Angels of Freedom… By TRUE

Hamza Al-Khtib, the 13 year old boy who was murdered in the custody of Syrian security

My head is spinning like a washing machine, too many thoughts and more of the YouTube videos are playing, continuously, before my eyes. What’s that? What’s going on? I feel like I’m trapped in this room, a windowless stinky room, I can’t even find my way out!! Anyone can hear me? Hold on a second, there’s some crying voices, hey you there, can you hear me? No response, just more crying. I’m here somewhere, don’t know where but it’s familiar and reminds me of something, not sure what’s that something. Not sure what brought me in here, not sure. Do you know?

Oh there’s a kid, he’s smiling at me a beautiful angelic smile. I feel like I know him, I’m pretty sure I do. Yes, he’s the hero Hamza Al-Katib, the 13 year old kid who was tortured to death by his own Syrian people. Not any torture and not any death. His murderers callously practiced all the tricks of the extinct Eastern Europe torturing school, a school which we thought was gone for good but clearly it’s still in use; its’ methods have been kept and fed in the basements of ugly sick people who were waiting for a moment to unleash their mental and psychosomatic weapons on this undercover vandal who was hiding inside the body of 13 year old angel. They absurdly believe that they managed to make the world safer by starting with two bullets through his arms, cutting organs while he was alive, and smashing his baby face bones before giving him salvation with a third bullet through his chest. He’s still smiling and waving, oh no wait, he’s vanishing, don’t go I’d like to talk to you, I’d like to learn how to become a man from you just don’t go .. he’s gone.

Gunpowder! it does smell like gun powder and blood, now I can see some destroyed buildings, nah these are not buildings actually just some poor sheds. There’s many dead people and a sign, yeah I can read the sign, it says the Palestinian refugee camp in Dara’a, it’s the camp of heroes, where the people were accused of treason; accused of breaking the siege and smuggling supplies into the city of Dara’a; dangerous mortal supplies like food cans, chocolate bars and baby milk powder. The scenes of horror and dismay showed heads chopped off and eyes gouged out, while the butchers enjoyed a smoke on the top of a mosque with a victory laugh: mission accomplished. What a victory!! Oh Gosh please take me out of here, please I can no more look at.. it’s gone.

It’s getting darker and darker here, there’s a light bulb swinging above and ….. no please wake up please. I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to witness this, I’m here looking at Giath Mattar’s last moments as he was dragged around by his torturers with his face covered with blood before they mercilessly jumped on him tearing him into pieces till he died and yet he was smiling. he said nothing just smiling at them and now he’s smiling at me … he wants me to get closer. Giath, talk to me I’m here next to you holding your hand, he says nothing just smiling and …he’s gone.

Oh Lord just take me away from here.

I’m not in the mood to discuss the algorithm behind what’s going on in Syria. And surely I have no interest in the impact of the mass graves on the carbon dioxide emission scheme, nah not today. It doesn’t interest me at all to analyse the negatively skewed correlation of the philosophical dimension of the world’s shameless silence towards these constant human massacres in Syria. Surprisingly perhaps, these massacres actually do meet all the human rights requirements!!! Simply, the criminals have showed no evidence of any sort of favouritism towards gender, age or religion. All are equal, all are dead, and all will come and haunt us all of us in every mouthful of food or breath of air for keeping our mouths shut and eyes blinded about what’s happening in Syria every day.

If nothing else, what I really want you to contemplate on is those moments of torture which Hamza, Giath and many others have undergone, please close your eyes and try to answer these questions:

Their thoughts during their days of grief?

Did they go painless after all the agony they received or were they fully conscious with responsive bodies to their butchers’ demands?

Were they staring at the door waiting for one of us to charge in and rescue them or perhaps to end their pain with a bullet between their eyes?

Were they able to see the angels gazing at them?

Were they praying to God?

Did they affirm their belief or simply resolve that not even God could take them out of the slaughter room? a room painted with blood and smelling of incessant death.

Indisputably, I have no answers to any of these questions and surely no one else does. However, I’m confident these heroes were thinking of us and hoping that with their bodies and pain we can reconcile and find our path again, the path of dignity and freedom, the path of love and no hate. They are the angels of freedom all around us; you might not see or hear them but they are there.

Just try to listen …..


  1. OMG, True, you make me cry so early in the morning.
    What a beautiful heart wrenching post !
    The clips haunt me too, the bloody faces and bodies and the ripped out vocal chords and all these insanely brave people who risk everything to claim their dignity, our dignity.
    Thank you True


  2. Dear TRUE
    I agree with Annie, it is a good main post. Thanks for sharing it on 7ee6an

    Also, a new comer on Syria Comment, with the name HAY posted one of the most reasonable articulation of the silent majority that sounds much like what I am hearing from the real silent majority. I will venture cut and past it here because i think it is worth discussion. It is highly important because many of the pro-regime pseudo-intellectuals like Bassam Alqadi, Ashraf Miqdad and their like-minded writers do introduce themselves rather deceptively as silent majority, while they are loudly calling for more mayhem, surgical strikes , and demonization of the protesters even when the protests were very peaceful (as they continue to be) and before the emergence of armed defense groups, who seem to act independently from the protesters in Homs and Jabal Alzaweia.

    24. HAY said:

    Good provoking article, thanks a lot.

    i agree that the Middle East failed to produce any inspiring political thinking for decades and fall hostage to fundamentalists, however the reason is that the last decade was held with tyranny and oppression in state, that didn’t produce or promote genuine thinking and development and it will not!

    Although we are going through a long tunnel, it is inevitable to true development of society, especially in a situation that those in power have been sectarian for decades under the surface and secular on the outside (the reactions of people in power in the government tells you how they think and how they aggressively took the regime side rather than more balanced views, we may say that they took this stand out of fear, this again tells you how this state forms ideas of population in government and in society in general.)

    There is no substance in blaming the “Silent Majority” of not taking a stand or protecting their political rights, it is the fear that holds them, only brave (mostly motivated by Islamist views) and those holding the power (the regime) are able to express at the moment, and remaining views need not to upset both of them, since they can’t make both of them happy, if you upset the regime you are risking your life and living, if you upset the protesters you are risking being accused of accepting them being killed and detained! and not being part of the solution rather part of the problem.

    “Silent Majority” would like to live and want progressive society, they have no means of expressing their views (any balanced oriented expression will be counted for the regime since this regime continues killing and detaining protesters and any attempt to help the state survive is a way to help them continue their mission of oppressing protesters), “Silent Majority” are ready (in my opinion) to try a new state, but how this difficult phase will be passed is still unknown, the regime has all the institutions holding them by fear for life and living, and opposition (mostly demonstrators and defected army motivated by religious and ethical views) has the means of disturbing the status qua that have much abused them, and so has abused the “Silent Majority”.

    The international political community is waiting to see who will be able to defeat the other, and so is the “Silent Majority” since both parties have no means to alter the situation at the moment!

    Opinion by:
    One of the “Silent Majority”
    Sympathized with opposition and protestors
    Hate like hell to see this state survive, and hate like hell to see this country destroyed and becomes a battle ground,
    Maybe we will have to continue paying the price of our fear, a price to live like a normal human!


  3. @ Annie & OTW

    Sorry for the tears. I published it in a local café mag and the response was overwhelming, people were really keen to give a hand.

    Can you please invite HAY to this forum so we could discuss?

    @ HAY’s post

    “it is the fear that holds them, only brave mostly motivated by Islamist views and those holding the power”

    Totally disagree

    The PLO and most of the Palestinian factions during 70s and 80s were anything but Islamists but still taught each one of us what’s heroism and bravery means.

    I reckon this “silent majority” are nothing but cowards who found their shelter in hididng behind the “unknown”. I said once, it’s totally worth it to take a “leap of faith” for something great and nothing like freedom and dignity

    Finally, no one has asked those ” “silent majority” to march the streets or receiving bullets similar to Hamza or Giath. Not at all, resistance and protest could take endless forms and shapes. In short, do what you have to do mate!


  4. Hi everybody.

    Its is nice to come back here. I is relaxing. I am still fighting with the Islamophobic Christians. All of them are against the regime, but against the revolution, too. It seems absurd.


  5. I am becoming the most polarizing figure on SC. There are people who extremely hate me.


  6. Haytham habibi not to worry about these barking dogs

    Menhebaks on SC are a bunch of losers led by self-obsessed lunatic who works as an informant for a thug.

    In all books, religions, rules ,,,etc you can’t be the judge and executioner at the same time except on SC those cookie cutters peasants have different opinion, and suddenly a biased commentator can be a moderator!!!


  7. Dear Haytham
    You are doing great and I must say that I don’t have half of your energy and steadfastness. I am sorry that your last two comments got diverted to the moderation queue. The filter thought that you are a new commentator on 7ee6an.

    Dear True
    I really think that Haytham has a point in stressing that many of those who may appear men7ebbakites are in fact not very supportive of the regime. Check for example the excellent comment by MM, who in fact is asking pretty much what the opposition is asking, yet not recognizing that the ultimate goal of any dialogue from the regime’s point of view is the preservation of the Assads and their oppression infrastructure intact in power.

    Others are having serious problems with themselves as they recognize that what they are doing is purely based on sectarian misconception, but they keep digging deeper as they make their stance both personal and tribal.

    I know Alex favors the regime, but based on my own experience, he is not an agent or an informer. Had he been, the families of quite few of us would have been in serious troubles with the regime in Syria. He is misguided, pro-regime, short tempered… yes, but he is no agent.

    I have been discussing the future of 7ee6an with few friends, I will report to you all once consultations are completed. For now, i think that the third way being advocated by regime-friendly opposition is nothing but a U-Turn.


  8. Dear TARA
    You are very very welcomed here. 7ee6an is our simple gathering place. I am looking into some approaches to have our private corner where you, aboud, hamster and like minded people could take that walk in virtual Homs for now leading to a real walk to celebrate Syria’s freedom.

    I do recognize that we have left you, Revlon, and Haytham alone in a sadly devolving site. However. Please know that this was individuals doing what they felt and not a coordinated defection. We do not coordinate, we simply talk to each others.

    Personally, i do have an attachment to Syria Comment and I am not ready to abandon the site, but as I told EHSANI, i will be more of an eavesdropper than a commentator. Given the type of work I do, I need to focus on 7ee6an for now.


  9. Hi OTW,
    I like the photo background, on top of your blog!
    Your and the rest of the “defector’s” voices have been missed on SC!
    I am happy to visit and stay in touch


  10. Hi Revlon
    Welcome to 7ee6an. Glad that you will stop by. I really don’t think there was a coordinated defection. It is merely a little break some of us are taking individually. In all cases, I personally applaud your persistence, not to mention your style.


