“The Road to Qardaha,” by Peter

The Assad family Mausoleum in Qardaha, where Hafiz (d. 2000) and sons Basil (d. 1994) and Majd al-Assad (d. Sunday 13/12/2009) are buried.

The Road to Qardaha
By Peter
For Syria Comment
July 16, 2011

The broad-shouldered middle-aged figure walked into the internet café and sat down in front of the manager. The black leather jacket and olive trousers – de riguer in those circles – marked him out as a member of the Mukhabarat, Syria’s feared “secret” police. He wanted to know if anybody had been looking at opposition websites critical of the government.

“Not at all”, my friend said in Arabic, “we always look out for that kind of behaviour; in fact, on my screen here I can see everybody else’s computer so know straight away if they are doing something illicit,” at the same time closing the incriminating websites on his desktop. The policemen nodded approvingly and picked up the list – held by all Syrian internet cafes – that records the name, identity number and entry time of customers.

Before he left however, the operative had just one more question: he wanted to know how it was that young Syrians were able to find these websites in the first place? My friend began to apprise him of Google and its use as a search engine, this was clearly the first time he’d heard of this wondrous new programme, but already his mind was working, “We’re going to have to shut down this Google thing”.

“What? Close Google?” my friend said. “Yep,” came the reply.

I witnessed this exchange in early May 2011, two months on from the outbreak of protests and nearly two years on from when I had first arrived in the country with the aim of improving my spoken Arabic. As the protests grew in size and intensity the frequency with which my friends and I would encounter the state’s security apparatus increased as the country’s Alawite leadership struggled to maintain control over the country.


I watched as the predominantly Christian neighbourhood in which I lived retreated inside itself. Whipped up into a mass of hysteria as the Mukhabarat sent memos to shopkeepers warning of imminent attacks on their churches by Salafists (members of an extreme sect of Islam) – supposedly sponsored by the Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan – barricades were erected and manned throughout the night whilst underemployed youths patrolled the narrow lanes with sticks and axes waiting for this imagined threat.

To be clear, despite the tolerance and the pluralistic attitude to religion espoused by Assad’s government – its greatest selling point – the sectarian divisions have always run deep. Whether it were warnings by young Christian men that the manner in which I greeted others was redolent of local Muslims and as such should be avoided, or the concern with which fathers greeted news of their daughters mixing with Muslim men, the divisions were evident and in existence long before anyone had heard of a fruit seller in Tunisia.

It is this sectarianism and minority fear that account for the support the government is receiving from the Christian quarter as they identify with the government’s own minority status. Shocked by the killings being carried out by the Syrian security forces the vast majority of Christians I spoke to (nearly always in Arabic) want to see reforms, but within the framework of the current government. They fear that the fall of the regime would see the ascendency of a conservative Sunni dominated government in which their rights as a religious minority would be subordinate to those of this threatened Islamic state. As one Christian owner of a successful fast food chain pointed out to me, “in Egypt the Copts cannot build new churches or extensions on their existing ones, here (Syria) we never have that problem.”


It would however be a gross simplification to suggest that the divisions that now exist within Syrian society reflect religious beliefs only. Within a few months of the outbreak of protests battle lines had been drawn in workplaces. A friend of mine, a journalist for a popular lifestyle magazine in Syria, told me how her office had been split down the middle, with those supporting the incumbent working on one side and those known to be favouring change (obvious in their lack of vocal support for the President) along the other. Friends were lost and managers antagonised as Facebook pages revealed a person’s true allegiances. This same friend told how her manager, upon seeing that she belonged to an opposition Facebook group, sent her a threatening email asking that she consider very carefully her position at the company.

And therein lays one of the truths revealed by current events: the present regime has created a system in which a few prosper at the expense of the many. It is senior managers and the businessman close to the regime that have most to lose from any upheaval.

It was interesting to hear a British friend recount to me how the views of students in the English language class (from the Central Bank) he teaches were split along seniority lines. Although the students were too frightened to make their opinions explicit, they would express their grievances with the regime by vocalising in class -in front of their bosses – their displeasure with their salaries, all the while disguised as English language practice. The managers were always content.


It was a common refrain from local friends that Syria no longer has a middle class, “ya fauk, ya tahit” (“you are either at the top or at the bottom”). Taxi drivers were often at a loss to explain to me why both cars and mobile phone units were more expensive in Syria than in the UK. Their reticence not a sign of ignorance, but an acknowledgement of the fact that a group of powerful families close to the government run what is essentially a monopoly in both industries, the criticism of whom would not be tolerated.

In 2003, Riyad Saif, a Member of Parliament and vocal opponent of the government, dared to question whether a deal made by SyriaTel (the state telecom provider, owned by the President’s cousin Rami Maklouf) was in the interest of Syria – he received five years in prison.

Aside from the knowledge that the government has presided over a period of widening income inequality in an already poor country, without making any serious effort to reform, people are upset by the prevalence of “wasta”. With no real equivalent in the English language, it is almost a cross between nepotism, power and bribery, with the difference being that it is something one possesses. The need for “wasta” permeates every level of society; it is not simply a case of a few people using their contacts to gain an advantage in a particular circumstance. Instead it is the ability to have a government document processed quickly, avoid military service, or simply the power to circumvent the ubiquitous payment of bribes that plague the public sector. Jokingly refereed to as “Vitamin W”, in reference to the economic pickup it provides its owners, “wasta” was used in coded criticism of the elite as a substitute for the word few would dare utter; “fasad” – corruption.


On a Friday afternoon in mid-March I was strolling through the cobbled lanes of the old-city with my girlfriend and her mother. As we ascended the steps leading to that ancient seat of power and learning, the Omayyad Mosque, we began to hear a commotion. Hastening through the alleyway towards the sound we turned the corner into the main square, our ears suddenly assaulted by the cacophony of noise as pro-democracy protestors chanted slogans in competition with those backing the regime. “Allah, suriya, hariya” – “God, Syria, freedom” the rhyme heightening the sense of defiance in their voices.

“Allah, suriya, Bashar wa bass” – “God, Syria, and Bashar, only” retorted a choir of paid informants and Mukhabarat; the sheer volume overwhelming the democracy activists, but the incongruities of sounds and lack of harmony were almost a signpost to the hollowness of the regime they were propping up.

Making our way through the crowds in front of the mosque we eventually passed into a side street lined with buses. In the innocence of those early days the buses had not yet come to take on the symbolism that they later would, oblivious to what was happening we pressed on. We heard the shouts before we saw the man; he was being dragged from behind us, the three men – all clad in black leather jackets, one carrying an asp – pulled the stricken man past us, up to the entrance of one of the buses and deposited him inside. The bus shook as the figures inside it moved about, but we were not to know the reason, for the curtains had been drawn.

The next few weeks witnessed a gradual escalation in the size of protests and the demands of the activists, with each Friday like a set-piece in a game of football between the regime and its opponents.


Syrian friends living in Damascus who had been concerned by the President’s reticence in the face of the growing unrest were relieved to hear news of a first speech that they fully expected would culminate in the ending of the much reviled emergency law. As middle-class Damascenes with relatively well-paid jobs they cherished the seeming stability that this regime had provided, one only had to look to neighbouring countries to see what could happen.

In years to come, when historians analyse the events of 2011 they will no doubt look back on Assad’s first speech as a turning point. Returning to my girlfriend’s flat that evening I found her and her friend discussing the speech. I was shocked. In the past her friend had always been one of the President’s most ardent supporters, but her stance had now changed dramatically. She felt that the President had completely misunderstood the seriousness of the situation. In her mind it was a grave misjudgement to have allowed expectations over the scrapping of the emergency law to rise only for the speech to offer nothing new.

That same evening I went to my favourite internet café, ostensibly to check my email, but really I wanted to gauge the reaction of the owner (with whom I had become good friends) to the speech. He was as dismissive of the situation as ever. A middle-aged Christian who had fought in the 1973 war against Israel, he was used to life in a police-state and was confident in the regime’s ability to suppress any dissent, in fact he welcomed the regime’s actions. Speaking in Arabic he told me how he valued the stability that he thought Assad offered, the people carrying out the attacks against the government were not Syrians, but Lebanese seeking to stir up trouble, they should be dealt with severely.

Later that night, after the owner had left I sat alone with the manager of the café (another friend). A closet-atheist, raised in a Christian household he sympathised with the protestors plight and recognised their demands, but was concerned with what might happen if the regime did actually fall. Would the ensuing anarchy, bloodletting and loss of protection for religious minorities that he predicted be any better? Yes, the regime had serious faults, but the alternative being touted by the pro-democracy activists was not an improvement. And anyway he pointed out, why should he join the protestors when so many of their chants were underpinned by religious convictions (“Allawoakbar”) rather than those of freedom and humanity?


A few weeks later I sat with some friends in a café in the Damascus suburb of Saruja watching Barcelona play Real Madrid in the Champions League. The atmosphere was already tense as earlier that evening a man had been taken away by the Mukhabarat for shouting a pro-democracy slogan in a café opposite. Sipping at my coke I did my best to enjoy the game trying to forget the ominous presence of the two characters clad in black leather jackets sitting in the corner.

Suddenly a goal was scored and the room erupted into a scene of celebration. Within an instant the owner had turned the television off. I sat in astonished silence as he explained that there were to be no boisterous post-goal scenes in his café, gently alluding to the figures in the corner. Another slight, another small encroachment of the state into the private sphere. At once tamed and humbled the all-male crowd returned quietly to their seats, the television switched back on, the humiliation complete.

Although at that time living in Damascus, my girlfriend was originally from Homs and travelled back to visit her family every other week. I would pick her up from the Pullman bus depot in the east of Damascus on Saturday evenings making the usual enquires into how she had spent the weekend. As the protests wore on I began to notice that she was often tired upon her return to the capital, a matter I attributed to the stress she must be suffering as a result of the turmoil the country was experiencing. I was correct about the stress, but wrong about the tiredness.

Her restless nights were caused by the constant din reverberating around Homs as its residents repeatedly called out the first words of the “Idan” (the call to prayer) throughout the night. “Allawoakbar” they would shout from their balconies, windows and rooftops, the familiar call an act of defiance, a challenge to the regime. The irony was lost on nobody. The same words that had challenged the Shah over 30 years ago when it was heard above the rooftops of Shi’a Tehran, leading to the most pro-Syrian theocracy in the history of the 20th Century, had now been appropriated by Syrian Sunnis calling for the end of a regime that saw itself as a Shi’a sect.

The truth is that despite the language of the Enlightenment that the more media savvy western-orientated Syrians couch their calls for reform in, there is still a strong religious dimension driving many of the protestors.


It is not without reason that one of the most popular car posters among regime enthusiasts is a picture of the late President Hafez al Assad with his hands cupped about his ears in a position of prayer. The President’s Islamic credentials need to be flaunted in this manner to deflect the assertions made by Syria’s more conservative Sunnis that the Assad’s are not Muslims, much less Shi’a.

In the 1970s, pronouncements by Iranian clerics that the Alawite sect was in fact an offshoot of Shi’a Islam bolstered the regime’s religious credentials, but many remain unconvinced, seeing the present leadership as an anomaly in the country’s Sunni dominated history.

Driving back from a restaurant one night I sat listening as my Syrian friend –a conservative Sunni – denounced the President as a non-believer: “He prays in the Omayyad as a way to get closer to the people, it’s all for show.” Later that night, passing by the headquarters of the Alawite-dominated state security he pointed at the guards, “do you think any of these men attend a mosque?” I had heard similar things before: Sunnis criticising the President for his lack of religious credentials. A stark reminder that this was not solely a domestic issue, but rather part of the centuries long confrontation between Shi’a and Sunni that had found its most recent expression in the struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Resentment towards the Alawite nature of the regime was not confined to believers only, it was to be found amongst the secular also. Older members of Syrian society recalled the days when the people from the coastal region of Latakia – the traditional Alawite base – were known as hired help, employed as gardeners or cleaners, a designer accessory for wealthy Syrians much like the Filipinos working in Damascus today. Alawites were seen as rural types, unaccustomed to the gentrified manners and pretensions of city life, an image that they have found difficulty in shedding.

Sat in an expensive restaurant with a group of Syrian friends I noticed that the two females next to me were whispering to one another. Enquiring as to their discussion they told me that they were amused by the appearance of the women at the opposite table. According to my friends the brash clothes, heavy make-up and blonde highlights marked the women out as Alawites; a Syrian nouveau-riche whose wealth, power and status coincided with the spectacular rise in fortune of their poster-boy, the former President Hafez al-Assad. The sentiments were not new, I had heard variations on those words many times before.


As I prepared to finally depart Damascus for a translation job in Beirut I spent a final few hours in my favourite internet café. The owner was there as always, but this time he was in the company of a man I had never seen before. In his early twenties the man stood up as the owner introduced me to him.

From the full enunciation of the Arabic letter “qalf” I could tell he was from Latakia, now here in Damascus to study law he told me. Asking after my time in Syria he wanted to know if I had learnt anything about the place. Did I know the capital of Syria? Inwardly groaning at his weak attempt to make me welcome (did he really think foreigners were so ignorant of the places they visited?) I told him Damascus. “No”, came the answer. I looked up from my computer screen, now paying him full attention. “No, you’re wrong, it’s not Damascus”, he continued. Piqued by his silly game, I asked him where it was. “Qardaha” he replied.

I had seen or heard this place before somewhere, but could not at that moment place it. My face must have revealed my puzzlement for he was openly grinning now. And then I realised, if I had heard it once before, then I had certainly walked past the poster of its most famous export hundreds of times.

Crossing the border into Lebanon that night I saw his picture one last time, in full military regalia Hafez al Assad stared down at me, he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Comments (206)

Norman said:


(( people are upset by the prevalence of “wasta”. With no real equivalent in the English language, it is almost a cross between nepotism, power and bribery,))

Actually WASTA is alive and well in the US, it is called here connection , it is i calling my DR friend to give my Syrian cousin a research job at UOP which he can never have on his own without my WASTA,

July 16th, 2011, 10:47 pm


syau said:


You hit the nail right on the head. Wasta is connections, and connections are alive everywhere, no matter how much people in western countries deny it. Many people have benefited from connections, whether it be in the workforce or socially, in countries all over the world.

July 16th, 2011, 11:05 pm


Majed97 said:

Let’s not kid ourselves into believing that appeasing Islamists will bring calm back to Syria. Like it or not, the uprising has by now been completely hijacked by the Islamists. They will stop at nothing until their Khalifat empire is established. I have completely lost faith in the opposition, now that their Islamist color is exposed. Who are we kidding; their chants are purely religious; and their starting gate is always the Mosque. Secular revolutions come out of universities, factories, offices, and military; not out of places of worships yelling Allah Akbar. Until they change their chants to Souria Akbar, count me out. Like the title of the movie said: Start this revolution without me; I’ll wait for the next one…

Do you really believe Bashar’s departure will pacify the Islamists?! Think again; it will only embolden them and weaken the seculars by dividing them further. I don’t think anyone doubts the need for reform and change, but be careful what you wish for, and with whom you trust your future.

I suspect most posters on this blog are Syrian expatriates, like myself, who have been away from Syria for a long time. We may have forgotten how tough that neighborhood is and how uncompromising people are in that part of the world are. We are wishing for a western system of democracy in the Middle East, as those of us who live in the west saw how inclusive and progressive that system is. The only problem is tolerance and equal rights for ALL are key ingredients for such a democracy. Honestly, how many of you really believe the masses are capable of embracing such principles at this time?

The only way to keep Syria from collapsing at this late stage of chaos is to temporarily restore the emergency law until order is restored. Only then can gradual SECULAR reforms be gradually implemented.

July 16th, 2011, 11:37 pm


Abughassan said:

A thoughtful post,majed,however,I do not know how Bashar can be trusted to lead this nation and how security forces can function without being held to certain standards. I have always reminded people here about the nature of third world countries which most of us experienced having lived in Syria ,but the time has come to improve life for Syrians and allow larger participation in political life.

July 17th, 2011, 12:19 am


Afram said:

Wasta+pasta=bull_sheet sustained economy
In many Middle East countries,Wasta&corruption has become endemic.
big American companies has their own Wasta Dudes..>>called Lobbyists and have been known to grease a palm or two where persuasion falls.greed is the meat and potatoes of capitalism <<<my slogan NOT karl,s Marx!
"Norm"Peterson of the American television show Cheers said:IT'S A DOG EAT DOG WORLD OUT THERE,Woody…. and I'm wearing Milk_Bone underwear.it's always been:whom you know,not what you know…since the onset of the big bang regardless of geography!

July 17th, 2011, 1:06 am


Usama said:


It’s incredible how you’ve suddenly changed your opinion of the events on the ground. Does this have anything to do with the new SSNP-led coalition? If so, then you’ve proven yourself to be a mere opportunist. Holding the regime responsible for sectarianism is as stupid as claiming this movement is non-violent. It’s also Hafez al-Asad’s fault that Lebanese were executing each other at checkpoints based purely on sect, right? Why stop there! It’s definitely Bashar’s fault that Northern Ireland witnesses sectarian riots every year in July. If this is the direction the SSNP is heading, let me know because my alternative vote (if it ever comes to that) would have to change. If your complete reversal in opinion isn’t related to the SSNP coalition, then please let me know what made you suddenly tick in this new direction.

July 17th, 2011, 3:00 am


Ibn Arabi said:

The bankrupt regime in Damascus cannot and should not continue to hold the Syrian people hostage to fears of the “unknown devil”. At this point, and after so much killing and torture, anything seems to be better than the current regime. That said, Sunni-led Syria of the 1940s and ’50s was far better than what we have now: chaotic yes, but liberal and prosperous. So what if an Islamic-flavored government comes to power? Is Turkey a bad model to follow? Sunni Syrians are conservative for sure, but Sunni Islam, because of its historical confidence perhaps, does not get giddy with power. It is used to power. Its main vice is the premium it places on conformism (something that secularists like myself are not comfortable with), but this very desire for broad conformism often forces it to favor middle-of-the-way approaches. One of the most redeeming characteristics of an Islam-based party in power, like Ardogan’s Justice and Development, is its ideological adherence to ethics and transparency. As a Syrian who has grown up and spent most of my life under an unscrupulous repressive and corrupt regime, I am willing to give the Islam-inspired opposition a try. Sunni Syrians are urbane people keenly aware of their diverse and rich Syrian identity. I don’t think they can become Wahhabis overnight.

July 17th, 2011, 3:33 am


jad said:

الحياة الطبيعية تعود إلى حماة والحواجز إلى زوال

أثمرت الجهود المكثفة والحثيثة التي بذلها محافظ حماة الجديد أنس عبد الرزاق الناعم مع مشايخ المدينة يوم الخميس الماضي، بإنهاء حالة العصيان المدني التي دامت 13 يوماً.
ومنذ يوم الجمعة تركت المجموعات الحواجز، وبعضها قام برفعها وإزالة أنقاضها وبقاياها لتبدأ شركات القطاع العام ومؤسسات الدولة بالتعاون مع الأهالي منذ صباح أمس بحملة واسعة النطاق لإزالة الحواجز ومخلفاتها من الشوارع الرئيسية المؤدية إلى داخل المدينة ودوائرها ومؤسساتها وأسواقها التجارية، لتعود الحياة الطبيعية إليها تدريجياً، ليبدأ اليوم الأحد الموظفون الدوام في دوائرهم والعمال في معاملهم، استجابة لتعليمات المحافظ.
وأبدى الحمويون ارتياحاً كبيراً لانفراج الأزمة، وسارعت الأغلبية العظمى منهم إلى تنظيف الأحياء والشوارع والطرقات، وممارسة حياتهم الطبيعية، وفتح الباعة والتجار محالهم، ودبت الحركة في الأسواق، وعادت الحيوية إلى المدينة.
وشهدت المدينة أيضاً عودة العديد من العائلات الحموية التي نزحت عنها خلال الأزمة إلى المدن والقرى القريبة.
وأكد مصدر مطلع على مجريات الأحداث وتفاصيل الأزمة وانفراجها في اتصال مع «الوطن» أن محافظ حماة تعهد لعدد من مشايخ المدينة الخميس الماضي بالاستجابة لمطالب مجموعات الحواجز مقابل إنهاء حالة العصيان المدني وعدم التظاهر مجدداً.
ومنذ صباح الجمعة قام الأهالي بتنظيف ما يمكن تنظيفه من مدينتهم، مما تراكم في بعض أحيائها وشوارعها من القمامة ومخلفات الدواليب المحترقة، ومن الحجارة والبلوك وغير ذلك. وبعد تظاهرة ساحة العاصي بعد صلاة الظهر أول أمس التي قدر عدد المشاركين فيها بـ20 ألفاً، واصل المواطنون فتح المجال التجارية وشطف الشوارع والتنظيف.
وفي السياق ذاته شكل المحافظ لجنة تنسيق مهمتها مواصلة العمل في تفكيك الحواجز المتبقية، والاتصال والتنسيق بين الدوائر والشركات وتحريك الآليات والمعدات في قطاعات المدينة لتنظيفها نهائياً وإعادة الأمن والاستقرار إليها وطلب المحافظ من العمال والموظفين ضرورة الالتحاق بعملهم بدءاً من اليوم الأحد.


