For the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, based in Washington DC, to provide a podium for a regime that willingly killed hundreds of US troops in Lebanon and Iraq is not really the issue — even though many will find it quite offensive as I do. The real issue is what will be discussed by these regime hacks on Lebanese soil and why is Carnegie sponsoring an event intended to crush Lebanon”™s democracy? The propaganda of the speakers will be hard to miss as they will certainly laud the man whose family occupied Lebanon physically for 29 years and never stopped occupying it morally, through Hezbollah and others, since Assad father came to power in 1970.
The visiting Syrian regime accessories have been mentioned many times in the western media and some even are thoughtful enough to write about their boss in ways that reminds us of the most backward of countries. With that in mind, Carnegie, by inviting no Assad critic to the podium, has allowed itself to be a tool of propaganda against its own image of a thoughtful Think Tank. Should not that worry its Board of Trustees to appear as if they have become an arrow in Assad”™s quiver of terror? Are we to respect the US laws clearly stating that Syria is a state sponsor of terrorism or are we to ignore them just for a donation? Â Had Carnegie invited one critic of the Assad regime, such observation would be misplaced.
I expect there will be no one to ask these questions because they will be targeted by the Syrian regime. So, with Carnegie”™s indulgence, I must ask them:
- What is the human rights situation in Syria and can you tell us how many people are still missing from the Sednaya prison uprising in 2008? There is the likelihood that if asked, the visiting invitees, will refer to everyone as a Jihadi terrorist having forgotten that Islamic Jihad, the terrorist organization behind the killing of some 240 US Marines in Lebanon in 1983 was the organic creation of Hafez al-Assad and his Hezbollah terrorists. It”™s real Jihadists when it suits Assad and it”™s fake Jihadists when it also suits him.
- Why does Assad not allow the IAEA inspectors to inspect Syrian points of interests if he has nothing to hide?
- What weapons have been shipped to Hezbollah in the last 7 years?
- What has Assad done for Syrians except limit their freedom and oppress millions of our citizens?
- What has he done for Syria except opening new cafes and invite regaled journalists who cannot tell the difference between GNP and GDP to talk about Syria”™s new economic Renaissance?
- Why is Syria spending 35% of its budget on armaments except to protect the rule of one man?
- What are Assads”™ accomplishments in the last 10 years besides terror, violence, killing, kidnappings, and supporting extremist religious organizations?
Finally, I will accept Carnegie”™s premise of “Peace” and “Stability” through its promotion of ruthless and violent dictators if these Board of Trustees members Linda Mason, Jessica T. Mathews, Catherine James Paglia, Vanessa Ruiz, and Shirley M. Tilghman live for one year in Gaza incognito. If they wish for us life under extremism, should they not at least fully experience it first?
Carnegie should not be in the business of propagandizing veil dictators or harming the democratic process in Lebanon. Those who acquiesced to this invitation must rescind it if they do not want to carry the burden of bad press in Washington by their ill-conceived actions.