  11. @Haytham

    “There are people who extremely hate me.”…. lol. congratulations….you must have been doing something right and speaking rationally and truthfully….join our club.

    anyhow, to those who are trying to break the SC addiction before you go insane… may the force be with you…. and your fellow commentors lend you strength!
    To those in transition, I think we should keep encouraging our ilk to migrate here to this fantastic new territory called the WALLS… that has great promise for becoming a first rate forum. If only Off the Wall will have the dedication to managing it. A big sacrifice indeed.

    I used to love SC. But what I loved has almost died. It has been killed by those…. well we know who they are and what the motivations are…..
    This is a war.
    Are we clear on that??? Joshua, bless his heart, is a good man. But he is walking the tightrope. And Camille (Alex), who was my friend for six years, but suddenly no more… fell off the fence a while ago into the mud and he can’t get up because he is weighed down by his own prejudices.
    anyhow, i am making new friends. I am joining a new movement. This is no time for ambivalence and fence walking!… When people are getting killed… we can never rationalize it. A government defending itself??? from unnamed ‘saboteurs’. ??? “mistakes” were made???
    this is a description of a bad movie and a vile chapter in some history book. A cliche. I can’t believe such things pass for justifications.
    Our ‘friends’ are busy justifying torture and state terror. SC is not taking a moral stand, but trying to be ‘unbiased’. This is repulsive. Shameful.
    According to ‘Alex’ – I am a hypocrite because I am an American and I (personally i guess) allowed the american military to invade Iraq and torture Iraqi! so how can i criticize… : )!! I said: what are you talking about- I when on the street, I voted out asshole GB. I spoke my mind. I am still pissed that we are in Afghanistan. I may not even forgive BObama.
    I have a right to speak and call murder murder – whether it is of Osama bin Laden or the poor people of Syria. Killing is killing.
    Time to cut the cord.

    ps, to Haytham, yes you should ‘reveal’ the Islamophobia of many Syrian Christians. A worthy subject.


  12. Dear OTW and the “defectors”,

    I don’t know why you decided to “defect”. No body forced you out, as far as I know.
    Any way, I think it’s important that you continue to post on SC. What Syria, and every thing that is connected to Syria, need, is inclusiveness. Hope to see you on SC as well.


  13. hello, all!
    well, what do i have to say about true’s article?
    the death of ibrahim in midan was the second time i cried throughout the revolution. a child from my neighborhood, im adamant he was killed by the shabeeha. i spent long hours in midan not less than a month ago, and im pretty sure there arent any armed gangs, furthermore, what were these armed gangs doing just 2 days prior to ibrahim’s death? when thousands of sheep gathered in saba3 ba7rat square? do they only work on fridays?


  14. Dear Zenobia:

    Indeed, I am surprised how all the Christians on SC, to various degrees, are Islamophobic.
    I am member of another forum. However, on that one all the Christians are not Islamophobic.


  15. Exactly my friend. Those mysterious ‘armed gangs’ don’t seem to have any addresses, names, where they go after the bruhaha is over…. well nobody seems to know….even though everywhere is Syria the neighbor’s mother knows exactly what is going in every apartment in her building and the next block… but somehow – the strangers from a ‘foreign’ land… just disappear into thin air or slip over the border?? do they have magic powers too for materializing and then disappearing? no ids, nobody recognizes them… amazing. And then you are supposed to believe that somehow the mysterious gang members are financed and directed by foreign entities..slip over borders totally undetected, nobody can show documented weaponry with foreign bar codes on them.But is there any paper work on this?…any actual phone evidence. any wikileaked specifics…any anything? apparently not. Just the word of those who want to say it true.
    The problem with having any debates on SC – is that this crock of crap is taken as credible starting point – a frame for even discussing things…as if there are two sides to this story… that are both likely true.
    Why should anybody here agree to support and further the popularity of a website in which by even sitting down to the table to discuss – one has already implicitly given some validation to those who carry forward this absurd alternate reality – this preposterous bunch of propaganda and fabrication. This brainwashing bull. A debate that begins there – should be shut down!…. because when that is the pitiful starting point….than you can forget about moving to more sophisticated discussion about politics and change and the future and leadership etc.
    we end up stuck on nameless gangs, conspiracy, hatred, whether videos are fake, how many people are out there. Who is to blame for violence.
    We need “inclusiveness”….. Yes, but there is a bottom line. No, not everyone should be included in every discussion. Because there are those whose reality is so far afield from some of those here wishing to ‘defect’ that – to engage is actually a road to total demoralization and utter frustration.
    We are now in a collective mind state that makes communication breakdown easily. And the work to bridge every single person to be included- is not possible.
    It is not our responsibility to have to debate those who are so lost – they are busy making up excuses for forces who are willing to cut out the trachea of a singer or mutilate a thirteen year old boy… or generally engage in collective punishment of whole communities by threatening them with tanks.
    We must draw the line.


  16. Indeed, all the Christians on SC do not like the regime, even antagonistic with it. However, their Islamophobia exceeds their hate of the regime.


  17. Tara:

    I am not sure if you are following here.
    I sent the e-mail to Dr. Ghalioun


  18. @ SGID

    It’s heart breaking to see these kids getting shot mercilessly by those peasants. Soon Almidan and all Damascus will send Betho along with his thugs and cronies down the toilet.

    @ Haytham

    The only valid dialog with Betho is how to send Alwai peasants back to the mountains?

    @ Tara, Zenobia, Revlon

    Good to see ya guys


  19. “I am surprised how all the Christians on SC, to various degrees, are Islamophobic.”

    Hehehehheheh 🙂 are you referring to the little Joni lol? He’s an Alawi who’s so insecure to come out clean. just tell him “Qurd lak joni ta3a la honi Qurd”

    Or are you referring to the big ears “Norman the Dinosaur”? as he likes to be called by the other self-obsessed moderator, you know the informant for Imad Mustapha. This Norman is a mental case study and needs 100 years to reach a stage where he can put up a comprehensive statement together. It’s quite funny how he hates America and encourages terrorists to kill our soldiers in ME, while he’s still living here and sucking up our tax.

    Retarded Menhebaks what can I say!


  20. The more I read the LA initiative , the more I like it. Whoever put this statement together is a bloody witty and knows exactly what’s he’s doing.

    Any choice/action by the regime is in favour for the opposition

    Simply lose-lose case for Betho


  21. True

    Hi. I was very disappointed with your decision to leave SC. You guys left us alone in the lion’s den.


  22. Dear Tara
    From what I have seen, I think True is focusing on writing proactively instead responding in reactive mode. And I think may of us are thinking the same way. I still want to mention that I did not leave. I am simply joining a long list of Syria Comment readers and poster who simply stay in the background and show up when they have something to say that can be beneficial. I am eavesdropping as I told EHSANI. I have also been too busy at work and here at 7ee6an. But rest assured we will show up whenever the discussion is worth it. I am sorry but the discussion is stale lately. I am yet to see an original, even if preposterous, post in the past 5 days.

    I really am not for mass defection. I like Syria Comment, even if for emotional attachment. While I am not for boycotting Syria Comment, I am for fully ignoring the stupid like and dislike buttons from now on. You can easily see that even loyalists who are posting and/or engaged are no more than 11 or 12 as you can notice from the dislikes some of you have been getting.

    My problem is that with the seriousness of what is happening in Syria, we can not all spend our time responding to each and every comment on SC or elsewhere. Much of these comments are posted to provoke certain responses. And that is exactly what I have so much respect and admiration for those who mind the fort, such as yourself and Haytham, and for those who stay on their message such as Revlon.


  23. Just checking who’s here after reading Husam’s post on SC announcing his defection.


  24. I have defected too. I think this can be a great strategy to let the lions and wolves eat each other. I have no problem with different points of view, etc… including the love thy dictator. But the ones left are just so full of hatred, it has become unbearable.

    OTW, I really don’t care up news round ups, write ups, etc…at this point as long as we have everyone coming here to post relevant materials and comments, then it is good for me.

    I would get rid of the gray bar and squares next to the names to fit more comments on a page for easier scroll.

    Here is my last defection post:

    Tara, Majedkhaldoun, Hytham, N.Z, Syrian Hamster, SGID, and the very few sane people left here.

    I am gone. I have decided to defect. SC is now LALA-Land. You can tell from the comments and thumbs down, no one is left here except for the few wolves. I certainly don’t want to give them any more meat to feed on. I strongly suggest you leave too and post on OTW blog instead; your posting will be respected at the very least.

    I used to think that different viewpoints makes for great discussions. But, staying on here and partaking in this hatred is just awful. There is no self-respect and dignity anymore. The filth that comes out of the wolves is too low for my taste and I don’t want to be pulled into it.

    If and when, SC becomes more respectful and the hateful people get cornered, I may come back. But until then, I am Off ‘to’ The Wall


  25. OTW:

    One more thing I forgot to mention to you (I have said it before on Syria Comment): Despite our differences (the very few run-ins:) of the past, population control, etc…), I have the highest regard for you, your originality and your respect for the others.

    Cheers mate!


  26. True:

    I disagree with your remarks about Norman. Yes, he is old school and somehow can’t see a new Syria. Many of us couldn’t either just a few months back. You can’t label someone a mental case just because he is pro-assad or doesn’t share your point of view. At the very least, Norman never disrespected others, their faith, or insulted anyone who disagreed with him.

    Please, I beg of you, don’t migrate the bashing antics from SC to the Walls. Help us keep the neighbourhood clean.


  27. I think it is better that SNC send some one other than Burhan Ghalioun, and yes agree to the Arab league initiative,I will be surprised if the regime accept to go,if any one believe different please explain why.


  28. Dear Zenobia
    How wonderful to read your posts. What a clarity of purpose and complete absence of obfuscation. Thanks for gracing 7ee6an with your wonderful posts. I look forward to reading more of them. As you can see, I have been a little too busy in the past two days to respond promptly to your powerful and inspiring words.

    And for those who have not met Zenobia Before, you have just met one of the most outstanding women I have known. She is a person with one of the sharpest moral compasses I have encountered.


  29. Dear Husam
    The feeling is mutual so is the respect. Glad to see you here and you are welcome. You know that even if we disagree, your point of view will be respected so will be you as individual. I like what you said.


  30. Hi all

    I am not sure of what the next step for me. I realized how much hatred there is on SC and it does become unbearable at times. But I do have problem with leaving all these propaganda unopposed. Should I be here with family and friends or there calling spade a spade? Am I posting to vent or posting to support our finest men and women?


  31. @ Tara

    Don’t be disappointed! And keep doing what you feel is right for ya, as simple as that.

    The days where the executioner is playing the judge are gone for good. Initially, SC was our Hyde Park where we share thoughts and enrich intelligence but that “WAS” from the past! Look at it now since the self-obsessed informant took over, it’s just a sinking rats ship even Joshua & Ehsani don’t want anything to do with it at this stage.

    Anyway not to worry, OTW will share something with you very soon.


    @ HUSAM


    The walls can’t wait to try your graffiti


  32. @ HUSAM

    “Please, I beg of you, don’t migrate the bashing antics from SC to the Walls. Help us keep the neighbourhood clean”

    Heheheheh  I’ll take it with a smile

    “At the very least, Norman never disrespected others, their faith, or insulted anyone who disagreed with him.”