نقلاً عن شبكة أخبار دير الزور
دير الزور بكاملها هادئة وقد عادت الحياة الطبيعية إلى البوكمال بعد أحداث كانت متعبة لأمننا وجيشنا الغالي
ولكننا نقف وقفة عز وإجلال وإكبار لشيوخ عشائر البوكمال الذين استطاعوا بعزيمتهم انقاذ الوضع وإعادة كل ما خطف من عساكر ومن معدات عسكرية

July 17th, 2011, 3:37 am


MNA said:

متظاهرون زعران قاموا بعمليات تخريب واسعة النطاق وإطلاق نار على عناصر أمن عزل من السلاح وقتلوا العديدين منهم
دمشق ، محافظات ـ الحقيقة ( خاص): منذ بداية الانتفاضة الشعبية الباسلة في سوريا حذرنا من أن هناك قطاعا ليس محدودا من السوريين الموتورين ، داخل البلاد وخارجها ،لا يهمهم شيء سوى ركوبها. بعضهم يريد أن ” يركبها من قدم” سياسيا ، وبعضهم من يريد أن “يركبها من خلف” ..عسكريا وتخريبيا ، لا لشيء إلا لإشباع نزواته الحيوانية الشاذة والمنحرفة! وكان من الواضح أن هذا الكلام لم يعجب الكثيرين من المهابيل والمساطيل الذين يعتقدون أن المتظاهرين في سوريا هم قوم من الملائكة النورانية المجنحة التي تمشي على الأرض خفافا! وكان هؤلاء ، ولا يزالون ، الوجه الآخر
للسلطة وإعلامها الحيزبوني الدجال الذي عاش ( مع السلطة التي تقوده وتقوّد عليه) حالة نكران مرضية لم تستطع أن تصدق أن الشعب يمكن أن ينتفض بوجه سلطة دموية باغية ” مقاومة وممانعة” .. تعمل ـ باعتراف رأسها ـ كعنصر شرطة مع وكالة المخابرات المركزية الأميركية في مناطق كثيرة من العالم !
وإذا كانت السلطة وإعلامها بدأا أخيرا يعترفان ، ولو بمرارة وغصة ومواربة ، بالانتفاضة الشعبية ومطالبها المحقة ، فإن إعلام “المعارضة” ( أو القسم الواسع منها) ، لا يزال يعيش على خرافاته وأوهامه وأكاذيبه منذ أربعة أشهر . والأخطر من ذلك أنه ذهب إلى حد الضلوع ، عامدا متعمدا عن سابق إصرار وتصميم ، في فبركة الأكاذيب واقتراف السرقة الموصوفة! وهل هناك من سرقة أكثر عهرا وفجورا ودناءة وخسة من أن تسرق الشهداء ودماءهم!؟
سرقة الشهداء والدم ، هذه ، أصبحت طقسا أسبوعيا يبدأ بعد مظاهرات الجمعة ، يشارك فيه نصابو وزعران الدكاكين الحقوقية السورية التي تطلق على نفسها اسم ” منظمات حقوق الإنسان” ، وقنوات فضائية ثبت بالملموس أنها أوكار حقيرة للدس والكذب والتحريض ( يعني وجه آخر لقناة الشبيحة المسماة قناة “الدنيا” وقنوات السلطة ، مع فارق وحيد بينهما يتعلق بدرجة احتراف الفهلوة والشطارة). حيث أصبح هؤلاء يعدون شهداء الجيش والأجهزة الأمنية .. شهداء مدنيين من المتظاهرين! وحين تكتشف سرقاتهم الخسيسة ، يلجأون إلى الرواية التي أصبحت مقرفة جدا إلى حد الغثيان: الأمن
يقتل بعضه بعضا! كما وأصبحنا نرى يوم الجمعة أشرطة مصورة في الجمعة التي سبقتها ، ويجري تقديمها على أنها مصورة اليوم ( كما فعلت “الجزيرة” يوم أمس حين بثت أشرطة لتظاهرات بدا واضحا من اللافتات أنها من “جمعة اللاحوار” على أنها من ” جمعة الأسرى ” يوم أمس!). أكثر من ذلك ، لقد أصبح أمرا مألوفا أن نرى ونسمع “حقوقيا” نصابا ، وهو المصدر الرئيسي لأخبار هذه القنوات ، يتمتع بعين زرقاء اليمامة ، فيخرج من لندن ليتصل بقناة “الجزيرة” أو غيرها معلنا أن “هناك الآن في هذه اللحظات 97 آلية عسكرية ( بالعدد!) تتوجه إلى جسر الشغور ، كما لو أنها قافلة من الحمير و
البعير وأن مندوبا له وقف على قارعة الطريق أو على مفرق معرة النعمان ليرصدها من مرصده ويعدها واحدة .. واحدة! .. أو يخرج على الإعلام ( كما فعل يوم أمس) ليقول إن عدد المتظاهرين في مدينتي دير الزور وحماة بلغ “مليون متظاهر” ، دون أن ينتبه ، كأي بهيمة ، إلى أن هذا محال منطقيا ، ليس فقط لأن الشوارع والساحات العامة لا تتسع إلى أكثر من ربع هذا العدد ( إلا إذا كان الحديث يدور عن مخلل وسردين) ، بل ـ وهو الأهم ـ لأن السكان الذكور المقيمين في المدينتين ، من القادرين على التظاهر نظريا ( من ذوي الأعمر ما بين 20 و 70 عاما) لا يبلغ إلا أقل من نصف هذا العدد ..
بشهادة أرقام سجلات النفوس! ودائما ثمة طبالون وببغاوات وسفلة من كلاب القنوات النباحة يتلقفون هذه الأرقام ويعيدون تقيؤها في وجوهنا نحن المشاهدين الذين لم نعد بالنسبة لهم أكثر من قطعان من الأنعام والبعير!
ما حصل يوم أمس لم يكن إلا فصلا جديدا من الدناءات الحقيرة والسرقات الموصوفة التي مارسها هؤلاء البغاة. فقد جرى الحديث عن أكثر من ” ثلاثين شهيدا من المتظاهرين المدنيين الذين سقطوا برصاص الأجهزة الأمنية” ، ليتبين اليوم أن حوالي ثلث هؤلاء هم من عناصر حفظ النظام العزل من أي سلاح سوى العصي و”الدروع البلاستكية” المعروفة لصد حجارة المتظاهرين . وتكشف قصة الشرطي الشهيد محمد يوسف عتيق ، الذي سقط يوم أمس في حمص وشيع اليوم إلى مثواه الأخير في مدينة بانياس، عن فصل جديد من فصول السرقة الحقيرة للشهداء ودمائهم من قبل دكاكين حقوق الإنسان تلك .
فالمغدور وكما يبدو واضحا وجليا من الشريط المنشور أدناه ، سقط في منطقة الخالدية بحمص يوم أمس بطلقة في رقبته بينما كان مع زملائه العزل من السلاح وقد انهمر عليهم الرصاص كما المطر! هذا إذا وضعنا جانبا ما قام به المتظاهرون من عمليات تخريب وحرق لعشرات السيارات والممتلكات العامة والخاصة في المنطقة وغيرها!

منطقة الخالدية ، هذه ، هي نفسها التي زعم الحقوقي الدجال أول أمس أنها تقصف بالدبابات ، رغم أنه لم يكن فيها آلية عسكرية واحدة ، ودون أن ينتبه ( ومن أين للبهيمة أن ينتبه؟) إلى أن قذيفة الدبابة يمكن أن تزيل منزلا بكامله من الوجود ، وأن ما زعمه يقتضي أن تكون نصف منازل حي الخالدية قد أصبح ركاما! وهو ما كان زعمه أيضا في درعا قبل أشهر ، ليتبين لاحقا ـ بعد أن فتحت المدينة أمام من يريد دخولها ـ أنه لا أثر فيها لأي تخريب ناجم عن قذائف دبابات ، وأن أكثر المشاهد تخريبا فيها كان تحطم شرفة قرميد بطلقات رشاش في الشارع الذي ينتهي بالجامع العمري! ولكن
حين نعرف أن هذا الدجال كان من زبانية رفعت الأسد ، جزار تدمر وحماة، قبل أن يفتح دكانه الحقوقي الخاص على حسابه ، وأن توأمه الدجال الآخر المقيم في القاهرة هو أحد العملاء المزمنين لـ”فرع الأحزاب المناوئة” ( فرع الميسات) على مدى سنوات طويلة ، وزوجته “خربت بيوت” نصف صحفيي دمشق بسبب تقاريرها للجلاد المجرم هشام الأختيار ( يوم كان رئيسا لفرع المنطقة في المخابرات العسكرية قبل أن يصبح رئيسا لمكتب الأمن القومي)! يمكننا أن نتصور مصداقية “حقوقيين” تبوّلهم و خرأهم رفعت الأسد أو هشام الاختبار أو ” فرع الميسات”!
المهزلة تكررت عصر اليوم أيضا ، فقد زعم هؤلاء أن عناصر الأمن قتلوا سبعة متظاهرين في البوكمال. وقد تبين لنا أن أربعة على الأقل ممن سقطوا هم من عناصر الشرطة البسطاء الذين كانوا يحرسون عددا من المباني العامة الحكومية ، وأن ما جرى في البوكمال اليوم فضيحة وجريمة أخلاقية وجنائية يندى لها الجبين . فقد عمد المتظاهرون إلى حرق مبنى المحكمة ودائرة النفوس ومهاجمة مديرية المنطقة والإستيلاء على كل ما فيها مستودعها من أسلحة قبل أن ينتشروا بها على مفارق الطرق وأسطحة المنازل. ومن المؤكد أن هؤلاء الحقوقيين الدجالين سيخرجون علينا غدا ، بعد تكشف
حقيقة ما جرى اليوم ، ليقولوا لنا إن هذا من فعل “الشبيحة”!؟
هل توقف الكذب والدجل عند هذا الحد!؟ كلا ! فقد وصل العهر ببعضهم يوم أمس إلى الادعاء بأن أجهزة أمن السلطة قتلت يوم أمس الوجيه الاجتماعي عبد القادر طلاس في الرستن ، ليتبين اليوم أن متظاهرين يركبون دراجة نارية هم من قتله لأنه كان يقوم بمهمة وساطة بينهم وبين السلطة!
هزلت .. إنها كومة من الخراء انقسمت إلى نصفين : نصفها الأول تفوح رائحته الكريهة من غرف السلطة ، ونصفها الآخر يلقيه بوجوهنا هذا النوع من “المعارصين” ( بلا تنقيط!) من السفلة والأوباش!
ـ شاهد هنــا شريط قنص الشرطي الشهيد في الخالدية يوم أمس
ـ ولكي تعرف لمن يهتف هؤلاء المتظاهرون ، وبأية شعارات يهتفون ، شاهد هنا شريطا منتخبا من مجموعة أشرطة تعمل الشبكات المعارضة على إخفائها قبل بثها تجنبا لافتضاح ما يجري في العديد من الشوارع

July 17th, 2011, 4:01 am



MNA @ 8
Care to provide the source of the piece of unhinged anger you posted. The content was lost in the style (or lack of).

I am not optimistic about the regime’s ability to move things. It is structurally incapable of that. The tripod postulate still holds.

I must also highlight that a distinction between regime and state/government must be kept in mind. What is being demanded is exactly what Haitham Maleh has asked for, we want to get the state back from the regime including its security octopus.

July 17th, 2011, 4:20 am


Usama said:


I don’t know where to start with you.

1) https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10721&cp=all#comment-262050
Thanks for this video that you shared with us (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMRQtvs010M). The people you call “shabbiha” are security officers while your abadayat friends are the real shabbiha in this case. The best part is at about 0:34, when your shabbiha abadayat friends are chasing the security officers, you can clearly see the front shabbiha abaday has a gun in his right hand. SILMIYEH! SILMIYEH!

2) https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10721&cp=all#comment-262071
You said on July 15 2:30AM Syrian time: “Do you know what we have been hearing in half of Homs all day long? KABOM! BOOM! RATATATATATATATATTAT”

Is that the sound of security forces fighting “peaceful protesters” in Homs?

3) https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10721&cp=all#comment-262082
You shared with us this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2ntE5iNvVI) to show that your abadayat friends in Hama are protecting the police building. Now can you tell me why they’re supposedly protecting the police building after all the videos we saw of police allegedly involved in killing “peaceful protesters” in Hama on June 3? Why did they not protect the civil servant who was killed and hanged in public just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Your video just shows a couple of guys posing in front of a parking garage, in order to stop “saboteurs and shabbiha” even though we all know who those really are inside Hama.

4) https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10759&cp=all#comment-262362
You said: “…what you see is a bunch of kids mad as hell that people from outside the village, came in and provokingly started waving around the Hizbollah flag. If someone from our side were to go to Al-Hadara Street and wave about Aror’s picture, then he deserves whatever he’s got coming. …This was crass, thoughtless and highly provocative. All Syrians should maintain higher standards of behavior and maturity.”

When someone else (JAD or Commando or Vlad, I can’t remember) said the same thing when some Aleppo protesters got beat up by Aleppines, aka, SHABBIHA THUGS (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwXISYFvR1c), you and your friends got angry and outraged at such language! Now it’s different for you!

5) https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10759&cp=all#comment-262371
Thank you for demonstrating (accidentally?) the concept of doublethink in this post by you. In the same post that you talk about doublethink, you ask for a ballistics expert’s opinion for how this unarmed policemen, aka SHABBIHA THUG, got shot and killed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMQQe4MJbkc). Yet when you see a video showing a random dead person, that is enough proof for you that security/shabbiha/army/maher/4th flying `Alawi tank division murdered that person and that said person was completely innocent and unarmed. How do you even begin to lecture us on doublethink? It’s what you do all the time! You have been saying this whole time that there are no armed terrorists in Homs and that such news would “travel fast” so you would know, yet it seems all of us outside of Homs know there are armed terrorists inside Homs.. but not you!!! It’s just incredible!

6) You seem to be confusing yourself about this 64,000 Salafis thing. No one said there are 64,000 Salafis roaming around. President Bashar al-Asad said there are 64,000 wanted criminals roaming in the streets, of which about 23,000 (if I remember correctly) have been sentenced to any where from 3 years in prison to execution. He pointed those out because they are very likely to carry arms in the hopes of toppling the regime to get rid of their prison/execution sentences. There are also many people who have large loans from banks and they are also likely to carry arms, or just protest, to topple the regime in the hope their loans would be forgotten about, especially if their loans are from one of the state-owned banks. Still confused?

July 17th, 2011, 4:21 am


Mango said:

8. MNA –
أليس ماكتبتم هو الفوضى الخلاقة بعينها ؟؟؟؟

July 17th, 2011, 4:22 am



Yes NOUR is right. The regime is responsible for the sectarian sentiment. Here is an example of an imperialist regime combating sectarianism , nipping it at the bud. Can you find an equivalent program in Syria. Combating sectarianism for the regime consisted of “Ila Al-Abad” and then “Men7ebbak”. What a great plan. Notice that there is one of the element of the plan posted above is to foster high quality leadership at all levels . I guess that Talaye3 and Shabiaba did just that by preparing the current generation of anti-regime protesters, and their counterparts shabbi7a.

This is a flawed regime, no matter who you and others try to equivocate and post smarty comment about holding it responsible for sectarianism in Ireland. This regime has presided over a dark phase of our history, and its time is up. It bungled development, it corrupted the state, and the Syrians are paying the price for that. A heavy price, that can only be justified if it ended by removing this regime and regaining control of the state. Syria will no longer be the Farm and hard labor camp of the Assads and their relatives and friends.

July 17th, 2011, 4:37 am



Spare us you righteous indignation.
64,000 Wanted for crimes in Syria. Off course you would have that many wanted people. I am not going to talk about the prevalence of crime inducing conditions, for which the regime is responsible, but about the fact that when the priority of state security is to protect the thugs of the regime, off course protecting the people and arresting those who violate their rights through common crime is the last thing on the regime’s mind. As long as the regime is stable, which is guaranteed by sending all of its informants listening to every word spoken in a coffee shop, barber shop, and on the streets, there is little or no resources available to protect the people and to track common criminals, violent or otherwise. A police force is least equipped, underpaid, and ill qualified, a judicial system whose corruption smells all the way to here, and partnership between regime thugs and organized crime, whats not to like. I wonder how many of these 64000 have already paid bribes so that they are not tracked and/or arrested.Also, who has place in jails for criminals, priority is for political opponents, secular or religious. Pretending that he does not know about that is yet one more cynical utterance of your eternal lord.

July 17th, 2011, 5:00 am


MNA said:

OTW @ 9 and MANGO @ 11,

This is not my writing and the source of the article is right at the beginning. It is off the Syriatruth.com by Nizar Nayouf, an opposition figure.

July 17th, 2011, 5:12 am


Usama said:


1) https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10733&cp=all#comment-261788
You shared with us a message from Facebook saying security forces caused the oil pipeline fire in Deir ez-Zor to blame the “peaceful protesters” for the damage and destruction. What we are seeing today is western and Arab media saying it was an act of sabotage (as a sign of escalation against Bashar al-Asad and acceptance of crashing the economy for their goal), but the Syrian government saying it was a maintenance problem. Funny isn’t it!

2) https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10759&cp=all#comment-262339
“وعن رفع حالة الطوارئ في سوريا، قال المالح إن الأسد تحدث طويلا عن لجان وقوانين لرفع حالة الطوارئ مع أن الأمر يتم بمرسوم رئاسي، وعندما أعلن عن ذلك بالفعل استبدل به مرسوم (55) الذي يعد أسوأ من سابقه، إذ أصبح بإمكان أجهزة وزارة الداخلية اعتقال أي مواطن لمدة أسبوع قابلة للتمديد بدون محاكمة، مضيفا أن هذا تعديل لقانون مدني و”كذب لا يمارسه رئيس على شعبه”

That is wrong and meant to mislead public opinion. People now get arrested either with a warrant or for being caught in the act of breaking the law. They can be kept for 7 days. If needed, an extension of up to 60 days can be granted by the prosecutor. In other words, the maximum holding time, without charge or court time, is now 67 days, which is miles better than the previous no limit. In contrast, there are many examples in the West of prisoners being kept in jail for years without charge for “terrorism-related” cases.

3) https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10721&cp=all#comment-261950
It seems you are very optimistic about Haytham al-Maleh as being some kind of hero and shining beacon of light that can replace Bashar al-Asad. But Haytham al-Maleh is around 80 years old (almost double Bashar’s age) and has the energy and charisma of a Mubarak or a Sultan bin `Abdel-`Aziz or my old stinky ripped-up shoes. The reason he was in and out of jail was for his MB relations. I am not saying I agree with jailing him repeatedly for his MB affiliations, but this does explain to me why specifically you, others like you, and Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat are so excited about this fossil.

July 17th, 2011, 5:17 am



Many thanks for clarifying the source. Opposition or not, It is unhinged. Adonis was right on one thing at least, when the opposition uses the same language of the regimes it combats, it presents no better alternative. He said that long time ago, before his favorite regime was really challenged. I am happy that the faces of the credible opposition, both traditional and emergent are not like that.

July 17th, 2011, 5:23 am


Usama said:


I knew I would forget something! Two things!

7) https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10693&cp=all#comment-261486
In response to the “attack” on the US embassy by Syrians, aka MENHEBBAK THUGS, you said: “Dear me, look at the graffiti on the embassy walls; “F— You America” and “The people want the expulsion of the dog”
Shameful, truly and utterly deplorable.”

But when people start saying “يا كلب يا بشار” because they don’t like him, it is no longer “shameful, truly and utterly deplorable.”

8 ) You seem to really get excited about anti-Bashar scribbles on Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat so I just wanted to share the following with you, straight from your mouthpiece:

July 17th, 2011, 5:31 am



Your answer above, especially in item 2 is meaningless. The only smart thing the regime has done over the past few years has been to frame the argument about civil rights in one issue only, which is the emergency status. Declaring the emergency status proven useless when minimum legal guarantees of physical and moral dignity of detainees remained protected in both the old and new constitutions. The unconstitutional decree number 14 for the year 1966, which prohibits questioning the security apparatus about the crimes they commit during their work, including torture till death, is the real backbone of repression. It was enacted to give real power to the emergency status. As we stand now, detaining a person for 1 day or 6 months is the same as long as anything can be done to the detainee with impunity. It is this decree that must be nullified and measures must be put in the constitution to guarantee that no one can ever decree such an unconstitutional decree. This is why the “security officers” were given the responsibility of managing demonstrations in the new law of demonstrations because decree 14 applies to them. Nullifying decree 14 is above Ceiling for the regime, because it would be the first step in dismantling the security state, on which the regime relies very heavily for survival. It is probably harder than removing article 8, or even law 49. Once more, nice try, but useless.

Jordan has recently arrested 4 security officers for abusing demonstrator. Can you tell me the name of a single officer being brought to justice over the past four month. Stop defending the indefensible.

July 17th, 2011, 5:41 am


Aboud said:

Usama, whatever. The only thing that caught my eye from your walls of text was this outlandish sentence;

“People now get arrested either with a warrant or for being caught in the act of breaking the law”

Yet another idiotic statement from an increasingly desperate group of people. What did Najati Tayara do to get arrested for over two months? What did Mai do?

It’s interesting to see none of the menhebak crowd want to discuss or go near the defection of the entire garrison of Abukamal. Typically, they twist reality to suit their frame of mind, and when it can’t be twisted, they conveniently ignore it.

Now, let’s talk about the fiasco of last night’s events. I’ve always said that you can count on the menhebak crowd to gift us screw ups, and the week had barely started when they handed us a beauty.

Yesterday evening, shabiha scum rampaged through the Al-Hadara street, smashing all Sunni owned businesses. Not content with that, they moved on to Damasucs Road, and some went to the upscale Hamra area. Shops were smashed, car loads of shabiha scum drove around firing weapons into the air trying to intimidate the people of Homs.

All this time, the “security men” (an oxymoron if ever there was one) kept a protective watch over them. Of course, the shabiha scum wouldn’t dare crawl out of their holes if they weren’t backed up by divisions of policemen.

By late evening, every neighborhood in Homs had mobilized itself. They had made plans for just such an eventually. Roads and neighborhoods were blockaded, youths armed themselves with sticks and came out in the streets. Karm Al Shami joined up with Bab Asba3. Insha’at joined up with Baba Amr.

For hours, there was a standoff on the Damascus road, and then the shabiha tried to attack the area. They got their butts deservedly handed to them on a Homsi silver platter, and by late night had crawled back into whatever holes they had come out from.

So, what set off these scumbags? Supposedly, 3 Alawites were found dead in Al Wa3r.

Think about this for a moment, if ye Baathist fools can apply logical thinking for just a minute. Al-Wa3r is not Khaldia. It has rarely come out to protest…except last Friday, when it hosted a massive demonstration. Conveniently, 3 dead Alawites are then found there, giving the shabiha scum a pretext to rampage through Homs to try to intimidate the rest of the city.

The attempt failed because the Homsis were prepared, and stood up for themselves. The shabiha scum tried to do their worst, and were sent with their tails between their legs.

Over 1,400 Syrians have died in these events, and yet not once did we see revenge attacks or rampages of the sort the shabiha scum tried to execute last night.

And what was the army doing all this time. God bless them, that’s all I have to say, and the actions of a significant number of officers and soldiers in Homs was also one of the reasons the shabiha are so incensed. Ask yourselves why helicopters have been flying about the city for hours, even at night. Gee, are they looking for something maybe? LOL!

This is Aboud, proud Homsi. I pity those of you who were unlucky enough to be born American, European or (hehehe) Australian.

Usama, I’m so glad to see that the things I wrote weeks ago, still have the power to vex you people. I consider myself to have done a job well done 🙂

Now take a look at this disgraceful video, of the way Baathist behave in Lebanon. Today, if this turd had tried this stunt in any pharmacy in Homs, he’d have gone head first through the window

July 17th, 2011, 5:49 am


MNA said:

OTW @ 16

Unhinged against or toward whom?? I m not sure if you know who Nizar Nayouf is?? This guy spent 7 years in prison in Syria and left prison on a wheel chair. He was completely paralyzed from waist down as a result of the treatment he received there. You may disagree with his writing, but I would be careful calling him or his writings unhinged. He is definitly not trying to make the regime looks better.

