Harvard Political Review on Syrian Reform
Check out the May 4th edition of the HPR, where I discuss the emerging Syrian reformist movement
Qatari leader calls for greater introspection and reform within the Arab world
Speaking to a supportive crowd of Middle East experts, diplomats and journalists, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheik Hamad Bin Jasim al-Thani argued that "reform has nothing to do with Iraq." He argued that Arab regimes and societies are using the occupation of Iraq and Palestinian territories to justify delays in introducing reforms.
The Qatari Foreign Minister makes an excellent point: As long as the Arab world is obsessed with reactionary hatred and revenge and not willing to maintain the courage to undertake difficult social and political reforms within their own society, we will never make any progressive headway in the future and will be forever condemned to the quicksand of repression, intolerance, and social and economic stagnation that has been plaguing the region since Ottoman times.
President Bush to sign 4 sanctions against Syria within the hour
The President has decided to go with the 4 most stringent sanctions against Syria as prescribed by the Syrian Accountability Act. What must be understood here is that this measure is not an end in itself, but a means-- a first step in bringing about the end of the Syrian Baath Regime. This isn't the Clinton administration and it has never been the policy of this administration to be sufficiently satisfied with sanctions alone as a policy to undermine its enemies. If I were Bashar Assad and Co. right now, I would be checking to make sure that my private jet is properly maintained , with enough fuel to get me to my southern France villa.
Iraqi Politician Criticizes American Media
From the Modesto Bee and reprinted in Zinda, some words from Yonadam Kanna, member of the Iraqi Governing Council and the only Assyrian Christian member. One wishes that the New York Times would find to talk to Mr. Kanna, but alas, they are more interested in the ranting of Maureen Dowd.
Kanna said a secondary aim of his current U.S. trip is to counter "misleading" media coverage of the war in Iraq.
"The media is exaggerating only the negative side," he said. "Ninety percent of the new Iraq is good. Ten percent is bad. But the media only focuses on the problems. Where are the stories of our new life, of our liberation, of our freedom?"
Kanna said that in Iraq, much has changed — for the better — since Saddam Hussein was toppled from power.
"The vast majority of Iraqi people are happy that Saddam is gone," he said. "We have a normal life now. In Baghdad, there are over 300 free newspapers and magazines. We have free radio, TV. The schools are opening again, the hospitals and other services are back also."
But the media only focuses on "problems in isolated spots caused by foreign terrorists," Kanna said.
"The media is trying to sell a product," he said, "so they do not speak of anything but conflicts. That is not right."
مباشرة تطبيق العقوبات على النظام السوري
واشنطن في 6/5/2004 -- من خلال أتصال أجرته الإدارة الأمريكية مع المقر الرئيسي المؤقت لحزب الإصلاح السوري في واشنطن اتضح أنه في القريب العاجل سيتم تطبيق أغلب بنود قانون محاسبة النظام السوري، وصرح عضو القيادة المركزية لحزب الإصلاح السوري السيد خالد حقي أن بشار أسد يتوسل البيت الأبيض عبر جورج تينيت رئيس وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأمريكية لتأجيل تطبيق العقوبات المقرة حيال نظامه، ولم يوفق بهذه الوساطة.
المكتب الإعلامي لحزب الإصلاح السوري
Personal Testimony of Baathist Iraq
This is from an Iraqi-American who, because of the fact that she has family still in Iraq, will remain nameless, but is a credible source I know and trust.
Baath killed my great grandfather and two cousins because they were Christian. My grandfather was killed because he had a gold mine and a lot of property and farm fields and the Baath came and they wanted to buy it and he didn’t want to sell it because it was his so they stabbed him continuously until he bled to death. My two second cousins were killed because they tried assassinating Saddam’s son [as revenge for the fact that the Baath] ... killed their father, [who was an Iraqi] general at the time. Saddam killed my uncle because he disobeyed his order so he shot him between the eyes. My two cousins were almost raped by Saddam’s guards but my aunt managed to help them escape the park they were having a picnic at. They almost were killed. And all that happened just because they were Christian. Isnt this all crazy, no one really knows what happens in Iraq but Iraqi people, the rest of the world just has 5% of what really happens to Christians and other civilians
Baathists Say : No to Israel, Yes to North Korea
Syria banned four ships that made stops in Israeli ports, and placed nine Israeli companies on a blacklist. The ships were from Denmark, Greece and Malta.
