The Syrian Revolution Lives

Syrian government statements that it had defeated the revolution with its brutal crack down were premature. This Friday, Syrians came out to demonstrate across the country despite the growing danger of violence. The absolute numbers of demonstrators may not have been very great, but the number of demonstrations was. As Phil Sands in Damascus reports: “A ring of suburbs around the capital all staged demonstrations yesterday – the first time they have done so on the same day.”

Obama’s speech, no doubt, gave courage to the demonstrators. But it seems clear that the culture of revolution that has spread among the young generation of Syrians will not be uprooted or destroyed by fear or firepower. As I wrote on May 11:

The Syrian opposition has successfully established a culture of resistance that is widespread in Syria and will not be eliminated. Even if demonstrations can be shut down for the time being, the opposition will not be defeated. Syria’s youth, long apolitical and apathetic, is now politicized, mobilized, and passionate.

The government is not succeeded in suppressing the demonstrations even for one Friday. Greater numbers of middle class Syrians are becoming increasingly horrified by the growing brutality. The “shoot-first, ask-questions-later” policy of the government has engendered deep anger.  Instead of stopping the revolution, government force has allowed the opposition to mobilize the Western world to its cause.

The Obama administration seems to have accepted the notion that it must prepare for a post-Assad Syria.

The Syrian opposition has yet to offer up any leadership or unified program for the future. Before Western governments can move more aggressively to support the cause of the opposition, they will have to know who the opposition is. The opposition must develop executive institutions and a program. It is high time that political parties form and set forward their visions of Syria’s future.

Here is what Ammar Abdalhamid is saying. He is absolutely right:

The lack of any obvious opposition alternative to Assad limits what Western governments, including the U.S, can do, says Ammar Abdulhamid, a prominent U.S-based Syrian dissident. “We do want [Obama] to call on Assad to step down at one point soon, but that’s not going to happen until Syrian opposition and activists get together and formulate a viable alternative to manage the transitional period. Only then can we expect world leaders to be more forthcoming in their calls on Assad to step down.”

Anthony Shadid in the NYTimes says the same: Promise of Arab Uprisings Is Threatened by Divisions

…But in the past weeks, the specter of divisions — religion in Egypt, fundamentalism in Tunisia, sect in Syria and Bahrain, clan in Libya — has threatened uprisings that once seemed to promise to resolve questions that have vexed the Arab world since the colonialism era. …


Syria’s suffers ‘another bloody Friday’
Phil Sands, Last Updated: May 21, 2011

DAMASCUS // Anti-government demonstrations turned deadly again yesterday in Syria, with at least 34 people killed by security services, according to human rights activists.

Previous Fridays had seemed to weaken the protest movement, with thousands of dissidents and residents of restive neighbourhoods in detention, a communications blackout and military units deployed in strength to prevent public gatherings.

Yesterday, however, as anti-government demonstrations entered a third month, the number of protesters on the streets grew in strength, activists and analysts said, with rallies also spreading across the country.

A ring of suburbs around the capital all staged demonstrations yesterday – the first time they have done so on the same day,

footage posted online by activists showed. There were also rallies in the central cities of Homs and Hama, while others took place in the north, east, south and west of the country.

Compared to last Friday, when six demonstrators were killed – the lowest number of fatalities in weeks – by early yesterday evening at least 34 demonstrators, including a child, had died in shootings by the security services. The deaths occurred mostly in Homs…..

“The security thought they had many of these places under control but as soon as they leave a neighbourhood, the protesters return, and they seem to be even more active than before,” said Abdul Karim Rehawi, head of the Syrian Human Rights League.State media did, however, acknowledge a dozen rallies yesterday.

“Gatherings of scores and hundreds of citizens took place in a number of provinces after Friday prayers, chanting for freedom, mostly dispersing after a short time,” the official news agency SANA reported.

It also reported that security force personnel and civilians had been shot at by “armed groups’ in Homs and near Idleb. Officials have consistently blamed the killings, including the death of more than 120 security service personnel, on Islamic terrorists with support from foreign countries.

That message is certainly believed by at least some Syrians, who talk of a plot by the country’s enemies to weaken Damascus. There are also significant fears, mainly among minority groups, that a sectarian civil war will break out if the largely secular government loses control. Syria is made of different sectarian and ethnic groups, with a Sunni Muslim majority.

Most Syrians are not taking part in demonstrations, and President Bashar al Assad, 11 years into his rule, still appears to enjoy a wide base of popular support.

That popularity, while real and widespread, is dwindling as the crisis continues, according to one Syrian political analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The silent majority is still quiet which is taken as a sign of support for the president,” he said. “But I see indications that [support] is slowly starting to shift as doubts are settling it.

“It’s still not too late for him to keep that majority on his side but it will take decisive political reforms. Things cannot just be allowed to drift as they are. At the moment, there is no actual policy; it’s just crisis management that is failing to managing the crisis.”

Clinton: “No appetite … No willingness for aggressive steps in Syria!” Thanks to FLC

“Couric: In Syria, Secretary Clinton, the government crackdown has killed an estimated 700 people in the last two months. What took so long for the Administration to put these new sanctions into place?

Clinton: Well, Katie, I don’t think it took long at all. I think we wanted to coordinate with our allies in the European Union, to talk to our friends and partners in the region, especially those that border Syria, Israel, Iraq, and others. And we also wanted to make it clear that, as the President just said in his speech, President Asad of Syria can either lead this transition or get out of the way. And unfortunately, the evidence thus far is that he’s not providing the kind of leadership that is needed.

Couric: So are you willing to say he should get out of the way; President Asad must go?

Clinton: Well, I think President Obama was very clear. And what we want is to continue to support the voices of democracy, those who are standing against the brutality. But we’re also well aware every situation is different, and in this one, Asad has said a lot of things that you didn’t hear from other leaders in the region about the kind of changes he would like to see. That may all be out the window, or he may have one last chance.

Couric: At the same time, this Syrian regime is close to Iran. They’re getting support from Iran to – for their tactics of suppression, if you will. They’re – they support terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. So why not just say he needs to be removed?

Clinton: Well, you’re right that Iran is supporting them, and the President mentioned that in his speech today. It hasn’t been publicly talked about as much as the facts warrant, and we’re calling them out on it. But I think we also know that there are many different forces at work in Syria, like in so many of the countries in the region. And we think it would be better if the people of Syria themselves made it clear to Asad that there have to be changes. And part of what the President – our President – Obama was doing today, was to say, “Do you want to end up like Iran, Syria? And President Asad, do you want to end up like a leader of a country that is further and further isolated?” So each of these situations has to be carefully calibrated, and I think the President got it just right.

Couric: So is the U.S. pursuing regime change in Syria?

Clinton: What we are doing is exactly what President Obama said: Either you lead the transition or get out of the way. How that happens is up to the people of that country….

Couric: Why does the killing of civilians in Libya justify U.S. military involvement, but the killing of civilians in Syria does not?

Clinton: Well, part of the reason is look at the difference in the reaction of the world…. we also know that there’s no one size fits all …

Couric: Why not exercise U.S. leadership, though, Secretary Clinton, and galvanize the international community to take more aggressive steps in Syria?

Clinton: There’s no appetite for that, Katie. There’s no willingness…. “

amnesty international

The Syrian authorities must carry out a prompt, impartial investigation into reports that a number of bodies were unearthed near the city of Dera’a and into how those deaths occurred, Amnesty International said today.

Sources have told Amnesty International that local residents on the outskirts of the southern city of Dera’a yesterday found a shallow, unmarked grave containing the bodies of at least five people – said to be ‘Abd al-Razaq Abazaid and his four sons, Samer, Samir, Suliman and Mohamed Abazaid.

France Sees Majority Backing Syria Condemnation at UN, AFP Says
2011-05-17 By Inal Ersan

May 17 (Bloomberg) — France’s foreign minister Alain Juppe said a majority consensus is forming within the United Nation to condemn Syrian government violence against protesters, Agence- France Presse reported.

Lower Violence, Promises of Dialogue Reduce Tension in Damascus Syria Report

Another week of protests across Syria has ended with hopes of less violent future demonstrations and promises by the Government that it would launch a national dialogue to help find a solution to the stalemate.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood has the “desire to coordinate the opposition” Syria Report

“People on the street are getting tired, they’re running out of resources, and they don’t have that much experience,” said one protest coordinator outside Syria. “They recognize, and we have to recognize, that the Brothers are better organized and better funded.”

“Religion is the most important aspect in my life,” said one conservative, Sunni landowner in Damascus. “But we do not like Salafism—we all want to live in a moderate community in peace,” he said, addressing the government line that the hard-line Islamist movement has stoked the protests.”

Too Big to Fail?
Is Syria’s repressive dictatorship really so crucial to Mideast peace and stability that we can’t let it fail? The Obama administration still seems to think so.
BY AARON DAVID MILLER | MAY 12, 2011, Foreign policy

Bad options, bad outcomes. So, for now, we watch and wait to see where the arc on the Assads is headed — north or south. But if the Assads do survive, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Washington at some point resumes a business-as-usual posture with the only surviving repressive Arab dictator that’s too big to fail.

From Pomed

Syria Isolated in International Community, Egypt Quietly Supporting: The Turtle Bay blog at Foreign Policy obtained confidential documents from U.N. negotiations demonstrating that Egypt has been providing Syria with diplomatic cover. Egypt not only supported efforts to derail a U.N. Security Council vote against Syria, but actively proposed resolutions affirming the “principle of non-interference” in matters of state.  Syria has dropped its bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council; Kuwait will replace it as a candidate.  Kuwait’s ambassador to the U.N. stated that Syria had not withdrawn its nomination completely, but that the two countries were simply swapping terms.

ArabCrunch: (Warning) Syrian’s Secret Police Main Suspect Behind Man-In-The-Middle Attack against Facebook Users in Syria

It seems that Syrian secret police or “Mukhabrat” is behind issuing forged facebook’s security certificate in Syria when accessing via https connection or man in the middle attack, which enables them to get users password and spy on Syrian …

Comments (199)

aboali said:

I think yesterday’s widespread and numerous protests proved beyond a doubt that it’s not over (khilset khilset, Buthaina Shaban’s mission accomplished moment), and that despite a massive security operation, tanks besieging cities and thousands in detention Syrians will not be intimidated into silence. The ball is now firmly in the regime’s court, either they deliver on meaningful reforms, or they fumble the ball and lose the country.

May 21st, 2011, 9:39 am


Anton said:

Dear Syrians and friends of Syria

I called Damascus twice yesterday and today, its seems every things are more OK than we thought, the importance note I got is , the majority of people mood is changing from being afraid at beginning ( # 2 months ago ) to not my concerns recently then now to be angry about what the protesters are doing, that is not good for them if they get the majority of the Syrian people against the protesters.

I believe Mr. Assad and the government should start taking the steps towards a dialogue with those who wants to dialogue from one side , be firm with those trying to destabilize the country, and ignore all other outside pressures, the government doing excellent job by talking less, doing more strategy!!!, better time is coming very soon.

May 21st, 2011, 9:51 am


aboali said:

#2 Anton, rich urbanites in Damascus and Aleppo are not an accurate gauge of regime support. Most of them would flee if there was ever a civil war, and have a vested interest in the status quo to protect their own financial interests and property prices. They don’t like the regime one little bit, but prefer stability over unrest (better the devil you know). This may easily change however if the economy starts to suffer badly, they may turn against the regime and throw their lot in with the protesters. Meanwhile, try calling people in Hama Homs Banyas and Daraa to see how they feel. I think you’ll find it very different to your affluent friends in Damascus.

May 21st, 2011, 10:28 am


Souri-Amreki said:

It looks like you don\’t know that all phones are being listened to! When I ask my friends who called Syria recently about the situation, they tell me they can not talk!!! They say everything is ok but they sense from their tone of voice that they don\’t want to talk. They try to close the conversation as soon as possible! Syrians who are leaving Syria are the ones who can tell what is happenning there.

May 21st, 2011, 10:32 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

It is wrong to assume that the rebellion is regaining strength just because of one Friday that comes tight after Obama’s speech.

Anyway, like we said repeatedly before (even Assad and his government), no one ever expected (neither wanted) the protests to cease completely. Dr. Landis still has a problem differentiating between the demonstrations and the rebellion. The Syrian government is fighting against the rebellion, not the demonstrations. This is a crucial point that everybody must understand. The demonstrations are legal in Syria.

The rebellion has been defeated in Deraa, Banias, and all the other locations that saw military operations. The fact that there were demonstrations in Banias does NOT mean that the rebellion has not been defeated.

The rebellion is spreading to new locations (Boukamal, Idlib, etc. and ultimately also to Aleppo and Damascus like we expected from the beginning). However, the rebellion has been defeated in Deraa and the coastal region.

The army will continue fighting the rebellion until it defeats it completely. As for the demonstrations, this is another story. The Syrian government has started licensing opposition demonstrations and I believe that Assad will announce his political reforms as soon as the rebellion is completely over. Assad now is trying to tame the opposition so that he can announce his reforms safely.

May 21st, 2011, 10:44 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

The people who went on the streets of Deraa and Banais in the first week were looking to “liberate” these cities by forcing the security forces out of them and storming government buildings. This is not happening anymore in these cities. The most people are doing there now is to gather in the streets and shout. This is not a problem. It has been 2 months already and people still can’t understand what is happening in Syria.

May 21st, 2011, 10:51 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Last week there was six death, one of the commentor mentioned that the reason is that those protesters are arrested and no longer on the street, this week the number of death is 44, ,so what happened? those arresated are still in jail,the proregime commentators do not make sense at all,in their previous explanations.
The pro regime keep making statements that can not be verified,are we suppose to believe them ?, and what they say is always come from unreliable syrian media,deceptions are their way of discussions,there are so many of them,and when someone get proof that they are not telling the truth, they do not appologize.I hope they spare us those repetitive comments,that are mere nonsense.

May 21st, 2011, 10:54 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

There’s definitely some thing going on in Homs today May 21. From what could be seen on YT channels, there are tens of thousands demonstrating. Since we don’t know all that is going on in Syria, thanks to the media siege by this junta, expect the worst. What additional crimes were committed by the junta yesterday ?

May 21st, 2011, 10:58 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

What’s next in this uprise? I believe we’ll see junta official (military and civilians) begin to resign and defect. One by one the rats will abandon the sinking ship. At first it will be sporadic, then it will become a torrent. Just as it happened in Libya and Tunisia.

May 21st, 2011, 11:05 am


Abughassan said:

I do not see a senario where Bashar can stay as president much longer. I never supported removing him,or any president, by force and I still do not.Many people are worried that Syria does not have a good alternative especially after seeing attacks on the army,the police and public properties by the opposition (some people here are still unwilling to admit that) but Syria still needs a new leadership.
In any country going through civil unrest people expect leadership and frequent assurances from their leaders that “we all are going to be OK and things are under control”. For three months we saw Bashar speaks twice,his first speech was a disaster and his second,which was much better,took the form of a one sided discussion with the new government. Every week we hear assurances that the government will not open fire on unarmed protestors but every week we see that those “orderes” meant nothing. Many people who got killed took part in an evil armed rebellion but a significant number of unarmed Syrians died in the streets and thousands were arrested. Bashar did not handle this crisis well and he does not seem to be in charge and is still unwilling to speak directly to his people,that is the main reason,not the US or the demonstration,why he needs to start planning for a gradual exit and allow a more qualified leader to take his job.

May 21st, 2011, 11:08 am


Anton said:

Dear Syrian and friends of Syria

Regardless of our differences we need to come together and find the common ground and work together to ensure Syria and Syrians are great as we should be , Syria and the Syrian deserve much more than what and where we are today, the only ones could do that are the Syrian them self.

Let’s pull it together and start working together instead of fighting each other, start to dialogue in civilized way, stop blaming each other , instead find solutions , its the right time to do it !!!!..

May 21st, 2011, 11:22 am


Aboud said:

Ahmed Al-Biasi is dead.

This courageous young man gave a video testimony on the atrocities committed in the western village of Baiyda, where its inhabitants were brutalized en mass by the Assad family’s private militia.

It was the regime’s Abu Ghuraib, and Ahmed’s testimony irrefutably debunked state media’s assertion that the events took place in Iraq. With his single video, Ahmed unmasked Syrian state media for what it really is, the Shabiha for the cowardly scum they are, and Bashar as the gutless lying “reformer only when I’m talking to Western politicians” tyrant that he is.

Ahmed Al-Biasi was arrested and tortured to death for his testimony. Remember his name, the next time you want to post a comment in support of this murderous regime, when you dare to preach to us that his horrific death is preferable to a world without this regime. Every unconscionable person who preached about the glories of Baathist rule, has Ahmed’s death on their hands.

Ahmed didn’t seek to be a hero. He did nothing to provoke the Shabiha scum into invading his village and brutalizing him and his friends. He was a normal Syrian, living a rustic Syrian life. He was brave enough to go against the regime. He was braver than those cowardly dogs who stomped all over the inhabitants of his village. He was braver than the entire Assad and Makhlouf clans put together.

