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Syria protests

March 21st, 2011 · 31 Comments · Politics

It’s not the time for a considered, “what does this mean” post. Instead, I’ll give you three must-reads.

First, from the Economist:

The Arab Awakening Reaches Syria

There are signs the crisis in Deraa could be solved. A group of prominent locals has presented a list of demands to the government. These include the end to emergency law and the dismantling of the local security office, but not the removal of Mr Assad. Friday’s protesters had different motives in different parts of the country. In other areas, such as quiet Damascus, many disbelieve the news leaking out or prefer to turn a blind eye. Some activists want to pull back, viewing the situation as a dangerously unarticulated barrage of anger. Dormant opposition figures are complicating matters by trying to enter the fray. …

Many want change in an orderly fashion. But a continued bungled, violent response by the government could change that.

Next, Josh Landis on Syria Comment:

Syria’s Opposition Divided. Demonstrations Have Different Goals

Steven Starr, a freelance reporter in Damascus and founder of the Near East Quarterly, makes a good point about the lack of any known leadership among the opposition and the diverse regional motivations for the demonstrations. The differing motivations and goals driving each of the protests suggest a lack of coordination. The government can restore control, this would suggest, if it doesn’t defeat itself by responding with too much force and if it listens to the people.

The second note, which is copied below in Arabic, is from a friend in Deraa whose entire family is there.  He explains how the demonstrations evolved as a protest to the 15 school children who were arrested for writing slogans that they had learned on al-Jazeera from the Egypt coverage.  He argues that the stupid actions of the governor and security exacerbated the situation, but that few want revolution and many fear disorder and chaos. All the same, he insists that no one wants the situation to return to what it was. Everyone wants change, but they want orderly change. The tribal customs of Deraa require protest for the arrests and particularly the killings, but, he suggests, the tribes also have concrete demands that can be fulfilled and negotiated. Their demands are not revolutionary, he insists.

Finally, David Hirst in the Guardian:

Standing up to the west isn’t enough to save Assad

There is a growing feeling that it could escalate into something much bigger and more decisive, with the regime’s own reactions – now consisting of the usual brute force with a novel, nervous admixture of conciliation – constituting the key factor as to whether it does or not.

I have to stress at this point that I am only interpreting what I am reading. I’m sure you will have other interpretations, and you are free to share them.

But what I am sensing is that, despite the noises on Twitter – the violent, roudy voices telling everyone they disagree with to shutup – that the Syrians referred to in these three articles don’t want regime change. That they have a set of demands and that they will settle for those, even if that leaves the regime intact. This is the big difference: at the moment, this is a reform movement (remember last month’s protests when the call was for dignity: “the Syrian people will not be humiliated,” they cried) not a revolutionary one.

But all three articles suggest that aim may change if state guns are used on a larger scale. Six people have already died.

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31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Syria Almighty // Mar 22, 2011 at 7.37 am

    Another video of a pro-government protest, and I have seen dozens out there. There are also Kurds in this one, too:

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=197039230328924

    I urge ALL Syrians, no matter where you are living, to come out demonstrate your support for our president from the 24th to the 26th of this month.

    If you you support the president like I know all NORMAL Syrians do, and you are not a zib jahash like Malik and Ralph and their Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization, and if you have Facebook, PLEASE join this group. It is the biggest Facebook group in support of our excellent president. It has nearly 127,000 members already, and yet, it gets no mention in the media:

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=197039230328924#!/pages/Bashar-Al-Asad/22233463853

  • 2 Norman // Mar 22, 2011 at 2.42 pm

    Syria should move to good local representations in Parliament that they can bring laws to the floor that are important to their region, the central government can not be the initiator of all laws.

  • 3 Ralph // Mar 22, 2011 at 6.26 pm

    That is sooooooo funny, now bashar wants to negotiate and find solutions. Too late ya zib jahash (whatever that means I’m sure it suits him), time to take Abu Syria Almighty and run to Venezuella, that is if he’s worth an airplane ticket. Did I tell you how much I love this blog? Can i ask you to please keep on posting and let us read in what desperate state the pro-assad have become. Thank you, thank you!

