“The Alawi Dilemma – Revisited,” By Khudr

The Alawi Dilemma – Revisited
By Khudr
For Syria Comment

June 20, 2011


Dr. Joshua,

You are completely right when you say that most Alawis these days either support the regime (better to say that they support Assad family rule) or are living in complete denial of the situation.

I have discovered that a number of my fellow Alawis who used to be staunch critics of Asad family rule are now championing of Bashar. Some who used to curse anytime the name of the ruling family was invoked (in private of course), have now replaced their own identity with Bashar’ s on their Facebook page.

Why do they do this? To understand such odd phenomenon I recommend everyone to read or re-read the essay written six years ago by Karfan. He explains the psychological underpinnings of this occurrence in a most precise way. The post title is: “Myth No.7 : Alawi is still a religious sect”.

I will avoid quoting from it here as it is still available on the net for of all to read. I direct all interested in the subject to read it.

The gist of his argument is that Alawi identity has been transformed by Assad rule. No longer is it centered on religious, cultural or tribal life. Because Alawi life has been so transformed over the last century, the single common bond uniting us is Assad rule itself. Our identity as Alawis is defined as “that minority sect ruling this country.”

Alawis have been living in a complete sub-conscious denial of this fact for decades now and only few, such as Karfan, had ventured into admitting this reality.

What is it to be an Alawi exactly?

Is Alawism a religion? Alawi beliefs as ideas are too shallow to constitute a religion or a sect of a religion. Actually “Alawism” is built on tribal and communal attachment or quasi-ethnicity rather than being centered on ideas. You become an Alawi by being born Alawi.

Courtesies aside, the “initiation ritual” of male Alawis into the religion consists of kissing a few hands and memorizing a seriously ridiculous script in a small memo book. Frequently, one is given the script without his “teacher” or initiator ever bothering to see afterwards whether you memorized it or not. Most of the time your “initiator” knows that your opinion of the whole process and the script is as high as your opinion of “Tom & Jerry” cartoons. Yet he considers you an Alawi and relies on you as such, simply because you are born one and expected to be one.

Female Alawis are “lucky” enough that they do not have to go through this meaningless ritual, yet they are expected to be staunch Alawis because they are born Alawis.

Note that this expectation is not one sided. All other sects and groups around you in Syria and elsewhere expect you to be an Alawi if you are born an Alawi. Hence the usual question “where are you from in Tartous or Latakia?” If you are born in an area where Alawis live, then that’s what you are; end of the story.

If you want to venture into further scholastic study, you will know that the secret books dealing with Alawi beliefs number about five. Their content is as inscrutable and meaningless to a twenty first century person as is the book of rituals. This does not include the Shia theological works, which fill the libraries of most informed Alawi Sheiks whether they regard themselves as true Shi`a or not. I refer here only to those works that are devoted to pure Alawi theology.

It is true that Jews define themselves by culture and ethnic belonging as do the adherents of similar religions. All the same, Jews have an established doctrine and philosophy, but if it does not suit them, they can simply declare that they are “non-practicing Jews.” They can define themselves as Jews as a cultural and ethnic affinity.

There is no such thing as “non-practicing Alawi,” which is something many of us have struggled with. This is a problem in no way unique to Alawis. All the Arab/Islamic sects suffer from this short coming. To call yourself a “non-practicing Muslim” is to be laughed out of mosque. We, young Arab Muslims — and Arab Christians for that matter — do not have the luxury of being able to identify with our religion as a cultural and identity, without being required to buy into the complete religious “package” as it was defined centuries ago by a handful of doughty scholars.

Then what are Alawis exactly?

It is not wrong to surmize that our collective Alawi identity is centered largely on our culture, the coastal accent, the special celebrations, the habits, etc.. Most of these differ considerably from one geographical area to another. However we all have one thing in common: we are united by our common sense of injustice and persecution over the past centuries. Many will argue that the statute of limitations has run out on our sense of persecution, particularly as Alawis have dominated Syria’s security state for almost fifty years. “How can such feelings continue to this day,” many ask. But they do. A common sense of persecution is an important identity marker. It does not matter that we have been able to flex our muscle for decades. The shared sense of persecution is alive and well in our collective psyche.

Alawis also differ from the Sunni majority in their customs. “Difference” from Sunnis is corner stone of our identity. We perceive ourselves as the “other.,” those who are “different“ from them! This also is hardly unique to Alawis; minorities the world over define themselves in opposition to the majority “other.” This truth seems so obvious and uninteresting to me today, but in my teen years it was a source of considerable consternation and confusion. When my sister put on the hijab, she was castigated by my father who insisted that “We don’t wear the hijab.” This, despite his insistence over the years that “Alawis are Muslims no different from them.”

In a free society, the cultural part of sub-national identity can be expressed openly and proudly without undermining the overarching national community and bond of citizenship. The minorities in such mature societies can live in harmony with other citizen groups, without having to stifle or hid their communal affinities and habits.

But let’s return to Karfan’s analysis. Common Alawi cultural identity was not allowed to be institutionalized or proudly expressed. Even Druze, Ismailis and the various sub sects of Sunni Islam, such as the Sufi orders, for example, have been forced to go underground and reform themselves almost out of existence as it were. In the 1940s and 1950s Syrian place names were changed to reflect our new “national” existence at the price of erasing local identities and heros. I agree with Karfan that Hafiz al-Assad and his top leaders, such as Ali Douba, perpetuated and deepened this effort to wipe out and obscure sub-national identification. Baathism, amplified the prejudices of Arab nationalists against local, religious, and cultural peculiarities to an absurd degree. It would have been suicidal during the late president’s rule to establish any sort of gathering or group of Alawis under any cultural, social or religious banner. We couldn’t even mention the name of our communities openly. We lived in a stifling world of taboos and social conformism.

The only meeting ground or assembly point for Alawis, where we didn’t have to pretend that we were something we weren’t, was deep in the inner sanctums of the security state. We found ourselves in the clubby security of the secret services, the Republican Guard, the army officer academies, and the worker and agricultural syndicates in the coastal area. These were all regime sanctioned and established institutions that linked our identity to the security state and Assad rule.

This is where Karfan comes from when he states that we have been systematically deprived of any attachment to our religious, cultural and social identity under Hafiz rule. Thus, you can see where his claim comes from: “We were turned into identity-less supporters of “Asad’s” rule…  meaningless tribes ranked by how much we support “him”.”

The full ramifications of this fact were not visible or even felt among Alawis until the current crisis challenged us with the notion of radical change. Alawis are subconsciously realizing that being an Alawi means nothing outside of Asad family rule. We haven’t much history – at least not that we have documented. We have been too busy pretending that we are no different from Muslims to build our common identity. We suffer from a devastating lack of institutionalized cultural or social institutions and marker apart from those connected to the Assad regime. We don’t even know much about our religion to grasp on to. Alawis have defined themselves over the past 40 years as the rulers of Syria, and not much else.

You can then understand why almost all Alawis, even those who had shown fierce opposition toward the Assad regime, are turning into “Basharists” now that the entire edifice is under attack. A subconscious fear of losing our identity supplied by Assad rule and the security state is consuming us and taking precedence over rational thought.

Again, this is not something new. We saw it in Germany or Japan during WWII. Two very civilized populations turned into blind followers of a crazy elite that committed atrocities and led their nations to destruction. In both cases, the very identity of the nation was linked to the person of the leader, Hitler and Showa. To defend the leader in the minds of the people was nothing less than to defend their own identity.

We should be careful not to compare too closely the situation in Syria to that of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. His Sunni followers certainly identified with Saddam and his rule, but they had a confident Sunni identity to fall back on. The Sunnis have long fashioned themselves as the natural leaders of the Arabs and Islam. They can point to uninterrupted dominance in countries stretching from Morocco to Saudi Arabia. They have an illustrious history and established religion. They did not need to fight to the last breath to protect their heritage and they did not.

Alawis today believe that they are under attack – not because anyone is actually attacking them as a group of people or community; they are not. Rather, they feel under attack because the regime is threatened and may fall. This is tantamount – at least subconsciously – to their identity being shattered. Similar to those German and Japanese who wasted their lives fighting a lost battle street-by-street, the Alawis will fight to the end. It is hard to convince someone fighting for such high stakes to abandon their cause.

The Syrian opposition, of course, does not have the benefit of the American army, as Great Britain had in WWII or the Iraqi opposition in 2003. There will be no street-by-street fight. My point is, whether the Syrian opposition is able to marshal Western economic sanctions against the Assad regime, or mobilize continued demonstrations with the effect of paralyzing the Syrian economy, or even attracting limited foreign intervention, it should expect staunch resistance. In all likelihood most Alawis will stand behind the Assads.

If no alternative is found for Syria other than confrontation to the bitter end, then I am afraid the closing words of Karfan continue to ring true: “another thing that is common to us Alawis: We have no future, at least not one that is worth looking forward to.

*Khudr has written several other excellent articles for Syria Comment in the past. They are “What do Sunnis intend for Alawis following regime change?” and Asad’s Alawi dilemma

Comments (390)

Syrian Commando said:

Yeah I guess all 9.35 million Alawis supported the government… on Tuesday.

OH WAIT! LOL, I think its time to move on from the Sectarian strife strategy. The war is starting very soon.

Columbia vs Venezuela
Syria/Iran/Lebanon vs NATO
China vs pacific stooges

June 22nd, 2011, 1:06 pm


Mina said:

Great post,
Indeed, the Arab revolution won’t be ripe until Israel has its own revolution: they have the same problem as many sects in the Middle East, they can’t be “non-practicing Israelis.”
As for Saudi Arabia…..

June 22nd, 2011, 1:12 pm


Nour said:

الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي ومستقبل الشام
by Milad Sebaaly on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 2:34am

يسألنا عدد من الرفقاء والأصدقاء عن حقيقة موقفنا من الشام، وكيف أن حزبنا السوري القومي الإجتماعي يعتبر نفسه في صفوف المعارضة الوطنية، في وقت يقوم عدد من القوميين بالدفاع المستميت عن النظام بحجة وجود المؤامرة. ويوم طالبنا بالاصلاحات قبل ان يعترف النظام بضرورة القيام بها، جاءنا الرد بتهكم من بعض داعمي الوضع القائم بأن هذه اضغاث أحلام. ويوم طالبنا بالحوار مع المعارضة الوطنية، سمعنا اصوات الاستنكار والاستهجان من زبانية النظام واحزاب الجبهة وقومييها بأن لا وجود لمعارضة وطنية والكل عملاء للخارج أو لا يمثلون شيئاً. ويوم طالبنا في قراءتنا لخطاب الرئيس امام الحكومة بفصل التخريب عن الاصلاح، وتحصين الداخل بالحوار والاصلاح الذي لا بد منه، لأن المؤامرة تحصيل حاصل، جاءتنا مئات الرسائل تشدد ان الوقت هو وقت الحسم وضرب المؤامرة الخارجية، لا وقت الحوار والاصلاح، وان لا صوت يعلو على صوت المعركة! وعندما جزمنا برفض استخدام الحل الامني لقمع التظاهر وترهيب المتظاهرين، إلا في مناطق وجود السلاح، وإعطاء المجال لأصحاب المصداقية لحلحلة الامور واطلاق حركة حوار وطني صادق مع سلة اصلاحات واسعة وخريطة طريق لتنفيذها، جاءنا من يريد المراهنة أن الحل الامني سيمنع “أي إبن امرأة” من النزول الى الشارع خلال اسبوعين. مضت أسابيع، وزاد نزف الدماء العزيزة، وازداد معها التظاهر، لأن الدم يجر الدم من جهة، ولأن الهجمة الاجنبية وحلفاءها هم بحاجة لمشاهد الدم حتى تستطيع فضائياتهم تجييش الشارع وتعبئته طائفياً وتضليله.

بعد كل هذه المعاناة، والاصرار من قبلنا وقبل الكثيرين مثلنا، على قول الحق والعمل على تصويب الامور حتى لو حرد البعض منا واحمرت عين البعض الآخر، جاء الرئيس الأسد ليعيد الامور الى نصابها، ويؤسس لما نطالب به كخريطة طريق لإخراج البلاد من هذه الأزمة، حتى لو تطلب ذلك قرارات صعبة وغير مألوفة، في نظام اعتاد على التبعية والأحادية والتصفيق، وحاول على مدى عقود تدجين المجتمع ومسخ مفاهيمه لحقوقه الاساسية حتى يقتنع ان ما يقدمة النظام له، على علاته، أكثر من نعمة!

فإذا بالرئيس يجدد تأكيده على ضرورة الاصلاح وتعديل الدستور حتى لو تطلب ذلك دستوراً جديداً. وهذا تقرره طاولة للحوار بين النظام وممثلي كافة اطياف الشعب، وأن مواجهة المؤامرة يكون بتحصين الداخل عبر الحوار والاستجابة لمطالب الشعب بالاصلاح ومكافحة الفساد وضرب المحسوبيات وسحب أسباب نمو حقد المجتمع على نفسه. وبذلك لا بد من فصل دعاة الاصلاح عن المخربين، والحوار مع دعاة الاصلاح واشراكهم في انتاج شكل وخطط السلطة في المرحلة القادمة.

هذا الخطاب، ولو قال البعض أنه جاء متأخراً، أو أنه لم يذهب بعيداً بالتزامات وتفاصيل الاصلاح، فإنه من جهة يسفّه معظم أصحاب الفكر التخويني الحزبي المغلق المدافعين بشكل أعمى عن النظام والناكرين وجود أية مطالب محقة أو مطالبين صادقين وطنيين وراءها، ومن جهة أخرى يؤسس لإطلاق حركة حوار وطني يؤمل أن تبدأ أولى خطواتها خلال أيام، وتكون أبواب الحوار مفتوحة لكل أصحاب الافكار النيرة وممثلي فئات الشعب المختلفة.

وهنا يعود الرفقاء والاصدقاء ليستطردوا في اسئلتهم: ماذا بعد وضع قطار الحوار على السكة؟ أية سورية تريدون وما هي رؤيتكم لسورية الغد؟ وهل لا تزالون قادرون على تقديم فكركم بشكل عملي بعد السقوط المدوي للأفكار الشمولية والقومية؟ وكيف ستتعامل سورية الغد مع الواقع الجيوسياسي في المنطقة، ومع التطورات الاقتصادية والعلمية العالمية؟ خاصة وأن حزب البعث لم يستطع مجاراة طروحات الرئيس في التطوير والتحديث على مدى العقد الماضي، مما اضطر الرئيس الى تخفيف سرعة الاندفاعة من جهة، ومن جهة أخرى الى تمدد الفراغ السياسي الذي خلفه تخلف حزب البعث وأحزاب الجبهة عن عصرنة أفكارها ومواكبة خطط التطوير والتحديث عبر تطوير أفكارهم وخططهم وتطبيقاتهم وادائهم العام، لكي يهيئوا المجتمع كي يتقبل حركة التطوير والانفتاح. على العكس من ذلك، كانت هذه الاحزاب عبئاً ومعرقلاً ومعطلاً لاندفاعة الرئيس، والسبب الرئيسي لذلك، إذا افترضنا حسن النوايا، هو عدم القدرة على مواكبة العصر. وقد أدى ذلك الى سد هذا الفراغ السياسي من قبل جيل جديد من رجال الاعمال وبعض الاقتصاديين ممن قد يكونوا عاشوا في الخارج أو تمرسوا في الاعمال الناجحة في مجالاتهم، لكنهم غير مسيسين وهم معنيون أولا وآخراً بالشأن الاقتصادي والمصالح أكثر من اهتمامهم بالشؤون الاجتماعية والثقافية والسياسية والتنموية الحقيقية.

وقد أدى سد الفراغ هذا الى حرف سياسة الدولة عن التوازن الدقيق بين الشأن الاجتماعي والشأن الاقتصادي الذي كان على نظام السوق الاجتماعي أن يؤمنه ويضمنه، الى طغيان المصالح الاقتصادية على المطالب الاجتماعية. وعندما تزامن ذلك مع امتيازات بعض كبار التجار ورجال الاعمال وبعض المسؤولين في الدولة، ومع علاقاتهم التي تؤمن التغطية والحماية لمصالحهم، استشرى الفساد على مستوى عالٍ وبدأ يأكل من رصيد الرئيس وعهده ومصداقيته. كل هذه العوامل ساهمت في تأجيج الاحتقان الداخلي في طل غياب قنوات التواصل والتفاعل بين النظام والشعب كما أوضح الرئيس في خطابة السابق أمام الحكومة.

لا شك أن هذا الوقع وهذه التساؤلات تضعنا أمام مسؤوليات تاريخية. فنحن ندعي ان باستطاعتنا ان ننجح حيث فشل الآخرون، برغم ان كل مقدرات البلاد كانت تحت تصرفهم. لذلك لا بد من ايضاح المسائل التالية لنكون مقنعين في طروحاتنا، سواء على مستوى المبادئ العامة التي تحكم عملنا السياسي، أو على مستوى الاجراءات المطلوبة للاصلاح الفوري واخراج البلاد من أزمتها الراهنة، أو على مستوى مستقبل البلاد السياسي والاقتصادي والاجتماعي.

أ- مبادئ عامة:

1- الحزب الشريك لا الحزب التابع: ان تجارب أحزاب الجبهة مع حزب البعث انتهت الى تحول هذه الاحزاب في أحسن أحوالها الى تشكيلات تابعة لحزب البعث والمتنفذين في السلطة، لا الى شريكة حقيقية في السلطة. فالشريك يملك من الاستقلالية والموضوعية ما يمكنه من التقييم الحقيقي للإداء والخطط والسياسات، وتصويبها أو نقدها أو تقديم بدائل عنها، لا تمجيدها كيفما كانت والتغطية على عيوبها والتصفيق للإنجازات الموهومة. نحن حزب لا يرضى ما ارتضى به الآخرون أن نكون أتباعاً حيناً وشهود زور أحياناً على السياسات الخاطئة ونهب المواطن وسلبه حقوقه وحرياته الاساسية، مقابل حفنة من المكاسب التي لا قيمة لها في حياة الشعوب.

2- معركة الحرية لا تحل الا بالحرية: لا مجال بعد اليوم برأينا ان تبنى المجتمعات على القمع وفرض الرأي الواحد والتخلص من الخصوم السياسيين بالاعتقال أو القتل أو القمع، لا سيما ونحن أول وأكثر حزب عانى من هذه الممارسات في لبنان والشام على مدى عقود، قبل أن يصل الموس الى ذقون غيرنا. فيوم سُلم الزعيم انطون سعادة في القصر الجمهوري في دمشق الى الامن العام اللبناني ليعدم خلال 24 ساعة بالرغم من كل وعود وتطمينات رئيس الجمهورية وقتها، لم نسمع الكثير من المتعاطفين مع الظلم، بل شهدنا الكثير من المتملقين لذلك الطاغية الذي خان العهود والوعود. ويوم اتهم الحزب زوراً باغتيال العقيد عدنان المالكي في 1955، أحرقت مكاتب الحزب بعد عشر دقائق من الاغتيال دون أية تحقيقات، ونكل بالآلاف من القوميين الاجتماعيين وزج بهم في سجون التعذيب والقهر، أو هجروا من بلادهم وطردوا من وظائفهم وشردت عائلاتهم وحجبت عنهم كافة الحقوق، وتمت فبركة المحاكمات على هوى الحكام، ومُنع الحزب لمدة 50 عاماً من العمل السياسي. لم نسمع وقتها الا المصفقين لطغاة ذلك العصر والمصفقين لاجتثاث الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي من المجتمع والدولة بعد أن كان أعضاؤه بعشرات الالاف في بلد عدد سكانه بضعة ملايين. والعديد من هؤلاء المصفقين أصبحوا حكاماً أو مضطهدين فيما بعد! نحن لا نؤمن بالتنكيل ولا بالكبت ولا بخنق الحريات لا داخل المجتمع ولا حتى داخل الاحزاب، لا علينا ولا على غيرنا من التيارات السياسية، ونؤمن بأن الحرية وحق الصراع الفكري المفتوح في سبيل الافضل في المجتمع هي أساس في بناء نظام جديد يحصن المجتمع وينهض به.

3- الرهان على الجيل الجديد: في بلاد نصف عدد سكانها تحت سن الـ21، والثلثان دون 34 سنة، لا يمكن لأي حزب أو حكومة أو جمعية أن تخطط لعمل سياسي أو عام دون أن يكون الشباب والأجيال الجديدة في صلب اهتمامتها. كل ما ومن هو موجود اليوم في الاحزاب يمكن أن يتحول الى اقلية ضئيلة جداً إذا عرفت هذه الأحزاب كيف تخاطب وتجتذب الجيل الجديد في الخمس سنوات المقبلة. ونحن حزب يركز على بناء جيل جديد يمتلك الوجدان القومي والاجتماعي الصحيح اضافة الى الاختصاصات الحديثة والخبرات العملية، كي يكون قادراً على الفعل والتاثير في سياسات البلاد وتنميتها وتطويرها على كافة المستويات في المرحلة المقبلة. ما أكثر الشباب المتحمس وطنياً أو دينياً لكنه شبه أمي حسب معايير العصر العلمية والتنموية. وكم هم كثر المتعلمون الفاقدون لأي وجدان قومي أو اجتماعي، أو المتعصبون دينياً بشكل أعمى. الأولون عجت بهم الاحزاب القديمة في الماضي، فكانت فورات جماهيرية غوغائية تحولت مع الوقت الى ادوات في يد الأنظمة المتسلطة التي تعرف اين ومتى تستخدم قوة الدفع فيها. والآخرون تكاثروا مثل الفطر في زمن افلاس الاحزاب وعجزها عن مواكبة التطورات السريعة وتحولوا الى تكنوقراط للإيجار من قبل السلطة، أو الى أشخاص محبطين من البلد وهاربين الى عوالمهم الخاصة. بعد كل هذه التجارب، نحن نعمل على بناء جيل جديد مؤمن بوحدة بلادنا وقدرتها على النهوض الى مصاف الامم المتطورة، ويمتلك الادوات العلمية والمعرفية والعملية لتحقيق ذلك.

ب- الاجراءات المطلوبة للاصلاح الفوري والخروج من الأزمة:

لا بد من اتخاذ مجموعة من الاجراءات بأسرع وقت لإرساء الارضية الصلبة للإصلاح على كافة المستويات، وقد تحدث السيد رئيس الجمهورية عن معظمها بعد أن أصبح مقتنعاً بضرورتها في هذه المرحلة. مع التأكيد أن هذه الاجراءات ما هي إلا تحضير البيئة السياسية والحقوقية التي تمكن الشعب من ممارسة حقوقه السياسية وإيصال من يعتقد أنه يمثله ويعبر عن تطلعاته في بناء الدولة العصرية الموحدة القوية، وليست عصاً سحرية ستحول البلاد وتبدل ظروفها في ليلة ليلاء.

1- إطلاق ورشة حوار وطني موسع تضم عدداً كبيراً من ممثلي فئات المجتمع وتلويناته، وطرح كافة المواضيع المتعلقة بالحياة العامة على النقاش والتحليل والتخطيط والتقرير.

2- توحيد مرجعية المسؤوليات في الدولة، بحيث تحصر السلطة التنفيذية برئيس الجمهورية والحكومة، وترفع يد القيادة القطرية لحزب البعث أو قيادة الجبهة الوطنية التقدمية عن التدخل في الشؤون التنفيذية في البلاد، إلا من خلال ممثليهم في الوزارة أو الرئاسة، وبذلك يستعيد الوزراء دورهم التنفيذي ومسؤولياتهم القيادية المسلوبة منهم منذ زمن، مما حولهم الى موظفين من الدرجة الاولى.

3- سن وتطبيق قانون جديد للاحزاب يؤدي حكماً الى حل الجبهة الوطنية التقدمية ويتيح قيام جبهات وتحالفات بين القوى السياسية المتنوعة حسب الحاجة، مع التشديد على الأحزاب الجامعة التي لا تحصر الانتماء اليها بفئات معينة طائفية أو اتنية في المجتمع، والمنتشرة بفعالية في كافة المناطق والمحافظات.

4- وضع قانون جديد للادارة المحلية يضم قانون للانتخابات التشريعية يؤمن التمثيل الصحيح والتفاعل بين كل مكونات المجتمع، من خلال اعتماد النسبية في دوائر واسعة، وخارج القيد الطائفي والمناطقي.

5- وضع قانون جديد للاعلام يضمن حرية التعبير والفكر، ويشجع القنوات البناءة التي تساهم في التأثير ايجابياً على الاجيال الجديدة لتنميتها على كافة المستويات.

ج- رؤيتنا لمستقبل البلاد السياسي والاقتصادي والاجتماعي:

بعد الخروج من نفق الأزمة الحالي وتحقيق الاصلاحات الاساسية المذكورة أعلاه، لا بد برأينا من متابعة وتجديد النضال في سبيل المضي قدماً بتنمية ونهضة البلاد من خلال المحاور التالية:

1- وضع رؤية اقتصادية اجتماعية بديلة عن ما تم تطبيقة في الخمس سنوات الماضية تحت عنوان اقتصاد السوق الاجتماعي وقبل ذلك تحت عنوان التطوير والتحديث. يجب ان تراعي هذه الرؤية الجديدة والخطط المنبثقة عنها التوازن الدقيق بين التنمية الاقتصادية وسرعتها والتنمية الاجتماعية وانعكاساتها، مع ما يحتاج هذا التوازن من برامج للتنمية الريفية والبشرية والبيئية وغيرها. كما يجب أن تأخذ بعين الاعتبار التطورات العلمية والعملية الحاصلة في العالم، مما أدى الى ولوجه عصر المعرفة والتقنيات الحديثة، وما كان لذلك من انعكاسات على تطوير القطاعات الانتاجية الزراعية والصناعية وتدعيمها بحلول وأبحاث وتقنيات معرفية جديدة، وبروز قطاعات انتاج معرفية متخصصة لم تكن موجودة في الاقتصاد التقليدي في القرن الماضي، إضافة الى تطور مفهوم وادوات وتقنيات قطاعات الخدمات، ودورها في تطوير العمل الحكومي وقطاعات الخدمات العامة والبنى الأساسية المتنوعة التي لم تعد من الكماليات في هذا العصر بل شرط أساسي من شروط التنمية المستدامة. ان هذا العصر يؤكد مبدأ تنطيم الاقتصاد القومي على اساس الانتاج بأشكاله المعاصرة.

2- العمل على ترسيخ آليات وتشريعات وبنى الدولة المدنية، وسن قانون مدني للأحوال الشخصية يرسخ وحدة المجتمع مع احترام الخصوصيات الدينية والاتنية المتنوعة داخل المجتمع. اذا كان انتشار الفكر السلفي الرجعي، والذي حصل على مدى السنوات الماضية تحت أعين السلطة وأحياناً برعايتها، حتى وصلت موجات التدين الى داخل قيادات حزب البعث المفترض أنه حزب مدني، اذا كان في هذا الانتشار خطر على المجتمع، وإذا جددنا التزامنا بالحريات الاساسية لكافة المواطنين، فإن هذا يرتب علينا تشجيع المدارس الفكرية والسياسية التي تستطيع مواجهة النعرات الطائفية على انواعها بفعالية، وهذا من الميزات المشهود لحزبنا بها على مدى عقود طويلة وأزمات وحروب طائفية عديدة في المنطقة، حيث ظل الحزب عصياً على الاختراق أو الاحتواء من أية ذهنيات طائفية او مذهبية. لذلك فأن مسؤوليته كبيرة في تنشئة الاجيال القادمة على مبادئه الموحدة المحيية.

3- تبني سياسة تلازم المواجهة مع التنمية. فلا المواجهة ممكنة من قبل مواطن متخلف أو جائع أو فقير أو جاهل أو مريض أو مسلوبة حقوقه الاساسية، ولا التنمية تنتظر انتهاء المواجهة في ظل وجود عدو مغتصب يخوض ضدنا حرباً اقتلاعية وجودية. كما ان المواجهة الفعالة بحاجة الى العلوم والتقنيات والابحاث والصناعات الحديثة.

4- وضع الخطط اللازمة لتحويل “الجمهورية العربية السورية” الى قطب جاذب ومحرك لقيام تعاون وتكامل اجتماعي واقتصادي مع الكيانات المجاورة، خاصة العراق والاردن وفلسطين ولبنان، لبناء مجلس للتعاون الاقتصادي والاجتماعي بين هذه الكيانات، يشكل ضمانة وحاضنة ومتنفساً لكل منها. وقد حذرنا سابقاً من أن التحالف مع تركيا وحتى ايران يحتم على القيادة الشامية بناء نطاق ضمان وأمان حولها وتشكيل مجلس للتعاون في المشرق العربي حتى لا تُستفرد الشام من قبل تركيا اقتصادياً أو سياسياً، ولا يُستفرد العراق من قبل ايران. كما ان الانغلاق من جهة والانفلاش على المدى العربي الاوسع يضيعان الامكانات الكامنة والتركيز والاستثمار الامثل لها.

5- التواصل مع الاغتراب السوري ودعوته لتعزيز الروابط مع الوطن الام على كافة المستويات، وتشجيع هجرة معاكسة للادمغة والخبرات والاستثمارات، عبر إشراكها في التخطيط لمستقبل البلاد وتنفيذ المشاريع التنموية في كافة المجالات، بعيداً عن تخلف الادارة واستنسابية المسؤولين وتسلط المتنفذين.

ان القومية الاجتماعية تشكل بديلاً صالحاً ومتميزاً للمستقبل. والحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي الذي يشكل اليوم عصباً أساسياً للمعارضة الوطنية في الشام، برغم المنع والحصار والتهميش، هو من العناصر الاساسية المؤهلة لقيادة عملية التغيير السياسي والاجتماعي، والانتشار السريع في أوساط الشباب، للمساهمة مع كافة الفئات والاحزاب السياسية في بناء مجتمع أفضل وحياة أرقى. ولا بد أن يلتقي القوميون جميعاً في يوم قريب على هذه الثوابت التي تعيد للحياة الحزبية نكهتها النضالية الاصلية، وللحزب دوره الريادي المستقل.

June 22nd, 2011, 1:21 pm


Nour said:

I thought this was a good article by Ibrahim al Ameen:

سوريا: أزمتا المعارضة والخارج
ابراهيم الأمين

فاته الوقت. أهدر الفرصة. كان يجب أن يقول هذا الكلام قبل شهور. لم يعد هناك من فائدة لما يقول. التطورات تجاوزته. الناس كانوا يأملون غير ذلك. لم نرَ جديداً في ما أعلن وقال. إنه يشتري الوقت. ليس لديه نيّة بالتغيير…..صار عليه الرحيل!. هذه عيّنة من تعليقات العراعرة على خطاب الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، أول من أمس. ولكن، قررت إدارة «الجزيرة» اتحافنا بشيء جديد، مثل رجل أطل من داخل الاستديو وصفته بأنه «رئيس ائتلاف سوريا أولاً».. جزم بأن إيران وحزب الله يتوليان أعمال القمع في سوريا، قبل أن يناشد رجب طيب أردوغان التدخل. لم يوضح لنا كيفية التدخل الذي يريده.

لكن من يسمعه ومن يتابع أركان مؤتمر أنطاليا لبقايا عملاء الاستخبارات الغربية، وتصريحات مناضلي الفايسبوك من بيروت وباريس وبروكسل والرياض وواشنطن، يعرف أنه ليس بين كل هؤلاء من لديه شيء يقوله، سوى عبارة واحدة: نريد إسقاط النظام!
حسناً، هذه هي الحقيقة الواضحة لدى هؤلاء. أما السؤال الآخر الجدير بالمتابعة، فهو عن حقيقة أن تركيا تريد أن تمارس هي، عبر جيشها وأمنها واستخباراتها، الرقابة التي تضمن عدم تعرض أي من النازحين السوريين إلى أراضيها لأي نوع من القمع إن عادوا إلى قراهم في منطقة جسر الشغور. يعني أنه بعدما فشلت محاولة تحويل منطقة درعا إلى بنغازي سوريا، ثم فشلت محاولة تحويل منطقة إدلب إلى بنغازي سوريا، وبعدما ستفشل قريباً محاولة تحويل منطقة قريبة من الحدود مع العراق إلى بنغازي، سيسعى بعض المجانين عندنا في لبنان إلى القيام بأنشطة عسى أن تثمر مكاناً يلجأ إليه تجمع من العراعرة السوريين لقيادة الثورة. ويبدو أن هؤلاء يستسهلون فكرة تحويل مناطق في شمال لبنان إلى هذه الوضعية.
إلا أن التطور الأبرز في أحداث سوريا لا يتصل فقط بإعلان رأس النظام الاستعداد العملاني للدخول في ورشة ستقود حتماً إلى تغييرات كبيرة. بل في قوله، واقتناعه بأن المحافظة على موقف سوريا المستقل في المنطقة وعدم الخضوع للإملاءات الأميركية، يتطلبان مثل هذه التغييرات. الجديد، هو أن كل سوريا اليوم بات على اقتناع بأن التغييرات يجب أن تشمل الفكر اليومي الذي ساد هذه البلاد طوال عقود عدة. وهو الفكر الذي أنتج إدارة وأمناً واقتصاداً وأنتج تسلطاً وفساداً وترهلاً. وبالتالي، لو كان بين العراعرة من يستجدي إصلاحاً حقيقياً، وحقناً للدماء، لكان دفع الرجل نحو المزيد من الخطوات العملية، لا الإصرار على مواقف فارغة هدفها الوحيد ترجمة مطالب الغرب المتوتر بإراقة المزيد من الدماء، باعتبار أن آلان جوبيه، مثلاً، يعتقد أن جيشاً غربياً سيكون جاهزاً للتدخل بغية إنقاذ الشعب السوري. يبدو أن هذا الغبي لم يعرف أن جاك شيراك وجورج بوش صارا في المنزل.
ومع ذلك، فإن الأزمة السورية ستكون أكثر سخونة، بعدما أظهرت حدّة التوتر الغربي واستمرار «الجزيرة» القناة في حربها على النظام من دون هوادة أن هناك حاجة إلى مزيد من الضغوط، دبلوماسياً وسياسياً وإعلامياً، ولو تطلّب الأمر المزيد من الأكاذيب، أو محاولة إخفاء صورة الذين خرجوا أمس مناصرين للأسد، ومحاولة معارضين في الخارج تربطهم صلات واضحة مع الاستخبارات الخارجية، وصف مئات الألوف من المتظاهرين في دمشق وبقية المحافظات السورية بأنهم عناصر من الأمن والجيش… بدا واقع هؤلاء العراعرة، كما توتّر الغرب، شبيهاً إلى درجة كبيرة بتوتر فريق 14 آذار في لبنان بعد تأليف الحكومة الجديدة. وهو ما يعني أننا سنكون أقرب إلى مواجهة جديدة، أساسها رفع مستوى الضغوط الأميركية والأوروبية على سوريا، علماً بأن دبلوماسيين غربيين في دمشق عبّروا عن امتعاضهم لتجاهل تقاريرهم عن حقيقة الوضع في سوريا، ولفت الانتباه إلى المبالغات الإعلامية من جانب خصوم الأسد، وعن أن واقع النظام لا يزال أقوى بكثير مما يظن كثيرون، وأن السوريين الذين يحتلون الرتب الأولى والثانية والثالثة في إدارات الدولة والجيش والأجهزة الأمنية لا يزالون يقفون خلف الأسد.
وإذا كان العلاج الأمني الذي لجأ النظام إليه في سوريا لمواجهة مجموعات مسلحة قد تجاوز حدوده، وأدى إلى عمليات قمع وقتل لمتظاهرين من الذين ينشدون الإصلاح الحقيقي، فإن واقع المعارضة السورية اليوم يحتاج إلى إعادة نظر. ومثلما يجب على النظام التصرف بطريقة عاقلة وهادئة ويسير نحو الإصلاحات العميقة، فقد بات سؤال المعارضين الوطنيين، وخصوصاً الموجودين منهم في سوريا، ضرورياً بشأن موقفهم، وبشأن تعاطيهم مع الفئة المرتبطة بالمشروع الخارجي الهادف إلى وضع سوريا تحت وصاية خارجية بحجة حمايتها من الحكم، أو بحجة الإشراف على تطوير قوانينها، وخصوصاً أن التيار الانتهازي في الحركة الإسلامية الناشطة بات هو المحرك الرئيسي لكل الثورة المضادة التي تقودها الولايات المتحدة ضد الانتفاضات الإصلاحية في العالم العربي. وإذا لم تبادر هذه المعارضة إلى خطوات واضحة في هذا السياق، فإن السؤال عن شرعيتها الأخلاقية سيطفو إلى السطح.


June 22nd, 2011, 1:32 pm


Syrian Commando said:

Diplomats invited to Jisr al-Shaghour


None of the USAns would make a comment. Not a single one.

June 22nd, 2011, 1:36 pm


EHSANI2 said:

Dr. Landis,

This is an excellent post. The author is to complimented for a fine note on an important subject matter.

June 22nd, 2011, 2:15 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

“Courtesies aside, the “initiation ritual” of male Alawis into the religion consists of kissing a few hands and memorizing a seriously ridiculous script in a small memo book. Frequently, one is given the script without his “teacher” or initiator ever bothering to see afterwards whether you memorized it or not. Most of the time your “initiator” knows that your opinion of the whole process and the script is as high as your opinion of “Tom & Jerry” cartoons. Yet he considers you an Alawi and relies on you as such, simply because you are born one and expected to be one.”



June 22nd, 2011, 2:21 pm


Yazan said:

Khudr strikes again.

This is a particularly somber analysis of the Alawi mindset. And probably the most accurate elaboration on what this revolution constitutes to them (us). I especially loved the reference to Karfan, one of the first and finest Syrian blogs out there.

This will not be read well by either of the partisan commenters on this blog, and they will probably miss the most tragic part of it; this regime has deliberately eradicated the cultural mosaic that they’re boasting about. While true for all the components of Syrian society, it has been especially destructive for a sect like Alawites, who, unlike other minorities in Syria (Ismailis or Druze, or Kurds, or Armenians… etc.) have no independent history of their own, and what little they had, was defaced and obliterated by the regime. Yet at the same time, they never intended to unite all these different components under one national identity. What they wanted, is what we have now, tribal belongings with a shallow cultural identity, that can not possibly connect them to the others. (Take Muslems and Christians for example).

June 22nd, 2011, 2:21 pm


Nour said:

What a disgusting, shallow piece of sectarian writing that is offered to us as “excellent” analysis. It’s quite telling that only silly, superficial, nonsensical amateur writing is now considered “great” and “excellent” work by the owner of this blog. It’s unfortunate that an academic can stoop so low in choosing literature to provide his readers. Is this supposed to educate people on Syria?

June 22nd, 2011, 2:27 pm


Nour said:

I’m going to repost this communique because it applies to the above post.

بيان مفوَّضية الشام المركزية بعنوان:مأساة الخطاب الطائفي

الإثنين, 20 يونيو/حزيران 2011 09:44

بيانات مفوضية الشام المركزية
altمع تسارع الأحداث في الجمهورية الشامية ووصول الأزمة إلى مرحلة عصيبة على الجميع، وفي كلّ المواقع، وخاصةً بعد تصاعد النبرة الطائفية الهدامّة من أطراف عديدة تدعّي أنها معنية بالأزمة الوطنية الحالية مما يشكِّل خطرًا كبيرًا. فبعض أطراف المعارضة التي تتصدر وسائل الإعلام بدأت تتحدّث عن الطائفة الحاكمة ورموز طائفية وغير ذلك…. وبعض أفراد الشعب في الشارع يتحدّث عن حزب الله وإيران، في إشارة واضحة إلى الخطاب الطائفي وزجّ رموز طائفية معينة في خطابها السياسي، رغم عدم وجود أي دليل على صحة كلامهم سوى إشاعات وأقاويل خبيثة تبثّها بعض الأطراف التي تعمل وفق أجندة معينة غير بريئة، ويشاركهم في ذلك وبطريقة مباشرة أو غير مباشرة بعض وسائل الإعلام شبه الرسمي من خلال ما يسمى “حملتهم ضد الفتنة الطائفية” أو من خلال الرسائل النصّية التي تبثّ على شاشاتها وفي إذاعاتها.

