From Syria, with…. (By True)

I. A trip of Fear

How it started! We’re all immersed in the Syrian revolution since March in one way or another. We’ve been hearing from here and there trying to sort the good from the bad and the good from the great where at this time good is not considered good. We debated different sorts of narrations and always relied on press reports, video clips and some leaked news from local residents. However, deep down inside us there was this thirst to seek our own version of truth to validate or refute a narration and that’s what I’ve decided to do.

At work, being a Syrian, I was always subject to all sorts of Syrian issues related questions, and in many cases there was this sense of high expectations of me knowing everything and answering any inquiry but in reality I was very far if not the furthest to answer their questions. On many different occasions I’ve been told oh “lucky you for being away from the hell”, I used to reciprocate with a big smile because I was like many of us (online bloggers) lucky enough to enjoy a coffee while commenting here and there with nil risk till one day I was cornered by non-Arab friend who was like “and what about the others” refereeing to all Syrians on ground who are facing death on daily basis.

For this and too many other reasons I decided quietly on my plan of going back home to be there trying to understand what’s actually happening aside from all sorts of manipulation or distortion, I wanted to see it (the truth) in my own naked eyes. So out of the blue I inform the family of my trip to spend the Xmas in Europe just like that “by the way I’m planning a trip to Europe and flying next week” there was a silence in the room and I could see it in their eyes something like “you’re a terrible liar” but nobody elaborated except the dad saying “say hi to “Europe” from me”.

My ticket on Syria Airways is booked and I’m waiting at the gate, I am a bit early as if arriving early at the gate will make it a faster trip or something. People started gathering and it does not take you long time at all to start recognizing the Syrian features on their faces, you could tell easily the Hourani, Alawi or Shami accent. for me they all looked somehow different today, as if they’re not all sharing the motherland while they all are sharing the anxiety and fear on their faces. Oh, there’s a stand with some newspapers on it, but no one is helping himself to grab a one or two (You know the Syrian mentality appreciates free stuff and surely they would not miss a chance of free papers) I take my way to grab the papers and just while I’m heading there I spot the headlines in French, English and even German all talking about deadly killing in Syria and suddenly I figured out why no one is reading and there I learnt that I’m already in the kingdom of fear while physically I’m still in Europe. It’s quite amazing, as if this feeling of fear is implanted in every Syrian, fear makes you scared to read a paper overseas while you keep looking at the ground trying to avoid any eye contact with anyone around especially the security steward (Modeef Amni) who’s assigned to this trip.

The ground stewardess starts calling on passengers, starting with first class and so on … but suddenly and out of the blue this ghost with this scary moustache pops out of the tunnel and calls for his friend in who was sitting next me, he was saying (Abu-Rmi yala yala) lets it move it Abu-Rami we need to put up the table. This Abu-Rami stands up and stares at every one, including myself, a stare of challenge to fulfill this sick desire of control and announces his upper hand and to add some icing he pulls this black plastic bag out of his pocket and covers the papers as simple as that. No need to mention the puzzled face of that local ground stewardess who was utterly shocked how Abu-Rami acts like. So we make our way to the plane to find a checkpoint set up by Abu-Rami and three others where they’re asking to search every bag and personal search for young men, including myself, one guy asked what’s all this about? We just passed airport security!! And the answer was “if they (westerns) were doing good job we would not have faced armed gangs” I think this line tells you a lot about their way of thinking, I stepped inside the plane looking around and could easily spot those 1980s security guys who’re still insisting to put on their sunglasses inside the plane as if no one could see them or actually it’s their way of saying yes we’re here and Welcome to kingdom of fear.

We arrived at Damascus airport and people stopped talking, everyone is making his way to passport control booths so do I. Marhaba I say, they guy looks up at me with no reply!! He takes my passport and starts pressing frantically on his keyboard and I start thinking all about SC and 7ee6an wondering if my real identity was leaked out somehow and I hope that my family specially my father does know about my definition of a trip to Europe. The guy does not talk to me (it’s been at least 8 minutes) finally he says you’re wanted for the main Mukhabarat directorate and I was like how come? are you sure? He goes like yes and you did obtain their approval to leave the country 6 months ago. Six months ago!!! Are you kidding? I was not home for the last ….. I’m sure there’s a mistake here check more please (yes I was using please but not sure if he could hear it) ok.. ok.. he replies, yes it’s you 100%. Honestly I had a glitch for few seconds then collected myself again to counter, did you check DOB and mother name? He insists yes I did. I say it does not make sense, there should be a mistake, I say. Suddenly, he reaches to his stamp and grants me an entry just like that. Till now I have no clue what happened, but my hunch that he was just messing up with me as a part of their procedures to see my reaction or for someone who’s watching in the camera to take a decision. People who I shared this story with told me that there was no way to let me go if there’s a dot of doubts against me, so now I believe it’s just a part of their psychological war against their own people.

Going through other parts of the airport was not a much different experience, I saw Bashar’s pictures everywhere from the door of the plane to the car park booth where you pay your tariff,   I saw guys getting dragged out of the line into rooms, I saw ladies pleading for their partners and kids. That mum was crying out talking to everyone trying to explain to them that her son is a Christian Syrian and he’s not eligible yet for military service while the guys were looking at her breast, playing with their moustaches and most importantly ignoring her. I understood that all these dolls on the front line are fully controlled by others who are hiding and watching everything behind the walls.

In my next update, I will tell you how people of Damascus are severely split between pro/against the regime and how friendships and relations were terminated as an extension of a related argument. I will tell you how young kids in schools are participating in the strike simply by not buying from the canteen during breaks. I will share with you more info after meeting with couple of guys from tansiqya of Hajr aswad. I’ll be heading to Midan in Damascus on Friday to participate in my first actual protest against the regime (I hope it won’t be the last one although I don’t mind taking the consequences) this protest take an extra importance especially after signing the protocol and observers arrivals.

Finally, Giath Matter’s wife (may God have mercy on his soul) have given a birth to a beautiful baby girl and I have visited them at home. Basically, I was dragged to Daria and been showed a little girl who they claimed being his daughter (may God bestow his mercy on him). Few days later i was informed the same of being a new boy not a girl. However, i checked again and people were split between a boy or a girl. It’s another example of the amount of bullshit and false information you could get from both sides in Syria even if you’re living in there.

God bless you Syrian expats.

II.  In Damascus

First of all let me start with a statement I’ve heard here in Damascus from an old man “Damascenes and Aleppan ladies are useless to carry a president quality in their wombs. If he (Bashar) stays or leaves there will be no president from Damascus or Aleppo in the future” He further elaborates “People of Damascus do enjoy being bossed around by minorities, it’s in their blood”.

I was really getting annoyed with the car-rental service. Excuse me, I did pay in advance please check your records. Looking at me as if I’m speaking a language from the time of Jesus Christ then, she looks here and there then says, but no more cars at the airport so you need to go to the main office near Damascus tower. The main office! How will I reach the main office? Anyway they ask me to hop in with a driver who was leaving soon and he will drop me off just by the main office. I say marhaba (this word is more common to use to than salam) and he replies ahleen. I was relieved to hear his accent, surely he’s a Damascene (shami) not Alawi or from any other coastal city. Do you smoke? I reply no thankfully. Well done, he replies, but still he opens his glove box to take his packet of cigarette and all of the sudden I’m turned into this trapped passive smoker. So what do you think? I asked, it was a question on the spur of the moment, and I hoped not to regret it ever. He stares at me, sizes me up and down, inhales deeply and releases a bigger cloud of his killing smoke, (ta3bana) it’s not ok, he replies. Just looking ahead with no further talking till suddenly he snaps saying some bad language (ikhwat elsharmotta) (brothers of whore) I look ahead to find a flying checkpoint just before taking the exit off the airport highway.

Hi guys (marhaba ya shabab) he addresses the conscripts at the checkpoint, who reply back with a smile and ask for IDs. I look around to see a couple of motorcycles and a fancy car parked few meters away from the checkpoint, I look to other side to see a group of 5 men circulating around what looked like two containers of beans and hummus. We move on with no drama so I ask, how many of those (checkpoints) around here? You never know, he replies, it all depends on the situation but may God take them away to hell. It’s not an easy job to take them away, I replied, it will take longer time and more effort, I elaborated. He speeds up, as a sign of tension or something then counters back, not at all Inshallah soon we will crush all these troublemakers and our leader will take us to the shore of safety!!! I was utterly shocked as I thought we were on the same page, but it does not make sense, he’s a shami, why? It just does not make sense!! Pulling his leg, I said, just tell me how? After we clean Homs we will chase every one of this freedom (7eeryeh) group back to their leaders of Qatar and Saad Al-Hariri.

It’s quite notable for me to come across a shami man who’s completely opposing the opposition; he does not even acknowledge them as opposition. Take care my son and stay away from Reef-Dimashq, was his last sentence to me before hopping out the car. Day after day I kept meeting up with Damascenes from different backgrounds, social class and education level, it did not take me long to realize that non-sunni people are fully behind the regime and when I say fully I mean it just like that. On the other hand, a big portion and I might challenge the narration to say the majority of Sunnis in Damascus are in total support of the regime. Yes, I come across lots of people who were opposing in public, there were not afraid and their answer was like (they’re busy chasing up armed men so we’re the least the care about now). Yes, the tansiqiat (coordination groups) are doing an amazing job and I have to tip my hat for them but in reality the big picture says that people of Damascus are asleep and actually they have put on a sign “Please don’t disturb” we’re asleep and PREFER to stay asleep.

Amazingly enough, the young kids of Damascus are more active and I’m not exaggerating when I say maybe they are more developed politically then their parents. Heaps of Sunnis adults were bragging and saying we’re shabiha of the leader, many of them has no sense of sympathy with all killed martyrs throughout the country actually they are quite reluctant to call them martyrs. After long conversations with many of those Sunni-Menhebaks I could put my finger on one common thing which they all enjoy and share. They are all beneficiaries (mostafeeden) in a way or another and super lazy to take this leap of faith to freedom, they prefer their weekly picnic (seeran) over a bright future and a break in Bloudan over political pluralism.

In my next update I’ll try to cast some light on women’s point of view and participation in this revolution.

III. Myopia People

As I said in the last segment, Heaps of Sunni adults in Damascus are bragging and saying they’re the real shabiha of the “leader”, many of them have no sense of sympathy with all the killed martyrs throughout the country and actually they are quite hesitant to call them martyrs. I’m quite reluctant to refer to those as “fence sitters” because simply they are not; they are people with their own understanding and way of perceiving things. It’s true that there is a big segment of Damascenes who are in favor to hold arms, not to topple the regime but more to retrieve their “lost-lifestyle” which they have lost to “jama3et el-7eriya” the freedom group 10 months ago.

