Ten reasons why many Syrians are not interested yet

Syrians are paying attention to the changes that are taking place in every Arab country. Although there are improvements and hopes for further improvements in the future, the picture today is generally not that bright:

  1. There are no full democracies. Lebanon and Iraq (plus non Arab Israel and Iran) are all flawed democracies.
  2. Flawed Arab democracies, just like other Arab countries, continue to suffer from corruption. Lebanon and Iraq were perceived to be more corrupt than Syria on the “worldwide corruption perceptions ranking” in 2010.
  3. Formerly proud Arab regional powers that went through dramatic changes are now weak. Iraq used to be one of the leading Arab states, but last year it could not form a coalition government without consulting Iran, Syria and the Unites States for months. The largest Arab country, Egypt, has no leadership or regional weight anymore and is expected to remain weak for years. Secular Libyan leaders who supported the overthrow of Qaddafi are now expressing their anger at the way the tiny state of Qatar appears to be in charge of managing their affairs.
  4. Many countries are divided, or risk being divided into smaller states. Yemen could be divided into a North and South. Sudan has been already divided into North and South, and Somalia is a totally failed state
  5. Women’s rights deteriorate after change in countries that allow Islamists a powerful role in the new state. Iraq and Egypt are two such examples. Libya’s secular women will likely be next if the religious conservatives in the revolution continue to set the rules.
  6. Similarly,secular Muslims and religious minorities become vulnerable to attacks and/or limited freedoms. Iraq’s Christians and Egypt’s Copts are not as free or safe as they used to be under the leadership of the former secular dictatorships. The Mandeans who had lived in Iraq for thousands of years finally had to flee after religious fanatics targeted them violently following the overthrow of the previous regime. A recent opinion poll in Egypt (PEW research) reveals that less than 27% of Egyptian Muslims believe religious minorities’ rights are important. The leading Egyptian Christian Copt, billionaire and political leader Naguib Sawiris is facing trial for charge of showing contempt for religion. A coalition of conservative and ultra conservative Islamists won over 70% of the seats in Egypt parliamentary elections.
  7. Change in countries that had considerable diversity (religious, ethnic, tribal, social) came at very heavy losses in human lives. Up to 230,000 people lost their lives during Lebanon’s civil war. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives on the road to (flawed) democracy. Hundreds of thousands died in Sudan. Removing Qaddafi and his loyal tribes from power came at an estimated cost of over 50,000 dead Libyans … so far.
  8. Change without a strong central authority leads to chaos and loss of internal stability. A number of powerful groups compete for power in the destabilized state. In countries with little religious diversity (like Egypt and Tunisia); The armed forces, the Islamists, and the secular (usually young) revolutionary leadership will be the probable post-revolution power centers. In countries with considerable religious or ethnic diversity (Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan), power groups are formed based on religion or ethnicity. Transition periods, after the old order is dismantled, have been dangerous; there are no clear rules and no universally accepted judges or mediators between the different groups competing for power, often through bullying or violence.
  9. Revolutions (and civil wars) will devastate the economy. Oil rich Iraq is crippled. Poor, and densely populated Egypt faces bankruptcy as its foreign reserves are depleting fast. In places (like Syria) where basic food and energy items are subsidized by the government, a post-revolution semi-bankrupt country will surely stop being able to pay for subsidies, which will certainly lead to a spike in poverty-related crimes.
  10. Israel somehow scored a new ally in each and every Arab state that suffered serious divisions; Among the Kurds in Iraq, M14 coalition in Lebanon, Fatah in Palestine, South Sudan and revolutionary eastern Libya. Most Syrians would be shattered if Israel were to gain allies, or proxies, in Syria’s new power structure.

Bernard Henri Levy , Shimon Peres, Elliott Abrams, and Ayman Zawahiri are delighted with the prospects of change in Syria. That’s the same group that unites when ugly things are about to happen somewhere in the Arab world.

