Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Loyals and Lawyers for Syria

The Syrian President paid Cairo a visit last Sunday amid rumors that Egypt is mediating to warm up relations between Syria and the world. It is not any more the US. In fact, the whole world now is expressing concern except Egypt on the deteriorating security situation in Lebanon in view of the current tracking to all anti-Syrian Lebanese.

Egyptian statements demonstrated blind loyality to the Syrian regime.

Egypt the Spokesman: “Syria announced its full cooperation with investigator (Detlev) Mehlis and it is cooperating in good faith. This Syrian cooperation enables the completion of a report which will be submitted to the United Nations on October 25."

Egypt the Lawyer: “There should be no finger pointing to Syria or any other country before the independent report is submitted to the UN. Egypt categorically refuses the isolation of Syria, calls for the stability of this country and warns that no new source of tension should be created in the region," he added. "The stability of Syria is the stability of the region".

The News lead read as follows: Egypt praised Syria's cooperation with the investigation into the assassination of Lebanese ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri and warned that Damascus was a key player for regional stability. What kind of stability is that infiltrators to Iraq to kill innocent people or targeting Lebanese people on their territories or oppressing the Syrian the people?

From my blog “Pursuing the Syrian Dream” I wrote about drawing similarities between the Egyptian and Syrian regimes

  • Egypt followed Syria’s pursuit in applying emergency law in 1981 following the assassination of President Sadat. Syria is run by state of emergency since 1963.
    Mubarak repeatedly said the emergency law is there for state security reasons. The Syrian emigrants' minister said “the state of emergency should only apply to "crimes that threatened the state security."
  • Syria's media serve as state organs. Egypt has no private-run media in the true sense of the western world.
  • Syrian prisons, known for their abysmal conditions in violation of minimum international standards, remained off-limits to independent domestic or foreign scrutiny. Egyptian prisons are not accessible. Detentions cases with no police investigations have been frequent especially with the Taba and Sharm El-Sheikh attacks.
  • President Mubarak made it clear several times that economic reform is a priority but not political reform. President Assad has made clear his priority is economic rather than political reform.
  • Upon his installation as a President in 1981, Mubarak returned back the Arab League seat to Cairo, adopting the pan-Arabism project that is embraced by the Syrian regime. Mubarak’s move renounced President Sadat’s project for peace. And Palestinian Chairman Arafat became the closest ally for Mubarak.
  • On June 10, 2000, the Syrian parliament nominated Bashar Al-Assad, who is 34 years old, a few hours after the parliament voted to amend the country's constitution and lower the age of eligibility for the president's office from 40 to 34. Mubarak tailors the constitution to make believe that he is running in a multiple candidates elections while many opposition parties refused to participate because all their requests to amend the consitution for equal opportunity for all were overruled.
  • Syria is adopting the father-son succession model and Egypt is pushing hard for one. Many claim that President Bashar Al-Assad is only the façade for the Baath old guard that are ruling the country. Egypt is facing similar conflict however between Mubarak’son who wants to replace his father's old guard with his business-like young guard. Recently, the contention was seen over press editors-in-chief replacements.

The Egyptian is getting defensive at the idea that the Syrian regime is being cornered. I do not know why Egypt is not talking with the same passion about the stability or democracy in Iraq or the genocide in Darfur (Sudan, our neighbour).... It talks about what serves its survival...


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