Tuesday, July 12, 2005

"Syria: a Monopoly on Democracy," by Aita from Le Monde Dipl.

The following article by Samir Aita in Le Monde Diplomatique is excellent. The same issue of Le Monde Diplo also has an interesting article, entitled, "Constructive instability," by Walid Charara that puts Syria into over-arching US policy. The lead sentence of the article is:

The United States seems stubbornly determined to extend its current high-risk strategy of democratic destabilisation to the entire Middle East.
One comment on Walid Charara's article: I think even the neo-conservatives are beginning to trim their sails on "regime change" in Syria. They do not want more Islamism in the region. The Iraq example has scared them, and they seem to be backing away from an early propensity to promote regime-change at any cost, even if it meant a period of chaos. Their "damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead," mentality is giving way to a more cautious "change Syria's behavior" approach. This is in line with Secretary Rice's formulation.

The evidence of for this change of heart comes from Richard Perle, the dean of neo-cons, who recently was quoted in al-Sharq al-Awsat to say that that "We do not support a change in Syria that would transform it from a secular dictatorship into a religious dictatorship." Here is the article: ريتشارد بيرل لـ«الشرق الأوسط»: لن ندعم تغييرا في سورية ينقلها من ديكتاتورية علمانية إلى ديكتاتورية دينية (Thanks to Camille-Alexandre)

Here is Samir's article:

Syria: a Monopoly on Democracy
Le Monde diplomatique
English language edition
July 2005

After 40 years the dominant role played by Syria's Ba’ath party is under threat. The crisis has been aggravated by events in neighbouring Lebanon from which Damascus has had to withdraw its troops, but its real causes are internal.

It is a long time since political debate in Syria has been so open. Everything is up for discussion — particularly the United States’ invasion of Iraq and the resistance it has met; and the promised post-Saddam democracy, now bogged down in ethnic and religious complexities. Syrians want more political rights, freedom and reform, but without US-inspired “constructive instability”. They understand that before there can be democracy there must be a state; but they want a state that isn’t dominated by a corrupt government or by US tanks. The mood in the country has become sombre, particularly since the collapse of the French alliance and the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon.

It is worth recalling how Syria was built upon a democratic compromise after the first world war. France wanted to divide the country into separate states along religious and regional lines (Damascus, Aleppo, the Alawites, the Druze). The various political elites joined to achieve total unification (1936-42). They overrode popular opposition and conceded the creation of an independent Lebanon, including four districts that had previously depended on Damascus, to avoid the creation of an intractable confessional Lebanese state, with a Maronite majority, on Syria's borders. The democratic compromise took into account the strong regionalism that existed, particularly around Damascus and Aleppo, and opened the way to a range of political parties which, though populist, had no religious or regional ideology. The Ba'ath party emerged from this process.

Throughout the six decades since independence, the people of Syria experienced only a dozen years of real political freedom. This period was broken by a series of coups (1949-1953) that resulted from the struggle for influence among western powers, and by the union with Nasser’s Egypt (1958-1961), forced through by Syria’s leaders. Syria's awakening democratic tradition had proved itself capable of energy and originality: Syria's political parties and some members of the armed forces had assembled at Homs in 1953 to “thank” the dictator Adib Shishakli (1949-53) and, uniquely for an Arab country at the time, to organise free elections in which the Muslim Brotherhood and the communists each secured a seat. But the young democracy was not immune from anti-colonial and social unrest, external cold war rivalries and particularly from the politicisation of the army.

However, despite these problems, the period saw the creation of the main institutions of the Syrian state (in 1953 it was the first Arab country to establish a central bank), high rates of economic growth and the democratisation of education and health.

Few Syrians today, particularly the young, know much about this period. They grew up in the shadow of Hafez al-Assad, who established a stable and authoritarian regime in 1970 when his “correction movement” ousted a rival Ba'athist military regime that had taken power through a military coup six years earlier. Assad used part of the country’s Alawite community to assert his domination (1).

Stability under Assad came at a price. At first the regime allowed some latitude to the urban bourgeoisie and included a few political parties in a National Progressive Front. Then came the 1973 October war with Israel (also known as the Ramadan or Yom Kippur war). Syria came through this ordeal in a spirit of national unity, but that unity fractured in 1976 with Assad's intervention in Lebanon against the Palestinian resistance and its leftwing allies. The regime harshly repressed demands to end the state of emergency (2) that came from a movement rooted in civil society, including professional unions (lawyers, engineers, etc) and political parties outside the front, whose members rotted for decades in prison.

The situation deteriorated further when Syria was shaken by a wave of attacks by radical Islamists, supported by the rival Iraqi Ba'ath party under Saddam Hussein. Syria came close to civil war with the massacres at Palmyra (1980) and Hama (1982). The Sunni bourgeoisie went on strike but then, in Damascus, decided to compromise rather than destroy the nation.

Syria was plunged into darkness. The long black years were marked by family rivalries within the Assad clan, particularly involving the president’s brother Rifaat, and by confrontations with the US, France and Britain. Syria supported the Iranian revolution of 1979 and built an alliance with the Soviet Union. Despite a unanimous Arab boycott of Egypt, which had unilaterally made peace with Israel at Camp David in 1979, Syria remained isolated from its neighbours. But the regime survived, even after the defeat of the army when Israel invaded Lebanon in June 1982 and managed to establish itself as a leading player in Lebanese politics.

A first turning point came in 1986. Bankruptcy forced the government to promote agricultural production, even offering financial support to former landowners damaged by agrarian reform. Private companies benefited from the liberalisation of foreign trade. The regime secured the country’s food supply and restored its relationship with the middle classes. At the same time, although formally rejecting any assistance from international financial institutions, the regime voluntarily introduced a structural adjustment programme of the sort favoured by the International Monetary Fund. Soon all that remained of Syrian socialism was its single party and its state bureaucracy.

