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22 August 2011


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Charles I

In the CBC radio news translation of part of the big speech that I heard yesterday, the preamble prior to the promise to study the Constitution was a declaration that the article of the Constitution entrenching Baath party primacy was the "jewel" of the document.

Very promising. Who or what is the last authoritarian that shuffled off voluntarily? Deng Xiaoping?

A rose by any other name. . .

Charles I

p.s. Maybe Bashir The Modern channels not Shakespeare, but the Killers "Smile Like You Mean It".


"There is no question about it; Assad is committed to reform. He has shaved his mustache again."


Time to see the demise of the Sykes-Picot ME.


Thank you for pointing me to Patrick Stewarts "Macbeth". I just ordered it.

Ken Hoop


I don't get the comparison.
China is still an effectively one-party state. Or are you suggesting the Baathists will still dominate similarly if Assad goes?

Charles I

No Ken, old Deng just came to mind as an individual, an old die hard commie, purged, rehabbed, regained power, touted as a reformer. Reformed but not the corrupt power system, saved the CP anyway, then bowed out carrying a lot of the can for Tiananmen. I mean he had a great power, he's a mass murderer like so many of his cohort, but it seems he cared about his country and his party, did his bit, retired.

Who does that, tho BA/Syria is no Deng/China I grant you?

I couldn't think of another. Not much analytical power generated at the point today.

Baath are Alewite 10% minority rulers, no? The Iraq example doesn't bode well for them. The Army'd have to blame them for the repression and turn on them once the moment comes I imagine The Libyans can unite by saying we're all one, there's only MQ & his mercenaries left.

I haven't enough knowledge to say who will dominate Syria. I'd hazard it isn't going to be Bashir.

Pat, whatever does Iran make of it all, surely they counsel peine forte et dure to the bitter end?

Babak Makkinejad

Charles I:

No one knows the precise number of Alawites - they could be 10% of Syria's population, they could be 18%.

Any post Alawite dispensation in Syria will continue its strategic relationship with Iran; no doubt.

That there is no peace between Israel and Syria is not due to Iran; it is due to Israel.

The war in Palestine will continue with or without Alawite rule in Syria.

different clue

I had read recently that Syria's most famous political cartoonist was attacked and had his hand broken by masked handbreakers; and was warned to stop drawing politically unflattering cartoons. Then I saw this tiny web-item about him complete with the cartoon he drew that made someone so angry they sent the handbreakers after him. It also includes what is said to be the first cartoon he has drawn from inside the hospital.

If it really is his work, then that means that Syrian popular attitudes are hardening still further even as the Syrian government entrenches still deeper.


What I find interesting, is how Iran is apparently now making a U-turn regarding Syria.

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