"It's not Bashar, it's the people around him who should go," say many pro-Assad Syrians who continue to stand by a regime that is responsible for the death of around 20,000 people since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in March 2011. Many supporters insists that Bashar is a good guy, capable of leading a reform effort but the old guard that is ruling Syria are the bad apples.
Guess what, the Los Angeles area supporters of Assad, some call them LA Shabiha others call them 'Minhibakjieh', are organizing a rally against the revolution in support of Assad as a response to the killing of 4 top regime officials including Asef Shawkat, the former head of intelligence known to be Syria's torturer. In other words, they are condemning the operation against "the people around Bashar;" the same people they claim to oppose.
Los Angeles is not only home to groups actively supporting the revolution such as SAC-LA and So Cal Syrian Coordination Committee but also to pro-regime groups such as 'Arab Americans for Syria', a group put together by Syrians with close ties to the Assad regime and include a whole bunch of 'Minhibakjieh'. The word 'Minhibakjieh' is derived from 'Minhibak' which means 'we love you' in Syrian Arabic. It would literally translate to 'the We-Love-You-ers'.
Here's an announcement the group sent out this week:
Dear group members,
Due to the fast-paced development on the ground in Syria, and the unfortunate bombing that took place today in Damascus, the Administrative Body of the group felt the need to mobilize for a prayer rally and Candlelight Vigil this Sunday at the Federal Building. at 6:00 P.M. We know it's such a short notice, but unfortunately necessity knows no law! We urge all of you to send the English or Arabic part below to all your family and friends, and all who you consider friends of Syria. Thank you and hope to see all of you this Sunday!"Arab Americans for Syria would like to ask you to join us this Sunday for a prayer and a Candlelight Vigil for the martyrs and injured of today's vicious terrorist attack on the Syrian National Security building in Damascus killing Defense Minister General Dawood Rajha, his deputy General Asef Shawkat, and the former Defense Minister and the current Assistant Vice President General Hassan Turkmani, and injuring many more including Syria's Interior Minister General Mohammad Shaar. The gathering will be this Sunday July 22, 2012 in front of the West Los Angeles Federal Building at 6:00 p.m."
الى ابناء واحباء الجاليه السوريه في لوس انجلوس ندعوكم لمشاركتنا
صلاة الشموع المشتركه عن ارواح شهداءالوطن وتفجير مبنى الامن القومي
العماد داوود راجحه والعماد اصف شوكت والعماد حسن توركماني
وذلك عند الساعه السادسه من مساء يوم الاحد القادم 22 تموز 2012
امام مبنى الفيدرالي في لوس انجلوس على العنوان المذكور بالاسفل
11000 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
P.S., Please bring your own candle if you still have them from the Candlelight Vigil of June 9.