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December 10, 2007




I am not making up anything. Go back to everything I said in all my comments on this blog the past year or two and tell me where I was wrong.

Didn't I argue repeatedly for something similar to what you are now suggesting? ... at the time you only criticized it ... you wanted all or nothing .. no American talks with the Syrian regime. I was suggesting instead talks with the regime that included discussing political reforms... You were hoping the regime will fall .. you were calling Bashar a moron ... you were positive that your NSF membership is smart politics ...

By the way ... I did not generalize to ALL the Syrian Kurds. I always make a distinction between Syrian Kurds who have been there for generations and who want to remain Syrian, compared to the ones who want to separate from Syria. I have many friends and I know the difference when I see it.

Did I say that they have been trained "lately" by the Mossad? ... are you denying the Mossad trained Kurds the past few years?

Are you denying there are many Kurds (mostly among the newer ones who came from Turkey the past few decades) who want to separate if they can? ... I spoke to some of them .. they really are not Syrian.

But I want them to be treated with total dignity in Syria and I want them to want to be Syrians ... but I do not support their conflicting requests of being given Syrian citizenship while asking for any external help to allow them to call Hassakeh and Qamishly "part of Kurdistan".

Anyway ... I see that you are still mostly trying to sell the idea that "violence will happen" ... No surprise when you are surrounded by Neocons.


Hey Alex look what people are saying about you ( read the comment )

Ammar Abdulhamid

Alex, corruption and repression breeds violence, eventually. Trying to stand up to corrupt tyrannical regime is bound to incur their wrath and will solicit violent reactions on their part. That's the violence I am referring to, and as you can see it is pretty much related to our internal situation. Now yes, external dabbling could help make it worse, but external dabbling is happening as a result of the regime own politics and nature, and as a result of a world growing smaller and madder for a variety of reason.

If it is not the Americans or the Israelis of the Europeans who are dabbling then it is the Saudis and the Iranians. But we will far better to stand up in the face of all this if we are at peace with ourselves, something the Assads have no interest in doing.

Yes, I expected regime collapse at one point, and yes I joined the NSF, but the first thing I did there was to introduce a bill of rights, meant to help the different communities in Syria reach an understanding of sorts. That’s my angle, and that’s my main concern, and it still is. I never hid my misgivings about joining the NSF, just as I never hid my disdain for the Assads, or the nature of my work with Tharwa or my desire to work for nonviolent change from inside. What I was protesting above in reference to your comment was the fact that you connected me to designs that I have nothing with, regardless of whether they are real or imaginary.

I have a case. I argued this case in front of the people at the White House at their invitation. I had argued the same case years ago in Syria with the leaders of the regime as well. I did not believe they would listen, I did not believe that this case and their interest are compatible, but I still needed to make the argument.

You believe that talking to neocons is bad. Well, the realists, the pragmatists, the pro-engagement crowd, etc., are saying it quite openly that their sole interest in approaching the Assads is to engage them about Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and their relations with Iran. Human rights and political reforms are not of their concern, they tell us. In other worlds they are going to leave us to the wolves. Had I not realized that these wolves are one way or another supported and empowered by them, I would have been far more sympathetic to their position. But I cannot, can I? That would not be right. Still, when they are in power, I will be talking to them too. And they will talk to me.

Meanwhile, I hope that my colleagues back home continue to do what are supposed to do in the face of all the repression that they are facing and will always face. In the final analysis, we have no friends in the world but ourselves. At least, that is, that should be our basic working assumption, until reality proves the contrary. I am far too cynical to be deluded by anyone or anything. I am a heretic, remember? But I still have a cause.

As for the Kurdish issue, I just wanted to prod you to be clearer in this regard, because your tone sounded too general and too negative and dismissive. But yes, I, of course, know that there are a lot of Kurds who have separatist aspirations, and I think these tendencies are going to spread more and more, so long as the regime continues to ignore to address the all too legitimate grievances that the Kurds have. Bashar has promised repeated to address the issue of the denaturalized Kurds, and so far nothing. This is not how you try to contain a situation. This is how you enflame it.

