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Good Bye Chavez !

Flamboyant in his trademark red shirt ! Strong . A man with immense popularity. It is all there in the way he carries himself. In the texture of his voice and in the set of his shoulders .

He is the eternal revolutionary . His speech is passionate and to the poor and sick he offers overwhelming comfort and a sense of belonging and worth . A man of noble ideals who wanted the best for his countrymen.

During his time Venezuela saw a remarkable reduction in poverty and the poor enjoyed social benefits such as access to education and health care . His ideology was based on Bolivarianism “ The key ingredients for which are , an emphasis on the importance of education , the creation of civilian – military unity , Latin American integration , social justice and national sovereignly “ ( Hugo Chavez – Wikipedia )

So charismatic and popular was he that when he was voted as president to Venezuela, left- leaning presidents became the trend for Latin American such as Lula da Silva of Brazil, Evo Morales of Bolivia , Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua .

Chavez believed that “ Democracy is impossible in a capitalist system . Capitalism is the realm of injustice and a tyranny of the richest against the poorest . The only way to save the world is through socialism , a democratic socialism . Democracy isn’t just the government of the rich over the poor , which is what is happening in almost all the so called democratic western capitalist countries “ Hugo Chavez June 2010.

Although Hugo Chavez was against American policy his message to the American people was one of love and humanity and he proved that by offering free heating oil to the east coast New England states , thus embarrassing the Bush administration who were not willing to tackle the problem . This program was described as “ From the Venezuelan heart to the American hearths “ and its target was to help struggling low income American families keep warm .

During his presidency he ushered in a new constitution and established participatory democratic councils and nationalized many vital industries such as the oil industry which brought upon his head the wrath of the USA and the hatred of the elites of Venezuela .

As for Syria Chavez was always a firm supporter paying state visits and signing many treaties and memorandums of understanding. In October 2012 he said “ how can I not support the Assad government ? It’s the legitimate government of Syria . Who should we be supporting , the terrorists ? the so called “ Transition council “ who are killing people everywhere ? I don’t understand how some governments in Europe that claim to be serious have been meeting with terrorists.”

Chavez sent a number of oil shipments to Syria – where he will be sorely missed as he will be missed by the poor , the downtrodden and the helpless of the world- a truly outstanding personality! Good Bye Chavez – you will be missed .


Reem Haddad

The Scandalous Role

It is no longer hard to say  that with the accession  of the Justice and Development Party to power in Turkey in 2002, the Western Countries and the USA, in particular tried to highlight the model of  the Turkish Justice and Development party as the best  Islamic role model to be exported to Muslim countries.

The said party, however, benefited from the bubble of the sudden economic growth was assisted by funds pumped from Western countries, resulted in a boom welfare that formed a suitable social foundation to impose its policies..... Or rather the West's policies through it.

Certainly, all these Western aids are not directed to Justice and Development Party, or to Turkey without a price, rather come as a way to beautify and export the Turkish Islamic model  and disseminate it to the Middle East and Arab countries in particular in order to get  through it  to the Arab region and the Islamic countries and to impose and perpetuate  their own policies the way  they want.

Under the rule of the Justice and Development party , Turkey does not work individually on its own, or through a political program presented  to the Turkish people, but works within  the context of a regional project it seeks to  intersect with Western interests,  meet the interests of the US and Israel and open the way before the  leadership of this party to achieve its interests and influence and reproduce the Ottoman Empire in a modern way based on the expanding  influence and interference in the internal affairs of countries in the region . A project  that makes of Turkey  an arm to implement its policies and a tool for Western intervention in the region. With all that ,the Turkish justice and development party  is linked to a  common alliance    with Islamic organizations, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, aims to overturn the  political situation in the Arab and Islamic countries by all available means and ways to serve  their  common  interests and  achieve the objectives of external parties supporting and producing them.  Thereby, the U.S. policy in the region converges with the policy pursued by Turkey under the  rule of the justice  and Development party and the Islamic groups, led by the Muslim Brotherhood , and its affiliated parties, whose  goals are  intersecting with the interests of these parties and  countries and fall  ultimately in the interest of the US project in the region.

As a result, the role played by Turkey of the «Justice and Development Party» is declining to be  scandalous role  and  thus cannot be that model in a region which enjoys  a  thousand year old  civilization of great history  and culture . What is happening now in the region does not exceed a historic bubble  that passes across the Arab countries  as earlier ones throughout bygone eras known in  many interventions and will be ended with the triumph of peoples owners of  homelands and the victory of the open enlightened thought over   the obscurantist ideology, its marketers, campaigners  and temporary beneficiaries.

Ahmed Orabi Baaj


Edited & Translated

T. Fateh

Syria-The death of a country


An eye catching title. Undoubtedly! The title on the front cover of The Economist magazine dated February 23rd-March 1st 2013. And this is where it stops! The content of the article is surprisingly meager and has nothing to offer the reader either in way of information or in analysis. Indeed the very first sentence is misinformed. It says, "After the first World War Syria was hacked from the carcass of the Ottoman empire." Syria is of course much older than the Ottoman empire and there is no need to hack something that already exists.

