At Last, The Draft Political Program of the SNC

Request from OFF THE WALL

Dear 7ee6anis:

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

مشروع البرنامج السياسي للمجلس الوطني السوري

بعد جهود متواصلة من قبل المعارضة السورية تأسس المجلس الوطني السوري استجابة للشعور بالحاجة لإطار سياسي يمثل العمل الثوري الجاري على الأرض منذ 15 آذار/مارس 2011 لإسقاط النظام ورموزه وأشخاصه، وذلك بعد أكثر من سبعة أشهر من اندلاعأحداث الثورة، حيث تم التوصل إلى صيغة توافقية لإنشاء المجلس وأعلن عنه في اسطنبول في 2 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 2011

يشكل المجلس مؤسسة سياسية اعتبارية تمثل معظم القوى السياسية السورية المعارضة للنظام وقوى الحراك الثوري، ويعمل كمظلة وطنية عامة مؤقتة تعبر عن إرادة الشعب في الثورة والتغيير. يهدف المجلس إلى بناء دولة ديمقراطية مدنية تعددية وذلك عن طريق

  • إسقاط النظام القائم بكل رموزه
  • الحفاظ على الثورة السلمية الشعبية وحمايتها وتطويرها
  • توحيد جهود الحراك الثوري والمعارضة السياسية
  • كسب الرأي العام العربي والدولي على المستويين الشعبي والرسمي
  • تركيز الجهد على دعم الثورة السلمية واستمرارها وتصعيدها باتجاه العصيان المدني
  • العمل على تعبئة المجتمعين العربي والدولي لتعزيز الضغط على النظام بشتى أنواعه
  • تنويع وسائل الحراك الثوري من التظاهرات إلى الإضرابات وصولاً إلى العصيان المدني
  • العمل على تأمين الحماية الدولية للمدنيين ودعم آليات عربية ودولية مشتركة لتحقيقها وتأمين تنفيذها من خلال المؤسسات الأممية في أسرع وقت
  • التواصل مع التشكيلات المشاركة في الثورة كافة وتعبئة الحراك الشعبي، وضمها إلى إطار المجلس بكل الأشكال الممكنة
  • تعزيز التواصل وتشجيع المبادرات ونشاط الفئات المهنية ورجال الأعمال والمثقفين وغيرهم
  • الحفاظ على الإيجابية والمرونة مع كافة القوى السياسية المعارضة الموجودة خارج المجلس، والعمل على ضمها إليه في حال موافقتها على بيان تأسيسه ووثائقه، أو تنسيق الجهود معها في الحدّ الأدنى، ووضع الآليات اللازمة لذلك
  • إيلاء مسألة المكونات المجتمعية الاهتمام الذي تستحقه، من خلال طمأنتها بالبرامج والفكر والسياسة، وتكثيف التواصل مع شخصياتها وهيئاتها، مع التأكيد في الوقت نفسه على فكرة أن مشاركتها في عملية التغيير هي أفضل ضمان
  • السعي لدى الدول العربية والأجنبية للاعتراف بالمجلس الوطني السوري

المرحلة الانتقالية

  • يتولى المجلس الوطني مع المؤسسة العسكرية تسيير المرحلة الانتقالية وضمان أمن البلاد ووحدتها حال سقوط النظام
  • يشكل المجلس حكومة انتقالية لإدارة شؤون البلاد
  • يدعو المجلس إلى مؤتمر وطني جامع تحت عنوان التغيير الديمقراطي، لوضع برنامج وملامح المرحلة الانتقالية مع ممثلي المجتمع السوري بكل أطيافه وبمن لم تتلطخ أيديهم بدماء الشعب أو بنهب ثروة الوطن من أهل النظام
  • تتكفل الحكومة الانتقالية بتوفير المناخ المناسب لعملية تنظيم الحياة السياسية في البلاد، وتوفير الشروط التي من شأنها ازدهار المجتمع المدني عبر هيئاته المختلفة بما في ذلك النقابات الحرة
  • تنظم الحكومة المؤقتة خلال سنة كحد أقصى انتخابات حرة بمراقبة عربية ودولية لانتخاب جمعية تأسيسية مهمتها وضع دستور جديد للبلاد يتم إقراره بعد طرحه على الشعب عبر استفتاء عام
  • تُجرَى الانتخابات النيابية الحرة في مدة أقصاها 6 أشهر وفقاً للدستور الجديد
  • يعمل المجلس من الآن على تجسيد ما طرحه بيانه التأسيسي حول الحفاظ على مؤسسات الدولة وخصوصاً مؤسسة الجيش، وأيضاً خلال المرحلة الانتقالية، فهي كلها ملك للشعب بعد أن عمل النظام الاستبدادي على التعدّي عليها واغتصابها، ولايتعارض هذا مع إنهاء مظاهر الشمولية أينما تجلّت
  • الإفراج عن المعتقلين والتحقيق بمصير المفقودين وعودة المنفيين واللاجئين وتعويض أسر الشهداء والمنكوبين وسائر المتضررين
  • تشكيل هيئة قضائية مستقلة مهمتها تلقي الشكاوي من المواطنين والتحقيق في الجرائم المرتكبة بحق الشعب ومعاقبة المذنبين
  • تشكيل هيئة مصالحة وطنية بالتعاون مع منظمات المجتمع المدني وحقوق الانسان والمتطوعين من أجل إزالة رواسب مرحلة الاستبداد والإفساد
  • تجريم كل أشكال الاضطهاد والإقصاء والقهر والتمييز على أساس قومي أو طائفي أو بين الجنسين

سورية الجديدة – مبادئ عامة

  • سورية الجديدة دولة ديمقراطية مدنية تعددية، نظامها جمهوري برلماني، السيادة فيها للشعب، ويقوم على مبدأ المواطنة المتساوية وفصل السلطات وتداول السلطة وسيادة القانون وحماية الأقليات وضمان حقوقهم.
  • وهي تضمن لمواطنيها ما ورد في الشرائع الدولية من حقوق الإنسان، والحريات الأساسية في الاعتقاد والرأي والتعبير والاجتماع والإعلام وغيرها، كما يكون جميع مواطنيها متساوين في الحقوق والواجبات دون أي تمييز على أساس القومية أو الدينأو الجنس
  • تلتزم الحكومة بخطط طموحة للتنمية الاقتصادية والبشرية
  • تلتزم سورية الجديدة بمكافحة الفقر وإيلاء الاهتمام بالمناطق المحرومة وتعتبر تحقيق العدالة وتكافؤ الفرص بين جميع المواطنين واجباً وطنياً
  • تحقيق العدالة في توزيع الثروة الوطنية، بحيث تكون الموارد الوطنية ملكاً للسوريين جميعاً في إطار حكم رشيد، وتوجيه ثمار التنمية نحو رفع مقدَّرات ومستوى حياة جميع شرائحهم ومناطقهم وفي مقدمتها الأكثر حرماناً
  • تلتزم سورية الجديدة بالقضاء على الأميّة وتوفير المعرفة والمعلومات الصحيحة لعموم السكان
  • تشكل سورية الجديدة بنظامها المدني الديمقراطي ودستورها أفضل ضمانة لكافة فئات الشعب السوري القومية والدينية والطائفية
  • يكفل الدستور الحقوق القومية للشعب الكردي وحل المسألة الكردية حلاً ديمقراطياً عادلاً في إطار وحدة سورية أرضاً وشعباً مع ممارسة حقوق وواجبات المواطنة المتساوية بين جميع المواطنين
  • يكفل الدستور الحقوق القومية للشعب الآشوري السرياني وحل القضية الآشورية السريانية حلاً ديمقراطياً عادلاً في إطار وحدة سورية أرضاً وشعباً مع ممارسة حقوق وواجبات المواطنة المتساوية بين جميع المواطنين
  • تضمن سورية الجديدة للمرأة حقوقها الكاملة بما في ذلك ضمان مشاركتها الفعالة في الحياة السياسية وكافة القطاعات الاخرى
  • إن سورية الجديدة ستكون دولة إيجابية وعامل استقرار حقيقي في محيطها العربي والإقليمي وعلى المستوى الدولي
  • ستعمل سورية الجديدة على استعادة سيادتها في الجولان المحتل بالاستناد إلى قرارات الشرعية الدولية ذات الصلة
  • سورية الجديدة ستدعم الحقوق الكاملة والمشروعة للشعب الفلسطيني
  • ستعمل سورية الجديدة على تعزيز التضامن العربي والتعاون الإقليمي وستُبنَي علاقاتها مع الدول على أساس الاحترام المتبادل والمصالح الوطنية

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للتعليق أو لمزيد من المعلومات يمكنكم الاتّصال بـ أحمد رمضان، عضو المجلس الوطني السوري، على البريد الإلكتروني: director@lcms.uk.com

Political Programme for the Syrian National Council

After sustained efforts by the Syrian opposition, the Syrian National Council (SNC) was founded in response to the urgent need for a political framework that represents revolutionary work being done on the ground since March 15, 2011 to overthrow the regime and its operatives. Seven months after the beginning of the revolution, a consensus was reached on establishing the Council, which was officially announced in Istanbul on October 2, 2011.

The SNC is a political institution that represents most political opposition forces, blocs, and groups, as well as revolutionary movement committees. The SNC works as a national, general, and temporary umbrella organization that reflects the will of the people for revolution and change. The goal of the SNC is to build a democratic, pluralistic, and civil state by the following means:

  • Breaking down the existing regime, including all of its operatives and symbols.
  • Preserving, protecting, and enhancing the peaceful nature of the popular revolution.
  • Uniting the efforts by the revolutionary movement and the political opposition.
  • Garnering Arab and international support at the individual, public opinion, and official levels.
  • Focusing efforts to support the peaceful revolution; continuing and increasing acts of civil disobedience.
  • Mobilizing both the Arab and international societies to increase pressure on the regime by all possible means.
  • Diversifying the means and methods of the revolutionary movement to include demonstrations, general strikes, and civil disobedience.
  • Working to secure international protection for civilians and supporting joint Arab and international means to secure its implementation within international agencies in the shortest amount of time possible.
  • Communicating with committees and action groups participating in the revolution to further mobilize the population and extend the reach of the SNC.
  • Enhancing communication and encouraging initiatives and activities among professional groups, business community, intellectuals, and others.
  • Maintaining a positive and flexible outlook towards all political opposition forces that are not part of the SNC, and working with them towards joining the SNC – if they approve the founding declaration documents – or, at minimum, coordinating efforts and establishing protocols for collaboration.
  • Giving the diversity of Syrian society the appropriate focus by providing clear programs, thoughtful analysis, and political activism, while intensifying efforts to communicate among committees, groups, and members and emphasizing the concept that their participation is the best guarantee for their concerns to be addressed.
  • Pursuing the official recognition of the SNC by Arab and foreign states.

Transitional Period

  • The SNC will take responsibility, with the military apparatus, to manage the transitional period and guarantee the security and unity of the country once the regime falls.
  • The SNC will form a transitional government to manage the affairs of the state.
  • The SNC will call for a national and all-inclusive convention with the theme of “democratic change” to implement a program and outline for the transitional period with representatives from all segments of Syrian society whose hands have not been stained with blood or theft of national wealth from among the regime’s officials.
  • The transitional government is responsible for creating the appropriate conditions for organizing political life in the country as well as providing conditions to promote the flourishing of civil society through various institutions, including trade unions.
  • Within one year at most, the interim government will organize free elections with Arab and international observers to elect a Constitutional Assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution for the country that is then voted on by the people in a referendum.
  • Free parliamentary elections shall be held within six months, in accordance with the new constitution.
  • The SNC will continue to implement its founding declaration concerning the preservation of state institutions, especially the military institution, throughout the transitional period. These institutions belonged to the people long before the authoritarian regime encroached upon them and stole them from the people. This does not contradict the need to end all expressions and symbols of totalitarianism.
  • Releasing detainees and prisoners; investigating the fate of those who are missing; ensuring the safe return of refugees and those in exile; and compensating the families of fallen heroes, the injured, and all those who were victimized.
  • The formation of an independent judicial commission whose task is to receive citizens’ grievances and investigate crimes committed against the people, and punishing those found guilty.
  • The formation of a national reconciliation commission in collaboration with civil society organizations, human rights groups, and volunteers to cleanse all residue from the era of corruption and tyranny.
  • Criminalizing all forms of oppression, exclusionary policies, and discrimination on the basis of ethnic or religious background, or gender.

