Madani: What civil society means for Syria

Posted March 22, 2012 by seleucid
Categories: Uncategorized

Chapter 1: an introduction

“Madaniyeh! Madaniyeh!” was a slogan called for sporadically in the first months of the Syrian unrest. The swift and brutal carnage however soon soured all ideas but the immediate reactionary, murder all concepts but those that dwell in the pathos.

As any Palestinian can tell you clearly, 70 years of pathos have done nothing to the cause, other than make it the hanging rack of all that is wrong in every single Arab country. The discussion about Syria needs a critical infusion of reason, before it descends fully into a vortex of wrath and malice.

Day by day, its becoming increasingly important that we understand the concept of citizenship, of what it means to be a member of a modern civil society. A society which Syria has experienced before, however shortly, and will not be able to evolve as an independent stable nation unless it has the power, to reach that point once again.

One cannot stress enough the significance of this step for our future. Every successful move of the past century, even the one before, had the concept of citizenship as a ground basis. Scientific progress, economic enterprises, the rise of the middle class (this one goes both ways) and the liberation of man (and woman, eventually).

We all have heard it before, how Syria is called a “special case”, called a hideous psychopathic child by those who call themselves nationalists. A potentially  monstrous being that must be kept safe from all dignity or stability lest it claw itself to death. I hope a better understanding of what makes this country so beautifully unique will cause many people to unshackle it in their minds, which will cause it to be unchained in reality soon after.

In the following chapters we will try to understand the concept of civil society in general, to be followed by an imagining of what cituzenship could mean for Syria in particular.

Im tired of my own helplessness, and if this is a way i can cobtribute, then i hope my first amateur book concept is helpful.

Interview with a label: Daedul

Posted June 24, 2011 by seleucid
Categories: Uncategorized

The discussion on Syria has become petty. I’m having a hard time finding someone constructive to talk and discuss with. Thankfully in times like this I have a group of friends, from all opinions, friends who love Syria, friends I can rely on.

 

But God knows, as a Syrian, you learn fast the curse of not being able to trust anyone.

This interview is with daedul

1-Where do you see Syria in one year?

With the way things are now, I think we’re still going to have a lot of turmoil continuing into next year. And I am an optimistic person.

 

2-In brief, what were your positions regarding the revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt?

 

I cheered them on in support of the people and their wants and needs. I never in my wildest thoughts even assumed that the people of Syria would follow suit/ be part of the Arab Spring.

 

3-What’s your opinion on the government response to protests?

I am speechless, disappointed and hurt. I feel so let down. There are so many things running through my head and the only thing I keep wondering is, why to this extent? (Of course, now the issue of what sort of protests are being held is another case all in all. The President just gave his speech, and like a supportive family member, you have hope.. )

 

4-How do you feel about the media wars in Syria, the blackout, and the conduct of local and regional media?

 

It’s 2011. I understand the thought of “the others” will influence you negatively which comes from a love, a passion that we Syrians strongly have towards our country. But honestly, it’s ridiculous and pathetic now.

 

5-What’s your opinion on legally recognized foreign parties in Syria?

 

I don’t completely understand this question, but if it means other parties in power in Syria. It’s working all over the world, I have faith it’ll work just fine within our country too.

 

6-Are you with or against article 8, assigning the Baath party as leader of the nation and the people?

 

I am not aware of the articles or the Syrian Legislation.

 

7-Are you with or against the information ministry, and its job of guiding public debate?

 

Against. Everything in the world is guided, Syria just doesn’t have the freedom to have a variety of public debates as freely as they would like.

 

8-Syrian riot control groups are known for being heavy handed, using plainclothed policemen, mass arrests, visible brutality. Do you consider it necessary, or do you think the current riot control tactics must be modernized?

 

Riot control tactics anywhere in the world is a scary thought. The whole idea is an uncomfortable one. I’m a make love, not war kind of person. When it comes to this sort of control, I understand Governments need it, so yes I think their methods need to be modernized. Again, modernization would mean tear gas, beating protestors like we see in a lot of the EU countries for instance. I am very uncomfortable with this question in general.