    Yes he did insult the pure blood of 3000 martyrs and that’s enough for me.

    @ Majed Khldoun

    “think it is better that SNC send some one other than Burhan Ghalioun, and yes agree to the Arab league initiative”


    Ghalioun is the image of SNC and from marketing & creating awareness perspective he should appear on every international stage and make big statements.

    It’s politics not narrow personal feelings like Betho comprehends it


  33. Zenobia:

    I agree with most of what you said. Did you go by a different name on SC?

    Though please note: ….even though everywhere is Syria the neighbor’s mother knows exactly what is going in every apartment in her building and the next block… but somehow – the strangers from a ‘foreign’ land… just disappear into thin air or slip over the border??.

    Then how do you explain how Sue Lloyd-Roberts, a reporter from the BBC slipped in and out of Homs!?

    Syria is run my mukhabarat that are lethal, yes but they are an incommpetent bunch….tactics and technology from the 60’s, a porous border at every angle. I mean they can’t even spell facebook!

    I don’t have the proof, and even if they were foriegn operatives aiding the revolution, they can’t catch the rabits.


  34. Husam,

    Thank you,

    true is just frustrated as things are not going his ways, i understand, and true, no i do not want the terrorist to attack our boys and you are not more American than i,

    Husam, i am old school but wisdom comes with age.don’t you think?.LOL

    Husam, and others,

    Just remember that we want the same thing but we and especially i do not want the change through violence, i said before and i say again that, this will only replace one dictatorship with another , so evolution is better for Syria as chaos will only destroy our beloved Syria.


  35. ….just heard from my cousin who is with me now and out of Syria:

    some lucky few who get rounded up on the “bus to torture”, 20,000 – 50,000 SYP is rate to get off the bus. Basically, they call (frantically from their own cell phones if they have one) their families or friends who scramble to drop off the money at a designated meeting point and hand the money over. So, the bus shows up at the torture chamber with 15 instead of 22 people. The officers, split the money. So, this is the latest lucrative business lately. The bus driver was known as the garbage collector making serious money on top of his daily 2k SYP salary.

    This is organized crime (corruption inside the corrupted govt). I mean this stuff used to happen in front of my eyes at the airport.

    This is what my cousin heard. Before anyone screams at me, no I don’t have proof. But certainly sounds plausible.


  36. Norman

    evolution would be great in an ideal world. However, the Assads (or sect) will not give up power so easily. They will always look for ways to maintain power. Are they capable of relinquishing power or do the people have to ‘take’ the power. Power isn’t given. It must be taken (?)


  37. @ NORMAN

    “true is just frustrated as things are not going his ways, i understand, and true, no i do not want the terrorist to attack our boys and you are not more American than i,”

    Sorry I did not get it. Are you implying I’m a terrorist?


  38. Norman,

    Wouldn’t guess you were listing here in a million years! I agree about your wisdom, well earned my friend. I also agree and look at where Egypt and Libya are…there are many questions remain unanswered.

    The rebuilding of Libya has already been partitioned to various states in NATO to help pay back for the bombs that fell through their vast oil reserves.

    My issue with you Norman, I may be wrong is this: Will you negotiate and undertake a peaceful discussion with the ones who raped your mother, sis, wife, brother (if that was true)? Seriously.

    Even if the stories coming out of Syria were half lies, it is still too much to bear. How can you ask the 1 million + people who are somehow connected to the ones that died or got tortured to basically forgetaboutit? People can forget 100 deaths, but thousands.. and more tortured including women and children…it just won’t happen…not in this time and age Hama 1980 is not Homs 2011, everyone has got a camera phone. Can’t bury it, Norman.

    Constructive dialogue can not be done @ this point. They had their chance and blew on numerous occasions.


  39. Thanks, OTW,
    CSI Hama,

    when power is taken by force, power will not be relinquished without force and that is not democracy, Democracy as i understand is the transfer of power peacefully , so when force is used to take power from Assad and the Baath party, the winners will feel entitled and will not accept losing the next election and that is my fear.


    The sad thing for me about your Blog and how other Syrians left SC to come here is that it gives an insight on what will happen to Syria, instead of persevere and put up with each other we just started having our own separate state by starting with having different Blogs so will have only people we agree with, That is really sad,for my and Syria,


  40. @ NORMAN

    “when power is taken by force, power will not be relinquished without force”

    Well said

    Can you tweet this line to Betho!


  41. True,

    No you are not, but wrong about me , that is.


    I understand but atrosities are from both sides, looking at the past will eat into our souls, over the last 6 months i do not think any of us lost a relative, Only DR Landis wife lost her cousin who was in the army , so of all of us one army man lost his life, so the violence from both saides,We should look to the future with syria that has multi party system and time table for election and whoever win all will accept as long as done with international observers., Syria needs to be saved before it breaks apart for the plesure of the enemies,


  42. no, i didn’t go by a different name. My name has always been Zenobia.

    Sue Lloyd-Robert wasn’t wielding a weapon or shooting anyone. Nor were any other of the VERY few reporters who managed to enter Syria.


  43. Norman

    After what the regime has done people cannot stomach dealing with these criminals. They want a clean break.

    If people are willing to forgive and forget and both sides compromise then who knows…

    However the regime will not relinquish power or compromise significantly if they are not forced to do so. The opposition will have to reach a position of strength for this to happen.

    I believe we have gone past the point of no return long ago. The street is determined. The SNC cannot betray the street.


  44. Im not Syrian but I am watching my muslim brothers and sisters being slaughtered. I want this regime gone. This evil before us is greater than any issue such as the aftermath etc. It is the duty of muslims (as Sheikh Yaqoubi stated) to rise up against oppression otherwise God will punish all of us, the oppresors and the rest of us.

    With all this anger its difficult to compromise. However if someone like Sheikh Yaqoubi advised us of compromise then I would accept.

    You may have missed the latest video of the Sheikh posted on SC. Here it is.

    Calling on The People of Syria
    By shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi

    Use ‘cc’ button for english subtitles.

    From the Sheikh’s facebook page:


  45. this is not to say that there are NO foreigners entering or influencing in any way. I am just saying… we don’t have ‘gangs’ of outsiders… or covert CIA (as the fantasy goes)… who managed to coop the hearts and minds and organize hundreds of people in a matter of weeks. NO way. It is an absurd notion that seems preposterous to an outsider. But I realized that a lot of people inside Syria can believe such a contrivance because they have been fed a stead diet way before now – of fetishized notions of american power and influence… and Israeli power. Syrians are so passive (or have been till now) about rallying themselves over political causes or change….and we are supposed to believe that someone… outsiders managed to orchestrate some coordinated collective uprising? without ever being detected in any actual evidenced way… or snitched on, or arrested.
    On the other hand, if there were people…. busy trying to foment, they didn’t have to work to hard and are long gone now – and then we are still left with the reality that REAL Syrians are organizing themselves and thrashing back at the government.
    oK, so but as I said this should already be established and need not be debated unless one is on SC.

    I haven’t really participated there for the last two years hardly at all.


  46. @ Zenobia

    “On the other hand, if there were people…. busy trying to foment, they didn’t have to work to hard and are long gone now – and then we are still left with the reality that REAL Syrians are organizing themselves and thrashing back at the government.”

    Nicely put, and that’s exactly what Betho and his cronies are failing to comprehend. They days of Hafiz’ big prison are gone for good, nowadays young kids (literally kids) are taking the streets seeking not video arcade games, not candy but only asking for their raped FREEDOM and DIGNITY by a bunch od peasants.


  47. True: you meant sleep well “syrian expats”…as millions not sleeping well inside Syria… including brave trapped soldiers who many are not able to defect and citizens alike.


  48. HUSAM

    Those who you mentioned I kneel and tip my hat for them.

    But at the same time you would be surprised of their high spirit, look at ABOUD for example he was literally under fire and still managed to put a smile on his face.

    What’s your outlook for the coming two weeks?


  49. Zenobia:

    I agree about our passive nature and negatve political sentiment. So true. But it is no fantasy that various agencies will try to infilterate, manuever and take over the revolution. This sabotage is real risk. You are giving Syria’s mukhabarat 1000 more percent of credibility in finding and arresting possible operatives. Comparing our mukhabarti to intellegence agencies is like comparing the ipad to an atari computer…basically useless.

    I was not referring to total control and organization of current events, not at all. I am explaining that we may be too naive and excited. We should not forget that we can be robbed out of our home by various groups or states that are working for their own good.

    Q: Who is Syria’s real ally? A: No one!


  50. “Q: Who is Syria’s real ally? A: No one!”

    Only Syrians

    In the new Syria we should forget about all and just focus on rebuilding our country and always keeping Switzerland as a successful model in mind.


  51. NORMAN


    The sad thing for me about your Blog and how other Syrians left SC to come here is that it gives an insight on what will happen to Syria, instead of persevere and put up with each other we just started having our own separate state by starting with having different Blogs so will have only people we agree with, That is really sad,for my and Syria,

    I can see your concerns and share the bitter taste of it, and to be honest with you, it is sad. But honestly Norman. There is a tolerance level to propaganda especially that we all know the value and untrustworthy nature of its sources. People are sick and tired of regime style propaganda which took us no where. I can guarantee you that the people who are posting here are in no way a homogeneous group, they are mostly tired of cuts and pastes from SANA, which no one trust and whose mere name has become an offensive insult to their intelligence. And no SANA does not deserve equal treatment as other press entities.

    I have publicly declared that I am not leaving Syria Comment. And if I am not posting, I am still reading some of the articles. I will not be the first one nor will I be the last one.

    I am not interested in keeping to call each others murderers or murder supporters. I am far more interested in debate. And the future of Syria is what i want to debate. On Syria comment, unfortunately, the future being proposed by most of the vocal cut-paste experts is nothing more than the same old stuff. External interference, conspiracies, and personality cult.

    HUSAM and I had real major arguments, there were few occasions where we even misunderstood each others comments.

    My problem is far more with those who say they are against the regime and they are against the violence and that is why they malign everyone because the revolution is not that romantic image they of the peaceful protesters carrying flowers and giving them to the soldiers. Well you know what my dear old friend, this is what Ghyath Matar did, and he was tortured and killed in most unhuman way. What saddens me the most is that many, who should be natural allies of the revolution have taken a conscious decision to become counter-revolution propagandists far worst than Talib Ibrahim. Remember that clown called himself opposition.

    Please go back and review the exchange between Hamster and Ali, and just think what each of these two posters represent. Ali’s boot response to hamster epitomizes why this regime can no longer rule the country.

    This blog is not a nuetral place. It is not intended to be. It is one of hundreds of blogs about Syria, and my position is fiercely ant-regime. I believe that the regime is using the myth of dialogue to retain its power. Even the reforms are being done in way that will maintain the regime and its head. You will see that when the draft new constitution will come out tailored to Bashar by indicating that even if they agree on term limit, they will say time served before the constitution does not count.


