Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – The “Syrian Revolution 2011” Facebook group – which has more than 276,000 members and which has become a major online center for news of the Syrian revolution– has now launched an extensive online campaign calling for international observers to be dispatched to Syria in order to monitor the situation on the ground. This campaign, officially named “the week of calling for international monitors to enter Syrian cities” has also called for an intensification of the peaceful protests that are taking place in Syria.
The “Syrian Revolution 2011” Facebook group is calling for the Syrian protesters to take 6 clear and specific steps as part of this campaign to protect the Syrian revolution:
The first step calls for the protesters to continue their hard work, in addition to focusing on spreading pro-revolutionary literature and publication.
The second step focuses upon generating support for the public campaign that is being carried out by the [Syrian] political activists and which this week is promoting the idea of international observers being sent to Syria; this will be implemented via Syrian protesters raising banners and slogans during the demonstrations calling for [international observers to be sent to Syria]. In addition to this, the campaign is also urging foreign states to push through a UN Security Council resolution calling for international observers to be dispatched to Syria to monitor the situation there.
The third step calls for the protesters to continue working to secure the release of Syrian detainees.
The fourth step calls for Syrian demonstrators to expand the sit-ins and demonstrations taking place outside of Syrian embassies in foreign countries.
The fifth step calls for the Syrian protesters to focus upon recording the situation on the ground, and the crimes of the Syrian regime, via accurate photography as well as live-broadcast.
The sixth and final step calls for the launch of an online campaign – utilizing Arab and foreign websites –urging people to support the Syrian revolution and its legitimate demands.
The “Syrian Revolution 2011” Facebook group members have stressed that this online campaign should work to raise awareness in the Syrian street. They emphasize that calling for international observers to be dispatched to Syria does not mean accepting [foreign] military intervention in the country, particularly as some Syrians fail to differentiate between the Syrian oppositions’ calls for international intervention, the imposition of a no-fly zone, military strikes, and other forms of foreign intervention.
A Syrian political activist, posting his views on the “Syrian Revolution 2011” Facebook page, stressed that “the best thing for the [Syrian] revolution today is for calls to be made for international observers to be dispatched to Syria, in order to expose the crimes of the regime, embarrass Russia and China internationally, and ensure that the peaceful protests continue to expand and intensify. The presence of these international observers on the ground will guarantee the security of the protesters, reduce the crimes of the regime and protect the lives of civilians.”
Another Syrian political activist stressed that the presence of international observers on the ground in Syria “will embarrass the [Syrian] regime” adding that “the international community will listen to these observers (if their presence is established in the correct manner), whilst this will also ensure the safety of the people, allowing them to take part in demonstrations without fear of attack, for any such aggression will be recorded and those responsible held to account.”
The same Syrian political activist added “this [the presence of international observers on the ground] will, to a large-extent, limit the ability of the regime to suppress the people and will [also] ensure the intensification of the protest movement.” He also stressed that “if the [Syrian] regime rejects a UN resolution in this regard then it will have thrown away the final fig leaf [covering its crimes], particularly as we are not calling for [foreign] military intervention or a commission of inquiry, rather we are only calling for international observers to monitor our protests and the actions of the regime.”
As part of the Facebook discussion commenting on the plan of action outlined above, Ali al-Naiemi warned that the Syrian revolution has reached an extremely dangerous stage, namely a stage of “boredom and marking time.” He posted that “demonstrators are taking to the street daily…whilst the [Syrian] army is comprehensively siding with the regime and we can see the collapse of our economy with our own eyes”. He added that “the revolution is under threat of being undone by critical stagnation.”
Al-Naiemi added that what is required is for the Syrian revolution “to seek to establish a military wing that includes military elements who have defected from the [Syrian] army as we may need them in the future.”
For his part, another “Syrian Revolution 2011” Facebook member, Karam al-Arabi, called for the Syrian revolution to move towards a stage of “revolution by [throwing] stones.” He said “we must pelt the partisan and security facilities that support this autocratic regime – as well as the media outlets that support them – with stones, whilst also maintaining the nonviolence of the revolution by not attacking anybody or carrying weapons.”
Another Syrian activist, who posted his thoughts anonymously, stressed the importance of “forming a revolutionary framework and establishing a [revolutionary] leadership committee”, stressing that “political action in this regard has been delayed and has not kept pace with events on the Syrian street.”
The Syrian activist added “the [Syrian] opposition must politically unite…the revolution needs a new plan of action which prevents the situation on the ground from stagnating, as this [stagnation] represents the major threat to the revolution.”