Narratives, Arguments, and Counter-Arguments (By Zenobia)

Introduction by Off the Wall:

On 7ee6an, we have started an informal project aiming to identify ways to address the “fence sitters” on the Syrian Revolution. Many of us have encountered friends and family members, with whom we have identified in the past and in whose judgement we trusted for years. The split of opinion has been dramatic to some of us. We were raised the same, have always thought the same way (inasmuch as possible), and have always held the regime and its behavior, at least on domestic issues low regards. All of the sudden we see such people willing to take, full doze or in parts, the regime’s propaganda,  about a cosmic conspiracy,  and accepting a narrative of the events unfolding around them that is both detached from reality, and demeaning to their brothers and sisters who are being slaughtered by the regime. What makes it more dramatic to some of us is the fact that many of those friends and relatives are well educated, exposed to rational thinking, and capable of making rightful ethical choices in their daily lives. In the following, ZENOBIA attempts to provide some answers and to shed some light on possible means of addressing this crucial issue, which has threatened friendships and even familial relationships.

Try logic.... No Thanks
Cartoon by Ali Ferzat. Looks very appropriate for our discussion

Narratives, Arguments, and Counter-Arguments

By Zenobia

I KNOW what the argument is. I have heard the argument 10 zillion times now, here, and all over Facebook – on the lips of everybody’s fence sitting relative and half of the Syrian population! The reason that American leftist outlets like Counterpunch are publishing this as well – is because THEY TOO are predisposed to frame things through a suspicious anti-imperialist anti-”american hegemony” narrative and premise, so naturally they are going to be open to presenting the conspiracy argument or some more rational version of it that is not all hogwash certainly, but neglects the contradicting factors.

So, we have a problem. The problem is what is the counter argument!!!!!!

If our ‘conspiracists’ believe that the entire uprising is one big ‘plot’ and made up of traitors and thieves and radical islamist insurgents or people purely doing what they are doing because they were manipulated or paid by western agents, …. well this is such a reductionist and hopeless framing of the situation that no- counter narrative is going to sway this mindset or going to puncture it. It is so far to the paranoid- that there is no hope there that a new compromise understanding can be reached or that such person will be persuaded that supporting the Assad regime is equally dangerous and degraded a choice.

However, if – in contrast, the true fence sitters can acknowledge that indeed there is formidable legitimate uprising – of a large number of Syrian citizens- who have nothing to do with the imperialist designs of Western powers or their allies- but whose actions are legitimately a reflection of internal political desires and aspirations, – then even if one simultaneously believes that there are treacherous external forces at work and a regional struggle attempting to co-opt the Syrian revolution – there will be SOME ROOM for debate here about what is the correct ethical course to take – and room for debate and deliberation out of a strong counterargument that reflects this complex reality and the competing concerns, while having the potential to persuade said fence sitters that the LESSER EVIL IS IN FACT to side with the legitimate uprising and to take on the risks of potential western influence and attempts to manipulate the outcome to strategic advantage.

The precise argument has not been made yet. However the point is that A FORCEFUL COUNTERARGUMENT MUST BE MADE that makes concessions to this powerful narrative and set of fears of average Syrian and many inside and outside the middle east.

Personally, I am not discounting the basic storyline – put forth in the link you provided or in the “Counterpunch” piece. How can one ignore it? But the problem I have is in the all or nothing framework within which it is presented, as if the people of Hama, Deraa, Homs, and all the other smaller outlying cities and towns of Syria, or parts of Damas, are SIMPLY – at worst pawns of Al-Qaeda like agents and at best total dupes and zealots out for blood… , as if they have ZERO legitimacy…, as if someone- entire towns … what? had some undetected infiltrators come give a lecture? and then the people decided to revolt???

I mean seriously… has anyone actually DESCRIBED how this supposed scenario would work in concrete terms other than… ‘the Americans and Israel and KSA and Saad Hariri ‘ are “behind” this? What does it actually entail to be “behind” or to have manipulated entire fairly insular and isolated communities to do the bidding of outsiders?…. the notion is so entirely far fetched when discussed in concrete terms to account for everything that has happened.

Reality MUST be far in between. And I think- from my informal observance of so many dialogues and interchanges over many months, that MOST – Syrians, ascribe reality to this in between…. They BOTH believe the narrative of Western attempts at world domination or regional domination (led by America and Israel)… but they also do not discount the Syrian uprising as a complete fabrication…. they are aware of legitimate challenge to the Syrian government that has an ethical basis and they are not defending the behavior of the security response or the president in unqualified terms.
However, they DO NOT KNOW HOW TO RESOLVE THEIR DILEMMA of holding both these truths and knowing what to do – and what to think- therefore.

That is why they are fence sitters… (in addition to all the other complicating disincentives for supporting a revolution that Sheila has outlined many times and which are also significant factors but which I am putting aside her for the moment just to focus on the issue the ‘conspiracy’ issue as a pivotal problem)

the COUNTERARGUMENT must provide a SOLUTION FOR THIS DILEMMA.

I personally have spent weeks and weeks without knowing how to properly answer it.

ETHICS seemed at first the correct answer. That is to say -that no matter what the outer external threats are- we cannot stand by and watch a government respond by shooting its people, detaining, torturing, and subjugating communities with tanks and military threat of death or actual death. This seemed obvious to many. (As I recall – it was the answer – very simply that Husam gave for his choice of where to place his alliance despite his moderate belief in the conspiracy scenario of what is happening)

However, and ETHICAL argument doesn’t work on large swaths of the public because they are both desensitized to violence (I assume here) and also because they have simultaneously been persuasively told that the deaths and violence they have been seeing or informed about are 1) exaggerated and/or not happening 2) are justified in the cases where they are happening because the supposed “protesters” are not in fact protesters but are actually “criminals” and violent insurgents and infiltrators.

So, apparently, and Ethical argument fails because these cognitive denials and justifications provided by the government – negate the need for a fence sitter to consider an ethical stance necessary to be taken – as a response to the problem.

The dilemma seems to be resolved for most – by a decision process regarding what they fear most – (again putting aside deliberately for the moment the other weighing factors like personal economic pain and anguish over the disillusion going on in society, daily hardships anticipated, and unclear future alternatives and so forth) – that is to say…. fear of American hegemony and Israeli power, verses fear of the pathetic life that would continue under the Assads and the perpetuation of the current internal power system.

Additionally, I think the average person is NOT considering the question of what has IRAN, CHINA, And RUSSIA done lately for Syria????

And it is bizarre that the narrative has been hammered for so many years and years that the biggest and most important achievement and source of pride in this age is to stubbornly sacrifice every other political need to the alter of “resistance” to Israel (a resistance strategy that barely works at all – one should add)- that it still takes precedent over every other concern. The abhorrence for Israeli power is so entirely consuming, mythologized, the threat again – fetishized- to the point where nothing else can be seen or considered. And as such, this fear and obsession – with American power or Israeli power viewed as part and parcel- can only be understood as having been deeply imprinted with the sting of humiliation and injured pride, anger, resentment, fused now with bigotry for many. How else does one explain choosing IRAN as an ally???!!! Really? What do the minorities of Syria care about IRANIAN power?? or the non- minority fence sitters? No, this is a marriage of convenience – not love.

What in contrast is so dangerous about American power other than its support for Israel? in the minds of Syrians… (remember, as a mind bending fact, that it is the NON-Religious zealots – the secular supporters of Syria…who are supposedly most appalled at the notion of American influence taking hold in Syria)….? Our values? Half their family are emigrated to non- middle eastern countries. Our economic exploitation? That last would be a great Irony considering the economic sinkhole that Syria is now in- and from which Iran and Russia certainly – and even! China cannot pull her out. Alas, the issue comes back to the issue of Israel and wounded pride and humiliation.

This pitiful fact has to be recognized. It has to be addressed not by slamming on the Syrian defenses but by an irresistible argument for how CHANGE– including a change in strategic alliances CAN WORK IN FAVOR OF RESTORING SYRIAN PRIDE AND STRENGTH IN REAL TERMS.

RESISTANCE in the conventional way it has been waged on the Syrian stage has been pathetic and self-sabotaging. It has been self -destructive. It has not saved the Palestinians (if that were even truly the goal) nor restored Arab pride in any form. It has led to isolation, and economic decline, and toleration of a sick and ineffective form of government that has now sunk very very low in terms of its treatment of its citizenry.

RESISTANCE has been the biggest manipulation of all – in some sense for achieving very very little for the people of Syria. It has to be reclaimed and redefined. In fact, abandoned in favor of a VIABLE ALTERNATIVE.

A COUNTERARGUMENT must contain that alternative… for both restoring Syrian hope and pride as well as making obsolete and benign the influence of larger powers who are NOT in fact the biggest threat to society and survival.

ZENOBIA

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140 Comments

  1. Dear Zenobia
    I finally got that post from you, didn’t I. Excellent work. I will comment later. Sheila made a comment and I have asked her to kindly copy it and paste it here to where the discussion belong. Thank you very much, first for taking the project so seriously, and second for the good post.

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  2. Dear Zenobia,
    As always, you have so effectively articulated what so many of us have been thinking for a while. Yes, it is this dilemma of knowing for a fact that the people are genuinely angry with the regime and at the same time understanding that outside forces are at play. To me it all boils down to a cost-benefit analysis: is the effect of outside interference in Syria’s affairs going to be worse than the conditions we are in under the rule of this regime? The answer to this question is dictating the positions people take for or against the regime. Most of us here believe that there is nothing worse than this regime. We see the country moving backwards, the people oppressed and the economy in shambles. Not so, say the fence sitters. To them, as we have pointed out many times, the country is in great shape.
    I completely agree with you regarding the alliances of Syria. I have questioned many times the alliances with Iran and Russia. The problem is that the US can, using many different methods, twist the figurative arms of nations. Since our regime has to “obey” the US in political matters anyway, why can’t the country benefit in all other matters by declaring the US an ally? Why do we have Russian “experts” and not American? This is the decision that Egypt and Jordan made long time ago. They realized that they can not beat the US and Israel militarily, so they decided to befriend them and advance their countries and societies. We see this in Jordan to a great extent. It is in a different league from Syria whether educationally, organizationally or economically.
    The “resistance” issue is a very interesting one. With all these years of empty talk and humiliation after humiliation. From “Nakba” to “Naksa” to total defeat, turns out the most effective way for “resistance” is having babies (and it can be an enjoyable activity to boot). This is how the Palestinians are going to “defeat” Israel as it remains a Democracy. In fact, this is the only thing that Israel is scared of. This is the only drive behind its policies in the West Bank and Gaza. This is the only reason why they do not want these areas to be part of Israel anymore. So, I say, let’s abolish all Arab armies, work on improving our countries, educating our people, creating successes in our economies and encourage the Palestinians to have more babies.

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  3. Well, had to do something. I just gave it the attention i think it deserves.But seriously, if you object, … I’ll remove it and we stay with it as a comment. I have been relying on comments from the “field” as posts as they would definitely be far more relevant than anything I would be able to say and yours is definitely a relevant field comment. It may not be as relevant in Homs, but for sure it is in Aleppo, Damascus, and a few other places.

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  4. Earlier Discussions
    Husam Said

    Zenobia,
    I think the fence sitters are becoming a minority. The people who think that the revolution is a ‘total conspiracy’ are Assadis and sympathizers (a few million at the most). The middle street have already made up their mind. Every higher profile defector has said that his/her well being and family was what stopped them from jumping ship earlier. As for the counter argument, a possible solution is Islamic representation and allowing the MB to become an equal partner. In the meantime, a military intervention is the only viable option. Soon, Zenobia, very soon Syrians will say let Amereeka rabe us, enough is enough.

    ZENOBIA Said:

    Well, obviously, I wrote what I wrote because I fear that you are wrong about the ‘middle street’…-although I am not certain who you are referring to here… but my “fence sitter” does believe there is a legitimate uprising, but privileges their other concerns over supporting it.

    And – actually – those who I see vocalizing the kind of thinking I am talking about…are not per se “islamist’ or MB types in a particularly large numbers. As OTW said- these people are often as secular or educated as anyone else (in relative terms)…but their worldview is very very entrenched in such a way as to cause them to make the assessment (cost benefit analysis) conclusion that Sheila described as well.
    No military option is going to address this fear and mistrust problem. Not even a (unlikely in my mind at this moment) successful military intervention, …. imagine that. It will remain after the fact and likely lead to incredible animosity and continued internal political conflict. That would be my concern.

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  5. Sheila said:

    “Why do we have Russian “experts” and not American?”

    You are underestimating the Russians & Chinese Sheila. I am not the first to tell you that America has lost its lustre. South American and Asia are becoming the new emerging markets, and they will overtake Europe and the U.S. Experts other than Americans will emerge.

    “So, I say, let’s abolish all Arab armies, work on improving our countries, educating our people, creating successes in our economies and encourage the Palestinians to have more babies.”

    Are you kidding me. Sheila, this is the most absurd statement I have heard on 7ee6an to date. While I gathered that you are an American patriot, I did not know how far in bed you are with the devil. What a defeatist stance! Abolish all Arab armies? Really. I see your angle, we are all manipulated, we can’t possibly stand up to Israel, we can’t protect our borders, we can’t don’t squat shit. And your Palestinian statement is borderline racist. The Palestinians are some of the most intelligent people, and will do more than just have babies. The Jordanians, Egyptians, and every other state sold out the Palestinians (yes, they got money for it). Why don’t you call for the Arabs to revive and rid of all their dictators, their shieks and their monarchies rather than hire-america? Do you want us to be slaves forever?

    Let the Americans bring in their democracy, super size me culture and education to all corners of the world and let us all live happily ever after. Sheila, I think you know better that this idea you are throwing fits really well with totalitarian one-world government the neo cons have been pushing.