        The article goes on – and the picture it paints of what is happening in Syria is far removed from reality . It describes the terror of what is happening as a sectarian war .It says, “ By getting his Alawite brethren to massacre the Sunni majority , he has drawn in jihadists and convinced Syrians from other sects to stick with him for fear that his own fall will lead to terrible vengeance “  What is happening in Syria isn’t a war of the sects – it isn’t all the minorities against the Sunni majority . After all the Syrian army which is doing the fighting is composed of all sects of which the majority as indeed should be are Sunni . To simplify the issue and wrap it all up as Alawites fighting Sunnis shows a complete lack of comprehension of the mosaic in Syria – of the different sects all Syrians belong to, that have forever lived together enriching their lives by the presence of others .

       What is sadder are the things that the article didn’t mention. The article never mentioned the theft of Syria’s antiquities and artifacts. It never mentions how this” revolution” looted the museums of Idlib and stole from archeological excavations. How at least 18 ancient mosaics depicting scenes from Homer’s “ The Odyssey “ have gone missing from northern parts of Syria . The article doesn’t mention that the UNESCO has launched an appeal for the protection of Syria’s cultural heritage.

       Another fact that the article misses while describing the misery of Syrians is the American led sanctions against the civilian population. It doesn’t say why targeting civilian populations  has turned into a foundation stone of American Foreign Policy . It doesn’t talk of the defective” unintended consequences “argument used to justify civilian targeting sanctions . It doesn’t talk of vital medicines that have gone missing ( like the treatment for cancer )or  of the much needed funding that Syrians require for education , construction and indeed self-  improvement that have now been denied them.

     What is striking about the article is that it could have been written a year ago and most of it would have passed .It is much a regurgitation of old rhetoric with no insight into how things are in the country. No new approach has been adopted for the article has adopted the same old approach that aims at discrediting whatever the government says or does and with that attitude there isn’t much hope that the west and the USA will one day see the situation with both eyes


Reem Haddad

Where are we going?

Syria has been witnessing increased fighting since March 2011- what started off as a peaceful demonstration in the governorate of Dar’a was quickly hijacked by outside forces which exchanged these demonstrations for armed militias and gangs that have spread terror and havoc through certain parts of the country.

 As money and arms poured into the hands of what was later called the “ Free Syrian Army “ the fighting spiraled . It is very important to note that those fighting the government in Syria are many different groups of which the FSA is only one and not the most important . The “ Nusra Front “ which has been listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S and is a branch of Al Qaeda, has been the cause of many explosions and acts of terror and is stronger than the FSA . The different gangs and militias in the country act independently of one another and have no central command and so to label them all under the FSA is a mistake, giving the FSA far more weight and power on the ground than it really has.

Today, Syria has reached a critical stage where its future can only be determined through national dialogue – where the government and the armed opposition must initially give up their differences and sit around a table and discuss their options with no preconditions attached. Unfortunately up till now the outside opposition has refused to do this and it has been aided and abetted by the U.S and the EU . Just recently the “ National Coalition “ has again rejected dialogue. Moaz Al Khatib has in a very roundabout way shown a willingness to talk but the question here is really who does he represent? The SNC?The National Coalition? Neither apparently since they both rejected his calls for dialogue. The future of Syria should encompass a democratic political process where the first step is dialogue resulting in free parliamentary and presidential elections. The future of Syria must offer a guarantee to all different sects and religions that make up Syria . Up till this date the outside opposition has made no attempt whatsoever to offer the minorities any kind of guarantee or reassurance  - other than words. Moreover, it hasn’t presented the people of Syria or indeed the outside world with any political narrative. Their fixation is simply to oust the regime with nothing planned for the day after. In addition, the outside opposition hasn’t tried in any way to engage with the opposition inside Syria – the latter ,not being funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and so see things in a more realistic light than those feasting in 5 star hotels in Arab and European capitals . Sanctions are another problem that should be dealt with immediately . The US led sanctions violate international humanitarian law due to the negative health effect they have on the Syrian civilian population . These sanctions should be immediately lifted  so that the people of Syria can pursue the right to economic development.


Reem Hadad

When Homeland Calls Sons Must Answer

Meeting the needs of the homeland's prosperity, security and stability is a natural, logical and national duty of all who live on its lands.

One of the most urgent need of our homeland today is dialogue, so whatever our political orientations or social backgrounds are, we, as citizens of this homeland need to join efforts to ensure a healthy environment and a suitable ground for making this dialogue a success and fruitful.

The homeland, adores unity, seeks coexistence and respects tolerance, amity and cooperation among its citizens. It rejects fragmentation attempts and renounces all who are connected with foreign agenda's. However, the question is would sons of the homeland be honest enough to respond positively to its calls so as its bleeding wounds are cured?

What is sure is that a wide range of Syrians are convinced that the potentials of the homeland and the blood of its sons could be saved to the main battle with Israel, the homeland's sole enemy.

Therefore, it is time for all to stop the bloodshed in Syria, go back to the right track and unify efforts to defend the homeland, preserve the unity of its land and maintain its social cohesion and state of coexistence among all components and spectra of the Syrian society. All are invited now to contribute to enriching dialogues and consultative meetings which pave the way for comprehensive national dialogue that restores security and stability to the homeland. All must also contribute to rebuilding Syria on new bases under the umbrella of the homeland, the guarantor of its citizens' rights.

No need to remind of facts or repeat the talk about the common interest shared by all the Syrians. No need also to review the homeland's firm principles as they have become evident. What is the most urgent now is to mobilize the Syrians' efforts and work together for a better and a stronger Syria.


Ahmad Orabi Baaj


Translated and Edited by H. Mustafa