Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sour Grapes!

We in the Syrian opposition are hopelessly divided, and we are indeed falling, and failing our people. We need to mount a revolution within the ranks of the opposition.

Friday September 2, 2011

22 protesters were killed and dozens wounded by Assad security forces during crackdown on demonstrations that swept the country. 11 of the deaths took place in the Damascene suburbs of Arbeen, Douma, Kafar Batna and Hamouriyeh, 8 took place in Homs (4 in Homs City, 2 in Qseir and 2 in Talbisseh) and 3 in Deir Ezzor … In an act of solidarity with the Syrian people, Yemeni protesters today raised Syrian flags and chanted anti-Assad slogans …

Links
While the protests within Syria have maintained momentum, divisions within the opposition are hindering international efforts to facilitate a post-Assad transition.
Persistent divisions and a brutal crackdown have prevented Syria's dissidents from presenting a united front against the Assad regime.
The regime is increasingly isolated at home and abroad, but remains bunkered down and ready to fight to the end. The exact nature of that end game is not clear, but seems imminent now, especially in view of just the past week’s events.
For now, they protest, campaign and brief lawmakers about the uprising that has left at least as 2,200 dead. But in terms of political influence, it may be Ziadeh who has the most leverage. “He is not so much a person as an institution,” Abdulhamid says.

A banner carried by one of the protesters in Hauran/Deraa Province today read “the opposition eats sour grapes, and the Revolutionaries’ teeth are set on edge.” This sums up how people feel about the opposition today. Though many carried banners supporting the recently announced transitional council, they were aware of course of the controversy its formation has generated, and of the reluctance of many in the opposition to endorse it. The fact that Burhan Ghalioun, the French-educated secular academic named to lead the council, has just announced that while he accepts the responsibility of being leader, he will give himself 2 weeks to form a council of his choosing, serves to underline the ever-widening gap separating people in his position from the street. While I am not surprised, I am dismayed, and so are many protest leaders, young and old.

Had Burhan accepted the nomination, convened the Council and then proposed some changes, he would have demonstrated the tact required for the task at hand, that task of leading the transitional period. But, by giving himself an additional 2 weeks in which so many things can happen both on the street, such as more killings and more cracks in the leadership of the protest movement inside the country, and within the opposition circles, like the anticipated announcements of new councils or the emergence of new initiatives that will only confuse people more and more, Burhan betrayed an inability to appreciate how deep popular resentment towards the opposition has become, how dangerous this development is, and how time-sensitive this whole issue of transitional council is in relation to maintaining the relevance of the opposition to the protest movement. Burhan has thus failed his first test as political leader, and that test might just be his last. Revolutionary times are not forgiven, and second chances are hard to come by. The Transitional Council as proposed by the youth activists in Ankara might have become irrelevant already, but so is Burhan Ghalioun as potential leader. By the time he announces his council, the marketplace might already be crowded again, and the street that just yesterday called his name with a certain newfound affection, might ignore it all together tomorrow. The protesters were only willing to endorse Burhan inasmuch as he was willing to endorse their initiative. This was a pragmatic move on their part, not a sign of adoration. His failure to understand that and his attempt at obfuscation will only backfire soon enough, but the repercussions will be borne by all. Sour grapes indeed! Sourpusses galore!

TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL
Hauran / Ataman: “Banner: yes to Bourhan Ghalyoun and the Transitional Council” http://youtu.be/wZWBlE5hjJs  Idlib / Taftanaz protesters carry sign supporting the NTC http://youtu.be/GwZUJUWajd4  Idlib / Ma’arrat Hourmah protesters carry a banner supporting NTC http://youtu.be/1YZnXwb_eaU  Same in Idlib / Saraqib http://youtu.be/zkivKZzApAg  Idlib / Binnish (big banner saluting the Council) http://youtu.be/3ke-ZoTfqBs  Same Idlib / Kafar Nabbel http://youtu.be/8i7kcQlayA0  Damascus / Harasta a banner supporting the council http://youtu.be/fZSPK4VbqJI In this banner carried by protesters in Qarabees in Homs, people are demanding that talks about opposition unity should take place under the Ankara Initiative, that is the NTYC announcement, “or else” http://youtu.be/_X6DknXqGWk

HAURAN/DERAA

Jassem protesters come under fire http://youtu.be/T-uZJ4bNVlM As town is under virtual occupation http://youtu.be/6VUcig0LiGY

