Saturday, April 9, 2011

2 Bahrain opposition supporters die in police custody

 Two supporters of Bahrain's anti-government movement died in police custody Saturday after physical abuse at the hands of security officials, activists said.
The interior ministry said the body of Rashid Zakaria Hassan, 40, was found in a detention facility and a medical examiner determined that he died of complications from sickle-cell anemia.
Hassan was detained April 2 on charges of "inciting hatred, publishing false news, promoting sectarianism and calling for overthrowing of the regime" on social networking sites, the interior ministry said.
The opposition party, Al-Wefaq, said the death occurred in "mysterious circumstances."
The interior ministry said another detainee, Ali Isa Saqer, 31, died on Saturday in police custody after "creating chaos at the detention center."

Al Manar and Syria

As I watch  on youtube one disgusting video from Daraa  after another with savagery and brutality that is too difficult to digest, I decided to go on Al-Manar website to see what they are reporting on. Not only there is NOT A SINGLE article about what is going on in Syria, I came across the following "exclusive" interview with some lame syrian baathist :

"السبب الرئيسي لاستهداف سورية هو وقوفها الى جانب المقاومة ودعمها، ووجودها في صلب محور الممانعة ومشروع المقاومة ضد العدو الصهيوني في كل أنحاء المنطقة العربية وليس فقط في لبنان"، يقول الوزير السابق ويضيف أنه "منذ مجيء الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد الى الحكم، رفعت سورية مع اشقائها في محور الممناعة شعار الحرية لفلسطين، ولا زالت سورية حافظة للعهد إلى يومنا هذا، رغم كل المغريات التي قدمتها الدول الغربية في سبيل إنهاء حالة المقاومة".

Now are they stupid ? blind ? do they expect to maintain their credibility after this ? I am sick of the "end justifies the means" attitude.
Some had it with Sadaam under the illusion of liberating Palestine, now the same is happening in Syria. The end (which was NEVER EVER Palestine) NEVER justifies the means and what the regime is doing to its people should never be forgiven or forgotten.  Shame on Al Manar for blowing yet another opportunity to show that they are not merely a sectarian tool with a sectarian agenda.
They cry foul for the plight of Shia in Bahrain and are silent about the plight of Syrians (of all sects) in Syria. 
 Al Manar is nothing more than the opposite of Al Arabiya. Selective coverage, moral relativism and biased sectarian prism. I reject both.

How the beacon of resistance treats its dead citizens

Video: عزل بانياس ورصاص بدرعا


"قال مصدر حقوقي سوري إن الاتصالات قطعت عن مدينة بانياس الساحلية بشمال غرب سوريا بعدما مظاهرات شهدتها المدينة السبت، في حين ذكر شهود عيان أن قوات الأمن أطلقت النار على آلاف من مشيعي ضحايا مواجهات الجمعة في مدينة درعا جنوبا، كما فرقت بالذخيرة الحية مظاهرة في مدينة اللاذقية غربا. وقد عبر المصدر الحقوقي للجزيرة عن مخاوفه من أن يكون قطع الاتصالات عن بانياس الواقعة على بعد 20 كيلومترا شمال دمشق مقدمة لعملية أمنية في المدينة
... ...."

Libya rebels vent frustration on Nato and a silent leadership

Benghazi rebels feel they are being denied the promised air power and kept in the dark by revolutionary council

Chris McGreal in Benghazi
, Saturday 9 April 2011

"The chants of the demonstrators in Benghazi and among furious rebel fighters on Libya's frontline reflected the sudden shift in mood. "Where is Nato?" demanded the same people who only days earlier were waving French flags and shouting "Viva David Cameron". But behind the growing anger in revolutionary Libya over what is seen as a retreat by the west from air strikes against Muammar Gaddafi's forces – a fury compounded by two botched Nato raids that killed rebel fighters – there was a second question: where are our leaders?...."

Only Zionists and The Assad regime: Ambulance workers shot dead and prevented from rescuing the injured.

لحظة استشهاد مسعف في درعا 8 نيسان

Ynet Asks "The US nuked Japan so why can't we do it to Gaza?"

Via Max Blumenthal

Individuals who criticize Israel’s response to rocket attacks are obviously clueless about the rules of war.

The recent escalation has prompted calls for a “serious response” from various Israeli officials, ranging from continued airstrikes throughout the weekend to a “Defensive Shield” type operation such as the one proposed by former Israeli national security advisor Giora Eiland. Whatever the ultimate size and nature of the response is, Israel will be pressured to act with restraint by the international community, including the avoidance of the use of “disproportionate force,” a term that has seemingly become synonymous with Israel and the IDF.

One of the most basic understandings in war is that, naturally, one side must inflict superior damage on the other in order to force its surrender or capitulation. Israel, undoubtedly influenced by immense international pressure, is unable to respond in such a manner that would force Hamas militants to cease their attacks and restore quiet and calm on the border, simply because in doing so, she would be using “disproportionate” force in order to accomplish this objective.

When London was bombarded in World War II, England firebombed German towns and leveled Dresden completely. In order to end WWII, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, a non-nuclear state at the time. I doubt anyone would argue that Russia’s actions in Chechnya were “proportionate” in any sense of the word.

In response to tragic events such as 9/11 and multiple terrorist attacks around Europe, the international community has waged overt wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya (albeit for very different purposes) and clandestine wars in several others. Yet the world nonetheless becomes hysterical when Israel rises up to defend herself against the unrelenting assault on her southern communities.

As our southern towns continue to come under heavy fire, Israel must respond disproportionately until normalcy and calm are reestablished and our waning deterrence has been restored. As we watch other nations respond to domestic and international threats as they see fit, Israel need not apologize for acting to provide her citizens with the safety and security they need and rightfully deserve.

Protesters in Taiz, Yemen, Today.

(Click on photo to enlarge)
Notice Che Guevara's Poster in the Background.

Anger flares up across Yemen "Hundreds injured, some critically, as security forces open fire on anti-government protests across the country......"

Today's Cartoon About Syria, by Ali Ferzat

Official News Coverage.

The Pigs of the Syrian regime in Daraa

Al-Jazeera Video: Clashes erupt around Cairo's Tahrir Square

VIDEO – Tahrir Square, 9 April: Resisting the Army ميدان التحرير صباح ٩ أبريل

From Hossam El-Hamalawy

"Protesters in Tahrir on the morning of 9 April, denounce the army and the police who suspended by force the sit in killing at least three."

