Riad Matqualoon writes : Popular Demands Transmogrified to Achieve What America’s Might Failed to!!










Popular Demands Transmogrified to Achieve

What America’s Might Failed To. 

Riad Matqualoon. This article was written at the end of April, 2011..
I did not pay enough attention to what was happening in Tunisia for many reasons, but one of the most important one was my argument against Tunisian people “We all seek a better democracy, but Tunisians who since their independence were never at war with anybody why should not they fight against their rulers for a better democracy and better freedom???”

        We, the Syrians, are disadvantaged with an aggressive expansionist enemy that had been for decades occupying parts of our territories and above all the troops of this enemy are no more than 40 miles away from the capital, Damascus, the center-nerve system of our homeland.

My students at Damascus University, Open University Program, asked me about my opinion of what was happening in Tunisia. I said since I knew that the regime there is an ally of USA and France I could not imagine anything crucially dramatic to happen unless a military force led a coups d’état. A coups d’état might take over otherwise nothing dramatic might happen. Next time I met with my students, Bin Ali the president of Tunisia had fled to Saudi Arabia and the regime, as it seemed, collapsed. My students sneered foxy smiles and said to me “Bin Ali is gone! How did that happen?” I said either the Tunisian army is highly patriotic and very close to its people or all happened within a conniving tapestry well engineered between the Tunisian army and the CIA! America would not tolerate losing such an ally like Bin Ali in such smoothness unless it has an alternative plan and an alternative pawn to play the same role.

In a few days, the Tsunami of the so-called “The Arab Spring” moved eastward to Egypt. We all got excited and very exuberant over imagining Mubarak’s regime removal from Egypt the extra strategic country in the Arab world. Again my students at the beginning of the lecture asked me: “Are you not excited over the possibility of removing Mubarak’s regime?” I said “I will be more than happy to see Mubarak the stooge number one of America and Israel is gone, but guys do not get your hopes too much up high, America and CIA may turn a blind eye to the existence of the whole of Tunisia but not to a tiny bit of Egypt since it is on the border of Israel besides of course the Super strategic significance of Egypt in the Arab world. AIPAC, (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), the true engineers of American policy in the so-called Middle East would not accept a non-compromising regime on a border with the so-called Israel. Take into your consideration these facts: Al-Sadat who handed Egypt to Israel and to America could not hand them the rest of the Arab world therefore he was assassinated and Mubarak whom was installed by CIA had to replace Al-Sadat who had expired his time and role limit. Now, it seems that the over aged Mubarak had expired his date, but it seems he had not expired his role; therefore if he was to be removed somebody should replace him to play a similar role.” My skepticism played a mitigating role in not getting too excited about the possibility of removing Mubarak. For me, what is going on is not any more than a coups d’état covered by popular legitimate and overdue demands. A friend of mine, Hazem, with whom I discuss and deliberate all issues of the globe everyday over the phone, accused me of being “an overly precautionary pessimist” because of my delicate calculations of the role of Egyptian armed forces in determining the destiny of Mubarak’s regime: in other words, without a conniving collusion on the part of the Egyptian Army I could not imagine Mubarak’s regime removed. Perhaps, I was truly pessimist, but I have what may justify this cautious pessimism: after all, after seeing George Bush, the dumbest man on earth, managing to run America for two terms made me lose my trust in mobs and masses and in their susceptibility to manipulation. However, the day Mubarak collapsed and forced to declare his resignation I got too much excited and immediately I sent SMS messages to my friends around the world congratulating them on this historical event. Later on, and in my discussions with my students and friends I seemed more pessimistic than even before especially after reading about the friendship that flourished between Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian armed forces, the current de facto ruler of Egypt now, with the United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. This friendship was solidified during the so-called Desert Storm operation in 1991 as the CNN anchor John King reported. John King mentioned that Robert Gates, a CIA veteran, told him how Tantawi and Gates exchanged visits between their tents during the second Gulf War or the Storm Desert Operation. King added that Gates personally told him that he was calling Tantawi once or twice on daily bases during the Al-Tahrir Square “Revolution.” In the day Mubarak stepped down Gates, as it has been reported, phoned Tantawi probably more than twice!

