[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week`s roundup to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday night of every week.]
Daily Updates Focusing on the Intervention and the Chemical Weapons Conversations
Syria News Update (4 September 2013)
Syria News Update (3 September 2013)
Syria News Update (2 September 2013)
Syria News Update (1 September 2013)
Syria News Update (31 August 2013)
Syria News Update (29-30 August 2013)
Regional and International Perspectives
The Revolution that Wasn’t Hugh Roberts provides an overview of the structure and dynamics of some Middle East states including Syria, by reviewing the works of Roger Owen, Joshua Stacher, Holger Albrecht and Hazem Kandil.
German Report How Turkey Arms and Sends Jihadists Into Syria An interesting video with a well-balanced introduction in which anchor questions the US military strike and its impact on ordinary Syrians, after which she introduces a video revealing how Turkey, a member of NATO, is also contributing to the war by hosting jihadists at its borders.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry and al-Azhar Oppose Syria Attack On the stance of one segment of Egyptian society toward Syria.
Syrians Facing Harassment in Egypt This is a short video addressing the issue of discrimination faced by Syrian refugees in Egypt.
Hizbollah Used Beirut Bombing to Justify Intervention in Syria Philip Smyth suggests that “the Dahiyeh bombing, while horrific and having gone off in a zone of Hizbollah control, has served Hizbollah to explain the Shia militias` presence in Syria.“
Syria and Egypt: Genocidal Violence, Western Response Martin Shaw says “both show extreme violence against civilians, and represent setbacks for hopes of democratic change in the middle east; yet they also highlight contrasting national-political trajectories, and very divergent international responses.”
Refugee Crisis in Lebanon Takes Extra Toll on Women Charlotte Bruneau on the social and economic burden of Syrian women who have moved to Beirut’s Sabra-Shatila refugee camp.
Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Find Lifeline to Loved Ones at Cellphone Oasis Joshua Hersh on Syrians calling relatives at the Lebanese border on oases where they can access Syrian network coverage.
Why Chemical Weapons Are Smart Politics Joshua Keating borrows from the work of scholars to speculate on the domestic and international dynamics having motivated the regime’s use of chemical weapons.
Chemical Weapons and Responses: The Developing Story of Tripoli’s Bombing: Theories on Outcomes for Syria Matthew Barber on the Tripoli bombings and the background story surrounding the identification of the suspects.
Eyes on Nuclear Talks, Iran Tempers Support for Assad Scott Peterson explores the official responses to the chemical weapons attack, in light of the new leadership and Iran’s history as a victim of chemical weapons.
Onward to Syria, Blindly John Cassidy says “in seeking to persuade the American people to countenance an attack, Administration officials are building up Bashar al-Assad into a much bigger figure than he is—which is, of course, exactly what the Bush Administration did to Saddam Hussein a decade ago.”
L’Auto Organisation Des Luttes Populaires en Syrie Face Aux Regimes et Aux Groupes Islamistes? Oui, Ca Existe! Joseph Daher writes about the various popular resistance movements that are still well-alive across Syria and that reject both the regime and the islamic groups having hijacked the revolution.
Red Lines and False Choices Historian Sarah Shields weighs in on Syria, arguing that “This imminent flood of new red lines reflects the false dichotomies intrinsic to US foreign policy in the Middle East.” and adding that the Obama administration “could choose to imagine a long-term resolution.”
Your Labor Day Syria Reader, Part 1: Mike Lofgren argues that “Attacking Syria is simply not in the US national interest; and absent an objective assessment from a neutral inspection team, and absent a UN resolution, the US has no legitimate authority under any law or treaty to act unilaterally.”
Your Labor Day Syria Reader, Part 2: William Polk says “despite what Messrs Biden and Kerry have said, I believe a court would conclude that the case against the Syrian government was ‘not proven.’”
The Articles Syrians Think You Should Read About Syria Rasha Othman lists ten pertinent pieces written by Syrians throughout the conflict.
