Saturday, 26 March 2011

"Not-a-revolution: yet?"

The Western media are getting very excited, trying to portray what is currently happening in Syria as akin to popular uprisings all over the Arab world.

The Americans are all for it. Guardian and Daily Mail readers are excited at the prospect of a bloodbath.

The Al Jazeera bint says "they don't dare to speak their minds" then interviews someone who says

"this is not a revolution, this is a call for reform"

"so you are not anti the government?"

"no"

"this is so-and-so for al jazeera in Daara where it is not a revolution or call for regime change.....YET!"

Calfy, who is studying in Damascus, posted this, which shows that what is happening is perhaps not "Just like Egypt/Tunisia/Libya/Bahrain/Yemen". Syrians are as similar to Egyptians and Libyans as the Trinidadians are to South Africans.

Update which confirms Calfy's experience

12 comments:

Electro-Kevin said...

Well I'm not excited by the prospect of a bloodbath.

Journalists make their money (more importantly their reputations) from states of flux.

As Calfy is there for the purest of intentions we can take her words over those of others.

You must be immensely proud, Lilith.

lilith said...

I am hugely proud Kev, and you are right about the journalists. That Mrs John Burkha Simpson was on the radio earlier bragging about all the crises he had been present at, in his maddeningly slow-every-word's-a-gem-I'm-a-star-don't-you-know delivery.

Of course you are not excited. You have a brain and a heart and they often work together :-)

Blue Eyes said...

Lilith thank you for posting the link to Calfy's. When I saw the headlines about Syria I have to say I was a bit surprised. My very brief experience of the country was that people were refreshingly free to express opinions and that Bashar is wildly popular!

Scrobs... said...

Calfy's comment + 100% value

"maddeningly slow-every-word's-a-gem-I'm-a-star-don't-you-know delivery." = nil points...

It could be worse, they might get Orla Guerin there, and then we'd all feel like curling up and dying...

Glad you're back x

lilith said...

Blue Eyes, yes, I know what you mean. Calfy told me to "shush" when her Syrian friend and I started on politics but her friend dismissed her concerns and told her it was fine. We were in a central restaurant at the time.

The security services can't go on shooting people but a revolution is not the certainty that the West would like it to be.

lilith said...

Thank you Scrobs :-) I suspect Orla Guerlin wouldn't get through the airport security :-) She wouldn't if I was in charge.

lilith said...

The scary thing for me is that Assad may not have the power his people credit him with and his cronies have already deposed him.

Raedwald said...

Thanks for this - interesting; some external actors are clearly trying to stir things up to weaken Syria - but who benefits? Iran?

lilith said...

Yes, Raedwald, it is difficult to know. Israel sends snipers in from time to time to take out irritants, but recently Assad was talking about opening talks with Israel so perhaps Israel's enemies are more likely suspects. I wouldn't put anything past Ahmadinejad or Hezbollah/Hamas. Also, the people of Da'ara have legitimate grievances about how things run in their city.

Woman on a Raft said...

I shall worry, then, when you order Calfy home or leave a note that you are rushing off in a Jeep to collect her.

lilith said...

Thank you Woar. I am no longer googling "Syria News" every half hour, as doing so just convinces me that nobody really knows what is going on.

Nomad said...

Sorry Lilith, I come rather late to this, but just to say I agree with your assessment. Assad junior is much more popular than his father ever was and the 'carnival' , as opposed to 'revolutionary', atmosphere which seems to pervade much of the country probably confirms this.

However, if he allows his security forces to keep shooting live ammunition willy nilly at the protestors he may suddenly find he is not so popular after all. it is not well known outside the country but his father put down a protest in the city of Allepo with extreme ferocity and I suspect that the locals there will not have easily forgiven the Assad family for their actions.

One notable thing about these protests is that the people are calling for reform rather than the ousting of Assad and his regime, plus there are no ill intentions towards 'infidels' or other foreigners in the country (yet?).

So for the time being at least Ms Calfy should be safe enough so long as she does not join in any serious demos which may get out of hand thanks to the efforts of a few trouble-makers and those with other agendas.

My [probably unwanted] advice to her would be to keep her getaway suitcase packed and ready to move at a moment's notice. But despite all the current hooha, Syria is still one of the better places in the middle east to spend a few months and I would still not hesitate to do a spot of touring round the Crusader castles.

Ma'a salame.

PS: I agree with others that Humphries and Guerin like the sound of their own voices far too much.