Many tried to understand and analyze the attitude of this segment of Damascenes and maybe Aleppans for that matter, many descriptions and fancy words have been used to diagnose their current mind state. Things like silent opposition, ash under the fire, concerned for their wealth …etc. However, after spending a decent period of time in Damascus I have my simple interpretation of their attitude and unexplainable behavior. Those “fence sitters” are not troubled or in struggle to examine and explore the obvious; not at all, actually those are in full satisfaction with their stand and enjoying bursting comprehension to the surrounding and consequences to their actions.

I call this cult the “myopia people” who can’t see further than their noses and sadly speaking it’s in their hands to end or maintain the lifespan of the current regime. This cult is consisted of different sects and backgrounds, and the Sunnis of Damascus are taking the lead of it. One might argue saying these are the Menhebaks or elmostifedeen (beneficiaries) which is not true at all. These people are smart enough to understand what’s going on, they’re not in favor for Bashar himself or for his incompetent government not at all, and if you observer their actions you would notice how they oppose Bashar and criticize him along with his cronies in public with no fear but surely their open mouths of criticism to the regime is incomparable to the hate and despise they have for “jama3et el-7eriya” protesters.

What’s more, I decided to run my own analysis trying to understand more about this segment of people. I was enthusiastic enough to go an fetch personal info (I know that’s not ethical) about many people who I chose to be a part of my case study and sometimes I took the risk not only to push it a notch but rather too much. I did have chat with more than 10 people from different sects (5 Sunnis,3 Alawis and 2 Christians) I tried my best to use only one set of questions such as what, who and why. Of course, one of the first questions was to ask whether he/she is a fan of Addonia TV. I’m still in process to concatenate my findings and conclude more but for the sake of this post I’ll address you with only three scenarios.

Scenario one: (Male, Sunni, 52 years old, middle-class close to poor, dairy business, married) This mark did not only defend the regime fiercely but he took the extra step to put up a sign in his shop which says (Ma 3ina 7eriya) Something like we don’t sell freedom.  I struggled to understand his behavior especially that he’s operating his little diary in Share3 Al-ameen next to Alshghour  (Sunni old Shami neighborhood). Right at the beginning and giving his background and the location of his shop, I could exclude the possibility of him being an ass kisser or (tamse7 jou’7) as we call it. Excluding the act of hypocrisy has lead me to my second naïve conclusion that he might be one of those” mostifedeen” (beneficiaries) so I did dig deep into his life to find out more.  However, the results were pretty disappointing for me as this fellow was with NO relation to the following (government employment, military service, big trade or business, Alawi relatives, paid trumpet (bouq) … etc)!!! He’s a clean dude similar to each of us who has no ties whatsoever with the regime. I did this exercise many times and kept collecting more and more info but always the puzzled face and astonished eyes was the answer.

Consequently, I decided to move to phase2 and have a direct talk with him. Hi uncle (marhaba3amo) “we say uncle out of respect to older people in Syria” can I grab this and that? The man looked and sounded as friendly and normal as he could get while he has Al-Arabiya TV channel on talking about the “staged” explosions in Damascus few days ago. I found it hard to open the “sensitive” topic butfinally with a big smile (trying to be funny) I asked him (can I have 2 kilos of freedom) he looked me in the eyes for few seconds and out of the blue he said you don’t look like Mukhbarat or Tansiqya and then he laughed out. I found it interesting how he shared publically these feelings of hatred to Mukhbarat, but what’s more interesting is that he’s equaling the bad image and impression of Mukhabart with Tansiqya. I asked for a can of coke and we started a chat, he started by addressing me with “we had the real freedom, we don’t need their freedom” another point got my eyes that he kept talking as (we) instead of (I) every time he talks politics. “We had the freedom of living our life the way we wanted, we ran our business hours the way we liked, we went for picnics and trips at any time we desired, our ladies were safely wondering around Damascus, and no one ever put a lock on my shop to prevent me from earning my sustenance”… (few minutes of ranting on the same line) … then after a long sigh he elaborated “look at us now! God damn them”. I went a bit blunter and asked again how come? “Before al2zmeh (crisis) Mukhbarat and their friends were living away in their cages of security branches, we did not talk politics and no one ever harmed us, this was the unspoken gentlemen agreement between the ruler and people. They (Mukhabarat) have never been in our neighborhoods or marched into our houses, but now they’re everywhere disturbing our ladies and stealing our money”. I asked but 3amo ya3ni freedom & dignity and he snapped back saying “and who told them we want freedom or dignity we by our actions define our dignity, the dignity we once had but now look at us no freedom and no dignity and no future”. I thanked him a lot and took my way out towards old Souq Medhet Pacha on feet trying to put myself in his shoes in order to digest his point of view and see where he and many others are coming from, it was a nice walk till I was intercepted by a van of Shabiha who were guarding the entrance towards Omayyad mosque, they fully pissed me off and destroyed my mood so I jumped into a taxi and went home.

Scenario two: (females, Sunni, 30s, @ Tofaha bakery next to town centre mall near Sahnaya). At the exact time when Mukhabart and Shabiha were bombarding Douma and Mouadamiya suburbs in Damascus, I decided to go to the mall to see whether the fact of killing people would prevent Damascenes from going out.  I was pretty disappointed to see the crowds enjoying their shopping time as if the killing is happening in Palestine (business as usual) not only 10km away. I was sitting at my table waiting for my order (manakeesh & muhammara) next to atable of five women all veiled with very conservative Sunni looking. Of course in Syria you can’t just go and talk to ladies so I could not help it but togive them my ears especially when I heard them saying “5arabo elbalad” they destroyed the country. I readjusted my seat and paid full attention to their “secure” conversation (except from a nosy pervert like myself). That statement was seconded by others with (y26a3 3omrhm) may God take their lives away. At that time I was fully confident that they were refereeing to either Shabiha and Mukhabart or simply the clan. However, the hammer on my head was arrived when the most senior lady amongst them who looked to be (7amayah) the mother in law issued her disastrous statement saying “one day here and one day there we had enough, Inshallah Mr. president will relief us from them very soon and forgood, we had enough really we had enough (el3ama yedreben) may God blind them” she elaborated “yesterday I could not find an original block of Fa soap in supermarkets!!!” I was utterly shocked and went speechless so I spitted out my food and walked away.

Scenario three: (Male, Christian, 28 years old, Jaraman). This guy was aware of my intentions and he asked me to deliver his voice out. He sees himself more inclined towards the revolution, “might be the age” he reckons. His family members are in total opposition to the revolution, I asked why? And was expecting the same old answer “it’s an existence question for Christians” but his reply was sweet and concise, he assures us that yes it’s true that there are these feelings of insecurity within the Christian community but nothing more than any other community within Damascus. He confirms that the opposition groups tried to reach out to them to validate their worries and guarantee some securities; even he goes an extra mile to confirm that Christians in Damascus are not afraid whatsoever of sectarian killing which might break out in the future. I asked the question then why do you folks oppose the revolution? He answers by quoting his mum “they are the reason for disturbing our life and unleashing these herds of shabiha into our life”.

The common pattern between these three examples is stark and obvious; those people are upset and angry about having their lifestyle disturbed. Furthermore, their life has been somehow dented in a way or another by the regime and its actions but unfairly decided to blame the revolution instead. Most horribly, they don’t acknowledge the demand of protesters and have ZERO sense of sympathy or even connection with them. Concepts such as freedom and dignity are irrelevant to them, while many prefer to live and pass away in peace living on the margin. This segment is not in support for Bashar as a person as they could not careless who rules and fools. However, they are quite nostalgic to the era of the last 10 years, an era in which Syrians (high consumption rate) defined and measured their prosperity by their access to products on supermarkets shelves and their frequent weekly picnics. The regime’s foundation of support is mainly comprised of this segment in addition to the classic Menhebaks, Mostifeedeen and minorities in Damascus. I have no idea how but the opposition groups need to break this foundation and find their methods to address this segment of people, although I, personally, find it impossible to reach people who trade their freedom and dignity for a block of Fa and Friday picnic.

IV. A quick note about Palestinians in Damascus

Palestinians (around 250 thousand) in Damascus are mainly gathered in Palestine & Yarmouk refugee camps next to Midan and Qadam. The regime and opposition did their best to lure them to their sides but they (Palestinians) decided to stay on the fence with the attitude of we’re just temporary visitors here in Syria so please keep us out of it till we go back home to our Palestine. Bouthaina Shaaban did try to frame the Palestinians in many incidents, consequently, Ahmed Jibril (PFLP-GC) met with Bashar and cleared the air. One security personal told me currently they are ordered to treat two types of IDs with respect at every checkpoint, that’s being either a security personal or a Palestinian.

 Many Palestinians have been killed during this revolution; recently three were killed in the last bomb in Damascus when a mini-bus operates on Mezha-Palestine rout was passing by the Carlton hotel. I did attend the funeral of one of them who was named (Khaled Abu-Madi) in Yarmouk camp. The alarming issue that the opposition is not doing any serious effort to gain the Palestinians, there are lots of rumors that people of Midan distributed flyers in the camp saying (we will take our houses back very soon after toppling the regime and send you back to where you come from) and even people of Hajr Aswad  were chanting (bedna ne7ki 3ala elmakshof falastini me bedna nshoof) which means frankly speaking we don’t want to see any Palestinian in Syria. To add misery to their concern, the regime is distributing pamphlets quoting one SNC member who’s saying (there are 40 thousand governmental jobs are stolen by the Palestinians in Syria while Syrians are unemployed) and Haytham Almaleh saying (Palestinians drink 17 thousand fresh water bottle everyday in Damascus while Syrian are thirsty somewhere else) I could not confirm if these statements were actually issued but surely they are leaving very negative impact and not helping the Palestinians to fully join the revolution.


  1. here who have missed it:

    quite pathetic how the pro regime thugs are celebrating this shabiha fighting for Besho…


  2. @MGB:
    ” pls. note and be clear on this: I used the conditional “if Aboud was right and maybe Adduniya was your source of information to form your views, then nothing we say is going to sway you”, and though it is an assumption, it is in no way a dig or an accusation.”
    “a has already expressed above what I want to say in reply to equating the oppressor with the victims and I reiterate the narrow range of choices available to the opposition.”

    I am not equating… The responsibility of the regime comes first. but that does not mean that all what is happening in Syria is along the lines written by the SNC.
    Towards What do you want to sway me?
    Particular case are not representative of the whole situations, ut we are looking for icons for every day. So at some point one will have to discuss these cases. It is disgusting, but since they are hammered everywhere, we are bound to discuss them.

