Monday, September 26, 2005

Iraqi Tribes in Syria - "Saddam's Revenge," by Joe Kline

Time Magazine has published a devastating article about how America has mishandled the war in Iraq. Their is a very interesting part "Mishandling the Tribes" which explains Syria's role in welcoming the Sunni tribal leaders of Iraq. I will publish an article by Abdullah Taa'i, who writes that "Because the influence the tribal sheikhs in Iraq used to enjoy has been taken from them," their counter-parts in Syria have now become much more powerful as the Iraqi tribal members look to them for succor. They are appealing to the Syrian government for help for their Iraqi confreres. "This will move the central block of tribes towards Syria," Abdullah writes.

Whereas American leaders in Iraq looked on the tribes as "a vestige of the past [with]no place in the new democratic Iraq," according to a former intelligence officer Joe Kline interviewed, and refused to draw them onto America's side by paying them subsidies, Bashar al-Asad has been cultivating them. This has been a dangerous gamble on Asad's part. America has demanded his help in crushing them, and Asad has refused. In the coming months, America will likely force him to crack down on them as a result of his mistakes in Lebanon. The US has outmaneuvered Asad on the regional chessboard. The tribes can hurt Asad and make trouble in Syria, but America can hurt him much more. The tribes are not going away, however, and are masters at revenge and survival. The Syrian government will not abandon them entirely because all of Eastern Syria is tribal.

They will remain Syrian, when the Americans have quit Iraq. Also, should Iraq split into three, Syria will inherit the Sunni tribes, who will have no where to turn for help but to Damascus.

The original draft of my op-ed, the last paragraph which was eliminated, read:

A first step toward [testing Syrian willingness to improve relations with the US and Iraq] is to reopen the oil pipeline running from Kirkuk in northern Iraq to Banyas on the Syria coast. If Syria can use its influence with the Sunni tribes that span both sides of its border to move oil from Iraq to global markets, everyone would be the richer.
It would have been a way to draw all sides into trying to cooperate.

Saddam's Revenge
The secret history of U.S. mistakes, misjudgments and intelligence failures that let the Iraqi dictator and his allies launch an insurgency now ripping Iraq apart
Sunday, Sep. 18, 2005

Five men met in an automobile in a baghdad park a few weeks after the fall of Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime in April 2003, according to U.S. intelligence sources. One of the five was Saddam. The other four were among his closest advisers. The agenda: how to fight back against the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. A representative of Saddam's former No. 2, Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, was there. But the most intriguing man in the car may have been a retired general named Muhammad Yunis al-Ahmed, who had been a senior member of the Military Bureau, a secret Baath Party spy service. The bureau's job had been to keep an eye on the Iraqi military—and to organize Baathist resistance in the event of a coup. Now a U.S. coup had taken place, and Saddam turned to al-Ahmed and the others and told them to start "rebuilding your networks."

The 45-minute meeting was pieced together months later by U.S. military intelligence. It represents a rare moment of clarity in the dust storm of violence that swirls through central Iraq. The insurgency has grown well beyond its initial Baathist core to include religious extremist and Iraqi nationalist organizations, and plain old civilians who are angry at the American occupation. But Saddam's message of "rebuilding your networks" remains the central organizing principle.

More than two years into the war, U.S. intelligence sources concede that they still don't know enough about the nearly impenetrable web of what Iraqis call ahl al-thiqa (trust networks), which are at the heart of the insurgency. It's an inchoate movement without a single inspirational leader like Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh—a movement whose primary goal is perhaps even more improbable than the U.S. dream of creating an Iraqi democracy: restoring Sunni control in a country where Sunnis represent just 20% of the population. Intelligence experts can't credibly estimate the rebels' numbers but say most are Iraqis. Foreigners account for perhaps 2% of the suspected guerrillas who have been captured or killed, although they represent the vast majority of suicide bombers. ("They are ordnance," a U.S. intelligence official says.) The level of violence has been growing steadily. There have been roughly 80 attacks a day in recent weeks.

Suicide bombs killed more than 200 people, mostly in Baghdad, during four days of carnage last week, among the deadliest since Saddam's fall.

More than a dozen current and former intelligence officers knowledgeable about Iraq spoke with TIME in recent weeks to share details about the conflict. They voiced their growing frustration with a war that they feel was not properly anticipated by the Bush Administration, a war fought with insufficient resources, a war that almost all of them now believe is not winnable militarily. "We're good at fighting armies, but we don't know how to do this," says a recently retired four-star general with Middle East experience. "We don't have enough intelligence analysts working on this problem. The Defense Intelligence Agency [dia] puts most of its emphasis and its assets on Iran, North Korea and China. The Iraqi insurgency is simply not top priority, and that's a damn shame."

The intelligence officers stressed these points: They believe that Saddam's inner circle—especially those from the Military Bureau—initially organized the insurgency's support structure and that networks led by former Saddam associates like al-Ahmed and al-Duri still provide money and logistical help.

The Bush Administration's fixation on finding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in 2003 diverted precious intelligence resources that could have helped thwart the fledgling insurgency.

From the beginning of the insurgency, U.S. military officers have tried to contact and negotiate with rebel leaders, including, as a senior Iraq expert puts it, "some of the people with blood on their hands."

The frequent replacement of U.S. military and administrative teams in Baghdad has made it difficult to develop a counterinsurgency strategy.

The accumulation of blunders has led a Pentagon guerrilla-warfare expert to conclude, "We are repeating every mistake we made in Vietnam."

The Wrong Focus

it is no secret that General Tommy Franks didn't want to hang around Iraq very long. As Franks led the U.S. assault on Baghdad in April 2003, his goal—and that of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld—was to get to the capital as quickly as possible with a minimal number of troops. Franks succeeded brilliantly at that task. But military-intelligence officers contend that he did not seem interested in what would come next. "He never once asked us for a briefing about what happened once we got to Baghdad," says a former Army intelligence officer attached to the invasion force. "He said, 'It's not my job.' We figured all he wanted to do was get in, get out and write his book." (Franks, through a spokesman, declined to comment for this article.)

The rush to Baghdad, critics say, laid the groundwork for trouble to come. In one prewar briefing, for example, Lieut. General David McKiernan—who commanded the land component of the coalition forces—asked Franks what should be done if his troops found Iraqi arms caches on the way to Baghdad. "Just put a lock on 'em and go, Dave," Franks replied, according to a former U.S. Central Command (Centcom) officer. Of course, you couldn't simply put a lock on ammunition dumps that stretched for several square miles—dumps that would soon be stripped and provide a steady source of weaponry for the insurgency.

U.S. troops entered Baghdad on April 5. There was euphoria in the Pentagon. The looting in the streets of Baghdad and the continuing attacks on coalition troops were considered temporary phenomena that would soon subside. On May 1, President George W. Bush announced, "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended," on the deck of an aircraft carrier, near a banner that read mission accomplished.

Shortly thereafter, Franks moved his headquarters from Qatar back to Florida. He was followed there in June by McKiernan, whose Baghdad operation included several hundred intelligence officers who had been keeping track of the situation on the ground. "Allowing McKiernan to leave was the worst decision of the war," says one of his superiors.

(The decision, he says, was Franks'.) "We replaced an operational force with a tactical force, which meant generals were replaced by colonels." Major General Ricardo Sanchez, a relatively junior commander and a recent arrival in Iraq, was put in charge. "After McKiernan left, we had fewer than 30 intelligence officers trying to figure who the enemy was," says a top-ranking military official who was in Iraq at the time. "We were starting from scratch, with practically no resources."

On May 23, the U.S. made what is generally regarded as a colossal mistake. L. Paul Bremer—the newly arrived administrator of the U.S. government presence, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)—disbanded the Iraqi army and civil service on Rumsfeld's orders. "We made hundreds of thousands of people very angry at us," says a Western diplomat attached to the CPA, "and they happened to be the people in the country best acquainted with the use of arms."

Thousands moved directly into the insurgency—not just soldiers but also civil servants who took with them useful knowledge of Iraq's electrical grid and water and sewage systems. Bremer says he doesn't regret that decision, according to his spokesman Dan Senor. "The Kurds and Shi'ites didn't want Saddam's army in business," says Senor, "and the army had gone home. We had bombed their barracks. How were we supposed to bring them back and separate out the bad guys? We didn't even have enough troops to stop the looting in Baghdad."

A third decision in the spring of 2003—to make the search for WMD the highest intelligence priority—also hampered the U.S. ability to fight the insurgents. In June, former weapons inspector David Kay arrived in Baghdad to lead the Iraq Survey Group (isg), which had 1,200 intelligence officers and support staff members assigned to search for WMD. They had exclusive access to literally tons of documents collected from Saddam's office, intelligence services and ministries after the regime fell. Kay clashed repeatedly with U.S. military leaders who wanted access not only to the documents but also to some of the resources—analysts, translators, field agents—at his disposal. "I was in meetings where [General John] Abizaid was pounding on the table trying to get some help," says a senior military officer. "But Kay wouldn't budge."

