Trusted source reports that a failed palace coup in December has left the al-Assad clan of Damascus in an Elizabethan state, with no safe resolution available. King Lear is dead, and the wretchedly banal and predictable children fight on for the throne.
Aged, bitter Hosni Mubarak and the unstable Egyptian Intelligence back the momentary President Bashar al-Assad, who damaged his credibility as an Arab warlord when he ordered the murder of Rafik Hariri last winter. King Abdullah of Arabia and French Intelligence back a combination of younger brother Maher al-Assad and his brother-in-law Intelligence Chief and skilled assassin Assef Shawqat, both supported by sister Bushra al-Assad, who is the vital powerbroker of the throne room; however, that palace coup failed in December, leaving a stalemate between brothers and sister.
Meanwhile Crown Prince Sultan of Arabia and his ambitious son Bandar favor a Sunni solution, an unnamed alternative to the al-Assads. Yet the Saudis lack conviction: they are reluctant schemers, filled with self-doubt, inferiority, weak imaginations.
Then the third act twisted within the last several days. A Syrian Air Force general who knows all the secrets of the last 34 years of thuggery, intrigue, regicide, greed, and collaboration with Saddam’s Baathists defected to British Intelligence, and he brought with him an iron-minded solution: restore Rifaat al-Assad, the deposed, exiled, disgraced, bloody-handed brother of the dead Learish potentate Hafez al-Assad.
The Americans, led by the frightened, deaf, naïve, Davos-obsessed State Department, refuse to entertain credible alternatives to the inept Bashar or vengeful Bushra; however, the momentary American choice for the throne is a nameless weakling, hiding in Los Angeles.
On Saturday, Great Britain closed its embassy in Amman, under terror threat. Why the threat? Perhaps because the al-Assads are paralyzed and must lash out to make Britain pay for aiding the case for the return of the 1982 butcher of Hammah, Rifaat al-Assad.
What happens next is wormwood, wormwood, wormwood. Pull up a seat. Not too close. Blood splatters.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?