Syria: the Dangerous Trap of Sectarianism,” by Nikolaos Van Dam, ambassador and author

Syria: the dangerous trap of sectarianism
For Syria Comment
April 14, 2011

* Nikolaos van Dam is former Ambassador of the Netherlands to Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Germany and Indonesia and the author of The Struggle for Power in Syria, its 4th updated edition is to be published shortly.

The fact that the issue of sectarianism has, thus far, not figured prominently in discussions on recent violent developments in Syria does not mean that it is not an important undercurrent which could fundamentally undermine the possibility of achieving democracy as demanded by Syrian opposition groups. Syrians are very much aware of it but tend, generally, to avoid talking about sectarianism openly, because it can have such a destructive effect. The early 1980s are an example of this, when the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood provoked the minoritarian Alawi-dominated Ba’th regime into a bloody sectarian confrontation by assassinating various prominent, and less-prominent, Alawi people, not necessarily because they were Ba’thists but because they were Alawis. The climax came with the Muslim Brotherhood revolt in Hama in 1982 which was bloodily suppressed by predominantly Alawi troops, taking the lives of some 10-25.000 inhabitants of the mainly Sunni population there. Nobody would wish to see a repetition of such bloody events, which have left deep social scars. For almost 30 years since the ‘Hama slaughter’, the situation in Syria has been relatively quiet on the sectarian front. This does not mean, however, that the issue of sectarianism could not become acute again, particularly since the Ba’th regime is presently under threat, while its main power institutions, such as the army and security services, are still clearly dominated by a hard core of Alawis who continue to constitute the backbone of the regime.

Whereas the common sectarian, regional and tribal backgrounds of  the main Ba’thist rulers have been key to the durability and strength of the regime, their Alawi sectarian background is also inherently one of its main weaknesses. The ‘Alawi factor’ seems to be hindering a peaceful transformation from Syrian dictatorship towards a more widely representative regime. The present Syrian demonstators’ main demands are simply to get more political freedoms and to make an end to the corrupt one party dictatorial system. The sectarianism issue is generally avoided by them. After all, the last thing the opposition seems to want is another sectarian war or confrontation which would not only lead to more violence and suppression, but would also not result in meeting any of their demands. The opposition instead prefers to portray the Syrian people as one and the same, irrespective of them being Arab, Kurd, Sunni, Alawi, Christian, Druze, Isma’ili, or whatever. They want justice, dignity and freedom. Their demands have, thus far, generally been rather modest, democratically oriented and peaceful.

It is good to take into consideration that there is no clear sectarian dichotomy in Syrian society, dividing the country into Alawis and non-Alawis. Syria has never been ruled by ‘the Alawi community’ as such. It is only natural that there are also numerous Alawi opponents to the regime. Many Alawis have themselves been suffering from Alawi-dominated Ba‘thist dictatorship, often just as much as, or occasionally even more than, non-Alawis.  This dictatorship rules over all Syrian regions, sectors and population groups, including those with an Alawi majority. Many Alawis are just as eager for political change in Syria, as other Syrians.  Syrian youths from all social and ethnic segments are prepared to take great risks to help achieving it. They and others also, however, tend to be carried away by the so-called ‘successes’ of demonstrators elsewhere in the Arab world, particularly in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya. But when it comes to the dangerous issue of sectarianism, Syria is a special case.

It appears difficult to imagine a scenario in which the present narrowly based, totalitarian regime, dominated by members of the Alawi minority, who traditionally have been discriminated against by the Sunni majority, and who themselves have during the past decades severely repressed part of that same Sunni population, can now be peacefully transformed into a more widely based democracy, involving a greater part of the Sunni majority. A transformation from Alawi-dominated dictatorship to democracy in Syria should certainly not be taken for granted as a self-evident development, because it would imply that present repressive institutions should be dismantled, and that the regime would have to give up its privileged positions. As the traditional Sunni population in general has apparently not given up its prejudice and traditional negative attitude towards Alawi religion and Alawis in general – it might even be argued that Sunni grudges against Alawis have only increased as a result of Alawi-dominated dictatorship – it seems only logical to expect that the presently privileged Alawi rulers cannot count on much understanding from a more democratic (or less dictatorial, or perhaps even more repressive) regime which would for instance be dominated by members of the Sunni majority. A nascent democratic regime might in the end – due partly to lack of any long-term democratic tradition in Syria – turn into a Sunni dominated or other kind of dictatorship, members of which might wish to take revenge against their former Alawi rulers and oppressors. Many Alawis, including some of the regime’s initial opponents, might feel forced to cluster together for self-preservation if they would be given the impression, whether justified or not, of being threatened by a Sunni majority.

Perhaps there might be a way out through a kind of national dialogue with the aim of reconciliation. But such a reconciliation is only  possible if enough trust can be created among the various parties. Why would key figures in the Syrian regime voluntarily give up their positions if they can hardly expect anything other than being court-martialed and imprisoned afterwords?

A good beginning could be made by the Syrian regime through essential reform measures by way of an adequate response to the reasonable demands of the democratically and peacefully oriented opposition. Having a totalitarian regime, president Bashar al-Asad should at least be able to control all his security institutions, as well as armed irregular Alawi gangs like the Shabbihah, to guide Syria out of this crisis in a peaceful manner. Falling in the dangerous trap of sectarianism is in nobody’s interest, least of all of the Alawi community, which wishes a better future for Syria, like anyone else in the country.

Nikolaos van Dam is former Ambassador of the Netherlands to Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Germany and Indonesia and the author of The Struggle for Power in Syria (its 4th updated edition is to be published shortly).

Comments (138)

alien in syria said:

Syria: dissenting Damascenes and defiant dictators

Ali Khan, 13 April 2011
Subjects:Equality Democracy and government Conflict Civil society International politics Syria Arab Revolutions
Young people in Syria are talking about their future. While Bashar al-Assad makes concessions that fail to convince, what is clear is the growing divide between government and people – however anxiously the world looks on
About the author
Ali Khan is a PhD student in history at the University of Cambridge whose areas of interest are South Asia and the greater Middle East.
Dictatorships are built on myths. When people begin to see the lies for what they are, the psychosis of fear melts away. Living in Damascus, one could not help but notice the intricate tapestries of illusions that the government had so carefully woven. The ever-present posters of various potentates across the Arab world are not just the machinations of arrogant and egotistical men but rather serve as daily reminders of the fact that everyone is under constant surveillance. I remember sitting in a coffee shop in Damascus with some friends when the owner came and sat with us because we had begun to discuss Arab politics. The café was empty and we were sitting at the back. The owner asked us if we had switched off our mobiles and taken the battery out. I, being the only foreigner, asked why, to which he replied that the Syrian government could listen into the conversation even if the phone is not making a call.

Obviously not all Syrians believe in these kind of stories but it is helpful in illustrating how the ostensibly mysterious and the brutal nature of regimes compels people to take part in creating these myths, thereby strengthening the hold of the regime over people. Another more popular ‘fact,’ which many foreign visitors write about, is how a large percentage of taxi drivers work for the mukhabarat or the intelligence service. Of course, there will always be people who are willing to provide information to the government that they deem to be important. Much of it in reality is inconsequential, but again it helps perpetuate the mystery of tyranny. Although the Syrian intelligence services have a fearsome reputation, largely because of their reliance on a massive network of human and not electronic intelligence, the recent events in Syria have started to show fissures and cracks forming in the regime.

Revolutions are unpredictable and hundreds of people can be killed before a small act ignites everyone into taking to the streets. As we saw in Egypt, the ‘uprisings’ built up momentum for many weeks before finally exploding, although it remains to be seen if the revolution is over yet. There seems to be a similar momentum building up in Syria. There has been much speculation about the role of electronic media, facebook and twitter in catalysing the various movements across the Arab world. Although there can be no denying the fact that facebook and twitter allow for instant dissemination of news and important information, I have also seen them being manipulated by some people. One friend posted a video of a ‘protest’ at a mosque in Syria with a short clip of people shouting “Allahu Akbar – God is great”. However, when another friend found a longer version of the same clip, it turned out to be a group of people who were chanting the takbir (Allahu Akbar) after the Friday sermon of one of the state-vetted clerics.

Over the last few weeks I have watched with great interest a debate take place amongst my friends in Syria about their future. Some people made their profile pictures black as a sign of protest, others have used a Syrian flag and yet others have put up a picture of Bashar al-Assad. When I was living in Damascus, opposition to the government was not as widespread as one might have expected and indeed Syrians might be slower than others about coming out to protest. Indeed, there was even an implicit understanding about what was perceived to be a trade-off between rights and security. However, high corruption and the brutal crackdowns are fast depleting any goodwill that Bashar al-Assad has. Fadi as-Saeed, a chemistry student at the University of Damascus, was beaten to death on Monday and it seems the administration is now pointing their guns at students, often the most vocal demographic in protests.

Heading for civil war?

Syria is wracked with internal divisions, which have often been exacerbated by the heavy-handedness of the government. The largely secular ruling Ba’ath party has been at odds with the Muslim Brotherhood since the 1940s. After a particularly violent few years of assassination attempts and car bombs, in 1982 Hafez al-Assad’s brother Rifaat, who now lives in exile in London, surrounded and bombed Hama. The town was known for being a base of the Muslim Brotherhood and the bombing killed thousands of people. Subsequently, the Brotherhood and indeed all other opposition have effectively been stifled while the Alawi minority has strengthened its position.

The Alawis are the spiritual progeny of a movement started in the 9th century when Ibn Nusayr announced himself as the bab or the hidden gateway to truth (God). Very close in terms of practice to Christians, Alawis or as they also known Nusayris believe in a kind of holy trinity comprised of Mohammad, Ali and Salman al-Farisi, one of the first Persian converts to Islam. The reason they are viewed as non-Muslims is because of their belief in the divinity of Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet, who was the fourth Caliph and the first Imam for Shi’as. In a bid to consolidate their power the Alawis managed to secure recognition from the Shi’a leader, Musa as-Sadr, in 1972, declaring them to be Muslims. As early as 1936 they procured a decree from the Sunni Chief Mufti of Palestine, al-Haj Amin al-Husaini, recognizing them as Muslims. However, many Sunnis and some Shi’a ulama, or scholars, continue to view the Alawis as non-Muslims, or even sometimes as apostates.

Apart from the Alawis, the Christians are a sizeable minority and form about 10% of the population and the Druze constitute about 3%. The Sunnis form the majority of the population. Syria also has a large Palestinian refugee population of 500,000 and more than a 1,000,000 Iraqi refugees.

The problems in Syria today are therefore exacerbated by the fact that Syria could be heading for a civil war, due to these old ethnic and sectarian tensions, and might follow the Libyan scenario rather than the Egyptian or Tunisian model. One factor however, that might hold back an all-out war is that there are a multitude of links between the regime and society through army, government and non-official ties. Bashar al-Assad, although seen by some to be a moderate and a reformer is still presiding over institutions that were created during his father’s time. This means that often the ‘old guard’ is the biggest obstacle to implementing reform. However, there have been some token gestures of reform from the President.

Among the small number of concessions that the regime has made are a few that were pushed for by a group of imams, headed by Ramadan al-Buti, perhaps Syria’s most famous cleric. A casino has been shut down and a ban on wearing the niqab, a veil that covers the face as well as the body, in educational institutions is being reversed just as France is implementing its own ban. In other ‘concessions’ the infamous 1963 Emergency Law is now finally to be lifted, but an ‘Anti-terrorism’ law is to be passed instead. About 200,000 Kurds who have hitherto not been granted any rights have been given citizenship. But a majority of the Kurds who form 11-14% of Syria’s population still suffer from various institutional biases. The Kurds have responded by protesting in Qimishli, in the north-east of Syria, under the interesting slogan, ‘we want freedom not citizenship.’

Foreign stakeholders and high stakes

The stakes that many foreign actors have in Syria are also crucial in determining the next steps in the Syrian uprisings. Iran and Hezbollah will fear the loss of an important regional ally and the possible rise of a predominantly Sunni government. Apart from this, even Shi’as who are not ideologically aligned with Iran will be afraid of the loss of the comfort in which the community lives. In particular, the network of religious schools around Sayyid Zainab’s shrine in Damascus are already fearful of what may happen if the Alawis lose power. Israel must worry because at the moment it has an enemy that it ‘knows’ whereas it will be harder to predict whether the new government shall be even more anti-Zionist.

As it is, there is already an air of uncertainty in Israel about what might happen on its western borders, in Egypt. Unlike in Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood were social activists and not involved in politics (until now perhaps), the Brotherhood in Syria has been in exile for nearly thirty years – which means that they have little support on the ground and will need time to carve out a political space. Confessions on Syrian state TV from alleged Brotherhood members stirring up trouble seem manufactured so that the crackdown on protesters can be blamed on ‘outsiders.’ The Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia have had a deep interest in promoting Sunni interests and in the case of Saudi Arabia, their brand of Wahhabism. The growth of this school of thought in Syria has been aided by the fact that a large number of Syrian migrants live and work in the Arabian Peninsula. In the last few years, America has reached out to Damascus and sent various envoys and feelers in order to improve relations, but often with limited success. It is evident then, that current events and any change in Syria will have a far larger geo-political impact on the Middle East than Libya, though of course Libya might be more important to Europe financially.