May 21st, 2011, 11:25 am


Nour said:


I disagree. I don’t think President Bashar al Assad could have handled the situation much better. We have to take into consideration the immeasurably tough task he has on his hands. He is attempting to successfully implement three things at the same time:

1. Change the nature of the security from one that is involved in the daily lives of people to one that simply gathers intelligence and submits it to the proper authorities;
2. While at the same time trying to solve the current security problem, i.e. put down the armed rebellion by criminal gangs in several locations in the country; and
3. Successfully enact comprehensive reforms that will change political life in Syria.

To do all three things simultaneously is not an easy feat for anyone and I believe Bashar al Assad is the most qualified to lead us through this stage. Remember he has to confront both the repressive elements in his regime as well as the criminal thugs wreaking havoc in the country. After calmness returns and reforms are enacted, if there is a change in presidency the next president would have an immensely easier job, as he/she wouldn’t have to deal with any of these difficult issues.

As for making a public speech, in my opinion it is useless. There is nothing Bashar al Assad can say publicly that will change anything. In fact, he may receive more criticism and attacks, as the fake “opposition” will be waiting to jump on every word he pronounces should it not meet their so-called “demands” 100%; and it definitely won’t because they have no clear demands.

As for Joshua’s post, I believe it gives a completely inaccurate picture of what is happening. There is no “bloody crackdown” in Syria right now. We all have seen videos of demonstrations where no one was bothered and the security did not get involved, so obviously the government is not shooting at “peaceful protesters”. The only places where there is loss of life is where these protesters are becoming violent and destructive as well as where there are armed elements shooting at and attacking soldiers and security. In such circumstances the result would be the same anywhere in the world. Let us not forget that we just recently passed the 41st anniversary of the Kent State riots where the Ohio National Guard responded to students protesting and rioting by shooting and killing several unarmed demonstrators. No government in the world would tolerate destruction of property and armed elements trying to cause chaos. Just look at the US Federal Government’s response to the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX, where nearly 80 people, including over 20 children, were killed as a result, even though they realistically posed no threat to the government whatsoever. So to paint these events as ones where the Syrian government is simply massacring peaceful Syrian protesters indiscriminately is a total misrepresentation of facts. If this were the case, a far larger number of people would have been killed.

May 21st, 2011, 11:31 am


Aboali said:

Not many Syrians had an issue with Bashar at the beginning, in fact many liked him. It was the rest of the regime that people despised, the corrupt generals and officials at the heart of power. I really doubt you’d find many people who liked those. However, since Bashar’s disastrous speech to parliament, where he claimed there was no more corruption in Syria, and that he’d gotten rid of all the corrupt officials, people got the message that he was unable or unwilling to reform this dysfunctional, primitive system. His popularity started dramatically dropping further after brutal crackdowns and indiscriminate shooting on the streets. I can say with all honesty that his “fan-base” has greatly diminished to a hardcore die-hard few. Again, don’t confuse pro-stability with pro-Bashar, as the moment Bashar is unable to maintain stability and the country begins to unravel and spiral out of control, those people will turn firmly against him. For the moment, the urban rich and the regime are uncomfortable bed fellows, expect this arrangement to sour very quickly.

May 21st, 2011, 11:42 am


trustquest said:

47 killed yesterday, and today they killed 2 in the funeral in Homs and many injuries. 50,000 thousand mourners were there.

We are watching a genocide of the regime against the masses will of the people, and this blog is brushing the events as normal.
Next move by the regime is to kill those women who are still protesting.

Women protesting peacefully in solidarity with the detained youths, in Al Moathamya on May 20th ,Damascus ,Syria

May 21st, 2011, 11:45 am


Aboud said:

@13 What threat did Ahmed Al-Biasi pose to the government? How did Ahmed Al-Biasi stand in the way of Bashar’s monumental task in doing “three things at once” (no one is supposed to do three things at once, that’s what bloody ministers are for).

Enough already, there are hundreds of hours of documented videos showing the brutal military crackdown on the demonstrations. The Waco compound standoff analogy is the most ridiculous I have ever heard, and only someone who is ignorant about the events there would bring it up.

The people who died in the compound perished as a result of a tragic fire, either started by the Branch Davidians themselves or accidentally by the FBI. The Branch Davidians were better armed than the FBI and ATF units sent against them. Where in Syria is anyone better armed than the 4th Division? Was Ahmed Al-Biasi armed to the teeth when your Shabiha friends brutalized him and his friends?

Bashar is useless. He is worse than useless, he is a liability to Syria, to his supporters, and to Alawites, something people have finally begun to realize.

May 21st, 2011, 11:46 am


Anton said:

Dear Nour # 13

I concur

May 21st, 2011, 11:47 am


Mina said:

UK/US/Europe economy won’t come to rescue:
(but they may come for ghazu)

Ala’ al-Aswany afraid of ‘counter-revolution’

Iraq, its parties, its Kurds

May 21st, 2011, 11:56 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Comment #13 is complete nonsense and obvious deception,twisted mind, criminal in its intent

May 21st, 2011, 12:37 pm


Abughassan said:

Bashar should have not taken the job in the first place but many people genuinely liked him and hoped for the best,but he decided to submit to his old guards and did very little to control Rami and his security chiefs. This uprising was not caused by one problem but a combination of problems including economic hardship and the arrest of minors from Darra,which reflects how arrogant and ruthless some elements in the regime have become. It saddens me to see that some Syrians are still unable to recognize the legitimate grievances of the other side.some insist that the opposition did not use violence,and others claim that this was an armed rebellion headed by Islamic extremists.
One blogger even called the shooting death of unarmed civilians “a technical error”.
Bashar still has a chance to be seen as a leader who put Syria first and gave up power to save his country. I am not asking for his resignation but I want him to start preparing Syria for a peaceful transition to a post-Asad Syria. 41 years of family rule is enough even if you are a regime supporter.

May 21st, 2011, 12:43 pm


aboali said:

anyone who still thinks Bashar can transform Syria from a medieval fiefdom into a modern democracy is very delusional

May 21st, 2011, 1:01 pm


Revlon said:

#11 Dear Anton, thank you for your sincere invitation to Syrians and Friends of Syria to help build better Syria.

You said: “Let’s pull it together and start working together instead of fighting each other, start to dialogue in civilized way, stop blaming each other , instead find solutions , its the right time to do it !!!!..”

In case you are addressing demonstrators, those who died or their survivors on the street, I can only refer you to their Reform program:
– Allah, Sooriya, 7urriyeh w Bas
– AlSha3bel Soori Wa7ed, Wa7ed, Wa7eh, Wa7ed
– La Salafiyeh w La Ikhwan, Rou7oo witrukoona BÁman
– Ma min7ibbak, Ma Min7ibbak: Ir7al 3anna Ya Bashar
– Yalli Byu2tol Sha3bo Khayen!

Here is my comment as a pro-revolution poster on this blog:

First, Regime’s supporters downplay 40 years of suffering of and discrimination against Sunni majority, arguing that their suffering was delusional and that a change in the Regime would lead to the suffering of the peaceful minorities. This is hypocracy!

Second, Regime’s custodianship over resistance of Israel is a farce! Israel have struck many times inside Syria! They even flew over Asad villa in latakia. All the regime had to say: We will choose when, where, and how to reply! Ah, and they also say, next time our reply is going to be massive! I guess they refer to the poop in their pants! Not a single Palestenian soul was ever allowed to approach the Golan de-militerized zone to demonstrate in Nakba anniversaries for over 40 years! Yet they were allowed two weeks ago, as a wimp threat to Israel!

Third, As I far as I see it. There is everything to gain by regime change, and I mean dismantling the structure of the regime as it stands. Such can be achieved peacefully and gradually!
How? You may ask!
– The regime have all along argued, fairly I should say, that they will not start direct negotiations until Israel agree to its outcome (withdrawal to 67 line) and a road map to that end.
– I would use their very own fair demand, The revolution shall not start direct negotiations until the regime agree to return of the stolen right of self determination of the Syrian people and provide a road map to that end!

I appreciate your good will Anton!

May 21st, 2011, 1:01 pm


Anton said:


I know that you are good person and your attention is good, but I believe that Mr./Mrs Nour deserve better comment/response,

if you disagree with her/him comment that is OK, but please you need to express it differently … here below some advise on how :”please consider it as suggestion”

First you start with Dear Nour.
Second , you can say , In my opinion.. which mean really its your opinion only and its needs to be understood as such
Third you say , I Disagree

And last you need to say why you disagree …. you need to explain your dis-agreement

doing it the above way you will have better effect in you dialogue and will be better respected

now please try to do it again following the above steps ,, and you will see how much your opinion will be better respected

thanks for your understanding ,
Syrian deserve better……

May 21st, 2011, 1:29 pm


Aboud said:

@22 Thank you Revlon. I try to avoid cheer-leading other people’s posts, but you said everything I wanted to say and more.

There is a well known psychological theory called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. People look to secure food, air and other basic needs first. Then they look for safety. After that it’s companionship, then self esteem, and finally at the pinnacle is a need to express of one’s own creativity.

A basic, simple to understand theory, which when understood, should finally shut up all those imbeciles yapping on about why the revolution doesn’t put forward a bloody five year plan for the world’s approval. People are out in the streets to secure the most basic rights that should be afforded to every society.

Don’t tell me the individual is safe when Shabiha scum can video themselves trampling over people. Don’t tell me people are well fed when a family’s sole breadwinner can be kidnapped off the streets just so the Mukhabarat can meet its quota of arrests per city in a week. And don’t tell me to have thought out every details of a civil society and foreign policy before I am allowed to go out and demonstrate against someone who denies me safety, dignity, an education, good healthcare, and a fair chance at prosperity for me and mine.

It’s not only individuals who have an hierarchy of needs, societies have them too.

May 21st, 2011, 1:31 pm


why-discuss said:

How long would it take for the opposition to come up with institutions? We have not seen any moves that could give hopes.

For me, the opposition is very noisy and vocal but until now ineffective in coming up with anything constructive inside Syria.
In the meantime the government is systematically eliminating any attempts to forced regime change.
What support is there for the regime or the opposition?

Inside Syria:
For the regime: the army, the silent sunni majority, religious minorities, the business people (there is no other viable alternative)
Against : a maximum of 200,000 people mostly sunni, suburbans, villagers, young syrians not living in Syria, sunni extremists, human rights activists.
Neutral: the Kurds, worried that their situation under a sunni regime will be like in Turkey (they are in wait and see)

Can this be the stage of a promising revolution?

Some think that international sanctions will do the job, let us remember that Syria has already been there, that Iran is under sanctions for the last 40 years and still surviving.
Some think that a military intervention will do the job, we all know that this would not happen

So.. the situation will eventually return under the control of the present regime, it is a question of time.
In my view the sooner the opposition lay down their weapons and show their willingness to enter into a dialog, the less there will be blood and violence.

May 21st, 2011, 1:55 pm


Anton said:

Dear REVLON @22

your comment is very appreciated

The most thing distinguish the Syrian people is:

We are “shaab Tayeeb ” in other word good people and we have Syria, its a great country, believe me I smell it every day in my home.

let’s build it together

May 21st, 2011, 1:56 pm


why-discuss said:

21 mai 2011
La contestation syrienne s’organise aussi depuis Paris

Two syrian students in Paris, using Al Jazira and France 24, communicating with Skype and facebook with the Syrian Revolution 2011 are organizing a plan for the revolution in Syria following the path of Yemen.
They recognize that the key is Damascus.They believe that if 10,000 people do a sit-in Damascus, it will quickly bring 20,000.
They think it is now or never.

May 21st, 2011, 2:11 pm


democracynow said:

The criminals shot dead 5 innocent people who were returning from a funeral of yesterday’s martyrs in Homs. This is extremely stupid and reckless of the regime. Shooting at mourners and ambulances is the most abhorrent thing one could do, the fact that it is sanctioned by a regime that should protect its people only add insult to injury. Homsis are talking about an unprecedented level of anger in Homs today, the city is seething with fury.

The regime’s calculations are based on static levels of loyalty and/or silence, but what they don’t realize is that even the most passive citizens, or those who have vested interest in stability and security, couldn’t bring themselves to accept these heinous acts.

May 21st, 2011, 2:28 pm


Aboud said:


“even the most passive citizens, or those who have vested interest in stability and security, couldn’t bring themselves to accept these heinous acts.”

Exactly. Let’s remember how this all started, with some graffiti scrawled on some school wall in Dera’a. The security there didn’t arrest the kids who did it, they arrested whoever they thought had similar hand writing. Today, I bet the idiot who gave the order to arrest those kids is banging his head against the wall.

May 21st, 2011, 2:35 pm


HS said:

Dear Aboud
Further to comment #12 and 13
I found a rebuttal from “activists” :!/BSyria :
@ajarabic is running a full report on the basis that Ahmad Biasi was killed. @ahmadtalk, a popular&reliable blogger, says he is fine

Ahmad Biasi might not hv been tortured 2 death, bt so many of #Syria’s finest young men have met that fate. The only error concerns the name
1 hour ago


May 21st, 2011, 2:42 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Thank you, but when someone call those demonstrators “criminal thugs”,when they are dying at the hands of regime oppression forces,you see why I said that.
When someone say that the regime is busy with reform,when infact there was no meaningful reform at all, replacing emergency law with banning demonstrations, at a time people are revolting, against a dictatorship regime,you should understand why I said that.
when someone say that those demonstrators are armed, and no third party poof of that, all what we see is uncredible syria news,no verification,you must understand what I said,
When someone say something and then deny he or she said it,you will understand that.
Nonesense is a nonsense,and you can not tell the black is white and get away with it, what we need in SC is honest meaningful comment,verifiable,respect those who died for freedom, I have no respect for those who defend dictators,who kill their people,those has criminal intention just like the dictators themselvs.

May 21st, 2011, 2:44 pm


Anton said:


sorry to hear such news, every Syrian life is precious who matter is,

regardless , who/how/when/where true or not and how many, and as your opinion is important, I would like to hear from you an answer to the following question:

what measures you suggest to the government and the people should talk to prevent such things happen in the future ? please be constructive and as much explanatory as you can!!!

All, please your opinion is matter as well…

May 21st, 2011, 2:57 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

There is nothing the Syrian regime can do other than what it is doing now. Handing power over to those insane Homsis (“Sunnis” like some people call them) will produce a civil war in Syria very quickly. The choice is between either a collapse of the state and a Somalian-style civil war or that the state resists and tries to maintain law and order.

What Turkey and the West want is basically what Joshua Landis said, i.e. that Assad hands power over to “Sunnis,” which means a civil war. Nobody has offered Assad any real help. They are only making life harder for him and asking him to negotiate with the “opposition.” Assad TRIED to negotiate with the REAL opposition that is actually moving on the ground. He met with countless Islamist clerics (including those with connections to the MB). The Islamists simply do not want to stop the rebellion because they think they can topple him. The other “opposition” that appears on TV has no influence on the rebellion and Assad will not waste his time talking with them.

Everybody is trying to teach Assad what to do, but most of them do not understand what he is facing (or do they? Assad and I believe that they do understand but they are taking advantage of the situation. This is the foreign conspiracy we are talking about).

Assad can only resist to the end. There is no other option. Those people (the so-called “Sunnis”) do not want to negotiate. Anybody who says otherwise is either ignorant or conspirator. People like Revlon, Atassi, Adnan Arour, etc are not looking to reform the regime .They are looking for sectarian revenge, like the Shia in post-Saddam Iraq. This is a sectarian war.

The Iraqi “opposition” never said they were going to exact sectarian revenge on the Sunnis, but is there any sane person who says they have not? The Iraqi opposition was multi-confessional (it had Sunnis), but this did not change anything. The “secular” Shia turned out to be worse than the religious ones.

What the US is doing is that they are taking sides in an internal sectarian war. They want to turn Syria into another Libya or Iraq. Assad will not accept that and he will fight to the end. I just feel tired repeating this.

I am Sunni by birth but I am on the side of the minorities in this conflict because they represent the true nationalist position. Also in Iraq there were many nationalist Shia who opposed the US invasion. This is not a Sunni vs. Alawi/Shia conflict. It is a nationalist vs. sectarianist, or secular vs. Islamist. I am also tired repeating this.

May 21st, 2011, 2:57 pm


Anton said:


Thanks for your clarification,

your frustration is understood ,I believe all of us are frustrated to see our country like that, and all of us like to see Syria in better position as its today.

If you do not mind I would like to ask you the following questions

– what you will do if you are the president to pull the Syrian people together ?
– what you would like to suggest to the president to do now and some road map for a better future for Syria, politically and economically

I appreciate your responses !!


* others welcome to response as well please !

May 21st, 2011, 3:52 pm


why-discuss said:

Promise of Arab Uprisings Is Threatened by Divisions
Anthony Shadid reported from Beirut, and David D. Kirkpatrick from Cairo.

…But in the past weeks, the specter of divisions — religion in Egypt, fundamentalism in Tunisia, sect in Syria and Bahrain, clan in Libya — has threatened uprisings that once seemed to promise to resolve questions that have vexed the Arab world since the colonialism era. …
….Nowhere is that perhaps truer than in Syria, with a sweeping revolt against four decades of rule by one family and a worsening of tensions among a Sunni Muslim majority and minorities of Christians and heterodox Muslims, the Alawites.

