Thursday, July 28, 2005

Alawi-Ismaili Confrontation in Qadmous - What does it Mean?

Confessional Violence: Alawites Attack Ismaili stores in Qadmous

27 stores and several homes were burnt or destroyed last week in Qadmous. All of them belonged to Ismailis. “I blame the government and the state 100% for failing to stop this violence,” said Samir, an Alawi villager, whose home is only a few kilometers from Qadmous. “Where was the Baath Party? Where were the police,” he asked? “There were a hundred signs that something was going to happen, but no one did anything,” he lamented. “Now what will happen to our town? It will never return to what it was.”

When I got off the bus in the center of Qadmous yesterday, I didn’t notice anything wrong. Not at first. On the contrary, Qadmous is a handsome town and prosperous compared to the forlorn and dusty villages that hug the main road along the hot dessert plain leading from Homs up to feet of the mountain region shared by Syria’s minority sects. The greenery and cool mountain air of Qadmous is so refreshing and welcome to the traveler who arrives from the plains that he breaths deeply and rejoices.

But everything was not alright in Qadmous. The bus deposited me in front of the police station in the center of town – a stately building of neatly cut stone set three meters in from the street. It’s imposing size and calm authority, meant to symbolize the steady hand of the state, belied the fact that on the night of the riots, the six police stationed there did not venture out and did nothing to stop the marauding crowds. Perhaps they didn't know what to do in the face of such multitudes and disorder, except to call for help? The Alawite district president, originally from Latakia, is now fired, accused of being interested only in illicit gain. He failed completely, either to stop the violence when it began, or, more importantly, to take measures that might have prevented it before it started.

No sooner had I deposited my bags on the sidewalk and begun to take my bearings, than my brother-in-law, Firas, appeared. He jumped out of his car and threw his arms around me in greeting. We kissed on both cheeks and then bowed to kiss the other’s shoulder in the customary salutation of the mountain area. Once settled into his passenger seat, I began to take a better look around. Firas, in a hushed voice, began to point out the long black tongues of soot that reached up above many of the shop doorways like angry cobras ready to strick. Every third or fourth store along the main street had been burned. Each had a gaping hole torn into the corrugated mettle sheeting, which the shop owners roll down over their entrances. Some doors had been ripped completely off the stores, leaving the black interiors exposed and allowing the charred contents to come tumbling out on the sidewalk. Had the attackers used pickaxes, I wondered? How had they ripped through the mettle? Firas murmured something about gasoline.

It was Friday, the weekend, and down-town Qadmous was deserted, the unaffected stores shut tight and mute, their tin faces expressionless in their guilty survival. They were all Alawite stores. Only police and security men stood about lazily at the street corners. The quite exacerbated the sense of violence that must have overtaken Qadmous on the July evening. It lent the town an eerie sense of mourning. Evidently, the rampage had begun around nine in the evening and not abated until three in the morning.

As one Alawi observed, “the more modern we become, the more savage.” He was referring to the use of cell phones, which have become ubiquitous over the last two years. “The bad people who started the violence began to call their brothers and cousins on their phones and everyone from the villages surrounding Qadmous hurried to the town center to take part in the revenge against the Ismailis. It happened so quickly. No one expected such a thing.” At 3:00 o’clock in the morning, two battalions [Katiybatayn] of solders finally arrived from nearby military bases to shut off the surrounding roads and staunch the inflow of villagers looking for trouble or merely coming to gawk. Five hundred people have been detained by security and are being questioned.

“We now call our town Falouja,” Firas joked, when we reached the outskirts of the town. He wanted to break the somber mood. “Do you think the Americans ordered this?” He laughed thinly. It is the only time I have heard this question when I knew it wasn’t serious. I laughed more heartily than did Firas.

“So how did it start?” I asked my father-in-law, when I was alone with him that evening and my wife was putting our child to bed? He had been troubled all day long, knowing this question was coming and being unsure how to answer so an American could understand.

Abu Firas is proud of his town and region. I knew whatever explanation he gave could not satisfy him. His pride in Qadmous and in Syria had been dealt a serious blow by the sectarian violence. He is forever telling me how he organized and oversaw the building of the first secondary school in his village. It now serves the 10 surrounding villages. He had the first paved road built to his town – Bayt al-Murj or Bayt Qashqa’ur, in which every house is filled with a family member. Before the road was paved, only a donkey track connected the village to the main road, which had been paved only years earlier. Today the village is only a short 10 kilometer drive to Qadmous. When my father-in-law was a child it took hours to get there. The first time he set eyes on Qadmous was at the age of eight.

His grandfather, Ali Ahmed, the great family patriarch, had bought the entire valley from the Ismailis in 1920 for a hundred gold lira and built the town single-handedly, clearing the trees and underbrush, terracing the stony hillside, building five water-driven grain mills, the only ones for miles around. He prospered and built the first one-room school house in 1948 to provide primary education to his kids and those of the nearby villages. It was only the third school built in the entire region including Qadmous all the way down the mountains to the edge of Baniyas. He raising twelve children, ten of whom survived to built their own houses in town.

Abu Firas measures himself by his grandfather’s accomplishments; last weak he found himself wanting. He was powerless to stop the violence and unable to keep the region on the road to progress established by his forefathers.

“There are no longer any wujha’ [literally “faces” or community elders] of consequence in the region that could step into the void to assume authority and restrain the baser instincts of hot heads and the mob,” he explained. “The younger generation listens to no one. There is no chamber of commerce in Qadmous, no community organizations or leaders of the town able to stop this sort of confessional nonsense and repair relations between the communities before they ignite,” Abu Firas lamented. “Why is this so? Because the government doesn’t permit it. It must control everything and appoint its people. There is only the Party. That is why no one does anything. We sit on our verandas drinking tea and visiting their relatives. It is a waste.” Not knowing whether to blame himself or his government, Abu Firas blamed his government, but he was not happy doing so. He once loved the Baath Party.

My father-in-law was the most successful of his generation of Qasha`urs, rising to be general and second-in-command in the Navy, but his ambitions and steady rise in the military was cut short at the age of 58. Having served 10 years at the rank of “liwa’,” or general, it was up or out according to Syrian law. He was forced to retire. His boss and commander stayed on as head of the Navy well into his 70s because he was related to someone. Even as he grew deaf and unable to carry out his full duties, the commander hung on, forcing able and rising stars like Abu Firas to retire early just as they were reaching their prime.

The living-room to Abu Firas’ village house has a large photo prominently displayed of him shaking hands with Gamal Abdul Nasser on graduation day from the Naval Academy in Alexandria, Egypt in 1960. He was part of the Syrian generation that believed in Arabism and which felt certain the military and Baath Party would lead the way to overcoming sectarianism and building a united and strong society. His faith has not survived well.

He was the first to say that the government and Baath Party had failed to head off the violence which overtook Qadmous. By preventing the emergence of civil society in the region and undermining potential wujha’ (local figures of authority), such as himself, the government has created a social wasteland, in which normal mechanisms for healing old sectarian wounds cannot emerge, and in which people like Abu Firas are spectators, unable to contribute. The young learn to be selfish, looking after their own families and leaving local affairs in the hands of the government administrators who are sent to the district from somewhere else. They have few role models.

Abu Firas explained how there were long and short-term reasons for the violence. For the long-term reasons, he recounted the long history of sectarian competition in the region – how Ismaili Emirs had ruled the mountains when the Alawites began to spread into the area hundreds of years ago, especially after the Ottomans expelled the Shi’a from Aleppo and its surrounding regions in the 16th century. Alawites were the peasants, treated like serfs and indentured servants. The Ismailis, according to local Alawi lore, grew fat and forgot how to work, slowly selling off their land, but they never forgot their arrogance – at least that is what the many Alawis claimed whom I spoke with. Wars broke out and the Alawite peasantry grew stronger and won battle after battle. They bought up more land and prospered because they are an "ambitious, hardworking, and open-minded people." That is how Alawis explain their success.

The Ismailis for the last 200 years have been moving off the mountain. Salamiyya, the Ismaili town on the outskirts of Hama is a product of this recent migration and loss of Ismaili power in the mountains. In short, the long history of communal animosity lives on. As one Alawi in his 20s insisted to me, “Ismaili merchants and bosses still treat us with disrespect. They are “haqiriin” or of base character. They are jealous because we have been successful and now have the state behind us. They have not learned.” Unfortunately, I did not speak with Ismailis, who, I am sure, would tell a very different story.

The short-term reasons for the violence began with a confrontation between Alawi and Ismaili youth over girls. A group of young Alawi men had come to a family entertainment spot and flirted with Ismaili girls. A scuffle broke out. Later the Ismailis led a noisy delegation to the local police station to protest the behavior of the Alawi youth and demand an apology be made and steps be taken to punish the offenders. The police director did nothing. Perhaps he thought the dispute would blow over soon enough and required no action? Perhaps he didn't want to offend the local Alawis, or perhaps, being an Alawi himself, he was not sympathetic to the plight of the Ismailis? Maybe, as some people claimed, he was only interested in collecting small bribes for issuing local liscences and did not care about anyone in the region?

In revenge, the Alawi community enforced a boycott of Ismaili merchants in town. There has always been a reluctance to buy at the store of an Ismaili, but it had been half-hazard. Most importantly, Ismailis, who make up perhaps 50% of Qadmous proper, monopolize certain businesses, most importantly the sweetshops and furniture stores. In order to take advantage of the boycott, several enterprising Alawis began to import sweets from a local market and sell them in Qadmous to satisfy local demand and make a profit.

This enraged the local Ismaili merchants whose businesses were suffering terribly. The surrounding villages and customer base of Qadmous is almost uniquely Alawi. Seeing their livelihoods being destroyed, the Ismailis stoned the store fronts of their competitors. Then all hell broke lose. That evening Ismaili stores were attacked and burnt, causing an estimated 10 million Syrian Pounds of damage.

The outbreak of sectarian violence in Qadmous comes only a few months after similar clashes tore apart Misyaf, a mountain town some 20 minutes by car from Qadmous. Though less violent, those clashes, which began with a dispute among taxi drivers, inflamed communal tensions between the two Shiite communities who have shared the mountains for 100s of years. Today Qadmous has a new district president, a Christian, who is known for his even-handedness and discipline. He has replaced the Alawi who came from Latakia.

Syria’s Baath regime has suffered a terrible blow in the high peeks of the Coastal Mountains. Since 1970, the main legitimizing slogan and proudest accomplishment of the state is that it has brought stability and security to Syrians. That legitimacy was badly frayed on the July night that sectarian violence burned through Qadmous. Few people express open devotion to the Baath Party. Most no longer believe that it is helping them to modernize as it once did. On the contrary, they complain that the regime’s efforts to dismantle and wipe away all traditional forms of authority have deprived them of any shield against the darker passions of sectarian and ethnic hatred that still simmer below the surface of village life.

As one local resident said to me, “What happened in Qadmous, could happen anywhere in Syria. If the state were lifted off this society, who knows what would happen to our country? Maybe we would become Iraq?” Ironically, the absence of civil society, has created an ever greater need for state authority. Even as people criticize the corruption of local officials, they insist on ever more vigilant state intervention. The absence of alternative sources of authority and leadership in Syria, means that the authoritarian state is needed more than ever. What would be the alternative? Qadmous? Iraq?


At 7/28/2005 07:23:00 AM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

Syrian Republican Party. No comment, posted for search engine bot.

At 7/28/2005 08:15:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

As I said before, this regime has returned Syria, and since day one of assuming official power in 1970, to ages it hadn't even known of sectarian divisions, and mafia like mentality.

The regime encourages sectarian outbursts. Assad, Hafez brought his brother Rifaat to the army in 1967, and let him form Saraya Al Difaa, purely from Allawi soldiers, luring them with higher pay, and the ability to defy the authority at the time, by the support of his brother, the Minister of Defense. Those Alawis, came from poverty stricken places, and evidently, found an Alawi Officer to give them power, and money started terrorizing Syrians from that date. They went into a ravage of rapes even of women of other oficers in the army, and Hafez Assad said it many times to the Authotity back then that he can not do anything against his brother Rifaat.

His other brother Jamil. formed another Alawi organisation, a religious one called (Al Rida) and that was contrary to expectations from the general Baath Party also back then that was trying exactly the reverse policy of nourishing religions.

So, Assad was able to find a base for his coming coup d'etat, Alawi peasants who would protect him out of basic instintcs, and may be eager to revenge from history old hidden anger against Sunnis. The Assad plan succeeded, unfortunately. I say primarily because the members of the other side in the Baath party were truly arrogant and "stupid" in a big sense.

If the Alawi Mafia of , two months ago attacked the home of Professor Aref Dalilah who they imprisoned with a sentence that is exactly the double of his friends that were also imprisoned (10 years instead of 5 for the others because he is Alawi, and this answers you, Josh as to why there is an absenece of any refraining authority among Alawis, see Karfan's explanation), and nearly killed his son , wouldn't this mafia also do the same thing against non Alawis? Of course. This regime lives on divisions and outbursts of angers and sectarianism.

If Alawis can not get along with Ismailis (who are the closest to them among all other sects), then, you know that this regime has truly and honestly destroyed Syria, and the furture of Alawis in particular.

To answer the conclusion given in the article about (the absence of, and then the need of...etc...), I may refer you all to one of Karfan's myth in which he spoke about how Assad destroyed any other Alawi authority so he alone can lead all Alawis the way he wished.

May God almighty curse Hafez Assad, and his sons, and rotten them in his hell where where for each one of them, 40 macho men in that hell screw them daily.

Mohammed (the prayer man).

At 7/28/2005 08:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Is Joshua married to a Syrian?

What is her name?

At 7/28/2005 08:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tks for the great post. It is my personnal bias, but the local events are much more informative than the national and the international ones. I hope you give us more of them. Tks again.


At 7/28/2005 09:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

people who inticed the violence and participated in it should prosecuted and punished as soon as posible their sentenc should be doubled for the ethnic and racial nature of the crime.

At 7/28/2005 09:32:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Re; Anonymous 9:17

These things are sanctioned by the regime. Yes, they will court marshal any one they choose at any time, but the regime implicates some to do something, and like violence, or corruption, etc..., and makes them its slaves until it wants to sacrifice them, or until they say something against it, then they will be brought like animals in chains to their so called national court. It is a well played game by the regime, and the game has been working very well. Syrians are falling for this game, unfortunately.