History, repetition and farce

Following the killings and crackdown on various protests from the Southern town of Deraa to the coastal cities of Tartous and Lattakia, Bashar al-Assad has attempted a reshuffle of his government by firing various provincial governors and appointing new people to his cabinet. However, it seems that superficial changes coupled with a completely disproportionate clampdown on protesters will only exacerbate the situation. Although regarded as more sensible than his father, it seems that like all other dictators, Bashar is also out of touch with ordinary Syrians.

Vogue magazine, which seems to make a business out of glamorizing the lives of the wives of various Arab potentates, writes in a recent interview of the president and his wife that, “the household is run on wildly democratic principles.” It goes on to explain how Asma al-Assad – ‘we all vote on what we want, and where’ – and her husband are often ‘out-voted’ by their three children. This in turn explains the chandelier made of comics that hangs above the dinner table. To talk of democracy in their household while a large percentage of people are often detained without any recourse to the law is nothing more than an insult to all Syrians. It is precisely this kind of insensitive, indeed farcical, attitude that might catalyse the current uprisings into a revolution.

April 14th, 2011, 5:18 pm


Majhool said:

“Alawi-dominated Ba’th regime”
“which was bloodily suppressed by predominantly Alawi troop”
“taking the lives of some 10-25.000 inhabitants of the mainly Sunni population there”
while its main power institutions, such as the army and security services, are still clearly dominated by a hard core of Alawis who continue to constitute the backbone of the regime.
“Whereas the common sectarian, regional and tribal backgrounds of the main Ba’thist rulers have been key to the durability and strength of the regime, their Alawi sectarian background is also inherently one of its main weaknesses”
“the present narrowly based, totalitarian regime, dominated by members of the Alawi minority
“Alawi-dominated dictatorship”
“ Having a totalitarian regime, president Bashar al-Asad should at least be able to control all his security institutions, as well as armed irregular Alawi gangs like the Shabbihah, “


Mr. Van Dam, the pro-regime here, don’t even agree on any of your descriptions above.

Was is Norman, Ford perfect, or Nour that argued tirelessly that the regime is neither totalitarian nor sectarian!!

April 14th, 2011, 5:35 pm


Alescander said:

Mr Van Dam
It was a pleasure reading your article, it does tackle courageously what every Alawi is thinking about.
As an Alawi myself I would feel much more at ease if the major leaders of the current movement are really innocent. In fact we all as alawis would love to get out ofthis trap, we are in a stereotypical fashion resposible for the good and the ugly when a Sunni regime takes over, we have no illusions as to how this would look like, in fact this IS what led to establishing the clandestine Military Committe
By three young Syrian officers ( one of them Assad the father ) they felt how unfair the city dwellers treated the poor villagers.
Not to go so far, I firmly believe that this intifada leaders are not innocent, they are leading and using an innocent crowd , riding te wave, a golden opportunity for vengeance . This is not speculation , this what I am reading and hearing from the pro Muslim brotherhood people.
I think that a slow and deliberate building of democratic establishments, that does not only gives freedom but also tells a democracy naive society what to to with this freedom, and how to maintain it and Grow it
Syria went through too many ” freedoms” in the fifties and sixties , they were short lived , and bloody.
It is very essential for Syrian history experts like yourself to not only advice the general principals of human rights, and freedom, but also to use the inticacies of Syria to give the best advice that fits this very promising country. If successful I see Syria morphing into a Turkish style democracy ,I have a feeling that that is what Bashar is thinking .

April 14th, 2011, 5:45 pm


democracynow said:

Regime reforms at work:

(thugs beat and humiliate a ‘suspect’ at Al Baida village in Banias, and call a female relative of his, who appears to be off-camera, a ‘shar***ta’ and ‘ah**h’ (whore and prostitute).)

April 14th, 2011, 6:06 pm


democracynow said:

More regime reforms from Al Baida near Banias:

This was utterly painful to watch…

April 14th, 2011, 6:09 pm


Alescander said:

Mr Democracynow:
The clip you posted actually was posted at least 2 weeks ago, I am digging in my old Facebook files to copy the picture of this guy. So to all viewers this is fabricated , not from Albaida, and posted as a picture a while ago , before the Banyas events . Thanks for maintaining your credibility

April 14th, 2011, 6:23 pm


N.Z. said:

This ambassador’s article is a recipe to fuel sectarianism.

Was Mubarak and his gangs hated because of their sectarian affiliation or because of his authoritarian and corrupt regime?

The majority of Syrians have no problems with the father and son external policies . Yet no westerner had highlighted this specific point. In this we and the governing power are in line.

Internally, we are all victims of a regime that did nothing to advance the country and its people, yet Syrians, under the iron fist of the previous dictator and his autocratic son, proved to be resilient. In this we are all victims and will remain one people, with one share history aspiring to move forward.

There is a considerable amount of intermarriages, considering the conservative nature of the society at whole.

April 14th, 2011, 6:29 pm


Majhool said:

New Reform, at full force

April 14th, 2011, 6:35 pm


N.Z. said:

Seeing is believing. If this regime is really trying hard to stay in power he must put this gang on T.V. and let them serve time. More so the brother that gave the orders.

This video is a sample of what this regime tries to rob us off: our dignity.

I bet you this Friday will bring out tens of thousands to the streets.

April 14th, 2011, 7:13 pm


why-discuss said:


The Ambassador is right, sectarianism is active in the subconscious of people and could be unleashed very easily. Look at the 15 years civil war in Lebanon and in Ireland, supposedly an advanced democratic country: the protestant-catholic issue is still endemic and destructive.
The dilemma is that the Baath’s rule has been the warrant of religious tolerance and in the same time is now perceived as an oppressor because of its too long presence on the political scene without much evolution and its corruption and abuses.
If sectarianism is unleashed over the country, it will be the destruction both of the loyalists and the serious opposition. This will immediately affect neighboring countries and provoke the exodus of the minorities. We may see in Syria the emergence of a sharia law based country: the definitive end of freedom and total subordination to the US.
That’s what Bashar meant when he was pointing his finger to an external plot.
If the silent majority in Syria reject this, it is time they say it and move to the streets calling for unity!

April 14th, 2011, 7:26 pm


Nour said:

إزالة الحواجز من مدينة درعا السورية بعد لقاء بوفد من وجهائها
التقى الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد اليوم الخميس وفدا من وجهاء مدينة درعا الجنوبية وقام الجيش وقوات الأمن بعد اللقاء برفع الحواجز من المدينة.
وقال شهود عيان في مدينة درعا ليونايتد برس انترناشونال ان الجيش وقوات الأمن السورية بدأت برفع الحواجز من مدينة درعا وهو ما كان اتفق عليه وفد وجهاء المحافظة خلال لقائهم ظهر اليوم الرئيس الأسد.
ووصف احد اعضاء الوفد اللقاء مع الأسد بالايجابي والمنفتح.
وقال احد أعضاء الوفد ليونايتد برس انترناشونال “ان الوفد الذي التقى الأسد ضم 53 شخصا، وهم وجهاء محافظة درعا واستمر اللقاء مدة ثلاث ساعات ونصف الساعة وان الأسد استمع لكل الأشخاص في الوفد ورد عليهم بايجابية ووعد بتلبية كافة مطالبهم” .
وقال ان الوفد “ابلغ الأسد بأنه من الممكن ان يكون هناك بعض الأشخاص من قوات الأمن ممن لا تريد استقرار البلد” .
واضاف ان الاسد قال لهم انه سيسامح من اعتدى على تمثال والده الراحل حافظ الأسد ومن مزق صورته قائلا لهم ان هؤلاء هم “إخوتي وأبنائي”.
وكان الوفد التقى قبل ذلك ولمدة نحو ساعة مع رئيس الوزراء عادل سفر الذي وعد بأن تكون مدينة درعا من أولى المهام التي سيقوم بها بعد تشكيل الحكومة.
وامل بأن يشهد يوم غد الجمعة هدوء وان تعود الحياة الى طبيعتها، مشدداً الى ان عضو الوفد وامام الجامع العمري احمد الصياصنة سيتحدث في خطبة يوم غد ومن على منبر الجامع عما دار خلال اللقاء .
وشهدت مدينة درعا خلال الشهر الماضي اضطرابات واسعة واشتباكات بين قوات الأمن والمحتجين سقط خلالها العشرات من القتلى والجرحى.

April 14th, 2011, 7:40 pm


Nour said:

الحريري: تخلصوا من بشار الاسد بديله خدام و «الاخوان»

منذ بداية الأحداث الأخيرة في سوريا، التزم تيار المستقبل الصمت. كتلته النيابية لم تنطق سوى بحلو الكلام تجاه الاستقرار في الجارة الكبرى. وكلما تحدثت دمشق عن تورّط قيادات سياسية وأمنية لبنانية وسعودية في الأحداث الجارية، يأتي الرد من لبنان أنها: نكتة سمجة، فيما تظهر برقيات السفارة الاميركية في بيروت عام 2006 أن الرئيس سعد الحريري طلب بنفسه من الأميركيين العمل على إسقاط الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد عارضاً البديل من النائب السابق للأسد عبد الحليم خدام وجماعة «الإخوان المسلمين». وأكد أنه يتواصل مع الطرفين ومع الأمير بندر بن سلطان العامل على تسويق هذا المشروع خارجياً وخصوصاً في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية

يوم 24 آب 2006 (06BEIRUT2735)، التقى رئيس تيار المستقبل سعد الحريري أحد كبار الموظفين في لجنة العلاقات الخارجية في مجلس الشيوخ الأميركي، بنيت تالوار، وأحد الدبلوماسيين السياسيين العاملين في السفارة الأميركية في بيروت. جزء كبير من اللقاء خصّصه الحريري للحديث عن الشؤون الإقليمية، وخاصة في سوريا. قال إن النظامين السوري والإيراني يمثّلان العقبة الكبرى أمام السلام في المنطقة. وبرأيه، حاولت حكومة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية «تغيير سلوك النظام» السوري، لكن من دون جدوى. فـ«إسرائيل تحمي النظام السوري بسبب خوفها من المجهول». وبحسب الحريري، «فإن اللحظة مؤاتية لكي يُضعف المجتمع الدولي بشّار». حكومة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية «بحاجة إلى سياسة واضحة وجديدة لعزل سوريا». باعتقادي، يقول الحريري، «إذا لم تعزلوا سوريا ولم تفرضوا حصاراً، فإنهم لن يتغيروا. عبر إخضاع سوريا، تزيلون الجسر الإيراني الرئيسي لأداء دور مثير للمشاكل في لبنان وفلسطين». إذا أضعفتم سوريا، أضاف سعد، فستكون «إيران مضطرة للعمل وحيدة. السعوديون والدول العربية الأخرى ضاقت ذرعاً بالشاب بشّار، ولم تعد تريد محاولة استخدام مقاربة تصالحية مع النظام السوري. وبعد الخطاب الأخير لبشار الذي هدّد فيه بحرب أهلية في لبنان، لم يعودوا مهتمّين بالتحدث مع دمشق». يقول سعد إنه «سمع ذلك من السعوديين مباشرة، وإن الأمير بندر ينقل هذه الرسالة إلى واشنطن حالياً».
وحاجج سعد الحريري قائلاً «يجب التخلص من النظام السوري كلياً. لطالما عاش هذا النظام على النزاعات. وهذه النزاعات ستنتهي عند التخلص من النظام».
سُئل الحريري عمّن يمكن أن يملأ الفراغ في حال سقوط النظام في دمشق، فأجاب بالحديث عن النسب الديموقراطية المذهبية في سوريا، قبل أن يقترح «شراكة بين الإخوان المسلمين السوريين، وبعض الشخصيات التي كانت جزءاً من النظام في السابق، كعبد الحليم خدام وحكمت الشهابي («رغم أن الأخير لا يزال قريباً من النظام») لملء الفراغ». وعلى ذمّة البرقية الأميركية، زعم الحريري أنّ حركة الإخوان المسلمين في سوريا «مشابهة في صفاتها للإسلاميين المعتدلين في تركيا. سيقبلون مسيحياً أو امرأة في رئاسة الجمهورية. إنهم يقبلون حكومة مدنية. كما في تركيا كذلك في سوريا. حتى إنهم يدعمون سلاماً مع إسرائيل». وقال الحريري إنه يحافظ على صلات قوية بكل من خدام ومرشد الإخوان المسلمين في سوريا المنفي علي البيانوني، ملحّاً على الأميركيين بأن يتحدثوا «مع البيانوني: انظروا كيف يبدو. سترون العجائب».

April 14th, 2011, 7:52 pm


Shami said:

Regardless about what we can say on the intent and the perspective chosen by the author.
He is right to link the regime inability to reform to its sectarian character.Asad regime is a paranoia machine and because of this reality ,Syria is unlikely to know guenine political reforms before Asad regime’s end.

