Syrian Guerrilla Warfare, by TRUE

A word from OFF THE WALL

Although personally I strongly oppose armed actions by the revolution or by anyone supporting the revolution. It seems that the regime has succeeded in pushing some of its own soldiers as well as other factions into armed action. Whether we like it or not, there are fights going on, and while the peaceful protest continues, and continue to be met with brute force whenever the regime can still do so, a parallel line has emerged and it is gaining strength. This article by TRUE is an attempt to understand the tactics of the armed factions. The subject is off course a controversial one, but it is important that Syrians of all stripes discuss it, especially in light of the brutal demise of a brutal man Qaddafi. I believe we are going to have a heated debate on the merit or follies of armed actions against a regime that is far better equipped than anything an armed faction can attain, in the absence of external intervention, which is rejected by the largest segment of the Opposition, including myself. Please read the article and please let us keep the discussion as civilized as it has been since we started gathering around 7ee6an.

Syrian Guerrilla Warfare, by TRUE

Ali Ferzat cartoon about army split in Syria
Once more, Ali Ferzat had something to say about our topic. The word under the tank says "Defections"

All roads lead to  Rome  and all tactics and strategies implemented by the current Syrian regime seem to lead to an inescapable civil war. The Syrian revolution 2011 took a sharp twist when some of its participants adopted the concept of guerrilla warfare in response to the regime’s brutal security based crack down. For the last seven months or so the Syrian protesters have done their best to paint and maintain their popular movement as peaceful “Sylmiah” as they could. Such a tactic, undeniably, brought them a great deal of respect and international support, in fact only “verbal” support. In return, the current regime did not respond back with roses or water, words or serious dialog with the protesters, but, to the contrary, with iron and weapons killing more than 3000 martyrs, arresting 43250 and 12430 reported “missing” and everyone knows what does “missing” mean in al-ASSAD kingdom.

On the one hand, and as they emerged, the Free Syrian Army [الجيش السوري الحر] (FSA) and the Syrian National Council (SNC)  concepts are emerging and developing slowly and are yet to harmonise and gain more weight on the ground. On the other hand, the guerrilla warfare remains the “de facto” which causes the regime the real deal of pain. The level of pain is demonstrated through different forms and shapes, from having cities and villages completely out of control, bleeding the regime’s resources, jeopardizing its image and hindering its confidence. Inescapably, the guerrilla warfare will be the drive to unite all efforts and entities to oust the current regime.

There are three main guerrilla warfare tactics (Human waveCu Chi tunnels and Foco). Although the mass demonstrations calling for toppling the regime might suggest “human Wave” tactic, however, in reality, these crowds are not armed and are purely peaceful protesters. A quick glance at the current situation suggests that the Syrian armed rebels are divided into small fragmented and independent units which operate individually on sting –run methodology.  This allows them to minimise casualties from their side giving their lack the firepower. On the other hand, by examining the geographical nature of Syrian cities, we can safely assume it’s not “Cu Chi Tunnels” tactic (which was used by Hizboallah in Southern Lebanon).

To date, the apparent code of conduct of the Syrian guerrilla warfare leads to one conclusion of (Urban-Foco) tactic. Originally, Foco was about mobilising irregular armed civilians to launch attacks o}n formal troops from rural areas, and then return back to remote villages where fighters could melt and disappear amongst locals. However, since 1960 there was a new trend and shift in implementation strategies leading to what is now called “Urban-Foco” where guerrilla warfare combat operations (ambush, raid, and sniper operations) are conducted in urban environments and the guerrilla fighters return to their urban bases among sympathizing population. The Syrian case can be measured and compared against other similar case studies such as the Irish Republican Army, the Mujahideen in  Afghanistan , the Che chen Rebels in  Grozny .

“The urbanized strategic environment provides a fertile environment for Unconventional Warfare. The battleground where Unconventional Warfare will be conducted is no longer just the inaccessible terrain of rural areas. It is also located within the increasing urban sprawl occurring worldwide. Urbanization may require the development of new skills and core competencies. (DA 2001a, 2-10)”

“The Soviet Army positioned outposts along all major roads and was especially active in pacifying the Northern provinces between Kabuland and Termez. Even so, the Kabul regime faced enormous difficulties in ensuring the personal security of its own officials, who were often subject to attacks within the capital itself. The resistance network in Kabul repeatedly carried out shootings, bombings, and assassinations. (Baumann 1993, 136)”

“The Che chen s were extremely effective during small unit battles with the Russian forces by utilizing methods with which the Russians were either unfamiliar or unable to counter. Using the tactic of “hugging” the rebels would stay close to the Russian units as they moved to avoid indirect fire and keep at close range (Thomas 1999).”

“Where the Russians fought to control and hold the territory, the rebels fought to make controlling and holding the territory as unpleasant as possible—a very different mission, and one far more difficult both to grasp and to counter. (Oliker 2001, 73)”

Personally speaking, in a little while, I believe the Syrian guerrilla warfare will be forced to amalgamate its units, define political goals and firmly establish political responsibilities, and that’s where the big picture of SFA & SNC starts coming together. On that line, Mao Tse-tung defines certain fundamental steps necessary for guerrilla warfare in the realization of policy and political agenda which I find quite applicable to our Syrian scenario as follows

  1. Arousing and organizing the people.
  2. Achieving internal unification politically.
  3. Establishing bases.
  4. Equipping forces.
  5. Recovering national strength.
  6. Destroying enemy’s national strength.
  7. Regaining lost territories.

Finally, I leave you with a quote to the soul of freedom fighters “Che Cuevara” to think and reflect on

“Why does the guerrilla fighter fight? We must come to the inevitable conclusion that the guerrilla fighter is a reformer, that he takes up arms responding to the angry protest of the people against their oppressors, and that he fights in order to change the social system that keeps all his unarmed brothers in ignominy and misery.”

Che Guevara

284 Comments

  1. NEWS:

    “Syria unrest: ‘At least 24’ die in protests” (BBC)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15404515

    “IAEA seeks to kick-start stalled Syria probe” (Reuters)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/21/us-nuclear-syria-iaea-idUSTRE79K40320111021

    “Syria says it spent $3 billion on pound defense since revolt” (Massoud A. Derhally, TheDailyStar)
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Business/Middle-East/2011/Oct-22/151896-syria-says-it-spent-$3-billion-on-pound-defense-since-revolt.ashx#axzz1bSUex0xb

    “In Swelling Rallies, Syrians Say Assad Is Next” (NOUR MALAS, TWSJ)
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204618704576644842826764976.html

    “Putin, Assad May Be Unnerved by Qaddafi Killing, McCain Says” (Henry Meyer, Bloomberg)
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-21/putin-assad-may-be-unnerved-by-qaddafi-killing-mccain-says.html

    Like

  2. Excellent article True. This is indeed what we are seeing in Syria right now. A guerrilla warfare style campaign cannot be carried out unless the guerrillas have a sympathetic population with them. Homs in particular, with its sprawling neighborhoods and areas adjacent to farms and countryside, has proven very hospitable to the FSA’s operations. And apparently, people in Hama have, according to an interview Al Jazeera broadcast today, started to take up the same tactics.

    Interesting bit of information; a Thuraya phone was among the possessions found with Qadafi. The last phone call he received was from a number in Syria.

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  3. @ ABOUD

    Ta, and yes all these political initiatives are just to buy sometimes and will lead eventually to a dead end. It all comes down to arm the revolution and i must say thanks to the big borders with Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. My hunch is that the no-fly zone is coming from South along the Jordanian borders.

    Hehehe surely Qadafi was calling his mate Betho telling him “see ya soon up there buddy”

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  4. Dear True,
    The reporter was saying that the last call he received was from Syria, so it is Bashar calling to make sure he is still alive and well. What a sad end. Not that I feel sorry for him.

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  5. Sharp girls as usual 🙂 I’m hoping they won’t miss each other for long and same FIN is inimitable.

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  6. Probably it was to ask if Betho had any message to daddy down there.

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  7. If proven, the call from Syria at these very critical hours were confirmation from the Syrian Regime that Plan C is affirmitive – a safe escape route to Qerdaha at a cost of a few dozen billions in cash or gold.

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  8. You guys are impressed with Libya, the Council, Qadafi’s death, etc… I am not. His assissination saved logistics, embarrasements and a lengthy Iraqi style tribunal. Two things are turning in mind:

    1) I am worried about post Qadafi Libyians.. I mean who’s going to get installed now? This is a legitimate question because so far there is no proven model in M.E. Arab spring fever? Will the elections, if ever to materialize, not be hijacked?

    2) Good ridence we may say, but I have yet to see peace in Iraq. I am sorry for being back on the fence, Syrian blood is so dear to me. Calling for a civil war to remove one family is hard to swollow. Can’t they plan a high tech surgical operation? Or pay for a few heads (there is a price for everyone) to turn on them through intelligence?

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  9. Husam, legitimate concerns. But in history, there is no “and they lived happily ever after”, just the end of one crisis which inevitably leads to the next. Mistakes will be made, but they will be *our* mistakes. We will be the masters of our own fates, we will create our own destinies, for better or for worse, and not live our lives as sheep on some dictator’s farm.

    As for a surgical strike, if it was possible to get them to, someone would have done it. Assassinating the top echelon of any country has always been extremely difficult, it takes alot of luck for the opportunity to come. The regime forced a civil war on the country when it invaded Dar’a with T-72s. My God, *T-72s*!!!!!!!!! What kind of a barbarian uses tanks that were manufactured to survive a nuclear war, against their own people.

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  10. Thanks Aboud,

    I hear you and understood what you said fully. I am good with “our” mistakes as long as they are really ours and that we will be masters of our own fates. But, will they leave us alone? And if the answer is yes/maybe, then how can Syria or any country stand on its own without hegemony?

    The only thing that I see is a Pan Arab movement or an Islamic revival that will reunite the masses.

    BTW, your part of the reason I left SC.

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  11. ABOUD & HUSAM

    There’s no guarantee whatsoever of what would happen in the new Syria, but there’s a determination to turn this big farm into a constitutional state, this is the vision and everything else is just breadcrumbs to be manages at the time.

    We’ve reached to this point where Betho is kneeling and swallowing his spit by agreeing on the AL initiative after rejecting it firmly few days ago (Thanks to his best-mate papa Gadafi). At this point the guerrilla warfare should intensify its effort to corner him more and more while the SNC id doing the talk.

    The real battle is yet to start.

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  12. True, have not read the article yet. I am on the run. Is what NK says here true ? (SC)
    148. NK said:

    By the way, in case you guys have not seen the latest addition to Assad’s reforms.
    On 26/9/2011 the Syrian minister of justice Tayeer Qala Awad issued decree #1134 specifying the crimes/felonies that will prevent someone from ESTABLISHING or JOINING a political party, and here is the breakdown

    http://all4syria.info/web/archives/32233
    http://all4syria.info/web/archives/32421

    I find the following articles quite interesting:

    281 – Calling on the armed forces of a FOREIGN country to desert or disobey orders.

    287 – Every Syrian who broadcast false or exaggerated news that UNDERMINE THE PRESTIGE OF THE STATE OR IT’S FINANCIAL STATUS.

    307 – Every act or writing or talk that result in inciting racism or sectarianism or raise tension between different groups and sects of the nation.

    328 – Being a member of a secret group/party

    335 – Everyone who while in a public place, shouts, sings or moves in a way that disturbs the general peace. (see 336)
    336 – Considered an acts that disturbs the general peace.
    *A GROUP OF 7 WITH THE INTENT TO PROTEST A GOVERNMENT DECISION IN ORDER TO PRESSURE IT.
    *ANY GROUP OF 20.

    374 – EVERY PERSON WHO INSULTS THE PRESIDENT.

    462 – Every person that insults a religion or a religious ritual.

    Now remember those “crimes” not only prevent you from forming a party, it also prevents you from ever joining one. so all opposition figures (internal or external) were at one point charged and convicted with such crimes so that excludes them, also this excludes everyone who protested in the past 8 months, it definitely excludes everyone who ever criticized his highness, it also excludes all the Islamophobic secular wannabes, and pretty much everyone who said anything about what is really happened in Syria in the past 8 months.

    So there you have it, THE REFORMS!!!

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  13. @ Annie

    “news that UNDERMINE THE PRESTIGE OF THE STATE OR IT’S FINANCIAL STATUS.”

    I wonder when those peasants will stop tailoring laws and accords to their benefits. Anyway, you know what we’re in NO need for their shallow REFORM, and soon enough they will runaway out of our cities back to their mountains.

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  14. I see that you guy are enjoying my comments 🙂

    I think I’m going to give up on SC though, the comments over there are irritating to say the least.

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  15. @ NK

    Sounds like everyone on SC keeps an eye on our 7ee6an including the dinosaurs and maybe the self-obsessed moderator eh, well the hits# speaks for itself spiking from 2340 to 4083 in a matter of 5 days only, amazing eh.

    Yeah stick around and add value, I’m sure you’ll find a piece on the wall to draw and enjoy.

    What’s your outlook for the coming days?

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  16. Well, I don’t think much will happen in the few coming days. My money is on everyone waiting for the end of the 15 days deadline of the AL, the regime is definitely holding the national dialogue with their “opposition” just to buy more time, it seems that the SNC finally rejected the AL proposal since the AL delegation compromised and agreed to visit Damascus, the internal opposition namely the NCC (or whatever their name is) should not participate either if they’re serious about wanting to represent the Syrian street, however if they do attend this will set us back for a few more weeks giving the regime a much needed handout out of this hole they dug themselves into, the NCC naturally will be cast out by the protesters but the damage won’t be undone. This will give the regime another 2 weeks to maneuver and by the time the international community prepare for another round the regime will be ready to play another card, this might be the municipal elections card, or the new constitution process card which I’m sure the regime will milk for all it’s worth (publishing the draft for public opinion, having the people’s assembly discuss it, holding a referendum and then of course signing the damn thing) that’ll easily buy them few months not to mention it’ll be tailored to accommodate keeping Bashar as head of state.
    Of course all of that will only matter if the UNSC have any intent of passing a serious resolution at one point, but personally I don’t think this will happen and frankly I don’t think NATO intervention is a healthy option for the future of Syria anyways.

    Now the other path is independent of the international discourse, basically the unrest will continue but it will have little bearing on the regime (in the short term anyways), this is simply because Aleppo and Damascus will not join the revolution effectively. I think Damascus and its suburbs were hit pretty hard by the regime, probably as hard as Homs early on, but unlike Homs, it doesn’t seem like the residents of Damascus are willing to carry out any form of armed resistance not to mention that it’ll be much harder to carry out such a resistance there due to the heavy presence of the army and security forces in the capital, which means that Damascenes will keep protesting peacefully and the regime will keep on quelling them. As for Aleppo I truly believe they will never rise up against the regime (reminder: I’m from Aleppo), most people I know and talked to in Aleppo are extremely against the regime and want the revolution to succeed, they’re just not willing to sacrifice their way of life for the cause (with the exception of a select few), they’ll speak harshly against the regime in private but protesting is simply not an option, to be fair I must mention that I probably have 20 friends left in Aleppo and 180 who left the country and are scattered all over the globe, and my views are based on my conversations with those 20 and what little family I have left back there and those (will the majority of them anyways) will never demonstrate even after the fall of this regime!

    so all in all I think this will drag on for many many months.

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  17. Unhinging on SC

    @NK

    I see that someone on SC was getting unhinged SNK+SNP style after you challenged them in a conversation. Sorry you had to go through that. You cornered the all powerful yet supposedly classy one who has not written an original argument in 7 months now. I felt that I was reading a conversation between an adult and a toddler working himself up into a tantrum.

    @ Aboud
    I think opening up the main post section is a major reason why the hit number is increasing. Diversity of opinion is good. But we all need to do more to publicize the site.

    Laws and Consequences
    Anyone who thought that Betho’s reform will allow space for real opposition was not only deluded but was and is an utter fool with no understanding of human behavior. These charlatans breath trickery and they have been plotting for seven months about how to stay where they are while giving the appearance of motion. The real people know that. But i believe if you ask those (strong>”third way” pseudo intellectual fools who are blasting the revolution, the SNC, the FSA, and every single person who speak in their name, under the guise of being civilized (as exemplified by on unhinged fella) they would love these laws. What fools, what complete ugly and inexcusable cover for sectarian fear hiding under secularism. These guys would put both Serbia’s and Lebanon’s worst sectarians to shame.

    Keeping an Eye on 7ee6an
    We should also keep an eye on SC, and drop in a comment every once in a while. I have so much respect for TARA, Revlon, Haytham, Majed, and NK and few others for hanging in there. Stupid arguments must be exposed. And they are getting exposed. Thanks to these guys.

    Godspeed

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  18. Very comprehensive analysis and I like how you chronologically anticipated the series of events. I totally agree on blaming the NCC and other individuals if they participate in this virtual dialog, absurdly, under fire and painted with Syrian blood. The AL threw very smart initiative to tighten the rope around Betho but it seems the internal opposition stupidly are playing the contrary and will give the regime the needed time to play its cunning game in order to subdue the revoltuion while killing more and more of innocent protesters.

    However, you have undermined two main factors, firstly is the ongoing guerrilla warfare which believe it or not is the most thing that scares Betho and his thugs. Secondly, is the developed awareness of Syrian protesters, now we’re talking about people who have lost their love ones for a noble cause, now those people are able to read the big picture more than we do and most importantly they are the decision-makers of all events. so whether Betho gains more time or not it’s all irrelevant when it comes to people who decided not to retreat even if they receive killing bullets.

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  19. Great to see Hamster and NZ here. Why don’t you guys join the special group we’ve set up. OTW can tell you more.