إن هذا الخطاب وهذا النهج المخرِّب، خطاب يبتعد كلّ البعد عن قيم وتاريخ وحضارة الشعب السوري العريق، وهو مرفوض رفضًا مطلقًا من الغالبية العظمى من الشعب السوري، فهو يعتمد استثارة الغرائز ويبتعد عن المحاكمة العقلية الهادفة إلى تحقيق المصلحة العليا للشعب. وهو محاولة قذرة لزجّ الحراك الشعبي التغييري الشريف في حرب جديدة بين محاور مفترضة تشكّل إيران أحد طرفيها وتركيا والسعودية الطرف الآخر. والخطاب الطائفي هو المحرّك الأساسي لهذه الحرب الجديدة، بعد أن كانت الشيوعية والرأسمالية طرفا هذه الحرب في السابق.

إننا في الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي، عندما تصدّرنا مع المعارضة الوطنية الشريفة في الداخل السوري للعملية الإصلاحية الجذرية وطالبنا بالتغيير الجذري في بنية النظام من خلال تعديل مواد الدستور السوري وإطلاق الحريات العامة وإصدار قانون أحزاب وقانون إعلام عصري، كان الكثير من المتصدّرين للإعلام اليوم باسم المعارضة يقف متزلّفًا، متوسّلاً ومتسوّلاً على أبواب النظام. أما نحن فما زلنا على موقفنا ولم نتزحزح عنه قيد أنملة، ومن أراد أن يعرف أكثر فليراجع بياناتنا السابقة وليطلع على مواقفنا أثناء الأزمة الحالية. ما زلنا وسنبقى في الحزب عند مواقفنا المتجذّرة في صميم الشعب وقواعده وهي ليست مجرّد مواقف إعلامية فارغة.

أيها الشعب العظيم!
يا أبناء سورية الأبية.. انتبهوا وتنبّهوا لما يُحاك لوحدتكم، واعلموا أن الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي – وانطلاقًا من مبادئه الأساسية المعنيّة بحياة الشعب أجمع، ومن مبادئه الإصلاحية المعنية بالتخلّص من كلّ الأمراض الاجتماعية التي تهدّد وحدة مجتمعنا ومصالحه – يقف اليوم في قلب حركة الشعب من أجل التغيير نحو الأفضل ومن أجل حياة أرقى وضدّ كلّ من يحاول بثّ الفرقة والتقسيم، وهو إن أعلن سابقًا تأييده لحركة الشعب فإنه يؤكِّد على نبذه للعنف وللطروحات الطائفية واستخدام الدين والخطاب الديني في الشأن السياسي.
طوبى لشهداء الشعب السوري أينما تضرّجت دماءهم على أرض سوريا الواحدة الموحدة. ولتحي سوريا وليحي سعاده.

دمشق في 2011/6/18
المفوَّض المركزي للحزب في الشام
الرفيق محمد زهوة

June 22nd, 2011, 2:32 pm


Abughassan said:

This is just another article,it is not excellent by any standard but it is worth reading. From my own interactions with friends and relatives from both sides, I find the author to be too pessimistic and I suspect Joshua may share some of that pessimism. Syria today is not Syria in the 1960s,there is a lot of mixed marriages and business partnerships,and the new generation is not as paranoid as many might think,however,it is true that many alawis are fearful of what may happen to them if the regime collapses because they still remember the 1980s and old stories of discrimination and abuse their grandparents told them when alawis were mostly uneducated villagers who were considered second class citizens and were treated as such. No Syrian government today can pretend that alawis are still uneducated poor villagers,and any attempt to abuse or surround this group of Syrians will have disastrous consequences. My Sunni friends and relatives for the most part are opposed to the regime but they are not willing to give their necks to the MB and its affiliates.it is true that more alawis support Bashar today,but that is because they have seen the work and propaganda of the islamists.this is precisely why a secular non Asad regime is needed,it is a matter of necessity not luxury.

June 22nd, 2011, 2:35 pm


Mina said:

Nour, you can read it as sectarian, but I don’t. I read it as a personnal approach, with its shortfalls. Something positive is that it refers to some articles published some years ago, thus showing that there was indeed a debate, some opponents, that not all Alawis are sovietized and have a personality cult (the other blog, super critical of hafez). Plus it was a request of Tara after reading the old post of Khudr to see his opinion today.
It shows also to people who have no idea about Syria that the civil war risk is real and extends to Lebanon and Turkey. (It’s not only on Syria Comment that the risk of civil war exists).
It also mention the fact that the Shiis, Alawi included, have been subjected to oppression and that their feeling of being prosecuted is no different than, let’s say, the one felt by some Jews. So it does reach out to some feelings in the Western audience, to put it this way.

June 22nd, 2011, 2:38 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


i re-read the post in case i might be wrong (my comment #7 above) and I totally agree with you.

“academic” you say : this is false and pretty over-estimated unless you’re joking !

June 22nd, 2011, 2:44 pm


Off the Wall said:

Dear Khudr
Seldom, and with all due respect to Joshua’s fine writing, is Syria Comment graced by such a fine writing. I have read all of Karfan’s posts in the past, and I regret that they have stopped. I would urge everyone, skeptic and otherwise to pay attention to Karfan’s wisdom, which was well presented by Khudr.

Thank you Khudr, and thank you Joshua for this window. I second EHSANI2 comment.

June 22nd, 2011, 2:45 pm


Majhool said:

Brilliant, Coherent, factual, deep yet simple piece.

Thanks Khoder.

June 22nd, 2011, 2:53 pm


Mawal95 said:

Joshua Landis thought that article by Khudr was “excellent”. I agree with NOUR that it was limp airy worthless silly ramblings. I’ve come across comparable stuff written by Italian-Americans, Jewish-Americans, African-Americans and other hyphenated Americans who were trying to construct some sort of meaningfulness from the hyphenation. I’ve read comparable froth from writers who were trying characterize cultural differences between British people and German people. In Syria, historical ethnic family identity stuff is swamped by far more powerful cultural forces working upon everybody regardless of his notion of his historical identity. The values of modernization, the culture of science, education, rationality, economic productivity, and so on, are hugely more determinative than any historical identity story. On statistical average over the whole country, the Syrian Alawis are now a little more modernized that the Syrian Sunnis, but there is lots of heterogeneity within each group. To say that Alawis are more modernized than Sunnis is a hopelessly crass stereotype. Khudr’s construction efforts are sillier than that.

June 22nd, 2011, 2:57 pm


Nour said:


This sort of writing is intended to polarize Syrians into different sectarian groups and to approach all issues in Syria in strictly sectarian terms, so that divisions are solidified. Ever since the beginning of these latest events in Syria we have been subjected to a continuous and ongoing sectarian campaign that can only lead to internal strife and discord. Notice how the author differentiates between the situation in Iraq and Syria by claiming that while “sunnis” have their own independent “identity” the Alawites have no identity outside that of the regime. This is clearly intended to arouse Sunni sectarian hatred toward the Alawis. He then concludes by expressing his disappointment that US military force will not be used to aid the Syrian “opposition” while predicting that Alawis have no future. This is not deep writing, or excellent analysis. This is sectarian garbage.

June 22nd, 2011, 3:09 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Thank you Joshua,for posting such article which tell the truth

June 22nd, 2011, 3:12 pm


Mawal95 said:

Question: “You and your fellow activists in the West have been working very hard to try to get more important sanctions placed on Syria. In particular sanctions placed on oil….”
Answer by Ausama Monajed, anti-Assad activist living in London: “The strategy is to dry up the hard currency of the Syrian regime to make them less able to carry on the massacres and atrocities…. The ordinary Syrian people are already not seeing any difference in whether this regime is wealthier or poorer…. This [proposal] is to not allow Western oil companies to buy the heavy crude oil that Syria exports and uses the funds from to fund its military operations.” (Ref)

It is impossible to influence the Syrian government’s internal security activities by means of an oil export embargo: the security activities are wholly dictated by the internal security circumstances. The effect of the proposed embargo would be to reduce the stimulus that the oil funds give to the Syrian economy as a whole, plus there would be some loss of jobs in the oil sector.

The prosperity of the Syrian economy as a whole today is something to be desired by everyone who has goodwill for the people who live in Syria today. The thinking of that guy in London and the likes of him has gotten distorted by their anti-regime sentiments. It’s so distorted that they advocate corroding the Syrian economy on a longterm indefinite timeframe because it would go towards corroding the strength of the regime.

There is a wise old saying, “never ascribe to malfeasance what can be explained by incompetence”. Notwithstanding the wisdom of that saying, and notwithstanding the incompetence of the anti-regime crowd, I can’t believe they’re sincerely thinking an oil export embargo would hinder the regime’s security work. Rather I believe they’re thinking an embargo would be a stigma, which would help to de-legitimize the regime in Syria and abroad. But within Syria, as I’m sure most people on this board can agree, such a stigma effect would be very mild, while the main effect of the embargo would be to corrode economic prosperity and modernization. What they’re advocating is basically economic sabotage. How much of an effect could the embargo have in contributing to the stated aim of destroying the Assad regime? I’ll let you answer that yourself, provided you can first acknowledge that economic sabotage is what it would be.

By the way I strongly disagree with the claim that the Syrian regime has been carrying on massacres and atrocities, and after reading Bashar’s speech the other day I feel more strongly about it.

June 22nd, 2011, 3:26 pm


Mina said:

the way you understand his last paragraph is not the way I understand it. He does not call for intervention, he says that Syria is not rich and that it’s not like for WWII or Iraq.
But I think he is weak on his analysis of Germany and Japan.

The sectarian issue DOES matter. It is not by letting people in ignorance and refusing any book exposing the history of the different muslim sects as a piece of conspiracy (i don’t forget Bashar has insulted the real orientalists in his speech #1, which I differentiate from the ‘orientalists’ exposed by Edward Said and which frankly I did not believed still exist until I read Tom MacMaster’s pieces of propaganda) that you solve the problems of the Middle East. The problem with religions is always the same: they all claim for unity and love and end up saying the other is an heretic. Of course in Syria many people will tell you: i don’t know the religion of my neighbour and i don’t care, but precisely, this means also going to the tribal layer (i was born such therefore i am) instead of being able to say “i was born Alawi, I convert to Sunnism/Atheism/Christianity/Buddhism…etc.” I have Syrian friends who don’t know the difference between Salafism and Sufism !!
If you think that reading SC will boast sectarianism in Syria, i say NO, as very little people read English websites in Syria. But what boasts it, since march, is the use by extremists of rumours to spread fear and incite people into protests (i read it live on twitter in march, when people started to spread rumours about “some people going to attack Lattakia” and “some people from Lattakia going to attack the people around Lattakia”. some wise guys were saying: we know it’s all rumours because the Lebanese war started like that. But you see today with articles such as this one
that it is still what is used: rumours, videos sent from phone to phone with fabricated and imported stuff. It is easy to use ignorance. I am sorry for those here who think that all the Syrians have completed school and have a critical judgement.

June 22nd, 2011, 3:30 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


i agree with your comments #16 and #19

– the sabotage carried on is multiform, the goal is to weaken Syria by all means available

– with the help of the people, the regime actually did its best to avoid the bloodbath. It could have been much worse

June 22nd, 2011, 3:35 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

We have a say in Hebrew “עבד כי ימלוך” could be translated as “a slave who reigns” …

June 22nd, 2011, 3:53 pm


Mina said:

Someone in Turkey has got tired with the media propaganda (ref the link I posted above to a WashingtonPost ForeignPolicy article quoting only rumours… they should start to think about their credibility):

By the way, how come the Western press did not report on that?

June 22nd, 2011, 3:54 pm


daleandersen said:

A brilliant commentary. And it hit some of the posters right in the gut, hence the angry visceral reactions. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

And now another thing we can blame on the Assads. They raped the Alawite culture, stripping it bare and turning it into a personality cult as patheticly hollow and vacuous as that of Stalin’s.

The saddest line is near the end: “We [i.e., the Alawites] have no future…”


June 22nd, 2011, 4:03 pm


Aboud said:

Thank you for posting this article, I found it quite informative, and I don’t see anything in it that demeans Alawites. I actually feel I understand alot more their concerns and fears.

June 22nd, 2011, 4:23 pm


Mimo said:

Someone above claims that the diplomats who visited Jisr El-Shoghour didn’t comment on their visit, citing DNN (I won’t comment on the complete lack of credibility of this page).

Here you go. The US ambassador did comment. You won’t like his comment. You only listen to DNN and its likes, so you will never see it on your own:

June 22nd, 2011, 4:31 pm


Mundas999 said:

Excellent article by Khudr,

I respect your right to define your identity in any way you like, part of Islam or not part of Islam, fellow alawi should have all the rights in New Syria. even compensation for the historical injustice they have suffered. We need to make sure they are all protected from any harm or sectarian prejudice.
But how we communicate this issue and build the trust?
any idea?

June 22nd, 2011, 4:35 pm


Abughassan said:

Haytham Manaa finally realized that the islamists are manipulating this uprising for their own political gains.those brave Syrians who protested for freedom and dignity did not,for the most part,die or get arrested to help a group of militant islamists capture power and divide Syrians.make no mistake about it,if things get ugly and Syrians have to choose between Bashar and those thugs,they will choose Bashar.I still hope that we do not have to make that choice because we deserve better,and that is called : the third option. What many of you considered brilliant or excellent is merely a depressing and self-defeating analysis of the situation which I refuse to believe or accept,and I am one with a diverse background who was blessed with Sunni and alawi relatives who have one thing in common: they believe that Syrians are one and that Syria’s best days are yet to come.
Now, back to my Syrian coffee since I do not have a hole for hiding or a tree to climb 🙂

June 22nd, 2011, 4:36 pm


Tara said:

Khudr and All,

I am speechless!

Brilliant and very very sad! I am about to cry…

Haven’t I said that before and was totally ignored?

Quoting Tara “Assad robbed the Alawites from their Alawitehood….”

What a terrible legacy history is writing for the Assads ?

(And you know what: Paranoia is setting in. I think I am and Khudr are the same person.)

June 22nd, 2011, 4:37 pm


Blue Floyds said:

Dr Landis, I am sorry if this is an inappropriate question, it’s not I’m sure but as an academician I have to ask: Does your “wife’s” ties/preference/sect..etc has any influence on your writings?
I apologize again and I hope for a scientific factual anser.

Thank you.


June 22nd, 2011, 4:40 pm


Blue Floyds said:

I am not referring to this article, but rather in general.

Thank you.

June 22nd, 2011, 4:41 pm


jad said:

Dear Nour,
This superficially written post by ‘Khudr’ align closely with the policy of SC in conducting an anatomy of the social fabric of Syria to prove to the Western readers that Syrians are bunch of segregated tribes and sects that NOTHING can unite them and they must be split in pieces, period.
Besides, It also goes under Dr. Landis views that:
“If this revolution is to eventually be successful, my suspicion is that the opposition will have to use sectarianism much more forcefully than it does today.”

Myth#1: Don’t ever believe that anything politically we read is innocent.

June 22nd, 2011, 4:48 pm


jad said:

“a slave who reigns”
You mean like you in Palestine.

June 22nd, 2011, 4:49 pm


Tara said:

Dear Jad,

I invite you to re-think your response in #28. We are not segregated unless we choose to do so. We can stay united.

Believe me. I know what get said behind closed doors in Sunnis’ house. I live in one. I do not believe there is a deep-seated hatred to Alawites but there is a deep-seated hatred to Assads (unless my family, friends, extended family, and extended extended family all live in a bubble of their own) and this ain’t going away. The revolution is just not going to stop.

I truly believe your sincerity about Syria but with the way things are going, the future appears so grim. Assads will lose. History proved that many many times and in the process I do not want to have us lose each other.

In my opinion, It is only you guys, the elite educated Alawites, who at this point can make a difference.

I am just saying.

June 22nd, 2011, 5:12 pm


Tamam said:

I don’t know what to call such an article…
If some one wanted to write something mean and bad about this religion group & Syria he wouldn’t do better !!!
this article is full with half facts , miss informing, hug lack of basic principles for info publishing..

I thought I might find some good writers here …all what I see is kids jock

June 22nd, 2011, 5:15 pm



A dose of reality:
Alawis from all areas and tribes are doing much better today than they did in the last century. They are now part of the Syrian society with equal access to business, education and employment opportunities. They have proven to themselves and to the rest of Syria that they are an equal partner in the fabric of Syrian society and culture. The fact that the few fanatic islamists have a deep seated hatred towards anything that is not them, is actualy their own problem.
Alawis will do just fine like the rest of Syrians, wether President Assad is in charge or not.
It is unfortunate that some can not see beyond their limited vision, clouded by their superficial fears.
The last three months have been a very good testament to Syrian character which will never reject any of its constituents, including our Alawi brothers and sisters, whom we are proud to associate with, as we are with all of the rest of the constituants of Syria.

June 22nd, 2011, 5:22 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


I am just saying
and re-saying and re-saying


June 22nd, 2011, 5:30 pm


jad said:

Dear Tara,
Please re-read what I wrote.
I strongly believe that Syrians’ strength is in our diverse society it is in our rich culture in our mixed ethnicity, it’s in our way of understanding our religions and it’s not in our ‘love’ to Asad or our fears from each others or from the dead Baath, Syria was built and united by great Syrian men and women from all sects and ethnicities Syria have and not from one person or one party.

“We are not segregated” you wrote, as a Syrian I know that very well, I was referring to the ‘Orientalist’ way of thinking about us the ‘colored’ us, be it, ‘Asians’, ‘Blacks’ or ‘Natives’, this ‘White’ supremacy way of analyzing us, again, the ‘colored’, is what I despise the most (We are the smart rich ones knows you the ‘coloured’ better than you know yourselves) and they run the same message allover the media until we the ‘stupid’ ‘colored’ believe them and run with it between each others.

“We are not segregated unless we choose to do so. We can stay united.”
I’ll re-write your sentence:
WE are not segregated. PERIOD. we are all in this troubled road together we either die together or live together.

June 22nd, 2011, 5:34 pm


ziadsoury said:

Great article.

Would love to read more specially from other minorities.

Now we need from the Sunni majority to acknowledge the fears presented by this article. We also need to address the fears in the Christian and other minorities and come up aith workable solution to them. We had and still have discrimination in Syria. I am old enough to remember the young beautiful girls from the mountains serving as maids. We need to work very hard to overcome our fears and misconceptions by all sides.

June 22nd, 2011, 5:36 pm


nafdik said:


I agree with you that a safe transition in Syria that will avoid the Lebanon or Iraq scenario will involve including the Allawis in the new Syria in a way that guarantees their security and well-being.

I have always advocated a historical compromise between the Allawis and the rest of Syria.

– Remove the Assad family
– Keep the army intact to protect us all and especially those worried from sectarian counter-violence
– Separate politics from violence 100%
– Slowly convert the army to a non-sectarian army while ensuring that minorities are protected

I know that this sounds like an impossible outcome but it is what Allawi thought leaders should advocate for the sake of Syria.

June 22nd, 2011, 5:44 pm


aboali said:


Hassan Nasrallah is in trouble. This time the troubles of the Secretary General of Hezbollah, which were hitherto the source of his strength, are not coming from Israel, or from the sectarian politics of Lebanon. Seyyed Hassan’s troubles, which this time around are the harbingers of his undoing as an outdated fighter, are coming from, of all places, the Arab Spring.

The Arab Spring, the transnational uprising of masses of millions of people from Morocco to Oman, from Syria to Yemen, is making the aging warrior redundant – his habitually eloquent tongue now stuttering for words. Two years ago, he thought he got away with rejecting the democratic uprising in Iran (whose brutal ruling regime is his principle patron and financier), as a plot by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. And he did – aided and abetted by the moral and intellectual sclerosis of a segment of Arab intellectuals who thought Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Islamic theocracy were the vanguard of “resistance” to US/Israel imperialism in the region and thus should be spared from criticism. And then Tunisia happened, and Egypt, and Libya, and Bahrain, and Yemen – and then, Hassan Nasrallah and Ali Khamenei’s nightmare, Syria happened. It is a sad scene to see a once mighty warrior being bypassed by the force of history, and all he can do is to fumble clumsily to reveal he has not learned the art of aging gracefully.

June 22nd, 2011, 5:49 pm


Abughassan said:

Walid Almuallem press conference confirmed what I knew about the man. He was harsh when he spoke about Europe but otherwise he was right on the money. The man is 70 year-old but he is qualified to lead and enjoys support from many Arab and non Arab leaders due to his restrained and moderate approach. I see no real way of Syria’s crisis without sidelining hawks in the regime and alienating islamists on the other side,and that can not be done until security forces are controlled and held accountable for their actions. It is people like Almuallem that we need not the likes of Maher or Makhlouf. Another Fiday is coming and I hope to see less violence and more conciliatory measures from Bashar who is well advised to keep his promises and pave the ground for another president who must be elected and does not have links to the elite corrupt class in Syria.

June 22nd, 2011, 6:28 pm


Moe said:

What a waste of my time… its just going downhill for this site

June 22nd, 2011, 6:51 pm


why-discuss said:


I disagree with the pessimistic and misleading content of this article but I understand why it strikes a cord with the Sunnis and the opposition.
It is much easier to believe that the Alawis support the regime just because of Bashar Al Assad or because they are fearful for their future. It is making them look like fools because more and more Syrians are realizing that the country without a strong leader in present circumstances will collapse, taking all the Syrians with it. They realize that if there is one leader that can save Syria, it is Bashar al Assad, a renewed, matured Bashar Al Assad, ready to tackle a gigantic task that no Arab country in the region has succeeded.
I am not worried about the future of the Alawites. They are modern, secular, tolerant and independent. I can’t say the same about any other group in Syria.

June 22nd, 2011, 7:49 pm


jad said:

“دمشق ـ «السفير»
بروكسل ـ «السفير»
تولى وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم أمس مهمتين أساسيتين، الاولى الرد على حملة الانتقادات الخارجية، والاوروبية تحديدا، والتأكيد على ما قال ان البعض أغفله في مضامين الخطاب الذي ألقاه الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد قبل يومين في ما يتعلق بخطوات الاصلاح الدستوري والسياسي في سوريا.
وكان الهجوم الاعنف الذي شنه المعلم، على الاتحاد الاوروبي حيث قال ان دمشق ستتجاهل وجودها على الخريطة، فيما وجهت اكثر من ملاحظة باتجاه أنقرة التي قال ان دمشق تبادلها حبا من طرف واحد، داعيا إياها الى مراجعة مواقفها من الاحداث في سوريا، وملمحا بوضوح الى تورط تركي ما في الاضرابات، متسائلا عن سبب إقامة مخيمات للنازحين المحتملين حتى قبل بدء الهجوم العسكري على جسر الشغور. لكن الوزير السوري، في هجومه الدبلوماسي الذي بدا فيه هادئا، لم يغفل توجيه التحية الى من يقف الى جانب سوريا في ما تواجهه، خصوصا لبنان وروسيا والصين.
وأعلن المعلم انه لن يكون هناك تدخل عسكري أو حظر طيران فوق سوريا، وذلك بعد ساعات من كشف صحيفة «حرييت» التركية أن الرئيس الأميركي باراك أوباما تناول في اتصاله الهاتفي برئيس الحكومة التركية رجب طيب اردوغان الاثنين الماضي مسألة إقامة منطقة حظر طيران فوق سوريا «لحماية المدنيين من قمع النظام»، وتأييدهما أن يتحرك المجتمع الدولي بصورة جدية في اتجاه مماثل لتحرك مجلس الأمن الدولي تجاه ليبيا. ”


واشنطن تدعم حواراً بين الحكومة والمعارضة
المعلم: سنصمد ونقدّم دروساً بالديموقراطية

“في غضون ذلك، قال السفير الأميركي في دمشق روبرت فورد لموقع قناة «العربية» إن بلاده تدعم حواراً بين الحكومة السورية والمعارضة في الداخل، بهدف وضع إطار سياسي يمهد لإنهاء الأزمة في البلاد، مشدداً على أن لدى سفارته اتصالات شبه يومية مع شخصيات معارضة في سوريا. ونقل فورد عن الملحق العسكري الأميركي الذي كان قد زار مفرزة الأمن في جسر الشغور، قبل أيام بصحبة السفير الفرنسي في دمشق، قوله إن من الواضح «أن الهجوم كان مخططاً ومدبراً لجهة الحرفية في التنفيذ، وأن من نفّذوا الهجوم على المفرزة لديهم خبرة جيدة في التكتيكات الأمنية».”

“في هذا الوقت، ذكر رئيس الاتحاد العربي الاشتراكي حسن عبد العظيم أن المعارضة في الداخل تعدّ لتوحيد جهودها، وتعمل على تشكيل لجنة تحضيرية لوضع مسودة وثيقة سياسية وتشكيل هيئة تنسيق في اجتماع يوم السبت المقبل، تمهيداً لبحث المشاركة في الحوار الذي دعا إليه الرئيس السوري.”


أزمة «إخوان» مصر: الشباب يواجهون الشيوخ

“القاهرة| قيادة جماعة «الإخوان المسلمين» هذه الأيام بلا عقل. ترد بعنف مبالغ فيه على أيّ انتقاد يوجَّه إلى ممارسات القادة والقائمين على أمر الجماعة، وتحديداً اذا كانت قذائف هذا النقد من داخل البيت الإخواني. لم يستوعب بعد مكتب الإرشاد أن مبدأ السمع والطاعة لم يعد مستساغاً ولا مقبولاً لدى الشباب الذين خرجوا وكانوا وقوداً لثورة 25 كانون الثاني، ورفضوا تعليمات شيوخ «الإخوان» بعدم الخروج على ولي الأمر وإفساد اليوم الوطني للاحتفال بعيد الشرطة.”

June 22nd, 2011, 8:02 pm


Hiba said:

“If no alternative is found for Syria other than confrontation to the bitter end, then I am afraid the closing words of Karfan continue to ring true: “another thing that is common to us Alawis: We have no future, at least not one that is worth looking forward to.”

I totally agree with this conclusion!! This is exactly what makes civil war warning anything but Government propaganda- as some of the Opposition like to say!

June 22nd, 2011, 8:08 pm


Tara said:


“I can’t say the same about any other group in Syria.”

Do you hear yourself?

I am taking an offense in your statement. Such a disappointment from you Why but thank you.

June 22nd, 2011, 8:12 pm


abughassan said:

The transfer,or removal I just do not know yet,of Syria’s ambassador, Nidal Qabalan,to Turkey was done in response to Turkish demands after he made strong comments about Turkey’s new policy towards Syria during the uprising. I read Qabalan’s comments then and his only crime was being truthful,but in politics that is not necessarily a good thing I guess 🙂
back to Khudr atricle,what was most troubling about it is that it was wrong but still believable to many,obviously.He is entitled to his gloomy opinion but most of us who interacted with alawis and sunnis know better. I however agree that minorities fear of a new regime must be discussed now and they need certain guarantees to come aboard. also, nobody should try to perform a massive reshuffle in the army,all sudden changes after decades of one party and one family rule have to be gradual to avoid chaos and division.One prominenet community leader in Tartous,an alawi, told me that he does not care if the new president is an alawi or not as long as the MB or a similar group is not the alternative,he speaks for a lot of syrians especially alawis.
only a naive person would believe the islamists assurances that monirities will receive equal treatment if Bashar leaves,I actually think that they do not care what religion or sect you are from,you just have to follow their god-given orders,just watch Egypt and laugh,or cry !!

June 22nd, 2011, 8:15 pm


jad said:

Dear WD,
I’m not going to discuss this post, I simply don’t like it.

Check out Les Politiques latest post:

Western Coverage Of Syria: Active Denial, Highly Partisan Narratives And Orientalist Cliches

“Blogs that are widely read on Syria had near to nothing on the last two events, Assad’s third speech and pro-regime demonstrations, while serving us minutiae writings of famous ‘trusted friends’ (an army of MacMasters if you ask me) living in Syria on Syria’s sectarian fabric and sectarian dynamics, exuding the misunderstandings, pretentions and fabrications of the orientalist tradition at its worse. Someone should explain to me why Syria, above any other country in the middle east, provokes the orientalist imagination. The MacMaster story was a pure concoction of orientalist cliches, despite its author claiming the contrary. Maybe because, more than any pother country in the ME, Syria is difficult to understand for outsiders and even for those westerners who pretend to be insiders.”


June 22nd, 2011, 8:16 pm


aboali said:

look at this, this is disgusting, this is what the pro-regime people are all about, violence hate and intimidation:

لقد تم بعونه تعالى ضرب الفنان سلوم حداد في مقهى الروضة مساء أمس من تحت أيدين شباب المقهى الشرفاء الذين لم يقبلوا بوجود هذا الشيئ بينهم ^_^


June 22nd, 2011, 8:21 pm


jad said:

No country in the whole world tolerate thugs terrorizing it’s citizens:

“مع استمرار تمركز وحدات الجيش العربي السوري على المداخل الرئيسية على أوتستراد حلب دمشق، وفتح وتأمين هذا الطريق الرئيسي والدولي، وعدم دخول الجيش إلى مدينة معرة النعمان وجبل الزاوية حالياً حقناً للدماء وإعطاء الفرصة لجهود الحوار بين الفعاليات والجهات الاجتماعية والسياسية والمجموعات المعارضة والمسلحة، عادت المجموعات المسلحة للظهور بعد أن اختفت خلال الأسابيع الماضية منذ دخول الجيش إلى المحافظة مستغلة الفراغ الأمني الذي حصل نتيجة الأحداث الأمنية الراهنة، مقيمة الحواجز المسلحة على الطرق العامة بين قرى جبل الزاوية ومدينة أريحا، وبين قرى من ريف معرة النعمان والمدينة.
جاء ذلك في حين طالبت الشبكة السورية لحقوق الإنسان بفتح تحقيق في تعرض نشطائها للاعتداء من قبل مخربين، خلال مشاركة الشبكة بمسيرة مؤيدة للإصلاحات في مدينة حماة.
وفي تفاصيل أحداث محافظة إدلب فقد انتقلت المجموعات المسلحة من ممارسات منع المواطنين من التنقل لتسيير أعمالهم، والموظفين من الذهاب إلى دوائرهم في هاتين المدينتين ومدينة إدلب..إلى منع تسويق المحاصيل الزراعية وخاصة الكرز، وهناك من تحدث عن قيام بعض الحواجز بإتلاف عبوات من الكرز وإعادة السيارات المحملة إلى قراها مكبدة المزارعين خسارة كبيرة لكونهم يعتمدون بشكل رئيسي في دخلهم على هذا المحصول.
كذلك بيّن مواطنون أن مجموعات مسلحة تقف على عملية توزيع المازوت في بعض محطات المحروقات وتعطي المازوت للمؤيدين لهم فقط.
وأكد مراسل «الوطن» أن مدينة جسر الشغور باتت آمنة، ولكن ما زال العديد من القرى المجاورة
يعانون من غياب الأمن فيها نتيجة وجود مجموعات مسلحة تبعث الخوف والرعب من قيام المزارعين بجني محاصيلهم الزراعية، فقد سبق أن حذروهم من حصاد الحبوب ومنعهم من تسويقها إلى مراكز الحبوب إلا بعد انضمامهم للمجموعات المعارضة والوقوف ضد السلطة بشكل علني.
وأضاف المراسل أنه على الرغم من حصاد معظم المساحات المزروعة بالقمح ولكن ما زال هناك مساحات أخرى لم تحصد رغم اقتراب وصول موسم الحصاد إلى نهايته، وذلك إما نتيجة الخوف من المسلحين أو استمرار هرب بعض المزارعين إلى خارج منطقة جسر الشغور، وهذا الأمر ينطبق على مساحات واسعة من الأشجار المثمرة التي نضجت وباتت الثمار تتساقط على الأرض دون تمكن أصحابها من جنيها وخاصة في المناطق الجبلية الغربية وحتى الحدود التركية، حيث تنتشر وتنشط مجموعات مسلحة في هذه المناطق.
وأشار المراسل إلى المجموعات المسلحة تمكنت من توريط الآلاف من المواطنين المزارعين في الهرب إلى تركيا، وذلك بعد أن سبق أن ورطت مئات في تظاهرات معارضة سلمية ومسلحة، بينما راحت تنصب الحواجز على الحدود لتمنعهم من العودة بعد أن استقرت الأمور في مدينة جسر الشغور بعد إحكام الجيش سيطرته على المدينة وتأمينها.”


June 22nd, 2011, 8:25 pm


why-discuss said:


It may be a generalization ( Khudr is also generalizing) and in all generalization there are limits and exceptions.
Real secularism is not easily found in the Syrian societies. Aside from atheists that are a tiny minority, the only large group of people who are not influenced close of far by mullahs, or sheikhs or priests are the Alawites, do you deny it?

June 22nd, 2011, 8:31 pm


Tara said:

Tara Story #3

Too many tender cords are struck today!

Did you read #41 link about سيد المقاومة ?

“He has failed the test of history—of knowing when to abandon tyrants benevolent to him for their own reasons but abusive and criminal to their own people”

I call it the moral fall of سيد المقاومة

Have I told you I visited Lebanon last year for one day. It was last July. The driver thought I was going shopping. Just before we arrived to Beirut, I told him my real destination: الضاحية الجنوبية . He asked me where exactly in الضاحية الجنوبية and I could not answer. When we arrived, I asked him to stop the car to let me off. I just wanted to take the air in of the الضاحية الجنوبية. I walked along a street there dragging my small child and staring at passers- by. That is all what I wanted to do! It was pretty hot and humid but I was in an ecstatic mood. Why wouldn’t I and all what was playing in my ears throughout the trip was a poem by Omar Farra called جنوبيٌ هوى قلبي. Do you know that piece? Look it up on You Tube if you never heard it before. I spent about an hour there, took a single photo of my child, and then returned to Damascus. No other stops were made. This was my Lebanese excursion for I did not care about visiting any other place in Beirut (no offense). I looked at that photo few days ago and wondered if I would ever discuss it with my baby when she grows up.

The truth will eventually come out but I am just hoping and really wanting to believe that سيد المقاومة has not sent HA fighters to help the Syrian criminal state killing the Syrian nation and if he had done it, he would have not betrayed my own جنوبيٌ هوى قلبي , he would have betrayed all those sacred HA fighters who once died for our pride.

June 22nd, 2011, 8:31 pm


Mundas999 said:

Nafdik, C 40

I think many solutions could be found if there is a serious open and franc dialogue. it will need compromise from all sides. We need to talk in a sectarian way like the lebanese. even use quota!! then many minoritries concerns could be addressed.

so Allawis would say:
we need to feel safe we need so many generals in the army.
Sunnis would accept to avoid bloodshed.
Christians and druze would say we do not want to support the Assad regime but what is our situation in the new system

In Al-Taef accord to end Lebanese war, many crimes were forgotten as a compromise to stop the bloodshed.

June 22nd, 2011, 8:31 pm


zsolt sass said:

My dear muslim brothers and sisters from syria and from all over the arab world ,it is my duty to inform you that terrorist elements sponsored by the american cia are responsible for the unrest in syria.These servants of the devil kill syrian people who believe in freedom and justice and in their country and in its dear beloved president Assad.Syria the country of the brave and the free is targeted by foreign terrorist and it is the duty of every muslim to kill all foreign terrorist until justice is served,than this is GODS WILL.Sryian brothers and sisters thank you for being so brave and for fighting the terrorist,God be with you with syria and God bless syria and its above all beloved lion of syria «««president Assad«« a truth and real Leader who loves his people ,his country above everything.The entire arab world needs to wake up ,stand together and fight together the devil and its servants than this is the duty of every muslim because it is GODS WILL. comrade,freedomfighter Zsolt Sass

June 22nd, 2011, 8:42 pm


why-discuss said:


I have stopped reading the french newspapers. There is such an inherent dishonesty that they disgust me. I guess France is in such a mess politically and economically that they take a sadistic pleasure in insisting on all the negative aspects of Syria’s situation as a diversion.
I think France is really going further down. They host Khaddam and their ex-president Chirac is going on trial for corruption.
Moallem is right about forgetting Europe. I think in the future, turkish or persian should be taught in school together with English, certainly not French.
I think the US has been much more restrained, as Obama has been consulting with Erdogan regularly. I still believe Turkey is the only key for Syria to get out of this crisis.

June 22nd, 2011, 8:43 pm


aboali said:

#52 I used to feel the same about Hezbollah and Nasrallah, so proud that they were the freedom fighters standing up for our injured Arab dignity and stolen rights. But they’ve been superseded by Bouazizi and his brand of young unarmed revolutionaries from Tunis Libya Egypt Yemen Bahrian and Syria, those are the true freedom fighters now, Hezbollah and Nasrallah have been exposed as nothing more than an opportunistic militia worried about keeping themselves in power and authority at the cost of any moral or ethical stand.

June 22nd, 2011, 8:49 pm


aboali said:

Jaratheem want to topple the regime – By Dettol:


June 22nd, 2011, 9:07 pm


why-discuss said:

AboAli , Tara

Funny that less a 2 weeks ago, all newspapers ( including al Jazeera) were claiming the new government in Lebanon was dominated by the Hezbollah, that it was a victory for Seyyed Hassan. He does not appear to me as loosing any of his power, and it is good that many in Syria stop idolizing him. I am not unhappy that his photos are disappearing from the shops. He is a man of religion, his place in not in hairdresser shops or groceries.
This is a confusing time and only the future will tell us if he was right or wrong.

June 22nd, 2011, 9:13 pm


why-discuss said:


You easily change your mind, don’t you?
A hero yesterday, a megalomaniac today? what about tomorrow?

June 22nd, 2011, 9:15 pm


Norman said:

few points,

yes the Alawat are educated now and have successful businesses, we just have to remember that without Hafiz Assad and the Baath party they would be still servants in houses and farming the land , their areas and the Syrian coast were neglected, i believe that is what makes the Alawat rally around Bashar, They understand that Al-Assads and the Baath party gave them equality and opportunity that was denied them for centuries,

If we look at the Alawat in Syria, They remind me with the Jews and as the Jews were persecuted for centuries by the Church and the Western world that ended with Holocaust, The Alwat were persecuted by the Ottoman Turks for centuries and as the Jews who said never again on being a second class citizens and seeked to have their own state, i believe that the Alawat will never accept to be second class citizen in Syria, The question is can the opposition mostly the Sunni make them feel secure and equal with same opportunities for them and other minorities, I fear if the violence continue, They might come to the conclusion rightly or wrongly that their heads and lives is what the opposition want then they might seek a state for their own as the Jews did,

It is going to be very tense times for Syria,

By the way, The opposition refused the dialogue with the government claiming that the president lost legitimacy, These people do not want better Syria , We should all hunker down the storm is still to come,

June 22nd, 2011, 9:31 pm


Norman said:


Is it ok to ask people on this site if they are Sunni or Alawites or the question is still considered a taboo?

June 22nd, 2011, 9:41 pm


aboali said:

#58 well isn’t it obvious I mean? The raison d’etre of Hezbollah is resistance. They claim to stand for the rights of the oppressed, and fight against tyranny and injustice. How can they then turn around and side with the Syrian regime against the people’s rightful aspirations? Justifying therefore the murder and brutality inflicted upon the Syrians as a necessary sacrifice for as greater good, what twisted Machiavellian nonsense.
Those people had the Arabs duped, they’re just an opportunistic entity looking out for their own gains and objectives, nothing else. A free Arab world won’t need them to resist and fight Israel anyway, as a representative democratic Arab nation which encompasses the aspirations of it’s citizens in a free and fair society will be able to challenge and take on Israel easily. Something which the meek puppet regimes and dictatorships which have plagued us for so many decades never could.