There was another turning point in 1990, after the fall of the Berlin wall, when Syria made an unpopular U-turn by joining the coalition against Saddam. It seemed a glorious new dawn. The 1989 Taif accord brought peace to Lebanon and international acceptance of Syrian control. Negotiations began with Israel for the return to Syrian sovereignty of the Golan Heights, which Israel had occupied since the Six Day war of 1967. Thanks to the first liberalisation reforms and oil exports, economic growth accelerated.

But this slight improvement did not last. Syrian agencies in Lebanon and a section of the nomenklatura got involved in the questionable business deals on which the Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri built his reconstruction policy. And the Middle East peace process stalled when Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Barak, went back on a deal that Assad had hoped to make his lasting legacy: Assad had gone to Geneva in March 2000 in a final determined attempt to reach a deal with US president Bill Clinton. The failure of that meeting came as a huge shock. Maybe the US and Israel had decided that the “lion” of Damascus was too old to make peace; or maybe they reckoned that the perpetuation of instability served their interests better.

Assad died soon after, in June 2000. A quick rewrite of the constitution allowed his son, Bashar, to succeed him as president, despite his youth. The international community turned a blind eye. US secretary of state Madeleine Albright attended Assad's funeral and approved the succession; the French president, Jacques Chirac, did the same. Bashar's inaugural speech roused hopes, particularly among Syrians and Lebanese, that things were finally about to change for the better. People began to dream of restored freedoms, of economic reforms bringing work and prosperity, and of a new international image.

But, five years on, nothing much has changed. The new president had to deal with the fall-out from 9/11. The Syrian regime, which escaped the Islamist jihadism experienced by its neighbours, regarded the US conquest of Iraq less as the removal of a rival than as the destruction of one of its few secular Arab neighbours. Like other states bordering Iraq, Syria profited from sanctions-busting. It joined France, Belgium and Germany in opposing the United Nations Security Council endorsement of the US war. Faced with the fait accompli, it hoped, like France and Germany, to take a stabilising role in Baghdad, particularly since it had maintained links with Iraq’s Ba'athist, as well as tribal and religious, leaders.

But the Bush administration wasn’t interested. Its battle was ideological. It increased pressure on Syria, particularly with the adoption by Congress in November 2003 of the Syria Accountability Act (3). In May 2003 Colin Powell had said that the Syrian regime had its fingers in three different pies — Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine — and the US would cut them off. In reality the US didn’t much care about democracy in Syria and never applied the sanctions the act provided against members of the regime. Instead, the Syrian state and economy were destabilised when President Bush imposed commercial sanctions, and accused the principal public bank, which held most of Syria's currency reserves, of money-laundering. The Syrian government remained convinced that the US was mainly interested in the rise of Islamist hostility in Iraq and among the populations of its allies, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, origin of the 9/11 attackers. It vainly offered the US a series of proposals and goodwill gestures in areas that included security.

The real shock came when Bashar al-Assad’s ally, France, made a spectacular reversal in its Lebanon policy. In June 2004 Chirac made a suggestion to Bush: a Security Council resolution demanding the immediate withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. This brought events in Lebanon to a head, precipitating this year's “cedar revolution” and the departure of the Syrian army.

It is still difficult to be certain of the reasons for the French change of policy. Was it the result of a reassessment of developments in Iraq? Or a commercial dispute with the Syrian power system over a gas contract? Was it to do with some special relationship with Rafik Hariri? Or did Chirac have deeper reservations about his protégé?

Chirac may initially have dreamed of emulating the role played by François Mitterand in post-Franco Spain, by mentoring Syria’s economic and democratic transformation. He had greeted Bashar with great ceremony in 1999, long before he became president. There were further visits in 2001 and 2002. Chirac had also lent explicit support to administrative and legal reforms and to the EU-Syria Association Agreement (Syria is the last Mediterranean country to sign such a free trade agreement with Europe).

But this reform deal was doomed from the start: by excluding the political arena, it ignored the fundamental nature of the regime. For in Syria, as in almost all Arab countries, the power system has become a separate institution from the state. Centred on the presidency and intelligence chiefs, it can only function by weakening the state and leaving ministers and administration a limited margin for manoeuvre. Political life is reduced to a single party, used by the regime as an instrument of hegemony in its internal struggles. Reform remains impossible while this fundamental dichotomy persists. In Syria, it was the power system that put Bashar in place and continues to hold him hostage. Unwittingly, Hafez al-Assad had set a trap for his son.

Withdrawal from Lebanon has been a major blow to Syria’s position in the region, and it has exposed the system to public scrutiny: people at all levels of Syrian society are now openly questioning the entire system. Bashar al-Assad’s investiture has reopened political debate, although that may not have been his intention. In 2001 there was a short-lived “Damascus spring”, with calls to lift the state of emergency and restore freedoms. But the government soon cracked down, particularly when the Ba'ath party itself joined the criticism.

The next three years ended hopes that economic reform might accelerate, in the absence of meaningful political and institutional changes (the famous Chinese model). In an attempt to resolve the crisis, Bashar al-Assad called a party congress this June, promising a qualitative leap forward in reform. There was a renewed sense of hope. For constitutional change is a necessary precondition for ending both the Ba'ath monopoly over "the state and society” (article 8) and the “socialist” character of the economy, commonly understood as state capitalism (article 13). Opposition groups have sought to create alliances within the Ba'ath party and also within the Muslim Brotherhood, provided that both are prepared to accept secularism and democracy and acknowledge past mistakes, so that things can move forward from the sombre past. National reconciliation is crucial.