Chemical Watersheds: Momentum Shifts Again in Syrian Civil War Christoph Reuter and Holger Stark on military and civilian developments in the aftermath of the announcement that the US was going to respond to the chemical weapons attack it accused the government of carrying.
Questions Raised and Risks Posed by Syrian Intervention (Part 1) Jonathan Githens-Mazer’s “part One of a two-part analysis of the geopolitical sectarian dynamics and possible fall-out of military intervention in Syria,” in which he provides a summary of the conflict and its mutation.”
Questions Raised and Risks Posed by Syrian Intervention (Part 2) “Part Two of an analysis of the geopolitical sectarian dynamics and possible fall-out of military intervention in Syria, looking at prospects for meaningful change, and summing up on intervention.”
The Non-State Militant Landscape in Syria Aron Lund “identifies and profiles some of the most important non-state actors in Syria. It finds that the opposition remains severely fragmented.“ Lund focuses on the anti-Assad rebel groups, the hardline islamist factions, the Syrian Kurds and the PKK and the Syrian and foreign pro-government militias.
The Fragmenting FSA Kirk H. Sowell says “once Assad falls, a new war will immediately start, and the balance of power in that war will depend on whether rebels identifying with mainstream Syrian society can organize themselves now.”
Clashes and Airstrikes in Syria From September 1-2 The Institute for the Study of War provides daily updates on military developments in Syria, using useful visuals.
Syria’s Alawite Force Turned Tide for Assad Sam Dagher on the emergence of government paramilitary groups and how they are appealing to a segment of Syrian society (mainly the poor unemployed youth), who sees it “as a more attractive alternative to the army, which many consider to be infiltrated by rebels, overstretched and underfunded.”
Triage and Terror Saleyha Ahsan reports from Northern Syria, where she treated patients that were the victims of an incendiary attack launched by the regime on a school playground in Aleppo.
The Student-Turned Fighter in Douma Maher explains his experience during the revolution, first as a peaceful protester, then as a fighter in Liwa al-Islam.
Displaced From Latakia Countryside Speak of Their Suffering The Damascus Bureau reports the story of women and children being held captive after their villages were seized by opposition fighters who have been engaged in a “battle for the liberation for the coast” in early August in Lattakia.
On Syria’s Front Lines: A Night in the Field Clinic Rania Abouzeid recounts her experiences at a field clinic, as she observed a clinic director attend to various patients, including a young girl held captive, fighters and foreign jihadists.
Visual evidence has emerged to support the claims of women and children held captive by rebels groups, trying to make deals with the regime for the release of rebels.
What to Expect in Detention A write shares his detention experience with the Damascus Bureau.
Arts and Social Media
A Eulogy for the Damascus Bourgeoisies by Maysaloon: “Spare a thought for those Syrians in their expensive cars as they drive to and from Beirut every time the tensions rack up. I mean how bad must it be for them to have to inconvenience their lovely mundane lives in the well protected posh districts of Damascus and come face to face with the kind of Syrians that they have spent the last forty years ignoring. That`s right, you know who I am talking about. I`m talking about the small people who have cleaned your houses, washed your cars, delivered your groceries and are the unwitting subjects of your mediocre photographic skills and nostalgic writings.”
Dancing in Damascus Shane Bauer reminisces about the Yarmouk and Muhajireen neighborhoods of Damascus.
Obama Assures Americans This Will Not Be Another 1456 Ottoman Siege of Belgrade A satirical piece by the Onion
Galerie de Photos: Une Epopee Silencieuse dans le Nord de la Syrie A photo gallery by Lorenzo Meloni, whose introduction says (translation): “In this panorama on the fleeing civilian populations in the North of Syria, there are no shocking or spectacular images. Those are moments of daily life in surreal contexts, fragments of normality in abnormal situations.”
Colonial Echoes: 1925-26 France Bombs Damascus The Middle East Institute draws a historical parallel between the potential strike and France’s bombing of Damascus during the Great Syrian Revolt.
Defence of Damascus, 1925 Footage of this historical event on Youtube.