This regime has been riding on many Syrians who , while they are being used by the regime, think that they are so important, and they serve the regime while being part of its mafia doing every thing that is shameful.........until the day when the regime sees that scape goating them is required, and their heads will be chopped, their lives will be destroyed, and no one , it seems is willing to learn from what happened to the people who precded him in the position he is in. They all accept to be "important" at various times. May be Assad studied human psychology so well, and passed this hidden knowledge to his son Bashar as well... It is ridiculous, but the regime seems to be much smarter than all Syrians combined.

Mohammed ( Forunate to have grown up away from that sick environment).

At 7/28/2005 09:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/28/2005 09:43:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

To Mohammed's credit, who i see as a nagging obstacle to society, he always criticized all sects including Alawis (supposedly his own). He might be hate filled fool, but he is no racist.

At 7/28/2005 10:05:00 AM, Anonymous O.D.M said...

Just as expected..

Samir GeaGea met a top level Israeli Envoy in Paris. Full support is expected, the LF will return as a militia very soon. And the want to take care of Hizbolla ,Amal et al.

At 7/28/2005 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Hello Anonymous Sunni 9:38AM

Please, you must have misread something, or are attributing things to me I haven' said. Where did I mention Sunnis inciting for violence on this thread ? Please show me.

Mohammed (not surrprised)

At 7/28/2005 10:13:00 AM, Anonymous Metaz K.M. Aldendeshe said...

Some correction of facts mentioned in this comment. Again, Mr. Landis rely on his father in law, the Alawite general as a primary source of information.

1- “Alawites were the peasants, treated like serfs and indentured servants”,

I discussed this lie in the past at length. This is sort of used in a way the Jews keep throwing Ashwics in people face to justify all other nasty deeds. Alawites, using this lie to justify the horrific rule and devastation they brought on Syria and the theft of State assets, personal assets and property (land) of a million Syrian, including the assets and land that belong to me personally in Zafraane.

Continuing to dispel the Alawi lies: I said before and I say t again, Alawites were never treated as peasants. Mohammad the educate and rational Alawi, who did not steal anything, have attributed it rationally to the regionalism phenomenon that exist even in USA. They were never treated as serfs (Russian / European style) they were Agrarian business partners. Whereby, the land owner will make an annual agreement with those who wanted to use the land for farming, a General Contractor in modern term who was responsible to complete the Agreement as agreed upon and be responsible for all work force and subcontractors. They got paid more from the contract than the land owner in most cases. Land owners were never absentee owners, they worked side by side with the contractors. My father spent more time, I would say 70% of his time away in the Villages and taking care of Agrarian Business and Machinery than he spent in Homs.

“Indentured servants” is a big fat Alawites lie to justify the horrendous crimes this minority committed on the people and country of Syria. Alawites were treated with respect and many of the respected Alawites families have even obtained the title of Beik and Agha. These big titles are not granted to class of prosecuted minority an indentured servants one.

Peasants, yes, there are agrarian people in every country, including the United States. George Bush is an example of American peasant. The word peasant is an antiquated word anyway. The Syrian Republican Party specifically forbade the use of this word and it is considered to refer to derogatory meaning. The use of words such as “farmers or Agrarians” is more appropriate. This is in contrast to the Baath Party slogan of being the party of workers and Peasants. A typically deceptive slogan borrowed from Soviet, Jewish, Marxist slogans, to insure at all time the existence of these mass classes of ignorant, poor and individually weak members of society to rely on as a power base, since no rational, educated, sophisticated human being will provide such a base to a cunningly deceptive Jewish styled lying regime.

But they were no Peasants as you would understand the term in Russia or Medieval Europe. Because, under Islamic culture in Syria you could not have such class of people exist. They maybe disliked, not as much as they are hated and disliked now after all the evil deeds they done to the people and country. They are even despised now, not because they are Alawites but because of the crimes and treatment they have treated the people of Syria and the theft of personal assets of Syrians and of course the State and all the natural resources that is totally siphoned off, including the historic Artifacts, all the cash deposited in foreign bank accounts totaling in the 100’s of Billions. So why do you expect the people of Syria to love or respect the Alawites after all the theft and murder and right deprivation?

As an example of this lie, Hafez Assad was an Alawites who was admitted to the country most elite Military Academy at my hometown of Homs, he was trained in the Soviet Union in aviation to become a pilot, all at Syrian people expense a decade before the Baath came to power. Is that how surfs are treated? He and his Alawites minority has betrayed the people of Syria.

“Indentured servants” what a lie. No lie no matter how big it is going to cover up the crimes the Alawaites committed on the people of Syria. Yes, there were agreement between city dwellers and Alawaites in general in rural area to send an Alawites girl for a year to work in the city. But this is hardly an indentured servant. This was never forced on the Alawaites in the first place, it was volunteered by them. There was an agreement on the payment of salary, which the father got paid, after he paid the Agent. Yes there were agents in the villages that hires the girls and introduce them to potential families.

In America and Europe this is called “Au Pair” and an Au Pair agencies are all over Orange County finding homes not Alawites girls but for Swedes, German and U.K. girls that wants to come in and live in the States for a year or two. They clean houses, take care of kids and get paid. They share all the family vacations, celebrations and economic benefits, living in luxury and learning the culture. These are not poor girls.

Alawites did the same, the girls never ever got abused or treated like a servant. Myself, in growing up in Syria till age 14, had more than half a dozen of these Alawites girls taking care of me while my father was spending most of his day in the Agrarian work. They were treated just like an Au pair girl will be treated just like another one person in the family. If you to look at my photo album, you will see that this was the truth. In one instance, a new Alawites girl was contracted by the family and was so pretty, she was a Jaclyn Onasis look a like and just as tall, my mother started giving here modeling lessons and took here around to get here started in backward Syria, a month afterward found an Alawites man and married him. This is serfdom? Bastard lying Alawites, bastard ignorant American Landis.

2- “The Ismailis, according to local Alawi lore, grew fat and forgot how to work, slowly selling off their land, but they never forgot their arrogance – at least that is what the many Alawis claimed whom I spoke with”.

No truth to this Alawites lies. Alawites had their own Alawites Landlords and land owning families that hold titles. Very rarely, and rather controversial to sell land to other minorities. I know that for a fact that it was a subject of a lot of debate to sell land to what is called Arabs (not the Arab in Kuwait or Arabia) or Kurds in the region of Tel-Kalakh.
Most Alawites simply did not own land because they did not belong to the region, they came from somewhere else and lived on land that is owned for hundreds of years by others. Persecuted and evicted from through the Middle East, they seeked shelter and means to sustain themselves and found it in this region that most of the land were already appropriated and titled under the Ottoman to someone. They made deal and out of compassion to them they were not treated as trespasser, they were tolerated and supported on the land. A big mistake, bigger than paying and admitting Assad to the Homs military academy . They should be sent back to the dessert they came from. The deceiver Amen /Marduk ( the battery powered Messiah that live on the moon, remember Apollo astronaut sayings) had a deceptive plan for generation, but even he knows how it will all unfold in the end.

3- They bought up more land and prospered because they are an ambitious, hardworking, and open-minded people.

Another lie. They are the laziest of people in Syria and the most closed minded one as the party they assembled and built from Z. Arsuzi to Bashar Assad, the Baath Party proves.
Modeled after the lazy socialist scam, no competition, and the most rigid and closed minded political, cultural and economic system ever invented. And Alawites did not buy land, they stole it from all other Syrians including myself 1742 hectares of land in Zafraane alone.

4- Unfortunately, I did not speak with Ismailis, who, I am sure, would tell a very different story.

Unfortunately dumb shit Landis don’t speak to anyone else when he publishes his garbage that he tries to sell as scholarly, he just talk to the one Alawites general that he married his daughter.

5- There has always been a reluctance to buy at the store of an Ismaili,

That is very common in Syria, nothing new. We don’t have corporate laws, corporations or corporate culture. That is Baathism, just grand theft. As an example of this, my grandma bought the meat from a Sunni Moslem butcher in Homs few miles away, even though living in Mahatta, a Christian neighborhood back then, she would not buy the Christian butcher that is next door products. That changed, when the son of the Sunni Moslem butcher upon making a delivery said to her when she complained about the high prices: “This is a new era, live with it, no more IKTAI era, it is about time the Dandashi’s understand this, open your safe and get money out of it, money that you have been stealing from Syrian for generation. She was flat broke after the Alawites took control of all here land and even house and never paid her a dime. She cursed him and his Islam and said, from now on I will buy neat from the Christian butcher, in fact I will buy from the Christian everything I need before I support people like you.

Mr. Landis, you don’t know a fucking shit and I have no respect for your continued presentation of opinion and saying by this Alawites general. That is gross distortion of facts and represent pure lies.

The Agha.

At 7/28/2005 10:13:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Oh, I understand this Anonymous Sunni:

He sees nothing in this world but in terms of Alawis, and Sunnis.

Change your language, because with such a language, your point of view will be despised by the readers no matter what it is. Express yourself calmly, for people have minds to determine the truth , and just fool language is not by itself convincing. I will help you if you need help formulating your thoughts.

Mohammed (The helper).

At 7/28/2005 10:32:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

In agreement with Dandashe

But my point is this:

For how long must the people as a whole be held captives to a past?

First of all, I don't agree with the Regime's point of view of Alawi persecution in the past, but suppose this is true, revenge was not the correct answer.

The answer is to bring people together with similar aspirations for a good future for them all as individuals and communities equal under the law, exactly as we have solved the Blak-White issue in America. The Assad way, yes, it made certain despicable Alawis and their families extra rich, but what will happen to the majority of the Alawis who, once this regime is broken, they will be again, either servants to Christians, Sunnis, or those Fucking Bastards of Alawis that are the new masters! I think most Alawis will even chose Sunnis or others to be their masters than these heartless Alawi SOBs.


At 7/28/2005 10:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will even choose...Forgive me my typos!

At 7/28/2005 11:34:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Even though I feel it was a big mistake not to speak to the Ismaili side. I would like to remind "The Agha" that this is NOT a news outlet and neither is any other blog.

Blog owners do not need to abide by journalistic duties or laws of any sorts. This is the danger of blogs since many readers might assume what’s being posted is true but it is not necessarily. What we have in the very best case is an objective and unbiased point of view. But since most blogs are run by one person it is highly unlikely that would consistently occur. Come to think of it, it doesn’t even occur in legitimate newspapers or TV channels either. Isn’t free speech and press great :) ???

At 7/28/2005 11:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now please answer me: Who is Joshua's wife?

At 7/28/2005 11:54:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Can Joshua personally comment on who are the real names of the people governing Syria? Does any one really know?

Are Kanaan, Bukhtiar, Assads, the ones, or are they hidden behind the scene? From my observation throughout th epast 3 decades or more, I can testify that no one we know that people thought was so crucial for the continuation of this brutal regime was indispensible to the survival of the regime, including, Rifaat Assad, and even Hafez Assad.

So, can Joshua as an American explain to us who is governing Syria?

Don't tell me it is the BAATH Party, for there is no such entity. The power that is governing Syria is secret, and not even Assad is the one, and even if Bashar is killed tomorrow, the regime will continue to exist. Perhaps they would raise another dummy to put at the fore front.

Mohammed (seeking to know)

At 7/28/2005 12:20:00 PM, Anonymous Metaz K.M.Aldendeshe said...

Josh is married to a Syrian lady whose father was an Alawi General in the Alawites Syrian Army of Hafez Assad, now retired. Which says a lot about Josh good Character and outwardly nature that is what most American are like.

At 7/28/2005 12:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the general's name?

At 7/28/2005 12:57:00 PM, Anonymous Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

Don’t be fooled Mohammed, ruling Syria are neither the Baath, nor the army and not even Bashar. Foreign embassies are the one ruling and guiding the regime, providing the necessary economic and political support. For as long as Assad does what they wanted him to do, they will keep him in power, unless the people rise and revelotion starts like that of Iran. That is the biggest fear the embassies have.

You see, it is all about money, it is not about anything else. For as long as Assad keeps on siphoning the cash out the Syrian treasury sending oil, economy, tax earning and expat remittance back to foreign banks accounts in Europe and the United States, they are happy and is considered “a regime in compliance”.

For as long as the regime they support do not spend these massive billions of cash in the country, building viable economy for the people that can become competitive to their economy and restrict their business from exporting and monopolizing the economy of Syria (other countries too) and keep the spending just at minimum to repel revolution, they are happy and the embassies will continue to support the regime.

These hundreds of Billions deposited in foreign bank accounts are used, loaned and invested to develop those western countries. Don’t fool yourself, countries like Saudi Arabia or Syria will never see that deposited cash ever again. Once the regime stops depositing these funds in the illicit bank accounts or worse starts withdrawing these deposited funds, Now, the regime is not in compliance and the embassies will start show all the damming evidences of the regime and gets the people to rebel and start a revolution to achieve mainly Two objectives.

The first, is to freeze those funds, just like they did to Iran billions. Iranian will never ever see a dime of the funds deposited in the west again. It’s gone, it is being invested and used to the benefit of the west.

The second, is to remove the non-compliant regime and start what is supposedly a popular revolution, in fact, it is all well orchestrated scam, since the embassies would have already got the new leaders primed and redid to take over the new regime. As long as those new leaders ship the cash out by the plane load, they are kept in power. Otherwise, if they got smart, there is always the local embassy agent handy and ready to kill the offending non compliant dude, usually in a subdued way, such as the nephew of the Saudi King comes for greeting and shout to kill the king when he was about to take those cash out of foreign banks.

In Syria, we have the added necessities to keep it economically, socially and in everyway very weak and backward to protect Israel.

You see, this is just a tip in the iceberg explanation. After you spend couple of decades digging into facts, banks history, who own them, who is getting the money, then you will no longer think it is a conspiracy, but facts. Knowledge is Power.

At 7/28/2005 01:06:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

I find it strange that sectarian outbursts occur in Syria when the Pentagon is talking about punitive strikes against Syria. Considering that the only thing that prevents the USA from removing Bachar is the sectarian nature the country, these events come right in time to remind the white house of Syria's reality.

I am not saying that the regime engineered the sectarian divisions, but they are profiting from it. And why the hell the police didn't intervene to stop the mob? The police, the army and the security apparatus in Syria are everywhere and have one mission: repress any opposition to the state. Given their effectiveness, I think that they were amazingly slow.

Is Bachar trying to dissuade the US from intervening in Syria's complicated politics?

At 7/28/2005 01:11:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Dandeshe: I agree 100%.

Mohammed (well, agrees!)

At 7/28/2005 04:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful comments, too bad for the few useless 4 letter words. We had Alawis, Sunnis and the Agha (Circassian/Turkmen pretending to be Kurdish?) going at it. I guess Ismaelis don't read blogs. It should encourage Joshua to leave the sterile confine of Damascus and go on the road to discover the wonderful complexity of Syria. What can be better than unlocking the collective unconscious of a country?


