Speaking for the Martyrs. Meshaal Temmo, A Syrian-Kurd Hero.

MArtyr Meshaal Tammo
MArtyr Meshaal Tammo
Meshaal Temmo, a great Syrian Kurdish leader was assassinated by the goons of Bashar Al-Assad on the 7th of October, 2011

It is heartbreaking for me to see my blog turning into a wall of obituaries for the martyrs of the Syrian Revolution. But again, in Syria, walls also serve as bulletin boards for Obituaries. The criminal regime of Syria, and its head, the pathetic tyrannical despot Bashar Al-Assad are making obituaries of Martyrs a daily occurrence. And it seems befitting that these virtual walls be no different from the real ones.

After targeting the leadership of the coordination committees with death under torture, and subsequent to the formation of National Council, Bashar Al-Asad is now deploying his death squads to assassinate highly effective opposition figures. On Friday, October 7, 2011, Bashar Al-Asad goons assassinated, mafia style, the Syrian Kurdish leader, intellectual, civil society activist Meshaal Temmo and wounded his son Marcel. Orders for this cowardly assassination could only have come from Bashar Al-Assad himself.

The Assassination of Mr. Temmo is a significant development for several reasons. First, Mr. Temmo, who joined the Syrian Revolution while in prison is not just a Kurdish leader. He is everything the regime hates in the intellectual leadership of the Syrian Revolution. His history of political activism transcends that of a nationalistic Kurdish leader as he reached out in his various endeavors, including those focusing on civil society, to his Syria. Arguing that the Kurdish problem is a problem of democracy he tied the legitimate Kurdish aspirations to those of the wider Syrian community and by that made the Kurdish issue a national issue, to the chagrin of those narrow minded, nationalistic intellectuals in Syria’s Arab and Kurdish communities. Mr. Tammo defined post Baathist Syria, A Syria for all of its citizens.

The totalitarian criminal regime of Bashar Al-Assad finds in Meshaal Temmo a major threat. The regime tried with various degrees of success to neutralize the Kurdish opposition. Some have argued that a deal was struck between the thugs of Damascus and some of the traditional leadership among some Krudish parties, which explains what the regime proponents are trying to sell as the “Kurds are sitting this one on the fence”. The Krudish community is far from sitting the one out, they have been engaged and involved in many localities. And Mashaal Al-Tammo has been a critical factor of their engagement despite of the failure of many in the traditional opposition, and especially the pseudo intellectual (i have relatives like that) who are influenced by the chauvinistic Baath Arabism, to engage the Syrian Kurds more effectively by acknowledging the justice of their cause and by tying it, like Mashaal Tammo did, to the larger issue of Tyranny, Despotism, and the malfeasance of the Assad family and their Mafia.

It is clear why the criminal regime decided to assassinate yet one more of their intellectual and ethical superiors. Anyone who succeed in planting national unity and in exposing that religious and ethnic groups in Syria do not need the Assad’s protection, but protection from the Assads and their regime, is a target for elimination. The regime’s spin machine has already started. Posts on regime media sites now accuse the opposition of assassinating Temmo. All of a sudden the sycophants found a lost love for “Nationalistic Opposition”.    

Science fiction writer Orson Scott Card envisioned a futuristic movement of Speakers for the Dead, who upon request from a family member or a friend of the departing, spend time researching the life of the dead in order to give a speech that attempts to speak for them by describing the person’s life as he or she tried to live it. The aim is not to defend the person but simply to understand her/him in a holistic manner. I am really fund of this concept, especially when the dead ones are the victims of evil such as the criminal regime of Bashar Al-Assad. However, I will not speak for Meshaal Temmo, I will let his own words speak for him and for that matter for all of us who want Syria free of the Assad mafia Tyranny

Below is a recent interview conducted by Elaph online with Meshaal Al-Tammo just one month before the cowardly hands of the Assad mafia ended his precious life. I have translated it for English readers in hope they will understand why is Meshaal Temmo a million times superior intellectually, humanly, morally, and ethically to the murderous blathering fool of Syria. 

Meshaal Temmo: Protection of Syrian Civilians from Genocide is An International Issue

Elaph GMT 9:00:00 2011 Saturday, September 3

In an exclusive interview with, “Elaph”, Syrian Kurdish dissident Meshaal Temmo speaks about the current situation in Syria and the impact of the new media law, which was released a week ago, on the ability to reveal the truth about events in Syria. He also talks about the status of the opposition and discusses possible forms of foreign intervention in his country. He also addresses the need to discuss the name of the Republic after the departure of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Q: To start with, how would read the current situation in Syria?

Indeed, we now have passed the point of no return, both in terms of the security option of the regime and its persistent killing and destruction and on seizing the cities, sanctities, and sanctuaries, or in terms of the revolution and its insistence on the bringing down the Syrian regime and building a civil, pluralistic, democratic, deliberative, and participatory state.