April 14th, 2011, 7:58 pm


N.Z. said:

Jad, Why Discuss,

Thanks for passing the translation of Ms. Atassi.
And for responding to my comment together with, Why Discuss.

I believe in Syrians wisdom. Unity has been called in all protests.
Wahid, wahid, wahid alsha’b alSouri wahid..

Let us pray for the best. However the way these few bad apples are acting, will no doubt escalate the situation. I believe they should be caught and punished. The impunity they enjoy will no doubt hasten the regime fall, but more importantly cause unneeded suffering to the innocent. They must be stopped.

United we are..

April 14th, 2011, 8:02 pm


ziadsoury said:


You are Ibn Aseel. Thanks for staying very consistent. I do agree with you on few issues and disagree on others. But that makes us better and stronger

April 14th, 2011, 8:07 pm


Shami said:

Why discuss,spare us your sectarian paranoia.
It seems that you ignore the demography,geography and sociology of Syria.
Do you really believe that post-Asad Syria will see 18 millions sunnis going in war against 2 millions alawis ?
In Syria we dont know the culture of blind followism.
Our grandparents mostly voted according to political preferences .
I dont see the Sunnis to get behind one party like one block ,this is also valid for the other syrians.

April 14th, 2011, 8:33 pm


Norman said:

For Syria to have democracy and for the Baath party ,who by all means consists of all Syrians with different ethnic and religious background,to accept multiparty system .The secular nature of these parties must be assured and the clear indication by any party that all Syrians are equal in obligations and rights and all Syrians are allowed to join,
Without the clear assurances that all minorities are to be treated as equal , i see no chance for the Baath party to relinquish power even if that led to civil war.

April 14th, 2011, 9:05 pm


SOURI said:

This article tries to cover important aspects that were missed by the previous article by the Canadian ambassador, unfortunately however, the author’s treatment of the issue of sectarianism in Syria is a superb example of shallowness.

The author treats the different sects as if they were all the same and he totally neglects the specific social and religious beliefs of each sect, which is the main cause of the problem in Syria.

The Alawis are not like the Sunnis. All that the Alawis have ever wanted is a secular political system that guarantees equality for everybody. The Islamists strongly refuse that. This is the main problem of Syria. When the author says that the first concession must come from the regime, he is demonstrating an astounding ignorance of this reality. Saying that the regime must concede power to the Sunnis is very much like saying that the Alawis and other minorities should accept to be brought back into slavery and after that we should discuss how to reconcile the Alawi slaves with their Islamist masters. This is a really brilliant road map for Syria coming from the author.

April 14th, 2011, 9:19 pm


ziadsoury said:


Why does every party have to be secular? I am one but I don’t believe we all are. Why can’t these people join the party of their choice? Let them participate in the free system.

Here in the states we have all kinds of people and they all voice their opinions.

As far as the Ba3th party is concerned, nothing lasts forever.

April 14th, 2011, 9:28 pm


Nabil alhimsi said:

The truth is that the regime could not have survived for 40 years because of the loyalty of the alawites who,for the most part, remain as poor and oppressed as everybody else. The uprising in Hama failed because most Sunnis rejected the MB and its violent and sectarian nature and that is still true today. The regime is oppressive and corrupt but not sectarian. The high percentage of alawites in the
leadership of the army and security forces is due to economic and historical factors. Those who refuse to know are ignorant by choice. The alewites as much as I can tell did not benefit from the regime as much as Sunni business class and other sects that played the game of double loyalty and corruption very well,that is why Bashar is not too worried about Damascus and Aleppo.
Reform is in the best interest of all Syrians who understand that Syria is not Egypt or Tunisia. I am willing to give the regime few more months but not few more years,however,I do not see how Syria can become a free and democratic country just because few laws are going to pass. The people,not just the government, have a lot of work to do.

April 14th, 2011, 9:36 pm


Shami said:

Souri ,
Again You keep repeating your islamophobic literature.
Anyway,it’s sad but true ,many extremist christians,jews and alawites have adopted this islamophobic essentialism towards Islam.
We will prove you wrong.

April 14th, 2011, 9:41 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

It’s 5 hours before Friday. Alla, save the Syrians from themselves.
From what I see on YouTube, fear is rapidly vanishing, anger and boldness are growing.

This president is doomed. Nothing he does now, will save him. It’s a dead-end for him and for this regime. If he promises more empty promises, the Syrians will not accept it at this stage. Too late. If he resorts to more brutality and crackdown, the Syrians will not accept it neither. At this point in time, it’s over for him.
This is Ben Ali and Mubarak in slow motion.

This is the Friday just after the government reshuffle, and the announcement about releasing detained protesters. Those (too late) measures could be filed under the “Nothing he does now will save him” – category.

April 14th, 2011, 9:44 pm


Norman said:


In the US we do not have religious parties that define their membership to a religious group, we have religious association like the christian coalition but no party can deny membership to any American,religious parties of any kind are by nature racists as they consider the religion they belong to to be superior, I personally prefer a religious person of any religion to non religious person as i feel that the fear of God is good and motivating to be good, I just do not thing that anybody should be elected for being of one religion or another, we can see what kind of democracy we have in Iraq where the parties are religious ones,and i do not think that any of us think that the Iraqi model is the right one.

April 14th, 2011, 9:49 pm


why-discuss said:


“Do you really believe that post-Asad Syria will see 18 millions sunnis going in war against 2 millions alawis ?”

Haven’t we seen similar things after the fall of another Baath party – Iraq?
While I hope it never happens, I think it is quite possible if there is enough blood on both sides and I guess the troublemakers know that. Yet, I really hope that the Baath imprint of secularism has reached the DNA of all the Syrians, but I always suspect that race, ethnicity and religion may become an issue and a danger if they are stirred. I have lots of doubts about the consistency of the human nature. You seem very confident, I hope yo are right.
By the way what about Christians and Druze?

April 14th, 2011, 9:55 pm


ziadsoury said:


We elected and reelected GWB who is a born again Christian. He was there for 8 horrible years.

I prefer to have religious people to form their own party or belong to one if they prefer.

They should not be silenced.

You should read this book,

April 14th, 2011, 10:10 pm


Norman said:


Religious parties in Syria will not be minor parties,

GWB was not elected because he was a born again Christian, he was elected because he represented the GOP in the election for president,

April 14th, 2011, 10:22 pm


Waseem tabbara said:

Egypt will outlaw religious parties and so will Syria . A party that limits its membership to a certain sect or ethnic group will be a threat to national unity,however, removing article 8 from the Syrian constitution is overdue and allowing peaceful demonstration has become a priority to the youth movement. Syrians may still be secular but the MB and its affiliates are ready to take advantage of any volatile situation and I still support a ban on their membership but not the death penalty. Religious people in Syria can join national parties and influence those parties in a peaceful and democratic way but Syria will not be free and democratic by western standards any time soon. Our judicial, economic and educational system need a revolution, a bloodless one. Syria has great potential but albaath needs to share power and it will eventually be marginalized like all totalitarian political movements but I do not see it vanishing quickly.

April 14th, 2011, 10:22 pm


Revlon said:

Thank you very much for sharing your in-depth expose on the Syrian example of the ongoing Arab revolutions.

I agree with your characterisation of the background and prospects of the current confrontation.

Please allow me to share with you my perspective, as one of the “numerical majority”, on a couple points.

First, You said “ As the traditional Sunni population in general has apparently not given up its prejudice and traditional negative attitude towards Alawi religion and Alawis in general – it might even be argued that Sunni grudges against Alawis have only increased as a result of Alawi-dominated dictatorship – it seems only logical to expect that the presently privileged Alawi rulers cannot count on much understanding from a more democratic (or less dictatorial, or perhaps even more repressive) regime which would for instance be dominated by members of the Sunni majority”

I say:
The first step to any peaceful solution to this confrontation is to enable justice to take its course.
Enduring peace and stability can only be built on JUSTICE!
People who have been suspected of committing murder, past or present, regardless of ethnicity should have a decent legal recourse for defending their cases.
The regime has been in power for 40 years.
Its members can bring with them all documentary evidence against any citizen.
Likewise, any citizen can also bring any documentary evidence against the regime.
Civil courts of justice will be the arbitrator.
International legal observers would be available to monitor the transparency of court proceedings.

Here is a genuine offer to the regime, to peacefully and justly close this file:
Negotiate with the opposition to mandate an independent, mutually agreed panel of justices to take charge of the file of regime and counter-regime claims of past and present atrocities.
Allow international legal observers in to oversee its transparency!
The revolution shall oblige!

This gesture should be accompanied with trust building measures on the ground; genuine negotiations for genuine reforms.


April 14th, 2011, 10:29 pm


Revlon said:

Dear Mr. NIKOLAOS VAN DAM, The other comment concerns your statement:

“ The opposition instead prefers to portray the Syrian people as one and the same, irrespective of them being Arab, Kurd, Sunni, Alawi, Christian, Druze, Isma’ili, or whatever. They want justice, dignity and freedom. Their demands have, thus far, generally been rather modest, democratically oriented and peaceful”

The unity and peaceful stance of the revolution has bee proven to be unassuming.
There is a 30 day long record of unity and discipline on the part of street demonstrators, in sticking to nationalistic aspirations and peaceful means of activism, in the face of slaughter and threat to life, has been demonstrated.

The unanimous moderate tone and substance of the speech of revolution activists in various media forums has characterized the demeanor of opposition figures, who may potentially engage in future transitional negotiations.

The onus is on the regime to reciprocate, in kindness!

Thank you Mr. Ambassador.

April 14th, 2011, 10:46 pm


Norman said:

The single party system that the Baath party found itself in in 19633 is destroying the Baath party and it’s good principle that it stands for, canceling article 8 might lead the Baath party to lose control only to regroup, get rid of the opportunists and the profiteers that joined the party for material needs instead of serving the people , then and only then i think that the Baath party will come back and be more effective, the single party system made the Baath party the pariah that everybody hates, unjustly , they should hate the members not the party.

April 14th, 2011, 11:15 pm


Revlon said:

To those who believe in the fable of infiltrating Khadamites, 7arirites, and Rif3atites as a serious element in this revolution!

The Syrian general conscience of past and present injustices transcends ethnicities.

Khaddam was H Assad confidente! He symbolizes corruption of H Asad tyrant reign.
Rif3at, H Asad brother, and Jr’s uncle symblizes brutality.
7ariri and his entourage commited crimes against Syrian labourers in Lebanon and fabricated evidence to subject Syrian citizens to unjust sanctions.
No one in this revolution has interest in associating with people with such ugly records.

Conversely, none of the above has interest in a free and just System in Syria. It will make all of them accountable to its justice system, for of their past atrocities.

If the regime has found those infiltrators, let them be interviewed, in safety, by independant parties!

If they have not, after 30 days of security and military mobilization, then they should admit it, like GWB did, upon failing to uncover WMD in Iraq.

April 14th, 2011, 11:21 pm


Mina said:

For those here who think that the Salafists of Syria have any political project (or just to say, brain), this is how things go in the Gaza strip:

The timing of the Syria unrest adds to the pressure felt because of the Hariri court indictment (which some say will point at some Tehran figures directly). Now that Syria has been dropped by everybody from the Saudis to the Qataris and the Turks, what next?

April 15th, 2011, 12:41 am


nafdik said:


Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

I am sure many Syrians feel the same as you do.

They want freedom for the Syrian people but they are afraid of mob justice that will use the new found freedom to commit sectarian murders motivated by vengeance and prejudice.

The solution I propose is for all Syrians to understand that our problem is not the various communities but a handful of families and individuals that are using the various sectarian fears to pit us against each other.

The only way to save Syria without ending in civil war is to keep our army united and clean. The army should refuse to collaborate with the Assad family and let the people deal with the regime.

When all is over the army can still be there to protect the democracy from being used to create chaos and sectarian war.

April 15th, 2011, 12:50 am


Majhool said:

أغنية في رثاء محافظ حمص….يا غزالي كيف عني أبعدوك…….

April 15th, 2011, 1:01 am


Souri said:

Growing up as Alawi in a small village, I was raised on a lot of misconception about the sunni people ( For example we were not allowed to go on local street as the sunni may kidnap us), we eventually moved to the city, I get to have a lot of sunni friends, and misconceptions did not hold, I truly believe that the syrian especially the Alwai community are very vulnerable to be dragged into a sectarian and civil conflict, as I had very hard time convincing some of the my relative Alwai to engage with sunni and discover our similarities, I think the regime is feeding those ideas day after day, The regime Does not care about his people especially the Alawi, Many Alawi men do not have choices, They will be under a greater danger if they did not side up the regime, The regime will not hesitate to use the Alwai to fight for his survival . Seeing some of the videos I knew this is turning to CIVIL WAR

April 15th, 2011, 1:25 am


nafdik said:

Thank you Souri for this valuable insight.

Any ideas how this fear of the other can be reduced?

April 15th, 2011, 1:42 am


democracynow said:

Hey, Alescander, are you talking about this video?

