Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Assad's fall "inevitable"



I never thought the unrest in Syria would reach the same levels of that which has gone before in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. I was wrong. I thought that because Bashar Al Assad is younger, sharper and more in touch with world trends that he would prevent (through a combination of conciliation and oppression) the emergence of a revolutionary situation. Again, I was wrong. This week Obama called for Assad to step down stating that his fall was inevitable. Due to the sectarian element in Syria I thought the US would be reluctant to encourage further unrest in Damascus as was the case in Bahrain. However I believe geopolitical opportunities have overridden any such concerns. Assad's Allawite sect, which is similar but not identical to the Shia Islam that we are familiar with from Iran and Iraq, represent the ruling minority in Syria and are seen by many Arabs as being the gateway with which the sinister Persian regime in Tehran can meddle in Arab affairs. For this reason I believe there is a growing international consensus that Assad must throw in the towel. From a western point of view the fall of Assad and the Allawite sect could be highly rewarding as it would mean a major loss of influence and power for Hezbollah in Lebanon who would be isolated and unable to rely on the Iranians for training and supplies. So much so that if Assad were to go the way of Gadaffi and Mubarak, it would make the Iranian threat look significantly less serious. I give him until the summer.

2 comments:

The System Works said...

I was fairly skeptical that rebels could take down Assad last year. Now I'm more in agreement with this post. A line's been crossed, the momentum is there.

Despite all the hype, the so-called Arab Spring has only toppled 3 regimes so far. Surprisingly, these have been more secular, socialist Arab nationalist-style regimes. The more traditional monarchies are coping far better.

Ted Leddy said...

TSW

3 regimes in a year isn't bad I would say. The Gulf Monarchies with the exception of Saudi Arabia are countries with small populations. They are oil rich and have provided exceptionally well for their native people. Most are filty rich and only have to pretend to work for it. There will be no unrest in these countries. Bahrain has been the exception but we can put down to the Sunni Shia divide.