What Will a Post Assad Syria Look Like?

I am a pessimist about Syria’s future because the regime will dig in its heels and fight to the end. 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. All the same, the opposition remains divided and leaderless, which presents great dangers for a post-Assad Syria.

It is hard to see any soft landing for the regime or the people. It is also hard to see how the regime will be brought down short of economic collapse and its inability to pay wages, which would lead to wider social defections and a possible splitting of the military, as happened in Lebanon and Libya. If the military splits, both sides would have ample firepower to do real damage. Large sections of Syria could fall out of state control. Regions not divided by sect could remain fairly quite and stable for a time if there is a unified political leadership to step into the vacuum. Otherwise competing parties will develop militias as happened in Iraq and Lebanon.

No foreign power will feel compelled to step in to protect the people or stop the fighting because no one will be responsible for “losing Syria.” Syria is a political orphan today.

The army has split in Syria once before. This happened in Feb 1954 at the end of Adib Shishakli’s rule. The army divided along geographic lines. The divisions in the North went with the opposition centered on the People’s Party based in Homs and Aleppo. The South stood by Shishakli. Fortunately, General Shishakli decided to leave the country and flew off to Saudi Arabia, helped by the US. He had a change of mind in mid air but the US prevented his return. Washington convinced Lebanon to refuse his jet landing rights. After a brief spell in Arabia, Shishakli migrated to Brazil, where a relative of a Druze man, for whose death Shishakli was responsible, assassinated him.

Syria’s great weakness is it lack of unity. This is why the Assad household has been able to rule for so long. Hafiz al-Assad was able to bring stability to Syria after 20 years of coups and political chaos by reverting to the use of traditional loyalties. He ended Syria’s period as a banana republic by placing his brother in charge of protecting the presidency and using tribal and sectarian loyalties to coup-proof the regime. Alawite faithful were carefully recruited to all the sensitive security positions in the Mukhabarat and military. The Sunni elite was grateful for the stability and was further brought in through the crafty use of graft and patronage. Rami Makhlouf is corrupt, but he is also the fixer for the Sunni merchant class. The way he brought the Sham Holding Company in to the circle of regime loyalists was a classic use of privilege and muscle to glue the elite families of Syria to the regime. They have made millions my accepting an offer that they could not refuse.

The Syrian opposition has always been divided between Arab nationalists, Islamist currents, liberals, and all those who disprove of the regime but are too conservative to take part in active opposition. Then there are the sectarian communities and the Kurds, class divisions, and the urban-rural split, not to mention the traditional rivalry between Damascus and Aleppo. The reason that the Assads have been so successful for so long is largely due to the inability of Syrians to unite around a common platform and national identity. The opposition’s lack of unity does not augur well for a post Assad future, especially as the death toll mounts and the desire for revenge grows.

Sunni Syrians frequently reassure me that Syria is different than Iraq or Lebanon. They insist that Syrians have lived together in harmony throughout most of their history and will not kill each other in the future, as their Lebanese and Iraqi cousins have done. I am less sanguine about such Syrian exceptionalism. I have been wrong enough times to make mentioning this important. The ability of the opposition to keep the protesters on message and away from sectarian slogans has been impressive. It could mean that the younger generation will find unity where their fathers did not. Also, Syrian minorities were certain that they faced massacre in 1946 when the French quit Syria. The French and British archives are filled with such warnings by anxious minority leaders. Minorities were not killed. The Druze and Alawites suffered a painful loss of political autonomy and privilege in their regions, but did not suffer physically. No revenge was taken on them under the banner of being collaborators as happened to the Assyrians in Iraq when some 3,000 were massacred in 1933 following Britain’s withdrawal. Christians were not ethnically cleansed as happened in Turkey when Ataturk won against the Greeks.

As for how Middle East alliances might reshape themselves should Syria implode or become a weak state, the best guide is Patrick Seale’s original masterpiece, “The Struggle for Syria“.  During the 1950s and 1960s, Syria had an extremely weak state and was subject to frequent coups and outside meddling, not unlike Lebanon today. A grand tug-of-war ensued between Iraq and Egypt for control of Syria. It ended after the failed British and Iraq inspired coup of 1956. This signified the last serious attempt to unite Iraq and Syria. Subsequently, the US stepped in to overthrow the Syrian government in 1957. This also failed, but it destabilized Syria enough to open the way for the victory of the pan-Arabists. Syria lurch toward Egypt and the USSR. The formation of the United Arab Republic in January 1958 was the low point of Syrian independence. Only when the Assads took over Syria, did it regain an independent foreign policy that was not subject to the pull of regional actors and machinations of the Superpowers.

Today, the most powerful states in the region are Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. They will fight for dominance in Syria. Iraq is too weak today, but it will be a natural contestant when it establishes state structures on a firmer footing. Kurdistan may find it impossible to resist the lure of Syria’s Kurds who will want to unite with it. Egypt is also likely to remain a minor actor in the geo-strategic tug-of-war until it gets its political and economic feet back under it. Israel will also be fishing in Syria’s troubled waters. Tel Aviv will be most interested in taking out Hizbullah and shepherding Lebanon toward a peace agreement with it.

The wave of refugees that are likely to flow out of Syria will be significant. I have already had three Syrian students call me in the last several days asking for references as they apply for refugee status here in the States. This is but a foretaste of the refugee problem that will develop should the regime actually give way .

Many journalists have asked me to paint a happy outcome of the present instability. I have struggled to come up with a non-violent scenario, but don’t arrive at one easily. Perhaps that is due to my years living in Lebanon? Several businessmen have suggested that they are prepared for Syria to go through six months or a year of turmoil and even civil war to “get rid of this group.” Instability could be that short, but I doubt it will be. Syrians have learned to live with each other and are deeply nationalistic, but instability brings out sectarian loyalties. Everyone in Syria is trying not to talk about religion today, but many fear that sectarianism will  become ever more important as insecurity grows.

Comments (614)

Majhool said:

Professor Landis.

This was a very good and balanced analysis.

One thing i am still stuck on, which is your hypothesis of “sunni elite families”

I invite you to share with us more in-depth review of these families and their influence in mobilizing supporters.

I will tell you a fact. A family friend ( one the top 10 richest people in Syria) has fled his town to Damascus and he is surrounded by bodyguards. His extended family despise him, and to be frank aside from his immediate family members, he does not have any influence on anybody.

I am afraid that the issue is simpler than what you are presenting. Affluent city people are risk intolerant. They are not willing to risk their livelihood, assets and lives to anything or anyone.

Yes there are some big shot merchants who are now paying to support Gov security forces ( food and pocket money) but that’s about it. they don’t constitute a community at large.

May 12th, 2011, 6:23 pm



Dr. Landis,

I disagree when you say:

¨The reason that the Assads have been so successful for so long is largely due to the inability of Syrians to unite around a common platform and national identity. The oppositions lack of unity does not augur well for a post Assad future, especially as the death toll mounts and the desire for revenge grows.¨

The reason why there has been no sucessfull opposition is because this has been sistematically destroyed, imprisoned, feared when not tortured. Civil society was destroyed from its deep roots by the regime. The President has the choice of leading the country to a civil war to keep power at any cost (with low probabilities of being succesful)or simply open doors to free elections. He is responsible for the destruction of free and consistent oposition. Now he can amend the situation by accepting reality and create a new Syria. He can lead the change by anouncing his resignation and dismantling the apparatus. If he does not want or cannot do so then he is responsible for things to come. Neibourghing and US backed regimes like Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan or even Irak can help stability in Syria. All of them with minorities living in. What happened in Irak is well known that was due to extremely sudden violent change from Bush from one side and Iran and Syria intervention from the other. In Syria, the main movement is from the people to the people. So, no need to be so pesimistic.

May 12th, 2011, 6:27 pm


News roundup — May 12 — War in Context said:

[…] What will a post-Assad Syria look like? […]

May 12th, 2011, 6:30 pm


Hussam B said:

If you look at Homs, the different sects understand and believe in the identity of one, people of Homs. Yes, the majority of those on ground are from outskirts, but people view the siege and attacks as being on the entity of “homs”. Are people scared, yes. Also alot of prominent families havent thrown their weight in..yet..and thus a leadership vacuum. But considering the current situation on the ground of assasination, torture, and isolation of leadership/activists, etc… the people are aware of this. People are saying the regime wealth pilfered over the years was reinvested in the last 5yrs locally; knowing the difficulty Bashar has faced with finding outside investment (rightly so, everyone knows the great risks investing with this regime). The regime is going to be big $$ losers in the months ahead.

May 12th, 2011, 6:31 pm


Shami said:

The druze and ismaili communities dont know this paranoia ,it’s only known by the alawites who took part to mass massacres against Syrians and this is understandable.
As for our wonderful christian community ,it’s the first time in Syrian history that their influence and demographic importance have dramatically declined .So we can say tha’s Asad regime who nearly anhilated christianity in Syria.
An example :they are today less than 5 %(according to the syrian churches and a recent study ) may be 3 % from 12-15% before Asad took power.
In Aleppo and in Al Jazeera ,they were arround 20-25% today they are arround 5 % in Aleppo.A city like tell tamer which was a christian city few years ago is now a kurdish city in which the christians are a minority.
As for the extremist sectarians ,they are marginal among the Sunnis and christians(especially the roum orthodox) who share a 14 centuries long coexistance.
The most extremist sectarians are found among the alawites.
It’s not because they drink alcohol and their women are unveiled that they are not sectarians.
The smart and integrated alawites who dont share this paranoid mentality ,are fought by Asad family and put in jail.
Also ,the catholic church in Europe is struggling against islamophobic clerics exported from Syria and Lebanon ,they work with pro zionist evangelists and tell the europeans that Islam and Democracy are not compatible and they spread islamophobism in Europe in order to scare the european from their muslim co-nationals .Unfortunately many are refugees from syria who told the european authorities that they were persecuted by muslims in Syria which is a lie in order to be granted the refugee status and they demonstrate today for Bashar because of their hatred of Islam.

As syrian muslim ,we are the biggest losers of the christian exodus which happened under Asad regime,because they were the neighbors and friends of our grandparents.We will do everything possible to make those who still have an attach to come back in their homeland.

As for extremist Islamism ,it’s a disease in Islam which came as as response against injustice and dictatorship because after the anhilation of the liberal civil society ,the return of democracy will the politicians,islamists and others and the people will discover that the slogans are one thing and the reality is an other.
Democracy helps to rationalize the society .
We are in the begining of this process.

May 12th, 2011, 6:39 pm


Akbar Palace said:

The Fight for Freedom

The reason why there has been no sucessfull opposition is because this has been sistematically destroyed, imprisoned, feared when not tortured.


You have to remember you’re talking to an Arabist academic, which is the best example of a PARADOX I can think of.

So to answer the question posed by Professor Josh:

What Will a Post Assad Syria Look Like?

Is really moot. ANYTHING that is “post-Assad” will be better.

Assuming there WILL be a “post-Assad”. As our long-time Assad- supporting professor stated above, the “…regime will dig in its heels and fight to the end.”.

May 12th, 2011, 6:47 pm


Shami said:

As for extremist Islamism ,it’s a disease in Islam which came as as response against injustice and dictatorship because after the anhilation of the liberal civil society ,the return of democracy will expose the politicians,islamists and others as they really are and then the people will understand that the slogans are one thing and the reality is other.Democracy gives the power of accountability against those who failed.
Democracy helps to rationalize the society .
We are in the begining of this process.

May 12th, 2011, 6:52 pm


Sophia said:

Sadly, this is a honest assessment. There are many parties who would like to see turmoil in Syria and play their nasty games in this turmoil as they did in Lebanon.

Let’s hope it won’t happen.

May 12th, 2011, 7:10 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

you are wasting your time

there will not be a post Syria but a stronger Syria with Pdt Assad – unless he is shot

to the appointed contributor AP #5 : keep on lying … later you are going to believe your own lies ! you will get a great benefit out of this as well as your country i tell you

May 12th, 2011, 7:14 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

Dr Landis with all my respect

i read your comments since several years

i’m sorry to tell you that you don’t and you never did understand the syrian people. Your intellectual apporoach is that of a scholar. You have no empathy with the syrian people and thus you cannot make the joint between history, politics and national feeling regarding Syria as a nation. Maybe you should have one or two more syrian wifes 🙂

May 12th, 2011, 7:22 pm


jad said:

Dr. Landis,
Syrians are hybrid of Lebanese and Iraqis, it’ll be a long sectarian civil war, 2011 is not 1946, then we didn’t have the same criminal bloody and sectarian mentality as today and I can assure you that every Syrian even those who hate the regime and cheering for the revolution today will blame the ‘revolutionists’ for every bad thing might happen to Syria (God forbid!) and no body will remember any of the crimes done by the regime anymore, exactly like Iraq.

It’s not you or me who are going to kill Syrians according to their believes, it’ll be the same gangs who did that in Iraq and Lebanon, they consist from Criminals, radical Salafis/Wahabis, ex security gangs as well as paid militias, exactly like Iraq and Lebanon, nothing more nothing less and whoever think otherwise is naive.

May 12th, 2011, 7:26 pm


Shami said:

Dracula,the dismissal of a brutal dictatorships is an historical certainty.
Asad family and cronies will pay for the killing of many thousands of Syrians add to that ,the crimes of economic nature.

May 12th, 2011, 7:27 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

to #11 fake Shami

Syria’s regime is not a dictatorship

May 12th, 2011, 7:32 pm


Shami said:

Jad,these crazy extremist islamists are not more than 1% of the muslims,those are product of a failed arab modernity.
Dont use this bad excuse used among others by the israelis in order to oppress the masses.

May 12th, 2011, 7:33 pm


Shami said:

Dracula:Syria’s regime is not a dictatorship

In the name of your dignity ,such people doesnt deserve a punch in their faces ?

May 12th, 2011, 7:39 pm


jad said:

It’s not an excuse, it’s reality, even Radwan Ziadeh agree that when any authoritarian regime fell the next phase is civil sectarian war.
1% is enough to destroy the whole society when it has arms, ideology and financial support.
Do you think Iraqis professors, thinkers, engineers, doctors, artists etc, are the ones who did that to their country.
Be realistic! when you don’t have order of law criminals rules and every element of the society will go crazy in the lovely region of ours.

May 12th, 2011, 7:44 pm


Off the Wall said:


That was a very sobering article. A mix of good and bad news. The good news was the feeling I got as I was reading your article that the days/months of the Asad Dynasty are numbered. I think you, like many of us have come to the point when we had to face it. This is an irredeemable junta. It can enact no reform, nor can it oversee reforms. The bad news is that the opposition is neither unified, except in reaching the same realization that this is a regime that can not and should not be given the opportunity to survive, nor s that opposition coordinated as most of its natural leaders either languish the regime’s dungeons or are outside the country and I am not talking about poeple like Khaddam, I am talking about people like Zyadeh, Al-Abdallah, Fida Sayed, Ammar, and others of that generation.

That said, I also find myself drawn to comment on Majhool’s question. When you mentioned Syria after independence, you overlooked the fact that there was a political life during the occupation. There was a parliament, prime ministers, and political blocks that were unified in a single national block that forced the independence on the reluctant french. This block was led by the elite including sunni families in partnership with the elites from other groups in the country. I have, on many occasion berated these families, but when push comes to shove, their contributions, and vision of a modern Syria, despite of their semi-feudal nature, must be recognized. Again, I believe our dear Shami, and others would agree with me in saying that there was a deliberate destruction of our historical memory for 50 years, and my generation has no real knowledge of the real fathers of Syria, and no memory of how they brought all these differing groups into one entity. I suspect that the younger generation is even further removed from such historical memory albeit highly accustomed to a Syrian national sentiment.

The conditions that led to the maintenance of post-independence Syria as a unified geo-political entity do not exist, thanks to the Asad hopefully short-lived dynasty. What is worst is the emergence of neo-rich-elites in the country. While the former elite was industrious, and land owners, they also emphasized a culture of modernity and moderate liberalism along with a decent understanding of meritocracy which allowed many to climb up to middle class status through education during the early post-independence years. Many more did so during the early years of the Ba’ath rule, but in recent years, the opposite has been happening and the only thing that is sustaining middle class now is expatriate money, especially from the Gulf.

The new elite is a predatory ignorant elite and it is apolitical in the sense that it has no political program except the survival of the regime and its alliance with the centers of power in the regime. Its business plan is a simple hit and run plan and many investors have complained about the lack of ethics and vision when they were forced to partner with some of its members. We know that this elite deals in everything including drugs. If the regime falls they fall with it. They are very much like the illegitimate parasitic regime that gave this elite its illegitimate birth. They are incapable of unifying a country, but they are capable, as Majhool highlighted of financing the fascist arm of the Asad anarchic monarchy.

So where does that leave us. I am afraid we have to wait until tomorrow to decide. You have alluded to the emergence of resistance spirit, and I fully concur with that but tomorrow is a test of the intensity of that spirit. Let us see what happens.

May 12th, 2011, 7:46 pm


Louai said:

Dear Shami

can you please provide your source of the recent study about the percentage of Christian Syrian before you drop more than one million christian from your calculation?

last time i checked they were 10% and not 5% as you wrote


thank you in advance

May 12th, 2011, 7:53 pm


cmr said:

This crisis in Syria is deeply dividing people and creating long-lasting scars already. A quick look at your facebook account will say a lot about how even the most educated pals are splitting along religious lines. I am afraid to say that most people who disagree with J Landis’ excellent analysis are likely to be Sunni, such is the division in Syrian society today, which is quite sad really (of course there will be some exceptions). I come from a Syrian minority and while I completely am disgusted with the regime and its brutal treatment of the protesters, I have significant fears from a post-Assad era. We will be fooling ourselves to suggest Syria is an exception and is not like Iraq or Lebanon, as the evidence is already showing otherwise. No doubt people have grievances and legitimate demands, but it is obvious that the main motivator to people on the streets is their religious feelings and religious grievances. Only when you see Christians, Ismailies and Alawites in large numbers mobilising against the regime, only when you see women and children taking to the streets along with their men, only then you could say the revolution is in the name of all Syrians.

May 12th, 2011, 7:58 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:

to not shami #14

no sir he don’t

Assad IS the revolution and the syrian poeple want this revolution because it is making the country go forward

May 12th, 2011, 7:59 pm


EHSANI2 said:

Dr. Landis,

You said:

“Kurdistan may find it impossible to resist the lure of Syria’s Kurds who will want to unite with it.”

As you know, the Kurdish dominated region of Syria today contains her oil, water and agriculture. Were the Kurds to split away, the rest of Syria will not be able to survive. Of all the future risks that Syria faces, a potential Kurdish control of the country’s natural resources is arguably the most important national security that will face the country going forward.

May 12th, 2011, 8:00 pm


jad said:

Dearest OTW,
You asked about tomorrow, here you go the plan for Altal, they are preparing for a bloody Friday against the regime according to this guy:

شباب انا ساكن بالتل وفي اخبار اكيده انو ناويين يعملو بكره يوم الجمعه الداميه والخبر هاد اكدلي ياه اكتر من واحد هون حتى انن ضربو مختار التل لان حاطط صوره السيد الرئيس والي صاير هون هو:رجلين من السعوديه(التل نصها للسعوديه)عم يوزعو مصاري وسلاح عالمخربين وعم يقلولن نحنا دفعنالكن مصاري من زمان وما شفنا دم وهلق لازم نشوفو والا رح نبعتلكن تنانير لان انتو نسوان مو رجال……وللعلم عضو مجلس الشعب السوري من بيت الحبشي(انتبهو مو حبش ) هارب من العداله لانه مسؤول عن توزيع السلاح بالتل وكمان للعلم تم القاء القبض على تلات قناصين في بنايه مقابل بنايتنا

May 12th, 2011, 8:10 pm


Abughassan said:

A was alarmed to read Joshua’s article and more alarmed to read some of the responses. There can not be peace without forgiveness. Low level security and army officers did what they were ordered to do and they should not receive the same treatment as those big shot leaders who corrupted the country and oppressed its people. Joshua will be right if revenge dominates the thinking of syrians who may not be ready yet for a true democracy. The biggest threat to Syria is fundamental Muslims who are fully willing to use violence to reach power and if they succeed we might as well expect a mass exodus of many syrians out of the country they lived in and loved.
Dictatorship is bad but MB is far worse. Mark my words.

May 12th, 2011, 8:11 pm


Kudsi said:

Very true.
Elite are so far and they did not join the revolution.
They are afraid of losing what they gathered since 1963.

Makhlouf did a smart move and tagged all the elite either they wanted or they did not. Now they are left with no choice….

Especially now when Syrian are lost and don’t know where they stand !
We gave Turkey Eskandaroun …. and Now looks like from the last article in Times , we are working hard for Israel stability ….

May 12th, 2011, 8:17 pm


Shami said:


Those are the official numbers ,all scholars who study Syria know that they are obsoletes ,they remained because no demographic studies according to religious criteria were requested by the government.

Here is an interview with Samir Nassar,the Maronite Archbishop of Damascus:

Q : Revenons à la Syrie. Quel est le pourcentage de chrétiens sur la population totale ?
Mgr Nassar : Officiellement de 8% à 10 %, certains disent entre 4% et 5 %. Nous constituons une minorité, soit environ 1 million sur une population de 21 millions.


May 12th, 2011, 8:25 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Thanks a lot Joshua;
I think you are more pessimistic than you should,but I want to remind everyone that throughout the history syria was not one country,we had a period that Syria was ten countries,Decapolis.this was when syria was weak and passed through turmoil time. Syria was united through Islam, it was united again at the time of Nour Zenki and Salah eldine Ayyoubi,and later at the Ottoman empire, the feeling of unity prevail in the period post independence.
Even if Syria split it will no longer be ten states,at the most it will be three states,they will unite again,,there will be north , south and east,there will not be borders between them,people will be free to move from one section to the other.
no state can survive alone,because the economy,the East will be very poor,the weakness of the seperate state will invite enemy to take it over, and Halab will not survive the ambition of Turkey.

Splitting means,that the people who are not from Damascus originally will have to leave Damascus, this will cause a lot of pain to many Syrians.
Splitting is just like divorce the people who go through it will regret this division,and the next generation will suffer

The only splitting is in the mind of Assad family, Alawite can not survive in the mountain, the coast is sunni,

The strong sectarian mind of Assad Alawite,gave strong control to his clan,this cause the hatred against Assad Alawite,and this is the sectarian talk nowaday.
I agree that the economy deterioration is dangerous,and will destroy the Assad dynasty,but the Assad family accumilated huge amount of money,if returned to the people,will improve the economy tremendously.
Shishakly left,at that time he arranged for a plan ,with his friends(officers)to return after a short period,Assad will leave too, he is not a smart person ,he is not a leader, he inherited his father, and just like what happened in Lebanon , when foreign threat get high, he will withdraw.

May 12th, 2011, 8:26 pm


Off the Wall said:

True democracy is never born mature. It is raised organically in in painstaking deliberately and by a committed generation. I do agree with you fully that revenge is not what one should think of. But how can you build a system if you do not hold people accountable for their actions. It has been established as international norm saying I was ordered to do so is not an acceptable legal defense. The further the junta sink in Syrian blood, the harder they will make a National reconciliation a possibility. This is also one of their plan is to get as many in the army as possible complicit in their crime against the Syrian people, which makes them even not only ordered soldiers, but moreso, soldiers who have a survival need that matches that of the regime.

The more one peals a layer of this regime’s crimes the worst it gets. And I have not even started talking about their crime against the minds. But it seems from Joshua’s sobering article that the Syrian people are pealing the layers of lies on their own and finding, on their own, the extent of the malice and contempt these few gangsters, and their mouthpieces parroting their lies have for the country.

No to revenge, Yes to the rule of law and to Justice. I believe that before anything, the fist decree a post second independence government should enact, should be abolishing the death penalty.

May 12th, 2011, 8:27 pm


Nour said:

This doom and gloom scenario has been predicted for Syria before, but it is unrealistic, because it depends on a series of assumptions that all have to materialize. Syria is not going to splinter and the regime is not going to be toppled. Moreover, while the economy may suffer a little in the beginning it will do well enough to allow Syria to survive and there won’t be much of a difference felt by he average Syrian. The idea that the economy could completely collapse and the country will go bankrupt is totally delusional. Most importantly, a critical assumption being made is that President Bashar al Assad will not move forward with the promised reforms, which I think he will. And when that happens Syria will come out of this stronger and much more stable in the face of foreign threats.

May 12th, 2011, 8:32 pm


Shami said:

Dear OTW ,i fully agree with you.
You said my thought !

May 12th, 2011, 8:36 pm


Sophia said:

I see in the Syrian uprising and the way it was initiated, publicized and promoted, a neocon revival. It is their trademark to plant chaos and divide the ME, all for the profit of Israel.

But rest assured, nobody will escape the chaos, neither Turkey, nor Israel.

Turkey will be next as Erdogan is considered by the neocons as an irritant.

And when all the ME will be divided along sectarian lines, the fall of Israel will come at the hand of its own extremists. When the intolerance become general, Israel extremists will turn against their own fellow citizen (and Israeli society is way ahead in its intolerance).

Those who dug a hole for Iraqis and Lebanese and who are now digging a hole for Syria will fall into the same hole.

May 12th, 2011, 8:37 pm


Sophia said:


I am inclined to be pessimistic but your comment is welcome and I hope the scenario you are talking about is the one that will eventually materialize.

May 12th, 2011, 8:40 pm


Off The Wall said:

Dearest Jad
I know the tone and language. Sounds like a Syrian TV confession. it Lost credibility with me long time ago, and I am really surprised you are citing it but you would not hesitate to question a post from others citing similar material from the opposite side. I have friends from Tall, and yes, Tall is one of the cities built largely by money from expats in the gulf.

Reading this little snippet, It seems to me that the regime has a bloody plan for Tall tomorrow, not the other way around. The guy forgot to mention the Talli air-force contingent, or was it Helicopters.

By the way, did it occur to anyone when seeing some photos from Daraa that many of the houses, also built by expats in the gulf are nice while the public infrastructure like roads, sidewalks, and other facilities was in dire disrepair. No wonder. Yes let the Asads build more hotel so that the Glamorous family can have drop-by five star dinners with hollywood actors and actresses who have 100 times more humanity than their host, but spend nothing on the infrastructure in these little god forsaken towns, except when one needs tools to pull the nails of children.

May 12th, 2011, 8:43 pm


why-discuss said:

I agree partially with the analysis because it does not take into consideration the political context and the cards Bashar and his regime still have in their hands.
Most analysts and journalists keep repeating the same mantra: The “inevitable” collapse of the economy after the crackdown. They believe that the sanctions will cripple the economy and the regime will fall by itself because of social unrests. Most analysts express what they don’t want, but none come with what they want. It is only in vague terms: democracy, freedom, some even consider splitting the country and the absorption by neighbors.
No one, including the opposition, has any clear vision on how this country with all its contradictions can be managed in the short or medium term.
Joshuas’s description of the issues of unity, nationalism is, in my view, not as important as the geopolitical context and the basic need of Syrians: In majority they wants stability, freedom to complain but most of all they want a more balance in the repartition of wealth.
If the regime is able to provide that, then I am not sure this regime is doomed in the short term.
On the political arena, contrary to Mobarak and Kaddafi who had submitted to the diktat of the US and therefore had no political leverage, Bashar’s warm relation with Iran and Russia and the Resistance gives him a very strong political leverage. He is acting as a buffer between Iran and the Arab world.
Russia and Iran wants more presence in the Mediteranean sea and if Bashar plays that card they will have it to the displease of the US and Israel.
Egypt may become sooner than we think a strong ally in the resistance block ( Iran-Syria-Egypt), just read this

On the economy , Syria can get financial support from Saudi Arabia most massively than before. Saudi Arabia has been grateful to Syria not to have criticized the intervention of the Saudi army in Bahrain, contrary to Iraq. They are very resentful to the US who did not save Mobarak and they worry that if Bashar goes, they’ll be next. In addition without Bashar, they have no buffer with Iran and Iraq. The Syrian made sure they only blamed the Salafist, never the Wahhabis.

Bashar has much more tricks in his pocket to counter the pressures the EU and US will try to overthrow him.

May 12th, 2011, 8:50 pm


Abughassan said:

I have to confess that I do not believe that Syrians are more mature or civilized than Iraqis or Lebanese. The only advantage is the lack of foreign intervention,so far, and the success of the army,again so far,to stay as a cohesive unit. The failure in Libya and Iraq may help Syria also because it serves as a strong reminder of what not to do to destroy a country. Bashar does not have a lot of time and he is well advised to move quickly as soon as there is relative stability. This is why I have been praying in multiple languages that our fellow Syrians stop using violence,and this includes security forces. An immediate release of political prisoners and non violent protestors is needed NOW and not tomorrow,and the strong language used by official and semi official media against neighboring countries need to stop. The interview given by Rami was a PR disaster and did not help the situation. If he spoke without permission from Bashar that is a problem but if he was told what to say that is a disaster.

May 12th, 2011, 8:50 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

You are wrong, just like you were wrong before, I remember ,it was thursday,you said there will not be demonsrtrations tomorrow,and you were wrong,there was huge demonstration on friday,you need to learn that hope and optimism,is not reality.

May 12th, 2011, 8:51 pm


Off the Wall said:

You, sir, are a mundass. Welcome to the club.

May 12th, 2011, 8:54 pm


why-discuss said:


You were wrong too. All analysts are unanimous: Bashar will not be overthrown in the short term, eventually in the future, but no one can say when. Can you?
So you’ll have to live with him for a while.

May 12th, 2011, 8:59 pm


why-discuss said:


“By the way, did it occur to anyone when seeing some photos from Daraa that many of the houses, also built by expats in the gulf are nice while the public infrastructure like roads, sidewalks, and other facilities was in dire disrepair.”

Are you one of the generous syrian expats who fixes roads and sidewalks instead of building a swimming pool in your villa?

May 12th, 2011, 9:07 pm


Off the Wall said:

No, I do not own a house in Syria. If I do not plan on living there, I see no reason to make houses more expensive for Syrians by throwing money and holding a house hostage. go back to my earlier posts in 2008. I in fact raised a question to Ehsani and Qifanabki about expats parking their monies in empty homes in Syria and Lebanon and making homes hardly affordable for those living there. Find me a good industrial well-managed investment in free syria (with no RM getting a cut), and I will put all my savings, little as they are, into it.

May 12th, 2011, 9:09 pm


Abughassan said:

The mundaseen club is getting bigger since most Syrians seem to be willing to believe the truth 🙂

May 12th, 2011, 9:15 pm


why-discuss said:


Lebanese and Syrian mountains are full of those. The property taxes are almost unexistant. Instead of investing in improving the economy of the town or the village, these expats build these ridiculous and ugly palaces. These are regular citizens, not even remotely connected to the regime!
Unfortunately this mentality is all over the ME: selfishness and show off your successes..
What Syria needs first is a efficient Taxation system, not a revolution!

May 12th, 2011, 9:20 pm


Off the Wall said:

Agree on the need for taxation system, but a corrupt regime can not enact and/or enforce such system.

Also agree on how vulgar and unproductive this ME habit is. It is primarily due to the lack of well planned investment strategy and lack of vision on the side of the Arab regimes in terms of providing environment for good investment. Parking money in real estate seems the least hazardous investment unless some influential fella decides he likes your villa for a discount price, which happened at least to a couple of expats I know of.

As for revolution, i am really sorry, it is not my call. I am as powerless in this issue as anyone here. I do honestly prefer a peaceful transition, and I am sure the Syrian people are hoping and praying for such, as I do, but it takes two to tango. So far, they ask for a dance, and they get a boxing match or a bar brawl.

May 12th, 2011, 9:34 pm


jad said:

I like to surprise you.
We both know that tomorrow is going to be bloody and lives will be wasted with or without my post, but thanks you for being nice.

I agree with you that the security should be out of the street to let peaceful protesters to move and reforms must be implemented NOW.
Violence is not the answer.

May 12th, 2011, 9:35 pm


Norman said:

Thanks Dr landis,

Looking at what is going on in Syria , I see history repeating itself, i see what i saw in the seventies and we know where we are today, I hope president Bashar Assad has more foresight than his father, at least i hope he learned from history, yes if violence continue, then Syria is distend to break up along sectarian and ethnic lines, but i think that Syria has a way out and a soft landing and that is for cool heads to think more of the country than of themselves, The way i see it is for the president and the government to move forward with reform by announcing a multi party system and elections within 6 months for the parliament, I would like that being done in districts with people elected from these districts to the parliament, the parties will nominate their choice for each district, If the opposition cool heads rise to the occasion and call for working together to reach that goal then Syria is saved, outside pressure on the opposition to accept the reform road map is essential, they have to feel that not accepting will make them lose all support, The goal is reform and a soft landing for a democratic change not to start a civil war, The question is, will the opposition go for that or take a risk of a civil war,claiming the Syrians are different.

If president Assad announces that he will not be running in the next presidential election, then i see no reason whatsoever except revenge if the opposition does not agree to the plan, even though i like president Assad and i think that the people should be the ones who put limits on the political lives of the presidents, but term limits of two terms is probably the best way for Syria .

The Army united and out of control of the political parties will be the safeguards of future peaceful transfer of power between parties and protecting minority rights if need be ,

If violence continue, The minorities of Syria might as well move West and leave that haunted land, there is no future there,
I figured that more than 30 years ago .

May 12th, 2011, 9:38 pm


Abughassan said:

There is no way to reform Syria with the likes of Rami and top security chiefs being the actual decision makers in the country. The way the regime deals with economic corruption may direct events in the near future.

May 12th, 2011, 9:49 pm


Alex said:


The west will not take 6 million Syrian minorities.


A possibility, but even Lebanon did not split during its civil war that lasted for decades … 250,000 dead, but the country remained united. but of course Lebanon had a Hafez Assad who knew that he must interfere no matter what the cost.

I agree with Noor nad W-D … Syria did not play any of its cards yet. We are far from that sad ending… except if the west (or some right wing strategists in the west) want to (conspiracy theory alert) get the Sunnis and Shia to kill each other.

Remember dual containment? … get Iran and Iraq to fight each other so that neither one is strong enough. Over a million died thanks to that smart strategy.


Good thing to remember for those who are repulsed by the brutality of the Syrian regime ….

May 12th, 2011, 9:51 pm


why-discuss said:


If the opposition is calling for demonstrations, I think it is acting totally irresponsibly and making it loose even more credibility among the majority of sane Syrians. Didn’t they understand that nothing can happen to stop the bulldozer of repression? They have failed to bring more people, they can’t go further by continuous provocations, it’s a deadlock. Instead of reflecting on that and finding a new strategy, they are sending the people to a useless death. They are the one saying ‘If we can’t win, we will make sure that we all loose’.

May 12th, 2011, 9:53 pm


Off The Wall said:

Dearest Jad
I will be nothing but nice to you.
I really, and honestly do not know whether tomorrow is going to be a bloody day. I pray (as figuratively as an irreligious person can) that it is not. The counter-argument was not meant as a prediction as much as a simple demonstration of another, equally likely interpretation.

May 12th, 2011, 9:58 pm


Alex said:


I just posted a collection of clips from the admin(s) of the revolution facebook page that show what you can expect:


May 12th, 2011, 9:59 pm


Gus said:

The French tried to divide Syria along sectarian and regional areas and they failed, the syrian identity is more mature now than 90 years ago.
The syrians are now mobilized and they are more and more supporting the government and I believe many people will be surprised

May 12th, 2011, 10:01 pm


Norman said:

If the opposition reach power by force, The fanatics will be in power and i do not see any chance for the Minorities, Alawat, shia, christians and Druz that they will accept that so either a civil war or a migration, I can tell you that most my relatives have citizen ships in Canada, and the rest have children born in the US, so i expect a massive migration .

May 12th, 2011, 10:06 pm


Off the Wall said:

Dear Norman

If president Assad announces that he will not be running in the next presidential election, then i see no reason whatsoever except revenge if the opposition does not agree to the plan, even though i like president Assad and i think that the people should be the ones who put limits on the political lives of the presidents, but term limits of two terms is probably the best way for Syria .

Good start Norman, good start. Keep them coming, and really I am not being sarcastic or cynical. Although I am not in full agreement with the entire sentence, or with your next post responding to Alex.

May 12th, 2011, 10:09 pm


why-discuss said:


“If president Assad announces that he will not be running in the next presidential election, then i see no reason whatsoever except revenge if the opposition does not agree to the plan,”

The hardliners of the opposition have declared a personal war against Bashar al Assad, They want a revenge for the humiliation of their failure to convince the majority of Syrians to follow them and their impotence to overthrow him. They want his head, nothing less. So any offer will be totally ignored. They are ready to send to death people with the logic : If we loose, everyone looses with us. It is a kamikaze logic but using naive innocents.

May 12th, 2011, 10:10 pm


Honest Patriot said:

VLAD-THE-SYRIAN @8,9,12,18, you seem to deride Prof. Landis but pray tell what your credentials are? I don’t necessarily mean academic. Curious as to what in your profile qualifies you to be judgmental the way you are and to know better. Enlighten us.
I don’t have a horse in this fight and I don’t have a strong opinion but just observing and learning. All the ideas have some merit… except that in your case I don’t get the validation of what you claim.

May 12th, 2011, 10:11 pm


RamiA said:

If Dr.landis who is considered as an expert on Syria came out with this analysis, then we are doomed.! Such a naive and superficial analysis!

May 12th, 2011, 10:20 pm


Norman said:

Hey, you do not have to agree with me, as expected academics like you always have to have a different opinion so they can deserve their grants, !!!, I just have to get more votes than you in the new Syria, LOL ,

May 12th, 2011, 10:21 pm


why-discuss said:


Thanks for link. I think this guy is a dangerous psycho with a serious personality problem. What is depressing is that there are Syrians, blinded by hatred, who believe that he is doing that for the good of Syria, while he is manipulating them for his own perverse agenda.

May 12th, 2011, 10:22 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The problem now lies with the Alawi community. They fear their personal safety, and the secureness of all Alawi Syrians (I refrain from using the term ‘sect’, which I don’t like).

They are right to be worried. It’s mostly the Alawis who committed the crimes. Or more accurately, the crimes were committed during the period of an Alawi junta in power. They will cling to power as long as they feel that losing it is catastrophic for the whole Alawi community.

Therefor, the Alawi community should be presented with a proposal: Only few of you will have to pay the price for your crimes. The heads of the junta will have to leave. The rest will be pardoned and safe. You will be encouraged to take a part in building the new democratic Syria.

Only assuring the safety of the alawi community can bring an end to this situation, with no bloodshed.

May 12th, 2011, 10:25 pm


edward said:

see, this is the kind of thing that sealed this regime’s fate, the gunning down of women protesters in Banyas, you really can’t get any lower than this. Shame on you Bashar, shame on you, tfooh:


May 12th, 2011, 10:26 pm


Off the Wall said:

Dear Norman
I’ll swallow that. However, If my grants are dependent on political situations, I would have quit the academic job long time ago. Nothing against that, but I prefer grants that have no strings other than getting the job done.

As for election, I have no intention of running for office anywhere, but even if I do, I would not stand a chance against you.

May 12th, 2011, 10:27 pm


why-discuss said:

Amir In Tel Aviv

Keep dreaming…

May 12th, 2011, 10:28 pm


Norman said:

Well done, you overwhelmed me with your kindness, i withdraw.

May 12th, 2011, 10:30 pm


jad said:

This Friday they are calling it the friday of ‘free women’ no wonder they kept the women killed videos until today.
I wrote you before, their ideology is suicidal, (Win or Die) no other choice, besides, none of all those organizers including the psycho Fidaa care much as long as the blood spilled is not of them, their wives or their kids, they are using other Syrians’ blood, which is the cheapest thing for them and for the regime.

May 12th, 2011, 10:47 pm


edward said:

mother and son, gunned down in Daraa:


and it\’s stuff like that which guarantees that when push comes to shove, people will take up arms to remove this regime forcefully, including myself, if it doesn\’t concede to deep changes and reforms.

May 12th, 2011, 10:51 pm


Norman said:

I call to stop posting videos which seems not to contribute to changing the minds of people.

May 12th, 2011, 11:01 pm


daleandersen said:

The fact is, you can control a country with 20% (or even less) of the population committed to keeping the regime in power. In Iran, about 20% can be counted on to provide the muscle when needed.

With Assad, the muscle comes from the Alawi and the Sunni merchant class. So forget about regime change. Ain’t gonna happen.

The protestors will get their butts kicked and scurry back to their computers to commiserate with their virtual supporters. And life will go on…


May 12th, 2011, 11:06 pm


why-discuss said:


I think that Bashar is determined to end this war even if he and the country will be under heavier sanctions.
These sanctions may come as soon as next Monday if the vicious swedish psycho has convinced the men to send their women and children to be slaughtered: An effective impact on the international community to push the escalation of the sanctions.
Even if the army does nothing, the moukhabarat or pro-regime will be accused of the killings while the swedish psycho gangs will be on the roofs sniping to create havock.

May 12th, 2011, 11:07 pm


Col Dan said:


Baniyas looks to be a major target for Friday Prayer Demonstration Suppression!

The events of the past week have knocked Syria down a few notches on the news coverage.

Early this week, I talked to a very good friend who still lives in the Middle East.

He has forgotten more about how the Middle East really works than most ‘book writers’ have ever understood.

As we were talking I asked him a very basic question and I was surprised and frankly concerned by his answer.

I asked him if he thought Assad would stay in power and he said yes!!!!

I must tell you, that was not the answer I thought he would give me and I am still working with him on why he believes that.

The trouble is, I have always trusted in his judgment and I’m struggling with why I can’t agree with him now.

Until he and I finish talking through a few additional details on Syria, I can’t stand behind my prediction Assad will fall, but I want to.

Here may be the issue I have to come to grips with.

The West really doesn’t want him to fail.

The verbal ‘outrage’ against Assad’s actions has been heard, but I fear he is getting a nonverbal message, actions or the lack there of, from the same countries that makes him believe he can press on.

For two weeks now I have read editorials by prominent writers talking to the basic issue of Israel and ‘others’ and a stance of, “better the devil you know then the devil you don’t know”.

Ok, this is where I have a real problem with this theory.

It will be the people of Syria that will spill their blood for the sake of gaining their freedom.

In my humble opinion, if the West does not get behind them, it will not be forgotten.

So, what does ‘get behind them’ mean?

I have talked about the danger of openly supporting the opposition given the ties of Assad to Iran and Iran’s desperate attitude to keeping Syria as its proxy.

Open kinetic weapons support is out of the question, but letting the opposition have a sanctioned ‘safe zone’ in Jordan is not out of the question.

A ‘safe zone’ is a place where ‘leadership’ can exist without the fear of being bombed, shot ect.. ect..

In the cold war, it was called ‘leadership in exile’.

It’s the Syrian Opposition’s version of having a Benghazi.

Is this impossible to do?


Does this need to happen?

Something needs to happen and hear is why.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is going to take the lead with the Syrian resistance and in fact they are already well on their way.

Now, I am not a fool and I realize we could do a Libyan / NATO support mission and in the end the people of Syria will probably go with a semi fundamentalist form of government anyway.

We are close to a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” scenario, but to do nothing is to guarantee failure not only in Syria but in the Middle East.

So, let’s wrap up by going back to the beginning of this post.

I am afraid the West is simply sitting on the sidelines almost wishing the Syrian event will fix itself.

This is sending Assad a message to continue or even increase his tyrannical purge of the protestors.

Syria is not going to end up a stabilized country by the rest of the world watching on TV.

It’s not going to get better by saying “harsh words” every few days on TV.

My friend may be right; Assad may survive, but if he does, events in the Middle East and North Africa, perhaps all of Central Africa, will only get worse.

Iran will have a green light to absolutely crush any glimmer of a ‘Tunisian Virus’ inside Iran.

They will take the offence in Bahrain and in Saudi.

There are no easy answers here, but we are at a turning point.

We can not simply watch events unfold in Syria from the sidelines.

Taking action against UBL was a bold statement that showed the world the US can and will do what it needs to do when it needs to do it.

That mindset may need to be repeated.

May 12th, 2011, 11:08 pm


jad said:

You are right, the neocon signature is allover….

We already saw those same clips twice already on SC, it’s the FREE WOMAN FRIDAY, the theme of today is showing dead women.

Addounia TV today said that today (Friday) we will see lots of clips showing women and children being killed by Syrian army online.
Do you think they even care to send their children and wives to dies, they don’t, for them and for the regime women and children are nothing but numbers, but for Fidaa and Ammar their images can be used..

May 12th, 2011, 11:10 pm


edward said:

A big circle jerk of regime loyalist idiots tonight, a veritable orgy of immorality and self-congratulatory nonsense.

At this point in time, only scum can defend this regime. Get this into your thick skulls, this regime is now over, and you’re over along with it.

May 12th, 2011, 11:19 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Syria has couple huge oil fields that were discovered more than 20 years ago and are still untapped. It was kept a secret by the foreign oil company that discovered it and kept it untapped because it wanted to wait for better time to get more than Hafez was willing to give and stay in control. Beside the fact that Zionist neocons wanted to roll back Syria and expand Israeli boarders toward Lebanon, Damascus as well as the Nile, It is this secret that is behind the mantra pushed this week for setting up a (Libya Styled) conflict in Dier Elzzour area, so that International Involvement can be secured to control the area.

Even Street begging Christians 2000 years ago said this in the Bible: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities in high places”. Alluding to the fact that it was understood even back then, that conspiracy does exist.
Do you know how much Egyptian Pharos, Assyrian, Babylonian Kings many other dynasties of ancient time owned gold and Silver? Do you know how many wives and concubines each successive ruler and its priest class accumulated, do you know how many children they had each, were do you think the descendants of these rulers and priests lives and how many of them living today. When you find out the lineages, learn their new surnames today and account the wealth and global corporate conglomerates they own, you will understand that you are living in one giant conspiracy.

@About Syria- To whom it may concern
You need a better Election and Party Laws email me, will work for free. Because this is not reform, this is New Baathism:
واعتبر الحسين أنّ التوجه الذي يميل إليه شخصياً مع عدد من أعضاء اللجنة هو إعطاء العمال والفلاحين حصة لا تقل عن 50% من أعضاء مجلس الشعب وهذا برأيه “عادل”.
That is in Baathist Hussain opinion, it is grossly unfair. If you want to skew and rig the game, use the Israeli model, where coalition are forced on the little people parties to get into government or bargain among each other to maintain majority. That is what National dialogue and forced interdependence model do, bring diverse political and special interests parties to talk to each other, bargain, make deal and compromise, cooperate to strengthen national interests.

There should be 2 chambers, upper and lower, a Senate and Congress or Parliament, this model works better to preserve the States. It is the Constitution, judiciary and Security apparatus that protect the Presidency and State Institutions, not the Party.

@For those pessimist about Syria
Stop buying the silly Alciada, neocons and oil company salesmen pipedreams and over confidence- If Bashar pushes serious reforms, not child tricks, Syria will be the only country prospering and safe to live in anytime after 2015. One thing you can be assured of, The Moslem Brotherhood will have very limited popularity in Syria. It only appears now to have followers because it is the only organized entity in Syria. Once smart Political Parties laws are passed, they will struggle to keep politically affiliated members, they will be relegated into mosques management when the Political landscape in Syria is full blown. Because Sunni Majority no longer has a single outlet for representation and affiliation, there will be multitude of platforms to participate in. They will not be able to compete with savvy new bread especially if one to run a sophisticated infomercial ad campaign.

May 12th, 2011, 11:21 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Notice how our forum “censor”, Norman, doesn’t want to see the truth because it makes him uncomfortable.

Yes, I saw those dangerous “wahabi” women being gunned-down.

May 12th, 2011, 11:21 pm


Nour said:


You have a habit of misquoting people to try to make a point. Please show me where I ever said there will not be any demonstrations. The only time I predicted anything about a Friday was a few weeks ago when you, along with some others, were predicting that the regime was going to be toppled the next day, and I argued that such an assertion was ridiculous. As for demonstrations being “huge,” I guess that depends on your interpretation of huge.

May 12th, 2011, 11:27 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

You said it
Do not deny it,
you say something,then you say I did not say it,it was after the president first and silly speach.

May 12th, 2011, 11:49 pm


jad said:

مغزى تزامن انفراج حكومة بيروت مع نظام دمشق؟

“في اليومين المنصرمين، في ظلّ تسارع الوقائع العسكرية السورية، استخلص زوّار لبنانيون للعاصمة السورية ممّا يجري فيها الآن المعطيات الآتية:
1 ــ عيّن الأسد لجنة رباعيّة ضمّت نائبي رئيس الجمهورية فاروق الشرع ونجاح العطار ومعاون نائب الرئيس اللواء محمد ناصيف والمستشارة السياسية والإعلامية للرئيس بثينة شعبان، نيط بها فتح حوار مع قوى المعارضة في مطالبها وفي الإصلاحات التي أعلن الأسد وحكومة عادل سفر المضيّ فيها، والإصلاحات الأخرى الملحّة. تألفت اللجنة الجمعة 6 أيار، وعقدت اجتماعها الأول السبت 7 منه ووضعت جدول أعمالها وآلية عملها، ثم عقدت اجتماعاً آخر الاثنين 9 أيار في نطاق خطة فتح حوار وطني مع جميع الأفرقاء، بمن فيهم الإخوان المسلمون، لكن ليس بصفتهم هذه ـــــ كون الأحزاب الدينية محظورة ـــــ وإنما كممثلين للمجتمع المدني والمعارضة السورية.
وتكمن أهمية الحوار مع الإخوان المسلمين في حصوله لأول مرة منذ عام 1982، عندما صفّى النظام تنظيمهم العسكري في حملة ضخمة في 2 شباط 1982، بعد سنتين على صدور القانون 49 في 7 تموز 1980 الذي اعتبر الانتماء إلى الإخوان المسلمين عملاً إجرامياً يعاقب بالإعدام. والتعامل الجديد المتوقع مع هؤلاء، في ضوء الحوادث الأخيرة، بات يتجاوز هذا القانون بغية الخوض في حوار وطني يكون هؤلاء جزءاً منه، لكن الجزء الكبير الآخر هم المنادون بالإصلاح وتمثلهم قوى المعارضة ومنظمات المجتمع المدني.
2 ــ ترتكز المهمة الرئيسية للجنة الرباعية على انفتاحها على كل ما تحتاج إليه سوريا من إصلاح، لكن وفق قاعدة رئيسية أيضاً لم يُظهر الرئيس تساهلاً حيالها، وهي إجراء حوار وطني تحت سقف النظام. لا حوار مع مَن ينادي بتقويضه، إلا أن المناقشات مفتوحة على كل الأفكار التي تحافظ على الاستقرار ولا تضع البلاد في مهبّ الفوضى.
3 ــ تبعاً لما راح يسمعه منه زوّار لبنانيون بارزون في الأيام الأخيرة، يشير معاون نائب رئيس الجمهورية اللواء محمد ناصيف إلى تردّد السفير الأميركي في دمشق روبرت فورد عليه لمناقشة الوضع الداخلي، في صورة لا تعكس تماماً الموقف الإعلامي الأميركي. ويصف العلاقة مع واشنطن، رغم كل ما يُعلن، بأنها ليست سيئة كما يتصوّر البعض نظراً إلى تيقّن الولايات المتحدة من أهمية دور نظام الأسد في المنطقة، والموقع الاستراتيجي لسوريا، ناهيك بدورها في استقرارها. يتحدّث المسؤول السوري الرفيع عن غضب دمشق من الموقف الأوروبي ورأس حربته فرنسا، ولا يرى مبرّراً لتدهور العلاقات الفرنسية ـــــ السورية على نحو ما حصل في الشهرين المنصرمين، وإصرار باريس على فرض عقوبات على سوريا وتأليب المجتمع الأوروبي عليها.
لكن اللواء ناصيف يقول، في معرّض التعليق على ردّ الفعل الفرنسي الحاد حيال الأسد ونظامه في مواجهة الاضطرابات وتجاهل باريس أعمال الشغب والاعتداء على الجيش والمخافر والمنشآت الرسمية، إن الانتداب الفرنسي ولّى: إذا كانت فرنسا تطمع بالنفط الليبي ودخلت في مواجهة مباشرة مع النظام هناك من أجل الحصول على دور في المنطقة، إلا أن سوريا وخياراتها عصيّة عليها.
والواقع أن اللواء ناصيف أدّى دوراً محورياً في قرار القيادة السورية تحديد خيارات مواجهتها السياسية والعسكرية لخصومها. ورغم موقعه السياسي الآن، البعيد من أجهزة الاستخبارات. إلا أنه المسؤول المخضرم الوحيد من القادة الأمنيين النافذين حالياً في أجهزة الاستخبارات العسكرية والعامة الذي خبر تجربة الصراع الدامي مع الإخوان المسلمين، وصولاً إلى تصفية التنظيم في حماه، وكان قد شغل منصب رئيس فرع الأمن الداخلي في الاستخبارات العامة طوال 35 سنة. وبسبب إلمامه، إلى جانب الأسد الأب ثم بعد تقاعده إلى جانب الأسد الابن، بالوضع الداخلي كأحد الملفات المعني بها، إلى الملفّين الأكثر تعقيداً وهما العراق وإيران، كان أحد أصحاب الآراء الرئيسية التي وُضعت في تصرّف الرئيس لتحديد خيارات المواجهة مع اشتعال الشارع وتحديد أولوية الإصلاح أو المواجهة العسكرية في المعالجة، في الردّ على تداخل المناداة بالإصلاح بأعمال الشغب والفوضى والصراع المسلح.
حتى الأسبوعين الأخيرين، كان اللواء ناصيف يقول لزوّاره اللبنانيين إن ما يجري في سوريا دقيق ويقتضي متابعته بحكمة وحزم في آن معاً. لم يقلل من أهمية ما كان يحدث، غير أنه لم يكن مصدر قلقه. في الأيام الأخيرة، راح زوّاره يسمعون منه كلاماً مختلفاً انطوى فيه التقدير الأمني والعسكري مع التقويم السياسي الناجم عن استقبالاته سفراء الدول الكبرى ومتابعتهم ما يحدث في سوريا، ومغزاه أنه صار يشعر بالارتياح أكثر من أي وقت مضى إلى السيطرة على الفوضى التي شهدتها سوريا، مركزاً على استكمال المعالجة بالشقّ السياسي، كما بالشقين الآخرين المتلازمين والضروريّين لاستقرار النظام، وهما العمل العسكري ومن بعده الأمني.”

