SYRIA’S PRESIDENT ASSAD: WHY IS ANYONE SURPRISED?” by Brian J. Davis, Canadian Ambassador to Syria, 2003-2006uesd

SYRIA’S PRESIDENT ASSAD: WHY IS ANYONE SURPRISED?
By Brian J. Davis, Ottawa, ON: [bj.davis@rogers.com]
For Syria Comment
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

As Canadian Ambassador to Syria from 2003 to 2006, I had the opportunity to observe President Bashar Assad and his regime under intense stress as a result of the U.S. invasion of neighbouring Iraq, the UN Security Council Resolutions forcing Syria out of Lebanon following the assassination of PM Rafiq Hariri, U.S. sanctions against Syria, the war between Hezbollah and Israel in July 2006, and the virtual isolation of Syria by western powers.

Observing recent events, the only surprise to me about President Assad’s much anticipated speech of March 30th and his subsequent actions or inactions, as the case may be, was that so many Syrians and pundits appeared to expect more. Anyone who thought he would announce a radical shift in policies or a sudden declaration of democracy and increased freedoms should take a closer look at the kind of person he is and what motivates his regime.

Assad is a cautious, conservative leader. While he has slowly acquired the knowledge and skills of a President since assuming that mantle upon the death of his father in 2000, he lacks the natural instinctive talents of a leader. He is not the kind of person who will take risks or be creative. He likes to take his time to study an issue and he is particularly fond of placing these into a logical framework of cause and effect.

As for being a “reformer”, too much is made of his time as a student in the UK. He was there for a very short time and was cocooned in the expatriate Arab community. He did not immerse himself in genuine every day British or European life that would have exposed him to democracy, freedoms and the exercise of civil rights. Indeed, his formative years were spent under the family tree. Using a tired but, in this case, appropriate aphorism, he is an apple who has not fallen far from that tree. Assad is not a cosmopolite and expectations that he would be the “reformer” are simply misplaced.

Bashar Assad is a decent, intelligent man but without particular charisma or strategic brilliance. I believe he genuinely wants to be a popular president. He and his wife have made strides in this regard. They have been far more visible to the common Syrian, trying to demonstrate a human touch by dining publicly in restaurants, driving their own cars, and making more public appearances than his father. He took a lively interest in information technology even before becoming president and has continued to nurture this sector, striking a responsive chord with the Syrian youth.

Because he is perceived to have stood up to the U.S. (with regard to Iraq) and to Israel (through his support for Hezbollah and Hamas), he has achieved considerable popularity on the “Arab street” across the region. This distinguishes him from President Mubarak of Egypt and President Ben Ali of Tunisia, who were seen to have aligned themselves with western powers, rather than fighting for the rights of Arabs, especially those of Palestinians. It remains to be seen if that popularity will endure, given his efforts to smother the current wave of demands for more freedoms being made to him.

Assad would like to see Syria’s economy improve, create jobs for the large number of unemployed youth and attract foreign investment, not only because he genuinely cares for his country but because success in those areas would strengthen the regime. It would attenuate the growing dissatisfaction of a population that is faced with a decaying education system, limited job prospects, a growing gap between rich and poor, endemic corruption, and restrictions on freedoms, particularly those of expression and association.

One of the lessons Assad learned well from his father, but which also seems to reflect his own character, is not to act in haste or under threat. A careful examination of how he has behaved since becoming president shows that he will never easily concede to anything under pressure. Indeed, he has made a number of decisions that were not even necessarily in Syria’s interests rather than be seen to give in to outside arm twisting (even his recent speech can be seen in that light). So, for those who know him, there will have been no surprise that he offered nothing in his speech and as little as necessary ever since.

Despite the above, there is little doubt that Assad and his cohorts are worried about current developments around the Middle East and in Syria. While his regime may have some delusions of being different from others that have come under attack, it also recognizes that there is considerable dissatisfaction among average Syrians.

In his speech, Assad employed the time-honoured practice of many autocratic leaders in the Middle East and elsewhere of blaming the demonstrations on interference by outside forces, making every effort to wrap himself in the flag and to call on Syrians to join him in defending the nation. Indeed, there probably has been foreign meddling and, while not nearly as significant as Assad would have everyone believe, there may have been enough to persuade the credulous.

President Assad also appealed to the Syrian desire for stability in a sea of strife. With ready examples of the sectarian troubles in neighbouring Iraq and Lebanon and Syria’s own post-WWII history of coups and outside interference, Syrians will be reluctant to abandon their unspoken pact of accepting restraints on their freedoms in exchange for the safety and stability provided by the Assad regime.

Assad has often alluded to what would happen if his regime collapsed. Après moi le déluge! And, there is a real danger that Syria could go the way of Iraq. It is a society with many minorities and no potential leaders to replace Assad (essentially because the regime has rid itself of any threats). Assad will fight to the end to retain power for fear that his minority Alawite clan could face retaliation for the decades of abuse of power and because all the power, prestige and wealth that his regime has accumulated over that time would be lost.

Assad may well win this round, maintaining his traditionally tight control of his people. Indeed, I believe he will. However, if he runs true to form, he will then take steps in the coming weeks and months to institute more of the types of “reforms” he has been slowly introducing over the past 11 years. This is simply a process of buying time. He is unlikely to open Syria up to broad freedoms, to independent political parties or to any other moves that could jeopardize his regime’s control of the country. In the end, one has to be realistic, true democracy, which assumes the peaceful change of leaders and governments, is not something that holds any appeal for Assad and his clique. Democracy or even significantly greater freedoms would lessen the regime’s control and this will simply not occur in Syria without a revolution of some kind.

Such a revolution will not likely occur in the short term, because Syrians are not yet ready to unite against the Assad regime and pay the cost in blood that this would take. Indeed, many Syrians still believe he is a reformer at heart and is battling others in his circle to implement reforms. This is pure delusion. While there are strains within the regime, its leaders realize they must stick together to survive. In Assad’s early years in office, one might have accepted that he faced considerable constraints on his decision making. The clique would not have been confident of his abilities. He had to earn his spurs. With time, he has consolidated his position and now must take responsibility for the ongoing abuses of human rights and for the lack of progress in most areas.

It is my belief that he now does call the shots when it comes to foreign and security policies. There will be discussion and debate within his entourage but he makes the final decision. That is not to say that there are not occasional ‘excesses’ committed by some of the security and intelligence services. However, Assad has the power and the authority to override these if he wishes. So, when political activists are detained and held without trial for months or even years, Assad has to be held accountable for it. After 11 years in power, he cannot be given a pass by saying that he does not control the elements in his regime who are doing those things. From personal experience, I have seen him override actions by his intelligence services, when he believed it was in his own best interests or Syria’s to do so.

Where he may have more limitations on his actions is in the economic sector. Many of his relatives and powerful allies, including some of the wealthy Sunni merchants that support him, have become rich through monopolies they have been awarded and through a variety of benefits that accrue to them by virtue of their ties to the regime. Any changes that could threaten the revenues of this group will go through an informal vetting and Assad will not be able to proceed without getting a majority of them on board.

With that caveat, I believe Assad is willing to liberalize only on the economic front. He is gambling that if the economy improves sufficiently, many of the reasons for dissatisfaction will fall away and Syrians will be less inclined to make demands in other areas. A successful economy coupled with his personal popularity will be the recipe for long-term survival. This may seem rather short-sighted in light of historical lessons one can take from other countries that have tried that method, but Assad has been much impressed with China’s evolution along those lines (although anyone who knows China well realizes that its resistance to socio-political liberalization is an ongoing battle and that a successful economy does not immunize one from a society’s desire for freedoms).

Something that is sometimes forgotten is that neither Assad nor any of his closest confidantes (other than his wife) have real experience living in open, successful societies. They are a very inward group, interested in their own survival, in enjoying a luxurious and quasi-feudal lifestyle, and in furthering their wealth and power. They are not equipped to provide Assad with advice based on true understanding of how open economies and societies work or how to succeed in a global economy. One way or another, virtually every close advisor brought on board with international knowledge and experience has been undermined by the clique and fallen by the way side. I can remember long personal discussions with three such people, who were themselves often bewildered by the close-minded responses they got to suggestions and advice they put forward. Thus, while Assad genuinely wishes to see the Syrian economy grow, he does not really know how to make it happen.

As an example, in meetings with Assad and some of his senior advisors and ministers, I had discussions about the importance of the “rule of law“ to economic development. I often asked: what company will invest millions of dollars to establish operations in Syria, if it cannot be confident that the legal system will treat it fairly when the inevitable disputes arise? It was obvious in those kinds of discussions that while everyone nodded their heads in agreement, there was little true understanding of the implications. Nor was there any serious effort to consider how the legal system, as just one example of an area badly in need of reform, might be revamped to create a key underpinning for attracting foreign investment.

To sum up, we should not be fooled. Assad and his regime have one overriding objective and that is to survive. He believes that Syria’s situation is different from that of countries like Egypt, Tunis and Libya, and it is different: not in terms of its problems but in its demographics, history and internal power structure. Assad is confident that these factors, along with his popularity and with Syrian reluctance to gamble on freedoms that could open the door to sectarian strife, are among the reasons he did not need to offer much in his speech and why he believes he can regain the upper hand without offering the kinds of reforms that will undermine the regime

He saw what happened in Tunis and Egypt when they began offering concessions under public pressure. He has opted to project an image of strength and not concede anything vital to his control. In fact, it is somewhat surprising that he has made some concessions on the religious front so soon after his speech. These concessions will play well to the more conservative elements of Syrian society, including in Deraa, where so much of the trouble has originated, but they will be read by many as a sign of weakness and nervousness on the part of the regime. While I would be surprised to see the Emergency Law revoked, if that did happen, I would expect it to be replaced by other laws allowing the regime to exercise essentially the same controls.

Even if Assad survives this time, the seeds of his regime’s downfall have already been sown. It is just a matter of when it will happen. If the recent changes in Egypt and Tunis lead to greater freedoms and more democratic and successful societies, the death knell for Assad and company will occur sooner. On the other hand, should those countries fall into violence and chaos or find themselves under the thumb of yet another autocratic regime, Syrians may be less eager to divest themselves of Assad, who is likeable, a known quantity, and reasonably benign towards those who behave.

A key factor in determining the duration of his reign will be the health of the economy. There is an incredible degree of frustration and hopelessness among the Syrian youth. At some point, this will boil over, unless more jobs can be created. If the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow, pressures will build. Syria’s oil supplies are dwindling and the revenues from exporting oil are decreasing. Barring the discovery of major new oil or gas fields, this will put more pressure on the Syrian economy to fund various subsidies, to overcome the effects of the current multi-year drought, to offer health and other services to its people. Without direct foreign investment that actually creates jobs, the prospects are bleak. They will remain so as long as Syria remains a pariah state and as long as it is unable to reform its institutions and create a more open, law-based society and economy. Unfortunately, I do not believe that Assad has either the knowledge or the skills to make that happen. Even if he did, at some point reform will be in conflict with his survival. When that happens, either reforms or Assad and his regime will be shown the door.

Brian J. Davis
659 Farmington Ave,
Ottawa, ON
Canada  K1V 7H4
Tel: 613-695-1328
Cell: 613-698-7475
SYRIA’S PRESIDENT ASSAD: WHY IS ANYONE SURPRISED?
As Canadian Ambassador to Syria from 2003 to 2006, I had the opportunity to observe President Bashar Assad and his regime under intense stress as a result of the U.S. invasion of neighbouring Iraq, the UN Security Council Resolutions forcing Syria out of Lebanon following the assassination of PM Rafiq Hariri, U.S. sanctions against Syria, the war between Hezbollah and Israel in July 2006, and the virtual isolation of Syria by western powers.
Observing recent events, the only surprise to me about President Assad’s much anticipated speech of March 30th and his subsequent actions or inactions, as the case may be, was that so many Syrians and pundits appeared to expect more. Anyone who thought he would announce a radical shift in policies or a sudden declaration of democracy and increased freedoms should take a closer look at the kind of person he is and what motivates his regime.
Assad is a cautious, conservative leader. While he has slowly acquired the knowledge and skills of a President since assuming that mantle upon the death of his father in 2000, he lacks the natural   instinctive talents of a leader. He is not the kind of person who will take risks or be creative. He likes to take his time to study an issue and he is particularly fond of placing these into a logical framework of cause and effect.
As for being a “reformer”, too much is made of his time as a student in the UK. He was there for a very short time and was cocooned in the expatriate Arab community. He did not immerse himself in genuine every day British or European life that would have exposed him to democracy, freedoms and the exercise of civil rights. Indeed, his formative years were spent under the family tree. Using a tired but, in this case, appropriate aphorism, he is an apple who has not fallen far from that tree. Assad is not a cosmopolite and expectations that he would be the “reformer” are simply misplaced.
Bashar Assad is a decent, intelligent man but without particular charisma or strategic brilliance. I believe he genuinely wants to be a popular president. He and his wife have made strides in this regard. They have been far more visible to the common Syrian, trying to demonstrate a human touch by dining publicly in restaurants, driving their own cars, and making more public appearances than his father. He took a lively interest in information technology even before becoming president and has continued to nurture this sector, striking a responsive chord with the Syrian youth.
Because he is perceived to have stood up to the U.S. (with regard to Iraq) and to Israel (through his support for Hezbollah and Hamas), he has achieved considerable popularity on the “Arab street” across the region. This distinguishes him from President Mubarak of Egypt and President Ben Ali of Tunisia, who were seen to have aligned themselves with western powers, rather than fighting for the rights of Arabs, especially those of Palestinians. It remains to be seen if that popularity will endure, given his efforts to smother the current wave of demands for more freedoms being made to him.
Assad would like to see Syria’s economy improve, create jobs for the large number of unemployed youth and attract foreign investment, not only because he genuinely cares for his country but because success in those areas would strengthen the regime. It would attenuate the growing dissatisfaction of a population that is faced with a decaying education system, limited job prospects, a growing gap between rich and poor, endemic corruption, and restrictions on freedoms, particularly those of  expression and association.
One of the lessons Assad learned well from his father, but which also seems to reflect his own character, is not to act in haste or under threat. A careful examination of how he has behaved since becoming president shows that he will never easily concede to anything under pressure. Indeed, he has made a number of decisions that were not even necessarily in Syria’s interests rather than be seen to give in to outside arm twisting (even his recent speech can be seen in that light). So, for those who know him, there will have been no surprise that he offered nothing in his speech and as little as necessary ever since.
Despite the above, there is little doubt that Assad and his cohorts are worried about current developments around the Middle East and in Syria. While his regime may have some delusions of being different from others that have come under attack, it also recognizes that there is considerable dissatisfaction among average Syrians.
In his speech, Assad employed the time-honoured practice of many autocratic leaders in the Middle East and elsewhere of blaming the demonstrations on interference by outside forces, making every effort to wrap himself in the flag and to call on Syrians to join him in defending the nation. Indeed, there probably has been foreign meddling and, while not nearly as significant as Assad would have everyone believe, there may have been enough to persuade the credulous.
President Assad also appealed to the Syrian desire for stability in a sea of strife. With ready examples of the sectarian troubles in neighbouring Iraq and Lebanon and Syria’s own post-WWII history of coups and outside interference, Syrians will be reluctant to abandon their unspoken pact of accepting restraints on their freedoms in exchange for the safety and stability provided by the Assad regime.
Assad has often alluded to what would happen if his regime collapsed. Après moi le déluge! And, there is a real danger that Syria could go the way of Iraq. It is a society with many minorities and no potential leaders to replace Assad (essentially because the regime has rid itself of any threats). Assad will fight to the end to retain power for fear that his minority Alawite clan could face retaliation for the decades of abuse of power and because all the power, prestige and wealth that his regime has accumulated over that time would be lost.
Assad may well win this round, maintaining his traditionally tight control of his people. Indeed, I believe he will. However, if he runs true to form, he will then take steps in the coming weeks and months to institute more of the types of “reforms” he has been slowly introducing over the past 11 years. This is simply a process of buying time. He is unlikely to open Syria up to broad freedoms, to independent political parties or to any other moves that could jeopardize his regime’s control of the country. In the end, one has to be realistic, true democracy, which assumes the peaceful change of leaders and governments, is not something that holds any appeal for Assad and his clique. Democracy or even significantly greater freedoms would lessen the regime’s control and this will simply not occur in Syria  without a revolution of some kind.
Such a revolution will not likely occur in the short term, because Syrians are not yet ready to unite against the Assad regime and pay the cost in blood that this would take. Indeed, many Syrians still believe he is a reformer at heart and is battling others in his circle to implement reforms. This is pure delusion. While there are strains within the regime, its leaders realize they must stick together to survive. In Assad’s early years in office, one might have accepted that he faced considerable constraints on his decision making. The clique would not have been confident of his abilities. He had to earn his spurs. With time, he has consolidated his position and now must take responsibility for the ongoing abuses of human rights and for the lack of progress in most areas.
It is my belief that he now does call the shots when it comes to foreign and security policies. There will be discussion and debate within his entourage but he makes the final decision. That is not to say that there are not occasional ‘excesses’ committed by some of the security and intelligence services. However, Assad has the power and the authority to override these if he wishes. So, when political activists are detained and held without trial for months or even years, Assad has to be held accountable for it. After 11 years in power, he cannot be given a pass by saying that he does not control the elements in his regime who are doing those things. From personal experience, I have seen him override actions by his intelligence services, when he believed it was in his own best interests or Syria’s to do so.
Where he may have more limitations on his actions is in the economic sector. Many of his relatives and powerful allies, including some of the wealthy Sunni merchants that support him, have become rich through monopolies they have been awarded and through a variety of benefits that accrue to them by virtue of their ties to the regime. Any changes that could threaten the revenues of this group will go through an informal vetting and Assad will not be able to proceed without getting a majority of them on board.
With that caveat, I believe Assad is willing to liberalize only on the economic front. He is gambling that if the economy improves sufficiently, many of the reasons for dissatisfaction will fall away and Syrians will be less inclined to make demands in other areas. A successful economy coupled with his personal popularity will be the recipe for long-term survival. This may seem rather short-sighted in light of historical lessons one can take from other countries that have tried that method, but Assad has been much impressed with China’s evolution along those lines (although anyone who knows China well realizes that its resistance to socio-political liberalization is an ongoing battle and that a successful economy does not immunize one from a society’s desire for freedoms).
Something that is sometimes forgotten is that neither Assad nor any of his closest confidantes (other than his wife) have real experience living in open, successful societies. They are a very inward group, interested in their own survival, in enjoying a luxurious and quasi-feudal lifestyle, and in furthering their wealth and power. They are not equipped to provide Assad with advice based on true understanding of how open economies and societies work or how to succeed in a global economy. One way or another, virtually every close advisor brought on board with international knowledge and experience has been undermined by the clique and fallen by the way side. I can remember long personal discussions with three such people, who were themselves often bewildered by the close-minded responses they got to suggestions and advice they put forward. Thus, while Assad genuinely wishes to see the Syrian economy grow, he does not really know how to make it happen.
As an example, in meetings with Assad and some of his senior advisors and ministers, I had discussions about the importance of the “rule of law“  to economic development. I often asked: what company will invest millions of dollars to establish operations in Syria, if it cannot be confident that the legal system will treat it fairly when the inevitable disputes arise? It was obvious in those kinds of discussions that while everyone nodded their heads in agreement, there was little true understanding of the implications. Nor was there any serious effort to consider how the legal system, as just one example of an area badly in need of reform, might be revamped to create a key underpinning for attracting foreign investment.
To sum up, we should not be fooled.  Assad and his regime have one overriding objective and that is to survive. He believes that Syria’s situation is different from that of countries like Egypt, Tunis and Libya, and it is different: not in terms of its problems but in its demographics, history and internal power structure. Assad is confident that these factors,  along with his popularity and with Syrian reluctance to gamble on freedoms that could open the door to sectarian strife, are among the reasons he did not need to offer much in his speech and why he believes he can regain the upper hand without offering the kinds of reforms that will undermine the regime
He saw what happened in Tunis and Egypt when they began offering concessions under public pressure. He has opted to project an image of strength and not concede anything vital to his control. In fact, it is somewhat surprising that he has made some concessions on the religious front so soon after his speech. These concessions will play well to the more conservative elements of Syrian society, including in Deraa, where so much of the trouble has originated, but they will be read by many as a sign of weakness and nervousness on the part of the regime. While I would be surprised to see the Emergency Law revoked, if that did happen, I would expect it to be replaced by other laws allowing the regime to exercise essentially the same controls.
Even if Assad survives this time, the seeds of his regime’s downfall have already been sown. It is just a matter of when it will happen. If the recent changes in Egypt and Tunis lead to greater freedoms and more democratic and successful societies, the death knell for Assad and company will occur sooner. On the other hand, should those countries fall into violence and chaos or find themselves under the thumb of yet another autocratic regime, Syrians may be less eager to divest themselves of Assad, who is likeable, a known quantity, and reasonably benign towards those who behave.
A key factor in determining the duration of his reign will be the health of the economy. There is an incredible degree of frustration and hopelessness among the Syrian youth. At some point, this will boil over, unless more jobs can be created. If the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow, pressures will build. Syria’s oil supplies are dwindling and the revenues from exporting oil are decreasing. Barring the discovery of major new oil or gas fields, this will put more pressure on the Syrian economy to fund various subsidies, to overcome the effects of the current multi-year drought, to offer health and other services to its people. Without direct foreign investment that actually creates jobs, the prospects are bleak. They will remain so as long as Syria remains a pariah state and as long as it is unable to reform its institutions and create a more open, law-based society and economy. Unfortunately, I do not believe that Assad has either the knowledge or the skills to make that happen. Even if he did, at some point reform will be in conflict with his survival. When that happens, either reforms or Assad and his regime will be shown the door.

Comments (160)


Akbar Palace said:

Wow, I’ve never seen so many Bashar Assad apologists in one place! “Assad is a cautious, conservative leader.”? WTF? What do you mean “leader”?

“Leading” his people into abject poverty isn’t something to crow about.

April 12th, 2011, 7:21 am

 

trustquest said:

يان اهالي مدينة مدينة بانياس الى الجيش السوري الباسل:
ب
ان الجيش الابي الذي يدافع عن حمل الوطن جيش جدير له بالوفاء و هذا الجيش الذي كان ولايزال الحصن الحصين لهذا الشعب ..
اننا نوضح لهذا الجيش ان اهالي بانياس ليسو مندسين ولا مخربين ولا عصابة ارهابية وليس لديهم اي مطامع سلطوية وليسو مدفوعين من اي جهة خارجية كما يحاول البعض ان يصفهم بل ان العصابة معروفة الاسماء وهم فيصل حسن وعلاء بهجت وعيسى الشمالي وعلي شرف واخرين وعلى راسهم حافظ منذر الاسد وان اهالي البلدة قد اعلنو عبر مكبرات الصوت عدم التعرض للجيش باي شكل من الاشكال وهتفو نحن والجيش يد واحدة ولذلك نهيب بجيشنا الابي ان لاتصل اليه انباء من هنا وهناك او ان يغرر ببعض جنوده فيوجه الرصاص الى الشعب الاعزل .

