24 Apr 2011

For whom, Power doth crush.

Power is an unpredictable energy. Ask any dictator, revolutionary or parliamentarian. It scorns good and evil alike. It is absolute in its own character, changing, evolving, enticing but never faithful to those who pick it up from where it lies waiting for those who give it life.

Danger lies in its seductive, addictive and abusive nature. It grows, swells and balloons beyond the control of individuals and family cohorts. Like Atlas carrying the burden of our planet on his shoulders, Power finally weighs down its carrier into a broken shadow of their former self. It then deflates becoming again attractive to those who notice its siren call.
Like all drugs which produce initial feelings of grandeur and well being, abuse over use leads to paranoia and eventually death to dignity and self respect. Democracy is an evolving, thought out response to coping with Power’s alluring attractions.

Middle East Dictators, Royals and Authorian regimes face the Book of Power. Its changing personality offers little regard to current holders. Its  focus is on continuing existance. No one has ever controlled Power beyond a given cycle. For Syria, Lybia and the Gulf states, the weight of Power is crushing their cycle. 
 In a recent interview with an international women’s magazine the wife of the Syrian dictator allowed herself to be attached to the following published article. Bashar Al-Assad may be crushing his protesters seeking change but he should remember Power can desert any host, destroying him and his family.

Extracted from the Article "Asma al-Assad, A Rose in the Desert." February 25th 2011, A report of disturbing contradictions:

Asma al-Assad, Syria’s dynamic first lady, is on a mission to create a beacon of culture and secularism in a powder-keg region—and to put a modern face on her husband’s regime.

Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic…..She’s a rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement. Paris Match calls her “the element of light in a country full of shadow zones.” She is the first lady of Syria.
Syria is known as the safest country in the Middle East, possibly because, as the State Department’s Web site says, “the Syrian government conducts intense physical and electronic surveillance of both Syrian citizens and foreign visitors.”
It’s a secular country…… the Muslim veil is forbidden in universities, a place without bombings, unrest, or kidnappings, but its shadow zones are deep and dark. …..In Syria, power is hereditary. The country’s alliances are murky. There are souvenir Hezbollah ashtrays in the souk, and you can spot the Hamas leadership racing through the bar of the Four Seasons. Its number-one enmity is clear: Israel.

Iraq is next door, Iran not far away. Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, is 90 minutes by car from Damascus. Jordan is south, and next to it the region that Syrian maps label Palestine. There are nearly one million refugees from Iraq in Syria, and another half-million displaced Palestinians. “It’s a tough neighborhood,” admits Asma al-Assad.
The story prints three comments Posted: 2-25-2011

1, In the midst of the chaos in the Middle East today, it is refreshing to read about Mrs. Assad. Polished, poised, well-educated, articulate, beautiful, she is a woman to admire in these tumultuous times

2, I really enjoyed my view into Mrs. Assad's world. She seems down to earth and dedicated to her causes. Great job for daring to profile a woman who is not a cookie-cutter American!

3, This may be the most disgusting article ever published in Vogue, and is surely the first time it has ever put out pure propaganda for a ruthless hereditary dictatorship. It is like all the pieces claiming that Gaddafi's son Saif was some kind of good guy reformist (how stupid do they look now). What's next for Joan Juliet and the once-admired sellout Nachtwey (writer& photographer) -- an admiring profile of Mugabe's first lady? Kim Il Sung's daughter? Hey if Gaddafi does somehow stay in power why not do one of his wives. You should be ashamed.

In democracy, opinion matters. As such it becomes less threatening to those who hold Power for the time they have it.