Monday, July 25, 2011

What Assads Want!

The Assads seek the impossible, the protester are achieving it.

Sunday July 24, 2011

The mass detentions campaign launch by Assad officials continues with dozens of arrests reported all over the country … Military and security forces lay siege to several Damascene suburbs, including Al-Qadam, Qaboun, Douma and Barzeh … Assad sacks the Governors of Deir Ezzor and Quneitra …

More than 50 people have been killed in the past week in Homs, 160 kilometers north of Damascus, either by army gunfire or in clashes between rival demonstrators, rights activists have said. They have accused the government of sowing sectarian strife among the city's Christians, Sunni Muslims and Assad's Alawite minority community.
The new law, which was adopted during a Cabinet session, outlines the basic goals and principles regulating parties, establishes the conditions and procedures for establishing and licensing them, and sets out rules regarding parties' resources, funding, rights and duties, SANA reported.
Through crackdowns, and threats of sectarian violence, the protests have only grown in both scale, scope, and reach. To repeat the rhetorical questions I asked earlier on Friday; Where AREN'T they protesting in Syria?
… But even protesters themselves acknowledge the way sectarian tensions have deepened, especially along fault lines of Sunni and Alawite communities, as in Homs, especially in its countryside.
Forces backed by tanks entered the village, electricity and water supplies were cut off and arrests made, the local co-ordinating committees reported. Activists also reported reinforcements entering Homs, the flashpoint city north of Damascus that was the focus of an increased crackdown last week, and a campaign of detentions in Damascus.

What do the Assads want? To get away with murder of course. They have done it repeatedly before, and they are hoping to do it again. They are hoping that a confluence of the usual factors: fear of instability, of sectarian strife and of chaos along the Golan and Turkish borders will make world and regional leaders, not to mention certain segments of the Syrian people, reticent in their desire to push for regime change, and be content with whatever mediocre show the Assads are willing to stage for their benefit.

Will they get away with it, again? Of course they will, IF we give up. The key to defeating the Assads is to give them enough rope with which to hang themselves, as we keep stoking the fires of revolution and stand firm behind our demand for complete fall of the regime, including the departure of all members of the Assad family and his inner circle. The Assads will keep squirming in the corner, mixing tactics, stalling, lying, killing, but as long as we keep taking to the streets, day in and day out, pressure will keep building up inside their small circles until they implode. The end will be dramatic and bloody, but it will be worth it. Freedom is worth any price we pay for it, even civil strife. The protesters continue to do their best not to get blood on their hands and they have, for the most part, been successful. I for one will not blame them for the actions of the few. There will always be people who will never be able to full commit to the philosophy of nonviolence. This was as true in the days of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. as it is now.

Moreover, unlike the British and all foreign occupiers, our tyrants and their supporters rarely have other places to go, and they usually govern with a sense of entitlement that no foreign occupier can boast. Even at their most cynical, they will continue to believe that they are in the right. No logic can serve to dampen their zeal for asserting full control whatever the price. In the case of the Assads, the family-based character of their rule, combined with their reliance on manipulating the fears of the Alawite community, makes the idea of coxing them out of power untenable. This has long become a family enterprise, and the decision-making is diffused among many individuals, each with the ability to command the army, the security forces and the militias. No one can decide on behalf of the whole family, not even Bashar Al-Assad. The only solution in this case is to keep pushing and pushing and pushing until the whole thing comes tumbling down, and then deal with the messy consequences. There is no other solution. There is no other way out. There is no miracle cure. And stalling will not change the nature of the challenge.

Washington, DC / July 23: My speech at the protest near the White House. Despite 100 degree weather, over 1,200 Syrian-Americans showed up to show their solidarity with their compatriots in Syria. It was a pretty energetic crowd, and people kept chanting the same slogans and songs repeated by the revolutionaries in various protest communities all over Syria. It was an honor to be given the chance to speak.

Homs / the Military Academy / July 24: a gruesome video showing the dead bodies of the defectors who were killed by Assad loyalists on Friday.
Homs / Bab Amr / July 24: security officers rough up the blindfolded Imam of Al-Jilani Mosque in the Bab Amr neighborhood in their ongoing attempt to stir up sectarian conflict. After all, it is very clear that they are the ones to leak this video showing them humiliating a respected local religious Sunni leader.
Deraa City / July 15: this recently uploaded video shows an amazing scene that took place in Deraa City 2 weeks ago. Protesters called on army troops using a loudspeaker not to shoot at them as they demonstrated and called for toppling the regime, still army troops tried to intimidate the protesters by firing over their heads, but protesters refused to disperse and kept marching on.
More defectors: the first video shows Sergeant Muhaimin Al-Ta’I who, in addition to his military training, has a law degree, and it shows in his delivery style. He accuses his comrades of crimes against the Syrian people, and the Syrian media of lying to the people. The second video shows Sergeant Muhammad Khalaf Al-Aqleh announcing his defection from the security forces, because, instead of serving people they turned into serving the Assad regime.
Idlib / Saraqib / July 24: protesters play a dangerous game of taunting army troops with cries of “the people want to topple the regime” and “the people and the army are one,” and they get shot at.
Homs / Bab Al-Sibaa / July 24: under siege and following days of armed incursions by security forces and pro-Assad militias, the children of Bab Al-Sibaa find a bit of fun in reenacting the clashes.
Homs / July 22: different demonstrations merging during the protests on Friday
Aleppo / Manakh / July 23: more communities around Aleppo join the protest movement.

Hama / Kafar Zita
(Major demonstration despite army siege)
Homs / Al-Qousour Neighborhood
Homs / Al-Bayadah Neighborhood
Homs / Bab Tamor
Homs / Deir Baalbah
Damascus / Zahira Neighborhood
Damascus / Midan
Damascus / Al-Qadam
Damascus / Harasta
Damascus / Al-Qalamoun / Al-Qarrah
Damascus / Jobar
Damascus / Douma
Damascus / Barzeh
Damascus / Kisweh
Damascus / Dmeir
Idlib / Ma’arat Hirmeh
Idlib / Khan Sheikhoun
Deir Ezzor / Albou Kamal