July 17th, 2011, 6:06 am


Usama said:


First of all, it’s Usama, not Ausama. I’m not ashamed of my name like the fake Brit. I’m not here to please a Western audience (or any other audience).

Second, I was talking to Nour because his comments have changed almost 180 degrees and the only major event that could have led to that was the establishment of the SSNP-Communist coalition, since I know he is an SSNP supporter (and I am as well). I was wondering if something else happened, in case I missed it.

Third, no the government is not responsible for sectarianism. The ones responsible are people like you who, left and right, declare that the army and security forces are `Alawi dominated, yet offer zero proof, even when asked, time after time. When we hear about `Alawis getting killed, mutilated, and chopped up just for the crime of being `Alawi, those is called psychotic killers, and you can’t fix that with fancy pamphlets like the UK seems to be trying to do (without success). Tala’e` and shabibeh have nothing to do with what’s going on today either.

I didn’t say this government is perfect, and it’s clearly not, and I used the Ireland reference simply because you guys like to blame everything on Bashar and the Asad family in general. If you keep thinking that way, you’re going to be thoroughly disappointed when you see the same problems still present if Bashar were to leave. You’ll say “what can we expect after 40 years? It’ll get better in a couple of years”… then later “it’ll get better in 10 years”… then “it’ll get better in 40 years”… and it never does.

The Syrians who are paying the price for corruption have always been party to that corruption. You want to blame it on the government yet it is EVERYWHERE in the world. It is human nature. But no, with Bashar gone, things will get better for sure! If not this year the next, if not this decade the next, if not this century the next… spare me the bullshit.

Fourth, Bashar is not my Lord. If you’re really an engineer, let’s keep the discussion out of the gutter. I agree 64,000 criminals is way too many and is a failure on part of the state. However, that still doesn’t change the fact that the 23,000 with the harshest sentences are very likely to carry arms to try to topple the regime. Same applies for people with huge loans who don’t want to pay them off for decades to come. Speaking of which, in case you don’t appreciate the value of free university education, let me remind you that a university student in the Western world is likely to accumulate huge debts that would take 5-20 years to pay off.


The only reason I even bother reading your comments is because Jad respects you and I respect him. At one point, you said that you were “against george bush’s attempt to destablize Syria on his own whim and model and with assured civil war, and with US tanks with Farid Ghadri probably sitting on the turret of the first tank.” You continued, “I was hoping that Bashar would be what people said about him, kept giving him excuses after excuse. But after all threats were gone, and seeing that nothing happenned, then the other side of my brain reasserted itself.”

Original: https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10574&cp=all#comment-259720

Do you really believe that as soon as George Bush left office, the US was suddenly against destabilizing Syria? Do you really believe that when George Bush left, “all the threats were gone”?

If Bashar were to cut ties with Iran today and become an informant against Hizbullah and their military capabilities/installations, do you doubt that Bashar would be able to REALLY crack down on your “peaceful protesters” Rif`at style with the media cutting coverage (like Bahrain) and the US (and the West in general) hailing him as a great reformer and champion of democracy instantly (like Morocco)?

There is no need to hide behind the George Bush excuse. All you want is just simply for Bashar al-Asad to be toppled, regardless of the consequences, and you are just so euphoric to see an actual anti-government movement on the ground. All I can tell you is… dream on. Like Averroes said before, the media sent you guys so far up the tree with their bubble that we will need to help bring you guys back down safely from the tree when that bubble finally bursts. That’s not exactly what Averroes said, but he established that wonderful analogy.

July 17th, 2011, 6:17 am



MNA @ 20
I really can not agree or disagree with Nizar’s article because I could not read it with any amount of focus. The cuss words were too many for me. This article may appeal to teenagers in what would pass for a frat party in Syria, who will high five each others and shout with every sophomoric adjective inserted in between two phrases (we have a few of those here on SC). This is why I called it unhinged. One has to dig through a lot of grime before getting to the gem, if there was any.

July 17th, 2011, 6:24 am


Samara said:


” Of course, the shabiha scum wouldn’t dare crawl out of their holes if they weren’t backed up by divisions of policemen.”

First, i would like to say lol. You people and the others who have been going on about the shabiha for a while now have mislead yourselves. At the beginning, the shabiha were feared and could do anything. Anything that Bashar wanted them to do. They never cared about what they did. They were ‘scum’. They were ‘murderers’. They were, well, lets say your definition of the Shabiha is my definition of the MB, and the revolution. So why would these fearless people need the backing of the police, in order for them to create destruction? Assuming that what you said is even valid. Just asking.

‘Over 1,400 Syrians have died in these events, and yet not once did we see revenge attacks or rampages of the sort the shabiha scum tried to execute last night.’ REALLY? So, the mutilations, the murders, the rapes, the kidnaps, the decapitations, and the pure malicious intent of the revolution as a whole is not revenge for you? They are taking revenge for the fact that an educated Alawite is the leader of the country. They are taking revenge for the alleged ‘massacre’ of hamma. They are taking revenge because they can see that they are losing. Millions of Syrians support Bashar, and millions of Syrians will continue to do so. They are killing people because they think that it will lower their morale. They think that it will make people stop supporting the regime. When that fails, and miserably i might add, they are taking revenge for that. BUT, the Shabiha are, retaliating. Showing them that the life of one innocent man, woman, child, is worth 1hundred of the lives of the murderers. I do not condone the killing of innocent people. I do not condone killing period. Because God is the only one who can take a life. God is the only one decides who shall live and who shall die. But when your people are murdering innocent people, then it is only natural for retaliation. And you speak of the death of 3 Alawites as though they disgust you? Why? Because they are not Extremists like yourself and your Brotherhood?

Any Syrian born in European countries, or Australia like myself, are proud of that. That just shows all like you that Bashar al Assad has support around the world. You pride yourself on vexing people, when the only one being vexed is yourself.

Menhebak, menhebak, menhebak ya Bashar.

July 17th, 2011, 6:25 am


Usama said:

Really Aboud? That’s your response to everything I turned around on you? Even the video your proudly posted which turned out to show your “peaceful” abadayat friends are armed?

And you want to tell us this wild story in Homs where your abadayat friends fought back armed “shabbiha” and security forces with sticks?

It is really true that Hamasneh are famous for their jokes. A good example is the joke Aboud’s parents made…

July 17th, 2011, 6:29 am


Usama said:

OTW, #18

I don’t know anything about that pre-Hafez decree that you mentioned. I am against it no matter what.

About Jordan, are you really looking at that as a good thing? They picked 4 policemen, who allegedly beat journalists (not protesters), as scapegoats, and that impresses you? Did you not hear that Hama’s chief of security, as well as another high ranking person, were both jailed after the Hama fiasco on June 3?

Let me tell you something about Jordan. I have been keeping an eye every now and then on its state TV marquee. Every time Jordan has problems with protesters, they stop talking about Syria. Then when things calm down, they go back to saying “oh my God Syria is burning!!” On the same day Bashar al-Asad scrapped emergency law and state security court, Jordan sent 25 activists to its state security court. If Jordan impresses you, then you’re no different from the US officials that are impressed by Morocco’s king removing the reference that he is “sacred” from the constitution.

Jordan is an absolutely underdeveloped dump with very poor infrastructure. Jordanians come to Syria for cheap food because everything in Jordan is 2-4x more expensive than in Syria. This is not by coincidence. Someone did something right in that regard.

July 17th, 2011, 6:38 am


Aboud said:

Just been back to Damascus Road. The burned tires have been removed, the street cleaned up. Everything is open and life in Homs goes on as normal…except in Hadara street, where the residents have blockaded themselves from the rest of Homs with three garbage containers piled on top of each other. Not the outcome the shabiha scum had in mind.

In Khaldia, they are now dancing on top of the APCs there, and handing out sweets to the soldiers. Banners with “Huriya” are hung freely on the checkpoints. The soldiers smile and shrug their shoulders. It’s almost like being in a real democracy.

The shabiha messed up big time. All they managed to do is get the spotlight shined on them in a very uncomfortable way. Back in the early days, some idiot had the bright idea of arming the Lajan Al Sha3biya. After too many cases of friendly fire, they were quickly disarmed. We will probably be seeing a similar course correction in Homs. It’s just too bad that it takes a tragedy for someone to finally get a clue.

@25 “Did you not hear that Hama’s chief of security, as well as another high ranking person, were both jailed after the Hama fiasco on June 3?”

Typical Baathist BS. The chief of security was reinstated after the Hamwis turned out in their hundreds of thousands. Junior wanted to go for the military option again, but caved in under the oh-so-enormous pressure of Robert Ford in his 4×4.

“Jordan is an absolutely underdeveloped dump with very poor infrastructure. ”

And yet Jordanians have a higher per capita income than Syria ($5,644 compared to $5,208), despite the fact that Syria has water, oil and other natural resources in abundance. That’s 40 years of Baathism for you, and only a Baathist would call that as “doing something right”.

@23 “So, the mutilations, the murders, the rapes, the kidnaps, the decapitations, and the pure malicious intent of the revolution as a whole is not revenge for you?”

Snoooooooooze. Amazing how in this age of Youtube and instant war documentaries, the Baathists are the only ones not able to back up their wild claims with anything approaching proof.

“They are taking revenge for the fact that an educated Alawite is the leader of the country.”

The fact that junior is an Alawi is not the issue here, except in your own insecure and fearful minds. The fact that this “educated” person uses methods and suppression straight from the 80s is what has turned the country and the world against him. We have seen no fruits from his “education”. I really begin to wonder what he did during all that time in London.

Let’s take his third speech. Yes, I will grant you people that he did not say “The protestors are germs”, but that myth has become so widespread that it even made it into the ICG report (which none of you Baathists have bothered to read, since you get physically sick when exposed to criticism of your deity).

Whose fault is it? The speech writers of the “educated” doctor. All throughout history, misquotes happen and become widespread. It is a fact of life, if people find a misquote juicy enough, it will be used often. It is even better when it is only half true as in the “germs” fiasco. Any rookie speech writer knows that, and is careful to avoid such traps. Apparently, Besho just reads what’s shoved into his hands.

This has been Aboud, proud Homsi Germ. Now excuse me while I make plans for a night out. Too bad those poor fools in Hadara don’t have the same luxury.

July 17th, 2011, 7:35 am


majedkhaldoon said:

You said that Haytham Maleh was arrested because of his connections to MB,Spare us this untrue falsified statements,He was arrested because of defending human rights, for you to falsify things to prove your point is obnoxious,and disgusting,
You said corruptions is everywhere ,yes,but not public,and if the state knows about it, those involved in corruptions are brought to justice, in Syria it is rampant,you see the traffic police demanding bribes,the officials in Syria doing it on large scale ,publicly,and they are not prosecuted,it is the way of life. corruption was in the ottoman empire, and that led to the collapse of that era,it is a disease like cancer,Assad denied it while encouraging it ,custom officers are famous for their corruption.
Now huge amount of money are taken out of Syria by people close to the regime, millions,and yes billions by Assad family,this regime can not last, falsifying records is well known by this regime,recently Farooq AlShar3 admitted this,one Prime minister said it openly to the people assembly,He said we have to falsify records.
Threats to the people is their way of controlling the state,in one of your comments you threatened me personally.

July 17th, 2011, 7:40 am


ss said:

Comment 4 by Abughassan,

I agree and would say that one of the biggist mistakes the regime has done in the past is prisoning people like Kilo, Dalila, and following some local low profile people from the communist party. However, I disagree that Assad should be thrown by this uncivilized claimed revolution and I dont think he will. Syria should not fall into the fate of the unknown. I think just bringing parties to govern would be a huge political success and huge step on the road to Democracy. Do not expect that after 40 years of the only and only Baath party, democracy will come in a blink of an eye. This is unreal.
For that reason I believe the priority now is to bring order to the streets. No democracy will grow in days, and no democracy will even happen in such a chaotic enviroment. While the army is restoring order, the political process should continue to bring parties to govern, but I am totally against thugs and criminals burning buildings, terrorising people, shouting ALAH WA AKBAR at the same time looking for instant democracy.

Assad has a tough time ahead of him to do that but he had the means, patients, and time to do that. FYI: WEST WILL NEVER EVER INTERVENE due to critical geopolitical interests.

July 17th, 2011, 7:45 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Where is Alex, his disappearance is perspicuous.

July 17th, 2011, 7:58 am


MNA said:

OTW @ 22

Thank you for your explanation! I have to agree with you on the style, but I think the gem is there and clear for anyone who is interested in realities that may disagree with the one that one’s has.

July 17th, 2011, 8:12 am


Aboud said:

“Assad has a tough time ahead of him to do that but he had the means, patients, and time to do that.”

Patients? What, is he treating eyes while Rome burns? Oh wait, you meant patience….?

Anyway, he has less time than you think. He has no “means” of rewarding the areas that have stayed silent, nor to reward his thugs. He doesn’t have nearly as much time to show results as you’d like to give him (the Syrian people want change now, while a Baathist living comfortably in the West will whine that “democracy doesn’t happen overnight!”).

And as for “patients”, well, too much patience gets you nowhere.

“FYI: WEST WILL NEVER EVER INTERVENE due to critical geopolitical interests.”

Uh hu, and who said anyone wanted “the West” to intervene? We can deal with junior and his loser shabihas on our own, thank you very much. A week ago the popular myth was that America would never allow junior to be overthrown. It has since been shattered, one of numerous broken myths the Baathists relied on to sustain themselves.

This has been Aboud the Homsi, I’ll be taking pictures of Papa’s statue today. We should always have records of soon-to-be-gone landmarks.

July 17th, 2011, 8:14 am


MNA said:

تفيد معلومات سرية كشفت عنها صحيفة فرنسية نقلا عن مصادر في مركز
للدراسات الإستراتيجية يوم الجمعة، أن المرشد الإيراني الأعلى علي خامنئي خصص مبلغ 5.8 مليارات دولار لدعم الاقتصاد السوري .
ونقلت وكالة أنباء رويترز ما جاء في صحيفة “لس اكوز” بخصوص قرار خامنئي لدعم الاقتصاد السوري، مضيفة أن دمشق تعد حليفا استراتيجياً لطهران منذ فترات طويلة مقارنة بسائر الدول العربية المتخاصمة مع إيران.
وأضافت الوكالة أن الاقتصاد السوري متأزم نتيجةالاضرابات التي تعم البلاد منذ 4 أشهر، وإثر انخفاض تصدير النفط وتقلص التبادل التجاري مع البلدان الأخرى والعقوبات.
ويؤكد التقرير أن المشاكل التي يعاني منها الاقتصادالسوري دفعت القيادة في إيران إلى تخصيص 5.8 مليارات دولار لمساعدته على أن يستلم الدفعة الأولى من هذا الدعم، وهي 1.5 مليار دولار فورا، ويستلم المبلغ المتبقي على دفعات خلال 3 أشهر.
وتؤكد مصادر صحيفة “لس اكوز” السرية استقتها من مركز للدراسات الإستراتيجية مرتبط بمكتب المرشد الإيراني الأعلى، أن إيران قررت تزويد سورية بـ290 ألف برميل من النفط الخام يوميا، ابتداء من الشهر المقبل، وستدعم مراقبة الحدود المشتركة بين سوريا ولبنان للحيلولة دون هروب الرساميل

( شام برس – العربية نت )

July 17th, 2011, 8:19 am


ss said:

“A week ago the popular myth was that America would never allow junior to be overthrown. It has since been shattered, one of numerous broken myths the Baathists relied on to sustain themselves”.

Mrs. Clinton stated “None of us really have influence other than say what we believe and to encourage the changes that we hope for … We don’t know how this is gonna end yet,”

“We can deal with junior and his loser shabihas on our own, thank you very much”.

I wish you the best of luck.

July 17th, 2011, 8:26 am


Aboud said:

Hadara street, this morning;


Notice a few things about the street;

1) Every establishment is closed.

2) The pro-regime graffiti on the Sunni establishments. One idiot wrote “Ali”. Sectarian anyone? Who the hell vandalizes a store for the sake of some guy who died over 1400 years ago.

3) Many burnt stores. When the driver makes a U-turn, you can see some burnt store goods in the streets.

Now compare that to the rest of Homs, where the shops are open and life goes on. Except at the government departments. Even the central bank was too nervous to open today.

I think the shabiha need to go on Oprah and figure out where they went wrong….

July 17th, 2011, 8:36 am


ss said:

Comment 32 by MNA

Indeed it is a great news. Iran would remain the spike in the eyes of the opposition. This unrest was funded and supported by billions of dollars to crush the Iranian influence in the region. Without Iranian support by all means Syria would have collapsed. It is Iran-HA-Syria Axis that will guarantee Syrias’ survival today and in the future. The mass demonstration so far has failed badly in changing things on the ground. The Syrian regime is strong, the security and the army is solid, and the only losers are those people who are creating chaos in the streets. The honest opposition will score highly as the Baath Party need to bring shareholders to govern. The idea of sole party should die

July 17th, 2011, 8:49 am


Tara said:

In case revlon&’ link from previous thread was missed, I will post it again here.

إدلب – كفرنبل – من ممارسات الأمن السوري 16-7

Symmetrical shots to both feet. Does it remind you with the symmetrical shots to both arms of Hamza?

We are living with monsters!!

The link should be circulated to all media outlet.

Syau, how do you feel if that ( god forbidden) was your son? You would still vote for him?

July 17th, 2011, 8:52 am


ss said:

Comment 36 by Tara

A very tragic video indeed. He is so young and perhaps should be studying and staying at home not sending him to the streets. Unfortunately this is what the MB wants, they want to send children to the streets. People will get killed because what is going on is not revolution, it is chaos. Look at his mother, it looks to me that she belongs to an extremely conservative sec of the syrian society and may be a supporter of MB. People should have logic and not send their kids to the streets to support a radical cause. Anyway, peace upon his soul and this is unfortunate lost. Let me remind you Tara that innocent people are always victims to war, you are not bringing anything new to the table and instead people should keep their youth at home not sending them to an evil cause

July 17th, 2011, 9:06 am


Aboud said:

MNA @32 We’ve been hearing about this aid for weeks. Apparently part of it has already been distributed and used up, to no avail. Not surprising. The USA gave Mubarak $3 billion a year for decades, but that didn’t help save his regime.

I’d like Ehsani’s views on what Bashar could use the money for.

July 17th, 2011, 9:10 am


N.Z. said:

The regime is loosing, with one option left, pack and leave before its too late.

The regime’s hopeful are diminishing, its a down hill spiral. Catch up if you can ya Bashar and co.

It breaks my heart to see some of my fellow citizens attacking each other. It is crystal clear that this regime is on the run.

Supporting a killer is akin to a crime.

This regime has unleashed men that they’d manufactured to scare the hell out of us. Ironically, these men are the cause of their demise. They are on a rampage to kill. Hungry for blood, in their path they burn, destruct.

This Mafia is living its worse nightmare. An exit strategy is what they lack.

I am hopeful that this will be his last speech as an illegitimate president. A junior, that reenacted the same policies of his senior. Both are mass murderers, both are traitors, what they left behind is one of the darkest chapters in Syrian history. They were/are one of us. How is that possible?

July 17th, 2011, 9:13 am


Oberver said:

There is a nice encapsulation of the situation in Syria today in this post. I agree with OTW about the tripod analogy on how the regime works.

The problem is that the tripod has unequal legs, the Baath party being shrunk to a mere peg and the security apparatus bigger.

It is an inherently unstable situation that has been exacerbated by the departure in the last 10 years from the previous rule of Hafez.
He was much more attuned to the fact that he needed to broaden his base of support and to insure that the top of the pyramid meaning himself and his closest advisers are in charge.

Junior has let the father’s cronies run Syria as a personal fiefdom with concentration of power in the family and not in the broader coalition that his father built.

The system built could not be sustained and will collapse of its own contradictions.

Now what is the strategy of the regime at present: it seems that is has espoused a security plan based on sectarian support mainly with the use of force as the only means to remain in power. It seems that the option chosen is to throw sand in the eyes of the inside and outside opposition/international community while it pursues an all or nothing attempt to crush the revolt. The play book in my opinion is Hama 82 and the narrative is Alawis against Salafis. This depiction of the other is such stark and extremist fashion serves to rally the supporters by fear of the future as being much worse than the present no matter how bad the present is.

As Ben Franklin said it before, a people that sacrifices liberty for security will lose both.

Questions: why is Iran giving money to Syria? what are the economic imperatives that brought about this infusion? How much will the money cover and I am presuming it is to fund the use of force; three months, six months, after Ramadan?

What is the reason for exporting oil to Syria I thought we had enough for our use? Is it to mix it with Syrian oil to prevent the later from destroying the refinery as it is not equipped to handle the heavy sulfur rich oil of Syria? Does this mean that we running out of gas for the regime?

The news are that Abou Kamal has many army units that joined the protests and if you go on pro regime sites it talks of armed gangs having taken over the city; now these are larger towns and will require much more manpower and resources and the border with Iraq is porous. This may mean loss of the control of the cities. We are seeing this as Daraa continues to protest. What of Zabadani as it is being invested this morning. What of street battles in the outskirts of Damascus and Qatana?

I fear a slow descent into a civil war. Civil wars have three outcomes: complete destruction of the country, one side crushing the other, a stalemate for a second more violent rounds next time.
As we have seen in Hama 82 the regime crushed the opposition but Hafez knew that relying on his sect to rule over the entire Syrian population is not possible without the tacit and overt support of many more factions. It bought the regime time, and with an exploding population and with ever more economic hardship the next rounds will become ever more violent and bloody.

Humbug today

July 17th, 2011, 9:13 am


Tara said:


You got that wrong. The security officers were looking for his father. He was not demonstrating in the streets to start with. This was guilt by association.

Additionally, just please read what you wrote, you are demonizing the mother for the simple fact that she is wearing a Hijab…

I never ever imagined that Syrians are capable of doing such brutal acts. I always thought we were different. I always thought we are good people. I am amazed of how naive indeed I was.

July 17th, 2011, 9:19 am


Aboud said:

Syrian army APCs in Khaldia, Homs. The mood is very relaxed. Kids are standing on top of the vehicles. One person in a yellow shirt is giving troops water. Non of the soldiers seem to be in a tense, combat ready posture, which is what one would expect if they had been sent to hunt down 64,000 Salafi fanatics.


