It is rather hilarious that when the West picks a native puppet as a leader for some shop, Western pundits immediately rush to offer words of praise about the selected person, even if that person is Karzai or Chalabi or Sanyurah or Fayyad. The recent case is Ahmad Mu`adh Al-Khatib. I read several people (who don't know Arabic) talk about how he is a great orator and that his speeches at the Umayyad mosque must have been mesmerizing. Well, no: appointment to senior clerical roles under the Asad regime are based on loyalty to the regime and not on talents or oratorical skills. In fact, Al-Khatib is a lousy speaker. But then again: who cares when the Cicero of Syria is cited right and left.