US should expel all of Syria’s diplomats
By Ray Hanania — The war crimes of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continue to grow with the most recent in Hula where Baath Party thugs executed women and children in the hopes of intimidating the protesters.
But instead of weakening the resolve of the pro-Democracy protesters, the Hula massacre is sparking outrage from countries across the world.
This week, in what must be only a start, dozens of nations have begun expelling Syria’s ambassadors and consulate heads.
But that is not enough. The countries should shut down Syria’s embassies and withdraw all consular representatives from Syria. Assad and his pariah government should be isolated further until the fate of Iraq, Libya and Egypt will one day reach the Syrian capitol.
This week, for example, the Charge d’affaires of the Syrian embassy in Washington DC was given 72 hours to leave the country.
Not only is that outrageously too generous, it is not a strong enough response.
Every employee of the Syrian Embassy should be either ordered back to their dictatorship nation, or removed from employment if they are American citizens.
The order shouldn’t be just restricted to Washington D.C. but should include all of Syria’s consular relations offices across the United States where Shabiha (Syrian Secret Service agents) are reporting back to the Assad dictator on the activities of pro-Democracy allies.
Syria’s government maintains “honorary consulate” offices in New Port Beach California, Houston, Texas, and Troy, Michigan. The “honorary consuls” and their staffs should be ordered to renounce their allegiance to Assad or leave this country immediately.
These Honorary Consuls should also be removed from their local boards and corporations, unless they publicly renounce the Assad terrorism. It’s not enough for people to condemn their positions with the Syrian dictatorship and it is an insult to this nation that they continue to serve without accountability.
Syrian activists continue to work to spread lies and disinformation to undermine the pro-Democracy effort in Syria and to organize support for the Assad regime.
They are working through Christian Arab churches, telling parishioners that the fall of Bashar al-Assad will result in the rise of Islamic extremism, which is a genuine threat to the existence of Christian Arabs in the Middle East.
But in removing Assad and his thugs from power will result in the establishment of Democracy which will give minorities in the Middle East true freedom and more importantly a voice in their country’s affairs.
Democracy, not dictatorship, can protect people. So many Arabs have been victimized by the intimidation and the violence of the Arab dictators over the years that they have come to believe that the lack of freedom is better than the threat of extremism.
Yet, that lack of freedom is in fact the essence of the extremism. Even under the dictatorships, civilians have been killed, corruption has been rampant, and regional politics has failed. The economies of many of the Arab countries are dichotomies where a few control all the wealth and the majority live in poverty, lack of education and fear.
President Barack Obama can take stronger action to respond to the Assad terrorism against his own people. The shooting of women and little children at point blank range, in their heads is such a terrible crime that no amount of diplomacy is justified at this point.
Kofi Annan should admit that his mission is a failure. He has failed. He has fallen short in his mission. Annan has been a stooge for the Assad government, acting to find a way to save the tyrant rather than to save the Syrian people.
President Obama can lead the charge and expel everyone working for the Syrian government, forcing the Assad murderers into their dark little cave of international isolation.
Impose an embargo on everything in Syria. Shut down Syria’s economy. Isolate the terrorist Baath Party regime. Deny it any international respite whatsoever.
No doubt like all dictators, Assad will respond by trying to redirect the burden of international isolation on the Syrian people while his wife, Asma the Wicked Witch of Damascus, continues to order $10,000 shoes from eBay.
But when the Assad dictatorship collapses – and that is a certainty — the Syrian people will be given a chance to lift themselves up from out of the mire of oppression and rebuild a nation of freedom and justice.
There is no guarantee of success. Egypt is an example of that possible option. But the Arab World must continue to try over and over again to free its people, in spite of the costs.
The consequences of doing nothing is another Hula, Hamas or Homs, cities where Assad and his terrorist regime have massacred thousands of innocent civilians in order to continue their sectarian control over the country.
Innocent lives are being lost on the whim of Bashara al-Assad, a brutal dictator whose hands are drenched in Syrian blood.
That must stop.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning Palestinian writer and Chicago radio talk show host. Reach him at www.RadioChicagoland.com.)
The Honorary Consulates of Syria in the United States
Honorable Consul of Syria in California
Dr. Hazem Chehabi
UC Irvine urged to remove Chehabi from their board. Read story
3 San Joaquin Plaza, #190, New Port Beach, CA 92660
Tel: (949) 640-9888
Fax: (949) 640 9292
Honorable Consul of Syria in Texas
Mr. Ayman Midani
1022 Wirt Rd., Suite 300, Houston, TX 77055
Tel: (713) 622-8860
Fax: (713) 622-8872
Honorable Consul of Syria in Michigan
Dr. Naji Arwashan
900 Wilshire Dr. Ste 202
Troy, MI 48084
Tel: (248) 519-2496
Fax: (248) 519-2399
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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