective assessment of creativity in current Iran that is pretty closed now to the world.

June 17th, 2011, 5:58 pm


Shami said:

Mina do you mean tha the minorities are doomed in Syria?
Did you read the history of Syria ,did you visit the parts that remained of the hitorical urban fabrics of Aleppo ,Hama,Homs,Damascus and saw the churches ,synagogues meeting the mosques ,sufi zawaya and takaya ?

This is our culture Mina,

Do you really believe that the MB are barbarians ? ,in fact they are mostly highly educated people.(especially their girls and women)
You should listen to the wonderful artistic heritage preserved by the syrian muslims .
One of the greatest musician in the arab world ,was an aleppine based song writer,a Sheikh from Jisr al shoughour ,Bakri Al Kurdi.(born in 1910-1979).
Are they a social and historical reality ?

Syria will be build with the syrian islamists who are the most moderate and sophisticated islamists in the world.

What the culture of those menhebak is ?


June 17th, 2011, 6:00 pm


Norman said:


yes they go to the soccer and the Baseball games but many of the stop at that and do not pay for their children college education and ask them to take loans and pay themselves.

June 17th, 2011, 6:08 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:


Jewish court sentences dog to death by stoning
By Agence France-Presse
Friday, June 17th, 2011 — 2:34 pm

JERUSALEM — A Jerusalem rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a dog it suspects is the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who insulted the court’s judges 20 years ago, Ynet website reported Friday.

According to Ynet, the large dog made its way into the Monetary Affairs Court in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, frightening judges and plaintiffs.

Despite attempts to drive the dog out of the court, the hound refused to leave the premises.

One of the sitting judges then recalled a curse the court had passed down upon a secular lawyer who had insulted the judges two decades previously.

Their preferred divine retribution was for the lawyer’s spirit to move into the body of a dog, an animal considered impure by traditional Judaism.

Clearly still offended, one of the judges sentenced the animal to death by stoning by local children.

The canine target, however, managed to escape.

“Let the Animals Live”, an animal-welfare organisation filed a complaint with the police against the head of the court, Rabbi Avraham Dov Levin, who denied that the judges had called for the dog’s stoning, Ynet reported.

One of the court’s managers, however, confirmed the report of the lapidation sentence to Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot.

“It was ordered… as an appropriate way to ‘get back at’ the spirit which entered the poor dog,” the paper reported the manager as saying, according to Ynet.

Certain schools of thought within Judaism believe in the transmigration of souls, or reincarnation.

June 17th, 2011, 6:08 pm


Tara said:


I think the real problem is that the loyals do not see or want to see that the opposition is NOT made of MB, Aaroor and Wisal TV followers.

I am Mamenhebak and all people I am exposed to are mamenhebak seculars as secular can be. We have never heard of Wisal, AAroor and alikes up until very very recently. I do believe that Mamenhebak group includes non-secular conservative Sunnis but they also have not heard of Aaroor et al until recently.

Sunnis want to live with Alawites where are all equals ( I am not even gonna say equal under god). We do not want to kill Alawites or annihilate other minorities. We are one people. Why is this so difficult to believe?

June 17th, 2011, 6:22 pm


Tara said:


Our education in Syria was FREE. Our family did noy pay more that 10 dollars a year for tuition and books. Jobs are not available in Syria as much as in the west.

If education in Syria was not free and if jobs were availble, Do you think poor parents in Syria would pay for their kids to go to college or have them work a part time job to pay for themselves?

I would want my son to work part time job at age 18 and share some responsibilities with me. Do this make me a bad parent with weak family ties?

And also, how is this the fault of democracy?

June 17th, 2011, 6:28 pm


Syrian Knight said:

“I was always told to feel so lucky about how family values in the Arab ME compared to the west. This was the biggest myth I have ever heard. I sew stronger family ties in the west than I ever imagined can exist. Look at western children soccer practices, kindergarten graduation, swim meets, etc… All kids’ activities get attended by parents, grandparents, available aunts and uncles. I can cite many many examples of very very strong family ties in the west based on a first hand experience. Was I exposed to a different west than anyone else?”

LOL! I’m sorry, but you are lying. Get the **** out of here.

June 17th, 2011, 6:30 pm


Norman said:


It is 1860 Syria and Lebanon It is the Ottoman period, it is the MB of the seventies and early Eighties when people were killed just for being Christians and Alawat, not even for being Baathists, the example of the way minorities are treated in Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordon and even Turkey, The story is not encouraging, I would not undermine the minority fear and your opposition is not helping with the people they are associated with, just remember, We want reform but peaceful one, where the president can lead the reform then not run for the next election . Violence will break Syria.

June 17th, 2011, 6:32 pm


why-discuss said:

BBC showed friday a BBC reporter sneaking in Syria near Jisr al Shourough. It was surprisingly easy to cross through the olive trees. He talked to an old lady who mumbled.
He then approached a group of men sitting, one of them had his head half shaved and a black beard,the other one, with blue eyes wore an East European black round hat and he hardly could speak arabic. They certainly did not look Syrians, I think they were tchechenes, weird? I wish I could this that video again.
Did anyone see it and confirm my impression?

June 17th, 2011, 6:37 pm


Tara said:


I agree with you. I would never undermine the minority fear. Bashar needs to actually curb the 17 security branches and stop the killing, then I will be fine with him leading the reform to free election. He needs to actually do this not just promise of doing this.

June 17th, 2011, 6:40 pm


Norman said:

(( 163. Tara said:


Our education in Syria was FREE. Our family did not pay more that 10 dollars a year for tuition and books. Jobs are not available in Syria as much as in the west.))

and tell me Tara, How much did you pay back Syria for this free education , did you start a scholarship, That is exactly the reason Syria is poor , Syria gives and nobody gives back,

In the West people talk the talk but do not walk the walk when they are needed financially by their children or their parents.

I am not against Democracy but i think that the Syrians and the Arabs in general should learn to accept defeat without trying to take things when they are not given to them by the voters,

School elections and school governments can help.Rules on campaign donation so money does not buy votes .

June 17th, 2011, 6:41 pm


Tara said:

Knight, re #164

I would only ask for an apology from people who I hold up to certain standards. You are just not one of them.

June 17th, 2011, 6:49 pm


jad said:

Sophia, WD, Annie,
You will appreciate this site in French:
Check out Adonis interview translated to French, this is why I wrote couple weeks ago that we need ‘Philosophers’ who we can build our future with, not illiterate ponytail and lunatic MB revenger.
Other wise this unorganized, vision-less and ideology-less movement is on the destructive tracks of not only the regime but Syria as a whole, society and culture.

June 17th, 2011, 6:53 pm


Syrian Knight said:

Tara, manipulative liars like you do not deserve any form of apology.

June 17th, 2011, 7:06 pm


why-discuss said:


I don’t want to go into lots of details, but just look at the achievements of Iran in the last 25 years (you can do your own googling for details)
– They create models and produce millions of cars and export them even to Syria and as far as Venezuela
– They have a nuclear reactor running
– They are doing research in nuclear use for medical purpose
– They build submarines, boats and long range rockets
– Their Universities are recognized worldwide for their excellence
– 60% of university students are women
– They have sent 2 communications satellites
– They have won more than 50 awards for their films in international festivals and one film was nominated for an Oscar
– Their artists produce and sell an enormous amount of modern sculptures and paintings in large international auctions like Christie

Al this under an oppressive regime. Creativity is not related to political oppression.

June 17th, 2011, 7:08 pm


why-discuss said:



Unfortunately the families you met in the West were probably arabs or south american.
Most western families are very small, and many see their parents only for Christmas. Friendships are circumstancial and flimsy. Who needs friends or neighbors when the state is here to cater for your needs and you feel independent?
Ultimately old people end up in a government or private center, play bingo and see their children once a year. I am not imagining all that, I’ve seen it.
Middle east families have their drawbacks too, often exposed on TV serials, but overall they are much close knitted and healthier than most of the western families.

June 17th, 2011, 7:18 pm


EHSANI2 said:

Not to interject into this discussion but:

Rather than east and west, it is the different phases of economic development that is at the core of the way nuclear and extended families live and interact with one another.

June 17th, 2011, 7:26 pm


why-discuss said:


Thanks a lot. I think everyone should appreciate Adonis’s reflexions of wisdom on the events.

June 17th, 2011, 7:33 pm


Syrian Knight said:

Saudi Arabia uses computer generated images to make up fake stories about Syrian activists. Most of the names of the so-called mutinied soldiers who have been killed are alive and still serving in the army:


June 17th, 2011, 7:38 pm


aboali said:


In a telephone briefing with reporters, a senior administration official said the U.S. is “looking into…whether there are grounds here for charges related to war crimes” and whether referrals to the International Criminal Court are appropriate.

