When Benjamin Netanyahu called for an enforcement of a red line in regards to Iran’s nuclear project, he didn’t think the line could be as close to him as 25km, or indeed this close to Dimona nuclear site. The downing of the unidentified drone over Israel last Saturday marked that red line. It occurred less than two weeks after Iran’s announcement of the deployment of a domestic-built reconnaissance drone with a 24-hour flight capability.
Bernie Ecclestone does not see what the fuss is about with the formula One Grand Prix tomorrow in Bahrain, insisting that the unrest in the country “has nothing to do with them“.
Of course, it’s related to the regime crackdown on the uprising, and the widespread human right violations attached to it. A massive protest took place yesterday against the F1 event.
It’s surely one of the most bizarre ways to commemorate an event. Iran has marked the 33rd anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini’s return to Iran from his exile before the Islamic revolution took over power in 1979, by re-enacting his journey with a replica of him, made of an oversized cardboard cut-out.
Bashar Assad considers any efforts to stop the current killing in Syria as a “conspiracy” and “foreign intervention”, despite the fact that Syria intervened in Lebanon for donkey’s years, participated with the United States in the first Gulf war in 1991 against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, and sent fighters to Iraq in the post-2003 era.
Now Russia is undergoing just the same self-denial position, and adopting the same double standards for their assessment to the situation in Syria. Russia does not only oppose any military threat to Assad, but also any proposal that lead to a peaceful transition of powers. Apparently their current position, including their arms sales and their only military base abroad in Tartous are not classified foreign intervention.
Hence, why I liked this week’s cartoon from The Economist.
I wanted to post the same interview of the Syrian President Bashar Assad as a ‘caricature of the day’! But then I came across Annahar’s Armand Homsi’s caricature which I thought is convenient enough.
The interview was done by Barbara Walters of ABC, and aired last night on the American channel. You can watch its “highlights” below, but basically it seems Bashar Assad has defected from the Syrian presidency.
I followed political caricaturists in the Lebanese press for years now, and I can say I have two favourites. They are Armand Homsi in Annahar newspaper and Saad Hajo in Assafir newspaper.
I like Armand Homsi’s caricatures as they are spot on in summarizing explicitly the political situation or position(s) of different players, while Saad Hajo (a Syrian) does just that but in a very very abstract way or implicitly if you want. Hajo gives no hints or indication (in words), but he leaves the reader to ‘imagine’ what he is trying to say. I always loved it…try to follow him, he is very different! He has been with Assafir for the past16 years.
The below caricature showed up in Assafir by Hajo on 15.10.2011. I am sure you see how this applies to any dictator’s ‘ruling chair’ with some ‘medical context’, and it gets more applicable as you get closer in your thinking to your home country. But hey, Saad Hajo didn’t say anything, did he? For God’s sake, it’s just a red chair!
One of the outcomes of the Arab Spring (on the ‘soft side’ of things) is the increase of the national pride of the nations that experienced uprisings, especially where the revolutions were successful. Egypt’s revolution has been called ‘sexy’, and revolution in Tahrir Square (or Tahrir Roundabout) became a role model for almost anyone writing or planning a protest. Egyptians and Tunisians are proud of themselves and of the outcomes of their revolutions.