Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obama delivers another sharp warning to Assad

President Obama, in his speech today ( May 19th 2011) sharply delivers an ultimatum to Bahsar Al-Assad while recognizing Tehran’s regime’s hand in the Syrian government’s crack-down and repression of its opponents. He expressly told Al-Assad to “lead the transition (to democracy) or get out of the way”. And at the same time hails the Iranian opposition as the catalyst for the peaceful demonstrations of the people of the middle east and north Africa region.

Some excerpts of the speech:

The Syrian people have shown their courage in demanding a transition to democracy. President Assad now has a choice: he can lead that transition, or get out of the way. The Syrian government must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests; release political prisoners and stop unjust arrests; allow human rights monitors to have access to cities like Dara’a; and start a serious dialogue to advance a democratic transition. Otherwise, President Assad and his regime will continue to be challenged from within and isolated abroad

Thus far, Syria has followed its Iranian ally, seeking assistance from Tehran in the tactics of suppression. This speaks to the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime, which says it stand for the rights of protesters abroad, yet suppresses its people at home. Let us remember that the first peaceful protests were in the streets of Tehran, where the government brutalized women and men, and threw innocent people into jail. We still hear the chants echo from the rooftops of Tehran. The image of a young woman dying in the streets is still seared in our memory. And we will continue to insist that the Iranian people deserve their universal rights, and a government that does not smother their aspirations.

At the same time, he does not spare the US allies (Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and other states) while sugar coating his words of warning and demands for reform.

I presume this was a reply to many people’s remarks on the duality of US policy towards certain middle eastern countries and allies. Perhaps this is indeed a reset button for the US policy in the region. Although with the upcoming re-election year one may wonder exactly how much of the future events of the region would weigh on his administration’s mind.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dorothy Parvaz recounts her experience in Syrian and Iran's prisons

Dorothy Parvaz is finally released from Iranian & Syrian prisons.

Obama trains his sight on Bahsar Al-Assad and Syria

Today, following the brutal crack-down of the Syrian population, the United States under executive orders of president Obama imposed sanctions on Bashar Al-Assad and a host of other top ranking Syrian officials on charges of human rights abuses, for the first time and expecting the European Union follows this move as well. Russia's resistence and opposition to the sanctions, of course, was well expected as per their track record of support of petty dictators in the region.

So far the announcement of these sanctions appears to move according to the expected play book. However how long and to what extent the west is willing to pursue this line before they step it up to more incisive measures is anyone’s guess. But the situation will be definitely followed very closely by one and all, especially the tyrants in Iran.

However, amidst all these events, it is very curious how the other Arab nations have kept quiet and have not uettered a word in objection to the Syrian violence against its own citizens.

On a side note, one may be forgiven to question the motives of the west for the duality of their approach towards, frankly, two similar situations of despotic tyrants resorting to extreme violence and murder against their own citizens. On the one hand, in Lybia, the west quickly moves to the more proactive phase of 'no fly zone' and then to bombardment and direct attacks on Lybian troops (including attempts on taking out the Lybian ruler, Gaddafi) and on the other hand, we see a more reticent and patient attitude is adopted in case of Assad and Syria. Could it be the presence of oil in Lybia which prompts the west to take thier more aggressive role, as opposed to Syria's lack of oil?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gaddafi is charged by ICC. When will Khamenei and Ahmadinejad be served theirs?

May 16th 2001 - Finally the International Criminal Court (ICC) takes a stand and recognizes Moamar Gaddafi culpable and guilty of crimes against humanity … albeit the symbolic nature of this announcement. This can only mean mounting pressure on the Lybian dictator from other International communities and countries in the days to come. Justice shall be done.

This is a momentous occasion for Iranians as well, when we consider this may be an opening for those who seek the same justice with the despotic ruling class of this regime. This court ruling will hopefully pave the way to see other tyrannical rulers like Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad along with their vicious minions who have had direct and indirect hand in torture and murder of innocent Iranians throughout the wretched history of this Islamic regime. People such as Mesbah Yazdi, Naghdi, Jaffari, Araghi, Ta'eb, Raadan, Mortazavi, Khatami, Jannati, … etc.

After today's announcement I can only wonder what may be going on in the minds of Khamenei and his ilk.