Wow: Syrian protesters tear giant poster of Assad; Update: 150 dead?

posted at 5:57 pm on March 25, 2011 by Allahpundit

An amazing scene today in Daraa, the heart of the fledgling protest movement this week. Not only did they deface Bashar’s poster, but for good measure they went and toppled the statue of Hafez in the middle of the city. Even so, I still can’t believe that this uprising might go national; Assad’s father left an infamous example for junior on how to deal with demonstrators, so if things get hairy, the tanks are coming out — and there’ll be no western intervention, needless to say. And yet Syrians press on, with protests breaking out in multiple cities today after Friday prayers. Another amazing scene from the heart of Damascus itself:

The accounts of Syria’s “Friday of Dignity” are startling — with episodes full of surprising dissent and immediate repression. In Damascus’ famed Umayyad mosque, a confrontation reportedly broke out during the imam’s sermon just as the cleric blamed Facebook and foreign meddling for the country’s week of unrest. As he cautioned that reforms would take time, the imam was interrupted by a worshipper who started chanting “Freedom! Freedom!” and was soon joined by others. “People began flooding outside, running from thugs,” a man who was near the mosque told TIME on condition of anonymity. “People [were] running for their life out of the mosque.” Video purportedly shot inside the mosque shows a large crowd of men chanting “Freedom!” and punching their right fists into the air before switching to “With our souls and with our blood, we will sacrifice for you, Dara’a!”

Troops are already firing on demonstrators haphazardly, with an estimated 30 killed today alone. Watch the third clip below to see what I mean; the second is of protesters daring to deface a portrait of Hafez al-Assad in yet another Syrian city. Boy Assad’s plan right now seems to have two prongs — one, of course, is to have the army kill a few protesters here and there to show fencesitters that he means business, and the other is to send regime loyalists out into the streets to cheer for the dictatorship. (Iran frequently does that too.) That’s his concession, I take it, to the influence Arab news outlets like Al Jazeera now have in galvanizing popular opposition. If he can make it look like the protesters are a fringe minority — while also signaling that there are plenty of pro-Assad Syrians ready to rumble in the streets — maybe he can prevent the sort of critical mass that bedeviled Mubarak in Tahrir Square from forming. In fact, there’s a recent update at Al Jazeera’s liveblog of regime stooges surrounding the network’s bureau in Damascus and threatening to burn it or storm it. So yes, this is apt to get much uglier next week, but between Qaddafi and now this degenerate, it’s nice to see terrorist sugar daddies finally under the gun. Exit quotation from an eyewitness in Daraa: “We broke the barrier of fear today and the security forces could not touch us.”

Update: Witnesses tell Al Jazeera that the real number of dead is a lot closer to 150, not 37, as the regime claims. We’re well on the way to Hama II.


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So if Assad goes down (which Iran won’t permit, so it’s a moot point) does that actually improve things over there? A new Syria couldn’t possibly support terrorists (Hizballah) than they already are, right?

And if Assad falls, wouldn’t that interfere with Hizballah’s supply chain a little? Or maybe not, since Hizballah is the default government of Lebanon now.

fiatboomer on March 25, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Assad could unleash those WMDs that were smuggled over from Iraq in 2003.

John the Libertarian on March 25, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Why aren’t we Bombing Syria? It meets all of Andrea Mitchel’s “Obama Doctrine” requirements. No?

Amadeus on March 25, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Assad could unleash those WMDs that were smuggled over from Iraq in 2003.

John the Libertarian on March 25, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Unless you were being facetious, why would he? All he has to do if it gets bad enough is run…but to where? Surely he has at least a few million socked away somewhere.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 25, 2011 at 6:04 PM

So if Assad goes down (which Iran won’t permit, so it’s a moot point) does that actually improve things over there? A new Syria couldn’t possibly support terrorists (Hizballah) than they already are, right?

You have more faith in that than I do. Things could get much, much worse..especially if all these countries are falling and reorganizing at once as has been happening.

BakerAllie on March 25, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Ya know,Syria is sooooooooooooo cosy with Iran,
and, is a proxy thug,

and so,I hate to say it,

but,

LET IT BURN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on March 25, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Wow! Here we go.

What a pity, Vogue Magazine just did fawning puff piece on First Lady Asma Assad last month.