April 12th, 2011, 8:17 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Thank you Joshua; This is an excellent assesment of Bashar,it says he is weak leader,and he will not do reform as it is in conflict with his survval, his only concern is survival, this infact comes from indoctrination by his father that the Alawite sect is a minority that if they loose power they go back to poverty,negligence,and mistreatment by the sunni, He is very slow,being cautious , this will work against him.his popularity is due to his youth,he is handsome,educated,and raised in wealthy enviroment,he is down to earth person,and he stands for the resistance against Israel.
What is missing in this analysis is the strength of the Arab awakening wave, He alluded to it but underestimated this strong youth rebelion, The fall of Bin Ali ,Mubarak and the upcoming fall of Saleh and Gadafi, will leave Bashar the only one left and all eyes will be on him,he will be watched carefully and that will tie his hands in opressing the revolt,that is why I believe he is doomed to fall at the end,so I do not agree with him that he will survive it.

April 12th, 2011, 9:18 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Judging person’s character, there’s nothing better than to listen to what the closest to this person, have to say.

In one of the interviews Asma gave to the foreign press (I can’t remember which, so I’ll rephrase), she was asked: how is it to live with Bashar? What kind of a person he is?
The only thing Asma said about her husband was, that he is argumentative, and likes to argue a lot. And that this makes her tired, so she tries to avoid discussing things with him, that she knows will lead to a dispute.

In other words, your president is stubborn. Stubborn people tend to be argumentative. People who are not flexible or easy going, tend to be argumentative. Argumentativeness characterizes people who find it hard to waive. It’s very easy to end a dispute, just say “OK, you’re right”. Very simple, but impossible for the argumentative / Stubborn person.

So fasten your seatbelt. It’s going to be a long ride.
.

April 12th, 2011, 9:20 am

 

abbas said:

Dr Landis:
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question, as you said we are trying to understand what’s going on, I feel that all Syrians in the diaspora have lost the right to demand or even advice for reform since we accepted another country nationality and pledged allegiance to it’s flag, but somehow the old country remain in our hearts.
thank you

April 12th, 2011, 9:34 am

 

syau said:

Amir in tel aviv,
Lets see how forthcomming and unargumentative you leader can be. Put forward a request to him to hand back the Golan Heights and I guarentee you he will be argumentative and stubborn. Ask him to put a stop to the bombings on the Palestinians or to give them the rights they deserve. Lets see what he will say then. Pleased you put forward you point, I dont think so. What is Asma going to say, nothing about there private lives, so she would say what anyone else would – basically we are all argumentative at some point.

April 12th, 2011, 9:44 am

 

Nasser said:

Excellent article by Brian Davis. Very insightful and concise. Please write more.

April 12th, 2011, 9:45 am

 

Revlon said:

Dear Mr. Davis

I read with interest your personal insightful account of president Assad the leader and the person, his clique, and heritage.

Your impressions are shared by many Syrians, including myself.

Please allow me to comment on two of your statements.

The first “Any changes that could threaten the revenues of this group will go through an informal vetting and Assad will not be able to proceed without getting a majority of them on board. With that caveat, I believe Assad is willing to liberalize only on the economic front”

I fully agree with you here.
However, as you later rightly stressed, the rule of law is essential for investment. Not only foreign type. Syrian money in exile is enough to revive the Syrian economy.

Therefore, any liberalisation mediated by same or alternative partners would only serve its benefactors, not the Syrian economy.
The Syrian economy is as a slave to its sectarian, ideological, and security political system as Syrian people are. Neither can be free, creative or prosperous.

The second “Democracy or even significantly greater freedoms would lessen the regime’s control and this will simply not occur in Syria without a revolution of some kind.
Such a revolution will not likely occur in the short term, because Syrians are not yet ready to unite against the Assad regime and pay the cost in blood that this would take”

I am getting the sense that this part was probably written before the current uprising!
Now! there is indeed an ongoing revolution “of some kind” .
Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators have so far succumbed to the regime’s brutal retaliation.

Thank you very much Mr Ambassador.

April 12th, 2011, 9:55 am

 

aboali said:

well, there is definitely something we can all agree on there, namely the fact that the fall of the Assad regime is a question of when, not if. If he does survive this round, his regime has the prognosis of a terminal cancer patient.

April 12th, 2011, 10:12 am

 

aboalies said:

how can anyone with a shred of decency or an iota of morals even begin to justify the murder and brutality inflicted upon the Syrian people by the regime? How can you defend the indefensible? you’re just as sick and reprehensible as they are. Documented murders, torture and abuses are popping up in videos everywhere.

go see some here, they’re labeled in English, with the headlines in red being the most serious abuses:
http://syrialeaks.com

April 12th, 2011, 10:42 am

 

Sophia said:

This is a fair assessment of B. Assad. But his kind of leadership is no different from other new leaders, they have less charisma then their predecessors and they rely more on technocrats. Actually this is what B. Assad needs: true technocrats and not some kid of pseudo technocrats. However, in Assad’s case, the context is different and Assad needs to change the context.

There is a piece at mideast wire blog abut doing business in Syria and it is terrible.
http://mideastwire.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/orient-tv-founder-on-the-mechanics-of-corruption-in-syria/
But then this is how business was done under the Ben Ali regime and it was even much worse than in Syria and on a much more professional level of corruption:
http://lombard-street.ch/2011/02/07/comment-nestle-a-ete-la-proie-du-clan-ben-ali/

Now I think it is in everybody’s interest that Syria can reform peacefully. This is what I would do if I were B. El Assad:

1. This is the most urgent step: I will ask the opposition to form a council and present a platform. I will meet with this council on a regular basis and establish an agenda of national dialogue. This is the only way Assad can make the opposition accountable. Give it a face. At the same time, one cannot form a national dialogue if the most important figures of the opposition are in jail. so these people must be liberated. An apology, when necessary, can and should be made.

2. I will make those corrupt politicians and businessmen understand that economic reform and the rule of law to do business is their last chance of survival. This should work unless those same people think (and are maybe promised) that they can operate the same way under any other government. And here there is a reason to worry not only for Assad but alas for the people of Syria. This is why it is important to give the opposition a face.

3. I will surround myself with true technocrats, people who know actually how to conceive and implement reforms. This will be easy for Assad because he seems to be able to think by himself. Because technocrats alone are insufficient for governance, there should be a leader able to make the right decisions.

4. I will build a grassroots movement different and separate from the Baath party and make it present in every city and village council to listen to the people and to communicate grievances.

5. The move to answer clerics demands is a bad move. There shouldn’t be more concessions to the clerics. Clerics are only preoccupied by their own power over the masses. Clerics are only preoccupied with the veil and with control over people’s private lives. Mubarak implemented the brotherhood’s ‘moral’ agenda and it accelerated his demise because Egyptians had to fear both Mubarak’s security apparatus and the behavioral police of the brotherhood.

This is maybe walking the fine line but Assad showed before that he can walk the fine line, it is a trait of his character if we are to believe that this portrait is true. I think where Assad is wrong is his belief that Syria can follow the chinese model. Chinese transited from imperial and millenary old rule to communism and capitalism, they never encountered modernity. Modernity is not only an abstract concept, it has an impact on identity and art and literature are its main medium. The same cannot be said of Syrian. China is also a superpower on the world stage which means it can maintain the lead on its domestic opponents without being bothered.
If there are no models suitable for transition then Syria has to invent its own model.

April 12th, 2011, 10:46 am

 

why-discuss said:

This text shows very well the mentality prevailing in the North American circles, a mixture of smart observations with the inconscient display of arrogance, condescendance and hypocrisy

– First let us not forget that that this man as well as his country are followers of US policy in the region to support blindly Israel, so I tend to depict between the lines the ambiguity these countries have about Syria, in view of the dangerous turns many Arab countries may take in regard to Israel.

– The text is presented in a very “diplomatic” way alternating suave praises of Bashar with under the belt attacks.
The ambassador subtely wants us to believe that Bashar is irremediably mentally underdevelopped and won’t learn the subtleties of the Western “democracies” and that his ‘regime’ or his “clique” are doomed. This is display of the typical arrogance of western countries who have created disasters in Iraq, created or condoned Guantanamo, who totally destroyed South America, supported Israel illegal activities and who are preaching others about “rule of law”

– He is deliberatly ignoring the fact that the strategic opening to Turkey and Iran is a very smart move (that increasingly worries US and its ‘allies’) and may pay off economically. Iran and Turkey have a booming industrial development and are better examples than the Arab allies-clients of the US: Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.

– About the China model of a successful economy under an autocratic rule, he uses terms like “For people who know well about China”. Is he implying he knows and we don’t? He “knows” very well that China’s dissident are a small minority and that mots people in China are satisfied with their govermnement. Of course as it is not a US inspired democracy it is dooomed!
Did he ever think that the US democracy is all based on money, brainwashing by powerful medias and lobbies and has drifted away form the founders view?

-While there are many unknowns about the area, I have many doubts that Egypt would become a “model” for arab countries before a decade or two if ever it does not fall into the islamic trap. Already many Copts are opting out to leave Egypt. It may easily become another Saudi Arabia, perfect for the US policy in the region and disastrous for the Egytians.

-So the ambasador is talking about the collapse of the Assad ‘regime’ in a decade, two, three?
In the meantime, there would have been gradual reforms and ironically Syria may become the model other Arab countries would look at, the same way they looked at Bashar as the most popilar figures in the Arab countries.
– Maybe the ambassador, as most North American mass are more intelligent than arab masses. So intelligent that they made the right choice in choosing/supporting Bush who in 8 years only is responsible for the death of more people that any arab leaders in the whole history of the area.

Thank you Mr Ambassador to Canada for the insights you gave us about you and your country’s way of thinking.

April 12th, 2011, 11:03 am

 

Revlon said:

#8 Dear Sophia,
Your proposed step by step transitional-plan for peaceful introduction of reforms sounds reasonable, alas it is a few weeks late.

First, Ground opposition will remain faceless until the emergency laws are annulled, without any replacement under any other name!
Asad Jr. trusts nobody in the world! He will not take that step.

Second, so many lives have been lost. The people hold the president responsible for evry lost life.
Any ground resistance who may think of engaging in dialogue with Asad stand to loose credability with the rising public. They will be considered neo-regime-supporters.

Therefore, at this stage, any transitional negotiations would have to be mediated by regime figures that are acceptable to the people. Asad clan can not play any role here.
Again, this step can not start without the unconditional annulment of the emergency laws!
Asad would never do that!

It is a catch22 situation.

April 12th, 2011, 11:07 am

 

atassi said:

Syrian town cut off as army continues assault
AFP
13 April 2011
The Australian
AUSTLN

DAMASCUS: Syria’s protest flashpoint town of Banias was completely cut off from the outside world last night, still encircled by the army three days after a neighbourhood was strafed by deadly gunfire in a struggle between different agents of the regime.

“Security forces and the army continue to assault Banias and we know what they are preparing for us,” said Anas al-Shuhri, one of the leaders of the opposition movement challenging the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

“There is a shortage of bread in the city, electricity is cut and the majority of phone lines are too.”

Several residents of the coastal town, 280km northwest of Damascus, confirmed Mr Shuhri’s testimony. Abdelbasset, an electrician, said the situation was “extremely bad”.

“The army was redeployed outside the city and the security forces and shabbiha (regime agents) conducted a number of arrests. The town is dead; shops are closed,” he said.

“Banias is surrounded by tanks. No one can get in or out. It is like a prison,” said Yasser, a shopkeeper.

“Security forces were responsible for killing soldiers in Banias

Continued on Page 10

Continued from Page 12

because they had refused to attack the city,” he added — an account that differed sharply from the official version.

The official Sana news agency had said nine soldiers, including two officers, had been killed on Monday when their patrol was ambushed outside the town.

The army has encircled Banias since Monday, when shadowy agents of the regime opened fire on residents, particularly in front of mosques, killing four people and wounding 17.

There is speculation that hardline elements of the regime — possibly within the President’s family — are at odds with Mr Assad’s moves to meet protesters part way instead of crushing them ruthlessly.

A Facebook group has called for fresh protests in Syria today to show “loyalty with the martyrs, wounded and prisoners” after a bloody crackdown on demonstrators on the weekend that left at least 30 people dead in Banias and another flashpoint town, Daraa.

“We will shout slogans despite our wounds and hold peaceful sit-ins until we obtain our freedom,” the group said. “We will not stop, nor backtrack. Our cause is clear. It is a revolution by the people for the people, and the demands are clear. Our path is peaceful and the objective is freedom.”

April 12th, 2011, 11:16 am

 

Shami said:

In China there is an alternation at the top of the political authority ,the aim is the improvment of a nation as whole,unlike bashar’s aim which is his own survival as a dictator.I see no compatibility between this selfish struggle for life and the needed progression.

April 12th, 2011, 11:26 am

 

jad said:

Dear Ehsani,
Do you know anything about Mr. Mouhamad Bader Kojan?

أنباء عن تولي السيد محمد بدر كوجان حقيبة وزارة الإقتصاد في الوزارة الجديدة :::والسيد كوجان شغل سابقاً منصب مدير منظمة التجارة العالمية في وزارة الإقتصاد و معاون مديرية العلاقات الدولية.

April 12th, 2011, 1:10 pm

 
 

NK said:

دمشق : عاجل : قامت جامعة دمشق اليوم بفصل خمسة و سبعون طالباً ممن شاركوا بمظاهرات يوم أمس وممن رفضوا المشاركة في مظاهرات التأييد لبشار ..

Make no mistake though, peaceful demonstrations are “allowed” in Syria …

April 12th, 2011, 1:28 pm

 

Jihad said:

Sure, Jean Chrétien and Stephen Harper are by far more cosmopolitan than Bashar Assad and have more “knowledge” and “skills” than him!!!

April 12th, 2011, 1:31 pm

 

jad said:

نائب عميد كلية العلوم ينفي فصل 75 طالباً من الذين تظاهروا الاثنين
(دي برس)

نفى نائب عميد كلية العلوم في جامعة دمشق الدكتور عدنان ديب الثلاثاء 12/4/2011، ما روجته بعض وسائل الإعلام عن فصل 75 طالب من الكلية إثر تظاهرة الاثتين مؤكداً حسبما ذكرت قناة “الإخبارية” السورية بأنه لم يفصل أي طالب.

كما نفى عميد كلية العلوم الدكتور محمد سعيد محاسني مقتل طالب خلال تظاهرة لعدد من طلاب الكلية مؤكداً أن هذه الأنباء عارية عن الصحة تماماً، وقال الدكتور محاسني في تصريح له حسبما ذكرت وكالة الأنباء السورية “سانا”: “إن مجموعة من الطلاب احتشدوا أمس أمام مبنى الكلية وهتفوا بالشعارات الوطنية معبرين عن دعمهم لعملية الإصلاح الشاملة بقيادة الرئيس بشار الأسد ورفضهم واستنكارهم لمحاولات إثارة الفوضى وزعزعة الأمن والاستقرار الذي تنعم به سورية”.

April 12th, 2011, 1:52 pm

 

jad said:

Snipers attacking the army in Banyas the day before yesterday:

April 12th, 2011, 1:57 pm

 

Nour said:

سورية في قلب العاصفة – خفايا وأسرار .. هيثم مناع : هؤلاء عرضوا السلاح علي ّ وعلى المعارضة
سورية في قلب العاصفة – خفايا وأسرار .. هيثم مناع : هؤلاء عرضوا السلاح علي ّ وعلى المعارضة

كتب نضال حمادة
عروض تسليح رفضت، وكانت إحداها من جهة لبنانية ..
يروي الدكتور هيثم مناع، الناطق باسم اللجنة العربية لحقوق الإنسان، قصة اتصال هاتفي تلقاه لاجتماع هام في أحد مقاهي العاصمة الفرنسية باريس.
ويضيف في حديث لموقع المنار أن رجل أعمال سوري يحمل جنسية ثانية حضر برفقة ثلاثة أشخاص، سورية، وثالث يعمل مراسلاً في قناة عربية تابعة لدولة خليجية كبرى.
في اللقاء، وأثناء الحديث عن سورية، تم التطرق إلى احتياجات الشباب في درعا وسورية عموماً، وعرض رجل الأعمال السوري الأصل والغربي الجنسية تسليح جهات معارضة في سورية بكل ما تريده من سلاح كمّاَ ونوعاَ، ما شكّل مفاجأة كبيرة للدكتور مناع وللأشخاص الذين يرافقون رجل الأعمال.
رُفض العرض رفضاً قاطعاً، يقول مناع الذي أبلغ من يعنيهم الأمر في درعا، وهو إبن المدينة، أنه يجب رفض عروض التسلح من أية جهة كانت وعدم استخدام السلاح أبدا، وجاءه الرد بأنه لن تدخل محافظة درعا قطعة سلاح واحدة.
لكن الدكتور منّاع صرّح بما هو أخطر من ذلك:عرض التسلح هذا لم يكن الوحيد.
“هناك عرضان آخران بالتسلح أحدهما أتى من طرف لبناني على خصومة مباشرة مع السلطات السورية اليوم”.
أما عن الجهات التي تتناول أهمية موضوع التسليح تحت عنوان الفعالية والقدرة على كسب المعركة مع النظام السوري فحددها منّاع بالتالية :
أ – جهات أميركية أو لها علاقة بالإدارة الأمريكية.
ب – جهات لبنانية تلقت ضربات قاسية سياسيا من النظام السوري مؤخرا.
ج – بعض الذين جمعوا ثروات في المهجر ولهم أحقاد وثارات وليس عندهم قضية أو لهم علاقة من قريب أو بعيد بالوضع الداخلي السوري.
وحول علاقة بعض الأطراف اللبنانية بما يجري في سورية، صرّح مناع بأن ثمة من يتلقى مرتباً في آخر الشهر من (رئيس حكومة تصريف الأعمال اللبنانية) سعد الحريري ليتحدث عن حزب الله أكثر مما يتحدث عن الشعب السوري.
“أبناء الجنوب اللبناني يعرفون وطنية المواطن السوري الذي استقبل في بيته عائلات النازحين خلال عدوان تموز. إن كل من يحاول زج المقاومة اللبنانية أو المقاومة الفلسطينية في مواجهة الشعب السوري له أجندة خارجية يرفضها كل السوريين جملة وتفصيلا. عنصرا المؤامرة في القانون الجنائي السوري هما المال والسلاح، وكلاهما مرفوض بكل أشكاله من أبناء الشعب السوري. ومن يتلقى المال من أي طرف لبناني أو أميركي يعامل نفس المعاملة بموجب القانون، لذا لا ترضى أسر الشهداء أن تسمع بأسماء أشخاص ممولين من رئيس الوزراء اللبناني السابق أو مؤسسات يمينية متطرفة أميركية. لم يكن هناك عناصر من حزب الله في درعا، وعناصر المشكلة هم من السوريين أنفسهم سواء كانوا في السلطة أو خارجها”، يقول الدكتور مناع.
وكان النائب السوري السابق المعارض (مأمون الحمصي) قد زعم أن عناصر من حزب الله كانت موجودة في درعا ولكن تم تكذيب الحمصي في بيان رسمي للحزب.
أكثر من ذلك، ادعى مسؤول “إعلان دمشق” في الخارج (عبد الرزاق عيد)، الذي يصف الحريري بـ “مهاتير العرب” أن عناصر إيرانية كانت أيضاً موجودة هناك.
وإذ أكد الدكتور منّاع رفض أهل درعا لأي نوع من أنواع التسلح، نبّه إلى ان من عرض عليه السلاح قد عرضه ايضاً على جهات أخرى في سورية، “ولكن باقي المحافظات تقول إن هناك رفضاً قاطعاً لكل عروض التسلح”.
كما كشف الناطق باسم اللجنة العربية لحقوق الإنسان أن هناك من يوزع بيانات مزورة باسم عشائر وعائلات درعا حيناً، أو إتحاد العشائر السورية حيناً آخر، أو إدخال الخطاب الطائفي والتركيز على ضرورة الانتقام والثأر.
“وكل هذه البيانات مصدرها واشنطن وهي توزع عن طريق ما يعرف بحزب الإصلاح بقيادة (فريد الغادري – الذي زار الكنيست الإسرائيلي في حزيران عام 2007) أو أسماء مستعارة مثل “أميرة تعمر” التي تعمل معه”.

يتابع الكاتب نضال حمادة ويقول
لا شك بأن ما حصل في سورية في الأسبوعين الماضيين كان مثار اهتمام الكثير من الدول في المنطقة العربية والعالم. ولا شك بأن ما ينطبق على تونس وليبيا ومصر، لا يمكن أن يطابق الحالة السورية، فالدول الثلاث ليست دول مواجهة ولم تكن الأنظمة فيها فى صراع مع الولايات المتحدة، بل على العكس، كانت هذه الأنظمة قريبة جداً من إسرائيل وتنسق معها أمنيا وسياسياً. لذلك فإن الدوائر الغربية تعاطت مع الموضوع السوري بشكل مختلف عن تعاطيها بالملفات الآنفة الذكر، ولذلك سخّرت الولايات المتحدة أتباعها من المعارضة السورية، وللإنصافهم قلّة قليلة، سخرت لهم من تبقى من أتباعها الإقليمين إضافة إلى إمكانات بشرية وتقنية للضغط على سورية من باب الاحتجاجات المطالبة بالإصلاح.
ولم تكن مواقع الإنترنت وشبكات التواصل الإجتماعي من “فايسبوك” و”تويتر” هي الوسيلة الوحيدة التي استُخدمت لإدارة المظاهرات على الأرض، ولكن أُدخل عنصر أجنبي مهم تمثل بإرسال عشرات هواتف الثريا الإماراتية إلى ناشطين محددين في المحافظات السورية.
وبحسب المعطيات المتوفرة، فإن نائب ولي عهد إماراتي يقف مباشرة وراء إرسال هذه الهواتف التي تخول حاملها الاتصال مباشرة عبر الأقمار الصناعية دون المرور بشبكتي الهاتف السورية الثابتة والمحمولة، فضلاً عن شرائح خطوط أردنية وإماراتية.
أما عن السلاح فنحن ننقل عن مصادر أردنية وثيقة تأكيدها أن أسلحة قد اُدخلت بالفعل إلى سورية من دون أن تعرف وجهتها النهائية. وأوضحت المصادر أنه تم تمرير السلاح عبر الحدود بواسطة الدواب.