  • 4 Syria Almighty // Mar 22, 2011 at 10.08 pm

    The only desperate ones are the people making the protests which, need I remind you, are a very small minority of people made up of extremists. The fact that they have to resort to fake imagery to make themselves look bigger is evidence enough. Meanwhile in Syria, larger demonstrations in support of the president have been taking place all over with no coverage by the Western media, leading mutants like Ralph to believe that ‘Revolution in Syria’ is a popular thing. Also, inferior beings, like Ralph, have no grasp on the situation in Syria. The protesters are not calling for regime change, they are calling for reform, and they have made that very clear. Of course, it doesn’t make a difference to useless rednecks like Ralph who don’t know how to read. They see pictures on TV and their local FOX News telling them that millions of Syrians are taking to the streets calling for regime change, which is not what is happening.

    I hope Sasa posts my first comment ASAP. He posted my second one with the Youtube link, but the other one so far is still “Awaiting moderation.”

  • 5 Ralph // Mar 23, 2011 at 12.51 am

    Every word of rage you write is honey on my heart. All the venom that you spit is a shot of adrenaline to every free man in this world. Keep panicking almighty worm, a month ago when I first wrote on this blog you people were so sure of yourself, full of the fake confidence that your master was showing on tv, telling the world it will never happen in Syria and every day since then you grew smaller, some of you even woke up and saw the reality, others are begging for a peaceful solution already with only one city in riot. I doubt the zib jahash will make it one more month. Friday when all the people in all the cities will go to the streets I’m going to turn fox news for the first time in my life and watch them make a joke of your “popular” president of “normal” syrians. Tic tac, tic tac… Visa to venezuella anyone?

  • 6 Syria Almighty // Mar 23, 2011 at 2.15 am

    Another day, another redneck who pretends to speak for people that hate him. What a clown.

  • 7 Syria Almighty // Mar 23, 2011 at 2.20 am

    Also, only a retard would believe that the voices of a few hundred MUSLIM EXTREMISTS (Don’t know why you keep defending them) speak for 22,000,000 Syrians who support the government. The demonstrations in support of the government have been much larger then those of the extremists, and yet you turn a blind eye because of your wishful thinking. Truly, you are the desperate fool.

  • 8 Syria Almighty // Mar 23, 2011 at 10.09 am

    Your so-called revolutionists, who are actually Muslim Brotherhood extremists, targeted hospital workers AGAIN, by attacking an ambulance and killing 4 people, including a doctor.

    http://www.660news.com/news/world/article/200874–syrian-tv-armed-group-attacks-ambulance-killing-4-in-southern-city-that-saw-deadly-protests

  • 9 Andalus // Mar 23, 2011 at 12.27 pm

    As a Syrian when I hear reports that some of the “protesters” where chanting “No Iran, No Hezbollah, Yes to God”.

    I’m 100% sure that theses protesters are sponsorship from outside maybe even Saad Al Harri or Israeli/US.

    If they where chanting for democracy and the rule of law I could in someway feel some sympathy for them.

    No Syrian who has a free mind could be anti-Hezbollah or Iran as both have helped Syria immensely.

    If someone is repeating something that parrots that US/Isreal political line and claim to be Syrian seeking democracy then I just don’t accept it.

    I’m in favor of democracy but am not going to support Syria becoming a occupied country either politically or military.

  • 10 somebody // Mar 23, 2011 at 8.59 pm

    Ralph, I`m sorry, but the people doesn`t want to change the president at that moment. They want more privacy, dignity and less corriuption. The problem became because of the changed governor and the people from some Syrian tribes, who were angry of his contempt. They are very dignified to bear that. And of course this became now because of the situation in other countries.

  • 11 Ezzat // Mar 24, 2011 at 1.01 am

    I commented on this blog a while back (Syria Almighty might still remember the heated debate we had back then) so if people remeber what I wrote they must remember how much I hate this government.

    BUT

    From what I’ve seen on the “Syria revolution facebook page”, the protests are really headed by salafist and wahabies. In fact one of them was asking for the destrcution of the huseiniyat (shia mosques) and another one insulting Hizballah for no reason. Another video showed a list of demands where the very first was to ban mixity in schools. Ya3ni bsharafkon 41 years of corruption, theft, and brutal dictatoship, and you’re firt demand is to ban mixity in schools? I’m afraid the country isn’t facing a popular uprising, but rather a wahabi coup.
    We have two choice “a7lahuma murr”: Support a new wahabi state, of hope that the current corrupt baathis stay. As bitter as it is for me to say it, but I choose the second option.

