Friday, September 23, 2005

Is the Regime Capable of Reform?

Here is my response to Rime Allaf's rebuttle to yesterday's post.
Dear Rime,
I don't see where we differ very much. I propose that the West support the very small group of liberal opposition members in Syria, as you do. Our main difference is that I don't believe they have much authority. This necessitates also backing the reformers in the regime, i.e. Dardari, et. al., which means the regime cannot be toppled, because to support regime reformers means, at the end of the day, supporting the regime. You do not advocate this (or do you?) because you believe Asad will never let them really reform and just has them there for show.

I don't believe this. I believe there is a real struggle going on within the regime and Syrian society about how to develop. With a smart Western policy toward Syria, I believe the reformers can be given more leverage to win the struggle. I also believe that if the US were able to take a back seat on the issue, they would probably also win out, because reform is the only option for Syria - it is on a train that cannot be stopped – unless, of course, sanctions kill economic growth and lead to eventual collapse and failed nationhood. That is also an option. Because the West, and particularly the US, has a high stake in the region, it is not going to take a back seat, so one must advocate something. Not proposing a way forward for western policy is just abandoning the field. You are paid by the Royal Institute to come up with viable options. Why not try your hand?

It sounds, that in the name of purity, you want to only support the 20 or so civil society leaders in Syria, who admit they have no real purchase on the Syrian youth, no following on the street, and no impact on Syrian policy. Yes, the West should help empower them so they will have greater authority in the future and be part of the solution here. Hopefully, they will be able to point the way out of Syria’s national crisis and not the extremists.

Anwar al-Bunni, the civil rights lawyer here and one of your civil society 20, argued to me not long ago that the best way forward for the opposition was to make common cause with the reformers in the Syrian government. He believed that for the liberals to try to gain power by allying with the extremist Islamic currents such as the Muslim Brothers is a worse option and could lead to an Iranian type let down at the end of the day. He does believe that there are elements of the Islamic current that can be relied on for a better solution to Syria, but didn’t say which. (Perhaps he is thinking of the liberal imams such as Habbash, Hasouni, etc. who the regime is also trying to enlist?)

My understanding of the situation comes from conversations with people like Bunni, who still believe it is wisest to make common cause with regime reformers. I know this is messy, slow and requires moral compromise. But I believe people like Bunni understand the situation on the ground and the real options better than most. You and Asad accuse me of speaking from on high. I think I am trying to be faithful to what I hear from wise people here who have thought about this problem.

As for your objection to my speaking about sectarianism and claiming that Asad must clamp down on Sunni extremists. I don't see a way around it.

Iraq is exporting its sectarian war. In the crudest terms, America has lost its battle to create a constitutional Iraq, built on sectarian and ethnic deal-making and political agreement. What is going on now is that the US is empowering and arming ethnic militias - Kurds and Shiites - to overpower the Sunni population. That is what the battle at Tel Afar was all about. America is going to force Asad to hold down Sunnis in Syria, while America and its Iraqi allies rape Iraq's Sunnis across the border. This is going to upset Sunnis in Syria - and not just the extremist Sunnis. Others will get upset as well because they will see that Asad is supporting America and joining in its effort to hurt Sunni Arabs. They will be right.

Asad wants to keep out of this game, but he cannot. He will be forced to chose whose side he is on. He will choose to crack down on the tribes of eastern Syria who are smuggling and aiding the foreign fighters and Iraqi-Sunni resistance. He will have to restrict the free flow of Arabs into Syria and tighten the screws on anyone who helps them make their way to the border. He will be forced to hand over Iraqi Baathists, resident in Syria, who have friends here among Syrian Baathists. These are primarily Sunni Syrians. By cracking down, the regime will excite greater sectarian opposition and look more sectarian itself. This is just common sense. I am not trying to insult Sunnis and advocate sectarianism. But this is going to happen. The invasion of Iraq ignited a sectarian war there. It is being exported to the rest of the Middle East. That is why Sunni leaders are worrying about the "evil Shiite crescent." Bashar is being forced to enter into this war. His being an Alawite will make his actions seem sectarian when they are really about staying in power and giving in to Western superior power.

He does not want to do this. His domestic policy toward Sunnis has been to try to heal the wounds of Hama and mobilize Sunni help for his regime by pushing Sunni non-Baathists like Dardari up the ladder. All the same, he is going to be forced to take sides in what is turning out to be a very nasty sectarian battle in Iraq. He cannot stay out of it as you propose.

