Roger L. Simon

Stalin Lives! (in Syria)

From the CBC:

In a country where protests are rare, a rally in support of the Syrian government virtually shut down central Damascus Monday.

Among the hundreds of thousands of people at the rally – and a similar event in the northern city of Aleppo – there were government employees let off work for the occasion and students released from classes with the government’s blessing.

They chanted anti-American slogans to protest a United Nations report released last week that said Syria and Lebanon played roles in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri on Feb. 14.

Anti-American slogans? Well, there always useful in a pinch… or even not… Meanwhile, in Lebanon:

Lebanese leaders are trying to play down tensions with Syria after the release of a UN report which implicates Damascus in the murder of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

Muslim leaders of the parliamentary majority which emerged from polls held after the end in April of Syria’s three-decade troop deployment in Lebanon have called for the preservation of ‘brotherly relations with the Syrian people’.

Does the word psychotic come to mind? Yes, it does:

Only in Tehran have Syria’s protestations of innocence found an echo. The newspaper Al-Qods quoted Hussein Roioran, an Iranian expert on Syrian-Lebanese relations, saying that “countries that respect rights should reject the report to prevent the situation in the region from deteriorating”. For another newspaper, Rissalat, the report will increase regional tensions and allow Israel to pursue its own plans. Finally, Syassat Rose claimed that the United States and Israel are trying to create tensions between Syria and Lebanon.