VIDEO – Army, police suspend Tahrir sit in by force الجيش والأمن المركزي في مواجهة ثوار التحرير

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Losing ground in Libya

"Once again, the Libyan pro-democracy fighters seem to be unable to hold ground gained; they make headway for few miles then retreat as soon as they face pro-Gaddafi firepower. Meanwhile, pro-Gaddafi forces have adapted their efforts to frustrate NATO air strikes, no longer using tanks or other military vehicles that could easily be identified and attacked. They are using the same pick-up trucks and civilian guise as the rebel fighters. This situation on the ground has prompted NATO member states to consider the next phase of the battle to oust Muammar Gaddafi, including looking to Arab countries to train the Libyan rebels or to fund the training. Inside Story discusses."

Privatisation Aided Egypt Revolt, Army Says

By Emad Mekay

"CAIRO, Apr 8, 2011 (IPS) - Anger at Egypt’s privatisation programme, involving the transfer of billions of dollars worth of public assets to private hands, aided the Egyptian revolution that elbowed the Western-backed Hosni Mubarak out of office in February, a top army general said....."

Eyewitness: Military police executed army officer who joined protesters

From Hossam El-Hamalawy

"An eyewitness from describes how the military police deliberately shot and killed one of the army officers who defected and joined the protesters in Tahrir.

Another eyewitness who showed up today at the press conference held at the Press Syndicate said two more revolutionary officers were killed by the military police during last night’s raid."

VIDEOS – Army, police attack Tahrir protesters

From Hossam El-Hamalawy

Egyptian soldiers attack Tahrir Square protesters

At least two people killed in pre-dawn raid on protesters calling for trial of Mubarak and removal of army chief

Peter Beaumont
, Saturday 9 April 2011

"Egypt's deepening political crisis following the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak has taken a dangerous new turn after soldiers armed with clubs and rifles stormed protesters occupying Cairo's Tahrir Square in a pre-dawn raid, killing at least two. The demonstrators, angry at the slow progress of reform since the country's 18-day revolution earlier this year, had been demanding the trial of Mubarak, his son Gamal and close associates, and an immediate transition from military to civilian rule. The rally revealed the increasing impatience and mistrust that many Egyptians feel towards the military, which took over when Mubarak was forced out of office on 11 February. Some protesters accuse the top brass of protecting the former leader. Eyewitnesses who spoke to the Observer – accounts confirmed by graphic video footage – described hundreds of troops charging into the square firing rubber bullets at 3am on Saturday to clear it......"

The Attack @ Tahrir 2

Tweeting the police state

Syrian cyber dissidents describe how they get around the regime's attempts to silence them.

Hugh Macleod and
a reporter in Syria


"....Drawing inspiration Syria's online activists are a varied bunch, including all the nation's major communities from Sunnis and Christians to Druze and Alawites. Those directly involved in the activist network are generally young, in their 20s and 30s, tech-savvy, highly motivated and adept in English. Some are journalists with training in international standards of reporting. Some are professionals: Lawyers, doctors, engineers. Some are either banned or fear arrest in Syria and so continue their work in Beirut, Washington, London, Paris and elsewhere. Many are in Syrian prisons, but others have yet to be caught so use their time on the street to gather the images and reports which the regime does its best to make sure no-one ever sees. Some, like Rami - hoping one day to complete the third year of a political science course at Damascus University - once supported their government, before the police state impacted their life directly.....

Yet for all their motivation, Syrian activists agree on one thing: The protest movement in Syria would be nowhere without the revolutions in Tunis and Cairo. "I didn't know the meaning of freedom of speech until I saw the cyber activists in Egypt and Tunisia," says a 26-year-old Syrian activist based in Damascus who uploads to YouTube footage shot on mobile phones or hidden cameras during each protest. While their government learned lessons on censoring and spying on the internet from Tunisian authorities, say activists, their counterparts in Tunis and Cairo taught the youth how to get around the cyber police. "We use a proxy server and change it almost every day," explains the activist. "Today most young Syrians have mobile phones with high quality cameras so each one has become like a journalist. I upload videos and statements from internet cafes. I leave after 10 minutes and don't come back to the same one for a long time." In some cases, she explains, films are sent to neighbouring countries on memory sticks where it is easier to publish them online.

Policing the web

Reporters Without Borders lists Syria as one of 10 countries that are active Internet Enemies. At least 150 websites remain blocked - the majority are sites run by political movements perceived to be opposed to the regime in Damascus. And Syrian bloggers live in constant fear of arrest. Karim Arbaji was imprisoned for three years for moderating a popular online youth forum,, that contained criticisms of the government. According to friends, Arbaji's father bankrupted himself bribing Syrian officials to release his son. But Arbaji served his full sentence and a month after his release his father died. Last month the 33-year-old blogger had a heart attack and died in Beirut. The youngest female blogger imprisoned anywhere in the world, 19-year-old student Tal al-Mallouhi, remains behind bars in Syria. Yet for all the ongoing repression, activists say Syria's notoriously effective Soviet-era secret police are coming unstuck in their effort to censor cyber space......

Living with the fear

Razan Zeitouna is a lawyer and human rights researcher who for years has documented and published reports on human rights abuses in Syria. Since the uprising began three weeks ago Zeitouna has played a key role in connecting the network of reporters and activists inside the country with the media outside Syria. "Many of my friends were arrested in the last few days including protesters, lawyers, doctors, students and especially the activists behind the computers," she explains. Zeitouna has grown accustomed to the ever-present threat of arrest. "I am used to having someone on my doorstep watching me, that's nothing new. It's when they follow me openly and they don't even hide – that's how they paralyse me. Then I cannot meet anyone or do anything." Zeitouna says she has been interrogated and threatened by security officers several times. "Each time they tell me, 'This is the last time you get out. Next time you'll never see the sun again.'"....."
إتجاهات رياح التغيير في العالم العربي .. د. عزمي بشاره - 1

إتجاهات رياح التغيير في العالم العربي .. د. عزمي بشاره - 2

إتجاهات رياح التغيير في العالم العربي .. د. عزمي بشاره - 3

إتجاهات رياح التغيير في العالم العربي .. د. عزمي بشاره - 4

Friday, April 8, 2011

Abolishing the Emergency Law in Syria, by Ali Ferzat

(1) Good News: Emergency Law MIGHT be abolished.....
(2) Bad News: It will be replaced by "Anti-Terror" Law!

