Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hussam and "Animal House"

Hussam Taher Hussam has accused Lebanese officials of an elaborate scheme of threats, bribery and torture to induce him to testify falsely against against the brother and brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad. He claimed that the inquiry's initial findings rested largely on his lies. Mehlis said the testimony Hussam had given to his commission "stands as the true testimony."

Syria says it expects Mehlis to take steps to halt the "deception, forgery and extortion," and has asked Mehlis to take out seven of the articles of his report which it claims are based on Hosam's testimony." It has also asked Mehlis to take out the articles based on the testimony of another witness, Mohammed Zuhair al-Siddiq, who is now in prison in France and also accused of being offered money to give false testimony.

Mehlis has called Syria's attempt to discredit his work by putting Hussam's testimony on TV a "poor Syrian propaganda gimmick." The Syrians are claiming Mehlis of propagating propaganda of his own. They claim that the Lebanese have been fiddling with the evidence to get the international community to sanction Syria look more credible today than they did a week ago. Michael Young denies that Mehlis' credibility has taken a hit. He writes that "viewers of Syrian television were treated to the Baathist equivalent of "Animal House," as one Houssam Taher Houssam, an alleged Syrian intelligence agent, claimed he had been alternatively beaten by Lebanese security forces and offered mouth-watering bribes by the Hariri camp." Michael believes that these "stalling tactics," as he calls them, are insidious and will backfire on Syria by making Russia and China more inclined to impose sanctions. He also believes the Hussam evidence will isolate Assad further in the Arab world.

I find this a bizarre interpretation of events. Young doesn't entertain the thought that someone in Lebanon with intimate knowledge of the Mehlis investigation has been stovepiping manufactured evidence to the prosecutor. Perhaps he believes that the Syrians paid Hussam to give evidence to Mehlis that would incriminate Syria's top security chiefs in order that they could then undermine the investigation at the 11th hour after nearly being sanctioned? I doubt even he would attribute such risky cunning to the authors of Animal House. Maybe the Lebanese are not all boy scouts as Michael would have us believe? Perhaps they are not above a bit of guile and cunning of their own?

As for stalling, the rush to judgment on the Syrians was precipitous. There is every reason to believe the Syrians are suspect number one, but they should not be accused on trumped up evidence. Certainly those who have been calling for "justice" will take satisfaction that Hussam's manufactured testimony has been revealed for what it is. Now that Lebanese authorities have arrested Hussam's young Lebanese fiance and her father, they may get closer to the truth. If it took a bit of stalling on Syria's part to gather evidence for its defense, this shouldn't be begrudged. Every legal defense plays for time in order to strengthen its evidence; every prosecutor tries to rush the date of trial in order to keep the defense on is heals. My hunch is that the Arab World as well as Russia and China may now cut Syria some slack for stalling, particularly if they begin to discover that the Lebanese have been running their own version of "Animal House. "

Speaking of black operations:
U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press Troops write articles presented as news reports. Some officers object to the practice, who argue that attempts to subvert the news media could destroy the U.S. military's credibility in other nations and with the American public. The Pentagon pays subcontractors to pose as freelance reporters or advertising executives when they deliver the stories to Baghdad media outlets. The military's effort to disseminate propaganda in the Iraqi media comes as the State Department is training Iraqi reporters in basic journalism skills and Western media ethics, including one workshop titled "The Role of Press in a Democratic Society."

Mehlis Seen Quitting Hariri Probe by December 15, but U.N. Investigation will Continue
A local press report said Thursday U.N. chief investigator Detlev Mehlis would submit his resignation from leading the probe into Rafik Hariri's assassination when he presents his December 15 report to the Security Council about his findings....

The Lebanese government is inclined to demand an extension of the probe beyond the Dec. 15 deadline, adding that the commission would interrogate the 5 Syrian intelligence officers in Vienna from Dec. 5 to Dec. 7.

Gambari, who is Mehlis' direct boss in the U.N. hierarchy, said the commission would probably question several other Syrians without giving names "to seek further evidence." Mehlis, in turn, told a news conference that the Syrian investigating committee had put witness Husam Husam on TV screens before interrogating him, calling the move a "poor Syrian propaganda gimmick."

Mehlis confirmed that Husam was actually the 'Masked Witness' but "not the primary witness." Mehlis said the testimony Husam had given to his commission "stands as the true testimony."