Best, Joshua


At 9/23/2005 06:14:00 AM, Blogger Nicolas92200 said...

Here are three very interesting article on Syria out today! Nothing too assuring I’m afraid! Looking forward to your comments. (English),13031,1576596,00.html (English) (arabic)

At 9/23/2005 06:18:00 AM, Blogger Aba Zayd said...

They found an ass hole like Dardary to use again, like they have used many like him. Now, this ass hole is being portrayed as The main Reformer, the genius, etc...

Mr. Landis: Keep your self occupied with helping the crooks. I di dnot expect this from an Anmerican married to a Syrian, and I thought that by now, you may have developped some love for the people of Syria. You are obviously unconcerned about what this regime does in its prisons, and to the population of Syria, and how it forced Syrians to lose faith with each other and for any one to be suspect when he/she speaks against the regime, for every body fears that the other is Mukhabarat.

Mr. Landis is obviously interested in onloy serving what is good to US policy and Israel, and nothing else.!

At 9/23/2005 06:26:00 AM, Blogger Aba Zayd said...

From reading the article of the washingtonpost mentioned above, it is easy to conclude that the West cares about the preservation of Assad.

So, we know why Landis is so zealous in his defense of this crook.

At 9/23/2005 06:33:00 AM, Blogger Aba Zayd said...

Landis tried to confuse us out of either ignorance, or on purpose between Professor As'ad Khalil, and the crook Assad by calling both of them in his article above: "Asad".

At 9/23/2005 06:34:00 AM, Blogger Nicolas92200 said...

Thanks for the interesting exchanges going on between you and Rime the others. This is the kind of debate we are in need of and thanks for contributing to it.
I find myself lost in a dilemma: I had hope in Bashar Assad but I find myself completely disappointed with his performance. As much I would like to support him, he is not giving me a good reason to do so. Yes, I would really want a regime change, even though this does not necessary mean a change in the people, probably a little contradictory here, but I hope you’ll get what I’m trying to say).

On the other hand, I agree with you that the opposition is not ready to govern. At least this is the image it is portraying, and that’s why people believe this. I would very much like to share Rime’s ideas about the capable opposition, but I just can’t see anything tangible leading this direction. My basic question to the opposition is: what is your program? What changes do you suggest? And I’m not talking about the big policy changes and approaches, not that that they are not important, but that people need to see tangible steps that affect their daily lives. What is the opposition’s approach to tackle Syria’s economic woes? What concretely do they plan to do in regards to education, health services, etc? It is totally fine that the opposition share some of the ideas and approaches of the Mr. Dardari, but why don’t they publish this? Why don’t they issue a program stating the similarities and differences with regime’s strategy?

Here is a suggestion: why don’t people on this forum try to establish some sort of “opposition program” to lead Syria out of it’ current status. Let’s compile a list of credible ideas and circulate these for comment. Some could be in harmony with the current government’s policies, other not. But it would help develop some alternative civil society project of some sort. Any thoughts?

At 9/23/2005 06:37:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Nicolas - Yeah i read these articles earlier and share your worry.

Regarding the post - That is why the Syrian government was so adamantly against the war on Iraq. The Syrian people were against it from a moral perspective while the government was against it from a practical one. Unlike what the “Bushies” wanted to think, Damascus was not afraid that the democracy bomb would explode in their neighborhood anytime soon, and there wasn’t a real worry that the US might invade Syria (at least not back then). The main fret was the headache (to label it mildly) of the tribal/sectarian conflict that would and has spilled over to Syria. This is also the major motivation behind Turkey warming up to Syria after many years of chilly relations. The other regional anti-American force is Iran, but they on the other hand gained from the Shiaa’s new rise to power so we wont hear them complain too loudly.

To say the Assad is stuck between a rock and hard place would be painting a cheerful image of reality. Critics would ignore his current dilemma and focus on the dismal human rights records to divert the debate to their favor. But what we should be discussing is exactly what Josh is trying to do. How to help the government (yes the current one) get out of this mess, while not relenting the constructive pressure. Rime fails to provide an alternative while the rest of the lot are quietly (or loudly) praying for an all out war with Syria. So to answer the question "Is the Regime Capable of Reform?" my answer would be a very uncertain "possibily" but certainly not without internal pressure/dialogue.

