Syrian American Council Dismisses Reported Kucinich Comments as ‘Political Propaganda’

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The Syrian American Council (SAC), the largest grassroots organization of Syrian Americans, today issued a public statement dismissing recent comments by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) as "political propaganda" and "out of touch with reality." SAC is requesting that Rep. Kucinich issue an apology to the Syrian people.

The Syrian American Council (SAC) today issued a public statement regarding recent comments by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) after a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad and initial reports of his opinion from the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). Kucinich’s statements have been considered controversial amid the growing international concern of violence in Syria.

SEE: U.S. lawmaker on fact-finding mission to Syria, CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/06/28/syria.us.lawmakers.trip/)

SAC, the largest grassroots organization of Syrian Americans, dismissed the statements as “political propaganda” and “out of touch with reality.” Responding to comments from Rep. Kucinich, SAC Executive Director M. Yaser Tabbara said in a statement:

“More Syrian people are dying at the hands of Bashar Assad and his secret police every day. The people of Syria have made it clear that until this now-illegitimate government is removed and held accountable, they will continue to peacefully protest. Rep. Kucinich's position on this issue, suggesting the possibility of 'third parties,' is the exact narrative of the Assad regime. If Rep. Kucinich is siding with the Assad regime, claiming that the peaceful protestors, among them children and women, constitute ‘armed gangs,’ then Rep. Kucinich is just as out of touch with reality as Assad.

“If Rep. Kucinich wants to find facts and speak on behalf of the Syrian situation, he should meet with the civilian victims throughout Syria that have lost sons and daughters to the hands of the only armed gangs in Syria, the ‘Shabeeha’ death squad thugs of Bashar Assad. He should meet with the parents of Hamza al-Khateeb. He should meet with the families of those who have been murdered for no reason other than their peaceful demands for justice and freedom. He should meet with the hundreds of Syrian Americans in his own district whose families have been violated by the Assad regime. Until then, we can dismiss the Congressman’s comments as political propaganda.

“The Syrian American Council stands in support of any fact-finding mission in Syria that does not ignore the widespread killing, arbitrary detentions, and torture of peaceful protesters by the Assad regime. SAC does not acknowledge Kucinich’s trip to Syria as a genuine effort to understand the situation, but rather, a politically motivated and insensitive denial of worldwide consensus of facts. We would like to ask Rep. Kucinich to reconsider the consequences of his statements on the lives of innocent Syrian people and to apologize immediately.”

Founded in 2005, the Syrian American Council (SAC) has grown dramatically in recent months. Its mission is to mobilize Syrian Americans to strengthen civil society in Syria, to promote friendly relations between the Syrian and American peoples, to engage civic and governmental organizations to advance civil liberties, human dignity and democracy in Syria, and to encourage international cooperation based on international law and justice.

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M. Yaser Tabbara, Executive Director

Dr. Louay Safi, Chairman
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