[Marxism] Israel's favorite Arab dictator

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 12 16:26:36 MDT 2013


http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israel-s-favorite-arab-dictator-of-all-is-assad-1.352468

Israel's favorite Arab dictator of all is Assad

Both Assad senior and Assad junior advocated resistance against Israel. 
This slogan was hollow, serving the regime merely as an insurance policy 
against any demand for freedom and democracy.

By Salman Masalha	Mar.29, 2011 | 2:30 AM | 26
		

As strange as it sounds, everyone in Israel loves Arab dictators. When I 
say everyone I mean both Jews and Arabs. The favorite dictator of all is 
president Assad. As Assad junior inherited the oppressive regime in 
Syria, so did both Jews and Arabs transfer their affection for the 
dictator from Damascus from Assad senior to his son.

Following the intifada in the Arab states, Bashar al-Assad maintained in 
an interview to the Wall Street Journal that the situation in Syria is 
different, adding that Syria is not like Egypt. He also emphasized that 
Syria was not susceptible to sliding into a similar situation, because 
it was in the "resistance" front and belongs to the anti-American, 
anti-Israeli axis.

Well, Assad is right. The situation in Syria is indeed different. The 
Syrian regime is more like Saddam's defunct regime. The Ba'ath Party 
that ruled Iraq and the one still ruling Syria both held aloft flags of 
pan-Arab national ideology. But slogans are one thing and reality is 
another. All the ideological sweet talk was only talk. For the Ba'ath 
Party, both in Iraq and in Syria, constituted a political platform to 
perpetuate tribal, ethnic oppression.

Indeed, the situation in Egypt is completely different. If we put aside 
the Coptic minority, then Egyptian society is homogenous religiously and 
not tribal at all. The demoted Egyptian president, Mubarak, never had a 
tribal-ethnic crutch to lean on. The Egyptian army is also different and 
not at all like the Syrian or Iraqi armies.

For example, when the United States invaded Iraq, the Iraqi army 
splintered into its tribal and ethnic fragments. The soldiers took off 
their uniforms and each joined his tribe and ethnic community. Saddam 
too adhered to those tribal codes. He did not flee Iraq but went to hide 
in the well-protected areas of his tribesmen. This is what happens in 
these societies. In the land of the cedars, as soon as the civil war 
broke out, the Lebanese army dissolved into its ethnic components and 
disappeared.

True, Syria is not Egypt. Syria is also different in terms of the price 
in blood inflicted by the tyrannical Syrian regime. The Syrian tribal 
government is based on the force exercised by the security branches 
ruled by the tribesmen and their interested allies.

Inherently, a tribal regime of this kind will always be seen as a 
foreign reign. This kind of reign can be called tribal imperialism, 
which rules by operating brutal terror and oppression. This is 
underscored when a minority tribe rules, like in Syria. Thus every 
undermining of the government is seen as a challenge to the tribal 
hegemony and a danger to the ruling tribe's survival. Such a regime by 
its very nature is totally immersed in a bloodbath.

Both Assad senior and Assad junior advocated resistance against Israel. 
This slogan was hollow, serving the regime merely as an insurance policy 
against any demand for freedom and democracy. The Syrian "resistance" 
government has not uttered a peep on the Golan front since 1973. 
Instead, the "resistance" regime was and still is ready to fight Israel 
to the last Lebanese, and if that doesn't do the trick - then to the 
last Palestinian.

As voices in Israel have recently spoken out in favor of Hamas' 
continued rule in Gaza, so many Israelis are worried these days over the 
Syrian regime's welfare. Astonishingly, not only Jews are praying 
secretly for the Damascus regime's survival, but many in the Arab 
parties as well. These parties' leaders have been dumbstruck, their 
voices have been muted and no outcry has been raised against the Syrian 
regime's massacre of civilians.

All the hypocrites, Jews and Arabs alike, have united. It seems Assad 
has wall-to-wall support here, as though he were king of Israel.




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