May 12th, 2011, 11:52 pm


Nour said:


I’m not going to engage in a silly argument with you. If you’re so sure I said what you asserted above then provide the quote. Otherwise, please refrain from putting words in my mouth.

May 13th, 2011, 12:00 am


FreeSoldier said:

The latest post says it all. Even Prof. Landis sees the writing on the wall.
My advice to the Assads: Pack up and leave before it is to late.

May 13th, 2011, 12:01 am


why-discuss said:

An interesting analysis (in french Le Monde) about the delicate position of the Kurds in Syria in the uprising.

Que veulent les Kurdes syriens ?


May 13th, 2011, 12:14 am


NAJIB said:

Mr Landis ,

the regime “will be brought down” by an economic collapse (hard to see how else) and replaced by banana republics. … because the ‘opposition’ is divided.

man, فال الله ولا فالك


May 13th, 2011, 12:22 am


Sophia said:

If I were a Syrian today, however critical of Bashar El Assad and of the Baath party I might be, I would descend in the street in support of the regime.

The so called Syrian revolution is a collection of resentful extremists willing to push the country into the abyss. One cannot be moderate and neutral when the only thing the the other party want is the brutal and sudden fall of the regime, a event that will bring with it the dismantling of the Syrian army and Syrian institutions.

Remember that in 2002, the French woke up to a second round of presidential elections with an extremist, Jean-Marie Le Pen, facing the then incumbent president Jacques Chirac. Even those who hated Chirac voted for him. That year Chirac was elected with an Assad like percentage (more than 70%), something never seen in western democratic countries.

So, unapologetically, if I were a Syrian, I would take to the streets and I would defend the regime, for the time being…

May 13th, 2011, 12:35 am


why-discuss said:


Ambassador Ford said on May 9:

“The American administration is asking Syria to stop [military] aid to Hezbollah immediately and to recognize Lebanon’s sovereignty on its land in line with friendly relations and respect for each country’s sovereignty,” as reported here.

It seems that the Syrian governemnt has just made some pressure on its ally in Lebanon to finalize the setup of the new governemnt in Lebanon this week. This fulfills one of Ambassador Ford’s condition.
Now for the second one.
The latest rumors of possible sanctions on Bashar and the very recent threats from Clinton seems to add pressure on Bashar al Assad to stop military help to Hezbollah.
I believe that Hezbollah is sufficiently armed for Syria to accept that condition and save the regime. But would it?
If it yields, we may see in the next few days that the US is letting Bashar off the hook. If it does not yield then we’ll see the threats of US sanctions growing.
My view is that Bashar will accept the deal. Hezbollah would have to find another route to get weapons from Iran.
Without the US support, the opposition has no leverage at all to change the situation on the ground.

May 13th, 2011, 1:06 am


jad said:

ناشط حقوقي: الاسد أصدر أوامر بعدم إطلاق النار على المتظاهرين

عمان (رويترز) – قال ناشط حقوقي ان الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد أصدر اوامر الي قواته بعدم اطلاق النار على المتظاهرين المطالبين بالديمقراطية قبل ساعات من صلاة الجمعة التي اصبحت بؤرة تجمع للمحتجين في انتفاضة مضى عليها ثمانية اسابيع.

وقال لؤي حسين ان بثينة شعبان مستشارة الرئيس السوري أبلغته في اتصال هاتفي يوم الخميس “انه صدرت أوامر رئاسية حاسمة بعدم اطلاق النار على المتظاهرين وكل من يخالف ذلك يتحمل كامل المسؤولية.”

وكان حسين بين اربع شخصيات معارضة التقت بشعبان هذا الشهر وقدمت مطالب من بينها انهاء القمع العنيف للمحتحين واجراء اصلاح سياسي في البلد الذي تحكمه اسرة الاسد منذ العام 1970 .

وكان ذلك اللقاء الاول بين المعارضة ومسؤولين كبار منذ تفجرت المظاهرات المطالبة بالحرية السياسية ونهاية للفساد في مدينة درعا الجنوبية في 18 مارس اذار.

وقال حسين في بيان أرسله الي رويترز “امل أن يتحقق ذلك (عدم اطلاق النار على المتظاهرين) غدا (الجمعة) ودوما وبالمقابل مازلت ادعو الي سلمية أي شكل من اشكال الاحتجاج مهما كان اداء السلطات الامنية.”

وتتيح ايام الجمعة الفرصة الوحيدة للسوريين للتجمع باعداد كبيرة وهو ما ييسر لهم القيام بمظاهرات. وهذه الجمعة ستكون اختبارا مهما بعد ان قالت الحكومة انها اخمدت الاضطربات الي حد كبير.

وكانت شعبان قد ادلت ببيان مماثل في بداية المظاهرات في مارس. والقت السلطات السورية منذ ذلك الحين بالمسؤولية في العنف على “مجموعات ارهابية مسلحة” يساندها اسلاميون ومحرضون اجانب.

وقالت لجنة الحقوقيين الدولية -ومقرها جنيف- ان القوات السورية قتلت أكثر من 700 شخص واعتقلت الالاف وقصفت مدنا بشكل عشوائي في حملتها العسكرية على الاحتجاجات التي تمثل أكبر تحد لحكم الاسد السلطوي الذي مضى عليها 11 عاما. وتقول الحكومة ان حوالي 100 من جنود الجيش والامن قتلوا في الاضطرابات.

والصحفيون الاجانب ممنوعون من دخول سوريا مما يجعل من الصعب الحصول على تقارير مستقلة.

وانتشرت القوات السورية في بلدات في جنوب البلاد يوم الخميس واحكمت قبضتها على بلدتين اخريين موسعة حملتها قبل الجمعة.


وفي مدينة دير الزور بشمال البلاد، نصبت السلطات السورية كاميرات داخل وخارج أحد المساجد التي تخرج منها مظاهرات بعد صلاة الجمعة.

May 13th, 2011, 1:16 am


jad said:

When baya3 ba6a6a attack a Philosopher:

الشاعر السوري يفضل ثورة “المسارح”
أدونيس.. الأنا المتعالية ودماء السوريين

“لم يفاجئ الشاعر السوري علي أحمد سعيد إسبر (أدونيس) أحدا في موقفه الأخير تجاه الثورة في المدن السورية وقراها على نظامها الاستبدادي، إلا أولئك الواهمين بأن الشاعر الذي تجاوز عتبة الثمانين حرّكته مشاهد الدم المسفوح، لكنه خذل أبناء شعبه في ثورتهم لنيل الحرية، ورفض ثورة تخرج من الجوامع، حسب قوله.

في موقفه الأخير سواء في زاويته بصحيفة الحياة أو في مقابلته في برنامج تلفزيوني، لا يغادر أدونيس مقولاته السابقة من ضرورة إجراء القطيعة التامة بين الدين والسياسة كشرط للنهوض وبناء الدولة الحديثة.

وحتى ذلك الوقت فإن الشاعر يربط انحيازه لحركة الشارع بخروج الجماهير من الساحات العامة والكنائس، ولا ضير لو كانت من المسارح أيضا، لكن خروجها من المساجد -برأيه- أدلجة للدين الذي لا يرفضه بوصفه رصيدا روحيا، فهو أيضا حاجة كيانية يجب ان تحترم، لكنه ضد استغلاله سياسيا وتحويله إلى أداة في الصراع الاجتماعي السياسي.

وإذا كان صاحب “الثابت والمتحول” يرفض الأيدولوجيا ومن ضمنها أدلجة الدين ومعها أيضا ما يسمى الإسلام المعتدل، فإن خطابه ينطوي على أيدولوجيا تنفي الاستناد إلى الدين كمرجعية في التغيير، معلنا موقفه “لا أستطيع مثلا أن أقبل إطلاقا أن أنضم إلى تظاهرة سياسية تخرج من الجامع، لكن لا أستطيع بالمقابل أن أقبل أن تقابل هذه التظاهرة بالعنف والقتل”. وإذ يبدو الموقف متوازنا من رفض العنف في الحالين، فإنه من طرف خفي يضع الجلاد والضحية، والمطالب بالحرية ومُصادرها في سلة واحدة”

Baya3 Alba6a6a end with this paragraph:

“بعد ذلك كله يبقى السؤال مطروحا عما إذا كان النظام الدموي ومعه الشاعر الفحل -وهما وجهان لعملة واحدة- مؤهليْن وقادرين على حمل سوريا وشعبها إلى آفاق الحرية والتقدم!؟”

Don’t forget to check the picture they choose to put of Adonis, in “IRAN”!!!!


May 13th, 2011, 1:24 am


Mina said:

There is an interview of Khaled Sid-Mohand, the Algerian-French journalist who was imprisoned for 3 weeks in Syria. He plans to go back to live there. His interview comes in the second part of the program while the beginning is an interview with Yadh Ben Achour, a jurist in charge of the writing of the new constitution.

A parallel between the Tunisian, Egyptian and Syrian situations is: what to do with all the people who get their wages from the mukhabaraat (and probably have weapons at home, for many)? In the former USSR they were quickly transformed into businessmen, I imagine. What do we know of the ideas on the table to solve this in Tunisia and Egypt?

May 13th, 2011, 2:04 am


محمود said:

السيد لانديس ! هل قمتم بتلوين خريطة الجمهورية العربية السورية بألوان مختلفة للضرورة الجمالية ؟؟؟ ادا اعجبكم دلك فلا بأس من استخدام المزيد من الألوان لتجميل خارطة الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية !!!

May 13th, 2011, 2:39 am


Mina said:

Khaled Sid-Mohans has lived in Syria for the past few years. He says people he met (the Damascus elite) were found of B. al Asad and that no one was afraid of the mukhabaraat anymore and people were talking freely on the different political problems (something I have noticed as well, through different stays, progressively).
He says he was in contact with the different leftish elite kids using Facebook and Twitter and followind the Egyptian events until they started to organize their own, the famous call for a demo on FB for 8th Feb that brought all together 50 people. He says the kids had no idea, no program, were usually gathering on thursday night with a bottle of arak and saying what shall we do tomorrow.
Then they posted on line their mini demos. After a few weeks of total chaos and no orgnization whatsoever, they found a role in becoming the interface between what was happening in some small towns (that’s where the Twitter exiled Kurds and the Swedish and Saudi exiles also very present on the net start to play a role). And the 500 elite Damascus kids start to report in English about what is going on in the poor Sunni suburbs and in the Kurdish north-east.
I add, and since the demos were not strong enough, kill a few people, organize some destruction by pulling the Khaddam/Banyas card and you get the result we see. And all the way long, the Syrian people have shown their total irresponsability and lack of appreciation of what the outside world depicts as a ‘brutal apparatus’ by sending their kids and women on the frontline.

May 13th, 2011, 2:42 am


Syria no kandahar said:

Prof landis
With all respect the answer to the question of post Assad Syria is like trying to solve an equation with 18 unknown factors.Syria as x president quatly is a country which half of it is prophets and the other half is presidents.any one who lived long enough in Syria knows that once strong government is toppled all kind of parasites will come to the face.revenge will be eating up the pseudofreedom which is being promised to people who are in the streets because they have nothing better to do.this is not to defend the regime but to talk facts.MB will ride and eat up all the pie although they are claiming that they have poor appetite like they have done in Egypt.if europ and the us feels that mb/Syria is better than current Syria or modled current Syria they will be making another stupid judgement which they have been doing repeatedly.once mb is in power you will be putting in control people who have minds not too much different than 9/11 hijakers minds.good luck controling them after that.

May 13th, 2011, 3:12 am


Revlon said:

#78- Dear Jad: Quoting Aunty Shaaban again, makes me think that you have not learned from recent events!

Your post says; Mr Luay Husein quoted Aunty Sha3ban that Jr has given clear directions not to shoot at people?
I really feel paranoid about this announcement! The last time Aunty communicated such an order was when the revolution witnessed some of its bloodiest days.

For Jr, to order not to fire at peaceful demonstrators, this time, would have to mean that Demonstaration laws have been either suspended or annulled!
No such decree have been issued, to my knowledge!
And, even then how would you define and who is going to judge a demonstrator to be peaceful?
Will that be Brother’s Republican Guards, Coz.’s Militias, or Uncle’s secutity forces?

Third, R, Makhloof has set all of the speculations about who rules Syria to rest.
Notice that Mr Mustapha’s brief letter to the NYT did not, in anyway contradict or refute RM’s statements. It mearly said that it did not represent the official policies of the Syrian government, whish is probably true.

However, the trilogy of Jr, Bro., and Coz are above the state.
They are who make the rules, and they are who break it

The government ENTOURAGE are there to clean up the mess, and offer the best case scenarios to the bewildered public.

May 13th, 2011, 3:29 am


Mina said:

#23 Majeedkhaldun
You sound like the israelis trying to explain that Palestine never was a state. How pitiful. Ancient empires did not function as “states”. There was a strong centre and some pretty autonomous provinces. With your definition the Babylonian empire was not a state, and neither was the Assyrian or the Persian one.
But Syria was unified and autonomous at different stages, of course not with the same borders as today, and had its own very strong identity, which remains to this day.
Just take a tour by checking Hittite (Aleppo was one of their biggest cities for a while), Seleucid, Coele-Syria, Zenobia, Hamdanids, Ayubids, in a real paper encyclopaedia.

May 13th, 2011, 3:52 am


Syria no kandahar said:

If we accept your analysis that the government is making rules and then breaking them then can you explain what is the exit from all this mess without suicide.you and the less than 5%of so called syrians have no clear plan .all you care about is to put dinemet under the Syrian house then light it up and smoke your shisha happily while you watch it burning.you writing are worse than hitlers

May 13th, 2011, 4:14 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

I don’t agree with this analysis. It is just wrong because it is based on too much wrong information. Also the historical analysis has some mistakes (The ‘Assyrians’ did not have an official Assyrian state in northern Iraq that lasted for 20 years, they cannot be compared to the Alawis and Druze in Syria).

The opposition will never be able to start a rebellion again. Demonstrations will continue, this is sure thing. Assad and his government have been saying all along that they don’t seek to quell demonstrations and protests (did you hear that Dr. Landis?) and they actually issued a law that organizes demonstrations. Assad and his regime are not as stupid and rigid as Landis is trying to draw them. They understand the era we live in and they are not seeking to quell the youth from expressing themselves. What they want is only to prevent the country from slipping into chaos. They are only after the Wahhabis, pro-American, and criminal elements.

This is one of the worst analyses that I have read for Landis and it shows that he still lives in the bubble that the opposition put him in. This is the same opposition that claimed they were going to topple Assad in 2 weeks when the uprising started.

May 13th, 2011, 4:30 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

This crisis has showed me that Westerners are incapable of understanding what is going on in Syria for cultural reasons, unlike the Russians who had a similar situation in their own country in the late 1980’s.

The Russians seem to understand well what is going on in Syria. I have been following some Russian writings and it was obvious that they differ greatly from the maniacal Western coverage.

Most Russians still feel bitter about the destruction that pro-American liberals brought to their country in the 1990’s (they also had to contend with separatist movements and radical Islamism from Caucasia). Russians can feel with us much better than any American. American’s are essentially biased on this situation for cultural reasons.

May 13th, 2011, 4:58 am


Syria, Libya, Yemen and Middle East unrest - live updates | B2B Club News said:

[…] “The regime will dig in its heels and fight to the end,” Syria expert Joshua Landis writes on his blog. But he continues: “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 politicised, mobilised, and passionate. All the same, the opposition remains divided and leaderless, which presents great dangers for a post-Assad Syria.” […]

May 13th, 2011, 5:35 am


syau said:


The invasion of Iraq was never about any wmd, there wasn’t any there to begin with. The prize all along was oil and the need to establish a base in the Middle East. From Iraq, they are looking to take a huge leap into Iran. Syria is a means to an ends, and they have stupid geese like Fidaa Alsayed to pave the way and initiate the chaos.

This ‘revolution’ was based on lies from the beginning, the world is aware of the media fabrications and violence within the protests; they are just turning a blind eye to it because it suits them. What they didn’t count on is the intelligence and unity of the Syrian people.

May 13th, 2011, 5:50 am


Beirut Spring: A Nightmare Future For Syria? said:

[…] Landis is pessimistic: Even if demonstrations can be shut down for the time being, the opposition will not be defeated […]

May 13th, 2011, 6:07 am


Mina said:

Yes SYAU, and we cannot hope the UK Iraq inquiry to come and publish its report at a time that would be in favor of peace.

Not like the Hariri tribunal, obeying like a faithful doggy and even using US funds and agents for functioning, according to the Wikileaks.

I also agree with Souri333 that when you ask Russians what they think of Putin they usually say that people living in the West cannot understand it but with the number of different mafias and familial/tribal/regional interests, there is no other way than a strong direction.

May 13th, 2011, 6:25 am


Louai said:

the western plan for this revolution to start peacefully and later it dose not matter as History is written by victors

the mistake of this uprising was from people who didn’t know how to plan it in their lack to understand the nature of both the extremists and the ordinary Syrian

an extremist can not hold his weapons when he knows the Police will not fire at him no mater what

the ordinary Syrian is very peaceful and enough wise to spot this plot from the beginning

the only thing on the ground now is the secterian tension and some of the extremists using their last bullits ,if the goverment knew how to contain both Syria will end this chapter of its History stronger and better place to live in .

May 13th, 2011, 6:40 am


Mawal95 said:

Professor Josh claims that “a culture of resistance is widespread in Syria and will not be eliminated…. Syria’s youth is now politicized, mobilized, and passionate.”

But, and Josh knows this, the bulk of Syria’s youth, and especially the better educated youth, are pro-stability, pro-gradual-reform, anti-resistance, anti-sedition, and effectively pro-regime. Therefore the so-called “culture of resistance” does not have depth in numbers, and it is capable of fading, and I for one believe it will fade.

Ongoing smallish Friday demonstrations are ultimately harmless to the regime, provided that they are legal. When the demonstrations are illegal, their seditious status makes them a bigger deal. Therefore the regime should legalize the Friday demonstrations. Legalized Friday demonstrations will run out of energy over weeks and months, you must expect, because their underlying support is just not there in big enough numbers. We know that now. The regime knows it too. Souri333 said the regime “has been saying all along that they don’t seek to quell demonstrations and protests”. That’s empty talk because the regime haven’t actually granted licenses to any anti-regime protests at least not on Fridays. They need to turn their talk into action now. Taking that true legalization step will help calm and civilize the situation, and it will not damage the regime. JAD, another regime supporter, agrees. He says: “the security should be out of the street to let peaceful protesters to move”.

Now another point is: the so-called “culture of resistance” is better called a “culture of protest” because the protestors have no devices for doing resistance, except their demonstrations, and except violence. Violence will only backfire on them, thank God, as it will lose the goodwill of the Syrians whose goodwill they need. Syrian State TV will make sure of that.

May 13th, 2011, 6:54 am


syau said:


Thank you for the link, as always, very informative and relevant. Peace is not their intention, so there won’t be anything published at a time favouring peace.

The Harriri assassination was another means to and ends, and those behind the plot intended to implicate Syria at an attempt to destabilise the government. Syria was not involved in the assassination and endured a rough time trying to prove that fact. That was attempt number 1 by Saad, his dirty hands are also involved in this ‘revolution’. I suppose he doesn’t give up too easily considering he’s a brainless twit that continues to hide behind bullet proof panels to protect him from his ever growing popularity.

This revolution is more sinister and intense than people think, but Syria is smarter than that and will emerge stronger, even more stable and united than before.

May 13th, 2011, 7:09 am


syau said:

Mawal 95,

I don’t think now would be the time to grant licences to anti regime protesters. As long as there is a violent element to the protests, the true peaceful protesters need to be protected. I think that after the government regains stability in Syria and all the gang members are apprehended, therefore, the threat of violence would have been dissolved, it would then be the right time to issue licences for demonstrations.

May 13th, 2011, 7:26 am


Syria no kandahar said:

If you ask sheik Alaroor about post Assad Syria his answer will be simple :
1-after his plan of having 2/3of syrians finsh the other 1/3 you will be left with 1/3 of pure holly syrians.
2-as far as the 2/3 which will be killed 1/2 of them will go to heaven any way especially after having Devlon reads his Atmost VIP fatiha on the none infdadel dead ones.the infidels are not a lost because they were going to hell any way.this plan will only speed up that.
3-after Alaroor plan is applied ther will be no economical problems in Syria due to bringing down the total no of population to 7millions non-koffar pure holly syrians.
4-tourism will be bluster under Alaroor plan(he will be selected to the tourism,higher education and planning post as per Revlon)
5-this plan is approved by Alaroor friends wher he lives.also approved by all alkoffar who gave fida alssyed citizenship to spread such peaceful democracy .

May 13th, 2011, 7:35 am


Ali Kanj said:

Difficult to tell, even if i have my point of view.

In Lebanon i try to ask simple construction workers ( Syrians) in order to feel the Syrian cities. A minority are silent and refuse to discuss politics. The most support the regime, they do not want any instability.

For them, Bashar is symbol of stability.
There will remain turmoil with higher or lower degrees for the next year. The regime will not leave.

The clashes will be enough reason not to prepare the next parliamentary elections, even with a new law for elections.

Syrians, in their vast majority, ( no one laugh) do not care for politics or for freedom, they care for better economy. Only elites and Islamists aim for this. They can raise problems but will not cause any regime to leave, even with with all the mistakes the regime(s) is(are) practicing.

May 13th, 2011, 7:35 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Dr. Landis cannot speak for Syria’s youth simply because he does not know them. Syria is not Egypt. Most Syrian young people do not even know English. Those who communicate with Joshua Landis are the liberal, pro-West community that represents very little in Syria, and they definitely represent NOTHING in the rebellion that has been happening on the ground.

My best two college friends participated in the demo that took place in Aleppo’s medical college. Both are Sunni but one of them is atheist and the other is semi-atheist. I know that such examples exist, but I also know that they represent NOTHING in the widespread REBILLION that was taking place.

There is a huge difference between demonstrations and a rebellion. Those who do not know the difference should consult a dictionary. Assad was willing in the first week to tolerate demonstrations, but it was obvious that there was a rebellion going on. Government buildings were being stormed, policemen were being killed and mutilated, and pre-1963 Syrian flags were being raised. All this coupled with the fishy media and Western diplomatic campaign made it clear that there was an intention to recreate the Libyan scenario in Syria. Most Syrians have realized that already, and even the Russian foreign minister said so yesterday. He admitted that the Syrian uprising was violent from the beginning.

May 13th, 2011, 7:42 am


syau said:

Syria no Kandahar,

You forgot the biggest tourist attraction being the big screen hit movies staring no other than the actors of the revolution with their endless stream of lies and fabrications, stunts and hollywood style fake blood. Ammar Abdulhamid can be the head of that project.

May 13th, 2011, 7:51 am


Observer said:

This is a very timely piece. It brings a lot of analysis and reason to the debate that has become much too emotional as expected and unfortunately much too personal as well.

The regime is in a damn if you do and damn if you don’t.

People want Reform within the regime at the beginning not toppling the regime for all the reasons outlined my Dr. Landis. Now it seems that there will be no way out without a some major and much more dramatic and deep harsh surgery of the regime structure. Otherwise there will be civil war.

May 13th, 2011, 7:57 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Syria’s youth is not like the Egyptian youth or the Eastern European youth in the 1980’s. Western penetration in the Syrian culture is still minimal. It comes second in dangerousness to Wahhabi penetration, which is the more urgent problem now.

Opposing Western cultural penetration by banning foreign languages is a wrong strategy. The Syrian regime must focus instead on modernizing its media and the curriculum of national education at schools. The government must depart from its wooden 1960’s-language (which many Syrians do not fully understand) and focus instead on using a simple and modern language to teach nationalism. The government should also focus more on teaching history to Syrians because most of them do not know history (even many of those who comment on this blog do not sound to know history). Knowing history is the only effective way to debunk many of the liberal pro-American arguments, which all try to exploit the listener’s ignorance of history and reality and capitalize on that ignorance.

May 13th, 2011, 7:58 am


Mawal95 said:

SYAU says he doesn’t want legal demonstrations until after “all the gang members are apprehended, and the threat of violence would have been dissolved.” The first problem with that attitude is that it’s impossible to apprehend all violent protestors; it’s impossible to remove all violence and all threat of violence in the protestors’ ranks. Hence with that attitude there’d never be licensed demonstrations. The second problem is that (as I said already) the illegality of the demonstrations, as such, increases the disposition to violence. When you’re participating in an illegal demonstration you are more likely to commit other illegal acts than when you are in a legal demonstration. Also, the protestors believe in all sincerity that the demonstrations deserve to be legal, and even the regime itself says the same, so ongoing protests that are ongoingly illegal would be effective resistance that would win lots of sympathy. A third problem is where SAYU says “I don’t think now would be the time to grant licences to anti regime protesters. As long as there is a violent element to the protests, the true peaceful protesters need to be protected.” That is, he’s saying he wants to deny licenses to peaceful protestors on the grounds they might be shot at by unpeaceful protestors, or by the army shooting at unpeaceful protestors. I regard that line of thinking as ridiculous, and I’ll say no more.

May 13th, 2011, 7:59 am


Revlon said:

“What Will a Post Assad Syria Look Like?”

It can only get better!

May 13th, 2011, 8:09 am


why-discuss said:


It does seem that the violent elements of the opposition have been neutralized by the ‘crackdown’ since today friday demonstrations have happened without violence.
The idea of allowing friday peaceful demonstrations is a good one, like the speaker’s corner in Hyde park.

May 13th, 2011, 8:10 am


syau said:

Mawal 95,

No, what I am saying is it’s best to issue licences to protests after the current situation has eased. Protests need police officers to ensure order and protect the protesters. Where the situation stands at the moment, there are shots comming from inside the protests, shooting both at the protesters and police. Until this threat is stabalised, it is not safe for true protesters to join in demonstrations.
I certainly wouldn’t demonstrate or have any of my children join any demonstration either pro or anti if there was an element of violence there – by violence, I mean gun fire especially if previous demonstrations have proven violent. I am not against protesting, I think people have the right to voice their opinion, I just think that safety is paramount. If there is a strong army/police presence and the situation is safe, then it’s a good idea.

May 13th, 2011, 8:13 am


Anton said:

Dear Mr. Landis, and all Syrian Patriots

I concur with Sophia @75 , and i hope what Jad said @70 is true

my Opinion is

Mr. the President Assad proved that he is a very sophisticated man his Father knew that.

Mr. the President knew what was/is going on and what he is expecting way before all started, he was well prepared for it, and he and the government are doing well, if the same happed in other country, the situation could be much worth

May 13th, 2011, 8:16 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Assad is trying hard to quell the demonstrations because he wants to announce his full political plan for the next stage. Announcing the plan before the rebellion ends would have been a huge mistake because it would have inflamed the rebellion and the Western campaign (we saw a little example on the day after Assad lifted the emergency law).

After the rebellion and the Western campaign lose steam, Assad will announce his reforms. At that point peaceful demos will be allowed again. This is Assad’s plan that I explained weeks ago. Assad has been following a very organized and successful plan from the first week of the uprising. This plan is about to reach its final stages, and it is obvious that Assad has won. The organizers of the uprising were hoping that by week 2 the civil war would have erupted already.

May 13th, 2011, 8:27 am


Revlon said:

Regime forces are firing at protestors in Qaboon, Damascus today!
They will be in biiiiiig trouble, should Aunty see them!

May 13th, 2011, 8:28 am


syau said:


This desparate attempt to add negativity means nothing. This video doesn’t show anything significant, it’s what sounds like 2 or 3 people shouting out for toppling of the regime, and what sounds like gun fire, (it might also be fireworks). It doesn’t show who is shooting, just 1 person running towards the video clip. No army or police firing here, if it actually is gunshots, then I would think it would be the ‘protesters’ themselves shooting for a sensationalised video to upload on youtube.

May 13th, 2011, 8:41 am


why-discuss said:

This Is The Police: Put Down Your Camera


This is in the US…

May 13th, 2011, 8:51 am


Syria no kandahar said:

So far you are having a bad day.wishing your Friday will get better and you will have a lot of bloods and alot of fatihas to read.as always remember that no Fatiha on any soldier or any alawite or any Christian .also remember that every soldier who dies today is being shot at by his friends and not by the saints and angels who are singing christmass caroll in the streets .good luck man.keep smoking your shisha.you can always take a sleeping pill at night.or you can watch the previous Fridays vidio clips befor you go to bed .don’t worry life is too short.

May 13th, 2011, 8:53 am


miguel said:

I am a syrian descendent from Argentina. I don´t Know what is really going on in Syria today, or even in the past time. The only input i am able to do to the people of my motherland is what we the argentinians experiencies in our past. A past of political turmoil, terrorism and state terrorism in the 70´s, with 30.000 missing people…and the economic turmoil at 2001 when my country declared a default of his debt of U$S 130.000 millions. As you can see, i am not talking about little problems, because the number of people involved, and money also is too high.
The real thing is that democracy is not what americans or the tv sells; it´s true that is better than dictatorship, but if you think that democracy will bring you prosperity…that is faulse. Prosperity only come from hard work. If you think that prosperity will bring you less class differencies…is faulse, it will increase differenciies between capitalists (who will surely gather even much more money and wealthy) and workers. If you think that the “establishment”, or the people who are in the high levels of the society, will fall down…that is faulse; they will always be the same guys.
Western societys are divided between capitalists (who are always the same, and are always bargaining in the margins of law in spite of the rights of the common people), a not so extended middle-class (except in the central countrys which Syria surely will not be), who lives with no political influence (individually), and the poor people, which, in countrys like mine, or surely Syria, lives in misery (not poverty), with no access to health care, education or even food.
So, my advice to the people of Syria who read this web is…be careful and protect stability and the “state model” of economy, which is far more better for countrys like ours. And to the people of the states really interested in Syria…be careful, what you lives in USA is not what the rest of the world lives; so don´t imagine that a political or economic model like the states could easily applied to other countrys like Syria, Irak or Argentina or Brazil. There are costs to pay, and they are really expensives.
Sorry for my poor english.

May 13th, 2011, 9:03 am


Revlon said:

Day 60 of the Syrian Revolution.
Q1. What happened to the 100,000 protestors that took to the streets over the last 8 weeks:
a. 1% killed
b. 10% seriously wounded
c. 10% arrested and detained
d. 10% arrested, released, and threatened of indefinite detention should they demonstrate again!
e. 60% representing siblings, off-springs, parents, and grandparents of the above. They were paid courtesy visits by security forces, and served generous threats to life, property and source of income.

May 13th, 2011, 9:22 am


Sophia said:

#76 WD,

I wouldn’t take seriously what ambassador Ford says to Radio Sawa. Assad is going to win this round and the US is going to take credit for it by telling radio Sawa, a collaborationist radio financed by American money for propaganda reasons, that they put pressure on Assad and made him look weak.

I mean, the US was behind Mubarak until the last minute and they switched few hours before his departure…

Don’t forget also that the Daily Star is Hariri owned and they can publish whatever news that can help them influence the actual process of government formation in Lebanon. Hariri is a sore looser. Assad is winning and we are in the middle of a propaganda war to divide the resistance axis…

May 13th, 2011, 9:24 am


Revlon said:

Q2. So how many are still actively protesting
f. 1% Martyrs: Only the regime and supporters see their protest, in their nightmares!
g. 10% of seriously wounded: They protest at home and in the hospital; In bed, on crotches, and in their wheelchairs!
h. 10% arrested and detained: They demonstrate in the dark silence of their prison cells.
i. 10% arrested, released and threatened not to demonstrate and
60% house searched:
They are protesting at home.
They chat about the glorious demonstrations they rallied in,
They cherish the new spirit of freedom, and
They refuse to surrender their choice to rebuild a free Syria.
j. 9% are still protesting on the streets!

Total: All 100,000%, are still in active protest!

Source of data: Allah, Suriya, 7urriyeh w Bass

May 13th, 2011, 9:25 am


Revlon said:

One martyr has fallen victim to regime crackdown in Homs
25 minutes ago

Al Fati7a upon his soul,
May God bless his family with solace and empower them with patience.
الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد
عاجل .. يبدو أن زعيم عصابة الاجرام يتراجع عن اوامره وهناك اطلاق رصاص
ا ف ب .. مقتل متظاهر في حمص قبل قليل

May 13th, 2011, 9:45 am


syau said:

Revlon, #109 & 111

Then that would leave 23,900,000 rejoicing the coming of an end to the violent attempt to destabilise the great country of Syria.
Supporting their president and welcoming back stability and peace.

May 13th, 2011, 9:46 am


Syria no kandahar said:

Do have the ability since you are so well connected to announce that a protestor will be killed say in 17 min.you can start planning your alfatiha ahead .
Also in response to you question 90%of the 10000(not 100000)discovered that this is a ballony revolution which will make syrians wish to vacation in Kandahar.Aljazera will hire you on the spot even without interview.you can run there eyewitness program.

May 13th, 2011, 9:59 am


why-discuss said:


What I meant is that what Ford is saying reflects what the US has in mind. Whether Bashar will yield to that demand or not, is another question. Anyway the Lebanese newspaper admits than there is a pressure coming from Syria on its allies to finalize quickly the government. Is it a coincidence that it is happening just as Clinton is threatening Bashar Al Assad?
I have high hopes in what is happening in Egypt concerning the Palestinians. The focus of the US and Israel will move away from Syria and Lebanon. The new Egyptian foreign policy presents a much more serious challenge to US/Israel hegemony (Support for the resistance, rapprochement with Iran and soon with Syria and Iraq…)

May 13th, 2011, 10:02 am


Revlon said:

The US is piling up pressure on the Syrian regime.
Clinton, who called Jr a reformer two months ago, now says US is considering new measures for increasing sanctions on the Syrian regime.

وقالت كلينتون للصحفيين في غرينلاند إن حكومة دمشق “تواصل عمليات انتقامية صارمة ووحشية ضد مواطنيها رغم الإدانة الدولية الواسعة لذلك”، وأشارت إلى أمثلة على “اعتقالات غير قانونية وعمليات تعذيب وحرمان مصابين من الرعاية الطبية”.

وأضافت أن “البعض ربما يعتقد أن هذا علامة على القوة”، لكنها اعتبرت أن “معاملة المرء لشعبه بهذه الطريقة هي في الحقيقة علامة على ضعف ملحوظ”.

وشددت الوزيرة الأميركية على أن عزلة الرئيس السوري تتزايد، مشيرة إلى أن الولايات المتحدة ستواصل العمل مع شركائها في الاتحاد الأوروبي وغيره بشأن خطوات إضافية لتحميل الحكومة السورية المسؤولية عن انتهاكاتها الجسيمة لحقوق الإنسان.

ورأت أن الأحداث الأخيرة في سوريا تظهر أن الدولة لا يمكنها العودة إلى ما كانت عليه من قبل، مضيفة أن الدبابات والرصاص والهري لن توقف التحديات السياسية والاقتصادية في سوريا. وأكدت كلينتون أنه يجب أن تكون لسوريا حكومة تعكس إرادة كل الشعب.


May 13th, 2011, 10:07 am


Mawal95 said:

Why-Discuss says in #102: “It does seem that the violent elements of the opposition have been neutralized by the ‘crackdown’ since today friday demonstrations have happened without violence.”

Au contraire, Associated Press reports of today’s demonstrations: “Leading human rights activist Mazen Darwish said that in the central cities of Homs and Hama, riot police were armed only with batons.”

I say today’s low bodycount can explained in part by that bit of fact.

When you give guns to riot police, their guns may very well be used in situations where there was clear violation of law and order but the use of the guns against it wasn’t strictly necessary and wasn’t wise.

May 13th, 2011, 10:07 am


AIG said:

Protesters Take to Syria’s Streets Despite Crackdown
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Thousands of protesters in Syria defied a ferocious crackdown and returned to the streets Friday, even in towns that the military had besieged only days before, in a relentless contest of wills that a leading dissident described as an emerging stalemate.

For successive weeks, Fridays have served as a weekly climax in the challenge to President Bashar al-Assad’s rule. Calls for demonstrations this Friday came after a withering wave of repression that has killed hundreds and detained thousands in towns and cities stretching from the Mediterranean coast to Damascus’s outskirts and the poverty-ridden south.

While some of the country’s most restive locales remained relatively quiet — namely Baniyas on the coast and Dara’a in the south — protesters took to the streets in at least four neighborhoods in Homs, Syria’s third largest-city and a center of the two-month uprising. Activists said protests ranged in numbers from hundreds to thousands.

“We don’t like you!” crowds chanted in Homs, referring to the president. “You and your party, leave us!”

Demonstrations were reported in at least six towns in the province around Dara’a. That protests erupted even in towns like Hara, where tanks entered this week, suggested that the Houran, knit by tradition and clan loyalties, was so restive as to be in revolt.

There were no immediate reports of deaths, but residents reached by phone in Homs reported gunfire, as did those in towns on the outskirts of Damascus, the capital. Other protests in Damascus and its suburbs were dispersed with tear gas and beatings.

“It looks like we have reached a dead end and we don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel,” said Aref Dalila, a leading dissident who met this week with Bouthaina Shaaban, a government adviser, who has opened talks with opposition figures. “The country that we know will not be able to survive; it is from the past. The current situation is dead; it is from the past. We should acknowledge the fact that change is needed and very necessary, and it will happen no matter how hard we try to resist against it.”

Mr. Dalila suggested that the stalemate would force the government to relent in its crackdown and offer reforms. But despite some tentative concessions early on, the government has shown no signs of willingness to introduce broad changes in a leadership that relies on family and sectarian loyalties, underpinned by the power of security forces.

For weeks, it has described the protests as an armed rebellion led by militant Islamists, saboteurs and even ex-convicts. It says nearly 100 soldiers and members of security forces have been killed, and their funerals have become a staple on Syrian state television. American officials have acknowledged that some protesters are armed, and residents fleeing to Lebanon spoke this week of armed clashes erupting in Homs.

Human rights groups and residents said more forces were deployed near Hama, in central Syria, and Baniyas, an oil industry town that was assaulted by the Syrian military last week. A resident in Baniyas said crowds at Friday Prayer were smaller than usual, and in contrast to past weeks, no demonstrations gathered afterward.

“People are extremely scared,” said Abu Obada, a resident there reached by phone. “They’re worried about snipers and they’re worried about the security forces.”

“Most of the people prayed at home,” he added.

The wave of repression stands as one of the most sweeping and brutal in the Arab Spring, inaugurated by revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt this year.

Residents have reported that hundreds of detainees are being held in soccer stadiums, schools and government buildings in towns and cities across the country, some of them arrested in door-to-door raids by black-clad forces carrying lists of activists.

Others have said the arrests are often arbitrary in a campaign that seemed motivated to bully people to stay indoors and to restore a measure of the fear that has buttressed the Assad family’s four decades of rule. Many young men have been forced to sign a pledge not to protest again.

“I only see this crisis becoming worse,” said Rassem al-Atassi, the president of the Arab Association for Human Rights in Syria, in Homs. Mr. Atassi himself was released last week after being detained for 10 days. “There’s no political solution.”

The brutality of the repression has led the United States and the European Union to impose some sanctions on figures in the leadership, though not on Mr. Assad himself.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton moved the United States a step closer to calling for the ouster of Mr. Assad on Thursday as she denounced the crackdown.

“The recent events in Syria make clear that the country cannot return to the way it was before,” Mrs. Clinton said before a meeting in Greenland among Arctic nations. “Tanks and bullets and clubs will not solve Syria’s political and economic challenges.”

The Obama administration has criticized the Syrian government repeatedly and imposed some sanctions on several senior security officials, but it has not yet pursued aggressive diplomatic measures, including action at the United Nations Security Council.

Mrs. Clinton said that the United States would now pursue “additional steps to hold Syria responsible for its gross human rights abuses.”

“There may be some who think this is a sign of strength,” she said, “but treating one’s own people in this way is in fact a sign of remarkable weakness.”

A senior official elaborated that sanctions were being considered on additional Syrian officials. That could include Mr. Assad himself.

Ms. Shaaban, the adviser to Mr. Assad, said this week that Syrian officials thought that the American condemnations so far were “not too bad.”

Hwaida Saad and an employee of The New York Times contributed reporting.

May 13th, 2011, 10:12 am


atassi said:

16 May 2011

Economist Intelligence Unit – Business Middle East

Business Middle East

Number x


(C) 2011 The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd.

The central bank has hiked deposit rates sharply in what seems to be a desperate bid to shore up ebbing confidence in both the local currency and the banking system

The Central Bank of Syria has announced a set of measures that seem to be aimed mainly at shoring up confidence in the local currency in the face of the extreme political turbulence that has hit the country since mid-March. The measures could succeed in their assumed objective of protecting the Syrian pound, but they risk imposing heavy costs on both banks and their business creditors. They also betray a certain desperation on the part of the authorities, and suggest that the state’s foreign exchange reserves could be sinking to dangerously low levels.

The central bank has addressed the problems of an exchange rate under pressure and shrinking liquidity in the banking system on three fronts: it has increased interest rates on deposits (in both local and foreign currency); it has cut the statutory reserve requirement of banks; and it has introduced a foreign exchange savings scheme.

Surprise package

Soundings by the Economist Intelligence Unit indicate that the central bank did not consult with banks about its plans, which were communicated through a statement from the governor, Adib Mayaleh, to Al-Thawrah, a state-owned newspaper. The increase in rates on Syrian pound deposits has been, in effect, 300 basis points: the recommended range for rates on time deposits has been set at 7-9%, compared with 5-7% previously, but the additional margin that banks are allowed to use has been narrowed by 100 basis points to plus or minus 1 percentage point (from 2) on condition that the gap between the highest and lowest rate is not more than 2 percentage points (previously 3). Given that banks will be unable to pass on the increases to all of their loan customers (as some facilities will have had fixed rates), the impact on lending rates for new customers and existing ones with variable rates will be severe. Syrian businesses have been able to borrow at 9-10% since deposit rates were cut at the end of 2010; lending rates are now likely to shoot up to about 15%. The central bank is evidently hoping that the higher deposit rates will stem the recent tide of withdrawals (which have been particularly marked in public-sector banks). Mr Mayaleh also said that he has decided to increase rates on foreign exchange deposits, to 2-3% over Libor for US dollars and 1-2% over Libor for euros. He said that this measure should encourage Syrians to keep their hard currency savings inside the country.

In response to banks’ complaints about a shortage of liquidity, the central bank has lowered the statutory reserve requirement to 5% of total deposits from 10% previously. This ratio can be cut to zero in relation to the portion of deposits devoted to financing projects.

Earlier this year the central bank increased the amount of foreign exchange that Syrians were permitted to buy for unspecified reasons to US$10,000 per month from US$3,000 previously. However, as pressure mounted on the local currency this dispensation was in effect suspended. Mr Mayaleh has now offered a scheme whereby a customer can make a one-off purchase up to US$120,000 per year on condition that it is left in a term deposit account. The funds will earn interest, but this will be deducted in the event that the funds are withdrawn before the minimum term of three months.

Pound on the slide

The central bank has chosen to take these measures after several weeks of pumping foreign exchange into the market in an effort to narrow the differential between the official exchange rate and rates offered on the black market. The Syrian pound is pegged against the SDR, but the official rate has hardly moved over the past few months. As a result of the intervention the gap between rates had started to narrow, but the resort to interest rate hikes suggests that the authorities may be starting to be concerned about the risk of running down the country’s foreign exchange reserves. These are estimated by the IMF to have been about US$20bn prior to the crisis, but this sum includes holdings of the largest state-owned bank as well as those of the central bank itself. The authorities appear to have shied away from the option of devaluation.

The measures appeared on balance to reassure the Syrian financial markets, at least to judge by the performance of the stockmarket, whose index rose by 2% on May 4th (as well as on the next three trading days), after steady declines over the previous six weeks. Bankers clearly hope that the authorities will compensate them through offering realistic rates on upcoming treasury bill issues and through placing some more foreign exchange in the banking system. It is also assumed that if the political situation stabilises, the authorities will be in a position to lower interest rates before too long.

The EU sanctions that went into effect on May 10th will not have a serious immediate impact on the Assad regime, but they serve as warning that one important source of development finance is now at risk.

SOURCE: Business Middle East

May 13th, 2011, 10:14 am


atassi said:

More stick than carrot
14 May 2011
The Economist

(c) The Economist Newspaper Limited, London 2011. All rights reserved

The crisis in Syria

The killing goes on, as presidential emissaries put out feelers for dialogue

PRESIDENT BASHAR ASSAD is using the twin tactics of sending in the tanks and shooting protesters while quietly letting trusted advisers put out feelers to some of Syria’s veteran dissidents, in the hope that they may divide and dampen the more youthful opposition—and save his regime.

His priority, however, is still to use force. After nearly two months of protests that have spread to a score of cities, at least 800 people, nearly all of them civilians, have been killed. Parts of several cities remain locked down, including the country’s third one, Homs, where there have been unconfirmed reports of mass graves. Banias, a large port, Deraa, the southern border-town where the protests took off, and the small town of Moadimiyeh, on the western fringe of Damascus, the capital, have all been virtually sealed off. The city of Hama, which was almost flattened in 1982 when Mr Assad’s father, Hafez, was president, leaving some 20,000 people dead, is also bubbling. Students in Aleppo, Syria’s second city, were baton-charged after demonstrating en masse. Across the country, satellite phones have been jammed and the internet often blocked.

The government is in a quandary. The two vice-presidents, Farouk Sharaa and Najah al-Attar, along with a presidential adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban, a seasoned conduit to foreigners, albeit that the international press has been more or less banned from the country, are said to favour dialogue with people in the old opposition. Ms Shaaban has recently met Aref Dalila, Louay Hussein, Salim Kheirbek and Michel Kilo, among other well-known figures. Others close to the president, such as Manaf Tlass, a son of Hafez Assad’s long-serving defence minister, Mustafa Tlass, had previously held talks with the opposition—to no avail. Earlier this year the authorities also had tentative contact with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose Syrian leaders are still in exile.

The assorted opposition is unsure how to respond. Some leading lights, believed to include Riad Turk, have argued against meeting Mr Assad’s emissaries, presuming that they are bound to be insincere. Indeed, some opposition people who attended earlier meetings, including Fayez Sara, a writer, and Hazem Nahar, a prominent member of the National Democratic Grouping, were later locked up.

The government intermediaries have been loth—and are anyway less able—to make contact with the younger and more radical activists at the heart of the protests. Most of the protesters say they would anyway refuse to talk, arguing that Mr Assad’s occasional previous offers of concessions (promises of political reform, salary increases, moves to get rid of emergency laws in form if not in substance, concessions to the Kurdish minority and to conservative Muslims, and so on) have invariably been followed by violent repression. For their part, veteran campaigners, such as Mr Hussein, say they have made it clear they do not represent the protesters nor did they actually engage in negotiation. “We expressed our opinion and tried to suggest a political solution,” says Mr Hussein, who, like Mr Assad, hails from the Alawite minority. “We said the government should allow a four-day strike, let people gather, discuss and choose their own leaders in every town and province.”

At the meetings that did occur, Mr Assad’s officials have sounded nervous. They did not bother to peddle the government’s propaganda that the unrest has been stirred up by foreign agents and so forth. Ms Shaaban told the opposition veterans that they should tell the protesters to stop calling for the regime to be toppled. The officials’ chief concern has been to prevent the protesters from getting the arms readily available on the black market. The government says that scores of policemen and security forces have been killed in the turmoil; the protesters say such victims were most likely conscripts shot by the more loyal regulars for threatening to defect to the protesters. But some may well have been shot by opponents of the regime, especially in the more tribal areas, where revenge is deemed a matter of honour. Reports, aired by the authorities, that Islamists are becoming embroiled in the protests cannot be substantiated.

In any event, Ms Shaaban declares that the government has the upper hand. Other senior figures in the ruling establishment have been even blunter. Rami Makhlouf, Syria’s richest man and a cousin of the president, says the regime will fight to the end, if need be. And as the meetings, purported to seek out dialogue, were proceeding, hundreds more people were being rounded up to join the 7,000-odd who, say human-rights groups, are already behind bars. Football stadiums have been turned into temporary detention facilities.

On May 9th Amnesty International said that more than 350 people had been arrested in Banias alone in a three-day period. Human Rights Watch, a New York-based group, says the prisoners are facing “rampant torture”; many are beaten with cables and whips. Others say they have been blindfolded and made to keep standing for days on end. They are often accused of working for Saad Hariri, Lebanon’s former prime minister, once again an arch-enemy of Mr Assad, or for Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a Saudi who heads his country’s national security council. Other detainees, after being roughed up, have been let out and told to go and warn others against protesting. The families of some protesters have been rounded up too. In sum, Mr Assad is using the stick a lot more vigorously than the carrot

May 13th, 2011, 10:28 am


jad said:

As usual everything go downhill after news like this:
حمص : إلقاء قنابل مولتوف على قسم شرطة البياضة دون أنباء عن وقوع أية إصابة حتى اللحظة
As every Friday at exactly 7:30pm, the news of blood will start spreading.

May 13th, 2011, 10:32 am


Syria no kandahar said:

What about those 3000 santas behind bars.didt that help?

May 13th, 2011, 10:39 am


Solitarius said:

Miguel at 118

Thanks for this new and interesting perspective.

I wish we could listen to what journalism in other countries other than the usual USA/UK/France/Germany have to say. For instance, recently I have been reading a little in atimes.com it offers some interesitng new perspectives

the more different analysis the better

May 13th, 2011, 10:44 am


Syria no kandahar said:

Do you know from your resources what will be the approximate no of fatihas you will have to read by the end of the day?

May 13th, 2011, 10:46 am


jad said:

بن جدو يتغرغ للدفاع عن النظام السوري: الولايات المتحدة ترد على خسارتها في مصر بمؤامرة مدعومة عربياً ضد سورية
الكاتب وطن
الجمعة, 13 مايو 2011 01:27

أكد الإعلامي التونسي المستقيل من قناة الجزيرة “غسان بن جدو” أن “الإعلام هو أكبر سلاح لمواجهة آلة العصر،وقال “كان من الطبيعي أن تبحث الولايات المتحدة عن مكان ترد فيه على خسارتها حليفها في مصر، وها هي ترد في سوريا، فهناك تدخل خارجي خطير، وتكمن خطورته، ليس باحتوائه تدخلاً أمريكياً واسرائيلياً وأوروبياً، بل لوجود تدخل عربي سافر مقيت، وبإسم الدين الذي يريد أن يمزق الأمة بين
الطوائف ويمزق سوريا إلى كنتونات متعددة ، وتحدث بن جدو عن احتجاجات البحرين فرأى هناك “صمتاً كبيراً يخيم على ما يحصل”، وذكَّر بتماثيل بوذا في أفغانستان التي لم يهدأ العالم من اجلها “فقبل عشر سنوات حصل تناحر على صخرة في زمن الطالبان، ليحسبوا شعب البحرين صخرة، يحق لها العيش، لماذا صخرة قبل عشر سنوات أقمتم الدنيا ولم تقعدوها كي لا تدمر صخرة، هناك في البحرين مساجد يعتدى عليها اليوم بحجة انها مساجد طائفية”.

وأضاف بن جدو لأن الإعلام “يفرض الحقيقة فهو سلاح خطير، يستطيع ان يفعل ما يشاء، ويمكن أن يكون دقيقا وينقل الواقع كما هو، وإذا أراد يعلي شأن الحقيقة، وإذا أراد يزور الحقيقة والوقائع، وحاول بن جدو أن يصوب الوقائع المغلوطة فإذا به يسلط الضوء على الإعلام وواقعه قائلاً: “للاسف دخلنا زمن التضليل الاعلامي اليوم، وليس زمن الحقيقة الاعلامية، ولم يستثني بن جدو أحداً موجهاً خطابه “للذين يريدون أن يبشروا بزمن التضليل الاعلامي، فلن نسمح لأحد أن يبشر بعهد التضليل الاعلامي” وخفف الإعلامي المخضرم من وقع الكارثة الإعلامية فرأى أننا “نستطيع بالقوى، وبإمكانياتنا المتواضعة، أن يكون لنا الصوت والحقيقة والإرادة، وأن تكون لدينا الشجاعة لنقول كفى، لزمن التضليل الاعلامي الذي لن نسمح به”، وشدد بن جدو على أن “زمن الإحباط قد ولى ونحن نستطيع بالاعلام والصحافة أن نقدم بديلاً جديا يرصد الواقع كما هو وليس كما يريده الآخرون”.

جاء حديث بن جدو خلال محاضرة له في مدينة النبطية في جنوب لبنان، وأشار إلى الثورات العربية أنها أعادت الينا زمن الثورات والتغير الذي تمكن المواطن أن يعبر عن رأيه ويتحدى أي آلة ديكتاتورية متجذرة”، غير ان الإعلامي المحنك استدرك قائلاً: “يبدو أن القوى الكبرى لديها من الامكانيات والثغرات التي تستطيع ان تلتف على كل شيئ”، وكشف أنه “حتى في تونس ليس لدينا ثورة، وكذلك في مصر، لقد تم الإلتفاف عليهما وجعلا نصف ثورة، وإنني أمل من أهلي في مصر وتونس أن يثابروا على ثورتهم”.

