Syrian Exiles Push For U.S. Action


Battling To Be Heard: Syrian exiles are trying to get Washington’s attention for their struggle.

Again, keep in mind as you read this that the various ‘opposition’ groups operating against Assad ARE American/Israeli puppets, and cowardly ones at that, because if they were the true ‘freedom fighters’ they claim to be, they would be in Syria fighting a real war and not pussy-footing around in other countries.

Washington — They may be disunited and  unskilled in the ways of Washington, but as carnage continues in Syria, exiled  Syrian dissidents in the United States are urging the Obama administration to  actively support opposition forces struggling to bring down the regime of Bashar  al-Assad.

A loose network of activists — some newly arrived, but most part of an  established Syrian exile community — are urging the administration to set up a  safe zone within Syria on the country’s border with Turkey. This could provide  shelter for dissidents being hunted down by the Assad regime, but would almost  certainly require some form of military intervention by the United States.

Though pursuing their advocacy thousands of miles from home, the Syrian  activists are not clear of danger. As the conflict between the Syrian government  and dissidents has intensified, they say the struggling Damascus regime has  increased its effort to discredit the émigrés as American puppets and to  intimidate them by harassing family members left behind.

“The Syrian Embassy here was operating as a security branch of the Assad  regime. They sent reports to Damascus about all my moves, and after that my  mother was interrogated by the security forces,” said Radwan Ziadeh, a Syrian  dissident who has been advocating on behalf of the Syrian opposition.

The Syrian uprising, which broke out as part of the Arab Spring last March,  has cost the lives of more than 5,000 activists so far, according to the United  Nations, and is far from nearing its end. Forces loyal to Assad forcefully  lashed out at protesters, and a monitoring mission sent to Syria by the Arab  League was unsuccessful in stopping the bloodshed.

Over the past 10 months, the United States has gradually stopped expressing  concern and now openly demands that Assad step down. The United States has also  embraced the Syrian opposition. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has  made a point of meeting publicly with exiled dissidents. But the administration  has stopped short of even suggesting any forceful intervention, preferring  instead to see the Arab League take a leading role in dealing with Syria.

Syrian Americans, a community estimated at 300,000, have mobilized in  response to the events back home. But the community has yet to galvanize around  any of the three main opposition groups — the National Council of Syria, the  Syrian National Coordination Committee or the Free Syrian Army. With no central  organization coordinating Syrian Americans’ advocacy efforts, a dozen or so  pro-democracy Syrian groups now operate in the United States alongside  individual activists who work outside the groups.

“In the Syrian community, dissidents were always isolated,” said Ammar  Abdulhamid, who has been in exile in the United States since 2005. “Because of  this reality, we had to develop our own identity.”

In the period preceding the Arab Spring outbreak, the Syrian community saw an  infusion of opposition figures and political activists who fled Syria in recent  years and are now leading the call on behalf of the opposition movement.

Abdulhamid and his fellow dissidents divide their time between supporting the  opposition in Syria through social networking and spreading information and  lobbying American decision-makers and the American public on the need for a more  active role for the United States. They tread a thin line, trying to prod  Washington to action, but on the other not wanting to be seen as driving the  United States to war.

Washington — “We believe it doesn’t have to be  a Libya-style bombing campaign,” Abdulhamid said. What most activists are asking  for is a supply of light weapons to the opposition, a maritime blockade to stop  the Syrian military from rearming and the establishment of safe zones near the  Syrian-Turkish border. These zones could provide shelter to activists and  refugees, but would require the declaration of no-fly and no-access rules and  the potential use of military force to carry them out.

The administration has rejected such proposals, making clear that, among  other things, it lacks the international backing it had during the uprising in  Libya. “It’s important to note that no member of the Security Council is  advocating for military intervention in Syria, as the Arabs did when they  initiated the action for Libya,” Susan Rice, America’s ambassador to the United  Nations, said in a January 23 meeting in New York with the American Jewish  Committee.

Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of  Democracies, which supports. military action by the United States to maintain  democracy in the Middle East, lamented this position. “People think you need a  perfect situation, like we had in Libya, before we intervene,” he said. “Unfortunately, Libya has become the threshold test, and if that’s what we are  waiting for, it will never happen.”

Ziadeh has been unable to return home to Syria since 2007, when the  government issued an arrest warrant for him shortly after he came to the United  States. With several other activists, he founded the Syrian Center for Political & Strategic Studies, a think tank and advocacy group dedicated to advancing  democracy in Syria. The center’s push for increased pressure from America on  Assad includes meetings with members of Congress and administration officials,  and appeals in the media to move the Syrian issue to the front burner.

