Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Syrian Connection

As far as interviews go, the latest interview given by a member of the Syrian 'establishment' is sure to send ripples across the political spectrum. Rami Makhlouf, the presidents cousin and one of the richest men in Syria, with interests in all the major industries and firms that run the country, has given an interview to the New York Times where has made some alarming statements about the Syrian regime. For one thing, he's promised that the regime will 'fight to the end'. There is no mention of stupid conspiracies, Salafis or even Bandar bin Sultan. Instead we hear it straight 'from the horses mouth' - so to speak - that the regime is here to stay and will do whatever it takes to survive.

Perhaps more alarmingly, he has linked stability in Israel with stability in Syria. That is quite confusing because most people thought that Syria has been in a state of war with Israel for the past 63 years. It seems, like with Egypt and Libya, that the Syrian regime is more interested in the stability of Israel, and in maintaining a status quo in the area for the United States, than in responding to the political aspirations of their own people. But let us not deceive ourselves, this interview was not intended for the Syrian people, or anybody who speaks Arabic. This interview aims at sending a message to the Americans, a warning not to meddle, and an enticement of future cooperation if the protests are put down successfully. That is the only explanation for it, because usually Makhlouf is extremely secretive and camera-shy.

The Syrian revolution may or may not succeed, but one thing is for certain and that is that the masks have all come off in 2011.

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