    But If we discuss a particular case, we end on an argument on the sources. It is right to express doubt of regime outlets, and dismiss their work systematically. but then why not apply the same standards with the Local Comities? You place me in an awkward situation.
    It is nice to enjoy chants and video of demonstrations, But Youtube has its limits. And this cluster of Facebook pages and blogs leads nowhere. Cartoons are funny, but cartoons are used to illustrate an editorial line inside a newspaper. Where is this newspaper? It is easy to criticize Syriatruth because it is against FSA or because it quotes regime outlets. It is another to have a local outlet that serves you facts.

    the people of the FSA are not going to go away when the regime falls. So you have to set the score right now. For now the FSA are behaving like phallangists: they kill then they go either with lengthy justifications either they accuse the other side.
    For example the French journalist [I don’t care particularly about him , specially since thousands of Syrians died], immediately the FSA accused the regime of killing its supporters in order to scare them. But then it appeared in the Figaro that this was a lie, and that the regime narrative was true. You don;t like this conclusion: you are right. You are also right to point endless cases of arrest and killings that have spread across syria tat are done y the regime. But the honest principled response for a story that made headlines for 48h, should have been a insistence that the FSA is to protect people not to settle scores with unarmed protesters with RPG. nor to slaughter those that are not kissing their buts. It is not about Dunia or no Dunia. It is about how the FSA controls its members and faces reality.

    PS the video of AlJadeed with a lousy Alqaida Salafi group is here. FSA or not FSA, I don’t care. .

    thx for the correction,


  3. Dear CrazyBear
    Don’t worry about showing the preview, we are ok with that as ling as it is not objectionable. If you think that it may be objectionable or violent, i think including it in square brackets will take care of that. Try that and if it needs fixing, I can do so.

    The way I view Nizar Nayouf is that he has never failed to come up with the news that supports the regime’s story at a crucial point when the regime needed support or diversion of real embarrassing situation. He always came through even when his claims turned out to be false or denied later by those he claimed to have witnessed what he described as have happened. I personally, do not trust him, based on record.


  4. Juergen

    “here who have missed it:”

    It seems that the supporters of the murderous Syrian regime are losing it big time.


  5. I do trust Sheila with great deal of respect!

    It does NOT look good at all, seems like those Russians moth….kers are planing to throw their veto again 😦 I hope I’m mistaken.


  6. “It is nice to enjoy chants and video of demonstrations, But Youtube has its limits. And this cluster of Facebook pages and blogs leads nowhere”

    Hey, it’s the regime that is paranoid about letting in an independent press without a platoon of “minders” shadowing them. Every single reporter who went into Syria without these minders confirmed what the LCC have been saying for months.

    “they kill then they go either with lengthy justifications either they accuse the other side.”

    It’s called answering your opponent’s misinformation and slurs. Again, wouldn’t be needed if there was an independent press in Syria, something the regime considers to be worse than a full scale NATO invasion.

    “But then it appeared in the Figaro that this was a lie, and that the regime narrative was true”

    Did you read the article in question? An anonymous source who told another anonymous source something. Such sloppy reporting wouldn’t have made it into a high school newspaper. Also, the FSA does not have heavy artillery. Figaro’s conclusions are disputed by every single journalist who was there.

    “Dutch Reporter: Regime set up us”

    “. nor to slaughter those that are not kissing their buts”

    Kindly name me one instance when the FSA killed someone for not “kissing its butt”. Possibly you are confusing the FSA with the shabiha scum sh*ts.

    I know OTW asked us to count to ten, but I find these repeated, general vague statements to be quite tiresome.


  7. Dear CrazyBear,
    First, I do have to disagree, rather strongly about your assessment of the clip you posted. I do care a great deal if it is Alqaida or FSA, because muddying the two is not correct nor intellectually honest and it only serves the regime. The two are not equal. There is not even a shred of evidence that this group has made it into action in Syria, or yet a shred of evidence other than a TV station, strongly in support of the criminal regime in Syria broadcasting a suspect tape in order to increase sectarian fear and justify to the west that the Mafia regime of Assad is out there to protect the western interest from Alqaida.

    And even if the tape is correct. Strengthening, FSA, under a coherent civilian coordination with the people on the ground. is the real protection against groups such as the one being used as a scarecrow. The stronger and more coherent FSA is and the more capable it is in stopping the criminal regime and its goon from inciting sectarian violence or in punishing those within its own rank or using its name for such purpose, the less chances groups like Alqaida will be able to work on the ground.

    Common sense tells us that Jihadist groups have been sitting like vultures waiting for power vacuum to move in. I have stated that even before March 15, 2011. But to start hyperventilating and freezing in fear of them will only expand such vacuum and allow them the chance to move in for the kill. It is a false premise to believe that the Syrian regime is the one to stop them for it is the regime that has been their bed fellow throughout the sectarian massacres of Iraq, and once it falls, the victims of these massacres will realize that.I think that a genuine brave decision to divorce fear and join the Syrian people in their revolution is the right decision morally, politically, and even economically over the long run.


  8. Dear Crazybear,
    I am seriously amazed at your logic. You are expecting a group, the FSA that was formed haphazardly and baptized by fire to act like the Swiss army.
    The FSA, according to many insiders and outsiders, is a loosely connected group of defected soldiers. For your information, most of these soldiers are conscripts, therefore more aptly described as kids. Most officers are just a little older than this group. Only a few are professional army personnel. These “kids” upon making their decision not to follow orders to kill, are left to fend for themselves. They can not go back home, because it means certain death.
    These groups have no training on how to handle the situation they were thrown into; they have no effective leadership, mainly because of the lack of communication channels; and they consist of people from all walks of life. Some of them may be pure evil and some may commit crimes and others may just make stupid mistakes, but to hold a magnifying glass to some mistakes and crimes committed by a few and conclude that the whole FSA is like the regime force is absurd, especially when no one really knows for real who is behind these acts. You have to remember that in addition to the FSA, you have all these criminal groups that are taking advantage of the chaos plus the concerted effort of the regime to fabricate lies to undermine the credibility of the opposition. If the regime had nothing to hide, it would have allowed the free press to come into Syria and “expose” the crimes of these groups. Since they will not allow the free press, they have put themselves in a situation where no one will believe anything they say even when it is true. They are literally the boy who cried wolf. At this point, there is only one party that can be blamed for what is happening in Syria and that is the Syrian regime.


  9. Crazy Duub!

    Once you started to churn out regime propaganda, I felt it necessary to remove the fluff from my belly button . Far more entertaining!

    First the Salafi Jihadi Homsi Hamwi Qatari Blackwater FSA brigade and now we have Crazy Duub.

    Look go back to crazy weather da vinci codes by Alarabiya. Man, at least I get a laugh


  10. Comment removed by OTW for inappropriate personal attack on another poster.
    Please feel free to re-post without the last two lines of the original comment.


  11. Time to Step In

    Dear Jarthouma
    Please call people with the name they have selected for themselves. This is unacceptable. This also applies to everyone who has done the same thing. I do not approve of my guests including yourself, being treated this way.

    Now even if CrazyBear is a supporter of the regime, then use the opportunity and address his comments rationally in an environment that hopefully will not allow either one of you to degenerate into shouting matches or belittling each others. CrazyBear is presenting opinion, and while I may not be neutral to his opinion, he is presenting it as his own and not relying on cut and pastes.

    Now, here is the game of politics. If CrazyBear is the political minority, then he will get my full protection to comment and to be responded to without hyperbole or insults whether I agree with his comments or not. It is the essence of democracy. Here in the virtual world, we can do what we are dreaming of doing in reality in Syria. And this is part of practicing my non neutral stance against the regime and its practices.

    Furthermore, since Aboud brought it up (counting to 10) I must say that I had skipped many of the exchanges, especially those that degenerate into personal insults. But as I went through them again, I am surprised at my self for not confronting two people I dearly care about, Aboud and Zenobia. And I do have to agree with Zenobia that Aboud tends to personalize things. Talking about mood swings and problems at home is not, at least in my opinion, part of “great debating skills” Aboud boasts about. to the contrary it is bad debating skill. I also hope that Zenobia was more respectful of the feelings of her fellow Syrians, including myself, who do see the demonstrators as doing something truly heroic and I fully disagree with her assessment that describing Ghyath Matar as Syria’s Little Gandhi is an insult to Gandhi, to the contrary, it re-affirms Gandhi place in our conscious as a universal model for peaceful resistance and demonstrates the respect we have for the peaceful elements of the revolution. Zenobia’s real point, however has been overlooked in the attempts of those who objected to her to provide smart-sounding answers. And it is a point that I do also agree with, which states that there is a great risk with militarization of the revolution and that risk is well acknowledged even by Yassin Haj Saleh. What motivates her is irrelevant and even if it was to protect her relatives, it would be a legitimate motive. But if anyone cares to dig deeper, it would appear that her real motive is not to protect them only, but also to find ways to draw them to join her into the revolution, it is in this case not only legitimate but laudable. motive. Talking about such motive in cynical manner is, once more, not a great debating skills.

    No one has to defend anyone or cheer anyone here. But I will stand in, as much as my time allows, to defend every ones right to debate without being molested. If Zenobia, Aboud, or anyone else for that matter shreds my arguments, even harshly, I myself have no problem with that. If anyone else finds logical inconsistencies in my arguments or find then objectionable, I would urge that such be presented, in respectable non personalizing manner, and let us move on.

    Again, I am not acting as a judge here. But I am once more, pulling the traditional patriarchal age seniority, as well as the privileged position as the host of the debate.


  12. Hear Hear…I’m with you on that, OTW.

    For whatever it’s worth, I offer my apologies for the name calling directed at crazybear by jarthouma and again ask some 7eetanis this question: does it really make you feel better to call people names you wouldn’t like to be directed at you? C’mon folks, treat others as you would like to be treated…why is it soooo bloody hard to do that?! See, you’re turning me into an old bore.

    Back to the discussion:

    1-Crazybear, please outline your suggestions for helping the revolution/fsa to overcome the reservations you harbor against it, if you are for it at all, of course.

    2-Whilst I don’t want to make it look as if we’re ganging up on you here crazybear, I’d like to add to and expand on what Aboud, Sheila and OTW said above.

