Syrian President Declares Technology The Enemy

If Syrian President Bashar Assad's comments earlier this week are any indication there could be tough times ahead for the Syrian people.

At his Baath Party congress, Bashar Assad avoids mention of political change and calls technology a threat to the identity of Arabs.

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Assad's tirade against technology came as a surprise. The president is a founder of the Syrian Computer Society, and one of his most prominent public projects has been the modernization of Internet services. On Monday, he described the Internet revolution as an enemy force.

Computers and technology, he said, had "overwhelmed Arabs and threatened their existence and cultural identity, which has increased the doubts and skepticism in the mind of young Arabs."

It was unclear whether Assad was heralding an impending online crackdown, but he described the Internet as nothing less than an existential threat.

"The ultimate objective of all this is the destruction of Arab identity, for the enemies of the Arab nation are opposed to our possessing any identity or upholding any creed that could protect our existence and cohesion," Assad said. "They simply aim at transforming us into a negative reactive mass which absorbs everything that is thrown at it."

I suppose he could be right in what he is saying if you look at it this way, the Arab identity no longer mainly consists of quiet servitude and blind obedience.

The internet is the worse thing to ever happen to tyrannical dictators and brutal oppressive regimes. The net more than any other form of information has exposed the Arab population to the world around them.

State run televison and print news organizations can color or hide the truth but the net is filling in the gaps through bloggers, email and foreign news sources.

If Assad and his government unwisely choose to crack down on the Syrian people and their limited freedoms I imagine we will soon be talking about a whole new revolution.

cross posted at bittersweet

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