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View Diary: My response to Phyllis Bennis: Where is the non-violent opposition in Syria? (42 comments)

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  •  Clay this is what I DON't understand (4+ / 0-)

    Why do you support the opposition in Syria when the majority of Syrians support Assad?

    The key finding was that while most Arabs outside Syria feel the president should resign, attitudes in the country are different. Some 55% of Syrians want Assad to stay,
    If you believe in self-determination let the majority voice in Syria prevail. I don't like the idea that you push a neoconservative agenda on this blog in order to promote and preserve your ideals. You may think you are doing the Syrians a favor, but you are least not to the 55% of Syrians.
    •  The adoption of certain agendas is puzzling (3+ / 0-)

      It seems, i dunno, almost crusade-like? One who goes so far as to collate in-depth sources to verify their establishment position on whatever country is on-schedule to fall to western imperialism almost certainly comes across conflicting yet credible evidence to the contrary of that position, so...

      'tis a puzzlement.

    •  55% of Syrians do NOT support Assad (0+ / 0-)

      Another insidious myth is doing the rounds: that 55% of Syrians support president Assad. The figure was cited by Aisling Byrne in an article which I critiqued recently. Now, it has surfaced again in an article by Jonathan Steele for the Guardian.

      While it is undoubtedly true that the Assad regime still has a measure of support within Syria, no one can sensibly put a figure on it or claim that Assad's supporters form a majority.

      The 55% figure comes from an internet survey by YouGov Siraj for al-Jazeera's Doha Debates. Just over 1,000 people across the Arab countries were asked their opinion of Assad and an overwhelming majority – 81% – thought he should step down.

      However, al-Jazeera says the picture inside Syria is different: "Syrians are more supportive of their president with 55% not wanting him to resign."

      What is the basis for this statement? A look at the methodology of the survey shows that 211 of the respondents were in Levantine countries and that 46% of those were in Syria. In other words, the finding is based on a sample of just 97 internet users in Syria among a population of more than 20 million. It's not a meaningful result and certainly not adequate grounds for such sweeping conclusions about national opinion in Syria.
      Posted by Brian Whitaker, 18 January 2012.

      •  What is the basis, for that statement? (3+ / 0-)

        Al-Jazeera's worm has turned, and its ownership has came into play.

      •  55%+ of Syrians do not want the violence (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shawn Russell

        going on from either side and would prefer negotiations and reform.

        •  "negotiations and reform" (0+ / 0-)

          Claudius, Clay has , as do I, backgrounds in the anti-imperialist left. His history goes back to the 60's, mine to the late 70's , after the triumph of the sandinista revolution. I was active with groups like CISPES . The Reaganites of that era would push the line that the salvadorean regime which was slaughtering peasants and workers en masse, should be negotiated with , since the regime of jose napoleon duarte was a 'reformist,' one. The Syrian revolution , just as was the case in el salvador , employs a range of strategies, from peaceful marches and strikes to the armed struggle of the fsa. to think that the assad regime , is interested in reform and negotiations, is very naive.

    •  You believe this poll? (0+ / 0-)

      Just how does one take a creditable poll in a police state at war with itself. Did you not see the story and videos of the Tohme family on my blog. The army stormed into the house and killed everybody including children as young as 4 because one family member was caught filming the troops from his balcony.

      I mean really, how do you do a creditable poll under conditions like that?

      Were these pollsters able to travel anywhere in Syria and talk to anyone they wanted to without government minders around? Did they have that much more freedom than the UN observers?

      I mean really, how do you do a creditable poll under conditions like that?

      And yet here you are peddling it as the undisputed truth, 55% of Syrians want to keep a mass murderer and child killer, a man who has called in air strikes on Syrian families, as their leader.

      Do you seriously think Assad would allow a poll to come out otherwise under his watch?

      Next you'll be telling me that the fact that he received 97.2% of the vote for president in 2000 proves that he is loved by all Syrians.

      Oh and BTW, I think I am doing the Syrians a favor right now by collecting the videos, tweets and other media of their struggles  as they pass me by in cyberspace and fixing them here were people and find them easily and know what is going on.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:39:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You support an opposition that commits human right (2+ / 0-)

        abuses just as Assad does. The HRW says:

        Human Rights Watch has documented apparent crimes and other abuses committed by armed opposition elements. These crimes and abuses include the kidnapping and detention of security force members, individuals identified as members of government-supported militias (referred to locally as shabeeha), and individuals identified as government allies or supporters. They also include the use of torture and the execution of security force members and civilians. Some of the attacks targeting Shias and Alawites appear to be motivated by sectarianism.

        Abuses of this nature, including torture, taking of hostages, and executions by armed opposition members, have also been documented by the UN-mandated Commission of Inquiry in its February 2012 report. In addition to concluding that armed members of the opposition have committed gross human rights abuses, the Commission’s report also references and appends documentation received from the Syrian government indicating that armed opposition members have kidnapped, killed, and disappeared civilians and security force members and displaced civilians.

        You have a tendency to think this is a battle between good vs evil, it's not. It's a civil unrest between two bads. You hate one bad but side with another.
        •  They don't commit HR violations (0+ / 0-)

          "Just as Assad" does. They don't shell cities or surround them with tanks. They haven't disappeared ten of thousands into a secret prison system, They don't kill children with helicopter gunships and kill soldiers that refuse to kill civilians.

          The attempt to make out the opposition as just as bad as Assad is an attempt to defend Assad.

          Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

          by Clay Claiborne on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:21:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They do in this regard (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Claudius Bombarnac

            Assad kills civilians. The opposition kills civilians. And how does it matter how those civilians are killed? So Assad may kill civilians with helicopters or other superior forms of technology and the opposition may kill civilians with roadside bombs or simple bullets. The bottomline is that civilians are killed by both sides, the means to kill the civilians are the only things that may differ.

            That's like saying a person who stabs you with a knife is a better person than someone who kills you with a drone strike. That's essentially your argument and it's a flawed and shoddy argument.

            I am not defending Assad or the opposition. All destruction of innocent life is gruesome. Apparently you don't feel the same way.

          •  HR violations from both sides... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shawn Russell

            Graphic- Al-Qaeda Officially Claims Responsibility For Mass Execution Of 13 Previously Unknown Corpses- Deir Al-Zoor, May 29th 2012

            Video 1: 'Activist' films massacre of 13 men very strangely saying none have ID cards and blaming Bashar Al-Assad for this killing.

            Video 2: Al-Qaeda officially claims responsibility for this killing, saying that these were security personnel. The statement says that they were captured and 'confessed' to crimes.

            •  Al-Nusra Front (0+ / 0-)

                That would be the Al-Nusra Front ? A group which has been rolled up by the Assad regime , with the arrest of some of their leading cadre. And a group the FSA has denounced, wants nothing to do with.

            •  HR violations from both sides... (0+ / 0-)

              Name me a war were that was true.

              You realize that you could have trotted out that line to attack the struggle against Hitler in WW2 or to attack the struggle against slavery in the civil war with as much validity as you do now in defense of Assad.

              Now do you see how banal your argument is?

              Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

              by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:04:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are the one trotting out HR violations as (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Shawn Russell

                a reason for attacking a sovereign country. The US has committed far more atrocities than any other nation on earth. You even made a documentary on it - called it a Holocaust.

                WWII was a declared war. Syria is not.

                You do know what is involved in a no-fly zone don't you? NATO fired off 300 cruise missiles plus several hundred sorties using it's full range of military aircraft in Libya.

                To do the same with Syria would require at least 10/20 times as much. Libya had an ancient defense system that had not been upgraded for a decade or more. Syria is a lot more modern.

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