Syria: The Unwanted Political Alternative

Syrian Flag (Darkened) 

"When president Bashar al-Assad is either deposed or advised to relinquish his position; it is uncertain who will hold power and serve the interests of the Syrian people. It is also uncertain whether democracy - the initial demand of the Syrian protesters - will be the next political system in the country." (Cristina Caravaggio Giancchini in The Crisis in Syria & Possible Outcome)

The above words were written last February. Ten months have gone by and Bashar al-Assad has not been deposed nor has he followed the advice to step down. However, by looking at the present situation, I am forced to admit that, in terms of world security, it has been convenient to let him stay in "power" (despite his despicable behaviour towards his own people) since the "official" opposition forces weren't able to consolidate their position and their weakness allowed Radical Islamists to hijack the Syrian fight for democracy.

Better the devil we know than the Iblis we don't want to know... 
The ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; an Al-Qaeda affiliate) and Al-Nusra have taken over Northern Syria where they have imposed the Shari'a Law. In "their territory" they imprison citizens (suspected of being either loyal to al-Assad or Kuffar), they torture them and, if needed be, they behead them in public.

In an article, written by Lina Sinjab, a father of four children (Mohammed) describes how he was taken into ISIS custody and charged with setting up "Sahwa against the state". Once in their base, he and others were whipped 70 times a day, during 33 days in a row, before he was released (two of his brothers died in prison).
Mohammed, in utter disappointment, recognises that his country has been occupied by foreigners who wish to impose their religious ideology upon Syrians; yet, he forms a very interesting conspiracy theory - he believes the jihadists are working for the government to "undermine the rebellion":

"[In Raqqa], they have occupied the governor's house and other former Baath Party buildings. But when the city comes under bombardment, only schools, hospitals and residential areas are hit, and not any ISIS-occupied locations,"

Although it is an interesting theory (since we have already suggested that Shiites and Sunnis do cooperate to achieve common goals, and because Jihadist groups seem to be doing al-Assad a favour by fighting against the Western-backed FSA), it could be said that Mohammed is in the right track but perhaps pointing the finger at the wrong government.

Iran has been waging proxy wars in Iraq (through Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq), in Syria (through Al-Assad's forces and Hezbollah) and in Gaza (through Hamas and the Islamic Jihad).
Saudi Arabia has been waging proxy wars in Iraq (through the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIS]), in Syria (through Al-Nusra Front and the ISIS) and in "Palestine" (through the various local terrorist groups).
These two countries have been fighting each other at the expense of the people of the nations they influence; therefore, when Mohammed said that ISIS is being protected by a government he should look towards Saudi Arabia, although the jihadists (for now) are rendering al-Assad's a service - hence the ISIS-occupied positions are not being hit by his forces.

We are in December: it remains uncertain whether democracy will be the next political system in Syria, or if the interests of the Syrian people will be served at all; especially when Jihadist groups seem to aim at replacing al-Assad. If Islamo-Fascists are allowed to get the Levant, they will think that only the sky is the limit.

For lack of a desirable alternative (and because the Western-backed opposition seems to be the weaker actor in the conflict) it seems to be more convenient, for the moment, to maintain the Status Quo...  

Comments

  1. Wow new look! I prefer this one to tell you the truth!
    Syria is a mess, today I read there was a suicide bombing there and all: how will the world solve the problem? Ok, I wasn't for a military strike last August but now I don't know what can be done! I know one thing though, we can't let those jihadists take power and force secular Syrians to follow the sharia law!

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    1. Hey Celia :D!

      I am glad you liked it *bowing*. We are preparing the blog for 2014.
      I totally understand where you are coming from. It is a complex issue and I must admit the US government did well not to strike Syria - the Americans were actually smart about this - otherwise it would've been a total mess. Can you imagine a Syria with a Jihadist government? How would we deal with them and how would they disrupt the region? Tough questions.
      Nevertheless, Syria must eventually be dealt with; the question is: how?

