Syria's Opposition Divided. Demonstrations Have Different Goals - Syria Comment

Syria’s Opposition Divided. Demonstrations Have Different Goals

Steven Starr, a freelance reporter in Damascus and founder of the Near East Quarterly, makes a good point about the lack of any known leadership among the opposition and the diverse regional motivations for the demonstrations. The differing motivations and goals driving each of the protests suggest a lack of coordination. The government can restore control, this would suggest, if it doesn’t defeat itself by responding with too much force and if it listens to the people. This report suggests ongoing trouble: One Reported Shot Dead On Third Day Of Syrian Protest just as a delegation from Damascus arrived in the city to offer condolences for the four deaths the day before. Protesters demanding freedoms and an end to corruption set fire to the headquarters of the ruling Baath Party in the Syrian southern city of Deraa on Sunday.

Here is video of the demo

WALID AL MOUALEM is making friends with the Saudis… asserting that the movement of GCC troops into Bahrain is legal.

The second note, which is copied below in Arabic, is from a friend in Deraa whose entire family is there.  He explains how the demonstrations evolved as a protest to the 15 school children who were arrested for writing slogans that they had learned on al-Jazeera from the Egypt coverage.  He argues that the stupid actions of the governor and security exacerbated the situation, but that few want revolution and many fear disorder and chaos. All the same, he insists that no one wants the situation to return to what it was. Everyone wants change, but they want orderly change. The tribal customs of Deraa require protest for the arrests and particularly the killings, but, he suggests, the tribes also have concrete demands that can be fulfilled and negotiated. Their demands are not revolutionary, he insists. Khalid Oweis writes that revolutionary slogans have been a prominent part of the Deraa protests. He writes:

On Saturday, thousands of mourners called for “revolution” at the funeral of two of the protesters. Officials later met Deraa notables who presented then with a list of demands. It included the release of political prisoners, dismantling of secret police headquarters in Deraa, dismissal of the governor, public trial for those responsible for the killings and scrapping of regulations requiring permission from the secret police to sell and buy property.

Halabi writes: “Don’t you think that the people want freedom and end of corruption not fidya [blood] money?”

The demonstrations in Banyas were driven by a prominent family who was a client of Abdal Halim Khaddam, the ex-Vice President who went into opposition in 2005 and lives in Paris.

Another friend writes:

i believe that this is hard to stop and reverse. C… does not agree with me. i have been on the facebook page. there is no doubt that an Islamic current is underneath this whole movement. but they are clever. they have Egyptians advising them. but it is starting to draw none Islamists as well. i do stick to my original narrative that it is mostly about lots and lots of young hopless jobless men that see this as their Woodstock moment. corruption and rami is clearly a lightening rod. you see it in the comments. poverty breeds hatered towards the have from the have not. we are clearly entering this phase now. Khaddam’s site is also reinvigerated. they see their moment too. Tomorrow its the Kurdish new year day…the movement is pushing them to join too. i basically see this starting with islamists (hama hama), bringing the youth in the streets who see it as a chance to becomes heroes from zeros and now to bring in the kurds. my best friends in syria think damascus should hit very hard. i have been advocating the opposite. i am sure the same argument is going on at the palace itself.

Steven Starr writes:

There are talks of opposition but what opposition? The opposition I know of are at war with each other more than with anyone or anything else.

What happened in Damascus last Tuesday and Wednesday was and remains separate from what took place on Friday. The Tues. and Wed. events were instigated by HR people who have had long-time issues with the authorities. This was a ‘genuine’ rights issue.

What happened in the south and on the coast were also separate from each other (the south because of boys beaten up for writing graffiti complaining against rising prices, the coast because of the closure of an Islamic school). This was a ‘general concern of the people’ issue and will have much more legs and appeal than the former above.

It is being reported internationally as being one unified event, if I can say that, which is reductive and perhaps even dangerous.

Is there some sort of link in terms of a general unhappiness with the authorities? Probably. Does it justify wholescale change? Most probably not.

I think, though the daily situation is very difficult for many Syrians, (some) people need to be careful in what exactly it is they are calling for. They need to think through and understand what they want as much as they want to be understood themselves.

ما يحدث الآن في حوران هو ليس نتيجة آنية او قنبلة صوتية

بدأت الأحداث بسبب قسوة تعامل بعض القيادات الأمنية في محافظة درعا مع حادثة سببها طلاب مدراس خرجوا يقلدون في مسرحية صبيانية ما يشاهدونه في التلفاز من حركة ثورات فتم عتقالهم ومنهم طلاب من مدارس ابتدائية وإعدادية ولكن كل المناشدات لاطلاق سراحهم مع المسؤولين المحليين لم تجد نفعاً وذلك قبل وقت غير قصير قبل امس يوم الجمعة .

ويضاف لها الممارسات المستمرة من الفساد و التدقيق الشديد في محافظة درعا خاصة بعد أن ألقوا القبض على بعض الطلاب يكتبون ببخاخات الدهان

ماحدث يوم الجمعة هو رد فعل من من أشخاص مدنيين مختلفي الانتماءات من عائلات حوران المختلفة وبعض العائلات معروفة بتوجهاتها السياسة المختلفة من جوابرة وعياش وأبازيد والحريري … الخ

وبعض الفيديوهات المنشورة عبر شبكة الانترنت تبين الشعارات التي اطلقت يوم الجمعة لم تخرج عن إطارالمطالبة بإسقاط المحافظ وبعض مسؤولي بعض الأجهزة الامنية .-سميوا بالاسم عاطف نجيب -..والشعب يريد اصلاح النظام …..ويا حيف درعا(حوران) يا حيف شعبك واقف على الرصيف …. وحاميها حراميها وسموهم بالاسم ولم يردد احد بكلمة ضد الرئيس أو سوريا

هذا الشعب المدني لم يرد الا اطلاق سراح ابنائه وايقاف تعنت بعض المسؤولين المحليين

وأبناء حوران لم يريدوا الفوضى يوماً ونسبة شبابها المثقف العالي والمغترب دليل نجاح وأزمة بنفس الوقت

اما ما جرى بعد التظاهر جعل الأهالي يغضبون لمشاهدتهم أربع شهداء في ريعان الشباب …

رد فعل قاسية جداً وغير مدروسة من المؤسسات الأمنية والمحلية في درعا تدل على توتر وعدم معرفة بالأرض

الآن المظاهرات لن تبرد إلا بحقن الدماء والتدخل شخصياً من أعلى المستويات

لأن هذه الأحدات التي جرت بدرعا تختلف عن ما حدث في باقي المدن السورية فقد كانت احداثاً لا تقارب ما حدث في درعا من حيث الحجم والخطاب .

هذه الأحداث يحاول الجميع من الخارج امتطائها وتضخيمها وجعل حوران محرقة وكبش فداء لفوضى لن تجعل سوريا تربح سوى الفوضى ولا أحد يريد تدمير البلد والثورة ضد الحكومة ولكن لا احد يريد العودة لنظام يبقى الحال على ماهو عليه ويتجاهل صرخات عائلات ابناؤهم طلاب مدراس مسجونون

ولكن لا يجوز السكوت على ممارسات المحافظ والأجهزة الامنية في درعا وكله يعود للفساد وتفشيه

أبناء درعا أبناء حوران يريدون رد اعتبارهم والاصغاء لمطالبهم والوقت لم يفت

الوقت لم يفت وهذا يعني التحرك السريع لاستيعاب الأزمة واللجوء لأناس ذوي خبرة بالتعامل مع عائلات حوران وأبنائها وعاداتها

الموضوع لم يعد يتعلق بأرباح آنية أومطالب

الموضوع أصبح يتعلق بأبناء منطقة عريقة تستحق الاصغاء وتستحق احترام مصابهم

طه محمد …..

Alawis are changing their profile photos on Facebook to Bashar’s.

Syria to release children who sparked anti-government protests

Demonstrations erupted in the southern city of Deraa after 15 children were arrested for writing freedom slogans inspired by Egypt, Tunisia unrest.
By Reuters and Haaretz Service Tags: Israel news Syria

Syrian authorities said on Sunday they will release 15 children whose arrest helped fuel protests in the southern city of Deraa during which security forces killed four civilians.

An official statement said the children, who had written freedom slogans on the walls inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, will be released immediately.

Here is a good precise of the talks I recently gave in Maine and DC

Syria’s relationships key to Middle East peace
knox.VillageSoup.com
By Andrew Benore | Mar 19, 2011 (Photo by: Andrew Benore)

Joshua Landis discusses Syria at the monthly meeting of the Mid Coast Forum on Foreign Relations. … Joshua Landis said promoting peace between Syria and Israel is important for the United States if it wants to “preserve its broad interest in the Middle East and good relations with Arab allies…. “The democratic revolution now spreading across the Arab world is fraught with opportunity and danger for the U.S.,” Landis said. “If the U.S. does not solve the Arab-Israeli conflict it will increasingly be forced to choose between friendship with Israel and its longtime allies in the region.”

He said Turkey is a “bellwether for this trend.”….Golan is the key to Syria’s friends and enemies.

Friends of Syria include Iran and Russia, Hezbollah, the PLO and Hamas. “All of these are countries that are willing to arm it or help it in its struggle with Israel in an attempt to pressure Israel to give back the Golan,” Landis said.

Enemies of Syria in the Arab world are America’s allies, Landis said. They include Egypt, which signed the Camp David agreement. Landis said the recent uprising in Egypt was labeled “The end of the Camp David regime” in Syrian media.

Comments (249)


Leo said:

Syrian secret police attacks women and others who are chanting ‘long live free Syria’. Most likely is that these people are to be kidnapped, beaten, with high possibility of jail and torture.

March 20th, 2011, 5:12 pm

 

MONTAGNARD said:

LEO@#1
This clip is staged. The guy at the end is laughing. See the comment to the previous post #72 and #76.

March 20th, 2011, 5:20 pm

 

Norman said:

I just hope that the Syrian government does not have cold feats and let the people who destroyed public and private properties off the hook, They should be prosecuted like anybody else, otherwise further intimidation by the demonstrators .

The rule of law should apply to everybody or the revolutionary are no better than the security service members.

March 20th, 2011, 5:22 pm

 

Norman said:

Leo,

Why should be anything different about arresting a woman or a man , Aren’t they the same in your eyes,

March 20th, 2011, 5:27 pm

 

SOURI said:

A commenter on Syrianews:

انا احد ابناء درعا وكنت احد من شاهد ما يحدث في ذلك اليوم المشؤوم حيث قام بعض الاشخاص المواليين لعائلة معروفة في درعا وقامو باطلاق الهتافات التي سمعناها جميعاً وذلك اما المسجد محاولين استفزاز الناس التي كانت تشاهد ما يحدث . ولكن اغلب من كان موجود رفض هذا الامر

This is what we have been saying. It is the أبازيد Wahhabi family that started all this.

March 20th, 2011, 5:32 pm

 

Leo said:

MONTAGNARD,

If this was staged, we would have seen a better taken video, not a one minute poorly shot video from a phone camera. Plus no one in Syria would be willing to risk their life and dignity for such an “act” because trying to start a demonstration in Syria demanding your liberty and freedom does risk one to be arrested and brutalized, therefore only serious people would do so. My point is, all you need in Syria to attract the secret security forces is to go down to the streets and start demanding your basic liberties. I will guarantee that you will be taken down in less than few minutes.

Norman,
It’s not surprising that you failed to comment on the substance of the video but chose to pick on semantics. Anyhow, men and women ought to have equal rights under the law, there is no doubt about that. When arresting someone, law enforcement officers ought to use reasonable force to subdue a suspect. The arresting officer should take into consideration the age, size, and gender because that determines how much reasonable force is necessary. For example, a force needed to arrest a 6’5 300 pound guy would not be needed to subdue an average sized women. If that same force was to be used against the women, it would be unreasonable.

What we see in this video is not only was the women jumped on by several security officers, and but she was also slapped (0:25). No reasonable person would find this to be necessary, reasonable, or even acceptable. What the secret police did was also unlawful because these citizens have no reason to be arrested, for if their crime was demanding a free Syria, then we all ought to be criminals.

March 20th, 2011, 6:07 pm

 

Norman said:

This is about the Naim Tribe in Daraa,

http://syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=130360

It is interesting to see what Angry Arab is saying about what is going on,

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/

March 20th, 2011, 6:09 pm

 

Norman said:

Leo,
I did not comment on whether the video is true or staged because i could not tell, so i did not want to look like you complain about the secret services brutality That is nothing in comparison to whatever done in the US, You might think that it is OK in the US because the victims are black, I do not.

The president is not responsible for every action by everybody in the government and the US president is not responsible too, Even for Abu Ghraib

March 20th, 2011, 6:18 pm

 

Leo said:

Norman,

@ 8: “That is nothing in comparison to whatever done in the US, You might think that it is OK in the US because the victims are black, I do not.”

What on earth are you talking about?

March 20th, 2011, 6:25 pm

 

Nafdik said:

As with the palestinian intifada it is the children who are teaching us how to be men.

March 20th, 2011, 6:41 pm

 

Leo said:

http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/31C7FD8F-4835-4F33-BFFA-2F979828A72E.htm?GoogleStatID=1

سوريا على طريق ثورة الكرامة والحرية
برهان غليون

لفت صمت الشعب السوري أمام اندلاع ثورة الكرامة والحرية في تونس ومصر وانتقالها المدوي إلى جميع الأقطار العربية، بما فيها دول الخليج النفطية الغنية، والملكيات الأكثر رسوخا في بعض الأقطار، نظر جميع المراقبين في العالم. وتبارى كثير من هؤلاء في تحليل الأسباب التي منعت رياح الحرية المنعشة التي هبت على المنطقة العربية، وألهبت حماسة شعوبها، ووحدت فكرهم ومشاعرهم وإرادتهم، كما لم يحصل في أي زمن سابق، من التأثير في مجرى الحياة السورية.

ولعل النظام السوري اقتنع أيضا بالأطروحة التي روجتها الصحافة هنا وهناك، واعتبر أن التفاف الشعب السوري حول قيادته بسبب مواقفها الحميدة من القضايا القومية، أمر مفروغ منه يجنبه المساءلة في قضايا الحكم والسياسة الداخلية والحريات، ويوفر عليه الإصلاحات التي ما كف عن الوعد بها منذ بداية العقد الماضي، من دون إظهار أي رغبة، مهما كانت محدودة، في تحقيقها.

ورغم مرور ثلاثة أشهر على ثورة شعبية عربية عارمة أدهشت العالم وأصبحت محور اهتمام المنظومة الدولية بأكملها، من سياسيين ومثقفين وفلاسفة وخبراء في السياسة والإستراتيجية، ومن مشاهد الشعوب التي حررت نفسها بقوة إرادتها وعزيمتها وتصميمها، في مواجهة أعتى النظم القمعية، فقد ظل النظام السوري صامتا تماما كما لو أن ما يجري من حوله لا يعنيه بتاتا، أو أن سوريا منيعة كليا على أي تأثيرات عربية أو عالمية.

وبينما لم يبق نظام عربي واحد لم يبادر إلى تقديم تنازلات سياسية والوعد ببرامج إصلاح أو الدعوة إلى حوارات وطنية، لم يجد المسؤولون السوريون ضرورة حتى للتوجه بخطاب أو بكلمة أو ببيان للشعب، واكتفوا بما تنشره أو تبثه وسائل الإعلام السورية عن إنجازات النظام الاستثنائية، الوطنية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية.

وبينما بادرت نظمٌ لا تقل ثقة بقوة الردع التي تتمتع بها أجهزتها الأمنية، إلى إطلاق سراح معتقلين واتخاذ إجراءات فورية لتبريد الأجواء والتخفيف من الضغوط والتوترات التي تعيشها الجماهير المتفجرة توقا إلى الانعتاق، وأعلن بعض الزعماء فيها عن عدم رغبتهم في إعادة ترشيحهم لولاية أخرى، وبادر بعضهم الآخر إلى كف يد الأجهزة الأمنية عن الملاحقات التعسفية واستخدام القوة والعنف مع المتظاهرين، وأقر بعض ثالث بضرورة تنظيم انتخابات نزيهة وحرة، ضاعفت أجهزة الأمن السورية من تشددها تجاه النشطاء السياسيين، وزجت المزيد منهم في السجون لأدنى الأسباب، وها هي تتورط في مواجهة المظاهرات بالرصاص بعدما كالت لهم تهما تساوي الخيانة الوطنية.

وحتى في الملكيات الراسخة والغنية، لم يجد القادة بدا من اتخاذ إجراءات سياسية جديدة بالإضافة إلى الإجراءات الاجتماعية والاقتصادية، وشعر قسم منهم، لم يعتد مخاطبة الجمهور ولا مغازلته، بضرورة أن يتحدث لشعبه ويخاطبه، كتعبير عن الاعتراف بوجوده أو التظاهر باحترام رأيه. وأعلن ملك المغرب الذي لا يشك أحد بما يتمتع به في بلاده من شعبية، نظرا لما شهدته بداية حكمه من انفتاحات ديمقراطية مهمة، عن مشروعه الجديد لتقليص كبير في صلاحيته السياسية وربما التمهيد لإقامة ملكية دستورية.

بالمقابل، لم يتردد الرئيس السوري في أن يؤكد خلال مقابلات حديثة مع الصحافة الأجنبية، أن الإصلاح السياسي في سوريا مسألة طويلة وصعبة، ولن يكون من الممكن تحقيقه قبل مرور جيل جديد.

لعل القادة السوريين ارتأوْا أن من الأفضل أن لا يتحدثوا في السياسة حتى لا يفتحوا على أنفسهم باب التفكير في الإصلاح السياسي، أو لعل بعضهم اعتقد بالفعل أن تجهيزاتهم وجاهزيتهم الأمنية قوية بما يكفي لردع السوريين عن القيام بأي عمل لا يرضى عنه النظام، أو بأن شعبهم قد فقد تماما الشعور، وأصبح جثة سياسية، أو أنه تحول إلى سائبة لا تعني لها الكرامة شيئا ولا تثيرها رياح الحرية.

أو لعلهم اعتقدوا بأن خوف الشعب بعضه من البعض الآخر، وتخويفه بالحرب الأهلية بسبب الانقسامات المذهبية او الجهوية، سيعطل إرادته ويشله عن القيام بأي مبادرة عملية.

هكذا صم النظام السوري أذنيه تماما عن نداءت -هي أشبه بالاستغاثة- صدرت عن بعض من لا يزال على قيد الحياة السياسية، في شعب يكاد يختنق من شدة ضغط أجهزة الأمن التي تحصي على الأفراد أنفاسهم بالمعنى الحرفي للكلمة، ولا يكاد فرد -سواء أكان ناشطا سياسيا أو بعيدا عن أي نشاط- يخرج من تحت السيطرة الأمنية المباشرة، ولا نشاط، مهما كان صغيرا أو كبيرا، تجاريا أو ثقافيا، يمكن أن يمر من بين شبكات المراقبة الضيقة وشكوكها المرضية وملاحقاتها الدائمة واليومية.

الإشارة اليتيمة التي قبل النظام أن يقدمها في هذه الظروف التاريخية التي تلهب مشاعر العرب جميعا وتدفعهم لركوب كل المخاطر بما فيها حمل السلاح لمقاتلة أعداء الحرية، كما حصل في ليبيا، هي إطلاق سراح هيثم المالح الناشط الحقوقي المسن، بعد سنوات من المحاكمات والاعتقالات التنكيلية.

وحتى في هذه الحالة، استكثر النظام أن يطلق المالح بعفو خاص، فجمله في عفوه العام الدوري عن الجرائم والجنح المدنية، وأكد أن الأصل فيه هو السن المتقدم، حتى لا يضفي على هذا العفو عن شخص واحد طابعا سياسيا يغذي أوهام الناشطين الحقوقيين والسياسيين بأن من الممكن تعميمه في المستقبل أو توسيع دائرته.

أكثر من الإحباط، أثار هذا الانغلاق السياسي، العميق الدلالة، ذهول الأوساط السياسية والثقافية جميعا، ليس في سوريا فحسب ولكن في العالم العربي بأكمله. وفجر صمت النظام روح الثورة الكامنة، بما أبرزه من عدم الاحترام للشعوب، والاستهتار بمشاعر الناس، وتجاهل تطلعاتهم، والاستهانة بمخاوفهم وقلقهم على مستقبلهم، والاستمرار في المراهنة على كسر إرادتهم، من أجل الإبقاء على إذعانهم، وتمديد حالة الحصار المفروض عليهم، وتحويلهم إلى أسرى محتجزين داخل ذواتهم هم أنفسهم.

ومن هذا الإحباط وانغلاق الآفاق وقتل الآمال، انطلقت يوم 15 مارس/آذار الجاري أول شرارة في حركة يخطئ النظام إذا اعتقد أن من الممكن القضاء عليها بوضع من شارك فيها في السجن وإضافة معتقلين جدد إلى عشرات المعتقلين السابقين.

ليس ما حدث ويحدث في دمشق وبانياس ودرعا وحمص والقامشلي سوى الإرهاصات الأولى لثورة الكرامة والحرية التي حملت بها سوريا منذ وقت طويل، دون أن تجد وسيلة لإخراجها.

وأصبح أصعب فأصعب اليوم، في سياق الانتفاضة الشاملة للشعوب العربية، إخماد نارها بالوسائل والأساليب القديمة التي اعتادت على استخدامها الأجهزة الأمنية، من عنف مفرط وضرب وشتم، بل لن يزيدها ذلك إلا اشتعالا، بمقدار ما تساهم هذه الأساليب في تأكيد الواقع الذي يثير ثائرة الشعوب اليوم في كل مكان، ويدفعها للانتفاض على حكامها، وجوهره حكم الناس بالقوة والقهر، واحتقار آرائهم، وتسفيه خياراتهم، والتضحية بكرامتهم، والاستهتار بوجودهم.

ليس السوريون هم وحدهم الذين لفت جمود النظام وصممُه أنظارهم، ولم تقتصر المقالات والتعليقات النقدية على السوريين، وإنما أصبحت، أكثر، شاغلا رئيسيا لكتاب ومثقفين ومفكرين عربا كانوا ولا يزالون يعتبرون أنفسهم حلفاء أو أصدقاء للنظام.

ولم يتردد هؤلاء في تذكير المسؤولين السوريين بأن المواقف الخارجية الحميدة لا ينبغي أن تكون بديلا للاعتراف بحقوق الشعب السوري وحرياته، وأن تقديرهم لسياسات النظام السوري الخارجية، وحرصهم عليها وعليه، هما اللذان يدفعانهم إلى تحذير المسؤولين من مخاطر هذه السياسة ويناشدونه القيام بإصلاحات سياسية سريعة وفورية تلتقي مع آمال الشعب السوري وترد على تطلعاته المشروعة، قبل فوات الأوان.

كما هو واضح، لم يدرك القادة السوريون أن شعبهم قد تغير تماما، في أتون الثورة المستمرة التي يعيشها بكل جوارحه عبر القنوات التلفزية، ويشارك فيها ساعة ساعة، حتى وهو قابع في بيوته أو في مقاعده الدراسية.

كما أنهم لم يدركوا أن العالم نفسه قد تغير بفضل الثورة العربية ذاتها، وتغيرت معه أيضا الجامعة العربية، كما أبرز ذلك المثال الليبي. ولم يعد أحد يقبل اليوم مشاهد الحرب التي يشنها مسؤول أو زعيم سياسي على شعبه لمجرد طموحه في البقاء في السلطة أو حماية بعض الامتيازات.

ولقد فات الوقت الذي كانت سيادة الدولة فيه تعني حق أي حاكم أو نظام حكم -مهما كان أصله ومصدر شرعيته- في أن يستفرد بشعبه ويفرض عليه الإذعان.