Indeed, a covert-intelligence officer working for the isg told TIME correspondent Brian Bennett that he had been ordered in August 2003 to "terminate" contact with Iraqi sources not working on WMD. As a result, the officer says, he stopped meeting with a dozen Iraqis who were providing information—maps, photographs and addresses of former Baathist militants, safe houses and stockpiles of explosives—about the insurgency in the Mosul area. "The President's priority—and my mission—was to focus on WMD," Kay told TIME. "Abizaid needed help with the counterinsurgency. He said, 'You have the only organization in this country that's working.' But military guys are not used to people telling them no, and so, yes, there was friction."

Sanchez learned that autumn that there were 38 boxes of documents specifically related to the city of Fallujah, a hotbed of Sunni rebellion. Months later, when military-intelligence officers finally were able to review some of the documents, many of which had been marked no intelligence value, the officers found information that they now say could have helped the U.S. stop the insurgency's spread.

Among the papers were detailed civil-defense plans for cities like Fallujah, Samarra and Ramadi and rosters of leaders and local Baathist militia who would later prove to be the backbone of the insurgency in those cities.

U.S. military-intelligence sources say many of the documents still have not been translated or thoroughly analyzed. "You should see the warehouse in Qatar where we have this stuff," said a high-ranking former U.S. intelligence official. "We'll never be able to get through it all. Who knows?" he added, with a laugh. "We may even find the VX [nerve gas] in one of those boxes."

Misjudging The Enemy
As early as June 2003, the CIA told bush in a briefing that he faced a "classic insurgency" in Iraq. But the White House didn't fully trust the CIA, and on June 30, Rumsfeld told reporters, "I guess the reason I don't use the term guerrilla war is that it isn't ... anything like a guerrilla war or an organized resistance." The opposition, he claimed, was composed of "looters, criminals, remnants of the Baathist regime" and a few foreign fighters. Indeed, Rumsfeld could claim progress in finding and capturing most of the 55 top members of Saddam's regime—the famous Iraqi deck of cards. (To date, 44 of the 55 have been captured or killed.) Two weeks after Rumsfeld's comment, the Secretary of Defense was publicly contradicted by Centcom commander Abizaid, who said the U.S. indeed faced "a classical guerrilla-type campaign" in Iraq.

In a sense, both Rumsfeld and Abizaid were right. The backbone of the insurgency was thousands of Baathist remnants organizing a guerrilla war against the Americans. According to documents later seized by the U.S. military, Saddam—who had been changing locations frequently until his capture in December 2003—tried to stay in charge of the rebellion. He fired off frequent letters filled with instructions for his subordinates. Some were pathetic. In one, he explained guerrilla tradecraft to his inner circle—how to keep in touch with one another, how to establish new contacts, how to remain clandestine. Of course, the people doing the actual fighting needed no such advice, and decisions about whom to attack when and where were made by the cells. Saddam's minions, including al-Duri and al-Ahmed, were away from the front lines, providing money, arms and logistical support for the cells.

But Saddam did make one strategic decision that helped alter the course of the insurgency. In early autumn he sent a letter to associates ordering them to change the target focus from coalition forces to Iraqi "collaborators"—that is, to attack Iraqi police stations. The insurgency had already announced its seriousness and lethal intent with a summer bombing campaign. On Aug. 7, a bomb went off outside the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad, killing 19 people. Far more ominous was the Aug. 19 blast that destroyed the U.N.'s headquarters in Baghdad, killing U.N. representative Sergio Vieira de Mello and 22 others. Although al-Qaeda leader Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the attack, U.S. intelligence officials believe that remnants of Saddam's Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) carried it out. "It was a pure Baathist operation," says a senior U.S. intelligence official. "The Iraqis who served as U.N. security guards simply didn't show up for work that day. It wasn't a suicide bomb. The truck driver left the scene. Our [explosives] team found that the bomb had the distinctive forensics of Saddam's IIS."

On Oct. 27, 2003, the assaults on "collaborators" that Saddam had requested began with attacks on four Iraqi police stations—and on International Red Cross headquarters—in Baghdad, killing 40 people.

The assaults revealed a deadly new alliance between the Baathists and the jihadi insurgents. U.S. intelligence agents later concluded, after interviewing one of the suicide bombers, a Sudanese who failed in his attempt, that the operation had been a collaboration between former Baathists and al-Zarqawi. The Baathists had helped move the suicide bombers into the country, according to the U.S. sources, and then provided shelter, support (including automobiles) and coordination for the attacks.

Mishandling The Tribes
By almost every account, sanchez and bremer did not get along. The conflict was predictable—the soldiers tended to be realists fighting a nasty war; the civilians, idealists trying to create a new Iraq—but it was troubling nonetheless. The soldiers wanted to try diplomacy and began reaching out to the less extreme elements of the insurgency to bring them into negotiations over Iraq's political future. The diplomats took a harder line, refusing to negotiate with the enemy.

Military-intelligence officers presented the CPA with a plan to make a deal with 19 subtribes of the enormous Dulaimi clan, located in al-Anbar province, the heart of the Sunni triangle. The tribes "had agreed to disarm and keep us informed of traffic going through their territories," says a former Army intelligence officer. "All it would have required from the CPA was formal recognition that the tribes existed—and $3 million." The money would go toward establishing tribal security forces. "It was a foot in the door, but we couldn't get the CPA to move." Bremer's spokesman Senor says a significant effort was made to reach out to the tribes. But several military officials dispute that. "The standard answer we got from Bremer's people was that tribes are a vestige of the past, that they have no place in the new democratic Iraq," says the former intelligence officer. "Eventually they paid some lip service and set up a tribal office, but it was grudging."

The Baathists, on the other hand, were more active in courting the tribes. Starting in November 2003, tribal sheiks and Baathist expatriates held a series of monthly meetings at the Cham Palace hotel in Damascus. They were public events, supposedly meetings to express solidarity with the Iraqi opposition to the U.S. occupation.

(The January 2004 gathering was attended by Syrian President Bashar Assad.) Behind the scenes, however, the meetings provided a convenient cover for leaders of the insurgency, including Muhammad Yunis al-Ahmed, the former Military Bureau director, to meet, plan and distribute money. A senior military officer told TIME that U.S. intelligence had an informant—a mid-level Baathist official who belonged to the Dulaimi tribe—attending the meetings and keeping the Americans informed about the insurgents' growing cohesion. But the increased flow of information did not produce a coherent strategy for fighting the growing rebellion.

The Dealmaking Goes Nowhere
Saddam was captured on Dec. 13, 2003, in a spider hole on a farm near Tikrit. His briefcase was filled with documents identifying many of the former Baathists running support networks for the insurgency. It was the first major victory of what the U.S. called the postcombat phase of the war: in early 2004, 188 insurgents were captured, many of whom had been mentioned in the seized documents. Although Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, Saddam's former No. 2, narrowly evaded capture, much of his Mosul and Kirkuk apparatus was rolled up. Baathist financial networks were disrupted in several provinces. The CIA, in fact, believes that Saddam's capture permanently crippled the Baathist wing of the insurgency. "A guy like al-Duri is more symbol than substance at this point," a U.S. intelligence official says. "The parade has passed him by."

Military-intelligence officers who were in Iraq at the time, however, saw evidence that the Baathists regrouped in the spring of 2004, when the U.S. was preoccupied with battling a rebellion led by Shi'ite extremist Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq's south and with the fight for the rebel-held city of Fallujah in the Sunni triangle. And the U.S. intelligence officials believe that some former regime loyalists began to be absorbed by other rebel groups, including those made up of religious extremists and Iraqi nationalists.

Al-Ahmed, say U.S. intelligence officials, is still running the support network he began building after the meeting with Saddam in the car. In May 2004 al-Ahmed set off on one of his periodic tours of the combat zone, meeting with local insurgent leaders, distributing money and passing along news—a trip later pieced together by U.S. intelligence analysts wading through the mountain of data and intelligence provided by low-level local informants. Al-Ahmed started in his hometown of Mosul, where he had been supervising—from a distance—the rebuilding of the local insurgent network disrupted after Saddam's capture. He moved on to Hawija, where he met a man thought to be a senior financier of the insurgency in north-central Iraq. After a brief stay at a farmhouse near Samarra, he met with military leaders of religious and nationalist rebel groups in Baghdad and with Rashid Taan Kazim, one of the few faces from the deck of cards (al-Duri is another) still at large, who is thought to be running a support network for the insurgency in the north and west of Iraq. Al-Ahmed's final stop was Ramadi, where he distributed $500,000 to local insurgency leaders.

What is remarkable is the extent to which the U.S. is aware of al-Ahmed's activities. "We know where Muhammad Yunis al-Ahmed lives in Damascus," says a U.S. intelligence official. "We know his phone number. He believes he has the protection of the Syrian government, and that certainly seems to be the case." But he hasn't been aggressively pursued by the U.S. either—in part because there has been a persistent and forlorn hope that al-Ahmed might be willing to help negotiate an end to the Baathist part of the insurgency. A senior U.S. intelligence officer says that al-Ahmed was called at least twice by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi—an old acquaintance—and that a representative of an "other government agency," a military euphemism that usually means the CIA, "knocked on his door in 2004 and asked if he was willing to talk. He wasn't."

