12.5.07

Reasoning with democracy obstruction

Libertarian journal Reason has published my letter to the editor in its May issue, concerning the syriapol project I created to encourage democracy in Syria. Note that while the self-serving think tank heroes and delusional neoconservative pundits feign concern for democracy in the Middle East, some of us are actually taking action to make it a reality:

After the Damascus SpringMay issue of Reason magazine

Guy Taylor did a great job writing about Syrian bloggers and Internet freedom in "After the Damascus Spring" (February). If you're looking for a delicious irony, consider my story: I created a political website for Syrians inside Syria. It was blocked and nobody in the country could view it.

Why? Not because of Assad or some other Syrian control freak—because of godaddy.com, from which I bought the domain name. Because of U.S. sanctions, no one inside Syria (or any other sanctioned nation) is able to view any site that GoDaddy registers or hosts. Is that insane or what?

George Ajjan - Clifton, NJ

This dovetails with the remarks in my article that appeared this week on antiwar.com, discussing Liz Cheney's impact on American policy toward Syria, particularly in relation to the Syrian opposition:

"I too have significant qualms with the Syrian government and am 100% in support of political competition; thus, I concur with your desire to empower the Syrian opposition. There are some outstanding individuals within that movement who have voiced appealing criticism of the regime. Undoubtedly, your personal endorsement will lend them loads of credibility.

Just one piece of advice: when your opposition "allies" set up their websites, advise them not to use GoDaddy.com as a registrar, because that company's compliance with the very same US sanctions against Syria that you vigorously endorse prohibits anyone inside Syria from accessing any site that they host or register. Therefore, webpages designed to encourage the Syrian people to demand more democracy from their government will be invisible because of the sanctions that punish Syria for its lack of democracy. I'm not sure what geniuses in the State Department dreamed up that brilliant scenario. Perhaps the hiring practices of the Bush Administration are not as meritocratic as I thought…"

Since Lebanese journalist Michael Young, who is quoted by Liz Cheney in her writing and who describes American policy toward Lebanon as a "remarkable success", touts himself as a libertarian and is also an editor at Reason, perhaps he can explain this to Liz and the Bush Administration.

1 comment:

annie said...

... hi George :
and I thought it was the regime blocking you