And yes, is still believe Bashar is a moron, but “repetition teaches even the ass,” as they say, but the family has gotten its act together of late, that’s for sure, and they now have access to plenty of free, and not so free, in fact, pretty damn expensive, advice. They have a new lease on death.


اسمع من ذقني كفاك العمل لدى جشوا لانديس ما راح تستفاد شي سوى نزع اسمك يلي هو منزوع وبالاصل بلا طعمة(عفوا)
وشم رائحة فمه الكريهة .
وبالفعل لدى سؤال لك ما هي وظيفتك هل لديك شهادة عليا
كم عمرك وما هي خبرتك. الحقيقة انني لا اعرفك ابدا ولكن من كثرة ما تكتب لدى SCبشعر انه مافي اثقل من دمك في الدنيا.
وكثير بتذكرني بالداية تبع باب الحارة يلي تظل فابتة طالعة من بيت لبيت وعم تنقل حكي.
عمار انت ومبادئك رائعين الله معكم ومع سوريا.


It is shame on you Alex to post on SC your some parts of your response to Amar on this blog. You should have respected your discussion and kept it here on this blog and if you wanted to post any, you should have posted the whole argument. We are sick of your naming people who you designate as good opposition like ( Rime, Kabawat …) or even when you dare to mention Michel Kilo as one you favorite from the opposition and then who you dislike like ( Bunni, Homsi ..). All those people from left to right, from top to bottom are not rifle fighters, they are just thinkers have their views and entitle to voice their views and to speak in front of the world. That is the heart of the problem, all decent people including opposition, dissents, exiled, political parties outside and inside, want the first step of humanity. To SPEAK, this is not Crime. To meet who they want to discuss what they want, and you are like the regime mokhabarat keep trying to tape their mouths and you WILL NOT SUCCEED. Respect your self and others, please Mr. Canadian.


Another thing Alex, have respect to life. The one who put his life online is not like the one who sells his soul to the devil (devil here is who dose not comprehend the people eternal spirit and their rights to speak their minds). So, please again, discuss the issues with your comparables whom would not dare to speak their minds against the devil. And, stop looking at your countrymen as primitive species which does not deserve the freedom like other countries or still need some evolution to reach the age of maturity, I think they deserve better thoughts than yours.


اليكس فعلا مثل ام زكي في باب الحارة


Thanks Ammar

I understand your opinion. But I am still very much against your approach ... Abrams and Hadley's motivation is enought for me to have zero trust in this idea. If they like it then it is bad for Syria...

It is not a pro-regime anti-regime thing ... ask Jihad elKhzen what he thinks of these two gentlemen ... he calls them 3isabet Israeel


أبقى مع ايليوت ابرامز يوماً آخر، فأثناء عقد مؤتمر انابوليس، كنت أفكر كيف يمكن أن يسير الفلسطينيون والإسرائيليون نحو السلام، والمسؤول عن الشرق الأوسط في مجلس الأمن القومي هو هذا الليكودي المتطرف الذي عمل على امتداد ثلاثة عقود ضد أي مصلحة للعرب والمسلمين، بل ضد مصالح أميركا نفسها، وهو يقدم اسرائيل عليها.



ثمة حقيقة لا مفر منها هي أن جريمة ضد الانسانية ارتكبت، والمسؤول عصابة الحرب بقيادة نائب الرئيس ديك تشيني، ومعه مجموعة من اليهود الأميركيين المتطرفين ضمت نائب وزير الدفاع بول وولفوفيتز، ووكيل الوزارة دوغلاس فايث، وريتشارد بيرل من مجلس سياسة الدفاع، واليوت أبرامز، المسؤول عن الشرق الأوسط في البيت الأبيض، والناطق الرئاسي السابق آري فلايشر...


I am not calling for silencing anyone ... they all deserve to be free and to do whatever they want.