    I’d be all for confronting stupid arguments on SC, but it is now a very badly run website, where the rules are made up as they go along. Alex cannot, alas, rise above his background. Frankly speaking, it is the dream of every little Qurdahan boy to emulate Hafez, whose only achievement was to be remembered as the bloodiest dictator of his time.

    The regime has to do a million things in a million places to subdue the revolution. While the revolution only has to achieve one thing for the whole house of cards to come crashing down; get the army back into its barracks. It is regretful that the Syrian army turned out to be the only one in the Arab world, willing to commit mass murder against its own people.

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  20. “Syrian army turned out to be the only one in the Arab world, willing to commit mass murder against its own people”

    it’s the Qurdahans army to be more precise. Big Suuni divisions have being line-sided for one reason called “defection” that’s happening as I’m typing these lines. what an innovative process of (soldiers defect, people host, people protest and soldiers protect) . indeed the necessity is the mother of invention.

    While every city and town in Syria is bleeding & in-labour for FREEDOM, Aleppo still insists to live in denial and watch from far with an attitude of “can’t bother!!”. What a sad story to be told for generations.

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  21. Aleppo Pines
    @ TRUE
    Indeed, what a sad story. Seems that Aleppo Pines are not friendly to Hamsters.

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  22. 400 sounds good although i hope i can push Aleppo to stand next to its sisters Homs, Hama ..etc, sighhhhhh.

    @ HAMSTER

    Agreed!!

    what’s the hamster’s outlook for the coming weeks?

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  23. @ TRUE

    I think NK left little to say except for few additional remarks.

    On the one hand, the protest movement seems to be picking up some steam again in several areas after the miserable end of a miserable man. On the other hand, the SNC is still going in circles. Revlon just posted a post on SC that demonstrates that the healthy diversity within SNC is yet to be complemented by a unified political work after decisions are arrived at. And their media outreach really really sucks. They need a couple of slaps in the face to wake up.

    SNC has to deal with several challenges on their hands. First, there is the challenge of internal opposition, which seems to be getting more domesticated by the day tand further from the dictate of the streets. The streets are continuing their pressure and it seems that they are upping it a little but let us hope in sustainable way. FSA is inflicting painful blows to the regime, if the (soldiers defect, people host, people protest and soldiers protect) process is accurate.

    The tactical situation on the ground is emerging where the central part of the country is now increasingly a zone where the revolution and the people are making it harder for the regime in the sense that there is little for the regime to do but to continue its brutal attempts, but facing some fire power in the process. I think Daraa will soon join in following a process that may spread what is happening in Homs to Hama as Aboud describes in an earlier comment.

    My real concern about Aleppo is not that it is not rising. My concern is that we may see defections in Aleppo, with sympathetic yet cowardly people not being able to host the defectors. This will lead to an eighties like situation in the City and will play into the regime’s hand. Aleppo will not feel the pain until a Turkish action is taken on the economic side. The city was almost up in arms when the regime came up with the import ban. Retraction may have given the corrupt business community a false feeling of power over this regime, and may in fact have made it harder for the city to rise. This is not because of a love for the regime, but because the big fishes in the city now think that they do have power over the regime, at least in matters related to their narrow interests, and dealing with those you know, especially if it is profitable, is far better for them from dealing with a state where corruption and connections will have far less influence. The one issue few talked about is the influence of Hassoon’s rival in Aleppo (Suhaib Al-Shami). Al-Shami has been as opportunistic as hassoon, but he commands far more followings and he still has not come out against the regime in any meaningful way.

    In the cyber-sphere where I dwell a lot, i expect a heightened campaign against SNC and, it mat lead to reshuffling.

    Watch out for some international events regarding Israel-Palestine on the issue of Palestinian Statehood that will divert the attention of the AL from both Yemen and Syria.

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  24. Salam to all

    Thanks OTW for the invitation

    Happy to join a sane crowd. SC has become a true menhebakism sewer. It always had a regime bias but with this new guy (otrakji) it is just the English version of SANA with a comment section. Utter waste of time.

    My own personal opinion about guerrilla warfare that it is a necessary evil. There is no going back. The regime is still trying hard to push the clock backward and should it be victorious we will back to square -10. The leader worship orgy in Aleppo and Damascus last week proves just that. Teachers (especially from Alawi sect.) in schools are trying to re-install torn pictures of Assad and re-install the fear. I know that at least in Edleb this is not working. In Edleb students are holding demos in schools.

    We may or may not receive an outside help (although very likely we will). My own view is that Betho has abandoned its responsibility to the majority of its own citizens deciding to side with only those who accept him. Will the regime allow and protect opposition rallies like it did to its supporters ? Having abandoned his responsibilities, he has no right to lecture us on patriotism. We are at leisure to ask help from who we see fit. I don’t see anything immoral about it. If a child was abused by his own father, would it be considered immoral to ask for the help of the police ? It would be criminal to ask the child NOT to ask for outside help under the pretext of “family”. The “father” is Syria is not only abusing his children but even inviting others (HA, Iran and the rest of the sectarian crown) for it.

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  25. TO All,
    First, I would like to welcome NK and Mohammad to the fold. As you well know by now, I have family in both Halab and Idleb. Unlike NK, I still have a lot of family in both cities. I have been visited by one of my brothers several times during the uprising. He is very anti-regime, like all of us here. I am now waiting for another one of my brothers to visit. This one is pro-regime. I will let you know what his view point is. It would be interesting for me to hear it.
    I would like to point out that (this is an assumption on my part) we all come from middle to upper class families who are financially secure. Every time we discuss Aleppo, we fall into the trap of discussing this segment of the society that we all know is rather small.
    My anti-regime brother and I discussed the situation in Halab many times. He is on the ground, in business and has connections to people from al walks of life. Remember that a large segment of the population in Halab is from the surrounding rural areas and many from Idleb and its surrounding rural areas. I am sure most of you know that Aleppo’s rural areas have a lot of Kurds and so does the city. My brother believes that the regime put in a lot of effort in Aleppo right from the start. The regime was not worried about any other area except for Aleppo. It has a very bad history with the regime, it is too close to Turkey and it is very big. Their efforts paid off. According to him, every time there is an attempt to gather and start a demonstration, the people are pounced on almost immediately before they assemble. I have a theory that this tremendous concentration of security in both Aleppo and Damascus is actually what is allowing the other cities and villages to demonstrate. They are eating up a lot of the regime resources.
    I think that we should concentrate on two segments of the population: the lower classes and the students. The:” I do not have anything to loose crowd” and the: “idealistic youth”. In my view, it is going to take a spark. I do not know what that spark is or when it is going to happen, but then the city will erupt in a wave of anger that no one is going to be able to contain. The easiest explanation is cowardice, I think it is far more complicated than that. The history of Aleppo does not hold cowardice to be true. Remember that even though Aleppo has been relatively quiet, there has been many arrests and the city is completely closed off by check points.

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  26. N.K. & Muhammad:

    I knew you guys would make it. Welcome aboard!

    @ Syrian Hamster, excellent analysis.

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  27. Sheila

    Totally agree regarding Aleppo and how much effort the regime has put in it. I have actually written a piece in Arabic about Aleppo and why we should not be hopeless. Find it here:

    http://the-syrian.com/archives/43285

    I personally know few people who has been arrested in Aleppo merely for posting on the net – now a rarity in other places. The regime is not letting Aleppo go but it will not be able to hold on to it for ever. Aleppo countryside is getting hotter by the day. Mingh now sees regular demos and previously it was shown on Syrian TV as an example of normality and quietness. I agree Aleppo is boiling under the surface and the sentiment is massively anti-regime. Sooner or later the policy of isolating Aleppo will fail. The whole policy belong to a different era. The revolution reached from Tunisia to Edleb, Aleppo is only another 60 km to the north.

    I have no doubt that the revolution is winning. Even the demos run last week shows how much support and ability the regime has lost. Last time they did something similar they ran it across the board in all governorates. now they made it in only two cities and at different times – almost certainly because they had to concentrate resources to do so including bussing in the shabiha and menhebaks cattle from the coast.

    I would be very interested to hear your brother’s reason to be pro-regime. Those in my family who support the regime are either stupid (and I’m sorry to say that but it is the truth) or simply have a history of some connection to the security services – almost certainly not an innocent one. I hope your brother will have some logical reasons.

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  28. Edleb city centre tonight

    Saluting Homs, Libya and the martyrs.

    We WILL prevail

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  29. Dear Sheila
    What you said make a lot of sense. This coming Tuesday has been declared a general strike day at the University of Aleppo. If it succeeds, then the students are in big time. Remember that the students at university housing (mostly from outside Aleppo) have made several attempts early on and they were confronted, sadly, by mukhabarat and baathists faculty and students who now form the shabeeha gangs at universities.

    I think the upper middle class in Aleppo is stuck in a psychological trap. They can not declare that they put their weight behind the regime for selfish reasons out of pride and vanity. So they get to play complex mental gymnastics with regime strength, salafi nightmares, and a lot of other BS you and i know very well from relatives and acquaintances. One of my relatives, who is a very decent person, now lashes out at anything that seems to support democracy or freedom and always uses phrases like “keep your western democracy away”, “see what you Americans did in Iraq”, and utterances like what the deranged opportunist Bassam Alqadi and his fans keep hammering at us.

    I do think that Hamster got something in his analysis. As you mentioned, most of us are middle to upper middle class, and thus our knowledge of the majority of Aleppo may be superficial. For example, and this may sound very strange, I have heard once or twice the name Qahwet Alshaar when I lived in Aleppo for 25 years. I now realize that demographically, it is one of highest population concentrations in Syria, and it nears 500,000 inhabitants with large families living in 30 square meter apartments. However, they are very much beholden to religiousness and to religious leaders including those who are under Al-Shami’s wing. Another young and bright relative of mine, who is endowed with enlightened faith, has complained to me bitterly at the control these religious leaders enjoy over the masses in Aleppo. He told me that the first question asked is usually, who is your shaikh and that was before the uprising. I think the regime has co-opted these religious leaders in the city through a complex web of economic interests that extend through few strata of economic classes.

    I therefore, share Hamster’s concern that the excessive, multifaceted control of the city may lead to the emergence of punitive type of armed resistance that may be tempted to resort to assassinations and to exact punitive measures against the residents of the city that day after day seems to be considered as a city of heartless gluttons at best, or traitors, at worst. I do not agree with that label, but the regime sycophants in Aleppo must chill down their attempts to show their bosses that the city is solidly behind the murderous regime, because they are doing our beloved city a great deal of harm. Unfortunately, of all my pro-regime friends, Aleppine are the most arrogant, combative, shallow minded, and are the first ones to throw years of friendship in the trash bin in order to satisfy their ego that they are right in supporting this regime. I hope that I am not stereotyping, but I have had to be very patient and even hide their facebook comments without deleting them, because I could not swallow their attitude and rush to comment on every single post that seems to hint at supporting freedom.

    Like

  30. Dear Muhammad and OTW,
    I am also intrigues by my brother’s stance. First, he is an accomplished professional who is very well-read to the point of impressive, second, his wife is from Homs and very anti-regime, third, his son who is studying abroad, is often found on Youtube leading demonstrations. So, I really want to open my ears and mind to find out why he is supporting the regime.
    In terms of Al Shami, my father knows both Al Shami and Hassoun very well. Hassoun is far more impressive when it comes to his analysis of religion. Al Shami is a well known womanizer. I would have never guessed that the Hassoun I knew would be so pro-regime. I am almost certain that he is being threatened by the regime and I would not be surprised to find out that they killed his son to show him how serious they are. Most religious leaders otherwise, are totally unreliable. They are puppets in the hands of the regime, otherwise they would not be where they are.

    Like

  31. SGID passes his greetings from Damascus and conveys his apologies for not participating much on 7ee6an. Soon he will join us and we all will hear his perspective as an eyewitness from Damascus.

    SGID & ABOUD …. be safe!

    Like

  32. لو كانت حربا لانتهت

    شهر كامل والموقع يتعرض لقصف شديد من خفافيش الظلام

    اغرقوا الموقع بزيارات وهمية تعدت الملايين

    حرصوا على ارسال فيروسات لكل ملف ومجلد

    حولوا الموقع إلى مواقع العهر

    ماذا تبقى لهم؟!

    فليأخذوا كل شيء .. ويتركوا لنا الكلمة

    لسنا من اعلنا الثورات على بعد آلاف الأميال

    لسنا سوى عرب مغتربين نقاتل طواحين الهواء

    فما الذي يزعجهم ان كانوا على حق ونحن على باطل؟!

    الم يحجبوا الموقع في بلادهم التي استولوا على عروشها عنوة وسفكوا الدماء؟!

    ألا تكفي الدماء كي يلاحقوا الكلمة بمباركة رئيسهم الممانع والمقاوم الفخور بجيشه الإلكتروني

    نعتذر من القراء الكرام.. نصل النهار بالليل حتى نعود.. وسنعود ان شاء الله قريبا..

    إدارة موقع وطن – يغرد خارج السرب

    editor@watan.com

    Like

  33. Very comprehensive analysis and I’d like to thank everyone for sharing his/her point of view with us. It’s really good to see people expressing themselves with no barking dogs around, simply and only in a calm environment we could hear each other.

    Currently the Syrian revolution is suffering a bottleneck effect which is mainly caused by bad resource management and failing to come up with one umbrella to cover the revolution and adopt one code of actions. While this is totally understandable and predictable giving the lack of support (internationally, Islamically, and from the Arabs themselves) but still there’s an obligation on what so called “opposition leaders” to improvise urgent and innovative solutions rather than waiting for (surely not coming) theoretical support. The latest developments demonstrated three new main emerging facts, in addition to the popular movement on the ground, with a stark paradigm of running randomly in total different orbits, this is in reference to the SNC, FSA and undeniable guerrilla warfare operations throughout the country.

    A strategy is needed to drive these orbits close to each other, synchronize their rotation from random into some sorts of harmony and fix their pace. The dilemma is when SNC refuses to adopt and support the FSA just to push back any potential accusations of promoting violence. I say unless we find this area of common interest where these orbits can intersect dynamically and harmonically according to one agenda, sadly speaking, we would keep bleeding resources & time for long.

    The question is how and where to go from here?

    Like

  34. Dear Off the Wall,

    We are all as lucky as you are to witness the Arab Spring, I prefer calling it the “Arab Awakening”.

    Thanks for sharing with your readers the way your stance, in respect to the Syrian regime changed. We all seem to have one thing in common, our love for the country.

    The two updates, from Ausama Munajed, and Shaam News, are a great addition.

    Thanks for giving us your time and effort to share our thoughts, frustrations and eventually a New Syria, and fearless Syrians.. were all Syrians can and will realize their potentials….

    Till then happy blogging…N.Z.

    Like

  35. What do you think about what’s written in this article by someone
     
    من قلم   :  اشرف المقداد

    مذهل:أموال إيرانية للمجلس السوري الوطني؟؟
    العمى……معقول؟ حقيقة أم خيال؟؟؟ كيف؟ وما هي مصلحة إيران؟ ومن هو نقطة الوصل الإيرانية في هذا المجلس؟ كيف حدث هذا؟

    ما هي القصة؟ وما هي الدلائل؟؟؟.

    أولا القصة:الإسبوع الماضي وبعد سماع بعض أعضاء هذا المجلس الموقر عن زيارة مخططة من قبل سوريين معارضين ولكنهم ليسوا اعضاء في هذا المجلس الموقر وعزم اللليبين على استقبال هؤلاء استقبالا شعبيا حاشدا….تحمس هؤلاء لقطع الطريق على هؤلاء وأخذوا على انفسهم أن يكونوا

    هناك أولا وبدون اي ترتيب مع المجلس الانتقالي الليبي خططوا زيارتهم المفاجئة لهم!!!

    هناك كانت مشكلة وسيلة النقل وكبف يصلون الى ليبيا وبطريقة تليق “بغليون” وأحمد رمضان(ابو شفايف) وبقية الشلة المرافقة فهم لن يقفزوا بباصات الهوب هوب أو في سيارات من “كراج ليبيا” في القاهرة….العمى…..هادا هو المجلس السوري الوطني “بقدّه ودلقه” وهذا”سيادة الرئيس” نفسه برهان غليون “المؤقت” بالطبع لثلاثة اشهر(بعين الشيطان) فأخذ ابو شفايف(أحمد رمضان) على نفسه استئجار طائرة بوينغ خمس نجوم لتحمل هذا الوفد (خمس نجوم) في”زيارتهم” الرسمية الاولى….لاتنسوا هنا ان الإخوة الليبين لا يعرفون بزيارة “الغفلة” هذه وهم ينتظرون وفدا مختلفا كليا وبطائرة عادية وبرحلة عادية الى مطار طرابلس وبدون طبول وزمامير …..

    وبحسبة بسيطة لتكلفة هذه الطائرة ذهابا وإيابا وانتظارا لأصحاب السيادة ومع تكليف الإقلاع والهبوط في المطارات اعطونا هنا بأستراليا كلفة مالايقل عن سبعين الف دولار فقط لاغير وذالك لأربع وعشرين ساعة فقط…..فقلنا لحالنا هي استراليا وأكيد مصر “مشحرة تسعيرتهم” وقسمنا المبلغ بالنص…تقريبا فالمبلغ هو اربعين الف دولارا …..دولارا ينطح دولارا دفعها المناضل احمد رمضان (ابوشفايف) عدا ونقداّ وقبل اقلاع طائرة”زوّار الغفلة” ومع كل الإحراج التي تسببته هذه الزيارة فحيث كان الليبيين مشغولين بزيارة السيدة كلينتون ومو فاضيين “لغليون” وابو شفايفولمشاكل السوريين ببعضهم البعض ومن يمثل من!!!!