At 7/28/2005 05:55:00 PM, Anonymous Metaz K.M. Aldendeshe said...

To that non that wants to send Landis all over Syria.

Maybe we should send Dwight D. Eisenhower over since this geek Dr. Mengele Rumsfeld seems to find plenty to enjoy at Abu Guraib and no longer is interested in Syria.

At 7/28/2005 06:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog, but I would like to see it keeping with the academic principles of presenting the two sides of issues. Referring to your father in law, especially he was in the army, and he is alawite is not a smart one. The elite of Syrian people always despised the army personal and their intervention with the country’s policies and political life since the start of the state in 1945. Syrian new history is a constant coups by military personnel and the current régime is one more police state which people don’t know how to get rid off. I do not think they qualify for comments other than military comments.
Thank to Mr. Aldendeshe for clarifying the facts about peasants, serfs and indentured servant, which I truly believe its true from my own experience.

At 7/28/2005 06:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am wondering if there is a chance that Bashar will his policy or he is scared that reforms will endanger his power and control over the country.
Another point, how do you all see Syria 5 years from now?

At 7/28/2005 06:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*missed to add "change" after "will" above.

At 7/28/2005 09:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/28/2005 09:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

let us not call entire ethnic groups as violent,lazy or some other name as in every ethnic group ther are people who are corupt,violent and lazy ,in the united state if you call the jews as cheep (many think so)your are called antisemite ,if you call the blacks as lazy you are concidered racist,just remember you are all Syrians multicolor ,multiethnic and multireligous you need to make Syria better together otherwise you will destroy Syria trying to save her the goverment in Syria made many mistakes but i do not think they intentionaly were trying to cause damage ,they just did not know how to improve Syria and wewr too proud to ask for help even from Syrian who have the expertise and the will to help,I think syria is trying to do better and willing to take help,so please offer clear suggestions,and you will see that people will respond.this blog is one of the best no matter who mr landis is married to and what religin he beleivs in.

At 7/28/2005 10:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree; we need to show respect, be tolarent, and appreciate our diversity. Those of you who complain all the time, I suggest that you do something more effective than just talking. Try to raise your voice in a logical way.

At 7/28/2005 10:29:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/28/2005 10:44:00 PM, Anonymous Metaz K.M. Aldendeshe said...

I am just referring to general terms Alawite, not to the people or individuals. Most of my friends when I grew up in Syria were Alawi. I am an atheist who believe in Alien on other planets, you think it matter to me what earthling they want to worship or how.
The comment were posted to refute the general inaccurate stories and lies.

At 7/28/2005 10:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/28/2005 10:50:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/28/2005 10:52:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/28/2005 10:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Show respect! to those that jail 17 year old because his father belonged to some politically banned group?

At 7/28/2005 10:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/28/2005 10:57:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

Okay faget what is your suggestion. we let you live happily ever after with all those billions that your daddy and you stole from teh Syrian treasury and people, and show you respect and tolarance? Have teh Baathist shown respect and tolance? What exactely you suggest that we do beside disappear and let you spend the cash and will it to your kids.


At 7/28/2005 10:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good night man!!!!!!!!! I gotta study now.

At 7/28/2005 11:00:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/28/2005 11:04:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/28/2005 11:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

U got issues. What u said is right but it doesn't apply to all Syrians. I have a feeling that I live a few blocks aways from u.

At 7/29/2005 12:26:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Please stop insulting people on this blog, it makes this very serious blog look stupid.

Concerning the article I think it's fair. We don't have the ismaili side of the story but that's because Josh is not a moukhabarat and does not have access to all the relevant information. He provided us with all the information he got, specifying the sources of the info and warning us that the info may be biased. For me, it's good journalistic standards.

At 7/29/2005 02:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Herd behaviour is the term used to describe situations in which a group of individuals react coherently without there being any co-ordination between them. Such a group is called a herdThe phrase "herd behaviour" has acquired a certain currency in popular psychology, where the idea of a herding instinct is offered as an explanation of phenomena such as crazes where large numbers of people act in the same way at the same time. Such people are sometimes labelled with the derogatory term "sheeple."
. A craze is an excessive fad or collective mania due to herd behaviour. Some crazes have mild consequences (fashions). But others lead to the excesses of mass hysteria. Popular psychologists describe this as involving the disappearance of the individual personality, with regression to some lowest emotional instinctive denominator described as "crowd sentiment". The evidence that there is any real psychological process of this nature is, however, weak, and in many cases the term "herd behaviour" is strikingly inappropriate for the phenomena, since the group is reacting under the orders or influence of a charismatic leader.
People who are sometimes accused of herd behaviour are followers of religions, new religious movements, and cults, especially if they follower a charismatic leader. Nazism is for many people the most shocking example of this kind of herd behaviour. Here the term "herd behaviour" seems quite inappropriate for the actual behaviour of the group, however, since people are clearly responding to a leader, and their behaviour is often closely co-ordinated with careful delineation of roles. Deciding to affiliate to such a group, however, can reasonably be thought of as a craze like any other.

At 7/29/2005 02:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Qadmous is a good example that
Narcissism is a collective disease in Syrias society.

The Narcissus flowers early in the spring and is often found in damp soil near to a pond. It is a self-sufficient, fertile but stagnant environment. The flower is usually of six white vesica-shaped radiating petals with a central yellow funnel containing the stamen and the stigma. It has a firm and upright stalk. In Islam the Hadith of Bukhari associates the flower with the upright and righteous man. The symbol has also been likened to the transformation of vanity and self-centeredness The dysfunctional family
The Narcissist is born into a dysfunctional family. It is characterised by massive denials, both internal ("you do not have a real problem, you are only pretending") and external ("you must never tell the secrets of the family to anyone"). The whole family unit suffers from an affective dysfunction. It leads to affective and other personality disorders displayed by all the members of the family and ranging from obsessive-compulsive disorders to hypochondriasis and depression.
Such families are reclusive and autarchic. They actively reject and encourage the rejection of social contacts.
This inevitably leads to defective or partial socialisation and differentiation and to problems with sexual identity.
This attitude is sometimes applied even to other members of the extended family. The nuclear family feels emotionally or financially deprived or threatened by them. It reacts with envy, rejection, self-isolation and rage.
Constant aggression and violence are permanent features of such families.
The violence can be from verbal (degradation, humiliation) and up to severe cases of psychological, physical and sexual abuse.
into the humility of a more individuated and spiritual self.

At 7/29/2005 06:01:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Yes, Syrians do disappoint me the most among all people I know. The above two examples are such examples. The first thinks he is so highly intelligent and educated, and I have no doubt that he belongs to the regime, comes here to calmly and with total disregard to the seriousness with which we were discussing the subject of this article, to Shout at us with turning his Caps on, and call for us to "suggest" something "positive'. This man has trashed the opinions of the others without discussing a thing in them, and such a man deserves my utmost despise.

The second is the one who posted a couple of posts "explaining" to us what narcism is, again to portray himself as a "doctor", certainly a Baathy Assady Doctor, who are known as to how they were accepted in the Medical schools anyway, and no Syrian is not aware of who they are , and what kind of thieves they are. This doctor, without putting much effort from his part, again to trash the article, and trash what we put of serious analysis, copyies and then pastes in here the descrition of Narcism" taken from Wikipedia Encyclopedia, and he as all Baaties do, does not even mention that he stole the definition word by word from that encyclopedia, but that is of no consequence to him since his two objectives were 1- Trash the subject and destroy the articles and the serious thoughts we put for it, and 2- portray himself as highly "educated", and highly "intelligent", to put himself above the participants and to push us down. Wasn't he copying and pasting the symptoms of exactly who he is?

Well, of course, the Assadists want to portray what happened in Quadmous as a Syrian Sickness, Narcism, or otherwise, qand that this "sickness" should be treated , and unfortunately, the regime has still work to do to deal with the sicknesses of the Syrian people. This is more disgusting. These disgusting individuals think that they can easily fool the world, but I am not only sad for us who have to see our Syria being destoryed and that the harmony with which Syrians of all languages inside it, and all religions, and national ethnic backgrounds lived with for the past hundreds and thousands of years has been probably destroyed during the regime of the savages that has lasted at least 35 years, and to a lessor extent the seven prior years, I am also sad for them, honestly for this regime has also turned such individuals who most probably came from among the "historically" persecuted minorities into human beings devoid of all feelings toward other human beings, and laughing at the misery of others, instead of making their past misery if it really existed a reminder for them to protect of the importance of being truly humans.

Some times, I feel that the only language such people may pay attention to, not that they will understand, but at least pay attention to, is the outburst I expressed myself with vis a vis their "cold blooded" posts that had no respect for the subject at hand.

I will always pray for them as well.

Mohammed (sad...)

At 7/29/2005 06:04:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

copyies= copies
descrition= description

At 7/29/2005 06:40:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Mohammed is no worse than the anon he criticizes. Always labeling people he disagrees with as Assadist or Baathist. He so closed minded with hate that he would not be able to see a personal opinion if it smacked him across the face. One other thing genius, how about you type your posts in Word spell check it then posted instead of posting your corrections or whining about not being able to edit after posting. You can remove your post btw but you have to register as a blogger first.

At 7/29/2005 08:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy which begins by early adulthood and is present in differing contexts within a person's life.

1. A narcissistic individual is grandiose in their sense of self-importance and exaggerates their achievements and talents. He expects to be recognized as superior without achieving any great accomplishments.

2. A narcissistic individual is preoccupied with fantasies of his brilliance as well as his unlimited success or power. He fantasizes about beauty or ideal love.

3. A narcissistic individual believes that he is "special" or "unique." He feels that he can only be understood by or should associate with other special or high status people.

4. A narcissistic individual requires excessive admiration and is on a constant search for admiration.

5. A narcissistic individual has a sense of entitlement. He has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment and expect others to automatically comply with his wishes.

6. A narcissistic individual takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends and uses others without regards to the feelings of others.

7. A narcissistic individual lacks empathy and does not identify with the feelings or needs of others.

8. A narcissstic individual is envious of others and believes that others are envious of him.

9. A narcissistic individual shows arrogant or haughty behaviors or attitudes and does not care who he offends.

At 7/29/2005 08:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we talk about blonds and sex please.

At 7/29/2005 08:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought this blog deal with syrian issues, now we have a mentally ill blogger who was rejected from medical school and he is showing off here by cutting and pasting stuff out of medical text books. So many idiots in this world.

At 7/29/2005 08:41:00 AM, Anonymous SSPRS said...

Wow, from now on we would require these good leadership traits from our new members. Sound like this list is what society leaders needs.

At 7/29/2005 08:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A leader with those traits is a hell lot better than the low life traits found in Bashar Assad, the Abu Guraib master, Mossad agent or a white trash American working for them.

At 7/29/2005 08:48:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Seriously guys, something needs to be done here. This blog is busier than ever but most of the comments are trading insults or weirdos talking crap. we must be painting a fantastic and civilized image to non-Syrians :)

How about we discuss the Paula Abdul sex scandal, or how the banana crop is in danger?


At 7/29/2005 08:53:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

I wanted to know who Joshua's father in law is, because we could be related.

The thing is, Josh: do not be impressed by this thug, and I say thug because every officer who reached that rank of your father in law at the hands of Hafez Assad is absolutely a corrupt individual, with absolutely no honour what so ever. Ask me. I know them. These people lied to you and you are believing their lies about "his father bought so much land" for a 100 Gold pound. This is garbage. All of the ones who associated with Assad (As the Assad family itself) came from the poorest backgrounds among alawis. They were not honourable, not by how much poverty they lived under, but by being what they were and what they became. I hope his daughter is ok, but I really doubt it. These people lived on theft, and are used to steal from government property, and services, and take bribes from soldiers and ordinary people, and the Sunni commercial class. Once some one is used to live at the expense of other people, they lose all the honourable of human chracteristics. He is describing to you how Alawi women were exploited and served under Suni landlords falsly and his story is not substantiated by facts. Those people who sent their daughters to be servants were not honourable people to start with, and they voluntarily were sending their daughters to serve outside of the family. No one was forcing them to do so. Ask your father in law how come Lebanon until very recently was full of Syrian Alawi girls serving in their homes, some of the girls were very well treated, and some were abused and no one cared. Christian homes in Lebanon employed Alawi girls, Mr. Landis. No one ever forced the fathers to send their daughters to the Christian powerless families that had absolutely no power over these people since they lived in another country. It is such people among Alawis that got power in Syria and started treating others, including Alawis as if they are all their servants, but no one ever had treated them with this inuhmane manner. They became the evil they are with faces you do not doubt. Ask your father in law if he ever paid a penny for his telephones, for his cars, for gas, for living, for food, or for anything>>> He never did, and I am so sure of that because such as the Alawi officers, and I am familiar with them. Even their daily food is brought to them by their soldiers as bribes for better treatment.

Since you have gotten yourself in what appears to you as a good deal, and you think you were and are lucky marrying this woman, I have one piece of advice to you for the sake of your own honour and that is to try now to influence these people to recognize that they can not keep on what they are doing, and that this is not acceptable by any society.

Let America bring freedom and light to Syria through your efforts, and that will be a good fruit of marrying the daughter of that thug.

Thank you very much

Mohammed (Praying)

At 7/29/2005 09:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Violence in syria??????????

Confessional Violence: Alawites Attack Ismaili stores in Qadmous???????????

What a lie!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or not????????????????


Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR)

Committee on Human Rights considers report of Syria

/ The Human Rights Committee has considered the third periodic report of Syria on how that State party implements the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Introducing the report, Bashar Ja'afari, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said Syria had always tried to be honest with itself and its principles, and refused to contradict its strong principles regarding what was required to be done, in particular with regard to the causes of terrorism. Most political commentators had come to recognise that Syria's measures adopted since 1996 combated all forms of terrorism and the exploitation of religion for political reasons. The development path assumed by the Government and the modernisation programme had led Syria to collaborate fully with international human rights organizations, and Syria had gone further than many States which claimed to defend human rights.

The Syrian delegation included representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of High Studies.


