Video of Landis Commentary on Assad’s Speech

Comments (89)


SOURI said:

Good. That was a fairly neutral description of the situation.

March 31st, 2011, 11:14 pm

 

Zenobia said:

Thanks for this helpful interview Joshua. What I would really like to understand though – is who the president is alluding to in referring to the “conspiracies” and “plots”? I was interpreting this to me – foreign powers ie Israel, America, KSA or to ‘islamist’ activists or agitators.
But in your interview – you say that he is referring to activists (including Syrians) outside the country trying to push an uprising. Is this correct- I mean in terms that it is CLEAR who he is alluding to? Is his audience in the room and the Syrian public supposed to know who/what he is talking about?
Or is it deliberately supposed to sound obscure…. an unidentified danger out there… with unknown complexity.

In addition, I am wondering whether in translation – the words plot or conspiracy mean the same? (obviously, i am grasping at straws of hope that somehow something is lost or gained in translation) … but you know, in English and in Western culture…. ‘conspiracy’ or ‘plot’ sound kind of far fetched and associated with fiction and imagined enemies and paranoia… as much as reality. Or it is used as a legal term. But otherwise, half the time not really to be taken seriously. These are the connotations. Perhaps in Arabic these references don’t sound so ludicrous…..
However, it seems that to all the Syrians outside the country – or a higher percentage the notion of “plots” sounds just as absurd.
just wondering…

March 31st, 2011, 11:40 pm

 
 

Ziad said:

NK

Then don’t say anything. There is nothing to infer from three uneducated Syrian workers kissing the picture of Bashar. Enough agitation. Let’s debate the real issues.

April 1st, 2011, 12:10 am

 

gk said:

NK,
That shows the stupidity of some people. There is an Arabic expression: “They asked Pharaoh how you became a Pharaoh (dictator)? He replied, no body stopped me!”
Unless the people rise and demand freedom, they continue to be oppressed, abused and live in a country of corruption under the watch of the Mukhabart and wait for the President to pass his position to his son!!! That’s why they say, there is never an ex-president or ruler in the Arab world. All ex-rulers left directly from the chair to the grave!

April 1st, 2011, 12:12 am

 

MONTAGNARD said:

NK

No true believer would do this and no one with an ounce of dignity would do this either. That picture is either staged or the participants were forced and or paid to participate.
There were rumors about Syrian workers in Lebanon being bribed and or threatened to stage protests in front of the Syrian Embassy in Beirut.

Now weren’t you supposed to keep away from staged pictures and dubious clips, in order to get rid of your throbbing headache? After this picture you are going to need a bunch of Tylenol. And next thing we will hear, JAD will be complaining from the headache you are causing him!

April 1st, 2011, 12:16 am

 

NK said:

This picture is being used by Bashar supporters, while the type things like “مطرح ما بتدوس منركع و منبوس” wherever you step we bow and kiss. People are proud of this, that’s really sad.

I’m starting to doubt my stance on the importance of reform in Syria, maybe the population need to be rehabilitated first.

April 1st, 2011, 12:37 am

 

patheticstanian said:

أحييكم من باثيتيكستان الإسم الجديد لسورية الأسد.ـ
ملخص النفاق في خطاب بشار الأسد أمام مجلس الشعب
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Izi2ryxnG8c&feature=youtube_gdata_player

أنا شخصياً، ومن كل هالنفاق ياللي صار البارحة، ولا يقتصر النفاق برأيي على الملخص المذكور بل يتعداه لكل الخطاب من أولو لآخرو، برأيي انو مقولة عضو مجلس الـ”ــلـ”ـعب المذكورة أدناه هي خير ما قيل في ذلك اليوم والله:ـ
أنظر الدقيقة 4:25
العالم العربي قليل عليك يا سيادة الرئيس فأنت لازم تقود العالم

انا بدي إفتح صفحة فيسبوك لتأييد عضو مـ”ـحـ”ــلس الـ”ـطــر”ب أبو عقال هذا في مطلبه:ـ

نشد على يديه ونؤيد مطلبه و نتمنى على سيادة الرئيس أن يتنازل عن هالمنصب الوضيع كرئيس جمهورية سورية فقط و أن يصبح رئيساً للعالم هو وأسرته و شلتهم جميعاً بس يحلوا عن سورية!!ـ

ويمكن للمشاركين إقتراح مقر لقيادته الحكيمة في إحدى جزر فيجي في منتصف العالم أو على الأغلب على إعتبار أنو “عنزة الجربانة ما بتشرب إلا من راس النبع” على قمة العالم في القطب الشمالي أو على قمة إفرست خليهم يتخوزقوا هونيك و يقودوا العالم على كيفين بس يحلـّوا عن ربنا.ـ

طبعاً أبو عقال المنافق لازم يكون معهم هو وأرطة الشعراء الأجاويد أعضاء مسلخ الطرب العتيد.ـ
والسلام
مواطن باثيتيكستاني ـ المعروف بقرفان سابقاً

April 1st, 2011, 1:00 am

 

jad said:

NK, Montagnard
آه يا راسي!
الله يمرء هلنهار على خير. أولو آمين!

برنامج عمل مرتزقة بندر والقرضاوي ليوم الجمعه الاول من نيسان ابريل
كتب محمد خليل الرويسان
أكد مصدر مخابراتي أردني (معارض ضمنا للحرب الامنية على سوريا) في حديث خاص أن نهار الغد الجمعة الاول من ابريل نيسان هو يوم بالغ الاهمية بالنسبة للتحركات ضد نظام الرئيس بشار الاسد داخل سوريا والتي يشرف عليها بندر بن سلطان ويعاونه فيها الشيخ يوسف القرضاوي معنويا ودينيا


وعن التحرك في دمشق يوم غد تقول المعلومات
بان امرين اساسيين يعول عليهما بندر بن سلطان في الغد في عاصمة الامويين الاول هو ارسال نساء يزعمن لبس الحجاب والثياب الشرعية إلى منطقة منعزلة من الاسواق القريبة من الجامع الاموي ثم تصويرهن وهن يصرخن واسلاماه قوموا يا سوريين على الظالم قوموا على الظالم حينها سيتقدم عدد من الشبان (المفترض في الفيلم انهم من المخابرات السورية) فيخلعون امام الكاميرا ثياب النسوة وحجابتهن وسوف يتم بث هذا التصوير بعد تصوير لقطات اخرى لكنها حقيقية حيث ستقف نفس النسوة امام المسجد الاموي وحين يخرج المصلين سيبدأن بالصراخ واسلاماه واسلاماه مفترضات ان المخابرات السورية ستحاول اسكاتهم فيتم حينها دمج المشاهد السابقة والجديدة وبثها على الانترنت لتحريض السوريين المتدينين على الخروج إلى التظاهر في الشوارع إحتجاجا على ما حصل مع النسوة المؤمنات (البندريات) في

الوقت عينه الذي تخرج فيه جموع المصلين من امام المسجد الاموي سيبدأ إطلاق الرصاص العشوائي والقنص في منطقة باب توما وشارعي الامين ومتفرعات مدحت باشا في دمشق القديمة وذلك للزعم بحصول مجزرة من قبل المسيحيين والشيعة في تلك الشوارع ضد اهل السنة فتندلع اشتباكات طائفية على الاثر كما يأمل بندر ومرشده الديني يوسف القرضاوي”

http://filkkaisrael.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_31.html

April 1st, 2011, 1:38 am

 

Syria Almighty said:

The only thing being staged are the deaths of anti-government protesters:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm2J6S8PMCw&feature=player_embedded

And images of pro-government demonstrators being photoshopped into looking like anti-government protesters:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v478/Syrian/199463_1949724702267_1217086653_32344344_7793614_n.jpg

No one is being bribed or forced to support the government. This is a pitiful excuse fabricated by the few measly opponents of the government who have no support.

April 1st, 2011, 1:45 am

 

Syria Almighty said:

And here we see the media’s outright lies regarding Syria:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leJ4fvJkOto

Meanwhile, protests rage on in support of the government all across the world. These must be forced and bribed people, too!

Canada: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/video/video.php?v=10150156762343129

Armenia: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/video/video.php?v=10150135219393129

US: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=120105594732086

There have also been reports of pro-government protests in Italy, as well as New York. I’m sure they exist in many more places as well. Wow, the influence of the Syrian government knows no bounds.