Gambari: 'Mehlis has Become a Symbol, but International Probe will Continue with or without him'
U.N. investigators will start questioning five Syrian officials on Monday about the assassination of ex-premier Rafik Hariri and the probe needs to be extended beyond Dec. 15, a senior U.N. official said Wednesday. Undersecretary-General for ...more

David Ignatius writes that Condoleeza "Rice believes that Damascus is doing better in controlling terrorist infiltration into Iraq," and is satisfied that "the Syrian government is now moving toward cooperation with the United Nations investigation into the death of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri."

The Syrian pound regained some of its value against the U.S. dollar


At 12/01/2005 07:59:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

i am just gonna repeat what i said last Tuesday.

At the end of the day, as I have said few times. ppl will believe what they want. if they want to believe his story they will overlook the sketchy details. and if they (want to) believe he is a liar they will dismiss the plausibility.

At 12/01/2005 09:07:00 AM, Blogger Abu Kais said...

Yes, innocent criminal, it's really a matter of perception, isn't it? Perhaps we should update our laws to take into consideration this piece of wisdom. A criminal is not a criminal because it was only "perceived" by those who "want to believe what they want" that he killed.


At 12/01/2005 09:22:00 AM, Blogger Unfrozen Caveman Linguist said...

Regarding the removal of testimony from the report:

Credible or incredible, true or false, testimony is testimony. What Mehlis has written can be amended but not fundamentally altered; if it ultimately comes out that a witness or other parties have lied or attempted to manipulate or otherwise coerce testimony one way or another, then that fact, once verified, can be entered into Mehlis' findings. This is not due to Mehlis' political predispositions or sympathies; it is simple investigation and reporting protocol.

In seeking to remove requested parts of the report, Syria telegraphs that they perceive this report already as a resolution against Assad's regime. Syria does not just want testimony recanted; it wants it erased entirely. So, either Syria has indicated that it deliberately intends to act particularly hostile toward the attempts at due process here (many investigators would see this as a tacit, albeit not legal, admission of guilt), or they fundmamentally misunderstand the rules and protocols of investigative procedure and are confused about international adjudicative and resolution processes as well. Which is it, then - hostile or ignorant? For a government whose officials have made such a big deal about the presumption of innocence, Assad's regime continues to present lots of probable cause to believe otherwise.

At 12/01/2005 12:13:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

“I am used to this kind of propaganda. I have spent 40 years in Germany and we used to see such things in former eastern European countries”. This is what Mehlis thinks of the barber spy’s allegations.

On a different note, the Syrians on this site seem to be angry with the Lebanese commentators who seem eager to see the demise of the Syrian regime. Why is this a surprise? When a neighboring country’s army occupies your country for close to 30 years and runs it like its own backyard, what do you expect? How would a Syrian have reacted if the Turkish army was in Syria for 30 years acting like the Syrian army did in Lebanon? Would you have been supportive of them had they been accused of killing a Syrian prime minister?

Similarly, the Lebanese seem astounded and shocked to read Syrians who continue to support their regime and hope that this whole matter is nothing but a Neo-Con conspiracy to bring down their proud Government. What they seem to miss is the effect of years of Baath education and indoctrination of the Syrian mind. Part 3 of Article 1 of the Syrian constitution states that “The people in the Syrian Arab Region are part of the Arab nation. They work and struggle to achieve the Arab nation’s comprehensive unity”. When it comes to education, article 21 states that “The educational and cultural system aims at creating a socialist nationalist Arab generation which is scientifically minded and attached to its history and land, proud of its heritage, and filled with the spirit of struggle to achieve its nation’s objectives of unity, freedom, and socialism, and to serve humanity and its progress”. In the constitution’s preamble and as part of its major principles, it states that “The march toward the establishment of a socialist order besides being a necessity stemming from the Arab society’s needs, is also a fundamental necessity for mobilizing the potentialities of the Arab masses in their battle with Zionism and imperialism”. The Baath party has had 42 years to work on drilling these values into the heads of most Syrian citizens. They used their media, universities and schools to ensure that the above goals are planted in the brain cells. Why are you therefore surprised to see Syrians mistrust and hate America the imperialist? Why are you surprised to see them blindly proud of their Government who they see as the guardian of their land and heritage?

I hope that Syrians and Lebanese will start to appreciate the reasons behind their seeming inability to see things similarly.