The party congress had mixed results. It was preceded by a symbolic crackdown on Syria's last democratic discussion group, the Atassi Forum (named after a former Ba'ath political personality who refused to play along with Hafez al-Assad) and serious attempts to seduce the business community. Discussions inside the congress dealt with most of the points raised by Syria's internal debate: the state of emergency, public freedoms, the separation of powers between state institutions, the nature of the economy, the status of Syria's Kurds. The congress also sacked the party’s old guard. But it disappointed expectations on three essential points: the principle of alternation of the political system, the reform of the state and the process of national reconciliation. Worse, the heads of the security services were brought into the party leadership and any dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood was ruled out of question.

It is still too early to analyse the long-term effects of this process, especially since the US has an interest in keeping the current, much-weakened regime in power. Any rapid democratic and secular transformation would go against US interests and be at odds with the confessional and ethnic concept of stateless “democracy” emerging in Iraq and Lebanon. Even so, many Syrians continue to believe that such a transformation remains possible. It already has a symbol: jasmine.

Samir Aita is an economist and chairman of A Concept mafhoum,

Translated by Donald Hounam

(1) The Alawites, to which the Assad family belong, are a Muslim sect, an offshoot of Twelver Shi'ism; they are 11% of Syria’s population and mostly live in the mountains of the same name.
(2) The state of emergency, which is still in force, dates to 1962. It was reactivated by order no 2 of the coup of 8 March 1963.
(3) This act enabled the US president, should he feel it necessary, to introduce sanctions to meet any danger that Syria continued to present in the administration’s eyes.
(4) Since 1980 membership of the Muslim Brotherhood has been punishable under Syrian law by death.


At 7/12/2005 04:51:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian republican Party said...

No comment, just for search engine bot.

At 7/12/2005 07:08:00 PM, Anonymous ALi Johnson said...

As an Allawite, I am so happy that Sunnis who speak of themselves as though Islam is only them, do not consider us as Muslims.

Who wants to fxxing Muslim anyway? Muslims area billion of retarded people with dogmas, and they practise exactly the opposite of what they preach. Just looking at their faces, one can see the evil in their hearts, drawn in them , and they are full of deceptions. They try to deceive God, and they think they are deceiving him when they call for some thing and they do exactly the opposite. Muslims respect only the law that tells them not to eat pork, but every other law, they break by giving explanations to themselves as why it is ok, and even a necessity to break it. Just look in their eyes, and see the Devil inside them.

Soultion for Allawites: convert to Christianity soon. Your hearts are nearly as pure as the Christian hearts, and christianity will suit you better.


At 7/12/2005 08:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What makes you think that Noble Christians will accept murderous people like you. Syrian Christians never participated in your evil doing and will not accept Alawites who worship Ali into their noble faith and neither the Druzes. Find another Taqiyya.

At 7/12/2005 08:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Ali,
Stay out of our Christian Churches and sects please. Go worship Ali and seek his foregiveness for the evil deeds your people done in Syria.

At 7/12/2005 08:13:00 PM, Anonymous John Harman said...

Christians in no need for Alawi convert, thanks but no thanks.

At 7/12/2005 08:15:00 PM, Anonymous N.Malloof said...

Please suggest to your Alwaites to convert to Judaism or something like, like...invent another taqiya please.

At 7/12/2005 08:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Ali,
as a sunni muslim, let me say that the alawites are a treasure in our country, and i have the honor of having them as an essential part of syria's social fabric. While I know that the current regime is a tribal and sectarian regime, I also know that so were previous regimes. For example when we the sunni "elite" families (of which i happen to come from) were governing Syria, even in the period's of democracy in the 40's and 50's, i know that the alawites were treated horrendously. They were so impoversished and treated as outcasts, (even to this day i get upset when i hear all the sunnis who brag about how the alawites used to be our maids)and under the ottomans they were treated BRUTALLY (which is why they live in the mountains)...
So while i am against the sectarian nature of the regime, i also know that pretty much every other sector of syrian society is tribal at it's roots. SO i will forgive u for your words about muslims because i know how much pain we caused u in the past, but i only wish that u acknowledge what the present regime is doing.
And finally, i hope alawis don't actually convert to christianity (a religion that is also critical to the syrian mosaic) because this country should be a country of all it's citizens and no one should be forced to convert!!!!!


At 7/12/2005 08:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just learned from reading the Sunday New York Times magazine cover story that Bashir is a lurker here...wonder if he ever posts.

At 7/12/2005 08:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe that was him posting as "Syrian in Canada".

At 7/12/2005 08:59:00 PM, Anonymous Yazide said...

It is a lost cause for you, stupid Sunnis. You complain and complain, and complain, but those of you who are complaining are just despicable and cowards. Start preaching to your fellow Sunnis who pay millions of Syrian pounds to become members of so called Parliament. Start shooting all of those disgusting Sunnis who are stealing my country Syria in the name of few Allawis they put in the front line.

I say, fuck Sunnis, for they are hypocrites, liars, and without any honour. How come you keep compalining that a minority governs you? A minority of you say, 10% or less (that is also divided into many wings) governs you, and you have to kiss their shoes to become ministers, directors, officers ordered by Allawi soldiers. That is because you have no self respect, and you are cheap, and love money. Yes, it is Money that you are after, and you worship money. Your God that is Money is under my shoes.

You are lacking every sense of honour. You are simply despicable.

Live the Allawis always with their shoes on top of your heads.

At 7/12/2005 09:02:00 PM, Anonymous Yazide said...

And to the one calling himself "maalouif", putting down Jews: May the almight God always put the shoes of the great Jewish people on top of Sunnis heads. Amen!

At 7/12/2005 09:04:00 PM, Anonymous Omar Khlan said...

Alawites playing the deception game. Playing that old broken record about Alawites being oppressed, hated, persecuted and poor under the old Syrian notables.

You know that this is big lie, and it is probably a lie that was invented by modern day Alawites as an excuse for stealing the Syrian treasury and murdering Syrians by the tens of thousands.