Al-Jazeera Video: Egypt's 'Day of Cleansing'

"Thousands gather in Tahrir Square, central Cairo, showing a unity unseen since the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak, to demand the country's new military rulers take action against its former leaders.

Threatening to march to Sharm el-Sheikh, where Mubarak is reportedly holed up, even a small group of soldiers joined the protest - risking courts martial.

Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna has more from Cairo."

Shut down the Israeli embassy NOW على القدس رايحين شهداء بالملايين

From Hossam El-Hamalawy

"Hundreds marched today from Tahrir to the Israeli embassy in Giza to protest the assault on Gaza, and to demand the cutting of Egyptian natural gas exports to Israel. The protesters in the video above are chanting for the liberation of Jerusalem…"

Our revolution's doing what Saleh can't – uniting Yemen

Yemen's struggle to overthrow the president has brought stability and peace to a country riven by conflict. This is truly historic • Activist Tawakkol Karman proves a thorn in the side for Saleh

By the Great Tawakkol Karman, Friday 8 April 2011

"The revolution in Yemen began immediately after the fall of Ben Ali in Tunisia on 14 January. As I always do when arranging a demonstration I posted a message on Facebook, calling on people to celebrate the Tunisian uprising on 16 January. The following day a group of students from Sana'a University asked me to attend a vigil in front of the Tunisian embassy. The crowd was shouting: "Heroes! We are with you in the line of fire against the evil rulers!" We were treated roughly by the security forces, and we chanted: "If, one day, a people desires to live, then destiny will answer their call," and "The night must come to an end" – the mantra of the revolutionaries in Tunisia......

We are confident that our revolution has already succeeded and that the regime of Saleh has in effect, already collapsed. This is a regime that carried out 33 years of rule through blood and corruption. We have brought it to its knees through our determination to remain in the squares for months if necessary, and through the steadfastness of our young people who have confronted the bullets of the regime with bared chests. With politicians and members of the army standing beside us, our success will go even further. We cannot let the bogeyman of al-Qaida and extremism be used to stall historic change in our country; Saleh invokes this threat in an attempt to cling to power, as if he is the only one capable of bringing stability and tackling terrorism. It would be foolish to believe his lies.....

They should end all support for his regime, especially that which is used to crush peaceful opposition – tear gas canisters have "Made in America" on them. They should freeze the Saleh family's assets and those of Saleh's henchmen and return them to the people. If the US and Europe genuinely support the people, as they say, they must not betray our peaceful revolution. It is the expression of the democratic will of the overwhelming majority of the people of Yemen."

نعم ... في اليمن ثورة سلمية
إننا على ثقة كاملة بأن ثورتنا قد نجحت ، وأن نظام علي عبد الله صالح قد سقط فعلاً ، لقد أسقطناه فعلاً حين خرج ملايين اليمنيين في الشمال والجنوب والشرق والغرب على كلمة واحدة وهي اسقاط النظام
توكل عبد السلام كرمان

Syria's biggest day of unrest yet sees at least 20 people killed

Protests move closer to the centre of Damascus as Bashar al-Assad's concessions fail to quell calls for reform

Katherine Marsh in Damascus
, Friday 8 April 2011

"Anti-government demonstrations have spread across Syria with the highest turnout yet in a month of unrest, despite a heavy crackdown by security forces in which at least 20 people died. The most violent clashes took place in the city of Deraa, where the unrest began. At least 17 people are said to have been killed, with witnesses saying ambulances were prevented from reaching the scene. A man who helped carry the dead and wounded to hospital said he had seen security forces shooting live ammunition. "My clothes are soaked with blood," he told the Associated Press, asking to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. By Friday night the death toll around the country was rising, with activists reporting that more and more citizens were taking to the streets. Demonstrators are calling for President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for nearly 40 years, to step down. Assad has made a series of concessions to quell the violence, including sacking his cabinet and firing two governors, but protesters say he has not gone far enough. The unrest moved closer to the centre of the capital, Damascus, on Friday, where force was used against demonstrators in the Kafer Souseh and Harasta areas. A witness told the Guardian by phone that 4,000 people had gathered in Harasta, which has not seen demonstrations on previous Fridays. They carried olive branches and chanted "freedom". "It was peaceful until security forces attacked and some shots were fired," said the man, who asked for anonymity. "I saw six people shot, three of them with two bullets each."....."

الى كل من يشكك بمطالب الشعب السوري -- اللاذقية 4/8

الثورة السورية - دمشق || مظاهرات المعضمية

Al-Jazeera Video: Protesters killed in Syrian town

"Syrian security forces have killed at least 17 demonstrators in the southern city of Daraa, amid fresh protests against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, hospital sources and witnesses told the Reuters news agency.

The deaths occurred after Friday prayers when security forces opened fire with rubber-coated bullets and live rounds to disperse stone-throwing protesters, a witness told Al Jazeera.

In the east, thousands of ethnic Kurds also demonstrated for reform despite the Syrian president's offer this week to ease rules which bar many Kurds from citizenship.

Separate protests erupted in the western port city of Latakia, Tartus, Baniyas, Homs - near the Lebanese border - and in Edlib, in the northwest of the country. Gunfire was also heard in Harasta, a suburb of the capital, Damascus.

Al Jazeera's Gerald Tan reports."

Tahrir Square comes alive with protesters again

Military the target of Egyptian demonstrations as people demand more prosecutions against Hosni Mubarak-era ministers

The Guardian

"Protesters have packed Cairo's Tahrir Square, piling pressure on the ruling military council to meet demands including the prosecution of Hosni Mubarak in one of the biggest demonstrations since he was ousted. By early afternoon the protest had swollen to more than 100,000. Thousands waved red, white and black Egyptian flags in scenes reminiscent of the height of the protests that toppled Mubarak and helped ignite revolts in other Arab countries. "Oh field marshal, we've been very patient!" chanted some of the protesters, gathered in the square that was the hub of protests that toppled Mubarak from the presidency and left the army, led by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, in charge. "Tantawi, Tantawi get your act together or do you want a pool of blood?" chanted some of the protesters. The military has enjoyed broad support since it took control of the country on 11 February but frustrations have grown over the pace of reform. Attention is now focused on the perceived tardiness of legal steps against Mubarak and his entourage......"