June 22nd, 2011, 9:41 pm


Nafdik said:


How do you think we can resolve the trust issue?

This applies both to the allawites trusting a democratic syria and the protesters trusting assad.

You have to agree that protesters cannot start dialog until the amnesty is real and the violence stops. But assad can not do that because he knows once he removes the last barrier of fear the protests will grow 10 fold.

June 22nd, 2011, 9:44 pm


why-discuss said:


I trust the opposition will soon be ironically under international pressure to cooperate. While they are ‘outraged’ by the violent crackdown, the arab countries as well as the western countries are totally impotent and confused. Europe has been made irrelevant and the US is mulling about what to do next. Yet all foreign ambassadors are still in their post. Their obvious conclusion is that there is no alternative to Bashar al Assad.
Having clarified the steps to democracy, Turkey will now rally to Bashar Al Assad’s views. Turkey and Russia will soon meet the opposition, this is the real turning point.

June 22nd, 2011, 9:51 pm


Tara said:

“He does not appear to me as loosing any of his power”

He did not lose power. He lost legacy!

June 22nd, 2011, 9:53 pm


Abughassan said:

Recent conversations I had with people in Hama and Homs clearly indicate that there is a high level of frustration among those who were disappointed that the regime did not magically disappear as aljazeera predicted. This frustration led to assaulting pro regime demonstration in both cities,gun fire erupted and casualities were reported. This is by no means an effort by me to get the security forces off the hook,I still think they are the main obstacle to reform along with the close circle around Bashar. My fear is that we may start seeing a long violent period that brings us back to the days when millitants committed random acts of violence that mostly targeted civilians.If the thugs,not peaceful freedom seekers,fail in toppling the regime,they may resort to Iraqi style terror acts to punish the regime and the people who dared not to support them. I hope I am wrong here.

June 22nd, 2011, 9:56 pm


why-discuss said:


Lots of people share your ideas, for example the 14 march party in Lebanon, whose leader, the illustrous Saad Hariri is now in Paris, fearing for his life. They have been saying that all along: Hezbollah is duping us, it is an Iranian conspiracy. The US is our savior and Israel is a better neighbor than Bashar’s Syria.
Obviously you are not the only one who see through Seyyed Nasrallah “machiavelic” plans

June 22nd, 2011, 10:02 pm


Norman said:


You do it the way we do it in the US , small districts initially marked on sectarian and ethnic lines so people have representatives but with anti discrimination laws in housing and employment that will diverse people and make them register and vote where they live not where they come from , each town will have elected city council and Mayer,police and fire department , revenue for each district and town comes for real estate taxes and the central government will equalize the revenue of the districts and towns to have equality dependent on the number of the population sale tax could help too to support the towns , strict requirement for starting a business and affirmative action for low income or disadvantage Syrians.

The Syrian army will be there to protect the safety of the minorities and to secure peaceful transfere of power , back and forth,

June 22nd, 2011, 10:02 pm


why-discuss said:


In your eyes…. far from an absolute

June 22nd, 2011, 10:04 pm


syria no kandahar said:

whoever sees in this game going on in syria anything except an attempt to dismantle the relation with iran and hizballah,has blurred vision.there is 100 examples that the US and the west don’t really care about democracy and freedom(especially the worst jail in the univers Saudi Arabia).Sunni Syria is much more benifecial for all the players in the game.If the regime dos’t read the events this way they well never be able to exit from this hell.simply stating Bashar is between one of tow choices:either Ahmad and Hassn heads or HIS.

June 22nd, 2011, 10:10 pm


Yazan said:

51. Why Discuss
Sorry to interrupt. But I do disagree. My grandfather happened to be a “Sheikh”. A real one, mind you, with many “students” and followers. Some of them were fairly high ranking officers, civil servants, etc. And I remember that until his very last days, none of them would dare refuse an order of his. And they’d come and take his blessings/opinion, on every decision they had to make

It may be that Alawites do have a decentralized religious leadership, but they still look up to Sheikhs and “mullahs”, and the newer generation is by far a lot worse in that regard. The generation of my parents, ~1970s, was characterized by a sudden growth of wealth and a tremendous ascendance in education levels among Alawis, and many of them did their higher education in eastern Europe or the Soviet Union, so secularist thought penetration was much higher than now.

June 22nd, 2011, 10:11 pm


Tara said:

Sheila and Mariam,

Hello girls!

Please post more. Let the guys on SC hear it from yet other Syrian women. Just please be prepared to hear it all. You will be called MB, Zionist, non-syrian, gay girl in Damascus, American man…,..but do not worry, you will develp a taste for it all.

…I was feeling so lonely here and was about to ask my sister Yara to chip in but I will spare her for now.

Guys/Gals: In case you did not notice, both Sheila and Mariam posted under JL ” where is the truth..”

June 22nd, 2011, 10:14 pm


why-discuss said:


I think it may happen sooner than later. There could random killing on civilians, booby trap car bombs because the impatience and sense of failure of some will have a common cause with the sinister elements who just want to create chaos to execute their agenda.

Then the Syrians will start to beg the government to intervene with tougher control, stronger crackdown on weapons and terrorism

The opposition will accuse the government of putting these bombs.
And here we are: Iraq at its best!
The opposition stubborness and refusal to dialog is opening a can of worms.

June 22nd, 2011, 10:14 pm


why-discuss said:


“Sheikhs” in Alawites societies are venerable men, not related to any hierarchy. They are called sheikhs because they are men of faith and wisdom. They give example by their own life of sanctity and high morals. If they fail in their personal life , they will loose their followers and be rejected.
This is totally different in other religions where there is a hierarchy and a line of preaching well established. People don’t follow the preachers because of their personal merits but because they belong to an institution that is supposed to carry the divine message.

June 22nd, 2011, 10:31 pm


abughassan said:

read the writings on the wall: Rome want a halt to military campaign in Libya for “humanitarian reasons”, Obama and the Congress have enough problems at home,Turkey wants to make money not enemies,China could not care less, Russia is not ready for another humilation in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia will side with stability so the smell of revoluation does not reach the kingdom,and the list goes on.
I hope the opposition drops the foreign intervention card and start looking at changing the regime using soft power not local or outside guns. I will be the first to clap when they admit that there were elements opposed to the regime that killed syrians,they also need to accept the dialogue after their conditions are met,namely the release of all political prisoners,a halt of arbitrary arrests,criminalizing brutality by security forces,an announcement about article-8 and a decnet proposal on political parties with a timeline. enough violence…

June 22nd, 2011, 10:32 pm


Tara said:


I hope I am wrong!

History will judge everyone. We just need to see how his legacy would be written.

June 22nd, 2011, 10:32 pm


Tara said:


Sorry to be rude. Are you Alawite?

June 22nd, 2011, 10:35 pm


why-discuss said:


I share your fears.

June 22nd, 2011, 10:36 pm


Revlon said:

Dear Commentors, I posed the following question on the earlier post:
[[Dears: ABUGHASSAN, Syrian Knight, Mohammad Kanj, JAD, ALEX, Syrian Commando,Why-Discuss, Syria No Kabndahar, Vlad-The-Syrian, 873, USAMA, and JOHN KHOURI
In his preamble to justify his means for combatting conspiracy, Jr said:
(Burying sedition is a national, moral, and religious duty; and all those who can contribute to burying it and do not are part of it. The Holy Quran says, “sedition is worse than killing,”) Jr Speech I, March 31st 2011.
I would like to see your frank answer to this question:
Do you agree with your president’s statement; in principle, context, and implications?]]

Thusfar, two have kindly replied.

1. Syrian Commando wrote: I’m not religious, so I don’t care for references to religious text, but in this case, when the country is at war and there is an international conspiracy against it, “sedition” is very self-harming.
In contrast, “sedition” in Greece and Spain is extremely important as these countries have been conquered by the international bankers, whereas Syria is still free.

Thank you for your reply.
Your position, as I understand, is neutral on the principle, context, and implications of “referring to religious texts” in support of major national policy

I would like you to note that the statement was not just a mere reference to a religious text.
The statement amounts to a Shari3a Fatwa, based on a verse in Quran and Sunna.

2. ABUGHASSAN wrote: “Somehow my SC logging name was used in a bundle of people on this blogg who were ,as implied by an Islamist blogger, as supporters of Bashar speech. I can not speak on behalf of others but I do not Know where this lie came from.”

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my question.
Your position, as I understand it, is that you choose to refrain from addressing the question.
Before I continue, I would like to tell you that I owe you a clarification and an apology.
I listed your name first as you come across to me as the only “neutral Syrian” on this blog.
I should have made that a priori clear.

1/11 supporters did not mind the statement
1/1 neutrals and 10/11 regime supporters are either still pondering or have chosen to decline to address the issue.

Until I am proven otherwise, they are likely to fall in two categories
– Non-critical: They share Syrian Commando’s stance: Do not care!
– Critical of the statement, but prefer not to voice opinion for various reasons

June 22nd, 2011, 10:44 pm


Norman said:


What does it matter in what he writes,?

June 22nd, 2011, 10:45 pm


Revlon said:

The day of the Fall of Legitimacy
Tomorrow, Friday 23 June 2011

Jr’s presidency has never been more than part legitimate, at best.

Jr’s presidency and vested powers are binding only to a minority of the People’s of Syria.
They are:
The Baath party members whom he approves,
The parliament members whom he either appoints or sponsors,
The top commanding security and army officers whom he appoints, and the benefactors/idolisers, by own choice.

Jr has no legitimate, binding contract with the majority of the people of Syria.

While the revolution acknowledges the right of his followers to support him as their representative, The Revolution consider his post as president of the people of Syria to be an illegitimate misrepresentation of their will.

June 22nd, 2011, 10:45 pm


abughassan said:

I am not an expert on alawis,however,I know from relatives that Sheikhs in alawi communities come in different shapes and colors,some are highly educated and respected but others are not. the claim that alawi sheikhs are somewhat more likely to be virtuous than their sunni counterparts is simply not true. furthermore,the influence of sheikhs is measurable in some tight religious communities and militant cults,but it is not decisive in other parts of Syria. Sheikhs played a negative role in this uprising and that confirmed my long-held belief that some Muslmis are islam’s worst enemy.I have to admit that I am not big on religion and religious people in general but I respect those who practice what they preach,and many of our sheikhs on both sides are a mix of business men and hypocrites. Syria and any country will be better off if religion stays at home. people landed on the moon and we are still talking religion !!

June 22nd, 2011, 10:48 pm


Syrian Commando said:

#26 Mimo,

The idiot can barely speak Arabic and he made no comment to the SYRIAN MEDIA. Of course he scurried back home and lied his mouth off in contradiction to other state representatives there.


You guy are setting yourselves up for a huge disappointment with these names, lol.

By the way, I’d actually almost lean “against” that statement since it is trying to derive power from religion, but I basically agree atm that sedition in Syria is as bad or worse than killing, since it can result in mass-killing from foreigners joining the war.

June 22nd, 2011, 10:50 pm


Yazan said:

A “non-practicing Alawi”, yes.

June 22nd, 2011, 10:53 pm


Tara said:


Does not, but he was describing his grandfather who is a sheik then went on to discuss the 1970s secularism among alawites so I got confused if he was refering to a sunni or an alawite sheik and that was why I asked.

June 22nd, 2011, 10:54 pm


syau said:

“The Alawi Dilemma – Revisited”

This is one of the most ridiculous pieces of writing I have read. All it seems to be aimed at is further fuelling the sectarian monster. I suggest the next piece be How the Muslim brotherhood stole sunnism from Sunni.

President Assad said himself “I am not Alawi nor Sunni, I belong to Mohamad”. Continuing along the pathetic path of “Alawihood” being robbed and similar comments or the religion of Syrias leader, is pointless and stupid. Alawis are not Alawis because of President Assad and Sunni’s are not sunni because of Saddam Hussein, Husni Mubarak, Saudi’s king A.

Enough of the Alawi vs Sunni propaganda.

June 22nd, 2011, 10:58 pm


Tara said:


I hope I did not offend you by asking. I like to think about myself as a “kind” person and sometimes I feel forced to say unkind things to convey a point. I am sorry if I did.

June 22nd, 2011, 11:01 pm


Syrian Commando said:

William Scott Scherk,

The video you’re discussing is almost certainly faked and poorly constructed compared to the previous ones. For one, the orders he claimed happened were never realised on the ground. Banyas is a stronghold for the government.

As for the captured spy, there was a discussion on it several month ago, if I find the article I will let you know, but Addounia broadcast the captured Mossad documents so you might be able to find it in their youtube channel.


“My fear is that we may start seeing a long violent period that brings us back to the days when millitants committed random acts of violence that mostly targeted civilians”

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THE LAST 3 MONTH. This is precisely what has been happening. There is nothing new, shops are being burnt down in Hama+Homs for not participating in the “general strike”. The Islamists are trying to tear the country apart and by god we won’t let them. They should never forget that we are the majority and if there really is a civil war as they are hoping, the outcome won’t favour them (but there won’t be such a war because the majority is more intelligent than them).


>But they’ve been superseded by Bouazizi and his brand of young unarmed revolutionaries from Tunis Libya Egypt Yemen Bahrian and Syria, those are the true freedom fighters now

Yeah I guess Israel just disappeared right, lol. Also, the whole Bouzazi story is extremely questionable. Even the BBC is covering it. I guess you prefer to live out fantasies rather than fight a real enemy right?


You are wrong, Turkey is not the key for us to get out of this foreign-crisis because Turkey is a party to the conspiracy and in fact the country who will attack us first. We should not learn Turkish, but we should start exporting coffins into Turkey soon.

June 22nd, 2011, 11:02 pm


Tara said:


“How the Muslim brotherhood stole sunnism from Sunni.”

That is really great topic to discuss.

June 22nd, 2011, 11:05 pm


abughassan said:

people in power may try to use religion it if fits their agenda. Sunni sheikhs publically condemned demonstrators in Bahrian because they were defying “walle alamr” and “shaqqu asa alta’aa” but they called demonstrators in Syria freedom fighters and asked allah to come to their help,the truth is that people in both countries want freedom and are entitled to get out to protest injustice.
Bashar’s use of a verse in Al-Quran does not mean anything to me,I read al-quran,as a wonderful and powerful book and my holy book,multiple times since I was 6 year-old and I use it to help me become a better person,but that is about it. you will never see me publically talking about religious matters unless I am asked. Bashar was never elected through free and fair elections,so in that sense he is not legitimate,but so are almost all Muslim and Arab leaders. the time for political change is now but not through violence and destruction.Al-Fitna will spare nobody,and the so-called “the day of the fall of legitimacy” is a silly idea and will only manage to get some syrians killed,in that sense,sedition is not justified,but opposing government peacefully is a god-given right. this uprising needs a major makeover,my friends.

June 22nd, 2011, 11:05 pm


Yazan said:

Regardless of what you think of the merits of the article, or the depth/soundness of its analysis, it is not “sectarian”, by any stretch of imagination. Those commenters who find it sectarian, are obviously ones who are not very familiar with Alawi society. (And No, having 2 Alawi friends in high school, doesn’t mean you are familiar with Alawi society).

Not at all. I do not have a “real” sense of belonging to the sect because my parents consciously tried to do away with that. But, and definitely by virtue of living in a majority Alawi society all my life, I’m certainly comfortable and subtly quite attuned to the culture.

June 22nd, 2011, 11:06 pm


Usama said:

Great article! No wonder the Syrian MB calls for killing off the heretic `Alawis. Why did I not see it before! Now that I see the light, yasqot bashar al-asad yasqot! yasqot yasqot yasqot! Now we also need to kill off the millions of Sunnis that support Bashar al-Asad because clearly they converted to Alawism, those kafir heretics!

By the way Vlad, Mu`allem yesterday used that French expression that you introduced to us a few days ago. Les chiens aboient, la caravanne passe. It was great, haha.

June 22nd, 2011, 11:11 pm


syria no kandahar said:

I will answer your question if you answer this question:do you condem the Alaroor effect in the events going in Syria? To me that is the most critical question which differentiat between a good sunni syrian and a terrorist sunni syrian.
As far as your friday statement it is wrnong math,it is minorities and and many sunnies who are with giving dialoqu a chance.just judging by you tube the opposition is loser so far.if you can get one million of demonstrators in damascus and another million in aleppo you can startb making statements like that.you also have to work on the quality of people you get to the streets:get some middle and upper class people,get people with jobes,get some women which shoe more than 2 mm of there bodies,get some well dressed people,get people who dont throw stones,get some people who have something to loose.Also work on the revolutionary carbage chants,get reconcioulary chants,get rid of the carbage chants:kus ammak ya hafez,kiss ammak ya bashar,ynal rohak ya hafez,lahamoya dabeha,resho ward al aroor…carbage chants equal carbage revolution.what you wright here is a package which has nothing with what is done on the streets.i am just mentioning facts and i am not going to more disputable stuff . let us be very honest: what was sold in egypt has much less market in syria.Ther Kurds,Druz,Christians,Alawi,Ismaeli,Sharkas and 60% of sunni dont want you.

June 22nd, 2011, 11:21 pm


Syrian Commando said:


You’re not reading deep enough to realise the sectarian undertones and the actually INTENTION of the article. Who ever highlights “differences” and tries to dissect a society as we see the display here, is attempting to drum up sectarian strife. See Al khanzeera’s campaign in Iraq, for a strong example.

June 22nd, 2011, 11:24 pm


syau said:


When the spotlight is continually on the religion of the president and comments like “Because Alawi life has been so transformed over the last century, the single common bond uniting us is Assad rule itself” among others, highlights the ugly sectarianism in this revolution. We should be concentrating on reforms to better the country, not religion because that is a downward spiral towards intolerance.

Should we just continue down the sectarian path and fight each other, instead of fighting conspiracies and foreign interference in Syria and those who are aiming for that?

I know where my fight is.

June 22nd, 2011, 11:36 pm


Averroes said:

Watch this:


Duniya TV talks to 3 guys who were kidnapped and forced to say that thet were “Sabbi7a working for Maher al-Assad”, yet 4 days later, the clip is still used by anti-Syria TV channel.

June 22nd, 2011, 11:46 pm


abughassan said:

press discontent with baathi leaders is public now even on sites like champress (a mouth piece of the regime usually).the editor published an article ridiculing one of the most senior baathi leaders in Syria,Bakhtyan,for saying NO to abolishing article-8.
this article,most probably,sanctioned by the regime,was critical of albaath too and it may indicate a shift,not just against Bkhaytan,but albaath in general.
Bakhtyar is an easier target than other big names like Makhlouf,Mamlouk,and Shawkat. I will know that Bashar is in charge when we hear the magic word about article-8 and free elections and when nobody in Syria is jailed for opening his mouth,until then I have to assume that his security chiefs are still calling the shots,some insist that Bashar is as bad as al-shabiha and rouge elements in the security forces,I prefer to be hopeful that he will keep his word,but he does not have a lot of time,the streets are boiling and the economy is freezing !!

June 22nd, 2011, 11:47 pm


Revlon said:

# 90- Dear Syria No Kandahar, thank you for your conditional offer to answer my earlier question.

I do not know Sheikh Al3ar3oor.
I do not follow his or any other sheikh’s speaches.
I do not idolise A3ar3oor or any other living person.

I support every one in trying to regain their basic human rights and civil rights, in peaceful means, including demonstrations, blogging, etc…

Invoking mis-interpretations of verses of Quran and Sunna to nonopolise power has been abused since the dawn of Islam.
It has been done by all Khalifas of Omaya, 3abasi, Fatimiyeen, and Otomans.
Now it is being abused by the enlightened and “secular” Jr A Asad

June 22nd, 2011, 11:50 pm


Syrian Commando said:

He has plenty of time internally, the Islamists are the only ones boiling. Syrians are calm and move slowly on things.

Bashaar will call the shots from now on, the Ba’athi hanger-ons are desperate to cling on to control but those days are over.


But do you CONDEMN a3r3our?

June 22nd, 2011, 11:51 pm


873 said:

Treason Update on ANOTHER dual-traitor spy. This one comes with the express backing of an AIPAC-American Congressman.

Egypt arrests former Ackerman intern on espionage charges By Rich Bockmann June 16, 2011 yournabe.com
Congressman tries to help Oakland Gds. resident accused of spying for Israel on university trip

Ilan Grapel, a former intern in U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman’s office, was arrested late last week in Egypt on charges of being an Israeli spy.
U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) said Tuesday he had been in contact with all possible parties concerning his former intern, Ilan Grapel, who was arrested late last week in Egypt on charges of being an Israeli spy.

“I have been assured from the highest levels in Israel… this kid had nothing to do with espionage,” Ackerman said during a conference call with reporters. “It’s an unfortunate mistake we’re trying to straighten out.”

Grapel, who has was born in the United States and has dual citizenship with Israel, left for Egypt in May to take part in a refugee resettlement program through Emory University in Georgia, where he is third-year law student scheduled to graduate next May. The congressman said the Bronx High School of Science graduate was working with a non-government organization to help resettle refugees from Iraq and Sudan. “Not to be part of a revolution,” he reiterated.

Grapel lives in Oakland Gardens.

A university statement on the matter praised Grapel as an active member of the Emory Law community, citing his nomination for an outstanding student worker award and several volunteer activities. He had received degrees in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and later joined the Israeli army, where he was wounded in 2006 during the war in Lebanon, Ackerman said.
According to the congressman, Grapel was using his own name while wearing his Israeli army uniform and posting pictures of himself to his Facebook account when he was arrested and detained for a period of 15 days. The New York Post said Grapel is 27.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:13 am


Abughassan said:

I got to watch the full video of the alleged army defector Riyadh Ahmad where he claims that the army committed atrocities and encouraged humiliation and assault on unarmed civilians. Most of what he described were,as usual,stories being told to him by a third party,he admitted that his superiors did not trust his loyalty and they excused him from going to the frontline, but he was “brave” enough to mention specific names and even where some officers came from.the list was also published by a guy here who claims he supports peaceful change. In reality,that list is a potential assassination list,and in most countries is considered a crime because it insidiously justify taking revenge from those names as a mean of street justice.this represents a new low for the opposition and anybody who was careless or evil enough to introduce the video.pity a nation that eats its children and can only live for revenge…و اذا أتاكم فاسق بنبأ

June 23rd, 2011, 12:15 am


syau said:


Thanks for the link. Anti Syrian propaganda channels will continue to air fabricated vidoes over and over again as they reach a broader range of viewers than Aldounia tv does. All it does is contribute to their loss of credibility once the truth comes out.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:39 am


louai said:

First thank you Khudr and Dr. Landis
I was very interested to read Khuder assessment to the Alawis position from the revolution NOW as he wrote before about the Aawis and why they may or may not support a revolution against Mr President .
i do not think the late president intended to wipe the Alawis identity away and make them ‘supporters’ I see him as a secular person who had such big influence on his sect because of his success and intelligence he also provided protection , I think Hafiz wanted a secular Syria and he knew that its impossible to achieve that in one or two generations that’s why he used his influence and leadership skills to secularize his own sect and he succeeded with the help of the History (years and years of discrimination)
I don’t think the Alawis are defending their identity here, maybe partially but what they are defending here is their existence !! this revolutions was imported from the past and we saw many killings and slogans were purely sectarian ,the only clear goal the revolution has is to get rid of the president (the Syrian revoulation 2011 against basher al asad)
The opposition is working hard to inject the sectarian terms and divide the country into majority and minorities
The Alwis are defending Syria as we know it now they are with other minorities and the majority of Sunnis protecting the country from becoming another Iraq.
The only minority in Syria now are those who want to get rid of the president at any price ‘the majority’ of the Syrians are with reforms and against this particular revolution.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:02 am


Revlon said:

#96 Dear Syria no Kandahar; you seem to be very emotional about this guy, so much so that you did not “read” my answer!

You said ” But do you CONDEMN a3r3our”

I repeat again:
I do not know Sheikh Al3ar3oor.
I do not follow his or any other sheikh’s speaches.
I do not idolise A3ar3oor or any other living person.

Now, if you want me to judge a statement or an activity of his, then I would kindly ask you to provide it to me, in the same manner I provided Jr’s statement to you.

I never judge people!
I only state opinions trigered by statements or actions made by people.
I do not liken my opposites to germs.
For they are as imperfect and decent humans as I am.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:16 am


Revlon said:

In your comment on a video link to a youtube video of an army defector, and interpretation thereof you said:

“ the list was also published by a guy here who claims he supports peaceful change. In reality,that list is a potential assassination list,and in most countries is considered a crime because it insidiously justify taking revenge from those names as a mean of street justice”

I say:
The names were listed as facts, corroborating the officer’s claims, much like the designation of his unit.
The names that I listed are already part of a published Youtube video.
The masses demonstrating on the street have neither the time, nor the luxury to read your or anybody’s comment on this blog.
When they do surf the net, they would rather surfe Facebook and Youtube and get first hand news.
They are better informed than me or anyone on this blog.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:37 am


Syrian Commando said:

>I never judge people!

Yes, you clearly have condemned Bashaar without giving him a chance by continually calling him “Jr”. You know full well who a3r3our is and refuse to condemn him because you support him along with your islamists, am I correct?

June 23rd, 2011, 1:55 am


Syria no kandahar said:

Dear Revlun
I was not the one who made the statement it was Syrian commando if pay attention,I am not emotional about him or any thing else.I found that your answer is sufficient,but there is no one who can deny that religion is the engine of this movement,and that is why I,and most of syrians,don’t support it.think about Egypt revolution,did you ever hear them chanting:Allah Akbar.This Islamic movement is like a scorpion it dies during delivery,the little newborn scorpions will move around and grew up ,but they will stay religious.you see ,in Egypt you have Sunnis and Copts,and that is it.in Syria you have 18 sectors,and things can’t be simple.The biggest mistake you guys did was coming up with religious Islamic revolution,or to be mor accurate Sunni Revolution,this is a suicide,it is too late to change the colour it is deeply painted.You have to be in much stronger position to be so snoby and refuse any offers from the government.The balance of powers is not in your favor,the government is offering you unconditional dialog opportunity,what is wrong with that?you will say you don’t negotiate with killers,can you tell me when did you get your sainthood?your guys are killers too,be realistic.So the lay Syrian who is different than me and you living abroad,has a lot of stake in this,and the more the regime give in,and you don’t,the more you will be hated by the lay Syrian.So even mr Alshafka or mr Taifur can renew there Syrian passport and be in Damascus next week ,do you think that will make them better or worse in our eyes?Sadat went to Akuds and egyptians 30years later admire him for that,right?so is it mor honorable for them to go to Damascus now ,or later in a French tank?After all Assad is Syrian like them ,if he has blood on his hand or if they have blood on there hands,that is not the issue,the issue is tomorrow,yesterday you can’t change.so if you keep insisting on your current agenda,and act as if you are dealing with a dead regime and 99%of syrians are with you ,you are very wrong.And the more the regime gives in and you don’t ,the more you will lose your credibility as somebody who is iterersted in Syria’s well being.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:55 am


Syrian Commando said:

>the more you will lose your credibility as somebody who is iterersted in Syria’s well being.

What credibility? They have zero. They are not interested in reform, only chaos, otherwise they will be in Damascus discussing matters directly with the legitimate and popular government. They’re still in denial: great majority of Syrians don’t want them, bar the Erdogan/A3r3our lovers.

As for French tanks … they won’t even make it to the coast, I assure you. Syria is not a weak country.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:59 am



Dear Yazan

Is it possible to qualify the president’s statement about him being only a Muhammadian as part of the transformation Khudr has alluded to. I see it in a slightly different light.

I think your comment about the eradication of the syrian mosaic is spot on. Khudr’s article was attacked because he talks about differences. Shouldn’t these differences be embraced instead of being eradicated and rigidly classified as taboo. This is one of the many failures of secular Arabs and Nationalists. It is their attempts to “homogenize” the social fabric instead of celebrating its colorful components. In that context, all sects should be respected as long as the members of all of these sects/ethnicity conform to a model of a non cultural person celebrating an idealist version of the “Syrian/ or Arab” who operates in a strictly enforced hierarchy of identities, which in itself is a denial of the sect’s existence beyond its name as well as denial of all other intellectual and cultural undertones that do not conform to any group.

Under such model, the person’s excercise of nationalism must fully be detached from his/her excercize of all other layers of belonging. This ignores history, which seems to indicate that belonging is multi-layered and politics is not that seperable from culture and heritage. The layers interwine even if they may be contradictory. Any attempt to enforce a heirarchy on belonging will result in the narrowest being always the strongest and in a situation where a pyramid stands upside-down.

When secularism ignores differences and refuses to accept them it becomes the other version of salafism. The former seeks a colorless future, and the latter idolizes a past that exists only in folk tales about a glorious first few decades of Islam while ignoring the ugly reality of tribal in-fight within the Muslim community, which erupted on the eve of the prophet’s death.

Is secular humanism the answer?

I do expect and hope for a powerful and well informed reply, probably from thoughful Syrian Nationalists. It should not be very difficult because the idea presented above are still very far from being coherent.

June 23rd, 2011, 2:06 am


Syrian Commando said:

It’s not only the content, intention and actions but also the timing.

You cannot ignore the real reason behind the publication of this piece.

June 23rd, 2011, 2:24 am


873 said:

Vultures closing in for the kill. Libya, Syria next up for A Coke & A Smile!

Top US senators join business trip to Tunisia, Egypt
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 AFP

WASHINGTON – Top senators John McCain and John Kerry will accompany a delegation of US business leaders on Friday to Tunisia and Egypt to discuss economic opportunities in the North African countries, McCain’s office said.

McCain, a Republican, and Kerry, a Democrat, will visit the two countries with General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, along with officials from Boeing, Coca-Cola, Bechtel, ExxonMobil, Marriot and Dow, confirmed McCain’s office on Wednesday.

On Friday, the delegation planned to meet with current Tunisian Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi, and representatives from the business community.

The group will then head to Egypt on Saturday and Sunday, where they will meet Prime Minister Essam Charaf, the head of Egypt’s Armed Forces Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawiand, and Egyptian business leaders. They will also visit the Cairo Stock Exchange and a Coca-Cola factory.

The visit comes as the two lawmakers join Independent Senator Joe Lieberman in sponsoring a bill to create economic assistance funds for Egypt and Tunisia, both rocked with popular unrest and subsequent regime change in recent months.

The purpose of the funds is to provide capital to local entrepreneurs in the hope of creating “thousands of jobs,” which both countries desperately need, said Kerry, who chairs the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

In proposing the bill, the elected officials urged the United States to back the revolutionary movements across the region known as the “Arab Spring.” The money, tens of millions of dollars, would be provided by funds already allocated to the US State Department.

The bill’s text was approved in May by Kerry’s committee but must still be adopted by the Senate as a whole, and then the House of Representatives, before going before President Barack Obama for approval.

June 23rd, 2011, 2:32 am


Revlon said:

# 104 Syria No Kandahar, I regret the error.

96 Dear Syrian Commando,
You said
“But do you CONDEMN a3r3our?”
Please refer to post #101, for it was intended to address your question.

#103 Dear commando, calling B Asad Jr carries no judgement, good or bad.
He is Asad Jr, and shortly Jr.

June 23rd, 2011, 2:35 am


Usama said:

Egypt’s Nilesat warns Safa and Wisal about the content of their broadcasts.


Now let’s see if Saudi Arabia’s Arabsat will do the same. Highly doubtful.

June 23rd, 2011, 2:50 am


Syrian Commando said:

Just call him Bashaar, the context should be clear: “Jr” is derisory.

The funny thing is a3r3our’s own name is derisory. I suggest you get acquainted with him so that you can find the time to condemn him… he is despicable.


Interesting development. I doubt Saudi Arabia will.

June 23rd, 2011, 2:52 am


Chris W said:

Article: curate’s egg – good in parts, rotten in others.

The bit about ‘Japanese and Germans’ just seemed like a transparent and shallow attempt to describe those opposed to the revolution as Nazis.

Much of the rest of it was the ‘me me me’ style of writing. “What I say must be true, because a certain thing happened to me me me.”

June 23rd, 2011, 4:06 am


Syrian Commando said:

I think its time to stop calling it a revolution, it’s merely an Islamist insurrection.

The reasonable heads are now in the reform process, everyone else wants to destroy Syria. It takes bravery to try and reform, cowardice to stand the streets shouting empty slogans and firing your guns to “allahu akbar”.

June 23rd, 2011, 4:11 am


Revlon said:

#106 Dear OFF THE WALL,
Your essay strikes chord with how I regard and value culture and religion in Syrian society.

The word secular is as threatening to conservatives as the word religious is to liberals.
I think both words have been misused and abused enough that it would be better to do away with both.

The Syrian social system is partly genetically transmitted, as social traits in individuals, and is modulated by thousands of years of heritage of cumulative divine messages and time tested common laws, traditions, and human knowledge.

As such, the best social contract of a nationhood would be the one that is loose enough to embrace all of the above.

Consequently one can describe it as neither secular, nor religious.

I like to call it the human culture society/nationhood, as opposed to sectarian or religious.

As such, the constitution should guarantee the basic human rights and be founded on its cultural pillars.

These are just quick thoughts.
I thank you for bringing up the subject.

June 23rd, 2011, 5:05 am


Yazan said:

I agree with your analysis with regards to the failure of secular/national Arabism. The ideology was destined to failure by its own design. Such a narrow and uncompromising outlook to what constitutes identity is not compatible with an age that is characterized by massive movements of peoples and goods, and massive intermingling of different cultures. It is a 100 years late, at the very least.

To explore one’s (and society’s) many facets that constitute its identity, one must not shy away from elaboration and contradictions. When Tara asked me whether I was a Alawi, I got stuck, with a question (although asked with the best of intentions, I am sure) that indirectly pigeon-holes me in a very narrow place, one which I do not identify with. I don’t understand people who can answer such questions with a simple and short Yes/No. I feel that they are ignorant of a fascinating continuos fabric within themselves.

But that is what these past 40 years have done. Religious education is a glaring example in which this segregation takes a serious toll on small children (I remember vividly how Christian students would be herded to another classroom, and how they’d have to wait outside the door if they finished before us). So we learned that these people are different, but we didn’t learn about each other, and later on they told us we all must become the same.

History was one of the main areas that were completely rewritten and forged to stand for this homogenous hegemony, if you will. The history of Alawis alone under the French occupation alone is one striking example. I don’t see how explaining historical facts (including that a majority of Alawis did support the occupation, and did serve in its ranks (including my other grandfather), and that Saleh al-Ali’s insurrection was also a sectarian one that left serious bruises in the relationship between Ismailis and Alawis, especially around Qadmous and Misyaf, etc.) would taint the Alawis. These are historical facts that need/and should be studied within their historical context. It was very natural that an oppressed, impoverished, and long alienated sect would welcome the French as liberators. It doesn’t mean they are traitors, or less nationalistic than any other component of Syria at the time. Simply because the idea of Syrian nationalism was still a very weak one that only existed in large urban centres.

These are but a few example areas.

What now?

Well, the very first thing I think should be done is that we need to resurrect our communal/collective memory and liberate it from these narrow dogmatic narratives. We need to start writing and reading about our personal, and subjective histories. We need to learn more about each other, about the last 40 years. We need to learn about Hama, and what happened there, we need to learn about the assassinations carried out by the MB, we need to learn about Tadmor, and the purging of the centre and radical left in the 80s (Communist Labor party, and Maktab Siyasi, among others). These are complete blackholes in every Syrian’s history. We need to start rewriting a more honest representation of that history. And that applies to all other facets of our culture. Be it in arts, literature, politics, etc.

We’ve been covered by a cloak of ignorance for 40 years and when we woke up, all out ailments were on display; sectarianism, classism, racism, ignorance, you name it. And now we must face up to all of them, whether the revolution materializes or not is unimportant by this stage, the disintegration of society is all too glaring to ignore.

I can’t claim any insights on how the road to achieve such a national rebuilding scheme could be laid, nor is this an informative and coherent reply. I am simply building on your thoughts to try and find the beginning of the rope (taraf al-7abl).

June 23rd, 2011, 5:11 am


Syrian Commando said:


Good, reasonable post. I wish more of your side will discuss matters like this.

BTW, Arabism is dead, what a joke. Who likes the Arabs? No body. Not even the Arabs themselves!!!!!!

June 23rd, 2011, 5:12 am


Shami said:

Those who cricizie this article lack any argument.
This issue is recurrent and the article is close to the truth.
I often read here that the sunnis are in love with the regime ,the mukhabarat and army officers , Syria is a paradise for all ,this is far from the reality.
The resetment against the alawites is huge ,dont be deluded by the hypocrites in the current context.
It’s very hard for an alawite to integrate the syrian business community(the corrupt civil servants and army and mukhabarat officers are intermediate)because of the lack of trust.
The alawite issue must be debated before the end day of this regime.
In my opnion ,the alawites have no other choice other than to be integrated into the syrian social body though marriages ,the sunni-alawite marriages are rare.I would agree with those menhebak if for example a daughter of mufti Hassoun marries an alawite,we all know the reality of the syrian context under this regime,it’s a false world that like false and hypocrite slogans.
This alawite culture of fear and hatred of the surrounding environment is no more acceptable.This marginalization is suicidal.
Guenine ties must be build on trust and love.

June 23rd, 2011, 5:21 am


Syrian Commando said:

You’re debating “it” now in order to attempt to create sectarian strife. That’s it, pure and simple and you’re not even trying to hide your sectarianism. There’s no need to discuss outstanding issues as it will vanish with reform. You think the government will fall, I tell you, without a war, it will outlast every western government that is against it in its current form.

You can’t outsmart us.

June 23rd, 2011, 5:26 am


Birgitte Rahbek said:

excellent article, but how can one tell if a person/Syrian is Alawi or Sunni?

June 23rd, 2011, 5:33 am


Mina said:

Waw, Shami is showing his true face:
“the alawites have no other choice other than to be integrated into the syrian social body though marriages”

You post from Saudi Arabia?

I would like to point to people who have accused JL of a double agenda here that he probably posted this 1)in answer to Tara’s request 2)to promote an interesting debate.

And we got an interesting debate. I do think that the Soviets were due to fail because they thought they could dispose of religion. Now even in the so-called secular West religion made a come back on the stage and it is not clear yet how to integrate it in curriculums and in the society. So this debate poses question to everybody, and shows again that indeed what is needed is to invent a third way.

June 23rd, 2011, 5:35 am


Syrian Commando said:

The mechanisms of the failures of religious society have already been described by the greatest thinkers in modern history:

Friedrich Nietzsche
Johann K. Schmidt (aka Max Stirner)

There’s nothing left to debate in that regard. How to repair the current situation — if you surplant one religion (traditional) you’ll only get another (neo-liberalism).

June 23rd, 2011, 5:38 am


Shami said:

Mina ,it’s my opinion ,integration through love and marriage.
Do you have an other idea?

June 23rd, 2011, 5:41 am


Syrian Commando said:

Shami, it’s not just your idea by the way. The Australian colonists thought they could do the same thing to the aboriginals. See stolen generation.

There’s no need for inter-marraige, Syrian Alawis are Syrians just like any other Syrian. Our diversity of views is what gives our nation strength.

Anyway, check this out:


Gotta hand it to Syrians, the enemy thought we are the weak link in the chain of resistance but it turns out we are the very CORE of it.

June 23rd, 2011, 5:50 am


Syrian Commando said:

BREAKING NEWS: Turkey and Syria are literally at the very brink of war as Turkey threatens to build “refugee” places on the Syrian side of the border. Syrian army will engage any Turkish trespassers.