    فجاء ابو شفايف الى محل انتباهنا الشديد فمثل هذا “الكرم الحاتمي” غير معروف عنه على الإطلاق فالاخ “الحلبي” الإخونجي” كان ومن مدة بسيطة  جدا يعلن عن دورات “تدريبية على الإنترنت” من لندن في مركزه الغير معروف ابدا وغيرموجودالافي مخيلته http://www.odabasham.net/show.php?sid=5579: فقررنا أن نبحث في تاريخ هذا المناضل ….فمفاجأة الموسم كانت كم هو قليل عنه في الانترنت والاقل منه من معلومات لدى الجميع ممن اتصلنا بهم ومنهم من هو موجود في المجلس نفسه ومن الإخوان ثم وبإصرار مننا بدأ غموض هذا”الثائر” يتوضح اكثر فاكثر ومفاجآتنا “الغير سارة تأتي “بالكيلو” والقنطار!!!! بدأنا نركز على لبنان حيث اغلب نشاطات هذا المناضل ومغامراته (الحزب اللاوية): فصاحبنا بدا حياته إخونجيا حلبيا عاديا وهرب مع من هرب الى العراق “المجيد” وهناك وبسبب “الشفايف” حصل على وظيفة مذيع في الإذاعة  السورية التي اوجدها صدّام حسين للمعارضيهم السوريين وكان هناك برنامج يومي لمدة ساعتين للإخونجية (برنامج صوت المجاهدين) حيث عرف”ابو شفايف” بعدة اسماء ومنها “ابو حسان” “وابو خليل”…..بعد معركة الكويت الصدّامية هرب صاحبنا “المناضل” الى الاردن حيث تسكع هناك عدة سنين وتعرف على شلة خالد مشعل واصحابه (كلن اخونجية بالطبع) وعلى غيرهم اللذين نتحفظ على اسمائهم في هذه اللحظة ثم غادر مع البيانوني “وشلته” الى لندن وعاش هناك عدة سنين حصل بها على الجنسية وعمل بعدة اشغال وضيعة منها توزيع الجرائد ثم حصل أن وصل خالد مشعل الى قمة القيادة في حماس وانتقل الى دمشق ومنها الى حضن إيران كما يعرف القاصي والداني وفجأة سبحت”حماس بالنقود” “النظيفة” بالطبع وظهرت الحاجة لتأسيس وكالة أنباء “حماسية” تنافس “وفا” الفتحاوية…

    تذكر خالد مشعل صاحبنا “ابو شفايف” المناضل الكبير احمد رمضان الذي “اشتغل بالإعلام” من قبل وكلفه ان يؤسس ويترأس وكالة القدس  الإخبارية ومن “لندن”!!!!(غرفة واحدة). ثم جائت الحاجة الى محطة تلفزيونية فأسست حماس محطة “القدس” في بيروت……وأين في بيروت؟؟؟؟ قرب مصدر الاموال النظيفةومحاسبي حزب الله المشرفين على هذه الاموال….في الضاحية الجنوبية بالطبع…..ومن اختار صاحبنا أن يكون مديرا للإخبار في تلفزيون القدس؟ نعم صاحبنا”ابو شفايف” أحمد رمضان !!!!! السؤال هنا كيف سيتتغلب حماس على المشكلة”البسيطة” في أن أحمد رمضان “مطلوب” للمخابرات  السورية (أو كذا نتوقع)والتي تعج في كل مكان في لبنان لاوبل ازلامهم في حزب الله ….لاوبل في قلب الضاحية الجنوبية نفسها!!!!؟؟؟؟ بسيطة…..على حماس وخالد مشعل….فبطلب بسيط من “القيادة السورية” رفع اي “إشكال عن صاحبنا والتحق “ابو” شفايف” بعمله كمدير للاخبار في قناة القدس في مقرها في الضاحية الجنوبية وهنا بعض الروابط

    http://www.palenews.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6921

    http://www.fatehmedia.org/showthread.php?t=12492

    http://www.kulalhaqiqa.com/details.aspx?id=9072

    ليس هذا فحسب فعرف “صاحبنا” بفساده الشديد و”اكله حقوق الناس” وبمحبته للحياة الباذخة فالدفّيع الإيراني كريم وابو شفايف بيستاهل طبعا والاجمل انه وبمساعي حزب الله ليس فقط حاز على الحماية “الالّاوية” ولكن”اجمعوه” مع رستم غزالة” ومن بعدها بدأ “صاحبنا بزيارة سورية (بحسب مصادر المخابرات اللبنانية) وبتأكيدات من مخابرات ابو مازن الذين كانوا سعيدين بتزويدنا مايعرفون عن هذا المتعجرف والفاسد “وأكّيل” حقوق الناس …ولكن تركت المخابرات السورية التعامل معه للإيرانيين وجهاز الامن في حزب الله الذي يشرف على الإتصالات مع حماس وقناتها “القدس”…..وكان صاحبنا صلة الوصل مع “شلة البيانوني” مع حماس ومع حزب الله ومن بعد مع إيران نفسها وما أن بدأت إسرائيل بقصف غزة في حربها الهمجية الاخيرة وبجهود واتصالات هذا “المغوار” حتى علّق البيانوني “معارضة” الإخوان المسلمين لنظام بشار المجرم وهذا القرار مازال ساري المفعول الى الأن بالرغم من تغير المراقب العام بالطبعمنذ شهر نيسان “اخذ” صاحبنا إجازة مفتوحة من عمله في تلفزيون حماس”الإيراني” وتفرغ “للعمل” المعاراضتي” للنظام السوري فجأة وبدأ بالتحضير لمؤتمر “الإنقاذ” مع صاحبيه “كتّيب الاحجبة” عماد الدين الرشيد الذي قابله “صاحبنا” عدة مرات في مقابلات عماد بتلفزيون حماس

    وعماد الذي كان يخرج من سورية بعلم المخابرات السورية الكامل والشامل بل وبحمايتها الى بيروت المحتلة آنذاك من جيش ومخابرات بشار الاسد لإجراء مثل هذه المقابلات “التلفزيونية هو وصاحبه فداء المجذوب وهم هؤلاء الثلاثة اعضاء في “اللجنة التحضيرية لمؤتمر الإنقاذ” وهم نفسهم اعضاء اللجنة التحضيرية للمجلس الوطني مع بقية شلة البيانوني من عبيدة النحاس وعبيدة فارس وغيرهم من الأشاوس اللذين بدأت علاقاتهم ببعض في الاردن وغادروا جميعا الى لندن وبنفس الوقت!!! أتحدى ابو شفايف والبيانوني ان يفصحوا عن مصادر التمويل لذاك المؤتمر ولتشكيل المجلس الوطني كما اتحدى احمد رمضان ان يفصح عن مصدر لتمويل لإستئجار هذه الطائرة البيونغية(اربعين الف دولار)

    هل هي اي مصادفة أن يحجم هذا المجلس “الوطني” عن الدعوة للحماية الدولية” أو عن قبول دعم ليبيا العسكري والحرص على بقاء “الثورة سلمية”

    هل هي مصادفة أن يكون هؤلاء هم الزنبرك لكذا مجلس فهم الممولون ولكن من اي مصادر؟؟

    هل هي مصادفة أن يطرد كافة طاقم تلفزيون سورية المعارض الذي يبث من الاردن لأنهم هاجموا إيران وحزب الله؟

    هل هي مصادفة أن يتوقف تلفزيون بردى “المعترض” عن بث أي أخبار عن تورط حزب الله بقمع شعبنا أو ذكر إيران بعد أن “استقل” بردى عن  تمويل”الامريكان” وقبول مالكه انس العبده “رئيس إعلان دمشق بالخارج”(ومن شلة الاردن ذاتها ومن المهاجرين الى لندن وبنفس الوقت) بكذا مجلس وفرض هذا المجلس على إعلان دمشق؟ ومازالت تحقيقاتنا مستمرة وسنزودكم بكل جديد كما تصلنا ولكن الأهم من ذالك كله وحتى لو كان التمويل “حماسيا” بشكل مباشر وإيرانيا وبشكل غير مباشر فكيف تستطيع حماس عمل ذالك وهي ماتزال في  دمشق؟ وبأموال إيران وتسليم وإشراف من “شباب حزب الله”

    اسئلة عجيبة غريبة تظهر ومع كل دقيقة نغوص بها بهذا التحقيق….سنهمل القافزون والذين سيفقدون صوابهم ونحن نكشف حقائق ابو الشفايف وكتّيب الأحجبة والمجذوب وكوهين الإسلاميين(أنس العبدة) ومسيلمة الكذاب(عبيدة النحاس)وهذا اسمه منذ ايام حبهة الخلاص على قكرة عندما كان هو الناطق الرسمي لها…..ووراهم وراهم حتى نطردهم من مجلسنا الموقر فهو مجلسنا وليس مجلس عملاء إيران وحماس وحزب الله وأتحداهم الإجابة على هذه الحقائق التي نقدمها وسنقدمها تباعا

    أشرف المقداد

    فاضح رجال بشار في المجلس الوطني
    [10/22/11 10:57:53 AM] Niche of Lights: عجيب

    Like

  36. @ NK

    Regarding “decree #1134 specifying the crimes/felonies that will prevent someone from ESTABLISHING or JOINING a political party, and here is the breakdown”

    Great catch! As they say, “the devil is in the details.”

    I was certain that the new party law was designed to keep the Baath in power without any effective competition, but I couldn’t prove it.

    Like

  37. @ SYR.EXPAT

    no doubt there’s a fierce propaganda war going on. I reckon any piece of info with no evidence or reference should be ignored. At this stage we should not be distracted (As Hamster advised) from the main objective of ousting the regime, but yeah surely there’s a time where all these names should be put through very small holes sieve.

    Like

  38. Dear SYR.EXPAT,
    Reading this article felt like watching SANA. I think the regime has a few smart Alecks that they use to write propaganda pieces for them to stir doubt in people’s minds. You can see the pattern: very low class taunting of a known figure using some real facts and many shady ones. The style and language are identical. You really can not miss it.

    Like

  39. The feedback I got this morning from an expatriate Syrian friend is that the opposition is clamouring for Nato intervention on all TV channels. I don’t watch AJ very often plus I would not understand enough. This is not the impression I get from what I read on the net.

    Like

  40. Dear N.Z
    Welcome on board and thanks for the kind words. Sorry for the delay in releasing you comment. Your comments will from now on appear immediately after posting.

    Like

  41. Annie, mmmmm that’s quite weird i have not heard or come across this “NATO intervention” campaign eh. However, what I’ve noticed lately that the Western media is getting less interested in covering what’s happening in Syria.

    Like

  42. Annie, I have Al-Arabia, Jazeera, BBC English/Arabic, France 24 English/Arabic and CNN, and I wish to God I had even seen a prominent opposition member on those channels in the past week, let alone a whole bunch of them clamoring for NATO intervention. I don’t know about Orient TV, I don’t watch it much.

    No one is calling for NATO intervention, but they are calling for some sort of international protection for civilians. What that means exactly, no one has said for sure.

    Like

  43. True, the international TV coverage of Syria remains about the same, but the BBC’s Sue Roberts had a superb report on Homs. The print media are still very much focused on Syria.

    Like

  44. Coverage in the UK has not receded AFAIK

    See this excellent documentary from Channel 4

    A lot of ordinary people get confused between different countries but the name of Syria is quite familiar. The only people I’ve ever met who think Bashar is a good president are Syrians from minorities and even then they are a tiny minority among Syrians.

    Like

  45. Thanks Muhamad, I was just watching that. The reporter and her team were very courageous.

    Like

  46. Friends
    I am working on some design aspects of the blog. Please do not be concerned if you see new pages, elements appear and disappear, I am just doing some tests. Please note the addition of Google News RSS feed as an example.

    I have been trying very hard to find a template that allows comment number next to the comment and still looks nice. No luck so far given that the current hosting mode does not give me the choice of editing the template using php or CSS. There is possibility of commercial hosting and I am trying to find a host with top-notch security protection. Once done, migration may take sometime since I will then have to do some deal of initial re-coding.. If done, the blog should have edit comment feature, comment number, and verification words. Your opinion are sought.

    Posts can only be posted in a single location, which means that If I create new pages, only comments can be posted in these pages but not topical posts. That, however, can be done using tags and categories.

    Finally, Let us think Site Policy…. Suggestions and pitfalls to avoid.

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  47. The ceremony, marking Libya’s liberation is underway. Marking the end of dictatorship, one man rule, one family rule, marking the end of tyranny and brutality.

    “Libyans, hold your head up high, you are Libyans The Free”.

    Like

  48. Dear Muhammad,
    Thank you. This was very good reporting. Can you imagine what we could have seen had reports been allowed in Syria?. I think someone should e-mail this to Asma.

    Like

  49. Muhammah:

    The only people I’ve ever met who think Bashar is a good president are Syrians from minorities and even then they are a tiny minority among Syrians.

    I disagree and I know for a fact that some of my family in Damascus, who are pure Sunni and who support the Ba’ath and Bashar 110%. And if I may add, not one family, but several who don’t know each other and are connected to me closely.

    True but sad.

    Like

  50. Dear Friends:

    I am really not versed with names of politicians, historians, imams or any Arabic or Syrian star. Also, I unfortunately don’t read or write Arabic having left Syria at the age of 3. It would take me literally 1 minute to read a sentence in Arabic. I know, I know I should keep on reading to improve 😦

    Like TARA, I only started following politics recently since the Arab Spring.

    Having said that, can anyone explain to me why NO ONE, I mean no one from any ministry in Syria defected or left Syria? Why no politician, economist, principle, ambassador, save for the Homsi mayor and a few imams have left Syria in protest. They can easily seek asylum in the west. This brings me to the next point/question.

    All those calling for Bashar and Maher’s head among a handful others, what about the 100,000 or so that are worst than them who are just as guilty and who were doing the actual killing, torturing, etc..? If I am correct, the judicial system of any country will punish the person who pulled the trigger far harsher than those who hired them. What will happen to the top several 100 hundred goons of the Regime? In Egypt, they only rounded up 8 or so and the rest dispersed back into the system.

    Like

  51. Husam

    I meant people in the UK where I’m FTM. I -too- have people in my family who are Sunni and very pro-regime to the degree of posting stomach turning comments on FB and joining pro-regime demos in Arab countries. In the UK -however- I’ve never met any Sunni who is pro-regime. I’m sure they exist though.

    Like

  52. Husam

    “Having said that, can anyone explain to me why NO ONE, I mean no one from any ministry in Syria defected or left Syria?”

    Do you know what happened to Harmoush’s family? It has almost been wiped out. In laws, cousins, everything. Even Qadafi never went that far. The Qurdahans are willing to murder three quarters of the country so Makhlouf can keep stealing billions. Do you expect people like Imad Mustapha, who will get his ill gotten gains confiscated when the regime falls, not to pray day and night for the regime? Now imagine a diplomatic corp consisting of not one professional diplomat, but a hundred and nineteen Imad Mustaphas.

    When Baath party members defected in Dar’a, the entire city was immediately invaded. Same with Baniyas. Same with Telkelakh.

    Now, since we are dealing with Qurdahan peasants, it is of course quite natural to expect them to resort to barbarity and murder to deal with people who disagree with them. What was not expected however, was the feeble international response to such barbarism. The regime has been given a free hand to murder, rape and torture as it sees fit, with nary a consequence. Where are the Turkish sanctions that professional barker Erdogan was supposed to impose.

    So, you will all forgive me if I say that I do not care a whit if the FSA kill 50,000 Qurdahans.

    Like

  53. Husam

    WRT your first question, I think any answer will be at best a reasonable guess. I’m sure many are contemplating defection or at best half-heartedly participating in the oppression or helping the revolution from the inside. In Libya defections happened because they had a liberated territory they could escape to. In Syria this so far has not happened.

    The unspoken S word is the next big factor. It just shows how deeply rooted the sectarian trend within the Syrian state.

    WRT your second question, the longer Bashar stays the bigger the cohort he is going to bring down with him. Bin Ali fled early and basically paid the price alone. Mubarak hanged on until the chances of Omar Suliman to inherit him were destroyed. Qaddhafi came down with big chucks of the state. In Bashar’s case, I think the number who are up to paying the price if he falls will be much higher than 100,000.

    Despite the general impression, Libya did not really have a civil war where masses of civilians were cleansed off and death squads were used widely (Iraq style). Syria will be much worse. In Syria the state is arming one side and displaying the weapons on national TV to justify the same side murderous actions. In Syria civil war has already started but still largely one-sided. I feel Syria will get much worse.

    Like

  54. Why does everyone think Iraq when the words “civil war” is mentioned. That wasn’t a war, that was wholescale and indiscriminate butchery. But think about it, could the Qurdahans possibly withstand such a war? Never, and not one even half as bad.

    Maybe when Besho’s people start to feel a higher level of pain, they will start to have second thoughts on the road he is leading them on. And the international community will finally step up and do what it was supposed to. Or is Russia prepared to pickup the tab for rebuilding Qurdaha?

    Like

  55. This awaited is so much better than SC. Some of the participants were totally majnoon.

    Well, I just saw a news article quoting Senator John McCain that the US may want to start military action against the Syrian govt. What do you guys think about this?

    Also comparing the situation in Iraq and Libya, I think, is comparing apples and oranges. Military action against Syria will be more like Iraq. It won’t be like Libya. The main reason is the cocentration of hostile nations surrounding Syria, namely Iran and Iraq.

