Saturday, March 26, 2005

Elizabeth Cheney is the Czar of Democracy!

     That's supposed to be funny because a Czar is a corruption of the word Caesar (so is the German Kaiser).  A Caesar is an unelected, unlimited ruler, a totalitarian.  From the Washington Post

A meeting Thursday, hosted by new State Department "democracy czar" Elizabeth Cheney, brought together senior administration officials from Vice President Cheney's office, the National Security Council and the Pentagon and about a dozen prominent Syrian Americans, including political activists, community leaders, academics and an opposition group, a senior State Department official said.

The opposition group comes from the Syria Reform Party, a small U.S.-based Syrian organization often compared to the Iraqi National Congress led by former exile Ahmed Chalabi. The INC, which led the campaign to oust former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, had widespread U.S. financial and political support from both the Clinton and Bush administrations, as well as Congress.

     So, the WaPo engaged in some dumb wordplay, is that much to write about?  Certainly not.  The real issue is the nature of the (expatriate) Reform Party of Syria.  Scrolling down to the bottom of the home page we see brief indictments of the current Syrian government.  What do they say about Bashar al-Assad(the Lion)'s brother-in-law?  "The evil of Syria. Behind the scenes. Plays w/CIA. Supports terrorism."  And what do they say about Ghazi Kanaan, the Interior Minister?  "Good relations w/CIA. Wants to be the new Syrian Intelligence Tsar. Corrupt."

     Hard for me to draw parallels between the Chalabi linked CIA and the anti-CIA linked Reform Party of Syria. 

     Color me unimpressed.  Not that honest expatriates shouldn't have a role in critiquing the current government (which is Monarchic in nature, despite RPS referring to al-Assad as the "illegal President"), but simply that these folks, sincere as they might be, don't resemble what I'd call the core of a new government.  I'm sure the RPS leader, Farid Ghadry, sees himself that way, but that's not how I am struck.

     Czar of Democracy, daughter of the Vice-President, positively surreal.

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