شام - درعا - مظاهرات جاسم بجمعة الصمود 8-4-2011 ج1

شام - درعا - مظاهرات جاسم بجمعة الصمود 8-4-2011 ج1

شام درعا مظاهرات جاسم 8 4 جـ2

شام - درعا - مظاهرات جاسم بوجود المفكر جودت سعيد 8-4- جـ3

شام - درعا - مظاهرات جاسم بجمعة الصمود 8-4- ج4

شام - درعا - اول مقطع من مشفى الجامع العمري 8-4-

شام - القامشلي - عامودا جمعة الصمود 8-4-2011 ج4

شام - حمص - باب السباع جمعة الصمود 8-4-2011

شام بانياس مظاهرات جمعة الصمود 8 4 جـ 1

شام - بانياس - مظاهرات جمعة الصمود 8-4 جـ 2

شام - بانياس - مظاهرات جمعة الصمود 8-4 جـ 3

شام - بانياس - مظاهرات جمعة الصمود 8-4 جـ 4

شام - بانياس - مظاهرات جمعة الصمود 8-4 جـ 5

Those "Reforms" Keep Coming, and Coming!

Protesters killed in Syrian town of Daraa

At least 27 deaths reported in flashpoint southern town as fresh pro-democracy demonstrations rock the country.


"Syrian security forces have killed at least 27 demonstrators in the southern city of Daraa, amid fresh protests against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, hospital sources and witnesses told Reuters news agency. The deaths occurred after Friday prayers when security forces opened fire with rubber-coated bullets and live rounds to disperse stone-throwing protesters, a witness told Al Jazeera. In the east, thousands of ethnic Kurds also demonstrated for reform despite the Syrian president's offer this week to ease rules which bar many Kurds from citizenship. Similar protests erupted in the western port city of Latakia and in Homs, near the Lebanese border. Gunfire was also heard in Harasta, a suburb of the capital, Damascus....."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This poll asks:

Do you support the demand of the Libyan rebels, for Gaddafi to step down, as a condition for accepting the Turkish initiative?

With over 3,000 responding, 90% said yes.

Al-Jazeera Video: The Arab Awakening - The end of a dictator

"Driven by its youth, Egypt's revolution embraced all sectors of society. As the fear barrier was broken, destinies were transformed by the tumultuous events. This film offers an examination of the demise of the Mubarak regime through the eyes of people whose lives were, until now, defined by it."

Al-Jazeera Video: Day of protests in Middle East

Al-Jazeera Video: Libya opposition needs better weapons

Real News Video: Multi-Party Democracy Demanded in Syria

Bassam Haddad: Real reform would mean striking Article 8 of the Syrian constitution

More at The Real News

Bahrain: State of Fear Prevails With Arbitrary Detentions, Pre-Dawn Raids

Medical Doctors Among Those Held Incommunicado

Human Rights Watch

April 7, 2011

"(Manama) - Arbitrary detention appears rampant under Bahrain's state of emergency, with numerous cases in which authorities have abused people they detained or stopped, Human Rights Watch said today. Bahrain should account for everyone who has been detained and free those arbitrarily arrested following recent public protests, Human Rights Watch said. The government has issued no registry of detainees since anti-government demonstrations erupted on February 14, 2011. Over the past six weeks, and especially since the main protests were crushed on March16, relatives and friends of the missing have reported to the Wifaq National Islamic Society, an opposition political society, the names of 430 people they say are held by police and military authorities. Wifaq depends on victims, relatives, or witnesses to inform it of detentions. A dozen members of families of the missing told Human Rights Watch that contact with their relatives had been limited to one extremely brief phone call to request fresh clothing. Authorities have not permitted families to visit their detained relatives. Freed detainees told Human Rights Watch of beatings and physical abuse. "Emergency law does not provide authorities a free hand to trample basic human rights," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Bahrain has created a state of fear, not a state of safety."....."

Video: Mubarak’s military generals and torture in Egypt

From Hossam El-Hamalawy

Goldstone has paved the path for a second Gaza war

Anyone who honored the first Goldstone has to ask him: What exactly do you know today that you didn't know then? Do you know today that criticizing Israel leads to a pressure-and-slander campaign that you can't withstand, you 'self-hating Jew'?

By Gideon Levy

"All at once the last doubts have disappeared and the question marks have become exclamation points. Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu Al-Aish wrote a short book in which he invented the killing of his three daughters. The 29 dead from the Al-Simoni family are now vacationing in the Caribbean. The white phosphorus was only the pyrotechnics of a war film. The white-flag wavers who were shot were a mirage in the desert, as were the reports about the killing of hundreds of civilians, including women and children. "Cast lead" has returned to being a phrase in a Hanukkah children's song......"

Winds of change reach Syria

Latest of series of Arab countries seeking democracy has seen relentless nationwide protests despite reform promises.

Emad Mekay


".....If anything, Syria has many of the conditions that caused the revolutions in Tunisia and in Egypt – two other Arab countries that saw long-serving leaders unseated by popular revolt. In both countries, foreign policies played almost no role in fuelling the uprisings. Mass protests were moved by anger at corruption, poor economic and social conditions and the regime's brutality. "Our people can no longer bear living under dictatorship, corruption, repression, injustice, discrimination and poverty. The era of submission is over and it is your turn to go now, Doctor," said Free Syrian, a Syrian blogger writing for the website of Al Jazeera news channel referring to president Al-Assad, who is an ophthalmologist by profession. The ruling Baath party has often used lethal force to clamp down on opposition, mostly in the name of unifying the country against Israel and the United States. Bashar Al-Assad's father, Hafez, used heavy military equipment to stamp out an uprising in the city of Hama in 1982. Thousands were killed. This week, some of the protesters have chanted against the head of the much feared Republican Guard Maher Al-Assad, the president's brother, for his harsh tactics and widespread human rights violations. "In Syria today, the spirit of freedom is flying over the country," Al-Turk said in his column on "The wind of changes that blew across the Arab World over the past three months had to eventually come to knock at the doors of the big prison called Syria.""

Those Syrian "Reforms" Keep Coming.....In Volleys of Live Fire!

Fresh protests erupt in Syria

Reports of at least seven deaths reported in southern town of Daraa as demonstrations are held in several cities.


".....Witnesses said security forces were using live ammunition against protesters in Daraa. A source told Al Jazeera that at least seven people were killed in the southern border town; however, the report could not be immediately verified. Separate demonstrations were reported in cities including Qamishli, Deir e-Zor in the east, the coastal city of Banias, and in the Damascus suburb of Douma. Al Jazeera's Rula Amin, reporting from Douma, said there were no security forces visible in the area where eight people were killed in protests one week ago. "It's a new situation in Syria," she said. "We saw thousands of people taking to the streets after Friday prayers, from all walks of life. Young and old, professionals and not professionals, educated, not educated, there were some Islamists, some nationalists. "The chanting that was unifying them was a chant for freedom and dignity."....."

