Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Syrian Disposition

An interesting analysis on the state of Syria right now and Bashir Assad's disastrous rule. With some interesting information about the Assad family.

I wasn't aware, for instance, that there is heavy speculation that the death of Bashir's older brother, Basil, who was considered to possess the correct instincts and temperament to follow his father successfully in the despot business, was arranged by his sister, Bushra. Apparently he caught her in flagrante with her lover, now her husband (incidentally she is his third wife) and beat her in front of his presidential guards, and forbade the affair. To avenge her humiliation and to be reunited with her lover, she apparently arranged for the brakes of his new Mercedes to fail.

Sisterly sentiment is surely a wonderful thing. Though I can't say I admire Basil's self possession in beating his sister at all, let alone in front of the guards.

But what I find amazing is that after a certain amount of time the sister was allowed to marry her lover, despite having, in this scenario, caused the death of her brother. Was Assad so much of a realist that he simply made himself adapt to the new circumstances as best he could? Or was he perhaps discontented with Basil?

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