The Ruse of Civility, Or, Ruse Awakening

color-civility-politics-w“When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse.” (The Atlantic, Nonviolence as Compliance)

Similarly, when calls emerge from certain quarters addressing “both sides” of a conflict and appealing for calm, even when one side has been using overwhelming violence from the get-go while the other remained committed to nonviolent tactics with few exceptions, we can all be sure that a ruse is in the work.

Continue reading “The Ruse of Civility, Or, Ruse Awakening”

EU Probes Cigarette Deal That May Have Aided Syria

A quote in the Wall Street Journal:

The dissidents added that the Assad government uses cigarettes as a form of payment for the irregular military forces and militias, known as the shabeeha, who have had a central role in its violent crackdown. “Cigarettes are a favorite form of payment for the shabeeha,” said Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian dissident and human-rights activist based in Washington.

Syria: Despite Prime Minister’s Defection, Assad’s Inner Circle Intact

A quote in the Christian Science Monitor:

About five Alawite clans, all linked through intermarriage and business interests, control the real power bases in Syria — such as the security apparatus and the military — and there have been no notable defections from their ranks, said Ammar Abdulhamid, an exiled opposition member who is on the Syria Working Group at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, a think tank in Washington.

“They control the key decision-making process in tactical terms,” Abdulhamid said of the powerful Alawite dynasties. “The defection shows that the regime has lost control of an old game: the Sunni fig leaf.”

First Step, Series Conclusion: A call for democratic change in Syria!

The following is the summary provided at the end of the 6th Episode of First Step, a reportage program produced by the Tharwa Foundation in 2009 to promote the cause of peaceful democratic change in Syria. I conceived the show after reviewing the YouTube videos prepared by our in-country activists showing the daily realities that people in Syria have to content with. the videos justified my faith in the possibility and necessity of the revolution, and that helped ut this summary together. The real heroes, of course, are the activists who risked their freedom and their lives to provide the videos.  Continue reading “First Step, Series Conclusion: A call for democratic change in Syria!”