This new video shows protesters coming under fire in Harra on August 31 http://youtu.be/9J2lEEWlGgA But that did not prevent them showing up today http://youtu.be/9zYLVvXGA-k Defying snipers http://youtu.be/wnYwQrnfj88 and army troops http://youtu.be/c7wujuLAjW0 And they go on http://youtu.be/BxtiembTql0 And on http://youtu.be/gvUPp7QqOCk And on http://youtu.be/upoPzowGHF8

Meanwhile, in Hraak, funerals are not the only occasions that lend themselves to protests, now weddings offer the same opportunity http://youtu.be/kX3fAPXl4fQ

Daytime: Tens of thousands take to the streets in…

Daytime demonstrations also took place in:
Deraa City (Kahshef Neighborhood) army prevents worshippers from entering mosque http://youtu.be/5m571B1f3p4 , http://youtu.be/rdRGWYRLZXQ they end up dispersing them with gunfire http://youtu.be/rGej9lMCqIA Elsewhere in the city, protests still take place  http://youtu.be/QMzXd0LLYyc As they pass a tank, protesters shout “the Syrian army is a traitor” http://youtu.be/fs0g3zY1Yfk , http://youtu.be/FFP5drp0UkE Nawa an all-women demo http://youtu.be/R6qiPCEH4T4  the men http://youtu.be/59drPNKMwz0 Abtaa http://youtu.be/zqM78nE8AHo Mleihah Sharqiyeh http://youtu.be/HtXuXpdvvRA , http://youtu.be/KW-h92n5f4o Sheikh Miskeen http://youtu.be/ttirXeMyWdA Bosra Al-Sham http://youtu.be/RZVmGVsPZTo Ataman http://youtu.be/0KXsXXR4DyY

Nighttime

DAMASCUS

In Zamalka, a man is shot down in cold blood http://youtu.be/RsCQoDyiODw In nearby Arbeen, protesters come under fire http://youtu.be/9uZiY4otVnI As security forces carry out several raids into suburban areas, including Kisweh http://youtu.be/K05ukFPnA1k Darayah http://youtu.be/0gpnAK5Jc_Q Qatana http://youtu.be/527gK2zoItg Hajar Aswad http://youtu.be/l9hwJJ2WRUg Qarrah http://youtu.be/wV_dk0UjwJo The martyrs http://youtu.be/couXxn4Tisw , http://youtu.be/61dBmo0nN0w , http://youtu.be/i5JcvjbEcAc The wounded http://youtu.be/dbgtMBtitt0

Arbeen, the scene before the crackdown http://youtu.be/TehI2nca0hc , http://youtu.be/5aEXAcAbtGM Zamalka before the crackdown http://youtu.be/MS3WBKo5nEo , http://youtu.be/qkq2AdgNMjA Kisweh before the crackdown http://youtu.be/xehrBOf6gjU In Kafar Sousseh, protesters disperse as Assad militias attack http://youtu.be/6xkn-daTqCY

In Douma, thousands took to the streets http://youtu.be/EpzOgt8NJAg security officers took pictures of protesters for later arrests http://youtu.be/8KaO-l3Haeg , http://youtu.be/-SLLti-dlqc Later, inhabitants collect the tear gas canisters used against them http://youtu.be/L2TfUFaq8M8 Protesters make fun of the security by shouting “Ayyy” every time a gunshot is heard http://youtu.be/qg44iXve9tw But security officers don’t mind shooting http://youtu.be/c7fMrLGiqL0 , http://youtu.be/DgdAfyf6jb0 , http://youtu.be/kkVTkqWj2rs some of the ammunition used http://youtu.be/papz2oEdhG0 But protesters still do their thing http://youtu.be/M0I1DBLNpz8 And at night, the women come out with candles http://youtu.be/-w5Zcka7sz4 And the men carry banners http://youtu.be/p1H4oX0kgjI But security forces use tear gas again http://youtu.be/Cj6hDdhzb3o

In Midan, hundreds protests inside Hassan Mosque at noon http://youtu.be/-c9yj4--auA and hundreds take to the streets near Zain al-Abdideen Mosque http://youtu.be/FuB1_m_t-G0 Sheikh Kareem Rajeh compares officials dismissive reaction towards soldiers abusing the Qur’an with their violent reaction to protesters stamping on a poster of Assad, a clear jab against Bashar himself who in his meeting with religious scholars tried to dismiss these kinds of abuses by his troops as reflecting individual stances http://youtu.be/8cXcc_Op23g

Deir Qanoun in Wadi Barada region joins the protest movement in full force http://youtu.be/XXlQth-bMeA , http://youtu.be/K80aby_WUVA


IDLIB

Thousands of protesters flock to Kafar Nabboudeh and demonstrate in front of the house of Adnan Bakkour, Hama City’s Attorney General who defected two days ago. http://youtu.be/dWZ3szyR_nk

