To Power Syria, Chávez Sends Diesel

Quoted by Jay Solomon and Keith Johnson, The Wall Street Journal

“In general, we want to see all sanctions tightened and strengthened,” said Ammar Abdulhamid, a political activist based in Washington. “But the issue of diesel is complicated, as our own people could get hurt.”

Syria: Civilians in Homs Trapped While UN Runs

Quoted by Rhonda Parker, Examiner.com

Syrian in exile and Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies out of Washington D.C., Ammar Abdulhamid, has been calling for more active international intervention in Syria, and added another addendum in his Syrian Revolution Digest Syria report last night. Continue reading

Ammar Abdulhamid on Syria’s uprising

Rights activist says the international response to violence in Syria is merely “symbolic” and “rife with hypocrisy”: an interview on Al-Jazeera online:

Rights groups have estimated that at least 1,600 people have died since the start of the uprising in Syria in March, but that number might increase considerably by the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Since Sunday alone, at least 150 people have been killed in Deir ez-Zor, Hama and Al-Buka-mal – a bloody progression from battles and sieges in other cities and towns such as DeraaHomsLatakia and Jirs al-Shughur. But how long can the protests – and the severe crackdowns on them – continue? Ammar Abdulhamid is a Syrian human rights activist and founder of the non-profit Tharwa Foundation (which promotes democracy and development in in Syria as well as the broader region). He told the foreign affairs committee of the US House of Representatives in the spring of 2008 that, “Change in Syria is not a matter of ‘if’ anymore, but of ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘who’.”  Three years later, he still feels the same, and the questions seem closer to being answered by the nation of Syria itself. Abdulhamid tells Al Jazeera what he thinks of the of the international response to the unrest and how he sees the government and protesters arriving at their end games. Continue reading

Ammar attends President Obama’s speech on U.S. Policy in MENA

After weeks of demanding a strong statement by President Obama on the tragic developments in Syria, I was invited to attend his speech on U.S. policy towards the MENA region in view of the changes currently unfolding there. His references to Syria were encouraging, but were still below expectations, as he failed to call on Assad to leave. Nonetheless, one cannot expect President Obama to take such drastic step until the opposition got its act together. After which, I was interviewed at some length by The Washington PostContinue reading

Dashing Gets a Lashing!

My former chief interrogator, Assef Shawkat , to whom I have referred as General Dashing in my earlier blog posts, has gotten his assets in the US frozen, in a symbolic move meant to demonstrate that the “family” is indeed “not off limits,” as far as this administration is concerned.

What does this mean at a time when the Syrian President is attempting to rally people to his side by freeing some political prisoners (while his agents are busy making more), and preparing to announce some important internal reforms, more likely in his upcoming speech this Saturday?   Continue reading