June 17th, 2011, 7:39 pm


why-discuss said:


Do you imply that the more a country develops economically, the smaller and more isolated the families would become?
That may be the high price to pay for a capitalistic system based on consumerism. I think this is incompatible with the traditions of the Arab society and I expect the revival and instrumentation of the religions, especially Islam to resist to these changes

June 17th, 2011, 7:45 pm


aboali said:

who ever gave the regime 6 months until an economic meltdown is overly optimistic. There’s no Diesel in Aleppo, lines a kilometer long at gas stations, and it’s being sold for 25 lira on the black market. Ya salam 3ala Bashar and his de-forms.

June 17th, 2011, 7:51 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

There was demonstration in Deraa today,after all the oppression that was there, and the army occupied Deraa and killed many,and arrested thousand,yet they came out demonstrating ,and in large number, .
The regime use of oppresssion and violent suppression of the people apparently,does not work,the reform is not the only demand now, the people demand the fall of the regime,
All revolutions evolve,from one stage to another,Fear still exist in Damascus and Aleppo,but there is no fear in other cities.

June 17th, 2011, 8:01 pm


jad said:

As if those brainless revolutionist organizers have a clue of what to do for the economy, they are destroying the same people they claim helping. Very smart.

June 17th, 2011, 8:04 pm


Shami said:

Jad ,this site is very menhebak we guess who is behind it , so it holds no credibility at all.They want to show that Bashar regime is the truth, is victim of a world war and they minimize to 0 those who do not consider that asad is god.
The world is not in need of al watan,baath,qandil,khomaini,nasrollah,wahab literatures .
Adonis is a moderate sectarian but as man of culture he acknowledge that political change is inescapable.Also he is after prizes ,he needs to show some rational stance to the world.
And even if he likes Abu Alaa al Maari a philosophical poet ,he can not be called a philosopher.
What are his works in philosophy ?

June 17th, 2011, 8:07 pm


jad said:

Then don’t visit it!

June 17th, 2011, 8:08 pm


aboali said:

civil disobedience drive in Syria, inspired by the residents of Duma. Stop paying utility bills to hasten the collapse of the regime economically.


how about all you pro-regime ass-hats chip in and pay them yourselves before your beloved Bashar goes broke and can’t pay his death squad’s salaries. Or perhaps uncle Rami will foot the bill from all the money he stole from the people. In any case, the protesters have decided that they don’t want to pay for the bullets and guns being used to kill them anymore.

June 17th, 2011, 8:11 pm


jad said:

استخدام اللعبة الطائفية بين “شبّيحين”: النظام ومعارضيه!

الكاتب بسام القاضي
18/ 06/ 2011
فيما ينكر النظام السوري حقيقة الشرخ والتوتر الطائفي الذي يجتاح سورية اليوم، ويهدد بخطر جسيم قد ينجم عن أي “خطأ” غير مقصود ولا مخطط له، ويستمر في التحشيد الطائفي في نفس الوقت عبر سياسة إعلامية فاشلة، وعبر تغاضيه عن سلوك الكثير من مؤيديه (خاصة الشبيحة)، فإن الأمر نفسه تماما، مع حفظ الفروق بين من لديه قوة الدولة ومن لديه قوة الإعلام، تقوم به “المعارضة”، سواء من حيث إنكارها حقيقة الشرخ والتوتر الطائفي، أو من حيث استمرارها بالتحشيد الطائفي عبر سياسة إعلامية مدروسة، وعبر تغاضيها عن سلوك الكثير من مؤيديها (خاصة المجرمين المسلحين).

سورية ديمقراطية وآمنة
وبين هذا وذاك، يجد المجتمع السوري نفسه منقسما بحدة، غير مصدق لانكشاف مدى عمق هذا الصدع، ومدى اتساعه السريع والخطير!

فخلال الشهور الماضية من الأزمة لم يتوقف الإعلام السوري عن ضخ النفس الطائفي عبر إنكار ما يحدث من شرخ. فالتركيز الشديد في العبارات والصيغ المستخدمة، وفتح الهواء لكلمات الحرب والعنف، وتركيز الكاميرا على أشخاص بعينهم، وإقصاء الواقع السوري عن الشاشة، خاصة فيما يخص ضحايا العنف الإجرامي من الجيش والشرطة والأمن.. كل هذا شكل محركا أساسيا للطائفية من خلال الإعلام. إذ شكلت هذه المبالغة تأكيدا إضافيا على الطابع الطائفي للحشد.

كما أن تغاضي النظام عن سلوك المؤيدين له في مناطق عدة (خاصة في اللاذقية)، سواء من حيث حملهم السلاح علنا، أو قيامهم بكافة أشكال الاستفزازات تحت مسميات مختلفة منها “مسيرات الولاء عبر السيارات” دون حصولهم على أي إذن ودون مواجهتهم أو توقيفهم مثل ما يحدث مع المظاهرات (السلمية منها)، والردود بوسائل منحطة على مشكلة “التكبير من البيوت”.. كل ذلك شكل رافعة إضافية للشحن الطائفي.

وفي الوقت نفسه، لم تتوقف “المعارضة” عن استخدام اللغة الطائفية منذ اليوم الأول لاستيلائها على حركة الاحتجاجات العفوية، وبدأ هذا الاستخدام بالحديث عن “أقلية وأكثرية” طائفية! ثم بالتركيز على استخدام عبارات مثل “أخوتنا العلويين في أمان تحت الثورة”! وكذلك بإنكار الهتافات “الجماهيرية” التي علت بعض المظاهرات مثل “علوية ع التابوت، ومسيحية على بيروت”، أو العبارات التي كتبت على بعض الجدران في بعض المدن، إضافة إلى التضييقات الشديدة الطائفية التي مورست ضد بعض النساء والرجال في مناطق معينة.

وينضم إلى هذا ثلة المثقفين والمثقفات ممن لم يجد طريقة للرد على بعض الطروحات بالحجة، فذهب لاستدعاء عمقه الطائفي الخاص به ليسقطه على الآخرين. ففي حالات تجاوزت العشر حتى الآن، جرى اتهام من لا يتفق مع تصورات “الثورة” بأنه “يعود إلى انتماءه للأقلية”، حتى حين يكون لادينيا صريحا! ودون أي مستند مما يقوله المتهم أو يفعله! وشكلت هذه الحالات تأكيدات صريحة على طائفية عقول هؤلاء من جهة، ولكن الأهم هو الجهة الأخرى: شكلت دعوة صريحة لاعتبار كل من لا يتفق مع “عقيدة الثورة” هو طائفي بالضرورة إذا لم يكن “سنيا” في قاموس هؤلاء الحقيقي الملبس بكلمات جميلة. وإذا كان كذلك، فطبعا التهمة أيضا جاهزة: فهو عميل أو بوق للنظام!

بل إن من يتم اختيارهم كـ”شهود عيان”، غالبا ما يرسلون إشارات طائفية مختلفة، وصلت في الفترة الأخيرة إلى حد التعبير صراحة عن ذلك (شاهد حول جسر الشغور على العربية ظهيرة يوم الجمعة 18/6/2011).

من هنا يظهر أن “المعارضة” لم تكن بريئة إطلاقا من اللعب بالطائفية. فهي والنظام يعرفان جيدا أن اللعبة الطائفية الخطرة هي لعبة صالحة لكل منهما إلى حد معين. صحيح أنها تحرق الكثير من الناس في طريقها، لكن حرق الناس ودماءهم والشرخ الاجتماعي المترتب على ذلك ليس من اهتمامات “المعارضة” ولا النظام. بل هي لعبة الكراسي التي أثبت كلاهما قدرته اللامتناهية على استخدام المزيد من العنف لتحقيقها. وإن كانت المعادلة بينهما (النظام و”المعارضة”) ليست متكافئة. فاستخدام النظام لهذه اللعبة كان في حده الأدنى ضمن معيار إمكانياته، بينما استخدام “المعارضة” له كان في حده الأقصى ضمن إمكانياتها. كما أن النظام هو نظام، فليس من المتوقع من أي نظام على وجه الأرض أن لا يخدم سلطاته (وهو ما تفعله كل أنظمة العالم بغض النظر عن صفاتها، ودرجة استخدامها هذا الأمر أو ذاك)، فيما يتوقع من “المعارضة” أن تكون، على الأٌقل قبل تبوئها السلطة وبدئها بالقمع المعمم لتثبيت سلطتها، أقرب إلى الفعل الإيجابي منها إلى هذه الألعاب القذرة.

