The Breakthrough!

My “comrades in arms” and I have just concluded our first conference for the Syrian opposition groups in the US. The conference was organized by the Syrian National Council in the US, in cooperation with the Ahrar Movement and the Syrian National Council in Canada. It featured an amazing assortment of representatives of political currents and views, including representatives of the Syrian internal opposition groups, who have taken a tremendous risk by accepting to take part in such an event.  Continue reading “The Breakthrough!”

The Hamas Factor!

Hamas’ electoral victory, although billed as a surprise” or a “shock” by many newspapers, did not really come as a major surprise to most observers of Palestinian politics. In fact, the whole reason why Abu Mazin seemed to have entertained postponing the elections for a while was directly related to his firm conviction that holding the elections at this point in time will result in a surrounding victory by Hamas.  Continue reading “The Hamas Factor!”

The Difference between Kuwait & Syria

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

In the year 2000, it took the Syrian parliament, the so-called People’s Assembly, less than 30 minutes to amend the country’s long-standing constitution in order to make way for Bashar al-Assad to succeed his recently deceased father, Hafiz al-Assad, as the country’s new president. Not a single voice of dissention was heard. But one MP did have the bravery to suggest that the debate should last longer and that the process of amending the constitution needs to be elaborate somehow in order to safeguard the country’s image, not to mention that to the upcoming president. The brave MP was severely rebuked for even thinking that. MPs in Baathist Syria were not meant to think, period. Continue reading “The Difference between Kuwait & Syria”

The Return of France!

First Syria and now Iran, French President Jacques Chirac is acting pretty tough in what seems like a French return to the international policy-making scene. The lessons that have been learned from the US-led invasion of Iraq seem to be counterintuitive somehow. Rather than championing the cause of non-interventionism and real politick, Chirac’s future policies towards the region promise to be far more interventionist than they have ever been.  Continue reading “The Return of France!”