    Let’s get back to basics: from the start the regime refused to allow peaceful protests sending its snipers to scare people against demonstrating, then tried its damnedest (unsuccessfully) to push the opposition to choose violence, until several months later the fsa was FORCED INTO BEING DUE TO REGIME ACTIONS and not by free choice. The effort from the start was to present the uprising as extremist armed gangs sent from abroad and this continued and as the FSA gained strength and numbers, it became essential to besmirch its image and confuse the picture, so we had the Mu’allem videos, then the orchestrated “suicide” bombings in damascus and now videos like the one you posted. What for? So they can ratchet up the violence, (use of aerial bombardment will follow soon when the current campaigns fail as they certainly will), go all out Hama ’82-style, and achieve total victory (unlikely, even impossible methinks), which then makes it a true civil war on par with the Spanish one. I repeat what I asked before: why?

    Because the ASMAA are adamant that Syria either stays theirs or no one else will get to have it, not whole anyway; they would rather burn it down rather than surrender it, proving once and for all that they never loved the place except as a prison farm to exploit and play gods and masters over its people.

    And here is a bit of a rant to follow up on the above.

    I don’t think the above conclusion will be a “Samson’s last act” as many say. They, the ASMAA will try to preserve the coastal region as the place to retreat to with their plundered armaments and money. That’s when it will become crystal clear whether the ASMAA is a truly sectarian regime or a bunch of like-minded criminals and thieves from a wide spectrum of backgrounds? Will non Alawis be allowed into the enclave and given the honor of citizenship in the new Assadist Princedom? Will Hassoun and al Bouti be invited? Will Alawis not totally committed to the “Assadist Way” be marginalized and used as the new prison-laborers? Will non Alawi native inhabitants of the coast be allowed to stay, keep their land and properties and be given full rights or treated as 2nd class citizens, or will they be “ethnically cleansed’, Balkan-style?

    Many might think the questions touch on sectarian issue better left alone, or that the scenario is a trip into fantasy-land (chicken sheett, my Texan friends would say) . Maybe so, but such questions need to be asked/discussed, though some might suggest it is a wee bit early to start doing so now. The more important question is what can we do now to prevent the situation heading toward such a scenario?

    the Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships

    PS Needless to say the “Salafist” in my handle name at SC was actually just to stir and rile up the menhibbakjiyeh and give me another S for ASSAD and is not a true description of what I am; the other words are. Just in case you think I am starting to sound like a salafist 🙂


  13. SyrianExpat

    sometimes i wonder where Aljazeera finds their talkshow guests. Here in Berlin we have been beaten up on antiassad demonstrations, one syrian politician to the local government here was beaten up in his apartment. The least you hear is the various versions of sh…a, and hardly i met one Assad supporter on the street with manners and who could articulate. You see the strangest alliances when it comes to this regime. Here in Berlin we saw members of the Ahbash sect and hisbollah supporters on the street together holding up posters of Assad the embassy guys gave them. In real life they had each other, but i guess for Assad they make an exception.


  14. FIne fine…… :). Can I at least ask him about the secret code in the last Tunisian game of the African cup ? I insist ! I want to know whether the three passes during the first 5 minutes of the second half are an indirect message about the timer on the bomb that will be used to blow up Beshos favourite Xbox


  15. “لنظام السوري نجح في الايقاع بالجيش السوري الحر في عدة مناطق في ريف دمشق عندما انسحب منها بشكل تكتيكي للايحاء بقوة هذا الجيش التابع للمعارضة، ولتكريس مقولته التي تؤكد انه يواجه جيشا قويا، ليعود بعد يومين ليستعيد هذه المناطق في ساعات معدودة، وبعد ارتكاب مجزرة في حق المدنيين. فاذا كان النظام استخدم ‘فزاعة’ تنظيم ‘القاعدة’ بالقاء تبعة عمليات التفجير في دمشق على عاتقها مثلما تؤكد المعارضة، فما المانع من استخدامه ‘فزاعة’ الجيش السوري الحر في الاطار نفسه لتبرير استخدامه المفرط للقوة ضد المحتجين المدنيين العزل؟”

    “The Syrian regime has succeeded in trapping the Free Syrian Army several times in different locations in Reef-Damascus. The Syrian army intentionally and tactically was withdrawing from these areas trying to send a signal of the strength of the FSA “as armed gangs”, that’s in order to dedicate his statement that confirms that the army is facing a strong army, only to return after two days to restore these areas in few hours, and after the commission of a civilians massacres. The regime has used for long the famous scarecrow “Al Qaeda” to lay down the consequences of the bombings in Damascus upon it, at least that’s what the opposition claims. So why not using the new ‘scarecrow ‘ of Free Syrian Army in the same context to justify the use of excessive force against unarmed civilian protesters?”

    This was written in Alquds Alrabi. I totally disagree with this point of view as I’m sure that it’s the actual strength and determination of FSA and protesters which has lead to push the regime’s gangs out of their towns and suburbs. However, I have to admit it’s a worth noting point of view and maybe there’s someone (for change) is playing some tactic.


  16. I suppose you all heard this but just in case, last night’s Ja’afari speech at the UN:


  17. UNSC current structure (in terms of Members States of the Council and the position of Syria

    Permanent members

    – United States: Calls for Assad to step down.

    – United Kingdom: Calls for Assad to step down.

    – France: Calls for Assad to step down.

    – Russia: Calls for a dialogue between the Assad and the opposition.

    – China: Rejects foreign intervention in Syria.

    Non-permanent members

    – Azerbaijan: Supports the Arab League position.

    – Colombia: Its position is not clear yet.

    – Germany: Calls for Assad to step down.

    – Guatemala: Supports the Arab League position.

    – India: Rejects foreign intervention in Syria.

    Morocco: Supports the Arab League position.

    Pakistan: Demands respect for the sovereignty of Syria.

    Portugal: Calls for Assad to step down.

    South Africa: Calls for a political solution led by the Syrian regime.

    Togo: its position is not clear yet but depends heavily on South Africa.


  18. “Talking about mood swings and problems at home is not, at least in my opinion, part of “great debating skills” Aboud boasts about”

    Maybe people here would like to hear what MY typical day is like

    I think I may be excused for being somewhat touchy at times. And I think I did pretty well taking on the Russian position in the HYS’s 6pm segment.

    True, Al Quds Al Arabi has always been defeatist. The Syrian army has never managed to trap crap. We will see the FSA come back to those areas again in a month at the most. And the regime doesn’t need an excuse to obliterate a neighborhood, here in Homs every single person I know who has been arrested was rounded up randomly.


  19. Allah ya7meek Ya Aboud. Everyday wake up for the sake of Allah and may he give you the serenity that you need


  20. I found it bloody pathetic how Ja’afari quoted Nizar Qabbai. This is the same Nizar who refused to sell his soul to the evil papa Hafiz, who’s in return turned his life into hell and chased him from a place to another. Quoting such a great poet who enjoys a strong strain of anti-authoritarianism to defend a dictator is far away from any sense of comprehension.

    One couplet in particular, Nizar says — “O Sultan, my master, if my clothes are ripped and torn it is because your dogs with claws are allowed to tear me” — is sometimes quoted by Arabs as a kind of wry shorthand for their frustration with life under dictatorship.


  21. “Maybe people here would like to hear what MY typical day is like”

    Bless you people of Homs.

    Dude!! you sound pretty young 🙂 I always thought you were a pretty old man who has witnessed the times of union with Egypt and so on in addition to 1967, 1971 and 1973.

    Be safe and don’t get an overdose of sleeping pills eh



    To people of Damascus please refrain from using water tab today especially for drinking and cooking. The water treatment unit for Damascus was targeted at early hours this morning so the water you’re getting is not processed or treated so it might contain some bacteria or other elements.

    You expats try to inform your family and friends in Damascus.


  23. “Be safe and don’t get an overdose of sleeping pills eh”

    I must have lost 15 kg in the past 10 months. I look alot more tired than last year.

    Well, the UNSC resolution failed to get passed. So, that’s that phase over and done with. We did our best to do things the political way.

    Now it’s time to create facts on the ground. And if people don’t like what happens next, go whine to Russia


  24. just watched the security council meeting. Remarkable speeches by Arabi and Clinton, i loved her statement: Syria does beloeng to its 23 million inhabitants and not to one man or his family.

    here one could see the full speeches also the dramatic appeal of the syrian ambassador, he even quoted Quabbani and his childhood donation of his pocket money for the liberation of the gulf countries….


  25. “We did our best to do things the political way. Now it’s time to create facts on the ground. And if people don’t like what happens next, go whine to Russia”

    Months and months back we said there’s one title of victory, this title is called FSA.


  26. Dear Aboud:
    I do appreciate your typical and atypical days. and sorry to bring up the subject again, but I really need to get to the bottom of this.

    It may be understandable why one in your situation may have little patience for niceties of dialog and be angered by others not seeing the world the way you see it from the trenches. But how come it is OK for you to “vent” out and not for others?

    And suppose it is OK (although it is not) for you. How would one excuse someone like me or others who may use the same style and approach in ways that look more like ganging up on someone who today challenges the possibility of excessive militarization of the revolution, and tomorrow may question some serious screw up by one or another of the FSA brigades or individuals. Allowing you or anyone else a wider margin will only result in encouraging others like me, who do not live in the trenches, to use the same style and to act as if we are the real thing, and we are not . In the end, it will affect the entire blog, stifling debate, making real informed discussion near impossible and I am afraid, justifying the notion that 7ee6an is only for those who are willing to pat each others on the back. This is not my vision. I value each member of this community the same

    Other than that, please stay safe my friend.


  27. Aboud,

    It was nice hearing your voice. Young, articulate, and with little accent.

    Be safe,


    It is a shame these little squabbles and disagreements appear from time-to-time. Being unified is important. I think most here realize Assad has to go; the sooner the better. Everything else is how best to accomplish it.

    Arguing with the menhebaks is a waste of time. Those that think Assad is the best Syria has to offer need psychiatric help! Of course, in Syria, these two points-of-view translate into violence, death, and arrests. Unfortunately, this means a civil war. It wouldn’t be the first.



  28. I’m not young. Im not even in my 20s anymore.


    Not used to hearing the sound of my own voice.

    OTW, I responded the way I did to Zenobia after her obnoxious way of addressing me, even after I extended every courtesy to her. From now on, (name calling removed by OTW) can expect no such civility from me.

    But I am interested in hearing how the flower-power block intend to move things now that Russia has pissed all over the AL's excellent initiative. They can tell me after a year how that's worked out for them.


  29. I did a search on “John Bolton Syria” to see what one of my political heroes has said recently on this subject. Basically he is saying that if you want to bring down Assad, you have to take on the Ayatollahs in Iran first, and Obama is not prepared to do so.

