The Return of Rifaat!

Will the evil uncle reconcile with the foolish nephew? If we are to go by the proliferating reports out there, something along these lines is indeed in the works. But then, something along these lines have always been in the works, and nothing has so far materialized. Why?

Because the reconciliation process will only consecrate the Alawite nature of the regime, and will signify a complete break with the Sunnis in the country, as they absolutely loathe the man. And for what? Not all Alawites will be happy with the return of this “fearless leader.” In fact, many Alawites will see in such a move a further consolidation of power in the hands of the Assad-Makhlouf clan, and they will not be happy with that. Not at all.

So, the calculations in this regard are not that simple, as some might think. This is why the reconciliation process could drag on and on and may never lead anywhere, as the spokesman for Rifaat al-Assad himself indicated when he refused to announce any specific date for the uncle’s return.

Be that as it may, we can rest assured for now that no such reconciliation is likely to be formalized while the UN inquiry into the Hariri assassination is still ongoing. Rifaat might be a fool, but he is not fool enough to link himself to a regime whose fate is still uncertain. Yes, Bashar & Co. have become a liability even for the likes of Rifaat. Go figure.

It’s a classic catch-22 really. Rifaat had a real chance of going back to Syria because Bashar is in a real trouble. But, and because Bashar is in a real trouble, Rifaat cannot realistically go back to Syria.

Meanwhile, Rifaat seems to be linking his return to an overall deal with the opposition, but, the mere insistence on such a link, no matter how insincere, only complicates matters and betrays the lack of any real progress in the ongoing talks, as the whole purpose of contemplating a return for Rifaat has always been meant as a way for consolidating power in the face of all pressures calling for reform.

These talks, then, if we are to believe in the veracity of all these reports, won’t go anywhere. This revelation seems to be more of a ploy by Rifaat meant to remind the Syrian opposition of his existence and alleged relevance in a desperate attempt to carve a place for himself within the ranks of the Syrian external opposition, perhaps even within the NSF itself. The message seems to be: if you won’t cut me in, I’ll go back to Syria and cut you all out, perhapd even, cut you all to pieces.

As such, this is more of a message, and a polite one at that, aimed more at the opposition than at the regime.

15 thoughts on “The Return of Rifaat!

  1. The talk about the return of Rifaat might be just a warning to the opposition so they can see the advantage to Bashar than having the tyrant Rifaat back.

  2. This is a desperate overture by a desperate regime.. Bashar is willing to sign a pact with the Devil himself to hang on to his increasingly tenuous authority.. The return of Rifaaat the Murderer will spell disaster for the country.. He is loathed and feared by a large section of the population, and his presence will estrange the Regime from the people, even more than it is already estranged.. It will seal the fate of any illusion of any attempts of the Regime to reform or open up.. God help us all!…

  3. I have been told not to advocate the simple act of killing the oppressor at this blog..This i will respect. However all your words are meaningless when dealing with assad, he simply will use torture, extortion, murder and the state to simply murder whom ever he chooses, when ever or whom ever.Holding hands, singing the songs of liberation, wearing ribbons, writing letters to pleasd with outside groups to somehow rescue your people are meaningless.Just look at the world’s record from nazi germany’s death camps to what is happen in Sudan, look at Hama in Syria for your future if i am unclear…and if somehow the MB (MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD) stages a takeover, all liberal secular arabs that would even consider a jew as a human (let alone an equal) will be murdered in the basement of those ever increasing mosques that will take over every block of every town and village.no i have given up trying to tell you the time for arms is here, please if you find yourself in a cattlecar, like my cousins, remember, I TOLD YOU SO…

  4. Syrian Brit, indeed, I think the return of Rifaat, the Prodigal Uncle, will constitute a declaration of war against the Sunnis. Thanks heavens the regime doesn’t seem to be ready for that, some lingering iota of reason seem to be lingering in the Assads’ heads.Pork Rinds, thanks for respecting my wish, and your continued willingness to take part in our discussions, indeed, your point comes out more forcefully now. Still, I won’t advocate murder and violence until our hands is forced. You might be right though, this could be only a matter of time. We’ll see.Norman, Oula and Mohanad are Khawla’s kids from a previous marriage. She was widowed in 1992.

  5. To the only one who calls for murder and violence here!Isn’t it enlightening to realize that the one who declares him self as a Jew is the only one who advocates violence and murder repeatedly! So Mr. Jew-cousin any other wise advices for us based on your painful experience as a nation through out history! Let me ask you: why do you think what happened to Jews has happened? Or maybe you were victims all the time, right? Sorry Ammar but this guy is clearly unstable . . . and accepting the other opinion doesn’t mean to give-up reason, you don’t need to respect and welcome what is clearly biased, hateful, and clearly not respecting many of your readers! Some body should say it … and am glad I did!

  6. I do not think that Bashar Asad will resort to violence by axcepting his uncle back except if he forced by violence against him so as long as people are talking ther will be no rule for Rifaat ,and i hope that the talks will lead Syria to politecal ,economic and legal reform,I think Spain which moved from dictatership to democracy after the death of Franco ,I still consider Spain as an extention of the ommayad khalefa in Damascus.

  7. Norman, I am indeed studying the Spanish model very closely, and hoping that we can still work something along these lines. I am not sure if the right-caliber people are around for a Spanish-style transformation. As for Rifaat, I am not saying that the Assads will initiate acts of violence against a restful population, but I am saying that the impact of his return will be that negative and will signify a rupture of relations between the Sunni and Alawi communities in Syria, which could pave the grounds for violence at some future date. Considering the proliferation of Jihadi movements in our midst, such a move could have a disastrous impact for Syria. AS for Pork Rinds, well, Hammam, he is the only person out there who is afraid of the Islamists ad their potential impact on our lives. We all know that the MB is very good at speaking from both sides of its mouth. Still, the guns in the country are not with the MB, or any other Islamist groups, they are with the Assads and their Alawites supporters, no matter how reluctant they happen to be.

