Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Meaning of Words

Walid Mouallem has reportedly told the UN envoy Ibrahimi that Geneva 2 will go ahead but only if it is a dialogue between Syrians. This is a statement for public consumption, and the regime's been saying things like this since the start of the revolution. What the regime really wants, above all else, is to isolate the opposition from the West and then let it collapse upon itself. This is simply because the "Assad" way of doing things is to wait until the guests leave the house before unleashing his full fury.

You must understand that this present situation is deeply unpleasant for Assad, what with the entire world scrutinizing him, watching everything that is happening, and passing judgement. He'll let the kerfuffle about his use of chemical weapons pass, this time, but he's getting fed up with the world telling him how to run his affairs, that is, brutally pacifying the country. This time he compromised with the world and gave them his chemical weapons, he can always get more, but next time he will not be forgiving. He will accept attending the Geneva 2 talks in the same way he sees "no obstacles" to his re-running for the presidency in 2014. What of it? He is a Syrian citizen like any other and he believes he has every right to be there. It's inconsequential what the world, Syrians or any rational human being thinks. Bashar al Assad makes his own reality - kudos to him, he would make Nietzsche proud. Assad thinks he is above laws, above morality, above right and wrong. He creates his own conception of right and wrong, and God help you if you cross him. He is magnanimous too, for those who see the errors of their ways, but they have to confess. They have to submit to his view and his understanding of words. Then and only then is their faith and love for this glorious leader complete. They must understand the real meaning he ascribes to words, like Humpty Dumpty does.

Words like the "mosaic" of Syria, the "colours" of the Syrian people, the "terrorists" coming to wreak havoc, "internal" solutions, principled "resistance" to the "Zionist enemy", "Arabism" but without the Arabs, "Islam" but you bring your own knee-pads and tub of Vaseline. Fear God, but fear Asad more. In Assad's universe we do not talk about "Sunni" and "Alawite", that is plain rude. We ignore the fact that the security services all have heavy (coastal and Alawite) accents. There is no "revolution", it is either a "conspiracy" or a "crisis". Once you understand these terms and understand the limits you are to operate within, you can then become either a loyal acolyte or, if you are unhappy with the slice you have been given, you can become a member of the loyal opposition, and criticize others who got more than you and so hope you can get more if you make enough noise. Now you are orbiting in the Assad solar system and you can be a part of the "patriotic" solution.

There is a word, plausible deniability, and Assad epitomizes it. He certainly doesn't care to know that there is rape, torture and murder in the dungeons of his security services. If anything happens these are individual mistakes, and as all powerful dictator of the country, son of the previous all powerful dictator of the country, and commander in chief of the Syrian armed forces he can't be expected to know every little thing that happens in such a big country. In fact why should he know anything, especially about running a country. All he needs to do is feed the wild beasts that keep him in power and that should do the trick. But he does know, enough to be directly responsible for all this misery that has been wrought by him and for him and in his name.

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