    I can tell you if this is your idea of a New Syria, then I will be the first one to vote it down.

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  6. Dear Zenobia,
    It just seems that the Arabs in general are, at this point in history, completely out of options. The humiliation that they received at the hands of Israel is monumental and yet, there is no hope in sight that they will be able to do anything effectively to regain any rights the Palestinians have lost over the years. Thus, my feeling that we should concentrate on putting our house back in order before we tackle that injustice.
    As for the fence-sitters and their future feeling, well of course we will always hear the told you so s. Look at Iraq. Many Iraqis today look with nostalgia at the times of Saddam. They had more stability and security, but at what price they ignore to mention. It takes time after any such change and people’s life span sometimes in not long enough to reap the benefits of such sacrifices. It is for the future generations not for us.

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  7. Zenobia:

    Age matters! The middle street 55 and under, secularist believe like I do that although NATO and the Gulf will take it to their advantage, the revolution is a real one.

    Here is a story describing the original Dar’a event. This is from a reliable source, a secularist cousin who has benefited from the regime indirectly:

    When the head of the A’sheereh of Dar’a went to the Mayor, Atif Najib (Assad’s cousin) to demand an apology and to let the kids return to their homes. Najib declined with the following statement: “The answer is no, they are not going out of prison and tell their mothers to make other more respectable kids, and if they refuse, bring these women here and will impregnate them” The head of the A’sheereh took his a’gal off slammed it on the table and walked out. This is known between the A’shaer that war has started and that is how the revolution started.

    The damage was done, and release of the kids was too late. Just to show you the will and power of the A’shaer.

    This story whether true or not is circulating among the elite since the beginning and sounds plausible to the ways of the regime. Some of the fence sitters are worried about their families, about their wealth, about their safety, etc… but believe me it will be an avalanche once a few higher profile persons defect. The problem is they all have family to worry about.

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  8. Dear Husam,
    First, this idea that many people around the world got in their heads that America lost its luster is down right funny to anyone who knows anything about the world economy. Wake up Husam. It is just a statement that makes people outside the US feel good about the near demise of what you and others call “the Devil”.
    Second, what is it that we should fear about the US exactly? They are going to suck our souls? We are not an independent state, we never were and we never will be. It is Russia, China or Iran manipulating us into doing what they want us to do. All I am saying is that since this is the case; let’s ally ourselves with winners rather than losers.
    And then you ask me: “do you want us to be slaves forever?” And my answer is: and are we not slaves to the Assads today? All I am saying is let’s open our minds. Germany is a very good example. They lost the war and were occupied by the US and by the USSR. The one under the US became the third most industrialized nation in the world, (the second was also a country under the US occupation, Japan). The one under the USSR started on a slippery slope to oblivion.
    You want to keep the Arab armies for what? I do not get it. You do not want to sell your soul to the US, but you are fine with giving the US billions of Dollars in army equipment that we will never use and if used will never be victorious. So why in your opinion it is a good idea to have armies? Our armies did not do us any good when Israel flew over Syria and bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor. Our armies did not do us any good when Israel flew over Syria several times over the years and bombed targets on Syrian soil. What do we have armies for? Oh, I forgot, to kill our own people and keep our dictators in place.
    My father was in the 1967 war stationed in the Mazzeh airport. First thing Israel did was bomb the airport and all our airplanes to smithereens. Guess what? My father and his comrades did not have a single bullet in their possession to fight back. They were sitting in their trenches cooking “Mjaddarah” and watching the “fireworks”. Wake up and smell the roses Husam.
    As for what you said: “And your Palestinian statement is borderline racist. The Palestinians are some of the most intelligent people, and will do more than just have babies”. My uncle is Palestinian from Jerusalem. Yes, the Palestinians are smart and educated people that have been subjected, in my view, to one of the worst injustices of the 20th century and yes I do mean worse than what the Jews were subjected to at the hands of the horrible Hitler. No one is able to help the Palestinians and God knows they have tried everything to help themselves to no avail. They are facing a ferocious enemy, who has tremendous power. The Palestinians know what I am talking about. The only scare that Israel has is demographic. It is true and has nothing to do with racism. It is the reality of today. Our only weapon is our number.

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  9. The Americans left Iraq in worst state than it was. They replaced one dictator with another. They plundered Iraq like it was a military video game. After a million Iraqis dead, bombs continue to explode, we are skeptical if any of this was worth it for future generations… I doubt it.

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  10. Dear Zenobia
    While I believe you have made significant progress in diagnosis, I think we are far from reaching the appropriate prescription. If one tries to address that the results or outcome of the resistance have been pathetic, (no land has been returned to Syria, Settlements continue to threaten the rights of Palestinians in the west bank, and so son). The first answer you would get from an indoctrinated person would be what is called un-refutable hypothesis, and it will go like this, So imagine if we did not have resistance, all of us we would be under Israeli occupation/american hegemony . This is an unverifiable and un-refutable hypothesis, and it is a forceful weapon because you or I have no mechanism of refuting it without relying on assurances that no one making this statement would believe for reasons related to both justifiable and unjustifiable mistrusts.

    Today on face book, there was a discussion of the 3rd title of the Syrian constitution, which specifies the religion of the president. One person was stating, with full confidence that the religion of the US president, by law, has to be Protestant. When asked, his response was that he has read it somewhere. Off course, i could not comment on it because the discussion was happening on the wall of someone who is not my friend, but there were dozens of message who tried to argue that there is a separation between church and state in the US, but not a single one who was able to bring examples such as Kennedy, Lieberman (candidate), Dukakis (candidate), or even Romney (possible candidate). I do not want to try to imagine how would such a conversation ended but If i do, i will then have to rely on un-refutable hypothesis myself.

    I have more comments, but I need to organize my thoughts further.

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  11. I would not advocate completely abolishing the Arab Armies, but I would argue that for Syria, the army and security agencies, including the baath party and its “popular”organizations, have been the primary hindrance of development. I can assure your that you will hear similar comments form Algerians, who face no real threat that could not be resolved by negotiation with their brothers and neighbors in Morocco, and Yemenis, who face no military threat whatsoever. A balance must be struck with respect to the army and security apparatus, with the latter being demolished fully and rebuilt from scratch under legal watch and into a far smaller size.

    In fact, if one is to really bluff the “American Hegemony” in any region, demilitarization, in the sense of reducing the armies into what one really needs within the current strategic balance, would be a huge blow to one of the biggest and most powerful cartel in the US, weapons manufacturers and will change the foundation of the relationship with the US. So Sheila’s “devilish” plan may be the one that works in the end.

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  12. Dear Husam,
    Your example of Iraq is valid; however, one has to think about the differences between the examples of Germany, Japan and Iraq. Why did the first two emerge champions and the latter emerged a looser. I can not pretend to know the answer, but I will attempt to understand the reasons. In my view, the Germans and Japanese accepted their defeat and tried to take advantage of the opportunity, while the Iraqis went completely out of control once they were given freedom after years of oppression. The US in Iraq found it very hard to do anything productive because they were constantly under fire.
    Obviously, the Germans and the Japanese were far more civilized than the Iraqis. They were better educated and had very good work ethics, both of which are lacking in Iraq.
    On a final note, I would bet the house that future Iraq is definitely going to be much better than an Iraq ruled by Ouday or Qousay Saddam Husein.

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  13. HUSAM
    I also agree that the US left Iraq in bad shape, but I would not go to say worse than it was during Saddam. I had many chances to talk to Iraqis who are actively participating in remaking their country. The biggest problem they face is corruption, it is worse, in its impacts on the country, than the sectarian fights not that I am minimizing the effect of the sectarian fight.

    I would give Iraq three or four more election cycles before things stabilize and a cadre of new politicians emerge. But to think for a second that the Iraqis would have had a better future under the Takriti family, would not be un-refutable statement, but a statement that flies against history. Just look at North Korea, we now have the third generation of Great Leaders.

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  14. Zenobia,

    That was a really good article. Keep up the good work!

    A few things caught my eye…

    And it is bizarre that the narrative has been hammered for so many years and years that the biggest and most important achievement and source of pride in this age is to stubbornly sacrifice every other political need to the alter of “resistance” to Israel (a resistance strategy that barely works at all – one should add)- that it still takes precedent over every other concern. The abhorrence for Israeli power is so entirely consuming, mythologized, the threat again – fetishized- to the point where nothing else can be seen or considered.

    I agree. It is a “bizarre” narrative, that, I think, has been hijacked by the government-owed arab media and government-paid clergy for the past several decades.

    Part of the arab awakening will be to break down the walls and to unlock the minds (like in the cartoon shown) of those who have fallen in this trap.

    What in contrast is so dangerous about American power other than its support for Israel?

    Zenobia,

    How is support of Israel so “dangerous”? Do you think it would be safer if the US supported Assad, Hamas and Hezbollah? Your comment seems to show that even you aren’t totally convinced that the focus on “resistance” against Israel is “so entirely consuming”.

    Nevertheless, I agree with your conclusion (last 3 paragraphs) entirely and I commend you for that. Acquiring BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS, IMHO, is the first priority. After that, Arabs can resist or make peace to their hearts content.

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  15. OTW:

    “Just look at North Korea, we now have the third generation of Great Leaders”

    What about England, Saudia, etc… we have quintillion generation of Great Leaders don’t we?

    OTW, I am sorry but I have Iraqi families, uncles, cousins, etc… their lives were shattered. Those who could leave, left. I, not for second, believe that America went to war to remove a dictator. They are opportunist and they plundered and looted the place. Show me what schools they built, what infrastructure they left, which foundation they left….Nothing but as you claimed sectarian enclaves ruled by corrupt thugs. That is what they created.

    Give it 4-5 elections, etc… sorry bro, they divided it into pieces…they won’t come out of it.

    The U.S. has a very dirty, dark history, please spear me the effort.

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  16. akbar,
    i was being rhetorical with that question… in terms of the mindset presumption that – it is obvious- that the thing that is viewed as ‘dangerous’ is Israeli power, and therefore American power which supports it. but I am not saying that personally I view either one as all powerful and or would think it worth killing my country’s body and soul for the sake of supposedly thwarting any advantage the hated nation(s) has/have.

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  17. The Baby Weapon: How do we unlock Sheila’s Brain?

    Yes, the Palestinians are smart and educated people that have been subjected, in my view, to one of the worst injustices of the 20th century and yes I do mean worse than what the Jews were subjected to at the hands of the horrible Hitler. No one is able to help the Palestinians and God knows they have tried everything to help themselves to no avail. They are facing a ferocious enemy, who has tremendous power. The Palestinians know what I am talking about. The only scare that Israel has is demographic. It is true and has nothing to do with racism. It is the reality of today. Our only weapon is our number.

    Sheila,

    So the baby weapon is the new plan to Free the Palestinians™? Israelis aren’t as concerned with the birthrates as much as you think. Moreover, Arab-Israelis may prefer to keep their Israeli citizenship than to trade it for a Palestinian one. Why? Because Israeli-Arabs are freer and more economically viable in Israel than they are under the PA or Hamas. So maybe Israeli-Arabs feel better in Israel just like you feel better in the USA. This shouldn’t be a shock to you.

    Many Israelis would mind living in an Arab majority Israel, knowing that the Knesset and Israeli laws would continue to promote freedom and political parties and coalitions would have to woo minority parties as well. I can think of worse things, like living under a Nazi regime like Hitler.

    Which brings me to my second point, that according to you, the Palestinians were treated “worse than what the Jews were subjected to at the hands of the horrible Hitler”.

    Sheila, I am not one who favors playing the “my wound is worse than yours” game, but since you mentioned it, you really should have your head examined. For Allah’s sake, the Syrians have been treated worse than the Palestinians!

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  18. Husam
    Are you serious equating England of today with N. Korea, England has been a constitutional monarchy for a long time, the queen is a symbol, much like the flag. No one who criticizes her faces death.

    And what about KSA, it is an absolute monarchy, their turn will come when their turn will come, and I am hoping that it is not far from now. I have in past asked my interlocutors how about so and so, and honestly Husam, discussion will become useless if one has to cite and list every single injustice or every single dictator before one can make a point. Sure, the US has dark history, so did the Islamic empire, the Roman empire, the soviet empire, and the list goes on, it is the nature of empires. But what we are arguing is that not all who say they are defending against the US are better than the US. Over the past 40 years, those regimes opposing the US, at least in rhetoric, have been solely a club of dictators and tyrants who oppressed and murdered their own people and halted development of their nations. The US’s own club included both democratic countries and few tyrants, with more of the latter converging to more liberal democracies than in the opposing club.

    As for the Iraqis, your experience would probably be more fitting description than mine. Mine was with government professionals (from both sects) and not from the victims of the sectarian violence. So on their reality, i will yield.

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  19. Sheila:

    You and I are too far apart on this topic to reconcile our difference. I don’t want to deviate from Syria and get into a tit for tat. You and OTW (who lamented about indoctrination) view the U.S. as a winner and I view it as the trouble maker. While OTW has proven my sources weak before (and I accepted it)…however, I am beyond doubt that history, books, biographies ex-politicians, ex-CIA, ex-military officials, leaked reports, etc… are telling the truth.

    Asking any country to lay down its arms while your neighbour has a large cache of it is a utopian fantasy.

    And why should Iran not seak Nuclear power? Says who, God?

    BTW, I find America has a lot to offer and find Americans to be for the most part cool. However, American foriegn policy, its interference in every corner of the world is a hinderance to peace and stability and its history and record on the world stage suck to say the least.

