I have been paying attention to the developments of the Syrian revolution since it started as a protest movement in March 2011 sometimes with great intensity and but more often with a feeling of resignation and powerlessness. I generally feel that ordinary persons such as my self who have minority views are generally ignored by the government particularly regarding foreign policy issues involving genocide or crimes against humanity. The brutal coflicts that developed in Rwanda, Darfur and now Syria are examples.
The recent renewal of news regarding Syria over the issue of President Obama’s famous ‘red line’ and the development of some internal debate within the Social Democrats USA regarding Syria has rekindled my desire to do what I can to help in spite of the odds against success. Part of the process involves a more serious study of the issues. Recently on National Public Radio’s (NPR’s) “On Point” I listened to a discussion between Josh Landis, Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies who opposes any meaningful United States military aid to the Syrian opposition and Shadi Hamid, Director of Research of the Brookings Doha Center, who does favor decisive US military involvement in the Syrian civil war. I was very impressed by Shadi Hamid’s well considered arguments that the United States must support the Syrian opposition much more strongly than it has. I also admire Mr. Hamid’s articles in the Atlantic magazine such as his recent “Why is There a ‘Red Line’ on Chemical Weapons but Not on 70,000 Deaths?” Note. I would also add that in spite of my strong disagreement with the position of Josh Landis on Syria his blog Syria Comment is an excellent source of information regarding the conflict as well.
Recently as a result of reading the Syria Support Group newsletter I have come across the writings of Ammar Abdulhamid a Syrian pro democracy activist who was exiled from Syria in 2005 by the Assad dictatorship. The writings of Ammar Abdulhamid, who lives in the United States now, are full of the details of the inner workings of the important players such as the Alawite militias, the Moslem Brotherhood, and the Islamists in the current civil war. His writings, which also present great analysis, are a must read for those wanting to understand more about what is happening in Syria today. The link to Syria Revolution Digest, Abdulhamid’s site is http://www.syrianrevolutiondigest.com/