The Pawns of War!

If even the generations that have witnessed firsthand and lived through the dark days of the 70s and 80s in Syria, and that have vivid memories of how oppressive things were at the time and how hypocritical and tiring all that patriotic song-and-dance about Israel and America and our intervention in Lebanon was, if even these generations who should be eyeing the current developments in the region through the disquieting prism of déjà vu, déjà entendu, déjà everything, can still disagree on everything that has taken place in their lifetime, can still offer a variety of interpretations and explanations thereof, and can still carry on with their ideological and personal differences to this very moment in time, how would the 75% of Syria’s inhabitants, who are below the age of 25, who have no memories to guide them in this regard and who have been brainwashed at home, at school and in the streets, and rendered absolutely apathetic, fearful and compliant with regard to the existing authority, be it political, social, economic and/or religious,how would they feel and think about the current going-ons in Lebanon, in Syria, in Palestine? Who should they blame? Who would they support? How would they show it? And what would they make of the heretical dissenting writings of someone like me?


The answers are all too obvious, of course, and all too unfortunate. Unless we can make some real breakthroughs that can help us deliver a different message to this particular segment of the populace, demography in our part of the world will continue to be on the side of tyranny, and our children will continue to be the fodder thereof and the pawns of its wars. We have to carve a space for dissent and heresy, no matter how unpopular they may seem at first, no matter how sanguine. We have to plant seeds of doubt now, so they may flourish later. For, the real battle ahead of us has always been generational, and our point of view is not likely to become popular anytime soon. But persistence does occasionally pay off, even in the Middle East.

24 thoughts on “The Pawns of War!

  1. I am just as old as you are Mr Amargi so i know what you know about syria if not more. if you being what you claim, the opposition, even consider yourself a viable alternative for the present oppressive regime in syria we are all in a sorry state. this is the sad part for syrians, either the regime or people like you. don’t we really have true men anymore?

  2. I wonder what are the criteria of “men” that anon 3:10 consider to be important? Is it venom, swagger and bluster?Ammar, it is ironicisn’t it but Anon 3:10 made your point regarding the demographic make up that you had posted about?

  3. Ammar your post is a Piece of ART and wisdom.I was not kidding about my daily bread.Salute your great efforts in trying to teach people what we need to do to get out of this mess that has subsided over so many years.

  4. Do you think change will happen without the influance of other countries? What countries would syrians accept influence from? Doesn’t it seem like our limits to progress are our best allies?

  5. Wow. I just heard of you on your interview with Terri Gross.I am Jewish. (sorry about that…)but… My point of view is that we’ve had a whole bunch of BS going on for 58 years, and we really want peace, and A PIECE of land, that is in the mid-east. We WONT be going back to Uganda. So that isn’t real, or even to be hoped for.Now. What do we want? We want to be ACCEPTED. Here’s a hintInstead of calling Israel’s INDEPENDENCE day, “The catastrophe” day.Here’s a HINT.Accept Israel’s RIGHT to Exist.Here’s a hint. Agree to accept Israel’s AID, to try and bring your economy up to “snuff”.Did you know if the Arab boycott of Israel were to be REALLY effective, You wouldn’t even have a Computer?Intel’s Pentium chips, and Microsoft Windows XP/2003 (and all other NT based operating systems) were ALSO developed in Israel??Hey. let’s dialog. It’s really a pleasure to hear a voice that seems to understand that we all need each other to live.How’s this for a plan???1) we start to talk together.2) we start to realize that we’re both human.3) we try and figure out HOW we can repair the educational system in the arab world (boy I don’t ask for much, do I?)The problem is that we have essentially taken one/two generations, and pre-programmed them to continue to be Israel’s Enemies.How can we logically change this?I say massive Israeli Aid, know how, and an intensive version of the US’s “Peace Corps.” would be a great start.The problem? How do we keep everyone safe in the meantime?

  6. AmmarYou’ve put your finger on it. Syrians, other Arabs, Iranians and Islamic nations generally are very youthful. They lack experience and wisdom and there aren’t many good teachers around. Also, big families, living in poverty, do not necessarily provide the young with a good start in life.But, none of this should be a reason for despair. I know many kids, in the better schools, who can put 40-year olds like me to shame with their grasp of the facts, emotional balance and critical thinking. Education, education, education. Smaller families, smaller families smaller families. Free media, free media, free media. Everything else should fall into place quite nicely.

  7. Although my wife and I listen to Terri Gross religiously I have missed segment in which you made an appearance. Do you know if it is going to be replayed?