At 9/23/2005 07:18:00 AM, Blogger Hashem said...

Rime: every time I wanted to leave a comment on Joshua's blog about the barrage of insults he keeps directing towards the Syrian people, I checked your blog and read your comments first. I can't better that! As a Syrian, it gives me a lot of hope to see fellow Syrians of your stature who are liberal, progressive and have morals.

Joshua: I have also noticed how you have retracted your original claim that you wanted the US to suppress the Sunni majority. Now you’ve quickly changed it to just: the Sunni extremists. There is a difference Joshua, a big difference.

You, like your US friends in IRAQ, is the one who keeps basing the discussions on sectarianism, something we all are trying to leave behind. We were always taught at school that the West is fuelling sectarianism in our part of the world so we remain divided. Isn't that what you are doing? I, for one, would not accept anyone let alone you, to call for help to suppress anyone of my fellow Syrians.

You have proved that you don’t know Syria or its people. You look at Syria from a narrow-minded and distorted view point. You are not making analysis of Syria and Syrians but see it through the words of others.

Joshua: I would like to know, who pays you to come up with solutions like this? I have two possibilities, and each one is worse than the other.


At 9/23/2005 07:31:00 AM, Blogger Hashem said...

Nicolas92200 said:

Here is a suggestion: why don’t people on this forum try to establish some sort of “opposition program” to lead Syria out of it’ current status. Let’s compile a list of credible ideas and circulate these for comment. Some could be in harmony with the current government’s policies, other not. But it would help develop some alternative civil society project of some sort. Any thoughts?

Great idea my friend, but I wouldn't use Joshua's blog as a starting point. We know what he calls for, he made it clear time and time again.


At 9/23/2005 07:58:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

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At 9/23/2005 07:58:00 AM, Blogger adonis syria said...

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At 9/23/2005 08:00:00 AM, Blogger adonis syria said...

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At 9/23/2005 08:05:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

This is awfully misleading; to ask the opposition to publish a program... a program for what?

Is this the first time in the world history that a regime is toppled and oppositions take over? Even suddenly? Do we not remember the Shah of Iran, or Markos, or Chacheskew, and so many others, suddenly departed from their eternal chairs? Did their oppositions have to prove they can govern before toppling those thugs, and publish a program?

We want freedom, first and above all. We want the freedom of our people who have been rotting in prisons. The woman who replaced Markos in the Philippine was a simple house wife, absolutely with no political experience, but was she asked prior to the revolution that toppled that thief, Markos to prove that she could govern, and to publish a program?

The Syrian oppositions that no one is talking about in this misleading forum have been writing about their programs for years and the Most Honourable Syrians of what was called "the Damascus Spring" published and expllained their programs, but did that prove to Joshua that they could "govern"? What an idiot question!

What an idiot question also to ask the title of this thread! Did we not hear of people like Dardary before?

- All of Assad previous prime Misnitsres were to bring Miracles since 1970, and among them were the best known, Zouh'bi, Kassm, adn Miro. Even Otri (Sahar Otri's relative, the mother of Asmaa).

So, a new young man who some how worked with the UN (this most corrupt and bureaucratic organization) is your man for reform? And why he is all of a sudden "Found", and being pushed like AlKassm was before?

These tricks are not new to us, and if the Syrian people fall again in the same same same trap that has been used on them since 1970, I am sorry, but this people must be dead, and this people must either be burried or reserructed with a true revolution. The people of Syria must regain their status as human beings, away from this sheep status that even this man, Josh admits to it.


At 9/23/2005 08:20:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Is Syria an experimental field where the Assad family can play its experiments for ever? How many failures of their experiments should the Syrians allow them to have?

Are Syrian mothers giving births to monkeys or mules, and only the Assad family gave births to geniuses?

There is no one else that can govern Syria but if he is from the Assad family?

Do you think the Syrian people are idiots, Mr. Josh?


At 9/23/2005 08:43:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

We have a program, we can in 3 years make Syria the leading commercial, industrial and cultural center of the Middle East. All that we published and recommended for Assad in the past he either adopt it and done nothing about, just used it as tactic to say what the opposision is recommending is something I am already doing, so they are and their programs not needed.Or worse he taken the opposit program. So we stoped publishing and that is why the Agenda page at website is empty and under what is important section, we published few programs, which he already adopted most of it and ofcourse shoved it in his corrupt regime ass.