June 23rd, 2011, 6:06 am


mjabali said:


Do you think the Alawis are infidels/Kuffar or not?

I expect you to NOT answer this question that I have asked you many times before the same way Revlon did not answer the well balanced comment number 104 posted by Syria No Kandahar.

Your “invitation” to integrate the Alawis to the Sunni body is laughable. What about if the Alawis like what they are and want to preserve their tradition? is it that tainted in your opinion that it have to disappear?

What would the Alawi women say about this deal? From being liberated, respected, learned and well to do to be covered with a burqa and just bring more kids to this world and get beaten up by a male who thinks he is applying the words of a god! You must be out of your mind my friend.

The Sunnis of Syria did not do anything to assure the minorities with a bright future. The past and the present indicate a new post war Iraq to come to Syria.

Violence is going to escalate if there is no dialogue in the near future, and sooner or later this will spill into the countries on the side like Lebanon, Turkey and for sure Jordan and Israel.

The near future of this area is bleak unless the cool heads win. But, so far we have not seen anyone to step up and be a leader of the new era that will include all. This is why transition in Syria should be gradual and through well balanced and thought of measures starting with real parties.

June 23rd, 2011, 6:30 am


HS said:

Please kindly note :

Some people are mixing up lose and loose. In particular, a lot of people are writing loose when they really mean lose. Here are the definitions of the two words from dictionary:

loose [lOOs] adj
not fastened or pre-packed; not tied up or confined; able to move freely; not tight, not firmly fixed; not close-fitting; careless, inaccurate, vague; dissolute, immoral; not closely woven; flabby; (of bowels) inclined to diarrhoea;

lose (p/t and p/part lost) [lOOz] v/t
i no longer have; be deprived of by accident or misfortune; mislay, fail to find; fail to get or win; be too late for; be bereaved of; waste; be defeated or beaten; suffer loss, become worse off; fail to hear, see or understand; cause or allow to perish;
lose out (US) be defeated after a struggle.

It may be an indicator of ???

June 23rd, 2011, 7:01 am


Shami said:


The alawite religion is a syncretism that integrate old middle eastern religions,christianity and shia’ism.
And i dont care if somebody is muslim ,jew ,atheist or christian ,the important things for me are morality,honesty,kindness,integrity,bravery and those values are not restricted to a group of people.

June 23rd, 2011, 7:21 am


Tara said:

Yazan & Off The Wall,

#106 & 115

Really quite impressive dialogue that I totally agree with it’s content.

Yazan, I always mentally disapproved the Christian children being herded out during religion class in school. This was awful and must be changed somehow.

I also agree very much with celebrating the mosaic fabric rather than homogenizing it. That what would make us culturally rich and what would actually strength us. How beautiful your comment ” we need to learn about each other” is. Hama, tadmur, MB assassinations, Sednaya, Aroor, Ibn taymiah within the context of that era of history, Alawis role during and the french occupation within the context of their history being
oppressed. I asked the commentators to discuss Hama and was totally ignored. My intention was not really scaremongering or hate mongering. It was rather to initiate a process of healing. I was hoping that Syrians who live in the west can somehow see the big picture and propose a solution but all what you get here is being name calling. There is rare substance from any discussion. I must say that your upbringing is very similar to mine. I also called myself a non practicing Sunni for lack of a better phrase.

All in all, that dialogue was a glimpse of hope to Tara. Thanks.

June 23rd, 2011, 7:26 am


Darryl said:

Many of these comments about one’s religion and syrian fabric etc etc. are not going to solve the fundemental problem facing the midldle east people.

One of the most fundemental issues in Syria is that the majority of the population cannot change their religion. Hence, we have people who are not-practcing this sect and that sect. The Baath with it’s secular ideology was trying to solve this problem but it clearly cannot and they did a good job by removing ones religion from the identity cards years ago. The solution going forward is:

1. Freedom to change your religion, Syria will then have a continious and “smoothed” population and tolerance will be greatly increased.
2. Legalize civil mariages so that interfaith marriages can inncrease and create a more “smoothe” society instead of having sharp edges or people placed in compartments.

Otherwise, people will always try to pretend to be nice to each other and supress their dislike toward the other groups. Until it tries to resurface like now and blow up in eveeyones face. The west is sucessful in this aspect as we see Christians becoming Muslims and vice versa and learn to tolerate each other more.

June 23rd, 2011, 8:10 am


Syrian Commando said:

The problem isn’t religion but human nature.

What Syria has is special, what you’re trying to do here is destroy it. It is simply a state that can be toggled through attrition and this is precisely what the purpose of this blog is, to, through attrition, continually point out differences… and pretend there is a problem.

The only problem is the Islamists. Why don’t we write articles about them? They are the only people creating problems and trying to hijack the Sunni sect (and failing, I should mention).

June 23rd, 2011, 8:58 am


Tara said:


I was thinking about HA all last night. I can not hate them even if I want to ( and I did want to). I think HA needs literally a shock therap. Psychiatrists use shock therapy on the brain in patients who have severe psychotic depression to help them snap out of it and cardiologists use shock therapy on the heart to restore a normal rhythm. Syed Hassan needs literally a shock therapy to the heart I think as supporting the oppression is an irregular rhythm for him. I hope you do not take an offense in this. It is just my 2 un-coffee-ed cents.

One last thing. I hope the Turkish govrnment sends us Ezel this week to the Syrian refugee camp (just to be fair across gender).

June 23rd, 2011, 9:10 am


Revlon said:

#129, Dear Darryl, I am not aware that inter-religion marriages are illegal.
I personally know of a few such inter-religions and intersect ones.

Changing of religion:
I am Moslem, and I speak from my understanding of this religion, based on reading the Quran.
Islam is the religion of God.
All messengers of God preached one religion; Islam, i.e. surrender to God.
All nations of the world were preached Islam by messengers who spoke their native languages.

Messengers that are familiar to us in the Middle East include many; most notably Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed.
Successive messages were not exclusionary by rather complementary

You may adopt any one, several or all of the messages and be called a Moslem and a faithful.
Jesus, Moses, and Abraham were Moslems and preached Islam.

Followers of Mo7ammad believe not only in his message, but also in all holy books, angels, and prophets, without discriminating between his prophets.
Here is the supportive verse from the Quran, in both Arabic and English translation:

آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

(285) The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. “We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers.” And they say: “We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys.” (The Cow”).

Holy books have answers to achieving harmony.

June 23rd, 2011, 9:20 am


Yazan said:

I think the process of healing is already in progress, outside. On a small scale, but I know of initiatives and people working on this. I’m hopeful.

This is not a venue for high-level discourse. There was a time where I simply enjoyed reading the comments section here more than articles, without even commenting. But most of the frequent commenters have been chased off by people thinking this is an advocacy forum (from both sides). But looking at you, WD, and OTW, there seems to still be a little place away from the shouting matches outside. A bit surreal, no?

June 23rd, 2011, 9:26 am


aboali said:

this article in very insightful and pretty accurate in describing the Alawi predicament and psyche after 4 decades of Assad rule. The few Alawi friends I had who were against Bashar and his regime, did a dramatic about face as the revolution started, a very telling symptom of the culture of fear of persecution embedded into their subconscious thinking.

In other ominous news, the Syrian Lira vs U.S dollar has hit 52.25 today, Aleppo black market prices. The end of this regime economically seems to be closer than anyone had expected.

June 23rd, 2011, 9:42 am


Syrian Commando said:

>In other ominous news, the Syrian Lira vs U.S dollar has hit 52.25 today, Aleppo black market prices. The end of this regime economically seems to be closer than anyone had expected.

Keep the lies streaming.

June 23rd, 2011, 10:06 am


EHSANI2 said:

That the subject matter in this post talks about religious and sectarian issues is to be encouraged and welcomed and not be rejected and pushed under the rug as some seem to advocate. As this page clearly spells out on top, this forum is about “Syrian politics, history, and religion”.

The author of the note has offered us an interesting perspective on the way he feels Alawis view the world from their prism. Yazan enriched the discussion (as usual) by adding his own perspective as well. Those who have issue with the discussion need not cry foul and label others as sectarian without telling us precisely what part of the note they disagree with. It would help if they also offer their own evidence to the contrary.

Syrians must not avoid sectarian discussions. They must embrace them. Those that claim that Syria is somehow immune from regional sectarian and religious tensions are in denial. Religion does play a major role in the region. Feeling uncomfortable with such does not make it go away. Charges of “you are sectarian” are silly. Deep at the core, nearly everyone is sectarian. Those most uncomfortable with this subject are the minorities. This is logical. Minorities fear a dominant religious identity to the society that they reside in because their position will suffer when compared to the majority.

It was very helpful for me personally to read how Mr. Khudr sees the world from his Alawi prism. One should encourage Sunnis, Christians and Kurds to offer their perspective as well. Throwing such discussions under the rug does not strike me as a solution.

June 23rd, 2011, 10:19 am


Syrian Commando said:

You’re either in denial (Syria is united) EHSANI2, or quite naive.

June 23rd, 2011, 10:46 am


Aboud said:

Are people on this forum aware of the very stringent foreign currency controls imposed by the government in the last few weeks?

One now cannot buy dollars without satisfying a long list of conditions, and even then only in very limited amounts. Even Western Union offices in Syria have been banned from transferring money outside the country, unless the transferee pays in foreign currency.

If people were free to switch currencies as they pleased, the real price of the lira would be above 90 liras to the dollar.

@143 These kinds of comments is why it is impossible to have a dialogue with Baathists. But then what do you expect from a regime whose foreign minister now thinks he lives in a world where Europe doesn’t exist. One of the most bizarre foreign policies in the history of foreign policies.

June 23rd, 2011, 10:46 am


arab said:

In my opinion, this is a mere side effect of a sect taking power, I don’t think it’s that bad nor meant to be.

June 23rd, 2011, 10:46 am


majedkhaldoon said:

You mentioned about examining history,I agree with this completely, would you go back to the origin of Alawi religion,it seems to me that they took root from the period where Tabrani start converting people from the area which we call alawi area, to become Alawite, this area was inhabited by the people who are called Assassin,who has brutal and murderous history, assassinating those who opposed them,a group that originated by Hasan i Sabbah and later by Rashididean Sinan,who (the later) lived in that area.
It is because of this bad image and history that those people were forced to live in a mounainous area, and caused themselves their bad fortune and thus they were ignored, and they lived in ignorance and poverty,they at one time tried to convert to christianity, and fought with the crusader side, only later they were rejected by the crusaders,and during French occupation they supported such occupation till Saleh Al Ali revolted and decided that Syria is one .

I like to know the connection between Assassins and Alawite.Thanks

June 23rd, 2011, 10:49 am


Syrian Commando said:


The fact that you call me a Ba’athist is the reason why I’m not even INTENDING to talk to you, liar.

We know full well your sectarian plans to tear Syria apart. We know what you did to Iraq — guess what jerks, we’re going to turn it around and create sectarian wars in YOUR territory. Just wait. Don’t underestimate our reach. There are Syrians everywhere.

>But then what do you expect from a regime whose foreign minister now thinks he lives in a world where Europe doesn’t exist

The fact that you have to simplify his wise words down to your level of stupidity speaks volumes of the worthlessness of your own words.

Anyway, Syria is wise to impose currency controls. In fact, I would make them even stricter and disconnect from the financial world completely. There are elements intending to create bank runs and rumours like ABOALI’s here are part and parcel of this program.

The market is reflexive and the price will reflect people’s faith in a currency. He’s attempting to undermine that faith.

June 23rd, 2011, 10:52 am


N.Z. said:

It takes guts and courage to write such an informative piece. This piece confirms what had been known for a while, the Assads were adamant to wipe out Alawites cultural and Syrian history.

The Assads’ wanted us to believe that Syria’s civilization started with them and will end with their downfall, and Syria is secular. Wrong. We are spiritual/religious, non sectarian, what unites us more than anything is our nationalism. We are either tolerant or ignorant, when it comes to his or her faith, belief system.

Many Alawites are respected based on their credentials, being a minority anywhere in the world, you do no want to be treated differently because you are a minority, rather as part and parcel of the social fabric, equally and justly. Statistics are something else.

Our history is filled with heroes, they come from different sects and ethnicity, the common denominator is their Syrian identity, their nationalist and love of the people.

Sectarian tensions will not materialize in Syria. But if this regime is sensitive to such probabilities, it is incumbent to do everything they can to avoid such a situation and not to ignite and promote, as they were trying at the start of the unrest, with no avail.

United, we shall remain.

June 23rd, 2011, 10:56 am


Syrian Commando said:

A stratagem of deception: accept a false premise and come up with an amicable conclusion as to hope that all parties take the false premise for granted.

If I made a blog titled “America Comment”, discussing the oligarchy in finance and business made up of Jewish Americans and how to reconcile the sectarian nature of US politics, I would be called an arsonist/racist/anti-semetic semite and what not by the Western/Israeli people on here.

BUT WHEN IT COMES TO SYRIA THE SUBJECT IS FAIR GAME, LOL. What a bunch of lying hypocrites.

June 23rd, 2011, 11:16 am


Aboud said:


“In fact, I would make them even stricter and disconnect from the financial world completely.”


June 23rd, 2011, 11:19 am


Mina said:

Europe does not exist, and it cracks up from all sides
Greece yesterday said that it should follow the Turkish model of economic recovery,
Italy said operations in Libya should stop
France and the UK spend money at war they are not supposed to have if you see the budget deficit they declare to Brussels
Belgium has a care-taking government since one year because no coalition could be found after the elections
Spain has 35 percent unemployment and is with Portugal going to be bailed out, or dumped like Greece, out of the euro.
Germany has seen the MB blueprint on Libya and Syria since day one and has refused to follow the general move: it will make benefit out of this, and its good relations with Russia will help.
The future lies in Mitteleuropa.

About the conspiracy theory against JL: my main point is, if the three videos of the revo-apprentice sorcerers (ponytail, swed-bro, osama 2) were not on this website, they would be NOWHERE. And are yet not mentioned in the main newspapers. So it would have been easy in the first place not to post them and let Carnegie and their friends provide the “information” about these guys (sorry, these “heroes” probably) to the media.

June 23rd, 2011, 11:28 am


Yazan said:

Have you heard of the Greek phrase “post hoc ergo propter hoc”?

It litterally means, “after this, therefore because of this”, and it’s one of the most famous logical fallacies in history. Just because something happened after another, doesn’t mean that it happened because of it. Your post, with all due respect, is a perfect example of that.

The Alawites were not oppressed for the reasons you mentioned, they were oppressed and marginalized by virtue of being different from the mainstream belief. Because they were considered heretics, just like everybody who did not follow the main stream, including the Assasins (modern Ismailis). And because unlike the Assasins who were later able to conquer Egypt and establish the Fatimid Caliphate, the Alawites were defenseless.

The same arguments that you bring, without taking a moment to analyze them, are the ones that were used to rationalize this treatment, but they are fallacies and they fail the slightest of scrutiny. You speak of their stance vis-a-vis the Crusades, but you forget that at the time EVERYONE, at one point or another allied with the Crusaders and fought against them. But most importantly, you forget that it was the treachery of the Seljuq (Sunni) princes and their groveling to the Crusaders and their in-fighting and petty civil wars that allowed the Second Crusade to conquer Jerusalem. You fail to mention that, you fail to treat history with the rigorous respect it deserves and you fail to bring up the historical context, and then you say things like “caused themselves their bad fortune”.

These are the kind of one-sided arguments that give little thought to the topic at hand but focus on the dogmatic conclusions it wants to bring.

I’m sorry if I’m being harsh, and please note that I am not accusing you of anything. I simply can not tolerate pseudo-history, or pseudo science, because these are the two most destructive and brutal elements used in today’s politics to whitewash murder and oppression.

June 23rd, 2011, 11:32 am


aboali said:

#146 you see that? They lie through their teeth, even when they know people can easily corroborate it by simply visiting their local currency dealer. They live in denial and want everyone else to share in their delusions. That’s how they’ve been conditioned to think and act through 40 years of police state rule which attempted to scare people into not using any rational thought or free will, and to trust Big Brother. And that’s what this revolutions is about, rejecting this antiquated model of rule, and breaking free of it’s stifling restraints.

I call upon every Syrian on this forum to go and check the price of U.S dollars and post them here on the forums.

In Aleppo, I just sold 11,800 dollars at a price of 51.50, so it has gone down a little from the highs of last night and this morning.

June 23rd, 2011, 11:36 am


Syrian Commando said:


Facepalm all you like Aboudi, you don’t know what’s cooking in the back room ya habibi. 🙂

June 23rd, 2011, 11:38 am


Mina said:

Somewhere between Syria and Japan, Latin became Greek?
And some here think they should dump the orientalists and the classicists?

June 23rd, 2011, 11:44 am


Yazan said:

My social studies professor would be ashamed. I beg your pardon, indeed it is Latin. But I am afraid I can not find the English equivalent of “الطبقية”, care to chime in?

Thanks for spotting them.


Thank you for the most sensible of comments. I second your every word.

On another note, I was actually hoping to read your take on the economic future of Syria, at least in the short term. (if it’s not too much trouble).

There are quite a few questions, that are troubling at the moment.

Many in the opposition seem to be betting on bankrupting the country in order to bring down the regime (which for the record, I feel is extremely dangerous, inhumane, and is just as brutal as the regime’s policies and is extremely discriminatory towards the poorest people of Syria, those who make the majority of the protestors, from privileged people who won’t have to suffer the consequences). Is this a realistic danger? Is there any credible evidence, or even rationale behind the regime being financed by the Iranians, should this happen? could it be done, if things go from bad to worse? And in case there was an economic meltdown, what would we be looking at in terms of losses? And how long would a process of recovery take?

And as for the Lira. Is there a way to manipulate the currency from outside the country? What I mean, is that, is it technically possible to put pressure on the Lira from governments outside? And if not, who in Syria has the kind of solvency to manipulate the market in the way that happened last month? Do you think there’s any credibility to the reports that Makhlouf might be behind it?

Thank you,

June 23rd, 2011, 11:47 am


norman said:


That was very good , Thank you .

Blame the victims, that is what some have to offer instead of looking at their own deeds and try to change them .

June 23rd, 2011, 11:57 am


Syrian Commando said:

Of course it is possible to put pressure on the Lira from the outside through sanctions, forcing people to obtain foreign currencies and make their purchases from the outside. That’s what they intend to do.

But the currency collapse window is firmly closed due to coordinated actions by the government and its allies early on this deceptive insurrection.

No one living in Syria who is not a traitor would want a currency collapse to see everyone’s life savings and hard work ruined.

June 23rd, 2011, 11:58 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Sorry to make you angry, but I am not alone in thinking that the past influence the present and the future,what I did and believed in the past will certainly has strong connection to what I will believe and say in the future, life is continueous process,
Are they the same people ,who were Assassins, they converted to Alawite?The Assassins believed in assassinate their opponent in a devious way,they even tried to assassinate Saladin,this is their culture.
I suspect their behaviour has caused the people to oppose them,but I do agree that their heretic religion also contributed to the fact that they were treated bad,too.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:00 pm


Syrian Commando said:


Instead of throwing the tired “conspiracy theory” (quite clearly people are able to conspire towards an unpopular goal) meme at us, how about you address my complaint in post #148?

I guess no one wants to touch the subject, lol.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:03 pm


aboali said:

just released video of security forces firing rifles at protesters in Homs:

June 23rd, 2011, 12:10 pm


Syrian Commando said:

– No protestors seen
– Security forces indeed firing gun
– Someone else fired their weapons first.

This doesn’t help you at all. Even if it did, it’s too little too late, you shouldn’t have lied for 3 month, no one will believe you even if you are telling the truth!

@Syriancommando on twitter for a whole month of evidence of your Islamists firing at people.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:18 pm


Yazan said:

Alawis are quite distinct from the Assasins. They are not the same, the Alawis are are normal Shia twlevers, which means they accept Musa al-Kazim as the true Imam successor of Jaafar al-Sadiq, while the Ismailis are seveners who accepted Ismail ibn Jaafar. While Ismaili beliefs could be traced further in history to the days of Ali. They are both esoteric in nature, and in the way they interpret the religious teachings. The Alawis of today converted sometime in the 800s, and they were normal Sunnis who lived in the coastal mountains (what is now Latakia and Tartous), and all the way up to Cicilia.

This is their culture? That’s all you can remember from the history of the Ismailis?
You’ve never read about their purging at the hands of Nizam al-Mulk? (whom they later assassinated, and continued in that tradition). You never read about the mythological stories of Alamut. You never read about the heydays of the Fatimid Caliphate. Or of their later dominance in the castles of the Syrian coastal mountains.

From Hassan al-Sabah, till the last Agha Khan, you see only “this” as their culture. This is what you “want” to reduce their culture to, it’s like an American saying Islam is Bin Ladin. Exactly the same. Suit yourself, but it won’t do you much good.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:20 pm


Mina said:

The Ismailis are seveners. Not all the Ismailis belonged to the sect called ‘assassins’, which started with the abolition of sharia in Alamut in 1164 (they thought it was resurrection).
The Nusayris are not seveners. They never helped the Crusaders. Maybe the mistake comes from the fact they develop at the time of the Hamdanid emirate in Aleppo, when there was a good relation between the Fatimids (Ismailis ruling in Cairo since the 10th c.), the Hamdanids (ruling from Aleppo since the 10th) and the Byzantine empire. It didn’t last long.
Just open Googlebooks and type “Nusayris” “Alawis” “Alawites” and “Ismailis” and you will find plenty to read.
It’s not by coming to the Crusades time that you’ll find a way forward though. Just imagine if the East/West relations were determined by that (and let’s leave the Americans and the Europeans who use this rhetoric to where they belong: the pit of hell). But to have a look at the long war between the Ottomans and the Safavids and maybe you’ll get to the big rivalry between Sunnis and Shiis around the north of the Muslim empires.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:20 pm


aboali said:

#161 yeah sure, they were firing their guns at imaginary dinosaurs then. Notice they fire them at head height, obviously meant to kill. Warning shots are not fired at people’s heads, they’re fired high up into the air. Also, if someone was shooting at them, they would be ducking for cover, not casually strolling along the street.

Also see this video of the security and thugs stabbing a worshiper at Al Hasan mosque last Friday:

June 23rd, 2011, 12:23 pm


Aboud said:

@150 And yet how many Arabs wouldn’t jump on the first plane to Europe? It says alot that every single Baathist on this forum live outside of Syria.


“Many in the opposition seem to be betting on bankrupting the country in order to bring down the regime (which for the record, I feel is extremely dangerous, inhumane, and is just as brutal as the regime’s policies”

Completely incorrect. Any bankrupting of the economy would have been due to the regime’s clumsy and incompetent handling of the crisis. If junior had reacted in a civilized way to the protests, the entire world would have looked on Syria as a beacon of light in a very grim region.

Instead, investors cannot be blamed for not wanting to put their money in a country where Makhlouf can get laws changed at whim, and where tanks are a means of crowd control.

We keep hearing the yapping of Baathists that the protestors are a teeny tiny minority. Doesn’t say much for Baathist economic policies if after 40 years, they have created an economy that is so fragile that a teeny tiny minority can disrupt it.

And FYI, investors aren’t really reassured when the imbecile who passes for a foreign minister adopts a foreign policy that pretends that one of the world’s largest military, economic and political blocks does not exist.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:25 pm


Mina said:


About the Sunnis? Well I have been denouncing al Aroor since 3 months in this forum! Indeed, I would love to see an interview of some MB or this guy or Qardawy by JL, but you bet they refuse interviews since they have nothing else to say than to quote (fake-) hadiths one after the other that have no relation whatsoever.
Even some interviews with al Jazeera journalists would be great. But we have to admit that the 3 specimens who have accepted interviews are simply the most dumb of the whole crowd. The rest practice the only thing they know: be paid to action the gun they hold on the head of the people they want to negotiate with.
I think faith moves mountains, and I hope the US will cash the jackpot in the Middle East, to help it severe the bond with Saudi Arabia. Optimism is a religion.

Sorry, I just went to see your #148
we do have Chomsky, Znet, and many other places to read about that. it is not about being an arsonists to read another piece by an Alawi speaking for himself. i have always said here that contrarily to what we read in the newspapers the Syrian governement is the most diverse in all the Middle East, and same for institutions. Everywhere you’ll find Sunnis, Shiis, Christians, Atheists. But maybe you were not following this blog in March, or am I mistaken? In addition to that Syria is the only Muslim country where monuments of all the different confessions are preserved and visited with no discrimination for one of the confession. Syria’s unity is much stronger than its divisions because it has an imperial history of its own, just like Egypt and Iran. It was the southern half of the Hittite empire, then it was the Seleucid empire, then the Eastern Roman empire, then the Umeyyad empire. It helps to forge an identity.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:27 pm


Syrian Commando said:


Article which, while underestimating Syria’s capabilities, shows you guys what is at stake. I highly recommend you read this.


Not only that, but apparently they’re shooting head high even though he doesn’t know the DISTANCE they are shooting at. Truly a marvel of retardation!!!

Soon he will show us videos from World War II saying this is the “assault” on Jisr al-Shaghour.


I’ve been following the professor’s blog for a long time and I don’t mean for you to condemn a3r3our, I know you’re smart enough to even if you supported his actions (in theory). Only an idiot fundamentalist would not condemn him to gain a favour in the crowd.

As for chomsky et al., none of these touch on the Jewish nature of the oligarchy. What happens when America collapses and there is a civil war (no joke, it’s on the verge of this). How will people know that the Jewish-dominated finance sector doesn’t not really reflect the larger and less-endowed Jewish community? How do people tell the difference between a clique (the bankster club, much like a mafia) and a sect?

You don’t see a double-standard? No hypocrisy? Most importantly, no hidden agenda?


People using knives are the terrorists, not security forces. Thanks for further evidence of your crimes.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:41 pm


Yazan said:

I have to take issue with your argument in #167 (the last paragraph). Syria never served as the seat of a prominent empire except during the Seleucids and the Umayyads (unless you count the city states of the Ancient Near East). Iraq on the other hand had served as a seat and center for some of the most important empires in history (Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, Assyria, Chaldea, Achaemenids and lastly Abbasids), and look how united they are.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:42 pm


mjabali said:


You said that the Alawis were “normal Sunnis who converted” that is wrong because they were either Christians or Some old Syrian religion.

AS for what is termed as the Assassins, Sunni official history portrayed them as monsters, while in reality they were not. They killed some major Sunnis, like Nizam al-Mulk, but they were besieged in their castles most of their existence. They were the product of the missionary arm of the Fatimid Empire, and of course their most famous man is Hassan al-Sabah.

They killed Nizam al-Mulk the father of the Sunni way according to many, and that is why they are demonized.

The Alawis has nothing to do with the Assassins/Ismailis. They are the product of another missionary group. The one that started with al-Jeelani then al-Khasibi and then al-Tabarani and so on..

Something very important missing from this argument: what happened to the Alawis of the Syrian cities and why all of this argument assumes that the Alawis exist only in the coastal mountains?

Was there any Alawis in Alleppo, Hama, Hums and Damascus?

What happened to them?

June 23rd, 2011, 12:50 pm


Shami said:

Majed ,ismailis and alawites are distinct branches of shia’ism and they have often fought eachothers.
Also ,the fatimis who were ismailis had been in war with the assassins (ismailis too),the 12th imami shias and the alawites.
The fatimis established one of the most sophisticated civilization( visit the wonderful islamic museum of Cairo) and the negative views on them need to be reappraised.
Ismaili philosophy had an huge impact on sufism through Avicenna.(neo-platonism)
I have no time to write more ,see you.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:54 pm


jad said:

«من يراهن على سقوط الأسد يفهم في السياسة بقدر ما أفهم في القنبلة الذرية»

“هذا المناخ الضاغط الذي يحيط بالحكومة، كان مدار بحث أمس الاول في عين التينة بين الرئيس نبيه بري والممثل الشخصي للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة مايكل وليامز الذي سأل رئيس المجلس عن قراءته لما آل اليه المشهد العام في سوريا، فأجابه معتبرا ان ما يحدث فيها ليس ثورة او احتجاجات شعبية بالمعنى المتعارف عليه، أو على صورة ما جرى في مصر وتونس على سبيل المثال.
بدا وليامز غير مقتنع بنظرية بري، فما كان بالاخير إلا ان دعمها بـ»قوة إسناد» تحليلية، قائلا: ألم تلحظ ان التوتر في سوريا يُصدّر من الخارج الى الداخل؟ لقد بدأت الاحداث في درعا الواقعة على الحدود مع الاردن، لكن سرعان ما تمت السيطرة عليها، فانتقلت الى تلكلخ الكائنة على الحدود مع لبنان حيث جرى إخمادها ايضا، لتحط في جسر الشغور على الحدود مع تركيا.
التقط بري أنفاسه، ثم تابع: أعتقد انك تشاركني الرأي في ان الثورات الحقيقية هي التي تنطلق من العواصم والمدن الكبرى، ثم تتمدد نحو الاطراف، كما حصل في القاهرة وتونس وصنعاء وبنغازي. أما سيناريو الاحداث المتنقلة في سوريا فهو يسير عكس السير ويحمل بوضوح بصمات خارجية.
وإذ يبدي بري لزواره ارتياحه الكبير الى الخطاب الاخير للرئيس بشار الاسد الذي وضع خطة قريبة وبعيدة المدى من أجل تحقيق الاصلاح الشامل في سوريا، يلفت الانتباه الى ان ردود الفعل الاميركية والاوروبية على خطابه أثبتت ان المسألة بالنسبة الى الغرب ليست مسألة إصلاحات بل خيارات. «لقد بات واضحا الآن، بالعين المجردة، ان الخارج يستهدف الخيارات السياسية للنظام السوري، ولا يهمه بعد ذلك إن طاله الاصلاح أم لا».”


June 23rd, 2011, 12:54 pm


mjabali said:


Of course you did not answer my question again as expected. I did not ask you to tell me what is the Alawi religion! Nor, I did ask you about your personal preferences! I did ask you if you consider the Alawis Kuffar/Infidels or not? Thanking you in advance

Also, would you please enlighten us about what happened to the Fatimid in Egypt and how Salah al-Deen was responsible for their disappearance?

June 23rd, 2011, 12:56 pm


Mina said:

Sorry, I don’t buy all of what you say. I do think that the unrest has been provoked by the manipulation on the markets since 2008.
Just put on TV what is needed when it is needed, right when the gasoline prices and other commodities have reached the ceiling you intended for them to reach, and pull the right strings. That indeed some Jewish bankers have part in that makes no doubt. Add to this that only the Israeli economy seems to be doing perfect in this storm. But then, as you know, the city is in the UK, the bank accounts are in Luxembourg and Switzerland, and the bank accounts are held by some Protestants and some Saudis far more than the other “sects” here ! By the way, I live in a fiscal paradise called the Netherlands. An interesting country where the guys have decided to become Christian Zionists just after they had got rid of three quarter of their Jewish community in WWII (from 200,000 people to very little at the end of WWII). So you get an idea of the fact I am deprived of illusions.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:56 pm


Mundas999 said:


I look for the day when alawis can openly discuss their concerns. They do not need to carry the guilt for the action of Assad regime.
Many arab dictators were sunnis but we do not assume a collective guilt on all innocent sunnis.

June 23rd, 2011, 12:58 pm


abughassan said:

there is nothing wrong in attacking sectarian problems in Syria,Khudr and others have the right to speak,my problem with his piece is that it paints the Alawai sect with a broad brush.many of my relatives and friends are Alawis and I know for sure that Khudr’s vision does not apply to most of them. The burden of proof falls on the shoulders of the Islamists in particular and the Sunnis in general to make it easier for alawis to distance themselves from the regime and reduce their suspicion of a new government that most probably will be less tilted towards Alawis.Syria will not progress if we keep religion and sect as a heavy stone on our chest.the so-called Alawi culture is not dead as far as my frequent observations and social interactions with alawi families tell me, and this culture is not attached to the Assads except in certain communities with heavy reliance on security forces and the army as the main source of employment,but the alawi culture,if there is one, is changing to reflect the environment alawis live in. Alawis in Damascus do not necessarily have the same habits and “culture” as alawis who still farm and live in the mountains. previous posts that suggest that alawis have to “love” and marry Sunnis to solve the problem is laughable,people will naturally ignore religious barriers if they feel free and secure in their country and they are blessed with good education and a decent income,until poverty and oppression are attacked,no immediate solution to sectarianism is likely.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:02 pm


Syrian Commando said:

You see Mina, I am not talking about particular events, such as 2008, you’re side stepping the issue.

Much like this piece tries to focus on Syrian oligarchy and their main “sect”, I am focusing on the main sect of the American oligarchy. Why is everyone afraid to do this? 😉


Like I tried to state in my previous posts, even if “problems” of poverty are solved, you will simply get new religions (see neo-Liberalism and “conservatism” in the US). Good comment otherwise.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:05 pm


Yazan said:

Yes, indeed, this book states that most converts were non-Muslims.

It also says that the main establishment of the sect happened in Aleppo where Khasibi was under the patronage of the Hamdanids. The sect started emigrating from Aleppo because of instability in the first half of the 11th century. The emigrated to the coastal muntains and were able to convert the local peasants there, where they made their masses.


التقط بري أنفاسه، ثم تابع: أعتقد انك تشاركني الرأي في ان الثورات الحقيقية هي التي تنطلق من العواصم والمدن الكبرى، ثم تتمدد نحو الاطراف، كما حصل في القاهرة وتونس وصنعاء وبنغازي. أما سيناريو الاحداث المتنقلة في سوريا فهو يسير عكس السير ويحمل بوضوح بصمات خارجية.

So the Cuban revolution is not a real revolution? and where did he read that the Tunisian revolution started in large cities?
This guy understands history and politics (ofcourse he’s well versed in Lebanese politics, but that’s not politics) as much as I understand how he’s still a “leader”. 😉

June 23rd, 2011, 1:05 pm


jad said:

Syria Commando #148
Just try to analyze the Jewish community/politics, the Colored or the Homosexual communities today in the west with the same stereotypical and superficial way (not academic/historical/objective as Yazan, Mina and Mjabli are trying to do) this article is doing on politicizing the Alawite sect (or before on analyzing the diverse Syrian social and ethnic fabric from an orientalist point of view) and the whole US congress along the EU will go crazy and the media will attack it and hide it.
(do you know Jane Elliott’s blue eyes brown eyes study, it shows correctly how the western mentality works, go check it out.)

However doing that to Syria is ‘FREE SPEECH’ and ‘educational’ as attacking Islam, it’s all ‘FREE SPEECH’ and ‘DEMOCRACY’…other than that any comments about the western minorities is called ANTISEMITISM and DISCRIMINATION…yet people are so happy about it, because it tells them the two lovely things they love to hear, Alawites is not really a sect it’s bunch of voodoo practice and the same voodoo sect was destroyed by the Assad, it’s ‘HEAVEN’.

Dear OTW et al,
You know me very well, I’m with all and every academic discussion, I love logic, philosophy and science and I’m with exchanging ideas that lead to understanding and dialogue not to discriminations and wars, I wrote many times before the important of forwarding the ‘acceptance’ culture in our society but nobody want that, all people want confrontations and to discredit the other sides and that what I’m against, it’s not secularism or nationalism it’s LOGIC.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:08 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Can criminals convert to christianity or Islam? the answer is yes,definitely,but they were still criminals before they converted, and they are suspect of having criminal tendency after they converted.
There is difference between religion and people psychology.there can be criminal Mosslems and there can be noncriminal moslems.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:17 pm


Shami said:

Mjabali i’m sorry i have no time ,i promize you that i will answer you with a lot of details tommorow.
But let me tell you today that your assumption is wrong .(on the fate of the Shias in north Syria and the Fatimis in Egypt/Salahadin).
I give you a known fact :the ismailis during the fatimi khilafa have always been a small minority in Egypt as for the shia communities in north Syria:


I will add other details to this article tommorow.

In fact those who committed the only known sectarian genocide in islamic history were the Safavid rulers in Iran(who were Alawites) helped by the Ameli propagandists.(imported from Mount Amel ,south Lebanon).

June 23rd, 2011, 1:19 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Dear 5 dancing ahmads,

The “khazars” are not killing Syrians, it is your unelected despots that are.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:35 pm


jad said:

Take it anyway you want, this ‘uprising’ is destructive, it has no goal but to destroy our society in every way possible, economical, social and political with the help of the west, it has nothing positive to introduce but the blood of millions of Syrians and millions of refugees and segregated pieces of something used to be called Syria.
If anybody of those evil paid organizers wanted to help the Syrian society they would’ve engaged in a real dialogue with the regime and start the process of changing Syria, but they are not looking for that, they are copying the Iraqi’s oppositions patterns in destroying Syria, it’s not about Asad, the baath or corruption anymore, it’s about destroying Syria as a whole.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:41 pm


Mina said:

the Safavids were no Alawis, they were twelvers and have no trace of Christian beliefs, unlike the Alawis. (Maybe the important Greek and Syriac populations in Aleppo plus the northern Syria/Cilica are to be taken into account in the Christian beliefs kept in the Alawi faith).
As usual you try to incite, just like last week when you took from a google result leading to any stupid website that the Alawis had been on the side of the Crusaders.
By the way, the Safavids may have been of Turkish origin. i’m sure you won’t like that…

June 23rd, 2011, 1:44 pm


Abu Umar said:


Ali ibn Abu Talib considered those who deified and had ghuloo’ in him infidels. Are you going to attack him…?

June 23rd, 2011, 1:50 pm


Syrian Commando said:


Well stated I know this exactly, which is why I suggest everyone keep hammering this point in.



>it’s not about Asad, the baath or corruption anymore, it’s about destroying Syria as a whole.


June 23rd, 2011, 1:53 pm


Shami said:

Mina ,they were of azeri origin,and indeed ,heterodox alawites called Qizilbash(their ancestors came from an alawized sufi order),very close to the alawites we have in Turkey who consider Shah Ismail who ordered the genocide, as a saint and btw the alawites are also twelvers both of them ,the nusayris and the alawites of turkey.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:53 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Why would a Syrian want to destroy his own country? Call for free elections, and may the best man win.

June 23rd, 2011, 1:56 pm


Mina said:

If the Syrian government announces elections now, the “opposition” (any anonym on Twitter) will call for boycott. By the way the law for the constitution of parties have been published, so why would you want elections to happen before parties are created?

Could you tell me if you have an idea why the Palestinians have to pay the price of the plots of the British and the crimes of the French and the Germans against the Jews? Just being curious.


The Russians (and everybody who has loved ones in Syria) have reasons to be nervous:

June 23rd, 2011, 2:01 pm


Syrian Commando said:


Shows how impractical you are. That is coming, but it needs time. Saying “too little too late” and killing people, blowing up power stations, bringing along Turks and Lebanese salafists and so on, doesn’t help. It destroys the country.

If Assad set up an election right now, he’d win by a landslide. But it wouldn’t be fair, parties need to assemble first. He’s doing it the right way, this is no fake reform. It’s more real than anything else in the world. The ba’athi/old guard who are still opposing the reform better stay out of the way or they’ll find themselves in big trouble.

Anyway, the enemy’s schedule is to begin the war next week. Let’s see if it’s a bluff.

June 23rd, 2011, 2:03 pm


Observer said:

The post is irrelevant to what is happening in Syria. This is not about the Alawi sect. In a modern secular nation with a true national identity these groups are merely cultural just like the Corse in France or the Welsh in England. I believe that the Syrian people are tired of the monopoly of power be it Assad family and clan, Baath party profiteers, parasitic regime security forces, or whatever.

If the regime for Machiavellic reasons wants to make it a sectarian issue then it may become one.