The fact is, not a single person, minority or sect ever persecuted in Syria before the Alawaites/ Baathist/Nasserites came to power. Not the Christians 15 denominations in all, Druze, Devil worshiping Yezidis, and any other Moslem sects from Kurdish to Ismaili and definitely not the Alwaites. STOP THE LIE.

All these minorities and sects were treated equally under the law and in voting right. Many became top officials locally and Nationally and in the Syrian Parliament. Most were in the Army and other services. Hafez Assad, himself with all his Alwaites buddies were attending Homs Military Academy at the people expense. The people paid for his high military educations, trained him as a pilot and even paid him wages to get the schooling. The entire Syrian Military and most Government jobs were taken by Minorities especially Alawites.

The people of Syria trusted this Alawites man Assad and his sect and people, They did not persecuted neither him nor his sect. They trained him and many in his Alawites sect and placed in his hand the security of the country. He and his Alawites sect have betrayed Syria and the Syrian people. He had impoverished the nation, destroyed it’s thriving economy, he confiscated land at will and factories of Syrian families and gave it to his sect cronies and supporters. Hundreds of thousands to this day were unable to take control of their land, factories and other assets for decades, despite repeated request for him and his son Bashar. His army and securities apparatus has murdered hundreds of thousands Syrians, arrested and imprisoned them at will. The atrocity that was committed by the Assad Alawi regime is well documented and soon will be made available to the world community, the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament.

So I don’t understand why Alawites keep playing this lie over and over again to the stupid western media.
It was a serious mistake on part of the people of Syria to have trusted this minority in particular and all other minorities in general. You can be sure when we free Syria in couple of years we will never repeat this mistake ever again.

At 7/12/2005 09:09:00 PM, Anonymous A. Karemian said...

To Ali Johnson.
Sir, Christianity is based on love one another, not torture one another. When you understand what the Alawis did to Syrians and you repent and decide to change your faith and speak out against your past, you are welcome to join our faith. I am sorry, converting to Christianity would requires repetance and be born again. It is not changing to another cover to deceive people.

At 7/12/2005 09:17:00 PM, Anonymous ALi Johnson said...

To: . Karemian

You are a fucking Muslim.
You are a fucking Sunni also.

Fuck you,.

At 7/12/2005 09:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like all those minorities are again and again using lies and secterianism to justify the evil and wicked mind they have against the majority of Syrians. This is not about which wall you turn to pray. This is about oppressive minority rule in Syria and the torture is committing daily.

Another lie, is that Alawi could not possibly rule without the majority helping them. You know that all security, army, intelligence and top ranking party members are exclusively Alawis.
lies.more lies and more lies.

At 7/12/2005 09:24:00 PM, Anonymous a.Karemian said...

To: Mr. Johnson,
Sir, my father is Armenian from Persia and my mother Moslem from Syria. I don't know what denomination she is from.
Considering what you said to me. Please do not enter our churches. Thank you.

At 7/12/2005 09:24:00 PM, Anonymous A modest Allawi said...

And mr., you shall always be our servannts for you are inferior, and in love with your god, that is money.

Fuck you Sunnis.

At 7/12/2005 09:28:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

Ataturk was a great man with a great vision for his country and his Turk nation, no doubt.

At 7/12/2005 09:29:00 PM, Anonymous Mohamad said...

To the despicable creature who said this: "You can be sure when we free Syria in couple of years we will never repeat this mistake ever again.">

Try to free your ass first friom Alawi dicks.

You shall always be our servants for you are without honour or dignity.

At 7/12/2005 09:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To: Karemian "(my mother is a muslim etc...)"

Of course, the deception you and your ilks try tto pass by playing what you are not had to be related to your being with a fucking Muslim mother.

Take care. I do not like your fucking games when you try to pass yourself as a Christian when your manners are evidently those of a Fucked Muslim.

At 7/12/2005 09:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you bastard Karemian, are you saying that every Alalwi is of the Assad's klan, or is criminal?

That is what you said, and that is why you deserve all I am saying to you.

When you generalize, you get back the bullets youu shoot at others. Our bullets will be much stronger than yours. I have persoanlly tried so much, every where to reason with your ilks, but they can not understand. They insist that every Alalwi is of the Assad's klan, even when Assad massacred his family.

You are bastards. You deserve no pitty when you are despised and put down.

At 7/12/2005 10:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always hope to read an inteligent dialoge but after what i have read today i feel syria is not ready for democracy propably for another hundred year the only pearson who seemed logical without insulting everybody was the Syrian from he seems to understand that indivedualism what count not families or sect syria ,i beleive has 49 minorities,i lived in syria ,i left in 1980 not for political persecution but for economic oppertunity , iam doing well in the united state not because i am in politics i acualy never voted for the elected president althogh i vote every year in the election ,i am succesfull because of the economic opertunity that this country offers in the USA like in syria there are many religious sects and ethnic branches but they are all Tax paying american and that what should happen in syria free market with opertunity to all and tax payers,So everybody who wants to say bad things about syria ,first look at yourself in the mirror and ask:( WHAT DID OR DO I DO FOR SYRIA ) for the education that syria gave me.naim/USA

At 7/12/2005 10:15:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

"Syria: a Monopoly on Democracy," by Aita from Le Monde Dipl.

This is well written and accurate. How come Josh can't write straight talk article like this.

Also Josh, common, you really giving this character Perle more
importance than he deserve. I don't think anyone really care
about his opinion. Well, maybe
only those so called Syrian oppositions that invited him.
Neither them nor Perle has any effect on the future of reforms
in Syria and they for sure stand
no chance at regime change.

As to this secterian fighting going on. Why do we have the feeling that it is Orchestrated
by the Baath party or someone in Syria. It seems like just an unprovoked attack of sort. Please stop this embarresing discussion. You are ebmarressing all of us Syrians and making the Baath party looking good. This is orchastrated for sure.