(شام برس ، الانتقاد)

May 13th, 2011, 10:55 am


majedkhaldoon said:

#89 Mina
You are mixing things,Seleucid (fourth century)were not there, at the same time Hamadanid(12th century).
I was making a point that Syrian want to unite, they believe in unity,and they like for the Arab to unite.
Please study history before you make such comment.

May 13th, 2011, 10:56 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Well, as long as the Western media continues this type of coverage, I don’t see any major reforms soon. Assad will not start any serious reforms until the “Syrian revolution” ends in the Western media. On the ground in Syria there was not any revolution to start with except in few marginal locations (Deraa, Duma, the Sunni parts of Banias and Homs) (NB. if 100 people go out demonstrating in a town, this does not mean there is a “revolution” in the town).

Assad will not give his enemies in the West a free victory by confirming their fairy tale about a revolution in Syria. He said it clearly in his first speech, he will not allow his enemies to impose a “virtual defeat” on him. If you want to truly defeat him, you should start planning for a REAL revolution in Syria. Wahhabi gangs sabotaging in some rural areas are not a revolution.

Anyway, I think the media will have to end the revolution soon because today there was really nothing other than few hundred Kurdish demonstrators. Sunni demonstrators who went out today were probably less than 1000 in all of Syria.

May 13th, 2011, 11:09 am


Revlon said:

Regime is firing at civilian protestors in Hama today

I guess Aunty meant, no firing at protestors only if they stay home.

May 13th, 2011, 11:13 am


Friend in America said:

The youths who demonstrate need to access the soldiers and the snipers. The Egyptians used banners and signs:

“Every Shot at Us is a Victory for Israel. Don’t Shoot”

“Shooting Us is Doing Israel’s Work. We Syrians are Your Friends”

“Don’t Shoot. Join Us. We are Your Friends”

“Shooting is Wrong. Peace is Right. Join Us”

May 13th, 2011, 11:13 am


محمود said:

تشكل الجمهورية العربية السورية بلدا مهما و محوريا في جيوسياسية منطقة الشرق الأوسط و هي تشكل حجر الزاوية في منظومة الاستقرار و بطبيعة الحال حتما سوريا ليست وحدها بشكل مجرد و لا رئيسها البطل وحده بشكل مجرد! و بناء عليه يقوم محرك العبث ببدل المزيد من أجل استمرارية حالة فورس ماجور لأنها تخدم مصالحه في حين ان الرد على اطالة عمر العبث سيكون له ارتداد على من هم خلف دلك العبث و لتعلم اسرائل حصرا انني أقصدها تعالوا للعب على المكشوف و دعونا نزيل الأقنعة ! سندول لكم لعبة تكنولوجيا الثورات لتنخر عظامكم !!!

May 13th, 2011, 11:15 am


Revlon said:

According to Mr. taleb Ibrahim, Aunty meant the president ordered the shooting by armed infiltrators on civilian to be stopped, and not the military!
Because, there was no order, to start with, for government forces to shoot at civilians!

Al Jazeera live a few minutes ago!

May 13th, 2011, 11:27 am


Mawal95 said:

The NY Times reporter quoted by #128 AIG is biased against the Syrian government. You can know that just from the fact that it is AIG who sees fit to quote from him, but here’s an example of his bias. He reports that the Syrian government has “a leadership that relies on family and sectarian loyalties, underpinned by the power of security forces”. Whereas, the firm support of the security forces for this regime is a reflection of the support or acceptance that the regime has in the society as a whole. And the regime does not rely on sectarian loyalties; rather, the sectarian streak in Syrian society is a matter which every imaginable Syrian government has to handle and which this particular government has been handling admirably.

The NY Times report says: “A resident in Baniyas said crowds at Friday Prayer were smaller than usual, and in contrast to past weeks, no demonstrations gathered afterward. “People are extremely scared,” said Abu Obada, a resident there reached by phone. “They’re worried about snipers and they’re worried about the security forces. Most of the people prayed at home”.” Please recall that during the past few days Syrian State TV broadcasted high-profile confessions from violent hooligans or terrorists who were operating amongst the Baniyas demonstrators, and these hooligans were Baniyas natives which makes the story all the more compelling in Banyas. So the real explanation for why the crowds in Banyas were smaller than in the past weeks is — to repeat what someone said earlier in this thread above — “If I were a Syrian today, however critical of Bashar El Assad and of the Baath party I might be, I would not go out today and demonstrate for overthrowing the regime. The so called Syrian revolution is a collection of resentful extremists willing to push the country into the abyss.” The smaller crowds in Banyas today tells me that the ordinary people of Banyas who maintain an anti-regime political opinion are at the same time unwilling to see the country pushed into abyss. That is why the country is not at risk of going into abyss. Repeating myself, Prof. Joshua’s contemplation of a country that can “implode” is without good grounding in current reality.

May 13th, 2011, 11:28 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

I like the Russian media. Russians are smart people. They must be smart after all the Western plots and intrigues they faced.

There is a Russian TV in Arabic called Russia Today. It is a very good channel even though it is not well-known. It is much better than the American crap that Wahhabi channels keep showing to brainwash people.

Do you know that Russia is only 600 km away from Syria? The northern Caucasus is Russian territory. This region is so close to Syria and there are so many Syrians who come originally from the Caucasus, which means that there are so many Syrians who hail from Russia. Also there are so many Syrians who were educated in Russia.

I just can’t understand the pro-American Wahhabi idiots who want us to be enemies with Iran and Russia and be friends with such a bloody country as the US. Iran and Russia are our neighbors and we have so much in common with them. The US is a foreign invader that has never done anything good to Syria or the region.

Assad’s “five sea plan” خطة ربط البحار الخمسة is a natural policy that should be pursued by any Syrian government. Syria is not an American colony like Israel or the Gulf states. We cannot act like an American colony because we are not one.

May 13th, 2011, 11:30 am


why-discuss said:


Some of the visible opposition activists admit that the situation is in a stalemate. To get out of this dead end, they naively ask the government to stop the crackdown and make reforms. While the government is united and can offer public guarantees, the opposition is totally divided and has no control over the situation on the ground. What guarantee can they offer that once reforms announced there will not be renewed calls for the fall of the regime? The opposition is unable to show any sign that it controls the demonstrations.
The disunity of the opposition, its small number and its lack of leadership and organization is gradually hampering its credibility. The regime is comforted that, in the eyes of most Syrians and the international community, it has remained the only choice there is to rule Syria.
Whatever time it will take, it is clear that opposition is getting less and less organized while the government is getting more organized.
The media can repeat at nausea that the protesters are heroes defying crackdown, nothing will happen except maybe the eternal US et EU sanctions against Syria that many countries have learned to live with and that in fact have helped them to turn toward Asia, which is the natural partner.

May 13th, 2011, 11:34 am


محمود said:

Have you paint the map of the Syrian Arab Republic with different colors for an elegance ??? In case yes , you can use more colors to paint map of United States of America and enjoy!

May 13th, 2011, 11:38 am


democracynow said:


May 13th, 2011, 11:40 am


AIG said:


Thanks for the informative post. The bravery of the Syrian people is incredible. There is no way the regime is going to be able to put the genie back in the bottle without huge democratic reforms. Many Syrians are fearless in the face of the ruthless regime.

May 13th, 2011, 11:43 am


محمود said:


about Russia ! right understanding ! US adminstration and Europe know that syria is very impotant geopolitical interest to Russia ! so Russia building millitary base in Tartous and take responsibility for peace there !so Russia is miane player !!!

May 13th, 2011, 12:00 pm


democracynow said:

Wow… I’d missed the video of probably the largest protest today.

This one is in Mi’art Al Nu’man, Idlib country side:


May 13th, 2011, 12:06 pm


jad said:

No shooting in all those protests, hmm, I guess Revlon’s Aunty was right after all or at least until 7:05, not many casualties reported out of these thousands of demonstrators yet.
It is also interesting that the majority of protesters don’t shout at all, they just walk along without repeating anything, are they mute?

May 13th, 2011, 12:08 pm


AKbar Palace said:


Nor do I see looting or protestors with arms.

May 13th, 2011, 12:20 pm


jad said:

This is why no shooting!

May 13th, 2011, 12:22 pm


Off the Wall said:


Enjoy as much colors as you want for the US.
Here is a Map of Counties (main administrative units in the US in different color . Colorful maps do not scare us.

Here is a map with county boundaries, but only states are given different colors . Similar to the colors in the Muafazat map Dr. Landis is showing.

Finally, you should be ready to understand and use colorful maps even with smaller divisions for Syria if the new local election law takes place and new divisions and councils are created. You will need maps of these divisions in order to know who to vote for, if you care.

There are other maps that have much more colors for the US, such as maps of soils, maps of geological formations, watersheds, population of ducks, birds, hyenas, and you name it. A Colored map is not a conspiracy. Honestly, it is not.

May 13th, 2011, 12:36 pm


jad said:

It seems that Mi’art Al Nu’man protesters couldn’t keep their peace that long, they attacked the Syrian TV reporters and burn down their car while holding olive branches and white flags 🙂

طاقم التلفزيون العربي السوري في معرة النعمان يتعرض للإعتداء وتم إحراق سيارة النقل الخارجي من قبل مجموعة تركب الدراجات النارية وبعض المتظاهرين الذين كانوا يحملون أغصان زيتون وأعلام بيضاء…يعني سلمية

The map that Dr. Landis is showing is nothing more than a map of the 14 Syrian Provinces. I agree with you that we will see many colorful maps if any real election take place in Syria.

May 13th, 2011, 12:40 pm


solitarius said:

Of two deaths that occured in Homs today and yesterday one thing is common.. the family names are associated with drug activity. The victims could well be completely innocent. But is it a coincedence that of the few known drug names in our small city, two are killed in two consecutive days? I leave it for you to decide and investigate.

May 13th, 2011, 12:42 pm


Off the Wall said:

Dearest Jad
I knew that, hence my selection of map of counties and my indication in the comment. I am (one more time) surprised that Mahmood did not recognize that. Don’t tell me he also likes to surprise me, I barely know the fella.

May 13th, 2011, 12:48 pm


jad said:

My dearest OTW,
May I suggest that you stop being surprised, it’s unhealthy in our young age 😉

May 13th, 2011, 12:52 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

The regime ordered no shooting today,and in fact there was no shooting,this is another proof that the protesters are NOT ARMED,
contrary to what pro regime are saying.

May 13th, 2011, 12:56 pm


why-discuss said:


“Of course, protests were reported in many other places. Especially Daraa’s country side, Jableh, Lattakis..etc.. But the number of videos is overwhelming. You get the idea.”

No, I don’t and no one does except the ones who still live in the illusion that these small demonstrations will change the regime.

May 13th, 2011, 12:57 pm


Nour said:


No one ever claimed that the protesters were armed. The vast majority of the protesters are obviously not armed. But there were indeed armed elements who were exploiting the protests in order to create chaos. These armed elements have been mostly eliminated, and therefore the result is no violence.

May 13th, 2011, 1:01 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

The map of Dr. Landis has three major problems. First, it shows a province that does not exist and never existed in Western Hama. Second, it shows the two coastal provinces with the same color and without a separating border. Third, it lacks the Iskandaroun province, which is a common problem in non-Syrian maps.

As for Mahmoud, I think the map looks scary at first glance because it comes coupled with an ominous title.

May 13th, 2011, 1:04 pm


why-discuss said:


You have a gift of distorting the reality and interpret it at your whims.
In the contrary it is very clear that the ‘armed’ demonstrators have been totally neutralized by the clamp down in the last few days (that you and many decried as ‘barbaric’). We can now appreciate the result:
The government is feeling confident enough to ask the security forces not to shoot. This is an important milestone in restoring security and allowing peaceful demonstrations. Next friday more will demonstrate peacefully.

May 13th, 2011, 1:07 pm


jad said:

I wont judge so quickly before the day ends, however, until 8:00pm only couple casualties were reported out of many protests which might be explained by:
1- When protesters don’t go violence no body get hurt
2- The reality that the gangs the security captured were in fact committing lots of crimes and steering violence, hence no attacks/very few at the army/by passers today.
3- Behind doors negotiations between the regime and the local oppositions are taking place, maybe Turkey is there too.
3- American pressure on the regime and the European threats against the President might be a reason
4- Realizations from the regime that using lethal force wont work anymore
5- Many Syrians are scared about unwillingly turning their country to another Iraq.
6- Revlon’s Aunty was telling the truth about NO SHOOTING orders by Jr.

May 13th, 2011, 1:18 pm


محمود said:

to Mr Jad !

لهذه الأسباب سقطت الثورة في سورية

(( وكالة أخبار الشرق الجديد ـ بقـلم : ليلى نقولا الرحباني )) : فرض النظام السوري واقعًا جديدًا بإحلال الأمن، بعدما فلتت زمام الأمور لفترة طويلة، وقامت مجموعات مسلحة بعمليات قتل وقنص ضد المواطنين وقوى الأمن، واعتداءات طالت الجيش السوري، وعشرات المواطنين، وعدداً لا يستهان به من المرافق العامة والخاصة. هكذا حسمت الدولة السورية الأمر لصالحها على الأرض، وفقاً لما يستجيب للشرائح الأساسية من الشعب، وقد ساعدها على ذلك ما يلي :
ـ أولاً : ظهور السلاح بشكل كثيف، وانتشار القناصة على السطوح، ودفع “الثورة” نحو أعمال إجرامية تجلت في قتل ضباط الجيش السوري، والتمثيل بجثث الضحايا، الأمر الذي تدينه جميع الديانات السماوية والشرائع والمواثيق الدولية، ويحظره القانون الدولي الإنساني.. وهنا، كان القتل الذي مورس على الأرض تشويهًا لكل ما أتت به شعارات “الثورة”، من إصلاح وحرية وكرامة..
الشعب السوري ينشد الإصلاح والحرية من دون شك، ويريد أن ينتقل إلى دولة عصرية شفافة فيها جميع معايير المواطنية التامة، وحقوق الإنسان، ومكافحة الفساد، لكنه لا يريد لأمنه أن يهتز، ولا لاستقراره أن يكون عرضة لخضّات أمنية، ولا يريد بطبيعة الحال أن ينخرط في حرب أهلية، لن تؤدي إلا إلى تدمير البلد وتقسيمه.
ـ ثانياً : الخطوات الإصلاحية التي قام بها الرئيس بشار الأسد، والتي أسقطت من يد هؤلاء جميع الذرائع الإصلاحية، وساهمت في إيجاد شرخ بينهم وبين الإصلاحيين الحقيقيين في البلاد. والسؤال الذي يتبدى للمراقب: هل الإصلاح ومكافحة الفساد هما مطلب حقيقي يراد تنفيذهما، أم مجرد شعار لتحقيق أهداف أخرى؟ وإن كان الهدف هو الإطاحة بالنظام الذي حكم سورية لمدة عقود، فلماذا لم يلجأ هؤلاء إلى نفس الأساليب اللاعنفية التي اعتمدها الشعبان التونسي والمصري، واستطاعت أن تصنع ما كان يُعتقد أنه من “المعجزات”، أم أنهم خشوا انكشاف حجمهم الشعبي، فمارسوا العنف بدلاً من المظاهرات السلمية؟
ـ ثالثاً : خطاب الفتنة المذهبية الذي ساقه عدد من رجال الدين، الذين ساهموا في تأجيج الاحتجاجات، وبروز مشروع الإمارات السلفية، جعل فئات الشعب السوري كافة تخشى نجاح المخطط الإسرائيلي الذي كشفته الوثائق بالدفع نحو تقسيم سورية إلى دول أربع، ونجاح هذا المخطط سيجعل الدولة والشعب السوري خاسرين، وحتى الفئات الطائفية الكبرى في سورية ستكون خاسرة من دون شك.
ـ رابعاً : يخشى السوريون تحول بلدهم إلى عراق آخر، وبلا شك ما زالت مشاهد العنف الطائفي الدموي وفظاعاته في العراق ولبنان خلال الحرب الأهلية ماثلة أمام أعين السوريين، كما أن السوريين يدركون أكثر من غيرهم نتائج “الديمقراطية” الأميركية في العراق، التي قتلت شعبه واستباحت ثرواته وهجّرت ما لا يقل عن مليوني عراقي من مختلف الفئات، والتي كان لسورية النصيب الأكبر من المهجرين.
ـ خامساً : الخوف من مصير ليبي، وخشية الشعب السوري من أن يكون ما يقوم به هؤلاء هو استدراج للتدخل الأجنبي لاحتلال وقصف سورية؛ كما حصل في ليبيا، ويكون ثمرة “الاصلاح” المنشود، احتلال أجنبي يستبيح البلاد ويغرقها في التخلف والجهل، ويعيش على إذكاء الخلافات الدائمة بين أبناء الشعب الواحد.
ـ سادساً : خشية السوريين المسيحيين من مصير يشابه مصير مسيحيي العراق، الذين تآمرت عليهم القوى الدولية بالتعاون مع القوى الظلامية، فاستباحتهم واستباحت دماءهم وكنائسهم ومقدساتهم، وحولتهم إلى دياسبورا، تشبه الدياسبورا اليهودية التي تشتت في أقاصي الأرض.
ـ سابعاً : لا يعوّل السوريون كثيراً على مواقف الولايات المتحدة الأميركية والدول الأوروبية المعروفة بمقايضتها الدائمة على حقوق الإنسان من أجل مصالحها، وما الحديث الأميركي عن ضغط على الرئيس الأسد ومطالبته بتغيير سلوكه، إلا انكشاف لزيف الادعاءات الإصلاحية، فما يطلبه الأميركيون – حسب ما أعلنوا ـ هو تغيير سلوك النظام من المقاومة في لبنان، وفك تحالفه مع إيران، والذي سيؤدي بشكل غير مباشر إلى توقيع اتفاقية سلام مع إسرائيل، وهي مطالب أثبتت أنها ضد الوجدان الشعبي السوري.
ـ ثامناً : بالنسبة إلى الدول الإقليمية والعربية، وعى السوريون أن لا مصلحة للدول العربية في إظهار سورية منتصرة في خياراتها الاستراتيجية في العداء لإسرائيل، وأنهم يكنون العداء للنظام السوري منذ انتصار لبنان ضد إسرائيل خلال عدوان تموز 2006، وظهور سورية كشريك أساسي في النصر المحقق ضد العدو الإسرائيلي.. لذلك كان التحريض الإعلامي والسياسي المكشوف ضدهم.
أما تركيا، فقد استفزت الشعب السوري بمواقف “تطلب” فيها و”تدعو” و”تأمر”.. بمشهد يعيد إلى الأذهان طلبات الباب العالي من “الولاة” الخاضعين لحكمه.. لا يمكن أن يُصرف التهويل التركي عند الشعب السوري، الذي يعرف أن تركيا التي تتصرف كدولة عظمى “مفترضة” وتتدخل في الشؤون الداخلية لسورية، لم تستطع أن تحصل على مجرد اعتذار من إسرائيل على قتلها مواطنيها العزّل في سفينة مرمرة، ولم تمنح مواطنيها الأكراد أبسط حقوقهم المواطنية المشروعة.
في علم العلاقات الدولية، يُعرف أن النظرية لا تشبه الواقع الدولي، فبينما ينص ميثاق الأمم المتحدة على حظر التدخل في الشؤون الداخلية للدول الأخرى، واحترام سيادتها، تقوم الدول الكبرى بتدخلات لا حصر لها في شؤون الدول الأخرى الأضعف، وتستغل الدول الكبرى بشكل دائم أي تحركات شعبية أو اختلال أمني في بلد من البلدان للتدخل في شؤونه، خصوصاً إذا كانت حكومة الدولة المستهدفة ضعيفة، أو تمّ إضعافها من خلال افتعال مشكلات داخلية وتغذية النزاعات في البلد المعني.. وتطبيقاً للحالة السورية على هذا الواقع الدولي، وفي ظل الخيار الأمني الذي قام به الجيش السوري في الداخل، والذي أظهر فيه ولاء لقيادته وحرصاً على الأمن والاستقرار وقدرة على فرضهما، يظهر أن النظام السوري يملك من القوة الفاعلة داخلياً، والاوراق الاستراتيجية خارجياً، ما يجعل من قدرة الدول الكبرى على كسر إرادته صعبة ومكلفة جداً.

May 13th, 2011, 1:20 pm


jad said:

Dear Ma7moud,
I’m with you, I refuse to see Syria map but one, united and independent, however, the map Dr. Landis put can be found and circulated by the Syrian government.
As Souri wrote, the title of the post next to a colorful pieces of Syria is scary, and the west would like to see Syria this way. I agree.

May 13th, 2011, 1:34 pm


NK said:


“Third, it lacks the Iskandaroun province, which is a common problem in non-Syrian maps.”

It’s actually not a problem of non-Syrian maps, I wish I had a 1000 SP bill to scan and post here, but you can check it out yourself if you have any, Syria’s Map on our own currency doesn’t have Iskandaroun as part of Syria anymore. Syria officially renounced those claims of Iskandaroun when Bashar signed the FTA with Turkey in 2001, the official papers had the maps of both countries and the Syrian one had no Iskandaroun.

May 13th, 2011, 1:44 pm


SecularLB said:

The Russians today warned NATO and the US against engaging Syria as it did Libya.

How would Syrians feel about a NATO incursion ?

May 13th, 2011, 1:49 pm


jad said:

From FB:

الشهيد صفوك الخليفة الذي اغتاله القناصة في حمص يحمل شهادة الدكتوراه من فرنسا في الاستشعار عن بعد

ومظاهرات اليوع على الشكل التالي:
تفرق تجمعات في حي الخالدية بحمص دون تدخل الأمن
و اشتباكات بين الأمن ومجموعات مسلحة في حي باب تدمر بحمص
و تظاهر المئات في السلمية واشتباكات مع مؤيدين
و مواجهات بين قوات الامن ومسلحين في منطقة عشيري بحمص
و المئات يتظاهرون في البوكمال
و تجمع العشرات في اللاذقية يهتفون لدرعا وللحرية
و تجمع المئات في عدة مناطق في الحسكة يهتفون لدرعا والحرية
و اعتقال 3 أشخاص في اللاذقية حاولوا القيام بأعمال تخريب
و متظاهرون في المعرة يعتدون على السيارات على طريق حلب – دمشق الدولي

وانباء من وسائل اعلام اميركيه توكد ان : الموفد الأميركي الخاص بالشرق الأوسط جورج ميتشل سيستقيل

ولايوجد اي شي ببافي المناطق ابقوا معنا وسوف ننقل الخبر اول باول

May 13th, 2011, 1:51 pm


jad said:

Sophia, WD,

طرد مراسلة الجزيرة دوروثي بارفيزبسبب محاولة دخولها بطريقة غير شرعية..

اعلنت السفارة السورية في واشنطن أمس الاربعاء ان دوروثي بارفيز الصحافية في قناة الجزيرة التي تحمل الجنسيات الاميركية والكندية والايرانية والتي فقد الاتصال معها في سوريا نهاية نيسان/ابريل، طردت الى ايران في الاول من ايار/مايو.
واكدت السفارة في بيان ان بارفيز “حاولت دخول سوريا بطريقة غير مشروعة” في 29 نيسان/ابريل مع تأشيرة سياحية وجواز سفر ايراني منتهي الصلاحية.
وبعد يومين تم “ترحيلها وفق القانون الدولي الى البلد الذي اصدر جواز السفر”.
واعتبرت سوريا انه “من المؤسف جدا ان تحاول صحافية تعمل في وكالة انباء عالمية ذائعة الصيت مثل الجزيرة الدخول الى بلد بطريقتين غير شرعيتين، جواز سفر منتهي الصلاحية وتصريح كاذب عن هدف الزيارة”.
واضاف البيان ان “ما يثير الريبة اكثر” هو “اذا ما كانت الجهة التي توظفها على علم بهذا النشاط غير الشرعي وسمحت بذلك”

May 13th, 2011, 1:53 pm


democracynow said:


Don’t be sad. Here’s a pro-regime demonstration for you today…


…..oops, it looks like they’re only shabeyha thugs and security forces. Sorry.

May 13th, 2011, 1:57 pm


Alex said:

One of the most obvious changes is that the new information minister is actually communicating!


Yesterday on Syrian Television they had a lively discussion among University students. Many were quite honest and said things you never hear on Syrian TV.

May 13th, 2011, 1:59 pm


jad said:

أدوار الحدث السوري في الأجندة الخارجية (الخطة ب بعد فشل الخطة أ)
الجمل: تشير المعطيات إلى أن محور واشنطن ـ تل أبيب ظل طوال الفترة الماضية أكثر اهتماماً بمتابعة تطورات الوقائع الجارية في مسيرة الحدث السوري، والسعي لدفع فعاليات هذا الحدث باتجاه إنفاذ سيناريو انهيار دمشق، والآن، ومع بدء مطلع الأسبوع الثامن، بدا واضحاً أن حركة الاحتجاجات قد أصبحت على وشك النهاية، إن لم تكن قد انتهت بالفعل، وبكلمات أخرى، فقد انتهت “الخطة ـ أ” دون تحقيق الهدف المطلوب، فما هي “الخطة ـ ب” التي بالتأكيد سوف يسعى محور واشنطن ـ تل أبيب إلى محاولة إنفاذ فعالياتها خلال الفترة القادمة؟

* “الخطة ـ ب”: المكونات والملامح العامة

على أساس اعتبارات وقائع الأداء السلوكي الجاري على خطط أطراف محور واشنطن ـ تل أبيب، وخطوط أطراف محور واشنطن ـ الرياض، ومحور واشنطن ـ أنقرا، يمكن بكل وضوح فهم أبعاد نموذج “الخطة ـ ب” المتوقع قيام محور واشنطن ـ تل أبيب السعي لجهة إنفاذ فعالياتها على أرض الواقع، وفي هذا الخصوص يمكن الإشارة إلى الآتي:
• الهدف الرئيسي هو دفع دمشق لجهة القبول بخيار السلام مقابل السلام مع إسرائيل، بما يتضمن التنازل عن الجولان بلا مقابل.
• الأهداف النوعية: التخلي عن الروابط مع طهران، وحزب الله، وحركة حماس، إضافة إلى بقية فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية، وفي نفس الوقت السعي لدعم النفوذ الأمريكي في العراق، إضافة إلى القيام بعرقلة صعود أنقرا لقوة إقليمية تهدد قوة النفوذ الإسرائيلي الحالي.
• الوسائل: على المستوى الداخلي، دعم حركات المعارضة السورية على المستويين الداخلي بالمال والتكنولوجيا المتطورة، بما يتيح إنعاش قدراتها، والعودة من جديد خلال الفترات القادمة وهي أكثر حيوية لجهة خوض المواجهات ضد دمشق.
على المستوى الخارجي: تعميم عمليات فرض العقوبات بما يؤدي إلى جعل دمشق تواجه عقوبات دولية متعددة الأطراف. وفي نفس الوقت القيام بالضغط أكثر فأكثر لجهة إجراء المساومات مع موسكو التي تبين أنها لعبت دوراً كبيراً لجهة عرقلة وإحباط مخطط استخدام المنظمات الدولية في عملية استهداف دمشق.
من المتوقع أن تبدأ مفاعيل التحركات الجديدة خلال مطلع الأسبوع القادم، وفي هذا الخصوص أشارت بعض التسريبات إلى أن واشنطن من المحتمل أن تغير لهجتها الحالية إزاء دمشق بلهجة جديدة أكثر تشدداً، وإضافة لذلك تشير التحركات الإقليمية الجارية إلى أن أنقرا سوف تكون هدفاً رئيساً لجهة دفعها باتجاه إما الانخراط في مخطط استهداف دمشق أو الوقوف على الحياد.
هذا، وتقول التسريبات، بأن الاجتماع الذي أدى إلى تضليل موقف أنقرا السابق، قد تم في يوم 3 نيسان (أبريل) 2011م، وجمع: وزير الخارجية أحمد داود أوغلو ـ وزير الداخلية عثمان غونيز ـ رئيس هيئة الأركان الجنرال أصلان غونير ـ رئيس المخابرات هاكان فيدان ـ إضافة إلى عمر أوتهون السفير التركي في سوريا، وهو الاجتماع الذي اعتمد التخمين الاستخباري التركي الذي تحدث عن وجود 7 إلى 6 مليون مسلح في سوريا، وسعى لجهة التأكيد على فكرة أن حركة انهيار دمشق قد بدأت ووصلت إلى نقطة اللاعودة!


May 13th, 2011, 1:59 pm


democracynow said:

Why Discuss,

I know, right? A newborn’s circumcision party in a small village is larger than any of these demonstrations.

Whatever makes you sleep better.

May 13th, 2011, 2:00 pm


jad said:

As long as no Syrian get killed, I’m happy.

May 13th, 2011, 2:03 pm


Mahmoud said:

Thank you Jad !

May 13th, 2011, 2:08 pm


jad said:

Nice new look for Creative Syria, one thing though, can you design a different Logo, this style is not original anymore, everybody is using it even the falafel shops near my apt 🙂
Sorry for being critical, but we are in the new era of saying anything we want.

May 13th, 2011, 2:12 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


i quote you :

“I don’t have a horse in this fight and I don’t have a strong opinion but just observing and learning”

Mr Honest Patriot, I believe that I have the right to have a strong opinion and as for my CREDENTIALS it doesn’t matter since it is a question of opiniopn lets say one of a patriot (by the way HONEST is not the best quality that you one can accolate with PATRIOT this is already suspect, why should a patriot be honest ? rather be he smart brave courageous etc … )

i dont medldle in politics and as i see this abject conspiracy failing i can notice than better contributors than me are defending my syrian opinion and fortunately they are many true syrians or real friends. So many thanks and respect to them.

sorry for reacting like a syrian all can i do is to wish you a good learning if you are really honest but there is no doubt about that , no 🙂


May 13th, 2011, 2:24 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

#168. NK,

The Syrian government is very keen to replace any wrong map with a correct one. Mistakes happen, but you cannot claim that the mistakes are deliberate. At one time, I believe, the weather forecast on Syrian TV used a defected map, but they soon after corrected it.

What matters are the official maps and the official position of the Syrian government (not the Turkish one). When the agreement with Turkey was signed many Zionists and Syrian opposition members claimed that Syria had ceded Iskandaroun. The Syrian government then responded and declared that it had not ceded anything. This was the end of the story. The more the opposition keeps repeating this stupid myth the more people start to believe that Syria actually ceded Iskandaroun, which is not the case.

If I were a Syrian lawmaker, I would make a special law to punish everyone who repeats this myth because it is very venomous and many stupid Syrians (especially the American-Wahhabi opposition) do believe that Syria ceded Iskandaroun and they will keep telling this myth to everybody until it becomes a common belief. This is not a game. This is treason. The American-Wahhabi opposition deals with Syria’s territorial causes so irresponsibly and they keep talking about ceding Syrian territory and dividing Syria etc. This is because this opposition is just a bunch of traitors and they should be tried in court as such.

May 13th, 2011, 2:45 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

The reasons for minimal casualties today(hence for Revlon and Democrasy now depression until next week):
1-3000 peaceful chrismass carol singers with knifes and guns behind bars doing training for there next symphony show upon orders from outside producers.

2-Dara and Banias mini-binladens at Revlon anties house playing cards and hopefully getting ready to join grand-binladen .

3-Army surgical operations inforced by peaceful candle holders and christmass caroll singers very successful in removing a lot of cancer cells before spreading.every surgery unfortunately has side effects.but medicines chemo and radiation were useless.we have not been cured yet.it is cancer.

May 13th, 2011, 2:51 pm


Aldendeshe said:

الاستشعار عن بعد

Is that Remote Sensing?

Does anyome have more info about him and the other assasinated Hadidi Village scientist with patents on using cells to store memory and digital data. I am suspecting Mossad is behind this, they did that to Iraqi and Iranian Scientists. One of these days will get to the bottom of it to see if they were assassinated by Syrians for western intel links, or not. If not, there will be a lot of sorrow and saddness. The Syrians are not responding to my requests on this, so they maybe hiding something.

May 13th, 2011, 2:52 pm


Nour Douchi said:

My Response To Joshua Landis’ Article On Syria – by Nour Douchi

This is a very problematic article, one that seems on the surface quite objective and well informed but it lacks the very understanding that plagued American and Western journalism, especially when it comes from people that have virtually no credibility on the subject matter due to their known biases to the existing regimes such as the relationship that exists between the author of this article, Joshua Landis and the Syrian Ambassador (and the Syrian regime in general). So, let’s discuss the points that arise from the article:

FIRSTLY, he points out the political variety in Syria (liberals, Muslims, etc…) as a problem, as a lack of unity when this is the very basis of a pluralistic culture in the Western world where this author is supposed to have lived and appreciated. It is the essence of a society that appreciates democracy because it is used to the lack of uniformity, the opposite of which was done in Iran which tried to eliminate that by resorting to murdering all of its liberal opposition, what happened in Iraq by murdering its communist opposition, and what happened in Syria which bastardized every aspect of freedom of political exercise, which we, the Syrian people valued and did not appreciate seeing go away as the author somehow insinuates for the Syrian people.

SECONDLY, who said that the Sunni people appreciates the regime’s so-called stability in Syria? Who said there ever WAS any stability in Syria? According to what informed and insightful pollster did this author quote the sentiments of the Syrian merchants and businessmen? Is he simply repeating the Syrian propaganda about the stability of Syria? Has he somehow been in touch with Rami Makhlouf himself, a man whose wealth was begotten from the unlawful and unethical elimination of his business predecessors and pacesetters of economy in Syria? Just an example on that last question, it was because of the culture of piracy and mafia-like mentality that Rami Makhlouf, with the help of his Al Assad cousins, was able to take over a telecommunication company that was started by an Egyptian businessman and he later called it SyriaTel. Of course, I doubt that any Syrian businessman appreciate this sort of illegal takeover, especially that we, as Syrians ex-patriots, always have fears from going back to Syria to re-invest our wealth and knowledge because we know the kind of corrupt regime exists in Syria and how, in the best case scenario, a business investor will get by doing business by having to pay large sums of loyalty to the regime in the form of bribes that can sometimes reach levels as high as 50%. No business man in any Western country can appreciate having to pay that much in taxes, let alone in bribes. It strangles the very essence of economy. But what’s more to that point is that what I lay for you in this response is NOT theoretical and is not a matter of a personal sentiment but rather a lifelong experienced suffering we had to deal with, especially for my being the son of a businessman who always had to pay at least 20% of his deserved invoices from the government to corrupt department heads or else they would threaten never cashing them as is the case with outstanding invoices belonging to hundreds of thousands small business in Syria.

Therefore, the business elite in Syria does not appreciate this structure because it did operate and thrive quite successfully in Syria for a very long time, even during the rule of the Ottomans, without this sort of suffocating corruption. The business elites have fled in Syria by the hundreds of thousands, and they have had to sneak out most of their money in various ways because they saw no future for them in their own mother country and had to do without but very bitterly so. The business elite would like to get back into Syria and somehow re-inject a much need financial fuel in its system after the thugs of the regime, beginning with the president, his brothers, and his cousins and down to every corrupt officer, have bled the country dry of its wealth and sent the pirate gains to foreign bank accounts where they are invested in international businesses but not in the Syrian economy.

THIRDLY, what does the author know about the Syrian society to judge its fragility in this insulting manner? If the latest developments in Syria, a country with a very strict monopoly and eavesdropping on communications, have told us anything, it has told us that despite our initial fears of Al-Assad’s manufactured fragmentation of the Syria society, the Syrian society still managed to rise up as one voice with the SAME SLOGANS of non-violence, with the SAME SLOGANS of national unity, with the same slogans of persistence. The author is a classic example on Edward Saeed’s elaborated Orientalism, a view of the Middle East from a very degrading Western view that somehow cannot seem to see in the Middle Easterners the same strength, wisdom and qualities that Westerners believe to be somehow inherent to them. Very simply, we find his assertions are racist, not objective as he hasn’t studied Syria or its society objective because no outside truly can under Al Assad regime. You have to sign an oath of loyalty to the regime to be allowed that sort of intimate access to the people. Therefore, only the people of Syria, and the Syrians ALONE, can judge how Syria is. And for that reason, you have seen Syrians of all political colors and religious sects and social standings have come together to support the revolution.

FOURTHLY, there is one example similar to the current regime that Syria experienced. That example is so vivid in the consciousness of the Syrian people until today and that example is the French mandate over Syria that lasted 26 years, between 1920 and 1946. During that time, the French tried to further divide Syria into smaller states, divided along the lines of religious ethnicity. The only success it got was with separating Lebanon from Syria, but it couldn’t go further than dividing it into the Alwite state (in the coast), Homs state, Aleppo state, Druze states, etc… Every Syrian rejected that division as they do today. Salih Al Ali, an Alwite, refused vehemently to rule over an Alwite state, Faris Al-Khouri, a Christian, walked into Al Amawi mosque and gave his famous speech rejecting the French alibi in staying in Syria to protect the Christians when he said, “If France wants to stay in Syria to protect the Christians, then today, I give Al Shahada [the statement to initiate convert to Islam], ‘I hereby attest that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the messenger of God'” And similar attitudes were shared by other leaders from other sects such as the Durzi Sultan Al Atrash and others. The point is, Syria is still fertile of its patriotic figures, even today, after forty years of Al-Assad’s vicious manipulation of politics by sending to prison or exile all of those who opposed him and did not give in his corrupt style and replaced them with those who were happily willing to do so.

FIFTHLY, every nation deserves its chance to the right of self-determination, and usually things go wrong because of such Western attitudes that see a situation like that developing and fear for THEIR own interests in the region, so they start fueling division to fight over control. Just let us be, and we’ll show you once again how your predictions about the Arab world would make you a lousy poker player.

May 13th, 2011, 2:55 pm


Weekly Roundup (5/13) | Mideast Reports said:

[…] Landis explores the “What Will a Post Assad Syria Look Like?” He labels himself a pessimist, and I’d certainly […]

May 13th, 2011, 3:03 pm


محمود said:

for 169. SECULARLB !

The Russians today warned NATO and the US against engaging Syria as it did Libya.

How would Syrians feel about a NATO incursion ?
please see up some videos for this case !

May 13th, 2011, 3:06 pm


Syria, Libya, Yemen and Middle East unrest – live updates said:

[…] “The regime will dig in its heels and fight to the end,” Syria expert Joshua Landis writes on his blog. But he continues: “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 politicised, mobilised, and passionate. All the same, the opposition remains divided and leaderless, which presents great dangers for a post-Assad Syria.” […]

May 13th, 2011, 3:07 pm


jad said:

Yes, it’s remote sensing and as you already know it has too many applications along the GIS.
At this times, nobody can tell if Issa Aboud and Safouk Khalifeh were assassinated on purpose of just being in the wrong place in the wrong time or who did kill them.

May 13th, 2011, 3:11 pm


Sophia said:

وزير الإعلام السوري:الأيام القادمة ستشهد حوارا وطنيا شاملا في مختلف المحافظات


May 13th, 2011, 3:15 pm


why-discuss said:

Jad, Sophia

Al Jazeera acted totally irresponsibly an unprofessionally by asking that journalist to take the risk of sneaking in Syria with an expired iranian passport and lying about the purpose of her visit. They are really thinking they are above the law.
If anything happens to Dorothy(Homa) Parvaz, Al Jazeera is the only one to blame. Maybe she will join in jail the three americans casually hiking on the iranian borders.

May 13th, 2011, 3:31 pm


Sophia said:

#191 WD,

Not only Al-Jazeera acts irresponsibly but as Dorothy is not yet a high profile journalist and given the fact that she was recently employed by Al-Jazeera, my feeling is that, as a new reporter, Dorothy could not refuse her assignment.

Before they sent her to Japan to cover the earthquake and Tsunami, which was a risky assignment.

Big corporation use their employees as means and not ends by themselves. Al-Jazeera is not different. This is a highly unethical attitude. The image of their reporter being hounded and shot dead by US soldiers shooting from their helicopter on the roof of a building in Baghdad still haunt me. They present this as heroic on their part (see the movie ‘the control room’), but first it is not al-Jazeera that is heroic but those reporters, and second, there is nothing heroic in sending others to death. Al-Jazeera exploits its reporters for its own publicity.

Responsibility requires that you don’t send an inexperienced reporter like Mrs Parvaz to fulfill highly risky assignments.

May 13th, 2011, 3:51 pm


Mina said:

A weak article on HA. Seems no journalists has anything to say on Lebanon!
Sophia, i still cant find a link to the Nuakchott cables and the Wikileaks website is down or not updates for most of the mirrors.

May 13th, 2011, 4:08 pm


jad said:

Sophia, WD,
It’s also the responsibility of the Syrian regime.
Sending her back to Iran is unethical and it actually shows the regime as Iran’s follower.
They could’ve send her back to where she came from instead. What the regime did is criminal knowing for fact that she is nothing but a mean for Aljazeera, hopefully she wont get hurt in any way and that she can be released soon.

It seems that Iran’s Ahmadinejad have lots of trouble too:
Iranian cleric warns president amid power struggle

I liked the sorcery accusations against 25 people in Iran 🙂

May 13th, 2011, 4:09 pm


Sophia said:

Signs are that the Assad regime may be gaining upper hand in Syria

Although I am skeptical of Blanford’s analyses most of the time, the argument that Syria didn’t play the regional card yet is a valid one.

May 13th, 2011, 4:10 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Thank you. Random instance according to the random probability equation is 49*48*47*46*45*44, which equals approximately 10.07 billion. That is for one instance, for two identical one, it is way higher. So I can safely assume that the killing of 2 Syrian Scientists with unique high tech expertise in new frontier sciences, using the same method and close time frame is not a random chance act of being in the wrong spot at the wrong time.

Now, they may have been working for AlCIADA and for Baathist, their education means nothing. But the Syrian Government did not come forth and explain the circumstances and Israel did not issue any denial despite repeated accusation. Wait and see if #3 instances will occur under similar suspicious circumstances.
Here is some interesting links: Please don’t say there is no conspiracy, it is all random:

This is 2009 death only click on the link for other years.





May 13th, 2011, 4:13 pm


Nour said:


I don’t agree with you there. Dorothy attempted to enter Syria as an Iranian citizen. She used her Iranian passport at the port of entry and therefore the only place to deportment her, legally, was to Iran. The same thing would have happened here in the US. I work in immigration and see such things all the time.

May 13th, 2011, 4:17 pm


Aldendeshe said:

List of Iraqi academics and scientists assassinated in Iraq during the US-led occupation:


May 13th, 2011, 4:32 pm


jad said:

Technically speaking you are right when there is no threat of the person’s life, however, knowing that she will face torture and probably death, and regardless of that they send her to Iran, that put the responsibility on the part that send her there, No?

May 13th, 2011, 4:36 pm


Tarek said:

Dear Josh. Your analysis is good. I am although more optimistic than you are. There will certainly be a period of violence and instability but it will surely lead Syria to a better future without this family who knew no limit in abusing people. The whole area will be better served without this regime’s regional games and continuous political bluffs. Let’s make people accountable for the choices they make. Once again Dr. Landis, I am enjoying reading your editorials. The neutrality and sincerity of your blog is most needed in this period.

May 13th, 2011, 4:40 pm


Sophia said:

# 194 Jad,

As I was writing this comment, I read Nour’s and I agree with her. Moreover, it is not criminal to send someone to a country that issued the passport she is traveling with.

Of course you would expect a more ethical and benevolent attitude toward her but how could a regime threatened by Mrs Parvaz’s employer, and by Parvaz herself, who was hiding her other citizenships and purpose of travel to Syria, have a benevolent attitude toward her?

May 13th, 2011, 4:48 pm


Sophia said:

#199 Jad,

Here is the list of responsibilities by decreasing order:

Dorothy herself
Syrian authorities, if and only if she faces torture and death in Iran (but this is not confirmed because to my knowledge she did nothing to Iran except holding an expired passport)
And finally Iran if something happens to her…But here we go back to the first degree of responsibility, direct, while the others were all indirect.

May 13th, 2011, 4:54 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

True,but dost Ajazera puts the life of 22 millions in jeopardy by acting and reporting like dogs with rabies,was’nt she planning to get to Syria to make the hole which is being dogged by here buses to Syria deeper.or you think that she was going to shop around in alhamedia.Qatar should learn that if you dig a hole to your sister you will fall in it.

May 13th, 2011, 4:58 pm


why-discuss said:

SOPHIA, Jad, Mina

When Dorothy (Homa) Parvaz disappeared in Syria, the Iranian government was the first to request the Syrians to release her as she is an Iranian citizen: Iran does not recognize multiple nationalities. The Canadian embassy and the US embassy ignored her, probably because they were embarrassed that she defied the law by entering as an iranian posing for a tourist.
Syria has done what is totally logical : Respond to the request of the Iranians and send her in the country of her passport.
If Al Jazeera thought the Syrian authorities would have been fooled, obviously they don’t know them well. The victim is this poor girl, who was forced probably into this game by Al Jazeera and who may end up in jail.
Anyway I have not seen any complaint from the Canadian and US in Damascus about this.
Al Jazeera is trying to stir the world now…
I guess dealing with Iran will be a much harder task than dealing with Syria.
She does not face death or torture, but if she or her family have already a history of dissent there, then they would not make it easy for her. Also I don’t think Iran ( and Syria) love Al Jazeera!

May 13th, 2011, 5:04 pm


Sophia said:

Suzanne Mubarak in custody.


I don’t like the Mubaraks but this is vile revenge made to distract the people in Tahrir square from the absence of real reforms. Also, I am against wild revenge, hasty executions and undelivered justice like in the case of Ceaucescu, Saddam, Bin Laden, and so on. I think these acts only call for more revenge. They are unworthy of a country aspiring to freedom and democracy, they are vile…

If a ruler and his family did something wrong, they should be brought to justice in a calm and dignified way…

May 13th, 2011, 5:46 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

This junta has reached it’s dead-end. here’s why:

Let’s assume that this junta has the upper hand. It hasn’t. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume this junta managed to calm down the situation. Now what?

Syria’s economy is expected to shrink by 3%. A government which has the trust of it’s people would, in a situation as this, introduce austerity measures (limit consumption and spending), and simultaneously increase investment and development. Can this junta, in this moment in time, do that? With it’s dwindling revenues and resources? With it’s dwindling political credit, home and abroad?

Political reform.
When I go to the polling station in Tel Aviv, every 4 or so years, I do it with trust. I trust the national elections committee. I trust the local committee, where the ballot-box is situated. I trust the policeman who guards the location. And if there’s a problem, I’ll trust the judicial system, and will respect it’s verdict.
Would you trust elections that are managed by this junta? The elections process depends upon trust. With no trust, there’s no democratic system. Would you trust this junta to conduct free and fair elections? Would you trust this junta to respect the elections results? Would you trust any thing that this junta does?

I understand the emotional pains of the reactionaries here. It’s really hard to let go something you knew for tens of years. But I’m sure that sooner than later they’ll understand that this junta has no future, and that better for all, revolutionaries and reactionaries, that it goes.

May 13th, 2011, 6:18 pm


Sophia said:


How nice of you to take Syrians’ matters at heart. Would you do the same for palestinians ?

May 13th, 2011, 6:37 pm


Syria, Libya, Yemen and Middle East unrest – live updates | Rubytall News said:

[…] “The regime will dig in its heels and fight to the end,” Syria expert Joshua Landis writes on his blog. But he continues: “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 politicised, mobilised, and passionate. All the same, the opposition remains divided and leaderless, which presents great dangers for a post-Assad Syria.” […]

May 13th, 2011, 6:40 pm


why-discuss said:


Why wouldn’t I trust them? They are Syrians,and now they have learned that the Syrians have matured and should not treated like children. In any case we know what they are, they are transparent.

You can’t say the same about your leaders who, one by one, once elected, are then accused of corruption or sex scandals! I wonder how the Israelis are not worried at election time of electing a future crook!

May 13th, 2011, 6:53 pm


Nour said:


I don’t know, that’s questionable. I guess if the Syrian regime wanted to be very sensitive and overly ethical, which no other regime in the world is, they could have considered that. However, normally, if a foreign national enters and believes there is a threat to their life in their country of origin, then they could seek asylum in the country they enter. But if she had citizenship in other countries, then why was she using the passport from the country where she supposedly fears persecution? In that way, she either voluntarily presented herself as a citizen of Iran, and therefore the Syrian government had no reason to believe she would be harmed there, or she herself acted unethically.

May 13th, 2011, 6:54 pm


Leo said:

Sophia @ 205

Since you said that you dislike Mubarak, what is the difference between Mubarak and Assad?

As for investigating Hosni & Suzanne Mubarak, why do you consider their investigation ‘wild revenge’? You are not against bringing them to justice in a calm & dignified manner, but so far they have been investigated in a decent manner and their full rights were upheld under the law. We all know what kind of treatment any suspect would have had if they were investigated by their old regime or if it was the Syrian regime. Therefore, relatively speaking, this is a drastic improvement in criminal procedure and respect for suspects’ rights.

May 13th, 2011, 6:57 pm


jad said:

فضائيات الفتنة تفشل في تشويه صورة سورية

May 13th, 2011, 7:08 pm



I have an answer to all loyalists here:

The syrian regime says it has open a national dialogue. What does it mean? How are they going to dialogue with people in prison like most of political figures are? Will they go to have a dialogue with them to prison? Will they provide the jailed personalities with web cam so they can participate in a National Congress?

Can you explain how can you dialogue on a national range without the participation of main opposition activists?

Is the dialogue only intended to control the power and the status quo by feeding some mouths and shuting up others?

May 13th, 2011, 7:13 pm




Please do not use palestinian issue as usually. This is demagogics. What armoured syrians are doing to unarmoured syrians is much worse. Israelis and palestinians are fighting (unequally and unfairly that´s right) for the land. What syrian regime is doing is killing their syrians brothers in their own land and violating their human rights for keeping in power.

RM said he would fight til the end to keep power, but he would never fight til the end to defend neither the palestinian cause nor the Golan Heights. Why ? Because he only cares about power and money.

May 13th, 2011, 7:26 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

This dialogue They are talking about,I suspect it is to gain time,later they will give us a dialogue similar to removing the emergency law , and substituting with banning demonstrations,what we want is remove the opression systems,allow freedom .

Nour said
162. Nour said:


No one ever claimed that the protesters were armed.”
Arent you the one claiming the security people died by armed men?
If the protesters are not armed,who killed those security people or those in the army?

May 13th, 2011, 7:28 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Sandro Loewe
Your question is malignant and you are really not interested in the answer or any form of dialogue .in Iraq the dialogue was between dead people and that is where your path is going.as it says in arabic we should try to pick the grapes not kill the (natoor).you want to kill him .stop acting stupid we are not.and stop calling others loyalists because they disagree with you that is the one party game which we all try to put behind us.

May 13th, 2011, 7:31 pm


Sophia said:

#210 Leo,

The personal fortune of the Mubaraks and their contempt for their citizen make them very different from Assad.

Their judicial matters are not being treated fairly, they are being treated in a opaque manner. The only thing we know is that they are being held and questioned by the police but we don’t know the details which lead me to think that this si pure propaganda by the actual authorities in order to distract Egyptians from the fact that there are no meaningful reforms

May 13th, 2011, 7:34 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


The Palestinians had their democracy for 2 minutes, which they themselves blew. But any way, my answer to you – yes I would.

My interest in Syria’s political matters is entirely selfish. Israel will do the peace business only with a democratic Syria. Absolutely not with this junta, or other. Since I wish for peace, I care about democracy in Syria.

May 13th, 2011, 7:45 pm


Louai said:


the Israelis and Palestinians are not fighting ,the Israelis only killing the Palestinians systematically and in front of all the world

the Syrian regime as you call it is not fighting its people ,its what you are saying ,the Syrian people are fighting against the cloned revolution and the imported terror.

If you are against the regime it dose not make all the Syrian people have the same idea . The street is talking loud and clear ..there Is no revolution there are few demonstrators and few terrorists and plenty of prostitutes (media)

if you guys stop changing the facts maybe you will attract more support in Syria ..i Think you started to belive the fabrications you yourselves provided to all this channels and that is exactly what working against you .

May 13th, 2011, 7:55 pm


Nour said:


Did you read my entire comment? I said there were armed elements that exploited the protests. Even opposition figures are having to admit that those armed elements existed, so anyone continuing to insist that there are no armed groups and that those soldiers and security officers were killed by the extreme peacefulness of the protests is living in serious denial.

May 13th, 2011, 7:57 pm


edward said:

The pressure mounts on the Syrian regime both internally and externally and now the cracks are beginning to show. I can only imagine what it must be like in the inner circle now, accusations, recriminations, threats and lots of swearing of course. Rest assured they’re all cowards, and are at this very moment making plans to flee with their families and ill gotten gains. Good riddance to them, and long live Syria the free.

May 13th, 2011, 7:58 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


I’m very proud to be a citizen in a country, in which it’s judges believe a low ranking female secretary, and do not believe the former president. The day when Katzav was convicted was a day of joy and pride for me.

Any way, your arguments (Syrians aren’t children, and the junta is now transparent), does not answer my question, which was, Do you trust them ?

May 13th, 2011, 7:59 pm


why-discuss said:


“Israel will do the peace business only with a democratic Syria.”

Welcome to the peace business with the democratic Egypt! It sounds like seriously compromised…. and soon democratic Palestine.

I guess your leaders will cry when they’ll remember the good old time of dictatorships in the middle east!

