Interview with Cham Shareef, in Damascus.

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Welcome to the Isocracy Network Cham Shareef, and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Could you describe to our readers who you are, and you became involved in the campaign against the al-Assad Ba'athist regime? How do you - and for that matter, other Syrians - survive in what is obviously very difficult circumstances?

Thank you for your interest to know what I think or what I want to say. I am grateful to learn that someone somewhere cares about my opinion.

For years my friends hated to talk with me around political issues or about the government. They always said that I am a talkative man and were worried that one day I would disappear.

I always knew that somebody listened to me, but the most thing I understood was; there was always a fight between me and those visitors holding in their hand a book to write about me, what I was doing, what I was thinking - everything they could learn about me in order to send me behind the sun. They could also threaten me and take money from me as a bribe. Those "intelligent" always treat us as we were the enemy, and we were under suspicion or accusation of something we might not know about ourselves.

They used to put their nose in everything or anything you might do for work or in your life. In simple words, in Syria with this regime the truth is their enemy. You can't talk about anyone in the government, not even about the smallest one there.

You are not allowed to criticize the government or authority. They always want a bribe when we wish to do our work - otherwise we cannot finish anything ina governmental department. We always need authorization from at least one intelligent branch. There is more than 17 branches and we should always pay to the person who were going to finish or sign our papers. I am sure you will be surprised to know that most of the people working in the government and in most department have somehow relatives or a member of his family working in the intelligence. I feel this description is not showing the real image of the situation, but most people around the world knows about this kind of corruption and how it is protected by the Intelligent Branches and that those who are working in governmental departments - any department – are in connection with the intelligence.

Blackout in Syria is very strong and watched by regime, Internet, Telephones, and cellulres are under their control and they watch and listen to every thing and every single word.

We active on the internet trying to make our voice more louder to reach all over the world, we used proxies to protect our self from being caught by regime thugs.

Could you remind the readers on how the protests against the Syrian government began - the causes and inspirations - and how this developed into a deadly civil war? How the Free Syrian Army was formed and what its objectives are? What is the role of minority groups in these protests and rebellion, such as Kurds, Alawites, Christians, Palestinians etc?

We all remember how it started. When Assad's aunt's son, Atef Najeeb, the chief of an intelligent branch in Dara'a (this city is in south of Syria), ordered his thugs to arrest children aged between 11 and 16 years old. He tortured them, pulled out their nails, hit them by cables (as we all know is common and happens in any branch). Those children had written on the wall, down with the regime.

As usual we didn't see it on state TV, because intelligence is controlling everything and they made a strong blackout wall around them.

They always find someone to talk good about them and to tell lies about how people are living in comfort and freedom, so nobody knew about those children until the activists sent videos to a non-Syrian TV trying to draw the attention of the world to what was happening in Syria.

Anyhow, Atef Njeeb, was treating people in the city Dara'a very bad, and people complained to the president about what he was doing and how he was blackmailing them. What Assad did? He sent them a mayor more corrupted than Atef Najeed (his aunt's son)

After many demonstrations in Dara'a the regime forces surrounded the city, prevented people from going out or in, and prevented even food supplies to reach the city. Their media started campaigns against people of Dara'a. But the citizens of Dara'a found ways to raise their voices for telling the rest of Syria and the rest of the world what was happening to them. People in most cities of the country went out in the streets protesting, wanting freedom and calling “Assad must go”. In fact, in the beginning protesters asked for reform and changes, but the regime met these demands with forces and by killing protesters, shooting them directly or by sending thugs to kill them by knives and guns - and the regime claimed that there were gangs shooting on people and the regime forces. All that was lies, because people saw the ( Shabeeha ) thugs coming by and in the regime's cars or buses to face the protesters.

The regime followed up with two campaigns against the protesters on land and in media. On the ground the regime suppression of demonstrations by firing real bullets. The order given was (shoot to kill) shooting at the demonstrators and killing civilians.