April 1st, 2011, 1:54 am

 

jad said:

Syria Almighty,
Your link is not working,
Here you go Montreal demo
http://www.youtube.com/user/ocularstorm#p/u/2/kg-QdklT_V0

April 1st, 2011, 2:33 am

 

Syria Almighty said:

Hmm, yes, if you are using linkificaton on Firefox, it seems like the entire link is not linkified. You have to copy and paste the entire link into your browser for it to work.

April 1st, 2011, 3:03 am

 

why-discuss said:

Are we in an era of “entertainment information”?

It looks like we are entering in an era when information, supposedly free because of internet, has now been polluted by expert hands using Photoshop, Youtube, Facebook, twitter etc….
The syria’s saga on the media ( and possibly the libyan one too) has made me suspicious of all medias with their horde of supposed ‘eyewitnesses’ talking on the phone, their ability to make rumors reality and the delusion they bring.
I only hope that this new era of “entertainment information” will not live long, but until then I guess we’ll live in a world of disinformation that may exacerbate tensions, hatred and falsification instead of helping liberating people.

April 1st, 2011, 3:47 am

 

Mike Nahas said:

My opinion as a BRAZILIAN-3rd Generation Syrian (Christian):

As long as Sunnis continue to show no respect for other streams of faith (Alawites, Christian-Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants, Ismnailites, Druze, Jews and so on), and don´t allow these streams to exist other than second class citizens, Bashar or any other MINORITY religion Syrian should stay in power. This is my opinion. In Iran, Zarathrustans (excuse any misspelling) , Jews AND Christians are respected. Look at Shiites in Bahrein, look at Shiites in Saddam´s Iraq, look at Copts in Egypt, Look at the KSU, and (why not) Muslims and Christians in Israel, Darfour, etc.

Secularism MUST be the religion of the state, in religiously-plural societies. This is a human right issue, way more important then democracy.

In 40 years Brazil went from 92% Roman Catholics and 3% Protestants, to 65% R.C. and 30% Protestants ! Would this type of change be possible in any of these Sunni governed countries? There is no record (at least known to me) of religiuos persecution in an Shiia Controlled area.

Comments?

April 1st, 2011, 5:22 am

 

Mr.President said:

Mike Nahas,
Good writing 🙂

It is not the Sunnis. The problem of Syria is the ISLAMISTS. In the 80’s they initiated a civil war in Hama in the hope, as Sunni minority, of breaking Syria into pieces. Now they go at it one more time. I am surprised that we Syrians are giving them another chance to destroy the country. In the US, a criminal who kills or has the intention to kill not only rots in jail for a long time. He also looses his civil rights to vote, to get involved in politics or to participate in the society decision making process. The Islamists have no right to participate in the political process because of what they did to Syria and planning to repeat.
It is the Islamists who prevented Syrians from modernizing Sharia law. It is the Islamists who wrote into the latest draft of the new family law a protection for Honor killers. It is the Islamists who insist on teaching sectarianism in mosques and family circles. It is the Islamists who prevent us from having civil marriages and equal rights for women and minorities. They insisted that our president could only be a Muslim. I wonder what makes me better qualified for a job as a doctor, a teacher, a rocket engineer just because of I am a Sunni Muslim?
That is why reform in Syria is not moving at the right speed. The Islamists are the true dictators of Syrian minds. They are the true obstacle for a full democracy. They do not permit people to practice democratic principles in family, in debates, in work institutions,… Allah told them to say this to us and Allah told them to do this to us. Allah told them they know what is good for us. Allah would not like it. Allah would get upset. Allah would not be able to sleep. Allah, Allah, Allah…

April 1st, 2011, 6:51 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh’s not so “Real NewZ” Moment

What I would really like to understand though – is who the president is alluding to in referring to the “conspiracies” and “plots”? I was interpreting this to me – foreign powers ie Israel, America, KSA or to ‘islamist’ activists or agitators.

Hello Zenobia,

Try not ask to many specific questions from our dear Professor. We’re not talking about a western nation like the US, that will hold public hearings and investigations identifying the “foreign” powers involved.

The truth is, there aren’t any foreign powers involved, but the President-for-Life and his American shill won’t admit it.

Assad, like all dictators, must point to imaginary outside factors for his internal failures. There is no cause for “civil war”, because most Syrians are DIRT POOR. This is a country that is failing internally just outside the “Great Hall of Poetry”.

And all Professor Josh can say is that Syria will try to emulate the China model. Sure. All while importing shipments of Iranian arms.

BTW – Don’t imediately assume I speak for the US or Israeli governments. Both the US and Israel love Assad, just as much as Professor Josh.

April 1st, 2011, 7:05 am

 

trustquest said:

The Syrian conscious is waking up gradually from the maltreatment and enslaving practice of the despot and from the indignity of their representatives as we saw the tragedy/comedy in the Parliament yesterday as one rep, calling to have president as the leader of the world. In today protest in Banias, video attached below, people have a sign for the famous saying by Omar Ibn-EI-Khattab: “Since when do you enslave people who were born free?, this is a new age….lets see how long the totalitarian system will last after that. The people have the right to protest as the government did and stole this right and practiced it in the most rude way forcing, school kids, employees and government organization to go out in support of the president. Today the government security machines working hard to prevent the other voice to come out and I wonder why Joshua does not point to that or see it as a sign of the end of the system. The new said that fire arm was heard from the Masjid which this video taken place in the Al Refaa Mosque in Damascus.

April 1st, 2011, 8:50 am

 

Shami said:

Mike Nahass ,do you want an alawite to suppress 80 % of the syrian people and one more 1,5 billion in order to make you happy ?
Syria is and will remain the capitale of the Islamic Umma.
I think that you ignore the dynamism of christianity under Islamic rule from the Umayyad until the 1960’s….(from Al Akhtal ,the famous classical poet ,the father of church and Umayyad minister ,friend of the caliphs,,Saint John ofDamascus ,Bar Hebraeus,Michael the Syrian who lived under the islamic states during the crusades ,Etienne Duwayhi,Germanos Farhat ,pioneer of the islamic renaissance and the christian thinkers who followed.
It’s sad that such weak minds among the minorities have reached such hatred calling for the suppression of Islam.

For the surrealist menhebak people who joined us later,there are socioeconomic indicators check them instead of looking like
obvious liars and undignified propagandists of a damned dictatorship.

Do you know Mr Asad that the criminald hfez asad killed/jailed the biggest number of scientists ,writers,intellectuals(from all backgrounds) in the arab world ?
Asad created this surrealistic reality in Syria ,the regime only controls some strategic sectors of the economy ,foreigner economy
but the masses are under control of backward religious people and those are also very powerfull economically.
False bigotery à la Hassoun and Bouti is in itself rejected and thus there are more and more Salafis(which is a good thing in my opinion)
bashar needs them in order to survive.For this reason ,this regime is unable to reform itself (because of its sectarian paranoia) and to reform the country(because of corruption and
the deal that it has done with the backward religious people).

Reforms can only be the result of the outcome of a debate within the civil society ,and can not be succesfully imposed by dictatorial regimes as we saw in the former communist countries and in the post Nasser arab world .

Before Nasser ,during the liberal-era ,we had a true and very strong islamic reformist movement,who worked hand in hand with christian thinkers.
So will be our future ,bashar’s regime is here to die because it has no cultural legitimity and is only false-propaganda addict.
Such masquarade can not work anymore.

April 1st, 2011, 9:11 am

 

why-discuss said:

Thousands protest in Syria for ‘Day of Martyrs’

Does it sound like the massive protest called by the activits and the 10,0000 facebook afficionados?
Al Jazira talks about different location: Douma and Banyas
AP talks about ‘unconfirmed’ Qamishtli and Daara suburbs and the usual AEFR “anonymous eyewitness who fear reprisals” .

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/world/mideast/20110401_ap_thousandsprotestinsyriafordayofmartyrs.html#ixzz1IJeKBu00

BASSEM MROUE

The Associated Press

BEIRUT – Thousands of Syrians shouting “We want freedom!” marched Friday in a southern city that has become the epicenter of an extraordinary protest movement as security forces deployed across the country, witnesses said.