The persisting questions remain as follows: why America sells out her agents in our region so easily? Why America gave up on Mubarak he who servilely served America and Israel? Does not he play the role of God-father of Oslo Accords and other humiliating gangrenous accords and agreements between Israel and some Arabs? Did he not work vehemently hard to convince Syria and her former president to sign such an agreement, but of course he failed in this with the stubborn and unbudgeable Assad of Syria who insisted on nothing but comprehensible peace for comprehensive occupied land of Syria? 

I think that the answer lies in the principal pragmatic tenet of American pragmatism which postulates that “if you cannot beat them join them!” The CIA and the Obama administration understood that they could not keep turning blind eye to her stooge regimes that have been ignoring the demands of their people for decades. America definitely understands this fact that democratization of Arab and Islamic worlds is not in her advantage; America understands that real democracy in these two worlds harms her strategic interests; only dictatorship can take the role of a stooge to serve America. Instead of demonstrating a kind of ‘loyalty’ in defending her old stooges like Bin Ali and Mubarak, America decided to contain these waves of popular demands and immediately changed her horses by showing support to these popular demands and began a long process of negotiations with military powers in Tunisia and Egypt to get the most of what she can from them. Moreover, America thought that all her pompous declaims of spreading ‘democracy,” these declaims that only the naïves including some American citizens, around the world may buy, would seem to serve in achieving two-folded benefits: one is that she gets rid of over-expired stooges, which were inevitably collapsible, at the same time she would seem supportive of ‘democracy.’ Above all, America thought that if she manages to extend these waves of ‘popular demands’ to the countries and regimes that for a long time refused to orbit around her like Libya and Syria she would get the golden moment and the peak of her efforts for strategic aims in the so-called Middle East. I intimated to my friends and students that America cannot allow the scenario of Iran in 1979 to be repeated again. Such strategic allies like Bin Ali and Mubarak should they be gone they should be replaced by similar regimes or at least preventing these emerging regimes in these two countries from joining in a way or another those that she labels as “rogue states” or “axis of evil.”Immediately, CIA set a plan to export this wave of “popular demands” to Libya and Syria. It was very much easier to begin with Libya for many reasons. Their well designed scenario worked very well in Binghazi and in Libya in general in less than two weeks, but the main target was and still and will remain: Syria.

Why Syria is that much important to USA and EU and why they would exploit any opportunity to undermine its regime? And why does America antagonize Syria despite of all the Syrian attempts to build good relations with America?

It is unquestionable fact that American policies towards the whole world based on very primitive principle: We are the mightier we should poke our nose in every affair of this world. American policy makers do not want to master the arts of diplomacy, they do not want to scratch their heads over matters: perhaps, the situations that they may scratch their heads are indeed very limited. The problem of Syria is that even when Syrian-American relations were reasonably good and in their peak during the Clinton’s Administration, Syria refused to play the role of anything less than ‘independent state’ that works only on her own agenda and for her interests whether strategic or non- strategic. Noam Chomsky stated brilliantly the fact about American hostility towards independent states. He said:

What’s the real concern is not Islam or radicalism; it’s independence. If the radical Islamists are independent, well, they’re an enemy. If secular nationalists are independent, they are an enemy. In Latin America, for decades, when the Catholic Church, elements of the Catholic Church, were becoming independent, the liberation theology movement, they were an enemy. We carried out a major war against the church. Independence is what’s intolerable,..(**)