ولم يعد من الممكن للرأي العام العالمي، في نظام العولمة الراهن والتواصل المباشر عبر وسائل الإعلام، أن تتنكر حكوماته لواجب التضامن مع الجماعات والشعوب المعرضة لمخاطر الإبادة والاستعباد، أو أن تستهتر بمصادرة إرادتها من قبل جماعات خارجة على العرف الدولي والقانون، سواء اعتمدت في إخضاع شعوبها على القوة العسكرية النظامية أو الأجهزة الأمنية، ومن باب أولى على عصابات المرتزقة وأمثالهم.

مهما تأخر الوقت، لا يستطيع نظام متكلس يرجع نموذجه إلى حقبة سابقة كثيرا على ثورات التحرر والديمقراطية والانتفاضات الشعبية العربية، أن يستمر. لقد أصبح أثرا من آثار ما قبل التاريخ.. تاريخ الحرية الجديد الذي يحرك الشعوب ويلهمها.

والسوريون ليسوا أقل جدارة من الشعوب الأخرى، وليسوا أشباه رجال، أو نمطا خاصا من الشعوب التي لا تعنيها الكرامة ولا تعرف معنى الحرية، ولن يقبلوا أن يكونوا أنصاف مواطنين. وما ينشدونه هو ما تتمتع به جميع شعوب العالم اليوم وتنشده أيضا: حكم قائم على المشاركة والاعتراف بأهلية الشعوب وحقوقها وحرياتها الأساسية، والتخلص من عسف المخابرات وتسلطها البغيض على حياة الناس ومصادرة أحلامهم وآمالهم. وليس في هذا أي مطلب استثنائي أو تعجيزي.. بالعكس إنه العودة إلى الحالة الطبيعية، أي السليمة.

لكن إذا لم يكن من الممكن المحافظة على نظام يرجع في نموذجه إلى عصر الحرب الباردة، فليس هناك ما يمنع أصحابه أو الذين آمنوا به من أن يجنبوا أنفسهم مصيرا شبيها بمصير الخارج على القانون الذي تحول إليه القذافي -الزعيم الملهم- بعدما غامر بشن الحرب على شعبه وأراد أن يفرض نفسه عليه بالقوة، ولا حتى بمصير بن علي ومبارك اللذين اضطرا إلى الانسلال أو التسلل خوفا من الغضبة الشعبية.

والسبيل إلى ذلك ليس بالأمر الصعب والخطير.. إنه ببساطة ملاقاة مطامح شعوبهم وتطلعاتها الإنسانية الطبيعية، والتجرؤ على إعلانها شعوبا حرة، والاعتراف بأهليتها في حكم نفسها واختيار ممثليها بحرية، وتسهيل انتقالها الحتمي نحو الديمقراطية، والمساهمة في تخفيض تكاليف هذا الانتقال المادية والمعنوية.

ولا أعتقد أن كثيرا من القادة السياسيين -بمن فيهم مسؤولون كبار في أجهزة الأمن- من الذين أتيح لي مقابلتهم بمناسبة العديد من التحقيقات التي يشاركني فيها أغلب عناصر النخبة الثقافية، غير قادرين على مثل هذا الخيار، أو غير آبهين بمستقبل شعوبهم وراغبين في تجنيب بلادهم مخاطر العنف والحروب الداخلية، ومن ورائهما احتمال الانزلاق نحو التدخلات الأجنبية القابعة وراء الباب

March 20th, 2011, 6:43 pm

 
 

Nafdik said:

Norman, regarding your comment:

For you info , They are the Syrian people and that what you and the others you call opposition seem to forget,The are the real Syrians and They might forgive you if you declare your loyalty to the unity of Syria instead of being instrumental in destroying her.

I agree with you of course and of course i am loyal to the unity of syria. But do not confuse loyalty to syria with loyalty to the regime.

As for bringing up any sects i only did so in answer to your comments that allawite and minorities are fighting for their survival.

I am still unclear if you twisting my words or if you misunderstood my comment. If the latter then i hope this clears things up.

March 20th, 2011, 6:49 pm

 

NK said:

Souri

Syria-news is extremely controlled, and while the news they publish might have some value, the comment section have 0 credibility and they’re very selective with what they allow to appear on there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDhqvXy6zlM

Here’s a video of an “eye witness” claiming the mosque in Daraa was turned into a field hospital. Another “eye witness” was talking on BBC Arabic earlier, confirming there are still clashes with demonstrators in Daraa. At this point I’d stick to videos for news and be very skeptical about what an “eye witness” might say.

March 20th, 2011, 6:52 pm

 

Revlon said:

Stephen Starr
Your assessment of last week events in Syria is shallow and echoes the regime’s.

The Syrian People’s Revolution (SPR) is here and is not divided.
The Syrian People’s revolution is united around one objective: Freedom

Syrians, like any peoples have multitude of aspirations and priorities. Their diverse chants and slogans echo their diversity.

The lack of visible leadership on the ground is for personal protection, and it is changing. It is in the interest of the self preservation of the Revolution. I had the pleasure of watching a young savvy revolutionist, face uncovered, addressing his views directly to Asad jr and wife, young revolutionists, and all Syrians. (YouTube Syrpris).

The lack of single leadership is refreshing and promising. Syrian people do not need to, and are no longer interested in rallying behind a single leader or party.

I am perplexed by your ignorance of the presence of ground opposition in Syria. Several years ago, a group of decent, mature (unlike Jr), enlightened, Syrians from all venues of life approached the regime with a list reforms. It was the Declaration of Damascus. They were harassed and silenced along with us the silenced majority.

I Fully understand the limitations imposed on foreign journalist working in Syria.
However, your personal judgement that there is no need for a whole scale change of government in Syria is unfortunate and insensitive. You have taken the side of the regime when you should have been impartial.

I advise you to ask for permission to speak with a member of the Declaration of Damascus. You need to be better informed

I wish you good luck in your career.

March 20th, 2011, 7:06 pm

 

Norman said:

Nafdik, Habibi,

Evolution not a revolution , I want to change the way things are done but i am not ready to destroy the country to convince others,

Babies that are born premature, tend to have significant health problem and many may die, We do not to happen to Syria in the rush to having Democracy the baby will not survive, take a deep breath Syria has been under the same rule for many years and few months might be the difference between a good Democracy or a dead one.

March 20th, 2011, 7:15 pm

 

NK said:

According to this Al-Jazeera report, things in Daraa are indeed not fine and dandy like the State TV reported earlier

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=111934888886627

March 20th, 2011, 7:31 pm

 

Leo said:

Norman @ 12.

What exactly are you trying to prove with those videos? Yes I know police brutality occurs in the US, but are you seriously comparing the police brutality, unlawful arrests, and torture that exists in Syria to what goes on in the US? Police brutality and unlawful arrests are not a standard procedure in the US, and an officer guilty of such risks his job and savings. The officer and the state would be liable for suit and would probably end up compensating the victim a hefty sum. Moreover, when such incident happens, millions of people get involved. News channels start repeating the video over and over. Politicians, lawyers, and civil society groups start asking questions, issuing apologies, and demanding justice. When this occurs in Syria, people are afraid to ask questions. If there is a brave person who dares to ask such questions, they will tell him that this was an “act” and tell him to shut up or else face serious repercussions. If he works in the public sector and dares to ask such questions, he will be fired from his job and lose his pension. Legally speaking, no one in Syria can raise any issue against any security personnel or agency because of the emergency law that has been in place for almost 50 years now. Lk shu jab el thara lal thuraya?

March 20th, 2011, 7:56 pm

 

sami ali said:

the true face of this website is clearly seen in the posts. as for the faces in the opposition, i can tell you that very soon a new government in the exile will be formed to take control of the country. we will see whose voice is louder. i wonder where is your professor.!!!???

March 20th, 2011, 7:57 pm

 

NK said:

Another video just appeared on youtube, from Madaya

March 20th, 2011, 8:20 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“………There seem to be a whole class of people who like assad, and have confused patriotism with devotion to state, and i am still unable to comprehend this phenomenon but it definitely not allawi only….”

No man, we are not confused about anything, we been in the opposition business since 1981. We are the oldest Western based Syrian opposition group since we were in our 20’s, before we even attended colleges. Anyone that does not understand SNP stand, is most likely not a Syrian, or lack deep understanding of Syria’s Society and history, maybe too young, born in the 80’s not early 50’s. Otherwise, it should be obvious to them.

About this upper and middle class stuff, nonsense, I was in my early teens when an Alawite peasant pointed a Kalashnikov on my forehead and told my father to get out of our land and never come back. We never did, and it is still being used for free, although we hold the title. And that was the part of the land that left after ISLAH ZIRAI ceased more than 80 % of the original parcel. Others, SNP members, their fathers spent entire family fortune, millions, to setup factories in Syria, and they receive mere $600 LS compensation. Do you know how much it hurt, as a kid, to visit Homs Largest Textile Factory with the son of one the founders to beg its manager ”effective owner” after Nationalization, ibn Al-Sharmoota, ibn Al-Atassi for summer job at the screen printing facilities? I never forget his arrogance to this day. When he refused to offer the boy work, the Chief Machinery Engineer, who the kid father paid for his German education and training, told ibn Al-haram that, man, you are sitting in the desk chair of this kid father, he replied, it is mine now and I am the boss, kick the kids out.

Can this little episode of Syrian life back then gives you a glimpse about SNP position now? You see, we understand that the majority of what is called today “ Syrian opposition” not the bearded ones, are nothing more than the very same thieves who we grew up fighting against and waiting for the day we can avenge their misdeed. Do you expect now SNP members, averaging in age 61, to unite with the very same enemy? Against someone that did no harm to us, protected Syria and worked from day one since he took office on opening up the country. Why would a real opposition support someone like Khaddam or those Baathist that Assad kicked out of power and corruption racket. We are opposed to the Baath Party one party rule, we could care less if Syria’s leader is Christian, Alawi, Sunni or Green Reptilian Hybrid, as long as he is committed to bring change and modernization to Syria, issue restitution to our class of harmed people.

March 20th, 2011, 8:30 pm

 

Revlon said:

#17 an #20
Madhaya demonstrators have boldy said it: The peoples want to down the System

Dear NK, Thank you very much for the video links.

The youths’ tone has become bolder.
They are chanting: fear no more.
The ceiling of demands have risen
The sky of freedom is the limit.

March 20th, 2011, 8:55 pm

 

Jad said:

http://syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=130372

أكد مصدر مطلع، يوم الأحد، أنه “تبين، وفقا للتحقيقات، أن شخصا لقي حتفه في مظاهرة بمدينة درعا، وأن هذه التحقيقات مستمرة لمعرفة المسؤولين عن مقتله”، في وقت أصيب فيه 7 عناصر من رجال الشرطة بجروح متفاوتة، كما أشارت تقارير رسمية، نقلا عن مصادر متابعة، أن ممتلكات عامة وخاصة تعرضت للحرق والتخريب من قبل مجموعات “محرضة”، على حد تعبير هذه المصادر.

وأشار مصدر مطلع لسيريانيوز إلى أنه “تبين مقتل شخص في مظاهرة بمدينة درعا، وفقا للتحقيقات التي ما تزال مستمرة لمعرفة المسؤولين عن مقتله، إضافة إلى وقوع سبع إصابات في صفوف الشرطة”.

وكان مراسل سيريانيوز في درعا أفاد في وقت سابق يوم الأحد، نقلا عن شهود عيان، أن شخصا لقي حتفه وأصيب العشرات بجروح في المظاهرة التي شهدتها المدينة اليوم.

وأضاف المصدر أن “هناك تعليمات مؤكدة لعناصر الشرطة بعدم استخدام الأسلحة أو إطلاق النار ضد المتظاهرين”، مبينا أن “هناك فوضى في المدينة أدت إلى سرقة بعض البيوت والمراكز الحكومية وتخريبها”.

ونقلت وكالة الأنباء الرسمية (سانا) عن مصدر مسؤول قوله إن “مجموعة من عناصر الشغب قامت بالاعتداء على المشافي في درعا، وإحراق ممتلكات عامة وخاصة، وإثارة الذعر بين الأهالي وسكان المدينة، وإطلاق النار على عناصر الشرطة، الذين لم يردوا بالمثل”، مضيفا أنه “سيتم اتخاذ كافة الإجراءات الكفيلة بحماية أمن المواطنين وسلامتهم والحفاظ على الممتلكات العامة والخاصة”.

فيما ذكرت قناة الإخبارية السورية أن “مصادرا أوضحت أن المجموعة التي تسعى للتظاهر مؤلفة من تابعين لجهات تعمل من الخارج أمثال ريبال رفعت الأسد وعبد الحليم خدام والإخوان المسلمين، وتسللت هذه المجموعة من الدول المجاورة وتستعمل المال والدين لإثارة التظاهر ضد الدولة”.

وذكرت الإخبارية أن “أحد المعتقلين المؤيدين للتظاهر اعترف أنهم أدخلوا خطوطا هاتفية مربوطة على شبكات دول مجاورة للتواصل مع المتظاهرين”، مضيفة، نقلا عن مصادر متابعة، أن “مطلقي النار هم من جماعة فتح الإسلام التابعة لريبال رفعت الأسد، وأن اعتراف محركي التظاهرة باستخدام الدول المجاورة في تحركهم للاحتجاج يكشف طبيعة هذا التحرك”.

وأضافت المصادر، بحسب الإخبارية، أنه “بعد معاودة التظاهر، عقب الإفراج عن الشباب، طالبت قطاعات شعبية واسعة الدولة بحل جذري لهذه التظاهرات، وسط أنباء عن قيام المجموعة المحرضة بحرق مبنى القصر العدلي وبيت المحافظ ومقر حزب البعث في درعا”.

كما أفادت مصادر مطلعة، بحسب الإخبارية، أن “مجموعة من المحرضين بدأت بإثارة التظاهر والاحتجاجات والاعتداء على الممتلكات العامة، وأن هذه المجموعة غريبة عن نسيج المدينة ومرتبطة بجهات خارجية، وتسللت إلى سورية عبر الحدود المجاورة، فيما تصدت الشرطة للمجموعة المحرضة لمنعها من تخريب ممتلكات عامة، ولكن هذه المجموعة كانت تطلق النار، ما أدى إلى إصابة سبع عناصر بجروح، ما يدل على أن المجموعة المحرضة تسعى للتخريب”.

ولفتت الإخبارية إلى أن “مصادرا بينت أن الدولة تتجه إلى ملاحقة مثيري التظاهر، خاصة العناصر المتسللة عبر حدود الدول المجاورة”، مضيفة أن “تخريب الممتلكات العامة ليس تظاهرا سلميا، وهو جريمة يعاقب عليها القانون، والسلطات السورية تتجه لملاحقة هذه المجموعة، ومنعها من الاستمرار بالتحريض وتخريب الممتلكات العامة”.

وكانت مظاهرة انطلقت من أمام الجامع العمري في الجزء الجنوبي من مدينة درعا “درعا البلد” جابت شوارع المدينة، وصولا إلى بيت عزاء لإحدى الضحايا، الذين سقطوا في تجمعات يوم الجمعة في المدينة.

وردد المتظاهرون شعارات طالبوا في بعض منها بالقصاص ممن أطلقوا النار يوم الجمعة وأدت إلى سقوط “شهيدين” من أبناء المدينة، ومكافحة الفساد وغيرها…

وكان الرئيس بشار الأسد كلف كل من وزير الإدارة المحلية تامر الحجة ونائب وزير الخارجية فيصل المقداد لأسرتي الشهيدين الذين سقطا يوم الجمعة الماضي.

وأطلقت السلطات السورية سراح مجموعة من الشبان نتيجة عدم إدانتهم وفقا لما أظهرته التحقيقات التي أجرتها اللجنة المكلفة بأحداث درعا التي حصلت يوم الجمعة الماضي.

وكان عدد من الضحايا سقطوا خلال تجمع عدد من المواطنين في مدينة درعا البلد بالقرب من الجامع العمري بعد ظهر يوم الجمعة الماضي، وذلك بعد أن شهدت المدينة تحطيم وحرق عدد من السيارات والمحلات العامة، ما استدعى تدخل عناصر حفظ الأمن، بحسب سانا.

سيريانيوز

March 20th, 2011, 8:58 pm

 

Nafdik said:

Norman,

I respect your opinion and agree with you that evolution is the ideal path if it were possible.

However i will explain why revolution is the favored path:

The regime is very powerful, and it has a very strong security servcie and backed by a strong army. If there is a window now to destabilize it we should not miss it as this window might not open again.

We do not know what the future holds and the circumnstances in a few months might become unfavorable for the freedom movement.

Do we want to take a chance and allow the regime to rule us for another 30 years? Do we want our children and grand children to keep singing nafdik?

March 20th, 2011, 8:59 pm

 

Majhool said:

Lol!!!

Syrian FM Mou’allem supports the Wahabi occupation of Bahrain!!!

The syrian government is scared shit.

Just fxxxing go on TV. Say that emergency law will end in two weeks. and a new political party law will be out in a month..Syria will be saved

EASY!!!!

March 20th, 2011, 9:11 pm

 

Nafdik said:

Here is a proposal that you might agree with Norman.

Bashar declares the following:

The creation of a bill of freedoms that overrides the syrian constitution. This bill is only modifiable by a vote of more than 75% of syrians.

The bill guarantees freedoms of press, thought, women, religion and creed, as well as equality under for women and national and religious minorities.

The army is asked to leave the political arena and to protect our borders. The army can interfere only in cases where the charter is broken and then only for a period of x months.

No army officer should present himself for elections, no army unit should intervene in internal affairs.

Amnesty is offered to all except those who are responsible for the death of syrians at the highest chains of command. Army will have its own tribunals for army officers. For corruption there is a sunset of x years and only fines are imposed and the return of monies to the state.

Party rule is open to all and free elections are held within 6 months.

Bashar will not present himself in those elections nor any member of his family.

We can call this document a mithaq wihda wataniya and save syria from civil war and chaos. The mithaq could be presented and signed by many party, tribal, religious, syndicalist and other syrian leaders.

Bashar will go in history as one of the most couragest and nationalist leaders and we might then sing belroh with true enthousiasm.

March 20th, 2011, 9:21 pm

 

Avi Salam said:

Earlier, there was a post on Syria comment raising the question of whether what happened in Egypt and other Arab countries is a marker for the end of the Pan Arab movement. I personally believe it is, but I also believe that what is happening is more than just the end to the Pan Arab movement. It is the beginning of the end to the artificial states in the middle east, which were artificially manufactured upon the end of world war one.

Syria for instance, is an artificial state in the sense that there are five major regions in it, which do not belong together. Syria should be divided into five states: The Damascus state, the Aleppo state, the Druz state, the Alawite state, and the Kurdistan state. Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia are other examples of artificial states, which will be ultimately divided/re-drawn.

The point I am raising is that the Middle East in general, and the land of Levant in particular are not suited for a stable, western-like, democracy due to the following reasons:
1- The complexity of sectarian/religious diversity. Sects/religions in the Middle East do not trust each other for historical reasons. The minorities had been so brutally persecuted for more than a millennium. Even today after the so-called Egyptian revolution, the Coptic Christians are not treated equally.
2- The lack of a modern, civil and humanitarian interpretation of Islam, which can co-exist with democracy. Islam, as interpreted and practiced today is inhumane, and undemocratic. The right hand amputation punishment in Islam, even for a small crime such as theft, is only one example of the inhumane punishments in the contemporary interpretations and practices of all Islamic sects/denominations. All current sects/denominations of Islam do not treat men and women alike!!!
3- The various nations in the Middle East do not embrace the separation between religion and state. Hence, it is only a matter of time until religion takes over the government, and then there will be a plethora of Iran-like states in the Middle East.

March 20th, 2011, 9:38 pm

 

Jad said:

Majhool,
you have a valid point, is keeping the freaking Emergency Law worth loosing a country for? NO
nothing worth that.

March 20th, 2011, 9:51 pm

 

Jihad said:

All the popular revolts that began in Tunisia last December had no single representation. That’s why it was hard to quell them as before, i.e. by simply jailing the leaders. It does not mean however that people do not have a clear view of what they want at least for the immediate future.

PS: Avi Salam spare us your ignorant Zionist Orientalism.

March 20th, 2011, 9:51 pm

 

Nafdik said:

Avi salam,

Your post reflects a lack of knowledge of the middle east and blindness to current events.

1) the middle east has always been a mixture of religions and ethnicities that lived together. Although they maintained their identities they were able to coexist as this is an extension of tribal mode of life where tribes share the same land while keeping distinct identities. Tribal wars happen but they are generally resolved quickly and with few casualties.

2) your reading of the state as an ethno religious entity is 18th century europe conception and reflect a history of xenophobia and religious fantism that are foreign to the multi cultural middle east. Nazi germany was the latest incarnation of this. Modern states such as us, canada, syria, etc do not suffer from this european disease.

3) listen to all the demonstrators in syria, egypt, libya, etc. They all had their national flags and they all screamed their country name as teh rallying cry: shaab elsouri ma binzell; alla, souria, hiuria; etc.

4). This fear of chaos is the tool of israel when it tries to frighten the west from teh arab countries and the tool of the regimes when they pretend they are keeping people safe. No sane person belives it.

March 20th, 2011, 9:52 pm

 

Revlon said:

Fellow Syrians:
I invite all of us: the regime, activists, opposition, revolutionsists and the silent majority to converge in support of
Freedom
National unity
Recognition and respect of the legitimacy of all of our fears, demands and aspirations.

To the regime I say this:
I love and respect my father, mother and brothers.
However, I am not obliged to surrender to them or to any one else my freedom of choice, expression or action. They will only have my respect for who they are.
You have robbed us of our God-Given Freedom.
We want it back! Now!
Each of one you shall be accountable by the Syrian People and by international laws for any lost of life.
Save time, save lives, and step down!

To the activists and revolutionists I say:
Your daring courage, your fresh address, and your determination are our hope for a brighter future.
We are with you. Follow through with your peaceful mission.
The system is under close surveillance by the international community.

To the silenced majority,
Take heart from you courageous children.
Support them in anyway you can.
Your children have won the battle of nerves
With God’s will, we shall soon win the battle of freedom.

March 20th, 2011, 9:54 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@Avi, Why Israelis and Zionists have no dignity? Why do they always appeal to the lowest commoner mind? Gosh man, you do not call Israel an artificial State that is better split into fives. Guess what, sometime in the next 2 years it will split into several parts, all will lay in ruins, not by war, but by act of god. EARTHQUAKE, a big one coming, LOL. I understand that you build houses in Israel using the latest of earthquake proof technology, unenforced stone blocks with mortar. Looks nice, but will not stand 5.0 let alone 8.2.

March 20th, 2011, 9:55 pm

 

trustquest said:

According to Haytham Manaa Arab Human Rights advocate, the president of Syria owes the people of Daraa an apology and should listen and accept their demands of releasing the political prisoners not only in Daraa but in all Syria.
Syrian government is going so far the same route of the Egyptian government, instead of solving the problem they are escalating it.

March 20th, 2011, 9:58 pm

 

Nafdik said:

Avi shalom, as a last point teh revolutions are actually a marker to how close arabs are.

It is not a coicidence that revolutionshappened in matters of weeks from eaxh other. We all feel each other’s pain. We all read the same newspapers and watch the tv channels. Egyptians are helping syrians learn how to deal with baltajia. Horan n tribes are calling for tribes in other countries. Even the arab league did something good and effective to save libyans from a repeat of hama.

Today we feel that free arabs are our brothers and once freedom reaches the whole arab world i think the world will see a true baath of the arabic nation even if they stay in different states.

Of course israel will have to change its politics very soon as once all the arabs are free palestinians will not accept to live under occupation.

March 20th, 2011, 10:00 pm

 

Revlon said:

#26, Nafdik
Dear nafdik, Thank you very much for posting your well though out proposal: mithaq wihda wataniya. I fully support it.

Bashar and his followers, I believe, should they come out of this clean, need to be able to run for office if they choose too. The people will reciprocate only his kind deeds.

