News Release

Syria: Internal Repression, External Manipulation

ELAINE HAGOPIAN, echagop at verizon.net
Hagopian is a Syrian-American sociologist, a professor emeritus of sociology at Simmons College in Boston and political interviewer for Arabic Hour TV. She said today: “The Syrian regime is brutal and was known to be brutal before the current uprising. But the Free Syrian Army endorsed by the Syrian National Council along with other opposition forces are also violent. The Syrian National Council is a group formed by overseas Syrians and supported by external forces. It is calling for international intervention, while the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change inside Syria rejects intervention. The tragedy of what is happening is that the original authentic opposition, which called for reform through peaceful demonstrations, is overrun by the violence.” Hagopian wrote the piece “Bashar Assad’s Missed Opportunity: Syria’s Pandoran Box.”

HAMID DABASHI, hd14 at columbia.edu
Available for a limited number of interviews, Dabashi holds a chair in comparative literature at Columbia University. His books include Post-Orientalism: Knowledge and Power in Time of Terror, Iran: A People Interrupted and The Green Movement and the USA: The Fox and the Paradox. His book on the Arab uprisings is forthcoming.

In a new interview with The Real News, he states: “You’re dealing, on one hand, with grassroots revolutionary uprisings, and on the other, with the fact that the United States, the European Union, and their regional allies (which include some Arab countries, such as United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia, etc.) want to micromanage these revolutionary uprisings in a manner that suits their benefit. And then, like in Libya … people are confronted with this dilemma, what to do when you have severe crackdown, militant violent crackdown, on the part of Gaddafi or on the part of Bashar Assad. These forces, such as Saudi Arabia or United States, European Union, appear as an angel of mercy to help the people, whereas the fact of the matter is that they are after their own economic interest.”

Dabashi also states that the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League are “really manipulated and controlled primarily by Saudi Arabia” and that in the Security Council, Russia and China are likely withholding support for assurances of their own economic benefit in a post-Assad Syria.

See Dabashi’s interviews with The Real News including the recent “The U.S./Saudi Agenda and the Syrian Rebellion” and “A Short History of Modern Syria.”