Obviously, if Iran poses the Islamist independent regime, Syria poses the secular nationalist regime that America would not tolerate. Syria of Assad whether Hafez’s or Bashar’s is absolutely not Iraq of Saddam Hussein whose policies were primitive, unsophisticated and lacking smart subtle diplomacy exactly like the American ones. Therefore what was between these two counterpart policies is nothing but the question of power, two similar powers in conflict, consequently the mightier would wipe out the weaker and that exactly what happened in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Saddam Hussein ineptly gave America one golden opportunity after another to destroy Iraq, but the two Assads of Syria intelligently managed to avoid American traps one after another. I have discussed some of American traps set to Syria in one of my  articles entitled “Unevenhandedness the Core of All Evils” (*3) in which I review the timeline of the American traps set to Syria from 2003 to 2010 only and in which I avoided going deeper in the history of Syrian American and western relations and the vast series of plots against Syria including the plot of “Muslim Brotherhood” in early 1980s and Israel’s invasions to Lebanon in 1982 and in 1984 and the Nezar Al-Hindawi’s plot in 1986 which originally was designed to be Syria’s version of the Lockerbie Bombing. The American problem with the Syrian regime presided by the two Assads is not anything but that it is an independent national regime that insists on not orbiting around USA and its satellites and in insisting on not joining the club of American stooges among the reactionary states of the Gulf and north Africa. If this regime follows the lead of the King of Jordan or the king of Saudi Arabia all its problems will disappear and become a good friend that will be hosted by EU Parliament twice a year and by the American Congress every now and then.

The Current situation: once America realized that this movement of “popular demands” could not be stopped she with unequivocal pragmatism decided to join this movement so-called “Arab Spring” and immediately orchestrated this movement towards Syria. It took longer than America expected. All America could manage to mobilize was under tremendous pressure. Immediately, all her satellite channels which she established upon the invasion of Iraq in 2003 like Al-Hora and Alarabiay originally targeting the whole Arab world besides the Barada channel which Washington-Post confirmed it was financed by America targeting Syria in particular; all thronged together with Aljazeera ruled and administered by American military bases in Qatar like Al Udeid Air Base 45 km west of the capital Doha and As Sayliyah all began to form unprecedented chorus to instigate riots in Syria. For weeks, their desperate attempts failed to move anything on the ground in Syria. Their desperate attempts for some time seemed ludicrous; they hired some individuals to film mobile video, no more than maximum 30 seconds, of three or four persons just finishing their prayer behind the Imam of the mosque and two or three slogans shrieked loudly like “wainak Ya Sori wainak?” which translates like “oh, Syrian where are you, where are you?”; or sometimes they exploited souk (open marketplace) thronged with shoppers and two or three persons shrieking slogans urging Syrians to join them against the regime in the midst of  the astonished shoppers who sneered at them or held their mobiles to video them. Syrians’ access to Facebook was implicitly banned, after the failing of these desperate attempts to spark riots in Syria, Syrian government lifted this ban and Facebook became accessible by all Syrians. This was an indication of the government’s over confidence of the popularity of the regime in Syria.      

The reason behind the failure of sparking riots at that early stage is as simple as this fact:  Syrians for decades accepted everything every misdeed by the Syrian government for the sake of keeping their country standing in the face of America and Israel; Syrians after the plot of accusing Syrian regime in the assassination of the Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri and after the strings of this plot were exposed to the public, Syrians were reassured that their homeland is targeted with conspiracies many times and therefore they stood firmly by their regime. I personally heard many people of the Syrian opposition inside Syria saying “when it comes to our national honor rights and the stability of our homeland, we are ready to sacrifice everything else.” The CIA and its affiliates in the Middle East like the Saudi, the Jordanian, the Qatari, and of course the Israeli got frustrated for all their attempts failed completely in very dramatic way. Their original plan was to orchestrate the Libyan “revolution” with Syrian one on the 17th of February, but the so-called “Syrian revolution” had not begun up to the 17th of March.

