In a “monumentally” “historic” move, the Syrian civil war comes to “an end” today with a “fair,” “safe,” and “open” “democratic” “election” to determine the country’s “president.”
Or, to put it differently: today in Syria, absolutely nothing is changing. Coming off wins with 97 percent of the vote in 2000 and 97.6 percent of the vote in 2007, the only question that may be answered in today’s election is whether Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has a single self-aware bone in his disconcertingly-thinly-mustached body (in which case, he might throw himself only 96 percent of the votes, given all the bombing of his own citizens recently), or whether he is going to shoot for the high score.
Today’s election will only take place in government-controlled territory (although opposition fighters have threatened to disrupt voting) and, while there are two other candidates, Maher Hajjar and Hassan al-Nouri … there aren’t really two other candidates. In Syria’s civil war, thus far, over 160,000 people have died, millions have fled the country, and millions more have been thrust into poverty. Given all that, it is unlikely that one election, held only in areas firmly controlled by the less than pleasant government forces, will unseat Assad, who has ruled Syria since 2000. Further, before Bashar al-Assad took power, his father Hafez al-Assad had acted as the oddly-shaped head of state for nearly 30 years.
Basically, what you need to know is: (1) Syria is having a fake election today; (2) the election doesn’t mean anything (except that Assad won’t be stepping down anytime soon); and (3) the whole country is still really messed up. Your move, World.
P.S. It took every ounce of self-restraint I possess to not write: “Assad needs to syrias-ly get his act together.”
P.P.S. How sneaky a way was that to still get the pun in while pretending it doesn’t absolutely crack me up.