On a last note, the Syrian Government has decided to move towards a managed float of the Syrian Pound. The country’s new economic czar Al-Dardari claimed that this is a strong sign of confidence at the time of political crisis adding that it was part of a larger economic reform package that will be introduced on December 10th. In my opinion, that day will clarify why the Gulf investors have been eager to buy Syrian Real Estate. The laws are sure to have friendly reforms that will benefit theses investors who may have benefited from powerful birds whispering the future in their ears. Then again, I could be wrong!

At 12/01/2005 02:30:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Talking of the Syrian constitution, it is worth noting Article 101 which states that “The president of the Republic can declare and terminate a state of emergency in the manner stated in the law”.

Thanks to the country’s declared war against Israel, this article trumps all 100 decent articles before it. So long as the President regards his country to be in a state of war, the entire constitution is meaningless.
What a shame.

At 12/01/2005 03:35:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


Ignoring the fact that 99% of Syrians have never read their country's constitution, I don't think most of its 'noble' principles are actually applied in reality.

Again, you claim that we are all brainwashed with Baathist propaganda. I said that you could help enlighten me by telling me how you envision change coming from a nice, neutral, self-interested neo-con administration.

I am still waiting for the change scenario. Any takers???

At 12/01/2005 04:48:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

You all have good ponts
Why are we afraid of change. It remind me of and employee working for 30 years in on job ( brain dead) and afraid of changes) .. We Must start at one point, We must take the pain with the changes ( Iraq had a very difficult birth for the changes) .. We may need help for the UN \ NGO to start educating and help the Syrian people navigate the road of changes and chart democracy values in volatile country like Syria.
I think people like Josh can be a contributors to this process

At 12/01/2005 05:41:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Atassi I agree with your spirit, but you make the assumption that Iraq is headed down the road of good change. They could very well be on the path of change--yes--but change in the form of civil war and death for years to come.

What kind of change is that? We should be saavy enough to realize that change for the sake of change is not what we want. Forced change by an American government that is NOT looking for our best interest is not what we want.

The change should come from within. Contrary to some other bloggers, I think the Bashar Assad regime, only 5 years old now, can change from within and offers the best hope for Syria's future--given the conditions on the ground in Syria today.

At 12/01/2005 06:03:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This post couldn't be more disingenuous. It's so irritating that I am not even going to refute your points.

At 12/01/2005 06:07:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Dam.Blood, It is interesting that few Syrians, if any, have actually read their own constitution. Presumably, this is because they know that it is just “ink on paper”.
The regime has used and will continue to use the existence of Israel to justify ignoring every single other article in the constitution. The one that is most interesting is article 38 entitled “Expression”. It sates that “Every citizen has the right to freely and openly express his views in words, in writing, and through all other means of expression...The state guarantees the freedom of press, of printing, and publication in accordance with the law”.

Back to your question about how do I envision change? Set below is my thoughts:

1- In my opinion, America will remain engaged, interested and physically present in the region for years to come. This is a direct result of their long-term energy needs. Their long-term national security dictates that they ensure that the region’s vast energy resources do not fall in the wrong hands from their standpoint. This includes the likes of Saddam, Iran and Islamic fundamentalists. America would love to have had access to all this oil without having to deal with the region and all its problems. But it knows it cannot. Its next best option is to deal with every country on one-on–one basis tailoring its policies for each country accordingly. This is not about America loving or hating Arabs. This is about America acting in its own economic and strategic interests and doing whatever it takes to make sure that oil continues to flow from the region to the world markets. Arabs in general and Syria in particular has to stop thinking whether this is fair or not. The above American interest is a fact that is likely to stay for decades. “If you cannot fight them join them”. I would start to use America’s interest in the region to my advantage rather than to keep an idiotic losing confrontation going. You and other may call it sell out to America. I call it opportunistically using them to benefit my country.
2- Internally, dissolve the Baath party and immediately move to a free market economy. No ifs or buts. No half pregnant measures.
3- Modify the constitution to make it legally secular. No future President can rule by sharia rule.
4- Go on national TV address and admit to the public that our armed struggle with Israel is over. We will enter immediate peace negotiations. I will tell my people that the mistakes made by previous Arab leaders should not be paid for by further sacrifice and struggles by our own.
5- Recognize Lebanon as an independent country.
6- Announce that increased standards of living of every Syrian are the sole objective of this Government.
7- In sum, tell my people that the CD that they have heard over the past 40 years was all a lie. It no longer exists. Syria had had enough being on the wrong side of history. Once the free markets do their magic in the old souks, the rush to the mosques will subside. For those that think Islam is the solution, have my economic performance do the talking. The religious People of Dubai do not seem to mind seeing western men and women around them when their economy grows by double digits. All Baath party buildings should turn into Toys-R-Us stores in 5 years.