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  20. re OTW comment @ 2:53,
    yes, interesting point and problem. I guess I am suggesting without having thought it out very well … that there must be an alternative formulation of “resistance” that is no longer one of such negative consequences with little success. And part of selling that so to speak is to construct a reformulation that can be visualized and articulated. That is to say – it doesn’t mean that one has to argue that countries have to submit in some sense to Israeli dominance or control or view of the confrontation, nor do Arab peoples or people of the middle east in general have to give up on working toward the achievement of both acquiring rightful land back or on acquiring human rights for Palestinians. However, the methods and ways of supposedly working towards this have clearly failed, and this means that they should be abandoned in favor of higher forms of political and international non-miliatarized struggle.
    Again, the balance of power in military terms is not going to change any time soon- regardless of thwarting by ‘resistance’ and guerilla warfare. For example, the Hezbollah at its peak can drive the Israelis out of Lebanon, and they can be a nuisance and everlasting headache, but they cannot destroy Israel (even if that were an acceptable goal, which i am not saying here that it is), nor can they ever “win”…- that is myth.
    Palestine, West Bank/Gaza is a different situation, but nonetheless – breeding is not really a self preserving strategy except in the most crude sense. Yes- the number inevitable put Israelis in an untenable position – a paradox and dilemma. But at the same time – during conflict- the Gazan are sitting in their own sewage.
    Having seven or eight children is also self destructive ultimately. At the end of the day – those children have to be fed and go to school, and drink clean water…. and those basic necessities are going to slip away very fast…. faster than the numbers will ever somehow drive the Israelis into a forced peace. The suffering cost to the Pals is too great to rely on such an untenable plan.

    Again, I would like to see an alternative plan to the conventionally held mythology of resistance put forth.
    This should be understood as something that can be much better achieved as Sheila has stated – not by attempting to build up militias or traditional military that will inevitable fail, but instead by strength achieved through economic vitality and respect of the international community, by having a populace that can stand on equal footing diplomatically and economically with the Israelis and the other surrounding nations, where there is not such incredible hypocrisy and lack of integrity infused in every attempt to seek justice.

    Like

  21. “What about England, Saudia, etc… we have quintillion generation of Great Leaders don’t we?”

    Um…the monarchy in England doesn’t have the power to set policy. Not since George III lost the American colonies.

    “It may not be as relevant in Homs, but for sure it is in Aleppo, Damascus, and a few other places.”

    Very much relevant in Homs. There is a sizable Christian community in Homs. While there are a significant number of Christians who have wholeheartedly joined the revolution, the majority are just trying to make it through these crazy times.

    I honestly can’t blame them. The SNC, while having come a long way in the past six months, still isn’t at the stage where minorities will take a chance on them. In Homs, no one likes the regime. Even the Homsi Alawites are well nigh fed up with how badly the regime has let things get out of control.

    But alas, some people just aren’t prepared to throw in their lot with a movement whose most visible leaders are Khalid Abu Salah and Abdulbaset Sarot, courageous as they may be, are still leaders at the community level. What the opposition needs is a leader at the national level. Hence all the impatience with the political opposition to attain an international and national standing and prestige, sufficient enough to carry weight in the world’s capitals.

    Syria right now is leaderless, it’s international standing at an all time low. The regime is sanctioned and a pariah everywhere except Moscow and Tehran, while the opposition has yet to produce a leadership of sufficient stature to take its place. But the difference is, like OTW pointed out, that the menhebaks are stuck with Besho and all his bungling no matter what, while the opposition has the flexibility of picking and choosing the person(s) who prove most equal to the challenges of the times.

    After all, how many leaders did the Palestinians have? One, Arafat, for decades, and look where that got them. While Israeli political leadership is like a ferris wheel; one day you are up, the next you are down, only to be up again.

    Like

  22. Zenobia
    I think your original article touched on the issue and you have expanded in your follow up as well as in the discussion with AP. Could it be that the mythology of the resistance is fed by mythologizing the enemy?.

    Like

  23. OTW:

    “the queen is a symbol, much like the flag”

    Eh? OTW, you can’t become a citizen of Canada without swearing oath and fealty to the Queen, her heirs and successors. Symbolic you would say, historic gesture, flag…etc. Fine. How about if it were that Syrians would have to swear oath to the House of Saud, due to their protection of Mecca, etc…I am sure you, yourself would not call that “symbolic”, you would call it fanatical, extremist, backward, ludicrous, etc. See the irony. Perhaps everyone is indoctrinated. Till this day, you can’t join the Canadian Armed Forces till this day without swearing allegiance to the Queen of England.. to protect her and her family. It is written in black and white. Symbolic my arse. You sign the dotted line and you are under oath.

    Here is a little entertainment for you, Prince Philip in his own autobiography…

    “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation.” Sounds like Assad calling Syrians parasites no? But of course England is housing their Assad in the highest of royal palaces.

    “But what we are arguing is that not all who say they are defending against the US are better than the US.”

    If you put it that way, I see where you are coming from. But what I am saying is the reverse is also true: that those who come in the name of freedom (the US) are not far better than those they are delivering the message to. And in some cases as in Iraq, this message was a false one used to rob the Iraqis of their oil and resources and rob the American citizens their hard earned dollars to feed their military profits and industry.

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  24. Dear Husam,

    I am not a fan of US hegemony in the middle east, I find it to be in a lot of cases shortsighted and arrogant in many ways (Iraq is a prime example of that), however that is not to say having the US in your corner is not a beneficial thing (Israel, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan are great example of that)

    I would rather US influence over Russian/Chinese, for the Russians are still experiencing growing pains from their Soviet era (and honestly their track record with their neighbours and Human rights is not all that great), and China might be politically secure today eventually a couple billion people are going to start demanding a lot more from their government. The US economy might be reeling from the mess Wall Street put them in, that does not mean that it will not regain the lustre it had.

    As for our glorious arab armies, they are made of wooden soldiers that are great for propping up in parades. The best armed and most experienced army the modern arab world had (over ten year experience in the Iran Iraq war, and Gulf War 1) fell to the shock and awe of the coalition of the willing in matter of a week if not days. Every man in military garb that swore to protect us ended up caging us, I just have no trust what so ever in any arab army for they are more willing to kill us than defend us. I say dissolve the army and rebuild it right from the ground up, for the army right now has been spoiled rotten all the way through to its core. Build an army like Sweden’s for instance that is lean yet more than capable to strike and defend, build our own weapons (if Israel can do it with half of our population why can’t we?), and more importantly have an army that is truly for protecting the people and not a tool to suppress the people.

    There is no za3eem that will come to be a uniting cause for all arab nations, the French and English drew up lines in the sand that we are more than willing to spill our blood defending. Days of empires are gone, now its little fiefdoms that we call home. This whole resistance concept has been nothing but a pipe dream that has been spoon fed to us since childhood used by wolves to subdue us into little sheep so they can prey on us.

    Is it not sad that our own army has killed more Syrians than Israel has, and all in the name of “resisting the zionist” may I add. There is a huge difference between resisting and defending, once we come to understand that our army and nation will be on a much better course.

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  25. Zenobia:

    Please guys, you are sounding like Harvard intellects who never got out of the dorms. Israel only came into existence by its armed struggle, by American money, by terrorist acts, by killing and assasinations.

    And here we are, Syria must do it the dovey lovey way education, etc…

    Lesson # 1: Economic Vitality 🙂 If just half of every Husam, Zenobia and Khaled sitting on their arses send $200 to the Palestinians that would be a 10 billion/year to revive their life and buy their way out of misery. Money is name of the game. Why can’t we Arabs understand this game and play it? We are too cheap, too careless and too confrontational.

    Same for Syria, the expats do squat shit to help there bretheren. But we are good to shoot the shit.

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  26. Husam
    Allegiance to the queen is an internal issue to the commonwealth. Aren’t there any parties in Canada that are against the monarchy and who want to abolish the ties to the British crown. I bet there are, and I guarantee you than none of them lost their lives in doing so. Wise nations pick their battles, and are smart enough to find their own ways to fighting those battles with help of friends. In our region, the real battle is not the US hegemony, it is development, and soon enough, it will be water, food, jobs, and basic necessities of life. As long as we have to squander our wealth, and for Syria, meager as it is, on fake national pride, and songs and portraits and statues for the bunch of murderous thieves who proclaim that fake pride and honor, we will get no where.

    I love what Son of Damascus wrote

    Every man in military garb that swore to protect us ended up caging us, it sums it up very well.

    Lesson # 1: Economic Vitality 🙂 If just half of every Husam, Zenobia and Khaled sitting on their arses send $200 to the Palestinians that would be a 10 billion/year to revive their life and buy their way out of misery. Money is name of the game. Why can’t we Arabs understand this game and play it? We are too cheap, too careless and too confrontational.

    Like it very much, albeit I fail to see how being confrontational affect our laziness. If i am to say anything about it, it is the feeling of not belonging due to our dictatorial regimes that makes it so and the knowledge, with near certainty (again justified or unjustified) that a lot of the money will end up buying luxury life for the corrupt leaders who buy and sell the cause every day or to create a HAMAS police force that duplicates with Fatah guys what the Syrian regime does to its opposition or the other way around, with impunity.

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  27. OTW:

    “Well, Husam, here you go, the US is not interfering in Syria. It seems that they are leaving it to the Russians, the AL, and to Iran.”

    Not for now so it seems, but OTW, come on you know better than that. I dare you listen to this 1 min condensed version of what this 4 star general of the US ARMY had to say back in 2007 about Syrian, Iran and few others.

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  28. Son of Damascus:

    Well said. I totally agree with rebuilding and all of what you said. The question is how do we get our fiefdom? Uncle Sam?

    We are not some Sweden in the far north, we are right in center of the Middle East! Our geopolitical landscape is complex and has been since Adam. From biblical prophecies to sectarianism, it is so important that I am afraid we won’t be allowed to rebuild.

    Israel did with money not with its birth rate (see my previous comment).

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  29. OTW,

    Aren’t there any parties in Canada that are against the monarchy and who want to abolish the ties to the British crown

    A few parties do one of whom became the official opposition in parliament (Bloc Quebecois), but my favourite would be The Work Less Party their official motto is “Alarm Clocks kill Dreams” (not sure what their stance is towards the Queen, but I can concur with their sentiments towards sleeps)

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  30. Husam
    No need to dare me, I am a fan of Clarke, and have not changed my position about George Bush and his team. The war in Iraq was not necessary, but it happened. Had George Bush declared his plans then or the plans of his team publicly, he would have never been allowed to go to war with Iraq. But lying and deception led to the war, devastating to both sides.

    However, the war is done, we have two things to do about it first would be to continue the battle to hold Bush and his team for crimes against humanity as well as for the lies and deceptions, the second is to try and make sure that we in the US do not elect such rascals anymore. Neither is easily accomplished. But those trying to do so are not losing their lives over it.

    In the last 7 years the world has changed. The Arab spring started by Arabs, and will be completed by them. Nato bombed Qaddafi forces in Libya, but It was Libyans who did the fighting and dying on both sides. Even in Syria, it is Syrians who are dying. I refuse to begrudge them their dignity, which the are proving every day that they are worth it, by making them dummies in anyone’s hand. Masses are moving, and there is no way on earth such real resistance to murder and bullying can be sustained, not even if the US planned it for 20 years. Honestly Husam. Insisting that there is a conspiracy, is one thing, but saying that the 6000+ people who were killed by the thug are dumb asses who are being played by invisible strings does two things, it justifies the regime’s repression, and it offends their memories. I know you are better than that and that you do not intend it in any way, but from where I stand, this is how it looks.

    Both the US and Israel are irrelevant to what is happening on the streets of Syria. Their only relevance is to serve the regime’s propaganda.

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  31. OTW,

    Re my Lesson # 1: Economic Vitality:

    The Israelis did it with checks and balances which included ever left, right and center not to forget the ultra-ultra-orthodox jews. Are we prepared to allow large sums of money to flow to Salafis, MB without calling them traitors, Islamist fundamantalist, etc… Even absent of checks and balances.

    The money that was stolen from the Palestinians was money coming from governments, the UN and sheikdoms via Pal. Auth.

    The Israelis did it by private organization all over the world who sent money to whomever they wished. The Ashkanazis sent money to Ashkanazis inside Israel, and so on. There are tens of thousands organisations who did and continue to do so.

    They had one common goal, the creation and protection of the State of Israel. Do we truly have such aspirations, sadly I don’t see it. We are fat cats who are sitting abroad playing Harvard think tanks.

    We have no common goal, we are busy “confronting” each others views and forget to focus on the main issue: Sryia. And, yes money matters.

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  32. @ Husam at 4:18…

    and your point? …what are you going to do about that?realistically. I am American. I hate that same history that is very dark, and yet the contradiction is that it is also a place with one of the finest legal systems around the globe and one of the most interestingly diverse cultural lands across the globe.

    but can I stop this empire? Can anyone take down the military industrial complex? or the oil industrial complex?
    Will “occupy Wall street” do it? nope. Will the muckrakers? will the progressives? … i think not.

    As you know…. somebody… connected to all that killed JFK… and did anyone ever prove that? even Earl Warren…no.

    So, nobody in little Syria or anywhere on the globe should hold their breath.
    I will tell you what is going to bring all that down right now….if you want the truth.
    It isn’t going to be some insurgents or militias or Arab armies of any sort.
    One, is that China is going to eat the United States alive economically….. in the near future…. but…
    more than that….

    Mother Earth will take it down. All this “dark history” as you call it – has always been a capitalist global enterprise – whether it occurred in Central and South America from earlier centuries (or even California/Mexico) or in Asia, and now the Middle East. It is about wealth. And in our century it was about the exploitation of natural resources and principally oil resources.
    There is no mystery there.
    And “Obama and his cronies’ as you put it – are little grains of sand in this beach…. little nobodies in the large schema…
    Despite the connection of Dick Cheney and Bushies to some of this oil story…. even they are small fry in this larger structural story… a story of economy and capitalism and the basis of the total American economy that has entirely been built around oil consumption on the one hand – and the weapons manufacturers on the other who finance the military interventions around the globe that are meant to ensure that these oil reserves are available continuously and at the cost we want to pay, and ahead of our biggest competitors (namely China).
    You know this story.