 

9- Syria uses many extra-legal forces, units considered outside the government structure. For example there are thugs, paramilitary, businessmen. Do you think these forces are necessary? Or should be dismantled or incorporated into the official system?

 

Corruption is rampant in the entire world (when it comes to businessmen), I don’t care what example you may give me of a foreign power, corruption exists as “democratic” as they claim to be. Thugs and paramilitary would however be classified as third world, and an insult to the nation. They should be dismantled altogether.

 

10-Are you with or against holding government officials and security under state law?

 

With. I don’t see anything that makes them different than us.

 

11- Many Syrians have been jailed for publicly stating the opinions they hold, under laws such as weakening public spirit, and enticing strife. What’s your position on the prisoners of opinion?

 

Definitely needs to be scraped.

 

12-What’s your position regarding external pressure on your own country?

 

I don’t like when international pressure is applied to my country. In this case, I believe the international community waited a while before applying sanctions. Sanctions are good because it puts pressure in case of ‘dilly-dallying’. Syria is a country like any typical Arabic, South European, South American country that takes its time in doing things. If you refer to Anthropology, it is simply in our blood. Pride is another factor, and yes I have taken it personally, and am insulted but I understand why they like to play God.

 

13-What’s your opinion regarding the Syrian economy? What would you like to see?

 

I’d like to see my countrymen have the ability to own anything they like. We could start with basic necessities like housing and transport. If you charge a ridiculous amount of tax, there has to be some sort of reciprocation.  I’d like their salaries to increase, their standard of living, their education. I’d like everyone to have that equality. I don’t know how to answer this question really. I apologize if my answer is too vague.
14- What’s your opinion on the protesters throughout Syria? Do you agree with those who say they should go back home and give the leadership a chance?

 

I’m happy that protesting has been legalized. The people of the country need to respect the leadership and think before they act though. Some of their protests have been out of hand, and rather violent. It’s like they’re asking for the State of Emergency to be returned. Yes we should give leadership a chance, and pray things get done as promised asap.

 

15- How do you prefer to solve the problem of bloodshed? Will you agree to an amnesty or do you want to see all those who commit murder prosecuted?

 

I don’t know. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, I quote Gandhi. However, I do believe in punishment.

 

16- Are you afraid of sectarian conflict?

 

Yes, very much so.

 

17-Do you think the regime could reform?

 

Yes. I also believe it won’t automatically change overnight.

 

18-Who are the writers on Syrian affairs that best reflect your views?

 

None that I know really.

 

19-Are you worried about secularism in future Syria?

 

Yes I am.

 

20- From 1-10, how hopeful are you of the future of Syria.

 

10 being the best. It’s where I belong at the end of the day, and yes I have faith in it and in what it stands for.

 

Daedul has been labelled a “boring activist”. Her friends are worried about her new found passion.

Interview with a label: Moshebli

Posted June 23, 2011 by seleucid
Categories: Uncategorized

 

April was a horrible month…

The blackout, the images, the government schizophrenia blended together in a mayhem of horror and blood.

Every night was spent reading through the accounts, trying to filter them, check and double check them. But even when using the strictest skepticism, the events on the ground would make your skin crawl, and you’d have to literally stick your head in the sand to keep yourself together.

In these conditions, people began to spring up who would curse the protesters, who would throw racist generalizations against whole regions in Syria. Who would call for people who dissent to be beaten, arrested, to be seen as enemies. My reaction was shock, immediately followed by rage. It was incomprehensible to me that people who have lost so much, can be treated in such a horrible manner.

Naturally, hate breeds hate.

I would go to bed every night holding back tears, and it will always confuse me what I was so broken about. Assuming the numbers of people being oppressed and intimidated would be right of course, but it wasn’t just that. Finally I convinced myself it’s the fear I was feeling, regarding the safety of me and my friends.

It was when one of the “heartless” opened up to me, and started telling me how he can’t sleep all night either, how similar his case was to mine that I realized we were both heartbroken for the same thing. Our tears were for Syria.