  52. True:

    I don’t have a crystal ball nor am I in position to know more than you re: SNC.

    Unfortunately, so far I have seen nothing new to change my ugly view: civil war is inevitable 😦

    Less ugly would be a Turkish buffer zone and a no fly zone until the govt runs out of money and an internal falling out develops.

    Least ugly would be a rude awakening of our Doc… and he defects 🙂


  53. “civil war is inevitable :(”

    Sorry to say that but it’s the incapable civil war indeed!!

    It all started from the second when Betho refused to punish his culprits nor conduct reform. At that time he opened the door wide to his thugs to play angels of death and yet at the same time he paved the way to those international opportunists to come and play the big brother.

    All in all, Betho’s incompetence and sectarian mind put the country (what left from the county) in the unknown not the revolution.


  54. Norman:

    Remember when the SC club ganged up on me just because I felt insulted and defended my faith… Ever wondered where were your moderate sunni friend, neighbour, school mate like the good old days were? So few or almost non-existant on SC? A: because despite SC claim to be outwardly inclusive, it was inwardly exclusive and baised to the bone.

    As soon as more people flock here, you will get a taste of all Syrian fabrics…just a matter of time inshallah 🙂


  55. True: He couldn’t punish his cousin… perhaps there is a code of conduct among the family. At least he could have even made it appear as such and put him away from the spotlight for a while. He miscalculated and kept digging himself and us into a hole.

    Love is blind. So is greed.


  56. Find it funny how an ophthalmologist goes completely blind when it comes to power, cronies & family.

    really as they say

    Skafi 7afi wo elnajar babo ma’7lo3 🙂


  57. @ SYR.EXPAT

    Welcome home buddy

    Fake or no fake is all irrelevant, the bottom line is the ASSAD’s fake kingdom is going down the toilet along with his all Menhebaks.


  58. Since the beginning of this revolution, I have been trying to understand the pro-regime crowd. It is not an easy undertaking for someone who grew up in Syria. Walking in somebody else’s shoes in not something that we Syrians excel at, let alone that these shoes are a few sizes smaller than my feet. How can I even “walk” in them? It is excruciatingly painful. But I persevered and kept trying. These are my compatriots. They are my mother, my brother and my best friend, literally. They are all smart and accomplished, why would they take this stand?. Here is what I have understood so far and it is basically centered around fear:
    1- The fear of the unknown. If the current Syrian regime falls tomorrow, who is going to be in control?. How do we know that it is going to be better than what we currently have?.
    2- The fear from extremism. This is shared by most of the minorities and many in the majority. Mostly the fear from an Iranian or Saudi style government.
    3- The fear of chaos, instability and thus insecurity. The regime’s fall will create a vacuum that will be immediately filled by thugs. The thug you know is better than the thug you don’t.
    4- The fear of economic calamity manifested in the devaluation of the Syrian Lira and the collapse of the real estate market.
    5- The fear of the day to day disruptions, from finding the basics, putting food on the table, heating your house to sending the children to a school that is functioning properly.
    6- The fear of foreign intervention.
    I find all these fears very well founded. What I would like to argue is that all these legitimate concerns neither make the Syrian regime a good government, nor the opposition villains. Instead of facing our fears and trying to be involved to make a difference in the result of this struggle, we are taking the passive route of destroying the revolution to keep the status quo. To curse the darkness instead of lighting a candle. The worst part is that neither of the three: my mother, my brother or my best friend has any love lost for the regime. They know it for what it really is: a mafia that has been suffocating the country for decades. They just refuse to pay the price of change. I can not help thinking: if I lived there, would I have come to the same conclusion? What do you think?


  59. Wazup Sheila, good to see ya around eh

    Anyone listens to those passive anti-change people would think we’re living currently in Switzerland where the economy can’t get any better and everybody does enjoy unlimited rights from right of speech all the way to run for the presidency but we all know this is not true.

    This segment of people are living their illusion of virtual fiction world that never been reality, they developed their own utopia in their minds only and surely sadly. They have no fear but simply have no desire to put an effort and take a leap of faith. I understand humans resist change and in change management they teach hundreds of theories and strategies how to transit people from era to era from and environment to other ..etc. However, the 1.0.1 is the fact that humans resist change because they’re risking their own comfort-zone and not keen to face the new unknown.

    The issue is this segment are not and never been in their comfort-zone, they all have experienced the taste of oppression one way or another from verbal assault to corruption … all they way to mandatory shouting of love to Hafiz and his peasants.

    On the other hand, there’s a theory of educating stakeholders of the proposed change and ultimately to highlight the expected benefit in order to entice and motivate them to opt-in and kick off the change process, and that’s where the revolution is failing miserably. Till now they have not addressed this reluctant segment, did not assure them and most importantly did not explain their vision of the new Syria in details using figures and numbers.

    Sheila, passive people tend to demonstrate passive behavior even if you put them on the moon, it’s their nature and they just take their time to end up playing catch up with the people who’re taking the lead. Keep the positive mind and always keep lighting your candle 🙂


  60. Sheila:

    So good to see you here. I find your ‘all’ comments on the money and thought provoking. I once tried to initiate a conversation with you on SC re: hijab but you probably missed it.

    Your mother, brother and best friends are indeed part and parcel of the fabric and state of mind of all Syrians. The issues of fear, which you cleverly summed up are a real ones. I believe those people are laggards, but they will pull through once a stronger consensus becomes a reality. The minute there is a better more successful platform, they will jump ship. Time will tell and the due process will materialize sooner or later…for better or worse.

    The bigger problem I have is the deep seated hatred that has now come out between the Syrian people and various sects. That is the shoe that hurts my feet the most. You have evil in every corner of the world, but I never in my wildest dreams imagined Syrians to be capable of this level of hate. Somehow, I was able to place Syrians above all.. that we are more ethical – more humane in general.

    How can we torture, smack, rape, force some one to kiss the picture of Bashar as God?

    A Lebanese Maronite christian taxi driver explained it to me in a nut-shell, when I quizzed him a few weeks ago: “are you guys not fed up of the Syrians all over the place again?” he responded (in Arabic): “the peoples you sent (the troublemakers) were not of you”. He means that the Maronites who were persecuted by the Syrian occupation knew that their oppressors (group) were not the (good) people of Syria”


  61. Like Sheila, I have been trying since February to understand the psychology and social psychology of the ‘hard core’ regimist horns and trumpets — even going so far as to indulge a lengthy interaction with the SyrianCommando.

    Thanks for the invite to contribute comments here. I shall be back later today with some tart, acerbic comments on my researches into the fabulous Syrian Penal Code.

    (I have mostly confined my Syria ranting to twitter the last couple of months. I am wsscherk there. If anyone else from here in on Twitter, please let us know your handle(s).


  62. Dear True,
    Thank you for the warm welcome and the comment.
    You said “that’s where the revolution is failing miserably. Till now they have not addressed this reluctant segment, did not assure them and most importantly did not explain their vision of the new Syria in details using figures and numbers”, What I am thinking is: but who is the revolution?. We all know that you can not organize in Syria. We all know that it took months for the leadership to partially unite under the SNC. So who is it that is going to address anyone in Syria and how?. I am Sure neither SANA nor Aldunia would be interested to pitch in.
    Also, how would anyone be able to assure anybody of anything?. We all know how the Iranian revolution started with the communist, the university students, the liberals and the Islamists joining forces to push the Shah out. Once that happened, the Islamist took over and threw the rest in jail. This happened many times throughout history, why wouldn’t it happen in Syria.
    Just food for thought.
    Good to be talking to you.


  63. Dear Husam,
    Thank you for the warm welcome. I am sorry about not picking up the hijab conversation. I must have missed it. Hijab is a very thorny and touchy subject for me. I have these preconceived ideas that I find very hard to change. This is not good. I know I should be more open to debate, but I have debated this issue so many times and my conclusion is still the same (I can be quite obstinate sometimes). Maybe we can try this debate some time here.
    Regarding the sectarian hatred that is upsetting you, I had the displeasure of following your “conversation” with John Khouri. It was very disheartening for me too, but think about it: the same John Khouri that was spewing all sorts of sectarian hateful words, was willing to work under no other than the grand Mufti of Syria. How ironic, but telling. Again, it is not about sects or religions. He was just acting like a high schooler taunting you with every weapon he possessed without thinking.


  64. Hi Guys:

    The SNC has done very well. Even the Arab league meeting was a push by it. The Gulf states have helped the SNC very much. I put that down in this small account.

    Regarding the country it is going bad. Indeed, the regime controls only 40% of the country.


  65. Candles

    The sad thing is that I have been watching friends sinking morally from the level of cursing the darkness, and ending by putting off any little candle that dares to break the damn darkness.

    Light, dear Sheila, Bill (may I call you Bill), and Husam, informs us of the mirror in the room. And many don’t like to see themselves in the mirror. If one digs deeper into the fear of possible future discrimination, I can bet that what you would find is not fear of discrimination , but fear of equality .

    This applies to some within sect minorities, but much more so to the pseudo intellectuals of all stripes, who can not fathom that from now on, they can not speak on behalf of the poor, or at the poor, but to the poor. To many, i think the insecurity of being a true equal to a worker or a peasant in a democratic and civil society is perhaps what scares them the most. Their self image of intellectual superiority, which is proven less than skin deep, is being shattered by the fact that they will now have to share the weight of their voice and of their opinion with the lower classes. I know it in some of my friends and relatives. Within that specific group, this revolution has been far more revealing of the shallowness of Syrian intellectualism than any IQ or cultural exam one could devise.

    An added source of anxiety, turned insanity, is the fact that after nagging for a full generation that the country does not appreciate them, that they are so upset corruption and at the security regime, and so disgusted with the chaos in the markets, the lack of civility in the lower society, these semi educated pseudo intellectuals are finding that while they were discussing the oppression of humanity in literature, and symbolism of past revolutions, the lower classes and the true intellectuals were making a real one. One that shook the empire of silence and is now bringing its inevitable demise. Finding how impotent they were, i would expect nothing from them but hateful rhetoric and name calling of their moral, ethical, and definitely intellectual superiors who exposed them in their comfortable, gulf expat supported lifestyle.

    A few days back, OTW wrote on Qifa Nabki’s blog a little phrase I would like to share with you:

    It is sad when the inalienable rights of the minorities are converted into privileges.

    I would only change the word sad into criminal.


  66. Dearest Sheila,

    I understand, and trust me I find the Hijab/Niqab/bear-all a personal issue. I did not want to debate or even try. I pasted an article one 17 year old wrote that gave me the goose bumbs and wanted to share it with you.

    Do you still have close ties to Aleppo?


