Tharappel: “How has Syria’s political system changed over the course of the war?”

Jun 4, 2015

by Jay Tharappel

“Short Answer: In 1973 the Syrian electorate voted in favour of a constitution that institutionalised the dominance of the Baath Party. This constitution remained in effect until it was replaced by a new one, which the Syrian electorate voted for on the 26th of February, 2012.

Syria’s highest elected body is the unicameral People’s Council (Majlis al Sha’ab), which is comprised of 250 seats that are divided proportionally among its 14 governorates. The President appoints their Cabinet, which consists of ministers with different responsibilities, from among the People’s Assembly.

There were major changes to Syria’s parliamentary system

According to the old constitution the Baath party led a coalition of political parties known as the ‘National Progressive Front’ (1973: Art.8), which could legally contest elections for the People’s Council, meaning that candidates from outside these parties had to run as independents.

This front was formed in 1972 and initially featured the following secular, leftist, and nationalist parties; the Syrian Communist Party, the Arab Socialist Union, the Arab Socialist Movement, and the Organisation of Socialist Unionists.

The new constitution introduced a multi-party political system in the sense that the eligibility of political parties to participate isn’t based on the discretionary permission of the Baath party or on reservations rather on a constitutional criteria.

As such, the new constitution forbids political parties that are based on religion, sect or ethnicity, or which are inherently discriminatory towards one’s gender or race (2012: Art.8) – this means the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is still banned.

cognitive dissionance on Democracy Now? Read this.

This post stemmed from a comment made that DN should be covering the tragedy of the Rohingya and the complicity of Suu Kyi, as detailed in Tony Cartalucci’s “Who’s Driving the Rohingya into the Sea?“, excerpts of which I will paste at the bottom of this post.

On Democracy Now, on the subtle side of corporate presstitutery, Eric Draitser ( commented:

“Goodman is a foundation funded hack who did yeoman service for Obama and the cause of “humanitarian intervention” in Libya. She and Democracy Now disseminated lie after lie, parroting State Department talking points and lies from Human Rights Watch and Navi Pillay. Their “reporter” was a liar embedded with NATO-backed terrorists and they all have Libyan blood on their hands. In all that time reporting about Gaddafi alleged “crimes” (all of which have been debunked and proved to have been lies), they deliberately ignored the ethnic cleansing of Black Libyans in Fezzan, the Tawergha people, etc because it didn’t jive with the “Good rebels vs bad Gaddafi” script they were feeding the so called “progressive left”. Now they try to pretend they didn’t and they were against the war on Libya.

Goodman has done similarly with regard to Syria. They are discredited liars whose good work only comes in opposing Republican wars which takes no courage at all. They are, put simply, left liberal imperialists.

I said in 2011 that Democracy Now and Young Turks and all these other foundation funded left liberal imperialists would never be forgiven for their treachery, and they haven’t been, no matter how they try to whitewash their records.”

A letter to the UN concerning the situation in Yemen

May 27, 2015, IHRC

We the undersigned urge you to spare no effort to bring the warring sides in Yemen to implement an immediate ceasefire for humanitarian and political purposes

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

United Nations

New York, NY 10017

United States

Wedensday 27 May 2015

Dear Secretary General,

We wish to draw your attention to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Since the statement of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen of 4 May 2015 in which he called on the Saudi-led coalition to cease its bombing of Sana’a airport so that aid could enter the country warplanes have continued to bombard towns and cities across the country.

The coalition has ignored those calls and in fact intensified its military campaign. In recent days it has declared the whole of Saada a military target forcing tens of thousands of civilians to flee the city. However many more people remain trapped, unable to escape.

This declaration amounts to collective punishment as it is disproportionate in scale and fails to distinguish between military targets and the sanctity of civilians and civilian infrastructure, which amounts to a war crime.

Syria is Fighting Terrorism on Behalf of the World–Dr. Bashar al-Ja’afari

May 4, 2015

“There is no secret anymore what’s going on in Syria. Anybody who has some doubts or scepticism with regard to what’s going on in Syria, he has a problem nowadays…Otherwise, is it a coincidence that after four years of total denial, the 15 heads of states or government of the 15 memebers of the SC came all together to endorse the Security Council Resolution 2178, which condemns/prohibits all kinds of sponsoring of terrorism, all kinds of involvement of terrorism, all kinds of cross-border mercenary operations..? Is it a coincidence? It is not. It is not, because even those who are somehow involved in the Syrian bloodshed came to SC to endorse this resolution.