March 20th, 2011, 10:06 pm

 

NK said:

Just came across this video, you can clearly see what happened in front of the Syrian embassy in Cairo, skip the first 30 seconds then skip to 1:24

what a shame …

March 20th, 2011, 10:08 pm

 

Norman said:

AVI,

How about dividing the state of Israel to the state of Israel and the state of Judah, or even divide it into along the twelve tribes of Israel then divide all that twice between Ashkenazi and Sephardi, then i will be done , for God sake you will probably have your own state around your house and call it the Kingdom of Avi,

March 20th, 2011, 10:15 pm

 

Norman said:

Majhool , I am glad about you proposal, I agree and that is a great idea, I hope that will be satisfactory to everybody,

Nafdik,

Everything you said is OK, but can you tell me why if the election are to be free and fair and you think that the people of Syria do not like the president why you do not want him or anybody of his family to run , let him run and see if he wins,

March 20th, 2011, 10:21 pm

 

nafdik said:

Norman, Revlon,

I am not really insisting on Bashar running or not running.

However I will present my thinking on why it better if he does not:

1) It will add more legitimacy to his proposal, otherwise people will think it is a ruse to waste time.

2) Since he is the administrator of the change all his decisions will be suspect and it will be difficult to avoid conflict of interest if he is a candidate.

3) It will break the spell of presidents for life and create an example for future presidents. He has been a president longer than George Washington, it is time to give a chance for others.

4) It will set an example to all those who are benefiting from the regime that it is time to clean their act.

Of course the baath can and should run in the elections and I am sure they can present many candidates who will present a program that is similar to Bashar.

Do not forget that we are not voting for a father of the nation we are voting for a political program.

March 20th, 2011, 10:43 pm

 

NK said:

Regarding the Mithaq I would sign it without thinking twice, actually we should work on promoting such a proposal among those revolutionaries, if a revolution is truly inevitable in Syria, then it might aswell start on the right foot. A bill of rights that guarantees our beloved Syria will stay forever unified, and guarantees the rights of all against current and future governments.

As for you Avi, I’d hate to disappoint you (actually I wouldn’t), but we Syrians will all stand together, hand in hand, against anyone who tries to divide our beloved Syria, and when it really matters Syria is above all, period.

March 20th, 2011, 10:54 pm

 
 

Revlon said:

#27
Dear Avi Salam,
Thank you for your perspective and reading of the emerging and evolving political scene across the Arab world.

You said “ Earlier, there was a post on Syria comment raising the question of whether what happened in Egypt and other Arab countries is a marker for the end of the Pan Arab movement”

Arabism is a reality. It is a manifestation of a common genetic pool, common land, inter-related history, common language and the belief in one God.

The classical pan-Arab movements (parties), which are now either extinct or on their way to, adopted pan-Arabism against the threat of non-Arabic, imperialistic forces in the 1950’s and 1960’s. They were successful to a various degrees in their missions. Their failures had nothing to do with pan-Arabism. It had to do with their fallibility as human beings.

A state is a contract between people to share living over a piece of land. Are Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain, artificial states and should be divided?
You failed to mention occupied Palestine pal! Or “Israel” as you may want to call it.
Let’s take immigrant Jews. To how many ethnic and sectarian backgrounds do they belong? 10, 20, 50. Are there fewer sects in Judaism than Islam? Do you wish to have them divided into 10, 20, 30, or 50 occupying states? Actually it has a good ring to it; the united stated of Occupied Palestine!

Modern interpretations of Islam are not lacking, as you claim. Long years of dictatorships and lack of freedom have silenced reformers on all fronts, including religion.
Modern readings are now shifting focus to the holy book itself, rather than ruminating the then relevant, historic heritage.
Islam is understood, by many, as the only religion preached by messengers of God.
Abraham, Jesus, Moses were Moslems before Mohammed. Mohammed was the last. The messages came at different periods of time, in different languages that were naturally understood to the preached. This is why we have Taurat, Ingeel, and Quran.

Using religion or any appealing ideology to advance personal interests is not unique to Islam or Arabia. Neither religion, nor freedom to preach is to blame. Hitler’s party was called the nationalist socialist workers party. Were his crimes in any way related to socialism or nationalism as principles?
It is the rules of engagement in a political system that needs to be improved and monitored.

Salam Avi

March 20th, 2011, 11:02 pm

 

nafdik said:

Revlon, NK, Norman, thanks for your interest in the mithaq.

I would be interested in Alex view of this.

March 20th, 2011, 11:09 pm

 

Avi Salam said:

NORMAN, SYRIAN NATIONALIST PARTY and NAFDIK,
Israel WAS, IS, AND FOREVER WILL BE the state for Jews, it is the Jewish state. All the historical and biblical evidence prove that Israel is not an artificial state, but rather a state being resurrected!
Here are two points of difference, just to name a few, between the Jewish tribes/denominations and those of the Arabs:
1- No Jew from one tribe/denomination has ever called the others infidels, nor called for their blood to be spilled!! Therefore, the idea of splitting Israel into Jewish sub-denomination states is absurd!! On the other hand, your “famous” Ibn Taymieh has called all Shiites infidels, and justified/called for their killing, just go back to Ibn Taymieh’s books for reference, and contrast that with the hilarious comment by NAFDIK about the “co-existence” between multi religious groups of people in the Middle East!!! NAFDIK, just refer to any history book about the Umayyad, Abbasside, or Ottoman caliphates, and you will find evidence of butchering of religious minorities. Just be brave and admit it, these are historical facts!
2- All the varieties of Jewish faiths accept the separation between religion and state. The state of Israel IS ACTUALLY a secular government. The identification of Israel as the Jewish state has resulted in your confusion, and led you to think that Israel is a religious state!!! Jews are a nation, not only a religion, and the statement that Israel is a Jewish state is for the national part, not the religious one.
The point I was raising earlier is about the fact that Islam is the only religion in the whole world, which has not been re-interpreted/evolved (not even once) over the past millennium. The contemporary interpretations of Islam are, without any exceptions, inhumane and undemocratic. For goodness sake, do you know of any religion, other than Islam, which calls for the stoning of women/men? Or one that calls for beating women into submission to their husbands?
If the surrounding countries to Israel, especially Syria, succeed in establishing a western-like democracy, in which Islam is left out of the system, then rest assured Israel will be an element of stability for such democracies. This is indeed a VERY BIG IF!!!! I personally have no hope for Islam to evolve into a new interpretation/sect which puts an end to political Islam.
I am not an Israeli citizen, nor a Jew. I am actually a US citizen of Syrian descent, and I am an atheist (a member of the Skeptical Philosophy Echelon). But I am able to recognize the good attributes of the state of Israel, and identify the negative ones, which I often discuss with my Israeli friends.

March 20th, 2011, 11:49 pm

 

SOURI said:

Well, what Avi Salam is saying seems to be the most probable scenario now.

I am an old-fashioned Arab nationalist (I am Sunni). I don’t believe in division (just like Western countries also don’t believe in it for their own countries). I rather believe in nationalism based on education and religious reform. However, there are certain realities of life that cannot be defied. When he Baath came to power in 1963 they tried seriously to build a nationalist culture in Syria, however, the internal fights and divisions among the Baathists over the economic policy made the Baath too weak to carry on with its nationalistic mission.

The following is taken from Collier’s Year Book (1973):

“Prior to the [1973] referendum there was considerable opposition to the constitution because it proclaimed Syria to be a secular state. Muslim extremists demanded that the constitution declare Islam as the state religion. Some dissidents also insisted that the head of state be a Sunni, or orthodox, Muslim. Demonstrations led to violence, and it was reported that about 40 people had been killed in clashes between religious zealots and government forces in Homs and Hama. Bombing attacks against government buildings took place in Damascus.

President Assad compromised somewhat and persuaded the legislature to amend the constitution to state that Islam must be the religion of the head of state. He refused, however, to remove from the constitution a clause giving freedom of worship to people of all religions. Assad, who belongs to the minority Alawite sect, of course rejected the demand that the head of state be a Sunni Muslim.”

This little excerpt shows just a glimpse of the long war that the Islamists had launched against the Baath until 1982. What some people don’t understand (but not all people, because most “democracy-seekers” do understand, but they are sectarian bigots, even if they were suits and ties) is that Islamists in Syria HAVE NOT CHANGED, THEY HAVE GOTTEN WORSE. Until today, the Islamists in Syria consider secularism to be an “Alawite religion” forced on the “Sunni majority.” This is what they mean when they talk about “freedom.” Freedom in their lexicon means the freedom for themselves to impose their religion on the minorities (including secular people like myself), because they are the majority and this is democracy, you know.

It is fool to believe that those ignorant savages would not retaliate brutally for all the massacres they accuse the Alawites with, such as Hama, Tadmur, etc. (whereas in fact these massacres were self-defense directed against some worthless terrorist lives).

Syria is full of internal problems and divisions, and to expect this country to remain united if the regime falls is nonsensical. I have always hoped that this day would not come, but the current Islamist revolutionary tide in the region makes my hope unrealistic. Even if Bashar survives the current crisis, I don’t think that would change the ultimate outcome, which is division and sectarian states like the neocons and Israelis envisioned. Division of Syria is inevitable, it is only a matter of [short] time. Bashar should be now preparing well the defenses of the Alawite territory because the Islamists will surely be no peaceful neighbors. It is sad to declare that nationalism has finally and officially died in this region, and the main reason for that is that nationalism was introduced in this region way ahead of its time. We need another 50 years until we become ready for nationalism, and AFTER that democracy.

March 20th, 2011, 11:51 pm

 

NK said:

I just remembered Anwar Buni, wrote a proposed new constitution for Syria a few years back, and while we might not agree on some of the articles here and there, I think we can all agree on what he proposed in Section 1, Chapter 2

http://al3asefah.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=24887

الباب الثاني
9. جميع المواطنين متساويين أمام القانون في الحقوق و الواجبات ولا يجوز التمييز بين أي مواطن أو آخر على أساس العرق أو الدين أو الجنس.
10. حرية الاعتقاد و الرأي و التعبير مضمونة بالدستور بما لا يهدد السلم الأهلي و يحدد القانون طريقة ممارسة هذه الحريات.
11. كل إنسان بريء حتى تثبت إدانته بقرار قضائي قطعي .
12. حق اللجوء للقضاء مصان بالدستور و لا يجوز حجبه لأي سبب .
13. لا يجوز تقييد الحرية الشخصية إلا بما يهدد حقوق المجتمع و ينظم القانون ذلك.
14. لا يجوز محاكمة أحد إلا أمام قاضيه الطبيعي.
15. لا يجوز توقيف أحد أو تحري منزله إلا بمذكرة قضائية أصولية.
16. لا يوجد جريمة و لا عقاب إلا بنص قانوني.
17. حق الدفاع مصون بالدستور لا يجوز حرمانه لأحد.
18. لكل سوري أو سورية الحق بتولي الوظائف العامة و لا ميزة لأحد على غيره إلا من حيث الشهادة العلمية و الكفاءة و يحدد القانون طريقة تولي المناصب العامة .
19. التعذيب و المعاملة المهينة بكل أشكالها ممنوعة و يعاقب القانون مرتكبها.
20. لا يجوز إبعاد أي مواطن سوري عن بلده و لا يجوز تحديد إقامته أو منعه من السفر إلا بقرار قضائي.
21. حق تشكيل الأحزاب السياسية مكفول و ينظم القانون طريقة تأسيسها وعملها على أن تكون أهدافها مشروعة ووسائلها سلمية و نظامها الداخلي يعتمد الديمقراطية ومصادر تمويلها معلنة.
22. حق تشكيل الجمعيات و هيئات المجتمع المدني مضمون و ينظم القانون طريقة إعلانها و عملها على أن تكون أهدافها مشروعة ووسائلها سلمية ومصادر مواردها و طريقة عملها معلنة.
23. حق الملكية محمي بالدستور و لا تجوز المصادرة ولا يجوز الاستملاك إلا للنفع العام و مقابل تعويض عادل و تحت الرقابة القضائية.
24. حرية الصحافة و الطباعة مكفولة و ينظم القانون ذلك.
25. لا يجوز تعطيل الصحف أو مصادرتها أو مراقبتها أو إلغاء امتيازها إلا بقرار قضائي ووفقا لأحكام القانون.
26 . العمل حق للمواطن وواجب عليه و على الدولة العمل على تأمين فرص العمل و إنشاء نظام ضمان اجتماعي عادل.
27. التعليم حق للمواطنين و تضمن الدولة مجانية التعليم حتى نهاية المرحلة الثانوية.
29. يضمن القانون حقوق الأفراد في حماية ملكيتهم الأدبية و الفكرية و العلمية.
31. تفرض الضرائب على أساس عادل تصاعدي بما يحقق العدالة الاجتماعية و يؤمن للدولة موارد تمكنها من تقديم الخدمات العامة.
32. الحرية الاقتصادية مصونة ولا يجوز تقييدها إلا بما يهدد كيان الدولة و أساسها الاقتصادي.
الفصل الثاني

March 21st, 2011, 12:11 am

 

Avi Salam said:

#42
Dear REVLON,
You have raised three points, all worthy of discussion.
First, I ask of you: what constitutes a nation? Is it a piece of land, religion, language, or ethnicity? It is actually neither one of those!!!! If it were land, then entire continents would have been single countries! If it were religion, then the entire Latin America would have been one country! If it were language, then we in the US, Canada, Australia and Britain would have been a single country! You were right, what makes a country is a contract by the people, of the people, and for the people. So I ask of you, what contract would you impose on a multi-religious, multi-ethnic group of people, such as the one in what is now Syria? Is it based on Sunni Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Kurdish culture, Armenian, Ismaeli beliefs, Druze, or Alawite faith? The majority of Syrians are Sunni Muslims, and with the contemporary interpretations of Sunni Islam, the contract must be based on Islam, as it is interpreted today!! Rest assured none of the other sects, nor religions, in Syria will accept that contract!!
Second, as for Israelis and Israel, please refer to my earlier reply to NAFDIK et al. in order to avoid repetition.
Third, Islam has been kept in a box for more than a millennium!! And all those so-called modern resorts to the Qur’an, and abandoning the “extra stuff” are but beating around the bush!!! The problem is in the Qur’an itself!!! There is need for a new interpretation of Islam, wherein, versus in the Qur’an that calls for amputation of hands as a punishment for theft, stoning, beheading, unequal treatment of men and women, beating wives into submission, etc. are decreed out, and no longer applicable! Do you know of any religion, other than Islam, which values the testimony of a woman in a court of law as half of that of a man? Most importantly, the new interpretation/sect of Islam must put an end to political Islam, and recognize the separation between religion and state. This is indeed a tall order of expectation from moderate Muslims, and hence, my suggestion to dichotomize the land into religious and/or ethnic states.
Shalom REVLON

March 21st, 2011, 12:24 am

 

SOURI said:

#46

Yeah right. Even if the Ikhwan somehow accept this (they WON’T), the people will vote it down. Just presenting this draft to the public will cause serious sectarian unrest, worse than the 1970’s. The Islamists in Syria are now very antipathetic to secularism and equate it with “Alawite subjugation.”

All these suggestions come from people who (sorry for saying that) do not know what they are talking about. Have you seen the result of the recent referendum in Egypt? Where are all those fancy secular politicians now? They got only 22% of the votes (probably most of it Coptic votes).

March 21st, 2011, 12:29 am

 

Jihad said:

Avi Salam is another version of the repulsive Zionist Fouad Ajami (originally from South Lebanon).

“This shitty little country,” to use the words of the former French Ambassador to the UK, Daniel Bernard (he went on to ask: “why should the world be in danger of World War III because of those people?”) was built on more than 400 Palestinian villages. The land is called Palestine. Go read some real history books before peddling stupid propaganda. Among them:

Walid Khalidi, All that remains. The Palestinian villages occupied and depopulated by Israel in 1948.
…., Before their diaspora. A photographic history of the Palestinians, 1876-1948
Keith W. Whitelamn, The invention of ancient Israel: the silencing of Palestinian History.

It is ironic that a “Syrian” who describes himself as an “atheist” chose a Zionist nickname to hide behind it. Those like him think they are smart when they act nothing less then petty Zionists à la Fouad Ajami and Mona Tahawi and Walid Fares and many others who crave for the blessing of rabid Zionists in the US.

Ask your US citizens how much money successive US administrations keep pouring into this colonialist project, along with France, the UK, Germany, etc. Go check how Western money and technological help prop up this shitty country. They keep talking about the miracles they’ve done. They made none. They are colonizers, criminals and thieves.

The vast majority in the Arab world knows this. We don’t need so-called people of Syrian descent or Arab descent who have no decency in expressing their admiration for this Western Zionist killing machine.

It is ironic too that an “atheist” has only hatred towards Islam and Muslims.

Shame on you and on those who instilled in you such ignorance and hatred.

March 21st, 2011, 12:30 am

 

SOURI said:

I also want to add that nationalism must lie in the minds, not the laws.

March 21st, 2011, 12:31 am

 

nafdik said:

Avi Salam, I will leave the last word for you as you are clearly here to waste time and fuzz issues. I will read history books as you recommended and will come back to debate you when I am more aware of my countries history. In the meantime you can keep a century by century count of death from religion per capita and you can see who is the winner middle east or europe.

Souri, your reading of history ignores the fact that assad took power through sectarian alignement of army and party control, that he ruled the country through a sectarian alliance, and stopped all political life.

Since the people’s only outlet to an alternative truth was the mosque it was a normal reaction that they gravitated towards that. Egypt was exactly the same.

When tv and internet reached our homes the youth have now a third source of reality so I am much more optimistic than you are.

When syria had polictical life Islamists where only one of many movements including communists, syrian nationalists, arab nationalists, traditionalists (raj3iyyin).

When Syria is free again I expect the islamists to be a force but not the only one.

Of course if Islamists are the only ones who give their blood for our freedom then the people will have more trust in them.

This is another reason for all those who care about syrian unity to urge other movements to join the revolution so that the syrian people hears the voice of Allawis, Christians and Sunnis united in the fight for freedom and dignity.

I repeat in particular my call to Christian, Allawi and Sunni religious leaders to stand up and be counted and declare that they condemn any violence against peaceful protesters.

The moment for building national unity is now at our darkest hour not when yalli darab darab w yalli harab harab.

March 21st, 2011, 12:37 am

 

NK said:

Souri

So the Islamists who haven’t done anything to “cleanse Syria of the infidels” in the past 30 years, while they have been ruled by an “Infidel” for the past 40 years, would suddenly come out of the wood works to oppose a bill of rights that will give them the right to form political parties again and compete in future presidential elections ?. really ? You’re even more detached from reality than I thought.
Please wherever you are, make sure you build yourself a bunker in your backyard, once they take over Syria and Egypt the Islamists will be coming after you!

P.S: My apologies to any who take offense for my use of the word infidel above.

March 21st, 2011, 1:03 am

 

Avi Salam said:

#49
JIHAD,
I would have expected the contributors to this distinguished blog to be comparable in manners and etiquette! What is wrong with you? You do not believe in freedom of speech? Can you accept the right of people to have beliefs contrary to yours? If not, then you have simply proven my point, and the best future for what is now Syria is to be divided into states wherein each of which people share the same beliefs like you!!!!
Contrary to what you are uttering, it takes quiet the courage and self-control to suppress urges to stereotype! My grandfather Abraham, advised me once to make sure I have friends from every minority and ethnicity, for that would help me quell natural human drives to generalize and stereotype about them! Do you have Jewish friends, JIHAD? Do you even have friends from other Islamic sects/denominations? You have accused me of many things, and likened me to several people, but do you know anything about my family’s background? Perhaps I am a descendant of a Syrian Jewish family, but I evolved individually into an atheist! You do not know anything about me, so in hope to protect your self-respect, may I suggest that you respond to my message instead of attacking me personally? You accused Prof. Fouad Ajami, a person of impeccable integrity, of being a “repulsive Zionist”!! Is this how you anticipate the treatment of people with contrary opinions to yours in the “liberated Syria”?
Shalom be upon you!

March 21st, 2011, 1:09 am

 

nafdik said:

souri,

Make it a big bunker and stock up on loads of food. Dick Cheyny, Mubarak, Ben Ali and Nathanyahu will want to join in.

Quaddafi is not afraid of Islamists his fear is from youth swallowing pills.

March 21st, 2011, 1:11 am

 

nafdik said:

Avi Salam.

I have many Jewish friends and most of them are smart and articulate.

You actually sound like many rent-an-agent types that we see come across the web.

We believe in freedom of speech and we are using it to tell you that you are a time waster, at best.

Shalom to you.

March 21st, 2011, 1:22 am

 

Avi Salam said:

Ok NAFDIK,

I am actually forcing myself to stop laughing … Can you find it in your heart to stop attacking this yours truly “rent-an-agent” (as you called me), and instead respond to my message?

Don’t shoot the messenger (even if you believe he is a “rent-and-agent” guy 😉 )

March 21st, 2011, 1:34 am

 

nafdik said:

Avi, I am reading history books before I am able to answer you. I am at page 6 of the mukaddima. I will be back when I finish.

March 21st, 2011, 1:42 am

 

Revlon said:

Dear Nafdik,
Back to the real issue guys,
“ I am not really insisting on Bashar running or not running. However I will present my thinking on why it better if he does not”

Notwithstanding these thoughtful caveats, should B. Asad come out clean of this debacle he would naturally have the right to run for office.

His handling of these transitional times is essential to the well being of the nation and the future of its citizens, including himself.

Mr. B Asad: should you run for presidency, in a democratic system, I would take the first plane back home to be part of this historic event.
I would attend your campaign rally.
If I hear and see what I like, I believe that I have enough integrity to vote for you for president,
by free choice.

Keep up the good work Nafdeek!

March 21st, 2011, 2:24 am

 

Leo said:

Nafdik @ 56,

Muqaddimah is a classical masterpiece. It’s actually one of my favorite books in Arabic. Ibn Khaldun is truly a genius of his age. It’s unfortunate that our region, ever since the 14th century, has not produced people like him.

Cheers

March 21st, 2011, 4:10 am

 

Avi Salam said:

Still on the subject of this blog, which is about the fragmentation and futility of the Syrian opposition. Here are two scenarios for the consumption of “dreamers” like REVLON and NAFDIK, who made me laugh my heart out as I read about their dreams of the Syrian president stepping down or not running for the post again… Keep dreaming…

Scenario Number One – Israel ultimately SHALL WIN:
==================================================
Due to the hidden bigotry and vendetta between religious sects in Syria, there is a silent opposition to the opposition! This silent opposition, which is made predominantly of religious and ethnic minorities, is “silent” due to their fear of the alternative to the current government in Syria. When the government fails, the silent opposition will no longer be silent, and a civil war will ensue in Syria… The result after the dust settles is that Syria will be divided into 5 states, and Israel will WIN and keep the occupied territories.

Scenario Number Two – Israel ultimately SHALL WIN:
==================================================
The Syrian opposition and silent opposition will work constructively, rationally and conservatively with the current government to design and implement a road-map for change, which will result in a democratic and secular government, one in which the Syrian army is trusted for protection of secularism, without ever getting involved in the functioning and progression of the government. This is a scenario similar to what is adopted in Turkey, except that no parties are allowed to be formed on religion or ethnic foundations – a complete separation between religion and state as we have here in the US – in other words, no Muslim Brotherhood, Kurdish party, or the likes. This type of democracy is actually one that Israel will help protect, and will result in a lasting peace treaty between Israel and the future democratic Syria. As a result, Israel will return the Golan Heights, but SHALL WIN a stable, democratic and true friendly neighbor.

So the question here to the Syrian populous at large, and to the opposition in particular, is which scenario would you like? This is very relevant to the subject of this blog.

On another subject, I referred NAFDIK to the “marvels” of Ibn Taymieh and history books, not to Ibn Khaldoon, whose Muqaddemah is a book on meta-social-history!! Yes, I am an atheist, but I adhere to Skeptical Philosophy, which dictates that people are free to believe and follow religions (no matter how neurotic religions are!) as long as the interpretations and practices of said religions are within the guidelines of law and humanitarianism, and that religions are kept between the worshiper and his/her god. If you care for Islam, you should actively seek a new sect/denomination/interpretation of it, which is civil, democratic and humanitarian. Such Islam will have no room for political use/abuse of it, no room for political Islam in it. This is, indeed, a tall order, and I am hopeless it will ever be done, so I am left to believe the first scenario will take place.

