Posts Tagged ‘syrian regime’

‘Send in the Clowns!’

July 28th, 2012 Comments off

“…With the Syrian regime proving resistant to a quick collapse, and anti-Assad sentiment within the regime stifled by fear of victor’s justice, what’s Plan B?
It seems to be Send in the Clowns.
In other words, find an ex-regime figurehead who is at least superficially palatable to the Syrian populace and sufficiently obedient to the foreign coalition, and can also persuade the Assad regime that his first act will be to push a bill through the (presumably unrepresentative, hand-picked, and tractable) transitional legislature granting a graceful exit to Assad and amnesty to his associates (aside from some carefully-chosen scapegoats) from prosecution for their past crimes in the name of reconciliation….
The initial candidate for the exalted role of transition leader is Brigadier General Manaf Tlass, who fled Syria amid widespread huzzahs a few weeks ago.
Tlass has been literally grooming himself for his role as popular leader for months, growing out his military haircut into a heroic Byronic mane prior to his defection.
His photographic prop is a big cigar, presumably to reinforce the image of manly leadership,…He is also, apparently, France’s great hope for clout in Syria, as this priceless excerpt from the Christian Science Monitor reveals:
Now, Mustafa [his father] and Tlass’s sister, Nahed Ojjeh, are living in Paris, where Ms. Ojjeh is a prominent socialite who once dated a former French foreign minister….
However, Qatar appears comfortable with another high-level defector, one who also happens to be Sunni (as is Tlass), but was an important cog in the Assad machine and has hands-on experience with the nitty gritty of restoring order in a violent and dangerous set of circumstances.
The man is Nawaff al-Faris, formerly Syria’s ambassador to Iraq. According to an interlocutor communicating with the As’ad AbuKhalil’s Angry Arab blog, Ambassador Nawaff is quite a piece of work, having earned his bones with the Ba’ath regime as battalion commander during the legendary Hama massacre of 1982,….
The longer regime collapse is delayed, the greater the risk that important elements of the insurrection might slip the leash, start fighting with each other as well as against Assad, and contribute to the creation of a failed state where Syria used to be….
Bashar al-Assad is doing a pretty good job of staying in power and crushing the insurrection. The longer he is able to cling to power, the more shattered and divided Syria becomes – and the less useful it is to the West and the Gulf states as a proxy warrior in the battle with Shi’ite Iraq and Iran.”

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Defected Assad confidant visiting Turkey

July 26th, 2012 Comments off

In this citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network SNN, taken on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, a Syrian citizen journalist documents Syrian forces shelling in Homs, Syria. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network, SNN)THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS CITIZEN JOURNALIST IMAGETurkey says the brigadier general who defected from the Syrian regime is on a visit to Ankara.

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Russia accuses US of ‘justifying terror’ in Syria

July 25th, 2012 Comments off

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has rebuked the West for taking sides in the Syrian uprisingRussia on Wednesday lashed out at the United States for backing the armed opposition to the Syrian regime, saying Washington's failure to condemn the July 18 blast that killed top security officials meant it was justifying terror.

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Al-Huthi for Asad regime repression

July 23rd, 2012 Comments off
Yahya Badr Ad-Din Al-Huthi comes out in support of Syrian regime repression.  (thanks Amer)

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Syria and Bahrain

July 22nd, 2012 Comments off
People in the Bahrain opposition should remember that the Syrian regime supported Saudi military intervention in Bahrain.  Most people in the Bahraini opposition remember that.

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Rebel bombing strikes at heart of Syrian regime

July 19th, 2012 Comments off

FILE - In this Thursday Oct. 6, 2011 photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, stands next to Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Dawoud Rajha, right, during a ceremony to mark the 38th anniversary of the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war, in Damascus, Syria. Syria's state-run TV says the country's defense minister has been killed in a suicide blast in the capital. Wednesday's attack struck the National Security building in Damascus during a meeting of Cabinet ministers and senior security officials. (AP Photo/SANA, File)Rebels penetrated the heart of Syria's power elite Wednesday, detonating a bomb inside a high-level crisis meeting in Damascus that killed three leaders of the regime, including President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law and the defense minister.

