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December 21, 2005



what do you make of this ? (copied from the syrian news wire)
"Syria's young guard takes power

Syria is bracing itself for one step short of a revolution. Almsot every ministerial post is to change hands, with old faces like Farouq Ash-Sharaa (Foreign Minister) and Mehdi Dakhlallah (Information Minister) making way for reformists.

Dakhlallah in particular has come under fire for his lacklustre performance in the Western media. He's to be replaced by an ambassador - a good choice considering the inherent skill of most ambassadors to communicate well. London envoy Sami Khyiami or UAE ambassador Saadallah Agha are lined up for the job.

Sharaa has also been blamed for the current crisis - reformists were angry at his provocative UN speech.

Prime Minister Naji Al-Otari is also on the way out - likely to be replaced by non-Baathist Abdullah al-Dardari, a close aide of Bashar.

And of course, Syria has been without an Interior Minister sicne the suicide of Ghazi Kannan.

Bashar's been criticised for the slow pace of economic and politicial reforms, and for not being in full control. His coup d'etat began at this summer's Baath Party Conference - and it looks like this week will the second stage. It has been suggested that the changes were delayed until a respite in international pressure, so that it doesn't look like Bush is dictating the reforms."


Indeed, Annie, These reports have been around for quite a while now, and they might turn up to be true. If this should happen, it will be hailed as a major step forward naturally.

But the real impact of such a move can only be assessed months from now. Changing figures without enabling them to change the overall structure and framework within which they have to operate means more of the same, and we are bound to see nothing but disappointments down the road.

Corruption and dabbling by security apparatuses and army generals in the inner working of the state institutions will continue to rule the day, and offset any real benefit that can be derived from whatever reform programs that will be introduced by the new figures, regardless of their personal ability and credibility.

But, I always look at these developments as an opportunity for those of us who are interested to continue to organize ourselves for the final showdown with this regime.

Corruption and inefficient rule will be the rallying cry. The more they experiment and fail, the stronger the more convincing our case against them will be. Domestic issues always play a more important role in transitions than any foreign policy considerations.

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