  • 12 Ezzat // Mar 24, 2011 at 1.08 am

    Another thing that came to my mind: Why the hell are protesters burning cars and trashing buildings? In Egypt when the filthy cops were murdering the crowd, no one did anything violent. In dar3a they’re trashing buildings without provocation. Why?!

  • 13 Syria Almighty // Mar 24, 2011 at 6.00 am

    Because, Ezzat, these people are not protesters. They are terrorists. They are Muslim extremists.

  • 14 norman // Mar 24, 2011 at 3.40 pm

    Ezzat, i posted your note on Syria comment, I hope you do not mind , it made a lot of sense to me.

  • 15 Ezzat // Mar 24, 2011 at 5.18 pm

    Syria Almighty: well for once I agree with you.

    Norman: It’s already on the internet for evryone to read, so another webstie wouldn’t be a problem

  • 16 malawi // Mar 25, 2011 at 2.52 am

    we all pray this bastard assad goes,he is rascal,how can you kill your own people?he is a tyrant.

  • 17 malawi // Mar 25, 2011 at 2.58 am

    All arab leaders are same tyrants and working for foreign agenda,kill their own people,rob their own nation,every one of them is same.they should not be forgiven,the should be kicked on the butts,let them rot in hell.Billion of muslims are praying for syrian people.may you triumph over this horrible regime.

  • 18 Norman // Mar 25, 2011 at 6.12 am

    And i thought that Israel can hire better commentators than Malawi,

  • 19 Syria Almighty // Mar 25, 2011 at 7.33 am

    Malawi is a terrorist.

  • 20 syrianna58 // Mar 25, 2011 at 9.05 pm

    there R no terrorist in this, no muslim brotherhood , no Iran, Jews,or us , involve in this man ?… its so typical . we don’t look to find solutions ,and we don’t even try too , we r so afraid to change in order to B free , SO.. WHAT DO WE DO ?….. we change the subject,talk shit,
    and start new war in the arab world
    (arab people NEED freedom)
    Assad should stay, i support the man ,but he need to change , like STOP FIRRING LIFE AMMENITOINS @ HIS PEPOLE.
    ITS FREEDOM DUDE,nothing else but…. fucking freedom .

  • 21 syrianna58 // Mar 25, 2011 at 9.32 pm

    Malawi : how dos it feel to have unlimited access 2 the net? … its so cool A ?
    u might wanna explain that to the protesters in Syria . or just find a fucking job man.
    you r a small man Malawi , small man with small words, but …. with unlimited access to the net.
    i just hope ur dick is bigger

  • 22 Syria Almighty // Mar 27, 2011 at 7.09 am

    Ezzat, can you link me to the video you mentioned in your post?

  • 23 mandela lover // Mar 27, 2011 at 4.25 pm

    syria alsagir,tell me are arabs more free to speak their mind in syria or israel?This dudes father killed 20000 innocent people in HAMA.What benefit are you getting from this regime,please kindly give your list,or you are one of bloody allawi intellegence officer.I can assure you your regime is worst than jewish one,because the dont kill their own people.FREE SYRIA AND HAVE DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS AND LET SEE IF THIS DUDE CAN WIN 5000 votes.they are good in hiring crowds.Down with dictators,Down with oppressors,Down with tyrants,And down with crooks with fat bank accounts in swiss.Down.Down.Down.

  • 24 Syria Almighty // Mar 27, 2011 at 6.25 pm

    Anyone who thinks that the people killed in Hama were innocent is a moron. The Muslim Brotherhood had been terrorizing Syria and killed thousands of people throughout the 70s and early 80s, and they are supposed to be innocent? Learn your history and stop getting your information from crap Western media sources. And how funny it is that you think he can’t get even 5,000 vote, when it was determined that he is the most popular Arab in the entire Middle East. You know absolutely nothing about Syria. There are hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating for him on the streets, including my own family in Syria, and you’re telling me that he can’t get 5,000 votes? You’re a joke of a ‘human being’ who knows nothing but what the biased media tells him. You’re a tool in every sense of the word.