The New Syria – General Principles

  • The new Syria is a democratic, pluralistic, and civil state; a parliamentary republic with sovereignty of the people based on the principles of equal citizenship with separation of powers, smooth transfer of power, the rule of law, and the protection and guarantee of the rights of minorities.
  • The new Syria guarantees for all its citizens what is declared by international laws in terms of human rights and basic freedom of belief, opinion, expression, assembly, the press, and other rights. In addition, all of its inhabitants will enjoy equal rights and duties without any discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion, or gender.
  • The government is committed to ambitious plans for economic and human development.
  • The new Syria is committed to combating poverty and focusing on developing disadvantaged areas. It regards achieving justice and equal opportunity among all citizens to be a national duty.
  • To achieve equity in the distribution of national wealth, since national resources belong to all Syrians in the context of good governance, and directing benefits from development to raising the capabilities and standard of living of all sectors of society and all regions, particularly the most disadvantaged.
  • The new Syria is committed to eradicating illiteracy and providing factual information to the general population.
  • The new Syria, with its civil and democratic system and constitution, provides the best assurance to all Syrians from all ethnic, religious, and sectarian backgrounds.
  • The constitution guarantees national rights for the Kurdish people and a resolution to the Kurdish question in a democratic and fair manner within the framework of the unity of Syrian territory and people, as well as the exercise of rights and responsibilities of equal citizenship among all citizens.
  • The constitution guarantees national rights for the Assyrian people and a resolution to the Assyrian Syriac question in a democratic and fair manner within the framework of the unity of Syrian territory and people, as well as the exercise of rights and responsibilities of equal citizenship among all citizens.
  • The new Syria guarantees full rights of women, including ensuring their effective participation in political life and all other sectors.
  • The new Syrian state will have a positive role and impact on the stability of the Arab and regional system as well as on the international level.
  • The new Syria will work to restore its sovereignty in the occupied Golan Heights on the basis of relevant and legitimate international laws and resolutions.
  • The new Syria will support the full and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
  • The new Syria will promote Arab and regional solidarity and cooperation, and will build relations with other states on the basis of mutual respect and national interests.

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For more information or commentary, please contact Ausama Monajed, member of the Syrian National Council. Email: amonajed@gmail.com

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126 Comments

  1. UPDATE: AL Rejects Regime’s Modifications on The Observers Mission Protocol

    دبي – العربية .نت

    أعلنت الأمانة العامة للجامعة العربية في بيان الأحد، أن التعديلات والإضافات التي طلبت سوريا إدخالها لمشروع البروتوكول المتعلق بمركز ومهام المراقبين الذين تنوي الجامعة إرسالهم إلى سوريا “تمس جوهر الوثيقة” و”تغير جذريا طبيعة مهمة البعثة”.

    وقال البيان إن “التعديلات والإضافات التي اقترح الجانب السوري إدخالها على وثيقة البروتوكول تمس جوهر الوثيقة وتغير جذريا طبيعة مهمة البعثة المحددة بالتحقق من تنفيذ الخطة العربية لحل الأزمة السورية وتوفي الحماية للمدنيين”.

    وأوضح البيان أن هذا الرد جاء بعد مشاورات أجراها الأمين العام للجامعة العربية نبيل العربي مع “رئيس وأعضاء اللجنة الوزارية المعنية بالأزمة السورية”.

    وبعد أن أشار الى أن “مهمة الأمين العام ليس منوطا بها التفاوض مع الحكومة السورية لتغيير مهمة البعثة وطبيعة عملها”، أكد البيان “ضرورة اتخاذ الإجراءات الفورية لحقن دماء الشعب السوري وضمان أمن سوريا ووحدتها وسيادتها وتجنيبها التدخلات الخارجية”.

    وأكد “تمسك جامعة الدول العربية بمعالجة الأزمة السورية في الإطار العربي من خلال وضع حد لاستمرار العنف والقتل والاستجابة لتطلعات الشعب السوري في التغييرات والإصلاحات السياسية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية المنشودة”.
    ……..
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  2. The SNC declaration is perfect platform for unification of the opposition with deferring of the key issues that might divide people to the establishment of a new constitution and a new civil society.
    It is smart move as the protagonists often put the cart in front of the horses and want to divide the cake to their own interests. It did not mention once the sect but the ethnic issues of Kurds and Assyrians. Therefore it will not be accused of being religiously based.
    This reminds me of the fact that Syria due to its diversity did not use the question of religion but rather the Arab national identity as the main focus of its resistance to French occupation knowing that to do so would alienate the various religious minorities in the country especially since the Christians of Syria and the Alawites had asked for French intervention or chosen France as the mandatory power in 1918.
    People need to remember that the referendum on who should be the mandate power after the end of the first world war in all of the Levant except in Lebanon and in some parts of Syria chose the USA as the mandatory power as it was not yet a superpower with colonial or neocolonial aspirations and that President Wilson has issued his declaration of the right of people for self determination.

    I watched the press conference of the Moualek and it is befitting his nick name.
    The questions from the chosen reporters including those that gave speeches about the conspiracy that Syria is facing and that the Arab league is in the hands of the West and all of that propaganda was actually pathetic.

    No real questions were asked. He denied the attack on the Baath party and yet a reporter intervened and told him that she lives near the site where she assured the audience that it was ” sound bomb ” and there was no attack. So there must have been some ” sound ” for her to admit to it.

    I think that the regime is at a loss of what to do. The list of reservations and modifications that the regime submitted is classic of the Baath party methods of emptying any proposal of its core values and leave it to have window dressing aspects. This laf and dawaran will not be acceptable to the Arab league. As you can see the attacks on the emir of Qatar and the secretary did not elicit any response from them for they know that they have the initiative and no amount of provocation is going to allow the regime to escape sanctions and scrutiny.

    There are reports from Cham press that the northern border with Turkey is declared a military zone. Likewise there are movements of defectors across the Jordanian border. There were clashes across the Lebanese border presumably with smugglers. So the only border that is not yet militarized is the Iraqi one. It is interesting that all of these news are from Cham press including the declarations and pronouncements of the minister of energy on the scarcity of gas and diesel fuel in the country and the hording by some. Coming from the pro regime side is actually telling. It is therefore interesting to note that the rumor of hundreds of buses crossing the border into Syria from Iraq happened around the time that Sadr visited Damascus so there may a truth to the rumor that Mahdi troops are being brought in as the loyalty of the conscripts is in doubt now. I hope against hope that the regime as I suspect has realized that the repression arm of dealing with the rebellion is not working. However, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    The 500 or so observers if not allowed in or if they are hampered by the regime and threatened or bullied can be the next item to be used to force the regime into an international arena. If they are not allowed in and if they are not allowed to work then the Arab league can go to the UNSC and ask for observer missions similar to the ones that bedeviled the Iraqi regime. I do not think that the Russian and Chinese would be able to veto such a resolution.
    Once outside observers Arab or otherwise are allowed in the country then the full force of the US and European and Turkish spying and satellite observation and monitoring of communications can be used to enforce the work of the observations and to force the regime’s hand. Once the repression is checked the true size of the opposition can be ascertained with peaceful demonstrations.

    I did not see the Sunday Times interview but he is talking like Ghadafi. Apparently the fingers of the son were chopped off by the rebels to teach him a lesson about wagging his finger at the people. Saif claims it was NATO strike. Who knows. Fate moves in mysterious ways.

    Like

  3. The statement doesn’t mention the words “Secular” and “Muslim” / “Sharia”.

    Like

  4. I’m glad that the new Syria has confirmed the legitimate rights of Palestinians and I disagreed with those who’re calling to hear the exact word of “secularism”, I reckon most fears and worries are inclusively and smartly covered in this lines [The new Syria is a democratic, pluralistic, and civil state]

    Overall it’s not too bad draft but yet to see the mechanism of how will they implement these big broad statements such as “breaking down the existing regime, including all of its operatives and symbols”, “responsibility, with the military apparatus,” “national reconciliation commission” ..etc. At this stage Syrians are really fussy and sophisticated and won’t accept open interpretation for general words inherited from the Bathissts dictionary.

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  5. I have some concerns about the following

    1. The SNC will take responsibility, with the military apparatus, to manage the transitional period and guarantee the security and unity of the country once the regime falls.
    2. The SNC will form a transitional government to manage the affairs of the state.

    SNC is not yet recognized as the sole representative of the revolution, and even then, it is not recognized as the only representative of the Syrian people. It should be the SNC and other partners, who have not supported the regime verbally or physically, will……. take responsibility …… form government,… and so on.

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  6. However, I also agree with TRUE’s points on Palestinian rights, as well as on the issue of secularism, i think it is embedded in the text.

    Like

  7. OTW, “SNC is not yet recognized as the sole representative of the revolution,”good observation indeed.
    It sounds like the folks at SNC are suppressing other opposition entities, I know in business world sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do but in our scenario the SNC should incubate others not push them away with such an attitude.

    Are they refereeing to FSA by saying “military apparatus”?

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  8. Seems like the Russians are quite keen to get fully engaged in protecting Betho’s regime, in a desperate move to send a message of support and open the doors of unrestrained developments, Moscow moved warships into Syrian waters, the ships were to make a stopover in the Russian naval base of Tartus in Syria . Furthermore, latest reports confirmed that Russian experts are actively working in Syria putting the last touches of the S300 long range surface-to-air missile systems.
    Report: Russia warships to enter Syria waters in bid to stem foreign intervention
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/report-russia-warships-to-enter-syria-waters-in-bid-to-stem-foreign-intervention-1.396359

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  9. It’s good, but I’d prefer these two articles to be changed as follows

    from : يتولى المجلس الوطني مع المؤسسة العسكرية تسيير المرحلة الانتقالية وضمان أمن البلاد ووحدتها حال سقوط النظام
    The SNC will take responsibility, with the military apparatus, to manage the transitional period and guarantee the security and unity of the country once the regime falls.

    to : يعمل المجلس الوطني على تشكيل لجنة متابعة تضم شخصيات عامة معروفة بالنزاهة و الوطنية و تعمل هذه اللجنة على التنسيق مع المؤسسة العسكرية و قوى الأمن الداخلي لضمان أمن الوطن و استقلاله و وحدة أراضيه خلال المرحلة الانتقالية. كما تعمل اللجنة على الاشراف على عمل الحكومة الانتقالية لضمان تحقيق أهداف الثورة و الوصول الى الدولة الديمقراطية المدنية التعددية
    The SNC will work on forming a committee consisting of public figures who are well known for being honest and patriotic. The committee will coordinate with the military institution and the internal security forces to insure the security, independence and unity of the country during the transitional period. The committee also oversees the performance of the interim government to insure reaching the revolution goals and achieving the democratic civil pluralistic state.

    from : يشكل المجلس حكومة انتقالية لإدارة شؤون البلاد
    The SNC will form a transitional government to manage the affairs of the state.

    to : يعمل المجلس على التشاور مع كافة القوى الوطنية للوصول الى حكومة وحدة وطنية تدير شؤون البلاد خلال المرحلة الانتقالية
    The SNC will consult with all patriotic movements to form a national unity government that will act as an interim government to manage the affairs of the state during the transitional period.