    You can agree or not. It seems the Syrian people are doing a fairly good job on their own.


  30. Aboud, your answer would have been fine had it not been for name calling, which is part of what what I was talking about. You have just thrown my kind appeal to Jarthouma out the window. I do not appreciate that.


  31. AP

    It is a shame these little squabbles and disagreements appear from time-to-time. Being unified is important. I think most here realize Assad has to go; the sooner the better. Everything else is how best to accomplish it.

    Agree, but being unified by compromising key principles will be a dangerous trend I do not want to encourage. In fact, I am more comforted when I see a great diversity of opinion among those supporting the revolution or at least recognizing that Assad and his regime must go for Syria, and I believe the region indirectly to move a head. It is a healthy sign and it is about time we Syrians learn to debate with less emotion and more substance. This is really my quest and I would like to get 7ee6an to a point where people you and I both know and have encountered feel comfortable enough to chip in as they recognize that this is a serious debate place and not merely a revolution propaganda site. That of course means that I will not allow the site to become a regime propaganda outlet either.


  32. Dear Juergen
    I did not have chance to comment on your refund story, but it was excellent in demonstrating the inefficiency of very hierarchical systems where no one except those at the helm has any real actionable authority delegated. It is the mark of authoritarian systems.


  33. OTW,

    You’re doing a bang-up job, and I understand your search for perfection. I’m sure it is difficult.

    OTOH, saying Zenobia is part of the “flower-power block” is sort of funny; (removed by OTW for inappropriate information) disrespect for Zenobia – I find her POV very interesting and relevant. BTW, you can call me a “chicken-hawk” if you want; the Israeli-liberals found that a good label for me.;)

    BTW, the Oslo failure silenced the Israeli-liberals, and now the Syrian “Arab Spring” issue has rendered them even more irrelevent. Ya’ani, “Silence of the Lambs”;) Where is Norman Finkelstein and Jonathan Cook??


  34. Dear 7ee6anis
    A group has started an online campaign to boycott russia and china for their support of the Assad regime in Syria . The group is urging several actions, including:

    We would then like to call upon all the free people of the world and most specifically the Arab and Islamic people to participate with us to stop the killing in Syria, which is encouraged and supported by the governments of Russia and China. We call for the boycott of:
    – All the products of Russia and China
    – All the companies of Russia and China
    – All activities, cultural or other, endorsed by the governments of Russia and China

    My question is how realistic such a request is? and what would it take to make it bite?


  35. AP
    LOL … Pinch,

    But seriously, do you have any idea abut how to make it bite or whether it is realistic?

    I think it is more realistic for Russia than for China. Because for China, it means we save almost 80% of our discretionary spending in the US and about 20 to 30% of our spending on essentials. I also think that China’s position is less certain and more persuadable than Russia’s. Am I correct in that.


  36. Russia is exporting mainly oil, minerals and weapons (the last is apparently not counted in most statistics), and imports Machinery [1]. It is therefor unlikely a boycott would do much against them. I am not sure the world could afford to boycott two major oil producers (Iran and Russia).

    China, OTOH, might be vulnerable. Their regime must keep an high growth to remain stable, and they export commodities which are far easier to boycott. Also, they are dependent on imported oil, a fair portion of which is from the ME.

    (somewhat outdated, but I suspect with the recent economic crisis the picture hasn’t changed much).


  37. But seriously, do you have any idea abut how to make it bite or whether it is realistic?


    Yes, little to none.

    The BDS against Israel was easy due to the decades-long opposition to Israel throughout the liberal world.

    Going against the communist bastions of Russia and China is something the liberal community can’t do. The chances of creating a BDS against Russia and China are about the same as Jonathan Cook and Norman Finkelstein writing articles against Syria and Hezbollah.

    You can’t make monkey act like fish.

    The simplist way to accomplish this is to ally yourselves with the natural enemies of communism: conservatives. The arabs should switch their allegiance toward Romney, Sarkozy, and Cameron. N’est pas? Meeting with BB wouldn’t hurt either…


  38. Thanks Y and AP. Y, your view contradicts my assumption regarding who is more vulnerable, but it does make more sense than what I initially thought with respect to the nature of the economy of both countries. To think of it, China could really be vulnerable in Arab countries where a good dint can be made into their exports. I general, with the exception of South Africa, many BDS campaigns ends up being more of a moral stand (whether one agrees or not) than an actual economic tool.

    AP. As for supporting conservatives instead of liberal. I am trying my best to separate my vote as an American citizen on issues related to the US, our economy, social justice, etc.. from the Syria issue. But that is something we will definitely approach as the election get closer and the republican candidate become more evident. I do agree with your comment that it be very hard to get the liberal community to go against Russia and Iran. But who said BDS has to strictly be a liberal issue? again, at least from the moral stand point. As I write, the number if victims stand at 42 civilians and 14 members of the FSA and the day is not yet over in Syria.

    I will do my part and spread the word.


  39. But who said BDS has to strictly be a liberal issue? again, at least from the moral stand point. As I write, the number if victims stand at 42 civilians and 14 members of the FSA and the day is not yet over in Syria.


    Change can come from government leadership or from the people. In both cases, the two group can be pretty inconsistent.

    Anti-Israel policies came from the Europeans and the thrid world due to the Palestinians (sometimes self-imposed) suffering and the liberal ideology of equality (never mind Islamist ideology). For example, this past New Year’s, I met a Jewish-Swede woman who lived in Israel for over 10 years and who has recently returned to live in Sweden. She said the Swedes are pro-Palestinian because they tend to support “the under-dog”.

    Do the Swedes and other liberals support those fighting against strong nations who support communism like Russia, China, Vietnam, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, etc? No. Does the pro-women organization NOW harshly criticize countries who don’t promote equal rights for women? No. Do American pro-black orgs criticize black countries that still permit slavery? No.

    People have difficulty criticizing themselves.

    Now that the tables have been turned, I think Arabs should look at supporting conservatives who have always been pro-democracy and pro-individuality.

    I found this news article about slavery. Comparing this individual with what is going on in Syria is a bit profound to me…


  40. Aboud,it’s thank to syrians like you that we are proud to be syrian again.


  41. AP
    Supporting the underdog is a very normal, compensatory human behavior. But I am dismayed at the failure of many on the left to address the issues you mentioned including for example the continuing practice of slavery in Mauritania.

    I have and will continue to argue that success of the Syrian revolution in removing the Assad regime will have a major impact on the future of the region, especially in terms of freeing the Palestinian cause from the destructive interference of the Syrian regime and reducing the Iranian influence on that issue. The Assad regime has been the galvanizing point of most reactionary Arab intellectuals stuck in communist era mentality. You and I will come back and discuss how barriers will crumble one after the other. The difference will be that I think and hope that out of that a real liberal movement will emerge that would have learnt from the conservatives to be zealot when it comes to liberty and individuality but still retain a considerable attachment to social justice.


  42. Really cool to hear Aboud’s voice. Do stay safe and alert, young man. BTW, was it only 1:29 short? Would love to hear the whole conversation if possible. Tell us how!

    OTW, hang in there akhi, we’ll get there eventually.

    True and Aboud:: I’m not sure I’d interpret the alQuds piece as defeatist. To me it tries to demonstrate how cunning and dirty the Assadist Occupation Forces are, always making excuses and trying to camouflage their killing of unarmed civilians with devious and false justifications. That is why I never believed in dismissing or belittling Besho and his executioners as clueless fools. Also why it’s so frustrating to see the divisions among the opposition. We need all of our smarts, wits and energies employed against both the intellectual and physical powers of the murderous Mafiosi and their occupation forces, not wasted on arguing with each other.



  43. Russia in its current post-Yeltsin incarnation is about as “communist” or socialist as Avigdor Lieberman. I think it’s a straw man argument to say that Europeans or Americans on the left support what Russia does because it is Russia — or have any illusions that China is a socialist state with a commitment to social justice. Nor would I assume that Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, Amira Hass and Gideon Levy are cheerleading for Assad. Supporting one BDS does not preclude another. The very idea of BDS came from the boycott of apartheid South Africa.

    Great to hear your voice, Aboud. Keep the faith.

    aka Emma Goldman (look it up!)


  44. Der Spiegel, germans leading magazin wrote a story about Asma Al Assad titleling: The Beauty and the Butcher… Quite a label, i wonder if the syrian amabassador caught his breath reading that.

    I have posted it on SC if anyone wants to read it.


  45. Supporting the underdog is a very normal, compensatory human behavior.


    True. However, sometimes it is not clear who the underdog is. This is where “hasbara” and politics meets the pavement.

    But I am dismayed at the failure of many on the left to address the issues you mentioned including for example the continuing practice of slavery in Mauritania.

    You and me both. That is why I have difficulty understanding “liberals”. I understand their need to support the underdog, but they have too many “politically favorite” underdogs. G-d forbid if you aren’t a member of one of these groups.

    Responding to umm nuwâs:

    Russia in its current post-Yeltsin incarnation is about as “communist” or socialist as Avigdor Lieberman.

    You may very well be right. My impression is that Russia is a family “thugocracy” like Syria. I assume it is not communist anymore, despite it’s recent history as the leader of the communist world.

    I think it’s a straw man argument to say that Europeans or Americans on the left support what Russia does because it is Russia — or have any illusions that China is a socialist state with a commitment to social justice. Nor would I assume that Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, Amira Hass and Gideon Levy are cheerleading for Assad. Supporting one BDS does not preclude another.

    umm nuwas,

    Just by virtue of these groups and individuals staying so silent in the face of worse crimes against people who aren’t part of their favorite boogeymen: capitalism, Israel and the US, smacks of hypocrisy and ultimately, non-relevance.

    The very idea of BDS came from the boycott of apartheid South Africa.

    I agree. Now what about South African crime, violence and the treatment of whites today? Not an issue.


  46. AGAIN,
    WHY DOES THIS LITTLE VOICE – (removed by OTW for language)

    get to print something with my Name in it…. or make false references: “miss salafi brigade in homs”

    where exactly does this come from??? I have never ever mentioned any of the word in this entire phrase EVER. So….where does this
    little “sh*t” as he likes to say of others…. get off!….

    Nor have I ever mentioned “flowers” or singing…or anything else vaguely similar.

    Akbar, Nor have I mentioned anything about my education here for you to disclose or talk about me. Why don’t you start using your name(Removed by OTW for inappropriate information) , before you take any steps to reference me again in the context of some shit with this asshole…

    ‘whining’ (isn’t that your favorite word) and making excuses for his behavior….awww MY bad (and impressive! just in case you missed it!) day is harder than everyone else’s AND….. that he was ONLY responding to Zenobia’s obnoxious reference.
    you have a complete track record way before and after encountering me- banned from other blog- a little tyrant , disdainful, mocking tone with people who don’t agree with you or have an opinion that enrages you.

