More protests in Aleppo and across Syria in support of Deraa as Hama Rules play out in “slow-motion,” and the world is too busy pontificating over significance of Bin Laden’s death.
Wednesday May 4, 2011
·Putting our Body-Snatching appellation in perspective, according Wissam Tarif, the director of the human rights organization, Insan, declared that the number of detainees and the missing to date could exceed 8,000. Most detainees come from Deraaand neighboring communities, Zabdani, Madaya, Homs and neighboring communities, Lattakia, Jableh, and Tartous. The Body-Snatching Campaign continues.
·Over 100 tanks and armored vehicles have been sighted in the vicinity of the Rastan and Hama cities in Central Syria. The residents of both cities have been conducting so-called “cleansing” campaigns removing every trace of Assad rule from their neighborhoods, be it statues, graffiti and/or posters, despite previous bloody crackdown by security forces. 18 people were killed in the peaceful protests in Rastan on Friday April 29.
·Army troops and tanks have also laid siege to the coastal city of Banyas, where daily protest have been conducted over the last week, with protesters calling for toppling the regime. Still, over 2,000 protesters held demonstrations in the city today.
·Other cities and towns under siege include: Kisweh, Mouaddamiyyah, Darayyah, Douma, Harasta (all suburbs of Damascus) and Talbisseh (Homs).
·Security forces raided the Damascene suburb of Saqba making hundreds of arrests.
·150 students at the University of Damascus held a brief sit-in in solidarity with the people of Deraa.
·1,000 protesters held a demonstration in Seif Al-Dawleh Neighborhood in central Aleppo today that was quickly broken down by security forces in uniform and civvies with dozens of arrests made.
·300 protesters held a brief demonstration in Darayya despite the siege.
·2,000 held protests in Homs’s Bab Al-Sibaa Neighborhood calling for toppling the regime and lifting the siege ion Deraa, Talbisseh and Rastan.
·The Syrian newspaper Al-Watan claims Assad told a group of dignitaries from the northeast that the army’s mission in Deraa “will be over soon” and that “all world states can witness developments like those in Deraa.” Provided Hitler, Mousseline, Stalin and Pol Pot are still alive of course.
“Freedom in the Levant doesn’t mean freedom,” said Joshua Landis, professor of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma and a Syria specialist. “Freedom in the Levant is code for one community getting in power over another community. Unfortunately, that’s the way it turns out in reality.”
My comment on this: This is what the ruling regimes in the region try to accomplish, there is always a zero-sum game. But things don’t have to be this way, and step one towards changing this formula is to stop framing things in this culturally deterministic way. Cultural determinism told us Arabs will never rebel in this manner, but here they are, the Arab people moving and changing their realities even in the police state that is Syria. So the old paradigm regarding how things are and will in the region is obviously faltering. The right set of incentives and guarantees can change everything. This is what we should be thinking about rather than washing our hands and hiding behind such facile assumptions and fatalistic assertions.
Damascus University Protest
Deraa / Al-Hara:protests in support of Deraa City.
Deraa / Al-Hara: “Bashar, your days are numbered”
Kafrouma:vigil in protest over arrests of local residents
Deraa / Ankhel: Syrian TV does not air this interview in which the wounded says the army opened fire unprovoked.
Deraa / Jassem / May 3: mass protest“the people want to topple the regime.” They also salute RecepTayyip Erdogan for his support for freedom.
Homs / Bab Al-Sibaa:“the Syrian people cannot be trampled on”
Damascus / Darayyah: chanting against pro-Assad armed gangs
Talkalakh: protesters tear posters of Bashar and carry banners calling for toppling the regime and asserting commitment to national unity
Aleppo / Demonstration:“Lift the siege” “We sacrifice our blood and soul for you Deraa”
Hama: “the people want to topple the regime” “where are the infiltrators”
Homs: “Bye Bye Bashar, have a goodnight”
Banyas: protesters hoist the Turkish flag in appreciate of Erdogan’s situation and chant “the people want to topple the regime”