Maar Shourine army troops opening fire on the city http://youtu.be/xMTYUtP6YUo Even as more than 40,000 protesters gathered in the city http://youtu.be/FeoqVzLixwI shouting “Death is Better than Humiliation” http://youtu.be/DIXcHsje-yU and “we’ll give our blood and soul for you Hama” http://youtu.be/-IyolwXV2Ws The view from below http://youtu.be/DHHhbs5O75Q , http://youtu.be/XFS-oeFcwXw , http://youtu.be/7ddftYzPwrI


In heavily besieged Kafroumah, a small demonstration  http://youtu.be/C0LuD8es75U But soon tanks move in http://youtu.be/qAucxpfdcHo

ALEPPO

Tal Rif’at destruction follows Assad’s loyalists everywhere http://youtu.be/707sdyCxsRk But inhabitants cleaned up their city immediately http://youtu.be/SBqfX-JgGlo and buried their dead http://youtu.be/2pOUES6hcfc , http://youtu.be/LtdfCQt05NE , http://youtu.be/97CZeKqZw3Q , http://youtu.be/D-G40PG8ftM , http://youtu.be/L53gof8XTt0 before going on strike http://youtu.be/7vK7kQa5chI

In Andan, the protests continue http://youtu.be/4ZU_TjlYLFM , http://youtu.be/1Cqc8dikSlY Also in Sakhour http://youtu.be/--gP1vcTyHQ In Kurdish Kobani, heavy security presence limited the size of the protests http://youtu.be/KFyTsfTgnA8 

HAMA

Hama City http://youtu.be/RHF3ZaIaLeQ , http://youtu.be/GKk9B8xPnhw , http://youtu.be/SLvB7roq7eI , http://youtu.be/uvpCzLA3hJo The fact that the demonstration is not too large, does not matter, it’s the willingness to defy that does, and protesters do come under fire http://youtu.be/iOLPBLJOc6w But the defiance continues at night http://youtu.be/4m-0EjlvPK4 And earlier it had taken place in the public pool http://youtu.be/6Grg7dMN7R4 with children shouting they want to topple the regime http://youtu.be/T0pK-QeYZCc


HOMS

Protesters in Talbisseh http://youtu.be/GpUHRZQsgmk come under heavy machinegun fire and get dispersed (3:12 minutes into the video) http://youtu.be/JHSQyaa8WP8 The activist here is a saying: “some people want dialogue and no foreign intervention? But we want foreign intervention” http://youtu.be/0VO9b1AVsCs In pictures similar to ones we have seen before, a tank patrols the narrow streets shooting randomly at neighborhoods http://youtu.be/998sn8PyyHs , http://youtu.be/iZq-wQgYrTU The Wounded http://youtu.be/n3ovZRKN1VY , http://youtu.be/mk1f4OEey3E , http://youtu.be/J2phRTqeHf4 The martyrs http://youtu.be/CT69D86AXmI The home of a local activist is targeted http://youtu.be/dbP3XqzvIec The blood trail http://youtu.be/ETvdvC0yKBQ

Demonstrations also take place in Rastan http://youtu.be/OmBllR5wmg4 where Lieutenant Muhammad Tlas, an early defector, addressed the crowd http://youtu.be/o8PapY2fZxQ Deir Baalbah http://youtu.be/XOLZO4WXZ18 Teir Maallah http://youtu.be/Ubf9ZHNWLNA  Palmyra / Tadmor http://youtu.be/21nRr-OtbAs , http://youtu.be/MZ5kaGJNm1w Houleh http://youtu.be/9P_l9ks6Kyg



LATTAKIA
The inhabitants of Lattakia City stage several small protests in defiance just to prove that despite the crackdown, the protesters are not backing down


DEIR EZZOR

In Deir Ezzor City protester take the revolutionary oath http://youtu.be/USq15k85WeY and roam the streets http://youtu.be/mEsFh2Fap00 , http://youtu.be/YJl8llkk4rw , http://youtu.be/FTrVmHP1yRg Elsewhere in the province: Shaheel http://youtu.be/3SUNAimWObo Qouriyeh http://youtu.be/oG554P77Svw

RAQQAH

Protesters come under fire in Tabaqa City http://youtu.be/Yg3C9bSFA7I , http://youtu.be/qu4XBZMOfRI

HASSAKEH

Sri Kane / Raas Al-Ain thousands of Kurdish protesters take to the streets http://youtu.be/3j532I9Dq_A , http://youtu.be/bmYmKjogGB4 Also in Qamishly http://youtu.be/sbAd0AKev60