Starting Over Again
In the middle of 2004, the U.S. again changed its team in Baghdad. Bremer and Sanchez left, replaced by Ambassador John Negroponte and General George Casey. At the same time, there was a new transitional Iraqi government, led by Iyad Allawi. Negroponte set up a joint military-diplomatic team to review the situation in the country. The consensus was that things were a mess, that little had been accomplished on either the civilian or the military side and that there was no effective plan for dealing with the insurgency. The new team quickly concluded that the insurgency could not be defeated militarily—but that it might be divided. The attempts to engage potential allies like al-Ahmed became the unstated policy as U.S. and Iraqi officials sought ways to isolate foreign terrorists like al-Zarqawi.

But progress in the effort to defuse the insurgency through dealmaking has been slow—and in some cases has led the U.S. to ease pressure on individuals tied to rebel groups. Consider the careful handling of Harith al-Dhari, chairman of the Association of Muslim Scholars and one of Iraq's most important Sunni leaders. In late 2003, several insurgent groups began to meet regularly in the Umm al-Qura mosque in Baghdad, over which al-Dhari presides. According to U.S. intelligence reports, al-Dhari—who has said he might encourage his organization to take part in the democratic process—did not attend the meetings. But his son Muthanna—who is thought to be an important link between the nationalist and religious strains of the insurgency—did. In August 2004, the son was arrested after his car scanned positive for explosives residue. But he was quickly released, a retired dia analyst says, under pressure from Iraq's government, to keep channels open to his father. "It would be difficult to lure Harith into the tent if Muthanna were in jail," says the former officer.

By April 2004, U.S. military-intelligence officers were also holding face-to-face talks with Abdullah al-Janabi, a rebel leader from Fallujah. The meetings ended after al-Zarqawi—who had taken up residence in Fallujah—threatened to kill al-Janabi if the talks continued, according to U.S. and Iraqi sources. But attempts to negotiate with other insurgents are continuing, including with Saddam's former religious adviser. So far, the effort has been futile. "We keep hoping they'll come up with a Gerry Adams," says a U.S. intelligence official, referring to the leader of the Irish Republican Army's political wing. "But it just hasn't happened."

Civil War?
The leadership in Baghdad changed yet again this year. Negroponte left Baghdad in March to become director of national intelligence. He was replaced by Zalmay Khalilzad. But the turnover in the Iraqi government was far more important: religious Shi'ites, led by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, took charge, a severe irritant to many Sunnis. "The insurgents see al-Jaafari as a traitor, a man who spent the Iran-Iraq war in Iran," says a senior military officer. "And many of the best officers we have trained in the new Iraqi army—Sunnis and secular Shi'ites who served in Saddam's army—feel the same way."

Al-Jaafari did not help matters by opening diplomatic ties with Iran, apologizing for Iraq's behavior in the Iran-Iraq war and cutting economic deals with the Iranians.

In fact, some Iraq experts in the U.S. intelligence community have come to the conclusion that Iraqis' courageous recent steps toward democracy—the elections in January and the writing of a constitution that empowers the religious Shi'ites and the Kurds (though it is resoundingly opposed by the Sunnis)—have left the country in a more precarious position. "The big conversation in our shop these days," says a military-intelligence officer, "is whether it would be a good thing if the new constitution is voted down [in the public referendum] next month."

Iraq experts in the intelligence community believe that the proposed constitution, which creates autonomous regions for the Kurds and Shi'ites in the oil-rich north and south, could heighten the chances of an outright civil war. "A lot of us who have followed this thing have come to the conclusion that the Sunnis are the wolves—the real warriors—and the religious Shi'ites are the sheep," says an intelligence officer. "The Sunnis have the power to maintain this violence indefinitely."

Another hot debate in the intelligence community is whether to make a major change in the counterinsurgency strategy—to stop the aggressive sweeps through insurgent-riddled areas, like the recent offensive in Tall 'Afar, and try to concentrate troops and resources with the aim of improving security and living conditions in population centers like Baghdad. "We've taken Samarra four times, and we've lost it four times," says an intelligence officer. "We need a new strategy."

But the Pentagon leadership is unlikely to support a strategy that concedes broad swaths of territory to the enemy. In fact, none of the intelligence officers who spoke with TIME or their ranking superiors could provide a plausible road map toward stability in Iraq. It is quite possible that the occupation of Iraq was an unwise proposition from the start, as many U.S. allies in the region warned before the invasion. Yet, despite their gloom, every one of the officers favors continuing—indeed, augmenting—the war effort. If the U.S. leaves, they say, the chaos in central Iraq could threaten the stability of the entire Middle East. And al-Qaeda operatives like al-Zarqawi could have a relatively safe base of operations in the Sunni triangle. "We have never taken this operation seriously enough," says a retired senior military official with experience in Iraq. "We have never provided enough troops. We have never provided enough equipment, or the right kind of equipment. We have never worked the intelligence part of the war in a serious, sustained fashion. We have failed the Iraqi people, and we have failed our troops."


At 9/26/2005 03:28:00 PM, Blogger adonis syria said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/26/2005 05:43:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

More talks about Iraq. What does this have to do with the evil dictator rule in Damascus. When this evil Alawites-Baathist dictator is going to see that there are no hope to save his corrupt regime, so start working on saving himself and start contact the Syrian oppositions to make a deal, not the Israeli.

When it come to Iraq, rather than sending his incompetent Ambassadors to make statements that no one even listen to. He may consider taking these steps:

Here is why this paid for tax free cash comment is flawed, cunningly deceptive and deliberately misleading:

1-The illegal and unconstitutional Baathist dictator can start requiring Visa for all those Arabs fighters landing at Damascus airport and customs land-check points. Rather than requesting just an unverified and unauthentic ID to enter Syria.

2-The Murderous regime, that is directly responsible for killing and injuring more than 30,000 American, can request evidences for the visit such as Two way ticket, Business or Personal invitation, Work permit, Hotel reservation Etc.. None is ever needed or requested for an Arab fighter to enter Syria at the point of entry.

3-He can photograph, fingerprint and turn his 300,000 Mukhabrat to watch and follow those Arab youth admitted to Syria, rather than watch the unarmed and beaten, peaceful Syrians Sunni Moslems.

4-He can arrest and surrender to American or Iraqi Authorities all those Iraqi Baathists he is sheltering in Syria.

5-He can cease bank accounts and turn cash belonging to the Saddam regime to Iraqi Government.

6-He can remove corrupt Mukhabrat agents and army officers that are bribed by the fighters.

7-He can control smugglers that are part of his regime Organized Crime Family.

The list can go on and on. This corrupt regime done nothing but KILL AMERICANS AND MAKE IT EASY TO KILL IRAQIS AND AMERICANS.

It is time for the United States to realize that it will not succeed in Iraq unless it covers its back and remove this evil dictator from Syria. Allow Sunni Moslems to form a democratic Government, one that can appeal to the Moslems to stop the attacks in Iraq and implement the type of security measures needed to cut the supply line off as described on the list above.

The failure of removing this evil Alawites-Baathist regime from Damascus will cause the United States an immense loss of strategic, security, economic and prestige that could send America back into a shell and isolationism.

If the United State bargained with this regime and failed to cease on the lifetime opportunity that is given now, to have a democratic cooperative government in Syria with the help of all the worlds countries, it will result in Assad making all those false promises to Israel and the United States that he neither can fulfill, or the least, act upon. In the mean time, further enrage the Sunni Moslems of Syria to the point that they will violently overthrow the U.S.Backed regime with the help of host of disfranchised interests including the Palestinians radicals, the Arab Moslem radicals, the Iraqi Baathists radicals, the Syrian Moslem Radicals, The Lebanese Christians and Sunni Moslems, the Shia of Lebanon and Syria, including Hizbullah, and strike a deal with Russia and Iran.

The outcome of this kind of coalition is clear. Russia, will gain a strong foothold in the Middle East that will quickly expand to the entire region. Iranian revolutionary guards, including millions of martyrs will be stationed in south of Lebanon and the Golan.
Arab insurgency in Iraq will force the United States to evacuate from Baghdad, Saigon style. Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Saudi Arabia, for a start, will be controlled by Moslem Parties and forces, Israel will be totally surrounded by hostile forces and the balance of power is shifted to a Musleman-Rusky axis. Whereby the West and the East is more than 85% dependant on this axis for energy resources.

Syrian Republican Strategists forecast that within 3-4 years of the fall of the Western/Saudi/African supported Alawites-Baathists dictatorship regime in Damascus, The west will loose total influence and control over the entire region from Casablanca to Bora Bora. The price of oil barrel will top $300 per barrel, to the benefit of the worlds number one oil exporter, Russia, second exporter the an Arab-Islamic confederacy, and third exporter, Islamic Republic of Iran. The implication for the West is far more reaching economically than strategically as no Western or Asian economy can sustain a nation at these levels of oil prices. Not to mention that most western countries, especially in the United States are heavily in public and private debt with deficits already in the Trillions of Dollars, personal bankruptcies at record levels and mortgage payments consuming large parts of personal income that it will leave little discretionary income to fuel an economy let alone expand it.