Report of Syria

In the third periodic report (CCPR/C/SYR/2004/3), Syria shows the extent to which Syrian legislation is compatible with the rights recognised in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by listing them and comparing them with the domestic laws and legislation in force in Syria, in order to acquaint the Committee with the legal framework within which the provisions of the Covenant are being implemented in the country. Syria acceded to the Covenant in 1969 and consequently it became part of the domestic legislation of the country, and as such is enforceable in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

The Constitution is the fundamental law in the country. The rights referred to in the Covenant are guaranteed by it, and it forms the country's basic law. All citizens are equal before the law in respect of their rights and obligations and enjoy their rights and freedoms in accordance with the law and the Constitution. Freedom of belief is inviolable and the State respects all religions and guarantees full freedom of religious observance provided that it is not prejudicial to public order. Accordingly, the right of every religious community to profess and practise its religion and exercise its religious rights is firmly enshrined in the Constitution and the laws in force.

The law protects all persons residing in the territory of the State, without any discrimination on the grounds of race, origin, religion or nationality. Syria has never known any case of alleged discrimination in regard to this protection. All citizens enjoy the same rights, without any discriminatory treatment. They enjoy, on an equal footing, all the rights and privileges recognised in the Covenant. No one can be prevented from enjoying the right to exercise freedom of thought and religion, freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom to manifest his religion through worship, teaching and religious observance alone or in association with others, in public or in private.

Presentation of Report

BASHAR JA'AFARI, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations Office at Geneva, presenting the report, said the Syrian Government was keen to implement all its international obligations with regard to all international human rights bodies. Since President Assad was elected in 2000, he had been leading modernisation and development in all areas with an aim of strengthening trusting relations between the people and the Government on the one hand, and institutions and foreign bodies on the other. Many decrees had been issued which were proof of the new impetus that it was wished to give to these changes, despite the huge challenges that were faced with regard to Palestinian issues and the Golan, as well as neighbouring countries in the region.

Syria had always tried to be honest with itself and its principles, and had refused to contradict its strong principles regarding what was required to be done, in particular with regard to the causes of terrorism. Most political commentators had come to recognise that Syria's measures adopted since 1996 combated all forms of terrorism and the exploitation of religion for political reasons. Syria supported actions on the ground in accordance with international legitimacy to implement all Security Council resolutions concerning anti-terrorism. Syria had issued a legislative decree against money laundering to combat this phenomenon and the financing of terrorism.

The development path assumed by the Government and the modernisation programme had led Syria to collaborate fully with international human rights organizations. The Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention against Torture, and the two Optional Protocols on the Convention of the Rights of the Child had all been acceded to, thus making all seven human rights treaties part of Syria's policy. Syria had gone further than many States which claimed to defend human rights. The setting-up of an independent human rights monitoring body was currently under investigation. With regards to domestic human rights policy, in the near future, Syria would begin to implement the important recommendations adopted by the National Congress to defend human rights.

Questions by the Committee Experts

A series of questions were submitted by the Committee Experts in advance of the meeting and others were posed orally. Among the questions and issues raised were the compatibility of counter-terrorism measures taken by the State party with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; whether there had been any derogation of Covenant rights in the context of a state of emergency; what measures had been taken or were foreseen to enhance the participation of women in public life; what measures existed or were proposed to combat and eliminate violence against women; information on the measures taken by the State party to implement the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee of March 2001 with regard to allegations of extrajudicial executions, disappearances, torture, acts of cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by law enforcement personnel and arbitrary detention; what measures were in place to ensure the independence and impartiality of the judiciary; and what measures had been taken to protect the rights of the Kurdish minority.

Constitutional and Legal Framework within which the Covenant is Implemented

The legal laws in Syria were issued or amended in accordance with the provisions of the International Covenant, the delegation said. The priority was the implementation of the Covenant, and in the case of contradiction, it was the provisions of the treaty that prevailed. Regarding the decisions of the administrator of martial law, these could be revoked as a simple administrative decision; several had been revoked.

Regarding the National Committee for International Humanitarian Law, this was made up of various representatives from different domains, including the Red Crescent and the Ministry of Education and other Ministries, and a representative of civil defence. It drew up and coordinated national approaches to human rights as a whole. It had decided from its first meeting to work to extend awareness regarding human rights and humanitarian work by organising seminars for anyone working in the media, jurisdiction, police, members of the People's Council, diplomats, universities, and others. The Ministry of Education had decided to include humanitarian law in the University syllabus.

Counter-Terrorism Measures and Respect of Covenant Guarantees

The delegation said regarding the compatibility of counter-terrorism measures taken by the State party with the Covenant, including those reported pursuant to Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), Syria cooperated fully with international legislation to combat terrorism, particularly with regard to the implementation of the Security Council resolutions in this context. Syria had submitted its fourth report to the Committee against Terrorism. A legislative decree had been adopted in 2003 regarding illegal money laundering, in addition to a decree adopted in 2005 according to which money-laundering in the context of terrorism was combated. Syria was cooperating with the international missions and other States in the anti-terrorist fight to extradite criminals, and had many examples of this cooperation.

State of Emergency

The law of the state of emergency, the delegation said, was adopted in 1962, and the state of emergency was declared in 1963. This was an exceptional situation adopted when the State was threatened, and it enabled the State to take the necessary measures to protect itself from the danger that was threatening it. The President of the Republic was the one who declared the state of emergency, and who eliminated it. The situation of war threatened general security, and entailed an aspect of danger, and in this situation the state of emergency had to be decreed.

Syria was threatened by Israel, as was the case for many other countries in the region. Israel occupied the Golan Heights, with Syrian citizens ejected from this territory, and it had also threatened the country over the last period. This was in contradiction with United Nations resolutions. The state of emergency allowed the Syrian authorities to face up to situations of danger rapidly.

Non-Discrimination and Equality between Sexes

There was nothing in Syria that prevented women from participating in public life, the delegation said. This was guaranteed in the Constitution. Women were allowed to participate in any position, without conditions, in the context of equality between all citizens. Women occupied political as well as diplomatic and legislative posts. The response to guarantee equal treatment was to provide equal opportunities. There was a slight difference in the average age of marriage for men and women. With regard to divorce, both men and women had the right to divorce, and had to go through the legislative courts to obtain this. With regards to honour crimes, these were referred to in the criminal code. Men could get alleviation of their sentence, but honour crimes were very rare because of an awareness campaign.

Violence against women in general was similar to any violent crime. The husband got no clemency in regard to this respect. There was no difference in the law regarding violence against women or against men. Women who were subjected to violence by their husbands or any other person could file a complaint to the judiciary or to the police, and it could then be referred to the forensic doctors. Women were given access to medical treatment in this respect. There was a national plan to protect women against violence that was currently being finalised, and there were a number of laws regarding the protection of women in marriage and in the family.

Right to Life; Prohibition of Torture; Right to Liberty and Security of the Person; Treatment of Detainees

With regards to capital punishment, the delegation said, there had been no capital punishment for a certain period, but since 2002, this punishment had been imposed in cases of particularly abominable crimes, such as pre-mediated murder for robbery, or honour-related crimes. Some of these punishments had been implemented. Capital punishment was only implemented when referred to a special committee created by Presidential Decree and then to five judges who gave their view to the President, who could then either decree the execution, or turn it down. There were no extra-judiciary executions in Syria. The Constitution provided that there was no crime without legal text.

In case of inhuman treatment, the perpetrator was brought to justice, no matter who he or she was. The Syrian Constitution, as well as the laws of Syria, provided that no torture should be exercised on any person, and any person permitting that act should be punished. The subjection of any person to any kind of experiment, medical or otherwise, without their legal consent, was not to be found in Syria. Some of those who had committed crimes claimed to have been subjected to torture, in which case they were referred to forensic doctors. If there was any evidence of this crime, the person who had committed the torture was brought to justice. Any kind of violence committed to obtain a confession could result in the jailing of the perpetrator.

Response to Oral Questions

The Committee Members then made further remarks and questions, in particular noting that there was reproduction of some of the text of the second periodic report in the text of the third, and commented that this could have been replaced by more useful information. It was also pointed out that Syria should not use the legal powers conferred by the state of emergency in a manner not explicitly legally permitted. The apparent lack of implementation of the Committee's previous recommendations was also mentioned. However, the apparent wind of change in Syria was seen positively. Other questions were on whether women and men had the same rights in respect of divorce; clarification of various instances of application of the death penalty and grounds for that application as some did not appear to be appropriate, notably in the case of voluntary arson of farm land before the crop was harvested; the need to know the number of persons who died in custody; and if mandatory military service was still in place and whether there was a right for conscientious objection.

The delegation responded to these questions and others briefly, saying that the attention given by the Committee to the report was an indication of the importance of Syria in the Middle East. Some lacunae had been identified during the questions, some cosmetic and some more substantive. The cosmetic lacunae could possibly be attributed to a misreading of the report, as some of the Members perhaps had not been able to read the report before today, which would have created a gap.

Freedom of Movement

The delegation said the Ministry of the Interior had issued a law in 2002 as well as amendments to this law which referred to relieving all citizens from the need for exit visas, with the exception of those under the age of legal majority, who required the authorisation of their parents or legal guardian. Clear instructions had been issued to the effect that passports for those living outside Syria could be renewed for two years. There were also other facilities: a permanent instruction for Syrian embassies to facilitate the visits of expatriate Syrians to Syria to the extent of three visits per year for a one-month period, without any of them being prosecuted if they have not for example performed their military service.

Every Syrian outside Syria, through the relevant embassy, could return to Syria, or return to the place of abode. The Department of Passports managed this. No foreigner was to be expelled from Syria for any other reason than clear violation of the law. There were many hundreds of thousands of foreigners in Syria, and expulsions were quite rare, despite many of these being illegally present on Syrian soil. These expulsions were referred to UNHCR, and could be contested legally by the person in question. Visas were given to foreigners in accordance to their situation, for example for students, transit visits or diplomats.

Further Questions by Committee Experts

Following the delegation's response to the questions, Committee members raised various issues again, notably the issue of the state of emergency and derogations to human rights in the context of that state; and foreign detainees and what had happened to them and the need for a systematic accounting of these detainees. The delegation commented that the interactive dialogue was very helpful and had made some points quite clear, and responded briefly to the issues raised.

Right to a Fair Trial

Regarding the independence of the judiciary, this was guaranteed by the Constitution, the delegation said, and also by the law on judicial authority that guaranteed that judges would not be switched to different places or to lower posts than their current position. With regard to the Supreme State Security Court, this was a court of exception that was set up because of certain circumstances that existed in 1967. The law on this Court was no longer in step or in keeping with current circumstances, and a committee had been set up to revise the law governing it in order to guarantee the rights of those brought before the Court so that they could appeal the decisions of that body. The law had to be applied as in a regular instance, in particular with regard to the right of defence. The decisions of the Supreme State Security Court would henceforth only be implemented once the Head of State had endorsed them.

Right to Freedom of Opinion, Expression, Assembly and Association

There were a number of associations on human rights, such as welfare organizations for prisoners and their families as well as associations for the disabled, the elderly and for defending the well-being of women and children. There was a law on publications that was in the process of revision in order to obtain a more modern law that would include the Internet and audio-visual media. Syria was resolutely intending to enable Syrian media and the press to rise to a much higher level.

There was no obstacle to the freedom of expression or opinion and it was hoped the Committee would receive information regarding the developments that had occurred in Syria over the last five years. Legislation was being created regarding multi-partism, as well as to increase freedom of publication. With regards to restrictions or prohibition of publications, the law on these banned certain publications such as the minutes of closed hearings in Court and the indictment and confidential notes about the health of people, as well as books and letters that could encroach on State security and unity, information about troop movement and troop facilities, as well as others.

Non-discrimination and Rights of Persons Belonging to Minorities; Rights of the Child

The delegation said regarding measures taken by the State to protect the rights of the Kurdish minority, no citizen in Syria was dealt with on the grounds that he or she belonged to a minority or according to a system of the majority and the minority. All citizens were equal, with the same rights as other citizens, and the same duties.

Dissemination of Information Relating to the Covenant and the Optional Protocol

The information on the submission of the third periodic report would be published in all media and all relevant Ministries after the discussion was concluded, the delegation said. Acceding to an international instrument made it domestic law and the act of accession with the text of the instrument appeared in the official journal and all media, as well as being distributed to all courts and judicial authorities so that the relevant articles were applied. Education seminars for the police included human rights issues, international humanitarian law matters and in all this there was an amount of detail on the Covenant as it was considered an essential instrument. It was included as part of the optional syllabus for university students.

Responses to Oral Questions

The Committee Members then made further comments on the report, commenting on public participation in State matters; noting that the Government allowed the exit of Syrians from the country but that according to information received some people were banned from exit; inquiring what governed this; and requesting information about the five parties that boycotted the recent elections; asking about the stripping of nationality from certain minorities and whether the members of these groups could hold office and vote. The Experts also asked whether there were any instances of imprisoned people filing actions; which laws had been suspended and whether these were in conformity with the Convention; means for disciplining members of the judiciary; information on the registration of independent human rights organizations and why specific ones may have been denied registration; and reported limitations by the State on the freedom of expression. A Committee member also noted that the absence of follow-up questions to the previous list of questions was due to the pressures of time.

Responding to these issues and others, the delegation said that it was an interactive dialogue, but it was unfair to give the Committee members two-thirds of the time for the questions, and then 15 minutes to the delegation to respond. This was something that should be reconsidered from the point of view of procedure. The delegation would have to be objective in its responses, and preferred not to give marginal responses as it would have to in such a short time. Therefore, any questions which it did not have time to answer, it would do so in writing. The cases relating to Syrians whose cases had been mentioned during the meeting had had their situation made clear by virtue of a memorandum sent to the Committee earlier in the year. The Committee should not treat this interactive dialogue on the basis of preconceived ideas, otherwise it would be futile.

The delegation had listened attentively, and would take all considerations by the Committee into account. The nations and the peoples of the world were made up of civilisations and cultures. There was no single model in this world that should be followed by all, otherwise there was no need for democracy or for diversity. The law of Syria should not be a copy of that of another country. The delegation did not have to give information to the delegation regarding the ethnic, religious and geographical make-up of the representative bodies of Syria, as this question stemmed from a different point of view. Syria did not treat any of its population in this way, but rather as a whole, and not as an assembly of minorities and ethnicities, as this behaviour would lead to the division of the country. The level of priority should not be on the basis of emulating other societies, as Syria adhered to the Covenant. To enter into uninteresting details was not necessary, as these emanated from a certain political system. This urge to divide was very sad, the delegation said, and begged the Members not to judge Syria from their own preconceived ideas and values. The delegation then responded briefly to the questions posed by the Members, saying that Syria was on the right path, and needed the support of the Committee, as it was a different country, and should be treated as such, with fresh eyes.

