Today, November 9, marks the twenty-third anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
I have written before about how I feel today should be a national (nay, international) holiday celebrating the cherished principle of freedom. Since, three years has transpired since I made my first post about how I wished 09-NOV would be renamed Freedom Day, nothing has happened (who does one talk to about creating world-wide holidays?), I will take it upon myself again to say…
TODAY SHOULD BE CALLED “FREEDOM DAY!”
I honor of today, I unveiled the Nolan Mannski Freedom Day Award to celebrate that person who has done the most in the previous year to advance the cause of freedom. Previous winners have included…
From November 2011 to today, there were several contenders for this year’s prize. They include…
…Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh;
…Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas;
…Moroccan rapper Mouad Belrhouate aka El-Haked;
…Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles; and
…Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi.
While those are all excellent and worthy candidates, my panel of jurors (okay, it’s just me) has selected this year’s winner.
The winner of 2012 Nolan Mannski Freedom Day Award is presented to Riad al-Asaad.
A former colonel in the Syrian Army, al-Asaad is the commander of the Free Syrian Army, one of the many groups fighting against the current regime of Syria.
It may seem odd to give an award about freedom to a person who has taken up arms, but I never said that this award would be given out solely for people who used non-violent means. As George Washington might attest to, sometimes one does have to literally fight against oppression and tyranny. The conflict in Syria is not pretty, it’s not polite, it’s violent, and several thousands of people have died. With that being said, al-Asaad is doing what he needs to do to advance the cause of freedom.