Do I have the right to criticize them? ... or do you want to silence me?

And what is it exactly that upset you in my copying my comments in Joshua's Blog? .. why? ... are you an expert on Blog protocols? did you read in some book that this is not a polite move?


بس انت يا اليكس لا خبير سياسي ولا خبير اقتصادي انت تكتب عند جشوا لانديس لانك تشتغل عنده وهذا حق واضح لك.


بس انت يا اليكس لا خبير سياسي ولا خبير اقتصادي انت تكتب عند جشوا لانديس لانك تشتغل عنده وهذا حق واضح لك.


For the eyes of Riyad Al-Turk.......

Ammar Abdulhamid

I am glad we understand each other Alex, we do not have to agree on the approach, approaches tend to be a rather intricate affair, and there is much that is ineffable in this regard, especially when the stakes are so high. Approaches tend to vary with time as well. But my goal and the general idea is a jasmine Revolution, as I said back when things looked more manageable somehow (Arabic, English). I have not given up on that goal, naturally, though, some of the mechanism suggested have been scrapped and/or revised. You don’t have read through all this again, but I think reading this paragraph might be of interest:

“One cannot punish all the wrongdoers of the Ancient Régime, nor can punishment be reserved for members of certain communities only, regardless of the justifications that can be offered. Justice should not be blind and should not come at the expense of the larger issue of the well-being of the country. Justice needs to be farsighted.”

I guess, what I am trying to say here is that you right in noting on Joshua’s blog that I am “angry.” I never hid that, but “revengeful,” I beg to disagree. I just have no delusions about the Assads that’s all. I also believe that it makes more sense to focus popular ire on them rather than have it aimed externally, which would only serve them, or let is fester internally and develop sectarian and class dimensions, which is what is happening as we speak.

It is this focus on the Assads that made me sound so angry and vindictive to you, if I remember correctly, after all, it’s been a while since our famous debates. There was anger of course, but there was a also a tactic, which is more than amply justified by what Assads themselves are guilty of.



i was boycotting you on my blog for your alliance with the "opposer" Khaddam, and when you broke loose with him i linked to your blog under: "Amarji is Back!", silly me, you're not.

I guess the "syrian people", each of the syrian government and the syrian opposition(s) speak of, defend and fight for, is only a vague entity used to enhance whatever each are calling for. i wish we stop calling for the justice for the "syrian people," i myself fall in that gap too, we need to learn not to speak "on behalf of" people, let them speak for themselves and in their own tools. in fact, that's democracy.

i will assume you are speaking for yourself here, your meeting with Bush reflects your own understanding to justice in syria.

i think many here reflected on what i wanted to say, Yazan, Wassim, Yaman, Annie and Alex said it all, but i wish to add something to what Yaman was rightly arguing and correct me if i am wrong, i think you're not paying enough attention to.

a group of youngsters are trying to organize a protest in the shape of a silent play as an opposition to the syrian internet censorship, we were trying to get permission to do the play in the street, you know what was the first question they asked us over and the over? "do you have links to "opposition abroad"? we were like, "huh?" they liked the play, they liked us actually, but it is you that makes them think about approving the play. you see, it is your links and your connections that freaks them out not "you" but "you-west", which happen to be the "dictator-west", i am afraid you ARE working against yourselves and what you stand for, we here, in syria, trying to make a bloody protest and it is you, "syrian opposition" and your very approach to "opposition" that makes it hard for us to perform it.
like Yazan's father said once:

"نحن سلالة لا ندخل [أو نبني] الأوطان إلا عبر منافيها"


انضم إلى قائمة المحتجزين الكاتب و المحلل السياسي أكرم البني بعد أن حضر صباح هذا اليوم إلى منزله حوالي الساعة التاسعة صباحا" أحد ضباط الأمن و اصطحبه معه واعداً أسرته بعودة قريبة بإذن الله.