This Landis is very ignorant. We were getting upset, but now we know who he works for and his mission, so we just rebuttle.
He will have his day in court for providing material assistant to a criminal organization, aiding and abeting of human right violation against the people of Syria among dozen other charges. He will face life to the rope if he is convicted on those charges. We are keeping copies of all his comments and articles for material support as evidebses.

At 9/23/2005 08:46:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

We are keeping his articles and comments in hard copies to be used as supporting evidence at his trial.

At 9/23/2005 09:04:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

"Is the Regime Capable of Reform?"

Of course!

We have Dardary. He can do it!

Be calm, Assad. Dardary will save your neck!

At 9/23/2005 09:13:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

Here is the real problem:

"""""""" Because the West, and particularly the US, has a high stake in the region, it is not going to take a back seat, so one must advocate something. Not proposing a way forward for western policy is just abandoning the field. You are paid by the Royal Institute to come up with viable options. Why not try your hand?

Now we know who is paying Rime. We wish to know who is paying Joshua Landis!

I know all about the Royal Institute, and I can tell you Prof. Josh that the "institute" that you are serving ends there, exactly where Rime is. So, take heart and start behave like your boss, Rime.

At 9/23/2005 09:28:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

"The Round Table Group
The Round Table Group, as identified among conspiracy "theorists" today - and the occasional honest scholar with integrity like Professor Quigley - includes the following elite organizations: Bilderberg Group, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Club of Rome. No one has definitively identified who the The Society of the Elect are today (or have they?) but the above-mentioned groups are certainly the most powerful modern manifestations of the network that comprises the Anglo-American Establishment's outer circle; or The Association of Helpers.

It's the Chatham House crowd - the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Canadian Institute of International Affairs (CIIA) - that's the story behind the story of Judi McLeod's article.


At 9/23/2005 09:30:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

At 9/23/2005 09:42:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

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At 9/23/2005 09:43:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

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At 9/23/2005 09:46:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This an interesting debate because it's about the fundamental issue of Syrian politics. Is Syria ready for an instanteneous democracy? I think that it can be made ready after a relatively short transition.

I think that a violent regime change (wether coming from the inside or the outside) will not make the lives of the Syrians better. People I know in Syria (all Christians) do not like this regime but are afraid about its successor. The regime should implement reforms. I have always supported this and I still think it's the best option. The problem is that the regime does not think so. At the end, if we assume that the transition is there to bring democracy, Syria's leaders will have to end up in exile or in jail. Why would the regime support a transition process then?

So we're facing a dilemna here. Should we support a regime evolution that the regime is not willing to implement or support a 'revolution' that might not bring democracy but anarchy? This is an impossible choice.

There's still one option that has not been tested, and it's the one Josh has been advocating: evolution supported by the West. But will the West give any carrots to Assad after Mehlis finishes his investigation? No, it's impossible. That option is not an option.

At 9/23/2005 09:53:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

Go back and occupy yourself with Lebanon, vox.

At 9/23/2005 09:59:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

It seems that the regime will survive. All of these manoeuvres were made to scare it, and extract the maximum concessions from it, and the regime is ready now to give everything the Round Table wants.

The round table has been at work, and now the Saudis will again save this regime that they brought in 1970 with the help back then, of Islamists themselves that Joshua is complaining about now, and making them look as the horrible monster.

Here is an article from Eilaf showing how the Saudis and Egyptians are working to save this regime. Democracy has never been the goal of the West in the ME, and in fact they are totally against it.

The mockery of the recent Egyptian Elections says it all.
The Round Table that Josh (unknowingly perhaps) and Rime work for are at work to save the Assad regime which they had brought to exist in 1970 by the Saudi money and influence on Syria's Islamists back then, are now again saving the regime :

At 9/23/2005 10:03:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

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At 9/23/2005 10:07:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

The Regime will not be accused of murdering Hariri.

point finale!

At 9/23/2005 10:43:00 AM, Blogger Alex said...

There is no easy way out for Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. There are difficult options only.

The borders we now have in the Middle East are not sacred to the Americans, the British and the French. What will happen to Syria is more a function of regional and worldwide forces. Those who believe that Dardary, or Ayman abdel Noor or the SRP or the RPS will make a big difference are mistaken.

President Assad hates taking risk. But dramatic changes in the area require taking risk. So we are at a point where he has to choose between being part of the overall plans for the Mideast, or being forced to participate or if he still resists, beig forced to leave.