At 12/01/2005 06:10:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

By the way, Husam didn't officially retract. It is very strange that the Syrian commission didn't take his testimony yet, maybe to avoid giving the Lebanese a legal basis for charging Husam with perjury. Mehlis has said that the behaviour of the Syrian commission was 'unethical' and 'unprofessional'.

At 12/01/2005 06:13:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"I am still waiting for the change scenario. "

Change is not the important thing here. The only important thing is to neutralize this government so that he stops conducting terror campaign in Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon.

At 12/01/2005 06:23:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Vox. As a Leabanese you can say this but Syrians would not agree, and for a good reason am sure you would agree

At 12/01/2005 06:38:00 PM, Blogger Nicolas92200 said...

It has been a while that I’ve been following the debate and although have loads of comments, I’ll refrain from adding my own personal assumptions and will rather present a “Vision From France”. A couple of interesting development took place over here that could contribute to this debate.

As you have noticed Washington and Paris have been surprisingly quiet lately on the Harriri subject. The waves are seriously starting to turn here on this subject. Since the Hussam Taher Hussam story came out the French have not commented. Or rather commented but in a different direction. Today, Le Figaro, a right-wing leaning publication (close to the current political power ie close to President Chirac) included two interesting stories on Syria. In the first one, it presented a “neutral” overview of the Hussam Taher story; a simple description of the facts and the TV presentation made by him. Yet the headline is interesting enough coming from such a newspaper: “The Mehlis Report based on two false testimonies”. The second article, more interesting, is entitled “Le clan Hariri aurait manipulé un témoin clé de l'enquête » (The Hariri Family could have manipulated a key witness in the inquiry). This article has been written by George Maibrunot, the journalist who was taken hostage in Iraq along with another of his colleagues, Christian Chesnot. The article includes some interesting comments, and questions the reason the French secret services continued to play along with both Saddiq and Hussam although the CIA and the Saudi’s and even the French interrogators themselves discredited both witnesses. The reply as quoted by an unnamed diplomat was that the “highest spheres of French politics wanted to help out (ie Chirac himself wanting to help the Harriris). I am including the links to the stories, it would be more interesting to read them directly rather than my commentary on them.

The story of political manipulation of a judicial process, the Outreau process, coincidentally, came at the same time as a major French judiciary story took place today. A group of people where falsely accused of pedophilia and were finally declared innocent. The Minister of Justice himself took the rare step of going on French TV to apologize for the grave mistake and seek an inquiry in the mechanism of the investigation.

This is leading to believe that even France is not buying the Mehlis investigation/report anymore. Although politics is more complicated than this, but a good deal of shift in the French mood is taking place. I have sensed this in many conversations I have had on the matter with my French colleagues at work (who are normally Lebanese leaning) and even another friend (a Tory Brit with usual wit mostly directed against Syrians). On TV one commentator said meniotned that he fears that it might get too personal between Mehlis and the Syrians; most of his guests (no friends of Syria at all) seemed to agree with (maybe influenced by the Outreau stor, but still…). Everyone, including myself, seem to believe that at the present moment where we stand today, the victor in this battle of wills in no-one else but Bashar Assad himself.

Coincidentally again, a story is being circulating that Total (the French oil giant), is in talks with the Syria n government regarding building an oil refinery in Syria. Maybe this the olive branch that Syria extended to Chirac (btw: a lame duck president). But Total would not have started such talks with the Syrians without a green light from the Elysees, and in return the Elysees would not have given that green light had Chirac not started to turn the page on the Mehlis episode. This is also a strong signal that sanctions may not really be a top priority, and if this is coming from France, then... (however, this story still needs confirmation).

I hope this would help the interesting debate that is going on this forum…thanks for the opportunity Josh.

Regards to all

At 12/01/2005 06:40:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Eng. chg. Regime is only 5 years old and can change from within....Are you serious? America is not looking for our best kidding! Who ever said they are? If you own president is not looking for your own interest , you think America will. You need to read the wealth of nations by adam smith

At 12/01/2005 08:00:00 PM, Blogger cigarsolo said...

i think the syrian peaple and israeli can get peace by talking to each others, obviosly they can so i suugest doing it online like happend to me i like to play online backgammon and online casinos at and over there while i play i chat with syrian peaple online and we having fun try it!!!