وفي كل حال، فإن هذا الواقع يرتب على المجتمع المدني السوري (ومنظمات حقوق الإنسان غادرت هذه الخانة وصارت طرفا في الصراع على السلطة في سورية، وهذا الجزء هو بالتأكيد ليس صراعا على الحرية والديمقراطية)، أن تكون في أقصى درجات الوعي والحذر من هذه اللعبة وانعكاساتها. وخاصة لجهة العمل الفوري على إحباط أية انفعالات أو إثارات طائفية ناجمة عن الأحداث اليوم.
وفي هذا الصدد يمكن التأكيد أن الخطوات التي تبدو غاية في السطحية والهامشية هي خطوات قد تكون بالغة الأثر، من مثل مبادرة أشخاص مختلفين لزيارة أهالي الضحايا من أية خلفية كانوا، وتأكيد أن المتظاهرين السلميين بمطالبهم الحقة (رغم استيلاء شبيحة المعارضة عليها إعلاميا) لا يوجهون تظاهرهم باسم طائفة ما أو دين ما، ولا ضد طائفة ما أو دين ما. والأمر نفسه في تأكيد أن من يقتل من المجرمين باسم الحرية لا يمثل طائفة ولا دينا، حتى إن ادعى ذلك، بل هو فقط مجرم يمثل نفسه الإجرامية..

وبشكل خاص، يبدو من المهم الرد علنا، ونبذ ومقاطعة كل من يستخدم هذه اللغة الطائفية، مباشرة أو بالتذاكي، سواء كان من النظام أو “المعارضة”، وفضحه بكافة الوسائل، حتى إن كان من أولئك الذين يستخدمون مهاراتهم اللغوية لتغطية حقيقة تحريضهم الطائفي.

وما إن تنتهي هذه الأزمة التي نأمل أن تنتهي قريبا، حتى يصير الباب مفتوحا على مصراعيه لإسقاط كافة الرؤى الطائفية والظلامية والعنفية. فلا شيء يخيف هذا الفكر وأصحابه قدر ما تخيفه الديمقراطية والحرية الحقيقيتين. ولذلك تحاول بعض أجهزة النظام القضاء على هذا المشروع في مهده، فيما أثبتت بعض “المعارضة” أن الحرية والديمقراطية التي تسعى إليها ليست سوى ديمقراطية وحرية “الذكور المسلمين” التي لا تعترف بمواطنة لمرأة ولا لسوري ليس بمسلم.

إن سورية ديمقراطية وآمنة هي سورية التي يخشاها أمراء الحرب من الجهتين، لأنها تكشف زيف ادعاءاتهم وحقيقة مشاريعهم. ولكنها هي التي تمثل مستقبل سورية القادر على بناء المواطنة الحقيقية لكل من فيها بغض النظر عن دينه وجنسه وقوميته ولونه وعقيدته.. والقادر على فتح أبواب التاريخ بعيدا عن أي انقلاب على الديمقراطية الحقيقية بأي اسم خادع..


June 17th, 2011, 8:12 pm


daleandersen said:


RE: WHY-DISCUSS on Western Family Values “…Most western families are very small, and many see their parents only for Christmas. Friendships are circumstancial and flimsy. Who needs friends or neighbors when the state is here to cater for your needs? … Old people end up in a government or private center, play bingo and see their children once a year…”

My first impulse was to think WHY-DISCUSS was parroting Baathist anti-American propaganda. But then, I went back and looked at some of his opinions on things in general and concluded he’s a stupid, ignorant old man. Not that there’s anything wrong with being stupid and ignorant, mind you. Let’s just hope he’s not ugly as well. It would be a shame to be stupid, ignorant AND ugly…


June 17th, 2011, 8:18 pm


Shami said:

Anyway ,last Adonis stance is welcomed.

June 17th, 2011, 8:31 pm


Norman said:

With Makhlouf out , would Syria still have anybody with enough capital to take big projects or all these projects will go now to the foreign investors from the Gulf , Turkey and the EU and could that be a reason for what is going on in Syria , from what i know Makhlouf has problems with AL Waled who wants to take more projects in Syria, Is it prudent to get Syria of the one with the money , wouldn’t have been better if he gave shares in Syria tell to all Syrians that use his network so they can have a stake while keeping him as a CEO so he can make them money.

June 17th, 2011, 8:48 pm


Abughassan said:

Security forces continued their harsh campaign against protestors,I am referring to those demonstrations that were unarmed,and in one incident at least they were responsible for aggravating the situation (جامع الحسن في الميدان). Changing the culture of oppression will not happen overnight but the time to start is now. The opposition seems to be willing to say anything or do anything to create noise,and I am starting to get really irritated by this. An example is using Saleh Alali’s name for their political PR.the grandchildren of both Saleh Alali and Hanano expressed dismay for the improper use of these two Syrian icons.
Furthermore,the so-called victim in Aleppo died of a heart attack and was not even demonstrating ,cheek his family’s statement and the doctor’s testimony.
Bashar is well-advised to refer clearly to article-8 and free elections if he wants my support,as for decree-49,he needs,may be later on,to declare that membership in the MB will not be punishable by death,this is 2011,even a membership in alqaida is not punishable by death.finally,I am convinced that our neighbors are not playing nice and that they gave tons of money to criminals,opposition figures and corrupt border officers,welcome to Syria…

June 17th, 2011, 8:57 pm


aboali said:

newly released video showing the army destroying property and cars in Daraa and gloating over it:

“smoking gun” video in Homs 27-5. Officer takes careful aim with pistol and fires at protesters

June 17th, 2011, 8:58 pm


why-discuss said:


Did I touch a sensitive cord?
For a wannabe Israeli poet, you vocabulary is fairly vulgar, childish and hysterical. I don’t wish you to have a heart attack over a blog!

June 17th, 2011, 9:00 pm


Tara said:


I disagree with you in regard to the western family values. I was not referring to the white trash that any one of us may have had exposure to living in the west. I think there is strong family ties in the west. I also think that the westerner are far ahead of us in regard to volunteerism and philanthropy.

Whatever your opinion is in regard to the western values, how do you blame this on democracy. What democracy have to do with weak family ties?

June 17th, 2011, 9:19 pm


Tara said:


I also disagree with you in regard to oppression and creativity. Iran could have been even much more creative had it not been ruled with rotten theocracy. Iranians are very creative indeed but they are limited by their regime too.

I have few Persian friends who contact me periodically to express solidarity with the Syrian people. They say the shabbiha remind them very much with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards. Don’t you think?

June 17th, 2011, 9:30 pm


aboali said:

gotta love the way all the moronic pro-regime expats slam the west for it’s decadence and immorality, while living there and enjoying freedom, a high standard of living, good education for their kids, good jobs, good homes, good medical care and protection under a fair police and justice System. While at the same time denying their fellow Syrians living under Bashar the Butcher those very same things! Of course, you a****les in Syria need to suffer so that habibi Bashar and his clan of thugs and thieves can rule over you and your families forever and ever! weeeeeeeeeeeee

Hypocrites much? how about you get your asses back here and then we’ll see how patriotic you really are.

June 17th, 2011, 9:30 pm


Tara said:


I disagree with why but I think he is handsome.

June 17th, 2011, 9:37 pm


Jad said:

Where the government is the source of stability to the individule, family ties are secondary.
While in the ME/3rd world, governments are not liable to give any support to their subjects when needed this is why family ties comes first as a source of liable support, family for us is our only safety net.

June 17th, 2011, 9:43 pm


Norman said:

(( 195. Tara said:


I disagree with why but I think he is handsome ))

You are so right. see how smart you are.


Very eloquent indeed,

June 17th, 2011, 9:45 pm


why-discuss said:


We seem to have had different experiences with western families,
so we can’t really discuss productively that issue.
I agree that democracy is not directly linked to the transformation of the extended families to nuclear families as Ehsani2 rightly pointed it out.
Maybe I am observing western democracies with my middle eastern eyes and culture and I see them as a package, with the good things and the bad ones. Maybe I focus too much on the social flaws of western democracy and tend to take for granted the advantages it brings like individual rights, control of corruption, freedom of cult, anti discrimination etc..

Anyway I hope that the Syrians would invent a new democracy that will keep alive their generosity and tolerance as well as the positive family values they enjoy.

June 17th, 2011, 9:45 pm


why-discuss said:


“Iran could have been even much more creative had it not been ruled with rotten theocracy”

Under the Shah, praised and loved by the Western countries, Iran was not creative at all.
It was totally dependent on the US and the attempt for a real democracy was crushed by the CIA in 1953 (Mossadegh).
I agree that when this phase of oppressive theocracy will pass (it will pass sooner or later), it will probably become the most powerful country in the region.
Yet you can’t deny their achievements in the last 25 years when you compare it to Egypt ( supposedly a democracy according to western countries)

June 17th, 2011, 9:52 pm


Tara said:

Government in the west do not cater to the elderly needs and do not offer psychological support. They provide social security income, food stamps to the poor, and healthcare. Good families in the west have strong ties. Family for them is their safety net. Let us not fool ourselves and deny the obvious.

Funny That I feel at time that Jad, why, and Sophia are the same person.

