Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Women Against War .....

held a symposium in Chicago. But, unfortunately, women will never be able to control men's lust for blood and mayhem. Never!  It doesn't matter if they were born into a Muslim faith or not, it doesn't matter if they were born Christian and bred, educated and brought up in the West or not .... men have that insatiable hunger to see human beings die and die horribly.

Osama Esber writing at Jadaliyya:
... Militarization and External Intervention: The Syrian Crisis
The US organization Women Against War held a symposium in Chicago on 23 April 2014, to which researcher and scholar Bassam Haddad, Co-Founder and Co-Editor of Jadaliyya and Director of the Middle East Studies at George Mason University, was invited, alongside Rana Khouri, researcher and PhD student at Northwestern University, Chicago. The symposium was organized on the theme of refusing militarization of the conflict and US military intervention in Syria. Women Against War believes that any US military intervention in Syria would not benefit the people of Syria or the Middle East. As the continuous militarization of the conflict and the constant use of violence against women and children will only lead to more killing and destruction as happened in Iraq and in each country in which America intervened militarily. The organization called for an immediate ceasefire and a political solution to the conflict that respects the democratic and human rights of the Syrian people and guarantees genuine participation for Syrian women. It also launched an appeal for the international community to act now and meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the Syrian people.

At the start of his trip to Chicago, Haddad gave a lecture in Illinois University on 22 April 2014, titled “The Syrian Uprising After Three Years: The Regime, the Opposition, and the Foreigners.” In this lecture, he addressed the current situation in Syria and how the uprising has deviated from its initial course and was turned into an internal conflict fueled by international and regional parties. This conflict aims in good measure at settling scores and destroying the military capacity of those parties who might pose a danger to western interests and their allies in the region, primarily Israel, but also conservative Arab states.

The discussion also addressed the issue of minorities in Syria, the dangers to which they are subjected, and the contradictions in which they are lodged. In Haddad’s opinion, the stance on the uprising in Syria has brought about various splits within society, starting with family and friends. Rivalry, rather than dialogue, has become dominant. It became evident that one of the serious problems is the refusal of the different “other” and of the principle of coexistence with those one disagrees. This is reflected in the structure of the opposition itself, where division and rupture prevail and different agendas dominate. As for the situation of the Syrian uprising, Haddad stated that not supporting the opposition does not necessarily mean taking sides with the regime, but rather reflects the fear of a grim and unpredictable future, the search for something better, including an opposition which is more effective, independent, and principled, and/or the fear of potential acts of revenge and sectarian genocide. Haddad also stated that the Alawi sect is the most endangered sect of all in the ongoing conflict in Syria. Its siding with the regime does not mean believing in its position and methods, but rather that the narrative of the opposition is not reassuring to minorities in Syria, especially after al-Qa‘ida-type methods/approaches dominated major parts of it. By the same token, he continued, we should not overlook the fact that the regime was able to highjack the fate of Alawis and employ it to serve the regime’s objectives in continuing to rule regardless of that community’s support or lack thereof..........

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