Or the one before that?

Anyway, with the Syrian regime not allowing international media access to the troubled areas, and with the Syrian state TV being a tool in the hands of the intelligence officers, one has to rely on videos. Are they totally credible? No. But the second video from Baida, the one that shows young men forced to lay on their stomachs while security agents trampled them and kicked them with gun butts, that video is consistent with earlier eye witness reports and photos taken in Al Baida itself.

If you as a Syrian (I’m assuming you are a Syrian) accept that this is an acceptable manner for the regime to treat the Syrian people, it is your choice. I suspect many other decent folks on this board wouldn’t.

(Ironically enough, this video was taken by one the thugs/security agents).

April 15th, 2011, 2:05 am


Averroes said:

The sad fact is, deep political reform cannot take place before deep religious reform. Deep religious reform will take at least one generation from the date the Saudi Wahabi kingdom crumbles down. As long as the Saudis are there, they will continue to incite hatred and the entire region will never have peace.

Turkey and Egypt (especially Egypt) may be able to lead the Muslim world out of this Wahabi hole and back into the light. Egypt has the intellectual depth and the authority to steer Sunni Islam back on track, and to uproot sectarianism, hopefully once and for all. Syria can’t do it due to several reasons.

The question is, which Islam will win out in Egypt. I certainly hope it’s not the Salafi/Wahabi branch.

In any way, we’re probably talking about decades, if not more.

April 15th, 2011, 2:08 am


democracynow said:

I don’t believe the Syrian people are sectarian, or in other words: I don’t believe sectarianism is a serious problem among the wider sections of the Syrian people.

Prevention is better than treatment, though, and if the regime is really serious about the subject and its perils, then let them talk about it openly. Let’s have a serious dialog. Let’s talk about reconciliation and inclusion. Let’s talk about the past: the events of Hama and Qamishly and the other flagrant violation of human rights.

Diversity is treasured everywhere, except in Syria it is cursed and deemed a big problem. Why? it’s time for the regime to realize this, that exclusion doesn’t work, that security solutions do not work, that the boot-in-the-mouth strategy of repression and intimidation (as we saw in the earlier video) do not work.

That’s how you quell sectarianism.

April 15th, 2011, 2:27 am


Off the Wall said:

In most cases of collective abuse and thuggery, the evidence is usually created by one of the offenders. We all remember the video clip of the gulf prince abusing the poor worker a couple of years ago, it was shot by one of his people so that this sadist could watch it and enjoy his handiwork over and over again.

This tape is out, and if no serious action is taken against those visible in the tape as well as their commanding officers, civilian or military, or police, and rather soon, then I do not know how it will end.

Thanks for sharing. I was about 10 years old when a schoolmate tried to inform me what are the differences between alawi and sunni, and was telling me that he hopes I am of the latter group. I am now over 50, and after many subsequent attempts by those who are definitely more capable of expressing themselves than my 10 year old schoolmate,I honestly still don’t get it nor do I care to get it. I am a proud dumb by upbringing and by choice and not about to be persuaded by the ambassador, not for a second.

I do believe that since its founding in the fourties, the Baath has tried to reduce sectarian currents in the society, and I am convinced that at the very top, the regime is not sectarian but clannish. But to embark on true religious reforms one needs a minimum level of political, civil liberties, and intellectual freedoms. It is the absence of these freedoms which has allowed radical interpretations and doctrines that require the least amount of free and critical thinking to thrive. So the Baath was in fact sabotaging its own plan and the dreams of its early founders, and should be blamed as much as the most radical imam for what the festering radical interpretations.To paraphrase AIG, for forty years you allow mosques and churches to be the only place for people to congregate, and you wonder why are clerics so powerful. Churches is my addition .

As for leading the region out of this hole, I would not underestimate the ability of Free Syrians to make significant contributions to combating radicalism in Islamic thinking. To a large extent, we are defined by our diversity, and it is not an issue of choice to us, it is a matter of both survival and hopefully it will soon become of pride. A man can dream, can’t he?

April 15th, 2011, 2:52 am


Nour said:

وبالتزامن مع كلام السفير السوري، كشف مصدر أمني لـ«الأخبار» أن قوة أمنية لبنانية أوقفت ليل أول من أمس سيارة مدنية في منطقة القصر المتاخمة للحدود السورية في شمال سهل البقاع، كانت تحاول دخول سوريا بطريقة غير شرعية. وقد عثر بداخلها على أسلحة حربية. ورفض المصدر الكشف عن نوعية الأسلحة وكميتها، مكتفياً بالقول إنه أوقف لبناني وسوري كانا في سيارتين تحملان أسلحة رشاشة، وإن التحقيقات متواصلة معهما لمعرفة خلفيات نقلهما الأسلحة. وأوضح المصدر أن السيارتين كانتا على الأرجح متّوجهتين نحو الأراضي السورية، لا سيما أن المنطقة التي أوقفت فيها السيارتان من معابر التهريب غير الشرعي.

April 15th, 2011, 4:47 am


Off the Wall said:

Dear Nour
This is very disturbing news. But one must also consider all possible explanation for the fact that the two cars were caught in an area well known to be a smuggling corridor. Alquds Alarabi had a decent, neutral article by Dunia Khouleh in which she writes about a road trip she tried to take along the coast in the past few days, as she traveled through the mountainousness passages, she writes:

أخيرا تركنا الباص مع ركابه واخترنا التنقل بسيارة جابت بنا الجبال بطرق ملتوية كي نتجاوز بانياس. أكثر من 16 حاجزا أوقفنا خلال ساعة وربع الساعة من الترحال الجبلي. أبرزنا هوياتنا الشخصية في كل مرة.. تحملنا نظرات الاستغراب من دخولنا (غير المتوقع ربما) إلى القرى، وسلوكنا الطرق الوعرة.. حواجز للشرطة، للأمن، وللجيش… وأيضاً ما يسمى باللجان الشعبية بعصيهم وبواريد الصيد المركونة على جانب الطريق…
رأينا أسلحة من مختلف الأشكال والأنواع.. وسمعنا عن عروض بيع أسلحة بأسعار فظيعة… قال البعض ان قطعة السلاح (الروسية) كانت تباع بـ 35000 ل.س وبعد أسبوع أصبحت بـ 150 ألف ليرة سورية! عجبي من هذا الاقبال على شراء الأسلحة وأي صدور ستوجه إليها.

Is it possible that the two cars belong to one of Lebanon’s merchants of death excited about making 400% markup on automatic weapons. These guys will sell to anyone, even if they know that the victim could be their own family. Common, it is not always the evil opposition. Not that I think Hariri, whom I consider to be a scum bag, would be above reproach, but one has to consider also that merchants of death stand to win big. Occam’s Razor my friend fits well here, the fewest new assumptions are required, if any.

April 15th, 2011, 5:26 am


syau said:


I understand that you were raised like that, but you cant make generalisations such as the one you did. Not all people are alike. For example, I was raised as a muslim. That is it. I wasnt aware that there were multiple sects until I went to high school in a foreign country where some of the muslim pupils were bad mouthing Hafez Al Assad because he was Alawi and they cant believe someone from such a “low life” religion could be president. When I went home and told my father, he told me that a muslim is a muslim and never degrade any religion or sect, be it muslim, christian or any other denomination. So I suppose it all goes back what parents feed their children. I’ve never seen hatred in full force until I witnessed it by the sunni pupils at school.

The Syrian President is the President. he should be seen as that and not the Alawi President of a minority sect. He is married to a sunni. If he was so hard core Alawi, he wouldn’t have done that, nor would the vice president be sunni, nor would a number of prominent ministers be sunni. He is a fair, intelligent, sophisticated and articulate person who has all my respect.

April 15th, 2011, 6:58 am


Sophia said:

Has the salafist movement finally arrived?

In the article the author refers to NI (National Interest) in which US foreign policy of preference of letting salafists prevail in the ME, over any other movements is analyzed. Indeed salafists have proved that they are very subservient to Saudi Arabia, despite giving us OBL….

It is like in the Matrix, because they are so programmed, once in a while some of them will turn to disobedience.

April 15th, 2011, 7:35 am


why-discuss said:

Another Sectarian Sunni ally to US in total and violent action in the mute foreign press! Is the local CIA helping with torture advices?

Bahrain: Is a U.S. Ally Using Torture to Put Down Dissent?
…It doesn’t take much to get arrested in Bahrain these days, as the country operates under a reign of terror. People can be taken into custody for any number of reasons: speaking out against the King or vague association with activist groups (offenses can include carrying a Bahraini flag, deemed a symbol of the anti-government movement). They are routinely hauled out of their cars at police checkpoints after being identified as Shi’a. Once jailed, they reportedly face interrogators bent on getting them to incriminate themselves, even for nonviolent political association. The regime is taking extreme measures to extinguish any flicker of rebellion. “The hard line faction of the ruling family is [eliminating] any and all forms of political dissent,” says Stork. “There are still raids into villages every night. It’s punishment, creating a state of fear, so that no one will stick out their head and raise their voice.” (See “Has Bahrain’s Opposition Thrown In the Towel?”)….

April 15th, 2011, 8:23 am


Suri-Amreki said:

Talking Points of the Syrian Oppressive Regime:
1. The demonstrators (terrorists and العابيثين بالامن
) are outsiders supported by Hariri, Mossad and the US in addition to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf countries!

2. They say that they are peaceful but they are snipering and killing innocent people: look at the videos! (The videos are actually of pro-regime thugs who are shooting at both the people and the soliders!)

3. If you want to change the regime, chaos and ethnic cleansing will be all over the country. Do you want peaceful Syria to become another Lebanon, Iraq or Libya? The Sunni will slaughter every Allawi and Christian!

4. All media (especially Al-Jazeerah, Al-Arabiya, BBC, CNN) except us (the Syrian Regime media) are liars!!!!

Oppressive regime will not last forever!!!!

April 15th, 2011, 8:33 am


norman said:

Many demonstration are going on in many Syrian cities, no violence,
canceling article 8 and party laws are needed now not later, The president and the government have to move,NOW, NOW

April 15th, 2011, 8:50 am


Australian -Syrian said:

I agree with Syau. I grew up with a multitude of Suni friends. My best friend, who i have known since grade 5, i am now 24, is a Suni.

In year 12, i was the only Alawi among 3 Suni friends. Neither they, nor i cared about sects. Until once, they let slip the most horriffic things i have ever heared someone say. They said that their whole families cant belive that an “effing….Alawi” was ruling the country ( i wont say exactly what they said, because it was grotesque). I came right out and told that i love and admire the guy and the whole family, and that they are bloody stupid for saying such horrid things. They apologized and said that they were kidding, ‘coz they knew i would react’. Bull crap. so, its been almost 7 years since i spoken to any of them. I got so offended, as any decent Alawi should. Except, i still have that one best mate, as he never cared about what religion i was, and vise versa.

The only true, non-discriminatory friends that i have ever had, were either Alawi or Christian.

Like syau said, It really comes down to how you are raised, be you Suni, Alawi etc. I was tought to respect every religion, and that all muslims are the same. Just like you were tought misconceptions about Sunis, mate, some Sunis may be teaching their kids the same things, you never know. Oh wait…I do know…I have had first hand experience! Like i told you.

So please do not use definitive statements. And Bashar is not using the Alawis against anyone. If you have not yet noticed, millions of Suni people are fighting for him too. And Alawi men do have a choice! I know some in Syria who are against Bashar. For example, what more do you want than Raf3at al Assad? Bashar’s own uncle. And no doubt he has some buddies who are against Bashar too. A friend of the family here is very critical of Bashar, and he is Alawi.

By your comment, i take it that you have a lot of pride for being an Alawi…huh, what ever.


April 15th, 2011, 9:00 am


N.Z. said:

Sophia, Souri, SYAU….

You are preaching or instigating or alluding to issues that the majority in our beautiful country, Syria, know very well that do not exist in an alarming number. Even those called “shabiha do not represent the Allawis. A few rotten cannot infiltrate the intelligence of the masses.

Syrian nationalism is well and alive, unity is embedded in our genes. Neither America nor its satellite will be able to infiltrate our unity relating to our people and nationalist nature.

The new buzz word is Salafi, not alquaidah, or MB.

Enough, we want to live.

These thousands of Syrians marching the lovely alleys of Syria do not any western intervention by any means. We are capable of internal change, soft power by the masses. We will not break our country.

Salafis… shaiha.. Baath..are part of our fabric, after today, no more elimination.

April 15th, 2011, 9:06 am


Averroes said:


Yes, a man can dream, and a People can dream collectively and work towards that dream. However, that will not change the fact that you have a very powerful family that runs Islam as an instrument toward gaining and securing power.

They have the two holy mosques as leverage, and they have trillions of Dollars at their disposal and they have been actively destroying the minds of the Arab and Muslim youth for decades. I don’t know when the last time was that you were in the region. There are now close to 400 FTA Arab satellite channels. I kid you not, there are more than 200 channels that have one of two totally contradicting directions: one is Salafi/Wahabi/Islamist (and/or), and the other is trashy entertainment. I forgot, there are also the treatment by Qur’an, and the exorcism of Jinn (right on the Air), and the fortune tellers. Almost all of these channels, more than maybe 90% of them, are run by Saudi money.

