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I have a parallel blog in French at http://anniebannie.net

Date

November 23, 2012

Syrian voices

A selection of  comments to the latest Syria Comment post

29. ALI said:

For those who claim that Syria was good only in the eyes of tourists and expatriates, I say this is non sense. For example, in Damascus, remember the good days when you used to go for “seeran” every Friday, remember the family visit to the Damascus international exhibition, remember the grilled corn, beans and cactus in Sh3lan, remember the old Damascus and BabToma, remember Ala-Elbal and beet Jabri ….. all these things were for all Syrians not only tourists and expats.

Syria offered all sorts of entertainment and good times to all Syrians from all social classes. Maybe the poor didn’t afford to have a meal in four seasons but for sure everybody could afford a mean at Abo Wa7eed in Ein Elfejeh where Bashar himself used to dine weekly before being a president.

Alawis didn’t take advantage of the state, it just happened that most Alawis do work in the army where the perks of cars and accommodation are really good, but similarly Naz7een people (from Golan) did control Mukhabarat and they were Sunnis, exactly like Idleb and Deer-Zour people controlled police and traffic police and it happened being Sunnis as well.

It’s not fair to blame all corruption on Alawis and forgetting the majority of Sunnis who were part of this corruption in every detail especially when coming and begging Alwais to do things for them above the law. If you claim the state was not great, and I disagree with that, then you need to be fair and honest before throwing non-sense accusations around. Some Alawis villages still till now has no power while Sunnis were spending money in Bloudan, and blue beach but still these poor Alawis never complained.

36. Amjad of Arabia said:

Ali, I’m quite disappointed and saddened that you still don’t feel able to lay the blame for Syria’s current situation squarely where it belongs; at the feet of the regime. Was it really necessary to murder 100 people in Homs on an April night just because they were holding a demonstration? Was it really necessary to beat up Ali Ferzat and imprison najati Tayara and butcher Gaith Mattar?

And who am I going to fight the Jihadists with? Bashar? F*ck Bashar and every member of the Assad family. I’d rather take my chances with an uncertain future than see that ibn el gahba pass the presidency on to Hafiz II

“so it’s your fault and responsibility to assure me that my sisters won’t get raped or stoned for wearing shorts.”

I can give you no assurances on the future. Everything you fear could happen and worse. Nothing is certain about the future, but we have a 100% certainty on what life under Assad will be like. Everything you fear and worse has been done to Assad’s opponents. Rape, murder, entire villages bombed, hundreds of people massacred.

The FSA completely withdrew from Hama. Do you have any idea what life is like for the Hamwis now? An entire neighborhood of 300 houses was leveled. Every week hundreds of people are arrested in mass random arrests. There is rarely a man on the streets of the city. That is what would have awaited the country if Assad had won.

And you blame people for cheering the Islamists who turned out to be the only ones to take the regime on? I may not like their ideology or system, but what have I and the likes of me managed to accomplish in contrast before they came along? We looked to the West and the USA for support, and instead got a POTUS with his thumb in his mouth.

50. MarigoldRan said:

The supporters of the regime lived in a bubble where they thought all was well. They lived in the cities, supported by their rich friends, careful not to offend the police. And the police left them alone because, after all, these people are not a threat. They toed the line, proclaimed Assad as a brilliant leader, and got along with their lives.

Little did they know, but a volcano was brewing under their feet. In the countryside, the poor got poorer, and more numerous. A drought hit, and many of them lost their jobs. When they protested, the police beat them up. When they wrote graffiti on the wall, the police tortured their children. Eventually, the poor rose up and said, “Enough of this, it is time for our vengeance.” And so they rose.

In the meantime, the rich happy people who lived in the cities and who toed the line saw all this happening, and proclaimed in a bewildered voice: “What is this? Where did all these angry people come from? What is this cursed revolution? Wasn’t Syria a beautiful state before?”

And the poor said to the rich people, “NO. It was a beautiful country for you, perhaps, but not for us. You chose to ignore us, treating us like dirt. It is now OUR time to pay you back.”

And so they will.

 

November 23rd, 2012, 1:40 am

51. MarigoldRan said:

Syria was two countries before the civil war: one rich, one poor. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or lived with their heads stuck in the sand.

