Syrian Opposition to Meet in Turkey: May 31 – June 2

Opposition groups and activists are planning to meet in in Antalya, Turkey from May 31 to June 2 in an attempt to elect a transitional council, connect with protesters inside the country, and present the international community with a clear alternative to Assad.

In April, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood gathered in Istanbul, where a press conference was held by Riad al-Shaqfa, a mentor of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was carried live on Al Jazeera. The meeting was organized under the auspices of the Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association, or MÜSİAD, but the financer and the real organizer was Gazi Mısırlı, one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and a Syrian who has been living in Turkey with Turkish citizenship, the Syrian ambassador to Ankara, Nidal Kabalan, told the Hürriyet Daily News.

“The conference will be open to all supporters of the opposition, independent personalities and representatives of all faiths,” Ammar Qurabi, president of the Egypt-based National Organisation of Human Rights, told AFP. He referred to the Damascus Declaration, which was formed in 2005 and  demanded an end to the domination of the ruling Baath party, free elections and the release of political prisoners.

Listen to this Radio Show to hear Ausama Monajed, an important England based activist
Questions Over Syria: ‘Who’s Leading Revolution… Are We Going To Have Stability?’
“Here and Now” on NPR –  “We look at what’s next for Syria with Landis and Monajed.”

London-based activist Ausama Monajed, who lives in England and issues – Syrian Revolution News Round-ups, is leading Syria’s online opposition and says that the Syrian government won’t be able to stop change simply by shutting down telephone lines or by closely monitoring Internet-based protest, as they have for years.

But Syria expert Josh Landis of the University of Oklahoma, describes deep divisions in Syria, where many residents are fearful of change. Landis said, “You know the anxiety for many Syrians is…. who is leading this revolution, what do they want, who’s going to take over, are we going to have stability?” We look at what’s next for Syria with Landis and Monajed.

Here is what Syrian ambassador to Ankara, Nidal Kabalan, told the Hürriyet Daily News last week about the Muslim Brotherhood meeting in Istanbul in April.

The Syrian administration has also been irked by the meetings of Syrian opposition figures in Istanbul in April. “I think Turkey has been trying to play a role, maybe which, in principle, has a good intention, but the Muslim Brotherhood, those who have taken part in armed operations against the Syrian army in 1980s, have Syrian blood on their hands,” Kabalan said.

“For us, the Muslim Brotherhood is like the PKK is for Turkey,” he said, referring to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. “The Muslim Brotherhood has been attacking the army. You have to understand that sensitivity.”

Kabalan said the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood had been engaged in a dialogue with the Syrian government, but added that he was talking about the military wing of the group.

“At the gathering in Istanbul a press conference was held by Riad al-Shaqfa, a mentor of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was carried live on Al Jazeera – an unwelcome development, I have to be honest. We did not like it. You should not give a platform to people with blood on their hands,” he said.

“The issue is who is meeting and what the decisions are. If it was a meeting to initiate a peaceful constructive dialogue with the country, it was not a problem,” Kabalan added.

The meeting was organized under the auspices of the Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association, or MÜSİAD, but the financer and the real organizer was Gazi Mısırlı, one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and a Syrian who has been living in Turkey with Turkish citizenship, Kabalan said.

“When President al-Assad came to Istanbul [in 2009], Mr. Erdoğan introduced this guy and said, ‘Please, my brother Bashar, help this man.’ Mısırlı is the financer of most of the actions,” the ambassador said. “He was welcomed by Bashar al-Assad personally to go back to Syria. This was a year and a half ago, and he did not give one single answer.”

“We are very sorry for every single drop of blood that has been shed on Syrian soil. Syrian blood should be spread in Palestine, in fighting Israel, not in fighting in Syrian cities,” he added.

Kabalan said the unrest in Syria was almost over and that the government had obtained confessions from arrested armed people of at least 11 nationalities, including those from Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Eritrea and Somalia.

Asked about criticisms that al-Assad’s regime is slow in acting on reforms, the envoy said such changes take time, citing the Turkish government’s efforts to change the constitution over the past four to five years.

Turkish experts who visited Damascus have contributed to legislation on a multiparty system, a new law for local administration and a law on peaceful demonstrations, he said.

US policy on Syria ‘depends on success in Libya’,
Kim Ghattas By Kim Ghattas BBC News, Washington, 24 May 2011

…. In Washington as well as European capitals, the consensus seems to be that Mr Assad’s days are numbered even though there is no decision to call on him to go.

While the West decided it could never work with Col Gaddafi again, there would still be a willingness to work with Mr Assad if he suddenly made concrete, genuine efforts towards dialogue and democracy.

The US and its Western allies also do not want to call for the departure of another leader and find him still sitting in his presidential palace weeks later, said a European diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity.

“If we want to address Syria, we have to deal with Libya first,” said the diplomat.

Ammar Abdulhamid, a long time Syrian dissident who has been living in exile in the US since 2005, suggests the administration is slowing down the process that would lead to calls for Mr Assad to leave – trying to buy time “while they try to finish things in Libya”….

Mr Abdulhamid acknowledged that another reason why the US has refrained from calling on Mr Assad to go is its uncertainty about a post-Assad future.

“They don’t believe he’s a reformer, but they can’t see an alternative,” he said.

A large number of opposition groups are now reportedly planning to meet in Turkey at the end of the month, to attempt to elect a transitional council, connect with protesters inside the country, and present the international community with a clear alternative to Assad.

If they succeed, it would move the debate about Syria into a new phase.

Syrian president, top officials, businessmen hit by EU sanctions
2011-05-24, Trend

Brussels (DPA) — Syria’s president, its vice-president, a top adviser, a slew of security officials and several businessmen loyal to the regime were officially banned on Tuesday from travelling to the European Union, with any assets they may hold in the bloc frozen. The names of the 10 new individuals targeted in the EU’s second round of Syrian sanctions were published in its official journal, marking their entry into force….

In Iran, an additional five people and 72 companies involved in activities involving nuclear or ballistic missiles have been hit with travel bans and asset freezes, including companies with locations in Germany, Belarus, Malaysia, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Malta, Cyprus and the Isle of Man.

Canada imposes economic sanctions on Syria in response to crackdown
Washington Post –

Canada’s sanctions will prevent Syrian leaders from travelling to Canada and essentially ban trade between the two countries. The measures are largely symbolic because Canada exports only about $60 million annually to Syria, and receives less than a tenth that in imports.

LA Times [Reg]: Nuclear report on Syria may augur punitive action

Reporting from Beirut— The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog released a detailed report saying Syria “very likely” pursued a clandestine nuclear program, an assertion that is expected to add pressure on a regime already reeling from protests at …

US ex-general predicts Syria intervention

[A reader pointed out that this is probably not true – Thanks]

NATO hits Tripoli in largest strike yet

Syrian capital’s residents on edge
Jocelyne Zablit , 24 May 2011, Agence France Presse

Damascus remains relatively untouched by the pro-democracy protests roiling Syria, but even supporters of the regime in the capital are becoming edgy about the mounting death toll and wondering where the country is headed.

While on the surface all appears normal in the city, with shops open, traffic jams and crowded sidewalks, it is clear that the unrest is on everyone’s mind and that with each new demonstration, casualty and sanction the tension rises a notch.

Many hunker down in their homes at night instead of socialising, while some evening events are being cancelled or moved up so that residents can rush home early.

“Two weeks ago we still believed the government’s assertion that everything was under control and that the crisis was over,” said one local resident, traditionally a supporter of President Bashar al-Assad.

“But the future suddenly looks dark and I wonder down what path the regime is taking us,” added the woman, who like others mentioned in this article refused to be named.

Many people in the metropolis of some four million — where the Alawite-controlled authoritarian regime has a strong base of support among minority Christians and members of the Sunni bourgeoisie — seem baffled by the turn of events.

“It is beginning to sink in that this is not going to be over soon and that the country is undergoing major change,” said one businessman. “Nothing will be the same as before anymore.”

Assad still enjoys strong support in the capital but there are growing fears that the situation is spiralling out of control and that the unrest could eventually hit Damascus and Aleppo, the two major power centres largely spared the violence so far.

‘The impact of Syria’s unrest on Iran‘ (Jubin Goodarzi, The Iran Primer–USIP)

“For Iran, the ouster of President Bashar Assad in Syria would arguably be the most significant setback since the end of its eight-year war with Iraq in 1988 and possibly even since its 1979 revolution. Regime change would be a major blow for both Iran’s ideological and foreign policy goals. Syria has been Iran’s only stalwart supporter over the past 32 years. It was one of the few Arab states that stood by Iran during its eight-year-long war with Iraq in the 1980s. Over the past three decades, Syria has also served as a major conduit for Iranian arms shipments and support to Lebanon’s Hezbollah. The militant Shiite movement represents a major asset for Tehran and Damascus in the regional power struggle against Israel, the United States and their allies. Since the end of the 2006 Lebanon conflict, Damascus and Tehran have rebuilt Hezbollah into a formidable force with an arsenal estimated at 40,000 rockets and missiles.”

Netanyahu rules out return to 1967 borders in AIPAC address

Guardian (GB): Syria acknowledges sanctions will hurt

ZEINA KARAM Associated Press= BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s foreign minister acknowledged Monday that European sanctions will hurt Syrian interests, but he said Damascus will not allow foreign countries to impose their will on Syria.

Debate Over Religious Freedom in Syria Causes Anger in Los Angeles Diaspora, Mary Slosson for Huffington Post

Features Ammar Kahf, a leader of the local opposition protests and the Los Angeles representative of the Syrian Emergency Task Force. He is brother of Mohja Kahf, who is the wife of Najib Ghadbian. All are among the 20 or so signers of the “National Initiative for Change”

Comments (217)

Revlon said:

The impending meeting of the Syrian Opposition in Turkey will be a landmark in the history of Syria.

Save for the brief Democratic reprieve that Syrian people enjoyed in the middle of the last century, Syrians were always ruled by dictatorships, under various names and ideologies.

This meeting shall be the first organizational step, by the people, twords the rule of the people, by the people.

I expect the meeting to achieve the following:
– Provides an opportunity for activists, partisan or independant, to meet with each other in person.
– Establish the Syrian National Consultative Council
– Issue a mission statement
– The appointed chair needs to address the Syrian nation at the conclusion of this meeting.

Allah, Suriya, 7urrieh w Bas

May 25th, 2011, 4:22 am


Shami said:

Thank you Turkiye!!!

Turkey voices support for Syrian people’s demands

May 25th, 2011, 5:11 am


Shami said:

asad ila mazbalet el tarikh.

May 25th, 2011, 5:12 am


majedkhaldoon said:

USA and Europe,can not use military action against Syria,while US knows very well that US can not leave Iraq at the end of this year,with Bashar is still in power.
The demonstrations will not cause Assad to be toppled.and diplomatically,US can not hurt Assad.
Turkey is in a position that can effect things in Syria,The majority of Turkish sympathize with Syrian revolution,The meeting in Istanbule,will hurt Turkey relations with Syria,Assad will be embarassed by it.
If Turkey interfere in Syria,China can not do anything,the question would Russia interfere?I doubt it ,the continued blood spilling in Syria will force Russia to stay on the side line.
Would Turkey interfere?,it has to depend on one factor, and that would US concede Syria to Turkey?

May 25th, 2011, 6:10 am


AIG said:


Indeed, the clear language of support from Turkey is very encouraging.
I did not expect Turkey to come out so strongly on the side of the protesters so soon. Another foreign policy mistake of the “genius” Bashar.

May 25th, 2011, 10:03 am


why-discuss said:


“and present the international community with a clear alternative to Assad.”

That is not what the communique says. It says:
“His opponents are demanding an end to the domination of the ruling Baath party, free elections and the release of political prisoners.”

No mention of Assad.

In view of the imminence of Turkey elections, I think there is an arrangement between Erdogan and Assad that the meeting will focus on the new party law and the release of prisoners rather that the overthrown of Bashar Al Assad.
Erdogan is in an election period, his main opponent is an Alevi and he has to court the Kurds for votes. I don’t know what is his strategy, does he want to weaken his Alevi opponent by showing his support of the Alawites in Syria? Does he want to satisfy the demands of the Kurds in Syria ( represented in this meeting ?) so as to attract more kurdish turkish votes.

Whatever conclusion the meeting will reach, it is certain that it will need time to establish a common strategy, if it does not get bogged down on the issue of whether Bashar should stay or not to lead the transition. That may be the crucial point of disagreement.
In any case, in the short term, Bashar would have time to reshuffle the party and announce reforms.
If the opposition does not unite, it will give even more ammunitions for Bashar to stay and make reforms that may convince the Syrians.

“This is what we told [Syrian] President Bashar al-Assad’s [regime], and we will be convinced if the people accept the reforms that the authorities pledged to make.”
The ball is in the opposition hand.

May 25th, 2011, 10:20 am


Sophia said:

# 3 Shami,

Why don’t you write your comment in English? So people might get to know you courageous opinions.

May 25th, 2011, 10:35 am


Nour said:

إن القوى والأحزاب الموقعة على هذا النداء, آخذة بعين الاعتبار المخاطر التي تهدد الوحدة الوطنية بسبب استمرار اصطفاف اللون الواحد وعدم قبول الأخر, ولقطع الطريق على كل من يريد تهديد وحدة البلاد وإضعاف دورها التاريخي في الصراع “العربي – الإسرائيلي”.

تدعو الجميع إلى أعلى درجات ضبط النفس في هذه الظروف الحساسة ، والتمسك بالوحدة الوطنية للوصول إلى الحد الأدنى من الاستقرار الداخلي، لتكوين الأرضية المناسبة للتوافق على الإصلاحات المطلوبة وإطلاق عملية الحوار الوطني حولها, لذلك فهي تدعو وبشكل متواز وفوري إلى :

1 – إطلاق سراح جميع المعتقلين على خلفية الأحداث الحالية.

2 – وقف كل أشكال استخدام العنف.

3 – التأكيد على سلمية المظاهرات و تحريم استخدام السلاح.

4 – عودة الجيش إلى مواقع انتشاره الطبيعي.

5 – عدم طرح شعار إسقاط النظام في المظاهرات السلمية لأنه يؤدي إلى تعقيد الوضع ويمنع الحوار المنشود.

6-رفض وإدانة كل الدعوات المطالبة بأية تدخلات خارجية عربية كانت أم أجنبية و تحت أي مسمى صدرت.

إن تحقيق هذه الشروط في هذه اللحظة سيمتن الجبهة الداخلية ويخلق أرضية ملائمة للبدء بالحوار الوطني ويشكل سدا منيعا في مواجهة أي تدخل أجنبي في شؤون البلاد.

دمشق : 25/05/ 2011

الموقعون :

حزب الإصلاح الديمقراطي الوحدوي في سورية

اللجنة الوطنية لوحدة الشيوعيون السورين

الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي برئاسة د.علي حيدر

التجمع الديمقراطي الكردي في سوريا ( البارتي )

التجمع الديمقراطي الاشوري السوري

الحزب الديمقراطي السوري (مصطفى قلعة جي)

May 25th, 2011, 10:45 am


Greetings from Deal, NJ said:

May 25th, 2011, 10:55 am


AIG said:

Further evidence that it is the regime that is lying:

They will not let a UN mission to Deraa. Why? What are they afraid of?
Hey regime supporters, what is your excuse for this?