I hope the crowd is respectful of her gorgeous Christian Louboutins.

We would not want these tyrants to end up like the Mussolinis now, would we?

Gob on March 25, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Syria: Will Friday bring dignity or disaster?
25 March 2011
*****************

March has been a month of contradictions in Syria. Protests and clashes have rocked the town of Dera’a in southwestern Syria, while Kurds are receiving positive, though not necessarily sincere, attention from the regime.

As Kurdistan Commentary wrote in early February, if protests were to occur in Syria, ‘given the regime’s penchant for non-tolerance of disobedience and ruthless repression of dissent, the other possibility is violent suppression of the protests.’ And the result ‘will be nothing short of mayhem.’
(More…………)

http://kurdistancommentary.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/syria-will-friday-bring-dignity-or-disaster/

canopfor on March 25, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Even so, I still can’t believe that this uprising might go national; Assad’s father left an infamous example for junior on how to deal with demonstrators, so if things get hairy

It’s a minority leadership in Syria like Bahrain. Also, you might want to note that Hama has protests so they didn’t learn their lesson. If I were an Alawite clan leader I would be nervous.

lexhamfox on March 25, 2011 at 6:10 PM

syria now too?? jeepers.

ted c on March 25, 2011 at 6:11 PM

In his powerful essay “The Power of the Powerless”, Vaclav Havel wrote about the point when the people break through the wall of lies – the “Workers of the World, Unite” slogans – and say “No, no more of this.”

If Syria has reached that point and enough people stand up, then Assad will need to shoot a lot of people.

Then the question is when he gives the orders do the security forces shoot? If they do, he survives. If they don’t, he falls.

If – a big if to be sure – Assad falls, the mullahs will be next.

Strange times we live in.

SteveMG on March 25, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Once you open a can of worms….

sandee on March 25, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Come on, Super Duper POTUS! Launch a pretty pony un sponsored coalition of sparkly rainbow unicorns to take over Syria.

Key West Reader on March 25, 2011 at 6:14 PM

I put together the basic Syrian WMD list a bit ago, and do remember that Syria had its own, home-grown, chemical warfare capability before Saddam fell. Plus they utilized trying to build a pharma industry to get dual-use bio equipment… and have plenty of yellowcake they process through a plant they swindled from a European nation…

Syria’s problems are that it has been a police state for decades, has minorities that don’t see themselves as Syrian, and has a minority religious sect that controls the top spots: if you aren’t Alawite you aren’t going anywhere near the top in Syria. It has played the somehow ‘necessary’ state that ‘can’t’ be brought down to a T. And yet it is necessary to no one and a major contributor to instability in the region. If they go into turmoil that will be temporarily bad for Syria, but very good for everyone else as the supply lines to Hezbollah run through Syria. Hezbollah has tried to get an independent funding system so that if Iran and Syria go down they can get cash from overseas operations (TBA in SA, Brazil, tax and banking fraud in the US and Canada, narcotics trafficking and the like, intellectual property fraud… they are very diversified). That is why they have been after Lebanon for so long: they need a separate funding base.

The road to peace in the ME runs through Damascus.

I would prefer it be M1 Abrams doing the rolling down that road as the road doesn’t stop in Damascus, just runs through it.

ajacksonian on March 25, 2011 at 6:14 PM

The Damascus Bureau
Real news and stories from Syria

Syrian Revolution Digest, March 21, 2011
März 23, 2011
***************

Protests in Syria are no longer restricted to Daraa City, but now expanded to many towns and villages nearby, especially Jassem, Daael, Sanamain and Inkhil. Ongoing arrests were reported, and hundreds of protesters are still unaccounted for.

In Jassem, the uprising began when Imams called out from mosques saying, “People of Dignity, People of Honor, your folks in Daraa are being slaughtered.” 1,500 gathered within minutes. “The demonstration came in response to the siege of Daraa City” one eyewitness said. “We walked in the direction of Abu Tammam Square… People wanted to go and throw stones at the District Director, but we insisted on keeping things peaceful by chanting “Silmiyyah.” [Arabic for “Peaceful”, note of the editor] Party officials came to us and asked us what we want, and we replied: Freedom. That ended our communication.“
(More…….)

http://www.damascusbureau.org/?p=1774
========================================

VIDEOS
*******

Daraa

Video shows empty rounds of ammunition used against demonstrators.