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  10. al-ASSAD clan kidnapped the Alawi sect in Syria and liquidated any figures within. In the absence of Alawi leaders and post to toppling the regime, who would represent the Alawis in the new Syria especially during the transitional period?

    I hope Alawi prominent figures (inside & outside Syria) are chewing over this matter and getting ready to come up with some sort of an entity to represent them.

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  11. @True

    I disagree, there should be no one representing the Alawi sect, or anyother sect for that matter. It’s unhealthy! your statement also implies that somehow the Sunnis have an entity representing them, and as a Sunni myself I assure you this is not the case at all. One last thing about your comment, it implies that the SNC represent certain sects and thus sects not represented need an entity to stand up for them, which is not the case as far as I know.

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  12. I kinda see where you coming from but at the end of the day there’s an Alawi regime will be ousted and that will surely impact the sect behind it. I can join your dream (and Zenobia for that matter) of having everything perfect and fits in place but reality is ugly and something else and we better call spade a spade at this point of time before the train leaves and the Alawi voice won’t be heard.

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  13. And yeah just to make things clear, SNC people surely do not represent me whatsoever. SNC is another can of filthy worms to be opened but for now let’s stay focus on ousting Betho.

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  14. That’s exactly why we should not start our journey doing something that could be disastrous, the last thing Syria needs is another Jumblat, I understand your point but there are better ways to handle this delicate matter, and the SNC should really come up with a solution that doesn’t turn Syria into another Lebanon 😉

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  15. Dear OTW,
    I disagree with you on this point:

    “SNC is not yet recognized as the sole representative of the revolution, and even then, it is not recognized as the only representative of the Syrian people. It should be the SNC and other partners, who have not supported the regime verbally or physically, will……. take responsibility …… form government,… and so on”.

    I think it should be the SNC and nobody else. At this point, we are not looking to please everyone, rather to stabilize a volatile situation and set the foundations for a democratic state. Think about the process of establishing the SNC as free elections. It took them a long time of arguing, negotiating and debating. Some people joined, some people refused to join, some people supported the effort and some people opposed it. All is fine and dandy, now these people who are not currently involved, have their chance during elections to be part of a future government. At this point, those who agreed to join, bear the sole responsibility to be the transitional government. If they need the help of some technocrats during this period, they can ask for it, otherwise they need to man the ship until it reaches the shores safely, so to speak.

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  16. Dear True and NK,
    I will have to agree with True on this one. At this point in time, the Alawis along with every other sect and ethnicity, need to be represented in the transitional government. Once a solid foundation is formed and open wounds have healed, then we can go to the logical solution of electing our representatives based on merit.
    I just want to point out that all this is going to take years upon years. Syria has been on a downward spiral for so long, it will take a while for us to just go back to point zero, before we can accomplish any tangible progress.

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  17. I’ve got two images rattling in my mind, the first a dangerous laboratory under an imperative to “stabilize a volatile situation,” the other image “a can of filthy worms.”

    Me, I would want all to be talking, squabbling, urging, rejecting, colliding and sketching out the ways forward, I would want every move of the SNC scrutinized, held accountable, broadened each day, clarified each morrow.

    As it is, as the regime senselessly continues its harshest measures to date, it dares not name the menace of the Syrian Free Army, dares not say the name of the evul SNC and its leader in its own media or its own councils. Best pretend that the SNC are pure traitorous non-entities lurking at the borders eyeing the spoils. Best pretend a slavering MB daggerman with RPG is on every rooftop nearby, that nameless armed terrorist groups and ‘militants’ and outlaws are surrounding Syria. Best close ones eyes to the SNC and curse its masters the Zionized White House and world capitalism … best close the drapes against reality, against ‘monitors,’ independent eyes and ears, against the Arabs, the neighbours, the world, against its own conscience and against the international covenants it has sworn to uphold.

    A volatile situation everywhere but at the Palace, where trumpets blare and photographs are unveiled and meeting-goers are ushered into a Baathi production number the envy of Belarus. The Palace of Bashar, which speaks each day via SANA, can offer only grim bloody hysteria to the Syrian people.

    The scariest thing of the day was seeing Bashar in English on BBC’s video excerpts of the Sunday Times article (which while widely quoted is not in the public domain yet). Bashar stammers, Bashar looks up and to the left, Bashar says “mistakes may have been made” while he could never mistreat his people mumble mumble “militants” mumble mistakes and committees and will not bow …

    He will never again have a chance to speak to his own people in crisis, directly and with all the passion and independent intelligence he can muster. But he fears giving a speech to Syrians, so he allows British outlets to record him. He has no clue, no grasp of his responsibilities, and hardly seems to realize he could once have been a driver and not a prisoner of events. The Regime is on autopilot, in disarray, in denial, options dwindling, rhetoric stale and unpleasant.

    Scary to realize that as he rattles like a lousy waiter through the full menu of SANA talking points his machine is rumbling into third gear, and is going to rumble on its merry way until oh, February or oh, March, and then elections, and oh, maybe a Presidential poll.

    Meanwhile, responsible Syrians are putting their heads together within and without the SNC to nail down the least-worst transition plan, since Bashar is far too stupid and/or blind to see the cliff moving steadily towards him through his front window, could he but look up from his script.

    I salute you Syrians who get in the struggle and figure out the details, while the President is paralyzed, stupefied by Baathism, as the machinery of oppression grinds onward. Kudos to the SNC who attempt to corral a consensus and beyond …
    .

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  18. ditto to Sheila’s
    “I will have to agree with True on this one. At this point in time, the Alawis along with every other sect and ethnicity, need to be represented in the transitional government. Once a solid foundation is formed and open wounds have healed, then we can go to the logical solution of electing our representatives based on merit.”

    right answer …..

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  19. “dares not say the name”…
    “Best pretend”…
    “close ones eyes”…

    indeed, it’s called denial of the highest grade…

    “The Regime is on autopilot, in disarray, in denial, options dwindling, rhetoric stale and unpleasant”…

    damn straight…

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  20. Dear 7ee6anis:

    I just sent this to Mr. Munajed.

    Dear Ausama

    It is my pleasure to inform you that we at 7ee6an (حيطان) blog have started a modest discussion of the SNC political program. As the owner and administrator of the site, I have promised to convey the comments to SNC. I understand that everyone can send you their opinion directly, but it is no substitute for an open discussion, trough which points of view can be expanded on. I would like to invite you, or anyone from the SNC on behalf of the 7ee6an community to join in. Off course we know that your time is very precious now, and in the end, I can, if the community approves, collate the comments (after removing identifying information) and send them to you, but I do believe that nothing beats a dialog.

    The site is

    https://7ee6an.wordpress.com

    The post and comments relevant to the discussion can be found at

    https://7ee6an.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/at-last-the-draft-political-program-of-the-snc/

    Sincerely
    OFF THE WALL (OTW)

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  21. “Furthermore, latest reports confirmed that Russian experts are actively working in Syria putting the last touches of the S300 long range surface-to-air missile systems.”

    If NATO attacks (hope not), all these weapons won’t have any effect. They are useless. Look at how much Qaddafi had. He couldn’t down a single plane. Look at what happened when Israeli planes bombed the Al-Kubar facility or when they flew over his palace in Latakia.

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  22. OTW, True,

    I wasn’t suggesting that not mentioning “secularism” in the text, is a bad thing.
    Secular or not, Sharia or not, this has to be determined by the people and their legal – elected representation.

    Putting the Palestinian note in the end of the text, is nothing but a lip service. A preemptive measure against those who would argue that the revolutionaries are abandoning the “resistance”.

    And why protecting only the Palestinian just rights? What about the rights of the Jordanian people or the Saudi people ? their rights aren’t being stolen?

    And lastly, all Palestinian are Shami. Before 1914, how could you differ between an Arab from Haleb (just an example), and an Arab from Nablus? You couldn’t. They were both Shami. The term “Palestinian” was introduced later to our region, by the powers. A Shami is a Shami is a Shami.

    In my eyes, It’s a crime that a Shami (present day Syrian) will put a fellow Shami (a “Palestinian”) in a refugee camp, and will deny him his national (Sham) rights.

    It’s like, I will be forced to flee to Haifa, and the residents of Haifa will put me in a refugee camp. Shane on them if this is what they’ll do.

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  23. Off The Waal,

    I will like to share this article with you, as well your concerned readers. It is grim, though plausible. With awareness, the scenario is avoidable.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/2011111555722772798.html

    A lesson in imperialism

    This is the lesson for those in Syria who are struggling to bring about democratic rule. The evidence is clear. If you live in an Arab country whose dictator is a client of the Americans, the US will do everything in its power to suppress your revolt, and if you succeed despite US efforts, the US will sponsor the counter-revolution against you directly and indirectly through its local allies, especially Saudi Arabia and Israel, but now also Qatar. This of course applies to the situations in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Morocco, Jordan, Oman, and in Saudi Arabia itself. If you happen to live in a country whose dictator, though friendly to the West, maintains an independent line on foreign policy or at least a line that cannot always be guaranteed to serve Western interests – and this applies to Syria and Iran (and lest we forget their services to the West, both countries helped actively the US effort to unseat Saddam, and the Syrian regime helped with US efforts in supporting rightwing forces in Lebanon against the Lebanese left and the PLO in the 1970s) and less so Libya, then the US will help sponsor your revolt against your dictator to bring about a more pliant dictator to serve its interests without equivocation, and it will do so in the name of supporting democracy. The US also explains its counter-revolutionary efforts in countries where the revolts succeeded in overthrowing the American-sponsored dictators as “pro-democratic” measures.

    In this context of a US-dominated world, those in Syria who legitimately have struggled and are struggling to bring about an end to dictatorship must face up to a few central questions, now that the Arab League and imperial powers have taken over and assumed the leadership of their struggle: Is the aim of their ongoing uprising the overthrow of the Asad regime in order to bring about a democratic regime, or is it simply to overthrow Asad? As the Iraqi and Libyan precedents make clear, the Arab League and imperial powers have taken over the Syrian uprising in order to remove the Asad regime and replace it with a US-obedient regime like the ones installed in all other Arab countries. The second question for the Syrian demonstrators is clear and unequivocal: given the aim of imperial forces and the Arab League, do Syrian demonstrators understand the new leadership of their struggle by Gulf dictators and the United States as the final defeat of their uprising or as a necessary step for their uprising to succeed?

    Those who see the Syrian popular struggle for democracy as having already been hijacked by these imperial and pro-imperial forces inside and outside Syria understand that a continuation of the revolt will only bring about one outcome, and it is not a democratic one – namely, a US-imposed pliant and repressive regime à la Iraq and Libya. If this is what the Syrian demonstrators are struggling for, then they should continue their uprising; if this is not their goal, then they must face up to the very difficult conclusion that they have been effectively defeated, not by the horrifying repression of their own dictatorial regime which they have valiantly resisted, but rather by the international forces that are as committed as the Syrian regime itself to deny Syrians the democracy they so deserve. In light of the new move by the Arab League, the US, and Europe, the struggle to overthrow Asad may very well succeed, but the struggle to bring about a democratic regime in Syria has been thoroughly defeated.

    It was the United States that destroyed Syrian democracy in 1949 when the CIA sponsored the first coup d’état in the country ending democratic rule. It is again the United States that has destroyed the possibility of a democratic outcome of the current popular uprising. My deep condolences to the Syrian people.

    Joseph Massad is Associate Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York.

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  24. If you live in an Arab country whose dictator is a client of the Americans, the US will do everything in its power to suppress your revolt…

    N.Z.,

    Really? Please detail for us how the US did “everything in its power to supress” the Egyptian revolt?

    I think its about time to leave the conspiracy theories, look in the mirror, and address the real problems in the ME: the lack of freedom.