The regime has failed to turn the people against the army. It looks like the APCs are just parked there. This isn’t the first time the army has had to be sent in to save the shabiha from the consequences of their own stupidity.

July 17th, 2011, 9:19 am


Aboud said:

SS “Look at his mother, it looks to me that she belongs to an extremely conservative sec of the syrian society and may be a supporter of MB. ”

Ethnic profiling at its worst. Because she wears a hijab, she must be a terrorist. It was sad when the Americans did it to Muslims at airports, but it is tragic when a Syrian does it to demonize a mother who just lost her child.

Did I call junior by his first name in #38? Oh no, what’s happening to me 🙁

July 17th, 2011, 9:21 am


ss said:

Comment 41 “Syrian army APCs in Khaldia, Homs. The mood is very relaxed. Kids are standing on top of the vehicles”.

This is a great message to the world as well to confirm that the Syrian army is not bruital as the opposition has been claiming for a while. It is indeed wonderful to see the harmony between people and the army. Great link from Aboud which again confirm that the army is not their to hunt innocent people rather to operate against militins only. Thank you ABoud for the wonderful link.

July 17th, 2011, 9:25 am


why-discuss said:


The funniest statement of the day from the funniest man on SC.

“The regime has failed to turn the people against the army”

July 17th, 2011, 9:31 am


ss said:

Comment 44
“The regime has failed to turn the people against the army”

How come I did not see that. lol. The MB forgot his morning coffee

July 17th, 2011, 9:34 am


Tara said:

I always thought women and children were a red line that can not be crossed deliberately no matter what the circumstances are. I realize women and children can be collateral damage in any war where bombs and bullets scatter across blindly to kill. I never thought possible that hate, no matter how deeply rooted it is, could intentionally target an innocent child. I never thought possible that a human can fool himself to find moral justification for an act like this. It really is very sad how I am discovering my own people!

July 17th, 2011, 9:38 am


why-discuss said:

From the ‘impartial’ and little confused Bassam Mroue in AFP

The usual hopeful cliche : “Still, the uprising appears to be gaining momentum”…

Syrian Troops Enter Border Town, Hundreds Detained


…Assad, and his father before him, stacked key military posts with members of their minority Alawite sect, ensuring the loyalty of the armed forces by melding the fate of the army and the regime. The army has a clear interest in protecting the regime because they fear revenge attacks and persecution should the country’s Sunni majority gain the upper hand.

Assad is counting on this unwavering loyalty now that Syrians are joining the protest movement in growing numbers and from a broader cross-section of society.

July 17th, 2011, 9:38 am


why-discuss said:


It is beyond my understanding that men bring their male children to demonstrations that they know may turn violent. Is is machismo or what?

Women from Lebanon coming to support Syria.

Mary Convoy from Lebanon to Syria Begins

Syrian-Lebanese Borders- At a campaign titled “Side by Side, Mary Convoy from Lebanon to Syria”; More than 400 Lebanese ladies on Sunday began a tour to Syria….

July 17th, 2011, 9:47 am


Tara said:

Why@ 47

I think this is very true. The only reason the army did not turn against the regime is that most high ranking positions are occupied by Alawis with inherent loyalty to Assad and some corrupt Sunni with inherent loyalty to their greed and self interest.

July 17th, 2011, 9:48 am


ss said:

comment 46 T:

I cannot believe either that MBs would recruit children for their cause. I cannot find moral justification for the Radical Islamists to bring kids out in the strrets knowing that is is not safe. This is a moral obligation that starts with the family. I know Jihad is a moral obligation for MB but the type of Jihad when you send your kid to face death is really immoral and disgusting

July 17th, 2011, 9:49 am


stopping by to say hi said:

this is in response to comment 1 made by norman.

that is just a silly comment. i’ll give you that connections are alive and well around the world, but in syria you need a ‘wasta’ to get a court case heard. do you need that in the u.s.? idiots.

July 17th, 2011, 9:54 am



USAMA @ 21 and 25

First I owe you two apologies, first for insisting on using the wrong name for you, and second for throwing a cheap shot (your lord).

Now to come back to your accusations, while you have bothered to read my posts, you seem to have confused me with Prof. Landis and others. For you to accuse me of being sectarian is unfounded. In fact, as you lumped me with those repeating “Alawite Dominanat” shows a rashness to answer without even bothering to review any of my posts. Here is a quote from one them, responding to AVERROES :

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

If you want to keep bothering, you may want to read the entire post. I will no longer entertain your baseless accusation on that issue. If you want to carry it further, I suggest you have a conversation with Professor Landis, not with me, for with all due respect to him, it is an argument I have not been happy to see him emphasize in the start of the events in Syria. Go use the search engine, which you seem to use rather well, and find me a place where I said the Army is “Dominated by Alawite”. If you do, it would be only me quoting someone else to argue against its use and that the regime is clannish and not sectarian. Yes the Assads and their close relatives have acted like an absolute royal family. And I really do not care how you view this statement.

Again you rush into responding. What you call fancy pamphlet is nothing but the written summary of a program that is being implemented because the UK government is serious about working the issue. Reviews of sectarian schooling for various ethnic and sect groups is always in the bull’s eye for the house of commons and is debated openly in the press. The biggest problem of sectarianism in England is during football games, and even that receives serious attention. At least they are serious about addressing their social ills.

Then you go on justifying corruption in Syria as a matter of life everywhere. No it is not, and most certainly not not at the legendary Syrian level. I do not know where you live, but tell me when was the last time you had to bribe your way into getting your drivers license or passport or any other official document. When was the last time you had to partner with the son of the mayor or the chief of police to get your business license. Syrian citizens not only have to bribe their ways to get access to their basic services, but also to go through incredible mental hoops to justify their participation in this catastrophic level of corruption, which stands against their sense of fairness and justice. The regime is responsible for that. I have lived outside Syria for long time now, and I have never had to bribe anyone to get anything done. I have even been to countries known for corruption and never seen anything like that. I was on an official team in one of the poorest countries, which is known for its high level corruption, but we were told that attempting to give cash to our government driver would be taken both as national and personal insult. Where I live, I have, off course heard of and seen cases of personal corruption, but mostly through the press, or through a Memo indicating that someone was fired for misusing my employer’s property for personal use or for steeling some supplies. So spare us the pathetic equivalences.

Now we get to the gem that every one defending the regime hits throws at our face. Free College Education. Well true, it is a good thing paid for by Syrian Citizens. But like every free education, there are also hidden costs that keep increasing by the day (also a major problem in Argentina for example, which gives free post secondary education). These include housing and transportation, and in Syria, the huge sum of money that has to be paid for private tutoring so the students can pass the final high school exams with sufficient grades to get into the public university system. However, the price for free education in Syria is a University system where a law student, being prepared to be an advocate of the law, unashamedly participates in dragging his colleague to a mukhabarat car during a protest by students. It is a system that have made of some students spies and oppressors of their colleagues and mere informants on others, notwithstanding professors who openly act as informants and agents. Syria’s higher education is a system that minimizes chances for intellectual growth and free thinking, the ultimate goals of university education beyond the vocational training. And to no one’s surprise, it is now rampant with corruption, in manners similar, but hopefully not yet equal to that or the former Romania. And speaking of free post-secondary education, it is also available in many other countries including Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Norway, and Scotland. I will not compare Syria to Scandinavian countries, but until a couple of decades ago, both Greece and Brazil would not be beyond comparison. In most European countries, university tuition is not very expensive for citizens of the EU, except for the UK where it reaches 3000 BP. All of this without some of your colleagues spying on you and intimidating you. So please stop this free education thing. It was an accomplishment of the Baath Party, but like everything Baathists have done, it was maligned and corrupted by the Assad regime. Yes Hafez and Bashar did not directly corrupt the university, but in absolute authoritarian systems, if you want the power, you have to get the blame for the results of its abuses. I have recently posted an article debunking the myth of those totalitarian rulers who do not know of the abuses happening under their regimes. It is not my own writing, so may be you should read it. It should tell you why I keep saying Bashar is the regime and both are the problem.

As for GWB and his plans, true, many of us stood beside SYRIA, and in that were also supporting the regime. Some of us even went as far as taking hostile position against those brave Syrians who signed the Damascus Declaration, partly because of our disgust with Hariri (which has not changed), and partly because of reflex position. As Nour puts it much more eloquently than I could ever have, there will always be plans against Syria, not necessarily out of malevolence, but out of certain interests, or perception of interests. But to maintain stagnation on all fronts is a sell out that I assure you our Palestinian sisters and brothers do not wish for us. Syrians’ sympathy with Arab causes is not likely to change if the regime changes, but more likely will have real public backing and more principled stance than the narrow regime interest stance. At least when we talk about the rights of Palestinians, we are not looking the other way regarding Syrians languishing in Jails. And please do not argue the hypothesis that Bashar may shift. Why do you think Iran is providing much needed financial backing now?. Iran can not really trust Bashar, and under economic stress, he is more likely than not shift position. My question is, would you back him up if he does that?….

Finally, and even if I have not answered all your points, i was not surprised with your rash answer about Jordan. So Jordan is an oppressive country, and yet, it managed to provide a semblance of accountability unheard of in Syria. Aboud provided a better answer, and I will not bore you by writing anymore on this issue. In Jordan, people are marching with the slogan of ending the Mukhabarat interference in their daily life. In Syria, a very senior intelligence officer was overheard talking to himself during Tizini’s request for dismanteling the security state at the regime’s Sahara dialog with itself: “give him a screw driver and a ply, may his neck be dismantled” . Is this what you want to retain for Syrians, while living under a democracy. What consequences could be worst than having the sward of absolute impunity hanging over ones neck.

To put it mildly, you may be right in accusing some of us of being anti-regime and of wanting the regime to fall. But you are not correct in thinking that we do not care about the consequences. I have begged on these pages Mr./Dr. Assad to take actions for two years. Off course he has no reason to listen to an expat writing under a fictitious name. But he should have listened to many other heavy weights. By now, all have reached a conclusion that he is not who he claimed to be in 2001. Take your blame to him, not to us.

The difference between us and those who continue to support this repressive regime despite of all of its crimes mainly because of fear of a scarcrow MB and/or chaos is simply that we trust Syrians far more than they do. Had a sectarian war been possible, it would have been blazing by now. There were sectarian incidents, and there will always be, but cooler heads seem to prevail, despite of all attempts, by whoever is trying.

July 17th, 2011, 9:56 am


Aboud said:

SS @43 You’re welcome. This is a classic example of how two different people can see the same video, and come to two different, yet subtle, conclusions.

“This is a great message to the world as well to confirm that the Syrian army is not bruital as the opposition has been claiming for a while”

The Syrian Army is not brutal…in general. It is specific units of the Syrian Army that the Syrian people have a problem with, not least of all, but not limited to, the 4th Division.

Four months ago, the rank and file Syrian soldier was very naive about what was really going on. Feed lies by Al-Dunya TV, the only station they were allowed to watch, they were told they would be going in to do battle with hard core foreign Salafis.

Time and again, soldier after soldier has testified to their shock and horror when the enemy they were sent to kill, turned out to be unarmed civilians. As time wore on, defections grew, culminating in the mass desertion at Abukamal on the Iraqi border.

Those wonderful scenes at Khaldia show that the regime’s propaganda no longer carries any weight with the ordinary Syrian soldier. None of those men in those APCs look like they feel they are headed into a war zone, and the inhabitants of Khaldia now have enough good experiences with these same kind of soldiers, that they greet them like the brothers they are.

If an officer ordered those soldiers to shell and shoot those same civilians, he’d be well advised to make sure he has his back covered when he does, because from those videos, it looks highly unlikely that his orders would be carried out. It would very well provoke yet another unit to desert.

A couple of months ago, Landis made the absurd statement that the revolution had failed to split the army along sectarian lines. To me, the only failure it exposed was Landis’ to understand at a basic level, the motivation behind the revolution, and the psychology and fears of the average Syrian.

No one, with the exception of the increasingly embattled regime, wants a sectarian split. It is the nightmare of every Syrian, regardless of sect. Anyone in the opposition openly calling or scheming for such a split would be bundled out of the revolution in a heartbeat. It is not only the removal of the regime that the opposition has its mind on, it is also what kind of a country such an overthrow will produce. The methods used to bring the revolution to a successful conclusion matters just as much as the conclusion itself.

It is a burden the regime does not labor under, as they have shown they would do everything in their power to cling on to that same power, and damn the consequences to the country and region. Just look at the irresponsible way they tried to manipulate the Palestinian issue on the Golan. Disgraceful, and desperate.

To the regime, the ends justifies the means. It is not a sound basis on which to build a pluralistic, democractic, (CHEAP INTERNET FOR ALL!!!!), equal society.

And I still think Homs would make a better capital than Damascus.

@51 OTW “Had a sectarian war been possible, it would have been blazing by now.”

Damn, how do you do that? You said in one sentence what it took me several paragraphs to do 🙁

July 17th, 2011, 9:59 am


N.Z. said:


It is with the uttermost of good intentions I’m addressing you, many in my close circle have the same mind set as yours, I understand that we each have our personal thoughts and approach in respect to what is going around us. If I remember, you live in Australia, abroad anyway. Why?

Seeing is believing, do you approve seeing tanks in cities turned inward?

Kicking, cursing, maiming becomes the norm. That person could be anyone, maybe your best friend. Is that how we treat one another. Is it not enough, is it too much asking the Assads to leave. We were very nice, docile. Many decided to leave the whole country, those who stayed can tolerate no longer, what is their crime?

How can I, living abroad, under the rule of law, void from oppression, humiliation deny my fellow countrymen their basic rights, I am not talking about Democracy, but, freedom to express their thoughts, freedom to ask questions, freedom of movement, freedom to say NO! We were raised to say, yes, Yes forever ya hafez alassad. They turned themselves to idols. Why deny your brothers what you are enjoying and practice daily, and also take for granted. What is good for me is good for them.

Many protesters described what they felt just by walking on the streets in spite of putting themselves in danger. Many said, ” I feel liberated.. I can not describe…”

I just thought I will share what I am feeling.

July 17th, 2011, 10:01 am


why-discuss said:


I think the opposition is playing down the connection you are mentioning because 1) most of the troops are sunnis 2) there is an inherent admiration and trust for the army among Syrians 3) the army, like in Egypt, is the only alternative should Bashar al Assad resigns.

While the opposition ( i.e Abboud) is trying by all means to hang on to the ‘good’ army, by minimizing its pro-regime bias, Bassam Mroue, who has always tried to incite sectarism in his articles, is rubbing it in.

July 17th, 2011, 10:02 am


Tara said:

Why, # 47

Did you not understand her accent? Do you want me to write what she said in Arabic or you prefer English? She said ” they attacked us while we were sleeping and they were looking for his father. They shot the kid…”

Now seriously, if you did understand the accent, then bringing up the subject of parents allowing their male kids to demonstrate is just an attempt to find a moral justification( I would like to believe) or to (I doubt) create noise to blur the truth. Do you not agree?

July 17th, 2011, 10:07 am


why-discuss said:


I am sorry but I stopped watching the posted videos a long time ago.
Any cold blooded crime is despicable and deserve punishment, especially on innocent children

July 17th, 2011, 10:12 am


Aboud said:

Why-Discuss, you seem to take it personally when a journalist writes an article that is less than flattering of junior.

While I provided proof of Alistaire Crooke’s Iranian leanings, all we’be heard from you is 1) Dismissing a journalist because he’s “Jordanian” and 2) That somehow someone doing their job, and reporting on very real army defections is “rubbing it in”.

This really isn’t a healthy way to live, as you’ll be seeing an increasingly large number of newspaper articles where the writers are not, unlike al-Dunya, under any obligation to treat junior as the second coming.

July 17th, 2011, 10:14 am


Tara said:


After things calm down in Syria, we should have a good discussion in regard to ways to help us ” healing”….Anyway, good morning to you.

July 17th, 2011, 10:30 am


why-discuss said:


My point was not about his negative views on Bashar Al Assad. He has the right to have his own opinion.
I have just noted while reading most of Bassam Mroue’s articles that he always emphasizes the Alawite/Sunni paradim, always pointing at the Alawites as the bad ones. Check by yourself.

Alistair Cooke has his own opinion but he does not try to stir sectarian feelings.

July 17th, 2011, 10:33 am


Norman said:

stopping by to say hi ,

Only idiots need to go to court in the first place,

July 17th, 2011, 10:50 am


Abughassan said:

Regardless of one’s position on this uprising, we have to agree that future Syrian governments do not have the choice to treat its citizens like pieces of furniture. The way Hama was handled 2 weeks ago illustrates my point,and I am glad the city is returning to normal piece by piece. It is up to Syrians as a group,not this blog,to decide the fate of Bashar,who in my personal opinion needs to go. I can not see how this regime as we know it can survive much longer but I agree that peace and order must be restored.
Labeling women with Hijab as militants is unacceptable and it ignores the fact that a large chunck of the Syrian society today subscribes to a conservative Islamic tradition including a particular dress code. I disagree with it but I respect it as long as it does not lead to the political Islamization of Syria,and some say it does.anybody who tries to deny the role of violence and counter violence in Syria’s crisis today is not objective. It is not just the security forces that are killing Syrians,there are armed anti regime thugs and common criminals in the streets of most major Syrian cities,sometimes they hide but they eventually pop their ugly head up,like what happened in Homs. The regime started the violence and it carries most of the blame for it,but that does not mean that it is ok to lie on this forum and deny the atrocities committed by non regime thugs.
I doubt there will be any real dialogue between the regime and the opposition until political prisoners are released,security forces are restrained and article-8 is abolished and free elections announced with a timetable. Syria is not Switzerland but it does not have to stay like a soviet-style dictatorship. This regime is incompatible with Syria today.

July 17th, 2011, 10:53 am


Syria no kandahar said:

How can SC pony tail afford staying on SC 24 hours a day?how is he making living?that is true for many (mennekak)MB posters who are doing nothing else,many people here are on paycheck.those (mennekak)MB shabiha are living on blood money .now I have to go to work,Bashar is not paying me this month.

July 17th, 2011, 10:55 am


Aboud said:

Bleh. I’ve been looking up Syrian high school results on behalf of friends of relatives. Why is it somehow my fault if some of the grades are crap. It’s not like I get the credit if they scored high marks 🙁

The bastards on Syrian Education TV aren’t showing the results for Homs until 10pm…GOVERNMENT OPPRESSION!!!!!!!

July 17th, 2011, 10:58 am


stopping by to say hi said:

you’re oblivious norman. if you didn’t know that you need a wasta get your case moving in the judicial system in syria, you have absolutely no merit to comment on syria. it just shows what a waste you commenting is and how much knowledge you have of what really goes on in syria.

some people in syria do respect the law in hence the reason why there are courts. you still didn’t answer my question (edited for insult)

July 17th, 2011, 11:03 am


why-discuss said:


The opposition in Turkey called for Civil Disobedience, that’s a taste of it. If protesters obey that, soon Internet will stop too

July 17th, 2011, 11:10 am


Tara said:


Funny you should say that. I truly did believe that mnhebaks were paid to post 24/7 and NOTHING could’ve changed my mind then, but shortly thereafter I realized that mnhebaks and mamenhebaks are not paid anything. They are just emotionally very involved in what is happening in Syria. I personally have a real delicate job where lack of full attention can lead to utterly disastrous consequences but I just can not help to not read posts on my blackberry very frequently and to interrupt work at times to answer when I get mad. In Spain, I only agreed to sit in cafes that have Wi Fi connection to the dismay of my family.

Hopefully, this would not last long and happy ending to all will prevail.

July 17th, 2011, 11:16 am



ABOUD: I may say the what, but you show the why and the how.

As for exam results, common, you would have gotten 7elwan if they scored well. BTW: that hacker, i think he calls himself “Eagle” committed a crime that victimized many many Syrians.

July 17th, 2011, 11:17 am


Aboud said:

Why Discuss @68

Better civil disobedience than more extreme forms of action.

“If protesters obey that, soon Internet will stop too”

Anything for the cause.

*checks the price of Thuraya satellite Internet*


July 17th, 2011, 11:18 am


Tara said:


What does Qifa Nabki stand for? Do you know?

July 17th, 2011, 11:48 am


Norman said:

stopping by to say hi ,

I apologize, I thought i know enough about Syria or smart enough to know what people are going through there, I am probably wrong and you are right so again i probably made a mistake, i was thinking more of jobs not courts.

Hopefully with better court system and more judges the courts will have enough time and people to move the cases faster.

July 17th, 2011, 11:49 am


Nour said:

Dear Usama:

I have not changed my position. I said from the beginning that if the regime does not make the necessary changes there will be consequences that the regime would be largely responsible for. I am not denying that there are criminal, murderous elements in this “revolution”. We also know that the US is going to conspire against us; this is natural due to Syria’s position and to the US’s blind support for “Israel”. However, the question is why are we in this situation today? We keep talking about satellite channels fomenting internal strife, but this actually belittles the reality of our society. How is it so easy for a satellite channel to create internal divisions in a country if the environment is not there to begin with. And what has this regime done throughout 40 years in power to change this reality?

We cannot deny that this regime is repressive. We cannot deny that it has prevented any alternate views to its own through brutal repression and terrorism, which effectively froze any real political life in the country and allowed extreme elements to flourish. Moreover, until today, many regime members and supporters still adhere to the same mentality of denying the other and of labeling anyone criticizing the regime as a traitor, a terrorist, or a collaborator in the conspiracy against the country, through their slogan of “no voice shall rise above that of the battle.” (la sawt ya3lou 3ala sawt al ma3raka) This in effect has further divided Syrian society and polarized the people creating an unhealthy situation in the country. Of course I am not saying that the regime created sectarianism in the country, but throughout 40 years it did nothing to reduce it and in fact increased it through its repressive rule.

I again repeat that I oppose the sudden collapse of the regime because I understand the consequences it entails. But unless this regime mentality is completely extracted and real changes are implemented these consequences will materialize and the regime will have to take most of the blame for it.

July 17th, 2011, 11:49 am


Norman said:


If you know Arabic you would know that QAFA NABKI means,



July 17th, 2011, 11:51 am


Najwa Keylani said:

yes sectarian tensions do exist, it is what happens when there is not a real state no real institutions no real civic society. The tension rises easily among poor badly educated masses easily to fool and manipulate..I hate it to be Syria that needs to be a high price for the cold war between Saudi and Iran (more here : https://syrians4change.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AE%D9%88%D9%81-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%AE%D8%B7%D8%B1-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D8%A8-%D8%A3%D9%87%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%88-%D8%AA%D8%B7%D8%B1%D9%81-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%8A-%D9%81%D9%8A/)..but the only way to fight this sectarian tension and get rid of this cold war effect is through real reform, taking care of those poor areas, letting them have power over their lives (work possibilities and conditions, unions, civic society, elections)..