The above are some of the reasons that may explain why the vast majority of Syrians have not been sufficiently motivated to demonstrate against the regime. Many within “the silent majority” are probably opposed to the regime, but they cannot avoid the disappointing reality around them. Despite all the efforts to energize the many potential revolution supporters, a high degree of realism and risk aversion among most Syrians is so far proving to be an insurmountable obstacle for the regime-change specialists and strategists. They have been trying to tell the Syrian people that it is Assad who is deceptively promoting sectarian and other fears among you and that there is nothing to fear. Everything will be fine if the current regime falls, anyone will do better …

In his speech on Middle East policy last May President Obama correctly observed the powerful role that technology is playing in helping people be less prone to manipulation by their dictators. What the President failed to note, however, is that the same internet technology, cell phone cameras and YouTube service are allowing Syrians to see a well known opposition figure acting like a child who wants his toy NOW, the leader of the revolution’s “Free Syrian Army” already making it clear he is ready to be anyone’s puppet if they bring him to power on a Turkish or NATO tank, Journalist Nir Rosen confirming from personal interviews that defecting soldiers told him they defected for their own sectarian reasons and not because the Syrian army officers tried to force them to “randomly shoot at women and children“,  Syrian opposition figures on television despising each other, (and on their facebook pages, and on the street in Homs, or from their Wahhabi financed TV studios  …), young active supporters of the revolution chanting sectarian threats, opposition figures meeting in Brussels physically attack young Syrians demonstrating outside their hotel, an Associated Press raw video clip showing the opposition’s Free Syrian Army terrorizing Syrians, a reporter for Le Figaro who sneaked inside Syria from Turkey published interviews with well armed Libyan former Alqaeda fighters inside Syria, and the vast majority of the revolution’s women demonstrating only at home.

The west and their Arab allies hoped to rely on the Tahrir square euphoria to provide sufficient motivation for a majority of Syrians to decide to revolt against their leadership. Serbian, Egyptian and American NGOs and revolutionary online activists helped Syrian opposition appear united and non sectarian and civilized and armed with nothing but good plans for a better, democratic, Syria that will respect human rights just like they do in Sweden. Time showed them for what they are … an alarming alternative to the mediocre Syrian regime.
By Camille Otrakji for The Syria Page

Comments (37)

SiMed said:

Very interesting analysis, indeed !!

I think the utopian ideal of democracy has been disrupted recently. Thank you

January 15th, 2012, 7:01 am


syriapage said:

@SiMed You entered the very first comment on our new blog : )

January 16th, 2012, 10:15 am


georgeajjan said:

Another beautiful website Camille, congratulations. The debate here should be AT LEAST as good as on your facebook page.

January 15th, 2012, 12:39 pm


syriapage said:

@georgeajjan Thank you George beik!

January 16th, 2012, 10:17 am


NaimNazha said:

No democracy can not be established through violence, i wonder if the UN will consider the minorities in the Mideast as endangered species as they consider the African elephants, that might be a way to save the minority people in the Mideast.

January 15th, 2012, 2:51 pm


syriapage said:

@NaimNazha The UN tolerates anything “the international community” tolerates.

January 16th, 2012, 10:19 am


samerat said:

Camille is smart, and obviously has a lot of resources to produce such a site from his residence in Canada (Isn’t that a bloody western country?). Stating half truths, selectively quoting and interpreting foreign sources and journalists, and completing the dots with whatever serves his purpose is an intelligent component of the media war of the Syrian regime.

With his bloody repression, Assad has lost all legitimacy to govern the Syrian people. Yes the opposition faces huge challenges and the wahabi support is an embarrassment. It is unfortunate that someone of your quality, do not trust the Syrian people and instead of providing his valuable support prefers to support the regime.

Finally your vote among THOSE WHO READ YOUR BLOGS will only be a count of your supporters. Those favoring the opposition don’t generally read your blog. I am not voting.