So NAFDIK, REVLON et al. start discussing the borders of the new five states with your fellow current-but-not-for-long Syrian citizens, that is if your “dreams” ever come true.

March 21st, 2011, 5:27 am

 

Revlon said:

Good after noon Guys, Please, Please ignore Avi!

Today is Day 7 of the Syrian Peoples revolution.
We are living history in the making.

The regime is in a state of shock.
Its centralised-decision making in managing this crisis is going to have a deterimental effect on its promptness and efficiency. Daraa example was an exception; there was a published, written ultimatum.

Demonstration are spreading to new towns.
There are now calls for downing the System.

Today is sad Mothers day. My heart goes to those who lost their children and mothers of detainees and political prisoners.
The Syrian people are on the way to freedom.

Avi Salam,
You do not stop do you?
But I like your sense of humour!
Ok, I had time only for your bottom line.
It is a great idea. I suggest we call it Greater Syria Federation. It will include six states instead, the 5 that you mentioned plus liberated Palestine!

Shalom coz

Sorry Guys, I could not help it!

March 21st, 2011, 6:52 am

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“37. Norman said:
AVI,
How about dividing the state of Israel to the state of Israel and the state of Judah, or even divide it into along the twelve tribes of Israel then divide all that twice between Ashkenazi and Sephardi, then i will be done , for God sake you will probably have your own state around your house and call it the Kingdom of Avi,..”

And Kingdom of Avi will not be fictitious like the King David and Solomon Kingdoms, made up by creative Jewish wannabe imagination, it will be for real. Thousands of years later, Archeologists will unearth a porcelain toilet bowl fragment and determine it not part of Oded Golan Collection, but real piece of Jewish sh**it bowl that belonged to the Kingdom of Avi, once existed on the eastern Mediterranean and was destroyed by 8.2 earthquakes.

March 21st, 2011, 6:52 am

 

Avi Salam said:

REVLON, SYRIAN NATIONALIST PARTY,

So this is how you respond when your logic crumbles into an utter defeat? You cannot react rationally, nor defend your blind and bigoted support of the inhumane and undemocratic Islam today, and you are such cowards to admit your sectarian hidden vendetta, so you resort to facetious and/or wishful thinking statements and dreams?

Keep dreaming and lying to yourselves with wishful thinking, and made up lies until the whole country sinks into oblivion!! Your hallucination will only expedite the unavoidable ultimate fate: the break up of the artificial country Syria into five states.

March 21st, 2011, 7:13 am

 

Solitarius said:

I would not be surprised if it was the Islamists of Egypt coordinating with Syrian Islamists. The result of this “revolt” is very unpredictable and could be truely catastrophic.

I am all for regime change (not just reform) but it seems very fishy that things would just erupt naturally like that without instigation of some sort. Yes it’s possible that the arrest of the children in Daraa played a role and then a stupid reaction by the regime worsened the situation, but how would you explain the demons in Homs, Banyas and Damascus? How did the Homsis just decide to go and demonstrate? and why not in Hama and Aleppo for example who are probably more anti-regime??

I’m not a fan of conspiracy theory but to dismiss any possibility of forgein planning and guidance is just very very naive. Yes Arab regimes have been playing this Cliche but let’s not turn this into the story for the shepherd and his fake calls to warn off the wolf.. I’m sure you know what I mean

We want change in Syria that is based on strong foundations and ideas.. What are the ideas of this current termoil? (it’s too early to call it an uprising not to mention revolution. Let’s not get carried away and let’s be objective)

If this was a true nationalistic movement then we should hear clear slogans about canceling Emergency Law, new laws for the formation of parties, and perhaps changing the percentage of reps in the parliament so there is a larger portion of independents.. But where are all these calls? But to hear slogans already talking about dismanteling the regime is just unbelievable.. I would not buy it that a person who really cares about Syria would call of this AT THIS STAGE OF THE GAME.. these are either Mukhabarat or real infiltrators.

March 21st, 2011, 9:26 am

 

Jad said:

Apparently, things are going more toward calming and negotiation than using more force and escalating which is a win win situation to all of us if it come through and if both sides put Syria’s best interests as their goal.

March 21st, 2011, 10:29 am

 

MONTAGNARD said:

SOLITARIUS
What you are saying in #64 is wise and your observations of slogans of taking down the system versus a sincere and effective process to implement change is well noted. Iraqi exiles including Shalabi, Maliki, Talabani, Allawi and others promised a better Iraq with all the freedoms, equality and prosperity after they accomplish regime change. The result was a total disaster for Iraq after the regime change, while the exiles, political opportunists are now in charge of a devastated country while the Iraqi people paid the price and will for generations to come.

March 21st, 2011, 10:32 am

 

Solitarius said:

Thanks MONTAGNARD,

Would it concern anybody if Syria fell apart with Hezbollah all strong and mighty next door? I personally would not prefer the regime to depart until it cleans up some of its sh*t. One of them is putting a bit of a leash on Hizbollah’s military might. This cannot be good for the long term strategic security of any new Syrian entity.

Tons of concerns like these exist.. not many of them existed for Tunisia and Egypt (as far as I can think of right now).. just a thought.

March 21st, 2011, 10:52 am

 

MONTAGNARD said:

SOLITARIUS
You bring up a good point. The Lebanese politicians don’t lack adventurism and carelessness and some might feel a window of opportunity with the encouragement of foreign players to start a new careless adventure in Lebanon if Syria is in disarray. Can you just imagine chaos in both Syria and Lebanon Iraqi style. The politicians and militia leaders will find financial backers who will feed the beasts they create. It is always the average people that will pay the price in lost lives and property and they who become refugees.
We have seen several scenarios of this play, Iraq to the east and Lebanon to the west, and now North Africa and the Gulf.

March 21st, 2011, 11:09 am

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“……..One of them is putting a bit of a leash on Hizbollah’s military might. This cannot be good for the long term strategic security of any new Syrian entity….”

Not even Israel was able to put Hezbollah on a leash, you expect Syrian army to do it. And NO, they represent an added security for Syria in case Israeli decided to put the division of 5 to work in Syria. Will just double their numbers and the new Syrian Government will open the Golan and Jordan to them, bring in additional IRGC commanders and machinery too. SO BEHAVE and mind own business, lets little credit you have is consumed on grandiose psychopathic ideas that flourishes in defective Feithian mind.

March 21st, 2011, 11:26 am

 

atassi said:

I like Scenario Number Two!! but will the regime go for it?

March 21st, 2011, 11:37 am

 

Solitarius said:

SNP:”the new Syrian Government will open the Golan and Jordan to them”

Really? Is that something that should be on the to-do list of the “new” Syrian government? I would be ecstatic to even have a new functional Syrian gov within 15 years should the regime fall today in this mannger.. of course, having Hizbollah fire from the Golan would be the last thing I want. This would serve both Iran and Israel but neither Syria nor Lebanon. I certainly don’t want Hizbollah to fire anything from Syria (Since of course they would not wait for the approval of the Syrian government esp if there was none).. This will only cause Israeli retaliation.

Also, I’m afraid you might be a little bit delusional if think Israel was not able to put a leash, or let me be nicer in my words, put the breaks on Hizbollah’s ambitions. Please correct me if there were any shots fired into Israel since 2006. As I recall, prior to 2005-2006 the Hizb used to carry regular operations. Now these are reduced to zero. At the same time, Israel continues to break into Lebanese airspace and plant spies.. Why isn’t el Hizb retaliating? Oh wait.. maybe it became a power-hungry political movment.. just a possibility

March 21st, 2011, 11:39 am

 

SOURI said:

It is the fourth day and the revolutionists have failed to spread their revolution outside Deraa. This is surprising a little bit because my estimation is that people of the Islamist anti-regime line represent no less than 30-40% of Syrians. If all the Islamists in Syria go down to the streets we will see millions of people demonstrating, but this has not happened yet.

It seems that Syrians don’t want to revolt. Even those who don’t like the regime. This further proves the conspiracy theory behind what happened in Deraa.

Ali al-Ahmad started discussing the post-regime period:

هل ثمة ضابط سوري سني كبير يستطيع أن يقدم نفسه بديلا ويكون من المؤسسة العسكرية بالتعاون مع رفاقه الآخرين وبالتالي يكونون كمرحلة انتقالية لانتخابات شعبية عامة على غرار مصر، هذا ما ينبغي أن يتدارسه العسكريون، فالبديل الطائفي لن يكون مقبولا وسيكون له تداعيات كارثية على الوضع الداخلي والاقليمي وهذه ليست نظرة طائفية ضيقة وإنما هو الواقع والذي نحذر من وقوعه..

By the word طائفي he means “Alawi.” This is an Ikhwanite euphemism for the Alawites.

March 21st, 2011, 11:39 am

 

jad said:

Those are the local news in Syria:

المطالب التي تقدم بها وجهاء مدينة درعا باسم أهالي محافظتهم
خلال المفاوضات التي تمت صباح أمس بين وجهاء درعا ممثلي أهالي محافظتهم، ووفد من القيادة القطرية الهدف منها تهدئة النفوس وتنفيس الاحتقان الموجود في الشارع، تقدم الوجهاء بعدد من المطالب حصلت «الوطن» على عدد منها.
وبدا واضحاً أن أغلبية المطالب خدمية وتنموية منها ما يمكن تلبيته فوراً، وهذا ما حصل تجاه الإفراج عن المعتقلين الذين لم تثبت إدانتهم، ومنها ما يحتاج إلى تعديلات في القوانين وبالتالي إلى دراسة عميقة لمعرفة حاجة المحافظة وباقي المحافظات السورية إلى إجراءات مماثلة، إذ لا يمكن أن تعامل محافظة درعا بخلاف باقي المحافظات وأن يعامل سكانها على أساس مختلف عن باقي المواطنين السوريين في باقي المحافظات،وسلم الأهالي مطالبهم بورقة مطبوعة حملت توقيع: وجهاء مدينة درعا جنود الأسد الأوفياء.
والمطالب الأساسية كانت:
– استياء المواطنين في محافظة درعا من المحافظ ورؤساء الأجهزة الأمنية ويطالبون بإقالة عدد منهم.
– الاعتذار من الشهداء وذويهم، حيث أبرزت وسائل الإعلام المحلية وبعض المنتفعين، الإهانة التي وجهت إليهم (الشهداء وذويهم) وإلى أبناء درعا واعتبارهم مندسين ومخربين، ولم يشهد تاريخ محافظة درعا سوى طليعة الوطنيين في القطر على المدى، رغم ما لحق بها من حيف وطمس لدورها الوطني.
– محاسبة من أطلق الرصاص الحي على المتظاهرين، أو من أمر بإطلاق الرصاص، ومحاسبة من كان سبباً في قتل الشباب أو جرحهم أو خنقهم بكثافة الغازات المسيلة للدموع، وكان السبب في طمس مطالب الشباب بمحاربة الفساد والتسلط وتحسين الواقع المعيشي.
– عدم ملاحقة المصابين أو ذويهم.
– عدم اعتقال أي شخص، خرج في المظاهرات السلمية يومي الجمعة والسبت حتى تحقيق المطالب.
– الإفراج الفوري عن أي شخص تم اعتقاله إثر التظاهرات.
– الإفراج عن المعتقلين السياسيين قديماً وحديثاً.
– الإفراج عن طلاب الجامعة الذين تم اعتقالهم منذ فترة قريبة.
– إلغاء قانون الطوارئ المقيد للحريات العامة.
– إلغاء الموافقات الأمنية التي تقيد حركة البيع والشراء للأراضي والشقق السكنية والنشاط الاقتصادي العادي مهما كان.
– تخفيض الضرائب والرسوم التي أثقلت كاهل المواطن.
– تخفيض أسعار المحروقات والأغذية.
– اتخاذ الإجراءات المشددة لمكافحة الفساد الإداري والمالي وهدر الأموال العامة في مؤسسات الدولة، من أعلى مستوى حتى أدناه بما فيها سلكا القضاء والشرطة.
– إعادة المدرسات المنقبات إلى التدريس في مدارسهن واحترام الحرية الشخصية، مثلما تعلم السافرات في المدارس، ولا يعترض عليهن أحد في إطار الحرية الشخصية.
– السماح بعودة المهجرين المطلوبين إلى سورية.
– إلغاء القانون رقم 60 لعام 1979 وتعديلاته بالقانون رقم 26 لعام 2000 المطبق في مدن مراكز المحافظات وينزع ملكية المالك بهدف التمليك للغير، وهو قانون جائر لا يقبل به أحد سوى المنظرين من خلف الطاولات، فمن يرد إنشاء مشاريع إسكان فعليه أن يشتري الأرض اللازمة بالسعر الرائج مثل أي مواطن.
– إعادة النظر في أسعار الأراضي التي يطبق عليها التوزيع الإجباري مؤخراً والجائرة بحق المواطنين.
– نقل كراج البولمان لمحافظة درعا من كراج السومرية إلى المكان المقرر في المدخل الجنوبي لدمشق.
– معالجة محلات سوق الشهداء التابعة لمؤسسة الخط الحديدي الحجازي.
– تثبيت العاملين المؤقتين في دوائر الشؤون الاجتماعية.
http://alwatan.sy/dindex.php?idn=98045

لم يكونوا بعد ظهر أمس مندسين فقط ولم يكونوا محتجين ولا أصحاب مطالب
http://alwatan.sy/dindex.php?idn=98047

March 21st, 2011, 12:29 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@SOURI,

Ali Ahmad is not fully aware of the army command structure and the mechanism in place to move troupes and equipment. It is practically impossible to move in that way, the most there will be shelling back and forth from fixed places just as when the Assad’s brothers got into fight.

Bearded ones could not command attention from the majority Sunni Syrians and of course neither from minority. Army men are looked at with much distrust in Syria. This is not the Egyptian army we are talking about, this Tlass and Jadid army basically, just the bosses faces changed.

@SOLITARJUS,

Most likely in the event of change in Syrian Government structure, under any command, the new Syrian army will be over 3 million well trained and equipped army, Hezbollah like structured army, armed with new Iranian made weapons. And will strengthen ties with Iran and most likely triple the support Hezbollah receiving now. It is going to be scary, and you should be concerned. So Behave, because, when the dust settles in couple of years, Egypt and Libya will not be Israel or Lebanon best friend, they will be like Iran, Syria’s teething allies.

March 21st, 2011, 12:39 pm

 

jad said:

العقوبات التي اعلنت والتي لم تعلن بحق مسؤولي درعا

مراسل المحليات – كلنا شركاء
21/ 03/ 2011
أصدرت لجنة التحقيق التي تحقق في أسباب أحداث محافظة درعا حتى الآن قرارين أحدهما إقالة المحافظ فيصل كلثوم، واطلاق سراح مجموعة من الشباب المعتقلين، وقد صرح مصدر مسؤول أنه ونتيجة لمتابعة التحقيقات الأولية التي تجريها اللجنة المشكلة للتحقيق في الأحداث المؤسفة التي وقعت في محافظة درعا أمس تبين أن مجموعة كبيرة من الشبان لم يثبت التحقيق إدانتهم بشيء، وعليه تم إطلاق سراحهم.
وأضاف المصدر أن اللجنة ما تزال تواصل عملها، وتتابع البحث عن المسببين والفاعلين الحقيقيين.
يذكر أن اللجنة قد تم تشكيلها أمس في وزارة الداخلية للتحقيق في هذه الأحداث واتخاذ الإجراءات اللازمة، ومحاسبة كل من يثبت التحقيق مسؤوليته أو ارتكابه لأي إساءة فيها.

ولكن القرار الاهم والذي وكالعادة لم ينشر هو قرار الرئيس السوري بنقل رئيس فرع الامن العسكري بدرعا وكذلك رئيس فرع الامن السياسي لدمشق بانتظار توجيهات اخرى .

وذكر وجهاء للعشائر انهم قد قاموا بزيارة العقيد لؤي …… ( الامن العسكري) يوم الخميس وقدموا له مجموعة من المطالب المحقة ولكنه عاملهم باستهزاء وازدراء وهذا ما ساهم بتصعيد النقمة الشعبية في اليوم التالي الجمعة 18 اذار .

ويذكر هنا ان رئيس فرع الامن السياسي هو ابن خالة الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد ومشهور بتكبره على الناس وتعامله السيء وكان قد طرد من الامن السياسي في اوائل التسعينات عندما كان ضابطا صغيرا وذلك لسوء تصرفه واخلاقه وكان باسل الاسد وضمن حملته لمكافحة الفساد في ذلك الوقت وراء دعم اتخاذ مثل هذا القرار الصعب ….واستغل عاطف انطلاقة الدكتور بشار وابدى الولاء المطلق في فترة كان يحتاج بها الرائد بشار الاسد كل تعاون من الجيل الجديد وتمت الموافقة على عودته لفرع الامن السياسي بدمسق في الميسات كرئيس لقسم العمال ( مسؤول عن الشركات بدمشق ) وتدرج بعدها بالمراتب ليتم تعيينه كرئيس لفرع الامن السياسي بدرعا وكانت تصرفاته تسيء للنظام واثارت حفيظة الكثيرين .

كما ذكرت مصادر متابعة ان الرئيس قد وجه ان تطال التحقيقات التصرفات التي ولدت هذه الاحتقانات لدى الدرعاويون مما يعني انها ستطال العميد حافظ سلطان رئيس فرع الامن العسكري السابق الذي تقاعد قبل عدة اشهر واشتهر بسوء تصرفاته وايقاعه بين الدرعاويون وتقاريره المغرضة ولاسباب شخصية لرؤسائه بدمشق والتي ادت لتوريطهم باتخاذ قرارات خاطئة بناءا على معلومات مضخمة وتحليلات حاقدة .

http://all4syria.info/content/view/40697/96/

March 21st, 2011, 12:44 pm

 

jad said:

Happy Norouz to all Syrian Kurds.
and Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers.

March 21st, 2011, 12:51 pm

 

SOURI said:

The Kurds surprised many by not revolting today. For me, it was not a big surprise because I have been talking to some Kurds and they seemed pretty content with what Bashar has been doing for them lately.

Bashar paid great attention in the recent months to Aleppo, the Kurds, the eastern region, and even Souida. He somehow missed Daraa, and I don’t know why. Deraa is not generally looked at as a deprived region; in fact, many Syrians look to it as a privileged region.

March 21st, 2011, 1:04 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Among the demands
Annul Emergency law
release political prisoners
abolish law#60,which is known as unfair law
End corruption

Would the regime do that soon? no way

March 21st, 2011, 1:13 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

My question to you guys is: Why Daraa? What makes this town/city the igniter, and the center of this present revolt?
.

March 21st, 2011, 1:28 pm

 

norman said:

What is law # 60
Amir,
it could be because the MB are very strong in Jordon,

March 21st, 2011, 1:32 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Law # 60 says the land belong to whoever farm it
Women who inherit farm from their parents they can not farm it,they lease it to someone ,he will pay rent and farm it, then you can not tell him to leave anymore,he can stay in it till he die.you can not sell it and can not tell him to leave next year it is his farm as long as he farm it,so basically it become his farm.

March 21st, 2011, 2:18 pm

 

norman said:

Majid, Thanks
That is a stupid law, Is there rent control, Property rights and contract laws are essential in Syria to improve investments.
Don’t you think?

March 21st, 2011, 2:29 pm

 

jad said:

There is something very suspicious happening, whenever things start to cool down a bit someone is announced to be killed, especially when the news they spread about all Syrian cities are out in the streets are without prove, isn’t that too obvious that those who are behind the almighty ‘revolution’ are the same ones doing the killing now to create chaos and escalate the situation.

March 21st, 2011, 2:33 pm

 

Jad said:

The revolutionists are against Aljazeera and they are cursing it now for not spreading their stories! How stupid is that?

March 21st, 2011, 3:14 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Baathists will not implement any of the demands other than the ones having local effect. Repealing Law# 60 without making provisions for compensation for losses, from the date of law 60 issuance, or date of actual take over by peasant, will not be acceptable to satisfy the grievances of many SNP members who this law effects them directly.

It is not fair that many Syrians became rich by arbitrary Baathist revolutionary laws while other Syrians loose properties and income for decades. The compensation must be equivalent to today cash value, adjusted for inflation, and encumbering compounded amount of interests for lost revenue. It must be negotiated with injured parties, not an imposed settlement by the Baath Party. It does not matter how many years this will take to implement, in the end each and every member of the Baath party, anyone worked for the government or the front, in any capacity, or contracted by it, and descendants, for any number of generations, will be held liable to be taxed annually, and or seizure of his/her transferred and non-transferred assets to cover a reasonable settlement that is acceptable to injured parties.

Additionally, every foreign country that have maintained a diplomatic office in Syria since June1, 1958 will be held liable in aiding and abetting of a criminal enterprise and be liable to be sued in Syrian courts by injured party for settlement compensation, should not sufficient funds not available in Syrian Treasury to satisfy demand.

Not sure why someone like Khaddam and Shihabi, as an example, thought they will just rob millions from Syrians and live in fancy mansions, not be held accountable for crimes against the people of Syria. When there is a revolution, there is a counter-revolution.

March 21st, 2011, 3:37 pm

 

Ziad said:

JAD

What do you expect?

This is just round one. The Syrian government won this round by doing the right thing, but Syria’s enemies got the resources and the determination. They will only get more inventive and more vicious.

March 21st, 2011, 3:41 pm

 

norman said:

NSP,

Iza areta an tustataa, otlob ma yostataa .

If you want to be accommodated ask for reasonable things that can be met.

March 21st, 2011, 3:48 pm

 

Shami said:

Ziad,Souri,Jad…

No one ca

March 21st, 2011, 4:03 pm

 

MONTAGNARD said:

SNP
I don’t see how you can get to prevail in all what you are asking for in your claims, even with repealing #60 law, changing or amending the constitution and passing new laws. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for justice and fairness, but I don’t see how you are going get that far reaching a judgement. Can you elaborate? I would like nothing more than to see you guys vindicated and righting an old wrong. Even in the US with its laws and constitution, when the Indian Tribes finally got their judgements and settlements, it was against the Federal Government and not individuals.

March 21st, 2011, 4:15 pm

 

Aatssi said:

JAD and Norman…
This for you with LOVE

March 21st, 2011, 4:18 pm

 

jad said:

LOL, Thank you Attassi, am I the Colonel now, allah yesam7ak 🙂

March 21st, 2011, 4:25 pm

 

norman said:

Atassi,
That is the problem with us Arabs, We do not listen to each other we talk at each other.

March 21st, 2011, 4:39 pm

 

NK said:

Attasi

شر البلية ما يضحك
The worst disaster is the one that brings laughter

Norman I think you missed the point!

March 21st, 2011, 5:19 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@MONTAGNARD

I don’t know how, my job is to make the demand on behalf om myself and SNP and state the grievance and what we consider fair resolution. It is President Assad job to state how his Excellency would like to resolve it to everyone satisfaction. One can understand his predicament, after all he inherited this flawed and grossly unfair, corrupt, inefficient and backward system of rule called Baathism, Arab Nationalism and Socialism, but he is in charge of State affairs and responsible for maintaining territorial integrity and survival of the nation. If he cannot do the job with Baathist help, will be happy to help him.

March 21st, 2011, 5:26 pm

 

Shami said:

Ziad,Souri,Jad…

Sorry

I did a bad manipulation which erased the content of my previous message.

The idea is that it’s not right to make the things appear as if the country is doomed and that after decades of Asad regime,post-Asad Syria would have no other choice than islamic fanaticism(Souri) and treachery(Ziad,Jad).

Be careful!

March 21st, 2011, 5:34 pm

 

Shami said:

Also ,it’s better that the kurds remain calm for now.

The syrian regime is waiting to play the scare card of the kurdish secessionist danger again.

