Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Hectic Day!

This was quite a hectic day for the Syrian opposition.

In Paris, Khaddam continued his effort to establish a government in exile by meeting with Kurdish opposition leaders from Irbeel as well as with representatives of the opposition from North American and Europe.

Meanwhile, and not too far from Khaddam’s headquarters, another meeting was taking place organized by the Aspin Institute and attended by other, if not downright rival, opposition figures, including Farid Ghadri, Sumer al-Assad (son of the infamous Rifa’at al-Assad – the perennial contender to the presidential throne and uncle of the current President) and a number of internal opposition figures, who seemed to have been dismayed by the presence of Sumer al-Assad and forced his withdrawal from the meeting. The internal opposition figures seem to have been angered by the lack of transparency by the organizers of the meeting who refused to divulge beforehand the names of the external opposition figures who will be attending.

In London, on the other hand, meetings gave way to a sit-in organized by various local opposition groups in front of the Syrian Embassy in commemoration of the Baath coup of March 8, 1063. A similar affair on the grounds of the univeristy of Damacus was violently crushed by a gang of students affiliated with the country's various security apparatuses. In the process, author Samar Yazbek was bludgeoned into unconsciousness.

Moreover, and in Washington, DC, preparations are underway for a new meeting of the opposition, this time organized by a group of Kurdish activists and parties, and scheduled to take place On March 13. Indeed, I will give a brief presentation at this particular meeting.

The news coming out of Syria are no less interesting as well, with reports of an impending meeting between Brammertz and Bashar, crackdown on and the brief arrest and then release of the MP and entrepreneur Muhammad Hamsho, a longtime front for the shady business deals of Maher al-Assad, the President’s Brother. This will probably be hailed by some as a sign of a serious anti-corruption stance on part of the President. But such developments have traditionally tended to be nothing more than an “ear-rub,” as they say, a reminder that Big Brother (or his younger brother) is watching, and that one should not try to take too much advantage of the trusting nature of one’s patron.

Indeed, and in his recent declarations, the President, true to his moronic form, has made it quite clear that as the country’s isolation increases, it is the people who will suffer not the country’s corrupt officialdom.

Oh well, honesty is always refreshing. It is the air around us that is too stale and rancid.


Visitors might also find this post of mine in Tharwalizations to be of some interest, it deals with the recurring and quite moronic attempt at applying the Chinese Model to Syria.