    But we are all peons in it.
    What are we to do in this world to not support that? Drive a Prius? Not eat beef? Vote against the candidate who at least seems less beholden to these large interests.
    At times it seems we are as powerless as normal Americans as any Syrian or Palestinian…in terms of our ability to choose the nature of our system and our government’s values or where the money is going.

    Opposing militaries will not solve this.

    The thing that will bring it crashing down is when our natural environment becomes so enraged and destructive that we are helpless to continue in the way we have.
    The burning of oil must go.
    It should have been gone yesterday.
    But in all likelihood – there is going to be global environmental crises arising in the next decade or two that is going to seem incomprehensible to us now. And we are so unprepared for it.

    Syria should be worried about that – more than about anything else.

    On the subject of babies and making more of them….it is ironic that this was brought up ( i imagine somewhat facetiously, i hope) as a solution to anything. Here are two quotes I just happen to have read recently from Andrew Tabler’s newly published book:

    “In the three decades following independence in 1946, the Syrian government encouraged couples to have large families, based on the idea that Syria had the resources to provide of ra much larger poulation. By 1975, population growth rates reached 5 percent- one of the highest in the world at the time. The regime’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in 1982 was so fearsome that many Syrians were forced to stay at home, causing a decade-long increase in birthrates. During the 1980’s and early 1990’s, Syria was among the top twenty fastest-growing populations in the world.” (p.18-19)…
    But by this time – the “massive demographic wave” was hitting the economy full force – and whilst the Baath Party continued holding up socialism as an economic ideal, the public sector’s ability to “absorb the labor market entrants was rapidly declining, however due to decreasing oil production.”

    What I find interesting – in addition to the sad notion that any State thought it could afford to encourage large birthrates in the current environmental water crisis – is also the the glaring fact that- I hope we all notice again and again…that these dictators are doing the OIL DANCE , the OIL Tango if you will WITH THE United States and the Soviets and everyone willing to play.
    They were busy pumping more Iraqi oil across their secret pipelines. They were busying selling contracts to Total and Conoco etc when it suited them to do so.
    Somebody is a whore and somebody is a John here, and I am not sure it matters which is which….but we are allllll going to pay the price in the end if our societies-
    BOTH THE ARAB STATES and the UNITED STATES don’t change their value systems and their priorities.
    All this supposed power, military, economic, is built on such faulty merits. Such failing ideas at this point.
    And GERMANY, which wasn’t even ALLOWED to have a military after world war to – has the only stable and sustaining economy in Europe at this point – and is pretty much the master producer of Wind Power technology and maybe even solar.
    You want to talk about Power, that is where the power is going to lie.

    Does Syria want to survive!? or sit there… pointing some pathetic third rate outdated weapon at Israel while drying up into dust in the next twenty years and talking about how the nation is better because they “resisted” being dominated.

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  33. OTW:

    1. You did not go past 30 seconds of Clark’s testimony. Because if you did, you would know it was about Syria and Iran and not Iraq. So again, since you are fan of Clark, I dare you listen to the last 30 seconds.

    2. You said: “Honestly Husam. Insisting that there is a conspiracy, is one thing, but saying that the 6000+ people who were killed by the thug are dumb asses”

    I know you long enough to know you are not purposely putting words in my mouth, you probably missed it. The dumb arses are us the Syrian “Expats” (it says so in the my comment). Please re-read my comment @ 5.04.

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  34. Does Syria want to survive!? or sit there… pointing some pathetic third rate outdated weapon at Israel

    Zenobia, those weapons don’t seem to be pointed at Israel, they are being actually fired against Syrians who paid for them and are paying the salaries of those thugs whose fingers are on the triggers.

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  35. Zenobia:

    “and your point? …what are you going to do about that?”

    This is exactly what I said 1 week ago. Blogging, Demonstrating, writing to RT, and MPs and Senate, creating Syrian Think Tanks, etc…is not going to get us anywhere.

    Israel was created with money and one idealogy: Home for the Jews! Sure secularist included, and live there among others etc… Are we prepared to allow a Home for the Muslims in Syria! I am talking about a real free home with no mukhabarati dictating the sermons. Will they be allowe to wear and not to wear what they want, etc…?

    You finally came out of closet, you.

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  36. OTW,

    I only mentioned Syria & Iran because they are directly connected and they are in the news now! The othes are mission accomplished or TBA.

    I wanted to hear your views on this.

    And whether you and the secularist would allow money to flow to MB, etc…

    Like

  37. OTW,
    yes, i know. I just meant…to all those Syrians who are saying….ohhh if only this would just blow over and go back to “normal”…. we could just continue on our way… and be a proud nation of rejectionist resisters….
    and … that someone this will ever ‘succeed’ in bringing about what? the downfall of your humiliator projected outward?
    yes, the real oppressor – humiliator – is right there in the paternal authoritarian! no doubt about it. but it is a huge huge defense (psychologically speaking) to project this out in to an external enemy ( i agree the mythological “Jew” enemy at this point- so sinister and a cheater in the relished accounts, ie power achieved by devious means)… and hence the myth of prevailing over this externalized enemy.

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  38. @husam,

    i think many would counter that being a “home for the Jews” was not the crucial key ingredient leading to the astounding success of Israel, economically / culturally speaking.

    I think much more relevant than that is that it was a the destination of some of the most successful Europeans remaining alive after World War II. Prior to that – it was still kind of a backwater.
    These people brought all their knowledge and strengths with them – just as they (who also emigrated) brought to the United States.
    This was not money – but the power to be resourceful and make money! This money continued to be transferred through all channels to Israel as well.

    So, yes, the people of the middle east are not very organized and generous in these terms. But I would agree with OTW that the beliefs about what happens to money and about civic responsibility and public trust have contributed to this kind of selfishness and insular thinking about one’s connection to one’s homeland and group.

    I think we need to do everything…. anything we have to offer. But building a system of economic support and trust and community building – and institutions of the sort you envy of the Jewish communities across the globe that support Israel is a huge endeavor – that has to start from the ground up, in seedlings… little by little. It doesn’t just appear suddenly. These are institutions.
    And before that comes dialogue…as loathsome as that may seem to you to resemble ‘think tanks’ and intellectuals.
    You might want to also remember that Jews have comprised a large portion of the worlds most astute intellectuals too. So, perhaps that is not a bad thing to emulate also.

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  39. Modern Arab Armies were created by colonial powers like Britain and France to serve their own interests and to oppress and plunder the local populations, even after Independnece they have not changed. Look at Egypt, the only thing the Army can do is run over Copts with their Tanks and strip a woman of her dignity and kick her in the stomach.

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  40. My comment is not related to your discussion, so my apologies.

    I have not seen much being done by the SNC regarding the Midan bombing. I am referring to the undeniable acts of planting evidence and tampering with a crime scene. The video that showed the man with a microphone planting grocery bags is priceless. I was hoping that the SNC would send a detailed report about the incident to the AL and the UN and request an AL or inter national investigation into the matter.

    I was expecting the SNC to send press releases about al-Jadid video to the mainstream media and try to have major news networks to cover it. As far as I know, only Aljazeera and Alarabiya covered the planting of evidence.

    The SNC need to make a lot noise about that and demand an international investigation into the blasts as soon as possible. The government has egg all over its face and the SNC needs to cease the opportunity. What’s worst is that the government cleaned up the crime scene right away as reported by our dear SGID.

    Dear OTW and Haytham. Can you talk to the SNC about that. Also, can you please inform them that they must have a strong press team. They need to hire people who are top experts in the field.

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  41. Regarding the AL observers, I think that the SNC needs to deal with them in a professional and cool-headed way (I am not saying they are not, but it’s not clear to me how the SNC is dealing with the matter). The SNC and opposition need to win the cooperation of the observers and not alienate them. If they need to hold their hands (metaphorically speaking) to help them do their mission right, then be it. They need to be patient with the observers and be proactive. If they see problems, they should raise them in writing with the AL and copy the press on it. This needs to be done in the most professional way. Having top consultants in the field help you is the key.

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  42. Thank you Husam for being here and speaking up.
    I have no time to read the whole argument but I totally agree with your assessment of Iraq. And Zenobia, you make for very accessible reading even for a non intellectual like me.
    This being said, it feels like some of you don’t even read the news from Palestine.
    We can expect nothing from the present (and even past) zio government.

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  43. OTW stated:

    Well, Husam, here you go, the US is not interfering in Syria. It seems that they are leaving it to the Russians, the AL, and to Iran.

    Excellent point. The US is horrible until you need her.

    Husam said:

    They had one common goal, the creation and protection of the State of Israel. Do we truly have such aspirations, sadly I don’t see it. We are fat cats who are sitting abroad playing Harvard think tanks.

    We have no common goal, we are busy “confronting” each others views and forget to focus on the main issue: Sryia. And, yes money matters.

    I agree. The jewish people are very good organizers. It is a shame arabs and jews don’t work more together. Interestingly, jews and arabs work fairly well together in Israel.

    The Palestinians were used to protect arab depots both as a weapon against Israel and also as an excuse for decades of abuse.

    OTW said:

    However, the war is done, we have two things to do about it first would be to continue the battle to hold Bush and his team for crimes against humanity as well as for the lies and deceptions, the second is to try and make sure that we in the US do not elect such rascals anymore.

    Americans can elect whoever they want. Let’s see if Obama gets re-elected. After all, like Bush, he successfully conducted a “regime change” in the ME, this time Libya. Anyone complaining?

    OTW,

    Like Zenobia, I find you also WAVER between the realization that Israel and the US are the problem and are NOT the problem. I say, let it go. We are NOT the problem. Make peace with it.

    Let’s go back to Bush. Condi Rice basically told the Israelis (not an actual quote): “Please take care of Assad”, during the war in Lebanon, 2006. Israel decided against it.

    In light of what is going on today, would that really be such a bad thing??

    I’ll re-state my opinion again for the umpteenth time: now is the opportunity for the arabs to chart their own destiny – to breath freedom, to create opportunity. To vote war or vote peace or vote neither. Freedom is a WIN-WIN for everyone.

    And why should Iran not seak Nuclear power? Says who, God?

    God isn’t the decision maker. Iran already has nuclear power, however, the decision makers in the IAEA, apparently, are the ones Iran has to deal with. The question isn’t nuclear power, the question is whether the Iranians are building nuclear weapons and whether they are complying with the IAEA and the NPT agreement.

    Sound familiar?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Iran

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  44. AP
    You don’t miss an opportunity, do you?. Where is the wavering. Many of those who have the interest in constitutional government in the US believe GWB got a way with murder by doing what he did. So spare me your ability to classify people. Your comment on my words regarding election are both unnecessary and reflexive. Saying that it is difficult to guarantee that we do not elect a rascal is no less democratic than your reflexive quibbles about Americans and Obama. It reflects the understanding the democracy does not guarantee that your side always wins. What you thought is a smart response was in that case, redundant.

    Also, blaming someone whom i think is a foolish president for a war he initiated and conducted , does not equate to making the US as the cause of every bad problem. Having gained significant experience with similar situations, to me, equating the two as you did is very much a symptom of personality cult problem, and like the men7ebbakjis, it shows tendency to equate blaming the fool president with maligning the country. I doubt you want to be called a menhebbakji, do you? Seriously AP, your reflexive responses may work in other places. But not here, and not on me any more.

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  45. It’s about Time

    Where is the wavering.

    Here:

    1.) Zenobia stated in her article:

    The abhorrence for Israeli power is so entirely consuming, mythologized, the threat again – fetishized- to the point where nothing else can be seen or considered.

    And as such, this fear and obsession – with American power or Israeli power viewed as part and parcel- can only be understood as having been deeply imprinted with the

    sting of humiliation and injured pride, anger, resentment, fused now with bigotry for many.

    (to which I agree)

    2.) Then Zenobia falls into the same trap she described above when she stated:

    What in contrast is so dangerous about American power other than its support for Israel?

    Zenobia states that “Israeli power is so entirely consuming, mythologized, the threat again – fetishized- to the point where nothing else can be seen or considered.”

    yet continues to believe that “American power” isn’t “so dangerous…other than its support for Israel”.

    So is “Israeli power” a concern or not? I sense that Zenobia is still wavering.

    OTW,

    1.) You made several observations and comments that I agree with:

    All of the sudden we see such people willing to take, full doze or in parts, the regime’s propaganda, about a cosmic conspiracy, and accepting a narrative of the

    events unfolding around them that is both detached from reality, and demeaning to their brothers and sisters who are being slaughtered by the regime.

    I also agree that the US left Iraq in bad shape, but I would not go to say worse than it was during Saddam. I had many chances to talk to Iraqis who are actively

    participating in remaking their country. The biggest problem they face is corruption, it is worse, in its impacts on the country, than the sectarian fights not that I

    am minimizing the effect of the sectarian fight.

    Well, Husam, here you go, the US is not interfering in Syria. It seems that they are leaving it to the Russians, the AL, and to Iran.

    Could it be that the mythology of the resistance is fed by mythologizing the enemy?.

    In our region, the real battle is not the US hegemony, it is development, and soon enough, it will be water, food, jobs, and basic necessities of life. As long as we

    have to squander our wealth, and for Syria, meager as it is, on fake national pride, and songs and portraits and statues for the bunch of murderous thieves who proclaim

    that fake pride and honor, we will get no where. “…that a lot of the money will end up buying luxury life for the corrupt leaders who buy and sell the cause every day

    or to create a HAMAS police force that duplicates with Fatah guys what the Syrian regime does to its opposition or the other way around, with impunity.”

