Not the solution, but part of it!

Words from OFF THE WALL

First, our best wishes, prayers, and thoughts go with our Dear TRUE. We all wish his mother a fast recovery, and hope that she and the family will overcome this health crisis with the grace we have known through TRUE .

Second, many thanks to 7ee6an’s nascent  community and to all  who are keeping 7ee6an  alive and who are challenging me to really become better than what I am as I find myself the host of diverse ideas and concepts I myself do not necessarily agree with fully.  I must say out of personal vanity that I never felt more satisfied intellectually than when I push the approve button on a post that I myself may fully disagree with.

Very Opinionated Words from OFF THE WALL (..& Others)

It is very interesting to go back in time and check old debates on Syria Comment on this subject. One of the most interesting was the debate following a main post by the capable Joshua titled “Is Syria Cracking Down on Religious Groups? Why?” As usual, the main post is lost with the first two comments, and the thread of comment was very interesting as LEOLEONI, OTW, MAJHOOL, and HUSAM debated each others and ELI. Please take a look, especially at the smart and thoughtful comments by Majhool, whose words along with those of LEO LEONI I would love to read on 7ee6an. We disagreed on the urgency of theological reforms, but as usual, Majhool got the more rational argument when confronting Eli’s argument by indicating that discussing theology is a futile exercise and I do now agree with him on such futility despite of my disgust at anyone trying to freeze Islam’s rich heritage to its first half a century.

I believe that conceptually, political Islam is a legitimate political movement, but it has gone astray during the 20th century. The enlightened ideas of Abdel Rahman Alkawakibi, who dreamt of an Islamic awakening that transforms Muslim countries into powerhouses of free thinking individuals gave way to a wide spectrum of movements, who in their struggle against tyranny lost their compass and converted the legitimate political struggle for freedom into a struggle for power. Their political discourse became silly and depressing discussion of Hijab, alcohol consumption, polygamy, children marriage, and bikinis on the beach as if these are the only fundamental issues our sick societies have to deal with.  I have written about that in the past on Syria Comment, and at one point I have described my own concerns with many so called ulama, whose beliefs have informed the more radical fringes of political islam:

 The problem is those theologians who insist on forcing down our throats made-up artificial struggles that bare only superficial relationship to Islam as they invent battles where non should exist. When they should focus on poverty, which is a direct result of unequal opportunities, they see women hair, arms and legs. When they should focus on family planning, they see women as half humans who should abay a series of males, who could by all means be their inferiors intellectually. When they should rile about corruption in the public domain, they throw a tantrum about school sports for girls because it may cause them the think like men. Where they should fight to liberate their sisters in Islam from poverty and injustice, they try to impose draconian, tribal personal status laws on them that makes them subservient to the males of the family, no matter how far removed in blood relationship. These are arguably some of the most respected scholars of our modern days, and they utter verses of the Quran, and use countless Hadiths to justify their sick obsession of the purity of women’s bodies. Their vision of governance is that of idealized forms that never existed in reality.

With that, they have become no better than their oppressors, and it is evident throughout the last part of the 20th century that these groups were content with tyranny as long as the tyrants were giving in to some of their narrow demands (religion of president, source of legislation). And even when they were given opportunities to govern such as in Gaza, they presented no social or economic program other than using the same old methods of despotism, with a few additional restrictions they imposed on women. I have written before that I am yet to see any of these parties talking about empowerment, social justice, education, or economy.

But that is normal, for as the Islamic political movements deformed under despotism, so were liberal and secular movements. They confused liberalism with liberal life style. Just read the responses of the narrow-minded on  political blogs, and you will notice that their primary concern is not whether minorities will be able to live as equal partners in their respective countries, but whether they will be able to drink publicly and whether Muslim girls will be wearing Hijab or not. The most striking example is Adonis, he who himself blasted Arab opposition movements for using identical language of discourse to that of the despots, found himself against the Syrian revolution because the demonstrations started from mosque and not from what I would now call secularist temples such as concert halls (Adonis had no problem if demonstrations were to start from churches, which made him look like a closet sectarian to many).  In the same thread of comments on SC as the one I have referred to, Majhool  says

Wiki defines Secularism as “the concept that government or other entities should exist separately from religion and/or religious believer

Mixing Beer with secularism is utterly stupid. Its as if some Syrian invented their own definition and want to force it on the rest of us.

