Short of Stories of a Liar, Hypocrite and Irresponsible Bastard

Or “Come on Baby, Let’s Shirk ‘N’ Shift!”


He wrote of an audacity for hope, which was pretty audacious of him indeed, considering that he only had lies and false promises to peddle, and was only interested in shirking responsibility and shifting blame. At the end, he only managed to inspire despair and ridicule. The only true whiffs of audacity that came out of him could only be detected in his insistent affirmation that things were good and that he had done the best he could, when he didn’t even try.


He wanted to play president of a powerful nation, but only on his own terms… so there!  Whenever someone reminded him that being president of a powerful nation was not meant to be fun and often required making hard decisions and undertaking certain actions that were not necessarily to his personal liking, he pouted and stopped playing.


He was interested in nation-building at home, he said, and he did a few relatively good things, when he could, including getting a rabbit’s ear to stick out of a small hat. But around his home, there was a rat infestation, and though he killed a few big ones, thousands more immediately rose to take their place. And his home was too big and had too many doors and windows and sewer holes, many of which, at any given moment, were left wide open… It seems that was not a rabbit’s ear sticking out of the hat, and he soon might have to deal with a rat infestation at home. But, for now, he keeps looking the other way as he tries to learn new tricks, like trying to get the rabbit’s other ear to stick out of a hat.


As a leader of the most powerful country on earth, he tried to engage in nation-building at home, but other leaders abroad opted to destroy theirs. He felt distracted. He cursed his luck that this would happen on his watch. He warned these other bastards not to cause too much noise and fuss as they go about killing their people. He even drew a line in the sand for them, painted it red, and told them not to cross it. But, despite all his warnings, they did. He was flummoxed. He didn’t know what to do. He did not want to intervene in their business. After all, he had much to do at home. But his enemies, foreign and domestic, saw that he is weak, and they went on the offensive. Now he is ridiculed abroad and at home, and all his projects were put on hold, including his nation-building.


One day he told us “Yes We Can.” But it seems he forgot to believe in what he said. We weren’t the problem. We did our part. But he couldn’t do his. Yes, he couldn’t do his part because he could not understand that whenever he speaks, and wherever, his audience was not confined to certain geographical boundaries, nor were his responsibilities. But whenever you point that out to him now, he does the Shirk ‘N’ Shift to the tunes of his favorite band “Liars, Hypocrites and Irresponsible Bastards,” with whose members he had always felt a certain affinity, it seems.

Ammar Abdulhamid is a Syrian dissident and the president of the Tharwa Foundation. He currently divides his time between Washington, D.C. and Turkey where he works with local Syrian activists on developing long-term peace-building and democracy-promotion programs.

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