For long we have been told that the national cause comes first, I say democracy and development come first. No, I believe that democracy and development are the real national cause.
So, it does not matter in the least to me if the Assads tend to say or adopt the right rhetoric sometimes, so long as they hold on to power through sham elections, laws and constitutions and the sheer might of their military, there is nothing right or legitimate about them or about anything they do or represent. For all practical purposes we have to consider them as evil, even at the risk of sounding too corny or unreasonable sometimes.
That’s the way it should be. People who hold on to power in an absolutist manner do not merit our understanding, our nuanced perspectives and our reasonableness, only our contempt and enmity.
The national interest does not benefit in the least from postponing the struggle for our freedom from oppression, for any reason whatsoever. Freedom comes first. This emphatic stand of mine, however, should not be misconstrued as signifying some kind of appeal to violence or a willingness to resort to it. No. The Assads are not going to drag me to their depraved level. My personal approach will remain nonviolent in nature, albeit somewhat revolutionary.
Speaking of revolutions, the latest edition of BitterLemons-International has a special on the Arab Blogosphere that features an article by yours heretically, two wonderful fellow bloggers from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and a regional correspondent that I absolutely respect and admire.