Clearly, the life-style secularists did exactly what many wise people including Jesus Christ have warned us against “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”. For without even attempting to assess and recognize their own despotic, anti-freedom tendencies, they went on an incessant campaign arguing for the need to reform Islam, and even presented versions they would accept without recognizing that there are many currents in today’s Islamic thinking.  Again,  Majhool  has his finger on the pulse  as he argues in another comment that placing theological reforms as a condition for allowing political views of Islam is a fascist approach

Its not about causing harm, you can discuss theology all you want, you are not getting anywhere with it. What you are suggesting is as fascist of an approach as it gets. You are denying a billion people their political rights until they pass some litmus test, and defining passing through the acknowledgment of the contradictions of the scriptures and denying of all things divine? good luck

N.Z, on 7ee6an, exposes an underlying problem with some of these calls (minor editorials in bold):

Every time Islam becomes the subject of discussion, KSA is brought in. Is there any other Muslim country in the world, which 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.

I wholeheartedly agree with N.Z., as I recognized that I myself have fallen into this trap by constantly citing the worst of the worst like (e.g., KSA, TALIBAN, SHABAB) as examples for the need for reform. However, I am against them not only from secular point of view, but more-so because:

I totally reject the monopoly on critical review of Islam and the inherent violence of bounding the discussion of religious issues to the confine of so-called scholars. The irony is that in many (not all) cases, advocates of such strategy are those who also claim that Islam is the religions of masses, and that it is spreading like wildfires primarily because it does not need clerics as the relationship with god is most personal in Islam. They fail to see the contradiction of the two arguments. You can’t have it both ways, Islam is either accessible to the masses, thus there is no need for scholars to interpret it, or Islam is so complex that no earthly being can be a true Muslim without the help of the learned ones. There is no doubt that Islamic Jurisprudence was a living, rich, and dynamic legal practice, but it died long time ago, and those who killed it are the intellectual grandfathers of those who want to freez Islam by prohibiting self criticism, which is the main culprit in the stagnation of modern Islamic thoughts. The violence, be it verbal, legal, or physical, levied against anyone daring to ask questions prevented many (real) scholars such as philosophers, ethicists, linguists, and historians from contributing to the enrichment of Islamic traditions. While I do respect Majhool, quite a lot, I find the argument that religions should only be discussed by scholars a lazy escape.

As for the need to discuss authoritarian regimes every-time we criticize violent fundamentalism, i think it is uncalled for. There is a time for everything, and one does not need to be accredited by cussing at authoritarian regimes before discussing religion.

In light of today’s situation, the second paragraph sounds utterly wrong, rash and a little foolish, and it is. Because it was despotism and authoritarianism that gave rise to and nurtured the conditions leading to the powerful status of the backward regressive movements.  I would now like to add that framing the political discourse around disfigured concepts is off course what the despots wanted, for in that they have successfully introduced themselves as the protector of women’s rights, despite of heir maintenance of ugly civil status laws and reluctance to really empower women through education, especially in rural areas and inner cities, as guardians of minorities, despite of their constant inflaming of sectarianism and controllable mini-sectarian conflicts, as stalwarts modernity, despite of their  backward clannish form of ruling and their middle-ages violations of civil rights and due process , and of progress, despite of their well guarded feudal economic and financial monopolies

The aftermath of Arab spring, the first phase of which will conclude with the removal of the Assad dynasty in Syria and the Salih clan in Yemen,  will be the greatest challenge facing both political Islam and Arab Secularist. According to EHSANI, who is quoted by Joshua Landis on Syria Comment:

It seems to me that Islamists are being held to a much higher standards than other religions. Barry Rubin is afraid of Islamists but he is ok with israel as a religious state. I think that none of us can have our cake and eat it. That the majority of the people of this region are more religious than i would like is a fact. That after so many years of failures of their leaders they have turned to religion and GOD under the banner of “islam is the solution” is not surprising. When you have to live on $300 a month with 3 kids only GOD can get you going. Whether we like it or not, this region wants to throw away the exisiting order. Do they have an alternative that we like? most likely not. They clearly want to try islam. I think that this transition period is inevitable. The period may well be longer and uglier than we would like but unless we can offer a brilliant alternative, it is hard to see how this trend can be reversed. Iran started on this track back in 1979. The ayatollahs took over and promised the moon. In my opinion they have failed just like the current crop of “islam is the solution” crowd will most likely fail. But, try they will and may be try they must before the region’s next phase sees the light of day. In the meantime, the best we may hope for is that Turkish style rather than salafi style end up rising to the top should a change of the exisiting order actually materialize.

