Monday, January 02, 2006

Continuing Repercussions In Syria

I'm not planning on making a long list of predictions for 2006. However, I think it is clear that Syria is poised for rather monumental changes in the coming year. Yesterday, the BBC reported that the ruling Baath party in Syria has expelled former Vice-President Abdul Khaddam.
Syria's ruling Baath Party has expelled former Vice-President Abdul Halim Khaddam - a day after parliament voted to bring treason charges against him.

The moves follow remarks by Mr Khaddam implicating President Bashar al-Assad in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005.
As the U.N. has already indicated that Syria was indeed behind the murder, it is likely that Khaddam is being persecuted in an effort to hide the truth.

I am reminded of comments made by Mikhail Gorbachev made at a speech at Miami University last October. I don't have the transcript of the speech, but my summary at the time was:
He related an anecdote where a high-ranking member of the communist party canceled a meeting where talk turned critical towards the government. Gorbachev's lesson was that a meeting could be canceled; you can't cancel the events and realities that were driving the change.
The leaders in Syria would do well to listen to the words of Mr. Gorbachev.