ولكن كيف كانت تدار التحركات على الأرض؟
كانت هواتف الثريا تشكل العمود الفقري لغرفة عمليات وقيادة خارجية لمجموعات قليلة من الناس تم تدريبها على التحرك في ظروف مماثلة، وكانت الاتصالات تتم بين مجموعات من داخل سورية وموجوعات أخرى في الخارج.
أما في الداخل، وبحسب المعلومات، فإن العمل تركز على مجموعات صغيرة قد لا يتعدى عدد أفرادها في بعض الحالات عنصرين.
وبالتزامن مع ذلك، كان موقع فايسبوك يعج بالصفحات الجديدة التي قام غالبية مشغليها بتغطية أشبه ما تكون ببث البيانات العسكرية لمجلس حرب إلى صفحات التواصل الاجتماعي والسياسي الأخرى، والتوقيع دائماً كان بأسماء وهمية. وذكرت صحيفة مترو الباريسية المجانية أنها حصلت على معلومات تؤكد أن غالبية الذين نشطوا عبر الفايسبوك فيما يتعلق بالأحداث في سورية، كانوا من الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا.
أما التحركات التي شهدتها باريس للمعارضة السورية فقد رسمت خطين متعارضين إلى حد بعيد:
الأول يقوده نشطاء حقوقيون، وهؤلاء لديهم مطالب إصلاحية وقد أعلنوا صراحة رفضهم تغيير النظام في سورية، كما رفضوا أي تدخل لجهات لها علاقة بأميركا والسعودية في ما يجري في بلادهم.
أما الثاني فكان خليطاً هجيناً من معارضين ارتبطت أسمائهم بالولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وتحديداً اللوبي الصهيوني فيها، ومن هؤلاء جماعة (إعلان دمشق) وجماعة (فريد الغادري) الذي استُقبل في الكنيست الإسرائيلي في حزيران عام 2007، فضلا عن مجموعات تابعة لـ (رفعت الأسد) و(عبد الحليم خدام)، وبعض هؤلاء عمل جنباً إلى جنب مع الإسرائيليين في ملف الرئيس الشهيد رفيق الحريري واتهام سورية والمقاومة باغتياله، كما كان هؤلاء في قلب الجهاز اللوجستي الذي أحاط بـ (محمد زهير الصديق – الشاهد الزور والمتهم بضلوعه في الاغتيال)خلال إقامته في العاصمة الفرنسية. ومن بعضهم أيضاً من كانوا يتلقون تمويلا من تيار المستقبل في لبنان من أمثال (عبد الرزاق عيد) مسؤول إعلان دمشق في الخارج مع بعض مساعديه ومنهم نجله.

المنار

April 12th, 2011, 1:58 pm

 

Majhool said:

Patric Seal

April 12th, 2011, 1:58 pm

 

Atassi said:

It feels like Civil War … Hate is spreading fast..
Watchout…

‏قوات الأمن بأسلحتهم يقتحون حرمة ا�… [HQ]‏
قوات الأمن بأسلحتهم يقتحون حرمة المسجد العمري ..إلى جميع الشرفاء في سوريا وفي الخارج أن يتمعنوا بإجرام هذه العناصر الأمنية التي تفتحم حرمة المسجد وينادي أحدهم قلتلناهم قتلناهم نحن لهم بالمرصادي ييييييييييييييييييييييييييي وهم يدخنون وبالأسلحة لا يقدرون …احترام وحرمة المسجد والمسجد لايحوي غير الأدوية وبعض مساحيق التنظيف تذكروا وجوهم واسمائهم تذكروا الفاشيين الطغاه

April 12th, 2011, 2:18 pm

 

Nour said:

بينهم عدد هائل من الجنسيات غير السورية….وخاصةً لبنانيين
القبض على 200 مسلح في البيضة ومعهم مهندس مقاطع الفيديو الخاص بالفضائيات المعادية
12/04/2011

بانياس- خاص سيرياستيبس:

قام فوجين من الجيش العربي السوري بتمشيط كامل لقرية البيضة قرب بانياس حيث قام بالقبض على حوالي 200 من المسلحين بينهم عدد هائل من جنسيات غير سورية ( أغلبهم لبنانيين) وسوريين من خارج محافظة طرطوس.

وذكرت مصادر مطلعة لسيرياستيبس أنه تم مصادرة كم هائل من الأسلحة مختلفة النوعيات , وذكر المصدر أنه تم القبض على الشخص الذي يتولى التصوير لصالح القنوات المعادية (مع كامل أدواته) وهو الذي يقوم عادةً بتركيب مقاطع الفيديو وإظهار رجال الأمن وهم يقتلون الناس…الأمر الذي اعتبر صيدةً ثمينةً..

هذا ويتابع الجيش تمشيط ثلاث قرى أخرى هي : بساتين الأسد والعديمة وقرية ثالثة لم نحصل على اسمها, وأكد المصدر أن الجيش مسيطر على الأمور…

هذا وبلغت حصيلة البيضة / 7/ جرحى من الطرفين, وبحسب المعلومات التي حصلت عليها سيرياستيبس فإن التحقيقات مع المسلحين والأشخاص الذين قبض عليهم في بانياس سيكون المدخل لمعرفة ما حصل في درعا وحمص في إشارة إلى أن بانياس هي مركز الأمور من حيث التدريب والأموال والإدارة, بدعم وتمويل مباشر من سعد الحريري وعبد الحليم خدام ومن وراءه من السعوديين.

إلى ذلك قالت شبكة دمشق الإخبارية وتطابقت معها شبكة بانياس الإخبارية: أن الجيش تمكن من الإفلات من كمين في قرية البيضة واستطاع بالتعاون مع اللجان الشعبية بإلقاء القبض على عدد كبير من المسلحين الهاربين باتجاه القرى من جنسيات أردنية مصرية وسورية

April 12th, 2011, 2:27 pm

 

Nour said:

Atassi:

Who is this person walking around filming everything in order to release it on youtube later?

April 12th, 2011, 2:30 pm

 

NAJIB said:

i doubt Assad had “meetings” (plural) with this guy to listen to his boring lectures on “economic development” and the experience of living in open, successful societies .

another point, after wikileaks, and also reading this article , no one should trust those western diplomats or let them get close, they smile sweet and friendly in your face while conspiring behind your back. they profile everyone they meet.

if you shake hand with a western diplomat, count your fingers, you might have lost one.:)

i think Mr. Davis should keep his impressions & opinions on his 3 years stay in Syria for Cocktail parties and social events, for that is where they belong.

April 12th, 2011, 2:31 pm

 

Atassi said:

Nour..
I am speculating He is Prince Bander !! what do you think!!, Maybe we should ask the readers of this blog to give us some clues and ideas.. Maybe we can call the Syrian TV and ask for advice!!

April 12th, 2011, 2:54 pm

 

why-discuss said:

A friend of mine commutes everyday from Tartus to Banyas and he told me that everything is normal.. Strange because reading the news it sounds like the Ghetto Of Varsovia. I guess it is probably hapenning in a quarter of the city.
I did enjoy reading the australian reports about the ‘shadowy elements’ of the regime spreading terror and being stopped by the army.. of the same regime.
If they are shadowy they could be from anyside, no? A H. Khaddam’s side for example

April 12th, 2011, 3:11 pm

 

Nour said:

Atassi:

The sarcasm is nice, but it still doesn’t answer the question. You are posting a video allegedly of Syrian security men going into the Omari Mosque and saying these things they are saying. We see one person videotaping it with what appears to be a cell phone, walking around while these security men are there with no questions whatsoever. And this was immediately posted on Youtube. My question is who is this person that would be allowed to walk around and videotape the entire event so that they could then post it on Youtube?

April 12th, 2011, 3:32 pm

 

SOURI said:

The article is good and much of it is true and accurate, but the problem is in the tone and the perspective of the writer. The writer seems to imply that the correct thing for Assad to do is to start immediate transition to democracy, which implies that the writer either does not care about the possibility of civil strife in Syria or that he wants such a strife to happen? It is weird how Western writers in general deal with the issue of sectarian war with so much disregard, despite the fact that the West has already caused three ongoing civil wars in this region (in Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq). It seems that those Western writers do not look to civil wars as something serious or dangerous, and this is the reason why they neglect this aspect in most of their analyses and approaches.

For me, the integrity of Syria is my FIRST priority. I put that first and look to everything else after it. This is the reason why we have different perspectives and approaches to matters in Syria.

April 12th, 2011, 3:52 pm

 

Atassi said:

why-discuss
your friend is a BIG liar, the people of Syria and in Darra and Banyas in particular are being terrorized by the regime and it’s shadowy elements .. and the station is NOT OK.. STOP spreading the terror .. ..
If the regime is really NOT afraid of the truth LET THE international media IN…. LET THE international media Into the country …

..Please keep in mind, and clear.. this is NOT 1980, NOT HAMA. and the crimes against humanity will be prosecuted .. civilian

HELP THE civilian in SYRIA ..
HELP THE FREE CITIZENS OF SYRIA …

April 12th, 2011, 4:12 pm

 

Atassi said:

Nour,
Since we are NOT able see and hear from the FREE international media .. this is what I will be hearing, seeing and I will be cursing….

April 12th, 2011, 4:20 pm

 

Nour said:

Atassi:

While I agree that the regime’s imposition of a media blackout makes everyone skeptical, calling the so-called “international” media free, is quite a stretch in my opinion.

April 12th, 2011, 4:30 pm

 

Vedat The Turk said:

Great article by Wilson. I agree with him that what Syria desperately need is international investment to create employment. This is obvious to any scholar of the country. However for reasons I have never been able to understand Bashar Assads seems to be oblivious to this basic fact. For him the essential quest of his regime is to be a thorn in the side of the West. This is maddening when you consider the huge penalties the country pays economically. Does anyone remember the legislative penalties the US enacted upon Syria because of its allowing Hamas to maintain “media office” in Damascus? They were basically blacklisted from direct US investment. The only benefits the country was able to obtain was propaganda bragging rights. That’s it. If you ask me that was a huge price to pay for some good press.

I for one had a great deal of hope for Bashar when he first came to power. I still remember how impressed I was at his first speech at Damascus university and all the reforms he promised. That was 10 years and a million promises of reform ago. Now he comes across as nothing more that a stooge of the Iranians who is more interested in scoring points in the press than the needs of his people.

April 12th, 2011, 4:41 pm

 

Atassi said:

I agree.. NOT all international media free.. error in my part, I am kind of upset of what’s going on and the killing of civilians

This one for you

http://all4syria.info/web/archives/3256

April 12th, 2011, 4:44 pm

 

Nour said:

ذوي احد شهداء بانياس ينفون ادعاءات مواقع الكترونية تتحدث عن مقتله لرفضه اطلاق النار

الاخبار المحلية
شارك

نفى أهالي الشهيد المقدم ياسر قشعور، الذي استشهد في كمين مسلح استهدف وحدة للجيش في بانياس في محافظة طرطوس بعد ظهر يوم الأحد، ما تناقلته بعض وسائل الإعلام والمواقع الالكترونية عن رفضه لتنفيذ أوامر بإطلاق النار مما تسبب في مقتله.

وكان مصدر مسؤول قال في وقت سابق من يوم الأحد إن وحدة من الجيش، كانت تتحرك على طريق عام اللاذقية طرطوس في منطقة بانياس، تعرضت لكمين نصبته مجموعة مسلحة، كانت تتخفى شرقي الطريق بين الأشجار والأبنية، ما أدى إلى تسعة شهداء إضافة إلى عشرات الجرحى.

وقال وائل قشعور، الأخ الأكبر للشهيد ياسر، إن “ما تناقلته بعض وسائل الإعلام والمواقع الكترونية، هو محض كذب وهو تدنيس لدماء الشهيد وروح الشهداء”، واصفا تلك القنوات بـ”المغرضة والحاقدة”.

وكانت مواقع الكترونية ووسائل إعلامية أشارت في وقت سابق إلى أن أهالي الشهيد قالوا إن سبب استشهاد المقدم ياسر هو رفضه تنفيذ أوامر بإطلاق النار على ما اسمتهم “متظاهرين”.

وأكد وائل قشعر أن “المقدم ياسر كان في طريقه ضمن وحدة عسكرية بهدف حماية جسر المرقب بعد المعلومات عن انتشار مسلحين في تلك المنطقة، وقبل وصولهم إلى الجسر بحوالي 100 متر تم إطلاق النار على السيارات التابعة للجيش من جميع الجهات، من اعلى الجسر ومن اليمين واليسار، بشكل متواصل وكثيف”.

وأضاف شقيق الشهيد أنه “وفي تلك الحالة عمدت سيارات الجيش إلى العودة من نفس الطريق إلا أن الرصاص الكثيف استهدف تلك العربات، مما أسفر عن استشهاد المقدم ياسر قشعور، في وقت استشهد فيه المقدم وهيب عيسى عند إصابة سيارة أخرى كان يستقلها”.

وأعرب شقيق الشهيد عن استيائه الشديد عند سماعه “لافتراءات وسائل إعلام ومواقع الكترونية”، مشيرا إلى أن “استغلال دم الشهيد بهذه الطريقة يعبر عن حقد أعمى وأسلوب رخيص للخداع”، مؤكدا في الوقت نفسه أن “دم الشهيد ياسر لم ولن يذهب هدرا، لانه استشهد في سبيل حماية الوطن والتضحية من أجل كرامته”.

وتقوم القوات الأمنية المختصة بملاحقة عناصر المجموعة المسلحة لإلقاء القبض عليهم وتقديمهم للعدالة، وذلك بحسب وكالة الأنباء السورية الرسمية (سانا).

وتشهد سوريا أحداثا، تقول السلطات الرسمية بان ورائها أطراف خارجية، في أكثر من مدينة منذ أكثر من أسبوعين راح ضحيتها عشرات القتلى ومئات الجرحى، أكثر ما تركزت في مدينتي درعا واللاذقية.

وبحسب تصريحات المسؤولين السوريين، فإن هناك بعض الجهات “المندسة” التي تستغل خروج المواطنين السوريين بـ “مطالب مشروعة” لتقوم بأعمال ترويع وقتل بهدف زعزعة استقرار وأمن سورية.

يشار إلى الأحداث التي شهدتها سورية قدمتها وسائل إعلام عربية وغربية ضمن صياغة إعلامية اعتمدت على شهود عيان أو أشخاص في قارات العالم، حيث عمدت على نشر صور ومشاهد تثير مشاعر المتابعين، ساعية إلى تأثير معين.

April 12th, 2011, 4:47 pm

 

jad said:

WLA (sorry!) WHY-discUsS
StOP sPReAdInG the TeRrOR NeWS Of YoUR REgImE SuppORtER FrIEND (Darbe tkhla3 ra2btou) SaYInG ThiNGS BeInG calM.
jOin ThE CIVIL WaR anD ThE hAtE ThaT IS SPReADiNG NewS TeAM.
tHaNK YoU!

April 12th, 2011, 4:50 pm

 

SOURI said:

I don’t want from Bashar Assad any deep political reform. I just want the following from him, and I don’t think it is much to ask for:

-To appoint a reformative government that would carry on economic and administrative reform in a faster pace than the previous government.

-To reform the judiciary and the legal system, and make it not possible for his close circle and his own clan to interfere in the work of the judiciary.

-To loosen restrictions on the media and make it possible for everybody to start a newspaper or a TV channel. We need to have tens of new newspapers and TV channels in Syria. Does Bashar prefer that Syrians keep taking their information from Wahhabi channels and newspapers?

-To allow freedom of speech in matters related to corruption, government administration, religion, and the society of Syria.

Is this too much to ask for? No matter how stubborn he is, I don’t think Bashar will deny that these reforms are good for the country and won’t endanger the regime. These reforms will strengthen the regime and make Bashar popular.

I would like especially to emphasize the point about freedom of speech in religious issues. Bashar must understand that the only way to defeat Islamism is if we can discuss it and attack it freely. As long as the discussion is not offensive or racist in nature, it must be allowed.

April 12th, 2011, 4:53 pm

 

Nour said:

الداخلية:الاتهامات بمنع نقل الجرحى بدرعا وبانياس للمشافي عاريةعن الصحة

قال مصدر مسؤول في الداخلية إن “ما تناقلته بعض وسائل الإعلام من اتهامات للسلطات السورية بمنع وصول الجرحى في درعا وبانياس إلى المشافي عار عن الصحة”.

April 12th, 2011, 4:55 pm

 

Shami said:

SOURI:For me, the integrity of Syria is my FIRST priority.

The integrity of Syria is not going to be in danger ,it will resist all disturbance.
Wich community can separate itself from Syria?
The converned communities have no other options than to live among us.

April 12th, 2011, 5:07 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Nour,
You know I hold a lot of respect for you. But recently, I find your choice to use critical thinking and skepticism rather selective. So every piece of news you read from regime sources is worth broadcasting without question. The mere fact that no other news organization is allowed, with some correspondents being detained cast great dark shadows on everything the regime media broadcasts.

I am not accepting everything said as well by the other side. I have an account similar to Why-Discuss, which indicates that at least for now, the Army activities in Banias are restricted to a couple of neighborhoods. But even that, I am not willing to take at face value and will not believe the regime story for the intentional lack of independent verification.

So it is believable in a town such as Banias, which has been under the regime’s security apparatus Radar since 1980, and was never dropped off the radar, to have 200 foreign fighters infiltrate the town and set up shops in nearby villages. I will accept that as you do, but do you notice how precarious of an intellectual position you put yourself in by using this only as a proof of the conspiracy and not of the ineptness of the brutal security system that has stifled not only the freedom of the Syrian people, but their creativity, and capacity to even recognize the value of freedom, and still failed to realize until today that there are so many armed gangs in and around Banias, a small city where everyone knows everyone else.

How can anyone watch the charade of smearing Sameera Al-Masalmeh and claiming that her dismissal, by a security officer not by her boss, is done within the reform campaign. For heavens’ sake, now they discovered that she is corrupt. I will not make judgement either way about her, but I find the whole episode as a clear sign that no real reform can be expected and anyone thinking this way are simply deluding themselves.

Lastly, as the regime is hypersensitive, and to a large extent, rightfully so, about conspiracies, I am sensitive, as a left leaning secular humanist, to right wing language. Since the crises started in Syria, i have been finding the language, threats, uncritical acceptance of insultingly stupid propaganda, that are practiced by a majority of the regime defenders here and elsewhere to carry all the hallmark of right wing nuts. And you know, from numerous posts of mine how I feel about such people.

There is no doubt in my mind that sectarian agendas and revenge mentalities are surfacing and working now in Syria and against Syria, the Nation, not just the regime. But I have my serious doubt that the regime is serious about combating them and not about using them as a stepping stone for fifty more years of oppressive, despotic rule of a beautiful country.

I do not really know what to do, supporting the regime is now out of question for me. It would be counter intellectual, and unethical to support a regime that I know is not capable of reforming itself in any meaningful way. Supporting anti-regime forces, I am also not so sure, for I am frightened and repulsed by the prospect having my support contribute to unholy agendas, and to the sectarian strife. I can only do one thing, and that is to indicate my position. I hereby acknowledge my self a dual citizen of the United States of America, and of Syria. Not Syria Al-some-family, nor Syria-Al-something. Simply, Syria.

I am not one of the silent majority, for I have no idea what is the majority or minority and also because I am not silent nor do I intend to be. And if i am in a minority, I would rather be among the minority standing for freedom, for the right to chose, for the right to know, for the right to think, to express myself, free, and unmolested.

April 12th, 2011, 5:16 pm

 

nafdik said:

Nour,

The fact that the media is blocked out does put certain things in doubt.

But one thing is for sure, the government wants to hide something.

What do you speculate they are trying to hide?

April 12th, 2011, 5:32 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Souri
I read your demands, you are Anti-Regime hiding as pro-Bashar.

April 12th, 2011, 5:37 pm

 

nafdik said:

Off The Wall,

Thank you for the thoughtful comment and voicing the dilemma most Syrians feel when thinking about what to do: we want democracy but we do not want vengeance or civil war or falling into another form or fascism and dictatorship.

However, I think there is a solution that most of us have overlooked: If the army remains clean and intact it can protect from the above.

We should do all we can to make sure the army does not get involved in this battle. This way if the democratic forces win, the army can be there to maintain peace and security.

Of course this is a nearly impossible thing to achieve as the army is strongly aligned with the regime today. However, it is possible if the Allawi community which is heavily represented in the army leadership, start to divorce itself from the Assad family.

Let Bashar, Maher, Rami and the others who built their fortunes on the back of all Syrians fight their fight with the mukhabarat or let them hire murtazika with their own money as Kaddafi did.

What is requested from the army is not to side with the protesters but simply to remain neutral.

It is the only way to keep Syrians from all communities safe and secure.

April 12th, 2011, 5:50 pm

 

why-discuss said:

OTW

It is clear that the dreaded mokhabarat have gone overboard by arresting freedom of speech seekers instead of armed gangs. It is a failure but an understandable one as the whole system is obsolete in view of the new technology that can be used now,so they kept arresting old intellectuals dissidents.
You distrust the government and you believe that it is unable to correct the situation by making reforms, that I am not sure.
Syria has been under external attacks for years and has managed very well to deal with the war in Iraq, the millions of Iraqi refugees,the neo-con threats, US sanctions, the nuclear issue, Israel attacks, Hariri’s death, Hezbollah etc.. The last large internal unrest is more 20 years old. Sadly that one was dealt with a controversial iron fist. I am giving the credit to Bashar al Assad that he may be able to manage that crisis in a creative way with minimum collaterals. I maybe be wrong but only time will tell. I also trust the young syrians to keep their head cold and wait until we see what happens when this chaos and the media hysteria settles.
If Bashar wants to stay in power for a few more years, he has no choice than to make reforms that would satisfy the majority. I think he is smarter and more pragmatic than that canadian ambassador was saying.

April 12th, 2011, 5:56 pm

 

Tarek said:

According to what I read in this article, if the reforms in Egypt and Tunisia are successful AND the economy in Syria does not improve, the Revolution will almost certainly grip Syria with full force.

That being said, Egyptians and Tunisians should be wary of Syrian operations in their countries in the meantime!

April 12th, 2011, 6:15 pm

 

Leo said:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150566457240727&set=a.10150397575815727.619133.420796315726&pid=18280284&id=420796315726

Why are these people arrested in such a demeaning manner? What is their crime? Notice the kids who are on the ground.

Also, one of the soldiers who is wearing a black jacket looks like he is hiding a box or something on his back behind the jacket, anyone know what that is?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCcAHCuh0CQ

Haitham al Male7, human rights activist and ex-judge, says that he’s received information that the group of armed men attacked Abu Bakr mosque in Banyas and 2 people were arrested from these attackers and it was shown the 2 taken were from the National Guard.

Off The Wall,

Thank you for your great words, you always surprise me with something marvelous every time you write something. I’m very proud that a fellow countryman can describe the same feelings and ideas I have in such an eloquent way. Do you have a blog or website or write in other places? I am hoping one day we meet and it would be extraordinary to be able to exchange our opinions freely in our Syria one day.

Cheers

April 12th, 2011, 7:01 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Nafdik and Why-Discuss
Thank you both for taking my rant seriously and for respecting me enough not to insult me and others with propaganda. With your permission, I would like to expand, at least from abstract point, despite of the the apparent cynicism of any attempt at abstraction in these difficult times.