January 15th, 2012, 2:58 pm


syriapage said:

@samerat Dear Samer,Voting here is a way to examine the beliefs and/or preferences of our readers. It is not a way to prove with certainty that the Syrian population at large. I hope you would vote if you are a reader even if you don’t “win” a vote… we will not declare winner and losers. I am happy at this point to see sufficient variance in the early votes.As for my resources, Creative Syria and http://www.mideastimage.com were created in late 2005 … What you see here is mostly my individual effort except the programming which is done by a Canadian programmer. “Resources” are nothing but the time I put on it. The collection featured in the history section is my uncle’s. He is an MD who has one of the largest private collections of Middle East historic photographs.I don’t understand the significance of describing Canada as a western country. If this is a comparison with what I mentioned in another article about the support Assad’s opponents are constantly getting from western image and public relations consultants … I am a Syrian producing my own material from A to Z … What you see is honest opinion + my own graphic design and my Syrian uncle’s collection of historic photos and modern photos that friends or other people send and ask if I can include in CreativeSyria’s collection.As for supporting the regime … I am almost fully biased in favor of the regime’s regional and foreign policy. But internally I am very critical of the regime in many respects … to correct them I was very happy with a protest movement that forces the regime to move faster in reforms. The minute I realized that most of those influencing the people in the street got a bit too ambitious when the regime started to respond to their initial demands, I realized where we are heading … bloody confrontation.My preferences are not the only thing that defines my choices … reading the characters on all sides (inside and outside Syria) and keeping in mind their different abilities to influence events comes first.There will be another 17 posts before I am done sharing everything I have to say … Syria is complex, and making one’s mind is also complex …. that’s why we have many families divided.

January 16th, 2012, 10:48 am


Amir suleiman said:

@samerat يضحكني كثيرا من يكتب ويدعي أن الشعب السوري قال أو قرر
من انت لتدعي أن الشعب السوري سحب الشرعية من رئيس الجمهورية
صناديق الاقتراع هي الحكم
شكلوا أحزاب وتقدموا للانتخابات
احضروا مراقبين
سنقبل بالنتائج
هذه الديموقراطية
أليس هذا ما نناضل من أجله؟

January 20th, 2012, 4:14 pm


samerat said:

@Amir suleiman @sameratالضحك” على االمأساة التي” أوصلناإليها النظام نقص في الإحساس.. والإعتقاد أن نظام الأسد سيسمح بقيام الديموقراطية بعد جرائمه نقص في الإدراك.

January 21st, 2012, 9:01 am


Maysaloon said:

I’m sorry, but respectfully I do not agree with any of these assumptions. I’ve listed why on a point by point basis after having read the piece. Whilst I admire the effort that has gone into the site (it looks beautiful, as all your sites do) I cannot say the same for this article. I will, of course, go through your other points with a fine comb, as I care as much about Syria as you do, and will not allow assumptions to be made unchallenged simply because you surround them with beautiful photographs.

Unfortunately – or fortunately for your readers! – my response exceeds the character limit for your comments section, so the full response is available on http://www.maysaloon.org/2012/01/response-to-creative-syrias-author.html



January 15th, 2012, 3:56 pm


syriapage said:

@Maysaloon I finally got to read your excellent rebuttal of my post. After reading it I have mixed feelings. First, I very much respect your patience and your attention to detail compared to most people these days who suffer of ADD.On the other hand… you managed to reject all ten points I tried to make.It would be very difficult to answer you, point by point, but I think I will address all, or most, of the points you raised in my other 17 posts that I should have here within 30 or 40 days, a post every 2 days perhaps. For now I will simply remind you that the purpose of that post was not to project all aspects of reality ….. it was a post dedicated to listing information out there that those of you who are biased to the revolution fail to notice. The post attempted to tell you a few things about what is on the mind of those who are not too thrilled about the revolution. You think religious fundamentalism is a dictator’s scare tactic, fine…. tell that to millions who think it is a real danger. I am sure you came across a few online, and they are not all religious minorities … you surely know of many Muslim families who argue everyday among themselves … some want the regime, others the revolution.