 

Today’s interview is with moshebli:

1-Where do you see Syria in one year?

I see Syria somewhere between Iraq and Lebanon, not geographically ofcourse, but in terms of security unrest, and economic crisis, especially if protests persist

2-In brief, what were your positions regarding the revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt?

Happy for Tunis, but skeptical about Egypt yet supportive mostly; however not happy with outcome

3-What’s your opinion on the government response to protests?

Very important and appropriate response in the regions of the Syrian borders; Response has been harsh at other times

4-How do you feel about the media wars in Syria, the blackout, and the conduct of local and regional media?

Media war ON Syria is far greater than the war from the regime onto internet/media. I think one of the ways to fight foreign media from creating a “Wag the Dog” situation is to cut off telecom at times, unfortunately. Syrian TV is absurd when it comes to neutrality, however it is as absurd as the other Arab channels, and actually I realised their importance to protect our country.

5-What’s your opinion on legally recognized foreign parties in Syria?

I am with forming democratic parties in Syria, only if their agenda and goals are 100% secular/patriotic and against the division of Syria. Basically no Muslim Brotherhood/ No kurdish independence parties

6-Are you with or against article 8, assigning the Baath party as leader of the nation and the people?

No

7-Are you with or against the information ministry, and its job of guiding public debate

No

8-Syrian riot control groups are known for being heavy handed, using plainclothed policemen, mass arrests, visible brutality. Do you consider it necessary, or do you think the current riot control tactics must be modernized?

I think in some parts of syria, people don’t understand with the new “develloped countries” way of riot control. That’s unfortunate. I am 100% with peaceful protests though

9- Syria uses many extra-legal forces, units considered outside the government structure. For example there are thugs, paramilitary, businessmen. Do you think these forces are necessary? Or should be dismantled or incorporated into the official system?

I agree. But I don’t think by changing the regime these people will vanish. The corrupt mentality, is in the private as well and as obvious as the public sector. The syrian people need to start with themselves before pointing fingers

10-Are you with or against holding government officials and security under state law?

Didn’t understand the question.

11- Many Syrians have been jailed for publicly stating the opinions they hold, under laws such as weakening public spirit, and enticing strife. What’s your position on the prisoners of opinion?

Some people deserved to be in prisons and others don’t. I am against an all out release of political prisoners. Cases must be treated individually.

12-What’s your position regarding external pressure on your own country.

I’ll be a traitor if I am with external pressures. I’m against external pressure.

13-What’s your opinion regarding the Syrian economy? What would you like to see?

More taxation on chinese/foreign products, and improving the syrian industries, to promote local products and businesses.
The most money should be pumped into the tourism industry (medical tourism as well), since we have the oldest cities and civilisations in the world.
Therefore we need security as well.

14- What’s your opinion on the protesters throughout Syria? Do you agree with those who say they should go back home and give the leadership a chance?

100% agree with that statement. Give the goverment 6 months. If we don’t see signs of improvements, then the regime has to go.

15- How do you prefer to solve the problem of bloodshed? Will you agree to an amnesty or do you want to see all those who commit murder prosecuted?

Amnesty. If we want to prosecute everyone, there will be civil war – no doubt about it.

16- Are you afraid of sectarian conflict?

Ofcourse. I’ll be an idiot if I’m not afraid of sectarian strife. It is very serious as well. Not only sectarian strife in Syria, but everywhere in the middle east.

17-Do you think the regime could reform?

Yes it could. We are seeing it happen everyday.

18-Who are the writers on Syrian affairs that best reflect your views.

No one really. There is not one writer that is not biased towards one party or another. Maybe I would say, Ghassan Bin Jeddo is the only analyst that reflects my views.

19-Are you worried about secularism in future Syria?

I am if the regime falls, regardless of the reasons.

20- From 1-10, how hopeful are you of the future of Syria.