I will be interested in the details of who killed Hariri, or who will be the next Syrian information minitster, or what Jumblat says, later.

For now, we have to find out if the Americans and the British prefer promoting Sunnis or Shias. And we have to find out their real plans for Islam, and for minoroties in the Middle East, and for the final boders in the Middle east.

Do all of you really think Lebanon and Syria and Iraq will remain the same 5 years from now?

Will the west fight or will they rather deal with the Shia block of Iran, Iraq and Lebanon's Hezbollah? ... will they compensate the Sunni Egyptians and saudis for the loss of Sunni Iraq, replacing it with Sunni Syria and Sunni led Lebanon?

And where is Israel? very quiet. Which tells me that they are very much involved everywhere.

At 9/23/2005 11:09:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

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At 9/23/2005 11:16:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

Like if the West cares at all about Sunnis, Shias, Alawis, Christians, etc..!

The West uses these divisions, and takes advantage of their existence! Is Saudi Arabia a Sunni regine? Is it even an Islamic regime? As long as any regime is considered stable, and is serving the West's interest, the West will not give it hard time, and will support it. Do they prefer Alawis to Sunnis? Or Christians to Muslims? We saw them in 1976 how they did not come to the rescue of Christians, and left Assad in charge of them until recently. Now , all of a sudden, Lebanon is again important to them, and the Christians are happy again.

The West is dividing and conquering, and the Arabs are crazy!

The Arabs are dominated by families that have nothing in their minds except putting more of the oil wealth in Swiss and American banks.

Each Saudi prince, and there are few thousands of them is a millionaire, or even a billioanire. Each king that inherited Saudi Arabia's throne has been a big billionaire. Where did these billions come from? How many billions those Saudis stole of the Arab oil?

More important, what do these billionaires do with their money? Do they even create anything in the Middle East, or do they just accumlate the money, and buy hotels and casions in the West? to make more money in bank accounts.

The West needs you all to stay subservants to it, and you are fighting each other as who is Sunni, and who is Alawi, and who will get the support of the Amercans.

Dam you people of the Middle East!

At 9/23/2005 12:02:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Ameen you say 'the Arabs' like they are one peopale wanting to live in the same country, but it's not the case.

At 9/23/2005 12:09:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

It is not th ecase, but those bastards, with their wealth are interferring in Syira, and imposing the regime they want.

And we became like them, worshipping rulers, and kissing asses!

At 9/23/2005 01:17:00 PM, Blogger O.D.M said...

I have great news from Syria, read the article:

sorry Josh if it sounds too much like an advertisement.

At 9/23/2005 02:41:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Just look at the falacy of Josh's argument here:

" I believe there is a real struggle going on within the regime and Syrian society about how to develop. With a smart Western policy toward Syria, I believe the reformers can be given more leverage to win the struggle."

I think he means by reformers, Dardary. Any one else?

To have a real struggle inside the regime between "reformers", "non reformers", the two sides must be from the regime, equal some how, or at least that they came there to where they are on their own for some time.

Here, Dardary who is the only one mentioned as a "reformer" is some one that was brought to be used in this regime by the "non reformers" that Josh is speaking about as against reform...or else, explain to us where did these reformers come from? Who are they? When did they start to sound as reformers?

Those Sunni actors like Al Zouh'bi, Kassm, Khadam, Tlas, etc....... are or were there for three purposes:

- Have Sunnis in the Regime to gain legitimacy

- Say that some of those Sunnis such as Dardary now are "reformists" and want to use their genius to correct...etc...

- Give those Sunnis the financial and prestige benefits that they are seeking in exchange.

What else, and how else can you explain the existence of those "reformers" such as Dardary? Who brought Dardary in , or even Bashar Assad himself except those "non reformers" that Assad or Dadary will fight?

I can't imagine that the people will again fall in the same lie. Kassm in 1975 on was brought in as a "reformer". Then others followed as "reformers". Then Bashar Assad in 1999-2000 was elevated to the "second correctionist movement leader" to "reform, and he then inherited the power after killing a scpae goat to make him look as a fighter against corruption and a Reformer, and the scape goat was previously some one like Dardary now, that of poor Al Zouh'bi who comitted suicide with three bullets in his head!

Three bullets....


So, this man is betting on figure heads like Dardary for whom the three goals of his existence I have listed above, and this Dardary will fight the regime and struggle to achieve reform.

