Across the Bay

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bashar the Historical Linguist!

Syria's dictator has a two-part interview in al-Hayat. I don't have the time to go through it, and I'm sure others will spin the hell out of it and give us the usual propaganda.

It does confirm much of what I and others have said about Syria's role as Iranian client/proxy.

There are other things I might come back to comment on. Otherwise it's your usual diet of thinly veiled threats, lies, and condescension. But one thing brought me to tears! Bashar put on his Baathist (or was it SSNP? I lost track!)-ideologue-cum-historical-linguist hat and repeated a gem he had lectured to a group of Arabist deadbeats and regime sycophants at the Arab parties conference in Damascus earlier:

When I spoke before the conference of Arab parties I said Arabism is tied to Islam, and let's not forget that Arabic is the language of Christ. That is, it is what ties all the different parts together. But when we nurture Arabism and Islam, they complement each other. After Syria's and most Arab countries' independence there was a Western plot to strike Arabism and Islam. That is why a division takes place in society, and there become tensions that these powers play with. So tying the two [Arabism and Islam] is very important to create stability inside societies.

The second point is that there are some who talk about Islam as Arabism doesn't exist. This is dangerous because Arabism is what binds the different parts of our society, be they religious, sectarian or ethnic. I always say Arabism is not a chauvinistic idea, as some say, or a racist or racialist idea. The idea of Arabism is a civilizational idea. What joins the various factions, the bases of the Arab society are Arabism and Islam. These two axes must be stable for the others to be stable as well. (Emphasis mine.)

One can quickly point out here that the ramblings of the brilliant Buthaina Shaaban or the lectures of Walid Moallem are all in line with Bashar. This nonsense should also put to rest the notion of a "secular" Assad (or any Arab nationalist) regime. It also highlights "Arabist Islam" which I have talked about in the past.

Furthermore, this also confirms what I had written recently in response to Landis' tripe, and about the pathetic basis of the Assads' rule in Syria (which Michel Kilo also exposed and was thrown in prison for). Speaking of which, it's also worth pointing out the delicious convergence in timing and substance between Bashar and Landis on how Arabism is really not fascist!

But the best part of this pile of trash, the one that had me rolling on the floor -- again -- is the part about how Jesus spoke Arabic! I mean, not only is Bashar a murderer and a brutal dictator, he's also a fantabulous historical linguist! It's just us who cannot really fathom the depth of his linguistic knowledge -- or his "reformist impulses" for that matter (for more on those, see Bashar's justification of the latest crackdown at the end of the interview. The Beirut-Damascus Declaration, he tells us, was "a threat to national security" as it was co-authored with Lebanese enemies of Syria)! Anyway, someone may want to alert historians the world over. This just in: Jesus spoke Arabic, and he did it just so that an Alawite dictator could concoct a half-baked ideology to use in order to justify his family's brutal dictatorship and to sweep under it his exporting of death and violence to his neighbors!

Ahh... the stupidity of Arab nationalism. It somehow becomes even more offensive and infinitely dumber when murderous sectarian dictators try to lecture on it!

Update: Bashar's two-part interview is now available in English, in al-Hayat's English edition.