June 17th, 2011, 9:54 pm


why-discuss said:


I strongly share your opinion about the family being a safety net in our region.
That is what I see is gradually disappearing in modern, economically developed western countries.

June 17th, 2011, 9:59 pm


Norman said:

Sorry Tara, They are not.

June 17th, 2011, 9:59 pm


why-discuss said:


I wonder about which country you are referring?
All european countries and Canada provide government subsidized centers for old people. They also provide health care and a pension.
Old people usually do not need their family to support them financially. Contrary to the Middle east, you will rarely see grandparents living with their grandchildren.
Have you ever visited these old age centers? I have.

June 17th, 2011, 10:06 pm


Tara said:


I would never deny Iranian achievement over the last 25 yrs. Why would I do that? I Like the Iranian people and i think they are very cultural. i do not believe though that Egypt was a democracy regardless of what the west past opinion was.

Anyhow, I take your last comments as a small concession. The first of it’s kind that I see on SC from the Menhebaks.

June 17th, 2011, 10:10 pm


syau said:


“civil disobedience drive in Syria, inspired by the residents of Duma. Stop paying utility bills to hasten the collapse of the regime economically.”

How about the government use the western model and creditors can cut off the use of utilities to the houses that aren’t paying their bills until common sense prevails and the people pay their outstanding amount.

If they do not pay their outstanding amounts, they can be referred to debt collectors, be harassed with countless telephone calls and receive a massive amount of mail regarding their outstanding bill be contacted at their workplace and searches conducted for possible relitives and have messages left with them, just to add to the embarrassment.

They will then have their credit rating affected for many years, preventing them from obtaining further credit of any sort, and, if they still listen to your calls not to pay their bills, they can be subjected to court hearings and judgements applied, with interest applied of course, which will affect their credit rating for many more years than a default would, and, if instalments are arranged to pay the increasing debt and they default on payments, they can look forward to their assets being seized and sold at auction to cover the debt. Otherwise they can be embarrassed by the creditor and a garnishee of wages requested, where their employer will be summonsed to court to sign the order and the process can begin.

Sounds like you have a great plan there.

June 17th, 2011, 10:28 pm


jad said:

Dear WD,
I do understand your views regarding the family in the developed world, you are talking about it from a different point of view than what others are arguing with you about, I guess the education factor is the reason for them not understanding your point.
You are right in your finds, just a quick look at any survey based paper in the social studies you will find the same conclusion you wrote, family ties is less important in the developed world than the developing ones, all that came post WWI.
Before WWI the west in general (Europe and North America) had similar family structure as in our region, they depend mostly on their families on everything, government in the modern form we see today weren’t the norm then.
WWI was the first crack in the western social structure, people start to fear others and thus they start to form modern government to depend on for defending the society instead of their families, this trend become even stronger after WWII when the society discovered that un-monitored democracy where powers’ balance are not respected between the majority and minorities brings destruction not stability and after WWII they formed democratic governments that respect power balance and that become the one most important element responsible for the welfare of the whole society hence family ties went even more less important.
Saying that family ties are stronger in the developing countries than the west is not an insult to the west it’s fact that can be found in social studies.
On the other hand in our society, when education is missing, democratic government that respect human rights and needs and the power balance doesn’t exist, your first layer of safety is your family, then come your sect/tribe, then your religion and after all comes the government. When the government is weak and unreliable, you go to your religion groups to fill the support you need, and when your religion doesn’t give you that either, you go back to your sect/tribe where ties are even stronger and when your sect/tribe is divided you immediately stuck to your family regardless how dysfunction your family is because it is your last resource of safety otherwise, you are alone in the society.

June 17th, 2011, 10:32 pm


Tara said:

I am so curious to know what” I guess the education factor is the reason for them not understading your point” means?

June 17th, 2011, 10:44 pm


jad said:

Not educated enough to understand the difference between scientific discussion and طق حنك / علاك مصدي

June 17th, 2011, 10:51 pm


Tara said:

مقبولة منك

Thank you again.

June 17th, 2011, 11:04 pm


jad said:

Honestly, It was intended to make you laugh, nothing more 🙂

June 17th, 2011, 11:10 pm


syau said:

Gang members beat up a man by the name of Zuhair Al Tabaa for refusing to participate in an anti government protest. His ID card was also stolen. He came forward assuming his details will be used in a fabrication attempt by the opposition.


Is beating up people who choose to exercise their right not to participate in the violent demonstrations the opposition’s idea of freedom?

June 17th, 2011, 11:11 pm


Tara said:


طيب صدقتك سماح هالمرة

June 17th, 2011, 11:20 pm


jad said:

شكراً 🙂

June 17th, 2011, 11:25 pm


Samara said:


YalateeeeeEEFF ma ajhashak!!!

June 17th, 2011, 11:36 pm


Abughassan said:

I have a problem with people who choose to live in the west then complain about that choice. I found that this funny position is not limited to islamists but it also affects some secular Syrians. Unfortunately,for Syria,many Syrians are successful abroad but can not make it in their motherland.this is one reason why reform is critical for Syria’s future.
Many Syrians “love ” to criticize the US but the same people would “love” to emigrate to that country if they have the chance, actually,many Baathist and government figures sent their kids to get educated in the US,and most never returned. Most of us have grievances when it comes to western support for israel and many have different cultural values but Syrians can definitely benefit from certain western traditions: work ethics,the rule of law and democracy.
Is it possible to be a Syrian patriot and still identify with many western values?

June 18th, 2011, 12:53 am


louai said:

الأخوان المسلمون : مطية الثورة المضادة
أسعد أبو خليـل


June 18th, 2011, 12:55 am


873 said:

U.S. secretly backed Syrian opposition: report
Mon Apr 18, 2011

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The State Department has secretly funded Syrian opposition groups, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

The cables show that the State Department has funneled as much as $6 million since 2006 to a group of Syrian exiles to operate a London-based satellite channel, Barada TV, and finance activities inside Syria, the Post said.

Barada TV began broadcasting in April 2009 but has ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria that began last month as part of a long-standing campaign to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad the Post said.

The U.S. money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W. Bush after political ties with Damascus were frozen in 2005, the newspaper said.

The financial backing has continued under President Barack Obama, even as his administration sought to rebuild relations with Assad, the Post said. In January, the White House posted an ambassador to Damascus for the first time in six years.

The article said it is unclear whether the United States was still funding Syrian opposition groups, but the cables indicate money was set aside at least through September 2010.

An uprising against Assad’s authoritarian rule have spread across large parts of the country. Rights groups put the death toll at more than 200 people. Syrian authorities blame the violence on armed gangs.

The previously undisclosed cables show that U.S. Embassy officials in Damascus became worried in 2009 when they learned that Syrian intelligence agents were raising questions about U.S. programs, The Washington Post said.

An April 2009 cable signed by the top-ranking U.S. diplomat in Damascus at the time read Syrian authorities “would undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change,” the Post reported.

“A reassessment of current U.S.-sponsored programing that supports anti- factions, both inside and outside Syria, may prove productive,” the cable said.

The Post said the State Department declined to comment on the authenticity of the cables or answer questions about its funding of Barada TV.

June 18th, 2011, 12:56 am


Syria no kandahar said:

There is an article written by Hillary Clinton in Alshark Alawsat newspaper today:
It is the same repetitive language she has been repeating,the impression I got from reading it is that the US have completly given up on Assad and they are already planning post Assad Syria .it feels from what she wrote that the main reason Assad and Syria are being crucified is Iran.Hillary in this article is accusing Assad of spelling refuges to Turkey and isreal,forgetting the 2millions Iraqis he has been absorbing.I think it is a done deal,Syria is going to the civil war oven.

June 18th, 2011, 12:59 am


873 said:

Syrian opposition asked for Israel’s help
By JPOST.COM STAFF 05/28/2011

Likud deputy minister says anti-regime figures in Syria wanted Netanyahu to use influence to convince int’l community to pressure Assad.

Deputy Minister for Galilee and Negev Development Ayoub Kara (Likud) on Saturday said that members of the Syrian opposition had turned to him to ask for Israel’s help in stopping the violence of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime against them. Kara made the statements at a cultural event in Beersheba.

June 18th, 2011, 1:06 am


873 said:

Israel the winner in the Arab revolts
By Spengler Apr 12, 2011 Asia Times

Civilian casualties are the currency of Middle East diplomacy. The military issue in the region has never been whether Israel had the power to crush its opponents, but whether it had permission to do so. Iran and Syria have supplied Hezbollah with 50,000 rockets, many capable of hitting any target in Israel with precision. Many are emplaced under homes, schools and hospitals. Thousands of civilians used as unwilling human shields would perish if Israel were to destroy the missiles.