Would the United States take this chance of a life time and remove the evil and murderous regime of this Alawites-Baathist dictator Assad out of Syria, bring on a reasonable government that can be of help to the people of Syria and to the goals of George W. Bush of a better Middle East? Would Ezekiel prophecy come true or would the People of the Middle East that people will dwell in houses that have no walls and are at peace with one another living in prosperity.

Only President George W. Bush can make this fateful decision of which the outcome will become clear. No one is more important today to the people of Syria than this man.

At 9/26/2005 10:38:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

I see that all those Lebanese that were here supporting the Baathist regime are all diappeared now that yet another of Lebanon finest Journalist and most outspoken critic is cut down by another car bomb. I guess you are now in hiding, looking at those pay stubs wondering if those pay checks you were getting from the Lebanese-Syrian Mukhabrat has blood stain on it. I have no respect for you, you sold your country so cheap, just to live I guess.

At 9/26/2005 10:40:00 PM, Blogger adonis syria said...

فحص الضمير الوطني السوري: ياسين الحاج صالح

Monday, September 26

قد تكون سوريا عند مفصل حاسم من تاريخها. النظام يتعرض لموجة جديدة من ضغوط سياسية وإعلامية وأخلاقية وقانونية، وربما غداً اقتصادية أو حتى عسكرية، قد تتجاوز عتبة تحمله، وتدفعه والبلاد نحو آفاق المجهول. وثمة قلق منتشر في البلاد من هذا المجهول الذي يتعذر تقديره ويصعب التحكم فيه. هذا قلق مشروع. غير أننا نلح على أن سياسة تبنى على القلق ستكون في الضرورة قلقة، أو حتى انهزامية. لا تقترح هذا المقالة سياسة محددة، ستحاول فرز الفاعلين الداخليين الأساسيين في المشهد السوري المحتمل، وتقدير أدوارهم الممكنة. إنها محاولة لفحص عقلنا وضميرنا الوطني قبل امتحان محتمل، قد يكون عسيرا.


تعوّدنا أن نقول إن الدولة هي الفاعل السياسي الأكثر عقلانية، أو الأقل لاعقلانية، إن في العلاقات الدولية أو في حكم المجتمعات. أعقل من الأحزاب ومن الطوائف ومن الأفراد. وهذا لأن من المفترض أنها تمثل، في آن واحد، المجتمع الوطني بكل فئاته، وتاريخ البلد بكل مراحله. ليس الأمر هكذا في سوريا للأسف. الدولة حزبية صراحةً، وتحذف اكثر من نصف تاريخ البلد وذاكرته الوطنية (تاريخ سوريا بين انهيار السلطنة العثمانية وعام 1963، مرورا بالاحتلال الفرنسي ثم المرحلة الاستقلالية، واسمها البعثي هو "عهد الإقطاع والبورجوازية" أو "عهد الانقلابات العسكرية"، ومرحلة الوحدة مع مصر، وصولا إلى "عهد الانفصال" المترنح الذي أسقطه البعثيون والناصريون). فيما تعلي من شأن مرحلة ما بعد 1963، وخصوصاً ما بعد 1970، لتمنح نفسها أبوة مطلقة للمجتمع السوري. إلى ذلك فإن استقلال الدولة عن النظام ضعيف جدا، والعناصر الوطنية والعقلانية والعمومية في بنية الدولة مهمشة ومعزولة. ضعف الدولة يتجلى في حقيقة أن العناصر دون الدولتية في تكوين طاقم السلطة وتفكيره وولائه وممارسته، أقوى من العناصر الدولتية. هذا ما يجعل المرء لا يراهن كثيرا على "الدولة" في الحد من أخطار التناثر الاجتماعي والتنازع الأهلي. بل هو أصلا سبب الخشية من هذه الأخطار. إذ تبدو الدولة أشبه برهينة بين أيدي فاعلين دون دولتيين، الأمر الذي يجعل الخشية من نهج "من بعدي الطوفان"، مبررا. ولا تزداد الخشية هذه إلا وجاهة إن أخذنا في الاعتبار أن نزع مدنية المجتمع السوري، أي عسكرته و"أهلنته"، كان أيضا نزعا لتمدنه، أعني "زعرنته" و"تشبيحه". من شأن ذلك أن يزيد فرص بروز ظواهر تجمع بين الخروج على القانون والبطولة الأهلية وتمجيد القبضاوية والعنف.

لقد افتقرت سوريا طوال العهد البعثي إلى مقر عمومي للعقلانية والاعتدال. لكن لا عقلانية العشرية البعثية الأولى، التي شهدت حربين وثلاث انقلابات عسكرية وتغيير الأوضاع في الريف، كانت من النوع الثوري أو "فوق العقلاني"، فيما كانت لاعقلانية العقود الثلاثة اللاحقة وجها آخر لغريزة بقاء مفرطة التضخم والحساسية، تسببت في خضوع المجتمع السوري لانقلابات مستمرة كشرط لانتهاء عهد الانقلابات على مستوى السلطة.

التحام الدولة والنظام والمجتمع الأهلي أضعف العناصر العقلانية والعمومية والوطنية في بنيتها. لقد نزع عمومية جهازي الإعلام والأمن ووطنيتهما، وبدرجة أقل الإدارة والجيش. النظام التعليمي نفسه مضروب، ووظائفه في نشر وعي وطني ومواطني معطوبة. وجميع الهياكل هذه تعاني فسادا سرطانيا، يلوث أجواء البلاد كلها بالزيف والقبح والانحطاط الأخلاقي، وينخر الأفكار والقيم والأخلاقيات جميعا.

كيف يمكن تقوية الدولة؟ كيف السبيل إلى إنعاش العناصر العمومية والوطنية والعقلانية في بنيانها؟ هذا سؤال سيطرح نفسه بحدة متزايدة على الديموقراطيين. بل نميل إلى الاعتقاد بأن فرص الديموقراطية في سوريا تكون أكبر بقدر ما تضع نصب عينيها تقوية الدولة، مع ما يتضمنه ذلك من كل بد من تجديد وظيفتها القمعية بالذات. يتعين أن تكون تقوية الدولة، حيال المصالح الجزئية والروابط الأهلية، فضلا عن التهديدات الخارجية، عنصرا أساسيا في أي برنامج للديموقراطيين والوطنيين العقلانيين. من نافل القول إن تقوية الدولة تمر عبر قطيعة مع نظام السلطة الراهن.

الأحزاب السياسية

الفاعل الاجتماعي الذي يحتل المرتبة الثانية من حيث العقلانية هو الأحزاب السياسية. فالدولة والأحزاب مصنوعة من عنصر الحداثة السياسية، أمة المواطنين الأحرار. الفرق أن الدولة تمثل الأمة كلها وتحوز العنف في الداخل والخارج، فيما الحزب قطاع من الأمة ولا يحوز العنف.

لقد خسرت أحزاب "الجبهة الوطنية التقدمية" حزبيتها وسياسيتها معا، وتحولت مشروعات عائلية، تغطي على اتضاعها بتعنت إيديولوجي، قومي أو شيوعي. وهي تشارك حزب البعث انعدام الاستقلالية والشخصية بحكم تماهيها المديد مع السلطة وتعوّدها على الامتيازات غير العادلة.

السؤال المهم في هذا السياق يتصل بالدور المحتمل لحزب البعث إذا انفتحت آفاق البلاد على المجهول ووجد نفسه في المجتمع لا في السلطة. ما نسبة أعضاء الحزب الذين سيبقون بعثيين، وكم هم الذين سيلتحقون بروابطهم الأهلية، أو يتركز جهدهم على استعادة امتيازات جائرة ونفوذ غير شرعي واستثناءات غير قانونية؟ هل يعود البعث حزبا انقلابيا؟ لقد أفسد نظام الحزب الواحد حزب البعث، ونزع عموميته ووطنيته، ومن المرجح كذلك أنه قلل قدرته على التكيف مع أي وضع لا يكون فيه منفردا بالسلطة. إن تداخل الحزب المديد مع السلطة الأمنية وتعايشه مع القمع أو مشاركته فيه، قد قتل العناصر الشعبية في وعيه ونمّى عناصر الاستئثار والقسوة واللاعقلانية فيه. وولادته مع حال الطوارئ تنذر بأن لا يكون قادرا على العيش بدونها، أي دون تطبيع الاعتباط واللاقانونية. وفوق هذا كله تعارض نظام الاستثناء الذي أقامه على الدوام مع الاستقرار والأمن الاجتماعيين وعطّل إمكان التوقع الرشيد عند المواطنين وجعل حياتهم نهبا للفوضى والعشوائية. في الجملة لم يكن حزب البعث فاعلا عقلانيا ولا يتفاءل المرء بدور عقلاني له في آفاق سورية مفتوحة ومجهولة.

