While the world currently focuses on Al-Qaeda’s rise in Syria and the growing role of Islamist rebels and foreign Jihadists and the assortment of war crimes they are committing, the fictitious and the real, we should not lose sight of certain well-established facts, facts that remain indisputable to those with sound minds and souls, namely: that the Assad regime and its sectarian militias (Syrian, Lebanese, Iraqi and Afghan), now assisted by foreign mercenaries from Russia and Greece (that we know of), are the major perpetrators of atrocities in Syria, in fact, they are the purveyors of genocide. And that chemical attack in Ghoutah that left close to 1,500 dead, it’s has their fingerprints all over it, so stop believing lies.
If these news outlets took a serious look at the reports their journalists have been producing since the beginning of the Revolution they would know that there are two parties involved in kidnapping journalists in Syria: the regime and Al-Qaeda. They would also know that moderate rebels have consistently been involved in protecting journalists or trying to secure their release from their captors by offering prisoner exchange deals when the regime was involved, with the regime always rejecting such offers, or, on occasions, by attacking Al-Qaeda hideouts and securing the release of kidnapped journalists by force.
But the suspension, in addition to lost supplies, also sends a damning message about the FSA, said Ammar Abdulhamid, a veteran opposition activist — showing it as increasingly overshadowed by its Islamist rivals and unable to control the flow of new supplies across the border. “The Islamists are going to use this to tell the population: We are the only ones who matter now,” Abdulhamid said.
Amanda Schnetzer is director of Human Freedom at the George W. Bush Institute co-authored this op-ed commemorating the International Human Rights Day and calling for a global push to advance human rights. The op-ed includes a reference to my interview in the Freedom Collection: … By the same token, a lack of international outcry can do serious damage to nonviolent dissident efforts. In his contribution to the Freedom Collection, Syrian activist Ammar Abdulhamid lamented the “international indifference” to dictator Bashar Al-Assad’s attacks against his own citizens. “[H]e used tanks, and no one said anything. Then he used heavy artillery, and no one said anything. Then he used helicopter gunships, and no one said anything . . . In these kinds of conditions, you cannot sustain a nonviolent momentum.”
But of course, if you believe in democracy and human rights, your enemies in this world are many, and your friends few. But we will keep forging ahead until Razan, Samirah, all our prisoners of conscience and all our people, even those who now oppose us and accuse us of terrible things, are free. There is no room for compromise when it comes to freedom.
As a man, President Obama has always been known for seeing the glass half-full. For instance, to others, the gathering of world leaders in Johannesburg was part of a funeral, but to him it was a chance for having fun with some of his colleagues. Just like the genocide in Syria was a chance to bring Iran out of the cold. If we could only see the world through Obama’s eyes, it’ll be silver linings galore. The world will not be a better place, you’ll just think it is. Many will drink that Kool-Aid.
The greatest irony of them all is that we have to wait for the worst of us to decide to do the right thing, by some stroke of unexpected genius or luck, in order for life to go on and for progress to be made. It is the worst of us who dictate the pace of our progress. And in order to coax the worst into doing right and joining, if only momentarily, the ranks of the rest, we have to do everything at once: love them, hate them, fight them, cajole them, whatever is necessary, each of us in accordance with his/her inner temperament. There is no right or wrong approach beyond that. To each his/her temperament, to each his/her fate, and to all a haphazard becoming where the worst are kings, and the best fodder. (November 5, 2009)
He was a great man. He had a difficult life, the last 23 years notwithstanding. It took much pain for him to get there: to freedom. Though he saw his dream fulfilled, I am sure he was aware of the toll of it all, on himself, on his nation, and I am sure he was weary near the end and ready for rest. I am also sure that he was whole and fulfilled. He was surrounded by loved-ones, and his legacy was undeniable. Very few people will ever have this chance: dying while whole and fulfilled. It needs to be earned, and Madiba definitely earned it. His memory will live on, his legacy will be remembered and humanity will be better because he had once lived. But the fuckups will continue, and many of them will be committed by those who claim to have appreciated and understood his legacy. But those who really appreciate act, they don’t grandstand. I, for one, am not sure where I fit. I am still trying to understand I guess. I haven’t had the chance to reflect about this yet: Madiba’s Legacy.