May 13th, 2011, 8:03 pm


why-discuss said:

Egypt vows crackdown on ‘deviant groups’
The council blames enemies at home and abroad for Egypt’s economic woes and security problem.

It sounds familiar doesn’t it? Maybe Syria can offer its expertise!


May 13th, 2011, 8:07 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

First Nour says
No one ever claimed that the protesters were armed.”
then Nour says
” I said there were armed elements that exploited the protests.”
Why dont you admit you are wrong in one of those statement,they just can not come togather.

May 13th, 2011, 8:08 pm


Louai said:

Amir in Tel Aviv

maybe many people do not trust the current government but we saw the majority of Syrians trust the opposition of being useless murderers who want no good for Syria but revenge from the authorities .

For my knowledge every one trust the government more now and if you really care about what is going on in Syria you should start to see in the eye of the child and abandon all your prejudges about the relation between the people and it leader then you will see clearer picture

May 13th, 2011, 8:09 pm


why-discuss said:


“I can only imagine what it must be like in the inner circle now, accusations, recriminations, threats and lots of swearing of course.”

If that makes you less frustrated, continue to imagine. But I guess that in view of the present situation, they are probably much calmer.

May 13th, 2011, 8:11 pm


why-discuss said:


The new prime minister Adel Al Safar is a very reputable person and I trust Bashar Al Assad and Walid Moallem. In the adversity and against the relentness attempts by the US and its allies in the region to weaken and corner Syria, they have had an excellent foreign policy that brought the admiration of the whole arab world and ..the respect of Israel
I guess they will now give the priority to the internal situation. There are some very intelligent people there and I trust they got a strong wake up call.
I give them the benefit of the doubt.

May 13th, 2011, 8:19 pm


edward said:

@ why-discuss. The obvious nervousness, confusion and faint whiff of soiled underwear emanating from your precious regime, and from it’s drones and lackeys like yourself indeed makes me happy, as it’s a sign your days are numbered

You tears sustain me, cry me a river!

May 13th, 2011, 8:21 pm


Abughassan said:

Unless we witness a surprising dramatic violent event, it looks like the violent phase of this uprising is coming to an end. The ball is now in the hands of the regime which must convince the silent majority that the message of the protestors was received. Without an immediate release of those prisoners who did not commit violent crimes,another bloody episode is likely to happen. People are waiting to see how the regime will handle the investigations that are allegedly aimed at revealing how hundreds of Syrians died,most of whom were civilians. Most Syrians have decided to tolerate the regime and give it one last chance.this tolerance is not the same as supporting the regime. There are two groups in Syria who do not care what happens next because they either want the regime out at any cost or they will support the regime no matter what,however, most Syrians are not in these two camps. I do not know how Syria will handle the next year economically but it is reasonable to assume that reform measures,political and economic,may reduce tension and bring back a sense of hope and unity.

May 13th, 2011, 8:21 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


Sorry, I didn’t understand you point.


You highlight my point exactly!

The Egyptian-Israeli peace was done over the heads of Egyptians. No one asked them for their permission to make peace with the Zionists. So naturally, they are angry and resentful.
I’m sure that Israeli leadership will not make the same mistake twice (doing business with Arab tyrants and juntas, over the heads of the Arab peoples).

About your #227, OK I respect your view.

May 13th, 2011, 8:22 pm


why-discuss said:


I wonder who is hysterical and talks dirty now, you or them?

May 13th, 2011, 8:23 pm


why-discuss said:


I wish your leaders a nice ride when they will re-negotiate with democratic Egypt the comfortable deal they made with Sadat.
Most Egyptians do not want Israel around, so get ready for a lot of bumps and incomfort!
Of course your leaders can always call your Big Brother and Mrs Lobby for help! Promising money is always a good way to assure business, yet some call that corruption.

May 13th, 2011, 8:31 pm


Leo said:


How do you know the personal fortune of Mubarak is very different than Assad’s? Do you know what Assad’s fortune is? Everyone knows that Makhlouf’s fortune is intertwined with Assad’s and that by itself is in the billions of dollars.

As for their contempt of their citizen, how are they different? Do they both oppress their citizens? Yes. Do they torture their citizens? Yes. Did they offer political or civil liberties? No. Did they institutionalize corruption? Yes. Did they encourage their citizens to be involved in politics? No. For years, Egypt ranked higher than Syria in political and civil liberties, so if there is any objective comparison between both presidents then Mubarak definitely treated his citizens better than Assad.

As for the judicial matter, you claim that they were treated with opaque and unfair manner but then in the next sentence you claim not to know the details. How can you judge if you don’t know the details?

May 13th, 2011, 8:39 pm


why-discuss said:

May 13th, 2011, 8:47 pm


why-discuss said:

Syrian airlines and Iran Air may soon dump their old Boeings and Airbus they can’t maintain because of US sanctions and buy Chinese commercial planes..

Commercial Aircraft of China selects Turkey as marketing base

Comac: China’s Challenge to Airbus and Boeing

May 13th, 2011, 8:55 pm


Aldendeshe said:

228. edward said:

@ why-discuss. The obvious nervousness, confusion and faint whiff of soiled underwear emanating from your precious regime, and from it’s drones and lackeys like yourself indeed makes me happy, as it’s a sign your days are numbered

You tears sustain me, cry me a river!

Hey Ed, I can assure you that mothers of 987 burried youthfull Syrians you killed are crying rivers for you every night, and for a long time to come, enjoy it man. So as the families of the 9000 incarcerated young men shivering in fear of torture, whose stinky wet under garments are crusty and the whiff of it can be smelled at all Mosques of Syria, and in Allah nose and his Kabba, even afar at the sadistic revolutionary leaders H.Q. in Washington, Brussles and Hariri home. WOTISNEXT? drinking binj and drugs for all the leaders. That is ll you can do now. NOW WHAT HUH.

May 13th, 2011, 9:22 pm


why-discuss said:

Freedom of peaceful demonstrations? Yes, but not when it has to do with Israel!… It’s only the beginning, get ready!

“Egypt army fires shots to disperse anti-Israel protest
Egyptian troops fired in the air Friday to disperse a protest outside the Israeli embassy demanding the expulsion of the ambassador and the severance of ties with the Jewish state, an AFP reporter said.
AFP, Friday 13 May 2011”

… Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities had blocked access to the Sinai peninsula to prevent a march from Cairo to Gaza, an AFP correspondent in Sinai said.

The march was due to leave from Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Saturday to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and call for the right of return of Palestinian refugees and the release of all Palestinian prisoners.

“Peace Bridge”, one of the main access routes to Sinai from mainland Egypt, has been closed to all but residents of the peninsula.


May 13th, 2011, 9:34 pm


Sophia said:

#217 Amir,

“The Palestinians had their democracy for 2 minutes, which they themselves blew. But any way, my answer to you – yes I would.”

Always blame the Palestinians for what is happening to them. These people are occupied by none other than your government and people. Shame!

“My interest in Syria’s political matters is entirely selfish. Israel will do the peace business only with a democratic Syria. Absolutely not with this junta, or other. Since I wish for peace, I care about democracy in Syria.”

This is nonsense and hypocrisy. You liked your peace with Mubarak and you still like your peace with King Abdullah. To my knowledge, none of them are democratic and they are on the contrary more brutal than the Assad regime. Your country is still traumatized by Mubarak’s departure and are you ready to call for the overthrow of the king of Jordan because you like your peace served by a friendly and submissive ‘democracy’?

What do you think of the protests in Egypt today calling for solidarity with the Palestinians? Do you like them? And what do you think of Egypt’s new foreign policy? I hope you like it too.

I find you and find zionists commenting on this blog quite shameless, you behave as if internal matters relating to Arab countries are your own matters. I don’t like your imperialistic attitude.

May 13th, 2011, 9:38 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Damm it Alex, Creative Syria new site, I been trying to get someone in India to build me this exact templete website. How much will you sell a copy for?

I got the idea from here:


May 13th, 2011, 9:45 pm


Sophia said:

#233 Leo,

I don’t care about the Mubaraks if that’s what you think. But they used to own Egypt and they are quite corrupt.

Assad father and son are not that moneyed. And that’s not their approach to power. If Assad were as corrupt as Mubarak you would see millions of Syrians in the street. As for Mr. Makhlouf, his fortune is like any businessman fortune who was able to profit from the opening of Syria’s economy. You have a lot of Makhloufs all across capitalist countries. And how can you be sure that his fortune is Assad’s, do you have access to their bank account? Do you think that your personal assets are your cousin’s?

May 13th, 2011, 9:47 pm


edward said:

The protests in Syria today were truly remarkable, both in terms of the large turnout, and the geographic dispersion across the whole country. What makes this even more amazing is that it comes after tanks lay siege to, and shell a number of towns and cities. Syrians have proven that they will not be intimidated and frightened into silence by this oppressive brutal regime.
Notable of course was the low number of casualties (6 confirmed today) after the security forces were given orders not to fire. This, far from being a point in favor of the regime, just goes to disprove the claims of armed foreign gangs firing on protesters and causing the deaths of an estimated 850 since the uprising began.

The aggregated videos out of today’s protests can be found here:


May 13th, 2011, 9:49 pm


NK said:

Ali Fazat today



I’m fascinated by the fact that Erdogan talks about the situation in Syria every couple days while Bashar has not addressed the Syrians once in 2 months!. As for your “The new prime minister Adel Al Safar is a very reputable person” comment, It’s too soon to make such jokes man, maybe you should check what happened to Syrian agriculture when he was in charge, I and most Syrians are pretty jubilant that now he has the chance to do the same to the other sectors!.

Aldendeshe #236

As usual, a disturbing and disgusting comment from a disturbed and disgusting individual…


With all due respect, since you’re not a Syrian and you only been to Syria once. I’d appreciate it if you don’t patronize us Syrians about how Mr Makhlouf gathered his fortune. It’s true corruption exists everywhere, but not in this magnitude.

May 13th, 2011, 9:59 pm


why-discuss said:


“This, far from being a point in favor of the regime, just goes to disprove the claims of armed foreign gangs firing on protesters and causing the deaths of an estimated 850 since the uprising began.”

It proves that they were totally right to do a thorough cleanup during the last week to arrest potential troublemakers. Result: The first peaceful demonstrations in 2 months.

May 13th, 2011, 10:04 pm


why-discuss said:


I was also disturbed by Aldendeshe remark, but I think Edward deserved it ( #228)!

Do you mean Adel Al Safar is corrupted? I thought that was the first criterium , no? Maybe Michel Kilo would do better? any other suggestion?

May 13th, 2011, 10:07 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Gaddafi is on the run,there are reports say he is not in Tripoli,he spoke on phone , his voice is not normal, some said he got hurt,if these rumors are true, we can say bye bye to Gaddafi regime soon.
Either way he is not making any gain,he is retreating,it will be the end of another dictator.
Another dictator,Bashar is in line,he showed today change in behaviour,first he said the military actions is about to end,then said he is opting for dialogue,and today we saw less killing from his opression forces,he is under pressure externally,and internally,they,the west, gave him another chance by not including his name in the recent sanctions,internally the demonstrations are likely to continue for another one or two months,economically he is getting in deep trouble,militarily he face mutiny,all has caused him to opt for dialogue,he is asking for time, which he will not get, it is two months since the begining of these demonstrations,now he is realising,it is serious,and he is not protected.

May 13th, 2011, 10:09 pm


Norman said:

I just hope that after the relative quite, the government will move on reform, put out the multiparty law and ask the public for comments and set a six months time for the next election where all parties have the same chance, ethnic and religous parties need not apply, like Egypt,

I have a question for all of you, Is there any way for a Syrian to get rich in Syria without being called a corrupt and a thief .

May 13th, 2011, 10:13 pm


edward said:

#243 @why-discuss, same thing happened 3 Fridays ago, a lul in the violence and then the killings started again.

So am I to assume that if we see protesters being killed in the streets from now on, after tanks besieged and shelled cities to get rid of “salafist armed gangs” that we can then safely blame it on the Mukhabarat and their henchmen? Or are you guys gonna concoct other fantasy adversaries, Don Quixote style?

May 13th, 2011, 10:14 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


I find it boring and useless arguing with you about Israel. You admire the angry AbuKhalil, whom views we know. He doesn’t like Zionism or Israel. Probably, neither do you. Nothing I can say that will change your attitude. You see? waste of time.
(BTW, I like to read Angry Arab too..).

But any way, if you asked. I prefer any democratic Arab government, even if hostile towards Israel, over pseudo-friendly (to Israel) Arab tyranny. I prefer the emerging Egyptian government 10 times over the corrupt nepotist Mubarak kingdom.

After all, democracies are way less dangerous to their neighbors, than dictatorships.

May 13th, 2011, 10:15 pm


Aldendeshe said:

You don’t want to be reminded by your disgusting plots and cowardness, armchair revolutionary, or your murdurous crimes huh. You blame the State that is protecting itself and the nation from violent, distructive uprising. SPOILED ROTTEN. Subjecting and exposing childrens and the young to death and torture for nothing but your ego trip. Delusionals, arrogant and paid merceneries thinking that a State and a nation will have to coward against your virtual webpage revolution. When will you want to pay up and fuss up. Spill the beans, who paid up for this war crime? who are the criminal leaders directly responsible for the death and mayhem in Syria?

May 13th, 2011, 10:31 pm


Norman said:

Is it possible that your last president was targeted because he was sephardic, any chance of that.?

May 13th, 2011, 11:03 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

No chance Norman. It’s because he is a serial rapist and abuser.

May 13th, 2011, 11:09 pm


Norman said:


Then, how did get away with that for such a long time, that is if he is a serial rapist,

May 13th, 2011, 11:20 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

What I like about the demonstrations in Syria, that I watch on YouTube, is the way of chanting. It’s so melodic and cheerful. Like a singing. I especially like the way they pronounce the last syllable of the chanted slogan. they raise the note of the last word by a 1/2 tone (I’m not sure about the terminology since I’m not a musician…). Is it something uniquely Syrian? coz I never heard it in videos from other Arab places.

Here’s what I mean:

May 13th, 2011, 11:21 pm


Mohammed said:

Despite your qualms and misgivings or calculated premonitory vision, perpetuating the grave injustices and the massive human rights abuses including the killings and torture by keeping the Assad structures of domination in place is no solution. Om AbduAllah who has been raped by five of Assad’s thugs would not mind Syria’s foreign policy to be influenced by a regional tug-of-war. It already is. It would be silly to assume that a nation have to be under a dictator ad infinitum or otherwise collapse into chaos. A great nation’s growth has been stunted for half a century. The stability you are talking about Assad the senior brought to Syria was a negative stability. There were 52 publications prior to Baath takeover in the 60s. As you mentioned, Syrians were able to take to the streets; they now have to brave nightsticks and sniperfire to do so. The wounded cannot seek treatment in hospitals for fear of getting killed by the SF. The damage that the Assad ‘stability’ has done to Syria would require a mammoth research effort to comprehend. Overthrowing Assad and installing a democratic system is in the best interests of the Syrians. However, the democrats must not stop there. For the revolution to be successful, the democrats have to ensure a new oppressive regime won’t rise out of the confusion following the collapse of the old one.

May 13th, 2011, 11:42 pm


louai said:

‘Om AbduAllah who has been raped by five of Assad’s thugs’

I KNEW IT they will come up with something like that 😀 !!!

i actually start to feel sad for you ,all your tricks would work if people dont watch TV ,but hey guys get creative ,its becoming boaring !!! but i have to admit sometimes its funny .

May 13th, 2011, 11:50 pm


Aldendeshe said:


The Drive to remove the Baath and its abusive system from Syria were going on track, without any foreign help. It got interrupted by a bunch of murderous Moslem criminals , backed by Colonial powers and Middle East ill wishing regimes, all have no regards whatsoever for the safety or life of the local people, nor the security of the Syrian Nation. All that mayhem and nothing tangible to show for, except plenty of arrogance and loud mouth spilling more empty slogans in a week than Baathists can shell out in a decade.

We hope That President Assad now will not see that he defeated the enemies of the nation and have no need to continue with reforms. We hope that he will pick up this opportunity that was given by evil spirited Moslem mercenaries and Colonial foreign agents and use it as a launch pad for New Syria. You been patient for all those decades, you can be patient for little more, the wait is worth the saving of a thousand life of Syrian youth and transferring the country and its nation peacefully to unto a new horizon.

But if you are serious about Democracy and your name is Mohammad, why not consider volunteering in armed group to liberate Saudi Arabia from the House of Saud, the KUFFAR and devil IBLIS worshipers, restore Islam back to the land or Arabia, the Land of Mohammad, fight the evil ANZA tribes that brought shame and indignity to all Moslems.

May 14th, 2011, 12:08 am


jad said:

From your reply it sounds that you didn’t see khaleh Oum Abdullah tragedy about the rape incident, sad, so sad, you don’t know if you want to cry or to laugh.

May 14th, 2011, 1:14 am


Vedat The Turk said:

Is there any way we could all wager on this blog whether Bashar Assad will flee the country or fight to the end? …. And when his end will arrive?

I myself expect he will flee within the next 2 years (he’s a doctor, not a soldier… and only soldiers fight till the end – doctors flee : )

May 14th, 2011, 1:51 am


Off the Wall said:

Dear Joshua
Souri33 has very good points about the map you have used. It is erroneous and I will think a lot before I buy a data set or a map from that outfit. You may want to try this map instead of the map you have. It is more accurate (notwithstanding the spelling error in Latakia’s name). It also indicates the undetermined status of Iskandaron.

May 14th, 2011, 2:12 am


Mina said:

233 Leo
About the details, you seem not to know either place. Have a look at the Wikileaks cables from the US embassies in Beirut (as there was no embassy in Damascus until recently the elements about Syria are in the Lebanese cables) and Cairo and you will see that the systematic torture was used in Egypt (including to arrest 50 people of a village/household in order to get the name of 1 criminal) but not in Syria.

May 14th, 2011, 2:16 am


Mina said:

I can understand the anger of aldendenshe against these kids who have been the real manipulators of people thousands of kilometers away from them. The good point is that California is very far from Syria (you know Jad, the activity starting at 7h30 PM?) and that a bunch of the guys we read here with all their lunacy are not going to be allowed there any soon.
“another dictator is killed”… ah ah, you thing it is a John Wayne movie? and the 400 women raped in Congo every day because gangs want to take control of the area where the metals used for cell phones/cameras/computers batteries? You prefer when your soft-powers use their soft-control and make juicy deals with the big companies who need it?
There is an economic crisis which has been compared with the one of 1929 that led to the rise of nationalism and WW2. Now what is needed is the invention of a thrid way, not ultra-liberal and not too socialist. Maybe you like films and feel like watching WW3 from your coach in California or Canada, but I don’t think China and Russia will let that happen.

May 14th, 2011, 2:27 am


محمود said:

تقول مقدمة المقال :
أنا متشائم حول مستقبل سوريا لأن النظام يصر على موقفه والقتال حتى النهاية. وقد وضعت المعارضة السورية بنجاح ثقافة المقاومة التي هي على نطاق واسع في سوريا ،
ماهدا الكلام؟ نظام يقاتل من ؟ من وضع ثقافة المقاومة ؟؟ و مقاومة ضد من؟ من الواضح هو منقلب صورة الواقع !!! استخدم هدا المنقلب بشكل فاشل من قبل الميديا الغربية أثناء حرب جيورجيا !

May 14th, 2011, 2:42 am


Mina said:



Yemen should be seen as the first open-revolt against the Saudis. The hundreds of thousands there know just like the Egyptians that their country has enough resources but that the interference of the Saudis has resulted in the total corruption of the governement and its lack of credibility. The Saudis think they can take over any place they want when needed (Asir in Yemen, Bahrain recently), but I hope this corruptocracy of elderlies will soon come to an end.

May 14th, 2011, 2:51 am


jad said:

Mina, Sophia
You will love this article by the arrogant Geoffrey Robertson:

Geoffrey Robertson: Assad should face international justice

“and others from his minority Alamite sect who are part of his inner circle.”
I wonder if for example Italian or Jewish or African American or homosexual gang commit a crime somewhere in the States or Europe, is he going to write:
(and others from his minority “catholics”/”Jews”/”Black”/”gay”)
Is criminalizing all members of one sect/faith/skin color/sex orientation after someone of those communities did something wrong is what the civilized world promoting nowadays?

“Even his wife, the fragrant Queens College (Harley Street) educated Asma al-Assad, deserves to be investigated as part of that circle. Credulous journalists on women’s magazines have extolled her charity and compassion, but she remains in Syria, providing private aid and comfort to her brutal husband. (In international criminal law, Caesar’s wife is not above suspicion).”

What did she do?

Some people in the west never stop to surprise me of how arrogant and condescending they are toward developing countries’ communities as if God create them as ‘human’ and we as something els.

May 14th, 2011, 3:09 am


Louai said:


you are right i didn’t see khaleh Oum Abdullah before ,i actually received it as an email from my little brother’s friend , i saw the first few seconds and i closed it because i thought they made it to make fun of the fabrications we are enjoying now days .

i honestly thought she was a man a funny one .

now i saw it again i see your dilemma ,i laughed alot when i saw it but now i am sad .

it shows how low they see this young people and how much they have no respect to their intelligence nor to their lives .

May 14th, 2011, 3:10 am


democracynow said:

To the regime apologists who keep reminding us of the grand conspiracies looming over the Syrian regime, because of its pan-Arab stances and because of its support of the Palestinian cause:

Show me a single demonstration inside Palestine where people held pictures of Bashar Al Assad or chanted love and praise for him?

It’s a fair request, no? I mean, if the Syrian regime has done so much for Palestine, the Palestinians would surely not hesitate to express their gratitude and support to Assad in this difficult time?

I’m quite certain you’re going to find none. In fact, what you’re going to find is several protests in support of the Syrian people and their quest for freedom.

May 14th, 2011, 3:33 am


jad said:

Are they going to get bored of this unbelievable stupid game any time soon?

إعلان بلمار عن تسليم فرانسين قرارا ظنيا معدلا للمرة الثالثة تزامن مع فرض عقوبات جديدة على سوريا

إستغربت أوساط سياسية في حديث لـ”أخبار المستشار” تزامن توقيت إعلان مدعي عام المحكمة الدولية دانيال بلمار عن تسليمه قاضي الإجراءات التمهيدية دانيال فرانسين قرارا إتهاميا معدّلا للمرة الثالثة على التوالي مع إتساع رقعة الضغوط الخارجية على سوريا وتزايد الحديث في أميركا وأوروبا عن ضرورة فرض عقوبات مالية واقتصادية على دمشق.
وسألت الاوساط هل اصبح القرار الظني في قضية اغتيال الرئيس الحريري مجرد ورقة سياسية ضاغطة يتم اللجوء اليها تحت عنوان التعديل عند كل منعطف او استحقاق سياسي خدمة لمآرب واهداف مشبوهة.
ووضعت الاوساط التعديل الاخير للقرار الظني الذي اعلن عنه مدعي عام المحكمة الدولية في اطار شد الحبال الجاري مع النظام السوري متوقعة أن يكون هذا التعديل للقرار الظني قد تم بإملاءات أميركية ومن أجل إضافة وإتهام قيادات سورية جديدة في قضية اغتيال الحريري مجددا وذلك بعدما تم تبرئة القيادة السورية في مرحلة سابقة من هذه التهم، وخلصت الاوساط الى الاستخلاص بأن القرار الظني أصبح مجرد أداة سياسية يستخدمها الغرب وفقا لمصالحه، ويتلاعب بها كيفما يشاء دون اي رادع او وزاع وهو ما يفقد القرار المشار اليه أي مصداقية وموضوعية، ويجعله خالي الوفاض.


May 14th, 2011, 3:34 am


daleandersen said:

“…the wave of refugees that are likely to flow out of Syria will be significant. I have already had three Syrian students call me in the last several days asking for references as they apply for refugee status here in the States. This is just the beginning…”

Oh shit! Just what the USA needs. More Arab immigrants. Can’t they go somewhere else? Denmark, maybe?


May 14th, 2011, 3:49 am


Mina said:

It is actually more sad than you think.
1) Newspapers are in a very bad situation because of the economic crisis;
2) The West is desperate to feed its masses with something to watch, something to read, and some reason to say “ah great, the bad evils are down while we the great white guys are winning and spreading freedom all over”. Otherwise they might wonder why their political parties have no programmes, keep letting the rich getting richer and the poor poorer. (Thanks Miguel for your wonderful post about South America). It would be more complicate for the West if all started to ask: but why aren’t the newspapers ever talking about the People. Their everyday life and aspirations.
3)Even if the international court carries on, it will just get to some convictions that are only making it annoying for the convicted to travel to certain countries. I think al-Bashir, Olmert and (the woman, i forgot her name) are convicted in different courts and they simply avoid some countries.
4) When Russia and China will want to stop this game, they will simply turn off the gas pipeline to Europe for the first and stop buying rotten European bounds for the second. But they did not need to get there yet.

(For the one-click coach-potatoes revolutionaries:
I am a Stalinist and the conspiracy is the following: let all the rich leave Syria, and the housing market will come back to normal, let all the extremists leave Syria, and other countries will have to deal with their brilliant ideas.)

May 14th, 2011, 4:02 am


Innocent Criminal said:


actually, the map you provided is also incorrect, the possition of Damascus is too far east. I believe this one is more accurate. http://www.ltradio.org/charts/Middle%20East/Map%20of%20Syria.gif

May 14th, 2011, 4:10 am


Mina said:

With all the “blame game” play in Lebanon, we haven’t read why it suddenly shifted from Khamenei/HA to Syria again!

There is an interesting comment on QN about the indictment:
Umm iDriss Says: May 12, 2011 at 11:45 am
I must say that of everything related to STL, I really respect Judge Fransen. He just issued a decision, ordering the Prosecutor to release many documents to Jamil Sayyed.
Check the press release:
And here’s a link to the decision (in French, translation to follow):
Bellemare has to organise the handover of documents by 27 May…
When will Bellemare appeal?

May 14th, 2011, 4:30 am


Off the Wall said:

Good observation and many thanks. The map you showed would be the most accurate one, and most professionally produced map with appropriate cartography, and it would also satisfy the urge for a monotone Syria.

The funny thing is that GIS solved a lot of problems and have made life and science much easier, but many have argued that it also killed professional cartography. Three iterations for a single map is probably a good support for that argument.

May 14th, 2011, 4:48 am


Revlon said:

Mustapha Rustum, Ex-Baath Member, the national command: The military solution has failed.

It is uncertain if the regime has chaned its strategy for a military solution for ending the revolution.

Current attempts to meet and listen to certain known figuers is can not be considered a dialogue.
Dialogue should be done with the representatives of the revolution on the ground

The subject of Dialogue is not just to fix a road or change a mayor. It is to address the issues raised by the revolution, including the freedom of people to participate in deciding everything relating to their life.

May 14th, 2011, 4:51 am


abbas said:

Dr Landis and all history buffs: is this article truehttp://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jun/09/storm-over-syria/?pagination=false ?

May 14th, 2011, 5:33 am


Mohammed kanj said:

I’m amazed at how suddenly the demonstration size has been dramatically reduced since last Friday. the revolution is coming to it’s final days. It’s a matter of fact. 99% of syrians I’n Aleppo, deir ehzor, idlib and other Syrian cities have had enuf of these young villains trying to dictate to us that they represent the majority of syrians. They seem to think their playing games on playstation. Use can blog all u want, and it won’t change the reality on ground I’n Syria. GAME OVER

May 14th, 2011, 5:37 am


Revlon said:

Talkalakh is under heavy shelling from regime tanks. Tens of wounded civilians are transported acroos the border to Lebanon!
Saturday May 14th, 33 minutes ago

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد
الثورة السورية :: عاجل :: مدينة تلكلخ في سوريا على الحدود البنانية من الشمال
تتعرض لقصف مدفعي من قوات الأمن و الجرحى بالعشرات تعبر الحدود . الفزعه ياعالم.
اي نظام هذا الذي يعرض الحوار في يوم .. ويهاجم الأبرياء باليوم الذي يليه ؟؟؟

May 14th, 2011, 6:02 am


Revlon said:

Known figures of Al7midiyyeh and manakh of 7ama were summoned and coerced by regime to sign a statement, asking the army to enter the city to protect against “terrorists”!
2 hours ago

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد
الثورة السورية :: حماة : قام عناصر رجال الأمن في مدينة حماه بجلب بعض وجهاء وأعيان مدينة حماه وخاصة من حارتي المناخ والحميدية وتم اجبارهم على التوقيع على عريضة للمطالبة بدخول الجيش لحمايتهم من الارهابيين. وهل تظنون حماة سهلة عليـــــكم ؟؟
حمــــاة مازالت … كما كانت .. شوكة في حلق الظالميـــــن . ودماءها تعانق ارض سوريا

May 14th, 2011, 6:06 am


Revlon said:

Starving the Rebellion: Syria’s Brutal Tactics
By Rania Abouzeid/ Jaber border crossing Friday, May 13, 201

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2071362,00.html#ixzz1MK2G6NUh

May 14th, 2011, 6:42 am



I believe there is a flagrant lack of morals in loyalists. You are not able to put yourselves in victims´ place. If your president died you would probably cry. But when you see a citizen like you,
poor and simple, being killed and insulted you are unable to empatize with him. This shows how unhuman some syrians became through years and years of repression and destruction of their social human dimension.

May 14th, 2011, 6:53 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:


If somebody attacked you to kill you and you shot them dead, what would your feelings be like?

May 14th, 2011, 7:31 am


Mina said:

Robert Fisk tries to get someone’s esteem back:

I wait for a paper on Saad Hariri and will send him a love-letter.

May 14th, 2011, 7:33 am


Nafdik said:

We know that many army and security personel have been killed.

Some say they are killed by protestors others say they have been killed by the government itself.

Can anybody point me to evidence or factual data abou teither theory.

May 14th, 2011, 7:51 am



لقد أسمعتَ لو ناديتَ حيًّا === ولكن لا حياة لمن تنادي

Or more appropriately

لقد أسمعتَ لو ناديتَ حيًّا === ولكن لا حياء لمن تنادي

May 14th, 2011, 8:13 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

To say that the government is systematically shooting at its own security forces and army is idiotic because this means that the government is seeking to turn its own security forces and army against itself.

The government employees were shot by the rebels (i.e. Wahhabis). The rebels were trying in the first weeks to “liberate” Deraa and Banias (like the Libyan rebels liberated Eastern Libya). They stormed government buildings and burned them. They shot at the police and the army. This was their plan from the beginning and they received huge aid from outside the country (money, weapons, etc.). The “peaceful demonstrations” were just meant to cover up the rebellion and they were also organized from outside the country because regular Syrians cannot have satellite phones and they don’t know how to organize demonstrations and use modern technology. The fact that so few people participated in the “peaceful demonstrations” proves that they were artificial and not spontaneous. The first Deraa demonstration was definitely set up from outside the country because I personally was following its preparations on Wahhabi websites.

May 14th, 2011, 8:22 am


atassi said:

bye bye .. Hizb al baath

May 14th, 2011, 8:25 am


Sisyphus said:

The Dilemma as Understood from Comments Above:

1) The corruption, stupidity and nepotism of the regime is so pervasive that they are incapable of creating a healthy environment for individuals to express themselves or for businesses to grow. Just like the protesters in Egypt, people in Syria know that there will never be any meaningful reforms. Those who support the regime on this blog are unwilling, I’m sure, to compensate all the people who have been abused by the regime, yet they won’t allow those people to overthrow the abusive regime. So the majority of the people must continue to suffer so that cowards can have an easy life.

2) Should the regime collapse, there are enough determined and able actors to ensure that the state will collapse as well. Even with the best intentions of the protesters (not Muslims, not Christians, not Arabs, not Alawis, not Kurds, just SYRIANS) the revolution will descend into a fight between everyone who has guns, each faction supported by external actors. The Lebanese had the Syrian army to maintain some semblance of government. Would it even be possible, let alone acceptable, for other countries to intervene in Syria? Isn’t a corrupt state better than no state at all? After all, what enraged the people in Egypt was the naked neo-liberal crony capitalism. There were numerous workers’ strikes/protests long before the revolution. In Syria, many of the old guard instinctively understand this – they did not want the price of mazot to be raised so high, for example.

Can the Faustian bargain continue?

Even if the government break the protests, can the situation continue indefinitely? In the days before Syria Comment was invaded by the rowdy crew 🙂 some of the best posts/comments concerned the economic situation. For example, the government mazot subsidy is clearly unsustainable. Yet, because of the state of the economy, it is vital to people’s/business’ survival.
And the water table? Neither the Shabeeha nor the Salafis nor the government nor the farmers are doing anything about it. Yet they will all suffer if it collapses further.

The President said in his speech that reforms on paper are no use – they have to be put into practice. But how can reforms be achieved without proper legal accountability? The president has said that government programs must have specific durations and clear objectives. But once people are held to account then corruption and mismanagement will be exposed. If corruption was ended then all the Hizbis will be protesting tomorrow because they need it to survive.

The security services, for example, have committed so many crimes in the president’s name that they have exposed him to serious legal charges. They have tied themselves to him and now how can he get rid of them? How can he repeal the law that gives the security services immunity from prosecution? But if he doesn’t do that then how will he stop them from systematically taxing the people?

If the people’s economy (individuals and small businesses) contracts much more then there will be no more money to pay bribes and government wages will not be enough to cover employees expenses (particularly as world commodity prices rise and we have started to import food). As more businesses collapse, then the cost of doing business goes up because more services have to be imported, leading to further collapse and a downward spiral.

The president will have to be extremely decisive in his reforms – both to show everyone who is part of the state exactly who is boss (security services making themselves indispensable is a very dangerous precedent that he can not allow to continue) and also to regain the population’s trust.

Basically he needs to break a few mukhabarat heads on the grounds that excessive corruption will bring the house down on everybody’s head, whether by rebellion or slow death. Then establish some new, practical rules that define Pax Basharia. The rules will be a combination of spoken and unspoken rules that we Syrians understand as the features of our new social contract with the current, imperfect regime.

Even dissolving the entire government did not allay any of the people’s suspicions; instead, it merely reinforced the perception that the ministers are puppets to be played with and any new proposals that they enact will be easily undermined.
Will the ministers dare to suggest anything radical? Their predecessors were summarily dismissed for no specific reason.

The president mentioned that the ministers should declare their assets in order to avoid suspicions of corruption. But he did not offer to declare his own assets. So why invite the comparison, on live television?

We all know that the regime can not survive without corruption. We also know that the country is buckling under the weight of multiple layers of compound corruption and ineptitude, regardless of the adverse external economic circumstances.

Corruption could flourish for decades while Syria was wealthy. But what is the point of a police state if that state is poverty stricken? Depending on international factors (Russia, China, Israel,Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey or America don’t want a collapse) and overwhelming firepower will help the regime for a while. But is the regime as strong as the North Korean one? Could they resist mass starvation for example? Will the regime supporters continue to support the regime when there is no prospect of economic revival? Will corrupt government employees live only on their legal wages, like the vast majority of North Korean government employees?

Unless the president is able to prevent his goons from throttling the life out of the economy, then we are going to be having this conversation again in a few years time. When a majority of the population are hungry then there is no more justification for any regime, and counter arguments about civil war are meaningless. State is better than civil war. But civil war is better than starvation.

May 14th, 2011, 8:29 am


Mina said:

I prefer this one, posted by Revlon, a constructive step finally:

The video you post has people shouting “al Asad is the enemy of God” and “Zanga zanga” which was used by Qaddafi to threaten people to come after them house by house. I doubt this will be helpful to get the Christians join in.
The ten young guys of Tel Kalakh on this video represent only themselves, and some say “i quit the heretic (kaafir) Baath party”. You should be worried, because the West will never place a bet on such guys.

May 14th, 2011, 8:33 am


atassi said:

No one asking the Christians to join in , this movement don’t need the Christians to join in nor the Alawis, JOIN AS A SYRIAN ONLY …. FYI.. they are more than ten….Please go and check your vision at Bashar eye clinic, YOU need it badly “ take taleeb and Aboud with you too” ….
Zanga Zanga Yea Bashar.. I love this one!! 🙂

May 14th, 2011, 8:54 am


Mohamed kanj said:

Attasi, revlOn,nk

Wake up to yourselves. Your revolution is over. Turn off your computer and try socialise with others face to face,rather than making love to the computer. Russia,china and even Italy have pretty much slapped u and ur Internet geek buddies down. CNN and even BBC news are even mentioning the low turnout I’n demonatrations this week. attasi – did that video u posted make u orgasm. The 500 syrians yelling out the same old rubbish. Get it thru ur thick heads. 25.8 million syrians aren’t even interested I’n Ur fake revolution. go and get urselves a blowup doll and take out ur frustrations on it

May 14th, 2011, 9:00 am


Atassi said:

Mohamed kanj
Zanaga Zanaga yea Bashar.. I love it.. Bye Bye.. Yea Baath..

May 14th, 2011, 9:07 am


atassi said:

Mohamed kanj
Zanaga Zanaga yea Bashar.. I love it.. Bye Bye.. Yea Baath..

May 14th, 2011, 9:08 am


atassi said:

أكثر من 15 دبابة في طريقها إلى تلكلخ الآن بدأت ثلاثة منها التمركز عند مدخل تلكلخ من جهة (جسر الخربة)

الأمن و الشبيحة وكلاب القرى المجاورة متمركزون في مستشفى تلكلخ لمنع اسعاف الجرحى ومتواجدون أيضا بداخل ثكنة الجيش

قطع الاتصالات عن تلكلخ بشكل كامل

وصول تعزيزات عسكرية حوالي خمسين سيارة أغلبها حامل مضاد طيران (م.ط) بالإضافة إلى باصات محملة بالشبيحة بلباس مدني منها ما دخل حجر الأبيض للتمركز أو الإلتفاف على تلكلخ ومنها مابقي على الأتوستراد ومنها ما دخل من (طريق بيت الحداد) مستغلين تغطية القناصة للجبل (ضهرة غليوم)

الأمن والشبيحة والجيش يحتلون مشفى تلكلخ الوطني الواقع على طرف مدينة تلكلخ ويطلقون الرصاص على المدنيين وكل من يتحرك باتجاه المشفى او قريبا أو حتى بعيدا عنه وكل هذا لمنع إسعاف الجرحى

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKSB0jA8Dw4&feature=channel_video_titleالشهيد علي حازم الباشا استشهد على مدخل تلكل

May 14th, 2011, 9:14 am


Revlon said:

Hey, Aldandashi, your folk in Talkalakh have been most creative in anti-regime slogans! Check out Atassi’s post #287

Jr described his mission in quelling the revolution, Wa2dulfitnah!
Now, his party comrades are declaring his party Kafer (infedel)!
The caveats, the age, and the harsh tone of the resigning members speak of an evolving, larger scale muntiny within the non-corrupt young recruits.

Todays bombing of Talkalakh is largely a response to this serious challenge to the regime.

May 14th, 2011, 9:17 am


ATASSI said:

Failed regime.. failed security services ..failed republican guards… NOTHING LESS THAN ZANGA ZANGA YEA BASHAR

Where are you Abooud.. Taleeb..EL BOOOQ

May 14th, 2011, 9:28 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Thank you for the good link, I enjoy watching the links you give us, they all are good.
From what I see, the regime is always lying,and the news media lie all the time it is disgusting,they even lie about the weather,SC from those who strongly support the regime they constantly lying,they try hard,but everyone knows they are lying,they have no shame either, and more than that,they say something,then they deny later that they said that.the security forces are lying too, when the regime call for dialogue he is lying, if they want dialogue,they should release the political prisoners and have dialogue with them they are truely represent the opposition,and since we do not trust the regime, dialogue must be done with third party present,such as Turkey.
Today we heared that Imad Mustfa was called back to Syria,I do not know why,he has been useless,and very quiet,they may be looking for deal.

Bashar is not reformist,he is not in full control either,he must save his life and his family and must leave.

May 14th, 2011, 9:30 am


why-discuss said:

Jad, Mina

Geoffrey Robertson is a very well known lawyer. His article is not very objective but he has a point. There must be an investigation (internal with the help of reputable western analyst) of what happened exactly.
In my view, because there has been no precedent to this uprising in the country for a more than a generation, the security elements (mostly 20-35 yo) are neither equipped nor trained to deal with riots or an angry crowd. They do not have shield, rubber bullet or water hose, they have no protecting clothes, they only have a gun. They have no idea how to contain people getting violent. Just see the sophisticated equipment and strategies used by the French police during the large riots in France recently.
In Syria the only thing the police knows is yelling then shooting.
Therefore at the first threat, they have no way to respond other that shooting, in the air first and when they see their lives in danger shoot directly at the threat. Then it gets out of control.
This is what we see generally in poor countries while in the rich western countries they have alternatives to shooting and they end up with one of two dead, while in poor countries, the toll is always much higher.
The subsequent use of the army that have better protective apparatus did not provoked as many death.

In this case how can you judge?
Syria was not ready for such events, they had no technology and no training. Therefore I would say that there are mitigating circumstances as it was not an order to kill, as many accuses the police of, but rather a primitive self-defense and attempts of containment.
It is important that the circumstances be analyzed before passing a judgement on Bashar Al Assad’s responsibility. Yet, it must be done.

May 14th, 2011, 9:33 am


محمود said:

كل سوري من يحسن التقدير سيتشبث اليوم أكثر من أي وقت مضى بالرئيس لأننا ببساطة نحترم أنفسنا و لا نؤجر أنفسنا للدجال

May 14th, 2011, 9:34 am


why-discuss said:

Atassi and others jokers

The repeated cheap jokes of ‘blind ophlalmologist’, “go check your eyes” are so stupid and childish. Please change the song, it’s not to your credit.
Instead research the university degrees of our arab ‘leaders’ and let us know.

May 14th, 2011, 9:44 am


محمود said:

باين على بعض المعلقين مرض نفسي مرتبط بالزنقة !!! أعطوهم زنقة لينالوا السعادة !!!

May 14th, 2011, 9:49 am


محمود said:

يقوم محرك العبث ببدل المزيد من أجل استمرارية حالة فورس ماجور لأنها تخدم مصالحه في حين ان الرد على اطالة عمر العبث سيكون له ارتداد على من هم خلف دلك العبث و لتعلم اسرائل حصرا انني أقصدها تعالوا للعب على المكشوف و دعونا نزيل الأقنعة ! سندول لكم لعبة تكنولوجيا الثورات لتنخر عظامكم !!!

May 14th, 2011, 9:57 am


atassi said:

I have a new joke for you.. Do you know why the Homsi can see Turkey from Homs now… because the Halabi’s has their heads down too low 🙂
relax dude

May 14th, 2011, 9:59 am


Revlon said:

# 294. Dear atassi, Thank you for the link to Ms Iman AlBaghdadi’s address to the Syrian people and the regime.

I hope she could provide the same address in English to let the world have a glimpse of the young leaders of the Syrian revolution.

May 14th, 2011, 10:05 am


Sophia said:

#276 and 277, Abbas

I quote from the article provided by Abbas:

“In the welter of violence now accompanying the regime’s determined efforts to suppress the demonstrations, its achievements should not be forgotten or ignored. While its massacre in Hama was horrendous and it has an abysmal record on human rights, engaging in torture and severe political repression, it had a good, even excellent one when it came to protecting the pluralism of the religious culture that is one of Syria’s most enduring and attractive qualities. Some of these virtues are captured in Brooke Allen’s engaging account of her travels in Syria, The Other Side of the Mirror, where she meets ordinary people from different backgrounds and rejoices in the natural friendliness of Syria’s people and the extraordinary richness of its past. Instead of the Soviet-style grayness she expected to find from accounts in the US media, she discovers a sophisticated cosmopolitan society where life is being lived in many different styles and varieties, “totally unselfconsciously, just as it has been for thousands of years.”

Thanks Abbas

May 14th, 2011, 10:06 am


Aboud said:

Yes Attasi, yes, what is it? I’m here, here I am, look *waves arms*.

Hey Bashar Mr Eye Doctor, the sign says Tel-kelakh, not Tel-Aviv.

And now Hizbollah’s Al-Manar TV station is claiming the people of Telkelakh intend on setting up an Islamic state. Imagine that, being accused by Islamist extremists of being Islamist extremists.

Oh and about Landis’ article, where he says Syrians should put up with a tyrant to save themselves from possible grief down the road; here I was thinking that “appeasement” and “peace at all costs” went out with Neville Chamberlain.

Also, Landis mentioned before that he has no information about defection of Syrian army units, thus making the good professor the worst informed “expert” on Syria in the business.

May 14th, 2011, 10:06 am


atassi said:

You are welcome anytime sir…

May 14th, 2011, 10:07 am


Norman said:


The reason the Homsies can see Turkey is that they had their eyes checked by the president.

May 14th, 2011, 10:10 am


Sophia said:

#264, Jad,
I wonder why Robertson feel compelled to write on Syria and not for example on Bahrain.
Anyway, those HR judges like their media exposure.

May 14th, 2011, 10:10 am


atassi said:

Norman.. you did not like my joke 🙁

May 14th, 2011, 10:12 am


Sophia said:

“Having been in Aleppo recently, I can vouch for the accuracy of her descriptions. Visiting several mosques, churches, and shrines, she provides impressive testimony of the country’s religious diversity and the regime’s commitment to religious freedom. It would be tragic if the pursuit of democracy led to the shredding of this bright human canopy, where religious and cultural differences seem to have flourished under the iron grip of a minority sectarian regime.”


Thanks Abbas for the link

May 14th, 2011, 10:14 am


Norman said:


No, you missed Hama.

May 14th, 2011, 10:15 am


Norman said:

I saw this on QN, any confirmation

Abdel-Halim Khaddam appeared on Israeli TV’s Channel 2 from Brussels claiming that he is receiving US and European material support in order to topple the Assad Mafia in Damascus.
He added that NATO troops are planning an incursion into Syria from turkey in few weeks and that the Turkish army has received orders to prepare to join Nato troops in that endeavor. Khaddam added that success of this effort will result in an immediate Peace with Israel based on the Arab initiative of 2002…

May 14th, 2011, 10:22 am


Revlon said:

312. Dear Norman, 7ama is at lower altitude than both Homs and Aleppo! Attasi is right there!

Dr Jr never needed to check Syrian’s eyesight. They just had to see what Jr tell them to see!
Now, that they stopped listening to him, they see much better!

May 14th, 2011, 10:28 am


Atassi said:

Norman.. Haaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Balllllllllllllllllllllaaaa…
what a joke .. are you working with Aboud and Taleeb now. do they feed you this BS.. I hope you are not taking all your info about syria form NBN!! comeon dude.. give us a break Willyea

May 14th, 2011, 10:29 am


Sophia said:

#313 Norman,

Khaddam is a liar and a looser. This is pure propaganda. Khaddam has also become delusional and his delusions are convenient for Israel and the Mossad who are used to plant this kind of propaganda in their news outlets.

May 14th, 2011, 10:43 am


atassi said:

Mr. syria first Never Kirdaha
to me it looks like we have too many young Homsis and telkak real men ready for marriage… can you help!!!
Walla Zanga Zanga yea Bashar.. Zanga Zanga Yea Maher
This is your AMIR you ..

May 14th, 2011, 10:46 am


atassi said:

List of the corrupted

May 14th, 2011, 10:58 am


why-discuss said:

Sophia, Jad

Robertson has written very strong articles about Ben Laden’s murder blaming the US. I agree with him all the way. I won’t be surprised if he would tackle Bahrain and Libya soon as I guess Kaddafi could be in the same situation a Ben Laden
The guy is an idealistic, obsessed by justice and ethics, not in the political ‘perversion of justice’.
Look at his articles

-Bin Laden’s killing a ‘perversion of justice’
-Robetson slams Ben Laden killing
-Bin Laden Should Have Been Captured, Not Killed
Geoffrey Robertson: Why it’s absurd to claim that justice has been done


I still think that an investigation must be conducted by the Syrian government about the circumstances of the shooting. They must clear Bashar Al Assad from the accusations of having given orders to kill randomly at crowds.

May 14th, 2011, 11:28 am


Norman said:


I thought that you would love a joke about the Hamyees, like old time or it the joke about the Homsies that is the standard,


I know Hama, I and my family are registered there ,

May 14th, 2011, 11:30 am


jad said:

I’m with the investigation, I don’t disagree with all what he wrote, I only point out what I think he was wrong about.
BTW, He already wrote about Libya and Gadhafi nothing about Bahrain yet, but that doesn’t allow him to ask for prosecution of a whole sect that apparently doesn’t know how to spell, “alamites”, he, out of anybody else, should be politically correct as a judge.
He is like any typical UN judge, they change their orientations according to the political views not according to ‘humanitarian’ issue as they claim, in most of his work and writings he always support the military action of the west at any other country regardless of any lost of lives, he doesn’t give a damn when non-westerns are killed he just use them as cause to help the military actions of his masters. Everything and everybody is politicize in our mad world.

May 14th, 2011, 11:48 am


Sophia said:

#321 WD,

I will credit Robertson with moral coherence the day he will write about Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Israel’s human rights records.

I don’t care if he was somehow critical of the US in Bin laden’s case. Everyone knows by now that the US record in human rights after Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo is only talk.

May 14th, 2011, 12:12 pm


Off the Wall said:

Why Discuss
I am trying my best not be emotional.
You stated:

I still think that an investigation must be conducted by the Syrian government about the circumstances of the shooting. They must clear Bashar Al Assad from the accusations of having given orders to kill randomly at crowds.

The president is the head of the government, and as it stands now in Syria, only a fool would believe that there is a sufficient separation between its branches in manners that can guarantee the independence and impartiality of the investigation. Even in the US, we always say, “well it is a government investigating itself, what do you expect?”. As such, the Syrian government can only request the investigation, but it can not be party of the investigative team. This is a post-conflict issue (when you have 800 death, it qualifies as conflict), and the investigation must be conducted by independent, impartial team, albeit in manners that have no bearing on the sovereignty of Syria, which is my red-line.

Bare in mind that none of the TV confessions can be used. The investigators must also be given access, independently, to every accused and every single person paraded on the Syrian TV or its collaborative networks, and with every arrested person accused of collaborating with foreign enemies. Again, this is a post-conflict issue and it deserves answers. If you called for investigating the 1300+ murders in Gaza, you should also accept the same level of investigation in Syria.

I would off course request similar investigation for Bahrain

Now before asking you a question, I can tell you that if an impartial commission cleared the Syrian President of the responsibility of ordering the death and murders and of approving the policy, then my response would be, a very qualified great. Then who in his circle orders it? what is he going to do about it? and why and how was he circumvented as a president? A single case would be Ok and we can deal with it, but nearly 800 fatalities so far is beyond reason in the sense that a head of state could not take charge of the most powerful state agency and this represents a massive failure of leadership. I will leave it to you to think of the ramification. But before even contemplating to determine the level of failure, I would, however, and to be fair, request an investigation of each single death to separate those resulting from actual, justifiable military confrontation with real armed militants, from those resulting from random shelling and shooting by the army, and or agents of the regime. And again I am not making any hypothesis regarding percentages.

Now my question is: What if a commission, composed in ways that satisfy both of us, and in manners that does not risk Syrian sovereignty could not clear the president of either ordering the random shelling and shooting, or approving the policy, or of failing to act to stop the policy (yesterday’s six deaths, which occur after it was publicized that he has ordered a stoppage of firing, would off course be included)? At this stage, I do not care if you are sure that the president did not issue the orders, I just want answer to this question.

May 14th, 2011, 12:21 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

To every islamic extremist on this block(names removed by admin) close your eyes and enjoy this imaginary clipp:
This Sunday and every Sunday after it Christians will go there churches then immediately after praying to god for peace and love they will gather in front of there churches and start shouting for god and then they will go to the streets and start shouting religious slogans .then they will turn around and burn few goby buildings and kill few other syrians who are from different religion using weapons given to theme by there priests when they were giving theme there holly communion .then they will hire few snipers wearing there ties and makeup and skirts and kill few kids and worshippers and right away take videos and send them to the Vatican and aljazera(which will not show them being pro mb that we know).they will keep doing that every Sunday .and they will come up with all unity slogans (S to taboot A to tehran).

Open your eyes now it is the end of the clip .you and your dirty-schizo-revolution will be going to the carbage of history.Syria has Been around for 7000 years and you will never be able to make it a hostage of your I’ll minds.

Note to author of this comment: please make your point without naming other commentators on this blog.

May 14th, 2011, 1:05 pm


Alex said:

Dear off the wall,

I just removed comments 316 and 317

Dear Syria no Kandajar,

You have legitimate reasons to be concerned about religious extremists and the role they might be playing in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East, but I hope you can try harder to present your views in less controversial forms.

May 14th, 2011, 1:24 pm


Alex said:

For those in Syria who are dreaming of importing the magical Turkish model as an instant solution for Syria:


(Reuters) – Turkish security forces killed at least 12 Kurdish militants after they were spotted crossing the border from Iraq, the military said on Saturday, while a soldier was killed by a mine blast.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas were killed during operations Friday and early Saturday in the southeast province of Sirnak, the military statement said.

The soldier died in Hakkari, another insurgency-plagued province bordering both Iran and Iraq, state-run Antaolian news agency said. Some PKK fighters operate from bases in the Qandil Mountains of northern Iraq.

The PKK ended a six-month ceasefire in February and there have been fears of rising violence before a parliamentary election on June 12 that is expected to result in a comfortable third successive victory for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party.

Jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan has threatened “war” unless the government enters talks after the election to end a separatist conflict that has dragged on for 27 years, killing more than 40,000 people.