Some have taken issues with EHSANI’s writing considering it to expose him for an islamophobe, which in my opinion is both incorrect and unjustified from the above comment. I see in my friend’s comment a double challenge, the first is for the Islamic political parties, who in all likelihood will be swept into parliaments and constitutional assemblies through a sizable majorities in elections. At the heart of this challenge is his request for them to demonstrate their relevance by producing civil states on the Turkish model and not yet one more despotic state as the Mullahs, who rode the public revolt against the Shah into power, and hung up to it using the same tactics of their predecessor. This is a very serious challenge, for an important intellectual basis of most Islamist parties is the notion of universality of Islam, which as described by LEO LEONI in the above referred to SC debate means its applicability, unchallenged and unchanged to the spiritual and the political. ( شمولية الدين فهو الدين والدولة). This empower their ideology with self perceived  heavenly righteousness, independent of whether their interpretation of the text is accurate or not. IMHO, such is no different from the “we know best” mentality of the socialists and nationalists (Baathists) who led Syria into becoming an empire of fear. The second challenge that I got from EHSANI’s comment applies to both Islamists and Secularists, and it is the greatest challenge ever. It is simple, but monumental. I think my dear friend Ehsani is saying:

….

…..

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Posted on October 29, 2011, in Arab Spring, Democracy, Islam, Secularism, Syria and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 245 Comments.

  1. YOU are dreading it!…i am the one…dreading it….like we are bad children….

  2. Nope Zenobia, I didn’t add you. You’d know if I did.

  3. did i friend request you???

  4. I don’t know because some SCers with one screen name eventually ended up on my fb, but then i forgot who they all were on SC sometimes….like they were different identities, isn’t that strange….

  5. @Zenobia

    I have an issue with Zionist and those that support them. How typical of Arabs! There is a huge difference between Jews and Zionist. I have enough knowledge on the subject.

    My partner of 11 years is Jewish and his Rabbi and I hug (othodox). AP can respond if he felt attacked, and certainly doesn’t need our God-father’s help.

    Perhaps you know AP better than I do, however I have know problems tell him what I think of his B.S. Remember when you made reference to “truck it back to SC” where was Aboud then?

    In the end of the day, these past 2 hours were a total waste. I learned that once again I am of a weak mind and I am an Islamist.

    I think I am done with arguing with people whom I haven’t the slightest hint of who they really are and what they really stand for. Afterall we are all anonymous. I find these cyber relationships sad to be very frank with you and I am just about done.

  6. “and certainly doesn’t need our God-father’s help. ”

    I think I’ll take up the phrase “Kiss the ring”. Don Aboud. Anyone notice how half of the Arab family names sound Italian to anyone who doesn’t know better?

  7. no, don’t feel bad. cyber bullshit is cyber bull shit. And the thing is – you don’t really get to know people this way… this is just an exercise….and you can’t take it soooo seriously.
    once you do….you will go crazy.
    that is why when the comment section of sc…got sooooo serious and abrasive…it ceases to be tolerable
    we have to use it as an exercise in debate and a particular kind of exchange…
    if you think people are your friends or buddies, think again.

    maybe if you get to know them a bit extra blog – then this can be a little better, but mostly cyber is cyber….and it can be very confusing

    problem with blogging and commenting is we are just getting snap shots of people at certain moments and we can be different in different contexts and at different moments, but mean time we are busy projecting all kinds of bull on each other and assuming way way too much and turning each other into sterotypes…as we can see happening tonight.
    you are guilty.
    and Aboud could be guilty of it in response to you.
    but this is the way of fear
    so you just have to not get so anxious about it – and let it go.

    we are anonymous. but every once in awhile we get to be real friends extra blog… and hopefully one day – we might have some of these people who stick… be able to convene in the NEW SYRIA… that might be great day, don’t you think….?

  8. and every arab guy love godfather….what is that about???
    (not to be stereotyping or anything….but…seems true)

  9. Syrian TV said that the regime accepted the AL’s plan. But the AL said they never received a response.

    Maybe Waleed Mu’allem’s email was lost in Nabel Arabi’s junkmail filter.

  10. @Husam,

    I am going to re-read the Dictatorship to Democracy paper… and maybe if I can think about how this interacts with the post that TRUE did on guerilla warfare and what some of you think about this… perhaps I could figure out something to write on the questions that arise from that because he certainly has a lot of warnings about the perils of such approaches and the reasons for this.
    I am a bit shy about trying to write a main post though. (despite appearances and my tendency to blab on here in the comment area….)

  11. Holly sh*t what did i miss?!!!

    It seems some emotional people totally need to hold their horses and stop being silly or acting childishly, this is not a place where someone can lash people and accuse them of all sorts of false accusations just like that, this is not SC!!! We ALL had enough of rubbish accusations starting from being paid 24/7 blogger working for Jeffrey Feltman all the way to not even being Syrians, but those were the Menhebaks!!! the Menhebaks who we disagree on everything with them heart and soul. However, now for your excellency to come up with an identical Déjà vu throwing the same BS on us is too much!!! What’s this all about? is it only because the other side did not agree with your judgment? Is it because you felt being insecure while no one is targeting ya?!! Honestly, c’mon man pay some respect to the people who are sharing your cause , that’s if we end up sharing anything.

