12.6.11

The False Premises Of The Syrian Revolution 2011: a logical analysis of a typical discourse

Robin Yassin Kassab's article in foreign policy titled 'The fall of the house of Assad' is a condensed example of all the false premises of the Syrian revolution 2011.

Mr. Kassab who is 42 and who, according to his website, was born in London, grew up in Scotland, and lived and worked in the following cities and countries: London, France, Pakistan, Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Oman, is one of the most vocal and articulate critics of the Assads.

Mr. Kassab aknowledges that peaceful protests are what brought down the first wave of dictatorial Arab regimes:
"Although protesters unashamedly fought back (with rocks, not guns) when attacked, the success of their largely peaceful mass movements seemed an Arab vindication of Gandhian nonviolent resistance strategies."
Then he also aknowledges that some countries are different with regard to peaceful protests, without mentioning some obvious differences between these three countries while seeming to insist on a common feature of these countries; the violence.
But then came the much more difficult uprisings in Bahrain, Libya, and Syria.  
And while suggesting a certain level of violence by putting Syria along with Bahrain and Lybia as different from Tunisia and Egypt, Mr. kassab is still committed to the peaceful feature and peaceful goals of the Syrian revolution 2011.  
Even after at least 1,300 deaths and more than 10,000 detentions, according to human rights groups, "selmiyyeh" still resounds on Syrian streets. It's obvious why protest organizers want to keep it that way.  
Mr Kassab omits to mention here among the 1300 deaths the army and security deaths making it seem as if all these deaths are the result of government crackdown on peaceful protesters.  It is obvious why he does so, he doesn't want to mention, not yet, the violence of the protesters, not before giving an explanation first.


But as we continue reading the article, we find that Mr kassab ends up aknowledging the deaths of soldiers and security, presented away form the first premise (the peaceful premise), and justified as the result of regime's actions against its own servicemen, actions whose evidence one can find on youtube!    So Mr Kassab only mentions the violence against the regime, not when he does the tally of the deaths, but after he gives an explanation for the violence against the regime.


Moreover, the only evidence he gives to support his explanation for the violence against the regime is...Youtube.  Youtube is certainly not a definitive proof of what is going on in Syria and many of Youtube videos have been proven to be fabricated but the images are there on the web and they have now their own autonomous existence independant from what is going on on the ground in Syria.   The Syrian Revolution 2011 has inundated the world with youtube videos whose evidential character is only credible to those who issue them and those who want to believe in them and whose only virtue, up to now, has been to stir the emotions of  the Syrian diaspora and the international comunity, eager to know what is hapenning in Syria and who might be more easily influenced on forming an opinion through Youtube evidence as compared to Syrians living in Syria.  Youtube propaganda does not even touch the Syrian people who should be the main target fo the attempts of the revolution to convince of its virtues.   Mr Kassab will however give Syrians inside Syria another  persuasive 'treatment' as we will see later.  But with the accusation against the regime that it is killing its own we have our second false premise.   Because until we have a solid evidence that the regime is killing its own we are not inclined to believe the Syrian revolution 2011 videographed propaganda.  


After having affirmed the first two false premises: the peaceful character of the protesters and the deaths of Syrian servicemen as the result of the actions of the regime, Mr. Kassab can now turn to what? To the 'legitimate' violence of the protesters, a legitimacy he didn't even carefully tried to insert in the first two premises but he only suggests from pulling together three countries with very different revolutions but whose only feature is violence that was not forcefully condemned by any official body.  So, not only the two false premises don't make a valid conclusion but the conclusion Mr. Kassab seems to draw doesn't even derive form the premises layed out explicitly in his article because these premsies were devoted to negate the violence of the protesters while the violence is only suggested, never argued for .
And a small minority of protesters does now seem to be taking up arms. Syrians -- regime supporters and the apolitical as much as anyone else -- have been furiously buying smuggled weapons since the crisis began. Last week for the first time, anti-regime activists reported that people in Rastan and Talbiseh were meeting tanks with rocket-propelled grenades. Some of the conflicting reports from Jisr al-Shaghour, the besieged town near the northwestern border with Turkey, describe a gun battle between townsmen and the army. And a mukhabarat man was lynched by a grieving crowd in Hama.

In fact, Mr. Kassab inserts his 'conclusion' as a matter of fact and strech it to a new horizon, the possibility of a civil war in Syria.  The rest of the article is devoted to imagining civil war scenarios which he uses to implicitly threaten Syrians of a civil war if they do not join immediately the Syrian revolution 2011.

Sadly, Mr. Kassab ends up using the same psychological tools as the regime he is trying to topple, threatening Syrians with civil war if they do not join.  This is an implicit recognition that the main battle the Syrian revolution still has to do is to win the majority of Syrians because why do you think both sides are threatening with civil war if not because each of them has not amassed enough support on his side?  And this very recognition dispels another premise of the Syrian revolution 2011, that it has the support of the majority of Syrians.  Mr Kassab's article proves it doesn't.

