A Post by SGID (by SGID)

Hello,

I’m sorry about my limited contributions, I was busy with my mid-terms. Here is my post:

The first part of my post will discuss my latest trip to Damascus, and the second part is a response to a question asked by Dr. Haytham Khoury about developing sectarianism and radicalism we are witnessing( most of all on syria comment). I also believe this part will be relevant to OTW’s most recent post on his blog.

Damascus

Ali Ferzat describing with his brush what SGID confirms with his words. Today Ali Ferzat's site was hacked by the electronic thugs of Mr. Al-Assad. The hacking seems stupid (re-direct). And in defiance of these Jerks 7ee6an will be posting more and more of this freedom loving real Syrian artist.

My last visit to Damascus only lasted for 2 days (20th and 21st of October). Just a few days prior to my arrival the regime “successfully” held a massive demonstration in the capital’s saba’a bahrat square( which hosts the nation’s central bank) . Transportation, advanced recording, food, drink, entertainment and most important of all SECURITY is provided to the pro-government demonstrators.  The appropriate setting is given. A friend of mine who works for one of Rami Makhlouf’s  multiple  enterprises told me that he was forced to go, despite having a pro-revolution stance on the whole situation. Employees are threatened with dismissals from their jobs if they do not participate. Although the highly esteemed Robert Fisk was a witness to these one of these demonstrations ( the one held on the 26th in the Omayad square), his story that they are purely authentic is far from reality. The regime has done its homework and knows how to conceal its foul play.

That being said, the demonstrations have intensified in Damascus in  limited ways, for example Midan, Barzeh, Rikn al Deen and Kafar Suseh are having daily demonstrations.  Kadisya, The old quarter of Shaghoor  have taken their demonstrations up a notch, furthermore the Muhajereen district has seen some sporadic demonstrations. I would like you to take note that these daily demonstrations cant be compared to the the demonstrations held in Homs. They are played along 2 tactics and it usually the first one: مظاهرة طيارة, literally meaning “flying demonstration” in which  the demonstrators gather , chant and disperse in a swift  manner , it is useful since it shows opposition to the regime and breaks the ” social order”. And the second tactic is the tactic seen in Homs, a regular and massive demonstration. This tactic doesn’t work well since the “security services” can overwhelm the demonstrators.  Contrary to popular belief, the demonstrators in Damascus ARE NOT ARMED. Damascus country side is another story.

Sectarianism and Extremism

Syria has been witnessing a limited Extremist shift during the last decade, and it would be inaccurate to say that such a radical base does not exist., furthermore This fact played well into the regime’s propaganda. I will attempt to assess how this radical base came to be, and how to prevent it, I resorted to the expertise of a sociology professor. The links I provide will show you what progress the regime has done to counter radicalization.

What are the causes of Radicalization? :

1. Reaction to modernization.

it is noted that as societies “evolve”, many will incline to cling to their sects. One form of modernization is bureaucracy; the one in Syria is among the worst. Doing simple papers will send you to various locations for multiple signatures and stamps, there’s also the usual bribe.  Another form of modernization is globalization, however I cannot relate this particular factor to the radicalization issue in Syria .

 2. Societies become strict.

 It is not secret that the Syrian regime is one of the strictest and most authoritarian states in the world, as a result many people have turned to religion as an everlasting solution. The inability to come up with solutions with the state has forced a sort of retreat to religion .  here is a study conducted a by Freedom house .

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=363&year=2011&country=8143

3. Unfulfilled hopes and dreams.

Poor management has cut off many Syrians from a prosperous life

                http://www.ifad.org/operations/projects/regions/pn/factsheets/sy.pdf

How do we Prevent radicalization?

a)      Building civic society :  syndicates, unions, clubs and committees all of which are absolutely useless under the current regime. Basically giving professionals, groups and such the ability to be represented and taken seriously. For example: the taxi syndicate in Syria, is pretty much worthless. I cannot count the times the chauffeurs complain about paying the member ship but getting nothing out of it. Obviously the state is not willing to adhere to any one’s demands and it is absolutely expected that the victim would find some solitude in religion.

b)      more freedoms.

SGID

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Posted on November 2, 2011, in Arab Spring, Corruption, Regime, Syria and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 93 Comments.