The PKK last week claimed responsibility for an ambush that killed a police officer and wounded another in the northern Black Sea province of Kastamonu after an election rally by Erdogan, and two more police were killed this week.

The PKK says police have been attacked in retaliation for operations and arrests in the southeast. Erdogan has accused the militants of being behind several petrol bomb attacks on the offices of his AK Party.

May 14th, 2011, 1:27 pm


Mina said:

Norman #313
Now i am ready to believe everything about the al Jazeera hallucinogen pills. But for Khaddam to try them, isn’t he a bit old?

May 14th, 2011, 1:40 pm


Off the Wall said:

Dear Alex
As usual, Hats off. Thank you. Even though I did not ask for removal. Then, in that case, would you please remove my own comment now #324, otherwise people would think that I am crazy objecting to Sophie’s benign comment #316 🙂

May 14th, 2011, 1:40 pm


Mina said:

WD #298
I have posted on this blog a month ago that elections with international observers were needed. Instead the goverment took 2 days for Easter, then 2 days for istiqlal and then 1 for shuhada.
From the beginning it seemed clear that the police who had shot on crowds while the orders had been of not shooting, were young untrained people who got scared. You could document hundreds of such killings in Europe, the US and Israel. It was actually the common excuse of the Israelis 10-15 years ago to say that the killking of Palestinian kids was the result of some untrained yound soldier who got scared and used his weapon. Then I can imagine that some amn guys don’t want to lose their jobs. But this is a problem that should be solved by asking the Tunisians and the Egyptians what they plan to do, because they have the same problem.
The Western media has succedingly pushed the Syrian protest movements because they are asked not too ask difficult questions about Saudi Arabia and its satellites, Bahrain and Yemen (plus the 5 stars Maliki jails in Iraq). Now they even start a campaign of “don’t go to dictatures for tourism” (NYT) and try to cast a very dark shadow on Egypt (recent articles on the BBC website). It is all blackmail.
The economic crisis is entering a phase where every bank in the world would be very happy to receive anyone’s savings.
If it is civil war in Syria (please one-click-revolutionaries, check the definition of civil war, the red cross said that the situation on the ground before the UN resolution on Libya was a civil war, i. e. there is still some people supporting Qaddafi), it means the savings will go to Western banks. If it is hunger and stagnation it means the Syrian exiles will send money to their families there.

May 14th, 2011, 1:55 pm


democracynow said:

بيان المخرج مايكل مور

أود أن أتوجه بملاحظاتي بادئ ذي بدء إلى الحكومة السورية، إلى أولئك الجالسين في مواقع السلطة والمسؤولية، أعتقد أنكم تعرفونني، وأعتقد أنكم تعرفون أنني لستُ جزءاً من الحكومة الأميركية، فأنا لطالما كنتُ ناقداً جريئاً وعلنياً لسياسات حكومتنا، ولا سيما لسياساتها العسكرية. وأنا أعارض بشدّة اجتياح البلدان الأخرى، بما فيها سوريا، وأؤمن بانعدام أي واجب أو مسؤولية لجيشنا الأميركي في بلدان أخرى، وبأنه لا يجدر به التدخل ببلدان ذات سيادة مثل سوريا.

أما بعد، فإنني أحب أن أتوجه لكم مباشرة بهذا الكلام:
لقد انتهى وقتكم… كفى… إنها النهاية!
أنتم تعلمون أن البشر، كل البشر، على مر التاريخ، يطلبون الحرية.
كل البشر يريدون أن يتمكنوا من العيش بالطريقة التي يختارونها، وفي إطار القيم الأخلاقية الأساسية لمجتمعاتهم، لكنهم يريدون أن يكونوا أحراراً، أن يتمكنوا من انتخاب ممثليهم. ويريدون أن يتمكنوا من قول ما يريدون قوله، متى أرادوا، وأن يجتمعوا بعضهم ببعض متى أرادوا. لقد ولّت أيام منعكم ذلك، لقد انتهى ذلك في تونس، وانتهى في مصر، وسينتهي في سوريا، وأنتم تعلمون ذلك بلا شك.

أصبحت المسألة مسألة وقت فحسب، السؤال الآن هو «متى؟» وليس «هل؟».
ها أنتم اليوم أمام هذه اللحظة التاريخية العظيمة، وأنتم تملكون القدرة على اتخاذ ذلك القرار وتستطيعون أن تكونوا كما كان غيركم. فكروا بنظام «بوثا» في جنوب أفريقيا الذي أدرك أن النهاية قد أزفت، أنّ مجموعة صغيرة من البشر لم يعد بإمكانها أن تحكم وتتحكم بالأغلبية… فقرروا التنحّي جانباً، وفازوا بجائزة نوبل على قرارهم ذلك. وتعلمون أنهم ما زالوا مقيمين هناك، أنهم مازالوا يتمتعون بثرواتهم ويعيشون في بحبوحتهم.

أنا أعرف أنكم تحبون السُلْطة، وأنكم تحبون تملّككم كل ما تملكون، ولذلك أقول أنكم على الأرجح لن تضطروا للتخلي عن الكثير من ذلك، لكن عليكم التخلي عن بطشكم بالشعب، عن يدكم المُحكمة على رقبته… هذا هو ما عليكم التخلي عنه، هذا هو ما يجب أن ينتهي.
أنا أسألكم، أطلب منكم بكل جدية، بصفتي مواطناً من هذا العالم، وكشخص يكنّ احتراماً عميقاً للشعب السوري، أن تفعلوا ذلك، وأن تفعلوه الآن، أن تتوقفوا عن سفك الدماء.

صورتكم أمام العالم ليست حسنةً اليوم، ولا أرى في ذلك خيراً.
أما للشعب السوري، فما سأقوله الآن هو أنني أعلم أنكم تمرون بوقت عصيب جداً، وإن دفاعكم عن حقوقكم هو صراع حقيقي، وأنكم تتعرضون للأذى وللطلقات النارية والقتل. كم هو سهل عليّ الآن من نيويورك أن أقول: «انزلوا للشوارع ودافعوا عما تؤمنون به وخاطروا بحياتكم»… لكنها حقيقة تاريخية، أن كل الحركات العظيمة، وكل لحظات التحررالعظيمة، لم تحدث إلا لأن أهلها كانوا مستعدين للتضحية والمجازفة. شعب بلدي فعل ذلك يوماً، منذ أكثر من 200 عام، تعلمون أن أكثر من 20 ألف شخصاً ماتوا في ثورتنا التي امتدت طوال 8 سنوات. أحياناً لا تحدث الأمور بين يوم وليلة، وأحياناً يموت كثيرون، لكن في أحيان أخرى، بل في كثير من الأحيان، لا تقدّم الحرية على طبق من فضة. أحياناً يكون عليك أن تنهض وتنتزعها. أحياناً يجب عليك أن تقف وتطالب بها. وأحياناً، يكون على البعض أن يضحوا بحياتهم، وهؤلاء هم من ستعيش ذكراهم إلى الأبد. لا تستسلموا! التاريخ في صفكم! كل ديكتاتور وكل طاغية على مر التاريخ سقط واحترق، كلهم يرحلون عاجلاً أم آجلاً، مهما بلغ شرّهم، التاريخ يتقدم، والبشرية تتطور، وهذا هو ما يحدث الآن في سوريا.

لدي إيمان كبير بقدرتكم على تحقيق ذلك، الجميع هنا يؤمن بذلك، لديكم مؤيدون ودعم كبير ليس فقط بين أبناء الشعب الأميركي، بل بين شعوب العالم أجمع، وفي العالم العربي طبعاً، أنظارنا موجهة إليكم الآن! فليكن الله معكم.


May 14th, 2011, 2:01 pm


Shami said:

Sophia,the positive we can see are the remaining of a revolved era),being pro dictatorial regimes because of anti americanism is always stupid anyway.This is fact for the city cited :Aleppo was 25 % christians prior to Asad,today it’s arround 5 %.

May 14th, 2011, 2:11 pm


Mina said:

Could someone draw a family tree? It happens that Khaddam is also related to Saudi Arabia’s House of Saud? What a nightmare!

May 14th, 2011, 2:14 pm


Mina said:

Shami, you just forget to mention that Aleppo has seen its size multiplied by ten.
So your statistics is not valid. The emigration of Christians from the North-East, plus those of Iraq, plus those that were already here (Chaldeans, Syriac, Romans, Armenians), makes at least 10 percent of Aleppo christians. But if you want to take Aleppo as containing the suburbs 50 kilometers all around, ok, maybe you get to 5 percent, though I doubt it.

May 14th, 2011, 2:17 pm


why-discuss said:


Is he trying to get better reviews after having attacked Bush and flirted with John Kerry and TOTALLY silent about Israel?
He seems to be an opportunist.

The hypocrisy of Michael Moore


May 14th, 2011, 2:36 pm


سلام من دمشق said:

هناك حاجة لدغدغة المشاعر أحيانا بالحديث عن أمنيات !ان أشاوس حلف شمال الأطلسي أجبن من اتخاد قرار بخصوص سوريا ! أمنيات تتعارض مع منطق التوازنات الاقليمية و الدولية! حاجتكم خرط !

May 14th, 2011, 2:36 pm


SYR Expat said:

Dear Alex,

Thank you for removing the “vile, tasteless, and sick comments” that Off the Wall pointed out. I hope you can do something about Comment #236. Also, many thanks to Off the Wall for enriching the discussion with thoughtful comments and much needed civility.

May 14th, 2011, 2:43 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Actually what Shami is saying is weird because this crisis showed Aleppo to be the most tolerant and peaceful city in Syria.

The migration of Christians was always propelled by the lack of a strong national identity and the lack of a strong secular tradition in the country. Syria has less Christian migration rate than other countries where sectarianism/racism is flagrant (Israel, Lebanon, Iraq). If Shami and his friends rule Syria, the Christians will definitely become extent, regardless of weather there will be violence or not. What can keep the Christians in this country is a more secular state and society and less sectarian hatred like the shameful seens that we are seeing now in Homs. All this anger and hate that some Homsis are showing does not encourage the Christians or any other minority to stay in Syria.

May 14th, 2011, 2:45 pm


SYR Expat said:

Dear Alex,

Thank you for removing the “vile, tasteless, and sick comments” that Off the Wall pointed out. I hope you can do something about Comment #236.

Also, many thanks to Off the Wall for enriching the discussion with thoughtful comments and much needed civility.

May 14th, 2011, 2:46 pm


why-discuss said:

Emigration of christians from Aleppo

Most emigrants look for a better life and future for their children. Christians who usually speak more than one language, who are sometimes better educated and at ease in the western-christian culture, have better chances to get a job in the Western Christian richer countries. Are Saudi Arabia or any rich Arab countries accepted emigrants? If they did, I am sure there will be a rush of moslems emigrating there. Unfortunately the only countries open to emigration have a christian culture, sometimes disturbing for conservative Moslems, so many Moslems don’t feel at ease to move there and stay home despite their difficulties

May 14th, 2011, 2:49 pm


Shami said:

Mina ,in absolute number ,the size of the christian community is the same than 50 years ago ,but the city was only 400 000.(it’s the lowest demographic increase of christian population compared to Egypt ,Lebanon,Jordan and even to Iraq prior to the war).
An important percentage of christian population in Aleppo which is arround 160 000 are non old inhabitants of city but recent inhabitants who came from eastern jazeera and also from the country side of hama and homs.The armenian community was 80 000 two decades ago today it’s 40 000.
Aleppo and Damascus is the step for syrian christians before departure to Europe,Lebanon and the Americas.
Mina ,also many modern districts in the city which were christian districts ,are today very muslim.(like al Midan,Hamadiyeh,Ashrafiyeh,Sabeel)…
Al Aziziyeh,and Seryan have become mixed.
And dont forget Mina,that prior to Asad ,the christians did not appear as scared from their neigbors than you and alikes like to portray this community;a scared community whose fate depends on a corrupt and criminal dictatorship,they were active,demographically important ,powerful,influent and very integrated citizens.

May 14th, 2011, 2:52 pm


Shami said:

Also mina ,it’s about the city of Aleppo and not the muhafazat ,in the province they make up less than 3 %.

May 14th, 2011, 3:04 pm


Aldendeshe said:

كم هو سهل عليّ الآن من نيويورك أن أقول: «انزلوا للشوارع ودافعوا عما تؤمنون به وخاطروا بحياتكم»… لكنها حقيقة تاريخية، أن كل الحركات العظيمة، وكل لحظات التحررالعظيمة، لم تحدث إلا لأن أهلها كانوا مستعدين للتضحية والمجازفة. شعب بلدي فعل ذلك يوماً، منذ أكثر من 200 عام، تعلمون أن أكثر من 20 ألف شخصاً ماتوا في ثورتنا التي امتدت طوال 8 سنوات.

Michael Moore is a “Zionist Chill”, in all his so called documentary movies he presented a distorted images and facts, only exposed the most mundane, well known facts and never touched controversial ones or ones that are contentious. In all his silly movies he never made one regarding a matter that can cause uproar or expose the villains that run our world. Now, as a Zionist Chill comes with this stands that have no business interfering in the first place.

He talks about his country 8 years long revolution, a documentary expert ( what a Joke) he never tell the truth about the revolution, that it was all masterminded and funded by International and New York Bankers who launched the revolution for profit. Ample documentation about that. He also never infer to the fact that Abraham Lincoln was in fact murdered-assassinated by the same bankers for refusing to abide by their demands to take over the Treasury of the United States and set up the Federal Reserve System (A privately owned Bank) which act as the Central bank of the United States and the only bank allowed to print legal tender (Fiat Currency Dollars) paper junks. They managed to establish that control after they murdered Lincoln and installed own stooge. Years later, when John F. Kennedy threaten to abolish the Federal Reserve Bank (The U.S. Government does not own its Dollar bills, nor has the right to issue it, it is the only country that its National Currency is privately owned and issued) Kennedy, back in 1961 had it with this now unraveling U.S. Financial Control by the Private Bankers and they assassinated him. They managed to do in Robert as well, framing Sirhan-Sirhan for the crime (search new evidence came out last month). And when Junior Kennedy threatens to expose all, they crashed him in a plane at sea.

Did Zionist Moore find any of these above of interest to make a movies about, did he find any anomalies in the 911 Commission report to investigate, none. A Zionist Chill, that is all.

For your reference:
Who Killed Abraham Lincoln:

The Rothschilds and International Bankers arranged Lincoln’s death

In this conspiracy scenario, John Wilkes Booth was the “hit man,” the “hired gun” for the powerful British bankers, the Rothschilds. According to this assassination theory, the Rothschilds had offered loans to the Lincoln administration at very high interest, assuming that the Union had no choice other than to accept their outrageous terms. The frugal and resourceful frontiersman spirit in Lincoln caused him to refuse the Rothschilds’ offer and to acquire the necessary funds elsewhere. Although his refusal only stung their sense of pride and greed, the true reason for their planning his assassination was their knowledge that after the war Lincoln’s policies indicated a mild Reconstruction of the South that would encourage a resumption of agriculture rather than industry. Additional post-war policies destroyed the Rothschilds’ commodity speculations. With Lincoln out of the way, the Rothschilds planned to exploit the weaknesses of the United States and take over its economy.

Lincoln was assassinated by the Jesuits

May 14th, 2011, 3:08 pm


Mawal95 said:

Why-Discuss said:

I still think that an investigation must be conducted by the Syrian government about the circumstances of the shooting [of civilians]. They must clear Bashar Al Assad from the accusations of having given orders to kill randomly at crowds.

As everybody is well aware, there are literally thousands and thousands of video tapes of crowds protesting in Syria over the past two months. All publicly available. Out of those thousands I haven’t seen one that clearly shows troops firing at the crowds. Therefore no futher investigation is warranted, I say. More exactly, any allegation that there was a policy of frightening peaceful protesters by killing or brutalizing some of them must be founded upon video evidence. The video evidence is not there, so the case is closed.

Civilians did get killed by State troops of course. Some information about the particular circumstances under which they were killed should be welcomed by everybody. As of now, the Syrian government apparently is not even committing itself to an estimate of how many were killed. Yesterday I read in more than one newspaper that “UN High Commission for Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville said activists’ estimates of 700-850 deaths since March 15 are realistic. “We cannot verify these numbers for sure, but believe they are likely to be close to reality,” he said. The global body is preparing to send a high-level fact finding team to Syria as soon as it receives government permission.” The pronouncement that 800 deaths is “realistic” is an irresponsible pronouncement from that UN agency because that UN agency has got no basis in facts for knowing anything beyond what we here at Syria Comment know from surfing the Net.

May 14th, 2011, 3:09 pm


why-discuss said:


“And dont forget Mina,that prior to Asad ,the christians did not appear as scared from their neigbors than you and alikes like to portray this community;a scared community whose fate depends on a corrupt and criminal dictatorship,they were active,demographically important ,powerful,influent and very integrated citizens.”

Sorry, then why is the Lebanese christian population decreased.. There was no dictator? Why did the christian population of Egypt decreased after the fall of the king!
Why did the Iraqi christians, flourishing during the dictatorship of Saddam, all left now? Why the iranians christian sleft after the fall of the Shah?
Come on this is a general phenomenon, people go where they feel safer and where they have better opportunities to make a better living. And Christians have better opportunities in rich western countries!

May 14th, 2011, 3:11 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

The rebellion has lost steam on the ground, but not in the media. I am concerned that if the Western media keeps this campaign of intimidation, Assad will not be able to announce his reforms. There are several reasons that prevent Assad from announcing the reforms while the West is still attacking him. For example, if Assad announces the reforms and the Western media claims the next day that the “reforms did not please the demonstrators who are still rocking the country,” Assad will become exposed to all kinds of internal and external pressure. Probably the US and Europe are waiting for Assad to announce his reforms so that they can appear the next day to say that Assad has lost legitimacy and he must leave. This will be the signal for the rebellion to flame again.

I am sure Assad wants to announce some serious reforms (he has to; it is not his choice anymore). However, it does not seem that the West will allow him to do that.

May 14th, 2011, 3:11 pm


Jad said:

According to Shami’s one and only paper he read, Christians don’t even exist in Syria anymore, they keep shrinking by the hour, it starts by 10%, then 8-7.5% couple months ago, then down to 5% couple weeks ago, then less than 4% couple days ago and now 3%, At this rate in couple days there wouldnt be any Christians left in Syria.
Are you copying the Egyptian style when years ago they claimed that only 5% are Christians and suddenly the real number came out to be 9-10%!
I like your scientific absolute conclusions Shami, they are very convincing.
With love to all the 0.001% of the Syrian Christians 🙂

May 14th, 2011, 3:19 pm


Mina said:

You carry on Ammar Abdulhamid and the neocons agenda: any problem comes from the Asad family.
The Christians of Aleppo have had many occasions in the recent 5 years to hear the thousands of terrified Iraqi Christians telling them horror tales of threats and kidnapping and people cut into pieces.
Don’t be silly with your focus on the regime. You lose any realism and credibility. I don’t believe in the statistics you are giving.
There is currrently 14 different churches, and heads of churches in Aleppo.

May 14th, 2011, 3:29 pm


why-discuss said:

Mawal, Souri

I agree that there are no tangible proofs that the security forces shot randomly, everything in this videos are blurred and incomplete. But there are accusations all over and I don’t believe Bashar Al Assad can regain credibility in the international community if he does not announce first that they would be an investigation on the events. For better credibility, he may ask a known unbiased personality for support ( Mandela..)
This investigation may last a year or two to come back with a report, but the fact he has started will be at his credit
If he does and shows clearly that he wants the truth even if he bears some responsibilities, he then can announce any reforms he deems to announce and they will support him.
I don’t think he can count on time to make these tragic events be forgotten. Until he clears them they’ll come back to haunt him.

May 14th, 2011, 3:29 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

I will not mention names and will do discussions Syrian democracy style.
Christians in the middle east have been burned so many times.100 years ago the mother of all democracies Turky and the ancestors of Rajab Erdogan killed in cold blood 1.5 to 2 millions Armenians and Assyrians they have been cleaning there hands from blood and hiding there kitchen knifes since then.lately they claim to have PHD in democracy in front of tv.Aprill 24th an Armenian serving his military was executed by his jihadist friends evil soldiers. Christians in Iraq have been liberated by the west genius never getting stupid minds to either graves or Damascus or kamishli or Amman.who are you kidding now and what degree of stupidity Christians would have to have to believe that this mania going in Syria now will be in there best it interest .Nodal janood officer tallaway and others were not christians and there slaughters got a ticket to heaven.to slaughter Christians that ticket will be VIP front seat.Syria has saved 500000 Iraq Christians and 1500000 Muslims with the reward of the international conscious spitting in here face.if you do the math that will be like the us taking 30 millions refugees.Christians would not be bitten by the same snake twice .it is the same snake just moved here head to Syria and changed here skin.

May 14th, 2011, 3:32 pm


democracynow said:


From Mina’s nun, a translation to English:

Young People’s Committee with the police eventually pull the vehicle which skidded. We ran to control its occupants. They were three. What was our astonishment to see that they were in a state of inexplicable, like drug addicts. Whoever was operating the machine gun had been wounded by a bullet that had rolled his arms in depth, but he laughed out loud,

Ahahhhhaaaa! Hallucinogenics! Halwasa! Zanga zanga!

May 14th, 2011, 3:33 pm


Mawal95 said:

On the basis of my paying attention to news coming out of Syria over the past six weeks, I estimate 300 to 350 deaths including a little over 100 security personnel deaths. “I cannot verify these numbers for sure, but believe they are likely to be close to reality.”

May 14th, 2011, 3:41 pm


Leo said:


In fact thousands and thousands of people are pouring unto the streets because of Assad Regime’s corruption and lack of human rights and freedoms in Syria.

It’s funny you claim that Makhlouf’s wealth was acquired legally just like any capitalist in any other country. It’s a fact that Makhlouf operates above the law and no one dares to criticize or oppose the dirty practices that Makhlouf engages in. The biggest example is the illegal way that Makhlouf acquired Syria Tel and ended up paying peanuts for it simply because he is Bashar’s cousin. Riad Seif, a parliamentarian, simply raised the issue in parliament and right afterwards was stripped from his immunity, tried, and sentenced for years in prison.

You said earlier that you are not Syrian..may I know what business do you have telling us Syrians what is good for us?


You on the other hand is simply hilarious for claiming that Mubarak engaged in torture but Assad did not. This corrupt regime is the biggest violator of human rights according to EVERY SINGLE human rights organization around the world, including all Syrian HR groups.

May 14th, 2011, 3:42 pm


Shami said:

Jad ,
I never said that the christians were 10 % today ,according to the leaders of syrian churches their percentage nowadays is between 3 and
6 %.for this reason i could have added some percents less or more but that doesnt change the figure a lot.
For Egypt,Egyptian christianity unlike that of Syria did not know this exodus.
Anyway ,you have your eyes ,go see by yourself !This decline was lived by us despite our relative your ages.

May 14th, 2011, 3:44 pm


why-discuss said:


Whatever.. the international community won’t believe any number given by Syria. The opposition will show 1000, the government 300. The important thing is that there is genuine willingness to investigate and come with the truth.

May 14th, 2011, 3:45 pm


Shami said:

For Egypt,Egyptian christianity unlike that of Syria did not know this exodus.
Anyway ,you have your eyes ,go see by yourself !This decline was lived by us despite our relative young ages.

May 14th, 2011, 3:45 pm


democracynow said:

Why Discuss,

Yes. Michael Moore is a hypocrite. Azmy Bishara is bought and paid for. Qatar is an expansionist, imperialistic, hegemonic state that is currently eying Syria’s gold and diamond reserves. A tunnel was dug from Jeddah to Homs to secure a safe passage for the salafi emir but was luckily intercepted by one of Khaled Al Aboud’s squares.

And so on…

May 14th, 2011, 3:46 pm


democracynow said:

Lincoln was assassinated by the Jesuits
Years later, when John F. Kennedy threaten to abolish the Federal Reserve Bank … they assassinated him.


OMG! it keeps getting better!

Paultards for Assad!

May 14th, 2011, 3:53 pm


Mina said:

The Egyptian did not know this exodus?? Of course they did, and they were getting visas and permits more easily than their Muslim cousins. Just see how many Copts are in the US. They all come from Egypt, since there is no other place with Copts!
But in some villages of Middle Egypte, the average is 8 kids per family.
That’s probably the mistake of the Syrians. If they were 80-90 millions no one would dare attacking them. The Empire goes only after small countries.

Leo, you can believe all your NGO-s if you wish. I know the meaning of neo-colonialism and they are in the frontline. Ask the Sudanese. Just read the hundreds of Wikileaks cables from the US embassy. You should note that the US have made torture trending in the last ten years.

May 14th, 2011, 3:57 pm


why-discuss said:


Exact, the Copts did not emigrate in mass during the dictatorship of Mobarak, they are now!

May 14th, 2011, 3:57 pm


Jad said:

You started it using Hollywood director as your hero, you better enjoy the show 😉

May 14th, 2011, 3:59 pm


democracynow said:

Soon in Damascus:


May 14th, 2011, 4:00 pm


Norman said:

I agree with WD , an investigation should be lead and done by Syria, The Christians have no future in nonsecular Syria, they will leave ,

How sad that Islam managed to spread from Indonesia to the US with understanding and liberty to all to practice their religions to be destroyer by present day Muslims, We were in Spain in 2007 , the tour guide was so proud of the Islamic heritage of Spain just to add that present day Muslims have nothing to resemble the Muslims of Spain and Abdul Rah man the immigrant.

Islam is being destroyed from within, Shia, Sunni problem being the major one.

If Syria can not find a safe way out of the problem she is facing, i expect religous states in the Mideast .

May 14th, 2011, 4:09 pm


why-discuss said:

Turkish prosecutors ask Israel to ID Mavi Marmara attackers


Turkey will not budge…

May 14th, 2011, 4:10 pm


Aldendeshe said:

@Soon in Damascus, Democracy in the making without the Brotherhood or Zionist Servant Khaddami. A PERRRRRFECT Syria. Here it is- A first Draft:

Damascus 1,110,000 7.4% 55 R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Rural Dam 1,155,000 7.7 % 57R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Aleppo 3,600,000 24.0 % 180R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Homs 1,320,000 8.8 % 66R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Hama 1,305,000 8.7 % 65R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Lattakia 765,000 5.1 % 38R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Deirezzor 1,020,000 6.8 % 51R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Idleb 1,260,000 8.4 % 63R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Al-Hasakeh 975,000 6.5 % 48R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Al-Rakka 615,000 4.1 % 30R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Al-Sweida 300,000 2.0 % 15R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Daraa 690,000 4.6 % 34R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Tartous 585,000 3.9 % 29R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Quneitra 300,000 2.0 % 15R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
TOTAL 15,000,000 100 746rep 140 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL

May 14th, 2011, 4:13 pm


why-discuss said:

Democracy on hold ( ex Now)

“Yes. Michael Moore is a hypocrite. Azmy Bishara is bought and paid for. Qatar is an expansionist, imperialistic, hegemonic state that is currently eying Syria’s gold and diamond reserves. A tunnel was dug from Jeddah to Homs to secure a safe passage for the salafi emir but was luckily intercepted by one of Khaled Al Aboud’s squares.”

You forgot many other half truth:

Michael Moore lost weight while watching the events in Syria on Youtube.
Qatar is a the only democracy in the ME with Israel
Azmy Bishara loves the Dead Sea Spa’s
The salafi emir of Deraa was seen on a flying carpet, direction: The Ryad Royal City Mall

May 14th, 2011, 4:27 pm


Jad said:

When we get these numbers of participants anywhere in Syria, people will believe your calls, until then the majority of Syrians at least 51% are not convinced and they don’t trust Mr. neocon pet, Pony tail (Syrian Jalabi), or Ghadiri, or Khaddam, or the MBs or any of those opportunists wanna be the new dictator because my grand grand father was.
Let them first talk to Syrians in the street face to face not through sectarian idiots or behind computers from the States or Europe, come up with a clear future plan and treat Syrians as the mature and smart people they are instead of treating them as idiots using false emotions and blood, that only works on the ignorant illiterates, they need to do all of these things if they want anybody to listen to them and to consider to trust them, otherwise nobody will believe any propaganda they spread.
One last thing, all of them should admit the existence of criminals in their groups on the ground, denying that won’t get them any trust, it showed them as accomplice in the crimes committed under their watch.

May 14th, 2011, 4:33 pm


Louai said:


for the second time

can you provide your source before you say ‘according to the leaders of syrian churches their percentage nowadays is between 3 and 6% ‘

thank you

May 14th, 2011, 4:51 pm


Shami said:

Norman ,dont fear for the future ,it’s when these dictatorshops(your nationalist regimes ya 333) destroyed civil societies that irrationality prevailed ,islamic extremism is a temporal accident in history but they remain a small minority.
The muslim shouyoukh before these regimes hijacked power and established a state of fear and slogans,took part with their brothers the liberal intellectuals to the arab islamic renaissance of the 19th century which ended with Nasser regime and clones.
Islamism is a disease and can only be excised by the return of reason at the political level.
Norman,be sure that Syria will never be an Islamic state.
You saw how the spanish were proud of their Umayyad Islamic heritage ,we will resume this englightened culture Inshallah.

May 14th, 2011, 5:02 pm


Shami said:

Louai ,do you understand french?

May 14th, 2011, 5:05 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

You are perfectly wright shami except one big difference : we are not Spanish .

May 14th, 2011, 5:10 pm


Jerusalem said:

The sad truth is president Assad lacks leadership and no one takes him seriously among his clan. The only way the president can survive is by showing leadership. The whole issue would have been resolved from day one, by him publicly executing the mayor of Daraa although he is his cousin. He knew long long time ago of his corruption and ruthlessness, yet he did nothing to stop him. To keep turning the other cheek on his cousins awful doing will cost him his presidency. His father ousted his own brother outside the country for threatening his presidency and him is not capable of stopping his cousins from demolishing the country. It’s like inheriting a large enterprise e.g. Dupont and lead it to chapter 11. That is exactly what Bashar is doing calling chapter 11 on Syria. At first I was optimistic, but then seeing how he terribly managed the situation or rather did not manage the situation, it became obvious that he has no power. Just the fact that Makloof spoke his mind with NO approved written text, tells you that Bashar gave his cousins a carte blanche to do what they want with the country and to proclaim that he was not aware is a big fat lie; because NewYork times got only 4 hours approval to enter Syria and leave immediately. Really, this is way too stupid. He may be a Dr. but lacks the intelligence of leadership. To keep issuing decrees one after another with no real execution doesn’t get him far.
He has two options; either he flees the country like his wife or he toughens up and act like a man. There is no question about Islamists and Kadam who are trying to ride the wave of certain honest protesters who are asking for legitimate demands. But in order to subdue the influx of protesters, he needs to take a manly decision. He needs to sacrifice his cousins and friends like the corrupted mayor of Homs to stay in power and I mean sacrifice, not a staged sacrifice, otherwise kiss him good bye. The situation is far from getting better.

May 14th, 2011, 5:32 pm


Sophia said:

#351 Leo,

“It’s funny you claim that Makhlouf’s wealth was acquired legally just like any capitalist in any other country…”

I never claimed that Makhlouf’s wealth was acquired legally, that’s what you think I am claiming. My claim is that, like in any other capitalist country today, Makhlouf’s wealth was acquired illegally.

There are grey areas in business dealings and we have seen some of them recently surface in the US and Europe. These practices are not specific to Syria, they are specific to any capitalist country applying neoliberal market economy today. They rest on many illegal and unethical principles.

May 14th, 2011, 5:36 pm


Sophia said:

#351 Leo,

“You said earlier that you are not Syrian..may I know what business do you have telling us Syrians what is good for us?”

It is true I am not Syrian and I have no business telling you what is good for you but there are many Israelis, ultrazionists and neocon americans publishing comments on this site and you never addressed them with this reproach.

May 14th, 2011, 5:39 pm


Aboud said:

This is the kind of everyday abuse that Joshua Landis recommend Syrians keep living under.


Three of Bashar’s thugs against one man. These same thugs don’t dare go into a small town like Rastan, Telkelakh and Talbisi unless they put Sunni conscripts first, T-72 battle tanks second, and themselves in their ridiculous baggy black trousers last.

May 14th, 2011, 5:44 pm




I am sure you have morals. But then how do you dare defending the killing and repression of people in Syria, just because there are necons, zionists, etc in the world. You are acting in an ideal ideollogical world, a maniquean world, just like Bush, Bin Laden, Assads and cia need it to be. You have fallen in their trap. An ideal world of opposites, of good and bad. Can´t you understand that there are not good and bads but powerfull opressors (in every country) and naked people in front of them? Even if there was someone promoting protests there is a need of freedom in the people. And the people, with its needs and demands are not suspicious of being power suckers at all. You are fighting against your own principles without knowing it. One day you may realize that all peoples in the world have right to enjoy freedoms and rights as you enjoy in your country. And by you words you are stopping syrians to reach dignity.

May 14th, 2011, 6:08 pm




Do you have an idea how these kind of videos can reach the internet? One of the thugs was filming and then he posts the video on the net? If it happens it shows he is proud of what he does. Frankly impressing.

May 14th, 2011, 6:11 pm


Jad said:

The revolution stopped because of you 🙂
Could you please let the mighty revolution with it’s criminal gangs continue until it destroy the whole country so we can give you the ‘Moral’ prize.
You are too smart we don’t need you we want Abou Nazeer and his gangs to rule Syria.
Thank you!

May 14th, 2011, 6:22 pm


Aboud said:


Actually it’s no secret how these kinds of videos get around. He sends the video clip to his buddies and relatives, bragging how he and two other thugs beat up a defenseless man. These associates then show their friends, and somewhere along the line, someone is disgusted enough to make it public.

Already, Facebook users have been coming forward with the names of these bastards. Last week a 70 year old former Nazi concentration camp guard was jailed, which shows how justice can come to even the most illusive of criminals, if it is applied rigorously enough. And the Syrian people will never forget.

May 14th, 2011, 6:34 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Also, Landis mentioned before that he has no information about defection of Syrian army units, thus making the good professor the worst informed “expert” on Syria in the business.

Aboud (#306),

Thanks for posting what is blatantly obvious.

After Assad is gone, I’ll buy Professor Josh the following bumper sticker for his car:

“Caution: Pro-Baathist Academic Inside”

May 14th, 2011, 6:35 pm


jad said:

#375, That is happening while the regime is still in power, just imagine how the same guy will be treated during the no law period, see, this guy, unfortunately, got many slaps in the face but he wasn’t beheaded. Iraq is not that far from Syria.

#379,When you become a Jew then will talk about justice until then you are nothing but a terrorist Muslim/Arab, you don’t deserve any justice.

May 14th, 2011, 7:03 pm



After reading too many posts during last 2 months I am coming to the conclusion that pro-change supporters are counting deaths as many pro-regime supporters are counting thousands of dollars they are losing in their businesses.

May 14th, 2011, 7:08 pm


Off the Wall said:

Sample Posts/Commenter Since March 01,2011
You draw your own conclusion, mine is not different from what I get seeing others defend you know who on news networks

MONTH: March,April,May
NK: 128, 158, 43
AIG: 35, 92, 32
Akbar Palace: 59, 66, 21
Why-Discuss: 24, 59, 202

May 14th, 2011, 7:11 pm


Sophia said:

#378 Jad,

The only thing people like me are hoping from these ‘revolutionaries’ is that they won’t destroy the wonderful human fabric of Syria. And we keep telling them the same thing, on this blog and elsewhere, that we acknowledge their legitimate grievances but that, at the same time, we have some worries about, not only Syria’s future, but that of the whole region if they come to suddenly halt, and/or break the country’s institutions, but they won’t listen to our grievances, they brush them aside, or they offer simplistic slogans, and this is what keeps worrying me about this ‘revolution’, their inability to plan the future and their refusal to engage in a constructive dialogue, not with the regime, but more importantly with the rest of the Syrian society.

May 14th, 2011, 7:12 pm


why-discuss said:

Gag order in case of Egyptian spying for Israel

“Tarek Hassan was arrested in August and charged with harming national interests. He is accused of coordinating with Syrian agents, mainly to gather information about the communications industry in the three countries and Syria’s nuclear program. Two Israelis have been charged in absentia.”


Egypt is getting closer to Syria… give it a bit of time, they’ll be allied, at the condition Syria continue its anti-israeli position. The removal of Bashar al Assad may change the cards.

May 14th, 2011, 7:20 pm


Sophia said:

#383 Off The Wall,

I don’t think it is fair that you point at my comments or for that matter at any of other people’s comments the way you do it. Although I stand by what I write and when I write it, I feel your finger pointing as threatening and intimidating.

May 14th, 2011, 7:20 pm


Shami said:

No rational people believe that asad gang can agree to democratic change over.

They have so much syrian civilian blood on their hands.

They should be brought to court.

May 14th, 2011, 7:21 pm


why-discuss said:


You statement sounds like an esoteric riddle. Why are you hiding your thoughts behind other commenters statistics?

May 14th, 2011, 7:23 pm


Off the Wall said:

Because I want to. And this is not the first time I do that. And there was probably a time when I also posted 200+ in less than a month

May 14th, 2011, 7:34 pm


What will a post Assad Syria look like? « Arun with a View said:

[…] the question Josh Landis asks on his blog Syria Comment (one of the best sources of information and analysis on that country). […]

May 14th, 2011, 7:35 pm


why-discuss said:

Islamist Party Revived in Tunisia, and Many Fear Its Intentions
No, no, Syria has no reason to worry..,.

“…Despite repeated assurances of their tolerance and moderation, their rise has touched off frenzied rumors of attacks on unveiled women and artists, of bars and brothels sacked by party goons, of plots to turn the country into a caliphate. With crucial elections scheduled for July 24, Ennahda’s popularity and organizational strength are of growing concern to many activists and politicians, who worry that the secular revolution in this moderate state — the revolt that galvanized the Arab Spring — might see the birth of a conservative Islamic government.

And just as the protests in Tunis heralded the revolt in Cairo, analysts are looking to Tunisia as a bellwether for the more broadly influential developments to come in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood enjoys similar advantages and has stirred similar misgivings.

“How do you want us to go up against Ennahda?” asked an exasperated strategist for the Republican Alliance, a secular party. “They’re prepared to do anything.”

May 14th, 2011, 7:36 pm


why-discuss said:


Each one has a time…

May 14th, 2011, 7:43 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Common guys push the number to record 400 posts on Syriacomment, I need to post something important for all of you to see what is next for Syria on #401. It is going to be a big disspaointment to those hoping what is AFTER!!!!

May 14th, 2011, 7:43 pm


Shami said:

WD,there is no other way ,these moderate islamist parties should be integrated into the political process and then if they reach the government ,ahlan wa sahlan ,the people will evaluate them on their factual achievements and no more on words and slogans.
In Syria ,Tunisia,Egypt,Morocco,Libya and most of arab countries ,it will not be a sectarian struggle like you have in Lebanon ,but there will be classical parties ,the socialist,communist ,conservative,liberals,and moderate islamist parties.

May 14th, 2011, 7:46 pm


jad said:

فادت قناة “الجديد” أن اكثر من عشرة مسلحين لبنانيين دخلوا من منطقة وادي خالد الى بلدة تلكلخ السورية لمساندة مجموعة ارهابية مسلحة تشتبك مع الجيش السوري في تلك المنطقة ، كما ذكرت ان عددا من المسلحين السوريين الذي اصيبوا في الاشتباكات جرى نقلهم للمعالجة في بعض مستشفيات منطقة عكار.

For you #392

May 14th, 2011, 7:55 pm


why-discuss said:


I wish your predictions are right. I believe that once in power, any group would want to hold on. Constitutions may be changed, laws may be changed, repression could be used for the group to retain power. Who can stop that? Where is the ultimate judge? A secular supreme court?
You are dreaming of a perfect democracy after centuries of colonialism, dictatorship and the presence of a strong religion that makes no distinction between the social, politic and the religious: Not a good recipe for a democracy soon. Maybe our grand grand grand children…

May 14th, 2011, 7:56 pm


jad said:

تفائل وتبادل التهاني بإنتهاء الأزمة تدريجياً

May 14th, 2011, 7:58 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Here goes the country, why on earth someone would want to allow Islamist whose main allegiance is to Foreigners in Arabia to have a say in Syrian Affairs. They can have a say in what the Mosques can say, that is their seditious den of spies and saboteurs, is not that enough to have. Must give them more control over Syrian Political, Social and Economic Affairs, NO WAY MAN. Syrians after 50 years are not going from Baathism to Brotherhood. It will be WORLD WAR III before that happens.

May 14th, 2011, 7:58 pm


jad said:

Shami my friend,
I hope that you listen and become as good as him 😉

مفتي الجمهورية يؤكد على اهمية دور رجال الدين

May 14th, 2011, 8:02 pm


Shami said:

Jad,ask any aleppine on Hassoun ,then you will get a more accurate idea of what kind of garbage he is.

May 14th, 2011, 8:13 pm


jad said:

🙂 Is he really that bad?

Here you go Aldendeshe 400 🙂

May 14th, 2011, 8:16 pm


Aldendeshe said:

This is a Prototype Model for future Syria (next month), Drop the Baathist Committee and hire a Nationalist one. The numbers below in the table needs to be adjusted to actual registered voter numbers.

It assume voting age in Syria as that of sisterly and powerful real Moslem State of Iran, 15 years of age- Youth of Syria must have a say in the future of the nation.

Its assumption based on the nearest statistics available, that Syria eligible voters are 15,000,000 voters, divided according to the latest numbers of census for the Muhafazat.


For parliament of the Lower House:
Each Muhafaza will be divided unto election prescient consisting of 20,000 voters per prescient. For each prescient there is one parliamentary to be elected. Total of 746 representatives as of the numbers assumed.

For the Syrian Senate, or upper chamber:
Each Muhafaza has a fixed number of 10 Senators, all constant and equal, divided as such: 1 senator from Agrarians, 1 senator from trade/merchants, 1 senator from Industries, 1 senator from Social Services (Education, Health, Welfare etc), 1 senator from the Military, The remaining 5 senators are political affiliates.

A position can be held by an Independent or with Political Party affiliation, trade Union or Civil Societies.
A 2/3 majority in lower chamber and 51% in higher chamber or Senate, Resolutions will be debated and bargained to get to pass them in both chambers and become law.

The concept is to move Syria from One Party rule into Multi-Party rule, from exclusive and discriminate representation to narrow segment of society into mass and equal representation. Yet as seen by these numbers, for example in the Senate, 50% of seats are allocated to special interests segments that are normally represented by Socialists, or in this case Baath party constituents.

In the Parliament there is one representative for each block of 20,000 voters. The rationale behind this is because Syria is small and segmented with distinct societal, religious and other demographic way that almost any small village or minority, or smaller community is represented by at least one representative.

A New Parliament building needs to be erected and one that maintain a distinct Modern but astatically Syrian ( Not Islamic Bedouin crap) More post-modern Greek or Roman styled, designed by a nationwide competition and built by various craft and teams representing the Syrian Society. Programs for citizens from various provinces should be able to participate in construction. Donation and contributions from Syrians and Syrian Businesses should be accepted and an area for plaques and names should be reserved.

Damascus 1,110,000 7.4% 55 R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Rural Damascus 1,155,000 7.7 % 57R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Aleppo 3,600,000 24.0 % 180R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Homs 1,320,000 8.8 % 66R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Hama 1,305,000 8.7 % 65R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Lattakia 765,000 5.1 % 38R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Deir-ez-zor 1,020,000 6.8 % 51R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Idleb 1,260,000 8.4 % 63R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Al-Hasakeh 975,000 6.5 % 48R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Al-Rakka 615,000 4.1 % 30R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Al-Sweida 300,000 2.0 % 15R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Daraa 690,000 4.6 % 34R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Tartous 585,000 3.9 % 29R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
Quneitra 300,000 2.0 % 15R 10 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL
TOTAL 15,000,000 100 746rep 140 S 1AGRI /1IND/1TRD/1MIL/1SS/5POL

May 14th, 2011, 8:17 pm


Shami said:

WD,the tunisians,egyptians,moroccans ,nor the syrians are as primitive than you think they are.
They could reach the political level of Turkey in two decades after the begining of the process of democratization.

May 14th, 2011, 8:19 pm


Louai said:


Thank you for providing the source sorry i missed it some how ,

i completely lost my Frensh as i never used it .

An interview with a father in a church is not credible enough ,but thats a good news for me ,i don’t want to see Syrians like Egyptians , if you ask a Muslim Egyptian about the number of Christians in Egypt you will get maximum 10% and they go as low as 2% in their answers

If you ask a Coptic the same question you will get one answer 20%

We have this culture in the middle east of elimination; everyone wants to eliminate the other it expends to the other person opinions.

Christians are decreasing in number in Syria for sure but i hope not as much as you said .

Christians like other minorities do have some extra fear now days ,its not because of the nature of Muslims but the nature of this ‘revolution’
you cannot deny that its a Sunni revolution motivated by religious and ethnic drive ..You can say whatever you want but the street is saying different things

when you see other minorities joining this ‘revolution’ ‘the regime’ will collapse in one week maximum .

May 14th, 2011, 8:23 pm


Aboud said:

@381 Jad

“just imagine how the same guy will be treated during the no law period”

You call a situation where three goons can beat the crap out of a guy and video it, “law”? Shabiha stamping all over the inhabitants of Baida is “law”? Entire cities cut off from electricity and water and invaded by tanks is “law”?

What the pro-regimists are telling people is to accept being beaten up, on the off chance that the alternative is getting their heads cut off. There doesn’t exist a people on Earth so cowardly that they would accept such an argument. If Syrians did, we’d still be living under French occupation.

And in any case, Iraq became Iraq thanks in a large part not just to American incompetence, but due to the meddling of Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the overthrow of one of those regimes is the whole point of the Syrian revolution.

It amuses me that Bashar’s supporters always point to Iraq as the most likely outcome of a post-Bashar Syria. South America, Spain and Korea did very well after they overthrew their military dictatorships, and those are the role models I’d like to imagine Syrians will emulate after bits of senior’s statues are collecting dust as souvenirs.

May 14th, 2011, 8:26 pm


jad said:

Very good and promising plan, is it an official plan or you are suggesting that?

Bad news for many future president, MP, and Senator wannabe on SC.
Pony tail wont get anything..how sad!

May 14th, 2011, 8:27 pm


Aldendeshe said:


This is put together in SNP last committee meeting April-5-20. It was modified from the original to accommodate the Baath party insistence on maintaining 50% for what they call Peasant and Workers Class ( their terms not ours) no such class exist for SNP, we are all Syrians Nobles. I am suggesting this is how SNP will be very satisfied with President Assad and his love to his country and nation. It is based on political system deemed best for Syria, a mix of stratocracy and collectivism. The outcome will be unique Syrian Political System. In Fact, it is pretty close to ancient times ways Syrian were governed in Pre-Islamic Hordes period. Take that for start up and work on it, not what that Baathist group obsolete startup format.

May 14th, 2011, 8:44 pm


why-discuss said:


In Spain, dictatorship was not removed through a violent revolution or a coup. It evolved into democracy when Juan Carlos, nominated by Franco as his successor, first ” swore fidelity to the Principles of the Movimiento Nacional, the sole legal party of the Franco era” then gradually changed the system.
In fact there are a lot of similarity between the baath party and francoism. Like Juan Carlos, Bashar is an ‘insider’ to the party. Bashar could very well be the ‘Juan Carlos’ of Syria and move Syria to democracy.

May 14th, 2011, 8:50 pm


Sophia said:

#383 Off The Wall,

I don’t think it is fair that you point at my comments or for that matter at any of other people’s comments the way you do it. Although I stand by what I write and when I write it, I feel your finger pointing as threatening and intimidating.

So I am waiting for an apology.

May 14th, 2011, 9:03 pm


Louai said:


‘It amuses me that Bashar’s supporters always point to Iraq as the most likely outcome of a post-Bashar Syria. South America, Spain and Korea did very well after they overthrew their military dictatorships, and those are the role models I’d like to imagine Syrians will emulate after bits of senior’s statues are collecting dust as souvenirs’

Reason is that Iraq is the only twin to Syria in all the Arab world in its diversity and history

you probably have good intention but trust me Spain Kurioa and South America are much deferent than Syria

the revolution in Syria is not needed plus all ‘Bashar’s supporters ‘ as you call us call for deep reform for more human rights for more freedom but not for a ‘revolution’ that will take us at least 150yrs back in time

actually not only ‘Bashar’s supporters’ calling for the same deep reform many of the oppositions want exactly the same because yes Iraq is waiting us if this ‘revolutionists’ take power .

May 14th, 2011, 9:07 pm


Shami said:

Louai ,he is the head of the maronite church of Damascus not an ordinary priest.
Also you have this article:

Un des intervenants
a souligné l’existence d’une étude sur ce sujet
qui n’a jamais été exploitée. Le chiffre qui a
été avancé était alarmant pour la sale : il ne
reste en Syrie que 4,7 % des chrétiens. Leur
nombre s’élevait à plus que 15 % au début des
années 1970. Les deux évêques ont essayé de
contester ces chiffres. En revanche, ce chiffre
est revu à la baisse par plusieurs religieux qui
ont requis l’anonymat : « Nous ne sommes pas
plus de 3 % » disent les uns, pour les autres
« nous sommes encore en dessus de la barre des
5 % ».


Anyway ,as i told before,we lived this decline in the importance of Syrian christianity ,despite our relative young ages(i’m in my thirties).
I saw the changes in the districts that i cited above.
I forget to add that the historical christian districts in old aleppo are now overwhelmingly muslim.

In the late ottoman era ,the christians had a overwhelmingly majority in the northern part of the old city ,from Jdaydeh in which they made up 100% to Bab al Hadid.(50%)
Their important increase in the 18th century pushed them into the historical muslim districts in Al Aqaba-Bab Antakia(antioch gate)(50 % christian) and also Jaloum in which they built a famous school and a big church with a big dome between the historical mosques and zawyas of the city.(destroyed ,only the building of the school remained).The christian population even reached the southern districts near Bab Qinesrine.

May 14th, 2011, 9:12 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Also you don’t see Artooz,Aroor,and Alsiasna in Spain Korea or south America

May 14th, 2011, 9:15 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

if we to eliminate nonsense comments,that does not deserve to be read,and keep the good comments,how many comment will be left?

May 14th, 2011, 9:21 pm


Abughassan said:

The use of violence and the death of hundred of Syrians including 120 army and security officers was a game changer,and I am not calling this uprising a game,but for us to move forward we need to forgive when we can. The regime needs to release all non violent demonstrators and make it clear that the file of political prisoners is closed for good. Some argue that political reform means the end of the regime and the domination of albaath but that is up for Syrians to decide. There is nothing wrong in sharing power and allowing others to be elected based on their agenda and character not affiliation.

May 14th, 2011, 9:23 pm


Alex said:


على سبيل المثال، يؤيد كثير من المصريين الآن تطبيق قانون الطوارئ الذي كثيرا ما مقتوه منذ أمد بعيد، والذي يمنح الشرطة سلطات واسعة تكفل لهم احتجاز المواطنين دون أي اتهامات أو محاكمات، وذلك لخوفهم على أمنهم الشخصي.

Many Egyptians want emergency law back.

May 14th, 2011, 9:36 pm


Louai said:

Abughassan 413
i totally agree with you and i can’t add a word more, i know that what will happen a Gradual transition in power , Syria can set an example to all the Arab world by doing so.

the president in his speech to the new cabinet talked in details about his deep reform ,we all know that the one party rule will gradually comes to an end after such a reform and Syrians all the Syrians will share power in a civilized way.

May 14th, 2011, 9:37 pm


Louai said:

Syria no kandahar

you forgot Anas 32root ,he is my favorite 🙂

May 14th, 2011, 9:46 pm


ABoud said:


Within a few years of Franco’s death, Spain had free and fair elections, and changes of governments. Bashar has had 11 years, and has done nothing in that time except help enrich Rami “Israel’s security depends on me charging 7 liras per minute for mobile calls” Makhlouf.

And even with Basque terrorism in the country, an uprising that was bloody and violent in ways the Syrian revolution never has been, Spain never felt the need to lay siege to its own villages.

Bashar is not a reformer, that myth is now as dead as the Loch Ness Monster. John Kerry was Bashar’s biggest fan in the USA, and yet just this week he called Bashar’s rule illegitimate.

The Syrian government has lied about withdrawing the army from Dar’a. It has lied about withdrawing the army from Banias. Its spokespeople talk of national dialogue one day, and the next send tanks into Telkelakh. The Baathists have tried everything to quell this uprising, relying on advice from Iran, and nothing is working.

Reformers do not arbitrarily imprison 10,000 of their own countrymen. They do not sanction sieges of their own cities and towns. Bashar never was, and never will be, a reformer. He is as much a prisoner of this system and his own family as ever there was one.

May 14th, 2011, 9:52 pm


Louai said:


In the last ten years many things has changed ,yes not fast enough but we cannot deny the changes ,i don’t know if you live in Syria or not but people who live there could see it

The changes came with many mistakes, corruption is in all aspect of life it became a culture in Syria, even after ‘the revolution’ corruption will be there
The president now have a very good reason to accelerate the reform he also have the support from people who used to stand against the reform, the peaceful demonstrations succeeded to accelerate the reforms,the gangs were trying to provoke the security forces on firing on the both sides and wanting maximum dead people to spread the chaos ,because for them unlike you and me chaos is wanted,not reform .
to prove it look the demonstrations just one day after the government allowed demonstrations and off course no one applied for a licence .
The president will make all the reform AFTER security is back, we have state of emergency now in Syria (not officially!!),its more than normal for the army to enter cities when there are extremists ex convicts and killers trying to present themselves as leaders of ‘the revolution’ we have sectarian war waiting the chaos to start .