The brute facts is that the Syrian revolution 2011 is an armed insurgency, mainly peripheral to Syria's geography and its main cities, conducted on the ground by a disgruntled population who has nothing to lose, financed and armed by external elements, some of them are in the Syrian diaspora, who are presenting the revolution as a peaceful struggle to western audiences while trying to rally the majority of Syrians inside Syria through armed insurgency, threats of a civil war and intimidation, using exactly the methods af any dictatorial regime.

Mr Kassab may be a good fiction writer but his article is a collection of false premises, false conculsions, false hopes, and mainly threats to Syrians inside Syria who will have to bear the heavy burden a civil war while the author himslef agitates the spectre of the civil war from outside Syria where he works and lives. To put it in a nutshell, the discourse of the Syrian revolution 2011 is high on threats and emotions and poor on logic, excatly the sort of coerced persuasion used by dictatorial and populist regimes but not by people who strive to foster and build a democracy.


32 comments:

SyrianCommando said...

It sounds to me like a better name for him is:

Mr. Kazzaab ;)

Sophia said...

SC,

He typfies the disconnected diaspora that's only connection to the mother land is an imagined one.

HS said...

An Apology To Our Readers About Amina

Sophia said...

Thanks HS for the link. I just finished reading the whole story from this link and others. It reinforces my suspicions of western activism but it also makes me optiimistic that some people are still interested by finding the truth.

Anonymous said...

About Arrigoni, were his murderers arrested? Gaza is small enough and Hamas strong enough to know who did that, no?

Sophia said...

Anonymous,

I agree.

HS said...

Worth reading
he is not gay girl but he is in Damascus

http://www.bassam-alkadi.com/content/view/471/58/

Sophia said...

HS,

Thanks for the link. I didn't know how much women in Baathist Syria are in fact under the jurisdiction of their male relatives. There is an urgency here to do something because without women participation there is no civil society and no democracy.

And of course the GG in Damascus don't know about this I suppose. I hate it when people from the outside tell us what to do.

Sophia said...

HS,

Al-Kadi should be part of the new Syria.

Syrian Commando said...

Be careful from this straight guy in Damascus.

Namely: "her income in the name of never ending taxes"

... Taxes in Syria are almost nonexistent. Syria is not perfect but this person is muddling things up. I can't confirm everything else he said is true, but this alone makes me suspicious.

Syrian Commando said...

Then again, his commentary here I agree with 100%:

http://www.bassam-alkadi.com/content/view/593/44/

"Threatens of foreign armed intervention are not some empty words, in view of the preparations happening now and the Turkish administration statement was very clear because Turkish administration would not say a word unless they have acknowledgment about what is preparing to Syria, and of course they are looking forward to participate especially after they have lost their change in Libya when they could not find a place in the international forces (maybe because they were late announcing subjection). So Turkey now is anticipating announcing that Turkey is the only country involved in any armed intervention against Syria and that it is ready to this intervention in anytime needed."

Sophia said...

SC,

Do you mean that there is no income taxes at all? Maybe things have changed recently. I think it is worth verifying...

As for Turkey, I think Erdogan has at the same time 'La folie des grandeurs' and the desire not only to be part of the international community but to be a player, probably in order to make Turkey part of Europe but I am quite sure that he will never get there and with his new regional and belligerant foreign policy he would have sacrficed Turkey's regional role for an uncertain future.

SyrianCommando said...

There's income tax, but its nothing to write home about. In the past, when Syria was socialist, the tax rate was huge, but now its quite low, around 20%. There are of course, industrial taxes (and a large number of silly business taxes) but they're to be expected in a highly subsidised society.

As for Erdogan, I think he intends to invade Syria. There is no other way of reading into his actions now, he has burnt his credibility completely and can only make gains through military means.

Anonymous said...

I have friends working at the Hamidiyye (and who don't see too many tourists in the last months and years as you know) who complain of all the taxes they pay. They have monthly taxes, plus they also pay taxes at home for services which are non existent. Still it is not a reason to turn into an armed insurrection, but that's the problem if you don't have a (political) education.

Sophia said...

SC, anonymous,

Thanks about the tax info. But 20% on income taxes is quite something in the region. Lebanese pay 0 taxes.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Europe will let Erdogan invade Syria. It is already ridiculous that NATO (North-Atlantic) wants to show its muscles all over the Mediterranean, like in Libya. If Erdogan tries to have the other party escalate, it may be just to do such a trap and justify the role of Nato.

It seems Robert Gates was not able to convince all the European gov of the validity of the Neocon-Sarkozy-Qatar-Cameron crusade.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/10/nato-dismal-future-pentagon-chief

Through the pressure of their public opinion, northern Europe countries have severely reduced their military budgets and are not ready to send troops to any new Afghanistan and Iraq.
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2011/0610/Gates-NATO-s-retreat-from-combat-assignments-unacceptable

Sophia said...

Anonymous,

I agree. Erdogan is all talk but no action. he is a very emotional and hurried man.

Sophia said...

Anonymous, SC,

There is also som bickering going on between NATO allies about the costs. This is a tough time to wage colonial wars. You would think that Iraq shoudl have been profitable but now wars are only profitable to private corporations and not to states who wage them. And it seems that these profits are not making their way into the mainstream economy.

Syrian Commando said...

