Wednesday, April 29, 2009

America's House Negroes in the Middle East: Where are they now?

The final chapter in the little big adventure that began in the Middle East in 2003 is now over. I have lost count of the tussles, arguments and abuse I have gone through with people concerning the importance (or lack of it) of the Hariri tribunal, after the failed 2006 Israeli war and then Hezbullah's takeover of Beirut, I claimed it was a dead horse that was no longer useful to America. Here is an post I had written in October 2007 which summarised the situation. The final defeat of the United States' grand plan in the region is marked by their conceding to the release of the four suspects in the Hariri tribunal. Once the elections take place and Hezbullah smashes into power with Aoun as President, the March 14th figureheads will be nothing more than the biggest, fattest zero in Middle Eastern politics. Now, a brief look at the brightest and best apologists for the American project for the region and where they are today:

Beirut to the Beltway is now closed. Here is a short quote from the final post there and might I add, good riddance:

My new American dream replaced my Lebanese nightmare, at least during the day, when ghosts hide under pillows. At night, however, they rear their ugly heads, redrawing that path of self-torture that raised me. I will probably always dream of the shells, the darkness of the shelter, and the frustrations of living small in a place that pretends to be large. But when the light rises from behind the hill, I am new. Remember that myth about the Phoenix rising from the ashes? It is true. But in my case, life came back somewhere else.

That was my past. Thank you for reading. This blog is over. My story begins.

Tony Badran from Across the Bay fumes slowly at the turn of events in Syria and Lebanon. Silently, sadly. His other blog, the Syria Monitor, was last updated in May 2007. He was also a contributer to CLIME (The Centre for Liberty in the Middle East). Click here for a post I wrote about them in 2007 as well.

The website for CLIME appears to have fallen into disuse as there is no sign of any updates or activity at all.

Ammar Abdulhamid, a former Syrian and the son of the famous actress Mona Wassef. I once called Mr Abdulhamid a lame, toothless tiger after coming across his blog and discovering his disastrous political positions, today he has disappeared off the map altogether. His blog has not been updated for a very long time but his Tharwa Foundation seems to be ticking along quietly in the background with a flashy new website. For now it seems that the Amarji has left the building. 

The "Reform" party of Syria has a new fancy website - must be more US funding. Farid Ghadry's presidency of the party lapsed recently. I never thought it would be possible but this remarkable party has achieved what I thought was previously impossible. They are more irrelevant today than they were a few years ago.

Farid (Frank) Ghadry has crawled back to his hole. The last I heard, his father was suing him for some botched business deal but I cannot confirm this.


Yaman said...

I was very young when it became fashionable to follow and support these neoliberal Syrian/Lebanese blogs and websites, and of course it was all around the time of the Hariri assassination, which, at my age that time, I understood much through the popular lens that he was a martyr for freedom and democracy. I must admit, it took me a little while, and a little growing and education, before the horror of their activities and rhetoric struck me as inherent to their political position rather than a side-product that could be ignored or rationalized. In particular, it took the shock and horror of the Israeli massacres in Lebanon to wake me back up into reality (of course in addition to those outlets' discourses on Islam, the occupation of Iraq, etc).

There was one speech in particular by Nasrallah during that time, in 2006,

"I cannot forget the sight of the American forces leaving Vietnam in helicopters, which carried their officers and soldiers. Some Vietnamese, who had fought alongside the Americans, tried to climb into these helicopters, but the [Americans] threw them to the ground, abandoned them, and left. This is the sight I anticipate in our region, but I am not saying it will happen in months. It will take years. The Americans will gather their belongings and leave this region - the entire region. They have no future whatsoever in our region."I had already had my doubts before I heard this, but it was during this time, with the Hariri alliance on the side of the Israeli war, and the pro-Hariri outlets like the blogs you listed, that I finally got it.

Good riddance, to bad rubbish. These people promoted outside intervention to force their own ideals on their people. They were apologetics for the worst kind of violence and inhumanity. They disdained the history and customs of people they lived with even while claiming to know what was best for them. Without their imperialist supporters, they were good for nothing. With the departure of the Bush administration comes their departure. They are not begging to leave on helicopters, but it is close enough.

Yaman said...

Your post prompted me to dig up this post, which is where I documented the shift I mentioned above.

Maysaloon said...

Hi Yaman,
Yes that is a powerful image that Nasrallah conveyed. I wouldn't forget about it just yet though. We may live long enough to see similar scenes taking place in Tel Aviv one day.

Maysaloon said...

By the way what did you think of those two essays below? I was hoping that some of the debates and ideas in Arabic philosophy would become more accessible to Arabs and Muslims as I put stuff like this up.

Yaman said...

I starred them for reading later when I will have the time & mind to read through it clearly :) Give me a few weeks.

poshlemon said...


I agree with both you and Yaman about these blogs. Very annoying and distorted vision of what the Middle East is and should be. It is said that these are only a sample of a larger community that is still active in this line of thought. What a shame.

But, I am unfamiliar with Ammar Abdulhamid. Could you please in a nutshell give me an idea of his politics and his position regarding Syria? I am too lazy to browse through his blog.

qunfuz said...

Ammarji's tharwa foundation receives US funding. That such a self-important man with nothing much to say (except to show us that he is a New Man who isn't worried by menstruation: Bravo, Ammar!) can rise to meet top neo-cons, to organise meetings between Bush admin people, Khadam, and the Muslim Brotherhood, just shows how little respect these people in the US have for Syria. I mean, even if I loved his politics (and I certainly don't - encouraging US intervention in Syria is treacherous), the man is not what you'd call a subtle thinker.

Power loves such useful idiots. A parallel in the British Muslim community is Ed Hussein, author of 'the Islamist' - Hussein was a simple-minded teenage Islamist, now he's a simple-minded 'moderate Muslim' who makes racist generalisations against Arabs and believes that Saddam Hussain forced the West to attack Iraq.