Syria’s imploding and there isn’t much help yet from outside. Maybe it’s best in the long run. A groundswell internal revolution is more to matter to the citizens than external pressure (we’ll see if that’s true as we watch Egypt and Libya evolve over the next few years by comparison to Iraq).
After writing the previous blog about Beker Al-Assad (how do we get the deep dish on so many things?!), it struck us that the connection between the Middle East and Europe is oddly close in some ways and light years apart in others. The wife of Syria’s dictator, Bashar Al-Assad, was born in the UK, dresses and acts in many ways like high society Europeans, is involved in various progressive campaigns to address the needs of the indigent in her nation, and she very recently posed in an issue of Vogue. And yet, she is the wife of a brutal man and lives comfortably in a society rife with corruption, rampant class disparity, and primitive tribal rivalries. The clash is surely apparent to her and we wonder what’s going through her mind as her husband and his cronies reign over the repression of their own people. It doesn’t matter that, if the claims are even true, Bashar is not fully in control of his government, secret police, whatever. The reality is that he’s responsible for his portion of the massacres and brutality. In a time that the Middle East is getting a breath of democratic fresh air, Bashar could lead, but he’s chosen to orchestrate or at least tolerate the wrong-doings of his government. Next to him is a lovely and extroverted person, but is Bashar’s wife clinging to her best-of-both-worlds situation? Is she trying to work delicately behind the scenes to soften the iron fist? Is she too frightened to do anything? Is she planning a clandestine departure to more friendly environs?
So, Asma, what’s up?
As for Saudia Arabia, feh. Don’t get us started.
Yeah, you know it. Ah-yeah! You know da First Couple of Syria is bringin’ it tonight! Aight!
CNN has an interesting take on the situation.