Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Freudian Slip & A Busted Spy!

A Freudian Slip and A Busted Spy is what you need to make a Humble Pie.

Wednesday October 12, 2011

The Department of Justice announces the arrest of a Syria-American man who was engaged to spy on protesters in the United States --- Assad loyalists plans for organizing a million-march in support of their president succeed only in producing a Freudian slip that shows that even diehard loyalists believe the end of the Assad regime is nigh ---

The Freudian Slip

At a time when so many are concerned about the decreasing size and number of protest demonstrations, the Assads’ attempt to overwhelm our senses with the cries of their supporters proved to be underwhelming, and revealed that both sides by now are indeed tired.

First, it was the choice of the Square: The 7 Fountains Square, although located in downtown Damascus, is not even ¼ the size of the Umayad Square, the usual venue for loyalty demonstration, with its ability to accommodate large crowds and its proximity to Syrian State TV and the headquarters several security apparatuses as well as the presidential palace.

Despite official assertions that over a million loyalists took place in the event, a Facebook user using information readily obtained via Google, estimated that since Square measures around 15,000 m2, and assuming that each square meter can accommodate 4 loyalists, the total number of participants could not have exceeded 60,000. But even if it were 100,000, the gap between the usual size crowds and this one is simply too glaring and too telling. With the majority of college, high school and junior high students taking a well-timely sick leave, Assad security officers could not put out the usual show. And the strain was so much for some of them, it seems, hence the first Freudian slip of the day: 

Bashar Al-Assad will Fall (28 second into the clip): was it done on purpose, or in the confusion of the moment? Place your bets. What’s clear is that after saying “He won’t fall, he won’t fall,” with the crowd repeating after him, the speaker at the rally, said: “Bashar Al-Assad will fall,” and the crowd repeated exactly what he said” Bashar Al-Assad will fall” The mistake was grievous, the only to handle it, it seems, was to simply ignore it and start a new chant.

Meanwhile, a brave activist took a camera and went into the crowd, narrating her experiences and saying that Bashar Al-Assad does not represent her But just before plunging into the crowd, the activist addressed the Syrian people and begged them not to be fooled with this phony spectacle

Be that as it may, all the Assads have to do is hold on. It’s we, the opposition, the activists, the dissidents, the revolutionaries, who have to provide a vision for a better tomorrow, we are the ones who have to provide enough momentum to overcome the inertia of the status quo. So, one way or another we have to find the strength to move back to the streets, even as we begin to debate the ideas and notions that will shape our lives tomorrow. And remember, we have to talk about ideas and notions, not personalities and terminologies.

The Busted Spy

“Under the direction and control of Syrian officials, Soueid is accused of recruiting individuals living in the United States to collect information on and make audio and video recordings of protests against the Syrian regime – including recordings of conversations with individual protestors – in the United States and Syria.   He is also charged with providing the recordings and other information to individuals working for the Mukhabarat.  According to the indictment, Soueid and others conspired to use this information to undermine, silence, intimidate and potentially harm those in the United States and Syria who engaged in the protests.”

It will be interesting to see, in light of the threats recently uttered by Assad’s Grand Mufti, if this recruitment process included elements meant to do more than just “make audio and video recording of protests.”

Moreover, considering that Hezbollah supporters in the U.S. have been playing a key role in organizing pro-Assad demonstrations and events in places like Washington, D.C. and Dearborn, Michigan, as well as the recent uncovering of an Iranian-led plot against the person of the Saudi Ambassador in Washington, it seems, that even with a lead-from-behind policy on part of the Obama Administration, our bad guys are intent on bringing their brand of mad adventurism and turf-wars onto U.S. soil. Meaning: America does have a stake in the outcome of the Arab Revolution, and more specifically, the Syrian crisis, and should play a more active, if not proactive role.

The Humble Pie

If anything, the previous two incidents illustrate more than ever the need for a strong push now to ensure the collapse of the Assad regime. The regime is clearly on the brinks, and even at it carries on with its murderous activities, it is slowly but surely losing the ability to muster domestic support. It’s hanging on by default at this stage. But this is a position that it can maintain for all too long, and at the cost of so many Syrian lives, unless the opposition and the protesters receive a much needed international boost. In other words, opposition groups need to stop their jockeying for positions in the spotlight, to produce a political vision that can inspire the protesters, the silent majority, and even the people caught by default on the other side, thus avoiding to make the wrong kind of history, the kind they made back in the 1950s onward, and the U.S. needs to start leading again, from where leadership is usually done: the front row.

