Daily news and comments on the situation in post Saddam Iraq by an Iraqi dentist living in Texas
There are analysts over here who think it may not matter one whole hell of a lot whether they got Assad in that bombing or not. The Assad regime has convinced the Alewites that the Sunni are coming for them, and the Alewites will fight on, thinking it's a matter of survival. By this thinking, it would likewise not settle things if Assad were to flee to Russia.The civil war is already on, and the Assad regime is now only one of several players.
Is Bashar al-Assad dead?Ahh, that explains it. The civil war is already on, and the Assad regime is now only one of several players.As much as people were scrambling around to avoid this kind of scenario, I think it was inevitable, given the situation in the region and the lack of any major outside power intervening. As Zeyad mentioned earlier, it is but one faction fighting another for power. Tribal warfare. *sigh* He hasn't republished those essays of his, I will have to search the blog I guess when I get the chance. They must be around somewhere.
"Tribal warfare."The woman who wrote the article you linked to the other day (about regime favorites partying on while Damascus burned), she was on Charlie Rose on PBS last night. She gave a rather dismal view of it all, thinking the Assad regime was clearly done for and that a lot of the Syrian ‘beautiful people’ were in hopeless denial. She said they'd managed to convince themselves that the problem was ‘Islamist foreigners’, and that ‘Islamist’ translated among them into ‘the Saudi are behind it all’, along with Qatar and some others. They had convinced themselves that their Shabiha militia wouldn't do the horrible things they'd heard had been done. Syrians wouldn't do that to other Syrians, and that it was those horrible fundie foreigners who'd done the massacres in those villages, and that was the fate that awaited them if their guys lost power.She thinks there's no way the fall of Assad will settle it, and that if a prolonged and bloody post-Assad civil war is to be avoided then a settlement will have to be brokered, almost imposed, by outside powers.Left to their own devices the Syrians will slaughter one another on a scale exceeding the post-Saddam slaughters in Iraq (which were tamped down to a large extent by the umbrella of Coalition forces).She thinks Syria without outside (read European, Russian, American) intervention will turn to the open, full-on civil war that would have been Iraq's post-Saddam fate had there been no overarching and overwhelming Coalition presence. And it won't be Libya, over fairly quick. It'll be Iraq on a somewhat smaller scale, but full-on instead of mostly underground and in the shadows, or like Lebanon writ larger.
I'm sorry I missed that interview. I wonder if they will reprise it? Maybe I'll check their website.That article reminded me of "In the Garden of Beasts", which is about the early days of Hitler's government seen through the eyes of the US Ambassador and his family. Not exactly the same scenario, but the same lack of understanding of the depth of what is happening and the lack of will to do anything about it. I think Syria is different than Libya in the sense that it is a more central player to events in the Middle East. Like Iraq before it the violence risks engulfing more than a single country. Already there have been incidents in Lebanon. Russia and China are short sighted in their votes. Hate seems to run deep in the Middle East and it's hard to assuage once aroused.We will see how many Syrian refugees Russia is willing to take in, since they seem to have such a close relationship to the country.
You had me for a second, Zeyad.
Today's entry re: American politicsMitt Romney has again promised that he'll achieve the necessary cuts to the federal budget without any cuts to the military budget. He will, instead, expand the military budget. More hardware; more soldiers.
[Lynnette, from previous]: "PeteS, I am surprised at this link you left. Usually you are a little more balanced."Lynnette, maybe I'm getting cynical. Maybe I'm turning into Bruno. But something stinks about Syria. Lots of things, in fact.We have multiple reports of staged massacres, where mass slayings of opposition civilians turn out to be something else. The other day I saw rebel videos of regime tanks being taken out with tank-busting missiles. Where does a populist insurrection get those sorts of weapons? And while the MSM are reporting attacks on rebels as "atrocities", the Damascus suicide bombing the other day was reported by the BBC as "a defining moment" and a possible "turning point". No mention of suicide bombing being a de facto atrocity, and against international law. Ok, I'm not one for conspiracy theories, and I'm certainly no Assad fan, but these rebels are getting a free ride in the press. Who's funding them and arming them? Is anyone calling them to account for their part in the action so far?
Oil is back up by ten dollars in the last few days. Positive stock market moves too. Must be the US making positive noises about more QE. Or else traders piling in for a bit of action before the summer break. Lots of people expecting carnage in the autumn. (Or maybe it would be more apt to call it "the Fall").Did the stock market used to be about company value and performance? And not about whether governments are prepared to try sending debt to infinity.
"Where does a populist insurrection get those sorts of weapons?"From the north, across the Turkish border. The originating source is likely either Turkey or Saudi Arabia or one of the Gulf states. Coordination and at least some minimal vetting of the recipients (such as can be done under the circumstances) is being provided by the CIA, who may also already be providing some intelligence on the regular Syrian Army movements. (I'm not clear if they've gotten that far into it yet, but it's certainly been discussed already.) Simple matter of fact is that the Russians and the Chinese have blocked the usual and usually ineffective U.N. actions, and so the opponents of the Assad regime have undertaken rather more direct support of the insurgents. I've been reading about it in the papers. It's not exactly a well-kept secret. I'm not sure what it is you find so mysterious and sinister about it. "No mention of suicide bombing being a de facto atrocity, and against international law."That's ‘cause it's not, on either count. Targeting does count, and those were obviously military targets, scant possibility of collateral damage. ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ "Did the stock market used to be about company value and performance?"I do believe that was once the case. However, for some years now the stock market has mostly been a casino operation, more like a poker game than actually investing in the businesses in play. The professional players rely mostly on being able to outplay the rubes at the table. Helps to be able to stack the deck and deal from the bottom seamlessly.
Pete,I think Lee's comment at 3:57 AM covered your points pretty well. I can't think of anything to add to that, except maybe a comment regarding this:Ok, I'm not one for conspiracy theories, and I'm certainly no Assad fan, but these rebels are getting a free ride in the press. You're probably right, for now. But that doesn't mean they won't be scrutanized more closely later. By the MSM and by any other supporters they may have. Btw, did you happen to read any of my links on the legal actions being taken against Barclay's, other banks, and their employees in the LIBOR fixing cases? I have a feeling that we will be seeing more of that in future as the investigations continue to play out.
"You're probably right, for now."I'm not sure what ‘getting a free ride’ is supposed to mean in this context.Are they committing any atrocities that are being swept under the rug? (Stuff beyond making war according to pretty much established rules of war.) Is the press not making sufficient mention of the fact that there's a fairly disparate group of folks currently waving the ‘Free Syrian Army’ banner? Do we not already suspect they'll start fighting amongst themselves for power after the fall of the Assad regime? Do we not know that the Saudi and the Turks and the Gulf states are now supplying the rebels, and only just barely bothering to conceal that? What does ‘getting a free ride in the press’ mean here? What evils are being omitted from coverage?
I assumed by "free ride" he meant the press hasn't looked too closely at the tactics of the Syrian opposition. That may be so, but I don't feel that it is any different from any other conflict the press has tried to cover.
[petes] "Ok, I'm not one for conspiracy theories, and I'm certainly no Assad fan, but these rebels are getting a free ride in the press. Who's funding them and arming them? Is anyone calling them to account for their part in the action so far?"Uh-oh. Welcome to the dark side.
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