Monday, October 24, 2005

Demonstrations in Syria (just to prove that you don't have to be democratic to allow demonstrations). I watched some footage of Syrian demonstrations. While I feel that the threats' campaign (orchestrated by US, Israel, and France using the Hariri Inc and exploiting the Hariri assassination) has probably generated some sympathy with the regime among the Syrian people, the demonstrations (and I am not a fan of "the masses") were as choreographed as the Hummus revolution was, but with less money, and with less pictures and with less bombast. As Syrian human rights advocate (and one of my favorite Arab human rights advocates, see his book Tufulat Ash-Shay'), Haitham Al-Manna` told Al-Arabiyya: "the only spontaneous demonstrations in Syria are the ones that result in Police crackdowns." Sahar Mandur of As-Safir wrote about the TV images of the Syrian demonstrations, and noted that they were more likely to use classical Arabic in comparison to Hummus revolutionaries, and that they were more polite with the exception of one disturbing anti-Semitic picture with 4 Lebanese politicians portrayed--An-Nahar, Al-Mustaqbal, and Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (all of which avoided showing or reporting about the blatantly racist slogans, pictures, and chants of the Hummus Revolution) made sure to show it out of the thousands raised. When you think of the racist slogans and chants of the Hummus revolutionaries, Mandur is right. Mandur writes: "Among the demonstrators some demonstrate by virtue of a Party command or in response to an official "invitation" that can't be rejected. Just as some took to the streets to watch those people. But among them are those who don't care about the report, but [worry about] a life they know and fear losing. And there are some who may not usually like raising the portrait of the president but want to raise it now in defiance. And many demonstrate because they love their homeland, and others demonstrate because they reject the alternatives."