    Like

  56. @Aboud “No one is calling for NATO intervention, but they are calling for some sort of international protection for civilians. What that means exactly, no one has said for sure.”

    Isn’t this the expression they used to justify Nato intervention ? The protection of civilians ?

    Like

  57. Annie, “protection of civilians” could mean many things. It’s the Rorschach test of the Syrian revolution. The menhebaks and Russians think that it means the 82nd and 101st airborne parachuting into Aleppo.

    But actually, it means holding the regime accountable for every death and murder; breaking off diplomatic relations, freezing membership in the Arab League and other international organizations, sanctions, travel bans. In other words, the bare minimum one should expect from the international community after over 3000 murders.

    Honestly, I’d hate to be a menhebak. I can’t imagine the torment they are going through. Besho has been handed every advantage a tin-pot dictator could dream of, and not one of which he earned due to any special cunning or feats of diplomacy; the Russians give him veto cover because they didn’t get a fair price for Libya. The Iranians need him around otherwise their only friends in the region are Hizbollah. Army defections happen everyday despite the lack of a safe zone. And the Alawites support him because…well, they would support a donkey if it had been one of Hafez’s children.

    And yet despite having it so good, he STILL can’t subdue the revolution. Dar’a and Hama are coming out to protest yet again. Latakia held it first, albeit small, demonstration this week. Nothing he can do will subdue Homs and its villages. Seriously, God himself could send him advice and Besho would still find a way to muck it up.

    If this was a business, the return on investment Besho has been getting from all the murders, diplomatic isolation, atrocious economic fallout, and inevitable war crimes tribunal for him and his brother, has really not been worth it. Making a million dollars isn’t very impressive when your investment has been a billion.

    Like

  58. NEWS:

    “Sen. McCain Says U.S. May Consider Military Action in Syria” (FOXNEWS)
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/10/23/sen-mccain-says-us-may-consider-military-action-in-syria/

    “EU leaders threaten Iran and Syria with more sanctions” (David Brunnstrom, Reuters)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/23/us-eu-iran-syria-idUSTRE79M2RL20111023

    “Syria using American software to censor Internet, experts say” (Sari Horwitz, washingtonpost)
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/syria-using-american-software-to-censor-internet-experts-say/2011/10/22/gIQA5mPr7L_story.html

    “Syria, Iraq to establish Joint Free Trade Zones” (Dp-news)
    http://www.dp-news.com/en/detail.aspx?articleid=100897

    “Syria’s president seeks AU support amid protests” (ARGAW ASHINE,nation)
    http://www.nation.co.ke/News/world/Syrias+president++seeks+AU+support+amid+protests+/-/1068/1260536/-/gui25t/-/

    “Syrian leader names new governors as pressure mounts” (AFP)
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h6THmfOQcWuQ9Sn6O7H-4LArNTQw?docId=CNG.e6dda27f158b8ff038d2ac05681594b1.5f1

    Like

  59. Thank you Aboud. I feel like an armchair revolutionary limited to words; so few deeds except for joining a moudhahara.

    Bashar should split while he has a chance of making it alive and sparing the lives of hundreds of his former subjects.

    Like

  60. @True and @Sheila

    The piece I posted was written by Ashraf Mikdad who is an outspoken critic of the regime. I don’t know who he is, but I thought I would share his piece to remind us that at one point, we need to start vetting the people who will be representing us. Lest we forget, one of the techniques used by the Assad regime is to infiltrate the opposition and render it inefective. I saying that what he mentioned is necessarily true, but the opposition needs to be very careful.

    Like

  61. Correction:
    I NOT saying that what he mentioned is necessarily true, but the opposition needs to be very careful.

    Like

  62. @ “Syria using American software to censor Internet, experts say”

    Would all of you please email, fax, call or even up show at their doors http://www.bluecoat.com/ protesting and demanding to expire their software license in Syria?

    Ask your family and friends as well.

    Like

  63. TRUE : “Sen. McCain Says U.S. May Consider Military Action in Syria” (FOXNEWS)
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/10/23/sen-mccain-says-us-may-consider-military-action-in-syria/

    Can I imagine all Syrians banding together against them as happened at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba ? Usrael does not care about Syrians.

    Aboud : “But actually, it means holding the regime accountable for every death and murder; breaking off diplomatic relations, freezing membership in the Arab League and other international organizations, sanctions, travel bans. In other words, the bare minimum one should expect from the international community after over 3000 murders”
    That would be a good beginning.

    Like

  64. Annie,

    NATO is not in a position to intervene even if UNSC asked them to do that, at this stage everyone is hoping something will happen from within and i mean from Betho’s inner circle trusted criminals. AL can offer no help while Turkey has enough in its plate fighting the PPK and Saudi SUPER busy and anxious in sorting out its internal house in terms of successors and royal family.

    Syrians have only their arms and “smuggled” bullets to put down Betho and his cronies.

    Like

  65. Dear Husam,
    I totally agree with Aboud and Muhammad’s assessments of why very few are defecting. The Syrian regime created a top-notch police state. They put former Eastern Germany to shame. Neighbor spying on neighbor, brother spying on sister and friend spying on friend. They are absolutely ruthless. You show even signs of unease and your son is killed in cold blood (I firmly believe that this is what happened to Hassoun). If you consider defecting you have to think about your wife and children, your parents and siblings and your extended family, because no one is immune. With this logistical nightmare, who can defect?.

    Like

  66. JOSHUA,

    Thanks for dropping by, We’re always in need for pioneers like yourself to highlight things from different perspective.

    Like

  67. Muhammad & Aboud:

    Mashallah you guys are really good thinkers, you understand the issues on the ground and can pin point real answers to rather perplexing questions. Sheila is right about Syria being a hard core police state that took some 45 years in the making.

    @ Muhammad: Regarding a safe haven for defectors like Libya, what about Turkey’s southern border? Absent of Turkish safety zone inside Syria, many made it across with whole families and living in just tents! Certainly, Turkey would give the royal suite plus security to any high profile defector and his entourage, especially if they have a few $$ (ok more like millions). I understand that we don’t have a liberated territory to launch military attacks and coordinate, I meant on a personal level, a cascading fall one at a time.

    Makes me wonder about the military personnel that defected and showed their ID, if not fake, did they not worry about their families being slaughtered?

    You know what, the more I think about it, the more I realize what I am proposing is far fetched… I just can’t see any high profile personality leaving Abu Remaneh, Yaafour or Malki with his extended family and hitting the road to Turkey.

    @ Aboud: I know what you mean about this Moustafa personality in Washington, I mean his photograph of himself sitting lavishly in his library and his obsession with Art, pages upon pages of his family’s travels and photo shows nothing of substance except his self-loathing vanity. I used to think he was trying to show his human side, but obviously now he turned out to be animal from the same kingdom. There are more honourable diplomats than Moustapha, don’t you think…? Ah forget it, if they made thus far, they are probably just branches of an infested tree.

    I am just hoping for one BIG apple to fall from this tree – one at a time. How long will this take, damn? Hamster, can you shake one off bro?

    Like

  68. Husam, some of these “diplomats” have been at their posts for decades. They don’t know how to do anything else. When the Libyan diplomats defected, they had a council to defect to, they knew the mood in their host countries. And they had three months cash on hand (I remember the Libyan ambassador to the USA being asked that by Al Jazeera). Why do you think the Libyan ambassador to Syria never defected?

    It is up to the National Council to start scoring some diplomatic successes. If they can’t, then so be it, let their places be taken by more competent individuals. Stalin went through hundreds of generals before he found some who could beat Hitler. It is the natural order of things, that the competent take the place of the incompetent. Except for the menhebaks, they are stuck with Besho and all his bungling, while the composition and makeup of the National Council can be as flexible as it needs to be.

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  69. Yeah this SNC needs to learn politics 1.0.1 which is “making noises”. they really have to pull their sh*t together otherwise it won’t be long before we see posters denouncing SNC by protesters. As Revoln mentioned earlier, the way they’ve managed the LA initiative is horrible and look at them now, simply line-sided by individuals inside Syria.

    Sometimes and especially in our case being decisive is MUST not optional. They’re so confused between calling for international support on not, so confused between going to dialog or not, so confused between taking the Syrian embassy in Libya or not …etc Man!! one of Joshua’s first year students might do better than them!!

    Like

  70. @ ABOUD

    Agreed!! it’s an ongoing “refining process” till a competent leadership emerges.

    Like

  71. Josh is back, I guess he just couldn’t see his name (and his blog) go down the toilet. Half of his post was a sectarian Islamaphobia push. He always does it in an indirect surgical way.

    Like

  72. @ Aboud:

    I am just curious, what was that stuff that Alex said he knew about you that would make our heads spin?

    Like

  73. Revolution is the title
    Betho is the killer
    Freedom is what we want
    Let’s focus with no distraction

    Thanks S.Hamster

    Like

  74. Husam

    Turkey is playing a cautious game. Regional powers including Turkey know full well this regime will only fall by military might and any escalation that does not go that far would be harmful. I’m fairly certain the Turks are aiding those who are on their Southern borders, at least by turning a blind eye to their activities. The borders between Syria and Turkey are policed by the Turks. Syria only have soldiers at border crossings. If the Turks wanted to stop fleeing officers they could do easily since they have plenty of observation towers. When the situation was tense in the 90’s, they would shoot at any one getting too close – even those swimming in the Orontes which constitute the borders in some areas.

    Military options will include: 1. supporting home grown resistance 2. enforcing no fly zone/safe havens (limited invasion) and 3. full scale invasion. Option 1 is the least expensive financially and politically and Turkey will probably go for it with other regional powers keeping options 2 and 3 for the right moment. The Afghans defeated the Soviets using option 1 in 10 years. I doubt Betho will last that long. The Saudis have plenty of experience in using option 1 as well having been essential in the Afghan war effort. Option 1 will allow them to bypass the UNSC. The Syrian army is demoralized, exhausted and under equipped. The mere fact that they cannot suppress all areas at the same time is telling. The menhebaks are deluding themselves if they think it will stand a real battle. Since independence, the Syrian army lost all wars it went to except in Hama and against the Palestinians – essentially against civilians. Even the Jordanians defeated us. Over all, the situation is ripe for an external intervention.

    Aboud

    do you really think the Alawi might just wake up and realize how bad Betho really is ? I really doubt it. I have not heard any big figures trying to advocate rational choices. The Assads have truly destroyed their thinking ability. Where are their elders and wise men ? I once heard about an Alawi sheikh in Homs who apparently tried to prevent a sectarian clash. What do you know about this story ?

    Betho is a total idiot. He is still applying the very policies that led to the situation exploding in the first place. Just today he appointed two new governors. Edleb governor hails from Swaida – almost certainly a Dirzi. Edleb had many Dirzi governors in the last 30 years and this in Assad-stan is no accident. The governor or Reef-Dimashq is another Makhloof from Heffe in Lattakia – almost certainly a relative of Assad. I just don’t know who is advising him but who ever he is he is doing an excellent job at speeding up his downfall.

    Like

  75. Husam, like I said before, my real name is Emmanuel Goldstein. I’m an English socialist.

    If you’d like more information, ask Alex directly, although he did backtrack when challenged and said that all he knew was my (fake) email address and IP, which since I’m using a proxy, is about as informative as a rapper’s stage name.

    Muhammad,

    “do you really think the Alawi might just wake up and realize how bad Betho really is ”

    A big yes. The more pragmatic ones will wonder why the heck their community has to suffer for the sake of the Makhloufs and Assads of this world. Why live under sanctions? Why risk a civil war? What on Earth do they have to gain by current events.

    And the three sheikhs you mentioned was a true incident. Here you go

    http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/09/12/166498.html

    Like

  76. Muhammad

    “Even the Jordanians defeated us”

    Yes, and Hafez’s bungling was a big reason why. He refused to allow the Syrian airforce to cover the 200 tanks that invaded Jordan. The Syrian army, predictably, got mauled.

    Seriously, if I had a father with the crappy political and military record as Hafez did, I’d never dream of going into politics. Heck, any normal person would have died of shame and changed their family name.

    Like

  77. Dear Muhammad,
    I agree with Aboud. Remember a few months ago, some 40 elders, many of which were Alawis, wrote an open letter to Bashar calling for a change in tactics among other things?. We never heard of any reply from the regime and God only knows what happened to those who dared to sign this letter.
    On a personal basis, I know a few Alawis who are against the regime. Some of them are quite active.

    Like

  78. Sheila & Aboud

    I hope I can share your optimism. I think Iran will coax the Alawi to a full scale civil war by pretending it will support them to the end and even wage war for them. I and you know it won’t happen.Most menhebaks don’t.

    The 40 or so elders were not all Alawi AFAIK. One of them was Muhammad Imran who is the ex-minister of lying – aka information. I think he is an Alawi. He has gone all quiet since.

    Maybe those active Alawi should be brought to the media attention so that their community realize Bashar is not the only option available. We need more of them in the SNC and other opposition bodies. Maybe you should suggest this to them.

    Like

  79. Ford left Damascus. I have a feeling that something big and bad is going to happen. He knows something we don’t know.

    Like

  80. AP, did you see how the menhebaks on SC went into overdrive conspiracy mode when they saw a Jewish name? How is it possible that someone can claim to be informed on Middle Eastern events, and yet not have taken the time to read 1984. Only in Athadstan.

    As to Robert Ford, it is exactly what it appears to be; a triumph and victory for blatant thuggery. The regime’s thugs can harass Western diplomats with complete and utter impunity, with nary a consequence to suffer from the world’s “super power”. Obama can’t even kick out Imad Mustapha, who incidentally doesn’t know how to do anything else except sit around in Washington DC and spy on dissidents.

    There is no question as to Ford’s personal bravery, but if the regime can treat the American ambassador in this fashion and suffer no repercussions, then what is the average Syrian citizen supposed to think?

    Bala silmeya bala batekh, anyone still peddling the “no intervention” and “peaceful at all costs” line isn’t living in the real world. How does everyone imagine that the revolution in Homs has survived for so long? Yes, I can now come out and say it, it’s because the mukhabarat are more scared of us than we are of them. It’s because the shabiha are holed up in Hadara street and other Alawite neighborhoods, and don’t dare venture out without a battalion of APCs infront of them. This revolution should have gone armed from the day Cro Magnum Maher sent the first T-72 into Da’ra. Just ask Robert Ford what the use of peaceful resistance is against blatant thuggery.

    Like

  81. By the way if Joshua would like to quote any of my comments made on this website, then by all means I hope he does. And I’ll say it again, it is time for a war. An all out war. The Homs way of doing things should be applied to every city and town in Syria. I’m fed up of the regime bleeding the Syrian people 20 deaths a day, with no consequence. It is time the Syrian people started to inflict real pain on their oppressors. Demonstrations are nice and all, but for God’s sake they are not an ends in themselves, they are a means to an end.

    Or would we rather all waited for salvation from the Arab League delegation? Har har har.

    Like

  82. AP, did you see how the menhebaks on SC went into overdrive conspiracy mode when they saw a Jewish name?

    Aboud,

    I never saw so many conspiracy theories in my life. After debating this cretin SNP, he referred me to JewWatch, as if that website was somehow credible. And the people there are violent and racist. Unfortuantely, SC has become a cesspool.

    You guys are more moderate and hugely more intelligent.

    Anyway, this latest move is just another small step towards a military confrontation. But I wouldn’t count on it. Obama may try to repeat his Libya success on Syria, but it is a different animal. An attack could produce another mini-war between Israel and Lebanon. Will Turkey approve? And what of the Syrian people? Are they firmly behind the opposition? They seem rather split. Of course, the Syrians would most probably unite once Assad is corrnered and deposed. The only thing presuading Obama to intervene would be his 2012 re-election.

    The other option is for the world powers to stay the course and let Syria bleed while the Syrians “go it alone”.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated…

    Like

  83. AP

    “And what of the Syrian people? Are they firmly behind the opposition? They seem rather split”

    Let’s count all the potential Benghazis the Syrian revolution produced, areas that overwhelmingly came out against the regime before the regime did to them what Qadafi would have done to Benghazi were it not for the grace and mercy of NATO

    Hama, Dar’a, Deir el Zour, Idlib, Homs, Rastan, Abu Kamal, Telkelakh, Baniyas, Damascus countryside, Aleppo countryside, Telbisa and Latakia. Yes, the Syrian people seem “split”, those areas only account for like 70% of the entire population.

    Once again, “Yes” only has any real meaning when “No” is a realistic alternative. We can’t possibly know for sure what Aleppo’s true feelings are while there is a shabiha gang every 50 meters in the city. But if the regime was so sure about Aleppo, they wouldn’t need such a heavy handed security presence there.

    “Anyway, this latest move is just another small step towards a military confrontation”

    No, Robert Ford’s ignoble exit from Damascus is exactly what it appears to be; the regime successfully bullying the representative of the world’s sole super power, without suffering any consequences for its behavior. Besho is such a lucky dictator, the entire world has assured him time and again that he won’t be the target of any military action. Heck, they have to keep reassuring him the same way you’d reassure your children that there aren’t any monsters in the cupboard. NATO won’t do crap, and no one is asking for it.

    What I want is for the opposition to get united behind a plan of action; a military, armed plan of action. Stop counting the size and frequency of demonstrations, and start counting the number of dead security thugs. A revolution cannot be sustained by a never ending stream of martyrs and stories of victomhood. That way we’d be no better than the Palestinians, who since 1948 have had nothing but victomhood to show for their efforts. I refuse to spend the next 20 years only to end up bitter and hateful of everyone like Angry Arab. Seriously, that guy has totally lost his marbles.