Jassem

Video of demonstrations chanting for freedom.

Sanamain

Video of demonstrations.

Damasucs Suburbs

Video of demonstration in Mouaddamiya town where tens were arrested afterwards.
(More…..)

http://www.damascusbureau.org/?p=1774

canopfor on March 25, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Strange times we live in.

SteveMG on March 25, 2011 at 6:11 PM

In some strange perverse way I wonder if these civilians, rebels, freedom fighters, reactionarys, or whatever they are are doing the world a favor by not coalescing against one specific country or creed.

fourdeucer on March 25, 2011 at 6:18 PM

YAWN

WoosterOh on March 25, 2011 at 6:19 PM

SteveMG on March 25, 2011 at 6:11 PM

No “if’s” involved. The Syrian Army, police and Idarat al-Amn al-Siyasi will kill whomever they are told to kill. Massive slaughter of dissidents in Syria is not a novel approach…the Hama massacre being but one example.

coldwarrior on March 25, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Gob on March 25, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Yeah, Vogue did a profile on dangerous terrorist Sarah Palin back in 2008 IIRC…

fiatboomer on March 25, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Again, for the lurkers and those interested.

Yesterdays Glenn Beck was pretty awesome.

Like him or not, watch to see how this perhaps is all being linked.

You don’t have to believe him, (a real question) but has anyone else tied it up like this? I think looking at all peeps sniffing this out can be educational.

Gob on March 25, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Here is the statue hacking video

================================

هدم تمثال حافظ الاسد في درعا -اطلاق نار من بيت المحافظ
Mar 25 2011
**************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9flGn0y2_d0&feature=player_embedded

canopfor on March 25, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Like him or not, watch to see how this perhaps is all being linked.

You don’t have to believe him, (a real question) but has anyone else tied it up like this? I think looking at all peeps sniffing this out can be educational.

Gob on March 25, 2011 at 6:23 PM

I saw that and you are right.

ted c on March 25, 2011 at 6:24 PM

No “if’s” involved. The Syrian Army, police and Idarat al-Amn al-Siyasi will kill whomever they are told to kill

I don’t have that certainty anymore. Not with all of these uprisings throughout the Arab world.

Five or 10 years ago? Yeah, I think you’d be 100% right. But today? Things are different.

SteveMG on March 25, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Off to Syria we go. Right Obama?

CWforFreedom on March 25, 2011 at 6:27 PM

A lot is going to depend on the Syrian Army’s officer Corp. How many are Alawi?

sharrukin on March 25, 2011 at 6:28 PM

fiatboomer on March 25, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Yeah, I can believe it. Only a horrible rag like that can make SP into a boogeyman but make the Assads into the most fabulous and democratic family in the whole, wide world. (the family photo has to be seen to be believed)

I just want to showcase how disgustingly complicit some Americans/Europeans can be in propping up Islamic jihad. Before we can even take a swing at the Jihadists, we have a lot of work to do with the useful idiots enabling this rotten palaver.

Gob on March 25, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Thugs using night sticks in broad daylight
=============================================

اغنية للثورة السورية 15 آذار
Mar 21 2011
***************

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=74I0tFnSwvg

From,this FaceBook Page!

http://www.facebook.com/YourTurnToLeave.Dr.Bashar

canopfor on March 25, 2011 at 6:29 PM

There is a certain sect of Muslims (Shia I think) that believe that they can hasten the return of the 12th Imam by creating global chaos.

csdeven on March 25, 2011 at 6:29 PM

The Hama massacre had larger sectarian or religious overtones. The Alwaites vs. the Sunni type sectarianism.

I don’t see that happening here. This appears to be more nationalistic and trans-religious.

I’m not sure the army would fire under these circumstances.

We’re going to see, aren’t we?

SteveMG on March 25, 2011 at 6:32 PM

sharrukin on March 25, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Dan Pipes had an essay back in ’89 that addressed this.

As far as I can tell, not a lot has changed as to membership requirements to the elites in Syria.