تحت عنوان المعارضة السورية يمكن أن يميز المتابع بين المعارضة التقليدية ذات الأصول الإيديولوجية، اليسارية والقومية العربية، والمعارضة الحديثة التي تكونت في السنوات الأخيرة. المعارضة التقليدية بدورها تنقسم معارضة علمانية (معتدلة وأقل اعتدالا) ومعارضة إسلامية (معتدلة واقل اعتدالا كذلك). بينما تنقسم المعارضة الحديثة معارضة داخلية، ليبيرالية الهوى، لم تستطع الوقوف على قدميها بعد، ومعارضة خارجية، بعض أطرافها مرتبط بأجندة الأميركيين، ويجمع بين شدة التطرف والانفصال عن الثقافة الوطنية. وربما يكون ثمة تنويعات إسلامية متطرفة و"قاعدية" الهوى ضمن المعارضة الحديثة. لكن يصعب التأكد من ذلك. ويتشكك كثيرون في وجود تنظيم "جند الشام"، أو في استهدافه النظام، إن وجد.

المعارضة التقليدية أكثر عقلانية وسياسية من المعارضة الحديثة. فهي أكثر انفتاحا على القيم التي شكلت الثقافة الوطنية السورية، والتي، رغم معاناتها من أزمة حاليا، إلا أنها في متن كل وطنية سورية ممكنة. أعني بذلك قيم الاستقلال والوحدة الوطنية، ونوعاً معتدلا من العلمانية، وصيغة، ربما مخففة، من العروبة. وهي تنفتح على شريحة أوسع وأطول من تاريخ سوريا الحديث (ليس لسوريا الحالية تاريخ غير حديث)، وما قبل تاريخ سوريا، قياسا بحزب البعث، وقياسا بتنظيمات حديثة تحذف نصف تاريخ سوريا (ما بعد 1963)، أو تتثبت تثبتا مطلقا على تغيير النظام البعثي. المعارضة التقليدية أيضا أوسع تمثيلا إمكانيا للمجتمع السوري. تنظيماتها العلمانية عابرة للطوائف (وإن تكاد اليوم تكون خالية من الأكراد، بعدما كان لهم وزن مهم في الشيوعية السورية في مختلف تنظيماتها)، أو منفتحة على التعدد الديني والإثني للمجتمع السوري. هنا "الإخوان المسلمون" يعانون مشكلة بلا شك.

مشكلات المعارضة التقليدية كثيرة، بينها ضعفها الفكري وتشرذمها واكتهالها وضعف انفتاحها على المستقبل. كما أن ضعف الديموقراطية داخل الأحزاب يحدّ من عقلانيتها. إنها ايضا ضعيفة العزم والمبادرة، ما يجعل عقلانيتها مصنوعة من التعب ونقص الثقة بالنفس.

هل يمكن الأحزاب السياسية أن تقوم بدور تأسيسي، توحيدي وديموقراطي، إذا واجهت سوريا تحديات مرحلة جديدة من تاريخها؟ هل يمكنها أن تحدّ من المفاعيل اللاعقلانية لنزع مدنية المجتمع السوري وتمدنه؟ ما يمكن أن يقوله المرء بثقة هو ان غياب دور الأحزاب يجعل الأمور أسوأ. وخلافا لمزاج شائع، "مناقص" (نقيض مزايد)، بل عدمي، نميل إلى أنها قد تلعب دورا اكبر مما هو متوقع في عقلنة الأهواء والاندفاعات الاجتماعية.


في هذا السياق المخصوص ينضوي تحت دال الإسلاميين، الإسلاميون الحركيون حصرا، المنضوون في تنظيمات سياسية تهتدي بالإسلام أو بما يظنونه كذلك. السؤال هنا أيضا: إلى أي مدى يمكن أن يقوم الإسلاميون بدور في عقلنة المجتمع والدولة في مرحلة قد تكون مضطربة؟ إلى أي مدى يمكن أن يقوموا بدور وطني وعمومي؟

في أواخر السبعينات جرت عملية إيديولوجية سياسية عسكرية في أوساط "الإخوان المسلمين" السوريين كلفتهم وكلفت البلاد الكثير. قام شبان من أوساط "الإخوان"، مقتدين بالشيخ مروان حديد كقائد وملهم حركي (قتل في السجن عام 1976) واجتهادات الشيخ سعيد حوا التكفيرية، بعمليات اغتيال واعتداءات على شخصيات محسوبة على السلطة. هؤلاء الشبان هم "الطليعة المقاتلة للإخوان المسلمين" التي نفذت "مجزرة مدرسة المدفعية" في بداية صيف 1979 في مدينة حلب (راح ضحيتها قرابة 100 من طلاب الضباط، العلويين حصرا). قيادة "الإخوان المسلمين"، الخبيرة والعقلانية أكثر من غيرها، لم تستطع أن تدين العملية باتساق وتقف في وجهها، كما لم تستطع أن تؤيدها وتتحمس لها. كانت ترى قواعدها تنحاز شيئا فشيئا لـ"الطليعة المقاتلة" حيث "النزعة البطولية" و"الروح الاستشهادية"، من دون أن تستطيع فعل شيء غير مغادرة البلاد. لسنا غافلين عن دور النظام وقتها في توحيد المتطرفين والمعتدلين، "الطليعة" والحزب الأم (هل كان رفعت الأسد هو "الطليعة المقاتلة" للنظام، وهو الذي جره إلى المواجهة المطلقة مع "الإخوان" جميعا؟ ثمة مؤشرات الى ذلك، لكنها غير قطعية. التساؤل هذا مهم من وجهة نظر سياسية راهنة، خصوصاً في وجه الذين يعتبرون صراع تلك المرحلة بين رفعت و"الإخوان". التقابل الأصح هو بين رفعت و"الطليعة المقاتلة"، أو بين النظام و"الإخوان"). لكن تطرف النظام أو أطراف منه لم يكن السبب الوحيد لشلل قيادات "الإخوان" وغياب دورها العقلني. لقد كانت ايديولوجيتهم، وما فيها من عناصر تكفيرية وطائفية، تحتمل الخيار الذي أقدمت عليه "الطليعة المقاتلة"، بل كانت ضعيفة أمام إغرائه (تماما كما أن إيديولوجيا التنظيمات الشيوعية تحتمل خيارات متطرفة، وربما إرهابية، وقد تستسلم لغوايتها). الأمر الذي فاقم اللاعقلانية وسوء الحساب السياسي لدى أولئك القادة الميدانيين من أمثال عدنان عقلة وهشام جمباز وغيرهم.

في المناسبة، مثل ذلك جرى تقريبا في أوساط أكراد القامشلي والحسكة في آذار 2004. لم تستطع الأحزاب أن تقود الاحتجاج الكردي على مقتل مواطنين أكراد يوم 12 آذار خوفا من السلطة. ولم تستطع كذلك أن تعترض عليه وتوجهه خوفا من أن تخسر ما بقي لها من اعتبار في وسط جمهورها. في الفراغ القيادي الذي حصل، تولت قيادة أمر واقع مكونة من فتيان ومراهقين مندفعين توجيه الاحتجاج، ما ساهم في خروج الوضع على السيطرة ووقوع ضحايا آخرين على أيدي أجهزة أمن مبرمجة على الضرب.

في الإجمال فاقم دور "الإخوان" في نهاية السبعينات العناصر اللاعقلانية والفئوية في تكوين النظام، وساهم في تخريب الدولة والمجتمع معا. هل من المحتمل أن يتكرر ذلك اليوم؟ هل "الإخوان" مزدوجو الهوى اليوم ايضا؟ إلى أي حد يمكن القيادات أن تعمل في إطار الوطنية العقلانية؟ إلى أي مدى تستطيع عزل المتطرفين المحتملين في أوساط "الإخوان"، والحد من دوافع الثأر والانتقام، والوقوف في وجه المتطرفين الجهاديين والتكفيريين المحتملين في المجتمع السوري؟ هنا يضاف همّ آخر، يزيد الحاجة الوطنية إلى إسلاميين معتدلين: "السوريون العراقيون" (على وزن الأفغان العرب)، أي "المجاهدون" السوريون الذين قد يعودون من العراق ويساهمون في "الجهاد" ضد "الروافض".

في اجتهاداتهم خلال بضع السنوات الأخيرة توجهات ورؤى منفتحة تشجع على توقع دور عقلاني لهم في مواجهة أخطار التحلل والنزاع العام. لكن هل لا يزالون يحتفظون بنفوذ في أوساط الجمهور الإسلامي المتدين؟ ألا يحتمل أن عيش قياداتهم في المنفى طوال أكثر من ربع قرن قد اضعف قدرتها على فهم جمهور أكثر شبابا وتطلبا، واستيعابه وقيادته؟


مهما بدا ذلك غريبا فإن "عمّال العقل" أقل عقلانية من الأحزاب السياسية ومن الدولة من حيث المبدأ. هذا مرده أن الأحزاب تأخذ شريحة من الواقع في الاعتبار أوسع من تلك التي يأخذها المثقفون عادة.

