The reason for my current pessimism

There is a lot of rational people out there, on the right and left, whose political analysis of the various unfolding crises around us can be often astute. But at this stage, they all seem to be missing something – the underlying trend that is driving everything: the idea that when crimes perpetrated by the ruling elite anywhere go unpunished in this day and age, they invite chaos on a grand-scale, one that poses an existential threat to us all. What worked in the 18th, 19th and even the 20th centuries will not work now. No nation’s a fortress, and no people are immune from the fallouts of the myriad unfolding and seemingly localized crises.

Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE: Gruesome Syria photos may prove torture by Assad regime

EXCLUSIVE: Gruesome Syria photos may prove torture by Assad regime – CNN.com.

David Crane has been working tirelessly on behalf of the Syrian people since the early days of the revolution. With the help of his students and colleagues, he has been documenting on a daily basis each reported violation and war crime that has taken place in Syria as a result of Assad’s campaign of terror – his genocide in fact. We all owe a debt of gratitude to David Crane, irrespective of how the politics of this conflict pan out. I am honored to call him friend.

Advancing Freedom and Fundamental Rights Demands a Global Effort

Advancing Freedom and Fundamental Rights Demands a Global Effort | The George W. Bush Institute.

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.”

Peaceful protest leader in Syria disappears; Islamist rebels suspected of role

Peaceful protest leader in Syria disappears; Islamist rebels suspected of role – The Washington Post.

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.

On Madiba’s Passing

Amarji Special

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.

Call Me: Enemy.

Amarji Special

The cornerstone of the New Global Order and the new policy direction that President Obama is trying to chart for United States lies in a country called Syria. Or, to be more specific, it lies in her ruins. For the breakup of this country, the dashing of the majority’s dream for a life with dignity, and the ensuing genocidal venture that was allowed to happen are the very events that are giving birth to the New Order. How long can such an order last? Should it last? Shall we allow this cynical spirit for doing things masquerading in the guise of Realism, while Surrealism seems more fitting, shall we allow for such spirit to continue dictating the way we live in this modern world? I, for one, cannot.

Continue reading

The New Yorker Festival 2013: Obama & the World Panel

A panel with the Syrian activist Ammar Abdulhamid, The New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins, the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation’s Andranik Migranyan, and the New America Foundation’s Anne-Marie Slaughter took place on October 6 as part of  The New Yorker Festival 2013.  The panel was moderated by Steve Coll, the New Yorker staff writer and the dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, and was attended by around 200 participants. The photos were just released.

Continue reading