    You made no sense but surely made fun of yourself and as a matter of fact it kills me how someone who’s been calling of reviving Islam and Islamic state is utterly failing to demonstrate the basic manner of good Muslim and accusing people of things with no genuine evidence.

    Just FOCUS on the real criminal in Syria and occupier in Palestine.

  12. There is a clear and consistent pattern with AP which stinks to me. AP is a dual-citizen hahaha to you too.

    Husam,

    I am not a dual citizen. I am 100% American and I am pro-Zionist/Israel. Sue me!

    You’ll have to excuse me, but I don’t have a clear picture of your name/handle and your political outlook from the discussions we had on SC. So far, I don’t take issue with anything you said about me so far, although you come across a little angry and harsh. Maybe I deserved it – on SC I was a bit “defensive”. I hope it doesn’t come to that here.

    If you don’t want a Zionist posting on this website, please take it up with the owner. During this time of uncertainty in Syria, I really wouldn’t want to make this website a Israel vs Arab sounding board. Like I’ve said many times, it is a WIN-WIN to have democracy and freedom throughout the ME.

    So Husam, if you have any questions about Judaism, Israeli politics, American politics and foreign policy, I stand at the ready to find you an answer.

    I haven’t seen many posts from Shai and Yossi recently. I do not know what they are up to. I don’t know if AIG or Amir in Tel Aviv know about this website. I know very little about these 4 Israelis, and I do corresponded with AIG from time-to-time, although not recently.

    Have a nice day,

    AP

  13. There is a huge difference between Jews and Zionist.

    Husam,

    I can’t wait to hear what this is.

  14. AP

    “If you don’t want a Zionist posting on this website, please take it up with the owner. ”

    I greatly appreciate the point of view you bring, and I think any website that only contains people who agree with each other, gets stale very quickly.

    Zenobia, in Homs there was a shawerma place quite near to Deblan called Al-3arab, but it closed down a few years ago. Disagreement among partners I think it was.

  15. Who blogs? who comments?
    I think it is far more likely for a blogger and/or commenters to be opinionated than for those who simply browse from one blog to another without feeling the urge to write, agree, disagree, attack, and/or defend.

    I would have been concerned had the above discussion not taken place and everyone simply wrote their opinion without responding, even if angrily to others, So yes, all of us are opinionated, and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, only those lacking character would agree on every single issue and would keep agreeing on contradictory issues . But that does not prevent compromise or development of strategies in the sense that one can still chose what issues to talk about and what issues to simply listen to others stating or arguing their strong feeling and opinion about. It is purely personal choice and I would argue that occasionally such is more related to the instantaneous mood than to the point being discussed.

    One thing i have learned through the past three years is that it is a mistake to define oneself by ones enemies or perceived enemies, especially at personal levels. I am pro freedom, democracy, liberty, equality, and not Anti-Assad as the latter will only mean that I will relax the moment Assad is removed, even if that was done by yet another tyranny. I am pro the rights of Palestinians, which makes me stand against wrong practices be it by Israel, by other Palestinians or by anyone else.

    I think I am old enough to pretend wisdom and say, take it easy on yourselves and on each others.

    And I am still a sleep.

  16. @ AP:

    You and I spent no less then a dozen hours and we have been through this before because you asked me this same question “tell us what is the difference between a jew & zionist” years ago. I am not going to fall for your trap, because I am not retired or on the pay roll. Keep pretending to not know the answers and fool others, you certainly won’t fool me…paid or not paid.

    I am not owner of this blog, so you can stay, spew, or glorify Zionism all you want. I thought I have the right to call a spade a spade, but I guess not. You used be spam SC with redundant boring material which I don’t have the appetite for and derail a healthy discussion.

    @ True:

    Too bad you decided to take sides, you probably skimmed through and made a quick call. I really would like to focus on Syria, but I never lost sight of the big picture. It is not about “because the other side doesn’t agree with you”. If SNK would come here wouldn’t you advise him not let his 1000 line comment about his love for Bashar go on? You want healthy discussion then why isn’t there one mnhebak here? And if you care about liberating Palestine, then enjoy your endless fruitless discussions with AP.

    @ Aboud:

    You just don’t add up. You asked me not to attack AP but you did just that – you attacked me. My gut has never been wrong. And, one more thing, you find it perfectly healthy to allow pro-zionist (who financed the Irgun and go back to further than 1948) spew 1000 line comments but you shrug at the mnehbaks not posting here by claiming victory because you bit-them-to-dust with your shrewd and attacking comments on SC. They would not dare come near Aboudi. Talking about self-loathing, go look in the mirror.