كان وزن المثقفين لافتا في مرحلة السنوات الخمس الأخيرة. لقد طبعوا العمل العام بطابعهم، إن للخير أو للشر. من ناحية منحوا الحركة الديموقراطية حضورا لا يتناسب مع قوتها الاجتماعية، وغطوا فترة إعادة تأهيل الأحزاب لنفسها، وحددوا أكثر من غيرهم روزنامة النقاش الوطني والمعاني الأساسية في هذا النقاش. من ناحية ثانية أظهروا مألوف المثقفين من التشرذم وتكريس الذات، فضلا عن غلبة الهوى الإيديولوجي في حالات غير قليلة.

هل يمكن المثقفين أن يكونوا فاعلا عقلنيا في السياق الذي نتحدث عنه؟ هل هم متحررون من الروابط الأهلية ليقوموا بدور وطني تواصلي؟ المثقفون السوريون منقسمون بعمق حول الموقف من الإسلاميين، هذا يضع بعضهم في موقع متحفظ حيال ما يسمّونه "الديموقراطية العددية"، التي تعني ببساطة شديدة سيطرة الإسلاميين، وبتحديد اكبر المسلمين السنيين، على السلطة. ويفضل بعضهم نظاما "علمانيا"، ولو استبداديا، على نظام يخشون أنه يسعى من وراء الديموقراطية إلى التدخل في الحياة الخاصة وفرض نمط حياة عقيدي وغير حديث. ضمن هذا المناخ الموسوم بالتوجس وعدم الثقة، من غير المحتمل أن ينشأ ما يشبه حركة "كفاية" المصرية. فلم تقم هذه الحركة إلا لأن قطاعا مهماً من المثقفين والناشطين المصريين رفضوا "التواطؤ مع الدولة لاستمرار حجب الشرعية أو اضطهاد التيار الإسلامي الاعتدالي، رغم التخوف الأصيل من هذا التيار لأسباب تاريخية وإيديولوجية وسياسية" (من دراسة ممتازة لمحمد السيد سعيد بعنوان "النضال الشعبي من أجل الديموقراطية في مصر، ألقيت في اللقاء الخامس عشر لـ"مشروع دراسة الديموقراطية في البلدان العربية، متوافرة على الرابط:

الموقف من الإسلاميين هو القضية المفردة الأكثر إثارة للشقاق في أوساط المثقفين السوريين، تسبق حتى الموقف من السلطة، بل يكاد الموقف من هذه يمر مرورا محتوما بالموقف من هؤلاء. هذا من خصائص الاجتماع السياسي السوري التي لا يمكن إغفالها. والمشكلة ليست في انقسام الرأي في ذاته، بل في تخلي بعض المثقفين عن مسؤولياتهم العقلانية لمصلحة إشاعة المخاوف وتغذية الانفعالات الفئوية ورعاية الغرائز بدلا من العقل. من جهتنا نعتقد انه ليس هناك أي مشكلة في "الطوائف في ذاتها"؛ ثمة مشكلة خطرة حين يتولى مثقفون "نقل الوعي من خارج" إلى "طوائف في ذاتها" لتغدو "طوائف لذاتها"، هذه "طائفة حداثية" وهذه "طائفة علمانية" وهذه "طائفة قومية"... وبدلا من عقلنة الأهواء والولاءات دون الوطنية ينزلق مثقفون إلى تطييف الثقافة. هذا استسلام غير مشروط للطائفية، أو أعلى مراحل استقالة المثقفين وتخليهم عن دورهم العقلني، بل الوطني.

الفاعلون الأهليون

تعريفا غير عقلانيين ودون وطنيين، سواء كنا نتحدث عن إثنيات أم عن مجموعات دينية أو مذهبية. هذا ليس اتهاما بحال، بقدر ما هو متصل بربطنا بين العقلانية والانفتاح على أوسع قاعدة اجتماعية من السوريين وأطول مرحلة من تاريخ بلادهم. الأسئلة التي تطرح في هذه السياق تتصل بدور الجماعة الكردية، بدور الطوائف والمجموعات الدينية، بدور العشائر والمجموعات القرابية. من جهتنا نميل إلى التشاؤم حيال دور الأهليين. إنه مبدأ للتشرذم واللاعقلانية والأنانية. ومن ثوابت تاريخنا الحديث أن الأهلي يصعد على حساب الوطني بقدر ما يتعاظم دور الخارج حيال الداخل. وهذه سمة السنوات المقبلة في المجال المشرقي كله.

السورية والعروبة

يكتشف المرء في سياق تفحص الضمير السوري أن البلاد تفتقر إلى مبدأ موحد فعال، سواء تجسد في مؤسسة أو فكرة أو شخص أو رمز. مبدأ يمكن أن يعطي الوطنية السورية وجها وقواما يتعرف اليه كل السوريين. وإن كان لنا أن نستدل من سياساته، فلا يبدو أن النظام يدرك الحاجة إلى مبدأ وحدة حي، أو لا يعطيه ما هو جدير به من اهتمام. يستغني بالوحدة السلبية للمجتمع الممسوك عن الوحدة الفعالة للمجتمع الذاتي التماسك. لكن هذه وحدة جهازية، سندها الخوف وليس الأخوة ولا المساواة في الحقوق ولا شراكة المواطنة.

اليوم، وبدعم خفي من النظام، تنبعث تنويعات خرقاء من عقيدة "سوريا أولا"، من دون أن يكون لها من مضمون غير الابتعاد عن العروبة، وتغذية شوفينية سمجة متدنية المستوى، بشهادة النموذج الذي رأيناه منها في خصوص العلاقة مع لبنان (يحتاج لبنانيون إلى الانتباه إلى أن الشوفينية السورية ضد بلدهم أوثق صلة بازدراء العروبة من التزامها، بل إنه ليس غير العروبة يمكن أن تلجم هذه الشوفينية). تستفيد "السورية المطلقة" هذه من استنزاف الفكرة العربية، التي كانت مبدأ الوحدة الفعال، على يد أنظمة تجمع بين الطغيان والفساد ورصيد من الهزائم العسكرية. من دون حريات وحقوق إيجابية، كانت عروبة الأنظمة قد ارتدت إلى وجه أمسح بلا ملامح، ثم دفعت طوال عقود ثمن إخفاقات استراتيجية وتنموية كبيرة، تسببت فيها أطقم حكم غير مؤهلة. العروبة قطاع عام، ولطالما عوملت كما يعامل القطاع العام: يُنهب ويُشتم معا.

السورية التي لا تتحدد إلا بالتمايز عن عروبة مستنزفة خاوية من المحتوى، مهددة بأن تكون جوفاء خاوية مثلها، من دون أن تمر بمرحلة شباب حيوية وواعدة كما كانت العروبة قبل أن يستعمرها نظام الحزب الواحد. وفي صورتها الراهنة هي غير مؤهلة للصمود في وجه الطائفية وأخطار التمزق الأهلي، إن لم نقل إنها نظرية التصدع الأهلي (كي نستخدم تعبيرا ملطفا). من أجل وطنية سورية دستورية، موحِّدة وموحَّدة، ثمة حاجة إلى نقاش عام واسع يأخذ في اعتباره تاريخ سوريا الحي ومجالها الحضاري وثقافة شعبها وخياراته المرجحة.

رهان على المستقبل

قد يكون السوريون مضطرين لمواجهة تحديات ضخمة وغير مسبوقة. النظر إلى الوراء لن يكون متاحا، ولن يصلح أساسا لسوريا الجديدة. ورغم أن المستقبل قد يكون مفعما بالمصاعب، نعود إلى القول إن الخوف من المستقبل أقل صلاحية لبلورة سياسة صحيحة اليوم. هذا أصح ايضا إذا أخذنا في الاعتبار ضعف تأثير المعارضين والديموقراطيين والوطنيين العقلانيين على مسار أوضاع البلاد في الشروط الراهنة، وهو ضعف ناجم مباشرة عن حرص النظام الشديد على ضربهم وإقصائهم، مخلصا لغرائزه الأصيلة. إنهم في وضع من لن يخسر سوى أغلاله في حال التغيير. ورغم أن تغير الأحوال محفوف بالأخطار، إلا أنه قد يفتح الباب لدور اكبر لجميع الفاعلين الذين ذكرناهم، بمن فيهم الديموقراطيون والوطنيون العقلانيون.

كيف يمكن، من دون الإغضاء عن أسوأ الاحتمالات، بلورة سياسة جسورة تصون البلاد وتجنبها الفوضى، بل تفتح أمامها آفاقا أوعد؟ الديموقراطيون والعقلانيون مدعوون إلى التحرر من الخوف والانهزامية، وإلى الرهان على المستقبل

"ملحق النهار"

At 9/27/2005 03:27:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...


Why did the new comment open if its not being managed properly? I thought Joe Pace is going to be some kind of moderator. But i see the same spammers singing the same jingle. The only serious poster that is still around is Vox. Others have but totally disappeared. Its getting ridicules to read the same shit over and over and over again.