All minorities have defined themselves with regard to the “other” and all have a combination of an inflated sense of self agrandisement on the one hand and deep history of persecution.
Ernest Renan said that nationalism is a mythic glory of one’s history combined with deep hatred of the other. Extreme Alawi nationalsim is no exception.

One more time I will say it: every minority wants the majority to be fully secular while each minority retains its special characteristics and special priviliges.

The most dangerous outcome rests on the assumption by the Alawi sect that if they were to lose one inch of power it will mean that they will be wiped out completely. This will lead them to gamble everything on the use of force to remain in power and this is going to be impossible. I see one outcome a descent into hell for the country.

In retrospect the speech of the president and the press conference of the foreign minister had one audience only: the regime fanatics and supporters and the Baath party members.

They do not care about Turkey Palestine Lebanon Iraq Iran Israel China Russia EU US or whatever the world thinks or does at this stage I would say it is survival mode and hunker down no matter what.

The Maronites tried this in the 70’s and they ended up losing big.

One final question, why wouldn’t the Alawis of Syria and Turkey join in establishing an independent state carving part of Syria and Part of Turkey for their people and live in peace and harmony with everyone? Surely it is a viable state if combined? Perhaps that way the sect and the people will both get the house of Assad out of our hair for good. I would favor for a vote of self determination for the Alawi people. Live and let live.

June 23rd, 2011, 2:11 pm


jad said:

Not a single word acknowledging the dead soldiers or the existence of some elements using guns against the army:

Radwan Ziadeh ‘there is a say in English ‘too little, too late” (as if he was born in London)


June 23rd, 2011, 2:13 pm


jad said:

“France24: Syrian refugees in Turkey refugee camp feel like prisoners in Ardugan´s new Guantanamo”

June 23rd, 2011, 2:29 pm


Mina said:

A vote of self-determination? That is so silly that it is useless to answer you.
How long have the Palestinians and the Kurds been waiting for this vote of self-determination? As if the Corsicans and the Scots could tomorrow split and be recognized next day. You even have coutries that went that way and still await to be recognized by the UN or anyone! (Somaliland)

The opposition’s only face is Saudi, breaking up the country, or claiming that any Arab land was ‘originally inhabited by normal Sunnis’ (in the time of Adam and Eve and the glory of al Andalus?). The guys are busy reading about the Crusades but have nothing to say about our times except some neocon mottos about Eastern Europe’s revolutions and the fall of the Berlin wall. Wake up!

June 23rd, 2011, 2:31 pm


Syrian Commando said:

Observer, your suggestion of cutting our country up FURTHER, is disgusting and frankly, if you are serious, it makes you a persona non-grata.

By the way, Syria’s land wasn’t originally “Sunni” or “Alawi” or “Christian” or even “Jewish”. We are a much older civilisation and this flavour of the day will vanish when people wake up to realise that we are the supreme people on this Earth, destined one day to inherit it. We are the source of all civilisation, agriculture philosophy, religion and science. We are above these petty tribal issues.

Those who stand in our way will be destroyed by god himself.

June 23rd, 2011, 2:34 pm


jad said:

The Syrian ambassador to turkey is asking the refugees to come back home:

السفير السوري بتركيا يحث المهجرين على العودة لديارهم

June 23rd, 2011, 3:08 pm


Habib said:

I’m Alawi and I find the article somewhat narrow-minded. Alawism is a religious sect, whether you like it or not, but things like initiation are traditional. I can give you many examples of other religions and sects that have such traditions, that often include only males. In the case of Alawi, if you are really an Alawi, you should appreciate the reasons for the secrecy involved in the initiation because it has always been used against us to describe us as heretics and non-Muslim, especially after the contents of the “small memo book” were published in Lebanon.

As an Alawi, I have always identified myself as Muslim and I do take offense to people saying I’m not a Muslim because “Alawi is not Muslim”. I take my guidance, first and foremost, from the Qur’an, like all other Muslims. Alawism can be best described as a more liberal teaching of Islam, especially when it comes to the treatment of women. Before some Sunnis get offended by what I am saying, please understand I am talking about pre-1980s. Women were given the choice whether or not to wear the hijab. Although my mother does not wear the hijab, her mother and most of her sisters did. It is strictly their business and something personal between them and God. Also a few of my mother’s childhood Sunni friends were forced out of school after grade 6 by their parents because there was no belief in the value of educating women. In contrast, my mother and all of her sisters were encouraged to stay in school all the way through university. My mother graduated as a mechanical engineer. I am not saying that no Sunni women stayed in school, but there was a clear difference in culture when it came to the way women’s roles in society were viewed back in those days.

Things changed gradually with Hafez al-Asad, but Alawis were not prisoners to the Asad family identity. I don’t understand where Khudr got this impression. I am guessing he’s a Lebanese Alawi, and not Syrian. Of course I could be wrong, but I think this because my Lebanese Alawi friends told me their parents’ main reason for loving Hafez al-Asad was that he gave them value in Lebanon. Before Hafez al-Asad, Alawis in Lebanon were without worth and largely prosecuted by Sunnis. The root of the problem was the sharp sectarianism in Lebanon, which we do not have in Syria simply because politics in Syria did not involve sectarianism. It was never “us vs them” the way it is in Lebanon. Syrian Alawis were poor, but not particularly prosecuted. The Ottoman and French occupations worked by allowing few rich landowners (agha) to thrive and have slaves working their fields. The slaves were not only Alawis. Yazan said that Alawis welcomed the French occupation, and that is either a lie or a misinformed statment. People from all sects worked within the ranks of the French, just as they did within the ranks of the Ottomans. The days of occupations were days of humiliation and dependence. A proof that Alawis presented great resistance to the French is that the French split Alawis into another sect called Murshidi. I do not wish to go into the details of how they did it, but the folk story is that all it took was a rich landowner and some glow-in-the-dark paint. Occupiers create divisions to cause infighting so they would not have to deal with a united resistance; divide and conquer.

Although many Alawis may have felt prosecution during Ottoman times, especially under Jamal Basha (al-saffa7), but truth is all Syrians got butchered under Ottoman rule. Alawis may have been targeted more, but to say they were prosectured while other Syrians weren’t is unfair. The fear Alawis have today is not of fellow Syrians, but of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood led a campaign of targeted assassinations against respected Alawi members of Syrian society. The first one to be assassinated in Aleppo was in 1976, and was a friend of my father’s. His name was Dr. Yousef al-Yousef. He was an optometrist that was known for giving free treatment to the poor. Why was he assassinated? When one of my father’s influential Sunni friends, Waleed al-Milqi, spoke out against the MB’s practices, he was killed, too. Why? After assassinating their victims, the MB sent people to the funerals to identify new targets for killing among the crowds attending. Why? The MB killed tens of young military cadets in Aleppo. Why? The MB blew up a civilian passenger train after leaving Jisr al-Shugour train station. Why? The MB blew up tens of civilian passenger buses all over Syria. In one of the bloodiest days, along the Tartous-Homs-Damascus highway, 12 civilian buses, loaded with passengers, were blown up, all in one day. Although many non-Alawis were killed by the MB, the targeting of Alawis was very evident and it was meant to divide the country among sectarian lines. I saw Dr. Landis once write that a group of Alawis once moved to take “revenge” against Sunni communities, but were stopped by Alawi sheikhs. Can you imagine how different Syria’s history would have been had it not been for those Alawi sheikhs? There is nothing more deadly that sectarian strife.

Today we are seeing the exact same thing, but this time by the media trying to portray today’s events as a Sunni uprising against a “brutal” Alawi regime with umbrella Alawi control over security, military, and economy. Every now and then, they say this Alawi regime made alliances with Sunni businessmen, to try to explain why Sunnis have been mostly against revolution, but this would mean that the majority of Sunnis are businessmen, and that is absurd. On top of that, the media has been portraying the MB’s terrorism in the late 70’s and early 80’s as an “uprising” against Asad rule. I find that grossly insulting and disgusting. The numerous “Syrian” “human rights” organizations present Hama as some sort collosal massacre against civilian Sunnis (some try to make a point of emphasizing the Sunni part), but do not make a single mention of the MB’s crimes nor the thousands of victims of their terrorism. They are literally trying to change history. If you research those “human rights” organizations, you will find that all of them are associated with the MB, whether directly or indirectly. They don’t try to explain that the MB’s terrorism stopped almost abruptly after the Hama operations. Was that a coincidence? Does that not prove the criminal targets were the ones killed and not some “civilians”?

Of course, the media’s sectarian lies spread as if they are facts about Syria. I have read many comments here that try to say that Alawis hold all the security and military posts, but that is also a lie! They say that there 17 branches of security in Syria, and that almost all of them are led by Alawis. I ask them: can you name them? Are you making this claim because you heard it from someone, or do you have actual evidence to support your claims? I challenge all of you to prove what you are saying. What about the army? Can you name the leaders of the divisions? Turkmani was reacently dispatched to Turkey to speak with Turkish officials. Is Turkmani Alawi? No he’s not. His rank is 3imad, which is one rank lower than Fareeq. Fareeq is reserved only for the president, so effectively, 3imad is the highest rank. There are only a handful of officers with the 3imad rank. Try to name them, and tell me are most of them 3alawi? You will find the answer is simply no!

In addition to the above, during Hafez and Bashar rule, Alawis intermarried into other sects because society was becoming less sectarian. But did that happen on its own? Many people know that Bashar is married to a Sunni, but most people don’t know Basil was married to a Christian, and had a daughter, when he died. They ruled by example. I don’t know who Maher is married to since their lives are largely kept private, like everyone else’s. Some people try to use Jameel and Rif3at’s sectarian behaviors as “proof” of the Asad family ruling through sectarianism, and that is a very unfair conclusion.

Alawis do have a history and they do have a future, with or without Asad. We do not fear fellow Syrians. We fear the MB and their likes. They made it feel uncomfortable for Alawis to answer “are you Alawi?” because during the MB’s time, the answer to that question alone would have been enough to make you an assassination target. If you were an educated and respected member of society, then the better! My maternal grandmother’s previous neighbor, back in 1975, told her “ya um-Suhail, I heard the sheikh said that if you kill an Alawi you go to heaven. Inshallah one day I will get the chance.” She did not know my grandmother was an Alawi and just assumed she was Sunni probably because she wore the hijab. This was how bad sectarianism was in Damascus thanks to King Faisal’s billions that went into spreading Wahhabism in the Arab world, and the whole Arab world paid, and is paying, for it, none more than Lebanon and Syria.

Instead of researching historical reasons of Alawi support of Asad, you should research why non-Alawis today are supporting Asad. It doesn’t matter if 100% of Alawis, Christians, and Druze are Asad supporters because the only reason Asad is still in power today is the support of the majority of Sunnis for him. You cannot fight against 75% of the population, especially not today. No one is against reform and you would have to be deeply resentful of the Asad family to blindly prefer any other candidate to lead this reform, especially seeing the MB and Salafi elements that derive more pleasure from mutilating a corpse than than they do killing that human being. It may be easy to ignore a global media conspiracy against Syria when you are living in Europe, but you can’t ignore it when you are living in al-Midan in Damascus and al-Jazeera is telling you there are 10,000 people outside your window, but when you go to check, you find there is no one.

June 23rd, 2011, 3:39 pm


Syrian Commando said:

I appreciate your information brother but we should be protective even of little things like this. Everything we publish in English about Syria will be used against our small country by the international gangsters.

My family is Sunni and I will not divulge any information which will be used against us. The more misinformed the enemy is, the better it is for us. That is why this article, filled with lies and false speculation, harms the enemy since they begin to believe it and are shocked when the facts on the ground are contrary to their expectations.

I think the great majority of Syrians want the MB wiped out. It is days like this that I wish Hama was more thorough.

International media witnesses the truth in Jisr al-Shaghour:

A lot of embarrassed people I bet, with all the lies they spread about the army. Turkey should be destroyed piece by piece, brick by brick until nothing is left except the genuine Byzantine heritage. Then Istanbul must be renamed Constantinople and returned to Greece.

June 23rd, 2011, 3:45 pm


jad said:

Thank you for your well written comment.

In the clip you linked, why did the American and other western ambassadors run away from the media cowardly like that? What a stupid reaction.

June 23rd, 2011, 4:09 pm


Nour said:

#198 Habib:

Thank you for that summary. The problem we are facing is that foreign powers are trying to divide our nation by stressing on sectarian differences in our one society, and unfortunately some sectors of our own people are aiding them in their objective by falling in their trap. The continued portrayal of Syrian society as one where different competing sects are in a state of permanent conflict has a clear aim of increasing and fortifying divisions, such that our national will and national energy can never be consolidated and united in service of our single national interest. And this did not start with these latest events in Syria, but has been an ongoing campaign since western colonial powers asserted their control over our homeland.

Academics like Prof. Landis have been contributing to this campaign and this portrayal in the way that they cover and address Syrian issues. A couple years ago while I was engaging in discussions and debates with other participants in this blog around the issue of secularism and the social nationalist ideology, Prof. Landis followed up the discussion by posting a comment claiming that Antoun Saadeh was in fact a sectarian orthodox Christian who advocated for the idea of the Syrian nation in order to return to the orthodox byzantine empire. This of course is a totally absurd claim and complete garbage which no real intellectual would take seriously, but the the whole idea was to stress the issue of sectarianism and posit the notion that sectarian differences are the ruling force in our nation which no one can ever erase or prevent.

We have to be cautious and aware enough not to fall into this trap. No one is saying that we shouldn’t address the issue of sectarianism, so long as it is done in a way to eliminate it, much like the issue of racism is discussed, rather than promote it and reinforce it. There are no different sects living separate and independent lives in Syria. This is a total myth manufactured by the west (and unfortunately peddled by certain opportunistic individuals and groups in our nation) in order to keep us weak and divided. Syrians share a single socio-economic life-cycle and thus a single life. We are members of a single society that has a single interest in life, and which did not develop recently with the birth of the different religious sects we see together, but rather came into being thousands of years ago, long before the creation of today’s religions. Thus our national identity transcends all religions and religious sects today and is in no way linked to them. Of course our national character and temperament helped in developing those religious philosophies, but our identity is not forever bound to them. In other words, our nature as a people does not change with religious conversion. Syrians will not stop being Syrians simply by developing or converting to new religions.

June 23rd, 2011, 4:11 pm


daleandersen said:


RE: “when America collapses and there is a civil war (no joke, it’s on the verge of this), people will know that the Jewish-dominated finance sector…”

You really should stick to being a commando, little man, and shooting unarmed protestors and all that. And stay out of political discussions. You’re embarrassing yourself…


June 23rd, 2011, 4:15 pm


why-discuss said:


“Al Jazeera Arabic reports: A delegation of Syrian dignitaries from Jisr Al Shougor visited the refugee camps in the Turkish side to try to persuade them to return to their homes in Syria giving them assurances. However, the refugees refused to return and told them the repression is Still under way.”

After calling to the international media, including the angel of mercy, for the overthrown of Bashar Al Assad, I understand they don’t feel safe to come back. Turkey may have to cut down on TV’s , washing machines, 3 meals a day, and children entertainers soon.

June 23rd, 2011, 4:22 pm


jad said:

These people are being used by all parties to justify Turkey’s plan of creating a buffer zone inside the Syrian territories, they are nothing but a political card to blackmail the Syrian regime, they have no other role to do, they have no free will to come back home even if they want.
They wont come back until the end of the summer, it’s a free summer vacation in Turkey.

June 23rd, 2011, 4:31 pm


daleandersen said:

Memo to NOUR:

RE: “Syrians share a single socio-economic life-cycle and thus a single life. We are members of a single society that has a single interest in life, and which did not develop recently with the birth of the different religious sects we see together, but rather came into being thousands of years ago, long before the creation of today’s religions…”

This is an atheist’s dream. It’s a good dream, but it’s false. Syria is a geographical expression, still intensely tribal, still more separated than together. And the proof will be, when the shit hits the fan, the average Syrian will not defend the unity of Syria. He will throw down his gun and run to his tribe for succor and protection.

That’s EXACTLY what happened in your big brother next door, Iraq. When the US Army came in (Remember the USA? Syrian Commando says it’s on the verge of civil war), the Iraqi soldiers who were poised to fight the “Mother of all battles” threw down their guns, ripped off their uniforms and ran back to their tribes. They weren’t cowards. Far from it. They simply had no intention of dying for a meaningless entity, Iraq. In like manner, Syria is meaningless, but the tribe, ah the tribe, it lives on forever.

Again, when the shit hits the fan, we’ll see who’s right and who’s wrong. Because all the shouting and anger and nay-saying on this blog are meaningless. The true meaning is in the gut and what it tells you to do when lives are on the line, yes?


June 23rd, 2011, 4:31 pm


saad said:

The ignorance shown by the writer about Alawis religion is beyond disbelief.I, a Muslim of the Alawi sect, born and raised in Sydney,Australia,take great pleasure in the so called papers that the writer calls meaningless scribble.Those teachings have given me meaning and given me an appreciation of my religion as a Muslim, of an Alawi sect background.
It is up to the individual to learn and strive for his or her religion,if my religious teacher gives me a task ,i will do it to benefit myself,the onus is on me,no one else.
God is the judge of all things, not some writer who is confused about simple tasks that a man is given in his life ,to better himself religiously.

June 23rd, 2011, 4:37 pm


Nour said:


I understand that the concept of a single socio-economic life-cycle went way over your head.

June 23rd, 2011, 4:38 pm


jad said:

Nour #206,
Totally 🙂

Check out this testimony in French worth reading:
Témoignage – Ce qui se passe en Syrie…


June 23rd, 2011, 4:47 pm


873 said:

U.S. Mayors Pass Resolution To Bring ‘War Dollars’ Home

BALTIMORE — The U.S. Conference of Mayors approved a resolution on Monday calling for an accelerated end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That resolution will now become official policy of the mayors’ organization — a small symbol of growing opposition to the war in Afghanistan. The mayors are asking that money spent on wars abroad be used in the United States to develop cities and towns. The last time the conference approved a resolution like this was during the Vietnam War.

But if that money is just diverted to more covert ops against the Axis of Evilers?
The Office of Special Plans is pushing more of its betrayal agenda for Israel. Who will AIPAC-Congress obey, Americans or Israeli agents & spies? (I think we can take bets on this one.) Look out Syria and Iran…

Kristol, Abrams, Kagan letter presses House GOP to back Libya mission
June 17, 2011 politico

Three prominent conservative foreign policy hands are circulating a letter to House Republicans today urging them not to cut off funding for the conflict in Libya.

The draft letter, being circulated by Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, former Bush aide Elliott Abrams, and Brookings’s Robert Kagan, warns that cutting off funding would be “an abdication of our responsibilities as an ally and as the leader of the Western alliance.

The authors say they share Congressional concerns about the evasion of the War Powers Act, as well as Obama’s conduct of the war; but they say their main complaint is that Obama hasn’t used American power aggressively enough.

June 23rd, 2011, 4:59 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


Sorry Norman

Les chiens aboient la caravane passe. (*)

J’en ai plus qu’assez de ces pseudo-débats d’arrière-garde qui font semblant d’être intéressants et qui en réalité sont complètement stériles.

Le sectarisme appartient au passé. Sans extrapoler, mon avis est que le soutien très massif de la population pour le président et pour les réformes annoncèes démontre que ce genre de débat n’a plus aucune pertinence aujourd’hui. Dans leur immense majorité les syriens ne s’identifient plus à ces schémas sectaires obsolètes et les rejettent.

L’intégration s’est faite avec les années au moyen du système éducatif, de l’armée, des institutions publiques. Loin d’attiser les tensions sectaires , le régime au contraire a tout fait pour les dissoudre et les annihiler.

D’ailleurs on est en droit de s’interroger sur les intentions véritables des parties qui mettent en avant ce genre de sujets au lieu d’aborder les vrais problèmes. Une forme insidieuse de sabotage sans doute parmi tant d’autres

Personnellemnt, j’aurais souhaité que l’on discute ici des enjeux rééls auxquels devra faire face la Syrie dans les mois et les années à venir.

Concernant la composition de la société par exemple le vrai débat devrait plutôt porter sur la structure socio-économique en termes de classes plutôt que sur les religions.

Ou en est la classe moyenne et la classe moyenne-supérieure qui ont marqué leur émergence aux cours des dix dernières années ?

Qu’en est-il par exemple de la paysannerie et du monde rural ?

Plus de 30% de la population en Syrie est employée dans l’agriculture et le secteur agro-alimentaire.
Si l’on abndonne l’encadrement du monde rural par l’Etat et que l’on adopte le modèle libéral ou que l’on améliore graduelllement la productivité comment absorber la main-d’ooeuvre qui
serait libérée sans la création d’emplois dans d’autres secteurs avec tous les problèmes axquels il faudra trouver une solution au niveau éducation, habitat, infrastrutures etc…

Qu’en est-il de la petite et la moyenne industrie et de ses débouchés sur le marché intérieur ?

Le président dans son dernier discours a consacré quelques instants au modèle politique qui conviendrait le mieux à la Syrie. Il a parlé des modèles libéral et socialiste et de la nécesité
de trouver la voie adéquate. Personne sur ce blog n’a évoqué ce sujet.

Qu”en est-il des syndicats ouvriers si le Front Progressiste perdait son rôle dominant ?

Quelle pourrait être la composition du futur parlement dans la perspective des futures éléctions législatives. Personne n’en parle. Au lieu de cela on fait des cartes stupides
sur un pays éclaté après la chute annoncée du régime et l’on s’éternise sur des hypothèses surréalistes.

Quel est le bilan du Baath syrien ? Est-il entièrement négatif ? Là encore silence total.

Quel est l’avenir du système éducatif ? Idem.

Idem pour la santé publique, l’assurance maladie, la création d’emplois, les allocations chomage et les aides pour les plus démunis, par exemple les subventions aux proudits de base et au mazout etc…

Depuis qu’il est arrivé au pouvoir, le président n’a cessé de réformer. SC a rendu compte de ces réformes et des débats publics qui ont eu lieu en Syrie.
Le processus des réformes aurait été certainement plus rapide s’il n’y avait pas eu autant d’obstacles (on peut les énumérer)

Je rappelle que le PIB a quasiment doublé depuis 2000 . De 2008 à 2010 le taux de croissance a atteint 5% (en réalité 8% si l’on tient compte de l’économie parallèle et de l’inadéquation des outils de mesure à la réalité)

Les améliorations ont été perceptibles dans tous les domaines. Cela est indiscutable.


(*) i’m not Muallem advisor. I noticed also that he mentioned the scandal of the 17 billions USD stolen from Iraq and the claim made by the amercian envoy for paying the cost for toppling Saddam. See my comment on the previous post. It’s pure coincidence.

June 23rd, 2011, 5:23 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

WD #56

“There is such an inherent dishonesty that they disgust me.”

I agree with you. Disgusting.

The paradox is that french medias are “ensemble”

– pro-palestinian
– anti-israelian (even anti-semitic)
– anti-syrian

i dont think that a jewish french lobby is behind this situation. Rather a conjunction of reasons among which KSA money and lebanese 14th march influence.

But this is a problem that deserves alone a whole post on SC.
Unfortunately no time to develop.

June 23rd, 2011, 5:49 pm


lou said:

Who is benefiting from the killing in Syria? Is it the government or the opposition? The answer will tell you who is provoking and doing the killing. Western media headlines are quick to pounce on any deaths numbers and headlines will read something like “at least 10 protesters killed by security forces in Syria today”, without any proof of how the people were killed. They make sure to highlight children killed as to show the regime is even killing children ruthlessly.

Let me put it to you this way, let’s say for 3 or 4 weeks, there was not a single death in Syria, who would that benefit? I think the answer is crystal clear to everyone. There is no way, the opposition will allow that to happen, since it takes the wind right out of their sails. They need to keep the killing going, because this is the key to show the “brutality of the regime”.

If the army was going after “innocent unarmed protesters” and their objective was to crush them, why are they not in Hama crushing protesters there? Not a single death was reported in Hama the last 2 weeks. Are opponents of the government trying to convince me that the army is going north to the Turkish border because of “unarmed protesters” and causing an international scene with the refugee situation. If you believe that, you are either completely ignorant or sympathetic with this violent uprising.

I was talking to a friend in Syria whose brother was doing military service during the start of this uprising. He was shot in the leg in clashes with armed gangs and was recovering (No he was not shot because he refused to shoot at protesters). He told me that one of the main reasons why the army has stayed loyal is that they know for a fact and have seen for themselves that they are fighting armed gangs and they have seen their fellow soldiers killed or injured. He told me, there is no way the army would have stayed united if what they were doing was killing innocent protesters.

June 23rd, 2011, 5:51 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

NOUR #201

“Academics like Prof. Landis”

rather hyperbolic

June 23rd, 2011, 5:56 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

161. aboali

i did warn you didn’t i ? YOUR FRIENDS OF HOMS ARE DONE 🙂

don’t pretend to be Aleppo by saying you exchanged dollars. You aren’t

June 23rd, 2011, 6:10 pm


Joshua Landis said:

Dear Nour, You write in comment 201:

“Academics like Prof. Landis have been contributing to this campaign and this portrayal in the way that they cover and address Syrian issues. A couple years ago while I was engaging in discussions and debates with other participants in this blog around the issue of secularism and the social nationalist ideology, Prof. Landis followed up the discussion by posting a comment claiming that Antoun Saadeh was in fact a sectarian orthodox Christian who advocated for the idea of the Syrian nation in order to return to the orthodox byzantine empire. This of course is a totally absurd claim and complete garbage which no real intellectual would take seriously, but the the whole idea was to stress the issue of sectarianism and posit the notion that sectarian differences are the ruling force in our nation which no one can ever erase or prevent.

Nour, I fear you misinterpret what I wrote and misunderstand my analysis.

Antoun Saadeh, a Greek Orthodox who grew up in Brazil, the son of a local publisher and manager of a printing press, formed his national ideas about the Middle East during WWI, before returning to Lebanon – or Syria – the birthplace of his parents.

His world view and sense of history was formed by the ideas of the French archeologists and historians, such as Renan, as well the Bible.

This is in no small part why he fastened onto the notion of Greater Syria and not the Arab Nation.

Muslim Arabs, informed by a different senses of history and the Quran, leaned toward Arabism, which included the Semitic Wave theory, i.e. waves of Semites coming out of Arabia and populating the Middle East on the model of the Arabo-Islamic conquest. This is partly what the Quran tells us. Adam was an Muslim as were all the other prophets, etc. Modern linguistic theory in the 19th century posited that Semites come out of the Arabian dessert, etc.

The Syrian Social Nationalist Party or SSNP disavowed Arabism and the Semitic Wave theory. Saadeh argued that many different waves of peoples from many different ethnic groups settled the Middle East creating a unique “Syrian nation.” He names all the various tribes and nations that are named in the Bible and then some. Muslims were only the very last wave and only a few peoples forming the vast overlay of races were Semites. He believed that they should not be given the privilege of having either their religion or ethnicity acquire special status over the nation, which he insisted was not Arab.

By trying to explain why the SSNP was especially attractive to Greek Orthodox, like Saadeh and those of the Wadi Nasara in Syria, is not me trying to advance a special agenda designed to divide the Middle East and promote some nefarious imperial design. Greater Syria would unite all the Greek Orthodox in one nation and create unity in the region that would not privilege Muslims. It promoted equality. It excluded the Arabians, who were extremely religious and thought in terms of the recreating the Omayyad Dynasty.

Read the scores of special studies and letters about the national solution for Syria produced by Greek Orthodox leaders and intellectuals before and during WWI. They were very anxious lest Islamic fundamentalists gain power over Syria – very similar to the anxiety that exists among Syrian Christians today. They were particularly alarmed by the prospect that the British would promote their Hashemite solution to the “Arab Question” and place an Arabian prince and descendant of the prophet Muhammad on the thrown in Damascus.

Is this fear sectarian? Whatever the source of this fear, it did exist and it dominated the hundreds of letters and national committees that were formed in places like Brazil, Latin American capitals, the US, and Europe among Syrian immigrants – all of whom lobbied the great powers over the question of how the Ottoman lands should be reconstituted and on what national basis they should be united after WWI.

This is not a sectarian history, it is history. It is extremely helpful for understanding the tensions exiting in Syria today. The fears today are related to the fears that existed during the time of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Everyone gets frightened when the existing order is threatened. Everyone has an idea about what the true realities of the nation are.

To dismiss the role of religion in influencing those notions is to deny important historical factors.

June 23rd, 2011, 6:11 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


i dont bother answering or talking to people like you
i ignore them

same as my comment #142 in the previous post in case you didnt notice

you are nothing nada rien

so no use to adress me

June 23rd, 2011, 6:30 pm



It is vey interesting knowing about historical facts and causes that lead to the present situation, but in a way we should try to avoid centering too much in the past and try to look forward without fears. Every tribe and every sect (including Sunna and Christian sects, yes they were sects and remain sects in the modern world) have historical reasons to be afraid of anybody else. Even of themselves and of their leaders…

I see one of the problems of Syria is that it has a very long history and it weighs too much on its capabilities to change and adapt to the global situations, crisis and changes.

Let´s see how young states with no history adapted the more modern political systems. While old states and regions with long history have long lasting decaying systems.

June 23rd, 2011, 6:34 pm


why-discuss said:


#207 Merci! UNE EXCELLENTE ET COMPLETE ANALYSE par Nabil Antaki, un medecin a Alep. Je me sens moins seul 🙂
Dommage que ce ne soit pas en anglais, Joshua Landis en aurait profite ainsi que tout le monde.

June 23rd, 2011, 6:36 pm


jad said:

It’s getting way to dangerous than the kids’ game of ponytail, ‘Swede-bro'(thanks Mina), the fake Brit and Dr. boring (Ziadeh):

إيران: حماية أسوار دمشق دفاعاً عن بيروت وطهران

اضطرابات سوريا هدفها المقاومة الإسلامية في لبنان، والذود عن دمشق حماية لبيروت وطهران. هي باختصار المقاربة الإيرانية لما يجري في بلاد الشام حيث «لن نسمح بكسر سيّد المقاومة» وفي الوقت نفسه «لن نسمح بقرصنة ربيع الثورات العربية». العلاقة مع السعودية مقطوعة ومع قطر مجمّدة. أما أنقرة فيبدو أن عليها أن تحاذر: سوريا خط أحمر ولو اقتضى الأمر قصف القواعد الأميركية في تركيا

“وتتحدث هذه المصادر باستفاضة عن الدور التركي في هذا السياق، كاشفة عن أن طهران هددت تركيا بأنها «إذا جعلت أرضها مقراً لاستنساخ السيناريو الليبي على الحالة السورية، فإن القوات المسلحة الإيرانية ستقصف القواعد الأميركية وأي وجود أطلسي على الأراضي التركية. الرسائل الإيرانية لتركيا لم تكن أقل حزماً على مستويي الخارجية والأمن، والتحذير واضح: إياكم والوقوع في الفخ الغربي في سوريا». تهديدات بلغت أوجها مع معركة جسر الشغور في الشمال السوري. «من هنا كبح الأتراك اندفاعهم في السيناريو الذي كان معدّاً للحالة السورية»، وبينه منطقة عازلة وتدخّل أطلسي.
ومع ذلك، تشير هذه المصادر إلى أن علاقة إيران بتركيا «لم تتأثر سلباً على المستوى الاستراتيجي، لكن الأتراك منزعجون جداً من الضغط الإيراني عليهم». وتوضح، في تفسيرها لحراك أنقرة حيال الملف السوري، أن «التركي مستعجل. يطمح الى أن يؤدي دوراً إقليمياً كبيراً من دون أن ينتبه إلى أن الأحجام والأدوار في الافئدة والقلوب، لا تأتي بالرغبات ولا تُشترى ولا تُستأجر، بل تأتي بالدم ومجبولة بالمعاناة والمثابرة على المواقف لعقود». تضيف «الدليل على ذلك أن مصر، رغم موقعها الاستراتيجي المهم، بمجرد أن وقعت في أيدي آخرين لم يثابروا على المواقف تحولت إلى شيء أشبه بالصفر، على مستوى الحجم والدور. التركي فكر على ما يبدو أنه بوابة أوروبا إلى الشرق ويمتلك غطاءً أطلسياً ومساحات شاسعة من الأراضي والإمكانات. هذا وحده لا يكفي، يجب أن يثابر على مواقفه التي بدأها في دافوس، مروراً بقضية السفينة مرمرة وما إلى ذلك».
وفي حديثها عن تركيا، تلفت هذه المصادر إلى وجود بعض سوء التقدير لدى أنقرة حيال عدد من المسائل، بينها «حقيقة لجوء عشرات آلاف الأكراد من خارج سوريا إلى الشمال السوري في أعقاب غزو العراق. هناك حاولوا تكريد شريط موازٍ للحدود مع تركيا عبر العمل على طرد المسيحيين وتهجيرهم في محاولة لإقامة منطقة تصل حتى البحر المتوسط، على أمل أن تكون منفذاً على البحر لأي دولة كردية مستقبلية. هناك قلق إيراني وسوري من هذا الأمر، واعتقاد بأن جسر الشغور ليس سوى مشروع إقليمي بإدارة كردية ورعاية أميركية، شيء شبيه بإمارة تلكلخ. التركي يستهين بهذا الموضوع، ظناً منه أنه قادر على استخدامه مع أوروبا وفي الانتخابات وما إلى ذلك».
وفي تعليقها على ما يشاع منذ مدة عن توافق ضمني أميركي مع «الإخوان المسلمين» تتصدره تركيا في محاولة لبناء أنظمة قائمة على تحالف الجيش مع الإسلاميين في العالم العربي، تقول هذه المصادر «إننا لا نرى هذا الكلام دقيقاً. ليس هناك إخوان بمعنى الحركة المتجانسة، بل فرق متعددة يمكن إحداها أن تكون في هذا المناخ، لكنه ليس مهيمناً».”

“أما العلاقة مع قطر فهي «مجمدة بسبب الانقلاب المفاجئ غير المبرر وغير المقبول من البحرين إلى سوريا». وتضيف المصادر «لدينا معلومات عن إشارات خضراء من إمارات خليجية صغيرة للأميركيين لتقسيم اليمن مقدمةً لتقسيم السعودية لأن ذلك يريحها ويجعل الخليج إمارات صغيرة متكافئة»، مشيرة إلى أن توجهاً كهذا هو «استمرار لنهج 16 عاماً القائم على إضعاف العرب الرسميين الذين كان خط الدفاع الأخير عندهم مثلث الإسكندرية الذي جمع مصر والسعودية وسوريا أيام الراحل حافظ الأسد. مصر أضعفوها بالكنز الاستراتيجي الذي يسمى حسني مبارك، والآن بمحاولة مصادرة الثورة المصرية، والسعودية من خلال اللعب باليمن عن طريق الدخول على خط الثورة واستنزاف القوى اليمنية الحيّة عبر إدخال القبائل على الخط وشق الجيش ومنع تكريس إنجازات الثورة الشبابية بانتقال سلس للسلطة، والآن جاء دور سوريا». وتتابع «هي إمارة تعتقد أنها بالمال والإعلام وطموح الزعامة والحماية الأميركية تستطيع أن تشتري نفوذاً وتبدل في أحجام الدول وأدوارها».”


June 23rd, 2011, 6:39 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

Dr LANDIS #213

i strongly fear that your are melting your own opinion and interpretation with factual truth and history about Antoun Saadeh and the SSNP.

In case i’m wrong, could you enlighten us please with your sources ?

What was the name of the magazine created by Saadeh in Argentina before he returned to Lebanon ? and the nature of it’s content ?

So if we believe you Antoun Saadeh should have invented another language instead of arabic ?

How come that SSNP, one of the oldest secular syrian-lebanese party has numerous non-christian members (arabic speaking and even arab nationalists needless to add) ?

i’m not an “academic” unfortunately so may be i have no CREDENTIALS or the ability to develop more nevertheless my suspicion is legitimate

waiting for your reply with my best regards etc…

June 23rd, 2011, 6:42 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


c’est JAD #207 qui a mis le lien pas moi

mais j’ai lu l’article du Dr Antaki après avoir posté mon commentaire en français ci-dessus. Antaki indique une croissance supérieure du PIB.
C’est encore une coincidence. Bon signe ?

June 23rd, 2011, 6:47 pm


SF94123 said:

Turkey should reframe from interfering in Syria’s internal affair. Let’s don’t forget about What happened to the Armenian in Turkey resulting in the deaths of 1,5 million innocent people, is a blemish and stigma in human history. The crimes, massacres, raping of Armenian women and the savage acts of Turkish governors are so horrible that studying them shakes the body of every free man. its history against humanity..

Today, Turkey has an open invitation from the “patriotic” Syrian’s MB. Obviously Turkey is the perfect match who has the experience and know- how…Take a look!

June 23rd, 2011, 6:48 pm


jad said:

Hariri Jr. proving again that he is the biggest idiot in the history of Lebanon; Syria collapse means the vanishing of Lebanon as we know it today, these two countries have the exact same issues, making trouble in one the second will follow:

الحريري مقامراً: أنا أو الأسد

يضع رئيس الحكومة السابق سعد الحريري نفسه رأس حربة في قيادة عمليّة عزل لبنان لـ«تأديب» من أخرجه من الحكومة، ولممارسة كلّ الضغط على النظام السوري لإسقاطه، لكونه يتحمّل مسؤوليّةً أيضاً. وفي سبيل ذلك، يستخدم الحريري كلّ علاقاته الدوليّة

“إلى جانب الضغط الاقتصادي، يراهن الحريري على قُرب إعلان البيان الاتهامي للمحكمة الدوليّة، وهو يُبلغ من يلتقيهم أن تموز هو الشهر الذي سيشهد هذا الإعلان. ويرى الحريري، بحسب مصادر قوى 14 آذار، أن هذا القرار سيتهم النظام السوري وحزب الله بالاغتيال، وسيكون عاملاً مساعداً في استكمال حملته لإسقاط النظام في دمشق «وتربية حلفائه اللبنانيين». ويقول هؤلاء إنّ الحريري يتعاطى مع الموضوع على أنه مجرّد وسيلة، وليس هدفاً أو قضيّة. ويُعدّ الحريري فريقه لخوض معركة شرسة تحت عنوان المحكمة.
ويختصر المقرّبون من الحريري وضعه بالآتي: «معركته مع النظام السوري هي معركة موت أو حياة». وينقل البعض عنه قوله «أنا أو بشار الأسد». يُضيف هؤلاء أن الحريري بات مقتنعاً بأن حياته السياسيّة ستنتهي إذا استمر الأسد في حكم سوريا، وبالتالي فإنه يرمي كلّ أوراقه في مواجهة الرئيس السوري. هو، ببساطة، كمقامر وصل إلى اللحظة التي أيقن فيها أنه يلعب في الجولة النهائيّة، فإمّا أن يربح كلّ ما في حوزته أو يخسره كلّه، وبالتالي راهن بكلّ ما بين يديه دفعةً واحدة: All In.”


June 23rd, 2011, 6:52 pm



Although nominally Syria is an Arabic country it is widely known historically and scientifically (a simple analysis on the DNA should be enough) that it is population is a mixed of populations come from north, east, west and south. Sumerians, Mittani, Amorites, Hitites, Egyptians, Hurrites, Aegean, Macedonian, Jewish, Nabatean, Sotuh Arabian, Circassian, Turkoman, Seljudiks, Turks, Russian and Caucasian, Crusaders, French and british, and lately Iranians too, and a long list to follow.

Syria was dominated by a ruling arabic islamic class. No more.

Syria is not ethnically an arabic country although some 95 % or more of the population speaks correct arabic. So it is a paradox that the greater defensor of Arabism is probably the less arabic country in the Arab League. Even Morrocco is more Arabic (maybe 70 % berber, 30 % arabic) than Syria.

