Syria - ripe for regime change?

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RF
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Syria - ripe for regime change?

Post by RF » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:56 pm

The situation in Syria is clearly deteriorating, as here there is one regime that is resisting the ''Arab spring.''

Is this a case of a Libya without foreign intervention to tip the balance? Certainly without Cameron and Sarkozy choosing to interfere Gadaffi by now would have crushed the revolt against his regime.

But Syria is a much tougher nut to call. Firstly the regime is much stronger and has at least a slice of the population that supports it (unlike in Libya). The opposition also isn't the disorganised shambles that the Libyan opposition started out as and had to be rescued by Cameron/Sarkozy.

So what does the future hold for Bashar al Assad and the cause of Ba'athism? Will he stay in power or eventually be displaced?
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Re: Syria - ripe for regime change?

Post by Byron Angel » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:46 am

RF wrote: Is this a case of a Libya without foreign intervention to tip the balance? Certainly without Cameron and Sarkozy choosing to interfere Gadaffi by now would have crushed the revolt against his regime.
..... As I understand it from various web reports (which may or may not be altogether accurate), Iran has been actively supporting the Assad regime, up to and including the provision of an IRG force of 15,000 men.

So what does the future hold for Bashar al Assad and the cause of Ba'athism? Will he stay in power or eventually be displaced?
..... Syria is a highly important piece of Iran's middle east strategic position, as it represents the sole land access to Lebanon, Hezbollah, the Palestinians and Hamas and acts as well as an effective outflanking agent on behalf of Iran's campaign to de-stabilize Iraq. As such, I expect that Iran will devote considerable assets and effort to prop up Assad and his regime. Saudi Arabia, for its own reasons of strategic self-interest is likely supporting the Syrian opposition; the problem is that, although they have plenty of money, but lack manpower and domestic war material production capacity. Turkey, I think, is sitting on the sidelines, watching events unfold and calculating how best to take advantage. So far, the West (at least so far as has been reported) has been long on diplomatice posturing, but dramatically short on any sort of physical intervention. It is too early in the game for me to predict an ultimate victor in this struggle.


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Re: Syria - ripe for regime change?

Post by RF » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:21 pm

If Iran visibly backs Assad, then that will ''up the ante'' particulary in the West. and also in the one Mid East country so far not mentioned, Israel. Iran currently is in the ''bad books'' of the West because of an entirely different issue, that of clandestine development of nuclear weapons. If that issue is joined with that of Syria, then a very dangerous situation could develop, with Turkey and Israel backing the Syrian opposition and Russia backing Syria/Iran.

In that situation things start to turn sticky for Obama and his re-election prospects, especially if fundamentalist threats are made against the US.
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Re: Syria - ripe for regime change?

Post by frontkampfer » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:47 pm

IMHO - no matter who comes out on top in Syria it will not be favorable to the west. Assad supporting terrorism or Islamic fundamentals supporting terrorism is a six of one and half a dozen of another situation. As far as barry's re-election chances being hurt, I think that will only happen if gas hits $6+ a gallon and Israel hits Iran. My two cents!
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Re: Syria - ripe for regime change?

Post by RF » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:13 pm

frontkampfer wrote:IMHO - no matter who comes out on top in Syria it will not be favorable to the west. !
This is the problem - and why the western powers should not openly intervene. Non-intervention I think would also serve Israeli interests particulary as the Assad regime has managed to co-exist with Israel without re-starting the war on the Golan heights.
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Re: Syria - ripe for regime change?

Post by aurora » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:21 pm

By Gwynne Dyer, Special to the BDN
Posted Jan. 14, 2013, at 11:22 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 14, 2013, at 12:41 p.m.

The most frustrating part of covering the Lebanese civil war (1975-90) was that after a while, there was nothing left to say. Syria is starting to feel just the same. It’s horrible, but atrocities are a daily event in all civil wars. It’s not going to stop any time soon, but you can only say that so many times before people get bored and move on. Except for the people who actually live near Syria’s borders, the audience for “news” about Syria has already moved on.

Consider, for example, last week’s exhaustive study by the United Nations Human Rights Commission concluding that 60,000 Syrians have been killed in the civil war since March, 2011. That’s considerably higher than the previous estimates of deaths in the war, which were running around 40,000, and the UNHRC hoped that this new number would finally galvanise the rest of the world into action, but it changed nothing.