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Muslim Brotherhood on sectarianism

July 18th, 2012 Comments off
Listening to a Syrian Muslim Brotherhood type talking about sectarianism of the Syrian regime is like listening to George W. Bush talking against war.  

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End of Syrian regime in sight

July 3rd, 2012 Comments off

On the surface, the Russians have not backed off from their support to the regime in Syria, and the Assad regime itself did not retreat from the military solution.
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‘Why the World Prefers to Wait on Syria’

July 3rd, 2012 Comments off

“…The current combination of insurgency and popular revolt is not new for Syria and has been successfully repressed in the past. What the government could not expect this time was the fallout from the Arab Spring. But even as the Syrian regime faces mounting political, socioeconomic, military and international pressure, it also has specific strengths that can keep it afloat for a long time. For one, the sectarian nature of the ruling class, the armed forces and security services promises to prolong the confrontation. At the same time, the Syrian opposition is divided between relatively secular forces and Islamic fundamentalists, and between actors based at home and abroad.
So as long as the Syrian regime muddles through, it will do so primarily for internal reasons, not because of external support. If and when the regime disintegrates or transforms, it will be the result of a complex combination of weakening institutions, economic collapse, spiraling and increasingly extreme insurgent and counterinsurgent violence and, to some degree, external pressures.
Most external stakeholders, including the United States and Russia, and probably all remaining moderate constituencies within Syria, have a genuine interest in a middle-ground political solution and a more manageable political transition. None of the Geneva mediators are content with the current bloodshed, which has become increasingly intractable, or have any workable plan for dealing with the fallout that could result from the collapse of the present system.
This is why the Annan plan appeared to be an optimal option, not just for Russia but also for other key international players, including the United States. There might have been hopes in some quarters that the time window granted by Annan’s plan would allow the situation inside Syria to evolve toward a more decisive outcome, including the possibility of a regime reshuffle. This could have produced more favorable conditions for conflict management without raising the controversial issue of external intervention. But any expectations for a palace coup have proved unrealistic. In particular, the core of the Syrian armed forces and security services is an inseparable part of a tightly integrated ruling caste and is likely to stand by the government until the very end. The fact that the latest round of talks on Syria was expanded to include a call for a national unity government — a demand shared by all participants — provides acknowledgement of this reality.
The Geneva conference was inconclusive apart from suggesting a renewed cease-fire and broad guidelines for the “Syria-led” process to form a transitional government with the participation of the opposition “by mutual consent.” International mediators still have two main options on the table. The first is to further emphasize the international community’s united push for intra-Syrian dialogue on the formation of a coalition government and to search for coordinated ways to press and persuade both parties to negotiate while refraining from dictating the composition of that arrangement. This is the option presently supported by Russia. In a way, this strategy builds on the logic of the Annan plan: It buys more time in the hope that an internal shift in Syria’s government or a change in the international context will allow for a solution that does not involve external military intervention.
The other option, favored by the United States and its Western and Gulf allies, is to try to dictate the revamp of the regime from the outside — but with few means to reinforce it. Also, in contrast to Libya, Syria’s “smart authoritarianism” system is not completely conditioned on the personality of President Bashar Assad or even his clan but is run by a sectarian ruling caste. Sidelining or replacing Assad would be symbolically important, but it would not transform the ruling caste. Interestingly, this may imply that Assad, as a relatively weak figure, might at some point be spared even by his own caste on the condition that the ruling group is left largely intact. Hopes to gradually marginalize hard-liners in the ruling minoritarian group and in the ranks of the opposition ignore the fact that power and moderation do not go hand in hand in today’s or tomorrow’s Syria — with or without Assad.”

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On the false heroism of Sami Moubayed:

July 2nd, 2012 Comments off
Syrian dissident Subhi Hadidi on the waffling of Sami Moubayed and his attempt to resurrect himself as a critic of the Syrian regime.

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