4

 

Moshebli doesn’t recall any labels, but I guess he can be labeled as pro. Hai min 3andi ya3ni😛

Interview with a label: Erksous

Posted June 20, 2011 by seleucid
Categories: Uncategorized

I’m worried about this Syria. I’m worried about seeds being planted, fledgling institutions now becoming monsters in the future. There seems to be an encouragement to go out and crush the differing opinion. Any skepticism, any questioning of the road we’re going on must be dealt with promptly. I’m worried about reaching a time where showing loyalty to my country means joining a cult.

What if this cult becomes institutionalized? What if we every neighborhood gets a loyal watchdog militia, hell bent to snuff out any form of dissent? Probably murdering any creative thought in the process?

When we lose the ability to listen to each other, to process, to agree or disagree, we lose everything.

The purpose of this project is to keep that candle lit, as long as possible.

Today’s interview is with the little known yet amazing Erksous

1-Where do you see Syria in one year?

Very Hard to tell.

 

2-In brief, what were your positions regarding the revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt?

I fully Supported both but not only based on my opinion of their regimes but also because it seemed that it was what most of the people in both countries had wanted.

 

3-What’s your opinion on the government response to protests?

Brutal and outrageously stupid.

 

4-How do you feel about the media wars in Syria, the blackout, and the conduct of local and regional media?

Local media has demonstrated how backward and ancient it is, but no one has been reporting the full truth.

 

5-What’s your opinion on legally recognized foreign parties in Syria?

I support the idea as long as there is no religion involved.

 

6-Are you with or against article 8, assigning the Baath party as leader of the nation and the people?

Against

 

7-Are you with or against the information ministry, and its job of guiding public debate

Against

 

8-Syrian riot control groups are known for being heavy handed, using plainclothed policemen, mass arrests, visible brutality. Do you consider it necessary, or do you think the current riot control tactics must be modernized?

Should be modernized; the situation has escalated to where it is today mainly because of these outdated tactics.

 

9- Syria uses many extra-legal forces, units considered outside the government structure. For example there are thugs, paramilitary, businessmen. Do you think these forces are necessary? Or should be dismantled or incorporated into the official system?

They should cease to exist

10-Are you with or against holding government officials and security under state law?

With.

 

11- Many Syrians have been jailed for publicly stating the opinions they hold, under laws such as weakening public spirit, and enticing strife. What’s your position on the prisoners of opinion?

Stating your opinion, even publicly, should not be a crime. Those with power should always be criticized to help deter them from abusing the power they hold.

 

12-What’s your position regarding external pressure on your own country.

Since it’s the people who end up feeling that pressure, I am against it.

 

13-What’s your opinion regarding the Syrian economy? What would you like to see?

Equal opportunities, more privatization, minimum corruption

 

14- What’s your opinion on the protesters throughout Syria? Do you agree with those who say they should go back home and give the leadership a chance?

I want to give the regime one last chance and hope protests would stop especially that recently some protests have not been peaceful at all.

 

15- How do you prefer to solve the problem of bloodshed? Will you agree to an amnesty or do you want to see all those who commit murder prosecuted?

I will not agree to an amnesty.

 

16- Are you afraid of sectarian conflict?

Very afraid

 

17-Do you think the regime could reform?

I want to give them a chance to try at least, and I hope they could

 

18-Who are the writers on Syrian affairs that best reflect your views.

No one fully reflects my views.

19-Are you worried about secularism in future Syria?

Yes.

 

20- From 1-10, how hopeful are you of the future of Syria.

8

 

Erksous has been called brainwashed by aljazeera and a traitor to her own country.

Interview with a label: Maysaloon

Posted June 19, 2011 by seleucid
Categories: Uncategorized

Syria might possibly be the country with the most unlocked potential worldwide, and most people who have met us would agree. Our place in the world is much lower than it should be, and we all know we are capable of doing so much better.

The advantages of this is that every Syrian who loves his country knows just what it must be, and as this projects show, their vision will mostly unite.

The only thing we differ on is how we’re supposed to get there.

Today’s interview is with maysaloon, who I must admit is my favorite Syrian blogger out there. Not least because of his outspoken attitude and capability of taking blows as hard as he dishes out.

