Category Archives: Rants

Road signs and milestones.

The Syrian regime has proven over the past nine months capable of pushing back at the opposition using a combination of misinformation campaign and brute force. While we spend inordinate amount of time analyzing the motives and personalities of pro-regime and/or fence-sitting people at the individual level, drawing our intellectual resources into sideline confrontations, events on the ground race with our responses to these events being nothing but outrage, impotent in many cases, that we direct at what we see as the hypocrisy of those who refused to join us or are incapable of seeing the light and the moral righteousness of the revolution due to certain fears, associations, and pre-conditioning.

In the end, whatever analysis we may come up with on that issue will have little or no impact on what goes on the ground other than giving ourselves the impression that we now understand the opponent better and have exposed their bankruptcy. The real opponent is clear, it is a brutal regime with security tentacles that infiltrate all strata of society. Building on fear of the unknown, on latent, but easily aroused sectarian feelings, and most importantly, on purposefully demolished ethical and moral inhibitions among its instruments of oppression on the ground to inflict both vengeful mayhem and to return, against all logic, the status to that of pre-uprising fear and docility. Cheerleaders for the regime are as inconsequential as cheerleaders for the revolution. How much does analysis of the cheerleading add to the knowledge of the reader regarding the unfolding events in Syria and the situation in the traumatized country? I am afraid to say, nothing, other than giving a little glimpse into our own personalities. It was necessary exercise, and I thank all who participated in it in all seriousness, but we have to move a head.

We need to go beyond that. We need analysis of the situation tactical and strategic. At this stage, I am no longer interested in analyzing inconsequential posters on other forums or demonstrating their intellectual or ethical deficiencies, or their fears. We have occupied ourselves far too long with this exercise and it has reached the point of diminishing return with respect to our ability to influence public opinion about the Syrian revolution other than discrediting ineffectual writers, who are doing exactly the same but in the opposite direction.

Meanwhile, we are missing news of economic disaster in the making and of its impacts on a wide segment of the population, of horrendous brutal campaign racing against time to end the uprising or liquidate as much as possible of those participating in the heroic efforts at the street level, and we are missing significant events on the ground in Damascus and Aleppo, who seem to go up in bursts, only for the two cities to slide back to watchful calm. We are also missing a better understanding of the changing nature of the uprising, which now threatens to become a prolonged struggle with constant seemingly calibrated bleeding.

While the regime can count on continuing cat and mouse game with the observers and AL after having de-fanged the mission by reducing its size and scope and its chances for real exposure to what really goes on the ground, we, in the external opposition, are plagued with ineffectual advocacy, polarized leadership, lack of focus and direction, and very reluctant Syrian National Council, who has now bloated into 300 members, hindering any effective action, both internally and at the diplomatic, media, and relief level.

As we bicker amongst ourselves, and as we watch with dismay at the confusion and lack of effectiveness on the side of SNC, suspicious groups are moving in for the kill. I have information about an increasing presence of one such personality in donation collection for. I have argued that one should not shy from supporting FSA, at least in enhancing their sustainability, safety, and ability to protect civilians. However, there is alarming news about groups trying, effectively I am afraid, to jack up vengeful and sectarian hatred and to collect donations for various militant groups with clear sectarian motivation. In response, individuals continue to collect donation in small amounts, and to send them through personal channels to Syria instead of coordinated efforts, primarily because they are afraid that organized donations will end up helping militarization of sectarian fringes. I am waiting for some information on these issues and will share it with you when I have bullet proof confirmation. One solution would be to initiate a campaign requiring international relief agencies to have access to disaster conflict areas, and to force the regime, through international pressure to allow such access.  Such should be discussed but has been completely absent from the radar.

You see, friends, there are far more effective ways to support the revolution. Should we continue on our current path, I am afraid that we are going no where. This is not what I had in mind. Time for a change and suggestions are welcomed. More welcomed off course are analyses on the model Observer and hazrid have been trying to infuse on this site. I am open for new type of main posts and urge anyone with the capacity to make such contribution to do so.

I am off course the most to blame. A blog about Syria is a serious issue, and I should do better. I hope to be able to count on the help of  7ee6anis.

I will be away for few hours. Please have a go at defining  the future of this blog.

Yours, truly.

OTW

The Millions in Saadallah Al-Jabri Square

The big news today on regime’s media outlets was the Millions of people who marched to Saadallah Aljabri square in Aleppo to celebrate the Russian and Chinese veto and to declare, yet one more time their love and adoration of the Bashar Al-Assad. I recall that during the Al-Aasi square anti regime demonstration. Jad, on Syria Comment argued that the square can not fit 500,000 protesters. He eyeballed the area near accurately, and I supported his calculation using the free distance measuring tool on Google Earth. Two of my regime supporting friends have argued that my support of the revolution is unscientific. I have no idea how can one scientifically support the revolution. But I decided today to use a bit more advanced tools to check the Millions in Saadallah Aljabri Square in Aleppo. I started by using a public domain software called Quantum GIS (Geographic Information System). Using a plugin in the software I connected to Google WMS (Web Mapping Service), Read the rest of this entry

Speaking for the Martyrs. Meshaal Temmo, A Syrian-Kurd Hero.