We have many evidences from people who were there in demonstrations and saw those killers coming and returning back using regime forces cars, besides some of them escaped from the demonstrations under protection of regime forces as well. I have heard many stories about how those people killed during the demonstrations, and about the army using real bullets for killing - not for separating the protestors, but for killing them. Snipers on high building were shooting people, and also preventing others to help people who got injured during the demonstrations – anyone who tried to help would be arrested - your crime was prepared anytime anywhere where they could capture you if you were caught filming a demonstration or gave aid to an injured person.

In this situation the regime media launched campaigns against the protestors and said that there were gangs shooting on the protestors and regime forces, but we have many witnesses who saw that the intelligence were shooting and killing civilians and security men. Some of those shooters
were either members of the regime forces or relatives to the thugs, supplied with weapons, knives, and guns of all kinds and types. The regime started from first day of revolutions with arming their supporters and the thug's families – and unfortunately they are Alawite.

These crimes committed by militia of the Republic Guard who were armed carefully and very well trained, more than any division in the army. The Republican Guard and the Fourth Division which is headed by Maher Alassad, the brother of Bachar Alassad, is responsible of murder and rape of women and children in cities and towns where there were peaceful demonstrations from the first days of the revolution. Republic Guard and Fourth Division consist 98% Alawite. with most intelligent in Syria specially airforces and Branch 40 which headed by Hafez Makhlouf

Airforces and Branch 40 the most barbaric branches ( I think ) in the human history, even evil can not create their ways of torturing people and many has died there. When the military officers received orders to kill civilians and see how they committed these crime – it was a natural in any human been to defect from the Assad army and refuse these orders to kill people or rape women and children, the first defected officer was Hussain Harmoush and after he created Free Syrian Army to protect civilians and fight Assad militia.

In Homs, this city in the middle of Syria, the Assad army invaded the square where thousands of people sat down in protest. Assad's militia invaded the square with the first light in the morning by tanks and committed a big massacre. They killed more than 2000 persons that night.

Assad media continued the campaign against the revolution and still, they claimed that there were gangs between the protesters - in order to give a bad image about the demonstrations. We do not have a civil war here in Syria - we have two sides - one side is the Assad regime supported by Russia and Iran killing civilians and destroying cities. They used tans and snipers in the beginning and later MIG and Scud. They bombed cities with all kinds of bombs: Cluster bombs, Vacuum bombs, Fissile bombs, phosphoric, and Explosive drums. And now they use chemical weapons against civilians - with participation from Iran, HizBullah, and Russia. We saw how they killed many of the activists in the battles.

I am sure of one thing – this regime should not be stay or survive - someone must stop it and tell those who support them in the killings to stop their support and instead help us to rebuild the country, and give the civilians more freedom.

Minorities in Syria are in same line with all people, suffering from this regime. Protesters keep saying all Syrian are same and equal and “Syria for all” and not for one side only.

The martyrs are more than 100.000 and more than 200.000 people have disappeared, and more to come with most cities destroyed - some are totally of it destroyed.

The question is - why is the world worried about minorities and not worried about those who have been killed the last two years. I think everyone has the right to live in freedom and in a civilized country.

Many people in Europe, Australia, North America, etc., have sympathies with the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people, but they are concerned with the presence of religious fundamentalists in rebel ranks, indeed to the extent that many prefer the idea of a Ba'athist secular dictatorship in preference to a Islamic religious theocracy. To what extent have those who want to set up a theocracy been involved in the campaign against the Assad regime, and what role will they play in a post-Assad government?

In this section let me go back with you to 2008/2009 at the time when Iraq was complaining against Assad regime to UN accusing them from sending fighters from Al Qaeda to bomb in Iraqi cities, and Iraq TV broadcasted four persons admitted that they received help and trained somewhere in the coastal side in Syria under intelligent supervising and transferred to Iraq by help of intelligence. The radicals are everywhere and they belong to every religion.

Also we all remember how Assad regime sent the Islamic group named ( FATEH EL-ISLAM ) to AL-Bared Camp in Tripoli in Lebanon to make fight with Lebanese army and issue a pressure on Hizbullah

I always ask myself why the world is afraid of Al Qaeda and is it true that they are Islamic fighters? I do not think they are Islamic fighters, because Islam is not for killing and do not allow anyone to kill people no matter what reason they create.