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  25. The US Declaration of independence didn’t have a detailed blue print on how the founding fathers would have to do everything in their new country, and neither should the SNC’s declaration expected to either. You want to see what an over detailed constitution looks like? Take a look at what the EU has done. They regulate everything, even down to how many times a cow can crap in a day. That isn’t an inspiring constitution for the ages, that’s a manual on bureaucracy.

    The most important thing the SNC can do right now is lead by example. How we do things is more important than what we do, or say we will do. The SNC have improved a great deal and come a long way since it was first founded. I’m puzzled as to why True calls it a can of worms, I have yet to see anything remotely sinister in deed or speech from them. Confused at the start maybe, muddled when it comes to the term “no fly zone” and what it actually entails, but if they lead with distinction, integrity and honesty, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to reassure jittery minorities.

    In the end, the fatal blow to the regime will come from the Alawite community. It can’t be any other way, unless we want a civil war that lasts for a decade that will sap the country. The regime cannot subdue the revolution. It is impossible. Three weeks after the army mercilessly shelled Baba Amr, security checkpoints are still being attacked and abandoned at night.

    The SNC are improving. Burhan Ghalyoun’s speech made him look presidential. Members of the SNC are on every media channel and in every capital. They deserve our trust and support. Contrast that to Besho, whose most recent interview just confirms that not only has he learned nothing, he has actually regressed to a Qaddafi and Saddam level of hubris.

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  26. “The US Declaration of independence didn’t have a detailed blue print on how the founding fathers would have to do everything in their new country”

    Nicely said, ENNIT!

    Observers are predicting a bunch of economic sanctions to be imposed by AL on Thu. I wonder whether these sanctions will take effect on Thu or AL will give another week or so to the regime with an excuse of studying the mechanism of implementation? I reckon targeting individuals of Betho’s family and cronies to freeze their assets in GCC will be a good start.

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  27. I heard that Teresa Makhlouf has already transferred tonnes of cash from Dubai to Eastern Block countries. But it is hearsay that should be taken with a grain of salt.

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  28. Yes I did hear that and even Rami Makhlouf has put his two buildings (towers) in Dubai for sale. They hid our money in Europe then to GCC and finally somewhere in Eastern Europe or South America where the money will be swallowed forever by their officials and corrupts after toppling the regime. Syrians are shivering while these sharks are enjoying the warm water!! Yet you find some silly and naive people who’re in total believe that Betho is working for the country.

    In order to cut the bleed, I’m hoping such sanctions will take an immediate effect, like on the spot where online banking could not be accessed and ATM cards are disabled. SNc could use this money to arm the FSA.

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  29. Erdogan to Assad: Tanks can’t preserve power forever” (jpost)
    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=246417

    Syrian army defectors raise stakes for uprising” (ajc)
    http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/syrian-army-defectors-raise-1236194.html

    Hague urges Syrian opposition leaders to unify” (channel4)
    http://www.channel4.com/news/hague-urges-syrian-opposition-leaders-to-unify

    Syria, Turkey and the Kurds” (rightsidenews)
    http://www.rightsidenews.com/2011112114981/world/geopolitics/syria-turkey-and-the-kurds.html

    Syria crisis: Turkish president demands change” (BBC)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15825589

    Syria strife keeps Canadian navy in Mediterranean” (CBC)
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/11/20/halifax-security-conference.html

    Jordan to erect refugee camps for fleeing Syrians” (jpost)
    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=246403

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  30. Amir in TLV, Palestinians and Syrians do not belong to the same ethnicity, their accents and dialects are different, and they even look different. Palestinians are darker and have a lighter body frame than Syrians, they are more similar to Egyptians and Jordanians if you compare the physical appearance and the dialects, while Syrians are more siliar to Lebanese.

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  31. AMIR IN TLV : And lastly, all Palestinian are Shami. Before 1914, how could you differ between an Arab from Haleb (just an example), and an Arab from Nablus? You couldn’t. They were both Shami. The term “Palestinian” was introduced later to our region, by the powers. A Shami is a Shami is a Shami.

    In my eyes, It’s a crime that a Shami (present day Syrian) will put a fellow Shami (a “Palestinian”) in a refugee camp, and will deny him his national (Sham) rights
    </quote?

    Amir in TLV, Palestinians and Syrians do not belong to the same ethnicity, their accents and dialects are different, and they even look different. Palestinians are darker skinned and have a lighter body frame than Syrians, they are more similar to Egyptians and Jordanians if you compare the physical appearance and the dialects, while Syrians are more simliar to Lebanese.

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  32. @ Antoine

    What a racist toxin sh!t you saying here!!!
    Palestinians & Syrians are brothers with same blood since creation, where were you when Aiz al-Deen al-Qassam was offering his life for his Palestinians brethren eh you ignorant!! “Palestinians are darker skinned and have a lighter body frame than Syrians” wholly crap, are you kidding me? did you ever go to a university in Syria you dweeb. Go get a life and get over your Lebanese civil war disorder.

    @ Amir in TLV
    Every freedom figter is a Palestinian and we’re all going back to liberate our occupied Palestine, go book your flight back to your mother Eastern Europe.

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  33. Actually lets see it in the proper light. The attitude of American and European Governments towards Israel is the same as the attitude ogf Syria, lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, etc towards Palestinians. They support their cause because they do not want them in their own lands.

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  34. I think Syrian nationalists have to dissect Syria into ethnicity after smaller ethnicity in order to recombine them again on the vision of Antoine Seade’s. This off course leads them to using tools that are of origin we all know of that start slicing people by eye color, skin, nose, hair, and so on. I find it hard to build a nation based on such construct.

    Syria is a multi-cultural society, but which society isn’t. Travel in any country in the world, and you will find accents, habits, traditions, and even stories that change drastically within a 100 km radius. Even in countries that look homogeneous, uni-tonal , to outsiders, there are bound to be regional differences. I celebrate them all, without the need to dissect the population based on some of the silly appearances. Which doesn’t even hold water in the case of a cross road area like the Levant.

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  35. So far, ever since the AL stepped in, all that the regime has manage to do is alienate everyone, insult heads of state, and see the hand of the “Ikhwan” behind everything. I think they must be getting advise from As’ad Abu Khalil LOL! His jealousy of the SNC is so painful to behold. Radwan and Burhan have in eight months gotten more countries on their side than the Palestinian Hulk did with all his decades-old tantrums against every country and movement under the sun. Thank goodness Syrian activists have proven themselves far more media savvy, sophisticated and intellectual than the guy who isn’t happy unless he’s miserable.

    By the way, there is a new joke in Homs. You guys know the phrase “Suriya Allah Hameha”. Nowadays, people say “Souria Allah Emdafiya”

    IMO, going forward we should keep a couple of things in mind. Syrians are not by nature sectarian. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t sects in Syria. We have to acknowledge that events in the past eight months have, unjustifiably, made each sect feel more insecure.

    The Christians, Druze, Alawites and Kurds all need to know that there is someone in the SNC who has their interests in mind. That can only happen if there are prominent and visible members of those communities in the SNC, on the satellite channels and visiting the world’s capitals. The regime’s thugs murdered the most prominent Kurdish member of the SNC. That alone should have been enough to galvanize the entire Kurdish community against the regime. Getting prominent representation from the different Syrian communities onto the SNC will cut in half the work that needs to be done to remove the Baathist regime.

    Also, we must remember that any great enterprise needs the co-operation of many different people, communities and movements. We may not like those whose assistance we need, we may have very sharp differences with them, or take exception to some of their past behavior, but if the cause and end goal is important enough and great enough, then such considerations must be balanced against the assistance those other parties can provide.

    Afterall, the USA and Britain loathed Stalin, but the USSR took on the bulk of the fighting against Nazi Germany, which could not have been defeated without a second front. Both the USA and the Soviet Union made use of Germany Nazi rocket scientists in their space race.

    That doesn’t mean to say that I’m advocating allying ourselves with Rifaat or Khaddam (God forbid). But let’s keep an open mind, and remember that in the history of mankind, no country whatsoever was fully consistent in how it conducted either its domestic affairs or its foreign policy, and everyone nation and superpower since civilization could have been accused of “double standards”. Double standards are a fact of international diplomacy. We can either accept that fact of life, or alienate everyone for the next 60 years and end up like As’ad Abu Khalil, bereft of all hope, with no responsibilities, but free to indulge in childish and infantile hating of everything from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.

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  36. No, each Arab nation is different in its won right, theres no use denying that. We all have different accents, dialects, physical features, food, mentality, culture. Palestinians are more similar to Egyptians, and both of them are NOT similar to Syrians and Lebanese. Iraqis are more similar to Saudis and Gulf peole, but Iraqis are unique in their iown way. Libyans, Algerians, Tunisians are all similar and do not share anything with the rest of the Arab world except a vague language.

    Btw if Syrians and Palestinians are indeed brothers, why do rich and middle class Syrians look down upon them, and why does the Syrian “Arab” Army slaughter them if they step out of line?

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  37. The above said, i think there is a ring of truth to Antoine’s following statement:

    In my eyes, It’s a crime that a Shami (present day Syrian/Lebanese) will put a fellow Shami (a “Palestinian”) in a refugee camp, and will deny him his national (Sham) rights

    I added lebanese

    as for the comment

    Btw if Syrians and Palestinians are indeed brothers, why do rich and middle class Syrians look down upon them, and why does the Syrian “Arab” Army slaughter them if they step out of line?

    Many rich and upper middle class Syrians look down on everyone.
    Syrian army will slaughter everyone who dares comes out of line, haven’t you been watching the news.

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  38. Yes, of course non-Palestinian Arabs will put Palestinians into refugee camos and not allow them to live as citizens, becoz otherisw it will destroy the very idea of “AL AWDA”.

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  39. Antoine,
    I think there is a contradiction in your comments. On the one hand you argue that the Syrians put Palestinians in camps because their are not of the same race, on the other you argue that this is primarily so that the right of return remains a live, which has everything to do with political statements and bravado and nothing to do with brotherhood.

    The regime is slaughtering Syrians now, isn’t it? and it has already sent some to refugee camps. Heck, it failed even in solving its own drought-caused internal refugee problem…It does not care for anyone as long it what it does serves it lust for power, money, and heavens know what else of the!

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  40. Antoine & OTW, As you both said it’s a ring of truth and I’d like to get deep down to it but as our poet the Hamster always reminds us just to stay FOCUS.

    Aboud, your comment is factual and very rich, I totally reckon that bits and pieces of it should be part of the SNC draft, I’d like to assert on two pints though.
    How would you attract sects pioneers to cross the bridge while the vast majority of their people are firmly sticking to the other side?

    “Thank goodness Syrian activists have proven themselves far more media savvy, sophisticated and intellectual than the guy who isn’t happy unless he’s miserable”

    How do you explain this phenomenon? You know for people who have been under oppression for long years with no practice or exercise to any sense of political freedom, how those activits could build their personality, character and experience?

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  41. As I said, Arab Governments, Syria included, pay only lip service to the Palestinian cause’ and they have killed far more Palestinians than Israel has’ the greatest example was the Black September Massacre in which the Jordanian Army used heavy artillery and tanks to crush PLO uprisings in Jordan, almost 20,000 were killed , interestingly Salah Jadid of Syria wanted to help the Palestinians but Hafez backstabbed him and secretly supported the massacre of palestinians.

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  42. Historically, there was no problems between Christians and Sunni Muslims in Syria or Lebanon, the clergy is being paid by the regime to parrot its lies. The period before the Baathist coup in 1963 had mopre Christians in public life in Syria; I don;t think any Syrian Christian can claim that they were discrimnated beofre 1963 when the Suynnis held power especially not under secular rulers like Hashem Atassi, Shukri Qowatly and Adib Shishakli. Christians and Sunnis had an alliance in Lebanon from 1945 till 1975 , i.e until the Civil War. So yes, there has been cooperation and collaboration between Sunni Muslims and Christians in recent history, but this was confined to the political elites – but the Baathists trump card was it destroyed the Christian political elites ; I think a breakthrough for SNC will be to re-initiate a strategic alliance with some Christians, trust me engaging Christains will be quite politically rewarding.

