First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations.
Indeed, it is happening again: protests and condemnations giving way to riots, arson and pandemonium. Just as Khomeini needed to use the Rushdie Affair to stoke the dying fires of his revolution, so now are the myriad Arab dictatorships, most notably the Syrian one, using an, at worst, unwise decision by a Danish publisher to rally the masses to the cause and divert their people’s attention, no matter how momentarily, from their corrupt authoritarian and inept rule. Indeed, a new Rushdiesque is unfolding, albeit a rather mediocre one. For Arab rulers cannot produce but mediocrity. The scenes in Damascus and Beirut are but a simple testament to this little macabre truth. See in this regard as well the blogposts by Tabsir, Llano Estacado, Mental Mayhem and Religious policeman.
Indeed, Paris is burning again, but this time the fires are of its own making. Listening to French officials lambasting the Arab-African communities for their days of riots, I am reminded of the rhetoric of American segregation proponents of the 1950s. France is way behind the times when it comes to integration.
While mice were busy pretending they were lions in Damascus, Arabs and Kurds were at each other’s throats in Qamishly, and kidnappings of businessmen continued in Aleppo, where Islamists have made sure that alcohol is effectively banned.
Is there any doubt left that something is indeed boiling in the country? Continue reading →
Catherine has a point. The Syrian opposition and dissident movements do not know how to organize. This has been their problem all along. They often fail to invite enough members of the press to their improvised sit-ins, and they have shown clearly that they have no stomach for clashes with security officers.
Special to The Daily Star / A Tharwa Project Editorial
Even as the Syrian authorities seem to have successfully managed to contain the Kurdish riots that rocked the country’s northernmost city of Qamishli over the last few weeks, there could be no denying that the country’s long neglected Kurdish question is finally out of the dark and is crying out for answers. But can the Syrian authorities muster enough will and internal support to sit down with the Kurdish parties and hammer out an answer that is acceptable to both sides? Continue reading →
The recent tragic developments in Syria’s northernmost city of Qamishli, and the ensuing spillovers into other townships and cities, deserve more than simple condemnations of alleged wrongdoers, agents provocateurs, and/or the authorities, local or national. If these events are to be truly contained so that they are not repeated in the future and so as to avoid the slightest hint of the possibility of foreign intervention and any recourse to spiteful and vindictive rhetoric and measures, certain basic issues related to the living conditions and status of Syria’s Kurdish population need to be seriously addressed. Continue reading →