Monday, October 31, 2011

Demonstrations for Bashshar

I was arguing with a reader in Homs.  He took issue with my notion that there is still some genuine support for Bashshar among some quarters in Syrian society.  He was indignant: he believes that all were forced to demonstrate.  I tried to convince him otherwise, to no avail.  Supporters of Syrian opposition, I got to discover, are extremely dogmatic.  You are either with them 100% or you are a supporter of Bashshar (that does not apply to my reader in Homs that I referred to).  I explained to my reader in Homs that there are Syrians in the US who have no businesses in Syria who support the regime.  I know Syrians in Arab countries who support the regime--for whatever reason.  I still maintain that the fear factor among Syrians has largely dissipated.  Yes, the regime can still urge state employees and students to attend rallies, but they can't manufacture the enthusiasm that I have seen on their faces (and bodies) in different rallies.  And if the regime can simply produce crowds, why can't they do that in Dayr Az-Zur or in Dir`a or in Homs?  They can do that in places where the regime still maintains support.  Yesterday, there was a massive rally in the predominantly Druze area of Suwayda', for example.  Nuances are not permitted in covering Syria, which explains why Western (and Saudi/Qatar) media would not cover pro-regime protests.