Many have forgotten about the assassination of former Lebanese PM, Rafic Al-Hariri, and the culpability of the Assad regime in the matter, so perhaps a reminder was in order. The regime’s isolation at the time lasted for a total of three years, after which, Assad was rehabilitated and was once again considered to be a reformer, a modernizer and an indispensable figure for the stability of the region! Now, and despite the ongoing genocide Assad is championing and the destabilizing effect that this is having on the region as a whole, there are those like Ryan Crocker, among many others in the Obama Administration and its friendly circles, who would argue for rehabilitating Assad again. Will they never learn? Hasn’t the regime been rehabilitated enough already? And hadn’t it used very opportunity it was given to commit more mayhem?
One of the most feared men in Syria before his assassination, Assef Shawkat told me minority rights were a CIA invention.
“The country is not ready for revolutions and civil disobedience,” he told me.
“That’s your opinion,” I replied.
“We won’t imprison you and let your friends in America turn you into a hero.” Continue reading “The day I met Syria’s Mr Big”
On April 24, 2008, I became the first Syrian citizen to deliver a testimony in the U.S. Congress. My co-panelists included my colleagues from the Brookings Institution: Martin Indyk and Peter Rodman. In the testimony I try to set the record straight on the deteriorating internal situation in Syria focusing on Assad’s weakening grip and signs of growing popular discontent. The text of the testimony can be found below, and also on the House Foreign Affairs Committee website. Continue reading “THE STATE OF SYRIA UNDER THE ASSADS & PROSPECTS FOR CHANGE”
Recommendations to engage with Syria and Iran are a testament to how cut off the Western powers have become from the realities on the ground.
Despite frequent claims to the contrary, the fundamental problem in the Middle East is not intervention by the West. On the contrary, the real problem is that, for all their dabbling, the Western powers seem capable of neither war nor dialogue. This leaves everyone in the region at the mercy of the Middle East’s oppressive regimes and proliferating terrorists. Continue reading “It’s not always good to talk”