Sunday, October 16, 2005

Syria: Will the chips fall where they may?

Almost one week after the death of Syria's interior minister and as Detlev Mehlis, the head of the United Nations team investigating the murder of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, prepares to submit his report to Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General editorials and news reports continue to speculate on the political impact these two major events will have on the future of an already embattled Syria:

Christopher Dickey, Newsweek-Buried With Secrets:

Damascus is an Orwellian wonderland of rewritten histories and untrue facts, so when the regime there announced last week that Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan had taken his own life, there were very few points on which intelligence analysts, diplomats and politicians could agree. Except one: Kanaan knew too much. He was in a position, in fact, to know everything that the Mafia-style regime of President Bashar al-Assad would never want known by anyone outside the inner circle of siblings, in-laws and cousins...

NY Times-Cornered in Damascus:

Three and a half decades of regional troublemaking and domestic misrule finally seem to be catching up with the Assad family dictatorship in Syria. The political atmosphere in Damascus is crackling with tension in anticipation of next week's United Nations report on possible Syrian involvement in the assassination of Rafik Hariri, Lebanon's former prime minister, last February. Domestic discontent is seething, and deadly power struggles have already broken out in the dictatorship's inner circles. President Bashar al-Assad is discovering that he has thoroughly alienated other Arab rulers as he faces mounting pressure from the United States and France...

Also this:

Times of London-America offers 'Gaddafi deal' to bring Syria in from the cold:

The Bush Administration has offered Syria’s beleaguered President a “Gaddafi deal” to end his regime’s isolation if Damascus agrees to a long list of painful concessions. According to senior American and Arab officials, an offer has been relayed to President Assad that could enable him to avoid the looming threat of international sanctions against his country...