Westminster warriors untouched by Libya’s suffering and bloodshed

Cameron's response to events in Libya and Yemen is typical of the British and American reaction to the Arab revolts line up new collaborators to protect your big business interests.

By John Pilger

New Statesman

"The Euro-American attack on Libya has nothing to do with protecting anyone; only the terminally naive believe such nonsense. It is the west's response to popular uprisings in strategic, resource-rich regions of the world and the beginning of a war of attrition against the new imperial rival, China. President Barack Obama's historical distinction is now guaranteed. He is America's first black president to invade Africa. His assault on Libya is run by the US Africa Command, which was set up in 2007 to secure the continent's lucrative natural resources from Africa's impoverished people and the rapidly spreading commercial influence of China. Libya, along with Angola and Nigeria, is China's principal source of oil. As American, British and French planes incinerate both "bad" and "good" Libyans, the evacuation of 30,000 Chinese workers is under way, perhaps permanently.....

The detail is also familiar. The Libyan "pro-democracy rebels" are reportedly commanded by Colonel Khalifa Haftar who, according to a study by the US Jamestown Foundation, set up the Libyan National Army in 1988 "with strong backing from the Central Intelligence Agency". For 20 years, Colonel Haftar has lived not far from Langley, Virginia, home of the CIA, which also provides him with a training camp. The mujahedin, which produced al-Qaeda, and the Iraqi National Congress, which scripted the Bush/Blair lies about Iraq, were sponsored in the same time-honoured way, in leafy Langley. Libya's other "rebel" leaders include Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Gaddafi's justice minister until February, and General Abdel-Fattah Younes, who ran Gaddafi's interior ministry. Both men have formidable reputations for savagely putting down dissent....

What the Americans, British and French hope to achieve is the opposite of a people's liberation. In undermining efforts by Libya's genuine democrats and nationalists to free their country from both a dictator and those corrupted by foreign demands, the sound and fury from Washington, London and Paris has succeeded in dimming the memory of January's days of hope in Tunis and Cairo, and distracted many, who had taken heart, from the task of ensuring that their gains are not stolen quietly. On 23 March, the US-backed Egyptian military issued a decree barring all strikes and protests. This was barely reported in the west. With Gaddafi now the accredited demon, Israel, the real canker, can continue its wholesale land theft and expulsions. Facebook has come under Zionist pressure to remove a page calling for a Palestinian uprising - a "Third Intifada" - on 15 May. None of this should surprise. History suggests nothing less than the kind of machinations exposed by two senior diplomats at the UN who spoke to the Asia Times. Demanding to know why the UN never ordered a fact-finding mission to Libya instead of an attack, they were told that a deal had been done between the White House and Saudi Arabia. If the Saudis would back a US "coalition" to "take out" the recalcitrant Gaddafi, they could put down the popular uprising in Bahrain. The latter has been accomplished, and the bloodied king of Bahrain will be a guest at the royal wedding in London....."

Syria has heard all this reform talk before

(Cartoon by Ali Ferzat)

Bashar al-Assad is promising change in a bid to placate Sunnis and Kurds – but how many people in Syria believe him?


Brian Whitaker
, Friday 8 April 2011

"With the protests in Syria apparently growing, President Bashar al-Assad has begun announcing a series of "reforms" aimed at placating two key groups: the Sunni Muslim majority – especially the more conservative elements within it – and the marginalised Kurdish minority. If either or both of these groups were to swing firmly behind the street protests the regime would be in serious trouble....

Assad has also reportedly promised to allow a religious TV channel and an Islamist political party, and to establish an institute for training imams. The Assad family, along with many senior figures in the regime, belong to the minority Alawite sect (generally regarded as a branch of Shia Islam). To survive and avoid sectarian strife, they need to keep the Sunni majority on board. But by empowering religious elements the president may also be dabbling in a game that other Arab leaders have played very effectively over the years: scaring the public by presenting Islamists as the only alternative to their own dictatorship. Meanwhile, there is nothing very concrete in the reform area to appeal to the average Syrian. If the president wanted to do something truly popular, he would start by tackling privilege and corruption at the top – by ordering his cousin Rami Makhlouf, his brother Maher and his brother-in-law Assef Shawkat to leave the country. But that is a fairly forlorn hope......

Also, there is little point in anyone forming a political party and seeking to win seats in parliament when the parliament itself is a rubber-stamp body with next to no power. To change that, Syria needs a thorough overhaul of its constitution, something which does not appear to be on offer at the moment. The crucial question – which may be answered on the streets in the next few days – is how many Syrians believe that Assad is serious about change and able to implement it. They are already long-accustomed to government announcements of reform but less accustomed to seeing them put into practice."

[ويكيليكس] إسرائيل لم تعرف كيفية التعامل مع "حماس" ومحمد رشيد لرئاسة السلطة

عرب 48 ووكالات

".... .... ليبرمان: محمد رشيد لرئاسة السلطة

وإحدى الوثائق المثيرة هي تلك التي أرسلها السفير الأميركي السابق في تل أبيب ريتشارد جونز إلى واشنطن وتحدث فيها عن لقاء عقده مع ليبرمان في مكتب الأخير في الكنيست في تشرين الأول/أكتوبر العام 2006 وقبل يوم واحد من انضمام ليبرمان إلى حكومة ايهود أولمرت. وكتب جونز في البرقية ما سمعه من ليبرمان وأنه وصف الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس بأنه "ضعيف وفاسد وليس ذي صلة بالواقع" واقترح ليبرمان أن تجد الولايات المتحدة واسرائيل شريكا ملائما أكثر ليتولى رئاسة السلطة الفلسطينية واقترح اسم محمد رشيد، الذي كان المستشار المالي للرئيس الفلسطيني الراحل ياسر عرفات. وأوضحت "هآرتس" دوافع ليبرمان لطرح اسم رشيد وأن "رشيد أقام علاقات تجارية، وربما لا يزال يقيم هذه العلاقات حتى اليوم، مع المليونير النمساوي مارتين شلاف المقرب جدا من ليبرمان، وربطت تقارير تم نشرها في الماضي بين أعمال شلاف وأعمال ليبرمان وفي خلفيتها تم ذكر رشيد". "