Because of this delay and their bitter frustration, the CIA and its affiliates frantically moved quickly to the second stage which was using armed gangs and roof-tops snipers whose task was to fire on demonstrators and accusing Syrian security forces which commonly well-established that they are untrained unprepared for such civil riots because although the Syrian constitution legalized civil demonstration but never set the executive rules of conducting such demonstrations. Tragically, the first Syrian demonstrators were unexpectedly not adults but young children and teenagers. Perhaps, they were much easier than the adults to lure into the scheme that worked on desperately for weeks (*4). These children and teenagers were unconsciously acquired the slogans about removing “a regime,” any regime, from watching the events of Tunisia and Egypt on Aljazeera and Alarbiaya. After over-watching and over-listening to the slogans of the demonstrators in Tunisia, Egypt and later in Libya, my son Osaid Iskenderon who is now less than four years old memorized by heart these slogans and up to this moment he repeats them in the midst of my wife’s resentment and my astonished admiration for his incredible memory. Syrian novelist, AadailMahmood in Alwatan Newspaper (*5)(21-March-2011) wrote a column about a similar story of a child who woke up his father demanding the bewildered almost sleeping father to join him in a rally to ‘remove the regime;’ which regime he asked, the child replied of “the regime of Libya.” Evidently, these words became catchwords that sparked the “riots” in Daraa south of Syria on the Syrian Jordanian borders. The tragic error occurred when some myopic and narrow-minded policemen punished some teenagers repeating these catchwords and inscribing some graffitos. Finally, the efforts of months of the CIA and its affiliates paid off; the spark they failed to ignite for months finally had been murderously delivered and the well-devised ploys schemed to be covered by prolonged legitimate popular demands of the Syrians who postponed their overdue demands for years in a hope that one day their government, that intrepidly resisted American hegemony, would wake up and reform what should be reformed for decades.

Suddenly and quite abruptly, one of the oldest Syrian flags was held by some protesters in Daraa; watching these flags on TV made me immediately realized that these demonstrations are well-orchestrated and not spontaneous acts motivated by sincere demands of reformation. Manufacturing old flags takes time and requires long and deep deliberation about which flag to remake, revive and bring into the consciousness of the Syrians. Suddenly, roof-top snipers appeared to complicate the clashes between the security men and the demonstrators who some were demanding the punishment of those who punished the children and teenagers who made the graffitos, some demanding sincere overdue reforms, and others who were paid to be videoed and screened on Aljazeera and Al-Arabiay that took every piece of news out of its proportion for a propaganda well paid and well devised against the only regime that has never given in to the American and western dictation. Of course, Aljazeera and Al-Arabiay would not miss the chance to broadcast Fatwa (Islamic authorization) issued by some extremist Salafist clerics (like Alqurdawi) from Saudi Arabia and Qatar agitating sectarian sentiments among Syrians and “divinely” legitimating the killing even up to the third of the Syrian people. (Medievalist line of thought that I recognized and wrote about in the mentality of the executives and anchors of the Qatari satellite news channel: Aljazeera.)

Other details prove that those who began the whole issue were totally manipulated by strings held somewhere outside Syria. Those who sought legitimate, righteous and just demands of reformation were misrepresented and misunderstood. Gangsters and roof-tops snipers across the Jordanian borders provided with all the required logistics including Jordanian mobiles, well-prepared and overzealous biased media coverage came together with the innocent parents of the teenagers who inscribed the graffitos besides some nationalists with well and patriotic intents who thought it was the right time to wake up the government for the overdue demands contributed to inflame the events of Daraa.  It should be acknowledged that this war in proxy on Syria, disguised in ‘popular demands’ has achieved some of America’s goals, but even America herself would not dream of changing or replacing the incumbent Syrian regime because despite of every criticism Syrians may have to this regime they still trust and believe in the Syrian president and in Syria’s strategic role in the region. This war in proxy is draining tremendous amount of Syrians’ resources, increased the challenging of Syrian economy more than it was ever challenged before by accommodating more than 1.5 million Iraqi refugees after the invasion of Iraq, challenged by America and the western block for decades through sanctions, blacklisting, embargoing on banking and high-tech equipments, defaming everything Syrian in the Western mass media, paralyzing Syrian airlines by banning Syrian purchasing of spare parts for these airliners,.. etc.  

