Pope, American Embassy and Others

This week was an extremely busy week for all Syrian bloggers, notably Political Blogs had to make a number of updates, since the political atmosphere in syria was swirling with possibilities and different analysis of the aftermath of the latest attack on the US Embassy in Damascus, and the successful defusion of the attack by Syrian ant-terrorism forces.

But before we talk about the Embassy Attack, Initiated by Fares, The Syrian Blogsphere had a new statement this week, A joint statement by a number of Syrian Blogs calling for the immediate release of all intellectuals, and political prisoners in Syria…

The updated high profile Syrian prisoners list include Mahmoud Issa, Michel Kilo, Khalil Hasan, Anwar el Bunni, Suleiman al-Shamar, Ali Abdallah, Mohammed Ali Abdallah, Kamal Labwani, Fateh Jamous, Habib Saleh and Aref Dalila.

It is easy to become complacent and resign oneself to the fact it all seems hopeless. But, at least, in honor of those few who believed that it is NOT hopeless, that this country has a better future beyond corruption and dogma.

We owe it to these prisoners of conscience and we owe it to the future of our country to keep pushing for their release.

Joshua Landis was quick to gather a roundout about the attack with his answer to “Conspiracy theorists who suggest that the attack on the Embassy was a Syrian government inspired job”…

1. Why would Syria allow a police officer to be killed and seven other Syrians to be wounded, in an unsuccessful attack?

2. To assume that the recrudescence of jihadist groups in Syria over the last two years is inspired by the regime doesn't make sense. The spread of jihadist groups throughout the region has been dramatic. Why would one assume that Syria was somehow magically spared this same phenomenon?

The “Conspiracy Theory” though, proved popular among other Syrian bloggers, Ammar Abdulhamid makes sure to tell people, “Don't Be Too Quick to Thank the Assads!”

As such, for a van to simply waltz into the neighborhood is not exactly something that will go unnoticed by security agents. Indeed, security vehicles will be dispatched within seconds of the initial sighting to intercept the hapless vehicle. So, we have a situation here where either the terrorist group involved is made up of a bunch of buffoons and nitwits who thought that they could somehow rush into the Embassy and blow it up with gas containers before anyone could stop them, or we have to conclude that the entire event was intended and set up to fail from the very get-go.

Yazan, too, feels suspicious about the whole issue, and compares it to different accidents that happened in the past, The EU Embassies burning to name one…

Everytime the Syrian TV rallies over something, there's gotta be something fishy about it…
Nothing in this 185,180 Square Kilometer of Syria happens without the stamping of the residents of Qassioun.

While, away from the political aspect of the attack, Aiman Tulaimat of Watanan, shares his personal reflections, flashbacks and analysis that are stirred by the news…

The attack on the US embassy in Damascus brought back old memories. Ten years ago I stood there inline to submit my documents to get a visa to come to the US. I know every corner of that block. But yesterday's attack made me realize, that even my memories are not safe from the attacks of extremist. It also reinforces in my mind the need to partner with Syria in the fight against extremism and the push for peace in the Middle East.

On to the next biggest controversy of this week, Pope Benedict XVI was making the news all around the Arab and Islamic world, because of certain quotations he used in his last lectures, that a lot of people saw as a new attack and insult to the religion of Islam.

The Syrian Blogsphere was quick enough to respond to that too, giving quite a few different points of views.

While Brian Anthony, An American residing and working in Syria, had this to say…

Benedict said that the concept of ‘holy war’ is contrary to God's nature, and decried Islamist violence. He also magically distanced Christianity from the problem of violence, describing his own franchise as the ‘profound encounter between faith and reason.’ Ironic, coming from the leader of what has been by far the world's bloodiest faith. Double ironic, considering that it has been the Evangelical Christian Mujahideen, led by the Commander of the Faithful George W. Bush, spurred on by references to Crusades and inspiration from on high, that have tirelessly promoted war, occupation, and violence in the name of Jesus.

Shady Zayyat feels that the whole thing is taken out of perspective and blown out of proportion…

I'm not defending the guy, but I insist that things should be considered maturely, and that people should not take a defense position. Being aware of the sensitivity of this issue, the pope twice said “I quote” before mentioning the 6 centuries old controversial commentary about Jihad, which clearly indicates that he does not nessessarily endorse this historical point of view as a whole. Still, he stated that “The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature.”

And to finish off, away from politics, and controversies, like every week Abu Fares takes us on a beautiful journey through his blog, this time it was to Arwad, the phoenician-old island infront of Tartous…

As I approach Tartous from the east, the sense of urgency reaches a higher plateau. The smell of the sea greets me with the westerly breeze. I can lick the salt off my lips but I am still ill at ease. I need to see it with my own eyes. Just as I pass that final obtrusive hill… There it is Arwad the eternal island floating regally in the endless blue.

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