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View Diary: Has Anyone Bothered To Ask What The Majority Of Syrians Want? (210 comments)

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  •  The Syrians want to be left alone. (31+ / 0-)

    There is strong anti-Assad sentiment in Syria, just as there is strong anti-Obama sentiment in the US.

    But anti-Assad sentiment does NOT automatically translate to pro-rebel or pro-Western-recognized opposition sentiment.

    And there is also strong anti-rebel sentiment in Syria. Many people feel 'We are being put through all of this so that a worse system (Islamist, salafi, jihadi) can be imposed on us???'.

    Most people in Syria feel that much of what is happening in Syria is being caused by outside actors (the whole range on both sides), and the vast majority of Syrians just want to be left alone so they can work it out among themselves.

    'It's our country and our problems, not anyone else's.' I have heard often.

    Remember - all of the rebels, in total, are about half of one percent of the population of Syria.

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 03:36:36 AM PDT

    •  you pretty much (9+ / 0-)

      give the most informed and sensible comments on this.

    •  I have been reaing a good deal and trying to (10+ / 0-)

      understand what the people there actually want, not what everyone else believes they want

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 03:41:09 AM PDT

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    •  agree very much, and the sentiment (5+ / 0-)

      that "it's our own country and our problem, not anyone else's" is in my experience always the one that the general population has, but is mostly fearful to say in the face of powers (their own dictators or the foreign super powers, even the ones who want to "help" them) that don't need to care of any of those sentiments in the general population.

      This is a general reaction not only related to the Syrian conflict right now.

      Civil Men Are For Civil Rights

      by mimi on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 04:25:09 AM PDT

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    •  I expect, though it may be projection, that what (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya

      most Syrians want is to be left alone to raise their families, do their work, and exercise their individual senses of culture. If they are like the largest chunk of humans everywhere, they don't give a fuck about politics and power and how the guy over the next hill spends his days and his nights.

      Whenever we talk about the political objectives of a large mass of humans, we need to remember that the majority of every large mass of humans simply want to avoid political conflict -- and war, in particular.

      The conflicts are foisted on "us"  by those who have a different agenda. The wars are not about fundamental differences between the majorities of two distinct masses of humans. Rather, they are about the fundamental similarities of particular minorities in each of the two or more distinct masses of humans. Those similarities are: Greed, thirst for power, vanity, arrogance, and contempt for the "sheep". The Cheneys of the world view the rest of us in the way that a child views a box full of toy soldiers or lego bricks.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 08:29:44 AM PDT

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    •  How Do You Know? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not disagreeing with you. I don't know what most Syrians want, other than to live without war like anyone else.

      How do you know what you say is true? Have you asked a lot of Syrians? Has someone else, who's told you? You say "I have heard often". What you say you've heard sounds plausible - I'd expect to hear it in my country, and in most others. But what is your method? How do you know what you're hearing isn't self selected, in a highly segregated tribal society deep into a civil war?

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 08:43:43 AM PDT

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      •  I live in Turkey and have for a long time. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, aliasalias

        For the past 14 months I've worked with Syrian refugees here in Turkey.

        Before that I had a lot of contact with them but couldn't spend as much time as I wanted to working with them because of an illness in my family.

        Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

        by InAntalya on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 11:36:10 AM PDT

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        •  Where We're Coming From (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not underestimating your generosity in working with the refugees, which I appreciate - and I'm sure they appreciate more than I do, of course. And clearly Syria's tribulations affect you more and more directly than they do me, posting from comfort about my point of view.

          But I'll respectfully point out that your sample of Syrians is not scientific, not at all necessarily representative. It's selected from refugees, who though numerous in this case are not representative. And I don't think you've gotten a sample of all the refugees, but just those who for whatever reason have come into contact with you. Also that your POV comes from your position in Turkey, which has its own vested interests in the matter. I don't take any exception with your honesty or ascribe any agenda to you, but knowing what "most Syrians" want, at least 11 million of the 21 million Syrians, is not possible even with your direct personal experience of some Syrians.

          So while yours is one of the best sources for stories about this hellish war, it's still not a way to know what most Syrians want. None of us actually knows.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 07:02:21 AM PDT

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