At 7/12/2005 10:20:00 PM, Anonymous Mahammed said...


أنت سخيف، وكلامك متناقض. تقول أن على السوري أن يسأل نفسه ماذا فعل لسوريا التي أعطته التعليم؟ إبدأ بنفسك، وإسأل نفسك: ماذا فعلت أنت لسوريا غير إنتخاب حسبما تقول الديكتاتور ، والهروب إلى الولايات المتحدة لأن سوريا لا تعجبك ؟

تقول أن سوريا ليست جاهزة للديموقراطية، وهذا بالضبط ما يردده النظام الديكتاتوري الذي كما ترى خلق الحساسيات الطائفية حتى ضد أبرياء العلويين الذين لا يحبون أو يحترمون آل الأسد وشركاءهم اللصوص السنة والعلويين وغيرهم

أية جاهزية للديموقراطية؟ كانت سوريا دولة ديموقراطية قبل أن تتدخل السي أي إيه في عام 1949 وتدفع حسني الزعيم إلى إنقلابه العسكري ضد البرلمان النتخب.
لماذا لا تلوم بيت الأسد الذين حكموا منذ 1970، فلم يحضروا سوريا للديموقراطية، بل أبعدوها وجعلوا حكم الفرد وعبادته هدغهم الوحيد.

أنت شخص مرتاح، حصلت على نما تريد من سوريا على ما يظهر، وصحبت معك بعض المال السوري وأقمت به أعمالك في أمريكا، ولكن طبق سؤالك على نفسك في البداية.

At 7/13/2005 12:23:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

I am Mohammed, the Allawi. I say I want a system in Syria that is a copy cat of the American system. I need to see religion out of the State. State/religion are totally separated, and need to see that people deal with each other as human beings, regardless of any other attributes. Exactly as I have seen the Americans treat each other. I wish that America takes Syria, and applies the American system there in its exact form. I know that the American system is absolutely the best in the history of mankind. I have seen many systems, and experienced life in more than few. The place where you travel the country from one ocean to the other ocean, and still feel at home is no where else as real as in the USA, and that is the genius of the system. I do not understand why Arabs in particular fight the idea of citizenship, not based on stupid historical divisions, nor on religion, or ethnic backgrounds, but on the common interests of the people who share the land and decide to abide by one set of rules, and be all under the same law applied to all . Every one can and may worship his god in the manner they wish, be it money, or Allah, or Jesus, etc... Why should you condemn some one because he is Allawi, all of you who are spewing poison against Allawis regardless of what they really are? Why do you have to condemn some one just because the almighty God had chosen for him to be born from parents who are different than your parents? Are you saying that God loves you alone, and no others?

Those who speak in general terms against all Allawis deserve nothing else but to be despised and spat on. They continue to condemn Alalwis who support Assad, and Alawis who hate Assad a million times more than they. It is absurd, but I understand the Muslims narrow minddedness, and no wonder few of them blew themselves up in London this week. They are brainwashed to a degree that only death is acceptable to their minds.
Don't forget , I am the one who responded to Naeim in Arabic above, so you know...I despise people like Naeim even more than I despise you, my stupid Sunnis friends!

At 7/13/2005 12:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pretty dissappointing to read the this blog today.. I hope this is not a real reflection on the Syrian societies.

At 7/13/2005 01:22:00 AM, Anonymous Of Syrian origin said...

Here is a copy of part of a discussion between a Syrian Sunni and an Allawi. Yes, I despise people with such a mentality. See below:


سياسي تعبان
كلنا نعرف ان العلويين كانوا فقراء و يعيشون في الجبل لمئات السنين , في مدينة الاذقية في منطقتي كان العلويين يعملون عند الاغوات مرابعيين ,و كانو مظلومين جدا ,و كانت الناس تنظر اليهم باحتفار فوق تشغيلهم ببلاش كانوا ينتهكون اعراضهم , و اهل حماة كانوا يصعدون الى الجبل للسكر و الزنا مع الفتيات العلويات.

طيب طالما نحن السنة عادلين و منصفين لماذا لم نحترم هذا الشعب و لماذا لم ندخلهم حياتنا الاجتماعية, و لكن استغلينا هذا الشعب مئات السنين و لم نصلح امرهم , و لم نعاملهم كبشر و اظن الاستعمار الفرنسي فتح لهم ابواب التعليم و التخلص من العبودية. فيجب ان ننتقد انفسنا اولا .