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  43. I think a breakthrough for SNC will be to re-initiate a strategic alliance with some Christians, trust me engaging Christains will be quite politically rewarding

    That sounds good indeed but How and what’s the right segment of Christians to approach? Will normal Christians people disobey their clergy and leaders? do you have a raodmap or a mechanism in mind?

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  44. True

    “How do you explain this phenomenon? You know for people who have been under oppression for long years with no practice or exercise to any sense of political freedom, how those activits could build their personality, character and experience?”

    Doctorate dissertations, and entire tomes will be written to answer that very question. Everything ever written about revolutions will now be reviewed in light of the magnificent resilience and courage of the Syrian people. By all logic, this revolution should never have even happened, and when it happened it should never have lasted eight weeks, let alone eight months.

    “How would you attract sects pioneers to cross the bridge while the vast majority of their people are firmly sticking to the other side?”

    None of us on this forum were pioneers in the revolution. When it started, it was just a few dozen people in the Omari mosque in Dar’a. Leaders, true epoch shaking leaders, do not follow the aimless movement of the crowds. They show their people what it is possible for them to be, they show us by their example, that it is now possible to dream the previously undreamable, to hope for what was previously beyond all hope. What dreams and hopes can Besho the Baffled possibly offer the country? Isolation, poverty, sectarian divisions. Junior can offer no hope, no dreams, just nightmares of his own making.

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  45. TRUE
    I was going to respond earlier today to N.Z’s posting of an alarming article regarding the west stealing the revolution and the Arab spring. It was written by an Arab-American professor in Columbia. It downed on to me then that despite of all the brainy many Arab Americans have in Universities, we still do not have any real influence on the intellectual life in the US. So I started going through the list of our brainy folks. Now Edward Said stands on his own, he was who inspired me into becoming a secular humanist, searching for justice and fairness. But he, as a brilliant fellow, was able to expose orientalism for what it was and exert a tremendous influence on the intellectual life of the west. In all of this, he was sad, melancholic but never angry.

    But then, a new generation emerged, an Angry generation, and it started shredding everything the US does. It saw conspiracy to swallow the world in every USAID project, and a malicious greedy american or an agent of one in every diplomat. A generation that could not really buy into the society it has been educating the children of. It is my generation. It is a generation that brought with it the broken spirit of the Arabs after 1967 along with our prejudices and allied itself all groups of broken spirits. It is the generation that will never be able to cease an opportunity, be it wide, narrow. This generation would attract the young revolutionaries and would later lose them as life’s occupation takes its toll. This generation will have zero if not negative influence, for who would be influenced by someone who is calling them enemies, thieves, and murderers day in day out.

    Now, and gladly, a newer generation is emerging, a generation more comfortable with itself and cognizant of the realities of politics. A generation less interested in blaming others for the ills that we brought on to our selves. A generation which would say, yes, the US played a dirty trick on Syria’s nascent democracy in 1949, but that was done through Syrian tools and Syrian officers. This generation has more realistic reading of history and will in the future be able to exert influence due to its understanding.

    I am may be too optimistic of them, and perhaps too critical of some real good people, but being a member of the middle generation, i can only say, boy, am i glad it is our time to stand aside and let others succeed where we failed.

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  46. TRUE :

    “That sounds good indeed but How and what’s the right segment of Christians to approach? Will normal Christians people disobey their clergy and leaders? do you have a raodmap or a mechanism in mind?”

    The anti-Syrian Christian bloc in Lebanon ( Kataeb and Lebanese Forces) and leaders like Samir Geagea who are totally opposed to the Syrian regime, should be the point from where the SNC should start dialog with Christian leaders, but I know they will be called Zionists if they do so.

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  47. OTW, have you heard about the Oriental Despotism thesis of Karl Marx ? I think the people of the Orient are not suitable for western-style democracy, and frankly all the slogans taken from the European enlightemnent being shouted in the streets of Egypt, Syra, etc. is embarassing. They shuould just say the people want to topple the regime, or the blood of the Presdient. Calls for “Freedom” look strange in the Middle East. Oriental Despots is what the Arabs want.

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  48. True

    “That sounds good indeed but How and what’s the right segment of Christians to approach? ”

    There is no mechanical process to it. Either a leader will arise from each community, or not. If they need encouragement and incentives from outside parties, then they aren’t really leaders, at least not the type you can depend on to be partners in building a democratic, pluralistic society.

    All you can do on your part is set an example in what you’d want others to be, and not to put up any barriers to anyone joining you when they wish to, such as engaging in sectarian bloodletting and recriminations. It might be satisfying in the short term to humiliate Aleppans and taunt them, but it does nothing to build a coalition of cities against the regime.

    In every single analysis we have seen of each sect and community’s stance in the revolution, one thing has become clear; those who express “loyalty” towards Besho do so solely out of fear, and the lack of what they perceive to be a clear alternative. It’s always “Christians are afraid of a repeat of Iraq” or “the business community prefers the devil they know to the devil they don’t”. Therefore, junior has no scope whatsoever to gain true loyalty amongst the hesitant constituents of Syria, but the opposition still has a massive amount of room to gain their trust.

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  49. Antoine
    I will tell you something I said only a couple of days ago. I know Syrians are shedding their bloods to prove your last assertion wrong.

    Granted, I am not so sure that Egypt will soon have a liberal democracy, more likely it will be an illiberal democracy initially. But you know what, i proved you wrong many times over in every election I voted in, in every participatory hearing I attended or led. Countless of my friends who participate in their local and national elections wholeheartedly prove you wrong and they are as traditional in their lives as it comes but they manage to accommodate new ideas.

    I had the pleasure and honor to conduct few highly participatory workshops around the Arab world, and one memorable workshop i coordinated in Oman that would put many city council meeting in the US to shame. Many people are far more ready than the defeatist attitude would want us to believe. A critical mass is almost there in many places.

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  50. Antoine

    “Oriental Despots is what the Arabs want.”

    And thus you’ve written off the Arab spring even before it’s had a chance to fully develop. No challenging enterprise could ever get off the ground without hope, and it obviously hasn’t occurred to you that we are entering new and unexplored territory here in the region.

    Some of us aren’t about to give up even before we have gotten started. Iraq was a horribly mismanaged case, Lebanon suffered endlessly from regional interference. Egypt had a pharaoh ruling it until very recently, the Egyptians need more time to find their way before I, for one, am prepared to write them off.

    The immediate aftermath of the French Revolution was bloody and horrific, but after a sea-sawing between monarchies and republics, the French eventually got it right.

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  51. FYI, Jamal Abdul Nasser was a Colonel when he overthrew the Egyptian monarchy. So much for the myth that you always need a general on your side.

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  52. Exactly that’s the point you know sometimes you need to dream and believe to achieve even if Microsoft and academics tell you “sorry, you’re incapable to do it”, the Syrian revolution against all odds is flourishing and actually budding and yet the question which needs the research of the century as Aboud mentioned above, where did Syrians get this hidden bravery from? Who would’ve thought?!!

    This emerging generation (as OTW put it) has the keys to change the game and those young people who’re protesting on streets, blogging online, facing media, smuggling weapons, collecting donations, hospitalizing injured and most importantly sharing a dream called NEW SYRIA , those are made in SYRIA and for AYRIA.

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  53. Dear Antoine,
    Amir is trying to tell us that since Palestinians are part of “Bilad al Sham” and so is Syria Lebanon and Jordan, we should’ve just swallowed them in and not treated them as refugees. This way, we give this little sliver of land to the Israelis to live in peacefully. Shame on us for not doing so. Unfortunately, when the Palestinians came to Syria, they were refugees. The only way Syria could’ve helped, was to house them in camps, like all other refugees on earth are housed. They were allowed to move wherever they wanted, they were given Syrian citizenship under the Palestinian name and against your belief, were mixed by marriage with Syrian families, many of which are prominent.
    I do not know how you can even argue that we are different from the Palestinians. They are by no means darker than Syrians overall, nor do they have lighter frame. In any case, why should that matter? Even if we threw the idea of Arabism and Arab unity down the toilet, we would be crazy not to have some kind of economic and commercial relationship with these countries. Let us look at it from a purely mutual benefit point of view. Look at Europe. A hodgepodge of countries that speak different languages, are very different ethnically, have different and adversary religious sects and a horrendous history of killing each other to boot, yet they managed to create a union based solely on mutual benefit. Don’t you think we are really fit to do something similar? You have to admit: we are definitely more cohesive and have a whole lot more in common than Europe does, regardless of your theory of “darker” and “lighter framed”.

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  54. Off The Wall,

    My optimism rivals that of yours!

    Wow, Egyptians are back to the Tahrir Square until their demands are met, they are vigilant, the tyrant’s son will be tried on Libyan soil by Libyans. Syrian protesters are marching day and night.. Yemen..Tunisia..Bahrain…Jordan… Oman…Morocco….next?

    Arabs, are unstoppable. The future is bumpy, but the goal is crystal clear. The giant is awake!

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  55. I was not defending Oriental Despotism as such. I said that the paradigm of oriental despotism and bureaucratic despotism is very rooted in the Middle East and many ppl have got used to it. It will take a long time to get that out of the system. Add to that, the colonial legacy of despotism, and divide-and-rule policy of the French and British, and what you have is anything but a liberal democratic bedrock.

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  56. Sheila, I challenge the very basis of “Bilad al sham” developed by romantic intellectuals like Saadeh, the concept of Shaam was confined to Syria and Lebanon, if at all; this whole concept of Greater Syria or Bilad al Sham is nonsense and a mere geographical expression. “Falasteen” was pretty much there even in the medieval period, and it was not a part of Shaam.

    And if the Palestinian refugees were indeed given citizenship, then how could so many dictators in Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq to justify all their authoritariansim, military expenditure, etc. Where would have the Baath Party, and Nasser’s “benevolent dictatorship” have been ?

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  57. And Christians and Sunni Muslims did not have any issues, at least not after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. I don’t think anybody can claim that there was discrimination against Christians from 1945 till 1963. Syrian society was and is very class-discriminatory, and better-off Christians and Sunnis looked down upon everyone else, unfortunately most Alawites were worse-off. I think in the coming days you will see Christians gradually warming up to the SNC.

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  58. And if the Palestinian refugees were indeed given citizenship, then how could so many dictators in Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq to justify all their authoritariansim, military expenditure, etc.

    Antoine,

    I enjoy reading your posts. I see you “get it”.

    Every freedom figter is a Palestinian and we’re all going back to liberate our occupied Palestine, go book your flight back to your mother Eastern Europe.

    True,

    How many Zionists have you kicked out of Palestine recently? Don’t you think your energies would be best spent working toward basic human rights for Arabs like freedom of speech and free elections? I would think that would be a higher priority for you.

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  59. Dear Antoine:

    “I think a breakthrough for SNC will be to re-initiate a strategic alliance with some Christians, trust me engaging Christains will be quite politically rewarding”

    I agree with you totally. In ffact, the SNC contacted me to design strategy for that. I started to work on it. If you have ideas, they will be welcomed.

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  60. Dear True:

    The religious Chrsitian leadership are not really with the regime per se. The fear of choas is the reason for supporting the regime. Christians as individuals in Syria have hold for years independent political views. Indeed, Christian clergy in Syria did not have political attitude. There general strategy was to stay out of politics. Having politics position is ne phenomenon for the Christian leadership. For this reason, it is easy to sway them and also to sway the Christian public opinion.

