First, I would like to extend my deep regrets to every civilized and democratic country around the world for watching the UN podium hosting you as the Syrian Foreign Minister and representative of the Assad regime engaged in killing its own people. I believe there must be a clear distinction made between governments who respect human rights and those who don’t. Equality to address others should be granted on the basis of a privilege and not a right.

When one leader after another addresses the world, from the same podium, by commenting on the atrocities being committed by your regime, it is almost comical to hear you accuse the United States of terrorism. Many who know our Syrian history well know that the Assad regime survives by terrorizing others. There is not one country in the world that has not been touched by the terror of the Assad family when Damascus became the capital hosting terrorists from all over the world. From Carlos to Ahmad Jibril, from al-Qaeda to Hezbollah. The prints of death of the regime you represent have excluded no one.

So forgive me if I find your appearance comedic when you accuse others of terror.

When thousands upon thousands of videos and images stream from Syria showing clearly who is the aggressor and showing irrefutably the savagery by which your regime tortures and kills women and children, it makes you a liar to accuse others of terror. There is a point people reach when lying to them so egregiously becomes an insult to their intelligence. And you, sir, insulted millions of people with your speech at the UN.

Many Syrians, like myself, escaped Syria with our parents or children to escape people like you and the masters you bow to. We escaped the suffocating political atmosphere, the lack of rights, dignity, and equality. We escaped illegal detentions and illegal trials. We escaped from people like you to countries who respect the rights of others.  In our case, we escaped to the United States of America.

Let me tell you about the country I escaped to.

American-Syrians are granted rights we can only dream about under the Assad regime. We have the right to express ourselves freely and criticize our own government. We have the right to a fair and equitable justice system and we have the right to question our laws. And most important, we have the right to vote for the candidate we believe is better fit for the job. Everything we don’t have the right to in Syria, America provides everyone equally with abundance and generosity. One has to experience the oppression of the Assad regime to appreciate freedom in America and for that I am thankful to you and to Assad.

Accusing the United States of the very same terror your government has been practicing for over 40 years shows it’s time for the Assad regime to leave the stage. Syria could have been a great country and will one day become one, but not as long as your regime remains in power and not as long as oppression of individual rights is practiced without any accountability.

Finally, many Syrians hope to see you and others on trial soon for aiding and abetting a regime that terrorized and murdered its people en masse. They will be watching the trials while sitting in their own living rooms in the foreign countries they escaped to and planning for Syria to become a little America.

Our duty now is to fix the mistakes Syrians have inherited because of your rule, including the sectarian one you are leaving behind as a final gift to humanity.

Farid Ghadry

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