March 21st, 2011, 5:46 pm

 

jad said:

Today, I’m having problem to understand what some of you guys want or talking about putting my name in your comments, Attasi with your funny you tube link or Shami with you vague comment, if you guys or anybody on SC have an issue/agree/disagree with what I’m writing/linking or my attitude or whatever the issue is just write it directly so I can reply or clarify, but for some of you to just put my name either by mistake or by coincidence or deliberate for no clear reason it’s getting annoying.
Thank you

March 21st, 2011, 5:48 pm

 

jad said:

A protest:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKSuwbRvdks&feature=player_embedded#at=93

No wonder Aljazeera is not covering this.
Reuters and BBC will make the numbers by thousands.

March 21st, 2011, 6:09 pm

 

NK said:

I think this was a really good report

Mazin Darwish was among those who were arrested last Wednesday in front of the ministry of defense.

Of course here’s how the state TV reported the Daraa incident

http://bit.ly/hfw8q9

You would think after Tunisia, Egypt and Libya the Syrian state TV would try to avoid repeating the same mistakes…

March 21st, 2011, 6:45 pm

 

Solitarius said:

Video posted March 19th

Majd Jadaan, Maher al Assad’s sister-in-law, speaks to ask for a Syrian revolution.

إعلان انطلاقة الثورة السورية رسميا
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JcmS318xRg
العقيد عمر عفيفي من شعب مصر الشقيق و الدكتور نجيب الغضبان الناشط السوري الحقوقي و بسام البيطار المناضل السوري و المهندسة مجد جدعان يعلنون جميعا قيام الثورة السورية

Also here
http://www.casttv.com/video/iwwat0r/-video

What the hell is this? Anybody has info on Majd Jadaan?

March 21st, 2011, 6:47 pm

 

SOURI said:

Basically, what is happening in Syria now is a tribal mutiny against the government in Deraa . There is nothing outside Deraa except for very few small gatherings of less than 100 person each. I think today there was only one verified demonstration in Damascus that had only about 20 demonstrators. Other than this one, there is nothing to prove that there was any demonstrations anywhere.

This does not look like the beginning of a revolution. The Deraa problem is a local problem that will be solved locally, and the story will end, for now.

March 21st, 2011, 6:58 pm

 

trustquest said:

The sister of Maher Assad wife, Majed Jadaan, send a message to the Syrian people to keep the revolution going and told them that we are there…and winning is near.

March 21st, 2011, 7:11 pm

 

NK said:

This was the first time I ever heard of her, but googling her name you’ll come across many articles here and there under that name.

I expect another attempt to demonstrate next Friday, probably it won’t find anymore more success than the one we say a couple days ago, so in my opinion it all comes down to how the regime is going handle Daraa.

Regardless of what happens I just hope the regime will see this as a wake up call, and that we see serious steps towards reform.

March 21st, 2011, 7:11 pm

 

SOURI said:

The revolutionists have gotten so desperate that they are no longer calling for urgent aid to Deraa but instead they are calling on people to bring the aid next Friday. One of them even suggested changing the title of the revolution from “Revolution against Bashar Assad” to “Revolution against corruption” hoping that this may draw people to it.

http://www.facebook.com/Syrian.Revolution

Friday prayer is a serious challenge for the government. They must find out a new way to prevent these prayer gatherings from turning into demonstrations, because last Friday was a failure for them.

March 21st, 2011, 7:17 pm

 

Shami said:

Souri ,yesterday it was a wahhabi and today it’s tribal disagreement with the goverment.(to emphasise that the regime is not targeted)
The syrian medias went further in their imagination and brought Khaddam,Ribal Asad and Ekhwan to Deraa.

March 21st, 2011, 7:28 pm

 

jad said:

Souri,
They changed their tactics to this one now;

A manual for revolution success 🙂

نقلا من احد المواقع من اكابر شيوخ الامة

ركعتين صلاة لقضاء الحوائج ,
ثمّ نقول:

100 ربّنا الله حسبنا الله ,
100 الصلاة على النبي,
100 يا دافع البليّات يا مغيث يا الله ,
100 يا منقذ الهلكة
100 مرّة يا قريب يا مجيب
100 أنت المجيب انت القريب أنت الله القادر المقتدر

بهذه الطريقة يلقي الله في قلوب الجبابرة الخوف …

I’m sure that this ‘طريقة’ is very useful for getting rid of the emergency law, to free political prisoners, to get ride of corruption and to have more freedom and human rights! Excellent طريقة!

March 21st, 2011, 7:33 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

What a lousy bunch of reactionaries you are. That’s pathetic.. really.
Praying for your dear leader dictator to crash your own people.
The Arab Tsunami wave will not spare you. You’re right on it’s path, and the ground you stand on is low, as is your set of morals.
.

March 21st, 2011, 7:35 pm

 

Shami said:

Amir ,they support the dictator and would die for him as they believe that their fate is connected with that of Asad gang ,as if syrian masses are going to slaughter them once the totalitarian moukhabarati system is gone.
This is the practical meaning of ta2ifiyeh.
So is their stupid choice and they are not the firsts of their kind.

March 21st, 2011, 7:48 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

#107.

” your stand Arabs is as low, as your set of morals.”

The morals we “specially chosen” few enjoy is financed by America’s taxpayers at the rate of several million dollars every day of the year for the past several decades.

Typical comments of “catastrophic zionism.”

http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/catastrophic_zionism_257.html

March 21st, 2011, 7:50 pm

 

Norman said:

Nk,

93. NK said:

Attasi

شر البلية ما يضحك
The worst disaster is the one that brings laughter

Norman I think you missed the point

You are probably right, i tend not to understand jokes especially if they are for me.

I like to make jokes of myself by myself more, But that is me.!

March 21st, 2011, 8:40 pm

 

trustquest said:

sorry for the duplicate above.
In Daraa today:
Shouting freedom freedom and turning the secret service vehicle upside down.

March 21st, 2011, 8:44 pm

 

Shami said:

A la Gaddafi,

اتهام تنظيم جند الشام وفتح الإسلام بما حدث في درعا

http://174.142.53.68/~zikoriko/web/?p=44

March 21st, 2011, 9:44 pm

 

Revlon said:

The virtual reality image of content and supportive Syrian public, in the minds of the top hierarchy is fading.

A sobering, actual reality image of suppressed and unsupportive Syrians is gradually coming into focus.

Damage limitation and crisis control sum’s up the regime’s response, so far, to the burgeoning revolution.

On a national scale, The regime and The People are more or less still in a peacefully manageable, stand-off mode.
The regime has until Thursday evening to come up with a workable plan for a peaceful way out.

Come Friday, more and larger demonstrations are inevitable, and with it the risk of loosing more precious lives and wasting opportunities.
Chances for regime’s representation in a future interim government are running out by the day.

A presidential statement needs to be issued soon!
It should acknowledge the legitimacy of the revolution, not only its demands.
It should provide a clear time frame and road map for an immediate and gradual shift of powers to an interim, mutually agreeable, transitional government.

Act now,
Save citizen’s lives,
Save the nation.

Peace

March 21st, 2011, 10:58 pm

 

Norman said:

Revlon,

I think that you are dreaming, There is no chance of changing the government or the regime by force,
Any more push for force against the government and the Baath party will be faced, I believe, with force ,

The government, the President and the Baath party do not represent themselves only they represent the majority of the Syrian people that do not want Syria to resemble,Iraq, Egypt, Jordon or Lebanon ,

March 21st, 2011, 11:07 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

The situation in Deraa,most likely will turn to stalemate,and will take long time,since the goverment can not attack by planes or bombard the city,seeing what happened in Libya.
The question is will other cities do similar thing? time will tell

March 21st, 2011, 11:21 pm

 

NK said:

Jad

It’s the same طريقة we’ve been using to “defeat Israel, the US and their agents”, it’s kinda sad to see Syrian youth who still think in such a primitive way, they’re a small percentage, but still very sad.

Norman

The Baath party doesn’t represent anyone, the party died a long time ago and what we have now is a club for corrupt thugs who want to use the “Rafiq status” for personal gain, I think you should explain to everyone here how your Baath party gains new members, maybe you forgot, maybe you don’t know, but I do.
Whenever a student finishes middle school (9th grade), he has to take his papers to enroll in High school, however once he gets there he will be handed a paper to enroll in the Baath party, signing the paper is mandatory or your papers won’t be accepted. And if you somehow managed to avoid enrollment in high shcool, you’ll find yourself with the same piece of paper once you present your papers to enroll in any of your universities. The Baath party is also the only party who is allowed to recruit among the youth. If it wasn’t for this, the Baath party would probably have a grand total of 1000 members in all of Syria today.

March 22nd, 2011, 12:14 am

 

Majhool said:

So nice!!

March 22nd, 2011, 12:43 am

 

Revlon said:

#117 Dear Majhool, Thank you for providing Youtube video link for Ms Afraa address to Mr Asad and supporters.
Check out the message and the messenger!
Watching it has made me more hopeful of a peaceful way out.
Syria has the right people, on the ground and abroad to mediate this transitional period.
I urge the regime to establish contact with the group of the Declaration of Damascus.

March 22nd, 2011, 2:02 am

 

Alex said:

Afraa is very presentable, very smart and … not open minded… not capable of understanding those who are not opposed to Bashar Assad.

Her father (Khales Jalabi) is a former ikhwan doctor and a writer for Elaph and other Saudi or Gulf publications. He used to write to Asharq Alawsat.

He is as flexible as a brick. I used to exchange emails with him on a daily basis for over a year. He hates the Shia like a typical ikhwani.

From what I know through common friends, Afraa is a much milder version, much more pleasant … and equally incapable of understanding a thing. She can tell you lots of wonderful sounding opinions … but push her a bit more and you will realize she is also obsessed with removing Assad from power and nothing can make her understand how can anyone possibly like him.

Look at how she summed up Assad’s supporters … they attack women (before and after breakfast, lunch and dinner) .. they are the ones who curse on blogs …

She is trying to teach those animals how to be civilized like her.

March 22nd, 2011, 2:18 am

 

Majhool said:

Alex Ya Alex,

It seems as if your definition of open minded syrian is someone who accepts Assad. I think you missed the spirit of her address which is simply: Let me differ from you and let it be OK. I mean for God sake are the regime men and women more open minded? is the Minister of Information any better? etc..

Besides, Ikhawan and not wearing a head cover, that’s kind of cool, no? What do you expect? that people of mulsim faith turn atheists!!

It is really unfortunate what you are doing. I expected, at a minimum, that you would advocate ( in terms of frequency) the quest of reforms towards BASIC rights, and use your media skills to do so while supporting the president. unfortunately, you have been spreading sectarian paranoias instead. Allah Ysamahak.

March 22nd, 2011, 2:48 am

 

Revlon said:

#119, Dear Alex, thank you for watching the clip.
You have been around haven’t you? So you know her and her father. Your experience is impressive!

Dear Alex, Afraa did not claim she was perfect. Neither I, nor you or any one would make that claim.

Actually one of the points she was making is that it was Ok for us to be different. It does not make any one of us less or more worthy of being listened to and learn from.

We need to be positive.
We need to focus on tapping the brighter and stronger assets of each other.
Let’s not waste our valuable energy on picking on what we perceive as the less bright sides of each other.

We can all be full of ourselves.

Cheers.

March 22nd, 2011, 4:09 am

 

Alex said:

Majhool,

First of all, thank you for your calm and positive tone the past few weeks (and I mean it).

Yes, I agree that I am sounding like an alarmist lately. It is intentional. I do not think there is anything here that one can take lightly.

My definition of open mindedness in Afraa’s case is her ability to accept President Assad’s supporters and without defining them as those who practice hooliganism.

Thanks Revlon,

I do not know her directly, I know her father very well… online. A very intelligent and foolish man, I’m sorry to say.

Have no problem with her “it’s ok to be different” statement… it is the part where she described to me in what way she sees me as different. Imagine if I generalized like she did and said “dear Assad opponent … why are you a traitor?”

Even if I said it with a smile and pleasant voice, it will still be offensive.

And needless to say, I am not blaming her in isolation … on both sides there are supporters who are loud, abusive, or engaged in constant dissemination of false information.

March 22nd, 2011, 5:12 am

 

Shami said:

Alex ,you too,inwardly,you hate the inner circle ,the corrupt gang pillars of the regime.The ideological supporters of Bashar are a tiny minority and you are not one of them.
Also i dont believe that you would persist in your pro dictator stance once this regime is gone.
In order to undestand better what i mean ,here is a video showing the degradation of people humanity common under such dictatorships:

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

Those are equivalent to the people that you call supporters of bashar,once the regime is gone ,they will rip these posters:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/214/500748354_651a876475_b.jpg

March 22nd, 2011, 6:07 am

 

Norman said:

NK,

I did not join the Baath party in my days in Syria, I did not have to, I said previously that the single party system is tainting the Baath party with opportunists that give the impression that the whole baath party is corrupt,

About the video clip, I am glad that she lives the good life that she does, i see snow on the ground and houses as nice as the ones in Vermont.so why would she care about what can take place in Syria,

Some taxation on real Estate in Syria will go a long way in redistributing wealth and cover the poor with food stamps and housing.and better opportunity,

Alex, what is being written in the Saudi media .

March 22nd, 2011, 7:26 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Syria Comment’s “You Could Have Fooled Me” Moment

Shami states:

Alex ,you too,inwardly,you hate the inner circle ,the corrupt gang pillars of the regime.The ideological supporters of Bashar are a tiny minority and you are not one of them.

Revlon states:

A presidential statement needs to be issued soon!
It should acknowledge the legitimacy of the revolution, not only its demands.
It should provide a clear time frame and road map for an immediate and gradual shift of powers to an interim, mutually agreeable, transitional government.

Act now,
Save citizen’s lives,
Save the nation.

Sounds like a good plan to me.

March 22nd, 2011, 7:29 am

 

Norman said:

It looks like the opposition is getting support from the US and Israel represented by AP .

March 22nd, 2011, 7:43 am

 

Revlon said:

Personal observation on the two funeral processions in Daraa two days ago.
http://www.youtube.com/watchv=vUiAzosLKIE&feature=player_embedded#t=328s

My heart goes to their parents, siblings and extended families. May God bless the boys in heavens.

For a moment I thought I was watching a procession of a Palestinian intifadhah martyr, in a Gaza or west bank neighbourhood; the people, the chants, and the air of fury. Change the title of the video and I challenge anyone to find a difference. But is there any?

I hope the regime’s decision makers have the foresight to read these events and not just follow it as news.

March 22nd, 2011, 8:45 am

 

Revlon said:

Summary of address of Speaker of 3shayer Daraa on March 20th.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ks_gPzzyV0&NR=1

The ships are bunt: there is no going back.
His address to Asad and protégés was venomous.
His address to country mates was secular, and he appealed to all ethnicities, religions and sects.
He used the same slogan of the Syrian people’s revolution: God, Syria, Freedom
He called the coming Friday: Friday of change
He encouraged demonstrators to stick together in groups and resist or reciprocate if force was used against by security!
The clip had nearly 2000 knocks!

March 22nd, 2011, 9:17 am

 

Revlon said:

Here is also a link to a brief speach by Kurdish opposition leader in Qamishly demonstration on 20 March
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yyKobxuk1M&feature=related

Summary:
We are 20 % and the Arabs are 80% of this nation.
We are partners with the Arab coutry mates
We go hand in hand
We call for freedom for all of us!

March 22nd, 2011, 9:32 am

 

MONTAGNARD said:

REVLON
The tape @128 shows how ugly some of those impersonators are and their tactics. If he was a true Sheikh Asheera we would have said his name and his Asheera. After listening to this tape and all the lies, I am taking a stand to support President Bashar Asad against this filthy and ugly personal attack.

March 22nd, 2011, 9:35 am

 

Majhool said:

Alex,

Thank you for the nice words ( I mean it).

I really would like to see Bashar Assad becoming a real politician. My past (couple of years) demands were meant to spare us a day like today. I still think that there is time.

March 22nd, 2011, 10:00 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

“Despot Math” vs. “New Math”

It looks like the opposition is getting support from the US and Israel represented by AP.

Norman,

The opposition is getting support from all over the world, not just from the usual boogeymen.

The smearing of people who want basic human rights is getting a little old, no?

And just because people want basic human rights doesn’t make them pro-US or pro-Israel. I’m not sure who created this equation, but it isn’t good “math”.

March 22nd, 2011, 10:02 am

 

Atassi said:

Fear barrier crumbles in Syrian “kingdom of silence”
22 March 2011
Reuters News
English
(c) 2011 Reuters Limited

* Mosque scene shows new mood, challenge to rulers

* In south Syria, placards call for freedom

* “No more fear,” chant protesters

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

DAMASCUS, March 22 (Reuters) – The preacher of the Saladin Mosque was reflecting on the joys of Mother’s Day, his sermon straying far from dramatic protests now gripping Syria, when a young man jumped up to the pulpit and grabbed the microphone.

“Why are you talking about this in these circumstances? Tell us about the political situation!” shouted the youth, before secret police arrested him and hurried him away.

The scene at the mosque in the lower income Damascus district of Ruknaldin, recounted to Reuters by worshippers who witnessed it on Friday, was striking in a country where pliant citizens have endured government-dictated sermons for decades. [ID:nnLDE72K0PV]

In Damascus, as in the provinces, a barrier of fear which had blocked dissent is breaking down. Uprisings across the Arab world have not stopped at the door of one of its most hardline administrations.

For the first time, placards other than those glorifying Syria’s ruling elite and the “historic achievements” of the Baath Party are being raised in the towns of the strategic Hauran plain south of Damascus.

A single word is etched on them — “Freedom”.

The region, where four protesters have been killed by security forces since Friday, has seen the first non-sectarian protests against the Baath Party since Assad’s late father Hafez al-Assad crushed leftist and Islamist opponents in the 1980s.

Among them were the cream of Syrian society — lawyer and former judge Haitham al-Maleh, leftist leader Riad al-Turk, writer Akram al-Bunni, and poet Mohammad al-Maghout, who wrote that being tortured by a compatriot was more painful and humiliating than repression under French colonialism.

The violent campaign by the Syrian authorities in the 1980s left up to 70,000 people missing. In 2004, Kurds, many of whom are denied Syrian citizenship, mounted violent demonstrations against the government in which 30 people were killed.

“NO MORE FEAR”

In a sign of changing times, Montaha al-Atrash, whose father led a revolt against French rule in the 1920s, addressed Assad directly in an interview on BBC Television.

“Dr Bashar, listen to us. Non-stop pressure and repression will generate an explosion. You know, and you see how the region is boiling,” said Atrash, referring to a wave of Arab uprisings which have toppled two leaders and challenged many more.

“The regime is still responding to anyone calling for change by trying to portray it as a scheme for sectarian strife and division, and by unleashing on demonstrators security forces who are already filling the streets,” she added, speaking in Syria.

The protesters have not called for the removal of Assad, and Atrash said there was no hatred against the president, an ophthalmologist by training who was thrust into politics when his elder brother Bassel died in car accident in 1994.

But the name of one top figure of the ruling elite, Assad’s cousin Rami Makhlouf, is being uttered publicly. Owner of Syria’s largest cellphone company and several large businesses, Makhlouf is under U.S. sanctions for what Washington regards as public corruption.

Until now, no one inside Syria has dared question his activities. The tycoon maintains his businesses are legitimate, providing professional employment for thousands of Syrians.

“Go away Makhlouf. We don’t want thieves… There is no more fear after today,” is one of the main chants of demonstrators who burnt premises of Makhlouf’s Syriatel company.

Residents of Deraa city, where the demonstrations started on Friday, say they have shaken off humiliation and decades of repression, and broken a ‘fear factor’ that had made people suspicious that even close relatives might be informants.

“I can now smell freedom,” said one youth, describing how mass demonstrations had helped unify a tribal-based society he said authorities had played a part in fracturing.

Even if protests subside — the south was calm on Tuesday morning — Syrians say the grievances which sparked them remain.

Opposition figure Riad al-Turk, who spent 25 years as a political prisoner including almost 18 years alone in a 2-metre by 2-metre underground cell during Hafez al-Assad’s rule, said Syrian leaders face “the moment of truth”.

“What is required is serious and clear steps to transform Syria from repression to democracy.

“They are steps outlined repeatedly: release political prisoners, abolish the state of emergency, legalise a multi-party system, separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, and scrap the clause that makes the Baath Party ‘leader of state and society’,” he said.

“All I know today is that Syria will not remain the kingdom of silence,” 80-year-old Turk said.

“Fear will no longer suffocate, and my homeland will not remain a big prison”.

March 22nd, 2011, 10:09 am

 

AIG said:

Alex,

You remember your plan in which Syria changes to the Turkish model? The army is led by the current regime and only interferes in government if it becomes non-secular or anti the agreed constitution. This also reassures minorities that they will be protected by the army. That is an excellent compromise that could save much blood. Now is the time to push for it. These ideas have to come from Assad and his regime and they have to be sincere. I hope it is not too late. Things are moving much faster than I expected.

March 22nd, 2011, 10:12 am

 

Revlon said:

How may Friday 25th March unfold!

The number and size of demonstrations is in ascendancy.
Demonstrators are more at ease now in chanting the revolutions slogans, including: Down the system.
They have gained field experience in the tactics of demonstrating.
They will be more efficient at evading attempts at their dispersion or arrest by security forces.

This Friday prayer may witness demonstarations of unprecedented scale. Why?
First, There are calls for holding prayers in abscentia, for Daraa martyrs across the country, right after Friday prayer.
Second, Some Imams may decide not to stick to their state-dictated sermons.

March 22nd, 2011, 10:35 am

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

ALEX . As some one above said: “The smearing of people who want basic human rights is getting a little old, no?

And just because people want basic human rights doesn’t make them pro-US or pro-Israel. I’m not sure who created this equation, but it isn’t good “math”.

Chinese Website reports.

UN investigator accuses Israel of ‘ethnic cleansing’
Posted on 03.22.11
By Megan Carpentier
Categories: Featured, World News

American professor Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, told the UN Human Rights Council Monday, “As the report illustrates, the continued pattern of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem combined with the forceful eviction of long-residing Palestinians are creating an intolerable situation that can only be described in its cumulative impact as a form of ethnic cleansing.”

The above must be calculus!.

March 22nd, 2011, 11:01 am

 

Revlon said:

137. Revlon said:
#130
Dear Montagnard, regarding the clip. Thank you for reading my post.

Fisrt, he is the speaker, not the sheikh.

Second, announcing names at this stage will expose individuals to potential arrest or even worse. I do not see you true name on this page and you do not see mine!

Third, he used harsh language and made accusations that he belives in. Counteraccusations are often used by senior regime offcials. Harsh language is commion place on similar clips by Asad supporters.

Fourth, I encourage you to support whoever you believe in, including Asad. I respect your freedom of choice.
This revolution is about achieving freedom of speech and choice for all, not just for Asad supporters.

I posted this clip and others to enlighten the readers about facts relevant to events on the ground, whether we like them or not. Please forgive me if I have offended your taste
Cheers

March 22nd, 2011, 11:10 am

 

Jad said:

Revlon,
Until today I didn’t hear the slogan of down with the system or one against the president in the street, it is not used inside Syria or in Daraa yet, where did you get this info from?
I also don’t think that many Syrians are buying into the calls for chaos through bunch of lies or stupid techniques, yes we all have similar rights we are asking for but that doesn’t mean to become Machiavellian and I’ll do everything to end up having nothing.
Yes you may get protests and people in the street on Friday but asking half of those people of why they are out and what they are protesting for and you will get the wrong answers.
In anyway, it seems that they are getting desperate to make chaos not organized movement which will back fire at them and make things worst, after asking for praying and cursing aljazeera, today they are asking to lie, how is that going to help? Supporting any cause must come from conviction not by force, lies, voodoo:

ندعو جميع الاخوة في جميع المحافظات الى الاتصال بالشرطة والتبليغ عن وجود تجمعات هائلة في منطقة معينة وقولوا لهم ان التجمعات اصبحت مظاهرات حاشدة وبالالاف لكي ليأتي الامن العسكري والامن الجوي والامن السياسي والحرس الجمهوري والشرطة والمخابرات وغيرها من الاجهزة الفاسدة لكي نحشدهم دائما في مناطق مختلفة ولكي نرهقهم من الان وصاعداً الى حين يوم الجمعه،، بادر الان وكن فعالاً — لحمايتك اشتري شريحة خليوي جديدة

March 22nd, 2011, 11:48 am

 

jad said:

“This revolution is about achieving freedom of speech and choice for all, not just for Asad supporters.”