June 23rd, 2011, 6:57 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

JAD #221

this under-man is in Paris. As Michel Aoun has put it, i hope it will be an “aller sans retour”

June 23rd, 2011, 6:58 pm


jad said:

It’s getting more ridiculous: now Hilary is accusing the Syrians of provoking the turks by going into a SYRIAN city, WTF, can’t the SYRIAN army go into a SYRIAN city or raise the SYRIAN flag instead of the turkish flag over a SYRIAN building without accusing it of something as stupid as ‘provocation’….

دخلت خربة الجوز لإعادة رفع العلم السوري وواشنطن تتحدث عن تصعيد
القوات السورية قرب الحدود التركية كلينتـون تنـتـقـد «الاسـتفـزاز» وتحـذر مـن اشـتباكات

“دخلت وزيرة الخارجية الاميركية هيلاري كلينتون على خط العلاقة المشدودة بين انقرة ودمشق وحذرت من تصعيد عسكري في المنطقة بسبب ما وصفته بـ«الهجمات الاستفزازية» للقوات السورية على الحدود، وذلك فيما كان وزير الخارجية التركي احمد داود اوغلو، يجري اتصالا بنظيره السوري وليد المعلم لبحث ما يحصل في المنطقة. وبينما كانت الوزيرة الاميركية تحذر من وقوع اشتباكات حدودية بين الطرفين، فإنه من المقرر ان تدخل العقوبات الأوروبية الجديدة على سوريا حيز التنفيذ اليوم، في حين دعا معارضون سوريون إلى تظاهرات جديدة ضد النظام اليوم.
وقالت كلينتون إن واشنطن تشعر بالقلق بخصوص إمكان ان يسفر قيام سوريا بحشد قواتها قرب الحدود مع تركيا عن تصعيد الأزمة في المنطقة، موضحة انها تناقش الموضوع مع المسؤولين الاتراك. وأوضحت الوزيرة الأميركية انه «ما لم تضع القوات السورية على الفور نهاية لهجماتها واستفزازاتها التي لم تعد الآن تؤثر على مواطنيها وحدهم بل تهدد باحتمال وقوع اشتباكات حدودية، فسنشهد تصعيدا للصراع في المنطقة».
ونقلت وكالة «الأناضول» عن مصادر دبلوماسية تركية قولها إن داود أوغلو تبادل في اتصال هاتفي أجراه مع المعلم «وجهات النظر عن الوضع على الحدود التركية السورية، والتطورات الأخيرة في سوريا وعبور السوريين إلى الجانب التركي من الحدود». وذكرت أن داود أوغلو اتصل هاتفيا أيضا بوزيرة خارجية الاتحاد الأوروبي كاثرين آشتون، وتبادل معها وجهات النظر بشأن التطورات الإقليمية، إضافة إلى مساعدة السوريين النازحين إلى تركيا.
وأوضحت الوكالة انه تم استدعاء السفير السوري في أنقرة نضال قبلان إلى وزارة الخارجية التركية. وقالت مصادر الخارجية إن «قبلان قدم خلال لقائه مع المسؤولين الأتراك شرحا للتطورات في سوريا». ”

“وقال صحافي من «فرانس برس» ان علما تركيا كان وضعه اللاجئون السوريون قبل ايام على مبنى عند هذه الهضبة عربون امتنان لتركيا التي استقبلت الآلاف منهم، تم استبداله بعلم سوري، مشيرا الى ان «تقدم الجيش، الذي بات على بعد مئات الامتار فقط من مخيمات النازحين السوريين على الحدود، أدى الى فرار المئات الذين نزحوا منذ ايام ودخلوا الى تركيا». ”


June 23rd, 2011, 7:00 pm


One Hand said:

Hello everyone, I’m a new intruder on this forum and would like to share some thoughts with you ALL.I did skim through the comments/replies and could feel this very HIGH sense of sectarian passion between Alawi and Sunni mates. So, please, let’s all step one step back, lit a cigarette or get some coffee and most importantly is to relax a bit trying to ease the tension in order to see the big picture. I do believe in God, that’s for sure, while I don’t give a toss about how to reach Him weather being a Sunni, Alawi, Christian or even a Buddhist I just don’t care! Sorry but I have to go that low and declare this fact in order to rebuff any indictment from other mates on this forum. I was born for a Sunni family while my best mates were bunch of different backgrounds. We did find it quite hurtful, back in the days, to use insulting words such as (Christians, Sunnis, Alawies) actually it was quite inhuman to tag someone then trying to package him/her in a big box called the SECT. Of course this attitude was not a result of the most retard implantation theory conducted by Baath party not at all!! It was a normal reaction of normal human being behaviours no more no less (please mark the word “normal”) as a matter of fact we were really comfy in bringing up “taboo” topics trying to comprehend why the older generations could not just get a long as we were? At that time all these objects of Baathists, Mukhabart, Shabiha, MB, fanatics ..etc where absolutely invisible for us not that they were not there nah at all they were there and they were active enough to piss off our mode but we simply did not give them a lead into our lives. Sorry for being a bit boring, maybe, but to make the story short during that time I did fall for an Alawi girl who was as liberal and progressive as we all were, everything was too good to be true till her almighty father “the general” knew and told her enough is enough he’s, refereeing to me, from “THEM”, surely, no need to elaborate on what happened next.

Again, my apologies for sharing personal stuff with you guys but reading through your comments just gives me this headache and flashback of all these past days. I have no interest in questioning the Alawi/Sunni national identity not at all and honestly I don’t care. However, I need to comprehend what happened with you guys to start expressing all this hatred against each other? Was this hatred in your heart all the times and you were just waiting for the time to unleash? Was this hatred inherited from our insecure parents? How come a bunch of educated and intellectual folks are failing to draw a rosy vision for future Syria away with no Baath/MB in it?

June 23rd, 2011, 7:01 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


that’s why Syria is the only arab country to bear the word “arab” in its official denomination : Syrian Arab Republic. But still arab culture and arabism is the dominant culture and a very strong claimed identity. Literature an poetry, music, culinar habits, wearing, popular culture etc…
Syrians always refer to their army as Syrian Arab Army.

Syrians even non-arabs assume this totally. Pan-arabism is a political ideology and hence another subject. I think that this ideology regarding Syria is a dead fish by now.

June 23rd, 2011, 7:05 pm



Pro Assadist the reformers and protectors of Syria, the would be democrats that cannot be because of a handful of islamists, you show your deep democratic sensibility by insulting and sending to exile the democratically elected leader of Lebanon. Yes, Hariri was elected Prime Minister by the majority of lebanese members of Parliament before Joumblatt was given a DEADline to change the will of the people. A movement only possible in countries where politics are merely clans, mafias and tribes. This is middle eastern democracy. Worse even that in Europe and the US.

June 23rd, 2011, 7:06 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

Dear SF94123 #220

you omit to mention the Assyrian genocide comparatively much more important : half of the population. Some assyrians refer to it with the word SAYFO

June 23rd, 2011, 7:12 pm


mjabali said:

Mr. Abu Umar:

I know that I touched a nerve with you when i spoke harshly of your God, the Criminal Ibn Taymiyah and that explain why you are trying to insert Ali ibn Abi Talib in this discussion. AS if I care about Ali ibn Abi Talib or any figure associated with the violent history of Islam. I judge them all according to the time I live in. You see how I answer your question directly without running around like you do.

Can you answer me mr. Abu Umar and tell me do you consider the Alawis Kuffar/infidels or not?

June 23rd, 2011, 7:14 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


“the democratically elected leader of Lebanon”


June 23rd, 2011, 7:17 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

JAD #224

they are pushing for a casus belli. I told you that in a previous comment. I suspect something serious. I expect a declaration from Russia if things get worse.

June 23rd, 2011, 7:21 pm




The problem is that what you and everybody calls arabic culture should be called levantine culture or Syrian or Syrio-lebanese-palestinian culture. What is the conection between Syrian and lebanese so-called arab cultures and Saudi, Oman or Yemen arab cultures? The same conections that Portugal may have with Finalnde.
There are more differences than conections.

If propaganda for unity had been based only on Syrian nationalism (based on Independent Syria 1.945 borders) instead of PanARABISM maybe things would be easier now.

June 23rd, 2011, 7:23 pm


mjabali said:

Mr. Shami

I am waiting for your answer weather you consider the Alawis infidels/Fuffar or not?

As for your words regarding the Shia in Northern Syria and the Ismaili Fatimids in Egypt, you consider that they were of small numbers and that is why they disappeared. who told you this? and who taught you this logic? This Shia’a, Alawis and other existed in Northern Syria and the only way they disappeared is through the swords of the Sunnis and the Ottomans to be exact armed with the Fatawis/decrees that made it ok to kill Shia and Alawis.

You lie when you say that the Safavids are Alawis. Where did you get this and who taught you this? You know how different the Shia in Iran from the Alevi of Turkey who are different from the Alawis of Syria. You adopt the Ottoman school of history that incorporate the Wahabbi version of history.

The Safavids and the Ottomans were both Turks for your information and many consider them rivals from the same outfit. The list of the Sectarian Cleansing that was done by the Sunnis is long and if you want i will gladly provide you with it.

What did the Ottomans do when they entered Allepo and what happened to the Alawis who were in Allepo then, what was their number? How many of them? What is the Fatwa that was used to kill them? was it al-Hamidiyah based on that of Ibn Taymiyah?

AS for the Fatimids who ruled Egypt without caring about turning the Egyptians into their sect, do you have any doubts that Salah al-Deen al-Ayubi did to them what could be considered as a Genocide?

June 23rd, 2011, 7:25 pm




Oh, sorry I forgot it was a sunni military coup d´etat with Saudi milicias giving them support. The central command was in Harat Hreik I believe.

June 23rd, 2011, 7:27 pm


Darryl said:

137. Revlon
Dear Revlon
I did not say interfaith marriages are illegal. The problem is thay are not common or not as common as they should be to harmonize Syrian society. A Christian man will have a great difficulty in marrying a Muslim lady as he has to convert to Islam and he may not necessarily want that. This offcourse applies to other sects. Muslims men have been refused marriage to Christian ladies because they may convert (although she is not forced), but more probelmatic is the children must become Muslims. I know many cases like this one.

The other bigger problem is offcourse conversion from Islam to Christianity or Bhuddism etc. Apostates can be killed even though I believe the Qur’an staes there is no compulsion in religion ( I am going by memory as it has been a long time that I consulted my copy of the Qur’an). I believe this is the biggest issue.

June 23rd, 2011, 7:29 pm


Darryl said:


Your argument is the biggest problem for me about Syria. I find I have more things in common with Turks in Australia than Egyptions, Somalis etc etc. Language is not a strong bond to have nationalism. The Baath had to include this in Motto as a main differentiator to Syrian nationalism. In reality, Syrias bonds are greatest between Lebanon and Turkey followed by Jordan and Palestine and perhaps lastly Iraq. There is nothing common to the rest other than Islam.

June 23rd, 2011, 7:36 pm



With disregard I can see how much sectarian most of the syrian still are set to be for a long time. Maybe not in an active way but sure on a defensive way. How can anybody still use the word infidel while refering to other people living in the world today? Infidel to what? Indifel to your own indifelities? I think that the problem is that most of the syrians, specially the majority Sunna, are not ready to free opinions about their religion.

In a democratic country anybody should be free to deny religion and to deny stories about Bibles and Qoran. The first thing to be done to begin dialogue is to allow free speech about religion. Anyone should be allowed to deny or defend myths described in these books without being considered causa belis. Is there a book in an arab country that denies that the Qouran descended from Heavens? If there is I need to know where. Thanks.

June 23rd, 2011, 7:40 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


as regard feeling i a agree with you it should be called levantine.

But facts are facts.

Syrian and Lebanse have done a lote for the arabic Nahda (revival). Can we go back to aramaic. The answer is no. (*)

An example. The famous lebanese singer WADI3 AL SAFI was souriani and sung in aramaic as well as in arabic. He is a reference for both cultures. Fayrouz’s father was an assyrian from Mardin (presently in Turkey) but she sings only in arabic and is very popular in Syria, Jordan, Palestine etc…

I once read that president Bashar encouraged aramaic studies and an aramaic annual congress was planned to take place near Damascus. I dont know if it occurred really.

June 23rd, 2011, 7:40 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


in Australia may be not in Suria.

How about greeks (oriental i mean, a lot lived in Turkey and there were numerous also in Syria).

I have a sunni friend from Damascus with syrian arabic culture who told me yesterday he feels he has more in common with greeks than with arabs.

Another syrian paradox. Definitely Syria is the homeland of paradoxes nuances and mirages. This is what is missing to the majoriy of foreign observers. Are you Syrian ?

What do you think of Farid Al Atrash ? He is (was) a druze from Djabal Al 3arab Sweida

June 23rd, 2011, 7:48 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


concerning the evolution of Islam, the turn happened after the abassid Al Ma’amoun caliphat when the Ash’arites took over the Mu’utazilites and became the dominant trend. The Mu’utalizits where much more advanced than today’s Islam, not to speak about Hanbalites and Wahhabists.

June 23rd, 2011, 7:54 pm


Abughassan said:

The discussion about the SSNP is getting interesting even to a disgusted observer like me.if albaath collapses or gets marginalized,seculars will be left with one viable alternative until a new secular party is formed,and that alternative is the SSNP. This party will appeal to minorities and to a lesser degree liberal Sunni Syrians. SSNP attracted educated people who were not exactly thrilled to be bundled in the same package as Arabs outside Syria and Lebanon.personally,I think people want to know more about the party’s social and economic agenda before they join in big numbers.overall,I have a positive view of this party but I want the division inside its leadership to end and they need to declare a total divorce from albaath and be more aggressive in marketing their ideas.

June 23rd, 2011, 8:15 pm


SF94123 said:

80% of Syrians are sick and tired of Fridays’ protesters. Enough is enough …
Syrians should have 6-day week and the hell with Fridays.

June 23rd, 2011, 8:21 pm


Abughassan said:

Maher’s wife is a Sunni Muslim.

June 23rd, 2011, 8:25 pm


Mawal95 said:

The government’s draft “Party Law” has been published. You can read an English-language summary of it written by Sami Moubayed at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sami-moubayed/the-road-to-syrian-democr_b_883100.html

Here are some highlights:
() Article 8 of the Constitution will be effectively repealed; i.e. rival political parties shall compete to win elections. The draft law itself is without power to repeal an Article of the Constitution, of course, but the implementation of this draft law necessitates the actual repeal of Article 8.
() Parties with a religious, tribal, or ethnic agenda will be banned. There are some provisions intended to discourage provincial parties, but such parties are not explicitly banned. Other conditions required of a political party to get licensed as legit are modest.
() Parties will not be allowed to use government agencies to market themselves. That includes today’s established party.
() The funding of parties shall be from membership fees and other donations from individuals within Syria. Foreign money is banned. No mention of State funding.
() Any party is entitled to issue its own publications, without applying for a license. It gets that right automatically once the political party is licensed by the Party Affairs Committee.

June 23rd, 2011, 8:25 pm


Tara said:

Habib # 198

Indeed a well written comment.

I hesitated a bit writing a response. I was sure that all my previous attempts went in vain. Anti regime comments are irrelevant and had no impact on the discourse of the pro regime comments. Really no impact! So what is the use? Why would I bother yet another response? I read your comment a second time and I sensed the rage. That reminded me with my own rage and I decided that Tara will respond and here we go.

It is not my position to characterize the nature of Alawism and I do accept all the facts you have shared with us. I can’t make any intelligent statement about the difference in culture in regard to Sunnis vs. Alawis women’s roles in society as I do not have a validated statistical analysis to draw a conclusion and I am not looking for one. I do have anecdotes just like yours. My mother is secular Sunni with a post graduate degree. I am not a historian and I am happy to hear that the Alawis of the past were not particularly prosecuted. I am sure that any foreign occupation under whatever name French or Ottoman deprived us all Sunnis and Alawis alike from dignity.

Let me first preemptive the discussion by stating that I share the same fear you have of the MB. I was a little girl in Damascus when MB bombings were carried out. My parents were on an official mission in another country. My siblings and I were left with an adult housekeeper for a month. I had therefore a non restricted non supervised exposure to the TV (there was only one channel at that time), a kid’ dream. At a very tender age, I watched their horrible crimes and I was utterly terrified. Alone, and terrified to the bone! I do not wish they are allowed any role in the future free Syria let alone in ruling Syria.

So far so good! Yes? Up until I read your statement about Hama massacre. You said “…does that not prove the criminal targets were the ones killed and not some civilians?”
Am I reading this correct? You call 20.000-30.000 killed few civilians? Hama was a text book of collective punishment and guilt by association. Hama was inhumanity 101. Hama was a crime against humanity left unpunished, proudly presented by Rifaat next door. Rifaat now well known to the world as the butcher of Hama, a title in my opinion better suited for papa Hafez. Rifaat after all was carrying orders. The city should be wiped out and it was. Have you ever read “the Zionist” Tomas Freidman book about Hama? I invite you to consider.

And yes. This is a popular uprising against a brutal regime that is using Alawites and Sunnis accomplices who are strategically positioned in vital military, security forces and “financial institutions”. Security forces have the upper hand and I can post you few “fabricated” you tube clips showing how a “nobody” security thug in civilian cloth slapping a police officer doing his job. The lowest rank security officer in this regime can intimidate any high ranking civilian in any of the “civil instititions” or even military institutions anytime he sees fit without accountability. A fact that is well known to us (the others) and perhaps not to you. I have personally watched many arguments in Syria where things can easily deteriorate the wrong way. It may start with something trivial like cutting you off while driving. A face to face confrontation ensues. You know how the argument is usually ended? One of the two would start pronouncing the letter قاف insinuating that he is probably a thug security officer and has the upper hand. The rest is known to you. When you live under a brutal regime, everybody becomes brutal even the janitor becomes brutal. No exception.

And that leads us to your statement “..The only reason Assad is still in power today is the support of the majority of Sunnis”.. You are wrong! If we are allowed the right of peaceful demonstration, Syria would rise in its entirety. The wall of fear is not shattered. Parents are afraid to criticize the regime in front of their children in fear of the children repeating what the parents say in the school and then facing the consequences. The fear is what shapes our generation identity. It is deep seated and its impact is ever-lasting.

The regime had successfully over the years incorporated fear into out collective psych. It taught us unforgettable lessons. But you know what the irony is: When you give fear, you get it back. Remember Daraa school-children. The simple act of writing graffiti on a single wall in Deraa terrified the Syrian State. What a pitty?

June 23rd, 2011, 8:40 pm


Abughassan said:

Captain Riyadh Ahmad was actually a Syrian army officer who defected,so in that sense he was not lying,but everything else he said was questionable and most of his stories were “transmitted” to him via “trusted sources” and شهود عيان. In that sense he was شاهد ما شافش حاجه. In addition to telling stories that are very hard to verify ,he was irresponsible enough to air the names of fellow officers that he accused of committing atrocities. I understand why he left the army,that does not mean I support his defection,but everything else he did is unacceptable and,in the case of that list,is criminal.he should have kept his info in a safe place,documented those testimonies,collected evidence,then come up with all of that when the time is right. I have zero respect for those who used him and published his suggested revenge/assassination list.I decided to come back to this subject because it shows how dangerous undermining the army is and how critical keeping it as a cohesive unit is for Syria’s unity.

June 23rd, 2011, 8:40 pm


Abughassan said:

I will break my own rules of not calling names and express my understanding and “reserved” support for what you posted,Tara.I do not fully agree with the post but Thank you for an honest and passionate,in the political sense,comment 🙂

June 23rd, 2011, 8:49 pm


syau said:


Thanks for the link. The new paty law is an overhaul of the system and should please all Syrian citizens, excluding terrorist organisations such as the MB.

Habib #198,

It was a pleasure to read your post and I am in total agreeance with you.

June 23rd, 2011, 8:52 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


so what do you think of DR KANDIS’ comment #213 ?

i think that in the perspective of multipartism in Syria, the SSNP has no place at the left. Though secular, i venture to classify it as a populist nationalist extreme-right. Something equivalent to the french Front National. The SSNP has no real program in terms of politics. Still because of its tough nationalist stance the party is popular among the diaspora. I may be wrong.

I call for a re-shuffled Progressive Front with a renewed Baath and without SSNP and pan-arabists parties.

I think that the debate between socialists baathists and communists is still worthy and useful as far it focuses with real and practical issues.

June 23rd, 2011, 8:59 pm


aboali said:

#212 Ah, Vlad the idiot, wondered where you’d scurried off to. I made a video just for you, enjoy:

June 23rd, 2011, 9:11 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


thanks for the link.

This is a historical shift.

June 23rd, 2011, 9:11 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


is this your proof ? 🙂

don’t forget about your homsi friends the zombies

June 23rd, 2011, 9:15 pm


Abughassan said:

It is too early to discount the SSNP,the party can and should change,and secular people in Syria will pay a heavy price if they waste their resources and time fighting each other.
SSNP sees religion and Arabism as a threat,and in that sense,many non Sunnis looked at it as a protective tent,and this includes Greek orthodox and other minorities. The party is not limited to non Sunnis but I think it needs to broaden its support base to include more secular Sunnis .there will be a vacuum if albaath loses 30-50% of its members as projected by many,and I do not want islamists to take advantage of that. This is exactly what is being cooked.

June 23rd, 2011, 9:17 pm


syau said:


How nice, you emailed a note that was printed off by someone in Aleppo to use. Very original.

June 23rd, 2011, 9:19 pm


Norman said:


I do not think you comprehend the fear that we as university students felt during the MB killing of university teachers,

What happened in Hama was terrible but you should understand and remember who started that war with the attempted assassination of president Assad because he is an Alawi,They got what was coming to them ((( Yadak aokata wa foka nafahk.))

June 23rd, 2011, 9:20 pm


louai said:

Re: Tara’s story 3

It feels like the revolutionists are against Hasan Nasralah more than Assad, burning Nasrallah’s photos in Dara’a in the very first week was like seeing a photo ID of this revolution, I knew that moment that this revolution was not made in Syria or for Syria, what a stupid move the revolutionists do when they try to damage sayd Hasan image because as far as I know my people they hold all the respect to sayd Hassn,to stand against him in your first protest ever since more than 40 years it holds a big question mark .

June 23rd, 2011, 9:28 pm


Nour said:

Dear Joshua:

Thank you for your response and your explanation of your comment on Antoun Saadeh and the SSNP. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you used a sectarian viewpoint to analyze an entirely secular thought that had no sectarian (or any other particularistic) underpinnings whatsoever. You also misstated some facts and relied on questionable sources in forming your argument. You stated that Saadeh relied partially on the Bible in forming his theories, when in fact Saadeh was very critical of the bible and tally rejected it as a source of historical information. The groups he named who settled Syria and intermixed with each other were not merely groups mentioned by the bible. They were groups identified by historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists as original inhabitants of this land. Nowhere did Saadeh cite the bible as a source in any of his scientific writings. Rather, he cited historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists in forming his thought and laying down the factual basis of the Syrian nation.

Moreover, there is no evidence in any of Saadeh’s writings or his discussions and relations that he aimed in any way to unite the orthodox Christians. He presented clear arguments rooted in scientific and sociological principles for the actuality of the Syrian nation. Furthermore, it is not clear what you mean by the notion that a “Greater Syria” would not privilege the Muslims. Of course Saadeh argued that all Syrians, regardless of race or religion, should be regarded as citizens equal in rights and duties, and this is the position of every advanced secular thought. This should in no way imply that Saadeh called for such equality because of a predetermined sectarian mindset.

It is also true, as Vlad pointed out above, that the SSNP included members from all the different sects, without any exception. Many of the very prominent Social Nationalist thinkers happened to be Sunni Muslims, although naturally the SSNP refuses to mention the sectarian backgrounds of its members. As for intellectuals advocating for a united Syria, they were not confined to Orthodox Christians, but in fact included Maronites, Druze, and Sunnis.

June 23rd, 2011, 9:31 pm


Tara said:

Louai,# 254

Can you please send me the link?

June 23rd, 2011, 9:38 pm


Nour said:


The SSNP has a clear political program and you should check the official website to read its position on all matters. The fact is that the reforms being implemented today had been called for by the SSNP long before these latest events, and during the time when many from today’s so-called “opposition” were enjoying benefits from the regime.

June 23rd, 2011, 9:43 pm


aboali said:

#250 yeah this is my proof idiot, how much more blatant does it have to be? Oh I forgot, you Baathists and Assad lovers don’t understand things like reality, facts and proof!

On a related note, here are videos my friend took in Hama of the tens of thousands protesting daily in Assi square, note the public mockery of Bashar in their lovely chants, and the anti-sectarian unity chants:

and the cars the shabiha and security forces burnt:

June 23rd, 2011, 9:48 pm


aboali said:

#252 we have a saying over here:

لا يصدق ال… حتى يرى

but it seems pro-regime idiots don’t believe even after they see. In any case, I’ll be taking my laptop down to the citadel tomorrow, and filming this page with my mobile as I write a response. Then my foot will be deeply lodged in your mouth once and for all 🙂

June 23rd, 2011, 9:58 pm


Revlon said:

234. Dear Darryl,
I agree with you.
The solution to those issues will need time.

The solution will be the result of self-correction of biases and misconceptions of our own making.

Time is needed to agree on a constitution that guarantees basic human rights.
Time is needed to disseminate the true spirit of religon in a responsible free media and education system.
Time is needed to let trust take over suspicioun in the fabric of our society.

June 23rd, 2011, 10:01 pm


NK said:

انبسطولكون شي بليرة

June 23rd, 2011, 10:07 pm


syau said:


Please do, by the way, the link where you claim cars burned by the ‘shabiha’ are in actual fact burned by the gangs of the revolution and you know it.

Fabrications from day one and continuing.

June 23rd, 2011, 10:09 pm


why-discuss said:


Thanks for the link to Dr Antaki’s analysis, excellent.
Sorry I thanked Vlad instead of you.

June 23rd, 2011, 10:13 pm


aboali said:

#262 yup, will do on Saturday, prepare your mouth or your ass for my foot, you get to choose the orifice 😉

The cars were burnt by the pro-regime Rabi3a sectarian supporters backed up by security guards on Tuesday. This is well known in Hama, you may ask any Hamwi and you’ll get that very same story. And why on earth protesters would want to burn their own cars is beyond the comprehension of everyone but the Assad lovers.

June 23rd, 2011, 10:17 pm


louai said:

Dear Tara , just google حرق صورة حسن نصراللة درعا and you will find plenty of results there are some videos as well ,i am at work and i have very restricted internet access, here is one link that opened on my browser her

the news first reported by http://www.syriatruth.org which is belong to Nizar Naiouf ( opposition) there plenty of videos for it on youtube about this .

in the same time there are no evidence that can prove Hizbullah involvements in Syrian matters , the claim just sound unreal and serve sectarian purposes and nothing more .

June 23rd, 2011, 10:18 pm


Norman said:


Nilesat warns “Wisal” and “Safa” Channels to cease instigating programs or risk cessation of broadcasting

Cairo– The Egytian satellite channel Nilesat issued warnings of final closure to the channels Wisal and Safa due to their broadcasting of programs that instigate sectarianism and attack religious beliefs in countries that receive the broadcast.

In an official ultimatum, Nilesat warned the company representing Wisal and Safa that according to the contracts between the two sides, the channels must comply with Nilesat’s demand to cease broadcasting programs that breach the terms listed in the contracts.

The ultimatum said that if the two channels continue their breach of the contracts by broadcasting offensive material, the broadcasting of the two channels will be ceased immediately and the contracts will be null and void.

Nilesat also stated that they continue to receive many complaints regarding the two channels’ programs that incite sectarianism and attack the policies of neighboring countries.

Thursday 23-06-2011

June 23rd, 2011, 10:24 pm


SF94123 said:

The so -called “oppositions” are mute on the new political party law… Every new measure or reform will be labaled as usual “; too little … too late”. They were paid heavily to keep chaos and violence on the streets and to provide the western media with fake videos and lies…. I have news for you, Syrians people decided to move forward without you. Good riddance!!

June 23rd, 2011, 10:27 pm


syau said:


If you are asking why, then you seriously have no clue. Anyway, I wont get ready for anything, if anything, the violent demonstrators will soon have Bashars foot permanently lodged down their throats.

I also wonder, why someone would go to such lengths to try to prove something, unless ofcourse it isnt true.

Anyway, back to your links, I prefer this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8YeIhZAJAo or this one.


although, I dont think Arour lovers will enjoy the first link.

By the way, what did you think of the new party laws?

June 23rd, 2011, 10:27 pm


Husam said:

Hi Norman:

Remember me? I got you all wrong this whole time: A doctor of Syrian origin living in the US who values the American constitution, etc… You even had me believe that you actually wanted a copy of the Quran and I said I would mail you one or you can pick one up at your local library. You fooled me man. Good work, indeed. Are you a CIA operative or what?

Now you have come out of your closet. “They got what was coming to them” @ 253. Who is they? Those children of Hama: Christians, Muslims and atheist alike – they all got killed! Suppose it is true about the MB, if some group in Michigan attempted to assassinate Obama, inhalation of the state of Michigan, in your mind, is justified. Let me ask you how do you reconcile being a doctor and helping sick people while at the same time you advocate mass murder of your own people?

You make me ashamed to be a Syrian. It was not MB who started it, it was Rifaat’s Brigades (male and female thugs, aka: animals) strolling in Jeeps yanking headscarves off of innocent law abiding women. Don’t twist history, Norman.

Jad, please don’t come rescue you your old friend, I read your posts too since I started reading SC again when the troubles started, you fare no better. You had me believe that you wanted a Syria inclusive of all Syrians. Your comments lately show something different. You touched me then, but today, you make me ashamed.

Tara FYI, yes, you are wasting your time. They (the old timers here) will tire you out and you will not sway this mostly racist minds 1% one way or another. In their brains, they view themselves as loving Syrians while 90% of them have deep seated hatred for anyone that doesn’t think like them. This blog is 90 % anti-islamic period, full stop. It doesn’t matter, if you pray or not, if you wear a dress or a Hijab, if you are from North or South…the minute you say your are a Sunni, you are classified as a Sunni-Syrian which can be interchanged in the future as “Islamist, Wahabi, etc..”. Also, there are numerous personalities commenting under multiple names from the same IP address, just so you know. Spending more time with your child is more rewarding than wasting your time here (you can still read the news here from time to time). Note what you had to go through to prove that you are Syrian :)!? Tara, you are half the reason I broke my silence. Don’t bother answering me. I am not posting again.

June 23rd, 2011, 10:32 pm


Abughassan said:

If every Sunni is an Islamist,then 2/3 of Syria is Islamist .the term ” islamist” is used to describe those who politicize Islam and use religion to capture power,revolt and if needed,use violence.Islam is a wonderful religion but islamism is not a religion,it is a militant exclusive political movement that uses the over of Islam.
Since I know this site,and most political sites ,are monitored I do not use it to spread lies,trade insults or hurt anybody.SC ,for fair-minded people, is a window to learn about Syria and exchange opinions.please keep posting,ladies and gentlemen…

June 23rd, 2011, 10:44 pm


Adam said:

I just read Karfan blog opinion and opinions below.

If Khudr agrees with Karfan and he says he’s a Alawi, brother you’ve been duped by a pretender seeking nothing alse but to incite hate towards us Alawi people.

Karfan: what a load of crap and hateful rubish. absolute disregard for any truth of any kind and you kept it, for a uni intelectual this doesn’t add up but since your promoting your blog that would explain you Mr Landis promoting inciteful rhetorick and more or less spin doctoring to bolster more participants.

We get that from the moslem phobic, racist radio commentators called spinn doctors here in Australia.

From what I can see happening with the people that write filth like that is alot of hate and many schychological issues. what these guys are doing is been done to them or people like them following 911 in the USA, Canada, UK, EU and Australia.

Don’t they read the Quran, god said I will send onto you enemies to test your patience and faith in god.

The whole phisical world is a playground with many players we are tested with what we do especially when facing the enemy. Try forgiveness.

If Hafiz Alassad god rest his soul commited sins and anything against god he will answer for it on the day of judgement and will we answer for our actions. God says in the holy book “do you not see the great empires that have come before you and what has come of them”. The problem with moslems is they point the finger at the sinful forgeting there own sins and the majority live in denial.

Joshua isn’t a person measured by thier actions? Then explain to me where in the world did any autocratic leader let alone an elected leader have so much admiration as what we have witnessed on Monday 21st June 2011 where the actual cinstitution will be either changed of re-written, has anyone heard of a leader giving mass pardons.

I have personally suffered condecending attitudes by Sunnis in Australia as soon as they know I’m alawi not to mention the first time I got a shock when visiting a sunni woman who married a alawi man and was suffering cancer, as soon as her uncle knew I was alawi by asking me where I was born he quickly turned his back whilst we were sitting in the lounge room having a conversation, I got the shoulder. What the!?? I thought and I was only 20 never known this is what hate feels like to recieve it.

Let me tell you a story which I have heard many times about the meaning of faith.

During the time of Prophet Moses (pbh), an illiterate old man was wanting to learn to pray to god. He learnt a few words from Moses and so Moses left him to pray. A man was walking by and asked this man what are you doing? he replied I’m praying. The man being an athiest wanted to play a joke on this poor old man and said no no that’s not the way you pray. The old man was puzzled and said but Prophet Moses taught me this way.

The other man said well that’s wrong he was mocking you and you should let me show you how to pray properly.

So this other man said you should go up this little hill and roll down then stand up and shout out these swear words ( in our language today that would be F…ing, A..hole etc).

The old man said are you sure? The other man said yep that’s how Moses actualy was teaching.

The old man did as the other guy told him repeadly for hours.

Next day Moses was walking past where he last saw the old man and heard someone shouting profanity and saw him rolling down the the hill.

He approached the old man and said what are you doing?

The old man said I’m praying to god. Moses replied no no no that’s not what I taught you.

Another man told me yesterday what to do and I believe him.

Moses said well then if you think your praying right way then god is listening and accepting your prayers.

The old man said yes.

Moses replied well in that case let me see you walk on water, that will prove your wrong.

The old man walked towards the lake and no sooner did he walk several meters on the water Moses saw that the old man was walking on water.

Moses said if god has heard you and knows your faith is strong then this miracle proves your level of faith in god is great and for that keep praying as you were for words are not the measure of your faith (niaa and iman)

Joshua I’m not saying as per the story above that we Alawi pray like that not by any measure. We pray as was tuaght to us by our beloved Prophet Mohammed (pbh) yet what I’m saying here is that people think that the road and way to heaven is what they percieve it to be as per the mainstream religions when in actual fact the way to heaven is in the pureness of the heart and unshacable faith. God said in the Quran ” I don’t judge you by you words but by your true secret internal intent” meaning people say onething and in their hearts they hide their true intent including the subconsious intent.

Sunni’s and Shia believe we Alawi are vagabons, street beggers who are illiterate, don’t know how to prey, mock islam and the five pillars of islam, we are non practicing muslims, our women are whores, we are sub human, killing a Alawi will guarantee the killer goes to heaven on a white horse transit, our women should be raped and our children should be orphaned, there have been mufti shieks making this fatwa for melinia.

How will heaven accept people killing, raping, masacaring, detroying etc etc into heaven with all that done in heavens name.

Whether your a Sunni, Shia, Alawi, Ismailii, Druze, Christian (all sects), Hebrew ( all sects) makes no difference they all have the 3 holy books god sent down and his message to all mankind no one or sect has copyright to the way to heaven. It is the individual soul that will stand trial in front of god not the sect any sect. I’ts god given freedom of choice that is the one thing inique in human biengs, to make the choice between right and wrong.

Stop hating us people and if anyone hates another they are only hating themselves becuase this proves that the person or people they hate are a reflection of what they hate in themselves.


June 23rd, 2011, 10:53 pm


Norman said:


You are wrong, what happened in Hama was terrible but needed at that time to save Syria from a civil war, a civil war that they ((MB )) want to complete now in the name of Islam, I do not think that you think their teaching of hating everything not to their liking or their understanding of Islam ,

By the way, i like the American constitution and i think that as it can keep the American people with multiple religions and ethnic background happy together it can keep the Syrian happy , It protect the minorities from the hatred of the majority,

looking at what is going on in Syria and how what you call the opposition act and how they are destroying Syria and pushing the young and restless to the front line while their leaders are sitting in the Western world that you despise waiting to get their harvest,

by the way i have your copy on my favorite, this is it


The Quran does not teach hatred it teaches inclusion and equality , virtues that you and the MB forgot long time ago. in deeds not words.

This is the other site you put for me,


June 23rd, 2011, 10:56 pm


syau said:

This is what Arour, a ‘man of religion’ is advocating in Aleppo. He has no problem with 100,000 deaths in Aleppo, as long as his agenda is met.


This deranged character should be taken off air immediately and jailed.

Following is a story of a female that was kidnapped and raped by one of the anti regime gang members. Thankfully he was apprehended and cannot put anyone else through what he his victim suffered.

June 23rd, 2011, 11:02 pm


Ali said:

I am an alawi I had not regard to Assad (afraid to speak up, but have no repect), And did not benifit from his rule.
Also on the national level te united states, israel and the western word are not benifiting (on the opposit they are hurting from the trio Syrai/Iran/ Hezb Allaha.

June 23rd, 2011, 11:37 pm


Syrian Commando said:

Dale Anderson is a racist retard who treats Syrians as animals (mothers goading on their sons to prevent themselves from getting RAPED … what the hell???) and expects his “political discourse” to be taken seriously.

Also, this A3r3our is a terrorist, bigger than any fake terrorists the US likes to peddle on their airwaves. Nilesat needs to take him off the air, Arabsat will follow if embarrassed enough.


Excellent post. Even Bashaar al-Assad told the Arab League “I am not even Arabic and I am defending Arabism more than all of you”. I say TO HELL WITH ARABS AND THEIR TRASH.

June 23rd, 2011, 11:43 pm


Abughassan said:

Arabic tv sat channels may be joining European efforts to punish anybody who does not kiss their feet. Call me wrong but how would you explain the refusal of most of those channels to buy top Syrian drama programs for Ramadan?
We have 40 days till Ramadan and one might expect the volume of Syrian drama programs to go up or at least stay the same especially that production from Egypt is much lower than last year. If this does not change,your ritual family tv viewing this Ramadan will be dull. What is funny,or not,is that almost all of Syrian programs are privately funded and not affiliated with the Syrian government,but many Khaliji media co owners were not happy to see the neutral or pro regime positions most Syrian artists took after the uprising.
Today was poor on news,can not you tell from this post ?

June 23rd, 2011, 11:47 pm


SYR.Expat said:

Robert Fisk: ‘No wonder they were rioting in Damascus. This was insulting both to the living and to the dead’
Robert Fisk on the reality behind Bashar al-Assad’s address to the nation

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

It was sad. It was ridiculous. It was totally out of touch. The thousand Syrian dead (and counting) were, according to President Bashar al-Assad, victims of that well-known Arab animal: the plot, the conspiracy, the “foreign hand”, the same dastardly enemy that confronted Mubarak (before he was chucked out) and Ben Ali (before he was chucked out) and Saleh (before he was driven out, wounded, like an animal) and which still supposedly confronts Gaddafi and the Khalifas and, well, Bashar al-Assad.

The idea that the thousands of mourners, the tens of thousands of bereaved Syrians whose sons and brothers and fathers and uncles – and, yes, wives and daughters and mothers – have been gunned down by Assad’s Alawi armed gangs and his brother Maher’s special forces, are going to be assuaged with a “national dialogue”, “consultative meetings” for “a few days”, chats between a hundred “personalities” to discuss “mechanisms” after which “dialogue will begin immediately”, is not only patronising. It is a sign of just how far the “sea of quietness” in which all dictators live has cut Assad off from the lives of the people he claims to rule.

