Wednesday, July 12, 2006

“Screw You!” Says the Lion!

Beyond the usual reaction of regime apologists and diehard Bush-baiters, who continue to dominate Arab and European media and continue to be busy finding excuses for the Syrian regime to work mischief in the region, one thing is clear: the Assads have just revealed to one and all that they are the main instrument that Iran will deploy to blackmail the world.

Indeed, the future of Unholy Alliance that was formed between the Assads, the Mullahs, Hezbollah and Hamas, among other radical Palestinian and Islamist groups, clearly rests on the Assads ability to deliver the goods, and when it comes to mischief the Assads can deliver. For, if the beating heart of the Alliance is Iran, its cerebral cortex is Syria. As such, if one wants to weaken the alliance, not to mention break it, the main focus of its activities should be the Assads regime.

The Israelis, who up until recently have been under the illusion that it is possible to weaken and isolate the Assads regime indefinitely and at no cost to themselves, are finally beginning to see, I think, that the Assads are born inherently starved for attention and cannot accept being isolated and asked to behave and be quiet. This could only mean that things are bound to heat up between the two countries.

But if this could initially serve the interests of the Assads by helping them to rally the people around them, and not only in Syria but across the region as well, on the long run, this confrontational policy is bound to backfire, especially if Israel insisted on targeting Syria and not Lebanon in retaliation for whatever provocation that takes place against it.
Why? Because such confrontation will only expose the inability of the Assads to defend the country and the sorry state of Syria’s army, despite the massive expenditures in this regard.

The country’s economy will also prove unequal to the task, and Syrians are not likely to get used once again to life without electrical power. In fact, most Syrians today don’t even remember those days, because they were either too young, or haven’t even been born yet. In the age of Satellite TV, the internet and high level unemployment, life without electricity is not something that people can tolerate for long. And there are already too many cracks and fissures in the regime and too much hidden discontent to allow this state of affairs to proceed for long.

The Assads are driving this country, if not the entire region, into dissolution. And they don’t care. They think they are smart. And they are betting the future of the entire country and the entire region on their ability to outsmart the whole world. But, as recent history has proven, they always end up outsmarting themselves.

Regimes like the Assads with their inability to comprehend the ever-changing global and regional dynamics in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, followed by the collapse of the peace process itself, are helping to facilitate the break up of the region and its ultimate dissolution into ethnic ghettoes whose only role in the global economy will be to fill some very small and particularistic niche both as producers and consumers, regardless of whether there are designs to this effect or not. For even if such designs exist, they simply cannot work, unless regimes like the Assads’ help them along. Which is why the Assads have to go.

Now, I don’t enjoy being or sounding like a prophet of doom, but one cannot stand at the sharp edge of a dark abyss and chant melodious incantations about love, can one?