May 25th, 2011, 11:00 am


Sophia said:

I think it is time Assad speaks to the country because things are calming down. But if he is going to do so he must have something to put on the table. And if he is going to succeed in regainning a minimum of political and diplomatic control over the events he must break with the usual pattern of the traditional reactions to external sanctions and internal strife we have seen so far in other countries. And now is the time to do it because the opposition is still divided and disorganised.
He must come up with somthing creative and I think Syrian diplomacy and regional politics have proven to be creative so far.
My advice, don’t follow the usual pattern to reactions to sanctions and ostracization. In order to be creative he must also give the impression that he is initiating something and not merely reacting.
The only way to be creative in these circumstances is not to cling to power, because clinging to power is a sure way to go down even if the fall is not imminent, but to be the one who will transform power and this can be a very rewarding experience of governance and one in which he can regain control and intiative.
I think there is always a way out in any circumstance, sometimes this way out is obscured because rulers don’t always think of their political survival as individuals but now is the time for Assad to think this way. And I am convinced that thinking this way is not selfish because his own political survival will mean a lot to the unity of Syria and to his own sect.

May 25th, 2011, 11:38 am


why-discuss said:


This is the confirmation that the opposition (at least the signatories) reject the call for a regime change and for the overthrown of Bashar al Assad.
I imagine that,after consulting with Bashar, Erdogan made it clear to the opposition meeting that this was the condition he accepts them to meet in Turkey.
This is a red line. So I expect the opposition to regroup and nominate a team that would dialog with Bashar and his team about the reforms. That would be a positive development.
It could turn out to be a very clever political move from Bashar using his friendship with Erdogan to channel the opposition into a constructive path of dialog. This way Bashar gets back his legitimity and credibility as the leader of the reforms

May 25th, 2011, 11:50 am


Sophia said:

# 9 AIG,

Israel never accepted international investigations in territories it occupies let alone in its own internal affairs.

May 25th, 2011, 11:50 am


Nour said:

I agree with you, but I think in Bashar’s calculations, due to the nature of the regime, he has to tread a fine line. He cannot look like he is fighting certain elements of the regime as this might cause internal strife inside the regime which will in turn cause cog strife in Syria. Bashar has to find a creative way to take power away from the thuggish elements of the regime without causing them to rise up against him. The problem for Bashar is that he is fighting on two fronts. On the one hand he has to restore order and gain the confidence of his people, and on the other hand he has to deal with these regime elements resisting the changes he promised. It’s not an easy situation to be in and it is critical for the future of Syria that he succeeds. This is why I believe he needs as much support as possible.

May 25th, 2011, 11:56 am


Nour said:

The only thing is that these parties are considered internal opposition and they are not among the groups meeting in Turkey, as they are mostly groups that reject any foreign interference in Syrian affairs.

May 25th, 2011, 12:01 pm


jad said:

بيان حول المؤتمر المزمع عقده في تركيا

نحن الموقعون أدناه، من كافة أطياف الشعب السوري وآرائه، نعلن موقفنا الواضح من المؤتمر المزمع عقده في تركيا (30/أيار/2011)، وأي مؤتمر آخر يعقد خارج سورية ليناقش الأوضاع داخل سورية:

1- إن أي مؤتمر يعقد خارج سورية هو مؤتمر مرفوض من قبلنا، دعوة وتنظيما وأهدافا ونتائج، ولا يمثل أي منا، بل يمارس تعديا على حقوق السوريين والسوريات من مختلف الآراء، الذين لديهم وحدهم الحق بالتحديث باسم السوريين ومناقشة أوضاعهم.

2- إن أي تعامل من قبل أي دولة أجنبية، مع مثل هذه المؤتمرات أو المشاركين فيها، بصفتهم ممثلين للشعب السوري أو فئات منه، هو تعامل مرفوض من قبلنا، ويستدعي الشجب والإدانة للحكومة التي تقوم بهذا التعامل.

*- رجاء، إذا كنتم/ن ترون معنا ضرورة حماية بلدنا من أي تلاعب بها، فساهموا معنا بكل إمكانياتكم لنجمع أكبر عدد ممكن من التواقيع على هذا البيان. سنرسله إلى كل الجهات الدبلوماسية والإعلامية في العالم.

May 25th, 2011, 12:25 pm


Innocent Criminal said:

Josh (or anyone else for that matter),

i could not find any other source for the Wesley Clark article. and when looking at your source. it is clear that it’s not a reliable news source. it’s title suggests that it covers ‘weird news’

unless you have other sources i would suggest you remove it from your post.

May 25th, 2011, 12:54 pm


Abughassan said:

I absolutely sympathize with and support any effort to end the blood shed,release political prisoners,control security forces and bring meaningful political and economic reform to Syria,however,Bashar should not be targeted now and the MB should not be allowed an opportunity to sneak in. It is healthy to finally create a civil opposition force that can pressure the regime to change but I am not sure the meeting in Turkey will achieve that if they deviate from what is important now and focus on the two unpopular objectives,Asad’s removal and MB’s inclusion,that will only make Syria’s situation worse. The organizers and the participants need to show wisdom and moderation if they want the support of Syria’s educated and business class,not to mention the sizable minority population.

May 25th, 2011, 12:56 pm


jad said:

What I find to be extremely odd is the glorifying by the media outlet including Dr. Landis of couple guys who proved to be firm supporters of the American military action against Syria during the Bush days when it invades Iraq, and now they jumped on the ‘revolution’ to use it and to look as the liberators and freedom pioneers of Syria while they are nothing but cheap gamblers who has no theories, no criteria, no vision, no plan and no idea of what to do next, not to mention that they represent only themselves without any real social representatives anywhere even in their non-Syrian land.

Is it allowed in any country of the democratic God’s land for anybody of those gamblers ‘Jalabis’ to call for chaos without being held accountable for the results and the destruction they are creating without having the ability to stop it when they want.

Why there is always two rules on everything in this mad world, one for the ‘Whites’ and another one for the ‘Colored’, why what is allowed to happen in the ‘Colored’ countries regardless of the suffering and regardless of how many people died and regardless of how many poor people used to make the ‘Whites’ richer and the ‘Colored’ poorer?

This middle east was, still and will always be the most strategic land in the world, old and new, and will not be allowed to advance or to prosper regardless who is in power or who is running those fragmented entities unless it has its true independence and without it, the ‘Whites’ will always use every stupid ‘Colored’ citizen to destroy whatever was built before them and defiantly NOT for democracy or freedom or equality, equality is only among the ‘Whites’ the ‘Colored’ don;t deserve to live other than servants.

The ‘American’ ponytail start and the ‘British’ wannabe something and the ‘Swedish’ God fearing nobrainer don’t deserve it, they are elements who are using the souls of our youth for their own fame moment.

Reading the ‘Ottoman’ ambassador to SC hiding behind his Syrian identity praising ‘Turkiye’ for nothing is a sign of how many of Syrians are lost.

May 25th, 2011, 1:01 pm


Sophia said:

# 14 Nour,

In this kind of context, the winner is always the one who keeps the initiative.

May 25th, 2011, 1:02 pm


Louai said:

استشهاد 3 من عناصر الأمن في حمص بكمين لـ “مجموعة إرهابية مسلحة”

HNN شبكة أخبار حمص
أستشهاد ثلاثة من رجال الأمن على طريق حمص حماه بين الساعة الواحدة و الثالثة صباحا
بعد ان فتحوا جماعة مسلحة النار على سيارتهم حيث أدى إلى استشهادهم
هاني عباس من وادي الدهب
محمد العلي( ابن عم الدكتور ازدشير العلي) بيته في الزهراء جيران الشهيد حسن العلي اللي استشهد منذ اسبوع
(محمد حلاق بيته في النازحين عند البحتري تم تشيعه في قريته (الهزة

وتم تشييعهم بموكب شعبي كبير

May 25th, 2011, 1:15 pm


Sophia said:

# 18 Jad,

The irony is depending on where you find yourself in western countries, Syrian opposition figures are not the same. So even between western countries there is no consensus on who the opposition is in Syria.

May 25th, 2011, 1:17 pm


jad said:

Mr. Hasan Nasr Allah today talking about HA position on Syria:

خطاب السيد حسن نصر الله الجزء الثالث سوريا

May 25th, 2011, 1:17 pm


S.S said:

Comments 1, 2, and 3 very funny. Those people meeting in Turkey do not represents the real Syrian. I want to say to this real Shami that two major cities Damascus And Aleppo did not come out and their people understood this conspiracy from the first couple of weeks. The army cleaned Deraa, Banias etc from the thugs and I hear no problems whatsoever in these areas by calling friends and familyback home. Turkey has no effect on Syria as a matter of fact they benifited more from their relation with Syria as the Turkish goods occupied Syrian markets. We are not afraid from the west to be now considering Turkish attack…lol…….what happened in Syria if ought to happen in another countr y it would have brought the regime down in 1 week….i give credit to the syrian people who understood that people like u who are agents to BM and paid by Qatar, and Saudi have no bread in Syria. You are hatered groups and the Syrians are better off.

In regard to comment 13….How did you come with your conclusions that there are elements in the regime that Assad is fighting….I can tell you that those elements a the backbone of the regime. Assad is winning this fight in all levels, inside and outside and I do not see any reason from anyone, group, organization to push him or force their agenda. He will have a lot of time to proceed with his reform. His is in for a long time and those elements you are describing are behind the seen for years to come.

May 25th, 2011, 1:21 pm


Syrian Knight said:

Looks like Qatar is going to explode soon, or so they say on their Facebook page. Let us hope they incinerate every last building that belongs to Al Jazeera. Good for nothing propaganda network. They want to report all the lies possible on Syria, yet they refuse to look out of their windows in Qatar and report on the protests in their own country.

May 25th, 2011, 1:23 pm


S.s said:

Circulating news that the syrian goverment cut the price of oil, instead of paying 20 ls to the liter, it is now 15 ls….I think this is what matters to all of us. At the end of the day we want jobs to be available to university grads who are working as taxi drivers and other odd jobs, housing so we can get married, and a salary that gaurantee a decent standard of living. I think the only positive thing about this crises is that,hopefully, it eventually awakened the Syrian goverment from its coma in dealing with matters important to the regular syrian person. I hope they work on that ASAP once the situation calms down.

May 25th, 2011, 1:43 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Democracy and religion don’t mix in a Muslim nation,reason being that Islam is politicized religion.So if you are a corrupt person and your over all nothing if you wrap your self with the religion suit you will be able to get through the election boxes.examples are so many:Hamas,Moktada Alsadar,MB etc.I think that the west knows that very well and it works in there best interest because it brings to power corrupt politicians who have stupid goals ,assuring that these countries will stay behind camels for ever.
So if the US and west were Muslim nations and you apply this religious democracy to them and bring Islamic parties to run them they will apply the Sunni and Quran and they will wipe out the middle east and Israel and china with a couple of nukes(assuming that they were not muslim).
The most clear example of the west and us hypocrisy is Saudi Arabi,a country where:
-Christians can’t have churches
-women can’t drive cars
-none Muslims have to take different free ways
-troops gets exported to Bahrain to stop demonstrating
-heads,hands get cut,and lashing is the way of justice in 21century.

Yet Obama bows to Saudi king , like he would’t do for the pope,see what oil can do,may be it is the end of the world.

May 25th, 2011, 1:45 pm


Nour said:

Dear SS:

I am not trying to spread propaganda or throw haphazard accusations left and right. I have it from certain sources who do have contacts inside the regime that there are definitely elements in the regime who are resisting the reforms Bashar al Assad has promised. We can’t pretend that there are no thuggish or corrupt elements inside the regime, and in order to move forward with the reforms, Bashar has to properly deal with these people. But he cannot do it in a way that makes it appear as if there is division or internal strife inside the regime.

May 25th, 2011, 1:48 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

now syrians citizens are described as “residents” in most of western medias. I leave this ‘semantic slide” to your comment regarding the conspiracy …

May 25th, 2011, 1:49 pm


S.s said:

Comment 24′

I agree with you, and I would add that the Shia influence under the Iranian tent is scaring the hell out of these gulf state countries. I think the whole funding for destabalizing syria has one objective which is to cut the Iranian influence that is coming like a Tsunami. Now you tell me tha Saudi and Ker reeeri are concerned about the syrian people and their cause. Can anyone tell me why the majority of syrians in these big cities did not come out, only pockets here and there..these pockets are wellknown for being extremist i the normal situations and they are well known areas for us…..syrians we aware of this game early on, thank god

May 25th, 2011, 1:51 pm


daleandersen said:

Memo to Syrian Knight:

You don’t advertise a real explosion on Facebook. On the other hand, what you read might have been an announcement of a pending virtual explosion, characteristic of the smoke and mirrors and fantasy implicit in those who roam the online world. Those people feel more at home with fairy tales and things without substance. Real revolutionaries don’t waste their time on the Internet. They leave that to the dabblers and the dilettantes…

May 25th, 2011, 1:58 pm


Syrian Knight said:

The animals in Lebanon who pretend to be concerned about the Syrian people are the same animals who, in 2005, were killing Syrians after the army left their pathetic country to rot. Now HarAIRi takes Syrians for fools and thinks we believe in his support? To him I say KOS IMAK OU AIRI BI BALADAK YA IBN KHANZIR! He will be on his hands and knees again, kissing Bashar al-Assad’s ass like he was last year when he visited Syria. NEVER trust any of these Saudi Islamist PIGS.

May 25th, 2011, 2:04 pm


jad said:

Could you please link some of those articles you are talking about when they are referring to Syrians and ‘residents’.
Thank you.

May 25th, 2011, 2:07 pm


Mina said:

In the democratic West, people go to the ballots, and then they elect people who don’t have the last say when most of the local industries decide to close their local branches to move them to China, where people have no right to protest, no unions, and work 6 or 7 days a week for five times less.

An idea of topic for the Antalya conference?

May 25th, 2011, 2:09 pm


Tom Wyld said:

Great interview with WBUR. Wish you were on Twitter. Then again, judging from some of the comments here, I can understand why you’re not. Again, great job.

May 25th, 2011, 2:12 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


i totally agree with you

there is no other word than racism for this western posture of continually taking us for dumbs and asses

they would like that we swallow the fact that the most powerful nation in the world is supporting at the same time by one hand the most regressive regime of the planet which for many years has been infusing huge amounts of money in all kind of islamist activities i.e KSA and its satellites (Qatar, etc…) and by the other a fake democracy wich ranks first weapon seller per capita and 30% APPOINTED fanatic religious i.e Israel.

can anybody explain how that can be ? can anybody here justify this absolute scandal ? and why this situation should develop at the expense of the syrians ?

how a middle class educated syrian (lebanese are also concerned) CITIZEN can accept this matter, whatever be her or his religion or even political affinities ?

and you want us to accept the so called “revolution” that has no other program than ISKAT ANNIZAM (the topple) and ALLAH WA AKBAR with the sinister CLAP CLAP CLAP ?

they want us to accept this because we deserve no better. This is nothing but FILTHY RACISM.

May 25th, 2011, 2:19 pm


aboali said:

Nasrallah managed to do in one speech what Israel couldn’t do in 20 years, alienate the Syrian people from the Lebanese resistance movement. What a total mess he made of his speech, couldn’t have angered people more if he had slept with their sisters and then shot their pet parrot.

