An Address to the Syrian People

Posted by Robert S. Ford
July 27, 2012
Smoke Rises Over Skyline in Qaboun Neighborhood of Damascus

I want to address the Syrian people, regardless of ethnicity, culture, community, or background. The crisis that you are facing has seized the attention of the entire world. We are profoundly aware of the sacrifices you are making in your revolution and your courageous acts to speak out in the face of lethal repression.

There are some who are uncertain of the future and fear retaliation because of the community to which they belong. All Syrians must recognize that accountability and transitional justice go hand in hand with reconciliation. Neither a community nor an ethnicity must be blamed for the actions of individuals in the regime. It must be clear that only individuals who committed crimes against humanity will be identified and held accountable for their abhorrent actions.

For that reason, the international community is enhancing the capacity of Syrian and international organizations to document grave abuses. Multilaterally supported initiatives such as the Syrian Justice and Accountability Center (syriaaccountability.org) will coordinate efforts to research and collect evidence of human rights violations for use in future Syria-led transitional justice processes. These include truth-telling, reconciliation, and secure evidence documentation to support potential prosecutions, all bringing to light those who bear responsibility for these acts.

The future will include all Syrians of all backgrounds. The Syrian opposition has enunciated a clear vision that there is a credible alternative to the Assad regime that will end the violence, protect their fundamental human rights, and address their aspirations. We applaud the opposition's efforts to bring together and unite a broad range of elements, including Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Christians, Turkmen, Druze, and Alawites and others under a common plan. We commend the opposition for committing to this work and look forward to the group's continued cooperation and efforts to work toward a future democratic state ruled by a new constitution that protects the universal human rights of all the Syrian people.

We applaud the Syrian opposition's transition that guarantees fundamental rights for all Syrians. This is a critical element of any transition and is a priority for the United States. The international community, including the opposition, has met several times to begin this process and it must continue. We will remain committed to working toward a political transition with a sense of urgency. Far too many Syrians have died for the cause of freedom, and the transition must go forward. We continue to believe that a political transition in Syria, led by the Syrian people and supported by the international community, is the best chance for Syria's future and for a stable and democratic transition.

Editor's Note: This entry appeared first on the U.S. Embassy Syria Facebook page.

Comments

Comments

hands37
July 27, 2012

W.W. writes:

no foreign interference Amb. Ford

recent16
July 28, 2012

W.W. writes:

Exchanging web ''information''

no political transition for WMD

German intelligence estimates that "around 90" terror attacks that "can be attributed to organizations that are close to al-Qaeda or jihadist groups" were carried out in Syria between the end of December and the beginning of July, as reported by the German daily Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). This was revealed by the German government in a response to a parliamentary question.

In response to the same question, the German government admitted that it had received several reports from the German foreign intelligence service, the BND, on the May 25 massacre in the Syrian town of Houla. But it noted that the content of these reports was to remain classified "by reason of national interest." Like many other Western governments, Germany expelled Syria’s ambassador in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, holding the Syrian government responsible for the violence.

Meanwhile, at least three major German newspapers - Die Welt, the FAZ, and the mass-market tabloid Bild - have published reports attributing responsibility for the massacre to anti-government rebel forces or treating this as the most probable scenario.

Writing in Bild, longtime German war correspondent Jurgen Todenhofer accused the rebels of "deliberately killing civilians and then presenting them as victims of the government". He described this "massacre-marketing strategy" as being "among the most disgusting things that I have ever experienced in an armed conflict". Todenhofer had recently been to Damascus, where he interviewed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for Germany’s ARD public television. [1]

Writing in Die Welt, Alfred Hackensberger noted that Taldo, the sub-district of Houla where the massacre occurred, has been under rebel control since December 2011 and is in an open plain, making it unlikely that "hundreds of soldiers and Assad supporters" could have entered the village to commit the massacre. (An abridged version of Hackenberger’s report also appeared in Die Berliner Morgenpost.) Hackensberger visited Houla to conduct investigations for his report.

He also interviewed an alleged eyewitness - identified simply by the pseudonym "Jibril" - at the Saint James Monastery in Qara, Syria. In contrast to an earlier report in the FAZ, which had claimed that the victims were largely Shi’ites and Alawis, Jibril told Hackensberger that all of the victims were Sunnis "like everybody here". By his account, they were killed for refusing to support the rebellion. Jibril added that "a lot of people in Houla know what really happened" but would not say so out of fear for their lives. "Whoever says something," he explained, "can only repeat the rebels’ version. Anything else is certain death."