Preliminary Remarks

CHRISTINE CHANET, Committee Chairperson, said she wished to thank the Ambassador for his answers, which, although somewhat biting at times, were part of the interaction. The Members would look at the report in light of the answers given, not in light of the report of 2001. Syria was warmly encouraged to continue its work for the removal of the law on the Supreme Security Court. The Committee was composed of international experts with no values other than those that were enshrined in the Covenant. The report had prompted various questions, including upon the state of emergency that could only be of very short duration, as well as the case of disappearances and the death penalty, with regard to discrimination against minorities.

Members of the Committee had to raise questions and address them to the delegation on the powers and authorities of the public institutions. There was a need to protect minorities, as detailed in the Covenant, and this had been the thrust of the questions asked. Committee Members were duty-bound to ask these types of questions in order to exercise control over the methods in use in Syria, and to ensure that the rules, the censure and the curtailment of the freedom of movement followed the rules that were set forth in the Covenant, and to elicit answers in order to ensure that the State party did fulfil the Covenant fully. It was hoped the next report would engender less questions and would have more positive elements.

At 7/29/2005 09:23:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

This is what the fucking Baathies are, they want to shut the discussion by flooding us with copied/pasted material.

This blog is going tto fail, and that is what the Assadist Mukhabarat are after at this time, because we have been present for few days now, so they care now, unlike the past where they allowed this blog to be empty of this material, and they had no need for it. They want to shut off the blog.

Mohammed (Disappointed).

At 7/29/2005 10:31:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

There's an allawi door keeper at my friend's house. He's very nice and we used (=before I left Lebanon) to sit with him and chat. He's been working in Achrafieh (east-Beirut) since the early 70's (that is: before the war) and stayed there during the civil war and nothing happened to him. Maybe it's due to the fact that my friend's father is an influential man but still, the fact is that nothing happened to the guy.

After the war, the Moukhabarat learned he they had an Allawi brother living in Achrafieh for 30 years! “What a nice source of information” they thought. They started to check him a couple of times a month and asked him if he saw anything in the neighbourhood. One of them even proposed him to marry a young girl in his family because he was ‘rich’ working in Lebanon for the past 3 decades. But it looks like the guy was not really fond of Moukhabarat and he never saw anything though we openly talked politics at my friend house and he could hear everything since the living room was near his room. He was in acharafieh during the cedar revolution and again nothing happened to him. Syria has now left Lebanon and the guy is still there.

I don’t have a problem with the allawis. They may be thugs in this community, but from what I know there’s nothing in their religion that is aggressive towards other people, so there is no ‘structural’ aggressiviness in it.

Must people here hate the allawis, not because they control the state but because they are allawis - the hatred is inherited from their parents.

At 7/29/2005 12:28:00 PM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

„......because every officer who reached that rank of your father in law at the hands of Hafez Assad is absolutely a corrupt individual, with absolutely no honour what so ever. Ask me. I know them. These people lied to you and you are believing their lies about "his father bought so much land" for a 100 Gold pound.............. These people lived on theft, and are used to steal from government property, and services, and take bribes from soldiers and ordinary people, and the Sunni commercial class. Once some one is used to live at the expense of other people, they lose all the honourable of human chracteristics............ It is such people among Alawis that got power in Syria and started treating others, including Alawis as if they are all their servants, but no one ever had treated them with this inuhmane manner. They became the evil they are with faces you do not doubt. Ask your father in law if he ever paid a penny for his telephones, for his cars, for gas, for living, for food, or for anything>>> He never did, and I am so sure of that because such as the Alawi officers, and I am familiar with them. Even their daily food is brought to them by their soldiers as bribes for better treatment.......”

Its all Mohammad`s words but his story agrees completely with what my Dad told and also Alawi villagers if they trust you. More or less, all this “Generals”were and are thieves, its not a secret I guess. Some of this people are extremely uneducated, with low level but you will meet their sons well treated and in high positions as physicians, engineers, but nothing in their characteristics and peasant behavior changed and their language we can read here in some of the comments. Sad but true is also another point, they live in their villages where they once came from sometimes within comfortable palaces, with maids and slaves and drivers.... and around the poor villagers with often empty stomachs.

Thanks again to Mohammed for the truth.

Aphrodite (American in USA, oftentimes ashamed to be Syrian and Allawi)

At 7/29/2005 12:35:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...


Who are those "most people here"? I think there was one anonymous voice that psoted only one post and left who expressed that he hated Alawis.

The thing is we are talking about those Alawis that support the regime, and the Alawis that are at the head of the regime, and then the Alawis that the regime has exploited to the maximum.

Yes, there are many people in Syria, especially those that have Islamic Fundementalis views, and those people in particular speak with a fork tongue, they are the ones the regime has resurected and empowered to give Hafez Assad the legitimacy to be president as some one coming from a minority, and then, they turn their backs and speak about how much they hate the president because he is Alawi. It is those people that really hate Alawis, and it is them who have control of mosques across syria and they enjoy the same benefits and advantages with the regime because they both are the two sides of the coin. The rest of the Syrian people, Alawis, and others have a problem with the regime itself, and its crimes, and corruption, not that the regime is Alawi or not. The fact is that it is the regime that always stir the criticism against it to a sectarian one.

However, being an Alawi myself, I think I have the right to give my assessement of those Alawis that have high position in the country, and I must tell you that I despise each one of them, for no matter how rich they have become, they are still savages, and without honour. This includes every general without exception.

Thank you very much

Mohamme3d (the indepent)

At 7/29/2005 12:44:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

VOX stick a huge poluli up your ass. No one hating Alawites, they just refuting their lies and appauled atthe way they treated everyone when they got power.
No one inherit hatred from dad or family. Person develope that on his own when they grow up and can make judjement. Hatered scintifically can be proved a learned behavior and not heridatary.

At 7/29/2005 12:44:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Amazing that Aphrodite and I said exactly the same thing about the savagery these Nouveaux Riches and powerful among Alawis that they have kept despite the change in their financial and social status.

Mohammed (I am certain)

At 7/29/2005 12:49:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

Repost with correction:

VOX stick a huge Populi up your ass. No one hating Alawites, they just refuting their lies and disgusted at the way they treated everyone when they got power.
No one inherit hatred from dad or family. Person develop that on his own when they grow up and can make judgment. Hatred scientifically can be proved a learned behavior and not hereditary.

At 7/29/2005 01:09:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/29/2005 01:11:00 PM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

I think its not a problem between Allawi and other religions. Its a problem, if stupid, uneducated, backwarded people with bad characteristics and low level come to power and money.
Sure, the Professor cannot know, good dressed people buy their clothes in London or Paris or New York, eat laham day by day, got their black cars and drivers, are never tired from hard work....the only interest: stay in duty and wealth.

One comment said, give the youth hope here in the blog. This are the real thugs.


At 7/29/2005 01:33:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

The real message of hope for the struggling youth is that they can hold true to themselves no matter how harsh the conditions are, no matter how unfair life seems to them to be, no matter how ugly the faces of the powerful in Syria are, and that there are people working days and nights to uncovers those criminals,a nd make them known to the world, and that we will not let them write the history of Syria as they wish no matter what it takes.

This is the real message of hope they can see here. No matter how much Hafez Assad and his power did to hide the truth about he came to power, what he did in power, his family history, his lies, the way he treated friends that he killed or imprisonned and did not allow them to even read or write while in prison so they don't tell their story, and how he brought Patrick Seal to write the story of his life, and surrounded him exactly with the people that he (hafez) wanted him to see so the book draws a perfect story of a "hero" that never was, that coward Hafez Assad did not succeed in making Patrick seal write exactly what he wished, and though there was no chance for the slightest truth to be smuggled into Patrick Seal's research about the reality of Assad, the book had within it subliminal stories that tell things Assad did not want to hear. So, the message of hope to the Youth is that be optimistic about the nature of the truth, and that oppression and oppressors will always be defeated, and their temporary victory is never going to last.

This si why we write, and what we do is of utmost importance so, no one can hide the truth, and no thief will be unrecognized.

Thank you

Mohammed (Peace)

At 7/29/2005 02:01:00 PM, Anonymous Slice and Conquer said...

Muhammad you have way too much time, you also happen to suck.

People in our area can't take democracy, they need their ass whooped. Lebanese people suck, and have too much freedom. Palestinians are too agressive on the wrong front, they need to be organized by force. Jordanians should live in Mississipi.We need to get back Greater Syria, Divide and Conquer Style.. We should also include what is now Israel.

God bless the Motherland

At 7/29/2005 02:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Syrian National Nazi Party (SNSP) or something like that... as I am not sure of their name any more are convinced that Hafez Assad was uniting the so called "greater" Syria. So, the sob Assad was ableto use these bunch of losers in Lebanon, and yes, he divided and conquered Lebanon, but the end product was more division between Syria and Lebanon and even between its two brotherly/sisterly peoples. The SOB convinced those Lebanese Bunch that this is what he was doing when in fact all what he was interested in was maintaining his power in Syria, and keeping Lebanon away from Syrian oppositions, and defeat the Palestinains who might cause problems to him with Israel (from lebanon), and finally the drug trade that was bringing billions to his associates.

So, divide and dance, mr. divide and conquer. You seem divided already to me.

Have a great day.

Anonymous 2

At 7/29/2005 02:51:00 PM, Anonymous Tarek said...

Its amazing how much racisim and generalization is going around this blog.

At 7/29/2005 02:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Show us that Tarek?

At 7/29/2005 04:23:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

To Anonymous 2

Well said.

At 7/29/2005 06:30:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/29/2005 06:41:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Syrian Republican Party, I don't know your party well but is it related to SSNP or Antoun Saade?

Otherwise you say that "Hatred scientifically can be proved a learned behavior and not hereditary." Sure but learned from whom? Zionist cons

I don't know if the majority fo people hate allawi on this forum but a lot of people hate them in Syria, that's for sure.

I don't know if Syria is ready for democracy but Lebanese christians have been ready for a long long time - and this time we're going for it through a federation and nobody can stop us.

Thanks to uncle Sam but above all, Big Thanks to Usama and his 9-11.

See you later SRP loser!

At 7/29/2005 07:10:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

""" I don't know if Syria is ready for democracy """ Vox

It is a laughable quotation. This broken album we keep hearing about if a people (singular) is ready for "democracy", and if it is not, leading "logically" to say that the God Damn Mafia that governs it has the right to keep exploiting this fucking people for ever as this is its God Dam Inherited Right. Where is the logic that those Philosophers base their arguments on? Was the Iraqi people (singular) ready for democracy that the US rushed to "establish" democracy in Iraq, but the Syrians are not? Were the Yougoslaves ready for democracy and so the US went there to help them? Was Russia ready for democracy after 70 years of communism, and became democrat? Was Nicaragua ready for democracy when it was governed by the Sandinistas and the US mined its waters and supported so called "freedom fighters" (terorism) to support the democracy that the Nicaraguans were ready for? What a stupid broken album the friends of the Syrian dictator keep repeating and with him, so called Eperts like Joshua, and now you, Vox. Who on hell gave the Assad family the right to be the custodians of the Syrian people "until" it (singular) becomes ready for so called "democracy"? Who in hell are the Assad family anyway to be where they are in the first place? No one seems to care how these people became the rich people they are now, and why they became such powerful? This is disgusting, and you better repeat this broken album to your self as this is too old and stupid./

Mohammed (the democrat)>

At 7/29/2005 07:17:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Now, if you know Mr. Vox, that the Syrian people inside Syria hate the Alawis, then, would you please, enlighten us to why is this the case?

I know that Syria has many many other minorities, such as the Druz, the Sharkas, The Armenians, the Kurds, the Assyrians, the Christians, and none of them are hated, so why on Earth the Alawis are different?

I am Alawi, and I am starting to hate them, and I hate them because of the gang among them that holds power, and the families of that gang are all "SHALLOWS" as I said in my previous post. It is their shlallow character that I despise and hate.

It is that they forgot that they were weak, and now they think they are not, and that this will last forever. Nothing will last forever, and the Alawis must rid themselves of this gang to be respected and liked again, otherwise, the future will say a lot more than mere words.

As some one said here: I am a Alawi origin, and I am not proud at this time, not of being Alawi, not of being Syrian, and above all not of being Arab at all.

Mohammed (just human)

At 7/29/2005 07:31:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

-Were 35 years in a stable regime not enough for the Assad family to prepare the donkeyes is Syria for democracy?

-How long will the donekys need to keep serving this gang, until it prepares them for democracy?

-Are the Assads and their associates democrats? If they are, then why are they afraid of any Syrian who speaks up (using his mouth or pen)?

-How do you expect such gang that can not tolerate another opinion to"prepare" the people it exploits for so called "democracy"?

Please think about the above questions!

Thank you

Mohammed (the democrat)!

At 7/29/2005 08:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/29/2005 10:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is the world silent on what this regime is doing?

اعتقال أقرباء المعتقلين نهج
جديد للأجهزة الأمنية

Thursday, July 28

اعتقلت أجهزة الأمن ظهر الأربعاء 27/7/2005 الطالب الجامعي محمد علي العبد الله وهو نجل السيد علي العبد الله الذي كان قد اعتقل في أواسط أيار 2005 أثر تكليفه من مجلس إدارة منتدى الأتاسي بإلقاء كلمة جماعة الأخوان المسلمين في جلسة المنتدى التي خصصت للحوار حول مستقبل الإصلاح في سورية والتي شارك فيها ممثلون عن أحزاب سورية عديدة بما فيها حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي الحاكم .

إن اعتقال الابن بعد اعتقال الأب ، جرى بعد أن شكل عدد من أهالي المعتقلين لجنة تهتم بشؤون الدفاع عن ذويهم . وكان السيد ياسين الحموي والد المعتقل المحكوم الدكتور هيثم الحموي قد اعتقل كذلك يوم 26/7/2005 .

إن جمعية حقوق الإنسان في سورية تشجب هذا الاعتقال، وترى فيه تصعيداً أمنياً لاستعادة أجواء معادية للحريات العامة من المفروض أن سورية قد تخلصت منها. فليس من المعقول وليس من العدل أن يحال بين المواطنين والاهتمام بشؤون ذويهم والدفاع عنهم ورفع الظلم النازل بهم . ولا يوجد قانون وضعي في العالم كله يمنع تضامن الأباء مع أبنائهم ، والأبناء مع أبائهم والأخوة مع أخوتهم. بل أن الشرائع السماوية والأرضية كلها تحضُّ على التعاون في رفع الظلم، والتراحم، والتعاضد . إننا نطالب السلطات المسؤولة بالتراجع عن هذه التدابير الجائرة، التي ترفع من درجة الاحتقان في المجتمع، وإطلاق سراح محمد بن علي العبد الله وياسين الحموي.