    Now Crazybear can bear the heat of the baby Shark biting biting at everyone’s heels.

    And then your sadistic tactics for shutting other people up.


  47. What I like about all the shelling, is that it drowns out the shrilling shrieks of others.

    And how did she-who-must-not-be-named know what the term was that I used? OTW censored it almost immediately.

    Apparently OTW, there must be some private whining going on via emails, which you’ve succumbed to. Thanks a million.


  48. Zenobia,

    For whatever it is worth, I apologize if I offended you.


  49. I was reading it on my email asshole A. It was right there… called notifications.


  50. While you engage mostly in PUBLIC WHINING AND HUMILIATION OF OTHERS….
    you are an embarrassment to it actually.


  51. AP , OTW & anyone interested :

    It would, in fact, be an excellent idea to get the info on BDS of Russia and China for their support of Assad to those involved with the “other” BDS movement, many of whom are not one-issue activists.

    Here is Noam Chomsky on the Arab democracy movements, and, in the YouTube, talking about the Syrian revolution, or rather about the American government’s fence-sitting . Chomsky’s being mostly concerned about the US is hardly surprising, as he is American —

    — Amira Hass and Gideon Levy are Israeli journalists working for peace and justice, so it isn’t surprising either that Israel and Palestine are the focus of their writing rather than Darfur or Somalia.

    I have seen reams of articles about corruption, violence and health issues in South Africa now — in Le Monde, in the Guardian, in Le Monde Diplomatique, & innumerable other journals.

    Do Western feminist organizations criticize legal and “traditional” oppression of women in Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa ? Yes, and get flak for it, from both left and right, at home and abroad. Much in the press right now from many places about the future for Egyptian and Tunisian women post-election.

    May we soon be discussing the role of everyone — Sunnites, Alawites, Christians, Kurds and secular, and women who are all of the above — in Syria post-Besho and post-free elections. Inch’allah.


  52. *rolls eyes*

    Umm Nuwâs…hello, how are you? Now I have a beef with you my friend. You called me aka Emma Goldman. Looked her up on Wikipedia. What caught my attention wasn’t that she was a leading anarchist, or a disillusioned supporter of Bolshevism. No, what caught my eye was this;

    “Goldman was well-known during her life, described as—among other things—”the most dangerous woman in America”



  53. Akbar and Zenobia
    You are both asked not to make reference to any personally identifying information. I am sorry that even though I read Akbar’s remark, his violation of site rules skipped me but that does not excuse the counter violation.

    Dear MGB
    OTW, hang in there akhi, we’ll get there eventually.

    I will hang there for as long as I can, thanks for the support.


  54. AP

    That letter by the freed slave you posted absolutely made my day. Thank you! It took me to the age when my favorite American author lived, a straight talker who would have totally loved the tone of the letter and its author’s attitude. He was also an unabashed anti-imperialist and let the world know it in no uncertain terms.

    Anyone have trouble viewing Jeurgen’s video at 08:45? It’s telling me “sorry this is a private video”.


  55. Aboud

    Believe me that was an nice remark about Emma , she was an extraordinary women, and she wrote an avery amusing autobiography almost a must read i would say.


  56. I just didn’t understand what part of anarchist, Bolshevik, dangerous woman applied to me 🙂

    (contrary to what someone may believe, there isn’t a space telescope in existence that can fully encompass the full majesty that is named after a famous whale. Hehe)


  57. MGB,

    The video was made by the BeAware team (who make great videos so far only 3), I did not find the third one on their youtube channel (I got the private message as well) nor could I find another copy of the third video (that was not private). Below is the groups youtube channel I am sure it will be re-uploaded there soon enough.

    If you have not seen the first two videos I highly recommend them, it makes me really proud to see Syrians speaking so eloquently about their rights and demands for Freedom and respect.


  58. That letter by the freed slave you posted absolutely made my day. Thank you!


    Glad to oblige. We Americans are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, however, we seem to change for the better; as long as we have an election, rule-of-law, and an open society.

    I was amazed at the letter writer’s english. Slaves were most often kept out of school and illiterate. Any society that permits slavery is sick, yet it’s still around and gets swept under the rug in today’s world.

    umm nuwâs,

    Spare me! Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Jonathan Cook and their ilk all have written extensively about the “crimes” and “original sin” of Israel and Zionism.

    I can only respect those who can criticize both sides to a conflict. Here is Chomsky’s website and his list of articles. Do you see any articles critical of Assad or any arab despot?

    Why not?

    If you want to read/learn about the other side of the Arab-Israeli conflict, feel free to read CAMERA and Daniel Pipes. It is not as “black and white” as these ideologues make you believe. Go to their archives and read about the corrections and retractions and the many subjects they cover. All I ask is that people remain open-minded.


  59. “All I ask is that people remain open-minded.”

    Tall order to ask of some people. It is because of the scrutiny of intellectuals like Daniel Pipes that many of the more hardline religious demagogues have had to learn to temper some of their more outrageous statements and behaviors. Previously, you’d even hear crap like what animals were “cursed” in the Quran and were enemies of Muslims.

    Some people may not like some of the things Daniel Pipes says, but there is no denying that the behavior of some political Islamists needed a light shone on it, something too many Muslims themselves were too timid to do, lest they be hit with the “takfeer” edict and fatwas calling for their deaths.

    Another person I like is Irshad Manji. Politically, she is somewhat naive, but on certain social issues she has some opinions that bear examining. Although what’s with that haircut….


  60. Aboud
    Daniel Pipes does in the US exactly what the Shabee7a on SC do. Call anyone he disagrees with terrorist lover and tries to intimidate anyone who criticizes Israel. He should be one of those you are complaining about not having open mind. I wonder if you know anything about Daniel pipes work to suppress academic freedom? and the freedom of expression of Arab-American and Muslim students in the US. or if you know of his efforts to paint Muslims in the US in the worst possible view.

    As for imagining that he has any impact o the way radical imams think, or write, Please think again. Just remember that the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.


  61. “To people of Damascus please refrain from using water tab today especially for drinking and cooking. The water treatment unit for Damascus was targeted at early hours this morning so the water you’re getting is not processed or treated so it might contain some bacteria or other elements.”

    Who targetted the water plamt, and why ? If it was the Opposition, what could they have gained from it ?


  62. “As for imagining that he has any impact o the way radical imams think, or write, Please think again.”

    I know alot of the impact he’s had. You have no idea at all how disgustingly crude, anti-semitic and anti-anything-not-a-Wahabi-Muslim the English language Saudi press was, before they came under Pipe’s scrutiny. I do, I saw firsthand the change in formerly holier than thou columnists who tamed their pens once someone started to bring attention to their writings. Nothing moderates someone better than the fear that they will be denied a visa to Europe or the USA for their annual vacations.

    “I wonder if you know anything about Daniel pipes work to suppress academic freedom?”

    You mean Campus Watch? Well, let the man himself defend this project in his own words

    “Campus Watch is to Middle East studies as political analysis to politics, film criticism to movies, and consumer reports to manufacturing; we provide assessments for the public. Unlike politicians, actors, and business executives, who accept criticism with good grace, academics howl with umbrage at being judged”

    Do you have specific examples were he went too far? That would be an interesting topic to debate. But he certainly has never killed or tortured anyone, so please, calling him a shabiha is too ridiculous for someone of your intelligence.

    “Call anyone he disagrees with terrorist lover”

    Really? Could you tell us who he has called a “terrorist lover”, and let’s examine if those charges have merit.

    “Just remember that the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.”

    Yes, As’ad Abu Khalil is so much better, throwing around the Salafi word and quoting his imaginary sources. Or maybe the PLF-GC. Or Hamas who broke up a pro-Syrian revolution demonstration in Gaza. Or our Indian friends. Or the nice Lebanese we helped and sheltered in 2006 after Israel turned the Dahiya into so much rubble. Or maybe the nice leftists who were so full of love for Arabs during the American invasion but now throw around the conspiracy word more times than a John Le Carre novel. What friends are we talking about here?

    All my life, all I’ve heard is how the USA and Europe hate Arabs. Well, if it wasn’t for the diplomatic help we were getting from them right now, were would we be? Their foreign ministers, their top diplomats, put in an appearance at the SC, which is more than can be said for Pakistan, India or South Africa.


  63. Aboud,

    I am still pinching myself (I like that term) because you’re the only arab I know that isn’t inclined to critcize Zionists and their supporters at every opportunity. You are the most balanced arab I know. And you HAVE criticized Israel in the past, you just don’t make Israel the sole neighborhood villian like those wonderful anti-Zionists do.


    Please indulge me. Go to Danny’s website, go to his VAST archive, peruse the articles and then place 3 or 4 links links in a post showing what you claim:

    “…anyone he disagrees with terrorist lover and tries to intimidate anyone who criticizes Israel.”

    I wonder if you know anything about Daniel pipes work to suppress academic freedom?

    All DP does is bring to light what those in academia say (like Professor Josh).

    Daniel Pipes states on right at the beginning of his website:

    The project mainly addresses five problems: analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students. Campus Watch fully respects the freedom of speech of those it debates while insisting on its own freedom to comment on their words and deeds.

    I’d say Professor Josh has had a few “analytical failures”, no? Or more accurately, a MORALITY failure….


  64. Aboud
    How much time did you ever spend on an American Campus?

    To begin with, Daniel Pipe’s description of campus watch is hugwash. It is like Al Capone testifying about the charity organization he heads. This organization has one single objective and that is to ensure that Islamic and Arab studies never challenge the narratives that are in line with Israel’s right wing. Using McArthist tools akin to those used by authoritarian regimes.It is really funny that you and Akbar to preach about mistrusting people who always criticize one side then introduce Daniel Pipes as the example of an enlightened “scholar”. It is stretch ludicrous and a mile cynical.

    Campus Watch stifles academic freedom and I don’t give a rat’s ass whose freedom it stifles as long as it creates an environment in which free pursuit of truth is intimidated. Here is a snippet from an article that appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, one of the most respected journals dealing with Academic life in the US.

    Fear of Muslims has been exacerbated by professors in the booming field of terrorism and security studies, who not infrequently characterize Islam as an inherently violent religion. Those who speak favorably of Islam come under fire from organizations like Campus Watch, which monitors what professors are saying and applies its substantial resources to challenging the reputations of those with whom it disagrees. This has created an ugly atmosphere on some campuses, as professors teaching courses on Islam may have to worry about how their remarks might be reported and how that may affect their careers.