People are glad that the army is restoring order in the cities, please its the Syrian Army protecting the Syrian people, if we want the good for Syria we all need to be reasonable and open our hearts.
What you said about the detention of 10000 people and the army still in the cities to prove that is the reform did not start ,we order should come back first ,the lives of people (including the peaceful demonstrators) are in danger and ones distinguish between armed elements .
The opposition should be more realistic and start to suggest solutions not to demand ISKAT AL NIZAM when there are only few thousands in the entire country on the street with them . otherwise they will prove that they are working according to shameless Khaddam’s agenda that he admitted today on Haaretz .


May 14th, 2011, 10:49 pm


NK said:


Ali Farzat says it best


Let’s assume the regime is serious about dialogue, who are they going to talk to ? they’re calling anyone talking against the regime a traitor, agent of the U.S/Israel, or if they’re nice they call them naive and misled. You can’t call someone an idiot then ask them to sit and talk as equals, this just doesn’t add up.

You’re talking about security and stability, maybe you should take a walk in downtown Aleppo, thugs are everywhere, they’re walking in broad daylight with automatic weapons, my family fled to the countryside and they haven’t opened their shops for weeks now, people have been complaining about these thugs for weeks but nobody is doing anything about them because they have been authorized by the regime to terrorize the public and prevent anyone from demonstrating, what kind of reforms are you expecting when the regime is willing to resort to such tactics to stay in power ?.

May 14th, 2011, 11:41 pm


Shami said:


أسامة محمد من مهرجان كان “بيان سينمائيي الداخل السوري..بمثابة تقرير أمني”

May 15th, 2011, 12:11 am


Louai said:


i dont realy know who they are going to talk to , one of the weakness of the opposition that its faceless and not represented ,the genuine opposition is the one who refused any external interference in Syria like Michael Kilo and feras sawa7 .(they were the first to call to postpone the demonstrations because of the armed elements)
those are individuals but they represent many people to start with i don’t think this uprising is genune but that dose not make the majority of the people who went to the street thugs or idiots ,NO

the vast majority of the people including me are not happy with the system and want to change it ,the question is the HOW .

the youth have grievances the president did not deny them ,those grievances are not impossible to be solved however its not easy .

if the reform allowed to start -and it started already-the demands of the people will be met,in the main time the opposition can gather itself and get organized to be really able to share the power .

i am sorry i dont know abouth the thugs in 7alab but i read about them in Syria-News and Al-Watan and to reading about them in this two papers means big change ,don’t you think?

May 15th, 2011, 12:23 am


Syria no kandahar said:

Time will tell you that:


May 15th, 2011, 12:45 am


N.Z. said:

Let me summarize few of the comments that are in favour of this Mafia :

No to killing innocents, but yes to oppression.
We have to forget and forgive. Amnesia is the solution.
Give more time and maybe change will come, meaning live on hope.
They are violent demonstrators. #1000 dead&10000 apprehended, hundreds injured.
The uprising is in the hundreds.
The alternative is bleak.

In short we are comfortable, why do we need change, our mindset is already corrupted, our youth do not deserve a better life than us.

Our women young and old took to the streets demanding the end of brutality by this Mafia, 8 of our finest women were shot dead, while the majority of men sitting on their… saying no need for change, we do not have the stamina to take to the streets nor the will to say : This mafia had failed our people, 40 years of stagnation and humiliation is enough.

May 15th, 2011, 1:00 am


Aldendeshe said:

Here we go, another map of the New Middle East being engineered. It is pretty close to the one I have seen from secure sources about a year go, but it does have some changes, or it is an entirely different version, may be older. But pretty close to the one from reliable sources.


May 15th, 2011, 1:00 am


democracynow said:

Syrian regime carries out a reform operation in Tal Kalakh. As a result: hundreds of Syrians had to flee across the borders to Lebanon.

Not satisfied with the efficacy of the reforms, Syrian security agents follow the fleeing civilians and try to reform them from across borders:


May 15th, 2011, 1:06 am



Read this article, and you will understand why no democracy will ever prevail and should prevail in the middle east. Once democracy is present in the Gulf Nations than democracy will follow. BYE BYE TO THE SO CALLED “SYRIAN REVOLUTION” . IT IS RUNNING ON ITS LAST GASP OF AIR


May 15th, 2011, 1:10 am



Read this article, and you will understand why no democracy will ever prevail and should prevail in the middle east. Once democracy is present in the Gulf Nations than democracy will follow. BYE BYE TO THE SO CALLED \”SYRIAN REVOLUTION\” . IT IS RUNNING ON ITS LAST GASP OF AIR


May 15th, 2011, 1:11 am


NK said:


You’re saying the reforms started, that’s absolutely not true. Why are you saying the reform process started already, please elaborate ?.
I want to believe this regime is capable of reform, and willing to deliver on the many promises they made, I really do. But I just can’t believe anything they say anymore, those willing to reform don’t deploy tanks in the streets (the U.S has far more dangerous gangs with far more sophisticated weapons, you don’t see tanks rolling down the streets do you ?), they don’t arrest thousands of people (including opposition figures who didn’t even demonstrate), they don’t desecrate a mosque like they did in Omari mosque in Daraa (look up the pictures, I’m sad to say تستحي اسرائيل ما عملتا), they don’t lie and lie and lie on national TV and other official news outlets (امارة سلفية, تظاهرات الأمطار, حبوب هلوسة ماركة الجزيرة seriously ?).

You think Alwatan and Syria-news reporting on thugs is a step forward ? what’s the point if nothing is being done about it ? the way I see it, it’s just a type of calculated criticism, Yaser El-Azmeh’s مرايا style. Its purpose is to deceive the public into believing things are being discussed, when in reality nothing is.

May 15th, 2011, 1:17 am


Another Weekend Wrap-Up | Syria said:

[…] can find the Landis piece here, and the Seale piece here. We’ll see who ends up being correct, but this blogger is more […]

May 15th, 2011, 1:34 am


Syria no kandahar said:

I have never seen any of the prosyrian-suicide ongoing mania talking or writing in a way which carries any emotions when they write about the victims of this mania.for them this is the way it work :the more victims,the more blood ,the more widowed the more stocks they have in the future sale process. every Friday without much victims there stocks go down.I have to yet see any revolutionist writings with any degree of emotions or dignity to the lost ones.one exception is ya heef song for Dara at the beginning of this Syrian nightmare.

Not only that the other scary thing is i have yet to read or listen to any opposition
Person talking in any true or sincer way about the dangers and the black clouds and the dogs and wild cats surrounding and in the country ready to jump and eat
Free meat.I have to say that the opposition is not only headless but I feel it is brainless and heartless. I have yet to see any one of them condeming killing of a
Soldier or burning of city hall.if you are talking about the regime as a mafia I see there acts more facist.they have yet to show the lay Syrian some degree of integrity and balance.playing the religion card is soo cheap.it may get them to power but they will be in square zero.they have no real agenda except destoying the current system. Most of the figures I have seen are fore the birds : like the pony tale part time failed jihadist and failed astronologist in DC,or the x socialist 2 pounds person in Syria which will probably have to pay jezia as soon as alshafka gets in power.any way Syria is and was not perfect but that is true all over .this mania will take Syria from under the rain to below the (mazreeb).

May 15th, 2011, 1:43 am


jad said:

What started the conflict is an attack on a security post.

آخر المستجدات على الحدود السورية اللبنانية- سلمى الحاج

You are right about the pro-revolution / pro-unknown camp, they refuse to acknowledge the death of any military personnel, yet they use their death to promote the story that the regime killed them which nobody believe it anymore.
They refuse to acknowledge the fact that many thugs are using them and their cause as cover to commit crimes.
They have no plan whatsoever about the next step.
They deny, (like the Iraqis’ oppositions before them) the fact that the most realistic future of the collapse of the Syrian regime is Iraq.

May 15th, 2011, 1:58 am


jad said:

Even Erdogan recognize the bleak future yet some people insist of being blind:

TURKEY-SYRIA-Turkish premier says is concerned over sectarian tensions in Syria
Saturday, 14.May.2011, 22:11 (GMT+3)
RIZE (A.A) – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan onSaturday expressed concern that Syria might split along sectarian lines astensions continued to grow in Turkey’s southern neighbor.”We have concerns that sectarian clashes might erupt in Syria that could split the country. We do not want to see such a thing,”Erdogan told reportersduring a visit to the governor’s office in the Black Sea province of Rize.Erdogan said the last time he talked to Syrian President Bashar al-Asad wasnearly ten days ago, adding however that the Turkish ambassador in Damascus heldcontinuous contacts with Syrian government.”Syria is like a domestic issue for us. Because we have an 850-km border aswell as strong ties of kinship. I am hoping that Syria would overcome this diretimes quickly,”Erdogan said.(İMB-GC)

May 15th, 2011, 2:20 am


Mina said:

Very conveniently, the Western media decides to ignore the calls for a third Intifada. The big news is about the IMF president accused of harrasment and the BBC gets into the top one of resembling Sovietic newspapers in having no mention of the Nakba on its first page
(that demos were stopped yesterday by the Jordanians at the Allende bridge and by the Egyptians in Cairo heading towards Sinai is of no interest, as it may change the consensus on the Syrian regime)

As for the model of democracy given by the West and its proxy state Israel, this is what they have to say about demonstrations
Official says if Nakba protests pass peacefully, Israel may transfer withheld PA fund (Army Radio)
(from Haaretz yesterday)

About hallucinogen pill and Syria falling into an Iraq situation, you should know that the real pills come AFTER the fall of a regime, to help nice guys usually let out of prisons to cut some anonyms into pieces. Just wonder how this was achieved by 10 years old kids in Sierra Leone and elsewhere.

May 15th, 2011, 2:28 am


Mina said:

Just as expected, the Twitter ‘regime change’ activists have not a word for Palestine today or even yesterday. They are in Lebanon but at the wrong border!
It will be a long 24 hours for them to keep feeding their readers with the Syrian nuclear danger, the shelling of whole cities, etc. without mentioning yesterday’s demos, the reaction of the Jordanians and Egyptians to it already, the killing of a youth, the march and clashes that followed in East Jerusalem, and the escalation that we are going to witness today. (follow #3rdintifada #May15 #Nakba or #Palestine on Twitter or Google).

May 15th, 2011, 3:26 am


Mina said:

Tunisian newspaper has details about the people behind the plot. All well-connected!

May 15th, 2011, 4:13 am



في ريف حمص.. حمار مندسّ

أفاد موقع للمعارضة السورية أن بعض الشبان في ريف حمص قاموا بدهن حمار باللون الابيض وكتبوا عليه إسم الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد. حاول الامن اعتقال الحمار، ولكن محولتهم باءت بالفشل، حيث أنه كان يقاوم بكل قوته. فما كان من رجال الأمن إلا أن أطلقوا عليه النار وأردوه قتيلاً. بعد مقتل الحمار، حاول رجال الامن مسح اسم الرئيس عنه فلم يتمكنوا. عندها أحرقوا جثة الحمار.. ومسحوا العار!

May 15th, 2011, 4:22 am


abbas said:

every one should follow Nakba, everything else is child play now

May 15th, 2011, 5:26 am


Off the Wall said:

Why Discuss
Reading the frenzy of posts over the last few days made me over look some of the more significant posts. I believe that post #116 in which you linked to the article in NPR about the young woman who was handcuffed and harassed for taping the police is exactly the post that emphasizes how badly we need major structural changes in Syria. Regime supporters, building on silly comparisons with the US will off course try to show that the police in the US is no better than security agents in Syria and that Syrian security thugs are justified in doing what they are doing because a cop did similar thing and the US. I think reading the full article is what one needs to know how fallacious is that argument.

To begin with, Yes in the US police forces act, more frequently than one could tolerate,like a band of thugs, especially against some minorities. But in the US, these cases make it to the headlines, and the young woman turned and sued the police for violation of her civil rights in court. She probably has a high chance of winning a huge fat check despite of the police protestation that such may have a chilling effect on their ability to act and may endanger their lives and the lives of citizens, which in my opinion is a pure BS.

We all know that the security mentality in the US has gained an upper hand in the past couple of decades. We all know that police forces lobby very hard to maintain and even increase the circle of impunity they now enjoy. Which is exactly what one would expect from any armed group that sees itself as protectors of the citizens and with time puts itself outside the margin of the law it is protecting and enforcing. But we also know that they have been rebuffed on countless occasions by law suits and by community action. A few years a go, a chief of police in California lost his job and was brought to trial because he covered up for a crime his underage son committed. Police is constantly under the radar and despite of the expansion of their authority after 9-11, which they found as a gold mine to increase their authority and funds, the distance in terms of accountability between them and Syrian security thugs is astronomical. By large a police officer in the US is polite and respectful and corruption is far less within the police force than it is in Syria. It is the rule of law, accountability, and freedom of speech that ensure that police abuse of power remains at minimum. This story and others in fact demolish the argument that “Syrians are nor ready for democracy”, because it is the nature of individuals and powerful groups to use and abuse power and the only guarantees so far against that has been a system of accountability and free speech.

Contrast that with 50 years of min-night visits, repression of freedom of speech and 40 years daily abuse of citizens rights in Syria brought by a cancerous growth of useless, criminal, and repressive, and corrupt apparatus, curtsy Assad dynasty.

May 15th, 2011, 6:05 am


Revlon said:

Five martyrs have fallen victims to regime’s crackdown today!

AlFati7a upon their soul,
May God bless their family with solace and empower them with patience.
حركة سوريا شباب من أجل الحرية Youth Syria For Freedom
من شهداء مدينة تلكلخ المجاهدة ليوم السبت 14-5-2011
1 – علي حازم الباشا
2 – ماهر مسلماني
3 – خالد ليلي
4- امرأة من بيت المصري
……بالاضافة إلى الشهيد النقيب
(أحمد احسان حربا) الذي قتل بعد رفضه لتنفيذ عمليات اطلاق النارSee More

about an hour ago

May 15th, 2011, 6:10 am


Off the Wall said:


May 15th, 2011, 6:50 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:


Let’s cut the BS. Answer the following question please:

I and many Syrians want to remove the sectarianist third article from the constitution. This article has two clauses, one of them was added in 1950 under MB pressure, and the other clause was added in 1973 by Hafez Assad who was at that time trying to appease the Islamists. (When Hafez Assad presented the first draft of his constitution, which lacked the 3rd article and frankly declared Syria to be a secular state, the Islamists in Syria (especially Hama) declared jihad and launched many terrorist attacks. Adnan Arour was bragging about this incident few days ago on his Wahhabi channel.)

What do you think of removing the 3rd article? I don’t care much about your opinion because I know you may practice taqiyya, but the least I expect from the MB is that they clarify their position on this vital issue which caused much bloodshed in the country in the past.

May 15th, 2011, 6:52 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

It looks that finally there is action in the Golan after decades of calm.

May 15th, 2011, 6:54 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Israel shoots at Palestinian refugees and Syrian civilians protesting in the Syrian side of the Golan and kills some of them. Syrian TV is talking about Golan liberation. It seems that the Golan front is warming up, finally.

Back in the 1960’s there was much resistance on the Golan front. It is a shame that the resistance stopped.

This is the best time to warm up the Golan, because Syria now is very calm and under control, but Western media keeps talking about a revolution. So let’s give them a real revolution, a revolution against occupation.

May 15th, 2011, 7:01 am


Off the Wall said:

SOURI33 @447
I am with you on this one. All of my immediate family, who really liked Hafez Assad in the early 70s were furious at him for yielding to the pressure of the fundamentalists without even challenging them at the ballot box. Had the constitution gone for referendum without the addition in 73, it would still have had a chance of passing with more than 60%. It was the first of many concessions to come, which later increased the strength of the fundamentalists in our society. Don’t let Al-blouti fool you as a moderate.

May 15th, 2011, 7:04 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Media says that Syrian protesters reached Majdal Shams in the occupied Golan. Wow. Liberation has started already.

Where is the West to cry over those brave Syrian protesters who were killed by Israel?

May 15th, 2011, 7:04 am


Sophia said:

#383 Off The Wall,

I don’t think it is fair that you point at my comments or for that matter at any of other people’s comments the way you do it. Although I stand by what I write and when I write it, I feel your finger pointing as threatening and intimidating.

So I am still waiting for an apology.

May 15th, 2011, 7:06 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Brave Palestinians have entered Majdal Shams under Israeli gunfire. Syria must seal its borders and not take them back. Let them go to their country.

May 15th, 2011, 7:11 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Majdal Shams is under siege by the Israeli army. Where is the UN to send an investigative committee? Where is Mrs. Clinton who was worried about Homs? Where is the UN human rights council?

May 15th, 2011, 7:17 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Thousands of brave Syrians and Palestinians have crossed the ceasefire line into occupied Golan. There is a real massacre going on in the Golan by the Israeli army against them.

May 15th, 2011, 7:20 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

This is a real uprising ya Wahhabiyyin ya 3omala2 ya klab. Learn from these brave guys.

May 15th, 2011, 7:23 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Thousands of Palestinian refugees have already achieved their right of return by crossing into occupied Golan. They are now under siege in Majdal Shams. Syria must not take them back. They must go back to their country.

May 15th, 2011, 7:31 am


Mawal95 said:

NK wrote:

Let’s assume the regime is serious about dialogue, who are they going to talk to ? they’re calling anyone talking against the regime a traitor, agent of the U.S/Israel, or if they’re nice they call them naive and misled. You can’t call someone an idiot then ask them to sit and talk as equals, this just doesn’t add up.

The regime wants to talk to people who are serious about reform within the framework of longterm continuity of the regime. If the dreamers who wanted to overthrow the regime were to now turn around and start suggesting constructive ideas within that framework, then they would be a minority voice in the dialog. And they wouldn’t have good ideas that the rest of the voices haven’t thought of. And they granting their approval to specific reforms is politically unnecesary for the regime — desirable but completely unnecessary. The regime is serious about dialog. But the faction known as “The Syrian Revolution 2011” can be ignored — “It is not only headless but I feel it is brainless and heartless.”

May 15th, 2011, 7:53 am


Sophia said:

To all commentators here. Off The Wall’s comment #383 contains implicit intimidation and threat for me.

Unless he issues an apology, I am not commenting on this blog anymore, and that’s probably the result he was looking for when he issued his comment #383.

I am not exposing myself anymore to Off The Wall’s attitude of stalking on me for the purpose of threatening, intimidating and forcing me away from this blog. I am leaving by myself.

It was nice meeting you all.

May 15th, 2011, 8:20 am


Mina said:

It seems 383 has been erased by the admin. Don’t leave me alone! It seems most people posting are uneducated mediterranean young kids.

May 15th, 2011, 8:29 am


Off the Wall said:

It seems that Palestinians are only able to take matters in their own hands when the Assad dynasty is busy trying to survive and is unable to buy and sell them and “resist” Makhlouf style.

Kudos to the Arab awakening. Shame that some people still want to deny Syrians the right for self determination that was withheld from Palestinians by the undeclared alliance between the Assad Dynasty and successive Israeli and US government. It is rather interesting that Palestinian refugees in Syria, Lebanon, and the west bank are finding their voices only after the collaps of the moderate regime in Egypt, and the Shaky ground of the “fake-resistance” regime in Syria.

I am proud of Arabs and those on Syria Comment and other places, the apologists of repression and of status quo, despite of the shameful behavior can not take my pride away.

The Palestinians are rejecting tutelage and taking their matters in their own hands. Soon the Syrians will have that as well. They both are working against two faces of the same repressive, lying, and deceitful coin.

I seems that the hundreds of billions spent on armies were unneeded. All what was really needed was a dose of self confidence and a break of the fear barrier.

The regime’s self delusion is laughable. I do not really care much for labels, but the regime can not and will not be allowed to chose its own opposition. Even Dalila and Kilo exposed the lies of the regime’s “7iwar”.

May 15th, 2011, 8:35 am


Sophia said:


#383 has become # 387

May 15th, 2011, 8:37 am


Mina said:

Sophia, just skip the comments of the people you don’t want to read.

Riad Seif has been freed

May 15th, 2011, 8:46 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:


Off the Wall has a vicious tendency to personal attacks. I wrote before a long comment on him without explicitly naming him. He wrote once a long comment that was full of arrogance and disrespect (basically, he was saying that he owns this blog and that all those who disagree with him are unwelcomed mukhabarat). Since then I stopped reading his comments (which are too long anyway, and not very much worth reading since they contain tons of unnecessary details or فزلكة).

Please just ignore inappropriate comments like I do. I usually do not attack anybody but I want you to stay.

May 15th, 2011, 8:48 am


Mina said:


Still waiting to see any of the Syrian “cyber-activists” having anything to say about Palestine! It’s forbidden in your contracts? Even the Egyptians who were following every uprising became silent.

May 15th, 2011, 8:53 am


Off the Wall said:

It seems you are stalking yourself. All i did was quantifying your assertion that zionists and neocons are dominant on this site and no one objected to them. Being an un-educated kid i tried to use numbers to test your hypothesis. Please you may continue your campaign against me, but I hope it does not distract you from continuing to defend repression. I owe no one an apology for being a rational person who checks and verifies claims including my own. I did not use my own posts because I have not been posting with the frequency I used to, and it would have biased the back of the envelop analysis. If the moderator removed my post, so be it. But I will not refrain from checking hypothesis. After all this is a character of all un-educated Midterrainian kids.

May 15th, 2011, 8:57 am


Revlon said:

What Will a Post Assad Syria Look Like?
I am an optimist

The revolution has wisely invested in highly disciplined peaceful activism and national unity speech.
The dividends, including bringing down an oppressive system, shall encourage to further invest in the peaceful, democratic building of the Syrian nation.

Diversity is not synonymous with lack of unity and vice versa.
The facade of unity in current Syria conforms to abstract ideas that fail to accommodate the majority’s of the public.
It was built in absentia of the public and maintained by rule of force.
Emerging Syria, by contrast, will be weaving its new tapestry by including, and accommodating all of its ingredients.
Inclusion, accommodation and peaceful activism shall be the modus operandi for building the new, free Syrian nation!

Economy shall be revived.
Individual credibility, responsibility and accountability is what new, free Syria will avail and what has been missing, to revive the public sector.
Rule of law is what shall guarantee the return of Syrian and other investors

Social networks shall serve as grassroots forums for social dialogue.

Political representation shall be built around a basket of socio-economical choices that transcend ethnic and religious divides.

May 15th, 2011, 9:01 am


Off the Wall said:

Please check this out Not my favorite site. But again, i like to verify. The interpretation of the commenters may not be agreeable to you or to me, but they are talking about it.

May 15th, 2011, 9:08 am


why-discuss said:


Compare the US and Syria security apparatus? come on!

It’s interested that you accept the fact that after just one event, 9/11, the police forces in the US are already abusing their expanded power and need to constantly be watched for more abuses..
Imagine if the US had a part of its land occupied by a powerful neigbour for 40 years, with thousands of poor refugees, that its other neigbouring countries were packed with armed terrorists with a uncontrollable border, that the US was under heavy sanctions because it did not want budge to make peace with the neighbour that hold its land and that that same country was sending spies and was able to misinform the media, then what power would you give to the police and how much do you think they would they abuse it!
Come on , in comparison, the US is much less threatened than Syria and they have the “Patriot act” an elegant name for the Emergency Rule!
Maybe if the crackdown on armed gangs in Syria was given label “The Thorns of Freedom” the media would have liked it better! The US and Israel are very good in giving a imaged label to their wars so as to influence the people, they’re very good at exploiting common people weaknesses.
By the way, my NPR link was just to show how mobile phone are becoming a real nuisance for the police forces everywhere.

May 15th, 2011, 9:15 am


why-discuss said:


It is quite possible that the US wants to swap Egypt for Syria as ‘a moderate’. Removing anti-Israel Bashar and replacing him by a rich complacent Wahhabi ruler it could be a good deal and all Syrians will enjoy the freedom they have in Saudi Arabia!

May 15th, 2011, 9:24 am


Off the Wall said:

Why Discuss
Thank you for a thoughtful post. I beg to differ on some of the interpretation of what is currently happening in Syria. But after you explained your reason for posting that article, I see i rushed to misinterpretation of your intent of posting the NPR story. I apologize for that and for the needless post i put up in response.

Yes I absolutely agree, mobile cameras are becoming nuisance, not only to police, but also to the right of privacy. Most likely, legal battles will continue regarding their use. But I still see that so far, their beneficial side outweighs the damage.

As for my over attribution of increased security mentality in the US to 9-11, it was merely indicating that as a milestone, but the road to Illiberal democracy in the US started longer before that. Another milestone would have been Reagan’s 8 destructive years in the white house.

May 15th, 2011, 9:26 am


محمود said:

لقد بدأ المحك !!!
أين السيدة كلنتون و السيد أوباما و السيد ديفيد كاميرون و السيد نيكولا ساركوزي و السيدة وزيرة خارجية الاتحاد الأوروبي كاثرين انشتون و المنظمات الدولية من حقوق انسان و مجلس أمن من استشهاد أربعة سوريين من الجولان و اصابة أكثر من عشرين اخرين على يد جنود اسرائيل ؟ عليكم تحسين سلوككم !!! لممارسة كافة أنواع الضغط على مسؤولي القتل المتعمد و محاكمته و لجم الجنود الاسرائيلين عن اطلاق النار على المتظاهرين السلميين ! لا بل عليكم أيضا الاعتدار لعائلات الضحايا لما ارتكبت اسرائيل من اجرام بحق متظاهرين عزل ! و معاقبة الفاعلين ! لقد تبدل الزمن و لن ينفعكم تحايل الحقبة الماضية ! لقد دخلت شعوب المنطقة حقبة جديدة و سوف تدركون لاحقا مدى حرجكم أمام جموع شعبنا الغفيرة ! لن ينفع تسويفكم !!! سنحشركم في الزاوية

May 15th, 2011, 9:28 am


why-discuss said:


I am glad that, by attacking the border between Syria and Israel, the palestinians are finally bringing to the attention of the media and the world that Syria has a part of its land illegally occupied and that half a million of Palestinians have been hosted and integrated by the ‘regime’ of Bashar Al Assad. His good deeds are easily forgotten in the frenzy of blames on him, while Israel, the “chouchou” of the west is being pampered! Anyway the major geopolitical shifts in the area are going to force the West to stop sending Israel lollipops!

May 15th, 2011, 9:35 am


Mina said:

The NYT has managed until now to to have a headline on what is going on in Golan/Rafah/Erez/Lebanon borders!
Neither Ammar Abdulhamid, Wissam Tarif, and their friends have anything to say about it. The masks are falling.

May 15th, 2011, 9:41 am


Revlon said:

453 and 454. Dear Souri333, Makhloof’s threat to destabilise Israeli has been relaised.

The decision was not taken by the “Brave Syrians and Palestenians”.

The Syrian and Palestenian refugees, time will tell, were probably coerced or mnipulated into approaching the de-militarized zone.

No Syrian or palestenian soul could come this close to the front, without being shot dead by the Syrian army.

It is a desparate attempt by the falling regime to use their last card, stability of Israel, against the soon victorious revolution.

May 15th, 2011, 9:41 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

If 1 million Arab demonstrators gather on each Arab front (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt), this will make a total of 4 millions. If those 4 millions push through the borders to support the Palestinians inside Palestine in a new revolt, Palestine will be liberated.

This is an old scenario that was never implemented. Perhaps now is the time to do it. The Arab spring has to reach Palestine. The Palestinians are Arabs and they must enjoy freedom like the rest of Arabs.

May 15th, 2011, 9:44 am


Revlon said:

472. محمود : Rest assured! They were Wahhabi or Al Qaeda terrorists!

May 15th, 2011, 9:48 am


Sophia said:

#466 Off The Wall,

“All i did was quantifying your assertion that zionists and neocons are dominant on this site and no one objected to them.”

I never claimed this. Please show me where I laid this claim or if it is the claim of someone else.

You owe me an apology and without an apology I am not commenting on this blog except to defend myself from your attacks.

May 15th, 2011, 9:51 am


majedkhaldoon said:

Sophie demand for appology is a childish behaviour,Off The Wall has been the most rational,Souri in his comments is the one that showed arrogance and disrespect.
Off The Wall, I personally value your comments and read them always, they are admirable,intelligent and peacefull,keep on.

May 15th, 2011, 9:54 am


Abughassan said:

The muderer who killed Nidal jannoud is arrested.

May 15th, 2011, 9:56 am


why-discuss said:


Thanks. I also believe that the beneficial use of mobiles-camera are outweighing the damage. Yet it is opening a new area where not only nothing can be hidden anymore, but it can also be manipulated. Time will tell how the law would react to that wide spread access to filming without being noticed.

I know that countries swing a lot before getting to the right balance in a true democracy. The US has a strong check balance with numerous institutions to protect the state from misbeheaving, yet, when we see the war in Iraq, it is terrifying that a bunch of people with the aid of the media, have been able to bring a whole country to ask for blood! The same applies to Israel. So while I believe institutions are necessary, they seem not sufficient. I think that, for the ME people, democracy ‘western’ style is stained by its proponents. The ME people are cynical, they have seen too many invasions, war, abuses, injustices (Palestine) by the same powers who now claim to defend human rights and promote their vision of democracy. Beyond the state that is always perceived as corruptible, religion and dictatorship are perceived as the only reliable and ‘incorruptible’ authority.
Iran has gone from one to the other and still searching.
Recently the violent events surrounding extremist Islam has given new thoughts about the possible danger of religion as a way of life, but there is still no other alternative for common people until a home made democracy emerge from the ashes

May 15th, 2011, 9:58 am


Revlon said:

23 Snipers are operating from the roof top of Talkalakh Hospital. There is random bombing of Talkalakh and neighboring villages.

13 minutes ago

Youth Syria For Freedom
أوغاريت || 23 قناص على سطح مستشفى تلكلخ الرئيسي .. وقصف عشوائي بالمدفعية للمباني في تلكلخ والقرى المجاورة ,,
حسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل

May 15th, 2011, 9:59 am


Abughassan said:

The murderer who killed Nidal jannoud is arrested.

May 15th, 2011, 9:59 am


Abughassan said:

Tal kalakh has always been a hot bed for smugglers and armed thugs.the regime is paying the price of allowing this town to become a failed city.

May 15th, 2011, 10:03 am


why-discuss said:


Please don’t go! I appreciate your comments and of course sometimes I feel like throwing acid on some of the comments, but then you can always fight back without the need to justify yourself!
Please stay!

May 15th, 2011, 10:04 am


Alex said:

Message to new Alex: you will be placed in moderation. Please change your name next time you try to post. You are currently using my name (Alex).

Apparently Joshua Landis – author of this blog – is slipped out of reality with his “post” talks.

Will sane people please see this:

May 15th, 2011, 10:06 am


why-discuss said:


Maybe that will be end of the smugglers who are taking advantage of the government subsidies on mazout and other items to make money.
Yet, efforts should be given to this destituted town so it improves its living conditions.

May 15th, 2011, 10:07 am


syau said:


“a soon victorious revolution”

Revlon, you seem to be falling further into to relm of the abyss and delusion.

Israel has been crying victim since the days of Hitler. The victims have turned into the victimisers and Revlon thinks that is due to Rami Makhloof.

Has endorsing a revolution such as the failing Syrian revolution that promotes violence and pays people to protest made you think everyone stoops to paying or manipulating uprisings?

This revolution is not sucessful and you know it. It is a circus of a revolution that did nothing but create chaos and attempt to destabalise a country with its disgusting sectarian talk.

May 15th, 2011, 10:10 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:


OFF THE WALL does not own the blog, so you do not need to leave the blog because of him.


What happened today in the Golan is a stab in the heart to every Wahhabi thug in this world. There is nothing in the world the Wahhabis hate more than a confrontation with Israel. They must be weeping now.

May 15th, 2011, 10:14 am


majedkhaldoon said:

What is going on in the Golan is truely courageous,and admirable,it seems that the people are doing what the lying and deceitfull regimes were not able to do, this is the power of the people,I hope more palastinian and syrian go there to go back to their land,the number is important to increase.

May 15th, 2011, 10:19 am


syau said:

Abughassan #483,

That’s good to know, hopefully it will bring some comfort and closure to his family.

May 15th, 2011, 10:23 am


Sophia said:

#479 Majdelkhaldoun,

“Sophie demand for appology is a childish behavior”. No, it is civilized behavior.

May 15th, 2011, 10:32 am


Leo said:

Sophia, when a person acquires money illegally in Western countries, they are arrested and turned over to the courts for violating the law.

In Syria, you agreed that Makhlouf acquired his wealth illegally, but do you not question why for so long now he has been able to get away with it so easily? Do you think that his relationship to Bashar is has no causal relationship?

Bashar, being the president, has allowed such corruption to exist and is actually benefiting from it. Do you simply expect the opposition to stay quiet when they see that the Syrian people’s money is being stolen? People risk being tortured and jailed for voicing their opinion on these matter, like Riad Seif who lost his businesses and everything for voicing the people’s concerns.

MINA, http://observers.france24.com/fr/content/20110512-strategie-regime-syrien-fuiter-recits-torture-effrayer-manifestants-bashar-assad-prisonniers

How can a person be so shallow as to not know that torture is systematic in Syrian prisons. If you want to deliberately lie about something then I suggest you do it more subtle because what you are doing is so obvious and is definitely exposing you and will not look good in front of your bosses.

460. Mina said:

“It seems most people posting are uneducated mediterranean young kids.”

Not only you are shallow, but you have a racist supremacist tendency. Maybe it’s time to follow your friend because last thing we need is bigoted and prejudiced mindset lecturing us Syrians about what is good for us.

PS: You are no different than the Zionists who you try to expose. But at least they do it explicitly and declare who they are and we all know them.

May 15th, 2011, 10:34 am


Mina said:

You can’t understand humor, but neither can you understand politics.
I am an uneducated mediterranean and I will keep not reading what you write for the coming days!
It was pure solidarity with Sophia to give a kick to her bullies.

May 15th, 2011, 10:47 am


Sophia said:

#494 Mina,

Thank you for coming to my defense. I appreciate. However, you shouldn’t expose yourself to the abuse and bullying that is the hallmark of some on this blog.

Every person has a different threshold. Mine was determined a long time ago by my personal experience of the civil war in Lebanon. And I am quite sure that many of the bullies here never had to go through such horrors.

Please keep me out of your consideration and let the bullies face up to their bullying and recognize it.

May 15th, 2011, 10:55 am


why-discuss said:

Israel has always use imaginative diversions to hide their illegal and ‘brutal’ occupation for the lest 50 years!
It does not have the monopoly of creating diversion. Bravo Syria!
‘Live ammunition? No! the IDF is a civilized army!

“Military spokeswoman Col. Avital Leibovich said she did not have information on casualties.

“The Syrian regime (was) attempting to divert world attention from their brutal crackdown and to incite violence on the Israel-Syrian border,” she said…
IDF spokesman Gen. Yoav Mordechai told CNN affiliate Channel 2 that dozens of men had broken through a crossroad and entered the Erez crossing near Gaza. The Israeli military was trying to push back demonstrators using live ammunition and anti-demonstration weapons, he said.

May 15th, 2011, 10:58 am


Aboud said:

Syrians protest in their cities, and Bashar sends tanks. Syrians protest on the Golan and get shot at by the Israelis, and Bashar…condemns the Israelis.

You regime apologists are pathetic. I DARE the regime to respond to the killing of Syrians on the Golan. I DARE those gutless Baathist half-men to unleash the same fury on Israel as they have done to Dar’a, Banias, Telkelakh and Homs. Let’s see the regime expend half the ammunition on the Golan as they have used on Syrian cities in the past 7 weeks.

Ya Maher ya hayawan, het eklabak bil Golan!

May 15th, 2011, 11:07 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Today’s events prove to you that Rami Makhlouf speaks for this junta.

May 15th, 2011, 11:18 am


AIG said:


And finally the truth comes out, it is mostly the Syrian minorities, the Christians and the Alawites that want war with Israel! Israelis will not forget that.

May 15th, 2011, 11:23 am


abughassan said:

Arresting criminals and murderers is needed now and in the future but we must remember that there are criminals who support the government too. until we see an end to the Shabiha and some thuggish elements in the security forces syrians will assume that you only get punished if you are against the government.this uprising failed to topple the regime because most syrians refused to turn syria into another Iraq but that should not be interpreted as a support for the regime. without quick measures to build trust we will be waiting for another bloody uprising in the near future. I do not know why we still have political prisoners and why we are still seeing random arrests despite the so-called removal of emergency law. the proposed national dialogue will fail if those measures are not taken NOW.for the time being we are still waiting to see if Makhlouf will “allow” a third provider of cellular phone services in Syria. as far I am concerned, thig guy must not be allowed to bid on any public project and no syrian citizen should keep his /her account with Syrian tel and MTN if a third provider is available and Makhlouf does not sell all or most of his shares in these two companies.

May 15th, 2011, 11:27 am


Mina said:

Aboud, I don’t think the comparison holds. Maher is a criminal. Bashar is probably hostage in his palace, as the old governors of his father used to lock him up when needed. The problem is that with Netanyahu around and the risk of a war with Iran any minute, the uprising was planned to serve the neocon interests, and not the Syrian people interests. Now, to reach the stage of an orderly transition, of elections with international observers (or without), it is needed to have calm in the cities where some people have tried to launch civil war for the sake of some guys in France, in the US, in Lebanon, or in Saudi Arabia. I believe Bashar never gave the order to shoot. If ever Syria had fired a bullet through the border in the last dozen of years, this would have immediately been followed by a full scale war (there is still a lot of water to take in Syria). If Syria had not helped the Palestinian resistance, by hosting them (and allowing them to participate in dialogues and exchanges and negociations that led them to some cooperation but nowhere internationally unfortunately) and by letting some invisible hands reach HA in Lebanon, you can bet Israel would have extended its size by the time. As for the harsh manners of the amn, they are animals (and they look like animals, with their ridiculous brown leather jackets and out of date sunglasses), but compare it to the Italian mafias, the Russian thugs, etc. Their time will come. But the Syrians cannot pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist and take the streets as if no one was going to try to manipulate them. They almost missed the nuclear plant catastrophe, the bankruptcy of US and Europen banks… We are living through interesting time and it would be more sane to achieve a critical balance of power. Again, Iraq should be on everyone’s mind.

May 15th, 2011, 11:27 am


why-discuss said:

Arms sales from black market dealers boom as Syrians run across the border to purchase weapons.

…According to local dealers, Syrians have been crossing the borders into neighbouring Lebanon to purchase weapons since late January , when the country erupted with pro-democracy protests which were subject to bloody government crackdown..

January???? a mistype? Armed ‘peaceful’ protesters, no!


May 15th, 2011, 11:30 am



Come on, Rami Makhlouf go by yourself to the Golan instead of playing with palestinians as usually. Is this the type of chaos you were talking about you would send to Israel?

May 15th, 2011, 11:46 am


Mina said:

The “regime change” team of cyber activists (Wissam Tarif, Lissnup), are not supporting Palestine today, but are busy launching a new FB Iran uprising since a few days. No one will be surprised I guess.

May 15th, 2011, 11:50 am


Mawal95 said:

I said the regime wants public dialog about non-trivial reforms within a framework of longterm continuity of the regime. I said there’s no need to try to engage the very alienated or revolutionary faction in the dialog. Off-The-Wall replied:

the regime can not and will not be allowed to chose its own opposition. Even Dalila and Kilo exposed the lies of the regime’s “dialog”.

I reply that the regime has the power to choose its own reforms, subject to the constraint that the reforms cannot be such that the majority of the country judges them to be insufficient. The majority is ready, willing and waiting for reforms. The issue is whether the reforms that are coming will be far-reaching enough and intelligent enough. To find out how the constraint that I just mentioned is to be satisfied, it is necessary for the regime to engage in dialog with the country. That is the objective of the dialog. It doesn’t imply getting into dialog with very alienated factions that cannot be satisfied.

Another point: as a result of the fact that the regime has the power to choose its own reforms, it has a certain amount of power to choose its own opposition thereby.

Off-the-Wall said: “Dalila and Kilo exposed the lies of the regime’s “dialog”.” Please tell us what you’re talking about there, since I for one haven’t heard yet whatever it is.

May 15th, 2011, 11:52 am


why-discuss said:


One get more funds and media rewards when one supports an uprising in Iran that one in Palestine. Show me the money!

May 15th, 2011, 12:01 pm


edward said:

so Bashar sends his tanks and the army to Daraa, Banyas, Homs and TalKalakh to crush a peaceful revolt, but only sends a handful of Palestinian refugees to liberate the Golan?

May 15th, 2011, 12:11 pm


Aldendeshe said:

484. Abughassan said:
Tal kalakh has always been a hot bed for smugglers and armed thugs.the regime is paying the price of allowing this town to become a failed city.

Failed City my **s, when I had a menswear company importing from Syria, the manufactures swore to me that they sell the product in Tel Kalakh at higher prices than Los Angeles. And I believed them because a dozen of them said so. Do you know how they smuggle? They don’t pack things on back, use donkeys, or hide them in secret pockets. They drive their Mercedes and pay up at the official border-crossing point. Sometime, the corrupt officials will drive on the road and stop the car, you can see the cash transacted and deals made when the trunk is opened. They are making a living, when descent jobs exist, no one will bother with this activity. It is like Russia, before 1990 and the decade after, now see how they live. The only smuggling activities are those connected with ALCIADA MLM of Afghan Opium.

The Lunatics in Tel Kalakh that are causing problems are connected to that clown “Sabi” Hariri. He is going to end up living the rest of his life in Arabia with a rag tied to his head. Back to enjoying the desert breeze in the back of 80 years old man Rolls Royce wearing a flowing white skirt-dress and no underwear.

May 15th, 2011, 12:24 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

499. AIG,

Syrian Sunnis want to liberate Palestine more than anybody else. Your only friends are the Wahhabis, who represent no more than 10%-20% of Syrians.

May 15th, 2011, 12:26 pm


mjabali said:

Thanks for this good article that encompassed a large swath of Syrian history; but let me differ with you Dr. about the level of tolerance we experience in Syria today. According to your assessment; the younger generation is different from that post world war II. This is true, but Syria in post WW II did not have the same Salafi infrastructure we see now. Look at every little town in Syria now with a Sunni Majority and you see the Salafi ideology very strong. That did not exist in the 1940’s. I was watching a video today recording the presence of the Syrian army in certain areas of Lattakia, Syria. The man behind the camera, that was a phone camera obviously, was speaking while he was showing how the army has put barricades and sand bags in al-Skanturi, Raml al-Falastinyah and that part of town, which is Sunni 100 percent, no Christians or Alawis in that part. He spoke about where the demos started from while he was driving and recording. When he reached Dawar Harun (An area with a majority of Alawis and many Christians and well to do Sunnis) everyone became a Shabih for him and the woman that were seen in the video wearing jeans were described as Naked (Ariyat, عاريات). This means that the new mentality of the Sunni generation see the others simply as Others that need to be dealt with and controlled. This is the mentality of the demonstrators chanting WE Need A President who Fears Allah. Being impressed by the absence of the sectarian chants does not mean that these people are coached very well and aware of the cameras because seriously Dr. all I know about Syria is nothing but Sectarianism and the Salafi seed that is coming from within Syria and helped with the TV and Preachers like al-Luhaydan and Co. are pushing the future of the minorities, with the Alawis, into the abyss of hell and Violence.

Thanks and sorry for writing a lot.

May 15th, 2011, 12:33 pm


edward said:

I fail to see how security forces storming mosques and desecrating the Koran is not an incitement to secular violence? I mean come on, how stupid and low do you have to be to do that? Picture evidence from this photo album out of Daraa last week:


May 15th, 2011, 12:35 pm


Aldendeshe said:

The images horrifying indeed, but not the fake digitally altered ones that making me shiver in fear, it is the one that is not altered, the one with Quran Ayat that say: “Allah will reward whoever he wishes and will torture whoever he wishes because he is able to do so” Some holly Quranic verses… huh, and that is appropriate to placed above the mosques door. Nothing else in that book is worth it.

May 15th, 2011, 12:44 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

The Manar correspondent crossed into the occupied Golan with the protesters and he finished his report from Majdal Shams. It was amazing.

May 15th, 2011, 12:49 pm


Alex said:

OTW, Sophia

I removed the line that mentions Sophia from OTW’s comment. It is her right to be out of it.

Both of you are wonderful, civilized people and I hope you avoid communicating directly to each other if the process is creating too much tension these days.

May 15th, 2011, 1:26 pm


Sophia said:

#513 Alex,

Although I did not ask for removing the line from OTW’s comment, I appreciate that you took the initiative.



May 15th, 2011, 1:35 pm


Mina said:

WD #506
I always knew these failed socialists were worthless!
It reminds me this beautiful film by Asma al-Bakri, which starts with the news on the radio that the bomb has fallen on Hiroshima and some people joking in Old Cairo that anyway this is far too expensive to be used again them!

May 15th, 2011, 1:44 pm


Norman said:

You should stay, you are an asset to this blog, OTW is not mean he just tries to look at all the points,

May 15th, 2011, 2:01 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The pyromaniac firefighter, who finds it hard to put out the fire in his house, tries to set on fire his neighbor’s house, in order to draw attention elsewhere.

May 15th, 2011, 2:17 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


I don’t agree with your interpretation, that it’s the minorities who want confrontation with Israel, and not the Sunni majority.

It is the panic of Syrian minorities, led by the Alawis, that drives them to do acts of desperation. They are so transparent and predictable. I’m sure the Souri people isn’t that stupid.

May 15th, 2011, 2:23 pm


edward said:

seriously, how low can this regime get? the cynical manipulation of the Palestinian cause for their own ends? I mean we knew they were hiding behind false pretenses of Arab nationalism and Arab rights all these years, but to send unwitting Palestinian refugees from Yarmook to their deaths? This is a new low, even by the dreadful standards of the Assad clan.

May 15th, 2011, 2:24 pm


Norman said:


البيانوني: أخوان سوريا يرفضون الحوار الوطني ويطالبون بالتغيير

لندن- (يو بي اي): رفضت جماعة الأخوان المسلمين في سوريا المحظورة المشاركة في الحوار الوطني بين السلطة والمعارضة وطالبت بالتغيير، واعتبرت أن النظام فقد شرعيته بعد اطلاقه النار على شعبه.
وقال المراقب العام السابق للجماعة علي صدر الدين البيانوني في مقابلة مع يونايتد برس انترناشونال “لا نعتقد أن هناك أي توجه لفتح حوار حقيقي حتى الآن لدى النظام في سوريا، لأن هذا الحوار لا يمكن أن يتم في ظل القمع الوحشي الذي يجري ومحاصرة المدن واطلاق النار على المحتجين والاعتقالات الواسعة للمتظاهرين، والتي تجاوزت الآن 8000 معتقل حسب تقديرت المنظمات الحقوقية”.

واعتبر الدعوة للحوار “محاولة لخداع الناس”، لأن الحوار في رأيه “لا يتم في مثل الأجواء الراهنة في سوريا”.

واضاف البيانوني “نحن من حيث المبدأ لا نرفض الحوار مع أحد، وما تم الاعلان عنه ليس حواراً ولا توجد له أي أرضية ويجب أن تسبق الحوار اجراءات، لكننا لم نشاهد أياً منها بعد ونرى أن انسحاب الدبابات ووقف اطلاق النار على المتظاهرين وقمعهم لا يحتاج إلى حوار بل إلى موقف من طرف السلطة”.

وقال “إن الحوار الوحيد المطلوب والممكن الآن هو كيف ننتقل إلى نظام ديمقراطي، وإذا كان لدى النظام استعداد لاجراء حوار وطني شامل لوضع خارطة طريق للانتقال إلى نظام ديمقراطي فنحن جاهزون”.

وكان وزير الاعلام السوري عدنان محمود أعلن “أن جلسات الحوار الوطني الشامل ستنطلق في كافة أنحاء البلاد ابتداءً من الأسبوع المقبل”.

واضاف البيانوني “نحن نقف مع أبناء شعبنا في ثورته ضد الظلم والطغيان والفساد والاستبداد بعد أن صبر طويلاً على النظام وعلى المعارضة وعلى الأخوان وغيرهم من المعارضة، وكان لا بد أن يتفق للمطالبة بحقوقه وهذا ما حصل، ونحن جزء من هذا الشعب ولا بد أن نقف معه في تظاهراته، والتي نؤكد أنها سلمية ووطنية وبعيدة عن الطائفية والعنف وأي فتنة خارجية”.

وسُئل ما إذا كانت جماعة الأخوان المسلمين في سوريا تدعو الآن إلى تغيير النظام، فأجاب “ليست الجماعة، بل الشعب السوري والذي لم يعد يقبل بعد انتفاضته بأقل من الانتقال إلى نظام ديمقراطي حقيقي، ونحن نؤيد ذلك ونرى أن الحل الوحيد هو الانتقال إلى نظام ديمقراطي مهما كانت التسمية، تغييراً أم اصلاحاً أم اسقاطاً للنظام، والانتقال بالبلاد إلى نظام ديمقراطي حقيقي وليس من خلال اصلاحات خادعة ونظرية على الورق كما حصل حتى الآن”.

وقال البيانوني “نحن في جماعة الأخوان المسلمين لا يمكن أن نقبل أو ننخدع باصلاحات هامشية شكلية مخادعة، والمطلب الوحيد هو الانتقال بالبلاد إلى وضع ديمقراطي ونظام ديمقراطي، ومن لديه استعداد للدخول في هذا المشروع الوطني نحن معه كائناً من كان”.

واضاف “نرى أن سوريا تتجه نحو التغيير، وأن والتغيير أصبح حقيقة لا مفر منها، ولا نعتقد أن المتظاهرين الذين دفعوا ثمناً باهظاً لحراكهم الوطني يمكن أن يقبلوا بأقل من العودة إلى نظام ديمقراطي برلماني حقيقي يُعيد للناس حريتهم وكرامتهم، والطريق الذي سلكه المتظاهرون السوريون لا يختلف عن طرق الثورات الأخرى”.

وانتقد الموقف الدولي حيال تطورات الأوضاع في سوريا، واعتبره أنه “لم يرق إلى مستوى الوقوف إلى جانب الشعب السوري في انتفاضته وثورته حتى الآن، وقال “إن النظام السوري لا يزال يتمتع بغطاء دولي وغطاء عربي، وهناك تقصير كبير وخذلان للشعب السوري من قبل المجتمع الدولي والمجتمع العربي أيضاً”.

وطالب المراقب العام السابق لأخوان سوريا المجتمع الدولي بـ “رفع الغطاء عن النظام السوري”، الذي قال إنه “فقد شرعتيه تماماً باطلاقه النار على شعبه وقتله للمتظاهرين المسالمين”، على حد تعبيره.

واعتبر الزيارات التي يقوم بها قياديون من أخوان سوريا إلى مصر حالياً “اعتيادية بعد أن تم رفع القيود في عهد النظام السابق”، وقال “نحن نتصل مع أخواننا في مصر باستمرار والزيارات الآن عادية بعد أن كنا غير قادرين على السفر إلى هناك في الماضي بسبب الوضع الأمني”.

وكان البيانوني، الذي شغل منصب المراقب العام لجماعة الأخوان المسلمين في سوريا لثلاث دورات متتالية من العام 1996 إلى 2010، رأى في موقف لافت من قبل أن الرئيس بشار الأسد “يستطيع أن يقوم بالتغيير المطلوب وبأقل قدر من الأضرار إذا بادر فعلاً إلى اصلاحات فورية ولو كانت متدرجة تعيد للناس حريتهم وكرامتهم وتجعلهم يحسون إن هناك تغييراً حقيقياً”.

May 15th, 2011, 2:25 pm


Aldendeshe said:

“………البيانوني: أخوان سوريا يرفضون الحوار الوطني ويطالبون بالتغيير

Assad has at his disposal more than 5500 tanks and 600 aircraft in addtion to 1000’s of missiles and 100,000’s of other weapons, and trained units to use it all.

So I guess he made a deal with the Turks and NATO, he will get cheated and loose Syria. As I said before, MB were chosen by Obama to deliver Syria, Jordan and Egypt to the Zionists within 2 years.

May 15th, 2011, 2:33 pm


Off the Wall said:

I have no complaint. Whatever action you think appropriate. Thanks.

May 15th, 2011, 2:38 pm


Off the Wall said:

Reading your comments is very rewarding. I do appreciate their realism. Many thanks.

Thanks for the nice comment

Is your proposal for parliament open for discussion? or is it just informational?

May 15th, 2011, 2:42 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

It all depends on the economy. There is no serious threat to Assad’s rule from inside Syria. The “revolution” is a media bubble. Assad is worried about the economy and the Western pressure. It is sure thing that Assad will not wait until the country descends into chaos. When Assad feels that the economic situation is getting too bad, he will launch all his missiles at Israel and he will open the Golan front for full-scale resistance. This is a sure thing, and I talked about it weeks ago. Why should we die in a civil war like the Iraqis or the Libyans? We prefer to die liberating the Golan and Palestine. This is what every non-Wahhabi Syrian is saying. We will not let you destroy this country easily, and we will not wait until we become too weak to fight. We will strike you while we still can and we will not stop fighting until we reach Lake Tiberias at least.

I heard some analysts dismiss the possibility of a Syrian war with Israel because they said Syria now is too weak to start a war. This is nonsense. The Wahhabis in Syria are too little. Syria can fight them AND Israel simultaneously, it is not a problem.

