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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A love-affair turned into a psychotic obsession

No better term explains Syria's reluctance to let Lebanon go. At least that's how this article (H/t the arabist) puts it: There can be no doubt that Syrians, for the most part, love Lebanon. Their love is a dramatic love, amongst its symptoms, a constant desire to stay close to and imitate the beloved, and occasionally to bicker. The majority of Syrians believe that the two nations are not merely joined by common borders, but by the unshakeable bond of brotherhood. Without thinking twice the young Syrian girl says to the television camera: "We love the Lebanese. We and the Lebanese are one people." Like most young Syrians she truly believes what she says, and she would be surprised to find out how many Lebanese are repelled by these simple words, how much they inspire caution and fear; that this brief sentence harbours an ideological and political discourse that refutes Lebanon's independence and denies its separation, as a state and people, from Syria. She hasn't the faintest idea that these very words are parroted by millions of other Syrians in imitation of their leader ("...one people, forever..."), a state of affairs that only goes to support the theory that Syrians don't have opinions of their own; that such uniformity is a symptom of an awful, Soviet-style totalitarianism. [...] After the Lebanese demonstrations of recent times, this love seemed someone dishonest, the same one-sided love (mixed with frustration and anger) hinted at by their young leader in his two "historical" speeches. They had no idea that their country "loved" Lebanon, too: that oppressive, suffocating, Syrian affection. Like them, their country is jealous of Lebanon and fantasizes about domination, possession, merging as one... And it has turned into a full Single White Female-esque obsession, even to the point where Jennifer Jason Leigh changes her appearance to look like the freaked out Bridget Fonda. Bridget Fonda is of course Lebanon, and Syria is JJL. You think I am overreaching? Read this: The demonstrations in Damascus' squares imitated the language, slogans and techniques pioneered by the Lebanese in the Cedar Revolution, and especially those witnessed around the world on 14 March in the demonstration of more than a million and a half citizens that took place in Martyr's--now Freedom--Square in Beirut. [...] Nor did the organizers attempt to disguise the source of their inspiration, brazenly changing the 14 March slogan "For Lebanon" into "For Syria". "All of us for the nation" was written on a huge sign hung across a building's facade, the very same phrase the Lebanese chanted at the beginning of their national anthem. There was no attempt by the Syrian demonstrators to invent their own slogan. Dazzled by the television reporting on the Lebanese demonstrations, the Syrian government tried to televise their own attempt, setting up huge screens next to the marches. Noticing that the Lebanese protesters had agreed to wave only the national flag to preserve unity across the spectrum of ethnic, party and religious affiliations, the Syrian authorities ordered that only the Syrian national flag (and not the Baath emblem) be raised above supporters' heads. Then, as if they'd suddenly realized that on other occasions the Lebanese actually had been flying different flags, the Syrians then encouraged a whole profusion of different flags to appear, which ironically included Lebanese flags: the National Party and Hizballah). And as a final touch, because the Lebanese carried banners, the Syrians carried banners, too. [...] They couldn't even manage to use the beginning of their own national anthem ("Syria, my sweetheart") as a slogan, they had to use the Lebanese national anthem. They couldn't think of anything for themselves. They made no attempt to distinguish themselves from the Lebanese. And why would they? Syria sucks. It's like Lebanon if Lebanon was stuck in the 1950's. The Syrians would love nothing but to keep Lebanon forever, because that's where they breathe air. That's where they get their fashion, that's their idea of whom they could be. If your reality is that of daily-life in Syria, why would you ever wanna give Lebanon up? It's like you being a drunk loser whose asked to give up the woman that you love, the one good thing in your life and your source of income, because she wants to leave your loser ass. You naturally would be against it, and would have to beat up your woman daily till "she loves you again". That's what Syria is doing. It is like Lebanon's abusive boyfriend who just won't let her go, because if he does it would be the end of him. Running around town telling everyone he would never put his hands on her, that it's not in his best interest to do so, while beating the shit out of her every chance he gets. After all, they belong together.


At 12/18/2005 09:27:00 AM, Blogger Rob said...

All that "one nation, one people" sounds exactly like what one hears from another dictatorship: North Korea. Let's just hope Syria is toppled from within soon.

At 12/18/2005 10:52:00 AM, Blogger Abu Kais said...

nicely put Sandmonkey. :)

At 12/18/2005 01:20:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

hat-tip SAM, I used the same 'wife-beating' metaphor without knowing that you used it first!

At 12/21/2005 12:27:00 PM, Blogger Ron Larson said...

I think it is the ocean-front real estate and skiing industry that keeps Syria obessed.


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