Mohsen, a young Alawite in Syria, recounted a slogan that he believes, rightly or not, was chanted at some of the protests there: “Christians to Beirut and the Alawites to the coffin.”

“Every week that passes,” he lamented, speaking by telephone from Damascus, the Syrian capital, “the worse the sectarian feelings get.”

The example of Iraq comes up often in conversations in Damascus, as does the civil war in Lebanon. The departure of Jews, who once formed a vibrant community in Syria, remains part of the collective memory, illustrating the tenuousness of diversity. Syria’s ostensibly secular government, having always relied on Alawite strength, denounces the prospect of sectarian differences while, its critics say, fanning the flames. The oft-voiced formula is, by now, familiar: after us, the deluge.

“My Alawite friends want me to support the regime, and they feel if it’s gone, our community will be finished,” said Mohsen, the young Alawite in Damascus, who asked that only his first name be used because he feared reprisal. “My Sunni friends want me to be against the regime, but I feel conflicted. We want freedom, but freedom with stability and security.”

That he used the mantra of years of Arab authoritarianism suggested that people still, in the words of one human rights activist, remain “hostage to the lack of possibilities” in states that, with few exceptions, have failed to come up with a sense of self that transcends the many divides.

“This started becoming a self-fulfilling myth,” said Mr. Azm, the Syrian intellectual.

“It was either our martial law or the martial law of the Islamists,” he added. “The third option was to divide the country into ethnicities, sects and so on.”

Despite a wave of repression, crackdown and civil war, hope and optimism still pervade the region, even in places like Syria, the setting of one of the most withering waves of violence. There, residents often speak of a wall of fear crumbling. Across the Arab world, there is a renewed sense of a collective destiny that echoes the headiest days of Arab nationalism in the 1950s and ’60s and perhaps even transcends it…..

May 21st, 2011, 3:53 pm


Abughassan said:

I do not know why Syrians have to choose between a corrupt regime and civil war. There is hope that Asad has learned from this uprising and that he will change course after order is restored but people do not trust him as much as they did prior to March 18th. Removing Asad now is dangerous and irresponsible but the killing and the violence need to stop. The regime does not have control over armed thugs but they should have control over security forces. The Syrian army is being treated unfairly by some on this blog and must be left out of this circus because if it falls we all fall,please understand that.
As for albaath,Asad family and the regime as a whole,gradual but sustained withdrawal from Syria’s political life is inevitable.A republic can not afford to be ruled by one family for more than 40 years and one party,unopposed,for more than 48 is ironic that albaath,when it was in the opposition camp,was allowed to protest and compete for seats in the parliament but after 1963 it did not return the favor!!

May 21st, 2011, 4:05 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Bashar Assad is in a position that he and only he can pull the syrian togather, and if he does he will be the greatest president ever, he can talk to the people directly and promise real reform,freedom and democracy, and immidiately exclude the oppression forces heads such as Maher and Asef, and either excile them or put them in jail, and oust Ali Habib,and Ali Mamlook,and all different security heads,dissolve the baath party and free the press and all media, release all political prisoners, and oust Aadel Safar,appoint someone from the opposition to head the goverment,arrest those who are shooting at the people, and tolerate demonstrations, he should order immidiate halt under penality ,to all shooting.
In other word he should lead a coup,he then will insist on protecting the Alawite sect,and as democracy goes on all parties will participate in governing Syria.

It is important that he does this because The Middle East is going through critical period,and US is withdrawing from Iraq, and Egypt is undergoing a democratic change.
This way, Alawite will be protected, HA is protected,and a leader of the Arab world will be born again.

Can or will he do that? I seriously doubt that, the possibility of this happening is close to zero%.

May 21st, 2011, 4:27 pm


why-discuss said:


It is a matter of time that the situation in Egypt and Tunisia takes over the headlines. The tensions that were focused on overthrowing Ben Ali and Mobarak may turn into internal dissensions. In Egypt, one immediate dissension will be the growing antagonism of the young Egyptians toward Israel versus the army and the business community who want the economy to be back on its feet. The other is the growing role of the MB who may take over the parlement because of its popularity with the grassroot. That would create a shock wave among the liberal egyptian youth.
In Tunisia, the same danger is there and I worry it may become like Algeria in 1991 when the islamic party won the election.
These revolutions have been managed by educated young men/women, it was followed by the mass for very different reasons, yet the grassroot who are not in facebook or internet are more sensitive to the Islamic groups who take care of their welfare practically than to promises of FB or the young activists.

If Bashar al Assad is able to sustain his resistance enough time for the international community to see the dangerous cracks in the highly praised arab spring, he may appear like a wise man. ( In his article, Anthony Shedid is preparing the public opinion to that eventuality)
In view of the slow progress of unification of the opposition, time plays in favor of the regime.

May 21st, 2011, 4:33 pm


democracynow said:


The political transition in Syria from totalitarian rule to democracy will realistically take some time, but that doesn’t mean the protests have to stop or that violence against protesters should be condoned. It’s in the hands of the regime to take violence out of the equation and undertake faith building steps: allowing protests, releasing political prisoners, allowing freedom of assembly and speech..etc..

The sooner the regime realizes that this is the only way the better.

May 21st, 2011, 4:45 pm


democracynow said:


The political transition in Syria from totalitarian rule to democracy will realistically take some time, but that doesn’t mean the protests have to stop or that violence against protesters should be condoned. It’s in the hands of the regime to take violence out of the equation and undertake faith building steps: allowing protests, releasing political prisoners, allowing freedom of assembly and speech.etc.

The sooner the regime realizes that this is the only way the better.

May 21st, 2011, 4:49 pm


democracynow said:

Security forces beating and dragging a defenseless protester in Hama:

May 21st, 2011, 4:55 pm


Aboud said:

@30 HS

I pray to God Ahmad Al-Biasi is alive. He should be released, and his tormentors made an example of. If however no evidence is forthcoming on his good health, then the worst must be assumed.

The regime gained absolutely nothing by his arrest, and only got a major black eye as a result, which only reinforces the view that Bashar has no coherent policy, has no plan, and is just living from Friday to Friday.

May 21st, 2011, 4:59 pm


Thanks said:

Thanks for the good blogging and all helpful comments here,

I have noticed that some commentators say that Syrian people demonstrating and protesting in streets are not providing alternative to regime and they are not working toward building institutions, it is somehow true, but how can they do so when any leader would be arrested and tortured for expressing views and agendas in effective ways.

Up to my knowledge, there are leaders behind the scene, and others managed to be visible while living in Syria, as a result their efforts have not yet reached their potential, actually many are arrested.

Now let’s assume that they would organize a defensive force to prevent being arrested, an armed conflict would occur that is not in the sake of the peaceful demonstrations.

Syrian living in Syria

May 21st, 2011, 5:00 pm


democracynow said:

من موقع علي فرزات:

يا محاسن الصدف ؟؟؟؟؟!!!!!!!!!
قامت قناة الجزيرة المندسة بعرض فيلم مصور عن طريق مندسين حماه احد المصورين يصور رجل امن معه بارودة جفت (صيد) ولمحاسن الصدف …. أجرت قناة سورية لقاء مع دكتور في مشفى يسألونه عن الوضع فاعترف الدكتور بأن إحدى المصابين مصاب بطلق بارودة صيد ( جفت) يعني صدفة أحسن من ألف ميعاد………؟؟؟؟؟؟؟!!!!!!!!!

May 21st, 2011, 5:01 pm


Sophia said:

I read Shadid’s article and he points to many elements that may hinder the Arab spring.

I think the problem of Arab countries and specifically countries like Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, is not dictatorship. The problem is how to carve out a viable alternative to dictatorship that will maintain security for the mosaic of communities that live in these countries. There is none now. And the Lebanese model is not working.

However, I believe that such an alternative will emerge over time but it cannot be built now with all the tensions going on and certainly not under duress (Condi rice’s birth pangs style) or foreign meddling and intervention.

May 21st, 2011, 5:29 pm


trustquest said:

Here is another video shows the amount of savagery applied on those young protesters. killing young children is crime beyond mirthlessness, It seems that the regime only can think in violence, and do not have any other method, this will end him up against the whole population because he is feeding the fire by himself.

حمص .. حي عشيرة .. شارع فيروزة .. مجزرة وقتل عصابات الأمن لطفل .. 21.5.2011

May 21st, 2011, 5:44 pm


Anton said:


Thanks for your feedback, here my 2 cents

I agree on your below statement

” It’s in the hands of the regime to take violence out of the equation and undertake faith building steps: allowing protests, releasing political prisoners, allowing freedom of assembly and speech.etc.”

and would like to add to it the following, with the cooperation of the protesters, please permit me to dialogue about how we can achieve that

– first I would say let those protesters seek a proper permit(s) , using the new law and regulations. if all rules applied then the government should allowed that to happen.
– Second those protesters should prevents others to do otherwise , and condemn them if they did , therefore they can show their side of actively participating of the trust building measures

doing that, it will help us determine the bad vs. the goods protesters and if the government keeps it words and judge accordingly

do you agree with that? …

until that happened , its really difficult to judge the situation, who is right and who is wrong .. and all of us should condemn the violence regardless


May 21st, 2011, 6:16 pm


Abughassan said:

Did some of you guys write the funeral of a living person,Mr Biasi?
Technology helped Arab revolutions but it also made it much easier for people to fabricate stories,spread rumors and doctor videos,and I am not only referring to the story about Biasi which I do not know if he is still alive or not.even aljazeera was caught multiple times spreading fake videos and training guests on what to say and which regimes to attack.
I find it humorous that tv stations based in the gulf or owned by Saudi sheiks are becoming champions of freedom and democracy. You can give a donkey a million dollar but you will end up with a rich donkey,no disrespect to donkeys.

May 21st, 2011, 6:31 pm


Anton said:


Thanks for your insight, Very good base to start a dialogue and how we can elevate your expectation from Zero to at least let’s say 50%

please permit me to say our aims all the time is the best for Syrians and Syria

I believe all of us on this blog agree on your first statement

“Bashar Assad is in a position that he and only he can pull the syrian togather, and if he does he will be the greatest president ever, he can talk to the people directly and promise real reform,freedom and democracy.”

The second statement about the security and army officers , I believe he needs to keeps them and let them do a structure reforms to their organisations, protecting the Syrian people rather than humiliating them is a strict objective to follow, to avoid any unneeded clashes, Syria needs all its men and women at this historical moments

The Third, I believe here we can agree again , the president should announce a new unity government composed from all sides and corners no one should be excluded . I mean no party should be excluded ,,, the only constrain is their patriotic attentions and conducts, to lay the bases for new laws and constitutional changes under his supervision.

I believe doing that, the expectations that the president will do it will go up to 50%

what you think?

others, any thought?

May 21st, 2011, 6:48 pm


Abughassan said:

Truth seekers from both sides are invited to look at the names and funerals of hundred of Syrians who were killed on the hands of brutal security forces and criminal pseudo Islamic terrorists. This list includes more than 130 army and police officers from all areas of Syria,many of whom were not even armed. I stand by my statement that many Syrians acted like true third world citizens not because they are poor but because of their shameful behavior. I heard multiple comments from non Syrians asking whether Syria can actually become a free and democratic country overnight when emotions and animalistic conduct is still accepted and even defended by many Syrians. I was ,and still am,a harsh critic of the regime,but that regime did not come from Mars and it did not survive just because there are many alewites in the government. Most of the corrupt officials and merchants are not alewites but our alewites brothers,most of whom are actually poorer than the average Sunnis,receive most of the blame. Shame on anybody who is trying to divide Syrians and incite sectarian wars,those evil people,pro and anti government,are the worst thugs in Syria.

May 21st, 2011, 6:50 pm


Norman said:

It looks like the opposition is over playing it’s hand, There is no chance on earth that the Army and the Baath party will collapse under violence, they saw what happened to the Iraqi army and Baath party and they are not stupid to risk the same faith, President Assad does not represent himself only he represent the Army and the Baath party and all the minorities that right or wrong believe that he is the only one who can protect them, so the solution is not as difficult as it seems, but it needs bold movements,
If i were president Assad i would call president Obama, Sarkozy, Erdogan and the king of Saudi Arabia, and inform them that he is willing to announce a cancellation of article 8 and a new party law that allows anybody to start a non religous or ethnic party party, at the same time these president and countries will come out forcefully for the reform announced and that any opposition to this reform is going against the interest of the Syrian people, the opposition needs to lose their financial and moral support to accept the reform and for the crises to end ,

I just want to make it clear for the opposition that being equal is OK but denying others their equal rights will never happen,and anybody who thinks that they are more entitled because of their religous beliefs, ethnic background or even the color of their eyes is not acceptable and the army and the Baath party will fight them forever, what we see now in Syria is what we saw in Algeria, a long low intensity warfare , I do not think that the president should go out unprotected , he is too valuable for Syria to do that

May 21st, 2011, 7:21 pm


Sophia said:

Prof. Landis,

Why the changing of the title today? I find the previous title represents more accurately what is in this post. I am wondering why you have departed from your balanced analysis and why you have been blowing alternatively cold air and hot air* on the readership of this blog? Were you threatened? I hope not.

As for myself, I come here to read information and objective analysis. I am having difficulty to bear with what is going on on this blog, especially the activism and propaganda in the comment section. I am sorry but I will not be visiting in the future.

*This is a French expression and I know no equivalent in English: Souffler le chaud et le froid

May 21st, 2011, 7:42 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

We have to say it clearly,after 850 death,and over 8000 has been arrested,and the use of all oppression forces,and the army, and the deceiving syrian media,we have to see an act that convince us to trust Bashar,what you are suggesting, to keep those criminals around, is never going to be accepted. Without trust , there will be no deal.

May 21st, 2011, 8:06 pm


jad said:

Dear Sophia,
What’s the point of leaving? Could you please keep posting 🙂
I think Dr. Landis is trying to show both sides of the story and I don’t think it’s an easy task since he will be attacked whatever he writes.

May 21st, 2011, 8:07 pm


Norman said:


The status in Syria is not stable and it is hard if you want to be objective not to see that, living in denial is not helpful.

May 21st, 2011, 8:23 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Goodbye Sophia.

May 21st, 2011, 8:40 pm


Norman said:

Hey Amir,

You might be reason for her to come back, so you will not have the satisfaction of her leaving.

May 21st, 2011, 8:46 pm


Aboud said:

@53 Sophia.

I don’t remember exactly what the first title of the post was, but I seriously doubt Professor Landis would keep posting if pressure was applied on him.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been grievously guilty of calling the professor some not so nice things when he expressed an opinion that I strongly disagreed with. For the first time in my life, there is a political issue that I feel strongly about, body, mind and soul, and it takes a while to grow the maturity to accept contrary opinions, and not to look at people who express such opinions as the devil’s handiwork.

If you feel you need to leave, just take a moment and ask yourself whether you are leaving because Professor Landis expressed an opinion you disagreed with. If we do so, we end up reading and posting only on those forums that agree 100% with our view of the world. Such places are unbelievably dull, and the echo from the same not-so-different opinions gets tiring.

May 21st, 2011, 9:20 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I liked Anton’s expression “shaab Tayeeb”. Yes, there are many good people who make a good Shaab. There are, I’m sure, many good people, that currently serve this murderous junta. They are caged in a golden cage. But I’m sure that many of then look at what has become of the country they love, and it’s people, and this very much upsets them.

They soon will begin to defect and resign from the Ba’ath. I have no doubt that this is the next step in this uprising road-map. Then the demonstrations get closer to 7aleb and Dimashq, and Hasta la vista Ba’ath.


I don’t like this Ba’athist attitude: if this forum is not 100% Syria Tishreen Comment, and if this forum does not represent her highness Sophia’s views, then she will boycott. Shalom then and goodbye.

May 21st, 2011, 9:28 pm


why-discuss said:

Trustquest, Democracynow

Haven’t you yet understood that Bashar and the whole government supported by more than half the population have decided to put an end to these riots calling for the removal of Bashar Al Assad and the fall of the state before they’ll announce anything.
Who is silly enough to announce any reform when it will be interpreted the same day by the hardliners manipulating these poor syrians as a sign of weakness?
As long as there are protesters calling for the fall of the Bashar, they will treated like terrorists not like protesters.
The day the demonstrations will call for dialog like some of the Kurds, then it will time to talk seriously.
So you can dump on us thousands of video of the way the protesters are treated and I will reply that as long as they are calling not for dialog but for the fall of the state then they will be treated as criminals and terrorists.
The ball in the opposition cyber-leaders even though I think they have totally lost control of what is happening.

May 21st, 2011, 9:51 pm


jo6pac said:

Please remember that Amerika and it’s friends won’t bring it’s best game if the state falls. If you all go after one other than the bad guys win and Syria citizens lose. It doesn’t take much to see this as you looks around you. Yes, your govt needs to change but then so does mine in Amerika.

May 21st, 2011, 10:15 pm


why-discuss said:

Trustquest, Democracynow

Let me add that,
No sanction will have any effect on the clear determination of the government to finish the job.
The only things that can change the course of the events is either an external military intervention or a million Syrians demonstrating asking unanimously for the removal of Bashar al Assad as president.