July 17th, 2011, 11:56 am


Norman said:


My god. Really? You are still not convinced that I am Arabic and Syrian? I know what the literal interpretation is. I meant his political stand. Haven’t you read any Arabic I wrote or do you think I have an Arabic assistant that adds some Arabic writings to my posts?

July 17th, 2011, 12:00 pm




Where does the phrase Qifa Nabki come from? The first to answer gets a kudos. You have 2 minutes, Countdown starts…..now

July 17th, 2011, 12:08 pm


Norman said:


You used my name, i guess i made mad enough, so you can copy and paste from GOOGLE and Face-book, , He is independent Lebanese , non of us is committed to an Ideology.

July 17th, 2011, 12:10 pm


Tara said:


Rephrase the question?

Where dose the phrase.. What?

July 17th, 2011, 12:12 pm


Norman said:


Now, Now, Now, you are using your professorial knowledge ,

My guess is that we, Arabs, complain and cry, blame everybody else instead of getting up and solving our own problems ,

That is how i take it.

So (( Qafa Nabki )) and let us get up and do for ourselves,

July 17th, 2011, 12:14 pm



Sure thing Tara, sorry for my bad spelling.

The name Qifa Nabki has an origin in Arabic history. Can you please define what is that origin?

You do not have to answer

July 17th, 2011, 12:14 pm


Tara said:


I always used your name whether mad or not. Names should be used. If I not to use them at times, my intention would be not to hurt someone’s feeling. I know he is independent Lebanese but what does he support? He tells you who he personally is but not what he stands for. I haven’t read him much and I want to see if he is worth reading. That is all.

July 17th, 2011, 12:17 pm


Tara said:


I don’t know. Tell us.

July 17th, 2011, 12:23 pm


why-discuss said:


“However, the question is why are we in this situation today?”

I think it is because the local opposition is weak and because the whole movement has been hijacked by these Istambul bitter, conservatives and out of touch exiles. This is why this movement is going nowhere that we would like it to go unless the local opposition gets out of their coma and bring in young people to get moving politically.

July 17th, 2011, 12:23 pm



Norman, You got partial Answer, yes we cry a lot, especially our old poets.

From معلقة امرؤ القيس

قفا نبك من ذِكرى حبيب ومنزل
بسِقطِ اللِّوى بينَ الدَّخول فحَوْملِ

فتوضح فالمقراة لم يَعفُ رسمهاَ
لما نسجتْها من جَنُوب وشمالِ

All traditional arab poetry started with crying over the ruins of the camp where the loved ones have just left. This is one of the most famous.

July 17th, 2011, 12:24 pm


Norman said:


You wrote this , you used my name as the writer of the note,

77. Norman said:


My god. Really? You are still not convinced that I am Arabic and Syrian? I know what the literal interpretation is. I meant his political stand. Haven’t you read any Arabic I wrote or do you think I have an Arabic assistant that adds some Arabic writings to my posts?

QN, is pro March 14

July 17th, 2011, 12:25 pm


Norman said:


Thank you, that was interesting, remind with my young time in high school when we used to compete with starting a piece of poem from the ending of another ,


The problem with the reasonable opposition is that they are afraid from the radical ones and i would not be surprised if some of the ones that want the change without the destruction of Syria might be killed by the radicals to blame that on the government and warn the others of any compromize,

July 17th, 2011, 12:32 pm


Tara said:

Norman and OTW

Norman, Oops, sorry…I guess i was mad. Thanks for your answer.

OTW, I remember now. Talking about poets, Has any real good poet emerged after Nizar Qabani?

July 17th, 2011, 12:38 pm


Ibn Arabi said:

Qardaha’s future will be like Takrit’s in Iraq: a powerful small town going back to being a small town. Qardha people should not be blamed all together for the crimes of the Assad family, although just like Takrit, many have benefited from the Assad regime. But we should not forget also that much injustice and humiliation have been suffered by people of Qardaha for being in close proximity to Assad’s center of thuggery. Stories abound of rape, coercion, seizure of property, and plain insults visited on the average people of Qardaha by Assad’s shabbiha (I heard those first hand when I was in the Syrian army). Let’s be clear, over the past few months the rest of Syria got just a taste of what used to go on on a daily basis in Qardaha for the last 40 years!

July 17th, 2011, 12:49 pm


Tara said:

Shabbiha used to attack Qardaha? How is so?

July 17th, 2011, 12:53 pm


jad said:

Dearest OTW
“Had a sectarian war been possible, it would have been blazing by now.”
– Your sentence reminded me of the words of someone you criticize of being a ‘politician’:
“Without accepting this fact of our society, we would not be here today; Syrian society would have exploded into a devastating civil war over a month ago.”
– Can you and that ‘other’ person who wrote those words assure anybody that no civil war will happen in Syria?

No you can’t, no body can.

What you two wrote is nothing but hopes and innocent wishes thinking to convince others with your position, however, we need to check out the signs, the previous examples and the piles of history lessons we have of our ‘lucky’ region to realize reality (It took Iraq and Lebanon less than 6months before a full scale civil war erupt)
I’m sorry to inform you my dearest friend that your statement is not ‘scientific’ enough a civil war will erupt if the government suddenly collapsed and Syria wont be the one we all dream for, it’ll be another copy of Iraq and Lebanon if not Yugoslavia.
Be the scientific man I always know not the politician you are turning to.

“HNN شبكة أخبار حمص
اكتشاف جثتين محروقتين صباح اليوم الاحد قرب جامع النووي في حي البياضة حيث تم نقلهما إلى مركز الطب الشرعي و تبين أن الجثتين تعودان لشرطيين ” محمد مسعود ” و ” مصطفى تامر” تم قتلهما وإحراق جثتهما.
وأفاد الطبيب الشرعي ان الوفاة ناجمة عن الإصابة بطلق ناري بالرأس قبل التعرض للحرق
وهما يعملان في قسم كراج الانطلاق، حيث أبغ عن فقدانهما مساء السبت بعد انتهاء دوامهما ….”

July 17th, 2011, 1:09 pm


jad said:

I agree on you answer to Nour in #85

July 17th, 2011, 1:13 pm


Ibn Arabi said:


Yes, the term “shabbiha” in currency nowadays is not a new term. Originally it used to refer to thugs used by the Assad family in Qardaha and nearby villages and cities to intimidate and subjugate the population. The name itself is derived from the Arabic “shabah” for “ghost” because of their use of black Mercedes cars, named “shabah” in Syrian slang. The Shabbiha used to do the bidding of Fawwaz al Assad and other Assad family members. The situation got so out of hand that the late Hafez Al Assad had to dispatch his son Basel in the 1990s to control the shabbiha after the local population in and around Qardaha complained about their intolerable harassments.

July 17th, 2011, 1:14 pm


Tara said:

Ibn Arabi,

Did they terrorize Alawis, Sunnis, or both? Honestly.

July 17th, 2011, 1:19 pm


daleandersen said:


RE: “…Qardaha’s future will be like TIkrit’s in Iraq: a powerful small town going back to being a small town…”

What happened back in Saddam’s tribal village during his rise to power as told by one of his Baath colleagues:

In Saddam’s village, al-Awja, just east of Tikrit, in north-central Iraq, his clan lived in houses made of mud bricks and flat, mud-covered wooden roofs. The land is dry, and families eke out a living growing wheat and vegetables. Saddam’s clan was called al-Khatab, and they were known to be violent and clever. Some viewed them as con men and thieves, recalls Salah Omar al-Ali, who grew up in Tikrit and came to know Saddam well in later life.

Al-Ali was the Information Minister of Iraq when, in 1969, Saddam (the real power in the ruling party), in part to demonstrate his displeasure over Arab defeats in the Six-Day War, announced that a Zionist plot had been discovered, and publicly hanged fourteen alleged plotters, among them nine Iraqi Jews; their bodies were left hanging in Baghdad’s Liberation Square for more than a day. Al-Ali defended this atrocity in his own country and to the rest of the world. Today he is just one of many exiled or expatriated former Iraqi government officials, an old socialist who served the Baath Party and Saddam until running afoul of him. Al-Ali would have one believe that his conscience drove him into exile, but one suspects he has fretted little in his life about human rights. He showed me the faded tribal tattoos on his hand which might have been put there by the same Tikriti who gave Saddam his.

Although al-Ali was familiar with the al-Khatab family, he did not meet Saddam himself until the mid-sixties, when they were both socialist revolutionaries plotting to overthrow the tottering government of General Arif. Saddam was a tall, thin young man with a thick mop of curly black hair. He had recently escaped from prison, after being caught in a failed attempt to assassinate Arif’s predecessor. The attempt, the arrest, the imprisonment, had all added to Saddam’s revolutionary luster. He was an impressive combination: not just a tough capable of commanding respect from the thugs who did the Baath Party’s dirty work, but also well-read, articulate, and seemingly open-minded; a man of action who also understood policy; a natural leader who could steer Iraq into a new era.

The party seized control in 1968, and Saddam immediately became the real power behind his cousin Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr, the president and chairman of the new Revolutionary Command Council. Al-Ali was a member of that council. He was responsible for the north-central part of Iraq, including Tikrit. It was in Tikrit that he started to see that Saddam’s relatives in al-Awja were throwing their newly ascendant kinsman’s name around, seizing farms, ordering people off their land.

That was how things worked in the villages. If a family was lucky, it produced a strongman, a patriarch, who by guile, strength, or violence accumulated riches for his clan. Saddam was now a strongman, and his family was moving to claim the spoils. This was all ancient stuff. The Baath philosophy was far more egalitarian. It emphasized working with Arabs in other countries to rebuild the entire region, sharing property and wealth, seeking a better life for all. In this political climate Saddam’s family was a throwback. The local party chiefs complained bitterly, and al-Ali took their complaints to his powerful young friend. “It’s a small problem,” Saddam said. “These are simple people. They don’t understand our larger aims. I’ll take care of it.” Two, three, four times al-Ali went to Saddam, because the problem didn’t go away. Every time it was the same: “I’ll take care of it.”

It finally occurred to al-Ali that the al-Khatab family was doing exactly what Saddam wanted them to do. This seemingly modern, educated young villager was not primarily interested in helping the party achieve its idealistic aims; rather, he was using the party to help him achieve his. Suddenly al-Ali saw that the polish, the fine suits, the urbane tastes, civilized manner, and the socialist rhetoric were a pose. The real story of Saddam was right there in the tattoo on his right hand. He was a true son of Tikrit, a clever al-Khatab…


July 17th, 2011, 1:22 pm


Nour said:


I like Abu Nawas’s response to that poem:

قُلْ لمنْ يبْكي على رَسْمٍ دَرَسْ
واقـفـاً ، مـا ضَرّ لو كـان جلــسْ

July 17th, 2011, 1:29 pm


Aboud said:

Jad @ “Can you and that ‘other’ person who wrote those words assure anybody that no civil war will happen in Syria?

No you can’t, no body can.”

And what Oracle can possibly predict that? Heck, I can’t even predict that Greece won’t slide into civil war, or that N. Ireland won’t slide back into civil war, or that those friggin Lebanese won’t some day wake up on the wrong side of bed and start a civil war.

What I do believe however, is that a society built on values that include pluralism, freedom of expression, fair representation and cheap Internet lines (hehe), is far more stable and cohesive than a brutal, bloody dictatorship that enriches only a select few, and leaves the vast majority of the population to fend for themselves.

“it’ll be another copy of Iraq and Lebanon”

And here’s a scientific truth; part of the Iraqi and Lebanese equation was the Baathist regime. Now, you are welcome to argue the pros and cons of Syrian involvement in Lebanon and Iraq until the cows come home, but the fact is that Syria was involved.

It doesn’t make sense to try to keep scaring people with the Lebanese and Iraqi experiences, when the removal of one of the factors in those experiences is a goal of the revolution. That’s just not…scientific. It’s like X + Y + J= W . When J=0, then W will be a different result.

July 17th, 2011, 1:35 pm


Tara said:

Demonstrations in Syria have taken a turning point.

It started shy and timid. It is much different now. I can’t describe it but one can certainly feel it. This has nothing to do with the number of the demonstrators. Qaboon’s demonstration overwhelms your senses. You are awed by it. The voices, the resolve, the energy, …, It appears sacred. you see it and you just realize there is indeed no turning point..

July 17th, 2011, 2:31 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Ambassador Ford was in Albokamal last night,he didt see any evidence of any violence,he was invited to منسف and was given olive branches and flowers.as he was leaving he bought someبزر from a guy calling بزر بزر he is trying to help the economy which was compromised by the wasted tomatoes and eggs.

July 17th, 2011, 2:35 pm


Off the Wall said:

Dear Nour
Thank you, I was looking for it. Also I like the one that says

اذا كان شعرا فالنسيب المقدم
أكل فصيح قال شعرا متيم

Dear Jad
I have started to write my response, but I have to go now. I Will post later in about 3 hours. Again, not guaranteed for nothing is.

July 17th, 2011, 2:36 pm


jad said:

An interview with Rolland Dummas sorry it’s in french but worth reading:

ROLAND DUMAS : « Je suis assez déçu par la politique de Juppé vis-a-vis du monde arabe »


No worries 🙂 I’m leaving too.

July 17th, 2011, 2:39 pm


louai said:

just finished a phone call with my family in Homs was yesterday like Beirut ,the news from Syria-news were correct , three young men (Alawites) kidnapped tortured and killed , they were organising rallys in support of the announced reforms , my brother knows all of them , the rally now cancelled
the army stopped a angry crowds of entering Bab el dreeb and prevented a lot of killings
my friend’s old brother got shot in his way back home his name Kifah el set ( a Christian from Al Hafar village) he is badly injured but thanks god still alive

another Christian from Al Nuzha ( Gaiath al turk ) from Kafrram village was shot in his leg , he was taking to the local medical centre just to get kidnapped from inside the medical centre few hours later and get killed , his uncle is my teacher ! his furnal is tomorrow ,
people are scared to go out the army only entered Alawite neighbourhoods to protect them , the Christian neighbourhood was not protected till last night but the thugs are still free
that’s Homs for you !

July 17th, 2011, 2:57 pm


Aboud said:

@104 Everything you wrote was pure BS. Especially this “people are scared to go out ”

Uh hu. I went out to the bank, to Hamra, to Damascus road and Deblan. There were lots of people out. Next time, do better when you lie.

“the army only entered Alawite neighbourhoods to protect them”

And did you not see the video I posted of the army in Khaldia? Did they look like they were expecting Salafi thugs? Nope, they were very relaxed.

July 17th, 2011, 3:00 pm


N.Z. said:

أسلحة ثقيلة بيد المندسين السلفيين الحموية

July 17th, 2011, 3:02 pm


louai said:

Aboud you are useless ,dont address me any more you have no respect to the dead and you are shameless

‘Uh hu. I went out to the bank, to Hamra, to Damascus road and Deblan. There were lots of people out. Next time, do better when you lie.’

and have you been in albayada as well? are you the one who killed and burned this two police officers? are you celebrating your victory just right now !!

اكتشاف جثتين محروقتين صباح اليوم الاحد قرب جامع النووي في حي البياضة حيث تم نقلهما إلى مركز الطب الشرعي و تبين أن الجثتين تعودان لشرطيين ” محمد مسعود ” و ” مصطفى تامر” تم قتلهما وإحراق جثتهما.
وأفاد الطبيب الشرعي ان الوفاة ناجمة عن الإصابة بطلق ناري بالرأس قبل التعرض للحرق
وهما يعملان في قسم كراج الانطلاق، حيث أبغ عن فقدانهما مساء السبت بعد انتهاء دوامهما ….

two police officers kiled and their bodies were burned after their death

July 17th, 2011, 3:13 pm


jad said:

Louai, thank you for sharing.
I think the Syrian Christian are going to be treated like the Iraqi Christians, nothing but punch bags for the criminal radicals, Syrian Alawites have the army, Syrian Sunnis have their own militia, the Syrian Christians have nothing to defend themselves with so unfortunately they are going to be the easy target by the radicals.
Why should we believe anything Aboud’s write and not to believe anybody else? Louai’s account match the news we are reading, denying the killing wont get Aboud or anybody else any credits.

HNN| شـبكة أخـبار حمص
أعتذر عن نقل الخبر المأساوي التالي :
الشاب الذي أعلنا عن اختفائه في الأمس : غياث الترك
والذي تم خطفه من مشفى باب السباع بعد اسعافه
من قبل مسلحين متطرفين

وصلنا الآن أنه قد تم العثور على جثته
بعد أن مثل الكفرة الحاقيدين بجثته الطاهرة

وهو من مواليد : كفرام
العمر : 48 سنة
متزوج ولديه ولدان : فادي و ربا

أخته : لينا الترك والتي نشكرها
لأنها استطاعت التواصل معنا على الهاتف
على الرغم من انهيار أعصابها و كانت أول كلمة لها ( كلو فدى السيد الرئيس )

وشيشيع جثمانه من المشفى العسكري غداً صباحاً
إلى جنات الخلد يا غياث يا شهيد الوطن
يا ضحية الثورة السلمية الكافرة
لعنكم الله يا كفرة الأرض يا وهابيي الفكر و التطرف

الرجاااااء من الجميع نشر وتعميم هذا الخبر
ليرى الجميع وليرى الحاقدين والضائعين بسلمية هذه الثورة المتطرفة

ليعلم الخونة أننا نحن صوت الحق وأننا أصحاب الوعي
لا هم بفكرهم المتدني المتطرف الساقط

July 17th, 2011, 3:27 pm


N.Z. said:

This is a gift from the protesters in support of Arour,

July 17th, 2011, 3:30 pm


jad said:

Hama is getting calmer:

شـبـكـة أخـبـار حـمـاه | H.N.N
حماة اليوم :
الاوضاع في حماة منذ البارحة نحو الافضل بإذن الله …
الكثير المحلات فتحت ابوابها اليوم, البقاليات, العيادات, الصيدليات ..
الموظفين ابتدأو دوامهم بشكل عادي وطبيعي والحمد لله
معظم الحواجز تمت ازالتها بشكل نهائي .. بالتعاون مع اهالي حماة الشرفاء
اصحاب المحلات ينظفون محالهم ويرتبونها ويحضرون لتحميل بضاعة جديدة بعد انقطاع دام اكتر من 10 ايام عن السوق ..
هناك عدد من الحواجز لا تزال قائمة على جنب الطريق بإنتظار عمال النظافة بأن يحملونها … لأن الحواجز كانت كثيرة في المدينة..
لوحظ سكان مدينة حماة متفائلين لعودة الاوضاع بشكل طبيعي ويتمنون بقاء الاوضاع كما هي الآن..
تم الافراج عن الكثير من المخربين بعد تعهدهم بعدم تكرار أي عمل تخريبي يسيء للمتلكات العامة او الخاصة..
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

منذ قليل بثت الجزيرة تظاهرة في مدينة السويداء السورية وقالت بانه مباشر …. ولكن مع اتصال لنا بأحد الاصدقاء في السويداء , نفى الخبر وقال بأنها مسيرة تأييد للدكتور بشار الاسد وليست مظاهرة كما قالت قناة الفتنة..

اليوم شارك أكثر من مليون مواطن سوري من جميع المحافظات السورية في دمشق بمهرجان قسم الوفاء … ورددوا القسم بصوت واحد وهتفو بصوت واحد : الشعب يريد بشار الاسد..
(I’m not buying the million here either, but maybe 100,000-120,000 max)
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

ألف مبروك لطلاب البكلوريا في سوريــا بمناسبة نجاحهم , وحظ أوفر للاخوة الغير ناجحين ..

من محافظة حماة نجح 5 طلاب بمجموع تام في البكلوريا وتصدرت المحافظة المرتبة الثالثة بعد حمص وريف دمشق على مستوى القطر … نتمنى لهم التوفيق الدائم والتحية الطيبة لجميع الاخوة الاعضاء المشتركين معنا في الشبكة..

July 17th, 2011, 3:31 pm


Aboud said:

@107 You are so full of it, it smells like a farm here right now. This “pro reform” rally? How come no one else in Homs had even heard of it? If someone supposedly died because he was organizing a rally, it would be an insult to his memory not to ahead with it, unless his friends and relatives were cowards of the worst sort.

“three young men (Alawites) kidnapped tortured and killed”

Oh yes, tortured and killed…in Al-Wa3r! That well known evil den of Salafi extremism. Man, if they had picked any other place to conveniently find the bodies, it would have been half believable.

Did you know that very few demonstrations even occurred there until Friday. That’s when it hosted a massive demonstration. Lo and behold, true to form, the next day the regime suddenly discovers evidence of extremism. Pathetic.

“he was taking to the local medical centre just to get kidnapped from inside the medical centre few hours later and get killed ”

Kidnapping from hospitals, the M.O of the regime’s thugs. I guess you know for a fact that the kidnappers were card carrying members of the MB?

Let’s examine your sack of lies. We have the oh-so-noble victims, who only wanted to do some goooooood (what, you didn’t think to make them into later day saints?). Then we have the oh-so-evil attacks on the oh-so-defenseless minorities. Man, it reads like bad fiction.

Here is what really happened. The shabiha scum were given a pretext to rampage through Homs, under the protection of the “security forces” (oxymoron there). They smashed Sunni owned businesses in Al-Hadara street (I’ve linked the video previously). The Homsis mobilized themselves, and got together to protect their neighborhoods. After a brief confrontation in Damascus road, which went badly for the shabiha scum, they crawled back to the holes they came out from.

Next time, when you lie, remember that this isn’t Al-Dunya, there are people here more than capable of calling you out on your tales. You are worse than that guy who claimed to have heard of Zionist-Indian fighter pilots.

@108 “Why should we believe anything Aboud’s write and not to believe anybody else? ”

You are right, best believe what suits your delicate ears rather than someone like me who gives details and empirical proof. Typical Baathists.

July 17th, 2011, 3:33 pm


Aboud said:

Prisoners in Rastan, being forced to shout junior’s name

Once again, this video could only have come from a security guy. Scary thought, isn’t it, that the menhebak crowd don’t know who to trust anymore.

And about Bayada, you mean this video?

July 17th, 2011, 3:46 pm


jad said:

Sure! we either believe you or Louai otherwise we become numbers.
إنت واحد قليل أدب وما بتستاهل الواحد يحكي معك.

