U.N. may be last chance for peace in Syria

By Ammar Abdulhamid and Ken Ballen, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Ammar Abdulhamid is a Syrian activist, author of the daily blog Syrian Revolution Digest and a fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Ken Ballen, author of the book “Terrorists in Love” (Free Press, 2011), is president of Terror Free Tomorrow, a nonprofit institute that researches attitudes toward extremism, including in Syria.

(CNN) — The U.N Security Council is considering the most important resolution yet on the brutal rule of terror that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has unleashed on his people. The resolution, proposed by Morocco and supporting the Arab League’s plan, calls for al-Assad to leave power as the first step of a transition toward democracy. Continue reading

How U.S. can help stop bloodshed in Syria

By Ammar Abdulhamid and Ken Ballen, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Ammar Abdulhamid is a Syrian activist, author of the daily blog Syrian Revolution Digest and a fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Ken Ballen, author of the book “Terrorists in Love” (Free Press, 2011), is president of Terror Free Tomorrow, a nonprofit institute that researches attitudes toward extremism, including in Syria.

(CNN) — After more than six months of silence, Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, spoke last week for only the fourth time since the beginning of the country’s widespread uprising in March. His words show that he is as delusional now as when the protests began. Continue reading

Syrians have broken the fear barrier

February’s ‘day of anger’ fizzled out, but protests in Deraa show Syria’s revolutionary spirit is now gathering pace.

, guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 22 March 2011 11.36 GMT

What a difference six weeks make. Back in early February I was asked whether Syria would be next on the growing list of countries to witness a popular revolution. My answer, which came in the form of an article published on Comment is free, was, in essence, “not yet”. Continue reading

Syria is not ready for an uprising

The groundwork for Egypt and Tunisia’s days of rage took years. In isolated Syria, there is much grassroots work to be done.

guardian.co.uk, Monday 7 February 2011 11.00 GMT.

A “day of rage” called for by Syrian opposition members living abroad and scheduled for last Friday and Saturday came and went: the only mass presence detected on the streets of major cities in Syria was that of security forces. Continue reading

Defending America’s “Freedom Agenda”

Project Syndicate 

Former Syrian MP and political prisoner Mamoun al-Homsi, Kurdish activist Djengizkhan Hasso of the Executive Council of the National Assembly of Kurdistan, and I recently met with President George W. Bush in the Oval Office. National Security Adviser Steven Hadley, Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, National Security Adviser to the Vice President John Hannah, and several other officials also attended the hour-long meeting.

Continue reading

The New Revolutionaries

BitterLemons – Edition 7 Volume 5 – February 15, 2007: The Arab Blogosphere

When I launched my blog on February 6, 2005 I never imagined that it would become an obsession of mine or a mini-phenomenon for many people interested in the region. Yet within months of the beginning, it became clear to me that blogging was destined to become an integral part of my life, perhaps for the rest of my life, and a basic pillar of my activities as a dissident and self-declared heretic. Indeed, I am a now on the advisory board of the Committee to Protect Bloggers, a US-based NGO that sheds light on the travails of bloggers worldwide, a regular juror in Deutche-Welle’s annual contest the Best of the Blogs, a regular participant in international conferences on blogging and, most important, the founder of a special blogging community (the Tharwa community) that focuses on democracy activism in the region. Continue reading