    Human beings being what they are, they cannot be expected to live on a diet of doom and gloom. THAT is why the revolution hasn’t faltered in Homs, because we know how badly the security forces have had it in the city ever since Besho declared war on us back in April. I love nothing more than to drive by abandoned checkpoints and police cars. Seriously, some day I think I’ll grab a sand bag or two for my garden.

    Empower your side. Let them know there is something tangible they can do. Banish the word “victim” from your language. People need a sense of being able to fight back. The National Council so far has utterly failed in that regard. It is time they stopped being such God damned gentlemen.

    Like

  84. Aboud,

    Thanks for the reply. To my mind, you’ve brought up 2 issues:

    1.) Syrian armed-resistance.
    2.) Using the Palestinian cause as an example.

    Armed-resistance:

    My model for this would be the American war of independence and the civil war.

    The predicament in Syria is a combination of both. Syrians are fighting for basic human rights, let alone domination by a foreign power. Armed-resistance, IMHO, is definately warranted. Also, whereas you may be right that the majority of Syrians are anti-Assad, my feeling is this fight will be a civil war as well. If there really is a “shabiha gang every 50 meters”, that’s a lot of people. I don’t think the number of menhebaks is insignificant.

    Palestinian example

    Certainly if the Palestinians did not organize for the various “intifadas”, nothing would have caused the Israeli government to engage the PLO, negotiate PA autonomy and withdraw from Palestinian areas. However, Israel has changed her foreign policy, and has negotiated with the Palestinians since 1993. This is a conflict of 2 different and competing nations. Negotiations have started and stopped several times. The Syrian situation is purely internal and is a fight for basic human rights, not a border dispute. Meanwhile, I don’t think asking for basic human rights is something that should be negotiated. Assad, if he were smart, would have already allowed freedoms and set up new election dates. So, in all, I think we are talking about 2 very different circumstances.

    Lastly, if armed-resistance is decided upon by the opposition, it is important that the opposition keep the resistance only against the government. Purposely targeting civilians would dimish the opposition’s cause. It is not beyond the Assad regime to target civilians in order to discredit the opposition. That is why I think the Syrian opposition should work with the West. I’m afraid it will be impossible to win without Western help. Assad will make this another bloodbath like his Daddy did.

    Regards,

    AP

    Like

  85. “My model for this would be the American war of independence and the civil war.”

    Exactly.

    Like

  86. I bought up the Palestinian issue as a cautionary tale. Too many movements seem content to wallow in their own misery for decades on end. Ten years from now, I promise you it will be the Baathists who will be whining about how the whole world plotted against them and did them wrong yada yada yada.

    Regarding the pool of shabiha mercenaries the regime has at its disposal, in every society you will find the mercenary who will willingly crush his own brother’s and cousin’s bones for a bit of authority. Unfortunately they even had such sorts in the Nazi concentration camps. That does not mean that they are committed to their paymaster’s ideology, and there is a far cry from being paid to murder and torture defenseless civilians, and actually putting one’s life on the line for the same paymaster.

    Afterall, we were told time and again that Qadafi had fanatical supporters who would defend Tripoli to their last breath. Where did they all go? Why is it that the sum total number of participants in every single one of the regime’s demonstrations, do not equal one week’s worth of revolutionary demonstrations. That’s also not mentioning the geographical diversity of the latter. No, sorry, but nothing I have seen in any shape, way or form comes close to indicating that Besho has anywhere near a majority of support from the country. Confident governments do not need to put a tank in every street corner.

    Like

  87. NEWS:

    “U.S. pulls its envoy from Syria because of threats” (Yacoub Oweis, Reuters)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/24/us-syria-usa-idUSTRE79N22G20111024

    “Syria crackdown: ‘After Gaddafi’s death, the regime went crazy’” (Rachel Holman, FRANCE 24)
    http://observers.france24.com/content/20111024-deadly-syrian-crackdown-homs-sparked-by-fears-over-gaddafi-death

    “League initiative for Syria will not fly” (Gulfnews)
    http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/league-initiative-for-syria-will-not-fly-1.917919

    “The Syrian stumble” (Zeeshan Shah, Pakistantoday)
    http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2011/10/the-syrian-stumble/

    “The Long Shadow of Damascus: Syrian Refugees Fear Kidnappers” (Rania Abouzeid, Time World)
    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2097528,00.html

    “’No one has any idea what to do about Syria,’ Jordan’s king warns” (John Defterios, CNN)
    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/24/world/meast/jordan-king-interview/?hpt=wo_c2

    Like

  88. OTW, I’d like to thank you for making this website a dream to navigate and use. I love how you have a section on the right for news about Syria, so people don’t have to go on a menhebak-type spam of news articles.

    The tone here is much more intelligent and civilized than any other website I’ve seen. I think we have the makings of something terrific here.

    Like

  89. When Jordan’s king says ” no one has an idea”!!! this coming from the guy who knows what’s happening behind every closed door from Gulf all the way to the US!! Arabs & Westerns are not giving sh*t about what’s going on in Syria and pretty much “Syrians are on their own”

    ABOUD, what can i say, yes indeed “he’s a lucky dictator’”

    Like

  90. Dear Aboud
    Thanks bro.

    Here is a hint for apple IPhone users when the number of comments is little large
    End of Page is an app or basically a short cut you place on the browser fav tab and you can use it to get to the more recent post and work your way up.

    Like

  91. True, when he said no one had any idea, he included poor clueless and befuddled Besho in that category. If junior was going to be able to crush the revolution, he would have done so by now. If after EIIIIIIIGGGGHT MOOOOOOOONTHS he’s reduced to orchestrated demos in Damascus and Aleppo, then he is way up there in the ranks of “I have no f*cking idea”.

    Just saw on CNN that Imad Mustapha has been recalled. That changes everything. Apparently, the regime doesn’t believe the reasons given for Ford’s recall to the USA. So much for my analysis 🙂

    Guys, I’m worried for Imad. He has no real life skills other than bothering dissidents. Should we take up a collection for him? How is he going to adapt to living in Damascus after years of cushy living in the USA?

    Like

  92. Aboud,

    “I refuse to spend the next 20 years only to end up bitter and hateful of everyone like Angry Arab. Seriously, that guy has totally lost his marbles.” Fully agree with you in regards to Asaa’d Abu Khalil.

    He lashes on everyone and criticize all. Thanks for posting.

    Like

  93. AP
    I really don’t think that Assad or even the opposition have the right to set up elections based on laws made by the current regime, even if they were negotiated by members of the opposition, who may be very well respected national figures. Syria should not go through a local municipal elections, parliamentary election, or even Presidential election. What they need is a constitutional assembly (much like Tunisia), who will draft a new constitution, oversee a referendum, fix things, and then oversee the first round of election under the new constitution. Only a constitutional assembly will have the legitimacy to draft a new constitution.

    Like

  94. ABOUD

    “Just saw on CNN that Imad Mustapha has been recalled. ”

    Really?!! that chanegs everything indeed!!

    Like

  95. “Guys, I’m worried for Imad. He has no real life skills other than bothering dissidents. Should we take up a collection for him?”

    Mmmmmm , not to worry about him mate I’m sure his GPS is fixed on this address
    Office of Refugee Resettlement
    370 L’Enfant Promenade, S.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20447

    Like

  96. Is it ok to spread the word about this blog?
    What if there is an invasion by newcomer’s.

    It would be good to increase the readership of this blog.

    Like

  97. Pulling the US envoy from Syria because of threats is bullsh*t pretext for media consumption. There are two only possibilities with no third, either something ugly is just about to happen and the US does not want to feel responsible even morally for not doing a thing, something like a green light of some sort was given as part of a big deal. Or it’s playing politics at its most, this move might be followed with a wave of ambassadors withdrawal of other countries to strip what left of the regime’s legitimacy, at the same we need to look at what’s happening in the regime’s weakest flank “Lebanon” where it’s easy to poke the regime and keep Betho on his toes, especially after “Walid Jumblatt, Druz “ is crossing the bridge back (along with his sect) to the anti-regime campaign and “Najib Mikati, Sunni PM” is about to resign putting Hizoallah in jeopardy.

    It’s a LONG fingers biting game!!

    Like

  98. Now for some inspiring news from the main page of Al-Ferzat.com:

    نقلاً عن لسانه اليوم من خلال تحدثي معه على الهاتف لدولة الكويت الشقيقة(أصدقائي و احبائي , حبكم لي و حبي لكم نهض بي و بريشتي من جديد اقوى مما كنت عليه, لقد بدأت بتلقي العلاج منذ يوم أمس و سأعود اليكم و بينكم قريباً عبر صفحاتي وقلمي الذي هو قلمكم إنتظروا صفحاتي ورسومي القادمة بمثابة ( مش حتقدر تغمض عنيك) مع محبتي و تقديري واخلاصي لوطني و لكم ولشهدائه الأبرار). علي فرزات

    نقلا عن المخرج مهند فرزات

    Like

  99. @ OTW,
    Now you’re scaring me 🙂 I started reading “From Dictatorship to Democracy” last week.

    “power does not derive from some intrinsic quality or activity of the leader in power. Rather, political power ultimately derives from the subjects of the state. Even in the most dictatorial of situations, for Sharp if the people decide not to obey, leaders have no power”

    Do you recommend any of his books?

    @ CSI HAMA
    Spread the word? Yeah why not.

    Like

  100. Sharp’s book, From Dictatorship to Democracy written in 2003 seems to be difficult to get on Amazon – so this link (http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations/org/FDTD.pdf)

    Some of Sharp’s key points are:
    • Develop a strategy for winning freedom and a vision of the society you want
    • Overcome fear by small acts of resistance
    • Use colours and symbols to demonstrate unity of resistance
    • Learn from historical examples of the successes of non-violent movements
    • Use non-violent “weapons”
    • Identify the dictatorship’s pillars of support and develop a strategy for undermining each
    • Use oppressive or brutal acts by the regime as a recruiting tool for your movement
    • Isolate or remove from the movement people who use or advocate violence

    Enjoy it 🙂

    Like

  101. TRUE
    Who is scaring who, i was just about to post the link you just posted. You are reading my favorite, it is the bible of non violent resistance and you my friend, once more, just made my day. It should be spread, especially the Arabic version. But beware that they will say Sharp and his partners are zionists. The book is available in Arabic on the same web site. You just encouraged me to read it again.

    Like

  102. I read the following comment on AJE Live Syria Blog posted by a dedicated blogger ‘Balkis’ a few minutes ago.:

    Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in interview on Al-Manar
    The Syrian people support President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, but if the people start opposing the regime, we will support the people.

    – The situation in Syria is normal.

    – Hezbollah is not taking part in the current Syrian events; we did not send any militants to Syria.

    – Syria is confronting internal armed groups and foreign pressure, which is very dangerous.

    – Concerning the Syrian violations of Lebanese borders, an envoy must be sent by the Lebanese government to discuss the issue with the Syrians, not through media.
    (NL)

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  103. @ CSI HAMA

    it seems this opportunist Hasan started touching his black turban, these are empty statements aiming to bridge the widened gap between Syrians and his mercenaries. What the hell, he sends his criminals to kill innocent Syrians in Syria and kidnap Syrian refugees in Lebanon then “but if the people start opposing the regime, we will support the people”

    “The situation in Syria is normal”
    Yeah right, I’ll surely tweet this Hasan when people of Tripoli and Beirut seize control of al-Dahiya al-Janubiya.

    Like

  104. Dear Akbar Palace,
    You analysis is very correct and on the money. Yes, the Palestinian and the Syrian situations are different and yes, targeting civilians will weaken the resistance position. This actually happened to a large extent in the 80s with the Muslim Brotherhood.
    I can totally appreciate Aboud’s stance. It is so mush easier for us to be cool headed while sitting behind our computers in our comfortable environments.
    My only concern with the armed resistance phase is the terrible imbalance of power. An official army with all its equipment, supplies and logistics versus a scattered group that can not even communicate with its parts easily. There is no alternative to outside help. As dangerous as that could be for the reputation of the resistance and future IOUs. Our history is full of stories of foreign help gone awry. We all know what happened when the Arabs sought the help of the Europeans to fight the Ottomans and we all know where we ended up after “independence” from the Turks. This is not such old history for us to forget. But then again, do we have any other choice? There is no way the Libyans would have come to where they are today without NATO, let’s be honest with ourselves.
    At this stage, I have to agree with Mohammad and Aboud, it is time to resist. The longer this drags on, the harder it is going to be to get the country back to normal. This has to finish and soon. I was told that the lines in Aleppo for Mazot are a few Kilometers long. Winter is coming. I was also told by insiders that Daraa is hungry and so are parts of Homs. Aboud can you confirm? This suffering should not be prolonged.

    Like

  105. @True.

    I found the comments laughable. Unbelievable. Perhaps Hezbollah are scared? If they dont support Assad and he turns against them, Hezbollah could become squeezed by Isreal and Syria. They’d be isolated.

    Like

  106. Sheila, a few points.

    “I was also told by insiders that Daraa is hungry and so are parts of Homs”

    I don’t know about Dar’a, but that isn’t the case in Homs. People have been amazingly generous with each other, sending food and donations to each neighborhood affected. A few months ago, Bab Esba3 was heavily attacked, and shops burned down by the shabiha. The flood of donations to them was so great that they started turning away help.

    Even before the revolution, Homs was the only city where you wouldn’t see anyone begging. No other province has anything like the Bur Hospital, a hospital built and run entirely on donations from Homsis. It is one of the very few hospitals that receive and treat the wounded.

    Inevitably there will be hardships, but people are doing all they can to help each other out. There will always be those who need assistance. And Syrian expats living in the Gulf are pleading for the names of families that have lost their bread winner or need medical assistance.

    “My only concern with the armed resistance phase is the terrible imbalance of power. An official army with all its equipment, supplies and logistics versus a scattered group that can not even communicate with its parts easily”

    That’s why the concept of guerrilla warfare was created. The logistical and armament needs are modest. You don’t have to hold a town or hill. What you need is a sympathetic populace. And guess who supplies alot of the weapons? You are going to laugh. Answer is at the bottom of the post 🙂

    Is there a precedent for scattered groups successfully taking on a much better armed opponent? Vietnam. Afghanistan. Iraq. No matter how powerful Besho may delude himself into thinking he is, he is not more powerful than the Soviet and American armies.

    How has it worked in Syria so far? Friends, believe me when I tell you that in Homs, the FSA is more than holding its own. It doesn’t matter how many times the Syrian army invades the different areas of Homs, the guerrillas always slip away. Hundreds of them relocated to Homs and Hama from Rastan. I see abandoned checkpoints everywhere. Someday I’d like to send you a sound recording a typical night in Homs.

    Inevitably, the army takes it out on the civilian population. They have never caught an FSA member, they just arrest anyone they can at random. Guerrilla warfare means, unfortunately, that most times you can’t stand your ground and protect the civilian population, who always come under reprisals from the army. Such barbaric tactics can either break a populace’s resolve, or make it a more implacable foe. In Homs, it has clearly done the latter.

    OTW, thanks for mentioning Gene Sharp, I’ll download his book right now.

    (The shabiha. I swear I’m not making this up. A shabih will be given 5 AK-47s for him and his friends, he will sell 4. See why I hold them in such utter contempt?)

    Like

  107. “A shabih will be given 5 AK-47s for him and his friends, he will sell 4”

    hahahah similar to his Lord Betho who sold the country to his cronies pf peasants and similar to the Israeli militant occupiers who were selling their weapons to PLO in Lebanon and Hamas in West-Bank.

    Like

  108. Aboud : fantastic the solidarity in Homs. This trait I have witnessed in Damascus too in other circumstances.

    If the criminal gangs sell their weapons that might be part of the solution but it is far from enough and the AK’s are powerless when faced with tanks.

    Like

  109. Annie

    “AK’s are powerless when faced with tanks.”

    Fortunately, even the best tanks in the Syrian army can be crippled by bazookas. If someone had sold Besho Challenger tanks, M-1A2 Abrams, or the well neigh indestructible Merkavas, then that would have been….problematic. Don’t ask me though where the FSA gets its RPGs, I have absolutely no idea.

    When the regime uses helicopters, that’s almost impossible to counter. Hence the importance of staying hidden and moving at night. I’ve never heard of the regime using its helicopters at night time. Which is why they always invade a town or neighborhood precisely at dawn.

    By the way guys, I’ll never take a condescending attitude of “I’m in Syria so I know best”. I most certainly do not know best, and my emotions color what I say all the time.

    Afterall, the master stroke of the Camp David agreement came from Henry Kissinger, who reined in Golda Meir when she wanted to go on a blood thirsty rampage against Egypt’s trapped third army. He had a much better idea.

    Like

  110. You analysis is very correct and on the money.

    Sheila,

    I got lucky. I just call’em like I see’um.

    My only concern with the armed resistance phase is the terrible imbalance of power.

    Yes. As I recall the Libyans were having a difficult time with Gad-fly’s forces. The Libyan liberators, I dare say, may not have succeeded if it wasn’t for NATO’s help. The Syrians thus far have proven themselves to be very brave, but the ability to die for one’s country may not be enough to unseat the President-for-Life. But I wouldn’t know. I have no relatives in Syria and I don’t know what the opposition is up against.

    There is no alternative to outside help.

    I tend to agree. As dangerous as that could be for the reputation of the resistance and future IOUs.

    Why would that hurt the reputation of the opposition? Why is making nice with the West so bad? Is asking for human rights like elections and freedom of speech also too pro-Western? From SC, I learned that some people feel that way. If so many Syrians can live in the US, I guess the US isn’t so bad. Edward Said didn’t have a problem with the US. He lived here and he wrote whatever articles and books that he wanted.