Damascus today:
مهرجان الولاء للوطن – ساحة الامويين 17 – 7- 2011

July 17th, 2011, 3:46 pm


Aboud said:

@113 Hahaha, wallak sho farqa ma3i ya3ni, lo ehkayt aw ma ehkayt ma3i, ra7 dal 3am hezelkon badankon. Ya 3ama sho inkon shelet kezaben mab testeho

Typical Baathist scum. They claim that over 700 soldiers have died in four months, and yet they go and throw a party. Disgraceful. Any other government would be too ashamed to be so blatantly hypocritical. And the Baathists on this forum are so uncultured, they actually approve instead of hiding their heads in shame.

July 17th, 2011, 3:55 pm


MDS said:

some people here are extremely schizophrenic
“The Homsis mobilized themselves, and got together to protect their neighborhoods. After a brief confrontation in Damascus road, which went badly for the shabiha scum, they crawled back to the holes they came out from.”
“For hours, there was a standoff on the Damascus road, and then the shabiha tried to attack the area. They got their butts deservedly handed to them on a Homsi silver platter, and by late night had crawled back into whatever holes they had come out from.”
and did the “Homsis” done all that only by shouting “7reya 7reya,slmeya slmeya!” no weapon of any kind while the “shabi7a” were armed and protected by the ruthless security forces,is it only me that find this “story” contradicted with simple logic?
after all, the “shabi7a” aren’t exactly the killing machines you all were trying to convince us that they are since the “peaceful protesters” were able to do what you describe as “They got their butts deservedly handed to them on a Homsi silver platter”
hell,I really recommend you to send your C.V to addunia, they’ll hire you immediately

July 17th, 2011, 4:09 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

I can’t resist saying it (Edited for bad language)

July 17th, 2011, 4:13 pm


Aboud said:

@116 Hurts that bad, huh? LOL!


“and did the “Homsis” done all that only by shouting “7reya 7reya,slmeya slmeya!”

No, as I said before, they had sticks, and there were many of them, far more than the number of shabiha that had crawled out of the shabiha-holes.

“were armed and protected by the ruthless security forces”

The security forces are ruthless when they feel they can get away with it, but as we saw in Hama, even they back off when too many people confront them all at once.

“after all, the “shabi7a” aren’t exactly the killing machines you all were trying to convince us that they are since the “peaceful protesters” were able to do what you describe as “They got their butts deservedly handed to them on a Homsi silver platter””

Oh noooo, did your feelings get hurt? I’ve never said that the shabiha were professional fighters or soldiers. On the contrary, and since everything I say here seems to burn permanently onto the minds of the Baathists (LOL!), you will easily recall that from day one, I’ve always said that the shabiha-scum are just thugs with guns, and if they were sent up against an armed enemy, they would piss their junior-issued baggy black pants and turn tail. In Telkelkah, it was Sunni conscripts on the first line, tanks on the second, and shabia scum last.

The Terminator, these people are not. That night, all they could do was burn and loot Sunni stores in Hadara, and smash places in Hamra. But when the people of Homs gathered in large numbers, they sent those thugs packing. Now, the shabiha are holed up in their…hehe…holes. Life in the rest of Homs goes on as normal, but Hadara is locked down tight, its unfortunate residents wondering what the hell the local shabiha scum have gotten them into this time.

Let me share with you some amusing graffiti I saw in Hamra, written on the ground (unlike the shabiha, the opposition does not believe in vandalizing people’s properties)

El3an Rohak Ya Hafez tha tha tha tha tha (hehehhe)
Donate to the poor man Bashar
Warning! This is the Golan!

along with a liberal sprinkling of “Esqot el Nezam”

Talk about shooting oneself in the foot, that’s a classical case right here 🙂

Just saw Ahmed Sawan on BBC Arabic refer to Youtube as “Youteeb”. ROFL!

July 17th, 2011, 4:30 pm


Ss said:


Let us play math a little.

4 moths passed and what have you achieved so far. You go for SIRAN every friday and the regime according to your statement is killing people. I would say the regime is grilling some of your MBs. If the unrest will last for another 2000 fridays, that means will have 60 000 MBs out of the streets. The issue is that those MBs reproduce like rabbits.
Let me tell you one think kiddooo, Syria will stay secular and your group will never ever take over. You gave the army a chance to grill you every friday and will do. I think you make a good Turkey yourself. Death to radical islam, death to alqaeda, death to terrorists. DEATH to RADICAL ISLAMISTS,
Death to muslim brotherhood

Syria no kandahar comment 116: you can say that again

July 17th, 2011, 4:44 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The staged pro regime demonstrations are pathetic. Really. In a middle of a working day. Could you imagine a Syrian tells his boss: Boss, I’d like to take 3 hours off to go to a pro democracy demo. Do you think he’ll still have his job when he comes back?

You skilfully irritate some of the arch reactionary Baathists here on SC. Keep the good work coming.

BTW, From YT, Homs looks like a war zone.

July 17th, 2011, 4:52 pm


MDS said:

“Oh noooo, did your feelings get hurt? I’ve never said that the shabiha were professional fighters or soldiers. On the contrary, and since everything I say here seems to burn permanently onto the minds of the Baathists (LOL!), you will easily recall that from day one, I’ve always said that the shabiha-scum are just thugs with guns, and if they were sent up against an armed enemy, they would piss their junior-issued baggy black pants and turn tail. In Telkelkah, it was Sunni conscripts on the first line, tanks on the second, and shabia scum last.

The Terminator, these people are not. That night, all they could do was burn and loot Sunni stores in Hadara, and smash places in Hamra. But when the people of Homs gathered in large numbers, they sent those thugs packing. Now, the shabiha are holed up in their…hehe…holes.”
so, you mean that when few protestors (say a hundred) take down to the street, the “shabi7a” kills as many as they can (say 5)
but when they are confronted with larger numbers (say a thousand) they retreat without killing anyone and without shooting a single bullet!? maybe they are out of ammo (how about that)
also another thing “In Telkelkah, it was Sunni conscripts on the first line” how can they trust them? or you just throwing whatever you hear to stir things up

by the way, the conspiracy theory the opposition is giving us about the events is as bad as the government’s (I’m talking about the 3 guys killed in Homs and all the sectarian kills that took place in the “holy revolution”)

July 17th, 2011, 4:53 pm


Aboud said:


Not sure how seriously I should take someone who named himself after the worst Nazi outfit, but I guess war criminals like to stick together.

“Syria will stay secular ”

Said the SS-lover whose president closed down the country’s only casino, allowed the niqab in government departments, and relies on an Iranian theocracy to prop him up. Doublethink anyone?

Now, I’ve never claimed to be part of the “MB”, so if you’d like to go ahead and kill them all, then that’s nothing for me to worry about. But it might be hard to find someone who doesn’t even exist in Syria, just like your 64,000 illusive Salafis.

“Let me tell you one think kiddooo”

Uh…one think? You mean you Baathists don’t like a difference of opinions? Well yes, I think we’ve understood that about you people…oh, you mean “one thing”! LOOOOL!

“Syria no kandahar comment 116: you can say that again”

Mmmmmmm yummy. Your collective tears are delicious, and is the reason I love coming to this forum. Stack em up so I can knock em down 🙂

Amir @ 119 “You skilfully irritate some of the arch reactionary Baathists here on SC.”

Hehe, it doesn’t take much “skill”. It’s like competing against kids in the Special Debating Olympics (I bet none of them know what I mean by “special”)

“BTW, From YT, Homs looks like a war zone.”

It’s not, at least not today. Hadara is locked down, but the rest of Homs I went to was normal. I didn’t go to the downtime market though.

July 17th, 2011, 4:56 pm


MDS said:

“The staged pro regime demonstrations are pathetic. Really. In a middle of a working day. Could you imagine a Syrian tells his boss: Boss, I’d like to take 3 hours off to go to a pro democracy demo. Do you think he’ll have his job when he comes back?”
when you say something like this in the future make sure everyone listening to you have an average IQ of 10
the event haven’t started before 17.00 local time which means that all the government employees were long at home

July 17th, 2011, 4:59 pm


jad said:

Dear Dr. Landis,
Please check this post by Pierre Piccinin, it’s excellent, he is visiting allover Syria and writing about his experience:

Syrie – Vicissitudes et réalités du « Printemps arabe »

Le cas des révoltes qui agitent la Syrie depuis le début du mois de février vient ajouter ses spécificités à un « Printemps arabe » devenu déjà très complexe et divers, et dont le bilan s’éloigne de plus en plus de l’image simpliste qu’en avaient forgée maints observateurs euphoriques, celle d’une « vague révolutionnaire démocratique déferlant sur tout le monde arabo-musulman », de Rabat à Téhéran.


He also wrote about the numbers of protesters for last Friday here during his visit to Hama, atleast he is not going to be fired as Assafir did to Ghadi Fransis (free speech!):

Syrie : un million de manifestants. Vraiment ?

“Toutefois, s’il est vrai qu’il s’est agi de la plus grande manifestation dans le pays, en revanche, je puis affirmer, si je tente une estimation plus précise, que le nombre des manifestants doit avoir été de 15.000 à 30.000 personnes au plus.”


July 17th, 2011, 5:00 pm


Tara said:


That is called: over- time. Double payment for after hours.

July 17th, 2011, 5:08 pm


MDS said:

“Now, I’ve never claimed to be part of the “MB”, so if you’d like to go ahead and kill them all, then that’s nothing for me to worry about. But it might be hard to find someone who doesn’t even exist in Syria, just like your 64,000 illusive Salafis.”
you must be joking here, you mean that the Islamist in much of the “brave cities” have nothing to do with the “7erak sh3bi” (Duma and Hama for instance) maybe they are too busy watching star academy!

July 17th, 2011, 5:09 pm


Aboud said:

@123 “atleast he is not going to be fired as Assafir did to Ghadi Fransis (free speech!):”

I find it very hard to believe that you actually live in the West. Do you mean you’ve never heard the phrase “Free speech doesn’t mean you can shout “Fire!” in a crowded cinema”

OK fine, you searched through all the corners of the Internet to find the one itsy bitsy morsel of information that gives you comfort. Then the regime should have nothing to worry about….right? LOL!

July 17th, 2011, 5:11 pm


jad said:

Your news, unfortunately, are correct, yesterday clashes are terrible news for the uprising (and all of us) since the radical within it are turning it violent and sectarian while many are trying to deny facts:

مصادر حقوقية: أكثر من 30 قتيلا في حمص في مواجهات بدأت يوم السبت

أعلن المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان أن أكثر من 30 قتيلا مدنيا سقطوا خلال الساعات الـ24 الماضية بحمص في اشتباكات بين موالين لنظام الأسد ومعارضين له.

وقال المرصد في بيان له يوم الأحد 17 يوليو/تموز إن “أكثر من 30 شهيدا مدنيا قتلوا خلال الأربع والعشرين ساعة الماضية في مدينة حمص (…) إثر اقتتال مدني بين موالين ومعارضين للنظام اندلع في المدينة يوم أمس السبت”، بحسب وكالة الصحافة الفرنسية.

وأضاف المرصد أن “هذا الاقتتال في مدينة حمص هو تحول خطير يمس بسلمية الثورة ويخدم أعداءها والمتربصين بها والذين يسعون لتحويل مسارها نحو حرب أهلية”. وقد أعلن المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان في وقت سابق أن مواجهات في حمص اندلعت السبت بين مناصرين للنظام ومعارضين له بعد مقتل 3 شبان مؤيدين للنظام.

#0, I pity you for your pathetic ignorant, go learn some other languages and read at least one article to the end. You are very special indeed.

July 17th, 2011, 5:14 pm


MDS said:

“124. Tara said:


That is called: over- time. Double payment for after hours.

if you really think that the people gathered at al-amween were forced to attend or paid at least you should check the facts (do you actually know any employees? or just throwing random lies -you remind me of the state TV that denied there where a protest at Meidan saying they went to praise God for the rain)

July 17th, 2011, 5:17 pm


MDS said:

“yesterday clashes are bad news for the uprising since it’s turning violent and sectarian”

Actually JAD, it’s bad news for Syrians not just for the “revolution”

July 17th, 2011, 5:20 pm


Tara said:


I personally was herded to attend many pro- Assad demonstrations in Damascus in the past. This is a well known fact and is simply not contestable. It is voluntary participation …by force.

July 17th, 2011, 5:21 pm


jad said:

I agree, I wrote it’s bad news for all of us.

July 17th, 2011, 5:24 pm


Aboud said:

@127 “I pity you for your pathetic ignorant”

Er, it’s actually “pathetic ignorance”. Am I the only one who finds it an incredible coincidence that all the Baathists here keep making the same spelling mistakes? LOL!

Seriously, you’re so sure of your numbers, then junior shouldn’t even be talking to the opposition, since according to you they only consist of a few old men in the MB. I have a better idea, why not invite in the world’s press so they can confirm the numbers?

Of course, junior would never do so, not in a million years. The very thought is enough to make the Baathists piss their pants.

July 17th, 2011, 5:28 pm


SYR.Expat said:

“في خطوة مفاجئة، أعاد الأمن السوري اعتقال الكاتب المعارض علي العبد الله (61 عاماً) أمس في منزله بمنطقة قطنة القريبة من دمشق، من ضمن موجة اعتقالات، على حد تعبير نجله محمد العبد الله و«الرابطة السورية لحقوق الإنسان». وقال محمد العبد الله إن «عشرة جنود اقتحموا منزل والدي عند التاسعة من صباح يوم الأحد واقتادوه، رغم أنه سبق له أن أجرى عملية جراحية في قلبه منذ أقل من ثلاثة أسابيع»، علماً بأنه أفرج عنه في أيار الماضي بعفو رئاسي، بعدما أمضى 4 سنوات في السجن بسبب عضويته في «إعلان دمشق».”

I guess the reforms and dialogue that the government has been calling for is going forward with the arrest of Ali Al-Abdallah, the secular opposition writer who was released from from prison just last May. He was in prison for being part of the Damascus Declaration, which called for establishing a democratic government.

July 17th, 2011, 5:38 pm


MDS said:

“130. Tara said:


I personally was herded to attend many pro- Assad demonstrations in Damascus in the past. This is a well known fact and is simply not contestable. It is voluntary participation …by force.”

please don’t speak in general, I and every Syrian student know that used to be the case (even though I personally refused to walk a single step in any such “mseirah”) but this isn’t the case now
(you should remember that there’s no schools or universities and the event took place after working hours).
I’m only saying this just to clarify that there’s actually people who choose to attend such rallies voluntarily and ignoring them won’t do any good for the country

I’m out, good night and (تصبحون على وطن)

July 17th, 2011, 5:38 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Haha Aboud… all Baathists are one think 🙂 you’re hilarious lad !!
Yallah, Good Night.

July 17th, 2011, 5:38 pm


Tara said:


I never said that some of the pro regime demonstrators are not at free free will. I am sure there are but how many?

I am glad you mentioned ” messirah” but i doubt you could’ve refused to take a single step unless you were” ibn masoul” . Otherwise, they do not really leave you with any choice.

The regime must allow free press in without a handler for us to believe in its story. And until then, we unfortunately must daw judgement from personal experience.

July 17th, 2011, 5:48 pm


N.Z. said:

There is lack of sensitivity.

People are dying and cities are rampaged by the regime thugs. In less than 24 hours, thirty dead in Homs alone.

The regime and thugs are on one side, their insensitivity will hasten their fall. It is only ignorant people will go and celebrate in squares when their fellowmen are dying at the hands of those they are cheering.

The regime has lost it so are the cheerleaders! It is these cheerleaders who have no shame! And I will say it in English.Loud and clear. Stop accusing one another, and labelling. Show some respect, we do not have to agree, even we can agree to disagree, but stop the insults. Men are bleeding and dying, and some are still cheering and accusing. Have a heart! We are not enemies.

July 17th, 2011, 5:49 pm


Tara said:

Syrian Expat,

Is his son, the same guy as the spokesperson of the Syrian revolution FB? Or just similar names?

July 17th, 2011, 5:53 pm


SYR.Expat said:

138. TARA

It appears so. His son is in hiding from what I read in another article.

July 17th, 2011, 6:00 pm


why-discuss said:


I spend my mouse skipping Abboud’s posts.. they have reached an unbearable level of hysteria and bad taste.

July 17th, 2011, 6:02 pm


Aboud said:

@140 You “spend” your mouse? How does a mouse get “spent”? Is it a phenomenon that only Aboud’s posts can cause a mouse to do?

I dunno what I said wrong. All I said was that junior was a coward for not allowing the world’s press in to confirm that the entire revolution has been one long edited Youteeeeee clip. Seriously, I just don’t know what the eye doctor could possibly be hiding….

July 17th, 2011, 6:07 pm


why-discuss said:


Thanks, very interesting link dispelling all the false information carried by the media from someone who is there now and visited Hama and other cities

July 17th, 2011, 6:12 pm


Abughassan said:

Who are the 11 people elected in Istanbul by the opposition? Do you guys have any names?
Bashar by allowing arrests of syrians who did not committ crimes is confirming what I and many have said: he is not qualified to lead. Those arrests will actually speed up his fall.

July 17th, 2011, 6:18 pm


ss said:

132 Aboud
“junior would never do so, not in a million years”

Unfortunate for you that the junior will be sitting on your chest for years to come. This is painful for people like you but guess what, he is there, and he is the president of Syria like it or not. The army goes from one city to the other to clean the mess. By the way, I have not heard much from Banyas and Deraa lateley, even Jesr alshogoor. Would you please some videos from these areas. I wish the army the best in Abo Kamal. Aboud, the junior will be your president, better for you to leave the country.

July 17th, 2011, 6:26 pm


Aboud said:

@144 Are you trying out for the role of King Kong? Because, you know, with all that hairy chest thumping….

“better for you to leave the country.”

Yes, I can leave the country whenever I like, and go wherever I like. Which is more than I can say for junior and Maher. What country would possibly host them now? Maybe Iran. How ironic, the eye doctor ending up living in a theocracy much worse than the one he keeps saying will come to Syria without him. LOL!

July 17th, 2011, 6:46 pm


Abughassan said:

Homs is a poster city for what is wrong with the regime and the militant elements in the opposition alike. There are still people who deny the obvious because facts hurt their claims that in this uprising only one side is guilty. The more sectarian killings we see,the closer we get to a situation that leaves Syria with one choice: a takeover by the army and an end to demonstrations under a newly-enforced curfew and emergency law. In reality,the emergency law was not actually lifted since unauthorized arrests never stopped in Syria,but the climbing number of casualities will actually weaken support for the uprising and delay political reform. I yet have to see condemnation from the opposition for the brutal murder of 4 civilians in Homs who happened to be alawi and support the regime.
Imagine how Syria will look like if the army is not allowed to be present in troubled spots and militant thugs are allowed to rule the streets. Instead of seeing leadership from our emerging opposition,I only heard denials that the crimes were sectarian in nature and few even suggested that those 4 people were killed by the regime !!

July 17th, 2011, 6:56 pm


Aboud said:

Well, a whole day has gone by since the mass desertion of the garrison at Abukamal. For a website that’s supposed to be quite prominent, it is disappointing to see the crap both the owner of the website and the Baathists choose to occupy themselves with, in light of this unprecedented event.

For the first time, we have irrefutable proof of a mass desertion from the ranks of the Syrian Army. You’d think that would have been foremost on people’s minds. Instead, the regime holds a festival in poor taste. Junior fiddles while Rome burns….

Abughassan @146 Any loss of life is deplorable, no matter the sect of the unfortunate victims. But please consider the regime’s history. The four murdered individuals were found in Al-Wa3r, which no one can claim is an opposition stronghold. It just sounds too convenient. And it gave the shabiha a pretext to rampage throughout Homs.

The regime thought that the people of the city would be intimidated by this display of bullying. They were wrong. Like everything else this clueless regime has done, it backfired, spectacularly.

July 17th, 2011, 6:58 pm


seatoland said:

Dear Joshua and friends I report this for you from my brother in Qatana (SW of Damascus):

The city is now under protection of the army after clashes erupted between Druze and Sunni salafist. After the Druze community held pro-government demonstrations in the city, they were attacked by Sunnis salafists with batons and arms. 3 Druze died in the clashes. The next day Druze answered back and attacked Sunnis in the city, many were injured and probably some where killed. Yesterday, the hardcore Sunnis proclaimed Qatana as an Islamic city and their leader was showing off riding on his horse in the city after more clashes erupted with the Druze community…

[believe it or not, even the taliban didn’t do it]

There is a siege going on and arms are being looked after. Christians in the city fear the worse…

God bless our country

July 17th, 2011, 7:04 pm


SYR.Expat said:


These murders must be condemned in the most explicit way.

One of the leading opposition figures, Dr. Burhan Galioun, has repeatedly stressed that the opposition use peaceful means and that any settling of scores be done in the court of law with full transparency. No to anarchy and no to extrajudicial or mob justice.

“if the army is not allowed to be present in troubled spots”
The problem is that the army has been implicated in the killing of people and the destruction of property. At least that’s the perception. The people don’t trust the army units that the government is sending to keep the order. If the problem of mistrust can’t be solved, there will be no change.

It’s important to mention that most of the killing and destruction of property is done by the government.

“وأوضح رئيس المرصد رامي عبد الرحمن ان الاقتتال اندلع السبت على شكل تضارب واشتباكات بالعصي بين الطرفين على خلفية مقتل ثلاثة شبان مؤيدين للنظام، ثم ما لبث ان تطور الى اشتباكات مسلحة، مشيراً الى ان عدداً كبيراً من القتلى سقط برصاص قناصة. وأضاف ان الاشتباكات اندلعت في شارع الحضارة القريب من وسط المدينة ثم توسعت رقعتها لتشمل احياء اخرى، محملا مسؤولية ما يحصل الى السلطات السورية لأن «من واجبها حماية امن الوطن والمواطن وليس التفرج على ما يجري لأنها بتفرجها انما تشجع ما يحصل من اقتتال اهلي».
من جهته قال شاهد عيان لوكالة «فرانس برس» إن الاشتباكات اتخذت منحى طائفياً بين علويين وسنة وجرت بشكل رئيسي ليل السبت – الاحد في شارعين في المدينة هما شارع الحضارة وشارع الزهراء، وقد تم فيهما استهداف محلات تجارية ومنازل بالتخريب والحرق والسرقة. وأضاف ان مرتكبي القسم الأكبر من هذه الاعمال هم من «الزعران» الموالين للنظام والذين ارتكبوا اعمالهم «على مرأى من اجهزة الامن»، مشيراً من جهة اخرى الى مقتل اربعة من رجال الشرطة إضافة الى اربعة اشخاص اختطفوا وعثر على جثثهم.