Too much collateral damage will “stain the conscience of the world”, as United States President Barack Obama intoned over
Libya. By this reckoning, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and other Arab dictators have enhanced Israel’s strategic position by cheapening Arab life.

Another 34 Syrians died in last Friday’s protests, the largest to date, bringing the body count to 170 in the past three weeks.

Estimates of the dead in Libya’s civil war, meanwhile, range from 1,000 to 10,000. No one paid much attention to the dozen and a half dead in Israel’s latest retaliatory strike in Gaza. At the US State Department briefing April 7, spokesman Mark Toner condemned the latest rocket attacks on Israel “in the strongest possible terms”, but said nothing about the Israeli response.

That is harbinger of things to come. Assad may cling to power, but Syria has vanished as a prospective player in peace negotiations. A comprehensive peace is impossible without Syria, which explains why Washington has not demanded Assad’s ouster along with Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

To do so would amount to a formal announcement that the Oslo Accords are dead. For reasons I laid out in a recent essay (Food and Syria’s Failure, March 29), Syria will only fracture further. Israel’s best course of action is to dig in its heels through the November 2012 US presidential elections while its prospective adversaries descend into chaos, and await the right opportunity to settle accounts with Hamas and Hezbollah.

June 18th, 2011, 1:08 am


syau said:

“Obama Launching World War III”

An eye opening update by Alex Jones.


June 18th, 2011, 1:16 am



Dispatch from the Rathole

Brain dumps, smelling as bad as intestinal dumps, is what most regime propagandists have been doing on this site for months now. No one noticed that in EHSANI’s concise comment #175, the writer mentioned nuclear and extended family. The reactionaries were on an offensive, mentioning, yet not citing social studies and statistics and even bullying an honest assessment from TARA because she dared exposed self serving myths, prevalent among Arab Americans, who while lamenting the loss of their dictatorial, growth stunting, patriarchic control over the fate of their great grand children, fail to distinguish between nuclear-family, extended-family, and the tribe the way Pas Cool has been able to observe and comment on, quite intelligently and eloquently (comments # 122, 136, 149 & 150) .

So what do we have, a bunch of secular sectarians accusing the MB, rightfully so, of being backward, oppressive to women, and off course sectarian, and at the same time displaying nearly identical social values as those of the MB with criticism of the west taken right out from the pages of Sayed Qutb, the founder of the intellectual (or lack thereof) underpinning of their arch enemies’ ideology and the man, whose superficial criticism of western “decadence” played a major role in inspiring the takfeeri theology of bin-laden. Decadence in that context is a code word for the demise of patriarchic, women oppressing social and family structure. And the regime apologists, by espousing such superficial criticism of the west, only highlights their schizophrenic existence in their new countries, which has already become quite obvious as they continue to support the tyrants in their countries of origin and persist in rationalizing the denial of the democratic systems, they luxioursly enjoy to the people of their place of origin. It is interesting to remember that Qutb spent in the west as much as the disappearing eternal leader had, just about two years and hence both their rather superficial understanding of the western democracy.

How different are most of the reactionaries from the despicable Ar-aour, I guess very little. You are willing to liberate women’s hair, but not their minds or their bodies. And you are willing to use the same anti-intellectual, right wing reactionary criticism of western ills, towards the same goal, establish and maintain authoritarian regimes, be it a family/clan regime such as the despicable criminal regime of Syria, or be it a Taliban backward stone age regime. The results are the same, stunted development, and waste of the intellectual, human, natural, and economic resources of the nation. You and Ar-aour are two faces of the same coin. Rejoice in your animosity.

At the same time, regime propagandists have accused me, and everyone in the opposition, of being an MB. I find that also very illuminating because, once more it points to an unfathomable shallowness and lack of capacity to read posts without psychotic fixation on preserving the totalitarian regime they so much love and worship. But it also shows how weak their beloved regime is. Off course everyone in the opposition has to be of a single, and only one background, otherwise, the true diversity of the opposition, its representativeness of Syrian society, with many (not all yet) of its shades and colors, and its generally non-violent nature will be obvious, which shatters the fraudulent sectarian narrative of the regime and its propagandists. I and others must not be allowed to be liberal, libertarian, anarchists, communists, nationalists, or anything else but the easily demonized, readily available violent MB salafies. The regime’s fraudulent sectarian narrative of the events demands that, and its propagandists will make sure it is what gets written and used in highly pathetic manners.

The men7ebbak cheap and bad taste in art is very much complemented by a fascist, right wing, reactionary and shallow intellectualism. Yet another hallmark of the psychology of the self shackling slaves of tyranny. Enjoy your serfdom, and weather you like it or not, the Syrian people will get rid of the shackles and leave you behind lamenting the loss of the age of the lazy dictator and his vulgar supporters.

Back to the rathole, i have some real reading to do

June 18th, 2011, 1:20 am


873 said:

The khazar state is batting a thousand. They devastated America’s economy for their wars, and have now manipulated their Arab adversaries to self-destruct and remove themselves as obstacles to khazar hegemony over the region. All in the name of liberty and freedom. In the end, they’ll have little of either. Now the fighting has spread to Lebanon. A khazar dream come true, without firing an (overt) shot and getting its American stooges to foot the bill.

Clashes in Lebanon’s Tripoli leave six dead
AFP/NOW Lebanon June 17, 2011

Six people were killed and several injured on Friday in clashes between Sunnis and Alawites in Lebanon’s Tripoli following protests in the northern city against Syria’s regime, a security official said.

The unrest broke out in the coastal city’s sensitive Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen neighborhoods where Sunni Muslims and Alawites — an offshoot of Shia Islam — have often clashed.

Among the dead were a Lebanese army soldier, an official from the Alawite party and a 14-year-old Sunni boy.

The army was deployed heavily around the two neighborhoods to prevent an escalation, but residents were already starting to leave, seeking safety elsewhere.

The army said in a statement that its soldiers had come under fire and that it was “conducting searches to arrest the armed men and to restore order.”

Despite the military presence, shots were heard and armed men from both sides could still be seen on the street.

Earlier, some 600 people had gathered in Tripoli for a protest against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is facing an unprecedented revolt against his 11-year rule.

June 18th, 2011, 1:39 am


daleandersen said:


RE: Rathole Ruminations

An eloquent rant, and very much to the point. But I think it’s wasted on this crowd. I doubt that they understood the reference in “…brain dumps, smelling as bad as intestinal dumps…”


June 18th, 2011, 1:44 am


873 said:

222. syau said:

Guess they decided to move up the date. Oil Co execs and military had earlier said WW3 wasnt till the end of 2012. We know the khazars will stand back while facilitating the world to kill each other off. (These intra-arab skirmishes are just the preview and segueway. Like Iran and Iraq when they destroyed each other at the behest and funding of the West).

Then when its all over and the rivals have neutralized each other, khazars will stride onto the scene as the last nuke power standing to rule the world. At least thats The Plan.

In the meantime, while the world blows itself up, they and their fellow AIPAC-Americans will be hiding out in Tierra del Fuego Province, Argentina- one of the only places on earth supposedly to escape nuke fallout because of wind patterns. Israelis have been buying up land down there and IDF infiltrating itself in what has become a national Argentine scandal.

June 18th, 2011, 2:07 am


Mina said:

Tara, about Iranian creativity you should see just one Iranian film of the last 10 years and see what WD means.

You try to spread some doubt on Sophia WD and Jad but frankly I don’t believe you are a woman. You write like an American man rather, and obviously you live in the US.

About the myth of a free press: what to you guys make of tycoons? People like Berlusconi have bought an empire of TV and newspapers then used it to be elected, fired all the journalists who were against him.
Saad Hariri also has a media empire to serve his interests.
And if someone believes in a free press, he should turn off al Jazeera because this is not a free media: when does it speak of the Qatari and Saudi families.

June 18th, 2011, 2:07 am


Shami said:

Samara you deserve a statue of hafez al jahesh in your garden.(real original name).

June 18th, 2011, 2:10 am


Mina said:

“Tara” 163
It is not difficult to believe it is difficult to achieve.
Look at Iraq and tell me why the ennemies of Syria (there are some, sorry for you and Shami who still live in Disneyland) would not try to turn into into a new failure.
People on this comment section say “but we Syrian are unable to kill each other we love each other etc”.
Same was true of Iraq: I know a Christian Armenian woman from Mosul who is now a refugee in Aleppo since 3 years who tells me that she used to fast a few days of ramadans by solidarity with her friends and that they used to come to her church for easter or christmas. Same as Syria for the people of Yabrud, Aleppo etc.

But hatred WILL show up the way it did in Iraq. For that you just need a few killings and a few revenges, and then the West comes with its wonderful amphetamines that can turn a 6 year old into a killing machine (it was used in Sierra Leone, a nice place full of diamonds and important minerals we need for cell phone batteries).