Activists dubbed Friday a “Day of Martyrs” and called for mass demonstrations to honor more than 70 people killed during two weeks of protests in one of the most authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.

An eyewitness told The Associated Press up to 5,000 people took to the streets in Daraa shouting “We want freedom!” and “The blood of martyrs is not cheap!”

Security forces were heavily deployed in and around the city but did not immediately intervene to stop them, said the eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Protests erupted in Syria on March 18 in the impoverished and drought-stricken south and spread quickly to other areas. Syrian activists have called for massive demonstrations following Friday midday prayers across the nation.

President Bashar Assad dashed expectations he would announce sweeping reforms this week and instead blamed the popular fury that has gripped Syria on a foreign conspiracy. He set up committees on Thursday to investigate the civilian deaths and the possibility of replacing decades-old emergency laws.

The wave of protests has presented the 45-year-old leader with the gravest challenge since he inherited power 11 years ago from his father, taking the helm of one of the Middle East’s most authoritarian regimes.

Scores of plainclothes security agents deployed Friday in Damascus near the historic Umayyad mosque, where only last week, pro- and anti-government crowds clashed, hitting each other with leather belts.

As people began leaving the mosque Friday, a crowd of at least 300 people carrying Syrian flags and pictures of Assad broke out into clapping and chants of “Allah, Syria, Bashar!” The chanting lasted for about 10 minutes before the crowds dispersed.

Security forces made no attempt to stop them.

There were reports of other protests in areas surrounding Daraa, as well as the northeastern city of Qamishli, but those reports could not be immediately confirmed.

A Syrian Kurd in Beirut in touch with eyewitnesses there said thousands of people were protesting in Qamishli as well as the nearby towns of Amouda and Derbasiya. He said the demonstrators came out in solidarity with Daraa, chanting “peaceful, peaceful.”

The activist said security forces and soldiers were closely watching the demonstrations.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/world/mideast/20110401_ap_thousandsprotestinsyriafordayofmartyrs.html#ixzz1IJe2owOC
Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else

April 1st, 2011, 9:17 am

 

Shai said:

Akbar,

“BTW – Don’t imediately assume I speak for the US or Israeli governments. Both the US and Israel love Assad, just as much as Professor Josh.”

That’s funny, I don’t recall you saying that just a few months ago. Has Assad changed, to make Israel suddenly “love him”? Is he not as good a friend of Iran or Hezbollah or Hamas as he used to be? What is it, that suddenly makes Israel (I assume you mean the Netanyahu government) love Assad?

Are you suggesting it is the Arab Street that awakened a sleepy Israeli government, and made it rethink its own views on Syria?

Are you supportive of such a change in view towards Assad, if indeed the Netanyahu government suddenly “loves him”?

April 1st, 2011, 9:48 am

 

Nour said:

So it looks like security forces allowed demonstrations to take place without any incidents. That’s good news. I guess the facebook “revolutionists” didn’t get the blood they had hoped for.

April 1st, 2011, 9:59 am

 

norman said:

Thank you shai,
Welcome back

April 1st, 2011, 9:59 am

 

AIG said:

Shai,

Clearly, the Israeli government is still debating and trying to understand the consequences of what is happening in Syria.

Is it still your recommendation to Netanyahu to make peace with Assad the ‘reformer’? What did you think about the important part that Israel played in his recent speech? Do you still believe Assad is a worthwhile long term investment?

April 1st, 2011, 10:10 am

 

trustquest said:

In Duma suburb of Damascus, today, the security forces fire arms to disperse protesters. What could have happened if someone fire in the government protest….I wonder what could have happened to the 1 million protesters…Syrian authority has to think of such thing and start accepting that you can not stop history.

April 1st, 2011, 10:26 am

 

jad said:

Nour,
They are trying very very hard to get someone’s blood to use to make things worse, I was just watching Alarabiya, no wonder Syrians don’t believe any of the crap they hear from any eye witness on any of those channels…the eye witness today is:
Protester, Abou Bahaa, got shot, his friends took him to hospital, inside the operation room he heard that the moukhabarat are abducting the injured people from the hospital to ‘somewhere’, so he managed to run from the back door of the operation room while doctors are treating him, HUH! then he said that inside the mosque in Douma, there were about 1000 people (he said that most of them are amn, that everybody know how they look!!) and on top of that the mosque was surrounded by 5000 amn and the moment they go out the mosque they were beaten and the amn is using wooden, metal and ‘electrical’ batons and they suddenly start shooting at them killing 4 and injuring hundreds more…COME ON!!!!!!!!
In anyway, if today ends with 10 victims (la sama7 allah) as Alarabiya announced allover the country then things are going to be fine and this movement is over.
However and with all those small protests happening all over Syria with fewer victims and less blood and violence, it’s a sign of a wise reaction from the government/amn and I hope the day will end without any major dramatic and bloody end..God willing!!

April 1st, 2011, 10:29 am

 

Nour said:

Jad:

We all know that al3arabiya is the one credible news station that checks, rechecks, and then checks their facts again :-). They’re getting desperate now.

April 1st, 2011, 10:32 am

 

Jad said:

Nour,
Yes, not only them, BBC, Orient TV and even Aljazeera along the Revolutionests behind their computer outside Syria are so desperate to make something bloody and big, fortunatly they won’t get it.

April 1st, 2011, 10:50 am

 

Zenobia said:

Shai,
I think they love to hate him, so he is the bad guy who is known and needed to preserve the status quo and thus at least for the Israeli gov’t probably is preferred as the “devil we know” to keep in place.

April 1st, 2011, 11:00 am

 

Nour said:

Jad,

I’m really glad nothing happened and I hope the regime has wisened up and realized that allowing these protests to take place peacefully is the best way to handle them, even for their own sake.

April 1st, 2011, 11:20 am

 

Jad said:

Nour, you will love this news, it’s urgent too 🙂
Flash news:
Al Amn, according to the revolution, are now going inside the appartments in Kafar Souse (rich/luxury neighbourhood) and confiscating cell phones of the (rich) residents.
Seriously? Amn are done killing, beating and now they are targetting RICH syrians phones!!!!!!!

April 1st, 2011, 11:22 am

 

AIG said:

Interesting:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/opinion/31iht-edperthes31.html?_r=1&ref=global

It makes an important distinction between a “reformer” and a “modernizer”, claiming that Assad is the latter but not the former.

Is Assad Capable of Reform?
By VOLKER PERTHES
BERLIN — In a brief address before Syria’s Parliament on Wednesday, President Bashar al-Assad declared that he was still for reform, but insisted that the first priority was to combat a “conspiracy” that was responsible for the bloody protests in his country. The speech came the day after the president dismissed his cabinet.

The speech was bound to disappoint those who had expected Assad to at least lift the emergency status and announce a new law on political parties. Changing the ministers is a meaningless gesture unless it’s followed by real reform. Assad mentioned the emergency law and the party law but insisted that he would not act under pressure — “haste comes at the expense of the quality of reforms.”

It’s a refrain that Syrians have heard too often. The idea of a new party law in particular has come up whenever the regime was under pressure — for example in 2000, after Assad took power, or in 2005, after Syria’s forced withdrawal from Lebanon. But the time has never been right.

I remember a meeting I had five years ago with Faisal Kalthoum, a professor of law and at the time a confidant to Assad, who proudly told me about a draft party law he and other members of a special committee had just finalized. (Kalthoum, who regarded himself as a reformer, later became governor of Dara’a and was in that position until he was fired after the first bloody crackdown.)

The new law, he told me at that time, would allow parties of various tendencies to be established. But there was no intention, he added when I asked, to change the Constitution, particularly Article 8, which states that the Baath Party is the “leading party in the society and the state.” In other words, parties could be freely constituted so long as they did not challenge the Baath’s monopoly on power. It is hardly necessary to add that Assad did not enact the law. The situation, other officials told me in subsequent years, “wasn’t yet considered ripe” for such a reform.

I would be positively astonished if Assad was prepared today not only to enact that law, but also to lift the state of emergency and rescind Article 8. He could make history with such moves, probably setting the stage for a step-by-step political liberalization in Syria — for which, I assume, a small window of time still exists. But I doubt he will do it.

