October 5th, 2011
11:00 AM ET

Is the U.S. better off sticking with Syria's Assad?

Editor's Note: Ed Husain is a Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.

By Ed HusainCFR.org

It is fashionable in Western capitals to call for regime change in Syria, but with what consequences? The two overarching arguments to remove Syrian president Bashar al-Assad are that his regime is a bastion of anti-Americanism and that he is an Iranian proxy. Recent reports of civil war in Syria and opposition demands of a no-fly zone will only lead to more violence from the Assad regime.

I have nothing but profound admiration for the courageous protestors who risk their lives daily in some of Syria’s major cities, organizing protests through networks of local coordination committees. This weekend’s opposition meeting in Istanbul, though fractious and acrimonious, is a sign of attempts at unity among Syrian democracy activists. However, the lesson from Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya is that this generation does not possess the political networks or clout to mobilize the masses after the overthrow of a regime - the revolutionary booty almost always goes to Islamist and salafist movements, at least for now.

Read: Turkish Lessons for U.S. Foreign Policy.

The other evening at Brookings Doha Center, a Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Ali al-Bayanouni, blamed the United States for supporting Assad from 2005 onwards, naming former secretary of state Madeleine Albright as a particular backer of Assad.  Interestingly, he also acknowledged that it was in Israel’s interests to keep the Assad regime in power - an observation that, while made with negative intent, is nonetheless valid.

On balance, Assad has been good news for Israel’s security and borders. His anti-American rhetoric is almost always linked to the United States’ unstinting support for Israel. A Syrian population raised without Israel on their school geography maps and accustomed to shouting “amen’’ in response to Friday mosque prayers calling for Israel’s destruction will not be warm towards Israel, either.

No future regime in Syria will be less hostile towards Israel, and therefore the reduction in animosity toward the United States is inconceivable. Bayanouni, a politician, is speaking to that widespread Syrian sentiment against Israel, and by extension, the United States.

It is particularly noteworthy that the grandmaster of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political theology, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, was also in attendance the other night and spoke in support of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qaradawi is a Brotherhood cleric who is banned from entering the United Kingdom and United States for several reasons, not least encouraging Palestinians and others to become suicide bombers. Hamas draws scriptural justification for terrorism from Qaradawi, who argues that all Israelis undertake military service and are therefore legitimate targets, including women and children.

With such figures openly touting themselves as a crucial element of Syria’s opposition movement, can the United States continue to wish for a post-Assad regime that will be any friendlier towards the United States or Israel? And if the opposition is broader than the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamists, can the rest of the Syrian opposition publicly commit to peace with Israel? I doubt it. Without such transparency, who is the U.S. Department of State supporting?

The fall of Assad would not necessarily weaken Iran

The first rule for those observing political developments in the modern Middle East is that nothing is as it seems at first sight. Political calculations that make sense in Washington, DC, London, or Paris do not always translate so well on the ground. From the Balfour Declaration of 1917 to the Suez crisis of 1956 to the Hamas victory in 2006 in Gaza, Westerners often fail to grasp the complicated, counterintuitive reality of life in the Arab world.

Read: Pakistan Is Indispensable to the United States.

And so it is today with predictions that the fall of Assad in Damascus would weaken Iran - after all, Iran is a Shia country and Syria’s ruling elite come from the Shia Alawite sect. A Sunni-led government in Damascus, goes the argument, would not be amenable to ongoing friendship with Iran.

This argument, partly responsible for driving current U.S. policy towards Syria, is flawed for the following reasons:

First, most Shia Muslims, including all Iranian clerics, consider the Syrian Alawite sect to be heretical for the latter’s beliefs in reincarnation, the divinity of Ali (the Prophet Mohamed’s son-in-law), and Alawite rejection of Muslim rituals. As such, it is factually incorrect to argue that Iranian and Syrian political leaders are bonded by a common religious faith - they are not.

Second, a future Sunni government in Damascus can also continue to maintain positive ties with Iran. Their perceived common enemy in the existence of the state of Israel overrides any Sunni-Shia religious disagreements. Evidence of this political calculation is the fact that Shia Iran provides financial and other support for Sunni Hamas.

Third, the United States sacrificed vast amounts of blood and treasure to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial grip, only to be leaving Iraq with a government that is politically, economically, and socially closer to Tehran than Saddam had ever been. Therefore, American support for Syrian opposition today will not necessarily result in distance from Iran tomorrow. The Iraq experience tells us otherwise.

Fourth, Sunni Egypt and Sunni Turkey are also on cordial terms with Iran. In the case of Egypt, post-revolutionary public sentiment views Iran as a regional power and potential trading partner, not an enemy in any way. This, despite alleged Iranian spies causing national controversy in the immediate aftermath of the recent Egyptian revolution.

Read: Something Foul in Cairo.

I could go on, but the point is that many looking at the Middle East from the outside will be mistaken to assume that the Sunni-Shia divide helps predict future political balances. It does sometimes - say, in the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988 - but not always.

Therefore, the assumption that a Syrian regime without Assad and the Alawites at the helm would mean an isolated Iran is wishful thinking at best, and uncertain at worse. Amid such unpredictability, how wise is it to unleash civil war between Alawites, Druze, Catholics, Shia, Orthodox Christian, varied Sunnis, Kurds, and others in Syria?

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Ed Husain.

Post by:
Topics: Iran • Syria

soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. David Ellis

    If America support freedom and democracy around the world then America should stand with the people of Syria against Assad, that will be the ultimate test for America to proof to Americans and the world what we stand for. There is no oil in Syria, America reacted quickly in Iraq and Lybia because of oil.
    To see America not doing anything while over 3000 Syrians died for freedom, the world will not listen to America preaching about freedom, democracy, or human life value.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Are you sure that America is getting more oil from Iraq and Libya today than 20 years ago?

      October 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Reply
      • 2011cnn2011

        GO GREEN....

        October 8, 2011 at 10:14 am |
      • Buzzk

        Our interventionist policies in the Middle East are based on oil and Israel
        Two MAJOR problems we need to get rid of.
        End military support to the middle east including and especially Israel.

        October 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
      • RobertC

        We get very little oil from Iraq. We get none from Libya and never got much. Almost all of Libya's oil exports go to Europe. Most American oil comes from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela. Only about a quarter of it comes from the Middle East, mostly from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

        October 28, 2011 at 9:03 am |
      • SyrianAmerican

        American Tax payers are not benefiting at all from Iraq and won't from Libya either. The 11 trillion we lost in these wars we will not get back. Bush/Obama have put this country in jeopardy to the point we are broke and are on the verge of civil unrest due to the conditions we live in. Our constant intervention and bad foreign policy needs to come to an end. It is not our business to tell other countries how to live or how they should run their affairs!