At 9/27/2005 09:49:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

I mean you shouldn't have promised a thing you can not deliver. We are awaiting the deltion of the above posts posted by trash people.

At 9/27/2005 09:58:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Yeah! Thank you T.!

By the way the article is very well argued.

I feel the Sunnis are making a mistake. They reject the federation, but they reject a centralized state that would be run by Shias even more. They are still pursuing the impossible goal of restoring Sunni power in Iraq.

The perfect solution for everybody would be a federation. But a federation where the sharing of the oil would be enshrined in the constitution, (this the major fear of the Sunnis).

The Sunnis are making a big mistake in my opinion. First of all, if they make the Shias too angry, these might split the country and nobody can prevent them from doing so since they are the majority. And the guerilla may not lose, but they can't win either.

At 9/27/2005 10:10:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

wait a sec, some prick is posting under my nickname the first post "Why did the new comment open if its not being managed properly?" is mine. but the one directly after starting with "I mean you shouldn't.." is NOT mine, i did not post it and i have no idea how he can be using the same nickname. what a nerd.

At 9/27/2005 11:56:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Who you calling trash you motherfucking subhuman Innocent Criminal. A fucking paid and mother/ sister raiped in a trash bin you baathist shitty asshole.
Is taht what you trying to do, remove the commnet, Got fucking news for you we will repeated it, ebven better one on each and every post to show how human scums like you are Kiling Americans and acting stupid as they have no control over it. Fucker, you dare to remove this comment, and will make sure worse and more damming of your baathist regime is posted.
Your sister and mother are sucking 78 members cocks right now. live with it. You expendable human garbage.

At 9/27/2005 12:01:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

If I was you Tarek-Mother Fucking Human trash like your family and all your servant class clan. I will be running right now trying to find a spider hole to hide in it. Got bad news for you BOMBS ARE GETTING READY. We will chase your ass to the end of the universe and bring you to justice.

At 9/27/2005 12:36:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

You can click on the two different nicknames, my profile was created in July while the second one (which is not me) was created in September. I am trying to justify myself to most readers as for you SRP you know what you can go and do with yourself :)

At 9/27/2005 01:51:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Syrian Repulican bull shit.

The regime is strong, and will not be overthrown for 100 more years. Assad 1st receievd all the assurances that syria will be the kingdom of Assad.

At 9/27/2005 02:12:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

again the person who posted second was not me, can Joe or Josh kindly ban that IP address? Regards, Tarek

At 9/27/2005 03:01:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Assurences from Allah or the Devil? Or maybe someone else, who would that be? kindley share your knowledge with us please. Sounds like the regime supporters are becoming unhinged already. Listen to the way they are talking. You can feel the FEAR and teh SELF ASSURANCE.

At 9/27/2005 03:16:00 PM, Blogger Nafdik said...

SRP said:

"Who you calling trash you motherfucking subhuman Innocent Criminal. A fucking paid and mother/ sister raiped in a trash bin you baathist shitty asshole.
Is taht what you trying to do, remove the commnet, Got fucking news for you we will repeated it, ebven better one on each and every post to show how human scums like you are Kiling Americans and acting stupid as they have no control over it. Fucker, you dare to remove this comment, and will make sure worse and more damming of your baathist regime is posted.
Your sister and mother are sucking 78 members cocks right now. live with it. You expendable human garbage."

Moderator please use this wonderful opportunity to kick out the polluting bore SRP. It will make the experience of reading the comment section so much more pleasant.

Thank you

At 9/27/2005 04:15:00 PM, Blogger O.D.M said...

Here is the Situation as of now, Syria is heading towards one of three ways:

1) Mehlis provides evidence thatconnects Syrian officials to the Harriri assassination.

2) Mehlis does not have any evidence of Syria's involvement

and most probably, as we can all see the momentum the U.S. has already gained in its case against the syrian regime,

3) Mehlis can't prove or disprove Syria's connection, in which America will just consider it as if Syria did it anyway.

In case number 1 or 3 happens, that's it. Bashar is in deep problems, I don't think Prince Bandar nor Mubarak can help, he has to give up many, many things. Most likely Golan and very nicely recognizing Israel.

This will wake up 18 Million Syrians, "WHAT?", "where are our sole party's 30 year old teachings? Unity, No Israel, Western influence to kill the Umma", and then the stinky brown stuff will hit the fan, and splash the whole country slowly.

At this point of time, Bashar al Assad will not personally be charged with anything, because they know that by the end of October, Syri is still not ready for such a huge change. A change that over 50% of the population has never seen, and the rest have seen it once.

He may have to give up his brother, asef, ghazi or whoeever, but he will not be involved. Mark my words

At 9/27/2005 04:43:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...


Mark my word!

ok. I have. You are very smart! I wish Syria has 2 more of you!

At 9/27/2005 05:54:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Polutting is your Mama pussy fake Nafdik-Innocent Criminal 1 and 2. other known as idiot Tarek the Baathist thug.

Obviously you do not want that comment we are posting over and over again and you rather close the commnet down than having people read it and see what a fraud your President Assad is.

You do that and we will be back stronger, will expose more shit about your regime, that will just add to the Mehlis report damming evidence.

What is so strange about the Baathists is that they are on the ground, under everyones feet and they still acts like some supper power with high moral. Baathism is a plage, and the only way to cure a plage is to exterminate the viruses.

At 9/27/2005 07:30:00 PM, Blogger adonis syria said...


Damascus, 27 Sept. (AKI) - The Syrian security authorities have arrested some women as 'hostages' of their husband who police are hunting but have failed to find, according to a Syrian rights group. The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in Syria stressed that the women were detained following clashes between the Syrian police and a group defined as "terrorists" in the Hama province. The women - Rula al-Khalid, 30, pregnant, Nadia al-Satur and her newborn baby, and Hiba al-Khalid, 17, also pregnant - were held 'hostage' to force their husbands to turn themselves in.

In a statement seen by Adnkronos International (AKI), the group says these arrests are "against the Syrian constitution", and violate the Cairo declaration on Human Rights which absolutely forbids hostage-taking for any reason.

The Committee for the Rebirth of Civil Society accuses the Syrian security forces of adopting strategies that are "increasingly hard and rigid", to the point that it has become possible to "hold hostage pregnant women and new born children".

The committee has asked the authorities to put an end to the "fanatical policies" of the security agents and open the door to dialogue and reconciliation, as well as taking concrete measures such as releasing political prisoners, allowing exiles to return and guaranteeing media pluralism and freedom.

At 9/28/2005 12:30:00 AM, Blogger BP said...

Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents

Technical ways to get around censorship

you will find it here:

(Repoters without borders)

At 9/28/2005 02:10:00 AM, Blogger BP said...

this story they wrote in sleepless nights:

Murr: Syria's Ghazaleh enginnered my attempted assassination
Tuesday, 27 September, 2005 @ 12:41 PM

Beirut, Lebanon- Defense Minister Elias Murr, a staunch ally of Syria, like his father-in-law President Lahoud, has detonated a bombshell by suggesting for the first time that Syria's former intelligence chief Rustom Ghazaleh may have engineered his attempted assassination 3 months ago.

Murr chose the LBCI network to make his dramatic accusation by telephone from Zurich, where he is recuperating from injuries he suffered in the car-bomb explosion that he miraculously escaped July 12. May Chidiac, who survived an assassination bomb that resulted in amputation of her left hand and left leg on Sunday was a TV Anchor on LBCI

"A problem had developed between me and Syria's representative in Lebanon (Ghazaleh) the day a terrorist network preparing to bomb the Italian embassy was uncovered, triggering anti-government riots in Majdal Anjar and the death of a detainee in jail," Murr narrated.

"A verbal quarrel flared between myself and Ghazaleh after he had called Brig. Gen. Saeed Eid, commander of Lebanon's gendarmerie, at 3 a.m. before dawn to tongue-lash me a year ago," Murr said during a Marcel Ghanem talk show on LBCI dedicated Monday night to Chidiac's assassination attempt.

"I immediately called Rustom Ghazaleh and took the necessary stance out of my conviction that a non-Lebanese officer should not be allowed under any pretext to scold a Lebanese officer," said Murr, who then was Vice Premier and Interior Minister.

"General Eid, who was listening on my call to Rustom Ghazaleh, told me 'it's time for you to pack and go home,'" he said.

"I was informed afterwards that moves were set in motion against me through Syrian workers who clashed with a Lebanese group. I later got wind about threats against me personally," Murr continued his narrative.

"In January of 2005, I left Lebanon because the security services were not interested in protecting me and stayed away until I was appointed vice premier and defense minister in Premier Mikati's government and then the current government," he added.

Obviously justifying the long delay in making his revelation, Murr said May Chidiac's murder attempt made him incapable of keeping silent any longer. "I say now that we're all alike," Murr said, addressing Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh, who also miraculously escaped a car-bomb assassination attempt Oct. 1.

