Colonel Sanders is unlikely to return.
Syrian Sunnis and Shiites may disagree over theology, but they can both agree that a country without KFC just isn't worth keeping. No ones wins here.
Even ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front should be able to recognize the magnitude of the catastrophe. What good is a Caliphate if it's not Kentucky fried?
In 2006, Kentucky Fried Chicken opened Syria's first American restaurant in Damascus. The franchise weathered more than two and a half years of war, but this month, it became one of the last foreign businesses in the country to close its doors.
The only time Americana, the Kuwait-based company that owns KFC's franchises in Syria and the broader region, faced politically motivated boycotts was during the Second Intifada, half a decade before KFC's first Syrian branch opened... Americana soon added to its regional logo the words "Arabiya Miyah fil Miyah," meaning "one hundred percent Arab," which effectively solved the problem.
So what went wrong with 100 percent Halal Arab Kentucky fried chicken in Syria?
Almost all of the 1,400 restaurants region-wide have been able to effectively ride out the Arab Spring. Even in Egypt, no stranger to widespread chaos, the effects of revolutions and counterrevolutions have been limited to a handful of its franchises. In 2011, the violence that led to Mubarak's ouster only affected the company's four outlets in Tahrir Square and its three "floating" franchises on the Nile, which were located near the Israeli embassy.
Hmm. Why are they located near the Israeli embassy? Could they be fronts for the Zionist entity?
But for the past few years, the odds have been stacked against KFC in Syria. Poultry production has decreased by half since the conflict began in 2011. The Syrian Ministry of Agriculture estimates that as of May 2013, less than 35 percent of the country's poultry units were still operating, and more than 50 percent of jobs in the sector have been lost.
And they don't even have ObamaCare.
Violence made road transportation unsafe and severely crippled the supply chain of food. Making matters worse, transportation was prohibitively expensive. The price of diesel has increased anywhere from 20 percent in Damascus to 600 percent in Aleppo. Orient News, a network aligned with the opposition, attributes the price hike to the Assad regime's use of additional diesel revenues to raise the salaries of state employees and bribe them for their continued loyalty.
Actually maybe they do have ObamaCare. This sounds like the Democratic Party's program.
Americana's decision to close up shop in Damascus is just the latest example of the dissolution of normalcy in even Syria's most protected areas. As long as the operational obstacles facing KFC mirror the ones that Syria faces in feeding its people, Colonel Sanders is unlikely to return.
But brave Syrian rebel commander Colonel Abu Sakkar is rumored to be opening an Aleppo Deep Fried Human Lung franchise.
Until then I guess they'll just have to make do with with cheap third-rate ripoffs of the Colonel...