This war tragically challenged the oneness and the national unity of the Syrian people and worked hard on instigating sectarian sentiments, but Syrians showed high patriotism that hindered such sentiments from deteriorating towards a civil war. This war shed Syrian blood almost in all over the country created new grudges here and there, inflicted wounds insides some Syrians’ psyche, defamed Syrian reputation in the international public opinion, disturbing Syrian-Arab relationships, Syrian- Qatari ‘s for instance, Syrian- Turkish relationship, Syrian- European relations…etc. On the other hand, what happened strengthened the alliance and ties of Syria with Russia, China, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas and the American roadmap  proposing an exit out of the riots in Syria suggested by Michele Flournoy , US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, when she said “Syria must distance itself from Iran and join the Gulf states, as well as move forward in the peace process with Israel” was turned down by Syria: Syria does not sacrifice her independence, her national interests and her strategic relationships for American promises that will never substantiate as long as Israel unjustly remains the cornerstone of American policy in the region.

Reformations in Syria received unprecedented momentum: naturalizing hundreds of thousands of Kurdish immigrants settled for decades in Syria, regularizing civil protestation, lifting emergency law, minimizing bureaucracy and governmental routine, challenging the old mentality of the government by which the country was run for years..etc. Some other reforms are highly expected in Syria. As one of the Arabic proverbs postulates that “the strike that does not break your back, toughens it.” Syrian back has been struck but is never broken.



*)  Dr. Joshua Landis, the director of Center for Middle East Studies University of Oklahoma, and after reading this article described it as “An ominous background to Ford’s Hama visit.” Dr. Landis is referring to the provocative and controversial visit to the Syrian city Hama by the American ambassador to Damascus.

**) Chomsky, Noam. “This is the Most Remarkable Regional Uprising that I Can Remember.”


 *3) Matqualoon, Riad. “Unevenhandedness the Core of All Evils.”  


*4) Unfortunately, exploiting children in political struggle and political propaganda has been practiced in our region for more than half a century at least. During the French mandate on Syria, for example, it was clearly observed and not enough condemned the case in which a Syrian nationalist teacher might lead a demonstration constituted mainly of elementary school boys and girls unaware of the grave consequences of endangering these children. This unfortunately is still practiced without holding the parents or the exploiters responsible for such reckless acts. Most regrettable, exploiting children for political propaganda against Syrian regime has been practiced many times in this campaign and the truth about the responsibility of the parents, the exploiters and the whole society and its institutions was evaded. 

*5) Mahmood, Aadail. Alwatan Newspaper. “The Culture of Demonstration.” N0.1121.P. 16. 21-March-2011.http://www.alwatan.sy/dindex.php?idn=98019



Riad Matqualoon writes : Popular Demands Transmogrified to Achieve What America’s Might Failed to!!” comments for

  1. أنا حابب أقول أنو هي المقال ممتعة وفيها كتير من اللمسة الشخصية يلي بعرفها عن ا الدكتور رياض متقلون طبعا عربيتي مو كتير بتساعدني أنو اكتب نقد طويلة عن المقال بس ولكن بدي حاول أني أكتب أفكاري قريبا باعربية وشوف از بأدر شوفك قريبا و ناقشك في هي المقال باعربي. بحبك كتير يا بروفسير رياض متقلون صديقك أليكس فونتشام

    • سيرسانو يشكر السيد اليكس فونشام على متابعته لمواضيع الموقع , ويعرض خدماته اللغويةعليه …ليس من الصعب ايجاد أحد الأعضاء , الذي يساعد اليكس في تحسين القالب اللغوي للمواضيع التي يريد اليكس التطرق لها …وسيتصل سيريانو باليكس بهذا الخصوص

      • شكرا سير يانو من أجل اهتمامك على متابعتي لموقعك التي أعجبني فكرته كسيرا وإني أحب أن أتناقش مع بعض السوريين الذين أحب كثيراوان أتور العربية بتاعي جيدا مع المحبة

  2. Wow how smart you are Dr. Diayaa Abosalma Noran ! I have got your geste of your image in playing on “US” as in the pronoun “us” and “US” as in USA! Indeed, very smart!

  3. very insghtful. I wish I can congratulate Riad matqualoon in person for this article which i lable as a very intellegent and foreshadowing what is really happening these days in what is illegitmately called “Arab spring” while in fact it is veru lethal blow to all what truely Arabs aspire to

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  6. There are some interesting points in this clause but I dont know if I see all of them eye to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold legal opinion until I look into it further. Good clause, thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well.

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