August 20, 2006

HE'LL BE UNMOURNED:

Arab media slam Syrian president (Associated Press, THE JERUSALEM POST, Aug. 19, 2006)

The bitterness over Bashar Assad's speech last week will likely stir up a gathering of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on Sunday. The meeting is supposed to pave the way for a summit of heads of state later in the month that will draw up plans to help rebuild Lebanon - and try to launch a new Arab peace initiative with Israel.

So far governments have not commented on Assad's jibes - instead, the task has been left to newspapers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan - some of which are state-guided - which have been sizzling with personal and direct attacks on Assad the like of which the region has not seen directed against an Arab leader in years.

One paper described the Syrian president as a rose that has failed to bloom. Another berated him for remaining silent throughout Israel's offensive on Lebanon. And a third mocked all his talk about resistance when not a single bullet has been fired from Syria toward the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Assad had been silent throughout the 34 days of fighting in Lebanon between Israel and Hizbullah, a Syrian ally. But the day after a cease-fire set in, he gave his speech.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 20, 2006 12:00 AM
Comments

Keeping mum to avoid giving the IDF an excuse to invade before the cease fire was in effect, Assad probably has as much to lose as anyone if Hamas starts the conflict up again.

Posted by: John at August 20, 2006 3:19 PM
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