May 25th, 2011, 2:19 pm


Syrian Knight said:

Unions are terrible. You should see how the workers take advantage of such a privilege. Some of the biggest abusers of union benefits are Lebanese sloths (But then again, what social benefit DON’T they abuse?). Don’t take my word for it, come to Canada and see for yourselves. It’s just another tool for con artists who want to get paid without actually working, nowadays.

May 25th, 2011, 2:23 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

JAD #32

just AFP for instannce above as well as other excerpts from the press. no time sorry

May 25th, 2011, 2:24 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:



Nasrallah speech was intended to the lebanese and beyond USA and Israel. The genuine awaken syrians kwnow that.

You you are neither genuine (how a zombie can be genuine ?) nor awaken (same reason) nor syrian 🙂

May 25th, 2011, 2:28 pm


aboali said:

#38 Before you make any accusations, know that I’m a full blooded Syrian, living in Syria. I used to support Hezbollah and the resistance movement, as did most Syrians. But when they sided with the Syrian regime, and not the Syrian people, that’s when we realized they’re nothing but a self-serving sectarian militia. Not even one mention of the hundreds of Syrians who fell by the bullets of the regime thugs and security services. Hezbollah is finished as far as the Syrian people are concerned.

May 25th, 2011, 2:35 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

i ask for your comments ladies and gentlemen, perhaps Dr Landis :

how come that among the most frequent words used by official medias , public speeches as well as pro-regime demos are awakeness (AL SHAAB SOURI WA3I) and criticism ?

how this can be under a dictatorship ? it is not even true in western democracies

May 25th, 2011, 2:41 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


so i assume you’re a zombie from Syria who has some problems to understand arabic and has other zombies friends from Hama calling themselves ABADAYAT 🙂

May 25th, 2011, 2:46 pm


Nour said:


Speak for yourself and leave the “Syrian people” out of it. Most Syrians understand, as does Nasrallah, the level of danger threatening Syria right now and what this means for the region as a whole. Outbursts of hatred and silly emotions will not do anyone any good. The majority of Syrians will never hate Nasrallah or the Lebanese resistance, and believe me the vast majority of Syrians have much more respect for Nasrallah than they do for these jokesters calling themselves “revolutionists” sitting behind computer screens.

May 25th, 2011, 2:47 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Nasrallah,who is a good person, fail to mention any thing about freedom,The best way to give good advise to your friend is to be honest with him and tell him to free political prisoners,stop the killing at the hands of oppression forces,and fight current and back corruption.

May 25th, 2011, 2:56 pm


aboali said:

#43 That’s complete nonsense and you know it. It may have been true in the past, but today Hezbollah has alienated the majority of Syrians, and I reiterate, Hezbollah is finished as far Syrians are concerned. We no longer swallow empty rhetoric about resistance and fighting for the cause, just excuses to repress us.

May 25th, 2011, 2:56 pm


Nour said:

الأحزاب في صحتها تعبيرٌ عن إرادة الشعب

الأحزاب في صحتها تعبيرٌ عن إرادة الشعب

إن الأحزاب لا تعني التحزّب الخصوصيّ أو الفئويّ أو “الطبقيّ” في الشعب الواحد. إن الأحزاب في مدلولها الصحيح هي إنتاج التوتّر النفسي في الشعب للتعاون الأكيد ولجمع القوى البنّاءة لتحقيق ما يسدّ الحاجات الحياتية المتسامية في الشعب المعني. فالحزب ليس تكتّل أفراد أو تحجّر “فئة” أو وسيلة صراع طبقة ضدّ أخرى في الشعب الواحد، أو طائفة ضدّ أخرى في المجتمع الواحد.

السطحيون يقارنون بين أنظمةِ وعددِ الأحزاب في الدول المتقدّمة. فمنهم من يرى في القلّة سبب النجاح ومنهم من يرى في الكثرة دافع النمو. ولا يخلو مجتمعنا من فرديين يرون في أشخاصهم أحزابًا فوق المجتمع وأحزابه. وإذا هم انتقوا حزبًا فلكي يكون سُلَّمَهم إلى ما تقودهم إليه رغباتهم لا أداة حيّة للتحقيق والتثقيف والتعبير عن إرادة الشعب في الحياة الجيدة.

أمّا الذين يعرفون أن الأحزاب في الشعب هي تحقيق لتوتّر توقِه لجمع القوى وضمان تنسيق فعل القوة على تنوّعها وتركيبها الدقيق اللطيف، أما هؤلاء فإنّ العدد والاقتباس بعماء عن الغير لا يراود نفوسهم وأذهانهم. إنهم انطلاقة تعبّر عن حيوية الأمّة وإرادتها. إنهم رمز ما ينبثق من صميم حاجاتها. وهؤلاء يلتفّون بدفق الواجب الواعي في صف العمل المنتج البنّاء حيث أنوار نهضة الأمّة تشعّ تجسيدًا عمليًا تعمر به النفوس فتتجاوب.

الذين يظنّون أنّ الأحزاب تُصطَنع لتكون قوّة في أيدٍ مستغلةٍ ترى المصلحة ما هو نفع لها هي، والحرية ما يؤمّن تدافعها وتجاذبها دون قياس أو مقياس، لا يعجزون عن وضع مبادىء أو اقتباسِ أخرى ترضي بنصوصها. ولكن ما لا يتوافق مع متطلّبات الحياة لا يثبت. وما ينبثق من غير الصميم الحاجيّ لحياة الشعب يسقط مهما نال من “ازدهار” مؤقّت.

فالأحزاب ومبادئها لا تصنع الشعوب. وليست الشعوب كُتلاً من ماء “تقولَب” في قوارير صنّاع المبادىء المزيفة. الأحزاب في صحّتها تعبير عن إرادة الشعب وحاجات النهوض والتقدّم التصاعدي. النفوس القويّة تعبّر وتجد لها، بالتجاوب الصراعيّ الفاعل طُرُقَ العمل البنّاء مع البنّائين المُجِدّين، وسبل الصراع مع المعبّرين بالصراع عن حيوية الأمّة الزاخرة.


* صدى الشمال، صوت الجيل الجديد، عدد 40، تاريخ 22 شباط 1959.

جورج عبد المسيح: البناء الاجتماعي، ص 83

May 25th, 2011, 2:56 pm


Nour said:


You are expressing your own feelings, not those of the majority of Syrians. The majority of Syrians haven’t even supported this so-called “revolution”, much less develop hatred for Nasrallah. If you are talking about the Syrians who were chanting “la Iran w la Hizballah…” then Nasrallah didn’t lose anything because those Syrians hated HA to begin with for strictly sectarian reasons.

May 25th, 2011, 2:59 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Nasrallah: Please don’t do this to me. I don’t want to be surrounded by Jews (south) and Sunnis (east, north). Please keep Bashar, or I’m finished.

May 25th, 2011, 3:01 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


appointed contributor you think you are smart

i thought you were paid on the basis of line numbers or maybe you have done your quota now it’s the end of the month

May 25th, 2011, 3:17 pm


jad said:

The star ponytail and Helena Cobban at the middle east institute.
The differences between the two talks intellectually and in-depth is huge, Ammar is begging for some fantasy solutions including foreigner intervention and the Helena a smart and rational presentation and using South African negotiation model for a better future of Syria.
Long but interesting without a fake ‘British’ accent!

May 25th, 2011, 3:19 pm


Sophia said:

# 49 Amir,

Nasrallah never begs, he is not Abbas.

May 25th, 2011, 3:25 pm


Sophia said:

# 17 Innocent Criminal,

I, like you, did not find the source despite searching the website of the APA. This news item is possibly a fabrication, it takes elements that you find from Wes Clarke’s declarations on other countries and mingles them with one paragraph on Syria.

May 25th, 2011, 3:28 pm


aboali said:

well this is certainly very interesting:

Christians for the Syrian revolution
وقفة المسيحيين السوريين دعماً للثورة السورية

May 25th, 2011, 3:38 pm


Sophia said:

# 41 Aboali,

“I used to support Hezbollah and the resistance movement, as did most Syrians. But when they sided with the Syrian regime, and not the Syrian people, that’s when we realized they’re nothing but a self-serving sectarian militia.”

Don’t you see how disingenious your statement is? Hezbollah is a natural ally of the Syrian regime, they did not side recently with the regime, the regime is their ally. So you saying that you used to support them but now you no longer give them your support is a way to manipulate some syrians here who are anti-Bashar. But don’t worry, those epople are already against Hezbollah. So you are loosing your time.

As for the Syrian people, I bet that you do not listen and that you do not understand what Nasrallah says.

That proves for me that you are not a Syrian, not even an Arab.

May 25th, 2011, 3:38 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Angry Sophia,

You sure? I remember Nasrallah begging during 2006. Crawling to those he hates (Siniora) to beg them help him end the nightmare he had brought on himself and his people. Agreeing even to bring more crusader Zionists (UNIFIL) to desecrate his sacred muqawama land.
I call it begging. Wouldn’t you?

May 25th, 2011, 3:44 pm


Sophia said:

# 54 Aboali,

Well anybody can invent anything on the web and gives it the name they want. If it is not followed by actions, it is non existent, expecially when it is a revolution.

My impression is that cyberpropagandists for the Syrian revolution like yourself have nothing to say these days…

May 25th, 2011, 3:47 pm


Sophia said:

# 56 Amir,

Bring me the specific examples please…

The reality is the other way around. 2006 was a ‘divine victory’ for Hezbollah, remember? The most powerful army in the world was humiliated, and the Wikileaks cable show that it was Siniora who was begging the US and Israel to finish off Hezbollah and they did not succeed.

May 25th, 2011, 3:50 pm


Anton said:

Dear Jad @ 51

If Mr. Ammar will have a political party I will refuse to join him, if he joins a political party I will not join it, ,,, and if he wants to debate with me one time I will try to expose him to which value he presents towards Syria and Syrian people

what a difference between his view and others in this blog, like , Sophia, Alex, WD , Norman, Nour and others in the oppositions

One said tell me who is your friends!!, I can tell you who you are.
I said , tell me how you earn your money!!, I can tell who you are…..

Syria first …..

May 25th, 2011, 3:51 pm


Observer said:

There is a dialogue of the deaf on this blog.
The regime’s basis and structure is dictatorial, sectarian, crony based, and associated with graft and deep deep corruption. Extreme violence and torture and mass arrests and mass graves are not beyond the pale of the regime. The hard line core treats Syrians the same way Chawsecscu used to treat Romanians as “worms and insects”.
Reforms if meaningful are the end of the regime as we know it. Reform IN the regime was possible a few weeks ago, but now the horse has left the barn.
Once Ghadafi is taken care of, the screws will come on Syria. Israel and the US are not the least concerned about the so called chaos that may follow if Syria goes the way of Yemen or Libya. As a matter of fact the outcome will be to the liking of Israel as the Islamist will have a say and the Zionists will use the scarecrow to keep the support intact. As a matter of fact, a change in the regime will probably result in US forces staying in Iraq beyond 2011.
Russia will ask a price for its abstention in the security council and the price will be paid and the resolution to put the screws will be done.

I really think that Dr. Landis’ view of Syria is colored and subjective due to his family associations. I do not say this in any was as an attack but as an observation. The business class has given the regime its window but the flight of capital is now reaching astronomical proportions and the business class does not think that they can do business in Syria anymore. That does not mean that they will join any protest movement, they will sit on the sidelines for much longer.

May 25th, 2011, 3:51 pm


Jad said:

Usually Wed night is the warmup day with many news before the FB page go wild on Thursday with emotional stories and graphic clips in preparing for another bloody Friday.

May 25th, 2011, 3:55 pm


aboali said:

#55 Oh that’s rich coming from a French woman, do I need to be told by French people whether I’m Arab or Syrian enough now? How patronizing and rude, please next time stop from insulting people and telling them what nationality they belong to, or how you expect them to “think” as a member of a certain nationality.

May 25th, 2011, 4:02 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


you say

“I really think that Dr. Landis’ view of Syria is colored and subjective due to his family associations”

in saying so you are simply revealing the falseness of your argumentation

you are the deaf

May 25th, 2011, 4:03 pm


Aboud said:

@22 NOUR

“I have it from certain sources who do have contacts inside the regime that there are definitely elements in the regime who are resisting the reforms Bashar al Assad has promised”

Enough….with…the…excuses! Oh my God Bashar has a new excuse every week. He’s a perpetual fountain of excuses. If excuses were an energy source, Syria would have had nuclear fission within his first year.

Who are these regime elements that scare Bashar so much? I thought the exalted eye doctor had the support of 99.the zillionth decimal % of the Syrian population? If that was the case, he could sweep those “inside elements that oppose reform” like one sweeps cockroaches. Who are these scary insiders who Bashar is too afraid to face, and would rather kill over 900 of his own countrymen than confront?

Excuses, that’s all we’ve had from this joke of a president for 11 years. His leadership throughout these events has been appalling. His first speech was a fiasco, his new government filled with men who butchered in Tadmur prison, Lebanon and Hama. His orders are not obeyed, his vice president seems to have gone AWOL, his spokeswoman completely out of touch with events.

No one expects Bashar to implement reforms, that train has looooooong since left the station, and no one has any patience left for his never ending supply of excuses.I shudder to think how many patients’ eye sight he would have ruined had he kept to being an eye doctor.

May 25th, 2011, 4:07 pm


Jad said:

Your analyses about Antalia meeting is correct regarding taking out إسقاط النظام from the agenda and that might explain the unattendance of Ponytail!? What you think?

Dear Anton,
I agree on not joining any political party this guy creat.

It’s wired that you call the regime base sectarian while you promote splitting Syria into 5 countries according to sects and ethnicity.

May 25th, 2011, 4:09 pm


DamasGuy said:

Damas traders returned to sending goods shipments to Daraa stores. Situation in general is improving quickly and it’s clear that it is under full government control. Opposition groups meeting in turkey have absolutely no backing among people in Damascus. Time will prove this.

May 25th, 2011, 4:10 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

Dear ANTON #59

the poney-tail guy is an ex-taliban islamo-nihilist who works for the neo-cons and a zombie. There is not the slightest chance that he have a political party in Syria. If he want to create a party that will be in the RIB3 AL KHALI. Plenty of room there for him and his likes 🙂

May 25th, 2011, 4:10 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


ABOALI is a afro-am convert and he is not at ease with arabic (no to mention al haki al adabi) but hush dont tell it

May 25th, 2011, 4:16 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


i heard some brave israeli soldiers singing yalla yalla ya Nasrallah and soon afterwards there were lying injured and crying like lambs for help

that was in 2006 if i’m not mistaken

when you destroyed half a country not for an act of terror but for a mlitary “fait d’armes” and for this you broke once again the rules of war and you disseminated millions your nice little fragmentation bombs all over the area that until today are killing and mutilating innocent lebanese children and citizens

so i remeber those lambs’ cries with indescribable delectation 🙂

May 25th, 2011, 4:29 pm


Sophia said:

# 22 Nour,

If there are tensions inside the party, Assad should be the first to take the intiative, not the other way around.
Please read this article:

And even if there are no tensions, the pressure will become unbearable to break the ranks in the regime, and it seems that this is the next strategy of the US and SA, and Israel (Israel is just watching right now and letting SA do the work for them)

May 25th, 2011, 4:44 pm


Sophia said:

# 68 Vlad,

I have been watching closely the convert phenomenon and I must conclude that extremists Islamists are naive, stupide and gullible. There were converts in every plot they planned in the west and usually these people get off with light sentences in courts. For me a Muslim convert, since 9/11, is either an Israeli or a CIA agent (low ranking of course because they do the work in the filed, spread false ideology and fake it at the same time, and risk court sentences).