انا اتكلم عن منطقتي انا اسكن في احدى القرى , و انا لست من القومية العربية , كانت السنة تحكم مدينة الاذقية و هي عبارة عن كم عائلة كبيرة , لما التركماني كان ينزل الى المدينة كانوا يستحقرونه , و ياخذون بضاعته بالقوة ثم يطرد , اليوم توجد مخابرات هي تظلم صح , و لكن قبل المخابرات كان هناك قبضيات ابو سكاكين هي التي ترهب الناس و من الطائفة السنية.باختصار اذا ظلمت فستظلم .يجب التخلص من الطائفية نحن نريد دولة قانون تحترم كل مواطن لا البعث و لا للتطرف.
انت تحوم وتحوم وتعود لتتهمني بانني اضع الدين اساس للمعيار
دعني افرق لك يا جاهل وبالتفصيل بين الدين وبين الطائفة السنية وبين الاخوان الذي تتهمنا باننا نتمي اليهم:
السنة السوريين هم مجتمع او طائفة او مجموعة من الناس فيهم الملتزم بدينه وفيهم الملحد وفيهم المتحرر وفيهم المعتدل وفيهم كل انواع البشر . وانت تلاحظ انه يوجد عدد من الاخوات البنات بصفات متعددة احيانا فمنهم من يرتدي النقاب ومنهم يرتدي المايوه !
اما الدين الاسلامي ففيه على الاقل 72 مجتمع ونحن واحد منهم
فالعلويين مثلا لهم اربع تصنيفات كما تعرف مثلا كما الاسلام بشكل عام
اما الاخوان فهم جماعة منتسبة الى السنة ولكنهم كان لهم دعم خارجي ولقد تمكنوا من التلاعب بالاحداث والمراهقين واما قياداتهم الان هي من اغنى رجال العالم وخاصة بالخليج
فهناك فرق بين الدين وبين الطائفة السنية
فنحن طائفة ولكن مسماة باسم السنة ولكن فيها مجموعة هائلة من انواع البشر
هذه الطائفة كما تعرف نسبتها لا تقل عن سبعين بالمائة بسوريا
وانظر الى ضباط الجيش وهم الاساس فكم نسبة السنة فيه ولا تعود لتذكر لي ضباط الشرطة والمخابرات فانا اقول لك ضباط الجيش فهم الاساس بالحياة وهم الذين يدافعون عن نظام معين او عن الدولة
اما نسبة ضباط الشرطة والمخابرات فهي لا تذكر امام عدد ضباط الجيش وضباط الجيش هم الاساس عند كل حالة طارئة او انقلاب او ثورة وضباط الشرطة والمخابرات هم لاشيء او قشة عند حدوث ذلك
من يستلم الاسلحة الكيميائية
القصر الجمهوري
الحرس الجمهوري
الضباط السنة في الشرطة والمخابرات هم موضوعون لمراقبة العلويين الذين ممكن ان يغيروا ولائهم لشخص اخر او ليراقبوا بعضهم باماكن وحالات لا يمكن وصول العلوية لهم
نحن يا سيد نذهب الى دائرة ويعاملوننا الموظفين العلوية باحتقار
والى الان ينظرون لنا نظرة الحقد واننا نحن اهل المدن وهم الفقراء مع انه واقسم بالله ان كل الاموال اصبحت معهم الان وهذا الشخص الذي يلوم عنده بيت بالمدينة وبالضيعة وحساب بالبنك وسيارات
نحن يا سيدي نتامل ان لا نحمل اي ضغينة او حقد مع كل الذي صار او مع كل القتل وووووو
ولكن الى الان لم نشعر او لم يسعى احد لان يشعرنا ان هذا بلدنا كما هو بلدكم
صدقني التفرقة والغربة والفقر والاحتقار والضغينة والظلم يولدون شعور عجيب لا احد يعلم متى سيتفجر
لا يوجد لدينا اي نظرة دينية وتقريبا جميعنا لم يعد يدعم الاخوان لانهم فقط كانوا السبب بتكريس حكم حافظ الاسد ولجهلهم وليس لانهم دينيين او ان نظرتهم غلط
انتم لكم مجلس طائفة وهذا معروف من الجميع ويجتمعون سريا ويقررون ويتحكمون ولكن اذا كنت لا تعلم فيمكن انك لست علوي او انك لا تعلم شيئ
ونحن لا يوجد لدينا اي شيئ
اذا كنت معارض فيمكنكم ان تؤسسوا مجلس طائفة ونحن نؤسس مجلسة طائفة ودعهم يتفاوضون او يمثلون الجميع
على اساس المشاركة بالحكم والمواطنة بسوريا فهل يعجبك ذلك
انت تقول تريد الديمقراطية وهذا ما نرغب ولكن كيف وهل تقبلون بها
انتم تقولون كلام علنا انكم تريدون الديمقراطية ولكن بينكم وبالسر انتم رافضون قطعيا والبرهان انتم تحكمون من اربعين عام ولم تطيقونها او تطلبوها
بل تتطلبون رفعت او تتطلبون المزيد من الديكتاتورية والحكم والعائلة الحاكمة ترفض خوفا من الانفجار فقط واما نحن لا نحل ولا نربط ولا يوجد ولا اي شخص يتكام باسمنا
وبالنسبة الى الاتهامات باننا كنا نظلمكم فهذا خطأ وخطأ كبير
كان صاحب الارضXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXحصلت بعض الحالات ولكنها ليست كثيرة وهي قليلة وكانت ناتجة عن السرقة او الخيانة من قبل احد الشخاص
وانت تعلم انه الان من اين XXXXXXXوماذا يفعلوا ومن اين هم وهل يوجد الان لنا اي سلطة عليهم كي نجبرهم على فعل هكذا امور
الاقطاعي كانت له اراضيه وكان يعطي كل شخص حقه ولم يكذب عليهم ومن يعمل ياخذ حقه ومن لا يعمل لا والجميع كان موافق
وانتم انتقلتم للمدن وحتى الاراضي الان لا تعملون فيها
انتم رسمتم خطة لتهجيرنا وانتم تستولون على المدن وتهجروننا
ولكن لاحظ هنا كل شيئ معروف وسياتي يوم يعود كل شيئ لطبيعته

لاتتعرض لاعراض الناس يافهمان
تجاوزت حدود الادب وفقدت كل مقومات الحوار


You may follow the rest, but this is how Some Sunnis see life. They are basically absorbed with dogmatic beliefs, and the sense of false superiority over others. I say false, because it is easy to spot how retarded their way of thinking is. They still can not see that God is not their sole servant. They think God is their servant who chose them to be the masters of minorities.

At 7/13/2005 05:09:00 AM, Anonymous Tarek said...

Man what the hell happened to this blog? Where did these racist pricks come from all of a sudden? What is wrong with you people? and i mean the whole lot of you from all sects. The only exception that i remember was Syrian in Canada.