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  61. Dear Antoine:

    “The anti-Syrian Christian bloc in Lebanon ( Kataeb and Lebanese Forces) and leaders like Samir Geagea who are totally opposed to the Syrian regime, should be the point from where the SNC should start dialog with Christian leaders, but I know they will be called Zionists if they do so”

    I should disagree with you. We should keep the lebanease out of our internal business. This is certainly a failed strategy and will bring a lot of trouble to Syria. We should start by the Syrian Christian clergy and the Syrian Christian youth.

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  62. Dear True and Antoine:

    Please check these. I am already in contact with most of those people.

    http://www.facebook.com/haytham.khoury?v=info#!/SyrianChristians

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/259970707370236/?notif_t=group_activity

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/SyrianArmenians

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/259970707370236/?notif_t=group_activity

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/SRCSMMM

    http://www.facebook.com/haytham.khoury?v=info#!/Christians.Against.Luka.Khoury

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/%D8%B3%D9%83%D9%88%D8%AA_%D9%87%D9%88%D9%84-%D8%AB%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D9%85%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%AD%D9%8A%D9%8A-%D9%88%D8%A3%D8%AD%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D8%B6%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%B3%D8%AF-Jesus-Revolution/205462722815680

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/%D8%AA%D9%86%D8%B3%D9%8A%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AB%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%B9-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%85%D8%A7/217999808237989

    http://www.facebook.com/haytham.khoury?v=info#!/pages/%D8%B9%D8%B0%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%AF%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%B7%D8%B1%D9%83-%D9%86%D8%AD%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%8A%D8%B6%D8%A7-%D9%86%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9/173810749362737

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/%D8%AA%D9%86%D8%B3%D9%8A%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B4%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A2%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%8A%D9%86/260470830652035

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/%D8%AA%D9%86%D8%B3%D9%8A%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AB%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%B9-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%85%D8%A7/217999808237989

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Assyrians-for-Existence-and-Freedom-%D8%A2%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%88%D9%86-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A3%D8%AC%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%88%D8%AC%D9%88%D8%AF-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9/160962127310170

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  63. Dear Antoine,
    I have no problem with your challenge of the concept of Bilad Al Shaam. The Arab countries overall were always part of some sort of nation or Empire. Historically speaking, you can argue with or against many concepts that sometimes we take for granted.
    I do not know where you are from, but I would like to confirm to you beyond doubt that the Palestinians in Syria are granted special Syrian Passports that specify that they are Palestinian. They also at one point (I am not sure if it is still the case today) had to serve in the military in special units. They are also allowed to own property in Syria, attend public schools and universities, work for the government and receive free health care.

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  64. Dear Antoine,
    I agree with you completely. In Syria, the discrimination is based on social class and not on religion, sect or ethnicity.

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  65. AP

    “At this moment, the anti-democratic forces are attacking on a wide front, The three main pillars of democracy – the courts, the media and the human rights organizations – are under simultaneous, deadly assault.”

    The writer is not talking about Syria or Egypt but ” the (formerly) only democracy in the M.E.”; (now we happen to have the Tunisians, don’t forget).

    His name is Uri Avnery.

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  66. Here’s an article written by Nidal Naisah, a stalwhart supporter of Assad, but someone who used to criticize certain aspects of the Syrian government, without ever criticizing the source of all evil. He would blame a lot of people, but won’t touch the infallible leader, Assad Sr. and now his wretched son.

    In this article, he asks: “Why doesn’t the Baath Party apologize to the Syrian people?” He goes on to confirm what most already people know about this party; that it is a fascist party using empty slogans to force people to adopt its failed ideology. He ends the article by asking the Baath Party to apologize for its mistakes and catastrophic failures and have Abd Allah Al-Ahmar, one of the top Baathists deliver the apology.

    However, he conveniently leaves Assad out of the picture. You would have thought that the one delivering the apology should be the president of the party and not an inconsequential person. More importantly, after decades of fascism and tyranny, the writer does not ask the president and his party to resign and let the people choose their representatives. I wonder why.

    لماذا لا يعتذر حزب البعث للسوريين؟
    من قلم : نضال نعيسة
    تسلط ما يسمى بحزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي على رقاب السوريين، لمدة خمسين عاماً تقريباً، حتى اليوم، وذلك في انقلاب عسكري صبيحة الثامن من آذار عام 1963، فيما سماه ثورة في حينه، متأثراً بالفكر القومي الفاشي الأوروبي المهزوم في الحرب العالمية الثانية، ذلك الفكر الذي لطشه الثنائي عفلق-بيطار، إبان إقامتهما في فرنسا. وقام جوهر فكر هذا الحزب على التعصب للعرق العربي، وتمجيد الإمبراطورية العسكرية التي أقامها العرب سكان الصحراء ذات يوم من التاريخ، وحلم بإمكانية بعثها من جديد، وبناء أنموذج سياسي يجمع كل تلك الكيانات الكرتونية والقبليات الأبوية الاستبدادية التي تتكلم اللغة العربية، وخضعت للحكم العسكري العربي الصحراوي، الذي احتل تلك الدول وأخضعها بالسيف والقوة العسكرية. ورفع الشعار الطوباوي الأجوف المضحك المعروف: أمة عربية واحدة، ذات رسالة خالدة، وفرضه على كل بيت، وعلى كل مواطن سوري، حتى لو لم يكن من أصول عربية.

    وقصة سوريا مع العرب، هي رواية طويلة وتراجيديا محزنة من الغدر والخذلان والجبن والتآمر، وفصول لا تنتهي من التوجس والارتياب. فقد بنى حزب ابعث مذ ذلك اليوم جوهر سياسته على تغليب ما أسماها بالمصلحة القومية على المصلحة الوطنية السورية، وانخرط في مشاكل الإقليم القومية الكثيرة، واحتلت ما يسمى بقضية فلسطين، التي لم يصدر من مشعلها أبي الوليد زعيم حماس الذي تحتضنه سوريا، وتصرف عليه من ميزانية ودم وعرق السوريين، كلمة مواساة واحدة لما يجري من سوريا، والتي باع أيضاً، رئيسها محمود عباس- بدراهم معدودات كما باع أجداده فلسطين لليهود-رئاسة المجلس الوزاري العربي للقطري حمد بن جاسم، مؤخراً، في الاجتماع الشهير الذي طردت فيه قلب العروبة النابض شر طردة مذلة ومهينة مما يسمى بالجامعة العربية، وأهمل الحزب، لذلك، شؤون البلد الداخلية وعلى اعتبار أن الاهتمامات القــُطرية خيانة قومية، وعـُطلت التنمية الوطنية لصالح قضايا ومشاكل العرب التي لا تنتهي، وجهد الحزب نفسه بحشو أدمغة أبنائه بما يسمى بالثقافة القومية الاشتراكية، التي تتماهي، وتتقاطع في الكثير من المشتركات مع الفكر السلفي الظلامي الديني، وكان البعث يعمل من حيث لا يدري على طلبنة سوريا على نحو ممنهج وموجه، وفي واحدة من أكبر عمليات التطهير الثقافي الفاشي التي تشهده سوريا عبر تاريخها.

    وساد الفكر الظلامي القومي الشوفيني المروج رسمياً على حساب الفكر الليبرالي العلماني والتنويري والتيارات الحداثية الأخرى التي كانت تعصف بالعالم وتنتج النمور الاقتصادية هنا وهناك، وتبنى الدول والمجتمعات الحديثة، فيما ظل السوريون متعلقون بخرافة الوهم القومي الذي سيطعمهم العسل واللبن. وفي الحقيقة كان هناك قصور كبير في الرؤية، والنظرة الواقعية للأمور وإدارة الدول والمجتمعات ووضعها على المسارات الحضارية الحديثة، من قبل فلاسفة التنظير القومي، وعتاة القوميين، وكان هناك عدم فهم سياسي واضح وضبابية، كما رومانسية كبيرة في الفكرة القومية التي حاول البعث ترويجها عبر عقود، في سوريا والعراق الذي انتهى، هو الآخر، في هذا البلد يكارثة حقيقية حلت بهذا الشعب العظيم، وعلى يد عرب لصحراء أنفسهم الذين استجلبوا له، أيضاً، وبكل برودة أعصاب وغدر عبي تاريخي تلقيدي، الاحتلال الأمريكي للعراق، وها هم اليوم يحاولون إعادة الكرّة في سوريا الدرب للوحدة العربية. وكان هناك جهل مطبق في فهم طبيعة العلاقات الدولية وطبيعة التحالفات القائمة وارتباطات ما تسمى بالدول العربية بتحالفات أخرى لا تبني سياساتها ومصالحها أبداً على فكرة القومية العربية بقدر ما تبنيها على مصالحها الوطنية الذاتية والإستراتيجية، لا بل كانت تعامل السوريين باعتبارهم أجانب، فيما لا تزال سوريا، مفتوحة سداحاً مداحاً، ووكالة من غير بواب للعرب، الذين استغلوا هذا الوضع، والفجوة الأمنية القومية، لإدخال الأسلحة، والإرهابيين، والأموال، لقتل السوريين، والقيام بعمليات تخريبية وإجرامية في سوريا، وكللوها مؤخراً بمؤامرة الغدر والخيانة لطرد سوريا بشكل مهين ومذل ومؤلم من الجامعة، فيما يتعرض السوري الراغب بزيارة معظم الدول العربية إلى سلسلة من إجراءات الإذلال المطولة، والخضوع لإجراءات عنصرية لا تنتهي إلا بتسليمه كعبد أسير بدون كرامة بيد الكفيل.

    وكنا قد طالبنا سابقاً في سلسلة مقالات بتفعيل مبدأ المعاملة بالمثل مع هذه الدول، لكن، وكالعادة، لم تلق أية آذان صاغية، حتى سفحت كرامتنا، وتم إذلالنا والاستهانة والاستخفاف بنا على ذلك النحو المهين من قبل العرب في الفترة الأخيرة حتى بانت حقيقة خواء واهتراء ولا واقعية ولا منطقية الفكرة القومية العربية التي لا زال البعث يتمسك بها في سوريا. والأنكى من ذلك كله، هذا التعنت والمكابرة والاستمرار في التمسك بهذه الفكرة الفاشية الطوباوية المدمرّة والمسيئة لمشاعر وأحاسيس أطياف كثير من السوريين عبر التأكيد على روعة وعظمة الفكرة من قبل معظم طابور الضيوف والمهرجين اللبنانيين الذي يحتلون، ويبيعون السوريين البضاعة القومية التالفة والفاسدة والفاشلة، ويزخر بهم الإعلام السوري، وما زالوا يجترون ببلاهة استفزازية، سيكون لها عواقب وخيمة مستقبلاً، نفس هذا الخطاب العجين السقيم. لقد أدت السياسات القومية البعثية العروبية في سوريا، وعلى مدى عقود إلى سلسلة متتالية من الفواجع الوطنية، وعلى غير صعيد، وتمخضت عن مجموعة من الكوارث على الصعيد الداخلي، حتى لو زعل وئام وهاب الذي حاول إعادة تجميل البعث والبعثيين في ظهوره الأخير على القناة السورية الخاصة ” اللي ما تتسماش” ، قائلاً أن البعث بنى سوريا، ربما كان يقصد العكس فخانته التعبيرات (من بنى ماليزيا، وسنغافورة، والسويد، والنرويج؟ ربما البعثيون من حيث لا ندري)، وأدت تلك السياسات إلى إهانة بالغة طالت الكرامة والشخصية الوطنية لمعظم السوريين الذين شعروا بالمرارة والألم والغصة والحسرة والغيظ والحنق وهم يرون ذات العرب الذين تغزل بهم البعث طويلا، وفضلهم على السوري نفسه، وهم يجردون المدى، ويهيئون المذبح لنحر الوطن السوري؟

    ألا تستأهل كل تلك الأخطاء والممارسات الكارثية، وقصور الرؤية، والحماقات القومية المتوالية مجرد اعتذار بسيط يقدم بكل رجولة وفروسية لعموم السوريين؟ ألا يستأهل الجرح العميق الذي تركه خبث ومكر وغدر وتواطؤ الأعاريب اعتذاراً صغيراً من أساطين البعث القومي وكلمة ترد الروح لهذا السوري المخدوع الجريح، على أن يقرأ رسالة الاعتذار الأمين القطري المساعد عبد الله الأحمر*، ما غيره، الذي لا نعرف ما هو عمله بالضبط على مدى خمسة قرون، علنا نقول، عندما نسدل الستارة على الفصل التهريجي الأخير، بأن الرجل قد اشتغل شيئاً ما مفيداً خلال حياته الحزبية، وقدّم خدمة جليلة للسوريين المخدوعين بمهمروجة العرب الآثمين المتآمرين.؟؟ *عاشت وماتت أجيال سورية كاملة، وهذا الصنديد ما زال يتربع على عرشه البعثي، كأبي الهول، وكأنه ملكية خاصة اشتراه من حر ماله الموروث، ودون أن يعرف أي من السوريين ماذا يقوم به من عمل وطني، ويتمتع بمزايا استثنائية ويعيش برفاهية أسطورية وامتيازات فردية خاصة لهم ولأبنائهم في التعليم والسكن والتوظيف والبعثات الخارجية مثله مثل معظم الرموز البعثية و”أعداء” القيادتين القومية والقطرية، في الوقت الذي يعاني فيه كثير من السوريين من الفقر والبطالة والتعتير ويحرمون من أبسط الحقوق الآدمية.

