Thursday, January 05, 2006

On Khaddam And Regime Change

"Diq il-hadeed w huwwe hamee"

Jumblatt has openly called for regime change in that former Syrian Vice-President Khaddam has provided the whole world with an alternative to the either-the-Assad-rule-or-the-Muslim-Brotherhood equation.

As I read through the entire interview that Al-Arabiyya conducted with Khaddam, it was clear his intentions. His breaking away from the Syrian Baath party and his public confession of the internal dynamics within the Bashar Assad circle of the past five years are not a "cathartic" move, taken by someone who wishes to live in peace and quiet for the remaining years of his life. No! Khaddam's words (which by the way, he did not wish to be interrupted by the interviewer) had a message, they carried weight, they were ideological and strategic, they in short laid down domestic and foreign policies and strategies that Syria needs to take in order to move forward in these changing times.

Khaddam said that he had a choice, between the regime and the nation; he claims that he chose the nation. And for the nation to move forward, he believes that Syria should foster openness, not necessarily towards the outside world, no, but towards its people. He explained that at those critical times in Syria's history, what the leadership should do is to take a step towards national reconciliation (doesn't this term remind you of Lebanese political jargon? Syria needs some of it); instead of alienating Syrian citizens more and more from their country, through exile and persecution, which would inevitably lead to regime overthrow and chaos, it's advisable to bring everyone together under the banner of the nation (watan).

He further talks about a re-definition of an Arab umma, a re-definition of nationalism....

You know? These words might be coming from a corrupt person (as many Syrians and Lebanese claim), but they are not entirely worthless.

But a decision for change can only come from the Syrian people themselves. I wish the Syrian people the best of luck and the Lebanese people (my people) the best of luck and peace.

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."


Hani G. said...

Hi Doha, I was shocked when I learnt of his statments to Washington Post. I have a feeling that most of it was taken out of context.

We should be expecting a member of Joumblatt's bloc to soften Joumblatt's stance today.

francois said...

dont forget that khaddam by being foreign ministry and then vice president of syrian, was responsible of the manipulation and massacres that occured in lebanon and that were perpetrated by the pro syrians and the syrian troops.

he s smarter then assad son as far bashar made a huge mistake by assassinating hariri whereas khaddam succeeded with hafez el assad to occupy lebanon.

isnt it better to have a dumb as a neighbour then such guy?
isnt it better to have a weak syrian then a guy that can make syria strong again ?

francois said...


joumblatt is the king of reverse sentences

remember the 2 interviews he gave on cnn and on lbci the same day
the 2 were contradicting each other.

Firas said...

I generally think of Jumblat as a very shrewed politician, but don't understand his position on this. He has been way out there at a time this is not an active policy option in neither DC or Paris. With further uncertainty in Israel now, regime change in Syria is simply not in the cards. Even the Sheba'a withdrawal that Ignatius has been championing here in DC, and getting good vibes on, is now dead in the water.

Doha said...

I disagree that it's better to have a dumb guy in Syria, Francois. Isn't it because of the dumb guy that many of our good public figures were murdered this past year?

I'm not advocating for any change in Syria; it's a Syrian matter. I'm interested ultimatley in Lebanon's security and independence.

Doha said...

It's true, Firas, that neither the US nor France want any regime change in Syria for now. Jumblatt's message to Bush on regime change came at the same time with the Elysee Palace spokesman's statement after Chirac's meeting with Mubarak that France is not interested in delving into Syrian domestic affairs.

But my question is that is it enough for the Syrian regime to comply with UNIIC on Hariri's murder and its pledge to leave Lebanon alone for Lebanon to truely be independent? Haven't the Syrian regime and its agents already break that threshold of not meddling with our internal affairs, by unleashing a wave of assassination attempts and killings, and sectarian tensions this past year?

Doha said...

Oh, and one more thing: Jack Straw yesterday in a press conference after meeting with PM Seniora said outright that the UK is not interested in regime change in Syria.

Ghassan said...

We rather have a Syria with a smart President so he will not do dumb mistakes!

I just want to mention an incident (I am not sure it was reported in newspapers, someone I know was in the room told me) where Khaddam told Walid Jumbulat: "Do you see that chair there? Your dad used to sit on it!" Khaddam and Asad both tried to control Lebanon! The only way to prevent that from re-occuring is for the Lebanese to unite and resolve their own problems!

francois said...


the pb is that khaddam was the main collaborator of hafez el assad
he s related to the murders of bashir gemayel, to the murders of that cheick khaled, etc....
he was in the high level of responsibilities during the massacres of damour when the palestinian saika was leaded by syrians officers.
for me khaddam is more guilty and responsible then bashar assad of most the crimes that happened in lebanon.
bashar just made one murder, in a wrong timing for him, he s dumb bcz he didnt see that the way his father was acting was different then the current period etc...
he made a huge mistake in that term and i m not sure that khaddam would have been doing so
this is why i would say i prefer a dumb syrian leader, making syria weak then someone like khaddam that might be intelligent enough to manipulate the lebanese political class the same way he was doing during the war

we shouldnt forget the past of that guy

francois said...

ghassan , a smart president in syria with the weak constitution in lebanon and the weak patriotism toward the nation and the strong patriotism toward the sects and communities would lead to the same results:
lebanon would be again ruled from damascus

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Well, as Professor Marshall McLuhan used to say “the medium is the message/massage”….