Non-Alawi need not apply.

coldwarrior on March 25, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Fired Up Chanting,in a Mosque I think
9 Hours ago,Mar 25 2011
************************

مظاهرات في دمشق الجامع الأموي يوم الجمعة 25/3 *

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axtNyTP5sRE&feature=player_embedded#at=50

*(I don’t have a clue,what it says,
just copying/pasting,what the title is)

canopfor on March 25, 2011 at 6:37 PM

No matter how many people they kill the protesters have final realized that they out number and surround the ones doing the killings. They can not kill all of us as there would be no one left to rule.

A bigger question is why do dictators need to have huge posters and huge statues all over the place. Like the people can’t remember who is the leader is after decades in power.

When is the reveal of the building size posters of O in Hope. That might be to old but there has to be one with a halo somewhere that can be put on the side of a tower.

tjexcite on March 25, 2011 at 6:38 PM

There is a certain sect of Muslims (Shia I think) that believe that they can hasten the return of the 12th Imam by creating global chaos.

csdeven on March 25, 2011 at 6:29 PM

csdeven:The 12th Imam stuck in da well..correct you are!:)

canopfor on March 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM

YAWN

WoosterOh on March 25, 2011 at 6:19 PM

LOL! Is that you, Obama? Oh, wait. Nope. Obama is under the bed clutching a pillow stuffed on his abdomen; he’s rocking back and forth while Hillary tries to coax him from his stance of being “above the fray”.

/I hope she kicks him in the teeth when he comes out from under the bed. Spoiled rotten little cry baby brat.

Key West Reader on March 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Ahem,

***PROGRESSIVE Collateral Damage FallOut of Cairo Speech***

canopfor on March 25, 2011 at 6:44 PM

csdeven:The 12th Imam stuck in da well..correct you are!:)

canopfor on March 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM

But what of Louis Farrakhan stating that when __ma spoke, “You are hearing the Messiah Speak”? Snag it while you can. This is what we’re up against.

Key West Reader on March 25, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Honestly, all I see is one set of neanderthal religious bigots killing a different set of neanderthal religious bigots.

It’s hard to get worked up about it.

csdeven on March 25, 2011 at 6:45 PM

/I hope she kicks him in the teeth when he comes out from under the bed. Spoiled rotten little cry baby brat.

Key West Reader on March 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Key West Reader:”MEANIE”,haha,lol:)

canopfor on March 25, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Well, at least THIS tyrannical dictator has a career skill he could use after stepping down, Assad is an eye doctor … but who trust him enough to be his patient?

Tony737 on March 25, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Oh I almost forgot … this all Bush’s ‘fault’!

Tony737 on March 25, 2011 at 6:47 PM

canopfor on March 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM
But what of Louis Farrakhan stating that when __ma spoke, “You are hearing the Messiah Speak”? Snag it while you can. This is what we’re up against.

Key West Reader on March 25, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Key West Reader:Most excellent point,meanwhile,two years
later and the HALO,has been replaced by,

HORNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)
===========================================

Farrakhan is apparently not too happy with Obama calling for Qaddafi to step down:
*****************************

FARRAKHAN: “I warn my brother do you let these wicked demons move you in a direction that will absolutely ruin your future with your people in Africa and throughout the world…Why don’t you organize a group of respected Americans and ask for a meeting with Qaddafi. You can’t order him to step down and get out, who the hell do you think you are?

http://www.therightscoop.com/farrakhan-blasts-obama-who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are/

canopfor on March 25, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Dan Pipes had an essay back in ’89 that addressed this.

As far as I can tell, not a lot has changed as to membership requirements to the elites in Syria.

Non-Alawi need not apply.

coldwarrior on March 25, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Very interesting article.

That being the case then it is unlikely that Syria will follow Egypt or Yemen unless the officer Corp is unhappy with Assad for some reason and risks a Sunni overthrow, or the soldiers mutiny which would make it a long and bloody affair.

The Alawi’s don’t make a large portion of Syria and I wonder how long they can hold on?

sharrukin on March 25, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Assad must step down, right?

A Balrog of Morgoth on March 25, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Strange times we live in.