و بذلك أصبحت قائمة المحتجزين تضم خمسة أشخاص بحسب مصادر المنظمة السورية لحقوق الإنسان وهم كل من :

1. الأستاذ سمير نشار تولد حلب 1945 و هو أب لأسرة مؤلفة من ثلاث أفراد ، و حاصل على إجازة البكالوريوس في التجارة و الاقتصاد ، و هو من مؤسـسي منتدى الكواكبي بحلب و كان من المقرر أن يعقد المنتدى في منزله لولا إغلاقه من قبل السلطات السورية، يعاني الأستاذ نشار من وضع صحي حرج و قد أجري له قبل مدة عملية قلب مفتوح و زود بشبكة شرايين كاملة ، انتخب مؤخراً عضو أمانة عامة في إعلان دمشق للتغيير الوطني الديمقراطي و حوالي الساعة الواحدة من ظهر يوم الاثنين 10/11/ 2007 حضر لمكتبه أحد ضباط الأمن طالباً منه مرافقته و مازال حتى تاريخه رهن الاحتجاز.

2. المهندس أسامة عاشور تولد حلب 1960 ( معتقل سياسي سابق لمدة سبعة عشر عاماً ) و هو أب لطفلة عمرها عشرة أشهر ، حاصل على شهادة الدبلوم في مجال الهندسة الزراعية و ناشط في الحقل الاجتماعي و الثقافي و قد سبق و أن حضر أحد ضباط الأمن لمنزله مساء الأحد 9/12/2007 طالباً منه مرافقته وما زال حتى تاريخه رهن الاحتجاز.

3. الدكتور أحمد طعمة تولد دير الزور في 1965 و هو أب لأسرة مؤلفة من أربعة أطفال و حاصل على الإجازة في طب الأسنان و مهتم في مجال الشأن العام و قد تمّ انتخابه مؤخراً بأمانة سر المجلس الوطني لإعلان دمشق و قد سبق لأحد ضباط الأمن و أن حضر لمنزله مساء الأحد 9/12/2007 طالباً منه مرافقته و مازال حتى تاريخه رهن الاحتجاز.

4. الأسـتاذ جبر الشوفي تولد السويداء 1947 أب لأسرة مؤلفة من ثلاثة أفراد مهندسة مدنية و مهندسة ميكانيك و صيدلاني ، حاصل على إجازة في الأدب العربي و قد عمل لمدة طويلة في حقل التدريس و يعاني من آلام مفصلية مزمنة ، و هو ناقد أدبي و مهتم بالشأن العام الثقافي و الاجتماعي له العديد من المقالات في مختلف المجالات و قد انتخب مؤخراً في عضوية الأمانة العامة لإعلان دمشق للتغيير الوطني الديمقراطي و حوالي الساعة الخامسة من مساء الأحد 9/12/2007 حضر لمنزله أحد كوادر الأمن طالباً منه مرافقته وما زال حتى تاريخه رهن الإحتجاز.

5. الأسـتاذ أكرم البني تولد حماه 1956 أب لأسرة مؤلفة من ابنه وحيدة حاصلة على إجازة في الحقوق و هو معتقل سياسي سابق لمدة تجاوزت السبعة عشر عاماً، كاتب و محلل سياسي و له الكثير من المقالات المنشورة في الصحف و الدوريات المختلفة.

يعاني من مشاكل هضمية ( قرحة و مشاكل في الكولون ) و قد سبق له و أجرى عملية قسطرة قلبية بعد خروجه من المعتقل بفترة وجيزة ، و قد انتخب مؤخراً بأمانة سر المجلس الوطني لإعلان دمشق.