This is mainly because Assad, in contrast to the image of him that some Western leaders have developed, is not a reformer. He can better be described as a modernizer. When he inherited power from his father in 2000 he set out to modernize the system — the economic and technological foundation as well as the political, security and bureaucratic elite on which he bases his power.

He allowed archaic economic and trade regulations to be shelved, private banks to operate, foreign investments to come in, mobile-phone companies to operate. And, starting with regional party leaders and governors, then ministers, and finally the top echelons of the security apparatus, he managed within only a couple of years to remove his father’s old guard and replace it with people loyal to himself.

In doing so, he gave Syria a more modern face and made some things work more efficiently, but he also made sure that the basic system — which relies on the heavy hand of the security services, on personal ties, and on a form of tolerated corruption that allows loyalists to enrich themselves — remained intact.

Initially, after his assumption of power, Assad encouraged a somewhat freer political debate. But in 2001, after a short-lived “Damascus Spring,” the regime cracked down on many of the intellectuals who had thought that it was really the beginning of a political opening. Many have been arrested repeatedly over the past decade.

To be fair, Assad has not relied only on repression and cronies. Unlike Hosni Mubarak or Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the relatively young Syrian leader did gain some real popularity. The regional situation has helped him, as he quite frankly admitted in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. He was extremely critical of the U.S. invasion in Iraq, rightly warned of chaos after an externally enforced regime change there, and gained a reputation for saying no to the United States.

He was compelled to withdraw his forces from Lebanon, but managed to make the best of it by opening up the economy in Syria, thereby reducing the reliance of Syrian businessmen on Lebanon, and gradually rebuilding Syrian political influence in Lebanon.

He denounced American and Israeli policies toward the Palestinians, while making clear that Syria would not block a peace treaty with Israel. All this made him for a time one of the most popular heads of state in the Arab world, and, to the extent that it can be judged, at home.

This apparent popularity may have led him and his advisers to ignore the fact that even in Syria, many people were angry with a repressive regime, bad governance and blatant corruption.

In Syria, as in other Arab countries, there is a widely shared feeling, particularly among those between 20 and 30, that the regime denies them dignity and a fair chance to participate in politics and the economy. Offering cosmetic reforms now is likely to be too little too late.

Assad may find that while it was relatively easy to deal with intellectuals and activists, it is far harder to restrain an entire generation.

Volker Perthes is director of SWP, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, and author of several works on Syria and the Arab world.

April 1st, 2011, 11:28 am

 

gk said:

The propaganda will not last! The people want freedom! If you look at Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, the rulers and government officials tried to:
– scare people
– discredit the demonstrators
– accuse the demonstrators that they are spies of our enemies
– the media are liars
– the demonstrators are a minority (just few people)

All that did not work! The people want freedom and end of corruption!

April 1st, 2011, 11:29 am

 

norman said:

Nour,
what are the rules to be able to demonstrate in the US, do you get a permit, set road and ask for protection ?

April 1st, 2011, 11:45 am

 

Nour said:

Norman,

Yes you have to get a permit to protest in a public space. You must also ensure that you have security people who should deal with the police. Police are always provided for protection and to make sure that the protests don’t leave their designated areas. If you protest in front of an embassy or a consulate a police barricade is set up to protect the embassy or consulate from the protesters. That is also true for any building or organization before which protesters wish to demonstrate.

April 1st, 2011, 11:56 am

 

Nour said:

Jad,

Wow, desperation is really setting in. Now it’s just comedy. What’s next? The amn are going to kidnap children and hold them for ransom?

April 1st, 2011, 11:59 am

 

Riad said:

Jad,

Excuse my language, but are you playing dumb? Amn wouldn’t take “rich people’s” cell phones to sell them on black market, but to prevent them from taking pictures and videos or perhaps calling outside media. Is that so inconceivable of our amn??

April 1st, 2011, 12:06 pm

 

Ameriki said:

In the US, you can demonstrate because it is your right! Seldom you find the police have a confrontation with the demonstrators unless demonstrators start breaking and destroying things. Keep in mind that people are allowed to express their opinions in newspapers, TV station, flyers or even billboards! Can you do that in Syria?

April 1st, 2011, 12:15 pm

 

jad said:

Riad,
You are excused for your stupidity, do you really believe that Alamn will go into all the apartments of Kafar Souse, (not in the street, they wrote that amn went INSIDE people’s apartments) where the apt there is worth at least $2 millions with owners who are SUPER RICH AND CONNECTED and confiscate their mobile phones? Get real!

This story just happened in kafar Souse:

Amn: Nock Nock
Abou Ma7moud (Kafar Souse Apartment Owner): Who’s there,
Amn: Amn
Abou Ma7moud: Ahleen akhee, omor?
Amn: Can we get your cell phones Sir,
Abou Ma7moud: We have 10 of them though, one of them is in a golden case and the other is in diamond one, which one do you want?
Amn: we want all of them Sir.
Abou Ma7moud: Sure, come in to my marble floor Salon and sit on my velvet sofa until I take the phones from my wife and kids,
Abou Ma7moud: tea anyone?
Amn: No thank you, we want to get back to work and kill some protesters.
Abou Ma7moud: Ahleen!

April 1st, 2011, 12:37 pm

 

norman said:

Nour,
What will happen to the demonstrators if they do not follow the rules and are there similar rules in Syria

April 1st, 2011, 12:45 pm

 

jad said:

A protest somewhere in Europe today. They couldn’t find any Syrian to lead the demos so an Egyptian did 🙂

Ya Zein oul labouk, ilsha3b ilsouri 7ayedba7ouk! WOW, Dab7!

April 1st, 2011, 1:02 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Shai (previous post),

You asked why Asad blamed Israel. It is the same reason when Nete (or any official) blames Syria and Iran instead of the occupation? Bahrain blames Iran and Libya blames Al Qa3ida and list goes on and on. None of these criminals are willing to look in mirror, look inward and blame their policies and abuse.

Nete refuses to blame anything on the occupation; Asad thinks he owns the country (Souria Al Asad) and the people (all kinds) are his slaves; The Saud family named the country after their own family name; and the list goes on.

It is also much easier to dehumanize outsiders and easier to fabricate. How can you prove a negative? If I say Israel was behind this how can you prove me wrong? You can deny it but that is all you can do.

Most likely, Israel is happy with Asad and with instability in Syria. As long we do not have freedom in Syria, we are not a threat to Israel. Yeah we can have proxy groups bother Israel but they are minor players and can not do much as far offensive capabilities. So what is happening is Syria, a ruthless dictatorship with a little bit of instability, is perfect for Israel. Asad knows it, Nete knows and they are both happy and can blame each other

April 1st, 2011, 1:25 pm

 

MONTAGNARD said:

SHAI
I can give you an example to illustrate how foreign interests are colluding and conspiring with the Syrian opposition in their activities against Syria and the Syrian government (the Asad regime to you).
The two most active opposition people in the US are Farid Ghadry and Ammar Abdulhamid. They made it their full time job. They are the recipient of a good deal of funding from the US government. They have the support of AIPAC among many other organizations and NGOs.
They have no Syrian base in Syria. Their exposure to Syrians in Syria is limited to their relatives, who don’t necessarily regard them as persons with integrity or qualified to lead the nation.
They have been given extensive audience by all the US and Jewish think tank organizations.
They have been given extensive audience by the White House, the State Department and the US government including the CIA.
When vice president Chenney’s office was in the lead of formulating the US policy in the ME, under the guidance of the Neoconservatives, in partnership with Likud operatives, AIPAC lobbyists and the support of the intelligence services, a decision was made to prepare Ghadry and Abdulhamid to fit a role similar to what Shalabi and his group played in the conspiracy against the Iraqi regime.
This effort has been ongoing for years.
Both Ghadry and Abdulhamid would not be able to sustain their effort without the support of Syria’s enemies.
They do not represent a grass root movement, whether Islamic or Nationalistic. In fact both grass root movements are opposed to them.
But yet in interviews with US and international media this last week, they were presented as the most visible of the Syrian opposition with extensive following. The job of setting them up as a legitimate opposition is still in full force, although Bush-Chenney are gone.
The backrooms and dark rooms operations to prepare the ground for them are ongoing as we speak.
The budgets and organizations that are working undercover are bigger than what the legitimate and nationalistic Syrian opposition can ever muster.
This example represents but a fraction of the international effort to destabilize Syria and bring its government to heel.
Some in the Syrian opposition are naive, some are opportunistic, some are totally blind by their fanaticism, some have a personal grudge due to bad experiences, which makes them a target for manipulation and fertile ground for conspiracies by Syria’s enemies. Not all of them are an easy target. Some members of the opposition have my full respect, as they can differentiate between a true nationalistic legitimate opposition activity and one that is used by the enemies of Syria for their suspicious motives.

