The day I met Syria’s Mr Big

One of the most feared men in Syria before his assassination, Assef Shawkat told me minority rights were a CIA invention.

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 24 July 2012 07.58 EDT

“The country is not ready for revolutions and civil disobedience,” he told me.

“That’s your opinion,” I replied.

“We won’t imprison you and let your friends in America turn you into a hero.” Continue reading

A Crazy Thing!

One of the things that we, that is, my self-styled self-imposed Patron and I, talked about during that fateful two hour meeting was the possibility of – drum roll please – holding multi-candidate presidential elections coupled with free parliamentary elections where the Baath Party will compete on the same constitutional footing as any other party. 

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The Heretic and the Noose!

“So, you believe in American democracy eh, – the democracy of torture and fucking as we can clearly see from Abu Ghraib and Guatemala [sic]?” exclaimed the interrogator.

 

“Pardon me, but did you say Guatemala?” The heretic inquired ever so innocently. “I see. Can I be interrogated by someone higher up the fuck chain?” He pleaded.

The heretic got his wish, and he seems to have made the right call indeed. For the higher fuck was a bit more “sophisticated,” for the lack of a better word, and the interrogation went somewhat smoothly from then on.  Continue reading

The Heretic’s Dream

The people at the political security apparatus contacted me today and promised to resolve my “travel restrictions” situation soon. They said the whole issue was related to the fact that they were trying to find some legal/official framework to allow for the Tharwa Project to be operated from Damascus. This will not take more than a few weeks, they said. Meanwhile, I will be given permission to travel wherever I want, no questions asked, provided I give 24 hour notice. This arrangement is only temporary, I was told, and everything should be back to normal soon.  Continue reading