Did the fat lady in the Syrian opera sing yet?

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife, Asmaa, became the focus of media attention last week when leaked emails revealed extravagant purchases made under aliases. (Reuters)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife, Asmaa, became the focus of media attention last week when leaked emails revealed extravagant purchases made under aliases. (Reuters) Al Arabiya, 3-24-12

News from Syria has slowed dramatically in the last week; the daily reports of violence, the threats of sanctions from other countries and even the titillating Assad email drama have all become almost non-existent for most of the world media.  There is only one major and current story from Syria; Russia is getting on-board the “you better change or resign” bandwagon.  Outgoing Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, has warned Assad to follow Kofi Annan’s recommendations.  He cautioned Assad, saying this  is Assad’s last chance;  if Assad persists civil war is certain to follow.  Nice move on the Russian president’s part, he is leaving office and might or might not be expressing a formal Russian policy; the new president, the effervescent, ever present and seeming immortal Vladimir Putin is saying nothing.

The only interesting and new commentary I could find was in the Arab News from Saudi Arabia.  The Arab News is interpreting the aftermath of the Assad emails in much the same way I did last week.   The Arab News said that the EU sanctions against Assad, his wife, mother and sister is a tactic to isolate the family and redefine the issue as a family in defiance of international standards, not one of tribes, religious sects or Islamic terrorism.  The News says by imposing sanctions on the women of Al Assad the EU was encouraging a military coup.  Because of the sanctions, any group could seize power and the moral high ground – it could then lay claim to saving the people of Syria from a tyrant, like the Egyptian military council did a year ago.

These sanctions represent a clear message to Syrian Army officers, as much as they aim to suppress or intimidate the Assad family. This message is: Take action, and we will give you our blessing, because we differentiate between you and the Assad family. This is a message to all those capable of taking action within the Syrian Army, whether members of the Alawite sect or others; the important thing is that Europe is trying to tell Syria’s military officers that it distinguishes between them and the Assad family.  Arab News, 3-25-12

Assad is running of friends, supports and places to hide.  But for the moment, the army is still obeying his commands – the fat lady has not yet sung her song.



1 Response to “Did the fat lady in the Syrian opera sing yet?”

  1. 1 Alex Pipitone March 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Alas, I think perhaps the fat lady will never sing!

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March 2012
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