    So please spare us your enlightened professor whose claim to academia is being to copy the tactics of the regime you are fighting against and to use as much of these tactics as he could pass into our democratic system.


  65. Eli Cohen using the alias, Kamel Amin Thaabet كامل أمين ثابت. He is best known for his work in Syria, where he developed close relationships with the political and military hierarchy and became the Chief Adviser to the Minister of Defence and was even considered for the position of Deputy Minister Of Defence. He was eventually exposed and executed in Syria in May 1965. He was an Israeli spy in Syria from 1962-1965.

    In the same year 1965, Hafez al-Assad became Syria’s defence minister.

    Assad and others planned the 1963 coup d’état, which took the Ba’ath Party to power. Following the coup, Assad returned to the Air Force in the rank of major. Syria was officially ruled by Amin Hafiz.

    The following year, 1964, Assad jumped several ranks to become a general and was appointed to the Ba’ath Party’s regional command. The following year, he became Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force. This military power allowed Assad, operating in conjunction with Salah Jadid, to overthrow the government of Amin Hafiz in 1966.

    In 1966, the neo-Ba’ath led by Jadid launched a coup d’état within the government and against the Ba’ath Party’s national leadership led by Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Din al-Bitar. One of the key decisions of al-Assad and Jadid was to replace Aflaq with Zaki al-Arsuzi as the party’s key ideologue. Assad became Minister of Defence and wielded considerable influence over government policy. However, there was tension between the dominant radical wing of the Ba’ath Party, which promoted an aggressive foreign policy and rapid social reform, and Assad’s more pragmatic, military-based faction. After being discredited by the failure of the Syrian military in the Six-Day War in 1967, and enraged by the aborted Syrian intervention in the Jordanian-Palestinian Black September war, the government faced conflict within its ranks. By the time President Nureddin al-Atassi and the de facto leader, deputy secretary general of the Ba’ath Party Jadid, realized the threat and ordered Assad and Tlass be stripped of all party and government power, it was too late. Assad swiftly launched a bloodless intra-party coup, the Corrective Revolution of 1970. The party was purged, Atassi and Jadid jailed, and Assad loyalists installed in key posts throughout the government.


  66. AP, someone once defined a conservative is being a liberal who’s been mugged. I can relate to that. The same people who excused suicide bombings in the second intifada, as the acts of a desperate people, call us armed terrorist Salafis when we try to defend ourselves. The hypocrisy that some people are capable of is staggering.

    There is not one single person here, who wishes the shabiha’s transgressions were limited to that which Daniel Pipes is accused of doing. That I can live with. Heck, it would be like living in the most beautiful democracy I could hope for.

    See, gunfire outside right now. Whose house is getting hit? Whose family is in danger? What terrified mother and father are trying to shield their children? Whose son is out there protecting us from a shabiha or army assault? Who are these brave men who are preventing the shabiha from doing to me what they did to that family of 14 in Karam al Zeitoun? My life is in their hands. It is because of them that some scruffy shabih doesn’t have his foot on my neck, forcing me to kiss a portrait of the child prethident.

    And people take me to task for reading Daniel Pipes? I’d go arm in arm with Satan himself if he’d rid us of this murderous junta. Which is probably not a recommendation Pipes would appreciate much.

    Know what I dreamt of last night? Being in a supermarket, which was open at 8pm, walking down an isle and actually seeing the shelves fully stocked. Finding my favorite cereal. finding the tomato juice I love to drink, and canned sweet corn. Everyone else walking and shopping at their leisure, no one in a rush to get home, no one filling their carts with countless bottles of water and bags of rice as if it was the eve of a nuclear war. That is what my dreams have been reduced to. And I’d spend a thousand more nights like it to be rid of junior and his scum.


  67. “So please spare us your enlightened professor whose claim to academia is being to copy the tactics of the regime you are fighting against”

    Oh please, enough with the self-righteousness. I WISH the shabiha limited themselves to the worst things you imagine Pipes of having done. That would be a better democracy than any of us can expect to see in 20 years.

    Are “Islamic” and “Arab” academics so lacking in self confidence that they can’t stand outside criticism? Nobody who performs their academic duties responsibly should have any need to fear any 17th century style witch hunt as you describe it.

    OTW, you choose to ignore one important difference between Pipes and the regime. What the regime says is law, there is no recourse. But in the USA, Pipes is as vulnerable to the same criticisms as anyone he himself criticizes. In fact, who you criticize says more about you than it does about the other person (which was why I was so happy when a certain individual called me an embarrassment to the revolution. A guy who risks his neck so the world can hear first hand the gunfire and explosions going on is, to her type, an embarrassment. She will never be able to live that one down).


  68. Nonsense and inaccurate comparison. Shabee7a are trying to preserve a repressive system, Pipes is trying to instill one. It has nothing to do with self righteousness despite of the nice word.

    Daniel pipes and his organizations would like what they do to become the law. Several boards of regents have been pressured in order to dictate pipe’s vision as the norm on campuses.

    Are “Islamic” and “Arab” academics so lacking in self confidence that they can’t stand outside criticism? Nobody who performs their academic duties responsibly should have any need to fear any 17th century style witch hunt as you describe it.

    You are talking about a community you know nothing about and about a profession you have no clue what is involved in it. Yes there is a which hunt. And your phrase, as catchy as it is has zero credibility when discussing what are the academic duties of an American Professor and how American Universities are supposed to function in terms of guaranteeing the scientific credentials of their faculty and the intellectual development of their students as free thinkers.Daniel Pipes organization and its tactics represent a clear and present threat to the integrity of both processes.

    And no, it is not a 17th century witch hunt (don’t ascribe adjectives to my words), its is a 20th and 21st century witch hunt using students to spy on their professors and to report to the organization who then tries to pressure the university using one of the most dangerous accusation and that is of antisemitism, and goes on a reputation ruining campaign when the professor goes out of what the organization sees as the holly cow. Even students have been reported to the organization. Funny, this is a daily occurrence on campuses throughout Syria with the accusation of (معادي للحزب) being no less damaging, at least professionally. Academics have considered it as one of the primary reason for the failing and miserable condition of the Universities in Syria. So yes, my comparison is valid and has far more credibility than your argument because I lived and worked in both systems and it is part of my earning a living to ensure the integrity of the Academia.

    In fact, who you criticize says more about you than it does about the other person

    Fine, but this is an empty phrase unless you take the time and show us all what does it tell you about me. Go ahead, the blog is yours

    (which was why I was so happy when a certain individual called me an embarrassment to the revolution. A guy who risks his neck so the world can hear first hand the gunfire and explosions going on is, to her type, an embarrassment. She will never be able to live that one down).

    Nonsense and an attempt to pick up a fight with a third person who is not a party to this discourse. This is bordering on targeting a person. I will not take action since it happened during our own discourse. But please be sure, I will if this continues. And again, it is the context that matters to me and not the individual incident.

    Non of us does not appreciate you risking your life. We in fact admire that, and owe you and everyone on the streets and in the trenches a great deal of gratitude. But to give you a cart blanch, no sir.


  69. “But to give you a cart blanch, no sir.”

    Carte Blanch.

    “But please be sure, I will if this continues.”

    And yet you were quite happy to leave that individual’s “Asshole” remark. How selective we’ve become.

    I think we’ve all noticed the change in your attitude in the past 48 hours. You were quite happy to leave well alone, but lo behold, all of a sudden you had a Road to Damascus moment and in retrospect found me at fault. It’s quite obvious that there was some grievous background whining going on. I find it pathetic that you would succumb to it.

    Listen, just because, over the course of your oh-so-deep experience of American academia, you’ve developed a personnel hatred for Daniel Pipes, does not oblige anyone else to hate him as much. Till now you cannot give us the name of ONE professor who was hounded out of academia due to anything Pipes did.

    As to this;

    “Shabee7a are trying to preserve a repressive system, Pipes is trying to instill one”

    Oh…my….God. So now Pipes is a closest Fascist who wants to usher in an American Dictatorship, all because your favorite professors, who used to think they could shoot off their mouthes with impunity, might be held to account?

    In any case, I find your spineless flip flopping intolerable. I am not about to keep contributing to this website when it is more than apparent that a whine behind my back will retroactively result in a change of policies. Have fun, I really do have much, much better things to do with my time.


  70. “Jihad” has a Different Meaning Today

    AP, someone once defined a conservative is being a liberal who’s been mugged.


    That’s right. Interesting that you know this popular statement.

    The same people who excused suicide bombings in the second intifada, as the acts of a desperate people, call us armed terrorist Salafis when we try to defend ourselves. The hypocrisy that some people are capable of is staggering.

    I agree. But let’s put a microscope on it even further. Hamas and many in the arab world and on the arab street including the Jewish anti-Zionists are basically saying (up to this very day) that Israel is illegitimate and any violence against Israelis and Jews is warranted, deserved, and “understandable”.

    What can I say? This could be a majority of arabs who I can even discuss peace with (Syria Comment comes to mind). Then there is a large segment of the arab world who knows this is a wrong posture, but won’t dare to say anything negative about it. Then there is you and a handful of other arabs who dare say what is right. Truly amazing.


    C’mon, link all those inflammatory statements DP’s has made as you claimed!

    If you’re not afraid to click on his website, and under “Articles”, you’ll see you can search on topics. I clicked on “Campus Watch”:

    IMHO, Professor Josh happens to be a typical American ME professor. First to blame the democracies of the US and Israel, and always at the ready to excuse and explain the autocratic arab despot.

    Today this may seem odd, but a year ago, SC was kissing Professor Josh’s feet. This sort of hypocrisy is what Professor Pipes is referring to.

    Know what I dreamt of last night? Being in a supermarket, which was open at 8pm, walking down an isle and actually seeing the shelves fully stocked.


    Every Jew and Israeli I know recognizes every arab country in the ME including Palestine. No jew or Israeli I know, religious or secular, is intent on governing arabs living under Hamas or the PA.

    We are all hoping that democracy comes to the ME, because we know what benefits democracy brings.

    Your dream of a fully stocked supermarket will come to pass. Humans advance. You can’t stop this train. My dream is that Arabs and Israelis will live in peace together. This will come too.


  71. AP,
    I will tell you exactly what I told you in the past, The integrity of the academic experience is paramount. DP tactics and his organization are a threat to that integrity by their nature and by their existence.


  72. OTW,

    Right. Don’t question academics. I get it. 😉

    All my years putting Professor Josh in his place was a threat to American academia.