    @ Zenobia, OTW, Sheila:

    It was a pleasure knowing you. Cyber stuff is not for me, my time can be spent in a real more meaningful positive way. Good bye and good luck.

  17. Did anyone catch the Hub on the BBC a couple of weeks ago? They interviewed me. SGID listened to it, and a couple of my friends in Turkey caught it. It isn’t the first interview I’ve given to the BBC. See, saying that Homsis have been very brave and telling the world how the regime targets medical staff is, of course, part of an insidious plot *rolls eyes*

    AP, I’d really appreciate any more interesting links you happen to come across. It’s good to hear about material from sources I normally don’t look up, since everyone knows that you can get infected with Zionist-viruses if you even visit Daniel Pipes’ website :p

  18. “You want healthy discussion then why isn’t there one mnhebak here”

    Dude, if the menhebaks don’t want to come out of their Besho loving cocoons, *then how is it our fault*? Go ahead, invite some menhebaks here, no one said they couldn’t post on this website. Geesh, blaming us for the cowardice of the Besho lovers. Now I’ve seen it all.

  19. Aboud,

    You are even more reasonable on this website than SC. Thanks. I like to post info from the Hebrew media that tends to dispell anti-Israel mythology. If we get through that, maybe there will be peace someday. And I am ready to reciprocate. Where’s Simohurtta when you need him?

    Husam,

    I really have to apologize. I don’t doubt that we spent hours debating, it’s just that the number of people I’ve argued with tend to run together. There were a lot of them. Anyway, not to beat a dead horse, I will stay on the sideline until I see something I have a question about or if something doesn’t sit well with me. Regarding inter-Arab and Syrian issues, I tend to sit on the sidelines.

  20. AP, email me, and maybe we can discuss somethings that might otherwise divert from topics on 7ee6an. OTW can provide you with my email. Thanks.

    From the statement of the AL, on the surface it appears to be a complete cave in by the regime. Considering Besho’s less than reliable history when it comes to keeping his word, it remains to be seen if he will follow through. But this reminds me of the unanimous condemnation of Syria after Harriri was murdered, and the way the AL forced Besho out of that country. Of course, the Lebanese were stupid enough to allow themselves to get dominated by Damascus politically.

    Just allowing a free press into the country would be a major step. There is no shortage of courageous reporters who will risk their lives to report on what is going on.

  21. You want healthy discussion then why isn’t there one mnhebak here?
    I don’t know, go and ask Menhebaks but maybe this forum is too civilised for peasants and surely their low IQ (2 cells brain) would not help them to survive around here lol.

    And if you care about liberating Palestine, then enjoy your endless fruitless discussions with AP
    Yes I do care about liberating the occupied Palestine from the Polish, Russians …. Occupiers. However, different to others including yourself, I take actual actions and go there to Palestine rather wasting my time debating online trying to take a camel on the top of a minaret.

    If SNK would come here wouldn’t you advise him not let his 1000 line comment about his love for Bashar go on?
    This Simply No Knowledge (SNK) is very good in coming up with comments full of no sense with at least 20-30 spelling mistakes in each but the most hilarious sh!t is when he’s totally convinced that ABOUD = TRUE hahahah (honestly Husam thanks for bringing back those funny memories :))

  22. Ok according to what I’ve been told this is what happened during the last days. So Betho sent the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad to Moscow where he gets 100% support with guaranties of no NATO intervention, consequently Betho goes and threatens everyone around (media appearance). Then on Sun the Syrian convoy reaches Qatar to deliver Betho’s rejection to the AL, everyone gets in shock and panic and then (AL) summons the Russian ambassador in UAE to deliver a message of (will do the Libyan scenario + boycotting Russia). This message resonated very well in Moscow which in return called Betho back on Tue to say (Our best advice to accept AL initiative).

    Anyway, it won’t take long before Betho bya3 elfalfel screws up again after realising what he has put himself into. AL is the best thing happened by Arabs in a long time while those losers in SNC have no clue what’s going on.

  23. A few days ago, I said that one of the things that the SNC had to work towards was Arab pressure on Russia, including boycotts and scaling back diplomatic relations. I also remember how a certain someone thought it was a farfetched idea. And yet here we are….

    Guys, just hand over everything to the Homsis, and not only will we get rid of Besho, we will change Iran, get back the Golan and Jerusalem, get Iskendarun back from the Turks, reduce global warming, fix the financial crisis and make sure that adorable 13 year old girl wins on X-Factor.

  24. I said that one of the things that the SNC had to work towards was Arab pressure on Russia .. And yet here we are ..

    Emmanuel Goldstein, Yes you did and I have to give it to Homs (again :)).