May 25th, 2011, 4:48 pm


Sisyphus said:


I can see why you’re upset but the speech wasn’t as bad as you think, given the constraints. After all, he mentioned that a majority of the people had not come out, so who is there for him to stand by? While this might be disheartening in the sense that it doesn’t make any acknowledgment of people’s suffering, from a political perspective you sound like you expected him to support a rebellion in the country that supported him for many years. Not going to happen. Also, he tried to make a false distinction between Syria, where compromise was offered, and Egypt and Tunisia where compromise was not. That was unfortunate; both Bin Ali and Mubarak made hollow reforms that no one believed and that is also the case in Syria. Perhaps he would have been better served had he mentioned that Bashar has (had?)a definite popularity that none of the others enjoyed.
He mentioned that Syria had made mistakes in Lebanon, as the president himself had mentioned, but he didn’t really dare to say anything about the mistakes being committed in Syria. But did Hamas or Fath or any Arab government make a speech condemning Syria? Sorry your hero has let you down. You’ve also got to take into account the sectarian struggle in Lebanon, as you mentioned. Well that is Lebanon and it always has been. Hezballah can’t even form a government at the moment, even though the election was months ago!

May 25th, 2011, 4:55 pm


Nour said:

#70 Sophia:

Of course Bashar should take the initiative, and he is. What I was saying is that the way he approaches it has to be creative and cautious, so as not to create a backlash. The situation is very critical right now and Bashar must make correct and smart decisions in order to successfully bring Syria out of the current crisis. I am saying this with the belief and confidence that he will indeed succeed in doing just that.

May 25th, 2011, 4:58 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


“is either an Israeli or a CIA agent”

part of them maybe, sure not the majority. Without KSA and Pakistan (and less important Farrakhans and other groups) this trend would have never been so important.

But i agree that they are extremely stupid and violent

May 25th, 2011, 4:59 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


the regime has acted wisely till now

there is no reason he shouldnt continue

besides all the instances and official medias are calling for the awakeness of the people

of course a drastic deterioration of the economy especially for the poorest and the middle classes would be a serious threat

May 25th, 2011, 5:05 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

#72 Sisyphus

the speech was very good particularly the parts in dialectal (that some here unfortunately cannot understand ) . While i’m re-listening to it, i find that he is not only intended to the Mustaqbal (and beyond KSA) US and Israel but also especially to Turkey. Nasrallah is giving a warning.

May 25th, 2011, 5:12 pm


aboali said:

Of course, what all the pro-regime mouthpieces on here have conveniently forgotten to mention in their praise for JR on his push to reform, is that if it wasn’t for the uprising and the hundreds who gave up their lives he wouldn’t have been scrambling head over heals to implement all these concessions. Don’t credit Bashar, credit the brave guys who gave up their lives on the streets.

May 25th, 2011, 5:39 pm


jad said:

Nuclear Syria news from Aljazeera, it reads funny:
“We assure that this move has nothing to do with what’s happening there”
Seriously, the witness-the prosecutor-the judge is assuring us that the timing has nothing to do with pressuring the regime, and the Lebanese tribune for Hariri also has nothing to do with pressuring the regime…..What is that then?
Are people that stupid to believe that anything innocent can come from the West toward the ‘colored’ world.

“توقع دبلوماسيون غربيون أن تسعى دول غربية لإحالة ملف سوريا النووي إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي، بعدما دعم مفتشو الأمم المتحدة ما تردد مؤخرا من أن دمشق كانت تبني مفاعلا نوويا سريا، مؤكدين أن هذا التوجه لا يرتبط بالتنديد الدولي بالحملة السورية ضد المحتجين المطالبين بالديمقراطية.”

May 25th, 2011, 5:45 pm


Thanks said:

Always thanks for Dr. Joshua for this great blog and discussions.

I want to comment on the results expected from opposition’s meeting in Turkey, actually it is a greatly appreciated effort, however we can’t expect a viable action plan to be formulated and ready to be acted upon regarding Syria future.

Syria has been a tight box for 40 years, much divided society, people had no space to think and argue freely, they have hard time building consensus on validity of many subjects or proposals, not to mention the difficulty of thinking in a constructive way.

This meeting will be a great step in the right direction, what is important is that we Syrians get to understand each other without constrains, a great opportunity for networking and forming a base for support of opposition on the ground with financing and talents that truly are in the interest of Syrians, also forming mechanisms for ongoing dialogue and planning, hope this dialogue got the right media coverage, Syrians inside will start to think of an alternative future and think of what is needed for that future, starting to build a common vision, that invites them to join and support, not less important is stressing the urgency and necessity for changing the current situation.

Syrian living in Syria

May 25th, 2011, 5:56 pm


Nour said:

يا أبناء الشام، يا أهلنا!
إذا كنّا نوجّه خطابنا إليكم، فلأننا نريد التوجّه إلى أصحاب الحقّ المباشرين، أصحاب المصلحة الحقيقية في الحياة الحرّة altالكريمة، فأنتم الشعب ونحن منكم. نتوجّه إليكم لا لكي نستجدي وإياكم الحقّ استجداءً، بل لكي نكون أنصار أهل الحقوق في حقوقهم ومطالبهم المحقّة بدولة عادلة وساسة وحاكم يعملون لتأمين مصلحة الشعب بكل صدق وتفانٍ وجرأة وإرادة وثقة بالشعب والوطن. وتحقيق الانتصار الأخير الذي لن يكون إلا في صميم الشعب وللشعب وليس على الشعب.
نتوجّه إليكم لنكون معًا في وحدة اتجاه ووحدة هدف ونتفاهم على قاعدة اجتماعية علمية تصلح لأن تكون مرتكزًا ومنطلقًا لأي عمل إنقاذي في الشام في هذه الفترة التاريخية الحرجة من حياة شعبنا. فنوحِّد مطالبنا لإصلاح ما فسد من شؤون حياتنا، ونعمل سويّة لتغيير ما لم ينفع فيه ومعه الإصلاح. ويكون سيرنا في الحياة شعبًا حضاريًا ساميًا… فنحن من أرسى قواعد الحضارة والتمدّن في العالم.
ومن هذه النفسية السورية الحضارية الرافضة لكلّ أنواع العنف من أي جهة صدر، وتعليقًا على “الحوار” الذي تتحدّث عنه وسائل الإعلام، والذي وصلنا عبرها فقط، نتوجّه نحن في الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي بالتأكيد مجدَّدًا على ضرورة أن ننتقل من مستوى “الحوار بين فرقاء” الذي يتشبّث فيه كلٌّ بمحوره إلى روحية التفاعل الفكري بين أبناء الشعب الواحد الذين هم فريق واحد. وعلى أن يضمّ هذا اللقاء التفاعلي الفكري الوطني ممثِّلين عن السلطة وممثِّلين عن الأحزاب والقوى السياسية الوطنية خارج السلطة وشخصيات وطنية أخذت على عاتقها حمل همّ الشأن العام، يكون بمثابة مدّ جسور الثقة والمحبة وكلّ ما يعمِّق الوحدة الوطنية، ويحفظ وحدة الوطن وسلامته؛ لقاءٌ تفاعليٌّ فكريّ نفسيّ يتجاوز المطالب المحلية التي تعالجها السلطة التنفيذية، كلّ من موقعه، إلى وضع رؤية شاملة لمستقبل البلاد، بدءًا بالإصلاحات السياسية المطلوبة، ومرورًا بكلّ شؤون حياة الأمّة وانتهاء بوضع رؤية واضحة لمعالم الدولة المدنية الحديثة المنشودة التي تنقل المجتمع من حال إلى حال أفضل، وهو غاية اللقاء والتفاعل.
ويمكن أن تكون العناوين الرئيسية لهذا اللقاء:
1. مراجعة الأحداث وتحديد أسبابها واستخلاص العِبَر النافعة منها، ومعاقبة من تسبّبوا في إسالة دماء السوريين أيًّا كان.
2. الابتعاد عن الإجراءات الأمنية في مواجهة مطالب الشعب. فلا إصلاح ولا تغيير مع العقلية الأمنية.
3. الإقرار من قبل الجميع بأن يأخذ عامل الزمن دوره في تنفيذ الإصلاحات التي أقرّت بها القيادة السياسية في الشام ووفق برامج زمنية، يشارك في رقابة تنفيذها أحزاب سياسية وشخصيات وطنية.
4. اعتماد مبدأ الثقة والشفافية في طرح ومناقشة ووضع الحلول لجميع القضايا السياسية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية والإدارية المصيرية للشعب والوطن.
5. الإقرار بأن جميع القضايا الخلافية والمطلبية يجب أن تحلّ بالتفاعل الفكري والمحبّة بين أبناء الشعب وداخل الوطن.
6. رفض وإدانة كلّ الدعوات المطالِبة بأي تدخّلات خارجية، عربية كانت أم أجنبية، مهما كانت وتحت أي مُسمّى صدرت.
7. رفض وإدانة كلّ الدعوات التي تتبنّى خيارات مخالِفة لثوابتنا الوطنية، أو التي ترفض أيًّا من البنود السابقة.
أيها “السوريون”!
إن القضايا المطلبية يجب أن لا تنسينا بأن “سوريا” هي في عين العاصفة التي إن أخذت فعلها فلن تُبقي لا حاكمًا ولا محكومًا، وتكون الخسارة خسارة للشعب والوطن. وما أصاب شعبنا في العراق شاهدٌ حيٌّ على ما نقول. فلنكن على درجة عالية من الوعي والحسّ بالمسؤولية. فالوطن أوّلاً ووحدة الشعب أساس الحياة.
طوبى لشهداء الشعب والوطن وهم في ضمائرنا خالدون.
في 16 أيار 2011 رئيس الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي
الدكتور علي حيدر

May 25th, 2011, 6:04 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Sophia #58,

I wish them more thousand of the same divine victories, as long as the Northern Israeli border remains as quiet as it is in the last 5 years.

May 25th, 2011, 6:10 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


1. syrians living in syrian didnt wait for you or for this fake revolution to think and argue freely

2. Bashar started to reform since he came to power and didnt stop albeit all the impediments and hardships

3. things kept improving especially during the 2 last years

you are lagging behind man . check your watch

May 25th, 2011, 6:59 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


“Hezballah can’t even form a government at the moment, even though the election was months ago!”

the answer why is in Nasrallah’s speech. I thought you understand arabic. Sorry … 🙂

May 25th, 2011, 7:07 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


dumb and dumber you are short with arguments

dare tell that to your people 🙂

May 25th, 2011, 7:10 pm


why-discuss said:


Concerning the Antalya meeting. Some have argued that they are not representative of the opposition ‘inside’ Syria.
The opposition ‘inside’ Syria is in reaction mode and have not come up with anything constructive.
The international communiy is waiting for something real and constructive, not only calls for demonstrations and sanctions for the death toll. They want to hear real people talking and recommending reasonable solutions.
This meeting will get more international press attention because it is happening in Turkey. Note that because Turkey is mainly a sunni country and they have organized in April a meeting with the MB that displeased the Syrian government, they can’t be accused of being partial to Bashar al Assad. The support of Nasrallah came just on time as he is taking on him to assure the Syrians that Bashar Al Assad will implement the reforms.
The hardline opposition, who wants a regime change, may find itself isolated on the international arena if the meeting in Antalya comes up with reasonable steps for a transition lead by Bashar, under Erdogan’s umbrella. So I won’t be surprised that the hardliners will boycott and try to disrupt this meeting by calling for more confrontations with the security forces next friday.
This may make the division of the opposition very apparent and it could reinforce Bashar al Assad popularity.

May 25th, 2011, 7:27 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

#85 WD

you conclude your brillant analysis by saying “A lot is a stake in this meeting”

Well i dont think so. These so called opposition members will collect nothing but scorn and hatred from the syrian people. Very much like Khaddam.

May 25th, 2011, 7:37 pm


Mohamed Kanj said:


YOU SAID “I have it from certain sources who do have contacts inside the regime that there are definitely elements in the regime who are resisting the reforms Bashar al Assad has promised”

ur still trying to spin ur lies on this blog. Aboud why dont u wake up to urself. Nobody beleives ur lies nomore and ur reliable sources. Like i said before, go back inside ur little tripoli world in lebanon. What sources can a 17yr old lebanese child have? Did harriri give u some insight into the syrian affairs?

Aboud – go back and play with ur playstation and suck on ur lebanese dummy 🙂

May 25th, 2011, 7:59 pm


jad said:

Thank you for the reply, I agree with you about the importance of this meeting since it will form some kind of opposition core able to negotiate away from the streets and conclude something positive than wasting more lives and from the regime reactions it seems that they are actually O.K. with it to happen unlike the earlier MB meeting where the local media went very vocal.
I also agree with your note about those who are not happy with keeping the regime, they already boycott tit and if the meeting happened to be an accepted start they will be the first ones to loose this is why I think that we will hear them calling for more confrontation as you predict, we can only wait.

Could you please look at the meeting not through white&black lenses, we have a problem now in Syria and any dialog that can lead Syria and Syrians to the safety needs not to be rejected.
We have to wait and see the agenda as Mina asked earlier, and what are the results they are looking for.
Regarding Khaddam, I personally don’t think that he will have any say there, as far as I know, he is not even invited, besides, he is already burned and dead after his pathetic show on the Israels TV.
I have to wait to read the agenda and what are the issue they are going to discuss before I take any stand toward them. Right?

May 25th, 2011, 8:01 pm


Revlon said:

27. Dear Syria no kandahar,
You said: “Democracy and religion don’t mix in a Muslim nation,reason being that Islam is politicized religion”

You have, unintentially I assume, forgot to classify 7izbullah!
As far as I know, 7izbullah is
– Religeour, Muslem, and strictly Shi3a party.
– They embrace and practice democracy in lebanon!

On Nasrallah speach
– His body language said a lot. He was unusually tense, nervous and appeared to be treading a fine line
– The speach was deliberately balanced, in favour of the regime.
– He paid equal tribute to support from Asad, the army, and the people of Syria.
– His declared confidence, in Jr intentions and ability to introduce reform is no more than pay-back support.
His gesture is akin to paying his last installment on the oustanding debt, owed to the the supportive regime.
– He was saying, I have done every thing I could.
I have even risked my relations with the Syrian people.
Now It is time to go, on you own.
Good buy!

May 25th, 2011, 8:07 pm


Sophia said:

# 78, Jad,

“You can’t ignore the timing,” said Albright. “Syria is politically weaker than it was six months ago, and it might be easier to muster the votes at the [IAEA] board to refer this to the Security Council.”

Albright is a weapon inspector who now heads the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington arms control watchdog. “This is laying down the gauntlet against Syria.”,0,366822.story

May 25th, 2011, 8:13 pm


why-discuss said:


The strategy is clear: Divide the opposition. This is what this meeting may do.
Now if they come up with something reasonable in line with what we think is reasonable: Bashar to lead the reforms, then they will be hailed by the Syrians and the international community and the hardline opposition will be weaken.
If they fail to agree on anything, then the divisions will become even more obvious.
In any case, I really doubt that Erdogan will allow this meeting to call for Bashar’s removal.