    Both the US and Israel are irrelevant to what is happening on the streets of Syria.

    I also agree that the US left Iraq in bad shape, but I would not go to say worse than it was during Saddam.

    2.) Then your you fell back and wavered:

    However, the war is done, we have two things to do about it first would be to continue the battle to hold Bush and his team for crimes against humanity as well as

    for the lies and deceptions, the second is to try and make sure that we in the US do not elect such rascals anymore.

    It is difficult to show a benefit when the war to topple Saddam Hussein took so many lives at such a high cost. OK Saddam killed quite a bit more Iraqis, and who is

    blaming the invisible “insurgents” who have murdered thousands? I look at the American CIvil War in comparison;600,000 Americans lost their lives! But look what it

    accomplished. Freedom and unity. Saddam would still be in power today without the US leading the effort to topple him.

    Also, you didn’t answer my hypothetical question about the Israelis refusal to go after Assad in 2006. What do you think about that? Maybe it was a mistake.

    3.) Lastly, we still have Sheila’s ultimate dream of “defeating Israel”: babies.

    If the mythology is to be confronted, the first thing to do is to present the arab people the truth: “Is defeating Israel the main priority?”. Apparently, here and on

    SC, this is still a difficult question to answer. And this warped priority is “F-ing Up” the Arab world. Israel has no territorial claims against Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. Israelis willing to sign a peace deal with Syria and return the Golan. Final borders with Palestine need to be negotiated and are a few square kilometers in question.

    Time to spread the word: Israel isn’t the enemy

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  46. OTW,

    I agree that you’re doing the best you can!;) Keep up the good work.

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  47. Let us actually use the points put forth by the regime itself.
    1. Syria is not a democracy, the President himself and his spouse have indicated that fact more than once. The article 8 of the constitution enshrines the single party system in leading all aspects of life in Syria. Therefore in a country that has an explosion of the population, increased connectivity to the world, increased education there is now a demand for participatory rule and this emplies CHANGE and it implies abolition in principle and in practice of the egregious non democracy.
    2. Syria is ruled by the Arab Baath party and henceforth excludes some non Arab minorities such as the Kurds and Armenians and Circassians from the ability to organize politically and socially and linguistically and culturally apart from the Arab society
    3. Syria has a directed state economy based on the socialist model that has failed and it was liberalized to allow for a monopoly of the few over the many. Therefore it needs to be dismantled. It is not sustainable. It is draining the effort and resources of the people into a sink hole
    4. There is no independent and honest judiciary the linchpin of the reform strategy. Without it there is no way that crony capitalism and graft and arbitrary abuse of power can be stopped. Help from the UN and other bodies is needed to reform the system.
    5. There is an urgent need for independent media to enter the country and see what the situation is on the ground. Balance between so called pro and anti regime media can be achieved by having RT and Aljazeera, PressTV and Alarabyia, Chinese TV and France 24, Venezualan TV and the BBC.
    I do not know why and how those pro regime would object to any these measures.
    Now the narrative of armed gangs will lose its impact as the regime has cornered itself into a dead end. If there are armed gangs and only armed gangs it has not been able to stop them in 10 months and therefore it is incompetent. If it is legitimate resistance and self defense then it has used brutality to crush peaceful demonstrations. If there are genuine opposition then bring them into the regime structure and appoint them as ministers and what have you. If they are genuine opposition they will refuse without substantial guarantees if they accept they commit political suicide at this stage.
    6. Question the legitimacy of changing the constitution to allow for the President to be nominated at age 34. How is that possible? Since the office of the president is that of commander in chief and that of supreme court judge and that of the secretary of the party he and he primarily is responsible for the situation. He is either incompetent or dictatorial. He cannot be the agent and target of genuine change without checks and balances.
    This is basic logic using regime points.

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  48. Akbar,
    I replied to your misreading of my so called wavering line @4:04. I think it was just a badly written line on my part or you couldn’t see that I am vocalizing a particular view (not in this case or necessarily MY view)… in order to state the thoughts of others. go read it again and quit “quibbling” as OTW says.
    It seems YOU are also “obsessed” with trying to show at all times that Arabs are plagued with prejudice.

    Since I am here, I will throw my five cents with OTW as well on this issue of Bush. My critique of the error of those overseas not looking at the priorities they should for reviving their own country rather than sacrificing to the presumed ‘resistance’, IN NO WAY – means that I excuse the crimes of Bush and company. Nor does it mean have anything to do with faith in the Israeli gov (to reassure Annie) or mean that I think what happened in Iraq wasn’t a tragedy on many levels- and unethically brought about despite the positive outcome of Sadaam being gone.
    In Syria, however, I do not believe we are dealing with a similar situation. This is not a foreign invasion and I do not advocate any foreign invasion. I truly believe that we have an organic uprising that has to seize the moment despite the risks involved of many sharks in the neighborhood and across the globe looking to take a bite.

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  49. Ehsani, I caught your article via Google alerts. As always, an excellent piece.

    All over the country, power cuts of four hours and more are common. The price of basic food stuff like eggs and cooking oil has almost doubled. The formerly bustling Hamra street in Homs has been completely shuttered, with the exception of Syriatel. Mazot is now merely difficult to find, not impossible, but at inflated prices of 17.5 lira per liter, and sometimes even 25 per liter (the official price is 15.5). There are very long ques for gas cylinders, which have doubled in cost.

    Ten days before the New Year’s, Internet access in Syria crawled to a trickle, with maximum speeds half those of dial ups. Since ISPs pay international carriers by the terabytes of data transfer, it might have been a way for the telecom company to save money while fleecing its customers.

    A government that can’t find the means to supply electricity to the country, is one that is existing on very shaky foundations. But hey, Suria bi khayr. LOL!

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  50. I am with Husam on the invasion of Iraq: it was an international crime against humanity (millions of people demonstrated against the invasion in Europe, Canada, South America and the United States before it started, and were told by Bush that he would not be swayed by public opinion). As far as the lives of everyday Iraqis, those with whom I have spoken or corresponded say similar things to Aboud’s post about life in Syria before the uprising/revolution. Ask the 2 million Iraqi refugees in Damascus what they think! I recommend British journalist Patrick Cockburn’s on-site writings on Iraq. — I wish he would write more on Syria now.

    The “Iraqization” of Syria is one of the two worst options — the other one being the regime staying put. The Israelis “taking out Assad” on Condi Rice’s suggestion (and the US flying in a Syrian Ahmad Chalabi? ) would not have been , understatement, a good idea.

    I would like to see a “new” Syria making links with the other America : Brazil, Argentina, Chile, even Venezuela.. countries with experience getting rid of dictators and working toward building social democracies. I think the opposition needs a unified stance for that to begin happening.

    The cynical use of the cause of the Palestinians (that is, to have a viable state, to put an end to the occupation of the West Bank, to the illegal settlements, and to the ongoing strangulation of Gaza — aims supported also by some courageous Israelis) by the Syrian regime has very little to do with the Palestinians themselves, or their cause itself. Zenobia, thanks for the way-back comment on enforced high birthrate from an ecological point of view. It also sucks for women. And if you’re not permitted to build maternity clinics, day care centers or schools, as in Gaza, it sucks for society in general. But right now, Besho & co don’t have time for the Palestinians, I think.

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  51. AP
    I had a chance to read your argument one more time. You are wrong again, my view about GWB is reflective of my US Citizenship and I have the right to call for his trial. Seriously, please consider what you write, otherwise, you are trying to chill any speech that does not conform to your political views. Neoconservatism is not the only political current in the US and for you to imagine that if one sees urgent priorities for the ME countries in way you may agree with as a reason to prevent one from being critical of the neoconservative, and to call someone holding both views as wavering is not appropriate, nor pluralist. It is not all or nothing. I will never become a neocon. I still dislike them and their approach. If you can tolerate that, fine, if not, so be it, but you have no foundation to call that wavering unless yours is the “absolute” truth, which then makes you as totalitarian as those you claim to be against.

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  52. Dear umm nuwâs
    The Syrian people will be the ones “taking out assad”, not condi, GWB, nor Obama or Sarkozi. It will be painful, but they will succeed. The regime is already no-longer a government and it has become a bunch of armed gangs. The affairs of the state are becoming worse by the day, and these gangs are failing and showing how far are they from governance.

    Everyone knows that there is no way back, they last , the higher the chances of civil and/or sectarian war. I think this should be one of the messages. Saving Syria, and I may add, Lebanon, from Iraq’s fate can only be accomplished by the rapid removal of this regime. For the foolish president to think that he will be able to turn the clock back and see himself as president for a third miserable term is delusional. Any opposition group that attempts to play along with this regime will be dubbed as part of the regime and burned with it. If that is what Iran and Russia are trying to do, it will not extend one day of the long-gone vitality of the regime. It may extend the residence in the palace only, but not the regime, nor will it stop the strife.

    Besho and his gang had plenty of time to plot how to use the Paletsinian cause to their own advantage exactly as you described in Cynical manner.

    I also agree with you, and I have argued in the past that for the Arab Revolution to succeed in building their future civil states (i hope also they would be secular), they will have to work hand in hand with countries in central and south America, this is not to reduce the value of other friendships they will have to form and nurture, but more so because these countries have recently built liberal democracies from the ashes of dictatorships and military rules. There are numerous things we can and should learn from these countries, not to mention the value of diversifying trade partnerships and political and diplomatic alliances.

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  53. The regime did a mass attack in Deirelzor before Arab League observers visit tomorrow. Deirelzor got the same treatment that Homs got on Christmas and Boxer’s Day.

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  54. Akbar is mistakenly calling “wavering” what is actually the fine quality of being able to hold multiple perspectives at one time. The contradictions inherent in such perspectives- are not in fact any sign of inconsistency or unsoundness (which is what I have discerned is the implication of those who like to harp on seeming contradictions… as happens with presidential candidates), but rather reflects one’s ability to grasp the natural complexities of life and choices to be made and distinctions to be made.

    Bottom line, Umm Nuwas, you are in fact in agreement with everyone here that the Iraq story was a travesty perpetrated by irresponsible leaders who were lying to the public, and the result have been tragic in so many ways. This is not under dispute.
    But the Iraq story is being deliberately USED by both the regime and those arguing against the Syrian revolution as minimum a cautionary tale of why keeping the status quo is better, and at worst a threat- that this is what will befall Syrians if they dare seek another life without Assad and company.

    It is our job as those who voice a counter argument – not to minimize the harm that was done in Iraq or minimize the criminality of the neo-con agenda or Dick Cheney and David Addington etc., but rather to draw out the distinctions between that situation and this current Syrian one.
    We must weigh these differences and make the argument that Syria is not Iraq, and there are other choices here. The idea of Syria having to keep as it is (as if this were still an option even – which it isn’t) or it will become as Iraq, is FALSE CHOICE – perpetuated by those trying to shut down the Syrian cause for change.
    I take issue sometimes with Husam, not because I discount his material as false or misguided, but because WE KNOW THAT ARGUMENT VERY WELL ALREADY. It is everywhere. Every Syrian knows is very well – as they have been fed it year after year for a decade if not long before in some sense (ie the colonial account). So there is no need to publish the “threat” here on this blog more and more… as if this is being ignored by anybody.
    But we have to find a way forward. The challenge is finding the new narrative, the counter argument- whatever that maybe- that is most effective and reflects the complex truth- including the truth of those on the street of Syria who have a very serious legitimate claim that has to be heard and grasped by their fellow countrymen.
    We can’t let it be drowned by the same warnings and threats that have been used for years and years to silence political dissent and the demand for civil rights.

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  55. “I would like to see a “new” Syria making links with the other America : Brazil, Argentina, Chile, even Venezuela.. countries with experience getting rid of dictators and working toward building social democracies. I think the opposition needs a unified stance for that to begin happening. “

    forgot to add that I too like this very much.

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  56. Lol, I like to see this sometimes, just for entertainment. You can feel the men7ebaks feel jittery even back then –

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  57. Ehsani said,

    “It would be interesting if the results confirm that members of the SNC, NCC, Tansiqiyat, Mokhabarat, Fourth division, Baba Amr, Daraa, Free Syrian Army and the whole of Qurdaha all share the same ancestral mother that had reached this land some 50,000 years ago well before all of our Prophets.”

    There is no need for a DNA confirmation. Mind you, I find the article very interesting.

    I will suggest a DNA testing for Assads. Their gross misconduct- father and son- combined with utter hatred for everything Syrian is akin to foreign invaders, occupiers…

    I hope they will chose a path different from Saddam and Qaddafi, I doubt. These dictators, share the same DNA. Had they chosen to step down as the pressure mounted, they will have spared both, the people and their country further destruction.

    Your parents have the means to migrate, as their youngsters were indirectly forced to emigrate, decades earlier. The blame lies squarely on this infamous family. The wheels in Syria can only move forward. Many of us, on this blog are not affected directly, but watching human-beings getting killed on a daily basis, their crime, “REGIME CHANGE”, unarmed and not sectarian, at the onset of this revolution. Things might turn, might already have turned, we are not the ones to determine or to put the blame, rather, we have an obligation to help end the oppression of a people, in a country, for our children, the place we all call HOME, genetically and culturally.

    Zenobia’s prescription is the way forward: “…those on the street of Syria who have a very serious legitimate claim that has to be heard and grasped by their fellow countrymen.”

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  58. For those who say Iraqis were better off under Saddam than they are now,

    Another thing, every single Iraqi I have spoken to ( a lot of them) claimed to have some uncles, or a father, or a freind who was “killed by Saddam”. I don’t know if all the claims are true, but to be honest, the per capita density of people whose realtives were killed by the regime is astonishingly high in Iraq.