  1. Some guy no longer in Damascus

    Annie, Israeli weapons are widely used in the black market, which is one syria’s main sources, in fact even the presidential guards themselves use Israeli made Uzi rifles to protect bashar’s residence.

  2. SYRIAN HAMSTER

    Just posted this on Syria Comment.

    Transformation Complete

    If you think this is addressed to you, then it is

    It is painful to watch. Over months, fear, unjustifiable senses of entitlement, and hidden sectarian allegiances were mixed with the weirdest combination of superiority-inferiority complexes managed to overtake whatever shred of rational faculties some of you might have had in the past.

    I have watched you one after another working yourself and each other up into a group of amateur fascists. While some of you had proudly proclaimed belonging to the fascist party of Syria long time ago, the rest, have now turned into the ugly people/group you are now, thoughtless parrots.

    You can’t love Syria for what it is, you are incapable of love. Everything you have said and done supports the worst regime ever known in its history. And when the people rose up, you had nothing but contempt for them because they did not wait for your enlightened and educated leadership. So you turned yourself into trumpets of oppression, speaking of peace while at the same time parroting, most thoughtlessly the propaganda of a regime you yourself know for what it is, but refuse to take a stand against it. And to cover your pathetic stand, you uncritically, and with a twist of your own insecurities and prejudice injected into every single relay, keep working yourself up into a fake sense of purity, shared only by the most devout nazi, white supremacist, and fascist thug. And with every single fascist post of yours, you diminish your opportunities for redemption into humanity and affirm your overpowering and easily detectable sense of impotence. Weaklings you were, weaklings you will remain despite of your bravados.

    Power to the people, and to you, a future of self loathing, missed opportunities, and sad memories of your path to ugly transfiguration. For now, you are ready to serve your tyrannical master. Keep doing it, for you will survive him, the good people of Syria will see to that.

    Don’t bother defend yourselves, simply push the dislike button, nothing is more befitting your impotence.

  3. Someone asked me if the regime can subdue Homs in the two weeks the AL have given it. First, the Qatari FM was very clear that prisoners had to be released and the army withdrawn “immediately”. He emphasized that strongly at the post meeting press conference. The two week part refers to starting a dialogue.

    But, let’s assume the worst, and say that the AL have given Besho two weeks. He will not subdue Homs in two weeks, nor in two months, nor in two years. It took the army one week to take over Rastan, a town of just 70,000, and that was when it could commit all its manpower to it. Now, the FSA has spread far and wide in classic guerrilla warfare fashion.

    Let me tell you about the pattern of the army attacks; they start with heavy bombardments in the morning, with incursions for a few hours. By afternoon the attack will have petered out due to heavy and highly coordinated resistance, not just from Baba Amr, but from other areas as well, and the army spends the late afternoon pulling back. At night, the army is limited to fending off counterattacks from the FSA. It’s a pattern we’ve seen for weeks now.

    The army is a paper tiger. It is a mess. Rastan was the first real battle they had to fight, and they let the FSA sip away. One heavy hammer blow will knock out the few divisions loyal to junior, and the rest will melt away, just like what happened in Iraq. But the political atmosphere to justify such a blow needs to be prepared beforehand.

    It is extremely painful to watch the increasing death toll, on either side. To the menhebaks, even their own Alawite foot soldiers are expendable resources, to be used up like ammunition or barrels of fuel. And don’t think that the Alawite rank and file don’t realize that. They are growing increasingly aware that they are pawns and cannon fodder to keep the Makhloufs and Assads in power.

  4. Hamster, why don’t you join us in our little group :( OTW can give you my email.

  5. @OTW.

    Yes of course. Focus must remain on Syria. I had to make those comments to get it off my chest (regret). It was intended as my last word on the issue.

    The article was for ‘reading only’ for those interested.

  6. Yeah Hamster we do have high pine trees for ya, ur fav taste.

    @ SGID

    You mentioned that all protests in Damascus are unarmed eh, so I would like to ask few questions.

    Why security thugs opened fire on people of Midan and killed the kid if there’s no threat for their life?
    Do you think people of Damascus are not armed at even inside their houses?
    Why do you think the FSA did not appear yet in Damascus yet?
    Did you go to Alawi places in Damascus like Tadamon (close to your neighborhood) or Mezha86? are they armed or fortified of some sort?

