Foreign Policy Blogs

Quick Update

As the FPA Blog site is going under the knife in about an hour, I won’t have time to put up a full post today. However, I wanted to get something up before the anesthetic sets in.

As readers of yesterday’s post know, signs were pointing towards a governmental attempt to seize the reform narrative. There even appeared to be US support for this track, as whispers of a proposal for political dialogue received quiet approval from the State Department.

Apparently that wasn’t enough for large segments of the Syrian population, as Friday saw the largest set of protests since the Uprising began.

Quick Update

Anti-government demonstrators took to the streets of Damascus Friday, July 1st as part of the largest outpouring of public discontent to date.

Not only did protester numbers surge across the country, but Aleppo saw large scale demonstrations for the first time. Very significant.

The Regime’s response leaned heavily on the use of violence once again, as the death toll currently stands somewhere between 14 and 24 according to human rights observers. The use of the military to silence protesters will have to stop completely before any political dialogue process can begin.

In even more disturbing news for the regime, cases of civil disobedience and lawlessness are increasing. A suburb of Damascus has issued a public statement refusing to pay government utility bills, many are openly disregarding civil regulations, and public services are being neglected. The Regime has long claimed to be only source of stability within Syria, however, ongoing lawlessness poses an obvious threat to that central claim to legitimacy.

Expect more once the effects of our facelift has worn off.



Walter Raubeson

Walter spent the last two years living and working in Damascus, reporting on the Syrian social, political, and cultural scene. Recently returned to the US, Walter continues to monitor Middle Eastern events with verve, and also gusto.

Having graduated from New York University's Masters Program in Political Science- International Relations-in September 2008, Walter's MA thesis analyzed the Lebanese political system; focusing on the impact of foreign intervention within Lebanon, particularly the roles of Iran, Israel, Syria, and the US.