At 12/01/2005 08:23:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

I swear in what is most valuable to me that the solution to the world and to ME'eterners themselves is for America not to care any more about their humanity, sends them 22 good nuclear bombs and terminate those fucking people who would like to bring the whole world back to the Middle Ages, and who are used to kiss asses, and worhsip men who are liquidating them and oppressing them as the True God.

The Arab people, mostly deserve no respect from modern man. They are unworthy of being alive and unworthy to use the modern marvels of the European, Japanese and American, ariplanes, cures, etc... where are those damn Saudis, Kuwaitis, etc.. with their ugly and dirty faces from the reality of the God desired destiny for man?


At 12/01/2005 08:36:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Thanks for the 'vision from france' Nicolas...interesting stuff.

I agree its sad how much of the Syrian Constitution is absolutely ignored. This is in comparison to the US--where the constitution is something absolutely sacred and very well respected. A absolute shame I will not argue.

Your plan is very well-intentioned. I am sure you are an even bigger idealist than most of us including myself. I like dissolving the Baath (not likely though--I say allow other parties to form and be free and the Baath will lose its support naturally and competition as always is good).

With Israel--hasn't Syria been calling for peace for years now? You cannot declare the conflict over--that would give you horrible position on the bargaining table. Israel has met our overtures with a simple no. So remember things are not always dependent on our actions but also depend on timing (is neo-con admin in the US so we can't do a thing because they are very biased against us)

Basically, I think your plan, with many good points, would work well to pressure the regime to a more umm pragmatic or realistic plan.

And I didn't notice regime change in the plan and if you implied it--is it really neccessary? So won't your plan qualify as 'change from within'?

I will try to get around to Wealth of Nations one of these days--I know it is the bible of modern economics but is it really that relevent in the modern day?

Oh JAM thanks for your comment. As usual you succeed in making us all feel better about ourselves. No matter how much our opinions vary, we always have the reassurance and peace of mind that we don't think like you do. You play your role to perfection. Cheers.

At 12/01/2005 08:59:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

I think so called Engineering Change is Bashar Assad himself. He's been engineering the change in Syria for 10 years, that is after the martyrdom of his late brother Basel in his new Mercedez Benz at Damsascus Airport Road when he hit his father's statue and died because of it. Mr. Bashar has also been promising of "Enigneering the Change" since he inherited Syria and its people and wealth from his late father, the "eternal" leader of the Fucking Syrians who still want to worship his statues like "Damascene Blood".

Engineering the Changes in Syria is meaningless! Why should Bashar promise to change Syria when he inherited the perfect place from the Eternal leader? Your title should change, and go back to be called the son of the eternal leader, no more, no less. That is perhaps the only title you really deserve! What else did you do in your life beside the good inherited life, mr. Bashar?


At 12/01/2005 09:02:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Perhaps,you will wish to engineer the hole where you will hide as your predecessor, the other Eternal Leader of his country and all Arabs, Saddam Hussein.

At 12/01/2005 09:14:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

Ehsani2 wants Syria to give up the Golan Hights abandon the only secular Arab nationalistic party in the Arab wourld (the Baath Party) with all it,s faults which are faults of indiveduals not prinsibles ,so the US will not have to explain it,s unconditional support to Israel and all the hate that is directed against the US that comes from that support ,Ehsani just remember democracy needs middle class to succeed Syria needs economic reform first ,in the US we have more than two hundreds and fifty million people and the president was elected by about fifty one millions ie 25% we happy in the US not because we vote or we give political contribution but because of the economic and the legal systems which make this country(the US)great ,we all love to have Syria follow the same laws as in the US and as american Syrian we love to have the US help Syria modernise and get on the road free market economy without violence and political reform built on the american political system ,about the Syrian constitution and while we are at it i want to remove that the Syrian president should be moslem ,that should change to say the prisident should be Syrian.

At 12/01/2005 09:22:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12/01/2005 09:25:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

I have no respect nor the desire to discuss anything with any Assadist, because they are basically really animal like. However, I shall say that Assad has been in power for 35 years, hiding behind the name of a party that is called "secular", a party that was destroyed especially when Assad took power, but even before.

So, if 35 years rendered Syria the backward country we know, a country that enjoyes no fairness in anything, especially its legal System, how can those who are defending the regime speak of hope and "reform" when they had their chances and their time to do what ever they wished for in Syria and for Syria, unopposed by any one for 35 complete years, but did nothing bust destroying it, and also still speak of the Golan Heights (which they will cede shortly in exchange of staying in power as they did to face Turkey, forgetting completely Iskandarun). Damn you Assadists, you are all Mukhabarat, and opportunists. Still trying to convince yourselves that you are secular, and Baathists when you are neither.