July 17th, 2011, 7:17 pm


why-discuss said:


“Yes, I can leave the country whenever I like, and go wherever I like.

Are you so sure? No shabiha is following you?

“the shabiha a pretext to rampage throughout Homs.”

Do they ever needed a pretext?

July 17th, 2011, 7:20 pm


Abughassan said:

More defections are likely if the unrest continues and the death toll rises,however,this is not a win-loss situation,it is actually a loss-loss. The regime must use the army only when there is a serious threat to civil peace,and the opposition should leave the army out of their political calculations.the army is the only institution that can protect Syria and the only party that can take over if Bashar resigns or is forced out (a less likely possibility).
We can not blame the regime for every death and we need to have the courage to admit that Syria has no shortage of thugs and criminals. I hope Homs will eventually recover from a bloody Saturday that did not benefit any Syrian regadless of his or her political position.

July 17th, 2011, 7:20 pm


some guy in damascus said:

@146 abu ghassan.
a curfew would really sound great now….too bad ramadan is around the corner

July 17th, 2011, 7:25 pm


syau said:

Louai #104,

I’m sorry to hear about the death of your teacher’s nephew. May God rest his soul rest in peace.

I hope your friends brother recovers soon, and your family stays safe. It’s sad that things have come to this. Hopefully the army will continue to protect the neighbourhoods until this mess is finally over.

I have family members in Homs and I know how much you would be worrying with the chaos Homs is experiencing. Hopefully the situation will settle down soon.

Insensitive Aboud either dismisses everything not to his liking as a lie or looks out for spelling mistakes to pick on when he doesn’t have anything to say.

July 17th, 2011, 7:26 pm


Abughassan said:

Most people will disagree with the accusation that the army engaged in destruction of private properties,however,wherever there is shooting and street battles,properties will be destroyed. This is different from what Shabbihas and thugs from all sides have done.
We have no choice but to protect and support the army because there is nobody else to trust. Keep the army out of your political fights.
(I need a break from SC and the news,I think I had enough)
Peace to all…

July 17th, 2011, 7:29 pm


aboali said:

woman tells how security forces stormed her home and shot her kid in the feet to get her to say where her husband was hiding: Idleb – Kafr Nibol

July 17th, 2011, 7:30 pm


Aboud said:

@151 “I’m sorry to hear about the death of your teacher’s nephew. May God rest his soul rest in peace. ”

1,400 deaths, countless children killed, and the only time you ever express regret is when a supposed friend of a Baathist dies? Your expressions of sorrow are as fake as your president’s notions of dialogue.

“I have family members in Homs and I know how much you would be worrying with the chaos Homs is experiencing”

Funny, I don’t know what part of Homs you claim to have family in, but Homs was very calm today. It helped that all the shabiha were grounded and had to stay indoors for being such wankers last night.

July 17th, 2011, 7:35 pm


Nour said:

It seems like no one wants to listen to any viewpoint other than his/her own and everyone wants to believe that their side is absolutely right and the other side is absolutely wrong. This is a sure recipe for disaster and reminds me of the Lebanese civil war. After 15 years of brutal infighting that led to the death of 200,000 Lebanese, each side still thinks they were absolutely right and the other side absolutely wrong. This is the road many are taking and it seems like they are more than willing to destroy the country just to satisfy their own foolish pride.

July 17th, 2011, 7:46 pm


Tara said:

Sectarian killing is strongly condemned and only benefits those who are aiming for Syria destruction.

Everyday that passes while the regime continues to declare its intention of reforming without any substantial step towards a real reform is a step closer to possible civil war.

Bashar has only himself to blame. His cling to power will bring him down and may bring the whole country down with him.

July 17th, 2011, 7:58 pm


syau said:


I really am not interested in proving anything to the likes of you, nor am I interested in your false or sensationalised statements regarding the situation in Homs. You are either very clueless about the actual situation on ground (if you are residing in Homs that is) or you hear second hand information and twist it to your liking.

Unlike you, I am saddened by deaths of Syrians.

July 17th, 2011, 8:04 pm


ss said:

156 “Bashar has only himself to blame. His cling to power will bring him down and may bring the whole country down with him”.

I really dont get it why should Assad step down for a handful of people who wants him out. I do not see how a Friday model of demonstrations in few cities with only 1% of the Syrian people in the streets should bring a whole goverment down. I understand that some people in the opposition wants him out, but the reality and what is going on the ground is way far from your dreams. It is easy to type and wish but be factual. I see that he has the mass support from all minorities. I see that both Aleppo and Damascus did not come out. I see that the cities where the army intervened are clean. Just give me an recent incident in Banyas, Deraa or even Jisr Alshogoor. I am not sure how Tara wants to kick Assad out.

July 17th, 2011, 8:15 pm


why-discuss said:


I have the strong impression that the armed gangs are being chased from cities to cities and they are ending up in border cities: First Deraa( Jordan), then Jisr el shorough(turkey) then Kalkhal (lebanon) now Deir El Zor, Abu Kamal (Iraq) and Zabadani (Lebanon).
We have not had yet a northern border city involved.
Isn’t curious? Central cities are getting quieter.

July 17th, 2011, 8:30 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

It felt so good,although my comment to pony tail was removed,even keeping it for an hour felt so good.I felt almost like a suecide bomber,I did what I thought I should do ,I could have died,but heck(I am using pony tail words)I would have been shaheed,we all should do that to clean this place from the scum(again his words).the worst thing will be that you can’t use your fake name.fighting people like pony tail I felt that every one who got killed in Homs today thanked me.

July 17th, 2011, 8:40 pm


louai said:

Dear JAD and SYAU thank you for showing empathy its a really bad day for me ,to write and read about something is one thing and to hear that someone you know got killed is something eles

yes JAD Christians are easy target , i thought that its between Sunnis and Alawites and the Christians will get hurt as a result to the civil war but not so early . we lost in my neighbourhood two innocent soles already not for anything just because of pure hatred , they did not demonstrate against any one they are not in the army or in security forces they are only supporting the government and the president openly, my stupid little brother put his number online to organize pro-government rally, he got a death threat thanks god no one knows his name or that what he told me !!, Homs is like no other place i just cancelled my girlfriend’s booking to Syria and i am going alone its not the time to visit Homs for her.

Dear Abughassan
,you managed somehow to be neutral position or as you call it you are pro- Syria , i am asking your advice here(i am probably older than you but just because of your name i imagine you as decant Syrian and i see Syria pretty much throw people like you) , how you manage to keep neutral when you see hear and read what’s going on? i used to criticize the government big time when i was younger then i give up and immigrated as i felt i can not fit in any more but to criticize the government and corruption and oppression is one thing and to support this revolution is another thing , i tried from the beginning of this revolution to be open minded and not blindly opposite this revolution but after the revolution hit home today i just cant tolerate this criminal acts any more , those people who has died i know some of them personally my little brother got death threat just for helping organizing a rally ! your answer is most appreciated.
good night

July 17th, 2011, 8:46 pm


Tara said:


By free and clean election. A difficult concept ? Why is the regime so much afraid of it?

To claim that 99% of the country support Bashar is just laughable. I never heard of any political figure in the recent history that has gotten 99% approval rate. Do you deny it?

Staged demonstration does not impress anyone. It is an overestimation of support. Every one knows this.

Dimashq and Halab are anything but .. loyal, and the near future will prove it in case you do not know it. The moment they see their rewards/financial interests are threatened, they will dump Bashar in a second.

July 17th, 2011, 8:46 pm


Aboud said:

@162 Heheheh, getting censored, are we?

“It felt so good”

Yes, apparently you insulting a great mind like mind would make a petty person like you “feel so good”. (edited for personal attack) all your life 🙂

“I am using pony tail words”

Did you just call me…pony tail?

Thank you! Thank you thank you thank you 🙂 You have no idea how much joy it brings me to know that I vex junior’s sycophants so much that they would give me a name. I really must be doing something right after all this time 🙂

@161 Um, wait a second, I need to get my head around your absurd military analysis
“First Deraa( Jordan)”,

OK, so the Jordanians were arming groups in Dar’a? That sounds like an act of war. Why is junior such a weak-a** wimp that he doesn’t make Jordan pay for it?

“then Jisr el shorough(turkey)”

Wait, Dar’a and Jisr el Shoghor (not shorough, ya edited for personal attack) are at different ends of the country. How did armed extremists manage to get all the way up there? And secondly, I thought it was a Jordanian plot, now it’s a Jordanian-Turkish plot?

“then Kalkhal (lebanon)”

Dude, do you even know Arabic? It’s called Telkelakh. So, they ran all the way down to Telkelakh from Jisr Al Shoghor? But wait…Jisr Al Shoghor was *after* Telkelakh. What kind of weak military analyst are you that you don’t even know when each *battle* was fought?

“now Deir El Zor”,

Uh, so now you are claiming there are armed gangs in Deir el Zor? Not even Al-Dunya has claimed that. But do you know what Dar’a, Telkelakh, Jisr al Shoghour and Deir el Zour all have in common? They all came out in massive numbers to demonstrate against junior. How convenient that the very next day Al-Dunya discovered “armed Jordanian-Turkish-Salafi” gangs in each and every place.

“Abu Kamal (Iraq)” You really don’t read the news much, do you? The “armed gang” BS won’t work in Abu Kamal, it was clearly an army defection, something the Baathists on this forum have been too scared to talk about.

Honestly, as a military analyst, you are ( Edited for personal attack).

This has been Aboud, proud Homsi with a proud pony tail (think I should actually grow one)

July 17th, 2011, 8:53 pm


Aboud said:

And you still haven’t told me how my posts managed to “spend” your mouse :p

July 17th, 2011, 9:07 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

This is the begining of Syrian civil war 07/17/2011,it will be the ugliest war in history.Extremist sunni buchters will start doing Alaaroor instructions about sectarian cleaning.Christians should leave Syria ASAP if they can,or go to Lebanon or Turkey.Those (Edited for insult) Abood alike has no humanity inside them,they only have hate and revenge.From day one it was very clear that this is where things are going,I dont even think that even if Bashar resigns these (Edited for insult) will stop,they are after revenge,it is in their blood.
Lebanon lost 200000 in civil war,Iraq lost double that,Syria will lose more than a million,any one who can take his family out of the fire should do that. ( You are at risk of being banned for a week. Please read SC rules)

July 17th, 2011, 9:15 pm


why-discuss said:


I already said you are the funniest of all, now you convinced me I am the worst of everything and also because I spend my mouse instead of spending my energy like you are with great success in your intensive and thorough reporting of What’s On in Syria. Hat off!

July 17th, 2011, 9:22 pm


syau said:


It hit home for me too at the beginning of the uprises when acquaintances were murdered and mutilated, and when the taxi my uncle was in, was ambushed numerous times by the blockades the gangs had set up, while on his way back to his home in Homs, and also when the village my aunty lives in was being threatened by some of the gang members, luckily that area is now clean after security forces got on top of the situation.

Ask your brother to change his number and alert security forces about the situation and stay safe when you return. Hopefully stability will be regained soon.

Syria no Kandahar,

I agree that ponytail and his gang have no humanity inside them, but residents leaving is just what the ‘revolutionists’ are hoping for. The situation won’t be allowed to reach such dire levels as Iraq. The upper hand will be regained.

July 17th, 2011, 9:32 pm


daleandersen said:


“…we have no choice but to protect and support the army because there is nobody else to trust…”

For a “wise man,” you have made some pretty stupid pronouncements on here. But with this one, you have taken the prize.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it one more time. The Syrian Army is an instrument of the Assad Mafia. It has its own agenda. It has its own raison d’être. It is not to be trusted.

The Syrian Army was never intended by the Assad Mafia to defend the nation from foreign enemies. It was built from the ground up for one purpose: to keep the Assad Mafia in power.

If for no other reason, think of this: if the regime is toppled (very likely), a number of senior Army officers will be on trial for their lives. Are you willing to guarantee them amnesty? And if you are, can you protect them from the families of dead protestors bent on revenge?

July 17th, 2011, 9:45 pm


ss said:

164 Tara;

“Free election”: What election are you talking about. Syrians being killed. The army has to restore the order and bring security to people first. Nothing will happen before the goverment restore order. After that the regime must invite parties to play a role in the political life.

“The moment they see their rewards/financial interests are threatened, they will dump Bashar in a second”.

You have been wishing for a crack in the regime. I honestly see that the regime is even getting stronger and the experience they are getting on the ground is unpresedented. I only hear lies by opposition people and aljazeera that army is spliting, generals are fleeing, all bull*** lie. I say it again, you will never ever bring the goverment down by handful of people gathering once a week. This is really funny. Plus I thank the goverment for allowing people to go out and demonstrate. The democracy that the people have now in the streets is also unheard of in Syria. I am not seeing that the army is brutally killing people in the streets, and if that is true then we should have mass death each week. Also your fellow Aboud had showed us today a clip from Homs where the army is in harmony with the people which is really great and tells you how professional the army and goverment are in dealing with the crises. People who are prisoned are being released in three days max (this is unheard of in Syria). I call all of that PROFESSIONALISM

July 17th, 2011, 9:58 pm


abughassan said:

I will do this for you,louai,but after that I have to take a break,this is becoming a big distraction for me and somewhat a waste of time. Here is my final post for the next few days-weeks:
(i never claimed to be right but i never intentionally presented false information)
First and foremost,assuming that you are not a Sunni,keep good relations with your sunni friends and associates and ask your relatives to do the same,sunnis and alawis are not guilty by association,and second,send more money to charity in Syria and ask that the money goes to all needy syrians,not just those from your sect,that is what i have done for over 20 years.
I lived in Syria until I was in my 20s but I kept on visiting every year and stayed in touch through a large network of friends and relatives. I consider myself lucky for coming from a secular family,one of my parent is a sunni and the other is an alawi,and both were as beautiful as the Jasmine of Damascus and as sweet as Qamar Al-Deen. I am not neutral on this uprising, I did not support Bashar’s appointment as president in 2000 and was always against this regime,however,I realized a long time ago that militant islamists are a direct threat to national security,and that sectarian tension is largely underestimated. this tension now may explode and lead to a bloody disaster. The blood spilled in Syria is syrian blood,it is not sunni,alawi or christian,and we all lose if this country becomes another Lebanon or Iraq. There are wonderful people on this blog but there are also hateful and polarizing figures too who refuse to see beyond their nose and are unable to learn from history. The best way to keep your focus and sanity is by realizing that we are all on the same boat and we can not give Syria to the extremeists on both sides. Conservative Muslims are largely peaceful and they love their country but they are not as loud or effective as the militants and the thugs who seem often to be in the driver seat, with certain exceptions.Do not be fooled by the verbal support people like Kilo and Dalila receive from the islamists now,this is not likely to last,and those people are probably being used by the islamists and they will be marginalized as soon as guns become the most commonly-used language in Syria.My advice to those who share my position is to lower your expectations,after all Syria is a third world country,and not to get dragged to any sectarian or hateful debates with militant syrians, and to support the army and average syrians in general. This regime deserves most of the blame for this crisis but there are criminal elements on the other side that attacked the army and killed many Syrians,and are ready to kill more if they have to.
Bashar,my friend,can not be removed by force but he needs to go,he is not a competent leader and he lost a lot of support,and if things continue to deteriorate,he will have to resign and give his chair to a trnasitional president who will be supporterd by a military council until security and order is restored. The threat of a power vacuum is real,it is not a baathist fantasy,and that is why I never supported a sudden collapse of the regime unless the army takes over,like in Egypt.
I am very tough,accourding to most people who know me,but I cried a number of times over the loss of lives in Syria and I sent every extra penny I have to needy people in Syria and so should each one of you.
peace,please excuse my absence.

July 17th, 2011, 10:19 pm


Mick said:


“The Syrian Army was never intended by the Assad Mafia to defend the nation from foreign enemies. It was built from the ground up for one purpose: to keep the Assad Mafia in power.”

Please. I’m sure the massive surface-to-surface missile force is designed to keep the Assad Mafia in power. Or that not only the military, but the security forces, were ill-prepared for an uprising would enter into your rhetorical logic. Syria lacked basic crowd control tools like tear gas. And when Iran provided them with tear gas, the West put sanctions in place! Saudi sends armed forces to Bahrain…we love it. Iran sends tear gas…we sanction. I guess Iranian tear gas is less democratic than Greek tear gas, or British tear gas, or American tear gas (used in Egypt).

I’m sure people like to laugh at Syria, but the Israeli Air Force doesn’t fly over Syria on a daily basis like they do in Lebanon.

July 17th, 2011, 10:24 pm


Tara said:


If I quote you right, you are saying that people imprisoned are getting ” professional treatment” . You are absolutely right. Hats off! I just can not possibly argue this one.

Still, I think the “handful of people” ( which is by definition 5 or less) demonstrating once a week will bring the government down. It is called the power of people against the dictatorship. If you don’t believe me, ask history and those who do not know history, are just destined to repeat it.

SS, your posts strike me as deep convictions or religious beliefs. We have decided on Syria Comments not too long ago that convictions are convictions. They do not have to be logical. I respect your convictions but I just can not argue them.

July 17th, 2011, 10:26 pm


Tara said:


I won’t excuse your absence. Not that I agree with you all the time but please stay.

July 17th, 2011, 10:39 pm


Darryl said:

Dear Shami,

Thanks for the positive comments, I am sorry I could not respond to you earlier as I was rushing to go Saturday morning to my hobby Farm and rural retreat to plant my Pistachio trees. They finally arrived after being on the waiting list for 2 years to receive my allocation.

Anyway, if you made to St Georges monastery being watched by Qal’at Al Husn ( Krak De Chevaliers), a most imposing structure atop that hill where on a clear day you can see Tripoli, Tartous and snow covered mountains of Lebanon, you were very close to where I was born and raised. St George used to have an annual fair that as kids (Christians, Sunni Muslims and Alawites) we would walk from the neighbouring villages and towns to enjoy the rides, food and shopping.

Unfortunately those days are over however the Syrian Christian communities that have left that area still carry those memories and traditions. That is why I have planted all the things that remind of Syria on my hobby farm. The olives, Figs, Grapes (table and wine), Pomegranates, Apricots, Peaches, Oranges and now the Pistachios (the Messenger was fond of many of these fruits). Incidently, the Pistachios and Canadian maple lined drive way will also remind me of growing up in North America as they turn shimmering red in Autumn just like the hills in Pennsylvania and New York. I even use a Ram for my small flock of sheep which is an old Syrian breed of sheep called Damara which apparently used to roam the steep hills of north-west Syria and southern Turkey, now only found in Africa. The Rams impressive doubly curled horns remind me of of the Style of Mustache that Men in Syria had in the old days.

Shami, The Christian communities of Wadi al-Nassara largely left because of the oppressive attitude of the Ottomans before and after WWI. The Ottomans introduced the present corrupt and archaic system of government to Syria, the waasta and sectariasm. There was stagnation, no improvements and no investment in infrastructure. My family produced lots of olives and oil, we could not sell it, there was no market for it. It is only recently that Syria is now starting to open markets for the goods produced in rural areas and exported overseas. The same story applies to many more families in Syria.

The problem did not end there, successive Syrian governments ignored the rural communities and now Syrian cities are swelling due to the influx of citizens from the rural side. Our town did not have a school until late 60s and when it got one, it was built by two wealthy people (who left Syria decades earlier as teenagers) from our town, who provided the school as a gift. Even to this day, Many Christian rural towns only have infrastructure because the expatriates send money through fund raising and charity work. This money largely is used to built roads etc etc. This is one reason why most Christian towns in Syria look a bit more advanced than the others. Most expatriates contribute and send money back to use for infrastructure projects.

My grandfathers and others used to travel to Brazil, work and bring money back from the late 1800 and early 1900. Many would come back after a number of years to discover that their wives gave birth and the child is now a few years old. Many never came back such as my uncle who left when he was only 15 years old and never saw his parents again or some of his siblings.

Christians were treated badly under the Ottomans, but the poor sunni communities who could not afford to pay them suffered even more and the Alawites got the worst treatment as they were the poorest. While I have not seen it, my grand father and my father passed on many terrible stories that still lives in the mind of older generations that have not passed on.

In Conclusion, Syria’s current problems existed way back then and many issues were never addressed and at best of times were given lip service as there was no competition or opposition in government circles. But rest assured, those who left still live with those Syrian traditions and act as ambassadors to promote the country. My Children are as Syrian as I am.

July 17th, 2011, 10:47 pm


daleandersen said:

Memo To: MICK

RE: “…the Israeli Air Force doesn’t fly over Syria on a daily basis like they do in Lebanon…”

How do you know they don’t?

For that matter, when was the last time a Syrian Missile shot down a Jew Jet?


July 17th, 2011, 10:51 pm


Tara said:


The Lebanese women convoy to support the Syrian ” leadership” does not impress me either. It is staged to serve a political agenda. I am only touched with genuine support not fake one.