April 1st, 2011, 2:51 pm

 

Syria Almighty said:

BREAKING NEWS: 2 JESUS CHRISTS SPOTTED IN SYRIA

In this video, we clearly see 2 dead bodies being photographed by anti-government protesters. After the crowd finished photographing these 2 people who were obviously killed by Syrian security forces, they RISE UP FROM THE DEAD!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm2J6S8PMCw

There seems to be a lot of these rise-from-the-dead miracles taking place across Syria by these protesters.

April 1st, 2011, 2:54 pm

 

MONTAGNARD said:

Akbar

My answer to Shai on why Israel was mentioned in the speech, is that Israel has been for years trying to undermine the Syrian government and destabilize it, including covert support of some of the opposition’s activities.

As far as Palestinians. Syria is being punished for not towing the line that Israel and the US wants it to tow.

April 1st, 2011, 3:15 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Norman, Jad and Nour,

Please stop the charade about comparing human rights in the US and Syria. When was the last time you were shot at for speaking your mind? How come you guys live in the US/west and not in Syria? Better pay, more respect, better future for your kids? Which one? I want every Syrian to enjoy the same privileges we enjoy. How about you?

A couple of days ago you were saying how could they ask women and children to participate? Are you kidding me? What is wrong with that? DO Syrian women have the right to express their voices or not? I believe they can and should do it any way they please.

Do you think these women and kids obtained a permit before they demonstrated?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OjgvUs7uzE

The government has NO RIGHT against protestors demanding their freedom. What a shame that you guys blame the victim. Next time Israel kills Palestinians, do not scream murder because you are willing to shed Syrian blood to protect these thugs in charge.

April 1st, 2011, 3:23 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Syria Almighty,

LOL. Right back at you buddy. That is a staged death but it is done by the government not by the people. In all of the videos where people were shot at, every one was running scared except this one.

The best way to monitor what is going is allow the media free movement. Oh, I forget, the media is conspiring against the regime. Aljazeera is very powerfull. They have conspired against the regimes in Tunis, Egypt, Bahrain, KSA, Libya, Yemen, USA (during Gulf wars) and now Syria.

Let’s use some logic here. The people want (and are overdue) their freedom. Syria will be a much stronger country with a democracy.

April 1st, 2011, 3:31 pm

 

Nour said:

Ziadsouri,

There is no charade. Norman asked me a question about demonstrations in the US and I answered him. Moreover, Jad had nothing to do with the discussion, so I don’t know why you added his name to this post.

And yes, the government has no right to oppress protesters demanding their freedom, but protesters also have no right destroying public and private property in their protests. And gunmen have no right to occupy rooftops and shoot at civilians and security personnel. And so-called “Revolutionists” have no right instructing people to make sure to draw blood because, as they claim, blood is very important. They have no right to distribute fake, staged, and fabricated photos and videos in order to incite people.

If you want to genuinely and honestly protest against the government, then please use ethical means of doing so. There is no reason for dishonesty, lies, and fabrications. There are definitely rightful demands that Syrians have and those should be enough to be used as a motivating factor.

April 1st, 2011, 3:37 pm

 

MONTAGNARD said:

ZIADSOURY

In the US, law enforcement is very strict. Please don’t confuse liberty with law and order. When protesting students were shot and killed by the national guardsmen on the Penn State campus, it was not for lack of liberties or a regime going rogue. It was a law and order action that was supported by some in the American public while decried by the students. Yes there are many liberties that are afforded to Americans in the US by law, but anarchy, chaos and taking a government down by riots is not what Americans are allowed to pursue under their laws.
Please don’t compare trying to keep the country from breaking up to what Israel has done to the Palestinians for 60 years.
I agree with you wanting the same liberties for Syrians as the Americans have, and I want them to have them too, but I beg you to reread your comment to Norman, Jad and Nour and think about the context.

April 1st, 2011, 3:46 pm

 

Jad said:

Ziadsoury,
Could you please refer to where I compared America to Syria.
And when I refused the using of children by their teacher in shouting anti Assad slogans and send them on the unsafe road I was disgust of the method to use those kids unawarness of the dangers this adult full awarness of what he is putting those kids in. Do you support involving kids in political and military conflicts?
I didn’t say anything about not letting women to be involved intentionaly I’m against of forcing them to be used as means, huge difference between what you accused me of writing and what I ‘realy’ wrote.
I didn’t blame the victims and I didn’t use blood to protect anyone.

April 1st, 2011, 3:49 pm

 

Riad said:

Jad,

I would rather excuse YOU for your deliberate stupidity and eye-closing to facts known to all Syrians. Now if indeed the story was true (I doubt it but do not rule it out completely like you do), amn would not hesitate to confiscate mobile phones from buildings overlooking an embarrassing scene (not the whole neighbourhood’s phones) around the Rifai mosque for instance. Rich and influential is irrelevant here seeing that “national interest” is at stake. They are willing to arrest school kids and let loose Shabiha to snipe at people so one can only imagine they are willing to do anything else.

Syria Almighty,
Why do you keep saying “government”? Whatever happened to the word “regime”?

Regards

April 1st, 2011, 4:01 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Jad,
I took all of my kids with me to multiple demonstrations. Some of them were for local issues and the other ones were against Bush and his wars, Mubarak and Qadafi. What is wrong with that? Yes I had my 2 year kid at these demos and hopefully he will take his kids in the future. They are better people because of that. They are aware of their rights and allowed to express it. Remember the future belongs to them and not to us. We were cowards and did not have the courage to ask for our rights. These people in the streets are the real heroes of Syria.

The people didn’t declare a military conflict. They are unarmed. The only weapon they have is bravery. That scares the regime.

Nour wants me to use ethical means? What ethical means can you use in Syria? Can you get a permit in Syria to hold a million man march against the regime? Can you speak on TV against? Can you write an editorial in the newspapers? Who are you kidding? I was born there and know no one other than Asad(s) and their cronies in control. 40 years of stealing and corruption are way more than enough. I am very secular but I don’t believe for a second that these people are. They are thugs and hiding behind the secular flag. Remember Mubarak was saying me or chaos? Egypt is moving along pretty well. All of these thugs use scare tactics. They all need to go.

I am also very sure that the regime and the SNP and his buddies (Mukhabarat) know who has weapons and who does not. Remember the Syrian constitution does not allow for the right to bear arms. It is the opposite.

Again, you want to prove me wrong, let the media cover the country.

April 1st, 2011, 4:16 pm

 

SALAH ADDIN said:

RIAD

We have noticed this trend lately, that whenever we have some serious discussion going in a direction that is civil and intelligent, an idiot like you jumps in and tries to pick a fight.
This role used to be well covered by Akbar Palace. Now it seems there are many encrochers on his task.
Do you know Akbar Palace personally or is it a parrallel job you have been tasked to do? I wonder if your strings are pulled at the same time.

April 1st, 2011, 4:25 pm

 

ziadsoury said:

MONTAGNARD
Let me correct my sentence

“Next time Israel kills Palestinians, do not scream murder because you are excusing the shedding of Syrian blood by the regime so they can stay in power and control.”

April 1st, 2011, 4:31 pm

 

Majed said:

The word “Freedom” is the new buzz word that is energizing the Arab streets now days, but try to get two people to agree on its meaning/definition and you’ll get three opinions, and none of them comes close to true freedom.

Those without power have always cherished and championed the words “freedom” and “democracy”, until they are in power. Once in control, the first thing they do is to deny others their rights and impose their own ideology on all, using whatever force they have to maintain control. History of the Middle East has poor track record of tolerance and equality. The majority has always denied the minorities their equal rights, not to mention persecuted and demonized them for being “misguided/infidels”. Compliance with certain traditional and religious conducts/practices, dictated by the majority, is how freedom is defined in the mind of most Arabs/Muslims.

