Not to rain on our Parade, but our road to freedom has yet to begin, and it is long and arduous journey.
In this Poker-for-Life between the Assad Regime and Lebanese Freedom, the Syrian dictator still has a few cards to play. In trying to keep a semblance of “Plausible Deniability”, he has been playing the “furthest” cards first. Only those who cannot be traced directly to him were first to hit the table with full force.
The first card was low scale terror; a little bombing here and there, escalating to assassination and cold blooded murders. Some of those were caught, and the party behind them weakened. But the network is little shaken, and still stirs.
Also among the first second cards were useful idiots, all too ready to play the game; some, like Hersh, were motivated by Vanity, others, like Michel Aoun, by spite and political ambition. They allowed the player to sow doubt in his opponents, but were soon spent.
For all the trappings of celebrity, evidence is mounting against this part of Hersh’s journalistic work. And Aoun is now a spent force, his only appeal being the disgust many feel with Samir Geagea, the Lebanese “ruling” class, and the Martyr Rafic Hariri’s side-effects.
There is even a “joker” among those first cards; few westerners truly understand the
The fist of his second cards was played-out over the past month. Fath Al-Islam and its fans, more than 4,000 of them, were sacrificed in an attempt to split
This was a smart strategic move; luckily (?) for us, it backfired. Today, in this sectarian standoff of ours,
But there still are a few more; Jund Al-Sham, Asbat el Ansar, and a few other nasty little groups that can still be called upon to do their duty for “Bashar and family”.
Those political dinosaurs may not understand what the world has evolved into, but they still have a helluva bite. And as a poker player, the Syrian regime still has a few major terror cards, and is expert at playing them.
Assad has not yet played his stronger “tarnib” yet. It may not feel like it, after the July 06 War, the miscalculations, and the almost civil war of January 07, but he has so far used his master cards with parsimony.
First, Ahmad Jibril and his troglodytes have yet to enter the fray.
Second, a cursory zapping across Al-Manar reveals a brooding Hezb who has yet to activate his core troops. As expected, his early attempts at conservative revolution have failed, and the party is much weakened by all the economic pressures of rebuilding; unable to keep his promise of a flood of “pure money”, save for their “exclusive” claim on God, or maybe because of its “alliances”, the party has lost much support. It is harder to deliver on promises than to rail against the government. Especially when this government is playing the reconstruction “game” rather deftly, with cynical international backing.
But to Hezb’s real motivations, those losses are peripheral mercenaries, at best; the core of “True Believers” remains. At worse, they have still a measure of control over the Army and many Services; Berri’s little hiring spree was not all purely patronage.
Raising the Stakes?
To conclude with some rain on our parade.
While we look to our Army’s victory with great joy, recall that “they” look at Hamas’ takeover of
Then again, maybe that’s the whole plan for March 14th; knowing the Player is wasting his cards one after the other, play for time. But they’re only postponing the inevitable…
August will be hot. If we make that far…