Similarly, the last part of that post was a random collection of what the same Syrians who do not want a revolution find repulsive … they are all real. You should not dismiss them by saying that they are selective. Of course they are selective … again, the post is intended to show you example of things that you have been ignoring but others have not.Finally … you and I know that Iraq, Lebanon and Syria are all very corrupt, two are flawed democracies, one is a dictatorship. I will go back to the index to see who is a bit more corrupt than the other if that is very important for you, but I think the fact they are all corrupt proves my point…. I’ll leave you with a joke I just got by email.سأل رجل آينشتاين : هل الهواء الذي يخرج من فمنا بارد أم حار؟؟فأجاب آينشتاين : إنه حار. فقال الرجل : فلماذا ننفخ على الطعام الحار ليبرد؟؟!!فقال آينشتاين : إذاً إنه بارد. فقال الرجل : إذاً لماذا ننفخ على أيدينا في الأيام الباردة؟؟!!!فقال له آينشتاين : حبيبي بوجهك على سوريا الناس هونيك بيحبو كتير هالطريقة بالنقاش

January 16th, 2012, 7:33 pm


Amir suleiman said:

@syriapage @Maysaloon
ينقسم المعارضون إلى عدة فئات:
مثقفون علمانيون حقيقيون يريدون الديموقراطية الحقيقية وهم أقلية
إسلاميون يريدون السلطة ويدعون الحرية وهم الأغلبية
حاقدون وأصحاب ثارات
فاسدون وسارقون ونصابون وهاربون لأسباب قانونية يريدون تبييض صفحتهم وهم الأشرس
عملاء لأجهزة أجنبية

لا شئ يجمع هؤولاء فعليا
غير الرغبة بالتخلص من النظام السوري
وتغيب مصلحة سوريا والسوريين عن معظم هؤلاء

January 20th, 2012, 4:28 pm


3lemons said:

I’m so tired of meeting women who preach democracy in Syria praising the new democratic Egypt while living in the west.. In their gas guzzling new Mercedes, aglow in gold bracelets peppered with Cartier diamonds- second homes manned by abused underpaid staff-elegant home bars crowded with aged scotch and French champagne- yes tell me about the democracy you yearn for overseas!! Ask these women with acquired power as they choose their crocodile Birkin bag before racing out the door for their $500 shampoo, color ,and cut how they have helped their sisters overseas cloaked from head to toe in religious fabric..ask them precisely after spending 10-20 glorious years in the west attending wedding after wedding of generations of children of close friends wile spending spending spending on themelves in the west exactly when they became political experts on democracy in Syria? How do they look in the mirror knowing the pain captive women feel overseas! And the other armchair patriots, the devoted husbands- who have no responsibility for what might happen if cocktail chat turns into reality. All so that these guilt ridden gluttons feel whole over dinner as they communally belch out their opinions while living safely securely in the west . Power is indeed living in both worlds.

Beautiful creative site Camile and bravo for your creative genius and wilingness to say something by converting your talent into this forum for voice. Those who try to diminish your voice from their overstuffed armchairs should visit tourist barren Egypt and then lecture about the new world order..

January 15th, 2012, 4:36 pm


syriapage said:

@3lemons Thank you 3 lemons. I’m happy you liked the site.Since the crisis started, I am glad to see many Syrian and Arab expats starting to care about the future of Syria and the Middle East. But some are quite offensive in the overconfidence they display in their own choices and their own interpretation of events … even though, as you suggested, they never paid any attention before to anything outside their life of luxury.

January 16th, 2012, 10:53 am


cultureandrevolution said:

@3lemons Funny, 3lemons, I feel precisely the same way about “those” women (and men), particularly those with second foreign passports, who can so comfortably from a distance dictate that people should shelve their aspirations and abandon their struggles, in the interest of greater geo-strategic dictates. Ah yes, you have nothing to lose. Tell people who have everything to lose to prioritize the lofty resistance axis. And call them traitors while they die in the streets.