      Celia, thank you so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. "Better the devil we know than the Iblis we don't want to know... " excellent! I still remember the talks I had to several people in the beginning of this year about Syria: we all thought Assad would be gone by now, but nope, he's still around. I agree on the status quo however, because until we figure out who will replace al Assad we need to stay put otherwise we will help the jihadists get the power and control over the Syrian people. It's a tricky situation, we feel sorry for the kids and women in the refugee camps but for now it is the best thing to play along with Russia and Iran...until the final solution.

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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      Indeed, indeed. Good point: it is sad to see all the people suffering but we need to weight the costs and the benefits of our actions before we act. Otherwise the results may be even more devastating than the present situation...

      Anon, thank you ever so much for your great comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. I think we were all hoping that al Assad would step down this year, but Obama gave him fresh air to stay in power. I still think we should have bombed their asses last summer; that way a lot of problems would've been solved, Max. But yeah, I get your point of view even though I do not agree with it. This Assad dude is still killing people and we are sitting here just watching him do that just because he gave us what we wanted for 30 years? Is it worth it?
    BTW the place looks awesome! Me likes it.

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    1. Hi Michael :D!

      During the Summer, I was inclined to agree with a military strike but I have changed my mind after being informed of the situation on the ground: it is bad, Mike. And when I say bad...I mean it. It is a very complex issue that will not be solved with a few missiles or bombs; because there is just not a suitable replacement for al-Assad.
      You said one thing I agree with though: the Syria deal made al-Assad admit something Syria had been denying for +/- 30 years and show their cards. In this, the deal was an outstanding diplomatic move. Plus, it removed a chemical threat from our way.

      lol I am glad you liked it, thank you *bowing*.

      Mike, thanks a million times for your input :D. Loved it.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. I am just glad to see that my government doesn't seem to be quite so enthusiastic about supporting the Jihadis as it was ten months ago. The "Iblis we don't want to know" is definitely the key item here, although perhaps a slight variant would be in order: The "Iblis we pretend that we don't know".

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    1. Hey Looney :D!

      No, it is not. I actually like your adjustment better: "The Iblis we pretend that we don't know" - thank you *bowing*.

      Looney, thank you so so much for your awesome input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Hi Abelle :D!

      I am glad you liked it, dear :D. We are getting ready for 2014.
      Thanks for having dropped by :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  6. I agree with your thought of the week, Hezbollah is taking a different approach caused by the Syrian conflict that has spilled over to Lebanon as a result of Hezbollah's involvement. Blaming Israel is not helping Hezbollah cause the Lebanese are not stupid, particularly after the bombing of the Iranian embassy; so now the strat is accusing Saudi Arabia who many Muslims are starting to blame for most of the problems in the region. Does this mean we are going to have a shift: will Islam stop fighting the west to start fighting within itself?

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    1. Hi Joseph :D!

      It is a spill-over indeed. They tried to blame Israel for the previous assassination but I am not sure it worked as planned. So, now the strategy is to go after the one entity that is really hurting their cause: Saudi Arabia.

      You are right, the voices of discontentment towards the Saudis are being and more and more heard. It has been really interesting to read the Muslim comments in the social media.
      Good question. We will have to wait and see, for anything can happen...

      Joseph, thank you ever so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. Olá Max,

    This conflict has had so many twists and turns that I don't know where I stand anymore! I mean, professionally I know the status quo is the best policy for now (cause we acted too late or failed to act at all) but personally I am torn. It is hard to see all those kids in refugee camps. But it's a 'small' price to pay, I suppose.
    Saudi Arabia should receive a strong message from the west for her support for the global jihad but now that it is allying itself with Russia...the window time for reproach may be closing.

    Great job, Max!

    Tchau

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    1. Olá Celeste :D!

      I understand where you are coming from.
      Especially because it is aligning itself with Russia, Saudi Arabia should suffer the consequences of its decision.

      Thanks, darling, I am glad you liked it *bowing*.

      Celeste, thank you so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  8. Well, well, well...are you validating Obama's decision not to strike Syria, Max?

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