Always I ask questions that “why are all terrorist groups armed by Russian weapons”? And why - after Bin Laden has been killed by US army- we knew that his family was in Teheran, the capital of Iran, under protection of the Teheran regime. Many of Syrians think the same as I think - that Al
Qaeda is a big lie and those who claim they are Islamic groups is a big lie and also almost sure that these groups are controlled and watched by Assad regime and U.S.A. with many other countries know this fact.

One day media broadcasted a report about FSA training camp. If the media can reach them, how can I believe that regime forces and MIG cannot reach them - but they still bomb the cities and civilian areas. Can anyone please explain this?!

Most Syrian people are Muslims and we believe one fact which says “We Want Free Syria For Everyone”. I think the majority of Syrian people think the same. I am telling this because I always meet people down street and I got this conclusion.

Recently you claimed that "America, Russia [were] two faces for one evil". What did you mean by this?

Putin are helping the killers to kill us and supporting them with all kinds of weapons. Obama stay silent and not even tried to stop Russia from send weapons to the killers. Meanwhile Obama keep saying we are not sure of what happening in Syria, first said that they are not sure if the regime is
killing protesters, later said they are not sure if regime is using tanks and invaded cities and preventing food and humanitarian aids, now said they are not sure regime using chemical weapons. He promised to send weapons to Free Syrian Army and later stepped back. Yes, he can push Russia to stop helping the regime and make Iran also stop sending weapons and fighters to Syria.

The international community has been very slow to make any sort of attempt to protect civilians in this conflict. Many say that it is not the business of the international community to intervene in what they consider the internal affairs of Syria. What would you say to those who have this point of view? Should there be an UN (or other) intervention?

Massacres in Syria is not the business of the international community - then tell us, business of whom, please? This will leave a big shame and horror nightmare of the humanity in this century. Let me remind you about Rwanda, Serbia...... etc. The silence and hesitation of the world is going to increase the tragedy more and more.

USA invaded Iraq and after 10 years there was less than 100.000 of people killed and less than 4 million refugees. In Syria we have more and the numbers are increasing every day.

Assad media claim NATO invention in Libya made big destruction in the Libyan cities, although I do not believe it.

[See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_military_intervention_in_Libya for a list of strikes and civilian casualties]

I think Assad regime have already done the destruction that NATO or any invasion or intervene would cause. We have already paid the price, unless the world is waiting to see all Syrians divided between refugees and martyrs. and Syrian becoming minorities then the world going to call for protect us what we are going to pay more for freedom. more than 100.000 martyrs more than 200.000 kidnapped and disappeared by regime intelligent more than 2 million house or building destroyed what else. hey world do you want Syrian people stay more under tyrant dictators leadership ?

Syria seems so far away and it seems so difficult for those concerned with the situation of the people inside the country, those in refugee camps in neighboring countries, etc. What, in a practical sense, can we do to help the people of Syria?

For me, I will appreciate more help to stop supporting the regime and stop sending them weapons. Help us to rebuild Syria for all free and civilians, and help us get rid of Assad and his regime, too.

I would appreciate any help sent or going to be sent to those in camps in and out of Syria, but Syrian people are not bread seekers - they are Freedom seekers. If the world and the people over there who think that I and my family, our children and women have the right to live in freedom and in peace, please go out in the streets and protest to your governments, to the embassy of the countries who keep sending weapons to the regime helping them to kill us, to rape our women and children, to destroy hour houses.

Remember at night when you give your kids a good night kiss that somewhere in Syria there are many kids who cannot receive this kiss because a tyrant supported by Russia and Iran killed or captured his father or destroyed his home.

Thank you for your donation, but please do not stop - go out in the streets and call for FREE SYRIA. Call for Russia and Iran to take their dirty hands away from Syria.


Follow Cham Shareef on Google+ at http://plus.google.com/113283926567779774431

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