Therefore, the regime has no option but to leave and peacefully hand over power, and I think that in the end, the military destruction option will bring about international intervention to protect civilians because this falls within the framework of international law and Security Council and Chapter VII. This is not to mention the disintegration of the army, which will result from the bloody clashes. Because the Syrian Revolution, a peaceful, democratic, and its strength is in its non-violence,  it will be able to bring down the regime, and if it were not for excessive use of force by the regime, there would be tens of millions in the streets and public squares. What we see now is the will to defy death for the sake of freedom, dignity, and I think that the world’s regional and international and Arab and Muslim world must recognize that the will of the Syrian people is stronger than any interests or links connecting this and that to the regime of destruction, and they must support the Syrian people in their quest for freedom.

Q. Many spoke of the media of misinformation and on misleading the media, to what extent the law will affect the media in exposing the truth?

I think the conversation about information and disinformation is akin to trying to prevent the rays of truth from reaching out using sieve.  In the days of open information space and advanced technologies, the rope of deception has become too short. The attempts of deceptive media only expose the culture of totalitarianism, which relies on Goebbels’s approach in the falsifying the event, the picture, and the bit of information, while ignoring the global developments and the wide difference between yesterday and today. Essentially, the media law under a regime of repression, totalitarianism, and murder, has no value, and it remains a media bubble with no impact since the regime is based on its own deceptive media and on mislead the media altogether, blinded by its lying, fraud, and spin, the regime lies even about degrees of temperature and in defiance of any law. If the laws of human life would rein it, how would a law, which was originally issued to mislead, do so.

Q. About external opposition and their agendas, how would they reach agreement with the inside?

Opposition is opposition, regardless of location, and it is natural to have many of the active opponents outside the country for one reason or another, as well as many of those riding the wave. It is also natural that there would be a variety of agendas, but the agenda that will make the future, at all levels, is the agenda of the Syrian Revolution with its field action and its political manifestation (embodiment).  When the outside is consistent with the agenda of the inside, it becomes a part of it and opposition becomes the opposition. Otherwise, things remain in the framework of political opinion and of diversity of agendas, which no matter what it does, will remain out of the political and filed action contexts and structures of the Syrian Revolution.

Q. Are you with or against outside interference? What is the best form of intervention and support?

Generalization is also rejected here, because it aims to blind us to the fact of global interdependence. On the one hand, we now say that the world is now a small global village, in the sense of emphasizing the depth and size of human interdependence, how can then one think of this interdependence as a an outside intervention?

It may be that a direct military intervention is unacceptable, but there are many political, economic, and security forms that can be deployed to support the Syrian Revolution to protect civilians because the issue of protecting civilians from genocide is not a domestic issue but an international matter, a matter of Chapter VII of the Charter the Security Council. One must not confuse things, there have been interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo, Libya, Rwanda and in many other places of tension, and in each case the intervention was done differently. The issue is linked to the most appropriate manner that is compatible with international law, with which to protect civilians from the oppression of the Syrian security and military authoritarianism.

Q. How was the Syrian regime able to dismantle the opposition?

The Syrian regime was built on a repressive security apparatus through which it suppressed any manifestation of intelligence and thinking not to mention the political opposition. The regime rejected every one, intellectually, culturally, and politically, and it reduced the whole community into the deitified person. It is thus natural that authoritarian surrounding creates an ineffective opposition. A Syrian opposition, with its thoughts and behavior is one that arise within democratic spaces, and what we see at present of disintegration of the opposition is a product of high level of long-lasting repression. Naturally, the revolution will have its outcomes, which I think are maturing by the day be it the level of youth or classical opposition. It will take the initiative required to lead the transition, and transit Syria in a peaceful, democratic manner from the security state into the civil state.

Q. What prevents the implementation of democracy in the Arab world? And in what ways one can distinguish between what is religious, national and political?

Arab regimes are the product of specific historical era with the totality of its political, religious, as well as oppressive heritage, be it at regional or international levels. The pattern of political thoughts prevailing at the time produced cocktail regimes with inhomogeneous mixing and blending between the national, religious, and regional and so on of internal conditions and intercontinental slogans. In essence, the foundation was non-democratic, and it would be natural that the building itself would not be democratic. It is incumbent now, and after the increasingly accelerating changes not only to hastily think but to decisively resolve the issues and to dismantle the cultural and political system of despotism and tyranny. Such corrective action must come first and then be followed by putting things right politically, religiously and nationally. He how seeks democracy, civic pluralism, deliberative and participatory politics must first accept a neutral state, a state without religion for religion is for man and not for political concepts. Similarly, nationalism is for groups of humanity and Nationalist States is now an obsolete historical phase. In essence, what is required is consistency and harmony between the concept and what it required for its practical embodiment.

Q. Do you see that the youth movement as being able to overcome the legacy of authoritarianism and build a modern state?

Yes, this is the logic of life and the logic of human history and would not otherwise have witnessed democratic states which were in the past dictatorships and repressive and bloody authoritarianisms. The Syrian youths are capable of removing the Baathist authoritarianism and its legacy and building a civil state.