I disagree that this revolution is about achieving freedom of speech and choice for all anymore, it lost its credibility for me the moment they asked for international interference and when they start spreading lies. If they are acting like this now how are they going to get anybody support or even be democratic later? Loosing credibility this soon is alarming.

March 22nd, 2011, 11:57 am

 

MONTAGNARD said:

#137
Dear Revlon,
You don’t need to ask me to forgive you if you have offended my taste. You have not.
I have been around long enough to have heard plenty of ugly discourse. Just watching some of the tapes that Ghat posts about the “chosen ones” should make one imune to watch and hear the ugliness that some people are capable of spuing.
As far as harshness of words and manners, you don’t need to worry about any sensitivities on my part. I grew up in Damascus where we used shintiane and moose cabbas in our fun fights.
The fact that it was a personal attack, and using lies to persuade and justify that attack, insults my intelligence. The speaker succeeded in turning me off to his message, and his cause lost credibility with me.
You are right it is about freedom of choice, and if the choice is between a future set by this speaker and how he is going to go about it, versus the improvements in the last ten years and the promise to do more and better, I am choosing the latter.
I thank you for posting this tape, as I could not stay on the fence after listening to it.

Cheers

March 22nd, 2011, 12:08 pm

 

Solitarius said:

@JAD

Here is a video of people in Madaya wanting to overthrow the regime:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1fR3aYV4dQ

tweeted by Razaniat. I was referring to this video in an earlier post of mine when I said it’s fishy when people want to overthrow the regime already at this stage.

March 22nd, 2011, 12:16 pm

 

Solitarius said:

from 138:
” بادر الان وكن فعالاً — لحمايتك اشتري شريحة خليوي جديدة”

Aha.. got them.. this is Makhlouf himself trying to boost up his sales amongst the revolutionaries.. what a genius

March 22nd, 2011, 12:33 pm

 

norman said:

They count about 20 people maximum. Is that right ?

March 22nd, 2011, 12:36 pm

 

jad said:

Solitarius,
Thanks for the link, I didn’t see that earlier.

From the Syrian news channel:
There are strangers shooting at peaceful demonstrators, while a very strict orders were given to all security forces to not to shoot at demonstrators under any circumstances.

March 22nd, 2011, 12:37 pm

 

atassi said:

SYRIAN STRIFE COULD DWARF LIBYA’S WAR
23 March 2011
Timaru Herald

L AST Friday saw the first nationwide protests against the Baath regime in Syria. If these protests develop into a full-scale revolt, the regime’s response may dwarf that of Colonel Gaddafi in Libya.

The last time Syrians rebelled, in the city of Hama in 1982, President Hafez al-Assad sent in the army to smash the insurrection. Hama’s centre was destroyed by artillery fire, and at least 17,000 people were killed.

The current Syrian ruler, Bashar al-Assad, is allegedly a gentler person than his father Hafez, but the Baath Party still rules Syria, and it is just as ruthless as ever. So what happens if the Syrian revolution gets under way, and the Baath Party starts slaughtering people again? Do the same forces now intervening in Libya get sent to Syria as well?

Syria has four times Libya’s population and very serious armed forces. The Baath Party is as centralised and intolerant of dissent as the old Communist parties of Eastern Europe. Moreover, it is controlled internally by a sectarian minority, the Alawis, who fear that they would suffer terrible vengeance if they ever lost power.

The UN Security Council was absolutely right to order the use of “all necessary measures” (meaning armed force) to stop Gaddafi’s regime from attacking the Libyan people. But it does move us all into unknown territory: today Libya, tomorrow Syria?

The “responsibility to protect” concept that underpins the UN decision on Libya was first proposed in 2001 by Lloyd Axworthy, then Canada’s foreign minister. He was frustrated by the UN’s inability to stop the genocides in Kosovo and Rwanda in the 1990s, and he concluded that the problem was the UN’s own rules. So he set out to change them.

The original goal of the United Nations, embedded in the Charter signed in 1945, was to prevent any more big wars like the one just past, which had killed over 50 million people and ended with the use of nuclear weapons. There was some blather about human rights in there too, but in order to get all the great powers to sign up to a treaty outlawing war, there had to be a deal that negated all that.

The deal was that the great powers (and indeed, all of the UN members) would have absolute sovereignty within their own territory, including the right to kill whoever opposed their rule. It wasn’t written quite like that, but the meaning was quite clear: the UN had no right to intervene in the internal affairs of a member state no matter how badly it behaved.

By the early 21st century, however, the threat of a nuclear war between the great powers had faded away, while local massacres and genocides proliferated. Yet the UN was still hamstrung by the 1945 rules and unable to intervene. So Lloyd Axworthy set up the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) to popularise the concept of humanitarian intervention under the name of “Responsibility to protect.”

It was purely a Canadian government initiative. “You can’t allow dictators to use the facade of national sovereignty to justify ethnic cleansing,” Axworthy explained, and so he launched a head-on attack on sovereignty.

The commission he set up concluded, unsurprisingly that the UN should have an obligation to protect people from mass killing at the hands of their own government. Since that could only be accomplished, in practice, by military force, it was actually suggesting that the UN Security Council should have the right to order attacks on countries that indulged in such behaviour.

This recommendation then languished for some years. The most determined opponents of “responsibility to protect” were the great powers – Russian and China in particular – who feared that the new doctrine might one day be used against them. But in 2005 the new African Union included the concept in its founding charter, and after that things moved quite fast.

In 2006 the Security Council agreed that “we are prepared to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner . . . should peaceful means be inadequate and national authorities manifestly fail to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.” And there they are five years later, taking military action against Gaddafi.

Ten out of 15 Security Council members voted in favour of the action, and the rest, including all four of the emerging great powers, the so-called BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) abstained. But Russia and China didn’t veto the action, because they have finally figured out that the new principle will never be used against them.

Nobody will ever attack Russia to make it be nicer to the Chechens, or invade China to make it change its behaviour towards the Tibetans. Great powers are effectively exempt from all the rules if they choose to be, precisely because they are so powerful. That’s no argument for also exempting less powerful but nastier regimes from the obligation not to murder their own people.

So what about the Syrian regime? The same crude calculation applies.

If it’s not too tough and powerful to take on, then it will not be allowed to murder its own people. And if it is too big and dangerous, then all the UN members will express their strong disapproval, but they won’t do anything.

Consistency is an overrated virtue.

March 22nd, 2011, 1:19 pm

 

SOURI said:

It is the fifth day and the revolution has reduced to a gathering of few hundred people in and around the Umar Mosque in Deraa. Deraa now is under the control of the Syrian authorities and the revolutionists are besieged in the area of Umar Mosque only. Outside Deraa, there is nothing significant as far as I can tell.

March 22nd, 2011, 1:25 pm

 

SOURI said:

What a failure for this Wahhabi revolution. I think the Wahhabis thought the could replicate what happened in eastern Libya.

The Syrian regime avoided Qaddafi’s huge mistakes, so they managed to contain the situation.

March 22nd, 2011, 1:32 pm

 

jad said:

Souri,
It doesn’t matter anymore, Syrians still have the same requests:

No Emergency Law,
No one party rules
Freedom of Speech
Human rights and freedom for all innocent political prisoners
Deal with the corruption on higher level not the janitors level and give all the money stolen back to the public domain.

The government must deliver many if not all these requests now to make things better otherwise we will keep seeing the same thing over and over until one day it will escalate to true revolution.
The government can do those changes immediately if they want why to wait?
And for protesters, let them go out to say what they want, let them get all their frustration out peacefully without the need for amn to jump at them there is a need to keep some distance between the two for less conflicts, Lebanon has protest every day, our army and Moukhabarata need to learn something from them.

March 22nd, 2011, 1:51 pm

 

Atassi said:

jad
I am with you and support you my brother\sister
Souri “the name only” I don’t support you but you still my brother\sister, and I will with you in the future if your hands are clean ….

March 22nd, 2011, 2:24 pm

 

norman said:

Jad,
What you wrote is great but how can we be sure that they will not ask for more like the head of Syria, without clear indication for a full amnesty for everybody THE MB and the government and to start clean for now, I do not see the secularist Government trusting others with their own lives .

March 22nd, 2011, 2:33 pm

 

Solitarius said:

at ATASSI #145

Actually the article’s author is Gwynne Dyer. It’s better to state an article’s author. However, I just don’t understand how a so called PhD in Military and Middle Eastern History can call these demonstrations NATION WIDE at the beginning of his article.. and why should we Syrians who know exactly what happened quote it blindly.. There were demonstrations in Daraa, and probably unrelated demonstrations in Banias and Damascus, with suspecious ones amounting to a few tens in Homs.. to call those nation wide is really pushing it. So either he is stupid, or he just doesn’t care and just wants to capitalize on the idea of a sexy revolution. Either way we should not follow blindly especially that we are perfectly capable of understanding our own events.

thanks

March 22nd, 2011, 2:42 pm

 

trustquest said:

Annonymous has issued a press release which does not leave any place to dictators, in the press release dictators has no place in this world and the model promoted is the Norway model for peace, governing and inspiration, Syria was mentioned in the press release.

March 22nd, 2011, 3:05 pm

 

norman said:

Trust,
I am glad that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are considered Democratic, What a joke !

March 22nd, 2011, 3:12 pm

 

SOURI said:

Syria is not ready for democracy.

99% of those arrested under the emergency law are Wahhabi terrorists. It shouldn’t be lifted.

I used to call for some political openness, but after what I am seeing I say that any political concessions now will be a huge mistake. However, I am not sure if the regime can continue without concessions.

It is a lose-lose situation. If the regime does not give concessions, we are going to see more turbulence. If the regime does give concessions, the chain of events will play very fast and the whole situation will collapse.

There is no way out. This is why I expected that Syria will collapse and divide soon no matter what happens.

It is just a regional tide that can’t be resisted. This region is being divided into its sectarian components and Syria will not be spared.

It is a great interest for the US and Israel to have a Wahhabi state that would act as barrier between Hizbullah and Iran. If I were American or Israeli and I heard those chants in Deraa, my heart would dance in joy:

They are chanting “no to Hizbullah, no to Iran”. What does the US want more than this? I don’t think the US will keep the Syrian regime in its place no matter what happens. They are going to set up a Wahhabi state in Syria to fight Hizbullah on their behalf. This is a great opportunity that cannot be missed.

March 22nd, 2011, 3:20 pm

 

AIG said:

Even the Turks are worried:
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-anxious-over-protests-in-syria-2011-03-22

They are also advising democratic reforms.

March 22nd, 2011, 3:37 pm

 

NK said:

Souri

How is that bunker coming along ?

March 22nd, 2011, 3:52 pm

 

SOURI said:

……..

March 22nd, 2011, 3:54 pm

 

Nour said:

SOURI,

I disagree with you. I don’t think that most Sunnis in Syria are fundamentalists. I understand many are religious, but that doesn’t make them fundamentalist. Moreover, I am sure that the vast majority of Syrians would greatly welcome concrete reforms such as the removal of the Emergency Law and the introduction of a new Party law. They would appreciate Bashar Al Assad much more and the regime in Syria would be much safer, in my opinion, as it would have the support of most of the people.

In addition, the government doesn’t need the Emergency Law to try criminals or those who threaten the state. No one is asking the government to eliminate security altogether. But the Emergency Law allows them to arrest mere political dissidents for simply expressing their opinions and attach some fabricated charge against them without any chance for constitutional review. This cannot be sustained forever.

March 22nd, 2011, 4:04 pm

 

norman said:

Nour,
I agree with you something has to change , and faster ,

NK,
That was not funny .

March 22nd, 2011, 4:25 pm

 

atassi said:

Souri said Syria is not ready for democracy..

Atassi said “ Syria has been ready for democracy, Syria was a democracy” AND SYRIA WILL BE FREE TO BE DEMOCRACY

March 22nd, 2011, 4:34 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

SOURI,

You said that:

“99% of those arrested under the emergency law are Wahhabi terrorists.”

Surely, a state has the means to try any terrorist in a court of law, earn a conviction or even a capital punishment against those convicted.

An emergency law is akin to our own daily domestic Guantanamo.

Is this what you advocate?

Do you want society to blindly trust a security officer to make the determination of whether a citizen is a so-called terrorist and send him to his cell/death without accountability?

March 22nd, 2011, 4:44 pm

 

Nour said:

تعليمات سورية عليا بعدم إطلاق النار على المواطنين حتى لو عمدوا لجرح أو قتل الأمنيين
كُتب يوم 2011/03/22 بواسطة admin

سيريانوبلز – شوكوماكو/ أفادت مصادر مطلعة أن تعليمات سورية عليا وجهت للجهات الأمنية تأمرها بعدم اللجوء إلى إطلاق النار على المتظاهرين «ولو عمدوا إلى جرح أو قتل الأمنيين».

وأضافت هذه المصادر لصحيفة الوطن أن التعليمات العليا أوضحت أن “المتظاهرين هم من أبناء شعبنا وعلى الدولة حمايتهم وحماية ممتلكاتهم، أما المندسون الذين يعمدون لإطلاق النار وخلق شرخ بين الدولة والمجتمع، فهم أعداء للنظام والشعب بنفس الدرجة، وعلى الشعب والدولة العمل على مواجهتهم ومنعهم من التمادي في غيهم”.

بدورها قالت قناة “الإخبارية السورية” أن بعض المعلقين في الفضائيات العربية على أحداث درعا أقروا بإدخال هواتف نقالة مربوطة بشبكات دول مجاورة لتفادي الشبكة السورية، في إشارة إلى الأردن التي تحاذي أراضيها محافظة درعا.

March 22nd, 2011, 4:55 pm

 

SOURI said:

Assad has no way out.

If he starts now a “secular” political process, he will be met with anger from most Sunnis. Most Sunnis in Syria are Islamists and are antipathetic to secularism. If Bashar tries to promote secular politics in Syria and ban the use of Islamist slogans, this will mean the end of the truce between him and the Islamists. This means that he will be in a worse place than he is now.

If Bashar does not start a new political process, no body knows what will happen next with all the bad influence that is coming from outside.

March 22nd, 2011, 5:06 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

Souri,

Was that your answer to my question?

March 22nd, 2011, 5:13 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Contributors are resorting to dehumanizing fellow Syrians so they can scream a little louder.

Syria is not ready for democracy!

The president is clean but the people around him are corrupt. This wat the president is not accountable.

The president is not in charge. Who is in charge? Why would Bashar stick around and have his reputation ruined.

He is very popular. Great! Let’s have free election and see how he fairs.

The Baath party is a great one!? Supporters of the party will be reciting this very soon:

Lawla al 7ayaao la hajani est3baro wa la zourte qabrouke wal 7abibo yuzzaro

99% of all people arrested are Wahhabi terrorists? So all people arrested are terrorists? Wow? What an efficient security service?

Is Mrs. S Attasi a wahhabi terrorists or is she in the 1% other kind of terrorist?

This is what I have been reading the past few days.

Please when you write something, do not insult our intelligence. Are you saying people like Ehasani, OTW, JAD, Alex, Revlon, Majed, Attasi…. are not ready and do not know how to participate in one. Mubarak and his cronies were peddling the same none sense. Look at what happened last weekend. Yes there are setbacks but they are moving forward.

Again, Syria belongs to all of us. If we have a free election tomorrow and Bashar is chosen by the people then I will support him and hold him accountable. Also if a MB gets elected I will support him/her.

Syrian economy resembles the Egyptian one circa 1987. Bashar is doing exactly what Mubarak did in his first 10 years in power. Are we proud of being 25 years behind Egypt?

The president is in control and he is supported by a gang of thugs. He could be the nicest person around but things have to change ASAP or he will end up like Qaddafi afendy.

Do not make fun and belittle the size of the demonstrations because the most lethal infernos usually start with a match.

Please do not dehumanize each other. It is good to disagree, debate and argue but do not make it personal.

March 22nd, 2011, 5:24 pm

 

jad said:

Souri,
شو قصتك ماسكلي الوهابية ودير فيا؟يعني يا علمانية أتاتورك يا وهابية .ال سعود؟ نحن دولة وسط
What is the relation between:
Emergency Law and Secularism,
Freedom of speech and Secularism
Political reforms and Secularism
Corruptions and Secularism?
NOTHING! There is nothing in common in all those things and no Syrian is asking for such reform at the moment and you are absolutely wrong writing that even if the Government do those changes Syria will collapse, Syria wont collapse of these changes but the opposite people will support such changes and it will defiantly deflate big portion of tension we are seeing.
The government don’t have to go all the way, just try to do small changes to us and let’s see how the Syrians will react before you go ‘Armageddon’
Syrians are one the most diplomatic and easy to negotiate with in the whole region.

March 22nd, 2011, 5:27 pm

 

Leo said:

I am very offended at the absurd generalization that ‘Souri’ is advocating on this forum . Associating Sunnis with Islamists is sectarian and would only further inflame Syrians. Would it be appropriate to say that most Alawis are fascists or that most Christians are corrupt? Let’s refrain from such ridiculous sectarian generalizations.

March 22nd, 2011, 6:00 pm

 

jad said:

#150. NORMAN SAID:
..but how can we be sure that they will not ask for more like the head of Syria……

Dear Norman,
I didn’t know that Syria has head and arms and legs and boobs that people want to ask for 🙂
What’s wrong for Syrians asking for more rights so long they progressing and becoming more advanced than what we are right now? Why do we have to stay where we are and not elevate our quality of life in all fields?
Aren’t the Americans keep asking for more? Aren’t the Europeans keep asking for more? For God sake there are people asking for animal rights, for environment protection and equality on everything you can imagine and go protest for them, don’t we the Syrians deserve to ask for what we the human deserve?

Why should we give amnesty to anybody? If you kill or steel or do anything to harm anybody in any way you deserve to be prosecuted and go to jail this is the basics rule of justice, right?

Do you really believe that we are a true secular country? Come on! Our government is a combination of interests and secularism is the only idea that doesn’t really exist in this معمعة so please don’t tell me about secularism when all of our people don’t even understand what does it mean and mix it with bigotry and being Agnostic!

March 22nd, 2011, 6:11 pm

 

SOURI said:

What I am saying is scientific (unlike much of the wishful thinking that we hear from other commenters) because what I am saying is based on the Syrian experience of the 1970’s and on the facts on ground in Syria and the Middle East.

When Hafez Assad came to power in 1970 he eased a lot of the political restrictions and allowed a large degree of press freedom. He even allowed demonstrations and peaceful gatherings; but what was the result? A sectarian war launched by the Islamists who could not accept the idea of secularism in Syria.

If Bashar now eases the restrictions, we will face a worse scenario than that of the 1970’s. Al-Jazeera has made it a natural thing in people’s minds to be governed by the Ikhwan. They even convinced the Arabs that banning the Ikhwan is against democracy. The Syrian people have been for 15 years under the bombardment of Al-Jazeera (Ikhwan) and the Wahhabi TV stations.

Unless we can have a secular democracy in Syria, we don’t want democracy. Democracy without secularism is not democracy, and those who say otherwise are either Islamists themselves or simply they don’t understand what democracy is.

March 22nd, 2011, 6:23 pm

 

Norman said:

My Dear Jad,

Yes Syria has a head and now that is President Assad,

If we do not forget the past and look for the future , The only thing we will get is revenge and witch hunt,and that will drain Syria, I am sure you do not want that, amnesty to the MB and the government, any crimes after the new laws go into effect and the new dawn start in Syria, (( HARAKA TASHEHIA ))
start with ending emergency law, announce a multiparty system and establish a political party rules,
Divide each big city into towns and have elections for city council and Myers .

March 22nd, 2011, 6:32 pm

 

Norman said:

Souri,said ,
(( Unless we can have a secular democracy in Syria, we don’t want democracy. Democracy without secularism is not democracy, and those who say otherwise are either Islamists themselves or simply they don’t understand what democracy is.))

I for one understand, It has to be a secular democracy with equal rights to all .

March 22nd, 2011, 6:36 pm

 

Leo said:

Souri,

Where is this scientific evidence? You have yet to show one evidence with the exception of selective random comments from facebook/blogs and “Oh I was there in the 70s and I’ve seen what was going on”.

You have no understanding on how democracies are formed. Your argument for democracy is an idealist utopian one that never happened in history and would never happen because of its inherent contradictions. Your argument is something like this: Syria either becomes Sweden overnight or it should be stuck under tyrannical dictatorship forever.

Europe spend centuries of internal conflicts before they reached where they are right now. Secular/liberal democracy only forms with experience, and requires a dialectic to exist within society. This requires basic political and civil freedoms, the ability of people to discuss, debate, and differ. This will create better ideas, a synthesis between radical ones to form moderated ideas that reflect the desires and interests of society. Only then can people realize that a liberal democracy is better than theocracy or any other form of outdated political system. Yes, there are Islamists in our societies who are extreme and radical. Europe has their ultra-nationalists and the US has their KKK and neo-fascists. It is not justifiable to suspend civil and political liberties or accept tyranny just because there is an extreme minority who shout empty slogans. A free and open society is the solution that would shed light and expose all sorts of extremism. The time to attain this freedom has come now.

March 22nd, 2011, 6:44 pm

 

jad said:

Dear Norman,
I see what you mean, amnesty for things happened in the PAST for building a better future.
I’m good with that.

March 22nd, 2011, 6:45 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Souri;
can you explain to us why someone who advocate tyrany should be free,and those who advocate freedom should be in jail.
There is massive arrest in Syria, one his name is Louay Hussein,the regime sent someone smashed his door,arrested him,and we do not know what happened to him,would you not object to this if it was you who is arrested?
Criminal prisoners were released,prisoners who ask for freedom were not..
99% of political prisoners are wahhabi! is 99% of syrian are wahhabi?
11 year he has been president and he can not control the people around him,who you say they are bad.Is this kind of president we want to rule Syria? and for another 20 years.?
Bashar was warned,Tunis Egypt Libya Yemen,what did he do in the last three months?
The goverment should be there to serve people,not the other way around.
Political prisoners must be released by thursday,if not it would be too late for him and his oligarchs.
LATA SA3ATA MANDAMI

March 22nd, 2011, 6:48 pm

 

SOURI said:

#171 LEO

I answered what you say before. What you say is untrue. What made democracy in Europe was not the sectarian bloodshed (why hasn’t the same happened in Lebanon and Palestine?? Those two places have been having sectarian conflicts for long decades and things there are only getting more sectarian). What made democracy in Europe was the enlightenment, science, and religious reform. All this happened in a nondemocratic environment. Europe became democratic AFTER the enlightenment and religious reform, NOT before it. Stop falsifying history and spreading nonsensical theories that will turn Syria into another Iraq. The “creative chaos” theory is an American imperialist theory aimed at weakening this region and dividing it into pieces. By advocating such destructive theories you are virtually advocating Western imperialism in the region.

I just want to compare what you say with what Ali al-Ahmad says:

الحكم الطائفي لا يقاوم بالورد والديمقراطية، والحكم الطائفي نتيجته بالتأكيد حرب طائفية رغبنا أو كرهنا فتلك سنة الحياة في الأرض، الحكم العسكري والشمولي نتيجته أن يرحل بثورة تطيح به من جنسه وكذلك الحكم الديمقراطي يطاح به من خلال صناديق الاقتراع، فإلى من يتشدق ويتحدث عن الحرب الطائفية وأن التكفيريين هم من يريدونها عليهم أن يراجعوا أنفسهم ويعرفوا أن النظام الطائفي هو من قاد إلى ذلك، ومن كفر عشرات الآلاف من صحابة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ورضي الله عنهم لا يحق له أن يتهم الآخرين بتلك الصفة التي تقمصها وتجسدها كابرا عن كابر ..