Meanwhile, a North Korean and an Italian ship were taken off the blacklist after they assured Syrian officials that they would not visit Israeli ports. Arab boycotts of Israel once were widespread but have weakened during the past decade, despite occasional attempts to revive them.
Sudanese Jihadis Criticize USA
It is very interesting to find Sudan on the UN Human Rights Commission. This is, after all, a jihadi state determined to ethnically cleanse its indigenous African populations, be they Christians and animists in the south or Black African Muslims and secularists in Darfur. Sitting at the UN, Sudan has criticized the United States for the abuses in Baghdad. Now, let's just be honest for one second : the United States has apologized and is going to punish - severely, one would hope - those soldiers who abused Iraqi prisoners. There is no justification whatsoever for what was done to these Iraqi prisoners. And yet......there is a general international silence when it comes to Sudan's brutality, slavery, mass murder, and religious persecution of Christians and animists. Where is the outrage on the "Arab street" at Sudan's murder of Black Africans? Or is a deep racism - that of Arabs against Blacks - at play here?
This from CNS News:
(CNSNews.com) - "The United States is perplexed and dismayed by the decision to put forward Sudan -- a country that massacres its own African citizens -- for election to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights," the U.S. representative to the United Nations told the body on Monday. Sudan was elected to a three-year term on the U.N. Human Rights Commission, and it lectured the U.S. over the "infamous and degrading treatment of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison."
The Arab Democratic Revolution Marches On
Make sure to check Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim's website dedicated to democracy in Egypt.
Oh, and if anyone comes across any other Syrian bloggers, please email me at Oubai-at-cox.net
So You Want A Revolution?
Can you imagine if Israel became an oil-producing country? The look on the faces of the mullah criminals in Iran would be priceless.
This from JTA......................
Oil found in central Israel?
Reservoirs of oil potentially worth some $6 billion reportedly were discovered in central Israel. The reservoirs might contain 980 barrels worth of oil at a site east of Kfar Saba, according to findings of a geological survey released Tuesday by the exploration company Givot Olam. It was not yet clear how much, if any, of the oil would be extricable from the deep underground deposits. The company also has claimed in the past to have made major oil finds but has not succeeded in extracting the oil.
Jihadis Terrorize Iraq's Christians - Where Are the Human Rights groups?
A sad, but important analysis of Iraqi Christians one year after the fall of Saddam
Anti-Semitism Once Again From France
Anti-Semitic violence in France up in early 2004
Associated Press May. 1, 2004
Anti-Semitic violence in France rose in the first three months of the year, the Interior Ministry said Saturday, a day after 127 graves were found desecrated at a Jewish cemetery.
The ministry said that 67 acts of violence against Jews were recorded in the first trimester of 2004, up from 42 in the last three months of 2003.
The increase could be attributed to greater police vigilance and campaigns by the Jewish community encouraging people to report such crimes, the ministry said.
UN Iraq Rep a Saddam Apologist ?
According to Kurdish Media.com, the answer is yes
Not only did Brahimi endorse Saddam Hussein and remain a close ally to him, he also denied that Saddam Hussein, the glory of Arab Leader as he described him, had ever used chemical weapons. He was pro-Saddam when he was Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria from 1991 to 1993 and Under-Secretary-General of the League of Arab States from 1984 to 1991
Syrians question authenticity of mysterious terrorist 'attack' in Damascus
"There is a missing link somewhere," said Afraa Haidar, a 29-year-old Arabic language teacher at the school who came to see Farah today. "Why was the street empty before the clash?" she asked.
Other Syrians have wondered how a gun battle that caused extensive damage to buildings did not inflict more casualties in an area which has several restaurants and cafes. Zeidan was the only bystander to be killed. The other fatalities comprised a policeman and two gunmen.
A first hand account of the 'attack' here