I'm about to head home from Campus Party Brazil, a nifty event in Sao Paulo that can't be explained properly in this post. While there, I met Leila Nachawati, a blogger from Spain with Syrian roots and family. I recorded this short interview, which I think anyone with an interest in Arab Spring politics will appreciate.
In particular, I wanted to position the work of Syrian democracy and human rights activists in the context of foreign (US, NATO) military intervention, alleged competition with the Palestinian liberation struggle, and the discourse, normative in some corners of the far left, that always seems to find fault with any sort of Western support for democracy.
As an activist in support of Palestinian liberation, I'm a little dumbfounded at how little support there has been for the Syrians, Bahrainis and Yeminis within the international movement. This is quite unlike what is happening in Palestine, where the Arab Spring is widely embraced as a reciprocal, fraternal movement.
I learned from a blog that cannot be mentioned here that Huweida Arraf, a US citizen and Palestinian activist, has been arrested in Bahrain supporting the democracy movement there.
Yet silliness still seems to pervade what might be called the Green Party left, the newspaper selling left, the "Chomsky is too soft on Israel" left. I can't bring myself to wade into all the arguments, but I can bring Nachawati's voice to the American netroots.