  67. Dear Haytham and everybody,
    Nice article built on very good analysis. My question is: why would the Gulf region be so keen on confronting Syria?. You would think that it would be the opposite. The governments in the Gulf region are also dictatorial in spirit. The only difference is that the Gulf countries have a lot more money to throw at their problems. The only answer that makes sense is the US involvement and pressure. The next question is: why is the US suddenly supporting democracy movements in the Arab World?. This is above my pay grade. I have my theories, but would love to hear everybody else’s. (please skip the “Obama likes us” theory).


  68. Dear OTW:

    Thank you. Currently, I am writing merely in Arabic. My main goal is to show the Syrian people, particularly those who are inside the county, what SNC doing. We need to rally them around the SNC. The days to come will be very hard. We need to tell them good news.


  69. Syrian Hamster said:

    I can bet that what you would find is not fear of discrimination , but fear of equality.

    I am not sure I follow you. Are you referring to the fear of the elite Sunnis for example not being able to have a the luxury of a was’tah, forced to wait in line like everyone else, and not being able to indulge in everything-mumtaz? 🙂 Or something like Alawi=Sunni=Athiest=Jew=Syrian?


  70. Dear Husam,
    Both my husband and I come from very big families in Aleppo. So yes, I do have a lot of ties there. My parents and two of my siblings live there in addition to a multitude of cousins and relatives. I also have a lot of family in Idleb.


  71. @ Sheila

    “What I am thinking is: but who is the revolution?”

    The revolution or “revolutio” in Latin which literally means “make U turn” in Syria is more this intangible spirit of change and looking forward towards better future. The Syrian revolution is quite unique in many aspects (I might write on this topic) and that’s why we probably fail to categorise it according to Roger Boesche (Tocqueville’s Road Map: Methodology, Liberalism, Revolution, and Despotism, 2006) it’s hard to give it a definite description whether slow& relentless or violent & sudden but surely it’s a mix of many elements and that’s where it’s gaining its uniqueness.

    “So who is it that is going to address anyone in Syria and how?.”

    Normally speaking, every revolution is lead by a freedom fighter by a charismatic figure and the history gives us a lot of bright names from Che Guevara (read his book La Guerra de Guerrillas) to Yaser Arafat. In theory, this leader should address his people and the people in return would happily put their faith on him and accept his vision, but again as mentioned above the Syrian revolution proves its uniqueness hence lacking the one-leader.

    In our scenario any entity such as SNC should address the Syrians in details. Talk about future plans for economy, education, politics, neighbour countries ….. and most importantly how justice will be implemented.

    “Also, how would anyone be able to assure anybody of anything?”.

    Very valid concern!! Generally speaking and according to John Foran in his book (Theories of Revolution Revisited: Toward a Fourth Generation”, 1993) leaders of revolutions tend to break their promises after achieving the simple emotional task of “seizing control” and facing reality and challenges of daily governing. This in return was creating internal conflicts between the people in command and most of the times the “leader” tend to oust their buddies (i.e. Fidel Castro & Che Guevara) or even kill them (i.e. Hafiz al-ASSAD, khomeini).

    In our case it’s totally different with no solo-power leader rather collective, but yeah no one knows and surely a leap of faith is needed 🙂


  72. @ Haytham Khoury

    Well written.

    I’ll consider you the SNC representative on our walls 🙂 and my question is why do you guys playing “defence” strategy rather taking the lead and flip the table, politically, on Betho’s regime?

    You guys have lots of cards to play and yet very slow performance with unclear vision!! and please don’t tell me “arranging the in-house first”. Keep in mind and please pass it to SNC people who’re taking bullets daily in Syria have limits.


  73. Let’s see if the italics work:

    My question is: why would the Gulf region be so keen on confronting Syria?.

    1.) The gulf states are filthy rich and have good relations with the West.
    2.) The gulf states are led by Sunnis who are afraid of the Shia/Iranians who keep Syria afloat.

    You would think that it would be the opposite.

    The gulf states (like Saudi Arabia) have something good. Unlimited US dollars, goods, weaponry, security arrangements and US promises to look away at from gulf-related racism, Islamic law, and harsh treatment of people living under these self-appointed monarchs. It is a great incentive for them to spurn the pro-Iranian, anti-west, Syrian regime even if they’re both undemocratic.

    The governments in the Gulf region are also dictatorial in spirit.

    True, including the PA and Hamas. Not one Arab government is democratic.

    The only difference is that the Gulf countries have a lot more money to throw at their problems.

    …and a lot more oil to grease the world economies.

    The only answer that makes sense is the US involvement and pressure.

    I used to agree with that, except that the US is now a dying superpower. That’s a strong term. How about a “waning” superpower?

    The next question is: why is the US suddenly supporting democracy movements in the Arab World?.

    Like all countries, the US supports whoever is worth supporting. Libya, Iraq and Syria are “low hanging fruit” (a Professor Josh term I concur with) who were led by dangerous and “beatable” thugs. There are plenty of other thugs out there, but these 3 players were manageable. China, Venezuela, North Korea, and a handful of other countries are equally autocratic, but they are either stable or boxed-in.

    This is above my pay grade.

    I don’t think so!

    I have my theories, but would love to hear everybody else’s. (please skip the “Obama likes us” theory).

    The US should consistently support democracy over the world. Regrettably, the US doesn’t do enough, because the US can’t police the world despite her best efforts.


  74. Sheila:

    question # 1. why would the Gulf region be so keen on confronting Syria? The only logical answer to me is that this is clearly a sunni/shi’ite struggle. As corrupt as the Gulf is, they would rather be unseated than share their land and wealth with the shi’ites. They view Iran as the biggest threat.

    question # 2. why the U.S. is suddenly supporting democracy in the M.E…? The west has been meddling in the middle east since the fall of the Ottoman Empire. I forget where I read: The despots of this region may be Arab bastards, but they are our bastard (meaning the west installed them). Fast forward to Revolution 2011, people want a genuine-true-at-heart leader.

    The revolution will no doubt bring about a revival of the Islamic fabric and spirit which is currently supressed directly or indirectly. The U.S has always been hiding behind the freedom-lovers-yes-we-can mask while feeding the devil behind the fence. I am sure there are many wild theories out there including the clash of civilizations. But we all can perhaps agree that the U.S. and its empire is falling and ripping at every seam. FEMA prison camps (first US-wide drill will be held on Nov 9th) have been prepped to deal with what OWS (Occupy Wall Street) may mushroom into. U.S. troops are being called back from Iraq by Dec 31st. So my guess is that the west has got a ton of manure to deal with internally that it can’t be bogged down by a heavy handed foriegn policy. Either that, or something outlandish is about to happen in the next year or so.


  75. True: I lost you at the end….

    the “leader” tend to oust their buddies (i.e. Fidel Castro & Che Guevara) or even kill them (i.e. Hafiz al-ASSAD, khomeini).

    Castro never ousted Guevara, and Al-Assad never killed khomeini. Dude you are either out to lunch or I am missed something.


  76. Akbar Palace:

    The US should consistently support democracy over the world. Regrettably, the US doesn’t do enough, because the US can’t police the world despite her best efforts.

    Lets give it a try, remember me: the Jew-Loving-Partner-For-Life, whom you never bought.

    Don’t you ever get enough; who & what are you tring to convince? The U.S. is as corrupt as Syria. They feed with one hand and destroy in another. No they don’t support democracy, they support dictatorships. So, please stop with the nonense.

    BTW, I forgot his name (not Amir) but the other Israeli dude that I loved to talk to… do you know where he vanished to?


  77. @ Husam

    Your clearly lost me 🙂

    (i.e. Fidel Castro & Che Guevara)
    Che did not agree with Fidel’s methods of managing the revolution, actually he told him “you forgot us”, so Che left Cuba to Bolivia joining the Bolivian rebels. The story goes on an Félix Rodriguez (CIA operative) manages to kill Che in 1967.

    (i.e. Hafiz al-ASSAD, khomeini)
    Hafiz managed directly and indirectly to kill all his Baathist comrades.
    Khomeini did the same with many of Shia clerics who were accompanying him in his exile in France


  78. Lets give it a try, remember me: the Jew-Loving-Partner-For-Life, whom you never bought.


    Don’t you ever get enough; who & what are you tring to convince?


    I was answering Sheila’s questions, not yours.

    The U.S. is as corrupt as Syria.


    “Corrupt”? Corrupt has many dimensions. For someone who may feel better to put the US and Syria on equal footing, I can understand why you would say that.

    If “the US is as corrupt as Syria”, why aren’t US demonstrators getting shot at? Why have so many past US government officials left office in disgrace? Why have so many been voted out of office? Why have so many well-off and rich criminals been thrown in jail?

    They feed with one hand and destroy in another.

    The US has aided some (like the Bosnia), and others they have not (like the Rwanda). The US gets to pick and choose. I wish the US could help everyone, but she can’t or won’t. This doesn’t make the US “corrupt”. I wish the US didn’t turn away Jewish refugees in WW2, but she did.

    No they don’t support democracy, they support dictatorships. So, please stop with the nonense.

    I never said the US doesn’t support dictatorships.

    BTW, I forgot his name (not Amir) but the other Israeli dude that I loved to talk to… do you know where he vanished to?

    He’s busy locking his front door and cleaning his M-16.;) Just my guess.


  79. Dear True:

    They tried to play offensive by suspending the regime in the Arab league, but did not work. For this reason, they resorted to plan B.
    Also, before they can play it really offensive they need recognition. It is coming


  80. Dear Sheila:

    The gulf states do not care about democracy. However, there are many other reasons for becoming confrontational with Bashar:

    1. The Hariri killing. I do not think that Saudia Arabi has forgiven Bashar for that.
    2. Bashar arrogant behavior.
    3. The killing of Sunni Syrian is provoking the Gulf citizen, thus the Gulf states can’t remain silent.
    4. The regime continued to kill people during the month of Ramadan. You know the significance of this month in Ramadan.
    5. The pressure of Europeans and US.
    6. ‘Azmi Bshara and his relationship with Katar’s king.


