The Tuxedoed Pirate

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Washington DC – December 9, 2009 (Ynet – Farid Ghadry)There are hundreds of reasons why democratic Israel is eager to have peace with its neighbors. All packaged for one purpose: To provide security for Israelis, the majority of which have reached a new trigger point in their struggle for normalcy, far more lethal than the one Israel reached in its war against Hezbollah and Hamas.

Concurrently, there are hundreds of reasons for the authoritarian Assad regime in Syria to freeze and cultivate the status quo with its neighbors. All packaged, as well, for the purpose of maintaining instability in the region that ultimately benefits Syria’s failed experiment of its Ba’ath ideology. Passing the hat, through extortion, has so far worked well for the Assads and their control of Syria.

Unlike the sincerity of Anwar Sadat of Egypt backed by a dynastic history, or the pragmatism of King Hussein of Jordan backed by direct lineage to the Prophet Mohammad, Assad’s claim of legitimacy is his own brute force. As such, Israel will always tango alone when it comes to peace with the fabricated Assads because their seed, lacking the depth of Sadat and King Hussein, is identified more with pirates than Kings and Pharaohs.

But the reality in dealing with the Syrian regime differs from the perception the world has of the pirates in Damascus. In summation, most kings and pharaohs pay attention to the needs of their own people and build for their prosperity, but all pirates pilfer and ravage to redress their own inferiority.

That, of course, does not mean that noble countries like France or Turkey should not play their part in the promotion of peace between Syria and Israel. But in doing so, both countries must be aware of the risks involved. Israel may come to the table ready for peace but Assad will come to the table searching for an advantage to continue the journey of his pirate-like DNA. Peace is neither in his heart nor on his mind.

Why should he abandon the policy of terror that will diminish the capabilities he, with the other pirates in Tehran, have been constructing so carefully since the 70s to give them commanding height of the region?

Useful idiots

But unlike other pirates, Assad wears a tuxedo. Most who visit with him are enchanted to hear him speak of peace so civilly and are taken to task to help this “British educated” pirate come ashore and live amongst the civilized. Little do they know of his “resistance” to such endeavors because once ashore, Assad knows he can no longer pilfer and ravage. The EU Association Agreement is the closest thing to a bridge between the ship’s pirate and the shore, yet Assad refused to sign it for reasons that remain mysterious to many in the EU and elsewhere.

What is resistance anyway? Is Assad resisting the West’s culture when his wife Asma shops on Avenue Montaigne in Paris? Or is he resisting the wealth he will have access to by partnering with the capitalists in the West?

The truth is that Assad is resisting the culture of consensus built around cooperation and co-existence. Nothing will threaten his minority regime more than to become a full and participating member in the club of the international community because his dubious legitimacy, backed at home by emergency laws, will be questioned.

But to market the violence and terror of “resistance” as also a peace movement, Assad demonizes his enemies, especially Israel, the easiest of targets. To the millions of hijacked Syrians, kept largely at sea devoid of all the comforts of life and nuances of his piracy, his long tales and deceptive statements are taken unquestionably and at face-value.

Because he is backed by an ignorant population, he can effectively threaten all surrounding countries, which diverts the attention of his enemies to the glaring leaks in his ship no one seems either interested in taking advantage of or at least re-direct his attention to protecting his ship first.

In one of my visits to a Middle East country, I had dinner with a prime minister of a major European country. Out of the many angles we discussed that night, one seemed to stand out above all others. The PM argued that corrupt Middle East dictators are useful idiots the EU and the US are eager to protect. Honest Middle East democrats, he added, were the last lot the West desires in positions of power. Maybe this explains why Assad, the most violent and corrupt of pirates, seems to be an A-List guest with Turkey, France and the US today.

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