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What On Earth Are the Syrians Talking About? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The Syrian report regarding the recent attack on the US embassy in Damascus has been on my mind for a while now. In a nutshell, the report claims that the ideological instigator behind the incident was a Saudi national, and that the weapons used during the attack were supplied by Lebanon. So basically, what Syria is trying to say is that it is the victim of Saudi terrorism and Lebanese security anarchism.

Does this make any sense whatsoever? It seems the Syrians are living in a fantasyland, playing the same old broken record that constantly tries to link Saudi Arabia to terrorism. Many world events have been forced on us but it seems Syria is still unaware of them. remember that last October, the US consulate in Jeddah was targeted in a terrorist attack, something we follow up with, not through official Saudi security forces, as was the case in Damascus, but through updates on over two Saudi satellite channels – live! Not through screened opinions.

Today, we are witnessing abundant criticism in Saudi Arabia over the social, religious, and economic issues – all on Saudi satellite channels.

Only a few days ago, we published the debate, or rather the argument that took place in the Saudi Shura Council’s corridors (Consultative Council) over charity organizations, the nature of their work, and the ways to monitor them.

This is a fraction from what is published in Saudi media of argumentative debates of a sensitive nature – so I honestly ask: Does that cover everything?

Of course not! We still hope for more activity and reform. This is all contrary to what is going on in Damascus in terms of stagnation, regression and the persistence in misinterpreting matters. The Syrian report does not take heed of the fact that the debate around Saudi is no longer one about the terrorist circle or its inciters inasmuch as it is about the speed of the reform wheel. The Syrian aberration could have been useful immediately after September 11th, but not now in 2006.

As for implicating Lebanon’s name; it is enough to say that the battle in Lebanon today is centered around a number of issues, mainly avoiding delays in the formation the al-Hariri’s assassination trial (which is also tied to other assassinations and assassinations attempts) and not interfering in Lebanon’s affairs, as well as safeguarding its borders. Naturally, the situation is more particular to the Syrians than it is to anyone else in terms of stopping support for Hezbollah and quelling the deepening Iranian influence in Beirut.

The Syrian report, which resembles Abou Ads’s tape, can also fall under the famous Arabic proverb: He accuses me of what he’s guilty of.

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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