Monday, July 11, 2011

This is the End!

First it was the protesters, now it's world leaders: the end of Bashar Al-Assad's legitimacy has been achieved. His rule will soon follow.

Monday July 11, 2011

Assad loyalists and thugs attack the French and U.S. Embassies, and Clinton says Assad has lost legitimacy … Assad appoints new Governor for Hama Province. The new governor is the former governor’s deputy and is generally considered to be a “moderate” … The National Dialog fails to produce a final statement but calls for appointing a committee to revise the current Constitution … A preliminary meeting for the opposition is scheduled to take place in Istanbul on July 16th by way of preparing the way for a Salvation Conference … The Syrian army continues crackdown in the Idlib Province by conducing more raids leading to the arrests of local residents in the towns of Al-Rami, Kafar Nabbol, Kafar Haya and Sirjah...  Syrian security officers conduct raids and arrests in Hama, Homs and Baniyas, with 1 fatality reported in Homs … Protesters continue to hold demonstrations and vigils all over Syria rejecting the National Dialog and calling for the departure of Assad …

Links
"President Assad is not indispensible and we have absolutely nothing invested in him... remaining in power," Clinton said. "From our perspective, he has lost (his) legitimacy. Our goal is to see that the will of the Syrian people for a democratic transformation occurs."
The United States has summoned Syria's charge d'affairs to the State Department to formally protest Damascus's failure to protect foreign diplomatic facilities, following a mob attack on the U.S. and French embassies.
…The conference's credibility has been weakened by the scripted and stilted nature of its dialogue, dissipating any notion that Assad is seriously prepared to make concessions that will help pave a way out of his country's crippling crisis.
The next logical step for the State Department will be to directly engage in a dialogue with the real Syrian opposition, whether on Syrian ground, or in Turkey, or elsewhere, as well as to tighten the sanctions.
But the regime is also using the Internet to strike back, and the government has deployed a special unit -- the Syrian Electronic Army -- to post pro-Assad comments on anti-regime websites.
Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX) updated investors on its Syrian operations today where two wells have encountered high quality oil reservoirs.

“Nothing is ever settled until it is settled right” – Rudyard Kipling
White House demonstration to support Syrian people rights to freedom (July 23)

Did Assad really think he can get away with raiding the American and French embassies? Oh yes he did, after all, he had done it and gotten away with it before. In all, this was the third attack to take place against the American Embassy under the auspices of Bashar Al-Assad.

Indeed, under Bashar’s rule, American, British, French, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish interests were attacked on different occasions, and in each time, the duplicity of Syrian authorities was glaringly obvious. The most famous attack was of course the mock terrorist assault in 2006, which was designed to help the Assads argue their continued relevance to the Global War on Terror at a time when they were stoking troubles in Iraq and Lebanon, and repressing their people at home.

Before Bashar’s rule, American and other foreign ambassadors and dignitaries used to walk and jog unescorted almost anywhere in Damascus, and all across Syria.

The BBC's Kim Ghattas in Washington said her statement was cleverly worded - it might convince more Syrians to give up on Mr Assad, while not requiring any action by Washington which can continue to say it is up to the Syrian people to choose their leaders. Our correspondent adds that the US had been wary of a repeat of the Libya scenario, where after calling for Col Muammar Gaddafi to leave power, it has struggled to make that happen.

One continuing puzzle is the position of the White House on Syria. Even Senator John Kerry, a serial Assad engager, says he no longer believes the dictator. But Mr. Obama has kept a low profile, as he has on most of the Arab Spring, save to repeat his formulation that Mr. Assad ought to lead political reform or "get out of the way." That suggests he still thinks this is a regime he can do business with—notwithstanding Bashar Assad's collusion with terrorists, alliance with Iran, arming of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the killing of over a thousand Syrian civilians in a failed attempt to stop the protests. Washington can best help Syrians bring about real change by ending this illusion and breaking with the murderous regime in Damascus.

The ongoing cyber-war between loyalists and revolutionaries intensifies with the revolutionaries scoring the latest hit when they managed to hack into the website of the official newspaper Tishreen, and post a mock announcement of Bashar Al-Assad’s resignation, as the screengrab below shows. The announcement stayed on for 30 minutes before loyalists managed to take back the site and remove it.


FEATURED VIDEOS

Homs / Talbisseh / July 11: protesters come under fire during a vigil
Homs / Khaldiyeh / July 8: Homs is the place is that invented the curse phrase “Damn your soul Abou Hafiz (Bashar Al-Assad nickname).” To the Shabbiha, who hold Bashar Al-Assad and his family as well-nigh holy, this is as close to blasphemy as anyone can get. This is why Homs has become the focus of their anger, more than any other place at this stage. As people look for reasonable explanations for some aspects of this crackdown, the explanation might often be found in these small irrational details. 

VIGILS AND DEMONSTRATIONS / JULY 11
Rejecting the ongoing “dialog” is the common theme in all. The call of “the people want to topple the regime” is as ubiquitous as usual.  

DAMASCUS

Zamalka
Qaboun: residents chase away the state-appointed mayor. Speaker remind everyone that there many who are at home who support us with their prayers and wishes, if nothing else.
Then they organize the daily night-time protest
Al-Qadam: Banner “No to Dialog”
Saqba
Kafar Sousseh
Maaraba
Barzeh
Douma
Harasta
Al-Tall

DEIR EZZOR

Qouriyeh
Albou Kamal
Deir Ezzor City / Midlej Square

HAMA

Kafar Zita
Hamam City / Al-Jisr Neighborhood

HOMS

Bab Dreib
Al-Wa’er: funeral
Al-Qousour
Bab Amr
Another funeral

IDLIB

Idlib City
Taftanaz
Binnish
Maarrat Al-Nouman
Joseff
Bassamis

LATTAKIA

Lattakia

DERAA

Tseel