  81. Lots of really interesting material put out there in the comment by Syrian Hamster. But riffing off Sheila’s comment regarding the dominant emotions in her family and in Syria in general right now- I definitely think FEAR, yes, is the relevant factor… the singularly most important obstacle and influencing factor in the attitude and stagnation found in so many who otherwise having no good feeling towards the government or even the president and who may normally be even decidedly critical. I sense this also in my family and what seems to be emanating from the urban population in large part.
    We should focus on knowing what this fear is on all levels. We should look into the myriad issues because it is a mistake to think that it is simply physical fear of the authorities and the security repercussions. It is much more multifaceted than that.
    I would definitely like to say something about the interesting point Syrian Hamster mentioned about “Fear of Equality”….. nobody talks much about this, but it is so important and key, and I think it was followed by a query by another.
    The notion of Fear of equality stands out for me immediately. We imagine that everyone wants equality and respects it, or that people certainly don’t fear it, but reality reveals that this is far from true in so many contexts. What comes to mind for me – is the current situation in the United States. Here we are talking about a nation that has built into its founding ideology a value of equality – stated to be inherent in nature and society… ie that all ‘men’ are created equal. Our nation has struggled to uphold this value to live it – under the laws. We aspire to it- as a collective, and yet we are constantly struggling with our selfishness and our other instincts towards greed and self preservation. Why do we not have equal healthcare for all? Equal education for all? Equal pay for equal work for all? Why when we uphold that all are equal under the law, we still fall short even in this area that the law is not equally available or punishment administered equally? When the questions of equality are put before the public…. Sometimes – the citizenry fall short… (see some crazy Alabaman right now who want shut off the water supply to illegal immigrants!)….
    I put forward that despite our aspirations to strive for equality in our society people are fearful when they are challenged to support the equal distribution of wealth and resources. People are afraid that giving equal access to resources for others will mean taking away some of their own resources and material wealth or privileges. The amount of adherence to this value of EQUALITY – I think is highly correlated with peoples perception of SCARCITY. When we feel there is abundance, then we are a generous people…. We believe in the equality of liberty and pursuit of happiness and material wealth. When we feel there is not enough to go around…and we are losing resources… we become fearful for our own well being and our future and the ability of our country to meet each of our individual needs. Therefore it is this fear that drives the impulse to deprive other of equal access. Access is a function of political power. And even in this country where we have an established right to one man one vote – lots of people are working all the time to create unequal access to political power and even to influence who and who does not vote.
    Turning to Syria. Here we have a place that does not even have a historical ideology based on these principles of equality in society. Instead you have the historical legacy of a hierarchy of loyalties – values that privilege family first and then extended family and then tribe and then sect and then your geographic town and so on an so forth outward. Obviously, this is too simplified, but I mean to say- there are all kinds of legacies of identifications and loyalties between certain groups and historical animosities as well. And the notion that everyone is somehow all in this struggle called life together and equally entitled to benefit from the resources available is completely foreign I think.
    Ironically, its seems that the Baath Party ideology was trying to make claims to a nationhood, Syrian, that based on Soviet style models of nationalism- was supposed to influence Syrians to put this national identity above all the other affiliations. But it was never going to be very deep actually. And the sad thing is that – Equality – has to be lived and seen with your eyes to be understood and to be truly valued. You have to be its beneficiary before you can appreciate why you should also want to grant it to someone who has less than you. But if all you see is corruption and greed and unfair harsh realities of inequality being meted out by the ones running the society that how can anyone believe that this is a value to care about and to uphold and aspire to?
    Syrians are living in a time of perceived total scarcity on so many levels. The middle classes and upper middle class are looking at the uprising of a large underclass (the larger part of the population)…and are they thinking about how they can’t wait to share the small foothold on upward mobility they have with this desperate population??? Are they feeling generous and sympathetic and looking to a possible future with more equality for everyone???
    No, indeed, they are fearful on all levels- for their own well being. The powers above them – the insider elite- the true power holders are stoking fears left and right – telling them this is about religion, terrorism, conspiracies from outside, US attacks, Saudi influence, evil Lebanese influence, Jews still taking over the world, anything and everything… to distract from the real issues of INEQUALITY and corruption, and the disastrous mismanagement of the regime in dealing with the economic and environmental problems and challenges abounding in the country.
    People fear equality because they think that there are no solutions to deprivation and declining resources. They want to cling to what they have – because there is no leadership that is providing any alternatives and speaking about what the real problems are and showing that they might have actual expertise and wisdom and knowledge resources that can lead the way out of this mess. (Again, this is a global problem as well, and could describe the current crisis in the US on many levels.)
    Instead – the population is retreating into base FEAR responses… terrified that there are no answers and it is better to stick with these hellish leaders and a regime in total denial – that will keep providing lots explanations that attempt to keep most everyone who can swallow it in a state of denial and forgetting. Paralyzed into silence and fear, confusion of reality, and a state of NOT-KNOWING. What is heartbreaking is that unlike many other countries where there are pockets of air in which many people can breath and speak out and challenge the subterfuge and power structure, or at least attempt to do so, the systemic apparatus in Syria- is so stifling that truth and analysis are being buried very very deep. The average person can’t even see out of the pit. Even the ‘revolutionaries’ are screaming for something – but they haven’t even been able to find the key – the light – leading to the harnessing of the intellectual and visceral discourse that will ignite the population as a whole. They haven’t found it and grasped it- nor have they found the kind of leaders of confidence who can harness that narrative- of what freedom actually is- in material terms, economic terms – opportunity terms- dignity terms- and what the value of equality is. If nobody can powerfully articulate this to a great swath of the population- who are standing in a state of fear and doubt, then this will be a long and painful death ahead.


  82. Zenobia:

    Your analysis was so interesting, original and easy to read. I will be forwarding it to friends if you don’t mind. Do you have any idea who this can be articulated to the people at large if they have never experienced it as you say? I mean how/what needs to be done to dismantle fear and what are the steps…

    Will not take a generation to change the perception of fear?



  83. ABOUD gave an interview to the BBC’s The Hub two days ago, it
    was very informative but next time he has to speak more slowly :)!! SGID caught
    the interview and yeah bad luck for those who missed the chance to witness ABOUD’s interview :)”

    he gave it under :Aboud in homs”


  84. NEWS:

    “In Syria, protests mutate to armed resistance amid economic meltdown” (Arwa Damon, CNN)

    “Syria holds former VP incommunicado, daughter says” (BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press)

    “Syria state media lashes out at Arab League” (France24)

    “Syria Unrest: Local, Arab & International Calls” (DP-News)

    “Syrian Refugees In Lebanon Still Face Peril “ (NYtimes)


  85. True:

    How did the BBC contact him in Homs ? SGID, did not record it?

    Here is the transcript:

    Syria witness: ‘Unprovoked shooting’ at protest in Homs

    Hundreds gathered at Clock Square in the centre of Homs on Monday Syrian security forces have opened fire on protesters in the country’s third-largest city, Homs, after hundreds of people occupied a central square on Monday, vowing to stay until the president was ousted.

    It is not yet clear how many people were killed in the violence, but one Homs resident, Aboud, describes the mood in the city.

    “My brother was at the protest [on Monday]. He was at his university and as soon as he heard about the sit-in, he went there to join his friends.“

    There was a festive atmosphere; there were thousands of people gathered: children, elderly, women. It was like a big picnic and there were plans for people to spend the night there in tents and to pray at dawn.

    The sit-in was modelled after the Egyptian sit-ins in Tahrir Square. People coming in were searched by the participants. Not even as much as a knife was allowed in.

    At around 11 in the morning, the police on Damascus Road announced that they were there to protect the officers’ club.

    My brother left the square 15 minutes before the shooting. His mobile phone’s battery had gone down and he went home to recharge.

    All of a sudden there was shooting. Completely unprovoked.

    We don’t know how many people died.

    The injured were taken to the hospital where they were arrested straight away. Because of that, some hospitals closed their emergency wards, as a message to the people not to go there.

    On Sunday, the protesters did very well to surround one of the hospitals and prevent anyone from entering it and arresting people.

    ‘Turning point’

    Now there’s absolute calm. The only unusual thing is that civilians are checking ID cards. I don’t know who they are, but I suspect they are ordinary people protecting their neighbourhoods.

    Everything is closed – banks, schools, only a few shops are open.

    Everything has been cleaned up, but there are so many videos on Facebook and YouTube. People know what happened.

    We heard a rumour that a sheikh was injured. If he dies, there’ll be no stopping them. Not just the religious people, but everyone else too, because sheikhs are sacred to us: they are our only trusted leaders.

    The attack was like a declaration of war. People are furious. There’s murder in their eyes. They want revenge.

    My home village is not religious – there’s alcohol smuggling and consumption. Yet last night, for the first time in my life, I heard people calling for jihad.

    The local municipality was shot at and shots were fired in the air.

    Yesterday was a turning point. I think there’ll be lots of trouble and bloodletting, particularly in the rural areas where people are well-armed and the police presence is weak.

    I am worried about the future and I grieve for the people who died.”


  86. @ HUSAM

    You better ask ABOUD directly bro and I’m sure they’re both are reachable.

    The transcript you’ve provided is for his first interview right at the beginning of the revolution on 19 April 2011-10-20

    Get in touch with “Nik Gowing” if you keen to see it.


  87. Haytham : you wrote the last piece on SC ? Homs: The Capital of Syrian Uprising
    Why not sign it ? It was good


  88. Dear Zenobia,
    Nice post. As I was reading it, I had all these ideas swirling in my head. The most important of which was: is equality part and parcel of human nature?. Can it be at all achieved?. I went back to the origin of man kind. We are born unequal. Some are born men, some women, some are born blind, some with super eyesight, some are born gorgeous, some unbelievably ugly and some are born with an IQ in the genius category and some are as dumb as a post. If God the almighty is not concerned about equality, why should we really even care?. I would like to argue that what humans seek is dignity and equal opportunity not equality per se. Human beings will never be equal and that is the nature of the beast, however this does not mean that anybody should be enslaved, humiliated or looked down upon just for the way they look, the God they worship or anything else for that matter, notwithstanding their behavior and ethics.
    Democracy does not necessarily mean capitalism. It can be socialism in its wide spectrum that can reach all the way to communism. This is the system that attempted to legislate equality and failed miserably. All it did was shift the privileges from the rich to the communist party members.
    In the US, we do not seek equality, rather equal opportunity. This is a grand idea with a lot of power. We have seen the upward mobility of people supported by the power of equal opportunity. This is what we lack in Syria. There is no such thing as human dignity or equal opportunity. I would like to argue that the middle and upper classes in Syria are not fearful of equality, a concept that is quite subjective and a goal beyond human reach. They are fearful of change. The change in the way they know how to do business. While those who are members of the regime are fearful for their lives first and for their livelihoods second and foremost. They have always survived as thugs. What else can they do to earn a living?
    What do you think?


