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Wednesday, July 13, 2011     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

How Syria’s Assad fooled the U.S. before
finally going too far

Syria Anonymous

The above writer for and is one of the only journalists writing from inside Syria over the past few months. For other articles by the same writer, click here.

For the past two weeks, the internal opposition in Syria had been negotiating with the Assad regime a transition into a civil society with U.S. mediation.

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    Bashar managed to convince the world in his third speech of his sincere will to reform. The U.S. toned down its rhetoric, and the internal opposition in their areas of Midan, Maadamiya, and Duma (the only areas they control) managed to convince the residents not to protest (most of the ensuing protests in these localities were by Syrians living in other parts of Damascus). The police and their thugs were also in on this as they never entered those areas, they just created a barrier/border to stop the protests from spilling out.

    Last Friday was different though. The protests were in full force in the aforementioned areas, and the police and their thugs were in the heart of the protests brutally beating and arresting protestors. Dozens were taken from Midan after getting stabbed and beaten by paid-thugs in front of al-Hasan mosque. Apparently, easing the crackdown on the protestors only managed to encourage them to come out in bigger numbers which prompted the regime for a quick change of tactics.

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    In consequence of that violence, the U.S.-mediated Assad-internal opposition talks failed, which anyhow were inconsequential as the internal opposition do not represent more than 5 percent of the protestors. What the regime promised in Damascus, it broke in Hama, as the people of Hama seem to be reliving 1982 at the moment. in 1982, there were no Salafi elements, just massive anti-regime demonstrations in Hama, Idlib, Aleppo, and Hums, which were dealt with violently, and then covered up by internal media as an Islamist armed takeover thwarted by the heroic regime. Further, the same dynamism of the sociable image-conscious president using his thug brother for the dirty work is being repeated now.

    Bashar al-Assad (right) with his brother Maher (left) and brother-in-law Major General Assef Shawkat (center) in June 2000.     Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters
    Electricity has been cut off in Hama for two weeks now, and the regime has been trying to enter the city but all its attempts were thwarted by the people’s coordinated establishment of roadblocks.

    In a systematic manner, after finishing with Central-north Syria (Jisr al-Shughur, Tal Kalakh, rustan, Talbiseh…etc.), Maher’s forces are targeting the other high priority areas, Hama and Damascus. Many officers have been mobilized from Jisr al-Shughur directly to Hama and Damascus, especially that Ramadan is in three weeks, with two mass prayers daily, and four Fridays, amounting to 62 possible demonstrations opportunities for protestors.

    To more recent incidents, the U.S. and French ambassadors visited the besieged city of Hama last Thursday and remained throughout Saturday. They were welcomed and showed around. Their presence meant that the regime could not send in their death squads in front of the diploat witnesses. The Syrian people online on and TV reacted by inviting the ambassadors to visit their cities and towns as an insurance against the Assad death squads.

    The demonstrators were burning Hizbullah and Iran flags, and welcoming the ambassadors with olive branches and roses. Do these acts seem like a common or rational behavior of Salafi or terrorist elements? No, they don’t, but the regime ordering thugs to attack the French and U.S. embassies in Damascus for three consecutive days in reaction are.

    The regime sunk to new lows by attacking diplomatic missions, what more is needed to convince world powers that it has lost its legitimacy?

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