May 25th, 2011, 8:14 pm


Sophia said:

# 89 Revlon,

Hezbollah is explicitly committed to governing with other religious sects in Lebanon. They have been doing just this when they were amply able to take over after the 2006 war when sympathy in Lebanon was at its peak for them (contrary to what Israel expected). They also could have done this last Januray. Again, after all the cables leaked explicitly showing March 14th conspiring with the enemy Hezbollah could have been vindictive. However, they know that Lebanon could not be ruled by one sect. And every time a sect tried to shift the power balance in its favour, there were major crises and it didn’t work.

Plus, Hezbollah has an agreement of understanding with Al Tayyar who is a staunchly secular party, probably the first party associated with the christian Lebanese community advocating a secular state, and Hezbollah’s intention was never to push Lebanon to civil war and strife.

Give me one example of an Islamic party in the region who has such a open political project. Not even Turkey…

May 25th, 2011, 8:51 pm


why-discuss said:

It seems that Al Jazeera has nothing to report in the Syria Blog, not even the announcement of the Antalya meeting. What is going on?

May 25th, 2011, 9:04 pm


Sophia said:

# 85, 88,

WD, Jad,

The neocon project includes also Turkey and they know it, hence the nervousness.

I am not sure Erdogan is acting out of sympathy for their islamist brothers as much as out of nervosity for loosing his party’s support in which some elements are close to the Syrian MB and who might just act like the Syrian MB, sell itself to the first external bidder in order to advance their internal social agenda.

Erdogan’s party has come form very far and if your read Pamuk’s excellent novel ‘Snow’ you will realise what kind Islamism Turkey has in its rural areas. Erdogan might just be fearful of this crowd.

Moreover, the salafis and extreme elements in the MB, as well as more moderate elements, are unable to rule because they will never have a comprehensive political platform. It is not that they cannot, it is that they are not interested in having one outside their narrow social and spiritual interests. So they will delegate their economic and foreign policies to someone else. Look at KSA, their regional policy is a disaster, was always aligned to the US, and they are just waking up now that Iran has become a more powerful regional player, but it is too late.

May 25th, 2011, 9:05 pm


Louai said:

Dear Revlon

Hizbullah never has the intention to join the Lebanese Political life till the Syrian Army withdrew from Lebanon

its a religious resistance and try not to rule Lebanon or eliminate its enemy inside Lebanon (yes enemies )

Hizbullah has a social mission and one sole Political mission that is to liberate the rest of Lebanon.

Lebanon has also many religious Parties practicing ‘democracy’ you can see the result in Lebanon and that alone support SyriaNoKandahar point of having no religouse parties to acheave a real democracy
as a Christian Syrian i wouldn’t join a party such as Katayeb or al kewat …for me Christianity is clear ..Religion has nothing to do with politics .

May 25th, 2011, 9:06 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


i dont understand your argument :

1- whose strategy is this ?

2- the so-called opposition is already weak divided and unrealisic , nobody in syria consider any of the outside opposition seriously . They say Who are those people ?

3- everybody in Syria knows the lust of Turjey for Syria, most people consider Turkey as a foe as musch as KSA and Israel

4- i dont see secular opposition among them only MB and affiliated

5- what about Erdogan personal involvment ? for how long can he still hide it ?

and with your permission let me add that all syrians remember that Antalya and Iskanderoun were syrians.

May 25th, 2011, 9:08 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

dear LOUAI

“Religion has nothing to do with politics”

though not christian myself i totally agree with you as well as with SYRIA NO KANDAHAR.

May 25th, 2011, 9:14 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

Sophia this is absolutely true.

By the way, are you really french ? 🙂

May 25th, 2011, 9:23 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Vlad the syrian said
let me add that all syrians remember that Antalya and Iskanderoun were syrians.

Iskandaron is , but Antalya is not, would it be that you mistaken Antakia,with Antalya?

May 25th, 2011, 9:24 pm


Revlon said:

#92 and 94 Dears Sophia and Louai, we are in full agreement here!

As I undestand it, and please correct me if I am wrong, you have no objection over having religeous parties, as long as they are ” explicitly committed to governing with other religious sects”

Thank you for your comment.

May 25th, 2011, 9:27 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


the dialog in Syria is already being acted and is genuine and wholesome. There is no need to initiate this dialog outside certainly not in Turkey.

As for this meeting, only the few syrian people taking part and the turkish consider it as a dialog : MB talking to other MB outside Syra about if the regime has to be toppled or not. No program no any practical topic. Very interesting this turkish mascarade !

May 25th, 2011, 9:34 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


i think that you have some problems in understanding english and you dont seem to understand arabic neither. Where did you read that they have no objection over having religious parties please ?

May 25th, 2011, 9:36 pm


Louai said:


i think the majority of the Syrians having no political life what so ever for decades observed the political life in Lebanon attentively , the average Syrian can name -even now days- more Lebanese Politicians than Syrian ones

the Lebanese System no mater how you cover it or you call it is based on religouse groups formed parties

in my opinion that cause the war ,and still my opinion that what makes Lebanon an example not to follow by any neighboring countries

the person should belong first to Syria second to his sect or religion
Religion organizations are healthy in the society but unhealthy in the parliament or the government .
Every one should be represented as long as every one belong to Syria first and second to his group what ever it is .

May 25th, 2011, 9:40 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


Hizbulla has done for the secularism in Lebanon much more than any party since 1946. This is a paradox that can be hardly understood by non-syrians or non-lebanese even arabs.

May 25th, 2011, 9:49 pm


why-discuss said:


Turkey’s Alevis write angry open letter to PM Erdoğan
..“To base politics on ethnic and belief roots is an alternative of the politician who is unable to create policies. Public speeches in town squares should be serious. If it is only possible to stimulate the public by stressing belief and ethnic roots, then the result is a superficial, dull, and below average politics. Unfortunately, our country is going through such a period in the 21st century,” the group said in a written statement.

May 25th, 2011, 9:57 pm


why-discuss said:


Do you have the list of participants at the Antalya meeting? It was mentionned that the Damascus Declaration signatories will attend
“Syrian journalist and activist Michel Kilo launched the declaration, writing its first draft. Riad Seif, another democracy activist, was the first signatory. [1] The “five small opposition groups” signing the declaration were the Arab nationalist National Democratic Gathering, the Kurdish Democratic Alliance, the Committees of Civil Society, the Kurdish Democratic Front and the Future Party.[3]’

Please tell more about the “genuine and wholesome’ dialog happening in Syria. Who is involved? Any formal discussion? I have not read anything except some attempts of bring in Kilo and others.
Do they have any international visibility?

May 25th, 2011, 10:06 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

105 WD

what’s the use for an international visibility if they have none in Syria ?

as for Kilo this is the typical idiot that some people abroad amazingly consider as a brilliant cleric or an intellectual. This guy has a foot in the 19th century and the other nowhere.

They think that we are as fools and dumbs to swallow that Kilo is someone who can be taken seriously. Come on find somebody else. He is no better that Haytham. This is racism folks

May 25th, 2011, 10:18 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


as for Ryad Seif, i think that the best place for this man is the Asfourieh for his own health and safety.

Was Abdel-Nour there ?

May 25th, 2011, 10:26 pm


Louai said:

حمص: ثلاث شهداء من الأمن بكمين للارهابيين

May 25th, 2011, 10:32 pm


why-discuss said:


Who is the internal opposition that you respect that is dialoguing inside Syria?

May 25th, 2011, 10:37 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

If the Antalia meeting will not include the hardliners who call for the end of this regime , but will include only those who call for reforms within the framework of this present Syrian structure, then the Syrian government should sent it’s delegation. After all, this is what they say and promise. Reforms under the leadership of Assad.

Sending an official representation will prove whether this regime is serious about giving up absolute powers, and opening the political arena to new voices. Will Syria send a delegation to Antalia?

WD, what do you think? Should they?

May 25th, 2011, 10:45 pm


Sophia said:

# 99 Revlon,

Please, don’t put things I didn’t say in my mouth. I said that Hezbollah is committed to rule with other religious sects. I did not say that this is OK for me that political life in Lebanon be rules by religious sects. In Lebanon, religious sects have not been able to govern the country for as long as I can remember. And as long as I can remember we have gone from stalemate to crisis in multiple loops. This is the classical political paradigm in Lebanon

Sectarianism has killed Lebanon.

Lebanon is certainly not a model of tolerance and governance.

May 25th, 2011, 10:51 pm


Sophia said:

# 97 Vlad,


May 25th, 2011, 10:55 pm


daleandersen said:

Nasrallah is the last person in the known universe to be talking about doing things “in a calm and responsibl­e manner.” These words coming from a dude who spends every waking hour hiding in a bunker like the pathetic little nazi he is.

Notice I used a lower case “n” on “Nazi” when referring to Nasrallah. If I capitalize­d it, I’d have to apologize to all the real Nazis out there for including the little bugger in their midst…

May 25th, 2011, 11:19 pm


why-discuss said:


We don’t know yet who will attend this meeting, but at the end of these discussions there must be a declared result.

If they come up with a plan of action and nominate a group to engage in dialog with the government of Syria under the leadership of Bashar Al Assad with some kind of neutral role for Turkey, I guess Syria would accept. There is no reason why they shouldn’t meet in Syria.

If they end up by asking for the withdrawal of Bashar aL Assad and a regime change (which I doubt because Erdogan and the international community have repeatedly said that Bashar Al Assad should be given the chance to make the necessary reforms), then they will have to build a case for the international community and show who will take care of the country if/when this happens.

If they come up with no result because of their differences, then they will be discredited for the Syrians and the international community and no one will take them seriously anymore. Bashar will become defacto the leader of the reforms without the input from this opposition wing.

May 26th, 2011, 12:12 am


why-discuss said:


The vulgarity and arrogance of your comments shows that you are very probably an israeli or a sympathizer

May 26th, 2011, 12:16 am


Louai said:

why-discuss 116

or Wahabi,

i do not understand why any one if he wasn’t Israeli or a sympathizer to hate Hasan Nasrallah? What is the secret behind this hatred? i wish to know.

May 26th, 2011, 12:27 am


Abughassan said:

Religious freedom is not the same thing as religious parties. May be when all wounds are healed and many of the regions ills are cured we can afford a party like the MB in Syria,but I see no chance for that party being accepted by the majority of Syrians any time soon,even if Bashar allows it,he said he will not. MB sympathizers ,and there are some on SC and in conservative communities in Syria,may join other parties that are antibaath,conservative and right-leaning. MB will be a bad word in Syria for a while.
I am not even sure albaath is viable especially if the left finds another window
that allows secular Syrians, who believe in some sort of a social economy,to breathe.
To me,we are still a third world country and we are not yet at Turkey’s level.political Islam has been mostly helpful when it was used to resist outside invaders,yes it helped topple unpopular regimes but the new ones were worse.

May 26th, 2011, 12:28 am


Abughassan said:

I just received the names of three men from the security forces who were killed near Homs. One of them ,Hani Abbas,is the son of a Syrian soldier who gave his life in 1973 fighting Israel in al-Golan.the IDF and those who kill army and security officers are two faces of the same coin.

May 26th, 2011, 12:49 am


jad said:

I don’t understand what those people want anymore, attacking the regime or attacking each others?

مؤتمر أنطاليا للمعارضة السورية يمثل نفسه وليس له اي علاقة بالثورة السورية: ما الذي يجمع صادق جلال العظم بحثالات الجواسيس والمخبرين والمجرمين وشبيحة نير بومس!؟ من دهاليز غرفة مظلمة في أحد فنادق بروكسل إلى أنطاليا التركية: ما الذي اتفق عليه مندوب مؤسسة

Turkey to cut all ties with Assad according to this report from a questionable website

أنقرا تقطع آخر شعرات معاوية مع الأسد وتقرر التصعيد ضد نظام دمشق على مختلف الصعد
أردوغان أوقف اتصالاته الهاتفية شبه المنتظمة مع الأسد ، وطلب من رئيس مخابراته وقف زياراته السرية والعلنية إلى دمشق ، و يعكف على اتخاذ قرار بمنع “أسطول الحرية” من الإبحار من الموانىء التركية إلى غزة

Older article:
The old bear of the Assad regime is falling
Syria’s people no longer fear the state violence machine. The only legitimacy they will accept now is from the ballot box

“The world tries to slow the fall, so as to soften the blow and avoid an explosion in the region. Not only is there Turkey and the Kurdish question; Lebanon and the contradictions of Sunni, Shia, Christian and Druze; Iraq, Jordan and their tribal, ethnic and religious overlaps with Syria; but also Israel, which no longer trusts a regime that subjects its people to all forms of violence and lawlessness.”

May 26th, 2011, 1:26 am


Syrian Opposition to Meet amid Growing International Concern | Mideast Reports said:

[…] Opposition to Meet amid Growing International Concern Posted on May 26, 2011 by tikroot Joshua Landis gives a succinct summary: “Opposition groups and activists are planning to meet in in […]

May 26th, 2011, 2:15 am


Usama said:


I was wondering about Hani Anis `Abbas because I went to Anis `Abbas elementary school in Lattakia (near duwwar az-zira`a) and I was wondering if there was a connection, so thank you for that information. I do not agree with all your calls for political reform and I find them quite extreme seeing the popular support for Bashar, but I just want to say that, for some reason, I feel that I respect your opinions much more now simply because you said “the IDF and those who kill army and security officers are two faces of the same coin.” Maybe for an opposition to be credible among Syrians, statements like yours need to be made publicly.

Thank you.

May 26th, 2011, 4:59 am


Usama said:

JAD, #120

Did you share that last article as a “good article” or as a “ridiculously stupid” article? By reading that garbage you’d think the regime fell yesterday. Who is Ali al-Hajj?

May 26th, 2011, 5:09 am


syau said:


This article can only belong to the ridiculously stupid category.
Especially the the following statement – “but also Israel, which no longer trusts a regime that subjects its people to all forms of violence and lawlessness”

After all, Israel is a leading example of non violent behaviour towards the Palestinians isnt it. Ridiculously stupid.

Information on Ali Al Hajj states that he is a blogger in Syria using a pen name.

May 26th, 2011, 5:38 am


Revlon said:

Celebratory, demonstration, last night in AlQoriya, Deir Ezzor

Mafi lal Abad, Mafi lal Abad!
3ashat Sooriya w yasqot l Asad

No forever, any more
Long live Syria, Down Basahr Asad

May 26th, 2011, 5:49 am


Sophia said:

# 120, dear Jad,

First link: good news
Second link: too much unreliable sourcesabout the Syrian revolutio as the one with Wes Clarke’s statements
Third link: this article was written under a pen name. Other features of the Syrian revolution are pen names in The Guardian and people hiding behind their opinions because they are not logical, they are hateful and too extreme.

May 26th, 2011, 5:50 am


Revlon said:

Celebratory, solidarity demonstration with other regions of Syria; Na7ta, 7oran, yesterday

May 26th, 2011, 7:04 am


Disgusted said:

Syria just had the special olympics held there right?

Well, here is a video of a dead Syrian (documented, with his papers)special needs person. He was definitely a Salafi.

warning: very graphic

Also, a website devoted to recording data that would otherwise have been buried in a mass grave or left rotting in a cell somewhere.

