Bayanouni & Khaddam and the 2nd Hamas Card
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching love is in the air on many fronts. The Muslim Brotherhood have found a new aficionado in Abed el Haleem Khadam the ex Baathist and one of the party’s pillars for decades. This really goes to show you that politics is the dirtiest game in the world and that if you live long enough you’re bound to see some crazy shit. Many analysts might see this move as consolidation and strengthening of the opposition’s line-up. I wouldn’t completely agree; for one what is the MB gaining in having Khaddam in their ranks? He does have the Saudi/Sunni connections and might be more appealing to the west than the fundamentalist banners the MB waves around BUT what else? In the place that matters most => the Syrian streets, Khaddam is a liability and a washed out loser. That last comment applies to both regime supporters and haters for obvious reasons. So in short, zero points in mass-appeal for poor old Khaddam.
To me this alliance highlights the MB’s desperation as well as its newfound pragmatism. It might be the strongest opposition party out there but they still have to compete with many different secular parties that oppose MB dominance. So if the MB held a stronger hand they would not be willing to align themselves with the very image of their oppressors.
On the other hand, Hamas’s latest win must have aroused the MB a great deal. Because if Hamas can succeed in establishing a somewhat normal relationship with the west then what would stop the latter from doing the same thing? But I wouldn’t reach for the condoms and the lubricant just yet. Washington might be willing to deal with a couple of Islamic institutions in the regions but its not about to allow Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Iraq Islamatized all at the same time on top of the existing Islamic governments/parties. And more realistically I don’t think the US or Israel will allow Hamas to become a viable political entity. It might dabble in some time-consuming “talks” but they are not about to lose their much closer, and more willing to concede, partner the PA.
Is that to say that the MB, Khaddam and others are wasting their time? No, there are serious cracks in the Syrian regime and as all opposition members are expected to do, they will try to exploit these cracks and bite for time. I just think they will be biting for a lot longer than they hope or think.