  89. MORE NEWS:

    “Australia’s Reserve Bank Eases Libya Sanctions, Adds Syria Sanctions” (Samuel Rubenfeld, The Wall Street Journal)

    “Both sides in Syria fall victim to violence” (RT)

    “South Africa and Syria at the UN” (Simon Adams, News24)


  90. “In Syria, protests mutate to armed resistance amid economic meltdown” (Arwa Damon, CNN)

    “Syria holds former VP incommunicado, daughter says” (BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press)

    “Syria state media lashes out at Arab League” (France24)

    “Syria Unrest: Local, Arab & International Calls” (DP-News)

    “Syrian Refugees In Lebanon Still Face Peril “ (NYtimes)


  91. Hi Sheila,
    Right, on most all counts I think.
    Yes, definitely, human nature does not give a hoot for equality. In fact, Evolution and evolutionary development is based on inequality and the survival of the fittest. Naturally. And this is the law of nature. however, if one derives from this a philosophy and theory of society of Social Darwinism, as those in the late 19th century England and the United States did…. then the next thing you get if you follow that slippery slope is eugenics and social engineering such as the Nazi aspired to.
    We are born ‘unequal’ in many regards whether in terms of our place and time of birth and the resources available to us, and in terms of our innately given abilities and a fair portion of our intellect and capacities.
    However, we are also born – in nature with the capacity to kill each other – and it is the job of civilization and culture and society to condition us not to kill each other and to access within other parts of our nature our capacities for empathy and love.
    (See Freud – Civilization and Its Discontents and other psychoanalysis for investigations into the battle of Eros and Thanatos).
    Thus, a struggle for equality is one of society – and a decision to share our world – a philosophy of Humanism in contrast – where we decide to put some egalitarian equation together to guide our decisions about how to live together in this world. It seems to me – when we lived in a more independent world – ones might only have had to worry about your own family or your tribe or group. One could be disaffected by the conditions outside one’s own geographic region or social group. However, that is not the world we live in today.
    Whether you sit in Syria or any other land – the economic condition and the environmental condition of your neighbors and now people on the other side of the globe directly effect each one of us. Therefore, it seems to me that we are now all on the same ship. You cannot just pull up the plank and close the gates so to speak.

    If it were just up to nature- Syria might just die actually. You are out of water. The population is bursting. There is total mismanagement, and immigration become harder and harder.
    In third world countries – such over taxed environment leads to civil wars and killing and disease and death.
    Nature, or God – if you think god is responsible is heartless.
    So, I think it is our most elevated rational capacities as human beings – that have a small possibility of saving ourselves. Equality is high up on the hierarchy of needs, and that is why I say – when people are faced with scarcity or the perception of scarcity- all generosity or aspirations for this sense of civic responsibility for preserving the well being of others in addition to ourselves – goes out the window.

    On the subject of the United States – I think we actually do have an ideological goal of equality about certain things. This is the history of the due process clause of the constitution and the history of constitutional law among other developments in our short history. But you are correct that usually – the parameters are drawn around equal opportunity. In the legal history of education – “parity” of resources was deemed to be beyond the scope of a constitutional right. However, separate but equal was struck down – as inherently ‘unequal’ in terms of civil rights. We have yet to challenge what this means for healthcare. And in terms of civil rights and marriage – the debate is on. So – these question remain open here – as our society continues to develop.

    It is a huge understatement to say that Democracy does not “necessarily” mean Capitalism!… In fact Capitalism has been a huge destructive force at this point- against our Democratic system and its most noble aspirations. It has been the fusing and deliberate conflation of Democracy with Capitalism that has been eroding our political system as we speak.
    Obviously Soviet Communism was a complete failure – but many would argue that this version of socialism had nothing to do with real marxism or any real socialist ideology. It was perversion of it.
    Although- i would argue that Europe is more civilized than the United States due to its attempt to bring more social equality through social democratic policies, clearly we can see that these system have not been immune to the damage and carnage wrought by the global capitalist system…. because again…..we are all interdependent at this point – and our ships going down pull all the other ships down.
    Perhaps we are due in this world for a new “ism”… to talk about our global economic reality. Just as one cannot ignore the other citizens within your own country. We cannot ignore the other countries of the world even if they are on another continent.

    Syrian do fear change. It is in their blood – I think. However, it is a do or die situation.


  92. a few added thoughts:

    i would agree with you that many upper and middle class Syrians do not sit around thinking about Equality,nor think about how they fear it. Yes, they would have to have a clear concept in their mind of what that means in order to imagine or articulate a fear of it.
    But I was speaking less concretely – about issues that I believe underlie a notion of equality, for example sharing of resources, and respecting other groups right to political participation. Of course, the total lack of meaningful political participation for most of the citizenry means that they can’t imagine why anyone else – never mind the poor or uneducated of the country!- might be demanding it or entitled to it. But nonetheless, if the country were able to correctly diagnose the underlying issues of inequality of resource allocation and opportunity and wealth – and if this were understood to be a demand of those who are asking to change the political and economic system…then I can bet you that very quickly- we would find out how much those who are fairly well off – fear or don’t fear- a more egalitarian society.
    Don’t you think all humans know what “dignity” means at some level. There must be a word for it in Arabic. People know what it is when they are being deprived of it, and I have hard time thinking that a majority of Syrians are not experiencing in one way or another a kind of humiliation by their government – even just the paternalistic approach – the patronizing of the population and political subjugation… – must be felt at some level… as a kind of loss of dignity.
    But I could be wrong. maybe the average person likes to be treated like a bunch of children who can’t be trusted to participate in a political life and challenge any system whatsoever. How is that possible though. To me there must be some other explanation…involving a deadening… of the mind, depression, being asleep, traumatization. etc.
    Question is – how do you recover from that, recover your dignity and humanity as a society.


  93. Hugh Macleod from the Global-Post described what’s happening in Syria in one comprehensive line.

    “A tale of two Syrias”

    I think that’s exactly what every Syrian family is experiencing, very sad indeed!!


  94. @ Zenobia

    “maybe the average person likes to be treated like a bunch of children who can’t be trusted to participate in a political life and challenge any system whatsoever. How is that possible though. To me there must be some other explanation…involving a deadening… of the mind, depression, being asleep, traumatization. etc.”

    These average people you’re refereeing to are the ones who marching the streets and receiving bullets to earn their dignity and humanity, while the “rich, middle, educated and civilised” people are hiding like rats in their multi millions houses behind their FEAR of change.


  95. Walid Jumblatt (Lebanon) might jump the ship (again) and denounce Betho’s regime by the end of the month when Walid addresses his Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) in its annual general assembly conference. Such an action might cut Muawiya’s hair between Betho and Druz which might result in Al-Sweida joining the revolution. This would open another possibility of another Southern no-fly zone from the Jordanian borders side including both Dar’aa and Al-Sweida.


  96. True,

    exactly. I agree it is unlikely. I think everyone DOES know what “dignity” means”… but they don’t have to think about it- when they are not the ones who are being so blatantly deprived of it.
    so, since there seems to be an obvious class disparity between the people out on the street (or the areas of the country that are out on the street, excepting a bit Homs)- and the ones sitting in their houses in denial that they can just pretend this will go away and it is better to hold on to what meager privileges you have- it seems fair to surmise that it is not EVERYONE who is afraid of change – but rather those for whom a change might mean giving up some of their privileges… and having to think about the suffering of others who are barely surviving.


  97. @ Zenobia

    I hear you clear and loud. Yes I do agree that the concept of “equality” and the clash between different social classes is one of the drives behind what’s currently happening in Syria. However, we must not ignore the rapid social development of nonurban societies in terms of way of thinking, recognising their own rights and the desire to prove their existence, in contrary to the urban people who are refusing to accept that they’re not in the lead anymore and keep referring to protesters as “those”.

    Hypothetically speaking, let’s assume the regime was doing good job and nonurban communities were satisfied in terms of income, services … and not living on the edge of poverty. Do you think the revolution would break out?


  98. My thoughts, and please don’t attack and start calling me Islamist, backward, Salafi 🙂

    Could be that people have moved away from understanding their faith and rely on interpretations of others and social taboos. We are all, as you beautifully stated part and parcel of the whole. The American coined “Globalization” is not a new concept. Islam, in my view, has perfect equilibrium of equality and a justice system that works. Islam’s system of economics, charity, etc…are all viable alternative to capitalism. Most people are too afraid to venture into the abundant world of Islam and the solution it provides because of major misconceptions. Nowadays, it is unfashionable to discuss religion or be religious but fashionable to be daring, evil and god-free. So many people are struggling to piece the puzzle with various theories, but end up where they started and more confused.

    The solutions you speak about – the new ‘ism’ may very well be in our old books.


  99. @ HUSAM

    “Islam, in my view, has perfect equilibrium of equality and a justice system that works. Islam’s system of economics, charity, etc…are all viable alternative to capitalism.”

    First of all, you do know how to pick these tricky controversial topics eh 🙂

    Second of all and tbh I have no insight of how Islam interacts with economy and stuff like that, but what I’ve heard once from a friend of mine who’s a Prof in economics “if your bedouins apply your system no Lehman brothers would collapse” I took it as a positive feedback but I might be mistaken.

    The question is how to apply Islamic economical system in secular societies? Is Islam prerequisite for your scheme?


  100. @True,

    not sure. I think it probably would eventually – but maybe not at this moment. And I think it might – but it wouldn’t be exactly THIS revolution that is transpiring now. It would be perhaps differently played out. but I think- even with out economic inequality being a driving force – there would still be the problem of political suppression there and this would be festering.
    also, it is hard to say.. because it depend what “doing a good job” is… and if the gov’t would be doing enough of a good job, no maybe there wouldn’t be be a ‘need’ for a revolution. However, this is kind of an impossibility because then it wouldn’t be THIS government, would it… it would be a different gov’t. : )


    actually, the core of religion is often about trying to “civilize” the world of men…. and the ‘old books’ as you say…i imagine were for this purpose, trying to tell us how to live in this world and treat each other with kindness, charity, and decency. However, people seem to forgot that and are too busy focusing on repressive dogma. Christianity has the same decent core that has been distorted beyond recognition. Poor Jesus would probably faint.
    It makes me sad to see Syria in this condition and people being manipulated by sectarian notions, when this is the heart of the world in which – despite the usual historical episodes of inter-group violence, basically – it is a place of origin and respect for religion in general, and in some deep way tolerance. Ironically.


  101. TRUE

    First of all, you do know how to pick these tricky controversial topics eh

    LOL. Ask me and Husam about it. As tricky and controversial as it gets, but honest and open minded.

    And to all. Thank you. It has been long time since I have read such a wonderful discussion.


  102. @ Zenobia

    Good answer because this revolution is not to feed the hungry stomachs only it’s more to retrieve our dignity and freedom. Otherwise Betho could have pacified it easily right at the beginning when he ordered pay increase and some other motivational incentives. This revolution has the depth to reach all the way to our lost identity.

    Hafiz used to follow the strategy of “empty mouths” and that’s when you strip your people from all humans aspects and convert them into mere animals with on job except to feed and looking for some feed. On that matter, I’m not sure how old are ya and whether you witnessed some of Hafiz’ era or not but back in the days when I was a little kid the Syrian channel used to keep playing Hafiz addressing his Bathissts comrades and he used to, mimicking the Eastern Europe communist leaders, wave his both hands for three times then squeeze them firmly together. I recall asking my dad, what does that mean? And my dad answered “That means, no sugar, no rice, no tea and we will squeeze you to death” 🙂

    Yil3an ro7ak ya Hafiz indeed.


