Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Taunting Lions!

The repeated calls on the Assads of Syria to allow for cross-border operations to take place in the Golan may not be as “innocent” and naïve as they might seem at first. Indeed, when they are issued by an opposition figure like Mamoun al-Homsi, such calls are actually meant to taunt and gaud the Assads into taking a course of action that better fits their very nationalistic rhetoric, but one, nonetheless, that will bring about a confrontation that the Assads know very well that they cannot handle and that will only serve to expose them for the national frauds that they are. As such, calling for the liberation of the Golan is “smart” politics at this stage.

The only problem with it, of course, is that they, the Assads, are so addict on brinkmanship that they may find it necessary, if such calls were reiterated widely and frequently enough in the country, and are adopted by no lesser figures than the likes of Salahuddin Kiftaro, the son of the country’s late Grand Mufti, who had been first to issue such a call anyway, to take the gamble and allow for some operations to indeed take place across the border regardless of the consequences, which are bound to be quite dire, as we can all imagine.
Or, the entire issue might simply be taken out of their hand all together and be forced upon the scene by some hapless nationalist or Islamist group acting on its own initiative. For the Assads have been playing with this fire for quite a while now that the contagion could easily spread and blow up in all our faces. In both cases, the country will end up paying a terrible price.

As such, taunting the lions could have as serious repercussions for the future of the country as leaving them be. All politics in the region today is dirty and costly politics and all possibilities ahead of us seem to be bad. The search for the lesser evil should begin at earnest, before we are forced to indeed “settle” for Armageddon.