Q. At this critical moment Syria is passing, do you see that breaking the barrier of fear matters?

I think that without breaking the wall of fear and emancipation from the culture of terror sown by the security regime during 50 years, we would not have seen the Syrian people writing such unique heroism and the will, which challenge the tyrant’s machinery of war and destruction. It is paramount to continue the challenge all the way towards regaining freedom and prosecuting the war criminals responsible for the shedding Syrian blood and, and for the destruction and damage they have wreaked on fabric of the Syrian society during the period of their tyranny.

Q. The group that represents most of the movement is from rural areas that suffered the absence of development. why not purge the social aspect of the Syrian revolution? And what is the role of development in the foundation of democracy?

The absence of development is not the only reason leading to the outbreak of the Revolution, it is but an aspect of the overall reaction authoritarian actions towards society, its marginalization of people and objects as well is what accumulated the factors of revolution and led to its eruption. Now, I believe that the participating groups are not only rural groups but also large segments of urban sectors. Off course, things are relative, and every revolution has its political and social aspects as well as other multiple aspects hose integration is a goal of the revolution and a means to complete its tasks, which include first the task of building individual with his and culture and his presence and his ability to exercise a constructive role in the practice of democracy, of which the issue of human development is a pillar

Q. Do you think the opposition can develop a democratic solution to the Kurdish issue?

Syrian opposition is composed of various currents and of different political trends.  It is therefore wrong to generalize. Things are relative, and there are those who believe in democracy and in the need to realize it for virtually all of the components of the Syrian people. Others are still imbued with the exclusionary vision planted by the Baath of the other of different and differentiated national affiliation. Therefore, I think the younger generation who is currently leading the revolution has a lot of civil and democratic aspirations and little of national complexes, which lay the framework for a democratic solution to the issue of the Kurdish people in Syria as a matter of national and democracy cause in Syria that is in the interest of the majority of Syrians, as much in interest to the Kurds. On the other hand, any issue with a democratic solution is linked to its bearer and to the justice of its demand, and if the demand of the Syrian revolution is to build a civil, pluralistic and participatory state, it would be natural that the Kurds will be full partners with full rights and duties in partnership that are recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution.

Q. In a conference, you rejected the name Syrian Arab Republic. Is it clear, as the Arab intellectuals did not understand the basis for name of the Republic?

Perhaps one of the first to raise this issue and the need to discuss the concept itself was Professor Gad Karim Aljbai, more than ten years ago in the sense that any an adjective eats what followed, Arabic eats Syrian, and this was done by the racist ideology with its varying labels. The multi-nationalism and participatory country that we and all who belong to the Syrian revolution call for is contrary to the concept of ethnic state, and even contrary to the flag of independence and with the notion of civil state with its whole social content, a state for all Syrians (and here no one says Arabs only), and contrasts with painting a single ethnic character on such nation-state. If there are other than Arabs, those whose nationalities have historically existed on this land which is now contemporary Syria, then the state should reflects the total rather than a one nationality. It is unfortunate that some of the ideology of Arabism reduces Arabism to a label, while discounting the history, civilization and culture and other determinants of such nationalism.

I think we need a lot of discussion and dialogue on the intellectual concepts themselves, before we incorporate them into the political concepts so that at least they are consistent with the cause of democratic pluralism and civil state, which we are working to build

ازادي … Freedom…حرية… liberte


  1. Thank you very much for your article and the translation of the interview; a fantastic person was lost.

    I am always a little leary of the Kurdish revolutionaries because of their past alliances but Meshaal shows us that you can be as Syrian as a Syrian.


  2. “I am always a little leary of the Kurdish revolutionaries because of their past alliances”

    The Arabs and Turks did no good to Kurds instead they’ve managed to oppress, humiliate and treat them as 2nd class NON-citizens.


  3. @ majed khaldoun & OTW

    “,he must be nervous”

    I’d imagine all Menhebaks are quite nerves similar to their Lord Betho the criminal. A stark example would be the idiotic statement issued by the Mufti.

    I would not claim the opposition is doing any better but the time-game is always more hurting for the state rather individuals.


  4. At this stage, recognising the SNC by the LTC is an important symbolic gesture with no real tangible value.

    SNC should adopt the Palestinian Authority (PA) approach in playingthe numbers game, that’s by gaining many supportive voices around the world and gathering a recognition after a recognition even from ineffective countries. Acknowledging the revolution and kicking out the regime’s diplomatic convoys would strip what left of Betho’s legitimacy and encourage big countries to join the party.


  5. Well done Haytham, very comprehensive indeed!

    Btw your Arabic writing is amazing :), how come?


  6. RIP Mish’aal Temmo.

    Your vision of a future multicultural & tolerant Syria, where Arabs and Kurds live as brothers and sisters, is engraved in our hearts.


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