January 25th, 2012, 10:06 am


Dr Ali Mohamad said:

I agree with this excellent analysis. The impact on the secular movement in the Arab World cannot be overemphasized. In Syria, this becomes even more prominent than anywhere else, especially with secularism being regarded not only as a safe refuge for the different minorities, but also due to the more secular nature of the Syrian society, even in its urban Sunni parts.

The Syrian uprising failed in presenting itself as a new hope for a better future. Instead, it did everything it could to provoke doubt and skepticism amongst many Syrians, even some of those who initially supported it.

January 15th, 2012, 6:55 pm


syriapage said:

@Dr Ali Mohamad I agree Ali. This is not minorities against the Sunnis. If it were, ten months would have been enough to start a real civil war. Secular, and risk averse, Sunnis are not siding with the revolution in large numbers, even if they are not big fans of the regime in general.

January 16th, 2012, 11:25 am


gkaram said:

The answer to the question that you raise towards the end of your post is very simple. History has shown, over and over again, that given the choice the great majority will prefer a “flawed” democracy over a cruel dictatorship built on the notion that personal freedom and rights do not matter and that the clan in power “owns” the country and treats it as a fiefdom.

January 15th, 2012, 6:59 pm


syriapage said:

@gkaram Dr. Karam. I am also for a flawed democracy over monopoly of one party or group over power. It appears that the regime is ready to give up its monopoly over power in general, but it wants to keep power over foreign policy and national security. I am for that option because it fits with my personal preferences and because it would satisfy, I believe, a majority of Syrians who were happy with the regime’s foreign policy and their experience in managing the affairs of the troublesome region but hated the regime’s corruption and its lack of accountability.It depends how we define “the regime” … for some of us, the regime equals continuity of what is good and necessary … we will be happy to drop the rest from the regime.

January 16th, 2012, 11:35 am


AIG said:

@syriapage@gkaram Foreign policy cannot be separated from economic policy. Syria’s failed foreign policy has led to sanctions that are hurting the Syrian people badly. There has to be one body responsible for both because there are trade-offs to be made between the two. You cannot run them as if they are not connected. And if as you say most Syrians support the current foreign policy, they will vote for parties that will promise to continue it. No need for the Assad regime.

January 16th, 2012, 5:41 pm


MediaWarOnSyria said:

Agree 100%. Good article, Camille.

January 15th, 2012, 10:29 pm


AIG said:


I will answer a few points in each post.

1. Norway also started out as a flawed democracy. You are against change to democracy until you are sure that you can begin with a perfect one? First you get a flawed one, and then you improve it.

2. Democracy provides the transparency that allows fighting corruption. It is not a miracle medicine. Getting rid of corruption will take years but without democracy it will take forever.

3. A “strong” Iraq was awful for the people living in it. Very many people during the Cold War wanted to flee strong Russia to weak states in Western Europe. What is important to people is their standard of living and the future of their children, not the strength of their state. It could also be argued by the way that the reason Israel is strong even though it is a very small country is because it is a democracy (flawed). Also a state cannot be strong if it has to force people to be part of it, it just leads to civil strife and wars. The Kurds want autonomy and do not feel part of Iraq. Why should they be forced to be part of Iraq if they can have a viable state?

January 16th, 2012, 3:52 pm


syriapage said:

@AIG good to see you here. I’ll reply briefly because I have to reply to Maysaloon first.1) I am definitely for a flawed democracy… but even that is a term that is vague … there is 10% democracy … 20% democracy … 50% democracy and 99% democracy … each has its price and has its prerequisites.Reforming the current system is 50% … the revolution is trying to sell us 100% tomorrow.I am for the flawed democracy of accelerated reforms. That’s my personal preference AIG … each one has his own risk aversion preferences. There is no right and wrong of course (except extremes)2) Fighting corruption … certain types of corruption can definitely be fought more effectively when you have accountability and transparency. Whatever 50% democracy means, I am expecting and highly valuing fighting corruption through transparency and accountability of the next government.But I have relatively low expectations … it is in the culture … in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq …. By the way, a Tunisian friend sent me this blog: it seems Ghannouchi’s brother just established a new company and it will get the McDonald’s contract for Tunisia.http://www.rap125.com/2011/12/19/le-frere-de-rached-ghannouchi-obtient-la-franchise-mac-donalds-en-tunisie/