  103. Dear Zenobia,
    It is an absolute pleasure “talking” to you. I find your thoughts deep and your analysis profound.
    I would like to go back to the issue of equality. As wonderful as it seems to all of us, decent people, to be able to take care of everybody, the poor, the handicapped, the elderly and the sick, it has proven to be an elusive dream. No country or people throughout history were able to accomplish this while relying on their own resources (I am referring here to countries like France and England living the life by sucking the blood out of their colonies). As wonderful as the European health system may look from the outside, a good look on the inside can be scary. In some countries like England, a line is drawn at who is entitled to, for example, a kidney transplant. An older lady or gentleman can be denied the procedure based on a “cold-hearted” cost benefit analysis. We have to admit that there are at the end of they day, limited resources and we have to figure out how we are going to distribute those as fairly as possible. Any system you choose, will have some inherent problems with its fairness. The communist will probably favor the comrades, the socialist will probably favor the young and the capitalist will definitely favor the money. Any way you look at it, equality is very subjective.
    About Syria, I think that anyone who is going out on the streets and demonstrating knowing very well that he or she may never live to see another day, is a person who is either idealistic or absolutely pushed to the brink by poverty, indignity and no hope for the future. If we leave our comfortable couches in the west and put ourselves in the mind of those in Syria who are still able to make money or have enough set aside to survive the dark days, why do you think they would risk their lives?. They have to consider how by their participation in the uprising, they are going to risk their children’s future, cause their parents sever anxiety and pain and destroy their spouses life. They have to have the incentive and it does not seem that we are there yet.
    A few question for you: I am assuming that you are a lady. Is this correct?. Are you in the US?. Are you from Syria?.
    Thanks for the conversation.


  104. Dear Husam,
    You are definitely not alone. This has been a trend in the Arab world. While watching one failed country after another and one failed system after another, most Arabs are dismayed and uncertain about anything at this point. They feel that after all, the only system that worked for the Arabs was the Islamic system.
    The major problem with this theory and aspiration is that Muslims today are as far from original Islam as they can be. Their understanding of Islam would really take them to the era before Islam rather than the era after Islam came to being. They feel that God is punishing us because we are not pious enough. I would like to point out that some of the best periods of the Islamic Empire, were periods where the last thing you can talk about is piety. They were periods filled with vice and not virtue. I think most Muslims today are completely missing the point. To create a great nation, we do not need to force people to pray and fast and make women cover their heads. This issue is beyond proven by the mere fact that Iran and Saudi Arabia tried and proved to all of us that this is not how you recreate the old glory of Islam. To recreate the old glory of Islam, we have to go to the essence of Islam manifested in: education, morals and work ethics. These after all, as Zenobia said, the basis of all religions.
    The problem with ruling by using religion is that abuse of power becomes very dangerous. Once your opposition to government can be construed as opposition to the will of Gad, democracy is completely dead. The economy is another big issue. One of the basic tenets of finance is: money today is worth more than money tomorrow. This concept encompasses both inflation and interest. The struggle with the concept of interest is a big problem. I believe that Islam prohibited usury not interest. But that is me. The majority of so called scholars who know nothing about the basics of finance decided to outlaw all interest.
    I can really go on and on, but it is time for me to go to sleep and I think you get my point.


  105. @True
    lol. great description. No, i am not that old, and didn’t grow up in syria. but I will have to take your word for it. Plus- it is as my sources tell me.
    of course this is not about the empty stomach, but about the empty stomach and other indignities caused by the disregard of leaders and injustice. People can suffer quietly, when they feel their ‘parents’ are doing their best. But when they are being starved through neglect and the result of others greed… well then… it becomes about a lost identity, yes. A lost social contract, and repeated humiliations. But this has taken on some significant class dimensions, as is normal in all countries of the world…that’s all i am saying.

    @ Sheila,
    Likewise, I appreciated reading your many contributions on SC and now here. You make me think about a lot of things and elevate the conversation in interesting ways.

    In regards to your latest comment, I hear what you are saying. Yes, the world’s and every country’s resources are not limitless. We have to make choices and use discrimination about how as a society we want to use them and to allocate them. This seems to me a question of values, of all different sorts. As you say – ideology will often dictate how this shakes out. I am not sure I would use the word “subjective”…maybe that is where we are not clearly understanding each other. It seems to me that what comes from the subjective, as you put it, is the determination of what values are important to privilege, individualism for example over collectivism, or the market over collective responsibility…etc so on and so forth. If this is what you mean, I see that yes, this is a matter of subjective judgements. However, the consequences are not subjective… we can see the results of such decisions in very objective terms and results…
    If a county decides to put a factory or plant of some sort in one urban area where it pollutes the air regularly, and the citizenry is not given fair representation that would allow them to protest this.. but they are paid off in some fashion.. this may be fair or unfair… however, the increased chance of asthma that is experiences by the children in this geographic area – who are often of a low socio-economic standing… is real and has real health consequences. How we deem the inequality of the situation…is perhaps subjective, i agree with this. It is a judgment.
    but does this ‘SUBJECTIVITY’ somehow mean that we need not attempt to make these ethical judgements???
    Courts in america and I assume other countries try to make these judgements all the time. What is harm…. what is inequality,… what are injustices…. and so forth.
    If judges are asked to think about these questions… I do believe citizenry can be asked to do the same.
    the European health system I imagine is also far from perfect. There are also some scarce resources. However, my knowledge of this – is that we in the USA are faring far worse. We have the greatest technology and incredible medical advance on the planet…but you know…i can’t just go get any sort of preventative care whatsoever for free. NONE. I can’t see a doctor for simple issues or just to keep myself in good health and more likely to not get disease….
    My insurance (if I had any) would be for catastrophic..situations… well before i could get basic services. These are very screwed up priorities.
    So, it is a question of values… who is healthcare for? Is it a money making enterprise?..(apparently the answer is yes, in america) or is it to keep the people of your nation healthy…. (answer is the latter in Europe)… ? People pay a ton of taxes in Europe because they evaluated the collective need and agreed that it is better that everyone get some base line of healthcare (even if not entirely equal or entirely what you want at all times…. but not decided by a business executive’s self interest)…..Whereas… we have not come to that conclusion at all yet as a the US. People are still worried that if we give insurance to everyone…that their own cost will be higher or their own health care will suffer…. this is the equation.

    Back to Syria. You said it exactly. What are the people who are relatively ok willing to sacrifice? and WHY would they sacrifice? What would be the motivation..?
    AT this point, we are not there yet, as you say.
    I would like to think that the specter of ANY of their countrymen being shot, killed in cold blood, having tanks rolling through their streets or byways, or the threat of torture and disappearing would be enough!!!
    Does it not occur to them that if one day THEY were on the wrong side of some issue it might be THEM…. who is threatened with this?? is it not enough to consider that it is an unacceptable thing to live in a place with that level of threat by the authorities even a possibility?
    Apparently, this is not even close to enough of a reason or motivation.
    I see this as the problem of distance. They do not consider that this might be them (there but for the grace of god go I…). Instead, they think…these folks out there getting shot are some fringe element of troublemakers or fools, who I do not see as anything to do with myself.
    You are right, the citizenry of Syria are not going to be motivated by notions of elevation of all at this moment. They don’t make that connection.

    but fool that I am, I think that there might be someone person or persons- charismatic enough and wise and articulate enough who could actually – find the way to change this conversation…the picture of what is at stake…enough to reframe the entire narrative- into something that is actually inclusive enough and uniting enough to grab the hearts and minds of those who right now- do not feel moved by the violence they must be aware is there crashing down on others… (there but for the grace of god go I…)….

    I am a female, yes!… (lady, maybe)… Zenobia
    yes, I am in the USA. Although would like to go to ME again someday soon.
    First generation.

    and thank YOU for the conversation….


  106. Dearest Sheila:

    You said: “We have to admit that there are at the end of they day, limited resources and we have to figure out how we are going to distribute those as fairly as possible.”

    I beg to differ…perhaps, it is my business nature kicking-in. Actually there is just enough for everyone to go around. Our home – earth has enough resources to sustain 6 more billions of people. It has the ability to self-heal as well. The problem, in my peanut brain, is the lack of accountability, preservation and good governance. When the polluters are rewarded, you got a serious problem. When you got Monsanto owning your seeds and air rights, you got another problem. And, when you got 1%, as we are witnessing right in front of us today, owning and enslaving the other 99%, you got a bigger problem.

    Distribution, value, fairness etc…all these taken care of by Economics 101 dating back to BC(demand & supply). Instead, today we live in a bear & bust market that relies on a weak (more correctly called ponzi) system. They inflate, deflate and hyper the market; basically fake economics.

    I will post an interesting piece later by Celente discussing the current events.


  107. …@ Sheila:

    You are absolutely right about the prayer stick, it doesn’t work and never did. It actually has the reverse effect, people become rebelious. I do get your point, and quite easily actually because it seems we are on the same page.

    There are many, many knowledable scholars who can influence the revival and glory that Islam once had. The problem is these humble folks are not looking for fame and get lost in between all the cluter and the Grand Muftis 🙂

    Perhaps it is “high noon” we stop being afraid of revisiting our faith to challenge both the clergy and those who lable us fanatics – not.

    ,,,@ Zenobia:

    Poor Jesus would probably faint.

    Lol 🙂

    I think he would be atop the highest tree with Syrian Hamster.


  108. Hey True:

    Dude, I don’t do it on purpose, wallah. I always do like to ask myself opposing questions from far left all the way to the right. Normally, I will settle in the middle somewhere.

    I really enjoyed OTW’s analysis. A picture speaks volumes. You will not find any hard core Mnhebaks anytime soon here on the walls. Rather, they perfer kissing the floors that Bashar walks on.


  109. lol. yes, he wouuuuuuld.
    … because he would agree with you, that although Sheila is right that there are choices to be made, we are far far from needing to chose between which people will starve or won’t get basic needs met. He would be appalled at our lack of compassion for our humankind…
    the USA above all has plenty plenty of money available for all its citizens to go to the doctor for basic care and not live on the streets, but we don’t pay for that. We are not valuing that kind of basic equity.

    And there are resources in Syria that are not being equitably distributed,and the natural resources are not being minded carefully or used with care but are being sold off to the highest bidder.
    so, it is a far cry in this world right now – from a situation where we cannot take care of the basic needs of most of our population, as big as it is. We are awash in waste and squandering our resources for the benefit of the few.

    We have no compassion….


  110. OTW,

    I said I would post some sticky predictions and analysis by Gerald Celente. I am finding it hard to refute his research. But before I do, I wanted to know if you are aware fo this guy and do you buy into this forecast or do you think he is just another hollywood bozo. In case you haven’t seen his interviews on major news networks:


  111. Gerald Celente is an amazing dude i dinf him quite funny. Although he gets most of his predictions right but i always find it quite odd how he throws his forecast with no solid numbers or factual sheets.


  112. Gerald Celente is an amazing dude i find him quite funny. Although he gets most of his predictions right but i always find it quite odd how he throws his forecast with no solid numbers or factual sheets.


  113. @ True,

    No solid numbers, or factual sheets… are you kidding me? It is all right there in front of us. Most people are really too busy to piece it all together. This guy just happens to see the big picture like Ron Paul and make a business out of it.


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