When Bashar inherited Syria from his late father, some people, especially in the opposition put their hopes in this man. They genuinly thought that this man who was brought in by the ones they called the "old Guard" will fight those who put him in his position, and betray 3 decades of his father rules. This man, Bashar was studying in his second year in England when his brother died hitting his father's statue at Damascus Airport entrance, and Hafez Assad rushed to bring Bashar in to replace him (because Syria does not have people, or people as smart as the Assads). Bashar entered the Military Academy in 1994, and jumped to become Akeed (like a general) in 6 less than 6 years. His father died in 2000, and he was elevated to Fareek Awal, a rank that is even higher than Marshal. This young man of 34 years became the inhertior of a country, and a Marshal in less than 6 years. This man, Bashar was supposed as his reputation that the Mukhabart prededed him to fight corruption, correct what his father scrwed up in 30 years, and to prove that, they lead Al Zouh'bi to commit suicide with three bullets in his head.

Are we that fool to believe again?


At 9/23/2005 02:49:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...

Let's assume that the president of Syria is not accused in the assassination of Hariri. With that assumption if Maher (his borther) is one of the accused this gives the chance for the president of Syria to hand him over for prosecution. Maher is mini-Rifaat and Syrians know this. They would love to see him go. I don't think there would be a coup if the president talks to the people.

This can be a huge opportunity for the president to clean house, of course, assuming that he is interested in cleaning house.

At 9/23/2005 02:58:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

What house?

You mean every body else is corrupt except Bashar Assad?

This house was supposedly cleaned so many times. How many times did they change figure heads since 1970?

The regime simply has to go. We need a genuine cleanup, including Bashar himself. Let him take a shower .

At 9/23/2005 03:02:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...

Ya-Joseph Ali Mohammed, I agree that the issue of house cleaning is relative.

How do you want Bashar to go? What system is going to replace the current one?

Do you want violence or a peaceful transition? The Syrian people need to make the choice. I favor a peaceful transition.

At 9/23/2005 03:04:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...

If the Syrian government is aware that it is going to be accused of Hariri's assassination, it should immediately declare that Assad is flying to Israel for final and unconditional peace and actually do so. This needs to be done at least a day before the UN's declaration.

At 9/23/2005 03:05:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...


Bashar is also a figurehead.

Believe or not.


At 9/23/2005 03:06:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...

A figure head to what? Who is the head then?

At 9/23/2005 03:09:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

In his last interview with the German Newspaper, he claimed that he now is in control, and that he kicked the so called the "old guard" out.

Well, he cleaned the house, didn't he?

He is now officially responsible for jailing those men of Damascus Spring, and keeping them in until today. No one else is responsible by his own admittance.

Yet, I say, Bashar, or even Hafez Assad himself was/were non inssue. The regime is not them. The regime is controlled from outsdie. The regime replaces figure heads, and the regime proved that it survived without Rifaat Assad, without ALi duba, Ali Hayder, Khadam, tlas, Hafez Assad himself, Shehabi, and so many others...

The regime is more than those people. The regime lives on a complez equation, and it is controlled from the outsdie.


At 9/23/2005 03:18:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

These people believe (while they are in their position) that they are powerful, great, and enjoy the power they feel they have, and they even abuse it..

But are they really that powerful?

Any one of them is at risk of being kicked out at any minute. I mentioned the above "powerful" men , and how they were easily given a shower and cleansed!

At 9/23/2005 07:43:00 PM, Blogger Hashem said...

JAM, I respect your dedication, and I agree with you.

Ameen Said:

>Now we know who is paying Rime. We wish to know who is paying Joshua Landis!

I have asked this exact question myself. It would be interesting to know. Perhaps Mehlis will be able to tell us in his forthcoming report!

I am a member of Chatham House, and as far as I know, fellows, like Rime, of the house are not employees, which means that they do not get paid by the institute. This ensures their independence when providing their expertise and analysis. For example, the security report linking terrorism in the UK to Iraq was produced for Chatham house by experts in this way, that's why the British goverment went crazy about the report's findings. The experts independence could not be questioned which was very embarrassing to the Blair goverment.


At 9/23/2005 08:03:00 PM, Blogger Hashem said...

JAM, just came across your blog by chance. Didn't know you had one!

There is a great picture of Bashar Assad on JAM's blog:

Nice one JAM


At 9/23/2005 09:05:00 PM, Blogger adonis syria said...