Otherwise, it will take the time it needs and will get the situation under control before announcing anything.

May 21st, 2011, 10:22 pm


Norman said:


I did not think of you as a runner.

May 21st, 2011, 10:24 pm


syau said:

Proof that Ahmad Al Biasi is not dead, by Ahmad Al Biasi himself, stating that he was surprised to hear of his death.

He looks in good health and states that no body disrespected him in anyway and he is leading a normal life as per usual.

Another lie by the ‘revolutionists’

May 21st, 2011, 10:52 pm


Revlon said:

65. Dear syau, thank you for posting the link to the interview of Ahmad Al Biasi by the Syrian TV.
It is great news that he is still alive.

I would like to make the following observations:
– The earlier news, communicated to the BBC, spoke of “stories” of his death under torture. There was no emphatic statement.
– The news originated from an eyewitness who saw the man in Kafr Sooseh detention; There has been no credible source to either confirm or deny it.
– The interview was carried out by the Syrian TV. We do not know where and under whose authority. Logically, A7mad who detests official media more than anyone else, would rather have YouTubed his whereabouts himself.
– Comparing how he looked in his last YouTube appearance to this interview, he now looks emaciated. Interestingly the camera used for the interview is very low quality, which would raise questions about ill intentions to hide signs of torture!
– The quick circulation of the news of A7mad and his possible death under torure have probably saved his life.
– The full story of A7mad’s whereabouts, after his last YouTube appearance, have not been told yet. It will be YouTubed later, by A7mad himself.

May 21st, 2011, 11:24 pm


extra said:

Sophia @53- ‘Blowing hot and cold’ is a common english expression for someone who seems in two minds on an issue.

May 21st, 2011, 11:29 pm


NAJIB said:


this blog has turned to sensationalism, and reading it might be disagreeable for those seeking calm & reason in these difficult times.

But one has to learn to keep his/her balance and calm exactly in the middle of all this ‘creative chaos’. it is a good training in the resistance ‘mukawama’ culture. 🙂

May 21st, 2011, 11:45 pm


Usama said:

I saw that DemocracyNow posted a bunch of YouTube videos about Friday “protests” under the previous post and I watched just 2 of them, and would like to discuss here. The Lattakia one where he says force was used, you can clearly see security forces standing doing nothing, even retreating to the end of the alleyway.

But what’s more important is his video about security forces apparently firing on peaceful protesters (which can’t be seen) in Hama. I found something by accident in that video, hopefully you can all see it before it gets deleted. I’m not 100% sure about what I see since it passes by so fast and the camera man clearly didn’t want to focus on it, which is weird since it’d be a good idea to show the peaceful protesters allegedly being shot at. I would like to get your input on this please.

At 0:24, is that not an armed man taking cover at the gates of the passport building?

May 21st, 2011, 11:49 pm


Revlon said:

24. Dear Aboud, thank you for your positive note, and introducing the theory of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, to this blog.

May 21st, 2011, 11:54 pm


syau said:


Thankyou for pointing that out, at first it’s difficult to see, but it does look like it is an armed man hiding.

May 22nd, 2011, 12:44 am


Revlon said:

Dear Joshua, I find the title chosen for this issue, including the original one to be appropriate characterisation of the Syrian scene.

“The lack of any obvious opposition alternative to Assad limits what Western governments, including the U.S, can do, says Ammar Abdulhamid, a prominent U.S-based Syrian dissident. “We do want [Obama] to call on Assad to step down at one point soon, but that’s not going to happen until Syrian opposition and activists get together and formulate a viable alternative to manage the transitional period. Only then can we expect world leaders to be more forthcoming in their calls on Assad to step down.”

Mr Abdul7amid statement prompted has prompted me to make the following observations

First, I, like you, find his statement reasonable.

Second, neither Ammar, nor any known virtual or ground activist can speak, manipulate, or act on behalf of the revolution. Such autonomy disproves the regime’s and supporters’ conspiratorial reading of the events, or the fabrication thereof.

Max made it crystal clear that they (The Asad-Makhloof Syndicate) have the fighters and they intend to fight it to the end!

With such regime’s mind set, the daily house search and arrests, disappearance, torture, and killing, it is difficult to envisage any form of visible leadership on the ground.

However, time is on the revolution’s side.
More time means more atrocities, and more pressure on the already tenuous position of the army. A Libyan scenario might arise should major army mutiny take place over a significant part of Syria. Such would allow underground leaders to come to the fore, and to form a national transitional council.

Ground and virtual networking is becoming more purposeful and stronger. An unprecedented, unassuming national dialogue is going on in the streets, at home, in funeral processions, in detention centres, and on the web. It will gradually lead to the recognition of a visible, ground and/or virtual group of uncontroversial representatives that would lead the next phase of the Syrian revolution.

May 22nd, 2011, 12:45 am



Last night 2 churches were firebombed and the priest cars were torched in the hama neighbourhood. How shameful has this syrian revolution turned out to be. I am a sunni muslim from Hama, and we have lived side by side with all other religions in syria. This revolution has been hijacked by islamic extremists whose only goal is to turn Syria into a SAUDI WAHHABI STATE. The great majority of syrians know who is behind all this and what it stands for. Thats why u dont see 90% of the syrian population joining these american/saudi driven demonstrations. I wont be surprised if in the coming weeks vigilante groups form from within all sects and begin attacking these extremists

May 22nd, 2011, 1:46 am


Majhool said:


I guess you are endorsing finishing the job which evidently entails the killing of many Syrians.

How thuggish is this!!! so sickening

May 22nd, 2011, 2:57 am


Mina said:

The counter-revolution and its collaterals, regime change in Libya and Syria, sound more and more like an attempted come-back of the Empire, who was certainly losing ground. One is reminded of Gladio in Europe in the 70’s, blaming communists for terrorism while it was undercover military operationals who were planting the bombs. It is even close to an ‘Iraq, phase 2’, that would have been in the fridge for a while.
As for the financial difficulties of the Empire, which are the reason of its ‘containment policies’ toward Iran and China, see

May 22nd, 2011, 3:52 am


mamnoon said:

Usama and Syau, you are dreaming. There is a shape there there that might, if you use your imagination, resemble a crouched figure. To say that it is an armed man is pure desperate fantasy.

May 22nd, 2011, 4:05 am


George said:

I watched almost all videos on the Youtube. Contrary to news articles, I found that the opposition has again failed to achieve geographical expansion for their support. In terms of locations of revolt, nothing new has happened since early April.

Even in Homs and Hama, the protests have been confined to small areas within the city.

Although they named May 20 “a day of Asadi (Azadi),” Kurdish word for freedom, only 2 districts of outer Damascus shouted “Azadi” except for Kurdish towns in the east and along the northern border.

People in Damascus and Aleppo know very well that your life will not improve through shouting slogans or throwing stones. And I believe that this is also the voice of the majority.

May 22nd, 2011, 4:29 am


Aboud said:

@76 You are making the same, sad, tired mistakes someone away from Syria is making. The demonstrations are indeed being confined to certain areas, but the people taking part in these demos come from all over Homs, and sometimes from the surrounding villages.

The funeral processions yesterday were massive, which is why the trigger happy security forces fired on them. Is Bashar even in charge of anything anymore? He seems more concerned with protecting papa’s pictures than disciplining foot soldiers who defy his supposedly direct orders not to fire on demonstrators. And FYI, no one from the demonstrators were armed yesterday.

May 22nd, 2011, 5:17 am


Mohammed kanj said:

George –

Well said. U speak for 95% of the Syrian population who know what is really going on I’n Syria and who is behind it. Last Friday was supposed to be the day for the Kurds . All they could gather was 5,000 Kurds I’n qamishli .

May 22nd, 2011, 6:34 am


OurLordBashar said:

Amazing how people said prior to this situation in Syria that it wouldn’t reach the country because its different. But now that its reached the country, those same people say that Syria is not so different after all and could end up like Iraq and Lebanon if Assad leaves. What nonsense.

Has it crossed any Syrians’ mind that the old school Syrian dissidents (under both Assads) come from minority backgrounds? Has it crossed anyone’s mind yet, that if there was an internal organized oppossition party that they would have be rounded up and tortured and thrown into some deep cellar? So that when government says that its a foreign plot, it is. Of course it is, its a plot by Syrians living abroad who love their country and want what they’ve tasted in the west, in Syria. Thats because they want to go back to Syria and not die in some foreign land. Yea, its a foreign plot because of the many different branches of the security apparatus and their 60,000 personnel stiffle creative thinking.

The pro-government individuals need to take a closer look at themselves. If you do not have anything personal to gain from Assad staying in power, then you are being used and when this is all over, you’ll be crapped on (as usual) if he stays in power. You’ll need to make a decision soon as to which side of the fence you’re on and choose wisely, because the tide has shifted against Assad and his clan. There’s no turning back for any of the opposition and no turing back for the region and the international community.

May 22nd, 2011, 7:00 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

I think Dr. Landis does not want to lose his friends. At such time of extreme polarization it is impossible to be in the middle, people will classify you as pro- or anti- no matter what you say. I expected the title of this post when I saw how bitterly Qunfuz lashed out at Dr. Landis in the last post. He almost called him a kafir Alawi (Islamists use the word “sectarianist” طائفي as a euphemism for “Alawi.” I don’t know if this was what Qunfuz meant when he called Landis a sectarian, but it is possible because he referred to his Alawi wife.)

May 22nd, 2011, 7:26 am


55 Dead in Syria's Weekend of Rage | Informed Comment said:

[…] For more on Friday’s events, see Joshua Landis. […]

May 22nd, 2011, 7:32 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

This may start the next war in the middle east:

دعت اللجنة التحضيرية لمسيرات العودة إلى فلسطين للمشاركة في مسيرات الزحف نحو الحدود الفلسطينية يوم الخامس من حزيران القادم في ذكرى النكسة.
ووجهت دعوات عبر موقع «فيسبوك» للتظاهر على خط وقف إطلاق النار في قرية مجدل شمس المحتلة مقابل موقع عين التينة، ونقل المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام عن اللجنة قولها في بيان لها أمس السبت إن مسيرات الخامس عشر من أيار الماضي لم تكن حدثاً عابراً بل هي إعلان تأسيس مرحلة نضالية جديدة في تاريخ القضية الفلسطينية
عنوانها عودة اللاجئين إلى ديارهم حيث انتقل الفلسطينيون لأول مرة من إحياء ذكرى تهجيرهم بالبيانات والمهرجانات والخطابات إلى محاولة العودة الفعلية إلى ديارهم.
وأكدت اللجنة أن زحف اللاجئين من كل الاتجاهات صوب وطنهم فلسطين بعث رسائل قوية إلى العالم أجمع بأن اللاجئين عازمون على العودة إلى ديارهم مهما طال الزمن.
وبينت اللجنة أن ما حدث في ذكرى النكبة كان نموذجاً مصغرا للزحف الأكبر القريب الذي سيشارك فيه كل اللاجئين الفلسطينيين ومن يدعمونهم من أحرار العالم عندما يجتاز كل لاجئ الأسلاك الشائكة ليعود إلى قريته ومدينته المحتلة.

May 22nd, 2011, 7:33 am


N.Z. said:

As I sit and read everyday the comments section on this blog, I cannot but feel the utter disgust towards those who are defending the mass murderers.

Rather than condemning the killings, excuses and lies are invented and reiterated daily. I ask myself how victorious can these thugs be, both the pen holders and the gun holders.

Every woman in these protests worth a million of our coward men, who are still sitting in the comfort of their homes, yet labelling the freedom protesters with names that are only fitting to the fabricators. As Nelson Mandela said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Pushing a button or pulling a trigger in the face of these noble protesters is a crime against human dignity.

As there is no such thing as “half men”, there is no such thing as part freedom.

So next time, please, before hitting a button put yourselves in the shoes of the brave Syrians, who do not have the luxury of free speech, yet they have the courage to take to the streets, sacrificing their own lives to let freedom reign, and not Assads’ reign.

May 22nd, 2011, 8:06 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

82. N.Z.,

If you say the government are “mass murderers,” we can say that you are a rebel, traitor, and collaborator with the enemy. All these crimes under Syrian law apply to you perfectly and each one of them warrants the government to shoot you between your eyes. These are very disgusting crimes you know. The punishment to these crimes is much less disgusting than the crimes themselves.

Is this the language that you want to hear? Do you have any understanding of the concepts of state, law, and order? If you want to label yourself as “freedom fighter” and rebel against the state and start seeking aid from hostile countries, then you must expect the government to apply its laws to you. Do you understand these concepts or not? Crying like a baby over what the government does to you indicates that you don’t understand them.

Applying law and enforcing order are not disgusting. What is disgusting is you, the collaborator Wahhabi rebel. This is very disgusting indeed. It is not your right to demolish the Syrian state and seek to divide the army. If you perceive yourself as a gangster, then maybe you will find it your right to do that, but this will not change the fact that you are a disgusting rebel.

I am not advocating shooting at rebels in the streets. What I want is that the government arrests them and sends them to courts to be tried under law; but I can imagine that in such chaotic circumstances as the current circumstances it will not always be easy for the government to arrest the rebels and try them in courts; so I can understand why there are some killings in the streets.

It is not your right to rebel. If you want to go down that illegal way, you must accept the consequences like a man; and you can’t ask me to not be disgusted by you.

May 22nd, 2011, 8:50 am


majedkhaldoon said:

I fully agree with you.It is disgusting and despicable to hear someone call those who lost their life , criminal thugs, This is inhuman and expose those who said it as criminal themselves.

there is a need for progress in this revolution,the regime is not going to commit itself to true reform,something the revolution has to do to force the regime to submit to the people will.

May 22nd, 2011, 9:06 am


Aboud said:

@ 82 N.Z

Well said N.Z . No one will forget the disgraceful gloating of the Baathists on this blog when the 4th Division invaded Dara’a, how they were baying for a blood bath. Since then even more demonstrators have turned out, and junior is now an international pariah who doesn’t dare leave Syrian soil. It is impossible to have a dialogue with a regime that is so hell bent on self destruction.

May 22nd, 2011, 9:14 am


why-discuss said:


I am for the security of the majority of citizens against outlaws who believe that acting outside the law is justified.

When someone wants to defy the law, he is simply treated as criminal and has to bear the consequences.

Despite all is what is said in the world, and despite their failure to draw more people, the hardline opposition are still dreaming to become the heroes and making a change like in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen by forcing the president to withdraw.
They have not yet accepted the reality that this is not going to happen: The army has not flipped and there is no increase of the number or protesters. Yet they push these young naive men to the street so they die and become martyrs to a revolution they are not able to make happen.
They have not accepted yet that only dialog is the solution, within the law, not by shouting, cursing and provocating.
These are the real manipulators and they should be tried and punished for incitment to violence.
The blood is on their hand, not on those who, with the means they have at their disposal, are attempting, often mistakenly, to protect the citizens and the law.
So please spare me the accusations. All police in the world can become thuggish when it is faced with aggressive people who do not respect the law. Their duty is to protect the citizens and the public property from provocation, aggression and destruction.

The situation crystal clear : If the opposition calls for a dialog, they will be heard, if they call for the fall of the government then they are outlaws and will be treated as such.

May 22nd, 2011, 9:30 am


Revlon said:

A7mad Hussein, Lieutenant in 4th Brigade, tells his story of escape to Turkey

Lieutenant Ahmad Husein, of the 4th division, was shot in the neck by security officer in dar3a for refusing to fire at the executed son of Sheikh Sayasneh in Dar3a.

He said that >700 dissenting soldiers have been executed by the regime. They were buried in a mass grave near Izra3 prison.

His unit was ordered to go to Dar3a on the second day of the revolution.
He was ordered to shoot at demonstrators.
He witnessed the execution of the son of Sheikh Sayasneh.
His refusal to shoot, lead to him being shot at, by a security officer in the neck.
Thinking he was dead, his unit was preparing to video his body and fabricate a story of his death.

May 22nd, 2011, 9:50 am


vlad-the-syrian said:

must see

syrian police shooting at peaceful protesters in حماة – جمعة الحرية


May 22nd, 2011, 9:52 am


vlad-the-syrian said:

security forces vandalizing a souk in Homs but they are pushed back by heroic peaceful protesters


May 22nd, 2011, 10:02 am


Mina said:

According to some twitter rumours, the government is allowing a massive sit-in tomorrow in Midfa’ square. Or is it
تم الاتفاق مع وزارة الداخلية على المكان الجديد دمشق _ شارع بغداد عند مديرية تربية
Will the Syrian Woodstock echo the Spanish one, first time since the Umeyyads?