While traveling in the region of Homs, Hackensberger heard similar stories about the conduct of the rebels. One - now former - resident of the city of Qusayr told him that not only were Christians like himself expelled from the town, but that anyone who refused to enroll their children in the Free Syrian Army had been shot. Hackensberger’s source held foreign Islamists responsible for the atrocities. "I have seen them with my own eyes," he said, "Pakistanis, Libyans, Tunisians and also Lebanese. They call Osama bin Laden their sheikh."

A Sunni resident of Homs told Hackensberger that he had witnessed how an armed group stopped a bus: "The passengers were divided into two groups: on the one side, Sunnis; on the other, Alawis." According to Hackenberger’s source, the insurgents then proceeded to decapitate the nine Alawi passengers.

That the German government would cite national interest in refusing to disclose its information concerning the circumstances of the Houla massacre is particularly notable in light of Germany’s support for the rebellion and its political arm, the Syrian National Council (SNC).

While France, the United Kingdom, and the United States have figured as the most visible Western powers supporting the rebellion, Germany has been quietly playing a major role behind the scenes. According to a new report in the FAZ, the German foreign office is working with representatives of the Syrian opposition to develop "concrete plans" for a "political transition" in Syria following the fall of Assad

Vas
|
New York, USA
July 28, 2012

Vas in New York writes:

What about Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Ford?...

Syrian P.
|
Syria
July 28, 2012

SNP in Syria writes:

Impressive address, it leaves us speechless and scratching our heads, so smooth, so professional, such a diplomatic nicesty to cover up the guilt for sending Guantanamo Islamic University Graduates to commit worst of genocide in Syria. Then have them with corrupt Baathist escapees rule a transitional Government in Damascus, bring enlightened wisdom, Democracy, justice, modernity and rule of Islamic Sharia Law to whatever spot left erect in that land . WHAT AN EVIL PIPE DREAM, why do we see DULL KNIVES nightmare only.

DRF
|
California, USA
July 28, 2012

DRF in California writes:

I think the opposition's efforts to bring together and unite a broad range of elements, including Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Christians, Turkmen, Druze, and Alawites and others -- this is a critical!

Daisee
July 28, 2012

Daisee writes:

Poor Syria, all this destruction of its people just to make it a beach head to launch an attack on Iran.

Coward-in-Syria
|
Syria
July 30, 2012

CIS in Syria writes:

“Allahu Akbar” in Arabic means God is greater, not "the greatest" as in most English translations. It's interjection part of a speech, used to remind self and others, that God's potency is significantly more than this current event, be it positive or negative!.

The circumstances of using this interjection in Arabic language are identical to circumstances of using “Jesus Christ” in English language.

Suddenly a driver sees one pedestrian crosses a street in the wrong place & time, the driver exclaims “Jesus Christ!”, Does that make him a religious person?! Certainly not! This type of exclaiming is something! But saying “Jesus Christ" in a prayer is a totally different thing! Circumstances of saying "Allahu Akbar" are quite similar in every day life in Arabic language!

Journalist or politician who does not point out people's actual use of “Allahu Akbar”, as an exclaiming; in the actual life of Arabs; misleads the audience, listeners and readers alike, by adding religious flavor needlessly!

Exclaiming “Allahu Akbar” does not necessarily indicate any religiosity or lack of it!

Some journalists covering international events are mostly ignorant of this fact! Others; who are serving ulterior motives tend to ignore clarifying it deliberately!

Erroneous concepts are thus tacitly planted in the mind of audiences, listeners and readers!

We frequently hear exclamations of “Allahu Akbar” in various youtube videos of Syrian opposition - And for this I decided to write the above clarification!

Coward-in-Syria
|
Syria
July 30, 2012

CIS in Syria writes:

To W.W.:

I have not seen anything original in your cut and paste publications - Many people are aware of this publication!

I would like to ask you to re-read just the first paragraph of your "cut & paste" of which here's a copy of it:

[German intelligence estimates that "around 90" terror attacks that "can be attributed to organizations that are close to al-Qaeda or jihadist groups" were carried out in Syria between the end of December and the beginning of July, as reported by the German daily Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). This was revealed by the German government in a response to a parliamentary question.]

Yes indeed, from end of december of the year 2011 "to be accurate" - Just make a google or yahoo search of the Alqaeda operative & strategist "Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri" to discover that he was released by Syrian government in defiance of USA sometime in the 2nd half of december 2011!