May 26th, 2011, 7:52 am


Observer said:

I do believe that the country has entered into a low level civil war. The regime continues to point to armed elements killing security personnel. The regime is talking about a concerted effort to make it subservient to Israeli dictates. The best way for the regime to lend credence to the above is to open the country to outside observers and journalists and to allow for the UN to come in and to conduct an investigation. Meantime, the Egyptians have moved entirely away from the previous subservience to Israel by promoting a unity among the Palestinians and opening the Rafah crossing. In Jordan there are calls to rescind the Wadi Araba accord with Israel. The Arab revolts are going to bring genuine re orientation from the people towards Israel an entity that has never been and will never be accepted by the majority of the people of the ME as an exclusive home to a particular group at the expense of other groups.
I also believe that the current borders will not be permanent. It is impossible on the long run to continue to have entities like Syria and Lebanon and Iraq based on a false and weak national identity. Like Italy, there will be regions that will demand a separation first in administrative and then in financial and economic areas and eventually in political arenas.
Belgium and Northern and Southern Italy are very good examples of what will happen.
This regime is finished. When it announces that an Islamic emirate has been proclaimed in Homs and that the emir raised the Israeli flag, it clearly is sending a message to its own constituents that want to believe its propaganda and nothing else.
Sophia and Vlad and Jad and WD would do well to listen and go to the sites that are filled with the latest jokes and derision about this medieval brutal and sectarian regime.
There is no such thing as a Syrian National Identity.

May 26th, 2011, 8:02 am


disgusted said:

An impressive little girl giving a speech(!). This is not what one would expect after clicking the link (with english subtitles) but if you understand arabic, she’s got some charisma.

May 26th, 2011, 8:06 am


why-discuss said:


It is clear that Syria will go through major changes. The system the way we know it in Syria will never be the same. The question is the way this is going to happen. Libya has chosen the war, Tunisia is opening up to multi parties with caution, Egypt is struggling with its demons.
Contrary to the other arab countries, the government of Syria has always opposed Israel without ambiguity so there has been no discordance between the government and the people.
That is a huge asset. Therefore Syria and the relation with the Western countries, except on human rights and the nuclear issue, will remain the same while the other countries may enter a new phase where they will be attacked and blackmailed by western countries for their opening to Iran and the popular opposition to Israel.
Each country has its way to move forward or to stagnate. Is Syria internal forces enough to move from criticism, jokes and destruction to serious dialog and construction? I believe it is possible under Bashar al Assad’s leadership, you seem to believe it can’t but you give no other alternative than civil war, what’s its outcome?

May 26th, 2011, 8:31 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


“…There is no such thing as a Syrian National Identity”. But there’s a Jewish national identity.

I agree with you though about the need to redraw the improper Sykes–Picot borders, to better suite the needs of the people of the ME. For example, I’d recommend a Kurdish state. There undoubtedly a Kurdish national identity, that has to be addressed.

And I’ll further agree with you. This junta is doomed.

May 26th, 2011, 8:46 am


why-discuss said:

The opposition calls the army to join its rank in a Friday under the slogan” The defenders of the nation”

L’opposition syrienne invite l’armée à la rejoindre

May 26th, 2011, 8:50 am


Revlon said:

Dar3a was a battle ground yesterday.

May 26th, 2011, 8:56 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

WD #115,

I appreciate your answer, yet my question remains. Should Syria send a delegation to Antalia, given that this meeting is not about regime change, but about regime share?

Don’t you think that as a gesture of good will and sincerity, the regime better show it’s real intentions? If they’re serious about reforms, then do demonstrate your earnestness.

May 26th, 2011, 8:57 am


why-discuss said:


What is the national identity of the american jews, the french jews?

The question should be: Is there an Israeli national identity? does it include the 20% who are arabs, or they should have their own piece of Israel?

Antalya’s meeting: Turkey is not the UN, this meeting is organized by the opposition to come out with some kind of unity. Syria has nothing to do with it. Your question is irrelevant

May 26th, 2011, 8:57 am


Revlon said:

Day 73: The Syrian Revolution has adapted to the savage violence and military siege of residential neighbourhoods, by switching to attrition mode.

Such was brought about by:
– High casualties
– The inability to mobilise demonstrations, in major squares. The latter was made impossible by the closing of inlets and outlets of large neighbourhoods by army checkpoints, hencefore limiting mass movements between neighbourhoods.
– The current mode is to stagger fleeting demonstrations, across neighbourhoods and suburbs of the city, so as to make it logistically and operatively difficult to contain.

The opposition in exile will be meeting in Antalia, next Tuesday.
The meeting, aside from being historic, shall serve to forge a national council.
The council should be agreeable to forces on the ground, in order to be able to act and speak on their behalf.
The speaker of the council should attempt to fill the leadership void in the Syrian political scene, by directly addressing the nation, and providing a work plan for the next phase of the Syrian Revolution.

The international community is closing in on the regime.
– It’s higher political and security commands have become international pariahs.
– The likely release of details of accounts of the Makhloof-Asad Syndicate, in EU banks will have further negative impact on their image, even amongst their supporters.
– The refusal to allow UN mission to access Dar3a will serve to consolidate the position of the Security council in condemning the regime.

Allah, Sooriya, 7urriyeh w Bas

May 26th, 2011, 9:50 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


The national identity of a French Jew is Jewish. Even the non Zionists, or anti-Zionists, don’t deny that HolyLand is a Jewish property. The anti Zionists differ with us only about the timing. We, Zionists, say that the time to have the Jewish state is now, while they say it should be established after the Messiah arrives. Zionists and anti Zionists agree that HolyLand is a Jewish property.

The 20% non Jews are welcome to be non Jewish citizens in our Jewish state.

May 26th, 2011, 10:46 am


jad said:

Big news from Beirut, Mr. Ziad Baroud resign after the security forces did a shadowy operation at the ministry of communication:

بارود : احرر نفسي من موقعي في وزارة الداخلية
اعلن وزير الداخلية والبلديات في حكومة تصريف الاعمال زياد بارود تحرير نفسه من موقع في الوزارة مؤكداً خلال مؤتمر صحافي على انه يرفض ان تكون صلاحياته هي مجرد نص قانوني معطل لافتاً الى انه شاهد أبشع انواع التطفل على الدولة اليوم والتي تذكر بمشاهد اخرى من التعديات .واشار بارود الى انه على مدى ثلاث سنوات سعى ان يكون خادماً منطلقاً من ثقة رئيس الجمهورية وكانت مرجعيته الدستور والقانون وهمه حماية السلم الاهلي اما اليوم فاصبح المنطق في إجازة بعدما أصبح القانون وجهة نظر. واعلن عن تمسكه بالدستور مؤكداً انه “لم يعد باستطاعتهم اخذنا كرهائن وقد حررت نفسي من ان اكون اسيرا من هذا الموقع “.

شكوك حول شبكة خلوية ثالثة تعمل بمعزل عن الدولة اللبنانية

“الخبر برس : الإخبارية اللبنانية
“تناقلت بعض المواقع الإلكترونية نقلا عن مصدر أمني رفيع ان الهدف من العملية الامنية التي حصلت اليوم في المبنى التابع لوزارة الاتصالات في العدلية هو التغطية على عملية تنصت تحصل على اتصالات داخل الاراضي السورية “

May 26th, 2011, 10:53 am


why-discuss said:


I wonder if a french or american jew agrees with you, as if they did, i wonder why they don’t go and live in their “Jewish property”.

In any case as long as you have such a racist view of a national identity, there is no point to discuss anymore.

May 26th, 2011, 11:12 am


Sophia said:

# 129 Amir,

What about a Palestinian state?

# 135 Amir,

“HolyLand is a Jewish property” Go and tell this to your friends in the Syrian Muslim brotherhood.

Holyland is not a Jewish property, it ia a real estate bubble.

May 26th, 2011, 11:29 am


why-discuss said:


I have compassion for Amir, he knows that he is in the wrong and tries to convince us so as to convince himself that Israel is ‘real’ country while we all know it is an artificial country and that it has lasted so long only because of the guilt of the European countries and the financial support of the Jewish lobbies in the US. Otherwise it is nothing but a big and inflated Club Med managed by skillful racists G.Os, that will sooner of later be absorbed in a real country called Palestine.

May 26th, 2011, 11:44 am


Observer said:

My blog name is observer as I point out to facts. My interpretation is never perfect.
The struggle against Israel has been in many respects effective. The strategy of subjugating the region to the will of Zionism has failed with the final death of the project occurring in Iraq and in Lebanon with the help of Syria. Yet the regime has maintained a fine balance between defiance to Israel and helping regional stability that includes Israel to maintain its grip on power. The state of emergency was justified repeatedly as a necessary tool to fight Israel and yet it was used mainly to have a family with the support of some in the country based on sect and interests to control the entire country.

The deal between the people and the regime is broken and it was based on a desire for stability and hope for a better future in return for allowing the current regime to stay. This deal has been repeatedly broken by the graft and corruption and mismanagement and hateful policies enshrined by the regime through the late President. After 10 years of stalling on reforms the current President is either a willing partner in the repression or a figure head. I do not know the answer to this dilemma.

The timid reforms with the introduction of banking and some free trade that happened after 2005 were forced on the regime after the Lebanon debacle and were designed to allow for the few to enrich themselves further and to advance their own agenda at the expense of the huge number of disenfranchised Syrians. The permission given to have satellite dishes was also forced on the regime as the world opened up to new realities and a globalized world. Likewise the introduction of the internet was an absolute necessity for the regime to remain in contact with the world. Yet all of those openings have permitted ever more increase in hope for a better future and the example of Tunisia showed that these regimes have accumulated power for one reason: power over the people. Bernard Lewis noted that many of the regimes in the ME after Sykes Picot were a threat to their own populations only. Syria has been a punching bag for Israel for some time now. It is only after HA showed how to deal with Israel that the Syrian armed forces changed tactics and organization. Israel also has lost a great deal and will continue to do so as the myth of invincibility is shattered and the myth of carrying the battle to the opponent’s land is also shattered.
when I offer partition of the country I do so as a challenge to the status quo. If the people cannot live together under a unified national identity then either partition or autonomy is the answer. Forcing them to stay together when there is now so much hatred and violence will not work. I fear for the Alawite sect for they have been taken hostage by the Assad and Makhloof families who bound their fate to that of this community. After all, 10% of the population cannot hope to control the rest of the country without consent from the people. It is only a matter of time before this aberration is destroyed. It will happen either as internal rotting of the system or another much more violent explosion or both.
As I said reform IN the system is no longer possible as the people have moved to reform OF the system including its departure or a profound change of its nature.

In any case, Egypt is reaffirming itself at the center of Arab politics with Sudan and Palestine and shortly with Libya and Tunisia. This if it continues spells the doom of Iranian influence as an Arab identity appeals to Arabs before a Persian one and if the MB and Islamists have a place in the next elections, even the Islam card will not be exclusive to Iran.
Syria is bound to have the Egyptian influence affect its outcome.

On a global scale this is just a harbinger of things to come as we face a food and energy shortage. Wheat production peaked and is in decline, consumption of oil is outpacing new discoveries and many oil rich countries have to use a significant amount for their domestic use.

May 26th, 2011, 11:50 am


why-discuss said:


Your observations are dark and depressing. You talk about the syrian dilemma, you suggest a yougoslavia model for Syria, you forecast famine and economical depression etc..You are ignoring the resilience and the new forces coming from the new generation of better educated arabs, that, once they realize their power and channel it properly, may change the middle east for better.
Cheer up!

May 26th, 2011, 12:00 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:

To WD #137 and SOPHIA 138.

Just to add to your points of view. From comments by a Russian Christian author.

It started back around 1880.  It started because the Ultra Orthodox Zionist Sect after being persecuted by the Russian Pogroms, decided that God literally gave them ownership of a land bordered on the North by the Litani River in Lebanon, to the East by the Euphrates river in Iraq, to the West by the Mediterranean, and to the South by the Red Sea. 

They also took literally the instruction by God to the Moses led Exodus, to destroy every living thing not Hebrew in that land of Canaan.  Unfortunately for the people living in that land ( Jewish people comprised only 1% of the land now Israel), not being Jewish, they didn’t agree with that religious claim.

In 1907 Ben-Gurion, later to become known as the father of Israel, became the leader of this murderous plot.  A Terrorist war was commenced against the people of that land, with most of the funding provided by the House of Rothschild.  So to say the war against the Palestinian people began around 1907 would be fairly correct. 

The Zionist plan was to get political control of the land then “cleanse” it of Non-Jews.  In a speech in 1937 Ben-Gurion stated that there would have to be a forceful eviction of the Arabs of the land so that the political purity of the “New” Israel could be maintained.

When given the New Country of Israel by the U N, Israel refused to recognize the 1947 Borders drawn by the U N because the plan wasn’t finished.  The Eretz Ysarial remember was to stretch from the Mediterranean to Baghdad to the Letani River to the Red Sea, so the plan was hardly finished.

And to the modern day Zionist, the plan will not be finished until those borders are finalized and all Arabs are forced out of those new borders.

May 26th, 2011, 12:26 pm


atassi said:

Syria uses shadowy, pro-regime gunmen to carry out brutal attacks on protesters
Associated Press
26 May 2011
Associated Press Newswires
BEIRUT (AP) – The Syrian regime is unleashing shadowy, mafia-style gunmen to carry out some of the most brutal attacks on dissent as the country’s 10-week uprising threatens President Bashar Assad’s once-unshakable grip on power.

The gunmen belong to a pro-Assad militia called “shabiha,” which runs protection rackets, smuggling rings and other criminal enterprises while providing muscle for the regime.

Recruited from the ranks of Assad’s Alawite religious community, the militiamen enable the government to distance itself from direct responsibility for the drive-by shootings, bloody executions and waves of intimidation and robbery that have made Syria’s revolt one of the deadliest of the Arab Spring.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in the crackdown in Syria, many of them at the hands of the shabiha, human rights activists say. As the uprising has gained momentum in recent weeks, the gunmen appear to have taken on a more central role.

Syrians who have encountered the shabiha say they flaunt weapons, clutch rolls of cash and whiz through checkpoints with guns sticking out of their car windows.

“They always, always get what they want,” a 38-year-old Syrian man told The Associated Press in an interview after he fled the besieged town of Banias and crossed into Lebanon.

“If they like your car, it’s theirs. If they want your apartment, it’s theirs. It’s shameful to say it, but if they like a girl, she is also theirs,” he said.

He, like all witnesses, spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals against relatives still inside Syria.

In many ways, witnesses say, the shabiha are more terrifying than the army and security forces, whose tactics include shelling residential neighborhoods and firing on protesters. The swaggering gunmen, they say, are deployed specifically to brutalize and intimidate Assad’s opponents.

The origin of the word shabiha is murky, although some have speculated it comes from “shabah,” the Arabic word for ghost. But Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, said it signifies someone with a “long reach” — or, someone who can “pillage with impunity.”

Syria is not the first country to use gunmen to carry out its dirty work. During Egypt’s revolution, pro-regime gangs enjoyed at least tacit approval from the state, or elements of it, disbanding as quickly as they formed.

But shabiha fighters have a tighter link to the Syrian regime than patriotism or protecting the privileges they enjoy under Assad’s rule.

Most shabiha fighters belong to the minority Alawite sect, to which the Assad family and the ruling elite belong. This ensures the gunmen’s loyalty to the regime, built on fears they will be persecuted if the Sunni majority gains the upper hand.

An offshoot of Shiite Islam, the Alawite sect represents about 11 percent of the population in Syria. The sect’s longtime dominance has bred seething resentments, which Assad has worked to tamp down by pushing a strictly secular identity in Syria.