3) If a strong Iraq was awful (and it was not awful for all by the way) does this provide evidence that strong countries should be avoided? … will Israel follow your rule and decide to become weak?As for the Kurds … yes they want autonomy and they should be given mild version of autonomy for now to start … but if you want democracy to always lead to breaking Arab countries into smaller pieces remember that within the areas where Kurds have significant percentage of the population in Syria and in Iraq … there are many Christians too .. many Assyrians who want to have their Assyrian kingdom. Can they also through the magic of democracy expect that future democratic Kurdish state to give them a few pockets from inside it, so that they can have their Assyrian kingdom?

No.There is a challenge that is not easy to address … to what extent do you keep breaking existing countries to create new countries with more homogeneous populations? … I would suggest that you also look at Israel and answer that question.

January 16th, 2012, 4:18 pm


AIG said:

@syriapage 1) Assad had 11 years to put in place a 50% democracy. He did nothing. Maybe the opposition is too optimistic, but Assad on the other hand has just talked and done nothing to move Syria towards democracy. It is clear that the about 2 million Syrians who have benefited from this regime are well off. While the other 20 million have nothing to lose and no hope for the future unless change happens.

2) All human societies have cultures of corruption and they slowly become better. I don’t buy it that it is something cultural with Arabs. It is structural and related to the government system. The best way to fight corruption is a free press. And that is something that Assad has not allowed. At least we know in Tunisia about the McDonald and it will surely hurt Ghannouchi in the next election if not sooner.

3) I didn’t say strong countries are bad. I said that if I had to choose between a democratic and thriving weak country and a undemocratic and poor strong country, I and many others would choose the former. Why is a country being strong an important value? What is wrong with Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands? In fact many Israeli Arabs (they don’t say this in public of course) would rather live in Israel than in any future Palestinian state or Arab state. It is all about how the state treats its citizens, not about how strong the state is. In addition, in what sense was Syria strong? Its economy was weak, its army was weak and it couldn’t get the Golan back no matter how hard it tried. Yes, it talked big, but that is easy.

January 16th, 2012, 5:19 pm


syriapage said:

@AIG AIG .. please rad the other post . it is short .. the one about the four scenarios of change … three roads and a fictitious highway. I did not say corruption is an Arab thing … It is however in most cultures on this planet … there are a few exceptions. What I am saying is that after you depose “a dictator” nothing changes … not necessarily at least.

January 16th, 2012, 5:39 pm


AIG said:

4. Western Europe is divided into many small countries. So what? In time, they can decide to build a federation. It is better to have small and prospering countries than big countries with civil strife and dictatorship. As for being strong militarily, a country does not have to be big has Israel has proven.

5. If most people are religious then their views have to be taken into account. That is the essence of democracy. It is only through democracy that they will become more secular. If you want 100% Salafis, just continue with Assad for another generation. These are issues that democracies struggle with each day.

6. Yes, minorities are less safe, but maybe because they identified too long with the dictatorship? That cannot be an excuse never to move to democracy. The transition will be difficult and the Assad regime is making it even more difficult.

7. True, transitions cost human lives. But doing nothing also cost human lives and even worse makes future generations hopeless. The French Revolution was very costly. The American War of Independence was very costly. Are those reasons not to fight them? Some ideas are worth dying for.

January 16th, 2012, 5:07 pm


AIG said:

8. See 7. If you want to really help, why not propose a transitional government not based on the Assad regime, a government that all will accept? How about Kilo creating a transition government till the next election? People do not trust Assad to really let go of power because he made so little reforms in 11 years. Assad needs to prove that he is really willing to get out of the way.

9. Of course civil strife will be bad for the economy. But it will not be as bad as continuing Assad rule. Assad’s economic policies (and this includes his foreign policy that has led to sanctions) have brought the economy and the country to its knees anyway.


