In the last week of every month Ikhras presents the Muntadhar Zaidi “Shoe of the month” Award to the House Arab or Muslim individual or organization in the United States whose behavior that month best exemplifies what Malcolm X described, in the language of his own time, as the “house negro” (see video). The award is named in honor of the brave Iraqi journalist Muntadhar Zaidi who threw his shoes at the war criminal George W. Bush at a time House Arabs and Muslims were dining with him at the White House and inviting him to their mosques.
Ikhras is pleased to announce that the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Shoe of the Month Award for July 2011 is Radwan Ziadeh. A self-declared “Human Rights Activist”, Mr. Ziadeh is currently Washington’s favorite Syrian and can usually be found attending meeting and events at the State Department and auditioning for a role as the Ahmad Chalabi of Syria. He’s very liberal, very Pro-American government– Basically everything America likes. Before presenting Mr.Ziadeh with the July 2011 Ikhras Shoe let’s take a look at how the Syrian Hakawati and inspirational, fiery orator beat out the competition for this prestigious award.
Mr. Ziadeh earned the July 2011 Shoe based on his activities inside the U.S. and abroad, his support for US intervention and meddling in Syria, and his lobbying efforts on behalf of a US foreign policy hostile to Syria and its people. The shoe is also awarded in recognition of his efforts to exploit the current unrest in Syria to endear himself to the Washington political class, and his willingness to reach out to racist, Zionist groups that support an entity which remains at war with Syria and occupies Syrian land.
Ziadeh has been affiliated with, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which earlier this month presented him with a “Democracy Award.” Far from being a component of global civil society, the NED is a Washington-based, quasi-government organization that functions as a tool of the US government. Operating under slogans such as “promoting democracy” the largely US government-funded NED offers financial assistance and training to pro-US foreign actors, political parties, and individuals cultivating them for later use as pliant tools against regimes the US foreign policy establishment has deemed unfriendly to US economic and political interests. It’s expected, and common sense dictates, that any group or individual associated with and supported by the NED would be closely linked to US (Neo-liberal) economic, diplomatic and military policies and initiatives. This was evident in Ziadeh’s appearance on Aljazeera this week in which he defended anti-Syrian, pro-Israel US policies. He also expressed satisfaction with the flagrant violation of diplomatic protocol by the US Ambassador to Syria earlier this month, called for replacing the Syrian regime with one more friendly to Western governments and the Neo-liberal economic model, and argued for increased US intervention (did not exclude military) and meddling in Syria.
In addition to lecturing at the NED, maintaining a relationship with the State Department, and promoting US policies on Arabic language news channels, he also travels internationally claiming to be drumming up support from the “International community” to bring “freedom” and “democracy” to Syria. In reality he is operating as a global lobbyist for the US government’s anti-Syrian policies. His role was clearly on display during a recent trip to Moscow to lobby the Russian government and try to win its support for any US action targeting Syria in the UN Security Council. That trip was particularly amusing. The notion this barely intelligible, very unintelligent and stunningly superficial person could convince anyone, let alone the high caliber Russian diplomatic corps, of anything is laughable. This buffoon might win over a few of the mediocre personalities within the US Administration and State Department that view Arabs with contempt, but the Russian Foreign Ministry with its vast array of experts, a highly trained staff, and extensive knowledge of Syria and the Arab world wouldn’t take him seriously.
Ziadeh also recently appeared before the rabidly anti-Syrian, racist Zionist group The American Jewish Committee (AJC). The AJC is one component of the Pro-Israel Lobby in Washington. The group which has been described as the “foreign policy wing of the Israel lobby” has taken its activities abroad to promote and defend the Zionist entity. The group has also campaigned for defining any criticism of Israel, a hostile entity in a state of war with Syria that occupies the Golan Heights and remains committed to the destruction of Palestine, as anti-Semitic. The obvious questions are why was Ziadeh invited to share the stage with Zionist fanatics like Gary Bauer, Elliot Abrams, and Jeffrey Goldberg. What was it about Ziadeh that won him the approval of this pro-Israel organization and earned him an invitation to speak at their event? And why would any Syrian “Human Rights advocate” take his case to this group? These are but a few of the questions swirling around the activities of Washington’s favorite Syrian.
The competition for this month’s shoe was stiff, but this brief review of Mr. Ziadeh’s activities leaves no doubt he is most deserving of this honor. So on behalf of the Arab-American community, and the Syrian Arab people, in particular the legitimate, loyal (to Syria) opposition to the Syrian regime that has repeatedly distanced itself from the vision, policies and methods that Mr. Ziadeh represents, Ikhras is proud to present him with the July 2011 Ikhras shoe of the Month.