  7. @ CSI HAMA

    Thanks for sharing, very interesting article indeed, I’m amazed how things can be seen differently at least from my point of view.

  8. Aboud said :

    “But, let’s assume the worst, and say that the AL have given Besho two weeks. He will not subdue Homs in two weeks, nor in two months, nor in two years. It took the army one week to take over Rastan, a town of just 70,000, and that was when it could commit all its manpower to it. Now, the FSA has spread far and wide in classic guerrilla warfare fashion.

    Let me tell you about the pattern of the army attacks; they start with heavy bombardments in the morning, with incursions for a few hours. By afternoon the attack will have petered out due to heavy and highly coordinated resistance, not just from Baba Amr, but from other areas as well, and the army spends the late afternoon pulling back. At night, the army is limited to fending off counterattacks from the FSA. It’s a pattern we’ve seen for weeks now.

    The army is a paper tiger. It is a mess. Rastan was the first real battle they had to fight, and they let the FSA sip away. One heavy hammer blow will knock out the few divisions loyal to junior, and the rest will melt away, just like what happened in Iraq. But the political atmosphere to justify such a blow needs to be prepared beforehand.”

    Aboud, I really respect and love you a lot from what I’ve seen of you in the last 3months. So thats why I always go to you for comments.

    That little update you gave us about the pattern of army attacks in Homs and the ground situation, is all that I needed. Keep posting stuff like that, and I will remain happy and quiet.

  9. Dear CSI Hama,
    Very good article indeed. It is wrong on some facts, but that is really irrelevant. The basic tenet of the piece is to call Muslims to reject extremism, understand the core of their religion, and take what is good from the West not what is popular.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Dear Hamster,
    Excellent scolding for a very deserving crowd. No one could have said it better.

  11. @ Annie

    Would you please take us through how your leftist friends in Europe see the revolution in Syria? and why so?

    Ta

  12. I love the way Our Man In Damascus leaves the poignant coda to his report: How to prevent Syrian radicalization? By civil society and … more freedoms. Full stop.

    The Walls man in Damascus and beyond tells us things most Syrians know. Not for nothing has the Baathi system used schools, workplaces, youth groups, membership societies, party-affiliates, public servants, students, guild members and security and media professionals. Not for nothing has forty plus years of education, indoctrination, information control and herding expertise been honed. Our man gives the brief, telling witness to the cattle-show nature of the Potemkin rallies …

    I am a stranger to Syria no more, though I have never been to an Arabic speaking milieu. Over the months since the Tunisia military escorted Ben Ali and his squawking wife into retirement, my cynical eye has been on the events moving in ripples across North Africa and now reverberating inside Syria.

    Any longstanding authoritarian system has the benefit of entropy. One can burn oneself alive in protest at petty, soul-destroying injustice. One year later the same petty and/or grotesque injustices endure, in Sidi Bouazid, in Cairo, in Homs …

    … and now in Damascus the scramble to deceive the Arab League and crush opposition under cover of “agreement.”

    Will there be more freedom to come into the streets at the end of two weeks? Will the committee for the committee of National Dialogue pick up the phone to Syrians abroad? Will expatriate Syrians be able to return to the land of their births? Will faux-amnesties emerge, in “batches,” will Tal be released, will the missing be accounted for, will the murderers of Dera’a be put in the dock? Will we hear Najati Tayara on al-Jazeera next week? Will convicted criminals like Louay Hussein, Michel Kilo and all the rest be able to publish, to form political parties, to vote (at the moment, the octopus of the Syrian Penal Code continues to deprive them of civil rights)?

    Will the faux-media law and faux-demonstration laws and faux-parties law and faux-Dialogue be the only result of the two week killing binge? Will Burhan Ghalioun be escorted to his wounded home town near Homs under Arab League laissez-passer?

    Will the regime crack open its walls barring media, will Syrians be free to assemble in groups of more than six persons, to shout, to cry out, to hold placards, to march in the streets, to witness the reign of terror since March, push aside the walls that pen them in, the walls of the Penal Code, the walls of Shabiha, the walls and gates and cells and silences of fifty years of palace rule?

    More freedoms. Full stop.

