It Never Was a Very Nice House Anyway


Here's Syria's Baath Party office in Beirut, from a visit to Lebanon in August 1999, when Hafez Assad (in the posters), Bashar's father, was still in charge. Hafez Assad died in June 2000, and Bashar has been in charge since. Although the House of Assad looks considerably more shaky this morning.

Where will Bashar and the wife go? Russia says no (although that was two weeks ago). Tunisia is said to have offered (although that was almost six months ago). Belarus, maybe. Iran? Any number of unstable African states in the Sahel, possibly, although Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi's son Saif turned out to be anything but safe on his run at leaving Libya for Niger, to name one possible Sahelian refuge. Sudan? Chad? Mauritania?

Any of those obscure little oases might turn out to be frying-pan-to-the-fire moves for the clan. Besides, I'm betting copies of Vogue wouldn't be so easy for the Rose in the Desert, Bashar's wife Asma, to find in Chad. 

In light of the, ah … acceleration of events today, suddenly the question is whether the fun couple can make it to a Lukashenko vacation villa (not on the beach, unfortunately, as Belarus has no shore) or to an Iranian guest house before time runs out.


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