But now, Assad is relying heavily on his Alawite power base to crush the uprising, particularly amid rumors that Sunni army conscripts have been refusing to fire on civilians.

He has tried to dampen enthusiasm for the uprising by blaming the unrest on “armed gangs” and a foreign plot to sow sectarian strife. The shabiha’s unofficial status offers the regime a useful tool to put down the protests while maintaining “plausible deniability,” Badran said.

The opposition has rejected the government’s claim of armed gangs and foreign conspiracies behind the violence. “The only armed gangs in our beloved country are the gangs of security agencies and shabiha, who are loyal to the regime,” read a message posted on the Syria Revolution 2011 page on Facebook.

Shabiha gunmen have been spotted in the flashpoint towns and cities where protesters have been out in force despite the near-certainty they will face gunfire.

In Talkalakh, near the Lebanese border, residents said shabiha were among the soldiers and security forces who moved in earlier this month to crush any rumblings of dissent.

Witnesses recognized the shabiha gunmen by their black clothes and red arm bands, worn so they can recognize each other in the confusion of an attack.

Four residents independently told the AP that shabiha militiamen killed a man named Adnan al-Kurdi along with his wife, five daughters and a son in their home — a harrowing story that could not be independently verified. None of those interviewed knew why the family was killed.

But, speaking from the Lebanese side of the border, they all said the killings motivated them to leave.

Talkalakh is a Sunni city, surrounded by 12 Alawite villages.

Badran said the shabiha have a decades-long history, dating back to Assad’s father and predecessor, Hafez, who ruled Syria from 1971 until his death in 2000.

Under Hafez Assad, shabiha gangs were armed through the military units commanded by Hafez’s brother, Rifat. Today, the shabiha know they must serve the larger interests of the regime — as paramilitary mercenaries — if they want to maintain their privileges, Badran said.

“The shabiha are Alawite thugs who work for members of the extended Assad clan, as their personal armed crew and enforcers,” he told the AP.

Their criminal exploits include racketeering, theft, blackmail and armed robbery. They also operate extensive smuggling rings, ferrying weapons, drugs, electronics — even cigarettes — to neighboring states, including Lebanon and Cyprus, Badran said.

In part due to the shabiha’s role in the crackdown, Syria’s sectarian tensions have been laid bare for the first time in decades — a taboo subject because of the Assad family’s dynasty of minority rule. Assad’s father crushed a Sunni uprising in 1982, shelling the town of Hama and killing tens of thousands in a massacre that is seared into the minds of Syrians.

Fear of sectarian warfare has, in the past, been a serious deterrent to dissent. Syria is home to more than 1 million refugees from neighboring Iraq, who serve as a clear testament to the dangers of regime collapse and fracture in a religiously divided society. They also see the seemingly intractable sectarian tensions in Lebanon as a cautionary tale.

But the opposition movement in Syria, still struggling to find a unified voice, has been careful to paint their movement as free of any sectarian overtones. Several opposition members have expressed frustration that the regime is trying to play off of sectarian fears — all the while using an Alawite gang to terrify protesters into submission.

Hamzeh Ghadban, an anchor at Barada TV, a London-based satellite channel that broadcasts anti-government news into Syria, said he hears reports about the shabiha almost daily.

“The shabiha are doing a really horrible job against the Syrian people,” he said. “Killing, raping — everything you can imagine.”


AP writers Zeina Karam and Bassem Mroue in Beirut and Don Melvin in Brussels contributed to this report.

May 26th, 2011, 1:08 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


What about a Palestinian state? There’s no Palestinian national identity. I’m sure that Observer will agree to this. The Arabs will have to define their true identities, and not follow the false national identities, that were forced on them by the Europeans. On the other hand, the Jewish national identity is historically well established, and is thousands of years old. WD, there’s nothing racist about this. Jewish is not religious, it is national. It’s like saying the the French are racists, because they feel nationally, French.

The establishment of yet another national and false Arab state, Palestine, is a continuation of the same wrong path. Every body, including the “palestinians” themselves, know it.

May 26th, 2011, 1:11 pm


jad said:

“More than 1,000 people have been killed in the crackdown in Syria, many of them at the hands of the shabiha, human rights activists say.”

Can’t they choose one ‘POLE’ to sit on already! is the security forces who did the killing of all protesters or the Army or the Shabiha? what about the soldiers who killed them? the Shabiha, the Army or the ‘SHADOWY’ militia just appeared on AP? every kind of militia did the killing except the Islamists ones, they are innocent…..SURE!

“Talkalakh is a Sunni city, surrounded by 12 Alawite villages.”
I’d say, Safita is a Christian city surrounded by 250 Sunni villages. Chicago is a ‘White’ city surrounded by 1000 ‘African Americans’s ghettos WOW!!! those ‘Africans’ are going to eat the innocent ‘Whites’!!!!
How the hell is that relative to the story in a mixed country like Syria? Are the neighboring cities and villages are from different universe? What a f*****g crappy writing.
this is a Google map of Talkalakh, could AP point out the 12 not 10 or 15 or 30 or 5 Alawites village that surrounding the planet of Talkalakh!,36.270418&spn=0.026473,0.086946&t=h&z=14

“Four residents independently told the AP that shabiha militiamen killed a man named Adnan al-Kurdi along with his wife, five daughters and a son in their home — a harrowing story that could not be independently verified. None of those interviewed knew why the family was killed.”
If the story can’t be verified but by those ‘independent’ residents who fled, how ‘independent’ and ‘true’ can this story be? couldn’t be the otherway around?

Hey, AP, see this, even without any ‘Shabiha’ Shadowy militia, people are burning anything they see.
سلمية مظاهرات اريحا ادلب.

May 26th, 2011, 1:38 pm


atassi said:

I guess knowing that the world knows the truth or part of the truth about the murderous entities within the regime did hurt your feeling!!!… You thought all this criminal acts will elapse and the people will die in vain like what had occurred HAMA .. I hope you are wrong I hope you are wrong I hope you are wrong

May 26th, 2011, 2:06 pm


atassi said:

You point is taken No one killed the protesters, I think those 1100 protesters committed suicides …

May 26th, 2011, 2:15 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

May 26th, 2011, 2:17 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

See you tomorrow Bouthaina. Let’s see if you have the upper hand over the uprising, or have not.

May 26th, 2011, 2:19 pm


Nour said:


I think they’re counting anyone who died in Syria during this period for whatever reason as a “martyr” of the “revolution”. If you die in a car crash, you will be counted; if you die of a heart attack, your placed on the list. Unless of course you’re a soldier who was killed by terrorists, then you’re not counted because you deserve to die.

May 26th, 2011, 2:20 pm


jad said:

“I guess knowing that the world knows the truth or part of the truth about the murderous entities within the regime did hurt your feeling!!!”

No you idiot, what hurt my feeling is that we are treated like nobrainer subjects by all sides, everyday the media comes out with something more superficial and plain stupid than the day before and they don’t even bother to tell the truth that not all the violence in Syria is done by one side, though the majority are form the regime side, but also there are criminal elements that you are supporting and defending by your hatred toward all other sects in Syria just because they belong to yours when you deny their crimes.

See Attassi (next president of Syria dreamer), the differences between me and you is that I never denied the crimes done by the regime, the security, the Shabiha and the MB’s thugs, I never blamed any one sect in Syria, I don’t use your hysterical personal attack on others because they have different views, when I comment I’m plain honest and trying to show both sides of any story out of strong believe that there is no ultimate truth in our world especially in politics, I don’t use blood for begging support, and finally I have no feeling of revenge as you do.
I only want a safe ONE Syria for ALL not only for ME, live with it.

May 26th, 2011, 2:28 pm


Sophia said:

#144 Amir,

I am appointing you the minister of identities because it seems that it is you who decide who has identity and who has not.

May 26th, 2011, 2:38 pm


Sophia said:

# 142 Ghat al Bird,

“When given the New Country of Israel by the U N, Israel refused to recognize the 1947 Borders drawn by the U N because the plan wasn’t finished. The Eretz Ysarial remember was to stretch from the Mediterranean to Baghdad to the Letani River to the Red Sea, so the plan was hardly finished.”

Israel never showed any willingness to establish permanent borders. And its active defense of sectarianism in the ME, as well as its nature as a sectarian state, makes it a natural ally to KSA, and inclines me to believe this hypothesis. By breaking down the ME into sectarian states, Israel is able to achieve felxible borders and influence, something it could not achieve through regular wars. Hence the neocon project for the ME.

But again, I think, when this will be achieved, it will be the end of Israel because secular zionists will never accept and admit the true nature of their state. A civil war will finish off Israel. So Israel in my opinion is working toward its own implosion. I hope this will arrive in my lifetime.

May 26th, 2011, 2:45 pm


Nour said:

Any person that refuses to recognize both sides of this latest Syrian crisis loses credibility. I don’t think anyone can deny that the regime in Syria is repressive and reacted stupidly and brutally to the protests (at least in the initial phases) which resulted in the aggravation of the crisis. Even President Assad has admitted that much. However, the so-called “revolutionists” lose any semblance of credibility or trustworthiness when they absolutely refuse to recognize the soldiers and security officers who have fallen at the hands of armed terrorists. To continue to pretend that these Syrian soldiers do not exist and to insist that no armed elements exist is a sure way to lose respect and support as it is a slap in the face to the families of these soldiers and security officers, as well as to all Syrians who were victims of these thugs in the last couple months. In order to get over this crisis and move forward, both sides need to recognize the other side and sit down for a serious national dialogue. Otherwise, the continued intransigence by all sides is a sure way to lead to further conflict.

May 26th, 2011, 3:06 pm


democracynow said:


News flash: the Syrian regime lost credibility long time ago.

May 26th, 2011, 3:13 pm


AIG said:

Yes, Sophia, there will be a civil war in Israel. One side will be riding unicorns and the other dragons. Your ignorance of Israel is astounding. Israel has 63 years of peaceful administration changes by elections. The fact is that you are worried about civil war in Syria.

Tell me Sophia, why is it so easy according to you to manipulate Arabs to civil war and it is so difficult to divide the Jews?

May 26th, 2011, 3:15 pm


Aatssi said:

Anyone still supporting and has a ties with this criminal regime MUST be a Super idiot!!! Assad is going down you like it or NOT, He is being reduced to a Shabiha Warlord

May 26th, 2011, 3:34 pm


why said:


“Tell me Sophia, why is it so easy according to you to manipulate Arabs to civil war and it is so difficult to divide the Jews?”


Because the Jews are a superior race and have a national identity (Amir dixit) and the Arabs are dummies and have no national identity (Amir dixit), right?

May 26th, 2011, 3:36 pm


Nour said:


And how do you expect to gain credibility when you refuse to acknowledge the death of Syrian soldiers or to condemn violent acts of so-called “revolutionists”?

May 26th, 2011, 3:39 pm


why-discuss said:


I guess you meant that Nasrallah, President Sleiman, Erdogan, Medvedev, Chavez etc… are super idiots! Maybe you’re right then maybe you are too!

May 26th, 2011, 3:40 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


How come we don’t see those “armed terrorists”, but we only hearing about them in state propaganda channels? Syrian TV and other Ma7louf and Aoun outlets are very sophisticated in showing how the videos that Syrians take and publish on social networks, are fake. How come they didn’t show us even one photographed or videoed event of armed terrorism?
If you have a link to a video that shows those “terrorists” (and not ridiculous confessions), please post.

May 26th, 2011, 4:00 pm


AIG said:

Why Discuss,

That is what Sophia is saying, not me.
So what is the excuse that Arabs are so easily manipulated? Maybe the real explanation is that they are not being manipulated, they want liberty like everybody else?

May 26th, 2011, 4:02 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Sophia #152,

As a minister of the identities, I can tell you that you have the identity of the 2$ Rolex watch that I bought in Silom Rd. Bangkok. It wants to look like the real Rolex (angry Arab) but it’s a fake and is cheap.

May 26th, 2011, 4:05 pm


Nour said:

Amir in Occupied Yafa:

Given that you care so much about the lives of Syrian citizens, I was wondering when we can expect a condemnation on your part of the killing of innocent Syrian civilians by “Israeli” terrorists.

May 26th, 2011, 4:08 pm


Atassi said:

Zanaga Zanaga Dar Dar Tar El Koursi Yea bashar

May 26th, 2011, 4:09 pm


democracynow said:

There are a few recurring arguments among regime supporters that need to be addressed:

1- That there are two sides to the crisis:

Not really. On the one hand, there are the people that have being subjected to all kind of brutality, killing, humiliation, intimidation, detention, military siege ..etc.. merely for speaking their minds and protesting, and on the other hand, there is a regime that is running the country like a family affair, relying on trusted henchmen and enforcers in the military and security services. ‘Two sides’ implies two parties on equal footing. We don’t have that here.

2- But the regime has a lot of supporters! The majority of the people love Assad!

Irrelevant. Support for Assad should only factor into the equation when there are fair elections and a true democracy. Other than that, all talk about support base for the regime is heavily predicated on sectarian stereotypes and such bullshit analysis.

3- But the opposition doesn’t believe the story of the security forces and soldiers that were killed at the hands of armed terrorists! That makes them as bad and untrustworthy as the regime!

Not really. When you take the regime’s long history of propaganda and lies into account, you will realize that it is perfectly understandable when people do not believe its side of the story, especially when it it’s not allowing independent reporters anywhere near the “hot zones.” How are we going to verify such stories? As a Arab friend puts it to me: as long as the Syrian regime doesn’t allow independent reporters in, I’m only going to believe the youtube videos and the human rights activists.

Besides, let’s weight things here: in terms of magnitude as well as gravity.

If you are against the Syrian regime, it doesn’t follow that you support the (hypothetical) armed gangs killing army soldiers and destabilizing the country. Only you may not believe that such armed gangs exist….

On the other hand, the bleeping security forces and the armed supporters of the regime have so far killed more than 1100 Syrians, and injured and arrested tends of thousands more, all under the green light of the regime. (anyone who still believes that the security forces and thugs have been firing at protesters of their own accord should have their heads examined). The security forces and the army have laid siege to several Syrian cities and subjected tens of thousands of Syrians to nightmarish living conditions (as a punishment for protesting en masse, one would assume): all done under the supervision and careful planning of the regime.

Now, how on earth could anyone deem the above two positions equally bad?

May 26th, 2011, 4:13 pm


Ss said:


You have been saying Assad is leaving for months. Woul you please tell me exactly which Friday you will kick Assad out. Its a funny revolution, we hear nothing during th weedays. Is this a modern type of revolution?

I know how badly you want Assad to step down, or leave but come on, are you realistic or just emotional talk. The majority of the Syrian people care less about your agenda and that is the reason why Assad is not leaving. Moreover, you Friday-mosque-post prayer-style of revolution say a lot about you

May 26th, 2011, 4:13 pm


democracynow said:


Read the above comment ^. It is addressed, in part, to you…

May 26th, 2011, 4:15 pm


why-discuss said:


Thanks for the confirmation

May 26th, 2011, 4:15 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


This flashmob is very cute, and the criticism is understandable, well-done and appreciated.

Could I see a similar flashmob in a suk in Damascus :”Move Over Ba’ath” ???

May 26th, 2011, 4:17 pm


Atassi said:

No comment~~

May 26th, 2011, 4:26 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


So you don’t have even one video that shows those “armed terrorists”. Right?