You CANNOT generalize like this, there are good and bad people in every religion. When will you ignorant bastards know that religion is an Man what the hell happened to this blog? Where did these racist pricks come from all of a sudden? What is wrong with you people??? ALwaite, Sunni's, Christian and all of you bastards? You CANNOT generalize like this, there are good and bad people in every religion. When will you ignorant bastards know that religion is an obstacle?? Every religion thinks its the best, the Masai in Kenya running half naked believing they are the chosen ones, Jews are God's chosen people, Christians and Muslims think they have the best religion. What has religion brought us but wars?

And for the Non-Alwaites in this forum I would like to ask you to think what would your sect have done to minorities if they had ruled? Love and respect them no doubt (my ass)

And if your too stupid to have noticed yet I am an bad little “Kaffer” (Sunni background) and I believe that anyone from any sect has the right to rule Syria or any country for that matter as long as he/she can do a good job. And to say that only Sunni's can rule because they are the majority is disgusting and wrong. The Majority of the Syrian population is backward thinking and retarded does that mean we need to be ruled by one them???

People like you are the reason why we need a police state, because god forbid we get a democracy one day and morons like you start running the country with your hate preaching. Syria is supposed to be an example of how various sects live together, but your making it sound like Lebanon in the early 80’s.

At 7/13/2005 07:16:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Here comes Tarek to, as predicted, and as usual, attack Syrians for lack of maturity, and to preach thinking he derserved this position now. Yes, the regime wants always to portray itself like Tarek is doing. How come the Syrian people are backward, Mr. Tarek? How come after 40 years of one family rule, and with absolute power, and absolute stability that the regime is so proud of, the Syriuans are so retarded? You may say that Syria is poor, and the Assad family can not educate the people for the lack of resources, and money, but only 4 weeks ago, we heard another example of one of the Assad family having left 5 billion dollars in cash to his sons and ex wives went to court in France to fight over this inheritance, that beside what he owns in Syria in real Estate. One single brother of Hafez Assad (WHo himself was alsoo listed as one of the world billionaires in the past), and then remembering what Basel Assad left in Swiss Banks, and what Rifaat has in Europe and teh US (billions also), and what others, many others in the regime like Khadam, SHehabi, Tlas, etc... own in foreging banks (billions also), where did these families get this money from? Isn't Syria a poor country that it can not educate this stupid bunch because of the lack of resources?

Then, Tarek (You are despicabl;e, and I hate stupid people like you), who on Earth gave the men of this regime the right to come to power, and to stay for decaded, and to inherit Syria to their children? Aren't they also part of this ignorant Syrian people (that doesn;t deserve democracy)? WHo gave you the right to decide whether this people deserve democracy or not? How long will you stay in power, and decide for the people that only you are mature and the rest of us are not?

Again, Tarek, you are more despicable than both the Angry Sunnis who want syria to be owned by them again from a feudal point of view, and the lack of human understanding, And the angry Alawis who are in opposition, but still the Sunnis can not trust them because they think they support the regime in secret and are attacked as much as the Allawis who are stealing and terrorizing Syria and its people.

So, Tarek, in short: You are the igorant selfish immature Syrian, not the majority of Syrians you and your regime wants always to portray as immature and does not "deserve" democracy, as if democracy a gift you possess and decide if the recipient deserves be given this gift or not> What a trick you want to continue to play!

Mohammed, the Allawi

At 7/13/2005 10:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Alawites are stupid fucks.

At 7/13/2005 01:19:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Anonymous above said this:
"At 10:21 AM, Anonymous said...
God Alawites are stupid fucks."

It is clear, and evident that this is the work of some Baathi (Excuse me, an Assadist servant in the Mukhabarat) who wants to stir sectarian fights instead a discussion here.

Your games do work sometimes, but not always. Take care!

Mohammed (The Allawi, not that I give a damn)

At 7/13/2005 02:49:00 PM, Anonymous kingcrane said...


Some of the contributors are Zionists who are trying to stir hatred on this most excellent blog, and the way to tell which ones is "Bi Qalb Al Sha'er"...

I am a senior citizen whose family is originally from the Beqaa valley, but who grew up in Aleppo and went to Damascus University.

We should all respect each other's religion; further, we should refrain from denying to each other which religion they claim to belong to; though born Christian, I have friends in every one of the religious communities of Syria. I am proud to be an Arab, and I want to make the case for Arab secularism, ie secularism the Arab way, rather than secular Arabism, ie Arabism the secular way. The cryptic (is it pro-neo-con or anti-neo-con?) Syrian Republican Party blogger has a point when he gives the example of Ataturk, the half-Sunni half-Kurdish father of modern Turkey, who was an ardent secularist and who created modern Turkey; the man had a vision; the fact that Ataturk's vision was due to alcohol rather than religious fanaticism is a very secondary point (and, yes, I am against clerics in religion, including the religious zealots of the current administration in this, the last remaining superpower).

So, please refrain from these attacks on religion, on political appartenance, or on area of origin; we have to live together, and we have to prove that we are capable of doing so without Western interference.

As to Mohammed, please note that you are a 'Alawi, not a 'Allawi (the latter has a shaddeh on the letter "l" and would be pronounced like the name of the former Iraqi prime minister).

As to the article, I agree on the content. Clearly, it is a "behaviorist" account of events, but some of the events in the background are not fully explained (the reason might be size limitations for the text). The era (mid-fifties) that ushered the union with Egypt, whereby Ba'athists and crypto-Ba'athists were the main proponents of the union was the preambule to the first Ba'ath administration (4 years), that of Amine Hafez, which was followed by that of the second Ba'ath administration (2 years), that of Noureddine Atassi. Thus, Hafez Assad, who became President after the brief Khatib interlude, is not the second but third wave Ba'ath generation. Hafez Assad was promoted at each step, each change in the administration, until his own presidency started. Yet, from the beginning, Assad had vision, a pragmatic vision that is. The Ba'ath was rich on ideologies that ruined Syria through the union with Egypt (I have nothing against the political side of the Syrian-Egyptian axis under Nasser, but I am rather unhappy about the many other aspects of the union; most of my family went back home to Lebanon for economic reasons at the begining of the union, while others remained until the poorly planned Arabization of education in 1967). In contrast to the Ba'ath ideologists, Hafez Assad was in the tradition of the "l'etat, c'est moi" Statesmen and was quite successfull in many aspects.