At 12/01/2005 10:19:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Abandon the only secular and nationalistic party as well as change the regime? In case I was not clear, the answer is undoubtedly yes to both.
Norman implies that the secular nature of the regime is anough of a reason to keep them as the risk of the fanatics taking over is greater. While I advocate secularism, I think the price the country has paid to be able to enjoy secularism has been high. The party's record has been an absolute disaster and just because I agree with secularism does not mean I can ignore their other shortfalls. You have to start all over again. Wipe 42 years of Baath. Hit the delete button from the country's modern history and start all over again. The principles of the parties are simply owful. Socialism has proved to be a major failure. So has been the dream of Arab unity. As for freedom, well it dissapeared from day one with the introduction of emergency laws. Have you ever seen a party fail to deliver on all three of its promises? After 42 years of 0 out of 3, it is time to go the other way. Turn to capitalism, forget Arab unity and think about Syrian standards of living.

At 12/01/2005 11:26:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

Ehsani2 unity ,there is more in common between the arab state than between the state of the EU and betwen the Mexican american who do not speak english in many state or the black and whites or the italian american irish american and so on about freedom it is freeddom from ocupation and freedom of coice of freinds about the economy the Baath party started as social democratic party like the other social democratic partie that are in the west as you know the Baath party was established wastern educated Syrians what corupted the Baath party is the one party system which atracted opprtunists who joined the pary for personal gains and that is not confined to sertain sect or religous affiliation,although the Baath party has been the leader in Syria but it is one of a group of parties encluding the communist and the social democratic party between others ,if the us cares about the Syrian and Syria it should help Syria acheive political reform without violence so peacfull transformation,that will make the Syrians appreciate America as it deserve,Syria is moving toward free market economy the US can help by opening the US market to Syrian goods that make people like us in the middle east which better security and deterant to terror than the biggest wepon.

At 12/01/2005 11:48:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Syria was much more secular prior to Assad, and for all of its history, especially the modern one. It was Assad who created hatred between sects, and between ethnic origins of Syrians. Syria under Assad is not secular by any means. Syria's Assad is a state of gangs, some of them are using Religious affiliations to stay in power, and that is well known. The Mosque has gained more attachment to it under Assad than at any precious time, and that is not an accomplsihment on the way toward "secularism" as some of those blind poeters claim.

Not only did Assad revive religious hatred, but also tribal affiliations, mainly among Alawis.

For the ignorant of Syria's history, the fact that the dictator belongs t oa minority makes them believe that Syria is secular when it's secularism is way worse than at any time prior to this regime.


At 12/01/2005 11:54:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

And again: there is no Baath, no communism, no Social democrats, no nothing of any good or bad flavor in Syria's governing "elite". They are just a bunch of Yes men getting their Mercedez Benzes and other benefits under one family rule, that is of Assad who governs and hides behind a party (Baath) that he took over by force. So, for God's sake, stop speaking of the Baath party, and the history of its "Western" educated founders who (all of them) ended up imprisoned and dead by no one else than this big thug of all times who you are defending: Hafez Assad.

Now it is his son, the "legal" inheritor of Syria and its peasants.


At 12/01/2005 11:56:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Some "smart" posters in the past weeks mentioned the needs for an Ataturk in Syria, and that even if it gets an Ataturk like Turkey, that an Ataturk will need time to reform Syria and ensure a Secular State.

Well well; Was the period of 35 years not enough to do just that from a "Secular" son of a bitch?


At 12/01/2005 11:56:00 PM, Blogger RM said...

But what kind of secularism is this? When all key security posts are held by Alaouites?

Would you not agree that had the Syria we know been really secular the religious shares of the population in government would be fairly divided? Of course, quotas can be used to protect and guarantee participation of minorities.

This regime is making us all pay too high a price for a precarious stability. It has polarized sunnis and kurds and this animosity will last for centuries. Oblivion is not our strongest character trait.

At 12/02/2005 12:05:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

a 100% of soldiers recruited for the Repoublican Guards must be Alawis.


Fuck off!

At 12/02/2005 12:10:00 AM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

Wow, JAM, you are on a roll today. So we are now 'Fucking Syrians' and 'Assadists'. Whereas people like you represent the 'Civilized Syrians' and the 'Bushists', good for you.