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At 9/23/2005 09:10:00 PM, Blogger adonis syria said...

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At 9/23/2005 11:27:00 PM, Blogger yaman said...

To the poster calling himself the "Syrian Republican Party:"

For somebody that is advocating the prosecution of Mr Landis for his role as a "material assistant" to the regime through his well-written research-supported analysis of current affairs in Syria, you don't do a very good job of reflecting these ideals of progress, development, and freedom that you claim Syria will have under your rule. In fact, I don't see much change between you and any other "authority" in the region: horrendous double-speak (speech is material assistance?), vague accusations about external conspiracies (you know his mission and who he works for?), and a threat to silence his dissenting opinion? Please, stay on the sidelines. I wouldn't want to see you in charge of anybody.

To the poster calling himself Aba Zayd:

If Mr Landis was only interested in serving "US policy and Israel" he would not be residing in Damascus. He would not have married a Syrian woman. He would not be publishing, almost daily, lengthy, in-depth, and well developed articles about Syria--believe it or not, many of these have a Western target audience. He is trying to change Western policy to Syria. Frankly, I'm having a difficult time finding any instance of his work being damaging to Syria. If anything, only good can come of it. Now, if your objection is that he is not Syrian and therefore cannot make any accurate claims about the Syrian people, then you are gravely wrong and need to overcome your arrogance before you have any chance of assisting in Syria's progress.

To Mr Landis:

Thank you for your research and hard work. Please keep writing.

At 9/24/2005 01:11:00 AM, Blogger Aba Zayd said...

To Mr./Ms. Yamam:

You thought you are making a killing point?

You obviously want t confuse the readers between Syria, and the Syrian regime.

The Syrian regime which this Landis is serving and for which he is getting paid by some one is not Syria. The difference is huge, and this is what the regime has been trying to do. Syria is not the regime in Syria. The Regime that is in Syria is against Syria, and has been destroying syria's foundations that had been there for ages so people like Mr. Landis can now use Sectarian so called logic to scare the Syrian people as the regime does exactly, and to wanrn against the regime change. Syria must be liberated from this gang that Landis wants it to last for ever. He sites how bad it is in his article above, and states one example, being its educational system (badly as he describes it) as the reason for it to continue under this dictatorship, so the dictatorship which put this educational garabage can "reform" it. What an idiot so called logic. It is pure stupidity.

Defending Syria and the Syrian people means one thing: Ask for the its liberation from this backward and very very very oppressive regime.

Where does he defend the Human Rights of the Syrian person? Or does this have to be put under his feet, because of so called Sectarian non sense and hatred between the people that the regime itself has created, and which Landis wants to endure because of it?

Oppressors must be rewarded in the logic of this genius, Landis. The Oppressors that created this garbage educational System and hatred, and destrpyed the Syrian personality must be rewarded with the task of Reforming it? What a garbage!

At 9/24/2005 01:32:00 AM, Blogger Aba Zayd said...

Oh, Yeah; Oppositions want the regime to stay in the mind of this man, Landis...

Professor Dalilah who is enjoying his residence in a Syrian 5 star prison since 2001 when he spoke for Syria's reform, wants this regime to stay...

Don't make me laugh! I can't even laugh at the sufferings of this great man, who in any other country would be given the highest position in the government and the society, is given hell in Syria's Landis!

But, the sufferings of the Syrian person is not the pre-occupation of this paid man, Landis. It is the defense of the regime that pre-occupies his mind and heart. He is looking at what is the best for the US, is it regime change, or regime lasting>>>

At 9/24/2005 01:47:00 AM, Blogger Aba Zayd said...

""To Mr Landis:

Thank you for your research and hard work. Please keep writing."" Yamama

Don't worry. He is paid to do so, and became famous because of his his writing about "-Syria-". He is not going away. This is his mission.

His mission is to keep defending Syria's regime, and he will keep the course.

He is not going away, but he has lost the battle with Syrians on his territory. His illogic is being shown by the Syrians themselves, and he has noo way to shut us up as he tried previously. We will continue to fight his propagnada every where.

At 9/24/2005 05:18:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Yaman, another foreigner in the Syrian Baath party as his name indicates he is Yemeni. Another Baathist Criminal need to be brought to justice.

At 9/24/2005 06:34:00 AM, Blogger Hashem said...