    However, i reckon the SNC is showing no competence at all eh even their media statements are incongruous and lack this touch of smart politics. I’d like to highlight couple of examples
    1) We all know how new Libya denounced Betho and recognised SNC as the sole and only legitimate representation for Syrians BUT still SNC did not got to Tripoli to run the embassy and wave the flag of Syrian independence, a chance could have been used to gain some media legitimate presence.
    2) Throughout AL initiative negotiation time the SNC swallowed its tongue as if nothing critical is happening, yet yesterday and just minutes before the announcement of AL initiative approval the SNC goes ahead and deliver a piece of paper with three demands
    A) Freeze Syria’s membership temporally in AL B) Guarantee international protection to civilians under AL umbrella C) Recognise SNC as the sole and only legitimate representation for Syrians.

    See they lack this talent of taking a lead when they SHOULD and it’s just a matter of time before people lose hope in them and demand a new entity.

    Haytham Khouri, it’s been a while since we saw ya on 7ee6an and your input would be appreciated.

  25. Aboud, why don’t you go to SC for a while and invite Dr. Khouri to this blog ?

  26. Aboud, what do you think will be the impications of today’s developments ? Is this a setback for all anti-Besho people / Does it imply AL “kissing Besho’s ass”, pls excuse the expression.

    I don;t know why but I’m feeling very frustrated and angry today. I think there shoud be MEGA-RALLIES across Sytria on Friday after prayers, that should be our only reply to the AL.

    And pls don’t be irritated with me.

  27. Arab League ‘roadmap’ helps Assad play for time” (Simon Tisdall, the Guardian)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/02/arab-league-roadmap-assad-time

    The Brothers Assad” (Maryam Ishani, Majalla) al-ASSAD Inc.
    http://www.majalla.com/eng/2011/11/article55227279

    IAEA suspects second Syrian nuclear program” (Yossi Melman, haaretz)
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/iaea-suspects-second-syrian-nuclear-program-1.393220

    With Protests, Syrians Are Learning Politics” (Deborah Amos, NPR)
    http://www.npr.org/2011/11/02/141915504/with-protests-syrians-are-learning-politics

    Catherine Ashton: time to put pressure on Syria” (Euronews)
    http://www.euronews.net/2011/11/02/catherine-ashton-assad-has-lost-his-authority/

    Syrian forces kill 9 villagers near Homs: activists” (Reuters)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/02/us-syria-killings-idUSTRE7A11W020111102

  28. ABOUD said :

    “Guys, just hand over everything to the Homsis, and not only will we get rid of Besho, we will change Iran, get back the Golan and Jerusalem, get Iskendarun back from the Turks, reduce global warming, fix the financial crisis and make sure that adorable 13 year old girl wins on X-Factor.”

    Seconded 😆

  29. @ “The Brothers Assad” by (Maryam Ishani, Majalla)

    “. Maher initially studied Business in Damascus and then, like his father, he followed a military career.”

    Correction: Maher studied mechanical engineering at F.E.M.E (Faculty of Electrical Mechanical Engineering) of Damascus university, and his graduations project was a mini flying vehicle.

  30. SYRIAN HAMSTER

    Concise

    Ok according to what I’ve been told this is what happened during the last days. So Betho sent the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad to Moscow where he gets 100% support with guaranties of no NATO intervention, consequently Betho goes and threatens everyone around (media appearance). Then on Sun the Syrian convoy reaches Qatar to deliver Betho’s rejection to the AL, everyone gets in shock and panic and then (AL) summons the Russian ambassador in UAE to deliver a message of (will do the Libyan scenario + boycotting Russia). This message resonated very well in Moscow which in return called Betho back on Tue to say (Our best advice to accept AL initiative).

    Some writers would take 10 pages to say tell the same story. Wow….. Also, it is plausible.

  31. I do not possibly see how the AL is doing junior any favors, in any shape, way or form. Simon Tisdall is unreasonably jaded and pessimistic. This was the strongest possible stance the AL could have taken at this time.

    They were quite clear; an “immediate” withdrawal of security forces in all their shapes and forms, an immediate release of prisoners, an immediate opening the country to the foreign press. Just one of these things on its own would be enough to galvanize the opposition.

    The AL wisely, for a change, did not publicly spell out the consequences to the regime if it did not carry out these steps. Threatening dictatorships always results in them digging their heels in at the cost of lives to their own supporters and their opponents. But if there wasn’t a very iron fist beneath the silk glove, you can be sure Waleed Mu’allem wouldn’t have even come to Doha.

    The regime is damned if it does, and damned if it doesn’t. The AL doesn’t want parties outside of the Arab world to get involved and get mixed up in Syria. Lebanon sucked in numerous countries from all over the world. Strife in Syria has the potential to be ten times worse. If this Friday is half as bloody as the last one, expect to see Besho so diplomatically isolated that it would make a Tibetan Monastery look like a frat house weekend by comparison.