Haaretz WikiLeaks exclusive / Lieberman's pick for PA president: Arafat's economic adviser

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Video: Bahrain police trying to run over protesters

We're not being told the truth on Libya

The most plausible explanation is that this is a way of asserting raw Western power and trying to arrange the fallout in our favour

By Johann Hari

The Independent

"Most of us have a low feeling that we are not being told the real reasons for the war in Libya. David Cameron's instinctive response to the Arab revolutions was to jump on a plane and tour the palaces of the region's dictators selling them the most hi-tech weapons of repression available. Nicolas Sarkozy's instinctive response to the Arab revolutions was to offer urgent aid to the Tunisian tyrant in crushing his people. Barack Obama's instinctive response to the Arab revolutions was to refuse to trim the billions in aid going to Hosni Mubarak and his murderous secret police, and for his Vice-President to declare: "I would not refer to him as a dictator." Yet now we are told that these people have turned into the armed wing of Amnesty International. They are bombing Libya because they can't bear for innocent people to be tyrannised, by the tyrants they were arming and funding for years....

For the first time in more than 60 years, Western control over the world's biggest pots of oil was being rocked by a series of revolutions our governments couldn't control. The most plausible explanation is that this is a way of asserting raw Western power, and trying to arrange the fallout in our favour. But if you are still convinced our governments are acting for humanitarian reasons, I've got a round-trip plane ticket for you to some rubble in Pakistan and Congo. The people there would love to hear your argument. "

US embassy cables: King of Bahrain discusses Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel/Palestine, Thursday 7 April 2011

".... ISRAEL-PALESTINE: GOOD FOR STABILITY IN THE REGION --------------------------------------------- ----- 4. (C) The King spoke at some length on Israeli-Palestinian developments, expressing satisfaction at the positive turn of events. This is a good moment, he said, that can be important for stability in the region. He said that he had instructed newly-appointed Minister of Information Dr. Mohammed Abdul-Ghaffar to make sure that official announcements or statements coming out of the Ministry of Information do not refer to Israel as the "enemy" or "Zionist entity." He revealed that Bahrain already has contacts with Israel at the intelligence/security level (i.e., with Mossad), and indicated that Bahrain will be willing to move forward in other areas, although it will be difficult for Bahrain to be the first. When asked if Bahrain might look into developing trade contacts at some point, he said that this would have to await the establishment of "side-by-side" states. He added that he planned to travel to Jordan on February 19 to meet with King Abdullah and show his support for moving forward....."

Egypt's youth leaders vow continued protests

Between a reluctant military still in power and religious parties gaining steam, upcoming elections in Egypt are murky.

Evan Hill


"Ahead of what organisers hope will be a huge march in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, one of the young leaders of Egypt's new protest movement has vowed to continue escalating demonstrations, ranging from sit-ins to mass civil disobedience, if the country's military rulers don't accede to protesters' evolving demands. "What we call the forces of evil are still there," said Ahmed Maher, the 30-year-old co-founder of the April 6th Youth Movement, which helped lead the upheaval that began on January 25. Members of the old regime are reconstituting themselves, high-ranking officers in the feared Interior Ministry remain free from prosecution, and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces – which has run the country since ex-President Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February – is becoming less and less responsive, Maher told an audience at the Brookings Doha Centre in Qatar on Monday.....

The hardened tone comes after weeks of lessening goodwill between the people and the army. Military police have recently been accused of baseless arrests, abuse and torture, incommunicado detentions and slapdash trials that may result in multi-year prison sentences for protesters. Meanwhile, the unelected civilian leadership led by former Transportation Minister Essam Sharaf has drafted a law, subject to the military's approval, that would give the state power to ban strikes and protests – a nod toward both the generals' and the ruling cliques' interest in protecting their business interests.....

In Cook's view, Egypt's near-term politics could unfold three ways: An ideal liberal democracy with checks and balances, a old regime under a new name, or a period of unstable pluralism. The ideal democracy – a "rainbows and unicorns" scenario – is unlikely, and a reconstitution of Mubarak's long-ruling National Democratic Party only slightly less so, Cook said. Most probable is the creation of a vigorous but unstable political atmosphere with a constantly changing constitution, a flashback to the 1930s and 1940, when Egypt witnessed multiple vying political parties but suffered from a constantly dissolving parliament......

Maher's task is perhaps easier, since April 6th isn't interested in forming a party – at least not yet. He sees the organisation acting as a political watchdog and pressure group for the next two to five years, harnessing its power to put thousands of demonstrators in the streets on short notice. The movement will support whoever pushes its goals, which include putting members of the old regime, such as Mubarak himself, on trial. "We don't care about who, we care about how," he said."

Who are the supporters of the Torturer Bashar ??



Daraa kid who was tortured by the Syrian regime

You can not liberate Golan or Palestine when your foundation does this to its children...

5 Palestinians killed in Gaza attack

["ISRAEL" will launch a new operation against Gaza tonight. GoldStone has blood on his hands and he should be taken to the hague along with the other zionist war criminals.]

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli fire killed five Palestinians and injured dozens more after a projectile from the Gaza Strip hit a school bus in southern Israel, injuring two people, medical and security officials said.

Witnesses said artillery fire injured four relatives of Mahmoud Al-Manasra, 50, who was killed when shells landed near his home in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

Two people were injured after shells struck near the former Yasser Afarat International Airport in Rafah. Another round of shelling struck Khan Younis, but there were no reports of injury in that attack.

Ali Ferzat: The New (Syrian) government

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.

By Joseph E. Stiglitz
Vanity Fair

".....The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside story: Power change in Yemen

"There is mounting pressure for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to go before the end of year elections.

Inside Story with Kamahl Sanatamaria discusses with: Shiraz Maher, a senior fellow at the centre for the study of radicalization at King's college London; and Hakim Almasmari, Editor in Chief of the Yemen post.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, April 6, 2011."

Nobel Economist Joseph Stiglitz: Assault on Social Spending, Pro-Rich Tax Cuts Turning U.S. Into Nation "Of the 1 Percent, by the 1 Percent, for the 1

"This week Republicans unveiled a budget proposal for 2012 that cuts more than $5.8 trillion in government spending over the next decade. The plan calls for sweeping changes to Medicaid and Medicare, while reducing the top corporate and individual tax rates to 25 percent. We speak to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who addresses the growing class divide taking place in the United States and inequality in a new Vanity Fair article titled, "Of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent." Stiglitz is a professor at Columbia University and author of numerous books, most recently Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy. "It is not just that the people at the top are getting richer, Stiglitz says. "Actually, they are gaining and everyone else is decreasing... Right now, we are worse than old Europe."...."