He wants sectarian war because he believes it is سنة الحياة في الأرض, and you want it because you believe it will be a “creative chaos.” You both seem enthusiastic to set Syria on fire, but each for a different goal.

Chaos in Syria will not lead to democracy. People will get poorer, education will get worse, extremism and bigotry will increase, sectarian culture will flare. Just try to learn something from Lebanon and Iraq.

March 22nd, 2011, 7:40 pm

 

democracynow said:

The speaker here is talking about the arrests of the 15 children and Mrs. Suhair Attasi:

https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=185914561453061&oid=108167165888294&comments

………….

On the other hand, I see that there are some commenters here desperate to smear all the protesters as sectarian. What a sad state of affairs…. Indeed, must be the height of sectarianism to demand the release of the prisoners of conscience….and to put self at the risk of arrest in the process.

March 22nd, 2011, 7:53 pm

 

Findalaawi said:

Multiple reports on Twitter that Omari Mosque in Daraa has been stormed using tear gas and live ammunition.

March 22nd, 2011, 8:27 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Khaddafi sitting on about 190 tons of gold bars. And the Crusaders who managed the world greatest gold heist right from under the WTC and all of Saddam’s gold bars in truck loads are now after Kaddafi gold and looting Libya. By the way, Mr. Hershey said today that U.S. ceased 31.7 billion Dollars in Mubarak U.S. assets. F***k all coward moslems, thier god, prophet and Koran.

March 22nd, 2011, 8:39 pm

 

Leo said:

Witnesses claim that the Syrian army attacked Daraa and opened fire around Omari Mosque, surrounding then infiltrating the mosque, killing several in the process. Witnesses claim several dead and more injured. There is no official figure of the number of dead.

March 22nd, 2011, 9:04 pm

 

NK said:

Souri

This is the second time you use this quote and interpret it very very poorly, maybe your Arabic is poor, maybe you think our Arabic is poor, I’m not sure which. But anyways, regardless of this guy’s views in general what he is saying here is kinda similar to what you’ve been advocating here the past few days.
He doesn’t want to start a sectarian war because it’s سنة الحياة في الأرض, he’s saying
A sectarian regime would end up causing a sectarian war whether we like it or not, that’s how things work. Totalitarianism and military regimes end up being overthrown by a revolution just like a democratic one end up being overthrown by the ballot boxes, so those who pay lip service and talk about a sectarian war, and how the extremists are the ones who wants it, should review themselves and realize that the sectarian regime is the one who led things to where they’re heading.

As I said before, regardless of what this guy advocates, in this quote he’s not calling for a sectarian war, rather, just like you’re doing here, he’s warning one will break out. And just like you he’s very wrong, my proof


Sunni and Alawi, we want freedom!

Oh wait those are Wahhabi terrorists screaming slogans they don’t believe in just to fool us, their filthy tricks won’t work on mind-reading Islamophobic know-it-alls though.

March 22nd, 2011, 9:05 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

I call to ban SNP from this forum.

March 22nd, 2011, 9:30 pm

 

Revlon said:

#130. Jad
Dear, Thank you for your query on link to clips with Down The Sytem Chants.
One clip was posted by NK, earlier in post number 20, in page 1.

NK said:
Another video just appeared on youtube, from Madaya
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1fR3aYV4dQ&feature=player_embedded#at=45
March 20th, 2011, 8:20 pm

I saw another one myself. I can not find it now for you. My memory is not as sharp as it used to be. It was probably in another suburb of Damascus.

I apologize for my tardy reply. I was offline.

Cheers

March 22nd, 2011, 9:36 pm

 

NK said:

SNP

175. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

F***k all coward moslems, thier god, prophet and Koran.

March 22nd, 2011, 8:39 pm

…!!! really!. That was rather pathetic, don’t you think!!!

March 22nd, 2011, 9:50 pm

 

Ziad said:

Guys
Our discussion here is deteriorating to a Hodge budge of totally incoherent statements. It seems to me that no one has a clear idea how the country’s future should look like. The same applies to the expat Syrians calling for the revolution who were shown in the posted videos, and for the protesting crowd inside.

It seems to me that everyone here has a predetermined fixed position in his mind. Some want to overthrow the regime, some want to keep it as is, and some want to pressure it to reform. We throw around any statement that comes to our mind in support of our fixed position or in refuting of someone else’s statement. Occasionally we revert to name calling, and ultimately SNP’s explicative about Islam, god and Koran totally out of context.

I compare this with what was said and done during the Egyptian revolution, and come to only one conclusion. There are very dark days ahead for my beloved country.

March 22nd, 2011, 10:07 pm

 

Shami said:

Alex, what’s your opinion on bashar regime’s media answer to these events ?

How do you explain the disappearance of the menhebak dictator from the screens in these difficult times?

March 22nd, 2011, 10:13 pm

 

Revlon said:

Dear all, our passionate, virtual debate on the merits of the revolution and change in Syria is refreshing.

It would not have been possible under the dome of the Syrian parliament of today.
We owe this opportunity to our free, fellow humans of the free world.

Lets hope, that our future, free parliament will bring it home.

Cheers

March 22nd, 2011, 10:14 pm

 
 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

No it is not pathetic, it is a fact, Moslems ignorance, pathetic retardation, laziness, humiliating cowardness, incompetence, excruciating complacency, superficiality of their beliefs, ignorance of their Koran, silliness of their books and literature, worthlessness of their stone idol god Allah, are the main reasons why country for millennia’s as great as Egypt is in such pathetic impoverished and culturally, technologically depraved state. Ever since the filth of Islam invaded and introduced its cowardness and filth to the Egyptians and Syrians and Lebanese, even Libyans, those countries never stood up as a Nation State ever again, they became a vassal states for foreign occupiers for thousands of years. Countries like Iraq, Yemen, Libya and dozen more are destituted. Not one Moslem State can defend itself, let alone come to the rescue of other Moslem State. Coward Moslem of Arabia and Shia cowards in Iran stood idle by while Iraq was demolished. In fact, as the case now in Libya as well, coward Moslems joined the attackers and looters and helped in bringing on genocide to that nation. For 50 years ignorant and backward Moslems have complacently tolerated the like of Saddam, Mubarak, Saud, Kaddafi, few dozen Abdullah’s and more, puppets, who robbed own nation wealth and the mind of its people. Now filthy Moslems trying to destroy Syria with their colonially aided plots. They want Syria to ends up just like those other countries. What filth of a mind, in Syria, Moslem brotherhood even partnered with Khaddam the worst of Baathist, so ignorant to waste a decade. They cannot help it; Islam is nothing more than a deceitful Ammonite plot to subvert wealth, gold, culture and mind of nations to serve his own. They willfully follow blindly the evil one and bow down for him 5 times a day.

March 22nd, 2011, 10:50 pm

 

GK said:

Hama and its 20,000 people murdered by the Asad Sr. Regime is being repeated by the Asad Jr. regime. The issue is how many innocent Syrian people will be killed! There is no fear anymore, the people inside Syria will not accept it and the world will not allow it! There will be consequences!!!

March 22nd, 2011, 10:51 pm

 

LeoLeoni said:

All the hidden sectarians and racists were exposed during the unfolding of these unfortunate events. SNP, what you say is despicable and I am ashamed that a person who claims to be a Syrian would say such thing. On a side note, what is this Syrian Nationalist Party? The link on your name is broken (does not work). Is this a party where you are the only member and it exists solely in your mind?

March 22nd, 2011, 10:56 pm

 

NK said:

SNP

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Muslim_scientists

The nonsense you uttered in the last post explains the nonsense of your previous posts, now I can skip over any of your comments being sure I’m not missing a thing.

March 22nd, 2011, 11:17 pm

 

Leo said:

Orient TV stopped operating after their employees received death threats on their families in Syria. Orient TV employees claim that the death threats came from senior Syrian Army officers. Instead of the Israeli Army, it seems like the Syrian citizens have become a more important target for the Syrian Army.

March 22nd, 2011, 11:22 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@LEOLEONI

You should be ashamed, LOL, geees, finally a Moslem is ashamed, halleluiah. Hopefully your Allah is ashamed as well. But of what your ashamed, being a Moslem, bending over 5 times a day, being to ignorant to know what all those Middle East wars about, thinking all along the Saudis are Moslems. Don’t worry about who SNPiers are, and don’t care to hear your answer, just dam it get ashamed please..

@NK,
they are not for you anyway. Don’t think you will understand it. Go watch rag heads on Youtube please.

March 22nd, 2011, 11:46 pm

 

Leo said:

SNP,

It’s funny that you assume I am Muslim and then start attacking me based on that just because I asked you to stop your racist/bigoted rantings. This will be my last post to you.

March 22nd, 2011, 11:57 pm

 

Revlon said:

Guys, please ignore the verbal violence and its source.
Lets focus our energy on addressing the issue of the future of Syria.

March 22nd, 2011, 11:59 pm

 

NK said:

How many were there in that supporting demonstration ? 20 – 30 ?

I wonder how will the state TV report what just happened in Daraa ? If 4 more people indeed died, then what I think of Bashar and the rest of the Syrian regime can be summed with one word “tfu”.

March 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

 

Majhool said:

chilling

March 23rd, 2011, 12:50 am

 

democracynow said:

This is just in!

Syrian forces ‘open fire on protesters’

At least five reportedly killed as security forces raid mosque on sixth day of protests in southern city of Daraa.

http://aje.me/ex22bL

How many more people should die before someone recognizes their demands as just and rightful?

Is asking for the emergency law to be lifted sectarianism?
Is asking for release of prisoners of conscience sectarianism?
Is asking for the right to participate politically in shaping up the future of your country sectarianism?
Is demanding a crack down on corruption, nepotism and favoritism sectarianism?

March 23rd, 2011, 12:56 am

 

Ziadsoury said:

I condemn the Syrian government atrocities just like I condemned the Israelis before.

I am sure the regime will investigate the killing just like the Israelis, Egyptians, Libyans, and Bahraini did before and find that outsiders and Al Qaida to blame. What a shame?

Leo,
I said it before, Arab armies are designed and trained to kill Arabs and have nothing to do with Israel.

The regime is scared.

To all who support the regime, I waiting to hear your denials again.

The Syrian thugs still live in the eighties. Just like the American, They still think they can kill an idea by extreme force. To kill an idea or an ideology you need to come up with something better not be more brutal.

The match was lit, the brush caught fire, instead putting it out, the government doused with oil, and the inferno is coming.

Very soon I will be able to visit Syria again. I am also willing to volunteer my time to knowledge to make it the best place there is.

March 23rd, 2011, 1:02 am

 

NK said:

According to state TV
“مجموعة مسلحة تهاجم قوى الأمن في درعا و تقتل طبيب و مسعف و سائق سيارة اسعاف”
An armed group attacks the security forces in Daraa and kills a doctor, a paramedic and an ambulance driver.

How come no one was killed/injured from the security forces ? what about the 4 civilians who died ?

As I said before, tfu

LOL
They just edited it
مجموعة من المسلحين تهاجم طاقم طبي في درعا من أدى الى وفاة طبيب و مسعف و سائق سيارة اسعاف و أحد عناصر قوات الأمن
An armed group attacks medical team in Daraa and kills a doctor, a paramedic and an ambulance driver and a security forces personnel.

I guess every single news outlet out there got it wrong!

March 23rd, 2011, 2:09 am

 

Revlon said:

Day 9 of Syrian Peoples Revolution.

The people have lost 10 precious lives. May God bless their souls.

The regime has wasted as many opportunities to extend bridges of reconciliation with the legitimate majority, THE PEOPLE OF SYRIA

Chances of Asad and those whom he represent for being a part of a peaceful, transitional shift of power to an interim government have vanished.

March 23rd, 2011, 2:10 am

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“……..Is asking for the emergency law to be lifted sectarianism?
Is asking for release of prisoners of conscience sectarianism?
Is asking for the right to participate politically in shaping up the future of your country sectarianism?
Is demanding a crack down on corruption, nepotism and favoritism sectarianism?……”

Yes it is sectarianism when a bunch of religious Moslem extremists demand from a religious minority run secular government all that, not by negotiation and meeting hall, but by demos in the streets, cursing TV stations that will not broadcast their silly burning of building and rampage. All these dimwitted demonstrators are used by Mossad agents to harass Assad. It was a pilot project to see if they can really launch something that will cause a breakdown of Syria and finally D.Feith can achieve his goal of rolling Syria back and divided it into five sectarian states lets emirates perhaps, to add insult to injury.

Anyway, don’t feel bad for dummies Moslems, they were sold out and traded yesterday by Saudi Arabia in exchange for Syria agreeing to Saudi invasion of Bahrain, Western countries agreed as well. So here it is, IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. It will only result in more fear and repression. It failed 5 times already.

You see, if the power to be that control these puppets were seriously interested in bringing changes to Syria, they would have sponsored and trained descent secular people that can appeal to the majority of Syrians. But that will bring up a strong Syria, they don’t want that. They want a weak Syria, one that will just give it all up, and kiss hands for anything it can keep. Just like the Egyptians and Tunisians doing now. Well, BASHAR OUT DID IT AGAIN. Thank you Mr. President.

March 23rd, 2011, 2:29 am

 

NK said:

Now they added
قوات الأمن في درعا تمكنت من التصدي للعصابة المسلحة و قتلت عددا منهم و أصابت بعضهم و لاحقت الأخرين
The security forces in Daraa was able to fend off the armed gang, killed a number of them, injured some and chased off the rest.

I’m speechless, the sneaky gang slipped past the security forces surrounding the mosque so they can shoot the medics who were treating people inside the mosque, then fought the security forces on their way out and were able to run away … I’m pretty sure the next “breaking news” will be the Security forces discovering the gang was a group of Israeli commandos trained in the US. It’s Egyptian news all over again.

March 23rd, 2011, 2:31 am

 

NK said:

Ok the last quote from state tv, I can’t take anymore of their “News”

العصابات المسلحة في درعا قامت بتخزين أسلحة و ذخيرة داخل الجامع العمري و استخدمت أطفالا اختطفتهم من عوائلهم كدروع بشرية
The armed gangs in Daraa stored weapons and ammunition inside the Omari mosque and they used children whom they kidnapped from their families as human shields.

I gotta say, this one takes the cake!

March 23rd, 2011, 2:56 am

 

Majhool said:

thats the cover up for the killings earlier. anyways people are not stupid and the anger will grow bigger

March 23rd, 2011, 3:34 am

 

Avi Salam said:

As evident on YouTube clips, the Daraa demonstrators on Monday were chanting: “No Iran, No Hizbullah, we need people who fear God”!!! No one said “No Muslim Brotherhood”!!!! And you still believe this is not a sectarian nation that is as artificial as toast bread!!!

Give me a break!! Don’t fool yourselves, at least. Admit that the Syrians are deeply sectarian. The southern part of Syria is heavily influenced by the Salafi movement (Daraa is only 5 miles away from the Jordanian border), and the north west is predominantly Alawite and Christian, they will never co-exist in one country.

The moment the Syrian regime falls a part, which will happen soon or later, the moment this artificial country will start cracking.

March 23rd, 2011, 5:03 am

 

Shami said:

AVI SALAM ,Hezbollah has become a propaganda tool of Bashar,the moukhabarat have allowed Hezbollah and Iran a free hand in Syria in general an in Deraa in particular ,and what we see today ,is normal reaction from the syrian people ,Hezbollah is assimilated precisely to Iran and by extension to Bashar’s regime ,post Asad Syria will not support the dubious geostrategic goals of Iran that use an exagerrated anti-israeli propaganda against Israel as cover for political gains.
Like many alawite supporters of the regime,often you declare yourselves atheists and in the same time you diabolize the Syrian Islam and in the same time you magnify Shia theocrats.
This is the typical sectarian stance of the alawites who support the regime.
Btw ,the regime has been warned several times by the shouyoukh who are in peace with the regime to avoid to implement this iranian plan in Syria.
The reason that Syria will not be like Iraq and Lebanon is that we dont have this theocratical Shia-Orthodox Islam dualism.
The regime has tried to creat an explosive ingredient that doesnt exist in Syria.

March 23rd, 2011, 5:30 am

 

Revlon said:

The insincerity of the regime’s apology and promise for punishing the perpetrators in intial Daraa killings has been confirmed beyond doubt by yesterdays killings.

Asad himself now, can not distance himself from direct responsibility for all murders.

The deceitful gesture was intended to buy time and to muster a plan and mass troops to take over the Omari mosque.

March 23rd, 2011, 5:38 am

 

Syria1 said:

I am really shocked at the sectarian conversation that is unfolding here. Syria is not Iraq. We have coexisted for centuries (way before Assad) as one cohesive population. And lets be realistic, this is all about the economy. I am one of one hundred first cousins ranging in age from 25-54. 10 of us live outside of Syria and 4 work for a family member, 1 still works in the khaleeje. The rest are currently unemployed so that’s about 2 or 3 % employment for those inthe most productive times of their lives. This is the problem….there are no jobs and the divide between the rich and poor keeps getting deeper.

March 23rd, 2011, 6:59 am

 

Revlon said:

Operation Islamic Fundamentalists Crackdown, Part II (Dar3a City)
Commander in charge: Asad Jr.
Stage: Dar3a City
Mission: Rid the nation of islamist fundamentalists
Target: people chanting Allah Syria Freedom
Rules of engagement:
Fire only if hiding or not witnessed
Arrest only if not witnessed
Helicopters are for now, for reconnaissance only
Manipulate information as in Part I (7ama City).

March 23rd, 2011, 7:06 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

No Hope & Change

Syrian forces kill 6 in mosque attack: residents

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110323/wl_nm/us_syria_gunfire

March 23rd, 2011, 7:37 am

 

Solitarius said:

It seems that anger is mounting. It’s impossible to predict to where things will go. One thing for sure though, the Syrian regime will not be an easy one to remove. It will be way more difficult and damaging than Qaddafi’s. I predict that they will use all the tools that they have to convince the nation and the regional players not to support a regime change. They have plenty of those tools. These will include increasing terrorist attacks in Iraq and possibly Lebanon and even some bombings inside Syria to scare the minorities. A more dramatic solution will work probably only if Iran deems necessary, and that would be to provoke a Hizbollah/Hamas-Israel confrontation. This will be an effective method to galvanize the people behind the leadership.. However even if this happens, and assuming it succeeds, it will only be temporary.. It’s true this is a very unlikely senario even though it makes pragmatic sense for Iran’s long term strategic interests. Even if Syria gets marginally involved in this confrontation, this will certainly unite Syrians again and massively hurt opposition attempts (Yet again, only temporary.. The winds of change have certainly arrived)

I might be jumping way ahead of the events but these might be important things to consider and to think how to deal with them. No Arab regime has resorted to these methods yet and they are Syria’s special toys. Let’s see what Friday has in store.

March 23rd, 2011, 7:43 am

 

trustquest said:

I would like to read a comment from Norman, Jad, Alex and lastly Joshua Landis regarding the latest events. I would like to know if there is one guy on this forum believes the regime story. Nice to know what FP will say.
If there is on person left and still believe that this regime is necessary or vital to the region stability or believe this regime has one iota of sincerity to his people.

March 23rd, 2011, 8:15 am

 

Shami said:

These so called seculars(Souri ,Avi Salam) and even self-proclaimed atheists ,(both respectable beliefs taken aside )appeared very extremist sectarians ,they seem furious that the muslims in Syria resisted to glorify the sectarian khomeinist theocrats and their tools that were given a free hand by Asad regime in Syria in general and Deraa in particular to build hussainiyat(lodge in which is remembered the tragedy of Kerbala with slandering of highly regarded figures by the syrian muslims, in regions in which there are no shia imami presence,this asad-iran theocracy attempt of exporting what is called rafidism is not for the sake of unity .One for the reason that a sectarian war can not happen in Syria ,is the non-existence in our country of a large messianic shia group that could compete against Syrian muslim population for the sake of the iranian theocracy.
And there is no proof that those were Salafis ,both traditional trends ,sufism and salafism oppose pro theocracy shia’ism .(as ideology)
Most of the syrian muslim brotherhood members and leaders are from the sufi trend and Salafi influence helped to rationalize sufism..
And Hama constitutes the Sufi capital of Bilad al sham.

March 23rd, 2011, 9:12 am

 

Shami said:

Sorry ,it’s more correct to say ,Hama ,capital of Sufism in Bilad Al Sham.

March 23rd, 2011, 9:24 am

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

NO CHANGE AND CONTINUING KILLING OF CHILDREN.

Palestinians mourn in Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, after Israeli tank fire struck a home March 22, 2011.

At least five Palestinians, INCLUDING 4 CHILDREN, have been killed and 20 wounded after an Israeli tank fired shots at a home in the Gaza Strip, medics reported.

Adham Abu Selmiya an emergency services spokesman said the deaths occurred when Israel “opened fire on young people who were playing football in Shejaiya on the eastern outskirts of Gaza City.”

KILLING CHILDREN PLAYING SOCCER….DISGUSTING.

AFP

March 23rd, 2011, 10:00 am

 

Shami said:

You are right ,SYRIA1,the sectarian feeling was and remains marginal in Syria ,despite all these massacres.
The anti-regime alawite intelligensia in Syria is working hard against this paranoia that the regime tried to inculcalte in the alawite minds.

In order to make a fruitfull transition towards liberal democracy,the ultimate uprising must include a noteworthy alawite contribution.

March 23rd, 2011, 10:05 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

KILLING CHILDREN PLAYING SOCCER….DISGUSTING.

Ghat,

Is there anything happening in the Arab world that is disgusting you? Let us know when you find something.

March 23rd, 2011, 10:17 am

 

norman said:

Trustquest,

I do not know what to think, I do not know if the government knows, Is this a local movement for local issues are there state wide issues, If we think that the Syrian are not Sectarian then what is the chanting against Hezbollah, Iran and non believers, are these coming from outside Syria as you say that Syrians again not sectarian, look what Shami just said it is the rejection for Shia Iran, what that has to do with emergency law and better life for the Syrian people, He is talking about the rift between the shia and Sunni, for god sake,these are Arabs and deserve to be treated equally and if they want to build in Daraa, why not we have mosques in the US,

I wonder if the war against the Shia crescent started from Jordon,
It might be the KSA is telling Syria and Iran to back off Bahrain .

March 23rd, 2011, 10:31 am

 

atassi said:

Why the sudden escalation form the Gaza\ Israeli side!! Wrong timing !!..can anyone tell us why the restart now!! ? deflecting attentions maybe !! seven years nothing happened until the last two three days..

March 23rd, 2011, 10:41 am

 

Ziad said:

If the Dar’aa protesters were sloganeering against Hizb, they must be paid agents of Syria’s enemies. And Syria has many rich and ruthless enemies, Israel/US/KSA/mini Hariri. Hizb is very popular in Syria. Syria’s support for Hizb has nothing to do with it being Shia. It also supports the Sunni Hamas. Hizb has been Syria’s strongest card in its weak position.

I also believe the official story of yesterday’s killings. All indications were that the government was trying hard to diffuse the situation. It met, negotiated, listened and responded to the demands, dismissed the governor, and released prisoners. They gave strict orders not to use live ammo. On the other hand, it is typical of revolutionaries to provoke the security forces, because it is in their interest to create more martyrs. The revolution feeds and grows on a large number of dead and injured. They will do anything even criminal to instigate them.

March 23rd, 2011, 10:46 am

 

Ziad said:

AP

It always disgusts us when someone is killed or insured. Are you reading these comments? On the other hand does it ever disgust you when Israel kills an innocent person?

You have used this theme repeatedly in your comments. Killings in the Arab world are committed by thugs and criminals, be it rulers, security forces, or sectarian fanatics. If you mean that Israel, as a state, is just one member of this group of thugs and criminals, then I am in agreement with you.