        November 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
      • Meerkat21

        NO but they do get a lot of contracts for re-building.lol

        November 20, 2011 at 3:44 am |
    • Eli Minassian

      its sad that people like you David, have no concept of understanding what the USA stands for in reality. Freedom ? you must be kidding yourself, they stand for Hypocracy and double standards amongst other things I cannot write, you dont have to look too far to see this, its really simple, please tell me how much FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY peoples in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the Emirates have currently? are these countries rulers not staunch US 'allies', Friends, Pals, Buddys, so I suggest to you and thinkers like you wake up to yourselves and discover what really is under the US of A skin.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Reply
    • SomeSyrian

      Who is the US to decide if this president is Good or not???? This is completely undemocratic to do. When someone has a different ideas or politics than yours, you just want to kill him/her to to starve them to death to silence their oppenion. Look as a Syrian, I appreciate the veto by Russia and China. The West is just encouraging criminals, murderers, and vandals in Syria. The crimes have been committed by some armed extremist groups from the beginning of these events, but the West want to keep ignoring this fact. We all know that the ones that kill people and mutilate bodies are the extremists. The government does not need to do these kind of acts and in fact the government have caught many criminals and they have kept them in prioson and showed 100ds of confessions on national tv. However, thanks God that China, Russia, India, Brazil, and South Africa and Lebanon are more familiar with the reality of events in Syria. As a Syrian I support Assad against those criminal groups and I am amazed how Ms. Victoria Nuland gets the information from the opposition's website and blah..blah...We all know the story in Syria. Most people support al-Assad...Stop your lies and fabrications....

      October 6, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Reply
      • A Lebanese American

        Since you are so proud of your "dick tator" and siding w/ him, Can you please share a little history w/ all of us and tell us a bit about his crimes, and his father's before him, in Lebanon for 30 years for example!?
        Regardless whether you agree w/ the American policies or not, and I'm not here to defend it either, Russia and China have vetoed simply because they're benefiting from your corrupt regime unfortunately! not because they agree w/ Assad's actions in killing more of his own people.
        Your Mukhabarate (Syrain intelligence) have been known to be cold blooded murders in Syria and in Lebanon, and that's a fact! What you are claiming about "extremists" killing civiliais is nothing but a propaganda and there is ZERO proof to that. Those pupetts who appear on Syrian TV could be very well paid by Assad to say what they say! Are we that gulible!? really!? why doesn't Assad allow the foreign media to report from inside Syria, unless He has something to hide? The media doesn't have to be American, English, French or German to ease your mind and others. Let it be somehow neutral for example.
        You must be totally oblivious to what's really developing in the Middle East or paid to wrtie the nonsense on this forum.
        Finally, there is an old saying here in my beloved USA that says: Every dog has his day!

        October 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
      • Mahdoum

        @Lesbianese American

        You are probably a Harriri puppet or a Leb forces puppet... Remember your stupid civil war? Remember how no one wanted to save your people from the bloodbath in lebanon? remember how the american and french soldiers were slaughtered and had to leave because there was no interest in your country? Remember how Syria decided to intervene and impose peace on behalf of US/France and arab league because you lebanese are a shame to the priciples of democracy! The muslims were divided, the christians were divided. No one wanted to do the dirty work... Syria did and It cost them thousands of soldiers! I agree that it should have left much earlier from lebanon but this was required to keep those climinal leaders of yours on a leash! Harriri (Father) Had blood on his hands... He was providing weapons to all the divided factions in lebanon! Syria had nothing to do with his death and the lebanese knew it. They nevertheless pushed the media like the media is pushing right now as a pretext! Even Harriri's rat son went to syria to apologize!

        What a shame! Syrian blood was spilled for you lebanese and you forget so easily!

        October 6, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
      • THE KING

        I agree with you on many aspects, however, do not try to portray Assad as if he is a choir boy!!! with that being said, The US is as hipocritical and murderers as the next guy. the only difference is that we dont do it in the name of religion, we do it in the name of many Benjamins'...truth be told. now, it is my believe that all of those Idiotic regimes like syria should handle themselves on their own, since they all put their own leaders at one point in time..

        October 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
      • true syrian

        i disagree who start the killing in deraa it the assad thugs and criminal they killed moore than 5000 innoncent citizine and they kill every army solider who refuse to shoot at the civilian i left syria due to the harsh regime for 50 years is the worse at all it is worse than hitler stop support the Assad mafia.

        October 6, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
      • F&B 54

        @ a lebanese american.
        what the hell do u know all the way from there? do u think u r getting the real news. I think us Syrians have a better idea on whats going on in our country than an American lebanese guy. first of all, if u think there is no proof of the terrorist groups and radical muslims are going around homs and hama then u r certainly no one to speak about proof or this forum. Second, instead of talking about Hafez al assad, and blaming his mistakes on the current president, why dont u dig up some negative articles about our president before 7 months ago, is that what u do in lebanon, u blame people for their fathers mistakes? and why dont u tell us about how many people lebanese people killed, their own people just for being the wrong religion or sect in the wrong place in the wrong time "murder a la carte" mean anything to u? 250,000 people u killed, compaire that to 3000 and 700 of them are security forces. and how about the time that hizballah and the current Syrian president helped u get rid of Israel in the summer of 2006? memory failing u much? u lebanese are all the same, and i'm ashamed of the 1/4 lebanese blood i have because of people like u. Ungreatful like always i see. mention the bad things our president did, but try to mention the good things he (and his father) did too. u think u lebanese were capable of ending the civil war on ur own with no help from us? think again, u would still be fighting and only God knows how many would have died by now. Get ur facts right, and check out the countless clips on Youtube clips that show u the armed gangs clear as day before u open ur big mouth. And if i were u, i wouldnt talk about war crimes since most of ur politicians who are still in power were once some of the biggest war criminals in the world, 3oun, ja3ja3, jumblat. i think they killed more than 3000 of their OWN PEOPLE. and once again, lets list all of the accomplishment of our president, not just the ones that u want to.

        October 16, 2011 at 8:53 am |
      • Me

        Meh. Assad's killing people that live beneath his sovereignty rather than to correct the situation. This makes him a leader unfit for service and similar to Mao, Hitler, Ghadafi, Castro yadda yadda. If we could get rid of saps like these, remove the antiquated right from wrong crusaders, the world would be a much better place even at the brink of certain financial devastation. Instead we have fools like you defending the greed of others because it suits you. Like I say and will continue to say it, blame not the West for your issues, blame yourselves. Blame your age old Shiite and Sunni bickering on the turmoil in the middle east, blame your age old desire to control people's choices at all levels of leadership. Had the middle east gained a paradigm shift, the United Nations of the Middle East would be a super-power. After all, many great innovations came from your ancestors, you know, before Religion hijacked your society and took it to the brink of total destruction. Now by 2050, you're assured to see your own destruction.