    Our history is full of stories of foreign help gone awry. We all know what happened when the Arabs sought the help of the Europeans to fight the Ottomans and we all know where we ended up after “independence” from the Turks. This is not such old history for us to forget. But then again, do we have any other choice?

    Understood. The bottom line is freedom. Freedom to vote for your leaders, freedom to vote for war (or peace) with enemies, freedom to say what you want as long as no one gets hurt.

    There is no way the Libyans would have come to where they are today without NATO, let’s be honest with ourselves.

    Agreed.

    At this stage, I have to agree with Mohammad and Aboud, it is time to resist.

    I think so.

    Like

  111. @ Aboud

    Sharp’s book calls for: use non-violent “weapons”. You are calling for an “all out war”.

    So 2 questions:

    – Have we reached the threshold of abandoning a peaceful revolution and how and when do you qualify such move? Certainly, the council has only called for protection of the people.

    – It is certainly plausible that the regime may target civilians in order to sabotage any future armed struggle by the opposition. I mean, we saw how glorified comments were posted of videos showing someone with a sharp object in his hand within the crowd. Or, the weapons cache that were confiscated, etc…

    Like

  112. You guys bought up an excellent point when you mentioned Libya. Needless to say, if it wasn’t for NATO, Qaddafi would have slaughtered every man, woman and child in Benghazi and Mesrata. The rebels couldn’t have won the war without NATO’s assistance.

    So what makes Syria different? First, geography. Libya is mostly open terrain, perfect for a campaign that depends on air power. Syria, on the other hand, is the only Arab country besides Iraq where the population isn’t concentrated in two or three major cities. The population is spread out over numerous towns, villages and cities. The nature of the terrain makes it more problematic for a conventional army, but is hospitable to guerrilla warfare.

    In Libya, massive distances separates population centers. No force can remain hidden when it has to travel hundreds of miles between towns and cities. Homs, Hama, Rastan and Telbisa are all within short driving distance of each other. How do you think the FSA managed to so successfully evade the army. Such a cluster of towns isn’t uncommon in Syria.

    Now, who carried out the bulk of the fighting in Libya? Civilians turned warriors. Students, professionals, teachers. Nary a professional soldier among them. The FSA consists of soldiers with extensive military experience. The ones that dared to break away from the army are the soldiers with the most initiative, the most motivated to fight, and the most courageous.

    Do not underestimate the amazing bravery and character it takes to go against a system as entrenched as the Baathist military dictatorship, especially as anyone who does so has only, for the present, their own resources to rely on when they defect.

    NATO would be far less effective in Syria than it was in Libya. The biggest obstacle to an efficient and effective military campaign against the regime isn’t the lack of NATO airpower, but the political will to get the opposition united behind the idea of arming the revolution. Frankly, no one who opposes the option of an armed response, has yet to come up with any alternative even remotely viable.

    Husam;

    “You are calling for an “all out war”.”

    Preferably sooner rather than later.

    “It is certainly plausible that the regime may target civilians in order to sabotage any future armed struggle by the opposition”

    20 deaths a day isn’t targeting civilians? 300 died alone in Hama when the regime invaded it. How much higher must the body count go before we’ve decided that the regime is actually targeting civilians?

    I want to hear from people who are opposed to an armed conflict, what do they suggest as alternatives, seeing as how the international community has completely and utterly failed to impose any significant pressure on the regime. Remaining peaceful hasn’t even won us a resolution at the Security Council. Russia, China and India called us terrorists from day one. To them, Hamza Khatib and Giath Mattar were both Salafi madmen.

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  113. Let’s not forget how the efforts and focus of the mukhabarat differ in each city, according to how much trouble its giving them. Eight months ago, the mukhabarat had nothing better to do than to arrest people who sent an offending email or said something offensive on the phone or in restaurants.

    Today in Homs, the mukhabarat just want to make it through one day at a time without falling into the FSA’s hands. In other places, they are too busy chasing defected soldiers to worry about demonstrations. Meantime, in Aleppo which doesn’t demonstrate, they still have the luxury of chasing people who say something offensive in restaurants or on the telephone.

    The bulk of the regime’s manpower comes not from the army, but the hired former convict shabihas and security thugs, whose reliability in a shooting war is suspect at best.

    Like

  114. As once mentioned a revolution goes through different natural development phases till it reaches its maturity and achieves the goals, one of those is to militarise it. The regime is using all different means and methods in order to subdue the unrest and simply protesters can’t face various tactics using one same inefficient strategy of (Sylmiah). It’s very important to comprehend that protesters did not decide to carry arms for the sake of just carrying arms and that’s it, not at all it’s just a mere self-defence reaction to the barbaric criminal acts conducted by the regime and its thugs, so the culprit here is the one who initiated the action not those who’re trying desperately to defend themselves using a knife or a pistol.

    So let’s try to understand and support these heroes instead of lobbying against their only choice to survive.

    Like

  115. MORE NEWS

    “Syria ‘using hospitals for torture’ – Amnesty” (BBC)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15433916

    “US probes Syria’s use of internet blocking equipment” (BBC)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15437696

    “Syria’s Kurds: Are They About to Join the Uprising Against Assad?” (Piotr Zalewski, TIME World) http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2097529,00.html

    “U.S. respects Syrian opposition’s position on no foreign military intervention: spokeswoman” (Mu Xuequan, News.xinhuanet)
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4138058,00.html

    “Patients tortured in Syrian hospitals: Amnesty” (ABC)
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-25/syria-doctor-torture/3599208/?site=newcastle

    Like

  116. @Aboud:

    I know they are targeting civilians. But,if the numbers of dead go from 20 to 2000 per day, they will have a bigger lie to tell.

    What you are forgetting are the 26,323 sorties that destroyed Qadafi ability to meneuver. Without this aerial bombardment and aerial intellegence, Libya’s war would have last for another 5 years. And, that is with open terrain as you mentioned. Door to door, alley to alley will result into a brutal 10-15 year struggle like the Lebanese Civil War. I am sorry, I can’t support this.

    You ask: what is the alternative? I am only speculating, as I am no historian: the situation will get tiring for the regime. They will have many holes to close and controlling the mass will become less manageable. They will become severely insolvent, the morale of the army will falter and bigger cracks will emerge. The business elite will start hurting badly next year. The regime will start to disentegrating within itself. Time frame is anybody’s wild guess – mine is 18-24 months.

    One cousin of mine is closing shop and moving out, 100 workers will eventually lose their jobs…These will be 100 more angry individuals who may be able to sit at home for a year max. Anyone with a foreign passport who can get out is starting to mobilize.

    @True:

    Every other person in Damascus is armed to protect their families and if hell breaks out, the smallest gun will be put to use.

    I don’t think the critical mass will be breached without the endorsement of the clergy, even behind closed doors. Syrians are not totally tribal like Libya, they look up to their elders and imams, etc…

    The MB is also playing politics in order not be viewed upon as the only instigator for guerilla warefare. They have not reached the boiling point either, but it may come sooner that many would expect.

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  117. @ Husam

    “Every other person in Damascus is armed to protect their families and if hell breaks out, the smallest gun will be put to use”

    I have to disagree with ya, I had chat with SGID last week while he was in Damascus and he assured me that there are no weapons in Damascus especially between protesters. However, if you mean everyone could acquire a piece then yeah 100% you could easily buy one from Al-hajr Al-aswad or go for a drive to 3sal Alward.

    “The MB is also playing politics in order not be viewed upon as the only instigator for guerilla warefare”

    Personally speaking, I do sympathize with everyone against the regime and I totally support those who are oppressed by the regime. However, I’m fully convinced this MB leaders are just bunch of opportunists who’re using the Syrian pure blood to reach the presidential palace.

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  118. As an expatriate, I consider that I should follow the decision of the people inside the country when it comes to arming the revolution. I always knew that -at some stage- it would take military action to make the regime fall. This regime is a criminal gang and criminal gangs don’t quit or resign. They get killed or jailed – end of. The decision as to when and how the revolution will be weaponised is entirely down to the people on the inside -especially those leading the demos- and those outside should endorse the decision and support it WHATEVER it is.

    There is a lot more the expatriate community can do. First and foremost people need to stop sitting on the fence by not coming out publicly against the regime. I know a lot of people who still oppose the regime under alternative aliases on the net and the like. You should not try to hedge your bets when people are dying on the street. I started off like this few months ago but then felt internally like a coward and could not maintain this duplicity. Once you jump the line you will automatically become more active. This is especially true should the revolution become militarised. I think maintaining the legitimacy of the struggle will be as important as the weapons for it to succeed and this is where the expatriate community can help a lot. We should organise large demos that support the struggle to give it ligitimacy and political cover. We can also lobby local media and politician to speak in support of the struggle. Simply wearing a badge to work will grant the revolution some of the social status and respect that you have. All this is nothing compared to what people are doing on the inside but still as important.

    Financial support goes without saying. Few month ago an activist told me one day we will have to send money that is essential for us to Syria, not just what we see as surplus or charity. I don’t think we are far off from that point. I know for a fact that some of the money donated in Europe goes to Syria through the gulf since the expatriate community there is larger and money is just easier to pass into Syria (often through personal connections). I’m fairly certain the donations pouring into Syria are helping the Syrian pound maintain it’s value – a side effect that might potentially help the regime but still, these donations are essential -not just from a humane POV- but also so that the revolution can develop and sustain it’s social roots which will render it impossible to defeat. I think we can learn from Hizb-Allah and Hamas with that regard.

    Like

  119. @ True

    That is the thing with us Arabs, once someone says a second thought, a different argument, a witness or anything – it is written off because we locked out minds to the first . I was in Syria last month bro myself, I could confirm that some in the middle class have a piece at home, especially those who served in the army, or the Iraqis, the Kurds, etc…

    I take what you say for face value, but what makes you think that MB is evil and love to wash their hands in Syrian “pure” blood to the throne?

    I think this line of thinking and labels is more factual in this time and age with Empirial America, Blackwatch washing Iraqi blood (+1 Million dead), CIA with Afghani blood (+500,000 dead), etc.. What has the MB done to deserve such a harsh outlandish comment?

    Even with a handful assisinations of the 80’s when the MB splintered into 2 groups, doesn’t come close to what other groups like Al-Qaeda, supported and funded by the land of the free are doing.

    Yes, every persons, party, groups in Syria have aspiration to be part of the future. Isn’t this democracy and freedom you are all calling for? Hamas became into being with the vote and the will of the people regardless of what anyone rightfully or wrongfully thinks of them. So, if we are going to wear the colors of freedom, you are going to have to accept the shades of those you don’t find to liking.

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  120. Hussam, fully agree with you.

    What is the difference between those who oppose US policies in the Arab and Islamic world, and those who parrot back their propaganda?

    Blaming Islam and Muslims, building up suspicions every time Islamic law is uttered. Having political parties in the Arab world based on Islamic traditions, as in the west were their are many political parties based on Christian traditions. Why all the fuss?

    Like

  121. Husam

    “I know they are targeting civilians. But,if the numbers of dead go from 20 to 2000 per day, they will have a bigger lie to tell. ”

    Did you catch Mohamad Hajj Ali on Al-Arabiya, when they asked him to comment on Amnesty International’s report on the abuse of the wounded in government hospitals? He accused Amnesty International of being part of a UN plot against the regime. The commentator pointed out that AI isn’t even part of the UN.

    These people will tell any lie, even to cover up the cold blooded killing of 20,000. And the morally weak cowards who are still sitting on the fence will believe any lie, to excuse their inexcusable cowardice.

    Now, regarding The World Bank’s Doing Business report, which SANA has been trumpeting as a great triumph for the regime. Let’s put things in perspective shall well. Going from place 136 to 134 isn’t an achievement, not when Syria is still behind Nigeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan for God’s sake and Bangladesh.

    What did Syria do to earn its not so impressive leap from from 136 to 134? It reduced some capital requirements and made some publications cheaper. Bravo Besho! What a brilliant business friendly environment you’ve created. It’s like climbing 3 places from the bottom of a football league by winning one game while everyone else at the bottom has drawn or lost. If Syria had climbed from 20 to 18, THAT would have been impressive.

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  122. By the way, according to the World Bank, the only Ara countries worse than Syria to do business in are Iraq, Sudan and Algeria, and all of them have had domestic conflicts. Man, aren’t we so glad they reduced the price on those publications.

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  123. Why all the fuss?

    N.Z.,

    Would you like to hear an opinion from an outsider? Probably not, however, I think you should.

    Blaming Islam and Muslims isn’t warranted. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech should be guaranteed. However, Islamic Law should not be instituted. Unfortuantely, Islamic law is what is holding the ME back, while the rest of the world is advancing.

    “Christian traditions” are not prohibiting women from driving, cutting off the hands of thieves, speaking for the government, demonizing people with different religious beliefs, or taking people away from work 5 times/day.

    That is what the “fuss” is about. Now that the Arab Spring has arrived, the people responsible for creating these new governments should carefully think about how much Islam should be incorporated into these governments. This has always been a tricky proposition in the Arab world. Just MHO.

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  124. AP

    “or taking people away from work 5 times/day.”

    Um, during an eight hour work day, people will only be praying twice during working hours. And I bet 10,000 liras to one dollar that the time taken for those prayers is equal or less than the smoke breaks taken all over the world 🙂

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  125. Notice how besho sent his vice president to the Saudi monarchs funeral….
    Tomorrow a general strike is planned, the e-revolution pages gave it much coverage, so we’ll see how effective it will turn out. Oh and there will be a demonstration in midan around midday, it might be cancelled for the general strike.

    Like

  126. @ HUSAM

    That was my personal opinion about MB, it was not a factual statement based on an investigated research. I have no problem if they assassinated or killed many or little, simply “killing” is the currency of any revolution so business as usual. I just don’t feel comfortable with their gloomy political agenda in addition to their style of leadership.

    Look at the bright side, for now we’re all united to topple the regime.

    Like

  127. Children killed and mutilated by the regime:

    http://www.youtube.com/v/-bACcHIfro4
    http://www.youtube.com/v/ZJtArD-NNIA
    http://www.youtube.com/v/BWr5SHyCzp4
    http://www.youtube.com/v/KlEAGiZ8Ps8

    Support our people, arm the revolution!

    NOTE FROM OFF THE WALL
    Dear TRUE:
    These videos require Age verification on YouTube. As such I am only providing links and removing the embedded player so that people and site visitors can make the decision for themselves whether to watch them or not. Please let me know if the link work well. I want you to be able to convey your point, like everyone else. But in this case, I have to also make sure that I am not violating WORDPRESS, our blog host, policy as well my own.

    I am going to work on site policy. I apologize for that. By way of declaration, I myself do not like seeing videos like that.

    Like

  128. NEWS:

    “Wounded Syrian protesters being tortured in hospital, claims Amnesty” (Luke Harding, Guardian)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/25/wounded-syrian-protesters-torture-hospital?newsfeed=true

    “Syrian forces ‘battle anti-government troops’” (Aljazeera)
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/10/20111025135113935956.html

    “Security Forces, Deserters Clash in Syria” (VOAnews)
    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/Amnesty-Report-Syria-Using-Hospitals-to-Crush-Dissent-132515083.html

    “Jordan’s King Abdullah on Egypt, Syria and Israel” (Lally Weymouth, Washingtonpost)
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jordans-king-abdullah-on-egypt-syria-and-israel/2011/10/24/gIQAejhRDM_story.html

    “Syria eyes ruble, yuan to head off EU sanctions” (khaleejtimes)
    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle11.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/October/middleeast_October520.xml&section=middleeast

    “Burt: UN must be united on Syria” (UKPA)
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5j9zattxn6IXmma9dPE2jRInlQaPg?docId=N0272391319556199976A

    “Syrian president’s exiled uncle (Rifaat al-Assad) in Riyadh” (dailystar)
    “http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2011/Oct-25/152170-syrian-presidents-exiled-uncle-in-riyadh.ashx#axzz1bp3IWct6

    “Poll: Arab support for Assad at historic low” (REBECCA ANNA STOIL, Jpost)
    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=243153

    Like

  129. OTW,

    Can you please turn off the feature of posting videos in comments section. It’s occupying unnecessary space beside not all people would appreciate having a look. I reckon providing a link is enough.

    Cheers

    TRUE

    Like

  130. True.

    I think there should be a warning for readers about graphic images. I managed to look away in time. I can’t watch such pictures. Children too. I dont know about posting them here without a warning for readers to stumble upon. Just my thoughts. I am shaken by the blurry glimpse I caught.

    Like

  131. CSI HAMA

    I agree and that’s why I asked OTW.

    Sometimes we prefer to turn our eyes away from reality but, sadly speaking, this is business as usual in Syria. I was trying to think as a dad or mum of these kids but could not handle even the thought.

    The blame goes only to the criminal Betho and his thugs who committed these crimes and that’s why we need to carry arms.

    Like

  132. If these videos are on SC I’m sure many sensitive people would cry out while the herd of Menhebaks & peasants would start barking and accusing these angels of being paid by Jeffrey Feltman& Bandar bin sultan!!

    On that note, those bloody Saudis are hosting the murderer of Hama (Rifat al-Assad) he’s staying in the royal palace!!! It’s a fact of no debate that everyone insolences the Sunni blood even the Sunnis themselves.

    That’s why we need to arm our revolution

    Like

  133. AP,

    I will ask you the same, to hear from an insider, will you?

    “Unfortuantely, Islamic law is what is holding the ME back”

    That is why Islamic Golden Age lasted from (c.750 CE – c.1258 CE) . Scientific and intellectual achievements blossomed in this era. The golden age of Islamic art lasted from 750 to the 16th century. There were no ism’s then, there were Empires. You can compare different Empires before Islam and after Islam, non lasted as long, non had the humanistic characteristics of the Islamic Empire.