May 15th, 2011, 2:47 pm


edward said:

I’ll remind all the pro-regime lackeys on this website now trumpeting the cynical and disgusting way their regime abused the Palestinian cause by sending a few refugees over the border in Golan to be gunned down, that before blowing hot air out your asses and flexing your muscles try to remember how your regime collectively took a crap in their pants when Turkey threatened to “burn Syria” over the Ocalan incident. He was handed over the very next day. The fact is the Assads are cowards who hide and grandstand behind populist Arab issues, but who have no real intent, will or courage to actually take action. A war with Israel? Ha ha, please don’t make me laugh, they’ll wipe out your precious Bashar and his republican guard in less than 24 hours. Need I remind you how their air force humiliated him by flying over the presidential palace a few years back?

May 15th, 2011, 3:08 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

The opposition should stop tearing allegitors tears.syrians know there tears by now.the game rules have changed and they can’t ask the regime to play by the rules while they play dirty games.they should stop applying the conspiracy theory in one directions only and not allow others to use it.there game is going to be over or Syria will be over.I don’t think they care too much because for theme it is a matter of the Islamic republic of Syria or the hell.

May 15th, 2011, 3:14 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

I am with the dialogue , but never under the gun,I am with the dialogue on conditions
1)withdraw the army and all the security forces,
2) release all,and I mean all political prisoners.
3),allow free media and other arab states, and turkish partners to monitor this dialogue.
4) timetable for the end of the dialogue,not to exceed two weeks.
If these conditions are not done,then we will not trust the regime

May 15th, 2011, 3:15 pm


Usama said:

It’s funny that the MB reject dialogue… since they were never actually invited. The MB has no place in Syrian society.

@SOURI333 #524

I completely agree with you. Asad alluded to this in his parliamentary speech and everyone seemed to skip over it. The deniers don’t seem to understand that when Syria opens its front, Hezbollah and Hamas will as well. Then you have a chain reaction in the region. Iran will most likely jump in, even if not immediately. Keeping in mind more than half of Jordanians are Palestinians, for how long can King Abdallah keep his front closed without being overthrown or at least having to hold back real internal unrest? How will the new Egypt act? Even if they don’t join militarily, closing the Suez Canal, even for a few days, will be enough to cause the economy to crash in the west because of their retarded speculation-driven system. What will Turkey do? Which side would it join? Can it just stand back and watch? What about Saudi Arabia? Don’t forget there are people boiling over in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Yemen, and in Kuwait at a smaller scale. Iran has already made it clear it’s ready to wipe out the Gulf’s oil facilities if the US makes a move against it, and there is no reason for them not to be ready to do it now to choke the support it gives to the west. Another world war is a step away. It is all very possible, and Asad alluded to us being prepared for war if we are forced into it. I only saw al-Jazeera mention that line of his speech and only once, presenting as a message against the “peaceful protesters.” How stupid are journalists today…. Anyway, I don’t see this happening at this point because clearly the “revolution” is going nowhere. They claim to have broken the barrier of fear, but then also claim that Damascenes and Aleppines are too scared to go out and mobilize. It was all a “media bubble” as SOURI333 said (very nice way to put it).

Here is the full speech transcript in English for those that need a refresher (I can’t find the Arabic one unfortunately):

PS: I sincerely hope Obama comes out and says Asad’s rule is illegitimate. It will just show the world what a small man he is and how Syrians never cared about his opinion, or that of any other American president before him.

May 15th, 2011, 4:00 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I agree with Bayanuni. No dialog with this junta.
You don’t discuss reform with a party that does not believe in reform. They will do any thing they can to deceive and drag time, instead of reform.

Dialog? yes. But only After this junta is either in prison or in exile.

May 15th, 2011, 4:08 pm


edward said:

فقط في الانظمة القمعية
only in repressive regimes

May 15th, 2011, 4:08 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Junta in Tel Avev

To set an example for the kind of society you come from and for the kind of kids you will be making you have to get treated for this junta disease you are suffering from.
Your juntas are not to be proud of , like the convicted rapist katsav junta and the convicted crook Olmert junta . Any way :
You don’t talk with meshal junta Syria will not talk with byanoni junta.

May 15th, 2011, 5:19 pm


jad said:

تلفزيون الدنيا – مجموعات مسلحة في تلكلخ

تلفزيون الدنيا – جسر الشغور

This is Almanar report you were talking about

May 15th, 2011, 5:20 pm


AIG said:

Isn’t it amusing that Sophie gets intimidated by OTW posting the number of posts she made but yet she finds the actions of the Syrian regime benign? With such a low threshold of sensitivity do you not think that what Assad is doing is bullying and intimidating? Such a gentle soul supports tanks shelling civilians but cannot bear to see the total number of her posts.

May 15th, 2011, 5:26 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

The next war will be very different from the previous wars. The Syrian army will likely use very different tactics. There will not be surprise tank offensives like in the 1973 war, but rather the tanks will stay behind and assist the artillery in defense while the tactical missile launchers hit Israeli front fortifications and the strategic missile launchers hit deep inside Israel.

The Syrian air force will stay in Syria and assist in air defense. The longer range missiles will compensate for the lack of a long range offensive air force. Syria is said to be able to launch about 60 long range missiles daily. If only 20 of these reach their targets, this will be equivalent to 20 airplanes raiding on Israel daily, especially if the missiles are as accurate as claimed in the media. Combine those with missiles from Iran, Lebanon, and Gaza and you have significant air raiding.

Israel’s air force will have a hard time trying to hunt missile launchers in Syria and Lebanon, especially when its air bases are being hammered by hundreds of shorter and longer range missiles daily. Syria will shoot many of its longer range missiles from the Syrian Desert, which will make it even harder for the Israeli airplanes to hunt the missile launchers.

Commandos from Syria and Lebanon will infiltrate Israeli defense lines and occupy many Israeli towns in the Golan and Galilee (just like in Majdal Shams today, which was a strong message to Israel). Israel will have a hard time fighting with commandos inside its own towns. They will not be able to use brutal tactics or otherwise there will be significant loss of lives among their own civilians. This will strain their forces and will make it harder for them to advance inside Syria and Lebanon.

A war with Syria is not a picnic, despite what Israeli and Wahhabi propaganda keeps saying. There is a good reason for why Israel has always avoided a direct war with Syria, and for why the US has been trying hard to separate between Syria and Iran. They know that Syria can make a big difference. Bashar Assad also knows that and this is the reason for why he has been reluctant to accept the American meager peace offers.

May 15th, 2011, 5:36 pm


jad said:

Frm FB:
قناة الجزيرة وهي تقوم بتغطية الأحداث لم تنسى حقدها على سوريا ولاحظوا كيف تسمي اللذين استشهدوا في رأس الناقورة (لبنان) بالشهداء بينما تطلق على اللذين استشهدوا في الجولان السوري المحتل اسم (القتلى)

فلماذا هذا الحقد الدفين؟ لقد توحدت المناسبة واليوم والهدف ولكن اختلف المكان !! فهل هذا سبب في تغيير التسمية ؟؟ !!

May 15th, 2011, 5:44 pm




It nice that you have the complete and perfect plan to destroy Israel. You realized now about the potential of the syrian army, milicias and allies capabilities? But you have been long and depressing years without a single movement. Your always waisted all your energies in destroying internal opposition and dangers. It is good that now we will see according to your detailed plan the coming destruction of Israel. Good. Very good. Come on please, you are delaying. The beginning today was too deceiving. Let´s try a bit harder.

May 15th, 2011, 5:45 pm


AIG said:


You are so good at trash talk. The fact is that the Syrian army is corrupt and useless and Syria will fall apart after 48 hours. Assad and his gang will not start a war because they know that will be their end. They will be directly targeted by Israel.

The economic noose is closing slowly but surely around the Syrian neck. Assad will give his people freedom or wreck Syria completely. His choice. I expect hyper inflation in Syria within the year.

May 15th, 2011, 5:49 pm


jad said:

Dear Sofia,

Dorothy is still missing, even the Iranian FM don’t know whereabout she is, how twisted is that?

‘No information’ on Al Jazeera reporter – Iran FM

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Saturday that he had “no information” on the whereabouts of an American journalist working for Al Jazeera after Damascus said she was sent to Tehran, the official IRNA news agency reported.

“I have no information,” Salehi said when asked whether Syria, Iran’s main Arab ally, had handed over the journalist.

Syria expelled Dorothy Parvez to Iran after she tried to enter illegally on an expired Iranian passport, the Syrian embassy in Washington said in a statement on Wednesday.

The embassy said Parvez was put on a Caspian Airlines flight to Tehran on May 1, escorted by the Iranian consul in Damascus.

It said Parvez, whom they identified by the Iranian name Feiruz Parvez, was turned over to Iran because she was carrying an expired Iranian passport when she arrived in Damascus on April 29, giving “tourism” as her reason for travel.

“It is very regretful that a journalist working for a world renowned news agency such as Al Jazeera International would attempt to enter a country on two illegal accounts: an expired passport, and by providing false information on official documents regarding her travel reason,” the embassy said.

Parvez, who holds US, Canadian and Iranian passports, had been missing since her arrival in Syria, with no explanation given by the authorities until Wednesday.

Syrian authorities have sealed off the country to the international media amid a bloody crackdown on protests against the government of President Bashar Al Assad.

Parvez’s fiance, Todd Barker, said Wednesday he was puzzled why she had been moved to Iran, adding he had no knowledge of her exact whereabouts.

“I don’t know why they would deport her to Iran,” Barker told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

“She was travelling on the Iranian passport,” he acknowledged, adding however that in previous cases in which journalists had been refused entry into Syria they had been returned to their point of departure.

The Syrian embassy said she was detained in Damascus after a search of her luggage turned up transmitting equipment and a large sum of undeclared Syrian currency in cash.

“Seeing that Ms. Parvez’s Iranian passport was expired, the Syrian authorities contacted the Iranian embassy in Damascus in order to receive a laissez passer for her to travel, and was in turn extradited in accordance with international law to the passport-issuing country,” it said.

“Indeed, in less than 48 hours of her arrival, and on May 1st, Ms. Parvez was escorted by the Iranian consul,” the embassy added.

May 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm


Norman said:


لبنان: مخابرات الجيش تحبط محاولة انتحال صفة ضابط سوري

إبراهيم عوض GMT 9:55:00 2011 الأحد 15 مايو

سوريون يعبرون الى لبنان في منطقة وادي خالد هربا من اعمال العنف في بلادهم

علمت “إيلاف” من مصدر مسؤول في مديرية المخابرات في الجيش اللبناني ان الأشخاص الأربعة الذين جرى توقيفهم قبل أيام بينهم ثلاثة لبنانيين وسوري بتهمة تهريب السلاح لصالح المعارضة السورية يجري التحقيق معهم للتأكد من صحة المعلومات الواردة بشأنهم .

وخلافا لما ذكر بأن الأشخاص الأربعة الموقوفين هم لبنانيان وسوريان تبين ان هناك سورياً واحداً فيما الثلاثة الأخرون لبنانيون. وقد أظهرت التحقيقات التي أخضعوا لها إن الهدف الرئيسي الذي كانوا يسعون إليه ليس تهريب السلاح، حيث ضبطت بحوذتهم كمية ضئيلة من الأسلحة الفردية، بل القيام بعملية “انتحال صفة” يرتدي فيها الموقوف السوري بذلة ضابط احضرها له اللبنانيون الثلاثة على ان يطلع بعدها الأول على وسائل الاعلام المحلية والعربية والاجنبية للقول بأن هناك انشقاقات داخل الجيش السوري وبداية حركة تمرد في صفوفه ، كما يدلي بروايات ملفقة عن العنف المفرط الذي استخدم من قبل الاجهزة الامنية السورية في التعامل مع المتظاهرين .

وفيما يؤكد المصدر العسكري المسؤول اقرار الموقوفين بهذه الخطة التي كانوا ينوون تنفيذها لفت الى ان اقوالهم بشأن تهريب السلاح الى المعارض السوري مأمون الحمصي تخضع للتدقيق خصوصاً ان الادلة غير كافية حولها حتى الساعة.

من جهة أخرى ابلغ المصدر العسكري اللبناني “إيلاف” ان المعلومات المتوفرة لديه تفيد بأن العملية العسكرية التي يقوم بها الجيش السوري داخل بلدة ” تلكلخ” المحاذية للحدود الشمالية مع لبنان اشرفت على نهايتها، كاشفاً عن إصابة جندي لبناني برصاص طائش نقل على اثرها الى المستشفى وحالته لا تدعو الى القلق. وأفاد المصدر ان إمرأة سورية مسنة اصيبت بطلقات نارية اثناء عبورها الجسر المؤدي الى داخل الحدود اللبنانية ما لبثت ان توفيت . وقد ارتؤي ان يقوم الصليب الأحمر ينقل جثتها الى داخل الأراضي اللبنانية لا ان يتولى الجيش اللبناني ذلك كون المتوفاة سقطت في منطقة سورية.


إغلاق النافذة

May 15th, 2011, 5:54 pm


edward said:

What Bouri333 left out of his General Patton-like assessment of a future war with Israel is the fact that the Syrian army is a demoralized, inefficient and unprofessional fighting force, due to years of conscripts paying bribes to officers and doing errands for their wives. What he also failed to mention is that Israel will most likely wipe out the entire Syrian civilian and military leadership, command and control centers, airports and power plants within the first 48 hours. Bashar knows this very well, which is why he kept his mouth shut after Israeli jests buzzed his palace a few years back.

May 15th, 2011, 5:56 pm


jad said:

Those revolution organizers remind me of failure magicians, their garbage bag is never empty of unethical and stupid tricks.

“Bashar knows this very well, which is why he kept his mouth shut after Israeli jests buzzed his palace a few years back.”
Good to know that rich ‘rebells’ recognize how much responsible president Bashar is and how much he takes care of his country and his people and doesn’t put them in any ’48 hours’ danger.

May 15th, 2011, 6:01 pm


why-discuss said:

17 year old killed during Nakba demonstrations in East Jerusalem

It is an extremely terrifying video of the brutality of the Israeli soldiers


Death of Palestinian Raises Tensions During anti-Israel Protests

May 15th, 2011, 6:18 pm


edward said:

#541, No Jad, it just means your president is a coward who hides behind grand rhetoric and chest pounding, but when the going gets tough, pees his pants and shivers in his boots. He has no qualms sacrificing any cause or anyone in return for staying in power. Read Mughniyeh assassination, and (mark my words) the soon to be announced concessions to the west of dumping Hezbollah and Hamas in order to be allowed to keep his throne.

May 15th, 2011, 6:21 pm


why-discuss said:


The MB must have felt extremely humiliated to have been invited to the dialog table after having been banned, killed and ostracized for decaded. They think they are in a position of power and calling for revenge for their own sake, not for the good of the Syrians. I also think they are observing Tunisia and Egypt to see if the MB makes a breakthrough there. Otherwise they will drink the bitter vinegar and come to the dialog table, pushed by Erdogan! That’s my feeling..

May 15th, 2011, 6:34 pm


jad said:

Make up your mind, Is your president Bashar a brutal dictator or a coward peeing his pants?
-If he is a brutal dictator then why not to sacrifice all his people and retaliate to Israel, isn’t that what your friends are calling for?
-If he is a coward as you wrote and through his cowardly acts of peeing his pants actually saved all this Syrian lives and Syria from Israeli’s retaliation why you and your friends are calling for retaliation, do you want to destroy Syria and kill Syrians.
-If he is nothing but an image of the regime, then why you are attacking the weakest link in that circle and blaming him on every mistake done.
See richie, you guys need to know what you want.

May 15th, 2011, 6:36 pm


why-discuss said:

Turkey furious that Bashar Al Assad is getting closer to Iran. Erdogan is changing his tunes


May 15th, 2011, 6:44 pm


edward said:


Jad, there’s a well know Arabic saying: أسد علي وفي الحروب نعامة

Tough lion on us, and a measly bird to our enemies. That pretty much describes Bashar who sends tanks and troops to kill and shell his own cities when Syrians rise up to protest and demand freedom, but doesn’t dare fire a shot into Israel, or retaliate for blatant beaches of Syrian sovereignty. Oh and it’s crystal clear what we want, we want the Assads and their posse to leave Syria, and take their mukhabart and shabeha with them. We want to build a free, secular and democratic Syria without those thugs, murderers and thieves.

May 15th, 2011, 6:48 pm


why-discuss said:


It is extremely strange that both the US and Canadian government have not a made an official request to the Iranian authorities and the Syrian to clarify where is the canadian-american-iranian journalist? Why is it that only Al Jazeera, the family and organization of reporters are calling for her release?
Something fishy is going on…

May 15th, 2011, 6:59 pm


what's in a name said:

Trying desperately to put words in their mouth , 2 Syrian solders kidnapped and interviewed by BBC.


May 15th, 2011, 7:00 pm


whats in a name said:

Trying desperately to put words in their mouth , 2 Syrian soldiers kidnapped and interviewed by BBC


May 15th, 2011, 7:02 pm


Sophia said:

#538 Jad,

Qatar is so involved in Al-Jazeera operations that for me this news mean that Iran intends to put pressure on the emir of Qatar and that they want to bargain. Sadly for Mrs Parvaz.

Now, how much Mrs Parvaz and her safety mean to Qatar and Al-Jazeera? I don’t know. Plus, she might have secrets on Al-Jazeera’s operations in Syria and /or Iran. This might be the only way Qatar and Al-Jazeera may enter a bargain to free her. I suspect Qatar and Al Jazeera are not caring as much as Liberation who was able to lift their reporter Florence Aubenas and her translator from the hands of unruly groups in Iraq few years ago.

I hope she will be free soon.

May 15th, 2011, 7:05 pm


why-discuss said:


Homa Parvaz is also a US citizen. She is a bargaining chip for Iran-US relationship too, just like the US youngsters hiking in Kurdistan who have been in jail for more than a year.
Poor girl! Al Jazeera is totally careless and guilty to have put her in that situation

May 15th, 2011, 7:12 pm


jad said:

Very impressive, it remind me of the symbolic moment of the fall of Berlin wall.
فيديو عبور الفلسطينيين الى مجدل شمس

May 15th, 2011, 7:17 pm


NK said:

It’s funny how all the pro-regime/Islamophobes on this blog didn’t even bother reading what Bayanuni said and instead started attacking the guy just because he’s a member of the MB, how pathetic.

“نحن من حيث المبدأ لا نرفض الحوار مع أحد، وما تم الاعلان عنه ليس حواراً ولا توجد له أي أرضية ويجب أن تسبق الحوار اجراءات، لكننا لم نشاهد أياً منها بعد ونرى أن انسحاب الدبابات ووقف اطلاق النار على المتظاهرين وقمعهم لا يحتاج إلى حوار بل إلى موقف من طرف السلطة”.

وسُئل ما إذا كانت جماعة الأخوان المسلمين في سوريا تدعو الآن إلى تغيير النظام، فأجاب “ليست الجماعة، بل الشعب السوري والذي لم يعد يقبل بعد انتفاضته بأقل من الانتقال إلى نظام ديمقراطي حقيقي، ونحن نؤيد ذلك ونرى أن الحل الوحيد هو الانتقال إلى نظام ديمقراطي مهما كانت التسمية، تغييراً أم اصلاحاً أم اسقاطاً للنظام، والانتقال بالبلاد إلى نظام ديمقراطي حقيقي وليس من خلال اصلاحات خادعة ونظرية على الورق كما حصل حتى الآن”.

“نحن في جماعة الأخوان المسلمين لا يمكن أن نقبل أو ننخدع باصلاحات هامشية شكلية مخادعة، والمطلب الوحيد هو الانتقال بالبلاد إلى وضع ديمقراطي ونظام ديمقراطي، ومن لديه استعداد للدخول في هذا المشروع الوطني نحن معه كائناً من كان”.

The title is very misleading. As for you guys who can read Arabic, you either didn’t read the statement at all, which is bad, or you read it and decided it’s a good idea to lie about its content and act as if the rest of us on SC are mindless idiots who can’t read or comprehend what’s written in that statement, which is disgusting to say the least. You know I have no love for the MB or any religious group, but I assure you, you guys are not that much better …


I don’t get your argument #545, Saddam was a brutal dictator and when the U.S invaded Iraq he was a total coward, the two are not mutually exclusive, they’re actually quite often concurrent traits.

May 15th, 2011, 7:31 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Can any of the (islamophilic)of Syria clans give one example of islamitization of a country the MB way which is a good example to look for the future islamic emirates of Syria.can applying the Quran and Sunna in the 21st century be creating any civilized nation .keep your faith in your hearts and your homes and don’t be fooled .sudan,Saudi Arabia ,niegeria etc examples wouldt make you a nation which your kids will thank you for.Egypt and Tunisian examples being hijacked by schizo-islamitazation parties you can be rest assured will be doomed.Turky is not an accurate example to compare. Give turkey to any Arabic Islamic political party and you can be sure they will destroy it in 1 year and they will make Atatork bones shiver in his grave .
Any way I don’t think that you have the kind of minds which will be iterested in such intellectual discussion being the kind of non-national and purely religious minds you have.

May 15th, 2011, 8:01 pm


edward said:

Iman AlBaghdadi tells it how it is:
إيمان البغدادي: مطلبنا الحرية ولا حوار قبل سقوط النظام و رحيل بشار

May 15th, 2011, 8:11 pm


Alex said:

Jad, what happened in the Golan today deserves a documentary. An incredible. historic moment.

Edward, opinions are personal opinions, real life events “tell it how it is”:


CAIRO, May 15 (Xinhua) — Egypt’s Health Ministry said on Sunday that 78 people were wounded during violent clashes that took place on Saturday in downtown Cairo.

The clashes occurred at the Egyptian TV building when a group of unidentified men attacked Christians staging a sit-in in front of the entrance of the building, official MENA news agency said, adding the attackers threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the protesters.

In one of the latest sectarian clashes, 15 people were killed and more than 200 injured in clashes that erupted outside a Coptic church in Cairo on May 6. Coptic Christians have since then holding protests against violence.

May 15th, 2011, 8:17 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Imam albaghdadi is stupid or is acting stupid. Her first gifts after declaration of the Islamic emirates of Syria is Hijab and may be 400 lashes if she dares appearing (safera) with make up and tight jeans it could go up to 800 lashes.

May 15th, 2011, 8:28 pm


Alex said:

BBC interviewed the two Syiran soldiers they captured today. Both confirmed they were shot at by a large number of attackers before they returned fire.

May 15th, 2011, 8:42 pm


NK said:

Syria no kandahar

You seem like someone who likes to label people based on what they wrote in two comments then dismiss them as inferior species. If that’s the grounds you want to start your “intelligent” dialogue on, then you’re probably right, a lot of people won’t be interested.

Here’s a quick question for you, have you even read the Qu’ran or Sunnah ? please answer this question.

As for your comment, there are many subtle yet absurd accusations in there:

“can applying the Quran and Sunna in the 21st century be creating any civilized nation”

This suggests that the Quran or Sunna contain things that are immoral or uncivilized that render them incompatible with modern civilization, this then implies that Islam itself is incompatible with modern civilization, if that’s what you’re implying then I’m very interested in knowing what exactly lead you to conclusion, if that’s not what you’re implying then the entire question is rather pointless, unless I’m missing something here.

“Egypt and Tunisian examples being hijacked by schizo-islamitazation parties you can be rest assured will be doomed.”

The Egyptian MB started a political party with open membership to all Egyptians regardless of religion, they announced they’re only competing for up to 45% of the parliament seats, and assured they won’t be presenting a candidate for presidency, they actually threatened to expel one of their senior members because he announced he might run in the coming elections, and finally a recent poll I read a couple weeks ago said the MB enjoyed the support of 17% of Egyptians. So I’m not sure why you think the Egyptian revolution got hijacked by the MB.

“Turky is not an accurate example to compare. Give turkey to any Arabic Islamic political party and you can be sure they will destroy it in 1 year and they will make Atatork bones shiver in his grave .”

This suggests that Turks are superior to Arabs, as a proud Arab I refuse this racist comment all together.

Again please do answer the question I asked in the very beginning.

May 15th, 2011, 8:48 pm


Norman said:

From what i see, It is clear that the Opposition do not want reform, they want to bring down the Army and the Baath party, That will not be acceptable, so probably a long low intensity warfare in the street of Syria is going to be the standard, an influx of migration of the Christians will be coming for the next 10 to 20 years, eventually, there will be nobody there,


It is sad that Islam is being destroyed by the fanatics that know nothing about how Islam spread it’s massage, The source of all evil is Saudi Arabia and the house of Saudi that brought to the Arab nation the wahhabi fanatics that giving the West the excuse to attack Arab and Islamic land.

That land called the Mideast is distend for destruction,

May 15th, 2011, 8:51 pm


Alex said:


On the other hand,

You have Salafists who do not support the MB’s in Egypt …. over 10% apparently


And as for the brotherhood, their plan is to allow Egyptians to enjoy democracy for a couple of years without scaring Syrians and Jordanians who might be experimenting with allowing the MB to play bigger roles … then, according to their number 2:


وأضاف، خلال مؤتمر نظمته الجماعة فى الإسكندرية، مساء الخميس، تحت عنوان «معالم النهضة ومكاسب الثورة وآفاق التطوير»: «نحن مستمرون فى بناء الفرد والبيت والمجتمع المسلم، ونستعد للحكومة الإسلامية كمرحلة تالية، لتطبيق نهضة مجتمعية على أساس مرجعية إسلامية، حتى الوصول إلى مرحلة سيادة العالم، وعودة الدولة الإسلامية».

The plan is nothing short of … “we will create an Islamic state then want to rule the world”


This is what everyone needs to understand. Most Syrian Muslims enjoy and support the secular nature of the culture in Syria. But allow the minority of religious extremists (to various degrees of extremism) to participate in politics and they will succeed in imposing their vision and their way of life.

As Syrians they deserve to participate, but as much as I refuse to see a “Christian brothers” party, I can’t accept “a Muslim Brothers”.

Religion divides.

We need to find a way to let them participate

10% of Egypt is Salafist … that translates to 8 million Egyptians. They will easily bully the rest.

Can a girl walk downtown at 10pm wearing tight Jeans feeling secure that 80% of Egyptian Muslims are not Salafists? .. no, because 2 out of 10 men on the street are dangerous.

May 15th, 2011, 8:54 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

The answer to your question is yes I did .
You didt answer my main question and give me a single example of a country applying that.
As far as Egypt look at Alex vidio up.
As far being a proud Arab you should then join albath.

May 15th, 2011, 9:04 pm


Aldendeshe said:

عم نحكي مع الجارة بصوت عالي حتى حماتي تسمع الحكي

Go ahead shoot, your feedback and others very much welcomed and appreciated, they listen and they do take what is said here into account. We are not going to accept any handout from the Baathist Election Commission President Assad appointed, no new set up for rigged game accepted. We understand the importance of maintaining control and willing to work with that.

After all this mess, mayhem and casualties, we need something that works and all Syrians can claim it to proudly be theirs. I forgot to mention that voting should be mandatory or you will lose something, some right to free education/college or do community service. Although it is mandatory, ballot should have an option for none of the above.

If you are on this blog and you are not for the Revolution, but for Evolution, please put your 2 cents into it. If you are demanding representation and freedom to elect and do things then please practice what you preach and participate in the process.

May 15th, 2011, 9:04 pm


Jad said:

Dear Alex,
I agree, what happened in the Jolan today is HISTORICAL.
Who captured the Syrian soldiers?

May 15th, 2011, 9:08 pm


Alex said:


I think they were captured into Lebanon, the soldier said he was stationed at the river, I think that’s at the Syrian Lebanon border.

Both soldiers said they were attacked before they returned fire. That is what the Syrian army (or “the Syrian regime”) has been saying.

May 15th, 2011, 9:13 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Would be nice if you can advance the election post to here, I know it is easy to do. Or I can re-post a duplicate.

May 15th, 2011, 9:18 pm


NK said:

Dear Alex

You’re a pretty intelligent man, regardless of what number 2 (no pun intended) says, realistically what are their chances of succeeding, as far as I know, there has never been a country that evolved from a democratic republic into a repressive theocracy, this just doesn’t make any sense.

Yes there are violent Salafi’s in Egypt, there are also violent Copts, both are equally stupid, and both will learn in time that violence won’t get them anywhere, while they evolve the police and the army are putting the criminals in jail where they belong, if those who committed crimes where given a free pass then I’ll be worried of what the future holds for Egypt, but since the police did their job and the criminals were caught I don’t see what the big deal is. You’re saying more than 10% of Egyptians are Salafis, are they organized politically ? not that I know of. Can they take over the government ? certainly not in a democratic election.

May 15th, 2011, 9:19 pm


Usama said:

#535, SOURI333
I think we need to be able to launch consistent strikes all over occupied Palestine. Remember that most of the non-Arab Israelis have dual citizenship, and most of those came just for the lavish financial incentives. In the face of a real war on their cities, they will flee and that alone will undo decades of migration of people that have nothing to do with the region other than their mothers being Jewish.

#554, NK
That’s nice. But like we said, MB is not invited, and they have no place in Syrian society.

May 15th, 2011, 9:25 pm


Norman said:


I like what you wrote but i do not quotas and set aside or the guarantee of the Baath party majority, the Baath party does not need that, after trying the rest the Syrian people will understand that the Baath party is the most representative of all Syrians and the best for them,

look at what i wrote few days ago, you might have missed,

The solution for the Syrian crises is for the opposition to declare victory and their faith in the president and call for a suspension of the Demonstration for at least 2 to 4 weeks to give time for the president to move forward on reform as the government , the Army and the Baath party will not not give any concessions under pressure , so i see next that the President will declare a multiparty system that will allow competition in political life, i believe that he will need to do that not just to calm the street but also to save the Baath party and make sure that it will have a future in Syria as any violent end to the current regime will destroy any chance for the baath party as it happened in Iraq,
What the president should do is put rules in the new party law to secure the secular nature of the party without micromanaging these parties, two things i see as essentials, the first one is that no religous parties are allowed, Christians, Sunni, Alawat, Druz and others and no ethnic parties like Kurdish, Assyrians Armenians, in short , no parties that are exclusive of any Syrian to join because of ethnic or religous associations,I would like districts with certain number of people who elect one representative from each district from people in that district who belong to any party in the running and have a candidate, the people of each districts are the people who are registered and live there , not live in Damascus and vote in Hassaka because they are Kurds or Assyrian , people have to vote where they live not where they come from, The parliament will be made of all these representative, decentralization is essential and dividing each large city into towns with their own city council, Mayer, police department fire department and let them elect these people who are responsible to their own voters and can be changed by a recall rule or new election at the end of their term, a senate with senators from each county 3 probably will give the same voice for the small county as the large county , and as in the US you need 60% of the senators to make major changes, each county will have a county executive and a municipal council that is elected by the people of the county, not assigned like the old System of the Caliphate by the Calif or the president, and can be changed by the vote or the recall,
As you can see that is the system that is in the US and as in the US Syria has many ethnic and religous group and i really believe that a system like the one in the US is the best one for Syria ,
Islamic movement even when they are not allowed to have parties they can still influence election by having an Islamic associations that can support candidates that most fit their believes,as long as they do not get any support financially or morally from out of the country associations or countries,
Anti Discrimination laws in Housing and employment are essential to diverse people so they are not congregating in their tribal or ethnic, religous areas,
It is very important in any political system to be sure that the election are free from outside support and financing , The way Israel does that can be helpful and followed,any outside influence will brig Syria back to be a banana republic as it was in the fifties,
Finally, Syria will go into a turmoil but eventually will settle down and people will be looking for people to elect that will make their lives better, not for their affiliation or religion,
The army will be the safeguard for the secular nature of the state that will ensure the peaceful transition of power after each election ,
I personally not for term limit for the presidency as that is only for the leaders to have their turn to be president , what is important is a free and clean election and if the people are tired of the president they can push him out but if they like him whoever he is they should be able to keep him,

May 15th, 2011, 9:26 pm


Jad said:

Thank you Alex!

My argument is against the meaningless of calling Bashar a coward for not going into war with Israel, I don\’t think that war would be the solution when we all know the power level of Israel and the amount of distraction and life lose our people will suffer in such war and I\’m sure that whoever get to power, unless they are really crazy, they won\’t go to war. So calling him a coward for not doing that as a useful accusation is actually irrational and meaningless.
Do you support a war with Israel today?

May 15th, 2011, 9:28 pm


Aldendeshe said:

MB-Islamic Extremist. They cannot win by ballots, but they can do worse, get used by ALCIADA, merge with new Guantanamo Islamic University Graduates and receive 2 billion Dollars to trash a Democratic country and make it ready for takeover by hostile enemy that needs the local resources or geostrategic position. Even get used to trash a country far away. It happened many times before our eyes.

May 15th, 2011, 9:30 pm


N.Z. said:

This is what happened in 1982 in Hama on the hands of the late president and his brother, 30 years move the cursor forward, what happened in Dera’ on the hands of the president and his brother!!

Starkly similarities!! Half a century, two massacres, deception and utter stagnation, all in the name of Arab Nationalism for a free Palestine.

ماذا تعرف عن مجـزرة حمـاة الكبرى (1982) الدكتور : خالد الأحمد*
جاء في تقرير منظمة العفو الدولية :
وهي أكبر مجزرة في العصر الحديث، كما وصفتها وسائل الإعلام العالمية في 2 شباط 1982.
قبل الدّخول في تفصيلات المجزرة الرهيبة، عبر شهادات حية، نضع هنا أمام أعين القارئ شهادات أخرى لأناس ليسوا عرباً وليسوا سوريين، إنما هم صحفيون أجانب أبى ضميرهم الإنساني، وإخلاصهم للحقيقة الموضوعية، إلا أن يساهموا في إماطة اللثام عن شيء من الحقيقة المفزعة، وكشف وجه النظام الهمجي الأسود.
هؤلاء الصحفيون لم يسمعوا عن المجزرة من مصادر بعيدة، بل مكثوا طويلاً في دمشق، ينتظرون أن تسمح لهم السلطة بدخول المدينة.. لكنها لم تفعل، وظلت تراوغ، بل وصل بها الأمر إلى تهديد كل صحفي يفكر بالاقتراب ودخول حماة. صحفي واحد استطاع الدخول إلى المدينة بعد عشرين يوماً من الحصار وكانت المذبحة قد قاربت على النهايات، ومع ذلك، نقل إلى العالم رواية موضوعية عن مشاهداته. وننقل بعض النماذج لشهادات صحفيين أجانب أدلوا بشهاداتهم:
ذكرت صحيفة النوفيل أوبزرفاتور الفرنسية بتاريخ 30 نيسان 1982:
“في حماة، منذ عدة أسابيع، تم قمع الانتفاضة الشعبية بقساوة نادرة في التاريخ الحديث.. لقد غزا ( حافظ ورفعت أسد) مدينة حماة، بمثل ما استعاد السوفيات والأمريكان برلين، ثم أجبروا من بقي من الأحياء على السير في مظاهرة تأييد للنظام، صحفي سوري مندهش قال موجهاً كلامه لأحد الضباط: رغم ما حدث، فإن هناك عدداً لا بأس به في هذه المظاهرة. أجاب الضابط وهو يضحك: نعم، ولكن الذي بقي أقل من الذين قتلناهم”.
وتحت عنوان: “في سورية، الإرهابي رقم واحد هو الدولة ذكرت صحيفة لوماتان الفرنسية في عددها رقم 1606 تاريخ 24 نيسان 1982:

20.000 (عشرون ألف) سجين سياسي، 10.000 (عشرة آلاف) قتيل في حماة، 600.000 (ستمئة ألف) شخص موضوعون على اللائحة السوداء.

هنالك على الأقل 20.000 (عشرون ألف) سجين سياسي (وربما وصل العدد إلى 80.000 (ثمانين ألفاً) في سوريا، حيث العنف والإرهاب السياسي هما اليوم عملة رائجة. إن جهاز القمع التابع للنظام مدهش للغاية: سرايا الدفاع بقيادة رفعت أسد، سرايا الصراع بقيادة عدنان أسد، الوحدات الخاصة بقيادة علي حيدر، المخابرات العامة،.. وقد اشترت وزارة الداخلية مؤخراً من شركة فرنسية عقلاً إلكترونياً يمكن له أن “يفيّش” (أي يضع على اللوائح السوداء) 500.000 (نصف مليون) شخص دفعة واحدة.

لقد شهد عام 1981 بطوله قيام عمليات مسلحة يقودها الإخوان المسلمون [ يقصد الطليعة المقاتلة ]ضد السلطات في مدن حلب وحمص وحماة. وكانت المواجهات بين الطرفين تدوم عدة أيام، آخذة أحياناً شكل حرب حقيقية بين الجناح العسكري للإخوان [ الطليعة المقاتلة ] وبين سرايا دفاع رفعت أسد، “الحرس الإمبراطوري” التابع للنظام. وكانت الضحايا تتساقط بالمئات.
ولكن من بين كل هذا الأحداث، فإن حدث حماة الأخير الذي دام عملياً طيلة شهر شباط، كان الأكثر عنفاً، ونتج عنه عدد من الضحايا أكثر بما لا يقارن.
“إنه أكبر مجزرة في العصر الحديث” ، على حد قول دبلوماسي سوفياتي، لا يمكن طبعاً أن يشك بعدائه أصلاً للنظام. لقد كان هناك على الأقل 10.000 (عشرة آلاف) قتيل، ولكن مصادر أخرى تتحدث عن (30.000) (ثلاثين ألفاً) وهو رقم قريب من الواقع إذا تذكرنا أنه، لكي يقضي على الانتفاضة فقد زج النظام بآلاف من سراياه، كما أنه قصف المدينة بالطيران فوق سكانها المدنيين، مما أدى إلى هدم أجزاء كبيرة من المدينة.”
وذكرت مجلة الفيزد الفرنسية في عددها الصادر في أيار 1982:
“وكان القمع مميتاً أكثر من يوم حرب الكيبور (يوم الغفران).”
“.. المدفعية الثقيلة تطلق قذائفها على الآمنين. وطوال أربع وعشرين ساعة تساقطت آلاف القذائف والصواريخ على حماة. كل مجمّع سكني وكل منزل كان مستهدفاً.
يقول دبلوماسي غربي وصل مؤخراً من دمشق: “إنه أعنف قصف حدث منذ حرب سورياً عام 1941 بين أنصار حكومة فيشي من جهة وأنصار فرنسا الحرة والبريطانيين من جهة أخرى”.
وأخيراً وحوالي منتصف الأسبوع الماضي، استطاعت الدبابات اختراق المدينة وطوال أيام كاملة، كانت المعركة مستمرة وبشدة. من بيت إلى بيت، أو بالأحرى من أنقاض إلى أنقاض. هذا وتتكتم الدولة على عدد القتلى والجرحى من الجانبين. ويضيف الدبلوماسي الغربي قائلاً: “ولكن الطلب على الدم في المراكز الطبية كان كثيراً وكثيراً مثل أيام “حرب الكيبور” التي سببت في سوريا آلافاً من القتلى والجرحى.
ويختم الدبلوماسي حديثه قائلاً: “يمكن القول إن ما جرى في الأسبوع الماضي في حماة هو “فرصوفيا أخرى” أي مثلما حدث لفرصوفيا أثناء الحرب العالمية الثانية… إنه فعلاً، موت مدينة”.
كما ذكرت مجلة الإيكونومست في عددها الصادر في (مايس) 1982 تحت عنوان أهوال حماة:
“إن القصة الحقيقية لما جرى في شهر شباط في مدينة حماة الواقعة على بعد 120 ميلاً شمال دمشق العاصمة لم تعرف بعد وربما لن تعرف بداً. لقد مرّ شهران قبل أن تسمح الحكومة السورية للصحفيين بزيارة خرائب المدينة التي استمرت تحت قصف الدبابات والمدفعية والطيران ثلاثة أسابيع كاملة. ونتيجة لذلك فإن قسماً كبيراً من المدينة القديمة القائمة في وسط البلد قد مُحي تماماً، وسوّي مؤخراً بواسطة الجرافات.
إن عدد القتلى يرتفع إلى أكثر من 30.000 شخص (بما في ذلك طبعاً خسائر الجيش) كما تقول تقديرات الإخوان المسلمين. التقديرات الأخرى تقول بـ 9.000 فقط ولكن ذلك رقم رسمي معطى من قبل المستشفيات ولا يأخذ بعين الاعتبار الأناس الذين دفنوا دون أن يدخلوا المستشفى. لم يوفر القصف لا المساجد ولا الكنائس. (في حماة يعيش حوالي8000 مسيحي من طوائف مختلفة، ومنذ قرون، وهم يعيشون بسلام كامل، وتآخٍ حقيقي مع أكثرية الشعب السنية المسلمة).”
أما جريدة ليبراسيون الفرنسية، فقد ذكرت على لسان الصحفي شارل بوبت، وهو صحفي فرنسي محرر في صحيفة “ليبراسيون” الفرنسية استطاع أن يدخل إلى قلب مدينة حماة أثناء الأحداث.
إنه الصحفي الوحيد من بين كل الصحفيين العرب والأجانب الذي تمكن من الدخول إلى هذه المدينة… وبحيلة ذكية.
كان في دمشق.. وحينما سمع بالأحداث استقل الباص باتجاه حلب. وفي حمص وأثناء استراحة قصيرة اختفى وترك الباص يتابع سيره ثم بحث عن تكسي لكي تنقله إلى مداخل حماة أو ضواحيها بحجة أنه سائح يبحث عن الآثار.
قضى في المدينة وقتاً لا بأس به، ثم سلم نفسه للسلطات السورية تمويهاً.. وبعدما عاد إلى فرنسا نشر تحقيقاً مطولاً يعتبر أخطر ما كتب في الصحافة العالمية عن هذه المذبحة.
إنه يقدم لنا شهادة حية ثمينة، وقيمتها مزدوجة الطابع، لأن صاحبها محايد في الصراع، وموضوعي في الحكم، ولأنه ثانياً، لم ينقل أخباراً سمعها عن روايات وصلته بالتواتر، وإنما يحكي لنا هنا ما شاهده بنفسه، ورآه من ماسي وأهوال.
لا يتسع المقام هنا لنشر كل “الريبورتاج” فهو طويل للغاية سنكتفي فق ط بترجمة أهم فقراته.
فلنترك له الكلام الذي نشرته الصحيفة المذكورة يوم الاثنين في الأول من آذار 1982:
“الساعة السابعة صباحاً.. تبدو حماة مدينة غريبة، حركة عمران! كل شيء في طور الإعمار، أو كان كذلك، وفجأة توقف كل شيء. وبمحاذاة البيوت التقليدية القديمة، كانت الأبنية الحديثة تبدو كأنها حيوانات ضخمة جريحة واقفة على ظهرها. الطوابق الأرضية ظاهرة، والأعمدة التي تستخدم عادة لحمل الطوابق الأخرى كانت عارية، ومتجهة نحو السماء بشكل مستقيم، وعلى قمتها قضبان حديدية ملتوية وصدئة. (…) إنني أمشي الآن وسط بيوت متهدمة، وأشجار مكسرة، وأعمدة ملوية أو منزوعة من مكانها. هناك قليل من السكان. ومثلهم فإنني أتنقل بحذر أثناء المسير. إنه هنا حدث القتال وما يزال مستمراً من صباح هذا اليوم من شهر شباط. إنها ليست الحرب، ولكن بالأحرى، نهاية معركة كانت على ما يبدو رهيبة.
ننتقل من بيت إلى بيت. ومن فوقنا تمر طائرة هيلوكبتر. وأمامنا عائلات بأكملها تبكي، جثث تجر من أرجلها أو محمولة على الأكتاف، أجساد تتفسخ وتنبعث منها رائحة قاتلة ، وأطفال تسيل منهم الدماء وهم يركضون لاجتياز الشارع. امرأة ترفض أن تفتح لنا منزلها. إنها ليست زيارة متفقاً عليها. إنني غير مرغوب في مثل هذه الساعات. ونهيم على وجوهنا أنا ومرافقي – أحد أبناء المدينة الذي تطوع بهذا العمل- ولكن كنا محتاجين لأن نبقى ضمن الأحياء التي ما تزال في أيدي الثوار التي تضيق رقعتها شيئاً فشيئاً. وأخيراً تستجيب المرأة لتوسلات مرافقي وتفتح لنا. إنها تخبئ زوجها. ها هو ذا أمامنا مسجَّى على الأرض، دونما رأس، ميتاً منذ 5 شباط!!! وهكذا فإن كثيراً من الناس يخبئون جرحاهم، خشية أن تجهز عليهم القوات الحكومية. أما الأموات فإن أهاليهم يدفنونهم بسرعة. إذا أمكن، فيما أصبح يطلق عليه اليوم مقبرة الشهداء في الزاوية الكيلانية. (التي تم نسفها كلياً فيما بعد).
بضع طلقات نارية صوب الجنوب تتبعها رشقات قوية. وخلال عشر دقائق كانت القذائف تتساقط كالمطر أينما كان، وحيثما تسقط كنت تسمع صرخات الرعب ونداءات التوسل إلى الله على بضعة أمتار منا، شاهدنا رجلاً يتمزق تماماً ويسقط فوق جدار، كما لو أنه هيكل عظمي. ولم أصدق عيني، ولكن عندما ظهرت الطائرات من جديد فوقنا، دفعني مرافقي لتحت منزل، صارخاً “هاهم يعودون”.
في الطريق يصادفنا رجل يقدمه مرافقي لي. إنه طبيب… وبكل سرعة يناولني الطبيب هذا بضع أوراق، ويكتب لي أسماء ضحايا: “كم قتيلاً” سألته.. أجاب: لا أعرف. ليس أقل من 8.000 أو 10.000 لقد رأينا ضحايا في كل مكان.. أمسك. (حتى يعرف العالم كله الحقيقة سجل: “مصطفى شامية، طارق عبد النور، أديب السبع، أحمد الشلبي”. وبإشارة أفهمه أنه لا فائدة من الاستمرار لأنني لا أستطيع أن أسجلهم كلهم ولكنه يستمر وبكل عصبية ويطلب مني بطريقة الأمر أن أسجل: “إبراهيم الطرقجي، فؤاد جودت، غسان جلوسي دهيمش.
أترك حماة بمزيج من الرعب والفزع… الفزع حين أتذكر أنه ولا مرة واحدة خلال هذه الأيام والليالي التي قضيتها هناك سمعت صوت المؤذن يدعو المؤمنين إلى الصلاة، كما لو أن المآذن نفسها قد انكمشت على نفسها تلقائياً.”