        October 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
      • Nadia

        You r a syrian my butt. You are one who like syrian blood on his hand . shame on you for supporting a killer

        October 26, 2011 at 9:54 am |
      • Think for yourself

        I feel that your perceptions regarding the situation in Syria are delusional. I am currently living in Amman and met two Syrians that managed to get across the border and are living with their friends, working illegally. The first thing they asked me upon finding out if I was an American is whether or not I and the west was aware of the situation in Syria. I told them I had heard about the killing of protesters and seen videos of attacks. They told me that this was only the tip of the iceberg. They were both born and raised in Homs and informed me that people would not leave their homes because Syrian forces were shooting anyone they saw on the street. They also said that the elderly, men, women, and children (including their relatives) are on the verge of starvation because they cannot leave their homes to get food. How can you defend someone such as Assad? Allies and enemies of the west alike acknowledge the atrocities that are occurring in Syria. Wake up

        November 16, 2011 at 10:28 am |
      • nowhereman

        people please go on youtube and SEE for yourself the trvesties going on. Syrian citzens are unarmed Only the police and military have weapons. please go look at the hundreds of videos they are disturbing but this is a reality.. Assad is an evil dictator simular to hitler. he is a liar and killing his own people DAILY. dont listen to people making more lies I beg you to go look for yourself He had gone to the point of removing children from schools to demenstrate FOR him pretty scary tactic please go look at the videos the people who made them risked their lives to get them out judge for yourself what is going on

        November 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Ali and George

      Excellent.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Reply
      • ahmetdidat

        Saudi and Egipt UAE Jordan should have dialog within arab league and african unity try hard to solve their problem within themselves!......Europe can do why africa/ middle eastern countries can't?.......

        November 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • NonZionist

      David Ellis writes +( America should stand with the people of Syria against Assad )+

      The problem for you David is that most Syrians stand WITH Assad. They do not want you to turn Syria into another Iraq - another vast killing field, another breeding ground for terror. Syrian minorities - Christian, Shia, and Alawite - do not want to be under the rule of Sunni radicals. Even the Sunnis do not want this! Syrians are happy with their largely secular regime, because secularism enables diverse Syrians to live together without major bloodshed.

      That ethnic peace is what you would destroy, under the guise of "Freedom" and "Democracy". You give these ideals a bad name when you use them as euphemisms for death and destruction.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Reply
      • TRINI SYRIAN

        BEING OF SYRIAN BLOOD,I CANNOT ACCEPT ANY GOV,T OUTSIDE OF SYRIA BEING INSTALLED BY EITHER USA OR EUROPE,WHAT A SHAME TO THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES TO GAIN US INDEPENDENCE FRO FRANCE.WE HAVE A FLAG,A NATION ,A CULTURE AND A ANTHEM GIVEN TO US BY OUR LIBERATORS FROM COLONISM.TO INSTALL A GOV,T FROM OUTSIDE IS A SHAME AND INSULT TO OUR PEOPLE.THIS COULD NEVER BE DEMOCRACY.IT IS AMERICAN ,EUROPEAN DE-MOCK-CRAZY AND FREE-DOOOM.LET OUR OWN PEOPLE DESIDE INSIDE SYRIA,PROUD TO BE TRINISYRIAN,GOD,SYRIA,BASHAR ONLY,UNTILL FAIR ELECTIONS INSIDE SYRIA

        October 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
      • SyrianAmerican

        ell said man! America's goal in the region is to destroy any power that can oppose Israel's dreams of expansion. If you think Israel is satisfied with just little ole Palestine then you need to wake up! Syria is now the only power that can stop Israel from further expansions, if the US and NATO can install a puppet in Syria like those in the Gulf Nations then Israel will prevail and eventually take over the entire Arab world all the way from The Atlantic to the Euphraties. If you go into the Israeli parliment, there is a huge map on their wall showing greater Israel which is a map all the way from the Atlantic coasts of Morocco to Iran!!!

        November 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Rattatouie

      If america supported freedom and democracy around the world their economic power and market edge would be diminished. It is in their interest, in so many ways, to deal with dictators and despots as they have for decades in the Middle East.

      October 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Reply
    • Saurabh Prakash

      Well said. This article shows that what the opinion makers in the US really care for is what suits them for the time being, not true freedom. That is only an excuse to be used when convenient. They did not support the people of Bahrain when it did not suit them to. This is why the US is fast losing legitimacy worldwide and is not perceived as an honest broker though that is how it positions itself. It has long supplied arms to Pakistan while turning a blind eye to its record on nuclear proliferation. Earlier it had exploited the people of Afghanistan to launch a war against the USSR. After its purpose had been served it abandoned them to their means. All these things are coming back to haunt it.
      The US has always looked out only for its own interests and of the interests of Israel and of Europe, in that order. It can do so again and ignore the people of Syria. If it fails to support the people of Syria in this hour of need it will miss another opportunity to be on the right side of history. On the other hand even if for some time some extreme elements come to power, it will be far easier to remove them than to remove Assad if he survives this challenge to his authority. In time it will be easier to resolve disputes with the true representatives of the people, not with dictators. Assad cannot resolve the issue of Israel. He has painted himself in a corner he cannot now get out of. It is possible that the people of Syria will be less forgiving towards Israel and this might ignite conflict. For that it is Israel that must be blamed. The people of Syria should not be denied their freedom on such specious reasoning. The question therefore is whether Israel would be happy to remain with status quo for the next 50 years or if it would wish to try for real peace. If it goes for status quo then it will show that it has no real desire to settle with the people of the region. On the other hand if it and the US support the people of Syria that will only earn them goodwill that could help in resolving this issue forever. Take your choice now.

      October 14, 2011 at 6:19 am | Reply
      • Mimi

        Of course the US is primarily concerned with its own interests, what country isn't?

        October 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Buzzk

      Our interventionist policies in the Middle East are based on oil and Israel
      Two MAJOR problems we need to get rid of.

      October 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • maisa mansoor

      If you feel that America supports a country's revolution based on 'fighting for their rights' then you are very naive about politics my friend. America or most countries for that matter only get involved in other countries affairs when they have a benifit from it. America only gets involved when they know it will strategically benefit from the ntervention.