Until Middle Easters acknowledge and accept the rights of each individual to think and behave according to his/her own conviction, irrespective of the belief of majority, the word freedom is just another slogan to mean “I want things my way”.

April 1st, 2011, 4:37 pm

 

Riad said:

Salah

I was expecting an answer from Jad, instead I received this “civil and intelligent” answer from someone whose alias I’m seeing for the first time.

Right back at you.

April 1st, 2011, 4:45 pm

 

George said:

Ziadsoury,

“The people didn’t declare a military conflict. They are unarmed. The only weapon they have is bravery.”

First, I take issue of you using the phrase ” the people” as if the whole country is demonstrating, not just a few hundreds, no need for sensationalism here.

Second, how do you know that they were unarmed what proof do you have. People here are willing to believe anything about the Syria however unbelievable it is.

Which media would like to cover the country, they already showed their dirty hands, remember Iraq’s WMD.

April 1st, 2011, 4:49 pm

 

NK said:

The thugs are back, they just felt like giving the public a break on Tuesday…

http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=130834

قتلى وعشرات الجرحى في حوادث اطلاق نار في دوما وحمص ودرعا

نقلت سانا عن مصدر مسؤول صرح مصدر مسؤول بأن “مجموعة مسلحة اعتلت أسطح بعض الأبنية في مدينة دوما بعد ظهر اليوم وقامت بإطلاق النار على مئات من المواطنين كانوا يتجمعون في المدينة وكذلك على قوات الأمن ما أدى إلى سقوط عدد من القتلى وعشرات الجرحى من المواطنين وقوات الشرطة والأمن ، دون الاشارة الى عدد القتلى بالتحديد.

وافاد مراسلنا في المكان بانه بعد صلاة الجمعة تجمع بعض المواطنين في منطقة دوما وسط وجود كثيف لعناصر الامن الامر الذي صعب التواجد تماما في مكان الحدث ، وسمع اطلاق نار اكثر من مرة لم يعرف مصدره .

كما اوردت سانا خبر عن وفاة فتاة في منطقة البياضة في حمص اثر “اطلاق نار من مجموعة مسلحة ” على تجمع للمواطنين هناك.

وكذلك اكدت سانا اصابة عدة اشخاص في درعا جراء حادثة “اطلاق نار على جنود المكلفين بحراسة إحدى التشكيلات العسكرية من قبل بعض الشبان المسلحين الذين حاولوا الاستيلاء على سلاحه فأصيب المجند في صدره إصابة بالغة وجرى تبادل لإطلاق النار نتج عنه إصابة أحد المهاجمين وجرح آخرين” ، دون ان توضح فيما اذا كان قد قتل احد هناك.

وشهدت مدينة اللاذقية الاسبوع الماضي حوادث اطلاق نار مماثلة من قبل مجموعات مسلحة ، قتل على اثرها مواطنون ، وتواردت اخبار عن القبض على افراد بعض افراد هذه المجموعات دون ان يكشف الى حد الان على خلفيتها وانتماءاتها .

وفيما تناقلت وكالات الانباء قصص لشهود عيان اكدو اطلاق النار من قبل مسلحين بلباس مدني على مواطنين موجودين كجماعات في اكثر من منطقة ، ادت الى سقوط ضحايا ، نقلت سانا عن شهود عيان من “اهالي دوما” بان “مجموعات مسلحة وأخرى تقوم بالتحريض وإثارة الفتنة جالت في المدينة وقامت بترويع الناس وإطلاق النار عشوائيا في أماكن التجمعات”.

واكدت بعض الشهدات التي نقلتها سانا بان اهالي المدين أن “بعض التجمعات التي جابت المدينة لم تكن سلمية اطلاقا وكان توجهها واضحا بهدف إثارة البلبلة” ، وانهم ” قبضوا على بعض المسلحين وسلموهم للجهات الامنية”.

سيريانيوز

April 1st, 2011, 4:56 pm

 

jad said:

Ziadsoury
“I took all of my kids with me to multiple demonstrations.”
Do you give the permit to your kids’ teacher to take them out in an anti-government demonstrations in Syria in these days?
Do you Ziadsoury, the father, support involving kids in political and military conflicts in a country like Syria or any where unsafe in this mad world we live in?
I do understand your frustration but you are not reading what I’m writing you, it wasn’t about pro or anti government/regime it’s a matter of principle about children’s rights to stay away from conflict zones and our duties to keep them safe and not to let them be used in anyway by anybody to harm them.

I don’t see myself weak or wrong when I’m against violence in all and every form from anybody against anybody and everything and that doesn’t mean in anyway that I fully support one side over the other, my opinions and views are connected directly to what I see, read, hear and to what I believe in, and I’ll state my disapproval for any side according to every incident, statement, action they do.
I wrote it before and I repeat it, “I REJECT ALL OF YOU”, whoever you are, whatever your position is and regardless of who you represent, when you support and promote violence.
Is it that difficult for people to understand that someone is truly and deeply is calling for peaceful society in Syria.

Please check this out to understand what I support:

إعلان حداد على أرواح ضحايا العنف في سورية

انسجاما مع شعاره “من أجل مجتمع خال من العنف والتمييز”، وتأكيدا لرفضه كافة أشكال العنف في المجتمع السوري، من أي جهة صدرت، ولأي هدف كان، ونظرا لعدم إعلان الحكومة السورية الحداد على ضحايا الأيام الأليمة التي مرت خلال الأسابيع الماضية،

يعلن “مرصد نساء سورية” إغلاق صفحته الالكترونية ليوم كامل اعتبارا من الساعة 00،00 من صباح يوم الجمعة 1 نيسان 2011، يوم حداد تكتسي فيه الصفحة الالكترونية بالسواد.

ونقدم تعازينا الحارة لكل فرد في أسر الضحايا، آملين أن غدنا سيكون أقرب من أن نكون مواطنين ومواطنات، لا يميزنا عرق ولا دين، لا جنس ولا لون ولا قومية.. بل نكون جميعا على قدم المساواة في الحقوق والواجبات، فسورية تستحق أن نفخر بها.

مرصد نساء سورية

Declaration of mourning for the victims of violence in Syria

Consistent with the slogan “for a society free from violence and discrimination”, and confirmation of the rejection of all forms of violence in the Syrian society, from any direction issued, and for any purpose, due to the non-declaration The Syrian government of mourning for the victims of the painful days that have passed through the last few weeks,

declares, “Syrian Women Observatory” close the web site (www.nesasy.org) at full day starting at 00.00 am on Friday 1, April 1, 2011, a day of mourning were of the web page will wear black.

We offer our deepest condolences to everyone in the families of the victims, hoping that tomorrow will be closer to the citizens , does not makes us different race or religion, not race or color or nationality.. But we are all equal in rights and duties, Syria deserves to be proud of us..

Syrian Women Observatory

http://nesasy.org/

April 1st, 2011, 4:58 pm

 

jad said:

Here you go Ziadsoury,
watch and tell me that this is not a crime against our children and is ethical or can be approved by anybody.

The conversation:

Where are you from?
Inkhel
What do you want? (her father tell her Freedom)
Freedom
Are you willing to become a martyr for it (are you willing to die for it)
YES!!!!

YESSSSSSSSSS, why not her fucked up father and the camera man go and die??????

April 1st, 2011, 5:16 pm

 

NK said:

JAD

What I’m getting for the last two posts is, you prefer people stay home if the government is using violence against them, in order to avoid violence ?!!!

April 1st, 2011, 5:29 pm

 

jad said:

NO NK!
I was discussing the use of children in this conflict.
What’s wrong with people today?

April 1st, 2011, 5:32 pm

 

Norman said:

Ziadsoury,
You are not Ziad or Soury,

Yes I do believe that the Syrian people deserve to live under the laws that we have in the US , Do you?, I doubt it .no honor killing, civil laws for marriage and inheritance, I say , Just translate the American constitution and the bill of rights and all the laws, what do you think of that, you anti government supporters do not like the government because the only thing you see is Sunni, Alawi, you have no vision, to think that you have to be Sunni to be in the Majority will never get you anywhere .

