Meanwhile, exiled activist Ammar Abdulhamid interpreted the attack in a very different way:
Assad’s grip over Damascus has become tenuous at best. Rebels are able to conduct bombings and attacks even in the most secured areas aided by informants embedded within Assad’s own security establishment. The battle of Damascus is set to begin at earnest soon, in what promises to be a very bloody development.
Echoing the sentiments of the more cautious activists and observers, Ammar Abdulhamid, a U.S. based-Syrian human rights activist and fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote in one of his daily roundup emails last week, “Something is definitely looming in Syria, but it’s not end game. It’s more like the end of Round One.“
This is not about politics. This is not about who’s in and who’s out, who’s in power and who’s in jail or exile, who’s rich and who’s poor. This is about the love of a city and of country, this is about what makes us all tick, what gives us all a soul, what gives us an anchor in this turbulent world. This is about protecting the last vestiges of our historical identity. If we give up on Damascus now, we will become like drifting hollowed logs in a raging river, with nothing to look forward to but an approaching abyss.
Update: People protest against government plans on public radio.
First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations.
Indeed, it is happening again: protests and condemnations giving way to riots, arson and pandemonium. Just as Khomeini needed to use the Rushdie Affair to stoke the dying fires of his revolution, so now are the myriad Arab dictatorships, most notably the Syrian one, using an, at worst, unwise decision by a Danish publisher to rally the masses to the cause and divert their people’s attention, no matter how momentarily, from their corrupt authoritarian and inept rule. Indeed, a new Rushdiesque is unfolding, albeit a rather mediocre one. For Arab rulers cannot produce but mediocrity. The scenes in Damascus and Beirut are but a simple testament to this little macabre truth. See in this regard as well the blogposts by Tabsir, Llano Estacado, Mental Mayhem and Religious policeman.