MArtyr Meshaal Tammo

Meshaal Temmo, a great Syrian Kurdish leader was assassinated by the goons of Bashar Al-Assad on the 7th of October, 2011

It is heartbreaking for me to see my blog turning into a wall of obituaries for the martyrs of the Syrian Revolution. But again, in Syria, walls also serve as bulletin boards for Obituaries. The criminal regime of Syria, and its head, the pathetic tyrannical despot Bashar Al-Assad are making obituaries of Martyrs a daily occurrence. And it seems befitting that these virtual walls be no different from the real ones.

After targeting the leadership of the coordination committees with death under torture, and subsequent to the formation of National Council, Bashar Al-Asad is now deploying his death squads to assassinate highly effective opposition figures. On Friday, October 7, 2011, Bashar Al-Asad goons assassinated, mafia style, the Syrian Kurdish leader, intellectual, civil society activist Meshaal Temmo and wounded his son Marcel. Orders for this cowardly assassination could only have come from Bashar Al-Assad himself. Read the rest of this entry

Armchair Generals  Dictators

Cartoon by Ali Ferzat
As usual,  every time I think that i am the first to think of something, I check Ali Ferzat cartoons. In this cartoon, he may not have intended arm-chair dictators, but the real ones. However, the image is suitable for both.

Anyone following the events of the Syrian revolution would notice repeated calls by some loyalists for the regime to go on the attack. These call may include bombastic violent posts on blogs, usually posted right after yet a new atrocious murder is committed by the regime, all the way to articles written by regime-loyal opposition advocating that the regime cracks on those the loyalists claim to be tearing Syria apart for daring to profess their faith, or for rising up after their natural rights. Sometime it gets really Kafkaesque, when someone you respect and like writes such a statement. Your first reaction would be to ask whether the much hyped Syrian Electronic Army has succeeded in hacking into their account and are now posting under their names. But these calls continue. Read the rest of this entry

In Memory of A Hero

Ghiath Matar, the 26 years old activist was murdered after three days of torture at the hands of Assad's goons. Orders for such inhumane murderous treatments could only come from the highest levels

Yesterday, and as the Secretary General of the Arab League was meeting with Syria’s chief tormentor, regime thugs visited the Matar family in Damascus Suburb with the body of their twenty six (26) year old son Ghiath. Along with the body, it was reported; the thugs handed the family their son’s larynx telling them, amidst their cries to make shawarma out of it.

I am a grown man, and I don’t believe that men should not cry, for I do cry, sometimes even in sad or romantic movie. But since yesterday, my tears are bitter. And as I write these words, heavy rain falls where I live, and while I wonder if nature is crying for the brave youths of Syria, my tears race with the drops of rain and Ghiath’s beautiful smile seemingly wanting to re-assure me, I hear a voice I never heard before … “common old man, don’t  cry….. I am but one of thousands and you will be free”.

Ghiath was a leader in the Syrian youth peaceful movement. He was among those who demonstrated unparalleled creativity in non-violent resistance as he and his friends tried to greet those charged with suppressing them with flowers and bottles of water in the heat of Syrian summer. He was waiting for his first daughter when the hyenas kidnapped him after luring him with a trap turning his generosity and chivalry against him as he answered an apparent SOS call from a friend.  Within three days of his arrest, this strong young man was dead because of torture inflicted by the Assad mafia hyenas. Read the rest of this entry

How it started

Cartoon by Ali Ferzat

One of Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat cartoons. Others may have been more appropriate, but when online, one feels much like the person depicted in the cartoon. The real question is, is there a reality behind the mask, if so, what is it?

By Friday, August 21, 2009,  two years and 10 days ago, I had been blogging on Syria Comment for more than a year during which I typified the secular, progressive, leftist, “resistance” supporter. I was, and still am, a pro Palestinian, anti-neo-con blogger, but in fact, many of my posts where either in support of peace as seen from the resistance camp point of view, or, being fiercely secular, repetitive haggling with those whose opposition to the resistance camp had a slight hint of sectarianism, true or perceived. I was willing to overlook, against my better judgment, the fact that Syria still lived under a dictatorship, and had decided, despite of my personal disgust at the way Bashar Al-Asad inherited Syria from his father; to accept the notion that with Bush’s armies around the corner in Iraq and Israel attacking Lebanon and Gaza, to side with the so-called resistance camp, and by that, continue to tolerate the excesses of the Syrian regime, with the hope that what Syria Comment most influential poster, Alex, has been saying publicly and privately is true and that his confidence that reforms were just around the corner and it was only the series of attacks on Syria, and the neocons’ devilish plans that were the only reasons for their halt, and for the regression against those who early on presented the Damascus Declaration after the assassination of Rafiq Hariri of Lebanon.

Worst yet, and out of desire for stability, a rejection for the neocons vision,  and to a lesser extent, perhaps a desire that  my middle and upper middle class family in Syria continue to  enjoy some  of the scraps of modernity after years of Baathist deprivation,  I became  a reliable doubter of any potential involvement of the Syrian regime in the assassination of Hariri, perhaps out of the naive conviction that Hezbollah, the only resistance group that managed to really resist, was that this mythical good, always correct, hero. Needless to say, striving for just peaceful settlement of conflict, yearning for economic prosperity for my place of birth, made me a dependable advocate of the Syrian regime’s foreign policy.  Speaking of realism and critical thinking….. Read the rest of this entry

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