دمشق في 28/7/2005م جمعية حقوق الإنسان في سورية

At 7/29/2005 10:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public Statement

AI Index: MDE 24/055/2005 (Public)
News Service No: 202
27 July 2005

Syria: Amnesty International concerned at arrests of members of the Committee of the Families of Prisoners of Opinion and Conscience
Amnesty International expressed concern today over the latest arrests of human rights defenders in Syria and called on the government of President Bashar al-Assad to allow greater freedom and introduce a programme of human rights reform.

Amnesty International made this call in response to the arrests of two relatives of prisoners of conscience who participated on 25 July in the first press conference of a new organisation, the Committee of the Families of Prisoners of Opinion and Conscience. The conference was closed when security forces arrived. The next day, Yassin al-Hamwi was arrested at his shop, in the town of Darya, between Damascus and Qatana, and taken to an unknown location by security officers. His son, Haytham al-Hamwi, has been imprisoned since 2003 for involvement in peaceful activities such as establishing a free library, cleaning up the town and discouraging bribery and smoking.

On 27 July, Syrian security police also arrested Muhammad 'Ali al-'Abdullah at his home in Qatana. His father, 'Ali al-'Abdullah, also a prisoner of conscience, has been held since 15 May 2005. He was detained a week after he read a statement on behalf of the exiled leader of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) at a meeting of the Jamal al-Atassi Forum, a political discussion group which was itself then closed down by the authorities, and is now held in solitary confinement awaiting trial on charges of "promoting an illegal organisation."

Amnesty International criticised these latest arrests as a further backward step for human rights in Syria and called on President al-Assad to intervene and order the immediate and unconditional release of these and other prisoners of conscience. The human rights organisation described this latest crackdown as especially disappointing following the government's failure to use the recent congress of Syria's ruling Ba'ath party to push through much needed reforms.

'Ali al-'Abdullah is said to be in solitary confinement in 'Adra Prison, near Damascus, and is charged with "promoting an illegal organisation," believed to be the MB, which is banned in Syria. His trial before the Supreme State Security Court (SSSC), whose procedures fall far short of international standards for fair trial procedures, is scheduled to begin on 30 October 2005. If convicted, he faces over three years in prison. [See MDE 24/045/2005, 1 July 2005]

Haythem al-Hamwi is one of four young men detained since May 2003, following their arrest after participating in a silent march in Darya, protesting the invasion of Iraq. The four men are imprisoned in Sednaya prison, near Damascus. They were sentenced, after grossly unfair trials before the Field Military Court, to three to four years' imprisonment for "attempting to establish a religious organisation, involvement in unlicensed social activities and attending unlicensed religious and intellectual classes". They are being held in conditions which are said to be extremely unhealthy, dehumanising and degrading, and have been subjected to various forms of torture and ill-treatment. [See: Torture, ill-treatment and unfair trials of the Darya activists, MDE 24/056/2004, 19 August 2004].

At 7/30/2005 12:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out:

At 7/30/2005 02:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mohammed:

Patrick Seale is an excellent writer, honored in western and middle east media. How could Hafez win such intelligent person to write the untruth about his life, his family and how he came in power? Till now I never heard that Seales book is just a lie. Would a serious, intelligent western writer, as they call him, do that? He must know, a lie is never going to last. What kind of ties to the Assad House do you talk about?

At 7/30/2005 02:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Muhammad Jabr, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, August 5, 1999.:

""Tlass and Gina Lolobrigida

A Palestinian columnist recollects in an article entitled "When The General Brayed" some of the women for whom Tlass had declared his admiration. The list includes movie stars Gina Lolobrigida and Marilyn Monroe, the singer Madonna, and "possibly" the Italian Porn-star Chichulina.

Muhammad Jabr of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, investigated Tlass' admiration of Gina Lolabrigida. Jabr cited a 1998 interview Tlass gave to the UAE daily Al-Bayan. Tlass told Al-Bayan: "When UNIFIL deployed in Lebanon I gathered the leaders of the Lebanese national resistance [Hizbullah] and told them: 'You can do whatever you want with the American and British soldiers, but I don't want a single Italian soldier to be hurt, because I don't want a single tear coming out of Gina Lolobrigida's eyes.'"

"I love beautiful women and I am in love with Gina Lolobrigida. I have been in love with her ever since I was young. I used to collect her pictures and send her letters from the frontline or from any other place in the world. After hundreds of letters, she answered me, once, when I became Syria's Chief of Staff in 1968. Then she agreed to visit me. I organized a welcome party at my home in Damascus in 1984. She was 58 at the time. Everybody was amazed by the fact that she was at my house, even my wife. She behaved as if it was her own house and as if she was part of the family."

Jabr then cites an interview with Lolabrigida in the London Telegraph where she stated: "He has been in love with me for a long time. Whenever an Italian president visited Syria, or even a commercial delegation or a TV crew, he would talk about me. He wrote a book with paragraphs about me. He sent me lots of letters and expensive presents, including diamonds. I agreed to visit the general when the people at the Augusta helicopter company told me that they would get the contract if I did…" """

At 7/30/2005 02:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

About Syrian Policy

Syrian anti-Arafat Rhetoric

On August 2nd, Syrian Defense Minister, Mustafa Tlass, in a speech to a military audience at Ba'albek, Lebanon, attacked PA Chairman, Yasser Arafat: "Oh, son of sixty thousand whores, you should not have chickened out at the White House. You should have stated that Jerusalem is the united capital of the future Palestinian state. But you stood there like a black cat, not daring to utter a single word about Palestine and Jerusalem."

"Yasser Arafat, in his concessions [to Israel]" added Tlass, "is like a striptease dancer who takes off another piece of clothing each time she gets on the stage. The only difference between Arafat and the striptease dancer is that whenever she takes off her clothes her beauty shows, while whenever Arafat takes off his clothes - his ugliness shows."

Tlass has a long history of eccentric behavior including: rewarding a Syrian soldier for 'eating limbs of a dead Israeli soldier' in 1974; and claiming to have proven through his own research and writing a book about the 1840 Damascus blood libel.

Official Palestinian Response

PA officials demanded that Syrian President Assad fire Tlass. PA Justice Minister, Freih Abu Medein stated that he would not stoop to the Syrian Defense Minister's level and immediately did, claiming that Tlass had attempted to rape the Finnish Foreign Minister [a woman] in his car. A communique by the PA Information Ministry called Tlass a "monstrous dwarf."

PA Cabinet General Secretary, Ahmad 'Abd Al-Rahman, stated, "Such a person is not worthy of leading the Syrian army" and "his statements are a mark of Cain on the Syrian army." He added that Tlass has done nothing "except wear medals without ever being in war, and write bad poetry for the world's beauties."

West Bank General Intelligence Head, Tawfiq Al-Tirawi, wrote in a column that Tlass belongs to "a gang of pot-smokers" that surrounds President Assad and "jeopardizes Syria."

PA Minister, Hassan 'Asfur accused Tlass of operating on behalf of Israeli Prime Minister Barak. 'Asfur called on "Palestinians in Syria" to "protect their political honor."

Popular Response

A communique by the Fatah movement states: "Tlass is a blood-sucking mouse... who spends his life in the arms of singers and whores... He's a condom that the Zionists chucked away after having used it for violating the sacredness of our Arab nation and our Holy Land. Our people announce that the blood of this lowly spy is permitted and [he] should be executed."

In a Ramallah demonstration supporting Arafat, protesters held posters depicting Tlass in a bikini and inside of a shoe and called him a pig.

At 7/30/2005 03:42:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

The men of the regime who come to this place have nothing to say against the truth we speak about, so they start by flooding this blog with unrelated articles they copy from some where else. What is article doing here about the other thug of the arab world, Arafat?

The other Anaonymous (or the same one) wrote this in respnse to my many posts:

"How could Hafez win such intelligent person to write the untruth about his life".

What a laughing stock ! Of all I wrote, he picked up on Patric Seal being "more prestigioud than his leader that he worships (hafez Assad), and being happy that that writer "accepted" to write about Assad. Or that Hafez Assad "won" this great prize. Don't you feel ridiculous?

The personality cult that these followers of Arab magician leaders make these followers absolutely absorbed mentally of the greatness of their worshipped leaders. This anonymous did not pay attention to what I said about Patrick Seal, neither did he/she understand anything I said about the issue. He also ignored all other much more important points I detailed about Syria, the dictatorship, the oppression, etc...and wanted to defend his beloved from my attempt to attack him. Ok, you got it. Your little leader that you worship WON the Big Prize of Grandest Writer Patrick Seal to write about his life. You got it. I was wrong. I was assuming that Assad was much more important than Patrick Seal. I lost to you. Be proud.

Mohammed (lost a battle).

At 7/30/2005 03:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree ....syrian workers shouldn't have been in Lebanon in the first place....and no lebanese workers should be in syria either...therefore we're in the process of kicking the lebs out of syria....150,000 i think is the approximate number :)

P.S. Enjoy your surplus of vegetables and fruits this summer.....maybe you guys can get on a vegetarian national programme..."houriyeh siyadeh....ou ist2lal"

Maronite Hater

At 7/30/2005 03:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maronite hater?

What does this mean?

How little must you be to be defining yourself by a group of people you hate?

And why are you making attacks on all Syrians? All Lebanese are not anti-syrians. Your problem is with the so called leadership of syria? Then join hands with the Syrians. You need not antagonize any one.

Syrians and Lebanease have the same enemy. I defended Lebanon here so much, and I am Syrian.

and this subject is not about Lebanon, so stick with the subject. This is bizarre. They all want to change the suject, Are you a Syrian Regime's agent trying to confuse the subject at hand?

Have mercy on your self, and on us, please.


At 7/30/2005 05:24:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Somebody asked me earlier to show the racism in this post, I think the man is blind cause you can read it in every other comment here. But to name a few:

Maronite Hater (DUHHHH)
Anon at 8:46 (Another Christian hater retard)
Vox Populi (on the other side of the retarded spectrum)
Anon 2
SRP guys

and if anyone of you mentioned contest me on this i will be glad to bring up to your comments :) oh man do i hate you all

To the person who mentioned Patrick Seale a great writer: yes Seale is a very intelligent man, but dont hold him at such a high pedestal. These types of guys get close to officials because they are getting PAID for it and possibly because they’re agents for their mother country. Governments all over the world use them, in the US Democrats and Republicans pay tons of money for these types of "journalists" and "Authors". I loved Seale's book and his book is one of the reason I remained a fan of Hafez Al-Assad (im gonna get cursed for this one). But don’t get over your head with all this pedigree nonsense. You said “Would a serious, intelligent western writer, as they call him, do that?” So what if he is western??? Everyone lies.

At 7/30/2005 07:06:00 AM, Anonymous SSPRS said...

I don't know why this innocent criminal attacking SSPRS but we do agree with the comment he made about being agent and paid. We have proof of that. We would not recommend reliance on such writers as the credibility sucks. Anyone can pay a journalist or writer to write a book of lies and propaganda, that is what Seale and Leverette "most probably" did.

At 7/30/2005 07:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant beleive that dandeshe SRP is still playing this role play game. The whole blog is about dandashe and his fantasy character "mohamad" commenting and supporting himself (eachother). The same pattern every time:
Opining statement by Mohamad then a supportive comment by dandashe and following support by characters like "aphrodite" or just "anons".
Dandashe, cut the crap you sick hallucinating maniac. First you tried show us how popular your srp is by excessive comments from unidentified SRPs, and when no one bought your shit lie you moved to this energy and conspiracy theory and of course no one bought so your latest version is "mohamad"

At 7/30/2005 07:37:00 AM, Anonymous Aphrodite (seeking for truth) said...

To ANNO 7:07 (better 007)

you are typically oriental man :)

You talk as you think and you think as you are: sneaking.

At 7/30/2005 07:45:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

To Anno 7:07 just ignore the SRP topic the more you talk about it the more important he/they will think. but i disagree with u on the others, they have totally different opinions and i really think they are different individuals.


At 7/30/2005 08:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate Ismailis
I hate Alawis
I hate Sunnis
I hate druz
I hate Orthodox
I hat catholics
I hate Protestants
I hate Jews
I hate Seikhs
I hate Hdists
I hate, name them, and I hate them

I think I hate human beings
You are crazies, and irrational, and I hate you all.

Anon 2

At 7/30/2005 10:10:00 AM, Anonymous Metaz K.M. Aldendeshe said...

Yes anon, I will not hate you for hating everybody. Dealing with people is not easy. Unless you place humans in a rigidly structured environment, each will think, do and say, even invent own unique worship method.

Think of human as computers that each has messed up operating system, hard drive and really bad memory and software that are totally corrupt.

That is why a rigid system such as Governments, organized religions and Corporations is needed to somehow set rules, laws, bylaws and policy and force human to abide by them under the threat of bad consequence if human will not abide by them. Even in this sort of networked environment, they still will not function properly because it is like setting up a network of millions of computers each got own corrupt drive, operating system and software.

Learn to live and work with human and separate yourself from them as much as you can. This way you will keep your own mind uncorrupt.

At 7/30/2005 10:28:00 AM, Anonymous Why do you hate Americans so much??? said...

The governments of Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other autocracies are in worse shape than we are. At least we are promoting democratic alternatives to their dictatorships, in the hopes that when such strongmen fall, there is another choice besides the jihadists. But the autocrats themselves have nowhere to go. Since they never allowed a loyal democratic opposition, there is only the unsavory choice of either liberalizing while they are in the middle of a bombing war with extremists — or the fate of the shah.

The theme is not the Koran, but the constant pathology of the Middle East — gender apartheid, polygamy, religious intolerance, tribalism, no freedom, a censored press, an educational system of brainwashing rather than free inquiry — that lends itself to the next cult to explain away failure and blame the West, which always looms as both whore and Madonna to the Arab Street.

If the terrorists are not isolated and ostracized at home, then any Western government would have to be suicidal to admit any more young males from the Islamic Middle East. Indeed, if the Iranian public or the Saudis, or Egyptian citizenry do not begin creating a climate hostile to radical Islam, then they de facto can only become the enemies of the United States in a war that they can only lose.

There are a million Muslims in Israel — the mother of all evils in the radical Islamic mind. Yet very few have turned themselves into global jihadists, and hundreds are not blowing themselves up daily in Tel Aviv, much less in London or New York. Why? Perhaps the twofold knowledge that they have rights in Israel not found in the Arab world that they don’t wish to forfeit, and they are surrounded by people who would not tolerate their terrorism.

For the first time, Afghans and Iraqis have a stake in their own future — and know the United States is at last on the right side of history and intends to stay and win by their side.