  32. Some news from Syria

    Something fishy is going on, conscripts have received orders to continue on standby but to take off their uniform and put on their sport pyjamas instead, in addition to NOT shave their beards!!! It seems the regime is rolling out one of its stupid plans to mobilise “millions” of supporters in the coming few days OR massive massacres are yet to happen “God forbid”. This is surely in response to the expected massive opposition demonstrations that would break out if the army tanks and security forces are withdrawn out of cities and villages.

    Here’s a tip, keep a close eye on planned/paid rallies and see how many people in pyjamas and how suddenly all these virtual “armed gangs” will show up in the middle of the day wearing pyjamas eh.

    The regime is damned if it does, and damned if it doesn’t.
    Nicely said, whoever came up with this initiative is just a hell of a smart man and surely hates Betho bya3 elfalfel to death.

  33. NEWS ROUND UP

    Syria poised to end crackdown but President Bashar al-Assad faces pressure to quit” (AFP, Theaustralian)
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/syria-poised-to-end-crackdown-but-president-bashar-al-assad-faces-pressure-to-quit/story-e6frg6so-1226184240067

    ICRC seeks Syrian prison access on its terms” (Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/02/us-syria-kellenberger-idUSTRE7A181K20111102

    Syria’s army curtails border smuggling” (Rakan al-Fakih, Dailystar)
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2011/Nov-03/152989-syrias-army-curtails-border-smuggling.ashx#axzz1cb2MHG6Z

    Ankara is mistaken on the topic of Assad” (Mehmet Ali Birand, hurriyetdailynews)
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=ankara-is-mistaken-on-the-topic-of-assad-2011-11-02

    Syria arrests suspect in Estonian kidnap: source” (Reuters)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/02/us-lebanon-syria-arrest-idUSTRE7A12R720111102

    Arab League Says Syria Accepts Plan for Talks” (NEIL MacFARQUHAR and NADA BAKRI, NYtimes)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/03/world/middleeast/arab-league-says-syria-accepts-plan-for-talks.html

  34. The regime just killed the first 3 martyrs in Homs after the official acceptance of AL initiative.

    La3nato Allaho 3aleek ya ibn el7aram ya ibn elshytan ya bya3 elfalfel

  35. Husam : you might not read this since we moved to a new topic, but I share your feelings about AP. In the beginning of Walls I felt so relieved at having left him behind at SC. A blog by Syrians about Syria ! Without zio interference. The dream !
    The thing is I do not trust zios one bit. Not AP, not the “friendly” Amir either. With the present leadership in Israel peace does not stand the slightest chance. And did it ever ? How can one deal with land grabbers, thieves who do not have the slightest respect for the people of the region ?
    The zios who come here frequently derail the exchanges towards their project. Why don’t they go to Arab-Zionist friendship blogs if such exist.
    I have always admired how polite and tolerant Syrians are. I am neither.
    I’ll post this on the next topic too.

  36. How can one deal with land grabbers, thieves who do not have the slightest respect for the people of the region?

    Annie,

    Exactly. If Jews are not allowed to live in the ME under their own democratically elected government, then there isn’t much to discuss or “deal with”.

    As far as “respect for the people of the region”, I have to disagree. Non-jews living under the Israeli government are treated with more respect than any other government in the region, including Syria, per the obvious, main theme detailed on this website. Those are the facts whether you care to face them or not.

  37. AP

    Stop speaking of Jews, as if you Zionists owned them. “Deal with” means having any relationship with them in my imperfect English.

    Non-jews living in East Jerusalem are evicted; they have to destroy their own houses or pay for the houses to be dismantled, In the Negev, Bedouins have their villages or camps destroyed again and again. The reason Palestinians prefer to live in occupied Palestine is because they are on their own land.

    What Arabs do to Arabs concerns Arabs and as we can see on this site they are taking care of that. Zionists are foreigners, an implant gone bad almost from the beginning.
    An Israeli friend told me ages ago that Arabs would be wise not to make peace with Israel because they would be economically gobbled up.

    See here : Fifty-five Zionist companies said to be operating in Iraq under assumed names.
    http://www.uruknet.info/?p=45479

    “The report indicated that the Kurdish Lending Bank had a secret mission of purchasing vast tracts of agricultural land, oil fields, and residential areas in the vicinity of the cities of al-Mawsil and Kirkuk, both oil-rich cities in northern Iraq. The massive land purchases facilitate the effort by the US-backed Kurdish separatist Peshmergah militia to expel Arab and Turkoman residents of northern Iraq so that the oil-rich area can be annexed to the Kurdish separatist state under US and Zionist hegemony.”

  38. maybe we should be required to define our terms. Like what is : “Zionism”.