Assad tells Syrians to be of good cheer. Trust the army. They are your brothers, he tells them. Trust the government. Yes, Assad will rid Syria of corruption – as he and his father promised to do approximately 22 times in their rule. The young Bashar has already undertaken five anti-corruption campaigns – and only last week did his own outrageous cousin agree to give up his billion-dollar business dealings and devote himself to charity. Charity! No wonder the protesters rioted again in Damascus. This wasn’t just incredible – in the literal sense of the word – it was insulting to the living and to the dead.

Then came the threats. Those who had spilled blood would be chased down – as if the people of Syrian cities and towns and villages don’t know what that means. They were encouraged by the Caliph Bashar to return to their homes where those kindly gunmen and torturers would protect them from the “saboteurs and extremists” who were upsetting their lives by attacking the brave members of the security forces (when they weren’t torturing civilians, although that is not what Assad said).

And then there was that wonderful line, that the protesters were suckers, taken in by extremists, used as a “shroud” – a grimly suitable expression, though Assad apparently did not realise it – for the gunmen and murderers who represented a dark hangover of the Muslim Brotherhood uprising of 1982 (another rebellion met with staggering cruelty by Syrian troops loyal to Assad’s uncle Rifaat, still happily residing in London of course).

Odd, this. For the “gunman” in the crowd, the “terrorist” using civilians as “human shields” is a myth propagated for decades by the Israeli army when they kill civilians, by the French army in Algeria, by the British Army in Northern Ireland, by Nato forces in Afghanistan. By God, our Bashar is in good company!

It was the same old game. The people are the children, innocent, unaware, taken in by the foreign saboteur’s hand while the worldly-wise Assad wants only to save Syria from its enemies. And we are supposed to be surprised when the unarmed men and women of Syria march in the streets yet again to reject this nonsense.

June 23rd, 2011, 11:51 pm


democracynow said:

Walid Mu’alim’s reference to the 14 years it’d taken the united state to conclude the health care reforms is hilarious. He is saying, in other words: please get off our case now… but be sure to come back and check with us in 14 years, will show you then what reforms we’ve got.

June 23rd, 2011, 11:52 pm


Syrian Commando said:

SYR.EXPAT, you realise that they were actually cheering for Bashaar in numbers exceeding 2 million in Damascus? Robert Fisk is a retard. He is an agent of the house of Saud, no matter how many times he hits them with gloves hands.


No, you’re just contorting his words like a propogandanist.

June 23rd, 2011, 11:52 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Welcome back

The ssnp is a criminal party, believe in assassinantios, they have a lot of blood on their hands, they are similar to Nazi party of Germany,their agenda may be good on books, but they always support dictatorial regime,and they belong to the british intelligent service,this is very important, that is where they take orders from.
Remember that Adib Shishekly was a member of SSNP, but he abandoned it ,as he realized it was a criminal party.
And yes MB party has a lot of blood on their hand and so is the Baath party, what we need and the purpose of this uprising is freedom and liberty, we should never replace it with criminal parties,such as SSNP,MB,Baath or communist they all should be banned, and their members should be watched very closely.

June 24th, 2011, 12:01 am


873 said:

140. Syrian Commando said:
“In other ominous news, the Syrian Lira vs U.S dollar has hit 52.25 today, Aleppo black market prices. The end of this regime economically seems to be closer than anyone had expected.”

Are you referring to the end of US regime or end of Syrian regime? (Not being sarcastic). US defaulting on debt. China dumped 90%+ of its Treasuries, and dollar being dumped by country after country. 3 Trillion bucks of holdings down the toilet. Mexico stopped accepting US dollars from American tourists nearly a year ago. Only Monopoly money and Afghan opium profits keeping US afloat. Nations excluded from globalization, like ILO, WTO, IMF etc may be winners who escape the contagion.

Western-backed proxies infiltrating into Iraqi Kurd areas and along Turk border to aid attacks on Syria. After ME debacle, the NATO clowns even foresee confrontation w/ Russia and China?!? Unless sanity prevails- like Germany pulling out of Libya adventure- world will have nonstop chaos. Wont be free. Look at the GM bio-weapon ‘ecoli plague’ unleashed on Germany as a result. It will get very ugly.

BTW, Saudis refuse to believe it but they are also on the hit list. They will be the very last to fall but their regime days are numbered. US will use them to fund the coups in all their rival Arab adversaries and when their usefulness is over- drop them like Mubarak.

June 24th, 2011, 12:02 am


Abughassan said:

I am one of those who think that Bashar did not say enough in his last speech,however,I prefer to see what the regime does on the ground before I declare that doomsday is coming. The burden of proof is on the regime to deliver and the opposition to denounce violence.

June 24th, 2011, 12:06 am


SYR.Expat said:

“what happened in Hama was terrible but needed at that time to save Syria from a civil war”
There is absolutely no justification for the masacres and war crimes that were committed in Hama against non-combatants three decades ago. Only people with sick and perverted souls can justify those atrocities. The same applies to the mob-lynching of the security officer in Hama several weeks ago and the murder and mutilation of Janoud.

When people lose their humanity, anything can be justified.

June 24th, 2011, 12:10 am


NAJIB said:

Dr Landis and Khudr ,

Alawism is an esoteric or ‘batini’ tradition of knowledge and guidance to know onself. starting to know oneself requires great personal efforts, takes long time, and detachment from the exoteric , from things external to you, or Asceticism, Imam Ali says

“Asceticism is not that you should not own anything, but that nothing should own you”

This detachment includes ‘identities’ (masks) .

from a religious perspective, an ‘Alawi identity’ is only useful as a mean of survival in the face of collective threat. Outside of this scope, like all forms of identification, it could be a burden, an obstacle to spiritual advancement.

So no dilemma whatever , As they say, this is a feature, not a bug.

June 24th, 2011, 12:18 am


Louai said:

كيف تحصل هذه الجريمة: مئات من مواطني منطقة جسر الشغور ينزلون العلم السوري من فوق إحدى نقاط المراقبة الحدودية ويرفعون العلم التركي مكانه!؟

دلب ، الحقيقة ( خاص): اقترف مواطنون من منطقة جسر الشغور و / أو قراها عملا مخزيا وشائنا ومخجلا يرقى إلى حدود “الخيانة الوطنية” عندما أقدموا على إنزال العلم السوري من فوق إحدى نقاط المراقبة الحدودية في قرية “خربة الجوز” ورفع العلم التركي مكانه!؟ وقال مراسل “وكالة الصحافة الفرنسية” إن مواطنين سوريين أنزلوا العلم السوري من فوق مبنى خاص بأحد المخافر ونقاط المراقبة الحدودية قرب قرية ” خربة الجوز” ووضعوا مكانه العلم التركي “عربون امتنان لتركيا التي استقبلت الآلاف منهم”!؟
ويشكل هذا العمل الشائن والمخجل حالة فريدة من نوعها ـ حسب معلوماتنا ـ في تاريخ سوريا منذ تأسيس الدولة للمرة الأولى في العام 1920 ، ولم يقم به أحد من قبل سوى وليد جنبلاط حين أنزل العلم اللبناني ذات مرة ورفع مكانه العلم الفرنسي!؟
إن عملا من هذا القبيل ليس من شأنه سوى تأكيد رواية السلطة عن أن هناك ” عصابات مسلحة” في منطقة جسر الشغور و قرية خربة الجوز مرتبطة بجهات تركية وتستجر السلاح من هناك. وإلا كيف يمكن أن نفهم إقدام هؤلاء المواطنين ، سواء أكانوا مسلحين أم عزّلا من السلاح ، على اقتحام نقطة المراقبة والاعتداء على عناصرها وإنزال العلم الوطني من فوقها!؟ وكيف نفهم عملا لم يقم به سوى الجنرال غورو عندما دخل دمشق على جثة قائد الجيش الوطني ومؤسسه يوسف العظمة وأنزل العلم العربي ووضع مكانه العلم الفرنسي ، وما قامت به إسرائيل عندما احتلت القنيطرة في العام 1967!؟
العلم السوري ، ليس مجرد”خرقة” ، وليس راية لآل الأسد أو سلطتهم! تحت هذا العلم استشهد الألوف من السوريين ، عسكريين و مدنيين ، وبه لفت ألوف مؤلفة من جثامين الشهداء وهي في طريقها إلى مثاويها الأخيرة. وبهذا العلم لفت جثامين شهداء الانتفاضة السورية التي لم يزل شهداؤها يتساقطون زرافات ووحدانا.
ليكن واضحا : من ينزل هذا العلم من مكانه ، وبأي ذريعة كانت وتحت أي دافع كان ، إنما يهين كرامة الشعب السوري وشهداءه ، ويقترف عملا يرقى إلى الخيانة الوطنية لاسيما حين يستبدل به علم دولة تحتل لواء اسكندرونة الذي لا يبعد عن التلة سوى أقل من مئتي متر!؟ أما من أراد استبدال العلم الوطني بخيمة تركية أو علم تركي ، أو غير تركي ( أيا كانت جنسيته وألوانه) ، فليذهب إلى الجحيم .. بلا رجعة. لأنه عندئذ لا يكون ضحية لقمع السلطة ، ولا لاجئا بسبب أفكاره ومعتقداته من سلطة استبدادية مجرمة، ولا مناضلا من أجل الحرية والديمقراطية ، بل مجرد ” أزعر” يسعى لاستبدال عصابة احتلال محلي بعصابة احتلال أجنبية!؟

June 24th, 2011, 2:46 am


Syrian Commando said:


I was referring to the fake Syrian’s assertion that the GasLira was collapsing, lol. We’ve been hearing it for month now, with his “black market” trades. It’s a wonder he has so much time to do this while “blogging” about fanatstical stories all day.

I’m fully aware the US currency is on the verge of collapse and with it the country will follow deep into civil war, unless their rulers back off a bit.


He needs more time to concoct a lie which would help destroy Syria given that the true information is in the open.

June 24th, 2011, 3:25 am


kamal said:

Pardon my french but i must say you are all missing a very important fact: This regime cannot perdure for ever and it cannot be reformed because of its very nature. All of you tring to deny this are not helping yourself out of this situation.

You should all personnally invite your president to step down and call for a transition period under the supervision of the arab league (with say amr moussa as president for two month) and free presidential elections organised within one month or two.

The only chance for the allawite sunni christian druze kurd armenian turkmen etc.. to live together in peace in the near future lies in such a rapid and “repression-free” process.

It is a matter of survival for all of you.

Staging pro-regime demonstrations, tv-shows, rethorics, etc… is counter-productive.

Invest in true civil peace and justice.

It is the only investment that will payback for all of you “syrians”.

June 24th, 2011, 3:37 am


Syrian Commando said:


I Re-read your post.

Excellent summary of the situation. I think they will try and stage attacks on Qamishli, the Turks will help but their distraction in the west part of Syria failed to stop Syria’s movement of troops to the east of Syria. Also, Syria has its own strings in the north of Iraq.

The stupid Kurds always back the wrong horse, so I’m glad they’re not standing by Syria in this conflict but are going neutral. It is in their own interest to resist any Turkish movement…

June 24th, 2011, 3:52 am


Darryl said:

241. vlad-the-syrian

Yes I am Syrian, I come from a town in wadi al-nasara about 40km east of Tartous. Greeks also did mingle quite a lot with Syrians and left many influences as well as they have taken much from Syria.

You see, so many people have come and gone into this land of Syria and contributed as well as taken from it, all of a sudden it is painted as arabic. This is a fundemental issue the Kurds, Assyrians and other groups have with the term Arabic in the official title and they cannot associate with it.

Lastly, yes I know who is Farid Al-Atrash I have many of his songs, he was of Syrian-Lebanese decent. I still beleive, take away the language issue, Syria, Turkey and Lebanon fit like a glove and have been tied historically, religiosly, ethnically and culturaly for thousands of years. BTW, I am not advocating a turkish take-over!

My Geo-political view is that Syria, Turkey and Lebanon shoud have some kind of federal system. Gaza should be part of Egypt, Palestine and Jordan should be one country and federally can join (but not necessary) with Syria/Turkey/Lebanon and just leave Israel all by itself.

June 24th, 2011, 4:03 am


Mina said:

Anyone to comment this, from the BBC? How true? Details?
(BBC and CNN journalists are now allowed in Syria)

“Syrian authorities also say they have eased restrictions to allow opposition figures to attend a conference in Damascus on Monday.
However, only independents – those not affiliated to opposition groups – will be allowed to attend. Signatories of the 2005 Damascus Declaration – a joint call for reform by Syria’s most well-known intellectuals and dissidents – are barred.”

June 24th, 2011, 4:21 am


Syrian Commando said:


While I’m the biggest advocate of dropping the “Arab” from SAR, I think you’ll find a lot more Syrians warming up to it after observing just what the “arabs” stand for.

That said, I would not support any federal system with Turkey. I would of course advocate for Turkey to be forced into handing over our lands and the reformation of “Greater Syria” as envisioned by the SSNP.

The people who still like Turkey are dwindling in numbers. The illusion was strong but ultimately it has burst.


Fatal mistake allowing BBC and CNN in. Sometimes I wonder what the government is thinking, this is a mistake they’re going to regret for a long time.

They are liars of proportions unheard of.

CNN = CIA News Network (3 in Syria so far)
BBC = Bullsh*t broadcasting Channel (None in Syria as far as I know)

Does the government realise they will simply report on what they see for a second, then add some bullcrap that they “heard” from outside Syria?

June 24th, 2011, 4:22 am


syau said:

Syrian Commando,

This is the follow up of the first Paltalk leaks – part 2, it features the clown himself, Fida Alsayed.

June 24th, 2011, 7:50 am


Yazan said:

My uncle, a professor of economics, and at the time the dean of the faculty of economics at Aleppo University, was a prime target for these sectarian assassinations. He was accompanied by military protection everytime he left for university. So, yes, from what he’s told me, and from what my parents have, I’d say I have a decent idea of the terror that was. But neither he, nor my parents, nor myself, would ever condone the indiscriminate brutality that is the massacre of Hama.

Most of those who died, not only weren’t combatants, not only weren’t MBs, not only weren’t conservative Muslems, many of them were as secular as they come. I personally know of a few who dear friends and comrades of my parents, and they were executed on the spot. They were communists, who lived there. Baathists, Nasserists, Syrian Nationalists, and the list goes on. They were executed.

“They had it coming!”? like the Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila, and Tall al-Zaatar had it coming.

“They had it coming”, you say? You and Majedkhaldoun (with his “they brought punishment upon themselves”) are two sides to the same coin. Indeed, the demagogues all use the same language.

June 24th, 2011, 7:50 am


pedro ali alves said:

SEE THIS ….NAM Radio: Al Jazeera’s Arab Spring Coverage exposed… http://thenakedfacts.blogspot.com/2011/06/must-seenam-radio-al-jazeeras-arab.html AL JAZEERA SCANDAL CONSPIRING AGAINST SYRIA WHEN OFF THE AIR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MyNDUGPINU&feature=related Al JAZEERA EXPOSED Lies about Syria ”Dead Man talking” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxC1zImEuDU Honesty of the Syrian Revolution? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peL2CRYdlmo Syrian Revolution terrorists pretend to be dead to fluff up the death toll as they are photographed. They come back to life on video. 1:20 and 1: 49 .. (HOLLYWOOD PRODUCTION EXPOSED!)


SYRIAWATCH-ALJAZEERA EXPOSED AGAIN- DEMONSTRATORS PARADING EMPTY COFFINS MADE OUT OF STYROFOAM? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwhBx386qrA SYRIA CONSPIRACY PROVEN ,FOR FULL LIST SEE… http://syriafalseflag.blogspot.com/ AND MY OTHER SITE http://thenakedfacts.blogspot.com/ Aljazeera is now protective of Zio-Nazi intelligence work http://www.shoah.org.uk/2011/06/14/aljazeera-is-now-protective-of-zio-nazi-intelligence-work/


[ALSO SEE…SYRIA-IRAN Operations Group – SourceWatch http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Iran-Syria_Operations_Group Iran Policy Committee – SourceWatch http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Iran_Policy_Committee Iran Syria Policy and Operations Group http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Syria_Policy_and_Operations_Group

.Will Syria be The Key of The “New Middle East” Map? http://www.english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=14367&cid=269 US Report: War on Iran Great Risks and Doubted Results http://uprootedpalestinians.blogspot.com/2011/06/us-report-war-on-iran-great-risks-and.html Syria: Internal Popular Demands, External Political Agendas http://www.shoah.org.uk/2011/06/22/syria-internal-popular-demands-external-political-agendas/ SYRIA FALSE FLAG ,FACTS HIDDEN AND LEFTOUT BY MSM MEDIA.(LIST!!!) http://syriafalseflag.blogspot.com/ (WHY NOT REPORT ALL THESE?)SYRIAS OPPOSITION LEADERS ARE WORKING AT ZIONIST THINK TANKS AND FOR BRITTISH MILLITARY THINK TANKS? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJVzMnRUbrI

June 24th, 2011, 7:56 am


why-discuss said:


#287 Hama

At that time, there was no drones to perform “surgical military operations” on Hama. There was just primitive and brutal guns and fear. It is not an excuse but an explanation that many innocent civilians had to pay the price for the terrorists that were using them as human shield.
Similar civilian deaths have been imputated to Israel in Gaza and the US in Iraq and Afghanistan while chasing Al Qaeda despite the fact they were using the highest military technology. NATO is doing the same now in Libya.
Military technology may allow to limit the casualties of a war.
This is an evidence.
The same applies to riots control. The french were able to control huge riots with specialized techniques and non lethal weapons (in fact Alliot Marie even offered Ben Ali help to use similar equipments). Greeks are using similar tools, no death reported.
In the recent events, Syrian security elements, poorly equipped, untrained for riots had only one tool to defend themselves: their gun. Since the army took over the casualties have decreased.
It is clear that whether you are in a democracy or a dictatorship, you need to be trained and equipped for war and riots to deter and limit the casualties. A lesson for the future.
Remember that the ones who use the most destructive lethal weapon directed against civilians were the American in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, rarely referred to as a “brutal massacres” despite the million deaths, but as a ‘tragic mistake”.
Did the japanese seek revenge?

June 24th, 2011, 7:57 am


Mawal95 said:

In my effort to understand Syria, to separate what’s real from what’s fake, I’d be grateful to anyone who can reply to the following two separate questions. The first was raised earlier in this thread by HABIB #198:

They say that there 17 branches of security in Syria, and that almost all of them are led by Alawis. I ask them: can you name them? Are you making this claim because you heard it from someone, or do you have actual evidence to support your claims? I challenge all of you to prove what you are saying. What about the army? Can you name the leaders of the divisions? … Effectively, 3imad is the highest rank. There are only a handful of officers with the 3imad rank. Try to name them, and tell me are most of them 3alawi? You will find the answer is simply no!

So the question is simple: Can anybody show us the list of names and religions of the upper level personnel of the Army and other security forces? Has Joshua Landis ever posted such a list as evidence for his repeated claim about what the list tells?

My second question is about the illusion or reality of the following claim being reported in the news today concerning today’s Friday demonstrations:

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an online group that documents protests, said internet and mobile phone networks have been cut in the Damascus suburbs of Douma and Harasta.

The same anti-regime group (LCCSyria.org) also makes the following claim today about today’s Friday demonstrations. I’m very confident this one is false because (1) the Syrian law that regulates the licensing of demonstrations says no license to protest shall be granted on “religous holidays” which I believe includes Fridays and (2) the notion that the government would want to provoke between pro- and anti- government demonstrators is very absurd.

Authorities granted permits for two pro-government demonstrations to be held Friday in the capital, the group said, adding that the decision was taken to provoke clashes with the anti-government protesters.

My question is: Do we have any hard and reliable evidence that the government has cut off internet or cellphone access on Fridays in localities that didn’t have heavily armed violent infiltrators? I know from a reliable source at this board that that Homs had cellphones cut off one Friday over a month ago (I think it was LOUAI who said it).

June 24th, 2011, 7:59 am


Mawal95 said:

In my effort to understand Syria, to separate what’s real from what’s fake, I’d be grateful to anyone who can reply to the following two questions. The first was raised earlier in this thread by HABIB #198:

They say that there 17 branches of security in Syria, and that almost all of them are led by Alawis. I ask them: can you name them? Are you making this claim because you heard it from someone, or do you have actual evidence to support your claims? I challenge all of you to prove what you are saying. What about the army? Can you name the leaders of the divisions? … Effectively, 3imad is the highest rank. There are only a handful of officers with the 3imad rank. Try to name them, and tell me are most of them 3alawi? You will find the answer is simply no!

So the question is simple: Can anybody show us the list of names and religions of the upper level personnel of the Army and other security forces? Has Joshua Landis ever posted such a list as evidence for his repeated claim about what the list tells?

My second question is about the reality or fakery of the following claim being reported in the news today concerning today’s Friday demonstrations:

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an online group that documents protests, said internet and mobile phone networks have been cut in the Damascus suburbs of Douma and Harasta.

The same anti-regime group (LCCSyria.org) also makes the following claim today about today’s Friday demonstrations. I’m very confident this one is false because (1) the Syrian law that regulates the licensing of demonstrations says no license to protest shall be granted on “religous holidays” which I believe includes Fridays and (2) the notion that the government would want to provoke clashes between pro- and anti- government demonstrators is very absurd.

Authorities granted permits for two pro-government demonstrations to be held Friday in the capital, the group said, adding that the decision was taken to provoke clashes with the anti-government protesters.

My question is: What reliable evidence does anybody have of the claim that the government has cut off internet or cellphone access on Fridays in localities that didn’t have heavily armed violent infiltrators? Does the government itself acknowledge or deny or otherwise comment on the claim? I know from a reliable source at this board that that Homs had cellphones cut off one Friday over a month ago (I think it was LOUAI who said it).

June 24th, 2011, 8:12 am


Mawal95 said:

JAD said: The Opposition still don’t understand the basics of ethical rules, that to convince people of your message you have to be more moral, more honest, and smarter [than the Establishment is]…. Instead they keep lying….

The bulk of the Syrian population now has every reason to believe, and does believe, that the Opposition has been lying many times. It is a fatal blow to the respectability of Opposition.

June 24th, 2011, 8:20 am


Aboud said:


“I know from a reliable source at this board that that Homs had cellphones cut off one Friday over a month ago (I think it was LOUAI who said it).”

You keep using the term “reliable” source. I’m very much interested in your definition of “reliable”.

I can tell you for a fact that the Internet was completely cut from Homs for 11 days, and only came back last Thursday (the 16th of June). This week there hasn’t been any disruption of Internet connectivity, but for the past four Fridays, the Internet had been cut off over the weekend. The pictures and videos of anti-regime demonstrations made their way to the Internet in any case.

I live in Homs, and frankly was very surprised they left the Internet well alone this Friday.

June 24th, 2011, 8:30 am


norman said:


Do not patronize me , You do not know how Syria was in the seventies, it is different to live it than hear about it , I am from Hama and we lost our house because of the stupidity of the MB , my cousins were put next to the wall for execution and they would have been if not for an army officer who had a change in heart , as i said and read this , what happened in Hama was terrible but was needed to save Syria from the civil war or Lebanon that was raging and the civil war of Algeria that was still to come , political Islam is destroying the Mideast not the Baath party or the Assads, they had an uprising in Hama in 1965 before the Assads, and if you do not see that then you are naive and i will use your words, just another face of the MB ,you have been too long out of Syria,

WD Explained to you, in better way than i can ,

And Yes i would do it again as saving the country is the most important thing and in the long run will save many more Syrians .

June 24th, 2011, 8:33 am


Syrian Commando said:

Let’s do it after the West is completely destroyed but instead of targeting Hama, the symptom, let’s target the cause Saudi Arabia.


Thanks for the link! English translation will help spread the word.

June 24th, 2011, 9:01 am


EHSANI2 said:

The Syrian public has become more religious over the years and not less.

Does anyone have a credible explanation?

June 24th, 2011, 9:02 am


syau said:

Syria news reports the death a security personnel member in Kadam, and another wounded in Barzeh Damascus.

Another round of peaceful protesting.

June 24th, 2011, 9:08 am


norman said:


I am sure you know that the rise in oil revenue that allowed KSA to spread Wahhabi Islam in Syria and the West has something to do about that, Don’t you think?.

June 24th, 2011, 9:14 am


Revlon said:

#297 Dear WD, would you care to explain how would military drones had hit the old quarter in 7ama without destroying properties or killing civilians?

June 24th, 2011, 9:18 am


EHSANI2 said:

Dear 873 (#285),

What you wrote about the U.S. economy and the debt levels leading to default is not credible. You are not the first to give this prognosis. There is a cottage industry of commentators and even economists who predict the imminent demise of the U.S. economy. I believe that they are mistaken.

In spite of the U.S. deficit and debt, the Treasury continues to borrow at the current rates:

2 years at 0.35% ; 5 years at 1.46% ; 10 years at 2.92% and 30 years at 4.17%

China dumped 90% of its treasuries? Wrong.

The U.S bond market is the most liquid in the world. Even if your information is correct (and it is not), clearly the Chinese found other buyers as the bond market did not collapse when they sold practically all their holdings (which they did not).

Mexico stopped accepting US Dollars from American tourists nearly a year ago?

Cut it out. What you wrote is nonsense.

The U.S. has experienced a severe economic shock due to the bursting of its residential real estate speculative bubble between 1997 and 2006. Households borrowed excessively. The banks were willing lenders. The party went on till house prices could not possibly rise any longer. The music then stopped and the rest is history. The household debt machine went in reverse as Americans have opted to pay down debt. The debt and deficit that the government has been accumulating since is to substitute the reduction that households have decided to undertake. If this did not take place, the money supply would have collapsed as it did in the 1930’s depression. Indeed, given the nearly 30-40% decline in real estate prices, one would have expected the economy to suffer even further than it did. The U.S economy will grow below its potential for a while. The household debt levels are still high and need to come down further. But to argue that the U.S. is going to default on its debt or that the economy is about to collapse is not credible.

June 24th, 2011, 9:32 am


Yazan said:

Dear Ehsani,
I wonder if you had a chance to glance over the questions I posed in #152. Thanks.

June 24th, 2011, 9:42 am


EHSANI2 said:

I did. I want to answer your important question properly. I will soon.

June 24th, 2011, 9:50 am


majedkhaldoon said:

I believe that the reason for the people in Syria that they are more religious is the increase in number of population,and the deterioration of their wealth relatively,the increase of population allowed the creation of Qubaisi clubs that were attended by more people, and this has contageous effect,increase in population increase the incidences of trouble between people,so the family resort to protective measures,increase in the number of girls who are not married,due to increase in the cost of marriage,cost of house,demand for car and so on,man under pressure to make money,all delay the age for marriage,increasing the number of girls that are not married.

June 24th, 2011, 9:57 am


Yazan said:

Dear Ehsani (#302),
A credible answer? I don’t claim such, but this is my 2cents.

I find it as a natural consequence of the confluence of several developments. First of all, I think we have to estalish that secular forces in Arab countries were basically the (radical) left. Secularism wasn’t an accepted value across the board, but part and parcel of the left (unlike say in eastern europe, where even with the collapse of the left, secularism held its grounds).

* The demise and failures of the leftist/secular regimes of the 1960s that promised a true social revolution and ended up delivering the 1967 defeat. Black September of 1970 can be given a date as to when these regimes in Egypt and Syria finally crumbled giving way to the right-wing regimes (both economically and ideologically) of Hafiz Assad and Husni Mubarak. The secular identity of the Syrian state was at a high (both constitutionally, and on the ground), in the 1960s, and with the advent of the 1972 constitution, that secular identity began to recede.

* Oil money. The 1973 oil boom, gave Saudi Arabia (and later Islamic Iran) free reign to advocate their own versions of conservative Islam.

* A direct and systematic support from said right-wing regimes to conservative Islam (especially in Syria after 1982, to rehabilitate Assad’s image and at the same time control a potential danger).

* As a direct consequence of the defeat of leftist ideals (or at least the material representation of said ideals) across eastern europe, many demagogues in the left simply turned to the other extreme. There is a significant portion (and this I know for a fact) of today’s Mujahideen in Iraq and elsewhere who can trace their origins to radical leftist terrorist groups in Lebanon.

June 24th, 2011, 10:10 am


Aboud said:


Well, what was the first thing Bashar did during these events? Lifted the ban on the full face niqab in government places, and closed down the country’s only casino. Pandering to minor religious demands has long been seen by regimes to be a cheap and low-cost form of “concessions”

June 24th, 2011, 10:23 am


Revlon said:

Defector First lieutenant AHmad Mustafa Khalaf, special forces
joins the Free Officers Unit.
انشقاق البطل ملازم اول أحمد مصطفى خلف عن الجيش 23 6

Reasons for defection:
– Army is kiling civilians, steeling, and trashing civilian peroperties.
– Security forces are humiliating civilians: They ask them to say No God But Bashar, in Dar3a
– Mosque in dr3a shows regime’s Grafiti: Labbayka Ya Bashar (Bashar to you we oblige)
– The regime lied about the presence of armed militants
– He addressed B Asad saying: Fear God! If your child gets sick you will bwe worried. It is amazing the you laughed during your speech having killed over a thousand people, including children!
– He addressed the people: Victory is near!
– He offered gratitude to Erdogan and Kuwait Prince and their people.

June 24th, 2011, 10:38 am


مندس said:

To: Tara, aboali, Revlon, NK, daleandersen, SANDRO LOEWE, MAJEDKHALDOON, Shami, Observer, Aboud:

I live in Syria and for an obvious reason I wouldn’t dare post a comment while I’m inside the country. I am currently on a trip.
I would like to THANK YOU for your tireless efforts trying to explain the obvious. You have kept me sane because I would go crazy reading the stupidities written by the Talibathists. Then one of you would answer and I would calm down. SO THANK YOU SO MUCH.
(Since the Baath created a cult, I came up with a Taliban+a Baathist=Talibaathist).
It is impossible to give my two cents on the mountain of stupidity that the Talibaathists have written. But here’s a couple.
First, I am a minority(Shia) in Syria and I was a minority in the US for three decades. Not even once had I felt abused in the US as a minority, not even around September 11. I never felt like a foreigner, or unequal. I always felt equal to everyone else under the law. That’s the culture I wish to see in Syria. Nothing justifies using a minority status to deny others their rights. That is criminal.
Second, someone suggested that Syria could do without foreign investments and Syrian Expats would bring their money back to Syria. Although there have been many idiotic and stupid statements made by the Talibaathists, that ranked among the top ten. I would like to ask them why don’t they go back themselves. I could never understand how someone thinks that Syria is heaven and it has a president (I mean God) that is the envy of the whole world and still chooses to live somewhere else. But that is the hypocrisy they have been bred to exhibit. They know the Baath has destroyed every aspect of life in Syria.
Please tell them when the regime falls and they have Ass-Kissing withdrawal symptoms, they can always kiss mine. (Sorry Alex for the bad words, but you allowed the Talibaathists to attack the sane and smart people on this forum for too long).
Dr. Landis, in the name of the oppressed Syrian people, I apologize for the attacks you received. You got a taste of the treatment the Syrian people have been receiving from these savages for 48 years.
Finally, as a Syrian, I never felt the pride or the connection to the rest of the country like I have been feeling since March 15th.

June 24th, 2011, 10:38 am


Revlon said:

7ama brave people are leading the nation to Freedom

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد
حماه – ساحة العاصي 24-6-2011.ج1 الله يقويكم يا ابطال حماة
حماه – ساحة العاصي 24-6-2011.ج1
شاركونا الحلم في سوريا الحلم https://www.facebook.com/TheSyrianDream http://twitter.com/#!/TheSyrianDream
2 minutes ago

June 24th, 2011, 10:53 am


Mawal95 said:

Bashar in his speech on Monday said the media situation in Syria has “made it difficult to distinguish what is real from what is illusory and what is genuine from what is fake.” He didn’t confess that the regime bears responsibility in no small part for that. Anyway, I just came across the following two videos which purport to show a very effective General Strike yesterday (Thursday 23 June) in Douma and Madaya in Rif Damascus. The retail businesses along the main shopping streets are all closed and shuttered, and the captions say the videos depict business hours on 23 June.

I must assume the videos are fake because, for one thing, they show comprehensive complete shutdown: no regime loyalist retailers are keeping their shops open. In a real General Strike, no matter how effective, you’d see some loyalist holdouts keeping their shops open. Assuming then that these are fakes, and bearing in mind the ease with which these videos can be determined to be genuine or fakes, and bearing in mind the heavy gravity of the situation if they weren’t fakes, I have to conclude that the site http://www.ONSYRIA.com is irresponsible, unprofessional, and utterly untrustworthy. This means one shouldn’t use that website to get a notion of the turnout size for today’s Friday demonstrations, despite the site’s “one stop shop” convenience.

June 24th, 2011, 10:54 am


Revlon said:

An incomplete list of names of demonstrating neighbourhoods across Syria.

AlQazzeen, Baghdad street in Damascus might be a new development

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد
جرد سريع من أحد الأعضاء للمناطق التي خرجت فيها المظاهرات اليوم

حي العسالي + القدم + برزة + الميدان + الحجر الأسود + كفر سوسة + عرطوز + أسد الدين + شارع بغداد القزازين + ركن الدين + مساكن برزة + دف الشوك + جوبر +

ريف دمشق

القلمون + القارة + الزبداني + مضايا + بقين + المعضمية + التل + قطنا جامع البركة و الغلايبني + الكسوة + معضمية الشام + التل جامع الفاروق + عربين + حرستا + الضمير + القابون + داريا جامع أنس والرحمن + جديدة عرطوز + دوما من ثلاث جوامع + زملكا + سقبا + حمورية + جسرين + سرغايا +


جبلة القسام + الطيبات + جبلة جامع الشاويش + جامع المنصوري + الرمل الفلسطيني + الرمل الجنوبي + شارع أنطاكيا + بستان الصيداوي +


حماة البلد + طيبة الإمام + صوران + قلعة المضيق + السلمية + الصليبة + ساحة العاصي + كفرزيتا + الحاضر + شارع العلمين + المناخ + السوق + طريق حلب + قماحنة + موراك + الغاب +


باب السباع + باب عمرو + باب دريب + تلبيسة + الحمرا + السخنة + حي الخضر + كرم الشامي + الرستن + الإنشاءات + الخالدية + ساحة الحج عاطف + حي القصور + جورة الشياح + دير بعلبة + الغوطة + الحولة + طريق الشام جامع بلال الحبشي + مريمين + المرشديون قرمص + عقرب + طلف + البرج +فاحل + القبو + الشرقلية + تيرمعلة + الغنطو + شارع أبو العوف + تلدو +كفرلاها+ تل الذهب + الطيبة الغربية + الوعر + تدمر + باب هود + القرابيص + تدمر + البياضة + حي الشماس + نزلة الميتم القديم +المدينة الجامعية + حي الميدان + فندق السفير + الملعب البلدي + جورة العرايس+

دير الزور

+مسجد عثمان بن عفان + البوكمال + الميادين + علي بن أبي طالب – الفاروق – خالد بن الوليد + دوار غسان عبود + القورية + العشارة + دوار المدلجي + منطقة المطار القديم في مسجد عثمان و منطقة شواخ مسجد علي بن أبي طالب ومنطقة المووظفين مسجد ابي ذر, ومنطقة القصور مسجد خالد بن الوليد, ومنطقة الفيلات جامع الفتح, ومنطقة الجبيلة مسجد الروضة, ومنطقة الجور مسجدي قباء و التوبة + ساحة الشهداء + .


كفر شمس + درعا البد + الطيبة + داعل + جاسم الحي الشمالي والغربي + طفس + صيدا + الشيخ مسكين + بصرى الشام + المسيفرة + الحارة + الصنمين + تسيل + بصر الحرير + نمر + ناحتة + إبطع + الجيزة + أم ولد + عتمان + النعيمة + نصيب + ام المياذن + كحيل + الكرك الشرقي + الغراية الشرقية + الغرية الغربية + المتاعية + خربة غزالة + الحراك الحارة الشمالية والجنوبية + إنخل + درعا المحطة +


الدرباسية +عامودا + القامشلي + القامشلي المالكية + حي العزيزية + راس العين+ حي الناصرة +


كوباني + الأشرفية + سيف الدولة + صلاح الدين + الشعار + باب الحديد + باب النيرب + حي المرجة + الشيخ مقصود + الأعظمية + مسجد الانوار + حي المريديان + الخالدية +


كفرنبل + سراقب + بنش + معرة النعمان + جرجناز + تلمنس + جبل الزاوية + كللي + سرمين + حيش + التح + معيشورين + معرشمشة + الهلبة + حزانو + الغدفة + معرتمصرين + أريحا + خان شيخون + تفتناز + إدلب المدينة + كفرومة + الجبين + حيالين + كفرنبودة + كرناز + مدخل إدلب الشرقي + منطقة الناعورة +


الطبقة + جامع النهضة الطبقة + جامع حني +


بانياس راس النبع و حي الميدان +


June 24th, 2011, 11:05 am


EHSANI2 said:

Dear Yazan.

Here are the questions you asked in #156/

Is bringing down the economy and bankrupting the country a realistic danger?

Is there any credible evidence, or even rationale behind the regime being financed by the Iranians?

And in case there was an economic meltdown, what would we be looking at in terms of losses?

And as for the Lira. Is there a way to manipulate the currency from outside the country? Is it technically possible to put pressure on the Lira from governments outside?

Set below is my best shot at answering your questions:

First, it is important to note that everything we read and write about Syria’s economy is speculative and unsupported by credible data. The government officials in charge of collecting the data and publishing it may themselves not even disagree with this statement.

There is little doubt that the economy today faces a number of challenges. Tourism has stopped. Expatriate remittances or summer visits have slowed down rather dramatically. The foreign exchange that came from such sources has largely disappeared. Fearful of the political situation, households both took money out of the banks and opted to swap their SYP savings into foreign currency. By drawing down deposits the balance sheet of banking system was suddenly mismatched. The lost deposits had to be funded from elsewhere. By shifting out of SYP into foreign currency, the exchange value was put under pressure as the SYP was quoted as high as 56 to the Dollar over a critical 48 hour period. The Central Bank had to respond. It not only intervened in the currency market by selling Dollars and buying SYP but it also decided to raise deposit rates on SYP by up to 3%. With deposit rates nearing double digits now, the opportunity cost of not keeping your money at the bank was not made higher. A lot has been said about Mr. Makhlouf personally intervening in the currency market in order to stabilize the SYP rate. No one can verify this and this is not surprising (the same goes for your Iran related question). Since then, all foreign currency transactions have been subjected to excessive supervision and control from the Central Bank. Over the past 72 hours, both Aleppo and Damascus have reported acute difficulties in finding foreign currency even at the black market. The pressures on the exchange rate seem intense and unlikely to go away anytime soon. The SYP is not a convertible currency. This makes it very hard to speculate against. You cannot short the currency. The only way to do so would be to borrow in SYP (if you find anyone to lend you), exchange it to Dollars and hope that the SYP devalues before your loan needs to be repaid. This is an expensive strategy as you are borrowing in SYP at a much higher rate than you are earning on your Dollars. The Central Bank is likely to support the exchange rate vigorously. Time will tell if they will succeed. Rather than foreign governments, it will be Syrians who will ultimately decide the fate of the currency. If enough of them shift their SYP holdings (80% of bank deposits are in SYP) into Dollars, the Central Bank may give up the defense of the rate if its reserves go too low. Possible economic sanctions will speed up such fears by the public and cause more to shift their savings into foreign currency.

Syria’s economic challenge is twofold:

1- Excessive government spending on subsidies and the constantly bleeding public sector with little tax revenues to match. This budget deficit is a major challenge.