Why-Discuss
I am concerned when a solution depends on one person, especially when he is not well equipped for the task at hand. And I am not talking here about Bashar the person, or the president but about the institutional arrangement he represents. To express my point, and despite of the stark differences between the two cases, let me draw on our recent experience in the US. Just little more than two years ago, progressives were elated when we elected Obama as a president. To us he was as close as possible to a true progressive president. But what we failed to do, was to mobilize enough votes to support him with true progressive congress. We elected democrats who have no progressive credentials, and many democrats, were even afraid to support true progressive or campaign for them because they feared to lose the seats to republicans, and in the end, they supported name-only democrats and failed to provide Obama with the congressional backing to enact real re-formative agenda that can correct the devastation of Bush Era and confront the big interests in any meaningful way. Being a pragmatic president, Obama chose the least resistance path, and as such, we have a president, but not the one we elected. While attempting to compare mechanisms would be preposterous, vague similarities in the end result is not beyond discussion. Bashar, assuming against all real evidence that he is a true reformer, not simply a man who likes to improve things, would have no real backing anywhere in the system except the illogical enchantment of people desperate for personality cult. And that is not sufficient for true reform. In the end, and contrary to the Ambassador’s view, he may be able to overrule fossil right wing (yes baathist are now the right wing) security despots, on some key decisions, but he can not usurp their power or the power of their pervasive institution unless he dismantles these institutions. To illustrate the difficulty in attaining that, consider the abysmal performance in protecting the national security of Syria these numerous agencies have demonstrated over the past few year. From the assassination of Moghnia, General Suliman, Rafiq Hariri, whose assassinations were counter to the National Security of Syria, to the ability of Israeli Spies to paint a high security military target in the middle of the Syrian Desert so that Laser Guided bombs can reach it. In any other country the entire security apparatus would have been shaken not with resignations, but with trials of its highest chiefs at best for dereliction of duty, and at worst for treason. What happened in Syria was a quite reshuffling of a couple of posts and a comfortable wealthy retirement for the occupants of a few others. If this says anything, it says that those at the top are merely the most senior partners but not vested with the authority of an owner, which can only be garnered if the president is willing to transform himself into a Gorbachev?? anyone willing to bid on that? in a previous post, i mentioned that, having demonstrated its value, I expect the loyalty of these corrupt security-entities, with their shadowy affiliates, to become even more important and more rewarding.

Syria has been able to navigate external stresses, but one must not also discount the fact that there are three parts to the Syrian success. The first is the folly of others, which is the case of Bush’s criminal war in Iraq and Israel’s own atrocities in Gaza and Lebanon and their failures to achieve their results in all three cases. The second is the presence of a visionary neighbors, which is the case of Turkey and the capable and heroic resistance in Lebanon. Capitalizing on the follies of others has been the cornerstone of Syria’s foreign policy and it is a credit more to Hafez Assad than to Bashar. I am impressed more by the ability of the Syrian people to withstand the pressure, which was the third and most critical part of the success, but not by the leadership who, while the people were being responsible and supportive, were accumulating for themselves more wealth and power.

Nafdik
While I agree that the army should remain clean, I believe that there is another alternative i read somewhere, and that is for the army to be the only institution with monopoly on violence. What I mean by that is for the army to declare that its soldiers and officers, identified with name tags and a badges, are the only ones allowed to carry and use weapons, and that no non-unformed person, no matter who he/she is would be allowed from now on to carry a weapon or a club outside their house or place of business for self protection. Plain cloth security officers can sit this one out, and the army will be responsible for protection of people and property. Arrests can only be made if the sanctity of one of the two is being threatened or violated, and use of live ammunition is allowed for self defense by the Army. Can you imagine what will happen to those oppressing peaceful demonstration, or to those infiltrating these demonstrations. The army could even search every participant as they head to the demonstration site. NO popular brown shirt-like committees will be allowed and the army does not need their help. This would have been a real creative solution to deal with the problem, not one that relies on scaring the Syrian people and threatening them and on fabricating news. The republican guards job is to ensure the safety of the president, high ranking officials, and critical national infrastructure, and they should have no place outside these premises.

April 12th, 2011, 7:42 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

I had a concluding sentence that somehow I erased from the last post. It says

The last paragraph is excellent news, it shows that Syrian people can still dream.

April 12th, 2011, 8:07 pm

 

nafdik said:

OTW,

Of course the solution of having the army having a monopoly on violence is the ideal situation provided the government does not use them as tools to frighten peaceful protesters.

I think Syrians will be very happy with an arrangement where protests are allowed withing certain parameters: eg hours and locations that are set by the government provided they have enough visibility and space to express the anger of the people.

Army can make sure that there is no weapons that get into these spaces.

But this assumes a government that is serious about not only reform but total change of power if the people ask for it.

Bashar recent speech as well as actions in Banias, Daraa, calls about moundassin, and removal of journalists point in a different direction.

The scenario I proposed is under the assumption that the Assads&co will not abandon power and are ready to turn Syria into Libya rather than abandon their privileges.

In this case the Allawi community who has a lot of sway over the army should refuse to support the Assads and the army should not be dragged into massacres directly or indirectly.

I hate to use sectarian language but I think the situation calls for clarity. I want to stress that I do not believe that any Syrian community is responsible for the Assad family massacres and corruption but that we are at a time when they will try to convince all minorities to help them by playing on sectarian fears.

All Syrian minorities and factions should resist the call to be part of mass murders that are executed under the excuse of protecting us from imaginary chaos and bigger mass murders.

In summary, if we keep the army out of the political games and Syria will be safe.

April 12th, 2011, 8:14 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

LEO
Thank you very much for the kind words. I do not have a blog of my own. SC is my virtual home, and people here have been kind enough to tolerate my eccentricity, very much like my family does.

April 12th, 2011, 8:26 pm

 

syau said:

For those of you who did not see it, the Syrian T.V. netowrk has just aired some of the captured terrorists admitting what is behind the recent violence in Syria – under the umberella of “protests”…. In case you didn’t get it, they said the protesters were there because they were paid to be. The terrorists were the ones to shoot at them because they were paid to. They were also paid to make the video coverage look like the Syrian soldiers were behind the shootings.

Some of the puppetiers behind this were named…they admitted to being trained with familiar and non familiar weapons at at attempt to scare the people of Syria and cause and uprising of fear and hatred.

The Muslim Brotherhood was also named as co conspirators along with officials in other countries.

These admittions were only by some of the terrorists caught Damascus. The truth is starting to come through and all of you who doubted this can now enlighten yourselves and finally open your minds to the situation.

You would expect outside entities not to care about the country and its people, but shame on those Syrian nationals who went along with it. Became traitors of their countries for money.

The muslim brotherhood rears its ugly head again.

April 12th, 2011, 8:41 pm

 

nafdik said:

Thanks SYAU, this is really great news we finally caught the perpetrators of this.

It was clear from the outset that since 99.6% of Syrians voted for Bashar that only foreigners could be behind these demonstrations.

Of course there is still these 0.4% of Syrians but I am sure that our security forces has dealt with them as shown clearly in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvTafrhLAik

I am sure they will not try anything like this for another 30 years.

April 12th, 2011, 8:48 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Of the wall
Your solution is in conflict with the regime survival.
my question ,have you been in Syria in the last 2 years,if you were there ,then you must have noticed the level of oppression.this is the main problem the people have with the regime,the oppression.

April 12th, 2011, 8:55 pm

 

NK said:

Here’s a link to one of these confessions

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfUJNh3I0zQ

This guy didn’t admit to anything, according to this he never really carried out any missions, the was ordered to shoot pro Bashar demonstrators ??? but he never did it, then he named Fidaa Al Sayed as being the head of general security for Ikhwan ( the guy who has been talking on pretty much all news channels claiming he’s the speaker/creator of the Syrian revolution web site ) then he named a Lebanese MP (Jamal Al Jarah) as a sponsor for this terrorist squad.

To be honest this sounded a lot like the testimony of the Egyptian spy a while back, it also sounded like a smear campaign against Ikhwan and the Lebanese MP. Taking this testimony seriously would make you wonder why would those terrorists start an open confrontation (in Banyas) with the army when this guy’s cell was only ordered to conducted covert operations ? also why would there be 300 members in one area (Banyas) and only 3 guys in Damascus ? and what would the MBs gain by attacking a police station ? so far all the attacks has been against pro reform demonstrators or security forces in that area ? and how come there’s so many grenades with this small cell (3 guys) and yet no grenades have been used in any attacks this far ?
The most important question is, what would the MBs gain from all of this, if it’s indeed true ?

I don’t know, for me this sounds like a smear campaign by the regime, what do you guys think ?

April 12th, 2011, 9:09 pm

 

syau said:

Nk,

It was said that Banyas was one of the strongholds. That is why so many were captured there.

What does the muslim brotherhood hope to gain from all of this?
TERROR – they are a terrorist organisation with no regard for human life, as long as the ends justifies the means, they are happy. Power within Syria, that is one thing they are wanting to gain. And yes Nafdik, lets hope this does not re occur for another 300 years, not only 30.

If you question every admittion, it makes me wonder how much regard you hold for the terrorists behind this mess.

April 12th, 2011, 9:27 pm

 

NK said:

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/12/video-shows-syria-clash-from-two-angles/

Sayu

To say that the protesters in Daraa or those who demonstrated in Banyas are all terrorists is just wrong, remember the president met with demonstrators from Daraa and with demonstrators from Douma, he even ordered the release of “191” demonstrators from the latest events in Douma. So you can’t smear everyone who is demonstrating as a terrorist. Let’s wait an see how many of those captured in Banyas will be released a few days later!!!

Also, if the MB really wanted to terrorize the public they could have done so in the past 30 years, or 11 years ago when Bashar was still weak (relatively), or in 2005 when he was under a lot of pressure, why wait till now when they stand to gain much more by not resorting to violence ? just something to think about.

April 12th, 2011, 9:28 pm

 

Rami Issa said:

If we have one Friday,the coming friday I hope,without bloodshed and harsh response from security forces then I can take a deep breath. I am against giving the regime a break from civil protests but I am totally opposed to burning buildings,destroying property and shooting at our sons in the army. Egyptians,for your knowledge,are not very happy with the lack of security and the major vacuum in large cities like port Saeed where locals had to play policemen,garbage collectors and traffic cops. Bashar needs to play his cards with an open deck and make good on his promises especially the ones related to political reform.most Syrians do not want to hear of political prisoners or corrupt figures chocking the life of ordinary citizens. If the end of April comes and we only get empty speeches then we will go back to square one.

April 12th, 2011, 9:28 pm

 

syau said:

Nafdik,

I saw the link, and yes, its a terrible. Nobody should have to be subjected to that, but what do they admit to, there are a bunch of people behind them saying “they hit him” -WHO? There is no evidence they were harmed by the Syrian forces. How do we know what happened, they might have been beaten up by a gang paid to make it look like officers did it. If they were being interrogated for something they did, then I assume they would still be under interrogation, not out making videos.

April 12th, 2011, 9:36 pm

 

nafdik said:

SYAU,

“If you question every admittion, it makes me wonder how much regard you hold for the terrorists behind this mess.”

Your deductive powers keep amazing me. I wish people like you can take charge of our security services in Syria to catch all the moundassin and uncover all the mouamarat.

April 12th, 2011, 9:36 pm

 

syau said:

Nk,

Twisting my words is also wrong. I did not say that all the protesters were terrorists, I said that one of the captured terrorists stated that the protesters were there because they were paid to be. He also said that the gangs inwhich he was the head of were being paid to shoot at them.

The muslim brotherhood wait until it’s the right time for them to move. It seems now is that time.

April 12th, 2011, 9:40 pm

 

syau said:

Nafdik,

Well, you succeeded in making me laugh. Your sarcasm is halarious. 3ala salamat al sourieen. Im sure the services there are capable of taking care of that themselves.

April 12th, 2011, 9:44 pm

 

Sophia said:

No women in the videos of the protests!

A commenter on the NYTImes blog about videos spreading on the web about Syria duly noted that there are no women in the videos protesters post on the web and distribute to the western press!
Well usually when men go to war, women stay home…These are not peaceful protests, to say the least. These are violent protests that look like an internal war waged on the regime.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/12/video-shows-syria-clash-from-two-angles/

April 12th, 2011, 9:54 pm

 

NK said:

Remember the video that appeared a month ago where a girl gets attacked by security forces and almost everyone here said it was fabricated (State TV said it was fabricated too)

well guess what, turns out it is real and the girl has been in jail since then with no charge, here’s an article talking about political prisoners in Syria

http://bit.ly/gE2a2N

ما يطلبه المعتقلون من برنامج الإصلاح السوري الدموي!
محمد منصور

بثت قناة (الجزيرة) في إحدى نشراتها الإخبارية أخيراً، تقريرا مفصلا عن المعتقلين السياسيين في سورية، استعرضت فيه سجل هذه الظاهرة المؤلمة الحافل بالأرقام والأسماء في التاريخ السياسي السوري.
في التقرير ظهرت صورة تجمع بين الزعيم الراحل جمال عبد الناصر، والدكتور نور الدين الأتاسي، الرئيس السوري الأسبق، الذي كان رئيساً لسورية حتى تشرين الأول (اكتوبر) من العام 1970، حين استقال من منصبه لخلافات داخلية، انتهت بانقلاب عسكري نفذه في السادس عشر من تشرين الثاني (نوفمبر) من العام نفسه وزير الدفاع حافظ الأسد آنذاك، سمي بـ (الحركة التصحيحية المباركة) وبموجب هذه الحركة المباركة، أودع الرئيس الطبيب في زنزانة ضيقة ومن دون محاكمة، وأمضى في السجن اثنين وعشرين عاماً كاملة، أصيب إثرها بمرض السرطان، وبعد أن تفشى المرض في جسده ولم يعد هناك من أمل في شفائه، أطلق سراحه وسمح له بالسفر للعلاج في باريس، ولكن المرض لم يسعفه وتوفي بعد أسبوع من وصوله إلى فرنسا في الثاني من كانون الأول (ديسمبر) عام 1992 ثم عاد ليدفن في مدينته حمص.
على صفحتها على الفيس بوك، نشرت آية ابنة نور الدين الأتاسي تقرير قناة الجزيرة، وعلقت بالقول: (يمر وجه أبي بين وجوه المعتقلين السياسيين ليذكرني كم هي كثيرة الحكايات التي تشبه حكاياتنا. آباء يختفون في السجون وأطفال يكبرون خارج الزمن… لا نريد لأطفال سورية مستقبلاً يشبه ماضينا).
تهزم هذه الكلمات روح أي كاتب وضع أبجديته في خدمة قضية الحرية… فإذا بي أتضاءل وأنكمش، أمام ألم شخصي عاش في أعماق الابنة عقوداً وقد حرمت من أبيها حياً وميتاً…. ويلح سؤال آية الأتاسي الموجع وهي تخشى على أطفال سورية اليوم مستقبلاً يشبه ذلك الماضي الكابوسي… فما هي ملامح المستقبل اليوم، وآلة القمع والاعتقالات تنشط بهمة لا مثيل لها، كي تضاعف بسرعة قياسية، أعداد معتقلي الرأي من كافة الأجيال في أيام.
كتبت الأسبوع الماضي عن صديقي الصحافي الشاب عامر مطر، الذي اعتقل لنشاطه السلمي في هذا الحراك الاحتجاجي المشروع، كما يؤكد لنا الإعلام السوري، ومر أسبوع آخر وعامر ما زال مجهول المصير، ومازال أبواه ينتظران أي خبر عنه، فيما يخبرنا أصدقاؤه أنهم لا يحصدون في مراجعاتهم لفروع الأمن سوى حفنة من التطمينات عن مواعيد إفراج لا تصدُق… لكن الأيام القليلة التي مضت حملت لي عشرات الرسائل الإلكترونية عن معتقلين آخرين أودعوا السجون قبل عامر وبعده… منهم الشاعر محمد ديبو والشاعر معاذ الهويدي، الذي اعتقل إثر مظاهرة خرجت في مدينة الرقة… وملك الشنواني (26 عاماً) وهي ناشطة اعتقلت من مقر عملها في دمشق، وتمت مصادرة جهاز الكومبيوتر الخاص بها.
الفتاة مروة حسن الغميان، التي ظهرت في الفيديو الشهير وهي تتعرض للاعتقال مع عدد من مرافقيها لا يتجاوز عددهم أصابع اليد الواحدة أمام الجامع الأموي في الخامس عشر من آذار (مارس) الماضي، التي نشطت قنوات التلفزيون السوري وملحقاتها (تلفزيون الدنيا)، لتقول ان هذا الفيديو المفبرك لم يكن إلا تمثيلية سخيفة صورت وتم مونتاجها من أجل الإساءة لسورية، ما زالت معتقلة ومجهولة المصير حتى اليوم، وقد وصلتني رسالة كشفت أسماء الذين اعتقلوا معها وهم: سامي الدريد (41) عاماً، أب لطفلين ويعمل في مجال الديكور المسرحي، وابن اخته عبد العزيز محمد أحمد علي. وقد أفادت رسالة خاصة أخرى وصلتني، بأنه لاحقاً تم اعتقال شقيق آخر لسامي دريد، وشقيق آخر لعبد العزيز، وأن الأم موزعة بين لوعة الحزن على ولديها المعتقلين وشقيقيها المعتقلين.
محمد الدريد الأخ الأكبر لسامي الدريد، كتب على صفحته على الفيسبوك: (أنا محمد دريد الأخ الأكبر لسامي أرجو من الجميع أن يضم صوته لصوتنا في المطالبة بالإفراج عن سامي الذي اعتقل يوم 15/3 في مظاهرة سلمية في سوق الحميدية في دمشق. كما أُدين التهم وفبركة الأفلام التي فبركها ووجهها التلفزيون السوري وتلفزيون الدنيا بحق أخي والمشاركين في المظاهرة معتبرين إياهم خونة وتابعين لجهات خارجية).
تشكل هذه الكلمات صفعة للتلفزيون السوري وقناة الدنيا اللذين ادعيا أن الفيديو مفبرك… فعدا عن تشويه السمعة وإلصاق التهم، هناك مباركة غريبة لحالة الاعتقال، من العار أن تتورط بها مؤسسات إعلامية، فكيف إذا كانت هذه المؤسسات توجه بنادقها إلى صدور مواطنيها، رغم أنها محسوبة عليهم كـ(إعلام وطني).
لا ينتهي حديث الاعتقال الساخن، فحتى ما قبل ساعات قليلة من كتابة هذه الزاوية، تحمل لنا (وعود الإصلاح) أنباء جديدة عن معتقلين جدد… فيعتقل الأستاذ جورج صبرا، الصوت الوطني الحار الذي أطل من على محطات تلفزيونية عدة لينحاز لدماء شهداء وطنه بلا خوف ولا مداورة، ويعتقل الناشط نجاتي طيارة ابن مدينة حمص الأبية، ويعود الناشط السياسي المعتدل والهادئ النبرة الأستاذ فايز سارة إلى سجنه، ولم يكد يمضي على خروجه أكثر من شهرين. هناك سيلتقي فايز بزملاء له ما زالوا قيد الاعتقال: كالناشط علي العبد الله والدكتور كمال اللبواني والمحامي أنور البني.. والسجون ما زالت مفتوحة كالفنادق لاستقبال نزلاء جدد في كل آن ومن كل صنف ولون وجيل.
أتذكر وأنا اكتب هذه الزاوية التي لا بد أن أعرج فيها على ذكر القنوات الفضائية والأرضية، مذيعة التلفزيون السوري المخضرمة السيدة ماريا ديب، التي واظبت لسنوات طويلة على تقديم برنامج (ما يطلبه الجمهور) في التلفزيون. كان وقت البرنامج يضيق عن عرض الأغنيات المطلوبة، بسبب كثرة طلبات الإهداء من وإلى… والآن يمكن أن تتحول هذه الزاوية إلى طلبات شبيهة بذاك البرنامج مع تعديل بسيط في العنوان: (ما يطلبه المعتقلون).
ليست هذه نكتة، بل مفارقة مؤلمة وجارحة… فما الذي سيطلبه المعتقلون في سجنهم سوى الحرية، وما الذي يطلبه الآباء والأمهات والأخوة والأبناء سوى أن يعود إليهم أهلهم؟ وما الذي يطلبه كل السوريين اليوم سوى العيش بكرامة؟
حسناً سأكون متفائلاً… سأبلع كل غصات وقهر عمري الذي مضى وأقول: أنا مع الإصلاح. أنا لست محبطاً من خطاب الرئيس بشار الأسد، لست مشمئزاً من تهريج مجلس الشعب أثناء الخطاب، أنا أصدق كل كلمة قالتها مستشارة الرئيس الإعلامية بثينة شعبان، أنا أصدق كل ما تقوله الإخبارية السورية والفضائية السورية والمحللون الذين يظهرون من دمشق ليسكتوا هؤلاء المعارضين الذين يقبعون في الخارج كي ينظّروا علينا… لكن قولوا لنا: هل من اعتقل هؤلاء هم العصابات المسلحة المندسة؟! هل هم من أودعوهم في السجون والمعتقلات؟! كيف يمكن أن تكون كل هذه الاعتقالات هي طريقنا إلى الإصلاح الموعود؟! قولوا لنا فنحن لم نعد نصدق، ولم نعد نفهم، ولم نعد نعي، ولم نعد نعرف كيف تبنى الثقة بين المواطن ودولته وكيف تهدم… ولا أين تسير بنا أجهزة الأمن، وإلى أين تسير بسورية الجريحة المكلومة؟!

شهيدا جامعة دمشق: اغتيال الأمل!