1-Where do you see Syria in one year?

Quite chaotic and messy. Socially and domestically, Syrians are going to witness great upheavals and the Syria that emerges from this period will be unlike anything we imagine. No, I do not believe we are on the same road as Iraq. The Iraqi tragedy was caused as much by the Syrian and Iranian regimes as it was by the American occupation forces. What we saw was a battle between these forces over Iraq and the carnage was a by-product. So democracy per se is not the cause, let alone the fact that in Syria it is the people and not American tanks that are forcing change.


2-In brief, what were your positions regarding the revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt?

Unequivocally supportive and from the very beginning.

3-What’s your opinion on the government response to protests?

 Stupid. The regime has made every mistake in the book, almost as if it wanted to have a full scale uprising on its hands. I was surprised and almost disappointed with their response. I had really expected them to handle the situation ‘better’ than other Arab countries.

4-How do you feel about the media wars in Syria, the blackout, and the conduct of local and regional media?

I think ‘media wars’ is an exaggeration, Syria has no private or public media worthy of the name and their narrative is more like something you would expect from Winnie the Pooh. Whilst regional media have been accused of a certain bias, it is not hard to sympathise with them considering the Syrian [lack of] alternative and the ridiculous blackout. I don’t think regional media are any more or less professional than other media world wide, ultimately it is the viewer that has to exercise their discretion and critically examine what they are being presented with.

5-What’s your opinion on legally recognized foreign parties in Syria?

 I don’t understand the question.

6-Are you with or against article 8, assigning the Baath party as leader of the nation and the people?

Against.

7-Are you with or against the information ministry, and its job of guiding public debate

I think every “Information Ministry” in the Arab world should be abolished in a post-dictatorship era. Just like in Orwell’s 1984, Arab Ministries of “Information” are really about disseminating “Mis-Information”.

8-Syrian riot control groups are known for being heavy handed, using plainclothed policemen, mass arrests, visible brutality. Do you consider it necessary, or do you think the current riot control tactics must be modernized?

I would not describe what these groups are doing as “riot control tactics”. Such a term implies that Syrians have a legitimate state that is governed by institutions, norms and laws, and that the executive is accountable for its actions – far from it. Syria has a ruling family and a state apparatus that has been merged with one political party, all of which are subservient to the interests of the ruling regime and to maintaining its grip on power. It is not so much that tactics need to be modernized but rather that the entire edifice must be abolished especially that it requires brutality to exist. 

 

9- Syria uses many extra-legal forces, units considered outside the government structure. For example there are thugs, paramilitary, businessmen. Do you think these forces are necessary? Or should be dismantled or incorporated into the official system?

They are necessary insofar as the regime requires them to maintain its grip on power. Any state will need auxiliaries in order to survive, but, as Aristotle said, every care must be taken that these same auxiliaries do not take power. The result of failing to do this is apparent in Assad’s Syria today. 

10-Are you with or against holding government officials and security under state law?

I’ve often wondered whether having something similar to the French droit administratif would be useful for the Syrians. They are certainly closer in spirit (for historical reasons) to the French model of state building and having such a decentralised system would mean it is more difficult for future governments or rulers to interfere with civil and criminal law. Such a system could also make the individual legal bodies more effective at dealing only with constitutional or administrative legal problems. I think such an idea deserves some serious consideration in the post-regime phase.

11- Many Syrians have been jailed for publicly stating the opinions they hold, under laws such as weakening public spirit, and enticing strife. What’s your position on the prisoners of opinion?

Imprisoning anybody for their opinion is unacceptable.

12-What’s your position regarding external pressure on your own country.

Every country has external pressure. A strong country with strong institutions knows how to deal appropriately with such pressures according to its own interests.

13-What’s your opinion regarding the Syrian economy? What would you like to see?

I’m not an economist, but it is clear to most that the Syrian economy is weak and badly managed. Syria needs to find a way of moving away from a franchise based and commodities based economy. It is unlikely Syrians can compete effectively by manufacturing as they don’t have a big enough domestic market to allow the economies of scale that would help them export. What Syrians can contribute in is in the financial services or service based economy. Tourism has enormous scope for development too.

