As President Obama ponders a military strike to destabilize the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa has an unambiguous message for the United States: let us solve our own problems.
Khalifa, who was born in 1964 in the ancient city of Aleppo, is the author of three novels, all aiming to give "artistic life to the increasingly brutal realities of the world he grew up in," according to a New York Times profile of him. The last of his novels, In Praise of Hatred, was a finalist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. The Guardian called it "a timely novel about Syria's sectarian strife." The novel was banned in Syria and had to be republished in Lebanon.
Given his general distaste for ideology and militarism, it is not surprising that Khalifa took to Facebook to denounce a potential military intervention by the United States. In a post translated by the blog Arabic Literature (in English), he writes:
I am against the US military intervention and I have my reasons, I , the son of this revolution, whether you like it or not.
In a situation like ours, blood-traders and the Coalition should all admit that they are partners with the dictators.
His withering criticism of American foreign policy — which some describe as dithering, others as overly aggressive and others yet as utterly incoherent —continues:
At the end I will never be in favor of any American intervention in our area, because I know them very well. They could have defended the values from day one of our revolution and could have helped us, but they waited till the country was destroyed.
Meanwhile, U.S. Navy destroyers are preparing for the looming attack on Assad's forces.