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Syria

expat

TRIBE Member
US pressure is helping the internal push to reform Syria --nice!!

----------

Syrian intellectuals urge reform
Assad under growing pressure to implement political reforms

A group of 700 Syrian intellectuals is calling on President Bashar al-Assad to implement political reforms.
The group has collected signatures from writers and lawyers for a petition calling on the authorities to lift the country's state of emergency.

It says the state of emergency, that has been in place for 40 years, has led to the paralysis of Syrian society.

It hopes the petition will have more than 1m signatures by the time it is presented to the government next month.

The petition will be handed to the government on 8 March, the anniversary of the ruling Baath party's rise to power.

The group of intellectuals are also calling for the release of all political prisoners.

Last month, President Assad released more than 100 political prisoners and he freed more than 600 prisoners in 2000.


This is not the first time that Syrian intellectuals have presented a petition calling for political reform.

Previous petitions have all been ignored, but Syrian democracy activists say this time the situation is different.

For the past year, Syria has been under an intense American spotlight.

The Syria Accountability Act, recently passed by the US Congress, imposed sanctions on Damascus for alleged links to terrorism and for seeking to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

The Syrian activists say they are hoping the regime may have realised that reform and national reconciliation are an important defence against American pressures.
(from BBC)
 

expat

TRIBE Member
I'm 1/4 Syrian (technically). Jews were expelled in 1947.
if you care :eek:

edit: and yes, I know what you were getting at :rolleyes:
 
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nocturne

New Member
Problems with the above article.
The "40 year state of emergency" is mentioned without shedding any light on the catalysts for it's perpetuation, making it seem like some arbitrary decision on the part of the administrators.

They mention "reform" without shedding light as to what the details of the type of "reform" is wanted.

They mention the US drawn Syrian Accountability Act without mentioning a similar act has not been drawn for syria's close neighbor Saudi Arabia, or adjacent neighbor Turkey who's human rights, & political freedom records are exponentially worse, and ultimately ignored.
 
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nocturne

New Member
From your source..

Saudi Arabia
Polity: Traditional monarchy Political Rights: 7
Civil Liberties: 7
Status: Not Free
US ALLY

SYRIA
Political Rights: 7
Civil Liberties: 7
Status: Not Free
NOT US ALLY

So you tell me the diff.
 

expat

TRIBE Member
congratulations: you have recognized the need for massive reform in Saudi Arabia as well.
 

alcid

TRIBE Member
those damn meddlesome intellectuals. no wonder they're always the first ones targeted by fascist dictators! :mad:
 

nocturne

New Member
Originally posted by beatnik
congratulations: you have recognized the need for massive reform in Saudi Arabia as well.

Yeap, so why isn't there a Saudi Arabian accountability act, also considering a large portion of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian.. it leads one to believe that political opression is OK just as long as you are in US reception, and ultimately undermines the real case for reform as it comes across as somewhat hypocritical propiganda. It also leads one to question the motives of those who will reform from the west, and even internally, when a country that the US HAS access to continues on in an unobstructed opressive fashion, ultimately sheilded by the same interests.

I recognize the need for Syrian reform, but how about pointing the spotlight on messes within US reach if they are so concerned with political freedoms.

I'm not even going to get into the geographical reasons for the perpetuated hypocricy.
 
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expat

TRIBE Member
If you support American attempts --or any attempt for that matter-- to reform/liberalize/free Syria, it does not mean that you do not support attempts to do the same thing to Saudi Arabia.
Regarding America's motives: who cares. If they can bring about any positive change in Syria, then I support it. Same goes for that wretched House of Saud....
 

nocturne

New Member
Originally posted by beatnik
If you support American attempts --or any attempt for that matter-- to reform/liberalize/free Syria, it does not mean that you do not support attempts to do the same thing to Saudi Arabia.
Regarding America's motives: who cares. If they can bring about any positive change in Syria, then I support it. Same goes for that wretched House of Saud....

An American attempt is ultimately hypocritical and deserving of extreme skepticism if it's done without equal pressure on Saudi Arabia. But ultimately, the American's are playing the arrogant role similar to that of the British in the 19th & 20th century, where they regarded themselves as "civilizers", attempting to apply "reform" on many nations around the globe disregarding actual nuances and complexities, and relying on superiority in other departments to compensate & succeed. Evidently, reform & civilizing ultimately turned out to be repression, underdevelopment, and prevention of self-determination as was ultimately the case in Africa, India & parts of the Middle East. We can only speculate when similarly proposed American policy is so hypocritically distributed, that we can expect similar motives lying behind them.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by beatnik
I'm 1/4 Syrian (technically). Jews were expelled in 1947.
if you care :eek:

edit: and yes, I know what you were getting at :rolleyes:

Heh, so am I actually. Although, less surprising maybe...my great grandfather actually fled Syria (well, I think it was in the Lebanon area, but Lebanon didn't really exist at that point) and moved to South America where he wrestled bears for a living. Yup. :p





This whole reform of Syria is good news, if it really is reform. You have to understand that the United States' motivations for reforming (peacefully or otherwise) a state like Syria have nothing to do with oppression of the people or democracy. To try and suggest otherwise is highly inconsistent with the American foreign policy historical record.
 

docta seuss

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by beatnik

Regarding America's motives: who cares. If they can bring about any positive change in Syria, then I support it.
so the end justifies the means¿

how many times has american pressure brought about positive political change..?

granted, quite a few, but in how many of those cases has said political change, and the methods used to obtain it, caused suffering for countless individuals?

the answer: far too many. their motives will dictate which methods they use to bring about change, and that can be dangerous.
 

expat

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
Heh, so am I actually. Although, less surprising maybe...my great grandfather actually fled Syria (well, I think it was in the Lebanon area, but Lebanon didn't really exist at that point) and moved to South America where he wrestled bears for a living. Yup. :p

This whole reform of Syria is good news, if it really is reform. You have to understand that the United States' motivations for reforming (peacefully or otherwise) a state like Syria have nothing to do with oppression of the people or democracy. To try and suggest otherwise is highly inconsistent with the American foreign policy historical record.


Saalam = Shalom ;)

Like I said, I don't care about the motivations of the US, in this particular context. Sometimes the ends justify the means...this is one of those times.

Considering this and this, try telling a Syrian: "wait, the US is self-interested!". Like they'll care...
 
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bambam

TRIBE Member
i call bullshit

why?

name one 'just democracy' that became that way because of external pressures. (If you mention germany I'll spank you)

a just state is the end of years and years of political and social evolution. Syria is part of the fertile crescent and the cradle of civilization. If an unjst regime is in place in Syria, it is there because interventionist powers supported it once, and most likely helped it to come to power. I honestly believe that every nation-state will eventually evolve a just form of government if left to its own devices.
I dont need to remind anyone here of how the intrinsic injustice of a representative democracy has been proven recently. However, as we live in pretty much an ideologically totalitarian world which demands compliance or death, most nations are not left free to develop their own political institutions. All the best to the Syrian intellectuals, but I dont believe relying on american (or any foreign) pressure to stimulate change is a wise move.
If I were the Syrian intellectuals, Id follow chinas example. Shut down the borders, cut out imports, rely only on homegrown media. Some may think this is extreme. Some will argue that no country can survive in isolation in todays world. Id like to remind them that 'todays world' is full of shitty realities that shouldnt exist. Id like to remind them that from the day they were born, weve been told that theres one way to live as a human in todays world, and lifestyle options, 'Leaving' society will only result in death. I think its time we started exploring options rather than hailing 'democracy' and 'liberalism' as if its the panacea. liberalism and democracy as political institutions are just as totalitarian, in the sense that they give you indiviual freedoms and right while removing societys ability to choose 'ways of living', political infrastructure options. etc.
But Ive strayed far, far away from Syria. All I have to say is that I dont think (being half Middle Eastern) that arabs in general have th temperament to flourish in a well-organised poitical chain of command. I hope someone gets what Im trying to say here.
Also, most Syrian intellectuals are sheep( as are most intellectuals). Educated in the totalitarian education systems of either the 'West' or the 'East'
they subscribe to the same duality that most sheep do (east vs west, clash of civilizations, etc). They pay no regard to the fact (possibility?) that there are other ways to live that have as yet to be discovered. Hence they demand democracy, representative government, blah ,blah blah. sheep. youre all sheep
and I just KNOW Im going to get my head bitten off for writing this.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by nocturne
From your source..

Saudi Arabia
Polity: Traditional monarchy Political Rights: 7
Civil Liberties: 7
Status: Not Free
US ALLY

SYRIA
Political Rights: 7
Civil Liberties: 7
Status: Not Free
NOT US ALLY

So you tell me the diff.


Syria

Area: 185,000 sq km
Population: 17,585,540
Religions:
Sunni Muslim 74%, Alawite, Druze, and other Muslim sects 16%, Christian (various sects) 10%, Jewish (tiny communities in Damascus, Al Qamishli, and Aleppo)
GDP Per capita: $3,700


Saudi Arabia

Area: 1,960,582 sq km (ie 10x the size)
Population: 24,293,844 (aalmost 6 millionj of which are foriegn workers mainly from the USA!!!)
Religions: Muslim 100%
GDP Per capita: $11,400


Syria is one tenth the size, and has serious stravation and ethnic issues. Saudi Arabia is building cities in the desert and imports worker from around the world.