ومن أسئلة الاعتقالات المريرة، إلى قوافل الشهداء، التي مرت أخيراً بطلاب جامعة دمشق، في احتجاجات يمكن أن نفهم مغزاها العميق، ونذرها الجدية حين تصل إلى هنا… فطلاب الجامعات هم رافعات التغيير حين تدفع المجتمعات إلى حائط مسدود، والصور التلفزيونية التي نقلتها قناة (العربية) لتظاهرة طلاب كلية العلوم في جامعة دمشق، ينبغي أن تقرأ باعتبارها الرسالة الحاسمة التي تقول: ان القمع لن يفيد، لأن القمع مثل الكذب: كرة ثلج تكبر كلما تدحرجت أكثر.
ومع ذلك فقوات الأمن السورية، ذهبت بعيداً في قمع الطلاب المحتجين تضامناً مع أشقائهم في المدينتين الجرحتين: درعا وبانياس… خرج هؤلاء ليهتفوا: (واحد… واحد… واحد… الشعب السوري واحد)، في هتافات يجب أن تطمئن النظام الخائف علينا من الانقسام الطائفي والفتنة… لكن بدل أن يطمئن النظام إلى هذا الهتاف المتحضر المتمرد على (المندسين) الذين يريدون إشعال فتنة طائفية بين الشعب الواحد لا سمح الله… انهالت عليهم العصي ضرباً، وجاء الرد بلغة الرصاص، فسقط في أول تظاهرة لطلاب جامعيين شهيدان: الأول هو (فادي الصعيدي) ابن مدينة جاسم في حوران، والطالب في السنة الرابعة كيمياء في كلية العلوم بدمشق، و(فادي العاسمي) إن لم أخطئ في اسمه الأول، ابن قرية داعل، وطالب الدراسات العليا الذي خلف وراءه ثلاثة أطفال، وهو في العقد الثالث من العمر!
يمضى هؤلاء الشبان إلى ديار الحق تاركين الأهل والوطن… حاملين معهم أحلام الحرية، والتوق إلى العيش بكرامة… وبدل أن تنطفئ الاحتجاجات، يكبر الجرح الوطني مع كل شهيد تصعد روحه إلى السماء… فمتى سيرتوي من يهدرون هذا الكم من دماء إخوانهم السوريين؟ أي ألا يمكن أن يتذوقوه لو كان هؤلاء ـ لا سمح الله- أخوتهم أو أبناءهم في عائلاتهم الصغيرة؟ وهل كتب على السوريين اليوم أن يكفكفوا دمعهم ودمهم و(أن يحرسوا ورد الشهداء) كما قال محمود درويش في إحدى قصائده؟ أم أنهم مجبرون، أن يكتبوا بالدم قصائد من نوع جديد، يعبرون فيها إلى زمن جديد بثمن موجع وباهظ … باهظ جداً!
ناقد فني من سورية

April 12th, 2011, 10:18 pm

 

NK said:

اعتقال الامين العام لحزب الشعب الديمقراطي في سورية

دمشق ـ ا ف ب: اعلن مصدر حقوقي ان الاجهزة الامنية السورية اعتقلت ظهر الثلاثاء الامين العام الاول لحزب الشعب الديمقراطي السوري واقتادته الى جهة مجهولة، من دون ان تفصح عن سبب الاعتقال.
وقال المحامي خليل معتوق رئيس المركز السوري للدفاع عن حرية الرأي لوكالة فرانس برس ان ‘عناصر من الاجهزة الامنية اعتقلت الثلاثاء الامين العام الاول لحزب الشعب الديمقراطي السوري غياث عيون السود’. واشار معتوق الى ‘ان عناصر الامن اعتقلت عيون السود بينما كان خارجا من منزله في صحنايا (ريف دمشق، 15 كلم جنوب دمشق) لشراء حاجيات، واقتادته الى جهة مجهولة من دون ان تبين سبب الاعتقال’.
واضاف معتوق ان ‘عيون السود معتقل سابق، حيث كان اعتقل لانتمائه الى هذا الحزب المحظور من 1983 ولغاية 1992’.

April 12th, 2011, 11:01 pm

 

jad said:

At the mark time of 3:09 the security forces were actually shot at first before they retaliate and open fire.
They didn’t open fire until the moment where we hear gun shots coming toward them from far, which prove that shooting at the security forces is real and not a lie as many are saying.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at41daT0RUI&feature=player_embedded

About the children video; I was attacked and accused of many things when I called for not using and abusing kids in this conflict by both sides, this is a real crime since kids are not full aware of the harm they are forced to face and again I strongly and in the strongest words I know condemn both sides for doing such act, it’s disgusting. Our Syrian kids deserve better than being used and abused in this unethical ugly propaganda by both sides.

NK,
Regarding the interview with those guys:
إم الدكتاتورية على إم الفقر على إم الجهل على إم الخوف
Nothing good come out of any of those specific elements in any society. We doomed to stay like this unless something on the magnitude of the French revolution with it’s strength, brutality and goals hit our nation and on top of that I think that it will take as long as the French revolution toke for Syria to be a true developed nation, until such thing happen Syria will stay as is for long time to come, I feel hopeless of anything good to come out of our society.
(I do believe the involvement of Fida Alsayed, he is the one behind the facebook site of the revolution)

April 12th, 2011, 11:03 pm

 

Syria Almighty said:

NK, shut up. It was all fabricated. Stop making things up. She was photographed ‘protesting’ in other areas with the same people that ‘attacked’ her. You can also –CLEARLY– see her give the signal to attack. Don’t be an idiot. That whore deserves to rot in jail her whole life.

April 12th, 2011, 11:04 pm

 

NK said:

Syria Almighty

I feel sorry for Canadians to have someone so vulgar and full of hate like yourself living among them. Every single comment you left on this blog contained absolutely nothing other than insults and profanity towards other people, your mother must be very proud of your foul language, please do everyone here a favor and learn some manners.

Jad

I’m beginning to feel the same way, the comments I’m reading on Facebook by Bashar lately are very disturbing, most supporting total eradication of any dissent peaceful or not, reports suggest arrests in the hundreds among intellectuals, some say that the president will be addressing the nation in a televised speech tomorrow at 8 p.m … I’m not holding my breath.

April 13th, 2011, 12:02 am

 

syau said:

Syria Almighty,

What are you talking about, that nod wasn’t a signal to attack, It was a real protest with numerous amounts of security forces ready to attack 1 female – they were just there by chance. Not eligible for an oscar nomination I think. These fabrications get more and more desparate as the days go by. They will continue trying, but will not succeed because people aren’t dumb enough to believe that nonsense.

April 13th, 2011, 12:07 am

 

SOURI said:

NK,

So should we learn manners from those Islamist terrorists?

The filthiest people I have ever met in my life (I traveled a lot) are the Islamists. It is usual among them to use very vulgar language for trivial reasons. For example, if they see a conservative Muslim woman who is just not wearing the traditional covering and the headscarf, it is OK to call her a whore and use whatever filthy swear words you know against her. If they see a conservative Muslim man who, for example, just does not believe in demons, they will also use the filthiest swear words you could imagine against him. They even use filthy swear words against Islamic scholars whom their opinions they don’t like. Those people are mentally sick. Islamism is not just an ideology, it is in large part a disturbed psychological state.

April 13th, 2011, 12:25 am

 

jad said:

Actually Syrian Almighty is correct about this girl story, she and her team did the same charade in alhamidiyeh, she is not as innocent as this writer trying to show her.
The only single line that is authentic in the article of Mr. Mansour is how gracious Mm. Aya Attassi talking about her late father, everything else in that article goes under the usual propaganda and emotional blackmail filling the web which I’m already so fed up with.

April 13th, 2011, 12:27 am

 

Equus said:

I guess the ambassador was so interested in observing Assad than fixing the problems at the Canadian Embassy, starting with the lost immigration files among others….

Jihad,

Primo, Stephen Harper is the lap dog of Bush, if it wasn’t for the liberal policy; Harper would have entered Canada in Iraq war and didn’t know how to come out. Just look at the losses in Afghanistan.

Segundo, Stephen Harper robs Canadians on several occasions. First, he imposes them heavily then unleashes his Canada Revenue agents to exhort further money with no mercy. Every auditor has a mandate to fine a minimum of 10 k per small enterprise or family business in order for him to get promoted in his job, otherwise he is kicked out. The employer is treated guilty until proven innocent; employees lose their jobs and collect unemployment. And if (emphasizing if)the entrepreneur is NOT burnt completely to the ground with the little money left or donated, he can go to court and win his case. Almost in 90% of the cases the judge sides with the employer because it’s complete ruthlessness and abuse of power. Last but not least, now he is targeting the retiree, the mandate is 500$. You may not find it huge amount but for retired person with limited income who already paid his debt to society it’s a lot. Don’t forget Canada is part of the G8….Syria is not part of the G8. Finally, most of the jobs created recently in Canada are recruitment by the Federal government and NOT the private sector. I guess Harper is learning from Bashar….meaning more «functionaires» with very little productivity instead of encouraging creativity and young entrepreneurs.

April 13th, 2011, 12:36 am

 

nafdik said:

I fear the worse and hope that Bashar speech will prove me wrong.

All the signs are that the thugs who call themselves our government are preparing for Hama style response:

– Removing journalists
– Confessions on TV 70s style
– Closing of cities
– Cutting of phone lines
– Talk of mundassin
– Creation of chaos through their armed gangs

I was watching an idiotic member of parliment talking to AlJazeera and he used the expression ‘moving to the second square’ in describing the situation. What he meant is that the thugs will not be ‘nice’ as they were in the last 2 weeks.

Will Bashar prove me wrong?

Nchallah.

April 13th, 2011, 12:51 am

 

Ziad said:

NK

You really deserve what Almighty told you and then some. You and Revlon have turned this blog to a gossip mill by flooding it with links to every silly video from every shitty site. You try to push your point of view and persuade others by an overpowering quantity not by selective qualitative comments. When you linked to a video you made zero critical evaluation of its authenticity and content. On the other hand if some else linked to a video depicting the opposite point of view you were quite generous in offering your critique.

April 13th, 2011, 12:54 am

 

Australian -Syrian said:

NK,
Ziad is right also. You are so full of spite and malice when it comes to the Syrian Government, and you are readily able to fight back when someone puts farward either a logical point or a video depicting the truth, or what you see as being false.

NK, i havent taken a look at Bashar’s facebook page because i know that there are people out there who make up bull shit. There was recently on the news here in Australia, that a celebrity (Football player) was writing defamatory statements on his his facebook page. Only later did they realise that some stupid teenage moron was behind the whole thing. It is very easy for people these days to either hack into people’s accounts or make completely new and fully legit pages, which seem to belong to that person they are impersonating.

April 13th, 2011, 1:36 am

 

Majhool said:

With all due respect, this debate over every single video and claim is a waste of time.

The simple facts are as follows

1) The protesters at large are not carrying guns. If they did, Dar’a, Homs, Latakia, etc..would have turned into real battle grounds. the deaths among security people would have been much higher.

2)the secuirty forces at large wear plain cloths This intential to deflect blame and creat confusion

3) Goverment and its media lost its creditability.

4) The President choose confrontation.

The regime will find ways to turn this into an armed rebillion in order to justify crushing it.

The dynamic after that will be very fluid. However the things we know are

– The president lost much oh his popularity
– The image of the president as a reformers has been destroyed
-The people broke the fear barrier

April 13th, 2011, 1:40 am

 

NK said:

Ziad

Why am I not surprised, more personal attacks from a regime supporter. /sigh
I didn’t provide any critical evaluation because we discussed it extensively in an earlier post a few weeks ago, back then we came to the conclusion that it was fabricated, but today there’s an article suggesting otherwise, the article is confirming the video was not a fake, and the brother of one of those arrested in that video confirmed that his brother was indeed arrested.

Jad

This is the first time somebody mentions this story about this girl/group, did this guy just make up the names of her/friends ?
Also I heard about the others like “Mr. Fayez Sara” being arrested from many different sources, this is not a good sign.

Souri

No, don’t learn manners for the morally bankrupt regardless of who they are. Its called the art of delivery and knowing how to talk and debate with people civilly, resorting to insults means the person’s substantive argument is weak.

Australian -Syrian

I meant to type Bashar supporters in my earlier post, somehow I managed to erase (supporters), and by the time I noticed it was too late to edit, I thought it was clear that I didn’t mean the president himself.

April 13th, 2011, 1:40 am

 

Leo said:

Jad,

The people who were arrested in that Damascus demonstration are all missing. It is possible that they were also protesting at the Sou2 al Hamidiyeh demonstration, but that took place earlier. What is the problem for the same people to protest at different places after each other? I’m shocked to see you believing the regimes stories far too easily.

April 13th, 2011, 1:49 am

 

jad said:

NK,
No he didn’t make their names up, there was 4 in that group, two females and two males. I guess that their names are correct, the writer didn’t make the names up, he used the wrong example to defend, but again, nobody knows anything for sure in this vicious propaganda war.

April 13th, 2011, 1:56 am

 

SOURI said:

http://blogs.reuters.com/columns/2011/04/11/syrian-crackdown-stamps-on-economic-dream/

Bashar al-Assad’s regime had an ambitious plan to quadruple foreign investment and boost tourism in order to drive growth in a poor country with dwindling oil. But the violent suppression of protestors will scare off both investors and tourists… the escalating violence in Syria has left the country’s economic plans looking more like a fantasy. While over 70 percent of visitors to Syria come from the Arab region — a chunk of tourism that may not be so easily frightened away — it was from Europe that Syria hoped to attract the bulk of new big-spending tourists. Equally, it was from the West that Syria aimed to bring in new investment.

April 13th, 2011, 2:06 am

 

syau said:

Souri,

That was on of the most truthful articles I have read during this mess. And that is what I was trying to get at previously.

Bashar was working to improve the country, but some people are not open minded enough to see that. They just hang on the the negatives and hope their grip is strong enough. I’m not saying there aren’t some problems to be looked at in Syria, I’m sure the government there is looking at it, but I dont think it’s as dire as it is made out to be.

If Syria boosted foreign investment and tourism and continued with economic growth in the way they are hoping, that will make it a stronger country and a force to be reckonned with. That is a major reason this “Syria Revolution” was started. To put a halt to Syria gaining further economic power. It is expected that some outside entities would be worried about that and attempt to stop it with there dispicable plots to destabalise Syria, but what is really sad is that there are some Syrian nationals willing to give up the economical growth of their country and people and be the mules for these power hungry entities.

Syria is a great nation with a forward thinking leader and it will come out of this current situation standing.

April 13th, 2011, 2:41 am

 

jad said:

Dear Leo,
Don’t be shocked. I don’t believe in the ultimate truth by anybody.
I also understand why Syrians living inside the country lost any respect for the media around them, and stuck to their own, I for one don’t believe anything I read on Aljazeera, Alarabiya, France 24, BBC, Orient and CNN, they proved time after time to be unprofessional and almost racist in their coverage of the story and clumsy in investigating what they show before going on air and not even courage enough to correct their news when they were wrong.
The revolutionists’ FB gangs and their supporters also proved time after time to be unethical on too many levels and in almost every call they publish on their site, so I also reject them.
The only sad truth out of all this tragedy is that real Syrians are killed everyday for no clear reason.
This movement is forced on Syrians in the most ugly way, Syrians didn’t really choose it at this time and that is why it’s a failure in everything but wasting lives and spreading chaos. If it doesn’t stop soon, things are going to be out of hands of everybody and all of us will pay the price.
I lived in Syria for more than a year in 2005-2006, it was unbearable, the Syrians were subjected to the most horrible media attack at that year and I can’t explain to you the pressure we’ve been put under, it seems that things are even worst today that even my 72 years old dad went out in the demonstration supporting the government out of conviction and if I was in Syria today I’ll go out with him, and anybody who doesn’t recognize that most of the Syrians are actually against this chaotic movement is blind.
If things are going to get worse, I’m planning to move back home, I’m not going to sit and watch my beloved ones being killed one by one while some worthless news reporter telling me what to believe and what to do.
To shock you more I confess that I trust the news I read in the Syrian media and Syrian news paper more than the fancy outsiders ones because it proved to be the closest to reality than most of the propaganda forced on me.

April 13th, 2011, 2:46 am

 

NK said:

SYAU

All the economic reform in the world will not matter in Syria if corruption is not dealt with, starting with Rami Makhlouf et al, it doesn’t matter if the Syrian GDP quadrupled next year, the average Syrian is not going to see a dime out of this growth.

Jad

I can’t judge other news outlets because I rarely watch them, I mainly watch Al Jazeera english and it’s coverage was not that bad. But at the same time you can’t blame the other channels if they have no access to any sources, which makes “eye witnesses” and “Youtube/FB/Twitter” the only source they can use to report the story. I think the regime brought this war on itself by denying all including it’s own media access to really report the events themselves.

April 13th, 2011, 2:58 am

 

SOURI said:

SYAU,

Syria has suffered permanent damage. Much of the money that was allocated to government investment will be now spent on subsidies and other forms of social allowances.

The main challenge that faces Syria is a time challenge. They must create jobs fast if they want to contain unemployment.

The situation in Syria was not that bad before the uprising. There was indeed reform and things were not stagnant.

April 13th, 2011, 2:58 am

 

jad said:

نعم لقد خسرت الرهان على من وثقت بهم ….
لن اتحدث عن امريكا اواسرائيلي ولا عن خطبة القرضاوي كل جمعة لنصرة سنة الله ولا عن الدعم المادي ولا ريبال رفعت الاسد و لاعلى الخدام … ولم يعد يهمني ما ذكرته صحيفة السياسة الكويتة عن الاجتماع الاخير لبندر بن سلطان مع فلتمان وحسام حسن في هذه الدولة الشقيقية … ولا عن المعلومات التي اصدرتها الصحف الروسية في اذار المنصرم عن شاحنات اسلحة تهربت من الحدود العراقية لقلب سوريا … ولن اتحدث عن الخونة والمفسدين والمخربين ولا المندسين … فكل ذلك لم يعد يهمني … بل مللت هذه الخطط التي بدأت بال2005 ولم تعد تنتهي …. لم اعد اهتم لا بالاخبار التي تستند على( شاهد العيان) … ولا على اعلام ينقل للعالم فيديوهات مأخوذة من مواقع معارضة دون ان يتعب نفسه بالتأكد من صحتها حتى ….. ما يهمني اليوم هو هذا الشعب … الذي خرج يوم الجمعة وطالب باسقاط النظام … هذا الشعب هو نفسه الذي كان يطالب بالاصلاح والحرية والتغيير والتطوير …. اليوم تحولت هذه الشعارات البراقة التي لا يختلف عليها اثنان بسوريا الى شعار الموسم( اسقاط النظام )… اعذروني فلم استوعب ما الذي حدث بعد … اسبوع كامل مضى وكل يوم جديد قرار اصلاحي اخر ( لن اسرد القرارات الصادرة فمن يهتم فعلا يكون قد علم بها ومن لا يهتم فليعود للاسبوع المنصرم ) اسبوع من تحقيق القرارت المطلبية للشعب … ويأتينا يوم الجمعة وكأن شيئا لم يكن … لا وبل بتغيير الطلب من اصلاح لاسقاط النظام … الاسبوع المنصرم تظاهر مجموعة في حمص مطالبين باسقاط المحافظ …. تم اقالة محافظ حمص … تجدد المظاهرات بحمص ..! الاسبوع المنصرم تظاهر 3000 كردي في القامشلي مطالبين بمنحهم الجنسية السورية … يوم الخميس تم حل مشكلة احصاء 1962 والمتعلق بتجنيس 150,000 كردي و اقرار منح الجنسية السورية ل300,000 كردي …. تجدد المظاهرات الكردية ورفع شعار نحن ما بدنا جنسية نحن بدنا حرية ….! لنصل لقضية ابريق الزيت والمتظاهرين في درعا … اقيل المحافظ … اقيل عميد فرع الامن … بدأ لجنة التحقيق عملها … احالة المحافظ والعميد للقضاء …. تعيين محافظ جديد وترحيب كبير به من قبل مشايخ درعا كونه شخص خدم بدرعا لاكثر من 25 سنة وموثوق به ….. تجدد التظاهرات يوم الجمعة ….والاشتباكات والقتلى ….! قانون الطوارئ ( المطلب الاساسي والمشكلة الكبرى للمعارضة ) سيتوقف العمل به فور انتهاء القانون البديل في 25 نيسان … ولكن نتفاجئ البارحة ان احد جهابذة المعارضة يقول وان اوقف العمل بقانون الطوارئ هذا لا يهم فنحن نريد اسقاط النظام فهذا نظام غير اصلاحي …..! كلا انتم لا تريدون اصلاح ولا تغيير … انتم تريدون اسقاط نظام فحسب… دخلتم للشارع السوري من بوابة الاصلاح … وعندما بدأ الاصلاح وتحقيق المطالب انتقلتم لشعاركم المحبب الاسقاط…. خسرت الرهان …. نعم راهنت على وعي الشعب السوري وقدرته على الفصل بين مطالبه ومطالب غيره … لكن للاسف اثبت هذا الشعب انه يركض وراء شعار وفقط ولا يعرف ما يريد … حرية … سلمية … اصلاح … تغيير … اسقاط … ولا اعرف ما تخبئ لنا الايام المقبلة …. اصلاح … الا يرى هؤلاء المغفلين الراكضين خلف هذا الشعار البراق … ان الاصلاح الشامل والمطلبي قد بدأ بشكلي فعلي منذ عشر ايام … هل اعمت الشعارات عيونهم … ولم يستطيعوا ان يقوموا بجردة بسيطة بين الوضع السوري اليوم وما كان عليه من عشر سنوات … ( الوضع المصرفي – التعليمي – الخدماتي – المعيشي وحتى الدخل القومي ) وان كان الاصلاح بطيء بالنسبة للفترة الزمنية ولكن اليوم بدأ الاسراع بالخطى المطلبية….. الا يرى هؤلاء ان ما يقومون به هو وضع العصي بالعجلات وترك الدولة تتخبط كل يوم جمعة بوضع امني خطير ينزلق كل اسبوع . حرية … عن اي حرية يتكلمون فمفهوم الحرية مختلف جدا من دولة لاخرى … هل يقصدون حرية التظاهر … هاهم كل اسبوع يخرجون لهيتفوا ويعودوا لبيوتهم دون ان يتعرض لهم الامن ( طبعا ماعدا درعا لسبب لم اعد استوعبه فماذا يحدث بهذه المحافظة على عكس بقية المحافظات امر يدعو للاستغراب ) … اما اذا حريتكم في التظاهر السلمي هي حرق الممتلكات العامة والخاصة وتكسير السيارات واحراق االاتحاد النسائي ومقر الحزب وقصر العدل والاتحاد الرياضي وبيت المحاقظ ومقر الاذاعة والتلفزيون ونادي الضباط … فانا لا اريد هذه الحرية … واذا كانت حريتكم هي رمي الحجارة على الامن لاستفزازهم … وقتل ضابط و19 رجل امن في درعا وشرطيين في حمص واخر في دوما واصابة اكتر من 75 رجل امني بجروح والقيام بكمين للجيش ببانياس وقتل ضابط وخمس عساكر … فحريتكم لا تعنيني … اما ان كنتم تقصدون حرية التعبير … فكل يوم يظهر لنا معارض سوري من قلب سوريا يمطرنا بارائه الفذة عن الدولة والرئيس من دون ان يمنعه احد …اما اذا كانت حريتكم بالتعبير كالتي اتحفتمونا بها في جبلة باطلاق السباب والشتائم … فهي ايضا لا تعنيني … ام لعلكم تقصدون حرية السجناء السياسيين ومعتقلي الفكر … فيا من ملئتم اذانكم بالطين والعجين … فمنذ بداية الاحتجاجات وحتى اليوم افرج عن اكثر من 400 معتقل من صيدنايا ومعتقلي وزارة الداخلية والاحداث الاخيرة وسيتم الافراج عن غيرهم …. اما اذا كنتم تطلبون الحرية لمعتقلي تهريب المخدرات كما طالبوا متظاهري حمص … او اطلاق سراح تجار الاسلحة كما يطالب متظاهروا درعا …. فهذه الحرية ايضا لا تعنيني . هل شعارات الاصلاح والتغيير التي رفعها الرئيس والشعب تعني … تجول مسلحين يطلقون النار في حمص واللاذقية … هل تعني الفلتان الامني ورمي الحجارة على الناس في حماه لانهم لا يريدون الانضمام للتظاهر … هل تعني اغلاق طريق اوتستراد حمص حماه باللاطارات المشتعلة … هل تعني انتشار لمسلحين على اوتستراد اللاذقية طرطوس … او مهاجمة عمال مصفاة بانياس… هل تعني المخالفات البنائية المرعبة التي انتشرت بكل من دمشق وحلب … هل تعني اخافة المدنيين وتشكيل لجان شعبية للمناطق لحماية البيوت …. هل تعني احراق العلم السوري…. كلا ايها الشعب المغفل … الاصلاح قد بدأ … وانتم الان تريدوننا ان نعود لزمن امني كنا قد اعتبرناه ولى دون رجعة … فهذه القلة القليلة من شعبي التي هتفت وراء شعار اسقاط النظام … تتوهم ان هذا الشعار سيجلب لها حلا لمشكالها المتأصلة بالجهل والتخلف … اليس طلبكم اليوم هو تقليد اعمى للالثورة المصرية … فتمعنوا يا جهلة شعبي با نجازات الثورة المصرية … هذه الثورة التي ادهشت العالم واريقت فيها الدماء لم تكن الا ثورة سلمية ومتحضرة من الشعب وليست همجية وغوغائية و ارهابية مثلكم …. وسقط النظام وانتصرت الثورة … ولكن اليوم انتصار الثورة بدأ يحتضر واصبحوا بحاجة لثورة جديدة انقاذ للثورة القديمة … لان المارد السلفي كشر عن انيابه … ومستوى الجريمة في مصر اليوم ارتفع 300 % خلال شهرين … هذه مصر يا شعبي المثقف التي تحوي طائفة واحدة واقلية قبطية … ليست سوريا او اي دولة من المشرق العربي يحمل في طياته بركان مشتعل من 18 طائفة مختلفة … اقرؤوا تاريخ هذه المنطقة جديا … فهاهم الاكراد بدأوا بالتحرك … من بعد 40 سنة من مطالبتهم بالجنسية السورية … اصبحت اليوم لا تعنيهم من بعد اخذها … لان مطلبهم ليس الجنسية وحسب … لا ..غدا سيطالبون بالمحافظة الكردية … وبعد غد بالحكم الذاتي لمحافظتهم … لليتحول شرق سوريا لاقليم كردستان سوريا المستقل … كما اقليم كردستان العراق الذي اقر بقرار مجلس الامن عام 1991 ليكون اقليم فديرالي مستقل له عاصمته وعلمه وحكومته المستقلة … وهذا هم حلم الاكراد الاكبر اعادة شمل كردستان الكبرى التي قسمت بين سوريا تركيا والعراق وايران وارمينيا …. نعم … يا صديقي المثقف هذه طائفة واحدة من اصل 18 في بلدي … وانت تقول لي اسقاط النظام … طبعا لن ننسى اصدقائننا من الاخوان المسلمين … والتعصب والتطرف الديني والمذهبي الذي تفشى بمنطقتنا العربية منذ اواخر السبيعينات ….وانت تقول لي اسقاط النظام … كلا ايها المغفلين الجهلة … كلا ايها المتعلمين يا من تدعون الثقافة … لا يمكن ان تشبه شمال افريقيا بالمشرق العربي … فمشرقنا تكمن في باطنه تعددية طائفية ومذهبية مستعدة لدمار البلاد لتحقيق مصالحها الفئوية والمذهبية … لا تذهبوا بعيدا … وتعلموا من الدول المجاورة … فالحرب الطائفية بلبنان والعراق ما كنت لتنشب لولا الارض الخصبة لتلك النزاعات المذهبية … فمن يطالب بالحرية والديمقراطية … يجب عليه اولا ان يفهم ماذا تعني هذه الكلمات … وان يكون يستحقها … فالديمقراطية ليست سلعة معلبة نستوردها من امريكا المستعدة لمحاربة العالم لتحقيق مطلب الشعب السوري المقهور التواق للديمقراطية … وبنفس الوقت تحارب العالم لتمنع الشعب البحريني والسعودي لتحقيق مطلبهم بالديمقراطية…. اما الحرية المطلوبة … انتم اثبتم انكم لا تستحقوقنها … لانكم وببساطة يا شعبي الكريم … شعب عاطفي يجيش بسهولة ويركض وراء الشعار والمذهب والحاكم وينسى الوطن … والمصيبة انك لست عاطفي وحسب … لا بل شعب همجي وعدائي … فكفانا حرية على طريقتكم .. لقد جعلتم بلدي ب15 يوم بؤرة للجريمة والفلتان الامني ( وكل ذلك وقانون الطوارئ لم يزل بعد …) نحن بفضلكم نستحق ان نبقى بالطوارئ مدى الحياة نعم خسرت الرهان على شعبي … خسرت الرهان على الوعي … انا هو المغفل الذي توهم ان هذا الشعب يمكن ان يتغير … كلا … فنحن من ذاك الشعب الذي بقي بالشارع لثلاثين عاما وقام ب17 انقلاب على الدولة خلال هذه الفترة الوجيزة لانه ببساطة لا يعرف ماذا يريد … واليوم عاد هاذا الشعب لهوايته القديمة بالتظاهر والانقلاب ومازال لا يعلم ماذا يريد او اين تنتهي مطالبه ولكن بمفارقة صغيرة هاذا الشعب الهمجي هو اهم دمية اليوم بهذه اللعبة .
By: Amine Djandji

