Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011



I know...I know...we are all sick and tired of the ARAB SPRING. First of all, it's August. We're in late summer, not spring. Second of all, Arab Revolutions are only good when the tyrant dictator is actually disposed. We cheered loudly when ZINE EL ABIDINE fled Tunisia after 23 years of one-party government.  Everyone loved it when a weak and frail HOSNI MUBARAK was forced into exile after 30 years of military rule.  However...the Arab Revolution in Libya hasn't been any fun: Crazy ol' GHADAFI is still livin' large in his Tripoli penthouse.  Okay...finally, the main reason were all sick and tired of the ARAB SPRING is because we here at the DUNER BLOG don't believe the Arabs will ever be able to agree on any thing in any season!

Which brings us to our current participant in this dubious competition: SYRIA. Over the weekend, another hundred civilians died during violent protests in the Southern city of Hama. Anyone who's seen the movie LAWRENCE OF ARABIA can tell you what's the problem.  The Arabs just can't "get along." Small disagreements quickly escalate into armed combat.   After the first World War, the Middle East had a golden opportunity to create new political entities...perhaps a 'United Arab States' or a vast Arabian Kingdom. Unfortunately the only one who could agree on anything was our favorite Englishman, T.E. Lawrence.  The angry Arabs became embroiled in petty infighting, which opened the door for Britain and France to come in.  They drew up the silly countries that are falling apart today.

As we all know, the two biggest groups of Arabs who refuse to 'get along' are the Shi'ites and the Sunnis.  Just like in the streets of Baghdad, these two groups are going at it in Southern Syria. You see, BASHIR AL-ASSAD is a Shi'ite from the Alawite sect.  While Alawites comprise only 20% of Syria's population, they make up 70% of the armed forces and 100% of the government.  With this unfair monopoly, the Al-Assad family and have controlled all aspects of Syria for the last 30 years. Since the people in charge of Syria are Shi'tes, they receive military and financial aid from the largest Shi'ite nation on earth: IRAN. Billions of Iranian Rials have been funneled from Tehran to Damascus over the years making the Syrian army quite powerful.  At the moment, they are killing unarmed Sunni civilians and no one really cares.

Wait!  Someone does care about unarmed Sunni civilians!  The Saudi King ABDULLAH!  Yesterday, he closed up the Saudi embassy in Damascus and issued a bunch of mean statements about Bashir.  He called the killings in Hama "grotesque and abhorrent" and that they "have nothing to do with religion."  C'mon, Abdhullah!  It has everything to do with religion.  You're playing a chess game with the Shi'ite Iranians.  They just made a move in Syria.  You just knocked down a Shi'ite revolution in Bahrain last April.  This type of tit-for-tat warfare between these two large, powerful Islamic sects is exactly what drove T.E. Lawrence crazy a century ago.

Unfortunately, nations like Syria are doomed to civil unrest until their citizens can put aside their religious and ethnic differences for the greater good of all.  Syria is a mess.  We forgot to mention the 10% of the population who are CHRISTIAN.  (Their alliance with Bashir is looking horrible at the moment.)  And we won't even start with the DRUZE or KURD populations living in the mountains.  (Talk about hatred!)  Nope, we here at the DUNER BLOG believe the real hope for Syria (and the Middle East) lies in the only thing that unites them all: the Arabic Language.  The younger generations throughout the region have been united by technological advances that are based in a common tongue.  They are talking about Arab peace and co-existence.  To us, that's the real message of the ARAB SPRING!  Are you listening, BASHIR AL-ASSAD?

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