      October 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • SyrianAmerican

      David, why is it any of your damn business what goes on in Syris other than that you are probably a zionists and would love nothing more than nato/USA to invade Syria. Mind your own business and worry about your country. Syrians are more than capable of resolving their own problems without you sticking your big nose in their affairs. Any opinions besides those of Syrians are irrelevant. I was in Syria for 15 days and I got back a week ago. Everything the American/Zionist media is reporting is false and misleading to the average American. The VAST MAJORITY of Syrians support their leader. End of Story!!!

      November 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
      • Think for yourself

        What are you smoking?

        November 16, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Meerkat21

      This is not about oil . It's all about the security of Israel – the unofficial 51 st state of USA. The wars, invasions, suicide attacks, hijackings, 9/11 – all because of Israel. There were terrorist attacks before the birth of Israel!

      November 20, 2011 at 3:49 am | Reply
      • Meerkat21

        Correction- " there were NO terrorist attacks before the birth of Israel.

        November 20, 2011 at 3:50 am |
    • John Joseph

      How come there is a mention about he indispensability of Pakistan in a sub heading ?(Pakistan is not mentioned in the article at all). Is it not a sign of a cut and paste job on an otherwise well argumented article ?

      November 27, 2011 at 7:10 am | Reply
    • Jerome

      There actually is oil in Syria

      December 5, 2011 at 12:58 am | Reply
  2. j. von hettlingen

    "It is fashionable in Western capitals to call for regime change in Syria,"
    Although I in various points agree with the author, I find his wording "fashionable" cynical. No doubt Syria is – out of ethnic, historic and religious point of view – a difficult nut for outsiders to crack. Due to its geo-political significance any tip of the scales could impact on the balance of power in the region. Yet we can't turn a blind eye to the brutality Assad's forces use on unarmed civilians. Lyse Doucet of the BBC was the only Western journalist allowed into the country. Graphic images are the legacy of the crackdown on protesters.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • NonZionist

      Ed Husain has it exactly right: Our policy is guided by fashion, not by reason or self-interest. After 2001, it was fashionable to Hate Terrorists. Now, suddenly, it is fashionable to Hate Dictators. We hate them so much that the terrorists are forgotten.

      In Syria, the U.S. and Al Qaeda both support the rebels: We and Al Qaeda were on the same side in 2003, when we both screamed for Saddam's demise, and now we are on the same side again. Caught up in our Cult of Revolution, we decided that these rebels speak for all of Syria. They don't.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  3. Onesmallvoice

    Should America stick with Assad? My answer is a definate YES we should. After all, who are we to demand any kind of "regime change" anywhere? What we need to do is to somehow get the Assad regime and the opposition together to work out some kind of peaceful settlement.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Kharioun

      @One smallvoice
      At last some reasonable answer....

      Why is the west seeking the destruction of a secular country that fights terrorists just like the west does!
      Most of the population in Syria support their president and most agree that the country needs reforms!
      The president has committed himself to these reforms and he has taken the steps to start dialog, implement change and introduce transparant democracy. In return the west keeps on sanctionning syria everytime they try to achieve a step towards democracy.... A small number of those that are protesting are true to their convictions. However, just like the US used to hear Bin Laden's declarations to kill, the radical islamists in the arab world are preaching and telling the protesters to kill and that they will be rewarded by God for that. At the same time weapons are being smuggled to syria from Irak, Turkey and Lebanon. This is all part of a western based plan. Those Islamic terrorists murdered the son of the highest muslim clergyman in syria. I ask this: if they are able to kill a religious leader's son, then what about the innocent children that they have tortured and decapitated with a motive to blame the government!
      These are the terrorists! Syria has a leash on these animals and If the western world allows for a change from a secular to Islamist syria then Israel will be preparing a new strategy to "defend" itself and attack then occupy more land!

      October 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
      • EVN

        "Transparency"? Try letting in outside observers to see for themselves just who is killing who. Until Assad does allow something resembling a free press, everything coming from the Syrian government is just so much BS – the promises of thinking about, maybe, possibly sometime in the indifiinite future mulling over "reforms" specifically.

        October 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
      • konora

        kharioun B. S.

        October 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • SomeSyrian

      Who is the US to decide if this president is Good or not???? This is completely undemocratic to do. When someone has a different ideas or politics than yours, you just want to kill him/her to to starve them to death to silence their oppenion. Look as a Syrian, I appreciate the veto by Russia and China. The West is just encouraging criminals, murderers, and vandals in Syria. The crimes have been committed by some armed extremist groups from the beginning of these events, but the West want to keep ignoring this fact. We all know that the ones that kill people and mutilate bodies are the extremists. The government does not need to do these kind of acts and in fact the government have caught many criminals and they have kept them in prioson and showed 100ds of confessions on national tv. However, thanks God that China, Russia, India, Brazil, and South Africa and Lebanon are more familiar with the reality of events in Syria. As a Syrian I support Assad against those criminal groups and I am amazed how Ms. Victoria Nuland gets the information from the opposition's website and blah..blah...We all know the story in Syria. I support Assad

      October 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Reply
      • EVN

        Yes, it's completely undemocratic for the U.S. to voice an opinion (any hypocracy in that opinion or the selective manner in which our government picks and chooses where and against whom to opine). Much more democratic to order soldiers to shoot protestors, use snipers to target unarmed civilians, encircle entire villages with tanks and indiscriminately shell the population. Maybe Some Syrian's sense of democracy is rooted in the indiscriminate part as Assad's armies blasting at entire villages is truly a fair way to administer death and spread fear.

        October 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
      • david hurst

        Interesting situation. People are fed up with generic totalitarianism (the great love of Libyans for Quadaffi), yet there is no alternative. Indeed in Africa, it is seen that domestic oppression is tolerated over foreign interference. Perhaps it is best for the world to see the outright shift in overt political power in Iran to the military in the next few years, for them to wish for fundamentalist religious dictatorship under a convoluted pretense of electoral responsibility. Indeed, the fractious nature of most democracies in times of stress sows division, note sectarian violence in Bagdad, and Alewite’s driven back into the hills. Military dictatorship as in China and many countries to bring cohesion, protect minorities perhaps, or, are people ready for freedom, before they fight for perceived group injustice – either way, the promise is in further generations. It seems that people are not able to separate the dictators from a tribal or religious mentality in the case of Syria.

        November 20, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • EVN

      Would an example of that proposed resolution resemble Assad's father's killing of tens of thousands, and then we have peace because those who opposed him are dead or too terrified to peep? Just curious.

      October 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Reply
      • Mahdouum

        You are blind and ignorant regarding radical islam! One day you will realize what it's all about.