  • 25 mandela lover // Mar 28, 2011 at 1.42 am

    you definetly belong to the party.you might be one who benefits from sucking blood from innocent syrians.people are not stupid when the agents of baatist tell lies that its protesters who are shooting the police exactly like gaddafis lies about alqaeda.its high time arabs find freedom,speak their minds and sleep peacefully without fear of knocking at the door.imagine 48 years of emergency rule,i dont think even french ruled syria with draconian laws with which baatist are ruling syria.may people of syria prosper and have freedom.ameen.

  • 26 AJK // Mar 28, 2011 at 2.00 am

    EVRY CONTRY HAYE TO KILL
    [{RLEGON PROTESTR]} PROTESTERS IF THER IS NO CRPTION BECUS OF THEM CONTRY IS GOING DAWN
    CPESHLI RLEGON PROTESTR HE DID
    NOT THNK FOR CONTY HE THANK ONLY
    HIS RLEGON MUST RUL THE CONTY
    IT IS RONG YOU MUST LOVE YOU ARE CONTREY AND RLEGN YOU FOLLO WAT EVR YOU LICK IT PLEASE PLEASE !!!!!
    TAKCAR YOUARE CONTERY
    [THIS SMS NOT FOR THOSE PROTEST HOW WANT JOB ,WATR,INTY CREPTION,
    SALRY,OTHERS]]

  • 27 Syria Almighty // Mar 28, 2011 at 4.02 am

    Mandela proves to be a moron once again.

  • 28 Ezzat // Mar 28, 2011 at 11.34 pm

    Syria Almighty: You will have to check the revolution facebook page, it’s one of the very first videos, it is said to be in Banyas.

  • 29 SA // Mar 29, 2011 at 12.35 am

    PLEASE DONT FIGHT
    EVREY PROBLUM YOU SOLVE WITH TALK

  • 30 syriann58 // Apr 21, 2011 at 11.40 pm

    i have always supported our president, till now,there are no Muslim brotherhood terrorist origination involve in this ,no crab western media.
    i relay thought Assad was deferent, i was wrong ,he is just like all fat rich Arab leaders,killing his own people,….. all thy wont is FREEDOM.

  • 31 Walter William Safar // Apr 26, 2011 at 2.47 am

    PROCLAMATION!!

    Proclamation Syrian people,army and politicians: Syrian president and his criminals are dicatators and enemies of Liberty and Syria!
    Syrian soldiers and officers.remember: To shoot at unarmed civilians is a crime,you will be cursed by Alah(God) and eternally burn in hell.
    Soldiers and officers,do not shoot at civilians,they are your brothers and sisters,come together with them against the dictator and murderer!!
    Syirian ,politicians,soldiers and officers,honorably come up with their people and overthrow the dictator and murderer of his people!!
    Syrian soldier,Syrian officer,Syrian politician,Syrian people:REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE!!
    Walter William Safar poet

    TELL ME,FREEDOM

    Tell me FREEDOM…

    Oh…tell me Hope

    Does your hot breath

    Travel the cold mountain,

    -where the solitary scream

    strays through the pestiferous fog-

    Tell me,golden FREEDOM

    Tell me hope

    How can I descend

    Into the mild valley

    Where Your wings

    Chase away

    The fog

    Towards the white heavenly fields

    Where yours wings

    Chase away the screm

    Oh the Life

    Did our acquaintance

    Turn into

    An everlasting friendship

    FREEDOM…

    Golden hope

    My friend!…

    My Life!

    Is what I drink from your spirit…

    From yours spirit-

    Walter William Safar©

    FREEDOM

    It is good to see You

    flying there in the abundance of crimson and gold,

    amidst the great world,

    agleam with the flush of sunlight.

    This is why my heart is so full now,

    I am moved to tears by the thought:

    “You see, You are the patron of mankind,

    and the little dignity it has was Your work!”

    I, the poet, the dreamy child of solitude,

    Your faithful servant,

    can once again cry with joy, and You can cry with me,

    because there is no other ruler I would serve as faithfully as You.

    Whenever I look at the stars I think of those who suffer

    in faraway countries, and of the stars

    those sufferers can’t see,

    because You are so far away from them.

    My golden Freedom,

    what connection is there between Your eternal youth

    and man’s old age,

    between Your free hopes

    and man’s birds locked away in cages;

    between Your humility

    and man’s arrogance?

    My golden Freedom,

    while Your reverberant voice still echoes

    for the higher spiritual good of mankind,

    that modest candle shall still shine in the dark.

    © 2010 Walter William Safar

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