Like all his fellow dictators, the Syrian president speaks to his public as if addressing children. So Assad does not talk sense or logic. Instead he discusses reform priorities and gives the example of bread and freedom to convince us that food is more important than liberty and to tell us that he won’t lift the emergency law.
He neglects to recognise that the regime stole people’s food through instituting the emergency law. The absence of freedom legitimised and helped the robbery. If Assad had to chose between a daily luxury meal in prison – the Saidnaya military prison, for instance – and regular food in liberty, what would he chose? But his regime does not give us a choice. It steals the people’s food and keeps them in a big jail at the same time.
We only hope that Assad’s speech is not the opening shot in a series of large-scale massacres and arrests, because that seems to be the subtext of his message.
Friday, April 01, 2011
Hopes and dreams
I suppose crass Second World War analogies have a new lease of life as Libya produces its very own Rudolph Hess. One can only hope that this time it really does presage the collapse of the regime. Elsewhere, there is greater uncertainty. The courage shown by those confronting the Syrian regime is breathtaking, born of the same hunger for change and liberty, with no sign of the regime cracking under the pressure. This is from a new web site that should be essential reading.