14- What’s your opinion on the protesters throughout Syria? Do you agree with those who say they should go back home and give the leadership a chance?

If the protesters retreat from their position then they will lose everything. The regime knows that and it is desperate to get people off the streets.

15- How do you prefer to solve the problem of bloodshed? Will you agree to an amnesty or do you want to see all those who commit murder prosecuted?

An amnesty would be the ideal way forward, something like truth and reconciliation courts in South Africa. When the Nazis were put on trial after the war, they were told they were being tried for the crimes they did, not for losing the war. In Syria today there are two narratives and it needs to be made clear that regardless of whether they were with or against the regime, defendants are going to be prosecuted for their crimes against humanity.

16- Are you afraid of sectarian conflict?

 Very much so.

17-Do you think the regime could reform?

No, to reform would be ipso facto the end of the regime.

18-Who are the writers on Syrian affairs that best reflect your views.

Unlike other countries there is a genuine poverty of good writers on Syrian affairs. They are either incredibly dry and academic or bordering on the absurd. Having said that I think Azmi Bishara has done some very good analysis of the state of Syrian affairs and I’d like to see more of his thoughts on the country in the future.


19-Are you worried about secularism in future Syria?

No.

20- From 1-10, how hopeful are you of the future of Syria.

If 1 is the worst and 10 being the best, then 10. If not, then the opposite.

Maysaloon was called a “dog” and a “son of a bitch” recently for sporting a “Free Syria” badge.

Interview with a label: Ali_what

Posted June 18, 2011 by seleucid
Categories: Uncategorized

The biggest problem with Syrian politics is that people have always known what’s right and what should change, but they never had the courage to ask for it, nor were they convinced that they might be able to make an effective grassroots movement and be able to change the situation.

I’m glad to see people like Ali_what tweeting their honest opinions from inside the country, and not responding to any kind of coercion. When enough of us stand by our opinions, silencing us won’t be an option anymore.

 

1-Where do you see Syria in one year?

In a really bad shape.

 
2-In brief, what were your positions regarding the revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt?

I didn’t really give it much attention. I remember I underestimated the whole thing from the start. I didn’t believe taking down a government solves as many problems as one might think.

 
3-What’s your opinion on the government response to protests?

Stupid.

 
4-How do you feel about the media wars in Syria, the blackout, and the conduct of local and regional media?

Also stupid and totally unnecessary.

 
5-What’s your opinion on legally recognized foreign parties in Syria?

Anyone should be able to start a political party as long as that party has NO religious background.

 
6-Are you with or against article 8, assigning the Baath party as leader of the nation and the people?

Against.

 
7-Are you with or against the information ministry, and its job of guiding public debate

I understand their position. But the Syrian people are not stupid.

 
8-Syrian riot control groups are known for being heavy handed, using plainclothed policemen, mass arrests, visible brutality. Do you consider it necessary, or do you think the current riot control tactics must be modernized?

Not all of them are murderers. But many are led by stupid people.

 
9- Syria uses many extra-legal forces, units considered outside the government structure. For example there are thugs, paramilitary, businessmen. Do you think these forces are necessary? Or should be dismantled or incorporated into the official system?

Of course they should be dismantled. But the part those forces played is a hugely overrated, and most of them are just bodyguards for people with interests and sectarians working on their own.

 
10-Are you with or against holding government officials and security under state law?

With.

 
11- Many Syrians have been jailed for publicly stating the opinions they hold, under laws such as weakening public spirit, and enticing strife. What’s your position on the prisoners of opinion?

It’s about time we forget the term “prisoners of opinion” once and for all, and I see hope in that deriction.

 
12-What’s your position regarding external pressure on your own country.

Depending on, supporting and justifying any kind of foreign pressure is out of the question. We solve our problems on our own.

 
13-What’s your opinion regarding the Syrian economy? What would you like to see?

An end of corruption is the first priority.

14- What’s your opinion on the protesters throughout Syria? Do you agree with those who say they should go back home and give the leadership a chance?