We’re talking of 200 megaphones directed at the consciousness of young people everywhere in the region, and over there, people still have the TV on all the time. I have cousins who have been indoctrinated with the Saudi way of life and thinking. I know of others who have accepted the Salafi/Wahabi views, including the sectarian hate toward other sects. These are ticking time bombs, unless diffused.

No Syrian regime would be able to couter that attack. We just don’t have the resources. If the current regime falls, you can bet that the Saudis will jump on Syria and try to claim it. We will see lot of money poured into the large cities. We will see society start to turn more and more Salafi, books banned, theatres burnt. And of course we will see a spike in Saudi men marrying Syrian women. In a nutshell, that’s what Saudis see as the role for Syria.

April 15th, 2011, 9:24 am


Ziad said:


Very grim prognosis I hope it will never materialize. I agree with most previous commenters that fanaticism and sectarianism are not endemic in Syria. My own experience when I went to middle and high school in Damascus. There were always some Kurd, Druze and Christian pupils in our class. There were many jokes about Homsis and Hawranis, but not once I recall in seven years any derogatory or sectarian remark towards other faiths.

Clanism and tribalism are still very significant in the people’s way of thinking. This can turn sectarian and ugly very quickly once violence starts. It is the intention of the external actors to spark the revolution through sporadic indiscriminate violence, amplified by the mass and social media. I hope they will fail.

I come from a conservative sunny Shami family, but I am ashamed at what Sunnis are doing in Lebanon, KSA, and Bahrain with spiritual and financial support of the Wahhabi Saudis. The United States is complicit in this. Yesterday they bashed Iran for interfering in Syria. They think interfering in other countries’ affairs is a monopoly that should be restricted to them. My heart is definitely is with the Shia’ Muslims, not because they are incapable of doing bad things, but because they are currently the underdogs in Sunni majority countries.

April 15th, 2011, 10:10 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Now it’s official. The Emir of Qatar throws Asad to the wolves. No need to explain, just watch Arabic AJ.

April 15th, 2011, 10:11 am


Shami said:

Aver ,the intellectual life in Syria has been destroyed not by the Saudi influence but by totalitarian regimes.
What do we lack compared to Egypt and Turkey ,we also had our part in building the advanced Islamic civilization,we are the sons of Bani Umayya who built one of the most sophisticated civilization in the world,that makes proud the spanish people today.

We will influence the Saudis more than they will influence us .
If you read the extremist seculars in Turkey they also show the exactly same paranoia that come from you(saudiphobia) and some of the islamophobic alawites here and they still persist in this way despite the moderate policy of the AKP.
They say that the convervative turks are saudized and arabized,they diabolize the muslim turks as you and your alikes are doing with the syrian muslims.

April 15th, 2011, 10:16 am


SOURI said:

I talked yesterday to a friend who just came from Aleppo. He confirmed to me what I already knew, which is that most people there sympathize with the “revolution.”

Assad has failed to quell the demonstrations. I don’t know what his strategy is, but if the demonstrations continue for more weeks he should not be surprised if Aleppo and Damascus start to see millions of people demonstrating against him. Assad must not be fooled by the assurances he got from the Islamist leaders. The concessions he gave to the Islamists will only buy him some time, buy they won’t buy him the faithful loyalty of the Islamists.

April 15th, 2011, 10:29 am


AIG said:


In my opinion the Syrian people, even the ones in Aleppo, do not want a “revolution”, they want real change and an orderly transition to a real multi party system. The more people see that the demonstrators are not violent, them more people will join them. The more violence the regime uses, the less support it will have. The best outcome for Syria is for Assad to emulate Gorbachev.

I didn’t realize how game changing the video cameras on the cell phones are. You cannot anymore restrict pictures from coming out. Even if the internet is cut, all you have to do is get the phone or even just a memory card across to Lebanon or Turkey to upload it. Even the Assad regime cannot fight that.

April 15th, 2011, 10:47 am


majedkhaldoon said:

There is much more sectarianism in USA than in Syria,White,Black and Spanish or mexican american,USA is not under the risk of division or fight.
In Syria there are marriages between Sunni,Kurds,Shiite,and Alawi.I do not think it will reach a level where they will fight each other,sectarianism in this article is overblown.

April 15th, 2011, 10:47 am


Averroes said:


Thank you. We have only to see their work all over the Islamic world. We just have to see what they’ve done in countries they’ve “possessed” to see where Syria might be going. The Salafis in Algeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon. Just take a trip to Tripoli and you’ll see a very very different city than the one that once was a few decades ago.

There was apparently no blood in today’s demonstrations. That’s good. This is peaceful pressure that no one can argue with. Assad must (and will, I think) make serious reforms that will propel the country forward if allowed to work.

April 15th, 2011, 10:55 am


Syria1 said:


He’s not going to have to wait for a few more weeks…we are there already. It looks like 100,000 or so are in Sahat al Abassiyen…Does he need a postcard?

For most Syrians that I’ve spoken to, they are torn. Do we continue to accept “security” at the expense of all else or do we demand a change. This could turn bloody quickly and that is the calculation that is keeping us in our homes for now.

April 15th, 2011, 10:55 am


Ziad said:

Friday passed peacefully to the chagrin of AIG who was expecting a bloody day. Bashar met with a delegation of 50 from Dar’a and with delegations from Banias, Duma. This is not the behavior of a blood thirsty dictator. It is the conduct of a wise leader listening to his people trying to defuse and deconstruct a bloody conflict without surrendering to Syria’s true enemies. Syria proved to be different from Yemen and Bahrain.

Bashar can be rightfully criticized for being slow in reform and in fighting corruption. The peaceful protests were necessary and justified. It looks like we are going to have a happy ending for Syria and Syrians.

April 15th, 2011, 11:28 am


Syria Almighty said:

This is quite the story. Looks like Hariri WANTED the Muslim Brotherhood to replace the Syrian government:

How long do we have to wait until someone kills him? Please let it be soon.

April 15th, 2011, 11:30 am


Shami said:

The violent salafis are a small minority,most of them came from non religious background (Bin Laden’s mother might be an alawite)or were drug addicts.This is a post failed modernity phenomenon.
Many more people answer injustice ,humiliation and bad governance by radicalization.
Anyway,the last events in Tunisia ,Egypt,Yemen,Syria proved that the young arabs are after liberal values.Democracy,justice,good governance.
The same phenomenon is known in Saudi Arabia and more in Iran.
Ideological parties have failed.

April 15th, 2011, 11:32 am


AIG said:


Enough with these false allegations. Why would I wish for blood? I wish for a peaceful transition to a democracy in Syria and what happened today was excellent. Because there was no violence, more people will be less afraid to protest next Friday and so on. The dam of fear is leaking badly and soon it will be completely broken.

April 15th, 2011, 11:40 am


Averroes said:


There are many that would like to see blood flow. I am grateful that this day has passed with no blood. I expect some elements to be pissed at this, and some to be emboldened to raise their expectations higher and higher.

I think the policy now is to contain flash points, and work on reforms at an accelerated pace. This may work. Let’s hope so.

April 15th, 2011, 11:43 am


nafdik said:

I am happily surprised that there was no blood today.

For once in his 11 years of rule my opinion of Assad went one notch up, as I expected he was going to escalate violence.

April 15th, 2011, 11:48 am


Ziad said:

Dear AIG

I apologize for my mistake. It was Amir who said:

“It’s 5 hours before Friday. Alla, save the Syrians from themselves.”

April 15th, 2011, 11:49 am


majedkhaldoon said:

I am happy there is no violence today,the question WHY?
It looks that the messages from European leaders were effective, also there was a message from John Kerry, and another one from Qatar,and Turkey.
Some said it is because there is new goverment.

April 15th, 2011, 11:59 am


AIG said:


How is what Amir is saying a call for blood? It sounds like a prayer for no blood.

For many reasons Israelis do not want to see blood in Syria.
1) For simple humanitarian reasons
2) We have problems from unstable states. Lebanon has created much more problems for us than Syria.
3) Israelis do not like Assad and his regime because they support terrorists that harm Israeli civilians. But we know to differentiate between the regime and the Syrian people.

April 15th, 2011, 12:02 pm


Ziad said:


It is more likely that the instigators of violence were caught yesterday, and meeting of representatives cooled the situation. The Syrian government has a thick skin when it comes to critique from the Americans and their cronies.

April 15th, 2011, 12:05 pm


nafdik said:

Whatever the reason for the restrain of the security forces today, it is a very welcome development.

I hope the day will pass bkhair and this might reduce the tension between all involved and assure the regime and the people that we still have a chance for dialog.

April 15th, 2011, 12:19 pm


Nour said:

I doubt very much that any so-called “pressure” from Europe or other countries had anything to do with the absence of violence today. I believe that, as Ziad said, the meetings President Bashar al Assad had with representatives of the different cities along with the capture of many of the armed men diffused the situation. I also do believe that Bashar had been attempting to rein in the security forces for some time and he may have finally achieved his goal. While I do believe there were armed elements trying to create chaos throughout these events, we cannot deny the fact that Syrian security forces initially responded to the demonstrations with repression and brute force and reacted in the typical stupid manner we have seen from them before, which deteriorated the situation and allowed certain groups to better exploit the happenings on the ground. Since that time, I believe Bashar has been working within a three-pronged approach: 1. Find and capture the armed infiltrators, 2. meet with delegations from the hot spots, and begin an accelerated plan for broad reforms, in order to diffuse the situation, and 3. rein in the security so that no more blood is spilled unnecessarily and anger is not increased in the Syrian street.

April 15th, 2011, 12:24 pm


Syria Almighty said:

WikiLeaks: Hariri Urged Ending Assad Regime, Khaddam and Muslim Brotherhood to fill Void

Caretaker PM Saad Hariri believed that the Syrian and Iranian regimes are the obstacles behind the deteriorating peace process in the Middle East, revealed a WikiLeakes cable published in al-Akhbar newspaper on Friday.
Hariri stated that Israel is “protecting” the Syrian regime because it fears the unknown.

The leaked U.S. Embassy cable dated August 24, 2006, reported that he believed “weakening Syria will force Iran to work on its own.”

Hariri said during a meeting with a U.S. foreign ministry official and another diplomat in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, that isolating Syria and imposing a siege on it would cut Iran’s link to Lebanon and Palestine “where it is creating problems.”

He stressed: “Saudi Arabia and other Arabian countries have gotten fed up with Bashar… and are not interested in getting engaged in a dialogue with Damascus.”

“We need to put an end to the Syrian regime… All conflicts will end when this regime is abolished,” he continued.

When asked about who can fill the void if the regime falls, he stated that “collaboration between the Muslim Brotherhood and some of the officials that were part of the old regime, such as former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam and former Syrian Chief of Staff Hikmat al-Shihabi” could assume control in Syria.

Hariri stressed that the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria is similar to the moderate Islamists in Turkey, explaining: “They will allow a Christian or a woman to become president. They even support a peace agreement with Israel.”

He expressed fears over Iranian intervention in the region, saying: “Syria is only part of a bigger problem which is Iran, which supports Islamist groups like Hizbullah and Hamas.”

The Mustaqbal Movement leader said that Iran and Syria are smuggling arms to Hizbullah through land borders not by sea or air.

Hariri questioned the usefulness of providing the Lebanese army with weapons to serve as an obstacle to Hizbullah when “its ammunition won’t last more than four hours.”

He added that he will cut all ties with Hizbullah, saying: “We want it to change its behavior and hand over its weapons, or it will have a problem with me.”

In another leaked cable dated September 27, 2006, Hariri noted that Lebanon only requires “light weapons and some helicopters to impose its sovereignty over all its territory.”

He believed that the residents of the South will turn against Hizbullah once the Lebanese army is deployed in the area as they will realize that the Lebanese authorities can help resolve their problems, not Hizbullah, which is only “an Iranian infiltrator.”

April 15th, 2011, 12:36 pm


alescander said:!/

go to the above link go to postings of march 28 you will see a picture of a youtube clip posted in response # 4 or 5 by Mr democracynow who stated falsely that this youtube clip was shot during albaida events. clearly this is wrong and you can see for yourselves that the event occured way before albaida events, posted on facebook march 28,

a clarification to make sure all postings are honest ,
off note the youtube clip itself was deleted due to graphic violence.

I tried to post the picture itself , was not able to, I will be happy to foreward it if anyone is interested.

Here I am pleading for all syrians to seek unity, to calm rage not to enrage, to build not to demolish,

April 15th, 2011, 12:39 pm


Ziad said:

We have not heard today from REVLON and NK. I guess their phishing for bloody video clips is turning empty. That is definitely a good sign.

April 15th, 2011, 12:44 pm


AIG said:


Would you consider the NowLebanon page fair?

I think it incorporates most of the information.

