Monthly Archives: November 2011
A Word from OFF THE WALL
I have been having some exchanges with Syrian Hamster, we both have felt depressed over the past couple of days as we have been sharing our own facebook experiences and some reading material. He said that he already started to write some thing along these lines. So here it is:
Syrian Hamster Says
Every once in a while I write in a depressed mood. On such occasions, my ideas are less lucid, more random, and far less connected to reality and to each others than the disaster zone they normally are. Here is my hurricane for today, a volcano is in the making and the deluge is in your future. Read the rest of this entry
The International Crisis Group (ICG) most recent middle east policy briefing No 31 on Syria, titled “Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through Syria’s Dynamics” is a demonstration of the brilliance of Peter Harling, the ICG’s Project Director, for Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. The report, linked above is a must read by anyone interested or involved even if remotely to the Syrian revolution. Below, i will only present a part of the report’s conclusion, and hope that all of us get the chance to read it and comment on it. I received it yesterday, but was not able to view my email until now. Read the rest of this entry
Request from OFF THE WALL
This just came out. It is the draft (project) for the Political program of the Syrian National Council (SNC). I will not comment on it now, and will leave that to the comments’ section and may be for a future post. But it is more than critical and urgent that all of us take a look and participate in discussing the various points. I try my best to convey your comments will to the SNC, and I am sure that Haytham will do so well
In a recent article in the Canadian Globe and Mail, titled ‘Untouchable’ Assad ruled by duty to family, Patrick Martin, the Middle East correspondent takes a shot at trying to analyze the Syrian president, whom he terms as “contradictory man” , who “speaks the lines of Western liberalism but plays the part of ruthless dictator.“. Quoting former Jordanian PM Marwan Al-Muashar, the correspondent writes:
Marwan Muasher, Jordan’s former foreign minister, wrote that he always found Mr. al-Assad more reasonable in private. His “habit of pontificating in public was abandoned in private settings,” he said. “He listened to opposing arguments … with a desire to understand other points of view.”
In my own opinion, the article is nothing more than the recycling of the standard-form western narration of the Assads’ family story, with the primary goal of overemphasizing the sectarian aspects of Syrian society we are accustomed to in western press articles about Syria. I read twice, and in both times i felt that Mr. Martin simply had to submit something, and he opted for the narration of only a minor aspect of the on-going struggle in Syria. In fact, I believe that our own Haytham Khoury’s “Immaturity as an origin of evil: Bashar al-Assad as a case study” analysis of Bashar Al-Assad has much more value to add in the attempt to understand the person even though Haytham does not delve too deeply into the family loyalty issue.
The Syrian society is a complex society, the pressure of despotism, the Baath party, and the layers of security arrangements over the past half a century have added tremendously to that complexity. Yet, at the core of the on-going revolt stand the simple absolute axiomatic issues of Right, Good, and Justice. Syrians’ quest for these principles, which have gone missing under the Assads, manifests itself in very subtle manner. Those failing to understand this concept always revert to the sectarian conditioning, which hides the much deeper meaning. Read the rest of this entry
In 2006, and during the Israeli war on Lebanon, Bashar Al-Assad, claiming leadership of the Arab resistance camp, and using the popularity of Hizbullah’s struggle against Israel to burnish his own image, called Arab leaders “half-men”. Whether that was on the minds of the 18 foreign ministers who voted yes for the suspension of the participation of the Syrian delegation in all of the league’s activities and meetings remain to be found by those who write books of political intrigue and personalities. For now, it is clear that the Syrian regime thought that its policy makers are smarter than the “Bedouins” and has underestimated their resolve and intelligence.
The Chair of the meeting today, Qatar’s foreign minister outlined the decision in 7 points. Here they are in Arabic, then in English: Read the rest of this entry
The current Syria-related events and developments represent no disorder or spontaneous meaningless actions. A careful, detail searching eye can easily notice a pre-made orchestrated solfège being composed by many singers (i.e., stakeholders), the US starts with “Fa” to receive “Re” from the EU while Turkey amplifies with “Sol” and AL resonate with “Mi”. Contrary to the regime’s reactionist behavior, most of these lately rolled-out developments are pre-planned and systematically driven by many hidden and obvious interested parties, and indisputably a multi-phases strategy combined with an exponential applied-pressure plan is currently in place in order to reach multiple goals of ousting the current Syrian regime and reshuffling power-balance in the region. I’m happy to refer to this ongoing strategy as PLCPO.
Poking (achieved) → Lobbying (achieved) → Cornering (achieved) → Pressuring (In progress) → Ousting (Yet to come) Read the rest of this entry
أيها الشعب السوري العظيم
أحدثكم اليوم وقد أهل علينا عيد الأضحى المبارك وبلدنا ترزح تحت نير سلطة ظالمة، حولت البلد عبر عقود إلى مملكة وراثية، امتهنت فيها كرامتنا وانتهكت حقوقنا، وأهدرت حرياتنا، وحولتنا إلى أزلام في سجن كبير. ثم ثرتم أيها الأبطال، وقدمتم الغالي والرخيص فداءً للحرية المنشودة، فلا يكاد يخلو بيت من فقدان أب، أو اغتصاب بنت، أو اعتقال شاب، أو تعد على أطفال. لقد أثارت شجاعتكم وتصميمكم وقدرتكم على التضحية إعجاب العالم أجمع، وزعزعت أركان الطغيان. ولم تكونوا في هذه المحنة وحدكم، فقد ألفت تضحياتكم بين قلوب السوريين في شرق البلاد وغربها، ووحدت عزيمتكم إخوانكم في المهاجر من أقصى الأرض إلى أقصاها، وأظهرت الدفين من مواهب وطاقات وإبداعات كل السوريين
I’m sorry about my limited contributions, I was busy with my mid-terms. Here is my post:
The first part of my post will discuss my latest trip to Damascus, and the second part is a response to a question asked by Dr. Haytham Khoury about developing sectarianism and radicalism we are witnessing( most of all on syria comment). I also believe this part will be relevant to OTW’s most recent post on his blog.
My last visit to Damascus only lasted for 2 days (20th and 21st of October). Just a few days prior to my arrival the regime “successfully” held a massive demonstration in the capital’s saba’a bahrat square( which hosts the nation’s central bank) . Transportation, advanced recording, food, drink, entertainment and most important of all SECURITY is provided to the pro-government demonstrators. The appropriate setting is given. A friend of mine who works for one of Rami Makhlouf’s multiple enterprises told me that he was forced to go, despite having a pro-revolution stance on the whole situation. Employees are threatened with dismissals from their jobs if they do not participate. Although the highly esteemed Robert Fisk was a witness to these one of these demonstrations ( the one held on the 26th in the Omayad square), his story that they are purely authentic is far from reality. The regime has done its homework and knows how to conceal its foul play. Read the rest of this entry