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  59. I had a chance to read your argument one more time. You are wrong again, my view about GWB is reflective of my US Citizenship and I have the right to call for his trial. Seriously, please consider what you write, otherwise, you are trying to chill any speech that does not conform to your political views.

    OTW and Zenobia, thanks for considering my posts. I am not trying to “chill any speech”, I am just posting my observations. You can take them of leave them; I am just presenting a POV that may not be represented here. I do not expect anyone here to suddenly become a “neocon”. That word has bitter connotations, equivalent to that of “Zionist”. One day, maybe, these terms will not be so hard to “pronounce”…

    Regime change is Libya was violent, but certainly not the same cost of freeing Iraq. If we voted here, would anyone here speak out against the allied campaign to oust Qaddafi last year? The ousting of Saddam, admittedly, came at a great cost and serious mistakes were made. Adding to that, the population was not in any form of revolt, and the Iraqi army was too weak to deal with the insurgency. Was it worth the price? I don’t know, nor am I qualified to answer. This is something only Iraqis can voice.

    In conclusion, I am still an interested observer who is fully supportive of the Syrian people and their desire for basic rights and freedom. I could care less how that affects Israel, although I think it can only be a good thing long term.

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  60. Regarding the ‘success of Isreal’ I recall a related forum thread elsewhere. It was in response to a BBC article titled ‘How Israel turned itself into a high-tech hub’. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15797257

    I should try to explain a term used in the post although Im not sure. Perhaps Husam can explain better. One simple meaning of ‘Al Wala Wal Bara’ means to love or hate Allah’s sake.

    From Wiki:

    Within the context of Islam, the phrase means, on one hand, drawing near to what is pleasing to God and His Messenger and, on the other hand, withdrawing from what is displeasing to Allah and His Messenger.

    The post:

    “it’s all about attitude. it’s wala’ and bara’ that drive nations. they are the key ingredients that make or break a culture.

    these people are successful (duniyawi [worldly] matters) because their wala’ to their kinsmen drives the desire to excel, not because of their religion.

    their religion is falsehood and kufr.

    we, the Muslim world, are messed up big time on wala’ and bara’ – regardless of which ethnicity we come from. it’s not the rest of our various different Muslim subcultures (Arab, Desi, Malay, Turkish etc.) that are messed up, but somehow the right wala’ and bara’ have seeped out of them or heavily contaminated, and that leaves the rest of the culture/subculture paralyzed.

    in their case, the rest of the culture is corrupt, but yet the wala’ and bara’ (from their frame of reference) are in place.”

    http://www.sunniport.com/masabih/showthread.php?t=9824

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  61. Nusayyif:

    “Lol, I like to see this sometimes, just for entertainment. You can feel the men7ebaks feel jittery even back then –”

    I suspect this spectacle was carefully orchestrated. I was watching carefully at the faces of the crowd outside on close up shots. Lol at the security men ‘holding’ the cheering crowds back.

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  62. What I detest most are the dumb menhebaks in the “People’s Council” who clap and chant like slaves. In my mind, these dumb-a**es are worse than the worst Shabbi7, even though they couldn;t harm a fly. By their slavish attitude and willingness to clap and chant they have consciously assisted this regime for 40 years.

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  63. Dear CSI Hama,
    I feel quite insulted from your statement: “their religion is falsehood and kufr”. Why are you so sure? I thought this was for God to decide not for us human beings. And how would you feel if somebody called your religion a falsehood and kufr? Do you really think this is a fair statement? I urge you to leave these decisions to God almighty. Let’s respect other people’s beliefs and religions and concentrate on what is important.

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  64. Dear Sheila & CSI Hama:

    I did not understand fully what CSI Hama was pointing out. What I can say is there are clear indications in Quran and Sunnah what is Kufr. For ex: the beatings the video in Iraq shows is Kufr (unless these people raped my sister, or your mother). What is happening in Syria right now is Kufr. So Sheila, I don’t need to wait until judgment day to understand that the person kneeling to kiss Betho’s picture and praying to him to know that this Kufr.

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  65. A picture supposedly showing a gas station in Aleppo

    Wow, it never got this bad in Homs.

    Tomorrow’s Besho speech: conspiracy conspiracy cosmic conspiracy giggle giggle maybe mention the word iron fist conspiracy giggle the Arab League are all Zionist stooges conspiracy America is a Zionist stooge giggle Zionists are Zionist stooges or something equally idiotic conspiracy media war against Syria giggle.

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  66. OTW:

    I am sorry for my late response, but I have a huge job anddeadlines… I don’t know how you guys do it (respond so quickly all the time) and still able to do your work.

    “Money is flowing from the MB, meaning, money is flowing to the MB and through them”

    OTW, my question was specifically about the “secularist” not feeling threatened by money flowing by/through/to MB? Are you prepared to accept wholeheartedly that the MB and other religious organizations become part and parcel of Syria without feeling threatened? Without the labels? I have tried to engage you previously on numerous occasions regarding envisioning MB and others on a social, economic and political level in Syria…but you keep avoiding to answer me.

    I understand your concerns as a secularist, but your recent link the other day to the priest stating he has no fear of Islamic role in governance as they are naturally larger in numbers in the M.E. and therefore should have equal representation… perhaps you had a change of heart.

    You still did not comment on Clark’s testimony that an invasion or quasi reshaping of Syria was on the war room plans back in 2007 (which I linked to this morning). Is this because you disagree and don’t believe him or you worried about people picking this up and running with conspiracy theories.

    So either he is lying or he is not. If he is not, then it is not theory and the US had envisioned and planned for redrawing of the M.E. Regardless of your answer, the revolution is real, there is no question about it in my mind.

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  67. Husam
    I have no problem with how the money flows to support the victims of Assad, all I care about is for the money to get to those who are in need so that the protesters can maintain the pressure on the regime and that pain and suffering of the victims, whether they participate in the protest or not, is ameliorated as much as possible. I will however, be offended if I send money and it then got distributed with political advertising and sloganeering for any political group, or if the person/group distributing the money attempted to influence the demands of the protesters.

    Needless to say, after the fall of the regime, Syria will need a huge amount of civil society building. And such requires major charitable organizations. Every group should participate including the MBs. I can not accept their rights to form a political party without accepting their right to also have a development/charity wings. In fact, I would encourage the latter as long as they adopt non-discriminatory policy in distributing charity and benefits and separate their dawa activities from the right to benefit from charity and as long as they agree to appoint an independent board members and auditors. It goes without saying that such should apply to all, not only the MBs.

    Finally, I really do not have to respond to every single question. This what distinguishes dialog from interrogation.

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  68. Zenobia:

    “Bottom line, Umm Nuwas, you are in fact in agreement with everyone here that the Iraq story was a travesty perpetrated by irresponsible leaders who were lying to the public, and the result have been tragic in so many ways. This is not under dispute. But the Iraq story is being deliberately USED by both the regime and those arguing against the Syrian revolution as minimum a cautionary tale of why keeping the status quo is better, and at worst a threat- that this is what will befall Syrians if they dare seek another life without Assad and company.”

    Zenobia until we have some statistics to back your concern about the numbers relating to “the regime and those arguing against the Syrian revolution” I think we are blowing this out of proportion. I am getting the feeling that we getting closer to the boiling point (to phrase 2, may take months even years in this stage). Their is a huge segment of the silent people which you call fence-sitters. To me the fence-sitters are more about people who have made up their mind that anything is better than this… but are scared shitless because of their mukhabarati fear factor.

    The fence-sitters you are conversing with are either expats or pro-assad inside Syria that have their basic needs met including internet connection at this critical time when others are linning up for food or mazot. The average Syrian doesn’t have time nor money to sit on the computer in Syria and blog and argue.

    There are more people on your side (and mine) than you think.

    Lastly, there is nothing wrong with being cautioned about Syria’s Chalabi or another dog into Syria’s sphere. This doesn’t automatically mean that just because we are cautious we will accept the status quo! You have been running around with this thought and I think we are beyond that for the most part.

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  69. OTW:

    Would you accept them as a political party who may win electoral votes through due process? Will you accept the will of the majority even if it goes against your choice at the ballot box? Will you work hand in hand and help them build prosperity in Syria even if they are religiously bent? The reason I ask, is because I still believe people will try to subotage any goodwill, any positive steps they take to moderate themselves and serve the people in a fair and transparent way.

    If they do a shit job, let the ballot box decide in the next term.

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  70. HUSAM
    I thought we talked about that before, For now, I still support the SNC, a block of which is a combination of MBs and Islamists towards our common goal which is the demise of the criminal regime. After such event, I reserve the right, however, to critique and shred their political platform if I don’t like it, and will be offended, again, if anyone claims that I want to deny them any rights. I will also be very likely to be watching them very carefully during the constitutional assembly work and during the drafting of new constitution.

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  71. Transparent, but not transparent enough.

    تعليق الصباح
    المكتب التنفيذي للمجلس الوطني يوصي بالتمديد شهراً للرئيس الحالي ويجري مباحثات مع وزير الخارجية التركي

    الثلاثاء, 10 كانون2/يناير 2012 04:00
    المكتب التنفيذي للمجلس الوطني يوصي بالتمديد شهراً للرئيس الحالي ويجري مباحثات مع وزير الخارجية التركي
    انتهى اجتماع المكتب التنفيذي للمجلس الوطني السوري في اسطنبول مساء أمس. ذلك بعد أن خرج باقتراح سيقدمه للأمانة العامة للمجلس، يفيد بتمديد الولاية الحالية لرئيس المجلس، د.برهان غليون، لمدة شهر إضافي، ينتهي في الخامس عشر من شباط المقبل. وكان وزير الخارجية التركي داوود أوغلو استقبل في وقت سابق يوم الأحد وفداً كبيراً من المكتب التنفيذي و الأمانة العامة للمجلس.
    تمديد ولاية الرئيس الحالي للمجلس:
    قالت مصادر داخل المكتب التنفيذي لـصباح سوريا أن اقتراح التمديد كان جاء على خلفية تباين في آراء أعضاء المكتب حول المرشح البديل للمنصب. فقد اعترض بعض أعضاء المكتب على ترشيح الأستاذ جورج صبرا على اعتبار أنه ليس عضواً في المكتب التنفيذي. وعلمت صباح سوريا أن الاعتراض قد جاء أساساً من الكتلة الوطنية (كتلة اسطنبول – 74). وكانت أوساط الكتلة قد تداولت في ترشيح الدكتورة بسمة قضماني لرئاسة المجلس. في حين تلقى المكتب التنفيذي في اللحظات الأخيرة قبل الاجتماع اتصالات عدة من أطراف مؤثرة، تمنت على المكتب التمديد لغليون لحفظ شيء من الاستقرار في الاتصالات المجلس مع المجتمع الدولي

    I definitely want to know who those influential actors who called in the last minute. We need more transparency.

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  72. Husam @ 1:49 am,
    aren’t YOU “blowing this out of proportion”????!

    that is to say, you have your issue of concern and I have mine. And your issues seem obsessed to me. And mine obviously do to you. But I don’t see why you care to keep trying to minimize mine. You could be right. Or maybe I could be right, in which case, I am not going to put off thinking about it until months and months go by and there might still be no military victory NOR do you have the numbers of support that you think you have.
    I think you don’t spend enough time on facebook. Or …it could be I see too much of what I am talking about on facebook and have a distorted picture.
    You have no sure fire data. And I have no sure fire data. So, meanwhile I will take the time to think the thoughts I want to and ponder the questions that I think are important if that is ok with you. Especially since i am pretty positive that there are plenty of people who are in the ‘conspiricist’ camp like yourself and who don’t come down on the side of the fence as you do. I can list at least five family members of my own… and I have a very normal well educated family who are not expats and who are no Bashar fans either. And we have at least three people on this blog alone who report the same thing in their family.

    Like

  73. Tomorrow’s Besho speech: conspiracy conspiracy cosmic conspiracy giggle giggle maybe mention the word iron fist conspiracy giggle the Arab League are all Zionist stooges conspiracy America is a Zionist stooge giggle Zionists are Zionist stooges or something equally idiotic conspiracy media war against Syria giggle.

    Hey Aboud,

    What if Mr. Besho is right? 😉

    Anyway, please post a youtube video if the speech includes more feet and hand kissing as well as beautiful words of congratulations and poetry…

    Like

  74. Dear Zenobia:

    “I think you don’t spend enough time on facebook”

    You are right, I don’t have a facebook account even. You can believe whatever you want, but the fear factor is a huge, huge issue that is ingrained in Syrian DNA. My own brother, who need to do some documents in order to travel to Syria came to me to ask me if it was possible that the Syrian Embassy can hold him hostage in Ottawa for one reason or another. What duh F? Seriously!

    Now imagine people on the inside.

    Like

  75. OTW:

    I thought you were a moderate secularist….

    “I reserve the right, however, to critique and shred their political platform if I don’t like it, and will be offended, again, if anyone claims that I want to deny them any rights.”

    Do you hear yourself? Let me put it to this way, imagine a hard core MB saying:

    “I reserve the right, however, to critique and shred their secularist platform, if I don’t like it, and will be offended, again, if anyone claims that I want to deny them any rights (such as alcohol, gambling, prostitution and filth of secularist.yada,yada) Fear Allah!

    (the text in bracket and the following 2 worded sentence is for entertainment only)

    How does that sound OTW? Islamist! Extremist! Niqabi! Backward! Cave-Dwellers!

    Any idea what the equivalent is for hard core Secularist?

    Like

  76. Religion generally functions to restrict peoples’ rights. Religious law or tenets are rarely concerned with making sure people are unrestricted in what they do.

    In contrast, a secular government’s purpose is to protect people’s rights – that is define the minimum amount of freedoms that are guaranteed to all by which no other entity within the state can take them away or infringe upon them.