At 7/30/2005 10:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe no matter what the outcome in Iraq, Iran
and Syria are going to put themselves in a position where the U.S. will have to use Military force against them.

I believe that same thing applies to Pakistan,Egypt and to Saudi Arabia (and a few places in Africa), but that is further down the road of these terrible times we are going to see.

I believe Europe will start shipping Muslims out and killing the ones that won't go peacefully, if they continue to be attacked. Possibly even if
they are not attacked, they
will start deportations and revoking citizenships.

I would love for all my beliefs to not come true or not have to be true.

At 7/30/2005 10:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Does America Offer the World?

At 7/30/2005 10:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sexual liberation? The right of tweens and teenage girls to dress and behave like Britney Spears? Their right to condoms in junior high? Their right to abortion without parental consent?

At 7/30/2005 10:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Bush speaks of freedom as Gods gift to humanity, does he mean the First Amendment freedom of Larry Flynt to produce pornography and of Salman Rushdie to publish The Satanic Verses, a book considered blasphemous to the Islamic faith? If the Islamic world rejects this notion of freedom, why is it our duty to change their thinking? Why are they wrong?

When the president speaks of freedom, does he mean the First Amendment prohibition against our children reading the Bible and being taught the Ten Commandments in school?

If the president wishes to fight a moral crusade, he should know the enemy is inside the gates. The great moral and cultural threats to our civilization come not from outside America, but from within. We have met the enemy, and he is us. The war for the soul of America is not going to be lost or won in Fallujah.

At 7/30/2005 10:58:00 AM, Anonymous Emil Nasir said...

Breacking news:
Lebanon government just ordered one Million Syrian living and working in lebanon to leave within 3 days, they are not allow to take any money or property out of Lebanon. and must use the Dabbousia check point to exit.

Click on the link above to read the full story about it

At 7/30/2005 11:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is the LINK????

That will break Bashars neck

At 7/30/2005 11:03:00 AM, Anonymous Email nasir said...

click on my name

At 7/30/2005 11:06:00 AM, Anonymous Syrian Republican party said...

Started out as ajoke, now come to think about it. Have you not having this stooge Lahhod and Seniora in power, that would have been great response to Assad.

Millions of Srians will start loving Lebanese because they know that the end is coming next month for sure without USA help.

At 7/30/2005 11:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets have a party then in downtown Damascus...Lebanese are very welcome


At 7/30/2005 03:20:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian republican party said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/30/2005 04:44:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

SSPRS do not appreciate this cut and paste article about Alawites and Baathist Crimes be posted here by an imposter who has very, very, very small brain to think that this is so clever that he / she is posting using the Syrian Republican Party name.

We don’t read crap like that “here say”, we have documented evidences that are collected and archived for a decade and will eventually (soon) be used in the United Nation Proceedings against Alawites and Baathist criminals in the trial of those who are committing these Crimes against Humanity and all those that aided them.

Should this been posted by members of the Baath regime or its supporters to instill fear in the opposition mind. We have some very uncomforting news for you that you Baathist are too dumb to realize that it is the year 2005 and not 1985. We understand that 20 years in Baathist brain is like a very short period of time. But in fact 20 years in the outside real world is huge leap in accomplishment and technologies, including weaponries. Soon the Syrian oppositions will be finding out what is available to them. Baathist will be very lucky if they can find a country that will accept them, a crook that will dare to issue them fake passports and a corrupt bank manager that will not report them. Keep it up, we are up to the task.

At 7/30/2005 05:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is so fun for these brain dead morons to imposter and use the Syrian Republican Party name.
What is the objectives, I don't get it, one of us is really fucking dumb.

At 7/30/2005 05:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sick people. Must have some motives, can not figuer'em out.

At 7/31/2005 01:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moving story about the horrors of the prisons in syria....

I will also find a document detailing the stories of horrors committed by the lebanese forces and their allies the israelis during the massacre of sabra and chatila

At 7/31/2005 02:21:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/31/2005 02:24:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/31/2005 07:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/31/2005 07:15:00 AM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

It is beneath us to comment on that moron populi remark.

At 7/31/2005 08:04:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Vox Pop,

You’re in denial buddy, you have this typical inherited disease that unfortunately many Lebanese have. And that is hate everyone else but their “own” kind, that’s why the war lasted so long. Your blog is oozing with racist comments, and you’re just another Christian who looks down on all Muslims and "Arabs" because they are inferior to the Christian civilized world. Only when you start admitting this to yourself, that you have a chance to be cured. Otherwise I hope you and your Muslim counterparts can be locked in one room so you can enjoy each other physically ;)


At 7/31/2005 08:37:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...


Syrians and Lebanese are one people. Christians there in their majority want a greater Syria to include lebanon. It is only some of the maronites not all of them that have your fanatic point of view. Many Maronites feel different than you do, but I know how you feel because I know some of your side from Bekfeya and Kurnet Shehwan. You are exhibiting exactly the reverse side of the Ismalic fanatics, but are also destructive as they are.

Look in my previous posts how I praised Lebanon, and preferred it to Syria, so you know I am speeking of absolute neutrality, and objectivity. I understand why people like you feel the way you feel, but I really must agree with the point of view of others here, that you have deep hatred in your heart - Not objectivity in any way. -.

I love Lebanon in its nature, the Christian influence, the French and American influence and the neatness that it appears to be in it. You can not say in any way that I am attacking Lebanese or Lebanon, because you saw that I was attacked here for coming to the defense of Lebanon, and placing Lebanese above Syrians in the Darwinism evolution (temporary choice of words). So, let me give you a piece of advice if you don't mind:

Get some peace of heart. If you are truly a Chritian, remember the person you claim to cherish the most, Jesus Christ. He certainly hated your attitude, and fought it in every thing he did or said.

You are not superior in anything, and if you are , then take the hatred off of your heart so you can enjoy this "superiority", otherwise, it will just show the world how shallow you must be, and you become like those Families of the Assdists Genrals I was speaking about earlier; Shallow...and, Mr. Vox: I can't stand the Shallows.

Your side among Maronites claim that they are Pheonicians. Let's go back in history and recognize that the capital of the Phoenicians was in today's Syria. The Alphabaets that they discovered was in Syria of today, not in your beloved Lebanon. I also love Lebanon, my dear Vox. I don't hate Syria, but want Syria to be free so the Syrian people can be great again.

So get that false sense of superiority out of your head. You are not superior, in fact you are becoming just Shallow if you keep repeating what you are saying. It is evident that you have been infected with that huge disease.

Mohammed (The objective).

At 7/31/2005 09:05:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

One more point: Phoenicians were not Maronites. They pre-dated Christianity by long. You can not claim that all Phoenician descendants became those Maronites. Again, not all Maronites feel the way you do, among them few of past and present Lebanese presidents.

You know what? I was surprised yesterday to read that Late President Kameel Shamoun who got the reputation some how that he had your extreme views was the one to call for an Arab Summit in 1956 to support Egypt against the trio power that attacked it (Britain, France, and Israel), and this Summit was held in Lebanon. Such information showed that up until that date, Lebanese Maronites including the one who got the worst reputation, Kameel Shamoun of his "hatred" of anything that was Muslim used to feel much different than later on. I think it was events that took place afterwards, errors commited by Arab Nationalism that changed Shamoun, and many among the Maronite community. But it is time to understand the causes, and to stop this hatred.

At 7/31/2005 10:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back to the subject of this thread.

Alawis vs Ismailis/ Hutu Vs Tutsis

The problem here is we can say this repeatedly by replacing Ismailis with Sunnis, Druz, Chsitians, Kurds, Armenians, etc... and keep the first word Alawis intact.

Hafez Assad destroyed his minority, and made it hated by every body. No one among all Syrians like the Alawis any more.

Even when he went to Lebanon to fist assist the Maronites, this did not bring the Maronites to like alawis afterward, because Hafez Assad soon turned to massacre Maronites. He left no freind for his minority that he has used to do all of that.

He was certainly evil, maniac, egocentric sick, but the result of his actions are to be felt inside the minority that he belonged to, and against it from all sides. So, I say his victims are at the end his minority in the first rang.

But will his family care ? No, for they never did, and all they wanted was this money they stold and deposited outside, and unfortunately, they still have a role in Syria which has not ended yet, and their role continues as was designed for them in the first place.

My condolenses for the regular Alawis.

Again, Tutsis vs Hutus. Ismailis/Alawis, who on Earth cares about either one?

At 7/31/2005 05:25:00 PM, Anonymous Ibrahim said...


Excellent comments, and Vox: you should know better.

By the way, St. Maron was a "Syrian" as he first came from Syria to Northern Lebanon ;)

Joke apart, IMHO, the reason why many Christian Lebanese find it hard to associate with the Arab identity is because being Arab often means being Muslim...

No wrong in being Muslim, Buddhist or whichever; as long as your freedom stops at mine.


At 8/01/2005 01:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the Allawi General told his son in law is exactly that, what he should write here in his blog. The truth we will never read or hear. What is the difference between family leader and state leader, Prof Landis?

Another point is to challenge, what does syrias intellectuals say? Where is their voice?
Fear and threat is the easiest way to control people. How many people on earth are believers, because they fear God and his punishment?
I think, unreformed religions are the source of all evil, spread hate instead love, fear instead trust and freedom.
Freedom has to begin within yourself.

Back to the General, if you spread authority mixed with fear, you will get resistance and violence. May be the youth in Qadmous discover the truth about the elder generation. May be, its in the interest of ruling families, to chase away what could be dangerous in the future.
So my question, what will the General do in his area, which his family draw and built, even the schools and where you can find a family member in each house? Leadership means responsibility. Was he blind in the past and does he prefer that also in the future?

All this problems will grow and that is exactly wanted by the government. Sayed Al Qemani is good example. The majorities are silent, looking for their benefits, act for their benefits and respect only their own clan. I against my brother, I and my brother against my cousin, I and my brother and my cousin against the rest.


Friday July 29, 2005

Cairo Magazine
5 questions with Sayed Al Qemani
Sayed Al Qemani has written numerous books on Islamic reform, and was an unrelenting critic of Islamic fundamentalists in his weekly Rose Al Yussuf column. Earlier this month, after receiving death threats, Al Qemani announced an early retirement and recanted all his previous writings.
You’ve had other death threats. Why are you stopping now?
I know the language of the extremist Islamists and the language of the statements and I knew from their last statement that I had to repent. I trusted the statement and I knew that, unlike the others, I would have to listen to this one and respond. My kids are now living with me, in my house. Before they weren’t. I didn’t listen to the other threats. Now I do.
Are these death threats a response to anything specific that you wrote or did?
Yes of course. But I can’t say what. It was from interviews I did with journalists. I can’t say more. They have been published. Go find them. I can’t tell you. You are asking me to speak about things that are forbidden.
Were you pressured by friends or authorities to stop?
No. The truth is that the authorities ignored the threats for four days. I was trying to get ahold of them. The threats gave me a week to announce my repentance of all that I had written. I contacted the police and nobody answered. So finally I issued my statement announcing that I would stop writing. Only after the media responded did the police start to care. I have two guards outside my door, but we’re in Egypt. You think this is enough? You saw Sharm. There were 200 soldiers guarding the hotels and they got hit. One of my guards has bilharzia, the other is sick too. What are they going to protect?
If you stop writing, haven’t the terrorists won?
No, I don’t care about anything that I have written. I care about my life. If I kept writing, I would have been killed, even if I was in the middle of Lazoghli, or in Sharm. I understand these people. I know well what they want and I gave it to them.
After the attacks in Sharm Al Sheikh, don’t we need people like you to stand firm?
It doesn’t have to be me. There are lots of people who can write. Do I have to write alone? Let the liberal Egyptians write. I’m not the only one who can do this. Let other voices speak up. I don’t have to die for my pride. I need to live because I have kids and little girls who need me.

At 8/01/2005 09:31:00 AM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...


At 8/01/2005 09:38:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

This Syrian Republican Party must be bothering those Assadists or Ikhwan to post immitating its name. I wasn't even thinking of it more than a name of some one until I saw that some one is really bothered by it, or more than some one, than, I started to think that This Party msy be real one that is posing some threat to the regime, or to the Ikhwan.

Mohammed (the truth finder)

At 8/01/2005 10:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please stop insulting honored people on this blog, it makes this very serious blog look stupid.

What a regime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 8/01/2005 10:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DAMASCUS, Syria In front of 25,000 well-wishers, 112 Syrian Muslim and Christian couples have tied the knot at an open air mass celebration in Damascus organized to encourage marriages despite heavy wedding costs.

At 8/01/2005 10:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monday, August 01, 2005
Death of Malik Fahd, Unstable Middle East
Michael Young recently wrote, "the Middle East has moved closer to the abyss than at any time since the end of the second Gulf war in 1991."
With Iraq in chaos, Syria self-destructing, Egypt worshipping Mubarak as terrorism rises, Jordan trying not to let the world sweep it by, and now with the death of Malik Fahd, the Middle East is being completely remade.

Paul Krugman argued today that the US invasion of Iraq "has, indeed, transformed the balance of power in the Middle East - in favor of Iran." Islamic militants have noticed this, too, and we are now seeing threats against prominent Shia in Lebanon.

The vacuum has created a a ripe war zone, but this time it's not only governments that are taking part.

I'm one of the few in Lebanon (or in the world) who is bullish on Saudi Arabia. If Malik Abdullah can pull the reins hard, he can steer this untamed beast in the direction of his choosing. He could easily gain the cooperation of the United States and other Western nations.
Saudi has the power not only to rebuild Lebanon, but to construct the region. Howeevr, that means that Malik Abdullah will have to get his own house in order immediately. Sadly, I worry that he is part of the problem, if not THE problem.

If a hegemon is not quickly created, terrorism and instability will become the norm in the Middle East, and the West will be dragged down with it. Who will win in that game? China and the Asian Tigers.

At 8/01/2005 10:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The more things change the more they remain the same.

King Abdullah is unable and unwilling to change the KSA. He ,more than Fahd, is a prisioner of the Wahabis.

What the death will do will open the Question of succession to the Throne. Abdallah is also old and his appointed successor is very sick .

Buy oil stocks.


At 8/01/2005 10:44:00 AM, Anonymous thomas said...

This is my story

01 August

To Damascus and back again, a Hobbits tale...

Then that was over and done with, tickets are ready, insurance is paid and Nadine's visa is resting happily in my bag. I haven't been in Syria since last spring, but it wasn't like anything had changed since last, at least not on the surface.