Sophia,

I think an attack on Syria is not so much about money, but a way to try and provoke World War III.

Erdogan could be committing his country to suicide, but he probably doesn't care given that he's a fake Muslim.

Anonymous said...

A great voice giving his view on Syria
http://www.michelcollon.info/Jacques-Verges-En-Syrie-il-faut.html

HS said...

Here is a link of the missing "broken" connection
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:UTUe0cGmkaEJ:www.st-andrews.ac.uk/intrel/css/people/+http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/intrel/css/people/&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&client=firefox-a&source=www.google.com

Don't jump to conclusions too far ;-)

HS said...

The pages of Bassam Al Kadi are listed there :
http://www.bassam-alkadi.com/content/category/9/20/58/
and specially worth reading is
http://www.bassam-alkadi.com/content/category/9/20/58/

" That is what I have seen with my own eyes: knives, guns, bombs, and criminals cutting the international road between Aleppo and Damascus "
on Monday 6/06/2011

Sophia said...

Dear HS,

You made my day. And you are telling me to not jump to conclusions?

I am preparing something on this that will posted hopefully tomorrow JUne 16th.

Many thanks.

Syrian Commando said...

Wow! Just wow, great work HS!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

"Britta Froelicher", I like how they removed her from that list. Make sure you archive this page offline, just incase there's a google request to take it down.

Soooooo no WONDER the good professor claims that the gay girl is a non-story, lol. No doubt this was going to be used as a casus belli to pass a UNSC against Syria. It can be BLANK and they will use it as justification for Turkey to attack. All we have to do is calm things down and we win, they lose by default.

And if Turkey attacks, it's World War III.

BTW, did you guys see the demonstration with the flag? How can the western (100% zioWhabbi) media not cover this and still claim to be objective, lol.

Sophia said...

SC, HS

You can follow the discussion on this subject at this address:
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2011/06/who-financed-tom-macmaster.html

The professor advises US government agencies on Syria.

http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/L/Joshua.M.Landis-1/

Usually, when you are an academic you don't advise these people, you just give them rationals for whatever they decided to do. As an academic, I never ever accepted to work for the government this way. But this is very normal in the states where Academia, politics and the military are one and the boundaries are very fluid...

Sophia said...

SC, HS

You can follow the discussion on this subject at this address:
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2011/06/who-financed-tom-macmaster.html

The professor advises US government agencies on Syria.

http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/L/Joshua.M.Landis-1/

Usually, when you are an academic you don't advise these people, you just give them rationals for whatever they decided to do. As an academic, I never ever accepted to work for the government this way. But this is very normal in the states where Academia, politics and the military are one and the boundaries are very fluid...

Anonymous said...

From twitter:
bangpound Benjamin Doherty
It’s hard to see, but #Amina hoax affected *Palestine* solidarity community because these sockpuppets were embedded in our online networks.

http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2011/06/13/understanding-amina/

By the way, i think it is unfair to blame JL. If not for his website, i would have no idea of the Swedish guy and ponytail. I may have been tricked into thinking that some genuine Syrians with a real serious political agenda were actually protesting, but seeing these clowns made it very clear for anyone who can understand what they say that they are dangerous.

Sophia said...

Anonymous,

I am quite sure that Palestinian solidarity movements and online communities are harmed by these kind of people. As I stated on another website (EI), Palestinian movements have always been infiltrated by poeple who pursue other goals but use the palestinian cause to evade scrutiny from overwhelmingly pro_palestinian Arabs and individuals across the world.

As for JL, what I blame him for is not being open about his affiliations and memberships and counselling work, as he is on every possible organisation or agency that has to do anything with Syria. These are matters for conflict of interests in Academia and they should be disclosed.

Anonymous said...

Well, yes and no. As you know, with the WASP-s this is how the academy go. Anyone can Google him and finds for himself. Think-tanks are composed of such guys and he is certainly a dissonant voice in the neocon world.
Still, no one else has ever mentioned ponytail and the Swed-bro! There was an article in Le Nouvel Obs but very complaisant.

Anonymous said...

interesting that you think that YouTube videos are distorted and not to be believed. Does that apply to the videos that vilify Israel and preach hatred?

Sophia said...

Anonymous above,

Absolutely. It is also the weight that is given to such material. If one only has only youtube videos and nothing else, it is a meager proof for me. Youtube videos must be taken into consideration as corroboration of hard evidence but they cannot constitute absolute evidence by themselves especially when they are the doing of one person.

Anonymous said...

Your article is propaganda for the criminal Syrian regime. I can't believe there is still people who supposedly have the freedom to say what they want yet they choose to lie. The bloodshed in Syria is caused by the Syrian security police and the thugs backed by the Syrian government. Any soliders or security forces that die, are killed by the regime if they don't fire on innocent peacful protesters. It's well known that soliders walk infant and security forces behind the. And if a solider does not obey the command of firing on innocent protestes they are killed instantly. Besides five months And the regime could not capture those so called miltants when it's well known no one in Syria can speak their mind let alone be allowed to possess weapons and fire them. It's really sad this propaganda you are trying to spread on the tears of mothers whose children were murdered.

 
Since March 29th 2006