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THE BIGGER THEY ARE, THE HARDER THEY FALL

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Israel has just suffered a historic defeat.
One only had to watch the international news coverage.
BBC persisted in its typically awful reportage on the Israel-Palestine conflict during Israel’s latest rampage.
But tonight it had to acknowledge that the people of Gaza were out in the streets celebrating.
It desperately sought some “balance” by positing that “some people in Israel are probably also celebrating.”
Fat chance.
CNN aired Christiane Amanpour’s “exclusive” interview with Khaled Meshal.
Despite, or perhaps because of, her silly histrionics (“What do you want?” she tearfully pleaded), Meshal came across as remarkably articulate.
It could not have failed to register even on the terrifyingly stupid Abu Mazen that the PA Comedy Hour will soon be cancelled.
Meshal also explicitly endorsed a settlement on the June 1967 border, which won’t please the BDS/One-State cultists.
CNN then televised the Israeli news conference of Netanyahu, Lieberman and Barak.
They looked like three sixth-graders called down to the Principal’s Office, counting the minutes until the humiliation was over.
Israel suffered a double defeat.
Its announced goal when it went into Gaza was to restore its “deterrence capacity.”
But at the end of the day its deterrence capacity had been drastically reduced:
The once mighty Israeli army that caused the whole Arab/Muslim world to tremble could not even defeat the impoverished and weaponless tiny enclave of Gaza.
Israel demanded an unconditional and unilateral secession of Hamas “rocket” attacks.
But Israel had to accept a mutual ceasefire.  It also had to make promises regarding the siege of Gaza.
It is highly improbable that anything will come of these Israeli promises, but still, Israel could not unilaterally impose its will.
Let it, finally, be said:
In praise of the ever-martyred but ever-heroic and ever-renascent people of Gaza.
May they live to see the full brightness of dawn.


Norman Finkelstein

On Gaza


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It cannot be doubted the turning-point in Israel’s latest murderous rampage.  

It came when Hamas leader Khaled Meshal taunted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Go ahead, attack!  

At that moment Netanyahu stood exposed in all his nakedness.  

The bluff had been called.

Only the ninth-rate hacks at the New York Times preserved until the last second the fiction that the IDF still stood poised for an offensive.  Isabel Kershner, the ex-beautician from Sderot Coiffures, whose only known scholarly work is The Complete History of Mah Jong Tournaments in the Catskills, dutifully repeated the party line that Netanyahu held back on the ground offensive because he of course preferred a diplomatic solution.   

Just like Genghis Khan.

Israel couldn’t attack because the population won’t accept any IDF casualties, while the presence of foreign journalists and the honor of Egypt and Turkey prevented Israel from fighting in its usual style: the scorched-earth destruction of everything and everyone in its path, no questions asked.  

The 2006 Lebanon War ended when Hezbollah escalated its rocket attacks on Israel’s heartland, while Israel dreaded the prospect of a ground invasion on the terrain of the Party of God.  So, Israel called on the U.S.to bail it out and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice engineered a U.N. resolution, which she had blocked during the first weeks of the Israeli massacre–or, what this Witch from the Pits of Hell  called the “birth pangs of a new Middle East.”   

This time it’s Scarecrow Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who is flying in to rescue Israel from another debacle, as Hamas escalated its–albeit, largely symbolic–retaliatory strikes.  

It’s unlikely that Palestinians will win much in the ceasefire–the interests of Egypt, Turkey and Qatar, on the one hand, and the Palestinians on the other, diverge more than they converge.  

But still, the IDF’s Achilles heel has once again been revealed, and consequently, although Tel Aviv’s proclaimed goal in launching the attack on Gaza was to enhance its “deterrence capacity”–i.e., its capacity to terrorize the Arab/Muslim world into submission–in fact, under the supremely stupid leadership of Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Israel emerges with a diminished deterrence capacity.  

No doubt, these Draculas are thrilled at the sight of the rubble and corpses in Gaza.  

But they cannot be pleased that all the world now knows just how cowardly they are.  

In the end, notwithstanding its super-space-age arsenal of death, the IDF trembled at the prospect of engaging the weaponless men, women and children of Gaza.  

It was a prudent move on Netanyahu’s part.  

The Ubermenschen of Israel’s Wehrmacht would probably have been slaughtered.

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