April 15th, 2011, 12:51 pm


Ziad said:


Newlebanon is by far the worst site when it comes to spreading dirt against Syria. It is one of the most vociferous enemy to Syria’s people and government.

BTW I am impressed by your prompt responses. Are you constantly monitoring SC. Just curious.

April 15th, 2011, 1:01 pm


NK said:


Not really, I just got tired of the personal attacks, keep it up you’re doing great.

April 15th, 2011, 1:11 pm


N.Z. said:

Today was not bloody because there was no barbarism by the regime’s apparatus.

Syrian wants freedom and justice for all. Yet, if those responsible for what happened in Baida not brought to justice, it will escalate even further next week. Justice for all will be a clear sign that the regime finally understood. If not it will be bigger and bigger.

Protesters want action, not empty words.

April 15th, 2011, 1:16 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

Disgraceful Distortions by The Guardian

Syria and the Delusions of the Western Press

April 15th, 2011, 1:17 pm


jad said:

So far and knowing that today is not finish yet (can’t wait) but the fact that we didn’t loose any more Syrian lives is making me very very happy.

Aljazeera today did broadcast more than 75 minuets of repeated images and videos many of them are from last week without one commercial in between, they are still continuing that, and with vicious attack on Syria and at the same time the Syrian TV counter attack every picture Aljazeera show and they even show for the first time real demonstration in Daraa.

Syria 1,
“It looks like 100,000 or so are in Sahat al Abassiyen…Does he need a postcard?”
I would like to see the 100,000 protesters in Alabassiyen sq post card you are talking about, please share it with us.
As far as I know and I did actually call my friend his building is looking over the square he told me there is NOBODY except cars and normal Friday movement now, 7:05pm.
He also mention that average people in Jobar actually clashed with those guys coming from Douma and Saaba and the police did separate both sides without using guns, so your flash news is false.

April 15th, 2011, 1:27 pm


Shami said:

If Tlass had followed Khaddam ,the hyporites would have said that those are supporters of the evil corrupt Tlass and were paid by Bandar.

Today they decided that the moundassin left Syria to Mars.

April 15th, 2011, 1:33 pm


Syria Almighty said:

100,000 people in Sahat al Abassin is horse shit. I have family that live there. NOTHING happened.

The Western media, for its part, took this stupid allegation to another level. On CBC, one of their whores stated “HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people took to the streets of Sahat al Abassin, but the Syrian government will not allow pictures to be released (How convenient for CBC to lay out an allegation without evidence).” How funny. Did the Syrian government LET other pictures and videos be released for the past month? Among these supposed ‘hundreds of thousands,’ not a single one had a camera or phone?

April 15th, 2011, 1:42 pm


jad said:

Since the day didn’t go as bloody as planned, those revolution guys are pushing for a definite confrontation where the police will use guns for sure and then it will be bloody again and escalate the situation more.
Is blood is all those people are looking for so desperate, I don’t understand this mentality.

April 15th, 2011, 1:56 pm


AIG said:

All those angry at the western press, you should only be angry at the Assad regime. They should let the press report freely and live from Damascus. Why is the regime reluctant to allow that?

April 15th, 2011, 2:01 pm


Syria Almighty said:

That statue is worth 1,000 times more then EVERYONE in the ‘revolution’ combined. May they ALL share the same fate as that statue.

April 15th, 2011, 2:02 pm


Unbiased syrian said:

I just watched the Syrian TV 8:30 news.
They showed the video other channels have been showing continuously in the past 2 days allegedly taken in al Baida, Banias.
They said it was filmed (or staged) in a neighboring country, and I had the feeling they were hinting at the Iraq, focusing on the uniform and the “armed teenagers and the old man”.
They even challenged anyone to name any of the “officers” in this video!
They also quoted syriacomment and Professor Josh!

April 15th, 2011, 2:15 pm


Mina said:

Al Jazeera Arabic and France 24 Arabic are running the same video that was already on Twitter yesterday and which is commented as such by the NYT:
A video sequence broadcast on Al Jazeera on Friday afternoon showed prisoners in the coastal town of Al Beida bound and lying face down in a public square, as black-clad members of the security forces stood over them with automatic weapons and wooden clubs. The security agents were seen beating the prisoners across the shoulders and backs with the clubs and rifle butts, and one man was kicked in the face.

Everything is in the editing…
The positive thing here is that some army people have filmed it (as for the al-Omari mosque) and posted it on Youtube, because they want the practices to change in their own circles..

April 15th, 2011, 2:23 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

No one wants Syrian blood to be spilled. That includes me.

But those who are “very very very happy”, because there was no blood today, 15 Apr 2001, and for them it means that Syria is returning to February 2011, they really amuse me.

The Syria of February 2011 is gone. Gone forever. Nothing will bring it from the dead. The Syria of February 2011 was built on fear. Since fear is gone, Syria of Feb 2011 is gone with it.

When there’s no fear, this regime is doomed. It can be sooner or later, but the end of this regime is indisputable. That is why any Syrian shed of blood, is a waste of blood. This regime can go peacefully or it can go brutally. But go it will.

April 15th, 2011, 2:42 pm


jad said:

The video of Albeida you are referring to ends up being not of Albaida after all, it was taped before Albaida incident and some are even saying that it is actually of the bishmarqa militia in Iraq, no confirmation about the later.
Check up comment #72

Ya prince,
What’s amusing is that we all know what you really are, a racist hypocrite, that you would love to see Syrian blood spelled and that you would’ve been Juvenal about it if it happen like you did when the car exploded killing 17 Syrians or so couple years ago, so please don;t pretend.
And nobody of all those who show their emotion that nobody killed wrote that they want to live in a fear police state even before February, so your comment is nothing new about your usual BS, keep the good work though, we need clowns like you on SC.

April 15th, 2011, 2:43 pm


Sophia said:

Today in Al-Akhbar:

Wikileaks (cable dated August 2006): Saad Hariri calls for Syria regime change, maybe Iran too…

April 15th, 2011, 2:44 pm


Aqoul said:

I read this site but usually do not comment.

It is full of hateful bigots calling themselves ‘the light of the Syrian nation’, and a band of supporters of a draconian and despicable bunch of idiots killing and humiliating their own people while maintaining their fall would engulf the nation in the full darkness of the ‘stone age’!! But ignorance is aware of no limits especially when it becomes blinded by the very ‘brightness’ of its own ‘light’. It is a disgrace to human dignity and intelligence that the site is run by an ‘academic’ operating out of a respectable US institution!

Worse yet, an ex-ambassador offers an appology for the continuation of repression in the name of the same antiquated line of maintaining a crumbling status quo because of perceived fears from some mythical ‘furies’, and finds a welcoming mat on these same pages.

But here’s a clip many of you would enjoy,,

A three year old knows better!! Why are you wasting your times?

April 15th, 2011, 2:45 pm


Syria Almighty said:

AIG, the government isn’t the one making up lies and broadcasting it on Western media. Not being able to report inside Syria does not give the media a free pass to lie without consequence. They are supposed to report the news. Either report it properly, or don’t report it at all.

I, for one, do not support having any media reporting on Syria. If the lies are this bad now, they will be 100 times worse with a media that is allowed to report inside the country.

April 15th, 2011, 2:46 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Sophia, don’t bother. I have already posted that information twice, and it was ignore both times.

And Amir, shut up you Zionist shit. The only thing that will disappear brutally is Israel. The Syrian government is here to stay.

April 15th, 2011, 2:49 pm


Syria1 said:

Sorry if my newsflash was incorrect….Glad that there was no bloodshed today. It is really hard to tell what is true and what is not….especially when the only sources are SANA or Twitter. Is there any other place where y’all are getting your news that is reliable?

April 15th, 2011, 2:54 pm


Ziad said:


Prohibiting general media from reporting onsite is probably a mistake. Security personnel don’t want to smile to the camera while kicking some one in the stomach. But remember when Israel attacked Ghazzah in 2008, it also prevented reporters from entering the place.

April 15th, 2011, 3:08 pm


AIG said:


Gaza is not part of Israel and it was a war. Anybody can report from anywhere in any Israeli city as much as they want. The press is important to make sure that people are accountable for what they do. As long as the Syrian government does not allow free press coverage, its credibility will be severely doubted.


You are right, things will never be the same. How many more demonstrations have there been in Syria in the last few weeks than in all the previous period of Bashar’s reign? Were there any demonstrations even in non-Kurdish areas before? The dam of fear is leaking badly.

April 15th, 2011, 3:37 pm


Mina said:

Jad #88

Indeed when I saw the clip yesterday I heard that the guy speaks with an Iraqi accent and not with a Syrian accent.

April 15th, 2011, 3:41 pm


Ziad said:


“Gaza is not part of Israel”

We all know that Israel has a functioning democracy for its Jewish citizens. It is its behavior as a racist and occupying state that we are are criticizing.

“The press is important to make sure that people are accountable for what they do.”

You are right, Israel did not allow the free press because it did not want the world to find out about its war crimes.

April 15th, 2011, 3:56 pm


Nour said:

شبكة دمشق الاخبارية
وردنا ما يلي: الفيديو الذي بث اليوم على بعض القنوات العربية المأجورة تقول فيه أن مايظهر في الصور هو قوات الأمن السورية وكيفية تعاملها مع المتظاهرين…تبين أن المقطع هو لقوات البشمركة العراقية وبشكل قاطع. و يظهر عسكري امريكي في الفيلم.اقتضى التنويه والرجاء إيضاح هذه المعلومة وخصوصا للمغتربين(((لأنو نحنا سوريين وقلبنا طيب)))نرجوا منكم المساعدة في هذا الشأن

April 15th, 2011, 3:57 pm


AIG said:


Israel is also a democracy for its 20% non-Jewish population also.
Israel did not allow the press into Gaza from Israel because it could not be responsible for their safety. The press could have entered Gaza from the Egyptian border if it wanted to, nobody was stopping them. In fact, some did.

April 15th, 2011, 4:10 pm


why-discuss said:

The Salafis in Jordan: open confrontation. The heat is turning towards Jordan

Dozens Hurt As Dueling Protesters Clash In Jordan

A crowd of about 350 extremist Salafi Muslims faced off with a slightly smaller group of king loyalists in the town of Zarqa. Salafis beat the government supporters with clubs and fists, and the two sides hurled stones at each other, leaving people bloodied on the ground…..

“The Jordanian government has been chasing us everywhere for Americans’ sake. We’re not going anywhere. One day all the Arab world will be ours,” al-Tahawi said. “We will have Shariah law rule in Jordan. It’s only a matter of time, and all America and Israel’s efforts will go away.”

April 15th, 2011, 4:14 pm


why-discuss said:


“Israel did not allow the press into Gaza from Israel because it could not be responsible for their safety.”

Same applies to Syria’s demonstrations….where there were snipers and surely foreign press would have be targeted by the ones who want chaos and international condemnation.
So please….

April 15th, 2011, 4:17 pm


AIG said:


Of course, the Assad regime is justified in not allowing foreign reporters because the way Syrians* drive, they cannot be responsible for their safety 🙂

There is a difference between a war zone and a demonstration. Yes, both are risky, but to a much different extent.

* I am sure generally Syrians are great drivers, this is just a joke to illustrate a point.

April 15th, 2011, 4:27 pm


jad said:

Amir, go party, after all this day didn’t end without loosing couple Syrians on both sides.

شبكة أخبار حمص H.N.N
قوى الأمن تزف الشهيد عصام حسن
“استشهد شاب من الأمن الجنائي على يد المتظاهرين في سوق الدجاج اليوم الساعة الثالثة بعد ان استفرد به المخربين وضربوه بالحجارة حتى الموت.
الشهيد من منطقة وادي الذهب
كلنا نخجل امام دموع أمك يا شهيدنا الغالي
36 minutes ago

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد
استشهاد احد رجال الثورة في اللاذقية … رحم الله جميع شهدائنا
about an hour ago

And some terrorist activity too on the highway near Homs:
شبكة أخبار حمص H.N.N
اليوم ً
عصابة مسلحة تعترض قبل مدينة حمص بولمان نقل ركاب كان متجهاً من دمشق إلى حلب بعد عصر يوم الجمعة وسماع إطلاق رصاص والسائق تمكن ببطولة من الفرار من العصابة”
بربكن هي حرية هاد تشليح وين صرنا عايشين
32 minutes ago

April 15th, 2011, 4:53 pm


why-discuss said:

Is she reporting about another Syria on another planet or the activists have lost touch with the reality? Maybe we should send her a wakeup call on her email:

Syrian day of protest called largest yet
By Tara Bahrampour, Friday, April 15, 2:52 PM Washington Post

BEIRUT — Syrian riot police clashed with protesters in Damascus on Friday, firing tear gas and beating people with batons, while other demonstrations erupted across the country in a marked expansion of a month-long wave of unrest , witnesses said.

Shouting, “Freedom! Freedom!” and “National unity, Muslims and Christians,” a large crowd marched toward al-Abbasiyeen Square in northern Damascus, where police were blocking access late in the afternoon, witnesses said.