The only way for Syria to get back on its feet is to have sanctions against it stopped and to receive huge influxes of foreign investment.

10. Why would Syrians be “shattered” if there were parts of the Syrian public not hostile to Israel? If some people in Syria would put economic development over getting back the Golan, what is the big deal? In a democracy people are allowed to have different opinions about such matters and you just have to learn to live with it. It is an argument against all forms of democracy. Let there be a good public debate about the subject and let the Syrian people decide. But the debate itself will not shatter anybody.

January 16th, 2012, 5:31 pm


Abu Kareem said:


Your title: “… not interested yet” is deceiving. It suggests that are reasons that Syrians should be interested and yet the ten bleak points you make suggests that no one in their right mind should be interested. This is not a balanced “hold your horses and lets think about what is happening here”, it is a complete rejection of all that the opposition stands for. It is, of course, your right to think that; the trouble is, it makes for a narrative akin to that of the regime.

I understand your fears and many of the points you laid out should be of concern to all Syrians. You are, however, too quick to judge the outcome of the changes in other Arab countries. No one expected it to be painless or quick; the ultimate success or failure will take years to judge. Moreover, every country’s trajectory will be dictated by its own particular local conditions; one cannot compare Somalia to Syria.

My fundamental problem with your arguments is that it shifts the blame for what is happening in Syria from the true culprits. The blame for the fact that Syria is on the brink of disaster rests squarely on the shoulders of a oppressive, brutal regime incapable of change, incapable of evolution, incapable in any way to be flexible in its governance. And yet despite that, the Syrian people have given it the benefit of the doubt to the very end. Bashar could have nipped this revolt in the bud ten months ago had he held back his thugs, henchmen and sadistic torturers. (continued in the next comment)

January 17th, 2012, 3:02 am


syriapage said:

@Abu Kareem The answer to your criticism is very simple … this post is intended to give the reader a summary of what is on the mind of Syrians who did not support the revolution option. There will be 20 posts in total .. I only started with 3 so far. That is why I added a preface on top of the front page saying:”Some articles might appear to be biased towards one side or the other – based on the reader’s own perceptions. The author, however, sincerely hopes that all posts are read in their entirety with an open and critical mind before making a decision.”You can see for example that I started the other article by criticizing the regime’s propaganda:http://creativesyria.com/syriapage/?p=53

January 17th, 2012, 10:07 am


Abu Kareem said:

I would love to be able to say that we can, with discussion, reconcile our differences on Syria but I suspect we can’t because of two major points.

The first is that you seem to believe that the revolt is not an indigenous one but is manufactured on the “outside” and therefore illegitimate. I think it is definitely indigenous and legitimate. The second is that you still believe that the Syrian government as it stands, despite all what transpired since March, is still capable of moving the country forward. I don’t and cannot get past its brutality on full display over the past year. You worry about what would happen if the government falls, I also worry about the revenge that they would exact of the people who dared go against them if the uprising is crushed.

Finally, Camille, you are warning of gloom and doom but offering no alternatives. Syria’s fate remains at the mercy of those in power. I still think there is an opportunity to salvage the situation but it requires some grand and definitive gestures that Bashar has so far proven incapable of making. How about:

1. Get all the unaccountable, non-uniformed goons off the streets

2. Get Maher’s soldiers and heavy weaponry out of the cities; replace with uniformed security forces that will use force commensurate with what is happening on the ground.

