Monday, May 16, 2005

Sneak Preview of Upcoming “Reforms!”

A few days ago, the President issued a special degree inviting the Syrian Social National Party to join the National Progressive Front, as assortment of socialist, communist and Nasserist parties already cannibalized and marginalized by the Baath Party.

But the “new” party now invited in is not actually the real thing. It is only a schismatic movement within the SSNP, represented by a deaf 84 old man who reportedly slips in and out of senility ten times in the span of ten seconds. So, this is how the regime is planning to reform itself.

Indeed, the development managed to rekindle the satirical spirit in some with a recent joke going like this [though I am not sure how good it will sound in English]: “what is the difference between the SSNP and a stupid man? The stupid man hits the wall, the SSNP hits the Front.”

Another thing to note is the fact that by doing this, the President is also saying quite clearly and loudly that NPF will still be around and that governance will take place through it. There will be no radical changes then in the upcoming Baath Congress. The President has just preempted that possibility. For, if the NPF is going to be kept, it follows that the Baath Party will also be kept as the leading party, and Article 8 in the Constitution will not be amended.

The fact that no reform-minded member has been elected to take part in the Congress bespeaks volumes as well. Another preemptive move, it seems, this time on part of the Baath Party’s own top cadres.

What are people waiting for then?

Meanwhile, reports abound of high ranking officials in the Party, including the former PM Miro, liquidating their assets and smuggling their funds abroad.

So, even if new faces should emerge during the upcoming Congress, old ways and patterns will continue to dominate and dictate.

So much for reform.

In my infamous meeting with General Dashing, he made it quite clear that a purge of the upper echelon in the Party is bound to take place, a purge orchestrated by the likes of him, he stressed, the “real Baathists” as he called them. The whole point of the upcoming reform then is to keep “real Baathists” in charge, which, I think, is the real problem with this reform. Indeed, the whole thing is becoming too macabre and downright surreal for my taste. I will no longer think or speak of if.