May 22nd, 2011, 10:12 am


Abughassan said:

I think I had enough of bloggers and Facebook heroes who sit behind their computers and “smart” phones giving lectures and inciting violence. Like it or not,this regime is not going to be toppled quickly like the ones in Egypt and Tunisia. It is time for most of us to take a deep breath,support the people in Syria with money (not just slogans) and give cool heads a chance to rebuild the motherland. The public support for demonstrations is much weaker than what many people are willing to admit,and violence will only lead to more violence,however,the regime has no choice but to listen to people’s demands because the alternative is chaos and more bloodshed.Syrian expats ,for the most part,have either moderated their voice or even sent clear messages of support for ending unrest and violence.this leaves a small group of hard-core revolutionaries who are becoming increasingly isolated while waiting for foreign powers to come for the rescue.the next phase of this uprising will be mostly political and peaceful,as it is supposed to be. calling for an end to violence and chaos does not mean supporting the regime which must change for the sake of all Syrians.

May 22nd, 2011, 10:14 am


Mina said:

Reading some comments on this website, why would not realize that already since two months, the whole population in Syria is engaged into talking politics, reflecting on what they want, and many new issues. Even the gloomy interview of Alex by Qifa Nabki’s admin waits until 38′ to give the information that the Syrian TV is finally covering all the demos, hosting contradictory debates, etc.

May 22nd, 2011, 10:19 am


n said:

# 83,

Your response to me, “All these crimes under Syrian law apply to you perfectly and each one of them warrants the government to shoot you between your eyes”.

Does it sound thuggish?

Then you said: “I am not advocating shooting at rebels in the streets. What I want is that the government arrests them and sends them to courts… I can understand why there are some killings in the streets.”

I will simply tell you, we all deserve better.It is precisely this kind of mentality that needs to change.

May 22nd, 2011, 10:41 am


vlad-the-syrian said:

thanks for the link MINA

by the way Elias Muhanna is a 14th march supporter

mark how he’s eluding and changing the subject everytime that Camille utters factual arguments

May 22nd, 2011, 10:43 am


Abughassan said:

The alleged video of Ahmad Hussein will be used by the regime to expose the desperation of some Syrians,and non Syrians alike,who are very upset that the regime survived the uprising. It seems that the video was not targeting Syrians,who can easily tell that the guy is lying,just listen to his accent if you care to find out. I am surprised that any Syrian had taken this video seriously. This is becoming a YouTube war with a diarrhea of lies and fabrications from all sides. The guy who put the link on SC did not do the opposition any favors. That is similar to another guy who published an emotional obituary of a living person,mr Biasi.
The guy pretending to be an officer in the 4th Brigade is a bad actor who convinced nobody except those who want to believe their own fantasies.

May 22nd, 2011, 11:09 am


Mina said:

For those who enjoyed Al Jazeera’s coverage of South Sudan becoming independent in January, please take note that war is starting between North and South (as feared by every analysts, apparently). I hope AJA is not doomed. Would be very sad for beloved Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. I’m sad already for Libya and sincerely hope that the people there will get reunited against blood-thirsty western beggars.
Reading the following article written 3 weeks ago again, it looks that only Iran is marking at the current situation! When will the theocrats of the world give us a break?

May 22nd, 2011, 11:10 am


Mina said:

Indeed, you don’t even need to watch the video after reading Revlon’s story. They thought the guy was dead and started to prepare his body and next time we heard of him he had escaped to Turkey. Hum.

I though blogginheads was about dialogues, but the QN guy is doing his best to show he could work for interrogatories. I love the way he says there is no corruption in Lebanon. Especially when people bring all their relatives from distant places (including Syria) to vote in a local election at the village. But sorry, that’s not corruption. That’s called cheating elections. Big difference here. And of the late Hariri being involved in Chirac’s corruption scandals in France, he probably doesn’t want to hear of.

May 22nd, 2011, 11:12 am


why-discuss said:


There is a certainly a new political and social awareness as people are finally formulating openly what they beliefs are. Some who were undecided with the present government are becoming either colder or warmer depending on their perception of the situation today. They have to take a position, they can’t stay on the side, this explains the burst of emotions and argumentations we see.
More people scrutinize the news, see the international community intentions etc.. This is a taking the Syrians out of a fog.
The outcome of that is yet to see, as you dont’ get political and social maturity through a 2 months crash course.

BTW thanks for the Kopel’s article. The walls are closing on Israel.

May 22nd, 2011, 11:20 am


Nour said:

وزارة الداخلية ترخص لأول تحرك شعبي بعد صدور قانون التظاهر الاخبار المحلية

وقفة صامتة على أرواح الشهداء الاثنين والمنظمون يغيرون المكان بناء على طلب المحافظة
وافقت وزارة الداخلية على إعطاء ترخيص لتنظيم وقفة شموع صامتة “تعبيرا عن الحزن على دماء السوريين” يوم الاثنين في حديقة المدفع بمنطقة أبو رمانة بدمشق حيث تعتبر الأولى من نوعها عقب صدور التعليمات التنفيذية للمرسوم التشريعي المتعلق بتنظيم حق التظاهر، فيما قال أحد منظمي الوقفة لسيريانيوز إنه تم تعديل مكان الوقفة بناء على طلب محافظة دمشق “لأسباب أمنية”، ليكون الموقع الجديد في شارع بغداد عند مديرية التربية، متوقعا حضور 1500 إلى 2000 شخص.

وأكد مصدر مطلع, فضل عدم الكشف عن اسمه, لسيريانيوز أن “وزارة الداخلية وافقت على طلب تقدم به احد المواطنين لتنظيم وقفة شموع صامتة تعبيرا عن الحزن لدماء السوريين وتكريما لأرواح الشهداء”.

وكان منظمو الوقفة تقدموا بطلب في 12 ايار الجاري يتضمن تنظيم لتنظيم وقفة شموع صامتة تعبيرا عن الحزن على دماء السوريين وتكريما لارواح الشهداء في حديقة المدفع ابو رمانة في دمشق بالساعة الخامسة والنصف مساء ولمدة ساعتين من يوم الاثنين 23 /5 / 2011.

وجاءت الموافقة على هذا الأمر بعد دراسة الطلب من قبل لجنة تنظيم وترخيص المظاهرات.

في سياق متصل، قال أحد منظمي الوقفة في اتصال هاتفي لسيريانيوز إنه تم تعديل مكان الوقفة بناء على طلب محافظة دمشق “لأسباب أمنية”، ليكون الموقع الجديد في شارع بغداد عند مديرية التربية، متوقعا حضور ومشاركة 1500 إلى 2000 شخص.

وكان منظمو الوقفة أطلقوا صفحة على موقع التواصل الاجتماعي لدعوة من يريد الانضمام إليهم والمشاركة في الوقفة، إضافة إلى التواصل معه وإعلامهم بكافة المستجدات والشروط المشاركة، وضمت الصفحة إلى الآن أكثر من 3 آلاف شخص عبروا عن رغبتهم المشاركة في الوقفة.

وأرسل منظمو الوقفة قبل يومين رسائل إلكترونية إلى المشاركين بالصفحة تعلمهم أن محافظة دمشق طلبت تغيير المكان المزمع إقامة الوقفة فيه وهو حديقة المدفع في أبو رمانة وذلك “لأسباب أمنية”.

وتأتي الموافقة على تنظيم وقفة الشموع بعد نحو أسبوع على إصدار وزارة الداخلية للتعليمات التنفيذية للمرسوم التشريعي المتعلق بتنظيم حق التظاهر السلمي، حيث شملت التعليمات 15 مادة، تضمنت الجهات التي يحق لها الدعوة للتظاهر، والأسباب الداعية لعدم الموافقة على تنظيم المظاهرة، إضافة لآليات تحديد موعدها ومكانها وغيرها..

وكان الرئيس بشار الأسد، أصدر في 21 نيسان الماضي، المرسوم التشريعي رقم 54 القاضي بحق التظاهر السلمي للمواطنين، حيث يتضمن تشكيل لجنة مختصة في وزارة الداخلية للنظر في طلبات ترخيص تنظيم المظاهرات، والإجراءات التي يتعين على الجهة الداعية القيام بها للحصول على الموافقة، والأحوال التي يحق للوزارة فض المظاهرة فيها أيضا.

وتنص التعليمات التنفيذية المتعلقة بتنظيم التظاهر السلمي أن يتضمن الطلب المقدم لتنظيم المظاهرة بيانات تشمل اسم الجهة الداعية لتنظيمها، وأسماء وتواقيع رئيس وأعضاء اللجنة المنظمة، وأرقامهم الوطنية، والهواتف العائدة لهم، وتحديد موطن مختار لهم لتبليغهم قرار اللجنة، مزودين بتفويض من رئيس إحدى الجهات التي يحق لها التظاهر وهي الأحزاب السياسية والمنظمات الشعبية والنقابات المهنية ومنظمات المجتمع الأهلي المرخصة أصولا، وذلك إذا كانت إحداها الجهة الداعية لتنظيم المظاهرة.

واشترطت أيضا أن تحدد الغاية من المظاهرة أي أهدافها، وأسبابها، ومكانها وخط سيرها ومكان انتهائها وزمانها باليوم، والساعة، والمدة، إضافة للمطالب والشعارات التي سترفع خلالها على أن يرفق بالطلب تعهد من رئيس وأعضاء اللجنة المنظمة لها في حال كان الداعي لتنظيمها مواطنين أو رئاسة الحزب أو المنظمة الشعبية أو النقابة المهنية أو منظمة المجتمع الأهلي حسب الحال.

وجاء في التعليمات التنفيذية لقانون التظاهر السلمي إنه يتم تقديم الطلب إلى المحافظة المعنية خلال الدوام الرسمي، وقبل الموعد المحدد للمظاهرة بـ 5 أيام على الأقل، على أن يعطى مقدم الطلب إشعارا خطيا باستلام طلبه يتضمن رقمه وتاريخه، بحيث يحيل المحافظ الطلب خلال فترة لا تتجاوز 48 ساعة مع الرأي إلى وزارة الداخلية.

ولفتت التعليمات إلى أن وزارة الداخلية تشكل لجنة مختصة للنظر في طلبات ترخيص تنظيم المظاهرات للبت في موضوع الطلب خطيا خلال مدة لا تتجاوز 5 أيام من تاريخ استلامها الطلب، وترسله فورا إلى المحافظة المعنية لتقوم بتبليغه مباشرة إلى رئيس اللجنة المنظمة للمظاهرة في الموطن المختار المحدد بالطلب، موضحة أنه في حال كان قرارها عدم الموافقة على المظاهرة فيجب أن يكون معللا.

ونصت الأحكام العامة لمرسوم تنظيم التظاهر السلمي أنه يتعين على المتظاهرين المشاركين في المظاهرة السلمية عدم استغلال دور العبادة والجامعات والمدارس والجهات العامة والمناطق العسكرية لهذه الغاية، وأنه على رجال الشرطة التدخل المباشر في هذه الأحوال بصفتهم ضابطة عدلية مساعدة للنائب العام، لمنع هذه الأعمال وضبط المخالفين وتنظيم الضبوط اللازمة بحقهم وإحالتهم للقضاء المختص أصولا.

وأقر أكثر من مسؤول سوري على رأسهم الرئيس بشار الأسد بحق المواطن السوري في التظاهر السلمي، إلا أن بعض الجهات تستغل هذه التحركات “لبث الفرقة وزعزعة استقرار سوريا” ، بحسب ما يقول المسؤولون.

وتشهد العديد من المدن السورية عدة مظاهرات منذ نحو شهرين، تركزت أيام الجمعة، تنادي للحرية والإصلاح، فيما تزامن خروج بعض المظاهرات بحوادث إطلاق نار من قبل جماعات مسلحة راح ضحيتها عشرات القتلى من المواطنين وعناصر في الأمن والجيش, وذلك بحسب المصادر الرسمية.

May 22nd, 2011, 11:25 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Speach of president Obama , infront of AIPAC, is a wonderful speach,it include warning to Netenyaho,that time is not in favor of Israel.

May 22nd, 2011, 11:25 am


Sophia said:

I think I owe Prof. Landis and some people in this comment section an explanation. The previous title of this post was: “the Syrian revolution lives on: x dead yesterday” I am not sure of the second part of the title except that it mentioned the number of dead.

I thought the previous title was more objective and adapted to the content of the post. The Syrian revolution lives only by spilling blood. I am not saying that the regime is not responsible but the so called revolution is not leaving any alternative and is in my opinion responsible for the spilling of the blood of Syrians as much as the regime, although indirectly mostly.

I am telling the people here: I don’t like your revolution and your revolutionary strategy does not augur well for the future of Syria and the region.

And yes Amir, I am back. I may not comment as much as before because all the ‘revolutionary’ stuff here and some of the pro-government stuff is very hard to swallow but I will be around, don’t celebrate too early…

May 22nd, 2011, 11:34 am


N.Z. said:

# 83,

Your response to me, “All these crimes under Syrian law apply to you perfectly and each one of them warrants the government to shoot you between your eyes”.

Does it sound thuggish?

Then you said: “I am not advocating shooting at rebels in the streets. What I want is that the government arrests them and sends them to courts… I can understand why there are some killings in the streets.”

I will simply tell you, we all deserve better.It is precisely this kind of mentality that needs to change.

May 22nd, 2011, 11:35 am


Mina said:

I agree of course WD, and think that part of the road to political understanding means to stop believing in every rumour and even more in every miracle. I have heard so often from Christian friends (Syrians, Iraqis) that the Virgin somewhere had blood or tears, and from Muslims that Mekka’s water was so clean (it contains arsenic according to some recent analysis!), or that Ali would fly above Aden’s volcano!
A cure for the Middle East means to start taking back the power from the religious leaders to put it in the hands of the people. It does not mean religions should be banned, and certainly religious guys will keep their charisma and wonderful talent in rhetoric, but the people have to be in charge of themselves, not the leaders. A good start would be to facilitate civil weddings, no matter what the sect is. I know some Syrian young couples who were not able to marry (in the back of their families) because religious authorities are creating even more problems than the civil ones!

May 22nd, 2011, 11:43 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Souri said
All these crimes under Syrian law apply to you perfectly and each one of them warrants the government to shoot you between your eyes”.

This is criminal comment

May 22nd, 2011, 11:49 am


Sophia said:

I can’t let this pass. This is the most racist anti-Syrian story told about Syrians, by Lebanese March 14 pro Syrian revolution/anti-Syrian people, and reproduced in the column of Thomas Friedman in the NYTimes.

With friends like these who want enemies?

May 22nd, 2011, 11:51 am


Hani Atassi said:

Dr. Landis,
I have to express my grave disappointment with your analysis regarding Syria. If someone who lived in Syria and married to a Syrian woman could go out with such kind of thinking, so we should give up seriously with any descent American. As I heard, you have access to get more accurate information about the situation in Syria in order to produce an analysis of the complex facts in more a objective way. What you call it ‘revolution’ is actually few number of people (less that 1% of the population) who are mostly armed with different kinds of tools, to destabilize the country by burning public institutions and private properties as well as killing innocent people and military and police men. These heinous acts are being covered and supported by media (some Arab and western media as well as the US and Israelis’ agendas) by totally ignoring these facts and never mention that. You said your wife’s cousin was killed in Banias by the armed gangs. So you know the reality on the ground but maybe you were asked not to show this facts again.. The children of your wife’s cousin will not be happy with your position regarding how their fathers and colleagues died
If you don’t know this is a disaster but if you know the disaster is greater and greater

May 22nd, 2011, 12:00 pm


Akbar Palace said:

This is the most racist anti-Syrian story told about Syrians…


Can you explain to the forum members here what words (in the article you linked to) did you find “racist” and “anti-Syrian”?

May 22nd, 2011, 12:05 pm


why-discuss said:


A very silly and confused article of Thomas Friedman. Instead of pompously glotting the mantra that Syrians are not afraid anymore of their government, he should extend that to the Arabs having lost their fear of Israel. The tyranny of Israel does not frighten any more the Palestinians and thanks to the ‘arab spring’ Thomas Friedman will soon see what is its effect on his ‘democratic’ friend

May 22nd, 2011, 12:12 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


Michel Hajji Georgiou from L’orient-Lejour is a corrupt lascar devoted to Hariri and the Saudis. Since many years
these guys have been infusing lots of money to corrupt and buy medias. And hs says innocently it doesnt cost more than a thousand dollars to create the SNN site …

May 22nd, 2011, 12:22 pm


why-discuss said:

French Intelligence: Bellemare to Accuse Syria in Hariri’s Assassination

Back to square zero

May 22nd, 2011, 12:23 pm


Sophia said:

#104 AP,

You have to be either Syrian or Lebanese to understand the racism in Friedman’s story.

#105 WD, #106 Vlad,

Friedman’s article reminded me of all the jokes some Lebanese used to make about Syrians. I think those in March 14, especially christians, should be thankful that the Syrian army saved them from annihilation during the civil war.

May 22nd, 2011, 12:29 pm


Mina said:

1) It doesn’t have to be true;
2) If it is true, it explains somebody’s silence in the recent weeks;
3) Commentaries on Malbrunot’s blog show that people have little credit in this tale;
4) Bellemare has been saying “in a few weeks” for years;
5) He may not get a visa!

May 22nd, 2011, 12:35 pm


Sophia said:

#107 WD,

I wouldn’t worry. They will keep the STL and its leaks as long as they think it is useful for them to target anybody in Syria or Lebanon. Israel is of course out of any suspicion despite being the other party that has close interests in Lebanese politics and agents on the ground to plant bombs.
I mean the STL has become like Bin Laden after 9/11, the golden eggs chicken, it keeps giving, why would they declare anything now?