Last month’s “news” was that the Russians were on the brink of abandoning their Syrian ally, President Bashar al-Assad, which would surely bring about his rapid downfall. “One must look the facts in the face,” said Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister and Middle Eastern envoy. “Unfortunately, the victory of the Syrian opposition cannot be ruled out.”

However, Bogdanov did not actually say that a rebel victory was desirable. On the contrary, he said that it would not happen for a long time, if ever, and that such a victory would ruin Syria. Then, the spokesman of the Russian foreign ministry, Alexander Lukashevich, announced that the media had simply misunderstood Bogdanov: “We have not changed our position, and we will not change it.”

And so to this week’s piece of theatre: a widely touted speech in Damascus in which President al-Assad would propose a way to end the conflict peacefully. He did no such thing, of course, instead declaring his eternal refusal to negotiate with the “terrorists” who are fighting his army. He will only talk to the “puppet-masters” (an unholy alliance, he claims, between Israel, Western governments and al-Qaeda), not to the puppets.

Well, what did you expect? He and his Alawite sect are convinced that they must go on ruling Syria or face destruction. He’s not actually losing the war, either. Syrians are deeply divided by sect and ethnicity and class, and enough of those groups are on Assad’s side that he can probably hold out for a very long time. By the time he finally loses (or wins), perhaps years from now, Syria will indeed be ruined.

So why doesn’t everybody else “do something about it”? Because what “everybody else” really means is “somebody else, but not me.” No government is going to order its soldiers to risk their lives in a military intervention abroad unless it has reasonable confidence that their sacrifice will not be futile. That assurance is simply not available to governments that might contemplate intervention in Syria.

It has been a quarter-century since the first dictatorial regimes were overthrown by non-violent revolutions, and the remaining ones have all had time to study the phenomenon. They have unanimously and quite correctly concluded that their best chance of survival is to push the protesters into violence. In a civil war, everybody is in the wrong, and the side with the greatest ability to inflict violence (the regime) may win.

Some regimes, like the Communists in eastern Europe or the apartheid regime in South Africa, decided that they would not impose a civil war on the country even if the alternative was losing power. Others, like the Egyptian regime two years ago, could not trust the army to fight a civil war on their behalf. But the senior commanders of the Syrian army are almost all Alawites, and they were actually willing to fight rather than surrender power.

Now they have their war, and it will go on for a long time. By the end, there may not even be a unified Syrian state any more. And no outside force is going to stop it.


Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose commentary is published in 45 countries.
http://bangordailynews.com/2013/01/14/o ... -in-sight/

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RF
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Re: Syria - ripe for regime change?

Post by RF » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:33 am

There is an important contradiction in this article regarding the capability of the Assad regime to survive.

It is stated that Assad will fall quickly if the Russians abandon him. It is later stated that enough of the Syrian people support the regime to keep it going for a long time.

Joined up analysis is required if such articles are serious journalism.
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Re: Syria - ripe for regime change?

Post by Byron Angel » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:35 pm

RF wrote:There is an important contradiction in this article regarding the capability of the Assad regime to survive.

It is stated that Assad will fall quickly if the Russians abandon him. It is later stated that enough of the Syrian people support the regime to keep it going for a long time.

Joined up analysis is required if such articles are serious journalism.

..... Is it necessarily a contradiction? Will to carry on the fight over a long term, while essential, is still reliant upon supply of war materiel necessary to do so. It is unclear how much war materiel Assad holds within Syria (although past experience with this regime suggests it may still be considerable), but Assad probably lacks more modern weapons and at one point or another his forces will need additional supplies. Those must come from an outside supporter, most likely Russia or Iran.

Another important aspect of Russian support would be their ability, as permanent members of the Security Council, to prevent anti-Assad resolutions from passing in the UN.

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Re: Syria - ripe for regime change?

Post by RF » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:23 pm

Well, if the Russians pull the plug on Assad will he fall quickly, or does enough of the Syrian people support him to keep him in power long term ? Both assertions are made in isolation to each other without a reconciliation between the two..... they cannot both be right.

It is asserted that the Assad regime isn't losing the war militarily because of its superior firepower. He has the manpower and active support within Syria to maintain his armed forces. Yet this is stated after the earlier claim that if the Russians abandon him he will fall quickly.

This isn't joined up analysis. If I were President of the USA or Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and my intelligence services produced a report like this I would want to know what the **** they are playing at.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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