July 17th, 2011, 11:02 pm


jad said:

حيرة سورية
ساطع نور الدين
عندما تقول وزيرة الخارجية الاميركية هيلاري كلينتون إن الوضع في سوريا مثير للحيرة، فإنها لا تقر بنقص في معلومات واشنطن، انما بفيض هذه المعلومات، التي يقدم النظام ومعارضوه كل يوم دليلاً على دقتها، وعلى انهم يسيرون في طريق أكثر تعرجاً وتعقيداً من الطرق التي يسلكها التونسيون والمصريون او حتى الليبيون واليمنيون، في سعيهم الى تغيير أنظمتهم السياسية.
حيرة اميركا هي دليل لا شك فيه على ارتباك موقفها من الانتفاضة الشعبية السورية، الذي شهد الاسبوع الماضي فقط ثلاث صيغ مختلفة تماماً، وردت تحت بند الإعلان ان الرئيس بشار الاسد فقد شرعيته، وهو إعلان نسبته كلينتون الى وجهة النظر الاميركية قبل ان يعود الرئيس باراك اوباما لتصويبه وإحالته الى الشعب السوري نفسه، وهو ما عادت وزيرة الخارجية الى الالتزام به وتوضيحه باعتباره استنتاجاً مستمداً من ذلك الشعب.. قبل ان تنأى عما يجري في سوريا وتصفه بأنه غير واضح المعالم ولا يمكن لأحد التأثير فيه، لان كثيرين، حسب تعبيرها، كان يحدوهم الامل في ان يقوم الاسد نفسه بالاصلاحات الضرورية، وهو ما لم يحصل، ولأن احداً لا يعلم كيف ستتمكن المعارضة السورية من قيادة تحركها وتحديد مجالات هذا التحرك.
واذا جاز اختصار هذا الموقف الاميركي فإنه يمكن الزعم ان واشنطن تقف الآن على حافة اليأس من النظام، الذي ارتكب ولا يزال يرتكب يومياً من الأخطاء التي لم يكن احد يتصورها، سواء في حملاته الامنية او مسرحياته السياسية، كما انها في المقابل تقف على حافة الامل بالمعارضة التي لا تزال تستمد قوتها ومصداقيتها وجاذبيتها من اخطاء النظام بالتحديد، من دون ان تبرهن حتى الآن على استعدادها لتكون البديل المنشود، سواء في منع الاختراقات الامنية او في ضبط المهازل السياسية.
هذه الحيرة الاميركية تختزل موقف مختلف دول العالم، العربية منها والاجنبية، التي لا تصدق الكثير مما تشاهده من استعراضات القوة المتبادلة بين النظام وبين معارضيه. بعضها مثير للشفقة وبعضها الآخر مثير للسخرية، لكنها كلها تنبئ بان سوريا تسير نحو مأزق امني وسياسي صعب، ليس ناجماً عن موازين قوى متساوية بين طرفي الازمة، بل عن افتقار كل منهما الى التوازن، ويغرق الجميع في دوامة التظاهرات والمذابح والجنازات، ويتبارز الجميع في مؤتمرات في الداخل والخارج لا تسمع فيها كلمة واحدة مفيدة، ولا تخرج منها فكرة واحدة مجدية.. ولا تقدم على خطوة واحدة تزداد إلحاحاً يوماً بعد يوم.
النظام السوري اختار الانتحار بوعي وتصميم، لكن المعارضات السورية اختارت كما يبدو أن تتفرج من بعيد، من دون أدنى حس بالمسؤولية عن شارع يغلي، وكان يترقب أن يأتيه من مؤتمر اسطنبول بخاصة ما يعادل تضحياته وما يوازي إنجازاته وما يترجم على الاقل تجربة حماه النموذجية بسلميتها ومدنيتها الى برنامج عمل وطني، يتجاوز المقولة التاريخية عن أن سوريا بلد يصعب حكمه لأن كل سوري يعتبر نفسه حاكماً!


July 18th, 2011, 12:00 am


jad said:

سفارة قطر تعلق أعمالها في دمشق إلى أجل غير محدد

علقت السفارة القطرية أمس أعمالها في دمشق إلى أجل غير محدد، بعد تظاهرات نظمها شبان سوريون أمام مقرها في حي أبو رمانة احتجاجاً على طريقة تعاطي فضائية «الجزيرة» القطرية مع الأحداث التي تجري في سورية.
وقال موظف سوري في السفارة في اتصال هاتفي أجرته معه «الوطن»: إن «أعضاء السلك الدبلوماسي في السفارة ابلغونا اليوم (أمس) أنه تم تعليق أعمال السفارة». وأضاف: «أبلغونا أيضاً أن كافة أعضاء السلك الدبلوماسي والشؤون القنصلية سيغادرون إلى قطر»، موضحاً أنه بحسب مسؤولي السفارة فإن تعليق أعمال السفارة «مؤقت»، لكنهم «لم يحددوا فترة هذا التعليق». ولم تصدر وزارتا الخارجية في سورية وقطر أي بيان حول تعليق أعمال السفارة القطرية في دمشق. وتحدثت مصادر إعلامية عن أن تعليق عمل السفارة جاء على الأغلب لأسباب أمنية بعد أن رشق متظاهرون السفارة بالحجارة والبيض والبندورة يوم الاثنين الماضي، دون أن يتعرض أي من الموظفين لأذى.
وتقول مصادر رسمية: إن تغطية عدد من المحطات الفضائية العربية والأجنبية من بينها فضائية «الجزيرة» للأحداث التي تجري في البلاد منذ منتصف آذار الماضي غير مهينة وغير موضوعية وإن تلك المحطات تقوم بحملة إعلامية مغرضة ضد البلاد عبر تزييف حقائق ما يجري وفبركة الأحداث.
واستقال عدد من الإعلاميين من القناة على خلفية طريقة تغطيتها للأحداث في سورية والبحرين من أبرزهم مدير مكتبها في بيروت غسان بن جدو ومسؤول التدقيق اللغوي والإخباري وعضو هيئة التحرير المذيع جميل عازار.
وكان وزير الخارجية والمغتربين وليد المعلم أكد في مؤتمر صحفي عقده في حزيران الماضي دعم كل الدول العربية دون استثناء لسورية في ظل الأزمة التي تمر بها.
وفيما إذا كانت قطر من بين هذه الدول قال المعلم: إن «قطر تدعم رسمياً الموقف السوري لكن ليس عبر قناة الجزيرة».


July 18th, 2011, 12:03 am


jad said:

Dear Abughassan
“peace,please excuse my absence.”
Take care, looking forward to hear from you soon.

Dr. Landis, the moderator
Please stop threatening people on SC, we all are old enough to know the rules but sometimes it gets really bad when you let provocative to take over and attack everybody without a peep, you need to understand that sometimes some of us will use bad words just to let out of our frustration, it’s not the end of the world, you just remove or edit any comment that doesn’t fit SC rules and things should be fine.
We are coming from a dictatorship culture and we want a place to be free to express ourselves which we found on SC, don’t destroy it for us, otherwise you will have nobody but provocative on here.
Thank you.

July 18th, 2011, 12:20 am


Real Syrian said:

Though I support the Syrian regime in his battle against Islamic radicals I have an idea which may not be tolerated by this regime.
I think Dr.Landis know Syria better than some writers on this blog which were hired to write every place against the Syrian regime…….
The coastal Disrict including the rural area of Hama and Homs like Wadi Alnasara and Musiaf consist in general of Alawaite and Christian people who live in peace and respect……
This area in Syria remind me with Greece and Cyprus….people are highly educated…..women are respected …..Freedom of life and thinking is appreciated…….This area in Syria doesn’t like the Sunni areas in the center and east of Syria where radicals control the social life …..
I feel that peaceful living between the Sunni Muslims and minorities is almost impossible….. so I hope to establish a state in the coastal area which I feel it is eligible to be a part of Europe…..This area has real conditions not only to survive but to up rise……….We have two major ports in Latakia and Tartus…..great landscapes for tourism and agriculture…..plenty of water…..and wonderful human resources….moreover the oil has been consumed in the Syrian desert and it has been discovered in the Mideterian Sea………..
If I was instead Al-Asad I take the primary steps to establish this state and make an ally even with the devil to end this bad marriage between the radical Muslims (90%)of Sunni and the other minorities…..
Even if the regime will pass this test who guarantees the future of the minorities…..
what I am writing is highly supported by Alawaite and Christian people in Syria………Give us the coastal area….take the desert and make your Taliban State and fight Israel if you want…..Minorities need peace and they want to be a piece of the developed world

July 18th, 2011, 12:25 am


jad said:

Real Syrian
You maybe need to have a talk to Observer, he shares your genius idea of splitting Syria, many on SC don’t support Syria suicide.

“what I am writing is highly supported by Alawaite and Christian people in Syria”
Talk about yourself, you only represent yourself, no real Syrian Alawite, Shia, Sunni, Christian, Durzi, Ismaeli, athiest or even Syrian Jew with the slightest logic will agree on the outrageous idea you are promoting.
Thank you but no Thank you, Syria is not going that way.

July 18th, 2011, 12:36 am


jad said:

شـبـكـة أخـبـار حـمـاه | H.N.N
حماة || الإثنين 18-7-2011
كما أسلفنا.. ولله الحمد.. تم إزالة الكثير من الحواجز من الشوارع الرئيسية والفرعية، مما أدى لتدفق الحياة والحركة في جسد مدينة حماه من جديد، وتم تنظيف الشوارع وإزالة أنقاض الحواجز والقمامة.
بالأمس.. معظم المحلات التجارية في الأسواق فتحت أبوابها، و عادت حركة المواصلات للعمل من جديد “باصات السيرفيس والتكاسي” وكذلك الأمر للدوائر الحكومية والمصارف.

نسأل الله تعالى أن يكون هذا اليوم مرحلة ثانية ومكملة لليوم الذي سبقه، وتعود مدينتنا لسابق عهدها.

اللهم أنت ربي.. لا إله إلا أنت، خلقتني وأنا عبدك، وأنا على عهدك ووعدك ماستطعت، أعوذ بك من شر ما صنعت، أبوء لك بنعمتك علي و أبوء بذنبي فاغفر لي، فإنه لا يغفر الذنوب إلا أنت


July 18th, 2011, 12:40 am


Real Syrian said:

Let us speak frankly
Explain me what is happening in Homs and what happened in Banias and Jeser Alshagor and Qatantand and and and …..why Alawaites should tolerate all brutal actions against them…..Why minorities should pay the price of such fake marriage……Long time back the idea of Arab union had died…..today I see the idea of united Syria has almost died….Do not tell me this what Israel want….I don not care about what they want ….What I see many Syrian do not deserve to be in Syria….. I do not feel that Aarour fellows deserve to be Syrian….. What is the solution ….They do not understand except the blood language so what to do to kill them or wait them to do??????…..Go to a free referendum and see what people want…..

July 18th, 2011, 12:51 am


SYR.Expat said:

“Talk about yourself, you only represent yourself, no real Syrian Alawite, Shia, Sunni, Christian, Durzi, Ismaeli, athiest or even Syrian Jew with the slightest logic will agree on the outrageous idea you are promoting.”

Can’t agree more.

Syria is at a dangerous crossroads and we need to do our best to keep it together. We need to fight sectarianism and bigotry and keep the national spirit alive. Otherwise, the old plans of dividing Syria will be achieved.

What amazes me about the current situation is how easy it was for Bashar to get things under relative control and keep a majority of the people on his side.

One opportunity after the other, he squandered them spectacularly.

I think it’s too late now, but he can still al least try:

– The first order of business is to release all political prisoners. All of them.

– Release a list of all people remaining in prison and the crimes they are being accused of.

– Immediately stop the abuse and torture of prisoners.

– Allow people to demonstrate as long as there is no destruction of property and
no incitement to violence. The security forces should be there to protect the people and keep the peace. Let people enjoy freedoms they haven’t tasted for a long time. People are demonstrating anyway.

– No one should fear going to prison or be harassed by the security forces unless they’ve committed a real crime (stealing, arson, murder, and so on).

I can go on, but how about the government starts with the aforementioned tomorrow or the day after. Is that too much to ask?

July 18th, 2011, 1:07 am


jad said:

Dear Louai,
“I am going alone”
Have a safe trip and be careful, god willing nothing will happen and cool heads prevail in Homs.

Dear Usama,
I just read your comment, thank you very much, I have the same respect to you too.

Dear WD,
I’m taking your advise, I’m going to ignore those provocative useless characters on SC.

July 18th, 2011, 1:08 am


Real Syrian said:

HNN شبكة أخبار حمص
وردنا منذ قليل ان مجموعات مسلحه تعتدي على سرافيس الكورنيش الشرقي في الخالديه في الطريق الواصل بين مقبرة الكتيب و المشفى الوطني الرجاء اخد الحزر

July 18th, 2011, 1:34 am


jad said:

Real Syrian
“Explain me what is happening in Homs and what happened in Banias and Jeser Alshagor and Qatantand and and and ”
I wish I can

“why Alawaites should tolerate all brutal actions against them…..Why minorities should pay the price of such fake marriage”
Who told you that Syrian multicultural pot is a fake marriage?
Syrian Sunnis can’t live without the Syrian Alawites, and Syrian Christians can’t live without Syrian Durzi and Syrian Ismaelis can’t live without Syrian Atheist and Syrian Shia can’t live without Syrian kurds….they all belong to one place and it’s not the ‘Arab union’ that is keeping them together it’s the Syrian union gluing all of those different rich elements together.
To make Syrian baklawa you need wheat from Al 7asakeh, pistachio from Aleppo, gee from Hawran and Jabal Al3rab, suggar from homs and a Damascene pastry chief, otherwise, you end up with nothing, and that what you my Syrian brother are unfortunately promoting, Nothing.

July 18th, 2011, 1:34 am


Real Syrian said:

to jad
I appreciate your example of the Syrian baklawa….but really I am feeling depressed of the situation which we have arrived….In difficult times we should be stronger and more patient…..Thanks God I am not the president of Syria ….If I was I may give every village its independence…… The patient of president Bashar is amazing….He is tolerating not only the demonstrators and radicals but sometimes his supporters like me
We should do our best to help president Al-Asaad to remove the poisons from our delicious Syrian Baklawa
God bless Syria and protect all Syrians

July 18th, 2011, 1:50 am


Jad said:

Dear Real Syrian
I’m more depressed than you can imagine, I don’t know how to help, what’s happening in Syria is horrible, but I have no choicebut hoping for the best.
Inshallah things get better, Allah kbeer 🙂
Don’t never ever loose hope on your brothers, we have nobody but eachother in the mad world.

July 18th, 2011, 2:04 am


Syria no kandahar said:

Jad&Real Syrian
I think we all agree that Syria should stay united,but the picture is not so rosy .
It really is not what we agree on ,it is what the street wants,we are in no way a pulse of the street ,otherwise ther would have been zero problem.if you analyze
The spirit of the current so called revolution you will see it is more than 90%religious,and even when they try to blow some nationalism,it sounds so fake.
I have yet to hear the wordسوريا in any chant so far(correct me if I am wrong),but you hear the word Allah in almost most of the chants,you also hear the cursing words like يلعن and the sectarian poems…so this is by no mean a SYRIAN revolution…it does’t have any meaningful representation from the baklawa except bad wheat…
Listen to مشعل تمو today stating that he is pulling out of istanbul conf because: انتقاص حقوق الجز الكردستاني الملحق بسوريا !!can you believe that?Syria which has been present befor the Kurds even existed,now that part is a Kurdish part occupied by Syria!! This is from a top figure Kurdish spokesperson.
This is just a simple example on what we will be dealing with..look at Homs events Yest ,Sunni jihadist started the blood war by killing Alawi people..this is going to be dijavu Iraq wher Sunni wolfes ate the minorities…if it looks like it is going to Cont to happen,I don’t think it is a crime for the minorities to think that they might have to do their own baklawa…instead of be eaten and turned into

July 18th, 2011, 2:15 am


Revlon said:

191 Dear Syria no kandahar,
You said:
“ This is going to be dijavu Iraq wher Sunni wolfes ate the minorities…if it looks like it is going to Cont to happen,I don’t think it is a crime for the minorities to think that they might have to do their own baklawa…instead of be eaten and turned into

Brilliant gastronomical analysis, and a naturally fitting conclusion!

July 18th, 2011, 3:33 am


syau said:


Regarding the link you copied from Revlons post, and your question to me regarding it, I didn’t open it as generally anything that is linked by Revlon is pure fabrication or distortion of the truth. If it is the same link that aboali provided, then I would ask you, don’t you think it would be counterproductive for security services to do such a thing? I am although sorry that the child had to go through such an ordeal.

July 18th, 2011, 4:00 am


Aboud said:

@169 “was ambushed numerous times by the blockades the gangs had set up, while on his way back to his home in Homs,”

How shall I put this politely…your uncle’s recollection of the roads outside Homs is…um, highly inaccurate and improbable. Take a look at the bustling bus terminals at Homs. If people were really getting ambushed every day as you claim, no one would dare get on a bus.

I have numerous friends and relatives who travel to and from Latakia, Damascus, Aleppo and even Tripoli in Lebanon. I myself have made trips to the coast and Damascus (and more recently ABU KAMAL HAHAHAHA! Kidding), and the only time the bus I was on was stopped, was at a checkpoint manned by a skinny shabiha with an AK-47 he could barely hold, and a man easily in his 50s who crouched alot.

@182 Oh my God, no no no and a thousand noes. God help me but I’d rather have junior for another five years than what you are suggesting. And I don’t know a single Alawi or Christian who wants their own state, I really don’t know where you got that from.

@181 “We are coming from a dictatorship culture”

Actually I’m the one living in a dictatorship culture, but I don’t use the gutter swear words your fellow Baathists do. Personally, I don’t mind if the moderator doesn’t edit them. They might as well put up a big sign that reads “Buttons pushed, incapable of a coherent response, well done pony tail Aboud” hehehehehe.

“I’m more depressed than you can imagine, I don’t know how to help”

Donate to the Syrian Red Crescent. They are doing a courageous job here in Syria.

@191 “I have yet to hear the wordسوريا in any chant so far(correct me if I am wrong),but you hear the word Allah in almost most of the chants”

Opposition chant; “Allah, Souria, Huriya wa bas”

Pro-regime chant; “Allah, souria, Bashar wa bas”

Allah in both chants, but that doesn’t make them religious ones.

The only “el3an” chant is “El3an Rohak Ya Hafez”, an understandable sentiment from the relatives of the tens of thousands who were killed, imprisoned or just disappeared during his reign. The “el3an” targets a specific person, not a sect.

July 18th, 2011, 4:23 am


Syria no kandahar said:

If you don’t like my analysis,that is very good.I can put that on my CV.your Sunni jihadists friends in Iraq made the ancestors of Hamorabi and Nabokadnassr either in graves or refugees,your fellow jihadist in Syria will finish the job.one time you posted here stating :ان الدين عند الله هو الاسلام
So you have a pure wahabi mind and their is really nothing I can do about that.you are standing on a mountain you see people who don’t believe in what you believe small…but they see you even smaller..come down to the ground and just stop this تعجرف and look at yourself as religion like any other one,then you can talk to others,not وهم صاغرون as your wahabi infection tells you,but as اشد مودة للذين أمانو like a good moslem will do,and that is not a favor,you have to be like that and not take it as a favor because you dont take جزيه from others,that is mafia way and it is wrong..so my friend come down to the ground and stop being so obsessed with you being right and evry one else being wrong,because every thing is relative…

July 18th, 2011, 4:25 am


syau said:


Putting things “politely” is something you are not accustomed to. I didn’t say that is an every day situation, I mentioned the experience my uncle had on his trip back home, that is a situation I was made aware of. I do not know if it is an every day scenario. Security forces were called and re opened the roads after the driver called them. Stop denying the truth of what this revolution really is.

July 18th, 2011, 4:55 am


Aboud said:

@196 These are your words;

“was ambushed numerous times by the blockades the gangs had set up”

The key word here is “numerous”. Perhaps you don’t understand the word fully, but it gives the impression that the norm is for people to be “ambushed” every time they step outside a city.

“Security forces were called and re opened the roads after the driver called them”

Oh, so now the story has changed to it being just a single event?

Do you know why, in interrogations, people are asked the same questions over and over and over again? Because they eventually get worn down, and one can tell the lies in their stories from the inconsistencies that pop up with each retelling.

“Stop denying the truth of what this revolution really is.”

When you figure exactly what this revolution is, by all means let us know. Because every week your president’s story seems to change.

July 18th, 2011, 5:05 am


Revlon said:

195- Dear Syria No kandahar,
Comming across to you as self righteous speakes of one of my many imperfections; namely inability to appropriately represent myself.

You said:
” one time you posted here stating :ان الدين عند الله هو الاسلام So you have a pure wahabi mind and their is really nothing I can do about that”

I Say: I do not know which comment you quoted; the context is important!

Anyway, I believe, as a Muslem and a believer in Quran, that the quoted Aya proves the unity of religion that was relayed by all prophets and messengers, to their people, each in their own language.
I quoted other Ayat that describe all of the prophets as Muslems too
Mohammad and his followers were the last to be given the gift of Islam.

By the way, I am not ultraconservative (Salafi/Wahabi, etc..)
I am an average, practicing Muslem, a contrarian by nature, and I read every thing with an open mind.

I have way less problem debating religion with you than with my older brother, who feels more comfortable with the traditional interpretations.

You said: “so my friend come down to the ground and stop being so obsessed with you being right and evry one else being wrong,because every thing is relative…”

My feet never leave the ground, yet my mind keep hovering above in search of brighter horizons.


July 18th, 2011, 5:23 am


syau said:

#197 Aboud,

Yes, numerous times, during that trip. Maybe you didn’t understand properly. I also mentioned it here when the incident happened. A trip that usually takes him one and a half hours, took five hours for him to reach his house, which is on the outskirts of Homs, just incase you need clarification. We do know the attention span of ‘revolutionists like you, so I give you permission to copy and past it on your pc, incase you need to refer to it in future.

July 18th, 2011, 6:25 am


why-discuss said:

Opposition admit ugly provocative crimes from anti-regime elements in Homs


But fierce clashes erupted on Sunday between supporters and opponents of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in another central city, Homs, leaving at least 30 people dead, said the chief of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, reached by telephone from Nicosia.

“The chief of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP the fighting broke out late Saturday after three regime supporters kidnapped last week were killed and their dismembered bodies returned to their relatives.

“These clashes are a dangerous development that undermines the revolution and serves the interests of its enemies who want it to turn into a civil war,” he added.

Activists say the countrywide anti-regime protests are peaceful and that the fierce government crackdown has left more than 1,400 civilians dead and seen thousands of people jailed.”

July 18th, 2011, 8:44 am


N.Z. said:

..اليوم لا شعبان ولا الشرع ولا مملوك من رفع منع السفر عني.. المتظاهرون تحت رصاصكم وقمعكم، الشهداء، المعتقلون، صبر الأمهات، أطفال درعا الذين اقتلعتم أظافرهم، فاقتلعوا منكم تعنتكم وغطرستكم وكذبكم، هؤلاء من رفعوا عني منع السفر، واسقطوا عنكم تحكمكم برقاب البشر، ومع هذا لن أسافر.. ولن نسافر بانتظار أن يسقط منع الحرية عن شعبي وأهلي، عن سورية التي ما عاد ممكن منع الحرية عنها.

July 18th, 2011, 8:55 am


louai said:

Dear Abughassan,thank you for sharing , I appreciate the time you took to write to me your sound advice , hope to read from you again very soon, god bless you

July 18th, 2011, 9:39 am


louai said:

Thank you for sharing with us , I pray for you and all our families to be safe and get over this ,what happened last night is something Homs will never forget ,it didn’t finish yet the tension is extremely high ..

July 18th, 2011, 10:07 am


syau said:

Thank you Louai for your thoughts. Hopefully the army can get on top of the situation asap and the tensions and violence washed away.

July 18th, 2011, 10:11 am


5 dancing shlomos said:

let jordan stand up to israel and america as does syria, let’s see its condition then.

7. Ibn Arabi said:

“The bankrupt regime in Damascus cannot and should not continue to hold the Syrian people hostage to fears of the “unknown devil”

usrael, one very well known devil and its very well known handiwork, iraq.

the people of syria should and will stand strong with its government.

July 18th, 2011, 11:13 am


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