Friday, May 05, 2006

Lions & Mullahs!

Well, things are heating up again between the Assad regime and the “phantom” majority in Lebanon. Now we have allegations of espionage against the regime and threats to undermine the living standards in Lebanon on the table. As if the regime has not engaged in such tactics itself. Can’t you see the glowing white halo of innocence hovering above Syria every time you look at the world map?

But then, there are quite a few innocent people who are being caught in the midst of all this. Thousands have lost their jobs, families have been separated, mistrust and animosity have been seeded, and we are still at the early stages of this unfolding drama. We still don’t have the new UN resolution on Syria’s continued involvement in Lebanon, or the new UN report on the Hariri assassination, both of which can only increase tension between the two countries and pave the way for much fiery exchanges and accusations.

Could the Assad regime resort to the policy assassination in Lebanon again? Would Hezbollah be induced to conduct more cross-border operations against Israel to lure her into the game and heat things up even more? Could Hamas follow suit?

Well, much depend on what Iran’s leaders are up to these days, and they don’t seem up to any good. They are simply too confident at this stage, and the world continues to give them reasons to be more confident. But if the Iranians are capable of showing some restraints even in these circumstances, the Assads of Syria are not, they are indeed at their worst when they are confident. Surely the Iranian leaders are aware of that, but I am not sure whether they are banking on it, fear it, or whether they care at all.

Some people are so used to playing with fire they don’t bother thinking about the consequences anymore. This might apply to America itself, some would contend. I won’t bother dispute the claim. But I will remind all that the battle is taking place in our midst and that our losses will far outweigh any that the Americans might incur.

Be that as it may, the Assads are about to take the central stage soon, and the show is about to begin. Expect mediocrity in the form of more stupid yet defiant utterances and, of course, more bloodshed.