Monday, March 21, 2011

Will Syrian Protests Lead to Reform or Further Crackdowns? (with video)

March 21, 2011
Sources:HaaretzTIMEAmerican Thinker

After a weekend of extraordinary protests in Syria, analysts are questioning
 whether the demonstrations will grow.


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Over the weekend, several thousand Syrians gathered to demonstrate against the government, and at least five people were killed when the military broke up the protests with gunfire and tear gas. The protests were sparked by the arrest of 15 children for writing revolutionary slogans on walls. (Video: euronews)

Mourners called for “revolution” at the funeral of slain protesters. What will happen now? A writer for the Israeli paper Haaretz says Syrian protests could lead to reforms, but the government could also squash the uprising before it gains steam.

“Contrary to what Assad has boasted, his country is not immune to the cries for change that have already toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia. But Syria's leadership, like that of Libya or Yemen, has no intention of relinquishing power. The question is how quickly the security forces will act…"

A journalist from the region writes in Time Magazine- it will be difficult for Syrians to force the government to change, but there’s hope.

“Syria was always going to be a tough nut for pro-democracy activists to crack. It is a country where NGOs and political parties … have long been banned; and where dissent, however mild, is viciously crushed … The barrier of fear Syrians must surmount is significant … but then again … so too are the opportunities.”

An American Thinker blogger suggests the US challenge Syrian leader Bashar al Assad and lead a push for reform.

“…from the standpoint of U.S. strategic interests, Assad's Syria … is arguably a bigger menace than Qaddafi's Libya.”

The Syrian government is using a carrot-and-stick strategy to quell the protests -- following brute force with concessions, such as releasing combination the 15 arrested children and cutting the length of mandatory military service by three months.

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Transcript by Newsy


My note:
I agree with the writers, "Syria is a a bigger menace than Qaddafi's Libya.”  Syria remains Israel's principal and immediate military threat.  It's connections with Iran have enabled Syria to supply the terrorist organization Hezbollah in Lebanon weapons - weapons pointed at the Israeli border.

For a background on the history of Syria and its connections with terrorism, please see:  

Potential Threats To Israel: Syria

"Syria harbors in Damascus representatives of ten Palestinian terrorist organizations including HamasIslamic Jihad, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine all of which are opposed to advances in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. These groups have launched terrible attacks against innocent Israeli citizens, which have resulted in hundreds of deaths. Syria also supports the Iranian-funded Hezbollah." ..........

Throughout the weekend the United States has been focusing on the "new" war in Libya; also, the devastation in Japan covers much of the news on America's main stream media.  The uprising in Egypt already seems to be "old" news and the media ignores the fact that Egypt could possibly be taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood.  In other words, while the young in Egypt were seeking democracy, there were stronger elements in the background waiting for an opportunity to hijack Egypt's newly found liberation from Murbarak, a dictator.  What is left of Egypt's government, headed by its military, is already showing signs of breaking all contracts with America's ally, Israel, while condemning the West (America) for supporting Murbarak these past 30 years.

If history is an example, what happened in Iran during the presidency of Jimmy Carter demonstrated, it is not enough to have the Shah of Iran replaced during an Islamic revolution; without a "transition" plan and Carter had no plan!  Iran wound up with the U.S.-hating Ayatollah Khomeini.  What does this tell us?  That while we support democracy and freedom for all peoples throughout the world, not all citizens understand that for real freedom, a model such as America, the Middle Eastern counties and its citizens, must choose their leaders carefully and separate the ideology of an Islamic religion from politics.  If not, no matter who the leader, for Islam there can be no separation and dictators fall, step down, or are eliminated only to have another take its place.  

There is a great misconception on the part of we "Westerners" to think that democracy as we understand it, is the same as what the Middle Eastern countries recognize or wish for their own citizens.. As one writer explained so well, (Sultan Knish/Daniel Greenfield), "The media has made the emotional case for supporting the rebels. But who are the rebels and who is to say that they are any better than Khaddafi? The Coalition which invaded Iraq at least planned to oversee its transition. There is no such plan in place for Libya. " ... more

To sum it up, President Bush had planned beforehand to support Iraq's transition; while Obama told Murbarak to step down but then left the Egyptians to handle matters on their own, without guidance or support.  There is the difference between leaders, including those who take the oath of Office as President of the United States.  We have now entered a "coalition" with the United Nations to topple Khaddafi without a plan!  We're bombing Libya without a plan!  Does this make sense?!  When, as pointed out in this video, there are even worse dictators, such as the one in Syria, who are far more dangerous to the interest of the United States and that of our ally, Israel.  Yet, not a peep from nay news media, or newspaper - what we're receiving for news is on the Internet, with due diligence of search engines!

I'll ask again (and again!), is everyone in Washington asleep?  Have you actually taken a good look at what is happening both here, within our own leadership, and then outward, to what is occurring in the Middle East, who we are supporting, which countries we are ignoring, and do we hear the cries of those who actually are seeking democracy, such as the Iranians who shed their blood in the streets a year ago, without a whimper from Obama!  Are we doing the same to the Syrians?  Have we abandoned the Egyptians?  Do we care that our one ally in the Middle East, Israel, is surrounded by those who wish to wipe her off the map, and yet when a terrorist murders FIVE Israleis in their beds, we can only condemn Israel for building homes within their own land?  

Have our priorities become so masked, that we cannot see the forest for the trees?!  As the author on American Thinker asked, "Question to President Obama: Having gotten a go ahead from the UN Security Council for military action to halt Qaddafi's brutal attacks on peaceful protesters, will you now seek the same UN remedy to halt the killing of peaceful demonstrators in Syria by Bashar Assad's murderous goons? If not, why not?" ... more

I'll add one last word:  Mr. President, do you honestly think that democracy comes merely by telling a dictator to step down?! Or, by picking and choosing which dictators need to be eliminated, while leaving its citizens alone to be raped by another terrorist organization?  If so, and it's "golf as ususal" while the world burns, then please turn over your duties to someone who can lead the world and America; our freedoms are too precious to be lost due to one man's inconsistent, unreliable, betrayals towards we Americans and America's allies.
America has good and not so good presidents over the years.  However, it is America's Constitution that prevents one man from destroying our nation and that is America's hope, rested on the very foundation of our Constitution of these United States.  Perhaps, we have learned a great lesson to choose more wisely, before entering the voting booth.

Bee Sting