There is a pretty tense atmosphere between Lebanon and Syria since the withdrawl of Syrin troops, and now Syria has started playing all kinds of mind games. There was a double line of trucks at the border stretching back into Lebanon for miles, they have been stuck there for weeks, ever since Syria decided to be super super thorough with their customs checks.

But for me the trip went as smooth as smooth can be, in and out in an hour :) But my Lebanese taxi driver couldn't take me down to the old souk to buy my mom that camel hair pillow sha wanted, Lebanese taxis are no longer welcome downtown Damascus... Neither was he allowed to cross the border with a full tank of cheap Syrian gasoline, but a few coins carefully slipped into the right hands solved that problem :)

Boy it feels good to tell stories again, I think a week off did wonders for my enthusiasm! But enough is enough (right Geir), at least for today :)

Have a borderless evening/day!


At 8/01/2005 10:46:00 AM, Anonymous The Elamite said...

Monday, August 01, 2005
King Fahd finally ...
Malek (King) Fahd of Saudi Arabia died today, but all the problems he created for the World are still here! I think the current problem of Islamic fundamentalism and consequently terrorism is the result of his strategies. He was a major supporter of Al-Qaida in 80's, he was the major force behind Wahhabi sect of Sunnism (the Islam of Taliban and Chechen rebels). After Saddam, he was the most hated Arab ruler in Iran. He ordered the killing of 275 innocent Iranian Haji's (60+ year old male and female pilgrims of Mecca) on July 31, 1987 only for a simple demonstration. I cannot hide by happiness that the old Arab dictators (Assad of Syria, Saddam, Fahd) are now gone. A bright future awaits the arab world with these monsters gone. Hopefully, the Islamic terrorism will be defeated soon too.
Isn't it ironic that this post comes after the post about the death of Iranian Shah - a similar (to Fahd) Iranian character?

At 8/01/2005 10:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hit List: Syria wants more Lebanese Blood
Monday, 1 August, 2005 @ 3:22 PM

Beirut, Lebanon - As if the blood of slain Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and other Lebanese leaders that were assassinated before and after him is not enough to satisfy the Syrian regimes, the Damascus weekly Al Iqtissadiah is calling for the execution of Hariri & Jumblatt.

Waddah Abed Rabbo, editor-in-chief of the privately owned Damascus weekly Al Iqtissadiah has demanded the "execution" of Saad Hariri and Walid Jumblatt to compensate for the alleged death of 37 Syrian workers in Lebanon in the aftermath of former PM Rafik Hariri's assassination.

Saad Hariri's father, Rafik Hariri was assassinated on Feb 14, 2005 and Walid Jumblatt's father was assassinated in 1977. Syria was the accused in both cases, but Syria always denies any wrongdoing. In the case of Kamal Jumblatt Ya Libnan revealed on June 22, 2005 that Dr. Rifaat Al Assad was behind the murder of Jumblatt. Rifaat is the brother of the former president Hafez Al Assad and the uncle of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad.

Ya Libnan recommends that the Lebanese government should conduct an investigation and compensate directly the family of each Syrian worker killed by a Lebanese and prosecute the Lebanese killers. Syrian workers should not be mistreated just because the dictatorial regime in Syria is ruthless and corrupt. A private investigation by our staff revealed that most of the missing Syrian workers were killed by Syrian intelligence in Lebanon.

Ya Libnan at the same time also recommends that Lebanon should prepare a complete report on all the missing and killed Lebanese citizens and claim compensation directly from the Syrian government. Tens of thousands of Lebanese were killed or still missing as a result of the 29 years of occupation by Syria. Lebanon will be way ahead and this should be a good lesson for the Syrian regime to keep quiet.

Since Syria does not have free press, it is obvious that Waddah Abed Rabbo, editor-in-chief of the Damascus weekly Al Iqtissadiah wrote the article with the complete approval of the censorship authorities in Syria. This is a very dangerous development, since it is well known that Syria has a hit list and this article is just a confirmation on who is next on Syria's assassination list.

Al Nahar reported that the article carried a cartoon featuring Saad Hariri issuing instructions to Siniora, and Ariel Sharon holding Jumblatt by the neck and telling him "the Syrians have killed Hariri and your father". Syria is doing its best to force Lebanon away from Syria and in Israels's direction to create a new excuse for invading Lebanon again. Syria is not capable of understanding that Lebanon is a democratic sovereign nation and does not need Syria nor Israel for its protection.

Ya Libnan's advise to the Syrian regime: Leave Lebanon alone

At 8/01/2005 10:52:00 AM, Anonymous Patrick S said...

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia has died and will be succeeded by his half brother Crown Prince Abdullah. Keen observers of Saudi politics will realise that this event merely formalises Abdullah's status as ruler of Saudi Arabia a role he has performed for the past 10 years since King Fahd's stroke in 1995. Abdullah is a great friend of the West so the oil will keep flowing and the stock markets will remain calm.

The ibn Saud family's domination of the Arabian peninsula continues along with the promotion of their favoured Wahabi form of Islam. Despite the appearance of an ancient dynasty the ibn Saud have only been the absolute rulers of the Arabian Peninsula since 1925 when they captured the holy city of Mecca from the Hashemite Sherif Hussein ibn Ali and with it control of the Hejaz region of Arabia. Previously the ibn Saud had contested control of the central Arabian region known as the Nejd with Riyadh as capital with the ibn Rashid family. After capturing Mecca Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman ibn Faisal Al Saud, known as Sultan of the Nejd consolidated control of Arabia and in 1932 renamed the country Saudi Arabia, a somewhat egotistical choice.

The Hashemites were Britain's allies in the First World War against Ottoman Turks who had been the Imperial rulers of Arabia for serveral hundred years. Sherif Hussein is remembered primarily for his work with TE Lawrence to organise and lead the Arab revolt which eventually drove the Turks out of Arabia. The British rewarded the Hashemites by making them kings of the freed Turkish provinces, which became Iraq, Jordan and Syria. The ibn Saud agreed to participate in the Arab revolts as well but in practice spent the First World War accepting weapons and money (£5000 per month) from the British without doing any fighting. Instead they built up their forces and then struck against the Hashemites once the British and Turks had left.

The Hashemites after losing Mecca never really prospered. Iraq and Syria fell to Ba-ath Party revolutions in the 1950s. Jordan remains a Hashemite monarchy but as the only Arab state with no oil they rely on the West for support.

The ibn Saud's meanwhile used the oil wealth of the Arabian peninsula to carve out massive wealth for themselves and a degree of International influence far in excess of Saudi Arabia's status. From the 1930s onwards American oil companies have received major oil concessions from the Saudi government, in return American has ensured that the ibn Saud's received a steady stream of weapons. As their wealth increased the ibn Sauds became even greater allies of the USA and toned down their anti-Israeli rhetoric.

Up to the 1980s enough of the oil wealth trickled down to the Saudi Arabian population to keep political dissent under control. By the late 1980s the Saudi population was growing and Islamic fundamentalism was becoming more popular worldwide. The ibn Saud's cosy relationship with the USA the great 'Satan' for many Islamic radical began to be increasingly criticised. The siting of massive western armies in Saudi Arabia 1991 Gulf War was deemed a great insult to Islam by the likes of Osama bin Laden. The ensuing increase in Islamic led terrorism has created the current War on Terror. There is a suspicion in some quarters that the Saudi government found it politically expedient to support some of the terrorist groups possibly in order to generate internal support and coversely increase US support for the regime against a visible threat.

In the meantime the ibn Saud's have continued working to consolidate their rule in the face of growing internal opposition. From the oil fuelled utopia of the 1970s Saudi Arabia is now a dangerous place to be for westerners. The challenge for new King Abdullah is to maintain the dynasty his father created by conquest. He will maintain the country's pro-western policies and continue to repress internal opposition because he really doesn't have any other options. The Americans would topple him he attempted to break off relations and the Islamicists would happily otherthrow the regime if the current level of repression is lifted.

The Wahabi sect that the ibn Saud's have fostered is ironically likely to be the group that drives them from power. The Wahabi's or more accurately Salafis (Wahabi being considered a derogatory term) are Islam's puritans who disapprove of almost everything the Western World represents and regard all other Muslim sects as heretics. The ibn Saud family's embrace of their oil wealth and their playboy lifestyles are despised by the Salafi hardliners. It is doubtful whether the ibn Saud dynasy will survive for another 80 years.

At 8/01/2005 11:50:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...


Lebanese taxi's haven't been allowed in Damascus downtown for years. I lived in beirut and used to take that trip dozenz of times a year. Syrian cabs are also not allowed in Beirut city. Technically both should travel from Charles El Hellou station to the "Karagat" Damascus station. So please check your facts before making assumptions.

As for king Fahed, i don’t see the big deal. The man has been practically dead for 10 years, Saudi's call him the mummy for lasting that long. No significant changes will occur to Saudi politics as long as Al Saud are in power. And unfortunately for the many of the country's decent citizens, no better alternative will be available anytime soon anyways.

At 8/01/2005 12:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Screw All Arabs. Now, the Arab Web Sites are making of this so called King Fahed a martyr, and a hero, and so much more. He will be missed!! Yeah, he will for sure. Those people who are writing about one more dead ant are publishing their names, yes real names so the Saudi Monarch will take note and reward them some how in the future. Arabs are scums. That is the one word that fits most of them.

Again, this thread was not about the king, or Lebanon, but people do not respect anything, adn so, I also had to post in response to their garbage.

Anonymous 99

At 8/01/2005 01:31:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Anon 99,

how do you feel about all the western leaders who are praising this scum bag? aren't they as low as the arabs you despise??? did you hear what Blair, Bush and Schroeder said about him being a visionary and a great leader? ass kissing is not just an arab trait. so how about u kiss mine :)

At 8/01/2005 01:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahha,,,your homsexuality !

you always like to advertsise it. This is not the place.

As for Westerners praising this ass hole, it is precisely so the Arabs stay assholes, and scums. Do you blame them for wanting their interests be guarded with scums like that rat governing the riches nation, and accumulating he and his family more than a trillion dollars in wealth (all deposited in Wetsern Banks)?

I don't blame them. I blame the fucking arabs for being the scums they are.

But, No Westerner who is among the ordinary population is praising that rat. It is only leaders for diplomatic reasons, and to ensure that Arabs will never raise their heads.

It is their right. It is not your right to defend the Arab scums, because you will be one of them.

Anonymous 99

At 8/01/2005 02:05:00 PM, Anonymous Aphrodite said...

HAHAHAHAHA, well said Anon 99. This King of Netherlands...hahaha is missing this a...hole (sorry)
....too late gai....hahahahaha


At 8/01/2005 02:10:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Where do you see ordinary arabs praising Fahed? everyone knows he is a sad blob of alcohol and sexually transmitted diseases. Not to mention America’s little bitch. My ex girlfriend is Saudi and everyone she knows also hate him, it just that the alternative is even worse. So get your racist head straight. where you from anyways? I am guessing a Lebanese that is in denial of being Arabic as well. But that does not matter, you're racist and that's enough to prove your opinion is irrelevant

At 8/01/2005 02:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the replies of Arab leaders at the BBC, Asharqalawsat, Elaph..and I am sure every where else.

Have a look.

At 8/01/2005 02:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant to read the replies of Arab bbc, etc..

At 8/01/2005 02:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To tell you the trcue, I am an Arab, and I brefere the new king, adulaalh. Brince Abdullah has peen the de-vacto ruler of Saudi Arabia for a decade now, and so, the stability of the country will not be avected. Bresident Bush has just said that the US and Saudi will continue to be friends.

An Arab (honest arab, not what you sink of).

At 8/01/2005 02:44:00 PM, Anonymous John USA said...

What we don't seem to understand in the West is that there is a different order of priorities in the Arab world. Honour and power are everything; truth is far less important and lying (successfully) in the pursuit of power is admired.

Nationality is a concept imposed upon the indigenous tribes by the West -- as a result, social cohesion is still based around concentric circles of family, clan and religious grouping.

We are trying to impose Western ideals of truth and democracy on a region, many of whose people don't treasure those values. There is no national cohesion, only clan and religious cohesion, so people do not work together for the good of the nation, but for their own subgroup.

As much as I wish the Iraqis success in establishing democracy, the odds of them sustaining a democracy to the point where the first democratic government hands over power to the second democratic government is heavily stacked against them.

The Iraq experiment will be the litmus test of whether Arab culture is capable of supporting democratic government.

John the American

At 8/01/2005 02:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another human scum out of the picture. The oppressed people of Syria will not miss this bastard, curses his soul. He had helped the elder dictator Assad's so much. Rot in hell with the soul of pigs you bastard, the souls of murdered Moslem children and women of Hama gonna prevent and fight your felthy soul from entery into any light place you scum of the earth. Hope Mubarak is next.

I don't believe in god, so I hope but not pray.

At 8/01/2005 03:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My program found only one mistake (typo) in your above reply. Felthy should be filthy.

Send your questions to the new king!

At 8/01/2005 03:05:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

To John the American.

Iraq, is the wrong place to start Democracy in the Middle East. it is the most fractured society that was basicaly made up after the world war from various other countries parts. A litmus test would have been a country that have an identity for long time such as Lebanon, Syria Egypt.

Countries like Iraq, Jordan Kuwait, Palastine, UAE are just made up places drawn by pencil.

Don't tell me taht you are not aware that the USA gone to war with Iraq not for WMD, removing Saddam and starting Democracy? are you that guppy really?

The US and the West brought Saddam to power and kept him for all those decades even after the first Gulf war. They also brought, the Baath in Syria and now keeping it and before that brought the Shah and kept it until teh Iranians kicked your ass out with the Shah.

Guppy like you shouldn't be barging in here and typing this crap. We deal with your kind all day long and please leave as alone in here.

If you want to be active then write 6 congressman that are visiting Assad and complain about it will ya.

At 8/01/2005 03:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello John (the American):

What about stopping the American support to the regime taht had created Islamic Terrorists in the first place, yes, Saudi Arabia, your beloved?

Why not even try to impose democracy there instead of Iraq? Iraq was not that bad compared to Saudi Arabia? The Saudis are your creation, anyway, and it was the Saudis that created all Islamists all over the world. (well, at one time, even the USA was a great fan of those Islamist scums!).

I will make a deal with you; get the Saudi family out of power, and I will get all Arabs to become democrats the day after.

No Arab regime will stay in power while the Saudis are sypporting it. So, my friend, it is the Saudis and who ever behind the Saudis, if you know what I mean!

God save the Queen!

At 8/01/2005 05:10:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Perfectly agree with "7/31/2005 10:55 AM" except that both first and second word can be replaced.

And I completely disagree with Josh removing my comments.

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