Middle East Swirl of Change Continues...
Photo: Reuters. There is no doubt that the Middle East is changing but this week was very special.
Former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam said Saturday he was seeking a national alliance to overthrow the regime of President Bashar Assad. I had to read the lead several times to believe it. The former official, who was a leader in the ruling Baath Party and country's leadership for 30 years until recently, said he was not seeking any personal gains and had no personal ambitions in his country. Standing a trial in The Hague at the International Criminal Court is kind of embarrassing.
In an interview with Asharq al-Awsat from his home in Paris, Khaddam said he was trying to "create the right atmosphere for the Syrian people to topple the regime."
Best statement by Khadam: “This regime cannot be reformed, so there is nothing left but to oust it." Tyranny cannot be subject to reform, I hope the world and the U.S. would understand this reality.
Organized Oppressed Groups React First: Financial Times: Muslim Brotherhood leader supports Syrian defector, Khaddam:
Punishment was the response: Syria freezes assets of Khaddam, family.
Funny: International press hosts former Syrian vice president Khadam’s statements; local pro-Egyptian regime paper interviews Assad Jr to deny Khadam’s accusations…who reads local Egyptian press. Friendly press dedicates pages for a friend.
Tyrannical Intransigence: Assad Said to Reject Questioning in U.N. Inquiry: Syrian President Bashar Assad has rejected a request to be interviewed by a United Nations commission investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Iraq’s ex-dictator Saddam Hussein said the same before you…
Friends in need: Syria's Assad visits Egypt and Saudi. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew to Egypt and Saudi Arabia on Sunday for talks on Lebanon, a day after diplomats said Assad had rejected a U.N. request to interview him about a former Lebanese prime minister's murder. A unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution in October threatened to punish Damascus with unspecified action if it failed to cooperate fully with the inquiry into Hariri's death.
Photo:APKeep the Promise: Pressure on Syria will not let up until end of Hariri probe: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice vowed that pressure on Syria to cooperate with the UN probe into the murder of Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafiq Hariri, would not let up until the full truth was uncovered.
Straw tells Syria to cooperate on Hariri: British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw ratcheted up the pressure on Syria, telling it to cooperate with the UN probe into the assassination of Hariri.
Standing up for the rights: In the Washington Post: When asked what he wanted from America, leader of Lebanon's Druze community Walid Jumblat said "You came to Iraq and you can do the same thing in Syria." Jumblat calls US to do in Syria what it did in Iraq .