    And now the real maneuvering, what I think will be the Two Weeks That Were in Syria this year. My heart is in my throat, thinking that Bashar al-Assad, the hereditary successor, the kingpin of a monstrous machine, will survive in office, that all the walls in Syria stay intact.

    The many walls preventing freedom are well-documented here. Kudos to all for passionate, incisive and wise reporting.

    Walls is the place!

  13. Hi Everyone,
    Please check the new feature from the ground in Syria. We now have news RSS feed from the Local Coordination Committees of the Syrian Revolution. Keep documentation please. For those interested. The site is

    http://www.lccsyria.org

    The LCC have accepted the SNC as their legitimate representative.

    I have it on good sources (I can’t divulge) that change is coming in the SNC media approach. And comments from 7ee6an’s community have been relayed to someone who can further relay them.

    Here is the statement

    http://www.lccsyria.org/2056/feed/rss

  14. Kaaba have its new claddings put on live
    http://wwitv.com/tv_channels/b5750-Al-Majd-TV.htm

  15. @ Annie

    Would you please take us through how your leftist friends in Europe see the revolution in Syria? and why so?

    Ta

    Dear True, I cannot answer this question properly since I do not know that many leftists here ; but the main beef of the ones I know is the Usrael element. For us USA=Israel and they are the enemy. If the USA rejects Bashar it must be for a bad reason (of course I do not agree). The US track record in Iraq-Afghanistan is abysmal. The Nato intervention in Libya was supported by no one I know here (including me). We are against the Belgian participation in the Afghan war. The main fear is a Nato intervention in Syria. So when pple in Syria ask for outside help, one immediately thinks of Nato. And when the Revolution gets weapons, one thinks Israel. This is all more epidermic than documented.
    I wished the opposition had a firmer well publicised image.

    WSS I am copying your comment for my English blog; great piece. And good plug for Walls.
    Since I left Syria I don’t write any more (in French); Syria and Syrians were my inspiration for my modest diary. So I am reduced to choosing and pasting for now.

  16. Hamster (Transformation Complete), Aboud !

    Wow ! Listen people I should repost most of your comments; they are SO good !

  17. True ; I talked with a friend to have some more input about the left misgivings

    Going thru the Communist Party site http://www.pcf.fr; they support the Syrian Revolution

    Same with the Nouveau parti anticapitaliste : http://www.npa2009.org/

    The main fear is foreign intervention; Period. The rest is up to the Syrians themselves.

    OTW, I wish we had the possibility to correct our posts; impulsive people like me have often second thoughts or want to add sthg.

  18. Thanks Annie, I kinda understand where they’re coming from and hopefully very soon the world including India, South Africa and Brazil would be able to see the reality and stop buying Betho’s BS!!

    WSS, well done very comprehensive.

  19. Dear Annie
    I am really sorry that some functionality are missing. I am extremely busy for now, and adding such functionality will require some major investment in time, which for now is unfortunately unavailable.

  20. Gadfly No More

    For us USA=Israel and they are the enemy.

    Annie,

    Good to know who your enemy is. I wish you all the best of luck fighting them.

    Just FYI, our enemy is Arab and muslim despots and their regimes (by virtue of their statements and actions). Apparently, the Arab Street is in full agreement.

  21. Surely only a Homsi could come up with this! :-)

    ستيف جوبز على الفضائية السوريّة ينفي وفاته

    http://all4syria.info/web/archives/35078

  22. Long awaited, but it is outstanding speech. From the heart, convincing, calm, yet determined and with the outline of a road map for the future that was withheld from Syria for 50 Years .

  23. Yes, I concur with your view OTW. But would have liked a few sentences as to the course of action to get us there from here, such as making it very clear that the SNC expects the AL to demand strict adherence to the terms of its initiative instead of continually playing the regime’s cat and mouse game.

    Let’s face it, the road to the UN is through the AL, and ignoring it might miff the inflated egos of the AL committee. (though I personally do not care much for the AL route)…

  24. And as usual with all those TV programs, Al-Jazeera’s group discussion after the speech just started to get interesting when they ran out of time. I mean, they should have held that on AJ Mubasher and given it at least 90 minutes instead of 45 or 50!

    But isn’t it amazing how dissidents of the caliber of Prof. Dalilah, even after all he’s gone through and all that has happened in the last 8 months, is still quite circumspect when talking about the regime and what it is doing. All those decades of fear have almost made it second nature.

