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Quote of the year goes to Amr Musa - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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At the end of last year, I said that the quote of the year was a statement attributed to the Qatari Prime Minister, revealed in the Wikileaks documents, stating that his country’s relations with Iran were conducted along the lines of: “They lie to us and we lie to them”. Today it seems that the quote of the year has come early, midway through the year, unless of course something superior comes later.

This is because this crazy year has already seen enough interesting quotes to form a substantial stock of wit and humor, from “I have understood you”, words uttered by [former Tunisian President] Ben Ali, to the words of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi towards his people; “Who are you…you rats”, to the Syrian President saying “we will speed up but we will not be rushed”. However, a genuinely smart sentiment came to the fore today, in terms of its clarity and radiance, as the press described it.

This “radiant” expression was what Amr Musa said in response to accusations against him by the Syrian regime, which came on the back of what the Secretary General of the Arab League had said, calling the situation in Syria dangerous and worrying for all, adding: “what we hear, and what we see in terms of many casualties, indicates a major upheaval in Syria, as well as the displacement of groups of refugees to Turkey. All of this increases our sorrow and regret for what is happening”.

In the wake of this the Syrian regime issued a statement critical of Musa, accusing him of trying to exploit what was happening in Syria, warning “anybody exploiting Syrian blood in order to serve private goals”, suggesting that Amr Musa had said what he said only to strengthen his chances when running in the upcoming Egyptian Presidential elections!

Amr Musa reacted to the Syrian regime’s accusation quickly, speaking to our newspaper the day before yesterday, stating: “Is the entire world intending to stand at the Egyptian presidential elections”?! This clear and comprehensive answer destroyed all the Syrian propaganda that had tried to oversimplify the gravity of the situation. The facts on the ground dictate that the Syrian regime is deep in a hole, whilst it insists on ignoring the reality of what is happening within its territory, and ignores the fact that reform is inevitable. Rather the regime has continued its misleading propaganda. For example, whenever the regime wants to send its troops to storm a city or village, the official media says that this troop mobilization stems from the demands of the people in those areas, and the question here is: If the regime can respond immediately to its people by sending security forces, why does it also not respond to the Syrian people’s demands for reform? This is clear propaganda, intended to confuse. The “grave situation” which Amr Musa talked about is nothing but the result of the Damascus regime’s errors, which have isolated Syria externally, and likewise internally. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has become a crowning leader not only in his country, or the Arab region, but even inside Syria, while the Damascus regime continues to distribute charges and accusations of treason, and pin everything on a foreign conspiracy!

It seems that the Syrian regime has not heard the old adage that if someone finds themselves in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging, but the regime is still digging, and has been since the beginning of the popular uprisings to this day!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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