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 …

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!

Hauran / Ataman: “Banner: yes to Bourhan Ghalyoun and the Transitional Council”  Idlib / Taftanaz protesters carry sign supporting the NTC  Idlib / Ma’arrat Hourmah protesters carry a banner supporting NTC  Same in Idlib / Saraqib  Idlib / Binnish (big banner saluting the Council)  Same Idlib / Kafar Nabbel  Damascus / Harasta a banner supporting the council 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”


Jassem protesters come under fire As town is under virtual occupation

This new video shows protesters coming under fire in Harra on August 31 But that did not prevent them showing up today Defying snipers and army troops And they go on And on And on

Meanwhile, in Hraak, funerals are not the only occasions that lend themselves to protests, now weddings offer the same opportunity

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 , they end up dispersing them with gunfire Elsewhere in the city, protests still take place As they pass a tank, protesters shout “the Syrian army is a traitor” , Nawa an all-women demo  the men Abtaa Mleihah Sharqiyeh , Sheikh Miskeen Bosra Al-Sham Ataman



In Zamalka, a man is shot down in cold blood In nearby Arbeen, protesters come under fire As security forces carry out several raids into suburban areas, including Kisweh Darayah Qatana Hajar Aswad Qarrah The martyrs , , The wounded

Arbeen, the scene before the crackdown , Zamalka before the crackdown , Kisweh before the crackdown In Kafar Sousseh, protesters disperse as Assad militias attack

In Douma, thousands took to the streets security officers took pictures of protesters for later arrests , Later, inhabitants collect the tear gas canisters used against them Protesters make fun of the security by shouting “Ayyy” every time a gunshot is heard But security officers don’t mind shooting , , some of the ammunition used But protesters still do their thing And at night, the women come out with candles And the men carry banners But security forces use tear gas again

In Midan, hundreds protests inside Hassan Mosque at noon and hundreds take to the streets near Zain al-Abdideen Mosque 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

Deir Qanoun in Wadi Barada region joins the protest movement in full force ,


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.

Maar Shourine army troops opening fire on the city Even as more than 40,000 protesters gathered in the city shouting “Death is Better than Humiliation” and “we’ll give our blood and soul for you Hama” The view from below , ,

In heavily besieged Kafroumah, a small demonstration But soon tanks move in


Tal Rif’at destruction follows Assad’s loyalists everywhere But inhabitants cleaned up their city immediately and buried their dead , , , , before going on strike

In Andan, the protests continue , Also in Sakhour In Kurdish Kobani, heavy security presence limited the size of the protests 


Hama City , , , 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 But the defiance continues at night And earlier it had taken place in the public pool with children shouting they want to topple the regime


Protesters in Talbisseh come under heavy machinegun fire and get dispersed (3:12 minutes into the video) The activist here is a saying: “some people want dialogue and no foreign intervention? But we want foreign intervention” In pictures similar to ones we have seen before, a tank patrols the narrow streets shooting randomly at neighborhoods , The Wounded , , The martyrs The home of a local activist is targeted The blood trail

Demonstrations also take place in Rastan where Lieutenant Muhammad Tlas, an early defector, addressed the crowd Deir Baalbah Teir Maallah  Palmyra / Tadmor , Houleh

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


In Deir Ezzor City protester take the revolutionary oath and roam the streets , , Elsewhere in the province: Shaheel Qouriyeh


Protesters come under fire in Tabaqa City ,


Sri Kane / Raas Al-Ain thousands of Kurdish protesters take to the streets , Also in Qamishly