On Heresy & Apostasy in Politics and Religion

The burning of adherents of the pantheistic Amalrician sect in 1210, in the presence of King Philip II Augustus. (Wikipedia)
The burning of adherents of the pantheistic Amalrician sect in 1210, in the presence of King Philip II Augustus. (Wikipedia)

It is not easy for me to criticize an American president, irrespective of his ideological background, because when I do, my criticism often get used by all sorts of anti-American forces in the Arab World, and beyond, in their attack against America and American values, that is, the very values which I long came to embrace, albeit always critically. For, to me, America is an idea, a worthy idea, whose advancement requires critical adherence not blind faith, and armies of analysts and scientists not militias and informants.

Continue reading “On Heresy & Apostasy in Politics and Religion”

Advancing Freedom and Fundamental Rights Demands a Global Effort

Advancing Freedom and Fundamental Rights Demands a Global Effort | The George W. Bush Institute.

Amanda Schnetzer is director of Human Freedom at the George W. Bush Institute co-authored this op-ed commemorating the International Human Rights Day and calling for a global push to advance human rights. The op-ed includes a reference to my interview in the Freedom Collection: … By the same token, a lack of international outcry can do serious damage to nonviolent dissident efforts. In his contribution to the Freedom Collection, Syrian activist Ammar Abdulhamid lamented the “international indifference” to dictator Bashar Al-Assad’s attacks against his own citizens. “[H]e used tanks, and no one said anything. Then he used heavy artillery, and no one said anything. Then he used helicopter gunships, and no one said anything . . . In these kinds of conditions, you cannot sustain a nonviolent momentum.”

The “Founding Father” is broken, but still has everything to give Syria

SOFIA LORENA | 03/11/2013 – 00:00

Below is a rough English translation made using Google. The Portuguese original can be found here: http://www.publico.pt/j1752051

He is 47 years old and tired. No. He is broken. But he will endure. Ammar Abdulhamid is a leading Syrian dissident, a fact that means less now than when he became one of the most important Syrian dissidents. Now there are many dissenters, and though many of them will die or give up as this period of accelerated self-destruction continues, there will always be enough at the end of the road to start again. This was not the case back in 2001. Continue reading “The “Founding Father” is broken, but still has everything to give Syria”

Die verschenkten Chancen einer kriegsmüden Nation

A coverage in Zeit Online of my participation on October 6 in the Panel on “Obama and the World,” organized as part of the New Yorker Festival 2013.  

Obamas Syrien-Politik fällt beim “New Yorker”-Forum durch. Inzwischen fehlen die Verbündeten für einen Regimewechsel – und eine tragfähige Vision für die gesamte Region. VON 

7. Oktober 2013  11:54 Uhr 
Präsident ObamaUS-Präsident Barack Obama vor US-Truppen   |  © Tony Gutierrez/AP Photo

Was ist das größte Problem der US-Außenpolitik? Das amerikanische Volk interessiert sich nicht dafür, trotz des Einsatzes zahlreicher Experten, Thinktank-Wissenschaftlern und professionellen Exilanten. Die meisten Amerikaner sind einmischungsmüde, und US-Präsident Barack Obama weiß das. Er sagte vergangene Woche eine lang geplante Asienreise ab, weil es ihm wichtiger war, in Washington den Kampf mit den Republikanern um die Krankenversicherung und das Budget zu führen, obwohl er wusste, dass er damit China das Feld überlassen würde. Continue reading “Die verschenkten Chancen einer kriegsmüden Nation”