It is not a ‘civil war’ in Syria. It is not. Some others say, ‘It’s a dictatorship killing its own people’. It’s not.

Some others say its about animosity and hatred among those living in Syria. It is not. Here and there you will hear different versions about what is going on it Syria. But none of these versions is accurate.

The only truth is that the war in Syria is a war between terrorism and the Syrian governement, and nothing else.

We want peace, we want genuine peace, peace of the braves. But we will never capitulate, we will never surrender. We want a genuine peace, a peace that preserves the identity of Syria. A peace worked out by the Syrians themselves, without any foreign intereference. A peace that will not lead to the division of Syria. A peace that will preserve the co-existence, co-habitation… you name it… cohesion… I don’t like any of these words, but for the sake of the conversation, I’m saying it. We don’t need coexistence or cohabitation or cohesion, or whatever, in Syria, these words are artificial.

We need to be Syrians, full-stop. This is how we lived for thousands of years, and this is how we intend to continue living on our homeland.”


The Real Syrian Moderates: Voices of Reason (Mufti Hassoun & Dr Bouthaina Shaaban), Mar 15, 2015

-Scoundrels & Gangsters at UN: Silencing the Syrian Narrative, Feb 4, 2015

-Interview: Syrian Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Ja’afari on Sovereignty, Terrorism, and the Failure of the UN, Jan 17, 2015

“They want to start a religious war; we want to extinguish it” – Mufti of Syria, Jun 1, 2014

I Have Witnessed A Crime Against Humanity! – A Message from Caleb Maupin in the Port of Djibouti

From the Port of Djibouti in North Africa, it is with great sadness and burning outrage that I announce that the voyage of the Iran Shahed Rescue Ship has concluded. We will not reach our destination at the Port of Hodiedah in Yemen to deliver humanitarian aid.

The unsuccessful conclusion of our mission is the result of only one thing: US-backed Saudi Terrorism.
Yesterday, as it appeared our arrival was imminent, the Saudi forces bombed the port of Hodiedah. They didn’t just bomb the port once, or even twice. The Saudi forces bombed the port of Hodiedah a total of eight times in a single day!

The total number of innocent dock workers, sailors, longshoremen, and bystanders killed by these eight airstrikes is still being calculated.

Furthermore, the Yemeni revolutionaries arrested 15 people yesterday, who were part of a conspiracy to attack our vessel. The plan was to attack the Iran Shahed when we arrived, and kill everyone onboard, including me.

New York Times Complicit in Spreading False Syria Allegations

Originally posted on what's left:

By Stephen Gowans

The New York Times ran an article on May 12 suggesting that the Syrian government has held back some of its chemical weapons and is using them against rebel fighters. Significantly, the allegation was backed by no evidence, yet the newspaper chose to run the story anyway.

In their story (“Inspectors in Syria find traces of banned military chemicals”) reporters Somini Sengupta, Marlise Simons and Anne Barnard cited a conclusion drawn by an anonymous Western diplomat who was briefed on findings by inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The inspectors had reportedly found traces of toxic nerve agents in Syria. The diplomat was quoted as saying that there’s a “strong suspicion” that the Syrians “are retaining stockpiles which are being held back.”

However, a close reading of the article showed that there was not one whit of evidence to back up…

View original 335 more words

Call White House! Let Red Crescent ship with humanitarian supplies to Yemen pass! No Blockade!

International Action Center

URGENT! Call the White House! The US and Saudi Arabia Must Not Attack a Civilian Relief Vessel! Let the Aid Ship Pass!

The US and Saudi Arabia are threatening to attack a humanitarian aid ship on the high seas! International observers, including US citizens,  are aboard. This would be piracy and an act of war! Call the White House now at 202-456-1414 and 202-456-1111 and say: Let the aid ship pass!

The ship Rescue, chartered by the Red Crescent Society of Iran, is now approaching the coast of Yemen. It carries 2,500 tons of medicine and humanitarian aid for the thousands of Yemeni children, women and men wounded and hundreds of thousands displaced by Saudi bombing. It has international observers aboard. including IAC activist Caleb Maupin.

The Saudi  bombing and blockade of Yemen is Washington’s war, The brutal, corrupt, oil-rich Saudi monarchy does nothing without a green light from the White House and the Pentagon!