No you're wrong...the young generations of Syrians are all with Ammar. We respect his campaign against the violation of human rights in Syria. He is honest and tough; all leaders in the world must know of the horror going on in all Syrian prisons. if youre against Khaddam and the opposition parties, this is your right, but don't assume that all Syrian share your opinion because they dont. im with everyone opposing the current regime. and, unlike what you said, im a young activist.
God Bless you ammar


بنصحك يا جولانية تروحي تناضلي بالجولان المحتل يلي باعوا حافظ وراح ياجروا بشار وخذي معك اليكس لانه مالوا طعمة في اميركا بركي هونيك بيصير له طعمة شوي.
Like Nizar Kabbani one said
كل عام وشعبا الخاضع القانع....
الخانع الخاشع...
المطبل المهلل....
الباذل الروح والدم فداء... لمن لا يستحق....

Hammam Yousef همّام يوسف


Can't say I agree on this meeting!

The question is: if I was invited to such a meeting, what would I do? what would Alex, Anni, or anyone else do?

Homsi is not a person I wouild like to be asociatied with. when I saw his photo with the "stupid" "Liar Liar" president of the US, I couldn't prevent my self from feeling sick to my stomach.

If you have proofs to what you've acuused Ammar with, you should provide them, other wise it is a cheap shot. I understand your point on Abrams and Hadly, I wish the Syrian regime was less Murderous than them.

This fucking politics game is sickening.

But if I am to choose between ASSads or Newcons...

I wouild go for the Syrian people.


مشان الله حدن يقول من هو اليكس لانه على ما فهمت من اصدقاء بكاليفورنيا بانه يعمل لدى جشوا باوامر من السفير في واشنطن.
وسؤال اخر هل صحيح ان جشوا استدعي في سوريا من قبل المخابرات ولولا وساطة السفير لما افرج عن.ه



Bi-awamer min alsafeer fee washington??!!

يا ساتر ... شو هالسفير الجبار

Please tell your reliable friends in California that Alex seems to be working for Ammar this week ... acting on orders from the Syrian Ambassador in Washington of course.


No I do not have any proof ... but let me ask you a question:

If you see a friend of yours at school hanging around with criminals and drug dealers all the time ... wouldn't you ask him to clarify what is going on? .. wouldn't you ask him if he is working with them? wouldn't you worry that they are using him to do bad things?

By the way .. how would you feel when your friend tells you: "Don't worry ... I am learning the business ... I am learning how to manipulate them, I know what I am doing"

Please see Golaniya's comment ... I have been telling Ammar the same thing for a long time ... he and the other opposition politicians are doing NOTHING GOOD for reform in Syria .. they are simply delaying it .. just like the many Baathists who do not want to see those reforms.

Different intentions, I know .. but who cares if the result is negative.

There is a serious philosophical difference ...Ammar still believes in the old fashioned "let's lead them" approach.

That was needed in the past .. when there was not information or education .. today people are very well informed (Internet and satellite TV stations) .. they are educated enough to make their own decisions without leadership from Khaddam, Homsy, Eliot Abrams or anyone else.

Let the people get angry when they feel angry .. let them revolt when they want to take that risk ... let time take care of what is bad in Syria today ... it will... naturally, without leadership and without politics.


بكل صدق اقول لك يا اليكس انه بالفعل لا يوجد اغلظ منك. وصدقني لا اقولها لا عن كره او بغض لك لاني الا اعرفك ولكن وجودك على الانترنت دائما وكيفية ردك على كل من يحاول ابداء رايه انما يدل على ثماجة ظلك الثقيل. روح واعمل مكانة لاسمك افضل لك من ان تكون طرطور بين الرجلين.

Bashar Elsbihi


Alex means well, yet his procrastination and obstructive views are certainly becoming cumbersome to others like Ammar who are doing the work NO ONE wants to do.


I read your comments and the exchange between you and Ammar here and on SC. It saddens me that you think so little of Ammar's noble work. Regardless of who he is dealing with, if you truly believe in those ideals of freedom, democracy, and liberty you would be better off to let people aspire and work for them instead of obstructing their work. I understand your fear of chaos and violence, but as Ammar eloquently put it, they are the by-products of the regimes practices and eventually anyone to be blamed for such violence if it ever happens, and it will, will be the regime. Even the greatest advocate of non-violence Mahatma Gandhi could not prevent it after he successfully liberated his country from the grip of the English.