        Ten years later you forgot all about 911!!! Shame on you! Asad'S father cleaned those terrorists the same way the US cleaned the terrorists in Afghanistan! the difference is that the terrorists were in their country and they wanted an Islamic state! You should mention that prior to the clean up operation, many innocent people (like today) were murdered by those radical islamists! if the KKK decided to revolt against the current US government and they would have murdered, kidnapped and blown up government buildings, do you really think the US govmt (the example of democracy) will negociate with them and listen to their needs? Of course not... they would send the tanks, army, air force, you name it!!!

        October 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
      • NonZionist

        Mahdouum is right. Syria is being sanctioned for doing what any regime would do, the U.S. regime included: No government anywhere in the world would allow itself to be overthrown!

        In Iraq, the U.S. has made war on "insurgents". A million are dead as a result. Now, in Syria, the U.S. wants to support insurgents! One can almost smell the insanity.

        If we were true to our principles, we would do what is suggested in the top-level post: Mediate, negotiate, bring parties together, facilitate a truce. We do not do this. Instead, we demand the impossible, thereby giving ourselves a pretext for inflicting more death and destruction on the region.

        "War Inc." rules our country, and there's just no profit in peace. That explains why the "solutions" we impose tend to maximize the carnage.

        October 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • SyrianAmerican

      Awsome reply! I think this is the opinion of most Americans! Hear this Obama? This is what Americans want, they want you to get your nose out of Syria's issues!!

      November 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  4. DRAINED

    To Ed & other politicians in the world:
    The people of Syria, Egypt, Tunisia & all the Arab world are totally drained. Our blood is sucked out. It is time to remove your current staff & bring others who understand the truth.
    We don't want war over Palestine. The Jews have earned their land. By law & by any human convection, they earned their land in the area. Yet they should stop the non reasonable killing of innocents. The same is for all regimes in the region. We just want peace & we want to feed our children & provide healthcare for them. It is all a lie. There is no conflict. It is all created by the vampire of the world to keep the tension and bloodshed for wealth reasons. I call the true men & women all over the world to stop this massacre going on in Syria & all other places.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • Kharioun

      The only way to stop this massacre by the islamic terrorists is to support the ongoing reform and dialog process...
      If the western countries were true to what they say about establishing human rights and democracy in Syria, then they would have forced those terrorists through the #1 terrorist nation (Saudi Arabia – Remember that most of the 911 hijakers and terrorists were from Saudi Arabia... including Bin Laden) to stop these terrorist activities. When you hear a radical islamist say that it's ok to kill a third of the people for the good of the 2/3 to establish an Islamic state then you can see what this is all about! The world must listen to both sides and support the process of reform!

      If the process fails then you will see that the whole country will be united against the government because of that! But the way things are going the west does not want dialog they want civil war!!! They need to act fast to save their greedy economies and boost the arms sales!

      October 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
      • true syrian

        true syrian
        i disagree who start the killing in deraa it the assad thugs and criminal they killed moore than 5000 innoncent citizine and they kill every army solider who refuse to shoot at the civilian i left syria due to the harsh regime for 50 years is the worse at all it is worse than hitler stop support the Assad mafia.

        October 6, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
      • Mahdouum

        @ True Syrian

        You clearly have been programmed to repeat your nonsense! Who is behind you? saudi arabia? Harriri el kalb?
        It is true that the reaction towards the protesters was harsh at first... even your president (Sid rassak) addmitted there were errors committed. However, ever since then money and weapons were entering the country. the Money to pay off those so called "eye witness" that were actually calling media outlets from the comfort of their homes in front of the TV to say this and that happened... the media showed an image of poor innoicent civilians being slaughtered based on those "blind witness" ! Some infiltrated from Irak and Lebanon, the were poping up one friday in Hama, the other in Homs then Lattakia... those are the radical islamists that murdered innocent civilians as well as soldiers that are protecting the country! As you all know, these terrorists blew up american soldiers and civilians in Irak and the same terrorists are now in Syria... did you not ask yourselves why the murder level in decreasing in Irak? they're all in Syria now. This is why the US must support the Government of Syria against those terrorists!!!

        October 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
      • f&b 54

        i dont know u mahdoum and kharioun. but i'm a big fan of ur work already

        October 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Thinker23

      What do you call "non reasonable killing of innocents"? Can you NAME ONE WAR where the number of people killed by the stronger side was LESS THAN TWO PER DAY? If you can I'll agree with you that the number of Palestinian killed by Israel is "unreasonable". Good luck!

      October 5, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • EVN

      Enlighten me – when is there a reasonable killiing of innocent civilians? Or is that determined by who gets killed, and who does the killing, and then whose side you are on?

      October 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • NonZionist

      DRAINED wites: +( The Jews have earned their land. )+

      Did the fascists in Italy represent all Italians? No. It is the same way with the Zionists: Do not try to make all Jews responsible for Zionist crimes.

      Zionists did not "earn their land" - unless you think the word "earn" means theft, deceit, terrorism and war-making. The theft and the terror continues to this very day, which is why it is impossible to make peace with Zionists - just as it was impossible to make peace with the fascist regimes in Europe seventy years ago.

      The fascist thrives on war and terror. War is what keeps his regime in power. You may want to make peace with him, but he does not want to make peace with you, because he knows that peace means his demise. Think: If we had Muslims, Jews and Christians living together in peace in Palestine, we would be back to the situation in 1911, before the Zionists took over. People would then see that the Zionists are not needed: They add nothing.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  5. kar

    I disagree with the writer's third point. He makes the assumption that the United States intervened in Iraq for the same reasons and under the same conditions as we intervened in Egypt and Libya. Few will know the true reason for going to war in Iraq, if indeed there was an honest and clear reason in the first place. From my understanding, splitting Iraq from Iran wasn't part of the calculus at all, and after the Iran-Iraq war, no one could intelligently make the claim that the two were friends. Iraq was invaded without clear motive (unlike our intervention in Egypt and Libya), and with no clear endpoint or goal. The resulting mess is hardly a surprise.