2- Sub-par economic growth and hence job creation. The domestic purchasing power is too weak to support economic growth of 7-8%. The government is too broke to spend and invest. This leaves investments and exports. Syria is so far behind when it comes to infrastructure and human and capital resources that it is nearly impossible to catch up and compete in the global economy when it comes to exporting its products and services. This leaves investments. The political background has made slowed foreign investments to a trickle. It will be a while for this to change. Domestic investors need to see significant reforms before they decide to take risk with long term investments. The government has done very poorly on the legislative side when it comes to offering incentives and cutting red tape for potential investors.

June 24th, 2011, 11:16 am


Revlon said:

Dear Mundas,
I would like to have your insights on a few issues
1. What are the groups that are running the ground opposition?
2. How structured or organised are these groups?
3. How difficult is it for committees to meet and are they meeting?
4. There was a call around 10 days ago by semi-independant group to hold a conference in Damascus. Do you have any related followup?
Thank you very much for dropping by,
I wish you a safe stay and trip back to Syria.
It was indeed a pleasure meeting you, virtually that is.

June 24th, 2011, 11:59 am


pedro ali alves said:

LOOK LOOK…oh guess what?look….Former CIA officer questions EU motives in Syria (AND ADMITS WAHABBIS ARE POURING INTO SYRIA) http://euobserver.com/9/32544

He added that the situation is more complicated than a simple struggle between the disenfranchised Sunni majority and the Alawite elite. “We have reports that Wahhabists [radical Sunni Islamists], who are not necessarily controlled by any state, are coming into Syria from Iraq and from Saudi Arabia to create chaos. Inside Syria, there are snipers shooting at demonstrators who are not controlled by Al-Assad but by the deep state, and other snipers who are shooting at both demonstrators and police,” he said.

ALSO SEE…Elite and Rich Funding Syria’s Revolution http://americansyrians.com/syria/post/2011/06/19/Elite-Rich-Funding-Syrias-Revolution.aspx GUESS WHOS A REGULAR SPEAKER THERE AT SAS?YUP DR RADWAN ZIADEH (WORKS FOR IMEPRIAL BRITTISH MILITARY THINK TANK IISS,SAME ONE WHO PUSHED FAKE RAUL REYES FARC FILES)AND AMMAR ABDULHAMID(brookings saban center neocon zionist think tank) REALLY ARE WINK

June 24th, 2011, 12:09 pm


Revlon said:

Security forces and thugs roam the streets of Baniyas to foild Friday demonstrations!

بانياس – انتشار الشبيحة والأمن 24-6

June 24th, 2011, 12:12 pm


Aboud said:

@321 Ehsani2

Wow, I’m impressed. That’s an excellent analysis. Perhaps Professor Landis could put it up as a main post.

June 24th, 2011, 12:45 pm


Syrian Commando said:

Another fake Syrian enters the crowd, lol. Posting from Saudi Arabia right #317, a.k.a Mr. Beard?

Anyone with a clue in Syria is using an open proxy. In fact, anywhere in the world. If you’re on tor, it’s almost impossible to trace you down (except the fact that you’re using tor).


More like foil terrorist strikes, they were asked to secure the area by the PEOPLE. This is their job.


Of course its fake. With 2 million people showing their support on Tuesday, it would be economic suicide to join Mr. ponytail’s “not so general strike”, lol.


>- Security forces are humiliating civilians: They ask them to say No God But Bashar, in Dar3a

Come on people, can you at least filter out the obvious bullsh*t? You’re tiring us all out.


>China dumped 90% of its treasuries? Wrong.

You may want to check reports on their latest balance sheet, apparently they begun dumping bonds and buying cash around the time of the Libyan invasion.

>The U.S bond market is the most liquid in the world.

Yeah, it’s liquid because the Federal reserve buys most of the bonds. Gigs up dude, no one’s buying this crap anymore.

>Even if your information is correct (and it is not),

It is.

>clearly the Chinese found other buyers as the bond market did not collapse when they sold practically all their holdings (which they did not).

The buyer is the federal reserve, look at their balance sheet. Too obvious.

June 24th, 2011, 1:03 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

317. مندس said:


you live not in syria but at the american enterprise institute.

June 24th, 2011, 1:04 pm


Yazan said:

Dear Ehsani,
Thanks for the comprehensive reply. I’ll have to say, based on your analysis, and the first hand news I’m getting from family and friends, that this has the potential to be truly disastrous, economy-wise.

I second Aboud’s comment, I think this should go on the next post.

June 24th, 2011, 1:10 pm


Syrian Commando said:


It’s already a disaster for Hotels + tourism but Syria is self-sufficient and while the economy will be hurting for the next 2 years, it’ll be a lot stronger coming out, especially as Europe+USA collapses.

Assuming there isn’t going to be a war in 4 days, of course.

June 24th, 2011, 1:13 pm


why-discuss said:

Turkey vs EU?
While EU is getting hysterical about the refugees and “the brutal repression”, what Davotoglu said today suggests that Turkey still believes in Bashar al Assad and understand the situation in the border towns.

“Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu told reporters Friday he had conveyed Turkey’s “concerns and thoughts” about the operation near Turkey’s border in a telephone conversation with his Syrian counterpart on Thursday.

He said he would continue to talk to Syrian officials to ensure that “reforms and peace are brought about as soon as possible.”

We hope that Syria is successful in renewing itself in a stable manner and comes out of the situation stronger. We will do all that we can to help,” he said.


June 24th, 2011, 1:15 pm


Mawal95 said:

LOU #212 said:

I was talking to a friend in Syria whose brother was doing military service during the start of this uprising. He was shot in the leg in clashes with armed gangs and was recovering (No he was not shot because he refused to shoot at protesters). He told me that one of the main reasons why the army has stayed loyal is that they know for a fact and have seen for themselves that they are fighting armed gangs and they have seen their fellow soldiers killed or injured.

The Opposition has put out and repeated a ton of fictitious stories about security forces brutalizing protesters. They have alienated the armed forces. Other than that, what other information has the Opposition been putting out? Almost nothing. The Opposition has put out more disinformation than information — literally. Ce mouvement pratique plus la désinformation que l’information.

Against this opposition, the Establishment is safe and sound and in no jeopardy at all. We don’t know whether the opposition will be vanquished noisily or quietly.

June 24th, 2011, 1:18 pm


مندس said:

Dear Revlon:
I couldn’t answer your questions very specifically because no demonstrations took place where I live. But I can tell you some of my experiences. I hear from people who live in places such as Daraia and Daraa who either witnessed or participated in demonstrations. Those are friends or employees.
In Daraia, the very first demonstration happened when the Imam started praying for Jr.. One of the young worshipers, who was sitting right next to one of my employees, stood up and told the Imam to stop being hypocritical. He started screaming anti Assad slogans and turned to others wanting them to join him. A few of his friends joined him. There was a demonstration of 50 people the following Friday. But there was a Talibaathist counter demonstration ready. A bunch of government buses were around the corner loaded with thugs. The 50 people were holding roses or flowers, but that didn’t matter. They got beaten up real bad. They were taken away injured and blooded. Demonstrations never stopped since. So they seem to be getting more organized. In the first 2-3 weeks, for example, after the Amn moved to the outskirts of Daraia, a Potatoes’ salesman suddenly showed up at 10 pm, it was weird but that was the clear signal that it was safe, and people came out and demonstrated in the middle of the night. There are also collaborators among the demonstrators. A group of demonstrators ran away from the thugs into an apartment, one of them pretended to call his dad to tell him he was safe, the Scum showed up ten minutes later. They seem to really have broken the fear barrier. Some demonstrators dare the soldiers to fire their weapon. A friend who is really a Mamnhebak had to join the demonstrations in Saqba because otherwise he would be looked at as a collaborator.
There are obvious leaders to these movements. I was told those who lead chanting the slogans are always the same. Don’t expect conferences or anything else serious to happen. All meetings take place in secret. We still live in a police state. It still feels like 1980. All the talk by the regime about change is for external consumption. If they were serious about change, they would at least start creating the right environment. They would prepare their brain washed or brain dead followers for the change.
I don’t think demonstrations will stop. For the first time in my life, I can’t wait for Ramadan. We will have them every night. I know some young people who tell their parents that they were cowards in the 80’s and they will no longer put up with the regime. I personally do not know anyone who simpythizes with the regime, but some are afraid of what might happen.
All the stories you hear about the brutality are true. I contributed money to people who have been beaten up and robbed during or after demonstrations. The Scum Moukhabarat do shoot at soldiers who refuse to shoot. It is true that you see forty something overweight scum at check points. They always have a list of wanted people. They check your National ID card and License plate. They seem to be looking for certain people. You could sense the hatred from the way they look at you.

June 24th, 2011, 1:24 pm


why-discuss said:


This is the best time to buy SP! I’ll do that now. It gives 9% in the bank, while the Euro is eroding.
Just a thought
Contrary to the western countries, Syria never lived beyond its means. Except for the a few westernized Syrians, usually Syrians are frugal and they are not into the vicious circle of consumerism.
The next few years in Syria won’t be worse than Greece or Spain and Portugal, don’t you think?

June 24th, 2011, 1:26 pm


Jihad said:

البصل “ريفلون” لا زال يبحث عن ابطال وهميين “انشقوا” عن الجيش السوري حتى يتبين أن رائحتهم كالبصل. حتى الإعلام الصهيوني الغربي سرعان ما يتخلى عن هكذا مهزلات

June 24th, 2011, 1:28 pm


Revlon said:

A Leader in Jabal Mi7sen, Tripoli states:
– 3alawi’s of Lebanon and Syria will fight till
last drop of blood
– Lebanon without fighting is not such a good place!


وشهد لبنان أحداثا أمنية متفرقة منذ أن اندلعت الثورة الشعبية في سوريا في منتصف مارس/آذار الماضي، وأبرزها تلك التي نشبت بين السنة والعلويين في شمالي البلاد.

كما تعرض للاختطاف بشكل غامض سبعة راكبي دراجات إستونيين أثناء إجازة كانوا يقضونها بين لبنان وسوريا، إضافة لانفجار عبوة ناسفة على طريق يسلكه جنود الأمم المتحدة في لبنان، وسط اتهامات لسوريا بأنها تشجع عملاءها في لبنان على إشعال المنطقة.

وأما أحد القياديين في الطائفة العلوية بلبنان رفعت عيد فقال في مكتبه في جبل محسن إن العلويين في لبنان وبني جلدتهم العلويين الذين يحكمون سوريا سيبقون يحاربون “حتى آخر قطرة دم”، مضيفا أن لبنان دون قتال هو مكان غير جيد.

June 24th, 2011, 1:35 pm


why-discuss said:


“I personally do not know anyone who simpythizes with the regime,”

Obviously you live in a very narrow circle.
Shall I wish you an enjoyable Ramadan watching nightly demonstrations and hearing gun shots? .

June 24th, 2011, 1:36 pm


why-discuss said:

Hard-line Sunni voice gains audience in Bahrain


The reawakening of hardline sunnis has just started, target: Iran, Hezbollah and… the USA, while Israel is not mentioned

June 24th, 2011, 1:43 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Thank you,as usual you have good analysis.
I just want to say that after lebanon civil war,the lebanese lira was 3 for a dollar,and now it is 1500 to a dollar. and after the war in Iraq the Iraqi Dinar was more than a dollar,now it is 1500 to the Dollar.

June 24th, 2011, 1:47 pm


Revlon said:

332 Dear Mundas,
Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

As a businessman, could you please share with us some of the talk that goes on behind closed doors in business gatherings?

Thanks again,
Be careful of Jr’s antibiotics!

June 24th, 2011, 1:49 pm


Syrian Commando said:

You can tell how smart a person depending on whether they use “menheback” or “mamenheback” — i.e., if they use them all in a serious manner, it’s confirmed that they’re absolutely retarded. Black and white personification of a position is the clearest sign of tribalism, I read these words and I scroll down. The fake Syrians really disgust me.



Turkish FM, hi-fiver of Hillary Clinton, claims relations are unhurt. There’s Syrian snipers on your ass, of course relations are hurt retard. We’re not going to fall for your sweet talk in preparation for the terrorist act you and elements of northern Iraq are preparing for us. I think we should preemptively strike them.

June 24th, 2011, 1:51 pm


Mina said:

Looks like Qatar is unhappy with Turkey’s position!
(their intrepid journalists have made an important discovery)

June 24th, 2011, 2:14 pm


Syrian Knight said:

People who are fatally injured can smile, apparently:


Anyway, in other news, there were wonderful pro-government demonstrations today. Muslims and Christians united inside churches. People taking to the streets in Bab Touma and Jaramana. My own family has even been joining these demonstrations of their own free will (Before some mental defective tells me that these people are all ‘forced.’)

For my part, sadly living in Canada, I have a Syrian flag with Bashar al-Assad on it, and I hang it outside my car window. I love it when people look, especially the Lebanese.

June 24th, 2011, 2:30 pm


Syrian Knight said:

I forgot to mention that there was an impressive pro-Syrian government rally in Lebanon, as well. I hope Lebanon get intertwined in this mess. Maybe then The US and Saudi Arabia will start to reconsider their meddling in Syria, considering that anything that happens to Syria will also affect Lebanon.

June 24th, 2011, 2:47 pm


مندس said:

Thanks for the warning. Believe me I will have read my words a bunch of times before posting. I will basically format my laptop before going back. They have gone thru my child’s laptop at the border.
Of course I’ve met some that sympathize with the regime, but I would not call them personal friends.
I have to mention that you often hear about the shortage of skilled labor in Syria. But I disagree. We have a shortage of qualified business managers and business owners. That shortage was created by the bad business environment the Baath has created.
Anyone who did not partner with the regime has suffered their injustices and therefore against them. They are gloating and happy to see the regime suffer. They are hoping for a change, but they’re scared. They have paid كف بلاء for too long. Ultimately, business owners have enough savings to last for a long time. I and everyone I know pulled whatever cash out of the bank. We always kept most of the cash out of Syria.

June 24th, 2011, 2:48 pm


Syrian Knight said:

Sunni extremists in Lebanon vehemently reject new bill aimed at protecting women in abusive Islamist relationships from domestic violence and rape:


These are the same garbage people that go out on the streets every Friday in Syria demanding Sharia law. I spit on every last one of them.

June 24th, 2011, 2:52 pm


Aboud said:

@332 Thank you, that was very illuminating. Pay no attention to the infantile Baathists. When they can’t argue the points, they insult. And since they almost never have any good points to argue with, you can imagine how many insults they use up.

Today, after Friday prayers, the shabiha scum tried to surround the Omar mosque in Al-Hamra, and tried to intimidate people from going out to demonstrate. People from the other mosques in Homs rushed to the Omar mosque. At the sight of so many demonstrators, the shabiha scum dropped their guns, and broke the record for the fastest run down Hamra street. In…your…face…bitches.


“I have a Syrian flag with Bashar al-Assad on it, and I hang it outside my car window”

It’s called freedom of expression, something Canadians enjoy, and which junior is too scared to allow in Syria. Seriously, is your middle name “irony”?


“I think we should preemptively strike them.”

He says from his safe and snug home in Canada. It’s amazing how incredibly clueless the Baathists are when it comes to how the world perceives their credibility.

June 24th, 2011, 2:56 pm


EHSANI2 said:


Why don’t you support your argument with evidence that China dumped 90% of its U.S. holdings? Please offer me a link to that balance sheet of theirs and show me how you came to that conclusion.

As for the U.S. debt, yes the Fed has been buying government bonds as part of its monetary policy. This was done after they pushed overnight rates to near zero. The program will be over in the next few days. While the buying has kept rates lower than they would have been, fears of a market collapse are overblown. What will cause a market collapse is a significant increase in private credit demand that will put pressure on interest rates. The increased government borrowing is a substitute for the drop in private credit demand. Deficits alone do not necessarily cause higher rates and lower bond prices. Japan has much higher deficit and debt than the U.S. as a percentage of GDP. Where is their 10y rate? 2.0%. For your information, the biggest buyers of government debt in both countries are the commercial banks whose excess deposits have been finding their way to government bonds thanks to weak credit demand and an unwillingness to lend.


Your earn 9% on SYP deposits. You earn 2% on Dollar Deposits at the same Syrian bank. You have to decide whether the extra 7% in interest per year is enough premium to hold SYP instead of Dollars. In other words, You have to decide if there is a risk of a 7% devaluation in the SYP or not over the same time frame.

June 24th, 2011, 3:11 pm


Aboud said:

“Syria: a cornered Assad is Losing His Marbles”


“First you lost your legitimacy, then your marbles.”

@347 “In other words, You have to decide if there is a risk of a 7% devaluation in the SYP or not over the same time frame.”

Haha, good point. Even under normal circumstances, it’s a safe bet that inflation will erode any 7% profit one might gain. Factor in the absolute certainty of a devaluation in the Lira, and you can see why the Central Bank panicked and made changing dollars harder than getting an issue of Playboy in Mecca.

June 24th, 2011, 3:11 pm


Nour said:

Sounds to me like Michael Weiss is the one losing his marbles and descending into hysteria like most rabid zionist hoodlums. And it’s quite telling that Aboud would take pride in an article written by an avid “Israel” supporter and a rabid Zionist.

June 24th, 2011, 3:17 pm


Syrian Knight said:

“It’s called freedom of expression, something Canadians enjoy, and which junior is too scared to allow in Syria. Seriously, is your middle name “irony”?”

You can get arrested for a lot of things you might think falls under ‘freedom of expression’ in Canada, idiot.

June 24th, 2011, 3:19 pm


daleandersen said:


RE: مندس “I personally do not know anyone who simpythizes with the regime”

You were right to rebuke that little fool. He must be blind, deaf and dumb. There are scores of regime sympathizers all around him, right in front of his face, right here on Syria Comment. All he had to do was smell the air. The regime sympathizers have a distinctive odor..


June 24th, 2011, 3:38 pm


Aboud said:

@349 Something tells me you are the kind of person who, in Hitler’s Germany, would have rejected Einstein’s theories because they came “from a Jew”

@350 Probably things like racism. Calling junior a clueless giraffe who is way out of his depth, however, is perfectly permissible in civilized countries.

June 24th, 2011, 3:38 pm


Nour said:


LOL. What a silly comparison. This guy is a rabid zionist who sees everything in light of what is good for “Israel.” And you and him are on the same boat; so that’s quite telling.

June 24th, 2011, 3:46 pm


Syrian Knight said:

Aboud, you have a lot to learn about the laws of those so-called ‘civilized’ countries. You can get arrested for donating money, even if it was just one penny, to Palestinian charities, because you would be ‘supporting terrorism.’ The unwritten definition of a terrorist in Canada is a Muslim or Arab. Meanwhile, you can donate all the money you want to fund Israeli wars against innocent people. George Galloway, in fact, has been banned from ever coming to Canada, because he donated money to needy families in Gaza while he was there. If you go on vacation in Lebanon, and donate even 1 Lebanese pound to ANY organization that isn’t in the March 14 terror group, and you come back to Canada, and the government finds out, you go to jail.

Racism laws here are inherently biased, and normally only pertain to statements made against Israel. ANYTHING against Israel can be considered a hate crime here. They will call you ‘anti-semitic.’ But then our PM in 2006 blocked a bill recognizing the destruction Lebanon received. He said that Lebanon faced no destruction at all, and that it was ISRAEL that was the real victim, and that it was ISRAEL that faced the most destruction in that war that killed 1,400 Lebanese, all civilians, and 168 Israeli, all invading soldiers.

Get a clue. Everything is politics.

June 24th, 2011, 3:51 pm



Any new about national diallogue? More deaths? Any new about amendments to be done to Constitution? It looks like nothing is gonna change…. this regime is uneffective uncreative.

June 24th, 2011, 3:55 pm


Syrian Knight said:

And BTW, Canada has, on numerous occasions, arrested ACTUAL peaceful protesters. Last year, they arrested over 1,100 people protesting at the G20 summit, and BEAT THEM. They also cracked down on an anti-Police Brutality rally (Ironically), beat them, and arrested many of them earlier this year. Now you have Canada hunting down, from 2 weeks ago, people that took part in the RIOTS in Vancouver over the loss in the Stanley. A lot of innocent people are getting arrested, because the police is asking everyone to relinquish ALL images you may have during the riots. Suffice to say, people have been Photoshopping people into those images to get them arrested. There was a woman was protested during a speech by the PM some time ago. She was arrested and beaten!

June 24th, 2011, 3:57 pm



Thank you very much. I second Yazan and Aboud’s recommendation.

Welcome to a long list of EHSANI’s admirers.

With respect to your comment on Inflation, while eating 7% of the SYP value, can also eat 2% of the dollars. So inflation alone will not make the difference. If I understand EHSANI, it is primarily the confidence of the Syrians in the constant flow and accessibility of hard currency into Syria that will decide their major action. This remains to be seen.

Many thanks for your answers and thoughtful posts.. I have been reading, but not commenting because you and few others covered the topic rather well.

Safe trip, safe stay, and safe return. Thanks for the information. Early on, and right after the first few demonstrations, I argued that the organizational skills of the young activists in Syria will improve with every failed demonstration. Your post gave me reasons to believe that I was right.

I have been reading every single one of your posts. I agree with مندس, you give many of us reasons to hope.

June 24th, 2011, 4:00 pm




That is why the rate of canadians asking for political asylum in Syria is skyrocketing, while syrians, iraqis and other no longer ask for political asylum in free occidental unperfect democracies.

June 24th, 2011, 4:01 pm


Syrian Knight said:

SL, have you forgotten that in the entire world, Syria is one of, if the highest taker of refugees? 2,000,000 Iraqis are in Syria. There are millions of other people in Syria from other countries, including Armenia, Palestine and Lebanon, plus Syria is home to more then half of the world’s Assyrian population. How many Iraqis has Canada taken in, again?

June 24th, 2011, 4:07 pm


aboud said:

@353 “This guy is a rabid zionist who sees everything in light of what is good for “Israel” ”

And you don’t think that Baathists see things only through Bashar-tinted sunglasses? Don’t hate the messenger, just because you hate the message 🙂

According to Baathists here, everyone in Canada who demonstrates and protests gets “beaten”. Tell me, how many people did the police kill over the hockey riots? Those rioters caused more mayhem and destruction than anything seen in the Arab world, and yet the Canadian police’s response was far humane.

And junior thinks he’s going to teach the world about democracy…

June 24th, 2011, 4:10 pm


Syrian Commando said:


Syrian Knight, they removed that video you linked!! I HOPE YOU HAVE IT SAVED!!


>The program will be over in the next few days

Bullsh*t. QE3 coming right up. The dollar is finished:


>Why don’t you support your argument with evidence that China dumped 90% of its U.S. holdings?

This is the word on the street, we won’t know until they release their next statement in the coming month.


It’s all hidden under currency swaps.


It’s quite telling that there’s a lot of yidds pretending to be Syrians on here!

June 24th, 2011, 4:15 pm


Syrian Knight said:

“Those rioters caused more mayhem and destruction than anything seen in the Arab world”

You’re fucking stupid. Did the rioters start burning down buildings, hospitals, courthouses, government buildings and shops??? Were they cutting off peoples’ heads or hanging them and then desecrating their bodies??? Were they shooting at people with assault rifles and RPGs??? You’re a fucking moron to even think that the rioters caused anywhere near as much damage as the terrorists in Syria has, you delusional dumbfuck.

June 24th, 2011, 4:17 pm


EHSANI2 said:

This silly link is your proof that China dumped 90% of its U.S. bonds? I thought that you had “proof” from the balance sheet of the Chinese Central Bank.

June 24th, 2011, 4:21 pm


Yazan said:

Dear Ehsani,
Since you must be, “in on the con”, please share that knowledge. I’ve already lost 10% of my savings changing SYP to JPY. Should I just move to China and get it over with?

June 24th, 2011, 4:45 pm


Syrian Commando said:

I stick to my word, check the balance sheets. The media keeps reporting the outstanding amounts without noting that a lot of the bonds have been “swapped” in various deals.

June 24th, 2011, 4:46 pm


Aboud said:

@362 Your tears are deliciouuuuuuuuuuus 🙂

101 days and counting. Where oh where are the silly people who said it would all be over in two weeks.

(Probably hiding in the same place with others who said junior would launch a “war of liberation” on 5th June. Hehehehehe)

June 24th, 2011, 4:47 pm


ziadsoury said:

Yazan, Ehsani, Tara, OTW, Mundas, Aboali and fellow humsi Aboud:

Great discussion. Thank you. I wish I have more time to contribute.

I join Husam and Yazan in condemning your statement. You are a racist. First you would not condemn the thugs for beating the doctors in Daraa after treating the injured, second, you want the Alawi to form a new country and take all the Christians with them because the Sunnis are brutal and going to kill everyone, and finally, they got it coming. 20,000 got it coming?

I do remember Syria in the seventies and I know what happened. Both sides were wrong. Both sides committed crimes against humanity. Rifaat abuse of the system and the Syrian people had a major part in the MB uprising against the regime. Things do not happen in a vacuum. I thought, just like Husam did, that you were above this but your true colors are showing.

Great comment about Hama. I am sure Bashar is using drones against the uprising.

Dr Landis,
Ehsani’s post will be great for a main post.

June 24th, 2011, 5:31 pm


why-discuss said:



I take the chance, US and Euro are very volatile currencies, especially with the new depression starting.
Gold and real estate are the only valid investments these days.
Do you think the price of real estate in Syria will go up 7% within a year? I doubt as not much people are buying.

June 24th, 2011, 6:02 pm


why-discuss said:



If you offer him a drone, he’ll take it, who wouldn’t?
Then he’ll be accused of doing “surgical operations” instead of “brutal massacres”. He is a doctor after all.

June 24th, 2011, 6:05 pm


why-discuss said:

Dale christian andersen

Being such a good friend to Bush, I guess you have the same smell that Chavez noticed after Bush passed in the UN.

June 24th, 2011, 6:15 pm


why-discuss said:


FYI, Internet and mobile phones networks were on the whole day of Friday 24th in Damascus.
I shows that the government services are business as usual in Damascus.

June 24th, 2011, 6:23 pm


democracynow said:


Thank you for the interesting insights into Syria from the inside. Your optimism and spirit is quite inspiring. Keep it up!

June 24th, 2011, 6:34 pm


873 said:

310. EHSANI2 said:
Dear 873 (#285),
What you wrote about the U.S. economy and the debt levels leading to default is not credible. You are not the first to give this prognosis. There is a cottage industry of commentators and even economists who predict the imminent demise of the U.S. economy. I believe that they are mistaken.

Your cottage industry includes former Fed heads, CNN Money, CNBC, Bloomberg Business and WSJ. Hardly mere ‘cottage’ cranks. There have been so many informed analyses of the death of the USD, US default and complete collapse by mainstream as well as non-mainstream respected news sources that I hestitate to spend time replying to your post. Meredith Whitney is right on the money w/ her Muni bond collapse scenario. Julian Robertson, Marc Faber, Nouriel Roubini… Carl Icahn returned 7 billion worth of investers money back in Mar (BEFORE Fukushima) saying he would no longer be responsible for losing others’ assets in the coming collapse. In one of the most serious, “Pimco- WOLRD’S LARGEST BOND FUND- dumped ALL US govt-related securities, including US treasuries and agency debt” back in early March. CNBC Mar 10, 2011
Japan, biggest holder of US debt after China, is imploding itself after its nuclear tsunami tragedy and can no longer prop US up. China began dumping dollars and US ‘investment instruments’ years ago.

China ratings house says US defaulting: Report
June 10, 2011 Straits Times

BEIJING – A CHINESE ratings house has accused the United States of defaulting on its massive debt, state media said on Friday, a day after Beijing urged Washington to put its fiscal house in order.
‘In our opinion, the United States has already been defaulting,’ Guan Jianzhong, president of Dagong Global Credit Rating Co Ltd, the only Chinese agency that gives sovereign ratings, was quoted by the Global Times saying.

Washington had already defaulted on its loans by allowing the dollar to weaken against other currencies – eroding the wealth of creditors including China, Mr Guan said.

Its not in the future. Recent Fed auctions drew so few buyers of US debt that the Fed has begun printing up more monoploy money to “buy” its own debt! (months ago) All of this has been well covered in the public domain for YEARS.

This doesnt include the DERIVATIVES debacle.

In the real economy? The unfolding catastrophe across America’s bread basket. Midwest crops are being flooded out from Montana to St Louis. Nuclear power plants are being submerged, with plutonium runoff into the Mississippi Delta. If one of the damns on the upper Missouri goes, downstream is toast, and of course The Madrid fault is on an even uglier level that is beyond the pale to discuss.

To lightly dismiss all these factors as ‘conspiracy theory’ or ‘cottage industry of doomsayers’ suggests a foolish refusal to look reality in the face.

June 25th, 2011, 12:22 am


873 said:

Why doesnt the edit button function? Will you ever fix it? The text jumps around uncontrollably making it nearly impossible to correct a post.

I meant to add this to above post on America’s real economy vis a vis the food sector.


June 25th, 2011, 12:34 am


daleandersen said:

Memo to 873

RE: the edit button

The edit button works for everyone except you, Dude. It’s just another CIA/Israeli/Saudi/al-Qaeda plot you’ll have to deal with…


June 25th, 2011, 3:04 am


Mina said:

Something that neither Khudr or Karfan miss to address is the fact that in both the Alawite religion and in the Baath ideology, emphasis is given to the common ground of Christianity and Islam. I wonder if in the Baath theory it is just because of the principle of laicity or if there is more about that?

June 25th, 2011, 4:10 am


Yazan said:

I think it was a compromise between the resolutely secular Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Bitar, Hizb al-Baath al-Arabi, and the more traditionalist, Akram al-Horani’s, Hizb al-Arabi al-Ishtiraki. The first was comprised of Paris-educated intellectuals, the second was more of a populist movement.

June 25th, 2011, 5:21 am


5ds said:

the edit button does not always work. the screen jumps. or the screen is blank.

June 25th, 2011, 1:00 pm


Mouna said:

Hi … to all who are wondering where Souri333 is, he is currently commenting on Syria-news.com using the screen-name ناصح أمين

June 25th, 2011, 4:14 pm


HS said:

On the conference

Some people said that they has been invited to the conference of the opposition in Damascus today but that they decided on their free will that they will not attend .
( The Muslim Brothers are evidently not invited and they are calling for the boycott of the conference )
It reminds me of this story which is dated from the earlier unrest in Homs:
(Some) Aleppo’s merchants have been refused to buy goods from their usual Homs sellers because Aleppo did not join the demonstrations.

On the money blackmarket

The MAIN money flow is very simple :
Syrians from abroad send some money ( US dollars ) to Syria to their relatives.
Some merchants import goods illegally ( to evade customs taxes ) through smugglers from Jordan , Lebanon , Turkey and pay their sellers in US dollars.
In fact , through this compensation , not a single US dollar bills needs to enter in Syria.

Do I need to name the main border cities involved in these very profitable smuggling operations or just to list the towns where armed protesters are active and state officers are killed ?

June 27th, 2011, 4:54 am


cruious visitor said:

does anyone know what happened to Karfan? where is he today?


July 5th, 2011, 1:17 am


Syria Comment » Archives » Syria: An Uprising, Not a Revolution, By Yazan Badran said:

[…] sects within this struggle. The specific dynamics of how this works for Alawis were discussed in an excellent piece on this very blog a few weeks […]

July 5th, 2011, 11:49 pm


Syria: An Uprising, Not a Revolution said:

[…] sects within this struggle. The specific dynamics of how this works for Alawis were discussed in an excellent piece on this very blog a few weeks […]

July 6th, 2011, 2:37 am


US Supports Dialogue by Calling for Regime Change? (And Other Syrian Happenings) « بنسبة لنا said:

[…] sects within this struggle. The specific dynamics of how this works for Alawis were discussed in an excellent piece on this very blog a few weeks […]

July 8th, 2011, 12:38 pm


أحمد نظير الأتاسي said:

Dear Khudr
I thank so much for this brilliant article. It is brilliant in analysis and courageous in position the self outside the group looking inside. I hope you are living in Syria, for people like you are the solution. It took me many years to realize what you have described, and I just wrote an angry response to Yazan Badran’s article basically stating what you have said in your article. my friend, what you have describe is called nationalism. There is a real and distinct Alawi nationalism (we can also argue the case of Christian nationalism). Once a group talks in terms of self and other, they develop a group self-awareness that resembles nationalism. It has long puzzled me the paranoia my Alawi friends showed when the word Alawi was mentioned. There was an obvious belligerence and lack of conspicuous pride that really surprised me. For “a sect the rules Syria” I saw no real flaunting of identity. I did not realize that Assad has prohibited such a pride from forming on grounds other than allegiance to his rule. But my friend, nationalism is a middle class “disease”, especially emerging middle classes. This is however known, it is the case of a small sect outgrowing its “small sect” identity. This is exactly the reason why Sufi orders never grew to become major denominations like Ja’fari Shi’ism and Sunnism. This is also the reason why the Safavid Sufi order of the 15th century moved toward Ja’fari Shi’ism once it acquired an empire in the 16th century. Secrecy and clanish allegiances cannot sustain a large group. It is no wonder that rigid legalistic religions like Sunnism and Catholicism grow and become dominant, it is because there “laws” can maintain and regulate a large social group, a majority. What Alawis can do is to formulate an external religiosity to function as a public identity, an identity that is not defined solely in opposition to a majoritarian identity. the Alevis and the Bektashis of Turkey could supply you with great examples. I am not talking as a person from a majority, I am in fact a small minority because I have lived exactly the later half of my life in the West as an “agnostic non-practicing Muslim” (weird ha!!). As for Syria, no one needs to fight for the bitter end, all what it takes is to diminish the executive powers of the president, sacrifice the Baath party, and loosen the grip of the security service, along with a real revival of a public Alawi (and Christian) identity. there many meanings for “downing the regime”. My blod address is given above, hope to continue the dialogue. Honored to have read you.

July 10th, 2011, 2:53 am


Serendipity Rodey said:


November 23rd, 2011, 2:33 pm


Toprak Tan said:

You are absolutely wrong. Because i am non practising alevi. :))) This is the proof of your lies!I am not muslim or christian i am just a ALEVI. It is my unique identiy. I can give my life for my people and every alevi can do the same no matter they are kurdish, syrian or turkish or american or european. We still remain alevi.

You are just ridiculous. All of information you got is a non alevi information you can not handle it unless being a nice human.

I am a Turkish Agnostic-Alevi and most of us are atheist.

So how could you dare saying they cant be alevi if they dont practice? And we still remain ALEVI i mean no matter if one of us believe in god or does not practice anything we are still the same we are ONE in ONE.
As Alevite we dont want to spread our secrets beacuse of lots of sick people around us.

For instance i have to light candle every thursday evening but i prefer to not practice it.Because it seems ridiculous to me. But i want my childs my people to practice our rituals.

People do not pay attention to wikipedia informations and muslim or christians information about us. We are just esoteric and love humanism. We just dont want to explain our culture to non alevis.OK? It is a human right. We chose it. Thats it. And everyone, please stop humuliating us on internet! You will not convert or force us again with your sick minds. We know who we are we will not change with your suggesitions or definitions!!!!

March 24th, 2012, 6:40 am


Coltshot said:

I understand this is a little late but…

@Toprak Tan,

Alawi’s are not the same as Alevi’s. Infact they are quite the opposite.

Alawi’s in Turkey are known as the Nusayri’s.

While Alevi religion seems to revolve around the belief that God judges people based on the behaviour towards other instead of following dogma’s and all in all is a rather pleasant religion, the Alawi’s have a very pessimistic religion.

They actually belief in a form of predestination were there are two kinds of humans: 1. the people of light and 2. the people of darkness. These former used to be creatures in a perfect, divine world of light and were kicked out by God for sinning against him. Now the Alawi’s see themselves as these people of light and can return to their version of heaven through gaining gnosis and passing through a few cycles of reincarnation. The people of darkness cannot return as they never came from there in the first place.

While in the past the great Alawi’s Al-Khasibi and Al-Tabarani allowed converts into their religion (they converted the people of coastal Syria) on a large scale the sect today is totally closed for reasons unknown (probably persecution just like what happened with the Druze).

This belief is full of contradictions since their own sources state that these creatures of light are spread among all nations, not just Arabs and that God appears before many nations to reveal the truth to these people. And if this is indeed true then why were the Syrians allowed into this religion (Al-Khasibi sent people to Iran and Egypte as well but failed to win converts, he only succeeded in Syria and some places in Iraq)?

Most of their religious texts also heavily cricise Imami Shias, Sunni’s and Christians on their doctrines. They disagree with their religions yet they do not mention the previous predestination teaching. A bit wierd, why would their religion matter if they are doomed anyway?

Alawi’s today believe, regardless of the fact that they were very keen to accept converts in the past and the fact that their own books teach that the light-people are spread across the world, regardlessof the fact that their own great leader were usually converts, that all non-Alawi’s will reincarnate as pigs, apes, donkeys or other animals. After that they will be insects and then stones and pieces of metal.

They also hold bizarre views of women, most heard is that they believe women are created by devils and thus have no soul and cannot be reborn or go to the world of light/heaven.

Other versions include that a good women might be reborn as a man, even though women in Adana today believe they can indeed be reborn but not as men (and men not as women). A last version is that the men pray for the women…

Anyway, while I do wish the Alawi people the very best and I think they should be able to live in safety, I understand why people would not like them considering these rather hostile beliefs.

I myself met a few Alawi’s, they never made it a secret they were Alawi’s and they were extremely friendly, open and secular people. But how can I trust their friendliness if these people really think I am going to be a dog for not being born into the right family?

Can’t Alawi’s understand their beliefs are insulting to others?

It could be that the traditional Alawi religion is less strong in Syria today than in Turkey (I met Alawi’s from Turkey) but I find it very hard to defend that Alawi’s are just more liberal Shias, since they are more like dogmatic gnostics with some pretty bizarre teachings.

If an Alawi disagrees with my observation of the religion, please respond. I got all this stuff mainly from the book by Yaron Friedman, the one by Matti Moosa and the one by Bar-Asher and Kofsky.

September 6th, 2013, 6:28 pm




As Turkish Alevi(and i know overwhelming majority of Anatolian Alevis and even non-zionist/non-islamist Europeans have the same positive attitudes on Levantine Alevis, the end!) going to give a s**t to your zionazi/jihadist-like propagandas on innocent levantine alevis. Obviously throughout the uprising of this issue, Anyone wise has seen how you zionuts wanted to see the whole Alevi people exterminated.

Why all of these endless efforts against us? I know why because you all are anti-indoeuropeanist. Persians, Germans, Anatolians and any other brothers of us(even assimilated or pure) will not be erased from this earth. You all war mongers and indo-european haters will be learnt to be respectful on non-semites.

February 1st, 2014, 3:16 pm




You are wrong.


I do not hate the Alevi’s, nor the Alawi’s.


Fact is the Nusayri’s hold very very different beliefs from the Turkish/Zaza Alevi’s.

I have read a German language book about the Nusayri’s from Turkey and their views are a little more mellow. Also I talked with a Syrian Alawi’s and he told me how his people view others. Surely he told me he swore to secrecy so he could not go into doctrinal detail but he was willing to talk about their community/culture.

As for the Anatolian Alevi’s…

It is a good thing you even accept your 80% (on average) indo-european (or semite) background instead of pretending to be the direct decendants of Alp Arslan and Cengis Khan like most Turks tend to do (Turks are only 20% of mongoloid background obviously).

As for the Alevi’s… Can you tell me the rationelle behind your belief that you hold the true religion, and as such hold universalist and tolerant beliefs yet at the same time keep your religion closed for people not born into Alevi families?

February 26th, 2014, 4:40 pm


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