Just be honest and admit it . I am sick of all of you .

April 1st, 2011, 5:40 pm

 

ziadsoury said:

Jad,

That is a beautiful girl. Isn’t she?
What do you think her future looks like? Do you think she will get to vote for your kid as a president or do you think she will always live in poverty? After 40 years of Asads, the odds are, she will not have the chance to at all.

How do you know that she was demonstrating and not playing in the streets? Her dad (supposedly) is mad and answering for her.

You are blaming the victim for the crimes of the regime. Why was she shot at in the first place? What kind of the threat to the regime are little girls shouting “Freedom”? Most likely she does not even understand and what she is shouting. Do you think she was one of these people hiding and firing at the security and police?

The crime here is committed by the government. Your anger should be pointed and directed at the regime and their thugs. Not the father who must be very pissed off that his little daughter was shot.

I do not know if you have kids. I do. If someone did attack my kids I will be very angry and I will do and say things I don’t normally do or say.

Did you watch Cairo’s events? The only time there was violence is when Mubarak’s thugs attacked the demonstrators. Otherwise I saw entire families chanting for him to leave.

I do not want any blood shed at all. I want the Syrian army to protect these people instead of shooting at them. These are victims of violence and you should focus your attention on the cause and the people inflicting these massacres.

April 1st, 2011, 5:41 pm

 

NK said:

Dear JAD

You know how we (Syrians) applaud the courage of Young Palestinian kids throwing rocks at Israeli tanks ? are you calling the parents of those kids “fucked up” ? maybe it’s ok for Palestinian kids to want their freedom and dignity but not Syrian kids.

Teaching your kids that freedom and dignity are things worth dying for is admirable. I’m glad some Syrians still teach there children not to be genuflected cowards. (note he’s not giving her a gun and telling her to go fight).

April 1st, 2011, 5:46 pm

 

Falesteeni said:

what were you doing in Saudi arabia?and how old are you Mr joshua landis?you don’t know me but I have a long file ABOUT YOU, INDEED!

April 1st, 2011, 5:48 pm

 

jad said:

Ziadsoruy
You keep going around all my questions without answering any of them and you are trying hard to avoid my valid point that children shouldn’t get involved or used in this conflict and in any dangerous conflict by anybody even their parents and no parent under any circumstances will ask their kids to die. (May Allah-God protect everybody’s kids from any harm)

Therefore, I’m going to be smart enough and not continue discussing with you anything at the moment, just out of respect to myself, to you and to all of the guys on here.
Have a nice day.

NK,
Asking your kids to die is WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!
You all guys are educated and probably family men, you should be ashamed of yourself supporting the death of children.
Why don’t you go back to Syria and use your own children instead of being thousands miles aways supporting the death of other Syrians’ kids..

April 1st, 2011, 5:59 pm

 

NK said:

JAD

I’m not asking anyone to die, I’m against anyone dying, don’t misinterpret what I wrote.
Why are those kids dying/getting hurt ? is there a civil war in Syria ? NO, is it that unsafe to go out in Syria ? NO. No one should be getting shot/hurt, as Ziad said you’re blaming the victim and that’s messed up (with all due respect).

April 1st, 2011, 6:10 pm

 

nafdik said:

Jad,

Your comments remind of Israeli clips on MEMRI that try to prove that Palestinians are fucked up because they teach their children about their history and how they have to fight for their rights.

While I agree with you that I personally would not let my children be in dangerous situations until they are old enough to make a really independent decision, I think that the party that should be really condemned is the one who is actually killing children with their bullets.

April 1st, 2011, 6:10 pm

 

ziadsoury said:

Dear Norman,

I am from Syria and love Syria. On multiple occasions you have tried to discredit me when I am just debating the issue. Yes I am against the Syrian regime as it stands. This is the second time you try to question my authenticity and love for the country. I have not and never will questions yours. To me, our diversity is what makes us strong.

How do you know I am Sunni? You just assumed that? Have I ever brought religion into my discussions? You have.

All of these questions you just asked, I have answered before. I even told you I would add freedom from religion to the American Constitution.

Just because I advocate change in Syria and can present a different point of view, it does not I am Anti Syria or hate Alawi. I want every Syrian to have the chance to get there and be somebody.

In the 50’s and early 60’ Syria had private banks and accredited private universities; accredited and great public universities; a Christian prime minister; a good economy; very little poverty; women had more rights and freedom; political freedom; and a middle class. How do we compare now? We have private banks; unaccredited private universities; lousy public universities; a controlled economy; no middle class; women almost have no rights because of religion zealots; no freedom of any kind; and no middle class.

We had the same enemy as we do now. Israel is still around and has taken more land from us. Actually, Israel has become a mini superpower while we are powerless to do anything against them. Don’t you think it is insulting for every Syrian that Israel can come and bomb us anytime they want and we don’t respond to them? Not even a single bullet across the Golan.
The regime’s main focus is to prevent our people from getting stronger and become independent.

You should question the intent of these people. They are the ones doing the damage to our great country.

April 1st, 2011, 6:16 pm

 

why-discuss said:

My friend’s family who live in Deraa is going back there. I guess there is no more danger and the city is not encircled.

Watching BBC or Arabiya it sounds that the world war II is happening in Deraa and Douma.. The credibility of these TV and others as well as the syrian human rights group reporting erroneous infomation are seriously damaged

April 1st, 2011, 6:23 pm

 

Shai said:

Hi Zenobia!

You may be right. But I’m quite sure the Arab Street shook Israel’s centers of power no less than it did the Arab World’s, and it is forcing a reassessment of who’s friend and who’s not. Of course Assad isn’t deemed “friend” in Israel, but in light of the possibilities (theoretical or not), he may soon be courted by those same Israelis who up-until-now bought into GWB’s famous “Axis-of-Evil”.

AIG,

Do I still recommend signing a peace agreement with Assad? Well, of course at this very moment such a question seems irrelevant (Assad probably doesn’t have the time to consider it), but if at some point in the near future stability returns to Syria, then I think both he and Israel will seriously “reconsider” doing business together. For him, an agreement over the Golan will be a demonstration of the “strength and wisdom” of the regime. For us, it’ll be the last major enemy on our border (I still take Syria far more seriously than I do Hezbollah). Even if we discover in a year’s time that the MB rule over Egypt, that they reject the Peace Agreement between us and cease all contact diplomatic and otherwise, I will still think it was worth it to return the Sinai to a dictator three decades ago, and enjoy a cold peace with Egypt until now. The same goes for Syria.

April 1st, 2011, 6:23 pm

 

ziadsoury said:

Jad,

Of course I am not advocating using children in any armed conflict. Actually, I don’t advocate armed conflicts at all. I served in 1973 war and it is something I don’t wish on anyone.

But don’t confuse that with blaming the victim. Again, in today’s Syria, that child potential is very limited. She can not dream to be president. Can she? I would like your answer to that.

April 1st, 2011, 6:27 pm

 

NK said:

why-discuss

Have you read what SANA said about Douma ?
We know how controlled the news in Syria are, so if that’s what SANA reported I’d say what happened in Douma was pretty horrifying.
As for Daraa, Al Jazeera correspondent in Syria said Daraa was besieged, if that was not true the Syrian government would have probably kicked him out (or kidnapped him since a lot of journalists/activists went missing yesterday!!!).

April 1st, 2011, 6:33 pm

 

jad said:

Ziadsoury:
A couple of days ago you were saying how could they ask women and children to participate? Are you kidding me? What is wrong with that? DO Syrian women have the right to express their voices or not? I believe they can and should do it any way they please.

JAD:
And when I refused the using of children by their teacher in shouting anti Assad slogans and send them on the unsafe road I was disgust of the method to use those kids unawarness of the dangers this adult full awarness of what he is putting those kids in. Do you support involving kids in political and military conflicts?
I didn’t say anything about not letting women to be involved intentionaly I’m against of forcing them to be used as means, huge difference between what you accused me of writing and what I ‘realy’ wrote.

Ziadsoury:
I took all of my kids with me to multiple demonstrations.