And the medium here is Al-‘Arabiyya, which by the way is no coincidence: Al-‘Arabiyya is NOT a “disinterested beacon of intellectual objectivity” beaming rays of investigative journalism into the barren Soviet-style Syrian steppes… This satellite TV station is owned by Sheikh Walid Ali Ibrahim, a brother-in-law of Saudi Arabia's late King Fahd, and a notorious rightwing Wahhâbi Islamist who once said in a TV interview that “Christians are the descendants of dogs and swine”. Mr. Ibrahim is also a significant shareholder of Saudi Oger SA, a French-Saudi joint-venture….and the main investment vehicle for Rafiq Hariri’s real estate and construction ventures in Beirut and Riyadh.

As for comrade Khaddâm, in a highly ironic twist of fate, he is now widely described by the Harirista Amen corner (from Al-Nahar to Al-LBC) as “a changed man in search of democratic redemption” [sic] and the living embodiment of Syro-Lebanese friendship!

An ethereal friendship albeit cemented by feudal intermarriages [Dalloul + Hariri] cum shared spoils of crooked government tenders between 1991 and 2003 [Dalloul + Hariri + Khaddâm]: as the French say, these days one can’t just live off friendship and fresh water.

In 1989, when Khaddâm, Fahd, and Hariri engineered the collaborationist Taef “agreement” using a deadly mix of Wahhâbi dollars and Syrian menaces to sway hesitant Christian and Shiite lawmakers, a famous Paris-based Lebanese exile said the following:
“In a way, I can understand Khaddâm: the man is a thug but at least he works for his country…as for Hariri, well he’s just an amateur politician who thinks that he can succeed by collaborating with the enemy". In many ways, Jûnieh MP Raymond Eddé was speaking highly prescient words...

The “truth” (to use Harirista vocab) is that Khaddâm hasn’t changed at all: he’s still a subsidized thug, a war criminal and a Soviet-trained LIAR, the only real “change” being of course that he has suddenly transferred his feudal allegiance to a much more lethal master…

If you’ve chosen to be a hit man for some totalitarian Ayyrab regime, well you might as well go for the well heed one!

TW. Wahhâbi : a member of a fanatical Islamist sect founded in Arabia in the 18th century and revived by the Al-Saud family in the 20th century (synonyms: Neo-Hambali, Islamo-fascist).

Collaborationism: the advocacy or practice of collaboration with the enemy.

Doha said...

Read this somewhere else, Doctor! You're good at "copy-pasting"!

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

I actually have a Phd in that field...
See they don't call me Doc for nothin

Anton Efendi said...

Hani G. No softening no nothing. He has made these statements and more to al-Shiraa and elsewhere.

Besides, have you been following the cross-border Druze war between Bashar and Jumblat? Of course Jumblat wants regime change. He may even be its strongest proponent in Lebanon.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

I also think that Khaddam would be better for Lebanon. Though Khaddam was a Baathist who once publicly said that Lebanon was to be reunited to Syria, he is an opportunist and a pragmatist who understands that there's no way he can claim power in Syria unless he strikes a deal with western power and leave Lebanon alone.

The fact that Khaddam is intelligent and knows how to play political games is what makes him a viable alternative for Assad, as far as Lebanon is concerned.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"Oh, and one more thing: Jack Straw yesterday in a press conference after meeting with PM Seniora said outright that the UK is not interested in regime change in Syria. "

Regime change and head of state change are not the same. If there's an internal coup and the Baath maintain itself, it would still be the same regime.

Solomon2 said...

Isn't Jumblatt the best wind-taster in Lebanese politics?

The Sandmonkey said...

What's that old saying again? Even the devil can recite scripture?


Abu Lanjri Al-Farran said...

« Isn't Jumblatt the best wind-taster in Lebanese politics? »

Yeah sure: that self-inflated man surely has an expert smell for hot air and other flatulent gazes!!

francois said...

about khaddam , let me tell u few things

first of all, the "pro US" wing in the syrian regime were kenaan, khaddam and tlass

one commited a suicide, another left to paris and the third one disappeared, i heard he also left syria but an unknown destination

when u want to make a coup d etat in a country like syria, u need support,
i doubt that khaddam has a support of the baas party
the secret services? kenaan was suicided
the key now might be tlass and the syrian army

let wait for him to reappear maybe and we ll see how things ll turn to be

but really i doubt that khaddam has anyway support in the population or within the security services in that country

now about joumblatt, we cannot underestimate him, he is a smart ass and we have to remember that he even collaborated since the death of his father with the killers of his father.
he doesnt have honnor and he is committing huges mistakes by pushing saniora to have hezbollah minister inside his government and now he s making a huge timing mistake by asking to get lahoud fired as far if lahoud is fired this government and therefore the hezbollah ll be in a good blackmailing position for the presidency election
the best thing would be to make a new governement without their presence and then to get lahoud head.


Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"i doubt that khaddam has a support of the baas party"

The support of the Baath party is meaningless. It's like the Tachnag in Lebanon. It supports the guy who's ruling the country and will support the next guy provided he does not abolish their privileges.

Moreover the Baath and its ideology are totally discredited nowadays and has as much influence on Syria's public opinion than the Animal Liberation Front.

francois said...

yeah this is why khaddam is for me negligeable

he didnt say anything we dont already know
it s just an opportunist tv speech, nothing more

Anonymous said...

<< No! Khaddam's words had a message, they carried weight, they were ideological and strategic, they in short laid down domestic and foreign policies and strategies that Syria needs to take in order to move forward in these changing times. >>

Doha, did you really think this when you heard his words? What exactly made you feel that there is ideology and/or strategy other than what everyone knows?
To me, his words are not more worthy than any Ayman Al-Thawahri speech or SANA statement.