Facebook Joins the American Government Conspiracy to Hijack the Syrian Revolution and Install a Puppet Regime in Syria Arab Crunch claims that Facebook closed many Syrian revolutionary pages.
Fireagra, For Foreign Policy Impotence A satirical video made in the style of Viagra commercials.
Arms for Antiquities: Syrian Artifacts Smuggling Bleeds Site Dry Joanne Bajjaly on the smuggling market of Syrian artifacts across the Syrian border and the destruction of the country’s archeological treasures as a result of the war.
Muse of the Revolution Amal Hanano discovers many parallels between her life and experience and that of Libyan novelist Hisham Mattar.
Syrian Political Cartoonists Wait for a New Dawn “Syrian cartoonists are waiting for a modern law to regulate media and end censorship on this intransigent art, which has resisted all forms of repression, the peak of which was shutting down Al-Dumari, the newspaper produced by cartoonist Ali Farzat.”
Policy and Reports
How to Attack Syria Timothyh D. Hoyt-Professor of Strategy and Policy and John Nicholas Brown Chair of Counterterrorism at the U.S. Naval War College - outlines his views on US interests, ambitions and limitations as they prepare for a Syria strike, providing an insight into the ways some reflect on Syria and inform the current conversation.
Economy and Agriculture
War Economy: My Life for $ 500
Syria’s Business Elite “In this paper, Samer Abboud looks at the behaviour of the Syrian business community since the beginning of the uprising more than two years ago. The paper is part of a project by the German Foreign Office on elite change and social mobilization in the Arab world.”
Why Climate Change May Be Responsible for What is Happening in Syria
“عندما قرر أوباما اللجوء إلى “الاستخارة
Mohammad Sadeq al-Hussaini provides his own take and analysis on Obama’s referral to a congressional vote on Syria.
كرد سوري: قضية شعب و أرض
Sherazad Adel al-Yazidi on the case of Kurds in Syria.
Mohammad Ali Moqalled uses clear liberal rhetoric to criticize the “resistant left” which he portrays as adhering to old “dinosauric” personalities, views and principles that are “no longer applicable” to our time, such as “anti-colonialism” in a time where “colonialism no longer exists except in Palestine.”
أسئلة حول الممثل السوري
Rashed Eissa on the career of Syrian actors and their turn into “tools” in the political projects and views of directors.
ملاحظات من الثورة السورية
Ghayath Naisse provides “notes from the Syrian revolution.”
فرنسوا هولاند...تبقى وحيدا و تندم
Pierre Abi Saab draws a dramatic comparison between Iraq and Syria and the replacement of the British Tony Blair in the case of Iraq with the French Francois Hollande in that of Syria.
لماذا أجلت الولايات المتحدة ضربتها العسكرية؟ Amer as-Sabayleh provides another analysis for the United States’ delay of a military strike on Syria.
أيها السوريون… بلادكم ليست لكم
Nasri as-Sayegh sheds light on those who are sidelined amidst all the blood and international, regional, and domestic politics: the Syrian people.
حرب إلى ما لا نهاية: الخطة الأمريكية في سوريا
As’ad Abukhalil on the US plan and goals in Syria.
أين حزب الله من العدوان؟
Ibrahim al-Amin on Hezbollah’s role and reaction to the American strike on Syria.
اللاذقية و الضربة الأمريكية
Rateb Shaabo on the situation in Latakia and the dialogues among people in the Syrian city after the “chemical 21st of August.”
الاستخبارات الفرنسية تحاول انقاذ هولاند
Mohammad Balloot writes that the French intelligence is trying to save Hollande by using reports that include information that is not backed by evidence that the regime used chemical weapons in Ghouta.
ضربة معلم” في عدم الضربة“
Sobhi Ghandour with yet another take on the American delay (and subsequent avoidance, according to his view) of the strike on Syria.
سوريا - الجانب الاخر - ندعوكم لمشاهدته كاملاً
A video taken from scenes in a movie entitled “The Windows of the Soul” by the directors al-Laith Hejjo and Ammar al-’Ani showing the true Syria that all remember from before 2011.