In the second part to the interview with Assads (video, text) Diane Sawyer managed to redeem herself slightly at least by raising the issues of the Hariri investigation and human rights. But hers was still a light approach that allowed our very own spineless version of Mr. Bean, with all the awkwardness and none of the charm, to escape unchallenged with such ludicrous assertion as “We don't have such political prisoners” and “So it's going to be democracy, but according to our standards.” Yeah. But, I wonder what sort of standards would a man whose entire family is mired in blood, oppression and corruption have? Any ideas anyone? I guess they are the kind of standards that allow for a dimwitted eye-doctor-in-waiting to be brought in to replace his late artifacts-smuggling brothels-frequenting brother as the heir apparant (or more likely in this case the heir absolument) of the Presidential throne. Nothing to challenge here, ipparently.
On the other hand, with regard to one of those other unchallenged yet equally ludicrous assertions, namely that Syria is “the main player” in stabilizing Iraq, well, if Syria is indeed such a player in Iraq, and if the Top Lion of Syria indeed fears the domino effect of “the chaos” and “the instability,” as he put it, why aren’t the Assads already doing something about stabilizing the situation in Iraq? Why are they waiting to be approached by the US for talks over Iraq? Are they really afraid of “the chaos” or are they afraid of the American troops? Or they simply unable to do anything about the situation in Iraq, but would like very much for the US to believe that they could, so they could carve a deal for themselves? Tony Badran elaborates this point further in his recent post.
On a different, though definitely related note, Seth Wikas of the Washington Institute, points out in his recent article in the Daily Star, to an often forgotten reality with regard to the Golan: the ambivalent feelings of its indigenous Syrian Druze population with regard to the whole issue of the necessity of return to Syrian sovereignty one hapless day. Indeed, the corruption and authoritarianism of the Assads have created the sort of state that no one in his right mind would like to go back to, which is why I am a fool, and which is why the Assads must go. Before, that is, our best and brightest end p living in Purdue, Indiana, as Mrs. Sawyer so eloquently put it, or, more likely, end up being buried in desperate attempts at trying to eke out some meager yet dignified subsistence in increasingly undignified and undignifying conditions.
And with regard to the Golan, let me point out to some other neglected facts and soon-to-be facts, namely: that much of the land on the Syrian side of the Golan has either already been purchased, at the cheapest possible prices of course, by the sons of bitches of the Syrian regime, who also happen to be the sons of high-ranking government officials, with other choice real estate morsels and tidbits being declared public land, meaning that the state will eventually sell them to the selfsame SOBs and their lackeys when the right time comes. The Syrians of the Golan have the prospect of poverty and fleecing to look forward to when peace finally prevails, that is, if the Assads are the ones to be rewarded with it.
Biladi, biladi, biladi, laki hubbi wa fou'adi. Oh my country, you have my love and my heart.
And I will have nothing to show for it. Ever.
PS. This whole episode has given iPod a bad name, I think, if I were an iPod executive I’d sue. iPersonally, I am switching to Zune, and will stick to classical music, classic rock and New Age, with all due respect to Faith Hill and Shania Twain. Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World! Yeah.