Syrian Children Offer Glimpse of a Future of Reprisals
04-Sep-2012 (2 comments)

Like all the small children in the desert refugee camp here, Ibtisam, 11, is eager to go home to the toys, bicycles, books, cartoons and classmates she left behind in Syria.

But not if that means living with Alawites, members of the same minority offshoot of Shiite Islam as Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. “I hate the Alawites and the Shiites,” Ibtisam said as a crowd of children and adults nodded in agreement. “We are going to kill them with our knives, just like they killed us...”

Children as young as 10 or 11 vowed never to play with Syrian Alawite children or even pledged to kill them.

Parroting older relatives — some of whom openly egged them on — the youngsters offered a disturbing premonition of the road ahead for Syria....

“We hear it all the time from the kids, but also from the parents — that this is not political at all, and not a call for ... >>>

recommended by FG



Where reform is impossible, is hate & destruction avoidable?

by FG on


Realism says "The only way out from under an unreformable, rotten system now is revolution" though Iranians may balk.  Given the makeup of the Assembly of Experts and the resistence of fat IRCG generals I doubt a government made up of reformers would be allowed after Khamenei dies ("Good riddance!").  If allowed, could it regain the people's trust? 

Recall the fate of "reform" communist governments in Eastern Europe who promised people "better communism" as the USSR drew back.  Who would trust in the posibility of a "better" Islamic Republic?  Once systems are so badly discredited, people always fear a repeat.  Implicitly, in any Islamic Republic the clerical class would always enjoy a special status unavailable to individual citizens. Special privileges for anyone, the clergy above all, is unthinkable now.

If Iranians do revolt it won't happen before Assad's fall.  If they knuckle under instead, they'll just have to accept the bleak prospect of endless years in hell. Decide such a choice deserve such a consequence?


Assume Iranians revolt after Assad falls.  They must arm and defend themselves, force the regime out of the cities, engage in hit and run tactics and demontrate a sustained will to fight if they expect any foreign government to respond to pleas for help.  The revolution must demonstrate it reflects the popular will.  When such help comes--a far more likely prospect than in Syria for a number of reasons--Khamenei's rule cannot last three months.  

"Bashir" Khamenei knows the danger and  will attempt to nip things in the bud.
  With nowhere to go, Iran's Moral Role Model and Criminel in Chief will surely try to employ the same Chechnya tactics we see in Syria so long as he can.  Lack of time and loss of the air will limit possibilities there.

Khamenei starts out in worse than Assad did almost 18 months ago when Syria's peaceful demonstrations started. Where Assad still enjoyed some trust Khamenei enjoys none.  Credit the Rigged Election of 2009 and the brutal police state since.  Once Chechnya tactics are employed, popular "love" for Khamenei will grow as much as it did for Assad in Syria.


The only people likely to be hated and hunted down afterwards are Khamenei's inner circle, prominent security force thugs and anyone who attempt to impose or prolong discreded Islamist rule in any form.   Both Islam and religion in general have gotten a huge black eye from this regime.   The more moderate clerics will be tolerated but their flocks will have shrunk.

Both Assad and Khamenei are hated by the majority in their respective countries.  However, Syrian minorities rally to Assad for protection while Iranian minorities see Khamenei and the Islamic Republic as The Great Oppressor thanks to 33 years of persecution.  

Both men may be surrounded by an inner circle of die-hards but where does Khamenei enjoy a reliable equivalent to  the Alawites, the Christians or Druze?, Nowhere.  He can't even depend on the clerical class to which he belongs, having surrounded himelft with the a reactionary core whose ideas and behavior are despised by the majority of mullahs.  As in Syria (the Maloufs) Khamenei also has some hangers on whose motives are primarily mercenary (the Larinjanis).  Why else would anyone support him?

Minorities have no reason to hate or fear the Iranian majority so long as the latter don't stoke up Iranian ultra-nationalism.  Naturally that would be scary after 33 years of persecution.  By contrast, the best approach to winning their allegiance would be to offer something rare in the region--the prospect of a prosperous democracy based on secular humanism. 



No spamming is intended.   When I came accross this article, I felt it was something many Iranians would not want to miss because of the lesson involved. 

Originally I chose to place it with today's roundup which you will find in my "Ho! Ho! Ho! roundup blog from yesterday since regulars have become accustomed to that.   I rejected the "News" option instead because my experience has veen articles posted there often take discovered 24 to 36 to appear on the home page and sometimes don't appear at all.  

Subsequently I've decided to post it as a news item as well.  If it appears, it will be available to any non-regulars who may have missed it in the other location on the assumption the latter was dated.  Thanks.








by FG on


--HATE CREATION: His tactics and the use of Alawaites to carry them out are creating hated.  No doubt those who supported his crimes will pay.  Assad's real goal was NOT to protect Alawites against a once imagined and now very real threat.  His real goal was to maintain himself and his Mafia cohorts in power.  Assad stirred this sectarian hate up for the same reason Milosevic did in Yugoslavia--for his OWN benefit and no one else's.

--JIHADIZATION: If not for Assad's refusal to leave when it was clear he wa no longer wanted  (now it is too late for that) there would be virtually no jihadis in Syria nor would the population become increasingly radicalized and hate-filled.  

The logical coclusion, assuming you don't like Al Queda or jihadis (listen up, Putin!) is that the best move is to dump this guy as quickly as possibly.  What is the point of trying to keep him afloat if only bad guys benefit?  With or without assistance, Assad is going down anyway so where is the sense?  As the French would say, "Sauve qui peut." (Everyman for himself or salvage what you can while still possible).


What a legacy the man will have!  Like Khamenei he will be cursed for years after his death.