Ehsani2: it seems your plan calls for change from within, which I think is the only realistic option at the moment.

Also, if you've noticed, the Baathist have been taking a beating in the last year or so, and the leadership is moving away from them. Dardari seems to be creating a climate that's attracting serious investment, so I think the change is happening as we speak.

Yeah, it might have taken some pressue from outside to weaken the Baathists, maybe that's what Bashar was waiting for, an opportunity to take the trash out?

I don't know for sure, but I think if things don't take a sharp turn to the worse, Syria is on the verge of major economic changes...

At 12/02/2005 12:20:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...


That fucked up ass, joining th epafrty for his perks!! hahahah

I can only compafre this new thug with Abd'el Ra'ouf al Kasse'm who in 1975-76 I am not sure exactloy of the year got the same gorgeous and great reputation by the Assadists when they brought him to preside over the government! He was the worst pm Syria had every known.

Well, they did the same for every horse they rode. All of the traitors and opportunists who allwo themselves to be used by the Assad family in exchange for teh perks they get will be trashed in the trash bins of history. One particular destiny of one of them was really what he deserved (though I was sorry to see it happen) was the late Mahmoud Alzou'bi.


At 12/02/2005 12:23:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Yeah yeah /.... All of the Baathies that the Assad family has been trashing and accusing of being the cause for every thing are truly trash.., bu8t to say that Bashar Assad (as was the case for his fucking father) is the only clean one and every body else, especially those who brought him to power with their blood, changing the constituition in 15 minutes to allow for the age of 34 to preside is trash .. really, you are foolish if you think the people do not know about your tricks, and how fucked up you are, and I meant people who still beat the drums fro any one of the Assad family, the dirtiest family in Syria's history.


At 12/02/2005 12:32:00 AM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

Ehsani2 said "All Baath party buildings should turn into Toys-R-Us stores in 5 years."

Great image! The idea of them carrying plastic toys that have more substance, intellectual class and quality than the current waste-of-space inhabitants (Or is this a comment on the problematic demographics of Syria?)

At 12/02/2005 12:35:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

I missed Butheina Shaaban.

How come Dardary is getting ahead of her?

I see. He is Sunni, and they need a Sunni to ride.

At 12/02/2005 02:38:00 AM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

I have just been re-reading and reflecting on the comments in this latest thread. Like in other threads, every time Ehsani2 comments it is as though a light is switched on.

Whether or not you are comfortable with what's said, here's a person who knows how to THINK, not just repeating what they have heard or "feel".

Ehsani2 may you stay with it, your words deserve to be broadcast through loudspeakers and put on posters all over Damascus and every town in Syria. I hope someone is saving your comments for use in the first free Syrian elections.

At 12/02/2005 02:54:00 AM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Its incredible really. As sure as some of the lebanese bloggers are of Syria's guilt--it seems many in Syria are equally sure and adament about Syria's innocence.

I just spoke to a friend in Syria who told me immediatly that apparently Detliv Mehlis' mother was an Israeli officer who was killed in--of all places--the Golan during war with Syria! I don't know about the accuracy of this--but this is the latest going around Syria.

And my friend says he thinks Russia has our back now and will veto any resolution against Syria--as a result--Syrians don't give a crap about the biased Mehlis process anymore. They think it is hopelessly biased against them.

Its always so interesting to me how the 'truth' can be so different according to opposite sides of an issue. There is no exception here.

I agree with Damascene: I--er--Bashar (right JAM? JAM--in between your insults and swearing u have made a good point or two in your latest posts i am proud of you, really--u know though, u don't even need your insults to make points why not relax and do away with them?) better make good use of this external pressure and hopefully make a lot of good changes soon. Solve the Kurd issue. Give Lebanon an embassy. Free some political prisoners. Maybe political parties next...i can only hope.

Ehsani obviously knows what he is talking about (except when I disagree with him of course) My only fault is that sometimes Ehsani is not very realistic in his scenerios. Small matter though, his idealistic thinking pushes us all in the right direction.

At 12/02/2005 03:26:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

And because Dardari will become the next PM, so they are letting his star shine a bit. Anyways i think the game is being played behind the scenes now, which is not where Buthaina is allowed to roam.

You will only see spokesmen/women on TV when backdoor diplomacy is not working.

At 12/02/2005 05:28:00 AM, Blogger Husam Taher Husam said...