“Obviously, the administration has taken some excellent steps,” Ziadeh said, “but since calling for Assad to step down in September, the U.S. has been  leading from behind. If we miss the opportunity now, it will never come  again.”

Ziadeh, who openly met with Clinton last August, said he was called to a  meeting at the Syrian Embassy in Washington and told that information on his  anti-government activities had been sent to security forces in Syria. He said  his mother was interrogated and informed that if she told her son “to be  silent,” she would be granted an exit visa to visit him. A call to the Syrian  embassy seeking comment on Ziadeh’s claim was not returned.

Ziadeh is one of the few Syrian activists to communicate with American Jewish  groups. He appeared twice at events organized by the AJC, a group that has taken  a leading role in supporting Syrian opposition. A video of one of his speeches  was posted on YouTube, presumably by pro-regime activists, with a title  describing Ziadeh as a spy.

Two Syrian dissidents in the United States who gave an interview to Israel’s  daily Yediot Aharonot without disclosing their identity are now in hiding after  the state-run TV in Syria exposed their names and accused them of treason. The  report also included a fabricated letter in which the newspaper supposedly  acknowledges their identity.

Abdulhamid said that talking to Israelis and to Jewish groups is a matter of  controversy within the Syrian exile community, but he is among those who  maintain contacts with Jewish activists in Washington. “It’s true that at times  we are demonized when we do so, but we forget that if we want our rights, we  need to communicate,” he said. “We need to develop diplomatic skills.”

  1. #1 by Naeem on 01/30/2012 - 9:34

    I’ve seen this guy in tv interviews. His a clear whore spreading his legs for his masters. I hope he dies on his own vomit. Bringing in the vipers to kill innocent’s is just plain evil.

  2. #2 by Ponders70 on 01/30/2012 - 9:34

    I wonder what the ziopigs promised
    this clown for all his postering?

  3. #3 by B.Benhamid on 01/30/2012 - 9:34

    This scumbag will eventually get his reward in hell.

  4. #4 by Gigelli on 01/31/2012 - 9:34

    They cannot be real Syrians if they are calling for military action against their own country and their own people, was Libya not enough proof for them? was Irak not enough proof?, are they really Syrians, I very much doubt that.

  5. #5 by Adalberto Erazo on 01/31/2012 - 9:34

    @ Gigelli

    Maybe some of them are crypto jews.

  6. #6 by Ingrid B on 01/31/2012 - 9:34

    @Gigelli, I agree, you pretty much said what I wanted to say..

    “The United States has also embraced the Syrian opposition” : I suppose it`s nice that they are liked somewhere..

    “Susan Rice, America’s ambassador to the United Nations, said in a January 23 meeting in New York with the American Jewish Committee.”
    “Ziadeh is one of the few Syrian activists to communicate with American Jewish groups”
    “Two Syrian dissidents in the United States who gave an interview to Israel’s daily Yediot Aharonot without disclosing their identity are now in hiding” : pretty much sums it up, it`s a Jew thing..

  7. #7 by B.A.Frémaux-Soormally on 01/31/2012 - 9:34

    “Again, keep in mind as you read this that the various ‘opposition’ groups operating against Assad ARE American/Israeli puppets, and cowardly ones at that, because if they were the true ‘freedom fighters’ they claim to be, they would be in Syria fighting a real war and not pussy-footing around in other countries.”

    This is exactly what TRAITORS do and there are plenty of them in the Muslim world as well as among Muslims living in the West.

    As long as Muslim countries will have contracts with the West, the Fifth columns will always do exactly what they are meant to do. The West breeds a lot of those degenerates that become very useful when Western policies change regarding a particular Muslim country.

    They must probably also have had a DNA change and are not humans any more!


  8. #8 by B.A.Frémaux-Soormally on 01/31/2012 - 9:34

    We can count on Syrian and Lebanese Christians, Allaouis, Turkish Alevis, Pakistani and Hindustani Qadianis, Ismailis and Bahais with Arab sounding names and even Muslim collaborators to join in the Circus of Western backed Oppositions when it comes to prevent a Muslim nation from liberating itself from Western puppet dictators that have been running their countries for more than a century.

    You will have already noticed that America was never after any particular dictator here or there. They have always been after a country and its resources and slave labour force! Saddam is gone, so, why are they still in Iraq? It is the same with Ghaddafi and the others!


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