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  67. It seems it’s game-over for Emad Mustapha in Washington ohhhh who’s gonno look after his collection of fine art? who’s gonno coordinate his network of informants? who’s gonno screw our brains with nonsense on tv? who’s ….. and who’s? The rumours say aunt Buthayna (Sheila&Tara©) will be the replacement, although personally speaking, I think Betho should leave it vacant till SNC nominates the new ambassador for the new Syria.

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  68. Other rumours say that the reason behind the dismissal of Gen. Ali Habib, the deputy commanding general of the army and the armed forces and defense minister, last August was due to receiving a phone call from Prince Khalid bin Sultan, Deputy Minister of Saudi defense, related to the evolution of the crisis in Syria. The Saudi prince “put it almost clear that it’s quite possible for him as the head of the army to overthrow Bashar al-Assad and his brother (Maher) and the crew who works with them, then the establishment of a military transitional council to administer affairs of the country and transition power process similar to what happened in the Egypt, “

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  69. Thanks Haytham, very good news which does reflects the international mood against the regime

    With 122 votes in favor, 13 against and 41 abstentions, the UN committee that handles human rights issues approved today a resolution that “strongly condemns” the “continued grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities.

    So now 122 countries around the world are involved in Betho’s conspiracy theory, 122 countries are paid by US, 122 countries are against his virtual resistance alliance with Persians ….

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  70. “France’s U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud called the vote “a great success,” adding “we do hope that some members of the Security Council will receive the message. He noted that Russia and China abstained on the resolution. Syria tried to prevent a vote on the resolution, introducing a motion to take “no action” but it was overwhelmingly defeated.”

    Well that’s a change
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20111122/un-un-syria-rights/

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  71. Dear Sheila ;

    I know Palestinians enjoy more rights in Syria and Iraq, but it was a part of the Baath Party propganda, the WORST part was enrolling Palestinian teenagers in special military units, they are known as “As Saiqa”, you don’t want to hear what atrocities those kids committed in Lebanon, I think I posted ot before on SC, the atrocities of these special units and the Syrian Army in Lebanon.

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  72. • 122 countries vote for condemnation, only 13 against
    • Syria is sole Arab state to vote against resolution
    • Russia, China, Algeria, Comoros, Lebanon and Yemen abstained
    • Iran, North Korea, Belarus, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Myanmar and Vietnam voted against
    • Iraq, Djibouti and Somalia did not vote in the committee, where all 193 U.N. nations are represented.

    http://af.reuters.com/article/egyptNews/idAFN1E7AL1HJ20111122?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

    Hehehehehh tsk tsk tsk Betho you’re an idiot 🙂

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  73. The Russian and Chinese abstention is of important significance. It means primarily that the Russia is not anymore labeling the Syrian revolution as an armed rebellion, as its FM Lavrov claimed many time.

    I told we would see the results of Ghalioun’s visit to Russia shortly.

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  74. “At this moment, the anti-democratic forces are attacking on a wide front, The three main pillars of democracy – the courts, the media and the human rights organizations – are under simultaneous, deadly assault.”

    The writer is not talking about Syria or Egypt but ” the (formerly) only democracy in the M.E.”; (now we happen to have the Tunisians, don’t forget).

    His name is Uri Avnery.

    MGB,

    I didn’t read in your post or in Uri Avnery’s words any examples where free speech or free elections were taken away like they are in many Arab countries. But I wouldn’t worry, Israeli democracy is one of the strongest democracies in world.

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  75. Sheila,

    “…Amir is trying to tell us that since Palestinians are part of “Bilad al Sham” and so is Syria Lebanon and Jordan, we should’ve just swallowed them in and not treated them as refugees. This way, we give this little sliver of land to the Israelis to live in peacefully. Shame on us for not doing so”.

    I couldn’t have said it better 🙂
    ===

    True,
    I like you unconditionally. No matter what you say.

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  76. Dear OTW:

    Yes it is a victory for SNC, because Ghalioun left good impression in Russia. Further the announcement of the SNC program also helped very much.

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  77. Haytham,

    You’re an educated and open minded freedom fighter who decided to oppose the regime publicly not hiding behind a silly alias as I do and on top of all that you’re a Christian.
    My question is what do we need to do to put you officially on SNC frontline as our Christian representative?

    I know you have no popular weight on ground but neither do most of SNC members eh.

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  78. Dear True

    Thank you .

    In fact, they have a very intelligent Christian woman on the General Secretariat, called Catherine Talli. I support her fully. Indeed, I know her family. Her cousin was a friend of mine.

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  79. Haytham Excellent and i reckon SNC should cast more light on its diversity in terms of backgrounds and sects.

    Aboud, Is it true Alawi neighbourhoods in Homs are displaying Maher’s portraits rather Bashar’s with posters “ Bashar li el-3yadeh wo Maher li el-Qyadeh” something like (Bashar should go back to clinics and Maher should take the leadership”

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  80. In attacking Syria, reasons for caution abound“ (theglobeandmail) — interesting article
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/in-attacking-syria-reasons-for-caution-abound/article2245588/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=World&utm_content=2245588

    Syria at dead end, says President Gül” (hurriyetdailynews) — I love the photo, speaks for itself
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=syria-at-dead-end-says-president-gul-2011-11-22

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  81. Haytham and True

    SNC inability to cast very clear light on the diversity of its base is partially due to the criminal regime targeting families of activists, especially those who “should not be with the revolution” . The base that is doing a lot of the ground work, logistics, collection of money, mobilization of meetings, sit ins, and other activities is very representative of the Syrian society both in diaspora and inside.

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  82. Dear 7ee6anis,

    May I suggest that we all have another look through the articles on SC by the writer named Khudr, especially the questions he posed towards the end of the first one. The SNC, as far as I know, has not talked openly and specifically about the issues he mentions, in contrast to the seemingly widespread sentiments of demonstrators on the ground demanding the complete dismantling of the security agencies and severe punishments for all and any who have participated in suppressing the uprising.

    http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10267 and
    http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10437

    I actually have been wanting to write Dr Landis to suggest that he ask Khudr to volunteer what he thinks the answers should be. Indeed, all Alawis and other minorities (I so dislike this word but we have to face the fact that there are people in Syria who insist on thinking of themselves as such!) who accept the need for radical change should be the first ones to consult when seeking answers to these very important questions (is Yazan out there listening? 🙂 ). Moreover, I would take it further by positing that it is necessary to consult those who are against change and even those guilty of wrongdoing towards the people of Syria in deciding what should be done; it is rather similar to when a parent consults with a child about his/her fair punishment after having done something wrong (and I do not mean to be condescending here at all…just an image that came to mind). Of course, there is the initial problem of convincing them that change is coming, no mater what.

    We could start the discussion right here on حيطان.

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  83. NEWS ROUND UP

    Syrian activists say 2-day death toll is 34, US Embassy urges citizens to leave” (washingtonpost)
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/activists-say-government-raids-violence-across-syria-kill-at-least-28-in-1-day/2011/11/23/gIQAAk9SnN_story.html

    India HPCL looks at buying Syrian crude-Sources” (reuters)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/23/india-hpcl-syria-idUSL4E7MN1KX20111123

    France considers ‘humanitarian corridors’ in Syria” (khaleejtimes)
    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/November/international_November914.xml&section=international&col=

    Wave of Syria violence targets children” (telegraph)
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/8908930/Wave-of-Syria-violence-targets-children.html

    Baird defends Suncor gas project in Syria” (thechronicleherald)
    http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/35745-baird-defends-suncor-gas-project-syria

    Assad urged to avoid Libyan leader’s fate” (SMH)
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/assad-urged-to-avoid-libyan-leaders-fate-20111123-1nuxq.html

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  84. MGB, “How Sunnis intend to deal with Alawis after ousting the regime?”

    Yes I agree this should be a new discussion to address not only Alawis but also Christians and all other minorities. Is anyone putting her/his hand up to write such a post? (>b>Mundas, in case you’re reading this line from syria please try to ask your Alawi friends to join us here on 7ee6an and express themselves)

    For now I’ll try to keep it short&sweet eh, I reckon Sunnis will treat Alawis and everyone else for that matter exactly as a Sunni treats another Sunni. No one is above the law and all should be abide law citizens. I’m not saying there won’t be frustrated hard-line extremists from both sides who might cause some concern but eventually it will be just a rough patch and people will get over it to find the good and commons between each other.

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  85. As Syrians.
    However, it is extremely important that we demonstrate to all Syrians that a person only represents her/himself, which means that the voices on SC and similar sites only represents their owners and not any community, even though a few of them have ganged on Haytham. The leadership of some churches are no different than Bouti or Hassoun, and therefore, the entire community of Syrians can not be considered as having been actively hostiles to the revolution. This in fact is one of the critical issues in the democratic transformation, which is the acceptance of individual responsibilities.

    This will also translate into potential trials for some who professed support for the revolution, but may have acted violently and either killed or wounded an innocent person.

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  86. Looking at what’s happening in Egypt and reading OTW’s last comment leads me to the following question.
    After ousting the regime, should the Syrians keep pushing to cleanse every establishment and enterprise in Syria i.e. (Muslim and Christian clergy, affiliated businessmen, army and security officers ..etc)? or should they stop and step back to preserve what have left from Syria at that point?

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  87. Ladies and gentlemen,

    The Assad mafia will not only come on top, it’ll set the example for the entire world to follow when it comes to real democracy, respect for human rights, and transparency. I am not joking. Just read what Syria’s Faisal al-Mikdad had to say about that.