It was the largest day of demonstrations since the uprising here began in mid-March, according to Syrian activists reached via the Skype Internet service. Activists said up to 100,000 people joined the Damascus march, which began in Douma, outside the city, and picked up more participants as it passed through Harasta, Irbin, Zamalka and Jobar, en route to the capital.

It was impossible to independently confirm the number of protesters because foreign news media have been restricted from reporting in Syria.

“There was a lot of tear gas,” said a 35-year-old engineer who took part in the Damascus protest and said he was beaten on his legs with batons. “Many people were bleeding around the area, but many were insisting and trying to go to the square.”

By late afternoon, it was unclear whether protesters had been able to reach the square. But “just to arrive in that area was a huge achievement, because we reached Damascus,” the engineer said.

Protests also took place Friday in other cities across the country, including Homs, Latakia, Daraa, Baniyas, and Jassan, as well as in Syria’s Kurdish region, according to activists, who said government forces fired at protesters in Latakia, a city on the coast.

The movement in Syria has been marked by swelling protests and fierce crackdowns by state security forces, who have opened fire on crowds and arrested people en masse.

In recent days, in the most recent of a string of apparent attempts to placate protesters, the government released many of the detainees, and on Thursday it announced a new cabinet.

Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, had been widely anticipated as an indicator of whether the opposition movement would subside or continue to gain steam.

“Today is the biggest ever since it started,” said Razan Zaitouneh, a human rights activist and lawyer who was near the square during the protests. “It means that people didn’t respond to the violence of the authorities. The authorities were trying to make people scared, but people responded in the opposite way, by going out in larger numbers.”

However, it is unclear if those numbers are large enough to tip the balance in favor of protesters, said Rami Khouri, director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.

“There’s a serious issue for the regime in terms of people demonstrating throughout the country, but who’s doing it and what’s the extent of it is very hard to know,” he said. But, he added, “The longer it goes, the more difficult it is for the regime to calm things down.”

Whereas earlier protests had called for greater freedoms and the lifting of a decades-long emergency law, more recent protests, including those in Damascus on Friday, have increasingly called for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, 45.

Assad’s government, considered one of the most repressive in the Middle East, has close ties with Iran, and on Thursday the Obama administration accused Iran of helping Syria attempt to stamp out the recent protests, a charge Syrian officials denied.

A Human Rights Watch report issued Friday said that Syrian security and intelligence services have arrested and tortured hundreds of protesters around the country since anti-government demonstrations began last month. According to rights groups, 200 people have died so far in the the protests.

Syria’s state-run SANA news agency reported that one soldier was killed and another wounded Friday morning in the port city of Baniyas, the site of earlier demonstrations this week.

As the sun set, security forces were raiding houses around Damascus’s al-Abbasiyeen Square, Zaitouneh said.

© 2011 The Washington Post Company

April 15th, 2011, 5:17 pm


Dr. Fadi said:

There has been a lot going on in my country and I want to vent so I saw this respectful website and as someone who is interested in politics in general I decided to write here. I am yet getting familiar with this great website:

It is speculated now that some organizations, countries, and people are behind the unrest in Syria to mention few: Islamic Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia, Khadam, Hariri and his fellow Jamal Jarah. They are using the people and moving the street to achieve their agenda. Some people are even talking of western involvement in the uprise. Some believe that Syria is no different than Egypt, Libya, or Tunisia and what happened there could happen in Syria. What makes Syria different?

First lest us look at the Strong Axis: Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria.
Some believe that the west including Israel would love to give big blow to the growing Iranian influence in the region. The Iranian nuclear ambition and influence is not welcomed by the western power. By taking Syria off, they would isolate Iran, and later disarm Hezbollah perhaps through a United Nations coalition forces.

This is easy to say but perhaps remains a dream for several reasons:

1. The current relatively calm situation in Iraq would have never occurred without Syria and Iranian involvement. Although on the surface there is a lot of strong language against both regimes but my personal believe that Iran and Syria played a role in calming Iraq. We do not hear our troops being harmed now days as we used to hear in the recent past. Recently the Mehdi army declared that they want our troops out of Iraq and 2 million came out in the streets a week ago. Alsadar has not done anything for 2 years and now coming out with his army. Perhaps a message from the Iranian and Syrians that “We are here, we have influence in the country, and we could move the streets anytime”.

2. Syria is the most important alliance for Iran political influence and existence. Iranians are trying to avoid any political announcements because they believe in the Syrian ability to crack down the current demonstrations as the Iranians themselves did although I believe we should differentiate between the unrest that is taking place in Syria now and the Iranian unrest which is beyond the scope of my review. Iranian although silent, does not mean they don’t support their alliance Syria. It’s just they don’t want to give the current conflict a sectarian view. But if they feel that their arm will be cut then they will step up and play their cards in Afganestan, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, even the north of Saudi Arabia as some Shiite exists in these countries (many in Iraq) and they are loyal to Iran.Not to mention that the passage of Oil could be under Iranian attack in the Persian Gulf (Excuse me Arab but this is called by history the Persian gulf)

3. The Syrian army, intelligent agencies, and police have been practicing a high level of patience but last Friday declared that enough is enough. All these agencies are extremely loyal to President Assad. What happened in Egypt will never ever happen in Syria; here the army is with the president. Moreover, millions of Alawait people are willing to defend President Assad till death. Sectarian war would be the end result of any attempt to change the current government

4. Hezbollah and Israel conflict may come to frontline in case of western attacks on Syria.

5. All of us remember the Syrian-Turkish Crisis. Turkey deployed all its army on the southern border with Syria. Rumors spread in Syria that President Assad the father back then told Turkey that his war is not with them. If they will attack from north all Syria Missiles will target Tel Aviv. I recall that no single Syrian army was deployed to the borders with Turkey and Turkey did nothing.

6. Syria is important geopolitical player in this region if not the most important player. Instability of Syria will lead a total mess in the whole region from Afghanistan to Lebanon. For all the reasons mentions I really doubt that the west is naïve in reading the Syrian situation. I really doubt that such attack will happen and if it did then the costs will definitely be high

There are some voices from the Middle East including my family members who are saying to me: Why America is doing that? Why they want to bring Radicals to Syria? Is Obama aware of the grave situation if the radicals come? Don’t they get it that the current unrest is caused by some organizations who are using the people as a mean to reach their goal?
Well many questions and even angry ones that I find myself puzzled with. I really do not believe for a second that it is in the interest of America to bring the radical Brotherhood Islam to lead Syria. This organization is equal to AlQaeda. Do we need alQaeda anywhere in the world; the answer is NO.
Syrian government has been saying for a month now that outsiders are behind the unrest, unfortunately no one listened or even believed. They went condemning the government. People from both sides innocents and army men were killed; they say that the army is shooting others to give means for the government to be brutal. Well with the 10 people killed in Jordan by the Islamist radicals today I think people all over the world will look at the king of Jordan and will believe his story. Well the news is out

Islamists attack Jordan police with swords, daggers

Syria has been saying that police men were killed by outsiders. No one believed. Should we connect the dots now.


April 15th, 2011, 5:19 pm


jad said:

Almost everybody on SC can write the news for her in more professional way and with the correct information.
Those journalists need to do their homework instead of writing no-brain pieces.

شوكوماكو – خاص
عاد الهدوء التام إلى منطقة جوبر في دمشق وذلك بعد ان قام مجموعة من ***** يقدر عددهم بـ 450 شخصاً قدموا من مناطق دوما وعربين وحرستا بتخريب الممتلكات العامة والخاصة في جوبر.
وأفاد مراسل شوكوماكو أنه حدث تكسير لواجهات بعض المحال في شارع علوش- الشارع الرئيسي في جوبر- كما تم تكسير بعض الباصات وتدمير لمواقف السيارات ناشرين الذعر في نفوس الأهالي في تلك المنطقة.
واكد لنا مراسلنا أن قوات الأمن تصدت لل**** القادمين من ريف دمشق في ساحة البرلمان، مادفع ال**** إلى الفرار واللجوء للحارات الفرعية حيث واجهتهم اللجان الشعبية المتواجدة في المنطقة.
وفي اتصال هاتفي مع شوكوماكو أكد لنا أحد أفراد اللجان الشعبية في حي الخرار بجوبر أنهم تصدوا للهاربين من ال**** الذين حاولوا نشر الذعر والفوضى وأجبروهم على التراجع والعودة من حيث أتو.

April 15th, 2011, 5:38 pm


NAJIB said:

The ‘Alawi factor’ seems to be hindering a peaceful transformation from Syrian dictatorship towards a more widely representative regime.

Alawis have been massacred and oppressed and treated as heretics for more than 400 hundreds years. obviousely they do not want to go through this again.

if you search Salafi sites and read through their literature on what they think Alawis are, you will quickly understand that those fears are still justified.

But the fears of a small minority cannot save a ‘System’ or a ‘Regime’ .

It is simply the collective intelligence of the Syrian people who could not be tricked into something they have no clue who is behind it and where exactly it is going to take them. what about the day after, people want to know.

in a true Revolution , being an ‘Alawi’, Kurd, Christian, Druze, Jewish, Hourani, Shami, Halabi or a plain vanilla or generic sunni becomes a non-issue. forgotten, irrelevant in politics.

April 15th, 2011, 5:39 pm


syau said:

Dr. Fadi

You comments are the most level headed ones I’ve read. Unfortunately the hard core anti Bashar will not listen, they might think – interesting view, then continue on believing the rubbish comming out of BBC and Al Jazzera. They cannot open their minds to most of these videos being fake or that outside entities are the ones behind the unrest in Syria. That would be agreeing with the government. There was a change in ministry- a positive one I might add, but no one is interested in that or what that might bring, they prefer to continue on the sectarian war path and fall right into the hands of the negative outside influences and do not look back.

I’s saddening to see what is being broadcast – over and over again, the same video being replayed during an “interview” by Al Jazzera or BBC – with whom, those outright opposed to the Syrian government and it’s leader. There is no balanced view there, just biased ones and with the media power these news stations have, unfortunately thats what the greater public will be viewing.

April 15th, 2011, 6:11 pm


N.Z. said:

Dr. Fadi,

Why were there no confrontations today in the streets of Damascus, keeping in mind that the crowds were larger and wider spread?

There was no blood spilled!
I beg an explanation Fadi.

Let us not forget the Egyptian scenario under Mubarak’s regime.

April 15th, 2011, 6:36 pm


Fadi said:

Dear Syau,

It is clear dear that they are targeting Syria. It is interesting that the people of Syria is getting back to the Syrian Broadcasting agency that we hated for many years of being boring and not honest. I think the Syrian TV is the most reliable. Look; president Assad can crack down all this crap but this is not the way to do it. He is practicing a high level of patient and professionalism in dealing with this crisis. Unfortunately whatever he does or the government do will never be appreciated. Give him a chance, come to the table, talk. I have to say that the government should have looked to the surrounding unrest in other countries and learned from them. Unfortunately they did not and changes/improvements came a little late but that does not justify the chaos, the random killing by ??????ghosts, and the attack by organized groups namely Qaeda like Islam Brotherhoods>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Qaeda-like Islam brotherhoods. I hope our president here (Obama) gets this and I wish I can say it to him loud loud loud that we free Syrians do not want such a radical regimen. I really do not know what the west is thinking:

Do they want to change Syria Regimen: I very much doubt that they would do such a stupid costly mistake.

Or Do they want to get these radicals into trouble by getting them out of their holes into direct clash with Syrian regimen knowing that this regimen did not play with them back in 1982 rather they eradicated them and brought them to a 35 years of paralysis and now they are back to retaliate; they will not win as so far the west has been smooth in criticizing Syria. Will wait and see what the future brings. If this is the freedom the west wants then congrats as they will open their own grave.


April 15th, 2011, 6:37 pm


Fadi said:

Dear N.Z,

I really did not get the message you are trying to say.

I think it is great news that there are no confrontations today in the streets of Damascus.

I would not want a drop of blood to spill from anyone in the world. I am just trying to analyse the the situation on land from my point of view. You may disagree with me or agree and I would respect your point of views in either way.
I am very happy that there is no trouble in Damascus


April 15th, 2011, 6:41 pm


syau said:


There were protests in the Damascus today, but largest to date, I dont think so, Please take a close look at the footage being shown by BBC, it is old footage, when this nonsense just began. The protesters are in small numbers as I have heard first hand.

No N.Z, there was no blood spilled. There were police officers walking with the protesters to keep the peace and ensure there was no violence amongst the protesters.

April 15th, 2011, 6:42 pm


why-discuss said:

I regret that these revolution-happy TV channels don’t put dates on the clips they show. I think it is unprofessional and misleading.
Most serious TV channels show a sign ‘Archive’ when they are old clips.
I have stopped trusting al Jazeera and most News Channels because of that and also that horrible habit they have of splitting the screen during an interview to pass violent old Youtube clips on and on, it is sickening.