Select any article of your choice but pay attention of the release date! And connect the dots on your own...!

stand16
July 30, 2012

W.W. writes:

International Authorities must Secure iranian and syrian wmd -

Unevoluted violent tribal Ideology :

Muslim Brotherhood: “Yes, We Will Be Masters of the World”

During a televised interview earlier this week, Dr. Safwat Hegazy, a popular preacher in Egypt, known for his desire to unify the Arab world into a "United Arab States” -- with Jerusalem for a capital -- dropped the Western language and made clear what it is the Muslim Brotherhood ultimately seeks: a caliphate and world domination, which even the Supreme Guide of the Brotherhood maintains is the group's mission.

In the interview, which Coptic Solidarity has translated with subtitles, Hegazy simply declares: "If you read the literature of the Muslim Brotherhood, you will find in the literature of the Brotherhood, that which they can never abandon: The Islamic Caliphate and mastership of the world. Yes, we will be masters of the world, one of these days” (emphasis his).

the funny illuminati way of life : now that there is a belligerent brutal nation admitting wmd in close relation with another unevolved antion going nuclear - no intervention at all

Thanks nwo

Zaki L.
|
United States
July 30, 2012

Zaki L. in the U.S.A. writes:

I want to take this opp to thank Mr. Ford and Mr. Obama administration for all the help they provided to the Syrian people in the last 16 months. it is time to stop the Butcher of Damascus from killing and send him to ICC.for all those who still defend the Butcher and his regime about the facts on the ground. we ask you to open the country for the free press and the UN. human rights council committee for independent investigation. until you do that, please don't insult our intelligence.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
July 30, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Amb. Ford,

I was just publicly noting the other day that there just doesn't exist a "Betty Ford clinic" to treat dictators for their addictions to power, psycotic delusions of grandure, paranoia, and genocidal tendancies.

I suppose this is a 22nd century idea...because it looks like it will be at least a hundred years before the international community can find unanimous consensus in the UNSC on just what compells the members to find a leader "unfit to serve" and proceed with chapter 7 resolution to remove him (by "all neccessary measures").

So let me ask you a "hypothetical" question if you would or could possibly entertain the notion...

What do you think about founding "The Robert Ford clinic for the early retirement of dictators and ethical infants"?

Unless of course the DoD is going to be putting on a clinic soon to that effect.

I suppose holding a few workshops on how they may retire gracefully would be in order right about now, but Assad is obviously not in a mood to listen to reason...and the world lacks a "plan B" to address his malfunction of leadership.

Unless of course President Obama decides he's only got one option left on the table and puts it into motion.

And since that would be the toughest call of his Presidency so far, knowing his fellow citizens will be shaking their heads saying "Oh no... here we go again, another idiot has just decided to incur our wrath as a nation and commit suicide by "world's cop" by engaging in "domestic violence" against his people.

Anyway, thank you for your outstanding service , the Syrian people didn't toss you roses for nothing and that's left an impression on the American public that we all have good reason to support their aspirations for freedom as it is appreciated by those in dire straits.

But I gotta say if we don't follow through as a nation in the face of this slaughter in Allepo, the recent remarks by sec. Clinton at the halocaust museum will forever ring hollow in the minds of many.

One thing's for sure is that this is a "teachable moment" for the international community, and folks will choose what lessons to draw from it in the aftermath, but I think it is clear that folks need to find a way to assure that little Hitlers do not ever again become genocidal maniacs, and so I hope you'll entertain the notion of an instutionalized method of nipping their ambitions in the bud before they materialize with WMD's, as they certainly cannot offer their people a rose garden with them.

I mean the choice is pretty strait forward, either we treat the symtoms of the disease dictators suffer from, or we end up treating the symptoms of their psycotic malevolence on the world stage.

And by that time it's generally too late to save thousands of lives per week while they destabilize an entire region, putting millions more at risk.

You'll find more on this subject here;

"http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/site/entry/anniversary_trinity_test#Com..."

Best regards,

EJ

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 8, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

If one were to consider Assad's regime, the Iranian regime, and al-quaida as today's "axis of evil", then it looks like Evil has put all its eggs in one basket, as the removal of a dictaor by a people for democratic purpose is like placing a jar full of honey next to an ant hill.

China had its Nanking, Russia its Stalingrad, so they don't really have an excuse for opposing the will of 133 other nations voting to condem the UNSC for its failure of imagination and impotence in the face of crimes against humanity.

The problem as I see it with the approach taken so far is that folks are stuck on what happens after Assad falls rather than dealing with the NOW to remove him, and deal a decicive defeat to al quaida at the same time.

EJ

tushar897
|
Canada
December 11, 2012

Tushar in Canada writes:

Really very touching to the heart and soul in knowing the unpretended climate of this country and its people who just face horrible conditions in thier daily life.

.

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