    I think you should open your mind more, can you?

    Like

  134. True, the pictures are gory and offend our sensitivities but think of the parents… the last image they have of their loved ones. Much harder on them than on us.
    Plus, this is what is happening.
    I do not look at them either but I see nothing wrong in posting them

    Like

  135. I thought you, True, posted the gory videos. ?? confused. I don’t really want see them here frankly. If we want to see them – we can go anytime to find them… they are everywhere on fb and the net. So – it would be better to not have them just appear here.
    thx.

    Like

  136. Islamic LAW is not the same as Islam.

    we can have Islam while having a secular society or at least gov’t and legal system. that is the difference.

    Like

  137. True

    I’m not at all squeamish and if you knew what I do you would believe me. I still find these videos very disturbing especially the second one. I pray this child has made it. He has a treatable injury but would not survive long without proper care. No video before shocked me the same way. What a nightmare Homs has become.

    Like

  138. Hi guys

    I did not dare to open the videos. Looking pretty graphic. Should the link be posted in SC?

    Like

  139. I think the women of Tunisia were a little pissed yesterday… to have the first thing be about reinstating Islamic law regarding multiple marriages, when what they are working for has to do with civil rights or liberties.
    I think also that I make a big fuss when I think that Evangelicals want to make their preferences part of the legal cannon in the United States. Again there is a difference between a certain religious group supporting a political party that they think best holds their particular social beliefs or ideological stances, but that does not give them the right to take over the law and make it a religious law or turn our political institutions into religious institutions.

    Like

  140. Tara

    the 1st and 4th essentially shows dead children with gun shots. the 3rd shows a girl with blood all over face. The 2nd is truly awful. A child with gun shot to the upper neck with active bleeding, almost certainly pressing his airways and causing his difficulty in breathing. You can see blood in his mouth see him pleading for air … he is not even in a hospital as people around talk of taking him to one. It is a terrible video. It will remain constantly with me for days if not longer. Poor kid. I can’t even imagine what his parents feel.

    Like

  141. I agree that we should only post the link to the video, and not the video itself. Now you know why junior can never subdue Homs. To give up would be to betray the memory of these same people.

    I was speaking with the neighbor of one of my relatives who returned from Saudi Arabia a few days ago. There, when Syrian expatriates hold parties in Jeddah (a more liberal place than Riyadh), the music they do the dabka to is songs from the Syrian revolution. The expatriates love to chant demonstration chants. Once my relative’s friend was in a mall, a Yemeni storekeeper asked her where she was from. She said she was visiting from Homs, which caused a big commotion of friendly storekeepers all around her, who crowded around her as if she had just come back from a trip to the moon.

    Also, I advise everyone to read the link to the Zogby poll posted by True

    “Poll: Arab support for Assad at historic low” (REBECCA ANNA STOIL, Jpost)
    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=243153

    Zero percent support for junior in some Arab countries.

    Like

  142. The video is now on the main Syrian Revolution page. It will be all over the place in no time. This is one of the the worst videos of the revolution and it is up there with the guy from Dara’a actively bleeding from his head. Yet, Bashar is going to bring a crowd to dance and sing for him in fornt of the AL delegation tomorrow while we have such scenes in our cities.

    Poor kid … I really hope he has made it. If you happen to know his fate Aboud please do let me know.

    Like

  143. God I’ve just noticed the 1st video is the same child after he died. YA ALLAH.

    Like

  144. Zenobia,

    My comment was in response to Abdul Jaleel of Libya. When all hell broke loose during his address to Libyans.

    It is “Husam | October 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm” comment that I support the most. All are inclusive, without excluding any section of society or party,

    “Yes, every persons, party, groups in Syria have aspiration to be part of the future. Isn’t this democracy and freedom you are all calling for? Hamas became into being with the vote and the will of the people regardless of what anyone rightfully or wrongfully thinks of them. So, if we are going to wear the colors of freedom, you are going to have to accept the shades of those you don’t find to liking.”

    Like

  145. NOTE FROM OFF THE WALL
    Dear Friends:
    These videos posted by TRUE require age verification on YouTube. As such I will try to only provide links and remove the embedded player so that people and site visitors can make the decision for themselves whether to watch them or not. Until I figure out exactly how to turn off the automated embedding, I have unapproved the comment.

    Dear TRUE,
    I want you to be able to convey your point, like everyone else. But in this case, I have to also make sure that I am not violating WORDPRESS, our blog host, policy as well my own policy, which will be posted this coming weekend (All are welcomed to provide suggestions).

    Like

  146. @ OTW, Do what it feels right.

    @ ALL

    It’s not me who killed those kids it’s the Menhebaks’ Lord Betho the criminal.

    Keep living in denial people, nothing is happening in Syria. The weather is great and people go to dine out every day.

    One word, shame on us.

    Like

  147. Yes, we should look. We have to look and know. but some of us do know. Most of us on this blog right now – have seen and do know. I do not have to look every day, or one will become unable to THINK, and angry or sad to the point of incapacitation – therefore – we will make choices about when to watch the filming of tragedy and when not too.
    I am still traumatized from that video months ago of the poor guy with his jaw blown off and he was pleading with his fingers to be left alone to die as the camera is being shoved in his face.
    I want my family, some of them who turn away and pretend this isn’t as bad as it is – to LOOK. So there is both needs to see and to show some judgment.
    I don’t want the child who is still alive to be a spectacle, reduced to a symbol and a tool. I didn’t want to watch a video of Qaddafi dying either. It is a moment between a man and his/her maker. I belief in war footage,and showing the coffins of soldiers, and the photography of the war correspondent.
    Suddenly we are all potential war correspondents. But real war correspondents have seen so much death – then can actually reflect on the selfishness of the acting of photography or filming death. Our need to use people at that moment for our own purposes. But we shouldn’t take it lightly and become desensitized to watching these death over and over on big screens and at every turn. A choice should be made, and a very decisive one at that- to look when we must for the purpose of mobilizing ourselves towards a purpose.
    It was the vision of the man in Deraa with his jaw gone – that was I believe the last night I was able to make any concession in my mind to the Syrian gov’t. It was the last time I could make any rationalizations about their actions.
    So I thank him, for changing me.

    Like

  148. @NZ
    right. these issues have been raised many a time on SC. clearly we have to expect religious based political groups to participate. Not sure what i think about a religious party.. ie that is its whole identity. I would say it is untrue to way political parties in the west are “based” on christian traditions. I think they happen to be christian. but they don’t pronounce themselves Christian and that the agenda of the party is to make Christian things/values the government practice. When they do, it is considered a violation of other societal values, at least in the USA. It is a subtle but important distinction.
    anyhow, I of course, reject the argument of some in our opposing camp (syrian gov’t defenders of the status quo) who say that somehow because of the claim that conservative religious persons are leading the rebellion – this must be put down because they will be too religious to ever effect positive change in society in an egalitarian fashion or protect the rights of those who are not in their sect.
    I think the entire middle east will go through these stages of progression that included perhaps heavy religious influence in politics. However, disenfranchisement is not an option either and this trend must be allowed to develop in order to progress into different stages of development and towards more diverse political expression, in my opinion. Obviously, along the way there has to be a strong kind of bill or rights and minority protections. This is the bottom line, not how religious the majority is.

    Like

  149. Hi All
    OK, the Youtube incident sent me on a goose chase, you may have seen a few posts coming up from some guy named OTW-TEST. Here is the summary

    WordPress, the kind host of this blog (for now), has enabled the feature of auto-embedding you tube videos even if the link does not include embedding. There is a place, supposedly to disable it, but it has not worked. The only option if for the link to be presented as a piece of code. Meaning that it should be proceeded by the tag <code> and ended by <code/ >.

    For example, the following is a link to YouTube video called قصر الشعب حلقة 6 as it should be typed

    <code>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzGIbnehVEc<code/>.

    If it is not typed with the tags, it will be automatically embedded. However, to ensure that the link only is shown, 7ee6an editorial board (me, myself, and i) decided that any post with a youtube link will from now on go into the moderation queue. This should allow one of the three of us to ensure appropriate coding for videos that may be objectionable (including those of Wafa Sultan) so that only the link is shown. The link will not be removed, but no one will be forced to watch.

    Thanks for understanding. Be prepared for some delay when posting youtube vedio. I had to read quite few techno blogs to get the right trick around the dictatorship of free service that makes it easier for newbies.

    Now, enjoy this one

    Like

  150. In Homs, there are medical professionals who risk everything to give what treatment they can. A couple of months back, a Red Crescent ambulance was fired on by the army when they went into Bab Esba3 to get out wounded. Two medics were wounded and one died.

    The Red Crescent in Aleppo have been known to blatantly ignore people wounded in the streets.

    In the beginning, the mukhabarat would go through people’s trash to see which houses had discarded bandages and medical equipment. People would be arrested just for hiding the wounded. One time, the security forces raided the Bur Hospital, looking for an activist called Belal Al Gin, whom the regime had placed a 5 million lira bounty on. He wasn’t in the hospital, so naturally the shabiha, furious at being denied their bounty money for their drugs and Qurdahan whores, arrested every single patient in the hospital and took them away.

    Please remember this, when people ask you why the opposition will never have a “dialogue” with the regime.

    Like

  151. Need more of these creative ideas.

    هجوم ليزر الحرية على قصر الشعب

    Like

  152. شخابيط ثورية رقم 2: سلمية متل الثلج!

    مقطع إعدام الرئيس اللاشرعي على جسر اللوان كفرسوسة

    Like

  153. Good idea Annie, all Syrians around the world should participate, this reminded me of a song from southpark. After changing some words around …

    Syria on strike!
    Syria says “no more!”
    No more neglect! We want respect! That’s what we’re striking for!
    All you thugs and murderers can all just take a hike!
    It’s Syria on strike!

    Syria on strike!
    From Daraa to Hajji Haroun,
    We raise our middle fingers up for you all to sit upon!
    And with our fingers up your ass you won’t be very psyched!
    It’s Syria on strike!

    And we will not bow or budge.
    Our resolve is strong.
    We even took three hours to rehearse this striking song!

    Syria on strike!
    No matter where you are!
    If you are Syrian, than you’ve got to do your part!
    March out from the halls!
    That’s right, suck my Syrian balls!
    It’s Syria on strike!
    It’s Syria on Strike!
    It’s Syria on Strike!
    It’s Syria
    On Strike!

    Like

  154. Well I can you that the strike is definitely being observed in Homs, since there has been massive gunfire since early morning, and anyone going out would be insane to.

    Now the Yemeni opposition is accusing Saleh of Syrian pilots. Man, when America called us a supporter of terrorism the world over, they knew what they were talking about.

    Like

  155. Uncle Bubba

    @ NK
    Where did you get this one. The hamster family owes you a great deal. Great Uncle Bubba, who appears in your clip, has for ages (38 generations of Hamsters and Hamstresses) been telling us that he was struck by Madness. We giggled a lot when he said that thinking to ourselves: what does madness have to do with the way Bubba walked?. But now, thanks to your clip, we know he was literally correct. I am crying (sniff) for finally Uncle Bubba’s reputation has been restored. He was telling the truth after all and not referring to his mental capacities, which were questionable to begin with since he signed up for the world wrestling federation thinking that it is the World Wilderness Fund

    Like

  156. To all,
    I thought we left Syria Comment to elevate the conversation. I have a firm belief that using bad words or expressions does not really accomplish anything except reflect poorly on whoever wrote them. I have the utmost respect for all of you and would like to keep this feeling alive. Please help.

    Like

  157. Libya’s tyrant was supposed to be given to his tribe for burial, on the condition that they point out the mass murder burial locations that took place under the watchful eyes of qaddafi.

    Non accepted the conditions. “My beoble love me, yeah they love me” he boasted, really?

    In the end he meant nothing to anyone. What a deserving end.

    Like

  158. I get alarmed when I read that Islam should be relegated to the home or mosque. Islam isn’t like Christianity and Judaism who have already been relegated as such. Islam is a way of life and has something to say about all aspects of life.

    Like

  159. Burhan Ghalyun was on Al-jazeera. He was really impressive, he said that the National Council has met with numerous European governments, but they probably made a mistake when they didn’t bring the press along with them to let people know. Well, it’s a learning process for all of us. Of course, Besho the Baffled thinks he’s God anointed, to the term “learn from your mistakes” is alien to him. Witness how he appointed yet another relative as governor of rural Damascus. What’s the matter junior, Atef Najeb didn’t f*ck things up enough for you?

    Like

  160. Dear Friends:

    I am swamped over at work with projects and deadlines, sorry for not responding in advance.

    @ N.Z. & CSI Hama:

    Thank you for your comments. I agree that many would like to see Islam get diluted like the rest. Keep up the spirit.

    @ Sheila:

    I thought we left Syria Comment to elevate the conversation.

    Sheila, there is nothing wrong with having some fun. What offended you so much?

    @ Akhbar Palace:

    Islam is not to blame for retardation. Islam and Muslims are two different things.

    And, how about your the orthodox jews, are they not the reason for Israel’s biblical land grab and expansions and settlements of judea & samara. If wasn’t for the billion$ of zionist manipulation, the Arabs would have had a just and lasting peace with Israel and the Jews at large.

    Re: cutting off the hands, etc… couldn’t you do better? That is an old boring one.

    Like

  161. @ Aboud:

    If the press wasn’t there, it was because the Europeans wanted to evaluate the council without the splash and pressure. I don’t think it was a mistake, it was designed that way.

    The Europeans need to go to their masters and owners first before any position is taken?

    Like

  162. @ Sheila,

    Sorry, I missed some parts of the poem reading to fast. I get you now. On a scond thought, I would have replaced *ss for *rse, hehe 🙂

    Like

  163. Dear CIS Hama,
    You said: “I get alarmed when I read that Islam should be relegated to the home or mosque. Islam isn’t like Christianity and Judaism who have already been relegated as such. Islam is a way of life and has something to say about all aspects of life.”

    And everybody else gets alarmed when they read your statement above. Yes, Islam is a way of life and has something to say about all aspects of life, but that should be left to the individual to decide how he is going to live his life. And guess what, Judaism also is also a way of life and has something to say about all aspect of life. Actually, it is interesting how similar Judaism and Islam are.
    Going back to personal choice, if you are a Muslim and you decide to follow Islam verbatim, you will not drink alcohol. This does not imply that alcohol is not going to be sold in shops or served in restaurants. There are Christians and liberal Muslims who chose to drink alcohol and it should be their prerogative and not your choice.
    Another example is that you want to pray. Businesses should not be forced to close and people herded like cattle to the mosque to pray. It is a personal choice. It is between you and God.
    If you want a country where Islam is is forced as a way of life on everyone, go live in Saudi Arabia and see how long you can last. I always wonder how much credit one gets for praying if the only reason to do it is because he has to.
    How about we enforce the staples of Islam that are simply morals, education and work ethics and leave the rest to personal choice?

    Like

  164. Hussam

    “The Europeans need to go to their masters and owners first before any position is taken?”

    Yes well, for years we were told that America the Europe were the enemies of Arabs everywhere. And yet it is European and American reporters and diplomats are have proven themselves the most reliable friends of the Syrian people. Europe and America have been the only ones to impose any sort of sanctions on the regime, in contrast to the pathetic response of the Turks and Arab states. Libya owes its new found freedom to Western airpower.

    Let’s not even talk about the India and South Africa’s disgraceful stances. God help us if the Indians ever get a permanent place on the Security Council. Dictators and mass murderers everywhere will rejoice.

    When the revolution wins, I am personally inviting the French and American ambassadors to my home for dinner. As always, the Russians are always on the wrong side of history. They never fail to go against the tide of events. If a Russian bets on red, be sure to put your chips on black.

    Like

  165. الجيش اليمني المنشق: مقتل الطيارين السوريين الثمانية (الشبيحة) تم بعملية استشهادية
     زعم الجيش اليمني المنشق بقيادة اللواء علي محسن الأحمر الأربعاء أن مقتل 8 طيارين سوريين الثلاثاء تم بعملية “استشهادية” ضد من وصفهم بـ(شبيحة بشار)، مشيرا إلى أنهم حضروا إلى اليمن لتنفيذ مهام قتالية بعد رفض الطيارين اليمنيين المشاركة في تصفيات ضد الشعب.

    وقال بيان وزعه الجيش إن “(الرئيس اليمني) صالح استقدم 11 مرتزقاً من سوريا في إطار التنسيق بين صالح و(الرئيس السوري) بشار”.

    ولم تعلق وزارة الدفاع اليمنية منذ يوم الثلاثاء على حادثة مقتل الطياريين السوريين وملابساتها في حين كانت التقارير الأولية تحدثت عن مقتل أربعة طيارين، ليرتفع العدد الأربعاء بحسب بيان الجيش (المنشق) المؤيد للمحتجين إلى ثمانية.

    وأشار البيان إلى أن “الطيارين السوريين المرتزقة وصلوا إلى اليمن الإثنين الماضي، وقام بنقلهم الطيار اليمني عبد العزيز الشامي الذي كان تعهد لزملائه من الطياريين اليمنيين بانهم لن يصلوا إلى قاعدة العند الجوية في الحج بجنوب اليمن إلا أشلاء لانه عقد العزم على تنفيذ عملية استشهادية لقتلهم”. 

    وأوضح أن “الشامي اسقط الطائرة بمن فيها في منطقة الصبيحه لتنفجر وليقتل الشبيحه”.