  8. Amar, I went to the NPR website and was able to access the interview. I am listening to it as I post this message. Keep up the good work,

  9. I was taken with your writing and it must be difficult to long for peace in Syria and the middle east.I did not know Syria had a 75% population of youth. It seems many middle eastern countries are the same. Youth are easley lead by those who know how to use religion, hatred and the ability to make them feel a part of something. Gangs in the USA recruit youth the same way. God knows the US has fought against hate groups and socialism for years.We all must talk and talk and talk. As a mother and now grandmother, my life has been spent talking to my child when very young and her son age five. He said to me the other night, “nene, why is the world so bad?” ” We need to move to another planet”. He was watching the news from Labonon and Israel with me. I explained, “The world is not bad. It is because people don’t talk to each other, respect their differences. Fear is taught just as hatred. One must learn the art of hatred to deprive freedom for all. On the other hand, love which is universal requires self-sacrifice, listening, forgiving and realizing that we all are more the same than different.I believe that you and others like you who are intellengent and have the gift of reaching out must reach those who do not live in a free and democratic society. I also believe, that the world especially the democratic societies must stand together and tell terrorists, you can join us or the world will destroy you.Thank you for your blogs. I hope many will read them and think about what they can do to bring peace to those who suffer under the leadership of those who know only hatred.

  10. Ammar,Just listened to your interview. It was good to connect a voice to your writings. Yours is a voice of reason and you make us proud.

  11. Dear Ammar, I had the opportunity to listen today to your interview on NPR’s Fresh Air.. I thought you did very well in presenting the Syrian situation, the criminal oppressive nature of the regime that prevent it from beign part of any solution. I was touched by youe openness regarding your personal life and your spiritual and cultural journey.I have been reading your blog as part of my daily routine for long time and I was posting many of your articles in some other discussion forums..keep up the good work my friend..I was dissapointed in that you did not mention the racist attitudes of Israel and the criminal natue of what it is doing by bombing the civilian population of Lebanon. It was necessary to say it regardless of what you think of Hizbullah and its motives and alliances.

  12. Ammar,I had a chance to listen to your interview on fresh air earlier,i was surprised and disapointed that someone as vocal as you are about opression would not say a word about the killing of inocent people in Lebanon, being sad or depressed about it is not enough.you had a chance to comment on what is going on and you choose not to take it .

  13. Abou Tarek-Israel’s racist attitudes? First…how do you define racism? You probably can’t. Best definition is the belief that race determines behavior. I know a few Israeli’s that feel that way about Arabs, but very few. However, I have encountered enormous amounts of almost non-stop Arab racist vitrual about Israeli’s and Jews. How many Israeli’s can you quote as making statements like “all the Arabs are…” ??? Not many…But Moslems making statements about Jews, still printing the Protocols of Zion, Egyptians making racist TV programs, Palestinian kids taught racist ideas out of their textbooks…and on and on. A guy in Seattle just murder Jews because…oh yes…the crime of Judaism.You see…the namecalling goes no place. But listening and really evaluating both sides might.

  14. Howie,Racism is when a state or a group of people think that the life of one of its citizens or members has more value than other groups and behaves accordingly.. I have nothings against the Jewish religion or people and many of my past teachers and current colleagues here whom I respect and consider as mentors are Jews.When I look at the Israeli state behavior in the past and during the current war and its deliberate targeting of civilian targets and the many past and current massacres it committed against all its Arabic neighbors I cannot but think of it as a racist state.What do you call a state that does not allow the Arabic spouse (from the territories) of one of its citizens to move to it and join their spouse?it is obvious to me that Israel is trying to destroy Lebanon and all what Lebanon accomplished in the last few years in rebuilding a modern and democratic state that became a touristic destination and a living proof that Israel is not the only modern and civilized country in the middle state region like it loves to claim…As long as Israel and the majority of its citizens thinks that it can accomplish everything by oppression, violence and killing of Arabs; and as long it does not consider an Arabic life equal to an Israeli life, Israel will not be accepted in the region and will always be a foreign entity. It is strange that Israelis cannot understand that kindness and real acceptance of their Arabic neighbors and respect for their rights and land that they have to live besides them forever is their only way to a peaceful and accepted existence in the region.

  15. Abu Tarek”As long as Israel and the majority of its citizens thinks that it can accomplish everything by oppression, violence and killing of Arabs”;Wow…accomplish EVERYTHING that way eh…you mean like the development of the MRI or drip irrigation, new software products, peace with Egypt and Jordan…stuff like? OK…makes sense to me and you lecture Ammar about “racist attitudes”?

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