A big humble pie awaits those who wrangle and dither.

News from the Front

Homs City: homes raided and looted in Bayadah Neighborhood Earlier in the day, pro-Assad militias stormed the neighborhood and filled the air with gunfire and tanks drove through its narrow streets and troops tracked down protesters , , Tanks shelled their way into Baba Amr Neighborhood as well And there was heavy gunfire , But protesters remained steadfast after coming under fire Clashes in Bab Al-Sibaa left several wounded, including this young man armored vehicles in Qoussour shelling of Deir Baalbah the aftermath of shelling , Tanks and loyalist troops take up positions in the neighborhood Martyrs from Deir Baalbah Troops storm Khaldiyeh Neighborhood ,

In the nearby town of Rastan, loyalist troops and security officers maintain their presence In nearby Talbisseh, and despite the ongoing occupation by loyalist, locals go out at night in support of their revolution Qseir In Houleh, locals also took to the streets despite mass security presence Palmyra (Tadmor) (day) students demonstration

But at night, people took back to the streets: Insha’aat (Banner: Russia and China are enemies of humanity) Deir Baalbah Ghouta (Banner: we demand quick international intervention) Bab Houd Wa’er Qarabees & Jouret Al-Shayah

In Ma’arrat Al-Nouman in Idlib Province, locals get fired on from tanks

Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army announces its command structure and the geographical allocation of its division and the names of their leaders And here the Khalid Bin Al-Walid Division in the FSA announces its version of what went on in Rastan and their fight against an invasion by loyalist troops, claiming that they had managed to hold up Assad’s armies for more than 3 days, and in the process destroying more than 40 armored vehicles and leaving 1,000 casualties among loyalist troops between dead and wounded. The officer says that the pullout came on request from the medical doctors who couldn’t keep up with the level of casualties among civilians caused by random shelling. The officer says that they listened to the doctors’ demand because the main reason they took up arms against loyalists in the first place was to protect civilians. The officer ended his statement by calling for more defections

In the town of Ariha in the Idlib Province, the Sulaiman Armed Group, which does not seem to be affiliated with the FSA at this stage, claimed responsibility for an attack on a loyalist checkpoint destroying a number of armored vehicles and a tank and killing 15 loyalists and 1 Lieutenant. The Group also claimed responsibility for attacking another checkpoint at the city Ma’rrat Al-Nouman, killing 4 loyalist soldiers, and hijacking an armored vehicle on the highway leading to Kafar Zita. All operations took place on October 11

On a related note, Brigadier General, Radwan Al-Naddoush, from the Air-Force Intelligence, announces his defection 

This leaked video shows more abuse of detainees by loyalist troops

Idlib: Jabal Al-Zawiyeh Binnish In the morning of October 13, loyalist troops invade the city again Idlib City , Kafroumah Khan Shaikhoon a funeral for a child killed by loyalists Taftanaz Kafar Takhareem Kafar Nabbol Ma’arrat Masreen Ghadfah Courine Kafar Yahmoul

Hama: Karnaz Hama city Khattab junior high students demonstrating after school Kafar Nabboudeh Taybat Al-Imam

In DamascusMidan District, protesters called for international protection Elsewhere in the Midan Douma , Kisweh (Banner: we are not forced to be here) Kafar Sousseh Zabadani (day) Saqba (day) Arbeen (day) In Dmeir, locals held a funeral for this activist In Zamalka protester carried Libyan flags in appreciation of the support the Revolution is receiving from the TNC Qadam (day) Harasta (day) Barzah (day) Kafar Batna Rankous Qarrah Yabroud Hamouriyeh (day) Kanaker

Deraa/Hauran: Da’el Mseifrah Khirbet Ghazaleh Basr Al-Harir Hraak (Banner: get it, we want a no-fly zone) (day) Tseel Deraa City (Banner: we want a no-fly zone) Kafar Shams Nahteh Sourah Ankhel a student demonstration In Jassem, high schoolers and Junior High students throw stones at loyalist troops Jizah Sanamein Namar Tal Shihab