Dear All,

I am sorry that I have been away from my keyboard for a little while, but all of a sudden, the Syrian mukhabart seem to object to my using the Internet! When I arrived a week ago, they were very nice and even gave me a Sony VAIO and all was well, you know, the one with the 17" screen, the cool one. Mind you, I would not have chosen a Sony VAIO myself, since it has major, I mean, major problems with overheating and battery life. This however, reflects how I have been feeling for the last couple of days. I have been overheating and I feel my battery life is running shorter and shorter by the day! I am starting to think that it was all a big mistake and I should have stayed in Lebanon and accepted the $1.3 Million and the Nissan Micra and a fiancé. The Syrian mukhabart have developed this new and weird look in their eyes. It's getting very creepy round here.

Anyhoo, the reason I am writing is to tell you how hurt I am about the horrible remarks Michael Young the Editor of the Lebanese Daily Star news paper has been making about me. The reason for all of this is that I once received a free subscription offer from the Daily Star, after a while however, they sent me a bill!! I phoned them and arranged a meeting with the Editor who turned out to be Michael. I told him that I was under the impression that it was a free offer, but he denied that. I told him that I would pay if his paper was any good or if it was more like the British Daily Star (which some think it is) but for this I am not prepared to pay a Lira frankly. He left very angry shouting: "You will pay for this". Man, they must be really desperate for customers!

Back here in my lovely apartment in Damascus, things are getting worse, the Syrian mukhabart guys are threatening that they might hand me over to Detlev unless I do what I'm told! Damn, I didn't think of that! They want me to have cosmetic surgery to look like Maher or Asef (the choice is mine) and send me to Vienna to be interrogated, possibly arrested and tried! This is quite different to Sa'd Hariri's suggestion, which was to have surgery for me and me alone and not to sacrifice myself for others! How do I get out of this? I phoned Sa'd using the remaining credit on my Lebanese pre-paid mobile phone (now I can only receive calls), but he pretended he didn't know me! I can't believe people these days. They quickly forget who their friends are!

One glimmer of hope though, I received a postcard from Rustum Ghazali from Vienna saying how beautiful the city is, the city of romance and real coffee with all its fantastic coffee houses like Cafe Lantman, and not those cheap American style Starbucks or In-House imitations.

He says that “the whole commission thing is a joke and they don’t know exactly what to ask you. They don’t beat you up; they even smile at you sometimes when they ask questions!”

He says that he is enjoying his stay there so much that he might not come back to Syria! Well, that's very encouraging. I have a new suit (you have seen it in my last press conference right?) which would be ideal to travel in. I personally love the UN building in Vienna; it has a nice shape and has a huge restaurant inside with amazing subsidies. Only problem is I would be looking like Asef (my choice) which could have a negative effect with the ladies. We all know what kind of bird he was able to pull.

Kind regards to all.
Husam T. Husam.

At 12/02/2005 05:33:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Active Listner,

Your kind words are much appreciated

At 12/02/2005 09:40:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

Husam.. you are a good book writer, The kids will your books for sure. would you make book deal?

At 12/02/2005 09:50:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Ehsani, I did not say that change is a bad thing. But I think it that change can only come from the inside, which is a very hard thing to achieve in a police state. Since an Iraqi scenario is not possible for Syria (for practical rather than moral reasons), I don't think that external factors or pressure (including the Mehlis investigation) will topple the regime.

At 12/02/2005 09:51:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

Syria need to reforms it's public and civil institutions
-The dominant role of the Baath party needs to be reduced to allow the real oppositions groups to participate in a program of transition to a democratic and free society to facilitate a free and fair election “even to the presidency itself”
--Mr. Assad has not until now shown the Syrian people that ( past five years) he is a reformist leader, He needs to show the county that he is on the helm of the job at this difficult time. He needs to act and remove any elements opposing the needs for institutional reform
--Abolishing Decree No. 51 “state of emergency”, in which Mr Assad himself admitted that mistake and abuse were made with Decree No.51.
--reform must reinforce the independence of the judiciary system maybe by removing the office of the presidents form the higher council of the judiciary.
--Syria in needs of justice system to fight corruptions and enforce transparency in the county public entities for fair and allow a fair and transparent biddings process.

At 12/02/2005 09:55:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12/02/2005 09:56:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

EG, you fell for Baathi propaganda again.

Mehlis has confirmed that his mother is happily living in Berlin .

Once again, you've proved that your brain was intoxicated by Baathi propaganda.

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