About “free press”: where do you read in the free press we have on the internet that in some parts of Egypst last year, red lentals had reached 2,5 dollars a kilo?
Ah sorry, journalists prefer to saty in 5 stars hotels with a good internet connexion. Maybe they should start to learn to ask their “contacts” about the prices of local commodities.

June 18th, 2011, 2:18 am


democracynow said:

بشار هرب !! هرررررررررررب


June 18th, 2011, 2:21 am


Mina said:

And now the IMF is praising Iran as an economic model!

June 18th, 2011, 3:11 am


louai said:

Turkish convoy and journalists in Jisr al shugoor telling horrific stories about ‘the peaceful demonstrators’

he countless number of bullet holes on the walls of the intelligence building where 72 soldiers lost their lives, the blood stains which marked the spots where soldiers died, and the horrifying traces of the soldiers who were beheaded are still fresh……………..


June 18th, 2011, 3:28 am


jad said:

The media is full of contradictions that sometimes it makes you laugh out of pain of the way they treat people as idiots. Maybe the majority of people are idiots and this is the only way they deserve to be treated.
However, I do believe that Iran is a story of success on many levels in our region.

June 18th, 2011, 3:31 am


haz said:


Assad senior’s grandfather was known as Sulayman al-Wahhesh (the beast, or the wild man)because that’s the kind of guy he was. Apparently, that stayed the family name until they changed it in the 1920s. I don’t think he was the kind of guy you would call al-jahash. He’d probably rip your arms off.

June 18th, 2011, 3:34 am


Mina said:

Indeed, 2 years ago I had a heated argument with an Iranian friend (actually an Iraqi refugee, but he spent so long in Iran that…) who was condemning the demonstrations there and telling me it was all rich kids who want their families to keep control and continue paying low wages to their servants and pretend they still live in the 19th c.
Now that I compare my reaction to the Syrian protests, I understand he was probably right in seeing that at least the crackpot Ahmadinajad was more into social justice than his opponents. If they just get rid of him and have a new Rafsandjani next election in the Autumn, it will indeed start again to be a real success story!

About the media, in 2 days the Contradiction will start to be plain (i hope the smoke-screen they will have to use to cover it won’t be another blood bath somewhere): Tunisia will start the trial of Ben Ali, in abstentia, because Saudi Arabia refuses to turn him!
Double and triple standards, you said?

June 18th, 2011, 3:37 am


873 said:

Its not odd that these uprisings are taking place mostly in border towns with easy access to cross national supplies, agents and media dissemination by other countries? Turkey has its agenda. It is pandering to the West. So their skewed stories are predictable. Doesnt necessarily mean they’re not true- but it doesnt mean they are either. I would venture this – dont expect Turkey to come up with any stories other than “Assad/Syria=bad”.

This little tidbit on BBC is a hoot. Some London Times snob confronts RT as not being ‘real’ media. LOLOL An overt UK intelligence front like LonTimes calling others ‘state propaganda’!? Hilarious. At least RT identifies itself as Russian govt affiliated, while the self-righteous little prig at LT pretends to be independent. These are the folks who pushed Amina Lesbian, aluminum tubes, Niger forgery, dodgy dossier, 45 minutes to a full nuke, mushroom clouds, 911… Inexorable liars.

See the LonTimes corp whore defend his Brotherhood of Whores!

Meanwhile the pretentious BBC was cornered into this admission:

BBC to apologise over ‘faked footage’ in Panorama report about Primark 16 Jun 2011 Telegraph

The BBC will make an on-screen apology to fashion chain Primark after a report found it was ”more likely than not” that it included faked footage of child labour in an edition of Panorama about the firm.
Primark: On The Rack, which was shown in June 2008, investigated whether the firm could make cheap clothing without breaking ethical guidelines and included footage said to show three boys in a Bangalore workshop testing stitching in Primark clothes.

Chairman of the BBC Trust’s editorial standards committee Alison Hastings said: ”The BBC’s investigative journalism is rightly held in very high regard, and for more than 50 years Panorama has made a very significant contribution to that. ”But great investigative journalism must be based on the highest standards of accuracy, and this programme on Primark failed to meet those standards. LOLOL

June 18th, 2011, 3:48 am


haz said:

On the topic of the Assad family origins, seems Jisr ash-Shughour was the local Ottoman centre of power under which Assad’s ancestors lived in extreme poverty. The Ottomans treated them like absolute shit. I imagine there would have been some resentment at being ruled by the hicks from the mountains, and a pretty strong determination from the Assads that they weren’t going to be pushed around by anyone from that particular town. Historically, no love lost there.

June 18th, 2011, 3:55 am


samara said:


you and haz deserve a kick in the head. Ill be proud to have a statue of Hafez al ASSAD in my garden, in my house and a framed image in my living room…wait, i already have that last one.
The geat LION of Syria live on in our hearts, and people like you tremble at his name. And then, you will beg for God’ s forgiveness for the flagrant disrespect you show for the dead. Because any decent person knows that disrespect for tbe dead is fround upon by God. But then again, who the hell would want the respect of an MB loving, zionist bottom feeding shit head like you?

June 18th, 2011, 4:39 am


samara said:

Hmmmm…i wonder how Saad Rafik Abdullah Aziz al Hariri is doing in Saudi?

I know that he and his pop are enjoying the problems happening in Jabel Mehsen, because they are emptying out their pockets to make it work. That bastard Aziz Hariri and 3aduallah will die happy if Bashar steps down, and the Alawis in Lebanon and Syria are being killed.

But, too bad for them. They will die soon, but instead of with a smile on their faces, they will die screaming ” Please Bashar!! Spare our lives!! We will do anything!!” Then we will se who will be laughing.

June 18th, 2011, 4:50 am


Mina said:

I know some people who went to demonstrate in the Midan who are fed up with Bashar al Asad but think his father was great.

What a joke… Like some who regret Stalin and Saddam Hussein. It is hard to judge this from outside I guess. Better not ask what the protesters mean by “freedom.” Probably “freedom to get a visa to get out of here” or “freedom to cook meat everyday during Ramadan” or “freedom for women who want to wear niqab and gloves to wear it whatever their job in the society.”
I wasn’t too convinced by the niqab-veiled women of Sanaa saying they want the next government to give them freedom and jobs (probably the Iran model, as if there was no unemployment there too).
There is something individual in freedom. You have to oppose the people who are denying you this freedom, that is you need to start with your family, your religious leaders, your boss.

As for the pro-freedom holding Turkish flags, they should have a look at the Turkish press once in a while:

June 18th, 2011, 5:54 am


syau said:


I find it a little odd that a country could be the second largest business trader in the world to Israel, second only to the US, but have ‘strained political relations’. Their political relations aren’t as strained as they lead people to believe I think.

#227, regarding Iranian creativity, I have watched quite a few Iranian films and miniseries, and they have all been phenomenal.

The rest, I think your spot on.

June 18th, 2011, 6:35 am


syau said:

The views of the grandchildren of the real freedom fighters of Syria, Sheikh Saleh Al Ali, Ibrahim Hananu, Sultan Basha Al Atrash and Yousuf al-Azma on the use of Sheikh Saleh Al Ali’s name for Fridays demonstrations.


June 18th, 2011, 6:45 am



After the killing in Lebanon of many many politicians, intellectuals and journalist, all of them personalities against Syria-Iran-Hizballah axis and mafias, even any of the brave pro-regime supporters writing in this forum (from some thousand miles away from Syria…. how brave you are) would go to Israel to find asylum and to avoud your death sentence.

June 18th, 2011, 7:35 am


Akbar Palace said:


Hello. I just wanted to say that the weather is fine down here in the mountains of NW Argentina. We just finished another meeting with the Elders of Zion. We’re issuing an update to The Protocols; a special Khazar edition that will be translated into the secret Khazar language.

How is the “Arab Spring” going? We’re planning a substantial increase in our Khazar village down here because our brethren in Palestine are not feeling safe. We feel that we could be overwhelmed like Turkey.

Thanks Prof. Josh for allowing me to get the word out.

June 18th, 2011, 7:35 am



Now that Ramy Makhlouf has money and real state properties all around the globe comes and returns the beneffit he makes in two months? They think we are stupid, no doubt.

If you do not change the system, even if all the money stolen by the Assads was returned to Syria, there will always be someone there to steal the money and the system will be corrupt and decaying.

June 18th, 2011, 7:38 am


EIU said:


Makhlouf has been a barrier to private investment through his use of state patronage to create monopolies or quasi-monopolies, and to deploy influence to obstruct rival investors either through blocking their projects or muscling in on them. Things have moved on a bit in the last few years, though. Makhlouf has brought some of the other business groups under the umbrella of his main holding company, Cham Holding, and channelled some investments through Mashreq (eg Gulfsands).