Hamadeh, a staunch foe of Syria, was on Ghanem's Kalam el Nass talk show Monday night. He emphatically maintained what he called the axis of Damascus-Baabda-Moukhabarat tunnels were behind Chidiac's attempted assassination and all other murder attempts and assassinations "since the attempt on my life nearly a year ago."

Source: Naharnet

At 9/28/2005 03:09:00 AM, Blogger adonis syria said...

نظام الفرص الضائعة :
د. برهان غليون
بصرف النظر عما سيسفر عنه التحقيق الدولي في اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري وصلت العلاقات السورية مع الكتلة الغربية المكونة من أهم قوى دولية قائمة اليوم، أعني الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا، إلى قطيعة نهائية لن يكون من الممكن تجاوزها أو الالتفاف عليها بأي شكل. وغني عن القول إن أخطر ما يمكن أن تتعرض له دولة أو نظام هو أن يضطر أحدهما إلى أن يواجه تحالفاً أوروبياً أميركياً ضده. ولا يمكن لأي نظام، مهما كانت الحيثيات والدوافع والتبريرات، أن يتحمل مثل هذا التحالف ومن باب أولى أن يسمح بنشوئه أو أن يدفع إليه. فهو يعني، لا أكثر ولا أقل، أنه يدين نفسه بالعزلة العالمية ويسد أمامها جميع الآفاق. وفي منطقة مثل منطقة الشرق الأوسط الخاضعة بشكل لا مثيل له في أي منطقة أخرى للهيمنة الأميركية- الأوروبية التاريخية والمكشوفة معاً، يعني مثل هذا الموقع، أكثر من ذلك، عزلة إقليمية كبيرة أيضاً وبالتالي تعليق النظام نفسه في الفراغ.
لا ينبغي الاستهانة بالمخططات الغربية الأميركية والأوروبية معاً ولا الاعتقاد بأنها تهدف إلى خدمة المصالح العربية. فليس هناك شك في أن الولايات المتحدة تسعى اليوم إلى كسر شوكة الوطنية العربية التي اتخذت شكل الحركة القومية الوحدوية الماضية والتي لا تزال تعيش تحت الرماد، وأنها تهدف من مشاريعها إلى قطع الطريق على أي تفاهم عربي واسع كي ما تتمكن من بناء الشرق الأوسط الذي يمر تفاهم جميع بلدانه وشعوبه عبر واشنطن وبفضلها. وهذا هو الطريق لتكريس الهيمنة الإقليمية الأميركية وضمان المصالح النفطية والاستراتيجية معاً. وليس هناك شك أيضاً في أن ما تريده أوروبا اليوم في المنطقة العربية هو تأمين حدودها الجنوبية ومنع نشوء مخاطر عليها سواء أكان ذلك نتيجة قيام تكتلات استراتيجية قوية أو انتشار الأسلحة الهجومية الشاملة أو تصاعد حركات العداء والعنف المناوئة لها. وفي هذه السياسات نقاط خلاف جوهرية تفصل المصالح العربية العليا عن المصالح الأميركية والأوروبية. ويمكن أن نضيف إلى ذلك أيضاً قضايا خلاف ظرفية نابعة من اختلاف وجهات النظر أو التعارض في المصالح التكتيكية أو الاستراتيجية العربية- الغربية كما هو الحال في ما يخص الحرب في العراق والموقف من الاستيطان الإسرائيلي في فلسطين والجولان ومن بعض تشكيلات المقاومة العربية في فلسطين ولبنان والعراق.
لكن بالرغم من هذه الخلافات السياسية التي دفعت وتدفع واشنطن إلى ممارسة ضغوط استثنائية على الدول العربية لتغيير أجندتها وإعادة النظر في الكثير من خياراتها الاستراتيجية والاقتصادية والثقافية القديمة أيضاً، لا أعتقد أن المواجهة التي نسير إليها اليوم بين سوريا والولايات المتحدة الأميركية كانت حتمية أو لم يكن من الممكن تجنبها. فزوال الاتحاد السوفييتي والحرب الباردة من جهة بما يعنيه من التراجع الدولي عن سياسات الاقتصاد المخطط والانخراط الطوعي والمتزايد للدول العربية وغير العربية في سياسات التحرير الاقتصادي والاندماج في السوق الدولية والخوف من تنامي حركات العنف والإرهاب في العالم كل ذلك يخلق مجالات لمصالح مشتركة أيضا بين الدول العربية والكتلة الغربية. وهذه المصالح المشتركة هي التي سمحت للعديد من النظم العربية التي تعرضت في السنوات الماضية إلى ضغوط أميركية وأوروبية قوية من أجل الإصلاح بالوصول إلى تفاهمات جديدة غيرت من طبيعة السياسات العربية والغربية معاً بما في ذلك التمديد لأنظمة كانت الولايات المتحدة تقف ضدها بصورة قطعية.

ولا يختلف الأمر عن ذلك في ما يتعلق بالنظام السوري الذي تبنى مثله مثل جميع النظم العربية الأخرى سياسة الانفتاح على الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا والتوصل معهما إلى تسويات في جميع الملفات. وهذا ما يفسر الحيوية التي طرأت على العلاقات السورية الغربية في الأعوام القليلة الماضية والتعاون الواسع الذي نشأ بين البلدين إلى فترة قريبة قبل انفجار الأزمة الراهنة. وهو الأمر الذي يستحق أن نتأمل فيه لنعرف أين حصل الخطأ الذي أدى إلى هذا الوضع ومن هو المسؤول الرئيسي عنه. فحتى أشهر قليلة، وربما حتى هذه اللحظة، كما لا يزال يعتقد البعض، لم يكن أحد يشك في أن نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد لا يزال يحظى برعاية خاصة في العواصم الغربية نظراً لما وسم به من علمانية ومقدرة مجربة على مواجهة الحركات الإسلامية والتعامل بواقعية مع الاحتلال الإسرائيلي للأراضي السورية. وبالإضافة إلى ذلك، كان هناك اعتقاد قوي لدى حكومات أوروبا وأميركا معاً بأن النظام السوري يلعب دوراً إيجابياً بوجوده في لبنان ويضمن الاستقرار على حدود إسرائيل الجنوبية جميعاً كما أن من الممكن أيضاً أن يكون له دور إيجابي في العراق.

وقد أظهرت دمشق تعاوناً كبيراً مع الدول الغربية فقبلت الدخول في مفاوضات السلام العربية- الإسرائيلية منذ مؤتمر مدريد عام 1991 كما أظهرت تعاوناً أمنياً معلناً مع السلطات الأمنية الأميركية في الملف العراقي الملتهب. وعلى المستوى الاقتصادي أظهرت المبادرات السورية المتعددة للتوقيع على اتفاقات التجارة الحرة رغبة حكومة دمشق القوية في الانخراط في اقتصاد السوق. بل يمكن القول إن مشروع التغيير من الداخل هو الذي يفسر الإجماع الذي حظي به الحكم الجديد في الخارج والداخل أيضاً. فقد كان الجميع على اقتناع بأن مثل هذا التغيير يشكل مصلحة عامة لأنه يخفف من مخاطر الانزلاق إلى الفوضى التي ترافق عادة مراحل الانتقال ويؤمن إعادة إدماج سوريا في الحياة الدولية بتكاليف أقل كثيراً مما تستدعيه الانقلابات والثورات الشعبية. وعززت التجربة العراقية المرة هذا الاقتناع. وتبنت العواصم الغربية مشروع تجديد نظام البعث السوري متجاهلة القوى الديمقراطية السورية ومشاريعها تماماً. ومنذ سنوات ثلاث فقط استقبلت أوروبا الرئيس بشار الأسد وزوجته استقبال الفاتحين في لندن ومدريد وباريس وكانت ترى فيه نموذجاً لجيل جديد من القادة العرب المتنورين العازمين على التغيير ومكافحة الفساد وتحقيق الانتقال، ولو تدريجياً، إلى نوع من التعددية يغير أسلوب التعامل بين سوريا والعالم. وبالمقابل تجاهلت جميع الدول الغربية، بما فيها الولايات المتحدة، خلال سنوات طويلة المعارضة الديمقراطية السورية على مختلف اتجاهاتها ولم تولِها، حتى وقت قريب، أي اهتمام. فما الذي حصل حتى انقلبت الأمور رأساً على عقب في أقل من سنتين وصار التكتل الغربي ينظر للنظام السوري على أنه أصل البلاء ومنبع جميع المصائب المحيقة بالشرق الأوسط؟ هذا ما سنسعى للإجابة عنه في مقال قادم.

At 9/28/2005 09:24:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Please, not copy an entire article unless it is so vital..

I can;t see that the above articles are of any great importance. They are opinions of others. State your own opinion instead if you have the brains (no offense intended).

I agree with Tarek that certain posts misuing basic ethics and language should be monitored and edited (deleted).

I have not been posting because I am on a travel leave, but I am reading.



At 9/28/2005 09:37:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

hate to repeat myself but yet again the Innocent Criminal that posted


Mark my word!

ok. I have. You are very smart! I wish Syria has 2 more of you!"

was NOT me. Regards, Tarek


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