April 15th, 2011, 7:38 pm


Syria Almighty said:

I have a question for all the stupid people who are pretending that this is not a sectarian conflict. Why do people keep sending me messages on Facebook and Youtube such as:

“Alawite Pig”

“So will die like a DOG!!! Everyone who support the Monster Assad, must get killed! Like you and your Family!!! So shut up and got fuck your mother you pice of shit! you no honor, no pride, nothing. so die and go to hell!!!!”

“Anik Umak ya Akhu Sharmuta!!!! I am Syrian and i will fuck your Familiy!

Just wait, if Assad get killed, than the Sunnis will kill all fucking Alawis! hahaha Biatch!

Go to HELL!!!”

“No matter you piece of shit! You will die and your fucking familiy! You dont have the right to live! How you can support a dictator and murder like bashar? you son of a bitch. go to hell with you christian family and burn in hell!!!”

Those are just a few comments I have received, EVERY TIME one of those destined-to-die revolution criminals contact me and other people. I never speak about religion, nor have I told these people what religion I am. They just assume that I am an Alawite. When I tell them that I am not, they assume that I am a Christian (I am), and still wish death upon me, my family, and all Christians.

Everyone in the revolution is garbage.

April 15th, 2011, 8:27 pm


Australian -Syrian said:

Syria Almighty,
Dont give 2 shits about what people say. They are too pissed off and infuriated that they know, that Bashar al Assad is going to remain in power.

Those ass holes calling you an Alawite pig should just go to hell. And who the F”’k do they think they are insulting your religion? All that crap goes back to them and all those who support them.

Honestly, like i said earlier on, in my experience, the Christian people are better than almost all the Suni people. And by the comments you are getting, that justifies that.

April 15th, 2011, 8:39 pm


N.Z. said:

Dear Syrian Doctors,

The medication you are subscribing is not effective.

April 15th, 2011, 8:52 pm


why-discuss said:

Address by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
(Strasbourg, 13 April 2011)

…..The emergence in Europe of racism, discrimination and intolerance is a cause of concern for all our societies. These trends have become an even greater cause of concern for the people living on our surrounding geographies.

I observe with regret that polarization is Europe is getting deeper.

We witness such phenomenon among mainstream political parties as they adopt populist stands to address general uncertainties and fears. I believe that it should be the primary responsibility of politicians to display leadership to reverse dangerous trends.

Let me remind you: Turkey is the only secular country with an overwhelmingly Muslim population in her region.

The principle of secularism which we adopted from the French model, has been controversial in Turkey over the years. For some, it has been perceived as an impediment against democratization and has been used to restrict freedoms.

Today, Turkey has left behind these controversies and proved to the whole world, that ISLAM-SECULARISM and DEMOCRACY can coexist.

It is an irony that at a time when Turkey becomes a model for her region, a new controversy on secularism begins in Europe which uses this principle for restricting freedoms.

Never in history or anywhere any positive results were achieved through coercion against beliefs, cultures and identities.

We have to replace religious intolerance with tolerance.

It is highly dangerous to exploit religious sensitivities, freedoms, points of divergence and prejudices for political purposes…..

….In the same vein, we follow closely the developments in Bahrain and continue to engage with all sides in the region so as to reduce tensions.

We also continue our efforts for ensuring that the popular movements in Syria, Yemen and Jordan result in democratic changes…..

April 15th, 2011, 8:54 pm


why-discuss said:

WikiLeaks: Hariri Urged Ending Assad Regime, Khaddam and Muslim Brotherhood to fill Void

Caretaker PM Saad Hariri believed that the Syrian and Iranian regimes are the obstacles behind the deteriorating peace process in the Middle East, revealed a WikiLeakes cable published in al-Akhbar newspaper on Friday.
Hariri stated that Israel is “protecting” the Syrian regime because it fears the unknown.

The leaked U.S. Embassy cable dated August 24, 2006, reported that he believed “weakening Syria will force Iran to work on its own.”

Hariri said during a meeting with a U.S. foreign ministry official and another diplomat in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, that isolating Syria and imposing a siege on it would cut Iran’s link to Lebanon and Palestine “where it is creating problems.”

He stressed: “Saudi Arabia and other Arabian countries have gotten fed up with Bashar… and are not interested in getting engaged in a dialogue with Damascus.”

“We need to put an end to the Syrian regime… All conflicts will end when this regime is abolished,” he continued.

When asked about who can fill the void if the regime falls, he stated that “collaboration between the Muslim Brotherhood and some of the officials that were part of the old regime, such as former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam and former Syrian Chief of Staff Hikmat al-Shihabi” could assume control in Syria.

Hariri stressed that the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria is similar to the moderate Islamists in Turkey, explaining: “They will allow a Christian or a woman to become president. They even support a peace agreement with Israel.”

He expressed fears over Iranian intervention in the region, saying: “Syria is only part of a bigger problem which is Iran, which supports Islamist groups like Hizbullah and Hamas.”

The Mustaqbal Movement leader said that Iran and Syria are smuggling arms to Hizbullah through land borders not by sea or air.

Hariri questioned the usefulness of providing the Lebanese army with weapons to serve as an obstacle to Hizbullah when “its ammunition won’t last more than four hours.”

He added that he will cut all ties with Hizbullah, saying: “We want it to change its behavior and hand over its weapons, or it will have a problem with me.”

In another leaked cable dated September 27, 2006, Hariri noted that Lebanon only requires “light weapons and some helicopters to impose its sovereignty over all its territory.”

He believed that the residents of the South will turn against Hizbullah once the Lebanese army is deployed in the area as they will realize that the Lebanese authorities can help resolve their problems, not Hizbullah, which is only “an Iranian infiltrator.”

April 15th, 2011, 8:58 pm


Syria Almighty said:

WD, that article has been posted 3 times, twice by me. I don’t know why nobody cares about it.

April 15th, 2011, 9:02 pm


syau said:

“They will allow a Christian or or woman to become president”

Who does this corrupt loser think he is. I saw this wikileaks document this morning and it just proves that these evil outside entities are trying to destablise Syria. This all started when they were trying to blame Syria for the Hariri Sr death. Maybe they should finally look to Hariri Jr. for the answer.

April 15th, 2011, 9:14 pm


syau said:

Syria Almighty,

I’m sorry you have to put up with all those discusting insults. What comes around goes around, and they will at some point find themselves the centre of such comments, and, it would be because of karma. Hopefully only positive comments will come your way in future.

April 15th, 2011, 9:18 pm


Syria Almighty said:

To the whores of the Syrian Islamic Revolution:

April 15th, 2011, 9:26 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Syau, Saad al-HarAIRi is an asshole. It would not surprise me in the least if he was complicit in his own father’s death. His own father was not even this radical. I hope his imminent death is televised. He is truly the most corrupt person in Lebanon.

April 15th, 2011, 9:34 pm


Mouna said:

The Albaida video is authentic.
One of the guys being humiliated there is our poor maid’s eldest brother.
He lost a tooth while his head was banged against the ground.

April 15th, 2011, 10:13 pm


syau said:


Finallly, a level headed thinker. I think you on ground point of view is what is needed here.

I would also like to point out that I am proudly not living in the US. I am living in a beautiful country that is keeping it’s nose out of Syria’s business.

April 15th, 2011, 10:15 pm


Australian -Syrian said:

Saad al Hariri is a no good filthy pig. His dream is to see Syria a corrupt country. I love Lebanon, but i hate, yes i hate, the Hariri. The reason he blamed Syria for the death of his old man was because he was trying to cover up his own tracks. Well, i say, if any Syrian DID have something to do with SR’s murders, what an honour! Even though it’s all bull.

The reason why that S.O.B wants Syria to be led by the Brotherhood is because he will benefit highly. IF, the brotherhood lead Syria the Hariri nub will do what the Americans did. The US supported Sadam and Al Queda. When they gave them weapons, they used their ‘ terror’ as an excuse to invade Iraq, and so on. That’s what Hariri wants to do.

But sadly for that unsophisticated twit, that will never happen. Syria is strong, and Enshallah, it will remain strong.

And the reason why nobody cares about the article, is because they know that they have nothing to say to counter-act it. They are eating their words, because they know that what the Syrian Government, and people like us have been trying to get across, is true.

April 15th, 2011, 10:30 pm


syau said:

Australian – Syrian,

LOL…. Dont hide you true feelings about that unsophisticated twit

April 15th, 2011, 10:52 pm


Shami said:

Mina:Indeed when I saw the clip yesterday I heard that the guy speaks with an Iraqi accent and not with a Syrian accent.

are you sure that the accent is iraqi ?

those are obviously not peshmerga.(why are they obliged to speak arabic?)

الفيديو الذي تبثه المحطات التلفزيونية على انه تعذيب الامن للمتظاهرين في عين البيضة اتضح من خلال مواطن عراقي اسمه الدكتور حسن الجبوري تفيد ان الفيديو مصور في بغداد في الشرطة الخامسة بالقرب من المزارع وتعرف على اشياء كثيرة في مقطع الفيديو
وتعهد ان يرسل تسجيل عن المنطقة قريبا

and the landscape,architecture,human kind, obviously not that of Baghdad.

April 15th, 2011, 11:46 pm


Mina said:

Shami #129
Indeed sorry I saw the clip again today and they speak Syrian. How can the official media be stupid enough to expect people to believe they are peshmergas ?
There was another clip though which I can’t find and was circulating on Twitter some days ago where obviously it spoke Iraqi.

April 16th, 2011, 3:51 am


syau said:


Fake videos, fake blood, people arising from the dead, archived videos and so on. What makes you think they cant dubb voices on archived videos or anything else. What is stopping the Syrian Revolution and all the evil pscho’s behind it from adding their own voices to the video. I also think the pictures you posted previously of the dismembered statue of Hafez Al Assad which is on their site are discusting. They condone degrading and stepping on a statue of someone who passed on. What type of deamon they fit into I can only guess, but its the worst kind. Is that the type of people you want to govern Syria?

April 16th, 2011, 4:20 am


Fadi said:

I agree with syau comments regarding the unjustified, and biased media attack on Syria. Syau wrote “I’s saddening to see what is being broadcast – over and over again, the same video being replayed during an “interview” by Al Jazzera or BBC – with whom, those outright opposed to the Syrian government and it’s leader” “I saw this wikileaks document this morning and it just proves that these evil outside entities are trying to destablise Syria”

It is really makes you feel sick to follow Aljazeera news. They repeat the same headlines, the same photos, the same clip every single day. They are trying their best to advance the agenda of their payers. They do not want their basket to be empty; they want to put any crap out to assure the stream of millions of dollars to their bank. For example the headlines today, which was the same for over a month now. When we call back home they tell us, this is all lie, listen to old syrian TV; this is the most reliable source now. Back to Aljazeer headline today:
مظاهرات بدمشق ومدن سورية أخرى
مظاهرات بسوريا تدعو لإسقاط النظام
Yesterday they did not even mention the attacks on the Jordanian police and it took them 24 hours to report that (Well perhaps they were waiting the okay from their payers):
اعتقالات بصفوف السلفيين بالأردن
Shame on you Qatar, Shame on you Amir Qatar to allow such an attack, shame on you for leading the attack on an Libya, shame on you for allowing Al Qardawi to send hatered messages from your land, you expect Syrian goverment to be drowining and you are waiting on the sideline perhaps to take a share from its body. Syria that openend the doors for you and welcomed you. Enough said

April 16th, 2011, 12:30 pm


Vedat The Turk said:

@ Syria Almighty

You complain about getting insulted but it seems to me that you are the only one in this forum that uses profanity and throws insults. I for one did not believe any of your earlier accusations that you had received insulting emails about your religion. I think you made it all up.

Also saying that you wish to witness the violent death of Harriri makes you come across as angry / hostile. Seriously, other than a sociopath, who would want to witness the death of another human being? Maybe you should clean up your act rather than complain.

: )

April 16th, 2011, 4:35 pm


mhd said:

aljazeera tv is so naive & has no more credibility to the true Syrian .it is achaneel of misleading & falsification
a channel of fabrication
a channel that attack others own life

April 17th, 2011, 1:48 am


سارة علي said:

الله لايرحم مخرب …..اسا عم تقولو ثورة
لعن الله الثورة السورية التخريبية التي يتزعمها الاخوان المسلمين
الطلبانيون الجدد
القندهاريون الجدد
الوهابيون الجدد
الحقوقيون الجدد
شهود العيان الجدد
تبا لكم ولثورتكم بشار الاسد وفقط بشار الاسد لكم بالمرصاد
bashar alassad Ilove you

June 18th, 2011, 4:12 pm


Syria Comment » Archives said:

[…] The Biography is updated and contains a special section on Works in Arabic on Hafiz al-Asad and family (pp 227-230). It also includes the article for Syria Comment of 14 April 2011: Syria: the dangerous trap of sectarianism. […]

July 10th, 2011, 10:10 pm


Nokalaos van Dam, “The Struggle for Power in Syria.” said:

[…] The Biography is updated and contains a special section on Works in Arabic on Hafiz al-Asad and family (pp 227-230). It also includes the article for Syria Comment of 14 April 2011: Syria: the dangerous trap of sectarianism. […]

July 12th, 2011, 2:02 pm


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