April 13th, 2011, 3:16 am

 

Revlon said:

#77 Dear NK,
Thank you and others for enriching this blog with relevent, and valuable documentary material.

If this blog is part-owned by Ziad, Australian-Syrian or his mirror image SYAU, then they can easily censor material as they like.

In case it is not, and they find media that covers the revolution’s perspective, a gossip, then they should resist the temptation to browse it and stick to their regime’s.

YouTube, facebook and independant media cover all viewpoints in the current confrontation!

Media keep us updated on the events on the ground!
Our coments and analyses would be irrelevent or antequated had it not for such timely updates.

Keep up the great work guys!

April 13th, 2011, 4:06 am

 

syau said:

NK,

“Oh ye of little faith”. When Bashar was just emerging on the scene – proior to the Late Hafez Al Assad, there was a report by CNN stating that he is a positive force in the country and that he is actively eradicating corruption. He is now the leader. This is where he needs to delegate. Granted corruption needs to be looked at but he cannot do everything himself, after all, he is one person. There is corruption in every government in the world, not only in Syria. Have faith that things will improve and corruption although it cannot totally eradicated in any government, even in the western world, it will be dealt with in due course.

Revlon,
I would not censor material as you think. I also wouldn’t constantly badger a government like you do, nor would I constantly search for material that hightlights the lies that is being portrayed and pass it off as being true.
I feel for the families…All THE FAMILIES who have lose their loved ones, not only selected ones. I certainly do not think that people are passing themselves as others and if not they must be mukhabarat. I do not pass myself off as living in another country while living in Syria as you put it. I do not live in Syria, but that doesn’t mean Im not concerned about the country or the citizens and that certainly doesn’t mean I can not be for the current government as I am. I do not think people are mirror images of eachother because they share similure views, otherwise I would have pictured you and others as one alike. The media and news are important, we also expect them to broadcast the truth, especially those media networks who hold themselves with high regard as being a leading entity in news coverage. People need the truth, not a biased version of their truth.

April 13th, 2011, 4:27 am

 

Leo said:

Dear Jad,

Non-loyalist media are not allowed to operate in Syria, whether they are foreign or Syrian. Orient TV is not a foreign media and they are not allowed to operate. It’s normal that there could be some inaccuracies because of the restrictions. On the other hand, I would only fool myself if I actually thought that Dunia and the Syrian TV are more credible. Few weeks ago the Syrian TV showed an Egyptian citizen who was accused to be a spy working for the Mossad. Few days later this Egyptian citizen was released. If he was a Mossad agent why did they release him and not charge him? It’s obvious that they only arrested him because he was a recording what was happening on the ground. The same thing was done several days ago when they got this person who looks like a homeless guy and he was saying how he received 50 liras from the ‘mondaseen’ to remove the hijab and kiss random women in the streets. Today Syrian TV showed a video of a guy saying that he was a leader of a mondaseen group who was hired by the Facebook Syrian Revolution page creator and some Lebanese MP. Does the Syrian TV think the people are that stupid? Nothing can anger people more when they are treated as imbeciles.

Most Syrians know that these false accusations are the actual fate of hundreds of Syrians in jails today who were thrown in because of crimes they didn’t commit. The only difference is that when the state security does this to a foreign citizen, there are foreign governments that come asking for him. By the way, I am sure that the Egyptian government would not have asked about their citizen if this occurred during the Mubarak regime, but we see the fruits of democracy and change already happening in the neighboring countries. The same exact thing that happened to that Egyptian journalist happened to a Syrian journalist in Syria and also to a Syrian journalist in Libya, but this government seems to busy to save their own asses than for them to save their citizens abroad.

I have been following your posts for a while Jad and I really think you are sincere as opposed to many regime loyalists, but I have to say that you are not realistic at all when you expect that this regime is capable of reform on their own and you need to see that also the majority of these demonstrators are also sincere and most of their demands are legitimate and it’s only a matter of time and inevitability that they fight for their basic rights. I leave you with this lightweight video for some time to relax.

April 13th, 2011, 4:35 am

 

Nour said:

Dear OTW:

You should know very well that I am very critical of the regime in Syria and of its oppressive and repressive methods since the arrival of the Baath to power in 1963 (even though oppression in Syria did not begin with the Baath but continued after their ascension to power). I also believe that its propaganda is quite crude, bombastic, and just plain dumb, so I do not really subscribe to it in general. And this whole charade of people chanting “bel rou7 bel dam” or “allah, souriya, bashar w bass” is to me a display of reactionary rhetoric, backwards thinking, and ignorance. Moreover, I have repeated numerously that ultimately the regime should be held accountable for what transpires in Syria, as the situation is not forever sustainable and its failure to implement real and serious reforms is going to lead to consequences that the regime is responsible for.

My criticism of the regime, however, does not blind me to what is being cooked up for Syria. I do not operate from the springboard of hatred and spite such that I would rather destroy the country than see the regime survive another day. I have made clear on several occasions that I want what is best for Syria, not what is worst for the regime. What is taking place today in Syria is not a revolution by any stretch of the imagination. Although it started out with some protests here and there, most of these protests were very small and limited to specific areas and groups. There was never a clear presence on the street by the masses in rejection of their government, as was the case in Egypt. In addition, I found many of the protests to be repulsive and not representative of the Syria I’d like to see, specifically those calling for the end of mixed-sex schools and chanting slogans against Shiites, Iran, and Hizballah, which to me has nothing to do with demands for freedom and reform, but is rather an expression of the most vulgar form of sectarianism.

What we then witnessed was the steady descension of these protests into acts of violence and destruction combined with the most crude forms of vulgar propaganda, aimed not merely opposing government repression, but rather at inciting people to violence by appealing to their base emotions, using hate-mongering and sectarian incitement. The videos, pictures, and stories that were being spread were intended a reaction stemming from pure hatred, which is always a dangerous reaction that is most likely to lead to chaos and division, rather than one based on rational thought. Videos of unknown and unverified “killings” and “massacres” allegedly by the regime against unarmed protesters were being spread in conjunction with filthy sectarian terms, such as “the Nusairi regime”, “Alawi regime,” “minority rule,” etc. which can lead to nothing increased divisiveness in society.

What’s more is that most media organizations, both western and Arab, were peddling this propaganda and participating in attempting to incite Syrians through sectarian agitation. We kept reading time and again articles reminding everyone that Syria was a country of a “sunni majority” “ruled by a Alawite minority.” Over and over terms of “Alawite”, “Sunni”, “minority”, “majority”, “Shiite”, “Iran”, “Hizballah”, etc. were drilled into our heads in an apparent attempt to ensure that these divisive terms are imprinted in the minds of Syrians, so that all actions they take would be based on them and not on a feeling of true national consciousness. This was combined with the fact that the presence of armed groups spreading terror and chaos became increasingly evident, calling into question this entire movement from its core.

All this made it clear to me that there was a sinister agenda at play here, which was completely detached from the rightful demands of the majority of Syrians for genuine reforms. It was clear that there is a plan in place to take Syria from a state of stability to a state of chaos and confusion, as such a state is likely to do nothing but further weaken and disable a country. I saw that these foreign media outlets were active participants in this agenda in the way they reported the news and in their providing of platforms for reactionary individuals to spread their vulgar ideas, as was the case with Al-Jazeera and the debased Yousef al-Qardawi.

Therefore, I found it most critical that first and foremost we put a stop to the spreading of this destructive propaganda which can lead nowhere but to the descension of the country into violence and chaos. The only websites and news outlets that were carrying reports and articles rebutting these pieces of propaganda were unfortunately what people regard as “regime” or “pro-regime” sources. I found many of these reports and articles to be much more credible and believable than the hateful propaganda being spread by the so-called “revolutionists” with the aid of the so-called “free” international media, which has proven time and again to be anything but “free.” Hence, I chose to post them and distribute them. This in no way means that I subscribe to all regime propaganda, much of which I find to be distasteful and downright stupid (such as the hours and hours of phone calls supporting “Bashar” we are subjected to).

I have been very clear that my aim is not to overthrow the regime just for the sake of overthrowing it, regardless of what replaces it. I do not believe in satisfying grudges and settling scores as a basis of bringing about changes for the benefit of the country. I have particular disdain for uncontroled chaos and violence and destructive behavior. Moreover, I know for a fact that many Syrians on the ground have struggled and sacrificed, in a constructive manner, for the sake of improving their country, and they have been witnessing some of the fruits of their struggle, only to witness some destructive elements attempt to throw it all in the dumpster for the sake of narrow interests and service of foreign agendas. Finally, I am quite confident that President Bashar al-Assad is indeed serious about bringing about changes and implementing serious reforms that are going to change the political landscape in Syria, and to put a stake in the heart of this move toward reform for the sake of chaos and destruction, seems to me to be utterly counterproductive.

April 13th, 2011, 4:53 am

 

N.Z. said:

I do agree with most of Jad’s article.

It is a complicated situation to say the least. With each loss the situation gets worse. Seems to me the real revolution is between the ruling party. The president has to address his people, otherwise the crowds will soar. I do not exclude interference from those who despise us, however, Syrians are not naive.

We the people are the protector of the regime, not the other way around.

Damascus, the oldest city where life have never seized is telling. We bent but never brake. We Syrians must be aware not to come to a point when we will rise from the ashes. Deliberation is needed.

Yes it is an autocratic regime and a ruthless one, automatically corruption is part and parcel, but, no one can crush our dignity.

We will rise again in our beautiful country with dignity, once the dust settles.

Outweighing the two scenarios, I will chose reform with status quo.

Our external policies is in line with 99% of Arabs. Zionism is the real obstacle and is the sole culprit. Colonialism is well and alive.

I hope wisdom will prevail. It is a one way road…forward..with minimal bloodshed.

If by the 25th the promises are not met, we will take back to the street. Multi political party system and free elections. One step at a time. There is no one to fill the void. It is suicidal, and we are not.

April 13th, 2011, 5:34 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Dear Nour
I was hoping for a thoughtful and logical answer, and as usual, you did not disappoint. It was my trust in your logic and in your capacity for critical thinking that prompted me to write to you. And I am honored that you have taken my thoughts seriously.

I believe we agree on everything except for the level of our conviction in the ability to enact the fundamental reforms that are required. However, I do tend to agree that if a decent package of reform is introduced, along with clear implementation plan and road map, that would address the pervasiveness of useless and oppressive security measures into the daily lives of Syrians, and that would launch the process of ending the political, economic, and intellectual tutelage in the country, it would be counter productive to put a stake in the heart of reform. But the question I still can not find answer to is less about sincerity than about the capacity of the system itself to do self correction. I would, again, look with an open mind to any evidence that will ease my mind, but that would require time, which i am afraid, is a rather precious commodity in the midst of this confusion. The window would shrink more rapidly if the “security-minded” solution to every single issue continues to rule the government response to every single incident. I do agree that there is a sinister agenda, but cheep propaganda, which is undeniably being practiced by the regime is not the answer. Based on everything I have seen and observed, a reasonable majority of people in Syria are convinced of the existence of such agenda, and time would better be used to address the real challenges of reform agenda, opening dialog with society, instead of presenting the all too tired TV confessions. I would have far more appreciated for a senior army officer to come out on Syrian TV, and to explain the military operation, or at least the part of it that can be shared with the public, in a professionalism suitable for the proud tradition of the Syrian Army, instead of leaving the job to MPs and clueless yes-sir TV anchors, whose job is limited to reciting a press release and parroting state propaganda, and nodding and voicing agreement with countless callers intent on prove blind meaningless loyalty. I do not care if the officer takes questions by the press or not.

The regime is doing the worst thing anyone can do in cases of real national threats that require military force. A hybrid force of security agents, shadowy affiliated committees, and professional amry is the most explosive mix that can only lead to strife and confusion. It in fact plays into the hand of the conspirators against the Syrian Nation.

I think Why-Discuss, in a thoughtful answer recognized that I do not trust the government. I do not recall which American president uttered the words “Trust but Verify”, but i have to say that the regime with its hostility to all other media, and its blackout of the news, left no option for verification, hence, no foundation to yield to ones natural urge in difficult times to trust.

Again, thank you very much.

April 13th, 2011, 6:09 am

 

why-discuss said:

Nour , OTW
Finally it is question is: Do you trust in the ability of the leader of an old fashioned system that has lived in isolation and suspicion of the western powers to make necessary reforms without bringing the different factions that represent the syrian society into violent confrontation?

Some of you and the ambassador believe he can’t and that this system is irremediably doomed. Now for the time frame, it may range from a week to decades and all depending on the ‘ability’ of how the neighboring wannabee ‘democratic’ arab states will evolve.

Why do you believe that these arab countries have more abilities than Syria? While Egypt has been peacefully and ‘democratically’ crawling under US and Israel feet for 40 years with a disastrous result, Syria has been fighting many wars, lived under tough sanctions, economical hardship with the millions of Iraqi refugees pouring and others. Yet it has never bowed, in the contrary. It has used these hardships to develop strategical ties with strong regional allies. That for me is a sign of the inner strength and resilience of the Syrians that Egyptians have lost and may take years to recover, if ever.

Therefore I trust that the system in Syria may rebound and adapt to the 2011 ‘evolution’ of the syrians who have now opened to the world through satellites and Internet and are maybe victims to the ‘free’ media agendas. I believe the current events, while sad and bloody, are a reality check and many syrians who trusted blindly Al Jazeera and BBC and western medias over the national are now starting to see that these supposed ‘free’ medias are also propaganda. It is a matter of time they acquire the maturity to question what they see.
OTW, you invoke the success of Syria foreign policies by the ‘follies’ of the others. All the events in the region are interlinked. Some states, like Syria, are able to use these ‘follies’ for their own interest, some like Lebanon and Egypt were not. Egypt will have to build its foreign policy from scratch with all the threats on its fragile economy that may incur (It is already opening up to Iran with the risk of retaliation from the US and Israel).
I do credit Syria for a very smart and consistent foreign policy. I wish I could credit them soon for an updated and successful national policy.

April 13th, 2011, 7:58 am

 

nafdik said:

Jad,

You say that you don’t believe anything you read on Aljazeera, Alarabiya, France 24, BBC, Orient and CNN.

I suspect you do not believe human rights organisations, opposition figures and activists, or what you see on Youtube and Facebook.

Shouldn’t that give you some pause?

Remember who is blocking journalists from reporting in Banias. Doesn’t that arouse your suspicion that the truth is closer to what they do not want you to know?

April 13th, 2011, 8:14 am

 

Revlon said:

A tortured boy from Duma.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uulOq0rNF_g

He disturbed the “national sentiment” of the Clan.
The braves of Wa2dulfitna were dutiful!

April 13th, 2011, 8:21 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Why-Discuss
I think this dialog is much more helpful to me than other threads, and again i thank you and Nour for continuing to indulge me.

Let me first state that my statement about the Syrian Success in regional and international politics in no means was an attempt to deprive the President or his Advisors and supporters (which in this case are a striking majority of the Syrian people) of due credits. I was just mentioning that the ability to anticipate and exploit the follies of others is an art that was perfected by the late president, and it requires not only determination, but also a great deal of patience. It is obvious to me that the young President has mastered this art as well, and I have no intention of begrudging him or his advisors their due credit. I only wish they recognize publicly also the most critical part of the success, and thank the Syrian people for the overwhelming support and sacrifice they have shown during these difficult years, and recognize that this public must and should be trusted for it has shown a great deal of maturity during a very rough time.

I will address the other points later today, but I just wanted to clarify this point to ensure that I come out clean to all sides.

April 13th, 2011, 8:36 am

 

Revlon said:

Dear Sophia, here is a link to a family demonstration seeking the release of their husbands and children. Al Bayda, Banyas, April 13th.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTLPOK5g8rI&feature=player_embedded#at=25

I saw another, aweek ago in dar3a.
Cheers

April 13th, 2011, 8:40 am

 

Revlon said:

Highly Confidential Meomorandum
Idarat AlMukhabarat Al3ammeh

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?fbid=10150567414445727&id=420796315726&aid=656159

April 13th, 2011, 8:46 am

 

Sophia said:

I totally agree with Nour.

Looking at the videos, this ‘revolution’ seems to me very thuggish and staged (badly staged I must say) and we all know what happened to staged revolutions from Lebanon to Ukraine.
In this context I must say that Assad will prevail. And that this kind of ‘revolution’ is doing a disservice to the people of Syria and their aspirations. The real revolution is waiting to happen…

April 13th, 2011, 9:03 am

 

Revlon said:

The unviversity of Aleppo has joined in today!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBPwvePM9W4&feature=player_embedded

It is no longer just on Friday or around Mosques!

April 13th, 2011, 9:06 am

 

Revlon said:

Al Jazeera website change of the revolution color code of Syria to orange, has coincided with a qualitative shift in its coverage.

April 13th, 2011, 9:11 am

 

Mo said:

Interesting words…

However my comment is to Nour;

I must say the comment made by Noor almost sticks out, with a very thorough and well-thought analysis.
I think you should put that on your blog; I would like to share the link to this page with others but there’s no guarantee that they will have a look at your comment…

April 13th, 2011, 9:22 am

 

Australian -Syrian said:

I just observed a mother on the news crying, saying that her son died protecting the regime and Bashar al Assad. I will quote her…”Ibni matt lal watun. Matt la Sayedna Bashar al Assad…matt shahid…” she went on to say that they, her family and their friends are proud of him. The footage showed the village carrying the young man’s coffin, chanting “Allah, Souria, Bashar w Bass”.
May he rest in peace. Allah yerhamu.
His little cousin also said that he is willing to die for his country and for Bashar.

That shows all you people out there who think that once people’s loved ones get killed, they will turn agains him. Well, they still love and support him, even more now.

April 13th, 2011, 9:51 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The Syria we knew is no more. Can you argue with that?
.

