Sunday, May 08, 2011

‘Bashar or chaos’: Syrian regime’s new mantra

 Middle East Online, May 6, 2011  

By Rana Moussaoui – DAMASCUS
Bashar.. or else

Bashar al-Assad or chaos. This is the new media mantra unleashed by the Syrian authorities to discredit the protest movement against the embattled president’s autocratic rule.

“We Syria,” “The collaborators are seeking discord,” “Yes to stability rather than chaos,” and “Freedom is not sabotage,” are some of the string of slogans screaming out on street posters and television clips in Damascus.

“The message of our campaign is simple. The word freedom as defined by protesters is not true freedom,” says Shaza Ferzli, 33, who heads the regime’s media account at United Group, the largest advertising company in Syria.

Wherever one turns one’s head in Damascus there is a slogan.

There are signs calling for “national unity” and “co-existence between communities” on buildings, bus stops and public transport alongside giant posters of President Bashar al-Assad.

One poster with the slogan “No to Dissent” is put up next to a picture of a church and a mosque under the slogan “Yes to coexistence.”

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