    The Arab revolts have been calls by the people for representative government. Mr. Hussein wishes for the status quo, but we're unlikely to see it hold in many of the non-Gulf countries. In contrast to the writer's central assumption: Instead of being the instigator of change, the U.S. is a spectator this time around. No one's sure what will happen in the future. But what we can be sure of is that change is coming. The U.S. has the choice of acting with the revolutionaries in an attempt to retain some of its geopolitical power or sitting on the sidelines and becoming irrelevant in the Middle East.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  6. SomeSyrian

    Who is the US to decide if this president is Good or not???? This is completely undemocratic to do. When someone has a different ideas or politics than yours, you just want to kill him/her to to starve them to death to silence their oppenion. Look as a Syrian, I appreciate the veto by Russia and China. The West is just encouraging criminals, murderers, and vandals in Syria. The crimes have been committed by some armed extremist groups from the beginning of these events, but the West want to keep ignoring this fact. We all know that the ones that kill people and mutilate bodies are the extremists. The government does not need to do these kind of acts and in fact the government have caught many criminals and they have kept them in prioson and showed 100ds of confessions on national tv. However, thanks God that China, Russia, India, Brazil, and South Africa and Lebanon are more familiar with the reality of events in Syria. As a Syrian I support Assad against those criminal groups and I am amazed how Ms. Victoria Nuland gets the information from the opposition's website and blah..blah...We all know the story in Syria. And we say to your sanctions gesture [no thanks]...

    October 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  7. sandra lee smith

    Who gives a damn about Israel. Its actions cause people to dislike it. In fact if it were not for the existance of Israel America would have many more friends.
    Nobody likes evil Zionists and that will not change.

    October 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  8. A Lebanese American

    To not so Mahdoum who is indeed very Manyook instead.
    I only wish more Syrian blood soldiers was indeed spilled in Lebanon, and now in Syria, if there are still doing the dirty work for your Dick Tator and killing innocent people. If you are so tough and want to show your army's superiority, why haven't you tried to regain your land and used your force in the Golan Heights for the past 30 years!? Or is Assad (more of a kalb really) trying to regain it through negotations using the Hizballa and Hamas cards!!?? How long did they last in 1982 when the Israelies invaded Lebanon? The Syrians so called pilots were falling from the sky like little birds! 105 MIG23 jet fighters in one week. That's by the way why Russia is on your side.
    The American and European servicemen you mentioned that sacrificed their lives in Lebanon are the true heros indeed, and died on the hands of the Syrians. Lebanese policticians are corrupt indeed, but killing them and killing Muslim and Christian innocent clergymen to refuel the civil war is still a barbaric crime committed on several occasions by the Syrians. Even if there is no democracy in Lebanon, it doesn't justify all the assasinations that were ordered by the Syrian intelligence. Shame on you and on your primitive barbaric thinking.
    I hope Assad will follow R.Hariri! soon, if that answers your assupmtion. S Hariri can also kiss my butt w/ all his millions. LF is not that much better either. There you have it.

    October 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      So much hatred from these turban headed Lebanese. Please be civilized if you're truely american! It's because of filthy arabs like you that the US has to interfere or use proxy countries to tackle you low lives.
      You fight against each other and consider yourselves superior! you all deserve what you got and what you will get!
      America will never set foot in a worthless dump that is Lebanon or Syria instead we shall gladly ask yours truly (Israel) to invade both of you and make you all work as maids in the west... I'd like to see those lebanese women mop some american floor!

      October 6, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Reply
      • EVN

        Whoa there Joe! Do you want him to be civil like you? If that's the case, Lebanese American is really going to have to work at it and he has a long way to go down the road of insults, namecalling, and hurling disparaging slurs to even hope to catch up to you. Yelp, when it comes to civillity, Joe's da man.

        October 6, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
      • to34

        there is no turban in Lebanon idiot. Where are you living ???? in a cave ????

        October 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
      • Dirt

        Joe – stop stirring things up... Some of the people on this blog are serious. Joe is just joking around folks!

        October 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
      • F&B 54

        when u call lebanese turban head, it says it all. it says ur education system is worse than somalia. it says u were dropped on ur head by ur mother as a child, probably on purpose, or because she couldnt carry a ciggarette and a bottle of whiskey in the same time. the turban heads are the ones in the gulf, u know, the guys who keep ur prositutes financialy able to buy heroin. they r also the ones that ur politicians go down on to get cheap oil. so these turban heads own u basicly, and if u like cheap gas, make sure u go down on them right, so start practicing joe. soon u will be joelene to a turban head. and keep sending all ur tax money to Israel, they cost u more than any war u get ur self into. and make sure every war u go into makes u look like a bigger war lord than the person who was there before u. keep up the good work of making our countries look good in comparison and in seem inoccent when it comes to killing inoccent civilians. If it wasent for the US, we would look like murderers.

        October 16, 2011 at 9:28 am |
      • Israel 1234

        Mr Joe, as an Israeli who speak Arabic nobody have a turbine in Lebanon.
        And I dont thing Israel want to conquer them... Sorry.
        we just want love and hugs for all...

        November 10, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • F&B 54

      Typical lebnanese. Everything was Syria's fault, and non of it was ur own. not like u killed each other according to religion and sect for 15 years. not like u have a small war every election. are u democracy? where ur position is determend by ur sect? long story short, u in lebanon deserve everything that happenes to u. the civil war was stopped by Syria, and the 2006 war was won for u by Syria, ur welcome u ungreatful punk. I cant wait till the next time u guys get in trouble, I will join the opposition if my leader decided to help u losers. lets see how well ur army will do. I hope Israel takes over ur country, then u can come crying at our feet for help, just so u could curse us a few years later. because thats what rabid dogs do.

      October 16, 2011 at 9:01 am | Reply
  9. EVN

    No, don't condemn Assad and risk a civil war in Syria. It's much better to let him butcher his own citizens by unleashing snipers, tanks and rockets on civilian populations. So much neater in the long run, all based on the "devil we do know may be better than the devil we don't", and above all, the politics that mandate that the U.S. march in lockstep with Israel.

    What a cyncial lack of faith in the Syrian people, and hypocritical take on fostering democracy and freedom, but only when convenient to us and consistent with furthering our own interests. That sadly is what is really going on, and it's no wonder so much of the world thinks so little of America.

    October 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Reply
    • Mahdoum

      @EVN

      It's too bad for you Russia and China are blocking your ambitions to destroy Syria! It is because they have seen on the field that there are terrorists and stories that don't add up!!! The Game is Over for those terrorists and the time for the negotiations and reform are very near! Only Syrians that live in syria should be allowed to participate in these reforms and form a government. Those so called opposition outside syria are nothing but puppets of external interests!

      October 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  10. Israelisfine

    ronen418 on youtube, who goes on CNN under monikers IsraelAlive and LoveZionism wrote in youtube video "CNN bans Israel usernames" that CNN moderator has blocked both accounts merely because they contain words Israel and Zionism and are not hateful towards the country.

    I am not passing any final judgement. But it sounds very very likely to me.

    Let’s see how long it will be before I am banned.

    October 7, 2011 at 5:28 am | Reply
    • Buzzk

      Israel is ALWAYS the victim.
      No matter how much land they steal, lives they impoverish with their blockades or the thousands they imprison and murder.

