Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Malgré tout!

In terms of details, no one can tell for sure what is happening in the country at this stage. The regime continues to arrest and clash with militants. Or, are they just glorified smugglers? Or is the regime turning against its erstwhile protégés because they outlived their usefulness? Or is there an internal clash and settling of old and new scores within the ranks of the regime? Or are all these things happening together and at the same time? No one really knows.

But something is clearly wrong and something is clearly afoot. It will all be billed as reform, eventually, but the end result will be havoc. They create havoc and call it reform. This seems to be the “in” themes these days, and not oly for the Syrian regime.

The new curse word around will soon be: “May you and your household be reformed.” And the new blessing: “May reform never come your way.” While, the new parental caution will go something like: “Don’t speak to reformers.”

Frankly, there is nothing strange about this attitude around here. The anti-reformist, anti-change ethos runs deep in our culture. We have long become a culture of “don’t rock the boat even if it is sinking.” After all, you don’t want to interfere with God’s will (not to mention somebody’s business affairs), do you?

But, we are also a culture of last minutes reactions, especially when “the wetness gets to our chin” (as the old saying goes), which it will soon. Then, it’s “le déluge,” that promise that is always waiting for us around the corner in times like these.