    وذكر البيان انه “نجم عن العملية مقتل الطيار اليمني الشامي وجرح مساعده الطيار محمود العرمزة، فيما قتل ثمانية من المرتزقة الطيارين السوريين، تم التعرف على جثث بعض منهم”.

    وكانت تقارير إخبارية أشارت إلى أن الطيارين السوريين يعملون كخبراء طيران في اليمن، في حين لم يصدر اي بيان من سوريا حول مقتل طياريها.

     ويشار في هذا الصدد الى وجود تعاون عسكري بين سوريا واليمن. كما يشار إلى الإلتباس الوارد بالمعلومات.
    [10/26/11 9:43:00 AM] Ismael Nass: http://www.watan.com/تحت-الضوء/6465-الجيش-اليمني-المنشق-مقتل-الطيارين-السوريين-الثمانية-الشبيحة-تم-بعملية-استشهادية.html

    Like

  166. @CSI Hama et al

    “I get alarmed when I read that Islam should be relegated to the home or mosque. Islam isn’t like Christianity and Judaism who have already been relegated as such. Islam is a way of life and has something to say about all aspects of life.”

    Not sure where you “read” that. I made a comment responding to someone responding to Akbar’s generalization. but then Husam is complimenting you and NZ…for comments that I am not sure who they are in response to. I assume it was not me – or some earlier commenter? Because the only thing I was saying was that we don’t need to have Islam or any religion impose itself on a legal / political system and thereby impose itself on citizenry. In contrast, anybody can be as devout and supposedly “undiluted” as they want – on their own and in their own space.
    Every religion is about a way of life, as Sheila pointed out. Islam is not different from Buddhism in this regard.
    I don’t know what things were like in the enlightenment era or golden age of Islam. I think the critics of the modern situation – are complaining that the face of Islam (not the majority) but rather that which has been exported out of KSA and the like – is one that is very much a philosophy of imposing restrictions on everyone and demanding that a society live by a religious code. So that is the cliche, but considering how much influence this branch has had on the ME… there is cause to be concerned if one believes in freedom of religion…and freedom to have no religion.

    Like

  167. Hi
    I have to agree with Sheila regarding language. I can count a few posters on Syria Comment and elsewhere who would extract the most vile, repulsive, and childish comments from their adversaries, leading to banning their adversaries, without even writing a single objectionable or controversial word on their own.

    Like

  168. Islam is a belief system, and not a way of life. There is a big difference between the two statements. If it was a way of life then Sheila and Zenobia fears become real.

    Every time Islam becomes the subject of discussion, KSA is brought in. Is their any Muslim country in the world, that denies women the freedom to the drive? A shop owner, need not to close his shop to pray, he can, if he chose to. It is silly to even worry about these futile issues. An outsider will reiterate them, an insider knows better.

    We do not need to strain ourselves. If you truly care about the rights of women, educate her. A true believer, Jewish, Christian or Muslim are not the problem. Using religion to control the powerless, or brain wash the masses, is.

    Like

  169. NEWS:

    “20 die in Syria; Assad meets Arab ministers” (TVNZ)
    http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/20-die-in-syria-assad-meets-arab-ministers-4485666

    “Syria next ?” (Li Hongmei, Xinhuanet)
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-10/26/c_131214016.htm

    “Journalist witnesses Syrian authorities torturing activists” (Sean McAllister, Channel4)
    http://www.channel4.com/news/journalist-witnesses-syrian-authorities-torturing-activists

    “Turkey’s Hand in the Syrian Opposition” (Michael Weiss, Theatlantic)
    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/10/turkeys-hand-in-the-syrian-opposition/247330/

    “Tension mounts at Lebanon-Syria border” (AFP)
    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/25156/World/Region/Tension-mounts-at-LebanonSyria-border.aspx

    “Nine Syrian soldiers killed by a rocket“ (Ennaharonline)
    http://www.ennaharonline.com/en/international/7561.html

    “Homs, northwest Syria strike to protest crackdown” (Reuters)
    http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/10/26/idINIndia-60134820111026

    “Fall of Syrian government is “unavoidable”: French formin” (Reuters)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/26/us-france-syria-idUSTRE79P20320111026

    “Davutoğlu: Assad following path Gaddafi once walked” (ZAMAN, ANKARA)
    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-261029-davutoglu-assad-following-path-gaddafi-once-walked.html

    “ A dirty dozen of despots” (Andrew Cohen, The Gazette)
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/dirty+dozen+despots/5600179/story.html

    Like

  170. I really don’t give a crap whether it is a way of life or a belief system… all I care about is that we can agree in secularism as a goal.

    It is fine by me to leave KSA out of it. That is just an easy short cut way of articulating the potential outcome of why many people object to state religions or anything coming close to them.
    I would prefer not to talk on this blog about Religion at all . but it seems like it started somehow with the Sultan thing or I am not even sure now – and then.
    but i think it started with you saying this:

    “Blaming Islam and Muslims, building up suspicions every time Islamic law is uttered. Having political parties in the Arab world based on Islamic traditions, as in the west were their are many political parties based on Christian traditions. Why all the fuss?” and then Akbar responding with the cliche thing that people on the fear mongering side often bring up as their greatest fear.
    And as I consider myself someone who is not a fearful islamophobe person – I am busing saying my statement above:

    “anyhow, I of course, reject the argument of some in our opposing camp (syrian gov’t defenders of the status quo) who say that somehow because of the claim that conservative religious persons are leading the rebellion – this must be put down because they will be too religious to ever effect positive change in society in an egalitarian fashion or protect the rights of those who are not in their sect.
    I think the entire middle east will go through these stages of progression that included perhaps heavy religious influence in politics. However, disenfranchisement is not an option either and this trend must be allowed to develop in order to progress into different stages of development and towards more diverse political expression, in my opinion. Obviously, along the way there has to be a strong kind of bill or rights and minority protections. This is the bottom line, not how religious the majority is.”

    but instead of any response to that… ie we are all on the same page with this… instead we get two comments about
    Islam is different from Judaism and Christianity…
    and congrads for defending the spirit of Not “diluting ” Islam

    what is that???????

    If anyone here is in a position of not be able to agree on the sanctity of secularism and the issue of protecting minority rights – including in the area of religion….
    than they might as well … truck it back to SC to argue with those who are so terrified of the possibility of not having such protections and of Islamic hegemony in Syria that they are willing to defend state terrorism and murder to “defend” themselves….

    this may be driven by prejudice, bigotry, islamophobic fears… DOESN’T MATTER.
    the pragmatic and important response to that is to be very FIRM AND CLEAR in one’s support for secular institutions and government.
    If an opposition platform can’t come out strongly for that and in saying that this will be a defining ideological stance of any new system, then we are truly screwed!

    We will have no chance to avoid a civil war scenario… and ongoing conflict. People are terrified. The minority religious communities are terrified, doesn’t anyone see that? They are responding with horrible base instincts and will respond with violence. but it is our job to quell this and point the finger where it belongs…: at the government.

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  171. Dear True
    No one here is living in denial. The issue is simply providing a choice when the material can cause some people a great deal of anguish and pain. Some people can be very traumatized in manners that may in fact be counterproductive. Yest, we have little or no rights to cater to our sensibilities and sensitivities when people and children are dying like that. Yet, one has to be respectful of others’ emotional concerns, especially among friends or those you are trying to convince to be our friends.

    We all know that the regime is a criminal regime. I myself have eulogized certain martyrs to make symbols of the revolution’s goodness and of the regime’s inhumanity and depravity. The regime has tried to use this tendency to its advantage on a few occasions. Children are being murdered every day by this regime without being documented on camera.

    I believe that the regime is at a very week point now. It is resorting to old tricks of trying to show that it has support by shuttling its paid and volunteer sycophants between Damascus and Aleppo. It has lost control and this is the most significant accomplishment paid for dearly with the blood of every child and adult who were murdered by this gang of hyenas.

    Today’s strike seems to have been successful even in some of the poor areas in the cities of Damascus and Aleppo. It is a real turn around and it should be repeated as frequently as possible and Let the regime use these strikes as opportunities to get its pathetic followers to keep dancing on the corpses of their fellow Syrians and for the idiots to plaster every blog with views of these “spontaneous demos” with background of badly written songs. And it is for us to show the world that these fake events are not real and that Assad’s support is as strong as Qaddafi and his end, most likely, will be no different.

    Like

  172. The departure of the US ambassador “Robert Ford “ is still opened for unlimited interpretations, everyone is speculating while no one knows, precisely, what’s the real deal. I had chat with relatives in Syria who advised that the military intelligence and every Syrian intelligence agency for that matter are on their toes since Ford’s sudden abscond out of Syria.

    A family friend, who’s one of highest ranking Sunni commanders in the army is pretty much imprisoned in his house, few months back they’ve appointed an Alawi “shadow officer” for him, with a main task of being with him ALL the times and checking every piece of paper which comes/goes-in/out his main office. However, on the day of Ford’s departure, he’s been asked to perform his duties from his house and two military checkpoints were installed to surround his house. Furthermore, the Syrian authority did not grant his wife and pregnant daughter a permission to go to Canada where she used to go and give a birth everytime (well known practice by elite families in Damascus).

    This makes me wondering what was Mr. Ford doing in Syria for the last eight months? I might naïvely jump to conclusion and suggest he was engineering a military coup, and till he reached to the point where all pieces came together and now just waiting for hour “Zero”.

    Like

  173. maybe he was being an ambassador, but doesn’t wish to risk his life for the post.

    Like

  174. @Zenobia.

    I don’t think this is the right place or time for this topic. It’ll distract from the Syrian uprising.

    Recently Sheikh Yaqoubi asked on his facebook whether he should get involved in politics including setting up a party or starting a movement. In the last couple of days the Sheikh has replied and decided against entering politics as it is a dirty business in which an honest person wouldnt last a couple of weeks. He will stick to teaching the Islamic sciences. I particularly like the idea of establishing a centre for research on politics in Islam.

    Here is the Sheikh’s response:

    “After praising Allah Almighty and sending fragrant prayers upon the Seal of prophets our Master Muhammad, PBUH, I would like to express my deep thanks for the brothers and the sisters, friends, teachers and students, from all walks of life, who offered their insightful opinions and advice on the question whi…ch was posed. I received 75 comments ranging from few words to one page all full of wisdom, love and concerns for Muslims in Syria and for my safety.

    The question about forming a movement or a political party is out of question; and the same applies on holding any post in future governments.

    Politics is a dirty game and an honest man would not last at best for more than few weeks. My role as a scholar and a spiritual leader should be more important and is of greater impact even in politics.

    However, forming a political party or holding a political position should be done by our students in Syria and around the world. And when they feel the ground is ready for them to implement our vision and views and revive the role of the shari’a and the ulema.

    Once, when I was a little boy, my father asked me: “what do you want to become in the future?” I naively answered, “a president”. He replied, “I will tell of something better”; “better?” I wondered, but he explained, “better than that is when the president is your student”. This is the insight of he Ulema. He explained, our job is to prepare politicians, doctors, engineers, teachers, farmers and all kinds of people to live Islam and implemented in their life.

    Therefore, amongst few other reasons, I decided not to accept any position, whether in the Syrian National Council or in the Revolution Council, to both of which I have been nominated; nor in the future; the same stance which I have always had.

    I will continue what I am doing now, teaching and guiding people to Allah, writing and giving fatwas. nevertheless, whenever there is a need to issue a statement, answer a question or clarify a point related to the political aspect of our shari’a and the struggle of the Syrian people, I will come out with statements either written or in interviews as best suitable.

    We will continue our struggle for the establishment of Islam and Muslim identity in future Syria via our speeches and lectures and writings without threatening the society nor through any violent methods. Rather through informing people and bringing awareness and establishing proofs.

    One of the brothers from the USA suggested establishing an centre for research on politics in Islam, which I believe is direly needed. There is a wealth of texts that has not been discovered or studied, an example of which was given in our fatwa on the legitimacy to remove oppressive rulers. This is something to discuss in future Syrian insha Allah.

    I reiterate my thanks to all the people who wrote their words of courtesy and wisdom, who put their trust in my choice and for those who wanted me to get involved in politics. May Allah reward you all and increase you in knowledge of Him and strengthen you in practice of His commands.”

    Like

  175. @ OTW,

    “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it drink”
    People are different and I respect diversity in opinions. However, instead of closing our eyes, let’s share and pass the truth to those who don’t know the other face of the coin from family, friends, local media, MPs, …and the list goes on. The whole world got shocked two weeks ago when a Chinese toddler was ignored after hit-and-run devastating incident, that’s because the word and footage went out to public and news agencies. Maybe not everyone is obliged to have a look but surely everyone MUST spread the reality of what’s happening in Syria.

    If my thoughts were considered too much violating for the “sensitive” audience on this blog then I would happily stop.

    Like

  176. Dear TRUE
    Absolutely. We should spread the word. This is why I insist on leaving YouTube clips and links. By the way, your last comment had 10 links, 2 above the limit set for direct posting. I have to keep a reasonable limit to detect spam by sending such comments into moderation. Sorry for that. If you post 8 or less links you should have no problem whatsoever.

    Good posting about Ford. I really like to hear more news about what is happening both on the streets and in the elites’ offices. However, the status of senior officers and/or officials who are subject to polite house arrest has nothing to do with Ford. It only indicates that the regime circle, unlike what it tries to portray in the fake demos, is even getting narrower and narrower. This exclusion in fact help the opposition as the regime starts excluding its own supporters and cause its already anemic support based to shrink even further. I am really happy to see how paranoid they are getting. Being paranoid about someone is the first step to really losing them as one gets oneself into a vicious circle of mistrust and doubts about loyalties.

    Dear ALL
    Also, if you have a news ticker or RSS feed that you think is a good one, please let me know so that I can add it to the site resources. Only condition that it is about Syria.

    One thing though, I do very much appreciate the fact that most have used links instead of full articles. And when an article of excerpt are posted they are don only to emphasize a point. This is fantastic and it is setting us a part. Please keep it up, we owe it to our families in the old country.

    CSI HAMA
    I am not familiar with Shaikh Yakoubi, but I personally have no problem if his students play by the democratic rules. Meaning that they can not and should not be using democracy to disable democracy in favor of their interpretation.

    Like

  177. Actually, I think it is a critical time for this topic, if the topic is about what levels of protections there are around minority rights and what it means to have such a political system.

    The sheikh can do as he wishes, be political or not be political, no matter. Religious people are political participants too.
    However, when people talk about “establishing Islam” in Syria. What does that exactly mean? What does “establishing a Muslim Identity” mean? For whom is he speaking of it being established for, Muslims? because it would seems this is already established.
    It is these small ambiguous statements that will grab the attention of anyone who is skeptical of the agenda of the more conservative Islamic communities of the country. It must be addressed and articulated clearly and without ambiguity.

    If, that means promoting your religion and having your community, well that is very normal.
    If, in contrast, that means – trying to instill or privilege Islamic “Law” – religious law into the political law of a nation or state -in a way that imposes it on anyone that is completely different. And totally unacceptable to someone like myself (who just thinks it is wrong) and obviously to all the non- Islamic people who are part of the population of the country. Just as calling Syria and Arab nation is very disenfranchising to Kurds or Armenians or some other ethnic group who don’t consider themselves Arabs but do consider themselves full Syrians.

    So these are actually critical issues. And as I said – they need to be addressed NOW – not later…I quite disagree… because these are the kinds of fears and issues that will prevent many minorities in Syria from supporting your uprising or revolution or any change of the status quo. And it is the kind of confusion that causes more anxiety and more potential violence.

    Like


  178. بيان المدونين السوريين حول اعتقال زميلهم وصديقهم حسين غرير

    From All4Syria


    “لم يعد الصمت ينفع بعد اليوم، لا نريد وطناً نسجن فيه لقول كلمة، بل وطناً يتسع لكل الكلمات”

    هذه الكلمات هي آخر ما طالب به المدون السوري حسين غرير على مدونته, وها نحن اليوم ندوّن بأسى خبر اعتقال زميلنا حسين، من دون معرفة أسباب الاعتقال أو المكان الذي تم اقتياده إليه.

    حسين، ذو الثلاثين ربيعاُ، متزوج وأب لطفلين، شارك في العديد من حملات التضامن مع الإخوة الفلسطينيين في حرب الكيان الصهيوني على غزة، ودوّن عن حرب الكيان ضد لبنان في 2006، كما كان من البارزين في تنظيم حملة “مدونون سوريون من أجل الجولان المحتل”، ومن المشاركين الفعّالين في حملة اليوم العالمي للتضامن مع ضحايا جرائم الشرف.

    رُهاب الحرّية والكره العميق للأحرار هو ما يجعلهم يعتقلون حسين. فالكلمة هي سلاح حسين وسلاحنا، ونريدها أن تكون سلاح جميع أنصار الصرخة مقابل الصمت. ندعوكم لرفع الكلمة وإعلاء الصوت من أجل حرّية حسين غرير وحرّية جميع معتقلي الرأي وأسرى الضمير في زنزانات سوريا.

    نطالب السلطات السوريّة بالكشف عن مصير حسين وجميع أصدقائنا، عرفناهم شخصياً أم ﻻ، من أسرى الرأي والإفراج الفوري عنهم لما في اعتقالهم من اعتداءٍ على المنطق ومخالفةٍ لمنطلقات حقوق الإنسان، ونطالب أيضاً بوقف اﻻستقواء المخزي على أصحاب الرأي والكلمة. فالقوّة العمياء، مهما كبر حجمها، تبقى عمياء: تتعثر بنفسها وتسقط.

    عشتم وعاشت سوريا
    http://all4syria.info/web/archives/33653

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