Sunday, January 08, 2006

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.
Photo: AP
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 .


At 11:46 PM, Blogger Gateway Pundit said...

This will be an exciting few weeks to see how this plays out. So far the Syrians have not done so well in dodging the UN investigation. We will see.

At 12:04 AM, Blogger Freedom for Egyptians said...

Yes and this does not augur well, not that I am reading the future.

But I believe wholeheartedly that dictatorships are not subject to reform.

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous RedWhite&Blue Blooded said...

While that may be true, are you suggesting that the only option to change dicatatorships, is a full invasion (i.e. The Iraqi Solution)?

At 12:44 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

I think popular uprising (either violent or non-violent) works a lot better than invasion, rwb.

Uprising just doesn't seem to happen much. In the case of the middle east, dictators have been EXTREMELY successful in deflecting the hostilty of the people onto outsiders.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Freedom for Egyptians said...

Redwhite & blue blooded

I am not saying the invasion is the solution... the post is reporting only a sequence of events that happened this week.

If you understood my comment about dictatorships cannot be subject to reform that I am only opting for invasion as an option, so this is not what I meant.

It is the idea, give me one dictator or tyrannical regime that brought democracy in his country because he was willingly able to apply reform policies??

At 4:26 PM, Anonymous RedWhite&Blue Blooded said...


I must have misunderstood; you're right that dicatorships are not subject to reform by those in power. But, in this day and age, we must always stress that there are other options besides war.

For example, a Georgia or Ukraine (or Lebanon even) style uprising will go a long way in Syria. That maybe easier said than done, but we can't opt, or even hint that war is an option.

We all know there are certain powers (Bush) in today's world that are more than willing to blindly pull the trigger.

At 5:40 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

"We all know there are certain powers (Bush) in today's world that are more than willing to blindly pull the trigger."

There you are, RWB, particpating in the deflection of hostility away from the dictators themselves onto outsiders. It's all Bush's fault. It's all America's fault. It's all Britain's fault. It's all SOMEBODY'S fault. Anyone's fault, except for the dictatorships themselves.

BTW, Bush has a long way to go before he can reach Reagan's level of accomplishment with toppling dictatorships. A very long way indeed.

Not, I'm not arguing for military force. I merely suggest your criticism of the US is not helping anyone in the ME achieve democracy. In fact, it's counterproductive. You are undermining US credibilty at a time when the US is trying vigorously to promote democracy.

At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Earth56 said...

Red W&B,

After you read enough history and realize there are no perfect countrys..not even Switzerland, you should ask this question to yourself. What if the United States was Isolationist durin WW1, WW2 or afterwards. Do you beleive Stalin, Hitler and all the present and future meglomaniacs would of stopped because you said please leave me alone ? Think of things as the bully in the schoolyard. He does not understand when to stop until you give HIM the bloody nose.
And its not because they did not have cookies with their milk when they were children or some other PC correct dilusion into how the world came to being.


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