The reason that foreign investors were getting more interested in Syria was the long legacy of below-potential development, which offers the prospect of rapid growth if the right businesses can be identified and helped to expand. There have not been that many examples of large scale investments in Syria anyway, mainly because of the constraints on access to equity and debt finance. One of the exceptions was Firas Tlas’s cement joint venture with Orascom Construction Industries (and subsequently Lafarge), which yielded the first ever project finance facility in Syria. Souria Holdings has also made some impact, eg in port management.

If Makhlouf is really being moved out of the way, there are plenty of Syrian business people who could thrive — but obviously the question of whether the Assad regime stays or goes, and in what circumstances, has to settled first.

June 18th, 2011, 7:38 am



If, as everything is showing these days, the Assad regime survives, with or without reforms, with Makhlouf mafia capo or with another one instead, I think that some kind of terrorism and permanent activity is going to take place underground. I cannot imagine the protesters standing the Assadist regime again without being tempted to take arms even if it was in Saudi and CIA lead covert operations. I hope this scenario does not take place but if it happened then no economic stability, no tourism reactivation, no improvement of relationships with neighbours and no relaxing spying and tortures services on population would be possible.

June 18th, 2011, 7:47 am


haz said:


I’m not being disrespectful – I’m stating facts. According to a member of the Asad family interviewed in Qardaha by Patrick Seale, his grandfather earned the name al-Wahhesh because he was such a tough guy. Why did they change it? Don’t know. But obviously a name like this that sounds cool in the villages probably doesn’t play so well in the big city.

June 18th, 2011, 7:48 am


vlad-the-syrian said:

JAD 171

shukran habibi for this link

i no longer contribute to this blog for several reasons among which is that i’m not at ease with english. But i keep reading from time to time. i’lll try to contribute on this french blog under anoter id.

i’d like to tell you that i appreciate very much your contributions as well as those of Louai, Averroes, Syrian No Kandahar (the poet !), Syrian Knight and many other genuine syrians and sincere patriots

i hope we’ll meet some day



June 18th, 2011, 8:11 am



Rami Makhlouf, Is He Being Sacrificed? Of course not. He is just getting holidays for their good services. There are one hundred Rami Makhloufs arounf the president that can take his place. Rami was not a brilliant bussinessman. He was just the only who had permission for every monopoly. His successor will get same prerrogatives.

Is the Syrian Economy the Achilles Heel of the Assad Regime? Of course not. The Achilles Heel of the Syrian Economy is the Assad Regime and not the contrary.

June 18th, 2011, 8:15 am


syau said:


I too heard the story of the surname, although it was not his real surname. As you would probably be aware, some in the middle east become known by a name that is attached to them due to residence and many other reasons. For example, an acquaintance of mine is known by the surname of Hamwi, his real surname is Hassan, but his grandfather resided in Hama for a while, and was from then on known as Hamwi.

As for Al Wahhash, that name came about too as a ‘lib2’. The story was relayed from generation to generation. From what I was told, there was a Turkish wrestler who used to travel from village to village for wrestling matches, he was completely unbeatable until he came across Hafez Assad’s grandfather, who knocked him down with one swift move, and won the match.

As nobody was able to beat the Turkish wrestler before, Hafez Assad’s grandfather was named a ‘wahhash’by the people of the village in recognition of his strength, not for any other reason.

June 18th, 2011, 8:19 am


Samara said:


No need to justify. I was refering to Shami’s insulting comments, regarding Hafez. Although, this comment proves that you are not as vile as Shami has proven to be.

June 18th, 2011, 8:20 am



About the Assads original name the story that has come to me after long years and many inputs is that the first name was:

Shakhsh – Donkey

Then it was changed to Wakhesh – Monster or Wild animal, so it seemed more respectable in the rural area of Ansariya Mountains.

It is said that later Jamal AbdelNasser recommended Hafez Al Wahesh to change its family name to be Assad.

What will be the next change? Which will the next name of the Assads become?

June 18th, 2011, 8:29 am


Norman said:


Thank you, but as we all know political stability and safety are needed for investments, Syrian and otherwise,


Could be his name is Assad but was called Al Wahish because he was a tough man ,

June 18th, 2011, 8:29 am


EHSANI2 said:


Re Comment 223: WOW

(Another brief note from me)

June 18th, 2011, 8:29 am



I think a suicide with four bullets in the back could help finding a solution to the crazy situation we are living in Syria. But also I think that instead of this we are now going to see some new crimes in Lebanon. Desperation is gettind its highest point.

Also I wonder, as many of us do, why Nato, US, and other police nations do not kill dictators with Tomahawk missiles. I imagine they need to sell arms and missiles. In Lybia everything is working as planned with incredible amounts of arms being sold. But what is the plan for Syria? Civil war? Russia selling to Assad to topple him later?

June 18th, 2011, 8:38 am


vlad-the-syrian said:


petit con

June 18th, 2011, 8:45 am



Is the Syrian Economy the Achilles Heel of the Assad Regime? Of course not. It is exactly on the contrary. The Assad regime is the Achilles Heel of the Syrian Economy.

June 18th, 2011, 8:46 am



# 256

Shu qoeltelli?

June 18th, 2011, 8:48 am


syau said:

Vlad the Syrian,

I second that.

June 18th, 2011, 8:59 am


why-discuss said:



Thanks for the analysis about family values, you are right.

Individualism and search of individual happiness is the basis of the western democracies (the US constitution). This is where I think it is clashing with the middle east societies influenced by Islam that see the family as the core of the society and as the only reliable safety net.
In Turkey they are struggling with this contradiction as economical development is making individualism in the cities more pervasive. People in the cities are indifferent (tolerant?) to different style of life while in the village families are close knitted and conservative.
It is interesting to observe how Turkey will deal with this contradiction without resorting to religion as a unifiying factor

June 18th, 2011, 9:21 am



#256 #259 Petit con? Big suck!!! I hope it matches your level of vocabulary and comprehension.

About the Assads original name the story that has come to me after long years and many inputs is that the first name was:

Shakhsh – Donkey

Then it was changed to Wakhesh – Monster or Wild animal, so it seemed more respectable in the rural area of Ansariya Mountains.

It is said that later Jamal AbdelNasser recommended Hafez Al Wahesh to change its family name to be Assad.

What will be the next change? Which will the next name of the Assads become?

June 18th, 2011, 9:30 am


Tara said:

Mina ,

‘You try to spread some doubt on Sophia WD and Jad but frankly I don’t believe you are a woman. You write like an American man rather, and obviously you live in the US.”

I am a women (and a good looking one). I am not spreading doubt on Jad, Why, and Sophia. Just ask them. Stop the paranoia.

Got my coffee, I am now ready for bullying..

June 18th, 2011, 9:35 am


why-discuss said:

Angelina Jolie on the video says: “children are lovely”..
Angelina, go to Sudan instead if you want to see real desperate refugees, not kids telling with smiles that they want to topple the government.


June 18th, 2011, 9:41 am


why-discuss said:


Which will the next name of the Assads become?

Great name for a leader!

June 18th, 2011, 9:44 am


George Ajjan said:

Though I haven’t been following the comments section of SC lately, a friend has been forwarding me the remarks of “Syrian Hamster” – let me just say: this guy is hilarious.

June 18th, 2011, 9:55 am


Tara said:

Why, # 263

How do you differentiate between desparae refugees and non-desparate ones? Based on your feeling towards who displaced them?
You think that is moral?

June 18th, 2011, 10:01 am


Revlon said:

People may use arms in self defence, to protect self, family or property.
The statement was made in a declaration, read by Representative of Youth Revolutionists in Homs, today
بيان صادرعن شباب الثورة في حمص18-6-2011

The following is a narrative:
– Our revolution is popular, not religious
– It is Peaceful, not armed
– It is against sectarianism
– It is National, against foreign military intervention
– Use of arms is not recommended.
– However, Necessities call for exceptions: Using arms is allowed by local common laws as well as international laws in defence of own or family’s life or property!
– We have lost hope for reforms; The reforms that are carried out by tanks.
– We are tired of the talk that B Asad does not know of our plight; If he does not see or hear these thanks; then he is blind and dumb; We want a different leader
– We do not need any one’s help. We will effect the change
– We hereby declare B Asad as illegitimate president
– Last call for pro-regime members; if you stop helping regime your, your family’s
and property’s safety shall be guaranteed
– We remind the army that they swore to protect the people; You kill our families, do you want us to kill your’s?
– Religeous leaders: You fear B Asad more than you fear God!
– More announcements to follow on definite plans!

Own observations
– The statement had the approval to be published on the Syrian Revolution’s face book page.
– It speaks of growing frustration and impatience with the regime’s belligerent violence that is being met by a shy international community.
– B Asad and his regime has been declared illegitimate!
– It has legitimised the discretionary use of arms in self defence
– It has issued a warning to the army, security and informants to reverse course and stop the atrocities against civilians.