      Poor Israel...

      October 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  11. Vincent

    It is unrealistic, and you would regret it very soon.

    October 7, 2011 at 5:35 am | Reply
  12. Sandra Lee Smith

    The US needs to feed Israel to the Arab world. Its days are numbered anyway. When America falls the Jews will too.

    October 7, 2011 at 7:26 am | Reply
  13. tony

    Assad regime is trying to use the Alawite minority for his survival. THIS IS A REVOLUTION OF THE YOUTH IN SYRIA. They want freedom from corruption and oppression they want to be like the rest of the advanced world. Islamist, fanatic cannot succedd in syria, same for assad regime. The syrian people are not stupid as the editor think. The above article is a very shallow and convoluted with its analysis. You cannot stop this revolution by any means. Syria will not be a sacrifice to maintain israel lasting peace. The Alawite brothers soon will join this revolution they are not as stupid as the editor or Assad supporter thinks .Alawite are part of syria and many of them been related to many sunni and christians.

    October 7, 2011 at 9:02 am | Reply
    • NonZionist

      The youth are very naive. They make an idol out of Revolution. They are eager to "die for freedom", but have no desire to live for freedom or work for freedom.

      The youth think they are immortal and pure, then they take over and become just as bad as the previous regime, if not worse. Why? Because power corrupts, and their Glorious Revolution does nothing to solve the practical problems and conflicts people face. It only creates a lot of bloodshed, a lot of bitterness and fear, a lot of blind zealotry and repression.

      Let them have their "revolution". Let them overthrow the little dictator - and hand their country over to a far bigger dictator. There is nothing wrong with loving freedom. But treat freedom as a living thing, to be nurtured each day. Don't make freedom a synonym for death and destruction. Learn discipline, patience; develop character; become deeper. Then you will find a freedom that no regime can touch.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Reply
      • Peter

        You're probably right. But "Victory or death" sounds much much better
        You can't forget the United States was also born out of a revolution, and apparently, it worked out all right

        October 10, 2011 at 2:19 am |
      • gorio

        Dear young Syrian "revolutionary" you really should listen to "NonZionist" as his advice is very valueable, especially the part about getting some character and thinking things through. If you really want to get sane you need to ask yourself why there are no living revisionists in the muslim religion? If you don't like dictators or murderers you need to question why your religion punishes disent by murdering the disenting party? This is the reason the Americans came to the mid-east, your extremists are just literally doing what the Quran says to do to infidels, but the infidels and that is most of the thinking world think that the muslim religion needs some serious revising and or modification to prevent its followers from turning into mental cases. So question everything, including the US but please look into the "tolerance problem" in the muslim religion!!!

        October 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  14. gok

    sunni schmunni

    October 8, 2011 at 12:24 am | Reply
  15. konora

    well said david

    October 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  16. New Syrian Eagle

    Who is the editor of this article? He seems to support the Assad regime... I suspect he is one of those in disguise "Shabihas" who made it to the US and preaching a support of Hitler like figure... True Syrians love Israelis and sympathize with their plight, it is the Assad Regime that portrays them as Anti-Semitic to remain in power...

    October 8, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Reply
    • maisa mansoor

      You are such a liarsyrian eagle. TTUE SYRIANS DO NOT SUPPORT ISRAEL.

      October 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • SyrianAmerican

      You are a liar, you are no Syrian Eagle, more like a Mosad agent. 99.9% of Syrians hate Israel to death and would love nothing more than see it burn!

      November 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  17. rightospeak

    No, to answer your question. He does not listen to us , that is why we are trying to destroy him and replace him with a despot that will allow to 'privatize" and ransack the country ( dejavue Iraq ) till the hungry are dying on the streets from IMF "loans" to get the 1% rich. If they have any mineral resources we will take and divide the spoils with NATO , if they do some bombing to destroy their infrastructure. Maybe we will sell them F-22 to fight the Marsians – no we can not sell them Patriot Missiles, too close to Israel.

    October 9, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply
  18. LG

    if America is OK with dictators that slaughter their own citizens in order to hold on to power then I guess we are better off sticking with Assad because we have no idea what comes after. We have done it in the past so I guess history can repeat itself.
    As we give up our freedoms here I suppose it's not so bad to further the oppression of others elsewhere

    October 9, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Reply
    • SyrianAmerican

      It is not up to you to be OK or not OK with what goes on in another soverign country, the Syrians are more than capable of helping themselves, if the majority in Syria did not want Bashar Alasad he would have been gone a long time ago, it took 18 days for Mubarak to fall, 8 and a half months and the majority of Syria is stable and Alasad is in full control of his country. Why don't you worry about us resolving our problems here in the USA? Like the 20 million plus people who have no jobs!!!!!

      November 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Reply
      • nowhereman

        ssooooooooooooooo then we should not have helped the jews and others being murdered by hitler??

        November 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  19. Peter

    Syrians can't expect the US to do something about their godforsaken country. If at least they had something but no, they're on their own now. I don't care, we shouldn't care, it's not our fight, it's their fight.

    October 10, 2011 at 2:15 am | Reply
  20. Liberal87

    Not standing with the protesters means that you support child rapists, child murderers, mutilation of civilians, arrests without trials, undetermined jail time, and full blown corruption at the highest levels of the Syrian government. These young protesters will be free whether you guys like it or not.

    October 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  21. Liberal87

    After a second read, I can guarantee you that this "Ed Husain" fella is an Assad supporter. Do not take this article seriously. There is alot of pro-Assad journalists and writers in the West, and their main arguments are represented in this current article. Their reasons for being pro-Assad are personal interests.

    October 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • maisa mansoor

      Wow I wonder why their are so many pro-Assad journalists and other people??? Could it be because he deserves to be suported??? If its an oppostion bashing him then people should listen to him but God forbid anybody listens to a pro-assad supporter. And you people talk about democracy. What a hypocryte

      October 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
      • Liberal87

        @Maria Mansoor Sorry, if Assad had credibility, I would favorable to open discussion with him. But bottom line: he has no credibility at all, given his secret police's crimes throughout the revolution. No one can have a discussion with children rapists, torturers and murderers. Sorry.

        October 30, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • SyrianAmerican

      Who are you to question Asad or open a dialogue with him? Who are you to question what goes on in a Country that has nothing to do with you? All that matters is that the Syrian people will prevail with the leadership of their beloved Bashar Alasad!