    I should be thrown in a Syrian jail…


  73. Aboud

    In any case, I find your spineless flip flopping intolerable. I am not about to keep contributing to this website when it is more than apparent that a whine behind my back will retroactively result in a change of policies. Have fun, I really do have much, much better things to do with my time.

    There is no flip flopping. Appeals were issued to all participants in the bickering repeatedly. Even AP, who probably made an innocent mistake received a warning. If I tolerated certain things in the past, it was merely because I have, like many on this blog, avoided getting entangled in the arguments. But I can not do so and remain the owner and the only moderator of this blog. My discussion with you about DP had nothing to do with my stance on the moderation and AP knows that very well, for him and I had many arguments about this specific topic. It is a serious argument and I do give serious arguments serious considerations.

    There is no retroactive change in policy. There was a lax application of the policy in hope for self restrain. I have to deal with that, and it is well known that the hardest thing for anyone to do is to apply rules that one has been lax in applying before and still regain the trust of those who signed up under these rules.

    One thing Aboud, what you see as flip flop, I see as being a responsible person able to recognize and acknowledge when I have not done my job appropriately. For that I apologize to the contributors on this blog, including you, who were subjected to bad language and endless arguments.


  74. AP

    Right. Don’t question academics. I get it.
    LOL, depends on the rank….
    But seriously, you know this is not what I meant.

    All my years putting Professor Josh in his place was a threat to American academia.

    No you were not a threat to academia because you were not sending students to his classroom, who then came out and reported to you so that you can go after him because you dislike what he teaches. You did not, I hope, go on a letter writing campaign and apply pressure on boards of regents and on department chairs and deans to sully his reputation. You were a reader of his comments, and you have the full right to criticize his comments and his words. Being an academic does not give anyone immunity.

    I have no problem with DP criticizing a book, or a journal article. That I can either agree with his criticism or not. My problem is students spying on their teachers and on other students. My dislike of that runs deep. My other problem is with hindering the freedom of teachers and that of students.


  75. Dear True:

    It is very nice post.

    We are getting close to the end of the tunnel.
    The Russians are still very stubborn. It is very troubling.
    Their initiative was similar to the Arab initiative. Why they are rejecting the Arab one?!
    simply Putin is jerk.


  76. Did you really say that NewZ

    No you were not a threat to academia because you were not sending students to his classroom, who then came out and reported to you so that you can go after him because you dislike what he teaches.


    Which students has Campus Watch “sent” into classrooms? Campus Watch says only that they “invite student complaints of abuse”.

    I am sure there have been numerous occasions when professors fail a student due to their political leanings.

    Also CW does not go outside of the US. The same organization exist in Israel, where campuses are over-run by Israeli anti=Zionists.

    I get a good description of the Israeli “academic scene” from evil Zionist, Steve Plaut:

    What Campus Watch Does

    Gathers information on Middle East studies from public and private sources and makes this information available on its website,
    Produces analyses of institutions, individual scholars, topics, events, and trends.
    Makes its views known through the media – newspaper opeds, radio interviews, television interviews.
    Invites student complaints of abuse, investigates their claims, and (when warranted) makes these known.

    Campus Watch will continue its work until the problems it addresses are resolved.


  77. Irshad Manji ? , Daniel Pipes ? You are kidding me right. No one thinks they even come close to the Shabiha in Syria but to respect the intellectual “depth” of the likes of Manji is really silly.

    What next ?! A healthy respect for Dershowitz ?


  78. OTW please delete the two above posts; I did what I accuse others of

    Here is the link to the fight at AJA

    The Lebanon Daily Star detailed more of the incident:

    Abu Fadel denied Ladkani’s claims and quickly grew incensed.

    “Shut up!” he shouted, rising from his seat and threatening to beat up Ladkani.

    Both men then stood up and hurled insults at each other, after which Abu Fadel made his way around the table to where Ladkani was standing. This prompted the host, whose show is infamous for such confrontations, to intervene physically in an unsuccessful attempt to stave off Abu Fadel’s assault.

    Al-Jazeera then cut to a commercial break.


  79. Aboud please do not tell me you are one of those loony neocon Syrians from the States lol!


  80. Did anyone ever see the debate between Irshad loony and Angry Arab. This is one of the few cases where I agree Angry Arab did not go over the top. In fact she is more of a loon than Angry Arab portrayed lol! Healthy respect for Irshaad Manji lol! My ***


  81. @ Haytham, thanks buddy.

    “simply Putin is jerk”

    I would rephrase saying (simply Putin has a price). There’s nothing in politics called let’s develop some policies based on us being assholes!! not at all, actually I have to admit that the Russians are doing really good in controlling the game and extrapolating their benefits. However, giving the nature of this game in terms of improvising and randomness I would keep my eyes open to an unexpected turn of events.

    What do we need?
    At this stage SNC must develop and manages functional back doors to guarantee a steady and secure flowing of weapons and supplies to the FSA. The more FSA grows and takes control the more SNC gets bargaining and negotiating power to sit with the Russians. I reckon we’re still a bit far from any solution (politically or militarily), it’s a guerrilla warfare it’s a long term struggle.


  82. Oh oh! A modified draft may actually go thru in
    the UN. Actually who care. In the end the international community follows what is on the ground. FSA all the way !


  83. Aboud & OTW

    Please take a time off and come back to us fresh and sober. There’s no need to waste your energy in useless debates especially when AP or Pipes is the core of it.


    You’re doing your job as a good moderator and I think we all support you buddy including Aboud himself. However, it might get a bit tricky sometimes when you express a point of view or take a side in debate.


    You made yourself clear and loud in supporting Pipes in many different occasions, no one has treated you differently for that although many of us disagree with your stand. You’re a valuable member of 7ee6an and you know very well how professional OTW is and please let me take you back in memory months back when we all started to nest on 7ee6an. You’re a great value similar to anybody here including Zenonia so please just chill out.


    You keep promising to stop talking about Pipes and his coworkers but never kept your promises and this WORNG!!! Man … we’re here for Syria and only for that reason so if you would like any Zionists, Palestine …. etc debates please debate somewhere else while your thoughts and contributions for Syria are always welcomed and appreciated by everyone “hopefully”.


  84. Thank you True for your message to AP

    “You keep promising to stop talking about Pipes and his coworkers but never kept your promises and this WORNG!!! Man … we’re here for Syria and only for that reason so if you would like any Zionists, Palestine …. etc debates please debate somewhere else while your thoughts and contributions for Syria are always welcomed and appreciated by everyone “hopefully”.”

    And please OTW although the video is a must watch, withdraw it. It has no relation to Syria (it does not even mention Palestinians) but sometimes i get really upset when flying over AP’s advocacy of the next door neighbour’s “democracy”.


  85. One thing is for sure, Daniel Putrid Pus supports will not have much of a say in post revolution Syria 🙂


  86. Dear True
    Thanks for the support and for being cool-headed, but really i did not take side in the argument until the argument was over and I looked at the methods used by both sides, and indicated where I felt both were at fault.

    Indeed Aboud, like all other 7ee6anis is an equally valuable member.

    Dear Annie:
    You are such a graceful person. I am fortunate to be associated with someone like you. At your request I will take these two posts off. Please verify that they are the right ones.


  87. You keep promising to stop talking about Pipes and his coworkers but never kept your promises and this WORNG!!! Man … we’re here for Syria and only for that reason so if you would like any Zionists, Palestine …. etc debates please debate somewhere else while your thoughts and contributions for Syria are always welcomed and appreciated by everyone “hopefully”.


    The discussion veered off course, I think, when OTW and I recommended a “BDS” program for Russia and China due to their unwavereing support of “Murder Inc.” (using a term I picked up on QN’s website which was used in place of the United States).,_Divestment_and_Sanctions

    BDS morphed into a discussion of the one-sided policies of the anti-Zionists who started this phenomenon and the difficulty they have applying it to the worse abusers of human rights: the Arab Despots.

    But alas, the X-Box, self-appointed poster-King of Syria has now killed about twice as many Arabs than the Zionists two wars against two external Islamist organizations hell-bent on eradicating Israel.

    Forget grassroots BDS against Russia and China and the evil Zionists, where is BDS against SYRIA??

    So yes, let us focus on Syria; that’s what this website is for.


  88. I would agree that zionist intellectual scums like Pipes,Memri media ,and more erudite writtings from islamophob islamologists such as Urvoy couple and Remi Brague in France might be usefull to the arabs and muslims .
    The young generation of intellectuals from the islamic-arab world,have to take into account their criticism in order to challenge them with the hope that this confrontation could help us to get out of our intellectual lethargy.
    Such kind of challenge had been usefull in the past ,the intellectual islamic-arab renaissance in the 19th century and 20th centurty had been stimulated by the need to counter attack the criticism of orientalists such as Renan ,Dozy and Lammens.


  89. Shami,

    Who is a greater “scum” in your estimation: Pipes or Assad?


  90. AP ,i do not love them but every person has the right to be zionist ,crusader and islamophob ,my stance is not build on the political trends of the people but on their action on the ground.
    For example ,as much i hate zionism ,a muslim shabeeh from my city Aleppo is worse than an american zionist who didnt kill but an equivalent of the zionist colonizer thugs in the occupied lands.
    So if the scum Pipes didnt took part in the decision making of a criminal zionist policy then he is more respectable than the shabiha.
    As for Bashar ,for sure, he is not less bad than the worse israeli criminals.


  91. …a muslim shabeeh from my city Aleppo… [is] equivalent of the zionist colonizer thugs in the occupied lands


    By all means, fight the “zionist colonizer thugs” if this is your priority. My impression is that Syria has bigger fish to fry than Zionists.

    As for Bashar ,for sure, he is not less bad than the worse israeli criminals.

    Don’t be too hard on President X-Box, he is only asking for your support and love. Is that too much to ask?


  92. Dear Haytham
    Always good to see you around here. I did not yet have a chance to read your post. I will do so later today.

    Dear 7ee6anis
    A new post (Stories from Hama: Memories of Painter Khaled Al-Khani, Part 2) will be up shortly.


  93. Goodness me, one goes away for less than 24 hours to come back and find and a new fracas had broken out! I winced and “ouched” as I read some of the hurtful words hurled at OTW, one of the fairest and most patient moderators I’ve ever seen, mainly because they reminded me of myself of days long gone by, when no one mattered and winning an argument was paramount, no matter the casualties.

    Well, please remember, dear Aboud, that one may win an argument or a whole debate and still be wrong.


  94. Dear OTW:
    As you know, your blog is the place where we go when we feel frustrated and hopeless. The posts and comments on this blog revive our hope and courage.


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