    المقداد (مهلوسا): سوريا سوف تكون نموذجا ديمقراطيًا يحتذى به في المنطقة
    المجموعة: فلاش نشر بتاريخ الأربعاء, 23 تشرين2/نوفمبر 2011 19:25 كتب بواسطة: وطن

    أكد معاون وزير الخارجية السوري فيصل المقداد خلال احتفال السفارة اللبنانية في دمشق بعيد الاستقلال اللبناني أهمية هذه المناسبة واغتنم المناسبة لتوجيه أحر التهاني لرئيس الجمهورية ميشال سليمان ورئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري ورئيس مجلس الوزراء نجيب ميقاتي وكل أبناء الشعب اللبناني الشقيق”.
    واعتبر المقداد هذه المناسبة “عزيزة على كل السوريين وبشكل خاص على قلب القيادة السورية بما في ذلك الرئيس بشار الأسد، وقال :”نحن نمر بفترة صعبة ونشعر بوقوف الشعب اللبناني وقيادة لبنان إلى جانب سورية خاصة أن ما يصيب سورية يصيب الأشقاء العرب الآخرين، فنحن مع لبنان قلبا وقالبا ونحن ومع أطيب العلاقات مع لبنان كدولة ومع جميع الأشقاء اللبنانيين”.
    وعن الأوضاع في سورية قال المقداد :”الأوضاع تتضح الآن بشكل افضل وهناك هجمة شرسة على سورية يخطط لها في دوائر أصبحت معروفة وهنالك تمويل بملايين الدولارات لاستمرار حالة العنف في سورية وهناك تمويل للارهاب في سورية ومجموعات مسلحة تقتل الجيش والشعب وقوى الأمن ومتظاهرين وهذه حقيقة أصبح شعب سورية يعيها بشكل جيد لذلك نعتقد ان الكثير من عناصر هذه المؤامرة الكبيرة أصبحت خلفنا وكلما حققنا المزيد من الانتصارات كلما تصاعدت الهجمة الاعلامية ضدنا والدعم العالمي لشراء الضمائر ولشراء القتلة”.
    وأضاف “نحن واثقون من انتصار شعب سورية بقيادة الرئيس بشار الأسد، منتصرون لأن الرئيس قدم خطة اصلاح تشمل جميع نواحي الحياة السياسية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية خطة اصلاح تضمن سورية المستقبل التي يستحقها شعب سورية سواء كان ذلك في الانتخابات او في الشفافية الاعلامية أو في الدستور الذي يجري العمل عليه الان أو في الانتخابات القادمة للادارة المحلية ومجلس الشعب”.
    وختم بالقول “لذلك سورية سوف تكون نموذجا يحتذى به في المنطقة، والمهم أن ينتصر نموذج الديموقراطيةالحقيقية ونموذج احترام حقوق الانسان بشكل حقيقي ونموذج الشفافية بمختلف عناصرها”.

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  88. Dear True:

    We do not need to do this.

    ً، دعونني أحدد ماذا نعني باسقاط النظام. فاسقاط النظام يعني دفع الطغمة الحاكمة للتخلي عن الحكم و تقديم رؤوسائها و كل من ثبت أنه تورط مباشرة بدماء السوريين لمحاكمات عادلة، كل هذا مع الحفاظ على مؤسسات الدولة بما فيها الجيش، أما التركيبة الطائفية لهذا الجيش فيجب التعامل معها بطريقة حكيمة من قبل حكومة جديدة بعد انتخابات ديموقراطية. و أما الأجهزة المخابراتية فيجب لجم جماحها و منعها من التدخل في الحياة اليومية للمواطنين، على أن يتم تحويلها فيما بعد إلى هدفها الحقيقي و هو التجسس على الدول و المؤسسات الأجنبية. و أما

    الموالين للنظام و أتباعه فيجب عدم الإنتقام منهم، إذ نعرف أن أكثرهم يتبع النظام بسبب مصالح وقتية أو خوفاً من النظام أو خوفاً من المجهول، إذ إننا لن نتبع سياسة مشابهة لسياسة “التطهير” التي أتبعت بعد سقوط “حكومة فيشي” في فرنسا أو سياسة “اجتثاث البعث” التي اتبعها الأمريكيون بعد غزو العراق، بل سنتبع سياسة مشابهة لتلك التي اتبعها “مانديلا” بعد سقوط حُكم “الأبارتيد” عندما أسس ما أسماه “هيئة الحقيقة و التراضي”، فكل من لم يثبت أنه تورط مباشرة أو أعطى أمراً صريحاً بقتل السوريين الأبرياء فلن يعاقب، أما من اقترف هذا الجرم فإن كان من مناصري النظام أو معارضيه فستتم محاكمته في محاكم رسمية و وفقاً للقانون.
    http://haytham-khoury3.blogspot.com/2011/11/blog-post.html

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  89. Dear SYR.EXAPT
    Thanks for the laugh. I see delusion is a requirement in the MOFA of Syria.

    Dear TRUE:
    I think we need to clean the Army, re-size it and adopt a completely different model, and restructure security forces and police force. Top echelon in civilian state agencies may also need to be removed or reassigned, or sent into retirement, primarily so that they do not re-constitute the web of connections to sabotage real reform.

    Overall, the business community will probably appreciate transparency but not the fact that taxes will be levied without kickbacks and that is why taxing schedule should be done in manners that allows a gradual but firm reform of the tax code.

    Corrupt religious leadership will wither on their own.

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  90. I do not think it is incumbent on any Syrian group, to treat the other group differently. We are equally Syrian. We are in it together, we will either make it or break it, collectively.

    The moment you start dissecting a society, into different ethnicity, religious affiliation, sects, gender…..you open a Pandora box, In a democracy, the majority rules. All are inclusive. Muslims constitute 74% of the population. The law is our guarantor.

    Religious leaders should have no future role in politics. After all these leaders are human, they are fallible.

    “The leadership of some churches are no different than Bouti or Hassoun”, the Lebanese Christian Patriarch, turned 180 degrees from his predecessor, he became supportive of Assad. What changed, in the span of 2 months, less or more. Totally agree with OTW observation.

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  91. Haytham,

    Well, I understand where you’re coming from but, and there’s a big BUT here, look what’s happening in Egypt. The problem is that leaving these little bugs in the system will come and bite us in the butt sooner or later, the Egyptians ousted Mubarak and some of his cronies but did not get down to start profiling people to sort the good from bad hence part (2) of their revolution.

    Dirty hands should be replaced and held accountable no exception, it’s a vertical top->down cleansing process and should not stop at any stage before shaking the whole temple. Syrians are a blessed nation with witty youth and those should be the drive not old corrupt antiques.

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  92. Dear True
    One problem you will encounter is the sheer size of the Baath party, its affiliate organizations, and its dummy parties in the meaningless national progressive front. These number between 3 to 5 millions. I definitely will call for dissolving these parties by force of law, their membership can reconstitute, but not before a full inventory is made of assets in which assets that belong to the state are returned to the state. The other assets will be held in trust to pay for damages to people who have been personally affected by collective policies or used in rehabilitation programs. That does not mean debaathification. I will be against going after anyone just because they belonged to one of these parties at some point in time.

    Only those who committed capital crimes (torture, murder, beating, firing on civilians) will be tried. Those who have strong armed and intimidated people into bribing them, or giving up their assets and should be investigated in civil manner, and then civil law suites could be filed against them. No one’s assets should be confiscated by decree and without due process in court. We may have to hold on these trials because one of the systems that is in dire need of full rehabilitation is the judicial system. Finally, I will re-iterate that the next thing the SNC should do is to declare either its opposition to death penalty, or at worst, a moratorium for 2 years on that penalty. We don’t want kangaroo courts rushing into sending people to the gallows or to firing squads, much like the kangaroo trial which tried Saddam Hussain. Iraqis needed an honest trial, the tainted trial, even if coming up with a right verdict remains tainted.

    We are blessed in the sense that we have examples unfolding ahead of us. When our time come, we will have a sitting National Assemblies in Tunisia, one that is being formed and struggling with constitutional issues in Egypt, and a whole new different experiment in Libya. We will see what to do and whats not to do.

    SNC should also approach some Latin American countries and tell them that we want to learn from their experience in democratic transformation and development, even if they now are supporting the tyrant just because they think he is anti-imperialist. We should also talk to Serbia.

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  93. I think the difference is big in Syria and Egypt. The Military felt that they were the one who helped solve the situation by not aligning themselves with Mubarak>

    In Syria, I think the people itself will merit the victory, because the people paid for it with their blood. Further, the SNC with all its effort will be the major responsible of the transition period. I think all these months of standoff with the regime will be paid off by more political stability.

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  94. OTW “Baath party, its affiliate organizations, and its dummy parties in the meaningless national progressive front. These number between 3 to 5 millions”

    3-5 million will shrink to 3-5 hundred on the same night when Betho crosses the borders to Iraq on his way to Qum.
    “We are blessed in the sense that we have examples unfolding ahead of us”
    Agreed

    haytha “I think the difference is big in Syria and Egypt. ……..In Syria, I think the people itself will merit the victory, ….. SNC with all its effort will be the major responsible of the transition period..”
    Disagree. It’s vital to hold every culprit accountable, If you don’t rollout justice then individuals might play God and do it themselves and that’s how the chaos will start.
    There should be a mechanism in place to run two concurrent streams of 1) managing the transitional period 2) cleansing the system.

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  95. Humanitarian Corridors’ is nothing but an ornamental jargon for media consumption. You better get used to it from now on, and let’s see if AL will use it tomorrow in its statement

    “Humanitarian Corridors” = “Buffer Zone”

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  96. Syrian forces kill four ahead of new talks” (SMH)
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/syrian-forces-kill-four-ahead-of-new-talks-20111124-1nvlp.html

    Analysis: Turkey confronted with possible Syrian civil war” (Reuters)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/23/us-syria-turkey-hazards-idUSTRE7AM26L20111123

    U.S. Accused of Turning Blind Eye as Syria Elected to U.N. Human Rights Committee” (foxnews)
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/11/23/us-turns-blind-eye-as-syria-elected-to-un-organizations-human-rights-committee/

    France raises issue of Syrian intervention” (FT)
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8f8c35a4-160c-11e1-b4b1-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1eZY2pamm

    The Devil We Know: Why Assad Will Survive? ” (Daniel Freedman, forbes)
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfreedman/2011/11/22/thedevilweknow/

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  97. It’ll be the the drama of the century to Betho, If Najib Mikati, the current Prime Minister of Lebanon, decides to come back to his sect and resign (consequently the Wanted&Hizboallah’s government will be considered as resigned), this itself will mount the pressure on the regime and strip it from playing the Lebanese card as its own backdoor garden, actually it might be the ultimate blow if Walid Jumblatt crosses the bridge back to join 14th March alliance nominating Fuad Siniora as the new prime minister. At that point of time we will see Lebanon voting against the regime. I know it sounds too much of optimism but in Lebanon everything is possible (ask Antoine) and from Lebanon Homs could be saved.

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  98. I feel like I’m a solo singer on 7ee6an!!
    There’s a stark tendency of eavesdropping instead of engaging in any sort of debate or discussion around here. Fair enough I guess, not all people would be keen to share their thoughts with others.

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  99. What does that mean?

    U.S. urges Americans to leave Syria “immediately”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57330452/u.s-urges-americans-to-leave-syria-immediately/

    “(CBS/AP) BEIRUT – The U.S. Embassy in Damascus urged its citizens in Syria to depart “immediately,” and Turkey’s foreign ministry urged Turkish pilgrims to opt for flights to return home from Saudi Arabia to avoid traveling through Syria.
    “The U.S. Embassy continues to urge U.S. citizens in Syria to depart immediately while commercial transportation is available,” said a statement issued to the American community in Syria Wednesday and posted on the Embassy’s website. “The number of airlines serving Syria has decreased significantly since the summer, while many of those airlines remaining have reduced their number of flights.”

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  100. “SNC should also approach some Latin American countries and tell them that we want to learn from their experience in democratic transformation and development, even if they now are supporting the tyrant just because they think he is anti-imperialist.

    ditto this

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  101. x4….. rather…..

    also, we should probably stay away from the word “cleanse”….how about… ? restructure? rehabilitate? sort of awkward…. probably there are other nicer sounding words…but ‘cleanse’ has some really bad connotations…at least in English… just a thought.

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  102. Nephews and their friends who just graduated are called for immediate joining of military service. No warning except the fool’s decree earlier today.

    Two brothers are called on the same day.

    The regime is getting in a real panic.

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