DAMASCUS, SYRIA – As the blood shed continues in Syria, experts on Middle East politics have begun to identify a number of possible reasons for the escalation in violence.
While there are many theories about what brought on the violence, one of the more popular beliefs is that the Syrian government and the Syrian people are at odds about opening an In-and-Out fast food restaurant.
“In my expert opinion the entire issue in Syria boils down to the fact that people really want their In-and-Out but the government doesn’t,” said Ron Lane, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Stanford. “Again, in my expert opinion, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad just doesn’t like In-and-Out. And I’ve got to agree with him. When you think about it, the burgers really aren’t that good. They’re better than McDonald’s, but you know, sometimes, I think I’d rather have McDonald’s over In-and-Out. People have put In-and-Out up on a pedestal when really, it’s just a hamburger… like McDonald’s. al-Assad knows that, and I think he’s in the right here.”
“To solely blame this spat of violence on something like In-and-Out is just plain ridiculous,” said Raymond Wolverton, American Ambassador to Turkey. “Yes, the whole In-and-Out thing would be a serious issue, but that isn’t the whole problem. I’m of the belief that a lot of the stress comes not from people who really want In-and-Out, but people who would rather have Five Guys Burgers come in instead of In-and-Out. Have you ever had Five Guys? Now that is a good burger. When you have Five Guys and then have In-and-Out, well it’s like going from a super model to a crack whore. And I’m talking about a really bad crack whore, you know, one with no teeth and chunks of hair missing. That’s exactly like In-and-Out, a toothless crack whore that’ll give you a half assed blow job for 10 bucks.”
While there is disagreement between the experts as to why Syria – a country that has up until this year experienced a completely peaceful history – is currently experiencing violent confrontations between the government and its people, experts do agree that a single cause is likely.
“Issues like the ones we are seeing in Syria are usually the result of a single misunderstanding,” said Ned Weinstein, author of Understanding the Middle East in 12 Easy Steps. “Honestly, it probably doesn’t have anything to do with hamburgers; but the root cause of the violence is probably something simple. Like no access to HBO. That’s not what the issue is per se, but it might be. The whole thing certainly isn’t a complicated issue and it most certainly is singular to Syria and not a result of anything else that’s happened or happening in the rest of the world.”
Although few of the experts have visited Syria lately, nor spoken with anyone inside Syria, there is a consensus among the experts that the violence is not a result of an oppressive government that is struggling to oppress an uprising through shear force.
“I’m pretty sure that the Syrian people are just being assholes over there,” Lane said. “The government is just trying to be the cool guy at the party, you know. They’re just trying to make everyone happy. Like most Middle East governments do. Then the ‘people’ come along and make demands. That’s where things go wrong. When the people start making outrageous demands, like an In-and-Out restaurant, the government just can’t comply. Again, it’s like the host of a party. If the people want guacamole, but the host thinks that avocados taste like deep fried shit on a stick, then there’s little chance that he’ll go out of his way to give his guests guacamole.”
When asked why the United States has not stepped forward to end the violence a senior State Department official said, “Why the fuck would we do that? We don’t get oil from Syria.”