June 18th, 2011, 10:37 am


samara said:

LOL. What crap.

June 18th, 2011, 10:49 am


Revlon said:

Bab Alsba3, Abu3of demonstrations, Homs, Today
حمص باب السباع السبت ١٨ حزيران

حمص جمعة صالح العلي حي باب الدريب تحت المادنتين
Bab AlDraib, Homs, Yesterday

June 18th, 2011, 10:52 am


Revlon said:

A call to all Syrian people to join the initative of the coordination committees that was announced on 11 June, 2011
Signed by:
– Initiative of the national Assembly for the support of the Democratic Revolution in Syria.
– Consultative Assembly of the Syrian Congress for Change (Antalia)
– Coalition of the Syrian Revolution Web Pages
– Coalition of the Syrian Revolution in Exile
– Assembly for the Support of the Syrian revolution in Britain
– 15th March Group for the Support of democracy in Syria
– Jabal AlArab Youth Group for the support of 15 March Intifadah
– The political council for the Hadatha Party and democracy for Syria
– Al3gaidat Tribes
– Coordiation committee of Suburbs of Dmascus
– Coordination Committee of Darayya (Damasscus suburb).

All are invited to send suggestions of the provided e-mails.

Own comment
The announcement is probably intended to
– consolidate the thus far autonomous ground forces and activists of the Revolution in various cities and suburbs.
– Invite other forces to be a part of the political platform of the revolution

دعوة لجمع كل القوى السياسية والتجمعات على مبادرة الثورة السورية في الداخل
الجمعة, 17 يونيو 2011 23:16
الشبكة العربية العالمية – لقد أشعل شباب سورية منذ الخامس عشر من آذار (مارس) 2011 شرارة ثورة شعبية سلمية تطالب بالكرامة والحرية وتناضل من أجل الانتقال بالمجتمع السوري من دولة الاستبداد والفساد إلى دولة ديمقراطية مدنية يتساوى جميع مواطنيها في الحقوق والواجبات.

إن الموقعين على هذا البيان يؤكدون على أن ما يجري في سورية اليوم هو ثورة شعبية سلمية تعبِّر عن نفسها من خلال لجان التنسيق المحلية في كافة المدن والقرى السورية الثائرة، وينضم إلى صفوفها كل أبناء الوطن السوري المؤمنين بأحقية ومشروعية المطالب التي ما انفكَّ الشباب السوري يرفعها في سياق ثورته المتصاعدة.
ويؤمن الموقعون على هذا البيان بأنه مهما أوغل النظام الاستبدادي القائم في سورية في العنف الرامي إلى وأد ثورة الشعب السوري السلمية فإن ذلك لن يَفُتَّ من عزيمة ثوّار سورية الأباة، الذين يتسلحون بهذه العزيمة لمواجهة آلة عسف النظام الوحشية بصدورهم العارية دون أي سلاح آخر، وأن السبيل الوحيد إلى الخروج من بحر الدماء والفتنة، الذي يسعى النظام بكل قواه إلى إغراق الوطن فيه باعتباره طوق نجاة لرموزه، يتمثـَّل في القبول بمطالب الشعب المنتفض في شوارع مدن سورية وأزقة قراها والتسليم بشروط الانتقال بالبلد دولة ومجتمعاً إلى نظام ديمقراطي تعددي يضمن حرية كل أبنائه وكرامتهم في وطن قائم على مبدأ المواطنة والتساوي في الحقوق والواجبات بين جميع أفراده ومكوِّناته الإثنية والعقائدية.
وبناء على ذلك نهيب، نحن الموقعين أدناه، بجميع أبناء الشعب السوري بكل أطيافه أن ينضمّوا إلى مبادرة لجان التنسيق المحلية في سورية التي تم الإعلان عنها في 11 حزيران (يونيو) 2011 والتي تعبِّر عن إرادة الشباب السوري المنتفض، وتجسِّد مطالب ثورة الشعب السلمية ورؤيتها لسبيل الخروج من النفق المظلم الذي تسعى الطغمة الحاكمة في سورية إلى جر الوطن إليه، وتنطوي على رؤية منهجية لنظام العقد الاجتماعي الذي يجب أن تقوم عليه الدولة في سورية.
وإذ يقف الموقعون على هذا البيان إجلالاً لأرواح شهداء الحرية، وينحنون احتراماً لشعب سورية العظيم وبطولته التاريخية في الذود عن حقوقه الطبيعية في الحرية والكرامة، فإنهم يناشدون جميع أبناء الوطن السوري بكل مكوِّناته، من المنتفضين في الشارع السوري أو المنفيين عنه قسراً أو طوعاً في بلدان المهجر، إلى نبذ الفرقة المصطنعة والفتنة الطائفية والمذهبية التي يقوم النظام الاستبدادي بكل ما في وسعه لاختلاقها وإذكائها ظناً منه أنه قد ينجو بذلك من السقوط المحتوم، وإلى الاتحاد صفاً واحداً ضمن نطاق مبادرة لجان التنسيق المحلية في سورية، والثبات في التظاهرات والإضرابات والاعتصامات السلمية، والمثابرة فيها حتى تحقيق أهداف الثورة السورية المحقة المتمثـِّلة في الحرية والكرامة والوطن الديمقراطي الذي يتسع لجميع أبنائه.
الموقعون حسب التسلسل الابجدي
– مباردة الهيئة الوطنية لدعم الثورة الديمقراطية في سورية
-الهيئة الاستشارية للمؤتمر السوري للتغيير- عقد في انطاليا
-ائتلاف صفحات الثورة السورية ضد بشار الأسد
– ائتلاف تنسيقيات الثورة السورية في المهجر
– هيئة دعم الثورة السورية في بريطانيا
– تجمع 15 آذار من اجل الديمقراطية في سورية
– تجمع شباب جبل العرب في السويداء لدعم انتفاضة 15 آذار
– مجلس الادارة السياسي لحزب الحداثة و الديمقراطية لسورية
– الصفحة المساندة للثورة السورية
– عشائر العقيدات

– تنسيقية ريف دمشق
– تنسيقية داريا
يرجى من الجميع افرادا وجهات التوقيع عليه هنا او ارسال التوقيع على البريدين الالكترونيين التاليين:
info@globalarabnetwork.co.uk هذا البريد الإلكتروني محمي من المتطفلين و برامج التطفل، تحتاج إلى تفعيل جافا سكريبت لتتمكن من مشاهدته و mobadarat.addakhel@gmail.com هذا البريد الإلكتروني محمي من المتطفلين و برامج التطفل، تحتاج إلى تفعيل جافا سكريبت لتتمكن من مشاهدته
الشبكة العربية العالمية

June 18th, 2011, 11:23 am


Revlon said:

Civilian exodus from badama as Asad army enters town!
31 minutes ago

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد
الثورة السورية || ناحية بداما على الحدود | خاص |اقتحام الجيش والأمن لناحية بداما وسماع دوي انفجارين وتصاعد أعمدة الدخان وسماع إطلاق ناركثيف في المنطقة ونزوح غالب سكان المنطقة مع وجود عدد من المفقودين والدبابات على بعد 2 كم من الحدود التركية.

June 18th, 2011, 11:57 am


Revlon said:

A great website that provides daily video map out of demonstrations across Syria


June 18th, 2011, 12:02 pm


Revlon said:

The new demonstrations law has given the authority of handling illegal demonstrations charges with the Dabita al3adliyah (security forces) instead of the civil justice system

لمرسوم رقم 55 الذي عدل المادة 17 من قانون اصول المحاكمات
وهو الصيغةالجديدة لقانون الطوارئ حيث سحب البساط من تحت النيابة العامة القضائية
وأناط اختصاصاتهابالضابطة العدلية،أي الشرطة بكل فروعها, اي فروع الامن السورية
والتيلا تحترم المعاهدات الدولية وخاصة منع التعذيب. وللأسف اغلب الناشطين لا يتحدثون
عن هذا المرسوم الذي اضحى شريعة آل الاسد في قمع المظاهرات السلمية.
6 hours ago

June 18th, 2011, 12:12 pm


mjabali said:


Any statement for the future of Syria that does not have a secular element is doomed for failure, as I hope, or for the creation of violence, or both as expected.

Failure and violence are coming with all of this poverty and culture of hate.

Any statement about the future of Syria that does not separate religion from state is no good for SYRIA and the rest of the area.

Liberals of Syria stand up for your country and create a constitution that equals all and send religion home, where it should stay.

June 19th, 2011, 3:54 pm


Tik Root: Where Is Rami Makhlouf’s Money Really Going? «ScrollPost.com said:

[…] gesture is sincere, it will not have much of an effect. The money he gives away will benefit tens of thousands of people, but that is not nearly enough to assuage the suffering of Syria’s 23 million […]

June 21st, 2011, 6:25 pm


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