April 13th, 2011, 9:57 am

 

AIG said:

OTW,

There is an important aspect that you tend to ignore: Internal and external policies are linked. As long as Assad does not change his external policies, he will not have success in his internal policies. How is Syria going to get significant foreign investment and remove the US sanctions without changing its external policy? And without these, how is it going to create enough jobs? It can’t. All the “success” of the Syrian foreign policy has been at the expense of the middle class and the poor of Syria.

April 13th, 2011, 9:57 am

 

Revlon said:

Al-Lijan Al-Amniyeh (Regime’s Paramilitias)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01il6IoYeLg&feature=player_embedded

It can only get worse!

April 13th, 2011, 9:58 am

 

jad said:

إجتماع مطول يوم امس بين جيفري فيلتمان وزعيم تنظيم القاعدة – طالبان في سورية رياض الشقفة


إنتهى الاجتماع بعد سبع ساعات تخللتها وجبة فطور صباحية بين رفاق السلاح جيفري فيلتمان وصحبه ورياض الشقفة وصحبه وبنتيجة الاجتماع التفصيلية توافق كلا الطرفين على ما يلي

تعهدت الولايات المتحدة الاميركية بالضغط على كل من تيار المستقبل اللبناني ورئيسه سعد الحريري وعلى الطرف الاسرائيلي ممثلا ببندر بن سلطان لكي يتوقف مرتزقة كلا الطرفين في سوريا عن التحرك في سياق منفصل عن تحركات الاخوان الطلبانيون الذين اثبتوا انهم قادرون على تجيير التيار الديني الشعبي في سوريا لمصلحة الانتفاضة الحالية بينما فشل رحال بندر وسعد الحريري العاملان في سوريا من خلال شخصيات محدودة بينما الاخوان يملكون قدرة التأثير على المئات من رجال الدين وائمة المساجد في كافة المدن السورية وقد اثبتوا في بانياس وسيثبتون في حمص قريبا بانهم قادرون على تحرير المدينة من السلطة السورية بقوة السلاح إن لزم الامر .
تعهد فيلتمان ايضا باخذ وجهة نظر رياض الشقفة عند تركيب السلطة الجديدة في سوريا بعد قلب النظام لناحية ابعاد جماعة البيانوني وجماعة العطري – السباعي عن الحكومة السورية المقبلة وترك الامور الداخلية لاخوان طالبان في سورية لرياض الشقفة وحده دون اي تدخل اميركي

يتعهد الاميركيين بالابقاء على امير قطر ثابتا على موقفه الحالي المناهض لصديقه الحميم على المستوى الشخصي بشار الاسد والتأكيد على بقاء الملف السوري في قطر بيد رئيس الوزراء وزير الخارجية الصهيوني الهوى حمد بن جاسم

الايعاز لبندر بن سلطان للتنسيق مباشرة مع الاخوان على الاراضي السورية بدل الوقوع في فخ جر الاخوان الطلبانيون إلى مواقف سيعتبرها انصارها والشعب السوري مواقف متخاذلة من اسرائيل في حال ذهاب النظام السوري إلى الهجوم على اسرائيل لايقاف الانتفاضة الشعبية في الداخل

يؤكد رياض الشقفة على انه ملتزم شخصيا وجماعته ايضا بكل فروعها واقسامها المتصارعة بالبقاء على العهد القائم مع الاميركيين منذ العام 1981 والقاضي بحفظ مصالح الاميركيين في سوريا وفي المحيط الذي لها تأثير فيه

قدم فيلتمان ضمانات مكتوبة يتعهد من خلالها باسم الادارة الاميركية بالابقاء على موضوع اتفاقية السلام السورية الاسرائيلية مؤجلة إلى حين قيام السعودية بتوقيع اتفاق مماثل قبل سورية

يتعهد فيلتمان بالابقاء على الضغط الاعلامي بالمستوى الحالي وزيادته لكي يمكن الاخوان من أخراج ملايين المتظاهرين في كل محافظة وتغطية الاعمال المسلحة التي ستقوم بها حركة الاخوان الطلبانيون في المحافظات التي لا تتمكن من خلال التظاهر من السيطرة عليها

توافق الطرفان على اسماء الحكومة السورية المؤقتة التي ستقود مرحلة انتقالية تلي عملية اغتيال شخصيات النظام السوري الحالي وعلى رأسهم رئيس الجمهورية والعميد ماهر الاسد ورامي مخلوف وشقيقه حافظ واللواء علي المملوك واللواء رئيس الاركان السوري واللواء قائد الحرس الجمهوري واللواء قائد الفرقة الرابعة وعدد كبير من رجال الدين المسلمين الداعمين للرئيس بشار الاسد .

والعديد من قادة الحكومة والامنيين الذين يستند عليهم النظام السوري للدفاع عن نفسه
وقد اطلق فيلتمان صفارة البدء بالاغتيالات في سوريا بالتزامن مع القيام بعمليات داخل المدن تضرب الامن والمدنيين وتزلزل النظام وتدفعه إلى الاحساس بالفشل والضعف والوهن

ابدى فيلتمان اعجابه بالطريقة التي بنت خلالها حركة الاخوان الطلبانيون شعبيتها في سوريا من خلال جمعيات خيرية وجمعيات دينية شعبية وشخصيات علمائية يدعمهم اثرياء موالون في العلن للسلطة وفي السر للسعودية ولم تعلن تلك الجمعيات الخيرية الدينية حتى الساعة عن انتمائها وانما لا تزال تلعب لعبة الوقوف على التل”

http://filkkaisrael.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-post_6305.html

April 13th, 2011, 10:09 am

 

why-discuss said:

AIg

Investments don’t come only from the US whose economy is almost bankrupted, it comes from rich arab countries, from Asia, Brazil and many other countries who admire and support Syria foreign policy.
The know-how can come from Turkey and Iran, as these countries are the only emerging industrial countries in the area.
Before this burst of violence, and despite the foreign policy you reject, we were seen lots of investments in Syria.
Investments security is the key, not foreign policy!
If the country security is restored, I have no doubt the investments will pour in. My only wish is that they are used to create jobs and not only to benefit a small numbers of business men. Syria has a strong socialist base and it should keep it, even if growth is slower.

April 13th, 2011, 10:14 am

 

Revlon said:

مصدر سوري: اغتصاب زوجة رجل أمن رفض قتل متظاهرين

ذكر مصدر أمني سوري, أمس, أن رئيس الحرس الجمهوري العميد الركن ماهر الأسد أعد مجموعات مسلحة في المناطق التابعة لنفوذه, انتشرت في أماكن الإحتجاجات, وأطلقت النار على قوات الأمن والجيش, كما قامت بعمليات تخريب وتحرش بالنساء, لإيهام الرأي العام بوجود “مندسين”.
ونقل موقع “بيروت أوبزرفر” الإلكتروني عن المصدر, الذي رفض كشف هويته, توضيحه أن عناصر قوات الأمن ينفذون أوامر إطلاق النار مكرهين وخوفاً على أرواحهم من بطش القادة الأمنيين, كاشفاً أن زميلاً له رفض تنفيذ أوامر ضابط إحدى المجموعات بإطلاق النار على المحتجين, فتم إعفاؤه من مهمته وإرساله إلى مكان إقامته.
وأضاف أنه إثر ذلك, توجه الضابط مع فرقة مسلحة إلى منزل العنصر, “حيث أمر الضابط بعض العناصر باغتصاب زوجة رجل الأمن الذيب رفض تنفيذ الأوامر على مرأى منه ومن أولاده من دون أن يتجرأ على إنقاذ زوجته”, مؤكداً أنه شاهد عملية الاغتصاب.
من جهة أخرى, أكد النائب السابق المعارض مأمون الحمصي, في حديث إلى الموقع, أنه “خلال فترة سجنه في الأراضي السورية, وتحديداً بعد إصداره بياناً عقب اغتيال الرئيس الشهيد رفيق الحريري العام 2005 اتهم فيه النظام السوري بالضلوع بالإغتيال, تعرض لأبشع أنواع التعذيب النفسي على أيدي النظام للتراجع عن هذا البيان.
وكشف أن رجال الأمن كانوا يدخلون إلى زنزانته أثناء تلاوته القرآن الكريم, لواط يمارسون الجنس أمامه بشكل مقزز, فضلاً عن تشغيل موسيقى صاخبة وأغان مؤيدة للرئيس بشار الأسد عبر مكبرات صوت.
وأضاف الحمصي أن إيمانه بالله عز وجل جعله يقاوم كل أنواع الضغوط والممارسات حتى أن المخابرات السورية نشرت شائعات داخل السجن بأنه فقد عقله.

http://al-seyassah.com/AtricleView/tabid/59/smid/438/ArticleID/134847/reftab/36/Default.aspx#startframe

April 13th, 2011, 10:22 am

 

Revlon said:

فرار 15 جندياً سورياً مع أسلحتهم

“السياسة” – خاص:
كشف ناشط حقوقي لـ”السياسة”, أمس, أن 15 عسكرياً فروا من كتيبتهم في الجيش السوري, بعد تلقيهم تعليمات بالتوجه إلى بانياس للمشاركة في ما يسمى “عمليات حفظ الأمن”.
وأكد الناشط, الذي طلب عدم كشف هويته, أن العسكريين جميعهم مجندون في الخدمة الإلزامية وعرف عنهم بأسمائهم الأولى وهم: محسن وعبد الله وسلطان وعبد الله وعلي ومحمد وحسن وعلي وعسان ومحمود وفرهاد وأحمد وبهزاد وأزاد وقاسم, موضحاً أنه لا يستطيع كشف أسماء عائلاتهم حفاظاً على مصادره في داخل سورية.
وأضاف ان المجندين هم من صفوف الكتيبة العاشرة, وهي إحدى كتائب القوات الخاصة الموجودة في القابون, مشيراً إلى أنهم فروا مع أسلحتهم إلى جهته مجهولة, عقب تلقي كتيبتهم أوامر بالتوجه إلى بانياس للمشاركة في ما يسمى “عمليات حفظ الأمن”.

http://al-seyassah.com/AtricleView/tabid/59/smid/438/ArticleID/135208/reftab/59/Default.aspx#startframe

April 13th, 2011, 10:25 am

 

why-discuss said:

Syrian pro-democracy group request sanctions on Syria! Deraa’s delegation met Farouk Sharaa and soon the president

Associated Press news agency said the Damascus Declaration, Syria’s leading pro-democracy group, had urged leaders of the Arab League to impose sanctions on al-Assad’s government, and put the death toll from the unrest at more than 200.

Is the Deraa’s upheaval being resolved peacefully?

Syrian security forces attack village
Witnesses say security forces opened fire in Baida while an opposition delegation has met the vice-president.

…. Against this backdrop of political tensions, Al Jazeera’s Amin reported that an opposition delegation from the city of Daraa – where protests against the government first began several weeks ago – met a high-level government official on Tuesday.

“The people of Daraa had a delegation led by the imam of the Omari mosque [where protests started] … met Syria”s vice-president Farouk al-Shara. This is a very significant step,” she said.

“The people we spoke to, including this imam, told us that they met the vice-president, they gave him their list of demands, some have to do with Daraa – like pulling out the heavy security that’s stationed there, releasing all prisoners – and some demands have to do with all of Syria, like lifting the state of emergency law, giving them more political freedoms and to stop the heavyhandedness of security forces in their daily lives.”
Click here for more of Al Jazeera”s special coverage

The opposition also demanded that the status of those who are still missing after the protests were broken up by security forces be revealed, and that the families of those who were killed during protests in Daraa be provided a monthly salary.

“What the government wants of course is for the protests to stop, and so far, of course, there is no conclusion. But according to the delegation … preparations are underway to arrange a meeting between a delegation from Daraa and the president himself. Maybe as soon as tomorrow,” our correspondent said.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/04/201141212342295758.html

April 13th, 2011, 10:35 am

 

Shami said:

Why Discuss,you should read the writting of leftist thinkers in Syria on what they think on the so called socialist regime in Syria.
The regime has failed in all fields ,and will never be able to launch the needed reforms .

April 13th, 2011, 10:39 am

 

Shami said:

Why Discuss,you should read the writtings of leftist thinkers in Syria on what they think on the so called socialist regime in Syria.
The regime has failed in all fields ,and will never be able to launch the needed reforms .

April 13th, 2011, 10:42 am

 

AIG said:

Why Discuss,

Don’t delude yourself. Very little foreign investment is coming into Syria relative to other countries because of its foreign policy. And the US sanctions severely limit what can be bought using this money. The trade-off is clear. Assad either changes the foreign policy or economic reforms are nothing but window dressing. The fact is that for 11 years Assad has not been able to create enough jobs and you are not willing to look at one very important factor for why this is the case.

April 13th, 2011, 10:46 am

 

jad said:

I wonder if those 15 soldiers run away because they raped the officer’s wife or because they had gay sex party in front of Mamoun Alhomsi praying, or both? It’s so confusing!

April 13th, 2011, 10:47 am

 

norman said:

Amir Said,

The Syria we knew is no more. Can you argue with that?
.
It is sad but I agree with you.

April 13th, 2011, 10:59 am

 

Jad said:

This Is how news are fabricated:

April 13th, 2011, 11:25 am

 

Nour said:

Dear OTW:

I agree with much of what you said, as there is no doubt that the ultimate question comes down to whether the regime is capable of self-correction. This is a genuine question that many Syrians ask themselves without there being a clear answer. I completely understand the skepticism many Syrians hold regarding the inherent ability of this regime to reform. I also believe that the good intentions of one man, even if he is the president, is not necessarily sufficient to bring about real changes when the regime has created a system that has allowed several individuals to enjoy numerous benefits that they would not easily give up. However, I do have it from certain connected sources that Bashar and the people he put around him are very serious about reforms, but that they have been facing much resistance from the old guard that does not wish to give up the perks that come with its position of power. Bashar has therefore been facing a very tough task as he is attempting to bring about reforms without shaking or destabilizing the system. Whether this is ultimately possible remains to be seen, but I do believe that we have reached a point of no return on the road to reform.

Mo,
I will go ahead and publish my post on my blog, after I correct some of the grammatical errors 🙂 (it was very late at night when I wrote it). Thanks for the suggestion.

April 13th, 2011, 11:53 am

 

jad said:

“ومن أسئلة الاعتقالات المريرة، إلى قوافل الشهداء، التي مرت أخيراً بطلاب جامعة دمشق،….
….ومع ذلك فقوات الأمن السورية، ذهبت بعيداً في قمع الطلاب المحتجين…… انهالت عليهم العصي ضرباً، وجاء الرد بلغة الرصاص، فسقط في أول تظاهرة لطلاب جامعيين شهيدان: الأول هو (فادي الصعيدي) ابن مدينة جاسم في حوران، والطالب في السنة الرابعة كيمياء في كلية العلوم بدمشق…”

Here he is one of the dead student Fadi Sa3idi on TV denying his own death!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-Am9QwdHYU&feature=player_embedded#at=126
———-
Another news related to my comment #67 that some protesters are actually shooting at the security forces. I’m not saying that our security forces are innocent but reality is not in black and white either.
Please listen at mark 2:30 what Mr. Nadim 7ouri the Human Rights Watch director in Lebanon has to say about the fact that some protesters are using arms against the security forces.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=212485198777184

April 13th, 2011, 1:32 pm

 

Majhool said:

Dear Jad

Is this what’s important? (to debate whether or not the protesters are violent)? Are you trying to find outliers? if you are..Outliers are normally eliminated from the analysis..

I think you are missing the point here my friend, which is: They are protesting, and are asking for freedom..

Naturally, if these demands are met, things could get better. If they are not going to, then it will only get worst.

Now who has the bigger responsibility ? should not we all push the government to satisfy the people’s demands?

April 13th, 2011, 1:44 pm

 

NK said:

Is it possible all those arrested yesterday in the villages around Banyas are mostly innocent ? their families went out today to demand their release.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zku0JqWGI_8&feature=player_embedded

The students of Law school in Damascus tried to demonstrate, they were beaten brutally and arrested (careful this video is “fabricated” it was shot on Mars).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ27cvT191A&feature=player_embedded

Also looks like the demonstrations reached Aleppo

April 13th, 2011, 1:56 pm

 

Mina said:

Most of the videos we have seen from Daraa did not show “peaceful protests”, but indeed people were right to be upset by a security apparatus which arrest 15 years old kids for graffitis. The problem is that in Yemen too, the first demonstrations (which ran unceasingly on al Jazeera for some weeks) were showing a lot of very young kids just happy to play the Gazawis for once.
I don’t think one should reject automatically the “Muslim Brothers conspiracy theory” as a trick of the regime, because they have been calling for the fall of al-Assad on Al-Jazeera Arabic pretty clearly since two months: Qardawi, and the exiled Syrian guy in Turkey called “the head of the Syrian brotherhood” (explaining that pious Muslims in Syria are prosecuted, a view shared all other the Arab world while it is certainly not true). Add to that that a lot of the early “twitter one-click revolutionaries calling for demos in Syria” were often from Saudi Arabia or carrying Salafi pictures or statements in their profiles, and you will see that they don’t even hide. Kurds were also playing their part on Twitter a month ago, and the worse scenario would be a coming partition of Iraq. Syria has became the new Lebanon.

April 13th, 2011, 2:04 pm

 

Atassi said:

Jad,
“With Love” form the villages around Banyas …They say Hello !! and Allah Wa Akbar

April 13th, 2011, 2:05 pm

 

NK said:

Jad

The guy (Fadi) who was proclaimed dead, said on that interview he was beaten and lost consciousness, and was taken by security forces to a hospital.

If you were watching the demonstration what exactly will you think ? someone was beaten dropped to the ground then was taken by your lovely Amn ? I would have assumed him dead too.
Why was he beaten so brutally to begin with ? and why was it the multi-talented Amn that took him to the hospital and not a normal ambulance, or his friends (oh sorry those were arrested) ?

April 13th, 2011, 2:10 pm

 

Badr said:

If Bashar’s aim is to remain in power for as long as possible, then I think he is doing the right thing.
P.S. Don’t draw illogical conclusions from my statement! 😉

April 13th, 2011, 2:25 pm

 

trustquest said:

This old lady in this video say it all, and no one, no one can find more excuses to authority behaviors in killing, jailing, depriving of food, electricity and…. I have just heard from my family in Syria, some families in Banias have left Banias, and the situation is getting worse by the minute. I have seen video of young kids sitting int the street waiting for the tank to be killed. I have seen another video the people of Bayda, demanding the release of their men, can they stop their craziness and change course of this drama, or may be their thirst for blood became a disease.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIzIzDfFhfU&feature=player_embedded#t=41s

AIG, this is Syria which you did not know till recently and sadly me too.

April 13th, 2011, 2:28 pm

 

jad said:

Dear Majhool,
You know very well where I stand when it comes to democracy, human rights, freedom and dignity so I wont respond to that.

Asking for your rights as a citizen doesn’t need from you to lie all the time and fabricate news that didn’t happen and abuse people’s emotions using every unethical element possible, first it is actually resulting the lost of many innocent lives and second it takes away from your cause and your credibility.
Yes it is important for me to know the truth especially now because every evidence I disregard it may be the missing link for me to take the right judgment.
Honesty is what matters to me, you can be as rude as you want with me but don’t insult me with propaganda and lie to my face and expect me to believe you and keep quite.
This is why I share the information I have on SC, there is no other reason for me to do that at all. I’m tiered of being lied at and I’m just looking for answers like everybody else but at the same time I’m not going to look for them while closing my eyes.
On top of that, I had enough of those new characters showing on SC and start treating us as if we are naive by throwing pure propaganda at us without expecting us to expose the misleading dangerous news they are posting.

April 13th, 2011, 2:31 pm

 

trustquest said:

I would like to comment on Brian Davis article on this post. What he said might be most of it true and dandy, but it was written in the same way it happen to me when I write a report. I forget to remember the difference between writing while I in the green and writing in while I in the red. Everything he said is applicable for the time when the ambassador was there in Syria, he forgot completely that what happened from March 15, 2011 till now has changed the whole formulas and if president did not realize that, he is doomed to his destiny like other dictators.
He does not know how to react differently from what he tried and learnt from his father, it applies for different era, he dose not know how to make genuine decisions to absorb the mounting up restlessness and did not have plan of how to deal with the opening up of his regime dreadful performance and mishap along these years since inherited power.

April 13th, 2011, 2:43 pm

 

SOURI said:

AIG,

So is what you are saying is that Assad should launch a war at Israel?

There are only two options for Assad, either to continue his current policy or launch a full-scale war at Israel. There is no third option. Don’t ever expect Assad to renounce the Golan and the Palestinians. He can’t do it. If he does it, he will fall the next day. No Syrian leader ever will renounce the Golan and Palestine. Even if the Americans manage to install some Wahhabi puppet regime in Damascus, it won’t work, and the regime will fall.

Actually if you have been following the slogans of this uprising and if you know the literature of the Syrian opposition, you will know that Assad is under immense pressure to attack Israel. Assad and his father were both accused by the opposition that they sold the Golan to Israel and this is the reason why the Golan front has been calm. The major and main criticism directed to Assad and his father is that the Golan front is calm. If any change in the Syrian external policy happens, it will be only in the direction of heating up the Golan front. Many Syrians do not feel that their economic situation is good and they don’t fear the consequences of war. They have nothing to lose, and they don’t understand why the Golan front is calm. If you do a poll in Syria, you will find that most Syrians do not understand why the Golan front is calm, and they don’t genuinely accept the regime’s excuses.

It is good that you brought up the change in foreign policy because the Golan front has been calm for too long and this is really irritating to the majority of Syrians. The regime’s excuse for why we haven’t fought since 1973 was that Egypt is no longer on our side. Now that we have Iran on our side, this excuse is not convincing anymore.

If Assad feels in the next years that he’s unable to improve the economy, he will have no choice but to change his foreign policy. There is no doubt about that. The only way that can save him the anger of the economically frustrated population will a major and decisive change in his foreign policy.

April 13th, 2011, 2:45 pm

 

jad said:

NK,
You always do the same, you start with the news and when someone tells you that there is part not correct about your news you start arguing and debating about it as if your life depend on that.
You wrote that this guy is DEAD, I showed you that he isn’t, end of story, move on.

Attassi,
Being a coward and using kids in this conflict wont get you or anybody anything good. Why don’t you the adult hero go back to Syria and do what those kids are doing then I may respect you more.
I guess theses kids lives means nothing to you as long as they are not your children.
With love!

April 13th, 2011, 2:52 pm

 

SOURI said:

Look at the main headlines in this hypocrite’s website:

http://all4syria.info/web/

I have never seen a more irritating hypocrite than this man.

April 13th, 2011, 2:53 pm

 

trustquest said:

NK, did you hear that Damascus University has expelled 75 students that participated in the protest you are talking about. Any counter news to this? or it is truth?
actually I found the link which confirm their expelling from University.
http://www.jamaa.cc/art273524.html

April 13th, 2011, 2:57 pm

 

NK said:

TQ

I posted about this yesterday and Jad posted a statement by the dean of the faculty of agriculture denying those students were expelled.

