Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Meaning of the End!

There is a story in the Qur’an about King Solomon, well, a story about his death to be specific. He is said to have died while standing on a hill leaning on his wooden staff. Watching from afar, the Djinn continued to do his bidding thinking that he was still alive. The Djinn only knew that Solomon was dead when earthworms ate through his staff and his body collapsed.

The Syrian regime is Solomon, the Baath is the staff, the Syrian people are the Djinn.

The mediocrity of the Baath Party Congress has just demonstrated to one and all that the Syrian Regime is defunct. Yes, it can still crackdown, imprison, kill and destroy, but it cannot reform itself or the country. The Baath is no longer a viable institution. As hard as it wants to, the regime can no longer lean on it. In fact, it has just collapsed under the regime’s weight.

How long will it take for the Syrian people to accept and acknowledge the collapse of the Baath Party and the death of the regime?

Well, it all depends on how many people there are that are still willing to think like our Minister of Expatriate Affairs, Bouthaina Shaaban, when she said: “if the there were no Baath we will invent it.”

Accepting the regime’s death means accepting responsibility for the reform process. Since this is an increasingly difficult well-nigh impossible task, and since most opposition parties and dissident movements have no clue how to go about it, they are unlikely to accept the death of the regime, not even when they too eventually collapse until its deadweight.

The voices of reason around are few, but they can still make a difference if they came together. A lively presence in a sea of death can still make a lot of difference, even at this late stage.

But I dare not hope.