The Syrian events do not belong in the same category as the
Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. . . .
As the conflict escalates, more voices have entered the web, some on the
side of the government and some not. On Wednesday April 27, radio ShamFM
broadcasted an interview with a woman from the southern city Dar'aa, where
most of the turmoil has been taking place. She talked about how locals from
the city are not able to enter or leave the city. The army has blocked
Dar'aa. She then denounced the "armed terrorists" who have attacked the
army, policemen and civilians, and accordingly, caused the turmoil. She
yelled repeatedly, "We do not want freedom. President Assad gave us freedom
we do not want it. Freedom is the cause of this turmoil." When asked what
the people of Dar'aa want, she yelled out: "We want things to go back to
'normal', when policemen can interrogate predators. We want the old days
when we could walk freely in our city at any time without fear of armed
terrorists. If this is freedom, we do not want it."
The previous day, on April 26, S.N.N (Sham News Network) circulated a video
of a young man from Banias, the coastal city that witnessed violent events
in recent weeks. He addressed the international community in clear English
stating, "we are demonstrating to claim our rights, our justice, our
freedom, and they say we are salafi, we are al-Qaida, we are abu-Sayaf, and
we are terrorists and we want to make an Islamic republic here. I say it is a
big lie, it is a big lie. . . . In Syria, in Banias, in all of Syria,
Christians and Muslims are brothers. In the same street you can see mosques
and churches. Sunnis, Alawi, Kurds, Shia, Druze - we are all brothers, we are
all friends we are all rebels. . . .
Cartoon images of an evil government versus a peaceful population do not
help the Syrian people, and only provide fodder for those who believe that
they must intervene to help along a pliant population. . . .
[There are several factors that complicate the crisis in Syria.
- Mr Assad enjoys strong support within many segments of Syrian society,
mostly among minorities, the middle class and the business elite.
- There are fears of a civil war if President Assad should fall. Syria is
made up of a precarious mix of confessions - 75% Sunni; 10% Christian, 3%
Druze and 3% Shia (mostly Alawite). Even among those who want to see serious
reforms, many would prefer to give President Assad time to implement them.
- Unlike in Egypt, there is no daylight between the army and the regime. The
armed forces are overwhelmingly made up of Alawites, so they too are in a
fight to maintain their power and privilege. While there have been reports
of low-level defections, the military command appears solid.
- Syria is a major regional power and any chaos here will cause knock-on
effects in countries such as Lebanon and Israel, where it can use proxy
groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas to cause trouble. It also has close ties
with Shia power Iran - an arch foe of the US and Israel - which could
potentially draw Western powers into a dangerous Middle Eastern conflict.
Syria protests," BBC News, June 10, 2011]
[The Syrian base is the only toehold Russia has in the Mediterranean region.
The Black Sea Fleet counts on the Syrian base for sustaining any effective
Mediterranean presence by the Russian navy. With the establishment of US
military bases in Romania and the appearance of the US warship in the Black
Sea region, the arc of encirclement is tightening. It is a cat-and-mouse
game, where the US is gaining the upper hand.
Ostensibly, the regime headed by Bashar al-Assad is repressive since almost
everyday reports are coming out that more bloodshed has taken place. But the
Western reports are completely silent as to the assistance that the Syrian
opposition is getting from outside. No one is interested in probing or
questioning, for instance, the circumstances in which 120 Syrian security
personnel could have been shot and killed in one "incident".--M K
Bhadrakumar, "Syria on
the boil, US warship in Black Sea," atimes.com, June 14, 2011]
[Hama remains an international symbol of the Assad regime's history of
violent repression, since it was there that the current ruler's father,
Hafez al-Assad, put down a 1982 insurrection by killing at least 10,000 of
the city's residents.--Howard LaFranchi, "Is Assad losing
Syria? As concerns grow, US urges halt to 'intimidation',"
csmonitor.com, July 5, 2011]
[More than 1,500 civilians have been killed across Syria since protests
broke out in mid-March, according to human rights groups. Thousands more
have been injured or arbitrarily arrested and tortured in what Amnesty
International says may amount to crimes against humanity.--Nidaa Hassan, "After 41 years, Syria begins to imagine a future without
an Assad in charge," Guardian, July 6, 2011]
[Michael Posner, the assistant US secretary of state for human rights and
labor, said that $50 million had been spent on training up to 5,000
activists, and one particular gathering that included activists from
Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon . . .
Reports have come out that armed militants have been attacking both
protesters and Syrian security forces in an attempt to escalate violence and
bring the crisis to "critical mass," resulting in either the toppling of the
Syrian government, or an opening for foreign military intervention.--Tony
of Syrian conflict defined by baseless activist statements',"
landdestroyer.blogspot.com, July 9, 2011]
[One of the problems with unfolding the Syria paradox is that there
is indeed a genuine, domestic demand for change. A huge majority of Syrians
want reform. They feel the claustrophobia of the state's inert
heavy-handedness and of the bureaucracy's haughty indifference toward their
daily trials and tribulations. Syrians resent the pervasive corruption, and
the arbitrary tentacles of the security authorities intruding into most
areas of daily life. But is the widespread demand for reform itself the
explanation for the violence in Syria, as many claim?
There is this mass demand for reform. But paradoxically - and contrary to
the "awakening" narrative - most Syrians also believe that President Bashar
al-Assad shares their conviction for reform.
. . . The US has a record of attempting to intervene in Syria that even
predates the US Central Intelligence Agency's and British intelligence's
1953 coup in Iran against prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.
. . . The US also began the liberal funding of Syrian opposition groups
since at least 2005; and more recently the training of activists, including
Syrian activists, on the means to avoid arrest and on secure communications
techniques using unlicensed telephone networks and Internet software.
. . . Public opinion is polarized and embittered towards the Salafists and
their allies. Leftist, secular opposition circles are distancing themselves
from the Salafist violence - the inherent contradiction of the divergent
aspirations of the "exiles" and the Salafists, from the Syrian majority
consensus, is now starkly manifest. This, essentially, is the last side to
the paradoxical Syrian "box".--Alastair Crooke, "Unfolding
the Syrian paradox," Guardian, July 15, 2011]
[Al-Jazeera's admission only gives further credence to what has already been
exposed: the Zionist entity and the House of Saud, allied with the US,
Turkey and Jordan, have launched a full-scale destabilization operation
against Bashar al-Assad and his government.--Jonathan Azaziah, "Syria: Zionist Mobilization Kicks Into High
Gear," intifada-palestine.com, July 16, 2011]
[The ongoing protest movement is intended to serve as a pretext and a
justification to intervene militarily against Syria. The existence of an
armed insurrection is denied. The Western media in chorus have described
recent events in Syria as a "peaceful protest movement" directed against the
government of Bashar Al Assad, when the evidence confirms the existence of
an armed insurgency integrated by Islamic paramilitary groups.--Michel
'Humanitarian War' on Syria? Military Escalation. Towards a Broader Middle
East-Central Asian War?," Global Research, August 9, 2011]