JAD:
Do you give the permit to your kids’ teacher to take them out in anti-government demonstrations in Syria in these days?
Do you Ziadsoury, the father, support involving kids in political and military conflicts in a country like Syria or any where unsafe in this mad world we live in?
I wrote it before and I repeat it, “I REJECT ALL OF YOU”, whoever you are, whatever your position is and regardless of who you represent, when you support and promote violence.
Is it that difficult for people to understand that someone is truly and deeply is calling for peaceful society in Syria.
JAD
Watch and tell me that this is not a crime against our children and is ethical or can be approved by anybody.
Are you willing to become a martyr for it (are you willing to die for it)
YES!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLhpmdi4wkI&feature=player_embedded

NK:
What I’m getting for the last two posts is, you prefer people stay home if the government is using violence against them, in order to avoid violence ?!!!

JAD:

I was discussing the use of children in this conflict.

Ziadsoury:
(NOT EVEN ONE ANSWER)
Her dad (supposedly) is mad and answering for her.
If someone did attack my kids I will be very angry and I will do and say things I don’t normally do or say.

NK:
I’m glad some Syrians still teach there children not to be genuflected cowards. (note he’s not giving her a gun and telling her to go fight).

JAD:
To Ziad
children shouldn’t get involved or used in this conflict and in any dangerous conflict by anybody even their parents and no parent under any circumstances will ask their kids to die.
To NK,
Asking your kids to die is WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!

NK:
I’m not asking anyone to die, I’m against anyone dying, don’t misinterpret what I wrote. (Refer to your reply to my answer of what you wrote)

Nafdik
Your comments remind of Israeli clips on MEMRI (aka, You hold an Israeli views, aka Zionist).

Ziadsoury:
Of course I am not advocating using children in any armed conflict.
But don’t confuse that with blaming the victim.
——————
In conclusion
JAD:
Keep children out of it.

Everybody else except Nafdik since according to him I hold Israeli’s views:
We won’t and you must blame the government.
——————–

Thank you all for participating in this disturbing exchange.
I’m out for today.
Have a peaceful, safe and great day with your children and loved ones.

April 1st, 2011, 6:42 pm

 

Norman said:

Ziadsoury,

I did not mean that you are not Syrian , you might be as well be Syrian, I meant you are not the above Soury or Ziad, That is all,

I agree with all the problems that you mentioned about Syria,and the need to solve, i just did not see that in the signs that the opposition raised, and i do not think that president Assad is standing in the way of solving these problems, at one of my posts i raised the need to have clear vision of the changes so he can be more convincing to the people around him ,

Again, Evolution not revolution is better for Syria.

April 1st, 2011, 7:03 pm

 

NK said:

Norman

Today is the 1st, the “Committee” is going to finish it’s “task” to draft an anti-terrorism law so they can lift the state of emergency on the 25th.

Since 11 years of no evolution did not convince you that this regime will never implement any reforms, are you willing to change this view when the 25th pass and nothing changes ? how much longer are you willing to wait for the regime to implement simple things like, freedom of the press and releasing of political prisoners ?

I agree with you, evolution is a lot better than revolution, politically, economically and pretty much in every single aspect, but when evolution is never going to happen, what is the alternative ?

April 1st, 2011, 7:36 pm

 

Syria Almighty said:

Lol, yeah, the government is staging fake deaths and fabricating images against itself! As I have been saying, anti-Syrian subhumans will blame the Syrian government for everything, no matter how inane the claims are. Hey, the next time a mosquito bites you, watch out!! The government sent that mosquito!

April 1st, 2011, 9:09 pm

 

Syria Almighty said:

Another video of a staged death, courtesy of the ‘peaceful protesters.’

April 1st, 2011, 9:20 pm

 

NK said:

Syria Almighty

That was not a staged death, and that Anchor is swisting facts to fool people like you.

That video shows demonstrators spilling Cola to help those chocking on tear gas.

Good try though.

On the other hand, have you seen this
http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=2mphedd&s=7

April 1st, 2011, 9:33 pm

 

Norman said:

NK,

Isn’t saving lives worth the wait till the 25Th ,

I am willing to give them 60 days, The more the opposition express their faith in the president the faster the reform .

April 1st, 2011, 10:36 pm

 

Syria Almighty said:

Oh, sure! It’s cola! Like I said, people like you will make up any excuses to lie.

April 1st, 2011, 11:18 pm

 

NK said:

Norman

Of course saving lives of worth it.

In 60 days I’ll welcome you to the ranks of the “Opposition”.lol 😉

Syria Almighty

I don’t have to make up any lies, the video is on youtube, you can check it yourself. By the way they just aired it on CNN, I’ll believe CNN over some wanna-be-news-channel anyday.

P.S keep up the personal attacks, you’re showing a lot of class.

April 1st, 2011, 11:24 pm

 

Norman said:

Nk,
Then wait till the 25TH and i do not think that the president wants to lose me, so i think change is coming.

April 1st, 2011, 11:44 pm

 

Nour said:

Norman, NK:

Bashar is indeed serious about reform and change is coming. I know this for a fact through certain sources. It is not what everyone is imagining. Look, I was as disappointed as the next person with the speech Bashar gave, because of the very high expectations that they set before the speech. However, having had time to digest the speech and getting some information from certain sources, I can understand why Bashar took that position. He cannot afford to show weakness in the face of pressure, as he believes that would encourage outside and inside forces to increase pressure on him to get him to give in on many issues, and that they would attempt to extract one concession after another.

Bashar is not going to do it all with the snap of a finger and it’s impossible for him to do that. I think there were enough protests to push Bashar to pressure the old guard to accept certain reforms, and in that the protesters succeeded. So let’s just relax and see where all this leads, as I think better things are coming to Syria. If reforms don’t happen, I guarantee there will eventually be more protests, as the situation is not forever sustainable. But Bashar does indeed wants to be a pioneer of reform in Syria; he just feels that he has to go about it in an intelligent way. The next few weeks and months will tell a lot.

April 2nd, 2011, 12:06 am

 

Norman said:

Thanks Nour, I agree,

April 2nd, 2011, 12:22 am

 

NK said:

Nour

I would love nothing more than to be proven wrong and to see reform implemented in Syria while Syrians enjoy the same level of stability they enjoyed for years.

As you said the next few days/months will tell 🙂

April 2nd, 2011, 12:41 am

 

Sourieh said:

Hi everyone,

I am very glad to find this page, finally some syrians debating in an academic sphere.

I just need to answer to the Brazilian dude, I hope he reads this. You do not need to justify to anyone your origins, it seems like you are counting the generations in order to deny that you have syrian origins, well to tell you the truth if you want to be Brazilian, BE a Brazilian and dont write Brazilian 3rd generation whatever… if you want to be Syrian then you also have the right to be.. as Renan said: Nation is a daily plebiscite

Furthermore, being syrian, it pains me that we are already being divided on the issue. Personally, as much as I think the goverment has repressed the population over the year, sometimes when I see other nationalities saying “SYRIANS ARE DOGS” then the hell with them I stick to my people and government.

We shouldn’t be bogged down on some youtube videos and who faked deaths and actually died. We all want whats best for Syria, this will reveal itself at each stage. For nown let’s see how the government reacts to some protests (so far not brilliantly), then we will see how events unfold.

In short, when it comes to discussing Syria from “outside”, then I believe I am with all of Syria, government and people (regardless of how much the first corresponds to the latter), then when discussing Syria with syrians, then I am definitely for national unity, however against corruption and inhumane repression. I don’t buy much the western rhetoric of “democracy, freedom” and so on, at the end of the day those are their values that they implemented at their own historical pace and progression. Proof of some values not working, or specifically , the way some values were implemented, Iraq being the perfect example, show us that we should not imitate blindly whatever the west has.

I realize I might get back some harsh comments of ” so you re saying we don’t deserve democracy”. ON the contrary, I believe that not only we deserve them but we can maintain them and mold them into our own values that we recognise.

I amm sorry for the “in short” :p I realize it is not short

One question: are you all in the same uni or know each other?

Thanks

April 2nd, 2011, 8:20 am

 

Love said:

We “the Middle-East”, have always been problematic and we are never good friends with all the other Arabic countries! Why do you think that the 3 greatest Religions descended in the Middle-East???? To correct whom????

April 6th, 2011, 9:18 am