The only news we know for sure is that they have been arrested. We’ll have to wait and see if those documents confirming their expulsion is authentic.

In 2006, 22 students from the Med School in Aleppo got expelled after they held a demonstration there, I can’t remember what it was about but I remember they were beaten with chains and sticks outside the camps where Amn was waiting to arrest them, they disappeared for 3 weeks after that. I know one of them very well and he still refuses to talk about what happened to them to this day!.

April 13th, 2011, 3:19 pm

 

AIG said:

Souri,

The fastest way for Assad to lose power is to start a war against Israel. That is the worst option for him. He knows Israel will target him and his buddies and their businesses as well as the Syrian oil facilities. In addition, the Republican Guard will be hit very hard and many of his ardent supporters will suffer.

April 13th, 2011, 3:36 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

TRUSTQUEST
I read somewhere that the dean has denied it, but the more interesting part of the story was the responses from the participants to the news of the decision, which was not posted. You would think that you would get different responses from the university whose students went all out for a pro-regime demonstration just before the speech to the Parliament. These replies were brief, few, and may not constitute any reliable sample, but they tell of the true feelings of the students in the university.

What I found most insulting, and I am sorry dear Jad that you did not catch on this, was that a student was dragged like a sac of potato in LAW School, LAW SCHOOL and probably by fellow Law students members of the “committees”.

When the Tunisian Revolution started I wrote that the years of Ben-Ali, the corruption, and the over zealot security men wreaked havoc on Tunisian Ethos. I wonder what and who did that to Syrians. I just can not fathom a law student dragging his fellow for practicing one of the most fundamental rights, guaranteed by law and by several convention, to which Syria is a signatory. But then again, how can one be surprised when the handpicked leaders of the Damascus lawyers syndicate call one of their colleagues for a humiliating investigation because he dared defend the right of political activists for fair civil trial.

April 13th, 2011, 3:41 pm

 

Ziad said:

NK

Also in 400 BC the regime forced a professor to drink poison because his students were shouting ZEUS, SYRACUSE, W BASS

April 13th, 2011, 3:43 pm

 

Atassi said:

Ziad.. That was very funny LOL..

NK and Souri,

from HOMS……”with Love”

April 13th, 2011, 4:16 pm

 

jad said:

Dearest OTW,
Again, my point wasn’t about the abuse he was subjected to, nor about the human rights, freedom of speech or the dictatorship we have in Syria, my point was very straightforward, he is not dead, after being used as dead in allover the news.
———————–

It’s very strange and alarming at the same time to see all this attacks against me or anybody who dares to show some other sides of reality, while most of you keep quite when you are bombarded with propaganda and treated like sheep.
If any of you the educated-westernized Syrians who are calling day and night for freedom and democracy can’t handle and respect other people’s opinion or accept to be neutral in your judgment, how do you expect people in the street will react, from your reactions it seems that killing anybody who disagree with the group would be the norm in new Syria.

Is this some kind of Mass hysteria?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_hysteria

April 13th, 2011, 4:27 pm

 

ziadsoury said:

OTW,

Thanks for putting yourself out there. Many of us are in the same boat with you. I do not believe that this regime or any dictator can reform itself.

Reforms can be done in 2 ways: first the leader fires and gets rid of the supporting cast and brings on a new cast with a new mindset. Second, the leader and the supporting cast get fired and a complete set of leadership is brought on. Which one of these do you think Bashar and company will choose?

I have been involved in few corporate turnaround and restructuring. You always hear from the management that they can turn the ship around if they were given more time. In most cases the second option is the preferred one.

Syria needs a turnaround and restructuring. Which of these cronies are willing to let go of their privileges without a fight?

I tend to believe the share and stake holders more than the management in this case. The management had 40 years at the helm and the situation keeps on getting worse by the day.

If Syria goes into civil war, it is the fault of the leaders. They are the responsible and powerful party.

Ten days ago I asked “what do you think the end game for the Syrian regime”. Only a couple of people answered. None of the regime’s supporters even replied. How long should Syrians tolerate the Asad clan for? What is so special about the Asad clan and their cronies that the Syrian people should chant “B-rou7 B-dam Nafdik ya Bashar or Ela Albad Ya Bashar Alasad?

The people want freedom and dignity and they offered them bribes. How insulting is that?

The funniest thing I heard so far is that people are not demonstrating against him. Like people can go to city hall, obtain a permit and exercise their rights.

Then there are people who are calling for the killing of half of the Syrian population just because they do not like the dictator.

These groups of people are behind the times. They still live in the dark ages and no way they can reform the country. We need to start from scratch. If Bashar is loved by the people as claimed, then he can nominate himself and the people will decide.

April 13th, 2011, 4:46 pm

 

ziadsoury said:

Dear Jad,

I have been reading this form for many years and you have been consistent all this time. I respect you tremendously for that and hopefully I get to meet you as well most of these guys on this blog. Please do not take it personal when people who have suffered for so many years attack your ideas. You might come across as defending the atrocities committed by the regime. As far as I am concerned, you are not. You are presenting facts for the other side. You are presenting one point of view and we need more of that. You need to allow the other side to debate you and respect them if they can find the holes in the argument you are presenting.

Keep doing it and our diversity will make us much stronger.

April 13th, 2011, 5:03 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Dearest Jad
I think my jibe was unfair, and I apologize for it.

I do not really think it is a mass hysteria. To the contrary, it is a direct result of a request for fairness, and not necessarily objectivity. I do not believe that people here do not want to hear the other point of view, or are incapable of hearing it, far from that, but we all know very well, that the regime expelled anyone who can professionally present either a verification of their story, or tell the other side’s story. Just follow my logic please for a minute my dear friend, the regime’s strategy seems obvious. Kill the protesters chance of even having a narrative, and discredit anything they may be able to smuggle out with their limited resources, which they are using under threat of violence and under direct beating, dragging, and many other violations. In essence, they rigged the game, and many people, even those who are not necessarily against the regime or the president find their sense of decency violated when one side violently oppress the others and does not stop at that, but extend the oppression to the narrative.

The regime has the advantage of presenting what it wants, real or invented. And because of their full exclusion of all other story tellers, attempts to present their point in order to ensure objectivity would seem to many as giving a side that already has the advantage, an added and rather undeserved advantage. Now this would seem unfair. Many people, who believe, and rightfully so, that peaceful demonstrators are being murdered, arrested, abused, and tortured, find it unfair to add insult to injury by denying the narrative of the oppressed or by asking for the oppressors’ claim to be given the same weight in the name of objectivity especially when the oppressor is the first one to eliminate any chance of objective verification of either side. Naturally, people have tendency to side with the oppressed. If that was not the case, humanity would have never made laws.

April 13th, 2011, 5:12 pm

 

Nour said:

By the way, if anyone is interested, a new discussion forum has been launched by the SSNP, which you can find here: http://forum.alqawmi.com . Anyone interested can register and participate in discussions around many issues, including what is currently taking place in the Syrian Arab Republic

April 13th, 2011, 5:19 pm

 

Zena said:

I found Former Ambassador Davis’s analysis to be quite perceptive.

The only reason we were surprised is that we thought the theory-minded lectures our President tends to offer would have no place when it came to tragedies taking place internally, among his own people who love him and support him. We were sourly disappointed because we wanted him to be a hero for us. The opportunity to be a hero was right there… The shockwaves of the tragedy in Deraa could have been used as the justification for him to spear-head sweeping reforms…and to make Syria shine as an inpsiration for all Arab nations, not only for its noble ideology in foreign policy, but also for its internal courage and innovation.

Davis makes the point that it was never in the President’s nature to be that kind of hero. Speaking as a Syrian citizen who truly had faith in the image the President and the First Lady had presented to us – that of youth, accessibility, human decency, trust, reform, progress, creativity, civility, seeking to nourish the younger generations with leadership training and group organization, seeking to abolish corruption – the feeling now is deep dismay. The masks have fallen. There is a crisis of trust. How do we go back to believing in them? I don’t think it is possible. What had been based on hope and shared vision can only continue by hypocricy and pretense. What had been based on mutual benefits and collaboration (the economic circle of VIP’s families) cannot continue in the same spirit as before, and is probably more afraid than ever…

So where do we go to from here?

I am trying to think of instances in history where a totalitarian ruler benevolently spearheaded reforms, gave the people security as well as freedom, and a justice system where nobody was above the law…
Any ideas? Any one? At least as an excersice in imagination, it could add a positive hue to the range of future possibilities…

April 13th, 2011, 6:06 pm

 

Walid altajer said:

There was a Syrian forum few days ago,in Chicago I believe,and most of the attendees were highly educated Syrians who live in the US. Many of those who attended either left prematurely or got depressed after seeing how immature and disrespectful the crowd was.
I truly believe that we are not ready for democracy as we know it here,however,lifting the emergency law and strengthening the judicial system is not too much to ask even in Syria.
I am saddened by the fact that many of you take one side and refuse to listen. There are terrorists, shabeeha,corrupt officials and many uneducated Syrians, and we can not get rid of them overnight. If I have to choose between Bashar and those thugs who terrorized many Syrians since march 15, I will choose Bashar in a heartbeat but the guy needs to act and he needs to do it now before we lose our country. Furthermore,do not believe those who pretend that they can support the MB and still be tolerant. Banyas is a living example of how dangerous things can get if we lose law and order. Unlike Daraa and unlike what many press reports said,there was an armed group of thugs in that town that used mosques calling for Jihad and attacked the army with sophisticated weapons that killed 2 officers and many soldiers. Claiming that the government-sponsored gangs was responsible for that murder is a blatant lie.you can be opposed to the regime and still be opposed to those thugs,anything else is not good for Syria’s future.

April 13th, 2011, 6:38 pm

 
 

NK said:

These University of Damascus documents support that the students have been expelled

http://on.fb.me/dWl7e9

April 13th, 2011, 7:17 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

This video claimed from one of Syria’s prisons. Is it?
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=158535987540769
.

April 13th, 2011, 7:47 pm

 

NK said:

Amir in Tel Aviv

Can you tell anything from that video ? nope …

Another video for the Banyas Women demonstration

Reports suggest they completely blocked the highway for several hours.

April 13th, 2011, 7:52 pm

 

EXILED SHAMI said:

Fact of the matter is that the current regime is up to the shoulders in blood, not just from the current bloodshed or from the 80’s but the 30 years in between with people disappearing from their families for crimes not comitted. An entire country has been ravaged of its own sons, wealth, and dignity. Hundrends of thousands if not millions of Syrians prefer to live abroad because of the cumulative damage of 30 years of criminal activity by the Assad mafia and their cronies. We do not complain much because we have been violently conditioned to do so, but we should not kid ourselves–this is a criminal regime. And when the poop hits the fan, which as most experts see as inevitable, recriminations will also be inevitable. I look forward to visiting my beloved country in dignity, free of these murderous goons.

And when the thugs get chased back into the hills, they have only to blame but themselves. Bashar had a hero moment, he could have been the hero of modern Syria. He has capital among people–for some strange reason, Syrians like him. But it was an Epic fail. As one commentator noted, he declared himself a dictator, not a reformer.

April 13th, 2011, 8:03 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

The Worldwide Professor Crisis

Exiled Shami,

You are living proof that one doesn’t need to earn a degree from Princeton, Harvard, or Swarthmore College to tell it like it is.

April 13th, 2011, 8:45 pm

 

jad said:

#147
The video you post is old, it’s from a small Syrian village where 10 guys kidnapped this man and they did all kind of torture and humiliation to him and record it to blackmail his family because he was talking to a girl from their village whom he met at a work.
They finally let the guy go when his father brought some respected men from his village to let him go and immediately after the video went online the father sue those who torture his son.
This video has nothing to do with Syrian police.

April 13th, 2011, 8:50 pm

 

ziadsoury said:

Dear Prof Landis,

Where there is smoke there is fire. I can’t for sure say who killed these soldiers so I would not point fingers. All I ask for is for an independent investigation with forensic experts. They can tell us who murdered these soldiers. If the Syrian government wanted to find out they would have done with the all the martyrs for the last month.

BTW, both Rif3at and Khadam have committed crimes against the Syrian people and humanity and need to be tried in The Hague.

April 13th, 2011, 9:34 pm

 

SOURI said:

http://www.alwatan.sy/dindex.php?idn=99449

أكد السفير الفرنسي بدمشق إريك شوفالييه أن ما تمر به سورية اليوم جرى تضخيمه إعلامياً بشكل كبير، مشيراً إلى أنها فترة عصيبة سيتم تجاوزها، والشعب السوري يمر بأوقات صعبة وحرجة جداً من تاريخه وبحاجة إلى أصدقاء حقيقيين للوقوف إلى جانبه.

April 13th, 2011, 9:57 pm

 

Revlon said:

Day 30th of the Syrian People’s Revolution: The Status Quo

THE REVOLUTION
The brutal crackdown has left hundreds of martyrs;
Al Fat7a upon their souls; May God bestow solace upon their families and empower them with solace.

The rising people have maintained commendable discipline in sticking to peaceful activism.
The size of demonstrations and sit-ins is on the rise.
Ladies and families have joined in, at the hot spots of Dar3a and Baniyas
The stage has expanded to include all of Muhafazat, and many more days of the week.
Points of gatherings have diversifyied. They now include Mosques, squares, streets, and campuses.

The regime
It took the ruling clan a few hours to implement operation Wa2dulfitnah; It has taken them weeks pondering their promised “reforms”.

The clan has reluctantly and shyly acknowledged the just demands of the demonstrators; They have yet to acknowledge the revolution itself.

The clan has realized that their official security forces and republican guards can not hold back the rising and widely spreading tide of the protests.
They have deployed small units from republican guards to oversee and force the engagement of regular army forces in their crackdown on the people’s revolution.
They have unleashed an armed, PARAMILITIA(Al-Lijan Al-Amniya) to terrorize neighborhoods.

THE DUEL
Disciplined, peaceful activism against regime’s hooliganism
Courage against the regime’s belligerence
Youth, families and university students against regime’s heavy boots and gangsters
Free sprits against paid thugs
Chants and slogans against regime’s batons, torture and machineguns.
Free media coverage against police-controlled propoganda
Found hope against lost cause.

DESTINATION
Downing the system has become the goal of the revolution.
The brutal, mischievous handling of demonstrations has convinced the lingering few that the system can not be a trusted partner in the solution.
The clan has to step down!

April 13th, 2011, 11:13 pm

 

loai said:

I am amazed by your ignorance of the Syrian people
by your willingness to ignore the hope of freedom
by your complicity in the crimes committed against the people
your Assad is finish and the Syrian will not stop as you hope

April 14th, 2011, 6:51 am

 

syrian free christian said:

This article is an unparalled testemonial of how bad our president is , we all know he lacks the minimum skills and intellegence or even presence needed to become a leader or president . the problem in syria cannot be solved under his rule or any of his family around simply because any talk of reform would mean putting themseleves accountable !! the rule of no law and order has been the main remark of his raign , add blood to that now .
on of my friends told me clearly that muslim sunnies wont stop unless he is out , we will see unfortunatly lots and lots of bloodshed .
i only wish to know whats his wifes position on all of this ? why cant she convince him that he did well 12 years and its time to leave and enjoy life with 40 billion dollars and 3 kids !!
i dont know why he dosent learn from history and insist on having a bullet in his head !! really strange hunger for power that i have no explanation for .

April 14th, 2011, 11:14 am

 

Habib darweesh said:

I am just tired of reading and seeing propaganda from pro and anti Asad people.Very few of you can present a balanced view of what is going on. I decided to stop praising or criticizing Asad until I see what he wants to do in the next few weeks. Most of us agree that Syria needs freedom and democracy but nobody wants to wait and give moderate people a chance to save the country. Allowing idiots and religious zealots to decide the future of Syria is suicidal,and giving another 11 years to the regime is slow death. Too many leaders and not enough patriots !,

April 14th, 2011, 10:37 pm

 

Said said:

The article is very interesting. But it is very much focused on the family-Alassad-ability or willing to change. The Syrian economic situation is deteriorating due to the “normal” development challenges, but more important due to the corruption. People are uprising to be free from the no more intolerable blackmail-networking of the regime. The everyday black-taxes you must buy for the security units to avoid troubles or the blackmailing you have to face every time you want to conduct a small or big business make people tiered of the regime. This black taxes finance the repression machine of the regime, driven by big names: Makluf Holding, Mokabarat-unitis of Asef Shwokat, Maher Alssad and others. People feel unsecured economically. The corruption is an old phenomena in the Syrian Regime. But, with the neo-liberalism and controlled liberalization the corruption/blackmail became an everyday practice. You feel you are in a Mafia-state. You must pay without discussions. Pay with money better than to pay with blood.

How one can expected that FDI will come to invest in Syria without guaranties from the monopolies to share the market or the power, and why? They have their 200% profit and there are no protests.

The regime lost its credibility. Nobody trust the promises of the regime. Maybe Bashar Alassad had some popularity under the Syrian youth, because they believe that he doesn’t know everything is happening. In His speech, he said: NO No, the guard around me support my reform. But I was slowly with it. So, He put himself in the same front with the hated so called “Old guard”.

About the reform: This regime can not be reformed, can not fight the corruption, the most important problem of the people and of the economy.
Why? Because the regime is simply the corruption-driver. Will Alassad ask to arrest his cousin Makluf? Will he ask his relatives, how they get rich within a couple of years?

For them it is the same: to step down or to give up their power and daily predation through boodle or monopoly.

The time comes. The situation is bad enough to say: there is no back. The blood is flowing everyday. And every died protester produces more protesters. Alone because of the unfair treatment with people. The dirty deals with Kurds and Muslem brothers will not help to calm the sad and angry mass everywhere.

If not now, it will take decades to have the chance again. The regime will anyway revenge every protester asked for step down of Bashar or destroyed a figure of his father. For protesters, it is also a matter of live and dead.

We -Syrians- hope to get support from international community to disclose the crimes of the regime in the last month. We know Syria is not very interesting -economically- for oil companies and we don’t wish a war like in Iraq or now in Libya. But we ask for support for basic human rights in Syria. Or at least we ask to stop supporting the regime.

We believe that the international community is supporting the regime, because they fear of the unknown outcomes. But be sure that Syrians will not accept conservative sunni regime… And trust the Syrian people. They are able to build a government and democratic regime. Thank the globalized media, everyone knows now -at least theatrically- how to elect. Also don’t forget the high educated Syrian in Europe and in the USA. All of them are eager to play a role in the new democratic Syria.

April 15th, 2011, 9:48 am

 

Usama said:

Mr. Davis,

As a Syrian born Canadian citizen, I see great hypocrisy in what you say. It’s as if you believe that opening to western ideals will make things better for Syria. Here in Canada, we’re having the fourth election in 7 years, and I can already see it won’t change anything. The leader that comes might be different, but the outcome is ALWAYS the same. It’s always about making health care better, or the economy better, or social programs in general better, but that never happens. In fact all of the governments have fabricated or misrepresented data to show they are doing something better, when they are not. People can go demonstrate freely, but only as long as they register their rally ahead of time. People can assemble peacefully and say anything they wish (as long as it’s not Holocaust-denying, or even simply down playing thereof), but at the end the government will keep doing what it wants. Mr. Harkat had to spend 8 years in jail without charge, and without even being allowed to see any evidence against himself for “national security reasons”, but hey our martial law isn’t called martial law, so it’s not martial law, right? We can go on and on about the 2010 G20 protest fiasco and the abuses of Toronto Police, but then I would diverge even more (I’m sure you’re more familiar with the events than I am anyway). Canada is not a nation at war, and if you consider us being in Afghanistan as being at war, then you do not know what being at war is. Having your troops on the other side of the world is not being at war. Having your troops ready for any possible military assault on your own land is. Here in Windsor, Ontario, I am seeing more homeless people and beggars on the streets than I’ve seen growing up in Lattakia. Before spending billions on wars on the other side of the world, and spending millions on trying to justify that spending on the other side of the world, why don’t you spend the mere thousands here in Windsor to get your own citizens off the streets and give them some food? I’ve lived in Toronto for a few years before, and you can’t deny it is infinitely worse there.

The Muslim Brotherhood is nothing more than a terrorist organization with a name appealing to many Muslims. We can go back in history to its creation and see that it was a movement fostered by the British and French occupations of Greater Syria, Egypt, and Arabia. As a Syrian, I encourage the president to put all those people down. Do I sound like a monster? Maybe even inhumane? I don’t care. As a Syrian, I was never interested in what westerners think about me or my country, because no matter how much good we do, their response is always “not enough”, like Bashar al-Assad himself pointed out in many speeches. All you want from Syria is to sign a biased peace agreement with Israel and let go of the Palestinian people. Bashar al-Assad could have sold out his people like Mubarak, like Hussain, like Abdullah (both of them), like Hariri, and so on, and then Syria today would be a “friendly” nation with a “friendly” president whose human rights “offences” are acceptable. At the same time Assad would be able to build his riches as well as those in his inner circle and the whole world would be one happy place. But he didn’t! And by that virtue alone, this leader whom you don’t see as a real leader, whom you don’t see as an intelligent tactician, whom you don’t see as having any leading instincts, is the beloved leader of the Syrian people whether you like it or not.

The totals of the current protest movement is at best numbered at up to 100,000, let’s say 200,000 so you don’t cry foul. Syria has 22,000,000 people. 22,000,000 people who were taught in schools that Muslims and Christians are equal, while Muslim Brotherhood try to teach their kids that Alawites, and even normal Shiites, are as deplorable as Nasara (Christians), with all belonging at the bottom of society ruled rightfully by Sunnis. The Syrian government has abundant representation from all religions and sects in Syria, while looking down south in the Gulf, you find that governments are not only 95% Sunni, but also almost all composed of relatives of the leaders themselves. But hey, those Gulf leaders are “friendly” and hence are champions of justice and the people, according to people like you. Of course, I’m talking about your actions, not your words, because one speaks louder than the other.

April 19th, 2011, 4:14 am

 

Omar Elbatal said:

Dear Prof Landis,

As a syrian living in Syria, i can say that the people are starting to show their anger, they do not want the little changes that you have written about, the emergency law does not mean a thing to the poor or the unemployed, they need food and jobs, the Baath party can not creat jobs, becuase its too corrupt and they want to become partners with every medium to large size company , there is no law to protect any investment, i have a good friend that came back to syria after living overseas for 10 years, he brought with him very little money around 40000 USD which is nothing in syria as you know, but one of his brothers got a good connection with Maher Alassad, they drink and play cards togather, his brother was able to get money from Maher to start a 3.5 Bil. Lira to build a residental complax, now my friend and the other three brothers are driving cars worth a million USD , Audi 6 s and BMW X 5 and the newest hybrid BMW 700 series…..
the land where they are building was bought ilegally, the permits approved in days, and this is syria, i have a ton of stories like these…….
I belive that Assad will not survive, its going to be a bloody ending, because the leaders of Army and the security forces are with him almost 100% but the majority of the people are not with him, dont look at these staged pro Assad celebrations
he cant kill 20 million out of 24 million….

April 21st, 2011, 7:43 pm

 

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