But for Lebanese it lost any legitimacy.

They are even trying to squeeze in Iran…

May 22nd, 2011, 12:36 pm


Abughassan said:

Friedman is one soldier in an army of writers who thrive on people’s lack of understanding of the world,especially the middle east. Most people today are too busy to check the facts and they are more attached to their iPhone and Facebook than the truth. I find his writings to be superficial and almost garbage is healthy that Arabs ,Syrians included,are becoming less fearful but that also makes chaos and disorder more likely. Third world countries need time to build institutions and political traditions,and the last thing we need is a Friedman lecturing us about democracy and freedom. This is the same guy who supported the Iraq war and never stopped apologizing for Israel.

May 22nd, 2011, 12:50 pm


N.Z. said:


I truly enjoy reading your comments, they are a reflection of a constant struggle that we, Syrians, are collectively living. Mixed feelings, and in light of what is taking place on the ground, it is at once scary and worrisome.

I would like to leave you with this quote, you might not agree with, nonetheless, I find fitting in our situation: “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” — Benjamin Franklin

I hope Arabs will achieve both, Liberty and Security. Take care.

May 22nd, 2011, 1:07 pm


Usama said:

#86, Revlon
Thanks for sharing that. I can now understand why you think there is a real revolution happening in Syria.. because you’re so gullible that I can go on YouTube now and say I saw a solider eating a protesting baby and you’d believe.

#91, Mina
Syrian state TV has been showing the demos for a while now (for the past month at least). Did you not notice?

#103, Sophia
Why would anyone read Friedman? Actually, why would anyone read the NY Times at all? We know better.

May 22nd, 2011, 1:23 pm


Usama said:

I’m hoping you guys missed this post so I’m reposting. I would really appreciate some of your time to see if what I see is right or not.

At 0:24, is that not an armed man taking cover at the gates of the passport building?

May 22nd, 2011, 1:26 pm


Mina said:

I have been able to pause the youtube film and it doesn’t look like a weapon. It is white or grey. A piece of cloth of maybe something in silver-color metal, but not a weapon.
I didn’t watch Syrian TV except for some Youtube extracts posted here, but indeed i had noticed they speak of the demos, which contrasts with some of the comments we read here that are saying that every phone in Syria is bugged and that it is something like the North Korean regime (by the way, no new starvation in the making there? any UN resolution?)

May 22nd, 2011, 1:37 pm


Louai said:

hope this is trute

Faysal Al- Kasem resigned finally from Al- Jazeera

فيصل القاسم يستقيل أيضاً فمن التالي؟الثورات العربية تطيح بأشهر إعلاميى (العربية) و(الجزيرة)

May 22nd, 2011, 1:42 pm


Sophia said:

#114 Usama,

Why would anyone read Friedman? Because you’ve got to know your enemy.

May 22nd, 2011, 1:50 pm


Louai said:

@ 86. Revlon

life most be a sad place in your eyes ,i feel sprry for you i really do if you belive this man

i really hope that you dont believe this vedio and you are just posting it hoping some one would do, if you believe this man is a genuine Syrian solder talking then i dont know how can you sleep believing that Syrian solders are killing unarmed protestors because they are scared for their own eyes .

Revlon, Al Bayasi is alive and i am happy for you and him because you really sounded sad about him and we all did when we heard the news ,but i knew there is something to be wrong

bayasi news ,i hope you make some checks before believing those horrible stories the Syrian revolotion facebbok page is distributing .

May 22nd, 2011, 1:56 pm


Sophia said:

The White House invited Arab bloggers to listen on site to Obama middle east speech, among them Ammar Abdulhamid. I am more Syrian than this guy.
This tells you a lot about how the white house approaches Syria’s revolution or for that matter Arab native movements in general by approaching ad financing expats who are completely detached from the way the people live and what are their preoccupations and concerns.

May 22nd, 2011, 2:00 pm


aboali said:

#115 I have friends in Hama who are amongst the protesters, and for your information there are protests every single day in AlHader. I can assure you no one amongst the protesters is armed, I can also assure you that there are no gangs or salafists, only the police snipers on roofs and the mukhabarat on the streets are doing the shooting and killing.
Don’t take my word for it, go ask someone who lives in Hama yourself, and NOT over the telephone.

May 22nd, 2011, 2:04 pm


aboali said:

Sophia I thought you were French? Please keep your nose out of our business, and go concentrate on your own politicians who can’t keep their snakes in their trousers.

Last thing we need is some French woman telling us who is and isn’t a Syrian patriot and how Syria should be ruled and by whom. I thought we got rid of that crap when we threw the French out in 1946.

May 22nd, 2011, 2:08 pm


Abughassan said:

Nations can and must learn from other nations,however,one size does not fit all. The middle east can not be fixed using imported solutions,actually,every time foreigners messed with the middle east they made things worse for its people. Western-style democracy is an idea that may not be implementable from A to Z in the Arab and Muslim world but the principles of freedom,dignity and respect for human lives are universal principles and must be defended and protected. Iraq is a shinning example of how outside interference and swift political changes can destroy a nation. Saddam,a Sunni,was a brutal dictator who also lacked common sense and vision,but the new regime,dominated by Shia,is probably worse. The same senario could have happened in Syria if foreign intervention,revenge and the collapse of the state is allowed. The right path for Syria,in my humble opinion,is a return to calm followed by a national dialogue that comes with the immediate release of political prisoners and the empowerment of the judicial system to take corrupt officials to court. Free elections is a necessity and so is the abolishment of article 8. Eventually, Asad has to transfer power to another president and albaath has to compete for seats like any other party. Religious parties should not be allowed. religion must be practiced at home and in mosques and churches,and the army needs to stay out of reach to politics and religion. The road ahead is long and full of thorns,but we have no choice but to take the journey.

May 22nd, 2011, 2:16 pm


HS said:

Further to my #30 and Aboud’s #43 comments ,

after the video featuring Ahmad Al-Biasi

and his death which was falsely reported by Syrian Observatory Human Rights
and Al Jazeera ,

you can watch the video
from Syrian TV showing Ahmad Al-Biasi alive and well and free .

May 22nd, 2011, 2:20 pm


Jad said:

نورت سيرياكومنت بعودتك 🙂
They burned HizbAllah flags in Bab Alsba3 in Homs, how nice.

Peaceful Hama protesters! Sure we saw them not throwing rocks or burning or vandalizing anytging at all, very civilized.

May 22nd, 2011, 2:21 pm


Sophia said:

# 125 dear Jad,

Thanks for the note in Arabic. The burning of the Hezbollah flags is an indicator of how sectarian this revolution is. They keep complaining that the regime is using sectarianism but they cannot hide theirs. Otherwise why would they be furious against Hezbollah?

May 22nd, 2011, 2:29 pm


Sophia said:

# 122 Aboali,

“Last thing we need is some French woman telling us who is and isn’t a Syrian”.

Would you like to be told who is and who is not a Syrian by a man? I don’t understand what me being a woman has to do with your argument other than showing your sexism?

I am a person like you.

May 22nd, 2011, 2:32 pm


AboALi said:

Aboali please do not use words like “prick” and the like. You will be banned. I know that there are many provocations from others. I will try to warn everyone.

I don’t have time to play editor to the comment section. Every sane person is leaving because of the insults and hate. Let’s keep the discussion reasoned. I know passions are high, but we all need to restrain ourselves.

Thanks. Joshua Landis….

You know very well that some “civilized” demonstrations in Europe, at the G8 for example throw rocks and vandalize buildings.

While in Hama they’re accused of shooting guns at police which is complete nonsense. If someone in Hama throws a rock, he throws it against the security officers which are using live gunfire to injure and kill people. rocks against guns? the most civilized protests ever, unless you think the Palestinians in the intifada were also terrorist salafists for throwing rocks at the Israeli soldiers shooting at them.

May 22nd, 2011, 2:35 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


I couldn’t care less if you stay or go.
To me, it’s a waste of time to read you. You are the pale version of Angry Arab. But less funny, less accurate, and with no AbuKhalil’s knowledge and wittiness. You just repeat and mimic what you read there.
So I go to the source and skip you.

May 22nd, 2011, 2:36 pm


aboali said:

#127 the point was you’re french, not that you’re a woman. The only way I can tell you’re a woman is by your nickname “Sophia” for all I know in real life you could be a hairy middle aged biker from Mexico. Not that it matters, the point is keep your nose out of our business, we don’t come over to France and tell you how to run your country do we?

And before you accuse me of sexism, go clean up your politicians who have an army of mistresses and grope waitresses wherever they go.

May 22nd, 2011, 2:42 pm


Badr said:

You have to be either Syrian or Lebanese to understand the racism in Friedman’s story.


And how come a non-Syrian, non-Lebanese person like yourself did just that?

May 22nd, 2011, 2:46 pm


louai said:

My family from bab el sba3 ,not only Hizublahh’s flag was burned but it was reported seing Israeli flags ,now no one got it as a support To Israel but a symbol to show how much they hate Hizublaah ,
Bab elsba3 last night was closed and gunmen were checking peoples IDs. To prevent the security forces entering ,,today however is very normal and shops are open ,people are not afraid any more and that is a good signe

May 22nd, 2011, 3:01 pm


Abughassan said:

It is far more rewarding to exchange ideas and provide links to trusted sources than engaging in name-calling and personal attacks. SC is a nice outlet for all to talk,and I hope that it does not become a shouting Bazaar.I assume that most participants are well-educated or have jobs,and I hate to think what to expect from people with less education and no jobs.

May 22nd, 2011, 3:02 pm


aboali said:

#133 ABuGhassan, you’d expect them to be out on the streets demonstrating right? right? amirite? you know I am.

May 22nd, 2011, 3:13 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Souri333 please do not use words like “scum” and the like. You will be banned. … I will try to warn everyone.

I don’t have time to play editor to the comment section. Every sane person is leaving because of the insults and hate. Let’s keep the discussion reasoned. I know passions are high, but we all need to restrain ourselves.

Thanks. Joshua Landis

May 22nd, 2011, 3:20 pm


aboali said:

#135 No, what we need is to get rid of scum like you who incite people to murder and hate. It’s grease bags like Souri333 who think that they have a God given right to subjugate and murder anyone who opposes their minority oppressive rule over the majority of Syrians against their will. That’s what we’ve been facing for 40 years, mukhabarat scum and their cronies like Souri333, the sooner we kick those guys out the better off we’ll all be.

May 22nd, 2011, 3:25 pm


Aboud said:

I want everyone who has ever read or commented on issues pertaining to Syria, to read the disgraceful post at number 135. It is my wish that this post gets as wide a readership as possible. In these few lines, we see the true colors of Baathism.

No matter how hard a Baathist may try for a while to attempt the illusion of an intellectual discussion, scratch a Baathist and you find a death worshiping savage underneath. Such people are not fit to run a whore house, less so a country so rich in heritage and history as Syria.

The regime’s frustrations cannot be more evident. Two weeks ago they were predicting an end to the revolution, taking refuge as they always do in a make believe reality. The problem with such fantasy worlds, is that at some point the fantasy bubble gets punctured.

May 22nd, 2011, 3:26 pm


Aboud said:

@ 126 Sophia

“Otherwise why would they be furious against Hezbollah?”

You seriously have not been following events at all, have you? Manar TV have been responsible for some of the vilest and worst lies about the demonstrations on the air, even out doing Syrian TV. Nassarallah isn’t despised because of his sect, he is despised because of his politics. At least Hamas and the other Palestinians stayed neutral.

May 22nd, 2011, 3:32 pm


Mina said:

Aboud, you should know there is a difference between Baathists and Militarists. The Militarists are available in every country.
Baathism started from a good idea, and the bridges it created between Christians and Muslims was also a good idea. Don’t you think so?

May 22nd, 2011, 3:32 pm


HS said:

Dear Sophia

About your post #103

What did you expect from Mr Friedman and New York Times

detailed the Israeli campaign to sanitize Ariel Sharon after Sabra and Chatila massacre in September 1982 .

May 22nd, 2011, 3:40 pm


Anton said:

Dear Syrians and friends of Syria

As you know Syria is under heavy pressures, but that is not new to Syria, it was always like that through out history, I tried to think about for how long was, I thought maybe for the last 100 years?… 500 years? , with some little research and understanding history I found out that, since 5000 years … as said, history repeating its self, Presedent Hafez Alsaad used to spend the first 3 hours of his meeting with world leader lecturing them , on Syria’s history … he was doing that for a lot of good reasons .. one of the reason was to remind them that Syria is the heart of the ME you can go around it but it can not be ignored .. that’s why through history Syria was targeted…I believe, who control Syria.. control the whole ME…these days events remind me with 1910-1920 events of Syria history, the end of the Ottoman Empire and dividing Syria, by implementing a master plan designed around 1900 when Mr. Herzl want to buy small land in Palestrina from the Sultan Abdulhamid II ( exchange deal) to create a home land for our cousins without success… I believe a 4 phase master plan has been designed and put in execution since then. Please just observe the following events…

Phase one colonization regimes and division 1900-1950 (petrol discovered, part of the plan was Laurence of Arabia , Sharif Hussein of Mecca, Sikes-Pico , Al-saoud )
phase two dictatorial regimes 1950-2000 in particularly the 1970
phase three democratic regimes 2000-2050
phase four 2050 and beyond (petrol is over).. leaving the region for its lot

I believe President B. Assad is knowing all that as his father was part of phase #2, and knows what is cooking for him and Syria as he is part of phase #3

my believe is that, all those democratic slogans / revolutions only designed to implement phase #3 of the plan using old strategy of divide and concur put forward by the Britain, its the same slogans used in earlier phases, part of that design is to keep people busy to find out a new so called “prosperity/surviving” and forget every thing else.

This time Syrians need to be more intelligent and thoughtful about what design for us, and how we can use it for our own benefits and destiny to become great again as we use to be through history. We should work and come together to create our great Syria again.

I hope from the bottom of my heart that President Assad pulls all the people in this region together to be part of a great and prosper Syria, he is our only hope, otherwise we are back to 1920.

Syrians deserve it


May 22nd, 2011, 3:44 pm


Sophia said:

#138 Aboud,

Is this a reason to burn Hezbollah flags? Are you going to burn all the flags of the people who are against you?

Besides, I don’t watch Al-Manar, I actually don’t watch any TV station. I don’t take my news from TV. But I read the Al-Manar website and they have been reporting mainly parts of the story, the one that doesn’t please you. They are of course biased but mildly biased I would say. As allies of the Syrian regime, they have been restrained in their reporting on Syria. There is no hysteria there of the kind you find on Al-Jazeera and certainly no false testimonies, spin and hype. Is this a reason to burn their flag?

I don’t think their coverage of Syria is inflammatory, it is biased in the sense it does not give equal importance to the ‘revolution’ but I think the reasons Syrian protesters are acting like this are obvious:

– Sectarian
– Tuning in to the west’s values, trying to curry favours
– Provoking the Syrian regime.

This is very manipulative.

May 22nd, 2011, 3:57 pm


Aboud said:

@142 Sophia

When Manar is at the forefront of accusing Telkelakh of setting up a Salafi state, thus justifying the regime’s brutal invasion of that town, then yes, I consider that a very legitimate reason to burn their flag.

@139 MINA

Association with the Nazi party carries with it a certain kind of social stigma. It is fast becoming that way with Baathists. Witness what happened in each town where there was mass resignations of Baathist officials; Dara’a, Baniyas and Telkelakh, all invaded as punishment. It is not possible these days to be a member of the Baath party without condoning its savage tactics throughout the years.

May 22nd, 2011, 4:04 pm


Abughassan said:

Rifaat alasad was a thug and he is still a thug. I am glad he is out of Syria and that most Syrians have rejected him. Homs is a dear part of Syria and so is Hama. I am bitterly against dehumanizing any Syrian whether a “minority” or a “majority”. Having a government dominated by a certain sect was never a solution to any country,just look at Iraq. What we need is the rule of law and equality,not sectarianism. People with jobs and a decent education are far less likely to engage in violence and oppression,this is why a great deal of violence and sectarianism is seen in impoverished and neglected areas. (Freedom and democracy is beautiful,education and jobs is gorgeous 🙂 )This is why countries of the gulf (money) and business people (everywhere) are not likely to get out and ask for a regime change. That being said,we know that a corrupt regime in a relatively poor country like Syria can,and did,impede progress and inflame the public. A regime change is really needed but not the Iraqi style. I am just getting tired of repeating myself 🙂

May 22nd, 2011, 4:05 pm


Sophia said:

# 143 Aboud,

What is going on in Tel Kalakh is clearly not a revolution of the people. It is an insurrection financed by Lebanese parties to make trouble for Hezbollah. These parties have in the past tried to make trouble for Hezbollah, through many ways, including calling on Israelis to bomb the south, and now they are using the Syrian ‘revolution’ in order to get at Hezbollah and do you want Hezbollah not to react?