March 23rd, 2011, 11:02 am

 

Jad said:

I was writing my opinion when I read your comment Trustquest:
Why did you pick me out of more than 15 commentators on SC?

March 23rd, 2011, 11:13 am

 

Observer said:

It is clear that the use of the Republican guards in Deraa is an indication that the regime does not fully trust the local and general security forces. Also the use of excessive force and strong arm tactics clearly shows that the velvet appearance of the regime is only that velvet in name and iron fisted in reality.
I really deplore some of the comments that want to paint a picture of Wahabis acting in this setting it is the same discourse as the one espoused by the Green Leader in Tripoli and the despot in Sanaa and the kinglets in Doha and what have you. People are sick and tired of corruption nepotism parasitism and the state of securitocracy. Even the security services are paralyzed and not trustworthy as they are used to spy on each other and keep each other in check. That is why the Republican Guard were used in the South.
I do not think that when people shout Rami Harami they are being fundamentalists.

What I deplore most is that some on this post who live in democratic albeit imperfect societies are saying that Syria is not ready for democracy. These people have forgotten that Syrian women had the right to vote in 1945 in contrast to Switzerland which instituted the vote for women in 1975 and that a vigorous rule of law parliamentary system existed for many years before the current state of emergency was promulgated.

March 23rd, 2011, 11:15 am

 

norman said:

Trustquest seems to think that we just repeat what the government mouthpieces say ,
Trustquist, for your info, we think before we blame the government or anybody else,

We all want what i think you want but not at any price,

Evolution not Revolution,

have a clear vision that does not include religion and you will see .

March 23rd, 2011, 12:05 pm

 

SYRIA1 said:

The solution is clear – Lift Emergency Law! And then put into action a 5 or even 10 year plan towards a democratic/semicapitalist Syria. Based on the comments here and probably in most of our homes, Syrians don’t want to see bloodshed and destruction in our country and would prefer an orderly and controlled long-term transition.

http://maysaloon.blogspot.com/

“No Politics Please, We’re Syrian” – An Analysis of Events in Syria

One always finds it a much easier task to analyse and understand objectively that which is outside of their immediate environment. I have often wondered why I do not comment as much on Syria and the issues facing this country. Even as I ponder whether to pursue a Phd, I still find that my mind rebels against any attempt to study and examine my homeland further. The truth be told I can imagine nothing more boring to me than to write in-depth papers examining the historical or political development of modern day Syria. Perhaps it is a deeply inculcated fear of persecution, perhaps I have always been intrigued by the Other, the Different and the Outlandish. Regardless of the reason, I find myself driven lately to comment upon the events that are unfolding, especially in light of the wider series of revolutions that are shaking the Arab world to its very foundation. This is an important time we are living in and history, which seemed to forget Syria for decades, appears to be catching up with her finally.

There exists in Syria a dualism which is actually very important in order that we understand what is happening. The international and more widely known face of Syria is active in the byzantine diplomacy and intrigue of the Middle East. It is assertive, sovereign and confident. On the other hand, domestically, Syria is a nation of shopkeepers and merchants. Life in this sphere is different and slower. Rulers come and go, and the world with all its affairs is viewed with an almost childlike curiosity as part of a surreal drama that is unfolding. The big things that the people see on the television would never happen here in Syria, for we are far too sensible and boring for that. Conservative, unimaginative, and yet remarkably resilient and adaptable, the Syrian people move at precisely the pace that they desire. For the sake of simplicity, you can describe these two faces of Syria as the masculine and the feminine. Arguably, one could claim that Bashar al Assad, who inherited the rule of Syria from his father, Hafez, is the patriarchal figure who dominates the masculine aspect of Syria. He is respected, admired and feared like the father of any family.

What and Where?

The problem, of course, is that Syria is a modern nation state and a simplistic paternalist analogy was never going to succeed for long in obtaining the consent of the different groupings that make up society. That is precisely why today we are finding protests beginning to spread throughout the country. In Qamishli, to the North-East of the country, there has always been unrest amongst the Kurdish population living there. Recently, however, there have been protests in the Syrian coastal city of Baniyas as well as in Damascus and in Der’a, a town in the South near the border with Jordan. The motives for each of these events have been different and the groups themselves are disorganised and lack unity. In Der’aa the arrest of some school children who had written revolutionary slogans, slogans that they had been hearing on al Jazeera these past few months, on the walls led to widespread protests. This, in turn, provoked a clumsy and violent crackdown in which at least half a dozen people have already been killed.

In Baniyas the situation is more convoluted and has a more Sunni Muslim flavour to it. The grievances were, amongst other things, the closure of mixed-sex schools and, it is rumoured, the abolition of electricity bills. It is claimed that the centre of the unrest is a client family who had benefitted under the patronage of Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former vice president of Syria and a persona non grata now in exile in Paris or London. In Damascus, a small protest centred around the Ummayad Mosque was much more mercantile, and revolved around demands for greater freedoms and less corruption.

Who are the Key Players

Apart from the Syrian regime and those who benefit from it, there is also a key merchant class of about thirty families that dominate Syria’s economy and the names of which can be found involved with every major consortium and development project in the country. It is between these two parties that the ‘towering heights’ of the Syrian economy now rest. These two parties are not always in consent and there exists between them an uneasy compromise and understanding. For example, when Rami Makhlouf, president Assad’s cousin, once tried to seize the prime real estate that used to host the famous, and now long dead, Damascus Trade Fair, the merchant families were in uproar and petitioned the Assad. They too wished to be allowed to draw from the well. It is said that Assad intervened personally in the matter and did not allow Makhlouf to continue with his plans. It was deemed sufficient that he controlled vast swathes of Syrian enterprise elsewhere in the country. The merchants are an important element and were once a major thorn in the side of the late president Hafez al Assad when they called for strikes throughout the country during the seventies. It was only with the intervention of a nebulous and fascinating character, Badr al Din al Shallah, that catastrophe was averted for Assad’s rule. Today, Badr al Din al Shallah’s son, Rateb, is a key figure in the Syrian economic establishment albeit he is old and not playing as active a role.

The Muslim Brotherhood are scattered and with their base in London. After an ill-fated and quixotic revolt against the elder Assad’s rule during the eighties, they were ruthlessly eradicated from Syria and are by and large a spent force. Domestically they hold little credibility and are not trusted. Politically, I do not think they have ever wasted the opportunity to make a stupid political move. When Abdul Halim Khaddam escaped from Syria to Paris, they immediately joined forces with their former oppressor to form some democratic salvation front of some sorts to enact change in Syria. This farcical alliance quickly collapsed, discrediting them even more in the eyes of the Syrian people. Khaddam himself, along with fringe parties such as Farid Ghadry, operate on the furthest fringes of the Syrian political eco-system and I have never seen them as anything more than an eager ally of the Saudi-American alliance that wishes to co-opt within pax-Americana.

Also based in London is the elder Assad’s brother, Rifaat. This man was largely believed to be responsible for the Hama massacre in 1982 in which it is said that over 20,000 Syrians lost their lives. After being packed onto a plane out of Damascus he now lives in luxury in London, with properties throughout the world and a very good tax lawyer and accountant in Gibraltar who happens to be Jewish. His son, Ribal, recently wrote an article on al Jazeera English where he portrayed himself as some kind of voice for an opposition, which does not exist and that, in his mind perhaps, might want him and his father to return to Syria. They use the Arabic News Network (ANN) satellite channel as a platform to attack the Syrian regime constantly.

These are the key players who dominate the Syrian political arena, and by dominate I use the term extremely loosely when it comes to Khaddam, Rif’at al Assad, the Muslim Brotherhood and other players who are not the Syrian regime and the Syrian merchant class. What is striking about the protests that are emerging in Syria today is that none of these key players has any influence over the protestors. It seems, to the best of my knowledge, that the Syrian people are fed up with their lack of basic freedoms, lack of opportunities, and that their country is a cash machine for people like Rami Makhlouf; two mobile phone buildings owned by him were burned down during the protests in Dar’aa.

Syria: Where to from here?
Well the Syrian regime is caught between a rock and a hard place at the moment. Contrary to popular belief, the “Hama-option” was not something that the regime had simply applied. There was a steady increase in pressure and violence over a number of years that eventually lead to the explosive and murderous conclusion of the “events” or ahdath. So we are unlikely today to see a massive demolition of the town of Der’aa using the Republican Guard. Such a reality is even less of a possibility today, in an age of twitter, mobile phones and the internet. Hama in 1982 was possible through a complete and utter media blackout. Such a blackout today would not be possible and such an act would be political suicide. So there is no point in being sensationalist or alarmist about it. Finally, the regime is today too enmeshed with the people. There is an almost, dare I say, legitimacy, that the regime enjoys as far too many average people are interlinked with it through marriage, business, employment et al. There is a certain “we are all in it together” attitude that has survived from the 2005 crisis that Syria experienced with the West. The vestiges of this alliance exist still.

The absence of a Hama-option does not rule out the possibility that the regime will continue to be clumsy and stupid in its handling of the protestors. Already five people have been shot dead with live ammunition and an 11 year old girl died from teargas inhalation on Mother’s Day. Hundreds of people have been arrested or injured. All of this can snowball enormously, as we saw in other Arab countries. Somehow, Arab rulers still think they can terrify the people if they shoot and arrest enough of them. What they do not understand is that such stupidity, far from guaranteeing their future, in the end only seals their fate.

If Syria is to survive then the Syrian government will have to consider what were once unthinkable and forbidden options. These include the abolition of the state of emergency which has been in place for decades, but also the creation of a fair and transparent judiciary and the fostering of an atmosphere that will allow a new generation of Syrian thinkers and politicans to emerge and to hopefully fulfill the role of a credible and legitimate opposition. There are other, even more terrifying options that those who rule must consider, but these do not need to be terrifying, nor do they need to be uncivilised. For Syria is not Iraq, where most of its rulers in the twentieth century have been murdered. There is a space in Syria’s political arena, and a historical precedent, for experienced political leaders that have shared the burden of rule to advise and criticise in Syrian politics. This can all be done without infringing on the country’s vital security commitments and alliances. Finally, the deep unease that many Syrians today feel about the protests is understandable. For the first time in their lives, history is asking the Syrian shopkeeper and merchant to play a part in it and to make a decision on how they wish to live their lives. This is at once a terrifying and hopeful time but there is also no going back… .

March 23rd, 2011, 12:14 pm

 

trustquest said:

With all due respect Norman, I on my side noticed that the religious Syrian individual, who could be just practitioner of religious duty,is tend to have sensitivity towards the issue of Shia Sunni and the expansion of the Shia in Syria. It is only two days ago when one guy mentioned to me how one guy because he is Shia, he is standing to the side of government. There is a build up of grievances, economic, religious, social and judicial issue along these years, did not find a way to be solved or eased through dialogue and free expressions. What the regime has done today and in the Mosque is going to resonate across the land and what SANA has done in lying out loud claiming that the killing was by outsiders, and showing the typical lie of guns and money in the picture, but they are not going to fool the masses.

March 23rd, 2011, 12:21 pm

 

NK said:

Norman

You should check SNPs comments #178 #188 and #193
Clearly not every “secular” regime supporter on this blog shares your view.

March 23rd, 2011, 12:22 pm

 

SOURI said:

It is day 6, and there is no revolution in Syria anymore.

The head of the revolution exposed:
http://www.syriatruth.info/content/view/1733/36/

The Syrian regime managed this situation well. It was basically the same as Qaddafi’s approach but they avoided Qaddafi’s stupid and fatal mistakes; they did not use too much violence and they did not refuse to listen to people’s demands.

This is also similar to the way Assad sr. dealt with the Ikhwan. Assad never went to a full-scale war against the Ikhwan until he was sure that the public opinion was on his side.

Now even though the Wahhabi revolution has failed, I don’t think Syria will go back to exactly how it was before the revolution. There are going to be some changes, and we already know most of them because they have been declared before.

I just hope that the Syrian regime allows more freedom for religious debate. People in Syria must have the freedom to publicly criticize Wahhabism and Ikhwanism.

March 23rd, 2011, 12:39 pm

 

atassi said:

رويترز: قوات الأمن السورية تطلق النار على مئات الشبان كانوا بطريقهم لمدينة درعا
what are the Syrian regime doing !!! I guess, ASSAD and his security heads will be on the international most wanted LIST !!

March 23rd, 2011, 12:47 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

AP

It always disgusts us when someone is killed or insured.

Ziad,

Thanks. I would hope so. However, I was writing specifically to Ghat. Ghat doesn’t “dialogue” very well and just copies and pastes anti-Israel or anti-Jewish articles.

Please show me something in the Arab world that has “disgusted” Ghat. From what I have read, there is nothing in the Arab world that disgusts him.

Are you reading these comments?

Yes I am reading most comments. The discussion, of course, is mainly centered around the demonstrations occurring around the arab world, specifically those occurring in Syria. From my vantage point, the comments range a great deal between “moderate concern” where no side is really guilty of anything to downright anger at the government. No one is suggesting that Asad be brought to justice, tried, jailed, or killed, just that he should allow freedoms.

Moreover, no one is “disgusted” at Asad, and many are apologetic and suggest he is caught between a “rock and a hard place” or that he is constrained.

AP

March 23rd, 2011, 12:49 pm

 

jad said:

Trustquest, I’m still waiting your explanation.

March 23rd, 2011, 1:00 pm

 

atassi said:

EU) EU/SYRIA: EU urges Syria to end repression and listen to people
23 March 2011
Agence Europe
English

THE DAY IN POLITICS
Brussels, 22/03/2011 (Agence Europe) – The EU has strongly condemned the “violent repression” of peaceful protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in several towns in Syria over the last few days which have resulted in the deaths of several demonstrators. “The EU calls on the Syrian authorities to refrain from using violence and to listen to the legitimate aspirations of the people and address them through inclusive political dialogue and genuine reforms and not through repression”, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton says in a statement published on 22 March. Those responsible for the repression must be held accountable, she states. The EU also calls on Syria to respect its international commitments to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

March 23rd, 2011, 1:03 pm

 

fhmetkom said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtrJzMwDfqU&feature=player_embedded#at=60

those who have been crying over Tunisia , Egypt, Libya , Yemen, Bahrain, JUST ONE TEAR FOR SYRIANS
Just admit that Bashar is like his father , A maniac
he is dragging the country into hell
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 23rd, 2011, 1:08 pm

 

majedkhaldoon said:

What happened in Deraa has to be understood by the brutal and murderous mentality of Maher Assad and Asef Shawkat.
The regime in Syria will not dare use the army to fight the people,as they saw what happened in Libya.
The Regime has only one choice ,this is to use the security forces to quell the revolution,we have to wait and see how the people will react,they are angry,they have only one choice,if they want dignity and freedom.
When the regime use weapons to subdue people,the people must carry arms and soon.to defend themselves.
If the people have arms,this will guarrantee democracy.it will be all out war.this the only language the regime understands.

March 23rd, 2011, 1:17 pm

 

aatssi said:

The regime of Bashar Assad Real News .. a completely opposite to the one we seen in the Vogue !!

12 killed in Syria clashes
23 March 2011
Damascus, March 23 —
Damascus, March 23 Twelve people were killed Wednesday in clashes between security forces and protesters in Syria’s southern town of Daraa, Xinhua reported.
Clashes erupted after security forces stormed the al-Omari Mosque in Daraa, 100 km south of Damascus. No further details were immediately available.
Earlier, protests for political reforms had erupted near the mosque Friday.Published by HT Syndication with permission from MyNews Interactive Media.

March 23rd, 2011, 1:27 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Souri,

You are in complete denial. As we speak, fellow Syrians are being massacred in Daraa. People from nearby villages are coming to help the people. Reports say at least 9 more innocent civilians have been killed.

Norman/ Alex and the rest of pro bath and bashar
Any condemnations of these acts of terror and massacres by the gentle Bashar? I forgot. It is not his fault. It is the people around him and he is powerless to do anything about it.

The revolution flame is spreading from one side and the freedom Tsunami is coming from the other side.

It is a shame that our rose in the desert is not speaking about democracy for all Syrians right now.

March 23rd, 2011, 1:31 pm

 

jad said:

Majed,
What a peaceful call! is this the way you are planning for Syria, having arms and let people fight?
What’s wrong with you?
One is calling for splitting Syrian into 5, the other is insisting of the Wahabis, third is spewing sectarian language, you are calling for arming revolution, and one is going around separating us into categories…it’s sad…and I’m sorry for you guys.

March 23rd, 2011, 1:43 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Norman/ Alex and the rest of pro bath and bashar
Any condemnations of these acts of terror and massacres by the gentle Bashar? I forgot. It is not his fault. It is the people around him and he is powerless to do anything about it.

Ziadsoury,

Good questions. Let us now listen to either:

1.) The “disgust” or

2.) The hand-wringing.

March 23rd, 2011, 1:56 pm

 

NK said:

majedkhaldoon

I understand you’re angry, most of us are. However you have to think long an hard about what you’ve just said.
The regime is itching for people to bear arms so he can demonize them and justify any and all actions against them, instead of following the Libyan path, we should do all we can to make sure we go the route of Egypt and Tunisia.
Syrians have died in the past few days because they dared call for their freedom peacefully, let’s honor their legacy by following their footsteps in peaceful demonstrations.

March 23rd, 2011, 2:30 pm

 

Yossi said:

Hi Jad,

I think you have to realize that some of your buddies living in the US have been tuning into Libertarian/anarchist concepts of individual self-government. There is nothing warlike in having your own weapons to *defend* yourself, and there is nothing wrong with people wanting to have their own local governments. The only legitimate government is the one that is by consent, and when you have to govern fewer people, it’s easier to get their consent. Larger countries are by definition more oppressive. Just think what your current government in your current place of residence does in your name and whether you agree with it, and what influence you have over what it does in your name.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful if the Arab revolts ended up demonstrating to the world that not only don’t you need corrupt and oppressive governments, but that you don’t need governments *at all*? That would be the new Arab Golden Age. In a way the heritage of fiercely-independent tribes and city-states lays the ground nicely for such a development. The only thing remaining is to make tribes less oppressive in their internal dealings (especially with respect to women).

The Real Meaning of “Defense”

by Jeffrey A. Tucker

http://mises.org/daily/5130/The-Real-Meaning-of-Defense

“…consider the reality of national defense and how it is used. These military states are invariably erected in the name of protecting the citizens. But how are they actually used? The case of Libya is an illustrative one. In the weeks following the peaceful protests that rose up against Gaddafi’s rule, he began the slaughter. Planes and tanks from his own militia mowed down citizens who demanded his ouster. His planes machine-gunned mourners at funerals, people running for safety, or just anyone who happened to be standing around at the time. The hospitals ran out of beds and medicine. The number of dead is unknown but it is in the many thousands. Meanwhile, Gaddafi himself has said that he will stop at nothing to keep his power.

To him, it is a simple matter. Government rules. The people obey. Just because some sizable swath tries to overturn that system doesn’t mean that the system must be upended. Isn’t that the philosophy of all government in all times and all places? If it were not, the state would not need coercion, and it would not be a state. It would be a part of society, just another association the cumulates and represents the interests of a group, like the Rotary Club, chess club, or a house of worship. It is the power to legally beat, jail, and kill dissidents that makes the state what it is.

The guns and munitions that have long been accumulated under the claim that these were necessary to protect people — of course the people themselves were long ago disarmed by being denied the freedom to possess weapons of equal or greater power — every government will turn those very weapons on its people to slaughter them when they cease to obey.”

March 23rd, 2011, 2:44 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

TO ALL DECENT PEOPLE;

Any condemnations of these acts of terror and massacres by the gentlest of gentle Israelis? It is not his fault. It is the people around him and his agents in the USA that force his gentle soul to do these acts as part of the “peace process” and quite frankly he is powerless to do anything about it.

“Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours…Everything we don’t grab will go to them.” — Ariel Sharon, Israeli
Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of the Tsomet Party, Agence France
Presse, Nov. 15, 1998. 

Did someone recently ( March 2011 ) admit that “settlement” construction will continue and never stop and that they need an additional $20 billion dollars from the docile American taxpayer to defend themselves while “wringing” their hands from their neighbors, north, south, and east of them?

No debate as to whom is disgusting and doubledealing.

March 23rd, 2011, 2:50 pm

 

Umar said:

Those clowns defending the Syrian regime forget that this regime has colloborated with the West and the Americans as Hafez al-Asad did in Gulf War I and Syria’s Shi’ite allies did in Gulf War II and don’t bring up other “Sunni” regimes, as they are opposed by many Sunnis.

March 23rd, 2011, 3:03 pm

 

trustquest said:

Jad, I did not sum up group of people as having same voice, I felt always that we have hear on this forum a spectrum of ideas from the regime supporters, also there are independent voices and oppositions supporters, and I thought to read their views on what happened today, the killing of innocent people and the trick played by the authority to go condole them, promise them justice will take place and then stab them in back at dawn. Today was new day in Syria, one guy said before dyeing: I’m glad I’m going to die after wonderful 4 days of freedom, now I can say ( Ashahad an ….) ,it was painful last night go to sleep and witnessing the events, even today the scream the killing in the streets ….and shouting of the women…too much to handel…
I wanted to know how really we feel about each other…are we humans of the same values or..

March 23rd, 2011, 3:15 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

AP,

This is the first and last time I will reply to you.
First you are whit noise as far as I am concerned. I am replying because you quoted me. Israel is the only country in the world that get away with war crimes and ethnic cleansing. All of your leaders and their thugs have blood on your hand. Our rulers are just learning from yours.

Before you look outward and criticize you need to look inward. If

We the Arabs are cleaning our mess. What are you doing about yours?

March 23rd, 2011, 4:03 pm

 

trustquest said:

استشهاد شاب من داعل والتشييع ينقلب الى مظاهرة وحرق لمقر حزب البعث هناك
During the funeral of young martyr in Daraa, his funeral changed to anger protest and protesters burnt the Baath Party center in the city of Daael.

وتحت ضرب الرصاص الحي شاب يقول:
حدا بيقتل شعبه؟ أنتوا اخوتنا..انتوا اخوتنا
!!!
Under fire from government forces, young guy shouted: how you kill your people…you are our brothers you are our brothers

A lot of Syrians will wonder from now on if we have government and leaders from our skin….not only they are absolute as everyone know the dinosaur theory but also traitors to their words and to the oath of allegiance
Thank you AP for the question it is also on my minds..

March 23rd, 2011, 4:31 pm

 

atassi said:

Sir
They are looking after a trusted Muslim human being who fears God and willing to protect them from the killers !! They meant a SYRIAIN ruler that disallows the killing of his own unarmed civilian because of his fear of God , and It has nothing to do with the long gone MB…

March 23rd, 2011, 4:40 pm

 

Avi Salam said:

SHAMI,
It was the farce of the century to read your joke of accusing an atheist of being sectarian!!! Let me educate you, again, sectarianism is your bigotry to other people simply because they do not share the belief of your sect, that simple, get it?

As an atheist, I believe ALL sects and religions are illogical and neurotic at best!! However, some religions are humanitarian and civil, unlike your current interpretations of Islam. You were so blind and bigoted to the point you did not even read my repeated comment of not excluding ANY Islamic sects!! All Islamic sects are uncivil and in-humanitarian. I do not want to repeat my self, so go back and read my advice to your fellow sectarian REVLON.

Judaism has evolved over time, so did Christianity, yet your criminal followers of current interpretations of Islam refuse to evolve it!!!

The worst is yet to come to Muslims, just wait and see. Soon, Islam will be declared as unconstitutional and illegal in Europe and US, and it wont be so long until the same happens in India and China. I would pay money to see the look on your sectarian face at that moment.

March 26th, 2011, 12:18 am

 

Arabian Freedom » Blog Archive » Syria protests said:

[…] Next, Josh Landis on Syria Comment: Syria’s Opposition Divided. Demonstrations Have Different Goals […]

April 21st, 2011, 10:50 pm

 

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