May 26th, 2011, 4:26 pm


why-discuss said:

AIG , Amir

What do you think of these traitors?

Israeli Left open letter to EU urges for recognition of Palestinian State

May 26th, 2011, 4:27 pm


Maryam said:

The problem with both the opposition and the government is that they both lie to further their cause, so when they are actually telling the truth, the other side doesn’t believe them.

In my opinion the real idiots are the ones who believe EVERYTHING that one side says and doesn’t even bother to listen to the other side.

I have a friend who was stationed in Deraa, and he almost died. Who’s doing the shooting? It doesn’t have to be Wahhabis, but there are people fighting the regime with violence, whether the opposition likes it or not.

Random afterthought… Those who are in the army and whose service were supposed to have ended still have to stay in the army until the protests are quelled. This would be another example of how the regime, weakened, does not have the power to keep its promises (namely how military service was reduced to a year and a half, whereas it was previously a year and 9 months).

May 26th, 2011, 4:55 pm


Nour said:


The same way you are accusing the regime and “supporters” of the regime of relying on unverifiable and non-credible sources in making their claims and arguments, you are relying on unconfirmed reports made by partial sides about everything that is happening in Syria. We do not know the exact number of people killed and in what circumstances they were killed. So when you say “the bleeping security forces and the armed supporters of the regime have so far killed more than 1100 Syrians” you are not stating a fact, you are forwarding a contention.

Yet on the other hand, you say “If you are against the Syrian regime, it doesn’t follow that you support the (hypothetical) armed gangs killing army soldiers and destabilizing the country. Only you may not believe that such armed gangs exist….” So then you are implying that you do not believe that these armed gangs exist because, I am assuming, that you have not seen absolute proof of their involvement. But have you seen absolute proof that there were 1100 Syrians killed by Security forces?

You accept the contention of the “opposition” based on what I’m sure you believe to be deductive reasoning, in addition to some reliance (on the numbers presented by the “opposition”). This means that, if we accept that 1100 protesters were killed, the deductive reasoning you are using is that who else could have killed them since security men are the only ones on the ground confronting these protests. However, you fail to apply the same deductive reasoning to determine the cause of death of the 150 soldiers and security personnel. Who could have killed those young men if there are no armed elements in the country? There can only be one of two answers: either there are indeed armed elements or they are killing each other. The problem you have is that if you accept that there are armed elements, then it throws all your other contentions out the window, as it would make the situation much more complicated than merely security men and soldiers shooting indiscriminately at peaceful protesters. So you choose to discard that possibility so you can concentrate your efforts on attacking the regime, and only the regime.

If you take this position, then you are basically saying that the only thing that will satisfy you is the complete collapse of the regime. Such a position is a zero sum position, as you are presenting that it is either you or the regime. It is my opinion that such a position is dangerous and could lead to serious conflict in Syria that will result in chaos and instability that no body wants (or should want at least). This is why I believe that we should all take a step back and figure out what is best for Syria, not simply what is worst for this regime, irrespective of the consequences.

May 26th, 2011, 5:01 pm


AIG said:


Why are they traitors? They are allowed to have their own opinions. That is how democracy works. The fact that you think them traitors just shows how anti-democratic you are. In Israel we are not scared of freedom of speech. Only cowards like you are afraid of free speech.

May 26th, 2011, 5:21 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


this a sign among many others that the Mustaqbal is pushing to confrontation in Lebanon.

Besides Nahhas and Baroud are honest and respected people. Harriri’s filthy game once again.

May 26th, 2011, 5:24 pm


abughassan said:

the truth is a bitter pill to swallow. today, most people seem to have taken a position with or against the regime,however, the truth stands out in the face of daily lies from all sides,and the real victims will be poor and many middle-class Syrians who have the most to lose if the state collapses. people who think that removing Bashar and coming up with another leader is easy or is going to solve Syria’s problems are naive. the regime is still relatively strong and Bashar has a higher chance of being ousted by the regime than by the opposition. the regime survived for 40 years and corruption endured because many syrians collaborated and took part in the “game”, so, changing the regime is not enough,we all need to change and that will not happen overnight.Frankly-speaking, anybody who still advocates a swift regime change that includes the head of state is irresponsible and unable to focus on what is most important now: keeping syria in one piece.

May 26th, 2011, 5:26 pm


jad said:

Friday is starting early in Homs:

HNN شبكة أخبار حمص
سماع اطلاق نار في عشيرة وسط صيحات عن الجهاد و جاري جمع التفاصيل

May 26th, 2011, 5:27 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:

Speaking of flashmob cute Amir . Enjoy this one.

May 26th, 2011, 5:28 pm


AIG said:


If anyone has something to hide it is Assad who will not allow free press in Syria. How come you don’t care to point this out or ask this question about Assad? In Lebanon they at least have the free press to bring such issues to light. In Syria, everything is smothered in darkness.

May 26th, 2011, 5:29 pm


why-discuss said:


You have a point there… Who cares about the opinion of a minority as long as it does not threatened the Zionist dream

May 26th, 2011, 5:41 pm


AIG said:


What do you mean who cares? If you are for democracy you have to respect freedom of speech, even when you do not like what you hear.

Why can’t you understand this simple concept? Why are you so scared of people speaking their minds?

May 26th, 2011, 5:47 pm


Nour said:

Here’s Al Sayasina speaking his mind:

May 26th, 2011, 5:53 pm


why-discuss said:


Speaking you mind, so what? everybody is now on Internet. What counts is how to get to a result. Palestinians have been speaking their mind for 6o years with no result, so what’s the point if you don’t have the power and the means to support what you want to achieve. You live under the illusion that free speech brings justice.
The example of Palestine and many others show that it is not sufficient.
What really counts is the power you have and you know what it is because this is how you have been oppressing the palestinians, not with your free speech but with your high billion dollars army!
Can’t you understand that simple reality?

May 26th, 2011, 5:58 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

28 standing ovations for Bibi in the US Congress !

geee this is not a congress this is A CIRCUS

May 26th, 2011, 6:02 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


… and resisting this conspiracy. The true revolution relies on the resistance. There is no other possibility.

May 26th, 2011, 6:10 pm


Norman said:

He beat assad

May 26th, 2011, 6:17 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


you are a zombie and you’ll finish like a zombie

May 26th, 2011, 6:23 pm


Ss said:


Very important comments from AlSayasna. It is great to see him speaking his mind. I wonder what the oppositions’ take on that.

May 26th, 2011, 6:25 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


i may be wrong but there is no record of such a thing in the syrian parliament. This is far more ridiculous

May 26th, 2011, 6:31 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


watch this

an interview of Rafik Nasrallah on syrian Addounia TV

May 26th, 2011, 6:57 pm


Ss said:

According to L.N.N., D.N.N, etc, Takbeerat from the mosques in areas of lattakia, homs, damascus declaring Jehad?….

what is this Jehad thing that Islam brouth to our life. why we are so violent society and why our religious teaching happened to be of violent nature. When I see Syasna, clerks of MB, Qardawi, I really feel sick of their teachings.

I do not find explanation of this fffffffff Jehad all over the world other than calling it TERRORISM.

May 26th, 2011, 7:05 pm


AIG said:


You don’t get it, do you? Israel is strong because it has freedom of speech. An open society begets a rich society and it also begets a technologically innovative society. By stifling freedom of speech, the Arab made their societies weak.

Freedom of speech is not enough, but it is the beginning. Without it, you can’t have accountability and you have corrupt and failing governments, like in Syria.

May 26th, 2011, 7:24 pm


jad said:

It’s a last minuet attempt by 3r3our and his ‘students’ to get someone killed so the organizers can use their blood for tomorrow.

Here is a summary of what 3r3our students did according to FB:

بالنسبة للتكبير وما وردنا ونرجو التأكيد على ذلك من الأخوة الكرام

اللاذقية: ثلاث مناطق بدأت جوامعها بالتكبير و دعوات الجهاد وهي قنينص و الرمل الفلسطيني و الصليبة
جبلة: دعوات الجهاد بالجوامع و التكبيرات في احد الاحياء
حمص: دعوات الى الجهاد عبر الجوامع في باب سباع و باباعمرو
اريحا: دعوات الى الجهاد في الجوامع ودعوات الى الزحف لتحرير حلب حسب من ينادي بالجوامع
ريف دمشق – معضمية الشام: دعوات الى الجهاد و التكبيرات في جامع الزهرة
دمشق – ساحة الشهبندر قطع الطريق من قبل 20 شخص و قد تم توقيفهم من عناصر الشرطة
دمشق: اصوات سيارات الشرطة في باب شرقي كانت لسيارات تقل مقوفين من برزة و القابون في طريق العودة الى فرع الامن الجنائي

S.N.K, add those two to your ‘Sahwat’ series 🙂
“على الهواء مباشرة ..(المعارض) مأمون الحمصي يبايع (الشيخ) عدنان عرعور مفتياعاما لسوريا ، فيرد عليه (الشيخ ) عرعور (بمبايعة) الحمصي رئيسا للجمهورية!!!!!”
Ya 7aram 3l hastara!

May 26th, 2011, 7:29 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


– the evolution of islam since the 10th century i.e predominancy of ash’arism as official sunnism

– KSA wahhabism and its billions of petro-dollars feeding islamist movements all around the world

May 26th, 2011, 7:30 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


you new-age PHILISTINE

your 30% religious oligarchy is strong this is why it is the first world weapon seller per capita 🙂

May 26th, 2011, 7:36 pm


Turkey said:

Edited for bad language JL – Do not use this again or you will be banned. {In April, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood gathered in Istanbul, where a press conference was held by Riad al-Shaqfa, a mentor of the Muslim Brotherhood.}

Syrian MB is an agent of Britain and MI6. Erdugan and Turkey works with MB, the terrorists. US wants Turkey and Erdugan, US puppet, to bring MB under control and with Saudi Arabia creates a …..Sunni terrorist camp against Shiite Iran and Hezbullah. People of the region must be united against their enemy. Erdugan and Turkey cannot be trusted

May 26th, 2011, 8:28 pm


why-discuss said:


I got it, but frankly I would hate that Syria becomes like Israel. Let God preserves us from this nightmare!

May 26th, 2011, 9:04 pm


why-discuss said:


In Syria there may not be free spech but at least we don’t have your hypocrite and racist Koening Memoramdum.. Remember?

….The Koenig Memorandum was the first publicly available document to outline some of the “policies of discrimination and containment” that Palestinian citizens have been subject to since 1948, reflecting “planning and deliberations at the policy-making circles.”[4] Its publication also exposed policy options that Israeli policy makers were considering prior to Land Day, as its first (main) section was finalized on 1 March – one month before the events of Land Day.[4]

Although the Israeli Government never officially acknowledged that official government policies were guided by this plan, some of Koenig’s recommendations were implemented, particularly those regarding the expansion of land expropriations from Arab owners and the establishment of new Jewish settlements in the area in order to fragment and contain the Palestinian Arab population in Israel.[3][5][6]

May 26th, 2011, 9:19 pm


AIG said:


Is that the best you can do, the Koening Memorandum from 1976?
Are you joking? And what is great is that you prove my point. It was leaked to a newspaper and published! Thus making the government accountable for it.

Of course Syria wants to be like Israel, a democratic first world country with 7 universities in the top 500 in the world and a leader in scientific publications per capita. Syria’s scientific output is dismal because Assad is choking the creativity of the Syrians. It is time for you to wake up and understand that Syria is weak because of Assad. Its people potential is stifled. Assad is a catastrophe for Syria.

May 26th, 2011, 9:28 pm


AIG said:


How is it that Syria and Israel are at war with each other but Israel is able to become a leading exporter of military technology while Syria is driven to bankruptcy trying to keep up with Israel? Don’t you realize how bad Assad is for Syria? Syria is a bigger and with much more resources than Israel. Yet, Israel easily dominates it. Why? Because the Assad family ruined Syria.

May 26th, 2011, 9:32 pm


Sophia said:

# 169 Amir in Tel Aviv,

Are you attacking me because you lost your argument?

Next time you want to address me be polite because you know I will never act like you and you hope to have the final word by being impolite and agressive toward me.

May 26th, 2011, 9:40 pm


why-discuss said:


Be sure that not one Arab living in the middle east would want his country to be like Israel. Who cares about your universities and your export of weapons and your diamonds when you live on a stolen land and you keep harassing the children of the people you kicked out by force. Your country is a hypocrite country that hides its evil under a shiny manufactured image, similar to apartheid south Africa.

Be happy in Israel but don’t imagine a second that we envy you!

May 26th, 2011, 9:52 pm


why-discuss said:

Syria replaces envoy to Turkey as Antalya readies for opposition meet

May 26th, 2011, 10:01 pm


Atassi said:


Zambi, !! you are completely wrong on this one, I have a free mind, I am alive and still dreaming of a free Syria, I can see a new independence day in the horizon, new Syria, Singapore type Syria..The day we have been waiting for more than 40 years, I am so thrilled to see my fellow county men meeting facing the merciless bullets fearlessly, shouting freedom, freedom, freedom; I am extremely satisfied and proud of my fellow Syrians… Go on, keep your support for your cult idol Bashar, and I will never stop supporting my fellow freedom seeking Syrians…
Killing the protesters and occupying the country militarily, was the most fatal mistake that will for sure take down your cult leader and all his cronies and beneficiaries..

May 26th, 2011, 10:39 pm


daleandersen said:

“Syrian MB is an agent of Britain and MI6. Erdugan and Turkey works with MB”

This is as idiotic as Qaddafi and Bashar’s contention (through their state propagandists) that al-Qaeda is a creature of the Mossad and the CIA. Only in the Middle East would a warm, breathing, undead human being believe such crap…

May 26th, 2011, 11:17 pm


AIG said:


A hypocrite country is one that is against religious parties but its best allies are Iran and Hezbollah. A hypocrite country is one that is against the MB but supports Hamas.

Israel is a successful country because it is a free country. If you want to remain backward, stay with Assad.

The Arabs could have accepted the UN partition resolution. Instead they chose war. If you choose war, you better make sure you can win it. Otherwise don’t complain about your own stupidity.

May 26th, 2011, 11:47 pm


Observer said:

I am pessimistic for the entire Arab new generation. Especially in Syria, we are at least 50 years behind in bringing reforms. The institutions of higher education are dismal in their performance, the infrastructure is crumbling, and most important the work ethic is non existent.
We have now 1.2 billion Chinese and 1.2 billion Indians and perhaps another billion in South East Asia that are going to compete with the us for labor and they are producing much more impressive educated class and they are willing to work much harder than us.
To go back to this President either he is in charge and therefore responsible for what is happening or he is not in charge and therefore should step down as he cannot maintain order among the armed forces he is the commander in chief after all.
What is happening in Syria with or without propaganda hype on both sides is purely and simply unacceptable. Burning people and torturing children is simply abhorrent and in this day and age bound to cause revenge.

May 27th, 2011, 9:21 am


Norman said:


Can you tell me what prevented Egypt,Jordon,Saudi Arabia tunisia from being like sangapore, it is what observer said our fellow Arabs who stayed in the Arab world are lazy snob no job is good for them they would rather live on handouts from their families than work odd jobs, otherwise how can we explain the high unemployment that we have in the Arab world and the same time getting labor fro the philippine and southeast Asia.

May 27th, 2011, 3:48 pm


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