I do.

 
15- How do you prefer to solve the problem of bloodshed? Will you agree to an amnesty or do you want to see all those who commit murder prosecuted?

People directly responsible for the murder of Syrian people should not be given amnesty.

 
16- Are you afraid of sectarian conflict?

A sectarian conflict is just a matter of time. I believe in the Syrian people but no matter how small the sectarian group is it’s more effective than people might think. Any small spark can set the whole thing on fire. I just hope there’s someone there to stop it.

 
17-Do you think the regime could reform?

I hope it could.

 
18-Who are the writers on Syrian affairs that best reflect your views.

There aren’t any. Everyone has an agenda.

 
19-Are you worried about secularism in future Syria?

Very.

 
20- From 1-10, how hopeful are you of the future of Syria.

5

 

Ali_what labels himself as pro-reform. He has been labeled by the opposition as ignorant and by the loyalists as.. well lacking in loyalty basically

Interview with a label: Syrianews

Posted June 17, 2011 by seleucid
Categories: Uncategorized

Syria is in its biggest challenge yet,  steering this rickety ship through such a merciless storm is going to take all the energy we’ve got. Sadly, a significant portion of this is energy is wasted on demonizing, counter-demonizing, fear-mongering, wrath, thuggery, stereotypical phobias, and pointless rants directed to the wrong people.
This project is to remind Syrians of the goals that unite us. So that we can rally together to make it happen.
Today’s interview is with Syrianews, one of the first, and most popular anglophone netizens in Syria:

1-Where do you see Syria in one year?

No idea.
2-In brief, what were your positions regarding the revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt?
Supportive.
3-What’s your opinion on the government response to protests?
Knack-handed and beyond redemption.
4-How do you feel about the media wars in Syria, the blackout, and the conduct of local and regional media?
It has served no purpose – it gives the initiative to the opposition and allows rumour to become fact.
5-What’s your opinion on officially recognized multiple political parties in Syria?
Anyone who complies with the law should be allowed to start a political party.
6-Are you with or against article 8, assigning the Baath party as leader of the nation and the people?
Against.
7-Are you with or against the information ministry, and its job of guiding public debate
Against.
8-Syrian riot control groups are known for being heavy handed, using plainclothed policemen, mass arrests, visible brutality. Do you consider it necessary, or do you think the current riot control tactics must be modernized?
Heavy-handed action provokes an even stronger backlash against authority.
9- Syria uses many extra-legal forces, units considered outside the government structure. For example there are thugs, paramilitary, businessmen. Do you think these forces are necessary? Or should be dismantled or incorporated into the official system?
Only the state should have the legal right to use force, and should be accountable.
10-Are you with or against holding government officials and security under state law?
No-one has immunity from the laws of the land.
11- Many Syrians have been jailed for publicly stating the opinions they hold, under laws such as weakening public spirit, and enticing strife. What’s your position on the prisoners of opinion?
The president said he would free all political prisoners. This is the right approach.
12-What’s your position regarding external pressure on your own country.
Any country is free to say what they like about Syria. But there should certainly not be any foreign military intervention.
13-What’s your opinion regarding the Syrian economy? What would you like to see?
An end to corruption.
14- What’s your opinion on the protesters throughout Syria? Do you agree with those who say they should go back home and give the leadership a chance?
No-one outside Syria, least of all me, has the right to tell people inside Syria how to act or what to think. The protestors will leave the streets when their demands have been met.
15- How do you prefer to solve the problem of bloodshed? Will you agree to an amnesty or do you want to see all those who commit murder prosecuted?
An amnesty is essential to unite the country, but that can’t happen before the violence has stopped.
16- Are you afraid of sectarian conflict?
Very. If there is a civil war, those who buried their heads in the sand and silenced anyone who used the S word will be to blame. Some people are walking straight into sectarian conflict because it’s the elephant in the room.
17- From 1-10, how hopeful are you of the future of Syria.
10
Syrianews has been labeled a regime apologist and a fan of murder.

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