      November 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  22. sam kohen

    In 1974 Syria and Israel signed a tacit peace agreement which Syria has rigidly kept. In 1976 Syria intervened in Lebanons Civil War sending in a large army. To everyones shock they allied themselves with the Christian Phalange and attacked the Palestinians. In the battle for Tell Al Zataar in June 1976 the Syrians attacked and captured the largest Palestinian refugee camp and in doing so murdered thousands of people, more the Israel ever did. Yassar Arafat never forgave President Assad for his double cross. As well it is well known that President Assads brother, Maher is in regular touch with Israel through their embassy in Amman for whatever reason imaginable.

    October 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Reply
    • Adam

      All what you’ve wrote was correct with the exception of the part to do with Arafat who was unofficially supporting and blessing the Syrian actions in Tel El Zaatar.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:33 am | Reply
    • SyrianAmerican

      Well known to you and your imaginary friends! lol what a joker!!! No one killed Palestians and continues to kill them than the Zionists in Occupied Palestine.

      November 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  23. commentator

    Assad is preferable to the muslim brotherhood. He respects minorities, unlike the hood which will promptly drive them out or kill them. The US and the EU are guided by stupid PC rules. These are not democrats and freedom fighters. They are thugs of the hood.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • Miami1111

      I disagree. You are just a regime apologist and defender. You know that this regime resembles Nazism... they might "protect" minorities, but what about the majority? Aren't they human beings too? You are a hypocrite.

      October 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
      • Adam

        I couldn’t have written a better reply “Miami1111”. Thank you!

        October 16, 2011 at 3:35 am |
      • maisa mansoor

        The regime is protecting majorities. The richest and most successful business people in Syria are sunnis. The army is made up of MORE than 60% sunnis. The government is 80% sunnis. So before you talk learn about our country

        October 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  24. lilly

    we went to syria this summer and we saw what was going on. according to what we heard, syria is in trouble. but most people are lieing. syria is o.k and no one should believe what some people say cus half of it is wrong. bashar el assad is the best and he always will be the best. we love bashar el assad!

    October 12, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Reply
    • Adam

      My friend was there too and it was horrible in Homs where he stayed and I think you are just spreading lies over here to try to make a mass-murderer like Bashar Al Assad appear as a hero of peace. Please save us your lies and don't make a fool out of yourself by telling the opposite of what people have seen with their own eyes. Bashar has nothing but stealing the wealth of his own people and building a huge family wealth for him and his family and those close ones from his clan. It is just sickening to see people selling their souls to the devil for such a cheap price. Wakeup and forget about your benefits out of Bashar’s regime and join your Syrian people in their struggle for freedom.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:24 am | Reply
      • f&b 54

        struggle for freedom huh? what the hell would u know about the struggle for freedom? how about the struggle against the turks and frnech. thos people had an actual struggle. and many of them died so that we could live in peace with almost every sect of Islam and Christianity, can u think of many countries that can do that? we have freedom of religion, doesnt that count. we might not be able to walk down the street and curse the president and his familly, but everyone else is fair game. and if thats the price i have to pay to live in one of the safest 10 countries in the world to live in, i'm willing to pay that small price. what good is freedom if u get robbed and murdered by a junky in the streets late at night. we in syria dont have to worry about that for 10 years. Now the only thing we have to worry about is the muslim brotherhood taking over like they did in egypt and are trying to do in Tunisia. what do u think, we will get more freedom when the regime falls, lol. RIGHT. When the islamic revolution happened in Iran, were u rooting for them to win? were u cursing the shah for being too pro west and too liberal? what about when the taliban took over Afghanistan?

        October 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
      • nowhereman

        IDK why people are on here lying defending a murderer PLease people go look at the hundreds of videos from syria Unarmed people being murdered children,babies shot the people are living in fear of their so called "leader" the videos dont lie

        November 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • f&b 54

      Finally someone who gets it. I would like to ask all these people to find one negative article about al assad before the start of this year. you must have seen what he has done for this country. brought it to the 21st century the slow and steady way and with style. People who want him to leave are 99% secular idiots. if u read most of the comments on articles that CNN publishes, u will find alot of alwaite this and alwaite that, even on youtube and facebook. Its the same as revolting on the US because barak obama is black. I'm sure inoccent people have been hurt, and our army are not saints. but tell me one army that doesnt cause colateral damage when they go in to get rid of terrorists and gangs that are keeping a city hostage. any other country in the world would have had 30,000 dead by now if not more. lets go counts how many lives NATO has snuffed out before pointing fingers. Our president might not be perfect, but he as close as it gets to it. if u dotn believe me, go read articles that have been written about him for the last 10 years.

      October 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Reply
      • Robert Prince

        Interesting contra-conventional wisdom (USA style) view. Thank you.

        October 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  25. Buzzk

    America has a proud tradition of supporting dictators like Asad, Mubarak and Netanyahu.
    Why stop now?
    Down with democracy, down with freedom.

    October 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
    • truth

      Netanyahu has been democratically elected, he is not a dictator.

      October 29, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Reply
      • SyrianAmerican

        You are right, he was elected to be a mass murderer of Palestinian Civilians in Gaza and west bank!

        November 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  26. Craig

    Wrong question. Before we consider what's best for the US, let's consider what's best for the Syrian people. If we do that, and then follow that path, the ultimate end will be what's best for everyone. The Iranian regime hates the US, but every poll keeps saying the Iranian people don't. Why the disconnect? Well, we all know the regime does not represent the will of the people. So, if the actions we take are aimed at doing the Right Thing for the people, the results will be better for everyone. If we took that line of thought more often, things would be much better.

    October 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • SyrianAmerican

      It is no different than the disconnect between the US government and the American people. The US government works for the super rich against the American people. The average American does not want us interfering with other country's affairs and wasting our tax payer money on rogue countries like Israel or waging ungodly wars like we did in Iraq and Afghanistan, I mean for the love of god, how broke must we get before our stupid adminstration realizes the path we are on is the wrong path?

      November 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  27. Adam

    I quote: "Third, the United States sacrificed vast amounts of blood and treasure to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial grip, only to be leaving Iraq with a government that is politically, economically, and socially closer to Tehran than Saddam had ever been. Therefore, American support for Syrian opposition today will not necessarily result in distance from Iran tomorrow. The Iraq experience tells us otherwise." This paragraph shows clearly that the writer has superficial understanding of the region's dynamics and the different forces shaping its relations with each other and with the international community. I would say that any country without dictatorship and with sufficient freedom and economical prosperity would be a positive element in the global community.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:16 am | Reply
    • SyrianAmerican

      Liberate Iraq? 1.5 million Iraqis dead and counting? How is Iraq better now than it was under Saddam's rule? I am astounded by the level of stupidity on this forum today.

      November 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  28. hello

    Assad is immensely better than the muslim hood that will replace him.

    October 20, 2011 at 11:50 am | Reply
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