ونشرت صحيفة دي تسابت الألمانية بتاريخ 2/4/1982 تقريراً عن مجازر حماة تحت عنوان:
“مذبحة كما في العصور الوسطى – كيف ابتلى أسد مدينة حماة بالموت والدمار” جاء فيه:
“دمشق – نهاية آذار: (إن ما حدث في مدينة حماة قد انتهى) كان هذا تعليق الرئيس أسد على أخطر أزمة داخلية هزت سورية منذ توليه السلطة عام 1970، فقرابة أربعة أسابيع في شباط أُغرقت حماة بالدماء والآلام من قبل قوات بلغت 11 ألف رجل (مدرعات ومدفعية وطائرات مروحية ومظليين وقوات حماية النظام الخاصة وقوات حماية أمن الدولة) لقد انتهت فترة القتل والنهب والحرق التي تذكر بالقرون الوسطى، وسكتت المدافع وغدت المدينة أنقاضاً ورماداً.
* مقطتفات منقوله …… للكاتب السوري الدكتور : خالد الأحمد
حتى لاننسى مجزرة حماة – ماذا قال عنها الصحفيين
1- يقول الصحفي لبريطاني روبرت فيسك عن مجزرة حماة وهو شاهد عيان:
“….فعندما قضيت ليلة في خريف 1981 في فندق المدينة الوحيد القذر ذي الممرات الاسمنتية الذي تقدم فيه خمر بلون ونكهة البرافين كانت أصوات الطلقات النارية المتتالية من الاسلحة الرشاشة تقطع ساحات الظلام ….بدات العملية من قبل 500 جندي من سرايا الدفاع وعدد كبير من عناصر المخابرات بحصار حي البارودية القديم ….كانوا يحملون معهم على ما يبدو قوائم باسماء وعناوين المشتبه بهم ( من المسلحين ) وطبقاً لدبلوماسيين غربيين في دمشق فإن الإخوان المسلمين المختبئين في البارودية ، أحسوا ان النظام سيبطش بهم و لذلك فإنهم وضعوا عناصر إستطلاع فوق سقف الحي وعندما توغل جنود الظلام اكثر فأكثر داخل الازقة قرع الجرس فانهال عليهم الاخوان بنيران الرشاشات…. و انتقاماً لذلك فإن قوات رفعت الاسد الخاصة و مخبري المخابرات العاملين في هذه القوات كانوا يقتلون و يعذبون و يهينون عدداً كبيراً من اهل حماة، و استهدف هؤلاء الاطباء و المهندسين….وكذالك وجد شخص يقال له الشيشكلي كان يظن بانه شخصية مهمة من الاخوان مقتولاً في ساحة مهملة خارج حماة، وكان قد اقتلعت عيناه و احرق وجهه بالاسيد و قد اخبر ثلاثة من الاجانب بأن مئتي حكم بالاعدام قد نفذت منذ عيد الفصح السابق…..و هناك 10 آلاف مسيحي من مجموع سكان حماة البالغ حوالي 100 الف قد عانوا ايضاً على ايدي قوات رفعت الاسد و في حالات كثيرة كان القتلى اقرباء للمطلوبين ، فاذا فر احد الاخوان فان اباه او اخاه يقتل…..وقد ادعت الملصقات التي تبدأ كل منها بالبسملة ان تلك الهجمات موجهة الى مجرمي النظام فقط ، لذلك كان رد فعل نظام الاسد الوحشي فيما بعد رد فعل الخائف….
عندما انفجر العصيان في حماه في شباط 1982 قطعت الحكومة السورية مباشرة خطوط الهاتف و المواصلات من المدينة….وفي 17 شباط اخذت سيارة اجرة متجهاً الى حلب….ان موظفي السفارات الغربية في دمشق ،وبخاصة المشهورة منها، والتي تعتبر مصادرها موثوقة كانوا يتحدثون عن آلاف القتلى في حماة، بعد اسبوعين من القتال،حيث لا زال لا يسمح للصحفيين ان يذهبوا الى هناك….وعلى بعد 12 ميلاً من حماه اصبح من الممكن رؤية دخان متصاعد في الافق و سحابة داكنة بمساحة اميال مربعة تلف المدينة ….إقترب جنديان من السيارة ثم نظرا إلي ثم سألا السائق ما اذا كان يقبل ان ياخذهما الى وحدتهما في حماة ؟ فقلت خذهما …. فقال احدهما القتال لا يزال مستمراً منذ ستة عشر يوماً،وليس هناك ما يدل على انه سينتهي، اقتربنا من المدينة …. من خلال نافذة السيارة كان يترامى الينا صوت قصف منخفض مستمر…. اصبح من الممكن رؤية اشجار من الخلف تحترق منذ وقت غير قصير، ودخان داكن كثيف يتصاعد من جدران الحارات الضيقة خلف نهر العاصي . كان يقف على ضفاف العاصي رتل من الدبابات (t62 ) ،وهي بعض اسلحة رفعت الآتية من دمشق، وكل دقيقة تقريباً يهتز مدفع واحد منها …. و سرنا صعوداً راجعين من ضفة النهر بينما كانت احدى الدبابات تقصف…. جاءنا شرطي يطلب الركوب ثم فتاة في العشرينات كانت تجري في الطريق امامنا و يداها يدا من يستغيث، خذوني الى الخارج و تقول: خرجت افتش عن اخي وبيته تشتعل فيه النيران لم يكن هناك. ذهبت الى المقبرة هناك اكثر من مئة جثة لكن لم اجده فيها رحمتك يا رب …. كان هناك انفجار آخر ضخم في مدينة الأشباح ارتجت منه الارض تبعه لعلعة رصاص كأنه غير حقيقي صدر من اواخر شوارع المدينة . بدأ الدخان الآن يتصاعد من المبنى متدفقاً الى الشارع كأنه ضباب قاتم. مسجد أخر هذه المرة بقبة فضية اطلقت عليها قذيفة مدفع حطمت غطاءها الخارجي…. إمرأة اخرى تحمل طفلاً تستغيث قائلة “من شان الله من أجل الله”…. جلست في الخلف بيني و بين الفتاة حاملة طفلها الصغير باكياً قذراً على ركبتيها تفوح من الطفل وامه رائحة كريهة كأنهما لم يغتسلا منذ اكثر من اسبوع قالت: انا هنا منذ ايام كنت في المقبرة من اجل اهلي فقد عرضوا الجثث….لم اذق طعاماً خلال هذه المدة…. كنت إلى الآن ، شاهد العيان الغربي الوحيد لحصار حماة ، وهي وإن كانت أسرع زيارة وأقصرها ، لكنها كانت كافية لثبت أن القتال كان لايزال مشتعلا على درجة كبيرة ، وتشترك فيه عدة ألوية ، وأن عدد الضحايا يجب أن يكون ضخما ، شيء رهيب كان يجري هنالك ، الحكومة السورية قد تدعي أن القتلى كانوا بالمئات ، قدرنا فيما بعد أنهم كانو بحدود 10 آلاف ، وبعض التقديرات جعلت القتل بحدود 20 ألفا …….
وحقيقة عندما زرنا حماه عام 1983 كانت المدينة القديمة وأسوارها وشوارعها الضيقة ، ومتحف قصرالعظم قد اختفت كلها ، والمشاهد الأثرية القديمة دكت وسويت ، بالأرض ، وأصبحت موقفا للسيارات ….. ولشهرة النظام السوري بمثل هذه الوحشية ، فإن أي خلاف بين دمشق ومسحيي لبنان ، لا بد أن تكون له نتائج عالمية ، بعكس ما يحصل بين النظام السوري وبين الإخوان المسلمين ، الذين يريدون تحكيم الإسلام ، فهؤلاء لن يكونوا أصدقاء لأمريكا والأوربين ، فيما لو وصلوا إلى السلطة ، لذلك فإن موقف الغرب بما يحصل لهم ( الإخوان ) من تنكيل ومذابح لا يتجاوز التعبير عن القلق . أما المسيحيون في لبنان فشيء آخر . ” المقال مأخوذ من كتاب PITY THE NATION ص 181-187 الطبعة الأولى 1990
2- جاء في مجلة المجتمع الكويتية عدد 1558/5/7/2003 م:
“… ولكن …كل ما قيل وما كتب حتى الآن حول المأساة ، لا يمثل إلا جزءاّ بسيطا من الحقيقة المذهلة ، الحقيقة الكاملة حملها معهم إلى القبور أولئك الذين قضوا نحبهم تحت أنقاض منازلهم ، السر الكبير يرقد هناك في المقابر الجماعية ….. هل سمعتم بالطفل يذبح أمام والديه ، ويلقى به في حديقة المنزل ، وهو يستغيث ويتخبط بدمه …….هل أخبركم أحد عن ذلك الأعمى الذي ظل يصرخ بعد أن ذبحوا سكان حيه ، وتركوه وحده يحترق في منزله ورجع صداه ألسنة اللهب ……..شيء فوق الوصف …وفوق طاقة التعبير ! !….. ولنترك الصحافة الدولية التي عاينت الأحداث والمجازر تدلو بدلوها :
أ‌- ذكرت صحيفة لوما تان الفرنسية رقم 1606/24ابريل 1982 : في سورية الإرهابي رقم واحد هو الدولة ، 20000 سجين سياسي ،10000 قتيل في حماه ، 600000 شخص موضوعون على القائمة السوداء ، هناك على الأقل 20000 سجين سياسي ، وربما يصل العدد إلى 80000 ألفاًفي سورية ، حيث العنف والإرهاب السياسي هما العملة الرائجة . إن جهاز القمع التابع للنظام مدهش للغاية ، سرايا الدفاع بقيادة رفعت الأسد ، سرايا الصراع بقيادة جميل الأسد ” عدنان الأسد ” ، الوحدات الخاصة بقيادة علي حيدر …… المخابرات العامة ….. إنها أكبر مجزرة في العصر الحديث على حد قول دبلوماسي سوفييتي ، لا يمكن طبعا أن يشك بعدائه أصلا للنظام . لقد كان هناك على الأقل عشرة آلاف قتيل ، ولكن مصادر أخرى تتحدث عن ثلاثين ألفا ، وهو الرقم القريب من الواقع ، إذا تذكرنا أنه لكي يقضي على الإنتفاضة فقد زج النظام بآلاف من سرايا ه ، كما أنه قصف المدينة بالطيران فوق سكانها المدنيين مما أدى إلى هدم أجزاء كبيرة من المدينة ” .
ب‌- مجلة V.S D الفرنسية الفيزد /عدد مارس 1982 تقول :
وكان القتل مميتا … المدفعية الثقيلة تطلق قذائفها على الآمنين ، وطوال 24 ساعة ، تساقطت آلا ف القذائف والصواريخ على حماة …. ويختم الدبلوماسي حديثه قائلا لايمكن القول أن ما جرى في الأسبوع الماضي في حماه هو فرصوفيا أخرى ، أي مثلما حدث لفرصوفيا أثناء الحرب العالمية الثانية ….. إنه فعلا موت مدينة .
ج‌- مجلة الايكونومست عدد 15-21 أيار 1982 ذكرت :
“لقد مر شهران قبل أن تسمح الحكومة السورية للصحفيين بزيارة خرائب المدينة التي استمرت تحت قصف الدبابات و المدفعية و الطيران ثلاث أسابيع كاملة ونتيجة لذلك فان قسماً كبيراً من المدينة القديمة الكائنة في وسط البلد قد محي تماماً وسوى مؤخراً بواسطة الجرافات ….إن عدد القتلى يرتفع أكثر من 30000 ألف شخص ولا يأخذ بعين الاعتبار الأناس الذين دفنوا دون أن يدخلوا المستشفى , لم يترك القصف لا المساجد و لا الكنائس. في حماه يعيش نحو 8000 مسيحي مع طوائف مختلفة و منذ قرون وهم يعيشون بسلام كامل و تآخ حقيقي مع أكثرية الشعب السنية المسلمة ……..إن الوحشية التي تم بها قمع انتفاضة حماه يجب أن تعزي ليس فقط للرعب الذي أصاب الحكومة لرغبتها في جعل حماه درساً لمن يفكر في انتفاضات أخرى محتملة و إنما لكون القوات العسكرية التي نزلت إلى المدينة مؤلفة من الأقلية العلوية ……..”
د- شارل بوبت صحفي فرنسي محرر صحيفة ليراسيون الفرنسية عدد الاثنين ، في الأول من آذار 1982 استطاع أن يدخل إلى قلب المدينة حماة أثناء الأحداث يقول:
“ننتقل من بيت إلى بيت و من فوقنا طائرات الهوليكبتر وأمامنا عائلات بأكملها تبكي ، حيث تجرمن أرجلها أو محمولة على الأكتاف ، أجساد تتفسخ وتنبعث منها رائحة قاتلة ،وأطفال تسيل منها الدماء وهم يركضون لاجتياز الشارع ….وأخيراً تستجيب المرأة لتوسلات مرافقي وتفتح لنا ، إنها تخبئ زوجها هاهو هنا أمامنا ، مسجى على الأرض دونما رأس ميتا منذ 5 فبراير ….وخلال عشرة دقائق كانت القذائف تتساقط كالمطر أينما كان ……شاهدنا رجلا يتمزق تماما ويسقط فوقه جدار كما لو أنه هيكل عظمي ، ولم أصدق عيني ،ولكن عندما ظهرت الطائرات من جديد فوقنا ، دفعني مرافقي إلى منزل صارخا هاهم يعودون ، في الطريق يصادفنا رجل يقدمه مرافقي لي إنه رجل طبيب …..وبكل سرعة يناولني الطبيب هذا بضعة أوراق ويكتب لي أسماء ضحايا ،….. كم قتيلا سألته أجاب لا أعرف ليس أقل من 8000 أو 10000 لقد رأينا ضحايا في كل مكان …..أمسك ” والقول للطبيب ” حتى يرف العالم كله الحقيقة …..أترك حماه بمزيج من الرعب والفزع ….الفزع حين أتذكر أنه ولا مرة واحدة خلال هذه الأيام والليالي التي قضيتها هناك سمعت صوت المؤذن يدعو المؤمنين إلى الصلاة كما لو أن المآذن نفسها قد انكمشت عن نفسها تلقائيا …..”
3- وجاء في مقال د. محمد سيف في ذكر مأساة العصر تاريخ 18/2/2007 :
أ‌- وهذه مجلة تايم الأوروبية بتاريخ 5/9/1983 تشارك في توضيح صورة الإجرام الأسدي في حماه “……في مدينة حماه ( 1982 ) ضرب الأسد بضراوة و وحشية حيث فتحت القيادة المباشرة لرفعت الأسد النار من المدفعية والدبابات لتدمر المدينة على من فيها……”
ب‌- مجلة ( في-اس-دي) الصادرة بتاريخ 21/9/1983 فقد كتب محررها السياسي فيليب برنرت مقالاً مطولاً تحت عنوان وحشية أسد جاء فيه ” أكدت المعلومات أن قوات النظام لم تقم فقط بتذبيح الإخوان المسلمين و إنما ذبحت أيضاً كل سكان المدينة فقد بلغ عدد الضحايا أكثر من 20000 شخص …وكانت قوات النظام تلقي القنابل الغازية السامة في الأقبية و ذلك للقضاء على من نجا من السكان من القصف الجوي……”.
ج- شاركت صحيفة الأوربي الصادرة بتاريخ 26/11/1983 في بيان خطوط مأساة العصر فقد كتب محررها السياسي ” جوز يببتى فنو ستا ” مقالاً عن حافظ الأسد جاء فيه : ورغم مرورالسنوات الطوال لم يصبح أكثرهدوءاً ولا حتى أولاده و أشقاءه و أولاد عمته و قبيلته فهم جميعاً يهدفون إلى السلطة وقد عبروا عن حقدهم الأسود بتدمير مدينة حماه , لقد قتل الأسد في حماه ما بين 10-30 ألف رجل وطفل وامرأة ……”
– و لما سئل الصحفي البريطاني المشهور باتريك سيل في لقائه مع قناة الجزيرة عن مجزرة حماة قال:
” عدد القتلى يتراوح بين خمسة آلاف و خمسة عشر الفاً ، حسب تقديري و أضاف : المجزرة الحقيقية حدثت بعد استسلام المدينة و الانتهاء من جيوب المقاومة المحدودة ، حيث دخل الجيش و بدأ بالإبادة الجماعية لأبناء المدينة العزّل .
– يقول بيتر ماندلسون في صحيفة الاندبندنت اللندنية ت1/2000 ” رد والده بتسوية معظم المدينة بالأرض خلال 10 أيام من قصف المدفعية و الوحشية التي لا مثيل لها…”
– يقول رياض الترك في مقابلة مع الحرة : ” أنا إذا أخذتني كسياسي لا كمحامي هذه واضحة عندي …
من يقتل من أبناء شعبه 30 الفاً في حماة و في حلب لا اعرف كم هنا وكم هناك … يمارسون الإرهاب خلال ثلاثين عاماً و في لبنان مارسوا الله اعلم كم لأني كنت في الحبس و مؤخراً رأيت بعينك كيف تطلع بالجماجم في عنجر أو بالجثث لا ادري… ، إيلاف 28/12/2005 .
يقول توماس فريدمان خدمة نيويورك تايمز 18/2/2005 : حين يشعر النظام السوري بأنه محاصر يلجأ دائماً إلى قواعد حماة و قواعد حماة هي مفهوم تبنته بعد أن قام الجيش السوري بمسح كلي لجزء من ثلث المدينة كي يقمع تمرد قادة أصوليون مسلحون هناك عام 1982 و تم دفن ما بين 10-20 ألف سوري تحت حطام المدينة المهدمة.
– و اجمع من رأى حماة بعد الثاني من شباط 1982 ظن أن المدينة تعرضت لزلزال من اعتى الزلازل لشدة ما رأى من دمار و خراب و قتل و تشريد ….
– صحيفة بريطانية تشبه إستراتيجية أمريكا في الفلوجة بإستراتيجية سورية التي اتبعت في حماة /زون نيوز 13/10/2004 عن الاندبندنت البريطانية.
5- أخي القارئ بعد أن سردت لك ما قاله الصحفيون الغربيون عن حماة أحيلك2 إلى ما كتبه الآخرون من كتب و مقالات منها : حماة بأقلام محبيها / مجموعة من الدارسين / مركز الشام للدراسات و كتاب حماة مأساة العصر/ 2003.
في آذار من عام 1982 خطب الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد قائلاً ” ما حدث في حماه حدث وانتهى ” هكذا لحض الرئيس الراحل شهراً كاملاً من المذابح والقتل و التنكيل الإبادة السادية القصف الجوي والمدفعي و الصاروخي واستباحة المحرمات وانتهاك أعراض الحرائر و قتل الشيوخ و الأطفال ونهب المحلات التجارية والمجوهرات وتغير معالم المدينة وهدم المساجد والكناس لهذه المدينة المجاهدة التي جاهدت وقاتلت الاستعمار باعتراف حافظ الأسد عندما استقبله أثناء زيارته بعد قيامه بحركته التصحيحية عام 1970 بالأهازيج و الذبائح و الزهور حيث يقول الراحل :”….. هذه المدينة و هذه المحافظة التي كانت عبر تاريخ النضال رمزاً لكل آيات النضال .. هذه المدينة البطلة هذه المدينة الشجاعة التي سجلت ضد الاستعمار أروع المواقف و سطرت بدماء أبنائها أروع آيات البطولة … معاهدين الله أننا سنسير جنباً إلى جنب .. سنسترخص تضحية في سبيل هذا الوطن .. في سبيل كرامة هذا الوطن .. في سبيل عزة هذا الوطن ….إن انطلاقنا من حقيقة أن الوطن ملك للجميع يفرض على كل منا أن يحافظ على حرية الآخرين لأنها من حرية الوطن و أن يحافظ على كرامة الآخرين لأنها من كرامة الوطن .. عندما تهان الشعوب تتفجر فيها ينابيع الثورة و تتفجر فيها ينابيع الفداء لتبرز قدرة الشعوب اللامحدودة …”
فإذا كانت هذه هي صفات هذه المدينة كما يقول الرئيس الراحل فهل يستوجب تدميرها؟؟ حتى و لو قام من 200 إلى 300 شخص بالتمرد من أبناء هذه المدينة كما جاء على لسان وزير الداخلية السوري عدنان دباع في 17/1/1982 أن المعارضين المسلحين في مدينة حماة لا يزيد عددهم على 300 شخص و هم فئة قليلة!! و نتساءل هل يقتضي مثل هذا العدد القليل حشد كل تلك القوات البرية و الجوية التي دمرت المدينة و قتلت ما يزيد على الثلاثين ألفا من سكانها ؟؟؟
و لكن ربما يتساءل القارئ لماذا دمرت حماة ؟ و لكن سوف اذكر بعض التصريحات التي اخجل من ذكرها و لكن للضرورة أحكام :
أ- فلا غرابة أن نسمع الآن بعض التصريحات من قبل بعض الإسرائيليين أن رغبة إسرائيل في بقاء النظام الأسدي في سوريا رغم الاغتيالات التي يقوم بها النظام السوري في لبنان .
ب- و لقد ذكرت صحيفة القدس العربي اللندنية بتاريخ 28/6/1999 أن شارون غال قال :” لم نكف عن التحدث عن المذبحة التي ارتكبها الأسد بحق الإخوان المسلمين , الأسد لم يجد طريقة أخرى للسيطرة على الأصولية و من حسن حظنا انه ذبحهم و يسيطر عليهم و قد يكون من واجبنا أن كون أولى من يشكره على ذلك…”
ج- و نذكر القارئ بما جاء في صحيفة الرأي الأردنية شاكرين له التحليل و الاستنتاج و ذلك بتاريخ 14/8/1981 أي قبل المجزرة بخمسة شهور تقريباً عن مجلة “( نيو ريك) الأمريكية في مقابلة مع ياريف أجرتها مارلين و يستند , حيث وجهت له هذا السؤال : هل سيكون بقدور الأقطار العربية على المدى البعيد أن تزيل إسرائيل ؟ و كان جوابه :” لا اعتقد أن العرب بأوضاعهم الحالية يستطيعون أن يزيلوا إسرائيل من الوجود حتى مع وجود أسلحة جديدة و متطورة و لكن الأمر قد يصبح أكثر خطورة بالنسبة لإسرائيل في المستقبل إذا نجح المتعصبون المسلمون في تغييرالأوضاع لصالحهم ،ولكننا نأمل أن أصدقاءنا الكثيرين سينجحون في القضاء على خط المتعصبين في الوقت المناسب.
د- نقلت صحيفة القبس الكويتية في 26/1/1979 عن وكالات الأنباء العالمية مقتطفات من خطاب ألقاه موشيه دايان أمام وفد من الأمريكيين اليهود المتعاطفين مع إسرائيل “… و بنبرة غاضبة حاقدة أكد موشيه دايان أن عدوه الأول هو الإخوان المسلمون و انه لن يطمئن على مستقبل إسرائيل إلا إذا تم القضاء عليهم …” أي قبل المجزرة بثلاث سنوات .
ه- نفس الصحيفة القبس الكويتية 12/10/1980 نص مقابلة إذاعة أجراها راديو إسرائيل مع مناهيم بيفن حيث قال :” و عندما كنت في أمريكا قام الرئيس السادات بجملة اعتقالات ضد أعدائه من الإخوان المسلمين و قد سمعت اعتراضات كثيرة هناك ضد هذه الحملة باعتبارها تتعارض مع التقاليد الديمقراطية و لكنني دافعت عن إجراءات السادات بحرارة و أقنعت المعترضين بأنه يجب أن يتناسوا التقاليد الديمقراطية حين يتعلق الأمر بالمسلمين…”
و- و يقول المرحوم سعد جمعة رئيس وزراء الأردن السابق في كتابه مجتمع الكراهية ص95 : ينقل المؤلف عن المؤرخ جورج ونشو فسكي في كتابه (الشرق الأوسط في المحيط الدولي ) : هناك شواهد كثيرة أقنعت إسرائيل إلى تحويل الدولة العربية إلى مجتمعات يسارية هو الحل الوحيد لانصراف أوتوماتيكي عن المواقف العدائية إزاء الصهيونية العالمية ” …. و عندما كان المجاهدون من الإخوان المسلمين سنة1951 يقضون مضاجع إسرائيل وقف بن غوريون في الكنيست و قال :” إصبروا فلن يكون هناك سلام لإسرائيل ما دام العرب تحت سيطرت قيادة الرجعيين ، إن الشرط الأساسي للسلام هو أن تقوم في البلدان العربية حكومات غير ديمقراطية ، تقدمية متحررة من التقاليد ….” ، هل وصل الجواب إليك القارئ الكريم؟؟؟
ليس من السهل على الأهل نسيان أولادهم لمجرد أنهم لا يرونهم بل أن غيابهم يزيد المهم و تعلقهم بهم و يجعلهم يعيشون على أمل معرفة مصيرهم ، ماذا يقول بعض الناجين من الموت لأولادهم و أحفادهم الذين تعرضوا لمستويات من الذل ليس لها وصف سوى الجلاد نفسه؟ و ماذا يفكرون الآن؟ طالما لم تحل قضيتهم ، ماذا يقول هؤلاء الذين قضوا في ظلمات الزنازين لأكثر من ربع قرن؟ إن كانوا أحياء !!
ماذا يفكر أطفال حماة الذين أصبحوا رجالاً الآن و الذين فقدوا آبائهم و أمهاتهم و بيوتهم و أصدقائهم و ألعابهم و مدارسهم و أحلامهم و هم مشردون في بقاء الأرض …. عند مجيء شهر شباط من كل عام؟؟؟؟
أحد الصحفيين الغربيين الذين كانوا ممن عاصر مجزرة حماة قال ان أردت مشاهدة ما حصل في مجزرة حماة ما عليك الا أن تلقي نظرة على ما حصل في غزة الآن!

May 15th, 2011, 9:38 pm


Abū Tammām said:

How to Understand the Golan Heights Demonstrations-
The Syria-Israel border is a notably quiet place; Hafez al-Assad, the late dictator, and his son, Bashar, the current dictator, have kept the border quiet for decades. But now there is widespread revolt in Syria, which threatens not only the Syrian regime, but its ally, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. So far, Bashar’s security forces have slaughtered almost a thousand Syrian citizens. So what would you do if you were a cynical Syrian dictator, or a cynical ally of the cynical Syrian dictator? Change the subject. To what, you might ask? Well, Israel, of course.

May 15th, 2011, 9:40 pm


Usama said:

#570, NORMAN

I read this article a few weeks ago and it gives some information on what seems to be at least likely for the new party law. I don’t know what the author’s connections are to the legislative committees.

I couldn’t find the original Arabic version, sorry. Cham Press is not very user friendly when trying to find older articles.

May 15th, 2011, 9:44 pm


Usama said:

#573, N.Z

Yes that’s happens when a foreign-funded group commits assassinations and bombings of the people. Let me know when you find a non-MB crony that can shed a single tear for any of those pieces of shit. The MB themselves don’t seem to care very much by working hand-in-hand with Khaddam and Rif`at al-Asad (or at least his son, Ribal) today.

May 15th, 2011, 9:48 pm


Revlon said:

Yesterday’s staged demonstration at the border with Israel has shown the following:
1. TYhe action plan of the regime to quel the revoloution, as R Makhloof outlined to the NYT, is genuine.
It is jointly made by Jr, Bro. and Coz. It is approved and ordered by Jr. himself. It is clandestine; formulated and discussed outside the framework of government.

2. Although Ambassador Mustapha, upon his recommendation and approval of Jr, distanced the government from Coz statements, he did not attempt to refute it.

3. The staged demonstration at the front with Israel was akin to a bullying gesture to the west, lest they impose further sanctions against the regime.

4. Manipulated, unarmed cvilians were sent to “challenge” the occupation of Syrian land, while Syrian armed forces were either watching from the safety of their trenches or engaged in coward shelling, shooting and killing of their own civilians.

5. The gesture signals an act of desparation and new lows in the regime’s morale and morals.

6. The gesture shall backfire at the international level. It will only strengthen the resolve of the free world and expedite their action plans to isolate the regime.

May 15th, 2011, 9:48 pm


Jad said:

It sounds that the pro-unknown Revlon and his groups are unhappy about the peaceful march toward the borders in Jolan, they wanted to see some action and war instead of that.
I wonder why he didn’t read any Fatiha upon the lost soul of yesterday move! I guess they are not Sunnis so they don’t deserve that.

May 15th, 2011, 10:02 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


Every opinion poll and survey from across the region show that Arabs do not want holly wars. They want freedom and they want time to rebuild what the juntas and monarchs have destroyed.

Islamism (Salafism, Wahhbism, MBsm) is a fading trend. Not more. It was a fashionable trend for 10-15 years. It was a response to Afghanistan, to the arrogance of the west led by America, and to desperation, stemmed from the Arab stagnant political systems. This Islamic trend is now in the stage of self-consume. The Arabs did learn the lessons of Hamas in Gaza, and of the Islamists in Iraq and elsewhere.

So the MB leaders can say whatever they want. The fact is that they become unpopular, and I would say, irrelevant in today’s Arabia.

May 15th, 2011, 10:05 pm


Aldendeshe said:


I agree with all you said. No argument here. But I am familiar with the American and Israeli models. It will be helpful if you can outline and separate all you said into a short plan so the structure can be understood in Damascus.

When SNP formulated the original assignment it matched what you talked about, it was deemed not passing. So we are presenting an alternative one that is similar to the U.S. model but one that adapted to make it comfortable in Damascus. Remember, President Assad cannot force his opinion without backup in hand, Baathist are not going to play dead and let him do as he wish.

3 senators per Muhafaza not enough for representing the diverse citizens living in that huge area. Although, you would think that Syrians are as diverse religiously and ethnically in similar ways to U.S.,Americans don’t have the strong attachment Syrians do to their particulars, they see themselves as Americans and are united by-toward the flag. Unfortunately, Syrians are still not at that stage, so expanding Senatorial Seats and enlarging representation by reducing election prescient unit will resolve a problem when a one particular seat will have to represent wide ranging diversity in an area.

I doubt you can go full blown American Style in Syria, and doubt the Baathist will forfeit and give in all the privileges accumulated that easy. So it must be give and take to make it work. Right now, the commission is working on platform that insure workers and Peasants have 51% of the seats, that is what the Commissioner stated is best. So we have to navigate from that first.

May 15th, 2011, 10:06 pm


NK said:


Oh God no, not now and not ever, unless they invent a way to fight wars without causing death and destruction.
Let’s not confuse two things though, I’m against starting a war, but when Israel sends planes and bombs Syrians (more than once), I will shoot these planes down.


The first guy said he didn’t fire at all, because he realized he can only kill so many before they get to him so he surrendered to them and they brought him here (wherever he’s talking from), so they didn’t fire at him !! also when asked who’s shooting right now (fire in the background), he looked up and down, paused for a good 30 secs, then acted stupid and said fire is coming from all over, did you notice the 2 guys were unharmed, even though the first guy said he surrendered to the masses, they didn’t beat him to death for some reason.

Syria no Kandahar

The lack of evidence if not a proof of the opposite, check out argument from ignorance
There has been no islamization of a country MB style or otherwise, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf in general were never secular, also they were never given a choice when it came to their rulers, not to mention they’re all kingdoms not republics, the other countries ruled by “Islamic” law are ruled by brutal dictatorships, so again there is no islamization, only repression and militia rules. Is that what the MB are calling for ? not in their public statements, they’re actually publicly calling for democracy.

Since you said you read Quran and Sunna, could you please explain this part of your comment then
“can applying the Quran and Sunna in the 21st century be creating any civilized nation”
as I said in a previous comment, This suggests that the Quran or Sunna contain things that are immoral or uncivilized that render them incompatible with modern civilization, this then implies that Islam itself is incompatible with modern civilization, if that’s what you’re implying then I’m very interested in knowing what exactly lead you to this conclusion, if that’s not what you’re implying then the entire question is rather pointless, unless I’m missing something here.


The MB and other conservative Muslims are part of the Syrian society whether you like it or not, so you can’t have a national dialogue and exclude part of the society from it, because then your dialogue is not so national, is it ?.

May 15th, 2011, 10:08 pm


Maryam said:

Ok, maybe I am missing something, but it sounds like the Palestinian march has been planned for awhile… There was even a facebook page for the third intifada until facebook took it down last March. Maybe Assad planned it from Syria, but if Assad is behind all of this, then why were there also demonstrations at Maroun al-Ras in Lebanon, people trying to enter Gaza through El Arish in Egypt, and people trying to enter Palestine through Jordan?


Sorry, but I think that this event was never about Assad… It’s about Palestine.

May 15th, 2011, 10:11 pm


Alex said:

Dear Aldendeshe,

I am not familiar with the post you were referring to. If you can repost it will be faster. Thanks.

Dear NK,

I am not fearing a certain MB or combined MB+Salafi takeover. But it is a real possibility and if you want Syrian minorities (and many secular Muslim Syrians) to not oppose moves towards democracy, it is really easier if we start with gradual steps and plan for more ambitious ones within a reasonable time frame.

Assuming you are a Muslim who lives in the west, would you feel comfortable if these people led a revolution that accepted nothing but total overhaul of the country’s system?


By the way, Copts in Egypt make many mistakes (including calling on outsiders to help them) but violence is not something they started and it is not something they initiate. You know that in Egypt if you are a Copt you can not make it to the national soccer team because the captain only picks good Muslims


We should not pick only the most pleasant part of the poll’s results, here is the full poll you referred to. Great that most are against violence, but 54% want men and women to not mix …


59%: Say democracy is preferable to any other form of government.

22%: Say a non-democratic system can be preferable in certain circumstances

Islam in politics

95%: Say it’s good that Islam plays a large role in politics

85%: Say Islam’s influence on politics is good

48%: Say Islam currently play a large role in Egyptian politics

Islamist extremism

80%: Think suicide bombings are never or rarely justified.

20%: Think suicide bombings are sometimes or often justified

70%: Are concerned or very concerned about Islamist extremism in the world

61%: Are concerned or very concerned about Islamist extremism in the Egypt

Traditional Muslim practices

54%: Believe men and women should be segregated in the workplace

82%: Believe adulterers should be stoned

84%: Believe apostates from Islam should face the death penalty

77%: Believe thieves should be flogged or have their hands cut off

May 15th, 2011, 10:11 pm


Alex said:


Yes, both soldiers were trying to not speak much like any captured soldier would. But you like to pick parts that suit your way of seeing things.

The first soldier clearly said “for the first few days everything was fine, everyone was like our family … until yesterday, suddenly they started to fire bullets”

And you know he was not complaining that he and his fellow soldiers started to fire.

And the second soldier said “people from here … they shot at us and we shot at them”

May 15th, 2011, 10:19 pm


Sophia said:

I didn’t watch the captured soldiers on the BBC arabic and don’t know who captured them and by which party they were being interviewed but doesn’t doesn’t the Geneva convention forbid from exposing captured soldiers on TV?

May 15th, 2011, 10:32 pm


Usama said:

#581, NK

The conservative Muslims in Syrian society are not necessarily MB. The MB is a foreign-funded terrorist organization. Don’t worry, the dialogue will still be truly national even without them. What credit can we give them if they are now partnered with the person who led the Hama and Tadmur prison “massacres”? They bitch about being killed then partner up with the very people that orchestrated the killings. Clearly they do not have much support in our society if they felt the need to do that.

With Mubarak ousted like a roach, pan-Arabism is back! All those people who said the Ba`th regime is obsolete got their foot in their mouth when Mubarak got ousted by MILLIONS of UNARMED Egyptians in ALL the MAJOR CITIES of Egypt. Emphasis on those keywords that you don’t see in Syria. The Ba`th party is the best for Syria. It definitely needs reforms in the interior, but that will happen and it will only make Syria stronger. In its foreign affairs, it never needed reforms. We are independent–TRULY independent–and we will never kneel. I expect Israel will soon start begging for the two-state solution that it has tried to appear to champion, but in reality was never serious about. It’s either two-state solution, or the Palestine solution, and I prefer the latter.

May 15th, 2011, 10:41 pm


Abughassan said:

Israel can not run from its problems especially the demographic challenge it faces. Israel succeeded in giving its jewish citizens freedom and democracy while Arab countries failed miserably in that field, however,the moment of truth is coming sooner or later. It is time that justice is delivered to millions of palestianian who suffered from Israel’s disregard for basic human rights and international norms. Some people are unhappy because the news from Israel provided a window for the Syrian government to divert attention from the internal crisis it faces,but oppression is oppression and injustice is injustice whether the victim is Syrian,palestianian or any other nationality. You will see the double standard countries like France will use in dealing with the killing of unarmed protestors by the IDF because those guys truely believe that Israel is above the law.

May 15th, 2011, 10:41 pm


Alex said:


They were not captured by an army. They were captured by a group of people on the Syria Lebanon border.

May 15th, 2011, 10:42 pm


Louai said:

Shami @25

yes i know father Nassar in person , the truth is Christians are decreasing in Number, but hopefully not as much as father Nassar think , but that nothing todo with the regime ,Christians alike any other Syrians seek better life ,some of them go where ever they may think they will find it

Hafez el Asad or Bashar never discriminated against Christians but the economics are the main factor of Christian travailing, i am personally engaged in a project with youth Christians. A Young Christian grow up with one dream: travel abroad for a better life, its like a disease the irony is i end up abroad myself (hopefully not for good)

in my opinion Bashar made it easer for young generation to consider giving Syria a try before entering to the first embassy they see and apply for a Visa .

May 15th, 2011, 10:50 pm


Norman said:


I agree with you that more representative and senators than what i suggested is probably better, but i do not think that the guarantee of the Baath party having more than 50% will be be enough or will improve the Baath party that suffered significantly from being the only leading party by having many opportunists that will be expelled or drop from the party when they do not have the same privileges.

Usama ,
The Baath party will survive and prosper because of what it stands for and because of what it can achieve for the people of Syria.

May 15th, 2011, 10:54 pm


Al Assad said:

I am a concerned individual who is of Syrian background and would like to know why the media is not portraying the truth about what is happening in Syria. I only hope that this email will find someone who has the courage to speak the truth and not allow the fabricated news to continue.

I would like to note the i support the genuine protesters who want freedom and change but there is another element that the media is not fully reporting on.

I would also like to know why the media is not showing people how many of us out there support Bashar and the Syria government.

It is clear that outside influences are behind what is happening and well as the muslim brotherhood who have openly said they are part of the revolution. The media are supposed to uphold the truth and i am disgusted that not one bit of pro Bashar news gets out to people. I have family in Syria and hey all tell me the same thing 500,000 people want to topple the Syrian government and the other 22 million are behind him.

Would peaceful protesters destroy property, shoot at the army, take innocent lives and scream “jihad’?
Why does the USA condemn Syria and not Israel and Saudi Arabia? Or why does the USA not condemn itself for the millions of lives it has taken? or the human rights breeches of Guantanamo bay?

I am not anti-jewish or anti-anyone else but i would like to know why no ones is condemning the Israeli military for shooting protesters? Oh yeah i know why because Syria and Iran are behind it all, what a joke. The United states have more baggage and skeletons in their closet than any other nation and have killed more people than any other nation on this earth.
Once again i hope someone would report the truth.

Here are some links to prove my case about news fabrication:


Support for the President Bashar:
plus many more to list…

Proof of Outside intervention:

May 15th, 2011, 11:06 pm


Abughassan said:

Hamas is under pressure to recognize Israel.I am personally in support of that recognition.Israel exists,like it or not,and it is not going to magically disappear because ahmadinejad said so,however ,a move like this by Hamas may anger some but it will also increase pressure on those who refuse to talk to any Palestinian government that partner with Hamas. Politics is an art,and it is time for Hamas to show its artistic skills 🙂

May 15th, 2011, 11:23 pm


NK said:


It’s really laughable that the Syrian regime calls Khaddam and Rifaat Assad traitors when both were key members of the regime for the longest time, I’m in no way saying those two are not traitors but the current Syrian regime is not that much better.
You describe the MB as a terrorist organization, yet you forget that the regime itself over 40 years committed as much crimes as the MB if not far more on a much larger scale.
You’re saying we are independent, I strongly disagree, we are occupied internally by a regime who impoverished and humiliated the Syrian people and destroyed the political life in Syrian society.
You’re right we don’t see millions in Syrian streets like we saw millions in Egypt, but then we also didn’t see Egyptian tanks shelling their cities, and the Egyptian army/security forces literally occupying their own cities.
You say the Baath party is the best for Syria, you’re entitled to your own opinion but 50 years of Syrian history disagrees with you.


Of course I won’t join a revolution led by such people, but if they joined my revolution I wouldn’t close shop and act as if my life was nice and cosy until these guys showed up.

Do you honestly believe the Syrian MB is leading this revolution ? didn’t they call for massive protests a couple weeks ago ? where are the millions who follow these guys blindly and were waiting for the GO signal ?. Same for the Salafis, I typed a few days ago that if 1% of Syrian Sunnis (not population, just the Sunnis whom I estimated at 65% excluding the Kurds) were Violent Salafis, that’s 15000 armed terrorists, the level of violence we would have witnessed by now would be astronomical with deaths in the thousands. So how many armed thugs are there 500, 1000 ? there are bigger gangs in LA alone, should the U.S army occupy L.A and start shooting/arresting people randomly ?

May 15th, 2011, 11:49 pm


Mina said:

NK you say
“This suggests that the Quran or Sunna contain things that are immoral or uncivilized that render them incompatible with modern civilization, this then implies that Islam itself is incompatible with modern civilization”

Which means you fall in the Salafist trap, in my eyes.
The Quran and the Sunna are giving you ethical principles, and a practical way to adapt them to YOUR daily life. There is nothing there about the necessity to apply it to a society or to refer to religious authorities instead of applying your own judgement (this was a major rupture to what was practiced in judaism and christianity).
The Quran and Sunna were revealed and written between the 7th and the 9th c. and when they deal with certain issues, they have to be understood as applied to the lives and societies of the people then. Otherwise, to claim that we can delete the centuries that have passed and apply everything which is in the Quran and the Sunna to our ways of life, is being a ‘salafi’, i. e. to claim we can return to the ‘way of the ancients’. Ethically, yes, but politically and in many practical matters, NO.

May 16th, 2011, 1:51 am


Mina said:

Reading you sounds more and more like reading an Israeli newspaper.
So you mean that as there are demonstrations for the Nabka every year in South Lebanon, at the Jordan border, and this year, in Rafah, the Syrians should have cancelled their annual demo? And everybody would say “ah they show to Israel that they can rely on the Asad governement”.
The so called opposition is engaged in this war of attrition of refusing any move. But the Syrians in Syria have no idea of all these talks and videos on the internet, since it is certainly not widely used. Thanks God for them, they have a social life and are not just sitting bored in front of a computer all day.
So for who is the cyber opposition writing? Why is it so important to convince the West? If they had put some energy in writing booklets in Arabic with their program, they would probably gain the favour of the people in Syria, but this is obviously not their plan!

May 16th, 2011, 2:06 am


Mina said:

The Facebook page 3rd intifada (#3intifada) was launched by Adham Sabry, a young guy in Egypt. Most of the famous Tahrir youth were advertising it in the last weeks and some made the trip yesterday to Rafah, including Tarak Shalaby, the cousin of the no less famous guy who was caught in the Umeyyad mosque taking pictures with his I Phone during the first events of the Syrian demos.
The Egyptian youth is much more connected and using the internet than the Syrians. Some even made the trip to the Libyan border in the first days of the Benghazi demos to provide medical help, but retreated quickly after they met some other support groups, the bearded ones.

May 16th, 2011, 2:17 am


Usama said:


Oh I’m sorry. Did the regime blow buses full of people in the name of Islam? Did the regime storm universities and shoot professors in front of students in cold blood? My mom’s youngest sister was in the bus behind the transport bus that was blown to bits in Damascus, all in front of her own eyes (I can’t remember the date.. ’95ish?) She was never the same since then and that was nothing compared to what happened during the actual events. The MB have no place in Syrian society. It’s really not that complicated.

Hafez was not a saint, but at least he kept Syria true to its beliefs. His rule allowed me to grow up in Lattakia among my Muslim and Christian friends in peace and harmony, while just 150 km away in Lebanon, they were launching RPGs at each other just for belonging to different sects of Islam. His rule allows me to hold my head up high as a Syrian today, as being from the only Arab country to uphold the Arab cause and never blink under constant tremendous pressure not seen by any other nation in the world. It really is one of the very few things in life I wholeheartedly believe in and am willing to fight for.

If Syria isn’t truly independent, I don’t know what is. You can argue that all regimes of the world occupy their countries, so why single out the Ba`th? Why do you insist on looking at all the negatives? Do you think things are so much better abroad? There’s unemployment everywhere today. The working class is getting smaller everywhere with the gap between rich and poor increasing. Even in Turkey, with Erdoghan getting all the applause for improving its economy during the past decade, people seem to ignore that their economy is currently in the toilet and if they decide to cut trade with us, they hurt themselves even more. Just the fact that Syria has no national debt allows it to be much more independent. Syria is a very difficult country to put pressure on, and unfortunately, that has translated to Lebanon being put through hell because it has proven to be the best path to pressuring Syria, and still they failed so now they’re trying this. It feels like such a bad soap opera.

Can you show me evidence of tanks indiscriminately shelling cities? Do you know what it means for tanks to shell cities? How does that quell “protests”? It would be much more efficient to use automatic rifles at the supposed crowds of thousands, wouldn’t you think? If there was really a popular movement of peaceful protesters being killing in cold blood by security and the army, do you really think the Syrian people would keep silent in Damascus and Aleppo? That’s not in the nature of Syrians, and don’t use fear as an excuse because security can’t keep millions in jails. Please remember who the Syrian army is composed of. They’re not monsters. Many of them are conscripts fighting in their home towns and governorates. All of the rumors of soldiers splitting from the army have been proven false, and not by the regime, but by people like us looking at the evidence and all we see is lie after lie after lie. If these guys had a real popular movement going, they would not need to present fake material to us. Then let’s not ignore the timely attack on the SYP. We’re being attacked on all fronts, and it’s not because of Syria’s internal policy, but rather for its foreign policy.

Just as a side note, I wanted to remind you that the MB have been trying to provoke protests in Syria since January through the Facebook page. In case you forgot who is behind that page, it was on this blog: https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=9340

You will notice this was way before their “official” call to protests a couple weeks ago.

May 16th, 2011, 2:19 am


Mina said:

The role of sectarian satellite channels (both Coptic and Muslim) in incitment has been mentioned last week after the Imbaba clashes.
Here is a letter written two months ago to the 2 Coptic channels that have now some power on the crowd movements:
Something whould be done about the satellite channels. To call someone else an heretic is not compatible with modernity.

May 16th, 2011, 4:15 am


NK said:


I fail to see how the ethical principles in Quran and Sunna are somehow different than those ethical principles in the old or new testament, I also fail to see how an ethical principle can be limited to a period of time, or how the laws of a society can contradict such principles.
Having said that, the reason why adapting Quran and Sunna as the “law of the land” is bad, have nothing to do with the scripture/teachings themselves, but rather with the interpretation of people applying those teachings, while the scripture is divine, the interpretations are not. That’s why we end up with Saudi style “Sharia law”, it’s not because the scripture is flawed, but because those applying it in Saudi Arabia are.
So as you see there’s a huge difference between asking “can applying the Quran and Sunna in the 21st century be creating any civilized nation” to which the answer will be YES. And asking “should a country depend on Quran and Sunna when drafting laws” to which the answer would be NO. Not sure if this makes any sense to you.

As for Salafis who want to live in the 7th century, as you said they are free to live their lives the way they see fit, just leave the rest of us out of it.


Did the MB knock down on doors in the middle of the night, gather every male in the building older than 15, line them up in the middle of the road then gun them down ? did the MB shell entire neighborhoods killing every man woman and child then pave the roads over their bodies ? or maybe the MB kidnapped/jailed thousands over 40 years, many are unaccounted for to this very day ? Oh I know, they’re the ones who jailed every Syrian intellectual or forced them into exile.

I’m glad you enjoyed a happy childhood, wish I can say the same for the thousands of kids who had to live without their fathers/brothers, or the thousands who are being harassed on daily basis by the Mukhabarat and not allowed to leave the country because their 2nd cousin two times removed knew someone who was a MB. I’m also very glad you’re not a Syrian Kurd.

You’re talking about H.Assad as if he’s the one who saved Syria from certain doom, I’m sorry, was there a sectarian war about to break out in Syria before H.Assad seized power in a military coup ? weren’t the Syrian Christians among the most wealthy, influential and highly educated during the 40s, 50s and 60s ?.

You ask why am I focusing on the negative. Well because there isn’t anything else, the Assads’ rule literally wrecked the country in every aspect. Are things that much better abroad ? YES, you can’t even compare. Not that many countries have unemployment in the 20-30% range, also very few countries have 30% of the population under the poverty line, or was it 40% ?.

You want evidence of tank shelling cities, we all saw the pictures from Daraa, soon the pictures from Homs will appear as well. As for people in Damascus and Aleppo, wasn’t there small protests all around Damascus, all of which has been suppressed brutally ? aren’t Douma, and Moudameya besieged ?. Aleppo is flooded with armed thugs intimidating and terrorizing the public for weeks now, my own family fled the city to the countryside.

You would think they won’t be able to keep millions in jails, but 10000 is a more manageable number apparently, not to forget of course turning soccer field into concentration camps for those extra defiant hot spots.

There was no attack on the SYP, when people convert their savings into USD it’s not really an attack on SYP, just lack of trust in the government and in SYP in general.

And finally we come to Mr. Fidaa who no one ever heard of before the events started, but somehow it seems he manipulated hundreds of thousands of Syrians all over the country to go out and protest for no good reason, probably using Al Jazeera hallucinogens.

People are protesting because they had enough of this dictatorship and are fed up with tyranny and corruption, they could care less who’s posting on Facebook, Syria’s problems today are internal, they’re not a foreign plot.

May 16th, 2011, 4:30 am


N.Z. said:

Syrians are religious/spiritual people by nature. The U.S. is equally so. Politicians and leaders uses religious sentiments to divide and conquer the masses.

God’s  creation  in  its  plurality  of  cultures, 
civilizations, languages and peoples is a source of richness and 
should therefore never become a cause of tension and conflict. Like it or not, Syrians with all their multiple affiliation are, and will stay united, regardless.

We are not yet a Democracy exclusions on this blog seem to be the norm, specially when it comes to religious parties.

Take Turkey as an example, the majority were fearful of the newly elected party, after this same party (Islamic) translated its reform to better living standards, they were re-elected with a majority.

In Germany, the religious right, is represented and was re-elected.

Theoretically the Baath Party seeks to build national rather than ethnic identity, however, religious and ethnic divisions were the underlining of this mafia.

Before this mafia and after, Syrians are in no way, shape or form divided on ethnic, religious allegiances.

A Democracy, with all religious party on the ballot MUST not scare anyone. In fact the stagnation = status quo is the scariest.

May 16th, 2011, 11:47 am


N.Z. said:

NK, Mina,

Here is a website that is called ” A Common Word” between us and you. If you have a moment I will really like to know your thoughts.

In A Common Word Between Us and You, 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals have unanimously come together for the first time since the days of the Prophet r to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam. Like the Open Letter, the signatories to this message come from every denomination and school of thought in Islam. Every major Islamic country or region in the world is represented in this message, which is addressed to the leaders of all the world’s churches, and indeed to all Christians everywhere.

Never before have Muslims delivered this kind of definitive consensus statement on Christianity. Rather than engage in polemic, the signatories have adopted the traditional and mainstream Islamic position of respecting the Christian scripture and calling Christians to be more, not less, faithful to it.


May 16th, 2011, 12:13 pm


Mina said:

Hi NZ,
Thanks a lot for this website. Here is a book which has a very good article by Irfan Shahid on early Mekka.
(The Encounter of Eastern Christianity with early Islam)

May 16th, 2011, 1:29 pm


Usama said:


Let’s put the bs aside. The MB was firmly planted into Hama. Many people were giving them refuge in their homes and house-to-house raids were necessary. But they had to be taken out. Stop ignoring their bombing and assassination campaigns. They were assassinating good respectable intellectuals and scientists, while garbage corrupt officials were never targeted? Why is that? The MB is a foreign project, let’s not dance around that. I wouldn’t be surprised if many innocent people died in Hama, but only innocent people died at the hands of the MB terrorists. I’ll say it again, the MB has no place in Syrian society. About all those “intellectuals” sent into exile, you have to admit that’s pretty humanitarian option, no?

Now you’re saying there are thousands that are getting harassed by the Mukhabarat and not being allowed to leave the country? Which is it? Exile or no exile? You just throw this accusation of harassment of someone whose second cousin knew someone from MB, but I give you a hard inarguable example of the opposite. Najah al-Attar is a vice president. Did you know here brother is in exile for MB activities? I bet she’s feeling awfully harassed in that VP seat.

Let’s not start about Syrian Kurds. Compare our treatment of Kurds with those in Iraq and Turkey. If the Kurd separatists want to be recognized as anything other than Arab Syrians, Iraqi Kurdistan would be happy to have them complete with all the Israeli companies that have already established offices there.

Before Hafez al-Asad came in, coups were a common occurrence. He kept stability in the country when he took over. You don’t realize the value of stability in our region of the world.

If you need a reminder about positives, just remember that while every other country around us was rampant with corruption, it was also in service to western interests. What you think there was no Mukhabarat Jordan? Egypt? Iraq? No corruption there? Stop comparing Syria with far away countries, and instead compare it with the regional countries. We have no national debt. We have free post-secondary education and free basic health care. We gave Palestinian refugees all the rights of citizens, with the exception of voting, so they would strive for a future instead of falling to a life of gangs and crime. The picture you paint of the poverty is in such contrast to what I see going there. People are surviving, and before those protests began, social security was established for helping the unemployed. Things are NOT that much better elsewhere. They’re really not.

Can you please show me some of the evidence of the shelling? I haven’t seen it myself so I’m very interested in seeing it. There have been small protests reported in Midan, in the hundreds, and state TV even covered them. I didn’t see any brutal repression. Furthermore, the people from Midan didn’t know any of them. Duma and Mu`adamiya were scenes of police and soldiers getting shot, so damn right there the army came in. It’s a very interesting take you have from your family on Aleppo. My dad’s sisters in Aleppo seem to think the exact opposite. When the events first hit Lattakia in the first week, my relative there put it very differently from the reports of the so-called human rights groups as well. There was a group trying spread rumors in one neighborhood that members of another sect were going to attack them. Then the same group went to the other neighborhood to claim the opposite, that the first neighborhood is going to attack them. Lattakia being the diverse population, there are many friendships between the two neighborhoods and they called each other and figured out people were inciting them to fight. So they all met up and had a nice little gathering with backgammon, cards, argeela, until speeding cars committed drive-by shootings of them. Then people started popping up on roofs shooting everyone. The army immediately came in, and all my family there said that’s when things calmed down and that everyone felt better with the army coming in. Instead, on al-Jazeera, we hear the army was shooting peaceful demonstrators? If you’re willing to call the Syrian army monsters, I seriously doubt your Syrian background. Stop ignoring the fact that many of those soldiers are conscripts serving in their home towns and governorates.

If I call al-Jazeera today and say I witnessed 100,000 people in jails, would that become fact like this magic 10000 number you just gave me of supposed arbitrary arrests?

There was an attack on the SYP and it was traced to a chain of street-side foreign exchange booths in Aleppo, in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars. With the limits set on foreign exchanges, it would be very difficult to do what you said. Besides, the SYP is historically incredibly stable, and has been so for nearly 30 years since Rif`at’s currency counterfeiting operation made it plummet from ~10-16 SYP per USD to ~50, so I don’t buy your claims of people rushing to change to USD. It’s still at 47.5 today.

I bring up Fida’ not because I believe Facebook was actually mobilizing protests. What it did was publish rumors as news and fabricated material as facts. Again that wouldn’t be such a problem. But then you had AFP, AP, Reuters, al-Jazeera, BBC, al-Arabiya, Orient, etc etc etc all presenting the Facebook material as fact causing a very brutal chain of misinformation aimed at pushing the emotions of the Syrians. It was all clearly coordinated, with all channels sharing their eyewitnesses. How about the over 100 channels that magically appeared out of nowhere as soon as the events began? But I’m so proud of the Syrian people. They showed they can’t be so easily fooled.

May 16th, 2011, 2:53 pm


Maria said:

nothin` in the world can divid syrians …we `re strong we have faith and our true religion is syria we love our president to death and we `re n`t willing to give him up

May 17th, 2011, 7:32 am


Maria said:

The truth about what is happening in Syria, to all who are concerned
First of all, I think the world should first learn the meaning of the word “Peaceful” before describing the protests in Syria as such. What is so peaceful about attacking and burning buildings and hospitals, and killing people who support the government and advocate the slaughter of opposing faiths and beliefs? If this is what “Peaceful” means, then let the war against ‘Peace’ continue.

What is happening in Syria, even hundreds of people who are bought by money and have betrayed their beloved Syria…. Enough talking on Syrians behalf, Enough using Fake names and fake witness’s with no names, Enough listening to france press and reuters.

We live in Syria, a beautiful life we live as brothers love each other and who visits our country knows that, and who wants to visit us and see himself, we welcome everyone in peace and love. But we think U.S. and European intervention in our personal affairs is it self a dictatorship and takes away our freedom. We urge you to prevent American intervention, especially in our freedom. While president Obama condemns the violence against’ peaceful protesters (Who kill and destroy people and property)’ in Syria, he turns a blind eye on Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Bahrain to kill the actual peaceful protesters who no longer want to live under a Saudi proxy government. Go fix your own pathetic country before you even think to look at another, president Obama.

Millions of Syrians are showing their support for their president Bashar al Assad. Where are their voices in the Western media to cover these demonstrations? Why do the voices of the majority not matter? Is that not what democracy is? How come when I turn to the CBC News channel, I see “Syrian security forces shoot at peaceful protesters in Daraa,” and not “Armed terrorists in Daraa attack hospital, kill doctors”

there are pictures and videos on the Internet that the incoming Syrian police kill us, all that is fake ,made up in other countries not in Syria. Please help us by respecting what 99% of syrians want…..

We love our president, we love Dr. Bashar and we are and we will always be all the way with and behind him and be sure those people are not us…. and millions of us love him and this is our right, that what we deeply want…

God bless the Syrian army and president Bashar al Assad. ALL the Syrian people are with you. Please eliminate ALL the terrorists in our great country. Feel free to use every tank, plane and soldier you have to clean our lands from the extremists. our homeland needs its brave sons who are ready to defend it.

God bless Syria, God bless our President Bashar al Assad.

May 17th, 2011, 7:36 am


Said said:

the real revolution has occurred in just one day and it was on 15/05/11, but unfortunately it did not last More than a day because of lack of resources deployed, such as media channels and logistical efforts deployed for Syrian and Libyan colored revolutions!

May 19th, 2011, 5:30 am


Middle East - World Bad News : World Bad News said:

[…] “The regime will puncture in a heels and quarrel to a end,” Syria consultant Joshua Landis writes on his blog. But he continues: “The Syrian antithesis has successfully determined a enlightenment of insurgency that is widespread in Syria and will not be eliminated. Even if demonstrations can be tighten down for a time being, a antithesis will not be defeated. Syria’s youth, enlarged apolitical and apathetic, is now politicised, mobilised, and passionate. All a same, a antithesis stays divided and leaderless, that presents good dangers for a post-Assad Syria.” […]

May 20th, 2011, 2:21 pm


Syria Comment » Archives » The Syrian Revolution Lives said:

[…] 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 […]

May 21st, 2011, 3:44 pm


The Syrian Revolution Lives - OpEd said:

[…] 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 […]

May 22nd, 2011, 6:32 pm


fat slice said:

As I lived in Syria before and I know how brutal is the regime there , I’m positive that this is the end of Bashar Al Assad

August 28th, 2011, 9:42 pm


مهند said:

بالعقل ليسى مطلب اسقاط النظام واقعي لان الاغلبية من الذين يطالبون بذالك يعتبرون الامر موضة جديدة في العالم العربي ولكن على اجميع التبصر في نتائج فقدان الامن وعدم الاستقرار
وفي نقطة ثانية عندما نطالب بالديمقراطية علينا اولا ان نكون نحن ديمقراطيين ومرة اخرى الاغلبية من الذين يخرجون لا يحترمو الراي الاخر وكل الخشية من المتشددين دينيا لان الشعب العربي بالمجمل غير واعي وهذا رايي من زمن بعيد والدليل انياقه في كثير من البلدان الى حروب اهلية فلنسعى كي لا نكون وقود حرب اهلية لا رابح فيها
وبكلمة اخيرة نعم نريد اصلاحات ولكن لانريد ان ياتي الخراب ليحكناشخص ما يعيش في احدا دول اوربا او امريكاعلى كل شخص التفكير ما هي مصلحته في خراب الوطن وشكرااا

November 17th, 2011, 11:25 am


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