  25. Sorry God!!!

    Everyone decided to have a good faith in the Syrian regime and stay positive hoping that the latest effort by the AL would pay back leading to MUTE all these annoying and disturbing S.O.S calls coming from Syria, for good that is.

    The main decision-making capitals, AL, Islamic league, and others were applauding and parsing the regime’s approval of AL initiative, and others went the extra mile already and considered (hoped) this file was handed into safe hands; the regime’s hands, what a safe hand!! To add to my misery, other individuals like Algeria’s foreign minister declared the “victory” and issued the needed Fatawa that the deal was 100% sealed and his mates of kings of oil could feel guilt-free from now on, and surely could go and enjoy their days of Eyid!! He did not specify where/how to enjoy these days but I’m sure Europe’s brothels and bars are quite handy for a one or two over our blood, Syrian blood that is.

    Call me pessimistic, accuse me of swimming against the current but surely I’m failing to see this rosy picture which everyone could see in the last few days. How could I see it? while the fresh blood is pouring in every part and corner of Syria. To be honest I can be really positive and see all these happy & delighted sheep instead. Surely they should be happy for not being slaughtered and sacrificed this year after the Arabs decided that the Syrian blood is enough and more to gain the blessing from up there!! Maybe that’s why they were waiting till days of Eyid to declare their victory, you know in AL dictionary “spill more blood and surely God will love you more” Syrian blood that it.

    Sorry for annoying you with my thoughts, I’m sure you had enough from those noisy trouble-makers inside Syria who’re trying their best to reach out and deliver their voice, ah sorry I meant their noise, but yeah I just thought to share my positiveness with you guys.

    Sorry God I’m not celebrating your Eyid this year and won’t accept any greetings.

    I’m SAD
    I’m ANGRY
    I’m ……..

  26. Dear True

    You have every right to be sad and angry, we all are, not just today during al-Eid, but since the first drop of innocent Syrian blood was spilled by Bashar’s saffa7in. I am sure I am not the only one who wakes up everyday and the first thing I do is turn on the computer and start the day by shedding tears at the horrible news from our wounded land. I don’t know about my other Syrian brothers and sisters, but after the inevitable tears I just scream at the top of my
    voice: يا بشار يامجرم يا حقير والله سنسقطك وسنحاكمك أنت وعصاباتك القذرة it somehow helps a little. يا اخوتي …اصبروا وصابروا ..والفرج قريب

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Here is the link to the AJ discussion I mentioned in my post above.

    There was also a very good short interview with Michel Kilo afterwards where he said something very important: The AL initiative is suspect and not the way to a true solution but we should take from it whatever can be used to our advantage, namely to totally expose once and for all the lies and crimes of the ruling gang and it’s unwillingness to abide by or honor any agreement. Even without the AL initiative the situation would not have been different anyway, and the killing and arrests would have gone on. At least now they are being highlighted for all the world to notice even more against the false promises made by the Assadist Mafiosi and Associates.

  27. Syria crackdown continues prompting urgent Arab League talks” (Julian Borger, guardian)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/06/syria-protests-urgent-arab-league-talks

    Syria: Assad Opponents Still Split Over Tactics” (Salam Hafez, eurasiareview)
    http://www.eurasiareview.com/06112011-syria-assad-opponents-still-split-over-tactics/

    France says clear Assad will not implement peace plan” (AFP, expatica)
    http://www.expatica.com/fr/news/french-news/france-says-clear-assad-will-not-implement-peace-plan_186862.html

    Turkey’s decisive about-face on Syria” (Joshua W. Walker, gulfnews)
    http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/turkey-s-decisive-about-face-on-syria-1.924644

    Syria Expects Record Olive Oil Production Amid Political Unrest” (Vikas Vij, oliveoiltimes)
    http://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-business/africa-middle-east/syria-expects-record-olive-harvest-amid-political-unrest/21366

    Syrian bodybuilder dies during tourney” (Hindustan Times)
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Mumbai/Syrian-bodybuilder-dies-during-tourney/Article1-765457.aspx

  28. Haytham Khoury

    Dear SGID:

    It was a good blog.
    Sorry, I could not comment on it till now.

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