The sweet smell of counter-revolution

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"The House of Saud pulled its partner in the counter-revolution double act over from the right side to the wrong side of history. As United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates meets Saudi King Abdullah to discuss the intricacies of "US outreach" and "regime alteration", the current juncture spells out that Washington/House of Saud winning, hands down, against the great 2011 Arab revolt.....

The House of Saud and Qatar are now (subtly) dictating the "transition" in Libya. This Qatari-Saudi alliance now mirrors the Israeli-Saudi alliance. The House of Saud is also dictating the transition in Yemen - now that the Barack Obama administration has decided to throw President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the dogs (because he was incompetent enough to not kill enough of his people and thus smash their peaceful revolution). Saleh is now worthless as "our bastard" in the American war against al-Qaeda in the Arabic Peninsula (AQAP) even as the Yemeni opposition - which does not trust the Saudis - is being co-opted by corrupt, al-Qaeda-friendly General Ali Mohsen. The US Central Intelligence Agency is merrily accepting bids for Saleh's successor.....

Qatar and UAE are part of the small, unrepresentative "coalition of the willing" involved in the NATO no-fly zone scam in Libya. Now the British are "urging" these two Arab paragons of democracy to train that motley crew - the eastern Libya "rebels", so they can annex and hold to a few grains of desert sand before some kind of ceasefire is negotiated. Translation: good business for British "private security companies", as in mercenaries, some of whom have special services experience. Their salaries soon should be paid by Qatar, UAE and Jordan, that land infested with "security officers" and ruled by King Playstation. This proves once more there's only one, non-United Nations resolution 1973-authorized game in town; regime change....."

Real News Video: The Libyan Intervention: Humanitarian or an Aggression?

Hamid Dabashi and Nader Hashemi debate the US/NATO intervention in Libya


More at The Real News

MSF calls for end to Bahrain military crackdown on patients

The use of Salmaniya Hospital by protestors as a venue for demonstrations, and its subsequent occupation by the military, followed by the targeting of other health facilities and medical workers, have undermined the ability of health facilities to provide impartial medical care.

"MANAMA, BAHRAIN/BRUSSELS - The international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today condemned the use of medical facilities in Bahrain to crack down on protestors, which is making it impossible for those wounded during clashes to seek treatment. A report released today by MSF illustrates how Bahrain’s hospitals and health centers are no longer safe havens for the sick or injured, but rather places to be feared. “Wounds, especially those inflicted by distinctive police and military gunfire, are used to identify people for arrest, and the denial of medical care is being used by Bahraini authorities to deter people from protesting,” said Latifa Ayada, MSF medical coordinator. “Health facilities are used as bait to identify and arrest those who dare seek treatment.”.....

The police, military, and intelligence services must stop using the health system as a way to crack down on protestors, and must allow medical staff to return to the primary duty of providing health care regardless of patients’ political or sectarian affiliations."

Download Report (pdf-6 pages)

Gambling with the planet

Japan's disaster and the global recession provide stark lessons on societies' failure to manage risks, economist says.

Joseph E Stiglitz


"....In the end, those gambling in Las Vegas lose more than they gain. As a society, we are gambling – with our big banks, with our nuclear power facilities, with our planet. As in Las Vegas, the lucky few - the bankers that put our economy at risk and the owners of energy companies that put our planet at risk - may walk off with a mint. But on average and almost certainly, we as a society, like all gamblers, will lose. That, unfortunately, is a lesson of Japan’s disaster that we continue to ignore at our peril."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Divided and disorganised, Libyan rebel military turn on Nato allies

Feuding leadership of revolutionary forces fails to capitalise on coalition air strikes


By Kim Sengupta in Ajdabiya
The Independent

"General Abdel Fattah Younes was scathing in his condemnation of Nato. "They have disappointed us. Nato has become our problem. Either Nato does its work properly or we will ask the Security Council to suspend its work." That was on Tuesday night at a packed press conference in Benghazi. Yesterday General Younes was on one of his rare visits to the frontline, with an escort of Western security guards as the row over his remarks rumbled on. The head of the rebel forces apparently does not like travelling through risky areas without his recently acquired foreign protection team.... Behind the recriminations over the performance of the coalition lies the fact that Libya's opposition administration is itself deeply divided and engaged in internecine feuding involving leading personnel. General Younes has sought to take on the mantle of the nationalist commander who is prepared to make a stand against powerful international states. But the man who referred to Colonel Gaddafi as his personal friend and served as his interior minister has been viewed with suspicion by many in the protest movement.....

Following the disastrous performance of the rebel fighters, who had continued to lose ground despite Western air strikes destroying much of the regime's armour and artillery on the eastern front, a crisis meeting held in the rebel capital, Benghazi, descended into accusations and insults....."

Ignoring its imperial history licences the west to repeat it

The former colonial powers who now fly the flag of protection and rights as they go to war will not deliver either


Seumas Milne
, Wednesday 6 April 2011

"......Because the argument about empire isn't so much about the past, but about the renewed drive to western intervention in the present. And facing up to the colonial record isn't unpatriotic, as Cameron's critics insist, or "anti-western", but a necessity if the danger posed by the imperial revival is to be avoided. The United States has of course long preferred an informal empire of indirect control, punctuated by military intervention and temporary occupations. And the former European colonial powers, notably Britain and France, now follow a similar approach. So it is that the British military has found itself back in its old colonial haunts, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Palestine, and now over Libya, which Britain occupied in the 40s and 50s, maintaining its military presence until Colonel Gaddafi came to power in 1969. They've been joined by Italy, which carried out its own genocidal campaign of repression when it ruled the country before the second world war.....

Just as the European powers built their empires in the name of Christian civilisation, modern liberal imperialism flies the banner of human rights. Nicolas Sarkozy has hailed the new drive for western intervention triggered by the Libyan uprising as offering a new model of "world governance" based on the "responsibility to protect". So long as it remains a pretext for the same powers that have dominated and divided the world selectively to enforce their will, it will deliver neither protection nor rights – but only reinforce the imperial legacy."

The "Rebels" Will be Owned by Britain and Paid For by the House of Saud!