Since Joshua doesn’t not have the misfortune of being oppressed by the Syrian regime, a fate which most Syrians had to endure for many years, I would have expected him to come up with something new. Ask anyone of the regime the following question: Do you think you should stay in power? Do you think the US should help you stay in power? The answer is of course clear. However, what Joshua seems to be doing is repeating the same: Keep the regime in power! Is that it? Keep them? Stealing and oppressing without a coherent policy and with no vision or understanding of how the world has and is changing. Where would that leave Syria?

How about, at least, demand a concerted effort from the international community that if there is no concrete schedule for reform and I mean real political reform, not falafel reform, then the regime will suffer the consequences and keep the pressure up. This regime only responds to threats as they have shown time and time again. They understand well what threat means, they have been practicing it for decades on others. It’s their native language.

Political prisoners have been freed? When? What did I miss? What about Mr Dalilah, Homsy, Turk et. al. If every time a credible figure appears and they imprison him/her, it would be easy to claim that there is no opposition! You see how tyrants work Joshua? You need me to explain that to you? Sorry for being patronising but I don’t think you understand. Would you accept that in your own country?

I know of few Syrians who I can be very proud of. Would they accept working for this regime? Absolutely not. So this regime is repelling many competent Syrians who can do a better job than this mob a hundred times over.

You can’t claim that we have not been patient. Bashar was given the chance by many, the US, France, and the UK and of course Syrians. He and the regime can’t hide behind the label of stability which suited them well in the past. He can’t blame the US and Israel for everything, particularly internal policy, like he did in the past. The picture is clear now, he has no intention of real reform. But my main worry is that the longer this regime is in power, the more trouble Syria will be heading towards, they are utterly incompetent.


At 9/24/2005 05:49:00 PM, Blogger yaman said...

Ya Zayd:

If you had performed any research before announcing your flawed characterization of Mr Landis, you would notice the following: 1) Mr Landis is a Fulbright Scholar in Damascus; the Fulbright Scholarship is issued by the United States government for scholarly research 2) Mr Landis' mailing address in Damascus is routed by the United States embassy. Your response illustrates clearly the point he is trying to make about the lack of a democratic culture in Syria. A democracy is open-minded--differing viewpoints are offered a presentation and those offended reserve the right to a rebuttal. However, slander and harmful rhetoric is not helpful to the democratic process. If you searched the archives of Mr Landis' blog, you would find numerous articles that are equally critical of the Syrian regime and of Western policy. You will also find him assigning credit when credit is due.

To the "Syrian Republican Party":

I will regret the day when I, a son of Midan and Mezzeh, am declared a foreigner in Syria. And, for the record, I am not a Baathist. I do not sympathize with the Baathist movement. It has clearly failed, and exists merely because it used to in the past. I lack the ability to find any cohesion in the party besides the status quo. I

and, finally, to everybody else who is offended by Mr Landis' persistent calls for patient reform: I speculate that many of you are misconstruing his hesitance to call for violent revolution as an endorsement of the status quo. This is not so. Like almost all of us, Mr Landis wants a free and democratic Syria that has the infrastructure to jump onto the First World bandwagon. However, he realizes, unlike most of us, that seeking a bloody revenge against our oppressors is not an effective longterm strategy. Building upon Martin Luther King Jr's speeches in the past, I think we should realize--and accept--that true peace and stability is not simply the absence of oppression, or the absence of the Baathists, but also the presence of justice and stability. If Assad's regime is toppled only to be replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood, then we certainly have not changed our situation. The best way to ensure that such a thing does not happen is to carry out reform within the regime... and with patience, we can achieve our goals.

Passions aside, there is a more intelligent way to change Syria than by introducing anarchy and revenge.

At 9/25/2005 08:25:00 AM, Blogger Aba Zayd said...

Yamama said this:

""Your response illustrates clearly the point he is trying to make about the lack of a democratic culture in Syria. A democracy is open-minded--differing viewpoints are offered a presentation and those offended reserve the right to a rebuttal""


I thought Syria was the cradle of democracy, and the Assad regime has
strengthened the "democratic culture"! Was I wrong?

This Muslim brotherhood bla bla is the best tool for this regime and people like josh to use, and this has been refuted so many times here on his blog.

I have read Josh's articles, and I can see that he is only interested in prologing the dictatorship in syria. His continuous attacks on the people of Syria are evident.


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