  8. Hammam Yousef said…To the only one who calls for murder and violence here!Isn’t it enlightening to realize that the one who declares him self as a Jew is the only one who advocates violence and murder repeatedly!no, i advocated the use force against those that USE force in Syria, i also have quoted ben laden who has called for murder and I have shown examples (hama) of arabs murdering arabs please answer this…has assad and his father not used mass murder, torture and murder to control syria and lebanon?Hammam Yousef said… So Mr. Jew-cousin any other wise advices for us based on your painful experience as a nation through out history!Yes, Dont trust dictators with guns to share real power… Dont trust arabs/moslems to keep their words on agreements, just ask good ole mohammed about that with the MeccansHammam Yousef said… Let me ask you: why do you think what happened to Jews has happened? Or maybe you were victims all the time, right? great question…do you want to list specific genocides against the jews from arabia to hebron to europe and have me JUSTIFY why men, women and children should not be slaughtered? or are you just jew-baiting?me thinks if you ponder the question “well maybe the jews of europe deserved to die in mass murder, or maybe since they stole palestinian lands they should be blow to bits” makes you feel better, it proves my point that to you, Jews are worthy of genocide unless proven otherwise.Hammam Yousef said… Sorry Ammar but this guy is clearly unstable . . . and accepting the other opinion doesn’t mean to give-up reason, you don’t need to respect and welcome what is clearly biased, hateful, and clearly not respecting many of your readers! Some body should say it … and am glad I did!thank you for your opinion, i do not have a great respect for many, so what? do I deserve to have my head cut off? I dont trust assad to play nice, i trust assad to murder, torture and maime, just like saddam, arafat, nasser, mubarik, he is cut from the same facist cloth. You sir will live long and safely in the current Middle East, others will not…

  9. BTW, I have just noticed that I made serious a typo:I said: “AS for Pork Rinds, well, Hammam, he is the only person out there who is afraid of the Islamists ad their potential impact on our lives. We all know that the MB is very good at speaking from both sides of its mouth.”It should be: “AS for Pork Rinds, well, Hammam, he is NOT the only person out there who is afraid of the Islamists and their potential impact on our lives. We all know that the MB is very good at speaking from both sides of its mouth.”I am sorry to see you and Hammam getting on the wrong foot. But, sometimes, when people don’t pause to filter their emotions, they end up speaking passed each other. But neither of you deserve to have his head chopped off, we can all agree on that I am sure.

  10. But neither of you deserve to have his head chopped off, we can all agree on that I am sure.well actually, i suspect Hammam does believe that jews “deserved” the persecution they have endured….he stated: Let me ask you: why do you think what happened to Jews has happened? Or maybe you were victims all the time, right? might i suggest he list which actions against “jews” were deserved?

  11. Mr. Pork rinds . . . thank you, you proved me right . . . I have some points for all who are following on Ammar’s blog1- The concept of using force against force is a double-edged blade isn’t it? 2- Whether Assads used mass murder or not, is not an excuse for you to call for murder as well, in fact this is what I noticed Ammar and the rest of the commentators are trying to save the country from, falling into the black hole of sectarian violence which I suspect some people wouldn’t mind at all!3- As for “good ole [old-if I got it right] Mohammed” I don’t know what are you talking about, and frankly only people who don’t have much knowledge/information or those who get it through half blinded TV reports might believe innocently what you could say about it.4- I don’t think I asked you to justify any kind of genocide! and if I did please would you point it out! For God sack, am against using murder with whom I know is really responsible for it! So don’t put words in my mouth please, I think we are aware enough of this manipulation!5- Again, YOU said: “me thinks if you ponder the question “well maybe the Jews of Europe deserved to die in mass murder, or maybe since they stole palestinian lands they should be blow to bits” makes you feel better, it proves my point that to you, Jews are worthy of genocide unless proven otherwise” Who is saying that really! And what point to prove? It’s my first comment directed to you,So how the hell could you figure me so fast, or did I touch a sensitive spot not knowing, And the prototypes were activated! STOP PUTTING WORDS IN MY MOUTH!6- I know that history holds people societies and nations responsible for what happens to them, Arabs Jews Muslims Indians …..Etc. Am not saying that they deserve genocide or murder, am just saying, maybe they should look for the reason! Why Hama was targeted not Aleppo? Is it because we believe in violence and murder and we got it back .7- As for your head you decide what to do with it, I believe that NO HEAD DESERVES TO BE CUT OFF, even when it is FREELY and DEMOCATICALLY saying nonsense, and this way am protecting my head too ; ) you never know what I am all about!8- Mr. Pork rinds for allah: what is the message you are trying to send by your name? and please all of you who are reading this, did you check this guys profile/email, what we should think! Is he serious!I promise all of you commentators- including Mr. pork . . . – this is IT! I will not argue with him any further. My respects for all who deserve it, and if you found me wrong please let me know.

  12. yes plz…..no more of this pseudo argument. It is so annoying….. I think that every culture and race of people could find a reason to seek revenge on another…..and kill them….desiring retribution…..is endless!It is turtles all the way down…….there is no beginning to the wrongs……the first wrong done…….and there will be no end…unless someone is willing to put the saber down….and do something different. Even with tyrants and ‘fascists’…….violence begets violence…..

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