But then my realization went deeper than that when I remembered that I can actually date my first serious bout of hemorrhoidal pain and bleeding back to the early days of the US-led invasion of Iraq. I, then, had a series of “dry runs” coinciding nicely with my first stint at Brookings in mid 2004. But, and beginning in mid January 20005, things went down hill and colon upon my return to Damascus, with the onset of that long period of incessant interrogations by Syria’s various security apparatuses, and my incessant defiance thereof. Consequently, a surgery became necessary in April – the bleeding stopped – a death-threat inevitable in June -the throbbing pain came back – and exile a relief in September – the bleeding of anus and soul returned, and never looked back.
My bleeding is but a reflection of the turbulence around and within me, my anus is a barometer. This world is going indeed to shit, and, if some had their way, so will my life.
The latest ramification of the Time’s article is the embellishment in an Arabic site run by another troubled Syrian soul in exile, a journalist and a graduate of the Syrian prison system who have developed his own unique way of coping with his own growing disillusionment with the Syrian regime and his own messianic predilections, Nizat Nayouf. His way allows him to quote “widely knowledgeable sources” in Syria, while maintaining a semblance of objectivity and stating that their claims “are rather difficult to verify.” indeed. The “widely knowledgeable sources” in Syria claim that I am a triple agent of sorts playing all sides, including the US Administration, the regime and the NSF, and that I have secretly recorded NSF meetings, and sent the recordings to the Presidential Palace in my Damascus, through my mother, the well-known actress Muna Wasssef who, naturally, is very “close to the Palace.”
The source also identifies the Tharwa Project as the vehicle of the US conspiracy, albeit it admits that our funding initially came from a Dutch organization connected, according to “widely knowledgeable sources” in the Netherlands this time around, to the Protestant-Jewish lobby.
In fact, however, I never attended any of the NSF meetings, because, here I am the center of a CIA covert plot to bring down the Syrian regime and no one has seen fit so far to speed up the approval of my asylum application and give me a goddamn passport. I took part in establishing the NSF virtually, I have never yet met Khaddam or Bayanouni, and other than the US-based members of the NSF, I only met those who came here for occasional visits. Now, I should think that that would make it pretty hard for me to get any recordings of NSF meetings, unless, of course, I had accomplices. This is what the new version of the report will likely claim in some future date.
As for my Dutch donors, well, actually, they happen to be a branch of an international Catholic organization, namely the well-known Pax Christi, known for its peacebuilding and humanitarian activities all through the world, even here in the good old USA.
* The widely knowledgeable sources remain the bane of our existence in this world. They fuck up war. They fuck up peace. They fuck up objectivity. When they are real, that is. More often, however, they are nothing more than tattered disguises for our growing sense of insecurity and paranoia.
* We all live under the delusion of being right and good most if not all of the time. And though I tend to question myself often with regard to my basic motives, intentions and means, I cannot claim to be any less susceptible to this tendency than any given one of us. For this reason, I have no option but to muddle through the dark days and ways that lie in front of me, stumbling from one sudden realization to another until I make some sense of it all, or someone makes some sense of me.
Ouch Doc, yeah, that really does hurt.