Monday, October 24, 2011

Time for International Intervention!

No more hypocrisy! World and Syrian opposition leaders should face the fact that the Syrian situation now requires international intervention and that the Assads need to be stopped by any means necessary.

Sunday October 23, 2011

18 protesters were killed on Saturday in the continuing crackdown led by pro-Assad militias: 11 in Homs City, 3 in Damascus Province (2 in Madaya and 1 in Kafar Batna), 2 in Idlib Province (1 in Sarmeen and 1 in Ma’arrat Hourmah) and 2 in Deraa/Hauran Province (1 in Abtaa and 1 in Jassem).

On Sunday, dubbed “Your turn has come Doctor” in reference to the death of Gaddafi, 21 protesters fell including 2 in Madeeq in Hama Province, 2 in Deir Ezzor City and 17 in the town of Mseifrah in Deraa/Hauran Province.

Meanwhile, EU leaders threatened Assad with more sanctions as they renewed calls for him to step down, while Syria’s new military chief of the armed forces describes the current crisis in Syria as a Zionist imperialist conspiracy.


The hypocrisy of it all is too glaring. Homs City is being bombed to smithereens under our very eyes, and the world that was willing to bleed in pain for a Benghazi that has not yet been attacked is admonishing patience and dialog, as attempts at self-defense by locals get depicted as morally compromising. This has to remain a peaceful protest, we are told, so the revolution can retain its moral superiority. No one admonished the Libyans to do that and no one described their revolution as immoral even though it turned violent within days of its start. And the world rushed in to save Libya and the Libyans, even before the death toll reached a 100.

Where have the bleeding hearts of the world disappeared? If they are worried about the cost of their intervention, they can rest assured that we can afford to pay them just like the Libyans did: from the money already stashed in the safety of their banks. If they are worried about the alternative to the Assad regime, I say, what could be worse than having the country dragged into a civil mayhem, per the plan and will of the Assads?

The bravery and foolhardiness of the protesters in Homs, Idlib, Deraa and across the country, should not fool anyone, the protesters are desperate and they are hurting. All can still be lost because no one is doing anything to help our brave people. And those we trusted to provide the needed leadership are failing the test in every way. If the world is not responding to our plight the way we need it to respond, this is in no small measure related to the failure of opposition leaders, to their inability to rise above their personal narcissisms and their ideological hang-ups to take a birds eye snapshot of the realities underneath, and to respond accordingly. Our people more than want international protection: they need it, and are desperate for it, even if it meant losing the moral high-ground in the eyes and minds of some. After 50 years of celebrating illusory Assad-led victories and fake popular revolutions, it’s about time we celebrated a real one for change, led by the people for the people. Providing some international protection and support to the people, who are already fighting against all odds, will not take away from that. Just ask the Libyan people if they feel any less for needing international support or if they don’t feel morally justified for seeking it.


Little Homsi girl hit by a shrapnel

In Homs City, Khaldiyeh Neighborhood, a protester is shot dead by sniper as he tries to drag a body of a colleague from the street: As he lay dying next to his already dead friend 2 of his colleagues rush and drag his body away

The 2 protesters who dragged away the body of Hussam Al-Abyad of Baba Amr Neighborhood on October 21 were luckier: they weren’t shot and they gave Hussam’s parents a body to bury on October 22 ,

The impact of shelling on Baba Amr Neighborhood (October 22) , on the residences Tanks still in the streets , A tour of the neighborhood Still the locals held a major demonstration on October 22 (banner: “in Syria, there are only 2 sects: the people’s sect and the regime’s sect” Despite all of this, the locals at Baba Amr bury their dead and take back to the streets (October 23) ,

On October 23, Bayadeh and Deir Baalbah come under bombardment from tanks , , , A truck catches fire in Bayadeh after being hit by a tank Burnt out cars ,

In Khaldiyeh, October 22, a funeral was held for Ahmad Al-Hamish

Other funerals in Homs City from October 22: Baba Amr Qoussour ,

Funeral on October 23: Pro-Assad militias take over Insha’aat

Other demonstrations in Homs City from October 22: Bayadah Wa’er “the people want international protection” Khaldiyeh Insha’aat

And on October 23: Bayadah Wa’er Shammas Jib Al-Jandali Qoussour Karm Al-Shami Ghoutah Bab Houd “Homs is being destroyed and our National Council says let’s stay peaceful!” Insha’aat Baba Amr

Other major demonstrations in Syria from October 22: Idlib/Idlib City Idlib/Sarmeen Deraa/Da’el Deraa/Abtaa Hama/Taybat Al-Imam Damascus/Saqba Damascus/Dmeir Damascus/Madaya Aleppo/Anadan

Heavy gunfire in Hama City on October 22 – an attempt to keep control of a restless city Elsewhere in the province, in the town of Madeeq, a local was hot killed then set on fire by pro-Assad militias A Funeral takes place on October 23 for him and another colleague

In the Damascene Suburb of Douma on October 23, dozens of local women gathered near the local police station released of detainees In the suburb of Qadam, locals carry banner saying “we want international protection and a no-fly zone, we salute the Free Syrian Army, the SNC represents us”

Still, in Damascus, a child plays on the tomb of his father Will he live to see the day when Syria is free and his father’s sacrifice is rewarded? And this is a Syrian activist killed in the Lebanese town of Orzal where he was pursued by pro-Assad militias

More defections: Jabal Al-Zawiyeh (Idlib Province) Rastan (Homs Province) buried a defector

The Free Student Movement in Sahem/Golan declares that its members will not attend Assad’s schools until fall of the regime

October 23:



Town of Jassem comes under heavy gunfire at night

In Ataman, locals held a funeral for Youssef Al-Mahameed, a soldier that refused at fire at unarmed protesters In Abtaa another one ,

Student demonstrations: Basr Al-Harir


October 22: security and militias take over Moadamiyah Neighborhood In Arbeen, snipers took control of the local water tower to terrorize the locals But people come out at night

Student demonstrations on October 23: Douma Grade 1 students Moadamiyeh Barzeh Daraya

Major demonstrations also take place in Harasta Kafar Batna A funeral for the brothers Muhammad and Ali Nammous in Madaya , Zamalka Hamouriyeh Zabadani

Other demonstrations: Zahira Neighborhood

DEIR EZZOR: Qaraya Into the night

HASSAKEH: Amoudeh student demonstration Qamishly

Some might wonder why I was invited to speak at this event, well here is the “secret”: The Tharwa Foundation, which I have quietly established with my wife and colleagues back in Syria in 2003, has helped over the years train some Yemeni activists and our friend Munir Mawri, the official representative of the Yemeni National Council, who organized this event, remember that very well as he was involved in helping us in contacting these activists. He also remembers a conversation we had few years ago, in which he asked me what was the best scenario I envisioned for dealing with our totalitarian regimes, and I told him: “popular revolutions of course. I believe they are coming, I know our societies are ready for them, but let’s hasten their arrival anyway, and support them when they come.” Well, the revolutions are here, and activists like Tawakkul in Yemen, and Razan Zeituneh, Suheir Atassy and Muntaha Al-Atrash in Syria, are emerging as the heroines leading our way towards a better future. We need to do a better job supporting them and all our revolutionaries