3. Get enough AL monitors to be permanently stationed at hotspots to ensure peace.

4. Makes plans and set a timetable for an orderly transition

5. Talk to the opposition

January 17th, 2012, 3:03 am


syriapage said:

@Abu Kareem Alright, the spirit of your plan is fine. But there are counterarguments 1) I agree2) I agree, except that most of the stories about Maher’s 4th brigade turned out to be false. They only left Damascus’ region once or twice (Homs lately I heard)3) They are not interested, one of them was admitted to hospital for high blood pressure. They had enough with both pro and anti regime Syrians who pressured them and threatened them …4) Absolutely agree … I wish demonstrators would carry banners demanding such clear demands.5) The offered for so long …. but opposition refused for various reasons, some reasonable others hypocritical or self centered. Some of them are fighters for justice, many are your typical variety of politicians …

January 17th, 2012, 10:04 am


hajijinjal said:

It is shameful when intellects try to justify the autocratic AL-ASSAD family regime brutal crimes against its own people and intentionally ignoring the suffering SYRIANS have been going through for the past 50 years. The people has risen by their own will, protesting peacefully and in civilized way to claim back their freedom and dignities from the most oppressive authoritarian regime the world ever known. Your subjective misinformation is a poor excuses, though is better than armed gangs, from a regime supporter to continue the brutal crackdown and massacres and therefore prolonging the inevitable toppling of the corrupt AL-ASSAD ruling family.

When the Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, and Yemenis revolts, no one discussed the merits and credibility of the revolutionaries, the wise and unbiased knew when people ask for change and are dieing for it, no one should challenge them, even if it is self made GOD AL-ASSAD and his minority cult of worshipers.

January 17th, 2012, 6:52 am


syriapage said:

@hajijinjal from my perspective, it is shameful to continue polarizing the crisis to a point where civil war is looming while all of you (on both sides) are doing and saying today what you did and said yesterday. Don’t you think there is a need for a calmer non-defensive discussion where no one tells the other that he morally or intellectually inferior?Try harder to listen to the voices of all the Syrians who are not agreeing with you. There are no option … civilized dialogue (not on the street, through “yel3an ro7ak ya 7afez”) but online and face to face … with an open mind.Don’t blame everything on the regime … the regime … the opposition … and the people are all to blame.

January 17th, 2012, 8:50 am


hajijinjal said:

@syriapage Staying calm with tens of innocent civilians slaughtered every day is insensitive with all due respect. Opinions like yours are giving false hopes of regime ability to reform and to implement true democratic measures. Giving power or some of it back to the people peacefully is not in the short/long term interest of AL-ASSAD ruling family– I guess that’s why they call them dictators.

Note that the uprising is inclusive– all faiths and races are for it from day one so none of your biased 10 points applicable. The only one promoting sectarian infighting and division are AL-ASSAD ruling family’s media and some prepaid Lebanese media shops.

Instead of discrediting the revolution objectives and using scare tactics to repulse people from it, let us talk post AL-ASSAD & Baath ruling classes era to discuss efficient ways of making the transition to real democratic state smooth and less painful, let’s talk about reconciliation with those responsible for atrocities committed and will never be forgotten.

January 18th, 2012, 1:04 pm


syriapage said:

@hajijinjal I understand, but I have reservations1) Most of the minorities are worried as they see the revolution is mostly (not fully) sectarian. The presence of regime opponents from all religions (and regions) is a fact, but the numbers are insignificant and the fact secualr opponents of the Shah or Iran, or Qaddafi, or Mubarak, did not get much of an influence in those countries after the revolutions succeeded is something that Syrian liberals or minorities can not ignore.2) At what price will you reach that post-Assad era? … How will you defeat the Syrian army?3) I am convinced there are enough reformers in the regime that will gradually give up a good portion of power (not fully). This is the cheapest option for progress in Syria … we can get there for free if we stop the confrontations and start forming parties to run for parliamentary elections that are monitored by Arab and Russian observers.4) The numbers of casualties and who killed them mostly came from this very unprofessional organization:http://www.angryarab.blogspot.com/2012/01/syrian-observatory-for-human-rights_18.html

January 20th, 2012, 2:47 pm


Amir suleiman said:

@hajijinjal انه نفاق سياسي وأخلاقي ان تتحجج بمرض أو خلل للإتيان بمرض أعظم
في بلد تتعدد فيه الأراء. لا حل بدون حوار
وبوجود سلطة تحفظ الاستقرار

January 20th, 2012, 7:52 am


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