Friday, December 31, 2004

Ripple effects in Syria

Belgravia Dispatch has an interesting post on the hope generated in Syria by the forthcoming elections in neighbouring Iraq.

The Iraqi election next month may be evoking skepticism in much of the world, but here in northeastern Syria, home to concentrations of several ethnic minorities, it is evoking a kind of earnest hope.

"I believe democracy in Iraq must succeed," Vahan Kirakos, a Syrian of Armenian ethnicity, said recently. "Iraq is like the stone thrown into the pool."

We've heard reports like this many times, particularly in respect of Iran and Syria. But if, as the report relates, Mr Kirakos is now confident enough to (illegally) challenge the Assad family's hold over the Presidency, then there has already been a massive change for the better.