Sorry much as there current ruler don't do fuck all for me, Saudi Arabia is far more stable and far more prosperous. No sense in invading them. Syria has a pipeling to move oil directly from Iraq to Israel. This pipeline is of very high importance to both Israel and the USA.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by beatnik
that was pretty dumb


Originally posted by bambam
All I have to say is that I dont think (being half Middle Eastern) that arabs in general have th temperament to flourish in a well-organised poitical chain of command. I hope someone gets what Im trying to say here.

I do. Some people don't. But I definiitely do.

Perhaps part of what you're suggesting is that much of the culture or the "way of life" that predominates Arab society right now is not conducive to the highly structured, top-down delegation that democracy brings to a state. And I would agree, there, certainly. In fact, I don't think any country is ever "ready" for it, rather, we simply have been forced or born into it.
 
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~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much

Sorry much as there current ruler don't do fuck all for me, Saudi Arabia is far more stable and far more prosperous. No sense in invading them. Syria has a pipeling to move oil directly from Iraq to Israel. This pipeline is of very high importance to both Israel and the USA.

Exactly. And if those are the principles we all lived by, then everyone would be comfortable with what the United States is doing right now.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
Syria

Area: 185,000 sq km
Population: 17,585,540
Religions:
Sunni Muslim 74%, Alawite, Druze, and other Muslim sects 16%, Christian (various sects) 10%, Jewish (tiny communities in Damascus, Al Qamishli, and Aleppo)
GDP Per capita: $3,700


Saudi Arabia

Area: 1,960,582 sq km (ie 10x the size)
Population: 24,293,844 (aalmost 6 millionj of which are foriegn workers mainly from the USA!!!)
Religions: Muslim 100%
GDP Per capita: $11,400


Syria is one tenth the size, and has serious stravation and ethnic issues. Saudi Arabia is building cities in the desert and imports worker from around the world.

Sorry much as there current ruler don't do fuck all for me, Saudi Arabia is far more stable and far more prosperous. No sense in invading them. Syria has a pipeling to move oil directly from Iraq to Israel. This pipeline is of very high importance to both Israel and the USA.



No one's asking for an invasion, we're just pointing out the hypocrisy in saying, you're tyranny will be acceptable if you're on our side, if you're not watch out. The US wouldn't invade Saudi Arabia, they have military settlements there already.

Thank you for pointing out the obvious geographic & therefore strategic importance of Syria’s position, that i eluded to earlier. I didn't want to point it out, because I didn't want this thread to turn into an argument based on semitic/anti-semite accusations.

For Syrians, all I'm saying is there nothing wrong with internally motivated, and created revolution/reform, I'm just saying when you have the support of the US to overthrow your government, 1, be careful what you wish for, because when the US is eyeing your country for regime change, it's not because they want to hand it over to you. 2, if you do go through a revolution, be prepared with a complete alternative infrastructure, or else you'll be fucked by either western influences taking over and impoverishing you, or you'll go the way of Iran with authoritarian theocratic rule.
 

man_slut

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by beatnik
If you support American attempts --or any attempt for that matter-- to reform/liberalize/free Syria, it does not mean that you do not support attempts to do the same thing to Saudi Arabia.
Regarding America's motives: who cares. If they can bring about any positive change in Syria, then I support it. Same goes for that wretched House of Saud....

So we should support the US to promote liberal reforms in all non-liberal/democratic countries?
 

expat

TRIBE Member
--Certain rights are universal and inalienable.
--Many of these rights are being violated in Syria (and MANY other countries).
--Change is needed
--Any attempt to enact this change is good.
--the self-interested motivations that nevertheless result in positive change are tangential the entire argument.

that's all.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
Exactly. And if those are the principles we all lived by, then everyone would be comfortable with what the United States is doing right now.

The opinions of yourself, otis and boss hog are of no relivance. This isn't a 50 + 1 siituation. If you agree with what is being done than the war planners are doing a shitty job.

But the fact that you don't support it is fine with me. I don't belive that the problems of the world can be solved with talking nice. You have to give them a reason to capitulate and fear can be very effective.

Iran and Syria have no choice but to reform. They have a very large very mobile army standing on there door steps. This is a very effective tool when it comes to negotiations.

Not all negotiations are meant to end in an agreement. Sometimes you have to stand up and walk out. But three decades of power plays in the middle east hasn't worked. More peace has been brought through conflict than through all the BULLSHIT accords that went nowhere.

The US has the upper hand, if they don't use it they are fools.
 
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