Monday, January 11, 2016

Meet the Syrian opposition's negotiation team

I just learned some of the names of the official Syrian opposition delegation which is tasked with negotiation with the Syrian regime. Incredible. One of the names is Yahdya Al-Aridi. This guy is now opposition. He is one of the most vulgar and crude propagandists of the Syrian regime that I have ever encountered.  He was at Georgetown University studying linguistics when I was a graduate student there in the 1980s, and we both attended meetings of the Arab Student Union at the university.  Once, a Syrian regime MP (Mohsin Bilal) visited Washington, and gave a lecture at Georgetown.  Al-Aridi introduced him in the name of the Arab Student Union and heaped praise on Bialal and the Syrian regime. I was furious, naturally.  I waited for the next meeting of the Arab Student Union and registered in strong terms my opposition to an affiliation between our union and any Arab regime and protested at the introduction by Aridi which he did not consult with us about.  He never said a word except: he started yelling the most crude and vulgar obscenities in my direction.  I told him that propagandists of Arab regimes like him could not be reasoned with and I left the meeting.