Tripoli is full of Salafis and they are being exported to Tel Kalakh. So yes Al Manar is correct and what is going on in Tel Kalakh has nothing to do with the Syrian revolution unless the revolution want to claim these actions of betrayal of their country and being sold to a foreign political party as their own.

May 22nd, 2011, 4:35 pm


Sophia said:

100 millions spent by SA and UAE on financing Muslim extremists. Some of them are in Tel Kalakh.

May 22nd, 2011, 5:24 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


nice friends you have in HAMA !

good friends indeeed these ABADAYAT these unmatched heroes
sure they will appoint you their minister of information as soon they take power with their pissful methods you deserve it if not better !

well , i have a friend in the security (the Amn as you knwow) and he told me :

“you know we caught many of those brave ABADAYAT (whom you are so proud of) and he added you look suprised how easy we got their confessions withou any violence
indeed it was quite easy : some among them are (i should say were) foreigners chiefly arabs, jordanians, lebabanese and saudis etc…
well we delivered to them in front of their syrians fellows a famous syrian recipe and the syrians watched them enjoy it very very very slowly and soon aftewards they all started to talk and give names”

3refet shlon ?

i’ll give you the recipe if you wish
i’m sure you’ll like it 🙂

May 22nd, 2011, 5:35 pm


Aboud said:

@145 Sophia

The notion that a town of 33,000 people that resembled the wild west for years, would suddenly turn into a Salafi client state of Said Harriri is so absurd that it’s not worth the time rebutting. Unfortunately, Baathists actually believe this stuff.

May 22nd, 2011, 5:36 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

#149 ABOUD

it is not stuff : facts and evidence and lot of money

and Baathists are not the only ones who believe this

May 22nd, 2011, 5:48 pm


Sophia said:

#149 Aboud,

The situation in Tel Kalakh:

“We will defend ourselves by baring our chests to their bullets and fighting with our bare hands. Our cause is righteous. Even if we lose 2 or 3 million people, we are willing to put up with that high price to get what we want,” he says”

“One woman who arrived in Lebanon from Homs on Monday, who also cannot be identified for security reasons, said that bodies of people shot by security forces in the city were being mutilated and left in the street so that the authorities could blame “Salafists,” or Islamic extremists. But she added that claims by the Syrian authorities that armed groups are responsible for some of the deaths were not unfounded. She said cars full of unidentified men routinely open fire on civilians and security forces alike.”

More here:

May 22nd, 2011, 5:51 pm


why-discuss said:


‘I have friends in Hama who are amongst the protesters, and for your information there are protests every single day in AlHader.’

Can you tell me what is the slogan of their demonstration?
Dialog or the head of President?

By the way, can you try to show some respect to the other bloggers, or it is too much to ask?,

May 22nd, 2011, 5:55 pm


Aboud said:

@151 Sophia.

You can go down to Telkelakh right now and ask the army guys manning the check points whether they saw any mutilated bodies or Salafis.

I’ve spoken to people from Telkelakh who fled to Marmarita and Homs, and I know exactly what went on there. Needless to say, Salafis didn’t figure anywhere in the events. It was a brutal invasion by a regime, angered by a town freely demonstrating in their thousands upon thousands. For daring to demand freedom, dignity and an end to tyranny, they were labeled as Islamic extremists and their homes were shelled by tanks, their streets invaded by Shabiha scum. Baathism has failed, and failed spectacularly, if the only response to a demonstration is to send in tanks.

May 22nd, 2011, 6:38 pm


aboali said:


Their slogans are quite simply the fall of the regime, or dialogue with certain pre-conditions, as follows:

And Vlad, you must have the gullibility of a school boy, not to mention the brain power. So your friends at the Amn told you how they captured foreign fighters and interrogated them eh? We’ve heard all this crap before in the Egyptian, Libyan, Yemeni and Bahrain uprisings, no one believes those lies anymore, well maybe school kids might but no one else.

—— Aboali please do not use words like “scum” and the like. You will be banned. I know that there are many provocations from others I will try to warn everyone.

I don’t have time to play editor to the comment section. Every sane person is leaving because of the insults and hate. Let’s keep the discussion reasoned. I know passions are high, but we all need to restrain ourselves.

Thanks. Joshua Landis

May 22nd, 2011, 6:38 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Why should I have to be Syrian to understand racism? Your reply is what we call a “cop-out”.

Racism is recognizable by law. If an employer says I hate Jews, Arabs, or Syrians, then he/she is a racist.

I still didn’t see what you found racist in Friedman’s article.

BTW, do you hate Israelis Sophia?

May 22nd, 2011, 6:43 pm


why-discuss said:

Abboud and AboAli

I understand your frustration but I think you are abusing the words ‘scum’ and ‘rot’ together with other curses. It seems inappropriate here. Please keep these to when you will go to the street with your friends the protesters.

May 22nd, 2011, 6:52 pm


why-discuss said:


I like non-Israelis Jews and I dislike most Israeli Jews, especially the Israeli leaders, yes!

May 22nd, 2011, 6:54 pm


Sophia said:

# 155 AP,

“Why should I have to be Syrian to understand racism? Your reply is what we call a “cop-out”.”

I didn’t say this. You are twisting my comment. And I am not going to justify myself on the basis of your intentional or unintentional erroneous reading of my comment.

May 22nd, 2011, 7:02 pm


Sophia said:

#153 Aboud,

You really read whatever suits your thinking and you keep repeating the same thing.

May 22nd, 2011, 7:06 pm


qunfuz said:

a comment (not from me) on the shabeeha and who represents the Alawis.

May 22nd, 2011, 7:17 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

Vlad please do not use words like “crush you,” “scum” and the like. You will be banned.

I don’t have time to play editor to the comment section. Every sane person is leaving because of the insults and hate. Let’s keep the discussion reasoned. I know passions are high, but you must restrain yourself, as must others.

This is true for everyone. Joshua Landis

May 22nd, 2011, 7:35 pm


Louai said:

I am not religious but We need plenty of these moves
صلاة “من أجل دوام المحبة” تجمع رجال الدين الإسلامي والمسيحي في محافظة اللاذقية

but first we need not to hide our sectarianism and acknowledge it so we can fight .
if i was in the opposition side i would stop saying its not a sectarian revolution but more importantly would admit the violence natures of at least some of the demonstrators and condemn it it the strongest words possible
the peaceful demonstrations are mostly the Kurdish ones ,how beautiful was the very first demonstration the one was in Damascus Al Hamedya souk? Those demonstrations are a positive action that creates a positive reaction and outcome.
Many people changed their mind when they heard the sectarian slogans and saw violence involved.
If we don’t know what our problems are ,we can never solve them .

May 22nd, 2011, 8:06 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Why Discuss,

I’m a non-Israeli Jew and so are all the other American Jews.

I’m glad you like us.;)

So what makes us American Jews so much more likable than Israeli Jews?


I see that it is difficult for you to articulate Friedman’s “racism”. This maybe an example of why some of the more open-minded people on this forum take issue with your opinions.

May 22nd, 2011, 8:15 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

sorry but i didnt use the word “scum”

some people are getting annoyed by mere truth and facts – for instance what really happened in Tell Kalakh as well as the peaceful demos performed by ABOALI friends in HAMA and other places right out from the mosques

it is clear that the so-called revolution has reached a critical point for their own propaganda is now playing against them

that’s why the regime is showing almost all of the vids that they are posting on youtube

i suggest that we stop contributing because we are unwillingly helping these zombies improve their methods 🙂

May 22nd, 2011, 8:17 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


AKBAR there is no difference … since you get paid to comment 🙂

May 22nd, 2011, 8:24 pm


Louai said:

some of what happened two days ago in my beloved neighborhood bab el sba3

burning Hizbulah’s flg yesterday as posted on youtube on the same day

isn’t it a shame? bab elsba3 is a beautiful mixed neighbohood ,it has two churches there christians and Muslims lived there with a complete harmony ,i never had ANY trouble with any of the Muslims there ,i am not there now but i cant belive that those people belong to bab elsba3 ! i hope they are not!

May 22nd, 2011, 8:37 pm


syau said:

The Israeli flag was raised in Bab Alsbaa by the revolutionists, and when someone attempted to take it down, he was shot to death.

The ‘revolutionists’ that continue to say the protesters are not armed, can explain their ridiculous suggestions to the family of Ramez Al Akari who was slain for being patriotic and refusing to be a traitor of his country by allowing the Israeli flag to be raised.

May 22nd, 2011, 8:38 pm


Sophia said:

#163, Akbar Palace

“I see that it is difficult for you to articulate Friedman’s “racism”. This maybe an example of why some of the more open-minded people on this forum take issue with your opinions.”

Can you be more precise, please? Otherwise I am not going to answer your generalisations and your distortions.

May 22nd, 2011, 9:21 pm


Joshua said:


I have no disagreement with anything you say or AK says in his post. Well, I cannot agree with AK’s statement that Alawis are poorer today than they were 40 years ago. Surely that is not correct.

My post about the sectarian battles in Masyaf and Qadmous, where the violence was worse, can be found here:

I am not sure why AK believes we have a disagreement. I have written at some length about Jamil’s pretensions to be the spiritual head of the Assad house and the Alawites.

Here is one comment about him that I wrote in 2005
At one time in the 1990s Jamil sought to present himself as the Mahdi al-Muntazir but Hafiz stopped that pretense in its tracks. He was sent abroad for a spell.

Jamil has two sons by his wife (I don’t know her name but she is one of at least 4 wives) – Fawwaz and Mundhir, who is the oldest. Fawwaz was always a troublemaker, involved in smuggling, etc. Mundhir was the “good” son. He is married to Hikmiyya (last name may be Shalish, a relative) Hikmiyya is well educated and a good mother. Mundhir is reportedly a good family man and was always interested in business and kept out of the limelight, unlike his brother. Mundhir, though, like his brother watches al-Manar TV (the Hizballah station)and may well have been caught up in the nationalist ethos of resisting the American invasion of Iraq. This is probably the case with many power brokers in Syria.

There is some proof that Bashar is not afraid to discipline his cousins. In 1999 he had Fawwaz’s bodyguards thrown into jail for a time, after they beat the living day-lights out of someone for no good reason other than he had looked at them in the wrong way. When a friend complained to Bashar of this lawlessness, he didn’t hesitate to shame Fawwaz by chucking the toughs in the clink. In a separate incident, Bashar forced Fawwaz to open the street in front of his house in Latakia to traffic. Fawwaz had closed it in order to connect his front yard to the park which spread out on the other side of the road. The closure created havoc with local traffic. When someone complained to Bashar about the closure, he didn’t hesitate to tell his cousin to back off, much to the delight of the Ladhqanis. And this was all before Bashar had become president. Bashar was a positive force in Latakia during the late 1990s. He disciplined the “Shabiha” as they are called – the young and lawless Asad relatives or their retainers who largely come from Qardaha and who ran roughshod over the town.

May 22nd, 2011, 9:48 pm


why-discuss said:


Many american jews do not approve the policies of Israel but they feel solidarity with them because of the same kin and help them financially and take their defense when Israel is attacked or criticized. Yet unless they are very religious or poor, most US jews do not consider moving to Israel. Except for the ones involved in politic, they are generally open minded, relaxed in their everyday life and feel at ease with arabs.

Israelis are nervous, tense, always on the defensive. They don’t seem to be in peace with themselves. I imagine that living in the ghetto of Isreal is not particularly relaxing. They feel surrounded by hatred and victimized. Many also have a guilt feeling about the Palestinians and they compensate that by more arrogance and show of force. Many others have simply stop having any emotion about the palestinians. They just ignore them. Anyway all this is not very healthy for a society to develop harmoniously.
Most of that is apparent in the israeli cinema, a window to the israeli reality. When you compare that to american films by jewish american, you realize how different they are.

May 22nd, 2011, 9:53 pm


aboali said:

so what are we left with now in Syria? Protests that simply won’t go away, a regime unwilling or unable to reform itself, a rapidly deteriorating economy, international sanctions and isolation, a spiral of violence and counter violence. Are we all collectively staring into the abyss? and when do we start playing the inevitable sectarian blame games? the Alawis for ruining Syria and bringing it to this after 40 years of their rule? The Sunnis for protesting and refusing to calm things down at the critical juncture? The Christians who stood on the sidelines? Everyone of us only has themselves to blame if we screw it up and destroy our country, remember that people.

May 22nd, 2011, 10:04 pm


aboali said:

#170 contrary to popular belief, media incitement, and cultural bias in the Arab world, most of the Jews and Israelis I’ve met have been very nice decent people. But then again, formulating and demonizing a common enemy is very convenient for all sorts of political ideologies, whether in democracies or authoritarian countries. It seems hate unites people in a way that national identity or a common culture or a shared history just simply can’t.

May 22nd, 2011, 10:16 pm


Shami said:

The Israeli flag was raised in Bab Alsbaa ….yes Mr moqawama .We will send you to the front with maher and makhlouf.
It was the flag of the iranian theocracy and that of its extension hezbollah that were burnt…of course these soldiers of khomaini in lebanon and the mukhabarat became crazy that their symbols are desecrated and the answer from them was to spread such usual lie,it’s very typical khomainist-asadian hypocritical behaviour.

May 22nd, 2011, 10:25 pm


daleandersen said:

Memo to aboali:

Sometimes, when you stare into the abyss long enough, you have the sense it’s staring back at you…

May 22nd, 2011, 10:34 pm


Usama said:


Hamas isn’t neutral but has to remain silent because if they speak they WILL lose their support from MB in Egypt, and they need that desparately right now. Also there is never an excuse to burn Hezbollah flags.. NEVER. Nor Iranian. They have never hurt us, never attacked us, never killed us, never sanctioned us, never expressed hate towards us as a people, never backstabbed us, never conspired against us, never used us, never pressured us into something we don’t want, never never never. I don’t know if you realize this, but Hezbollah is not just Lebanon’s first line of defence against the Zionist entity, but also Syria’s due to the geographic and topographically strategic nature of the region.

And just so you know, there was an emirate set up in Tel Kalakh. Again, whether you like to believe it or not, it did happen, and there is a lot of reliable testimony to support this, while you’re listening to some “refugees” that literally said that the army told the Alawis to go home then shot at all the Sunnis (thank you Robert Fisk). If you believe that latter testimony, then no wonder you think this way. Syria isn’t like that. How can you even say the army is “invading” our cities? This is our army! OUR ARMY! There are good people in the army serving in their hometowns and governorates, and they’re INVADING? Do you reall believe tanks are being used against protesters? Isn’t it much more efficient to just spray the “crowds of thousands” with bullets? They’re all bunched up so it would be quite effective, and it would cause thousands of deaths, not the tens. The tanks were brought in because we already lost more than 100 soldiers, and they’re good armor. We already saw all the shelling rumors were unfounded. Tank shelling doesn’t make holes in walls, it destroys big chunks of buildings.

Oh and btw, 230 Ba`thists resigning is not mass resignation. That’s like a tree falling in the forest and no one being around to hear it… except Al-Jazeera of course.


Sophia hasn’t insulted anyone. Although she’s French, she’s clearly more educated about Syria that most people on here. She hasn’t said anything wrong and she works off of evidence, while you work off of videos that have been proven to be fabrications over and over and over, or videos that say “Soldiers killing peaceful protesters” but show nothing of the sort. It’s interesting that you tell her to stay out while welcoming the Zionist guests on here who care so much about Syria and its future (how touching).


Is the government really based on the Alawi sect? I’m very disappointed that you say this without giving evidence. Maher al-Asad being leader of the Republican Guard doesn’t mean Alawis make up the government. We already have ethnic equality among our people and all have representation in the cabinet and council. And like I said in the other post, only 134 of the 250 seats in the council are held by Ba`thists.


The article is racist. It paints our people as so pathetic that they sit at a checkpoint with laptop asking “do you have a Facebook?” Why that grammar error? Did the soldier speak in English? How ridiculous is this? I know that internet and Facebook access have not been cut off in Syria like they have in Egypt, and my relatives have been adding me one after the other since January, which I think is when access was opened up with the introduction of MTN broadband.

“…tightest police state in the region could lose control over its population, armed only with cellphone cameras and, yes, access to Facebook and YouTube.” Oh ok, no weapons.

“Several Syrian dissidents have banded together and from scratch created SNN” Right, it just started spontaneously with a large network of people equipped with satellite communication devices, all from scratch.

“Many global TV networks, all of which are banned from Syria…” Ha..

“…not because of Facebook, which his regime would love to confiscate, if it could only find the darn thing…” Oh those stupid Syrians. They can’t find a Facebook, that darn thing, har har har.

“This is a fight to the death now…” Thanks for that. Everyone else implodes, but we like to explode just to be different.

“…for Israel, which has counted on Syria to keep the peace on the Golan Heights since 1967…” Yes sir Israel can count on us! (since 1967?) Or maybe we found a better way to fight than to bomb the Golan where our people live and where we have a huge strategic disadvantage without air superiority.

“…for Iran, since Syria is Iran’s main platform for exporting revolution into the Arab world…” Oh yes those dirty Iranians! Naughty Naughty!