    As far as I know – it concerns the ideology and belief in a homeland for the Jews, (once upon a time acquiring it, and now keeping it). What has this to do with Iraq, would be beyond me. Iraq is extremely anti-Jewish now. so, i can’t imagine why they would want to invest in Iraq.

  39. also, it seems like you ‘news’ source in not a news source…but a private website linked to another private facebook site pedaling conspiracy theories (there are no actually names listed at all except “Zionist companies” which are not named and “secret missions”…etc.

    It is a bit trouble some because, if our goal here is to discourage conspiracy theory thinking and conspiracy based information, then it is my contention that we had better hold that standard whether we are talking about foreign countries, governments, or ones about “Zionists” also.
    that only makes sense. After all – plenty of Syrian busy hesitating to support the uprising – cite their fear of American power as a reason to keep the status quo – and linked to this fear are their almost paranoid ideas about Israel, Mossad, ‘Zionists’… and it is very difficult to argue with that if this has been drilled into people’s heads as some primary basis for thinking the world is after Syrians and Syria…
    It is very counterproductive.

    Anyhow, Zionist is a label. Which sometimes they are useful. but this started by talking about a real person that we know – to some degree, commenting here for years. He is a PERSON, PERSON , PERSON….
    not a LABEL LABEL LABEL.
    And I have yet to see this person go labeling us left and right every second, so maybe we should return the courtesy.

  40. Zenobia : “i can’t imagine why they would want to invest in Iraq.” This is why they do it with straw people. Google the Kurdish Lending Bank

    A “person” can be part of the hasbara network. We are not dealing with persons here; we can be fictions. I gave my name before and I have no reason to hide it (Anne-marie Goossens)
    .
    Zionists in the present day are a bunch of gangsters.

    You apparently don’t want to know what they are doing to Palestinians.

    This being said, I am going back to ignoring AP’s posts.

  41. I know what goes on in Palestine. We hear about it everyday.

    Investing in Iraq. Not sure about that. But then so what. Banking is not illegal.

    “This being said, I am going back to ignoring AP’s posts.” …. good plan.

  42. Annie’s Anti-Israel One Stop Shopping

    Stop speaking of Jews, as if you Zionists owned them.

    Annie,

    I can speak about Jews because I am a Jew. Most Jews are pro-Israel. Not all, but certainly most.

    “Deal with” means having any relationship with them in my imperfect English.

    Do what you want. We bow down to no one here because we’re free.

    Non-jews living in East Jerusalem are evicted; they have to destroy their own houses or pay for the houses to be dismantled

    Non-jews in Jerusalem and non-Jews in Israel have both increased in population. Please post a link showing ANY non-jew in Jerusalem being “evicted”.

    In the Negev, Bedouins have their villages or camps destroyed again and again.

    As you know, the Bedouin are mainly nomadic. They set up homes and structures where ever they see fit. This causes numerous disagreements and problems with surrounding farmers, land owners, infrustructure, etc. Israel has planned for some of these Bedouin to relocate into towns, but it is difficult to force them to leave their way of life. All these issues are dealt with within the confines of an extrememly fair judicial system and laws.

    No where on Earth am I allowed to set up a house on “vacant” land and call it my own.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Society_&_Culture/Bedouin.html

    The reason Palestinians prefer to live in occupied Palestine is because they are on their own land.

    Annie, it is more than just that. If the borders between “Occupied Palestine” are drawn differently such that the Palestinians are now part of Palestine (as the Israeli FFM proposed), most would opt to remain in “Occupied Palestine” (aka “Israel”). That very notion tells me a.) these “Palestinians” are more pleased to be Israeli citizens and b.) Israel doesn’t treat its non-Jewish population too badly.

    What Arabs do to Arabs concerns Arabs…

    Annie, I hear that all the time. What hypocrisy! You have the nerve to tell Israelis how to deal with the Bedouin, but when a non-Arab like myself reminds you of how Arab despots treat their own population, it’s now none of my business? That’s “rich”!

    An Israeli friend told me ages ago that Arabs would be wise not to make peace with Israel because they would be economically gobbled up.

    I don’t know what your “Israel friend” means. Non-Jewish and Arab Israelis are doing better economically than any other Arab in the region.

    Annie,

    If you didn’t expend so much energy hating Israel (and hate, believe me, takes a lot of energy), perhaps you could take all that energy and build an Arab state that helps to improve the lives of Arabs. At least some of the participants here GET that.

  43. Homs military attacks continue, over 100 bodies arrived at hospitals in the past 2 days…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/middle_east/

  44. OTW,

    Congrats on the new blog. Its great. I am also happy to see many great commentators from SC.. all in one place again.

  45. Thanks Majhool, it is wonderful to see you here.

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