SteveMG on March 25, 2011 at 6:11 PM
In some strange perverse way I wonder if these civilians, rebels, freedom fighters, reactionarys, or whatever they are are doing the world a favor by not coalescing against one specific country or creed.

fourdeucer on March 25, 2011 at 6:18 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1930s

After the largest stock market crash in America’s history, most of the decade was in an economic downfall called The Great Depression that had a traumatic effect worldwide. In response authoritarian regimes emerged in several countries in Europe, in particular the Third Reich in Germany. Weaker states including Ethiopia, China and Poland were invaded by expansionist neighbours, and this ultimately led to the Second World War by the decade’s end.

William Amos on March 25, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Obama has emboldened the Syrians. Will he support them?

CWforFreedom on March 25, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Wow! Here we go.

What a pity, Vogue Magazine just did fawning puff piece on First Lady Asma Assad last month.

I hope the crowd is respectful of her gorgeous Christian Louboutins.

We would not want these tyrants to end up like the Mussolinis now, would we?

Gob on March 25, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Good grief, I thought that had to be a joke…

slickwillie2001 on March 25, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Hey why not have the UN declare the middle east a no-flys zone.

tarpon on March 25, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Again, for the lurkers and those interested.

Yesterdays Glenn Beck was pretty awesome.

Like him or not, watch to see how this perhaps is all being linked.

You don’t have to believe him, (a real question) but has anyone else tied it up like this? I think looking at all peeps sniffing this out can be educational.

Gob on March 25, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Yeah, everyone should click over to Glenn Beck and watch the whole episode. Very worth it – excellent situational awareness.

fiatboomer on March 25, 2011 at 7:17 PM

slickwillie2001 on March 25, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Thanks for clicking on Slick. No, it sadly is not a joke.

I have been posting those links on many threads, but unfortuanately, these threads on Syria are not getting high traffic. And as I stated before, that article has bugged me for over a month and no one really talked about it.

Basically, we have not just the Jihad to fear, but the dopes who enable and prop them up.

I am posting the link to Glenn Beck from yesterday. Watch it whether you like him or not.

Gob on March 25, 2011 at 7:18 PM

Email any foreigners you know right away, and tell them to beg Øbama to protect the poor rebels in Syria from a humanitarian disaster and genocide. (Those are the proper trigger words, right?)

If some French and Dutch and Italians ask him, surely Øbama will act, right? They ARE ~International Communiteh~ his favorite. (It would cut no ice from us Americans.)

But Syria is almost a significant adversary… and their buddy Iran is a moderately significant adversary… even though we’re right next door already…

Forget it. Øbama Doctrine does not apply in this circumstance, the Syrian rebels will have to pound sand like the Iranian rebels.

(Thanks, canopfor, for all the informative links!)

jodetoad on March 25, 2011 at 7:23 PM

here’s a better one, AP

Crowd topples statue of Saddam Hussein

vinman on March 25, 2011 at 7:24 PM

William Amos on March 25, 2011 at 6:55 PM

I read your post twice and I can’t tell if you are admonishing my post or not. I know history is a very good prelude to the future but history is still history. Tomorrow or anytime later these rebelling countries may coalesce against us as we know they look on us as the great satan, but today, for the present, as I stated, it is with a perverse sense of gratitude these countries are not united against us or Israel.

fourdeucer on March 25, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Call my cynical, and I’m sure the majority of these people are good people, but when they yell Freedom in English, I think they are being used by the fundies to garner support for an Islamist revolution.

They’re following the Iran template. I guess the pictures are too exciting for the MSM to question this.

PattyJ on March 25, 2011 at 9:53 PM

“Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear, I will let it flow through me and around me – and when it is gone, only I will remain.”

mojo on March 25, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Does Assad “have to go”, yet?

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2011 at 10:59 PM

Looks like the dividends of Iraq and Afghanistan liberation are finally being played out. Thank God Bush isn’t in office and the smartest most awesome President in the history of the universe, past, present and future, is at the helm. If Bush were in office, the media reaction would have been nuclear against him. Now the media has its panties twisted but can’t attack its affirmative action President with anything near the ferocity it would if a republican were in office.
I am concerned about the outcome in Syria but to the extent that Iran has to divert resources to Syria, that is a good thing, and to the extent that Lebanon might explode against Syria and Iran (and Hezbollah) taking advantage of Iran having its hands full, that too would be a good thing.

eaglewingz08 on March 26, 2011 at 10:11 AM