Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Michel Kilo set free - so what?

There is nothing more tragic than when people who do not know anything about politics feel that they are somehow qualified to have an opinion on the subject. The clamour surrounding the recent release of Michel Kilo, portrayed amongst some as a hero of freedom, is symptomatic of the kind of intellectual bankruptcy that Syria's self-styled intellectual elite suffer from. I say this and I know I will be viciously condemned, in the same way that I would be condemned for laughing at Ukraine or Georgia's technicolour revolutions, or for laughing at the Dalai Lama or at whatever the name of that woman in Burma is called. An apologist for dictatorships? No, I'm not, but I know who I am and I know how to formulate a political opinion independently and consistently with my principles - which is more than what I can say for many of my critics, and for their principles or lack therof.

The American/Israeli backed attempt at placing Lebanon firmly in the West's camp, which took place following the timely death of Rafik al Hariri in 2005; the attempt at destroying Hezbullah in 2006; the attempt to isolate and marginalise Syria following the illegal and murderous invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003; the illegal murder of the president of Iraq and the murder of 1 million Iraqi's; the attempt to destroy Hamas in 2008; these are all linked. All of these events and countless others I have not mentioned are, to put it delicately, an "imperialist" plot for the region. Propaganda often attempts to eliminate a concept from public consciousness not by suppressing it and trying to erase it, but by constantly having it in the public eye. In doing so, people no longer care, they carry out their own self-censorship and the word becomes either derided, ignored or, the worst, laughed at. But however you decide to package and market manure in tinfoil, it will always be manure in tinfoil, and the millions of people who think otherwise are irrelevant compared to that one person who wrinkles their nose up and refuses to wear it on their head. People like Michel Kilo were quite happy to make things easier for the United States at almost every step of the way, though we must not contrast willingness with ability, for the Syrian opposition, apart from being misguided, is just as equally ineffectual. It is thanks to this ineffectuality and naivity that they were locked up at most and not worse. Sadly, Kilo and those who have supported him are what Lenin would call "useful idiots" - ideologues who think that they are being supported by the West, or at least by progressive intellectuals in the West, but who are actually held in contempt by them.


مترجم سوري said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
مترجم سوري said...

you could've dig a little bit at the history of killo's case and his group befor claiming that with the amount of knowledge you have , you are able to form an openion.

these people were given the green light by Bashar himself, during his first years, to form a party in Damascus.
they were working openly and declaring their meetings openly - with bashar's supporting them, not the west.
suddenely without any former alert , bashar susppended all the meetings, and the idea of starting forming parties in syria - like in egypt- vanished in the air, the house in wich they used to meet was visited by almokhabrat.

but these people continued meeting.don't u see the difference of the inner policy of bashar, between the first five years and the second 7 years.
do u know that there was a roumar in damascus like 3 or 4 years ago that bashar resigned?
ofcourse not, coz you are living there in london and no matter how much or what you read , you must be inside to have the full story.!

we must get ourself out of this circle ,everytime anyone in syria spoke up about anything against the government's policy , regardless if he was right or wrong, then he must be dragging syria into the west camp.
if everytime anyone's gonna speak ,is to be dragged to jail, then how are we going to change?
how can we move our foot to the first road of changing??
كيف هالشعب رح يتعلم التغيير
يتعلم أبجدية التغيير!!

and maybe just maybe , you don't have to call any syrian an "idiot" , after Mr.Lennin or whoever!! just to drag people to swear at u on ur blog.

Maysaloon said...

I am aware of the so-called "Damascus Spring" period. I wrote something about it in this post and why I think it ended:

I've said exactly why I think people like him are wrong and not simply because they opened their mouths. I've backed up my arguments, but I don't think you have. Also it's amusing that you think I'm doing this to get people to swear at me on this blog, but that isn't the case.

مترجم سوري said...

that was quite a good post to read.
when bashar was first in powrer , he raised the flag of "changing" high up,to get closer to the syrians,outside and inside but this didn't last long.
we don't see him in the streets any more!
but i'm not quite sure if i have read the article well coz in the previous one , i din't see any hint to ur statemnt here:"People like Michel Kilo were quite happy to make things easier for the United States at almost every step of the way".
in what way have people like Kilo made things easier to the usa?

مترجم سوري said...

coz in the previous post ur stating the opposite to ur post here,"people like Killo were quite happy to make things easier to bashar".
that's what i understood.

Nour said...

I completely agree with you on the issue of Michel Kilo and his likes. His main problem is that he allied himself with the March 14 movement, a clearly collaborationist, puppet movement that was employed with serving American and "Israeli" imperial interests in Lebanon and the region. The circus freaks of this so-called "movement" were attacking Syria on a daily basis and publicly and openly calling for the overthrow of the regime. What did Kilo think his fate would be when he forged a relationship with such a corrupt group? Moreover, having read some of Kilo's writings, I find no intellectual uniqueness in them whatsoever.

Again, this is not to defend the Syrian regime and their historical suppression of free thought, but rather to relegate these useless individuals to their actual intellectual and national importance.

jimmy said...

hi w,

apologies in advance if my comment turns out to be a bit too blunt. i couldn't find another way to express my opinion.

much as i like reading your blog, i am increasingly annoyed by the arrogance and self-righteousness that consistently leaks from its texts. to be honest, it reminds me of the dark, better-than-thou self-righteousness of the republican purists and the bush administration, except that in this case, it's not jesus, it's islam, and it's not america, it's (some) arabs.

your analyses are fascinating, but the opinions you form are so radically judgemental that they leave many people alienated with no option but to react against them. quite neocon i would say.

you keep wondering what "qualifies" people to give their opinions. you think that everybody (well, most of us anyway) are morally and intellectually bankrupt and ignorant. you consistently portray different opinions as brainwashed, betraying, imperialistic, corrupt, puppet-like, untrue to their roots and principles, and evil.

you may wish to re-read the first paragraph of your post and you'll be amazed by how judgemental it is, by how you group so many people, thoughts, philosophies and principles, and politely label them as dirt. and why? because at this moment in time, under the current circumstances, you disagree with them.

being someone who agrees with many of your ideas, i am really annoyed by the way those people or ideas that you disagree with are being portrayed. isn't the bigger picture a bit more complex, objective and realistic? is it that back and white?

well in my opinion, nothing is black and white. people, ideas, ideologies or theory are not supposed to fit a good-vs-evil scenario. because each one of them can be good AND evil. depending on the reader, the writer, the interpreter and the perspective of the observer, a genuinely good idea can be seen as evil and vice versa. because scenarii change, evolve, and regimes change, and political ideologies change, and their applications evolve and get distorted and modified.

so any presumptions about others are not true unless you make some effort to try to be in the other people's shoes for a moment.

i apologise for the long winded criticism, i am simply concerned that fascinating ideas are being diluted by blinding judgements you hold towards others who have different opinions. neutrality is stupid and insipid. but objectivity is every thinker's duty.

Maysaloon said...

Not at all, in fact I think your comment is exactly in its place and I'd like to thank you for it. I can be extremely acerbic in my criticism and this can start to be really annoying for many readers, I imagine. I should try to cool this attitude down a bit so thank you for pointing this out so eloquently!