What you need to understand is by you belittling the efforts of true opposition members, be it Ammar or anyone else, and classifying them in categories of "good or bad" you are making an unconscious decision for the status quo. If you truly have compassion for the Syrian people, which I do not doubt you do, it would behooves us all for you to at least support the ideals that true Syrians, the like of Ammar and others in the opposition who are in prison, to stand up and speak out against the atrocities being committed daily by the regime against people with clear conscious.
Instead, at least to me it sounds, you are the one who is "angry and vengfull" against your own kind.

As for the difference between the approach Ammar chose to go with and yours, I would have to certainly support Ammar and his efforts.

I'm surprise at your antagonism towards the Syrian opposition regardless of its background, as yourself have come from a family that have tasted the torments of a dictatorship throuout its life. At least that is what I remember from the last time I talked with you. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Finally, the goal we seek, ALL of us is certainly a noble one, we might differ on the methods and approach, but we must under all circumestances aknowledge the suffering and hardship, our families and friends face in Syria daily because of the regime's ill advised and shortsighted policies.

I know you do not agree with me on most of the things I'm saying here, but I would not doubt your clear conscience and judgment of the regime as a corrupt and lacking true legitimacy as whole and needs an overall reform, and this includes your favorite president of Syria. If you think otherwise, I would respect your opinion but in the same token I beg to disagree with you.



Alex, you should relax and be beyond the Mokhabarat ways of controlling free voices that want to speak, any speak either wrong or right, let them exercise their rights man.

Following every comment, every hint against the regime is not a normal criticizing practice.
And it goes beyond that when you said about Ammar, Homsi and Ghadri, you put them together in the same jar and said “criticizing” and mocking them together:
“ Iam sure Syria is proud of the three of you”,
Is this line is an enticement to the Regime to consider this meeting with the president of the USA as betrayal to their country.
Is this falls on the same line like the Mokhabarat sticking the betrayal ticket on anyone they want, should you be beyond that since you speak to Jews and Israelis. Or may be you are OK but not others who did not take approval signal from the Regime.
The funny things you want them to pick who should invite them and reject the invitation from the US administration and say, we will meet with you guy but without Abraham, because Alex do not like this guy.


I don't understand how many times do I need to repeat that I am not trying to silence anyone... that I always invite the most eloquent writers from "the opposition" to contribute to my blogs and forums ... if I wanted to see the regime win an argument then I would have invited, instead of Ammar and Hammam and Bashar Elsbihi and Yazan and Atassi, I would have invited Ahmad and Aussama who left all the retarded comments in Arabic above... they would make pro-regime contributors look great in comparison.

Bashmann ... we spoke about it on the phone and you noticed I'm sure that I never use the language of "you traitor" ... the whole thing is treated with a sense of humor.



Let me write in English my friend, but the words that describe you are only fitting in Arabic, not English. for example, "malak taameh", translating it to English wouldn't make any sense. "ethal min demak" cant be translated to English either. Also reading it in Arabic makes me laugh because you remind me of um zaki from bab el hara a lot.
One more thing, you didn't answer Ahmad's question about Joshua Landis and his affairs with the mukhabarat...is that true or not?
By the way,I don't accept invitations or nonsense from cowards...


Alex, you do not have to repeat the word, it is not enough to say “I’m not trying to silence anyone”, even if you repeated for thousand times. It is the way you are discussing and following any comment to the last drops. It seems that you are not going to relax and leave a pool of ideas and thoughts to flow around. If anything to do with the regime, it should be only your way of appeasement. Even on your blog, which is valuable by the way, but sorry it is short of being source of illumination and a civil place to accept all different views. And if you really care for civil society in your birth place, you should give respect to all those in Syria in the civil society who are not successful in achieving their goals, but at least they are trying and putting their lives on the line. Change will never be on a silver plate. And if I were you, I would not call anyone comment restarted as it does not go with civility.

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