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Monday, October 19, 2009

The price of 'engagement'

There's a price being paid for President Obama's 'engagement' policy and it's not a pretty one. The price is being paid by people like Kareem Arabji.
Consider the case of Kareem Arabji, a 31 year old business consultant who helps manage the online youth forum www.akhawia.net. Kareem supervised Al Mabar Al Hur, a section within akhawia.net dedicated to free ideas, and wrote numerous articles under a pseudonym criticizing corruption and dictatorship in Syria. On June 7, 2007 Arabji was arrested by Syrian security forces and held incommunicado at the Palestine Branch of Military Intelligence in Damascus. He was charged with, "broadcasting false or exaggerated news which would affect the morale of the country.”

Just what outrageous, unforgivable words did Kareem utter that so threatened the Syrian nation? "The press is a very important mechanism to struggle against the corruption, there should not be any restrictions or obstacles to it," he wrote in Akhawia. Or perhaps it was his skepticism of the Syria-Hamas alliance: "Since I was a kid in school we were always taught that the Muslim Brotherhood is a criminal gang, and I agree. And now we proudly consider Hamas, which is a Muslim Brotherhood proxy, as an ally!!!?"

On September 13, 2009, Arabji was sentenced by a Syrian court to three years in prison.

Did President Obama raise Arabji's imprisonment while his tormentor toured Washington? No. To do so would be to jeopardize "peace," "diplomacy" or some other fiction masquerading as prudence which in actuality prolongs a hideous tyranny. Mekdad's visit was a golden opportunity to make Arabji's name as famous as Havel, Bukovsky and Sharansky once were. Instead, the most powerful nation in history remained silent.
And to think that when I was growing up, it was the Democrats who were regarded as the great defenders of human rights and democracy around the world.

How the mighty have fallen.


At 12:46 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Liberals today support tyrannies and dictatorships and whitewash their bloody records. And they are surprised when the autocrats and dictators receive their appeasement with hostility and contempt. And the worst thing about it is the victims who remain nameless and forgotten.

Hopenchange, any one?


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