    So the analogy you make in such dramatic form cannot really hold or the stances be understood to be reversible.

    by the way…looks like you are simply itching to be called names by pursuing a moot subject as far as OTW is concerned. Much more moot than my subject.

    Like

  77. Meanwhile,…..heard today from a contact – that he couldn’t find one bag of bread in Aleppo not even offering 1000 Syrian pounds because there was nothing available. And days ago – his family basically threw out half the refrigerator because the power had been off that day for so long that the food was going bad.

    Like

  78. Dear Zenobia and Husam,

    Why does it need to be either secular or religious?

    I find both to be exclusionist and at most times at odds with each other, both sides believe they are correct and hard to convince them otherwise. What we might need in Syria is a new concept of individualism, where the individual is above all most sacred to the state. As long as the individual is protected, he/she can choose to be secular or religious without being at odds with the government.

    For far too long we Syrians (and Arabs in general) have given up on our own individual right to think for ourselves, we gave up on many freedoms for the “greater good of our nation” or accepted further state intrusion to our daily lives to protect us from our enemies.

    Like

  79. Zenobia:

    “Religion generally functions to restrict peoples’ rights. Religious law or tenets are rarely concerned with making sure people are unrestricted in what they do…..In contrast, a secular government’s purpose is to protect people’s rights – that is define the minimum amount of freedoms that are guaranteed to all by which no other entity within the state can take them away or infringe upon them.”

    That is your personal interpretation and your own deduction of Religion(s). Thank you for the crash course on Secularism. My point is that you can’t enforce secular ideas on non-seculars and vice-versa. And, you can’t look at people, their beliefs and their choices based on your own PERSONAL convictions expect to convert them to your RELIGION (choosing to be an Athiest or Secularist, to me is a religion, a belief system or way of life…)

    People have the right to choose what type of society they want to live in. Do not rob them of this basic right and do not force your secular ideology of what is good and what is not. Freedom to choose is what people are dying for. Isn’t this so?

    “by the way…looks like you are simply itching to be called names by pursuing a moot subject as far as OTW is concerned. Much more moot than my subject”.

    So if I don’t beat your drums and sing your song, I might as well be called names. So much for protecting my rights, minimum amount of freedom, and free speech!

    FYI, I am not against a secular society, I am against anyone who thinks their way of life is better than the other. Coercion is the wrong approach. Hourglass vision and one-size-fits-all is not what Syria needs.

    Like

  80. Son Of Damascus:

    Dude, are you in Montreal? Shubak Khieeee’ef.

    I agree with you…

    “As long as the individual is protected, he/she can choose to be secular or religious without being at odds with the government.”

    Can you give us the closest example of society where this individuality is working?

    I mean take for example call to prayer Adan, a secular society may ban Adan as it infringes on others right to peace and quite. The Swiss, champions of equality and freedom of religion, refused to allow the minaret and call to prayer. And you know what, I am good with that because the MAJORITY are not Muslims.

    In Syria, who’s majority are muslims, yet seculars want to allow pubs to florish which can offend others…how do we reconcile this?

    Like

  81. To OTW and others,

    Do not underestimate how problematic it is to write a constitution in a religious country. If the constitution is completely secular, the religiously inclined feel their hand is forced and vice versa. That is why Israel does not have a constitution.

    Take a simple problem like should their be public transportation on the Sabbath? How do you solve such a problem in a fair way? There is just no good solution. In the end Israel decided to continue the status quo from the British Mandate and that is why their is public transportation on Saturday in Haifa but not in Tel-Aviv. Am I happy with this? No. Can I live with this? Yes.

    My suggestion to you is not to write a constitution at all. After all, Britain gets along well without one also. As seculars, if you demand a secular constitution, you will get a religious one just like they are about to get in Egypt.

    Like

  82. Husam,

    I lived in Montreal for sometime, however I live much further West these days. Please don’t take my relative obscurity as either lack of interest in your question or that I am scared. I just prefer to keep an anonymous profile online in general.

    Like

  83. Dear Sheila

    They were not my words. I copied and pasted the post from the link.

    About how I would feel if my religion was labelled as such? I’m confident of the truth of Islam and would refute any such claim.

    Like

  84. Listening to Assad makes me hate him more.

    He talks of the state being like a ‘mother’ ready to forgive. Revolutionaries are supposed to have a ‘glorious’ image and not one of car thieves….

    I can’t listen to this nonsense. Did Buthaina Shaaban prepare this speech?

    Anyway. Moving on. Remember not long ago former VP Khaddam was mentioned on here regarding trying to understand the mindset of the regime? Here is an article on Al Arabiya today:

    Former Syrian vice president explains Assad’s civil war scheme; intellectuals ridicule Arab League mission

    Tuesday, 10 January 2012

    A former Syrian vice president, Abdul Halim Khaddam, explained the machinations behind plans by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to face the ongoing anti-regime protests and the increasing regional and international pressure, while several Syrian writers lashed out at the Arab League mission for failing to protect civilians and stop regime brutality.

    “Assad spoke to one of the Lebanese ministers, an ally of his, and told him he will never offer any concessions,” Khaddam, who resigned and moved to Paris in 2005, told Al Arabiya’s The Last Hour on Tuesday.

    Assad, Khaddam added, also said that if the Arab world and the international community keep putting pressure on him, he would ignite civil war in Syria and establish an independent state in the coastal area.

    “His main aim now is to divide the country and he is taking advantage of the current silence of the international community, which gives him more chances to stay.”

    Khaddam called upon the International Community, particularly Western countries, to start taking action through the Security Council.

    “They have to protect the Syrian people and to prevent the regime from killing protestors.”

    Khaddam pointed out that inside the Syrian opposition there is a group that supports holding negotiations with the regime.

    “Those are hoping that they can take part in ruling the country and they are the reason why the opposition is now divided into two groups: one tolerant towards the regime and another adamant to topple it.”

    Read more:

    http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/01/10/187468.html

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  85. Hehe, didn’t I say he’d use the words “Iron Fist” and conspiracy? Junior is like a bad Tv series that jumped the shark halfway through the first season.

    And what’s this obsession the guy has with the body’s immune system? Besho, do you have some sort of secret illness. I mean, other than your obvious mental problems. The country barely gets 12 hours of electricity a day, fuel shortages are crippling, prices have doubled, and all you can blab about is some phantom referendum in March?

    Besho’s speeches are never equal to the times and the occasion. As an orator, he is a failure.

    Ya Besho ya tezi inta, I’ll start to believe your talk of reforms once your shabiha scum sh*ts stop executing the wounded in hospitals. Hell, when your Qurdahan doctors and nurses stop executing the wounded in hospitals.

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  86. Boy-king is obviously pissed. He is sealing his fate as he berates the Arab League and certain Arab countries.

    OTW,

    How long will this nightmare continue?

    Like

  87. Dear CSI Hama,
    Thank you for your direct answer. I am also confident of the truth of Islam and I am sure my Christian friend is confident of the truth of Christianity and my Jewish friend is confident of the truth of Judaism and my Hindu friend……you get my drift.

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  88. It is truly amazing. He just does not get it. Why did he even open his mouth? What is he trying to achieve by this speech? He still talks of not giving orders to shoot. For God’s sake, can someone show him how his thugs are killing and humiliating “his people”? If he is not giving orders to anyone to shoot, are we to assume that he has totally lost control of his army? Oh, I forgot. It is not his army. He does not own it.

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  89. I read an article yesterday claiming that Assad and his wife are now divorced, that she is now in England and had filed for full custody of the children. I do not know how credible this article is, but it got me thinking about their divorce settlement. Did they split the assets? If so, I just want to know who got Aleppo.

    Like

  90. @husam,
    you keep talking of coercion. who said anything about coercion. It is an argument to be made. And I really don’t think you know what secularism is. Because it has nothing to do with how religious any person wants to be. YOU are FREE to be religious. It refers to government, and that no particular religious rationale for the law or the arrangements of society be dictated by the government.
    Anyone can be as religious as they want all day long. It is just that the government doesn’t dictate that or specifically sanction a particular religion, and in fact protects a multiplicity of religious practice or no religious practice. That is why I talk about protecting rights.

    i say you are itching to be called names because you said that yesterday – obviously joking- but it just seems like you are trying to provoke OTW..relentlessly on this issue.

    Like

  91. Wanted to put out there- that my sources tell me that the American Embassy is basically shutting down almost completely starting on February 1st….. a bad sign , i would say.

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  92. Zenbia
    I am cool, i have far more important things to worry about than whether I satisfy arbitrary definitions and classifications. In fact we all do.

    Like

  93. It is now official. Kafranbel signs made it to The Economist. I think that whoever is responsible for these signs should win some kind an award in creativity and wit. Did you see the latest sign that says: To Dr. Haytham al Manaa’: to advertise in this demonstration please call 11111111.

    Like

  94. As he was blabbering on TV screens, his men were shooting to kill, they succeeded in killing 30 of the 150,000 protesters in Deir al-Zour alone, these protesters are clear in their demands. Ending the reign of Assad-Makhlouf.

    Yet the audacity of mass murderers has no limits. Asking the opposition to sit and have a dialogue, “some are refusing” he said with a giggle.
    Dialogue with who? With a dictator, a mass murderer, it is these protesters that will dictate and order the outside opposition, not the other way around.
    The likes of this butcher will not cringe, they’ll kill you today and walk in your funeral tomorrow.

    Syrian enemy will do their best to escalate and turn a legitimate revolution into a civil strife, a civil war. The Golan occupiers are doing all they have in their power to keep their Syrian butcher in power. Not because they like him, but because they hate us with a vengeance. They envy our land, they envy the notion of any Arab living in freedom and dignity.

    In their latest show of prostitution, they said they are ready to absorb Alawite refugees once Assad’s regime collapses. Rather, it is a message to the minority, that Israel is a refuge for all minorities, discriminated and oppressed, from holocaust survivors to Antoine Lahad. Not necessary Jewish.

    Their latest invitation is in harmony with Assad and his message of fear to Syrians.

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  95. Syrian enemy will do their best to escalate and turn a legitimate revolution into a civil strife, a civil war.

    N.Z.,

    How is the “Syrian enemy” (I assume you mean Israel and not the Assads this time) turning “a legitimate revolution into a civil strife, a civil war”?

    The Golan occupiers are doing all they have in their power to keep their Syrian butcher in power.

    Can you be specific by showing us what the “Golan Occupiers” are doing to “keep their Syrian butcher in power”?

    Not because they like him, but because they hate us with a vengeance.

    What evidence do you have showing the the “Golan Occupiers” hate you with a vengeance?

    They envy our land, they envy the notion of any Arab living in freedom and dignity.

    Which “Golan Occupier” do you know that “envy the notion of any arab living in freedom and dignity”? All the “Golan Occupiers” I know would prefer the Arabs living in freedom.

    In their latest show of prostitution, they said they are ready to absorb Alawite refugees once Assad’s regime collapses. Rather, it is a message to the minority, that Israel is a refuge for all minorities, discriminated and oppressed, from holocaust survivors to Antoine Lahad. Not necessary Jewish.

    How is this a show of prostitution? Perhaps this may prevent Alawites from being killed by sectarian Syrians after Assad falls (whenever that happens [waiting impatiently]).

    Here’s the article:

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-chief-israel-ready-to-absorb-some-syria-refugees-once-assad-falls-1.406487

    Like

  96. This is the senior-most defection so far, but will he accept a junior officer like Riad al Asaad as his superior in the FSA ?

    Like

  97. Posted: 4 January 2012
    This is hard to report, but Avaaz’s own members are being tortured by Syria’s monstrous regime. Manhal* reports that he was held in a secret prison where they pulled out his fingernails and toenails and electrocuted his body parts. “I have seen death, and I’ve been tortured nearly to death,” he’s told us. But if we act now, we can make Manhal’s sacrifice the last straw that turns the whole world against the Assad regime.

    The Arab League’s observers have failed to stop the brutal crack down, but pressure on Assad is mounting. Avaaz has just released a terrifying report revealing the scale of Syria’s detention facilities, including what they did to Manhal. If we build a massive global outcry now, we can force key governments to confront the horrors in this report and accelerate the end of Assad.

    Sign the petition on the right, and when we reach 500,000 signatures we’ll deliver it along with Avaaz’s report to the Arab League and the United Nations Security Council, demanding they refer Assad to the International Criminal Court to be tried for crimes against humanity.

    * “Manhal’s” name has been changed to protect his identity.

    Click here to read the new Avaaz report on the Syrian regime’s torture facilities.

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/arrest_syrias_torturers_/?cl=1501096477&v=11938

    Like

  98. It seems Deirezzor is finally waking up, the Ashaair is finally waking up from its 45 yr old Baathist slumber, its high time they totally root out all jawasees from their midst, Deirezzor has too many of them.

    Like

  99. Annie

    “Rosen says there is no commander of the FSA. No real structure”

    Actually there’s alot of co-ordination between the different towns and cities. How else could the FSA have managed to fight on after the invasion of Rastan and the repeated hammerings that Homs got. Not once has the regime’s units managed to pin down the FSA and engage them, with the exception of Idlib, and we still don’t know exactly what happened there.

    In Jisr Al Shughur, the army just rolled into the town after it had been evacuated. Same with Rastan. Same with Baba Amr. When you are fighting against a guerrilla force, all your maneuvers and land grabs don’t count for squat if you can’t engage the enemy. It’s something the Americans learned in Iraq.

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  100. Aboud,

    Do you think Col. Riad As’aad has command over the FSA in Homs?

    I would think that chapters within each LCC would have more command, where they have more intel on their respective areas, and share it with each other. I doubt the Col. has the required structure to command the FSA on a large scale, which is beneficial makes it harder to pin down the FSA.

