The argument tyrants clear their throats with (Imported from the Soviet political system) rests on the notion that if an individual spends all his time hunting for food, he will have less time thinking of politics. Poverty, by design, is the ultimate weapon to suppress freedom of thought.Â
What blew the can open in Syria can be best understood in a descriptive article Claudia Rosett wrote in July of 2009 in her Rosett Report for the PJ Media entitled “Syria”™s Imelda Marcos on Facebook; Check Out the Shoes“. Its immense significance lies in the effect this article is directly connected to today’s Syrian Revolution. In March of 2011, just as the Revolution unfolded, Rosett wrote another entitled “What Should Asma al-Assad Wear to the Syrian Revolution? “ One article indirectly predicted the Revolution and the other confirmed it.
During the Soviet era, the publicly hidden gut of the Kremlin was the ultimate symbol of power as well as luxury. While the Soviet people ate rotting potatoes, in the Kremlin Vodka flowed and Caviar froze and the Soviet leadership was as equal, in comfort, to its western counterpart. But it was all hidden from the public view. The most a Soviet citizen could see were the modest rooms of a Dacha in the country.
Similarly, Hafez al-Assad lived a life of measured modesty. He may have been one of the richest men in the Arab countries but unless you entered the incredibly sumptuous palaces he lived in (With the exception of the modest photo op room), an average Syrian believed his leader lived a stern life and labored for his people.
But after the austere life of Hafez came the extravagant life of Baschar.Â
Michel de Montaigne was the first French Philosopher to invent the Essay (Essai) as a small narrative of a major subject matter. He was honored in Paris by naming Avenue de Montaigne after him. But what very few people know about this avenue are the purpose of those closed doors of the Haute-Couture boutiques that litter this luxury 8Ã¨me Arrondissement Avenue.Â
Those boutiques are open by appointment only to clients of stature willing to pay upward of a $100,000 for a chiffon only a French artist is able to turn it into a piece of art. It’s where celebrities as well as wives of tyrants shop. These boutiques of dreams became Asma’s watering hole. This is important from a Revolution vantage point because while Syrians labored and lived in abject poverty, Asma al-Assad was spreading her luxury on Facebook for all the young and unemployed Syrians to see. This whack-them-over-the-head vanity and arrogance spilled the beans of anger in the Syrian streets.
Rosett’s attributed the befitting name of Imelda Marcos to Asma. However, if you followed the Vogue spread of Asma published in February 2011 designed to row backwards, you will notice Asma in very modest and down to earth lifestyle (They realized too late the importance of Rosett’s article). But it was a bit too little and a bit too late because it appeared in March of 2011 just as the Syrian Revolution was blowing its volcanic top and smothering Asma with its eternal ashes of shame and burning Baschar with its deadly slow rolling and hot Lava.
What few know is that the Arab Revolutions added another dimension if you compare Mubarak with Assad. Revolutions are born not only as a result of sumptuous palaces of tyrants controlled by let-them-eat-cake Arab queens but also by the greed of corrupt Arab leaders. This makes Bastilles look like a cakewalk when the real eruption happens after this small one of 2011.
Just listen to the tremors caused by the Arab League today.