I have not posted the past four weeks. In the meantime, the Assad’s army entered Homs, and then Idlib as FSA withdrew from both cities, massacres have taken place Car bombs have returned to the picture, just as Annan is expected to send a team of experts. However, the new car bombs have targeted areas with Christian majorities including today’s explosion in Aleppo’s sleimanyeh quarter. This is consistent with warnings signs that came out last week regarding the regime’s intent to wrap up its perceived victory by increasingly forcing Syria’s Christians to take a sectarian side.
Here are a few comments on specific issues.
Batta (Duck), a befitting address by a “modern” wife and by an admiring young woman to a man whose army assisted by vile militia gangs is terrorizing and murdering Syrians ever since some of these Syrians declared that they have had enough of his family’s totalitarian control over their lives and are no longer willing to take it.
Oddly enough, absent (to-date) from the leaked emails are indications of any involvement by senior government officials, business partners, religious figures, or even social climbers’ in the narrow circle the boy-king has surrounded himself with. What we notice is the critical role of two intern-level women (Shehrazad Gaafari and Hadeel Al-Ali) along with the notorious Luna Al-Shible in proposing media campaigns and passing information and summaries to the boy-king who is occupying his busy time with state affairs in parallel with trivia such as downloading teens songs from I-tune and playing harry potter games among other life occupations.
The men in the email are different. They are security oriented. One passes advises (or commands) from key Iranian and HA contacts, still through the interns. Another (Khaled Al-Ahmad) seems to be the personal envoy-spook of the boy king traveling throughout the country’s hot-spots and making observations and recommendations while connecting with regime-friendly Lebanese tycoons. The father in law remains heavily engaged as well, putting to rest claims of his family’s distance from the murderous regime and placing himself at risk of being the first member of the regime to be successfully tried in the west for abetting and aiding crimes against humanity. He may be followed by his daughter, who may now be tried in the UK for violating sanctions, independent of what trivial, yet expensive items she seems obsessed with purchasing.
What comes out drives a dagger at the heart of the loyalists and regime-made opposition claims that they oppose the revolution because it threatens to destroy the institutions of the state. It also obliterates the loyalists frantic efforts to retain the fraudulent image of a “normal” president and state. Clearly, when a young, albeit seasoned diplomat such as Jihad Maqdisi has to rely on a intern level advisors to pass his opinions to the head of state, one must wonder the extent at which the Assads believe in these institutions. Needless to say, pro-freedom thinkers and intellectuals have argued from day one that under the Assads, there are no institutions or state, as all are simply overshadowed by a cancerous criminal-security apparatus and mafia family.
Some of us will get busy trying to decipher the interpersonal relationships of the boy-king now sarcastically known as Batta in attempts to demonstrate the increasingly isolated family. However, the presence of these intern-senior-advisors and their impacts on the actions taken by the regime can not and should not be trivialized by sarcasm. Information provided to the boy-king by these people were acted upon and may have resulted in deaths, including those of journalists in Homs. And if anything they indicate that the boy-king is in control and has directed actions either by transferring the information to his henchmen, or by directly ordering actions. These advisors are not merely providing media advise, but far more sinister advises, even if the emails do not reveal direct orders from the boy-king to his high ranking officers and henchmen. The compartmentalization of connections only illustrates his lack of trust in the state and its institutions not to mention his derogative description of his own fraudulent reform laws. It is no wonder that regime apologists on Syria Comment are now blasting Joshua Landis for publishing the little he did of these emails. The little that has been leaked exposes their own moral degeneration.
In the aftermath of the continuing leaks, Nir Rosen seems to be in the hot seat now. On at least two occasions, he was described by both the intern and the in law as being “helpful” to the regime. Although it is more than possible that in both cases, the two “inner-circle” members have interpreted any critique of the opposition as favorable to the regime, and thus bestowed the “helpful” title on Rosen, critiques of Rosen seem to focus on the implication that he may have divulged information that was used to help the regime’s aggression against homs. Rosen himself has written a post protesting his innocence. I will now from opinion on his response and would leave it to the readers to decide.
Where to ?