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  101. It is clear now that he will go only by force. His speech is an attempt to reassure the pro crowd that we are in control and things are OK.
    It is also clear that he either refuses to or ignores reality on the ground.
    It is clear that he is selective about foreign intervention favoring Russia and Iran over others.
    It is clear that a civil war will ensue and that the neighbors will intervene indirectly with arms and supplies and training as more defectors leave the army. Then the economy will collapse to further alienate more people and fence sitting will be more and more difficult to do.
    It is catastrophic to say the least.

    Like

  102. ah! NZ beat me to it with the Nir Rosen video!

    so …. what do we think about this???

    Like

  103. Zenobia:

    “And I really don’t think you know what secularism is.”

    And perhapsy ou don’t know what Islam is (according to your definition of Religion(s)….generally functions to restrict peoples’ rights). Dare I say people have other views?
    It is really bothers me that many people protray themselves to be champions of freedom and intellect but can’t engage and answer simple questions without putting the other person in the penalty box. You want an inclusive Syria, then show it. You think secularism has all the answers, it doesn’t. And like any religion, secularism comes in different shades.

    I was reaching out to OTW and felt he was avoiding the obvious. If I didn’t value his opinion, I wouldn’t bother asking once nor twice. I found his statements harsh and in contrast to the moderate secularist views I have come to accept from him in the past years. Apparently he has better things to do.

    Son Of Damascus:

    Are you on the west coast, and do you peddle 🙂 Free Syria Buttons. The reason I ask is we may know each other. About protecting your identity in general, totally understand… I was just kidding.

    Observer:

    I follow all your comments, I fell off the fence when I left SC. Now, I am in line with your thinking on removal by force, conspiracy or no conspiracy.

    N.Z.

    Re: Manhal

    After listening to Hytham Al Maleh’s experience in prison where 40 people were bunched in a room 10 X 10 back 10-20 years ago, one can not begin to imagine what the condition of hostages and prisoners are like now. That is why this has to stop at any cost.

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  104. @ Husam

    I don’t need to know what Islam is to advocate for a system of governing, which is what concerns me. If you want to argue for another system of government an securing rights and freedoms, go ahead and call it what you like.
    but Islam is not a system of government, and never will be in my book. It is a religion.

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  105. Nussayif:

    “the Ashaair are waking up”.

    Sorry, but the Ashaair actually started this revolution in Dera’a. Dera’a culture is very close to authentic Jordanian culture. The balz that ignited Syria were Dera’ans not accepting to bow down. It was a matter of A’rd.

    In case you missed it, see my comment on Jan 9 @ 2:31 am of what transpired in Dera’a between the Ashaair & Najib 7aqeer

    Like

  106. Dear Sheila:

    I was over at SC to read the pro-baathist update and saw your invite to Ghufran in joining 7ee6an. I have invited Majed and Tara too. Norman made an attempt to post but was shot in the head point blank from the onset by none other than…

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  107. Contrary to the previous post on 7ee6an, the UN has now concluded that the death toll has risen proportionately than prior to their arrival.

    Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said Tuesday that Israel is preparing to absorb Alawite refugees once Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime collapses, which he expects to happen in the coming months.

    Speaking at a Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs committee meeting, Gantz said Assad’s turmoil could cause him to seek a military confrontation with Israel.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-chief-israel-ready-to-absorb-some-syria-refugees-once-assad-falls-1.406487

    Like

  108. “Sorry, but the Ashaair actually started this revolution in Dera’a”

    I am talking about the ashaair of Deirezzor. They have been held hostage by the aathists using the Arabism card for too long. Even today, Deirezzor is the one non-Damascus, non-Aleppo city where the regime has a substantial following. The ashaair I am talking about, their Chiefs sit in the “People’s Council” in their full Bedouin regalia and headwear and clap and chant for Bashar.

    Like

  109. Zenobia,

    “A revolutionary cannot be a thief,” he said, later adding: “If they were true revolutionaries I myself, you and others would follow them.” giggle..

    and we thought the craziest of the gangsters was Qaddafi? …….so, what do we think about this majnoun???

    I think the FSA and the protesters, are awaiting with impatience the two factions SNC and Mr. Manaa’ party to agree on something. Not to display their disagreement, the opposition needs to unite get out from the scene.

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  110. Who writes his speeches??? they should be fired for all the warped circular logic bizarreness…. but…the giggles have to be the most disturbing for me….

    and

    so these opposition….know how to compromise…..? to move forward….without the need to make finalizing and un-amendable decisions, but instead make working compromise agreements appropriate for this juncture in time, so as to have a collective working request to bring to the international community?

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  111. خطاب اثبت انه يعيش بقوقعة : باق للابد- اعطاء الامر بارتكاب المجازر – لا استمرار في الحوار
    بواسطة EDITOR2 – 2012/01/10
    نشر فى: غير مصنف

    مراسل المحليات : كلنا شركاء

    اثبت الخطاب الذي القاه بشار الاسد انه ما زال يعيش بقوقعة وهمية رسمها لنفسه

    نرفق ادناه اهم النقاط وتعليقنا عليها علماً ان نص وكالة الانباء الرسمية سانا ادناه هو فقط للجزء المطبوع من خطابه بينما ما ننشره نحن ماخوذ من كلامه المباشر على التلفزيون :

    1-كل ما يجري في سوريا هو مؤامرة خارجية وهذا ليس خاف على احد …وتجار الحرية والديمقراطية الذين يبكون على دمائنا هم وراء هذا ….الآن انقشع الضباب ولم يعد ممكنا اخفاؤه فقد سقطت الاقنعة عن الاطراف …والشعب السوري بصموده كشف المخطط .

    2- ستون محطة تلفزيونية مكرسة للحرب على سوريا وعشرات الصحف ومئات المواقع .

    3-لقائي مع المحطة التلفزيونية الامريكية جرى تحويره وتزويره وهو هو جزء من الحملة ضد سوريا وشخصيا عندما شاهدته كدت اعتقد بان ما اقوله صحيح والهدف كان ان يقولوا ان رئيس الدولة يتخلى عن مسؤولياته واقول لهم خسئتم .

    4-هناك فارق بين الموقع والمسؤولية ولن اترك المنصب فأنا احكم بارادة الشعب ومادام الشعب يريدني فساستمر الا اذا اراد الشعب ان اتنحى ……اذا كان هناك اختلافات نلجأ لصندوق الانتخابات نغير برلمان او نغير حكومة (لم يجرأ على قول نغير رئيس الجمهورية ….. يعني انه يريد القول بانه باق للابد واعطى الامر للجنة الدستور بان تجعل مدة الرئاسة مفتوحة وغير محدودة بدورتين ) .

    5-حديث عن المؤامرات وصمود الشعب السوري ضد ازلام التآمر

    6-الجامعة العربية انعكاس للحالة المزرية وفشلت خلال ستة عقود باتخاذ قرار يصب في مصلحتنا ….عبد الناصر قال ان سورية هي قلب العروبة النابض وبذلك فتجميد مشاركة سوريا باجتماعات الجامعة العربية يجعل الجامعة تصبح عروبتها معلقة والجامعة العربية بدون سوريا ستكون لا جامعة ولا عربية بل مستعربة ……العروبة ليست عرق عربي بل كل من شارك من كل الاعراق فالعروبة حالة حضارية ولم تبنى من قبل العرب فقط بل ساهم فيها كل من تواجد من غير الاصول العربية ايضا ……لسنا شوفينيين .

    7-خطتنا للاصلاح تقوم على شقين الاصلاح السياسي وعلى مكافحة الارهاب

    شق الاصلاح السياسي انجزنا القوانين ( اعلام – احزاب – انتخابات – ادارة محلية ) انتخابات الادارة المحلية لم تكن المشاركة بالنسبة للمرشحين والناخبين جيدة بسبب الظروف الامنية , والدستور يفترض ان ينتهي قريبا وطلبت ان يعرض على استفتاء عام بحدود اول آذار وبعده انتخابات مجلس الشعب اول ايار او اوائل حزيران

    شق مكافحة الارهاب سنضرب الارهابيين بيد من حديد ولا تساهل في من يروع امن المواطنين ولا تسوية مع من يتعاطى مع الاجنبي ….اذ لا نريد ان يتكرر مع ما حصل مع اخوان الشياطين اذ استمرت الحرب معهم ستة سنوات ولا نريد ان نستمر لمدة طويلة بالحرب مع الارهاب لانه كلما طالت المدة كبر الارهاب وزادت الاسلحة المهربة والمناطق التي يسيطرون عليها وكان هذا رايي منذ البدء , لذلك اطلب من المواطنين احتضان الجيش والامن ويمكن ان يعملوا مثلما فعل بعض الاهالي بمناطق اخرى اما تشكيل دوريات مراقبة او وحدات لحماية مركبات الجيش او نقل معلومات عما يجري في مناطقهم ( هذا امر وضوء اخضر للجيش والمخابرات والشبيحة باقتحام البلدات وقتل كل المواطنين المعارضين مهما كلف الامر – هناك قرار رسمي بارتكاب مجازر وذكر كلمات خطيرة عن المنهزمين داخلياً بمعنى انه اعطى الامر بارتكاب المجازر ولكنه لاحظ ان بعض القيادات ليست مع هذا الحل فاسماهم بالمنهزمين داخليا وهذا ما يفسر التغييرات الكبيرة في قيادة الجيش ونقل نائبي رئيس الاركان للخارج لوزارة الدفاع رغم انه تم تعيينهم قبل شهرين )

    8-مكافحة الفساد : طلب مني مواطنون ان اقوم بمعاقبة بعض الفاسدين ولكني اؤكد ان هذه ليست مهمة شخص رئيس الجمهورية بل المؤسسات فالرئيس يمكن ان يعاقب شخص او شخصين بينما المؤسسات تحاسب المئات ( هذا يعني انه لا ينوي محاسبة الفاسدين الكبار فمؤسسات مكافحة الفساد غالبا يوضع مسؤول عنها يأتمر بأمر الفاسدين الكبار او تصل لمستوى محاسبة بحسب ايحاءات رئيس الجمهورية ) .

    9-لا احبذ مصطلح حكومة وحدة وطنية فليس لدينا انقسام وطني او امراء حرب او شرخ كبير كما بدول اخرى لذلك افضل مصطلح توسيع المشاركة او حكومة وفاق وطني وسيتم تشكيلها قريبا جدا بمشاركة كل الاطياف السياسية ومنها المعارضة ولكن من هي المعارضة ؟…هناك شخصيات معارضة وهناك تيارات معارضة وبما انه لا توجد انتخابات فلا يمكن تقييم الحجم الحقيقي لهم في الشارع لاعطائهم نسبة تمثيل تتناسب مع ذلك ولهذا سنلجا لمعايير خاصة وساعرف المعارضة الوطنية بالتالي

    -لا نريد معارضة تجتمع مع السفارات

    -لا نريد معارضة تاخذ مؤشرات من الخارج

    -لا نريد معارضة تجلس معنا وتبتزنا بسبب الازمة

    -لا نريد معارضة تقول ساجتمع معكم سرا كي لا اغضب احدا

    والحكومة الجديدة ستكون مزيج بين السياسيين والتقنيين لان بعض الوزارات عملها تقني وغير ممكن ان ناتي بسياسي ليدير وزارة تقنية .

    10-بالنسبة للحوار الوطني كان ناجحا الذي جرى في المحافظات اما الحوار المركزي فلم تقبل بعض اطراف المعارضة بالحوار فالبعض يريد الحوار معنا بالسر والبعض ينتظر كي يرى اين ستذهب الامور كي يحدد موقفه ….لذلك نحن منفتحون على الحوار ومتى هم يرغبون فنحن جاهزون . ( هذا يعني انه لا يوجد لجنة للحوار بل هم مجموعة من الطراطير المأمورين ….ولن يكون هناك جولة جديدة من الحوار حتى ترسل المعارضة انصياعها وقبولها بالحوار بدون شروط لمجرد الحوار ) .

    11-بالنسبة للمصالحة الوطنية فبعد انتهاء الازمة الكل سيسامح الكل وفقط التسامح يبني الامم والانتقام يدمر البلد ( هذا يعني انه لن يكون هناك محاسبة للشبيحة والمخابرات وعفا الله عن الجرائم التي ارتكبوها ) .

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  112. Thank you Aboud. As I heard it, Rozen’s comment was not negative about the absence of real structure. So, this new recruit would fit in.

    Ron Paul would have my vote. But the supposedly democratic US system makes one despair of democracy. Look at what Obama has become (or always was ?). He was a friend of Edward Said. Only whores make it to the top in the States.

    As for the brutality under Saddam, Abu Ghraib should clam us up.

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  113. Husam asks:

    Anyone supports Ron Paul on 7ee6an?

    Husam,

    No, I do not support Ron Paul. Anyone who excuses the most eggregious terror-supporter: Iran, should have their head examined.

    Ron Paul is an isolationist who would have let the Nazis gobble up Europe and the Islamists gobble up the ME. He would be selling weapons to every tin-pot dictator from Iran to Libya, including our friend Bashar Assad.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/12/ron-paul-iran-does-not-threaten-our-national-security/

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  114. Husam,

    No I don’t peddle buttons, and I am not that far West sadly 😦

    What made you think I am in Montreal (was it the Bloc comment) ?

    Anyways Husam please understand that secularism is not a bad word, Islam and religion in general are an important part of our history and identity, but that does not mean it should dictate our governance. You asked me about what country you have both existing hand in hand and your answer for that is the US. It is a secular state that has and continues to be influenced by Judeo-Christian ethics, from the constitution to all way to its currency.

    I would like to ask you this

    Can a religious party run in a secular country? Can a secular party run in a religious country (where there is no clear cut separation between state and Church/Mosque/Synagogue…)

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