“…for Iraq, which suffered from Syria serving as a conduit for jihadist suicide bombers…” Right because bombers killing US soldiers was a major problem for Iraq, which loves the US soldiers so much and appreciates them causing the killing of over a million Iraqis to relief their non-existent overpopulation crisis.

Wow that’s only half way through the article. It takes too long to show you everything. He insults the reader’s intelligence and paints a picture of Syrians with laptops as retarded, trying to find a Facebook. It may not matter to you, but it matters to us… well to most of us with any national dignity. Thank you Sophia.

May 22nd, 2011, 10:38 pm


abbas said:

Why is it that Bashar need to tell his cousin to unblock the street? why can’t the local authorities deal with that, if someone breaks the law shouldn’t he be punished no matter who he is related to? that what the uprising is all about, they simply want no one to be above the law and to have equal opportunity to be as rich as Rami is

May 22nd, 2011, 10:49 pm


why-discuss said:

Rising Literacy and a Shrinking Birth Rate
A Look at the Root Causes of the Arab Revolution,1518,763537,00.html

In a SPIEGEL interview, French social scientist Emmanuel Todd discusses the demographic roots of the Arab revolution, which he argues was spurred by rising literacy and rapidly shrinking birth rates. He also muses on the ghost of Osama bin Laden, arguing “al-Qaida was already dead,” and on why he believes Germany is not a part of the “core West.”

May 22nd, 2011, 10:59 pm


Mick said:


Don’t you know that Maher and Asef Shawkat run a Wahabi network of Al Qaeda into Iraq, Iranian revolutionaries through the Arab world, Fatah Islam in Lebanon, and my damn ice-maker that never works.

They can convince Palestinians to fight to the death just to ‘destabilize Lebanon’ like they directed Fatah al-Islam. They can direct Hizballah to kill people at will to push their agenda. They turned me into a newt.

I don’t know why you don’t understand why these two people are more powerful that the U.S. military and political forces and the mass sums of money Saudi has. And the inherent goodness of the Syrian people who just want freedom. They are evil incarnate.

I mean if that faux-4th division soldier’s testimony didn’t tell you anything! Just because the 4th Division wasn’t even in Dar’a doesn’t mean that Maher’s hand wasn’t behind the evil!

May 22nd, 2011, 11:03 pm


Joshua said:


You are correct that Syria would have a better government if it were based on law and not personal loyalty.

May 22nd, 2011, 11:05 pm


Akbar Palace said:

WD’s Night at the Movies


Thanks for the feedback; just trying to understand how some of the posters here think and their reasoning…

Many american jews do not approve the policies of Israel but they feel solidarity with them because of the same kin and help them financially and take their defense when Israel is attacked or criticized.


“Many” Israeli jews ALSO do not approve the policies of Israel. So I find it interesting how you have built this difference in your mind. In fact, American Jews tend to have a more “hard-line” approach to the ME than Israelis do, yet you seem to be forgiving of American Jews.

Yet unless they are very religious or poor, most US jews do not consider moving to Israel.

Perhaps this is the main reason you like American Jews over Israeli Jews. American Jews live in America, Israeli Jews live in “occupied Palestine”? I think I “get it”.;)

Israelis are nervous, tense, always on the defensive. They don’t seem to be in peace with themselves. I imagine that living in the ghetto of Isreal is not particularly relaxing.

They feel surrounded by hatred and victimized. Many also have a guilt feeling about the Palestinians and they compensate that by more arrogance and show of force. Many others have simply stop having any emotion about the palestinians. They just ignore them. Anyway all this is not very healthy for a society to develop harmoniously.


You’ve made several observations about Israelis that are quite interesting. And, pray tell, how many times have been to Israel to makes all these sweeping generalizations? How long were you in Israel? Where did you stay?

Most of that is apparent in the israeli cinema, a window to the israeli reality. When you compare that to american films by jewish american, you realize how different they are.

Relying on cinema to determine cultural factors is a BIG mistake. All the sex is great, the good-guys always win, and Spider Man can climb walls.

I certainly wouldn’t want to judge Arabs from the American cinema…

May 22nd, 2011, 11:09 pm


Abughassan said:

I never said that the alewites dominate the government,please read my post again,however,there is a heavy influence of alaweties in the army and security forces for a number of reasons,and that influence is felt in most branches of the government. Bashar indeed was more permissive than his father in appointing non alaweites in leadership positions both in the army and the security forces.It is also true that Sunnis and Christians are well represented in the Syrian government and certainly in the business sector.the regime did not survive for more than 40 years just because there is a lot of alewites in the army and security forces,it survived because it built an alliance within Syria that includes all sects. In a sense,the regime is more secular than many Syrians are willing to admit.
Personally, I could not care less who is where as long as there is justice and peace in Syria. I did not think Bashar was the right man when he was appointed president but I am willing to give him a chance to make good on his promises,but if he does not,he will lose most of us,not just the youth (since I am not young anymore 🙂 )

May 22nd, 2011, 11:23 pm


why-discuss said:


It maybe a rough generalization but this the perception that is shared by many Arabs. Many European friends (non jewish) who passed by Israel have confirmed to me many if these traits among Israelis, and what I see of Israelis in the media is another confirmation.

About the cinema, I think you misunderstood me:
I meant Israeli films made by Israeli directors with Israeli actors like “The Lemon Tree”, “Waltz with Bashir”, “Lebanon” and many others. They give a lot of information on the Israeli mind, worries and obsessions, much better than any propaganda or misconception.
If you want me to change my opinion, tell your Israeli movie makers to make films that show more pleasant side of the Israeli psyche!
I keep thinking that Charlie Chaplin was a Jew…. I doubt we would see another born in Israel.

As for your other remarks, I won’t argue with you. You have your views, I have mine.

May 22nd, 2011, 11:27 pm





May 23rd, 2011, 12:25 am


Usama said:


My apologies, I do tend to read your posts the wrong way. I’ll try to break that habit.

May 23rd, 2011, 1:32 am


Mouna said:

Raising an Israeli flag? Was there no-one to tell the protestors they are doing themselves a big disservice this way?

LOL at Syrian media 🙂

Dear Dr Landis,

“well we delivered to them in front of their syrians fellows a famous syrian recipe and the syrians watched them enjoy it very very very slowly and soon aftewards they all started to talk and give names”

The “famous Syrian recipe” referred to by Vlad-the-Syrian is actually torture. Is it legal in the West to admit knowledge of and extol torture?

May 23rd, 2011, 5:39 am


Akbar Palace said:

The Search for Tom Friedman’s “Racism” (con’t)


Thanks for taking the time to respond. I guess you have more energy than Sophia..

The article is racist. It paints our people as so pathetic that they sit at a checkpoint with laptop asking “do you have a Facebook?”

Friedman acknowledges that it was story, that it was something heard second hand, and that he wasn’t present. It was just an anecdote, and secondly it refers to an individual Syrian soldier, not the whole Syrian people.

“…tightest police state in the region could lose control over its population, armed only with cellphone cameras and, yes, access to Facebook and YouTube.” Oh ok, no weapons.

So where’s the “racism”?

“Several Syrian dissidents have banded together and from scratch created SNN” Right, it just started spontaneously with a large network of people equipped with satellite communication devices, all from scratch.

And the “racism”? BTW – So how did the protests start?

“Many global TV networks, all of which are banned from Syria…” Ha..

And the “racism”?

Isn’t it plain knowledge that the Syrian government did not permit news agencies in to cover the protests?

“…not because of Facebook, which his regime would love to confiscate, if it could only find the darn thing…” Oh those stupid Syrians. They can’t find a Facebook, that darn thing, har har har.

“Regime” is not the Syrian people.

“This is a fight to the death now…” Thanks for that. Everyone else implodes, but we like to explode just to be different.

Unfortunately, approximately 1000 Syrians have perished.

“…for Israel, which has counted on Syria to keep the peace on the Golan Heights since 1967…” Yes sir Israel can count on us! (since 1967?) Or maybe we found a better way to fight than to bomb the Golan where our people live and where we have a huge strategic disadvantage without air superiority.

Is there an error here? It may not be something Syrians are happy about, but the Syria/Israel border has been very quiet since ’73 (Friedman made a little boo-boo). And the “racism”?

“…for Iran, since Syria is Iran’s main platform for exporting revolution into the Arab world…” Oh yes those dirty Iranians! Naughty Naughty!

“Dirty” is your word, not Tom Friedman’s.

“…for Iraq, which suffered from Syria serving as a conduit for jihadist suicide bombers…” Right because bombers killing US soldiers was a major problem for Iraq, which loves the US soldiers so much and appreciates them causing the killing of over a million Iraqis to relief their non-existent overpopulation crisis.

And the “racism”?

Wow that’s only half way through the article. It takes too long to show you everything. He insults the reader’s intelligence and paints a picture of Syrians with laptops as retarded, trying to find a Facebook. It may not matter to you, but it matters to us… well to most of us with any national dignity. Thank you Sophia.


Sometimes Jews accuse pundits of anti-semitism (racism) when they unduly criticize Israel. Now you know how it feels.

However, Friedman made some pretty pro-Syrian remarks IMHO:

1.) Because Syria is such a keystone nation, there is a tendency among its neighbors to hope that the Assad regime could be weakened — and therefore moderated — but not broken.

2.) Only the Syrians do, and they are voting with their feet and with their lives for the opportunity to live as citizens…

3.) More than in any other Arab country today, the democracy protestors in Syria know that when they walk out the door to peacefully demand freedom they are facing a regime that has no hesitancy about gunning them down. Lebanese have been surprised by their sheer bravery.

4.) “We have an obligation of solidarity with people in distress who are fighting for their freedom and their dignity with nonviolent means,” said Michel Hajji Georgiou…

These remarks sound rather pro-Syrian to me. And again, I don’t see any “racism”.

May 23rd, 2011, 7:17 am


Sophia said:

# 192 AP,

Your bad faith is apparent. You quoted the entire article without the incriminated passage:

“There is a story making the rounds among Lebanese Facebook users about a Syrian democracy activist who was stopped at a Syrian Army checkpoint the other day. He reportedly had a laptop and a thumb drive on the seat next to him. The Syrian soldier examined them and then asked the driver: “Do you have a Facebook?” “No,” the man said, so the soldier let him pass.

You have to feel sorry for that Syrian soldier looking for a Facebook on the front seat, but it’s that kind of regime.”

First, you have to get the joke to understand the racism but it seems that you cannot get the joke.

Second, jokes about syrian soldiers are part of recent lebaense cutlure which show syrian soldiers uneducated and inferior to Lebanese.

Third, as this is part of running jokes about syrian soldiers in Lebanon, it is not about a particular one, but about syrian soldiers in general, which Friedman didn’t get because he has nothing to write when he has to pin down a column except what people tell him in his hotel lobby. So in a way the joke shows the racism of Lebanese and the stupidity of Friedman.

Fourth, the stories in these jokes are made up by Lebanese. They have constructed a prototype of the helpless and uneducated syrian soldier and they invent jokes about him.

Fifth, the racism of March 14th people against Syrians is well documented.

I am not sure why you were so stubborn in not seeing the evidence of racism in this but because it probaly touches on one of your friends propaganda being sold actually to the Syrian people and it touches on something very real that exist between Lebanese and the Syrian people, a haughtiness and attitude of superiority that doesn’t fit the narrative you are trying to promote right now. And Friedman, having nothing to write, bought the story and published it in the New York Time, so if you have any grievances about it and want to argue indefinitely about its apparent racism go and argue with your friend Tom Friedman.

End game.

May 23rd, 2011, 9:35 am


Usama said:


I shouldn’t have mixed in the blatant propaganda against Syria with my argument about the racism.

First of all, “regime” IS Syrian people. In this case, the joke is about a soldier, who could be any male Syrian, 18+ in age, with at least one brother, or any other Syrian pursuing a military career. They don’t go to special schools. They (soldiers and regime personnel) study among us other Syrians in our schools and universities. Maybe it was Lebanese people who made the joke (in English, I’d assume) about “do you have a Facebook?” But then, like Sophia pointed out, he goes on to say “You have to feel sorry for that Syrian soldier looking for a Facebook on the front seat, but it’s that kind of regime.” That’s not the Lebanese talking anymore, is it? That’s basing a view of the regime based on a “joke”. Then when he goes on to say “…not because of Facebook, which his regime would love to confiscate, if it could only find the darn thing…” that’s also not the Lebanese talking anymore, is it? It’s no secret some Lebanese are racist towards us, but we still love them 🙂

Away from the racism.

Now you said that it was “pro-Syrian” when Mr. Friedman said “Because Syria is such a keystone nation, there is a tendency among its neighbors to hope that the Assad regime could be weakened — and therefore moderated — but not broken.” Of course, you fail to quote the next sentence: “Few dare trust the Syrian people to build a stable social order out of the ashes of the Assad dictatorship.” Now this could be true, but he doesn’t even try to quote someone or use personal experience to back up that statement. This is one of the things that bother me about journalism. The use of “observers say” “activists say” “witnesses say” “diplomats say” “sources say” “monkeys say” it’s all so arbitrary and could be completely made up but there is no way to find out either way. It’s like the one “eyewitness” from Dar`a speaking to al-Jazeera saying he saw Maher al-Asad with his binoculars from 300 meters, and those binoculars are so advances that he “heard” him talk about strategy to rape the living hell out of the protesters. Next day this account of Maher’s presence became a fact and the whole world treated it as if it were a fact, and even sanctioned him.

“Many global TV networks, all of which are banned from Syria…”
He said the TV networks are banned, not that outside media is banned. TV networks still broadcast home and people aren’t getting their dishes and receivers confiscated. Maybe another little boo-boo. Outside media have been fabricating before getting kicked out. Cal Perry is a good example because his work has already been thoroughly debunked even though he claims to have seen things with his own eyes.

I understand that his “fight to the death” comment was about the 1000 claimed to be dead (btw, the rebels included all the soldiers in their “deaths list” and puts them down as shot for refusing to kill), but again it paints the picture that this is a battle between people and regime, although in reality the majority of the people are pro-regime.

I’m sorry but you can’t compare this with anti-semitism. If a person says “since the Holocaust happened in the Europe, why are the Palestinians paying for it?” that’s considered anti-semitism by Zionist Jews. Don’t get me started on the use of “anti-semitism” since many people are semites but anti-semitism only applies to a very specific class of semites, so one can literally be an anti-semitic semite. You might be familiar with Dr. Finkelstein’s work “The Holocaust Industry” that goes deeper into this if you’re interested in arguing with a (“self-hating”) Jewish person.

May 23rd, 2011, 3:00 pm


John said:

Please People;

Do not simply drink in the emotions and responses that the MEDIA is spoon-feeding you. There is no denying there are some very unsettling things going on right now in Syria.

Also, there are other countries in similar revolution-type issues. In this day and age coincidences rarely do exist. These governments(Syria and others) are fighting a common enemy; the problem is that their enemy is fighting from the shadows. We can’t deny the possibility that Actors really did start everything; manipulating the masses is a lot easier that you would think.

In my opinion- these governments in question are definitely responsible for leaving some reasons for revolt, though that doesn’t mean they are lying about their true enemy. I have seen many news networks and watched this topic somewhat closely. It is beginning to sicken me how much the MEDIA is trying to tell me how I feel. There is a lot of one-sided MEDIA reports and articles, the fact that they believe they are planting ideas agitates me to an uncomfortable degree.

You may think that I am on a rant, but I am really saying that the news is not completely accurate.

The MEDIA -are active players in those country’s revolution game, their TEAM is pulling for the win.–(I say ‘game’ because there is a plan to what is happening; please do not think that I don’t sympathize with the terrible thing happening).

The Politics of a country dictate the path and future of its people, please realize that we do not have control over our governments. They simply ask us- which of ‘their’ ways we ‘prefer’ to be controled.

I realize there are some opinion-based statements within this comment; but the point for those is for u to ignore them and investigate the legitimacy of what I am declaring. If I or anyone got u fired up; we all FAIL.


May 31st, 2011, 2:44 am


Syria's crackdown - Page 5 - Turkish Living Forums said:

[…] to a blog that you might like to have a look at for different aspects of whats actually going on. Syria Comment Archives The Syrian Revolution Lives __________________ Doğruluk en iyi yol, bilgi en iyi kılavuzdur honesty the best road […]

June 1st, 2011, 1:33 pm


ali said:


you have to understand that some people are just plain gullible. all they see is black and white. the medias fabricated videos and reports have time and time again been caught dead set lying. instead of digging a hole and burying themselves, they just keep going. if only the others such as abu ghassan, tara, abboud and the rest knew that Dr. Bashar Al Assad (may god protect him and strengthen him) will forever stay in power you would not be wasting your time trying to make him “step down”. the lion is the king of the jungle. so the bunch of monkeys posting offensive comments about our president, step aside. theres no room for you in syria.

Allah Yehmik Ya Assadna

July 29th, 2011, 10:51 pm


Abu Muhammad said:

The stakes are too high for the world to let the Syrian revolution fail because new courts of inquisition will be instituted by the regime. The regime will try to make sure this time that no other insurrection against it ever takes place again. This is a new Serbian genocide and ethnic cleansing in the making.

October 11th, 2011, 9:36 am


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