On another subject, the opinions of Richard Perle, though worth mentioning, are not what will move Syria. Rather, as pointed in the article, the sphere of influence is the young Assad, and I believe he is up to the task of starting the necessary reforms for the Syrian people.

At 7/13/2005 03:06:00 PM, Anonymous KingMustafa said...

To Kingrane:

I agree with some of your post, and then, I see you work for the Syrian regime, very smartly, I might say.

Concerning Mr. Mohammed (The Allawi). I agree the adjective is Alawi, not Allawi, but I think he is not Alawi at all. What do you think of my discovery?

At 7/13/2005 03:14:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

To Kingcrane:

Were you comparing General De Gaul to General Hafez Assad?

This is almost an insult. It is an insult. De Gaul is a great man by all measures, and HUMBLE at the same time. That man resigned as the president of France in 1969 because he had promised that if his REFORM referrundum did not get 66% of the French votes, that he would resign. His referrundum won, but did not reach the 66% so the man resigned, and never dreamed of passing the REPUBLIC to his sons or grand sons. The Man wanted a moodest family funeral, and that was what he had. This is unlike your hero Hafez Assasd, that ego maniac crazy criminal who with the rest of his family members stole 40 Billion Dollars from Syria, and put them into foreign banks. We just heard of some of the fortune that unemployed brother of Hafez, Jamil left to his kids, $5 billion dollars, and so it goes for other Assad family members. That is compared with the great De Gaul? Damn you.

Yes, this is Mohammed, (The Alawi).

At 7/14/2005 09:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mahammed , i hope you read this post ,what you said indicate the kind of person you are (inak be ma feeh yondaho)i think you undersand this i went to midical shool in syia i came to the Us with 2000 dollars now 25 years later i sends 6-10 thousand dollars to syria with my mother to spen on syrian charitie and family ,in the Us i give to arab american an palestinian charitie ,now tell me besides badmouthing syria what do you do.please grow up and discus spesific problem and suggest solution.naim/usa

At 7/14/2005 09:31:00 PM, Anonymous Mohammed said...

Mr. Naeim:

I think you were accepted in so called Medical School in Damascus using the Parachutist Program for the Stupid Baaties who could not otherwise enter any school. The proof: "25 years later", and your English is still Baathist, meaning a the language of a thief.

So, why did you leave your paradise? How come your parents need money from the USA? The revolution is not enough to fill their pockets?

Mohammed: Alawi

At 7/14/2005 09:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No no no, naim; what happened to your preaching to pay syria back for the education it gave you? Did they teach you medicine so you would practise in the US? Shame on you!

And what about Syria's Assad? How shameful of you to choose another country to live in. Isn't it your revolutionary heaven? How could you leave your friend Bashar? Oh, you only go back every 7 years to vote for him? But you can vote from New York where you are, mr., you don;t have to go back to vote. The Embassy votes for every Syrian anyway. If not, I know your name enters in the election lists some how. It is obligatory. What are you studying? Labs?

As for me, I specialized in pesticides.

At 7/14/2005 11:28:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

I find this article to be very simplistic in some of its assumptions:

"France wanted to divide the country into separate states along religious and regional lines (Damascus, Aleppo, the Alawites, the Druze). The various political elites joined to achieve total unification (1936-42). They overrode popular opposition and conceded the creation of an independent Lebanon, including four districts that had previously depended on Damascus, to avoid the creation of an intractable confessional Lebanese state, with a Maronite majority, on Syria's borders."

Druze and Alawites at the time (remember the letter sent by the father of Hafez el Assad to the French authorities) did not want to be united with Syria. But France wanted to avoid sedition in Syria in these troubled time (it was on the edge of war with Germany) and decided to calm syrian nationalists by suppressing local autonomies (France later used the same approach with Turkey by giving to it Alexandretta).

As for Lebanon, it was forged in its current form in 1922, well before the 30's. Syrian nationalists did not have any role in it. Saying that Syria decided to weaken maronites by giving them syrian districts is nothing more than manipulating the reality.

This article is typical of a leftis perspective that denies the basic fact that arab minorities wants to escape from their dhimmi status at all cost.

At 7/14/2005 11:36:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

I just began a blog (in french) to convince people that communities must be separated through federalism .

Instead of providing arguments, I'll just put a link to this comment page. It's worth all the arguments of the world.

Why bother living with each other if nobody wants to? Federalism is the solution.

At 7/15/2005 12:13:00 AM, Anonymous Mohammed said...


Fedralism? Where? In that tiny little country of Syria where you have 300 different types of people living in it? Are you crazy?

As an Alawi, I refuse to live in an Alawi state especially after the regime has built few inhumane rich families such as the Assads, and Dubas, And Kenaans. They will continue to dominate the Allawis and use them as their servants and scare them to hell as the have been doing for so long now. I would prefer to live under a Sunni leadership if this happens, and will not ever accept to live under the domination of those thugs that have been terrorizing the Allawi villagers since 1970. They have no heart, and it is that simple to see.


PS: These people dream of establishing an Alawi state within Syria or without.

At 3/06/2007 04:31:00 AM, Blogger raffat said...

I read some of these letters and idée; I think it's not that late to have a true civil live in Syria. Where there are no differences between the sons of Syria, we need to communicate, to create a dialog and understanding to create a real citizenship where the Low is to make justice for all.


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