Libyan rebels should receive training funded by Arab countries
, says Britain

British defence sources are also looking
to hire private security companies to help strengthen rebels' position on the battlefield, Wednesday 6 April 2011

"Britain is to urge Arab countries to train the disorganised Libyan rebels, and so strengthen their position on the battlefield before negotiations on a ceasefire, senior British defence sources have indicated. The sources said they were also looking at hiring private security companies, some of which draw on former SAS members[Why not Israeli companies while you are at it? They know Libya very well.], to aid the rebels. These private soldiers could be paid by Arab countries to train the unstructured rebel army...."

He is Sounding and Acting More and More Like the Real Karzai: Libya rebels 'pressured into Lockerbie apology'

Leaders say Libyans not to blame for Gaddafi's acts, accusing Britain of trading document for seized funds

Chris McGreal in Benghazi
, Wednesday 6 April 2011

"Libya's rebel administration has said that it signed an apology for the Gaddafi regime's role in IRA attacks and the Lockerbie bombing under pressure from the British government, and that the document is the result of "misunderstanding". After initially denying that the document existed, the revolutionaries' governing council acknowledged that its chairman, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, had indeed signed an apology on behalf of the Libyan people for Gaddafi's provision of semtex used in IRA bombings and for the blowing up of the Pan Am flight in 1988. It also promised compensation. Amid division and confusion over the declaration, which some blamed on a translation mix-up, council officials said that the issue of the Libyan government's responsibility for attacks in the UK came up only because it was pressed on the revolutionary administration by the British......"

نعم، وسوريا بحاجة للديمقراطية والحريات

علي جرادات

"..... في سياق كل ما تقدم، وحول علاقة الديمقراطية بمنعة الدول بخاصة، تحضرني مطالعة بهذا الشأن، كان قدمها المرحوم الدكتور جورج حبش في أواسط ثمانينيات القرن المنصرم، وتم نشرها في كراس تحت عنوان "نحو فهم أعمق وأدق للكيان الصهيوني"، أكد فيها على ضرورة عدم قياس عوامل قوة هذا الكيان بما يمتلكه من عوامل قوة عسكرية وأمنية فقط، بل ضرورة النظر إلى ما يمتلكه ككيان غاصب من عامل ديموقراطي داخلي، يتيح تفجير كامل طاقاته كمجتمع، بدءا بإشراك المرأة في المواجهة وعدم حبسها في البيت والمطبخ، مروراً بإعلاء شأن البحث العلمي ودعمه بموازنات خيالية، وتحويل إنتاجه النظري إلى تطبيقات عملية في كافة المجالات العسكرية والأمنية والصناعية والزراعية ألخ...عرجاً على إطلاق حريات الصحافة والتنظيم والمعتقد والتفكير والتنوع والتعدد ألخ...، وتوظيف كل ذلك في معارك المواجهة الخارجية، وصولاً إلى ممارسة لعبة الديمقراطية السياسية الليبرالية بأعلى أشكالها، عبر التداول السلمي للسلطة، ورهن تبدلاتها بصندوق الاقتراع، الذي يعطي السلطة ويراقبها وينزعها بشكل دوري، بعيدا عن وراثتها أو توريثها أو رهنها بـ"الحزب الواحد" وبـ"القائد الأوحد"، وما يفضي إليه ذلك من تعفن واحتقان واحتراب داخلي، كظواهر تلد كل أشكال التفتيت السياسي والطائفي والمذهبي والاثني، وكتربة خصبة للاستثمار الخارجي وتدخلاته، بحسبان أن القلاع لا تقتحم إلا من داخلها. ما يثير سؤال: ألم يكن هذا هو حال ما شهدته، (وللأسف ما زالت تشهده)، العديد من الأقطار العربية، التي شكَّل غياب الشرط الديمقراطي الداخلي في حياتها، ذريعة لإشعال الفتن بين مكونات تنوعها الطبيعي بنيران بدعة الفوضى الخلاقة الأمريكية، التي لم تنجح في تدمير النظام السياسي العراقي وسلطته فقط، بل ونجحت في تدمير الدولة العراقية ومؤسساتها أيضاً، الأمر الذي لم يكن ليتم بأدوات داخلية، لو أن نظام صدام البعثي كان ديمقراطيا مع شعبه، وفي أقله لو أنه كان أقل دموية في تعامله مع معارضيه. وفي هذا، درس كبير، نراه يتكرر في ليبيا، وعلى كل نظام رسمي عربي، وعلى النظام السوري تحديداً، التعلم من هذا الدرس قبل فوات الأوان

Behind bars in Syria

On Friday, March 25, 25-year-old Khaled El Ghayesh, an Egyptian engineer working in Lebanon, took advantage of a three-day weekend to travel to Syria. On Sunday he was arrested on the border trying to get back into Lebanon and didn’t resurface until one week later. Here is the story behind his eight-day stay in Syrian prison, during which little was known, even to his family, of his whereabouts.

Did he seem to believe you?

Ghayesh: In the first 10 minutes, he was very respectful. But after, he kept on insisting, yelling, slapping me and punching me… “Why are you lying?”

It was about the psychological treatment. Sometimes he was calm, other times, very aggressive, trying to find anything to accuse me. “We’ve been watching you,” he said. “I have everything that proves you’re a liar.”

Did you give into the pressure?

Ghayesh: I was getting scared and frustrated, but I never lost confidence because I was saying the truth...
He slapped me and threatened to take me away and rip off my nails. I believed him, but there was nothing I could do. I would never confess to something I was not guilty of.
I was scared, but I didn’t break down. He asked me everything about my company… about all my trips between Cairo and Beirut. He accused me of working with certain anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians and claimed my bank was an espionage company.
Nothing I could say would change his mind.
I was furious… but the Syrian people, they are living in denial; they are genuinely convinced the uprisings are coming from outside… For them I was the perfect candidate.

How did the interrogation end?
Ghayesh: After two hours… I asked what my status was.
“Let you go?” he laughed. “People like you stay here for a year… For now, you’re forgotten here.”

Do you think the Assad regime will fall?

Ghayesh: No. Major changes, but that’s all. People are saying there is unrest… but it’s nothing like in other countries: Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain…I don’t think the regime will fall.
It’s 1984, have you read it? Like the novel’s most famous slogan: Freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, war is peace.

Al-Jazeera Video: Yemen protesters hold firm


"Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Yemen, demanding an end to the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

More than a hundred people have been killed in anti-government demonstrations since February.

Our special correspondent has this report from the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

We are not naming her due to security reasons. "

Ali Ferzat: Government Reforms